Thursday, June 6, 2013

Groove's Faves: 5 Star Super-Hero Spectacular 1977

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! The Summer of 1977 started off with a bang for Teen Groove when an after school trip to the store landed him a copy of DC Special Series #1, aka 5 Star Super-Hero Spectacular #1-and-only! As soon as I laid eyes on that explosive Neal Adams cover, that dollar bill just leaped from my wallet and into my waiting hand (had to dig into my pocket for that nickel for tax, though!).

Peeling back the cover of this 80 page monolith, I saw the Jim Aparo-illoed contents page that detailed what would be going on with Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Atom, then, BOOM! into high-speed action with the Flash meeting Ms. Flash (courtesy classic Groovy Age Flash team Cary Bates and Irv Novick), away we went (and you can read that Flash tale right here, baby).

Next came a Green Lantern solo sci-fi tale (at the time he was sharing his montly mag with Green Arrow) written by regular series writer Denny O'Neil, but the art was provided by one of my fave Boys from Derby, Joe Staton making his GL debut! (You can read that classic here!)

Before I could recover, Gerry Conway and Dick Dillin laid a pretty cool Aquaman short on me...

...then the Atom went back in time to help Alexander Graham Bell in a Paul Kupperberg tale illustrated by Steve Stiles and Bob McLeod!

That was four, but with the fifth DC was saving the best for last! Batman vs. Kobra in a full-length classic (originally intended for the never-published Kobra #8)  written by Martin Pasko with in-freakin'-credible art by Mike Nasser (aka Michael Netzer) and Joe Rubinstein. This story with it's globe-spanning, super-heroes-meets-James Bond kinda feel was worth the buck alone, baby. Check it out...

And just 'cause Ol' Groove loves ya, here's the editorial that lays the story behind the mag on us...

 Now that's how to start summer off right! More super-summertime memories to come all summer long, Groove-ophiles. Stay tuned!


  1. Probably my favorite dollar comic ever (and man, I loved DC's dollar comics). This one was was particularly ideal for the young comics fan who depended on spotty grocery-store/drugstore spinner racks for his comics fix: it was full of done-in-one pieces.
    Can't disagree with anything you say here: from that, well, spectacular cover to the last page of the Batman tale, this book is so full of win. And an added cool aspect for me is that this features the first Green Lantern story penciled by Staton - I thoroughly enjoyed his later work on the regular series.
    Needless to say, I read this one to tatters, and interestingly enough, although back then (as now) I liked GL and Batman the best, for some reason the two that I remember best are the Flash and Aquaman stories.

  2. Thank you,Mr Groove!
    Cool cool cool.
    /Mr Anonymous

  3. Only have two words to say, Groove: More KOBRA!

  4. Thanks for posting this, Groove. It sure brings back memories of the summer of 1977. I was VERY pleasantly surprised by ALL the stories contained in this comic.

  5. I remember that Batman story well. What a way to go! YIKES! Kobra really screwed up pissing off Batman! Now he's gonna have the JL on his butt too! Loved this cover too!

  6. these are all great. Irv Novick doesn't get enough respect, IMO, nowadays. Also, Dick Dillin always drew a very handsome Aquaman.

  7. Speaking of tax on comics: Growing up in PA, I was never charged tax on comics, but visiting my relatives in MD, I would get hit up, the one downside of a summer trip to the grandparents.

  8. I've had this comic as long as I can remember. I always wondered what the cover looked like!

  9. Shame we never got to see that JLA/Kobra smackdown in all its glory.
    And do you think the artists intended Batman to be yelling all those thoughts in the final couple of panels?

  10. Wow, the only DC comic I ever had a story in! (The week *after* I sent in my pencils, a special exhibition of that Corlis Engine opened up in Washington DC, damn it-- I only had a tiny xerox of the thing!)--Steve Stiles

  11. My story involved the largest steam engine of its kind in the 19th century. The only reference material DC gave me was two tiny out of focus xeroxes, and --this was the era before the internet--I couldn't find anything on it it in the Baltimore library. So, naturally, the week after I mailed in my pencils, an exhibit of the thing opened in Washington DC! When I think of the polaroids I could've taken and the "faking it" I could've avoid...!!! Argh!!

  12. So glad you found us, Steve! Since we haven't poste the whole story, I'd love for you to write a guest post about your adventures in getting the gig and creating the art for this classic!

  13. Wow, this comic looks awesome! I'd never seen it before (this would be towards the beginning of my comic collecting career, before I'd discovered my LCS) but just seeing that "Dollar Comics" banner at the top gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!