Famous First Edition #C26 - Action Comics #1 - 1974

The grand-daddy comic of them all--Action Comics #1! Features, of course, the debut of Superman, whose success the entire comics industry rests on. Not that anyone really remembers, but this book also featured Chuck Dawson, Zatara the Magician, Sticky-Mitt Stimson, Marco Polo (!), Pep Morgan, Scoop Scanlon, Tex Thomson, and a celebrity page called Stardust.

As has been mentioned in other places, the inside front cover mentions a contest. The Chuck Dawson feature is in black and white, so readers were asked to color in the first page, then (gulp!) tear it out and send it in. If you were picked, you won a whole dollar. Since the first page of Dawson is on the same page as the last page of Superman, just think of the (literally) millions lost for the sake of a dollar prize. Ugh.

Along with Detective #27, Sensation #1, Batman #1, Wonder Woman #1, and Whiz #2, this was also released in a "hardcover" edition.

72 pages.

Below is the hard-to-find hardcover edition of Action Comics #1 published in conjunction with DC by Lyle Stuart, Inc. I've only seen these once or twice on Ebay, and they were going for hundreds of dollars.

As I related on the page for the FFE edition of Whiz Comics #2, these hardcover editions were found almost accidentally as still on sale from their original publisher, Lyle Stuart, Inc. What luck!

For all this mishegoss, these books aren't really any different than the standard softcover versions, other than the obvious hardcover beneath the dust jacket. They retailed for $5.00, and also come with a title page listing LS as the publisher, and had a small write up on Supes on the inside front flap. Other than these minor additions, they're the same as the ones you would've bought on the newsstands.

Still, a neat item to have up here on the site!

Click the image to see the original DC ad for this book plus other treasury ads!

Famous First Edition #C28 - Detective Comics #27 - 1974

After reprinting Action #1, of course this was the next obvious choice...the first appearance of Batman!

In addition to Batman, this issue features Tenderfoot, Speed Saunders, Buck Marshall, something just called Spy, The Crimson Avenger, the excitingly-titled Bruce Nelson, Dr.Fu Manchu, Cosmo--the Phantom of Disguise, Plain Clothes Pete, and Slam Bradley!

Production on the Bruce Nelson Begins, starring Christian Bale and directed by Chris Nolan, begins this summer.

72 pages.

Below is the hard-to-find hardcover edition of Detective Comics #27 published in conjunction with DC by Lyle Stuart, Inc.

Click the image to see the original DC ad for this book plus other treasury ads!

Famous First Edition #C30 - Sensation Comics #1 - 1974

Wonder Woman first appeared simulatneously in this book--Sensation Comics #1--and All-Star Comics #8, released the same month. The latter contains her origin, so I guess you'd think that is her actual "first" appearance, but since this comic featured WW as the cover feature DC reprinted this as part of the FFE series. By the non-existent Charles Moulton and Harry G. Peter.

Also features The Black Pirate, Mr.Terrific, The Gay Ghost, Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys (paired with the Gay Ghost, it makes an interesting double-feature), and Wildcat, by Bill Finger and one of my former Joe Kubert School teachers, Irwin Hasen!

72 pages.

Below is the hard-to-find hardcover edition of Sensation Comics #1 published in conjunction with DC by Lyle Stuart, Inc.

Famous First Edition F4 - Whiz Comics #2 - 1974

One of the neat-o, perfect reprints of important DC comics. Of course, this isn't a DC comic, it's a Fawcett. Bad enough DC took Fawcett to court, forced them out of the comics business, then they get to pick the bones clean by reprint their most important comic under a DC logo! Man, DC plays to win.

This comic features the first appearance of Captain Marvel, plus Ibis the Invincible, Golden Arrow (a western/adventure type hero, not another character for DC to sue over), Spy Smasher, Scoop Smith, Lance O'Casey, and Dan Dare. You got a lot of ten cents back then.

DC also released this book in a "hardcover" edition, which was weird but kinda cool.

When I was a kid, I had this comic without the outer cover. So that the book, other than its treasury-size, was an exact replica of the original Whiz Comics #2. For a long time, I had a friend convinced it was the original, and worth lots and lots of money.

Don't judge me.

72 pages.

Below is the hard-to-find hardcover edition of Whiz Comics #2 published in conjunction with DC by Lyle Stuart, Inc. I've only seen these once or twice on Ebay, and they were going for hundreds of dollars.

But when I was in Borders a once, I got the idea to look up all the hardcovers FFEs since Borders does have access to used books. I was shocked to find that Lyle Stuart was still selling some left-over copies of some of them!

They weren't cheap, and since the listing didn't come with an image of the book, I just ordered this one before I committed hundreds of dollars to the cause. It came in about a month later, and the book was pretty much in the condition they described. So I decided to order the others.

Obviously, though, in the meantime, I think my order for Whiz #2 created some sort of brushfire of interest, since now LS was reporting they were sold out of all but one of the remaining FFes. D'oh! Maybe someone working at LS never knew these classics were sitting around on some dusty shelf, and when my order came in they grabbed the rest for themselves. I'll never know.

For all this mishegoss, these books aren't really any different than the standard softcover versions, other than the obvious hardcover beneath the dust jacket. They retailed for $5.00, and also come with a title page listing LS as the publisher, and had a small write up on the Captain on the inside front flap. Other than these minor additions, they're the same as the ones you would've bought on the newsstands.

Still, a neat item to have up here on the site!

From Treasury Hunter Gary Dunaier:"The FFE for Whiz Comics #2 is not completely exact, because the words 'Gangway For Captain Marvel', which appeared on the original, do not appear on the FFE reprint. Obviously, this was because DC couldn't put Captain Marvel's name on the cover."

From The Amazing World of DC Comics #2 came this blurb, promising more Famous First Editions, which you can see below!
Click the image to see the original DC ad for this book plus other treasury ads!

 

 

Famous First Edition #F5 - Batman #1 - 1975

A completely faithful replica of Batman #1 from 1940. Features, like all the Famous First Editions, a intro by then-publisher Carmine Infantino.

A pretty eventful comic--features the first appearance of both Joker and the Catwoman! Also features the strips Major Bigsbe and Bolts and Ginger Snap, and a profile of Bob Kane. Features four Batman stories, including a "return" appearance of the Joker...in the very same book! Clearly DC knew they had a great villain on their hands.

72 pages.

Of all the hardcover FFEs, Batman #1 is the only one I have not yet acquired. Grrr..

Update 8/17/14 - Several years have passed since I wrote the above, and I have still never seen--either in person or online--a copy of this book in hardcover. Treasury Hunter Tony Ortega has been on a similar search, and also come up with nothing. He and I have been trading emails on the subject, and I'm ready to say at this point that no Lyle Stuart hardcover of Famous First Edition: Batman #1 exists. Most likely, it was planned and announced and then pulled before it was ever produced.

 

Famous First Edition #F6 - Wonder Woman #1 - 1975

With this issue, DC stopped including a high-quality cover reproduction inside the book, so it's not quite as exact a replica as the previous FFEs.

Features a couple of WW stories by "Charles Moulton" and Harry G.Peter, plus a "Wonder Women of History" story, and 2-page humor strip called Sweet Adeline.

72 pages.

Below is the hard-to-find hardcover edition of Wonder Woman #1 published in conjunction with DC by Lyle Stuart, Inc. I've only seen these once or twice on Ebay, and they were going for hundreds of dollars.

As I related on the page for the FFE edition of Whiz Comics #2, these hardcover editions were found almost accidentally as still on sale from their original publisher, Lyle Stuart, Inc. What luck!

For all this mishegoss, these books aren't really any different than the standard softcover versions, other than the obvious hardcover beneath the dust jacket. They retailed for $5.00, and also come with a title page listing LS as the publisher, and had a small write up on Wonder Woman on the inside front flap. The only other change, mentioned above, is that there are no slick-paper front-and-back cover reproductions on the inside like there are for the other hardcover editions, which does water down the effect a bit.

Click the image to see the original DC ad for this book plus other treasury ads!

Famous First Edition #F7 - All-Star Comics #3- 1975

One of my favorites! The first time in comics superheroes got together to form a super-team, even if all they do is sit around and tell stories. How they are sitting at a table that seems to be sitting on its edge is anyone's guess.

Also has a really cool 2-page ad of all the stars' indivdual books--I wish they still did ads like these nowadays.

72 pages.

 

Famous First Edition #F8 - Flash Comics #1 - 1975

By Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert, here comes the Flash! The first appearance of the first Flash, plus stories featuring Cliff Cornwall, Hawkman (his first appearance as well), Johnny Thunder (also his debut, though he's called Johnny Thunderbolt), Thje Demon Dummy, and The Whip.

I remember getting this comic as a kid, and sitting on a plastic chair as my Mom got her hair done in the Nashaminy Mall. Good times.

72 pages.

Click the image to see the original DC ad for this book plus other treasury ads!

 

Famous First Edition #C61 - Superman #1 - 1978

After many years of not doing Famous First Editions, DC doled out one more, a full-on replica of Superman #1!

>>Why all of a sudden DC decided to do one more reprint (and also include a high-closs cover reprint that they started with, but later abandoned) is, again, anyone's guess.<<

I wrote the above paragraph when first preparing this page, and now I think...how dumb can I be? Not only did I get my dates wrong (it was published in 1978, not 1979), but...the reason DC published this was to captalize on Superman: The Movie, of course! Sheesh.

Unlike the other DC umbrella titles, this book is all Superman. DC knew they had a hit, so the jokey back-up features couldn't muscle their way into Supes' own title. This book features no less than six different Superman stories.

This book also features an interesting intro by then-publisher Jenette Khan, where she ranks Superman alongside Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes as "the three best-known fictional characters in the world." I wonder if that list would be the same nowadays.

Lastly, this book has two back cover pin-ups--one of the modern day Superman and one of the future, both by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez and Dick Giordano, which contrast nicely with the immortal cover image.

The final Famous First Edition.

72 pages.

 

Rollover the cover to check out the Garcia-Lopez back cover.

This comic was also published as a Whitman book, with a variant cover to boot! There are no difference between the book's insides, but on the cover the Whitman logo replaces the DC one, the word "Whitman" oh-so-carefully pasted on, and instead of the regular UPC symbol on the back cover, the Whitman one has a little b/w line drawing of Supes flying.
This blurb from The Amazing World of DC Comics #12 is curious--I wonder what DC meant by "surprising new format"? I guess we'll never know!
Click the image to see the original DC ad for this book plus other treasury ads!

Bonus! Courtesy Treasury Hunter Stefane Bellec come some scans(below) of the very rare HTF "slipcase" edition of the Famous First Edition Superman #1. According to Stefane, the book, which is the same exact version as the one regularly available, came in a plain silver slipcase with the "Superman 1" sticker on the front. Also, on the inside cover are the signatures of Siegel and Shuster.

This version is not yet listed in the Overstreet Price Guide, and now we know what DC meant by "surprising new format", mentioned in the blurb above!

It's funny to think about--this edition was published not too long after the Superman movie, and after Siegel & Shuster completed their acrimonious battle with DC to receive creator credits and some financial renumeration. It took major cajones on DC's part to then come to them to ask them to sign some of these limited editions!

 

 
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