Thursday, May 2, 2013

365 comics...122: Action Comics Weekly #601 (1988)

I was reading Superman comics semi-regularly when Action made the switch to a weekly publication schedule and an anthology format, and I'm pretty sure I liked it, but at 12 years old with a very limited comics budget it was costing me an additional $8-$10 a month, or another 6-8 books I could otherwise be buying.  It was a fairly shrewd move on my part to drop the book after 13 weeks but I have to say I've always kind of regretted it.  we're not talking huge life-altering regret but one of those pop culture things you wished you could have experienced in the moment. 

ACW wasn't the best thing ever or the best anthology even or ever the best superhero anthology of its time (unless it was the only superhero anthology at the time which I guess by default would make it the best), bet it was fun and interesting for a DC buff in the making like me.  Outside of Who's Who I hadn't seen many of these characters in action (no pun) so it was first exposure to Deadman and Blackhawk and Wild Dog and the Secret Six.

While ACW was quite obviously set up as a home for wayward characters who couldn't sustain a series of their own (seems odd today that Green Lantern was out a series) or as a proving ground to see if they could (I'm curious to dig though the issues to see if ACW actually launched any series), it wasn't shy on the talent.  Though few of the industry's big guns at the time were working interiors, the covers came from the likes of Gibbons, Perez, Bolland, and the Kubert Bros.  Inside was veteran city with work from Gil Kane, Dan Spiegle, Curt Swan, Mike Grell and Marty Pasko.  It wasn't a flimsy excuse for a new talent showcase, the PTB at DC wanted it to still be something, while still giving proven-but-young talent the spotlight as well (Christopher Priest, back when he was still Jim Owsley wrote the GL story, within which Katma Tui is murdered, Dan Jurgens illustrates Deadman and Rick Burchette does his best Chaykin impersonation on Blackhawk).

I have about a 45 issue deficit on ACW so it's going to take some dolIar bin hunting and some pocket change to complete the run but I am terribly exited to see what I missed (and to finally get some closure on this whole Mockingbird mystery).

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