Here’s another look at material that was collected in CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCADE #1, the first of two self-printed and bound issues of in-production comics that would never see print, done so as to insure the copyright to the material. Most of what was collected in these two volumes were victims of the DC Implosion that reduced their line by about 40% in a single swoop. But not all of it was.

A couple of the stories reprinted in CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCADE are from a somewhat older vintage. Such is the case with today’s entry, which had been produced for THE GREEN TEAM #2. Now, I can already hear you say: “#2? What about #1?” Well, that’s a story in and of itself. You see, DC had established a history of trying out new titles and concepts in an ongoing test series called SHOWCASE. Many of the Silver Age’s most well-remembered series can be traced back to an initial SHOWCASE. So along the same lines, in the mid-1970s, where sales were tanking across the boards, DC’s publisher Carmine Infantino wanted a vehicle in which new books could be road-tested in the field. Having seen that first issues sell better than later ones, Carmine decided to call this new tryout title 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL. Now, I don’t know how he thought that 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #3 or #7 was going to sell like a #1, but this was Carmine’s thinking. 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL became a repository and a dumping ground for projects that DC had commissioned but had no genuine faith in.

One such project was THE GREEN TEAM. In the mid-70s, Carmine and DC were flailing all over the place, looking for a hit, and at some point, a reach-out was made to Joe Simon. Simon had been part of the legendary Simon & Kirby team in the 1940s and 1950s, whose track record for sales was unbeatable. So DC wound up doing a bunch of projects that were suggested and put together by Joe, including BLACK MAGIC (which reprinted Simon & Kirby material from the golden age), CHAMPION SPORTS, PREZ and even a new version of the classic Simon & Kirby character THE SANDMAN. None of them were the huge hit that Infantino was searching for, and so they pretty much didn’t last long.

Simon originated one other series, though it was never released as a self-titled comic. This was THE GREEN TEAM, an insane series in the tradition of the S & K kid gang comics of the 1940s, but with a twist: all of the members of the Green Team were millionaires, and they used their vast storehouses of cash to go out and have adventures. It’s like reading the Newsboy Legion if they were rich, entitled assholes. They also took along Abdul Smith, a poor ghetto black kid, because it was the 1970s and that’s apparently what was done. The whole premise is weird, and the series has an odd cadence to it–it doesn’t take itself seriously, and yet it isn’t quite a parody or a goof either. What it definitely was, though, was out of step with the times. THE GREEN TEAM feels more like a strip from the 1940s than something produced in the 1970s, with the exception of certain contemporary touchstones.

Simon wrote the Green Team stories and the artwork was provided by Jerry Grandenetti and Creig Flessel. As was the case with certain series by his old partner Jack Kirby such as DINGBATS OF DANGER STREET, Simon produced multiple issues of THE GREEN TEAM before the plug was pulled on the project. Whatever momentary impulse had led to the series having been greenlit had passed. The first story, though, was burned off in the pages of 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #2 in the unlikely event that it would prove to be something the public was hungry for. It wasn’t, and so the remaining two Green Team stories hung around in the DC offices for some years, waiting for a place to be used.

When no such place had presented itself, the stories were written off in 1977 as part of the DC Implosion purge. Accordingly, they were printed in CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCASE #1 even though they were much older than the rest of the material in the collection. Beyond this printing, these two stories haven’t seen the light of day.

It has to be said that the Green Team was singular in its approach. Some of these pages are wild as far as how many panels they include. It was definitely like little else on the market at the time (apart from Simon’s other DC books of the period.)

The second issue of THE GREEN TEAM was also intended to include this two-page preview of the follow issue’s story. Strangely, the next issue proceeds as though this sequence never took place. It’s a very odd choice–but what wasn’t in this book? The paper hanger, of course, was intended to evoke Adolf Hitler.


  1. “Simon originated one other series, though it was never released as a self-titled comic. This was THE GREEN TEAM…”

    He and Grandenetti also created THE OUTSIDERS, though I don’t remember if anything more than the one tryout issue was created.


  2. Abdul Smith was a full member of the Green Team. His origin was that he was poor, but a computer error gave him a lot of money in his bank account, which he then parleyed into even more money. Apparently he didn’t forget where he came from.


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