Friday, October 3, 2008

Superman The Comic #5/Superman The Comic #1 Volume 2

There are a number of K.G. Murray issues circa 1980 which I and other collectors believe may not exist. I have previously discussed some of them such as Supergirl #37, Adventure Comics #5 and Super Heroes Album #18*. I think we should now add Superman the Comic #5 to this list.

There are two series of Superman the Comic. The first series began with an unnumbered issue circa December 1978 published at the time of Superman: The Movie. Over the next few years a few more issues with the same title were issued:

Superman The Comic NN/#1 $1.00 1978**
Superman The Comic #2 75c 1979
Superman The Comic #3 80c 1979
Superman The Comic #4 90c 1980
Superman The Comic #5 ?
Superman The Comic #6 95c 1981

I believe the dates are reasonably accurate approximations based on the cover price, page count and contents. And for the sake of the exercise, I’ll designate these issues Volume 1.

Volume 2 of Superman the Comic resulted in the following two issues:

Superman The Comic #1 $1.25 1980
Superman The Comic #2 99c 1982

Again, I believe the dates to be reasonably accurate based on the cover price, page count and contents.

Superman The Comic #1 Volume 2 was also intended to piggyback on the box office success of Superman II, and this is where I think the hiccup in the numbering of Superman The Comic Volume 1 occurs. Superman The Comic #1 Volume 2 is the 5th issue of Superman The Comic. As a Special 128 Page issue at a premium price, it reflects the first unnumbered Superman The Comic issue from 1978, so it would appear the folk at Murray’s decided to designate this as a #1 too.

Then, as they play catch-up, things go a bit haywire again. The 6th issue of Superman The Comic is published in orderly fashion after the 5th (Superman The Comic #1 Volume 2), but when the time comes for the 7th issue, the numbering begins again from Superman The Comic #1 Volume 2, hence Superman The Comic #2 Volume 2.

At least that’s the way it looks to me. I’d love to be proven wrong and to actually find there is a Superman The Comic #5. But I doubt that will happen.

I mentioned above all these possibly/likely missing issues are circa 1980. This appears to be a period of flux in the Murray offices. For example, after a long period of relative stability, new cover logos start to appear only to be succeeded by new variations shortly afterwards, cover prices and page counts begin to vary in a relatively short period of time, titles and series morph and move in new directions… One can only really guess it would most likely be due editorial/personnel changes.

*Super Action Album #18 is another issue on my radar which may be missing from the same period - pending further examination.
**I note that the contents indexed for this issue seem to have some 1979 DC content, which may or may not knock the actual published date for Superman The Comic #1 Volume 1 out a tad… The copy I have to hand does not appear to include the competition details, which would help to confirm the date... regardless, this is just a distraction from the main point, it does not really impinge on the argument or timeline presented re: Superman The Comic #5.


Anonymous said...

It's always nice to be remembered -- hee, hee, hee. I recall indexing that baby. I'm grateful James Zanotto did some great editing regarding the text articles that I inputted. Cheers to him for such an excellent resource on his Australian DC Index site.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to accept that theory. For some reason I put dates in my database that were inconsistent with my series v1 and v2 theory, without noticing that the two volumes didn't fit. Should I rework this into one series on the website???

Anonymous said...

I also have the first Superman nn, and can confirm that the competition closed on The competition closes on 31 January 1979.

spiros xenos said...

James, thanks for confirming the competition date. This affirms a c.December 1978 on sale date.

As for reworking it into one series, it works quite well if you do… apart from the “2” stamped on the ‘7’th issue… I’ve just checked your database and you’ve already implemented the alteration - looks good!

Now we just need a #5 to turn up and make us go back to square one…


spiros xenos said...

Oh, and just discovered that the cover for the first unnumbered Superman the Comic is adapted from the U.S cover to Superman #326, August 1978.

Michael Mead said...

I'd agree with all the comments. I collected both series when they came out and I have no Superman the Comic #5 or Super Heroes #18. Kinda frustrating but that's KG Murray for you.

Has James or Spiros or someone else tracked down a former KG Murray employee to ask about this stuff? What about Richard Rae who did that Aquaman cover, organised the first Aussie comic covention etc?