Friday, March 26, 2010

The DC Comics Presents Showcase

I usually like to give the proper titles of books in my subject headers, but DC has been sorely testing my resolve by putting out books I want coupled with some of the clumsiest titles imaginable. Our subject today is the super-unwieldy Showcase Presents DC Comics Presents : The Superman Team-Ups. Your eyes do not deceive you - "presents" makes it into the title TWICE. Oh, the joys of unforeseen consequences!

I don't bring up this book to make fun of it (much). Rather, I picked up this book because it was one that held more nostalgia for me than most of these B&W tomes. I was a regular buyer of DC Comics Presents during its run from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Point of fact, I at one time owned many of the issues reprinted in this book. A few of them are still kicking around my longboxes to this day. So DCP is a book that is completely of MY childhood, rather than something that begins in the days before I was even a gleam in my daddy's eye.

How do the stories hold up? Hmmm, pretty good, I'd say. They can't all be winners, and some of them are definitely better than others. Among the tales are a couple of Steve Englehart's last "mainstream" (i.e., DC or Marvel) stories for several years. They have some clever twists in them. I'd probably give the nod for the most interesting issues to Marty Pasko's contributions. As for my least favorites, I'll just leave those to your imagination. There are a few that could have used a little more work in the plotting department, but I'd chalk to that up to the limitations of so few pages.

The art in the book gets off to a smashing start with Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, simply one of the best artists to emerge in the comic book industry in the 1970s. All you need as proof is that his promotional art done for DC years ago is still considered current enough for contemporary merchandising. Alas, Garcia-Lopez didn't get to draw DCP for too many issues, but many of the others are handled by such pros as Joe Staton and Dick Dillin. Overall, I really have no complaints in the art department.

Showcase Presents DC Comics Presents : The Superman Team-Ups is a nice little time capsule of DC's books in the era when I was just getting seriously into comics. As such, it holds a special appeal to me. It has aged about as well as possible given the formula these stories had to follow and the fact that over 30 years have passed since they were new. A fun trip down memory lane, this book costs less than twenty bucks for over five hundred pages of Superman goodness. A bargain!

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