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A Holiday Wish List… for 2014

Here’s the good news. Comics companies are finally getting around to putting together reprint collections of material we’ve been agitating for them to do for years.

Look at the list. DC finally got around to doing Gerber and Colan’s Phantom Zone mini-series, and Marvel eventually got off the dime with Essential Black Panther. And at long last DC is giving us more Jonah Hex– not just the long-overdue next volume of Showcase Presents Jonah Hex, but a collection of all the Vertigo Hex mini-series from Joe Lansdale, Tim Truman, and Sam Glanzman under the umbrella title Shadows West.

And it’s not just Marvel and DC, either. Titan Books is giving us beautiful new hardcovers of Jack Katz’s The First Kingdom, and their collections of British war comics are a continued delight… I’ve mentioned Major Eazy and Johnny Red here before, and Garth Ennis presents BATTLE CLASSICS is on deck for next year. Dynamite Comics, in addition to doing some really great brand-new comics with the Shadow, have also been very good about bringing the older ones back into print– the paperback version of the Howard Chaykin mini-series is already out, and the Helfer-Sienkiewicz ongoing that spun out of it is getting a collection early next year.

Fantagraphics is re-issuing Wally Wood’s Cannon, and Top Shelf is going to be reprinting The Bojeffries Saga from Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse. Speaking of Alan Moore, they’ve even finally got Marvelman sorted out and those comics are coming back into print at long last.

As I’ve said more than once, this is the real Golden Age. Never before have so many great comics, from so many different genres and eras, been so readily available. So, really, comics publishers from all over the spectrum should be applauded for what they are doing and I certainly am grateful for it. I wanted to be sure and get that right up front. This is the comics landscape we used to dream of when I was a kid; the permanence of having these as books– bound comics that you could have on your shelves in a home library!– was something we used to think would never happen.

Nevertheless, there’s a lot of good stuff out there getting missed. We’re obviously not getting it in time for this Christmas, but we can start pestering publishers for these books to be out for next year’s holiday season. Because apparently this nagging from the blogosphere is working…at least, that’s how I choose to look at it.

So here’s the wish list for stuff that hasn’t been done yet. As long as we’re on a roll.

It’s getting to the point where it’s just damn silly for Marvel not to cough up whatever Fu Manchu licensing fee the Rohmer estate wants so they can get the classic Shang-Chi back in print.

I mean, he’s current again, they’re using the character in Avengers comics for God’s sake. It can’t be that damn hard when other publishers are reprinting the original Fu Manchu books and also using the character in pastiche crossover novels.

Just pay up already… for God’s sake, it’s not like friggin’ Disney can’t afford it, and think of the possibilities for movies and TV. Whenever I’ve brought it up in this space there’s a chorus of folks chiming in down in the comments saying “yeah, they should reprint that.” Hell, Marvel’s legal team apparently threaded the Marvelman labyrinth– dealing with the Sax Rohmer people should be nothing comapred to that.

But there’s other Marvel martial-arts strips from that era that are equally deserving, and there’s no rights issues there. Where’s the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu collection?

Iron Fist, the White Tiger, the Sons of the Tiger, the Daughters of the Dragon… those are all great stories. Plus there were the odd one-off things like Swordquest and the Bruce Lee biography.

At the very least they could give us an Essential volume… ideally one like they did for Tales of the Zombie with all the prose stuff as well. Deadly Hands published a lot of cool interviews and things along with the comics. Some of it’s hopelessly dated but some of it would be of interest to modern readers, I’m sure.

Speaking of odd one-offs, since we got two volumes of Essential Marvel Horror that put together a bunch of interesting short-lived horror and fantasy strips, how about doing the same thing with all the interesting short-lived science-fiction stuff in some sort of Essential Marvel Science Fiction? We have a revived Guardians of the Galaxy comic and that’s coming in the movies as well, after all; just the Star-Lord stories alone would seem like a no-brainer.

But there were lots of other cool SF comics appearing alongside Star-Lord, sometimes even right there in the same book. So let Star-Lord headline and fill out the rest of the book with the cool stuff from Marvel Preview and Bizarre Adventures. There were all sorts of great science-fiction and fantasy originals that appeared there– I’m thinking particularly of Paradox and Sword in the Star from Bill Mantlo, but there were others.

Great-looking strips and very ahead of their time.

The Marvel black-and-white books are the ones I think about the most, but there were many other comics from other publishers that also deserve to be preserved in some sort of collected edition. I know Dynamite is doing Kings Watch right now, and Hermes Press has been reprinting the Gold Key and Charlton comics… but where’s the love for the DC Comics version of the Phantom? There was that great little four-issue mini-series from Peter David and Joe Orlando…

And that led to an ongoing from Mark Verheiden and Luke McDonnell that lasted a year or so.

These are some of the best Phantom comic books anyone’s ever done, and the character is still popular all over the world. If Dark Horse can reprint the Marvel Conan books and IDW can reprint Star Trek comics from all over the place, someone should be able to get this Phantom thing sorted out and get the DC books collected.

I know that rights issues can screw up a lot of these things. But so often I look at what we are seeing come back in a nice paperback edition and there are just obvious holes in the catalogue. I’m delighted that John Ostrander’s finally getting his Spectre and Martian Manhunter series collected, and we’ve seen volume one of the Suicide Squad… but you know, the Manhunter book he did back in the 1980s with Kim Yale was a fun book, too.

It’s kind of an overlooked gem… it only ran a couple of years but I remember I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Speaking of overlooked gems… I’ve often reminisced about the delights of the try-out books from both DC and Marvel back in the day. You had Marvel Premiere, Marvel Spotlight, Showcase, First Issue Special…. I would love it if both DC and Marvel did collections of those weird little one-shots. They were never less than entertaining, and often they were terrific. From Marvel you had Monark Starstalker, Seeker 3000, Woodgod, and Caleb Hammer, among others…


And from DC you had all sorts of entertaining oddities like Dolphin, Code Name Assassin, Jonny Double and so on.


Now, granted, they weren’t ALL keepers. But there were enough good ones that Marvel and DC could each put together some sort of Best Of paperback collecting those tryouts. Keep it low-cost and I bet people would buy it. Bear in mind that we live in a world where someone thought a two-volume hardcover collection of Secret Society of Super-Villains was a good bet; a book featuring try-out stories like these would have to be at least that feasible. I’m thinking about on the same level as the Joker trade that came out not too long ago. Hell, if we finally got that one, the sky’s the limit.

I have lots more… there’s the DC pulp books like The Shadow Strikes and Justice Inc., there’s Marvel’s Planet of the Apes originals, there’s Secret Six and Wild Dog and the Atlas books and on and on. And you probably have a list of your own. Feel free to add yours in the comments. After all, if publishers finally caved on stuff they kept saying couldn’t be done like Jonah Hex and Marvelman, anything’s possible, right?

See you next week.

55 Comments

Are we ever going to get Atlantis Chronicles?

Ostrander and Yale’s Manhunter has proved to be the most resilient version of the character and the second best next to Goodwin/Simonson. I freaking loved Mark Shaw and he continued to appear over the years off an on until the New 52 reboot. I vote for the Phantom as well, along with the Shadow. (Both Chaykin/Helfer’s cult modern take on the franchise along with Gerald Jones’ more traditional stories. Toss in Doc Savage’s 80’s companion series in there as well while you’re at it.)

I’d pay gladly for a reprint volume or two collecting the original 60’s Secret Six along with the 80’s revival serial which ran in Action Comics Weekly. Any of either company’s try-out books and Marvel’s classic black & white magazine material is welcomed on my shelves.

Master of Kung Fu is, indeed, a no-brainer. Disney can certainly afford the licensing fees. Same goes for Mantlo’s Micronauts and ROM. How about a color collection of Sienkiewicz and Moench’s Moon Knight? I bought the complete original run of comics from 1980-1984 this year and enjoyed them immensely. I would also love for DC to continue reprinting Ostrander and Yale’s Suicide Squad beyond the first volume given how the current version is still faring well for DC.

As you say, if SSOSV can be collected in hardcover, then the sky’s truly the limit.

Actually the hold up is the Kung-Fu license. Which they purchased for the title and then never frickin’ used.

As with Rom- Marvel has been trying to make it happen and The Mantlos could use whatever measly cut they might make from it.

Actually the hold up is the Kung-Fu license. Which they purchased for the title and then never frickin’ used.

Well, if that’s the case, that just makes it even more stupid. But whatever Marvel property is under discussion, the argument stands– whether it’s Shang-Chi or ROM or the Micronauts or whatever: 1. Disney can afford it and 2. they figured out Marvelman, which is the single biggest rights mess ever to snarl up a license. All of these others are perfectly do-able. The difficulty is persuading Marvel that the cost-benefit ratio is worth it.

I’m not a Rom fan, but I do think it’s stupid that Marvel can’t use the name. They put out 75+ issues of Rom, and he interacted with the rest of the Marvel Universe. Meanwhile, the toyline was never popular and has been defunct for over 30 years. They should GIVE all the rights back to Marvel.

And add Peter Milligan’s Human Target to my wish list. When the show came out, Vertigo started re-collecting the series in nice big TPBs. When the show fizzled, so did the trades. There are two printed, and they could probably finish the series in one more big book. It’s one of the best books of the decade, too. A perfect mix of action and some of Milligan’s favourite themes (identity, sexuality, sanity). I’d love to have the whole series on the shelf.

My wish list is:
1. More of Ostrander’s SUICIDE SQUAD.
2. The complete Grant-Breyfogle Batman run.
3. The Mark Shaw Manhunter stuff packaged with the pre-Ostrander stuff, like 1st ISSUE SPECIAL #5 and JL-of-A #140.
4. Peter David’s AQUAMAN, including ATLANTIS CHRONICLES and TIME & TIDE packaged with SHOWCASE #79.
5. Chaykin’s BLACKHAWK and the follow-up from ACTION COMICS WEEKLY
6. A companion to the James Robinson STARMAN featuring the Levitz-Ditko stuff, the 1st Issue Special version and maybe some key Stern-Lyle stories.

Top of my list? An omnibus edition of DC’s ‘Mazing Man from the mid-80s. Twelve issues and a few specials from Rozakis and DeStefano – it’s a perfect size for an omnibus HC. Great stuff, and well worth a loving reprint.

It really is a great time to be an old comics fan. Carl Barks’ Duck stories are finally getting affordable collections, Dark Horse’s Conan collections are humming along (the Savage Sword anthologies are up to volume 12!) and far too much else for my aching wallet. And Miracleman is back! I never thought I’d see that day.

What I would like to see in 2014 and beyond:

-DC’s Showcase Presents line is dwindling and that is a shame. I would love to see the entire Jonah Hex run reprinted in the Showcases. And the Batman line needs to resume-they were just starting to get into the classic 70s stories with volume 5.

-Dynamite needs to reprint The Shadow Strikes! and maybe the 70s O’Neil/Kaluta run.

-This is a pipe dream, and I’m thrilled that Dark Horse is resuming the EC Archives, but as a fan of limited means, I would love to see Showcase-style anthologies reprinting the EC comics.

with rom which i would love to see reprinted besides more of ostradas suicide squad . along with marvel finaly quit being so cheap and cough up the money to get fu-man-chu okayed again to use for shanshi reprint but think the reason it has not happen is due to marvel head Ike pearlmuttter being tight as a scrooge with marvel financies. as for rom. sadly Marvel has stated hasbro through parker brothers owns the rights to rom but roms creator has stated several times not interested in working with marvel. micronauts marvel doesn’t own them other then bug plus surprised no one has mentioned wanting to see a long over due little classic known as dcs thriller

You ain’t kidding about DC’s Showcase line, Michael D. I’ve been waiting on a fifth Legion volume for like three years now. This is getting ridiculous.

And about Master of Kung Fu: yeah, they should reprint that.

I’ve never read Ostrander’s Suicide Squad, and went to buy it as soon as you mentioned it. It doesn’t seem to be in print.

There are unfortunate caveats that need to be added:
1) Things need to stay in print long enough for me to buy them
2) Things need to get advertized to me so I know to buy them

And sometimes, it actually helps if they can get an entire series into print. When recommending comics to non-regular comics reading friends, they often like a complete story. Something like Y the Last Man works because there are 9 volumes sitting around waiting to be bought. That sells itself better than “well the first 2 volumes are out and we should be getting more in the coming months and years”. And much much better than “Well, here is volume 3. 1 and 2 are out of print but you may still be able to track them down.”

I realize there are practical pushbacks and only so much they can have in print.

It’s about time to publish comics that have Bruce Lee on these!

. And much much better than “Well, here is volume 3. 1 and 2 are out of print but you may still be able to track them down.”

That is such the WORST thing.

I always enjoy your write-ups like these, Greg, but this one had me nodding my head in agreement more than usual. My bookcases have become ridiculously full of reprint collections of all-time favorites, as well as classics I’ve been longing to read, like the Carl Barks’ Duck comics.

As for the books you spotlighted, I’d love some Essential collections of all those Master Of Kung Fu and Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu comics. I had never read them until Marvel put out a one-shot a few years ago reprinting the original Daughters Of The Dragon stories and afterwards I tried to collect the original comics and magazines but found that rather cost prohibitive. The few I found cheap are great reads.

I’ve never even heard of Paradox or Sword In The Star, but I want to read them (that Paradox cover is especially beautiful) and I love the idea of a Marvel sci-fi collection.

Those DC and Marvel try-out titles in the 70’s were a great mix of classic characters re-imagined and new ideas (remember when the big two still pretended they had those?) so I’d be interested in a grab-bag reprint collection of those too.

DC’s Phantom way intro to the character and made me a fan. I recently re-read my issues and I’m always sad when I reach the end of the regular series at issue #13. Verheiden wrote the best scripts of his career and McDonnell did a solid job with his art. It’s a shame it didn’t last longer, but poor sales + high licensing fee = a quick cancellation on the book. At least Verheiden was able to plan out a year’s worth of stories that came to a natural climax, so he didn’t have to rush things or leave any plot threads unresolved.

My reprint want list includes:

– More of the Jim Aparo Batman hardcovers. A third collection could just about finish off his run on B&TB and further volumes could reprint his run on the main Bat-title with Jim Starlin, which was one of my favorite comics when I was younger.
– More Mike Grell Green Arrow reprints. I read the netrade reprinting #1-6 of the GA regular series from Grell and it re-kindled my love for that comic. Great all around book. I have the individual issues, but would spring for some more trades like this one.
– The rest of Sandman Mystery Theatre. A criminally underrated and overlooked series. There are only about 15 or so issues of the main comic plus the Annual and Winter’s Edge short stories left to be collected. Vertigo could get those out in about two decent-sized trades.
– Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty’s Ms. Tree. Collins has teased a reprint deal for the last several years, along with a new comic, but I haven’t seen any news of either coming anytime soon. Which is a shame, as this is a top 5 all-time fave book of mine and it would be nice to have some handy collections to grab off the book case and re-read from time to time.
– An Avengers by Roger Stern Omnibus. Or more likely two since he had such a long run. I read the “Under Siege” story line for the first time recently and now I really want to read the rest of Stern’s run on the book.
– Get Smart- This one sticks out a bit I know, but I’m a big fan of the old TV show and I keep hoping someone like Hermes Press or Dark Horse would pick this up, since so many other Gold Key series have been coming back into print. I even e-mailed Hermes and asked about it and they said they would put it under consideration but had no plans for it in the near future…
– Flash by Mike Baron and William Messner-Loebs. People often think of Mark Waid’s (also not completely collected) run on the book, along with Geoff Johns’, but my personal favorite issues of the series are the first several years, first by Baron with Jackson Guice on art, followed by a brilliant stint by Loebs, working with Greg LaRocque as penciller.
– Steven Grant’s Whisper- I’ve read the whole series through 3-4 times, and everytime I read it, I’m struck by not only how good it is, but by how much it reads like a Bourne novel with some ninjas mixed in. Grant does a great job with using espionage and international political intrigue as his backdrop while telling a compelling story with our main heroine’s struggles to lead a “normal” life. It also holds up very well when compared to how modern comics read, but without feeling so decompressed. Due to be re-discovered at some point by comic readers.

Ugh, I could keep going but those were all ones that came to mind upon first pass…

I would love to see more volumes of Tales of the Batman: Don Newton. The Phantom comic book license is currently with Dynamite, so hopefully they reprint the DC version (especially the Verheiden/McDonell ones).

Like DavidK44, I too would like a ‘Mazing Man collection. Heck, issue 12 had a Frank Miller Batman cover!

But I’d add in the Rozakis/DeStephano Hero Hotline (6 issues plus a preview in Action Weekly). All together, that’s about 25 issues, and would make one fine collection, either in color or a Showcase volume.

I mentioned to Rozakis himself once, if Eclipso can get a Showcase volume, why not ‘Mazing Man?

Wasteland, the Ostrander/Del Close/Don Simpson/David Lloyd/numerous other artists weird book from the late ’80s. I have a few issues and it’s so weird and good.

There’s a late ’80s/early ’90s indie book that was called Straw Men, by, I believe, RA Jones and…oh, I forget the artist’s name, but he also did Dai Kamikaze for NOW, and it was this strange creepy tale involving people who were irradiated, and circus sideshows, and I’d love to read it all again.

Stig’s Inferno — the whole thing. Ty Templeton has most of it up on his website, but I want it in print, dammit!

That’s all I can think of right now.

I got Phantom Zone a couple of weeks ago and…well, the story is a little bit messy. The final 3 pages of the original story are soooo bad. The “conclusion” issue was the best part of the trade.

Weird. I’ve got most of these on the shelf already. And I mean weird as in, “That’s weird that someone else’s tastes are exactly the same as my own.”

I didn’t think there was anyone else out there who liked The White Tiger as much as I did. One of my favourite comics of all time are two Human Fly comics in which he teams up with the Fly and Daredevil. Art by the amazing Frank Robbins! I would love to see a Hardcover Special Edition book spotlighting Frank Robbins from DC and Marvel. That would make my day.

1. DC needs to finish the rest of the trades for Shade The Changing Man.
2. I too want to see all the Shadow titles collected, especially The Shadow Strikes.
3. DC needs to to collect the entire 70’s Shadow run, not just part of the series as they did in The Shadow’s Secret Files book.
4. I don’t know who could do it, but I’d love a collection of Eclipse Comics’ Alien Encounters and Alien Worlds.
5. I want all the 60’s Spectre comics collected in COLOR! I like the Showcase Presents book, but the green guy looks best in color.
6. I want that Phantom Stranger mini that Mignola did in the 80’s collected. They solicited that book a few years back and then it just vanished.

There’s so much more. However, I am always surprised at what I find in each months Previews catalog. By next Christmas, who knows what we’ll have available.

While reading your column I kept thinking you had some kind of wireless hook-up to my brain that you used to download my own thoughts on this subject. Man, I’ve been wanting not only MoKF reprints forever, but also Essentials treatment of Deadly Hands and, especially, Marvel’s b&w sci-fi material from the 1970s. And the suggestion about try-out books – hell, up until now I thought I was one of the only ones who wanted that. In fact, I think Marvel should just do an omnibus of Marvel Premiere from issue 26 to 61 (meaning everything after the run of Warlock, Dr. Strange and Iron Fist runs on that title).
Everyone else made some fantastic suggestions as well.
Anyway, here’s some others from my own wish-list:
Barring that Marvel Premiere omnibus, there’s two books Marvel could do that would make me really happy – one featuring Man-Wolf, that would collect the brief run from Creatures on the Loose that was concluded in Marvel Premiere (most of it drawn by Perez – seriously, why hasn’t this been done yet?), and one featuring the Falcon, collecting his Marvel Premiere appearance, plus that mini from the early 1980s and any other back-up stories he may have appeared in around that time.
Also, Dominic Fortune book that would collect ALL of the character’s appearances, both black & white and color, from Marvel Preview and Rampaging Hulk, and close with that issue of Marvel Premiere. I know some of these have been reprinted in other books (I have one of them), but it’s been rather piecemeal so far.
Otherwise, Marvel should do an Essentials volume that collects all of the heroes from the miscellaneous and short-lived series in the 1970s: Red Wolf, Black Goliath, the Cat/Tigra, Skull the Slayer…
On the DC side, now that not only Secret Society of Super-villains but also the 1970s Joker series have received color reprint treatment (and I’ll bet a Kobra book is in the works), I don’t see why DC can’t finally do a Ragman book that would reprint the original series plus all of the character’s guest appearances in the late ’70s/early ’80s.
A big Green Arrow/Black Canary volume that would collect all of their back-ups from the 1970s in Action, World’s Finest, etc., and close with that now virtually forgotten 4-issue GA mini from the early ’80s (with art by Trevor von Eeden).
Speaking of von Eeden, a Black Lightning book would also be nice. Again, the original series plus the shorts from – I think – World’s Finest. I may be wrong, but I think I read somewhere that the reason this hasn’t happened yet is because there’s some kind of dispute with Tony Isabella over (co-)creator status and royalties. If that’s true, it’s pretty lame (damn corporations…)
And the list of other stuff DC could do is almost endless: Star Hunters, Starfire, the Shazam stories drawn by Don Newton, Thriller, Jemm, Simonson’s Orion… and I can ramble on about this stuff forever, so I’ll just cut it off here.

Yeah, where the hell is volume 6 of Showcase Batman? It’s not like they’re worried THAT won’t sell…

My wish list:

– Alan Moore’s “Maxwell the Magic Cat”
– Grant Morrison’s “The New Adventures of Hitler”

Seconded for Ms. Tree! I can’t believe I forgot that one. I managed to track down the “Files of Ms. Tree” trades and they were great.

I second the call for a MASTER OF KUNG-FU collection. I’ve been wanting to read that series for YEARS. I was very happy I finally got to read Steve Gerber and Gene Colan’s PHANTOM ZONE mini this year — it was as good as everyone said it was.

Other things I’d like to see good trade collections of:

-Cary Burkett and Dan Spiegle’s NEMESIS.
-Mark Evanier & Spiegle’s CROSSFIRE
-Gerard Jones’ THE SHADOW STRIKES!
-Peter David and Esteban Maroto’s THE ATLANTIS CHRONICLES
-The Ostrander/Mandrake SPECTRE
-The Steve Skates/Jim Aparo AQUAMAN stories from the 70s.

And yes, a volume 6 of a Batman SHOWCASE is long overdue.

I guess it really IS the Golden Age right now. For years, I’ve wanted reprints of Ditko’s work for Charlton and DC, but that’s out already. I’ve also clamored for reprints of Crime Does Not Pay, and even resorted to shelling out for the original comics, but those too are being reprinted. I’ve always wanted to check out EC’s Picto-Fiction line, and even that’s out (although in a completely over-priced edition; it’s $109 for a 240 page B&W book– that’s almost 50 cents a page!!!)

I guess the only thing I really wanted to read now that hasn’t seen a reprint is the famous original Captain Marvel vs the Monster Society of Evil. However, I got so tired of waiting for it that I read a borrowed copy and now I wouldn’t want to pay for it. Great move, DC.

Wait! I still wouldn’t mind a collection of Fox Comics’ totally sleazy-looking “Crimes by Women”– the covers alone would be worth it!

The most joyous of the recent reprint news is that we’re finally getting Chuck Dixon’s Airboy, one of my favorite series from the ’80s, and probably one of those I’ve re-read the most, because I can’t help but devour all fifty action-packed issues in one sitting, every time, which is pure happiness.

But there’s still so much we need!

1. We desperately need two more Hulk Essentials to collect the astounding, epic, heartbreaking Mantlo / Sal Buscema run, one of the all-time great Marvel runs, in my opinion.

2. Now that’s we’re finally getting a second volume of Jonah Hex, the most wanted Showcase is a second volume of Unknown Soldier, which just got into the amazing David Michilene / Gerry Taloac (sp?) in the amazing first volume.

3. My second favorite comic of all time (behind Nexus) is Charlier and Moebius’s Blueberry, most of which has never been published in America, but great translations of the whole run are out there, so we really need those, preferably in oversized Omnibuses, to suit their intricate art and epic-length storylines.

4. One of my most precious dog-eared volumes is my old Kitchen Sink reprint of the first years of Dan Barry’s decades-long run on the Flash Gordon daily strip. There was finally a fan-published 2nd volume a few years ago that was poorly printed, but we need a big, beautiful hardcover run of the entire series, to elevate to the place it deserves in the cannon of great adventure strips (above Raymond’s own Flash Gordon, in my opinion.)

5. I loved IDW’s recent 11 Doctors miniseries “Prisoners of Time”, and in the back of each issue there was a text piece about the comics about each Doctor. I’d had no idea there were pre-Gibbons Doctor Who comics, so I tracked down some of the fully-painted third doctor comics in “Countdown” and WOW, they’re gorgeous. So now I can’t wait for IDW to reprint all of those comics about the first three doctors.

I see mrclam mentioned reprints of Ditko’s Charlton work – does that include Blue Beetle and Captain Atom? I know there’s a hardcover edition that collects part of the latter, but were any more printed? Also, I can’t find confirmation anywhere that Ditko’s Blue Beetle has been collected and reprinted – and that’s something I’d really like to see.
And I know I said I’d stop, but I thought of two more that I really, really want: Inferior 5 and Marvel: The Lost Generation. Besides, I keep thinking (more like hoping forlornly) that there are people from the big 2 paying attention to these threads, looking for publishing ideas. Also, I see that The Shadow Strikes, Atlantis Chronicles and a few others have had multiple mentions – maybe that counts for something…

@ Edo

If I’m not mistaken, Action Heroes Archives, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (DC Archives Edition) collect most, if not all of the Capt. Atom/Blue Beetle stuff.

My wish list for 2014 is really simple and miracles aren’t needed:

1. Stop with the constant confusing canceling-relaunching-renumbering of Marvel titles, if it’s only double digits and sells well then don’t restart the series next month (I’m looking at you Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Wolverine and X-Men).
2. Essential X-Men vol.9, why is that not available ? the purpose of those cheap reprints is so it’s easy to buy one.
3. Finally bring me that Sandman Overture TPB next summer/fall and since we’re in the rediscovering times of (Vertigo) classic series (with Watchmen, 100 Bullets) I want my Transmetropolitan GN special.
4. Anyone remember that Multiversity mini series ?

“The rest of Sandman Mystery Theatre. A criminally underrated and overlooked series. There are only about 15 or so issues of the main comic plus the Annual and Winter’s Edge short stories left to be collected. Vertigo could get those out in about two decent-sized trades.”

That’s at the top of my list, too, in case anyone at Vertigo is listening.

@ mrclam
Thanks for the tip – I didn’t know the second volume of that archive edition had been published. Now, of course, my problem is finding copies of those books that won’t break my bank (I’m having the same problem with the Creeper book).

cheapgraphicnovels.com is (or was) having a sale on Archive editions, Masterworks, and Showcase/Essential editions. They’re one of my favorite online retailers. Merry Christmas! :-)

Personally I’d like to see:

-Kirby’s 2001 series for Marvel
-Ellis & Manco’s Dr Druid mini
-Ladronn’s run on Cable
-The Obyx Overlord & The Elsewhere Prince series from Epic
-Chaykin & García-López’s Twilight series from DC.
-Affordable Don Lawrence collections
-The res of Milligan’s Shade The Changing Man.

Agreed on Manhunter. I loved that series, but had to let it go in my last big comics cull. Having a collected edition would be great. But if they were to do that, then I’d want them to do all the espionage titles of the same era: Manhunter, Suicide Squad & Checkmate. That was an absolutely fantastic part of the DC Universe they built up back then, and it deserves to be brought back into print.

Other items I’d love to see? Collections of the Nemesis and The Human Target back-up strips. I love those characters.

And I’m glad we’re finally going to get more Jonah Hex, especially since they cheated us out of an issue or two in the first volume.

I’m interested in a little older stuff, having enjoyed most of the Atlas Era Masterworks. Would like to see more of the fifties war and western titles from Marvel and the western stories by Carmine Infantino and Gil Kane from DC. Would also like to see Showcase volumes of the fifties Superman and Batman. Cheesy as hell but that’s a big part of what I love about them.

thanks for mentioning ragman edo for forgot about him. as for black lighting. tony when he pitched him to dc told them black lighting would be creator owned. which means dc has to pay him royalties for use in cartoons and toys and other reprints and tony is black lightings creator solo dc decided van eden was co creator to be nasty to tony

Lots of great ideas!
I’m a fan of DC 80’s stuff…nostalgic for my early teens!
Give collections of:
Amethyst, Arion, Arak, All-Star Squadron, Blue Beetle, Blue Devil, Captain Atom and Firestorm (loved Broderick’s work!), the Five Years Later Legion by Giffen, Sun Devils by Jurgens, The Wanderers, Cinder and Ash, Infinity Inc., Young All-Stars, The Warlord–especially The Deimos Saga, The Barren Earth, Vigilante (Adrian Chase—Keith Pollard art!), Deathstroke, the Terminator, The Huntress from Joe Staton’s pencils,
…..plus everything else mentioned.
Happy to see more of the Ostrander stuff upcoming, and the Helfer/Baker Shadow series in the new year!!

I’m a fan of DC 80s stuff…nostalgic for my early teens!
Give collections of:
Amethyst, Arion, Arak, All-Star Squadron, Blue Beetle, Blue Devil, Captain Atom and Firestorm (loved Broderick’s work!), the Five Years Later Legion by Giffen, Sun Devils by Jurgens, The Wanderers, Cinder and Ash, Infinity Inc., Young All-Stars, The Warlord–especially The Deimos Saga, The Barren Earth, Vigilante (Adrian Chase—Keith Pollard art!), Deathstroke, the Terminator, The Huntress from Joe Staton’s pencils…

All-Star Squadron, Amethyst and Warlord all have one Showcase volume out, but the next Warlord certainly should be put on the schedule. And Infinity Inc. has a hardcover volume one. Cinder and Ashe– long overdue!– has a trade coming next year.

I guess the only thing I really wanted to read now that hasn’t seen a reprint is the famous original Captain Marvel vs the Monster Society of Evil. However, I got so tired of waiting for it that I read a borrowed copy and now I wouldn’t want to pay for it. Great move, DC.

It’s probably all the racist characters that are keeping that one out of print.

Wow, Cinder & Ashe is finally being reprinted. Thanks for the tip, Greg!
@ Dave Ziegler – thanks for the cheapgraphicnovels.com suggestion, but no dicefor me. I’m living in Europe now, and their mailing rates for foreign orders are not even close to competitive (read: exorbitant). Usually for hardcovers like that, I just do occasional searches on eBay, abebooks or Biblio.com and hope I find someone in the UK or Germany offering a used copy for a reasonable price.
@ themac .- I’m with you on the second Firestorm series; I’m a fan of Broderick’s art as well. In fact, I wouldn’t mind a color reprint of that run of Captain Marvel he worked on before the title folded, as well as the few additional stories printed in Marvel Spotlight. And speaking of Broderick, I’d really like to see a collected edition of Sun Runners, a rather obscure series he started on together with writer Roger McKenzie. There was only about a dozen issues, but it moved from one ’80s independent publisher to another: first Pacific, then Eclipse picked it up, and then, according to the GCD, Sirius and Amazing.
As for Pacific, I’d love collected editions of the anthology titles they published, like Alien Worlds, Bold Adventure and Vanguard Illustrated, since almost none of the stories in those books were reprinted anywhere else. However, I realize that’s kind of a pipe dream, since all the material is creator-owned, so I imagine coordinating something like that for a reprint book would probably be a legal nightmare (and not worth the trouble).

@Matt Bird — the Doctor Who license (or licence, I suppose) is going to Titan in 2014. The last Previews (Jan., issue 302, I think) had a page or so of reprints of Doctor comics, so maybe it included what you’re looking for.

And I don’t know if this is what you’re talking about with the Mantlo/Buscema Hulk, but there are 2 (I think) big color collections, Pardoned and Regression, iirc, that collect a big ol’ Hulk run. (And Crossroads, apparently, by checking the Amazon). I’m not sure if you’re saying you want them just in B&W, or if you just want them period, but if you want them period, they’re out.

Like Edo, I’d love to see Inferior 5 (I’ve only just read about the characters, for the most part). Tangentially related there would be for DC to collect the minis that Phil Foglio did in the late 80s/early 90s. I know there was a Plastic Man one and an Angel and the Ape one, and maybe a Stanley and his Monster? (which that would be a neat collection, if there hasn’t been one yet.)

Thanks, Travis!

It’s a shame that the Dr. Who License is going to Titan, since IDW has done such a nice job with it, but I’ve excited to see what old stuff they’ll be reprinting.

And it’s great to hear that much of the second half of the Mantlo-Buscema run has appeared in color trade. If they just put out one more Essential, hopefully they could get through the (equally great first half but less famous) first half and get everything back in print.

I would love to see Marvel reprint the rest of Peter David’s Hulk run. An affordable collection of just Jim Starlin’s Captain Marvel would be nice too.

DC needs to get on more Superman and Brave and the Bold Showcases. (PAD’s Aquaman would be nice, too, but I think the opening of Forever Evil shows what they think of that idea.)

Re: Essential Marvel Science Fiction: In addition to Marvel Preview and Bizarre Adventures, it would also be great to see reprints of Unknown World of Science Fiction, another Marvel B&W that ran five (I think) issues. Much of the content was adaptations of SF stories, including memorable versions of “Day of the Triffids,” “All the Myriad Ways” (Chaykin), and “Repent, Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman” (Alex Nino). Good stuff!

LouReedRichards

December 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

That Weirdworld issue has some of the most beautiful artwork I’ve ever seen. Mike Ploog and Alex Niño made an incredible team.

I need to find more Niño. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Amethyst has a Showcase volume. Would still love to see it reprinted in color, though.

Top of my list would be Phil Foglio’s DC miniserieses (Angel and the Ape, Plastic Man, and Stanley and his Monster. And some bits from a Secret Origins to throw in there as well.)

After that, there’s a lot of uncollected Legion of Super-Heroes classics out there, and of course Suicide Squad.

Another title from Marvel with licensing problems that I would love to see is the B&W Magazine format Planet of the Apes, especially the Moench, Ploog and Sutton original stories, more so than the movie adaptations. Great stories by Moench, and Sutton hit a great career high. Ploog, as usual, was perfect.

The upcoming Cinder and Ashe TPB made me think about a facet of comics-house ads and the ones that were done right and the ones done wrong. I only remember Cinder and Ashe from the house ad that appeared in DC titles back in the late 80s, which said “For a price they’ll solve anything…if they like you.” The Amazon soliciation says “Cinder & Ashe are a team of private investigators hired to find a kidnapped girl–but as they travel across the U.S. on her trail, their own traumatic pasts come back to haunt them. Ashe is a veteran of the Vietnam war, while Cinder is the daughter of another U.S. soldier and a native Vietnamese woman.” Why did DC make a story that sounds intriguing appear to be as dull as dishwater?

Another title from Marvel with licensing problems that I would love to see is the B&W Magazine format Planet of the Apes, especially the Moench, Ploog and Sutton original stories, more so than the movie adaptations. Great stories by Moench, and Sutton hit a great career high. Ploog, as usual, was perfect.

Right there with you on that one. The hell of it is, Boom Studios actually had it on the schedule as part of their Apes series and then for some reason it didn’t happen.

- Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty’s Ms. Tree. Collins has teased a reprint deal for the last several years, along with a new comic, but I haven’t seen any news of either coming anytime soon. Which is a shame, as this is a top 5 all-time fave book of mine and it would be nice to have some handy collections to grab off the book case and re-read from time to time.

Hell, I’d like someone to finish reprinting the great Cllins run on Dick Tracy, which stopped after three short volumes from Checker Books because the rights transferred to IDW, who started printing the Gould run in its entirety, and uncensored for the first time ever to boot. That’s a great project, but there’s no reason not to reprint Collins, too, though! Heck, he even writes an essay for every volume of the Gould reprints, so he’s clearly on board.

Also, there’s a staggering amount of well-known Golden Age material that’s never really been reprinted. Much of the Alfred Bester and John Broome Green Lanter, pretty much all the polished late 1940s Flash, a lot of Kubert on Hawkman, and so on. Even back when DC did the Archive Editions, they never got too far with these. As I recall, it was only All-Star Comics that got everything reprinted, and those volumes are out of print now. And this is without getting into Fawcett and Quality and the like; some of those comics are even public domain in some places due to the apparent lack of interest in reprinting them!

As I understand it, the problem is mostly that the profits wouldn’t even cover the restoration and production costs, but to me that’s an argument for digital sales of the stuff. (Though it’s not as if there aren’t reading-quality scans for entire Golden Age runs of most high-profile stuff circulating widely already, much of it apparently taken from university microfilm collections.)

But then, it’s not as if Marvel’s done so well by its 1940s back stock either. 1940s slang-tossin’ Angry Young Man Namor is a lot more fun than the pompous Silver Age version.

Greg,

Not sure how to get your attention the quickest but saw this and thought of your review of the Spider-Man Newspaper collection a while back. Loved that article and love the newspaper strips even if they aren’t the best Spider-Man stories ever. Their unique function and sense of storytelling makes them charming. Anyway Marvel plans to go back and fix the original format they printed a few years ago but not lower the price. Information below, just curious your thoughts (also of note, not delay or date later then March for this on the solicits unlike the first books.) (BTW, there is a pic of the new cover on the solicts showing it is set to be landscape format.)

SPIDER-MAN NEWSPAPER STRIPS VOL. 1 TPB
Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by JOHN ROMITA SR.
Cover by JOHN ROMITA SR.
All the strips that are fit to print! And since we’re talking about Spider-Man comic strips written by Stan “The Man” Lee and drawn by “Jazzy” John Romita, that means every one of ’em! Collecting all of Stan and John’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN newspaper strips in chronological order, this first volume brings you the earliest classic panels that hit the daily and Sunday papers of the late 1970s! All the daily strips are printed in the original black and white, and all the Sundays in color, ready to spin a web of enchantment upon anyone who reads them! Collecting the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN newspaper strips from Jan. 3, 1977, to Jan. 28, 1979.
344 PGS./All Ages …$39.99
ISBN: 978-0-7851-8561-1
Trim size: landscape

Well, that’s good to know. I’m not sure I feel strongly enough about it to replace the books I have here… but then again, I actually already own most of the comics in the above column. I just would like MORE people to see them. And certainly the Lee-Romita Spider-Man strips deserve a wider audience, and a nice book preserving them.

Now if only we could get the Lone Ranger strip collection from Cary Bates and Russ Heath back in print… I saw it ONCE at my local retailer the week it came out and thought, “I should get that next week.” By the next week they were all gone, and the book’s out of print, no dealer anywhere has one… not even at exorbitant collector prices, which I couldn’t afford anyway. That’s the ‘one that got away’ that still eats at my acquisitive greedy bookman’s heart.

Also, there’s a staggering amount of well-known Golden Age material that’s never really been reprinted.

Yeah, I’ve been blogging about old Wonder Woman comics every week for a while now, and it drives me nuts that DC hasn’t reprinted anything between 1946 and 1958 (or anything between 1976 and 1987, and very little between 1989 and 2003, but I have all that stuff in individual issues). DC’s reprint history of WW is particularly spotty.

I agree Greg about replacing them, I’d just like to see a volume 3. But if you look at the price point it is the same as the older editions, $39.99, but softcover not hardcover. The solict says it will have color for the Sundays, but the old solict for the originals said the same, and the new version of the first book will have less pages… Just odd all around. Only change that seems clear is that the pic shows the new version will be landscape format, though that probably means they will just flip the pages over…

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