INSIDE LOOK: Leaf’s Rare 1980s DC SECRET ORIGINS Comics

Candy, candy, candy, I can’t let you go…

I think I know a fairly decent amount about comics but that doesn’t mean I remember everything off the top of my head. That’s one of the gazillion reasons I love TwoMorrows’ books and magazines — and there’s a doozy of a mag in store for you April 27 — Back Issue #134.

The ish, edited as usual by buddy and pal Michael Eury, is dedicated to “Bronze Age Rarities & Oddities,” and boy is it a treasure trove of the offbeat and nifty.

Here’s the table of contents:

Now, circling back to what I said above, I completely forgot about Leaf’s 1980s series of DC Secret Origins minicomics and boy do they get their due in a terrific piece by John Schwirian.

“In 1979, DC Comics and the Leaf Candy Company entered into a deal where DC would produce several mini-comics to be sold with packages of Leaf Candy,” Schwirian explained in the article. “At the time, Leaf had success with several snacks like Whoppers and Milk Duds, but competition from Hershey, Nestle, and others necessitated new marketing strategies. Both companies benefited, with DC reaching consumers that did not peruse the comic-book stands, and Leaf exposing comic fans to their candy. Eight new comics would be packed with Tart N’ Tangy candies, hitting the stores in 1981.”

The feature includes not just a history of the series (which didn’t last) but also full-page explainers of each of the eight issues: Justice League of America, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Hawkman. (At least one of them, Aquaman, was written by 13th Dimension columnist Paul Kupperberg.)

So for our EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT, we bring you three of those rundowns — just enough to whet your appetite for what is a feast of a magazine.

Rad.

Back Issue #134 is due April 27 (though the date varies in some places). It will be available at comics shops and magazine sellers but you can also order it directly from TwoMorrows. (Click here.)

MORE

— The Surprising Influences of JERRY ORDWAY’s ALL-STAR SQUADRON Art. Click here.

— 13 Groovy TELEVISION COMIC BOOKS of the 1970s. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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8 Comments

  1. Those are so neat! I love promotional comics. I seek out Spidey promotional books from past decades and I grew up with the TRS-80 Computer Whiz Kids books with Superman and Wonder Woman. Plus, there’s my beloved, old, raggedy copy of The Story of Smokey Bear.

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  2. A Don Newton Batman origin!?! What a gem that woulda been to discover!

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  3. I had a couple of these as a child—don’t remember much about them other than the display at the 7-11 counter. The Don Newton and Rich Buckler interiors are a bit of a surprise. Would have suspected wall to wall Adrian Gonzales or Jose Delbo and of course the ubiquitous Vince Colleta on these types of projects.

    Bought a full still sealed set off eBay complete with now grey 40 year old candy. Now i’m tempted to open them (comics, not the candy)…

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  4. In the JLA story, did Superman mean alien members aren’t Americans or am I missing someone? I know he’s trying to make a point to children who don’t know the members’ secret identities, but I think he must be technically wrong. Superman was raised by the t Kents, who never suggested he was from another country, let alone another world. The Martian Manhunter must have become a citizen at some point to work as a police officer. Perhaps Hawkman and Hawkwoman never became U.S. citizens in their civilian identities, but that would still leave one more.

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    • Wonder Woman wouldn’t be American, therefore an alien of another kind.

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  5. I can’t believe I overlooked Wonder Woman, who originally assumed another woman’s identity. Probably would have been better for the writer to have Superman refer to the alien members as immigrants, though.

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