The Top 5 Most Wanted Out of Print Comics

The words “out of print” are the bane to those of us who are interested in experiencing the best of comics. It almost seems like a no-brainer to keep something in print, because at a certain point, it’s just free money. It’s especially true when you talk about works from comic book royalty like Alan Moore, Frank Miller, and Garth Ennis. Below is a list of some of the most egregious missing volumes out there. Currently, you only have a few options when it comes to reading these books. You can either brave the wilds of eBay price gouging, find a kindly uninformed but well stocked comic shop, or propagate the dreaded piracy, and read them as no one intended on a computer screen, which will only result in eye strain and eventual carpal tunnel syndrome. It should be noted that the legendary Flex Mentallo by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely would easily be on this list, had it not been covered so well by Conor, earlier this year. 

1) Give Me Liberty

Do the names Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons mean anything to you? It has been reported that this book is due to be included in an Omnibus, but as far as I can tell, it doesn’t exist yet, and you’re still gonna be waiting a while to get the stories by the two guys most connected with current film properties. Dave Gibbons has more heat on him than he ever has since Watchmen became the biggest movie never to exist yet, and of course Frank Miller is rolling the dice and putting his dignity on the line with The Spirit later this month. Give Me Liberty is the 4 issue mini series that introduced the world to Martha Washington way back in 1990. The story of a dystopian future Chicago created by two legendary superstars is currently unavailable at a comic shop near you, and that just seems like an awful shame, as well as a significant loss of revenue.

2) The Longbow Hunters

So Green Arrow has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance (almost literally) in the past few years. A new group of readers are getting to know Ollie Queen, where is Mike Grell’s seminal Green Arrow work, The Longbow Hunters? Originally a 3 issue prestige format mini-series, from what I understand, The Longbow Hunters is The Dark Knight Returns of Green Arrow stories. It’s a redesigned costume, a re-imagining of what Green Arrow is all about, and Grell got rid of the silly trick arrows to boot. We’re talking about a guy who wrote Green Arrow for a decade, and this the best of that run, and you can’t read it. To give you a touch of the flavor, rumor has it that Grell thought the name Green Arrow was inherently stupid, and therefore, other than issue #1 of The Longbow Hunters, Grell never referred to Ollie by his super-handle. But that’s about all I can tell you about this story, because I can’t read it, because it’s not available. What’s the hold up, DC? 

3) Starman, Vol. 3: A Wicked Inclination and Vol. 4: Times Past 

I realized that the Starman Omnibus editions are going to be coming out at the rate of 1-2 per year, and eventually everyone will be able to enjoy James Robinson’s best work eventually, but why are the rest of the volumes still available if the Omnibus are meant to replace them? Again, it seems like DC is just turning down free money. People are jazzed up about Starman. They’re reading Superman and wanting more. At the very least, speed up the Omnibus release schedule. In the meantime, it’s taking longer for the reprints to come out than it took for the original issues to come out. And having read all the Starman trades, I can tell you that these aren’t volumes you can just skip. They’re integral to the overall story. That being said, Starman was put into trades quite oddly, as the volumes have no numbers indicating in what order they should be read, and even within the volumes things were re-ordered, supposedly to make it easier on readers. These were out at a time when trade paperback thinking was nascent, and I think DC overthought what would make trades sell. Apparently, putting the issues in order was too rough on the trade reading public in the late 90’s.

4) Hitman

This one hits me where it hurts. Hitman, the series Garth Ennis created to take place inside the DC Universe, in Gotham City of all places, which was written concurrently with the classic Preacher, has not been fully collected ever. Now, whether this is because no one bought the first trades, or if the content is objectionable, I don’t know, but I bought five books, loved the hell out of the story, and now I stand with my bits in the wind. Hitman is the story of a hitman named Tommy Monaghan who finds himself imbued with telepathy and x-ray vision, which he uses to become a better hired killed.  Perhaps it didn’t fit well in Batman’s world, but man, was it fun. It was an all new take on the idea of what people would do with superpowers, and like so many of Ennis’ works, the main characters were really rough around the edges, but so likable, you wish you could sit at a bar with them and buy them beers so they’d keep entertaining you. Ennis himself told me that Tommy Monaghan is the character of his who he liked the most. Yet issues 29-60 of this great series remain uncollected. That right there is the real crime.

5) Miracleman

Miracleman, or Marvelman as it was originally titled, is the grandaddy of out of print comic books. Caught in a ridiculous maelstrom of rights conflicts and lawsuits, it seemed like we might be close to getting it sorted out a few years ago, but things seemed to have slowed. 24 issues were printed, and the 25th has never seen print. Trying to sort to sort out who actually owns the rights to Miracleman is a disaster, as many people claim to own a piece of Miracleman, and no one has sorted out who really does. Neil Gaiman took Todd McFarlane to court in 2002, and won, but that didn’t really fix anything. Read through the Wikipedia entry to see some of the disputes and conflicts to see why it’s so tangled up. You could also read Kimota! The Miracleman Companion, except that’s also out of print. Either way, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman’s classic work is currently lost to us. In a nutshell, Miracleman is Alan Moore’s version of what might happen if Billy Batson’s Captain Marvel grew up and discovered the havoc created since his time as a youthful superhero, including what happened to his former kid sidekick Kid Marvelman. Of course, Alan Moore is known for deconstruction of superheroes, and this was his first real go at it. I remember in 2002, I was thrilled that we would get a gorgeous lush reproduction of this work, and can’t believe that now, at the end of 2008, we still seem no closer to getting it. Until it does get worked out, you’re hunting for expensive back issues and out of print trades, or alternate means.

BONUS! I thought this next book was out of print, and wrote this up, but it turns out it’s not, and you can order it from the publisher, Checker BPG directly. No point wasting a good recommendation.

Supreme: The Story of the Year

Supreme was a comic book published by none other than Rob Liefeld, and a character born in the pages of Youngblood. Alan Moore took over starting with issue 41, with the idea that he could throw out everything he didn’t want, and start clean. It’s not a deconstruction of superheroes as much as it is an homage to Silver Age comics and the Superman story. Moore wrote issues 41-56, and the 6 issue mini, The Return (which never properly ended) before Liefeld’s Awesome imprint collapsed. For this work, Alan Moore won the Eisner for best writer in 1997. So why then is it only that you look on Amazon, you’ll only find Supreme: The Return available? That collection contains issue 53-56, and the 6 issue mini of the same title. But the first 12 issues are not available, seemingly from anyone. From what I understand, the rights got a bit wonky after Awesome went away, and no one has secured the ability to get this book back on the shelves yet. But if you like Alan Moore and superheroes, trust me, you’re missing out, and you’re missing out big time. However, for some reason, you can read a lot of it here.


  1. The first thing that I thought of when I saw the title of this article was Miracleman (2nd was, of course, The Micronauts, and 3rd was Rom).  I would be utterly shocked if Miracleman ever sees the light of day again, given the legal morass that the character’s stuck in.  What a mess!  Reading the wiki is enough to scramble your brain.  Kimota:  The Miracleman Companion is a great read and I recommend it to those who loved the series.

    I hadn’t thought of Give Me Liberty in years, but I remember loving it when I read it.  It’s almost got too many ideas crammed into it, but you certainly get your money’s worth.

    The Longbow Hunters came out when I was most excited about comics.  It will always have a special place in my heart.  I reread it recently and it has aged surprisingly well.  Overall just a beautiful book.

    Supreme is worth it if only for the dog.  And Suprema.  Those two just crack me up.  Alan Moore did some good stuff on Liefeld characters in his all-too-brief run on Youngblood and the Judgement Day mini series (which is like Crisis for the Liefeld universe).  You’re lucky if you can find them, but they are worth the search.

  2. If you merely speak the word "Miracleman", five lawyers will appear.  No joke.  I just tried it.

  3. It’s a shame Miracleman has not been in print for a very LONG time. I want to read those stories so bad, heard nothing but great things about Moore’s and Gaiman’s run. Didnt it turn Alan Moore into the star he is today?

    Also want to read Give Me Liberty. One of, if not the only, Frank Miller story I havent read. Heck his Robocop GN I read, but they cant reprint this story? Again, heard nothing but good things and apparently it’s bizarre as shit. Confirm?

  4. I have only 3 trades of hitman 🙁

    How about Batman: Prodigal Son? I’ve herad is out of print and people really want to read it.

  5. Give me Liberty is very busy.  Every panel is utilized to its fullest.  Martha Washington is a great, forgotten character.  It’s the polar opposite to the sparse Sin City.

     I’d probably say Swamp Thing is what turned Moore into a big star in a America, but MM to me is much better.  I think it gets a bit unweildy in the later chapters, but the first nine issues…oh man, that’s some good stuff.

    Little known possible fact:  there’s a scene in the final Matrix movie where Neo gets rammed into the earth from high altitude that’s lifted directly from Miracleman #2.

    All that deconstructionist superhero stuff that everyone loves (or hates), Miracleman is where it all started.  So far ahead of its time.

  6. I think there’s a copy of Longbow Hunters at my lcs.

  7. I have the Longbow Hunters in my collection somewhere, it was a great series. It’s how Green Arrow should always be done.



    Give Me Liberty is on sale at Amazon.  I stumbled upon it a week or two ago while ordering some Frank Miller books.

  9. "Usually ships in 1 to 4 months"

  10. So, are you looking for all of these Josh?  

  11. Not necessarily.  Just pointing them out.  I really think the Hitman trades are a travesty.  I have all the Starman trades, and I have the Supreme trades.

    I would love to see a nice new printing of Miracleman obviously.

    But I don’t have the patience or funds for serious back issue/rare book hunting.

  12. @Josh: Yeah, I know that sucks.  But I was trying help. 

    I put in my order this morning, and I look forward to reading it in four months.

  13. I really want to read Hitman.

  14. Longbow Hunters deserves an Absolute edition for sure.

  15. there is nothing i wanted to read more at one point in time other than the Mircaleman material. Thanks for reminding me I still haven’t 🙁

  16. Funny story i buy comics for the kids i work for every year at SDCC, i only buy dollar comics and the Longbow hunters happened to be one i snagged, i didnt know what it was i hadnt looked at it and since im not a DC buff i didnt know the content. when i go to work the following week one of the kids selects this comic and goes on his merry way. So imagine my surprise when the next day my boss pulls me aside and asks did you give this comic to one of the kids? yes i answer unsure where this is going (some times the kids steal from one another so it may have been about rightful ownership) she tells me its innapropriate and hands it back to me laughing a little. so curious i open the book and flip thru it. I find within these pages references to cocaine, nudity, and murder. long story short i always precheck the comics from now on. Yes i still have the copy somewhere.

  17. I’m fairly certain that my LCS has 4 out of 5 of these for sale in the store.  I’ll have to check next week when I go in.  If they have them, I’ll try to scoop them up.

  18. Great subject/article Josh.

    For the longest time – nearly 20 years – American Flagg! was my number one out of print series, followed by Miracleman, Hitman, et. al. Thankfully, the long awaited Definitive Edition came out this past summer and now everyone can see what a visionary Howard Chaykin was, in addititon to getting one hell of a fun read.

    My current Mad-on, get this F$&#ing book back into print NOW! are the Dirty Pair books Adam Warren did for Dark Horse. I’m lucky enough to have a couple of trades and a couple of the other series in floppies, but I’m missing a couple. Worse, Adam Warren, a favorite creator of mine and a man who’s finally getting some wider recognition due to his wonderfully sublime Empowered, isn’t able to cash in on his increased popularity.

    I was talking up Empowered at my LCS and was asked what else he had done. Unfortuantely, the only non-Emp books my (well-stocked) store had available were a Gen13 trade he had written and Titans: Rock, Paper, Scissors (both good reads, btw). Every Ultimate U. book is in print, but Warren’s groundbreaking and vastly entertaining Dirty Pair work remains dfficult-to-impossible to find.

    Other MIAs: Joe Casey’s final two arcs of Wildcats 3.0 and Popbot, the long promised James Robinson Wildcats books, and any second printings of Absolute Authority, Absolute Planetary, or the New X-Men Omnibus.

  19. Second printings of Absolutes are a whole other ballgame.  But I did think of those.

    I forgot about the Wildcats books.  That story never finished either.  At some point I’l have to do the "stories that didn’t finish" column.

  20. Eyestrain is avoidable, as is carpal tunnel. Google to find out how. 

    If you *really* care, just download the things and read them. If you’re concerned about the morality of downloading, delete it when you’re done reading. Then all you’ve done is the equivalent of borrowing someone else’s copy. Or, if that doesn’t satisy you, mail the creators a check for the money you would’ve paid to buy it when it first came out. 

    Makes me wonder what Printing On Demand costs…


  21. Great list. I could not agree with you more on the Hitman issue.

    This reminds me that after reading Sleeper this summer, I tried to get some people to read it.  Needless to say the first and the fourth volumes are out of print. 

  22. Sleeper is out of print?!?!?


  23. For anyone who wants them, I’ve seen runs of Hitman on ebay for not all that much. A few months ago I had the idea that I’d sell my run but decided not to because I saw they weren’t really fetching anything over cover price.

    Could not agree more about Miracleman and Supreme, though. Moore’s Supreme is actually my pick for best run of the ’90s.  Amazingly high-quality stuff. I think it did the whole back-to-the-Silver-Age thing better than any other modern series before or since. And I think Moore says as much if not more about super-heroes in those 16 issues of Miracleman than he does in all of his other ’80s works combined. Obviously Miracleman didn’t have the consistency of production of Watchmen or the sprawling quality of Swamp Thing, but I feel that it’s more concise and/or has a wider scope than pretty much any other superhero comic series ever. It’s worth reading those issues even if you have to do it on a computer screen.

  24. I recently found The Longbow Hunters at Half Price books. Excelent read.

  25. I’ve always wanted to read Hitman. And Miracleman, but I assume that’s true of everyone.

    I did find a copy of the old Longbow Hunters trade a few months ago, and it is shockingly good.

  26. ive read longbow hunter (found the three books at a local show) and i was very unimpressed.  At that same show, i found every single issue of Hitman, and absolutly loved it, especially the demon who hangs out at the bar.  best. character. ever.

    wish miracleman/ marvelman was in print, beacue i would love to read more early Moore and Gaimen stuff, and the concept just sounds cool.

  27. In the pre-eBay days I hunted for Miracleman #15 for seven years.  I couldn’t find it at cons or in stores at any price.  Finally I found a copy for a quarter in a longbox at a con.  It has a circular coffee stain on the cover in the shape of a mug.  It’s one of my prized possessions.

  28. i loved Supreme and you guys got me into the Starman series by James Robinson. I just wish that the omnibuses would come out sooner than later

  29. Brubaker said in a recent issue of Criminal that new trades of Sleeper were coming out.

  30. Supreme is out of print? That’s just shocking. Alan Grant’s and Norm Brefogle’s Batman should be collected. Mircleman is never gonna happen I gave up on it years ago…. it’s the only comic I ever down loaded because of it. 

  31. Supreme isn’t out of print. I thought it was, but it’s not apparently.

    You just looked at the pictures didn’t you? 😉

  32. I love LONGBOW HUNTERS.  I bought the trade a few years ago.  That remains my favorite period for Green Arrow, when he was essentially a Vertigo book.  I wish they would collect Grell’s entire run.  I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

    About eight years ago I bought most of the MIRACLEMAN run on eBay.  It is as good as advertised.

  33. If you must download Miracleman, read #9 and then immediately delete it.  It’s something you don’t want your significant other–or the FBI, or an employer, or whoever–to find on your computer.

  34. Maybe I’m just lucky, hard-working, or both, but I’ve been able to piece together a complete run of Starman (trades and issues) and found the complete Longbow Hunters in issues packaged together (as comic shops are wont to do with runs of issues sometimes). Also was able to piece together Flex Mentallo for about cover or less. I’ve also picked up some Hitman sporadically through the years, but never went hunting for it. 

    Also like to see the Trial of Barry Allen storyline reprinted; fortunately, I’ve managed to collect the issues. 

    Longbow Hunters was good, but it hasn’t aged all that well – it certainly reads of the time. Still, a good read and definitely worth checking out when you find it.

    Miracleman is certainly at the top of my list, and while I’ve probably seen all issues for sale at one point or another in the last 7 or 8 years, I refuse to pay those prices for single issues. I did like the idea floated by Quesada (probably jokingly, but who can tell) about re-retitling the book Marvelman and reprinting it through Marvel.  

    Is Chaykin’s Black Kiss out of print? Amazon lists it, but says out of stock. That’s one I’m looking for to re-read. 

    I’d probably check out the Joe Kelly and Gail Simone issues of Deadpool if they came back, but other than Miracleman and Black Kiss, there isn’t much out there I’m aching to read.

  35. @Dan – That wasn’t a joke by Quesada, they were genuinely trying to make that happen.

  36. I have two copies of the Longbow hunters 🙂  I bought a second when I thought I had lost the first.  Did that with the Dark Knight also.  I guess there are worse things to have duplicates of!

  37. Oh yes, I’d forgotten about Flex Mentallo.  I’m a fan of Morrison’s Doom Patrol and always wanted to read FM.

    Didn’t Gaiman do 1602 to raise money to fight McFarlane in court over Miracleman?  I may be in the minority, but I prefer "Miracleman" to "Marvelman".

    Black Kiss is a cult classic.  Chaykin was such a maverick back in the day.

  38. There is a wealth of Golden Age material that has yet to be reprinted like Dick Briefers first volume of Frankenstein stories (Which feature the first Super hero crossovers), and various super hero titles published by people other than National (DC) and Timley.  But a LOT of it is being reprinted and this article says to me that HOLY CRAP are we ever living in an age where we have a lot of comic material available to us that I could have never seen 10-20 years ago without shelling out the big bucks for originals!   I mean if we really have to think hard on what isn’t available that tells me there is a lot that IS available!


    By the way great article Josh! =)

  39. I can at least understand old things being out of print, but it’s doubly annoying when it’s something more recent. (e.g. I just tried to buy Brubaker’s Complete Lowlife, but, of course, out of print, and the only new one on amazon is selling for $70.)

  40. Grant Morrisons epic early work, ‘Zenith’, is OOP & likely to remain so until he resolves his dispute with Rebellion, current owners of 2000AD.

  41. Alan Moore’s Halo Jones is NOT out-of-print.  Go buy it.  it’s brilliant, especially if you think about it in terms of when it was released.

  42. Those Supreme Trades are just incredible I read them at least once a year

  43. The one i REALLY want is the Alias Omnibus, but it looks like it never coming back in print.

    Marvel is the going to be selling it in trades but i want the omnibus.

  44. I got martha washington for about two bucks on tfaw, and it was great. they also had a hardcover version for ten, but i didn’t get it. It’s good and wacky.

  45. One failing of Give Me Liberty is that it failed to predict the rapid demise of the high top fade as a haircut.

  46. I saw a copy of GREEN ARROW LONGBOW HUNTERS trade paperback at a LCS a few months ago, I thought about it, didn’t buy, changed my mind a week later but it had gone, DOH! KIcked myself.

  47. my list would be

    the Waid run on Impulse

    Superman vs Muhummad Ali

    Flex Mentallo

  48. Miracleman, Flex Mentallo and Zenith are all necessities.  I’ve actually never heard of Hitman… hope it gets collected soon!

  49. I love that Evelyn Cream avatar.

  50. @OddsBodkins – Even though the story isn’t printed in it’s entirety, the Hitman books are still worth getting, as they’re very entertaining.  Plus, the more of the early books they sell, the more likely they are to produce the rest.

  51. Half Price Books is a pretty good source for OOP comics, usually at insane prices (insanely low! That "half Price" in the name is literal. Literally.). I found two of my Dirty Pair books there, among other things. One in Pittsburgh recently had about half of the Starman trades but I held off since those omnibi are coming out. Eventually. Worth checking out.


  52. From what I understand, the stories Alan Moore wanted to tell in SUPREME got folded into TOM STRONG.  So read TOM STRONG and pretend like it’s the next SUPREME TPB. =)

    And "Complete Lowlife" is going for $70 on Amazon?  Hmmm, might be time to dig up my copy. . . 

  53. I would love to see more Golden Age titles be recollected/reprinted.

    I’m sure there are some out there (like in Showcase or Chronicles by DC), but I would love to see more Alan Scott and Jay Garrick trades.

  54. It sucks, because Miracleman (Gaiman’s run, anyway) also remains unfinished. He only got a third of the way through it when McFarlene bought the rights. I really wish all of the legal problems would get resolved.

  55. I know iFanboy would never endorse this request but…  let’s just say hypothetically…

    …say someone wanted to find out how to read or access downloaded comics, how would they go about it?

  56. "…say someone wanted to find out how to read or access downloaded comics, how would they go about it?"


  57. A big ol’ omnibus-sized Kirby 2001: A Space Odyssey would be greatly appreciated.  I have my overly worn original treasury-sized adaptation and 10 issues, but they were severely damaged by extensive tracing over with my 6th grade notebooks.  You can even throw in Machine Man to pad it a bit.

     The remaining Hitman would be nice as well, if only for proper storage of bits out of said wind.

  58. i need the last two books of starman and have done for about three years…can’t find ’em anywhere


    on a smug note, i have the FLEX MENTALLO mini (it’s fantastic) and the whole MIRACLEMAN series and some of the anthology books called MIRACLEMAN:APOCRYPHA…i have all of HITMAN in issues but i’d love to be able to lend trades to people, it’s so good it tingles…


    @marbles & oddsbodkins – all of zenith was collected in the old BEST OF 2000AD monthly…i have a few…phase one was in issues 99 & 100…phase 2 was in 110…not sure about the rest but you might be able to track these down somewhere…it’s worth it…it’s fantastic…

  59. Dude, you forgot Flex Mentallo. I got it for a song (if a song is 20 quid) a couple of years ago. It’s the holy grail of awesome.

    Oh, and I have the first 3 volumes of Starman, but the missing issues drove me mad. Thank god for Omnibii!

  60. Dude, you didn’t read the article!

  61. I just found the three issues of Longbow Hunters tonight at a local comic shop. They were 3 bucks a piece. Not bad. I have been wanting to read some more Green Arrow who is a character I had never really been into.

  62. How cool would a t-shirt with the Miracleman logo be?  It was always one of my favorite logos.

  63. people will ask you why you’re wearing a MIGHTY MOUSE t-shirt

  64. FLEX MENTALLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spectacular Frank Quietly art on that one

  65. Let me say why I love used book stores. Because you can find out of print stuff. Such as I did today, finding "The Long Bow Hunter" for 5 bucks, pages in great condition, near mint…awesome

  66. Holy crap! Looks like Hitman is going to be back in print this May — (about half-way down the page)

  67. That’s great news.  All the people who haven’t read it should buy that so they keep going with the reprints.

    We’ll try and help remind people.