Friday, November 23, 2012


Packed with Leaf Candy and sold circa 1980, The Secret Origin of
was one of eight comics sold as “Comicbook Candy.” Each of
these booklets consisted of a cover, 14 pages of story and a back
cover advertisement for a DC Super Heroes Collector Album.  These
mini-comics measured 4-1/4" tall and 2-3/4" wide.  Last Friday’s
bloggy thing had a photo of the product’s display box.  The Grand
Comics Database has indexed these comics and, thanks to the effort
of the GCD indexers, we know a lot about them.  But not everything.

Here’s what the GCD says about this cover: Somewhat based on the
cover to Superman #300 (June 1976). Dick Giordano in an email to
the indexer has confirmed he inked this cover, and suspects that he
pencilled it based on a layout from Carmine Infantino. However, it
also seems to have a Curt Swan look, particularly Jor-El and Lara.

“The Superman Story” is a good retelling of the hero’s origin tale,
though it doesn’t have room for much about the Man of Steel’s adult
life.  Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen aren’t even mentioned.  As is the
case with most of these mini-comics, the writer of this one has not
yet been identified.  The editor of the comic was most likely Joe
Orlando, who was in charge of special projects for many years.  Can
anyone tell me when Orlando moved to that department?

As for the art, the GCD says: The Comic Reader #191 (May-June 1981)
lists the artists as "Rich Buckler/Dick Giordano". In separate e-
mails to the indexer, Rich Buckler has confirmed that he pencilled
it, Mike DeCarlo has confirmed that Dick Giordano inked it and Todd
Klein has confirmed that Ben Oda did the letters.

An additional note.  The shot of the wildly gesturing Jor-El in the
sample pages above looks familiar.  It looks like a swipe of a Irv
Novick figure to me, but I can’t pinpoint where it first appeared.
Am I dead wrong on this? Am I right? As always, your comments would
be appreciated...especially if I’m right and you can tell me where
the swipe came from.

The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman will wrap up this bloggy series
on “Comicbook Candy” tomorrow.  See you then.

© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. The panel of Jor-El rings a bell with me as well. I want to say that it was from a Deadman story/cover with that character reaching out. Of course, I admit to being as far from an art expert as you can get.


  2. Mike DeCarlo has confirmed that Dick Giordano inked it

    I argued strongly on the GCD lists that DeCarlo had a hand in the interior inking, based on certain panels — although I just had the thought that perhaps I've long been mistaking some telltale elements of his work for (and/or conflating them with) that of Arne Starr, who assisted both Giordano and DeCarlo over the years.