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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Adventure Comics # 349, October, 1966

Jim Shooter introduces Universo and his son Rond Vidar, both of whom will loom large in Legion lore going forward. You'd be forgiven for thinking you accidentally picked up an issue of BATMAN, though, as the issue opens with an ad for the brand new, rushed out BATMAN movie, has an ad for the brand new BATMAN comic strip in the middle and ends with a gorgeous back cover BATMAN ad for Aurora models.

Irene Vartanoff here gives Weisinger an excuse to finally give credit, on his 4th issue, to Shooter as the new author. Note that he was said to be writing ONLY 4 issues, making this his final tryout. Following this is another two-parter but written by E. Nelson Bridwell, also a young newcomer to DC.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Adventure Comics # 348, September, 1966

They say you always remember your first. This was my first Legion of Super-Heroes comic book. Oh, I had noticed the previous two issues but I hadn't bought them. This one, though, on the stands in July of 1966, was mine, purchased at Lampke Pharmacy in Covington, Kentucky. Under a Swan cover, it's a Shooter/George Papp collaboration and, in retrospect, Shooter's layouts do seem a tad more prominent here than I'd thought. Seven year old me, although a pretty good reader, learned lots of new words here including "cosmic," "damsel,""colossal" and "legion" itself. I particularly liked Invisible Kid's outfit as I thought it looked like something anyone (in the sixties anyway) could wear. On the cover he looks like Superboy wearing a headband. I had never seen a male wear a headband before so I decided it made you look different and made up one to start wearing around the neighborhood...until the other kids laughed.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Adventure Comics # 347, August, 1966

Here in Part two of Jim Shooter's writing debut, Curt Swan takes over as regular penciler. Supposedly over Shooter's layouts both now and in the future but this issue certainly looks more typically Swan than last issue's unusual panel layouts. While I'm sure Jim continued to submit his stories with both art and pencils, I'm not all that sure the art was utilized that much.

Yet another classic house ad. This was the year for them.

Like Cap from CAP'S HOBBY HINTS, The Pink Panther-like KAT FROM AMT (seen here in a Chic Stone-drawn ad) was almost a regular strip even though, in his case, he was an ad.

I had a  Switch N Go set but with regular cars, not tanks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Adventure Comics # 346, July, 1966


Looks like business as usual with a Swan cover and new Legionnaires but in actuality it all changes inside. According to legend, 14 year old Jim Shooter was a Marvel fan who liked the Legion and Superman but couldn't figure out why they weren't more like Marvel. So he wrote and drew his own stories and sent them to editor Mort Weisinger who eventually agreed to try him out. Sheldon Moldoff was brought in to adjust the lad's somewhat amateurish art to a professional level but his scripts, written in his perception of a Marvel style, went out pretty much as is. Shooter's first published work was this two-parter.

Jim created Princess Projectra who, with her white hair and big hairstyle always looked much older than her teens to me. 

And Nemesis Kid, whose power was that he could duplicate anyone else's power.

Ferro Lad, the first legitimate masked member, was apparently meant all along for an early sacrifice. Karate Kid, seemingly underpowered in this company, was set up as the traitor here so, of course, it was obvious it wasn't him!

Here's the legally required Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation where one can see just how many copies were selling!

Frequent DC letter writer Irene Vartanoff is represented here on the letters page. I always thought that sounded like a phony name for some reason. Last year, I exchanged several emails with Irene, now married to former Marvel writer Scott Edelman.

And here's the only time all four of Shooter's new Legion members would be listed. Note also the Riddler advertising a completely Batman-less comic book in a brazen tie-in to the TV show's amazing popularity.