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T H E U LT I M AT E C O M I C S E X P E R I E N C E !

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ROUNDTABLE

the Brave & the Bold jim aparo

PRO2PRO

21 creators discuss the f f

ROUGH STUFF

super teams pencil art

FLASHBACK

SUPER TEAMS ISSUE! Dennis O’Neil talks teams! Teen Titans! Super-Sons! Visit Metropolis! Comics DVD GUIDE and SANTA CLAUS IN COMICS!

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SUPERMAN, BATMAN, AQUAMAN, SPECTRE, AND PHANTOM STRANGER TM & © 2004 DC COMICS. FANTASTIC FOUR AND CLOAK AND DAGGER TM & © 2004 MARVEL CHARACTERS, INC. DNAGENTS TM & © 2004 MARK EVANIER AND WILL MEUGNIOT


ll! a r o f e n o d n a All for one,

The Ultimate Comics Experience!

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s M A E T super isssuuee!! is

Volume 1, Number 7 December 2004 Celebrating the Best Comics of the '70s, '80s, and Today! EDITOR Michael “Brave and Bold” Eury

EDITORIAL ............................................................................................................................................................ 2 A salute to B&B and Teen Titans writer Bob Haney

PUBLISHER John “Two-in-One” Morrow

FLASHBACK: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD ............................................................................. 3 The history of DC’s much-more-than-just-a-team-up title

DESIGNER Robert “World’s Finest” Clark PROOFREADERS John Morrow and Eric Nolen-Weathington —in one issue together! SCANNING AND IMAGE MANIPULATION Rich “Super Friend” Fowlks COVER ARTISTS Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson COVER COLORIST Murphy Anderson III BATMAN CREATED BY BOB KANE SUPERMAN CREATED BY JERRY SIEGEL AND JOE SHUSTER SPECIAL THANKS Jason Adams Neal Adams Murphy Anderson Jim Aparo Terry Austin Mike W. Barr Spencer Beck Jerry Boyd Tom Brevoort June Brigman Rich Buckler Mike Burkey Cary Burkett Kurt Busiek John Byrne Nick Cardy Chris Claremont Dave Cockrum Gerry Conway Don Corn Tom DeFalco Mike Dunne Kieron Dwyer Steve Englehart Ric Estrada John Eury Mark Evanier Ramona Fradon Marguerite Haney French Kerry Gammill Dick Giordano Grand Comic-Book Database David Hamilton Wallace Harrington Jack C. Harris Russ Heath Heritage Comics Carmine Infantino

Dan Johnson Randy Kerr Karl Kesel Chris Khalaf Scott Kress Joe Kubert Stan Lee Rick Leonardi Paul Levitz Willie Lumpkin Andy Mangels Will Meugniot Moebius Cookie Morris Brian K. Morris Dennis O’Neil Jerry Ordway George Pérez Adam Philips John Romita, Sr. Alex Ross Steve Rude Rose Rummel-Eury Paul Ryan Jim Shooter Bill Sienkiewicz Walter Simonson Joe Sinnott J.E. Smith Jay Stephens Roger Stern Roy Thomas Alex Toth George Tuska Mark Waid Len Wein Marv Wolfman

FLASHBACK BONUS: THE BRAVE, THE BOLD, AND THE BOB ........................ 21 Bob Haney, through the eyes of Mike W. Barr PRO2PRO MINUS 1: JIM APARO INTERVIEW ................................................................... 23 The Bat-artist supreme looks back on his Brave and Bold days THE ULTIMATE TEAM-UP GUIDE................................................................................................. 28 A checklist of B&B, Marvel Team-Up, and other team-up titles ROUGH STUFF: SUPER TEAMS ...................................................................................................... 32 Pencil art by Brigman, Byrne, Cockrum, Gammill, Heck, Infantino, Leonardi, Newton, Robbins, Ross, Swan, and Toth THE GREATEST STORIES NEVER TOLD: TEEN TITANS SWINGIN’ ELSEWORLDS (AND THE SUPER-SONS) ................................................... 44 Jay Stephens talks Titans and Bob Haney, daddio! With unpublished art PRO2PRO ROUNDTABLE: FANTASTIC FOUR .................................................................... 47 The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine, as seen by 21 top creators PRO2PRO INTERVIEW: MARK EVANIER AND WILL MEUGNIOT ................... 62 The writer and artist recall DNAgents, with tons of juicy Meugniot artwork OFF MY CHEST: DENNIS O’NEIL .................................................................................................. 74 A guest editorial on the perils of writing super teams BACKSTAGE PASS: METROPOLIS LIVES! ............................................................................. 76 BACK ISSUE’s guided tour of the “home” of Superman GREATEST STORIES NEVER TOLD STOCKING STUFFER ........................................ 80 Marvel’s Santa Claus, plus Christmas comics of the ’70s and ’80s DVD BACK ISSUES, PART TWO ..................................................................................................... 81 Our checklist of comics-to-film-to-DVD titles continues BACK TALK ....................................................................................................................................................... 88 Reader feedback on issue #5

BACK ISSUE™ is published bimonthly by TwoMorrows Publishing, 10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614. Michael Eury, Editor. John Morrow, Publisher. BACK ISSUE Editorial Office: BACK ISSUE, c/o Michael Eury, Editor, 5060A Foothills Dr., Lake Oswego, OR 97034. Email: euryman@msn.com. Six-issue subscriptions: $30 Standard US, $48 First Class US, $60 Canada, $66 Surface International, $90 Airmail International. Please send subscription orders and funds to TwoMorrows, NOT to the editorial office. Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Spectre, Phantom Stranger, Brave and the Bold, and Teen Titans TM & © 2004 DC Comics. Fantastic Four TM & © 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc. DNAgents TM & © 2004 Mark Evanier and Will Meugniot. All characters are © their respective companies. All material © their creators unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter © 2004 Michael Eury and TwoMorrows Publishing. BACK ISSUE is a TM of TwoMorrows Publishing. Printed in Canada. FIRST PRINTING.

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Titans,Tryouts, and Team-Ups by

Michae

l Eury

“When all else has faded and been forgotten in the vast cave of time-one thing alone survives-brave men doing bold deeds! This alone endures!” Opening caption by writer Bob Haney “Hell is for Heroes” The Brave and the Bold Special (DC Special Series) v. 2 #8 (1978)

The Brave and the Bold was DC Comics’ most influential series of the Silver and Bronze Ages. There. I said it. You can stop laughing now. It’s easy to dismiss The Brave and the Bold as “that Batman team-up” comic —that was its role for almost two-thirds of its 200-issue run (1955–1983). © 2004 DC Comics.

Granted, the words “brave and bold” have become synonymous with the team-up concept: DC has twice

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revived the title, as miniseries, to unite some of its heroes, with a proposed relaunch as a monthly series

■ It was the first series where Jim Aparo, who

(above right)

written by Kevin Smith hanging in limbo as of this

would ultimately emerge as one of the great Bat-

writing; writer Dwayne McDuffie’s “The Brave and

artists, got to try his hand at drawing the Dark

the Bold” Justice League Cartoon Network two-parter

Knight.

Heath-drawn splash page. Courtesy of Heritage Comics.

Hawkman Returns (below right) From B&B #34 (1961). Art by Joe Kubert. Courtesy

involved a Flash/Green Lantern pairing at its story

The Brave and the Bold also unveiled the lauded

core; and The Brave and the Bold, a 2002 Star Trek

Silver Age revival of Hawkman and the introduction

novel by Keith R.A. DeCandido, was a generations-

of oddball hero Metamorpho, the Element Man; and

spanning epic involving characters from three

ended its impressive run of nearly three decades with

different eras.

the inaugural appearance of Batman and the Outsiders,

But The Brave and the Bold was much more than

a group that would spin off to star in one of DC’s

the DC Comics equivalent of a buddy movie. The

bestselling titles of the 1980s. And along the way, The

title was the source of several phenomenally impor-

Brave and the Bold hosted meetings of everyone from

tant comic-book milestones that make my audacious

the Flash and the Doom Patrol to Aquaman and the

opening claim not so far-fetched after all:

Atom to Batman and . . . just about everybody.

■ It was the launch pad for the perennially

of Heritage Comics.

popular Justice League of America, the concept

B A C K

■ becoming DC’s first “entry level” series, afford-

rights from DC’s publisher to Marvel’s publisher,

ing lesser-known characters a larger audience by

and inspired the latter to mandate his editor to

riding piggyback on a more visible main star,

create a super-team comic, that series being

mostly fan-favorite Batman; and

Fantastic Four;

■ offering exposure to “homeless” heroes not cur-

■ It was the original home of the Teen Titans,

rently seen in their own features (for a time, it was

a team that has endured through myriad

the only place you could encounter Aquaman, the

incarnations, the most recent of which being an

Teen Titans, and the Metal Men).

extremely successful, widely merchandized TV

B&B 101

cartoon; ■ It was the title where Neal Adams, the extraordi-

The Brave and the Bold—affectionately known to its

nary illustrator who almost single-handedly ele-

readers as B&B—got its start in 1955 as a “high

vated comics art to a new level, first began to

adventure” title, appropriating its name from

visually transform Batman from a wisecracking

Horatio Alger, Jr.’s novel, Brave and Bold or the

Caped Crusader to a fearsome creature of the night;

Fortunes of Robert Rushton (interestingly, a 1956 war

■ It was where Green Arrow first stepped out of

movie titled The Bold and the Brave earned an Oscar

the long-standing stigma of his “Batman with a

nomination for actor Mickey Rooney). Edited by DC

bow” second-string status by appearing in his

stalwart Robert Kanigher, B&B was home to short

bearded, more dynamic look (which he still

stories starring a trio of swashbucklers: the Viking

1959

1960

B&B

Tryout format

First

premieres

begins with

appearance

as adventure

Suicide Squad

of JLA

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in #25.

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© 1960 DC Comics.

1955

series.

The Brave and the Bold further proved its mettle by:

whose success spawned golf-course bragging

© 1959 DC Comics.

© 1955 DC Comics.

timeline:

The Brave and the Bold

© 2004 DC Comics.

In its capacity as comics’ premier team-up title,

in #28.

© 1961 DC Comics.

A beautiful Russ

4

sports today); and

From B&B #1 (1955)


Prince (illustrated by Joe Kubert), the Silent Knight

petition with his passion

(drawn by Irv Novick), and the Golden Gladiator

for science fiction and

(with art by Russ Heath), the latter of which soon

concocted the utterly

vacated the series to be replaced by Robin Hood.

bizarre anthology Strange

Editor Kanigher was the series’ chief scribe, although

Sports Stories, which

he was abetted at times by authors France Herron, Bill

included everything from

Finger, and the writer who would eventually become

phantom pugilists to a

closely associated with B&B, Bob Haney (more—much

gorilla baseball team, but

more—on him later). Some of these brilliantly illus-

despite a five-issue spot-

trated tales have occasionally resurfaced in various

light in issues #45–49,

DC reprints, most notably DC Special #12 (May–June

this series struck out

1971), headlined by Kubert’s Viking Prince.

with readers.

By the end of the 1950s, the successful reintro-

Maybe DC didn’t

ductions of the Flash and Green Lantern in DC’s

need two tryout titles,

Showcase prompted a change in B&B’s format:

the thinking presumably

Beginning with issue #25 (Aug.–Sept. 1959), The

went. And so, com-

Brave and the Bold parroted Showcase as a tryout series,

mencing in 1963 with

with DC ambitiously looking for the next big

issue #50, The Brave and

thing(s). First out the gate was the Suicide Squad,

the Bold changed its

another brainchild of Kanigher’s, a war/spy series

format yet again.

that floundered through a trio of appearances. The

Kanigher creation, “Cave Carson – Adventures Inside

“TWO GREAT HEROESTEAMED IN A BOOKLENGTH BLOCKBUSTER. . .”

Earth,” following for three forgettable issues.

Green Arrow and the

Schwartz returned with B&B #34’s Hawkman rebirth,

Manhunter from Mars

written by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Joe Kubert.

joined forces in B&B #50,

After a successful three-issue run, Hawkman was seen

their logos (actually, fac-

again in issues #42–44 before taking wing in his own

similes thereof) appearing

series. But the Justice League and Hawkman aside,

side-by-side on the cover,

B&B was not proving to be a hitmaker like Showcase:

marking the first-ever

The Suicide Squad came back, then disappeared, as did

super-hero team-up comic

Cave Carson. Schwartz eagerly infused athletic com-

book.

Squad was followed in issue #28 by a concept that would prove to be one of DC’s greatest triumphs: the Justice League of America (JLA), edited by Julius Schwartz. Three issues of B&B was all the JLA needed to promptly graduate into its own title, with another

1961

1963

1964 First appearance

launches

of Teen Titans in #54.

Hawkman

team-up

in #34.

format.

© 1964 DC Comics.

B&B #50

of Silver Age © 1963 DC Comics.

First appearance

First appearance of Metamorpho in #57.

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Batman’s

Bravest and Boldest Ally:

MICHAEL EURY: You came to DC Comics at the invitation of Dick Giordano, who was your editor at Charlton Comics before he was hired by DC. JIM APARO: Dick was a really good friend of mine. He still is. He hired me at Charlton. We’re about the same age, we had the same amount of children—two daughters and a son; we were duplicate copies, you know? EURY: Your first issue of The Brave and the Bold was #98, teaming Batman with a character whose book you were drawing at the time: the Phantom Stranger. But you didn’t

conducted on May 24, 2004, and transcribed by Brian K. Morris.

draw the next issue of B&B. Was the Phantom Stranger team-up originally a one-time event, or did editor Murray Boltinoff have you in mind to permanently take over the strip? APARO: I believe it was just for that one issue. But I liked drawing Batman and Murray was satisfied with the work I did, and brought me back permanently [beginning with issue #100]. EURY: What approach did you bring to Batman that was different from that of Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Irv Novick, and the other Bat-artists of the day? APARO: Not much. Neal, of course, was one of the big stars of Batman. I know we all looked at him on how to

interview

by Michael Eury

draw Batman. Yeah, Neal was quite a help. Not personally,

Aparo’s All Stars A recent commissioned illo by Jim Aparo. Courtesy of Spencer Beck (www.theartistschoice.com). © 2004 DC Comics.

but his style of art. Now he’s in advertising, I think. EURY: That’s true. APARO: I was in advertising before I got into comics. I worked in an outfit in West Hartfort, Connecticut. I was one of the artists on the advertising staff. EURY: What types of accounts did you work on? APARO: Oh, local stuff, either stores or factory-type things.

Pop quiz for the B&B junkie: Who appeared most

EURY: Fashion illustration?

frequently with Batman in The Brave and the

APARO: No, it had nothing to do with that. I’d make

Bold? No, not Green Arrow, but artist Jim Aparo, whose versatility with drawing a host of heroic co-stars dazzled readers for almost 100 issues. My original goal with this “Pro2Pro” was to moderate an interview between B&B’s team supreme,

Undetected Cover

Aparo and writer Bob Haney, but Mr. Haney’s

An unused Aparo

recent illness (see editorial) unfortunately made

cover intended for

that impossible. But a solo chat with the amiable

Detective Comics

Mr. Aparo is far from settling for second best, so

#481 (1978). Courtesy

read on as one of Batman’s premier illustrators

of Mike Burkey

shares his recollections on his unparalleled tenure

(www.romitaman.com).

as the tsar of team-ups. –Michael Eury

© 2004 DC Comics.

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posters, ads for sales presentations, drawing things

out okay. Carmine [Infantino], he was in charge of DC at

like toasters.

the moment. I got along with him, too.

EURY: That probably helped you as an artist, in regard to

They were great guys. They really were, once you

adding the smaller touches of realism. If you needed a

got to know them. I got along with Murray, although a

toaster in the background of a scene, you knew how to

lot of people complained about him. I got along with a

draw one, right? (laughs)

lot of people at DC. But the reason was because I was

APARO: (laughs) Yeah, that’s right.

not there all the time (laughs), I wasn’t down there in

EURY: In The Brave and the Bold, did the editors of the

New York. I was in my own studio in Connecticut.

guest-star characters have any approval rights over

EURY: How often did you actually go into the city?

your team-ups?

APARO: Oh, not that much. In case they really needed

The Team-Up Tsar

APARO: Not really. Murray was the guy.

me to come down, for whatever reason, I would make

The only time Aparo

EURY: I find that surprising, because today, using another

the trip. And then every once in a while, I would come

drew the New Gods

editor’s characters involves layers of approvals. So no

down on my own to see everybody, to see what they

was in this 1977

other editors ever reviewed, or even disapproved of, your

were doing. But they left me alone.

DC house ad.

interpretations of their characters? You were never asked

© 2004 DC Comics.

From B&B to JLA Jim Aparo was one of

to redraw, say, Wonder Woman or Green Lantern? APARO: Yeah, that happened occasionally, Michael, but

because I would make copies of my pages here so I

I didn’t mind, you know? Although most of the times, I

would know what I drew and then I would send the

was on the money. They must have enjoyed what I was

originals down by mail. They would deal with it; do the

doing. But I really had no interference.

color, do the lettering, whatever they had to do.

EURY: You definitely proved your versatility, drawing all of

the superstar artists to Justice League of America #200 (1982).

APARO: Murray let me do what I had to do. He believed

about this?”, “What about that?” You blow a whole

that I could handle it. But when changes needed to be

day, just answering.

made, he would just call me on the phone and tell me,

EURY: What was it like working with B&B writer

© 2004 DC Comics.

“Now, Jim, I want you to do

Bob Haney?

this thing. I’ll send you some

APARO: Bob was a good writer. I enjoyed him very

pages back and correct them,”

much. I only met him once or twice, but we got along

or whatever, and I’d send them

well. We talked a lot on the phone when I needed help.

back in.

“What did you mean by this?” and “What did you

EURY: Was Murray Boltinoff a

mean by that?” We never had any problems.

hands-on editor?

EURY: Were Haney’s B&B scripts detailed, with specific

APARO: Murray was a good

panel directions, or did he give you leeway to interpret

man. He was in New York and I

the stories?

was Connecticut (laughs) and

APARO: In Bob’s scripts, he would say, “Batman is

that helps, because normally,

going to be doing this, but you can do it at any angle you

when you’re working together,

want.” Some other writers would say, “No, I want you to

it’s kind of hard. You know, he

draw him straight on.” Haney would give you the idea of

was always constantly changing

what’s supposed to be in the panel, and it would be up

this what-not or that what-not,

to you as the artist to put it down the way you think it

“You didn’t do this the way I

should be and what angle it’s going to be at, looking up,

wanted you to do it.” The com-

looking down, sideways, upside-down, whatever. Most

petition

writers that I worked with gave me leeway.

was

always

there

between our artists and Murray.

EURY: I’m sure when you were encouraged to put more

And

of your own storytelling there, it made you put more of

that’s

true

of

Julie

Schwartz, too, but it worked

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When you’re down there, you can be doing something else and somebody will ask you, “Well, what

those DC characters.

who contributed

You’re left alone, you’re doing your thing, you sent it down there. I could send stuff down, pages at a time,

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yourself into the stories as well.


APARO: Right, yeah. EURY: Many of Haney’s scripts called for Batman doing some pretty peculiar things: riding a camel in the desert [in B&B #112’s Mister Miracle team-up] and leading an army of gorilla soldiers [in B&B #120’s Kamandi teamup]. Do you recall ever reading a Haney script and thinking, “Now this is kind of outlandish for Batman”? APARO: No, because I was going along with it. But, Michael, it was an education for me. I would go to my local library—I knew the librarian there—and she used to give me books for reference, so I

Tricks of the Trade

would know what these things looked like because I

Aparo’s 1980s how-to manual

never went overseas and, say, to the Middle East, you

from Eclipse Comics’ Tips From

know? It was for me, really, an education.

Top Cartoonists.

EURY: I’ll bet it was. You usually think of writers being

© 2004 Jim Aparo.

the ones spending time at the library. . . . APARO: Yeah, I guess Haney was a library man. His scripts definitely depended on that reference. But I had to consult books with photos in them—what the buildings looked like, and the towers, and this and that, and how the people looked. EURY: What type of art reference did you receive from DC for drawing Batman’s co-stars? Were there company model sheets for the characters? APARO: Most of the artists got comic books that came in the mail. EURY: Comp copies. APARO: Yeah. They used to send me the books anyway,

Beginnings:

“Miss Bikini Lu v”

Milestones:

strip in Go-Go #5 (19

67)

The Phantom / Aquaman / The Phantom Strang The Brave and er / the Bold / Batm an in Detective Comics / The Sp ectre in Advent ur e Comics / Batman and the Outsiders / Batm an

Works in Progre ss

: Retirement, and commissioned illustrations via the Artist’s Ch oice. Cyberspace:

www.theartists choice.com 2004 DC Comi cs.

so I’d hang onto them. What was the book where a whole bunch of them were together? EURY: You’re probably thinking of Justice League.

Caricature by Jim Aparo. Ch aracters ©

APARO: Right. There were two versions of the Justice League, weren’t there? EURY: Well, there’s the Justice Society. APARO: Right. So that’s how I got the reference for the

jim aparo

characters. EURY: Exclusively from the comics.

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#8: Ghost Rider

#1 (1976): Spider-Man and the X-Men #2 (1979): Spider-Man and the Hulk #3 (1980): The Hulk, Power Man, and Iron Fist (with Machine Man) #4 (1981): Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Iron Fist, Power Man, and Daredevil #5 (1982): Spider-Man, the Thing, Scarlet Witch, Dr. Strange, and Quasar #6 (1983): Spider-Man, Cloak and Dagger, and the New Mutants #7 (1984): Spider-Man and Alpha Flight

#9: Thor

#2 (1977): Thing and Spider-Man, with the Avengers and Captain Marvel

#10: the Black Widow

#3 (1978): Thing and the Man Called Nova

#11: the Golem

#4 (1979): Thing and Black Bolt

#12: Iron Man

#5 (1980): Thing and the Hulk

#13: Power Man

#6 (1981): Thing and introducing . . . the American Eagle

#14: the Son of Satan #15: Morbius #16: Ka-Zar

#7 (1982): Thing and the Avengers, Hulk, Doc Samson, Fantastic Four, Thor, Alpha Flight, and the X-Men

#17: Spider-Man #18: the Scarecrow #19: Tigra #20: the Liberty Legion #21: Doc Savage

GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN 1974–1975

#22: Thor

#28: Sub-Mariner #29: Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu #30: Spider-Woman #31: the Mystery Menace (Alicia Masters) #32: the Invisible Girl #33: Modred the Mystic #34: Nighthawk #35: Skull the Slayer #36: Mr. Fantastic #37: Matt Murdock, Attorney-at-Law #38: Daredevil

© 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

#39: the Vision #40: the Black Panther #41: Brother Voodoo #42: Captain America #43: the Man-Thing #44: Hercules #45: Captain Marvel #46: the Incredible Hulk

MARVEL FEATURE Marvel Comics 1973

#48: the Jack of Hearts

#11: the Thing and the Incredible Hulk

#49: Dr. Strange

#12: the Thing and Iron Man

#50: battles the Thing

#47: the Yancy Street Gang

#51: the Beast, Ms. Marvel, Nick Fury, and Wonder Man #52: Moon Knight #53: Quasar

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE Marvel Comics 1974–1983

#54: Deathlok

All issues star the Thing, with these guest stars:

#55: Giant-Man

#1: Man-Thing

#57: Wundarr

#2: the Sub-Mariner

#58: the Aquarian

#3: Daredevil

#59: the Human Torch

#4: Captain America

#60: the Impossible Man

#56: Thundra

#5: Guardians of the Galaxy

#61: Starhawk

#6: Doctor Strange

#62: Moondragon

#7: the Valkyrie

B A C K

#65: Triton #66: the Scarlet Witch #67: Hyperion #68: the Angel #69: the Guardians of the Galaxy #70: ? (Yancy Street Gang)

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#1: Rawhide Kid and Dakota Kid

#71: Mr. Fantastic #72: the Inhumans #73: Quasar #74: the Puppet Master #75: the Avengers #76: Iceman #77: the Man-Thing #78: Wonder Man #79: Blue Diamond #80: the Ghost Rider #81: the Sub-Mariner #82: Captain America #83: Sasquatch #84: Alpha Flight #85: Spider-Woman #86: Sandman #87: Ant-Man #88: She-Hulk #89: the Human Torch #90: Spider-Man #91: Mystery Guest (the Sphinx)

SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP Marvel Comics 1975–1980

#92: Jocasta

#93: Machine Man #94: Power Man and Iron Fist #95: the Living Mummy #96: Multiple Guest Stars #97: Iron Man #98: Franklin Richards #99: Rom Spaceknight #100 Ben Grimm

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE ANNUAL #1 (1976): Thing and the Liberty Legion

I S S U E

WESTERN TEAM-UP Marvel Comics 1973

© 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

#6: Spider-Man and Human Torch (reprint)

#26: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

#63: Warlock #64: Stingray

© 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

#27: Deathlok

#24: Black Goliath #25: Iron Fist

© 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

#23: Thor

#1 Spider-Man and Dracula #2: Spider-Man and Master of Kung Fu #3: Spider-Man and Doc Savage #4: Spider-Man and the Punisher #5: Spider-Man and the Man-Thing

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© 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL

#1–13: Dr. Doom and Sub-Mariner #14: Dr. Doom and Magneto #15: Dr. Doom and the Red Skull #16–17: Red Skull and Hate-Monger

GIANT-SIZE SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP 1975 #1–2: Dr. Doom and Sub-Mariner


SUPER-TEAM FAMILY DC Comics 1975–1978

#5: Aquaman

#46: the Global Guardians

DC COMICS PRESENTS ANNUAL

#6: Green Lantern

#2: the Creeper and Wildcat

#7: the Red Tornado

#47: the Masters of the Universe (yes, He-Man)

#1 (1982): Superman and the Golden Age Superman

#3: the Flash and Hawkman

#8: Swamp Thing

#48: Aquaman

#9: Wonder Woman

#49: Shazam!

#2 (1983): Superman introduces Superwoman

#10: Sgt. Rock

#50: Clark Kent

#3 (1984): Superman and Shazam!

#11: Hawkman

#51: the Atom

#4 (1985): Superman and Superwoman

#12: Mister Miracle

#52: the Doom Patrol

#13: the Legion of Super-Heroes

#53: the House of Mystery

#14: Wonder Woman and the Atom #15: the Flash and the New Gods

#14: Superboy

#55: Air Wave

#15: the Atom

#56: Power Girl

#16: Black Lightning

#57: the Atomic Knights

#17: Firestorm

#58: Robin the Teen Wonder and the Elongated Man

#12: Green Lantern and Hawkman plus the Atom #13: Aquaman and Captain Comet plus the Atom

DC/MARVEL CROSSOVERS Co-published by DC Comics and Marvel Comics 1976–1982

#18: Zatanna #19: Batgirl #20: Green Arrow

#54: Green Arrow

© 2004 DC Comics.

#11: the Flash and Supergirl plus the Atom

© 2004 DC Comics.

#59: the Legion of Substitute Heroes #60: the Guardians of the Universe

Superman vs. the Amazing Spider Man (1976)

#21: the Elongated Man

Marvel Treasury Edition #28 (1981): Superman and Spider-Man

#22: Captain Comet

#62: the Freedom Fighters

#23: Doctor Fate

#63: Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld

DC Special Series #27 (1981): Batman vs. the Incredible Hulk

#24: Deadman

#64: Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth

#25: the Phantom Stranger

#65: Madame Xanadu

#26: Green Lantern

#66: the Demon

© 2004 DC Comics. © 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

ALL-NEW COLLECTORS EDITION DC Comics 1978

#27: Manhunter from Mars

#67: Santa Claus

#28: Supergirl

#68: Vixen

#29: the Spectre

#69: Blackhawk

#30: Black Canary

#70: the Metal Men

© 2004 DC Comics.

Marvel and DC Present #1 (1982): the Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans

#61: OMAC, One Man Army Corps

#31: Robin the Teen Wonder

#71: Bizarro

#32: Wonder Woman

#72: the Phantom Stranger and the Joker

#33: Shazam!

#73: the Flash

#34: the Shazam! Family

#74: Hawkman

The original super-hero comic became a team-up title after the Man of Steel Superman revamp.

#35: Man-Bat

#75: Arion, Lord of Atlantis

#36: Starman

#76: Wonder Woman

#37: Hawkgirl #38: the Flash

#77: the Forgotten Heroes (Animal-Man, Dolphin, and Congorilla)

#39: Plastic Man

#78: the Forgotten Villains

#40: Metamorpho the Element Man

#79: Clark Kent

#41: the Joker

#80: the Legion of Super-Heroes

#42: the Unknown Soldier

#81: Ambush Bug

#43: the Legion of Super-Heroes

#82: Adam Strange

#44: Dial “H” for Hero

#83: Batman and the Outsiders

#45: Firestorm

#84: the Challengers of the Unknown

#C-54: Superman vs. Wonder Woman

#586: the New Gods #587: the Demon #588: Hawkman

#593: Mr. Miracle

#88: the Creeper

#594: vs. Booster Gold

#89: the Omega Men

#595: ????????? (Martian Manhunter)

#90: Firestorm and Captain Atom

#596: the Spectre

#91: Captain Comet #93: the Elastic Four (Jimmy Olsen as Elastic Lad, Plastic Man, the Elongated Man, and a stretchable menace)

#2: the Flash #3: Adam Strange #4: the Metal Men

© 2004 DC Comics.

All issues star Superman, with these guest stars: #1: the Flash

#597: Lois Lane and Lana Lang

#92: the Vigilante

DC COMICS PRESENTS DC Comics 1978–1986

#590: the Metal Men #592: Big Barda

#87: Superboy

#C-58: Superman vs. Shazam!

#589: the Green Lantern Corps #591: vs. Superboy

#86: Supergirl

#C-56: Superman vs. Muhammad Ali

All issues star Superman, with these guest stars: #584: the Teen Titans #585: the Phantom Stranger

#85: Swamp Thing

ACTION COMICS DC Comics 1987–1988

#598: Checkmate #599: the Metal Men #600: Superman and Wonder Woman

#94: Harbinger, Lady Quark, and Pariah #95: Hawkman

Action Comics Annual

#96: Blue Devil

#1 (1987): Superman and Batman

#97: the Phantom Zone Criminals

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ton Hamil ” e n o amb vid “H by Da

BATMAN AND SUPERMAN • CURT SWAN

s m a e T r e S up en ci l in P

Curt Swan penciled this commissioned illustration back in 1984, and when BACK ISSUE editor

Michael Eury found a copy of it in your humble Hambone’s files, he immediately got on the horn and asked Mr. Murphy Anderson to ink it

© 2004 DC Comics.

as this issue’s cover!

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B A T M A N A N D S U P E R M A N • ALEX TOTH

From Superman Annual #9 (1983), the World’s Finest team by Alexander (Alex) Toth! Of course, Mr. Toth’s sizeable credits include Super Friends, “Green Lantern,” “Johnny Thunder,” House of Mystery, and hundreds more classics. See our “back issues” section for Comic Book Artist #11 (Jan. 2001), featuring a

© 2004 DC Comics.

Toth spotlight.

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FANTASTIC FOUR • JOHN BYRNE

Difficult as it is to comprehend—now— Mr. John Byrne went through the tryout system at Marvel Comics. Here is one of his Fantastic Four samples (which have floated around the industry for decades, which I’m sure John is sorry to know). Tryout or not, Byrne’s talents as a storyteller and pencil artist are completely

© 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

evident here!

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s n t a i T : Teweinn d l s r o w s l e E g in’

o o G G a Haney ) r e h e w o (N Sw

Michael

Eury

© 2004 DC Comics.

by

Hey, man, like, remember the ’60s? Some of you don’t, because you weren’t born yet. And some of you don’t, because you lost too many brain cells back then. And some of you (like me) who grew up in the ’60s remember—and even revere—writer Bob Haney, who spoke our language (or at least tried to) with his wild, sometimes hokey, but always charming Teen Titans scripts. A lot of kids wanted to be Batman, but I thought Robin was the coolest (his briefs and booties aside), largely due to Haney’s characterization of the Boy Wonder in the Titans. Haney’s Robin was smart, athletic, and a natural born leader—and he still had time to dig the sound of the Flips, to his mentor’s dismay (to which Robin remarked, “Batman—you are definitely un-round. . . ” in Showcase #59). Many comics profes-

Whither Goest They?

sionals also grew up on Haney’s stories, so it came as no surprise in 2002 that DC Comics planned a nostal-

To limbo, baby, that’s where!

gic Teen Titans flashback tale in its “Elseworlds” non-continuity imprint.

The pencils to page one (far

Then-DC editor Dan Raspler spearheaded the project, and recruited Bob Haney himself to type (yes, type—

right) of Teen Titans Swingin’

the esteemed Mr. Haney never joined the computer age) the script—who else could best recapture the feel of

Elseworlds Special, courtesy

those ’60s classics? While the script was not available for review, it was reportedly set in the early 1960s and

of artist Jay Stephens, and

involved both President John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War. Original Teen Titans artist Nick Cardy returned to draw the cover, with interior art by Jay Stephens and Mike Allred. Everyone was committed to

the finished version (above)

making this one-shot a visual blast from the past. In 2003, Teen Titans Swingin’ Elseworlds Special was solicited,

with inks by Mike Allred.

then. . . . . . it disappeared.

© 2004 DC Comics.

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Faster than Kid Flash, mention of the book seemed

stuff so deadly seriously. Not me, and not Bob. You can

to vanish. Also, editor Raspler was let go from DC (he

still love super-hero comic books and have capital-“F” fun

wasn’t alone, incidentally) as part of an editorial

with the genre. Kids dressing up in primary-colored cos-

Conspiracy theorists, take a powder: The shelving of the Titans Elseworlds seems more an editorial decision

tumes to fight injustice is an inherently stupid idea, after all. I happen to like that kind of stupid. . . EURY: What do you have to say to Haney’s detractors?

than a boardroom machination. While no official rea-

STEPHENS: Keep reading the Ultimate comics and pre-

son was ever stated by DC for the book’s removal from

tending you’re “mature.” We think it’s cute!

its schedule, the Swingin’ solicitation came at a time

EURY: How did Haney’s typewritten script compare to

when both DC’s Teen Titans revival and the Cartoon

scripts and plots by contemporary writers?

Network’s Teen Titans series—neither of which bear

STEPHENS: Ha-ha-ha-ha! Haney’s scripting hasn’t changed

any resemblance to Haney’s incarnation—were becom-

one little bit in all these years . . . it was like opening a

ing runaway successes. Titans Elseworlds’ retro look

time capsule. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy many a good,

stood in sharp contrast to the Titans the market was

modern comic script (and I’ve worked with some of the

embracing. Granted, some BACK ISSUE readers prefer

best), but Haney is from another planet entirely!

© 2004 DC Comics.

restructuring. Wha’ hoppen??

the swingin’ version of the teen super-team, but other than its commendable reprint line, which includes Archive Editions of both the Silver Age and the New Teen Titans, DC Comics is in the business of moving its characters forward. But since many BI readers are curious about might have beens, I contacted cartoonist/animator Jay Stephens (whose TV cartoon Tutenstein recently won an Emmy— congrats, Jay!) via email to ask him a few questions about Swingin’ and Bob Haney. Jay, who lives in Canada, was also kind enough to send the penciled pages you see here, as a glimpse at the Teen Titans you didn’t see. MICHAEL EURY: How’d you land the Swingin’ Titans assignment? JAY STEPHENS: My old chum, Doc Allred, got wind of the gig, and knew I’d like a shot at the pencils. EURY: How familiar were you with the 1960s’ version of the TTs? STEPHENS: Very. I’m in love with the checkerboard era of DC Comics [in case you came in late, mid-1960s DC covers had a “go-go checks” pattern running across their top borders] . . . I’d like to marry it one day. You know, if my wife ever divorces me. Which is entirely possible. EURY: And with writer Bob Haney? STEPHENS: Bob’s one of my all-time favorite comics writers. He co-created the Doom Patrol, you know . . . best superhero team, ever. The Titans ain’t so bad, either. Also . . . Fat Batman [Bat-Hulk, in The Brave and the Bold #68]. EURY: Bob Haney was known (loved by some, disliked by © 2004 DC Comics.

others) for his often crazy ideas, pseudo-hip dialogue, and disregard for continuity. I’m guessing those elements played right to your sensibilities. . . STEPHENS: Oh, God, yeah. So many people take this

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roundtable discussion

hosted by Peter Sanderson

The Fantastic Four:

John Romita Sr.’s Fantastic Four, for an unspecified project. Courtesy of Heritage Comics.

The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine

The Fantastic Four is where the modern super-hero genre truly began. Created in 1961 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Fantastic Four was the first series in the“Marvel Age of Comics,” giving rise to all the rest. Lee and Kirby endowed the FF with multidimensional personalities, with flaws as well as virtues. In their 102 issues together, Lee and Kirby created the Marvel Universe, demonstrating an imaginative reach unsurpassed in the medium. Yet their epic fantasy was rooted in a world recognizably our own, in which their characters could experience tragedy as well as triumph. Moreover, with Fantastic Four, Lee and Kirby turned what was considered trivial juvenile fiction into a vehicle for personal expression. Fantastic Four set mainstream comics on the road toward the greater artistic sophistication they have achieved in the four decades since it began. Fantastic Four also revolutionized the super-hero team book. Though created in response to DC’s Justice League of America, the FF was no coalition of unrelated characters from different series. The four leads— Mister Fantastic, Reed Richards, their genius leader; his wife Susan, the Invisible Woman; her younger brother Johnny Storm, the Human Torch; and their best friend Ben Grimm, the monstrous Thing—were each at once distinctive individual personalities and necessary components of a conceptual unit. One can see them as a family, as human embodiments of the four mythic “elements” (water, air, fire, and earth), or of different aspects of a single mind, sometimes at odds with each other, but ultimately united. For this roundtable discussion we have submitted 12 questions about this landmark series to its cocreator, Stan Lee, and 20 other comics professionals. Most of them have written, drawn, or edited Fantastic Four over its long history; all have been influenced by it. Most people responded to the questionnaire via email; Gerry Conway and Alex Ross instead asked to be interviewed by phone. With a new motion picture adaptation now in production, Fantastic Four is on the brink of reaching beyond comics to a vast new audience. In this roundtable, comics creators from over the entire span of Fantastic Four history tell us what this landmark series has meant to them.–Peter Sanderson

© 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

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SANDERSON: Who is the most essential member of the Fantastic Four, and why? STAN LEE (FF co-creator/longtime writer): To me, they were all equally important. But I always felt the Thing was the most colorful and the most appealing. JOHN BYRNE (FF writer/artist, 1981–86): “Essential” is a tricky word, but I would probably have to say the Thing. Without him, it’s not really the FF. TOM BREVOORT (2000s FF editor): I don’t know that any one member is essential—what was essential was the family dynamic between the four characters; that’s one of the elements that separated the series from everything else around it. But taking that into account, the Thing was probably the greatest innovation as a personality among the original four. MARK EVANIER (colleague of FF co-creator Jack Kirby): I don’t know that there is a “most essential” member. One of the things I always liked about the comic was that all four of them were important and that they worked together . . . or didn’t work together. A good team comic isn’t just about a group of heroes. It’s about a group of heroes and how they function together. But since that probably doesn’t answer your question, I’ll pick the guy with the orange rocks for skin, just because he’s usually been the most interesting because he’s the one who’s most ambivalent about their odd lot in life.

(Center) Stan “the Man” Lee, in a 1969 illustration by Don Heck. Courtesy of Heritage Comics.

CHRIS CLAREMONT (1990s FF writer): The brat in me wants to say Valeria (because I created her). The traditionalist wants to say Reed, because he’s the Big Brain. I’d say Sue, but everyone would assume I’m playing to my own cliché. Johnny would have to wait for everyone to stop laughing (sorry, kiddo). Which brings me to Ben. Who, to me, embodies the heart and soul of both the team and the concept, representing the great dangers inherent in Reed’s ambitions—because of them all, he’s the only one who can’t possibly hide what he’s become—but at the same time, triumphs that element of the human spirit which enables us to overcome adversity. And he’s just plain fun to write.

Romita stretches his penciling chops in this sketch of Mr. Fantastic. Courtesy of Frank Giella (www.frankgiella.com). © 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

GERRY CONWAY (1970s FF writer): There are two answers to that question: There’s the member who’s essential to the Fantastic Four and the member who’s essential to the book. For the Fantastic Four, it’s Reed Richards. He’s the organizing principle of the group, keeping it on track. For the book, commercially and creatively, it’s the Thing. He’s the most interesting and compelling character. ROY THOMAS (1970s FF writer): To the group itself, I believe Reed is the most essential, as the father figure. For me to enjoy the book, though, the most essential character is and always has been the Thing, one of the most unique characters in the history of comics.

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LEN WEIN (1970s FF writer): Well, for sheer commercial value, I’d have to go with Ben Grimm. He’s probably the most popular. But I’ve always felt that Reed Richards was the most important member of the group, in that he carries the greatest emotional burden, feeling responsible for Ben’s condition, concern for his growing family, etc. Also, when you get right down to it, Reed probably also generates the greatest number of different storylines. ALEX ROSS (Marvels and Earth X artist): I think of the Thing, who has the personality and the charm, and that’s what sells. Otherwise, it’s the Human Torch, who was a carryover to the Silver Age. [The original Human Torch debuted in 1939 and inspired Lee and Kirby’s creation of the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch.] He had the legs to support himself in a solo series and he did [in Strange Tales]. His helping hand made the book what it is. But my choice for the most essential member is the Reed Richards character. He’s the straight man in comics, who would be considered by some to be boring. But on his back is the greatest burden. By his steadfast calm and what would be considered his boring personality, he’s the bulwark that they rest upon. I have a great fondness for characters like that. I see Reed Richards as the metaphor for the creative mind. Reed having a super-power almost sullies his worth. Jim Krueger [Ross’ collaborator on Earth X and its sequels] and I have a particular love for this character— maybe because I’ve become a more boring, straitlaced guy! RICH BUCKLER (1970s FF artist): Reed Richards, I would think, since putting together the group was his idea, and he provides the leadership. MARK WAID (2000s FF writer): Reed. Without him, it’s entirely likely that the other three would have squandered their heroic potential living out unrealized, mundane lives. MARV WOLFMAN (1970s FF writer): Reed Richards. Simply because he’s the crux of the group, the one who holds it together and the “father” figure in the family. Since the FF is a family, there needs to be one head, and Reed’s it. PAUL RYAN (1990s FF artist): I would say it is a toss-up between Reed and Sue. Reed is the planner/inventor. If a particular menace is beyond his malleable powers to stop he invents a device to defeat the villain. Sue is the tie that binds them all together. Without her I think they would go their separate way. KURT BUSIEK (Marvels writer): My first impulse was to answer “Reed,” but thinking it over, I’ll say “Sue.” Ben and Johnny are flashy and fun, and Reed’s the one who gives them a direction, but he’d be doing the same things even on his own. It’s Sue that binds them together as a family, that makes them a team. Without her, I think they’d drift apart.


JERRY ORDWAY (1980s FF artist): While my favorite is Ben Grimm, the most essential is Sue, who really held things together. She exerted an influence over Reed, her mate, Johnny, her brother, and Ben, who usually acted the gentleman when Sue was around. It wasn’t a perfect family, but it worked. STEVE ENGLEHART (1970s FF writer): I’d say Ben, but they’re all essential. Didn’t keep me from shaking them up, because essential isn’t a license to be boring, but if all of them are operating on all cylinders, each one has something vital to contribute.

STEVE RUDE (Kirby admirer/FF special projects artist): I don’t know how the team would function were one to be omitted, because as a team, all four personnel are critical to doing their job. For example, without Reed, they would be leaderless, without the Thing, they would lack their heavyhitter, without Sue, there would be too [much] testosterone . . . etc. WALTER SIMONSON (FF writer/ artist, 1989–91): In a sense, I don’t think this is really answerable. Characters have dropped out and been substituted for but in the end, the FF is the original four members. The FF do seem to be a family group and if you change members, you may still have four characters and they still may be “fantastic” and they may even by great pals, but it ain’t the same family. ROGER STERN (1980s FF writer): I’m not sure that there is one single “essential member.” Hasn’t every one of them quit and/or been thought dead at least once? I think they’re all pretty essential, myself. You can have other heroes fill-in for one of them for a while, but the FF is Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny. Other combinations may make for an interesting change of pace, but nothing beats the original. KARL KESEL (2000s FF inker/co-writer): None of the FF is more essential than the others. That’s why no matter who else rotates through the group, it always comes back to Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben. As I’m sure others have pointed out, as representative of the Four Elements (fire, air, water, and earth), the FF are interdependent, even on a conceptual level. TOM DeFALCO (1990s FF writer): They are all essential. Reed is the team’s mind, Sue is the heart, Ben gives them fortitude, and Johnny is [the] fun side. SANDERSON: Who was your favorite substitute member of the Fantastic Four, and why? (Substitutes have included Luke Cage, Crystal, Dr. Doom, Ghost Rider, HERBIE the Robot, Hulk, Medusa, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, and Wolverine.)

LEE: Crystal was my favorite. If memory serves, I think I introduced her as love interest for Johnny Storm. BREVOORT: Probably Crystal, since her inclusion A) was done by Stan and Jack, and so it had a legitimacy that the later ones lacked, and B) maintained the family flavor of the series in a way that the other characters really didn’t. Crystal was a member of the household; everybody else was merely a guest star. ORDWAY: I think Crystal was my favorite. I loved the issues where Johnny and Wyatt Wingfoot first encountered the Inhumans. Later, when she subbed for Sue, she fit in perfectly. EVANIER: Never cared for any of the substitute members, but if I have to name one, I’ll say Crystal. Few of the others ever seemed to really relate to the other three; they just seemed stuck into the stories for marquee value.

Bowen Designs’ Thing mini-bust, sculpted

BUSIEK: Crystal, because she’s the only one that fits cleanly into the “family” dynamic—she’s Johnny’s girl, and that’s a family tie. Plus, “she makes Dorrie Evans look like a boy!” Second choice: Medusa, for her imperious attitude.

by Randy Bowen (www.bowendesigns.com). © 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

CONWAY: They are by definition second best. They’re not the first team. I liked working with Medusa, because she was another female in the group. Thundra was good to a degree. The big problem I had writing the Fantastic Four was the lack of strong female figures. Sue Storm wasn’t a strong female figure [back then], and I like strong female figures! [laughs]

The ever-lovin’ Thing in a 2003 sketch by joltin’ Joe Sinnott. Courtesy of Tony Thomas. © 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

STERN: Probably She-Hulk, though I’ll always have a soft spot for Crystal. She was Johnny’s first really major romantic interest, after all. ROSS: She-Hulk, mostly based upon sex appeal. She fit quite nicely the way Byrne wrote her in. She had the most natural fit, rather than Crystal or Medusa or Power Man. With Crystal, you couldn’t get a real strong grasp on what her gimmick is. You need someone with a more distinct power. Crystal is not an attractive female super-hero on her own. If anything happened with the Thing, it feels like She-Hulk can fit into the ensemble. BYRNE: She-Hulk—because she occupied the same position as the Thing, with many of the same abilities, but came at the job from a totally different angle.

(far left and above)

KESEL: She-Hulk, probably. John Byrne did some wonderful, unexpected things with her as a member. I got a real sense that she connected with the family and fit in, a real sense of belonging. Now she doesn’t write, doesn’t call. . .

The Torch, by John Romita, Sr. Courtesy of Frank Giella.

RYAN: She-Hulk. She has power to spare and curves that can stop traffic. She also has a great attitude about life. Just ask Wyatt [Wingfoot].

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DeFALCO: I really loved what John Byrne did with the She-Hulk—especially the story where she’s photographed sunbathing atop Four Freedoms Plaza—and I also enjoyed putting the Scott Lang Ant-Man into the book because he was so totally out of his depth. CLAREMONT: I’d have to go with She-Hulk, because she made a great counterpart to Ben. But I’ve always thought the Impossible Man should have been given a decent shot. ENGLEHART: Ms. Mar vel, of course. [Sharon Ventura, the second Ms. Marvel, not Carol Danvers; she became She-Thing.] The “She-Thing” touched something very primal about the group that had been lost for 25 years. BUCKLER: Luke Cage. THOMAS: I enjoyed writing Luke Cage/ Power Man as a member . . . Medusa, too. No particular reason I can think of, though. Maybe I just liked looking at drawings of Medusa.

Neal Adams’ take on the

SIMONSON: After the answer I gave above [to #1], it may seem odd that I’m the guy who wrote the “new” Fantastic Four story with Spidey, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Ghost Rider. But I did the story for the same reason I do all my stories; I thought it would be fun. And I hoped it would be something a bit different. After comics have run for years, it’s tough sometimes to find new situations for everybody; the “new” FF (a lineup that got a little help from Kurt Busiek, who was working at Marvel back then) seemed like an idea that was fun. It obviously wasn’t meant to be anything permanent. But it was a gas to press other characters into service into roles of the original FF. The Hulk = the Thing. Ghost Rider = the Torch. Spidey = Reed. Wolverine = Sue??? So maybe it wasn’t an exact fit. But it seemed entertaining on its own merits, offering some new story possibilities for a few issues.

Silver Surfer. Courtesy of David Hamilton.

aracters, Inc. © 2004 Marvel Ch

© 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

WOLFMAN: Sorry, I think the FF works only when the main four are there and not when there are substitutes. WEIN: I actually don’t have a favorite. To me, the Fantastic Four is Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben. Anybody else is just salad dressing. SANDERSON: What is your favorite FF story (not written or drawn by yourself, with the exception of Stan Lee) and why? LEE: I have two favorites. 1) The so-called Galactus Trilogy [FF #48–50] and 2) damn it, I forget the name, but it’s the one where someone else, a bad guy, becomes the Thing but ends up as a hero sacrificing himself for the others [“This Man, This Monster” in FF #51]. CONWAY: It’s the greatest comic-book story of all time: “This Man, This Monster.” It sums up the entire theme of the Fantastic Four and of super-hero comic books. It’s the perfect super-hero story: [about] the struggle between power and responsibility, friendship and duty, sacrifice,

© 2004 Marvel Characte rs, Inc.

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alienation. There are so many themes in that one story. The ability to triumph over your own worst impulses. The hero [of that story] is the villain, which is wonderful! That’s another tremendous theme: When you receive a gift of power, it changes you, for better or for worse. You’re not doomed to be a bad person. It’s a very empowering story. [SANDERSON: I point out that the “villain” dies.] We all die. That’s the ending of every story. So the question is, how do you die, who do you die as? BYRNE: “This Man, This Monster” is probably the best written and drawn, though I have a soft spot for the one in FF #5 because it was the first one I read. SIMONSON: “This Man, This Monster”—the quintessential FF story. Great character interaction and a core story about betrayal, heroics, and death. All in 22 pages. You can’t do any better. BUCKLER: “This Man, This Monster.” Because it explored the Thing’s character and gave some depth to the Ben Grimm side of him. WAID: “This Man, This Monster,” which was not only the perfect FF story showcasing all the key elements of the series but also a genuinely powerful story in and of itself. KESEL: “This Man, This Monster.” Total surprise, huh? Bet no one else said that. But, y’know, it’s probably the best comic story ever produced. Clichés are clichés for a reason. STERN: Probably issue #51—“This Man, This Monster.” It’s hard to pin things down, though. By the time I started reading the FF, long, wide-ranging stories had become the norm: the Inhumans Saga [FF #44–48], the Galactus Trilogy, the Black Panther story [#52–53], the Doom/Silver Surfer story [#56–60]. Makes it difficult to pick just one issue, or even just one story arc. ORDWAY: I liked “This Man, This Monster,” where the fake Ben saves Reed from the Negative Zone. It’s really hard to narrow them down, as the Galactus trilogy is way up there, as well as the one where Doom stole the Surfer’s powers [#56–60]. WOLFMAN: The Galactus trilogy that introduces Galactus and the Silver Surfer, followed by “This Man, This Monster.” WEIN: I guess it’s the same story everybody mentions, “This Man, This Monster,” followed closely by the first Galactus story. The former because it captures the amazing humanity of the series, the latter because it epitomizes the book’s mind-blowing cosmic scale. ENGLEHART: FF #49 (of course). It happens to have been the first one I ever read, in addition to being everyone’s consensus favorite. Story and art, both at their very peak; I ran around showing it to people saying, “Don’t tell me comics can’t be great!” CLAREMONT: FF #49 and 50, because they got me hooked on Stan and Jack, on Marvel, on U.S. comics when I was primed to walk away. BREVOORT: I think I’d have to go with Doom stealing the powers of the Silver Surfer [FF #56–60], because it was a heck of a topper to the Galactus Trilogy, and because it came smack dab in the middle of the greatest period in the history of the strip. I read it years after the fact, when it was


How to Build a Better Super-Team: by Dan Johnson conducted on

June 18, 2004

Mark Evanier and Will Meugniot on DNAgents You can’t keep the good guys down for long. Sure, every team of super-heroes has its darkest hour, those moments when it looks like all is lost. If you’re lucky (and a member

interview

of the Teen Titans or the X-Men), those bleak periods might only last a few issues. For other super-teams, the dark times can last much longer. You want to talk long stretches of nothing but shadows in a room painted black? Try over a decade. That was the long stretch visited upon one of the most original super-teams of the 1980s, the DNAgents. This team of genetically engineered super-heroes— Surge, Rainbow, Amber, Tank, and Sham—was last seen in the late

Engineered for Action

1980s in their series published by Eclipse Comics. For too many years,

A pin-up by

DNAgents appeared to be nothing

Will Meugniot

more than a pleasant memory, lost

from the DNAgents

forever except in back-issue boxes.

series bible. All

But the longer the wait for the

artwork in this

return of heroes, the sweeter it seems

feature is courtesy

when they finally come back to us. The DNAgents are proving just that with the release of their first

of Will Meugniot.

reprint collection from About Comics. This volume collects, for the first time ever, the first six issues of the original DNAgents series in trade-paperback form. To mark this occasion, BACK ISSUE sat down

© 2004 Mark Evanier and Will Meugniot.

with the team’s creators, writer Mark Evanier and artist Will Meugniot, for this special “Pro2Pro” in which we uncover the secrets that went into building one of the best super-teams ever. —Dan Johnson

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DAN JOHNSON: Let’s start off with something fairly easy.

WILL MEUGNIOT: Sure. Actually, it came about from a couple of things. Both Mark and I had been following the then independent comics movement with a lot of interest. I was working at Marvel Productions [animation] at the time, and Dave Stevens would come by the bullpen with his Rocketeer pages and the guys and I were all just blown away. I was already toying with the idea of doing something in the area, when I ran into Stan [Lee] on the way to the office. We were in the middle of working on the [early 1980s NBC] Hulk cartoons, and the network had just decided that the Hulk’s clothes had to magically appear on him

Beginnings:

Cartoon-comics scripts for Disn ey and Gold Ke and an apprentic y, eship under Jack Kirby (circa 1969–70)

Milestones:

Comics: DNAgen ts / Groo / Crossfi re / Tarzan / Blackhawk / Cr ossfire / Welco me Back, Kotte Fanboy / POV co r/ lumn / The Mig hty Magnor Animation and Live-Action TV: Welcome Back Kotter / Garfield , and Friends / Pl astic Man / Thundarr the Ba rbarian / The Tro llkins / ABC Weekend Spec ial / Rickety Ro cket / Superman The Animated Se : ries / Richie Rich / Dungeons & Dragons / That’s Incredible!

every time he transformed back to Banner. I got started

Works in Progress:

thinking, (laughing) “You know, it might be fun just to do a comic where you didn’t have to do that kind of stuff.” So

POV Online / DNAgents and Crossfire TPBs (About Comics) / Superheroes in My Pants

I called Mark, and Mark was ready to go on something. EVANIER: Yeah, we went to lunch down in Little Tokyo that day and talked over ideas, what we wanted to do and themes that interested us both. Somehow, in a flash of inspiration—or maybe it was Teriyaki sauce—we got stuck

Cyberspace: w

with this idea.

ww.newsfromme .com

JOHNSON: Mark, if I’m not mistaken, DNAgents was the first time you had ventured into the super-hero genre, right?

Respective Co mpanies

MARK EVANIER: Will, you want to start?

Cartoon by Se rgio Aragones. Characters ©

What was the story behind the creation of the DNAgents?

EVANIER: Not quite, but it was fairly close. I did a few super-hero things before then, but I had stuck closer to funny-animal comics and I did the Tarzans for a couple of years. I like all kinds of material, and I’d been eager to do a super-hero story for some length of time. I thought it would be interesting to try and build some new characters, as opposed to playing with someone else’s. MEUGNIOT: I gotta say that was one of my interests too. When I had done stuff for Marvel before, like the Tigra series and Howard the Duck, I was never happy about not having any editorial control over what happened. Vince Colletta inked my second job, and Sonny Trinidad inked my third. So I thought it would be nice to have control over who was inking my stuff and to work with a writer I really liked. JOHNSON: When DNAgents came out, the independent market was really just starting to take off. Mark, I had read the stories about Blackhawk at DC—

Beginnings:

Rutherford’s The Gila in Tony First fanzine art: shell (1967) ditto zine, Bomb e-Woman in t: Tigra the Wer ar ed ish First publ #3 (1976) Marvel Chillers

Milestones:

nity / / DNAgents / Va l Chillers (Tigra) erica Am y ar Comics: Marve M / rs ve / FemForce co on / The Thing / Exotic Fantasy nds / Flash Gord ie Fr r pe s/ Su n: io Animat s Amazing Friend ider-Man and Hi / x Si ic on Lone Ranger / Sp m / Bi of the X-Men / Je G.I Joe / Pryde venturer / Ad e th n na Co / Captain Planet ited ider-Man Unlim Silver Surfer / Sp

ss: Works in Progre nom (direct-to-video feature) / vs. Ve G.I. Joe / Valor

EVANIER: (faking bewilderment) Wait, DC published Blackhawk? JOHNSON: That’s what I’ve heard.

i Monkie Monde ) (Komikwerks #4

: Cyberspace oardpro.com www.storyb

MEUGNIOT: I never even heard of that book, man! JOHNSON: Well, I’ve heard rumors to that effect. I hope one day DC will realize that they published it and put it out in a trade paperback, because that was a terrific series. EVANIER: I think there’s more of a chance of O.J. finding the real killers. MEUGNIOT: It’s funny, sometimes the things that we’ve done that we love are the ones that are least likely to get recognition.

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The Hulk and His Amazing Friends Former TV Hulk animator Meugniot’s take on Marvel’s nonteam, the Defenders. © 2004 Marvel Characters, Inc.

First Issue Special Will Meugniot’s

EVANIER: Yeah, you can’t be too results-oriented in this

pencils to the cover

business. Sometimes, your favorite projects are not the most

else. I think the only downside was the higher cover price.

lucrative or the most noticed. You just have to do enough

JOHNSON: You do bring up the good point that you two

different things so that it all averages out.

were the first creators to be represented by an agent in the

JOHNSON: Gotcha. Anyway, I was going to ask, what

industry. Tell us about that.

would you say were the immediate advantages of taking

EVANIER: I had known Mike for many years, and I was used

of DNAgents #1. © 2004 Mark Evanier and Will Meugniot.

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about having the better printing that Eclipse had than anyone

DNAgents out through the direct-sales

to being represented by an agent for my television work.

market, besides the artistic control that

I thought at that point the comic business needed to

Will mentioned?

mature. There was a time in the industry when they not

EVANIER: We actually had an auction,

only wouldn’t talk to agents, they wouldn’t let you show a

courtesy of Mike Friedrich, who at that

contract to a lawyer before you had to sign it. I just felt

time was agenting comics properties. In

there was a maturation process emerging in the comic-

fact, I believe we were the first thing he

book business at that time and I was eager to do my part

ever offered around. Mike wanted to use

and support it.

the DNAgents to start his agency, and

MEUGNIOT: I felt the same. There were a lot of things about

he asked if he could even submit it to

DNAgents that [were ground-breaking]. It was actually the first

publishers that we wouldn’t want to go

comic that was sold via a television-style pitch. Mark and I did

with, just so he could help establish the

a bible with illustrations, just like you would if you were selling

commerce of his business. He passed it

a television show.

around, and there was a lot of interest

JOHNSON: Both you gentlemen have pretty impressive

everywhere, but the most serious offer

careers in the television industry. What was the pitch like for

came from Eclipse. That was the one we

the book?

liked the best and that’s why it wound

EVANIER: We devised these characters together and we

up there. They made the best offer, both

wrote up descriptions of them. I had been doing bibles for

in terms of money and format, and also

Saturday-morning cartoon shows. At some point I think I

creative control.

held the record for the most pilots that actually went on to

MEUGNIOT: We were both really excited

become series. So we did a 15- to 20-page bible describing

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Green Arrow and Green Lantern A commissioned sketch by Denny O’Neil’s frequent teammate, Neal Adams. Courtesy of Mike Dunne.

guest editorial by denny o’neil

GL/GA © 2004 DC Comics. Art © 2004 Neal Adams.

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Joe Reader’s Logic

I think Joe Reader’s logic must go something like this: I like super-doers in

Editor’s note:

costumes, and if there’s more than one of them in the magazine I’m buying, I’m getting

Among the many, many,

a good deal.

many accomplishments

What our imaginary Joe is contemplating are super-hero comic books that feature more than one good guy. They’ve been popular for a long time—more than 65 years— and maybe they sometimes are a good deal. And, sometimes, maybe they’re not. For writers they can be a problem. A little Creative Writing 101, if you don’t mind: Conflict is basic to almost all fiction—certainly all fiction that involves a struggle between good and evil, and that includes each one of the thousands of super-hero

of comics writer, editor, and teacher Dennis O’Neil is his ability to combine diverse characters—from the super-knights of the round table the Justice

comics I’ve read, written, and edited over the decades. For conflict to be interesting, it

League of America to the

has to exist between antagonists who are approximately equal, in physical and mental

politically polarized pair

capabilities if not in moral maturity. Put the toughest girl scout on the block in the box-

of Green Lantern and

ing ring with Mike Tyson and your pay-per-view profits will not be large. Now if you,

Green Arrow—into one

the writer, are dealing with a demi-goddish powerhouse like Superman, the Silver

adventure. But writing

Surfer, or Captain Marvel, to name just three, you’ve got to exercise some ingenuity to give your hero an opponent he can’t logically obliterate in a few nanoseconds. Put a bunch of costumed demigods in the same story and have someone wish you the good luck you’ll need. I once begged off writing Justice League of America when I realized I was making the book Alien Invasion of the Month comics. Having just two heroes can be as bad as having a herd of them if their powers are

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super teams isn’t as easy as Denny makes it look, and he’d like to get that off his chest. —Michael


Metropolis Lives! A Guided Tour of Superman’s City, June 2004 by

rris Brian K. Mo

You’re Entering Superman Country Superman watches over travelers half a mile west of Interstate 24’s exit 37. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs accompanying this

Metropolis truly exists. But there are no shining metal

article were taken

and crystalline skyscrapers filled with alien technology to be found. This is Metropolis, population 6,482 and founded in

by and are © 2004

1838, the official, honest-to-Earth Prime home of the Man of

Brian K. Morris.

Steel, Superman. The real-life Metropolis, the only city with this name listed in the U.S. Postal Zip Code Directory, rests amidst rolling farmlands in the southeast corner of Illinois. When the late Robert Westerfield moved here, he became the prime mover behind the city’s “adoption” of the Last Son of Krypton. Illinois House Resolution #572, dated June 9, 1972, declared Metropolis, Illinois, as Superman’s “official” home. With DC Comics’ permission, the “Superman Association” got to work. A museum opened and investors lined up to fund “The Amazing World of

is Metropolis’ most

Superman,” an ambitious 1,000-acre theme park conceptualized by Neal Adams

impressive and famous

(see DC Limited Collectors’ Edition #C-31, Oct-Nov., 1974), and a tabloid-sized magazine

landmark, in all

promoting the park was produced. However, the dream was not yet to be. Delays in

its 15' glory.

completing the nearby interstate and petroleum shortages at the time scuttled the city’s plans. In 1974, every asset of the museum was auctioned off and the Superman Association shelved its plans. But in 1979, when Superman: The Movie convinced the world that a man could fly, phone calls poured into Metropolis, and the idea of putting on an annual festival

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Guarding Market Street

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took on full four-color life. The result: The “Superman

Scott

Celebration” is held each year during the second weekend in June. Open to the public at large, the

“Superman”

event is free.

Cranford greets two pint-sized

THE CITY OF SUPER-PEOPLE

festival-goers

If the billboard near the last exit in Illinois doesn’t tell you who this town belongs to, the image painted on the water tower might. Or perhaps it would be the signs that advertise souvenirs at the gas station, the drugstore, the greeting-card shop, the quick oil change garage, or ones along Route 45 that proudly say, “Super Statue Ahead” They lead travelers to Superman Square, where a 15-foot-tall bronze statue depicts the town’s favorite son. Erected in June 1993 at a cost of

Noel Neill poses with

$100,000 to commemorate the [DC Comics event the]

one of her adoring fans.

death of Superman, this statue replaces a seven-footer from 1986. Each brick in the foundation represents donations from local fans, businesses, families,

man was dressed as Robin, the Boy Wonder, and the

schools, and celebrities.

ceremony was attended by “Jor-El,” “Zatanna,”

During Superman Celebration 2004, a huge tent on

“Supergirl,” and dozens of well-wishers.

the statue’s left side houses magicians, musicians, tives sell T-shirts, distribute schedules for the week-

THE CLASH OF CAPE AND COWL

end’s festivities, and cheerfully greet the estimated

Ever since 1993, the Celebration plays host to

models, and more. Chamber of Commerce representa-

20,000 visitors from all over the globe.

celebrities from movies, television, and comics. In

Along the next few blocks, vendors line the street,

some years, the stars come from outside the world

selling curly fries, ice cream, funnel cakes, and just

of Superman, such as recent attendees Adam West,

about anything that can be deep-fried or can fit into a

Yvonne Craig, and Julie Newmar from TV’s Batman;

pita. Icy cold drinks are gratefully consumed to counter

or the 2004 guests, TV’s Hulk Lou Ferrigno and original

the usual June heat and humidity. Families shop for

Captain Marvel (in Shazam!) Jackson Bostwick. Over

toys, comics, and craft items before moving toward

the years, both TV Superboys from the 1990s, John

the carnival rides and other attractions. The festive

Haymes Newton and Gerard Christopher, have

atmosphere is distinctly “small town” with its easy

greeted fans, as have live-action Men of Steel Kirk Alyn

pace and simple fare.

(from the Superman movie serials), Bob Holliday (from

What would a Superman Celebration be without its

the stage musical It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman),

Superman? Wearing the familiar red, blue, and yellow

and Lois & Clark star Dean Cain. Superstars from

uniform, Scott Cranford, the city’s Superman since

the comics pages have included Jeph Loeb, Mike

2000, strides the streets of Metropolis as if he’d just

Carlin, Kerry Gammill, Steve Rude, and Alex Ross,

stepped from the pages of Action Comics. He greets

the latter of whom met his wife at the event. Super-

children and adults alike with a warm smile and a firm

cinema stars Lois Lanes Margot Kidder and Phyllis

handshake, giving everyone the feeling that they’ve

Coates; Jimmy Olsens Tommy Bond, Jack Larson, and

actually met their favorite hero. A professional actor

Marc McClure; and Valerie Perrine, Lane Smith, Jeff

and stand-in, Cranford has made appearances in

East, Jack Halloran, and Sarah Douglas have also

television’s first

movies like Batman Returns, Independence Day, Predator

appeared as guests.

Captain Marvel, poses

II, and Die Hard II. He also operates his own website,

But if there’s royalty here, it’s Noel Neil, the official

Jackson Bostwick,

with Brian K. Morris.

www.heroicworld.com, where he displays his photos,

“First Lady of Metropolis” and the Lois Lane that

Photo by and ©

artwork, and writing. In 2001, Cranford got married in

many baby boomers grew up with while watching George Reeves repel bullets and duck from the empty

2004 Cookie Morris.

full uniform at one of Metropolis’ city parks. His best

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Celebration or draw attention to the event, Hambrick also sells Superman-related items in a museum-based gift

shop,

on

eBay,

and

at

his

website,

www.supermansuperstore.com. Inside the Superman Museum, visitors can see memorabilia from the Superman Family’s numerous media appearances. Entire sections are devoted to photos and props from Smallville, Superboy, Supergirl, and Lois & Clark, as well as cels from Super Friends and other animated shows. Mannequins display clothing once worn

by

George

Reeves,

Kirk

Alyn,

Gerard

Christopher, Terri Hatcher, and Dean Cain, and even the “flying harnesses” used by Superman Christopher Reeve and Supergirl Helen Slater in their respective guns when hurled at him on TV’s The Adventures

Cinema’s

of Superman.

four Supermen—

Lines begin to form an hour before the stars’ scheduled

Kirk Alyn, George

appearances. Each celebrity is given space inside one

Reeves, Christopher

of the three downtown Metropolis banks, all within

Reeve, and Dean

walking distance of each other. For later risers, a large

Cain—adorn

tent houses a late-morning public Q and A. When that

this mural.

session ends, admirers queue up outside the Chamber of Commerce, clutching their prized “autographables” and waiting patiently in the warm sun for a few seconds

films. Toys, games, videos, homemade curios from around the globe, and several decades’ worth of comic-book original artwork line the walkways of the museum. The past and the present exist simultaneously in the museum’s winding corridors. And as you exit, you know that Jim Hambrick is still searching for new treasures. And why not? He’s already got a place to put them. “I have a 30,000 square foot space outside of town,”

with all the celebrities.

Hambrick told Roadside America. “As soon as the Inter-

uniforms worn by

FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING

WHAT CAN ONE MAN DO?

Christopher Reeve

When five-year old Jim Hambrick was in the hospital

Before put in charge of marketing for the Superman

stands on display in the

and needed cheering up, his mother gathered her limited

Museum, Atlanta-based David Olsen’s involvement

funds to buy a Superman lunchbox, the gift that

with the Man of Steel seemed almost predestined. His

changed the course of Jim’s life. He began accumu-

mother’s maiden name was “White,” like a certain

One of the few remaining complete

Superman Museum.

lating a collection of Superman memorabilia that

great metropolitan newspaper editor; he shares a sur-

eventually numbered in the thousands, the largest in

name with the world’s most famous cub reporter; and

the world.

his wife is the granddaughter of the late DC artist Dick

Hambrick created a traveling display of Supersouvenirs that toured the U.S. Starting in 1985, he

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state goes four-lane there, we’ll see about moving.”

Dillin (Blackhawk, Justice League of America, and various Superman titles).

took eight years (one year alone spent packing) and

Eight years ago, Olsen discovered the Superman

five 55-foot tractor trailers, and moved his display to

Celebration via a friend. Upon learning that the

Superman’s official home, establishing the Superman

auction held at the event drew only 30 people, he

Museum in 1993, putting a fraction of his personal

approached Hambrick about taking it over. In 2004,

collection on public view for a mere three-dollar

more than 230 items were offered for bid and

charge. As Hambrick told The Paducah Sun in 2001,

the room filled to capacity. “We’re at 200 people-

“The statue brings in a lot of people. And 95 percent

plus every year now,” Olsen explains, “and the only

of the people who come to see the statue who [leave]

reason we can’t get more is because the facility won’t

their cars come into the museum.” Several thousand

hold enough.”

people pass through the gates of the museum during

The offerings come from professional dealers, atten-

the Celebration, with around 200 daily during the rest

dees, and celebrities alike. Any given auction might

of the year. When he isn’t helping to organize the

contain old games, toys, coloring books, artwork done

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Back Issue #7  

“Super Teams” issue! The history of the BRAVE AND THE BOLD, including a JIM APARO interview and a tribute to writer BOB HANEY! FANTASTIC FOU...

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