Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reading Room: DOC SAVAGE (& SPIDER-MAN) "Tomorrow is Too Late!"

When Last We Left Our Heroes (in two different eras)...
Good question, Web-Head!
After you met this half-naked blue lady at the site of an old building being demolished, she showed you images from the day, in 1934, when the building was dedicated by none other than New York's Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia!
Also on hand was the legendary Doc Savage, along with several of his aides.
The amazing adventurers foiled an assassination attempt against the Mayor after being warned via an anonymous letter that "something" would happen at that location.
However, they were a few hours early, and the danger they were warned about still hadn't been revealed...
No, Spidey's not naked in panel 4! They just left out the cyan "blue" color* on his costume!
Tomorrow, we flash back forty years to see what happened when Doc met Desinna...
You may note that this story, along with the Doc/Thing team-up in Marvel Two-in-One that we presented here and here have not been reprinted either by Marvel (in their various Spider-Man or Thing reprints) or DC (in their Doc Savage reprint trade paperback)
It's part of the problem combining licensed characters (which comics publishers don't own, just lease) with the publisher's own characters.
DC has a similar situation with two Bronze Age Batman stories guest-starring The Shadow.
Unless you dig them up in a back-issue bin, you'll only find them here and here!

Marvel's Godzilla comic used SHIELD personnel and other Marvel characters as supporting characters and guests.
Even so, Marvel had to re-negotiate with Toho to do a Godzilla Essentals.
Similarly, the plethora of toy-tie ins that featured Marvel characters and presented plot elements continued in mainstream Marvel titles (Rom, Micronauts, Shogun Warriors) will never be reprinted!
And, while the events that occurred can be referenced, the licensed characters themselves can't be directly-named!

From the 1990s onward, publishers have built-in reprint rights for licensed tie-ins that combine characters, so there have been trade paperbacks of Superman/Aliens, Batman/Judge Dredd, etc.), but for almost all of the earlier tie-in team-ups, you have to find the original issues.
*The "blue" in Spidey's costume is actually a combination of cyan (light blue) and magenta (pink-red) ink.
Often the magenta is left out, resulting in the blue being a bright "Superman" blue, but it really should be a medium-dark blue.

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