Golden-Age Greats Adventure Heroes Special

    (AC, 2006)
™ Americomics, © AC Comics

AC Comics made a brilliant move in 1980s—reprint Golden Age comics. This not only helped to preserve material that had been priced out of the range of new collectors, but introduced golden age heroes and materials to new generations of comic book readers. As part of their Golden Age Greats series, Adventure Heroes Special provides a trade paperback collection of such heroes as Bulletman, Ibis, Crimebuster, Spy Smasher, Minute Man and the ever beautiful Rio Rita. Black and white reprints may not be as colorful as the originals, but to understand the history of comics and see the artwork back in print again is worth the price of the books.

— Ron Black

From the Comics Buyer’s Guide:

Once again, AC repackages several of its thin trade paperbacks of Golden Age reprints from several years ago into a great big one that will look much nicer on your bookshelf. The only downside is the extremely eclectic mix of stories: Fawcett heroes (Ibis, Bulletman, Mr. Scarlet) share space with Fiction House’s Rio Rita, who’s next door to Charles Biro’s teen hero Crimebuster.

Fawcett is best known for The Marvel Family, but its second-tier characters acquit themselves nicely in stories as handsome as they are clever. And, while Fiction House more or less specialized in endangered pretty girls in abbreviated outfits, the Rio Rita espionage stories are better than that by far.

The highlight has to be a long and thrilling sequence pitting Crimebuster against his arch-nemesis Ironjaw in a postwar world that has precious little patience for super-heroes (a girl rightly ridicules CB’s ridiculous “costume” and makes him put on long pants) or villains (the judge presiding over his case refuses to believe he’s more than a common crook).

— S.A. Bennett

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 Bill BlackPhil Bard, Jack Binder, Alex A. Blum, Bob Fujitani, Mac Raboy