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CSBG Archive

Saturday with the Forgotten Ones

Here’s something I’ve been wondering about a lot lately.

We live in a world now where, finally, comics publishers have discovered the concept of the backlist. Major publishers like Marvel and DC, and even smaller folks like Hermes Press, have been putting stuff back in print that I’d have sworn no one would bother collecting in a trade edition.

The fact that these are not only available, but available in HIGH-END HARDCOVER collected editions, blows my mind.

But what I wonder about is the comics that –to me, anyway– seem like obvious omissions.

I’m not talking about stuff that has licensing issues or other legal stuff tying it up. We all know about those.

Although it bears repeating once again that it shouldn't be THAT damn hard to get the old Shang-Chi and PLANET OF THE APES stories back into print when they both have current comics out there about them. Invest a little, publishers!

No, I’m talking about older books that don’t have any rights problems or anything like that…. they’re just ignored. Forgotten.

For example, Gotham Central from DC seems to be doing all right for them– at least, it’s been collected a couple of different ways already, hardcover, softcover… but it never seems to occur to anyone that there were a couple of other series about Gotham City’s police force, and they were good too.

Like Batman: GCPD.

Great stuff, from the golden age of...1996.

GCPD was a tightly-written mini-series from Chuck Dixon, and illustrated by Jim Aparo with Bill Sienkewicz on inks. It wasn’t a world-changing event or anything, but it was good, and it certainly deserves at least as much love from DC as Gotham Central has been getting.

Especially when they could pair it with its follow-up series Batman: Gordon of Gotham. This is another little forgotten Bat-franchise gem, a Commissioner Gordon solo adventure from Denny O’Neil, Dick Giordano and Klaus Janson.

A taut crime story from three accomplished pros.

Those two minis together total eight issues, a nice size for a trade paperback. Call it Gotham Central: Prelude or something if they want to trade on the name, but however DC chooses to package it, Batman fans should see those comics if they haven’t already, and they certainly deserve the collected-edition treatment.

Speaking of the street-level view of superheroics… Marvels gets one reprint edition after another, but where in the world is the collected edition of Tales of the Marvels?

Maybe not Busiek-and-Ross good, but these are still pretty good books.

These were a series of one-shots and specials done in the same style as Marvels– that is to say, they were painted superhero comics with stories told from the perspective of a non-powered bystander. I particularly liked Inner Demons by Mariano Nicieza and Bob Wakelin.

Maybe not Busiek-and-Ross good, but these are still pretty good books.

This was a story told by an alcoholic who was living in the same homeless shelter as the amnesiac bearded Sub-Mariner, in the days before Johnny Storm found him in Fantastic Four #4. The others, Blockbuster and Wonder Years, were nicely-done books as well. Putting ‘em together into a Tales of the Marvels trade paperback seems like a no-brainer to me.

Even more baffling to me, in a comics marketplace where both Gotham Central and Marvels are both apparently collected-edition evergreens for their respective publishers, is the glaring absence of a collection for Code of Honor.

Again, it seems like such a no-brainer.

A four-issue painted prestige-format miniseries that was dismissed as a ripoff of Marvels at the time… but this is actually another tightly-plotted crime story written by Chuck Dixon.

A natural sequel to MARVELS, and Marvel inexplicably buried it... then and now.

This is the tale of a rookie police officer working the streets of Marvel’s Manhattan in the 1970s. Not only does he have to deal with fallout from all the apocalyptic menaces that Thor and the FF and whoever are fighting up above, he also has to confront the corruption that the Kingpin of Crime brings to his own life at street level.

I'm always a sucker for these average-citizen's-perspective superhero stories.

Granted, the project suffered somewhat from the fact that there were multiple painters on the book– Terese Nielsen, Brad Parker, Vincent Evans, and Tristan Shane, among others– and their styles occasionally clash. But I still liked it and I think it deserves a collected edition, especially since other, similar, series have done so well.

DC’s treatment of its backlist strikes me as especially odd, particularly when it comes to the books it chooses to reprint. Of course, I’m happy they’re doing the obscure stuff like Rip Hunter and Eclipso and so on as Showcase editions, and the Kirby and Ditko hardcover omnibus books are a joy.

Nevertheless, I don’t understand the thinking behind celebrating hacked-out crap like Secret Society of Super-Villains in a two-volume hardcover set. Or when they reprint Fire Fighters– a strip absolutely NO ONE was asking for– not once but twice, in two different SHOWCASE collections.

The trouble with these SHOWCASE collections is they start with the fifties stuff no one wants, which means the paperback tanks... so we never get to the GOOD stuff that came later on. They should do a BEST OF volume that gives us the things we haven't already seen a dozen times in various Flash and Green Lantern collections.

Meanwhile, good stuff just gets ignored. If they must reprint a 1970s series that got canceled too early, screw the Secret Society– why not Star Hunters?

This was another overlooked jewel. Sometimes you can find it from a dealer-- usually in the three-for-a-dollar box. I'll never understand why some books hit and others don't.

This was a fun science-fiction thing from David Michelinie, with art by, variously, Rich Buckler, Larry Hama, and– sigh– the late Don Newton.

The Newton issues are brilliant.

The entire run of Star Hunters consisted of a one-off in DC Super-Stars, and then seven issues in their own title. Again, that’s a nice trade collection. It’d be worth it just to see the Newton pages, but I remember the whole thing as being pretty entertaining.

Another Newton STAR HUNTERS page. Damn but I miss his work. He died way too young.

But that’s not superheroes, it wouldn’t sell, I hear some people muttering. Okay, then, how about Superman: the Secret Years?

DC is obsessed with origins, so this seems like an obvious choice.

An unpretentious and entertaining story of Superman’s college years from Bob Rozakis, with very nice art by Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger. (And yes, covers by Frank Miller, but they look like sketches he knocked out on the subway during his commute. Still, this was a fun book.)

Or– come on, you know this one, say it with me– The Phantom Zone by Steve Gerber and Gene Colan?

Still my pick for baddest Superman mini-series EVER.

This was a classic four-issue story that, for once, showed the Kryptonian criminals trapped in the Zone as being genuinely scary people. Pretty much the last people in the universe you want running wild on Earth…

Just plain nasty.

…especially with each one of them possessing all of Superman’s powers.

Kneel before Zod, indeed!

This is one of the very few stories where it shows that Superman is up against a serious threat and genuinely has to work at it, as opposed to us being told that’s the case. In fact, this is one of the scariest Super stories anyone’s ever done, and the art from Gene Colan gave everything an amazing weight. It’s been said countless times in Superman stories that the fate of the world is at stake, but this was one of the few times it really felt like it.

Even Supergirl got to be hardcore in this story.

I could do a whole column’s worth of carrying on about what’s good about it. But the bottom line is that it’s a classic and it’s a crime it’s not in print, especially since, for God’s sake, DC already did a Phantom Zone collection that omitted this four-parter… that should have anchored it.

Seriously, DC, what was up with that?

*

Anyway. That’s my list of stuff Marvel and DC own, free and clear, that there’s no goddamn reason not to reprint. I’d MUCH rather have some of these than the stuff that’s getting routinely collected before the ink’s dry on the ongoing monthly issues. And I imagine you all have your own wish list as well– have at it in the comments below. Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and catch the eye of an editor out there who’s wondering what to reprint next.

As for me, I’ll see you next week.

52 Comments

Well, there’s still all the late 1980s/early 1990s stuff that DC hasn’t collected because of … what, money they owe creators? But post-Crisis to mid-1990s is a mini DC Golden Age, and very little from that time has been collected.

I find it funny you mentioned Superman: The Secret Years. I bought it years ago, read it once, HATED IT, and haven’t read it since. Maybe I will reassess when I read it again, but I remember it as one of the worst comics I’ve ever read. And I’ve read some bad comics!

Well, there’s still all the late 1980s/early 1990s stuff that DC hasn’t collected because of … what, money they owe creators? But post-Crisis to mid-1990s is a mini DC Golden Age, and very little from that time has been collected.

I agree completely, and I honestly don’t get why they don’t just spend the money. Especially when people are ASKING for the stuff. How many years did it take them to get to the Giffen League books for Chrissake?

As for Secret Years, absolutely it’s very old-school. Rozakis was a DC writer trained in the Schwartz one-off gimmick tradition and it was definitely a reach for him. But I thought it was amusing reading in a junk-food kind of way. Put it like this– if the bar is set at Secret Society of Super-Villains and Liefeld X-Force getting fancy hardcovers, then Secret Years should at least warrant a paperback.

The Phantom Zone is an absolute must, but I’d like to see DC get serious about reprinting Colan’s stuff in general. I’d absolutely love a collection of his run on Wonder Woman.

Johnny Thunder! Toth collections will always make a profit, and the later Kane stuff is a beautiful example of how great early Green Lantern could have looked without purposeful “throttling back” by DC’s archaic editorial policy of the day.

I originally read this sentence wrong:

We live in a world now where, finally, comics publishers have discovered the concept of the backlist.

I read it as “blacklist” and thought we were getting a whole different type of column than you gave us this week. I think my New-52 piece spreading around the internet this week has made me paranoid… :)

The main things on my “PLEASE reprint these!” list would be Cary Burkett and Dan Spiegle’s NEMESIS backups from The Brave & The Bold, the Evanier/Spiegle BLACKHAWK revival from the 1980s and the entirety of SHANG-CHI, MASTER OF KUNG FU. I was a massive fan of the first two, but I never got to read that last one back in the day, and I’d really like to.

Oh, and I also liked SUPERMAN: THE SECRET YEARS. It was well-done. But if they collect it, they should also include the issue of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY that basically set up the series. It featured Superboy’s last day in Smallville and introduced several of his college roommates who were the supporting characters in the mini.

But if they collect it, they should also include the issue of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY that basically set up the series. It featured Superboy’s last day in Smallville and introduced several of his college roommates who were the supporting characters in the mini.

I would be all over a New Adventures of Superboy collection, period. In fact, I’d be totally okay with an OLD Adventures of Superboy Showcase, ideally the Frank Robbins-Bob Brown years. But again, DC will start with the old stuff first and it’d tank because fans think it’s corny. Sigh.

I started getting serious about comics in the mid-90s and would love to have a nice big ol’ collected edition of Slingers. Considering the mileage Marvel’s gotten from a book that really should’ve been a footnote because of it’s schlocky origins, it’s surprising they haven’t touched it outside of a recent reprint of the Identity Crisis crossover that (sort of) led into it. Plus it’s a pretty good book that people who know Ricochet and Prodigy from their recent appearances (or even Hornet, from… sigh… his brief appearance in Mark Millar’s Wolverine run) would probably be surprised to check out for the first time.

Also, despite Quesada’s origins with Marvel via Marvel Knights, it’s kind of surprising how much of the early MK runs are collected. Outside of Daredevil (and maybe not even the post-Smith, pre-Bendis stuff) and Ennis’s Punisher, a lot of great and interesting material has fallen into obscurity. Priest’s Black Panther deserves a multiple format treatment, from TPB to omnibus, and I wouldn’t mind checking out the Tony Harris Dr. Strange mini-series that was important enough at one point to factor into Smith’s Daredevil but has shockingly never been reprinted.

As for stuff beyond my time, I’d love to see a Master of Kung Fu Essential edition — Marvel should figure out how to get that going. If they can get the Essential Godzilla out, it shouldn’t be that hard. Then again, that should also be true of ROM, so there you go.

Have a good day.
G Morrow

Yeah, I doubt if I would consider The Secret Years one of the worst comics I’ve ever read if I re-read it today, and I certainly agree that in a world where Liefeld’s stuff gets a giant omnibus, there’s probably a market for a trade. I don’t know what it was about the series that rubbed me the wrong way – it was probably the fact that I read it years before I really appreciated “old-school” comics, so I probably wouldn’t have liked it if Kirby had drawn it. Like I said, I still have it, and I’ll definitely re-read it soon enough (I’m almost to “S” in my back issues!), so maybe my opinion will change slightly.

I can see why they might be hesitant to reprint Andy Helfer’s Shadow, but honestly it’s one of my favourites. And I know they wouldn’t get much mileage out of a Thriller reprint (of the first arc), but man if word got around that trade would be a hit!

And I know it’s been said around here many times, but how about one more– whats with the Ostrander stuff we don’t have in collections? Spectre? Firestorm? They stopped Suicide Squad didn’t they?

Joe Casye’s Cable? The rest of Priest’s Black Panther (and The Crew)? The rest of Milligan’s Shade the Changing Man? David’s Captain Marvel?

And one of the most underrated series I’ve ever read, H.E.R.O. (of the dial H fame) from Pfeifer and Kano.

And those are the (sort of) POPULAR choices, I haven’t even gone through the stuff nobody seems to care about (The Minx was COOL people!)

In total agreement with Greg regarding the Phantom Zone mini… it really is that damned good. And while my memories of the Star Hunters series is admittedly pretty sketchy, I would snap up a TPB collection of it anyways.

And while marketing rights probably make it unfeasible, I would pay good money for a Atari Force collection, especially if they included the five mini-comics that were originally released with the various video game cartridges. It was one of those licensed comic book series that was waaaay better than anyone had a right to expect.

BitBiteOuch, good call on a Thriller collection; the first seven issues would make a nice TPB.

Oh, and I’d like to see a Void Indigo collection, just to see what all the fuss was about.

One more vote of disappointment that the Phantom Zone book didn’t contain the best Phantom Zone story. I was all ready to pre-order it when it was announced. My enthusiasm was quickly replaced by confusion.

As a few above posters mentioned, Thriller and Helfer/Baker’s Shadow both need to be introduced to today’s youth.

I’d like to suggest Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children and Wasteland as out of print gems as well.

Apparently, I believe that the reason That the original Master of Kung Fu stories haven’t been reprinted because Marvel currently does not have access to the Fu Manchu copyright.

And let’s not forget the late 80s police-themed series Underworld by Robert Loren Fleming and, just for good measure, the anthology series Wasteland with stories by Del Close. And absolutely, let’s see Helfer’s Shadow and why not Chaykin’s Blackhawk, too?

I would LOVE to see Peter David and Esteban Marato’s Atlantis Chronicles in hardcover. That was a gorgeous mini-series. Oh, and Craig Hamilton’s Aquaman’s mini-series, while they are at it.

While I like the idea of DC’s big Showcase books, the fact that they have been covering so far mostly 50s and 60s stuff has not been that good…because Silver Age DC makes my brain hurt even in smaller doses. Once those get in 70s and 80s, I will start paying more attention. Marvel Essential books have done a better work here.

I’m guessing that DC are consciously avoiding late pre-Crisis stuff like secret years. Not just things last continuity, the one before that! Hard to explain to the mass market and lacking the camp charm of the 50s and 60s stories.

Surely the big two could do something like WB Archive where they are manufactured on demand. Also with there should be away to put together your own trade paperback when purchasing digital copies as well. There has to be other ways than the current methods of creating trades.

And WB Archive seems to know their marker too, with Jerry Ordway doing the cover for the Complete Series set: http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2012/09/shazam-dvd-gets-the-power-of-a-jerry-ordway-variant-cover/

First, I just have to rant about Secret Society of Super-villains: for some reason it merits beautiful hardcover treatment, when a Showcase edition would have been more than adequate. Meanwhile, no Phantom Zone, no Thriller, no Atlantis Chronicles (all fantastic suggestions by the way), etc. In a similar vein, Marvel published the Champions reprints in color, while McGregor’s Killraven, with all of that beautiful art by Russell (some of which he colored himself) only gets an Essential. Arrrgh!!! Sorry, had to get that off of my chest.
Otherwise, the first title that came to mind as I started reading this was “Star Hunters,” but I see we’re on the same page there. Other DC stuff I would love to see reprinted, in color obviously, include: Ragman first and foremost – the original 5 issues plus his few later appearances in Brave & Bold and Batman Family; Time Warp; Gemm Son of Saturn, those two Black Canary series from the early 1990s, and Legends of the DC Universe (only read a few issues of this, but it seems like there’s a lot of good material there).
On the Marvel side, there’s so much of that obscure and now largely forgotten stuff from the 1970s I’d love to see reprinted, titles like Skull the Slayer, and also tons of stuff from their anthology titles. For example, the Man-Wolf stories from “Creatures on the Loose” and then Marvel Premiere. Speaking of “Creatures on the Loose,” I would so love some nice reprints of the Gulliver Jones and then Thongor stories, although I assume these are entangled in the same kind of copyright that are holding up the Shang Chi material.

Agree largely with all the respondents above; but I would go further than Edo and say Killraven should be if not an omnibus at least a couple of Masterworks editions. Like everyone else I don’t understand why Godzilla, John Carter ( a movie cash in I suppose) get published and ROM and POTA can’t get the go ahead. Incidentally, Boom were meant to be reprinting some of the Marvel Ploog POTA – what happened to that???

I’m guessing that DC are consciously avoiding late pre-Crisis stuff like secret years. Not just things last continuity, the one before that! Hard to explain to the mass market and lacking the camp charm of the 50s and 60s stories.

“These stories were originally published in 19__ are in a different continuity than our current comics.”

There. Done.

Master of Kung Fu could be done if Marvel just lays out some cash. The serial aspect of the book, the artists, Gulacy, Zeck, Day etc. and the compelling characters would make the book a hit in the trade market. I would prefer color but I would take B&W if that was the only option. It has to be Marvel though because a few stories feature Marvel characters and I want a complete reprinting. I understood why the DC Doc Savage reprint book left out the MTIO story with the Thing and the Spidey-Giant size team up but It would have been nice to have them. I was amazed the Godzilla Essential was published. It was entertaining but not something I would have thought we would see. Definitely a product of its time. I’m happy that the DC Showcases are getting to the late 60′s and early 70′s stuff in the Batman, Green Lantern, Worlds Finest and Superman stuff (Hopefully in volume 5). I like the DC stuff Greg mentioned but doubt I would pick it up in reprint. But I won’t pick up the New DC stuff either. I guess I’m just selective about what merits a trade. I understand why others would want it but it does not do much for me. If it is really discounted (6 or 7 bucks or less) I would pick it up. I would love to see a Showcase of the Batman Family title from the 70′s but I doubt it would have much interest.

Not to hog the board but a Micronauts Essential would be nice as well.

Blair, having a lovely, omnibus-style reprint of all that Killraven material was precisely the point of my rant. And man, don’t get me started on Rom or, as Tim noted, the Micronauts – although again, I think that material deserves far better than just an Essentials edition.

Since the original appearance of Fu Manchu is in the public domain ( http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/173 ) Marvel probably could reprint Master of Kung Fu if they were willing to risk a lawsuit over the trademark of the character. (Just like Dynamite is publishing stories based on public domain stories about John Carter and Tarzan stuff but is getting sued over the trademark of the characters)

I’d like to read Shang Chi, and I’d also like to read Byrne’s She-Hulk which has only had the first 8 issues collected so far.

For years I’ve been astounded by the lack of original X-Factor. Sure, there are Essentials, but those are a very different product than any other form of collection because the lack of colour changes the presentation so much. But aside from those we’ve only seen the first issue in the Phoenix Rising collection and the crossover issues from Mutant Massacre, Fall of the Mutants, Inferno, and soon the Muir Island Saga, plus the few issues in the Claremont/Lee Omnibus. Where are the X-Factor Classic trades? Even Alpha Flight has soon to be three volumes in that format. All the other ancillary X-Titles have at least a few volumes like that. For that matter, why are only the first 30 issues of Wolverine available as trades, then basically nothing from the rest of the first series? For that matter, most of Claremont’s X-Men is only available as Omnibi, Masterworks, or Essentials, none of which are the most accessible of formats. And the 1991 X-Men series is usually only reprinted when issues involve big event comics.

I am all for a Star Hunters collection, especially if it would lead to a new Star Hunters series!

The more people comment, the more I am reminded of other things I wish I’d thought to put on the list. Of stuff already mentioned, yes, absolutely Atlantis Chronicles, Thriller, Ragman, and J’emm Son of Saturn.

Others mentioned to me elsewhere or that I remembered later:
Nathaniel Dusk and Nathaniel Dusk II ideally, re-colored.
Firehair
Scalphunter
We got groovy Diana Prince Wonder Woman trades, but Sekowsky was also doing a groovy Supergirl during that time.
Richard Dragon– both the original and the revival
And I’d really like to see an Essential Ka-Zar. Start with Savage Tales and then work your way through the various series.

…and so on. I’ll think of another dozen after this goes up.

I’ll second Perry Holley: I’d love an Atari Force collection! It was really great stuff. I don’t know if the stories will hold up, though I remember them fondly — but c’mon, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez art!

This is the kinda thing that occupies way too much of my mental real estate. The GCPD books, specifically, are comics I can’t believe have gone uncollected, along with the “Gordon’s Law” series that came out around the same time. All three are great series that I always loan out and recommend to friends who are fans of Batman and/or police procedural stuff.

I remember seeing the painted specials that followed “Marvels,” including a few others (I remember one was called “Tales to Astonish,” and was written by Peter David), but I could never justify spending the $6 or $7 they cost at the time. Sad fact of being a kid with little money at that time. I kinda forgot about them over the years; a collection or two would be very welcome.

I never heard of “Star Fighters,” but it looks promising. It’d be worth checking out for the art, at the very least. Never read those two Superman minis either, but they look pretty damn good.

One of my biggest “wants” is a series of nice collections of the Batman stuff from the late ’80s through the mid ’90s. The big crossovers such as Kinightfall and Contagion are collected, but there were years of very solid, and often great, comics that are languishing in longboxes when they’re far more deserving of reprinting that half of what gets the collected edition treatment. The Grant/Breyfogle runs, in particular, are outstanding. The post-Knightfall, pre-Contagion/Legacy/Cataclysm/No Man’s Land era can boast very solid runs on all of the books, particularly the Moench/Jones/Beatty “Batman” and Dixon/Nolan “Detective Comics.” As Batman-happy as Dc is, I can’t believe they continue to ignore this era when it comes to collections. I suppose odds are that they’ll get to it eventually, though; as they continue to mine the backlog of Batman mterial, they’re bound to get to it at some point. It just annoys the hell out of me to see dreck like “Hush” getting a new edition almost every year while far better comics are ignored.

Okay, I got carried away a bit on my Batrant. Here are a few more.

-Masters of the Universe: I have long wanted a nice trade or two collecting all of the minicomics at standard comic size, along with the comics DC did in the early ’80s(an issue of “DC Presents” where Superman traveled to Eternia, another story with Superman that was a promotional insert, and a three-issue miniseries). I don’t know if DC’s current MOTU licensing deal would include reprinting the older comics, but it couldn’t be too hard or expensive to get the rights.

-Ostrander/Mandrake’s Spectre

-Sandman Mystery Theatre

There are also a handful of really good series from the late ’90s that were short-lived, but are really deserving of a nice collection. DC actually gave us “Chase,” no it needs to get to “Chronos,” “Aztek,”– seriously, with Morrison and Millar working on this book, how in the hell have they not collected it yet?– “Hourman,” “Martian Manhunter,” and the 2 or 3 that I’m surely forgetting.

In fairness, it should be pointed out that we DID get a collection for Aztek, and there have also been a number of books featuring the first run of the Peter David X-Factor from the 1990s. Also, I’m told there’s a Ka-Zar Masterworks on deck for early next year.

have to admit would rather see stuff like ostraders dc work on firestorm and the spectre get reprinted plus that phantom zone story that got left out . not to mention definlty want suicide squad.which i understood was suppose to be reprinted as a showcase but got stopped due to being too expensive for the royalities that would be needed to paid to the writers along with a planned captain carrot and zoo crew one. as for marvel the only things that really should print other then the legal stuff with rom and shang shi and micronauts. the marvel stuff mentioned here plus thriller would love to see finaly get some over due in print.

Since you mentioned Bob Rozakis, I’d like to point out that I for one would love a collection of ‘Mazing Man and Hero Hotline. As DC also owns Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, they could slap a note on the front saying something like “from Stephen DeStefano, artist on Venture Brothers” (he was…storyboard artist/head art guy on the show, and even did a voice on there too). I metioned to Mr Rozakis that they could easily get all of ‘MM and HH in one Showcase sized TP when I met him at a con a few years back. I’m guessing it falls under that “’80s and ’90s contracts that were a bit TOO good for DC to reprint the stuff”.

Also — Frank Miller cover on ‘MM issue 12!

The Ka-Zar series I really want to see reprinted is the Bruce Jones/Brent Anderson one from the 1980s. That was a great series.

And yeah, I echo what others have said about the dire need for the Helfer/Baker Shadow series.

Paul from Brooklyn

September 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm

I’d like to see a collection of Spanner’s Galaxy and John Ostrander’s and Doug Moench’s Spectre series as well as the Madame Xanadu stories.

The Giffen Legion of Superheroes stuff would make a magnificient series of trades. Put about 8 or 9 issues per volume, put out, what, 4 or 5 volumes, that’d sell like hotcakes, wouldn’t it?

The Captain Atom stuff from around the same time. I KNOW I’m not the only one who dug those comics. It hurts me when I think of the Captain Atom stories that are in trade, and none of this is.

This one might just be something that only I would like, but I’d geek hard over the L.E.G.I.O.N. stuff that sprang from the Invasion event.

Ka-zar the Savage by Jones/Anderson – wholeheartedly and emphatically seconded.
I’d also love a nice collection of that short-lived Rima series from DC, but one that reprints the entire issues, so it includes those SF back-up features by Kanigher and Alex Nino.
And since Captain Atom was mentioned, I wouldn’t mind a nice omnibus-style reprint of the Charlton material by Ditko, but I know that’s probably wishful thinking…

…and speaking of Ditko, I’ve been waiting for years for DC to reprint that Starman series he did with Paul Levitz in Adventure Comics (plus the conclusion drawn by Starlin from DC Comics Presents #36).
Another thing DC could do is some kind of Green Arrow & Black Canary volume that would collect all of those Green Arrow and Black Canary solo stories from the 1970s and early 1980s (in World’s Finest, Action, etc.) and then cap it off with the Green Arrow 4-part mini from 1983 – I can’t believe this hasn’t been done yet.
O.k., I’ll stop thread-hogging now…

I, too, would like to see a TPB collection of the two Nathaniel Dusk minis but not recolored. They should be in b&w so the subtlety and beauty of Gene Colan’s uninked pencils can really shine.

The Giffin/Bierbaum Legion stuff from the late 80-early 90s was incredible. The first 30 or issues are brilliant and I’d love to have them in one book. It was controversial at the time but I think they aged well.

I second or third Atari Force (alas rights…) esp if they can throw in George perez’s Swordquest comics. Lots of fun. And really Atari Force had nothing to do with video games, if it was named ‘Star Force’ or something it would be fondly remembered today.

And another vote for the old Wastelands anthology, it was a bit of horror, a bit of humor, and just good, good stuff.

Pat Brodwicks Lords of the Ultrarealm was a stand alone fantasy book and very, very 80s but it might find an audience today.

Drunken Fist,

There have been several Sandman Mystery Theatre trades, maybe even the whole series. If you haven’t read them, I can’t recommend the series enough. The Wagner/Seagle/Davis team produced amazing comics.

Ever since I saw one panel reprinted in an issue of Comic Book Artist, I have been hoping DC (or someone else) will reprint Alex Toth’s Hot Wheels comics. More Toth in general would be welcome, but I know he poured a lot of passion into those comics.

Also: Hellstorm & Druid by Ellis & Manco, Doom 2099 by Ellis & Co., and more of the Nocenti Daredevils deserve reprints.

I have the whole SMT run in single issues, but it’s one of those where I’d prefer to have some trades when I feel like reading it, rather than dragging out a box and digging through it for the floppies. I know for the longest time, all they had bothered to collect was the first arc. Searching just now, I see that they have indeed collected a hell of a lot more of it! That slipped right by me somehow.

Something I badly want collected are the various comic tie-ins with “Batman: THe Animated Series” that ran from 1992 right up to 2005 or 2006. Fantastic comics, literally some of the best superhero comics you’ll find anywhere, and there are only a few trades available. At least most of volume 2 of Batman Adventures is collected, but that run was sadly cut short because of the then-upcoming tie-in with then-new animated show “The Batman.” (We never did get to find out who the new Red Hood was, and that was well before he was revived in the DCU.)

Comixkid2099, I’m in total agreement with you on Captain Atom, LEGION, and the Giffen Legion.

Nathanial Dusk suggestion and Thriller are good ones as well.

My understanding on Master of Kung Fu is that the primary hang up is the character of Fu Manchu’s daughter, Fah lo Suee. She does not appear in the public domain Fu Manchu stories and therefore cannot be legally used without license from the copyright holders. The Fu Manchu character could go either way – the first 3 novels are public domain in the US, but not everywhere. However, since they’d have to license Fah lo Suee anyway, better to cover the bases and license the whole deal.

The Phantom Zone is an absolute must. Incredible story. They could even pair it with Steve Gerber’s work from the final issue of DC Comics Presents. I’d love to see more of DC Comics Presents get collected honestly and more Bronze Age Superman. They could do a serious of Adventures of Superman: Curt Swan thing like they are doing now with the Gil Kane volume. The only difference is that it’d take 10+ volumes to collect all of Swan’s stuff…

My question is why/when marvel/dc decide to remaster the old books(60s to almost the present) and make them avalible for digital download.it is the way things are going.i would love to havd the actual physical books in my hands.but the digital is just better sometimes.

First you have too know i am german.I remember Marvels Planet of Apes( 13 books published by Williams) and Kung-Fu in the 70s(6 Comics , nr 5 & 6 two are censored, after that Williams canceld the series) . I remember the big series KUNG-FU ( 155 comicbooks from 1975-82, Stars in the books : Shi-kai the Rebel, Zendo the Shark ,Jeff Blake and other european Eastern Comics), in the Index they told there are stories from the TV Show “Kung-Fu”, but that is not true! But most of them had poster from Bruce Lee, David Carradine or other eastern stars!

I have the complete Secret Society of Super-Villains and i love it!
The miniseries Phantom Zone with Gene Golan was darker then the stories before.
And Faora kills a man before he have sex with her, the story was very adult ! Great !

Long before finding this column, I recently pined for a collection of the Burkett/Spiegle Nemesis run. Yeah, I still have my original Brave & Bolds, but you know the drill. One thing I like to do with books I really like is to get low grade (read: cheap) reading copies from the cheap bins. There’s a store in town with a LOT of dollar boxes and Mondays are 2 for a buck. They have been buying up collections lately and I’ve been finding stacks of great reading copies cheap. (I am very condition conscious of my comics so its nice to have copies I can use as a coaster and not have a conniption.)
Always loved the Human Fly but I know those rights are tied up. I was looking forward to an Invaders Essential but they went the color route. Has the Ditko run of Shade been reprinted?
I could suggest several titles but there are so many trades out that Im not aware of that I might look foolish. And man, all these 80s suggestions…I remember these long forgotten books showing up on my local spinner racks.

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