The Atlas Comics Library No. 5 cover image
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Joe Maneely, Gene Colan, Bob Powell, Dr. Michael J. Vassallo

The Atlas Comics Library No. 5: Police Action

On sale date: November 19, 2024

Pre-Code cops and robbers' action from the early 1950s! The fifth stand-alone genre-themed collection in Fantagraphics’ archival series of mid-century Marvel Comics.

Before focusing on tales of justice via superheroes under the Marvel banner, the publisher covered ground-level crime across a range of comics titles and true-crime magazines. Under the Timely imprint from 1947, and Atlas from 1951, up to eleven graphic series including Justice Comics, Official True Crime Cases, All-True Crime, Crime Cases, Crime Can't Win, Crime Must Lose, and Crime Exposed all muscled each other and competitors for space on the newsstands.

For the first crime-themed volume in Fantagraphics' ongoing project to restore and resurrect pre-Marvel pulp classics, the Atlas Library has selected a book that debuted as the genre peaked, just before a Senate hearing and the institution of the Comics Code banned the use of the word "Crime" from even appearing in a comic's title. Escaping that fate, Police Action had a seven-issue run of violent and noir-ish morality plays, pitting the officers of the law against the forces of urban malevolence, and was produced by the cream of the Atlas freelance roster, including Joe Maneely, Robert Q. Sale, Gene Colan, Art Peddy, Mort Lawrence, Werner Roth and Bob Powell.

Rounding the volume off, also presented is a post-Code one-shot, Police Badge #479, a snapshot of the industry's attempts to adapt to new strictures on the genre: here we view "our boys in blue" in the fight against rank corruption, highlighting the work of Don Heck and Joe Maneely.

The Atlas Comics Library No. 5: Police Action is part of the Atlas Comics series.


Full color.
8.8" × 11.3"