13 COVERS: A PAUL LEVITZ Birthday Celebration

The Eisner Hall of Famer turns 64…

When it comes to birthday celebrations, we generally reserve 13 COVERS for artists. It makes sense on the face of it, right?

But when a writer is so well associated with a particular title, character or team, it’s fun to do nonetheless. Such is the case with Paul Levitz — born Oct. 21, 1956 — and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Levitz, the former head of DC Comics, has had multiple runs with the 30th/31st century’s greatest heroes, most notably his collaboration with Keith Giffen in the ’80s that brought us The Great Darkness Saga.

Still, everyone has to start somewhere, so this 13 COVERS salute is drawn from Levitz’s initial shot in the ’70s.

Long live the Legion!

Cover by Mike Grell

Levitz’s first Legion story. Cover by Grell.



Written with Paul Kupperberg. Cover by Grell and Joe Rubinstein.


Plot by Jim Starlin. Cover by Joe Staton and Dick Giordano.

James Sherman and Rubinstein


Al Milgrom and Rubinstein

Grell and Rubinstein, from a Walt Simonson layout



On a personal note: Paul Levitz has been a wonderful supporter of 13th Dimension pretty much since its inception seven years ago. Happy birthday, Paul! Hope it’s a great one. — Dan


— LONG LIVE THE LEGION: Back to the Future With PAUL LEVITZ. Click here.

— The TOP 13 BATMAN STORIES, Picked by PAUL LEVITZ. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Happy bday Paul! Also, I love the phrase “teen team action in the far flung future!”

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  2. Great choices! I had all of these at one point. Now I have them in archive and other collections.

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  3. Happy birthday, Mr. Levitz! I enjoy the Mike Grell covers the most in this collection.

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  4. Paul Levitz [is] a great personal hero of mine. In the mid to late 1970s he and Neal Adams led the charge to help Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster reclaim their interests in Superman. Going up for decades against the metastasizing goliath that had become Warner Communications, Siegel and Shuster had all but given up hope.

    Adams gets a great deal of the credit for their eventual triumph, and he deserves it, but people often neglect this very impressive difference. At the time Neal Adams was a powerhouse in the industry. Just about every publisher in town was courting him and he was writing his own golden ticket. To speak of Adams as Adams himself might, “The son of a bitch carried some goddamned weight and the corporate suits dared not fuck with him.” If Warner held a grudge Adams could stroll across the street.

    Paul Levitz, however, carried no such weight. He was admittedly a tyro writer and a rising star with an MBA on the way and Earth-Two’s Bat-Daughter in his portfolio, but still, he knew the history of DC AND Donenfeld’s toxic legacy. He knew what had happened to writers before him who had pushed too hard.
    He pushed anyway.
    For the Fathers of the Man of Steel, he couldn’t not push.

    Paul Levitz and Neal Adams may disagree with me on matters of art or food or politics, but I still hold them both in the highest of esteem, both as artists, and as men.

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    • Thanks for the kind words, but I had no role in getting Jerry and Joe their credits and 1975 deal with Warner. That was due to Neal, Jerry Robinson and a number of others. I was honored to be their primary contact at DC from about 1981 on, and to play a role in improving their compensation in those years, and to have worked on the agreement that courts eventually ruled as a final one with the Siegel family, but I can’t take credit for anything on the 1975 deal.

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      • Thanks for the clarification, and while I am happy to defer to your recollections with regard to historical accuracy, my estimation otherwise remains unchanged.

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