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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Luke, I'm sorry -- I think I inadvertently deleted your reply about the World's Finest. But you're point is well taken -- it wasn't always a Superman/Batman teamup, as they had separate features until 71, and for a while it was a Superman teamup book with the DCU at large, not just Batman.

Thanks! I'm not quite sure what happened to your post. 

Another really small week this week, with just 6 books. I guess this is the new normal. 

Mostly continuations again, with nothing getting more than one issue. We've got:

Detective Comics 345 Blockbuster's first appearance! I'm not sure why, but Blockbuster seemed like a really significant part of Batman's rogue's gallery when I was a kid. I guess in certain respects he's been supplanted by Bane.

Doom Patrol 18  4 more issues!

House of Mystery 197 and House of Secrets 128  On one cover, an action scene with a ghost ship! On the other, a domestic scene with an empty suit -- and, I suppose, a ghost implied. But I know which one I'd be buying.

Strange Adventures 244 Good to see this title back in the rotation. This is the last issue in the original series, but there's plenty of missing issues left to fill in. of 244 issues, 24 are available. 

Realworlds: Superman  In 2000, DC published four Realworlds one-shots, comics that told stories about the real-world influence of DC characters. This one's drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, so you know it's going to look lovely. (It's written by Steve Vance.) There were four of these books published -- for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the JLA -- but this is the first on Comixology. 

This week's sale focuses on James Tynion, celebrating the start of his Batman run. There's his Detective Comics run, some JLA, JLA Dark, Talon from the New 52, and some other stuff too, like Batman Eternal. 

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Thanks! I'm not quite sure what happened to your post. 

I deleted it because the ground was covered in the thread previously. I'm sorry to have worried you.

Ha, no worries! Thanks for letting me know. 

Six more books! Let's get to 'em!

Detective Comics 346 OK, the Comixology description of "Batman's Inescapable Doom-Trap!" is great: "Escape artist Carnado steals money to purchase a seemingly inescapable trap from designer Eivol Ekdal. Batman tries to escape from said trap." Ekdal appeared on the TV show twice, and in the comics just the once.

Doom Patrol 19  3 more issues! I haven't seen Tan Eng Huat's name lately, but after doing some more work for DC after Doom Patrol, he soon moved over to Marvel; looks like the last time he worked for them was in 2015. 

House of Mystery 198 and House of Secrets 129  A really striking Neal Adams cover on House of Mystery, although the demon in the background looks a bit washed out. (It also has an Archie Goodwin-penned story inside.) There are demons right up close and personal on Luis Dominguez's Secrets cover. 

Sun Devils 5 Almost halfway through this 12-issue maxiseries by Dan Jurgens. Looks like it's on a monthly schedule, rather than a weekly one.  

Superman  20 And this looks to be on a biweekly schedule. A nice WWII cover by Jack Burnley, but no hint of the Nazi-controlled sea serpents inside!

DC's sale this week focuses on Warren Ellis. Aside from the usual suspects (Plantetary, Transmetropolitan, The Authority), you might want to pick up the DC Comics Presents Jack Cross 100-Page Spectacular for a dollar. As far as I know it's the character's only appearance, and I remember it being a cool story -- very John Wick. It's drawn by Gary Erskine. Also, there's the Legends of the Dark Knight two-parter, Infected (issues 83-84), with John McCrea. I haven't read it, but it could be an overlooked gem... it's definitely something off the beaten path. 

Six more books this week... basically the same selection as last week, with one exception.

Detective Comics 347 Another on in the "New Look" Batman. Honestly, this cover by Infantino and Anderson might be the strangest I've ever seen Robin look.

Doom Patrol 20  2 more issues to go. I'm glad the Doom Patrol's increased media presence has made e-publishing this series a priority. I wonder how much Doom Patrol in toto is still left?

House of Mystery 199 and House of Secrets 130  Two "hiding from monsters" covers. The trapper in the cover of Mystery doesn't sense a threat, but those kids on the dock sure do!

Superman  21 So much for the biweekly schedule I assumed -- we get another one this week. And I'm pretty sure this cover was the one chosen to front Paul Levitz's giant DC retrospective book from a few years ago.

No Sun Devils this week, but we get World's Finest  201 We get a Green Lantern/Superman slugfest, refereed by Doctor Fate....but is it REALLY Doctor Fate??  This is from the brief run where Batman wasn't a regular in the book.

Plus, just as Cap highlights all the great Wonder Woman books out this week, we've also got a Comixology sale to celebrate the amazing Amazon! Besides the expected trades, there are a lot of uncollected single issues on sale for a buck each, including Judgement in Infinity, one of my favorite Wonder Woman stories, from Wonder Woman 291-293. And I picked up Wonder Woman 300, a giant-sized issue for just 99 cents. That's a book I never had in print, and it's a steal! I'd love to see the rest of the Thomas/Colan issues of Wonder Woman made available... the collection is really spotty there.

I was reminded of Realworlds: Superman showing up in DC's comixology back issues a few weeks ago. It kind of came from out of the blue, and I wondered if other Realworlds would follow. This week, I got my copy of Superman by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez Volume 2, and lo and behold, Superman Realworlds is reprinted within. So, while there's a chance other Realworlds books will follow suit, it's equally likely that the Superman volume was just because they had the files handy.  (On the other hand, it still might inspire DC to dig out the other three.)

Mystery solved!

Okay, we've got just two more issues of Doom Patrol left for the Comixology reprints, but after this week, we'll... still have two more issues left of Doom Patrol. Because the DC Comixology listings are an untamed beast, my friends, and just when you think you've got them figured out, they go sprinting right toward a cliff.

Anyway...what DO we have this week?

Detective Comics 348 Another "New Look" Batman issue...unusual for its Joe Kubert cover. I don't recall every seeing a Kubert Batman cover from this era before. 


House of Mystery 200 and House of Secrets 131  A gorgeous Kaluta cover on Mystery, as dogs howl at goblins in the moon. A more standard voodoo-doll cover on Secrets, by Luis Dominguez. Mystery also beats Secrets in page count, as it runs 39 pages, standard, as opposed to Secrets' 19 pages. 

Superman  22 And it looks like Superman's weekly now, with a fun cover with Superman as a puppeteer. (This is right before he finds a tunnel into John Malkovich's head.) 

We also get World's Finest  202 A Superan/Batman teamup, even though Batman isn't the regular guest star right now. 

And finally, we have the first issue of Wanted, a reprint series from 1972 that lasted 9 issues. This is the first issue up on Comixology, and it features The Signalman, the Puppet Master, and Clock King. (Sheesh, what is it about puppets this week?) They're fighting Batman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow, respectively. This is always a fun title to find in a discount box at a con, as it has a lot of fun reprints for a cheaper price. 

This week's sale is Birds of Prey and Harley Quinn, celebrating the new movie. I might go back and pick up the short Terry Moore/Amanda Conner run, from before Gail Simone & Ed Benes took over the book. But there are early appearances of Black Mask and Cassandra Cain there, too, as well as some Huntress and Black Canary solo series. And Harley Quinn's Little Black Book, a fun team-up miniseries. 

We've got this week's Comixology books... and some changes are afoot!

A slight jump from previous weeks, there's seven books being made available here. 

Detective Comics 349 We've got another Joe Kubert cover on a New Look Batman issue... and this looks like the second appearance of Blockbuster! Plus, the Outsider is in this story... I wonder who he could be?

House of Secrets 132  From here on out, it looks like House of Secrets will stand alone. All the issues in House of Mystery Omnibus 1 have been reprinted, but we've still got plenty of issues in House of Secrets volume 2 left (the issues are shorter, so there's more of them). Expect this series to keep rolling until issue 154. This one's got a nice haunter boxing cover by Ernie Chan.  

Superman  23 The classic cover where Nazi U-boat officers see Superman swimming toward them in their periscope! 

We also finally get another issue of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen -- #8. Good to have you back, Jim!


World's Finest  203 A Superan/Aquaman teamup by Steave Skeates and Dick Dillin. 

WantedThis issue reprints stories featuring The Trickster and a Joker/Penguin teamup, as they face off against the Flash and Batman!

And finally, we have the first issue of a new series -- 1st Issue Special #1. This one features the Jack Kirby creation, Atlas. This book was a try-out book for DC in the mid-70s, and featured one-shots for a variety of comics, including Warlord, the Creeper, Starman, and Return of the New Gods. 

This week's sale is DC's Power Couples for Valentine's Day... and while there's Superman/Wonder Woman, Green Arrow/Black Canary, and other issues available, I like that there's about 20 early issues of Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane in the mix. 


1.“Atlas” is a barbarian comic with a super-strong hero: Conan crossed with a Steve Reeves Hercules movie.

 

The text page indicates Kirby intended the series to also involve aliens mistaken for gods. The page isn’t in Kirby’s style, so presumably it was written by Mark Evanier or Steve Sherman.

 

Kirby’s proposal can be seen here and here.

Atlas isn't a hero in myth, but the name was used for title and hero of a 1961 American peplum film made by Roger Corman.

2.An unused cover can be seen here. A small version of it appeared in the issue on the text page.

 

I think it superior to the used cover. Perhaps it didn’t leave enough room for the cover logos: they take up over a third of the page. Perhaps it was thought too violent, as Atlas has clearly been laying about him with that bar. Perhaps DC wanted a fight on the cover rather than the aftermath of one.

3.Kirby liked drawing heavies in exotic armour, and “Atlas” is full of such characters. So I suppose the setting is the Iron Age.

 

The opening caption proclaims “There were giants in those days!” This is drawn from Genesis 6:4, where the reference is to the days before the Flood. The translation “giants” is traditional, but dubious. The Hebrew word is “nephilim”. Wikipedia has an article about it.

 

Possibly Kirby meant Atlas’s world to be the Near East. The history I was taught in school represented civilisation as having begun there, in the Fertile Crescent. Atlas’s cowl may have been suggested by Near Eastern head-coverings like the keffiyeh.

 

Other Kirby ancient barbarians stories include “Toxl the World Killer” from Weird Mystery Tales #2 (intended for Spirit World #2), which is set outside known history, and the Marak two-parter from 2001: A Space Odyssey #3-#4, which depicts the coming of the Iron Age and the invention of the wheel.

 

Atlas also reminds me of the Forgotten One from The Eternals #13, who says "Once I roamed the world among the humans and shook it to improve their lot. I toppled the palaces of tyrants and slew the beasts they could not conquer. The humans knew me by many names..." Compare Atlas’s feats in the montage sequence. Kirby may similarly have meant Atlas to be the original of Hercules and others.

 

4.Like most of Kirby’s comics from the period the issue begins with a splash and a two-page spread and is divided into chapters introduced by splashes. This wastes space awfully.(1) P.5 is the chapter two splash, so there’s only one page with multiple panels in the first quarter of the issue.

 

The first half of the issue introduces Atlas, and the second is mostly a flashback that tells us who he is.(2) This in turn is divided into an origin that explains how he was orphaned and met his travelling companion, Chagra, a montage of heroic feats he performed as a young man, and a segue back to the present covering why they came to the city of Hyssa.

 

The flashback part reads well. But the structure backfires. Comics often have a bit of mucking about at the start before the story starts. Here the story is very slow to get going, the flashback starts just as it begins to, and it interrupts it for the rest of the issue. So the issue ends just as things are starting.

 

The reader identifies with boy Atlas in the origin sequence, and young man Atlas is shown to be compassionate and a hero in the montage. But mature Atlas one never warms to. He’s not a cypher, as we learn what drives him. But he’s close-mouthed and closed-off. He doesn’t even speak until p.7.

 

(1) Spreads on pp.2-3 also turn up in other DC comics from this period - I have in mind comics edited by Joe Kubert, and Murray Boltinoff issues of Action Comics - but in those the first page might be broken into multiple panels, and the spread might have a lower row of panels.

 

(2) I recently read Atlas/Seaboard’s Weird Suspense #1, featuring the Tarantula, and it’s also structured with an introductory half followed by an origin flashback. The first issue of Fantastic Four is similarly structured, but there the Mole Man adventure follows the flashback.

Thanks for all that detail about Atlas, Luke! I was just recognizing Kirby's double-page spread pattern on page 2-3 in reading my Kamandi Omnibus, too! It strikes me as a really modern thing to do, but yeah, it eats up real estate. And if Kirby wanted a double-page spread, that's probably where he'd have to put it; I doubt there were many other pages he could count on not having an ad for one of the pages. 


Here's this week's new offerings on Comixology -- another seven books!

Detective Comics 350 Another Kubert cover... and there's an Elongated Man/Green Lantern teamup as the backup story!

We've got a few horror books this time out. First up, House of Secrets 133, with a cover that shows a big-game hunter about to be attacked by a lurking leopard man. But we've also got two new entries:  Doorway to Nightmare 1, the first of a five-issue run from 1978 starring Madame Xanadu -- a rare DC "mystery" title that's not an anthology. And Black Magic 1, a series that ran from 1973-75, which reprinted Simon & Kirby horror stories from the 50s (from a comic called Black Magic from Prize Comics, apparently). It lasted 9 issues.

Wanted 3 This issue reprints stories featuring the Human Fly Gang, Nyral-Amen, and The Dummy, as they face Hawkman & Hawkgirl, Doctor Fate, and the Vigilante! It's interesting that the best-known of the villains in this case comes from the least-known of the features.

We've also got 1st Issue Special #2. Jack Kirby's Atlas gives way to this issue's Joe Simon creation, the Green Team, a kid gang of boy millionaires. The group was revived in the New 52 -- though it didn't last long. But Eight issues is seven issues longer than the original team got!

Plus, we've got the return of Sun Devils, with issue 6 -- we're at the halfway point of this Gerry Conway/Dan Jurgens limited series, and almost at the point where Jurgens takes over the writing chores as well. 

And that's it! For the sale this week, there's a big Green Lantern sale, including lots of single issues for a buck apiece! Enjoy!

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