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Scott’s Classic Comics Corner: DC’s Bureau of Missing Reprints Pt. 1

by  in Comic News Comment
Scott’s Classic Comics Corner: DC’s Bureau of Missing Reprints Pt. 1

When you have a history as deep and as rich as DC’s, the amount of choice material available for reprinting is staggering. Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of great DC strips or story arcs that are just begging to be collected in TPB format. To their credit, the powers that be have checked a few of my list in recent years – notably Bat Lash, Kirby’s The Losers and Vigilante: City Lights, Prairie Justice, among others. Still, there’s a ton of stuff out there that I need to get on my bookshelf. Here’s the first half of my list of Top 10 from the Bureau of Missing Reprints.

NOTE: I’m not exactly up on recent solicitations etc… so one or more of the may have been announced recently.

10. I… Vampire
A wonderful early 80s soap opera that ran during House of Mystery’s final years. Seeing as how vampires are everywhere these days and how Marvel had great success with its Tomb of Dracula reprints, I’m surprised that DC hasn’t jumped aboard the bloodsucking bandwagon. Andrew Bennett is a wonderfully tragic character, who attempts to right past wrongs by tracking down his former lover and her band of vampires. Throw in some perfectly gothic Tom Sutton artwork and you’ve got an underappreciated classic.

9. Danger Trail
Bits and pieces of this extremely tough to find (and therefore expensive) series have been reprinted here and there, but the 5 issues series truly deserves to be given a nice TPB treatment. I wouldn’t limited it to the King Faraday stories, but also include all of the back-ups. You’ve got fantastic artwork here, by the likes of Infantino, Toth and Lee Elias. A 5 issue series may seem a bit short for a trade, but keep in mind that this is the 50s and page counts were much higher. This volume would come in at around 180 pages. We need more spy stuff!

8. Blackhawk (1980s)
I’m talking the amazing early 80s relaunch by Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegle here, folks. This is arguably the best take on the team of WW2 aviators. Evanier demonstrates his considerable writing skills, filling the pages with a bleak atmosphere, as the threat of Hitler is brought back to life. Dan Spiegle is one of the all-time underappreciated artists, and his work here is simply astounding. DC is doing fandom a great disservice by keeping a TPB of this series off the shelves.

7. Star Hawkins
This was a very fun strip that ran in Strange Aventures on and off during the early 60s. Created by John Broome and Mike Sekowsky, Hawkins is a cross between Han Solo and Jim Rockford, charming his way through various mysteries, ably assisted by his robot helper Ilda (the true brains behind the operation). It’s a very entertaining read and serves as proof that Sekowsky is a master of comic book storytelling.

6. Shade, the Changing Man
Considering how many rabid Steve Ditko fans exist out there, I’m shocked that DC hasn’t put out a volume of Shade reprints. In my opinion, it was Ditko’s most artistically successful projects of the 70s. While not perfect (suffers from some stiff dialogues), it’s fun high concept book that is visually stunning. If possible, it would be great if someone could rework the art from the Xerox pages for issue #9, published in Cancelled Comics Cavalcade.

Next week: My top 5

Please drop by my blog Seduction of the Indifferent , where I feature many more reprint candidates from a variety of publishers.

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