'Special Giant Issue presents Secret Origins of Superman-Batman. Green Lantern. Wonder Woman. Flash. Adam Strange. Manhunter from Mars. Green Arrow. Challengers of the Unknown and more.'
The stories largely from the '50s and '60s, couple from'70s and two from '40s.
Some hero and heroine origins are magical or supernatural which are really no explanation at all - but that is fine, this is fantasy fiction where the uncanny and paranormal are quite at home. It is in the outrageous use of 'scientific' justification that comics has traditionally excelled and made an original contribution to the worlds imaginative possibilities. The naivety and WTF with which writers use scientific terminology make in fact the implied science very little different from the magical or supernatural explanations offered as foundation for extra-human powers. Most of the 'logical' origin explanations make baby Kal El's journey across light years of space to arrive in no time safely on a planet where he happens to be super-human look positively reasonable .
Where else would you come across lines like "This is an historic moment. Will the robot brain reach into space . . time .. or the fourth dimension!"
" . . we tried to contact your planet by transmitting a Zeta beam at it . ."
"between Rann and Earth some unknown space radiation converted it to a Tele-portation beam! It . . transported you instantly across 25 trillion miles of space to our world!"
"After building a mighty machine that could warp space, the scientists and Samkand disappeared into the fourth dimension"
These are lines to be cherished, lines that no other form of literature could have produced. Or would want to I guess.
The quality of the artwork varies, but like the scripts it is not always the most convincing that give the most pleasure. The less slick drawings often create images that are iconic in their own right - images that could only have originated in comics.
Reprints of reprints might seem a bit cheap but this is our history. Enjoy.
Talking of cheap I got this copy from the local library.
* One secret revealed is the Aquaman's real name is Arthur.