Friday, September 7, 2007

Superman # 8

Superman #8, 1984
Cover artists: Ross Andru and Dick Giordano

Superman: A Mind-Switch In Time!
Cary Bates/Curt Swan/Dave Hunt
(Superman #380, February 1983)

Superboy: The Day That Lasted Forever!
Paul Kupperberg/Kurt Schaffenberger
(The New Adventures of Superboy #38, February 1983)

Superman: Whose Super-Life Is It Anyway?
Cary Bates/Curt Swan/Dave Hunt
(Superman #381, March 1983)

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane: Who Murdered Me?
Tamsyn O'Flynn/Bob Oksner
(The Superman Family #222, September 1982)

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen: Caution: Physical Fitness can be Hazardous to Your Health!
Martin Pasko/Jose Delbo/Joe Giella
(The Superman Family #214, January 1982)

This is an example of how K.G. Murray would often ‘get it right’.

The first three stories are related – the plot of the first story involves a mind-switch between Superman and Superboy. The story continues in the following issue of Superman, but also spins off into a crossover with the Superboy series in which we see the mind-switch from the perspective of Superboy. By rights this Superboy story should have been scheduled for an issue of The New Adventures of Superboy, but by including it in this issue of Superman in between the two Superman chapters, the K.G. Murray editors presented the story in the order in which the US readers would have read the saga a year earlier.

It’s true that by the 1980’s continuing story arcs were being routinely presented in single issue form in the Australian editions, but including a crossover issue in an ongoing story arc was going beyond the call of duty. Not a bad compensatory move given the delayed presentation of the material!

And the final two back-up features are appropriate too – short self-contained Superman-related features culled from the back pages of a US Superman anthology series. (Now I can’t honestly say the art team of Jose Delbo and Joe Giella ever got my heart racing, but hey – it’s just a side dish after a good hearty meal. And as a friend of mine said last time I used that metaphor: “Nothing a good burp wouldn’t fix!”)

I’ll also just add that whilst I wouldn’t class this issue - nor this series for that matter - as especially scarce or sought after, it would still be quite a challenge to try and put together a full run of all 20 issues from scratch. Some of these 1980’s issues can appear to be quite common and readily available through the usual channels, but in reality can be infuriatingly and stubbornly elusive when actively sought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When you sent me the scan of this cover for the AusReprints site, I saw the note about the Superboy cross-over in the GCD and thought "wouldn't it be neat if the cross-over was included..." And there it is.

My sense of the availability of this series--and other 80s series-- is that there are large quantities of some issues and very few of others. It creates the impression there are a lot of them around, but may not be completely true.