What comics need to be collected?

What series or stories that have never been collected need to be out there toot sweet?

My picks:
Ambush Bug. Re-read these recently and they still hold up. Funniest “superhero” comic ever.

Kirby and Lee’s Tales of Asgard from Thor. They were collected in a couple of one-shots in the sixties and the eighties, but they really deserve a recolored, retouched deluxe hardcover treatment. IMO, some of Kirby’s best art, but for some reason a very underrated series.

Untold Tales of the Marvel Universe, a back-up series that ran in the first What If, written by Mark Gruenwald and Peter Gillis. Explained a lot of the MU’s origins, from the Celestials to the Eternals to the Inhumans to the Cat People. Lots of fun, but I don’t know if any of the history is still operative nowadays.

The Question, by Denny O’Neill and Denys Cowan. 36 issues, 2 Annuals, and 5 Question Quarterlies. A mature readers title from the late '80s (pre-Vertigo) featuring a character that has more popularity and interest now than ever (thanks in large part to the JLU cartoon) .

Suicide Squad, by John Ostrander. 66 issues of black ops, political intrigue, Cold War danger, damaged antiheroes, and villains occasionally acting heroic. Great character development and stories where every character was expendable and some didn’t come back. Seems like a no-brainer to collect, now that some of Ostrander’s characters and plot threads are resurfacing in JLU, Villains United, and The OMAC project.

Absolutely, and isn’t DC readying a new ongoing Question comic? It’d be a good tie-in.

They did a six-issue miniseries earlier this year (set in Metropolis and featuring Lex Luthor and Lois Lane), but I don’t think an ongoing is planned after that.

Oops, I guess I got confused.

Untold Tales of Spider-Man. The complete run, dang it, not the ultra-rare TPB that only has the first eight issues.

And Strikeforce: Morituri, or at least the first twenty issues of it. A perfect self-contained (but open-ended) story arc. Every issue of that series left me slack-jawed in amazement after reading the latest issue.

SUGAR AND SPIKE–4 “Essentials” style volumes would easily cover the entire run and frankly, Sugar and Spike would look great in B&W. These are classic humor comics by comics giant Sheldon Mayer and are rarer than hell.

SCRIBBLY, SCRIBBLY & THE RED TORNADO–Even rarer. What started as a humorous quasi-autobiographical short in ALL-AMERICAN COMICS (again by great Sheldon Mayer) the first female super-hero “The Red Tornado” was quickly introduced. I’ve only seen about 12 pages of these strips ever–they’re that rare. For historical reasons alone, these should be reprinted. The fact that they’re Sheldon Mayer and therefore most likely excellent is icing on the cake.

Bob Bolling’s L’IL ARCHIE–What Carl Barks was to Disney’s ducks, Bolling was to Archie. L’IL ARCHIE 1-36, plus 2 or 3 try-out books were masterpieces. Unfortunately the recent TPB seemed to randomly pick stories out of a hat–certainly the selection of stories isn’t what I would have picked if I’d wanted to showcase the best stuff.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA 139-146, 149-150. Steve Englehart’s run. Key issues for the DC Universe and still being referenced. 140-141 tied Kirby’s one-issue Manhunter book into the Guardians, introduced the Manhunter-bots, etc. 142 is the next appearance of Mantis following her marriage to the space-tree in GIANT SIZE AVENGERS #4 (I’m honestly surprised that Marvel didn’t make noise about it). 144 is the story which inspired NEW FRONTIERS, 146 had Hawkgirl and Red Tornado II joining the JLA and 149-150 resolved a bunch of plot-threads from the earlier issues as well as fixing the “Snapper” Carr situation and is the last appearance of Dr. Light before he was brain-damaged. Great, great stuff.

Ditko’s BLUE BEETLE and QUESTION: so you can see the real unbutchered versions of the characters–which will hopefully inform any new versions of the characters. Plus beautiful Ditko art.

HAWK & DOVE, SHADE: THE CHANGING MAN, and THE CREEPER–again, all sorts of Ditko goodness.

“PROTO-MARVEL MASTERWORKS”–if you look through Overstreet (which really can’t be trusted for stuff like this) under most of Marvel’s monster books for the late '50s, you’ll see entries like “Proto-Iron Man issue” or “Prototype Professor X appearance”. Most of few of these that I’ve seen are uber-lame: a bald telepath is not necessarily a Professor X prototype. But it would still be interesting to see all of these reprinted.

ATOMIC KNIGHTS–Reprint the 20 or so original Atomic Knights stories that were featured every third issue of STRANGE ADVENTURES–great stories, high weirdness: In a post-nuclear holocaust environment, a brave band of six adventurers in shining armor, riding giant mutated dalmations travel the land righting wrongs and doing good.

Oops–and an Elongated Man book–reprint his first appearances in FLASH, his occasional back-up story in FLASH and his whole DETECTIVE run.

Ditto with Martian Manhunter–Reprint his whole DETECTIVE COMICS backup run as well as his HOUSE OF MYSTERY run.

How “in character” was the brain damage thing? I’ve always assumed that he turned up smrt in JLA, and then started being written dumb in Teen Titans. IOW, the current story is an in continuity explanation for an authorial choice.

Agree about Ambush Bug The issue with the hall of justly fforgotten DC characters was hilarious. My favorite page shows Ambush Bug as sdrawn by other artists. The panel for Gil Kane has the trademark up-the-nose shot. Ambush Bug doesn’t have a nose, but for this one panel, they gave him a nose, just so Gil Kane could look up it.

I think they need to collect the Phil Foglio Angel and the Ape four-issue run from back about 1990 into a reprint. A classic! (Maybe his other DC efforts, too. I’ve only seen the first issue he did of Stanley and his Monster, so I don’t know if that held up.)

It’s a really good retcon IMO–he was a cool bad-guy prior to (more-or-less) the Wolfman-Perez NEW TEEN TITANS, then Wolfman-Perez (and then John Ostrander in SUICIDE SQUAD) made him become a total moron and comic relief. There was fanboy assumption that Psimon had done something to Dr. Light to make him stupid, but this retcon works almost as well. There’s a clear point where the character’s personality completely changes for good–once Wolfman-Perez made Light a moron, we never saw the smart/scary Dr. Light again until now.

Cal–STANLEY AND HIS MONSTER got even better following the first issue. Frankly, I’d say STANLEY’s a better series than ANGEL although I love 'em both. Foglio rocks. They’d be well worth your time to get.

Heck, collect both series in one volume.

That most of Sandman Mystery Theatre remains uncollected is a crying shame. This is one series I’d prefer to see them reprint in B&W rather than its original (badly done - even the artist has gone on record as hating it) color, but I’ll take it in any form we can get it. Large swaths of Hellblazer would benefit from that treatment, too. Some of the best Hellblazer, particularly the early Jamie Delano material, cries out for being collected into TPB.

One of the most glaring pre-Vertigo mature readers omissions is Nathaniel Dusk, Private Investigator. It’s difficult to track down, which is a shame. The first miniseries is good, and what I’ve read of the second is fantastic - and not just because of the lovely Gene Colan art.

The recent Beware the Creeper miniseries from Vertigo is one of the best minis that line has put out for a while, and sadly, it remains uncollected. As uneven as it was, I’d like to see at least the first miniseries of Midnight, Mass collected as well. There’ve been tons of announcements of a collected edition of that title, but they never amount to anything. I wouldn’t mind seeing Vertigo Pop!: London collected too.

Although they ended too soon, and abruptly, I can’t help but want to see Chase, Chronos, and Vext in readily available collected form. The odd-yet-interesting Justice, Inc., which consisted of two Prestige format minis with atypical art from Kyle Baker, would be a nice addition to a hypothetical TPB list as well.

Chronos! Vext! … Actually, I don’t need the TPBs, I bought both as they came out, but still…

“Unbutchered”? You’re talking about my favorite characters here, and I like them so much for what came after Ditko, particularly in the '80s and onward. However, a DC Archive with all the Ditko Beetle/Question stuff is tentatively planned for 2006, since the first Archive that collected the old Charlton Comics ended with Captain Atom #82, and Beetle first appeared in Captain Atom #83. This will be the first Archive I ever buy, once it comes out.

Add the rest of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis’ well-loved Justice League run to this list. Only two TPBs exist: Justice League: A New Beginning (#1-7) and Justice League International: The Secret Gospel of Maxwell Lord (#8-12), with the latter having been out of print for years. But their run lasted until #60, along with the completely separate series Justice League Europe #1-36. These definitely deserve the TPB treatment, especially now that characters like Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Guy Gardner, Elongated Man, and Captain Atom are finally playing key roles in the DC Universe again.

Not to be a Smart-a$$, but really the only comics that matter are the ones that give you pleasure or make you think. No list of “important” collectable comics will make something you don’t enjoy worth collecting.

We mean which individual comics should be collected in bound volumes (trade paperbacks), so entire storylines, creators’ runs, or whole series can remain in print and be sold in bookstores.

There definitely needs to be a collection of Ambush Bug, though it’s not likely. I got all my copies in the quarter bins – which is too bad, since the book was so good.

I’ll also put a vote in for The Hecker. Even funnier than Ambush Bug. Keith Giffen’s six-issue flop was just plain brilliant. The Heckler’s confrontation with Bushwack’r was the funniest superhero matchup since the Coyote matched with with the Roadrunner. (Bushwack’r = Coyote, and it was as good as anything Chuck Jones ever die.) It also had a unique visual style – nine-panel grids on every page (except for the final one).

It’s also be nice to have Phil Foglio’s Angel and the Ape and Stanley and His Monster collected.

Getting away from DC fro a moment:

The last 2/3rd of the first X -Men run. I want to see the intro of Havok and Polaris, among other landmarks. They already made The Essential Uncanny X-Men Volume one years ago - Where’s volumes 2&3?

Unpopular as they were, three New Universe titles deserve collecting: Justice, DP7 & Psi-Force.


And, back to DC:
I second Suicide Squad and would add Infinity Inc., especially since that series impacted so many later ones, like JSA and Green Lantern. It also had an early run by McFarlane.

I’ll second the votes for John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad, but I’ll also add that I think his Spectre series should be ahead of it in line. An incredible mix of super-hero action, gothic horror, and personality focus, all intimately connected with DCU history, it was a genuine descendant of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and sibling of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. Yet as far as I know, the only collection is of the first four issues.