Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas from Karate Kid The Series

1978 DC Calendar of Super-Spectacular Disasters 
story/words uncredited
art by Jim Sherman and Jack Abel
on-sale date: September 1977
"in-story" chronology: December 1977 or 1978?
review by Russell "Bilingual Boy" Burbage
dedicated affectionately to Glenn "Continuity Kid" Walker

We interrupt the current review of the Karate Kid series to bring you this special Christmas adventure! The Legion of Super-Heroes went back in time to visit Karate Kid in NYC, and while they were there they battled Superman's foe, Toyman!

The 1978 DC Calendar was a series of twelve mini-stories about super-villains creating disasters in order to absorb energy that would be used to pull the Earth out of its orbit (or something like that). In December, it was the Toyman versus the Legion of Super-Heroes. Read the "story" below....

Did you notice anything interesting about this story?
There are a few things that strike me as odd....
First of all, the caption explaining that the Legion have decided to visit Karate Kid in the past clearly says that they are heading back to 1977. Uh....okay, but as already mentioned, this is the 1978 calendar and the month shown is December 1978. But is this adventure a year old? Granted, because we are talking about publishing delays, if the adventure were "real" it would have to be atleast a year old to be included in this collection. But the plot for the calendar's story seems to imply that the adventures are "new." (Green Arrow and Green Lantern at the St. Patrick's Day Parade, for example....was that from 1977, too?)

Obviously, Jim Sherman, Jack Abel, and whoever wrote the text finished this work in 1977 in order to publish it before January 1978....and nobody caught the wrong date!

As for what the Legion would be doing at about this time.....Karate Kid went back in time at the end of 1977 in his series, then came "forward" to the "present" and found himself in 1978 (Karate Kid #s 10-13). In the summer of 1978 he began his team-up with Kamandi; this is where we are in the current reviews. A year before that he had just rescued Orando from the Black Dragon (Karate Kid #9) so it's possible that the Legion would have wanted to go back in time with him to celebrate Christmas....

But what if this story really WAS from 1978? For that chronology, Karate Kid successfully brings Iris Jacobs to the 30th Century, and Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl have been re-instated after getting married by December 2978. That all happens around Superboy/Legion #246, cover-dated December 1978.

So I guess it works for either, 1977 or 1978.

Merry Christmas to all United Planets!  

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