Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hidden Gems: Archie's Super Hero Comics Digest Magazine #2

Now, that's a real mouthful! I'm not even sure that there was ever a #1, but I am far from an expert on the confounding organizational system at Archie during the 70s and early 80s. All I can say is that if you see this strange little item at a low price, pick it up. Sure, it has a few lame mid-60s "Mighty Heroes" stories, but those are fun and harmless. What you really need this for are the reprinted Simon and Kirby Shield stories from 1959. There's also a very nice Black Hood story (the 'balaclava' version) by Gray Morrow and an odd little Wally Wood story 'The Ultimate Power', which I believes comes from an early 70s Red Circle book, but none that I own. Kirby, Morrow & Wood all in one tiny package (yes, it is a bit too teeny tiny)? Yes, miracles can happen. Oops, did I forget to mention the 10 page Neal Adams story?

4 comments:

The Groovy Agent said...

The first issue was called "Archie's Super Hero Special". It came out in early 1979 (I'm pretty sure there was snow on the ground when I got mine) and featured the origin of Lancelot Strong, lots of Mighty Comics reprints, and lots of the Archie gang as super heroes (all Silver Age stuff). It's a hard one to track down these days!

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

There was a first issue of the book, but while it did have Simon & Kirby and hooror, it was overflooded with reprints.However, not all of the reprints were bad: The two stories of 'The Fly' as well as The Jaguar's story were not from the mid-1960s 'Mighty Comics Group' phase. They were part of an earlier 1960s phase called 'Archie Adventure Series', The AAS-era stories were not as awful as the Mighty Comics stuff, but they were competent for the early 1960s. The Black Hood stories were actually never-before-published(At the time), which was a rarity for the digest at the time, as these Black Hood stories were originally intended for the first issue of a new Black Hood series that was slated for release in 1975! That is leftover inventory material! I have this issue!

J.A.P.

Anonymous said...

I remember buying (or my mom buying it for me) this digest from off those little magazine racks in front of the supermarket checkout lanes. I think the occasion might have marked my first awareness that there was a superhero universe existing outside Marvel and DC. I didn't really know Kirby from Adams back then, or even reprint from original, but I still have this book... and thanks for blogging about it Scott.

craig said...

Oops, sorry... if it matters, I forgot to leave my name for the above comment... Craig (benday-dot)