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.
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.
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
Comic Book Plus has the original Black Magic up to #28. I take it the issues are in the public domain. The original title was produced by Simon and Kirby and their studio, so not all of the reprinted stories were drawn by Kirby. According to the Simon and Kirby Blog some of the reprinted stories were redrawn. A few stories were reprinted from another S&K title, Strange World of Your Dreams.
1st Issue Special #2 featuring the Green Team was drawn by Jerry Grandenetti, who drew most of Simon's 1970s DC work. I admire his work greatly. The issue is a debacle, dreadful beyond belief. Two more issues were prepared and appeared in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade. (They weren't DC Implosion casualties: this was an earlier time-point.) The feature was a kid gang strip crossed with Richie Rich. My theory is the Great American Pleasure Machine was inspired by the Simon and Garfunkel song "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine".
Doorway to Nightmare was where Madame Xanadu debuted. The wonderful Mike Kaluta did the covers.
In each issue two lovers in some way encounter the supernatural. Madame Xanadu is a tarot-card reader with premises in Greenwich Village. She arranges a good outcome while mostly staying on the periphery of the events.
Babblings About DC suggests she was based on the hostess who appeared on the splashes Kaluta drew for Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion. Diversions of a Groovy Kind notes "she always put Teen Groove in mind of Cher".
The title was a casualty of the DC Implosion. The issue I've read is the story intended for #6, which appeared in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade and later in The Unexpected #190. Kaluta's cover was used as the splash. New stories (with Kaluta splashes) followed in subsequent issues.
Kaluta also drew the cover of the 1981 Madame Xanadu #1. At his website Steve Englehart says this was done as a fill-in. It's my guess it was originally intended as another instalment of the series in The Unexpected, and didn't appear there because the title went down from the dollar size.
Those are interesting speculations about Madame X's origins! And I hadn't realize the continued in The Unexpected's Dollar Comic days... that makes sense. Those titles were great for inventory burnoff.
I think I had the 1981 Madam Xanadu one-shot; I don't think I'd ever seen her 70s series before.
I forgot to say that each issue had a different creative team. (Hat-tip: Babblings about DC.) The first was by David Michelinie and Val Mayerik.
This round robin approach continued when the series continued in The Unexpected. Counting the original series, The Unexpected, and Madame Xanadu #1, there were ten stories.
Luke Blanchard said:
Other Kirby ancient barbarians stories include... the Marak two-parter from 2001: A Space Odyssey #3-#4, which depicts the coming of the Iron Age and the invention of the wheel.
I'm in the error: it's the coming of the Bronze Age. In #3 Egel makes Marak a bronze sword and armour. Then he gets the idea for the wheel, and in #4 Marak wages war with chariots.
It's a busy week for me, so I'm just gonna power through today's releases ... all continuations from the previous few weeks.
Detective Comics 351 Featuring the Cluemaster!... and a return to Infantino covers.
In horror books, we've got House of Secrets 134, with an army of werewolves on a nice Nestor Redondo cover. Doorway to Nightmare 2 has a new creative team every issue, as Luke noted -- this week it's Gerry Conway and Vicente Alcazar under the Kaluta cover. And Black Magic 2 is ll Simon & Kirby inside... but the cover, uncredited at Comixology, looks to me like Jerry Grandinetti (and I just checked the GCD -- it is, with inks by Craig Flessel.) And man, does the lettering look weird!
Wanted 4 More Golden Age tales -- Green Lantern vs Solomon Grundy, and Kid Eternity vs Master Man.
1st Issue Special #3 revives Metamorpho, with the original team of Bob Haney and Ramona Fradon.
Sun Devils 7 sees the miniseries pick up the pace.
It's a Flash sale this week! (No, it goes on for the whole week, it's just a sale featuring the Flash.) If you're looking for value for money, pick up Flash 300 for 99 cents -- that's a whole lot of comic, and a really engaging story that recaps Flash's history from a unique vantage point -- Barry Allen wakes up from a coma, in the hospital with severe burns from a chemical fire started by lightning. Has he been imagining his whole superhero career?
There's plenty of other great stuff, too!
The story from 1st Issue Special #3 was my first encounter with Metamorpho. It left me cold, but first encounter with the original series, the story from #6, made me an instant fan. There's nothing obviously wrong with the story, except the end is a bit confusing. The style and content and like that of the original series. Babblings About DC says it can't explain what's missing, and neither can I.
The cover of Black Magic #2 leaves me a bit cold. I really like the one for #1.
I have all of the Wanted series. I thought they were great, because they were my first exposure to Golden age comics.I never saw more than one issue at one time, and took me forever to get them all.
I remember liking that 1st Issue Special, but I'm a huge Metamorpho fan. I loved that Ramona Fradon art.
I've only ever seen the first issue of Doorway to Nightmate, and that is it. I had no idea what kind of comics it was, how long it lasted, etc.
Seven more issues available from Comixology this week. BEHOLD!
Detective Comics 352 features a story where Batman fights Mr. Esper, a thief/magician/psychic. He shows up again, years later, in Teen Titans 50-52, currently being reprinted in the Titans Giants. HOLY TWIN OBSESSIONS, Batman! It's like everything is finally coming together for me.
We've still got plenty of horror books. House of Secrets 134, features a character named Aunt Harriet, but I'm certain it's not the same one from the Batman TV show. But it DOES have a Wrightson cover with a guy being swarmed by killer bunnies!
Doorway to Nightmare 3's creative team this issueis Bill Kunkel & Roger McKenzie with Ric Estrada art, all under another cool Kaluta cover. Two issues to go!
Black Magic 3 has another Grandinetti cover, this one more successful to my eye, because those demons in surgical masks are AWESOME. (6 issues to go on this one.)
And finally, we get the unexpected return of House of Mystery with issue 201, another 52-pager under a Kaluta cover. House of Mystery Omnibus is coming in June, so I guess this is whetting the appetite.
And speaking of whetting the appetite for a hardcover, it turns of there's a Wanted hardcover coming out next week. So no wonder we've been getting these books! Wanted 5 features Green Lantern vs Doctor Light (by Gardner Fox & Gil Kane) and Doll Man vs the Iron Mask (the GCD credits this to Bill Woolfolk and Alex Kotzky, but is unsure about Kotzky; Comixology doesn't bother to give any credits at all).
And finally, there's 1st Issue Special #4 featuring Lady Cop, by Robert Kanigher, John Rosenberger, and Vince Colletta. If I recall correctly, Lady Cop was brought into an episode of Arrow, but I bet you can still find this book in dollar bins.
This week's sale focuses on Tom King. I highly recommend Sheriff of Babylon and Omega Men, two of the books he made his name on. And the Grayson series he co-wrote with Tim Seely is a ton of fun. I think people didn't want to give it a fair shake because of its concept, but it's a blast.
Alright, we've got eight new issues online today. Which is good, because soon no one will be leaving their house!
First, before getting into what's new, I wanted to mention a few books that have stopped over the past few weeks. We seem to not be getting any more Superman, or Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen -- and before that, Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane dropped off as well. We're also missing the last two issues of the 2001 volume of Doom Patrol (these have been gone long enough, and there's so few of them, that I'm going to add them to the Gap List). And this week sees a skip of House of Secrets, Black Magic, and Doorway to Nightmare -- though skipping a week is nothing new for Comixology books.
But here's what we DO have...
First up is 1st Issue Special 5, which features the Jack Kirby Manhunter, which has expanded to be a big part of DCU's cosmic mythos, AND its espionage mythos. That's a pretty neat combo.
Next we've got Detective Comics 353, a Flash teamup vs Weather Wizard. Naturally, it's another Infantino-drawn story. The cover has the Weather Wizard literally hopping from a Flash comic to Detective Comics.
House of Mystery 202 has a great devil-baby coverby Mike Kaluta, which might be inspired a little by the popularity of Rosemary's Baby a few years before.
Sun Devils 8 nears the run's conclusion. It's funny how I always think of this as a purely Dan Jurgens book, but Gerry Conway is still listed as writer this deep into the series. I think he falls away by the end. 4 issues to go.
Wanted 6: This installment of the World's Most Dangerous Villains includes the Mist (vs Starman), the Blue Lama (vs Sargon the Sorcerer), and the Yellow Wasp (vs Wildcat).
Plus, we have three new books. First up is Eclipso 1, by Robert Loren Fleming, Keith Giffen, and Bart Sears. I believe this launched out of the Eclipso: The Darkness Within event, and it ran for 18 issues, between 1992 and 1994.
From a few years before that, we have The Spectre 1, from 1987, by Doug Moench and Gene Colan. (For some reason I remember Gray Morrow being the artist on this book, but he didn't pic it up until later. Colan drew the first 6 issues, followed by Cam Kennedy for a few.) This book lasted till issue 31 in 1989.
And on the lighter side of things, we have Super Friends 1 from 1976. Zan and Jayna haven't debuted yet -- we've got Wendy, Marvin, and Wonderdog here, and we will for the first handful of issues -- and the story is by E. Nelson Bridwell and Ric Estrada. Ramona Fradon, the book's longtime artist, would join the creative team with issue 3.
In the Comixology sales, we're celebrating Robin this week, with plenty of Batman, Robin, and Nightwing books on sale. Out of everything, the best done-in-one read looks to me like Robin: Year One, by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, and stylish art by Javier Pulido.
We've got another eight books this week... in a time when digital comics might be coming to the fore. Though I'll be happy to have the opportunity to spend money at my LCS next week... if that's possible. Interesting times indeed.
But travel with us back to yesteryear, as these books from the DC Library have now joined the virtual shelves:
We begin with 1st Issue Special 6, which features the Jack Kirby kid gang, the Dingbats of Danger Street. Apparently there were a couple of other issues produced, and finally published in a recent TwoMorrows publication. This series ran 13 issues, with a new feature every issue.
Also a Jack Kirby creation is Black Magic 4, -- which seems to be entirely produced by Simon and Kirby. The cover feature has the quaintly childlike title "The Girl The Earth Ate Up."
Also in horror is House of Mystery 203 sporting a Russ Heath cover featuring a shapeshifting were-bird lady.
Next we've got Detective Comics 354, where Batman is surrounded by Dr. Tzin-Tzin's gang on a Carmine Infantino cover. The Infantino interiors are on the Elongated Man backup, however -- under the pen name Rouge Enfant.
And if you get one issue of Doorway to Nightmare, #4 is the one to buy. I don't recognize the writers' names -- Catherine Andrews and Stuart Hopen -- but the art is by EC legend Johnny Craig. I didn't realize he'd ever done any work for DC! And John Workman lettering too, instead of the Leroy lettering of the EC classics.
Wanted 7: This installment of the World's Most Dangerous Villains includes The Ghost (vs Hawkwoman), Dr. Clever (vs Jonny Quick), and Dr. Glisten (vs Hourman). "He always swore by his Glisten."
There's no Sun Devils or Eclipso this week -- nor any of the Superman Family -- but two of last week's newcomers return. We have The Spectre 2, by Doug Moench and Gene Colan. Dig that Kaluta Spectre/Madame Xanadu cover.
And we also have Super Friends 2, as the team faces off against the Penguin's super robot!
For the sale this week, it's DC Crossovers & Events... and of that bunch, I'd probably tout the Before Watchmen volume with the Silk Spectre and Minutemen stories. Darwyn Cooke wrote and drew the Minutemen story, and he co-wrote the Silk Spectre series with Amanda Conner, who drew it. That's a hell of a lineup, and it doesn't disappoint.
We've got eight more books this week... and from what I understand, DC is still operational while the entire staff is working from home. So maybe we'll continue to get these books on Thursdays while new comics are on hold.
We get no new issues of Black Magic or Doorway to Nightmare this week, and still no Superman family, but let's see what's available!
1st Issue Special 7 gives us a Creeper story, by Michael Fleisher and Steve Ditko. The character was created by Ditko in 1968, first appearing in Showcase and 6 issues of his own series. This is a trial balloon for a 1975 revival, with a new writer on board. This led, eventually, to a series of short features in World's Finest Comics in 1978, and then to a string of backups in Flash comics (without Ditko's involvement) in the mid-80s.
Do You Dare Enter House of Mystery 204? Well, it's got a great Bernie Wrightson cover with a slime monster, but frankly, I'm no going into ANY house until this social distancing thing is over. Still .. there are interior stories drawn by Wrightson, and Alex Nino as well... that's super tempting.
Next we've got Detective Comics 355, where a beaten Batman is held aloft by the Hooded Hangman. You can tell it's a Carmine Infantino cover by the cityscape int he deep background...so many backgrounds in the Flash looked just like this!
Wanted 8: This is the second-to-last published issue of the World's Most Dangerous Villains... this time featuring Captain Cold fighting the Flash, and Mister Who fighting Dr. Fate. (Mister Who would eventually show up in All-Star Squadron, his only modern appearance, as far as I know.) The just-published Wanted hardcover has an unpublished "tenth issue" included... I wonder if it will show up here. (If I were DC, I'd keep it exclusive to the hardcover for the time being. On the other hand, this is a series they could just keep extending, making new issues of old comics at least throughout the coronavirus shutdown, without doing wrong by retailers.)
The Spectre 3 continues the Doug Moench and Gene Colan run, under another fine Kaluta cover. This story deals with the Cult of the Blood Red Moon... which originated in the I, Vampire stories in House of Mystery. Mary, Queen of Blood was the vampires' leader.
And we also have Super Friends 3, as the team fights another android... this one with he powers of every super-hero! (But is not Amazo, for some reason.) Most important, however -- this is the issue where Ramona Fradon joins the creative team!
Sun Devils is back with issue 9, as Gerry Conway & Dan Jurgens's sci-fi series continues. I'm probably going to dig into this series once it's complete. It seems like just the sort of series DC might take a few elements of for modern use. (Maybe in some of the early United Planets stories Bendis is telling over in Superman?)
And lastly, we have Eclipso 2, by Robert Loren Fleming, Keith Giffen, and Bart Sears. This series lasted for 18 issues, through 1994. Fleming co-wrote with Giffen a lot, with their last comics work together being Ambush Bug: Year None in 2009.
DC's sale this week focuses on teamwork, with lots of group books on sale, among other things. (I picked up another single issue of the Snyder JLA, along with Teen Titans: Full Throttle, the first trade of the most recent Teen Titans revival with Damian at the helm.) There's also some nice Brave & Bold collections, and Justice League of America: Last Survivors of Earth -- basically an extension of the DC Archives line, full of 70s JLA stories. And there are plenty of Scooby-Doo Team-Up collections available. Every story in those is an all-ages gem.