Despite the fact that I was reading and collecting the Superman titles in 1988 I did not read or collect Action Comics Weekly when it first came out. My main comic book haunts at the time were spinner racks and newsstands and Action Comics Weekly wasn’t carried in any of those establishments. I would look through the occasional issue at the orthodontist’s office but until 1996 I was largely unfamiliar with the book and its contents.
I do remember seeing the ads though.
Quick history lesson/reminder for those that weren’t reading or collecting at the time/just plain forgot; in early 1988 Action Comics hit issue 600. This was a rather big deal. Not only was Action was one of the few books at the time to get to that number it was also the year that Superman turned fifty. For some reason they decided that with issue 601 Action Comics would return to its anthology roots and become Action Comics Weekly. It was a bold experiment that ultimately failed though to be fair there were a number of features that were quite good, like the Blackhawk serial as well as the Deadman stories.
As I mentioned above I wasn’t reading the title at the time. In fact I spent a month or two wondering what happened to Action Comics though that could be my memory failing me because I also remember hearing about the Action Comics Weekly thing from…somewhere. The first time it hit home that something was changing was when I saw the ad I posted above. It was followed by this one.
If you were going by just these ads you would have no idea that the book was about to go through such a radical change. House ad wise DC was playing this one close to the vest. In fact you wouldn’t know for sure that Action had gone weekly until you saw this ad.
This subscription ad proves that someone in the marketing department had a sense of humor. I remember seeing that when I was a kid and thinking it was pretty funny. Over twenty years later I still do.
I wish they would reprint some of the material from Action Comics Weekly. There were some worthwhile serials (for lack of a better term) in that series and some, like the Blackhawk strip, went on to gain their own series. It was a noble endeavor but the audience at the time just wasn’t ready for it. Sure some of the strips were awful, but I would like to think that if the readership of the time was more accepting that the cream would have risen to the top.
Or maybe I am completely wrong and it was a terrible idea. I like the book. If you find it in a fifty cent bin you should pick it up.
More to follow…