I am posting this on “the night of March 31st.” Longtime Superman fans will know the significance of this date – back in 1961 it was used as the title for a story in which all sorts of odd things happened: Lana Lang sold ice cream on the street, villains were Superman’s pals, the Man of Steel entered the Daily Planet office by crashing through the wall, etc.

It was all an elaborate prank by editor Mort Weisinger because the story took place on April 1st. DC even tied in contest to see who could find the most mistakes in the story. The winner reportedly found over 400 of them, but I’ve heard it told that no one actually checked the answers the readers sent in; they went only by the number written on the outside of the envelope. In any case, that list was never published, so we really don’t know how many of the errors the reader reported were legitimate.

There is no such April Fool’s prank hidden in this column. (Or is there?)


LOTS OF STUFF IN THE OLD EMAILBOX DEPARTMENT:
Awhile back, Ken Penders (writer and artist) of SONIC THE HEDGEHOG (Archie) said the series was selling better then 90% of all comics. Is this true and if so where can I find information on comic sales?
— Andrew (sonic_hedgehogs@yahoo.com)

I have no idea how well SONIC is selling compared to 90% of all the comics sold. I suspect that Ken was talking strictly about newsstand sales because
I’ve never even seen SONIC listed in Diamond’s Top 100 list of their monthly sales.
Publishers who apply for second class mailing rates are required to file circulation information with the Audit Bureau of Circulation on an annual basis and print this information in their magazines. This “Statement of Ownership” (as we used to call it at DC) would provide the information you are looking for. However, DC has not been required to publish it for a number of years and I do not know which other publishers still do.

*****
During the Invasion crossover a few years back, an ACTION COMICS ANNUAL was advertised with Chris Claremont script and Michael Golden art. This was never published. Do you know why?
— Billy Cox (rock334@netzero.net)

Back in the 1999 DC HEROES SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS, there was a one page preview of a Wildcat and Captain Marvel team-up minseries. the text on the page was written by Beau Smith, like the previous two Wildcat minis. For the life of me, I cannot remember the artist. can you tell me what became of this proposed miniseries? How far along did the process get before the mini was canned?
— Chad Wrataric (dr_midnight32@yahoo.com)

Presumably, neither of these projects was ever completed. Since I left DC in 1998, I don’t know what was going on behind the scenes as far as projects that were begun and then canceled or abandoned.

*****
Who is R.J. Brande now? I know he was once supposedly the Durlan from L.E.G.I.O.N. and once thought to be Martian Manhunter. But who is he post Zero Hour, and post Crisis?
— Chris Strong (puzzled1@flash.net)

When last I understood Legion history, Brande was a Durlan and the father of Reep Daggle, a.k.a. Chameleon Boy.

*****
I don’t know where to find this certain Spider-Man book. It’s a follow-up to when Aunt May finds out that Peter is Spider-Man when she comes up to his room, finds him asleep on the bed because of fighting this energy absorbing villain and sees him in the torn up Spider-Man outfit. And then it ends there. I know the comic after that is about the WTC attack in New York, but I wanted to know where I could find the follow up to that plotline. — Robert (roblol13@hotmail.com)

I would suspect it’s the issue AFTER the one about the World Trade Center, but perhaps someone out there can provide more detailed information for you.

*****
The son of Black Bolt and Medusa… Where is he or what happened to him?
— Sergio Calvet (sergicr@yahoo.com)

Away at boarding school?

*****
Has there ever been an issue of ACTION COMICS in which Superman, Clark Kent or Kal-El did not appear?
— Michael Lee (mykalel@bigpond.net.au)

In the strictest sense, no. Even issues like #s 360 and 373 which were Supergirl Giants included appearances by the Man of Steel. And to those who would argue about the issues during the “Funeral for a Friend” sequence since he was dead at the time, I’d counter with the fact that those were still Superman stories.

*****
Do you have the LADY DEATH LAST RITES #1 poster by Ricky Carrelero in stock? The Google search engine brought it up but I’m not finding it on your site. Also, could you let me know the price (including shipping) and an address to mail the payment to? Thanks.
senorstash@onebox.com (Marc W.Emery)

We don’t sell any comics, posters, or other collectibles here at SBC. The Google search engine brought you here because I must have mentioned Lady Death in one of my columns.

*****
Pictures of Batman in BATMAN: YEAR 1 look like a young Cary Grant and John Constantine originally looked like Sting. Do you know of any other movie star images used in a superhero setting?
— Oliver Townshend (oliver@zip.com.au)

Over the years, I’m sure plenty of artists have used real people (including movie stars and other celebrities) as models for characters. Alex Ross has used many of his friends, colleagues, and relatives in his work. And Gil Kane would often use movie stars as the models for criminals and other characters who appeared in stories he illustrated.
However, I don’t think anybody would fess up to using a celebrity as “the look” for a comics character these days; suddenly there would be lawyers popping up demanding royalties, commissions, and all sorts of other financial remuneration.

*****
Whatever happened to the original Atomic Skull, Dr. Albert Michaels of S.T.A.R. Labs?
— Brian (triad@triadmortgage.com)

One must presume he succumbed to the rare disease which caused him to become the villain in the first place. The mantle of Atomic Skull has since been passed to Joseph Martin, who first appeared in ACTION #670, back in 1991.

*****
I have a 64 page comic of Superman’s complete story by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster copyrighted 1939 by Detective Comics Inc. Can you tell me the value of it?
— Mike Wing (mikewing1@lycos.com)

While it might seem that you have an original copy of SUPERMAN #1 worth anywhere from $14,000 to more than $175,000 depending on its condition, it is far more likely you have a reprint, which would be worth a fraction of that.

*****
What is the origin of Sand a team member of JSA
— Michael (heydude234@hotmail.com)

He was originally Sandy Hawkins, a.k.a. Sandy the Golden Boy, kid sidekick to Wesley (Sandman) Dodds and nephew of Dian Belmont. When a silicoid gun created by Sandman exploded, it transformed Sandy into a giant silicon monster. He has since been cured of this affliction and lost the “y” in his name.

*****
What happened to former LEGIONNAIRES penciller, Jeffrey Moy? After he left the title, I don’t remember him going to another title.
— Damon Muraida (ADNomad@aol.com)

You can check out his website at http://jeffreymoy.com for a complete update on his work.

*****
Why is Daredevil “the man without fear”?
— John

Because a daredevil should be fearless. Otherwise, he would not take daring risks.

*****
My friend says that Spider-Man once tried to join the X-Men and that he has a comic in which Venom kills Spider-Man. I would like to know if these stories are true or just plain lies. Thanks!
— Shervin Abasahl (shervin_abasahl@hotmail.com)

Well, way back in the very first X-MEN #35 – how many have there been since then? — Spidey and the original X-Men crossed paths. In what was then a Marvel tradition, they proceeded to get into a fight which was cleared up by the end of the issue. In that issue, the closest he came to joining them was when the Beast offered to shake his hand by way of an apology.
As for whether he actually ever tried to join the group, perhaps he did in some other issue I can’t recall. And a comic in which Venom kills Spidey? Why yes, that was in SUPER-SPIDER-MAN #75; however, Spidey was dressed like Superman and Venom looked just like Doomsday.

*****
I was checking out some old Supes’ back issues and ran across this DC Popeye-clone. Do you have any information on appearances or story for this guy? And has he been seen Post-Crisis?
Rhys (matrhys@yahoo.com)

Captain Strong, who got super-strength by eating a special form of seaweed, made his debut in ACTION COMICS #421 and reappeared in a couple of other tales. He is not part of the current DCU, though the closest one could get to him is probably Bibbo.

*****
Thanks for asking Bob Greenberger about upcoming Marvel Masterworks, Bob. Could you be so kind as to follow-up with him and ask if there are tentative publication dates for the new volumes. Also, what issues will be reproduced in the Sub-Mariner, Iron Man, Avengers and Spider-Man volumes? Thanks.
— Rick Berry (RSBerry@aol.com)

From my pal Bob Greenberger: All contents are based on my knowledge which is now 11 weeks out of date and should be seen as tentative although they have already solicited Subby and Iron Man:
Sub-Mariner: MARVEL COMICS #1 (intro story), FANTASTIC FOUR #4, TALES TO ASTONISH #s 70-85 or so.
Iron Man: TALE OF SUSPENSE #s 50-76 or so.
Avengers: #s 21-30, Annual 1
Spider-Man: #s 51-60, Annual 4, MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #14

Speaking of Mr. Greenberger, he and I will be among the comic book guests at I-CON, the science fiction and comic book convention held at the State University of New York at Stony Brook April 19-21st. Bob will be there Saturday and Sunday, while yours truly will be on hand for five – count ‘em, five – panels on Saturday, one of which will be an Answer Man panel in which I will be ASKING the questions.

And speaking of asking questions, don’t forget to make the daily visit to my Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia. And be back here again in seven days for more of your questions and my answers.

[Oh, by the way, the April Fool’s prank is that there is no April Fool’s prank.]

 


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Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.


 

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