On the old Ask Mr. Silver Age forum at CBGXtra.com I reviewed more than 40 volumes of the DC Showcase Presents series and kept track of upcoming volumes, based on listings at Amazon and on the DC Comics website. Craig has asked that I continue that here at the good Captain's board, so here we go. There's some good reading ahead for Silver Age fans, and also a couple of head-scratcher selections.
February 23, 2011
Showcase Presents: Justice League of America, Vol. 5
In this value-priced volume collecting stories from issues #84-106, The JLA battles BLACKEST NIGHT villain Solomon Grundy, meets Deadman, faces a cosmic vampire, and teams up with both The Justice Society of America and The Seven Soldiers of Victory.
March 23, 2011
Showcase Presents: The Witching Hour Vol 1
DC's mystery/horror series THE WITCHING HOUR is collected for the first time in a value-priced package featuring issues #1-21!
This volume features artwork by comics luminaries including Neal Adams, Alex Toth, Bernie Wrightson, Michael Wm. Kaluta, Wallace Wood, Gil Kane and more.
April 20, 2011
Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 5
Green Lantern's SHOWCASE PRESENTS series continues with issues #76-100, including the famed stories that teamed Green Lantern with Green Arrow, in which the two heroes face issues of the day including women's rights, political corruption, religious intolerance and more — all while battling evil. This volume also includes adventures from GL's 1976 relaunch, collected here for the first time!
Showcase Presents: Doc Savage
Pulp fiction hero Doc Savage is back in this value-priced title collecting his
1970s black-and-white magazine adventures for the first time. Originally published in 1975.
August 3, 2011
Showcase Presents: Trial of the Flash
Following the murder of The Flash’s wife, Iris, by his greatest foe, The Reverse-Flash, the two costumed characters are locked in a round-the-world race and battle – one that ended in the death of the evildoer. This is only the beginning of a startling chain of events for The Fastest Man Alive, as he is arrested on a charge of murder. A police scientist himself in his civilian identity of Barry Allen, The Flash begins to build his defense. But when his famous Rogues Gallery of villains decides to get revenge for the death of one of their own, The Flash must battle their patsy: The massively powerful villain called Big Sir. And that’s all before the trial even begins. Collected from THE FLASH #323-327, 329-336 and 340-350. . .
Also possibly of interest to Silver Age fans:
May 11, 2011
Deadman Vol. 1 [Paperback]
Master comics artist Neal Adams illustrates the original adventures of deceased, revenge-driven hero Deadman, one of the heroes of BRIGHTEST DAY, from STRANGE ADVENTURES #205-213.
These are the stories that introduced costumed high-wire performer Boston Brand, who is assassinated by an unknown marksman in his first adventure, only to return when mysterious deity called Rama Kushna gives him a mission: find his murderer!
Witness the continuing adventures of The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Wildcat and the rest as they are joined by younger heroes Robin, Power Girl and Star-Spangled Kid! The Justice Society's battles with the Psycho-Pirate, the immortal Vandal Savage, the Injustice Society and more.
Ghosts "True Tales of the Weird and Supernatural" was a hit DC comics which ran from 1971-1982 featuring the work of several comic greats.
November 30, 2011
Showcase Presents Batman Vol. 5
Written by FRANK ROBBINS, DENNIS O'NEIL and MIKE FRIEDRICH; Art by IRV NOVICK, NEAL ADAMS and others; Cover by NEAL ADAMS
Showcase Presents: Wonder Woman Vol. 4
In this fourth collection of Wonder Woman stories from the Silver Age of Comics, the Amazon Princess faces Giganta - The Gorilla Girl, Cleopatra, Mister Blizzard and many more!
Is that it? That's a shame.
Is that it? That's a shame.
Trial of the Flash? Sweet!
If I were collecting it, I'd start from around issue #314 -- which is (IIRC) the first appearance of The Eradicator -- and continue on to 350. But that would be 800-some pages. It was around then that the tone of the Flash comics changed, and there are some plot threads that arise in these issues.
More likely, they'll start with around issue 322, which is about where Barry's wedding plans with Fiona Webb begin. Those issues seem to me the absolute latest one can start the story.
The Trial of the Flash is the closing chapter of the Earth-One Flash before Crisis. It was a long drawn-out story because Cary Bates was told that the Flash was going to be "killed off" so why start another storyline?
This Eradicator is a different character than the Post-Crisis Superman one. He was dangerous and struck at a personal level against the Flash.
Far more interesting to me about the Green Lantern volume is to reread the O'Neil/Grell issues of #90-100! I have the Adams collected already. I wonder if they will include the GL back-ups from Flash?
Deadman does stop cold in Strange Adventures but finished up in Brave & Bold #79.
Thanks for starting the thread, Hoy! This always made a good spot to discuss upcoming books, as opposed to the earlier thread discussing our Wish Lists. Hoy has a remarkable skill that allows him to find books that DC has posted to Amazon that it hasn’t yet announced, some as much as a year away, and I hope that continues.
We probably will have to expand our listing, as DC is venturing out of the SP business for a lot of its collections these days, as that Deadman volume indicates.
Apparently, the mid-1970s creator contract makes it difficult to profitably produce SP volumes with so many pages for such a little price. That’s apparently why we just got the Suicide Squad TP as a four-color, 232-page book for $20 rather than as the 500-page b&w book they announced several times earlier.
I’d rather have those books as SP volumes. As Figserello notes, it’s a great way to read these less-than-stellar mid-1970s comics that escaped my notice the first time around but got good enough reviews (or big enough fans today) that I’d like to see how they measure up.
The four-color, more expensive approach makes it a tougher sell, but I’ll still take a look (and probably pick up some that I pass on during con season where so many seem to end up at half price).
The Trial of the Flash SP is an interesting one, since it’s so much later than the rest. That implies that some later volumes can be produced and may be after this one. I was not much impressed by the trial and finally gave up on it, but there are certainly people on the Web who remember it fondly.
As Philip notes, Cary Bates has said that he intended to end it earlier, but when he found out that the series was going to be cancelled later on, he decided just to extend it and make it the final story. I think that may have been the wrong decision, because the thing I remember most about that story is that it seemed to go on forever, and the final issue was a mercy.
Meanwhile, Marvel is putting out some interesting books, too, although most of them, like DC are collections of far more recent stuff.
BTW, true fact: For some reason, Marvel has allowed Avengers Masterwork #4 to fall out of print. As a result, most of the rest can be found for half-price or so at cons, whereas #4 can’t be found for less than $100 anywhere.
Why would Marvel have so many fewer of that volume, and can you guess why I’m aware of this?
I also note that the TPB version of FF Masterwork #6 will be coming out in July. That series meets the request for all those fans who complain that the HC versions are too expensive. I hope the TPB versions are doing well and that DC follows suit. Granted, it’s taken many years for this to happen, but it’s a good sign.
And, needless to say, we also should put on the record that the first volume of the Sugar & Spike Archives will be coming out August 31, making one of the few Archives volumes to be published. Clearly, DC is running out of series that it thinks can make a profit in this format.
I'm guessing it's because they think that later-SA and post-SA collections don't have a big enough market, possibly because most of those issues are in good supply and not that expensive, and that the early-SA and 1950s stuff don't have a big enough audience for the cost of producing them, whatever that may be.
I'm hoping the S&S volume does well enough that DC starts looking further afield to see what other non-super-hero comics might work in whatever format they think is best. As Randy says, it's a shame that list of collections of older comics isn't a lot longer.
DOC SAVAGE: 448 pages? Really? That series lasted only eight issues. Were they 56 pages each? I guess that's right. I'll definitely be buying this one, for nostalgia is nothing else. Despite the fact this series was tied to a terribly campy movie (which I didn't see for the first time until a few years ago on VHS), these stories (by Doug Moench, IIRC) are the among best Doc Savages I've ever read (my favorites, anyway). I bought the first two issues when I was a kid, and was inspired to read Doc Savage: His Apocalypic Life by Phillip Jose Farmer. Although I later traded them away, I recent re-aquired them (plus a third issue of the magazine) when I went through a phase and got the movie on VHS a couple of years ago. The Marvel magazine stories are far better than the Marvel comics book stories (IMHO).
TRIAL OF THE FLASH: Another one I'll likely buy for the sake of nostalgia, although I would prefer it in color.
Mr. Age is correct, DC appears to be moving into the post-Silver Age stuff with pricier color reprints. I didn't include what's coming up in my original SA list, but here are some other things of interest for fans of that period:
I should mention that the Kirby Omnibus features his work for DC from the 1950s, including his fun run on Green Arrow and several "mystery" stories.