Friday, June 29, 2007

Adventure Comics #491 - Sept. 1982

The very next month after the cancellation of DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest, DC started up another digest title, sort of--Adventure Comics. DC had cancelled its long-lasting title in February 1982 then restarted it in September in the digest format. And odd choice, to be sure, but as we'll see they used it for some really excellent material.

It opens with an all-new Shazam! story, "The Confederation of Hell" by E.Nelson Bridwell, the late, great Don Newton, and Frank Chiaramonte. Shazam! was running in World's Finest for a while, so I assume this new material was originally commissioned for that book. But then when Shazam! was dropped from WF, it left the material without a home, so when DC started up Adventure Comics Digest it seemed like the perfect place for some all-new material amid the reprints.

The othe features include:
Superboy in "The Legion of Super-Heroes" by Otto Binder and Al Plastino
Aquaman in "Sorcerers of the Sea" by the unbeatable team of Steve Skeates, Jim Aparo, and editor Dick Giordano--SAG!
part one of a Black Canary solo tale (aka "The Canary and the Cat!") by Denny O'Neil and Alex Toth
The Sandman in "The Man Who Couldn't Sleep" by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Superboy again in "Prisoner of the Super-Heroes" by Jerry Siegel and George Papp
The Spectre in "The War That Shook The Universe!" by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson

This book also came with a text piece by Paul Levitz about the stories, and DC's plan to start reprinting every Legion tale, in a row(shades of the Archives series!), as well as a set of new front and back covers by Keith Giffen and Romeo Tanghal, with the back highlighting every star in the book, a fun touch.

One of the most special parts of this series to me was it was the first, and as far as I know only, time the classic SAG run on Aquaman has been reprinted, ever. I remember discovering this issue at the aforementioned Voorhees News and Tobacco Shop, and when I saw it contained "new" Aquaman stories I snapped it up. It was that much better when I realized that these were some of the best Aquaman stories ever done! To say nothing of the Alex Toth Black Canary story, as well as work by Kirby, Newton, and Anderson--this was a great way to kick-off this new version of Adventure Comics!

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