A while back, I logged some week-to-week posts on DC’s digital reprint program through Comixology. It’s been a while, and their digital offerings have matured, so I thought I’d take another look at what they’re adding each week. Currently, they seem to be doing about 30 books a week. I might not list all the issue numbers going forward – if the 90s Superman titles continue moving forward at two of each a week, there’s not much value in listing each issue. But let’s take a look at this week’s, and let’s see where the patterns take us, shall we?

 

90s Superman: DC is following the 90s Superman titles (soon to be the 2000s Superman, as this week’s titles are from December 1999) pretty quickly, giving us 8 issues of the books every week. There’s a lot of material to get through, but that’s still an admirable clip. We may only have a few more weeks of this, judging by Action Comics (the one title of the bunch that doesn’t change its numbering and continues for a long while) – 761 is the most recent issue, and Action already seems to be in the digital library from 769 on. Superman, Adventures of Superman and Superman: Man of Steel have bigger gaps, though. 

Action Comics 760, 761

Adventures of Superman 574, 575

Superman 152, 153

Man of Steel 95, 96

 

Arion: 11, 12

DC has been adding two issues of Arion: Lord of Atlantis a week for the last 6 weeks. There are 35 issues and a special, so there's a way to go before the series is completed.

DC Comics Presents: 75, 76

DCCP started out at a faster pace, but has been going two a week for a little while now. There are about 20 issues to go. Bonus: More Arion this week, in issue 75!

Guy Gardner: Warrior: 33

11 issues to go.

Huntress: 19, 4-issue 1994 series

We wrap up the Cavalieri/Staton ongoing that introduced Helena Bertinelli, and then power through a Chuck Dixon mini from 1994. Will Huntress return next week, or will we move on?

Justice League America (Bwa-ha-ha) 51, 52

This one has a ways to go before having everything available.

Manhunter: 34

Four more issues till it’s all there!

Mister Miracle: 23-25

This wraps up the 70s run – Kirby and then Marshall Rogers, it’s all there! (I think DC also recently wrapped the 70s Return of the New Gods run, too.)

Superman (Bronze Age): 233

This is an interesting one. The Kryptonite Nevermore cover – I’m surprised it wasn’t available before this. Will DC continue from here? Their 70s Superman offerings on Comixology are paltry.

Wanderers: 7, 8

This 80s Legion spinoff ran 13 issues, so we’re almost there.

Wonder Woman (Silver Age): 130, 131

DC has been making silver age Wonder Woman stories available, probably wishing to expand their catalog in anticipation of the movie. At this point the silver age issues go from 112-131, with a couple of gaps.

Swamp Thing (Diggle/Dysart run): 25

4 more issues to go.

Trigger: 5

This Vertigo sci-fi series lasted 8 issues. I don’t remember it at all.

 

That’s a pretty exhaustive look at this week’s offerings. Next week, I’ll probably just note new additions (what will replace Mister Miracle? The '89 and '96 series have already been collected, so we might be in for something new. And there might be more Huntress comics that haven't been reprinted yet, but Comixology has a bunch of them listed already, and the Bat-universe is so sprawling it's tough to search), unexpected omissions, breaks from the patterns, and go forward from there. 

And to make things easy to follow:
Week 2. (April 6, 2017)

Week 3 (April 13, 2017)

Week 4 (April 20, 2017)

Week 5 (April 27, 2017)

Week 6 (May 4, 2017)

Week 7 (May 11, 2017)

Week 8 (May 18, 2017)

Week 9 (May 25, 2017)

Week 10 (June 1, 2017) -- All the golden age Wonder Woman goodness!

Week 11 (June 8, 2017)

Week 12 (June 15, 2017)

Week 13 (June 22, 2017)

Week 14 (June 29, 2017)

Week 15 (July 6, 2017)

Week 16 (July 13, 2017) -- Our Worlds at War! Underworld Unleashed!

Week 17 (July 20, 2017) -- The Great Ten! More Wonder Woman!

Week 18 (July 27, 2017) -- Batman Confidential and Deathblow? Young Heroes in Love?? Doom Patrol!

Week 19 (Aug 3, 2017) -- Some Bronze-age Batman!

Week 20 (Aug 10, 2017) -- Loeb/Sale Challengers begins!

Week 21 (Aug 17, 2017) -- Silver Age Challs!

MIDWEEK SALE BLAST (Aug 22, 2017): Wildstorm!

Week 22 (Aug 24, 2017) -- Holding pattern...

Week 23 (Aug 31, 2017) -- chugging along

Week 24 (Sept 7, 2017) -- Same old, but with newer Challengers

Week 25 (Sept 14, 2017) -- Baron/Jones Deadman debuts

Week 26 (Sept 21, 2017) -- Holding steady, with more Deadman

Week 27 (Sept 28, 2017) -- Deadman in Action Comics Weekly?

Week 28 (Oct 5, 2017) -- A slow swerve into Batman

Week 29 (Oct 5, 2017) -- Doom Patrol finishes in the smallest week ever

The Gap List: a list of unexplained or awkward skips.

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Even having finally made our way through the Wasteland, we're up to six books a week. Here are the back issues DC has cooking on Comixology:

Aquaman Sword of Atlantis (2006-2007) 46: This puzzled me at first. Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis replaced Aquaman during DC's "1 Year Later" initiative after Infinite Crisis... but the title started at issue 40 and ran to issue 57 (starting out with Kurt Busiek and Butch Guice for not quite a year, and then moving on to Tad Williams and Shawn McManus). The previous 39 issues of Aquaman are all available, so why not start this at the beginning*? Ah, but then I read the synopsis: KING SHARK guest-stars in the storyline that starts in this one, and he's about to be a movie star. It all makes sense. (Which is a shame, because I really liked the Busiek issues, but dropped it when Williams and McManus took over; when I was this announced I was looking forward to catching up with it, but now I realize it might not go that far.)

*Edited to add: Actually, they did. Somehow I missed them when I first looked at Comixology this afternoon, but issues 40-45 of Sword of Atlantis are already available, and have been since 2012.

Batman 214: Dig this cover! "A go-go, go-for-broke, all-out campaign to remove the city’s most eligible bachelor from circulation in 'Batman's Marriage Trap!' " From Frank Robbins (who else?) and Irv Novick.

Icon (1993-1997) 15: Milestone gets into another out-of-order crossover, thanks to the differing schedule of digital releases from the original print releases. This is Part 4 of Worlds Collide -- where Superboy meets Rocket! (I'll look into what's available so far of Worlds Collide in my next post.)

Static (1993-1997) 16: More Static vs Joyride! (Static's World's Collide crossover -- the finale of the series -- was two issues ago!)

Strange Adventures (1950-1973) 4: The Invaders from Planet Pride! (No, actually, they're from the Nth Dimension, but with their rainbow-colored tractor beams, it's an honest mistake.)

Who’s Who Update 1988 2: Iron Munro! Karma & Lodestone of the Doom Patrol! The KGBeast! And Manhunter Mark Shaw, currently featured as Leviathan in Checkmate! (There are two more issues of Update 88... and then DC *might* do an Update 89, compiling the material found in annuals of that year, but there's no cover for that. But it *does* appear in the Who's Who Omnibus!)

DC is having a Superman sale this week -- the Superman Retro-Active specials are available for 99 cents, and they were fun. And there's plenty of Golden Age issues for a buck, too!

Part 1 – Superman: The Man of Steel #35
Part 2 – Hardware #17
Part 3 – Superboy #6
Part 4 – Icon #15
Part 5 – Steel #6
Part 6 – Blood Syndicate #16
Part 7 – Worlds Collide #1
Part 8 – Superboy #7
Part 9 – Hardware #18
Part 10 – Superman: The Man of Steel #36
Part 11 – Icon #16
Part 12 – Steel #7
Part 13 – Blood Syndicate #17
Part 14 – Static #14

We'll get to those Icon and Hardware issues soon, but Blood Syndicate is still a few months away unless something changes. And the Worlds Collide special itself is still MIA. (And such a weird, counter-intuitive thing to have the special come at the middle of the event! I suspect it's an experiment that wasn't particularly successful, because I've never seen it done that way since.)

(I'm updating this post when new issues become available.)

Update: Wasteland 6 is still not available on Comixology (or DCU Infinite). Someone on the DCUI message boards has said there's sensitive content somewhere near the back of the book that they're trying to figure out a responsible way to present it. I've got the printed copy somewhere around here, and if I see it, I'll try to post why the comic isn't being presented yet. Until then, it goes on The Gap List.

Oh yeah, that Si Spurrier series was great! My understanding is that the suits felt the series was too dark. Which to me is kind of the point, Constantine ain't no hero.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Yep, the $6.99 "Prestige Plus" books are $2.99 for this sale, and the $7.99 Harleen is $3.99. But the regular comic-size books are $1.99. 

Black Label is a little confusing, since it releases things in so many different formats and price points, but people tend to think of only the Prestige Plus size books as Black Label, since they're the splashiest. 

That said, the newest Hellblazer series is Black Label, and it was EXCELLENT. If you love classic Hellblazer but have given up on DC's treatment of the character, get the two Si Spurier/Aaron Campbell trades, Marks of Woe and The Best Version of You (currently on sale, although Marks of Woe is the bigger discount). They're 100% great. Last year DC released two books that could stand proudly alongside their 80s heyday: Suicide Squad and Hellblazer. Both are spectacular. 

I personally still feel like we (the readers) are being shortchanged by the online policies to some extent.

After all, the Kindle versions to a lot of the early anthologies like Action and Detective only feature the lead story (Superman and Batman, respectively) and seem to ignore the rest of that issue's contents.
If anyone is interested, I can also post a list of all the superhero title DC 100 page giants from the 1970s that are still AWOL.

Short version, only Justice League, Detective, and Adventure (since there was only one giant size issue of that title) are available online.

Even then, no e-comic is truly complete. The giants skip most of the additional special features that ran in the original issues and nothing I have acquired online has ever included the letters pages. Another personal quibble of mine is that I believe any e-comic should at least include the house ads and letters columns as well to better encompass the original release and time period involved.

But that's just me. Your views on this latter issue may be different.

Sure, Lee, I'd love to see a list of what Giants are available!

I've got mixed feelings on including ads -- I love old comics ads, but I'd rather not have to click through an ad to get to the next page of a story I'm reading. But loading all the ads into the back would be unsatisfying. Letters pages, I'd love to see. I've thought about starting up a database by scanning letters pages of old comics, and see who'd contribute. So at least they'd be somewhere, accessible, if not with the original book.  

Travis, I hadn't heard that the suits thought Hellblazer was too dark. That actually surprises me, it being a Black Label book. I just figured low sales were to blame. (I seem to recall Spurrier trying to drum up sales for the trade paperbacks, so I figured low sales were the problem.)

There were two versions of the 100 page—counting the inside and back covers—giant format.

DC-# were the original, true 100 pages for 50 cents with no ads! There were 19 in total, numbered DC-4 to DC-22. Some were issued as part of an existing series while others were stand alone specials. Why there was no DC 1-3 is an unsolved mystery.

A regular issue number was the second version. 100 pages for 60 cents with ads, but these also featured new material while the 50 centers were all reprints.

The following are the only ones that are currently available within the E-format...

Adventure Comics 416(DC-10)
Batman
255
Brave and the Bold
112-117
Detective Comics
438-445
Justice League of America
110, 111 (E-comic mistakenly has ENTIRE 7 Soldiers of Victory adventure reprint), 112 (E-comic has only second half of 7 Soldiers adventure as originally published), 113-116
Wonder Woman
 214

The following have yet to become an E-comic...

Action Comics 437, 443
Batman 238(DC-8), DC-14, DC-20, 254, 256-261
Flash 214(DC-11), DC-22, 229, 232
House of Mystery 224-229
Justice League of America DC-17
Love Stories DC-5
Our Army At War 246(DC-9), 269, 275
Sgt. Rock DC-16
Shazam 8, 12-17 (I have no idea why there is a gap between the first two giants)
Superboy (and the Legion of Superheroes) 185(DC-12), DC-15, DC-21, 202, 205
Superman 245(DC-7), 252(DC-13), DC-18, 272, 278, 284
Superman Family 164-169
Tarzan DC-19, 230-235
The Unexpected 157-162
Weird Mystery Tales Special DC-4
The Witching Hour 38
Wonder Woman 211
World’s Finest Comics 223-228
World’s Greatest Superheroes Special DC-6
Young Love 107-114
Young Romance 197-204

So as you can see, the debate about whether house ads and/or letter columns should be included aside, there is a humongous chasm between what has and hasn't been issued as an E-comic, to date.

Iron Munro was created by Roy Thomas for Young All-Stars, which replaced All-Star Squadron post-Crisis. He was intended as a replacement for the Golden Age Superman, and was supposed to recall Hugo Danner from Philip Wylie's novel Gladiator.

Wylie's character is widely thought to have been a model for Superman.(1) He was similarly strong and damage-resistant, and the destruction of Krypton was perhaps inspired by When Worlds Collide, co-authored by Wylie and Edwin Balmer.(2) Roy Thomas had previously adapted the first half of Gladiator with Tony DeZuniga in the B&W Marvel Preview #9 as "Man-God!", and Iron Munro's initial costume - plainclothes, including a dark t-shirt - recalls costuming from that adaptation.

His name, however, was from a Golden Age SF character, who appeared in Street and Smith's Shadow Comics and was based on John W. Campbell's character Aarn Munro.

Aarn Munro was a spaceman of the far future who had super-strength as he grew up on Jupiter. Here's the description of him from The Mightiest Machine:

Aarn Munro stood some five feet seven in height, and, to those who did not know him and his remarkable history, appeared exceedingly fat. He was nearly five feet in circumference, while his arms and legs stuck out at peculiar angles. And they seemed misshapen.

Jupiter, a world of  two and  a half times  the gravity of Earth, required strength in its people, and speed, too. On Earth, Aarn weighed nearly three hundred and fifty pounds. For the first  twenty years of his life he had lived on the giant of the system, and had developed such strength as  no Terrestrian ever dreamed  of. More than once he had proved  his  ability to lift and walk off  with a ton and a half of lead.

I think he may also have been the model for Charlie-21 of the original Guardians of the Galaxy. Iron Munro in Shadow Comics was built like Superman: muscular, but with a body-shape  within normal range. He was sub-billed "the astounding man".

(1) Amazingly, a comedy film based on the novel, but a long way after it, appeared in 1938 (in August; Action Comics #1 appeared in May). It starred Joe E. Brown.

(2) A George Pal film version of When Worlds Collide appeared in 1951. The novel was also the basis of a short-run newspaper strip, Speed Spaulding, which appeared at the start of the 1940s. The Dille syndicate, which distributed it, was the syndicate of Buck Rogers.

You're right about Hellblazer, Rob. I was going off something half-remembered I read from about a year ago, on some rumor site probably. I did look it up this morning, and according to Spurrier it was "failure to be renewed over being cancelled." Which he admits is probably just splitting hairs.

This week's DC backlist on Comixology:

Aquaman Sword of Atlantis (2006-2007) 47: More King Shark! Fishie's gonna get ya!

Batman 215: What's this? Batman being compelled to destroy Wayne Manor? Find out why in "Call Me Master" by Robbins and Novick!

Blood Syndicate (1993-1995) 10: Blood Syndicate finally catches up with Shadow War! 

Hardware (1993-1997) 16: Hardware takes on the Iron Man trope of a suit upgrade in "Version 2.0"!

Strange Adventures (1950-1973) 5: "The Man Who Could Vanish"... but couldn't bother to take his still-visible keys out of his pocket. And who knows what metal is still visible around this guy's knees? Is he into some weird bondage fetish? At first I thought his pocket watch was a chain between two nipple rings. I guess what I'm saying is, times change.

Who’s Who Update 1988 3: Updates on the Parliament of Trees! Rat Catcher! Doom Patrol's Scott Fischer! And the Secret Six II! No, not the originals. And no, not either of the modern versions. The one from Action Comics Weekly! 

DC is having an Essentials sale, which is a reminder for me to read those Injustice: Gods Among Us trades that I bought ages ago. But also, there's a Small-Press Superheroes sale, so now is a great time to pick up  Ahoy's The Wrong Earth and Dragonfly and Dragonflyman collections!

Here's what DC has announced is coming up in August. Looks like we've got a continuation of the four core Milestone books, but no Shadow Cabinet or Xombi yet. Strange Adventures continues through issue 10. We've got some love for late-40s Wonder Woman and 70s Aquaman, plus the extra-sized Action Comics 600 is finally appearing.  

August 3

Blood Syndicate (1993-1995) 11       

Hardware (1993-1997) 17       

Strange Adventures (1950-1973) 7   

Wonder Woman (1942-1986) 43       

 

August 10

Action Comics (1938-2011) 600        

Icon (1993-1997) 17      

Static (1993-1997)          18    

Strange Adventures (1950-1973) 8   

Wonder Woman (1942-1986) 44       

 

August 17

Aquaman (1962-1978 1 

Blood Syndicate (1993-1995) 12       

Hardware (1993-1997) 18       

Strange Adventures (1950-1973) 9   

Wonder Woman (1942-1986) 46       

 

August 24

Aquaman (1962-1978) 53        

Icon (1993-1997) 18      

Static (1993-1997)          19     

Strange Adventures (1950-1973) 10 

Wonder Woman (1942-1986) 47       

August 31

Aquaman (1962-1978) 54        

Batman (1940-2011) 220         

Blood Syndicate (1993-1995) 13       

Hardware (1993-1997) 19       

Wonder Woman (1942-1986) 48       

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Strange Adventures (1950-1973) 5: "The Man Who Could Vanish"... but couldn't bother to take his still-visible keys out of his pocket. And who knows what metal is still visible around this guy's knees? Is he into some weird bondage fetish? At first I thought his pocket watch was a chain between two nipple rings. I guess what I'm saying is, times change.

I think, from the top, the metal frames of his glasses, the clip of his clip-on tie, a tie-clip, his watch, his belt-buckle, (right hand) his gun, (jacket pockets) his cigarette lighter (?), his keys, (left hand) his watch, his ring, (trouser pocket) his change, his sock suspenders!

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