Wednesday, October 3, 2018

100-Page FAKES! presents: ADVENTURE COMICS # 437

100-Page FAKES! imagines mid-1970s DC 100-Page Super Spectaculars that never were...but should have been!

The very first edition of 100-Page FAKES! was an expansion of Adventure Comics # 435 from 1975, the issue that featured the first new Aquaman solo story since the Sea King's title was cancelled in 1971. We later returned for a 100-Page FAKES! version of Adventure Comics # 436, and now we complete that trilogy of Aquaman back-ups with one more faux Super Spectacular.

The Spectre was still the cover feature in Adventure Comics, starring in grisly revenge fantasies written by Michael Fleisher (with script continuity by Russell Carley). Most of The Spectre's exploits were gorgeously illustrated by the legendary Jim Aparo, but here Aparo teams with Ernie Chua to handle the art chores. The result is still enticing, but it can't quite match the sheer luster of Aparo's solo work.

For reprints, we've selected the third and final appearance of Nightmaster, the sword and sorcery hero drawn by Berni Wrightson for a tryout in Showcase # 82-84 in 1969, and The Spectre's team-up with Wildcat, written and illustrated by the incomparable Neal Adams for The Spectre's own title in 1968. We needed to complement that with a Wildcat solo story from the '40s, and an energetic Midnight story by Jack Cole brings us to the 80 pages of comics we need for a 100-Page Super Spectacular.

The Spectre in "The Human Bombs And...The Spectre," Adventure Comics # 437 (January-February 1975)
Nightmaster in "Come Darkness, Come Death!," Showcase # 84 (August 1969)
Wildcat in "The Apple And The Core!," Sensation Comics # 88 (April 1949)
The Spectre and Wildcat in "Menace Of The Mystic Mastermind," The Spectre # 3 (March-April 1968)
Midnight (untitled), Smash Comics # 19 (February 1941) 
Aquaman in "A Quiet Day In Atlantis," Adventure Comics # 437 (January-February 1975)

This is all copyright DC Comics Inc. The Midnight story is now public domain, but the rest is shown here only in representative pages. My patrons get to see the whole thing. Aquaman swam away from Adventure Comics after this issue, but don't worry about him; he'd be back soon. And next issue promises The Seven Soldiers Of Victory!

Well! That's worth coming back to see! ADVENTURE!


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