GASPAR SALADINO in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1980)

All images © DC Comics. From LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #259, Jan 1980

The Legion of Super-Heroes was created in a Superboy story in ADVENTURE COMICS #247 in 1958. Fans wanted more, and the Legion grew in popularity, a future Earth team of super-powered teens from many worlds. Their publication history is complicated, and I’ve divided it into three articles. After gradually dominating Superboy’s own title, that title was renamed for the group with this issue, while Superboy left to mainly occupy his own book. Gaspar Saladino didn’t letter any stories for this run of 55 issues, but he did letter many of the covers, including the first one, above. Earlier Legion covers he lettered are indexed in my article on Adventure Comics. I did the logo here, the rest is by Gaspar, including the energetic story title and top banner.

From LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #262, April 1980

The Saladino top banner on this cover has art deco elements, like the rounded E’s, which he sometimes used to suggest the future. To make the story title as bold as possible, some letters have no space between the strokes. It would have read better in a lighter color, but it works fine.

From LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #270, Dec 1980

The placement of the caption in front of the figure at the bottom of this cover is unfortunate, but there isn’t room for it anywhere else. I would have made it smaller, moved the second word balloon up near the first (again clearing the figure), and moved the smaller caption to that open area right of the metal leg. These were decisions that the production person assembling the cover could have made.

From LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #274, April 1971

The heavy red outline on the burst balloon here doesn’t seem typical of Gaspar, perhaps the person assembling the cover made it thicker. The clue is the tail to the character would have been wider if Saladino did it. I like the bounce in the top blurb.

From LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #280, Oct 1981

Superboy wasn’t gone long, was he? The blurbs by Gaspar are appealing and celebratory.

From LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #283, Jan 1982

You want variety in your cover blurbs? Gaspar could supply that. I love the flaming letters of WILDFIRE and the romance style of LOVE.

From LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #294, Dec 1982

The Great Darkness Saga pitting the Legion against Jack Kirby’s Darkseid is a fan favorite, but most of the issues had little or no cover lettering. This final one includes a fine top blurb by Gaspar.

From LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #298, April 1983

At this time, free comics inserts sampling new titles were being added to popular books as a promotion, and this is one. Lots of Saladino lettering in the frame, and he hasn’t skimped on the main story title either.

From LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #311, May 1984

This is my favorite Saladino blurb of the run, near the end of it. So much character in that lettering! After two more issues, this series split into two books, a new Legion title beginning with #1, and TALES OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES continuing the numbering of this one. I’ll explain more about that in a separate post.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 259, 262-263, 265, 270-275, 277, 279-287, 289-291, 294-299, 302-307, 309-312. That’s 38 in all. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

2 thoughts on “GASPAR SALADINO in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1980)

  1. David Goldfarb

    I don’t think it’s correct to say that the Legion took over Adventure Comics: rather, it was a Superboy solo title that became “Superboy starring the Legion” and then “Superboy and the Legion” and then just “The Legion”. (Consider that the issue number where the Legion took over was #259, but in Adventure the Legion made its 1958 debut in Adventure #247. Adventure’s numbering was in the high 400’s by this time.) Meanwhile Superboy went off to start a new solo title, albeit one that didn’t last long.

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