DC Special Series

DC Special Series was an umbrella title for one-shots and special issues published by DC Comics between 1977 and 1981. Each issue featured a different character and was often in a different format than the issue before it. DC Special Series was published in four different formats: Dollar Comics,[1] 48 page giants, digests, and treasury editions. Neither the umbrella title nor the numbering system appear on the cover; the title "DC Special Series" appeared only on the first page in the indicia. Most issues featured new material, but eight issues were reprints of previously published material.[2]

DC Special Series
Dcspecseries01
Cover to DC Special Series #1 (September 1977).
Art by Neal Adams
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
FormatOngoing
Publication dateSeptember 1977–Fall 1981
No. of issues27
Creative team
Written by
Artist(s)
Penciller(s)
Inker(s)
Colorist(s)
Editor(s)

Publication history

DC Special Series was preceded by the theme-based reprint title DC Special, which ceased publication the month before DC Special Series debuted. The first issue included "The Dead on Arrival Conspiracy", a Batman vs. Kobra story by Martin Pasko, Michael Netzer (Nasser), and Joe Rubinstein originally scheduled for the unpublished Kobra #8.[3] DC Special Series #1 also included the story, "How to Prevent a Flash", which introduces Patty Spivot. That character would later appear in season two of The Flash TV series, portrayed by actress Shantel VanSanten.[4]

DC Special Series started out as a biweekly title in 1977 until Spring 1978, when it became quarterly. The series went on hiatus after the Fall 1978 issue and was revived in Summer 1979. Two stories originally scheduled to appear in DC Special Series were split apart and published in other titles due to the DC Implosion.[5]

The final three issues were in the oversized treasury format. Issue #25 was a tie-in to the Superman II film and #26 featured "Secrets of Superman's Fortress" by Roy Thomas, Ross Andru, and Romeo Tanghal.[6] The last issue was a DC-Marvel crossover between Batman and the Hulk.[7]

The issues

Issue Contents Date Notes
1 5 Star Super-Hero Spectacular September 1977 Dollar Comic format; features Aquaman, the Atom, the Batman, the Flash, Green Lantern.[8]
2 The Original Swamp Thing Saga 48-page giant; reprints Swamp Thing #1-2 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.[9]
3 Sgt. Rock Special October 1977 48-page giant[10]
4 The Unexpected Special 48-page giant[11]
5 Superman Spectacular November 1977 Dollar Comic format[12]
6 Secret Society of Super-Villains Special 48-page giant[13]
7 Ghosts Special December 1977 48-page giant[14]
8 The Brave and the Bold Special 1978 48-page giant; Batman, Deadman, and Sgt. Rock team-up.[15]
9 Wonder Woman Spectacular Dollar Comic format[16]
10 Secret Origins of Super-Heroes Special 48-page giant; origins of Doctor Fate, Lightray, and Black Canary.[17]
11 The Flash Spectacular Dollar Comic format[18]
12 Secrets of Haunted House Special Spring 1978 48-page giant[19]
13 Sgt. Rock Spectacular Dollar Comic format[20]
14 The Original Swamp Thing Saga Summer 1978 48-page giant; reprints Swamp Thing #3-4 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.[21]
15 Batman Spectacular Dollar Comic format;
"Death Strikes at Midnight and Three", text story written by Dennis O'Neil with spot illustrations by Marshall Rogers.
"I Now Pronounce You Batman and Wife!", marriage of Batman and Talia al Ghul, by Dennis O'Neil, Michael Golden, and Dick Giordano.[22][23]
See also Batman: Son of the Demon
16 Jonah Hex Spectacular Fall 1978 Dollar Comic format;
"The Last Bounty Hunter!", death of Jonah Hex, by Michael Fleisher and Russ Heath.[24][25]
17 The Original Swamp Thing Saga Summer 1979 Dollar Comic format; reprints Swamp Thing #5-7 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.[26]
18 Sgt. Rock's Prize Battle Tales Fall 1979 Digest size; all reprints[27]
19 Secret Origins of Super-Heroes Digest size; all reprints except for new origin of Wonder Woman by Cary Burkett, José Delbo, and Vince Colletta.[28]
20 The Original Swamp Thing Saga January–February 1980 Dollar Comic format; reprints Swamp Thing #8-10 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.[29]
21 Super-Star Holiday Special Spring 1980 Dollar Comic format;
features Legion of Super-Heroes, Jonah Hex, Sgt. Rock, the House of Mystery.
"Wanted: Santa Claus -- Dead or Alive!" first Batman story drawn by Frank Miller.[30][31]
22 G.I. Combat Special September 1980 Dollar Comic format[32]
23 World's Finest Comics Digest February 1981 Digest size; all reprints[33]
24 The Flash and His Friends Digest size; all reprints[34]
25 Superman II Summer 1981 Treasury format; photos and background material from the film.[6][35]
26 Superman and His Incredible Fortress of Solitude Treasury format[6][36]
27 Batman vs. the Incredible Hulk Fall 1981 Treasury format; DC-Marvel crossover by Len Wein, José Luis García-López, and Dick Giordano.[7][37][38]

Collected editions

  • Secret Society of Super Villains Vol. 2 includes DC Special Series #6, 328 pages, May 2012, ISBN 978-1401231101
  • The Flash: The Greatest Stories Ever Told includes "Beyond the Super-Speed Barrier" from DC Special Series #11, 208 pages, August 2007, ISBN 978-1401213725
  • Legends of the Dark Knight - Marshall Rogers includes "Death Strikes at Midnight and Three" from DC Special Series #15, 496 pages, November 2011, ISBN 978-1401232276
  • The Complete Frank Miller Batman includes "Wanted: Santa Claus -- Dead or Alive!" from DC Special Series #21, 312 pages, December 1989, Longmeadow Press, ISBN 978-0681409699
  • Superman: The Secrets of the Fortress of Solitude includes DC Special Series #26, 200 pages, May 2012, ISBN 978-1401234232
  • The Marvel/DC Collection: Crossover Classics Volume 1 includes DC Special Series #27, 320 pages, June 1997, ISBN 978-0871358585

See also

References

  1. ^ Romero, Max (July 2012). "I'll Buy That For a Dollar! DC Comics' Dollar Comics". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (57): 39–41.
  2. ^ Stroud, Bryan D. (July 2015). "DC's Bronze Age Reprint Giants". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (81): 62.
  3. ^ Kelly, Rob (August 2009). "Kobra". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (35): 63–66.
  4. ^ Beedle, Tim (November 3, 2015). "Love and Metahumans: Shantel VanSanten Heats up The Flash". DC Comics. Archived from the original on January 24, 2016.
  5. ^ Wells, John (October 24, 1997), "'Lost' DC: The DC Implosion", Comics Buyer's Guide, Iola, Wisconsin (1249), p. 132, DC Special Series planned Green Lantern/Green Arrow and Superboy/Legion giants were split into two-parters published in Green Lantern #111-112 (Dec. 78 and Jan. 79) and Superboy and The Legion of Super-Heroes #250-251 (Apr. and May 79).
  6. ^ a b c Eury, Michael (December 2012). "The Amazing World of Superman Tabloids". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (61): 11–16.
  7. ^ a b Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Written by Len Wein and illustrated by José Luis García-López, the comic saw...Batman and the Hulk doing battle with both the Joker and Marvel's ultra-powerful Shaper of Worlds.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ DC Special Series #1 at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ DC Special Series #2 at the Grand Comics Database
  10. ^ DC Special Series #3 at the Grand Comics Database
  11. ^ DC Special Series #4 at the Grand Comics Database
  12. ^ DC Special Series #5 at the Grand Comics Database
  13. ^ DC Special Series #6 at the Grand Comics Database
  14. ^ DC Special Series #7 at the Grand Comics Database
  15. ^ DC Special Series #8 at the Grand Comics Database
  16. ^ DC Special Series #9 at the Grand Comics Database
  17. ^ DC Special Series #10 at the Grand Comics Database
  18. ^ DC Special Series #11 at the Grand Comics Database
  19. ^ DC Special Series #12 at the Grand Comics Database
  20. ^ DC Special Series #13 at the Grand Comics Database
  21. ^ DC Special Series #14 at the Grand Comics Database
  22. ^ Marano, Michael (2008). "Ra's al Ghul: Father Figure as Terrorist". Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City. Dallas, Texas: Smart Pop. p. 77. ISBN 978-1933771304.
  23. ^ DC Special Series #15 at the Grand Comics Database
  24. ^ Smith, Colin (April 3, 2012). "On Michael Fleisher and Russ Heath's Jonah Hex Story, 'The Last Bounty Hunter'". Sequart Organization. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016.
  25. ^ DC Special Series #16 at the Grand Comics Database
  26. ^ DC Special Series #17 at the Grand Comics Database
  27. ^ DC Special Series #18 at the Grand Comics Database
  28. ^ DC Special Series #19 at the Grand Comics Database
  29. ^ DC Special Series #20 at the Grand Comics Database
  30. ^ Riley, Shannon E. (December 2015). "Christmas With the Superheroes From Capes to Sci-Fi, Mystery to 'Mazing Man: A Survey of DC Christmas Tales of the '70s, '80s, and Early '90s". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (85): 20–21.
  31. ^ DC Special Series #21 at the Grand Comics Database
  32. ^ DC Special Series #22 at the Grand Comics Database
  33. ^ DC Special Series #23 at the Grand Comics Database
  34. ^ DC Special Series #24 at the Grand Comics Database
  35. ^ DC Special Series #25 at the Grand Comics Database
  36. ^ DC Special Series #26 at the Grand Comics Database
  37. ^ Greenberg, Glenn (December 2012). "Tabloid Team-Ups The Giant-Size DC-Marvel Crossovers". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (61): 33–40.
  38. ^ DC Special Series #27 at the Grand Comics Database

External links

1978 in comics

Notable events of 1978 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

This is a list of comics-related events in 1978.

1979 in comics

Notable events of 1979 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1980 in comics

Notable events of 1980 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1981 in comics

Notable events of 1981 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Black Canary

Black Canary is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by the writer-artist team of Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino, the character debuted in Flash Comics #86 (August 1947). One of DC's earliest super-heroines, Black Canary has appeared in many of the company's flagship team-up titles including Justice Society of America and Justice League of America. Since the late 1960s, the character has been paired with archer superhero Green Arrow, professionally and romantically.

At her Golden Age debut, Black Canary was the alter ego of Dinah Drake and participated in crime-fighting adventures with her love interest (and eventual husband), Gotham City detective Larry Lance. Initially, the character was a hand-to-hand fighter without superpowers who often posed as a criminal to infiltrate criminal gangs. Later stories depicted her as a world-class martial artist with a superpower: the "canary cry", a high-powered sonic scream which could shatter objects and incapacitate and even kill powerful foes such as Superman. When DC Comics adjusted its continuity, Black Canary was established as two separate entities: mother and daughter, Dinah Drake-Lance and Dinah Laurel Lance. Stories since the Silver Age have focused on the younger Black Canary, ascribing her superhuman abilities to a genetic mutation.

Black Canary has been adapted into various media, including direct-to-video animated films, video games, and both live-action and animated television series, featuring as a main or recurring character in the shows Birds of Prey, Justice League Unlimited, Smallville, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and Arrow. In Birds of Prey she was played by Rachel Skarsten, and in Smallville she was played by Alaina Huffman. In Arrow and the Arrowverse shows the characters Sara Lance, Dinah Laurel Lance and Dinah Drake are portrayed by Caity Lotz, Katie Cassidy and Juliana Harkavy. The character will also make her cinematic debut in the upcoming film Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), portrayed by Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

DC Special

DC Special was a comic book anthology series published by DC Comics originally from 1968 to 1971; it resumed publication from 1975 to 1977. For the most part, DC Special was a theme-based reprint title, mostly focusing on stories from DC's Golden Age; at the end of its run it published a few original stories.

David Vern Reed

David Vern Reed (born David Levine; 1924–1989), was an American writer, best known for his work on the Batman comic book during the 1950s in a run that included a revamp of the Batplane in Batman #61 and the introduction of Deadshot in Batman #59 (July 1950).

Dollar Comics

Dollar Comics was a line of DC Comics comic book publications issued from 1977 to 1983. They included the titles The Superman Family, House of Mystery, G.I. Combat, World's Finest Comics, Batman Family, and Adventure Comics; as well as the series of specials with the umbrella title of DC Special Series. Dollar Comics were notable for costing $1, having 64 pages, and being advertising-free.

Ghosts (comics)

Ghosts is a horror comics anthology series published by DC Comics for 112 issues from September–October 1971 to May 1982. Its tagline was "True Tales of the Weird and Supernatural" (December 1978), changed to "New Tales of the Weird and Supernatural," as of #75 (April 1979), and dropped after #104 (September 1981).

Hell (DC Comics)

Hell (a.k.a. Gehenna, Hades, Hel, Jahannam, Sheol and Tartarus) is a fictional location, an infernal Underworld utilized in titles published by DC Comics. It is the locational antithesis of the Silver City in Heaven. The DC Comics location known as Hell is based heavily on its depiction in Abrahamic mythology. Aside from a brief appearance in DC Special Series #8 (1978) that was never referred to or even mentioned again, the DC Comics concept of Hell was first mentioned in The Saga of the Swamp Thing (vol. 2) #25-27 (June–August 1984) and was first seen in Swamp Thing Annual #2 (1985), all of which were written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben.

The hierarchy of Hell, specifically the triumvirate of Lucifer, Azazel and Beelzebub, was first referred to in John Constantine, Hellblazer #12 (December 1988) ( "The Devil You Know..." (page 6) by Jamie Delano and Richard Piers Rayner) and first appeared in The Sandman (vol. 2) #4 (April 1989) ( "A Hope in Hell" by Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth); in the story, Lucifer had been forced to accept the position of the ruler of Hell due to the disruption caused by the Great Evil Beast's attack on Creation in the 14-part storyline "American Gothic" in Swamp Thing (vol. 2) #37-50 (June 1985-July 1986). John Constantine, Hellblazer would also later add in the First of the Fallen, who preceded Lucifer and his failed rebellion in Heaven. In Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #11 (July 1991), the entry on "Hell's Hierarchy" included all the elements of Gaiman's version, plus John Constantine's demonic enemy Nergal, Agony and Ecstasy the Slave-Twins of the Inquisition, Asteroth, Abaddon the Destroyer, Morax and Superman's demonic enemy Blaze, who, with her brother Satanus, came to rule Hell in the eight-issue miniseries Reign in Hell (September 2008-April 2009; also including DC Universe Special: Reign in Hell #1 (August 2008)).

José Luis García-López

José Luis García-López (born March 26, 1948) is a Spanish comics artist who works in the United States of America, particularly in a long-running relationship with DC Comics. His art from the DC Comics Style Guide, unreleased to the public and created for licensees only, is still being used today on DC Comics licensed products.

Limited Collectors' Edition

Limited Collectors' Edition is an American comic book series published by DC Comics from 1972 to 1978. It usually featured reprints of previously published stories but a few issues contained new material. The series was published in an oversized 10" x 14" tabloid (or "treasury") format.

Martin Pasko

Martin Joseph "Marty" Pasko (born August 4, 1954) is a writer and editor in a diverse array of media, including comic books and television.

Pasko has worked for many comics publishers, but is best known for his work with DC Comics over three decades. He has written Superman in many media, including television animation, webisodes, and a syndicated newspaper strip for Tribune Media Services, as well as comics. He also co-created the 1975 revamp of Doctor Fate.

Michael Netzer

Michael Netzer (born Michael Nasser; October 9, 1955) is an American-Israeli artist best known for his comic book work for DC Comics and Marvel Comics in the 1970s, as well as for his online presence.

Patty Spivot

Patricia "Patty" Spivot is a fictional character who appears in various DC Comics publication and was created by writer Cary Bates and artist Irv Novick. She is a friend and partner of the second Flash Barry Allen. She first appeared in "Five-Star Super-Hero Spectacular" (DC Special Series #1, September, 1977).Spivot appeared as a recurring cast member on The CW television series second season of The Flash played by Shantel VanSanten. This version was a detective of the Central City Police Department.

Secret Origins

Secret Origins is the title of several comic book series published by DC Comics which featured the origin stories of the publisher's various characters.

Secrets of Haunted House

Secrets of Haunted House was a horror-suspense comics anthology series published by DC Comics from 1975 to 1978 and 1979 to 1982.

Shaper of Worlds

The Shaper of Worlds is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

The Unexpected

The Unexpected was a fantasy-horror comics anthology series, a continuation of Tales of the Unexpected, published by DC Comics. It ran 118 issues, from #105 (February–March 1968) to #222 (May 1982). It is not to be confused with The Unexpected published by DC Comics in 2018.

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