Could you give me a run-down (numbered chronologically) of two recent reprint series: the first is the oft-discussed MILLENNIUM EDITION series (perhaps mentioning how many have the gold-cover variation; I’ve seen ALL-STAR #3 and BATMAN #1). The second would be the recent series of GIANT ANNUAL/80-PAGE GIANT/100-PAGE SUPER-SPECTACULAR replicas (and pseudo-“missing” giants) that featured reprints (I believe the GIANT GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL was the first, though I may be wrong).
— Andrew Hildebrand

This looked like a job for my official unofficial researcher, John Wells, and indeed, John responded with a wealth of information…

Regarding the faux Silver Age annuals (“Just Imagine …” Editions, if you will), you’re remembering correctly. A facsimile of 1961’s SECRET ORIGINS #1 (on sale in January of 1998) had already tested the waters, though.

As part of the promotional efforts for GREEN LANTERN [third series] #100 in June of 1998, DC released GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL [1963] #1. It was a wonderful example of what an Annual from that year might have looked like and they even got Julius Schwartz to edit the book. And the end of the book revealed that the fun wasn’t over. A slightly revised version of the ad for 1960’s SUPERMAN ANNUAL #1 announced that a Replica Edition would be “on sale everywhere August 5, 1998.” And the specials, both real and imagined, have kept on coming.
Here are the chronological lists, to which (please note) I’ve assigned numbers that are nowhere to be found on the comics themselves:

REPLICA EDITION #1 (SECRET ORIGINS [first series] #1), 2 (SUPERMAN ANNUAL #1), 3 (BATMAN ANNUAL #1), 4 (MORE SECRET ORIGINS; actually 80-PAGE GIANT #8), 5 (SGT. ROCK’S PRIZE BATTLE TALES #1), 6 (DC 100-PAGE SUPER-SPECTACULAR #5: LOVE STORIES), 7 (THE FLASH ANNUAL #1) and 8 (SUGAR AND SPIKE #1).

“JUST IMAGINE…” EDITION # 1 (GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL [1963] #1), 2 (TEEN TITANS ANNUAL [1967] #1), 3 (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA 100-PAGE SUPER-SPECTACULAR [1975] #1), 4 (JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA 100-PAGE SUPER-SPECTACULAR [1975] #1), 5 (THE BRAVE & THE BOLD ANNUAL [1969] #1), 6 (SHAZAM! & THE SHAZAM! FAMILY ANNUAL [1953] #1) and 7 (WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL [1967] #1)

And the relative success of these reprint collections likely helped justify the far more ambitious Millennium Edition series. It made its debut in December of 1999, with two facsimile comics being issued each week of the month for a total of ten. And DC continued to publish one per week for the entirety of the year 2000.

Though most of the issues included for reprinting were chosen by DC, they did allow readers to take part in the selection process through monthly polls at their website. Issues selected by on-line voters were DETECTIVE COMICS #395, PLOP! #1, WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #71, FLASH COMICS #1, DETECTIVE COMICS #359, THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #85, ADVENTURE COMICS #61 and SUPERBOY [first series] #1.

Among the most notable issues that failed to turn up amongst the 62 issues are Green Lantern’s debut (All-AMERICAN COMICS #16) and the very first DC comic book, NEW FUN COMICS #1. In each case, it was the presence of non-DC characters (Mutt and Jeff in the former; Oswald the Rabbit in the latter) that seems to have killed their chances at a Millennium Edition. Though a wonderful, well-regarded series, it was not a particularly profitable one for DC and the payment of licensing fees would undoubtedly have been prohibitive.

This is the chronology with, as noted above, numbers that are nowhere to be found on the comics themselves:
MILLENNIUM EDITION # 1 and 2 (ACTION COMICS #1; THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #28), 3 and 4 (DETECTIVE COMICS #27; SANDMAN [second series] #1), 5 and 6 (GREEN LANTERN [second series] #76; SHOWCASE #4), 7 and 8 (MAD #1; CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1), 9 and 10 (THE MAN OF STEEL #1; WILDC.A.T.S. #1), 11 (JLA #1), 12 (WATCHMEN #1), 13 (DETECTIVE COMICS #327), 14 (WHIZ COMICS #2), 15 (GEN13 #1), 16 (SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #1), 17 (ALL-STAR WESTERN #10), 18 (DETECTIVE COMICS #38), 19 (WONDER WOMAN (2) #1) and 20 (HOUSE OF SECRETS #92).

ME # 21 (THE FLASH #123), 22 (YOUNG ROMANCE COMICS #1), 23 (SUPERMAN (1) #76), 24 (NEW GODS #1), 25 (OUR ARMY AT WAR #81), 26 (ALL-STAR COMICS #3), 27 (DETECTIVE COMICS #395), 28 (THE SPIRIT #1), 29 (JUSTICE LEAGUE #1), 30 (HELLBLAZER #1), 31 (PLOP! #1), 32 (ACTION COMICS #252), 33 (SUPERMAN [second series] #75), 34 (WONDER WOMAN (1) #1), 35 (WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #71), 36 (KINGDOM COME #1), 37 (MYSTERIOUS SUSPENSE #1), 38 (HOUSE OF MYSTERY #1), 39 (FLASH COMICS #1) and 40 (POLICE COMICS #1).

ME # 41 (SENSATION COMICS #1), 42 (PREACHER #1), 43 (DETECTIVE COMICS #359), 44 (BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #1), 45 (MILITARY COMICS #1), 46 (MORE FUN COMICS #101), 47 (ADVENTURE COMICS #247), 48 (THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #85), 49 (SAGA OF SWAMP THING #21), 50 (SHOWCASE #22), 51 (SUPERMAN [first series] #1), 52 (ADVENTURE COMICS #61), 53 (THE NEW TEEN TITANS [first series] #1), 54 (DETECTIVE COMICS #225), 55 (MORE FUN COMICS #73), 56 (SHOWCASE #9), 57 (DETECTIVE COMICS #1), 58 (SUPERMAN [first series] #233), 59 (BATMAN#1), 60 (ALL-STAR COMICS #8), 61 (THE SHADOW #1) and 62 (SUPERBOY [first series] #1).

The “gold-cover” issues were chromium editions, limited to a press run of 7500 copies apiece. ALL-STAR COMICS #3 was the first to get this alternate treatment. It was followed by JUSTICE LEAGUE #1, SUPERMAN [first series] #1 and BATMAN #1.


FEEDBACK DEPARTMENT:

It has been suggested that I sometimes allow “mistakes” to creep into the column just so I’ll get more mail. Would I do something like that? In any case, here is some follow-up to last week’s edition…

I have a feeling you’ll get a lot of response on this but … Hal Jordan’s familiar oath actually originated in the Golden Age back in 1943’s GREEN LANTERN #9. Alan Scott continued to use it through the end of his series and didn’t return to the old one until the 1960s when DC needed something to differentiate him from Hal. The “In Brightest Day…” oath was written by famed science fiction author Alfred Bester.

There was at least one other variation, by the way. In 1942’s COMIC CAVALCADE #1, Alan charged his ring while declaring, “Let all power and triumph be mine in whatever right I do!
–John Wells (mikishawm@yahoo.com)

…Check out the panel shown in this link. JSA Members: Green Lantern. Not to mention this bio of Alfred Bester. And here’s a link with the year (1943), although not the actual first appearance of the oath. FILKNET: Mailing Lists Archive.

Good thing Julie Schwartz isn’t online, or he would have been calling you up, yelling “Rozakis! I finally caught you with a mistake!”
— Howard Margolin (DoctorOHM@aol.com)

Since Mr. Schwartz gets hard copies of my columns, I’m sure I’ll hear about it soon enough. [Hi, Julie!]

*****
Woody Allen’s comic book guest shot was with “The Maniaks” in SHOWCASE, not “The Inferior Five” (although both were written by E. Nelson Bridwell and drawn by Mike Sekowsky, I believe).
— Bob Buethe (bobbuethe@hotmail.com)

That’s correct, Bob. Woody Allen appeared in SHOWCASE #71. And both series were indeed by Bridwell and Sekowsky, with Mike Esposito doing the inking.

*****
With regard to the post-Crisis age of Clark Kent, in the NEWSTIME special that was released in the wake of the “Death of Superman,” there was a picture of Clark Kent, who was listed as “missing” and being 34 years old. Since DC has now said that the Doomsday incident was two years ago in DC time, that would make Superman at least 36 years old.
— Howard Margolin (DoctorOHM@aol.com)

Well, since Dick Grayson has aged about a dozen years since he first appeared as Robin, I guess it’s only fair that Supes has gone from 29 to 36, assuming anyone at DC will agree he’s that age now.


MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX:

With the news that Jeff Smith is going to be doing a SHAZAM!: MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL miniseries for DC, what are the chances of us getting a trade paperback collecting the original, legendary Fawcett serial of the same name?
— blakep@heraldguide.com

I took your question straight to Bob Greenberger, DC’s Senior Editor – Collected Editions and he responded: “No such discussion has been held, but one never knows. That was a good question; it’s something we might want to do as we get closer to the mini-series.”

*****
Who said and where did he say… Sacre Bleu!!
— etbooks@macatawa.org

Probably any number of “French” characters in comics over the years. My first choice would be Andre, the dapper member of the Blackhawks. As far as anyone REALLY saying it, while I was Production Director at DC, I would often go to the Ronalds printing plant in Montreal, where French was the predominant language among the pressmen. When asked how much French I spoke, I would always say, “All I have to be able to do is shout ‘Sacre bleu, stop zee press!’ if there’s a really big problem.”

*****
In the DC comics, how do Lana’s parents die?
— cliz@adelphia.net

Apparently of “natural causes.” There has been no definitive story about their demise.

In the Silver Age days of the Superboy strip, Lana’s father, Professor Lewis Lang, was often away on a scientific mission of one sort or another, some of which would result in the Boy of Steel becoming involved. Lana’s mother, on the other hand, was virtually invisible; it was not until some readers asked if she was alive that she started making appearances.

*****
Who is Warren Worthington?
— Brickinthewall88@yahoo.com

The Angel, one of the original X-Men.

*****
Dear Mr. Rozakis,

I hope you can help me, and I thank you ahead of time for your efforts to do so.

I have a policeman co-worker that has told me that he learned that the home-monitor box that many of our truancy problem kids wear around their ankles was inspired by one of Marvel’s Spider-Man comic books. He uses this information in all his little speeches to these students. I would like to help him out by finding out which issue had this great inspiration in it. He seemed to think that it was actually one of Spidey’s enemies who used a similar devise to keep tabs of Spider-Man’s whereabouts. Do you think you could help us determine this? It would be great if we could get our hands on an actual visual to show these kids!

Thank you again for your help.
— Cindy (cimby@msn.com)

Okay, readers, here’s your chance to help ye Answer Man AND a worthwhile endeavor. I have a vague recollection of a story along these lines – perhaps involving the Kingpin? – but that’s all. Anybody?

On that note, I’ll remind you check out my daily Anything Goes Trivia, where I ask the questions and you give the answers. Just jump on over to http://www.wfcomics.com/trivia to check out the question du jour. (Wow! More French!!) And don’t forget to come back here again next week.


Need some answers from the Answer Man?
Ask BobRo at It’s BobRo’s Answer Board.

Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.


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