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.
When the hardcovers of The Spirit were published I would have bought the later volumes if they had been published first. Because they didn't do that I never bought any of them, figuring I had most or all of it in Warren and Kitchen Sink reprints.