Tag Archives: spectre

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #13

Is there one book that is a “must have” that came out this week? My friends Andy Tom (@AndrewJTom), Chris Campbell (ChrisCampbell8), Marc Diefenderfer (@Dief88), Shane Hannafey, Adam Besenyodi (@adambesenyodi), and I (@ChrisCCL) are sharing six comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.

Superman vs. Zod TP (DC Comics)
Superman vs. Zod TP (DC Comics)

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Superman vs. Zod TP (DC Comics)
Growing up in the 70s and 80s was a pretty special time for a comics fan.  In 1978 I was only 7 years old and my parents took me to see one of my favorite characters on the big screen, Superman.  I was in complete amazement at what I saw on screen, but ultimately I was disappointed with the one thing that my 7 year old brain couldn’t understand.  I wondered why the villain was Lex Luthor.  I mean… Luthor was just a regular guy!  Why didn’t they give us Bizarro or Brainiac?  Someone who could actually go toe to toe with Big Blue in a knock down, drag out fight.  A couple of years later (1980) I was 9 years old and my mom dropped me off at the movie theater so I could go see Superman II (back then, kids actually went to the movies by themselves).  What I got this time was exactly what I wanted.  Superman fought three other Kryptonians.  Not only were they Kryptonians, but they were the vilest of Krypton’s criminals.  Superman battled them in the streets of Metropolis and all the way to the north pole in the Fortress of Solitude (what was with the big cellophane “S” anyway?).  After Superman II, I was determined to learn more about these Phantom Zone villains.  Luckily, flea markets in the early 80s were aplenty and old comics were easy to come by on the cheap.  Eventually, I scored a couple of stories from the flea market and/or Harold’s Drug Store. These stories featured General Zod and his sidekicks.  Soon, I also scooped up the Phantom Zone mini-series and my appreciation for Zod was at it’s peak.  But sadly, Zod and company were rarely used after that tremendous mini-series.  Nowadays, General Zod has been redefined and re-imagined by Richard Donner and Geoff Johns.  He’s more similar in appearance to Terence Stamp; and he’s been reestablished as one of Superman’s most interesting and evil villains.  This new collection is pretty thin; but it does offer some early stories of General Zod and the Phantom Zone villains, including a look back at Zod’s treachery on Krypton told by Donner and Johns.  Sadly, this doesn’t collect the beloved “Phantom Zone” mini-series (that’s coming later this year), but this will make a great companion book to the eventual Phantom Zone book (which is a MUST BUY).  The best thing about this collection of old Superman vs. Zod stories is that it’s only $9.99 (which means you can score it at InStockTrades or Amazon for $5 or $6).  At this price, I highly recommend picking this up, it’ll provide you with some good old fashioned comic “fun” and remind you of what comics were like back when you (and your parents) were kids.
Collects stories from Adventure Comics #283, Action Comics #473, #548-549, DC Comics Presents #97 and Action Comics Annual #10, $9.99

LOAC Essentials Vol. 2: The Gumps - The Saga of Mary Gold! (IDW)
LOAC Essentials Vol. 2: The Gumps – The Saga of Mary Gold! (IDW)

Picked by @Dief88
LOAC Essentials Vol. 2: The Gumps – The Saga of Mary Gold! (IDW)
The second in IDW’s “Library of American Comics Essentials” series, this hardcover marks the first reprinting of Sidney Smith’s comic strip The Gumps (which ran from 1917 to 1959) in almost 40 years. Beloved in its day, The Gumps was so popular that readers would actually write in with romantic advice for the strip’s characters. Collected in this volume is one of the series’ most heart-wrenching stories, “The Saga of Mary Gold,” which features a pretty significant “first” in comics history. At the ridiculously low price of $19.99, this is a book that fans of classic newspaper comics should definitely check out.
Collects strips from 1928-1929, $19.99

Judge Dredd Origins TP (2000 AD/Rebellion)
Judge Dredd Origins TP (2000 AD/Rebellion)

Picked by Shane
Judge Dredd Origins TP (2000 AD/Rebellion)
Like most Americans, my first intro to the Judge Dredd character was the 1995 Stallone film which I later found, out had little to do with the actual comic.  That being said, I still enjoyed it for its cheesiness!  But alas, there really wasn’t a lot of US published Dredd books out there at the time.  Fast forward to today and we just got a new Dredd film starring Karl Urban of Star Trek fame as the lead character.  It wasn’t widely distributed in the US but has become a cult classic nonetheless and is much more accurate to the source material.  I bought it blind on Blu-Ray and never have I made a better purchase.  The film also whet my appetite for the further adventures of our helmeted anti-hero.  Now we are getting an abundance of Judge Dredd collected editions to satisfy any American’s curiosity.  As of late, we have had the Case Files series and now we get Origins.  This should be a great starting point for any curious comics fan to dip his or her feet into this universe and learn more about “dreaded” judges in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One that are everything from Police, judge, jury and executioner.  I personally can’t wait to read this!!
Collects all 23 episodes published from 2006 – 2007, $19.99

Bomb Queen Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC (Image)
Bomb Queen Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC (Image)

Picked by ChrisCampbell8
Bomb Queen Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC (Image)
I have a confession to make.  I love absurd comics with violence and humor that push the envelope.  Enter the Bomb Queen.  Written and drawn by Jimmie Robinson, the Bomb Queen is not a new character, but the Deluxe Edition volume 1 that was released this week is sort of a restart of the hardcover line for the series.  I own the previous hardcover effort – appropriately entitled “Omnibust” – but that edition is quite hard to locate, so Jimmie has decided to update the trade dress and begin again.  I’ve already read the material covered in the first Deluxe Edition, but I’ll be buying it again.  Especially since a second volume has already been announced, which will let me continue my reading in my preferred format.  The story itself is awesomely insane and violent, but never takes itself too seriously and is done in a visual style reminiscent of Ryan Ottley and Invincible.  Once part of a quartet of Bomb Queens terrorizing the city, Bomb Queen emerges from her origin tale as the supreme villain in charge of the city.  There are simply no more heroes to fight her, and the government doesn’t want to get involved.  With the aid of her puppet mayor, crime-zones have been established throughout the city, and the people are generally behind her!  Truly a messed-up city that deserves what it gets, right?  Probably, but a challenger has come in the form of a politician looking to defeat the puppet mayor at the polls, and thus eliminate Bomb Queen’s (official) influence.  You can see where this is going.  The series has a wonderful black and dirty sense of humor and very solid art, so if you’re into that sort of thing, jump into this series.  You’ll love it.
Collects Bomb Queen: Royal Flush #1-4, Bomb Queen II: Queen Of Hearts #1-4 And Bomb Queen Vs. Blacklight: Cat Fight (One-Shot), $24.99

Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Human Torch Volume 1 TPB (Marvel)
Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Human Torch Volume 1 TPB (Marvel)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Human Torch Volume 1 TPB (Marvel)
Marvel has done a nice job of translating their hardcover “Masterworks” line to the softcover trade paperback format. And with these Golden Age reprints, there’s plenty to recommend, notably the debut and origin of Torch’s kid sidekick Toro in this particular volume. You’re not misreading the collection contents here, Timely’s Human Torch series kicked off with issue #2 and had two issue #5s (designated as issue #5A and issue #5B). While four issues for $30 is a little steep at first glance, this is more forgiving than some of Marvel’s other mispriced collections of modern story arcs. For starters, originally published in 1940 and 1941, these are 64-page single issues that are long out of circulation. Add to that the remastering, and you’re seeing these classic Carl Burgos, Bill Everett, and Joe Simon comics arguably looking better than they ever did!
Collects Human Torch (1940) #2-5A, $29.99

Day of Judgment TP (DC Comics)
Day of Judgment TP (DC Comics)

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Day of Judgment TP (DC Comics)
Ugh! I hate to be a downer but sometimes a book comes along that the can’t recommend. Today that collected edition is Day Of Judgement. Why? Simply put it’s not complete. The Day Of Judgement event took place with it’s own 5-issue series and nearly 20 tie-in books. It was panned by many, but I picked all the issues up and still have them packed away in a long box in my basement. The story revolved around The Spectre and his search for a new host who eventually will be the fallen Green Lantern,  Hal Jordan. Other supporting heroes hear are an incredible line up: Doctor Occult, Zatanna, Phantom Stranger, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Raven, Ragman, Alan Scott aka Sentinel and Faust. They come to form the super team, Sentinels Of Magic, which, sadly made their only appearance in this event. Did I happen to mention that the writer of Day Of Judgement was a young, self-starter named Geoff Johns? Of course he went on to be the architect of Green Lantern and other giant event books. I think you know how I would want this collected – as a full size, complete Absolute or Omnibus. For now, we’ll have to settle for this trade.
If there is a silver lining to be had from seeing this trade being released is that we may be getting collected editions of the Hal Jordan/Spectre 27-issue run as well as his appearance in Legends of the DC Universe #33-36.
Collects Day Of Judgment #1-5 and a story from Day Of Judgment Secret Files #1, $14.99

Now it’s your turn. What books that came out this week do you recommend? Take a look at the sidebar to see this weeks collected edition releases.

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

CCL Podcast #338 – Simon Baz, Hometown Hero? – Green Lantern #0

Collected Comics Library Podcast #338
30.3Mb; 32m 57s

There’s a new Green Lantern in town and his name is Simon Baz.

Geoff Johns is not only shaking up the DCU by adding in another GL from Sector 2814, but he’s a Muslim from Dearborn, Michigan. Oh, but that’s not all, Baz isn’t exactly a model citizen – he’s a car thief and suspected terrorist! Not exactly what you’d expect from an intergalactic policeman, but there’s a method to all this madness. Johns’ knows what he’s doing, of course, and it looks like this new Green Lantern – mask, gun, tattoo and all – will play a huge part in the Rise Of The Third Army storyline which will run through all the GL books in October. Today, I spoil Green Lantern #0 and give my take on this new “hero” who lives only 21 miles away from my house.

Also on the show I go over the recent Shuster and Ignatz Award winners, Alex Toth’s Zorro: The Complete Dell Comics Adventureshardcover from Hermes Press, the unofficial announcements of Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2 and Rocket Raccoon & Groot Ultimate Collection and my take on Showcase Presents: The Spectre.


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CCL Podcast #290 – Hal Jordan as The Spectre

Collected Comics Library Podcast #290
35,234Kb; 35m 16s

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally get back to DC Comics and there is a lot to cover:

  • T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Archives Volume 7: The new DC Comics solicitations came out just a few days ago and this book took me by surprise, but I guess now it make sense. For years DC has been after the rights to publish new T-Agents comics and now since, shall we say, curator of the Agents John Carbonaro is dead, DC did got their wish. The official solicit of this book states, In the mid-’80s, classic 1960s heroes The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents returned for Wally Wood’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1-5. That is true however they returned for 4 issues, under the direction of Carbonaro and before this David Singer 5-issue run.
  • Legends Of The DC Universe: The now classic 41-issue run has never been collected in its own set of trade paperbacks and it’s doubtful it ever will. However, there is a bit of hope, DC is reprinting certain issues in their DC Comics Presents line of books. You know them, they are the $7.99, 100 page monthlies. It’s not how I would do it, but it’s good to see this series is getting another go around.
  • There’s a set of three classic Green Lantern Corps trade paperbacks that came out in conjunction with Blackest Night. The first is Green Lantern In Brightest Day (2008) and all the stories collected were hand picked by Geoff Johns. DC capitalized on this with Tales of the Green Lantern Corp Volume 1 (2009) and Volume 2 (2010). A closer look a the latter two books and you’ll notice that they collect some of the same material that was reprinted in the Johns trade. It’s unclear why DC did this. I just hope DC learned their lesson because I hate when companies repackage the same material in different books with releases dates so close to one another.
  • Lastly, is the feature at hand: The Spectre. This is one of the most iconic and powerful characters in the DC Universe. Subsequently he his one of the hardest to write for. Add another iconic character to the mix, Hal Jordan, and you have a big bowl of what the hell do we do now? When Hal took over as the Spectre it was a very controversial decision. Not only did they bring Hal back from the dead, something that many people did not want (IE Barry Allen), but many fanboys didn’t know their DCU history and thus had to learn just who the Spectre was. Thankfully Jay Garrick, Ted Grant, Alan Scott and the rest of the JSA were around to help sort things out. But the character became lost in his own series and couldn’t establish a past or present. Lucky for us, Geoff Johns came around and took Hal out of his misery (literally) and planted the seeds for his Rebirth as Green Lantern. Oddly enough Hal’s run as the Spectre, including his first appearance in the Day Of Judgement event, has never been collected. But could that change?

All this including the New Releases of the Week.

Thanks to Mike McLarty @MrDystopia for the Spectre suggestion!

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