Monday, March 27, 2017

LSH Cover to Cover 8: 1969~1973

We're back with another installment of our never-ending (?) feature on all of the comic-book cover appearances of The Legion in chronological order.

Last time, we ended in the Spring of 1969, as the Legion was unceremoniously dropped from Adventure Comics. And they didn't just lose their cover spot, they lost the book itself! In one of the saddest times in Legion history, Superman Group Editor Mort Weisinger gave the lead in Adventure to the Maid of Might, Supergirl as he shuffled our cast of 20-plus characters into a back-up feature in Action Comics! This led to our favorite Future Heroes to not being featured on a cover on a regular basis for THREE DRY YEARS.

(Moment of silence.)

What cover appearances the Legion did earn during these years were for reprint collections. And they got around, even appearing in an issue of Batman! They only once appeared on the cover of Action Comics. In an odd bit of irony, their one cover appearance during their Action Comics run was for an issue they DID not appear in! (Their new story was replaced by a reprint.)

All was not lost, however. After the Legion switched from Action Comics to Superboy, and their artist changed from George Tuska to some up-start named Dave Cockrum, they began to grow in popularity. Sales figures for issues with them were higher than sales figures for issues without them. They got a short-lived reprint book of their own, the very first comic-book called Legion of Super-Heroes. Eventually, as of Superboy #197, they got back their cover spot! 1974 looked like it was going to be the Legion's year!!

Artistically speaking, DC Cover Artist went from Neal Adams in the late Sixties and early Seventies to Nick Cardy, who drew nearly every cover for them from 1972 through 1974.

Action Comics #373 
(March, 1969)
artist: Neal Adams
The shape of things to come? Supergirl grabs the cover for this
collection of reprints, and a few months later she bumps the Legion out of
their series! Coincidence? Or fantastic sales figures? YOU decide!

Action Comics #388 
(May, 1970)
pencils: Curt Swan
inks: Murphy Anderson
The ONLY cover appearance during their Action Comics run is for
a wild and crazy Superman story. The back-up this issue was a reprint!
Ah, the irony.

Adventure Comics #403 
(March, 1971)
pencils: Curt Swan
inks: Murphy Anderson
During Supergirl's run in Adventure, she stepped aside for a
collection of Legion reprints. Another bit of irony!

Batman #238 
(January, 1972)
artist: Neal Adams
Clearly the Legion's oddest appearance is in an issue of
Batman--! Adams tried to draw all of the then-current
Legionnaires, along with Ferro Lad, the Legion of Super-Pets and Honorary
Legionnaires like Elastic Lad, Insect Queen, that Kid Psycho!?
The reprint is the story where the LSH meets the Heroes of Lallor,
which is WAY before the time of most of these characters!!

Superboy #185 
(May, 1972)
artist: Nick Cardy
A collection of stories featuring "Young Heroes," including
the Teen Titans and the Legion. Nice theme! 

 Legion of Super-Heroes (v1) #1
(Feb, 1973)
artist: Nick Cardy
When I first came across this issue I had no idea it was a reprint.
Dramatic cover, though!

Legion of Super-Heroes (v1) #2
(March, 1973)
artist: Nick Cardy
Another dramatic cover for the second issue of the reprint series.
There were two more issues, but they recycled the original
covers, so I'm not featuring them here.

Superboy #197 
(Sept, 1973)
artist: Nick Cardy
One of the truly GREAT Legion covers.
It took me years to realize that Element Lad was in his old uniform,
and with a flight belt....? 

100 Page Super-Spectacular DC-21 
(Oct, 1973)
artist: Nick Cardy
Another collection of "Young Heroes," but you have to
squint to see the Legionnaires. Boo!!!

Superboy #198 
(Oct, 1973)
artist: Nick Cardy
For their second cover appearance in Superboy, the Legionnaires
got booted over to a Roll Call column. Still, that's the Fatal
Five and this is clearly a Legion adventure.  

Superboy #199 
(Nov, 1973)
artists: Dave Cockrum & Nick Cardy
The Superboy is clearly drawn by Nick Cardy, just as the other
Legionnaires are clearly drawn by Dave Cockrum.
Sadly, this is the only Legion cover Cockrum got to draw at this time. 

1 comment:

  1. Personally I always thought the ensemble artwork of the Legion like the Batman #238 and the Dave Cockrum of Superboy #197-199 were first rate and bring back great memories of walking down to the News Depot and buying them .

    As a matter of fact I have every issue you shown in your article and always loved Adventure Comics # 403 is my all time favorite !