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DC SHOWCASE PRESENTS Silver Age Comics Collections (Fellow Silver Age Geeks: Start Drooling!)
Comic.Con PULSE ^ | 6/04/2005 | Jennifer M. Contino

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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bobgreenberger; classiccomics; comicsreprints; dccomics; dcshowcasepresents; silverage

1 posted on 06/05/2005 2:50:50 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
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To: TheBigB; martin_fierro

Ping!


2 posted on 06/05/2005 2:51:37 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle ("As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-G-d, PRO-LIFE..." -- FR founder Jim Robinson)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle

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.


3 posted on 06/05/2005 3:29:54 AM PDT by KeyWest
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle

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?


4 posted on 06/05/2005 3:40:15 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
Personally, I think the new artwork, esp. in Marvel, is horrible. Contrasted with the clear and simple lines of Jack Kirby or the strage, almost grotesque curves of Steve Ditko, these new people simply do not know how to show action.

As for DC, I used to love Dr. Midnight, Dr. Fate, Hourman, and Green Lantern (the orig.)

5 posted on 06/05/2005 4:23:39 AM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle

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.


6 posted on 06/05/2005 4:38:52 AM PDT by sgtbono2002
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle

I love the silver age Superman. I must have every Krypto and Superman robot story I can find.


7 posted on 06/05/2005 4:39:48 AM PDT by Puddleglum (Thank God the Boston blowhard lost)
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To: sgtbono2002
You might want to dig them out and see if they're still in reasonable condition. That collection--if in fair to good condition--could be worth many thousands of dollars!
8 posted on 06/05/2005 5:12:20 AM PDT by RayChuang88
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
Speaking of DC Comics, I'm sure some of your comics fans have noted DC is changing their logo. This is what the new logo looks like:

I really don't like this design, mostly because the famous DC bullet design is officially gone.

9 posted on 06/05/2005 5:20:43 AM PDT by RayChuang88
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To: LS
I agree. I was a big Mavel fan in the late 70's early 80's. That was a golden era for Marvel. With John Byrne on pencils and Austin inking it was an almost unbeatable combo.From Avengers to Byrne's masterwork on X-Men. Of course, NO ONE touches King Kirby! He really made just awesome images. And his MACHINES: genius. You don't get that sense of Awe from modern comics the way you did from Kirby's stuff.
Today they have gone too far into teen angst. It was starting to turn that way when I stopped reading comics with the intro of Kitty Pride into the X-men and that *Horrid* Teen X-men series.
hmmmm may have to go dig out my comic from the back of the closet. :^)
What I would love to see is reprints of the Neil Addam's Batman. God, Addams could draw! In my opinion, it was Addams that saved the Dark Night Detective from the 60's and the Batman TV show.
I was never a big fan of Ditka. His work was just soo strange. It worked for Spider-man but I never really cared for his work otherwise. I was very happy when McFarland took over spidy. I loved his version of the web spidy shot
I feel sorry for kids today. Comic books are just soo expensive. I don't know if I would have been a big fan if they had been as expensive as they are today. I remember when the price jumped to 35 cents! I was mad then! hehehe. But today with the going price around 2 dollars. I don't think you get the value for your money. They should go back to cheaper paper and printing. The slick stuff is OK, but it just makes the cost too high and drives away the kids who might be interested at a cheaper price point.

Aaaah for the day
10 posted on 06/05/2005 5:41:58 AM PDT by SSR1
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan
Plus they feature sublime art from Curt Swan and great geeky art from Wayne Boring.

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!

11 posted on 06/05/2005 5:46:19 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (New England...the Sodom and Gomorrah of the 21st Century, and proud of it!)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
Here are a few of some of my favorite comic cover art that I scanned from my Golden and Silver Age Comic book collection that you might enjoy. Heavy on Sci-Fi. The first one is a DC "Showcase"...








12 posted on 06/05/2005 5:50:05 AM PDT by Main Street (Stuck in traffic.)
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To: SSR1
Good comments on Ditka. I agree---what worked for Spidey sucked for other characters. Don Heck was the same for Iron Man---but he didn't work anywhere else. And did I hate Gene Colan.

The only thing better would be an X-men series drawn by Frank Frazetta!!!!

13 posted on 06/05/2005 6:01:18 AM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
Here are a few from my pulp collection. Not comics, but these early examples of cover art had a great influence in the comic cover art that was to come later in the 1950's....

ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION 'Hell Ship' Aug., 1938 Vol. XXI # 6 162 pgs. Pulp NOTE: This Pulp contains the first publication of the story, "WHO GOES THERE?', by Don A. Stuart, which was later made into the classic Sci-Fi movie, 'THE THING (From Another World)'

ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION 'Slan!' Oct., 1940 Vol. XXVI # 2 162 pgs. Pulp NOTE: This Pulp contains the first publication of the story, "FAREWELL TO THE MASTER', by Harry Bates, which was later made into the classic Sci-Fi movie, 'THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL'.

AMAZING STORIES 'Yellow Men of Mars' Aug., 1941 Vol. 15 # 8 146 pgs.

AMAZING STORIES 'Kidnaped into the Future' Feb., 1942 Vol. 16 # 2 242 pgs.
14 posted on 06/05/2005 6:02:56 AM PDT by Main Street (Stuck in traffic.)
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To: KeyWest

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.


15 posted on 06/05/2005 6:14:46 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Navy Junior so must be something they were fed back then.


16 posted on 06/05/2005 11:04:16 AM PDT by KeyWest
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To: who knows what evil?
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!

Dude! DREAM job! Why'd you ever stop...?!? :)

17 posted on 06/05/2005 12:54:45 PM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle ("As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-G-d, PRO-LIFE..." -- FR founder Jim Robinson)
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan
Now how about a Jimmy Olson collection?

... 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 -- ! :)

18 posted on 06/05/2005 1:02:45 PM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle ("As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-G-d, PRO-LIFE..." -- FR founder Jim Robinson)
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To: Main Street

Love the Wally Wood!!! :)


19 posted on 06/05/2005 1:04:08 PM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle ("As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-G-d, PRO-LIFE..." -- FR founder Jim Robinson)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle

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.


20 posted on 06/05/2005 1:47:31 PM PDT by coydog (My bathroom djinn can beat up your bathroom djinn!)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
Another Sugar & Spike fan! Those comics are hilarious. They're getting hard to find, too. Lucky I snapped some up in the past.

Mmmmmm...Deadman! I could drool over the Neal Adams artwork for hours.

Giant Turtle Olsen lives!
21 posted on 06/05/2005 2:13:36 PM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: SSR1

Personally, I loved Ditko on the Creeper, Hawk and Dove and the Question. Seeing him draw the Hulk did cause nightmares, however!


22 posted on 06/05/2005 2:16:15 PM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: coydog
Wally Wood was the Master, plain and simple. His Daredevil run in the early '60's was wonderful. M.A.R.S. Patrol for Gold Key is killer too. It's a shame how he ended.

Now don't get me started on Russ Manning! (Or Steve Rude for that matter)
23 posted on 06/05/2005 2:18:51 PM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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