projectra

The Chronological Superman 1964-1966:

I’m going to tackle three years worth of Superman Family stories for this next installment of The Chronological Superman. This is hopefully a minor and acceptable format change for these specific stories (although I may do it again in the future, if the content calls for it).  The thing is that the Superman Family tales of 1964 and 1965 are fairly unremarkable ones. For the most part, these years are typified by events you might describe as oddities and trivia, and some tales which are continued from previous years. It’s not that these stories are bad, but they largely want for innovation.

For instance, the Legion of Super-Heroes – which has been adding members at a breakneck pace since their debut – adds only one permanent new member to the roster in Adventure Comics vol.1 No.327, introducing the hero eventually known as Timber Wolf. Meanwhile, Kid Psycho is introduced as the first resource in the Legion Reserve (Superboy vol.1 No.125), two villains – Command Kid and Dynamo Boy – join in Adventure Comics vol.1 No.328 and No.330/331 respectively, and the Heroes of Lallor are introduced in Adventure Comics vol.1 No.324. 

Super-offspring abound as always, but it’s worth mentioning that the Super-Sons of Superman and Batman debut in World’s Finest vol.1 No.154. In Superman vol.1 No.181, the Superman of 2965 – secretly Klar Ken-T5477 – is introduced, being the twentieth generation of direct descendants from the original Man of Steel. 

Beyond that, there are new love interests for Superman, more imaginary stories, plenty of Kryptonite (including Jewel Kryptonite, debuting in Action Comics vol.1 No.310), several more chapters of the Lexor-centric Luthor-Superman feud, and assorted adventures and minor inventions like Lana Lang becoming Insect Queen in Superboy vol.1 No.124 and the introduction of the Composite Superman in World’s Finest vol.1 No.142. There are also two alternate universe, evil Supermen – Ultraman of the Crime Syndicate of America in Justice League of America vol.1 No.29 and the Superman of Earth-A in Justice League of America vol.1 No.22. 

A lot happens in those two years, but very little of it changes the Superman landscape all that much. 1966, however, is an explosive year for Superman, even if you only consider what occurs outside of the comics. He stakes claims in two new media – on Broadway, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams present It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Superman (to mixed reviews, I’m sad to say, although I’m a fan), while Superman, Superboy, Krypto and assorted members of the Justice League of America become part of the relatively new Saturday morning cartoon phenomenon for the first time.

Mxyzptlk, Brainiac, Luthor and assorted Bizarros continue to populate the books, but they’re not alone. New villains abound, and the Toyman reappears in the comics for the first time in years (Superman vol.1 No.182). The rookies include some one-shots, like Eterno the Immortal in Action Comics vol.1 No.343 and the Anti-Superman and Anti-Batman in World’s Finest vol.1 No.159. New and recurring villains (some more than others) include the space pirate Amalak, the twentieth-level computer mind Grax (Action Comics vol.1 No.342) and The Parasite in  Action Comics vol.1 No.340. The Legion of Super-Heroes must also contend with one of their more fatal foes, Computo, in Adventure Comics vol.1  No.340.

Along those lines, it’s worth noting that veteran Superman newspaper strip artist Wayne Boring returns to the comic book pages in 1966, and young writer Jim Shooter – only fourteen years old – begins writing Legion of Super-Heroes (promptly introducing Karate Kid, Ferro Lad, Princess Projectra and another evil turncoat Legionnaire in the form of the rather tellingly-named Nemesis Kid in Adventure Comics vol.1 No.346).

A new page from the Wikipedia Galactica as displayed on an Omnicom-9000.

Evan Rachel Wood as Princess Projectra

(I originally had Projectra in a later costume (the red with yellow accents and the very plunging neckline. But I did not like my effort and thought she looked too slutty. So for this post, I updated her with her original costume. It’s still basically a swimsuit with a cape.)

pages 54 & 55 of Legion of Super-Heroes #300 by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt

Legion Of Super-Heroes #300, June 1983,  

Pencils:Carmine Infantino (Supergirl); Paris Cullins (Invisible Kid); George Perez (Colossal Boy); Joe Kubert (Dawnstar); Kurt Schaffenberger (Superboy); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (Sun Boy); Don Heck (White Witch); Jim Aparo (Karate Kid); Jan Duursema (Queen Projectra); Gene Colan (Timber Wolf); Dave Cockrum (Phantom Girl); Walter Simonson (Blok); George Tuska (Star Boy); Jim Sherman (Dream Girl); Howard Chaykin (Brainiac 5); Curt Swan (Ultra Boy); Howard Bender (Wildfire); Keith Giffen (Cosmic Boy, Proty II); Dick Giordano (Saturn Girl); Larry Mahlstedt (Lightning Lad); Gil Kane (Mon-El); Trevor von Eeden (Element Lad); Joe Orlando (Chameleon Boy); Ross Andru (Shadow Lass); Ernie Colon (Duo Damsel); Joe Staton (Bouncing Boy)

Inks:Bob Oksner (Supergirl); Paris Cullins (Invisible Kid); George Perez (Colossal Boy); Joe Kubert (Dawnstar); Kurt Schaffenberger (Superboy); Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (Sun Boy); Don Heck (White Witch); Jim Aparo (Karate Kid); Jan Duursema (Queen Projectra); Frank Giacoia (Timber Wolf); Dave Cockrum (Phantom Girl); Walter Simonson (Blok); Mike DeCarlo (Star Boy); Jim Sherman (Dream Girl); Howard Chaykin (Brainiac 5); Curt Swan (Ultra Boy); Dave Hunt (Wildfire); Larry Mahlstedt (Cosmic Boy); Dick Giordano (Saturn Girl); Keith Giffen (Lightning Lad); Gil Kane (Mon-El); Trevor von Eeden (Element Lad); Joe Orlando (Chameleon Boy); Dan Adkins (Proty II); Romeo Tanghal (Shadow Lass); Ernie Colon (Duo Damsel); Joe Staton (Bouncing Boy)