This is the cover from the Wizard JLA Special from 1997. I could go on and on about how people give Wizard a hard time and blame it for the excesses of the comic book marketplace of the nineties and blah, blah, blah but I’ve done that in the past so I feel like I can skip it for this post.
This special contained:
- A Top 10 of things we need to know about the League.
- An interview with JLA writer Grant Morrison.
- An interview with JLA artist Howard Porter.
- An article speculating on which Leaguer would win if a fight broke out.
- An article about the history of the League.
- The Top 10 most brutal fights the League have been in.
- An article about the upcoming JLA: Year One maxi-series.
- An article about the Watchtower, the League’s new headquarters.
- Profiles of Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman.
- An article about the five heroes that could be joining the League in the near future.
- An article about the villains the JLA is about to face off against.
- A day in the life of JLA editor Ruben Diaz.
- The results of a poll Wizard conducted on America Online back when that was a thing.
- A cute little cartoon about what it takes to join the Justice League.
- The “official” Justice League membership form.
Full disclosure; I love these specials. I loved them when they first came out and I love them now. I read them and re-read them over and over again and I still go back to them from time to time. They are neat little time capsules to an era long gone. This special brings back so many good memories of a time when JLA wasn’t just a comic book title but a brand that DC embraced whole hog. I’ve had to buy new copies of some of them because the old ones wore out but I still hang on to the ragged versions.
You know…for sentimental reasons.
I posted this cover because I love it despite how wonky Wonder Woman looks but I also posted it as a tease for some scans that I will be posting on Wednesday. There is a quote from one of the Superman writer’s that flies in the face of an article I posted last week and I felt it was worth posting for historical reasons.
So come back on Wednesday and junk.
Installment 5: Action Comics #732
“The Saving Skull”
- Cover Date: April 1997
- Released on: February 26, 1997
- Triangle Number: 1997/17
- Writer: David Michelinie
- Pencils: Tom Grummett
- Inker: Denis Rodier
- Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Spoiler Free Synopsis
Superman pulls himself together. Lois’ selfless act. New abilities emerge. An excursion around the bay doesn’t go as planned. A not so happy ending.
Welcome to another installment of Secret Files Friday! Each week I present another entry from the various Secret Files and Origins specials that started popping up in late 1997. While they weren’t as detailed as Who’s Who I have a real soft spot for the Secret Files and Origins line so I wanted to give them some love. The week’s entry is Scorn!
(originally published in Superman Secret Files and Origins #1, January 1998)
Welcome to the two hundredth and fourth episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast! This podcast has a simple premise; examine just about every Superman comic published between Man of Steel #1 in 1986 to Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006 in an informative and hopefully entertaining format.
Part index. Part commentary. Part history lesson. All podcast.
This time out Mike and Jeff continue their look at the April 1995 cover dated Superman books. First up is Adventures of Superman #522, which tells the story of how Metropolis went from being blown up real good to being all fixed up complete with its own version of Times Square. This is followed by Action Comics #709 where Superman and Warrior tussle and Dan Turpin takes care of business on his day off. Finally the boys take a quick peek at Steel #14, Outsiders #17 and Showcase ’95 #4 before checking out what was going on Elsewhere in the DC Universe.
The Cover Gallery For This Episode
The Image Gallery
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Next Time: The Death of Clark Kent begins with Superman: The Man of Steel #44 and the landmark Superman #100! Non Death of Clark Kent comics include Superboy #15 and New Titans #121!
When I first mentioned on Facebook that I was going to be covering the Electric Blue era of Superman someone (I apologize because I honestly forget who) asked if I was going to post the costume ideas that were in an issue of Wizard: The Guide to Comics around the time the big change was announced. This led me to start digging through my Wizard collection because I honestly remember two different articles and one of those may not exist. I have this dim memory of readers submitting their ideas for Superman’s new look, which may or may not have happened. The second article, which was very real, was one that I found in Wizard: The Guide to Comics #66.
Two things stick out to me about this article with the first being Dan Jurgens quote about how this change will be the new status quo. He said, “I guess if we get a billion letters saying it sucks, we’ll probably back out, but I highly doubt that’s going to happen.” That quote is interesting not because the new look only lasted a year but because of something another writer on the Superman books at the time said in another Wizard publication.
More on that next week.
That’s a tease.
Because I can do that sort of thing.
The second part that stuck out to me was the ideas other artists had for Superman’s new look. J. Scott Campbell seems to prefer letting classic costumes stay classic. Kevin Lau’s design was similar to more recent Superman costumes in video games and other media. Jerry Ordway’s remarks about the underpants surprised me but his ideas were on point for the ’90s. Joe Quesada’s design was…not to my liking. Andy Kubert’s remarks seemed like he preferred a sleeker look for the Man of Steel. John Romita, Sr.’s idea for Superman wasn’t surprising as it was very Marvel. Oddly enough the new look that was chosen for Superman is very close to his idea with some minor tweaks.
I dug the Visual Evolution of Superman that ran at the top and bottom of the second and third pages of the article. Wizard was usually good about giving a sense of history of the character they were writing about during this era. In the end this article did exactly what it was supposed to do; tease the upcoming change and give us just enough information to get us interested.
So to the person that was asking for this article to be posted…here you go. I hope this is what you were looking for.
I found this issue at a local comic shop and picked it up solely because I liked the cover. To me it is a great encapsulation of what was going on with my two favorite heroes in 1986. To be fair it’s just the art from the Man of Steel house ad placed on top of a page from what has become commonly known as The Dark Knight Returns but it hits me right in the nostalgia center of my brain. That’s kind of weird because I didn’t start collecting comics until about a year after this but I have found it is possible to feel nostalgic for a comic or comic era you weren’t present for.
I need to dig into this soon. No matter what the Rolling Stones say time is never on my side.
Installment 4: Adventures of Superman #545
- Cover Date: April 1997
- Released on February 19, 1997
- Triangle Number: 1997/16
- Writer: Karl Kesel
- Pencils: Scot Eaton
- Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
- Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Spoiler Free Synopsis
Dinner plans change. Complications with super powers continue. An old enemy returns. Dr. Electron gets atomized.