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Monday, 19 June 2017

Limited Collectors' Edition C-61 - Famous First Edition(s)

The Famous First Editions were another sort of series that challenges my ability to neatly classify things. The first couple of part of the Limited Collectors' Edition run, and numbered as such, but then it becomes it's own series, numbering as if the one above was the first issue of the run, before going to back to the numbering of Limited Collectors' Edition. No one but me will ever stress over this, but I spent a long time agonizing over how to deal with these. 

The first one released was Limited Collectors' Edition C-26 (1974), which reprinted the first issue of Action Comics, featuring the debut of Superman. This was followed, logically enough, by the reprint of Detective Comics 27, C-28 (1974), which contained Batman's debut. These volumes not only reprinted the comics in oversized format, they also reprinted all the ads contained in the original printings.

Sensation 1 got reprinted in C-30 (1974), although it's not really her debut appearance. It was the first issue of her ongoing series, though.

Things get wonky with Whiz Comics 2, the debut of Captain Marvel. This was a reprint of a Fawcett Publication comic, not a DC one. Although the cover still contains the same logo as the earlier issues, this one is numbered F-4 (Oct/Nov 74), for Famous First Edition.

Really, I am only bothering with all of this because of F-5 (Dec/Jan 74/75), which reprinted Batman 1. This was the first issue that I bought, and one of the very first Batman comics I ever owned. I still recall seeing it on the rack, so much larger than everything else, and looking so different. Picking it up and leafing through it there were two Joker stories, as well as a Catwoman one. At the time, I had no inkling that these were the debuts of the villains. I had been given a dollar to buy myself comics, which at that time were 20 cents each. My father was not pleased when I returned with just this one, instead of five normal books, but I knew I had made the right decision. This was a treasure I pored over many times.

Wonder Woman 1 was released as F-6 (April/May 1975), but although I was watching the tv show I had no interest in picking this up.

On the other hand F-7 (June/July 1975) grabbed my interest. Reprinting All-Star Comics 3, the first appearance of the Justice Society of America, the issue introduced me to quite a few 1940s heroes I knew nothing about, and made me a big fan of Dr. Fate and the Spectre.

F-8 (Aug/Sept 75) was the last issue released under its own numbering pattern, reprinting Flash Comics 1.

The only other Famous First Edition went back to the numbering of Limited Collectors' Edition, C-61, and was released much later, with a 1979 cover date. This reprinted Supeman 1, and was not only the final Famous First Edition, but also the last issue of Limited Collectors' Edition to feature comic stories.

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