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Adventure Comics' Publishing History Is An Adventure Of Its Own!

This is a "Gonna Make a Change," which takes a look at the odd evolution that comic book series used to make. You see, nowadays, when a comic book series wants to re-tool, comic book companies simply cancel the book and start a brand-new series (heck, change a creative team and books will often reboot). In the old days, however, comic book companies felt that they had too much capital invested in the higher numbers and wanted to avoid starting over with a new #1. So we got to see some weird changes over the years.

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Gary S., we look at the adventurous journey of Adventure Comics!

Debuting at the end of 1935, New Comics #1 was only the second comic book released by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Newspaper Syndicate, Inc. (which eventually became DC Comics).

The book was a mixture of comedy and adventure stories. This was in the very earliest days of comic books having original stories in them. They were primarily ways to reprint comic strips at this point in time (even after Action Comics #1 and comic books became a bit of a cultural phenomenon, there were still plenty of reprint titles out there).

Still, new comic book stories were becoming more and more popular. With the 12th issue of the title, they decided to change the name to New Adventure Comics...

The fascinating thing is that despite the name of the book adding "Adventure" to it, the stories still had a mixture of humor and adventure. Amusingly, the transition seemed to be a mix of humor and adventure....

before then going straight into traditional Adventure stories...

Twenty issues after adding "Adventure" to New Comics, they then dropped the New entirely with Adventure Comics #32...

We're now past the release of Superman in Action Comics #1 (by this point, Wheeler-Nicholson had been kicked out of his own comic book company) and so a year later, the superhero fever led to Adventure Comics getting their first superhero in Adventure Comics #40, with the Sandman...

While initially, they continued to have the superhero books share the book with non-superhero books, the comic eventually became ALL superheroes within a few years, with Starman becoming the lead character...

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (newly hired away from Timely Comics) took over the main feature with #73, with their new take on the Manhunter...

The next big change occurred in Adventure Comics #103. You see, More Fun Comics was another superhero title. DC, though, decided to turn that book into a comedy book. They didn't want to lose the characters, though, so they took the characters from More Fun (Superboy, Aquaman and Green Arrow) and brought them into Adventure Comics...

This would be the set-up for the next decade or so. Along the way, though, there was a major addition to comic book history...

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