Bargain Comic Reviews

New Reviews of Old Comics

Who’s Who #20 (Oct. 1986)


Purchase price: $1

I have an odd, inexplicable fascination with this DC series.  When it first came out I bought new issues each month religiously and read the write up for nearly every character.  For those who haven’t seen it before, Who’s Who was DC’s cleverly named answer to Marvel’s Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, alphabetically telling the story of their characters over the last 50 years (or at least it was in 1986).  Each character had a pin-up image, often drawn by the character’s creator when available, or a closely identified artist next to an all text write up outlining their vital stats (real name, family relations, height, weight, first appearance, etc) a high level history and summary of their powers and weapons.  Naturally major characters had at least a full page, while minor characters had half page write-ups.  This is all surrounded by a wrap around cover in a standard format across all issues that shows all of the characters from the given issue.

Issue 20 starts with Rubberduck and ends with Shining Knight; Saturn Girl and Sgt. Rock are the biggest names in the issue.  The history write-up condenses years of continuity into a couple paragraphs of highlights, which demonstrates how soap opera like comic books can be.   My favorites in here are The Scarecrow by Arthur Adams,  Sgt. Rock by Joe Kubert and Serifan (from the Forever People) by Jack Kirby.  Jack also drew pin-ups for his version of Sandman and his side-kick Sandy the Golden Boy.  I haven’t read Jack’s Sandman and Sandy looks sort of evil.

Having read this issue I’m even more confused why I liked it so much when it first came out 25 years ago.  It’s like a nice-to-have kind of reference, but not much beyond that.  I’ve seen other issues in the bargain bins, and I usually pull them out, but put them back in favor of a “real” comic story.  So, if I bought these when they first came out why am I buying issues now?  Glad you asked.  Of course I sold them back in the 90s when I was selling off tons of Marvel and DCs to buy independent titles with any store credits I could get.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Notable Ad:  None to speak of; however this whole series is arguably one big ad.

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This entry was posted on February 29, 2012 by in Comic Book Review, DC and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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