PAUL KUPPERBERG: My 13 Favorite SHOWCASE #100 Moments

The celebrated Mr. K celebrates the Bronze Age cult classic on its anniversary…

By PAUL KUPPERBERG

Showcase #100 is, without a doubt, one of the most popular comics that I’m requested to sign at comic book conventions. I can always count on several a day passing under my Sharpie no matter where I am, and from readers who read it when it was new, as well as those who came to it later through the back-issue bins.

Showcase #100, the comic book I’ve come to describe as “Crisis on Infinite Earths done in one, and no one had to die,” went on sale 44 years ago (!) today in 1978 and was, even at the time, an act of insanity. Edited by Joe Orlando, written by Paul Levitz and myself, with art by Joe Staton, lettering by Ben Oda, and color by Adrienne Roy, the initial intent of the 100th anniversary issue of the legendary title (originally published between March/April 1956 – September 1970, then revived August/September 1977 – September 1978) was to feature every one of the characters and/or groups that had appeared in the original 96-issue run of Showcase and then graduated into their own title or feature.

Staton sketch

There were plenty of characters to work with: the Flash, Lois Lane, Green Lantern, Atom, Aquaman, Adam Strange, the Metal Men, Hawk and Dove, the Creeper, to name a few. But once Joe Staton got hold of the plot, he must have figured what could a few more hurt and tossed in cameo appearances by a bunch more.

The full “making of” story and “cast of characters” was laid out by (the other) Paul in the issue’s text pages (see the bottom of this post), but I hold that I was the one who got to have the real fun with this now-classic tale as the one who got to write the first draft of the dialogue off of Joe’s pencils. You’d think it would be a daunting task, but as a lifelong Showcase fan (at the time, I owned the entire run of the title), I was no stranger to even such obscurities as Fireman Farrell (for which I own the original art for the logo from Showcase #1 because I really am that big a fan of the title).

Here then, MY 13 FAVORITE SHOWCASE #100 MOMENTS:

The Cover. By Joe Staton and Dick Giordano, because it’s freakin’ epic, whether in its rough layout, printed form, or as a killer shadowbox by Todd Reis.

Page 1. Showcase #100 features a number of great splash pages, starting, naturally enough, with the splash page, home to enough characters to fill several splashes.

Pages 2-3. Followed by a double-page spread that handily sets up the danger. These days, it would require a six-issue miniseries just to get to this point in the story.

Page 5. Another great splash by Joe Staton, showing his considerable superhero chops.

Page 17. What a splash, probably my favorite scene in the issue. Tommy Tomorrow. Binky. Dobie and Mayn… I mean, Windy and Willy. Anthro. Angel and the Ape. The Inferior Five. Firehair. And Bat Lash.

Page 20. Because comics can always use more Dolphin.

Page 21. All the other heroes aside, Joe also snuck King Faraday and Manhunter 2077 into the crowd.

Page 23. Because when I was a boy, superheroes juggled planets and, by gum, we loved it!

Page 25. Move over, boys! Lois calls dibs on the challenge the Challengers were about to take.

Page 27. That Bat Lash ain’t no gentleman!

Page 30. The last splash. We expect nothing less than such heroism from Cryll.

Page 33. Angel saves the O’Day…

Page 34. … And gets to give the punchline!

BONUS! Paul Levitz’s text pages:

MORE

— PAUL KUPPERBERG: My 13 Favorite DICK DILLIN JLA-JSA Crossover Stories. Click here.

— PAUL KUPPERBERG: My 13 Favorite WORLD OF KRYPTON Miniseries Moments — RANKED. Click here.

Sure, you know Paul Kupperberg as the prolific writer of over a thousand comic books for such characters and series as Superman, Aquaman, Doom Patrol, Vigilante, Life with Archie, Bart Simpson, Scooby-Doo, and dozens more for DC Comics, Archie Comics, Bongo Comics, and others, and that he is also the creator of the series Arion, Lord of Atlantis, Checkmate and Takion, and is a former editor for DC, Weekly World News, and WWE Kids Magazine. But Paul is also the author of numerous books, including the superhero novel JSA: Ragnarok and the comics industry-based murder mystery, The Same Old Story, not to mention (but we will anyway) Paul Kupperberg’s Illustrated Guide to Writing Comics, I Never Write for the Money, But I Always Turn in the Manuscript for a Check, Direct Comments: Comic Book Creators in their Own Words, The Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg and Son of the Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg. You can follow Paul at PaulKupperberg.com and at Crazy8Press.com.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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6 Comments

  1. *Sigh*. Yet another DC Classic that needs to be reprinted in a nice edition. Paul, can you shed any light on why DC’s upcoming classic collected edition releases have dwindled down to just a couple of omnibuses and a Super-Pets book? Not only is the gloating of Marvel fans over their wealth of classic collected editions getting old, but so are the delays and excuses from DC.

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      • Thank you. As long as you continue to be a prolific writer, we’ll at least have something to read. We enjoy your work!

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  2. Somehow I missed this one. Being a must-have fan of Staton’s art, my eBay purchase should be here later this week.

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  3. FUN story. There are so few such tales this days.

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  4. I loved that Showcase run from the 70s and issue 100 was a massive favourite of mine.

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