A while back, I logged some week-to-week posts on DC’s digital reprint program through Comixology. It’s been a while, and their digital offerings have matured, so I thought I’d take another look at what they’re adding each week. Currently, they seem to be doing about 30 books a week. I might not list all the issue numbers going forward – if the 90s Superman titles continue moving forward at two of each a week, there’s not much value in listing each issue. But let’s take a look at this week’s, and let’s see where the patterns take us, shall we?

 

90s Superman: DC is following the 90s Superman titles (soon to be the 2000s Superman, as this week’s titles are from December 1999) pretty quickly, giving us 8 issues of the books every week. There’s a lot of material to get through, but that’s still an admirable clip. We may only have a few more weeks of this, judging by Action Comics (the one title of the bunch that doesn’t change its numbering and continues for a long while) – 761 is the most recent issue, and Action already seems to be in the digital library from 769 on. Superman, Adventures of Superman and Superman: Man of Steel have bigger gaps, though. 

Action Comics 760, 761

Adventures of Superman 574, 575

Superman 152, 153

Man of Steel 95, 96

 

Arion: 11, 12

DC has been adding two issues of Arion: Lord of Atlantis a week for the last 6 weeks. There are 35 issues and a special, so there's a way to go before the series is completed.

DC Comics Presents: 75, 76

DCCP started out at a faster pace, but has been going two a week for a little while now. There are about 20 issues to go. Bonus: More Arion this week, in issue 75!

Guy Gardner: Warrior: 33

11 issues to go.

Huntress: 19, 4-issue 1994 series

We wrap up the Cavalieri/Staton ongoing that introduced Helena Bertinelli, and then power through a Chuck Dixon mini from 1994. Will Huntress return next week, or will we move on?

Justice League America (Bwa-ha-ha) 51, 52

This one has a ways to go before having everything available.

Manhunter: 34

Four more issues till it’s all there!

Mister Miracle: 23-25

This wraps up the 70s run – Kirby and then Marshall Rogers, it’s all there! (I think DC also recently wrapped the 70s Return of the New Gods run, too.)

Superman (Bronze Age): 233

This is an interesting one. The Kryptonite Nevermore cover – I’m surprised it wasn’t available before this. Will DC continue from here? Their 70s Superman offerings on Comixology are paltry.

Wanderers: 7, 8

This 80s Legion spinoff ran 13 issues, so we’re almost there.

Wonder Woman (Silver Age): 130, 131

DC has been making silver age Wonder Woman stories available, probably wishing to expand their catalog in anticipation of the movie. At this point the silver age issues go from 112-131, with a couple of gaps.

Swamp Thing (Diggle/Dysart run): 25

4 more issues to go.

Trigger: 5

This Vertigo sci-fi series lasted 8 issues. I don’t remember it at all.

 

That’s a pretty exhaustive look at this week’s offerings. Next week, I’ll probably just note new additions (what will replace Mister Miracle? The '89 and '96 series have already been collected, so we might be in for something new. And there might be more Huntress comics that haven't been reprinted yet, but Comixology has a bunch of them listed already, and the Bat-universe is so sprawling it's tough to search), unexpected omissions, breaks from the patterns, and go forward from there. 

And to make things easy to follow:
Week 2. (April 6, 2017)

Week 3 (April 13, 2017)

Week 4 (April 20, 2017)

Week 5 (April 27, 2017)

Week 6 (May 4, 2017)

Week 7 (May 11, 2017)

Week 8 (May 18, 2017)

Week 9 (May 25, 2017)

Week 10 (June 1, 2017) -- All the golden age Wonder Woman goodness!

Week 11 (June 8, 2017)

Week 12 (June 15, 2017)

Week 13 (June 22, 2017)

Week 14 (June 29, 2017)

Week 15 (July 6, 2017)

Week 16 (July 13, 2017) -- Our Worlds at War! Underworld Unleashed!

Week 17 (July 20, 2017) -- The Great Ten! More Wonder Woman!

Week 18 (July 27, 2017) -- Batman Confidential and Deathblow? Young Heroes in Love?? Doom Patrol!

Week 19 (Aug 3, 2017) -- Some Bronze-age Batman!

Week 20 (Aug 10, 2017) -- Loeb/Sale Challengers begins!

Week 21 (Aug 17, 2017) -- Silver Age Challs!

MIDWEEK SALE BLAST (Aug 22, 2017): Wildstorm!

Week 22 (Aug 24, 2017) -- Holding pattern...

Week 23 (Aug 31, 2017) -- chugging along

Week 24 (Sept 7, 2017) -- Same old, but with newer Challengers

Week 25 (Sept 14, 2017) -- Baron/Jones Deadman debuts

Week 26 (Sept 21, 2017) -- Holding steady, with more Deadman

Week 27 (Sept 28, 2017) -- Deadman in Action Comics Weekly?

Week 28 (Oct 5, 2017) -- A slow swerve into Batman

Week 29 (Oct 5, 2017) -- Doom Patrol finishes in the smallest week ever

The Gap List: a list of unexplained or awkward skips.

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The original production materials often exist for Silver Age comics and later, but not Golden Age ones. So to publish print collections of Golden Age comics DC and Marvel produce new production materials. Sometimes they've been produced by tracing the comics. I don't know if that still happens. (I've used the expression "production materials" as I don't know exactly what's needed.)

Marvel did a Fighting American collection in 1989. The original materials existed for some pages and not others, so some pages in the published volume were crisp and others muddy.

I would guess today the production materials are prepared and digitalised, the digitalised version is coloured, and the digital "master" is used to produce print copies and e-copies.

I could be wrong, as I haven't been an e-customer, but my impression is Marvel and DC don't sell scans of the original comics. I assume they could be produced cheaply; people post that stuff online for free!

I sometimes wonder if all of Marvel's and DC's Golden Age output is under copyright. DC was very likely aware of the need to renew its superhero copyrights when they came up for renewal in the 60s. As I understand it, magazine copyrights were often collective. So I assume copyrights were renewed by renewing the copyright for an issue. But I don't know that's how it worked, how much paperwork was involved, and if fees were involved.

Looking at that house ad I can see it's Ditko now. It's obvious when you focus on the bats, and Man-Bat's arms and hands. I don't have a way of telling who the inker was.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I never connected the Baron Tyme character to the one in the Demon story, which I think I've read at least part of. 

Apparently it was been reprinted, without the Michael Golden part, in The Steve Ditko Omnibus #2. Baron Tyme first turns up on the last page of the Golden instalment. I'm wondering if the other three parts were produced first, as a story starting in media res.

I generally prefer to buy things all at once, too -- every time there's a sale on Grayson, I'd buy up through the next storyline. But I think there's value in giving Trigger two months to catch our eye, instead of a week -- particularly because it's a book that no one seems to be specifically seeking out. 

Plus it gives me something to talk about!

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

I guess it just depends on the consumer. For me, on something that has already been released, I would want them all available at one time. 

Interesting: Two different issues from Neal Adams' Silver Age Teen Titans trilogy seem to use two different coloring methods.  Maybe sourced from two different trade collections?

That's probably right, but rather different hardcovers. The GCD tells me #6-#20 (and The Brave and the Bold #83) appeared in The Silver Age Teen Titans Archives #2, and all the issues up to #24 (plus other stuff) in Teen Titans: The Silver Age Omnibus #1.

That's sharp of you to spot that, Detective.

Thanks Luke.

Something else I noticed while perusing Comixology: a big swing in the quality of some restorations from one issue to the next. For example: DC Comics Presents #43 looks terrible while #46 looks fantastic. 

The #43 page is a surprise to me, because it has the look of a scan from an original issue. The GCD tells me the story was reprinted the Superman vs. Mongul paperback. It's an uninspired story. Superman's fight with Mongul doesn't have any of the excitement of their fight in #36.

Dr Mist and the Global Guardians in #46 were all from Super Friends, which was predominately written by the issue's author, E. Nelson Bridwell. A couple of them (the Seraph and Jack O'Lantern) also starred in back-up stories there.



Luke Blanchard said:

The #43 page is a surprise to me, because it has the look of a scan from an original issue. The GCD tells me the story was reprinted the Superman vs. Mongul paperback. It's an uninspired story. Superman's fight with Mongul doesn't have any of the excitement of their fight in #36.

Very strange. I actually own the Superman vs Mongul trade. Here's the same page from that book:

Thanks, Detective. I notice the new version copied the original colours (assuming that other one is an original page). I wondered if the new versions did that, as by then the colourists were credited.

It seems odd that Comixology offers an inferior version for sale as a single issue. Why not use the same version included in the trade?.

I don't have a good explanation. Maybe they scanned the issue as a guide to the colourist, and whoever prepared the e-version used the scan by mistake.

It's a new Thursday, everybody -- and that means 32 new comics from the DC backlist on Comixology. 

So here's the rundown:

As usual, we've got 8 new 2000s-era Superman books -- no, wait, make that 7! For some reason only 1 issue of Superman (#156) shipped.

There are also two 70s Superman comics, continuing from the last two weeks: 236 and 237.

Wonder Woman continues ramping up, with four silver age comics this week, consecutive from last time, 136-139.

We've got 2 more Arion, 3 more DC Comics Presents, 1 more Guy Gardner: Warrior, 2 more Justice League America, 1 more Manhunter, and 3 more Wanderers to wrap up that series. All consecutive from last week.

In Vertigo we've got another issue of Trigger, and another Swamp Thing issue, #26. Maybe the mossy Mr. Holland is on a bi-weekly basis?

For new stuff, we've got the complete 3-part Chuck Dixon/Flint Henry Man-Bat series from 1996. 

And we've also got two issues of Superboy Starring the Legion of Superheroes, 222 and 223 from the mid-70s! My retailer has been noticing a lot of LSH reprints in the pipeline (and a Batman 66/LSH teamup has just been announced!) so I wouldn't be surprised to see more Legion material here (and if you include the Wanderers, I guess it's been going on for a few weeks now). 

This week saw the end of the Wanderers and the 90s Man-Bat mini, so there are 6 slots up for grabs. Will one of them let 2000s Superman catch up? (Three more issues will bring us to the Emperor Joker storyline, which already exists on Comixology.)

We've got 2 more issues of Manhunter, 3 more issues of Swamp Thing, and 1 more issue of Trigger. And one more issue of Fight For Tomorrow if Comixology gets back to it next week.

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