April 18, 2009
Once upon a time on a planet far far away I collected DC’s “Mystery in Space”. Eventually I had an unbroken run of issues 50 to 110. I then began chipping away at the earlier issues as money and visits to Comic Marts allowed. I also owned most of the British black and white reprints that had been issued in the mid 1950s under the “Strato” imprint. Since then most comics featuring Adam Strange have passed through my hands up to the most recent (and boring) incarnation in the re-vamped “Strange Adventures” (which incidentally features a return of that odd character known only as “The Weird”).
So imagine my surprise this week when I came across a previously unseen “Mystery in Space” book. This hardbacked Annual was published in the UK in 1967 or 1968. Published by Thorpe and Porter at the time when they were producing the “Double Double” magazines it followed the same format (yet for twice the price!!)
As the cover shows Adam Strange (taken from the cover of MIS 95) you’d expect the majority of the book to feature that character. What you actually get is six complete (by complete I mean with their covers..adverts..the lot !!) DC/ACG comics re-bound within the hard outer covers, only one of which was DCs Mystery in Space (No 110 which was the final issue until the early 1980s). MIS 95 is nowhere to be seen !! For the record the rest of the interior consists of :-
Without seeing another copy of this book I don’t know if every issue featured the same six comics but owning a number of the the “Double Double” softbacks (see an earlier blog) I suspect that although the first comic may be the same every time there is a strong possibility that the rest of the contents varied depending on what unsold comics were cluttering up the warehouse. Around this time there were also a few other “Annuals” of collected comics published by Thorpe and Porter featuring The Metal Men, Green Lantern and Aquaman on the covers (contents unknown). Another forgotten footnote in comics history.