Showcase (comics)

Showcase (comics)
Showcase #4, featuring the Silver Age Flash.
Art by Carmine Infantino.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing
Publication date March 1956 – September 1970
August 1977 – September 1978
Number of issues 104
Main character(s) Challengers of the Unknown
Green Lantern
Lois Lane
Space Ranger
Adam Strange
Creative team
Writer(s) Arnold Drake
Robert Kanigher
John Broome
Jack Kirby
Otto Binder
Artist(s) Win Mortimer
Joe Kubert
Ross Andru
Russ Heath
Carmine Infantino

Showcase has been the title of several comic anthology series published by DC Comics. The general theme of these series has been to feature new and minor characters as a way to gauge reader interest in them, without the difficulty and risk of featuring "untested" characters in their own ongoing titles. The original series ran from March 1956 to September 1970 (suspending publication with issue #93), and then was revived for eleven issues from August 1977 to September 1978.


Original series

Publication history

The best-known issue of Showcase is #4, which introduced an updated version of the Flash. This is generally cited as the beginning of the Silver Age of comics, as it was followed by the successful updating of several other Golden Age superheroes, and an upswing in the popularity of comics (superheroes especially).

Other successful characters to debut in Showcase were the Challengers of the Unknown; Space Ranger; Adam Strange; Rip Hunter, Time Master; the Silver Age Green Lantern; the Sea Devils; the Silver Age Atom; the Metal Men; the Inferior Five; B'wana Beast; the Creeper; Anthro; Hawk and Dove; Bat Lash; and Angel and the Ape.

Lois Lane and the Spectre also had their own series debut in Showcase. In 1962, DC purchased an adaptation of the James Bond novel and film Dr. No, which had been published in British Classics Illustrated, and published it as an issue of Showcase. It was the first American comic book appearance of the character. The Showcase series was canceled in 1970 with issue #93, featuring Manhunter 2070.

Full list of issues

Issue # Character
1 The Fire Fighters
2 Kings of the Wild
3 The Frogmen
4 The Flash (Barry Allen)
5 Manhunters
6 Challengers of the Unknown
7 Challengers of the Unknown
8 The Flash (Barry Allen)
9 Lois Lane
10 Lois Lane
11 Challengers of the Unknown
12 Challengers of the Unknown
13 The Flash (Barry Allen)
14 The Flash (Barry Allen)
15 The Space Ranger
16 The Space Ranger
17 Adventures on Other Worlds (Adam Strange)
18 Adam Strange
19 Adam Strange
20 Rip Hunter, Time Master
21 Rip Hunter, Time Master
22 Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
23 Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
24 Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
25 Rip Hunter, Time Master
26 Rip Hunter, Time Master
27 Sea Devils
28 Sea Devils
29 Sea Devils
30 Aquaman and Aqualad
31 Aquaman and Aqualad
32 Aquaman and Aqualad
33 Aquaman and Aqualad
34 The Atom (Ray Palmer)
35 The Atom (Ray Palmer)
36 The Atom (Ray Palmer)
37 Metal Men
38 Metal Men
39 Metal Men
40 Metal Men
41 Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers
42 Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers
43 James Bond (adaptation of Dr. No)
44 Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers
45 Sgt. Rock
46 Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers
47 Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers
48 Cave Carson Adventures Inside Earth
49 Cave Carson Adventures Inside Earth
50 I--Spy
51 I--Spy
52 Cave Carson Adventures Inside Earth
53 G.I. Joe
54 G.I. Joe
55 Doctor Fate and Hourman
56 Doctor Fate and Hourman
57 Enemy Ace
58 Enemy Ace
59 Teen Titans
60 The Spectre
61 The Spectre
62 Inferior Five
63 Inferior Five
64 The Spectre
65 Inferior Five
66 B'wana Beast
67 B'wana Beast
68 The Maniaks
69 The Maniaks
70 Leave It to Binky
71 The Maniaks with Woody Allen
72 Top Gun
73 Beware the Creeper
74 Anthro
75 The Hawk and the Dove
76 Bat Lash
77 Angel and the Ape
78 Jonny Double
79 Dolphin
80 The Phantom Stranger
81 The Way-Out World of Windy and Willy
82 Nightmaster
83 Nightmaster
84 Nightmaster
85 Firehair
86 Firehair
87 Firehair
88 Jason's Quest
89 Jason's Quest
90 Jason's Quest
91 Manhunter 2070
92 Manhunter 2070
93 Manhunter 2070

Reprint collections

In 1992, DC Comics published a trade paperback reprint collection called The Essential Showcase: 1956–1959 (ISBN 978-1563890796). This collection reprints selected stories/characters from issues #1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, and 17 of the original Showcase series. Several other issues were included in other reprint collections.

Title Issues collected Publication date ISBN
Showcase Presents: The Flash, Vol. 1 4, 8, 13–14 May 2007 1-4012-1327-8
The Flash Archives, Vol. 1 4, 8, 13–14 May 1998 978-1563891397
The Flash Chronicles, Vol. 1 4, 8, 13–14 September 2009 978-1401224714
Showcase Presents: Superman Family, Vol. 1 9 (Lois Lane solo story) March 2006 1-4012-0787-1
Showcase Presents: Superman Family, Vol. 2 10 (Lois Lane solo story) February 2008 1-4012-1656-0
Showcase Presents: Challengers of the Unknown, Vol. 1 6–7, 11–12 September 2006 1-4012-1087-2
Challengers of the Unknown Archives, Vol. 1 6–7, 11–12 July 2003 1-5638-9997-3
Adam Strange Archives, Vol. 1 17–19 2003 1-4012-0148-2
Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 1 22–24 October 2005 1-4012-0759-6
Green Lantern Archives, Vol. 1 22–24 1993 978-1563890871
Green Lantern Chronicles, Vol. 1 22–24 May 2009 978-1401221638
Showcase Presents: The Atom, Vol. 1 34–36 June 2007 1-4012-1363-4
The Atom Archives, Vol. 1 34–36 2001 978-1563897177
Showcase Presents: Metal Men, Vol. 1 37–40 September 2007 1-4012-1559-9
Metal Men Archives, Vol. 1 37–40 May 2006 1-4012-0774-X
Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups, Vol. 1 55–56 January 2006 978-1401204709
Showcase Presents: Teen Titans, Vol. 1 59 April 2006 1-4012-0788-X
Silver Age Teen Titans Archives, Vol. 1 59 2003 1-4012-0071-8
The Creeper by Steve Ditko 73 April 2010 978-1401225919

Brief revival

In August 1977, Showcase was revived for eleven issues after the failure of 1st Issue Special, which ran from 1975 to 1976. The revived series, using the original numbering, began with issue #94 and published the first appearance of the new Doom Patrol[1] and the solo adventures of Power Girl. Issue #100 had a cameo by every character that had premiered in the original run of Showcase. The series was cancelled again after issue #104 (September 1978), as part of what is commonly called the "DC Implosion". Issues #105 and #106 saw print in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade and #105 was later published in Adventure Comics. Two other series were announced before the series cancellation: The Huntress, which would have spun out of her feature in Batman Family; and World of Krypton, which was published as DC's first mini-series in 1979.

Full list of issues

Issue # Character
94 Doom Patrol
95 Doom Patrol
96 Doom Patrol
97 Power Girl
98 Power Girl
99 Power Girl
100 Special issue featuring every character from issues #1–93
101 Hawkman
102 Hawkman
103 Hawkman
104 OSS / Spies at War
105 Deadman
106 The Creeper

Reprint collections

Title Issues collected Publication date ISBN
Power Girl 97–99 June 2006 978-1401209681
The Creeper by Steve Ditko Includes unpublished issue #106 April 2010 978-1401225919

New Talent Showcase

In 1985–1986, DC published New Talent Showcase, which ran for 15 issues, briefly changed its title to Talent Showcase, and then ended with issue #19. For the most part edited by Karen Berger (and for a short time by Sal Amendola), the series gave new writers and artists the chance to get their "feet wet" in the comics industry. Notable creators who made their DC debuts with New Talent Showcase include Mark Beachum, Norm Breyfogle, Tom Grindberg, Steve Lightle, Mindy Newell, and Stan Woch.

Showcase 90s

DC revived the Showcase title in 1993 when the 1950s retailer reluctance to order new, untested series had largely vanished, and was replaced in the 1990s with reader enthusiasm for the "#1" issues of new series. The new series was published as Showcase '93, a monthly 12-issue limited series, replaced the following year by Showcase '94, etc. However, because unsold comics were no longer returnable, retailers had become reluctant to stock series that did not feature consistent characters and creators from month to month, and despite attempts to link the series each year to various popular characters such as Batman or Superman, reader demand was lukewarm.[citation needed] Showcase '96 #12 was the last regular issue.

Collected Edtions

  • Showcase Presents: The Flash Vol. 1 (Showcase #4, 8, 13, 14)
  • Showcase Presents: Challengers of the Unknown Vol. 1 (Showcase #6, 7, 11-12)
  • Showcase Presents: Superman Family Vol. 1 (Showcase #9)
  • Showcase Presents: Superman Family Vol. 2 (Showcase #10)
  • Showcase Presents: Adam Strange Vol. 1 (Showcase #17-19)
  • Showcase Presents: Green Lantern Vol. 1 (Showcase #22-24)
  • Aquaman Archives 1 (Showcase #30-31)
  • Showcase Presents: Atom Vol. 1 (Showcase #34-36)
  • Showcase Presents: Metal Men Vol. 1 (Showcase #37-40)
  • Showcase Presents: Enemy Ace Vol. 1 (Showcase #57-58)
  • Showcase Presents: Teen Titans Vol. 1 (Showcase #59)
  • Showcase Presents: Bat Lash Vol. 1 (Showcase #76)
  • Showcase Presents: Phantom Stranger Vol. 1 (Showcase #80)

Showcase Presents

In 2005, DC began publishing thick, black-and-white reprints of older material under the umbrella title Showcase Presents. The volumes have received acclaim, including the 1965 Alley Award for Best Novel (an untitled story by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson in issue #55).


  1. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Writer Paul Kupperberg and artist Joe Staton revived DC's "try-out" series from its seven-year slumber by resurrecting the super-hero team, Doom Patrol." 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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