DC Comics Acquires Al Plastino’s Art From J.F.K. And Superman Story, Will Donate To Museum
In late October, a bit of controversy arose when silver age DC Comics artist Al Plastino discovered that his original art from the commemorative edition of Superman’s Mission For President Kennedy — printed soon after the president’s assassination — which he believed had been donated to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, was up for auction. A shocked and upset Plastino spent his final weeks campaigning for the return of the artwork, until the Supergirl and Legion of Superheroes co-creator passed away last month.
Fortunately, DC Comics has fulfilled one of Plastino's final wishes, as the publisher announced it has acquired the pages, and will donate them to the museum, as per the late artist's request.
The news was announced yesterday via DC Comics' website. In a joint statement released through the publisher, Plastino's wife, Annmarie, and children MaryAnn, Fred, Janice, and Arlene expressed their gratitude regarding DC's gesture:
"We are extremely grateful to DC Entertainment for ensuring that the original art Al Plastino created for 'Superman's Mission for President Kennedy' will be preserved as part of his artistic legacy and as a tribute to President Kennedy. This art was always very, very special to Al and our whole family and it would have meant a great deal to Al to know that DC Entertainment stepped in to make this possible."
Produced in 1963, Superman's Mission For President Kennedy was intended to be a promotion for the president’s national physical fitness program. Following President Kennedy's death, DC Comics canceled the printing of the story. Weeks later, the administration for President Johnson asked that DC release the story, and it was printed with a commemorative title page in the late president's honor.
The art from the story was to be auctioned off by Heritage Auctions, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. However, due to public backlash, Heritage chose to delay the sale indefinitely, ultimately giving DC the opportunity to acquire the art in Plastino's honor.
While it's deeply unfortunate Plastino didn't live to see his wish fulfilled, it is inarguably of some comfort to his family that the art will soon be in its rightful place.