Monday, 5 December 2016

RECOMMENDED READING: SUPERMAN IN THE '70s...


Images copyright DC COMICS

SUPERMAN In The '70s is one in a series of books
covering different decades in the Man of Steel's comicbook
career.  It was published in 2000, but may well still be in print.
If not, eBay or Amazon should be able to accommodate you,
should you decide you just have to add it to your collection.  I
got my copy in FORBIDDEN PLANET only last week, so
you should probably check your local branch first, as
they may still have copies in stock.  Give 'em a try!
  

6 comments:

TC said...

IIRC, Mort Weisenger retired sometime around 1970, and Julius Schwartz became editor of Superman's self-titled comic. I believe Murray Boltinoff took over editing World's Finest and Action Comics, and Jack Kirby edited (as well as wrote) Jimmy Olsen. I have no memory of who took over editing Lois Lane, Superboy, and Adventure Comics.

I had Superman #233-#242, with the long arc involving the sand creature that sapped Superman's power. They had eliminated kryptonite, only to replace it with another deus ex machina weakness. The creature went back to his own dimension in #242, but, later, they brought back kryptonite.

The Galaxy Broadcasting Company bought the Daily Planet, and Clark became a TV reporter. And the Superman titles all got tied in with Kirby's Fourth World series.

World's Finest changed from Superman-Batman team-ups to Superman and other co-stars (e.g., Flash, Green Lantern). But they later went back to Batman as co-star, and Superman teaming up with various other heroes in DC Comics Presents.

It was during this period that DC seemed to be emulating Marvel, with longer arcs and serials, more complex plots and sub-plots, more crossovers and cross-continuity, and more character development.

Kid said...

Funnily enough, TC, for all that DC may have been trying to emulate Marvel, they still produced some quite ridiculous stories for Superman in the '70s. "Who Was That Dog I Saw You With Last Night?" (The return of Krypto) being one of them. Superman plots seemed to find it difficult to completely shake off that whimsical touch that often permeated the stories, even when they were aiming at a more Marvel-style approach. There are 13 issues in this book, and although I already had 5 of them, it's an entertaining enough read to justify its place in my library - especially with an intro by Christopher Reeve.

Phil S said...

I never understood the sand creature storyline. I mean I did, they wanted Superman to be less powerful. But they seemed to want to kill Superman. They de powered him so much it was like - who is this guy ? Personally I loved Cary Bates stories. And I'll buy anything to see Curt Swan art.

Kid said...

The sand creature storyline was one of the better ones, I thought, PS. There was some really good stuff in there. When Superman first appeared in 1938, he was a champion of the oppressed and his stories were more about human interest and social justice. Personally, I think that when the strip eventually became more science-fiction orientated (issue after issue), they weren't quite as good. There were exceptions of course, but the sand creature storyline doesn't quite fall under the category of science-fiction. Still a belter 'though.

Graham said...

I think you hit it on the head for me with your last comment, Kid. I just never got into Superman when I started trying to read his adventures in the early 70's, so I rarely bought Action Comics or Superman. I did get the occasional World's Finest, but usually despite his presence instead of because of it.

However, whenever I found one of his Golden Age adventures, I snatched them up and LOVED them. I think the "champion of the oppressed" theme was part of the attraction. I also liked the fact that he seemed to be less invulnerable, too. The 70's Superman (and the 60's sci-fi era Superman) were kind of boring to me.

Kid said...

It's as if the writers felt that because it was Superman, he had to have a foe who could give him a challenge - and the only ones who could do that were aliens. That's all right once in a while, but when that became the relentless theme of the strip (as it seemed to me), then it got rather boring after a while. One of the classic '70s tales is when he's lost most of his powers (drained by the sand being) and he has to save Lois from an oil rig while dressed in an overcoat and slouch hat. Terrific stuff.

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