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  1. #1
    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. destro's Avatar
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    Default Sea Devils, Cave Carlson, Rip Hunter, etc..

    I've never really tried any of these, also stuff like Challengers of the Unknown. Or any of the other 4 man team non-super hero silver age DC adventure books.

    I'd like to pick up a collection of 1 or 2 of them. I can't afford them all, so I'm looking for opinions on what the best ones of them were. Please feel free to include any I've forgotten to name. I've already tried Mystery in Space, Suicide Squad and Doom Patrol.

    Thanks in advance.
    Life looks better in black and white.

  2. #2
    Senior Member prince hal's Avatar
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    I'm a sucker for all of these, but one I've always enjoyed was the Rip Hunter series b/c I love time travel stories and history. Plenty of good stuff in the Challengers series, too, from the Kirby issues early on to the Doom Patrol-esque mid-60s stuff. More like a Marvel series than a DC series at times, a la DP.

    Cave Carson and Suicide Squad didn't have runs nearly as long as the others.

    Tomahawk has elements of these adventure series, too, despite its setting. Tomahawk and his Rangers (a little like Fury and the Howlers at times, especially in their imperviousness to bullets) encountered giant purple gorillas, monsters of all shapes and sizes, underwater Indian tribes, and of course, dinosaurs.

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    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. destro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prince hal View Post
    I'm a sucker for all of these, but one I've always enjoyed was the Rip Hunter series b/c I love time travel stories and history. Plenty of good stuff in the Challengers series, too, from the Kirby issues early on to the Doom Patrol-esque mid-60s stuff. More like a Marvel series than a DC series at times, a la DP.

    Cave Carson and Suicide Squad didn't have runs nearly as long as the others.

    Tomahawk has elements of these adventure series, too, despite its setting. Tomahawk and his Rangers (a little like Fury and the Howlers at times, especially in their imperviousness to bullets) encountered giant purple gorillas, monsters of all shapes and sizes, underwater Indian tribes, and of course, dinosaurs.
    I've always avoided Tomahawk because I thought it would just be a lesser version of Jonah Hex in a slightly different setting, but that sounds kind of interesting.
    Life looks better in black and white.

  4. #4
    mil't 'sthete&consumerist
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    prince hal, destro, Cei-U!, and md62, as background on me, I would observe titles I didn't read in ads or stores, at least their covers. The only sff I ever noted in Tomahawk was the ice being on the cover of #100; it's news to me the book had anything more than Native American adventures, of which race I assume the title character was. Cave Carson I learned from you had many trial issues in the audition titles, more than I noticed. Cei-U!, since you are obviously plugged into this material contemporaneously, how many issues of "...War Stories" did the SS appear in before it went to general dinosaur tales? I read all but didn't notice switch. I agree with you about the art as I wasn't much for careful reading in those days; I can't recall more than scanning the pages of Rip and didn't even buy the try-out issues, which I now wish I had. Time travel never grabbed me long; the ability was fascinating, but then my interest hinged on where one landed, at least in those days. Am I correct that these DC's did not credit artists on their title pages and less so the farther back ones goes? md62, I agree with you on Challs (and the DP). But I can see no use for reprints in b & w and minus the original accoutrements. I'm amazed anyone but libraries would buy those trade paperbacks not in color.

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    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. destro's Avatar
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    ^ Just to address your last point, I have a couple of reasons for getting the b/w collections.

    1st, I enjoy the comics without color. I'm willing to read them with or without. Sure it's nice to have the orignal and be able to read the letters page, look at the old ads, full color, etc.. but it's simply not always possible, especially on older books. Also you can see the art a bit more clearly without coloring if that's your thing.

    Which brings me to my 2nd reason. Money. I can't afford the back issues and some of the color collections tend to be extremely pricey as well. The b/w collections are something I can realistically afford.
    Life looks better in black and white.

  6. #6
    mil't 'sthete&consumerist
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    destro, understood. I do appreciate the financial angle, but couldn't you buy ratty copies for only the reading aspect? Myself, the only time I ever bought b & w was the old EC collections in regular-sized paperbacks, and that was just after the advent of the Beatles here and well before I ever bought coms. The b & w aspect is the decisive reason I would never buy Creepy etc. though I had bought its off-brand gory competition until I tired of it such that I never saved them as a group. Incidentally, when I ceased my work in '76 I was trying to buy lousy issues of Adventure to get the inner Green Arrow stories etc.. Will that not work now if I didn't finish? I don't see why companies wouldn't just print color books. It isn't as if the annuals that had color reprints were expensive so why would a book be? I view them as a gyp.
    Last edited by BDiogenes; 06-02-2012 at 03:54 PM. Reason: forgot item

  7. #7
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    I love the Essential/Showcase format, as I've noted many times in the past. The average volume reprints between 20 and 25 comics for a price less than half what you'd pay for even beater copies of many of these books (assuming you could even find them in *any* condition, let alone for a dollar or less). And I love the black and white art. As far as I'm concerned, you can't really appreciate Kirby/Wood, Heath, Kubert and many of the other artists mentioned unless you see them unsullied by the crappy coloring of the Silver Age. Beautiful art and fun stories in an affordable, practical format? Certainly not my definition of a gyp!

    By the way, BDiogenes, the original Suicide Squad stories ran in The Brave and the Bold #25-27 and #37-39, not Star-Spangled War. The notion that the Suicide Squad and Star-Spangled's Suicide Squadron are connected is a post-Crisis retcon introduced in Secret Origins #14.

    Cei-U!
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    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. destro's Avatar
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    I suppose I could go that route. But it's just not as big of an issue for me as it seems to be for you. Maybe because I spent a lot of time reading Savage Sword of Conan and buy 70s Monster Magazine back issues as a kid, b/w art has always been a normal thing to me.

    There are others here who would probably share your opinions on this, but it's no big deal to me.
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  9. #9
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDiogenes View Post
    The only sff I ever noted in Tomahawk was the ice being on the cover of #100; it's news to me the book had anything more than Native American adventures, of which race I assume the title character was.
    Nope ... though at the end of the series, when it was retitled "Son of Tomahawk" for the last 10 issues or so, we learn that he'd married one, I guess after his fighting days were pretty much over.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
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  10. #10
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    Well, since I've read all these stories, I'm a good one to ask. Although they have their individual specialties, the Sea Devils, the Suicide Squad, Rip Hunter's chrononauts and Cave Carson's spelunkers are essentially the same characters and face the same assortment of monsters, aliens and lame-ass costumed villains that plagued the Challs and the Blackhawks (though the Rip Hunter stories are at least amusing for their total disregard for actual history). The real selling point for these books is the art: Russ Heath, Irv Novick, Joe Kubert, Andru/Esposito and Gene Colan (Sea Devils); Andru/Esposito (Suicide Squad); Bruno Premiani, Kubert, Mort Meskin and Lee Elias (Cave Carson); Ruben Moreira, Mike Sekowsky, Kubert again, Andru Esposito again, Nick Cardy, Alex Toth and the criminally overlooked Bill Ely (Rip Hunter). I'd suggest you start with whichever title's artists most match up to your tastes.

    Cei-U!
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  11. #11
    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. destro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    Well, since I've read all these stories, I'm a good one to ask. Although they have their individual specialties, the Sea Devils, the Suicide Squad, Rip Hunter's chrononauts and Cave Carson's spelunkers are essentially the same characters and face the same assortment of monsters, aliens and lame-ass costumed villains that plagued the Challs and the Blackhawks (though the Rip Hunter stories are at least amusing for their total disregard for actual history). The real selling point for these books is the art: Russ Heath, Irv Novick, Joe Kubert, Andru/Esposito and Gene Colan (Sea Devils); Andru/Esposito (Suicide Squad); Bruno Premiani, Kubert, Mort Meskin and Lee Elias (Cave Carson); Ruben Moreira, Mike Sekowsky, Kubert again, Andru Esposito again, Nick Cardy, Alex Toth and the criminally overlooked Bill Ely (Rip Hunter). I'd suggest you start with whichever title's artists most match up to your tastes.

    Cei-U!
    I summon the toss-up!
    Thanks Cei-U. I hadn't even considered looking at it that way. Judging by that list I'm thinking Sea Devils might be a good start for me. Rip Hunter is a book I've always had some interest in ever since I saw the "George Washington is really a traitor" cover.

    Is Captain Storm any good?
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  12. #12
    Michael md62's Avatar
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    Challengers of the Unknown would be my pick. I tried many of these series but the Challengers (& the Doom Patrol) were the only ones that held my interest.

  13. #13
    Senior Member foxley's Avatar
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    Personally I'd go with Sea Devils. The art was gorgeous.

  14. #14
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by destro View Post
    Is Captain Storm any good?
    Like a lot of Kanigher-scripted war series, it's essentially the same story told over and over again. It's well-done, especially the Irv Novick art, but monotonous if read one issue after the other. I'd try an issue to see if you like it but, really, Storm doesn't get interesting until he joins the Losers.

    Cei-U!
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    It's hardly a secret that something is badly wrong with me. - Dan B. in the Underworld
    I am ... a condescending prick sometimes. But I usually mean to be. - Paradox
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  15. #15
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    Like a lot of Kanigher-scripted war series, it's essentially the same story told over and over again. It's well-done, especially the Irv Novick art, but monotonous if read one issue after the other!
    I never really realized it as a kid, when I was reading "Enemy Ace" as it came out in Star-Spangled War Stories, but I grasped pretty quickly when I got the Showcase Presents collection a few years ago that if I were to take a drink every time Von Hammer invoked "the killer skies," I'd be dead of alcohol poisoning inside an hour. (Not that I've been able to drink for the better part of a decade, of course. But still.)
    Last edited by Dan B. in the Underworld; 06-02-2012 at 07:57 AM.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

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