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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Adventure Comics # 444, April, 1976

They never did decide what to replace the 7 Soldiers of Victory with so they just went for a full-length Aquaman tale this time out. Great Aparo art and the letters page informs us that Gerry Conway--a busy man at DC in those days--helped out young Paul Levitz who had to concentrate on his school work!

This was THE big event of the year--if not the biggest event in all of comics up to that point!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Adventure Comics # 443, February, 1976

A good Aquaman cover and story. Lots of cool ads, though, too. Plus the final episode of the 7 Soldiers of Victory serial. The letters page implies that they still don't know what's replacing it but perhaps, at some point, The Creeper. 

Mort Drucker art in this ad.

The revived ALL-STAR COMICS advertised below would become one of the high points of DC in the seventies. By contrast, the revived BLACKHAWK, missed by a mile and it would be nearly another decade before they'd get that one right.

I didn't realize it at the time but Big Jim's P.A.C.K. and these ads were designed by Jack Kirby.

Evel Knievel was marketed as a real-life role model but in the end he turned out to be supremely flawed all around. For one brief moment in the mid-seventies, though, he was fun to follow.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Adventure Comics # 442, December, 1975

Both the cover and the splash seem a little generic this time out. 

Nice plug for SPECTRE writer Michael Fleischer's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GREAT COMIC BOOK HEROES. Interesting, though, to note that DC still didn't know what was going to replace the 7 SOLDIERS serial that was soon ending.

 The ad below probably did more in the long run to help sales of comics than anything we had seen in recent years. TBG helped organize and stabilize fandom and dealers in ways that had never been possible before and would eventually run 40 years, just finally ending--as CBG--this year, 2013.

Vigilante returns but it's the Earth 2 version here, not the grim, gritty Gray Morrow version we saw not all that many issues back. Again, a most appropriate art team with Jose Luis Garcia Lopez inked by Mike Royer (whom I would meet in 2012).

Below is the ad for the first ever collaboration between Marvel and DC...although it's actually just a Marvel product which, due to a rights dispute, had DC's logo added to it as well. Still, it opened the door that soon led to SUPERMAN VS SPIDER-MAN.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Adventure Comics # 441, October, 1975

Here we are. After all this time, former ADVENTURE back-up character Aquaman becomes the regular cover feature for a while! As usual, the nifty retro-backup here--a selling point to myself and many others-- starring the 7 SOLDIERS OF VICTORY doesn't get any mention at all. 

The previous brief Aquaman run was written by his former writer Steve Skeates but former artist Aparo was busy doing Spectre. Now that that was out of the way, Jim returned to the Sea King but Skeates was nowhere to be found. 

The Star Spangled Kid's forties adventures always seemed to show him drawn awkwardly for some reason. Thus, artist Ernie Chan here continues that tradition!

By the way, I've just found out that the upcoming, May 2013 issue of Twomorrows BACK ISSUE magazine features an article on how this retro 7 Solders series came to be.

The coolest thing about this short-lived MANBAT series was getting to see Steve Ditko's version of Batman!