Thursday, September 10, 2015

80-Page Thursdays: Superman Family #189!

This issue has a great, striking Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez cover--with Jimmy, Krypto, Nightwing and Flamebird in the background--but the issue doesn't rise to the cover's level! From 1978, Superman Family #189, featuring stories by Tom Defalco, Bob Toomey, Gerry Conway, and more; and art by Kurt Schaffenberger, Juan Ortiz, Jack Abel, and more.

The Jimmy Olsen story "The Night of the Looters" tries to go a little topical, with new villain King Cougar emulating New York's 1977 blackout to loot Metropolis. Even with Superman fighting fires and a cameo from Black Lightning, it's up to Jimmy to stop KC; even though he's hindered by those stupid wannabe scoop-stealers we saw last time.

King Cougar looks an awful lot like the Aquabats' MC Bat Commander, though.

Next, Superman could become "The Mass Murderer from Krypton!" in the second part of a somewhat convoluted tale involving alien guerrillas and a deadly plague; with some red and white Kryptonite for good measure. Lois Lane has this issue's cover story, where an intelligence from a distant red star comes to earth and wants to claim Lois as its companion. It goes about as well as you'd expect. Krypto continues helping his friend P.I. Ed Lacy find his fugitive nephew in "The Second Fastest Dog in Oregon!" Nightwing and Flamebird star in "The Crime-Lord of Kandor," even though they don't get a lot closer to the titular figure this issue. And finally, Supergirl tries to clear her name from the Phantom Zone in "Memories of Menace!" Which also features Shyla, from Superman Family #183, so yay!

The next issue, Superman Family #190, appears to be the last of the 80-page ones; and I think it also featured one through-story that tied into each of the usual lead features. Haven't found it yet, but it's probably stronger than this one...

A Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation this issue puts the most recent total paid circulation (October 1977) at 95,109--and returns of about 208,000! This was pre-direct market, after all.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Never heard of the Aquabats until now. They seem interesting enough.

BTW, that King Cougar guy looks like he wouldn't be outta place living in the Venture Brothers universe for sure.

He ever make amy more appearances after this or did he quickly fade away into obscurity?