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Elementals 1, from 1984

Elementals 1, from 1984

Comico released Bill Willingham’s Elementals in 1984, putting it in the first year of the Copper Age of Comics

…but until I Googled research for this blog, had totally forgotten that you have to go back another year for the team’s first appearance, in Texas Comic’s Justice Machine Annual 1.

Among the best (perhaps THE best) non-DC or Marvel superteam comics of the ’80s, Elementals sustained more than one run with Comico; the 1984 series ran for 29 issues, and the a renumbered relaunch in 1989 ran for 28. Then there were numerous one-shots and minis throughout the ’90s.

As far as “collecting nostalgia,” I definitely remember the first issue of Elementals (as well as their first appearance in the Justice Machine annual) being pretty hot and hitting the $10 to $20 range. I know that I paid somewhere in there for my copy of issue 1, that I bought in ’86…which was probably at the height of its value! Still have it, still love the cover.

More info / resources:

When you have a chance, swing by Bill Willingham’s official site.

The respective Wikipedia entries on Comico and Elementals are here and here

…and there’s a nice review of the first five issues on Comic Book Resources.

Looking for back issues? As always, we first encourage you to support your local retailer, so check with them first. If no luck, then head over to our recommended online back issue retailer, mycomicshop.com.

2 comments to Elementals

  • Dan

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog so far. Please keep it up.

    I also really loved “The Elementals” back in its heyday during the mid- to late- 1980s. You may also remember that its creator, Bill Willingham, famously sold all of the rights to “The Elementals” ion the early 1990s to a man named Andrew Rev. His relaunch of the series (under the “Comico” banner again) ultimately petered out after a coupel of years of big promises and sporadic publishing (remember the “Elementals Sex Specials”?), and he has reportedly spurned all subsequent offers to buy those rights and re-launch the series, including one reported overture by Jim Lee. That’s apparently why the series hasn’t ever been collected in TPB form. Willingham and long-time “Elementals” artist Mike Leeke did sort of “finish” the series (using similar, but different enough, characters) in the 12 issue B&W series called “Pantheon” from Lone Star Press. That was also excellent.

  • I loved the Elementals!! And I used to own their first appearance in Justice Machine! This is very interesting info. about the rights having been sold – I’ve never heard this; and I’ve often wondered why the property was never brought back, especially considering Willingham’s newfound/recent fame as writer/creator of the Fables series for Veritgo/DC.

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