In a sidebar to my December CBG column on good reading for Silver Age fans in 2010, I suggested five collections that I wanted to see in 2011. Amazingly enough, between the time I wrote the column and it was published, TWO of those collections (Sugar & Spike and SSOSV) were announced!

That’s a pretty good average, and it indicates either that the publishers are listening to their readers or we all agree on where the gaps are (and that most of the low-hanging fruit has long been picked). So what other collections do we still need?

Long-time AMSA fan Tom DeWitt suggested a few to me in an e-mail, leading me to add a few more to my own list. Here’s what would be coming soon, if I were in charge:

Essential Sgt. Fury #1: This lapse stands out more every day. Jack Kirby and a key Silver Age Marvel comic unreprinted? Houston, we have a problem.

Essential Not Brand Echh: Virtually timeless and hilarious, especially when the writers and artists parody their own comics. What’s the hold up here? Are they afraid DC will complain?

Go-Go Archives: Charlton’s groovy 1966 series starring Miss Bikini Luv (on which Jim Aparo made his comics debut in #6) is little seen and pricey when it does show up. It’s crying to be reprinted! At least, I’m crying that it hasn’t been.

Scribbly Archives: Once that S&S volume takes off, they’ll no doubt want to get more of Mayer’s work into print. This would be my A #1 way to go. It’s hilarious stuff with excellent art. It’s truly a long shot, but considering some of the oddball stuff that Marvel is putting out from approximately this same time period, this would be a great one for DC to try.

Capt. Savage &  His Leatherneck Raiders and Combat Kelley & His Deadly Dozen: I have to admit, as I was not a major War fan back in the day, I’m not too familiar with either of these. But that’s a good reason to get them out there now, as I’d definitely be curious enough to buy a b&w collection of either.

Mark Marlin: It was not my suggestion, but we all know it’s just a matter of time.

Essential Westerns. Likewise, I was not much interested in the Rawhide Kid Masterworks collection, as it was too little bang for the buck, IMO—and apparently others agreed, as no more have followed. But as Essential volumes, I’d buy Kid Colt, Rawhide and Two-Gun for sure. There are other shorter-run westerns that might make up a good collection after these run their course, too.

Brave & Bold also-rans: We’ve mentioned this one before on the AMSA board. I’m not sure how you position it, but we all know the issues we’re talking about here: the ones that weren’t popular enough to get their own series and seldom get reprinted as a result. Heck, they’d have several volumes worth of Viking Prince, Robin Hood, Suicide Squad, etc. to print in succession before they even had to start leaving out anything when the JLA arrived in #28. Maybe they could run the covers to those issues and continue with Cave Carson, more Suicide Squad and Strange Sports Stories. I think those would be great volumes. But what do you call it? The Worst of Brave & Bold?

Rip Hunter: I’m surprised this one hasn’t already been produced, considering he has some name recognition. The Sea Devils is a more iffy proposition but falls into the same category, no doubt. They both have the same demographic make-up as most adventure teams back then, but they are unlike any other comics from that time and deserve some time in the sun.

1950s Batman: It’s a shame that the collections began with the “New Look” stories, which is so late into the Silver Age, but it’s understandable that those show the most recognizable Batman. Even so, all those wacky 1950s stories deserve to be reprinted, if only because so many fewer of them have ever been reprinted. And it’s apparent that the Archives will never get there.

Any others?

-- MSA

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Yeah, I'd definitely go for a Not Brand Ecch collection; I cherish the few ancient, raggedy, worn-out, dog-eared issues I do have. And the humor is timeless, such as their take on "Casey at the Bat" (starring the Inedible Bulk) which rivals MAD's version.

Off the top of my head:

DC's 1970s version of the Shadow, including the Batman stories and any other team ups/appearances produced while they had the license; along with The Avenger/Justice, Inc.; Rima the Jungle Girl, Star Hunters, and the 1970s attempt at a character named Starfire; because for whatever reason, news stand deliveries of these individual titles was rare. And The Amazing World of DC Comics and FOOM! would be nice too.

But what I would REALLY love to see is DC, Marvel, etc; start releasing less expensive versions of their hardcover Archives!

I would love to read all those classic tales, but come on!  $50 (average price today) for one hardcover compared to how many individual comics and/or trade paperbacks that would buy?

Not holding my breath on any of the above actually happening, but I do think I have a valid point here.

What about DC's Plop? Or Sword of Sorcery?
An archival collection of The Complete Mr. A by Steve Ditko.

The first twenty something issues of Sgt. Fury can be found in the digital comics section at Marvel's website. Also all Kirby's issues of Rawhide Kid (and the Jack Davis ones).

 

I can't say DC should collect these, but other possibilities would include Geo. Papp Green Arrow stories from the 50s (I've seen several very good ones), Captain Comet, Space Ranger (technically, he outlasted Adam Strange; but only just), the uncollected Adam Strange (I hope to see the post-Schwartz stories some day), Siegel and Shuster before Superman, the best of 1930s DC, DC westerns incl. Pow Wow Smith.

 

DC's other uncollected Silver Age series include Tommy Tomorrow, Congorilla, the revival of Johny Peril, A-Man, Mr. Immortal, the Enchantress, Automan and Ultra the Multi-Alien.

 

Uncollected Golden Age series include Zatara, Mr. America, Congo Bill, the Vigilante, and Hop Harrigan.

Luke Blanchard said:
DC's other uncollected Silver Age series include Tommy Tomorrow, Congorilla, the revival of Johny Peril, A-Man, Mr. Immortal, the Enchantress, Automan and Ultra the Multi-Alien.

Also the Green Glob, Hawk and the Dove, Anthro, and the Arnold Drake Plastic Man. Presumably there are rights issues with Captain Action. The Inferior Five and Angel and the Ape (which I've never read) could be collected together (along with with Phil Foglio's Angel and the Ape mini, which I also haven't seen, if more content were needed). The Commander's latest repost reminds me that I'd like to see the rest of the Secret Six stories someday.

 

Even I don't imagine there's any point in pretending it might be worthwhile to reobtain the rights and reprint Bomba the Jungle Boy. Nice covers on the last two issues, though.

I’m pretty sure they can’t reprint Shadow, or The Avenger/Justice, Inc or Sword of Sorcery unless they get the license to do so, and I doubt they will. Others, like Rima the Jungle Girl and Starfire don’t have enough issues, although they've done some pretty slim SP volumes. If they could do Bat Lash, they probably could do those if they wanted to; I'm not sure the fan base is there.

But heck, if they're doing those, then they could do Anthro, Secret Six, Hawk & Dove, and Stanley & His Monster. They probably have bigger names today those 70s titles do.

I seriously doubt we'll see a Star Hunters volume, as we're not talking many pages total, but it would be cool to see that combined with some of those other short SF features, like Space Cabbie, Space Museum and Star Hawkins.

I’m not sure how popular a reprint of AWODCC would be. A lot of the material would be outdated, so it would only be interesting from an archival standpoint. But there was a lot of unpublished stuff and background info in those that would still be fun for fans. Maybe a Best Of collection that pulled out select pages from all of them.

>>But what I would REALLY love to see is DC, Marvel, etc; start releasing less expensive versions of their hardcover Archives!

They’ve done some of those in various ways, as Chronicles, and many of the SA Archives have come out as SP volumes. Marvel too has released a number of its Masterworks volumes as TPBs. I imagine the others may be considered to not have enough additional audience to make four-color TPBs pay off. Are there particular hardcovers you’d really like to see as TPBs?

Actually, if you go to any conventions, I find that a lot of Archives and Masterworks are readily available for at least half off. It’s not always the later ones, when print runs started dropping, but there are a lot out there. Most of them also are readily available at Amazon for about $35. Paying $50 apiece really isn’t necessary, even if the publishers would prefer that.

I’d definitely like to see Plop, as it’s another of those early-1970s comics that I saw a few issues of but not many. I would be interested in getting all those in one b&w collection.

A Mr. A collection would be up to Steve Ditko, and I could see someone like Fantagraphics doing that. So while it may seem implausible, these days I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see one. I’m not sure I’m in the market, as a little Mr. A goes a long way for me, and I’ve got several issues already.

>>The first twenty something issues of Sgt. Fury can be found in the digital comics section at Marvel's website.

That doesn’t really do it for me. Sadly, it may be part of the reason they haven’t produced a volume, figuring they’ve undercut their own sales. I want a book—and I’ll bet a lot of the people who are interested in reading those issues do, too. There’s an overlap of people who want hi-tech ways to read really old comics, but it’s a small part of the market, I'd guess.

>>Geo. Papp Green Arrow stories from the 50s (I've seen several very good ones)

You mean earlier than the SP volume? Meh. As you say, they could do it, but I don't know that anyone is holding their breath, especially since there's a later GA collection that probably had more interest due to the Kirby reprints. Likewise, there are earlier Aquaman stories to collect but it would not be DC's biggest seller.

>>Captain Comet

He'd be a really good choice. I'm still amazed they didn't start the SP: SA with his issues. It certainly offers enough name recognition to draw attention. I'd rather see a collection of his stories separately, and maybe that's why they started on the "SA" issues of SA. That may replace S&S as my next So-Obvious-It-Should-Be-Here title. Maybe they can't dig up all the issues or think it would be too hard to get them put together.

>>Space Ranger

His stories aren't that bad, although the art isn't going to attract any extra attention. If they decided that SF collections are the next way to go, that would be a good one. 

>>Tommy Tomorrow

This would be another good choice, and it's got Jim Mooney art to help it out. There's a good long string of adventures, too, most of which most people haven't seen. Congorilla is in a similar boat, but I don't think he offers as good of an option. I definitely would expect to see a Tommy collection before a Congo one.

Animal Man is another good idea, especially since so few people have seen those stories and he has good name recognition today. I'm not seeing much demand for Johny Peril, Mr. Immortal, the Enchantress, Automan and Ultra the Multi-Alien, though. If those are all of the options, I think we won't need to be clearing much more shelf space.

-- MSA

Instocktrades generally has a good selection of discounted Archives, as well.

 

I'd love to see a volume of Scribbly. The few reprints I've seen have been fantastic! 

I have an Australian comic at my elbow with a B&W reprint of the lead story from Rima, the Jungle Girl #4. The Nestor Rendondo art is really a knockout. For those who don't know, Rima comes from Henry Hudson's novel Green Mansions. I've not read this: to judge by the summary at Wikipedia, the story loosely adapts the final part of the novel with a changed ending.

 

The GCD reminds me "Space Voyagers" with art by Alex Nino appeared in the back of Rima. As a kid, I really disliked the first one of those I saw. But Alex Nino's art is amazing, and I'd like to see the stories.

 

Another uncollected series is "Black Orchid".

DC might actually have the rights to reprint the Avenger/Justice Inc stories, since the Avenger is part of the First Wave books. The Shadow isn't, though...  :(
Mr. Silver Age said:

You mean earlier than the SP volume? Meh. As you say, they could do it, but I don't know that anyone is holding their breath, especially since there's a later GA collection that probably had more interest due to the Kirby reprints. Likewise, there are earlier Aquaman stories to collect but it would not be DC's biggest seller.


I don't have the Showcase: apparently it mostly contains Kirby and Lee Elias stories. Some of the Geo. Papp Green Arrow tales I've seen are as good as early Silver Age stories. They include "The World's Three Most Dangerous Arrows" (Adventure Comics #248) in which GA thinks he's dying, and decides to use three trick arrows which are potentially deadly to the user to crack what he believes will be his final case; "The Mechanical Archer" (World's Finest #76), in which crooks steal a mechanical archer designed by GA that can design, build and launch special arrows to counter any threat in seconds; and "Moccasin Foot's Strange Treasure" (Adventure #127), which has an opening I found particularly striking as a kid (a thief steals a text which explains how Moccasin Foot's treasure can be recovered. He is immediately killed by his partner, who wants the treasure for himself. Who is quickly killed in turn and so on... boy, did I want to know what that treasure was!)

How did I forget Tomahawk? That's another one I want to see more of someday.

...I want to see the BATMAN newspaper strip of the 60s and 70s - Which , for some background , had seperate daily and Sunday continuities , IIRC , with the Sunday version ending several years before the daily did .

  During the 1970s , at least one sequence from the later Nelson Bridwell/Al Plastino period of the strip , a story involving Green Arrow , was reprinted in THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS - and , in the 21st Century , I saw , on the Web , a Brazilian magazine dedicated to classic adventure strips that reprinted the sequence in Portugese !

  Also , for more black & white , Jack Kirby's IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB and SPIRIT WORLD , and whatever might be salvageable from the incompleted B&W projects , SOUL DIVORCES and the like , which I guess have had mostly non-imked versions published in The Jack Kirby Collector .

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