When You’ve Caught the Great White Whale, What’s Next?

cover of Justice League of America No. 21
When the Justice Society dropped in on their Silver Age substitutes.

Every collector has one.

That one comic book that somehow remains out of reach.

For some, it’s “Detective Comics” No. 27, or “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15, or maybe “The Walking Dead” No. 1.

For me, for just about forever, it has always been “Justice League of America” No. 21.

If you have even a passing familiarity with the Silver Age of Comics, you understand the significance of that issue.

This August 1963 issue was insanely important for DC and for readers.

Continue reading “When You’ve Caught the Great White Whale, What’s Next?”

Why Can’t Batman be a Hero?

Batman No. 32 cover.
Blood on his hands: Batman is worse than his adversaries these days in the DCU.

In the new DC Comics miniseries, “Batman: White Knight,” the Caped Crusader’s vigilante methods have turned so brutal, an apparently sane Joker vows to defend Gotham City and stop his reign of terror.

In the current arc playing out in “Detective Comics,” a Batman from the future has stepped back to the present convinced he can prevent his timeline from ever coming into play by murdering Batwoman.

In the “Dark Nights: Metal” series, powerful, sadistic versions of Batman have escaped from the dark universe to destroy earth.

What do all these stories all have in common?

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Gold in the Dollar Bin

My local comics shop is a rarity in the Boston area.

It has massive tables loaded with dollar boxes, ones that are replenished regularly.

I’ve been spending a lot of time there, much more than at the new arrival shelves.

I’ve recently come across great runs of such titles as “The Warlord,” “Night Force,” “The Outsiders” and “West Coast Avengers.”

Most of the comics are from the ’80s and ’90s, but I often find books going as far back as the ’60s, such as a “Sub-Mariner” or a Gold Key “Zorro.”

And then there was the latest gem I came across:

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DC Gets its Freak on with the Doom Patrol

Negative Man! Elasti-Girl! Automaton? The Doom Patrol debuted in 'My Greatest Adventure' No. 80.
Negative Man! Elasti-Girl! Automaton? The Doom Patrol debuted in ‘My Greatest Adventure’ No. 80.

Like many fabulous things, the Doom Patrol was born out of desperation.

It was late 1962, and DC’s “My Greatest Adventure” faced cancellation.

Started in 1955, “My Greatest Adventure” was one of DC’s many anthology books that ran amok with weird sci-fi tales, such as “I Was the Hunted Man-Bird of Mystery Mesa!” (in issue No. 75) and “Cure Our Robot Ruler – or Die” (in issue No. 77).

Gee, you’d think with stories like that, the comics would be flying off the shelves.

Continue reading “DC Gets its Freak on with the Doom Patrol”