What is missing in 'The Golden Age of Reprints'?

Anyone who reads my stuff (or that of Jeff of Earth-J) has heard the phrase "Golden Age of Reprints."

Because it is. I've been collecting comics since 1963, and for many decades finding a reprint from before the Silver Age was hard to come by. I have many hundreds of those reprints, of course, from a variety of venues, like Fantasy Masterpieces or DC Super Specials. But there are hundreds of thousands of stories from before (say) 1960 that the Young Cap'n, the Young Adult Cap'n, and now the Middle-Age Cap'n simply had no way to read. Even the crappy back issues of oddball comics still cost too much to buy.

This was so distressing to the 1963 Captain that he actually wept when he saw the (high) issue number of certain copy of an 80-Page Giant Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. (True story.) How could I read everything that I needed to read? How could I collect what I needed to collect? How could I be knowledgeable in this field, when there was so much denied to me?

But now, so much has become available. My collection of '60s Gold Key is spotty, and I was never going to fill in the blanks, especially when the price of a back issue of Doctor Solar Man Of The Atom always kept pace with a car payment. But here comes Dark Horse, which has not only collected every superhero comic Gold Key ever published, but also every superhero comic ACG ever did! And the Archives editions of those series cost as much as a SINGLE back issue. Bliss!

Then there's all the non-superhero stuff which -- before the Silver Age -- was the overwhelming bulk of American comics. There is tons of this stuff, which I'd never read. But now I'm getting to read it. By the Spork of Odin, it's wonderful!

But what about what's missing? From my own perspective, there's plenty of stuff that's not published yet, or may never be published. Where is it? I'm not getting any younger, you know. Let's have it!

So here's an off-the-cuff list of things I want reprinted that I haven't seen yet. And I want to hear from each of you what YOU want reprinted, and haven't seen yet.

Here's my list (again, off the cuff):

* 1950s Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman: Yeah, these characters are getting reprinted like crazy these days, and I'm grateful for that. But the Archives/Showcase/Chronology books for all three characters are lapping each other, and not covering any new ground. All are working on two tracks: Early stuff, starting with the debut of the characters, and Silver Age to present. In all three cases, the early stuff has only hit about 1946, and the Silver Age starts in 1958 (or in Batman's case, 1964). There's this huge gap between 1947 to 1957 that I haven't read, from Action, Batman, Detective, Sensation, Superman, Wonder Woman and World's Finest. For God's sake, reprint those books before I retire!

* Jughead Archives: Dark Horse says it's going to start reprinting all Archie material from 1941 to present. Cool. However, I haven't seen any of those books. And Archie and Dynamite are doing "Best of" and holiday collections. And that's cool, too. But there's a lot of other Archie material I want to see: The Collected Bob Montana. The Collected Dan DeCarlo. And the Jughead Guy.

Who? Well, I used to collect Jughead in the 1960s and '70s, specifically because of the writer/artist on the material. Who was he? I don't know. No credits. And I never saw him on any other Archie titles, and he disappeared around 1985. But I sold my Jugheads and I want to see that guy's work again. C'mon, dudes, reprint 1970s Jughead!

* Crime Does Not Pay: One of the most famous and pivotal comic books of all time, and I have not read a single issue.

* Romance Comics: Not just the Simon/Kirby stuff. Give me a whole run of something, so I can see how the genre changed, and which writers and artists came and went. Think of it: There's tons of Buscema, Romita and Infantino stuff out there. Bring it on!

OK, that's just a taste of what I want. (Yes, Mrs. Captain, I DO want to own every comic book ever published!) But what would YOU guys like to see? Sound off, and maybe we can find a consensus and push for something. Who knows? Just a decade ago I wouldn't have given odds on Mighty Samson getting reprinted, but here it comes!

Views: 310

Comment by Figserello on March 29, 2010 at 9:32pm
Jeff said:Thunderbolts: I read only a few issues of this title early on, but the premise just didn’t appeal to me. I’ve since reconsidered and would like to see a series of color tpbs reprinting the series from the beginning.

The first arc was reprinted and included the T-bolts concurrent appearances as 'heroes' in other books, like the Hulk.

I got it cheap, and it was obviously put out there for readers who might be jumping into Busiek's run after the start. The art and storytelling is very dated 'early 90's', and the setting is very of its time - most of the important the heroes have just disappeared fighting Onslought. I'd say that's the big stumbling block against it being reprinted at the moment. I was glad to own it as the 'reveal' is a bit of Marvel history.

The 'baddies masquerading as goodies' was more than a gimmick and I began to be sucked into the ongoing story. On a deeper level it also explored the question of how just pretending to be something can turn you into that thing.

I would love to read further into the run, but I don't know how much I'd be prepared to pay to do so...
Comment by Figserello on March 29, 2010 at 9:34pm
Has Kirby's 2001 series been reprinted? Licensing issues there too...
Comment by Figserello on March 30, 2010 at 12:11am
The Captain said:Speaking of sluggish series, both the World's Finest Archives and Showcases seem to have stalled. This is very frustrating, because they are very close to reprinting every WFC Batman or Superman story I haven't read!

The WFC showcase #2 isn't out that long is it? It ended only in 1965 so the best is yet to come. I see on this link that Vol 3 should be out any day now (and Amazon lists it as 'in stock')...

List of Showcase Presents collections

Here's the Marvel Essentials list

I love to suss through those two tables.
Comment by Mr. Satanism on March 30, 2010 at 2:01am
What about Ka-Zar? Every few years he gets a new series, so Marvel must assume there's a market for him out there. His various incarnations would fill up an Essentials or three easily.
Comment by Mr. Satanism on March 30, 2010 at 2:03am
Oh, and I'd drop 50 bucks happily (or fifty-ONE, if that's what it takes) for Marvel's Godzilla in color. Those comics just don't look as good in B&W.
Comment by Captain Comics on March 30, 2010 at 3:07am
Figs, I bought Showcase Presents: World's Finest Vol. 3 at my LCS a week or so ago. (So I'm well past my collection's starting point; I only bought it so I could read those great stories again, most with Curt Swan art, without pulling 45-year-old comics out of their sleeves. That's why I buy a lot of Silver Age Masterworks/Archives that aren't new material to me -- my Silver Age books are old!) At any rate, the WCS Showcase series is moving along smartly.
Comment by Mike Williams on March 30, 2010 at 8:39am
If I'm not the first, I apologise, but surely someone out there can get the rights to the Atlas/Seaboard stuff and do a collection? Yeah, most of it is derivative seventies, but there was some classic stuff mixed in there as well.
Comment by Jeff of Earth-J on March 30, 2010 at 8:48am
Figs, I did not know there was a previous Thunderbolts collection, but it’s not included in Marvel’s “Reading Chronology” freebie (which I consult quite often planning future purchases), so I’m assuming it’s out of print. I’ll check to see if my LCS has one on the shelf, but if Marvel ever does get around to a complrehensive collection, they’ll probably change the trade dress!

I can confirm that Kirby’s 2001 series has not been reprinted (and, yes, it’s due to licensing issues).

I would like to see Marvel add Mystic Comics to its list of Golden Age Masterworks so we can read the origins and first appearances of The Twelve’s Black Widow, Dynamic Man and Mastermind Excello (perhaps others).

My wife commented a while ago that she prefers the women of the DC Universe, but the other day in the grocery store (of all places) I found a Women of Marvel Comics magazine which reprinted actual comics books (as opposed to the pap usually peddled to young readers in grocery stores) and included a GA Black Widow story.
Comment by Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) on March 30, 2010 at 3:03pm
Personally I would like to see some more of the War comics. The Sgt. Rock Archive and Showcase both seem to have stalled. I've found one trade of 'Nam which I enjoyed quite a bit. For 2 examples.
There is a ton that hasn't been reprinted, unless they have and I missed them

Have there been any reprints of the Charlton comics? Judo Master, Blue Beetle, Capt. Atom, etc.would be fun.
Comment by Jeff of Earth-J on March 30, 2010 at 3:16pm
DC has released two volumes of Action Hero Archives, reprinting Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, The Question, etc. They're both good, but if you can afford only one, Vol. 2 is the better of the two.


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