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Author Topic: Which should i buy?  (Read 4621 times)
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AMAZO
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« on: August 22, 2007, 10:56:28 PM »

I am planning to purchase one Showcase volume next week, and I think I have it narrowed down to three contenders:
Adam Strange
Martian Manhunter
Challengers of the Unknown

I have never really delved into these characters much, but I am definitely curious about them all. My question is which of these is the best read for my dollar?
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007, 01:48:06 AM »

Challengers of the Unknown.
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2007, 12:49:51 PM »

I really, really like the Challengers stories drawn by Jack Kirby and Wally Wood and written -- at least early on -- by Dave Wood.  This accounts for roughly the first half of the Showcase volume.  On the other hand, the second part of the book has been tough sledding for me.  This is only partly due to Bob Brown's art, which is solid but decidedly uninspired compared to the likes of Kirby and Wood.  The real issue for me is that the stories become fairly juvenile "alien of the month" tales in the mode of 50s Batman.

My "solution" has been to jump ahead and read the second half of the book first, then come back to the first half when I can really savor it.  Having said that, even if you hated half the book (and it's not THAT bad), $17 bucks is still a fantastic price for all those Challs stories.

I haven't yet picked up the Adam Strange volume, but I wonder if those stories aren't a bit formulaic.  Don't have Martian Manhunter, either, but I'm not hearing a lot of love for that one on the various message boards.  Consensus seems to be his stories are repetitive and -- insofar as he is always exposed to fire somehow and weakened in every tale -- rather tiresome.

Do you have any other Showcases yet?  Because I have a couple I'd recommend before any of your given choices.

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AMAZO
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2007, 04:58:14 PM »

I've already bought quite a few of them, but I'd be glad to hear your recommendations. I was interested in Adam Strange just because there seems to be such a large amount of love for the character amongst comics creators. I have heard those early MM stories aren't great, mostly due to J'onn's "I can use any power imaginable" abilities, but I do like the character and he is important historically to the reestablisment of DC's superheroes.
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2007, 05:28:02 PM »

I love these sets, especially when you can get them used at Amazon for less than $10.

Now, if only DC would hurry up and make a Showcase Presents: Sgt. Rock.
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2007, 04:15:01 AM »

I've been hoping that DC could reach some sort of settlement with the Siegels so that we can get a Superboy Showcase. I'd also love to see a Kamandi volume.
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2007, 10:44:32 AM »

Of the 3, I'm only really familiar with the Challs, having read about half the Kirby stories in various formats before.  Adam Strange: I've read only a few issues.  No Manhunter tales beyond the origin and assorted panels illustrating the "power of the week" absurdities that everyone is posting from the Showcase.

So, I would recommend the Challs: the art is very nice on the Kirby side and lots there for fans of Kirby, the FF, Incredibles, or Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier.

On the other hand, Mystery in Space is supposedly a cornerstone of DC's Silver Age revival and Infantino's art is unique, to say the least.

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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2007, 03:53:13 PM »

I have all three sets and all of them have their own respective ups and downs.

The Challenger/Kirby stories are great, but the latter ones pale in comparison.

The Adam Strange stories were landmark for their time because Adam was the "thinking man's hero".  The drawback:  they all follow the respective forumla.  However, it's frequently mentioned that a menace always has to hit Rann right after Adam's arrival (or shortly before).  They really should one day rationalize why aliens invaded right around the arrival of the Zeta Beam.

The Manhunter stories have their ups and downs as well.  But it's interesting to see how the series develops.  The drawbacks:  MM having to operate in secret and how fire always plays a role in them.  It's funny to see MM contacting his parent from earth and his younger brother returning to earth, as well as various other Martians coming to earth only to be sent back to Mars leaving MM "trapped" on earth.  I wish one day they would reprint that Green Arrow/MM team up from Brave and Bold, where J'onzz uses the scientist's computer to travel back to Mars to consult with his fellow Martians on the Martian menace on earth.

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