Tag Archives: DC Showcase Presents

CCL Podcast #339 – Spooky Halloween – Chris Vader

Collected Comics Library Podcast #339
40.6Mb; 44m 10s

It’s that spooky time of year, especially if you live in Detroit! Come on in and grab a scary book!

George Lucas announced that there going to be more Star Wars movies, it doesn’t get much scarier then that, folks!

On this years annual show:

  • Taking a bite out of the Detroit Fanfare
  • Dave Akins should put an axe though SpongeBob’s head!
  • Too much Wally Wood can kill you
  • The monster sized IDW Limited Editions
  • Is Dark Horse afraid of the new Marvel/Disney Star Wars?
  • Absolutes that are missing a few arms and legs: Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night
  • “Vitamin D stands for Deadly” with The Milkman Murders
  • Everyone’s favorite ghost with a chip on his shoulder: The Spectre!

So turn down the lights and curl up with a good podcast!


Count Chris

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Sunday Review: Showcase Presents The Spectre Volume 1

It’s that spooky time of year so here’s a review of one of the more ominous characters in the DC Universe.

Going into this collection of Silver and Bronze Age Spectre stories it would be helpful for you to know that the title character is from the Golden Age and started in More Fun Comics #52-101 (1940-45) and was a member of the Justice Society Of America in All-Star Comics #3-23 (1940-45). Created by Jerry Siegel (Superman) and Bernard Bailey (Hourman), The Spectre was a hardboiled detective named Jim Corrigan. Corrigan was murdered and was brought back to life in the form of the Spirit of Vengeance from an entity named The Voice. Seemingly omnipotent, The Spectre was the embodiment of revenge and retribution in a cold hearted manner that didn’t take sides. If you did wrong, he would be the judge, jury and executioner.

But this Showcase Presents The Spectre Volume 1is about his return to the DCU in 1966. By this time in history several Golden Age characters had made their return either as a new updated incarnation like Barry Allen’s The Flash or reappear from the alternate Earth-2 like Barry’s counterpart Jay Garrick. Here, in Showcase #60, we are introduced to Jim Corrigan who is still a detective, but has been without his Spectre alter ego since 1945 (thus his adventures take place on Earth-2). This doesn’t seem to bother Corrigan all that much, but is shocked when The Spectre does show his face and explain his whereabouts. This model of the character has vastly superior powers and abilities, but is a bit more carefree at times – this will change.

Like most Golden Age to Silver Age revivals, The Spectre had to “try-out” before getting his own book. He did so in Showcase #60, #61 and #64 in 1966 and then in The Brave And The Bold #72 teaming up with The Flash (Barry Allen) on Earth-1 and #75 (Batman) in 1967-68 with the writer and art credits going to Garnder Fox, Murphy Anderson, Carmine Infantino, and Bob Haney. He finally headlined his own series in late 1967 but it only lasted 10 issues. A young Neal Adams worked in issues #2-5 and during this time the comics were slowly transformed into more of a horror anthology then a superhero book. In issue #9 we see the Spectre stripped of many of his powers by The Voice and must atone for his sin of killing an innocent man by witnessing the perils of the guilty criminals that walks among us every day. The epilogue of this storyline was completed in Justice League of America #83 and sadly that comic is not reprinted here. A gross error by DC.

The Spectre would get revived again in the Bronze Age, in 1974, in the pages of Adventure Comics. This time as a much more cruel and violent figure. Michael Fleisher wrote this version and it is said that he was influenced by the mugging that he had to endure himself. Frustrated by his ordeal, Fleisher turned his anger and contempt to his pen and thus The Spectre. It shows in spades. This is some of the most graphic comics that a costumed superhero has ever been a part of. In the first story alone in Adventure Comics #431, the Spectre is looking down the barrel of a machine gun and disarms the perpetrator by not only melting the gun but melting the man’s hands and then his entire body! The next story we find a criminal die by way of giant scissors! The rest you’ll have to read for yourself. But I should point out that again this Showcase Presents does not include the full run. Fliesher’s Spectre ran in Adventure Comics from the aforementioned #431 to #440. It was cut short by DC editorial and the final three stories along with the original Adventure Comics were published in Wrath Of The Spectre #1-4 (1988). These comics also contained new commentary from Peter Sanderson who not only gives great insight on the mindset of Fliesher but also the challenges artist Jim Aparo had to deal with. A complete trade paperback of the series was published in 2005.

Strangely enough with the abrupt cancellation of The Spectre in Adventure Comics, just a few months later he made one more appearance with Batman in The Brave And The Bold #116. The Spectre and Corrigan were back to their old, superhero team-up, ways from the 1960’s. The Spectre was not seen again until the 1980’s. In-between teaming up with Superman (DC Comics Presents #29 and The Brave And The Bold #180 and #199 (both with Batman), he was featured in the back-ups of Ghosts #97-99 with the Doctor Thirteen hot on his trail.

The Spectre, of course, went on to guest star in several other comics and eventually got his own title a few more times, Volume 2 #1-31 by Doug Moench and Volume 3 #1-64 by John Ostrander. And who can forget Hal Jordan becoming the Spectre for 27 issues (Volume 4)? Since then Spectre has had a role in several large events including Day Of vengeance and Blackest Night and more recently has been seen in the New 52 thanks to a small mishap by the Phantom Stranger (Phantom Stranger #0).

At 592 pages, it is the third largest Showcase Presents that DC has published. The others are Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, 648 pages and Booster Gold, 624. I point this out because I feel that DC could have made room for Justice League of America #83 and the previously unpublished Wrath Of The Spectre comics. But if DC editorial didn’t want that big of a book then they could have split this one volume into two – Volume 1 (Silver Age) and Volume 2 (Bronze Age) and priced them both at $9.99. I think both would have sold well.

Despite the short comings I do recommend this book. The writing is top shelf and the art by Adams and Aparo is beautiful. And if you’re like me and want some good, scary and horrific comics to read Halloween night, skip right to the Adventure Comics run on page 368, you’ll never look at your hands the same way again!

Showcase Presents Library of Classics: The Spectre Volume 1
Spectre created by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily
Written by Gardner Fox, Michael Fleisher and Others
Art by Murphy Anderson, Neal Adams, Jim Aparo and Others
Cover by Jim Aparo
Collects Showcase #60, 61 and 64, The Brave And The Bold #72, 75, 116, 180 and 199, The Spectre #1-10, Adventure Comics #431-440, DC Comics Presents #29 and Ghosts #97-99
592 pages, $19.99, April 2012, DC Comics

Recommended reading:
The Golden Age Spectre Archives Volume 1
Wrath of the Spectre

Collected Edition Blog browsing on Tuesday morning

Summer time has officially begun and with that so has Convention Season. Both Heroes Con and Wizard World Philadelphia were held this past weekend (something that must change ASAP) and a lot of comic book buzz was created on the monthly side of things. But when it came to the Collected Editions side, there was barley a whisper. Unless I missed it, the only major announcement (or non-announcement) from the Big Four (DC, Marvel, Dark Horse and Image) was that DC will be collecting the 12–issue Wednesday Comics series at some point.
If this is indeed the only news, I find it to be very disappointing.
Each month we get the solicitations handed down and Collected Editions are becoming more and more prominent. But when it comes to showcasing these books at major Conventions, nothing can be found (at least not in Charlotte or Philadelphia). For example, at the DC Nation Panel at Wizard World Philadelphia, Bob Wayne, VP-Sales, took out a copy of Wednesday Comics #1 form his top secret brief case and held it up to the crowd so they could all stare in wonderment as some sort of Holy Grail made of paper. That’s great. But wouldn’t it have been cool to also pull out Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? Deluxe Edition HC, which is surely ready?
In this day and age of the comic book, the world does not revolve around publishing monthly books – it revolves around publishing everything.
On to some links:

  • Via Bleeding Cool
    • The Secret Society Of Super-Villains Showcase volume solicited a year or so ago never happened, because Bob Rozaskis chose not to sign away his contractual reprint fee in perpetuity in return for a “royalty pool” scheme, saying “If there is some collection of my stories that you want to do, I’d be willing to negotiate, but I’m not about to sign a blank check.”

    Mr. Rozakis does go on to clarify.
    This is just another back eye for the DC Comics Collected Editions Department in the wake of the cancellations of several Showcase Presents books that were official solicited and then canceled. Besides Secret Society Of Super-Villains and Super Friends other books were Captain Carrot Vol. 1, The Great Disaster Featuring The Atomic Knights and Hercules, Suicide Squad, Jonah Hex Vol. 2 and DC Comics Who’s Who Vols. 1-2 (announced only). And just were is Showcase Presents The Creeper Vol. 1?

  • Another Top 10 List. This time compiled by Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly.
  • It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up – Ferris Bueller : The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb HC (Signed, Limited, Slipcased Edition) $500. Don’t worry, a softcover is coming down the road for only $25.
  • Review: Peter Sanderson, Publishers Weekly, on The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Review: Allan Holtz, Stripper’s Guide, on The Brinkley Girls — The Best of Nell Brinkley’s Cartoons from 1913-1940 (Fantagraphics)
  • Review: David Welsh, The Comics Reporter, on Detroit Metal City (Viz Media)

CCL Podcast #176 – A Look at DC Comics 2009 Collected Editions

Collected Comics Library Podcast #176

42,690Kb; 36m 12s


This week on the show I give a full rundown of the DC Comics January/1Q 2009 Collected Editions. I blogged about this a few days ago and I have yet to come up with a source for the list so take it with a grain (or chunk) of salt.

Also on the show I do a little eBay Sold Searching and you won’t believe just what are hot commodities and the final sold prices for the books.

Have an email question regarding what to do with damaged books that are bought at conventions; news on a brand new cool Prince Valiant retrospective; and is anyone buying the Marvel Illustrated books?

All this including the New Releases of the Week, what’s coming up on the next TwoMorrows Tune-In Podcast and a Kick-Ass (#1-2) giveaway – find out how to enter on the show.

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Links of note:
DC 2009 – Collected Editions Blog
DC 2009 – Official DC Comics Forums
Discuss this topic on the CCL forum

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The Blackhawks in collected edition limbo

While looking at the entire DC Archive Editions and Showcase Presents collection on my book shelves last night, something occurred to me. It seems that every Archive edition, save for one title, has one of the following:

• A second volume
• Is part of a family of other volumes
• Has a Showcase Presents to compliment it.

The exception is The Blackhawks.

Let me show by example:
Take Superman, he has several volumes including the Superman, Action Comics, World’s Finest and Man of Tomorrow Archives. The same could be said fro Batman.

Shazam! Family Archives (which features Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel) are complimented by four Shazam! Archives and a Shazam! Showcase.

The Robin Archives are complimented by the Robin Showcase. So too are Aquaman and The Metal Men.

The Heroes of the Justice Society that have one Archive each Sandman, Black Canary, The Spectre, Dr. Fate, Starman and the JSA Heroes from the JSA All-Stars Archives are complimented by the All-Star Archives, Comics Cavalcade and the DC Rarities Archives. Throw the GA Green Lantern, Flash and Hawkman in that mix, too.

All other Archives including Supergirl, The Seven Soldiers of Victory, Plastic Man, Legion of Superheroes, Wonder Woman, Doom Patrol, Teen Titans, Action Heroes, Adam Strange, The Atom, World’s Finest Comics, Justice League of America, Challengers of the Unknown, The Flash (Barry), Green Lantern (Hal), Enemy Ace and Sgt. Rock all have at least a second Archive or at least one Showcase Presents.

The other lone one could be The Brave and The Bold Team-Up Archives. However, I exclude it for a couple of reasons

1. Both of the characters pictured on the cover Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter have their own solo Showcase Presents books. The Haunted Tank, which was featured in issue #52, and is included in this Archive, has its own Showcase, too.
2. This comic book title morphed into The Brave & The Bold – Batman Team-Ups, which now has two Showcases.

What does this mean for the Blackhawks? Hopefully it doesn’t mean they will get excluded from another Archive or their first Showcase for long. The team has a rich history dating back to 1941 and the Golden Age of Comics. As it stands now, DC is slowing down their Archive line to only a few new books a year and the Showcase books are all Silver Age material. So DC seems to be in a conundrum of whether to continue (and finish) with more popular lines or start off with a Silver age Blackhawk Showcase, which would start in 1957 with #108 (pictured) when DC took over the title from Quality Comics. Time will tell.