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.
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.
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!
Vartox appeared a lot more than Captain Strong or Valdemar did.
And later Superman got his first really dangerous female foe, the twisted serial killer Faora Hu-Ul when she escaped the Phantom Zone, though she was inspired by Ursa from the movies!
Vartox debuted in 1974, but didn't return until Action Comics #475-#476 in 1977, so in 1976 he was not yet a recurring character.
I was off on vacation this past week, and I missed my usual Thursday posting. And there’s certainly a lot to talk about!
First up, we’ve got two long-defunct runs being picked up again. Last seen when issue 34 was released in 2012, we now get Batman Confidential 35 and 36. People reading the 5-parter “The Bat and the Beast” will finally get to read the conclusion!
Also, there’s issues 13 and 14 of Deathblow, last seen in 2015. It probably wasn’t cut off mid-story, at least, since there’s a collection of 1-12 also on offer.
We’ve also got Hawkman: Secret Files and Origins #1, presumably to prepare for his role in Metal.
Some of the regulars are back, too: We’ve got 3 issues of Lobo (25-27), three issues of Starman (14-16), three issues of The Legion (34-36, two more to go!), an issue of Justice League America (72, the first issue of the cool Destiny’s Hand 4-parter), and 3 issues of Justice League Europe (38-40, which is catching up with its sister series, in date if not in issue number).
Plus we’ve got two more classic issues of Brave & Bold, 90 and 91, guest-starring Adam Strange and Black Canary.
Speaking of Adam Strange, there’s a lot of him in this week’s releases. Not only is he in that one issue of B&B, but his early appearances in Showcase (17-19) are available, and his stories from Mystery In Space 53-56 have been collected into one issue’s worth of content (for just 99 cents).
That’s not a favorite practice of mine despite the price; I’d rather DC collected the issues as-is, the popular stuff with the lesser-known stuff it stood beside, as is done this week with the Golden Age Big All-American Comic Book (the one and only issue, previously only available in the DC Rarities Archive).
And that’s not all! From the Silver Age, we’ve got My Greatest Adventure 80 and 81, the first appearances of the Doom Patrol!
And from the 90s, we get another Underworld Unleashed one-shot -- Apocalypse: Dark Uprising – as well as the first two issues of Young Heroes in Love, a fun series that flew under a lot of people’s radar. I haven’t read it since it was published, but it’s worth a look, and I’m glad to see it getting a second chance.
I was expecting more 70s Action Comics, but that well is empty this week. Which, I sppose, deepens the mystery of Whirlicane!
If anyone doesn't know, The Big All-American Comic Book was a one-shot, a showcase of DC (AA) features. DC reprinted it in DC Comics Rarities Archives #1. The GCD tells me the issue featured
Mutt & Jeff
Who's Who in Zooville (funny animals; series of one- and half-pagers used throughout the line)
Scribbly and the Hunkel Family (this was the last instalment until Scribbly)
The Atom (this was the last instalment until after the war, when inventory episodes were published and the feature was revived; in the meantime the character continued to appear as a member of the JSA in All-Star Comics)
Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys (kid superhero feature from Sensation Comics)
The Whip (from Flash Comics, but the feature's regular run had ended; this was the second-last instalment)
Pint-Size Pete (the GCD doesn't record other appearances)
The Ghost Patrol (from Flash Comics; a long-running feature that continued to the title's end)
Bulldog Drumhead (funny animals; from Funny Stuff)
for images see here
Very cool to see Young Heroes in Love come out digitally. I just don't think most comic book fandom was ready for a book of that nature back then. I could easily see it working as title for Image or Dark Horse now.
Another Thursday, another batch of new old DC comics on Comixology!
First off, anyone expecting more Deathblow or Batman Confidential after their reemergence last week will be disappointed. Neither one made the cut.
On the other hand, we do have a variety of Bat comics: Batman 337 (a Gerry Conway/Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez tale, and the first issue of a 3-issue gap between 337 and 339); Batman Family 17 (only the 6th issue reprinted of its 20-issue run; this one, in the Dollar Comic format, features a Bob Rozakis story teaming up Man-Bat and the Demon, with art by Michael Golden); Detective Comics 463, 464, and 497 (the first two feature the Black Spider; the third is a spotlight on Batgirl); and the usual assortment of Brave & Bolds: 92 and 93 (featuring the Bat-Squad and the House of Mystery) and the scattering of 158, 161, 171, and 172 (Wonder Woman, Adam Strange, Scalphunter, and Firestorm, respectively). Plus there’s another Underworld Unleashed special, Batman: Devil’s Asylum.
We also get more Adam Strange in Mystery in Space 57 (through 59; while listed as 57 only, this issue collects the Adam Strange stories from 57-59 for 99 cents). Plus there’s a silver age Hawkman issue, #18. The character will have an increased profile thanks to Metal, so this makes some sense, but this issue is also a team-up with Adam Strange—which is probably why it was selected. It’s the first issue of this series to appear on Comixology. (So where can we expect to see Adam Strange? Metal? Legends of Tomorrow?)
And hey, there’s even more Batman in World’s Finest issues 250 and 269, two issues from the Dollar Comics run that also featured Green Arrow/Black Canary, Hawkman, Wonder Woman, Red Tornado, and Captain Marvel. Black Lightning, too, but I don’t think he’s in either of these issues.
And then we’ve got the stuff we expect: 3 more issues of Lobo (28-30), Starman (17-19), and Justice League Europe (41-43), one more of Justice League America (73), and two more of Young Heroes in Love (3 and 4).
But hey – those final two issues of The Legion are missing in action! I’ll put them on the Gap List.
So, what’s up with the Bat-Squad, anyhow? The comic’s description calls them “Mick, Margo, and the Major.” Were they ever seen again?
World's Finest Comics #250 had a crossover of three features (Superman/Batman, Green Arrow/Black Canary, Earth 2 Wonder Woman during WWII). The story was written by Gerry Conway and drawn by George Tuska, and I don't recommend it. The issue also had a Creeper story by Steve Ditko.
World's Finest Comics #269 has a Superman/Batman story by Gerry Conway and Rick Buckler in which Batman is buried alive. What he does about it is nicely thought out.
The Green Arrow story was by Bob Haney, Trevor von Eeden, and inker Brett Breeding. I don't know if I read this instalment. Breeding was a slick, tight inker, so the Von Eeden/Breeding combination didn't have the loose, impressionistic look of Von Eeden's later work.
The Hawkman story is from a run by Bob Rozakis and Alex Saviuk. Hawkgirl renamed herself Hawkwoman during it. I don't recall the particular instalment. I thought the run mediocre.
In the 1960s Thangar was an peaceful, super-advanced planet. Justice League of America #117 established that it had been infected with a plague that equalised everyone mentally and physically. This situation was resolved in Showcase #103, which revealed that the Thanagarians had been cured by Hyathis. She now ruled as Thanagar's queen, and her rule was accepted by the Thanagarians. She exiled Hawkman when he said she'd never been his queen. This was the situation when the run commenced. (The first instalments were by others.)
In World's Finest Comics #277 Hawkman received a message that Thanagar was ready to revolt. In #278 Superman and Batman helped him overthrow her. But later the mini The Shadow War of Hawkman established that Thanagar had become a militaristic world with designs on Earth. This conception of the Thangarians stuck.
The Red Tornado story is a Gerry Conway/Jose Delbo one. The Red Tornado's body is malfunctioning, and in danger of breaking down completely. The malfunction has affected his JLA device so he has to get the parts he needs locally. Unfortunately he runs into some terrorists. I thought this mediocre.
In the Shazam! story Sabbac plots against Captain Marvel, Jr. I don't remember it clearly. It was written by E. Nelson Bridwell and drawn by Don Newton, the regular team on the feature. Newton's first Shazam! story was the last issue of the 1970s Shazam! series.
I recently picked up the entire run (I think!) of Dollar World's Finests via back-issue dives, and I liked them quite a bit. They're VERY uneven, but they're a good glimpse at what the B- and C-listers were doing in the late 70s/early 80s. In the days before limited series, backup strips and anthologies like World's Finest and Adventure were the only place you could find these guys, since no one was going to take a chance on launching a Red Tornado series otherwise.
I miss the DC Anthology; I'd love to see them do a Dark Horse Presents-style title, $4.99 for six 8-page stories each month, some one-shots, some continued. I can't imagine it would succeed, but I'd enjoy it while it lasted.
It's a new week!
Aside from concrete runs, things have been kind of scattershot lately, which is interesting, I think. So let's look at what we've got:
The Usual Post-Crisis Suspects: Three issues of Justice League Europe, 1 issue of Justice League America, 3 issues of Lobo, 3 issues of Starman, 2 issues of Young Heroes in Love. Plus, as we've had the past few weeks, we have another Underworld Unleashed special -- this time, one called Patterns of Fear, which seems to be partially an Oracle story, and partially a Who's Who style database on the criminals Neron's magic transformed.
We've also got some expected Silver and Bronze age stuff: Comixology leans hard into Doom Patrol this week, reprinting My Greatest Adventure 82-85, and then following the book past its title change into Doom Patrol 86 and 87.
We also get Brave and Bold issues from two different eras, consecutive from last week. Issues 94 and 95 feature team-ups with the Teen Titans and a mystery star; 173 and 174 feature team-ups with the Guardians of the Universe and then Green Lantern (with Nemesis backups in both).
Plus, a new issue of Mystery in Space, #60. It's only 99 cents, but from comparing the credits with the TOC listing at the Grand Comics Database, it looks like it reprints the whole issue this time, not a compilation of a number of Adam Strange stories.
Then we've got three more bronze-age Detective Comics issues -- 498 and 499 (consecutive from one of last week's reprints) and 502. I can understand why DC decided to skip issue 500 for now -- it's a giant-sized special -- but issue 502 is the second part of a story ("Who Shot Mlle Marie?") that begins in the unreprinted 501. So 501 is going on the gaps list until it turns up. (The story features the first appearance of Alfred's daughter, who Scott Snyder brought back into New 52 continuity a few years ago.)
Plus, we get the first issue of the first Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale collaboration: 1991's Challengers of the Unknown! They'd go on to much more acclaim at both DC and Marvel, but this issue caught my eye as something special at the time. Plus: This issue (or at least this series, but I think it's this issue) has a cameo by Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman!
I’m going camping on Wednesday night, so here’s the advance word on what Comixology will have for us this week, starting Thursday.
The Usuals: Lobo 34-36, Starman 23-25, Young Heroes in Love 7 & 8. Justice League of America 75, and Justice League Europe 47-49. JLE is catching up to JLA on the timeline – JLA is now in April 1993, while JLA is in June. JLE is also about to change its name to Justice League International with issue 51.
Among the older stuff, Mystery in Space (#61) and Brave and Bold (#96) continue with one issue each. The Brave & Bold teamup is with Sgt. Rock. We’ve also got four issues of Doom Patrol (88-91) and two issues of Detective Comics, consecutive from last week, 503 and 504. (501 remains on the Gap List.)
And then there’s Challengers of the Unknown! The 1991 series gets two more issues, 2 & 3 – but also the Silver Age series gets its first entries into Comixology too. The list I have in front of me says it’ll be six issues in all… issues 3-8. Why issues 1 and 2 are omitted is anybody’s guess. (And, of course, there were some Showcase issues that came before their ongoing series – those aren’t here either.)
Anyway, it’s a quick one for me – I’ve got packing to do! (And some more work, which I’ve just taken a few moments to procrastinate from.)
Whoa! That's a chunka comic books!
Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said: