Friday, October 19, 2007

Superman Supacomic #97: Giant Superman Super Library

Superman Supacomic typically featured covers sourced from the Superman family of books – predominantly Superman and Action Comics, and with a hefty contribution from World’s Finest Comics in the 1960’s. A couple of early issues (#’s 2 and 5) featured covers from Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane, which were usually reserved for Super Adventure Comic.

There were two prominent exceptions to the Superman family rule: #1 was an original Australian anthology-style cover; and #10 opted for a Batman and Robin cover from an issue of Detective Comics. Of course at this stage Superman Supacomic was the main forum for Batman and Detective Comics stories, but it is still anomalous in terms of a Superman Supacomic cover (and I don’t know what is on the cover of Superman Supacomic #7, so any of these exceptions could prove to be slightly less exceptional…)

Yet one of the most curious Supacomic covers is for issue #97. The lead story is “The Prisoner of DEMON!” from Superman #191, November 1966, but instead of printing the cover from that issue, the K.G. Murray editors decided to run with a copy of the splash page from the story!

Why did they do this? Maybe the original cover was earmarked for other duties, for example, as a Colossal Comic cover. Maybe they thought the splash was more user-friendly for the Superman Supacomic masthead. Maybe the US cover was lost or damaged. Maybe they just preferred a cover which included Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.

Or maybe this story was being prepared for an issue of Superman Super Library, and reallocated at the last minute. The covers for Superman Super Library typically featured the splash page of the story for cover duties. They generally reprinted 1950s stories – I tend to associate the Super Library’s with Wayne Boring splash page covers – but contemporary reprints were not unheard of. I do know that every time I see this issue it looks to me like what a Giant Superman Super Library issue would look like.

Who knows?! As usual, we can only speculate.

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