In the late 1970s, a new series of Superman comics was published by a company named Maverick for the Japanese market. The series ran over 20 issues, and contained color and black and white reprints of Superman and other DC character stories translated into Japanese. Interspersed with the comics are text pieces on Superman and other superheroes, as well as related collectibles and ads for Superman comic books and products and mass market products.
Each issue is about 7-3/16″ wide by 10-1/8″ high, squarebound, and over 100 pages printed in color and black and white on newsprint with glossy covers.
I previously featured the first issue back in June; this is the second issue, cover dated February-March, 1978.
The cover is from the classic Superman #233 with art by Neal Adams.
The intro page on the right has a Neal Adams/Dick Giordano drawing of the DC heroes with “Welcome to the DC World.”
A vintage Sansui ad with a Japanese hipster. Across from that: the table of contents, a great example of bold Japanese graphic design.
A tomato juice ad and the splash page of the first story, the Supergirl tale “The Deadly Treasure of Mars,” originally featured in Superman Family #182.
The Superman story in this issue is “The Pied Piper of Steel” from Action Comics #398, featuring some great artwork by Curt Swan. I like the off-model purple suit Clark Kent is wearing.
While covering the concert, Clark discovers the crowd doing whatever the lyrics say… the promoter has developed some kind of hypnotic amplifier that makes listeners obey the commands in the lyrics. Notice how the third panel of the left page predicts the famed guitarist Buckethead?
Partway through the Superman story, we move from color pages to black and white. The black and white pages feature several Superman and DC-related articles. I was really excited to see this one about Superman menko cards. I think I have some of these specific cards in my collection… I’m hoping someone will translate this article for me.
Edited to add: Reddit user mamoit kindly provided this translation:
Oh! The days of our boyhood*!
But for some reason his costume was green!!
Miura Setsu (?)
Thanks for the support in last month’s Batman. After getting such encouragement, I decided to make this month’s issue nostalgic as well—♪
This is something from the 35th year of Showa (= 1960), when the Superman TV show was running. (For some reason it felt like saying the Showa year, not the western date**). Maybe it was because of the black and white TV, but that costume looked to be green or yellow? And that cape was probably red? But this unclear memories are not just because of the black and white TV! Under the name of Superman, it’s actually Captain Marvel flying!! Look closely at the menko on the next page. There are 3 of Captain Marvel!
That Superman with a pompadour can make you cry!
[* Translator’s note 1: The author is likely a woman, but the term “shonen”, which means a young boy, is often used to describe a genre of comics that Superman would be included in.]
[**Translator’s note 2: The Showa era is very nostalgic for many Japanese people.]
More Menko card goodness. (On a related note, I was kind of shocked to see this recent eBay Menko card auction for one Superman card… it reached $122!)
How to play: ….. (Hard to read, but seems to be telling you to cut out each card and then color them in if you want.)
4567890: Battle flag
567206 Riddle Tournament – What is something you can’t see even if you have it, and can’t catch? Answer: Air
792020 Riddle Tournament – What has the same number of people (things) and clothing (wrappers) and lives in the same house? Answer – Caramel
9087051 Riddle Tournament – What is something that is useless unless it gets its head hit? Answer – A nail
8021516 Riddle Tournament – What is something that always goes straight and can cover the world in a second? Answer – Light
5689001 – Helicopter
9012345 – Red Cross
5678901 – Jet plane
4567012 – Marshal
3161621503 – Superman Rocket
4567890 – Battle flag
6789456 – Rocket
7890123 – Television
5689001 – Helicopter
Here’s an article featuring the Superman vs. Wonder Woman treasury edition.
The next page talks some more about Wonder Woman: specifically, the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV series.
The next story in this issue is “The Murdering Arm of Metropolis,” a Lois Lane comic from Superman Family #166.
Here’s the end of the story, plus a great DC house ad with Neal Adams artwork.
Here’s another article. I’m presuming from the illustrations that it’s about the creation of Superman, with reprints of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s autographs. Also shown on the page on the left is a Japanese Superman note pad.
Some information about the Justice League…
Here’s a neat spread featuring DC villains. I like the toned artwork on this…
“Nifty Tick!” I don’t know what that means, but it’s part of an article on the Batmobile. Across from that is the splash page for a Jimmy Olsen story, “The Gift-Wrapped Doom,” originally presented in Superman Family #164 and drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger.
A Superman puzzle page and a picture of some Superman keychains. Opposite that is the “Daily Planet” section, which looks like a series of articles or plugs. The lead page is for a Neal Adams book or portfolio.
Some more product plugs from the “Daily Planet” section. The top right page features that wild 1978 Super Spectacular Disasters calendar released by DC to cash in on the 70s disaster movie craze. At the bottom of that page is a plug for Power Records.
The right page shows the splash page from “The Super Star of Hollywood,” a Jerry Siegel-penned Superboy story originally published in Adventure Comics #277.
And here’s the last page with a coming attractions section for Maverick’s Superman #3. I have that issue, and will present it sometime in the future. On the inside cover is another cool ad for stereo equipment.