Adventure Comics


Adventure Comics
Adventure Comics
Adventure296.png
Cover of Adventure Comics #296. Art by Curt Swan.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Format (vol. 1)
Standard (#32–490, #504–present)
Digest (#491–503)
Publication date (vol. 1)
1938 – September 1983
(vol. 2)
October 2009 – August 2010
(vol. 1 cont.)
September 2010 – August 2011
Number of issues (vol. 1): 529
(vol. 2): 13
(vol. 1 cont.): 14
Main character(s) Legion of Super-Heroes
Superboy
Supergirl
The Spectre
Aquaman
Creative team
Writer(s) (vol. 1)
Mike Sekowsky, Len Wein, John Albano, Michael Fleisher, Cary Bates, Paul Kupperberg, Paul Levitz
(vol. 2)
Sterling Gates
Penciller(s) (vol. 1)
Al Plastino, Curt Swan, Win Mortimer, Mike Sekowsky, Gray Morrow, Tony DeZuniga, Mike Grell, Jim Aparo, Don Newton, José Luis García-López, Don Heck, Carmine Infantino, Steve Ditko
(vol. 2)
Francis Manapul, Travis Moore
(vol. 1 cont.)
Mahmud Asrar, Phil Jimenez
Inker(s) (vol. 1)
Jack Abel, Bob Oksner, Dick Giordano, Romeo Tanghal, Andy Lanning

Adventure Comics was a comic book series published by DC Comics from 1935 to 1983 and then revamped from 2009 to 2011. In its first era, the series ran for 503 issues (472 of those after the title changed from New Adventure Comics), making it the fifth-longest-running DC series, behind Detective Comics, Action Comics, Superman, and Batman. It was revived in 2009 by writer Geoff Johns with the Conner Kent incarnation of Superboy headlining the title's main feature, and the Legion of Super-Heroes in the back-up story.[1] It returned to its original numbering with #516 (September, 2010). The series finally ended with #529 (August, 2011).

Contents

Publication history

Adventure Comics began its nearly 50-year run in 1935 under the title New Comics, which was only the second comic book series published by National Allied Publications, now DC Comics. The series was retitled New Adventure Comics with its 12th issue in January 1937. Issue 32 saw the title changed again to Adventure Comics, which would remain the book's name for the duration of its existence.

Originally a humor series, it evolved into a serious adventure series. In addition, the series' focus gradually shifted to superhero stories starting with the debut of The Sandman in issue #40. Other superheroes who appeared in the early days of Adventure included Hourman (beginning with issue #48), Starman (beginning with #61), and Joe Simon & Jack Kirby's Manhunter (replacing a similarly named business-suited investigator beginning with #73).

New Comics#1 (Dec. 1935). Cover art by Vin Sullivan.

A pivotal issue of the series was #103, when Superboy, Green Arrow, Johnny Quick and Aquaman moved from More Fun Comics (which was being converted to a humor format) to Adventure. Starman's and Sandman's series were canceled to make room for the new features, while one other, Genius Jones, moved to the comic the new arrivals had just vacated. Superboy became the star of the book, and would appear on each cover into 1969 (counting Superman on the covers of issues #354–355). Superboy's popularity in Adventure resulted in the character receiving his own title in 1949, when superhero titles in general were losing popularity.

In issue #247 (April 1958), Superboy met the Legion of Super-Heroes, a team of super-powered teens from the future. The group became popular, and would replace Tales of the Bizarro World as the Adventure backup feature with #300, and soon be promoted to its lead, lasting until issue #381 (June 1969). At this time, Supergirl migrated from the backup slot in Action Comics to the starring feature in Adventure. To this day, however, the title is most closely associated with the Legion.

As of #425 (December 1972), the book's theme changed from superhero adventure to fantasy/supernatural adventure. That issue debuted one new feature along with three non-series stories, the pirate saga "Captain Fear". The next edition added a semi-anthology series, "The Adventurers' Club". Soon, editor Joe Orlando was trying out horror-tinged costumed heroes, first Black Orchid, then the Spectre. Before long, though, conventional superheroes returned to the book, beginning behind the Spectre, first a three-issue run of Aquaman (issues #435–437, an early assignment for Mike Grell) and then a newly drawn 1940s Seven Soldiers of Victory script (issues #438–443). Aquaman was promoted to lead (issues #441-452), and backing him up were three-part story arcs featuring the Creeper (#445–447), the Martian Manhunter (#449–451), bracketed by issue-length Aquaman leads. He was awarded his own title and Superboy (#453-458) took over Adventure with Aqualad (#453–455) and Eclipso (#457–458) backups. Following this was a post-DC Implosion run as a giant-sized book (issues #459-466), including such features as the resolution of the recently[when?] cancelled Return of the New Gods, Deadman, and Justice Society of America.

The standard format returned (issues #467–478), split between a new Starman named Prince Gavyn and Plastic Man. With an increase in the story-and-art page count, the last four issues also included one more run of Aquaman. All three were dropped simultaneously (Aquaman moved to Action Comics and Plas to Super Friends, while Starman's storyline was resolved in DC Comics Presents #36) to make way for a completely new version of an old feature, "Dial H for Hero" (issues #479-490). Issue #490 (February 1982) saw the comic's cancellation (its feature moving to New Adventures of Superboy as of its #28), but the title itself was soon rescued. As of the September issue it was revived as a digest-sized comic. This format lasted from issues #491-503, with most stories during this period being reprints (featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes, from the beginning and in chronological order, and others), and with new stories featuring the Marvel Family (a two-parter left over from the recent reduction of World's Finest Comics from the same giant format Adventure had long since dropped) and the Challengers of the Unknown (a new five-issue retelling of their origin). The long-running title was discontinued for good with the September 1983 issue.

80-Page Giant

An Adventure Comics 80-Page Giant was released in 1998.

Justice Society Returns

DC published an Adventure Comics #1 as part of the company's Justice Society Returns event in 1999.

Adventure Comics Special featuring the Guardian

As part of the 2008 "Superman: New Krypton" story arc, a special issue of Adventure Comics was published, titled Adventure Comics Special featuring the Guardian #1 (cover dated January 2009). Jimmy Olsen continues to delve into the mystery surrounding the American government's safeguards against the new Kryptonian population.

Revival

Variant incentive cover to Adventure Comics #504/vol. 2, #1. Art by Francis Manapul.

The five-issue mini-series Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds led into an all-new volume of Adventure Comics, featuring the revived Conner Kent/Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes. The main creative team of Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul debuted in a backup story in February's Adventure Comics #0.[2] A secondary feature starring the Legion of Super-Heroes was co-written with Mike Shoemaker and drawn by Clayton Henry. The first issue of the new run of Adventure Comics was released on August 12, 2009, and features watermarked numbering marking it as both #1 and #504, thus continuing the original numeration of the series concurrently with the volume 2 numeration (for the variant incentive cover editions, the original numeration was dominant on the cover while the vol. 2 numeration was the watermarked numbering marking). The indicia of the comic book also reflects this dual numbering. The title officially returned to its original vol. 1 numbering in July 2010 (cover dated Sept. 2010) with #516, until #529 when it was finally ended.

Main feature

Superboy: The Boy of Steel (former)

The revived ongoing title Adventure Comics features Conner as the headlining character for the first six issues in the story arc entitled, "Superboy: The Boy of Steel." The arc begins as Conner settles back into his life in Smallville, Kansas. Returning to live with Martha Kent, who is thrilled to take the young boy in after her husband's death, Conner returns to Smallville High School and begins keeping a journal of everything Superman has done as a costumed hero, going down a checklist titled, "What Did Superman Do?" He and the also recently-returned Bart Allen supposedly rejoin the Teen Titans, and Conner symbolizes the team being "stacked" again by destroying his memorial statue outside of Titans Tower West.

After visiting Lex Luthor's childhood home in Smallville, Superman arrives and talks to Conner about his desire to understand his "other father". Superman tells Conner not to worry about Luthor, saying that the madman is a problem for the Man of Steel. Conner remarks that the next time he sees Lex Luthor will be, "too soon".

In his attempt to confront his shared legacy, Conner accepts a date with Wonder Girl. Conflicted between opening his heart to his girlfriend (thus "Telling the truth" as Superman always did in his life), and deliberately lying to avoid touching delicate subjects with Cassie (thus "Lying" as Luthor would do), ultimately Conner chooses to share with Cassie his fears and desires, and his desire to find himself by exploring both his legacies, but only to find his real self. Cassie is obviously touched, and despite her initial doubts, mostly out fear that in his desire to be more like the Man of Steel eventually Conner could discard her as Clark Kent did with Lana Lang, feels compelled to admit her brief bond with Tim Drake. Conner quickly forgives her, arguing that, since he was dead and Cassie had no means to know about his future resurrection, her liaison with Robin cannot be considered a true affair. As they share a reconciliation kiss, Martha Kent stares at them, remembering about her past with Johnathan and Clark.[3]

Soon after his date, Conner returns to his search for Lex Luthor, with the aid of Krypto. Unfortunately, neither Conner nor Krypto can find Luthor on their own, so they instead track down a detective to help him: Tim Drake. Now going by the identity of Red Robin (the Robin identity was taken away from Tim by Dick Grayson and turned over to Damian Wayne), Superboy finds him in Paris, where Tim is continuing his search for Bruce Wayne, who is believed to be dead following the events of the Final Crisis. Agreeing to help, Tim and Conner rekindle their friendship, as Tim admits to all the pain he has suffered over the last two years, and both boys discuss their private mission. Conner offers Tim the first bit of true support, by replying "I believe you," when Tim states firmly that Bruce is still alive.[4]

On his way back from France, Conner encounters a girl named Lori, whom he earlier saved, in the middle of vandalising a local practice. Conner takes her home, learning that the doctor had refused to help her ailing mother due to her lack of medical insurance. Someone then knocks on the door. Conner answers it, revealing the caller to be Lex Luthor, whom Lori calls "uncle", who incapacitates Conner with Kryptonite.[5]

Lori's mother Lena, Luthor's sister, comes down the stairs, revealed to be mentally and physically unwell. Conner reminds Luthor of his boast that he could cure all diseases if Superman wasn't in his way. Telling him that Superman is now on New Krypton, Conner challenges Luthor to cure Lena. Luthor agrees, but demands Conner's help, threatening Lori's life. Conner collects the ingredient Luthor needs to make a cure for Lena's condition, which is then administered to her, restoring her to full health. Lex then undoes his cure, vowing that it will stay with him until "Superman is dead". In a rage, Conner attacks Luthor, but is staved off by Brainiac, who teleports Luthor back to his ship. Conner realises that there is no good in Luthor after all, and decides to not be like Luthor or Clark but pursues his own path in life, burning his checklists in a fire.[6]

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes

After the Johns and Manupal run, writer Paul Levitz took over the book. It was renumbered with its previous numbering and highlighted Clark Kent's years as Superboy as well as the Legion of Super-Heroes' past. Starting with issue #523, the Legion Academy, by Levitz and Phil Jimenez, will take over the book.

Second feature

Long Live the Legion (former)

After recounting the history of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Starman converses with a pigeon in mid-flight while having a soda and cheeseburger. While asking the pigeon if it would like to join the Legion, Starman crashes into a sign of a local Smallville bowling alley. Picking up a ball and not feeling it to be heavy enough, he uses his powers to "weigh as much as a time sphere full of inertron." The ball is then flung through the back of the alley and into the windshield of a parked car. Then Starman exclaims, "Touchdown."[1]

Atom

Following this was the one-shot Brightest Day: Atom, written by Jeff Lemire with art by Mahmud Asrar. The same team was to create a ten-part, ten-page "Atom" co-feature in Adventure Comics, but DC ended all their second features and reduced their titles to twenty pages of story. Issue #521 was the last issue to feature the Atom.[7]

Collected editions

Various stories have been collected into trade paperbacks and hardcovers.

Awards

The series has won several awards for itself and its creators over the years, including the Shazam Award for Best Pencil Artist (Humor Division) for Bob Oksner for his work on Adventure Comics and other DC comics in 1970.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Johns, Geoff (w). Adventure Comics v2, 1 (August 2009), DC Comics
  2. ^ "DiDio Confirms Adventure Comics Return". Newsarama. November 17, 2008. http://www.newsarama.com/comics/110817-AdventureComics.html. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  3. ^ Adventure Comics vol. 2, #2 (September 2009)
  4. ^ Adventure Comics vol. 2, #3 (October 2009)
  5. ^ Adventure Comics vol. 2, #5 (December 2009)
  6. ^ Adventure Comics vol. 2, #6 (January 2010)
  7. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (April 13, 2010). "Lemire Embiggens Ray Palmer". Comic Book Resources. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=25682. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 

External links


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