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    Shattered by the Implosion

    A Fragment in the Explosion

    Dynamic Classics

    by David R. Black

    Dynamic Classics #1I recently had the good fortune of stumbling across a copy of Dynamic Classics #1, which was published in 1978 with an October cover date. Dynamic Classics isn't worth much (I paid $1.50 for it) and I doubt it's very rare, but it is definitely a unique piece of DC publishing history.

    You see, Dynamic Classics lasted all of one issue. Debuting as part of 1978's DC Explosion, Dynamic was among the many casualties when the Explosion turned to Implosion. Just as interesting is the fact that Dynamic was the first of four planned reprint titles. Of its three sister titles, Battle Classics had one issue, and both Demand Classic and Western Classics were cancelled before they even began! The covers of Battle #3, Demand #1 & #2, Dynamic #3, and Western #1 & #2 were all included as part of Cancelled Comic Cavalcade in the Autumn of 1978. However, the interior stories, being all reprints, were not included. For a great web site with tons of information about the two issues of Cancelled Comic Cavalcade, check out

    As for the comic itself, Dynamic #1 reprints the Batman story "Secret of the Waiting Graves" from 1969's Detective Comics #395. In the backup slot is the first part of the Archie Goodwin/Walter Simonson Manhunter series. Had Dynamic survived the Explosion, it would have reprinted the entire Manhunter run (the entire series was recently collected in trade paperback form, and in 1984 it was also reprinted as an oversized special).

    Both stories are good reads, the Batman story being surprisingly good for having been written in 1969 when comics were much less sophisticated than they are today. Complementing Denny O'Neil's writing is gorgeous Neal Adams art, and Adams draws one of my favorite versions of Batman (Jim Aparo's Batman being another). Additionally, the book's logo is a nifty take on the DC bullet logo of the time. If I was composing a Comics Cabana column, I would rate Dynamic Classics a solid 8 out of 10.

    I was going to include a brief synopsis of what Dynamic's three sister titles were supposed to be like, but I can't state it better than Mike W. Barr does in the issue's text page. Poor Mr. Barr never expected how ironic his words "new readers and old alike have a lot of fine comics ahead of them" would sound to readers twenty-two years later. The following are excerpts from his column;

    …This is a reprint book, we know it, and we're being up front about it for a very special reason. Reprints are too often the last resort of an editor who has come up against a deadline with no story in the drawer, and presses waiting to roll….As such, the reprints are sometimes not the best of all possible choices, often having to be tailored to the correct length the editor happens to need for a specific space. Not so with DYNAMIC CLASSICS and her three sister magazines (more about those in a moment); these are reprints that we at DC are proud of, and of the fact that we're reprinting them. And the reason is simple - they're good stories that readers would otherwise have no opportunity to see…Each issue of DYNAMIC CLASSICS and her sisters will adhere to a specific, pre-chosen theme, thus making them DC's first foray into regularly scheduled structured reprints since the demise of WANTED! and SECRET ORIGINS [in 1973 and 1974 respectively].

    …While the lead spot of DYNAMIC CLASSICS will vary, the second spot will belong to Manhunter until the series has been entirely represented…. DYNAMIC CLASSICS will continue to bring readers memorable tales from the early Seventies, tales that your obedient servant can remember buying in their first editions, but which a large portion of DC's readership will not have read.

    DEMAND CLASSICS, on the other hand, will represent DC's best from the Sixties. A memorable decade, that, the one in which the superhero really came into his own. DEMAND #1 is starting at the top, representing one of the few truly historic stories in the comics medium, "Flash of Two Worlds"….Old timers will get a kick out of re-reading the story that brought back the original Flash and introduced the concept of Earth-Two, and newcomers will have a chance to learn which Earth is which from the ground floor.

    BATTLE CLASSICS is likely to represent anything from DC's many years of top quality war magazines, but will surely not neglect the noncom most generals wish they were, Sgt. Rock….

    WESTERN CLASSICS will introduce some of DC's best - and most neglected - work to a new generation of readers, including Bat Lash from the Sixties and Johnny Thunder from the Fifties.

    So, new readers and old alike have a lot of fine comics ahead of them. Each and every one of these issues will, of course, contain twenty-five pages of story, as DC expands to give you more comics for less money. And considering the prices comic dealers are charging these days for back issues, we think you're getting the best of the bargain.

    ….Why not take this opportunity to tell us which comic classics you'd like to see represented in these pages, and why. Until then, stay happy, and keep reading.

    -- Mike W. Barr

    My vote: 8 out of 10
    vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote

    David R. Black is's magazine editor and chief archivist. A big fan of "The Warlord," he has a cat named Shakira and is looking for a girlfriend named Tara....

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