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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Adventure Comics # 306, March, 1963

Well, that didn't take as long as I thought. Polar Boy makes his debut as does, in fact, the rest of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. Polar Boy is drawn almost dwarfish by artist John Forte in some scenes here but in later episodes we see he's just very short. The Superboy tale spotlighting young Master Mxyzptlk's 5th dimensional shenanigans isn't really all that different from the departed Tales of the Bizarro World series.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Adventure Comics # 305, February, 1963

Another major milestone for the Legion already as Mon-El, the most popular of the "Superboys from outer space" to have appeared in the Boy of Steel's series (and already revived briefly in the LSH series) is resurrected for good in this issue's story.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Adventure Comics # 304, January, 1963

A really good issue that starts out with Superboy meeting his future self only it's yet another surviving Kryptonian villain who, in fact, warns of others yet to come!

Throughout the sixties and seventies DC and various other companies flirted with the 3 or 4comic books in plastic marketing concept. Note that you saved a whole penny on the cover price!

Note that the letters page addresses why Bouncing Boy's soft drink in a previous issue cost so high at fifty cents! Also a reader suggests a new hero, Polar Boy...which eventually happens.

Initially, here, Johnny DC was getting a lot of use.

Here we are, only at our fifth official LSH tale and we get one of the most important stories of the whole run, as well as being one of the few times--in those days at least--that a comic book character died. Even the last panel left open the possibility of a return, though. Why burn bridges?

Arguably Henry Boltinoff's most popular character, although he appeared irregularly and in various Superman-Family titles, Super-Turtle ran for more than a decade. Would love to see a collection!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Adventure Comics # 303, December, 1962

Here we are introduced to DC's mascot, Johnny DC, destined to be short-lived but revived many years later in several spoofs. This issue's letter page features praise from often critical LOC (Letter of Comment) writer, Paul Gambacinni. He would eventually move to England where he would go on to become a major music critic, author and chronicler of the sixties. Another letter is from one Steven Martin in Norman, Oklahoma. Most likely not THAT Steve Martin who was a junior in High School that year but in the next state over, Texas.

For the first time, a real Legion team story. We are, though, introduced to the controversial Matter-Eater Lad, he of the bizarre power (which everyone on his planet apparently had so why was he special?) and the stupidest name of any comic book hero ever! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Adventure Comics # 302, November, 1962


Still running through Legion stories spotlighting individual members and Sun Boy had already been spotlighted. So he must have been popular in his earlier appearance. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Adventure Comics #301, October, 1962

Teenage Luthor is back this month in an otherwise unexpectedly bland follow-up to last month's seminal issue. The LSH series at this point is being treated much like its Bizarro predecessor with emphasis on "Bits of 30th Century Business."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Adventure Comics # 300, September, 1962

This is it. The big one! 299 issues all leading to this first of what most Boomer fans would consider the best period of ADVENTURE COMICS. The Legion debuts but, oddly, with a rather lackluster story which, in spite of this now classic cover, is kept as a back-up to the Superboy tale on the inside. 

The letters page acknowledges the end of the Bizarros...for now. They also promise a Bizarro Legion story upcoming, though! Unless I'm misremembering, we never got that.

This first official TALES OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES story continues the writer-artist team of Jerry Siegel and John Forte. GCD adds that Al Plastino retouched some of the faces of Superboy and Luthor, just as he would continue to do off and on for years.