Wednesday, October 24, 2018


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

The Secret Society Of Super Villains ran for fifteen issues, commencing with a debut cover-dated May-June 1976. The title's real-world life began well after the original 100-Page Super Spectaculars had slipped off to that great used bookstore in the sky, but we're going to manipulate the Silly Putty of mere time and space to create a 100-Page FAKE! version of SSoSV nonetheless.

And we're going to accomplish it by combining The Secret Society Of Super Villains with the defunct Wanted, The World's Most Dangerous Villains, an all-reprint concept that DC Comics mined for nine issues of its own title (following two preceding issues of DC Special). This makes a sort of sense in our fanciful Boppinverse: a series of new stories centered around a group of super villains, the lead story backed by a collection of archival treasures spotlighting superheroes versus super villains. 

For kicks, I decided to use the original rejected Secret Society Of Super Villains story rather than the one actually used in SSoSV # 1. According to Wikipedia, when DC publisher Carmine Infantino reviewed this completed story with writer/creator Gerry Conway, Infantino wanted changes--specifically, a secret headquarters for the assembled nogoodniks--that necessitated a do-over. This first version was subsequently published in black and white in DC's fan magazine The Amazing World Of DC Comics in '76; it's perhaps ironic that this issue of Amazing World Of DC Comics containing the SSoSV story Infantino rejected also carried the news that Infantino was no longer with the company. A coincidence, but a coincidence worth noting.

To fill in the reprint selections, we've scavenged the vault for more villainy. I first encountered Batman's foe Poison Ivy in the pages of an 80-Page Giant devoted to the women in Batman's life, and I scored a copy of her 1966 debut appearance in a comics swap shortly thereafter. As a kid, I thought Poison Ivy and her femme fatale antagonists in that first story were enticingly sexy--I was ten or eleven when I read them--and this 100-Page FAKE! gives us an opportunity to reprise that story and its immediate follow-up. From 1947, we find the original Captain Marvel grappling with a bad guy carrying the now-familiar name of Spider Man. No, not the famous one; note the absence of a hyphen in the name, plus the apparent disregard for the concept of great power demanding great responsibility. See, that's why he was a bad guy. Spider Man, Spider Man, robs however a spider can....

We conclude this 100-Page FAKE! with a 1969 DC Comics story which DC would not have really had the rights to reprint in 1976: the origin of Dr. Evil, arch enemy of the Ideal Toys character Captain Action, which DC had licensed for five splendid issues of his own title. These were really good comics, with top-notch work from Jim Shooter, Wally Wood, and Gil Kane, and Kane especially going off as both writer and artist for the last three issues. Spectacular stuff, and it's a shame that rights issues will likely prevent it from ever being reprinted. Let justice be done! Pretty please? Man, I never get my way. Here's what we have for this sinister 100-Page FAKE!:

The Secret Society Of Super Villains in "Beware The Brotherhood Of Crime" (originally unpublished, first seen in The Amazing World Of DC Comics # 11 [March-April 1976])
Batman and Robin vs Poison Ivy in "Beware Of...Poison Ivy!," Batman # 181 (June 1966)
Batman and Robin vs Poison Ivy in "A Touch Of Poison Ivy!," Batman # 183 (August 1966)
Captain Marvel vs Spider Man in "Captain Marvel And The Web Of Crime," Whiz Comics # 89 (September 1947)
Captain Action and Action Boy vs Dr. Evil in "...And Evil This Way Comes!," Captain Action # 3 (February-March 1969)

Captain Action, Action Boy, and Dr. Evil are copyright Captain Action Enterprises. All other characters are copyright DC Comics Inc., and all of these properties can only be depicted here in representative sample pages. I share the whole thing with my subscribers. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Wait--wrong character! We'll get back to The Shadow before long. For now, though, let's hear it for the bad guys. Ooo, and the bad girls, too!


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