Showcase is one of the great titles of the Silver Age. Alas, many of the best known books from that series (Showcase #4, Showcase #34 and Showcase #60 are all examples) are very pricey. This week I’m taking a look at some later issues that are less well known, but are noteworthy all the same and can be found for relative peanuts:
I love westerns, and you should, too! Johnny Thunder is one of the greatest western strips of all-time and Showcase #72 reprints the story “Unseen Allies” from All-American Western #104. It also has a fun late 50s Trigger Twins story originally published in All-Star Western #101. There’s also a short 3-page Joe Kubert story about the Texas Rangers. Toth, Infantino and Kubert all in one place? And a new Russ Heath cover? Priceless, you say? Well, a VGish copy recently sold for $1.04 on eBay.
Created by Len Wein and Marv Wolfman, Jonathan Sebastian “Jonny” Double is a penniless private eye located in San Francisco. He’s a cross between Sam Spade and Alan Ginsberg, dig? It may seem a bit dated today, but it’s a fun ‘hippie noir’ concoction and Jack Sparling’s inventive layouts lets the reader know that DC is up for a little experimentation. A VG copy recently sold on eBay for $2.75
What can I say about Showcase #79 that hasn’t already been said? It is simply one of the most beautiful books put out by DC during the 60s. Dolphin’s origin tale “The Fantasy at 14 Fathoms” was written and drawn by Jay Scott Pike, one of the most talented artists of the 50s and 60s. It is a beautiful thing and should be a part of everyone’s collection. As an added bonus, this issue also includes a reprint of Aqualad’s origin with terrific Ramona Fradon artwork. I have not seen any recent sales, but I’d imagine a copy in VG could be found for well under $10.
Showcase #87 to #89
These issues featured Joe Kubert’s Firehair, and is a must read for a Kubert fans. This is a different character than the Firehair who had her own title for Fiction House circa 1950 but the overall concept is the same. DC’s writers and editors obviously noted the shift that was going on in Hollywood vis-à-vis how westerns were constructed or, more appropriately, deconstructed. Kubert had become the Kubert that we all know and love at this stage and he was really playing around with layouts. The fever dream that is issue #89 is particularly impressive. Last week, a 2 book lot of issues 86 and 87 in VGish sell for $4.25.
Showcase #91 to #93
Manhunter 2070 is a terrific strip that ran in the final three issues of the first incarnation of Showcase. An interplanetary bounty hunter named Starker is the star of this strip and the combination of exotic locales, a witty robot assistant and Mike Sekowsky artwork give it a real ‘Star Hawkins’ vibe. Personally, I think DC was onto something here as these stories were very entertaining and I’ll always believe there’s room on the spinner rack for sci-fi noir. Showcase ended on a high note. These are dirt cheap as issues #92 & #93 (VG+ and VG-) recently sold for $1.01 and all 3 issues in VGish sold for $5.50.
There’s also the likes of Nightmaster and Jason’s Quest among others from the last few years of Showcase, but I’d suggest starting with the ones I’ve noted above. For more comic book talk – stop by my blog Seduction of the Indifferent
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