I've been waiting for this archive edition since they started the Archive Edition program 20 years ago. And I've been wanting to read these stories ever since I picked up a copy of Secret Society of Supervillians off a spinner rack in McDaniels Drugstore 100 years ago in the mid 70s

Captain Comet Archives
Written by JOHN BROOME, GERRY CONWAY and others
Art by CARMINE INFANTINO, MURPHY ANDERSON and others
Cover by CARMINE INFANTINO
ADVANCE SOLICIT • On sale AUGUST 21 • 400 pg, FC, $75.00 US
• Captain Comet faces alien invasions and weird monsters from distant worlds in these stories from DC's classic science fiction series STRANGE ADVENTURES, as well as his 1970s adventures!
• Collects STRANGE ADVENTURES #9-44, 46 and 49, and SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #2-6.

Read More: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2013/01/15/dc-comics-vertigo-collecte...

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I would like to say that I'm getting this because I do want to read the original Captain Comet stories but $75 is rather steep and I already have SSSV #2-6 reprinted in that collection.

If they excluded those 70s issues, could they have released it for $50?

I haven't seen this solicitation yet. (That probably means a new Previews catalog comes out next week.) Meet back here late August/early September to discuss?

$75.00 isn't entirely out of line with the page count. Not sure how many pages getting rid of SSSV #2-6 would cut, but Wonder Woman's 7th volume has 240 pages and was a $60.00 book (Green Lantern's 7th volume was also $60 but had 256 pages)

Philip Portelli said:

I would like to say that I'm getting this because I do want to read the original Captain Comet stories but $75 is rather steep and I already have SSSV #2-6 reprinted in that collection.

If they excluded those 70s issues, could they have released it for $50?

I agree that this should be a fun book, and I've been hoping to see it for a long time, both for the material and for the notion that they may dive into that period of comics, especially if this one is successful.

I also agree the price makes me think twice, but it'll be discounted--Amazon already has it at $47 (http://www.amazon.com/The-Captain-Comet-Archives-Vol/dp/1401241085/...), which is way better. 

Even so, the DC Rarities Archives that came out in 2004 was 348 pages for $75, so this is kind of a bargain. Granted, those SSSV issues probably weren't hard to prep for publication like the "rarities" in the earlier volume. But it's still not out of line with past volumes, given the size and that many of the stories have never been reprinted.

-- MSA

Granted, those SSSV issues probably weren't hard to prep for publication like the "rarities" in the earlier volume. But it's still not out of line with past volumes, given the size and that many of the stories have never been reprinted.

True since they reprinted them in an SSSV book over a year ago.

I mean, I would have been happy with a Black and White Showcase, having it in color just makes it irresistible at any price. 

Jeff, you're on, Skull-Brother! 

True since they reprinted them in an SSSV book over a year ago.

I almost went for that, as I never read SSSV and was curious about it. But it didn't seem like a good value, especially given that we'd been told an SP volume was coming and it was cancelled. Now I'm glad I didn't, because buying additional copies of those stories would cut into the value for sure.

-- MSA

I did buy it, and while I didn't think it was terrible. I didn't think it was that great either, pretty average...

Mr. Silver Age said:

True since they reprinted them in an SSSV book over a year ago.

I almost went for that, as I never read SSSV and was curious about it. But it didn't seem like a good value, especially given that we'd been told an SP volume was coming and it was cancelled. Now I'm glad I didn't, because buying additional copies of those stories would cut into the value for sure.

-- MSA

When I saw this solicitation, I squealed like a little girl  :)  I have very fond childhood memories of the SSSV issues and have always wanted to read the original stories. 

I'm not getting my hopes up about the quality of the material, though.  I do own a very beat-up copy of Strange Adventures #10, and the stories contained, including Captain Comet, are no great shakes. 

The really interesting thing about it is its value as a time-capsule of comics circa 1951.  The issue contains a house ad that lists all the current DC titles--I can't lay my hands on the issue at the moment, but IIRC there are about 30 titles listed, and the only super-hero ones were Superman, Action, Batman, Detective and Wonder Woman.  Everything else was humor, funny animal, western or science fiction.

Almost certainly not, as the SSSV stories require practically no restoration or preparation, unlike virtually all of the 1950s stories. Maybe $65-70.

Philip Portelli said:

I would like to say that I'm getting this because I do want to read the original Captain Comet stories but $75 is rather steep and I already have SSSV #2-6 reprinted in that collection.

If they excluded those 70s issues, could they have released it for $50?

Mickey McLaurin said:

I do own a very beat-up copy of Strange Adventures #10, and the stories contained, including Captain Comet, are no great shakes.

The really interesting thing about it is its value as a time-capsule of comics circa 1951. The issue contains a house ad that lists all the current DC titles--I can't lay my hands on the issue at the moment, but IIRC there are about 30 titles listed, and the only super-hero ones were Superman, Action, Batman, Detective and Wonder Woman. Everything else was humor, funny animal, western or science fiction.

 

Here are some notes on what back-up features were appearing in DC's titles at the time. DC Indexes lists Strange Adventures #10 as having gone on-sale in May, 1951, so I'll mostly examine issues from that month.

 

DC's multiple-feature anthologies of the period were monthlies, except for World's Finest Comics, which featured a slate mostly made up of top DC features and didn't appear in May. Strange Adventures was a monthly, but Mystery in Space wasn't and also didn't appear in May.

 

DC had several titles dedicated to lead features from other titles. Of these, at this point Superman, Batman and Superboy each carried three stories belonging to their title feature, but Tomahawk and Wonder Woman also carried a fourth, change-of-pace item. In Tomahawk #6 it was "Tales of the Arrow Maker"; in Wonder Woman #48 "Wonder Woman of History".(1) Superman and Batman didn't come out in May.

 

DC's other feature-named titles that month were the radio/TV show spin-off Big Town, the radio show spin-off Mr. District Attorney, the teen humour titles Buzzy and Leave it to Binky, and the movie star titles Dale Evans Comics and Jimmy Wakely. Big Town was a monthly, and the others were bimonthlies. All except Buzzy carried three stories belonging to their title features, and one or two change-of-pace items. Buzzy had five "Buzzy" stories and a change-of-pace feature.(2)

-Big Town #7's change-of-pace feature was "Johnny Law".

-Mr. District Attorney #22 had two, a non-series item and "Casebook Mystery".

-Buzzy #38's was "Willy Nilly". This was a teen humour feature that had been dropped from Sensation Comics when it converted to an all-girl format (see below). It didn't regularly appear in Buzzy, but had earlier appeared there in #33.

-Leave it to Binky #21 had two, "Binky's Big Sister Lucy" and "Little Allergy".

-Dale Evans Comics #18's was "Sierra Smith".

-Jimmy Wakely #12 had two, "Kit Coby" and a non-series item.

 

In the period Adventure Comics was Superboy's monthly title, and DC's only title with a slate wholly made up of superhero features. The back-ups in Adventure Comics #166 were "Shining Knight", "Johnny Quick" and "Green Arrow". This was the last appearance of "Shining Knight". The slate was the same the previous month, but before that the title had been alternating "Shining Knight" and "Aquaman" stories. From #167 Aquaman's feature appeared regularly (although it skipped #169), so I'd guess when #166 was prepared the decision to drop "Shining Knight" had been taken and the editor(3) was using up a final story.

 

The lead feature in Star Spangled Comics at the time was "Tomahawk". The back-up features in Star Spangled Comics #118 were "Manhunters Around the World", "Captain Compass" and "Robin". Robin's feature, from which "Tomahawk" had won the covers almost two years previously,(4) was blurbed above the title. The final features in the anthologies tended to have more pages than the middle ones, so we may take it this was still regarded as the second-most important slot in the period.

 

The back-ups in Action Comics #158 were "Congo Bill", "Tommy Tomorrow" and "Vigilante". "Vigilante" was blurbed above the cover-title ("Ride thrilling western trails with the Vigilante"). Although it was treated as the title's second feature at this point, "Vigilante" was the first dropped, after #198. ("Tommy Tomorrow" skipped ##197-198, but presumably the editor was using up the last Vigilante stories.)

 

The back-ups in Detective Comics #173 were "Robotman", "Roy Raymond" and "Pow-Wow Smith" (later the lead feature in Western Comics.[5]) The blurb above the cover-title was "Pow-Wow Smith Indian Lawman". I notice that in the period the second features in both Action Comics and Detective Comics were western-themed.

 

The month's issue of Sensation Comics was #104. Wonder Woman was still starring, but her run in the title would end in #106. At this point Sensation Comics had a line-up of girl-oriented features. The format was adopted in #94; it seems a good idea to me, but apparently it wasn't successful as the title switched to a sensational/supernatural stories format with #107. The back-up features in #104 were "Romance, Inc.", "Astra" (about a woman reporter of the future), "Pam" (presumably humour) and "Dr. Pat" (about a lady doctor). 

  

A feature about a costumed western hero, "Nighthawk", was one of the back-ups in Western Comics #25. The lead feature was "The Wyoming Kid". The other features were "Rodeo Rick", a non-series story, and "Cowboy Marshal". "The Wyoming Kid" also appeared at the time in World's Finest Comics. Nighthawk's story was placed third. That sounds like the least important position (discounting the non-series story, placed fourth but only two pages), but it was Rodeo Rick's feature that was dropped after #27.

 

DC also published four funny animal titles that month, Funny Stuff #61, Hollywood Funny Folks #36, Movietown's Animal Antics #33 and Real Screen Comics #40, and a romance comic, Girls' Love Stories #12. The first three of these funny animal titles lead and finished with a story belonging to their lead features and carried three or four other features. Real Screen Comics had eight(!) "Fox and the Crow" stories and carried two other features. Girls Love Stories #12 didn't have any ongoing features, and Captain Comet's was the only one in Strange Adventures #10.

 

This post isn't a complete account of DC's supporting features at this point since I haven't covered titles that didn't come out in May. I'll conclude with a couple of notes on World's Finest Comics #53, which came out the next month. At this point Superman and Batman did not yet appear together in stories, but regularly appeared, together with Robin, on the covers. These were awful, on similar subjects to the early covers of Comic Cavalcade (mocked by James Lileks here) if better drawn. The line-up was "Superman", "Green Arrow", "Tom Sparks, Boy Inventor" (the only one unique to the title), "The Wyoming Kid", a non-series item, and "Batman". "Tom Sparks" appeared in the title from #49 to #58 and appeared with the superheroes on the cover of #49. "Green Arrow" had been appearing in the title since #6 in 1942.

  

The information in this post was mostly drawn from DC Indexes, with a little help from elsewhere. Corrections welcome.

 

(1) One wonders why the title never tried "Tales of Steve Trevor". Or rather, one doesn't.

(2) DC Indexes credits Jack Schiff with having edited Mr. District Attorney and Dale Evans Comics. I think, however, George Kashdan and Murray Boltinoff were his assistant editors for a long time, and I don't know how they divided responsibilities. Big Town and Jimmy Wakely were edited by Julie Schwartz. (Big Town, which he had taken over from Schiff with #4, may have been his top-selling title; his only other monthly was Strange Adventures.) Buzzy and Leave it to Binky were edited by Lawrence M. Nadle, along with the funny animals titles.

(3) I'm surprised to learn that in the period Adventure Comics and Superboy were edited by Schiff rather than Mort Weisinger.

(4) Most of the later "Robin" covers, but not the very last one, represent the stories as Batman and Robin stories, which implies Robin was thought to lack sufficient solo draw.

(5) Although he came from the Schiff-edited Detective Comics, "Pow-Wow Smith"'s debut (as the lead feature) in Western Comics was the point at which Schwartz took the latter title over from Schiff.

"Kit Coby" should be "Kit Colby". The feature was about a lady sheriff.

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