Sunday, 4 January 2015


Images copyright DC COMICS

Strike while the iron is hot, they say, so while there's currently
a bit of interest in SUPER DC around here, I thought I might as well
go the whole hog and present all 14 covers at the one time, along with
a few associated images.  I've shown them before, of course, in three
parts a few years back, but consider this a handy omnibus edition
that'll save you trawling through the archives.

I've always found it interesting how we associate certain things
with certain times.  To me, these comics represent the start of the
'70s, 'though, back then, there wasn't really anything different about
the early '70s to the late '60s which preceded them.  I was a teenage
schoolkid who lived in the same house as when I'd been at primary,
still hung out with the same pals, and all the things with which I was
familiar were yet present in my life;  i.e. my favourite shops,
TV shows, people, places, and the like.

That's the thing about different 'eras' - they don't announce
themselves with a trumpet blast to mark their arrival and make it
memorable;  they just sort of sneak up on us when we're not looking.
One decade segues into another with seemingly seamless ease - the
1st of January 1970 isn't really any different to the 31st of December
1969, but when we look back years later, using the accoutrements
of our life as markers to distinguish one period from another,
there often seems to be a dividing line between them.

One comic might represent the '60s to us and another the '70s,
but may've been bought only a few days apart.  In our memories
'though, they somehow become 'ring-fenced' in their own respective
segments, separate and distinct, each occupying their individual place
in our recollections.  However, having just said that and in seeming con-
tradiction, although, in retrospect, I mentally file these comic under the
'70s ('cos I know that's when I bought them), due to that period of my
life being pretty much the same as the one which preceded it, they
also tend to encapsulate my entire span in the house in which
I'd lived from 1965, not just one particular part of it.

A paradox I know, and one that perhaps doesn't make much
sense, but that's just how it is.  I suppose time is like an onion, in
that it seems like a single item, but on closer inspection we become
aware of the numerous layers of which it is comprised.  Except, per-
haps, it's the reverse in the case of my above screed.  Now, if any-
one can actually understand what I've just been rabbiting on
about, perhaps you can explain it to me?

However, enough of such philosophical perplexions for
the nonce and on to the covers, as I unleash upon you the stuff
of which memories are made.  Any personal reminiscences as-
sociated with these comics that you'd care to share will be
most welcome!  (So get typing!)

Batman's right leg is seriously stunted on this cover.  One step and he'd
surely topple over?  And how can Superboy be in the same place as his
adult self?  Oh, that's right - it's symbolic - but even he looks surprised

First one to say that the above scene looks like four gay guys in a gym
can leave the room - we don't want that sort of innuendo around here.
(Oo-er, it was me, wasn't it?  I'll get my coat!)

Ah, now that's a better idea - use art from the actual story itself.
What an improvement.  I originally bought this comic in the Old
Village quarter of my town

I'd missed this issue when it first came out, but acquired it from a pal some
months later, when he brought out a pile of comics to read on his front
doorstep while I was visiting.  (That's right - I wasn't invited inside)

This mis-coloured ad was on the back cover of all 14 issues

The one-off Bumper Book...

...and its enclosed leaflet advertising similar editions


Gey Blabby said...

Oh wow, man, I mean ... never mind the start of the seventies, these comics are giving me a serious summer of 67 vibe, what with the wacky colour schemes and strange combination of figures - that last image of Superman/Batman (using the famous Batman pose) is mind-boggling. It might be the strangest DC image I've ever seen - more strange even than Superman with the head of a lion.
Strangely enough, though, they do have a certain kind of British charm about them, and are very much how I think of DC comics in the sixties before Adams and co got to work: Batman's wee legs; Supes and Bats doing some sort of silly dance on the cover of #3; the Joker without green hair: and perhaps most disconcerting of all - Batman's 'glaikit' expression on the bumper book cover. Great stuff, Kid, and definitely more 60s than 70s for me!

Kid said...

I think that's why they ALSO make an easy fit into the period of my life before they first went on sale, GB. They reprinted stories from the '60s, they were priced at a shilling in spite of decimalisation (which makes me wonder if they were prepared in 1969 and didn't go on sale 'til later for some reason), and, in 1970, things were pretty much the same (from my perspective at least) as in 1969. I think there's a delayed effect with new decades (or any new stages in our lives); we're halfway through them before we've even realised that they're there.

John Pitt said...

A beautiful gallery of everything Super DC, which for me was the EQUAL of Fantastic. I never saw a #14 anywhere in the flesh.
Your 60's/70's associations with Super DC are even more confusing for me! I THINK they were my brother's in the 60's in the Midlands, then mine in the 70's up here in the North East!?

Kid said...

They're copyright dated 1969, JP, so they didn't come out before then. I do wonder if they might have been on sale in England in 1969, and on sale in Scotland later, as I bought #1 in 1970, and the watch calendar free gift is dated '70 into '71. (The gift could've been updated for Scotland if it had been available in England earlier.)

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I have very hazy memories of this comic and actually thought it was from the late 60s (1967 ish) and my only purchase of this comic at the time was issue 7 whcih I bought in "Johnny's" newsagents in Rutheglen and thought at the time it was an old book (as in those days you could pick up books, although mostly US comics, in newsagents that were over a year old) I never really liked it to be honest despite being a big DC and Superman fan as a kid. I don't actually recall seeing this book around that often during its initial run in newsagnets but they look really good today, great wee collection. - Just catching up on my blogs after the New Year holidays, some great posts here that I nearly missed - Happy New Year to everyone.

Nick Caputo said...

Hi Kid,

Thanks for sharing these. Some really jarring images and combination of artists styles. Superman looks like has a broken nose on issues 1 and 2;An Adams copied Batman faces off against a Shelly Moldoff styled villain on issue 8; the Bumper book looks like Jimmy Olsen is slugging scotch and Superman replaces Robin. Great fun to see these covers.

Kid said...

Happy New Year, McScotty. Yeah, it looks like it belongs to the '60s more than the '70s,, doesn't it? I could easily have assigned it to the wrong decade if I hadn't remembered taking one into secondary school to read one afternoon (I didn't start secondary 'til 1970).


Hi Nick. Maybe it only lasted 14 issues because DC caught a look at one and called a halt to it for it being too 'off-model', eh? After all, if they'd redraw Kirby's Superman...

John Pitt said...

How did you join both halves of the poster together seamlessly?

Kid said...

I didn't, JP - I replaced the two halves with a single image.

Dougie said...

I remember the skin-tone Batman on the back cover far better than any of the front covers.
The stories I do remember are the "Round-Robin Death Threats" two-parter; a Super-Jimmy story on a parallel Earth and my very favourite: The Space Canine Patrol Agents. Mammoth Mutt! Chameleon Collie! I cannot stress enough how much I loved that story as a wee boy.

Kid said...

I read those very stories only the other night, Dougie. Far simpler times indeed. I'm glad to have them back again. (Even 'though the first 13 issues have been sitting in a cupboard for years, I only started reading them again when I acquired the full set of 14.)

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