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DC Digests – FIRE & WATER #82

Firestorm and Aquaman: The Fire and Water Podcast

The 82nd episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is now available for your listening pleasure! THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST is the official podcast of FIRESTORM FAN and THE AQUAMAN SHRINE.

Let’s get small! This week, Rob and guest co-host Michael Bailey talk about one of their favorite comic book formats from childhood: the DC Digest!

You can find the 82nd episode of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST on iTunes. While you’re there, please drop us a review on the iTunes page. Every comment helps! Alternatively, you may download the podcast by right-clicking here, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (31 MB).

As always, thanks to my co-host Rob Kelly, Sea King of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE, for doing all the post-production on these episodes! Opening theme, “That Time is Now,” by Michael Kohler. Special thanks to Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge with their band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our fantastic original closing theme! This episode brought to you in part by!

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Fire and Water Podcast #82: DC Digests

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  1. Kyle Benning says:


    So glad to hear a Digest Comics issue! I know Rob obviously has a huge affinity for both Digest and Treasury comics, and I’ve been using both of his great blogs on the subject in an attempt to track down as many of both as I can get my hands on. Always good to have Michael Bailey on the show.

    The digests I had growing up were limited mostly to the Marvel GI JOE and Transformers comics, and I remember having The Secret Origins Digest that reprinted Krypto’s first appearance and reading that over and over until it fell apart as well. I’ve gone back and picked up a better copy of that Digest and have been trying to track down as many of the DC Digest Books as I can. I have now been able to track down all of the DC Animated Digests (save for the recent Superman one DC just released).

    The Reprints from the Silver Age and Bronze Age series are something I find very interesting, and I find most of my comics budget these days going to tracking down the 80 Page Giants (as well as the 80 Page Annuals that preceeded them), 100 Page Super Spectaculars, Limited Collector’s Edition Treasuries, and the Digest books as essentially the Trade Paperbacks of the era. They served as great vehicles for getting past gems into the hands of a new age of readers who may have missed the stories when they were originally published 5-10 years prior.

    Michael nailed it, the covers on these little Digests are just amazing. How can you not love a Dick Giordano cover with Alan Scott and Hal Jordan both powering up their rings on the cover of Blue Ribbon Digest #4. So many classic gem covers on these digest books. I love these little guys.

    Mike is right, some of these go ridiculously high at Cons and on ebay, I see them run $10+ a piece quite a bit, I’ve been trying to limit myself to snagging these for under $2.50 a piece or so including shipping, and have had decent luck.

    The Year’s Best digests are great collections (as are the Treasuries that had the same format).

    I hope these make a come back, DC released two Digest collections as a part of Superman’s 75th Anniversary last year (which was news for me until I found one recently at a comic shop I don’t usually frequent) and I would assume they’ll do a couple for Batman as well this year. I hope these sell well enough to become a regular thing, unfortunately they carry a $10 price tag these days, which is a bit steep. (links to these digests on instock trades follow below)

    Were there any other digests that used repurposed covers? The one that sticks out is the Wally Fax Batman cover that was originally used on Limited Collectors’ Edition C-44 from 1976 and was again used on Best of DC #2 on 1979. To my knowledge none of the stories collected in either is in both books, which is a little curious since they bear the same cover. I wonder if that discouraged any sales on first pass when seeing the digest on the stand 3 years after you may have picked up the Treasury.

    Yeah wow DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #20 is crazy expensive! It ranges from $19.49 shipped-$74.10!!! WOW!!!! That’s nuts!!

    HAHAHAHA!! I thought the same thing when I bought Superman Salutes the Bicentennial! I was like what the hell?!?! But then as I read it I really enjoyed it and all of the Tomahawk stories inside, and you can’t be too upset with some Curt Swan art that appears in that and doesn’t appear anywhere else. Still a fun book and despite its misleading cover, remains one of my favorite Treasuries.

    I never realized Jonah Hex had his own digest, these 3 are on my priority list to track down.

    I’m glad that Treasuries have been making a comeback courtesy of IDW. They had another great Treasury come out last week with their first Judge Dredd Treasury! That thing is gorgeous. IDW seems to be putting the treasuries out pretty regularly, so that hopefully that means that they are selling pretty well! I’ve picked up both Rocketeer Treasuries, as well as the GI JOE, TMNT, and now Dredd Treasury comic. I’m hoping that they will get around to releasing a John Byrne Treasury comic with some of his great creator owned IDW stuff.

    In addition to the Superman Digests that DC released last year that I mentioned earlier, it appears Marvel released an Avengers digest:

    I believe that Marvel also reprints their current cartoon Ultimate Spider-Man tie-in comic in Digest format, so hopefully if these sell well, they’ll become a more regular publishing format once again.

    Great episode fellas, with a BASEketball reference to boot! I could listen to you guys talk about Treasuries and Digest comics all day long, I hope this becomes a regular feature, can’t wait for the next episode!

  2. rob! says:


    Thanks for the thorough review of the digest episode, I really appreciate it. Honestly, when I pitched the idea to Mike I had no idea whether anyone would care about the digests at all! Like I was with Who’s Who, I’m glad to be wrong.

    I had NO IDEA DC put out two Superman digests last year! Had I known that I would have mentioned them on the show, it gives me hope that the digests aren’t gone forever! I just bought both Superman books from IST, I will report on them in a future episode of F&W!

    Thanks again!

  3. Anj says:

    Sent an email to the Tumblr account but let me echo Kyle here. I loved this episode. Digests were a big part of my youth. And I used them to explore the parts of the DCU I wouldn’t otherwise get to see: Metal Men, old Brave and Bold, JSA, and the ’10 Best’ to sample other books.

    Thanks for doing this!

  4. Kyle Benning says:


    Those Superman Digests were quite the surprise to me as well, they really seemed to fly under the radar. I somehow missed them in the previews and solicits, and stumbled upon them accidently and was pleasantly surprised to find them. (I’ll be picking both of these up off of Instock once I make up my mind on what Showcase Volumes I’m finally going to pick up this month). There isn’t much information out there on them, so I don’t know if more are on the way or not. I would love to see the rest of the Superman The Animated Series comic collected in that format. I have the 4 volumes they originally released in the early 2000’s which collect issues 16, 19, 22-39, but it’d be great if the rest of the series got a proper collection. The last 27 issues have never been reprinted in any format.

    With it being Batman’s 75th Anniversary this year, I would hope they’d follow suit and maybe finally give us a series of comprehensive Digest collections of the Batman animated series comics. The first 9 issues of the 2003-2004 Batman Adventures comic was collected in two digests, it’d be nice if they collected the last 8 issues as well, and finally got around to collecting Volume 1, Batman & Robin Adventures, and Batman: Gotham Adventures in Digest as well. I’d be happy to finally have a collection of the entire Animated Series tie-in comics, and since the majority of the material that has been collected was released in Digest format in the past, it would only make sense if they went back to the Digest format when they finally get around to collecting the remaining material.

    I may be getting too optimistic for DC ramping up their Digest releases.

    Quick question for you, do you know, were the Teen Titans Animated Digests that were released under the Jam Packed Action banner actual reprinted issues being collected? Or was it a collection of screen shots of selected cartoon episodes adapted into a comic story? There is a Jam Packed Action Justice League Digest that misleadingly (is that even a real word?) bears the same cover as the Justice League Unlimited Vol.1 Digest “United They Stand.” But instead of reprinting issues #1-5 of the series, it has screen shot adaptions of the episode “For the Man Who Has Everything,” and another episode that escapes my mind at the moment. I was curious if the Teen Titans Jam Packed Digests follow the same format, or if they actually reprinted comics from the Teen Titans Go! comic series? Perhaps there was a mixture of both? Some digests reprinted comic issues, others served as screen shot comic adaptions of episodes?

    I’d love to hear you cover some of these classic DC Digests from the 70’s and 80’s in future episodes, obviously most of these are all reprinted material, but some did have original material unique only to the digests, which was a nice added bonus. I’d love for you guys to cover some of the Secret Origins and Year’s Best stories of the digests, that’d be fun!

  5. Luke says:

    I bought my first digest comic late last year. At work, we had an Angel Tree for gifts for local underprivlegded kids. Searching the tree I found a kid who was asking for comics! Cha-ching! So along with a copy of The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told and the first volume of Busiek/Perez Avengers, I also picked up the holiday edition of the Archie Double Digest! I see these at Publix all the time and am always tempted, but have yet to pull the trigger on one.

    I do want to make a couple of quick comments:

    Rob mentioned The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love. The book had a sister series called Sinister House of Secret Love. After a couple of issues, they both dropped their Romance angle and became straight Mystery books titled Forbidden Tales of the Dark Mansion and Secrets of Sinister House. Sinister House (both Romance and non-Romance issues) was collected in it’s entirety in a Showcase Presents volume.

    Rob also mentioned that there was a modern digest featuring Sgt. Rock, I had never heard of this! Will definitely need to track it down, thanks for the head’s up. I am also going to find myself on eBay looking for more War digest books, dang you!

  6. rob! says:

    @Kyle–The Teen Titans digests that I have are reprints of the comics, not stills from the toon, though I know they did those, too.

    I really like the Superman digests you pointed me to, I hope they do these for every DC hero’s 75th anniversary! Batman in 2014, Wonder Woman in 2015, Aquaman in 2016…

    @Luke–The Sgt Rock digest was called Sgt. Rock’s Combat Tales. It’s a little more Manga-sized than a true digest, and DC did not a whit of publicity for it at the time.

    It has a little “1”on the spine, and it reprints the first Rock stories from Our Army At War, which suggests to me that DC was planning a series of these, doing all the Rock stories in order. But of course that didn’t happen. :(

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