Tuesday, March 5, 2013


DEADMAN: BOOK THREE (DC, 2012; Softcover)
Collects World's Finest Comics Nos. 223, 227, The Brave and the Bold No. 133, The Phantom Stranger Nos. 33, 39-41, Superman Family No. 183, and DC Super-Stars No. 18 (cover dates June, 1974- Winter (January-February), 1978).
Writers: Cary Bates, Gerry Conway, Arnold Drake, Bob Haney, Paul Levitz, and Martin Pasko.
Artists: Jim Aparo, Tex Blaisdell, Fred Carrillo, Vince Colletta, Dick Dillin, Dick Giordano, Mike Grell, Bob Layton, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Romeo Tanghal.

I've read several of the issues collected here before in Showcase Presents The Phantom Stranger Vol. 2, where both Deadman and the Phantom Stranger co-headlined a title. Artist Jim Aparo was a Neal Adams clone in a good way. I love his stuff, and he does the bulk of the artwork in this book. Mike Grell handles the artwork on Phantom Stranger No. 33. Grell is another incredible artist, and his work is woefully uncollected. We need full color Warlord collections, DC! 

The writing in this book is lovably dated Bronze Age goodness. It holds up fairly well here in 2013. It seems to me that if you criticize anything about the writing in modern comics you get labeled a dinosaur. I just feel that while some of these Bronze Age writers may not be technically better writers than modern writers, many of them are better comic book writers. There is something to these third party narratives that add depth to the story. Many modern comics fans hate them; I do not. 
This should be a welcome addition to any self respecting comic fan's bookshelf. I would love to see a Book Four. Does anybody have any idea what would go into it?
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.75 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Good God, DC! You have neither rhyme nor reason in your collected editions department. Covers are omitted, this volume has no table of contents while Vols. 1 and 2 do...(in a Nancy Kerrigan voice) WHY...WHY???
Linework restoration rating: 4.75 out of 5. Excellent linework restoration with only one or two rough spots.
Color restoration rating: 4 out of 5. My complaint with DC's recoloring is always the same. They go to great lengths to maintain the original color palette, but they choose to use gradient blends which tend to look airbrushed and harsh. They stick out like a sore thumb to my OCD-stricken eyes. If they make the effort to get the colors correct, why not recolor them correctly?
Paper rating: 4 out of 5. This book has a decent weight coated stock which is way too glossy for my taste. It is better than the toilet paper they used to pass off on us in collected editions of vintage material, though.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Glued binding. Seems solid enough to hold up with repeated handling.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. I am thrilled that DC has upped their game and now use the same thick waxy coating on their covers that Marvel does.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty cool that DC chose to extend this trade line past the Neal Adams issues. After the first two trades came out, I figured they were done.

    I think it would be great to see a Vol. 4, but you better not ask for a prospective table of contents on the Masterworks board...you'll end up with a "road map" for everything up to Vol. 12!