Wednesday, 23 March 2016

FAVOURITE COMICS OF THE PAST - PART FORTY-ONE: SUPERMAN #251...


Images copyright DC COMICS

At one time, I could've told you in exactly which shop I purchased
my original copy of SUPERMAN #251, but now I'm none too sure.
(Maybe  it'll come back to me later.)  What I can tell you with absolute
certainty, however, is the date on which I bought it - October 7th 1972.
The reason I remember is because that was the day that The MIGHTY
WORLD Of MARVEL #2 went on sale, which I'd obtained earlier that
surprisingly sunny Saturday morning.  A few hours later, I also took pos-
session of TERRIFIC #1 and The SUPER-HEROES #1, two comics
from the '60s, which I picked up in a jumble sale in The Old Parish
Church Hall in the Old Village quarter of my town.

I've long since re-acquired replacements for all the comics I got
that day, the above one being bought around 1980 or '81 ('82 at the
latest), which means that I've now owned it for a far greater period of
time than I ever had my original copy.  It should come as no surprise to
any of you (mainly because I've said the same thing many times before)
when I say that all it takes is one glance at its cover or contents, and I'm
magically whisked back to the '70s (wait for it, here  it comes) faster than
a fart from The FLASH.  I found the 'classic tale' of particular interest,
because Superman changes his features (much like the FF's MISTER
FANTASTIC can) to resemble his alien foes, and uses 'telepathic
will-control' to influence the mind and actions of his captor.

So there you have it!  Another of my 'Favourite Comics of
the Past'.  Is it also one of yours?  Then why not indulge in a spot
of pleasant reminiscing and tell the rest of us all about it?  After all,
why should I have all the fun?  The comments section awaits!







11 comments:

paul Mcscotty said...

This is an issue I never had (I don’t think I have seen it in a back issue shop either) but I always wanted. The cover is excellent and although it is not one of Neal Adams (?) best (Superman looks a bit static) it was exciting to me with the alien / monster hand coming out of the egg (although the hand and arm are as big as the egg - its body must have been pretty small). DC did some amazing covers that made you want to buy the comic. I can still recall seeing this advertised in other DC comics at the time in one of those great ½ page DC in house adverts they used to have but I never saw it in the newsagents. Superman was excellent around this time as were (imho) most of the DC titles 52 pages of fun and excitement and great art but not long after this (probably 1973) I lost interest in Superman as a character (my one time favourite) still I hold out some hoe for the new Neal Adams “….Supermen” comic mini-series (the first issue was ok).

Kid said...

Looks like a Neal Adams cover to me, McS, unless it's an imitation by Rich Buckler. The main story was reprinted (in b&w) in an issue of London Editions' The Super Heroes mag in 1981, so you may have read it if you were buying that mag at the time. I liked the 52 page DC mags, but it affected sales because Marvel mags were cheaper, and it was around this time (I think) that Marvel clearly surged ahead of DC in sales. Time for you to get onto eBay and track down a copy of this ish for your collection.

Phil said...

That Golden Age story looks like John Sikela art. I remember this cover but didn't get the comic. DC comics were hard to find and there were no comic shops yet.

Kid said...

There's eBay now, Phil, so no excuse for not having it. Happy hunting.

Arion said...

Hey there, nice Superman issue! How are you doing?

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http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2016/03/buy-dawn-of-undead-now-and-win-marvel.html

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TC said...

The cover of Showcase #6 (introducing the Challengers of the Unknown) had a similar scene, with the monster's arm as big as the egg. Maybe it's just too hard to depict a monster hatching. Either the egg looks too small to have contained the creature, or the egg would have to be so big that it would dominate the cover, and overshadow everything else in the scene. Or the monster would have to be too small to be a convincing menace.

Kid said...

Or it's growing on contact with the air as it emerges from the egg? That looks possible with this cover, but the Showcase one didn't lend itself to that possibility in my opinion. 'though I think regular commenter CJ suggested it.

Colin Jones said...

Did I suggest that ? Gosh, how clever of me - I'd completely forgotten about it.

Kid said...

Just checked, CJ - actually, it was yours truly who suggested it, so how clever of ME! (I should've known.)

Dougie said...

I owned this one too. One of about four Superman comics I got in the early 70s. Apart from the first Terra-Man appearance, Supes just didn't click with me. I hated the 40s stories too. That Krypton tale is pretty though.
There's another weird sci-fi story in an Action comics issue from the same period, "Secret of the First Metropolis" IIRC. I liked that one: it's a tragedy and has an environmental message.

Kid said...

I've got both of the issues you mention, Dougie, but I later came to consider Terra-Man a bit of a silly idea. 'Secrets Of The First Metropolis' is a nice little tale indeed.

(Originally posted 26 March 2016 at 11.50.)

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