Even with this large amount of comic books that have been collected in trade paperbacks, there are still a number of great comic books that have never been reprinted (I'd say roughly 60% of them are DC Comics from the 1980s through the mid-1990s). So every day this month I will spotlight a different cool comic book that is only available as a back issue. Here is an archive of the comic books featured so far.
I want you folks to e-mail me at email@example.com with your suggestions for comics that I should feature this month. I'd like to see what you all would like to see get more attention.
Today, reader Jack suggested the time-travel storyline from Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott's West Coast Avengers #17-24, typically referred to as "Lost in Space-Time."
Lost in Space-Time is one of the most complex time travel story you'll see (at least in a superhero comic book).
One of the gutsiest aspects of the story is that Englehart decides to do this complex time travel storyline while also doing a "Hank Pym hits rock bottom and then finds himself" storyline!!!
In the first part of the story, Hank decides to kill himself while the Avengers are on a mission. He writes letters to all the people in his life, but his ex-wife, the Wasp, deserves special treatment...
Meanwhile, just as Hank is about to kill himself, the Avengers find themselves thrown through time!
Quite a way to kick off a multi-part crossover, huh? In addition, in a clever twist, they never tell you in the comic that this is part one of a storyline - it just pops up out of nowhere at the end! Classic.
So the Avengers end up in the Wild West, where Englehart ties in with one of his old Avengers stories, as Hawkeye is pals with a few of these fellows...
So the Avengers get caught up in a caper in the past. Check out Englehart showing us the rich history of Marvel's Western heroes by making a Masters of Evil (of sorts) of Western villains!
Gotta love that checklist of titles at the end.
Wonder Man comes up with an idea - if they can only go backwards in time, why not go back in time to a point where they know someone ELSE was using a time machine!
Of course, Phantom Rider by this point had become obsessed with Mockingbird, so he doesn't like this idea...
In part 4 of the tale, we see how Phantom Rider has brainwashed her into thinking they're an item (creeeepy)...
Meanwhile, Hank Pym has a new lease on life and decides to take on a NEW identity...his OWN!
Very clever idea by Englehart.
In one of the craziest parts of the comic, check out this part where the Avengers meet up with a time-traveling Doctor Strange, who had previously ALSO traveled back in time to the same point that the Fantastic Four had gone into Egypt! So THREE different groups of heroes were all time-traveling to the same spot!!!
Meanwhile, Joe Sinnott does a marvelous job finishing Milgrom's layouts - the book looks quite good.
I won't spoil the ending (or how Mockingbird gets out of her predicament, and what she does to him when she does) but there's a lot more complex adventures ahead! Marvel appears to be dedicated to reprinting West Coast Avengers, as they have a second volume due out later this year that takes you all the way up to the issue before this storyline, so there is a decent chance that 2012 or 2013 will see this storyline collected. Until then, though, you'll have to settle for back issue bins!