From 1976 till 1978, DC and its sister company Warner Books issued calendars starring various super-heroes and super-villains. They featured artwork by many of the top names in the business at the time and contained all sorts of interesting information.
Beginning the series, the SUPER DC CALENDAR for 1976 sported “posed” shots of various characters, almost all by the team of Neal Adams and Dick Giordano.
The daily boxes were filled mostly with the birthdays of DC characters, as established by E. Nelson Bridwell. February 19, for example, is the birthday of Bruce Wayne. With only a few exceptions (like Kal-El’s birthday being February 29th, which was established in a story), Nelson’s choice of dates seemed to be arbitrary. Each birthday was illustrated with a shot of the character involved culled from inventory art.
Such important events in DC history as the deaths of John and Mary Grayson (July 15), Luthor’s first attempt to kill Superboy (May 12) and the day Billy Batson first became Captain Marvel (November 8) are interspersed through the calendar as well.
Nelson also included a variety of genuine historical dates as well – national holidays were recognized, along with more obscure ones like Four Chaplains Memorial Day (February 3), American Indian Day (September 24), Elizabeth Cady Stanton Day (November 12) and Bill of Rights Day (December 15).
What I always found amusing, and defying all probability, was that no two DC characters shared the same birthday, nor were any born on holidays or days when other important DCU events occurred.
The line-up of pin-up art was as follows:
JANUARY: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes
MARCH: The Flash
APRIL: The DC Super-Villains (Gorilla Grodd, Captain Cold, Ra’s al Ghul and Talia, Dr. Sivana, The Penguin, The Joker, Lex Luthor, Mirror Master, Pied Piper, Mr. Element, Catwoman, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Scarecrow, The Riddler, and Abra Kadabra)
MAY: Green Lantern and Green Arrow
JULY: The Justice League of America
AUGUST: Billy Batson and Captain Marvel
SEPTEMBER: DC Heroines (Black Canary, Mary Marvel, Supergirl, Lois Lane, Hawkgirl) – art by Giordano alone
OCTOBER: Wonder Woman – art by Giordano alone
NOVEMBER: Batman and Robin
DECEMBER: Superman in a Santa Claus hat with kids
The 1977 SUPER DC CALENDAR features “Super-Heroes vs. Super-Villains in the year’s most monumental battles.” Its front cover, by Adams and Giordano, depicts Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel going into battle at the Statue of Liberty against Grodd, The Joker, Dr. Sivana, Abra Kadabra, Solomon Grundy, Lex Luthor and the Cheetah. Each interior spread is devoted to heroes and villains battling at some kind of famous monument, along with head shots of other foes of the particular hero. The day-by-day boxes feature text and art about related events in the hero’s life, citing issues in which they occurred., as well as factual info about the particular site of the battle.
Again, all the text is by Nelson Bridwell and supporting illustrations are from past issues.
The pin-up line-up:
JANUARY: Wonder Woman versus The Cheetah as the ball drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. (Art by Jose Delbo and Vince Colletta)
FEBRUARY: Batman and Robin battle The Joker at Mount Rushmore. (Ernie Chua and Frank Giacoia)
MARCH: Green Lantern kayos Sinestro at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. (Jose Luis Garcia Lopez)
APRIL: Plastic Man versus The Snuffer at the Eiffel Tower. (Ramona Fradon and Bob Smith)
MAY: Superman battles Lex Luthor above the Washington Monument. (Curt Swan and Bob Oksner)
JUNE: Aquaman, Mera and Aqualad fight Black Manta at Niagara Falls. (Jim Aparo)
CENTERSPREAD: Superboy, Karate Kid, Colossal Boy, Night Girl, and Wildfire battle the Fatal Five at the 30th century Statue of Liberty, which a la Kamandi and “Planet of the Apes” is half-embedded in the ground. (Mike Grell)
JULY: Hawkman and Hawkgirl versus the Gentleman Ghost at London’s Big Ben. (Joe Kubert)
AUGUST: The Justice Society – Flash, Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Power Girl, Star Spangled Kid, Wildcat and Doctor Mid-Nite charge Solomon Grundy near the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Egypt (Wally Wood)
SEPTEMBER: Flash versus Gorilla Grodd atop the Empire State Building. (Irv Novick)
OCTOBER: Deadman and the Spectre versus one of the statues at Easter Island. (Neal Adams)
NOVEMBER: The Teen Titans – Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy, and Mal as the Guardian take on The Ant at the Roman Colosseum. (Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin)
DECEMBER: Captain Marvel battles Dr. Sivana at the Acropolis. (Kurt Schaffenberger).
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ
This is the first of a four-part set of questions…
1. Right next door to Dennis Mitchell lives who; full name please.
2. Edgar Rice Burroughs sent what adventurer to Barsoom?
3. Shots rang out in Crime Alley and who fell victim to Joe Chill?
4. If the Planet’s cub reporter were pulled over, what name would be on his driver’s license?
5. Dark Horse published “Serpent’s Tooth” and “Shattered Helix” starring what character?
6. Iron Man and Cap were never Avengers with Mrs. Peel; who was?
7. Name the alter-ego of Pureheart the Powerful.
8. Gleeful adventures of Captain Klutz were the brainchild of what Mad-man?
9. “A cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Heigh-o, Silver!’” meant what music was about to be heard?
10. Tell me the name of the high school student who was bombarded by cosmic rays and burst into flames.
11. Skating on thin air was one of the tricks of what Flash-foe? (Name and alias, please.)
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. Based on the 1990 world population, an estimated 377 million people speak English as their first language.
2. The five most common spoken words in the English language are “the,” “and,” “I,” “to,” and “of.”
3. The five most common written words in the English language are “the,” “of,” “to,” “in,” and “and.” (“I” does not even make the top 20 in this list.)
TO THE EMAILBOX…
For several months, I’ve been writing up little bios on various DC characters on the BATMAN DC Message Board. My latest request was for the Calculator and, as I was sitting here starting to write it, I remembered the 1978 DC Calendar. I’ve never succeeded in getting a copy (the last time I saw it on eBay, it went for over $50.00) but I figured that, as the writer, you’d be able to confirm whether or not he appeared on one of the pages (and, if so, who he fought).
John Wells [[email protected]]
Wow! Fifty dollars for the calendar, which sold for only $4.95 back in ’78? I should have gotten more copies at the time!
The 1978 CALENDAR OF SUPER-SPECTACULAR DISASTERS had as its premise a story that would last the entire year. A mysterious villain plans “the total destruction of the earth and leads up to it with monthly menaces which tax the powers of the world’s greatest super-heroes.” There are clues to the mastermind’s identity (pretty simple ones now that I’m looking at them), directions to fill in a grid on the JLA computer screen to spell out the villain’s name, plus Fact File information about the heroes and villains. There are even reproductions of the “Cover of the Month.”
Each month’s daily boxes included panels of the sequence that would include the scene of pin-up art The story each month is a chapter of the overall plot, building towards the conclusion on the last pages of the calendar.
In short, this thing was a team-up that taxed the talents of BobRo the Puzzle-Master, BobRo the Answer Man, and BobRo the Writer.
The monthly line-up:
FRONT COVER: Superman and other heroes towing the moon away from a collision with the Earth. (Art by Neal Adams)
JANUARY: Batman versus Doctor Light in Times Square. (Dick Giordano.)
FEBRUARY: Flash and Kid Flash battle Captain Cold and Mr. Freeze in Florida’s orange groves. (Irv Novick)
MARCH: Green Arrow and Green Lantern foil Queen Bee at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York. (Mike Grell)
APRIL: Aquaman takes on Weather Wizard in a flooded Metropolis. (Jim Aparo)
MAY: Batgirl and Robin versus Poison Ivy and the Floronic Man in Washington DC. (Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin)
JUNE: The Metal Men battle Ocean Master at the beach. (Walt Simonson and Joe Staton)
JULY: Superman and Supergirl stop an outer space attack by Brainiac and Sinestro. (Curt Swan and Dan Adkins)
AUGUST: Black Lightning stops Heat Wave as Metropolis fries under August heat. (Rich Buckler and Vince Colletta)
SEPTEMBER: The Freedom Fighters versus the Flamesplasher twins at a Chicago suburb school. (Dick Ayers and Jack Abel)
OCTOBER: Hawkman, Hawkgirl and the Atom battle the Gentleman Ghost, Matter Master, and Felix Faust at the annual Halloween parade in Rutland, Vermont. (Al Milgrom)
NOVEMBER: Wonder Woman versus Quakemaster at a Thanksgiving football game in Coast City. (Jose Delbo and Vince Colletta)
DECEMBER: Karate Kid and the Legion of Super-Heroes take on the Toyman at a NYC department store. (Jim Sherman and Jack Abel)
CONCLUSION: The moon is heading towards a collision with Earth. Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Supergirl head off to stop it while Batman, Flash, Green Arrow and other Earth-bound heroes track down the mastermind behind it. (Jose Luis Garcia Lopez)
So, to answer your question, John, the Calculator does not appear in the calendar, though the BobRo-created Sizematic twins and Quakemaster do.
And even if you can’t get a copy of the calendar from Comics Unlimited, John, you can still save 10% on anything you do purchase from them this week. The rest of you can also save some dough and get your questions answered at the same time. Use the handy box in the column on the left.
Till next week, I am outta here……..
1. George Wilson
2. John Carter
3. Martha and Thomas Wayne
4. James Bartholomew Olsen
5. James Bond
6. John Steed
7. Archie Andrews
8. Don Martin
9. The William Tell Overture
10. Johnny Storm
11. James Jesse a.k.a. The Trickster
Need a daily dose of trivia? Check out Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.