Some time around the summer of 1969, I was taken off of Adventure Comics
, my one regular title, because the Legion of Super Heroes
, my regular feature, was reduced to a second feature in Action Comics
. That move made no sense to me. While other National titles had fallen precipitously, Adventure
had remained fairly constant during my tenure, according to the statements of ownership printed in one of my first issues and in my last (the way I figured it, the ol’ “Marvel writer” had come through) — but Mort explained that falling sales on Superboy
had prompted the shuffling. Supergirl
would be put into Adventure
, and presumably would hold the half million readers buying the title, while as a back-up, the Legion
(which starred Superboy) would no longer “dilute” the sales of Superboy
. And, it might shore up declining sales of Action
. Meanwhile, I would be given Jimmy Olsen
as a regular assignment along with the Legion
back-up to fill my schedule.
Since Jimmy Olsen was not one of my favorite characters, I was somewhat disappointed by all of this. I was also very tired of working for Mort. He was a great man who taught me a great deal, but by his own admission he was not an easy person to work for.
Finally, at age eighteen, thanks in large measure to Mort’s teaching, and in spite of his frequent, brutal, often cruel criticism, I felt fairly confident in my ability — confident enough to dare approach Marvel.
I called Stan Lee. Miraculously, I got him on the phone, even though he’d never heard of me. Even more miraculously, I got him to agree to see me. He told me he’d give me ten minutes.