Here’s something I bought several months ago at the Atlanta Comic Convention. This magazine set me back a whole $2.
To be honest I bought this issue for two reasons. One; I collect issues of Amazing Heroes because they have fantastic articles and are great time capsules into what was going on in fandom (or at least a small but vocal part of fandom) during the eighties. Two; that freaking cover. Sure Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman (complete with a non-yellow oval bat symbol on his chest) look fantastic but so do the smaller characters that include (going from left to right), the female Wildcat, the Green Lantern symbol (not a character but neat nonetheless), Hex, Power Girl, Tommy Tomorrow (I think or it could be Rip Hunter), Pariah, Lady Quark, Uncle Sam, Captain Marvel, Blue Beetle, Doctor Light II, the two Flashes and the face of Harbinger. It’s just a beautiful piece of art and it is not lost on me that the characters shown either made their first appearances during the event, were killed, are from the future or were from the Earths that were destroyed because of the Crisis.
After getting home I found out that this issue chock full of articles that made that part of me that loves reading the behind-the-scenes stuff squealing like a little girl. The articles include (taken from the table of contents):
- “Who Doomed the Flash?” On the tracks of the Speedster’s killer by Steve Webb.
- “Crisis Obituaries” A look back at some of DC’s late heroes by Mark Waid and Mike Tiefenbacher.
- “Who’s New at DC” A look at the Crisis’ new heroes by Mark Waid.
- “Making a Crisis of It” Interviews with the men behind the Crisis by Mark Waid.
- “Infinite Crisis on Earth-2” Roy Thomas on the aftermath of the Crisis by Andy Mangels.
- “Monitoring the Monitor” Before Crisis — a list of appearances by Andy Mangels and Mark Waid.
- “The Crisis Calendar” A day by day guide to the Crisis by Andy Mangels.
- Who’s Who in the Crisis” Page by Page…did you recognize them? by Mark Waid.
- “Charlton’s Action Heroes” A look back at a whole universe by Mike Tiefenbacher.
- “Crisis in Review” Our critic examines the value of the Crisis by R.A. Jones.
So yeah…whole lotta Crisis coverage there. Even the letters page was dedicated to COIE, which should result in an interesting reading experience because the people that wrote into Amazing Heroes were an opinionated bunch and are further proof that comics fandom as a whole hasn’t really changed, just developed a new fashion sense and now have a larger and more immediate platform in which to mouth off about comics. It is also rather cool to see Mark Waid and Andy Mangels’ names pop up so much in this issue. Mark Waid is…well he’s Mark Waid. The guy has written some of my favorite comic book stories ever and I like to read the articles he wrote before breaking in professionally. Andy Mangels was (and probably still is) one of the best fanzine writers out there so it is always nice to see his name on the by-line as well.
Usually when I read issues of Amazing Heroes I pick and choose the articles I actually go through. Sometimes they would cover comics that either didn’t interest me or that I just didn’t care about at all. For this issue I am going to be reading the thing cover to cover. There is just so much there that looks neat and it will be rather helpful when Scott Gardner and I get to our epic coverage of Crisis next year on Tales of the Justice Society of America. More than anything I need to get my head back into the research end of reading comics because I haven’t done that sort of thing in quite some time. I used to love piling my reference books and old fanzines on the desk and really digging into a particular subject and now the words “free” and “time” rarely go together in terms of my comic book reading much less researching.
Keep in mind that I am not complaining because I love all of the various podcasts that I either host or co-host and I love writing this blog. I’m just stating a fact about the current use of my non-family and work that actually pays the bills time.
I tell you these non-important/first world problems can be too much sometimes. Too much!
More to follow…