LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES BY CURT SWAN & MURPHY ANDERSON

The success of the Legion and the exit of Superboy

First Part

Second Part

The profusion of Super-Heroes

3. THE DECLINE (1969-1970)

The decline of The Legion of Super-Heroes, editorially speaking, happened when Mort Weisinger decided to displace the series from ADVENTURE COMICS to ACTION COMICS. Nevertheless, there were prooves of the decline before that and you will be able to see them in the number of magazines in wich The Legion appeared.

If the Legion was published in its begining in almost every Superman family magazine, as we have seen in the page before, the contrary happens now. There is no collection with the Legion except ADVENTURE COMICS.

Actually, in 1966 it only appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS; in 1967 were some exceptions, SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN NO.99, NO.100, NO.106 and WORLD'S FINEST NO.168 and NO.172, but in 1968 only one: ACTION COMICS NO.365, as we see in the page before.

Jim Shooter as scripter and maker of layouts and Win Mortimer with Jack Abel as artist and inker respectively, were the ones who made the creative in The Legion from ADVENTURE COMICS NO.373 to NO.380. ADVENTURE COMICS NO.381 became the magazine for Supergirl and the Legion was transfered to ACTION COMICS NO.377. The artists in ACTION were the same, but the scripter, Jim Shooter released the series in the middle of ACTION COMICS. In the other hand, editor Mort Weisinger retired at the end of the seventies. Changing The Legion of Super-Heroes from ADVENTURE to ACTION was a mistake, even being ACTION a great magazine of the same kind as ADVENTURE that published Supergirl until NO.424, changing afterwards to several characters until its disappearance being cancelled in NO.503.

When the readers knew that ADVENTURE COMICS NO.380 was the last with The Legion, the news was a disaster to all the Legionnaire's fans and although the transfering was to a magazine of the same kind, but The Legion was published in the second place of ACTION and only to ACTION NO.392 in September 1970.

The decline was going up and in October, November, December of 1970 and January 1971, no adventure of The Legion was published in any collection. Nevertheless, the great success in the years before made the fans to react.


4. THE REBIRTH (1971-1973)

In 1971 Paul Levitz, a great follower of The Legion of Super-Heroes, with 14 years old, wrote an article for one zine entitled: "Hero History: The Legion of Super-Heroes", about all the Legion adventures appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS and ACTION COMICS although it ended a little depresive as the decline was seen clearly.

At the same time, Mike Flynn, a great admirer of The Legion, founded THE LEGION FAN CLUB through a letter that was published in SUPERBOY NO.182, appearing thousand of readers that reclaimed new Legion adventures.

Almoust simultaneously, editor Murray Boltinoff decided or had been decided a little before to republish the series and thought that its ideal place, considering the magazines published at that moment, was without any doubt SUPERBOY. Maurray created a new team: Cary Bates as the writer who had writen scripts yet for SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, and as artist Dave Cokrum, although this new team did not begin to wrok until we have named the 8th reappearance.

Inside the period that I have named "The Rebirth"', we could speak, as we did in "The Begining", about 14 reapparances before the series got a new regular publication.

The first reappearance began in SUPERBOY 172 in March 1971. We can see Superboy in the second story of the issue explaining that he was a Legionnaire member in the past and now is a Legion Reservist, but he has a story to tell about three legionnaires, entitled 'BROTHERLY HATE'. This Adventure writen by E. Nelson Bridwell and drawn by George Tuska, tell us again the origin of The Legion of Super-Heroes founded by the multi-millionnaire R.J. Brande, that it had been told yet in SUPERBOY 147 but we can see it here with different art. The same month is published inside the collection 80 Page Giant ADVENTURE COMICS NO.403 dedicated to the reprint of Legion of Super-Heroes adventures.

The second Legion reappearance takes place the following month in SUPERBOY 173 in a story entitled: 'TRUST ME OR KILL ME' headed by the logo: 'TALES OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES' with art by George Tuska and writen by Cary Bates, presenting Cosmic Boy against Mordru.

The third reappearance is in July 1971 in SUPERBOY NO.176 whre we see and read another Legion adventure entitled 'INVISIBLE INVADER' writen by E. Nelson Bridwell with art by George Tuska, withe the legionnaires Chemical Boy, Mon-El, Cosmic Boy, Ultra Boy and Invisible Kid.

SUPERBOY NO.177 is the fourth reappareance although is a Reprint from ADVENTURE COMICS NO.320 from the two parts story entitled: 'THE REVENGE OF THE KNAVE FROM KRYPTON' by Jerry Siegel and John Forte.

The Fifth reappearance in SUPERBOY NO.178 is also a reprint of the ADVENTURE COMICS NO.327 with the story entitled 'THE LONE WOLF LEGIONAIRE' by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte.

The Sixth reappearance was in SUPERBOY NO.180 in December 1971 and again was a reprint as the seventh reappareance in SUPERBOY NO.181 in January 1972.

The following issue, SUPERBOY NO.182, has no Legion of Super-Heroes story but it contains Mike Flynn's letter in which ask to the editors if they feel something against The Legion and announce the creation of a Super-Heroes fan club asking for the sending of postcards with name, address, date of birth and favorite Legionnaire. An Editor's note of the same "Smallvile Mailsack" explains that they have never received before so many letters asking for longer and original Legion adventures not only from the United States but also from Canada, United Kingdom and Nother Ireland, announcing for the next issue Cary Bates as the new writer.

In the eighth reappearance that took place in SUPERBOY NO.183 in March 1972, we have a new and original story of The Legion of Super-Heroes: 'WAR OF THE WRATH-MATES' writen by Cary Bates and drawn by George Tuska & Vince Colletta. The legionnaires appear with a new uniform designed by the readers, starring the adventure Mon-El, Karate Kid, Princess Projectra and Shadow Lass.

SUPERBOY NO.184 is the ninth reappearance with another story entitled "One Legionnaire Must Go" writen by Cary Bates and the first appearance of Dave Cockrum who inks the pencils of Murphy Anderson.

The Tenth reappearance took place in SUPERBOY NO.185, a 100 pages extraordinary issue in May 1972, with two Legion reprint stories.

In the eleventh reappearance Cary Bates as writer and Dave Cockrum, inked by Murphy Anderson, offer us a NEW TALE OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES in SUPERBOY NO.188, July 1972.

In the 12th reappearance in SUPERBOY NO.190 we have again a new and original Legion of Super-Heroes story writen by Cary Bates with Dave Cockrum as penciller and Murphy Anderson inker.

The 13th reappearance took place in SUPERBOY NO.191 with another new story writen by Cary Bates entitled: 'ATTACK OF THE SUN-SCAVENGER' pencilled and inked by Dave Cockrum in artistic creation of great quality.

La 14 reappearance took place in SUPERBOY NO.193 in February 1973 in the new story entitled: 'WAR BETWEEN THE DAYS AND THE NIGHTS' made by the team Bates-Cockrum.

The rebirth the Legion was having made that some reprint issues were made as LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.1 in February 1973 to NO.4 in Kuly-August 1973. Being reprinted adventures even on cover we cannot still say that there be a Legion NO.1 as we will se some years later.

And the 15th reappearance took place in SUPERBOY NO.195 in June 1973 in the Bates-Cockrum story entitled: 'THE ONE-SHOT HERO' in which appear Dave Burroughs who wants to be a legionnaire, but at the end of the story he is given dead but he will return in SUPERBOY NO.202 as Wildfire.

SUPERBOY NO.196 had no Legion adventure and was the last issue of the collection with the SUPERBOY logo on the cover as the following issues will have a new one.


5. THE NEW CONSOLIDATION (1974-1979)

The period that we have named THE NEW CONSOLIDATION covers since 1974 to 1979 and we have named this way because is the period in which The Legion become a regular edition again.

Dave Cockrum brought with his particular artistic style a new generation of legionnaire fans and very soon it happened again the same that happened with ADVENTURE COMICS as SUPERBOY NO.197 has a new logo: 'SUPERBOY STARRING THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES' and later: 'SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES'. SUPERBOY NO.198 had the particularity of be a three legionaire stories issue with no Superboy solo story.

Cockrum transformed a lot of legionnaires redisigned thier costumes and giving to the series a new image more modern. Nevertheless, he left the collection after completing SUPERBOY STARRING THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.202, a 100 pages extraordinary issue in June 1974 in wich the majority of its pages are Curt Swan & George Klein reprints, excepting the adventure drawn by him but inked by Mike Grell who will be the next artist. Dave Cockrum only drawed 11 Legion issues, the first of them as inker.

The following issues until SUPERBOY NO.209 were writen by Cary Bates and drawn by Mike Grell who also gave artistic quality to the drawings of the legionnaire stories. By this time, Mike Flynn, the founder of the Legion of Super-Heroes Fan Club that we mentioned before, with Harry C. Broertjes, founded the greatest fan magazine about the Legion with the name: 'THE LEGION OUTPOST' in wich was very important the readers' letters. The publication was a success and Harry brought Jim Shooter for an interview in the fanzine and this made Jim to come back to DC writing new stories about the Legion of Super-Heroes, from SUPERBOY NO.209 to SUPERBOY NO.214, leaving DC and becoming again Associated Editor in Marvel. We can see in issue number 209 the Editor's Note thanking Harry Broertjes and Jay Zilber for speaking to Jim Shooter.

Cary Bates & Mike Grell will be with the Legion until the appearance in 1976 of Joe Orlando as the Editor of DC Comics. Then, he changed all the creative team for The Legion.

Paul Levitz, the legionnaire fan is now 19 years old and become the new writer for The Legion and James Sherman and a group of other inkers as Jack Abel, Ric Estrada and Mike Nassier helping in the finishing work, begin a new age for The Legion.

DC Comics published a series of magazines named THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS dedicating number nine and twelve to The Legion of Super-Heroes.

In October-November 1976 DC Comics published LIMITED COLLECTORS' EDITIION C-49 dedicated to the Legion of Super-Heroes reprinting stories from SUPERBOY and ADVENTURE COMICS.

Between March-April 1976 and January-Febraury 1978 was published a 15 issues collection entitled KARATE KID with adventures about the Legion of Super-Heroes with Superboy appearing on some covers and inside. You can see here KARATE KID NO.1 and KARATE KID NO.12. Karate Kid was a legionnaire introduced in ADVENTURE COMICS NO.346 in "One Of Us Is A Traitor" by Jim Shooter. In the same story were introduced Nemesis Kid, Ferro Lad and Princess Projectra.

At the end of 1977 begins Gerry Conway as the writer and in 1978 will be the only writer with Joe Stanton as the artist. They will maintain the collection alive after Paul Levitz although we will see that Paul will get back with the help of Keith Giffen and others to go on producing Legion stories.


6. THE TRIUMPH (1980-1983)

The collection SUPERBOY STARRING THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES ended in NO.258 in December 1979 announcing for January of the following year the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.259. In this issue writen by Gerry Conway and drawn by Joe Stanton & Dave Hunt, Superboy leaves The Legion returning to the XX Century and Saturn Girl puts a telepathic hypnotic suggestion in his mind ordering not to return to her time, although he returns in THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.280 in the story entitled: 'CALL BACK YESTERDAY' writen by Roy Thomas and drawn by Jim James and Bruce Patterson.

Here you have the SUPERBOY STARRING THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES collection clasified by years:

1973     SUPERBOY STARRING THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 197-199.
1974     SUPERBOY STARRING THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 200-205.
1975     SUPERBOY STARRING THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 206-213.
1976     SUPERBOY STARRING THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 214-222.
1977     SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 223-234.
1978     SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 235-246.
1979     SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 247-258.
1980     THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES 259 (Superboy leaves the Legion).

Before following the explanation about the triumph of the Legion, I want to mention three more issues: SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.247 because is considered The Legion's 247th Anniversary. SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.250 because congratulates Superboy for his 250 issue, SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.255 because it is a wonderfull cover with Superboy, his parents and The Legion, and finally THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.300 because is another and great Anniversary issue.

The Legion of Super-Heroes has triumphed, at last it has got its own magazine with its own logo on the covers and without the helping of Superboy. The collection will follow until issue NO.313 (July 1984) to be canceled and published in a "De Luxe" format in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.1. This is the first time in the Legion of Super-Heroes history that appears a "number one" and as DC Comics says in their "Legion Outpost", this new collection in a very quality paper is a noble experiment due to the great success of the Legion, that has been one of the favorite comics of DC's readers.

Plurality conquers individuality and twice at the moment. The first SUPERBOY magazine, witout counting MORE FUN COMICS that presents an 8 years old Superboy, was ADVENTURE COMICS. Twelve years later, appears in it The Legion of Super-Heroes and, in four years, become the Legion magazine. Afterwards, the phenomenon happens again in the SUPERBOY magazine. The Legion begins in SUPERBOY NO.172 (February 1971) and in SUPERBOY NO.197 (June 1973), only two years this time, The Legion takes over the magazine.

We can look for in this phenomenon deep psychological and social consequences that clearly point to the every time higher psychological plurality in the human mind of the people of this world and the loss of individuality so we find this reflected in nowadys culture.

Albeit Superboy left his old magazine, the same month appears in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY with the classical adventures of the Boy of Steel in Smallville drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger, a great artist in the SUPERMAN GIRL'S FRIEND LOIS LANE saga, considered in Italy during a lot of years as the best Superman artist. The collection was canceled four years later in 1984.

In 1980 until 1986 two new collections with reprinted adventures appeared with the title DC SPECIAL BLUE RIBBON DIGEST and BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST. The DC SPECIAL show 24 issues with numbers 1, 8 and 22 dedicated to the Legion of Super-Heroes. Here you can see DC SPECIAL BLUE RIBBON DIGEST NO.1. The BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST had 71 issues, most of them dedicated to Superman and the following to The Legion of Super-Heroes:

BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST NO.11 (April 1981).
BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST NO.24 (May 1982).
BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST NO.33 (February 1983).
BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST NO.44 (January 1984).
BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST NO.57 (February 1985).
BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST NO.64 (September 1986).
BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST NO.66 (November 1986).
BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST NO.67 (December 1986).

With the same format as BEST OF DC BLUE RIBBON DIGEST appeared in Spetember 1982 ADVENTURE COMICS NO.491 with several adventures two of them dedicated to reprints of The Legion of Super-Heroes. ADVENTURE COMICS NO.500 was a special issue with all Legion reprinted adventures ended in number 503, September 1983.


7. THE SUCCESS (1984-1989)

The Legion success is consolidated and DC Comics published the legionnaire adventures in a great quality format from LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.1 in August 1984 to LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.63 in August 1989. Superboy was not absolutely absent and we could see him in LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.12 (July 1985). Another important issues in the Baxter edition wer LEGION OF SUPER-HEREOS NO.37 and NO.38 in a four crossover series begining in LEGION NO.37, following SUPERMAN NO.8, then ACTION COMICS NO.591, ending in LEGION NO.38 where DC tried to explain how the Legion existed in a Universe where there no Superboy, as in the Post Crisis Superman saga, John Byrne elimintated the character known as the Boy of Steel. In April 1988 LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.45 celebrates the 30 years Anniversary. The Experiment with this Deluxe format has been a success being Paul Levitz its regular writer with Keith Giffen as ploter and penciller and several inkers as Grec La Rocque and others.

Furthemore, to the ones who were not able to buy the expensive magazine (Baxter Edition), DC Comics published at the same time TALES OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES, a parallel collection with the same price of the normal series and following the numbering. You can read now two Legionnaire comics per month writen by Paul Levitz with Keitk Giffen in the Baxter Edition and Terry Showmaker & Karl Kesel in the "Tales". The editorial plans were to publish these two series during a year with different plots all writen by Paul Levitz, and different art team and after one year of publication, "Tales of the Legion" would begin the reprinting stories of the Baxter Edition, so the readers with less money to spend in comis would be able to read the Baxter stories in the cheaper "Tales of the Legion". So we have now TALES OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.314 as the first number of the new collection that within a year will repeat the Baxter Edition adventures begining in NO.326.

As it happened at the begining, when we spoke about the consolodation of the Legion in ADVENTURE COMICS, (there were other collections with the legionnaire adventures) in this second part with the new consolidation, triumph and success we can also see other collections related with the Legion.

DC SUPER-STARS NO.3 in May 1976.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (TEMPO BOOKS) in 1977.
DC SUPER-STARS NO.17 in November-December 1977.
DC COMICS PRESENTS NO.13 in September 1979.
DC SPECIAL SERIES NO.21 SUPER-STAR HOLIDAY SPECIAL in April 1980.
SECRETS OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.1 in January 1981.
SECRETS OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.2 in Fenbruary 1981.
SECRETS OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.3 in March 1981.
DC COMICS PRESENTS NO.43 in March 1982.
DC SAMPLER in 1983.
DC COMICS PRESENTS NO.59 in July 1983.
SUPERBOY NO.50 in February 1984.
DC COMICS PRESENTS NO.80 in April 1985.
SUPERMAN NO.423 in September 1986.
ACTION COMICS NO.583 in September 1986.
SECRET ORIGINS NO.42 in July 1989.
THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN NO.477 in April 1991.


As other Superman collections, there were Legion of Super-Heroes Annuals as ANNUAL NO.1 in 1982, ANNUAL NO.2 in 1983, ANNUAL NO.3 in 1984. Another ANNUAL NO.1 in 1985, ANNUAL NO.2 in 1986, ANNUAL NO.3 in 1987 and ANNUAL NO.4 in 1988. This year was published the seven issues miniserie WHO'S WHO IN THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (you can see here NO.5 from September 1988). The Annuals followed with another ANNUAL NO.1 in 1990, ANNUAL NO.2 in 1991, ANNUAL NO.3 in 1992, ANNUAL NO.4 in 1993...

In 1989 appeared on the horizon new perspectives. After the INVASION mini-series will appear LEGION 89 changing every year to LEGION 90, LEGION 91, and so on, begining number one in Legion 89 and following the numbering year after year until number 70 in LEGION 94 (See an example of LEGION 94 NO.63). Ending the Baxter Edition in NO.63 it began a new run with THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.1 in November 1989 to NO.125 in March 2000 (See as examples NO.23, NO.74 and NO.85). In number one, five years later in the Legion history, Chamaleon Boy rejoins the legionnaires, looking for them one by one (some of them have disappeared or passed away).

In 1992, Lar Gand, the previous Mon-El appeared for the first time in SUPERBOY 89 (1961) who entered the Legion in ADVENTURE COICS NO.300 (1962), was renamed M'Onel and afterwards Valor gets his own collection beginng in VALOR NO.1 in November 1992. The same year the DC published SILVER AGE CLASSICS reprinting the first Legion issue in ADVENTURE COMICS NO.247.

In 1994 after the "Zero Hour" saga, DC Comics published "Number 0" in all colections and of course there were LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.0 in October 1994. You can read and see the new Legionnaires in the following page: "The Legion After Zero Hour".

In 1994 we can see the LEGIONNAIRES ANNUAL NO.1 from the collection "LEGIONNAIRES" that began in April 1993 with its number one, ending in LEGIONNAIRES NO.81 the same month that ended LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.125 in March 2000.

In 1995, 1996 and 1997, the Legionnaires appeared in the maxiseries SHOWCASE. You can see here SHOWCASE 95 NO.6 (1995), SHOWCASE 96 NO.8 (1996) and SHOWCASE 96 NO.12 (1997).

In October 1998 it was published ADVENTURE COMICS 80 PAGE GIANT NO.1 with a Legion of Super-Heroes adventure.

In 1999 the famous and prestigious THE OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE dedicated its cover to the Legion of Super-Heroes using the idea of ADVENTURE COMICS NO.247 where we see Superboy being tested by Cosmic Boy, Lightning Boy and Saturn Girl.

In November 2000 the DC COMICS MILLENIUM EDITION presented ADVENTURE COMICS NO.247 when it all began. The Legion collectors that were not able to buy this issue, they have it now for $2.50 in contrast with the prices of the original issue from 1958 valued today acording to the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide between $3,000.00 in Very Fine condition and $6,300.00 in Near Mint.

After THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES NO.125, DC comics published a twelve monthly issues maxiseries entitled LEGION LOST. After this twelve issues DC published two beautiful comics in prestige format from the series Elsewordls: SUPERBOY'S LEGION NO.1 and SUPERBOY'S LEGION NO.2 in 2001. In the first one, the rocketship with Kal-El escapes the explosion of planet Krypton and arrives to the 30th century where it ends up being discovered by multibillionnaire R.J. Brande who adops te baby that wehn growing up looks for another youngs to form The Legion of Super-Heroes. In ussue number two, The Superboy's Legion fight aginst the Fatal Five.

After the two Elseworlds prestige issues began the six issues miniseries LEGION WORLDS and finally in 2001 began an ongoing series entitled THE LEGION that continues in the year 2003. The begining is the return of the missing legionnaires. You can see her THE LEGION NO.13 from December 2002.

Long Live The Legion!


Some Legion sites on Internet:

Legion of Super-Heroes in the Silver Age
The Legion of Super-Heroes On-Line Companion


Most of the Museums pages are bilingual.

Visit The Great Superman Thematic Museum

To The Great Superman Thematic Museum

DISCLAIMER: SUPERMAN and all related elements are the property of DC COMICS.


Other web sites made by me (In Spanish with thousands of images large size)

Legion of Super-Heroes    Superman Clasified By Years    Superman    The Spanish Superman Homepage    Superman expandido    Superman Returns    Supergirl de Peter David    The Man of Steel    Superman en España    Smallville    Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur    El Príncipe Valiente por Harold R. Foster    Tarzan    Flash Gordon    Flash Gordon y Jungle Jim Sundays 1934-1944    El Hombre Enmascarado (The Phantom)    Pantera Negra y Pequeño Pantera Negra    El Guerrero del Antifaz    Los Diez Mandamientos    La ciudad de Jaca en imágenes    La ciudad de Amposta en imágenes    Evita 1919 - 1952    Kim Wilde    Kylie Minogue    Hurts    Mariano Bayona.com

DOLORS CABRERA GUILLENDOLORS CABRERA GUILLENDOLORS CABRERA GUILLEN
All my sites are dedicated to my beloved wife, Dolors Cabrera Guillén, who passed away on March 12th 2007 at the age of 54, because of a cancer. The Homage site below (Sorry, in Spanish) has 614 pictures of her.

Homage to my wife Dolors Cabrera Guillén 

(C) Copyright Mariano Bayona Estradera - Dolors Cabrera Guillén (1997-2007)
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