The above logo and all characters, stories, etc. on this blog are copyright DC Comics, Inc and are used here for review purposes only.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Adventure Comics # 423, September, 1972

As announced in this issue's letters page, this issue marks Supergirl's penultimate appearance as the star of ADVENTURE COMICS. It also marks the last appearance of Mike Sekowsky as artist on the character. Since it guest-stars the JLA, which Mike drew regularly for its first eight years or so, it should theoretically be good. It wasn't.

DC released a single issue of LAUREL AND HARDY in 1972 before a rights problem was brought to light. Ads for the second issue (with a cover by Sekowsky oddly enough) as well as the LAUREL AND HARDY DIGEST, seen below, appeared. Neither one was ever released. Since the digests were all reprint and the TARZAN DIGEST released at the same time featured Russ Manning stories previously published by Gold Key, it's presumed this, too, would have had reprints from L&H's Western Publishing run.

Friday, January 25, 2013

***Extra*** Super DC Giant S-24, June, 1971

We're getting close to leaving Supergirl behind as ADVENTURE moves on but, being a completist, I felt we should at least mention this SUPER DC GIANT I had forgotten about from about a year earlier.   Like most of these kinds of books, this one was made up of reprints, in this case from early sixties ACTION COMICS stories. The exception here, though, was that there were three all-new pages of costume designs for the new look Supergirl at the back. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Adventure Comics # 422, August, 1972

Perhaps my least favorite cover on this run. You can barely see Supergirl and all those banners and logos at top take up way too much eye-grabbing space. Another messy Sekowsky/Oksner splash (sort of) several pages into the story. Noticeably more butt shots in this one, too, but drawn very unattractively. 

Kirby had his Fourth World project taken away from him but his vast creativity immediately came up with this, another character that would be extremely influential at DC forever after.

The highlight of the issue--more Gray Morrow Vigilante!

Mike Barr, in later years one of my favorite comic book writers, pops up on this issue's letters page.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Adventure Comics # 421, July, 1972

With the shrinking of the title, it looks like all was forgiven as far as Mike Sekowsky was concerned...but I'm not sure why. I'm actually a Sekowsky fan but I can't help but see his Supergirl art (and stories) as some of his worst work. And Oksner's inks are completely unsuited to Mike's pencils.

What a messy full-page panel...and a stupid-looking outfit that looks like the artist was attempting to design it Kirby-style.

And what's with this position?

Zatanna is finally back but with deadly dull artwork.

Another letter this month from Dave (no relation) Thompson as well as one from Ron Fortier, himself later a comics writer and someone with whom a share a number of Facebook friends today.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Adventure Comics # 420, June, 1972

Made legendary by the Internet, this is the infamous "Supergirl flinging a giant metal penis" cover.

Inside, if you ever wondered what our heroine might look like as a redhead, check the miscolored first panel.

More romantic escapism/pinup art .

Here's the announcement that this is the final 25 cent issue, as DC reduced page size and price to compete with Marvel.

Last issue's blurb panel promised more Zatanna and Vigilante. Instead we get the odd little inventory sci-fi story that follows (drawn by Howard Purcell) and a repurposed Superman reprint that makes Supergirl look to be its star when she originally wasn't.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Adventure Comics # 419, May, 1972

An attention-grabbing cover for sure. The story this ish hasTony DeZuniga, known for his work as an inker, penciling for inks by Bob Oksner, known for his work as a penciler. An interesting and not terrible experiment but not a favorite combo of mine. Tony threw in a little Linda cheesecake even!


Letters this month from soon-to-be comics scribes Paul Kupperberg (a longtime Facebook friend) and David Michelinie who apparently lived just downriver from me. Looks like Carol Strickland maintained her comics connection as well--- 

Great art by Dick Giordano here buy hardly a great first page. Dick and Gray Morrow were similarly trading off on ROSE & THE THORN around this same time over in LOIS LANE.

KIRBY UNLEASHED was a great tribute to the King who was already being dissed by his DC bosses to some extent.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Adventure Comics # 418, April, 1972

This issue brings private eye Jonny Double--co-created by the story's writer, Len Wein in a one-shot SHOWCASE a few years earlier--into Supergirl's continuity. The character would pop up from time to time ever after, even getting his own Vertigo mini-series at one point.

Not sure why we were getting Phantom Stranger reprints when the character had his own book where such things would seem more appropriate.

What makes this issue truly memorable, however, is this--the first modern Black Canary solo story and with the added bonus of extremely stylized art by Alex Toth!

This was cool, and a harbinger of things to come. It's a Golden Age story that had been written and pencilled but uninked and unpublished. Newcomer Sal Amendola inked it and while DC wouldn't commit to a penciler, it was most likely Stan Asch, the regular penciler for the series at the time it originally ended. The combination is fascinating.