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Atlas Comics To Return!

Fat Freddy

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This is probably only interesting to me but what the hell, I thought it was cool anyway:


Long time comic book geeks (i.e. guys my age and older) might have vague memories of the short lived mid 1970s comic publisher "Atlas Comics," which was started by a former Marvel Comics exec. The story goes that when Martin Goodman (a former Marvel publisher/editor) sold Marvel Comics to Cadence Industries in the early 70s, he only did so with the understanding that his son Chip, a Marvel editor at the time, would get to stay with the company. As soon as the sale was completed, though, the new owners gave Chip the boot, so he and Martin quickly started a new company called "Atlas Comics" in the hopes of taking a bite out of Marvel's market and to get some measure of revenge. They hired a ton of writers and artists away from Marvel by paying some of the highest rates in the comics industry at the time, so everyone thought the new company would be a smash hit and would present a real danger to the dominance of DC and Marvel. However, it didn't work out that way.


Atlas Comics premiered in 1975 with over 20 (!) brand new titles, and they had major problems from the get go. Their books suffered from a lack of distribution and the company had constant personnel turnover on each of its books, with a revolving door of artists/writers coming and going from each of the various series. Sales were strong at first but quickly plummeted, and the company lasted just over a year before shutting down, becoming one of the most notorious failures in comics history at the time.


I missed out on all that drama at the time cuz I was only five years old and not a comic nerd yet. When I started collecting comics in the '80s though, the name "Atlas" was more or less a joke, and only a few of their books were worth more than a buck on the back issue market. Therefore, I used to come across Atlas stuff in comic shop cheap-o boxes all the time. As I was a confirmed bargain bin comic junkie I started snapping them up whenever I found them, and I managed to collect almost everything that they'd put out (which amounted to maybe 100 books total -- none of their series lasted longer than four issues before the company went belly up). They had some interesting (if derivative) books like "Ironjaw" (a "Conan" style barbarian character), "The Scorpion," "Phoenix" (no relation to the X-Men character, obviously) and "Targitt" (a vigilante character who predates The Punisher).


Anyway, it seems that Martin Goodman's grandson Jason is planning to relaunch the Atlas brand name and revive their stable of characters this Fall, starting with a big roll out party at the New York Comic Con next month.




Lord only knows if this will take off as I'm sure most current comic fans don't know any of these characters/series and anyone who DOES remember them is probably retired from the comics scene, but hey, good luck to'em. I wouldn't mind finding out what happened after the cliffhanger endings of "Morlock 2001 and the Midnight Men" #3, and "Planet Of Vampires" #3, neither of which were ever resolved as the company went under before the fourth issues were released. :lol:


Anybody besides me remember this brave-but-doomed attempt to beat the Marvel Universe at their own game? Lots of info on these long-gone long underwear types can be found at this fan site, "The Atlas Archives" http://www.atlasarchives.com/index.html

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Yea, it'll be interesting to see if they'll stick around longer this time than they did back in the '70s. I dunno if I'd bother reading any of the new/re-booted titles but if they reprinted some of the vintage stuff in a trade paperback or graphic novel format I'd be all over that. Much of Atlas' output was totally cool, funky, '70s style cheez.

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Very interesting! I had many of these Atlas comics. Used to be a big comic fan myself, and still follow the character DEADPOOL til this day.


I thought Deadpool was Marvel? :unsure:

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