From 1984 to 1990, AMAZING HEROES published 13 Preview Special issues looking at what publishers had planned for the near future. I wasn't buying comics through much of this period, so I only bought the last four of these new off the racks, but over the years I picked up any of the earlier ones when I came across them, since they often had great covers, some interesting background information on series of the past (helping to guide me to a few back issues I was interested in), often coming straight from the creators talking in the early stages of the project, and even more interesting information on projects that didn't come out for whatever reason, or were heavily changed by the time they did. Also there was usually a decent selection of artwork, some of it never seen anywhere else.
Anyway, since I now have all 13 issues, I figured this post would be an entertaining way to look at these issues and keep track of some of the more interesting tidbits that I might sometimes find myself hunting for. This is just a preliminary look, I'll add to it as time goes by, and if you remember anything worth mentioning in them please leave a comment and I'll look it up and add it.
pg026 - On a rather odd note, there are 2 1/2 solid pages of Mark Evanier talking about the BLACKHAWK series that he was doing with Dan Spiegle, with lots of information on his takes on each character. Then it all ends with a short note that Evanier and Spiegle were soon leaving the book, which would end up being cancelled.
pg116 - On the other end of the scale, Walt Simonson was just beginning his long run on THOR, and also gets a long preview with his thoughts and plans for various characters.
pg128 - And Steve Gerber talks for two solid pages on his plans for the second monthly WONDER WOMAN book. What, you don't remember the Gerber written WW series of the mid-1980s? Come on, it was classic. Anyway, an interesting look at one of those roads not travelled.
pg032 - Some of the oddest things get fairly long previews, like the full page given to CAPTAIN CARROT - THE OZ-WONDERLAND WAR, then planned as a six-issue series, eventually coming out two years later as three double-sized issues. Nice bit of Carol Lay pencil art from the book.
pg100 - One of the more interesting things in this issue, the SWAMP THING preview is just a straight transcription of a phone interview with Alan Moore, just shortly after he started on the book, with some interesting bits about what he was hoping to do with the book and how working with DC was ("I'm finding the whole experience with DC a real education and a pleasant experience..."). Also, a nice little monster sketch that appears to be a Steve Bissette piece that wasn't from the actual comic.
pg078 - Man, a METAL MEN mini-series by Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick. I'd have liked to have seen that...
pg094 - And Joe Kubert on the 12-issue REDEEMER mini-series. What a year it would have been...
pg112 - And a SUGAR&SPIKE monthly series mixing reprints and new stuff from Sheldon Mayer. You're killing me here DC...
pg046 - Apparently back in 1984 Fantagraphics was planning to publish a full colour bi-monthly comic called DITKO'S WORLD, featuring whatever Ditko came up with each issue. Never came to pass, of course, I guess some of the material wound up in black and white in the Renegade REVOLVER series in 1986, though I'll have to check the two bits of art they have to see if they made it into that.
pg126 - Intriguing non-existent comic, THRILLER SUMMER SPECIAL, where Robert Loren Fleming talks about returning to his series of a few years earlier with Keith Giffen on art and including a Superman team-up in DC COMICS PRESENTS. A later AHPS mentions that this all came as a surprise to DC...
pg006 - Alan Moore made quite a splash in the year since the previous issue, and the first page of previews has one of his lost projects, the Fantagraphics book with the placeholder name "Alan Moore's Comic", an anthology of whatever he felt like that issue, with planned contents including a humour story set at a comic convention and a biography of Aubrey Beardsly.
pg134 - Moore also starts talking about WATCHMEN in this issue, well before it came out, but already well beyond its "Charlton heroes" origins.
pg101 - Kubert's REDEEMER shrinks to a 6-issue series...
pg123 - While Gil Kane's TALLUS OF THE WILDERNESS SEA starts off at 12-issues and with Jan Strnad writing. More on that later.
pg020 - Apparently Fantagraphics legal defence book ANYTHING GOES was originally titled BRIEFS and was supposed to have a Gerber/Kirby/Sinnott 4-page Destroyer Duck story, instead of the Captain Victory and Silver Star pages by Kirby and Sinnott that it came out with.
pg025 - CHEAP SHODDY ROBOT TOYS, a one-shot drawn by Fred Hembeck for Eclipse. That never came out, did it?
pg019 - Walt Simonson drawing Hagar the Horrible (apparently used as a cover to COMICS REVUE). Brilliant.