Just a Thought is a weekly column where writer Brent Chittenden muses about comic book news, views and opinions. Brent’s views and opinions are not necessarily those of Comic Book Daily, it’s editors, writers or staff.
The great thing about reprints these days is everyone is doing big collections that are relatively good in price. Dark Horse Omnibuses, Marvel Essentials and Omnibuses, DC Absolute collections and Showcase Presents. A lot of comics I never thought I’ve get another chance to read again are coming back to light. But there are a few series missing from the reprint collections that really should be considered…here are just a few thoughts.
Dear DC…where is my $&#*@#$ collections of Suicide Squad? No hard covers, no trades, not even black and white Showcase Presents (that were at one point on the schedule). For those of you who for whatever reason (probably youth) not aware of the series, Suicide Squad was precursor to a lot of comic book tropes that are now common today. It was a team book made up of villains from the DC universe. They would go on a mission, some would come back and eventually get pardoned, others would die. It made Deadshot and Boomerang cool. It was well written (by John Ostrander) and my memory seems to believe that it tended to have really good art but it’s been awhile. If you are currently reading Gail Simone’s Secret Six, this is the spiritual father to that book.
The Thing from Another World
This is one people may look at me and go “huh” but let me explain. In 1982, John Carpenter made what was possibly the best film of his career called John Carpenter’s The Thing. If you have never seen this film, go rent it for Halloween. It was about a group of men at a research station in the Antarctic who encounter a creature that can mimic anything and apparently kills anything it mimics. Oh and the bad news? If the creature hit’s the main land, our planet is taken over in the matter of days.
Dark Horse had made good with bunch of licenses and got the license for The Thing (renaming it The Thing from Another World due in part to Marvel’s blue eyed lug and the title of the original film on which Carpenter’s was based) and produced a few really decent min-series revolving around the creature. Now while there is not enough material for an omnibus (there are only 12 issues in total) it would make a decent sized trade.
Prime and Rune
Once upon a time there was a time called The 90’s. The 90’s were both a source of awesome and crap. Comics sold a lot, new companies arrived with tons of different concepts and somewhere in there a universe was created for Malibu Comics called The Ultraverse.
90% of the Ultraverse was kind of crappy. But there were two books worth noting.
What started off as a modern day rip off of Captain Marvel (the Shazam one) actually turned into something pretty cool and is still a concept that I think could still work. The original stories would definitely be in line with some of Marvel’s more family oriented books but still draw on the Marvel U crowd. And quite frankly I love the fact that the kid becomes a version of his heroic subconscious. So he turns into a superhero in his mid 30’s…but is dating a 16 year old girl…and the world finds out. Awkward.
Rune was about an alien that became a vampire…and to be honest I can not say if it is actually worth reading but Barry Windsor Smith did some real awesome work on it that I’d love to see in print again. But alas I wouldn’t hold your breath with either of these as I know there is some funky stuff with the rights and payment structure (Marvel owns the rights but I believe the creators get a real high pay percentage). But maybe a movie or a mouse could change this.
Judge Dredd Omnibus
There is a bunch of Judge Dredd available in various forms of trades, graphic novels, etc but there isn’t really anyway of starting at the beginning. Do a bunch of phone book, black and white collections. Price them at 20/30 bucks and it will sell.
I swear sometimes I am the only person who even remembers this comic existed. From 1999 to 2001, DC published a horror anthology through Vertigo called Flinch. Most of the stories were great, the art was always top notch it just always struggled in sales. But talent wise you have Jim Lee, Frank Quietly, Bruce Jones, Brian Azzerello with Eduardo Risso, Garth Ennis, Bob Fingerman, Mike Caery to name a few. Take a look at that small list. You are seeing the best of comics from all areas. From indy’s to mainstream superhero guys, they all contributed to this little horror book. It’d be nice to see it in print once again.
And there are a ton that when researching, I found may be in print but can’t find any evidence of. Apparently Boom Studios reprinted Trencher (Keith Giffen’s underrated comic of being that brings back the falsely reincarnated) but from looking on Boom’s site and Amazon I can’t find it.
There is also some good material yet to be mined from the recent reprints of Valiant Comics. A lot of the original era did have some good stuff. XO Manowar had a few rather decent arcs. I would love to see the Solar material back in print as well (even the revamped Solar written Warren Ellis might be kind of cool) but I think licenses and legal difficulties might stop us from seeing the Solar, Turok and Magnus materials again.
I’m sure there are a ton more. What about you? What would you like to see reprinted?
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course… it’s just a thought.
Brent Chittenden is a Canadian based writer who occasionally writes for Explore Music as well as Comic Book Daily. He is the co-host, co-producer, co-creator of Two A$$holes Talking About Nerd Stuff, a podcast, blog and general holy terror found at www.nerdholes.blogspot.com.
When he’s not at work at all that stuff, he can be found roaming the countryside, getting into adventures with his loyal sidekick, Ping.