Atlas Comics to Return!

If you've read any comic book history, you know who Martin Goodman is.  He owned a comic book company in the 30's called Timely Comics.  He employed a teenage Stan Lee to work around the office, by just a touch of nepotism.  He was not a visionary.  From everything I've read he was really chasing the dollars and trends more than he was an incredibly prescient publisher.  In 1968, Goodman sold Marvel Comics.  By 1972, he wanted back into comics, and started Atlas Comics, a name he'd previously used in the 50's.

Before this announcement, I'd never heard of Atlas Comics, but I knew the name Martin Goodman very well.  It seems that Goodman's grandson, Jason Goodman is going to re-launch Atlas at New York Comic-Con this year, and produce new comics based on their prior properties; properties created in part by names like Neal Adams and Steve Ditko. In association with Ardden Entertainment, Atlas will release their first two titles, The Grim Ghost and Phoenix.

I will try my best not to be cynical about this, but I, and I'm guessing almost nobody but true blue comic historians will remember much about these characters or properties, so the value they have will mostly be as new properties, and the comic book market, even more than the public at large is very slow to accept new properties. A very, very good writer might have some luck with a character named the Grim Ghost, and supposedly that could become a movie, but man, it sure looks like an uphill battle. These characters have had a lot of time to gain traction, but it never really happened. Maybe that could change.

What Atlas did do however, was treat creators pretty well.  They had very high rates, no doubt in an attempt to bring over the best talent from Marvel and DC.  At a time when Neal Adams and others were fighting for creators rights, Atlas always returned the artwork to the artists, and the rights to original characters that were created.  These things are normally talked about now, but were revolutionary at the time.

So, keep an eye out for the comics IP landgrab!


  1. FLASH FACT: Agents of Atlas, Jeff Parker’s ill-fated series, is named after the original Atlas Comics.

  2. I guess I’m old – I bought Atlas comics when they were new, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again.


    Besides, with Dynamite bringing back the old Public Domain characters, the Atlas characters may be the last comics properties left for anyone to exploit. 

  3. John Targit: Man Stalker, returns!! I am disappointed in you Josh, you are just now hearing of Atlas Comics? really dude? We gotta get you to some garage sales.

  4. These were a big deal when I was a kid… very rare and I only knew one person who had some.  Awesome stuff.

  5. I bought a stack of about 20 Atlas comics off eBay a few years back. Haven’t found time to read them, but some a quite pretty to look at, Chaykin, Ditko, Pablo Marcos, et al. It will be interesting to see who steps up to create the relaunched books.

  6. I hoping for the Jeff Paker Atlas.

  7. Hmmm…good to see more publishers bringing something new to the game, but I’m completely uninterested.  I’m sure, though, that there’s folks who will find this news totally exciting.

  8. Never heard of atlas but looking forward to checking them out

  9. I was a huge fan in 1975, will surely give this a chance now. Atlas was like a UHF channel on a spinner rack. They had an insane lineup and this has potential. With Steve Niles announced for Wulf I am even more psyched.