Showcase Presents The Spectre Vol. 1

spectreFirst Published: April 2012

Contents: Showcase #60 (January/February 1966), #61 (March/April 1966), and #64 (September/October 1966); The Brave and the Bold #72 (June/July 1967), #75 (December 1967/January 1968), #116 (December 1974/January 1975), #180 (November 1981), and #199 (June 1983); The Spectre #1 (November/December 1967) to #10 (May/June 1969); Spectre stories from Adventure Comics #431 (January/February 1974) to #440 (); DC Comics Presents #29 (January 1981); and Spectre stories from Ghosts #97 (February 1981) to #99 (April 1981)

Key Creator Credits: Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson, Bob Haney, Neal Adams, Michael Fleisher, Jim Aparo, Jerry Grandenetti, Ernie Chan, Ross Andru, Paul Kupperberg, and others

Key First Appearances: Azmodus, Gwendolyn Sterling

Overview: With his debut in More Fun Comics #52 (February 1940), the Spectre remains one of DC’s oldest characters. Developed by Superman c0-creator Jerry Siegel (with an attributed assist by artist Bernard Baily), the Spectre was originally Detective Jim Corrigan. The good detective found himself the target of hoodlums, who placed him in a barrel filled with concrete and then drowned. However, Corrigan’s spirit is denied entry to Heaven, and must return to Earth to eliminate evil. During this era, the Spectre would serve as a member of the Justice Society of America.

This volume picks up the Spectre’s story in the middle of the Silver Age. The Spectre, along with the rest of the Justice Society, have returned to action in the pages of The Flash and Justice League of America. DC editor Julie Schwartz wanted to see if the Spectre could stand on his own, so he gave the character a try-out in the pages of Showcase, followed soon by appearances in The Brave and the Bold. The interest was there to warrant the Spectre getting his own series, but that only ran for 10 issues.

When we see the Spectre again, it is now in the Bronze Age, and the haunted hero is now a feature in Adventure Comics. These stories show the dark potential of the character, as the Spectre exacts brutal punishments to those committing evil acts. This run lasted around a year, before the pages in the book were given over to Aquaman.

The volume concludes with multiple other appearances of the Spectre in team-up books and as a backup feature in Ghosts. However, although not collected in this book, our hero could still be found making appearances in Justice League, All-Star Comics, and All-Star Squadron.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: This is a mixed volume in terms of the types of stories collected. You get the superhero aspect with the various team-ups, the angel of vengeance in other stories, and would-be horror anthology host in others. So there might be some type of story that you can find in here that you will enjoy. But reading these in consecutive order, the character seems under-utilized most of the time. It’s not until much later, specifically the 1990s, where I feel like a writer and artists finally found the full potential of the character.

Earth(-2) Angel, Earth(-1) Angel: So which DC Earth do the Spectre stories take place in? For the stories that involve the Justice Society members such as Wildcat, those take place on Earth-2. For his team-ups with Batman, Superman, and the Flash, those take place on Earth-1. As for the rest, well, I think that is up to the reader to decide. The Spectre seems to not be bound to any one Earth in particular, especially when the story is scripted by Bob Haney.

Footnotes:  The Brave and the Bold #75 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents The Brave and the Bold: Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1.

The Brave and the Bold #116 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents The Brave and the Bold: Batman Team-Ups Vol. 3.

DC Comics Presents #29 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents DC Comics Presents: Superman Team-Ups Vol. 2.

If you like this volume, try: The Spectre series from 1992. The series ran for five plus years, and it was written entirely by John Ostrander. The series focused on the Spectre serving as the embodiment of the Wrath of God, dealing out punishments for murders of any kind. Ostrander is a former theology student, and his knowledge and experience were reflected in the story topics found over the course of the series. The first 22 issues of the title were recently reprinted in trade paperbacks, but you will need to hit the back issue bins to track down the remainder of the series. Well worth the hunt!

Showcase Presents DC Comics Presents: The Superman Team-Ups Vol. 1

ddcp_superman_1First Published: November 2009

Contents: DC Comics Presents #1 (July-August 1978) to  #26 (October 1980)

Key Creator Credits: Martin Pasko, Len Wein, Gerry Conway, Paul Levitz, Steve Englehart, Denny O’Neil, Cary Bates, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Murphy Anderson, Dick Dillin, Joe Staton, and others

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents DC Comics Presents: The Superman Team-Ups Vol. 2

Overview: Comics, like any other medium, loves to duplicate a success. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or so I’ve been told. If Company A has a character selling well, then Company B will create a similar character. (Or in more modern times, if Company A has a best-selling character in one book, then that character will soon be featured in two or more books.)

So it should come as no surprise in the late 1970s that DC Comics introduced DC Comics Presents, a team-up book that would be anchored by Superman. DC had found success by focusing on Batman in the pages of The Brave and the Bold. Heck, World’s Finest Comics was a Batman-Superman team-up book. Over at the distinguished competition, Marvel doubled it up with two team-up books featuring Spider-Man (primarily) and the Thing. I guess the only question to ask here would be why it took DC so long to get this book started? While I haven’t found a definitive answer to that, I’m sure that the then upcoming release of Superman: The Movie might have prompted DC to get another Superman title on the newsstands.

DC Comics Presents brought in a lot of the creative talent that helped shape DC Comics in the 1970s. The title found a cast of regular co-hosts (mostly fellow members of the Justice League) that would cycle in and out frequently over the course of the run of the book. Perhaps in a nod to the quirky stories Bob Haney would deliver over in The Brave and the Bold, we do get the one issue in this collection where Superman is blasted back in time to World War II, where he teams up with Sgt. Rock and Easy Company. As with any team-up book, the premise that would bring the characters together was sketchy a lot of times. In this era, the norm was 17-page stories, so many of these are quick reads.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: I’ve said for years that team-up books should be required reading for all comic book fans. But I would recommend starting with the other books of this era first, such as The Brave and the Bold, Marvel Two-in-One, and Marvel Team-Up. This title always seemed to me unnecessary – given how powerful Superman was in this era, why does he need the help of <guest star of the month> to solve the particular problem for that issue? I have this same issue with Superman in the Justice League of America title in this age, too. The team-ups can be a lot of fun, but the premise of the stories are generally weak.

Footnotes: DC Comics Presents #26 is one of the issues from this series most in-demand in the back issue market, but with nothing to do with the Superman story. In this era, DC started placing 16-page previews of upcoming titles in various books. In this issue, a preview of The New Teen Titans #1 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. This serves as the first appearances for Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire, so it has stayed in demand for many years with collectors.

Who’s Who:
#1 – Superman & Flash
#2 – Superman & Flash
#3 – Superman & Adam Strange
#4 – Superman & Metal Men
#5 – Superman & Aquaman
#6 – Superman & Green Lantern
#7 – Superman & Red Tornado
#8 – Superman & Swamp Thing
#9 – Superman & Wonder Woman
#10 – Superman & Sgt. Rock
#11 – Superman & Hawkman
#12 – Superman & Mister Miracle
#13 – Superman & Legion of Super-Heroes
#14 – Superman & Superboy
#15 – Superman & Atom
#16 – Superman & Black Lightning
#17 – Superman & Firestorm
#18 – Superman & Zatanna
#19 – Superman & Batgirl
#20 – Superman & Green Arrow
#21 – Superman & Elongated Man
#22 – Superman & Captain Comet
#23 – Superman & Doctor Fate
#24 – Superman & Deadman
#25 – Superman & Phantom Stranger
#26 – Superman & Green Lantern

If you like this volume, try: Action Comics #584 to #600 from 1987 and 1988. Following Crisis on Multiple Earths, DC brought in fan favorite John Byrne to reinvent Superman for the new DC Universe. Following the initial Man of Steel mini-series that gave us the back history of Clark Kent and Superman, the books returned to a normal monthly publishing schedule. In Action Comics, this became a team-up book, with various heroes meeting up with Superman. Done by Byrne, there are a lot of fun match-ups that stand out from this run. While there is not just one collected edition for these issues, there is a series of eight trades, Superman: The Man of Steel, that collect all of the Superman stories from this time in publishing order. Alternatively, the individual issues can be generally found in discount bins at shows or local comic shops, so that might be a fun run to hunt down on your own.

Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 3

showcase_presents_flash_volume_3First Published: August 2009

Contents: The Flash #141 (December 1963) to #161 (May 1966)

Key Creator Credits: John Broome, Carmine Infantino, Gardner Fox, Joe Giella, Murphy Anderson, and others

Key First Appearances: Paul Gambi, T.O. Morrow

Story Continues From: Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 2

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 4

Overview: The fastest man alive is back with another collection of his Silver Age adventures. Most of the title-building has been done in the first two volumes, so this volume continues on with what has been previously established, with incremental additions to the ongoing story. Welcome to Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 3.

As was common in this era at DC Comics, most issues feature two stories, although there is the occasional full-length story to be found. The Flash’s various Rogues rotate in and out from issue to issue, finding new ways to challenge him each time. We still get plenty of situations with fiancé Iris West complaining about how slow Barry is always, a still-ironic plot point in a book about a man who runs really fast. Barry’s circle of friends is still in place, with frequent appearances from Kid Flash, the Jay Garrick Flash, and Green Lantern. The Flash even has a team-up with Doctor Mid-Nite from Earth-2.

There are two notable additions to the DC Universe in this volume. The first is the introduction of the villain T.O. Morrow, an inventor and scientist. He has often gone up against the Justice League and Justice Society and is most known for creating the android Red Tornado. The other introduction found in this volume is Paul Gambi, a tailor in Central City. While mostly forgettable, he becomes to the tailor for all of the villains working in the city, repairing or replacing their costumes following a defeat at the hands of the Flash. Having all of the villains getting their costumes in one place brought the group together in The Flash #155, and led to the formation of the Rogues Gallery.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: The Flash ranks near the top of my list of favorite Silver Age titles from DC Comics. The stories generally hold up; the situations that set-up the stories maybe aren’t as believable, but they aren’t as absurd as those in other titles in this era. We have a rotating team of Broome, Infantino, and Fox that build a near seamless universe for Barry Allen and company. Kid Flash graduates into his own re-occurring feature, in a time when Robin was not. This is a solid collection of the era and should be part of your library with the increased popularity of the Flash in current media.

Footnotes: The Flash #160 is a reprint issue. The cover is included in this collection.

If you like this volume, watch: The Flash tv show on the CW, which began in the fall of 2014. Sure, this seems like a no-brainer pick, but I think there may still be a few hold-outs among you. Anyway, building on the success of the Arrow tv show, executives worked out a way to bring the Scarlet Speedster back to primetime. Grant Gustin plays Barry Allen, handling the role like he was born to play it. The best part of this show is that it borrows elements from so many different eras in the Flash’s history. The show uses parts of the original Silver Age origin from Showcase #4, as well as the revised origin from Geoff Johns in the 2000s. We have many of the supporting characters, such as Iris West, Jay Garrick, and the Rogues Gallery. There are even nods to the 1990s Flash show, with the inclusion of John Wesley Shipp and Mark Hamill. This is a family-friendly show that I enjoy watching with my kids each week.

Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2

Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2

First Published: August 2008

Contents: Hawkman #12 (February-March 1966) to #27 (August-September 1968); The Brave and the Bold #70 (February-March 1967); The Atom #31 (June-July 1967); and The Atom and Hawkman #39 (October-November 1968) to #45 (October-November 1969)

Key Creator Credits: Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson, Dick Dillin, Bob Haney, Joe Kubert, Robert Kanigher, and others

Key First Appearances: Lion-Mane

Story Continues From: Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 1 and Showcase Presents The Atom Vol. 2

Overview: Welcome back to the ongoing adventures of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Police officers Katar and Shayera Hol have travelled from Thanagar to make Earth their adoptive home. Posing as Carter and Shiera Hall, archeologists and curators at the Midway City Museum, our feathered heroes work to catch criminals and solve mysteries using a mix of extraterrestrial science and ancient Earth weapons.

Hawkman remains an interesting nexus point within the DC universe. As a Thanagarian, he is the ideal character to interact with Adam Strange, a man of two worlds (Earth and Rann). As a character written by Gardner Fox, it was natural for Hawkman to team up with the Atom, another Fox creation. As a member of the Justice League, there was no question that Hawkman would be crossing paths with Batman in the pages of The Brave and the Bold.

The foes of Hawkman remain somewhat weak in this collection. Seriously, how many people have even heard of Lion-Mane before? A highlight of this collection is Hawkman coming face-to-face with the Gentleman Ghost, a one-time foe of the Earth-2 Hawkman. Robert Kanigher, with Joe Kubert, created the Gentlemen Ghost for the Hawkman story in Flash Comics #88 (October 1947). Twenty-two years later, Kanigher once again found himself writing a Hawkman story and brought back the Ghost.

In 1968, the Hawkman title came to an end with issue #27, but his stories were not done yet. Hawkman took his adventures to the Atom’s book the following issue, as The Atom was renamed The Atom and Hawkman with issue #39. This combined title ran for seven issues (on a bi-monthly publishing schedule). Three of the issues featured the two characters teaming up together in one story, while four of the issues featured each character in his own solo story.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: Well, on the plus side, I believe this is a better read than Volume 1. With that said, I still found this volume disappointing. The highlights of this collection are the issues where he teams up with other heroes, such as Batman, Atom, and Adam Strange. The problem is this is still a book featuring a solo character (no disrespect meant to Hawkgirl). If the solo stories are not entertaining, it’s hard to get through some of these issues. A lot of these tales feel very repetitive, such as an alien on the run from law enforcement and hiding on Earth, or an archeological dig uncovering a dormant creature. I want this to be so much better than it is! Read this is you are a Hawkman fan, or if you like Murphy Anderson’s art.

Footnotes: The Brave and the Bold #70 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents The Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 1.

The Atom #31 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents The Atom Vol. 2.

If you like this volume, try: the Geoff Johns Hawkman omnibus, which collects the writer’s two-year run with the character from 2002-2004. In 2001, Johns brought back Hawkman from character limbo in the pages of JSA, doing his best to untangle the complicated history of the character over the last 20 years. That immediately prompted DC to green-light a new ongoing book. In this new series, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are reincarnated spirits dating back to ancient Egypt. The new Hawkman returns, and immediately proclaims his undying love for Hawkgirl. However, this Hawkgirl is Kendra Saunders, a great niece to Sheira Hall, the original Hawkgirl. Kendra has the memories from Sheira, but she does not have the feelings for Carter Hall. Hawkman and Hawkgirl develop a working partnership, which presents a different dynamic than what we have seen previously between these characters. The omnibus contains all of the Geoff Johns’ stories, which ran through issue #25. This volume of the Hawkman series ran for 49 issues, then changed direction and was renamed Hawkgirl with issue #50. The Hawkgirl title ran for another year, before ending with issue #66.

Showcase Presents The Atom Vol. 2

Showcase Presents The Atom Vol. 2

First Published: August 2008

Contents: The Atom #18 (April-May 1965) to #38 (August-September 1968)

Key Creator Credits: Gardner Fox, Gil Kane, and Murphy Anderson

Key First Appearances: Bug-Eyed Bandit

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents The Atom Vol. 1

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2

Overview: The Mighty Mite of Ivy Town returns in the second volume of Showcase Presents The Atom. Scientist Ray Palmer discovered a way to miniaturize himself using a white dwarf star and ultra-violet rays. Donning a costume, Ray Palmer adopts the identity of the Atom, who can shrink and enlarge himself, as well as adjusting his weight for emphasis when needed. In addition to fighting the various costumed foes that threaten Ivy Town, the Atom also takes a dive into the time pool, when he is able to travel to events in the past.

The stories follow the same formula from the previous volume, where we either get one full-length story or two shorter stories per issue. The highlights of this volume is Ray Palmer meeting his Golden Age counterpart in Al Pratt, the Earth-2 Atom. The two Atoms actually had their first meetings in the first and second meetings of the Justice League and the Justice Society. But this volume features two issues, #29 and #36, that brings the two pint-size heroes together.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: As we move further and further away from the Golden Age and Silver Age of comics, we start to overlook some of the great people that worked on those books. Case in point, I would like to speak about editor Julie Schwartz. He came of age in the 1930s as a science fiction editor, helping writers to place stories in magazines. In 1944, he joined All-American Comics (one of the companies that would become DC Comics) as an editor. During his tenure, he brought in numerous science fiction authors to write comics. Schwartz oversaw the “Silver Age” debut of new versions of the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and the Atom. In the mid-1960s, he took over the editor reigns for the Batman books, overseeing that revitalization of that franchise. In the early 1970s, he did that again with the Superman family of books. What makes the Schwartz books stand out, particularly on titles like The Flash or The Atom, is that the stories were based in science, not just in fiction. The characters were scientists in their civilian lives. I know as a kid, I learned actual knowledge reading some of these comics. So yes, all Julie Schwartz edited books should be showcased, and The Atom is a great place to start!

Footnotes: The Atom #31 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2.

The Atom #38 was the final issue with Ray Palmer as the solo feature of the title. Beginning with issue #39, the title was renamed The Atom and Hawkman, as Hawkman’s title had just been canceled. The Atom and Hawkman ran for seven issues before it was canceled as well. Parts of those seven issues can be found in Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2. Excuse me for a moment while I get very angry with DC Comics. See, for The Atom and Hawkman #40, #41, #43, and #44, the two title characters have separate stories. However, Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2 only reprints the Hawkman stories from those issues. That means that the Atom stories from issues #40, #41, #43, and #44 have not been reprinted! These were 10-12 page stories, so that would have meant 40-50 to include those four Atom stories, either in the Hawkman Showcase or this Atom Showcase.

If you like this volume, try: the All-New Atom series that debuted in 2006 from Gail Simone and John Byrne. In this series, we meet Ryan Choi, an Asian-American protege of Ray Palmer. Choi has recently moved to Ivy Town in hopes of taking Ray Palmer’s position at the university. Discovering some of Palmer’s notes, Choi tracks down one of the old size-changing belts used by the Atom. Developing a new costume, Choi takes on the name of the Atom, to further fill the void of Ray Palmer’s absence from Ivy Town. This series ran for 25 issues, and almost all of the series has been collected into four trade paperbacks. Choi was a fresh character that truly paid homage to the Atom of the 1960s, where the science was just as important as the fiction. Sadly, Choi was not brought into the “New 52” universe, so tracking down this series is your best bet to discover the character.

Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 2

Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 2

First Published: June 2008

Contents: The Flash #120 (May 1961) to #140 (November 1963)

Key Creator Credits: John Broome, Carmine Infantino, Joe Giella, Murphy Anderson, and others

Key First Appearances: the Top, Henry Allen, Nora Allen, Abra Kadabra, Professor Ira West, Dexter Myles, Professor Zoom/Reverse Flash, Heat Wave

Story Continues From: Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 1

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 3

Overview: Moving like a bolt of lightning, Barry Allen protects Central City as the fastest man alive, the Flash! With one of the most intriguing rogues gallery of any hero, the Flash fights colorful foes on his Earth as well as other Earths! What, other Earths you ask? Yes, sit back and enjoy this read, as we will be crossing dimensions to other earths. Welcome to Showcase Presents The Flash Vol. 2.

Picking up where we left things off with the last collection, the Flash still has to face off each month against the likes of Captain Boomerang, Gorilla Grodd, and the Mirror Master. But lets add some more names to his growing list of foes. The Top gives the Flash someone that can fight him with similar speeds; Heat Wave serves as a counterpart (and partner) to Captain Cold; and Abra Kadabra uses future science to become a modern day magician and thief. But the Flash’s greatest threat zooms into the picture as the Reverse Flash (a.k.a. Professor Zoom), an evil doppelganger to Barry Allen. Thankfully, Barry still gets some help from the Elongated Man and Kid Flash, who is sporting a new yellow costume which is totally lost on those of us reading these in the black & white Showcase Presents editions.

But the most important comic in this volume (and perhaps the most important comic published by DC Comics since Showcase #4) is The Flash #123. Barry Allen finds out that if he vibrates his body at a certain frequency, he can cross over to a parallel earth. Instead of being in Central City, the Flash finds himself in Keystone City, home to his favorite comic book hero, the Jay Garrick Flash. Locating his idol up in a phone book, Barry arrives on the Garrick doorstep and comes face to face with the Golden Age Flash. Barry appearance encourages Jay to dust off his helmet and get back into his fighting togs, and we now have Flashs on two Earths. Jay Garrick would appear in multiple issues, including a team-up with Barry where they rescue Jay’s teammates from the Justice Society of America. Though it is not named until Justice League of America #21, this is Earth-Two, and a new continuity is born in DC Comics.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: This is a must own volume, in my humble opinion. As entertaining as the Flash stories are during this period, the historical importance of Gardner Fox re-introducing Jay Garrick and subsequently the Justice Society had a huge impact on DC Comics. Fox started developing a continuity to the stories that had been superficial at best with the publisher in years past. The work started here became the framework for uniting the various DC comics into one shared universe.

Footnotes: The Elongated Man stories from The Flash #124, #130, #134, and #138 are also reprinted in Showcase Presents Elongated Man Vol. 1.

While Joan Williams had been the steady girlfriend of Jay Garrick in the 1940s and 1950s, it was their appearance in The Flash #123 where we learned that the two had finally gotten married and settled down into a nice house in the suburbs.

If you like this volume, try: tracking down the Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups trade paperbacks from 2005 and 2007. With the success of the Jay Garrick Flash appearing with Barry Allen, the DC Universe books from Gardner Fox started teaming up the Silver Age characters with their Golden Age counterparts. Alan Scott appeared with Hal Jordan in the pages of Green Lantern, and Al Pratt teamed with Ray Palmer in The Atom. Other books featured Justice Society characters, such as Doctor Fate & Hourman or Starman & Black Canary teaming up in the pages of The Brave and the Bold before it became a Batman team-up title. While some of these issues can be found in other Showcase Presents Volumes, these two trades are a handy resource to put all of the these issues in two collections.

Showcase Presents Green Lantern Vol. 3

Showcase Presents Green Lantern Vol. 3

First Published: May 2008

Contents: Green Lantern #39 (September 1965) to #59 (March 1968)

Key Creator Credits: John Broome, Gil Kane, Sid Greene, Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson, and others

Key First Appearances: Krona, Major Disaster, Princess Ramia, Zborra, Charlie Vicker, Guy Gardner

Story Continues From: Showcase Presents Green Lantern Vol. 2

Story Continues In: Showcase Presents Green Lantern Vol. 4

Overview: In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s light! With that, let’s dive into Showcase Presents Green Lantern Vol. 3.

Green Lantern is an interesting title of the era, as any type of story seems reasonable with this character. From traveling to the future or to parallel universes; or roaming the vast reaches of space to battling criminals in Coast City — it all works with the Hal Jordan character. In many ways, Green Lantern is the definitive science-fiction character of the 1960s.

Having worked with him in the Justice League-Justice Society meetings, Green Lantern has a series of solo team-ups with Green Lantern of Earth-2 in this collection. Alan Scout’s ring is powered by magic, and is vulnerable to anything made of wood, which is in complete contrast to Hal Jordan’s will-powered ring that is vulnerable to anything yellow. Let’s just hope that these two do not have to face crooks armed with yellow baseball bats.

Gil Kane’s art is the true star of the show in this volume. Although Kane’s career spans 50+ years, it is his work on Green Lantern that remains among the most-memorable of his career. This volume is an excellent example of his artistic brilliance.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: To date, each volume in this line is better than the previous. At this point, the creators (John, Gil, and Gardner) have fully established the character and his world. Now, we see Green Lantern’s universe expand, with team-ups with the Flash and Zatanna, and with the introductions of Alan Scott and Guy Gardner. (John Stewart fans, be patient – his time is coming!) As with the prior volumes, Green Lantern remains one of the titles most-impacted by the lack of color in the Showcase Presents line. Thankfully, the Silver Age comics were very diligent in explaining the Green Lantern ring’s weakness to anything yellow each and every time it occurs. Anyway, I think this would be a good spot to pick up Green Lantern if you haven’t so far. In particular, this should be a must own volume for Gil Kane fans!

Footnotes: After making appearances in The Flash and in Justice League of America, the Earth-2 Green Lantern, Alan Scott, finally makes an appearance in Green Lantern #40. Alan Scott, along with his pal Doiby Dickles, would make frequent appearances in Green Lantern going forward.

If you like this volume, try: the Green Lantern: Sector 2814 series of trade paperbacks from the last few years. These books collect the Green Lantern title from the 1980s – before, during, and following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Hal Jordan finds that he needs to walk away from his role as defender of Sector 2814. But two men – John Stewart and Guy Gardner – step forward to take on the mantle as Green Lantern of Earth. Three volumes have been released so far, collecting the work from Len Wein, Dave Gibbons, Steve Englehart, Paul Kupperberg, Joe Staton, and others. These books are an easy way to explore some great Green Lantern Corps stories that often get overlooked.