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!
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
I was encouraged to see two FANTASTIC FOUR Masterworks (10 and 11) collected - (even cheaper on Kindle!)
I'm snapping them up and hope to see more soon.
Something I’m curious about: Does DC premiere certain issues during sales?
Knowing that there’s a Wonder Woman movie coming out, I thought I’d take a look at what Wonder Woman titles are already available, to compare them with what they’ll put in the inevitable sale.
As of May 18, 2017, here are all the series with Wonder Woman in their title:
First, there’s the digital-age stuff, where everything’s available. Wonder Woman Rebirth, the Wonder Woman ’77 digital-first stuff, The Legend of Wonder Woman, Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, The First Amazon, New 52 Wonder Woman, Superman/Wonder Woman, All three Trinity series, Wonder Woman: Earth One, The Wonder Woman Steve Trevor special (upcoming). There’s also the Wonder Woman: her Greatest Battles collection, as well as Wonder Woman: A Celebration of 75 Years and Wonder Woman and the Justice League.
There are also a few miniseries: Wonder Woman: Blackest Night, Wonder Woman: Convergence, and the Busiek/Robbins The Legend of Wonder Woman are all available. There’s also Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies.
Then in the basic pre-digital Wonder Woman books, here’s what we’ve got.
Sensation Comics has issue 1 available for free, and issues 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, and 8-9 available as two-packs, for 99 cents apiece. These are the Wonder Woman stories only – but still a steal!
The Wonder Woman series that ran from the golden age through Crisis includes these issues: 1-7, 105, 112, 114-117, 119-122, 124-142, 144, 178-190, 192-196, 199-203, 212-230, 274-277, 285-293, 300, 306-329 (the final issue).
The Perez-era Wonder Woman offers a few collections: Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals; Wonder Woman by George Perez, Volume 1 (which includes the Gods and Mortals volume and 7 more issues for only $2 more); Wonder Woman: War of the Gods; Wonder Woman by Mike Deodato; and Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka, Volume 1.
The single issues are as follows: 1-75, 77-226 (including 0 issue). Issue 76 being missing is probably an oversight. I’m going to add it to my gap list.
The 2006 series is basically complete, but with a weird numbering: 1-44, then 600-614. Plus one annual.
Now that I look at it, there’s not a lot to premiere, beyond more issues from Wonder Woman’s original series, and more Golden Age Sensation Comics issues. So when the sale comes, those are the places I’ll be comparing.
That's the theme of this week's Comixology backlist output from DC. It's all the stuff we were expecting...but in some cases, more!
Let's start with what hasn't changed. We get another 2 issues of Arion, another 3 issues of Hawk and Dove (13-15; seems I misnumbered last week's entries) . We get one more issue of the Jurgens Justice league America run, which dropped away for a few weeks. And we get 3 more issues of the DnA/Copiel Legion series, and 2 more issues of 1970s Superboy and the Legion (including one that's about to be collected in the upcoming hardcover!).
No Lobo this week. The Main Man has Memorial Day off!
But we get another 2 issues of Guy Gardner: Warrior, continuing the new pace from last week. Two more issues till it wraps up -- probably next week.
And Superman pulls out the stops with 4 new issues of Adventures of Superman, 4 new issues of Superman, and 5 new issues of Superman: The Man of Steel. The last issues of each series (598, 176, 120) are the issue after the Joker: Last Laugh crossover, so they're all in sync.
Swamp Thing #29 remains a muck-encrusted MIA.
As predicted, there IS a Wonder Woman sale going on -- maybe the first of two, since the sale header on my browser says Wonder Woman Part 1 Sale. There are a few books I didn't notice on my initial overview: The Retro-Active specials DC released in 2011 prior to the New 52, and the Wonder Woman issue from the Tangent series. But judging from the digital release dates listed, they've been around for a while, and just didn't show up on my search.
Incidentally, the best bargains of the sale seem to be Wonder Woman by George Perez volume 1 (14 issues for $5.99) and the DC Comics Presents Wonder Woman 100-page Spectacular, which reprints 4 issues of Wonder Woman (139-142) for only 99 cents!
This week's entries: A TOTAL SWERVE!
We get 64 new old comics this week -- all Golden and Silver Age, and all starring Wonder Woman!
First off, we get Comic Cavalcade 1-13, for only 99 cents apiece. And these aren't just the partial reprints that DC has done with other Golden Age issues. These are the whole deal: Mutt & Jeff, Hop Harrigan, and all! (And of course, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash!)
Next are Sensation Comics 10-40...also apparently including all of the features! (I bought an issue of Comic Cavalcade to test the page count; I haven't done the same with Sensation yet.
Next up are more Golden Age issues of Wonder Woman: 8-15. Again, for 99 cents, for what seems to be the full issue.
And finally, there are the Silver Age issues of Wonder Woman (these for $1.99).. 98-110, other than issue 105, which had already been reprinted. These are all available in the Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess Archives.
So that's 64 new issues of Wonder Woman this week... and plenty for fans of Flash, Green Lantern, and Wildcat (in Sensation), too...most at "sale" prices!
This is a huge departure for DC's Comixology reprint program, brought on, no doubt, by the Wonder Woman movie. I suspect we'll be back to regular business next week, but after a surprise like this, it's hard to say for absolute certain!
Here are some notes on some of the other features. The feature line-up changed from issue to issue, so if you're after one of these check the GCD before buying.
"Red, White and Blue"
This was a service/espionage feature from All-American Comics, about the adventures of a marine, an infantryman, a sailor, and a lady FBI agent. It also appeared in World's Finest Comics.
The feature was created by Jerry Siegel and William A. Smith. The GCD sometimes lists Smith with his middle initial, sometimes without. He drew in a clean, cartoon style.
The GCD says the instalment in Comic Cavalcade #1 was a modified reprint of a story by Siegel and Smith from All-Star Comics #2, and the stories in other issues were by others.
"The Ghost Patrol"
This was a long-running feature from Flash Comics about the ghosts of three members of the French Foreign Legion. They used their ghost powers to fight the Nazis and other evildoers
The feature was created by Emmanuel Demby, Ted Udall and Frank Harry.
The GCD ascribes the two Comic Cavalcade instalments to Udall and Harry.
This was a long-running series from All-American Comics about a young aviator. It became a war feature during WWII. DC also used the character in text stories.
The feature was the basis for a radio show, but I don't think the show's success is evidence the comic version was popular. A serial appeared in 1946, but that may have been due to the show.
The feature was created, written and drawn by Jon L. Blummer, who drew in a cartoony style a bit like H. G. Peter's. He left the feature before it's end, but stuck with it a long time.
The GCD says the "Hop Harrigan" comics stories in these issue were by him, but not all the ones in later issues. The feature didn't appear in #1, #2, #10. Some of the issues have Harrigan text stories.
Internet Archive has many of the radio episodes.
Ed Wheelan was the creator of the newspaper strips Midget Movies and Minute Movies, which taken together ran from the teens to 1935. These told continued stories and parodied and emulated contemporary movies. Wheelan had regular "actors" that he cast in the parts.
For the first 58 issues of Flash Comics Wheelan drew a story each issue. Initially his slot was called "Flash Picture Novel"/"Flash Picture Novelette", but it became "Minute Movies". Two "Minute Movies" stories appeared in Comic Cavalcade.
Wheelan also did comedic one-pagers for the title. According to Toonopedia "Fat and Slat" grew out of Minute Movies. "Wheelan Phoni-Tone News" was evidently a celebrity-news parody.
Wheelan also wrote and drew a series called "Foney Fairy Tales" for #15-#20. This feature also appeared in other titles.
Comic Book Plus has examples of the newspaper strip version of Minute Movies.
E. C. Segar's The Thimble Theatre was initially modelled after Midget Movies.
The revival of the "Minute Movies" name in Flash Comics was preceded by commencement of Tarpé Mills's "Fantastic Feature Films" in Target Comics, which imitated Wheelan's approach of packaging his stories as pseudo-films and casting pseudo-actors in them.
My acknowledgements to Toonopedia and the GCD.
Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:
This week's entries: A TOTAL SWERVE!
We get 64 new old comics this week -- all Golden and Silver Age, and all starring Wonder Woman!
The two instalments in Comic Cavalcade are attributed by the GCD to the character's creators, Bill Finger and Irwin Hasen.
Hasen had previously co-created "The Fox" for MLJ (Archie) with Joe Blair, and created or co-created "The Cat-Man" for Temerson's Crash Comics Adventures. The Fox has a similar costume, and Hasen's version of Cat-Man had a build like Wildcat's (but a very different origin). Hasen also had stints at the artist of "Green Lantern", and worked on Golden Age JSA stories. In the 1950s he created the newspaper strip Dondi with writer Gus Edson. Roy Thomas's interview with Hasen can be read here.
This was a historical adventure feature, set in the 16th century and created by Sheldon Moldoff. Initially the hero was modelled after Douglas Fairbanks in The Black Pirate (which is apparently in the public domain and can be found online). Later he had a costumed second identity. These adventures are from his costumed phase. The feature first appeared in Action Comics and then Sensation Comics, so it really switched companies.
The GCD attributes the art of the three Comic Cavalcade instalments to Moldoff, and the writing of the first two stories to Ted Udall. I don't know if that writer-credit is solidly-grounded or a guess.
Moldoff's early Golden Age work can be visually striking, and some of Moldoff's "Black Pirate" stories were, but I've not seen these ones. The gallery here has a couple of "Black Pirate" pieces. (The second one is a splash page image recreation.) Roy Thomas's interview with the artist can be read here.
"Sargon the Sorcerer"
Sargon was a magician character who had power over what he touched due to his magic ruby. He appeared in All-American Comics and Sensation Comics. His creators were John B. Wentworth and Howard Purcell.
The GCD attributes the writing of most of the Comic Cavalcade instalments to Wentworth, but it leaves the authorship of the instalment in #6 open. It attributes the art of the instalments in #2, #14 to Moldoff, and of the others to Purcell.
Silver Age fans may know Purcell's art from The Brave and the Bold #51 and the "Black Knight" try-out in Marvel Super-Heroes #17. He also drew the Enchantress stories from Strange Adventures, and the second half of the run of Sea Devils.
Purcell was also the writer/artist of the "Just a Story" stories reprinted in Justice League of America #114 and #116, and the creator of Johnny Peril. He did all but the last couple of the Golden Age "Johnny Peril" stories.
"Scribbly"/"Scribbly and the Red Tornado"
"Scribbly" was a comedic series about a boy cartoonist created by Sheldon Mayer. The feature first appeared in Dell's Popular Comics and The Funnies. According to Toonopedia these were prepared for Dell by Max Gaines, who Mayer worked for. Scribbly was even cover-featured on The Funnies #21 and #26. "Scribbly" instalments from this period can be found at Comic Book Plus.
When Gaines launched All-American Comics Mayer continued the strip there. He was solo-cover-featured on two early issues, #6 and #10.
In #20 Ma Hunkel became the Red Tornado to rescue Dinky and Sisty (=Scribbly's younger brother and Ma Hunkel's daughter), and from #23 it was renamed "Scribbly and the Red Tornado". Ma Hunkel got the idea from the boys' natter about Green Lantern. Wildcat also got the idea of becoming a superhero from GL. The feature ended in 1944.
In 1948 Scribbly returned as a DC teen-humour comic, which ran for 15 issues with a hiatus of a year between #13 and #14.
Mayer edited for Gaines in the 1940s, and worked for DC into the 1970s. His greatest success was Sugar & Spike, which he wrote and drew throughout its run. In the 1970s he created Black Orchid.
The GCD indicates the "Scribbly" story from Comic Cavalcade #1 was about Scribbly, and the other two featured the Red Tornado.
The first Red Tornado stories from All-American Comics can be found in the collections A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics and The JSA All Stars Archives #1.
My acknowledgements to Toonopedia and the GCD.
I don't know enough about this character to write my own overview. Toonopedia has one here. The King carried calling cards with his alias, which he used to identity himself to criminals. Initially the feature was titled "King Standish".
For most of the run of Flash Comics Flash and Hawkman alternated on the covers. But the original intention was apparently to cycle more widely, as from #3-#5 other characters got a look-in. The King was featured on #5.
The King's feature was evidently dropped from Flash Comics due to a page cut-back. After that he appeared twice in Comic Cavalcade and once in All-Flash. My first guess was these were inventory stories, but the GCD indicates the artist who did the Comic Cavalcade instalments - Jon Chester Kozlak - hadn't drawn the feature previously, so perhaps someone at AA liked it and wanted to keep it going, or these were inventory scripts.
The feature was scripted throughout by Gardner Fox.
I've just got an invitation through the mails:
"Your presence is needed this evening, it's formal:
A top hat, a white tie and tails."
Nothing now could take the wind out of my sails
Because I'm needed to fight crime this evening
In top hat, white tie and tails.
Puttin' on my top hat,
Tyin' up my white tie,
Brushing off my tails.
Dudin' up my shirt front,
Oilin' my pistol-a,
Polishing my nails.
I'm stepping out, my dear,
To breathe an atmosphere
That simply reeks of sin;
And I trust
That you'll excuse the dust
When all the games begin!
For I'll be there
Sleuthin' in my top hat,
Wavin' my pistol-a,
Rumbling in my tails!
"The Gay Ghost"
There's a whole list of Golden Age ghost heroes, and the Gay Ghost was one of them. He was a Scottish nobleman who was murdered in 1700 by highwaymen when on the way to ask the woman he loved to marry him. He animated the body of an American who was shot by Nazis in his castle and used it to live again in the modern world and romance her lookalike descendant. When evil was at hand he left his new body and fought crime as the Gay Ghost. In his ghost form he could fly and be immaterial, and he carried a sword.
The feature was created by Gardner Fox and Howard Purcell, and appeared in Sensation Comics. I wrote about Purcell in my previous post. The GCD only attributes some of the episodes to Fox, but it attributes the art of all the instalments to Purcell except the last. This appeared a few months after the previous episode and was drawn by Jon Blummer.
The one Comic Cavalcade instalment appeared while the feature was running. The GCD credits it to Ted Udall and Purcell.
DC retitled the feature "The Grim Ghost" when it reprinted the origin and another of the stories in the 1970s. The origin also appeared under its original name in the tabloid reprint of Sensation Comics #1.
My guess is the series was partly inspired by The Ghost Goes West, in which a Scottish ghost is brought to America with his castle, and partly by the play/film Here Comes Mr. Jordan, in which a dead man lives again in another's body.
Etta appeared in two short solo stories, in Wonder Woman #5 and Comic Cavalcade #7. The GCD attributes both stories to William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter.
Doiby was Green Lantern's cab-driver sidekick. The GCD says a one-page public service item about paper salvage starring Doiby appeared in several AA titles, including Comic Cavalcade #8. It was drawn by Paul Reinman. It's been reprinted previously in All-Star Comics Archives #5.
My acknowledgements to Toonopedia and the GCD.
"O’Malley of the Fourth Precinct"
This was a comedic police feature by Irwin Hasen about a tough, small detective who smoked cigars that appeared in Sensation Comics, a couple of issues of Green Lantern, and four issues of Comic Cavalcade.
In 1951 it was brought back as a one- or part-page filler feature in Big Town, for six instalments. The GCD attributes these to Hasen too. The filler stories were reused in Batman, Detective Comics and Mr. District Attorney in 1956-58, and some again in 1961-62.
Heritage has images of a little original art here.
"Picture Stories from American History"
"Picture Stories from History"
"Picture Stories from Natural History"
When Max Gaines founded EC the E stood for "Educational". When William Gaines took over he changed that to "Entertaining". Several of the early titles were educational Picture Stories from titles.
"Picture Stories from American History" appeared in several AA titles. The GCD lists 21 instalments. Two appeared in Comic Cavalcade. According to the GCD the feature was written by Max Gaines and drawn by Don Cameron (except it doesn't currently list an author for the instalment in Sensation Comics #45). Instalments from the series were reused by Gaines in his EC title of the same name.
The GCD lists only 6 "Picture Stories from History" instalments. The one in Comic Cavalcade #3 was drawn by Sheldon Moldoff and is about Vasco Núñez de Balboa. The GCD tentatively attributes the writing to Don Cameron. There was also a "Picture Stories from American History" instalment about Balboa, in Sensation Comics #36.
The Comic Cavalcade "Picture Stories from Natural History" story was apparently the only one, about the American taxidermist Carl Akeley. The GCD attributes its art to Dennis Neville.
The two "East-West Story" pieces evidently promoted respect for Asian peoples. The GCD credits them to M. C. Gaines and Dennis Neville. They were "prepared in cooperation with the East and West Association", which Pearl Buck led.
"Johnny Everyman" appeared in World's Finest Comics and Comic Cavalcade. It was a didactic series with social messages. Many of the episodes promoted racial respect. Early instalments carried the "prepared in cooperation with the East and West Association" credit. Mike Grost has an article about the series here.
The GCD credits the art of all the "Johnny Everyman" instalments to John Daly. It credits the scripts of the World's Finest Comics ones to Jack Schiff, but it doesn't know who wrote the Comic Cavalcade ones. Schiff was a DC editor, and the first three Comic Cavalcade instalments appeared in the period when Max Gaines had stopped using the DC badge.
"Real Life Story"
True stories about war heroes drawn by Jon Blummer appeared in Comic Cavalcade #3, #5 and #6. The GCD uses this feature title for the latter two. It attributes the writing to Blummer too, but that might be just a guess.
My acknowledgements to the GCD.
"One Hundred Years of Co-Operation" in #9 is an item about consumer cooperatives and their origins. The story was also published as a giveaway which the GCD lists as Comic Cavalcade "One Hundred Years of Co-Operation". The opening page was its cover and can be see at the GCD. The site says the story was written by Max Gaines and drawn by Everett E. Hibbard.
Finally, Comic Cavalcade #10 had an adaptation of the movie Tomorrow, the World! (1944). The movie was in turn based on a play by James Gow and Arnaud d'Usseau. The GCD says the adaptation was drawn by Hibbard.
This was also reprinted in a giveaway, which the GCD lists as Comic Cavalcade "Tomorrow the World". Its first page/cover can be seen at the GCD too.
This reminds me of the adaptation of the play The American Way by that appeared in All-American Comics #5-#10. The play was written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, and the broadway production starred Fredric March. So did the movie version of Tomorrow, the World!, but the Internet Broadway Database says Ralph Bellamy played his role on the stage.
The subjects of the two works are related. The American Way is about the experiences of a German-American immigrant family. Part of the play is set during WWI. The net tells me the last part of the play deals with the German immigrant community and Nazism. In Tomorrow, the World! a German boy who is a believing Nazi comes to live with relatives in America.
My acknowledgements to the many sources I used writing this post.