Review: Adventure Comics #435

Adventure Comics #435 cover
Cover by Jim Aparo

Adventure Comics #435
Published and © by DC, September-October 1974

Title: “The Man Who Stalked the Spectre”
Synopsis: A magazine editor’s search for the truth about how criminals are meeting their gruesome ends leads him to the Spectre.

Writer: Michael Fleisher
Writer (script continuity): Russell Carley
Artist: Jim Aparo

Review: Michael Fleisher’s script lives up to its gruesome reputation – this is the infamous buzz-saw issue! – but it’s also simplistic and lacks any notion of character development. Jim Aparo’s art makes up for whatever shortcomings the story might have: His work on the Spectre is simply gorgeous.


Title: “As the Undersea City Sleeps”
Synopsis: Aquaman dons an air mask to thwart Black Manta’s plot to raid farms and rustle squid. 

Writer: Steve Skeates
Artist: Mike Grell

Review: This silly Aquaman backup features surprisingly polished early art from Mike Grell, but doesn’t look like it’s taking place underwater.

Grade (for the entire issue): B

Second opinion: “Always a spirit of vengeance, the Spectre had never been quite so extreme. … Recommended.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: Seriously, Aparo’s art is nice on this one.
Not-so-cool factor: There’s a Clark-Kent-is-Superman joke in the Spectre story that creates some serious continuity confusion.

Notable: Aquaman backups begin. … The “Dateline: Adventure” letters page includes an LoC from future pop-culture historian Arlen Schumer.
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “P-Please! D-Don’t! Y-You’ve got no right to k-kill me in that buzz saw!” – A member of Grandenetti gang, not quite clear about the whole “spirit of vengeance” thing

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Feb. 8, 2013.

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