Batman #300 ad, Action Comics #

I’ve said it before, and will no doubt say it again: growing up as a comics fan in South Wales in the 1970s was a nightmare. Comics distribution was spotty at best and you had only a small selection from which to choose. This situation might not have been so bad were it not for the darn enticing ads that appeared in the comics we did get! Take this one for Batman #300 (June 1978). Batman Retires! Man, I wanted to read that!! But, as the ad made clear, it was a double-length thriller—in UK distribution speak that meant the thing wasn’t going to appear in newsagents. For some reason any comics of non-standard size were destined never to darken the shelf of the local comics outlet—and in 1978 that meant the newsagent. No comics shops back then. Not in my neck of the woods anyway. Aaarrggh!!

Now, Action Comics #484 on the other hand did make its presence known in the shops and I bought a copy. Perhaps surprisingly, considering it was a 40th anniversary celebration, it was a regular-sized issue. It did as it said on the cover and told the story of the marriage of Superman and Lois Lane. As the splash page made clear though, these were the Earth-2 versions of Clark and Lois. My Dad saw the cover and made some comment about how it was about time, and I tried—with little success—to explain the transdimensional nature of the then DC universe! Still, it was a good issue, with a brilliant Jose Garcia-Lopez cover.

It would be some years before I finally tracked down an copy of Batman #300. It was nice enough, but the weight of expectation meant it was always going to be a bit of a disappointment.

Image ©2012 DC Comics