Action Heroes Archives, Vol. 2 (DC Archives Edition)

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9781401213466: Action Heroes Archives, Vol. 2 (DC Archives Edition)

From the mid-1960s -- the legendary Silver Age of Comics -- come these fast-paced super-heroic tales starring the colorful Blue Beetle, the nuclear-powered Captain Atom, and the man of mystery known only as The Question!

Originally created as part of publisher Charlton Comics' line of "Action Heroes," nearly all of these classic tales were written and illustrated by artist Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-Man.

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Review:

"In 1966, Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko left Marvel Comics. This book shows his subsequent work on three Charlton Comics super-heroes: Captain Atom, Blue Beetle and the Question -- all created or co-created by Ditko himself." -- Bob Garrett

"One of those books that should be required reading for any comic book artist, given the mastery of storytelling. Even the casual reader will enjoy it, especially if they're old enough to remember any of these characters, or just the days when comics were printed on newsprint and sold in grocery stores." -- Rich Meyer

"The stories in this book represent Steve Ditko at perhaps the apex of his powers, coming straight from his epochal runs on Amazing Spider-Man and "Doctor Strange" to a run at low-rent Charlton Comics.  There's no question that Ditko loved the freedom he found at Charlton doing these stories. You can see Ditko's enthusiasm in every element of the stories he presents." -- Jason Sacks

"The crisp, sharp colour of these Archive editions is far superior to the appalling reproduction that originally introduced Charlton's heroes to the wide-eyed kids of America, circa 1966." -- Win Wiacek

From Booklist:

With its shoddy printing and cheap mechanical lettering, Charlton Comics always seemed like the comic-book equivalent of the movies' Poverty Row studios. Like its Hollywood counterparts, Charlton could sometimes rise to the occasion and produce a gem, usually by turning the reins over to an auteur, which is what happened with these late-1960s stories. Spider-Man artist Ditko had just left Marvel Comics and ensconced himself at Charlton, which gave him fewer readers and less money but greater artistic freedom. Besides resuming duties on his 1960 cocreation, nuclear-powered superhero Captain Atom, Ditko revamped the 1940s character the Blue Beetle and created the masked crimefighter the Question, infusing the stories with an Ayn Rand–inspired moral absolutism that Marvel never would have allowed him to voice. This volume collects the later years of Ditko's Charlton run. While the tales lack the polish of the artist's Marvel work, his angular artwork remains brilliantly idiosyncratic, and the stories' political bias is precisely the kind of iconoclastic viewpoint that seldom gets expressed in mainstream comics. Flagg, Gordon

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