Why is Ms. Mystic on the DC Superman/Ali cover?
This article at MajorSpoilers.com, published in 2016, was the first time, in 40 years, that Neal Adams acknowledged, publicly, the appearance of Ms. Mystic on the Superman/Ali cover. The first time in 40 years that I’d seen it mentioned by anyone other than myself.
Why did it take Neal so long to mention such a curious inclusion? Why didn’t he use it to promote Ms. Mystic’s premiere appearance in her own comic book?
About a year before this article was published, late 2014, I had told the story of Ms. Mystic’s creation in a Facebook group that Neal and his family monitor. The thread is preserved here:
Evident in this thread is that I told the story, including Ms. Mystic’s cameo in Superman/Ali, while taking great care not to disparage Neal’s role in it.
I was hoping to show Neal that it’s possible to tell the truth about Ms. Mystic and still leave a door open for a dialogue over it.
But Neal Adams would have no part of it.
Instead, he applied the full weight of his clout in order to silence me in Twomorrows’ Back Issue #94 interview, the following year, where he implicitly said that I was a madman who’s been trying to steal Ms. Mystic from him for 40 years.
Neal would have preferred this cameo was never noticed because it begs the question of why it’s there. But now that I was talking about it on Facebook, then perhaps he thought it best to finally acknowledge – and try to explain it.
So, his explanation on Bleeding Cool is that he did it, with DC’s permission, as a hint of a possible crossover between Ms. Mystic and DC.
Neal claims he had already created Ms. Mystic for the New Heroes Portfolio – and so, afterwards, he promoted her in the Superman/Ali cover.
However, the timeline for both events shows Neal’s claims to be chronologically impossible. The Superman/Ali cover was drawn in the summer of 1977, long before there was a New Heroes Portfolio in 1979.
But in the summer of 1977, there was already the entire first issue, finish penciled and in production, for DC, slated as their first creator-owned book.
Ms. Mystic appears on the cover as a DC character, not as a Neal Adams property, because at the time it was a Mike Nasser/Neal Adams collaboration for DC comics to publish.
Neal Adams was not even talking about publishing in 1977, when he drew the cameo. The New Heroes Portfolio was not yet conceived. The Pacific Comics publication was 5 years away.
So. Why would DC Comics agree to do a crossover with a character that only had some vague layouts produced for a first issue, according to Neal, and had no publisher in sight, in 1977?
The reason they listed Ms. Mystic as a DC character is because DC intended to publish Ms. Mystic as their first creator-owned project, that began as a Mike Nasser concept and design – and became a collaboration with Neal Adams.
They already had the first full penciled issue, awaiting production, when they published the cameo.
Neal Adams is lying through his teeth.