Saturday, November 15, 2008

Volume Three, Number Eighteen

(Part Eight)


As mentioned last time out "The Double Life of Private Strong" vanished from the newsstands and magazine shelves after only two issues. However, this did not mean that The Fly was the sole super-powered member of the Archie Adventure Series Universe (for lack of a better term). In "Adventures of The Fly" #7 (July 1960) The Black Hood made his silver age debut in a tale where he teamed up with The Fly and in the very next issue (cover-dated September 1960) the silver age Shield (some years later to be revealed as the son of the original Shield) appeared.Both these characters must have gotten favourable fan mail as each made return appearances; The Shield in issue 9 and The Black Hood in issue 10.

In the coming months the Archie Adventure Series Universe continued to grow. In the 14th issue of The Fly Kim Brand, a movie actress who debuted in the previous issue, became Fly-Girl and would be Fly's partner throughout his comics appearances in the 1960s. Also that month-September 1961-Archie would launch a new comics title; "Adventures of The Jaguar" featuring a superhero who could summon up all the powers of the animal kingdom (but for some unexplained reason needed a jet-belt to fly).

Around the same time The Fly, Flygirl and The Jaguar began appearing in five-page adventures in the back of "Pep" and "Laugh". While some comics historians have speculated that this was done to get superhero fans to read other Archie titles this is unlikely as their appearances in these two Archie Universe titles were never promoted and the characters never appeared on the covers of either "Pep" or "Laugh" when they appeared. What is more likely the case is the reverse; that the folks at Archie Comic Publications wanted to get the readers of "Pep" and "Laugh" interested in the Archie Adventure Series line.

"Adventures of The Jaguar" ran for fifteen issues with number 15 being cover-dated November 1963. While a competent series With the exception of issues 13 and 14-both of which featured The Black Hood-none were very memorable or contributed much to the history of the Archie Adventure Series Universe.

With the cancellation of "Adventures of The Jaguar" The Fly's comic was alone on the stands again until (cover-date) August 1964. two new titles were launched that year under the Archie Adventure Series imprint. One was a quarterly title called "Adventures of Young Dr. Masters" which lasted only two issues and the other (cover dated November 1964) is a definite candidate for, outside of M.F. Enterprises' "Captain Marvel", the title of the worst comic book of the 1960s. It's name? THE SHADOW.



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