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Comic Legends: Did the Comics Code Refuse To Approve 1975's Starfire #1?

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

Here is part one of this week's legends. Here is part two of this week's legends.

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DC published the first issue of their 1975 Starfire series despite the Comics Code objecting to the violence in the issue and withholding their approval!



In the mid-1970s, Marvel and DC were engaged in a fascinating little war called "The War for Rack Space." This was back when both companies were still almost entirely selling their comics on newsstands and thus, they wanted to try to control as much rack space as possible to sort of drive the other one down, so both companies began pushing for more and more new series. All sorts of out there ideas were being approved as they each tried to expand their respective comic book lines.

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One of the comic books launched during this period at DC was Starfire by David Michelinie, Mike Vosburg and Bob Smith (edited by Joe Orlando).

The comic book was set in a future where the Earth was conquered by vicious aliens. They kept some humans as slaves, while other humans hid to fight back as an underground rebellion. Starfire was one of the human infants kept because she was half-white/half-Asian, which the alien general was intrigued by (Stafire being half-Asian and having her own title was a big deal for the era). As it turned out, though, he was intrigued by it because he wanted to have sex with her when she came of age. She decided to escape instead...

She was rescued by a free human...

He trained her to be a great warrior...

However, he was captured by the aliens and killed by the very alien general who had taken her as a slave all those years ago...

So she promptly grabbed a sword and challenged her old "master" to a duel...

She won and in a normal comic book, that would be it. However, this was a different sort of comic book, so she just killed the general...

Now, look back at the cover of the issue. Notice anything unusual?

Well, check out the cover for #2...

Yep, #1 shipped without the Comics Code Authority approval on the cover. That quickly led to rumors that DC decided that it was worth publishing the comic book without approval.

However, in the letter column of issue #3, Joe Orlando explained that it was simply a printing error...

That hasn't kept the story from continuing over the years, of the issue that DC decided to publish even without Comics Code approval (Marvel, of course, later did that on occasion during the 1980s and 1990s when they disagreed with a ruling on an issue. I believe an issue of Born Again was published without Comics Code approval, likely because of the drug needle in the issue).

It isn't the case, though.

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - Did fan outcry lead to Spock's death being moved to the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?

This is it for LAST week's Comic Book Legends, now we'll get into this week's real soon!