First Issue Special #1

First Issue Special #1, April 1975

I’ve talked about this decidedly odd series before. Suffice it to say, it was a late attempt at reviving the Showcase tradition of character tryouts largely based on Carmine Infantino’s idea that first issues were what sold, so a series of nothing but first issues should be a big seller.

Anyway, Jack Kirby, then wiling away the days until he could escape his contract, offered up three ideas: Manhunter, Dingbats, and this one, Atlas. Atlas, alas, wasn’t Kirby’s finest hour, and is something like a nondescript retread of Thor. Nonethless, Kirby did have plans for the big fella, and his proposal details ideas for several further adventures.

While flipping through some old comics recently, I came across this advert:

Atlas ad

Note that that is not the cover that actually appeared on the book. Note too that the title of the comic at that point seemed to lack the “Special” part — perhaps that was later added by Carmine to provide even more excitement for the potential purchaser. “Hey!, it’s not just a first issue, it’s special too!”

Considering that Kirby did produce at least three issues of the Dingbats (two of which have never been published), one has to wonder whether there are any more issues of Atlas extant somewhere.

©2007 DC Comics