I have a lot of neat stuff packed away here in the Fortress.  From time to time I will pull them out and share them with you.  These are the Fortress Archives.

This time out I present Direct Currents #9 from October or so of 1988.  Direct Currents was a free magazine put out by DC Comics and distributed to comic shops to hype whatever DC was publishing that month.  It was a flimsy little thing and the “articles” were not even remotely in depth, but it did it’s job of letting you know what was coming out when, so there’s that.  Before the Direct Currents “magazine” DC had run something similar off and on for years, but those were on a week by week basis in the comics themselves. 

I would occasionally pick these up at the Comic Vault in the early nineties but I didn’t hang on to them.  Actually I cut them up for the covers and such when I would plaster my bedroom walls with comic book stuff, but that’s beside the point.  Some years back Chuck, my dealer at Titan Games and Comics, had a bunch of these sitting around and gave them to me for free because no one else wanted them he knew I would like them.  This is why I shop at Titans.  Chuck gives me the hook up from time to time.

This issue was interesting mainly because it was pimping the then upcoming Invasion! event.  Invasion! is my all time favorite DC crossover ever.  There is no question of this, so when I was going through some thing the other day this caught my eye.  Here’s the cover.

I have no idea what the criteria of the “Cover of the Month” but that Spectre cover is kind of neat.  Here’s the second page.

I have a full run of the Doctor Fate series that they are pimping here.  I need to read that at some point.  I also need to track down that Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast portfolio.  I have the George Perez portfolio that DC published a few years later and this would be a fine addition to The Collection.

Next up is a sample of the checklist that they would include in every issue.  It was broken down by week, which is cool for the amateur comic book historian in me.  It is kind of neat to be able to not only know what month a book came out in despite the cover date but the actual week as well.

A couple of interesting things about this checklist:

  1. They list Batman as The Batman.  I have no idea why.  This was around the time that Batman was becoming the Dark Knight again so maybe that’s it.  If you can read it this issue is actually the last issue of Death in the Family
  2. DC at one point had the rights to publish comics based on the TSR role playing games, so that’s why Dragonlance is on the list.
  3. Speaking of licensed properties DC also put out a book based on The Prisoner television series.  This is further proof that as much as I love DC they always come in a distant second to Marvel when it comes to licensed books.
  4. Plastic Man.  I loved that mini-series.
  5. I also love the Young All-Stars, which apparently came out on October 11 in 2008.

This was the People at Work feature that Direct Currentswould run to showcase the people producing the comic DC published.  This month Mike Zeck gets the nod, mainly because of the Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast portfolio. 


Finally there was Collector’s Page feature that would run on the back cover.  Like People at Work it usually tied into something else in the particular issue.  This time they chose a Doctor Fate related cover because of the Doctor Fate series pimped on page two.  I have no direct evidence of this but I can put two and two together.

Nice cover though.

And that is it for this edition of The Fortress Archives.  I hope you liked it.  If you did like it or even if you didn’t let me know in the comments section.  I really want to get more of a back and forth here and that means I will make more of an effort to respond to the comments.


More to follow…


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