Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
Adventure Comics #283 – April 1961
Cover art by Curt Swan and Stan Kaye
The three words, “kneel before Zod,” as demanded by the evil General Zod in the 1980 film Superman II, have become part of our pop culture lexicon; and Zod is apparently the main antagonist in the upcoming Man of Steel movie as well. But where and when did this commanding criminal first appear in Superman’s comic-book universe?
General Zod was an inmate of the infamous Kryptonian prison, the Phantom Zone, when he first appeared in the pages of Adventure Comics #283 in April of 1961 (which was also the first appearance of said Phantom Zone.)
In a story titled, “The Phantom Superboy,” written by Robert Bernstein, Superboy is accidentally projected into the Phantom Zone when a lizard inadvertently triggers a Kryptonian weapon that has fallen to Earth. And all along we thought “Leapin’ Lizards” was Little Orphan Annie’s tagline.
Pa Kent saves the day when he receives a telekinetically typed message from Superboy telling him to reactivate the Phantom Zone projector, which brings the super-lad back home safe. You have to love this cover line where Superboy says, “They don’t see me . They don’t feel me! How can I tell them I no longer exist on Earth?” Words that I’m sure describe how every teenager has felt about their parents at some point.