Thursday, 8 January 2015

Secret Origins Of Super-Heroes

I loved Secret Origins Of Super-Heroes. Although, like a few things from the Bronze Age, I have no idea why now.
Maybe it was that magnificent title, which sounds like the most important thing ever when you say it out loud.
Or maybe it was just DC's knack of convincing you that what you were buying was an extra special one-off treat, designed solely just for you, rather than a collection of hoary old reprints that cost nothing to stick a new cover on and put out there.

Whatever, at this point the only Golden Age comics I'd ever read were school pal Ian Ronketti's hardbound book collection of same ( something I suspect, but 40 years later have no way of proving, was a copy of Jules Feiffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes minus the cover ) so up until then I'd only really seen Superman & Batman's origins.
So Secret Origins Of Super Heroes hit the newstands at just the right time for me and a lot of other burgeoning fans.
Sure, just like over at Marvel, everybody's origin was iterated and reiterated on an almost weekly basis, but it still felt somehow special to get all this great stuff in one go. Plus each issue came with a beautiful Nick Cardy cover that really should've been available in a limited edition portfolio.

I suspect our old buddy Rascally Roy Thomas was, at least indirectly, responsible for collections like this, as well as those fantastic 100 page Super Spectaculars. No really. At this point in the history of our hobby, we had for the first time fans becoming pro's. Those fans were real keen to bring back the characters they grew up loving, which is why Len Wein, for instance, shoehorned The Seven Soldiers Of Victory into the annual JLA / JSA crossover. I think all this Golden Age stuff in the Bronze Age was due to just that mentality, and who was better or more vocal in that area than Roy The Boy?

Regardless, here's the first issue of Secret Origins Of Super-Heroes. As well as Supes & Bat's origins, you also get Carmine Infantino's super sleek Flash, and Joe Kubert's Hawkman ( who, it should be noted, at no point utters the words:  I'm fuckin' Hawkman! I fly around an' save people an' shit! )


  1. I'm with you on this one as well Ii loved this book with my favourite being issue 5 with the Spectre ( which if I recall correctly was quite dark). I also liked "Wanted" which focused on the villains (and I thin actually ran for longer that Secret Origins) - saying that I do remember initially being a bit upset when I bought my first "Secret Origins" and seeing it was an old reprint as the Nick Cardy covers looked so exciting I was expecting all new stuff, but the oldies were (mostly) really entertaining - nice to see the first issue a I didnt get his one.

  2. Spectre had the best cover too. Thanks for reminding me about Wanted, I'd forgotten that one!