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Comic Legends: The Iconic Superman Writer Who Retired Mid-Story

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Comic Legends: The Iconic Superman Writer Who Retired Mid-Story

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and eighty-sixth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends. Click here for Part 2 of this week’s legends.

NOTE: I noticed that the the CSBG Twitter page was nearing 10,000 followers. If we hit 10,050 followers on the the CSBG Twitter page then I’ll do a BONUS edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed during the week that we hit 10,050. So three more legends! Sounds like a great deal, right?

COMIC LEGEND:

Edmond Hamilton retired in the middle of writing a Superman story.

STATUS:

True

Edmond Hamilton was already a prolific pulp fiction writer in the 1920s and 1930s before he had even heard of comic books. He was really well known for the Captain Future character (a character that, contrary to popular belief, he did not invent).

Years into his career, Hamilton was approached by an old acquantaince from his pulp fiction days, Mort Weisinger, into writing for Weisinger on the Superman feature at DC Comics, where Weisinger had recently become the editor of the Superman line of comics.

Hamilton then worked for Weisinger for the next TWENTY years, writing numerous Superman and Legion of Super-Heroes stories.

One of his most famous stories, Action Comics #300, saw Superman transported into the future where the Earth now had a red sun. It allowed Hamilton to touch on a lot of the same ideas he did in his science fiction stories.

Hamilton, though, had struggles with his health, and in 1966, when he was 62 years old, when he was already considering retirement, his doctor told him he should retired right away. So that meant stopping in the middle of a story he was writing!

Action Comics #336 (sorry, it is not the story that is on the cover with Supergirl and her horse. That is the other story in that issue. I couldn’t resist using it at the featured image) saw Hamilton paired with Curt Swan and George Klein about a story involving the first person paroled from the Phantom Zone and how the people of Kandor were not fans of the former criminal, Ak-Var, except for Thara, the niece of Superman lookalike Van-Zee…

So Hamilton left midway through the story, so Weisinger’s assistant editor, E. Nelson Bridwell, stepped in and finished the story (Bridwell would later write stories where Van-Zee and Ak-Var took over as Nightwing and Flamebird from Superman and Jimmy Olsen and Bridwell would note in the pages of Superman Family that Ak-Var had a special place in his heart because he finished the story of Ak-Var’s first appearance) and here is how Bridwell finished it out…

Hamilton would be in poor health for the rest of his life (dying in 1977), but he actually did still occasionally write, even doing a few science fiction novels. He was survived by his wife, the amazing writer in her own right, Leigh Brackett.


Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed – Was there almost a Gladiator sequel, despite the whole “the star dies at the end of the movie” thing?


OK, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo, which I don’t even actually use on the CBR editions of this column, but I do use them when I collect them all on legendsrevealed.com!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Here’s my brand-new book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books.

If you want to order a copy, ordering it here gives me a referral fee.

Here’s my second book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).

batshark

If you want to order a copy, ordering it here gives me a referral fee.

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get some original content from me, as well!

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends. — half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

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