Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Gold Key Comics, publisher of the great I Spy comic book series, was created in 1962, when its parent company Western Publishing switched to in-house publishing rather than packaging content for branding and distribution by its business partner, Dell Comics. Hoping to make their comics more like traditional children's books, they initially eliminated panel line-borders, using just the panel, with its ink and artwork evenly edged but not bordered by a "container" line. Within a year they had reverted to using inked panel borders and oval balloons.

Some of the other Gold Key comic books featuring original spy stories, a couple original one shots and the other four licensed properties. 
They experimented with a black-and-white 136 page hardcover series containing reprints and a tabloid-sized 52-page hardcover containing new material. Gold Key reprinted a number of selected issues of their comics under the title Top Comics which were sold in plastic bags containing five comics, at gas stations and various eateries. Like Dell, Gold Key was one of the few major American publishers of comic books never to display the Comics Code Authority seal on its covers.

I Spy #4  Assignment for Scotty and Kelly: Crash an Iron Curtain prison and smash a frame-up!
On the inside front and back covers. 
"Duet For Danger Part I - The Frame-Up"
The I Spy team assist a double agent escape across the border of East and West Germany. 

"Duet For Danger Part II - the Break Out"
Scotty & Kelly plan a daring jailbreak to free a friend being used as a pawn for a spy exchange.
Written by Paul S. Newman with Al McWilliams art.
Back cover pin-up.

Always enjoyed all the photos from the TV series used on the comic book covers!
Gold Key featured a number of licensed properties and several original titles, including a number of publications that spun off from Dell's Four Color series, or were published as standalones by Dell. It maintained decent sales numbers throughout the 1960s, thanks to its offering of many titles based upon popular TV series of the day, as well as numerous titles based upon both live action and animated properties.

The Gold Key comics book ram 61 issues.
The Enterprise Logs ran 4 trade paperbacks, reprinting 38 issues.
So far, hopefully, The Gold Key Archives have run 4 trade paperbacks (also on Kindle), reprinting 24 issues.
It was also the first company to publish comic books based on Star Trek. A good portion of the Star Trek comic book stories, original stories mind you, not adaptations of TV episodes, were later reprinted in the Star Trek: The Enterprise Logs trade paperbacks. I'm waiting for IDW's Star Trek, the Gold Key Archives to catch up with the reprints (they're up to #24)  from where The Enterprise Logs left off ( with issue #38) to complete my reprint collection.

Loved the Barry Windsor-Smith cover and art!

Three of Gold Key's original characters, Magnus, Robot Fighter, Doctor Solar, and Turok, Son of Stone, were used in the 1990s to launch the Valiant Comics' universe. And what a glorious universe the original Valiant comic books comprised. 

As I've mentioned before, I was disappointed the Hermes collection never came to be. I was so looking forward to it since they did such a fine job on their Land of the Giants & Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea books.

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You! 
I did come across & spring for the awesome DVD collection, over 500 issues, of Star Trek comics. Includes the Gold Key issues, as well as the Marvel, DC, Malibu & Wildstorm issues!

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