Super Friends #35 (volume 5, according to the indicia)
DC Comics (August, 1980)
“Circus Of The Super-Stars”
WRITER: E. Nelson Birdwell
PENCILER: Romeo Tanghal
INKER: Bob Smith
COLORIST: Jerry Serpe
LETTERER: Ben Oda
EDITOR: Julius Schwartz
The Super Friends perform for a charity circus but a criminal gang in Gotham City is rumored to be planning three big heists at the same time while someone else has threatened to kill everyone at the circus. (You couldn’t do that story on Saturday morning.) While Batman, Robin, Aquaman, Superman, and Wonder Woman perform at the circus Batman, Robin, Aquaman, Superman, and Wonder Woman split up to stop the crooks. Confused? The ending will explain it after the Wonder Twins stop the crazy man from burning the circus down and killing everyone.
What they got right: While the idea is a bit off for the cartoon it is still a fun tale. The Wonder Twins get to do some crimefighting, the clues are obvious if you’re paying attention but not insultingly so, and it was overall a good story.
What they got wrong: The exposition section explaining everything is rather clunky. I like the idea that the kids get in for free while the millionaires have to pay extra to get in but in 1980 dollars a million bucks is a bit high. In today’s dollars it makes more sense but considering billionaire was a rarity back then because of the worth of money in the 1980s (just look at how much this comic is worth compared to a modern comic). I keep imagining the old guy is complaining about how high the cost is and his lady friend has to remind him the money is going to help underprivileged kids around the world.
Recommendation: It’s not a good comic to get a feel for the show (for one thing Zan and Jana don’t have secret identities on the show but I like that the comics gave them some) but on its own merits the story is interesting. Worth reading anyway.