Bookshelf: TV Tie-In Comics Reprinted

As part of my Bookshelf feature I’ve reviewed a number of television tie-in comics from the 1960s, including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. #16, Bonanza #25, Secret Agent #2, Cain’s Hundred #2, The Twilight Zone #18 and Wagon Train #4. These are all comics I’ve purchased over the years, typically at the lowest price possible, meaning they aren’t always in the best condition. A few select television programs have seen their tie-in comics reprinted recently, often with bonus material. One company that has released several of these tie-in compilations is Hermes Press. I wrote about Hermes Press and its plans to reprint the tie-in comics based on Irwin Allen’s television shows way back in November of 2008. Since then, Hermes has reprinted comics based on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Time Tunnel, with Land of the Giants still to come.

The first release from Hermes Press was Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: The Complete Series Volume 1, which was published on July 13th, 2009. The hardcover book reprinted the first eight issues of Gold Key’s comic series, which was originally published between 1964 and 1970, and included documentary material about the series. Next up was Time Tunnel: The Complete Series, published on October 15th, 2009. The paperback volume reprinted both issues of Gold Key’s comic series, originally published in 1967, along with documentary material, essays and blueprints. Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea: The Complete Series Volume 2 was released early last month on March 2nd, and according to press material contained issue #s 7-14. If the first volume reprinted the first eight issues then the second volume should have reprinted the remaining eight issues, but I can’t say for sure what the contents are.

Still to come from Hermes Press is Land Of The Giants The Complete Series, a hardcover volume reprinting all five issues of Gold Key’s comic series. It should come out on July 9th. Also coming out in July are Dark Shadows: The Complete Series Volume 1 and Dark Shadows: The Complete Series Volume 2, the first of five hardcover volumes that will eventually reprint all 35 issues of the Gold Key comic series, originally published between 1968 and 1976.

In May of 2009, Dark Horse Comics released Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery Archives Volume 1. Gold Key published two comic books based on Thriller between 1962 and 1963 and then renamed the series Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery in April of 1963 (it would run for 96 issues and was published until February of 1980). Both issues of Gold Key’s Thriller as well as the first two issues of Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery can be found in this first Dark Horse volume. Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery Archives Volume 2, published in February of this year, contains issues the next six issues of Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery.

Gold Key also published 61 comic books based on Star Trek between 1967 and 1979. Golden Press released the first 38 issues — skipping #29, #35, and #37, which were reprints — in four volumes known as The Enterprise Logs. In June of 2004, Checker Publishing Group began reprinting The Enterprise Logs as The Key Collection. According to Amazon.com, six volumes were released, the last of which was published in April of 2009. The Checker website suggests that Volume 6 was originally supposed to come out in October 2008 but won’t be published until May of this year. A seventh and final volume may or may not also be in the works. I’ve seen conflicting reports about whether these volumes include the Gold Key issues that were originally reprints. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.

I’m not aware of any other recent television tie-in comics reprint compilations. If there are any others out there, please let me know. Personally, I’d love to see the five issues of Gold Key’s comic book based on The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. reprinted. Or maybe the two issues of Dell’s comic book based on The New People.

1 Comment

  • ejp says:

    I picked up Volume 2 of the Voyage set and I was struck by how Gold Key evidently did not have the rights to use the likenesses/characters of all the supporting members of the Seaview crew. You only had Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane, but no Chief Sharkey, no Chip Morton, no Chief Sharkey etc. The rest of the Seaview crew were basically anonymous figures who were never addressed by name.

    They also loaded down Admiral Nelson with a lot of crazy expressions of the “By Neptune” variety which demonstrated that the writers had no flair for how Richard Basehart or David Hedison would talk, but I would presume that was normal for those days in these kinds of tie-ins.

    Still, I have to admit the stories were very entertaining for what they were and in some respects surpassed many of Voyage’s worst moments!

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