Comics Missing In Action by Joe Gualtieri

Joe Gualtieri writes for Bleeding Cool;

Usually, when people write columns about comics not collected in trade paperbacks, they look at series that haven't been collected at all (say, Paul Jenkins's Hellblazer) or where the collected editions were abandoned (Hitman). Instead, I'm mainly going to be looking at issues missing from collected runs of comics, prominent stories that haven't been reprinted, and cancelled trade paperbacks.

Comics Missing In Action by Joe GualtieriAuthority: The Lost Year #8-12

The trade collecting these issues by Keith Giffen working off Grant Morrison's plots was quietly cancelled by DC.

Batman #59, #62

According to, the first appearance of Deadshot in #59 has never been reprinted, period. Not as a back-up story, not in any of the voluminous Batman collections DC's put out over the last 20-odd years. Deadshot may not be an A-list villain, but he's played a prominent role in popular titles like Suicide Squad and Secret Six and appeared in outside media like Justice League Unlimited and Batman: Gotham Knight.

The lead story from #62, "The Secret Life of Catwoman" has seen numerous reprints, meanwhile the back-up, which is certainly more famous at the moment, features the debut of the Knight and Squire and hasn't appeared anywhere else.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #1-13

Most of you reading this are probably saying to yourself that these have been collected. Well, you're right in the case of the lead stories, but the back-ups featuring Kate Spencer have not been collected. DC solicited a collection, but as with the second Authority: the Lost Year trade, it was cancelled. This list could probably be filled with the recent DC back-up series, as the Blue Beetle stories from Booster Gold being collected seems to be the exception, rather than the rule (the other most noteworthy series not collected are probably the DeMatteis/Giffen/Maguire Metal Men stories from Doom Patrol #1-7 and Captain Atom from Action # 879-889).

Captain America #321-331

That's a long block of left out issues, but an appropriate one. Gearing up for the film, Marvel's unleashed a torrent of Cap trades, including the long-asked for John Walker as replacement Cap story in The Captain (#332-350). Well, sort of. The replacement Cap story has a long prelude that starts in #321, that includes Cap shooting a terrorist (quite controversial at the time), which lead into Walker's debut, the first appearance of the Power Broker (a major figure during the storyline), and a series of phone calls that set-up Cap appearing before the Commission and quitting in #332.

Chamber #1-4 & Cyclops #1-4

Usually, not collecting work by red hot creators working for the competition is something DC does, but in the case of these early 00s mini-series by Brian K. Vaughan, Marvel didn't bother to collect them even after Y the Last Man and Ex Machina became big hits.

Chase # 2-5, 9, 1,000,000

Dan Curtis Johnson and JH Williams's classic series finally received a collected edition via the DC Comics Presents line, but that just means we're unlikely to ever see a proper trade for the series. DC's skipping from #1 to #6 in the DCP issue makes hoping for a second collection seem like a fool's errand.

Daredevil #264

Most of Anne Nocenti's Daredevil run hasn't been reprinted, so why does this issue stand out? Well, two trades do exist of her run—Typhoid Mary (#254-263) and Lone Stranger (#265-273). That's right, #264 falls smack in-between the two extant trades, meaning that even if Marvel goes back to Nocenti's run, this one's likely to be left out in the cold.

DC One Million

There's a superb extant trade that collects the most 10 essential bits of the series, but die-hard Morrison fans would love an Omnibus collecting the entire 40 issue storyline.

DV8 #7-8

Warren Ellis wrote or co-wrote nine issues of this series, and only seven of them made it into the one trade.

Eightball #11

The issue after his epic "Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron" ended, Dan Clowes presents a Hollywoodized version of the storyline, which is quite funny and sadly not included in the "Velvet Glove" trade.

Comics Missing In Action by Joe GualtieriGreen Lantern (1990) # 141

Via proper trades and the recent DC Comics Presents: Green Lantern pseudo-trade, every issue of Judd Winick's regular Green Lantern run has been collected, aside from this one. The DCP book filled in most of a gap between trades and DC likely couldn't fit this one in there and keep the same price point. More blame though goes to the Power of Ion trade, as #141-142 is a two-parter, yet the trade only collects the second half. Winick's Our Worlds at War one-shot is also MIA

Hellblazer #34, 36-40, 51, 229, 250

In March, DC has a new edition of "Original Sins" due out collecting Hellblazer #1-9 and Swamp Thing #76-77. The solicitation copy crows about how "This is the first of a series of new HELLBLAZER collections that put all his adventures in reading order, capturing Constantine at his youthful, anarchic best." Unfortunately, this leaves fans of Jamie Delano's take on Constantine a bit short changed, as the current editions of the trades needed only one more volume to finish collecting his run, in #34-40 (#35 is in the Rare Cuts trade). Hopefully, DC is cleaning up its act with regards to the Hellblazer trades, but based on past experiences (like the last new edition of "Original Sins" getting a spine number and then it taking years for a second Delano trade to appear), I wouldn't count on it.

#51 is the notorious haunted Laundromat fill-in by John Smith and Sean Phillips.

#229 was a fill-in by Mike Carey in-between Denisa Mina's run and Andy Diggle's.

#250 has Peter Milligan's first Constantine story, as well as tales by Brian Azzarello, China Miellville, Dave Gibbons, and Delano. The first Milligan trade, "Scab" reprints his story, but not the others.

Justice League International #18 & 24

The lead stories are included in the JLI collections, but the JLI-relevant "Bonus Book" mid-issue stories from then new talent have not been reprinted, likely because they're not by Giffen and DeMatteis. The story in #18 is by Martin Askwith and James Webb, and focuses on the domestic life of Mr. Miracle and Big Barda (eventually, they received their own spin-off by DeMatteis and Ian Gibson). #24 offers something more intriguing though, a Maxwell Lord solo story by David Levin and a then-attending college Dean Haspiel (American Splendor, the Alcoholic).

Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #7

Recently, the sixth and final volume of the Starman Omnibus series shipped, supposedly completing a series reprinting all of James Robinson's Starman material. Well, the series doesn't quite do that, despite going so far as to include Stars and Stripes #0. Most obviously, it leaves out the first arc on JSA, co-written by Robinson and David Goyer (who also co-wrote part of Starman itself). That shouldn't be a big deal to fans, as there's a trade for it. What's more of an issue for die-hard Starman fans is that this issue wasn't included. It may not feature Jack Knight, but it adds to the engrossing mythology Robinson built around Opal City.

Marvel Knights Double Shot #1-4 and Marvel Double Shot #1-4

Two early 00s anthology titles featuring mainly a-list talent like Greg Rucka and Gene Ha. A few of the stories, like Ennis Punisher story in MKDS#1 and the Bill Morrison Avengers story in MDS #2 have made it into trades, but most of them have not. The real hidden gem is the Nick Fury story by Grant Morrison in MKDS #2.

Comics Missing In Action by Joe GualtieriMarvel Team-Up #74 and #79

#74 was skipped in the Essentials, as it features the cast of Saturday Night Live. #79 has been reprinted, in the 2008 Spider-Man/Red Sonja collection, which looks like it's gone out of print.

Mr. Majestic (1999) # 7-9

DC put out one trade, collecting the first six issues of this fine Joe Casey series. Unfortunately, you're going to have to search back-issue bins for the latter third.

Red Herring # 1-6- by David Tischman and Philip Bond.

The series sold horribly in singles (I believe one issue didn't even make the top 300) and the collected edition apparently fared even worse, as DC spiked it after soliciting it.

Secret Origins (1986) # 10, 32-35, 46, 50

The 1986 version of Secret Origins is a treasure trove of terrific material by great creators, barely any of which has been reprinted anywhere; these issues are arguably the standouts of what's been ignored.
#10 presents four different origins for the Phantom Stranger. One of the four, by Alan Moore, has obviously received the most attention and is included in both editions of Across the Universe. The other three versions, by Mike W. Barr, Paul Levitz, and Dan Mishkin are all quite enjoyable.

#32-35 is a sequence spotlighting the JLI. #32 is a full history of the JLA up that point in time while the next three issues spotlight the JLI roster. Despite the involvement of Giffen and DeMatteis, none of these stories have been included in the JLI trade series so far, though the long out of print Secret Origins trade (source for Denny O'Neil's classic "the Man Who Falls") included #32 and some of #35.

#46 is the all-headquarters issue which includes Grant Morrison detailing the history of the JLA's old base and most infamously, Mark Waid on the original Legion of Superheroes Clubhouse.

#50 A veritable continuity patch clearinghouse, the best known story in here is Grant Morrison rewriting "A Flash of Two Worlds" for the post-Crisis era (included in the Morrison/Millar Flash trades), there's quite a bit of other good material here, including the death of the original Black Canary.

Strange Adventures # 184, #190, #195

It's a little odd that given his popularity, Animal Man's early appearances haven't been properly collected anywhere. The middle three issues have only been reprinted once each, back in 1972 in Adventure Comics (the first one has seen several reprints, and the fifth is in DC Goes Ape).

Stormwatch: Team Achilles #12-24

Written by Micah Wright, this incarnation of Stormwatch was part of the ill-fated adult Eye of the Storm line that also included Joe Casey's Wildcats 3.0 and Automatic Kafka (which has never been collected in English).  The title was already cancelled when it came out that Wright lied about his military service record. Embarrassed, DC cancelled the trade collecting #12-19, the Citizen Soldier arc that was the series' undeniable highpoint, and #24 (I cannot recall if the art was completed for the issue, but Wright released the script online). DC is unlikely to ever reprint these issue for a whole host of reasons, which is a shame.

Comics Missing In Action by Joe GualtieriSuperboy & The Legion Of Superheroes #224

One side-effect of the Legion Archives ending with volume 12 is that Jim Shooter's final Legion issue (until 2008) is his only issue that hasn't been collected.

Supergirl (2005) # 20-22

These fill-in crossover over issues by Tony Bedard were left out of both the regular series of Supergirl trades and the trades for the crossovers they tied into.

Swamp Thing #82-#88

When DC solicited the first trade collecting Rick Veitch's solo Swamp Thing run, far more people were interested in the question of what they were going to do about the never-published Veitch version of #88 than in actually reading the series, which is a shame. It's not as good as Alan Moore's run, but it's still excellent. Anyway, more to the point, DC apparently decided to answer the speculation by doing nothing. Infernal Triangles, the third Veitch collection, came out nearly five years ago.

Uncanny X-Men #281

The first post-Claremont issue. Marvel collected (bar a few pages) #282-288 in the Coming of Bishop, but chose to leave out the issue that kicked off the storyline, likely because Bishop didn't actually debut until the next issue, but it's still odd in hindsight.

Uncanny X-Men #400-409

Joe Casey's Uncanny X-Men run came at the beginning of the collect-darn-near-everything era and as a result, only about 40% of his run made into TPB form. Meanwhile, Chuck Austen's entire run was collected. Likely the only time you will see Eddie Campbell draw the X-Men.

Women of Marvel One-Shots

Some of these have been reprinted in trades associated with their respective series (like Sif) others probably will be (Majorie Liu's X-23 issue), but several of them are likely to be collected only in the anthology TPB, including two of them associated with two of Marvel's more critically acclaimed series of late—Spitfire for Captain Britain & MI-13 and Namora for Agents of Atlas, leaving fans of those series with a choice between incomplete collections, shelling out for a pricey trade full of material they don't want, and tracking down the singles.

X-Factor #65-68

This four part story is one of the key storylines in X-Men history, as it eventually turned out to be the defacto origin for Cable. Marvel reprinted them once, way back in 1996, and not even as a proper trade, but basically a thick single issue, with the same binding Marvel used on their short-lived Megazine reprint line.

X-Men: The Muir Isle Saga (Uncanny X-Men #278-280, X-Factor #69-70)

This storyline marked the transition between the single-title era and the split into the Blue and Gold teams. Currently, you can read the entire history of the All New, All Different X-Men in trades up to this point. It's also Andy Kubert first work on the X-titles and #280 was the first original non-Claremont issue since #66.

X-Men (1991) #8-11

Yes there are millions of copies out there, but the same is true of #1-7, too, and that hasn't stopped Marvel from reprinting those in both paperback and hardcover formats. These four issues represent the only major X-Men work by Jim Lee that has not been collected properly in a trade paperback. That caveat is there because ages ago, #8-9 were partially included in the rare X-Men/Ghost Rider: Brood Trouble in the Big Easy trade from the mid-90s, but #8 was gutted and #9 is missing pages.

X-Men Unlimited (2004) #9

Matt Fraction's first X-Men work, and possibly his first Marvel work. This was reprinted in Dark Reign: the List- X-Men #1, but as best as I can tell, when that issue was collected, the Unlimited #9 story wasn't included.E GH

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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