It’s been a busy few weeks for DC and Marvel in their continuing efforts to publish reprints of Golden Age material.
DC Wins the prize for the most Golden Age reprints with three offerings, all in very different formats.
First up is the Wonder Woman Chronicles, Volume 1. This is DC’s third Golden Age offering of its popular “Chronicles” series (behind Superman and Batman), which is designed to reprint all of the Golden Age adventures of Wonder Woman in chronological order. If you have been interested in learing the roots of this character, but don’t want to spend the money for one of the more expensive “Archives” books, this is a great place to start. This softbound, trade paperback size book reprints in color the very first stories featuring Wonder Woman. In this volume you will find the adventures from All-Star Comics #8 (December 1941-January 1942) (her very first appearance), Sensation Comics #1-9 (January-September 1942) and Wonder Woman #1 (Summer 1942). This volume retails for $17.99.
Next up form DC is a very cool reprint of some classic Simon & Kiby Golden Age material with The Newsboy Legion by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. This 360 page hardback volume features the adventures of the Guardian and the Newsboy Legion from Star Spangled Comics #7-32 (April 1942-May 1944). This is great WWII era Simon & Kirby material, much of which has never before been reprinted. DC plans to reprint all of the S&K work on this title with a planned second volume. This book also features a very nice introduction by none other than Joe Simon. It retails for $49.99.
Finally, DC has published the long awaited (and one of my favorites) Robin Archives, volume 2, featuring the Robin solo stories that appeared in the pages of Star Spangled Comics. It’s been five years since the first volume in this series was published, so it’s nice to see DC finally reprint these rare Golden Age stories. Not only have most of these stories never before been reprinted, but it’s almost impossible to find copies of the originals of these comics for sale. As a bonus, Batman appears in several of the stories in this volume, featuring reprints of Star Spangled Comics #86 (November 1948) through #105 (June 1950). DC should be able to complete reprinting all of the Robin stories from this title in a third volume, as Robin’s last appearance was in issue #130. I just hope they don’t wait five more years! This book retails for $59.99.
While not really a Golden Age reprint, Marvel continues to publish their popular Atlas Era series of Marvel Masterworks with Tales to Astonish, volume 3. This book reprints the stories from Tales to Astonish #21 (July 1961) through #30 (April 1962). This volume features the classic “The Man in the Anthill” from issue #27 by Kirby & Ayers, which is the first appearance of Ant-Man. This is great stuff for the fans of pre-hero Marvel, and features all of the Marvel greats, Ditko, Kirby, Heck, Lee and others. This volume retails for $59.99.