Tuesday, November 27, 2018


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

As Aquaman left his backup spot in Adventure Comics after a three-issue trial run, and the bloodthirsty revenge fantasies of The Spectre remained Adventure's cover feature, editor Joe Orlando made an odd choice for the title's new backup strip: The Seven Soldiers Of Victory.

The Seven Soldiers (aka Law's Legionnaires) were DC's second-tier super-team in the 1940s, an attempt to replicate the success of The Justice Society Of America. Our valiant assembled Soldiers--The Green Arrow and Speedy, The Vigilante, The Shining Knight, The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy, and The Crimson Avenger, with The Crimson's Asian stereotype sidekick Wing an unofficial eighth Soldier--starred in the first fourteen issues of Leading Comics, 1941-1945, their victories vacated when the title switched to a funny animal format with Leading Comics # 15. 

I first heard of the group via a text page in a giant-sized issue of Justice League Of America published circa 1970 or so, and I was instantly fascinated by them. They were revived in 1972 for an epic three-part Justice League-Justice Society crossover in Justice League Of America # 100-102, and that arc remains my all-time favorite JLA story. And it was a popular story, so maybe it wasn't all that odd a notion for Orlando to consider reviving The Seven Soldiers Of Victory a few years later as a backup in Adventure Comics.

But it was a little odd that it wasn't a new adventure; it was an unused script from the '40s, written by Joe Samachson for (one presumes) an issue of Leading Comics and scuttled when the funny animals of King Oscar's Court kicked Law's Legionnaires outta Leading. The script was plucked from the vaults three decades later, given to artists, and set to run as a serial backing The Spectre in Adventure. Odd. But intriguing; I confess I was a little underwhelmed with the results at the time, but I had certainly been looking forward to it, and I have some fondness for it looking back.

To fill out our faux 100-page Adventure, we have Golden Age tales of The Green Lantern, The Sandman and Sandy The Golden Boy, and Captain Marvel Jr., plus a luscious-looking Silver Age Spectre story written and illustrated by the legendary Neal Adams.

"The Spectre Haunts The Museum Of Fear," Adventure Comics # 438 (March-April 1975)
The Golden Age Green Lantern in "The Riddle Of The Runaway Trolley," All-American Comics # 55 (January 1944)
The Spectre in "Stop That Kid...Before He Wrecks The World!," The Spectre # 4 (May-June 1968)
The Sandman and Sandy The Golden Boy in "The Dream Of Peter Green!," Adventure Comics # 102 (February-March 1946)
Captain Marvel Jr. in "The City Under The Sea!," Captain Marvel Jr. # 7 (May 1943)
The Seven Soldiers Of Victory in "Land Of Magic!," Adventure Comics # 438 (March-April 1975)

The Shining Knight in "Knight After Knight!," Adventure Comics # 438 (March-April 1975)

All characters copyright DC Comics Inc. The Captain Marvel Jr. story is now public domain, while the rest can only be shown here in representative sample pages. I share the whole Super Spectacular package with my patrons. This Seven Soldiers Of Victory story has never been reprinted; it's referenced (with script pages and art samples) in the third and final volume of the DC Archives hardcover Seven Soldiers reprints, but its status as a Golden Age/Bronze Age hybrid kept the story itself out of that book. We'll try to get to it all here in future editions of 100-Page FAKES!


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