Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Issue Special #1 (April 1975, DC Comics)

I'm currently enjoying the James Robinson run on SUPERMAN, and was pleasantly surprised to see one of my favorite obscure Jack Kirby creations, ATLAS, featured within the storyline....

Above: The Alex Ross painted covers of Superman #678 & #679

For years, due to a simple misunderstanding over the title of the book, I searched and searched for "Atlas #1", after seeing several in-house advertisements for the book in old DC back issues. For a while I believed that Atlas' title was to have been one of the casualties of the infamous "DC Implosion" of the mid-1970s, a book that had been hyped, yet never produced, because I simply could not find the first issue.

Then, after years of searching the "A" section (for "Atlas") of several comic book shops back issue long-boxes, by ran across 1st Issue Special #1 in an "F" box....y'know...."F" for "first". The truly sad thing was that I was aware of the title "1st Issue Special" due to the first appearance of Travis Morgan, The Warlord having been in one of the later issues and the debut of one of my personal favorite characters from the 1980s, the Mark Shaw incarnation of Manhunter, had been in the fifth issue.

I dumbfoundedly assumed that the "1st Issue Special" section of the cover was a blurb, and not the title logo itself.


Anyways...Atlas has had a few sporadic cameoes in the DCU since this debut book, once as a background character in Waid and Ross' Kingdom Come #2, and this animated bad guy from the Teen Titans Cartoon Network show (from the second season episode, "Only Human"), whose name and character design seems to be influenced by the Kirby creation, though I don't think it was ever acknowledged...

From Wikipedia:

Atlas is a fictional character published by DC Comics. He first debuted in 1st Issue Special #1, (April 1975), and was created by Jack Kirby.

The character of Atlas' first and only appearance prior to Superman #677 was in 1st Issue Special #1. James Robinson brought Atlas back in Superman #678. According to Robinson, Atlas is going to save humanity. "The way I like to look at him is like in the Marvel Universe, Namor is a hero but he really skates the fine line between being a hero and a villain, but he stays on the side of the hero. Atlas, skates that line between hero and villain but he ultimately always falls on the villain side." He continued to say that Atlas will become a major player in the Superman mythos moving forward and there will be some real twists to the character.

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First Issue Special #1 CBR file

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