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June 04, 2008

Comments

meng

Great issue!

i always remember the panels with Superman eating the now inert Kryptonite as a (slightly bland) snack.

i recently read Neal Adams' comments that he wasn't as jazzed about the cover as many of us are. he didnt think the pose/angle was as dynamic as it could have been and the way the chains were breaking was unrealistic.

which he seemed to address in his third take on the cover, Action 485, which reprinted the story and where i first read it:

http://www.supermanhomepage.com/images/breaking-chains/action485-tb.html

those "power" lines from the original do really add something to it, though.

btw, here's the second take:
http://www.supermanhomepage.com/images/breaking-chains/sup-record-tb.html

Mark Engblom

"i recently read Neal Adams' comments that he wasn't as jazzed about the cover as many of us are. he didnt think the pose/angle was as dynamic as it could have been and the way the chains were breaking was unrealistic."

Yeah, because we ALL know what chains breaking from around an expanding chest is supposed to look like.

You know, God bless Neal Adams, but I've always liked his art far more than his attitude. I can rarely get through an Adams interview without generous amounts of eye-rolling.

Paul McCall

Nah, I like his one better than #485. I can still recall buying that issue when I was in high school. The local main street book store in Florence, AL had started carrying comics on a spinner rack and that was the first comic (perhaps the only comic) I bought there. My usual comic outlet was a large drugstore a couple of blocks away from main street that displayed the comics on a large wooden rack with the magazines. (It helped that there was a broken parking meter there where I could park free!)

Thomas Aylesworth

This was absolutely my favorite era of Superman. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the "everyone loves the comics that came out when they were 10" rule, but I still love going back and reading my 1970s Superman and Action Comics. I didn't start collecting until later in the 70s so I've only read this one as a trade. But that entire period was a lot of fun. WGBH, Morgan Edge, Steve Lombard, and the return of Lana Lang. Great stuff!

Brian

Denny O'Neil's Superman was pretty interesting, wasn't it? It sometimes gets overlooked in his interviews, when everyone wants to talk about Batman (and understandably so), but I think the Supes stuff is way underrated.

Mark Engblom

"Denny O'Neil's Superman was pretty interesting, wasn't it?"

I think because O'Neil wasn't coming to the character with much enthusiasm (he's written it wasn't exactly his dream assignment), he was able to explore some different areas others might not have thought of...and I liked that aspect of his run. However, some of it really lost me (like the I-Ching stuff, Billy Anders and his magic Lynx, and how he seemed to plant the seeds for the "Whiney Superman" we've seen so much of in modern times)...so on balance, O'Neil's run is kind of a wash for me.

Dan McFan

This cover is like vanilla ice cream, nothing special, just plain old Supe breaking out of some chains with a look on his face that says "Whats for dinner, honey?". No clenched teeth, no Tiger Woods-like yell, no soul, you know? Adams was good penciling action scenes but his drawings don't convey emotion very well.

DC may have been trying not to look like DC but, like vanilla ice cream, its always going to be pretty much same old same old.

Scott Edelman

While I agree that Superman #233 was a great cover, I think that the cover Adams will be most remembered for is instead Green Lantern #76.

Brian

I think because O'Neil wasn't coming to the character with much enthusiasm (he's written it wasn't exactly his dream assignment), he was able to explore some different areas others might not have thought of...and I liked that aspect of his run. However, some of it really lost me (like the I-Ching stuff, Billy Anders and his magic Lynx, and how he seemed to plant the seeds for the "Whiney Superman" we've seen so much of in modern times)...so on balance, O'Neil's run is kind of a wash for me.

Fair enough-- you know a lot more about superman than I, so your take on his run is probably better contextualized. But I do think- -even if it's not the classic batman or question material-- that you're right to note the advantages an "outsider" (i.e., someone not super-fannish about the character) can bring to the book: he/she can almost act as an editor without the emotional investments a more obsessive writer brings to a book (there are definite advantages to each approach), and I do think that O'Neil is sometimes underrated in comics histories-- I don't love all of his stuff, and I can see flaws in even the stuff I do love, but as a writer, editor, and teacher, he was an important influence on that 70s/80s generation of artists and writers, and I have a lot of affection for his stuff.

I was really taken with your take on his work, and I think the equivalent for me (in terms of being a big fan of a character, and having mixed feelings about a writer's work on it) is O'Neil's run on Iron Man, which I blogged about a bit here (shameless Stan Lee-like plug (:).

Mark Engblom

Wow! What a well-written take on Denny O'Neil, Brian! I can never get over how much better comics journalism is out here in Blog Land than it is on the so-called "official" sites or (formerly) the magazines.

Great work!

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