Superadventure Annual

Superadventure Annual 1967

Here’s a blast from the past. I recently saw this on eBay and had to buy it — I used to own this when I was a kid in the mid-1970s. In fact, it was the first place that I learned of any DC characters beyond Superman and Batman. Published in late 1966 (probably – Annuals tend to have a cover date one year ahead so they don’t look out of date right after Christmas), this is a hardcover reprint collection featuring an eclectic mix of DC heroes. There are two Flash stories, two Tommy Tomorrow tales, a couple of Jimmy Olsens, and one each for Green Arrow and Aquaman.

I was probably eight when I first got this Annual, as a result of a swap session with someone at school. He was three years older than me, so perhaps he’d had it bought for him new. I was fascinated by the characters. Green Arrow had his trick arrows, Aquaman fought crime under the water, while the Flash had an amazing costume that popped out of the ring on his finger – I was rather more taken with that than the fact that he zipped around at super-speed! I remember plain as day sitting on my bed enthralled, and wondering why Superman had a lion’s head (I never did find out: the copy I had was missing some pages).

Looking at it now I feel a strong rush of nostalgia, though truth to tell, it’s a bit of a ropey product to these older, more jaded eyes. The cover has been drawn by someone, presumably a staff production artist, who has little idea of the characters. The Flash is particularly poor. And as for why Green Arrow and Speedy appear to be standing in a pew chatting with a badly-coloured Aquaman, that’s anyone’s guess.

Superadventure Annual

Sadly, the interior fares almost as badly. Only two of the strips are in colour, and it’s not the original colour: it looks like someone has hastily gone over the photocopied pages with a felt tip pen. Superman has pink cape and boots. Everything else is in black and white, apart from a Flash tale which has a second colour (red) to liven things up. The actual quality of the printing is very poor too. The art looks almost pixelated, as if blown up from a much smaller source. Who know, perhaps it was. It was certainly done cheaply.

But, that’s not the point. I didn’t care about any of that when I was eight. To me, the book was a portal to a magical world of excitement and adventure – superadventure in fact – and I never looked back!

Image ©2011 DC Comics