I have been reading Doug Zawisza's excellent Hawkman Companion this week. I've read pretty much the entire book already, but always jumping from place to place; this time I am reading it all the way through. I'm about halfway through, including having read the chapter on Hawkman's appearances between the end of The Atom And Hawkman in 1969 and the debut of The Shadow War Of Hawkman in 1985.
These intermezzo stories are almost a complete blind spot for me. I have the three issues of Showcase featuring the Rann-Thanagar War, The Brave And The Bold #186, and I did pick up DC Comics Presents #74 at HeroesCon, but that's about it. These tales have, unfortunately, almost completed avoided being reprinted over the years (Oddly, one of the tales from Super Team Family, of all places, was reprinted in one of the 80-page Countdown Presents: The Atom specials, of all places...), so I knew I was going to have to re-sharpen my back issue diving skills in order to locate them. Yeah, I could just order them all online, but I at least wanted to attempt to buy local before resorting to the Internets.
So part of my lunch break today involved heading over to my one-time LCS, Borderlands, to check out the selection in the back issue bins. They are typically pretty well stocked, at least for a store of their size. They don't have the sheer real estate that Heroes & Dragons does down in Columbia, but as a trip to the capital was out of the realm of possibility over lunch, Borderlands it was. So how did I make out?
The Brave & The Bold #139 -- I normally hunt Marvel team-up books more than DC ones, but the DC ones I have read are generally cut from much the same cloth as their cross-town brethren. The relationship between Batman and Hawkman is an odd one -- both are intimidating figures who don't play nice with crooks, but I've always wondered about how Hawkman's position as a policeman would jive with Batman's operations outside the law. Of course this being 1978, Batman wasn't exactly on the outs with the GCPD, I don't think, but it's food for thought anyway. I found a good looking copy at $5, which was my ceiling that I wanted to pay for the book. But, as I said, I figured I would throw some money at the local shop, so this was a good candidate. Doubtless I will break this out at some point when I next guest star on Back To The Bins, as was the style of the time.
Detective Comics #500 -- This one was something of a surprise. Not that they had it in stock -- I figured, a big, oversized anniversary issue like this, surely they will have one -- but rather the price: a measly $4. Considering that the 80 Page Giant barely seems to want to fit in its bag and board, that seems like, if nothing else, a good cost-per-page return. The Hawk story in this issue is of interest to both Hawkfans and backers of the Martian Manhunter, as the Pinioned Powerhouses investigate whatever happened to good old Dr. Erdel.
Non-Hawk Related -- I rounded out the trip with a few unrelated titles. First was (Adventure Into) Fear #26, featuring Morbius, The Living Vampire. I had picked up a couple of issues if Fear at HeroesCon and for $3 I thought, 'Why not?' Then, a quintent of dollar books: Avengers #222, 231, and 331 (part of my slow attempt to actually collect Avengers outside of simply buying the Essentials), Creatures On The Loose #28 (a Steve Gerber penned tale of Thongor), and Kong The Untamed #5 (because I will always buy DC Explosion era S&S comics).
I ended up leaving a good number of issues of Detective Comics behind, because while I like to shop local, I won't spend $15+ for a single book; it's just not in my budget. Still, good to know the stock is available locally, to keep that in mind for FCBD, the Big Annual Sale, or even when they have a booth set up at HeroesCon or the upcoming SC Comicon.
And so begins the hunt once again. It's weird to go to these sections of the back issue bins -- unfamiliar territory for me to look through Batman comics! -- but as the journey into Hawk fandom continues, the path stretches ever onward.