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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Adventure Comics # 459, October, 1978

Here we go. The most radical change yet! The four characters seen above will be the core characters with back-up stories coming and going. In this case, a good Elongated Man tale and the first of two parts essentially using up the stories already done for the recently canceled revival of the NEW GODS series.
The Flash adventures in this title were more stand-alone than in his own which became eventually so backed up with back-story that the character would be killed off in the CRISIS of a decade later. He actually stayed dead for longer than most comics characters who get killed. 

The highly touted and apparently highly anticipated Deadman return is well-written and well-drawn by the Wein/Aparo team who were formerly on PHANTOM STRANGER but nothing special really, even for Deadman fans.

Joe Staton would become one of the several definitive artists on Green Lantern's adventures but he was burdened by the fact that many of the stories he dew, this one included, were not particularly memorable.

If you were following the convoluted attempts by others to continue Kirby's Fourth World series, then this was probably your favorite part. If not, since it begins mid-adventure, you probably skipped it.

Surprisingly, I liked the Elongated Man story best, despite crediting five writers and art by newcomer George Ruppert who wasn't around long. He's inked here by Bruce Patterson, a favorite of mine at that time.

I remember being very disappointed in the art on the Wonder Woman series. Jack Abel's penciling was so sparse as to almost be coloring book style. Like the other main heroes, the stories were one-off and not majorly tied to continuity.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this issue is the text page announcement of the series to follow the New Gods in a couple of issues--THE MAN CALLED NEVERWHERE by Don Newton and writer Roger McKenzie. Whatever it was, it was scotched in favor of the JSA after the revived ALL-STAR COMICS was canceled. Was any of it ever completed? Did young Neil Gaiman hear about it and get the name for his TV series and book, NEVERWHERE?


  1. I contacted Roger McKenzie on his Facebook page about "A Man Called Neverwhere" and got this response:

    " far as I know, Neverwhere wasn't recycled anywhere else at DC. It...along with several other series of mine (and lots of other creators as well) got buried in the "DC Implosion" back then when (I think) about a third of the DC books got axed all at once. As for what Neverwhere was about...who can say after three decades. I'd pitched the name (which Paul Levitz tweaked, by the way!) and *I think* some sort of elvish/magical/time-travel superhero mishmosh of a concept.

    Which could have been great...or just as likely could have stunk up the place. I suppose we'll never know for sure..."

  2. Now THIS was the ADVENTURE COMICS that I remember reading! I didn't have (or see) this issue when it first came out, but I wish I did. The line-up seems more like an Earth-1 revamp of COMIC CAVALCADE...which is still pretty awesome. Paul Levitz's description of no single feature dominating the book was spot-on; even WORLD'S FINEST couldn't make that claim!
    Overall, this was a great new beginning for the book, but the best was yet to come...