Skip to comments.DC SHOWCASE PRESENTS Silver Age Comics Collections (Fellow Silver Age Geeks: Start Drooling!)
Posted on 06/05/2005 2:50:49 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
With so many great classic stories at their disposal, it's no wonder that DC Comics has finally decided to follow in the footsteps of other publishers and offer affordable black and white collections from their stable of characters. DC Showcase Presents makes its debut this September with Superman and Green Lantern volumes. These Silver Age spotlights features 500 black and white pages of action, adventure, and - something that era is famous for - fun.
Like the Marvel Essentials, the DC Showcase Presents volumes are designed to be affordable reading copies of the material. The publisher chose to stay in the Silver Age for these collections, because that's what many considered to be the "most fertile" period. As most classic comic fans know, obtaining original editions of each story reprinted in the collection could run in the several hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the condition. However, these volumes are an affordable $16.99. Editor Bob Greenberger explained how that price point is possible. "We've elected to use newsprint to maintain a traditional look and feel as well as to help keep the collections affordable."
Although some people might groan at the idea of newsprint paper and black and white, Greenberger was quick to point out that most people posting on message boards, seem to have no problem with that type of paper. "Ever since Dave Sim helped pioneer this format with Cerebus, it's been requested," Greenberger stated. "In the past, we've only dipped a toe in, but now that the bookstore market has opened up the possibilities with regard to format, size, shape and price point, everyone more or less came to the same conclusion: it was time."
"Many regard the Silver Age as one of DC's most fertile and creative periods," continued Greenberger. "After all, while Julie Schwartz was reviving the super-hero genre, his success allowed editors like George Kashdan and Murray Boltinoff try more offbeat approaches to heroics with characters like Metamorpho and the Doom Patrol. It was also during this time that Mort Weisinger really began to explore the entire Superman mythos, adding not only to his family but his rogues gallery as well. Thus, it was the most logical starting point since it offered us a chance to explore a variety of characters and approaches. Since we had determined for the MAN OF TOMORROW ARCHIVES when his Silver Age began, we followed that for this collection."
The plan for most of the Silver Age heroes is to reprint all of their adventures in sequential order via cover date. With Hal Jordan Green Lantern the publisher is including Showcase #22 - 24 and Green Lantern #1 - 17. Greenberger gave us some details of what stories are included in the Showcase Presents Superman Volume 1. "We begin with the introduction of the Fortress of Solitude but will also get the debut stories for Metallo, Brainiac, Supergirl and the modern day Bizarro. You get some nice work from Jerry Siegel, Bill Finger and Otto Binder plus art from Wayne Boring, Al Plastino and Curt Swan. We'll be running stories from the Silver Age SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS in chronological order. At 500 pages a shot, had we started with Superman in ACTION COMICS #1, we would have quickly exhausted available materials and gotten into the expensive business of reconstructing pages, which would not be possible and keep the books affordable."
"When creating the list of titles to debut, we kept an eye towards the classic heroes people might want most to read as well as characters where there has been some demand but possibly not enough to support an archive," continued Greenberger. "With Dan DiDio ready to re-launch JONAH HEX in the fall, getting his collection onto the schedule became a no-brainer. Should the line be well received and expanded, we will continue to juggle between the A-list heroes such as Superman and the JLA with the more offbeat such as Metamorpho."
Metamorpho is a character who's been a fan favorite since his earliest appearances. He was a member of the original Batman and the Outsiders, Justice League Europe, and had remained on the comics fringe for several years after the demise of those series. Metamorpho's also been featured in Judd Winick's Outsiders as well as guesting in a few other comics. The element man seemed a good choice to include in the Showcase Presents. Greenberger commented, "The goal is to be complete as possible so for Metamorpho, we'll present his two issues from THE BRAVE & THE BOLD plus all seventeen issues of his own tiles and his earliest Silver Age team-ups in B&B and his guest appearance in JLA. Our hope will be to continue this where it makes the most sense, but still following our Archive rule: if the team-up/guest appearance was handled by the same writer, artist or editor as the host title, it should be included. Following that rule, our JLA volume will include their guest appearance with Adam Strange from MYSTERY IN SPACE #75."
The editor said there were some production challenges to getting these volumes created. "When dealing with older film, sometimes you find scratches that need cleaning," said Greenberger. "In some cases, you find odd missing pages. For JONAH HEX, there was one entire issue missing, and of course it was one we had never reprinted. Fortunately, for titles that have already been seen in our Archive program, we had nice, clean film or digital files to work from. Our crack Production team have been scanning in the photostats made from the film and then scanned in the stats. Then, on screen, they've been cleaning up scratches or blotches, correcting some punctuation and the usual work required to ready older stories for new readers. At 500 pages a month, though, it's an added burden they're handling nicely -- I can still walk into Production and not have people glare at me. Louis Prandi, one of our fine art directors, is working on a design, faithful to the SHOWCASE titles that have come before this as well as versatile for the wide range of genres we hope to present."
"We don't have a lot of extras planned, to be honest," he continued. "In some cases if there were pinups or special features from the host title during that time, we'll include them, such as a Metamorpho pinup."
Greenberger explained, "Right now, our goal is explore the rich era from the mid-1950s through the early 1970s so the Golden Age is not currently in out plans. The Modern is a fuzzier dividing line and again, should the line be wildly successful, we can figure this out. At one book a month, and a ton of characters and titles to explore, we're not exhausting our Library any time soon."
Clear some space on the bookshelf. After Superman and Green Lantern make their debut this September, the publisher has these heroes on tap for the next months after. The plan is for Jonah Hex to be featured in October [which is when his new monthly series debuts], followed by the Justice League of America in November, and Metamorpho in December.
Brings back memories, but mostly of my Dad throwing out two boxes of my collected comics when I went to college since "you obviously have outgrown them". Included were all the original Mads, plus Superman, Batman, Blackhawk, Green Lantern, etc (mostly DC) from WWII through the 50s. I even had some Captain Marvels, but thought him second place to Superman. Probably had about 350-450 comic books.
Made me an avid reader, but ruined my eyes reading them with a flashlight at night after being told to get to sleep.
I can't wait! Silver Age Supermans are some of the wackiest comics around - great fun. Plus they feature sublime art from Curt Swan and great geeky art from Wayne Boring. (How come Boring's Supes always looked like he was running through the air whn he flew?) And Metamorpho! I loved the art from Ramona Fradon on that book. Kudos to DC. Now how about a Jimmy Olson collection?
As for DC, I used to love Dr. Midnight, Dr. Fate, Hourman, and Green Lantern (the orig.)
Somewhere up in the attic I have about 4 big boxes of my comics I read in the 50's. One day maybe I will get them out.
I love the silver age Superman. I must have every Krypto and Superman robot story I can find.
I really don't like this design, mostly because the famous DC bullet design is officially gone.
I used to serve as an advisor to DC Comics, and I bugged them for YEARS to reprint some of those great Wayne Boring runs of Action Comics, instead of reprinting trades of recent mini-series or story arcs. FINALLY, someone has taken the hint!!! Thanks, DC!
The only thing better would be an X-men series drawn by Frank Frazetta!!!!
Ditto X 100. I had a foot locker full of comics from the early and late 1950s growing up as an Army brat in Yokohama. A Japanese bookstore had stacks of these old comics but we never knew where they came from. We called the business the "Ten Yen Store," because they charged ten Yen (about $.03) for $.10 comics.
Navy Junior so must be something they were fed back then.
Dude! DREAM job! Why'd you ever stop...?!? :)
... and a SUGAR & SPIKE collection. And a BATMAN/DETECTIVE COMICS collection. And a FLASH collection. And a DEADMAN collection. And a TEEN TITANS collection. And... and... and -- ! :)
Love the Wally Wood!!! :)
Ditto on that!
Wood was the king of comics artists in the EC era. His rendering skills were second to none. It was kind of sad to see the smut he was churning out towards the end of his life. He was past his peak, his vision was deteriorating and you could tell he was just doing this to keep body and soul together.
Personally, I loved Ditko on the Creeper, Hawk and Dove and the Question. Seeing him draw the Hulk did cause nightmares, however!