Sunday, June 30, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 181: It's the Guardians of the Galaxy, but over at DC

House ad for DC Super-Stars #16 [Star Hunters] (September-October 1977) and Star Hunters #1 (October-November 1977), printed in The Superman Family #185 (September-October 1977)

Here's the covers for DC Super Stars #16 and Star Hunters #1, with a much better logo than the one shown in the ad above.

Cover of DC Super-Stars #16 [Star Hunters] (September-October 1977), pencils by Don Newton, inks by Bob Layton, colors by Tatjana Wood

Cover of Star Hunters #1 (October-November 1977), pencils by Rich Buckler, inks by Bob Layton

And here's a two-page text feature written by Paul Levitz (from DC Super-Stars #16), explaining the genesis of the series in depth (nice historical background preserved for today's Wikipedia-craving audience):

Until I read this, I've always been puzzled that the double-length intro was published in DC Super-Stars, which was primarily a vehicle for pre-established DC Universe characters and features (Zatanna, Secret Society of Super-Villains, Sgt. Rock, Superboy—although issue #13 was a glorious all-Sergio Aragones book) rather than just becoming the first issue of the new series. According to the article, they didn't want to break the story up into two parts, and double-sized premiere issues were still a bit in the future (and would have been risky for a completely new property). Although Star Hunters had its genesis in 1975, what's not mentioned in the article is why it was published when it was. My admittedly inexpert guess: it might have been rushed into production to capitalize on Star Wars (which debuted in May 1977, and Marvel's comic book first issue was cover-dated July 1977). On the other hand, it was two years ahead of its time in boiling down Star Trek: The Motion Picture's 17-minute shuttlecraft tour of the Enterprise into a single page (with some pretty nifty Zip-A-Tone star effects):

Page from DC Super-Stars #16, script by David Michelinie, pencils by Don Newton, inks by Bob Layton

If Star Hunters's eventual publication was an attempt to cash in on all that big, big, Star Wars cool cash, it suffered the same fate as so many other space-galaxy adventures of the late seventies. Donavan Flint and his crew hunted the stars bimonthly for about a year, until Star Hunters #7 (October-November 1978), when their book was cancelled. But you can read more about the Star Hunters here. May the Force Hunt be With You!

1 comment:

The Omnicritic said...

I always thought Star Hunters was DC's version of the future outer space guys from X-Men (as opposed to GotG). You know, the ones with Cyclops' dad as their leader. I mean, look at those sideburns!