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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Here are the five new titles on this week's DC digital backlist.

Hardware 46: By DG Chichester and Prentis Rollins. Hardware discovers an A.I. version of the late Edwin Alva. (4 issues to go)

Gen 13 6:  By Jim Lee, Brandon Choi,  J. Scott Campbell & Jason Pearson. The team's shenanigans in Rome put them up against a Vatican superteam.

Stormwatch 19: By Ron Marz and Matt Broome (and others). Synergy fights for her life against Argos! Cannon goes freelance. 

Wetworks 14: By J.M. DeMatteis and Joel Gomez. Wetworks tries to keep vampire nation from overruning Europe.  (1 issue to go.)

WildCATS 17: By James Robinson and Travis Charest. The CATS search for the real Maul, who'd been replaced by a Daemonite duplicate.

No Secret Society of Super-Villains this week, as an issue of Hardware steps in. It looks like starting next week it'll be weekly, though, taking Wetworks's place. Things might be pretty stable in October, although there's room for a new title to alternate with Hardware's last few issues.

Here are the five new titles on this week's DC digital backlist.

Gen 13 7:  By Jim Lee, Brandon Choi,  J. Scott Campbell. Art by Lee. Can Rainmaker and Burnout rescue their friends from the Vatican's superteam, the Centurions?

Stormwatch 20: By Ron Marz, Stephen Seagle, Michael Lopez and Mel Rubi. The team fights MAD-1 before he can raid a nuclear dump site in Ukraine. 

Wetworks 15: By Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Joel Gomez. Dane and the team are overwhelmed by the vampiric Night Tribes. Are they done for? Final issue.

WildCATS 18: By James Robinson and Travis Charest. Void uses her abilities to travel through Voodoo's comatose psyche. (This Robinson run of WildCATS was where I started picking up the book, although I haven't read it since it was published.)

Secret Society of Super-Villains 3: By David Anthony Kraft and Pablo Marcos. After launching the title, Gerry Conway has officially jumped ship. The team fight's Darkseid's minions, if they can work together. (I'll have more on this one once I read it.)

I'm I'm reading the runes correctly, we should know what books October has in store for us on Friday. I'm expecting more of Stormwatch, Gen 13, and WildCATS, more SSoSV, two more bi-weekly issues of Hardware (so close to its conclusion!), and ...honestly, at five issues a week, that just leaves two slots. I'm really hoping for another standard-universe DC title in there. I just realized there are NO issues of Blackhawk on DCUI, other than the Chaykin miniseries and the New 52 series. That's officially on my wishlist now -- particularly the Evanier/Spiegel series from the 80s, but also the later Pasko/Burchett comics. 

OK, I've read Secret Society of Super Villains #3 now, and in large part, it's a fight between the villains (and undercover heroes) and Mantis, while Darkseid and Kalibak look on over viewscreens. In the first part, Manhunter and Star Sapphire escape Mantis, leaving Captain Comet, Grodd, and Captain Cold behind. Later, Manhunter rallies the team to rescue their teammates, reasoning that they're the only ones who can face the threat of Darkseid. (The Wizard and Sinestro secretly agree to bail when the going gets tough -- neither of them are native to Earth-1, so it can go hang as far as they're concerned.)

One great moment in this is that Star Sapphire tells Manhunter it's a stupid plan. Why get the villains to fight back when they can just tell a hero, and they'll do it for free? It's a really good question, and she contacts Green Lantern, though we don't see what comes of it.

Also, someone breaks Copperhead out of prison (he's apparently been fished out of the ocean). We don't know who, but Copperhead isn't happy to see them.

But the BEST part of the story? That's this page, in which Captain Boomerang and Mirror Master rob a (barely-disguised) McDonald's of three dollars (and two cents!) worth of hamburgers. That's the Rogues for ya... always thinking big!

Next issue promises Kalibak the Cruel, and rebellion in the ranks!

 

I've obviously read the runes incorrectly. My next two guesses are next Monday and then next Friday.  DC, why ya gotta make me wait?

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:


I'm I'm reading the runes correctly, we should know what books October has in store for us on Friday. 

No word yet. Looks like it'll be Friday. 

The list of October releases came out, and it's basically all Wildstorm aside from SSoSV. (Although they ARE releasing a ton of issues of Mad Magazine all at once.) I'm beyond frustrated by this. Here's the post I left on the message board.

***

MAD Magazine! That’s great!

And it’s a bunch of issues at once, rather than rolling out weekly – which is also great!

Because, well… I have a lot of patience. I try to be enthusiastic, and greet each announcement with optimism. But the slow-rolling of the actual DC archives is extremely frustrating. I feel like fans of the core DCU should be getting more than one book a week.

This is a list of the DCU books that have been released in the archives schedule since January (counting the books scheduled for October): New Guardians 1-12; Captain Atom: Armageddon 7-9; Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew 2-16; Secret Society of Supervillains 1-8.

That’s 38 books… fewer than one book a week.

I’m not saying there’s not other great stuff. I’ve really enjoyed revisiting Milestone. I know there are avid fans of Wildstorm, and I’m glad they’re getting served. Sandman was released, which is terrific, and it’ll also be great to page through a ton of MAD.

But there’s no classic Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman on this list – let alone Sgt. Rock, Warlord, or Jonah Hex.

I’ve been subscribing for about a year now, and every month I eagerly anticipate the list of new archive releases. And each month – especially lately, as the Milestone books have waned but the number of slots have risen, I feel like I’m being told, “No soup for you.”

I was excited to see Wetworks complete last month. I thought we might see a new DC book in its slot. To see it be replaced on the schedule by an earlier, much longer volume of Wetworks feels like getting slapped in the face by a fish.

I’m sorry. Like I said, I try to be enthusiastic. And I know these decisions come from higher up in the corporate structure. But please convey that there’s genuine frustration with the trickle of archival DCU material that comes out every month. We’re here because we love DC comics. And for the last year, the core library of DC comics has been pretty sorely neglected.

Please, keep releasing Wildstorm books, and by all means continue releasing Milestone books once the core four titles have been completed. (Start with Worlds Collide, the centerpiece of the Worlds Collide crossover with the Superman books – every other issue of the story is already available!) But please try to include more books from the long history of the DCU itself, from the golden age, silver age, bronze age, and beyond. There’s so much there, and you have a readership that loves it.

Thanks so much for listening.

Got a nice response from someone at DC almost immediately after I posted my message. They'll convey my frustration to DC, but there's only so much manpower devoted to the archives... and essentially, to do 5 issues a week, they need to tackle some easier projects (like post-digital Wildstorm books) first. That said, there will be a few events -- the big drops of a bunch of issues -- in the next 6 months that they think I'll be happy with.

So this week, our five stories are:

Gen 13 8:  By Jim Lee, Brandon Choi,  J. Scott Campbell. Art by Lee. Fairchild goes missing, but when the team tracks her down, is it a trap?

Stormwatch 21: By Ron Marz, Stephen Seagle, Pop Mahn, Terry Shoemaker. The team has defeated MAD-1 ... but MAD-2, -3, and -4 are right behind! 

Hardware 47: By DG Chichester and Prentis Rollins. Curtis serves on the jury of a murder trial. Hardware searches for the truth by night. (3 issues to go)

WildCATS 19: By James Robinson and Jim Lee, backup by Robinson & Terry Dodson. The Daemonite impostor storyline wraps up, and there's a Savant backup with Terry Dodson art. (There's only one more issue of the Robinson run, before the title switches over to Alan Moore; it looks like DC is stopping at 20 for now.)

Secret Society of Super-Villains 4: By David Anthony Kraft, Pablo Marcos & Ernie Chan. The team fights Kalibak -- and faces a pivotal turning point! (I'll have more on this one once I read it; 11 issues left.)

  

Secret Society of Super-Villains 4 is even more of a mishmosh than usual, with lots of little battles -- Green Lantern vs Mantis, Mantis vs Darkseid, The Wizard & Sinestro vs the rest of the SSOV, and finally Grodd vs Kalibak -- all clamoring for page space and doing nothing much interesting with it. But we DO get the introduction of Funky Flashman -- considerably more bearded, but still operating as a Stan Lee parody at heart -- and we also get this great panel of Sinestro and the Wizard.

But also, from that same page, check out Funky Flashman's speech patterns -- that's so Stan Lee it deserves a No-Prize. But just consider how the guy is treating his butler. Looks like Jack Kirby wasn't the only guy at DC with a bone to pick with Stan the Man.

 

And one more thing... maybe the most off-model Darkseid I've ever seen:

Rob said

Got a nice response from someone at DC almost immediately after I posted my message. They'll convey my frustration to DC, but there's only so much manpower devoted to the archives... and essentially, to do 5 issues a week, they need to tackle some easier projects (like post-digital Wildstorm books) first. That said, there will be a few events -- the big drops of a bunch of issues -- in the next 6 months that they think I'll be happy with.

It does make me wonder how big that team is that takes care of this process. I say this as someone who has been on a team of only 5 people in a corporation of 1000s.

And that picture of Darkseid almost makes him look dashing.

I'm pretty sure the digital team got hit really hard in the layoffs at the beginning of the pandemic.  I suspect the team digitizing old comics is a skeleton crew these days -- or at least a shadow of its former self. (Also, some of them might have been diverted to other initiatives, like DC's partnership with Webtoons.)

Five more comics released this week -- four Wildstorm and one DC.

WildCATS 20: By James Robinson and Travis Charest. Part 2 of Wildstorm Rising, a 11-part crossover event that wound its way throughout the Wildstorm line in May/June 1995. There was a prologue in Team 7: Objective: Hell 1, then  Wildstorm Rising #1,, then this issue of WildCATS, followed by Union 4, Gen13 2, Grifter 1, Deathblow 16, Wetworks 8, Backlash 8, Stormwatch 22 , and wrapping up with Wildstorm Rising #2. I've bolded the issues currently on DCUI. (This is the last issue on the schedule, although the book ran through issue 50; the next issue would be written by Alan Moore..)

Stormwatch 22: By Ron Marz and Renato Arlem. Chapter 9 of Wildstorm Rising. Stormwatch vs Helspont. 

Wetworks 2: By Whilce Portacio & Brandon Choi. The original Wetworks series ran for 43 issues; the first one was already available. The team -- I gather they're called Team 7? -- is sent to Transylvania to retrieve a bio-weapon. Its Wildstorm Rising chapter (issue 8) should hit in November.

Gen 13 9:  By Jim Lee, Brandon Choi,  J. Scott Campbell. Art by Adrian Ramos. The team is at the mercy of Trance and his freaks. (If you're looking for a Wildstorm Rising chapter, it was back in issue 2.)

Secret Society of Super-Villains 5: By the new creative team of Bob Rozakis and Rich Buckler. The team fights the armies of Apokolips! Sinestro disrupts an advertising meeting. (I'll have more on this one once I read it; 10 issues left.)

In Secret Society of Super-Villains 5, by Bob Rozakis, Rich Buckler, and Vince Colletta,  the first big storyline comes to a close The villains fight Mantis and Darkseid -- although the Black Racer skis off as quickly as he came. Three of Flash's rogues make short work of Mantis, and as Darkseid turns tail in a boom tube, the Manhunter clone drops on him, explaining "You forget I am a clone -- a man born in a test-tube! My creators made me the ultimate assassin -- a human bomb, with enough bult-in explosives to destroy any target...including a god from Apokolips!"

And then we get this spectacular climax!

Yes, this is what passed for "spectacular" in those days. But at least Rich Buckler's Darkseid was a bit more on-model.

So's his Funkly Flashman, for that matter. Here he is, pitching Sinestro on a PR plan for supervillains.

These Funky pages, to my mind, is the ENTIRE heart of the book.  Rozakis is having fun here -- but he's also not really making fun of Stan Lee so much. Funky becomes pretty much just any advertising pitchman, which is how he was when I first encountered him, a few issues from now. Finding out he was originally a Stan Lee parody was a revelation -- he's got none of Stan's Arresting Alliteration here -- just pure Madison Avenue.

Meanwhile, Captain Comet rescues Green Lantern from under the rubble he was trapped under last issue, and they go to the JLA satellite, where Cap says he plans to track all the villains down. The JLA plans to give him some liaisons while he does it, leading to a guest star each issue, I presume. In this one, it's Hawkman, who tells Green Lantern to sit out another fight with Sinestro, since it's his turn for monitor duty. (They sure take monitor duty seriously.) So they send Hawkman and Captain Comet out to face Sinestro. Hawkman is, of course, useless. But Cap gets the job done.

Next issue: "CAPTAINS CATACLYSMIC!"

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