Friday, March 30, 2007

Fetish Crisis! Tracking Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups

I’ve been enjoying reading the Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups Vol. 2 over the last week or so. These are familiar stories to longtime DC readers of course, but I’m reading many of these for the first time.

Well, sort of... Much of it is familiar even if I don’t recall reading it before. Many of the storylines have been referred to in other comics, and many key images or panels have also been reprinted as excerpts in books and magazines and the internet which I’ve seen over a period of time.

The first volume is a different matter as it’s mostly material which is quite familiar to me. Truth is some of it I’ve only read for the first time in the last 5 years or so, but regardless, it’s an altogether different reading experience. Seeing the stories laid out in chronological order is particularly welcome. And it’s really a case of part reading, part browsing, part ‘refresher’, and all utterly and luxuriously indulgent – frankly, it’s a fanboy fetish!

One thing that occurred to me as I was browsing through them is that most of these stories also happen to be featured on the K.G. Murray covers.

There’s something appealing to me in seeing well-known images in a new setting or context. For example, the two Dr. Fate and Hourman Showcase covers by Murphy Anderson are quite famous and beloved by fans, and there’s something which appeals to me in seeing the Tip Top banner above those images, the pre-decimal pricing, the Superman Presents mascot. Even with the Showcases in my hands a mental overlay of the Tip Top banner imposes itself without conscious effort.

Oops! Another fetish!

Anyway, thought it might be a bit of fun to list the K.G. Murray reprints of the contents of Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups Vol. 1 TPB:

Flash and Golden Age Flash: Flash of Two Worlds!
The Flash #123, September 1961
The Hundred Comic #65, March 1962
Giant Flash Album #3, January 1966

Flash and Golden Age Flash: Double Danger on Earth!
The Flash #129, June 1962
The Hundred Comic #75, January 1963
Giant Flash Album #6, January 1969

Flash and Golden Age Flash: Vengeance of the Immortal Villain!
The Flash #137, June 1963
The Hundred Comic #86, November 1963
World's Finest Comic Monthly #92, December 1972

Flash and Golden Age Flash: Invader from the Dark Dimension!
The Flash #151, March 1964
World's Finest Comic Monthly #5, September 1965

Dr. Fate and Hourman: Soloman Grundy Goes on a Rampage!
Showcase #55, March 1965
Tip Top Comic Monthly #2, June 1965
Super Adventure Comic #71, November 1975

Dr. Fate and Hourman: Perils of the Psycho-Pirate!
Showcase #56, May 1965
Tip Top Comic Monthly #5, September 1965

Green Lantern and Golden Age Green Lantern: Secret Origin of the Guardians!
Green Lantern #40, October 1965
Wonder Comic Monthly #97, May 1973

Starman and Black Canary: Mastermind of Menaces!
The Brave and the Bold #61, September-October 1965
All Favourites Comic #52, January 1966

Super Adventure #72, January 1976

Hourman: The Hour Hourman Died!
The Spectre #7, November December 1968
Tip Top Comic Monthly #52, August 1969
World's Finest Comic Monthly #79, November 1971

I have not listed all the US reprints but of course some of the Australian reprints are sourced from US reprints. The relative dates are a guide as to whether they are sourced from original or subsequent printings.

Secret Origin of the Guardians! is the anomalous one in this regard. I am unaware of a 1960’s Australian reprint. Green Lantern was one of the DC titles not regularly published in the K.G. Murray reprints in the 1960’s. There were reprints of Green Lantern appearances in Showcase reprinted in All Favourites Comic, but the material from the Green Lantern title would not be reprinted in any substantial form until the 1970’s series Green Lantern Album and The Original Green Lantern – but this is a story for a future blog.

I was talking to a recent acquaintance on the weekend who has all of the original issues. I mentioned in passing that I could see him devouring the TPB – I just assumed the regular rationalisations: reading copy, spare, always wanted one… He told me he didn’t bother to buy it as he already has the all the issues. Quite sensible of course. Admirable restraint. But I’m betting this might just prompt him to sneak a few stray K.G. Murray’s into his collection if he comes across them. Especially if no one’s watching. Or, maybe moreso if there’s a risk in being caught out.

It’s the fetish factor.
Update: Secret Origin of the Guardians! was indeed reprinted, in Wonder Comic Monthly #97.

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