This issue of ‘Back Issue’ is devoted to DC Comics material with an enormous 21 pages devoted to their 50 issue ‘Secret Origins’ title by John Wells and, more importantly, at the end which characters and teams never made it in time before the title was cancelled. A real memory stirrer. It’s also a strong reminder was the comicbook based films feel there is a need to explain to new viewers where the characters come from when you think everyone knows by now.
Next comes a look at the Robert Loren Fleming and artist Trevor Von Eeden series ‘Thriller’. What ultimately killed the series was lack of sales in the direct market. I remember the comicbook from the time and thought it was a bold step but not then when super-heroes were so engrained. Had it been re-released a few years later, things might have worked out differently. Having said that, seeing what happened at the time should make you re-think your thoughts on the subject.
I was less familiar with ‘Sun Devils’ but interested to some extent about the background of the DC round-robin ‘Challenge’, although I only vaguely remember it. Dan Johnson’s interview with its creators, writer Gerry Conway and artist Dan Jurgens, filled in the gaps.
Bob Rozakis writes about his old job involved with the prestige or square-bound graphic novels and getting the colours right is most illuminating. If you thought there was only one type of graphic novel, you will be surprised at the variations.
The look at Doug Monech’s ‘Electric Warrior’ by Tom Powers is also insightful on another series I didn’t read. More so as Monech says he’s cut back by being lazy from all the royalty checks DC Comics pays him for co-creating the likes of Bane and Black Mask.
The look at ‘Action Comics Weekly’, that survived from # 601-641, some forty weeks was an odd experiment and interesting to read the details as presented by Brian Martin, more so as DC Comics used our British comic ‘2000AD’ as its template. From a British perspective, the reason many of us became American comicbook fans was because we had 24 pages based on a single character or team in colour a month than the 2 or 4 pages on a weekly basis. I’m having to think back a while with this title, but if memory serves, with UK distribution outside of comic shops, being monthly, we had them these in bunches and occasionally patchy distribution. Either way, I suspect the change in title frequency hit the American market more than the British market. I hope there is some sort of follow-up with the exact issues all these characters appeared in for completest’s sake.
As always, ‘Back Issue’ is informative and good value for money.
(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated softcover. Price: $ 8.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ (US))
check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_54&products_id=1293