Tuesday, February 26, 2019

100-Page FAKES! presents: ADVENTURE COMICS # 446

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

The banner proclaiming that "DC Comics Salutes The Bicentennial" makes it increasingly clear that my 100-Page FAKES! series is cruising farther away from the timeline of the real-world 100-Page Super Spectaculars. In our mundane reality, the Super Specs vanished from the spinner racks by the end of 1974 (with issues cover-dated April-May 1975); I'd originally intended to tether my fabricated 100-pagers to within a year or so of that date, but I've decided to continue into comics published in 1976 and beyond. It's all in fun anyway, so rules need not apply. While I'll be sticking with Adventure and Detective for the time being, there are many other titles I'll be returning to in the near future, including some originally published by Charlton Comics, and maybe even a licensed title originally published by Marvel Comics, but one which would fit in with the Boppinverse's faux DC line.

For now, we continue with Adventure Comics # 446, the final issue to contain publisher Carmine Infantino's name in the indicia; new publisher Jenette Kahn would replace Infantino in the credits with the following issue. The Super Specs had been one of Infantino's many attempts to regain DC's lost market share while exploiting the company's vast archive of previously-published material. Kahn would have little interest in reprinting run-of-the-mill stories just for the sake of reprinting them, and she did not share Infantino's goal of saving the company money by raiding the vault for pages and pages of already-paid-for story and art. Kahn wanted new. And she was right.

But I dug the old stuff. That remains true, even while I still dig the new stuff, too. My fondness for reprints and the original Super Specs is evident in my 100-Page FAKES! Today, the Aquaman and Creeper stories from Adventure Comics # 446 are supplemented with a 1950 solo story starring Robin the Boy Wonder, a 1970 backup story from DC's short-lived (but wonderful!) Hot Wheels licensed comics series, a 1967 Captain Atom and Nightshade adventure, and Golden Age tales of the original Hawkman, The Human Bomb, and Ibis the Invincible. I don't think DC ever reprinted any Human Bomb stories outside of the Millennium Edition facsimile of Police Comics # 1 in 2000. And regular 100-Page FAKES! reader Ira Henkin wanted to see an older Hawkman story--your Demand is our Command!

There's a little story behind the Ibis story we're using here. In the '70s, an Ibis the Invincible reprint appeared in Detective Comics # 441 (June-July 1974), one of the very few times DC reprinted anything it acquired from Fawcett Comics (other than the motherlode of gems starring the original Captain Marvel and his Shazam! crew, of course). There turned out to be a rights issue with Ibis, an issue above and beyond the tangled legal complications of The Marvel Family and such properties as Spy Smasher, Bulletman, Minute Man, and Mr. Scarlet. Although DC eventually assumed ownership of all of these characters, DC originally used them via a licensing deal with Fawcett in the '70s. The folks at DC thought our Ibis was part of that deal. But it's been said that Charlton Comics claimed ownership of that character, dating back to a deal with Fawcett in the mid '50s. Oops. DC used Ibis in the above-mentioned issue of 'Tec, in a 1974 Famous First Edition tabloid reprint of Whiz Comics # 2 (the first appearances of Captain Marvel, Spy Smasher, and Ibis the Invincible), and in a three-part new story in 1976's JLA/JSA crossover published in Justice League Of America # 135-137. If the story about Charlton's claim is true, that seems like a lot of time elapsed before DC stopped using Ibis. In any case, today we're reprising "The Viking Horde" from 1943, which I think was the only Ibis story Charlton ever printed, and we're using a scan from its appearance in Charlton's Danger And Adventure # 22 (February 1955). Adventure Comics presents Danger And Adventure? YES!

Aquaman in "The Manta-Ray Means Murder!," Adventure Comics # 446 (July-August 1976)
Robin the Boy Wonder in "The Disappearing Batplanes!," Star Spangled Comics # 105 (June 1950)
Hot Wheels in "The Powderpuff Run," Hot Wheels # 4 (September-October 1970)
Captain Atom and Nightshade in "Strings Of Punch And Jewlee [sic]," Captain Atom # 85 (March 1967)
The Golden Age Hawkman in "The Case Of The Human Plants," Flash Comics # 29 (May 1942)
The Human Bomb (untitled), Police Comics # 19 (May 1943)
Ibis the Invincible in "The Viking Horde," Whiz Comics # 45 (August 1943)
The Creeper in "Mind Over Murder," Adventure Comics # 446 (July-August 1976)

Hot Wheels copyright Mattel Inc., all other properties copyright DC Comics Inc. The Captain Atom, Human Bomb, and Ibis stories are now public domain, while the rest can only be shown here in representative sample pages; if you're one of my subscribers, you get to see the whole thing. We'll be back in a day or two with a phony edition of Detective Comics # 454. Meanwhile: ADVENTURE!

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