Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Single Issue Hall of Fame: 100-Page Super Spectacular #DC-14

Sure, that title may be a bit tough to remember, but jot it down because if you don't already own this book, you should track it down as soon as humanly possible. I bought this 100 pager from the back issue bins as a kid (circa 1980) and read it to pieces. I eventually had to buy a second copy. Why is this one so great? For, starters it features reprint of the Monk storyline from Detective Comics #31 and #32. It also reprints the first Atom story from Showcase #34, for those of you who don't have a few hundred dollars to spare. My favourite story in this issue? Truth be told, it's the Stretch Skinner origin story from the Wildcat entry - one of the most charming Golden Age tales I've ever read. Reed Crandall fans should not that this issue not only has a Crandall/Cudeira Blackhawk story, but also a Crandall drawn Doll Man story. There's also a very early (1942) Wonder Woman story, and a superb Dick Sprang drawn story from 1950 in which a new Batmobile is introduced. This book is a treasure trove for fans of classic comics. Did I mention the awesome Nick Cardy cover? It's a wraparound (with the remaining characters on the back). Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm wrong - but I believe the original version of this cover had Wonder Woman on the cover, but DC made a last minute change and went with Wildcat. I just love this book!


Dan said...

I share your fondness for this one. It's one of the few comics I bought from '71-'73. That Monk story has to have been by far the earliest Batman story I'd ever encountered.

benday-dot said...

That Crandall Blackhawk is a real treat. DC occasionally would throw in a Golden Age Blackhawk reprint in bronze age titles, but they never seemed to choose the Crandall issues. It was always Dillin/Cuidera they went with (not a bad combo really!). I know Crandall was very much a Quality artist, along with the great Bill Ward, so it might have been naturally to focus on the Dillin era, which commenced with the titles absorption into DC. Still Crandall's gold standard work was certainly available in the bronze age, but hardly ever showed up. Aside from the pricey Archives this 100 pager is a great place to gawk on Crandall greatness. Thanks Scott! Craig.

Ray R. said...

Oh yeah, great issue. I also picked that one up in a quarter bin and really enjoyed it. Knowing now that there's great Reed Crandall Blackhawk art makes me want to look for it all over again.

I read my first Spectre, Wildcat, Hourman and other Golden Age reprints in those 100 pagers.

Scott M said...

I can only imagine that the main reason that DC would often shy away from reprinting Quality stuff was that they couldn't do it as well, or as cheaply as the stuff rom the late 50s.

Doll Man and Kid Eternity reprints were also few and far between.

Kan-Man said...

Couldn't agree more, Scott - awesome book.

As far as that Sprang Batman story - is that the one with Batman wearing a cast on his leg, over his costume? He'd have to be Mister Miracle to take that thing off.

rok said...

I think I had that one.

Or maybe I still have it.

Regarding the choice of material; it depended more on whether DC had decent negative of the original art.

It wasn't a choice determined by the q(Q)ality of the art, but rather the quality of the negs in the DC vault.

just sayin'