One of the e-mail lists to which I belong recently included a discussion of CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE and the suggestion that DC should publish the contents as a set of trade paperbacks. It is not such a wild idea, especially when you consider some of the other material that gets turned into collections these days.
Back when the DC Implosion occurred, collections of comic book reprints were rare — there are probably more published in a month today than there were in the entire decade of the 70s. And given the single-mindedness of the industry back then – all comic books are 32-pagers printed on newsprint on a letterpress (with the exception of the square-bound “annuals”) – the idea of a market that would support such a volume was unheard of.
These days, however, particularly as the publishers seem to be catering to the hard-core fans (sometimes at the expense of developing new customers), a set of CCC volumes (or even “ THE ESSENTIAL CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE” featuring the material that never saw print) could probably attract enough readers. Not only that, in keeping with the look of the originals, they could publish the material in black and white and save a ton of money on color separations.
Will they do it? Stranger things have happened…
CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE #2, in the same blank-blue-paper-cover format as #1, opens with a “cover” by Alex Saviuk showing a business-suited guy (sometimes suggested to be either Joe Orlando or E. Nelson Bridwell, but actually just a generic numbers-cruncher) kicking Omac, Steel, Shade, Prez and other characters out of 75 Rockefeller Plaza.
That building, which is still Time-Warner corporate headquarters, bears the sign “Unemployment, Inc.” and was DC’s home before the moves to 666 Fifth Avenue, 1325 Avenue of the Americas and 1700 Broadway. It’s been pointed out that DC has been slowly but surely moving west on 53rd Street across Manhattan and could eventually end up with offices on a barge in the middle of the Hudson River.
Unlike the first issue, which sported a 10c price (and an annual subscription cost of $10,000), #2 jumped to a dollar (but subscriptions were reduced to $7.65… in West German marks only).
The intro page also thanks “Neil of the Magic Finger deep down at Warner Duplicating who kept the spirit of PLOP! Alive when Paul Kupperberg came down with about a ream of original art and asked for 35 collated copies. Neil’s hat actually flew off his head and, when he fell straight backward, an audible ‘Plop!’ sound was to be heard.”
KAMANDI #60 leads off this volume with a cover by Rich Buckler and Jack Abel. “Into the Vortex” by Jack C. Harris, Dick Ayers and Danny Bulanadi (misspelled as “Bulandi”) is Chapter 2 of Kamandi’s “vortex adventure” and has him being pulled through an opening in the wondrous western wall. The Voice of the Vortex explains all about parallel Earths and alternate histories and advises Kamandi that “YOU are the pivotal point of infinities uncountable!”
Meanwhile, Dr. Canus, Mylock Bloodstalker, Doile, Spirit, and Pretty Pyra are boomeranged to a wall by the murderous Kangarats. The three mutants, Ben, Steve and Renzi , transform into a gigantic energy beast which drives off the Kangarats before they can kill their captives. Then the energy beast fights with Pyra’s spaceship, which is actually an alien creature. The outcome of this battle will result in either the possible death of Ben or the possibility that Pyra will never be able to return to her home world.
Back in the vortex, Kamandi watches his life pass before him. He decides that, of all the possible worlds he could journey to, he wants to return to his own. The Voice tells him to return via the Dream Stream. Moments later, a pair of odd-looking characters named Brute and Glob grab Kamandi, call him “Jed,” and announce they are taking him to The Sandman. There’s a space for a “Next Issue” blurb, but none is in place.
The balance of the issue is “The New Origin of OMAC” by Jim Starlin. In this 8-pager, a videotape prepared by Quair Tox, chief science officer of the planet Vision in the star system Mira, retells and revamps the origin of the One-Man Army Corps. Other than that, it adds what amounts to a “coming attractions” for where the series will lead and introduces a new villain named Dr. Skuba. Further chapters were never completed, so we never learn about this epic battle to come.
What we do find out, though, is about Kamandi’s meeting with the Sandman, but that will have to wait till next week’s column.
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ:
1. Which member of the X-men was once known as “Beautiful Windrider?”
2. Highbrow Entertainment’s first publication featured what Erik Larsen creation?
3. If the title of a certain Lionel Ritchie hit is said, what magical character would be summoned?
4. Timely’s first magazine to star the Torch and Sub-Mariner was named what?
5. Marvel “invited” us to do what in the title to this book featuring Man-Thing and Morbius?
6. Atlas Comics (of the 70s) introduced a world of bloodsuckers in which title?
7. Name Bob Burden’s hot-headed vegetable.
8. Superman’s SECOND cover appearance came in what magazine?
9. Among those in this Fawcett “answer” to WORLD’S FINEST were Spy Smasher, Bulletman, and Captain Marvel.
10. Merlin gave Sir Justin’s horse the ability to fly; name the steed.
11. Please tell me whose base of operations was Calvin College.
12. Lords in an ’86 DC miniseries hailed from where?
13. Egad!! Doc Wackey and his talking monkey Gabby often helped what hero?
14. Rob Connors became what hero, in part because of a falling radio antenna?
FROM THE E-MAILBOX:
Just a quick addition to your notes on Doctor Polaris in the Black Lightning chapter (in the column CANCELLED COMICS CAVALCADE Part 2): This “out of continuity” version of Dr. P. appeared previously in DC SUPER-STARS #10, in which the heroes play baseball against the villains. In it, Polaris is teamed with the Tattooed Man (who was wearing his “old” costume). An editorial note mentions that the explanation for both apparently being out of sync with continuity will be explained in a future issue of SECRET SOCIETY. (Of course, that could’ve been the excuse used by the editor, who didn’t want the pages redrawn…) In any case, it doesn’t seem likely that Denny O’Neil is the originator of this Polaris.
Edward J. Bebee [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Well, Edward, I wrote that issue of DC SUPER-STARS and the editorial note does not refer to any specific future story. The Doctor Polaris in it was intended to be the real guy, but artist Dick Dillin was supplied with old reference and, as you surmised, Julie Schwartz didn’t want to bother having the pages redrawn.
Whatever happened to Roger McKenzie? The only thing I know about him is that he wrote Frank Miller’s initial DAREDEVIL issues. Beyond that, nothing… until you mentioned him in your CCC story.
Let me add that it’s great to see you at SBC and on the web (away from AOL). Yours was the first “comics name” I could remember — “Hey, it’s Bob Rozakis, the Answer Man!” Those Direct Currents pages take me back. Keep those answers coming!
Jose de Leon [email@example.com]
Jose, I did some checking around, but have not been able to come up with any information on Roger’s current whereabouts. If anybody out there has some info, send it along to BobRo@silverbulletcomicbooks.com.
Edward and Jose have each earned themselves an extra 10% off (on top of any other SBC discounts currently being offered) on anything they order from SBC this week. If you have an interesting question or comment (and want to save a few bucks on comics), send me an “e” at the address above.
That’ll do it till next week, except to follow up with T. Jan Miller: Knicks 83, Heat 82 in the seventh game. Bring on the Pacers!
2. Savage Dragon
3. Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt [“Say You, Say Me”]
4. MARVEL COMICS
5. ADVENTURE INTO FEAR
6. PLANET OF VAMPIRES
7. Flaming Carrot
8. ACTION COMICS, of course, but not until #7!
9. AMERICA’S GREATEST COMICS
10. Victory (then Winged Victory)
11. The Golden Age Atom
12. The Ultra-Realm
14. The Comet
This week’s theme? Walt Whitman’s “Oh Captain, My Captain.” Each of the answers contains a word that, when combined with “Captain,” becomes the name of a comic book character.
[For more of BobRo’s trivia, check out the daily Anything Goes Trivia]
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.