Thursday, August 31, 2017

Episode #270 Part II: Superman Family Comic Book Cover Dated June 1964: World's Finest Comics #142!

World's Finest Comics 142, June 1964!

Download Episode 370 Part II!

WORLD'S FINEST COMICS 142, June 1964, was published on April 30, 1964. It contained 32 pages for the cover price of 12¢. Mort Weisinger was the editor, and the cover was pencilled by Curt Swan, inked by George Klein and lettered by Ira Schnapp.

- (12:32) THE COMPOSITE SUPERMAN (18 pgs.), written by Edmond Hamilton, pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by George Klein, according to Mike's Amazing World Of DC Comics. The Grand Comic Book Database and Comic Book credit George Klein as the inker on the nine page Part I, and Sheldon Moldoff as the inker for Part II. This story was also reprinted in WORLD'S FINEST COMICS 223, May/June 1974, published on February 19, 1974. It contained 100 pages for the cover price of 60¢, and had  a circulation of 246, 871. This story was also reprinted in DC SPECIAL SERIES 23, February 1981, published on November 25, 1980. It contained 64 pages for the cover price of 75¢. This story was also reprinted in SUPERMAN/BATMAN: THE GREATEST STORIES EVER TOLD and SHOWCASE PRESENTS: WORLD'S FINEST vol. II.

- (46:01) FLAME DRAGON FROM KRYPTON, written by Jerry Siegel, pencilled by Wayne Boring and inked by Stan Kaye. This story was originally published in SUPERMAN 142, January 1961, published on November 3, 1960. At the time of original publication, it was Siegel's 20th silver age Superman story, and his 51st overall for the era. This story was also reprinted in SHOWCASE PRESENTS: SUPERMAN vol. II. We originally covered this story during Episode 232 for the week of July 4, 2012.

Also highlighted in this episode are the issue's ads and other features.

Elsewhere in DC Comics, 31 titles carried the June or June/July 1964 cover date, according to Mike's Amazing World Of DC Comics.

Next Episode, now that we've caught up the Superman Family titles to the Man Of Steel's titles of SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS: SUPERMAN TITLES COVER DATED JULY 1964: PART I: SUPERMAN 170, PART II: SUPERMAN'S GIRL FRIEND LOIS LANE 50, PART III: ACTION COMICS 314 & PART IV: SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN 78!

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  1. I have vivid memories of reading this issue when I was a boy, and I love the story of the Composite Superman, even to this day. With all his powers, he was more than a match for the World's Finest team, and would probably have defeated them if those powers hadn't faded away. He seemed, sadly, to be very under-used in the Silver Age, and I wish he'd made more appearances back then.
    There are some odd things in the story, though. Fore example, why did Superman try to use his X-Ray vision to see through the villain's Batman cowl? Even with green skin, his face is three-quarters exposed, and the likelihood would seem to be that it would be a green Bruce Wayne under there. Also, why would the cowl be lead-lined? I assume that it was part of his Chameleon Boy power, not an actual mask. This also brings me to a long-standing question I've had about this story. I don't recall that Composite Superman ever reveals to the heroes that his powers come from the Legion of Super-Heroes, so how do they know this? (At one point, Superman suggests that Composite Superman has used Element Lad's powers to make his diamond throne.) Despite these questions, I think I'd give this story a higher grade than you did, if only for the enormous threat of the villain.
    I also have a question from "The Flame-Dragon From Krypton!" story. When the dragon's flames burned off Clark Kent's clothes, why didn't the (presumably) SUPER dragon's flames burn Superman. If a dragon breathed flames on an ordinary human, the human would likely be severely burned, at the very least, so why wouldn't Superman be similarly burned by a Kryptonian dragon?
    I'm glad you're now "caught up" to the Superman and Action titles, so you can get back to the regular cycle through all the Superman family of titles.

    1. I looked at the story again, and in the first panel of page 2, when Composite Superman first appears, Superman refers to him as "a one man Legion", after mentioning his use of Lightning Lad's, Invisible Kid's and Chameleon Boy's powers. That's why I found it odd that the Man of Steel and Batman didn't consider the possibility that maybe he had more, if not all, of the Legionnaires' powers. As to your final question, Superman being vulnerable to Kryptonian fire might be the same as the Man of Steel being hit by another Kryptonian's heat vision.