Tuesday 10 September 2013

The Top Ten Jim Aparo Spectre Adventure Comics covers.

Hooray! This is going to be the easiest Top Ten I've ever put together - mostly because Jim Aparo only actually did ten Spectre Adventure Comics covers.

It's also going to be easy because I'm not going to bother putting the covers in any kind of order, other than that in which they were first published.

This is because many long-term readers of this blog'll already know what my favourite is. A strong hint would be that it's got plenty of purple in it, proving the Incredible Hulk was right all along and that, in the world of comics, purple and green really do go together.

Adventure Comics #431, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
This was my first exposure to the Spectre. I can even tell you where I got it; a newsagents near Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It was run by a woman with light hair. I don't know what she was called. But how I thrilled as the cowled crusader melted one villain and reduced another to a skeleton.

Adventure Comics #432, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
 This is one of the few Aparo Spectre stories I never had, and can thus tell you nothing of its contents.

Adventure Comics #433, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
I didn't have this one as a child either. I have, though, read it since. Actually, I can't remember just what happens in it but have no doubt that had I read it when I was ten I'd be able to regale you with exactly how the villain meets his fate.

Adventure Comics #434, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
You can't go wrong with killer shop window dummies - and the Spectre didn't either. The villain thought he was Billy Big Potatoes but soon found himself as roasted as a spud.

Adventure Comics #435, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
Thanks to the twists of Fate, I had two copies of this. I do believe it's the one with the legendary buzz saw sequence.

Adventure Comics #436, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
The Spectre finds himself up against a gas-happy would-be Nazi. Needless to say, gruesome deaths soon follow.

Adventure Comics #437, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
 I've not read this one since childhood but I do recall it introduced me to the word, "Barracuda."

Adventure Comics #438, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
I've not read this one since childhood either but I suspect a museum may have been involved - and stuffed gorillas.

Adventure Comics #439, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
It's time to gasp in horror as Jim Corrigan suddenly finds himself alive again. But for how long?

Adventure Comics #440, Jim Aparo, the Spectre
I didn't have this one either. As it wrapped up the storyline from the previous issue, this was a matter of some concern to me. Happily, I've since read it and am happy to reveal that normal Spectre service is soon restored.

Sadly, after this issue, the Spectre was replaced in the comic by Aquaman. Oh the indignity of it all; to be supplanted by a man who's never melted a villain in his life.


Gey Blabby said...

Beautifully designed and colour coordinated covers, these, which isn't always the case - they look classy. The best one? - Well, it has to be the one with the giant squid, I think. That one, especially, shows the influence of Neal Adams on Aparo's work. For the few years prior to this, his work had come on by leaps and bounds, and, for me, these comics - the covers, especially - represent the full flowering of his talent.

Like you, I got a couple of these from a wee shop in Blackpool. There was a road - Bond Street ?? - that ran parallel to the promenade, about 100 yards back, and you could always find gems like these hidden in the racks of the numerous small newsagents that were dotted along it.

Tony said...

I find it interesting that some of the issues were called "Weird Adventure" Comics, here in Canada, and North America, it was just Adventure Comics

Anonymous said...

"Adventure" was an excellent comic in those days and this series was amongst my favourites as a kid in the 70's (some really good back ups by Mike Grell on Aquaman before Jim Aparo took that over as the lead strip in Adventure a few months later) . I'm pretty sure "Weird Adventure" was the title in North America as well - I picked up issues 436 and 437 in New York a few years ago and that was the title of them) - Jim Aparo was a criminally artist one of the best ever his work on Adventure and Brave and the Bold were wonderful - I liked the cover to issue 431 best was amazed it got pas t the comics code in those days it is pretty gruesome for a news-stand comic - McScotty

Anonymous said...

that should read "Jim Aparo was a criminally underrated artist..." :0)


Anonymous said...

afaik, the logo on the covers was "Weird Adventure Comics" in the US from issue #433 to #437. I bought some in Atlanta, GA, and "Weird" was on the covers. The official title (as indicated by the indicia/fine print at the bottom of the first page) was probably still just "Adventure Comics," and the "Weird" was dropped shortly before the Spectre strip was cancelled. With some comics (Amazing Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk), the adjective seems to be part of the official title, while with others (Mighty Thor, Invincible Iron Man), it isn't. Which must be confusing when trying to organize an alphabetical list.

Anonymous said...

By now, most of you have perhaps discovered THE WRATH OF THE SPECTRE OMNIBUS, which gathers all of the above -- and more -- into one, absolutely beautiful, hardcover. In answer to the "weird" question: DC just tried on the extra word in the title for about 5 issues. Likely because the scripts by Fliescher and the extraordinary artwork by Jim Aparo were pushing the boundaries for censors in the USA. But they went back to plain old "Adventure Comics" when plans to move onto Aquaman were in works.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Anon. :)