March 1, 2013
My (tatty) copy of Adventure 304 cover dated January 1963 carries an odd addition to the left top of the cover. In fact EVERY Adventure 304 carries the same logo so it is not a variant cover for Spanish speaking areas as I first suspected. A quick check on all the other DC covers from January 1963 shows no more occurrences of this logo. It was never seen again before or since. Or was it.
20 years later Superman 409 featured a larger more colourful “Superhombre”. After some research I found that there had been a few black and white “ashcan” copies of a “Superhombre” produced by National/DC in 1944/1945. This was evidently to copyright the name in case they ever wanted to start producing “Superhombre” comics, or more likely, to prevent anyone else producing a “Superhombre” comic that readers might confuse with Superman. They were already having enough trouble with Fawcett and Captain Marvel.
So Adventure 304 and Superman 409, being roughly 20 years and 40 years on from the original “ashcan” were probably necessary to preserve the copyright by showing in some minute way that “Superhombre” comics were being published (albeit very irregularly) by DC. The odd thing is why did they pick Adventure 304 which wasn’t even a Superman comic as such. Although a “red kryptonite” version of Superman did appear in this particular issue for the previous 15 or so years it had featured Superboy. (If they wanted to trademark a Spanish version of Superboy the name would have to be something like “Superchico” ?!?). Anyway soon the back-up feature in Adventure would be promoted to the covers and The Legion of Superheroes would become my favourite comic characters for the next 5 years.