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March 05, 2008

Comments

stephen

wow that's cool. do you think he read superman comics regularly or just picked up the comic cause his uncle was in it?

Mark Engblom

Well, for sure because his uncle was in it....but part of me hopes that he was also a genuine Superman reader at the time (like so many kids his age were). As bizarre as things could get in the Kennedy clan, it's nice to at least imagine one of the younger ones enjoying the relatively normal pleasures of a Superman comic book.

Pat Curley

Don't know if you've covered the story of Action #309, which I wrote about ages ago, and which contains the story where Superman reveals his secret identity to JFK so that JFK can impersonate him as Clark Kent in a situation where both Supes and Clark are to be present. As it happens, that was a swipe from an earlier Green Arrow story where Roy Harper gets David Eisenhower to imitate him as Speedy so that Roy can appear for an award he won in his everyday identity. But the disaster for DC was that Action #309 actually came out about a month after the assassination in Dallas.

http://sacomics.blogspot.com/2006/02/worst-swipe-ever.html

Mark Engblom

"But the disaster for DC was that Action #309 actually came out about a month after the assassination in Dallas.

REALLY? Geez, I knew Action #309 was close to the assassination, but I hadn't realized it came out a month after. That's so nutty, because DC went out of their way to yank the fitness program story (which portrayed Kennedy in a very tasteful and dignified light), yet they kept the story showing Kennedy involved in a zany super identity scheme of Superman's?

Man....that was a mindblowingly stupid decision to make on DC's part. I wonder if the Kennedy family was ever even aware of it...I can't imagine DC was too eager to show it to them ("Well, and here you see the late President Kennedy impersonating Clark Kent 'cuz...heh-heh....he's helping Superman, you see. Heh.").

Thanks for the info, Pat!

Pat Curley

Yeah, I think the book came out just before Christmas 1963, and back then DC had something of a tradition where anybody discovering the hero's identity either died at the end of the story or lost their memory, so there were folks wondering if they had taken advantage of the killing to work one of those stories in.

Of course, they hadn't; the story was already at the printers (or so they claimed) and they couldn't pull it. They also claimed that the issue became a collector's item that sold out, resulting in a request from retailers that they do a second printing which they were of course too noble to accept.

I wouldn't be too harsh on them, though; they apparently did have a good relationship with the White House back then, and there were several other Kennedy stories before this. It was just their bad luck.

An oddity: In 1969 my parents went to Mexico and brought me back a couple of then-current Mexican comics. Supercomic was apparently reprinting issues of Action in order, and the issue they bought me was #309, with, sure enough, JFK subbing for Clark. I imagine that caused even more consternation for the Mexican kids than it had years earlier for the US fans.

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