[Spoiler-Free Review] Dark Horse Comics’ THE EC ARCHIVES: Crime SuspenStories Vol. 1 TPB

PopCultHQ received a review copy of THE EC ARCHIVES: Crime Suspenstories Vol. 1 TPB from Dark Horse Comics. which released on January 16th in bookstores & January 17th in comic book shops. This value-priced volume collects Crime SuspenStories issues #1-#6, including the original stories, ads, text pieces, and letters.

THE EC ARCHIVES: Crime Suspenstories Vol. 1 TPB

Written by Various
Art by Various
Colors by Various

Format: FC, 200 pages; TPB; 6 5/8″ x 10 3/16″
Genre: Action/Adventure
Age range: 12+
SRP: $24.99

Bookstore release date: 1/16/24
Comic shop release date: 1/17/24

In the years before the Comics Code, no comic mined the noir vein with more shocking impact and creative skill than EC Comics’ Crime SuspenStories.

Featuring vivid tales of larceny, adultery, and homicide by comics legends Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, Graham Ingels, Wally Wood, Jack Davis, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kamen, and more, Crime SuspenStories remains a lurid landmark in the history of comics, and the EC Archives presents these scandalous stories in all their brazen brilliance.

PopCultHQ Spoiler-Free Review:

Gather around everyone and look at another fine EC trade paperback from dear old Dark Horse. Is it a spooky shock-fest or a blood and guts package? Nope, it’s The EC Archives Crime SuspenStories Volume 1! 200 pages chock full of excellent EC classics, pulled out of the past and repackaged for all you fine readers. And the cherry on top of this sundae of comic delights is that everything from each issue is in the book, including ads, subscription sections, and the old ‘sawdust’ prose pieces that were part of comics back in the day.


One thing that EC fans and newcomers to any of these collections will forever appreciate is that the scripts for these twisted tales of crime had some of the best names back then as the writers. Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, Harvey Kurtzman, and Bill Gaines are legends in the industry and rightly so. Each story (the ones that have a writer’s credit) is the sort of dark stuff that EC was famous for in its heyday and will surely delight anyone who appreciates good crime comics.


If you thought the writing for these books was a scream, wait until you get a look at the artwork. EC had top-tier names putting their pens on the pages, including Johnny, Harvey, Graham Ingels, and later Marvel Comics legend Wally Wood. These artists were true talents when it came to taking the scripts and bringing these suspenseful shockers to life. Let their work be a source of delight for all comic book connoisseurs and an inspiration for budding creatives.


Many of the tales in this collection had been colored by industry legend Marie Severin. Marie broke into the biz at EC during the company’s glory days (before the infamous Senate hearings of the mid-1950s). Her work is fantastic; the tones and hues are just right in, adding the extra splash that people associate with EC Comics.

Overall Assessment:

As a long-time lover of bygone history, every time Dark Horse puts out another one of these collections, it fills me with joy. The opportunity to revisit comics that were hallmarks of excellence back in the day is an opportunity that no one should pass up, whether you are a fledgling fan or, like me, have been digging into comics for decades. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this outta sight TPB.

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

About Dark Horse Comics:

Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics is an excellent example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and transform a company with humble beginnings into an industry giant. Over the years, Dark Horse has published the work of creative legends such as Yoshitaka Amano, Margaret Atwood, Paul Chadwick, Geof Darrow, Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Faith Erin Hicks, Kazuo Koike, Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Kentaro Miura, Moebius, Chuck Palahniuk, Wendy Pini, Richard Pini, and Gerard Way. In addition, Dark Horse has a long tradition of establishing exciting new creative talent throughout all of its divisions. The company has also set the industry standard for quality licensed comics, graphic novels, collectibles, and art books, including Stranger Things, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, Minecraft, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Dragon Age, James Cameron’s Avatar, Game of Thrones, Mass Effect, StarCraft, The Witcher, and Halo. Today, Dark Horse Comics is one of the world’s leading entertainment publishers.

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