Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mighty Comic # 42: The Parallel World Factor and the Desire for Geekoscopies

I picked up a small batch of Mighty Comic’s a couple of months ago, including the Mighty Comic #42 pictured above. This copy is missing the back cover, the spine is ripped, it’s riddled with creases, edge tears and stains, the splash page has a name stamped on it, and if that wasn’t enough to turn off any prospective purchaser, get this: it is missing over a dozen pages.

But I gotta say, despite all this, this issue has really caught my eye. Sounds crazy, but it’s as simple as this: I still get a kick out seeing K.G. Murray covers for the first time.

Over the last few years we K.G. Murray fans have been spoilt for information by James’ site with its wonderful ever-expanding index and cover gallery, and our own little spin-off networks, sharing info and scans and trading issues. All of this has been a wonderful boon of course.

But strange as it is to say, there’s been an unexpected tradeoff, and that is the diminishing surprise factor.

There’s a few I have a hankering to discover. Superman Supacomic #7 comes immediately to mind. I’d like to confirm my guess for Tip Top Comic Monthly #8. And Mighty Comic #6 hasn’t turned up at all that I can recall. There’s a few Hundred’s, Century’s, Colossals and Five-Score’s I haven’t seen. Offhand I would guess there’s 20-odd issues I haven’t seen from the core post-1956 series I’m interested in, and most if not all would be pre-decimal issues.

Which explains why I was so pleased to come across this poor specimen. I recognize the Mike Sekowsky cover from Justice League of America #23, but it’s still a kick seeing US images reprinted in Australian editions with the Mighty Comic (or insert any title!) masthead – I call it the Parallel World Factor in which everything is exactly the same apart from minor yet critical differences. A familiar trope to DC readers I’m sure…

It also maybe explains why I don’t mind so much that this copy is incomplete to the extent that I cannot even provide full contents details. There’s still something left to the imagination and for future discovery. Sure, there’s a couple of Westerns in there and a Challengers of the Unknown reprint. And apart from the Justice League feature the most noteworthy reprint is probably the Eclipso reprint of Hideout on Fear Island by Alex Toth, which has also been reprinted in All Star Adventure Comic #95 as noted in my first Alex Toth Reprint Stocktake a few months ago.

But I’m not in any rush to find out the rest of the contents for this issue. There’s plenty of other issues queued up in the junkyard lab. I’m happy to wait for a complete copy to find its way to me, and at that point I’ll get the forensics instruments out and put the white gloves on and give it a good ol’ geekoscopy.

PS This was written a couple of months ago, and for some reason I neglected to put it on the blog – I think it was lost in the mix when I took a break. Since then I’ve found a Tip Top #8, and a new fresh copy of Mighty #42, and even a copy of Mighty #6. And the image above is actually my new copy, the old copy having been passed along to another desperado. And the thorough geekoscopy will just have to wait a little longer.

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