I've raved about this being the "golden age of reprints" before, but that doesn't mean that everything old is worth buying:

"Showcase Presents: Secrets of Sinister House" (DC, $18): I wish I knew the editorial reasoning behind this unusual title, introduced by DC Comics in 1971. The first five issues contained an extra-long comic-book story plus an illustrated text story, both in the gothic-romance genre. The first issue's "Curse of the MacIntyres" is a clue why it didn't catch on: The stories are awful. The art, some by old hands such as Don Heck, seems phoned in. In the sixth issue, the format shifted to a horror anthology with a punny host. That format lasted until issue No. 18, when the title was mercifully canceled. The entire run is reprinted here. It's interesting as an oddity, but you can get your fill of horror anthologies elsewhere.

"Boris Karloff's Tales of Mystery" Vol. 2" (Dark Horse, $50): This Gold Key' series lasted more than 100 issues using the horror-anthology format, with Karloff playing host. This volume reaches No. 10 (June 1964). It's really familiar stuff, with some sort of crime being committed and a supernatural O. Henry twist at the end rendering justice to the bad guys. A little goes a long way, especially since Gold Key was using third-tier artists and had really lousy printing.

"Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Daring Mystery Comics, Vol. 2" (Marvel, $60): Some 1940s titles are interesting because they feature strong, long-lasting characters, early work by legendary artists or elements of historic interest. Then there's "Daring." Virtually all of the characters were poorly done knockoffs of better characters and quickly vanished. They included the Fin (see: Sub-Mariner), K-4 and his Sky Devils (G-8 and his Battle Aces), Fiery Mask (Human Torch), Trojak the Tiger Man (Tarzan), Monako: Prince of Magic (Mandrake the Magician) and so forth. This volume reprints issue Nos. 5-8, and is useful only as fodder for a Leonard Pinth-Garnell "Bad Comics" show, providing you can do a passable Dan Aykroyd.

"Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Vol. 2" (Hermes, $50): The third and fourth seasons of Irwin Allen's TV series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" are considered low points, because they leaned heavily on implausible sci-fi plots and a "monster of the week." The second, and last, volume of the same-named comic-book archives suffers from the same problem. I found the stories (probably by Dick Wood and Marshall McClintock) silly and forgettable. The bland art by Alberto Giolitti and crummy Gold Key printing don't help.