Superboy had long been appearing with the Legion of Super-Heroes, and in 1980, DC thought the Legion could support their own series and started this new one for Superboy, returning him to Earth-bound adventures in Smallville. There was an audience for that and it did well, running 54 issues until 1984. Gaspar Saladino lettered many of the covers. This first one is infamous for the spelling mistake in the top blurb, it should be ELECTRIFYING. No one caught it. Otherwise the lettering is well done, and my guess is many readers never noticed the mistake.
Well, they weren’t all Earth-bound adventures, obviously! Most were. The narrow balloon on the left here is a lesson in word stacking.
The series returned to many past ideas from decades of Superman and Superboy stories, like the Phantom Zone, also used in the first two Superman movies.
Lots of fine Saladino lettering on this cover, from the large sign to the SECRET DIARY script.
I always thought it interesting that Superman and Superboy could build sophisticated robots that looked and acted like humans with no apparent training or tools for that. The vise and drill press seen here must have been important. The Krypto logo is one Saladino had done previously.
The thought balloons on this cover are larger than usual, perhaps because there’s plenty of room. Those are dramatic thoughts!
There’s no doubt this series was intended to appeal to long-time readers, and featuring President Kennedy seems a good idea for that. Gaspar’s word balloons and captions sell the retro look well.
More fine Saladino lettering on this cover as the backup becomes another revived series from the past, one that readers could participate in.
The comet blurb on this cover with the fish-eye bulge toward the reader is masterful work by Saladino. There’s another error in the arrow caption, the character’s name is The Yellow Peri, but that wasn’t Gaspar’s fault, the final I was dropped during color separations.
Gaspar’s calligraphy and Old English styles are evident in the scroll caption, and Dial H is in a new round caption that works well here.
Toward the end of this run, Gil Kane did some impressive covers, and Gaspar gave Neptune an intriguing balloon style on this one.
Gaspar’s scary styles were always on call when needed, as in the caption here.
To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 1, 7-9, 12-13, 15-17, 19-21, 23-48, 50, 52. That’s 40 in all. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.