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, February 2, 2013

Adventure Comics # 430, December, 1973

Here we are already at the end of the Black Orchid's appearances. Recent letters pages have been promising readers new adventures of Deadman coming soon but this issue's postpones that and announces the impending return of The Spectre instead. Ads this month tout two of DC's experimental new formats--the 100 page Super-Spectacular and the oversized comics later referred to, after Marvel's version, as "Treasury Editions."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Adventure Comics # 429, October, 1973

More balletic poses and enigmatic character development in the second of three Black Orchid appearances in ADVENTURE.

Rather than give the images color, we've now lost the images all together! Note the letter from Keith Griffen (sic) who would seem to be future comics superstar Keith GIFFEN.

A simple full-page ad for what will soon become a classic comic book of its day.

How many of us ordered from these guys? I know I sent 'em a whole dollar for a comic book around this time (AVENGERS # 16) and my mother said I was throwing money away! A dollar! For a COMIC book!!??

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adventure Comics # 428, August, 1973

Those who were actually enjoying THE ADVENTURER'S CLUB and CAPTAIN FEAR were out of luck this month as their only appearance is on the letters page header, and then, for some reason, in black and white.

Instead, we get an entirely new, intriguing and purposely mysterious character drawn by Tony DeZuniga but written, in his first return to the pages of ADVENTURE in about three decades, Sheldon Mayer! One of the most important figures in the early history of comics, Mayer, in the meantime, had become best known for his humor and children's comics including the long-running SUGAR & SPIKE. The Black Orchid had but a short run here but Neil Gaiman would revisit her to much acclaim yet another couple of decades on.

Dr. Thirteen was an also-ran character and this was a never-ran story, having originally been intended for an issue of PHANTOM STRANGER. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Adventure Comics # 427, May, 1973

Although well-drawn by Luis Dominguez, already a veteran of Dell, Gold Key and Warren, this cover is certainly the most non-decript since the title's earliest days. The rest of the issue, unfortunately, follows suit. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Adventure Comics # 426, March, 1973

Keeping one foot in the costumed hero field, this issue's cover spotlights another new, modern Vigilante adventure. Also cover-featured is THE ADVENTURER'S CLUB, with it's "Commander McBragg" type lead setting up a few dullish adventures with good Jim Aparo art. Aparo will be a fixture at Adventure through several features for a while now. 

Just because we lost Supergirl doesn't mean we lost Mike Sekowsky but that's okay because here, Dick Giordano returns to the inking. The two paired well, even if the leading lady here looks just like Sekowsky's "Emma Peel" Wonder Woman. 

Writer Robert Kanigher had been around for 25 years or more and was about as old schools you could get but he was always one to embrace the new. Not sure if I've ever read how he reacted to Alex Nino's radically different artwork, however.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Adventure Comics # 425, December/January, 1972-73

Well this comic book knocked me for a loop. Not sure what I was expecting from the "All-New" ADVENTURE but when I saw this I remember it wasn't it. First of all, the cover is by Mike Kaluta, one of the young Turks who'd started out in fanzines and mags like WEB OF HORROR. It was still months before he would truly establish a name for himself with DC's adaptation of THE SHADOW. If you're paying close attention, the next thing you notice is that starting this month, the mag is bi-monthly, not monthly. Not a good sign. From here on out, fairly frequent change would be the norm for ADVENTURE COMICS. 

The first story is by Alex Toth, certainly one of comics' greatest stylists and a DC veteran of 25 years or so by that point. It looks and feels, however, like a leftover from Editor Orlando's DC "mystery" titles. 

In fact, so does this two page filler from artist Frank Redondo.

Some absolutely lovely fantasy art from Gil Kane follows. Kane was mostly at Marvel by this point I believe so this may have been an inventory piece as well.

This last one, seen here in its entirety, was the revelation and I wasn't sure I liked it. Truthfully, I'm still not. There was no denying the talent behind this Alex Nino, though. I had never heard or seen his name before but soon enough, he would be a fan favorite. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Adventure Comics # 424, October, 1972

Here we are at Supergirl's last issue of ADVENTURE. Don't cry for her, though, as she gets her own title for the very first time. Zatanna even carries on as a back-up feature. Oddly, it doesn't last even a full year, though. She turns up here at least once more later on in ADVENTURE so keep your eyes peeled. 

Probably another inventory piece for the failed sic-fi project from a few years earlier that ENB mentions on the letters page. Some quite impressive Don Heck art but the story's not much.

For any who might be wondering, here's what SUPERGIRL # 1 looked like. Looks like the hot pants outfit won out...for a time at least.