Atlas Shrugs Again!
Welcome back collectors and speculators! This week myself and Jason Shaw have teamed up to supply you will all the Altas Comics knowledge you will probably ever need!
Scorpion. Demon-Hunter. The Destructor. Wulf the Barbarian. Devilina. A recent first-look and development deal with Paramount Pictures puts these long-forgotten Bronze age comic books in the spotlight after languishing in dollar bins for decades.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures has struck a development, production, and distribution deal with Steven Paul, who owns a majority interest in the failed 70s superhero and horror imprint Atlas/Seaboard Comics, to adapt several of those properties. HR reports that the company will form a writer’s room, reportedly headed by writer/producer Akiva Goldsman. Production will being on films as early as next year and the first film should appear by 2021.
Seaboard Periodicals was founded in 1974 by former Marvel Comics owner Martin Goodman, who actually launched the Atlas Comics imprint in retaliation of the firing of his son, executive director Charles “Chip” Goldman. (Marvel Comics was called Atlas Comics in the 1950s.) Intending for the line to become the “New House of Ideas,” Goldman recruited some of the industry’s top talent, including Neil Adams, Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, Alex Toth and Wally Wood, as well as Howard Chaykin and Rich Buckler. Larry Lieber, Stan Lee’s brother even served as the editor of Atlas' black and white comics magazines line.
According to Comic Book Artist Magazine 16, Goodman refused to pay for the expense of licensing recognizable characters so he had his staff “swipe” popular concepts and properties. “The Spider became The Scorpion, Kolchak became The Cougar, and The Omega Man became Planet of Vampires. Some of these characters would eventually find their way to Marvel Comics in the form of Chaykin's Dominic Fortune (Scorpion) and Rick Buckler’s Devil-Slayer (Demon Hunter).
The company was a pioneer in creator’s rights, offering their creators serious pay rates for the time. However, sales were never great and the company ultimately folded.
Ardden Entertainment brought back a few Atlas characters in 2010 for a short lived revival until a lawsuit killed it. The Ardden run is noteworthy because those series have the only Atlas variants with many being quite limited. As of today SP Media has consolidated all rights and plans new works in 2021.
But we are here for the Paramount first look deal. Remember that many of these comics have languished in dollar bins for decades. No one cared about Atlas until today. Here are the books and characters you should familiarize yourself with. Hit those bins people, there is little risk here.
First appearance: Phoenix 1
FMV – $90, 75 graded copies (20 9.8s)
NOTE: Issue 3 is the origin of the Dark Avenger
29 Graded copies, 1 9.8 FMV=$230
CGC labels Tiger man 1 as the first appearance but that is incorrect.
Demon Hunter 1
First appearance of Gideon Cross
First appearance of The Destructor, Max Raven, Origin of the Destructor
FMV – $120, 81 graded copies (17 9.8s)
First appearance Iron Jaw 1
FMV – $150, 68 graded copies (11 9.8s)
NOTE: Issue 4 is the origin of Iron Jaw
First appearance: Brute 1
FMV – $120, 42 graded copies (8 9.8s)
First appearance: The Cougar 1
FMV – $100, 45 graded copies (12 9.8s)
NOTE: Issue 2 is the origin of Cougar
First appearance: The Scorpion 1
FMV – $150, 47 graded copies (5 9.8s)
NOTE: Issue 3 is the first appearance of Scorpion 2
John Targitt: Man-Stalker
First appearance: Targitt 1
FMV – $150, 28 graded copies (3 9.8s)
First appearance: Grimm Ghost 1
FMV – $300, 57 graded copies (5 9.8s)
First appearance: Wulf the Barbarian 1
FMV – $110, 42 graded copies (9 9.8s)
First appearance: Hands of the Dragon 1
FMV – $100, 19 graded copies (0 9.8s)
First appearance: Devilina 1
FMV – No recent sales, 33 graded copies (4 9.8s)
These issues are quite rare especially in high grade thanks to the magazine size. Devilina was Atlas's only true Female lead.
First appearance, Tales of Evil 3
FMV – No recorded sales, 7 graded copies (1 9.8s)
First appearance Weird Suspense 1
FMV – $150, 39 graded copies (10 9.8s)
Atlas comics was then resurrected in 2010 by Ardden Entertainment.
These are the only books worth looking for
This comic is the first modern appearance of the Atlas characters.
Atlas United 0 NYCC, O NYCC Sketch, O NYCC Sketch Variant, O Retailer
Since we are getting a shared universe there the odds are good we will see a team comprised of these heroes.
The Phoenix 0, 0 sketch, 1 sketch, 1 Kapow Con, 2 Online Exclusive
The Grim Ghost 1 Con, 1 Sketch
Atlas Unified Multiverse Edition
This rarity was supposed to come with Multiverse Magazine but it never happened. It was available on Ardden's web page for a limited time and may be one of the rarest Atlas comics.
Wulf 1 Con, 1 sketch
Wulf 3 Super Variant ( Limited to 150 )
Here are a few others worth taking a look at.
FMV – $150, 12 graded copies (1 9.8s)
Arguably one of the rarest Atlas comics, the Vicki series remain popular among collectors. They are actually Tippy Teen reprints from Tower comics.
This one appears to be very rare.
First appearance of the Outcasts, Origin of the Outcasts
FMV – $40, 15 graded copies (1 9.8s)
Weird Tales of the Macabre 2
Boris Cover, scarce
Bernie Wrightson inks Steve Ditko in this one.
Origin of the Midnight Men
FMV – $75, 9 graded copies (1 9.8s)
Possibly the earliest mention of Altas, it is unknown if any art is inside.
This has one of the earliest features on Atlas
First appearance of Son of Dracula
This is a pretty sick Son of Dracula cover and it predates Fright 1!
GREDOWN'S ATLAS SEABOARD FOREIGN REPRINTS
Gredown was an Aussie publisher from the 70's who reprinted material from a litany of US and other international publishers such as Charlton, Eerie, Dell and Fawcett to name a few. They reprinted a large amount of Atlas content. These days rare reprints are huge and that fact should not be lost on Atlas. Odds of finding the reprints in the states are low. Unfortunately the Gredown catalogue is not reliable and no true, comprehensive bibliography exists. Here are the ones you want.
It is interesting to note that certain features like Crypt of Creatures would randomly reprint works, for example Ditko's Charlton work in one issue and move on to another creator under the same title.
Reprinting all three Brute issues including Tales of Evil 3 this collection gives the Brute an all new cover making it an original, regional Atlas art production.
This one reprints all three Atlas issues but has an exclusive cover like the Brute.
Reprinting the entire series in issue 1, it is believed that issue 2 may contain unknown, previously unpublished Altas Material.
This one reprints the first appearance of Devilina
This rarity reprints Tales of Horror 3 which printed The Sun Spawn Stalks, an unpublished Atlas work. It also features a unique to Gredown Bog-Beast Cover.
First reprint of the previously unpublished Atlas story, Sun -Spawn Stalks.
This one Prints Walter Simonson's Atlas story, Capital Punishment for the first time!
This rare fanzine offers some insight into the company and valuable Atlas Seaboard information.
First appearance of Steve Ditko's Wreckage, an Atlas Hero he was set to write and draw. He never appeared in a comic but does appear here.
Ditko was upset about the word balloons on Wrecage, an upcoming character whose first issue was complete. Atlas never saw Ditko again after that. He later reworked the character as Recage probably because he no longer has the rights. This means that Wrecage is an unused Altas character that now belongs to the new publishing company. It will be very interesting to see if he ever gets used.