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Author Topic: Superman in the Silver Age  (Read 117893 times)
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #96 on: June 03, 2004, 03:03:56 PM »

India - good point, I should have mentioned that Swan was already entrenched as the cover artist, having begun those duties starting with Action 232 (Sept. 1957), beginning an incredible run that would last, with very few interruptions, for nearly 30 years!

I feel your pain re: King Krypton - unfortunately, no matter where they draw the line, someone's favorite Superman story is bound to fall on the wrong side of the fence.  I recall we had the same phenomenon with the Aquaman archive, with many bemoaning that their favorite Sea King tale occurred just months prior to Adventure 260.

Aldous - I agree 100% - the SA Superman market has been virtually untapped (aside from a couple of TPBs, and if you really stretch it, the 2 Supergirl volumes).  I'd love to see them market this in a more mainstream way, but that's probably a pipe dream.

But - geez, when you've got Jerry Seinfeld in those AmEx ads rubbing elbows with "the Curt Swan Superman" (by his own description), you'd think DC could figure out some way to get some mileage out of this.

Even with their conventional marketing, I think this archive will out-sell their expectations, which will hopefully lead to an annual Silver Age volume, and pave the way for the rest of the Weisinger parade - Silver Age Superboy, Lois, and Jimmy - to get their own archives.
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #97 on: June 30, 2004, 06:23:50 PM »

Quote from: "Osgood Peabody"
I would venture to say that Mort would not have allowed this story to slip through a few years earlier, but by 1968 seemed more lackadaisical about changes to the canon.  

There was at least one other serious lapse of editorial judgement that I can recall around this time.

There's a story in Superboy 158 (July 1969) that even more flagrantly flouts the accepted origin -- "Superboy's Darkest Secret" by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Wally Wood.  In this one, I believe Superboy stumbles across Jor-El and Lara's bodies floating in space in suspended animation.  I don't remember all the details, but there was some convoluted explanation as to how they were preserved, and why they couldn't be revived, and Superboy must leave their bodies to roam space through eternity.

Needless to say, this was another tale wisely and quickly forgotten.


Well - I was curious, so I found a copy of this story and reread it.  Imagine my surprise when I read the indicia and see "Murray Boltinoff, Editor" in the fine print!  This certainly explains a lot.  I owe a big apology to Mort.  I didn't realize he had handed Superboy off as early as mid-1968.

I have to say though, Aldous, my appraisal of the story did not change much.  When I have some more time I'll go into more detail as to why.  But one thing about this story still bugs me.  Why would Boltinoff blatantly disregard one of the central tenets of the origin story, while at the same time create a tale that revolves around events and characters that appeared only in one obscure Superman story from 1956?
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Lee Semmens
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« Reply #98 on: July 01, 2004, 01:30:00 PM »

Continuity and consistency is one thing that doesn't seemed to have bothered Murray Boltinoff too much (much like colleague Bob Kanigher on Wonder Woman). After all, Boltinoff seemed to give Bob Haney free rein to occasionally throw DC history out the window in The Brave and the Bold. Remember all the Wildcat (Earth-2) and Batman (Earth-1) teamups, for instance?

Having said that, the Frank Robbins/Leo Dorfman/Bob Brown era of Superboy is my favorite. The stories were often much more noirish than previous Superboy tales, and while Brown is not my favorite penciller, and certainly no Curt Swan, he is at least quite adequate, and had great inkers - Wally Wood and Murphy Anderson - apart from the dreadful Vince Colletta right at the very end of Brown's tenure on the book.
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #99 on: July 01, 2004, 02:26:17 PM »

Yes - I've enjoyed many Boltinoff stories, and I can't say it ever really bothered me when Bruce Wayne has a long-lost brother, or Bruce's parents ashes are displayed in an urn - I even learned to tolerate the "Super-Sons".  But in this particular Superboy story, Boltinoff inexplicably gets bogged down in the continuity of an obscure Superman story ("The First Superman of Krypton" from Action #223 by Hamilton, Boring & Kaye).  As if Jor-El's journal and Khai-Zor (both introduced in that story) are central to the Superman mythos, while Jor-El and Lara perishing in Krypton's destruction is not.  If he had thrown everything out the window, there's at least some internal consistency.

The funny thing is, even if readers were familiar with the reference to that Superman story (it had been reprinted in a Superman giant about 2 years earlier), they would've also remembered it was the adult Superman who found Jor-El's journal, and so they still would be scratching their heads as to how Superboy would know of its existence!

There are some good bits in the story - the conflict of Ma and Pa Kent, Superboy's choice of his foster father in retrieving the capsule - but I found the lengthy explanations of the Kryptonian back-story too distracting for my tastes.  And the scene where Jor-El is fussing with his will, his journal, his place in history(?), while Krypton is disintegrating around him is absurd even by Boltinoff's standards.  Besides, the Jor-El we know and love would see this fatal disease as another challenge - surely the brilliant scientist, given time, would've tried to develop a cure, rather than resign himself to a quick death!


Maybe I'm being too harsh - I recently read a couple of classic Silver Age Superboy tales where Weisinger dealt with the scenario of Jor-El and Lara living on, so part of my perspective may be this one suffers too much in the comparison.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #100 on: July 13, 2004, 05:23:30 AM »

bump test
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #101 on: February 07, 2005, 08:03:52 PM »

By way of bumping this thread, I thought I'd post this house ad I recently came across from Oct. 1958.  It sheds some new light on the dawn of Superman's "Silver Age".

This is the same month that editor Mort Weisinger starting running the "Metropolis Mailbag" letter columns in issues of Action and Superman.

It seems that this was part of a concerted effort on Mort's part to repackage the Man of Steel to a new generation of fans:


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Super Monkey
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« Reply #102 on: February 07, 2005, 09:59:51 PM »

That's a great fine!
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Osgood Peabody
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« Reply #103 on: February 21, 2005, 10:43:47 PM »

Continuing along with this theme, I've been trying to nail down when exactly Mort introduced the letter columns.  

I'm not 100% certain, but I now believe this is the first one, from Superman 124 (Sept. 1958) (of course if I'm incorrect, any of the board historians feel free to correct me):

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