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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Adventure Comics # 50, May, 1940


Okay, the superheroes are back on the cover beginning with this Bernard Baily Hourman illustration and they will stay there until the mid-seventies.

The Fu Manchu clones continue on in some of the other stories, presaging America's growing fears of Asians in general as World War II approaches.   

 Although only cover-featured intermittently during this period and no longer the book's lead-off story, THE SANDMAN was, as evidenced by the continuing "Big Six" ad, still considered the headliner in ADVENTURE COMICS.
 Interesting that the review here is of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, one of the closest things to a traditional superhero book one will find in "good" literature.
 How popular was SUPERMAN just about two years after his debut? Popular enough that he was already on the air in his long-running radio serial starring Bud Collyer.

ADDENDUM: Check the comments. A reader pointed out that THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN was sponsored by Kelloggs' PEP and wondered what FORCE was as seen in this ad. The same ad in the same month in ACTION COMICS shows H-O OATS as the sponsor. Were these regionally printed copies after all? 


7 comments:

  1. Superman, "sponsored by the makers of Force?" I thought Kellogg's Pep sponsored him in the early days. Hm. Judging from the spacing, I'd guess that the word "Force" was kind of... err... forced in there. I'd almost suspect this sponsor change to be a local thing, but then again, the comic book it appeared in was obviously designed for (the pun is unavoidable) national distribution. Any ideas?

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  2. My thoughts exactly. Looks almost like those giveaway comics where the name of the local department store was printed on the book but there's no reason to think this comic---especially in the numbers they were printed in in those days---would have had special regional printings. Would love to see a different scan, though.

    This would have only been about the second month of the radio series but all the reports indicate that Pep was there from the beginning. And what, exactly, is/was FORCE anyway!?

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  3. FORCE? Heh. Never heard of it, and I do have some knowledge of that time period.

    But as far as Pep goes, it was there from the very first episodes. "Kellogg's Pep, the super-delicious cereal presents... The Adventures of Superman!" Way before my time -- I was born in '56 -- but I have tapes of the shows.

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  4. ????
    This splash panel for the Hourman story, and the Hourman splash in Adventure #51, both show Hourman pointing a pistol. I've never seen him use a pistol. DOES he pick up a pistol in either of these stories?

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  5. I just checked. It's issues 50 and 52. Does he pick up a gunk in the stories? For the record....no.

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  6. Hokey smokes, a reply! I'm sorry! My attention wandered for a moment, and the next thing I knew it was four months later ... THANK YOU for answering my Hourman question

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  7. Wonder who can explain the show debuting on 11 stations in the northeast…and one in Los Angeles?

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