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.

Hoy

 

February 23, 2011
Showcase Presents: Justice League of America, Vol. 5   
    $19.99   
    528 pages
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
    $19.99
    544 pages
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
    $19.99
    496 pages
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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2011

Showcase Presents: Doc Savage

    $19.99

    448 pages

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
    $19.99
    592 pages
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]
    $19.99
    176 pages
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!

 

 

 

September 21, 2011
Showcase Presents All Star Comics Vol. 1
    $19.99
    448 pages

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov. 9, 2011
Showcase Presents: Ghosts
    $19.99
    512 pages

 

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
    $19.99
    448 pages

Written by FRANK ROBBINS, DENNIS O'NEIL and MIKE FRIEDRICH; Art by IRV NOVICK, NEAL ADAMS and others; Cover by NEAL ADAMS

Reprinting tales from DETECTIVE COMICS #391-407 and BATMAN #216-228, this value-priced collection includes the introduction of Man-Bat and Batman's battle with The League of Assassins.

 

 

December 14, 2011

Showcase Presents: Wonder Woman Vol. 4
    $19.99
    520 pages

 

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!


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Is that it?  That's a shame.

I'm getting four of them definitely. Not sure about the Flash one, I have all those. And I have the seven part Deadman reprint series!
Just Green Lantern and Justice League for me.
The positives about The Witching Hour and Doc Savage volumes are that I don't have them! Hopefully the Doc one isn't  the 8 issue series I just got the color TPB for!
And it's interesting that this is a reprint volume of Doc Savage's stories previously published by Marvel.


Randy Jackson said:

Is that it?  That's a shame.


I think it's only natural that the number of new volumes each year will slow down. With each new volume they release, the competition for the sale to the casual reader increases, as said casual reader will have a wider choice of books when she feels like buying some cheap Silver Age goodness.

I started by buying every Essential and Showcase as they came out, but the supply eventually outstripped demand, as far as I was concerned. These collections are so cheap that a lot of the sales will be 'casual buys' rather than committed collectors getting each one in a series. One shop owner told me that the Showcases were vey popular with parents buying good value superhero fun for their kids.

If there is anyone out there so base as not to own the famed GL/GA issues, you can do a lot worse than own Neal Adams art in B&W in that showcase GL vol 5. (I'm surprised they caught up with this already. Only a few more Showcases until the Dave Gibbons Green Lantern issues, which I'd love to read.)

The Trial of the Flash is an interesting Showcase. What issues are these? Is this story any good?* Does it take up where the most recently printed Flash Showcase leaves off? I think its a great format for longform stories that don't quite justify being collected in multiple colour TPBs. Monthlies from the 70s and 80s were all about the longform plotting rather than fairly self-contained 6-issue storylines.

To be honest I thought Essential/Showcase would be the ideal way to present those less-than-stellar dragged-out storylines of the 80s and 90's, but instead things like The Clone Saga and Secret Wars II get the hardcover classy omnibus treatment I thought was reserved for Bona Fide comicbook classics. What's with that? (Actually I think I know the answer: look out for Essentials of those stories once all the dedicated 90's fanboys have shelled out their big payments for those. Could Marvel be reliving the 90's and stinging them all over again? heh heh!)

Is the Deadman TPB the complete first run? Is there any closure with the final issue, or does it just ... stop?

I know its Neal Adams, but how good is the art here? Worth getting even if I'm not a huge fan of Deadman? Although I quite like him anyway :-).


* Actually I'd apply this question to all of them. Are they any good? Which should a dedicated comics fan try to get her hands on?

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. 

I remembered you liked this storyline Rob.  Is that the same Eradicator as in the Superman comics?  What years are we talking about for Flash 322 to 350?  Isn't 350 quite close to the COIE?

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.

Avengers Masterwork #11 will be out in July, featuring Avengers #101-111 and DD #99. That’s getting to the end of what I’ve read solidly, as I was faltering by about #100.

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.

-- MSA 

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:

 

  • John Carter of Mars: Warlord of Mars by Marv Wolfman, Chris Claremont, Peter B. Gillis, and Bill Mantlo (Mar 8, 2011) B&W, Dark Horse, reprints Marvel's stories from the 1970s
  • Essential Captain America, Vol. 6 (Marvel Essentials) by Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, Don Glut, and Steve Gerber (Apr 6, 2011) Paperback
  • Essential Thor, Vol. 5 (Marvel Essentials) by Gerry Conway, Len Wein, John Buscema, and Don Perlin (May 4, 2011) Paperback, B&W
  • Infinity Inc.: The Generations Saga Vol. 1 by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, and Jerry Ordway (Jun 28, 2011) Hardcover
  • Aquaman: Death of the Prince by Various and Jim Aparo (Jul 5, 2011) Paperback
  • Tales of the Batman - Gene Colan Vol. 1 by Various and Gene Colan (Jul 26, 2011) Hardcover
  • The Jack Kirby Omnibus Vol. 1 by Jack Kirby (Jul 26, 2011) Hardcover
  • Firestorm: The Nuclear Man by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom (Jul 26, 2011) Paperback
  • The Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 1 by Steve Ditko (Aug 9, 2011) Hardcover
  • Secret Society of Super-Villains by Various (Aug 23, 2011) Hardcover
  • The New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 1 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez (Aug 30, 2011) Hardcover

 

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.

Hoy

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