Is there one book that is a “must have” that came out this week? My friends Andy Tom (@AndrewJTom), Chris Campbell (@ChrisCampbell8), Marc Diefenderfer (@Dief88), Shane Hannafey, Adam Besenyodi (@adambesenyodi), Joey Nazzari (@CaptDS9E), Wallace Ryan (@ReverendLove) and I (@ChrisCCL) are sharing some comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.
Picked by @andrewjtom
Savage Sword Of Conan Volume 14 TP (Dark Horse), $19.99
I’ve written about great Conan stories before (with Busiek and Truman’s books). This week, I’m gonna’ tell you to run out and get the new Savage Sword of Conan trade (V14). In fact, calling it a trade paperback is somewhat of a disservice to the book. It’s formatted more like a DC Showcase or Marvel Essential edition, reprinting 528 pages of content. The Savage Sword of Conan books contain material from the Savage Sword of Conan magazine that was printed in the 70s and 80s. Back then, Marvel printed the book as a “magazine” to circumvent the Comics Code and publish more mature Conan stories. Lucky for all of us…Dark Horse now has the rights to print these glorious stories and they’ve done so with (in my opinion) the best possible format for a run so large. Unlike the Showcase and Essential editions, these stories were originally printed in black and white. In these volumes, Dark Horse has been able to give us the stories exactly as they appeared originally. Because of the B&W magazine format, the art was drawn with the intention that they would never see color. It’s some of the most beautiful art from that period (Earlier volumes showcase work by Alfredo Alcala, John Buscema, and Barry Windsor Smith). There are a few things that you can be sure you’ll get with these old Savage Sword of Conan stories, Conan will kill some bad guys, Conan will fight some monsters, and Conan will get laid. Make no mistake that these stories are tremendous amount of fun and I highly recommend this (and any SSOC volume).
Picked by @adambesenyodi
X-Men – Magik: Storm & Illyana TP (Marvel)
Collects Uncanny X-Men (1963) #160 and Magik (1983) #1-4, $16.99
I grew up a Marvel fanboy in what was technically the Bronze Age of comics, but I could make an argument that it was actually the Golden Age of Marvel’s Four-Issue Limited Series era. In the early to mid-’80s, Marvel owned the spinner racks of my corner convenience store with their mini-series. Although ostensibly kicked off in 1982 by the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller Wolverine limited series, the concept quickly evolved to expertly highlight the second tier ranks of the Marvel Universe, like Hawkeye, Hercules (twice!), Jack of Hearts, Cloak & Dagger, West Coast Avengers, Vision & the Scarlet Witch, Rocket Raccoon, Transformers, Beauty & the Beast, Iceman, Falcon, and Nightcrawler. Magik falls squarely in this second tier camp, focusing on the mutant of the title and her mentor, Storm, cashing in on the popularity of the Uncanny X-Men and New Mutant books at the time. Claremont, who aged the six-year-old girl a full seven years between panels of Uncanny X-Men #160 (conveniently included here), authors this story that smartly explains that transformation over the course of these four issues. With appearances by versions of Storm, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, and her New Mutant teammates, Magik’s trials in Limbo are of the mind-bending sort Marvel capably delivered back in the day. The only thing missing from this collection is New Mutants #14, which also factors into the timeline of the series. These single issues were long out of print, but after decades of being only available in back issue bins, they were reprinted in a 2008 hardcover and are now being offered in trade paperback format. Regardless, the story is the perfect excuse to revisit a great example of this creative and commercial apex in Marvel’s publishing history.
Picked by Shane
Fables Deluxe Edition Book 7 HC (DC Comics)
Collects issues #52-59 and #64, $29.99
I’ve touted the virtues of the Eisner award winning series Fables here before and if you still haven’t picked up the series in any of its forms, it is never too late. The deluxe hardcovers are a great way to collect this series that is both cost effective and looks beautiful on your shelf. Fables is the only series I still collect monthly, but it is one I’d like to own in collected editions as well, specifically this format. Like Sandman and Preacher, it is a Vertigo series that warrants re-reading and I just don’t go back into the long boxes that often. This volume collects issues 52-59 and 64 which is a lot of different material. A good deal of the Fables storyline deals with the reasons the fabled characters escaped the magical realm and moved to our world, but along with the ongoing storyline, there are many short one shot tales that are just as interesting or even more so. The brunt of this edition deals with the preparations being made to go to war with The Adversary, the evil entity that caused the mass exodus of characters into our “real world.” One of the other stories deals with Bigby (the Big Bad Wolf) confronting his father (The North Wind) and then the rest of this volume consists of short tales including a nice little Christmas story. If you haven’t started reading Fables, start from the beginning. If you are on your way through these tales, hurry along so you can catch up to this volume. The monthly series is on issue #130 now, so you have a lot of catching up to do. But it is well worth your time!
Picked by @ReverendLove
Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 5 HC (Dark Horse)
Collects issues #38-41, $49.99
Crime does not pay, but this hardcover collection of the classic 40′s true crime comic of the same name pays out big time for Dark Horse’s growing line of archive editions. I fell in love with love with this mag from Lev Gleason and Magazine House when I read the first collection that Dark Horse published and I was so excited this week when the fifth volume made it’s way to my local comic book shop.
Although some of the art is not up to today’s standard…or really those of the day, the stories themselves bristle with grit, false glamour and unvarnished violence. The stories range from tales of gangsters and gun molls of urban America to the lone outlaw of the Old West as they all shoot their way across the nation and around the world.
Crime may not pay, but reading these comics, will enrich you beyond your wildest dreams.
Picked by @CaptDS9E
Talon Vol. 1: Scourge Of The Owls TP (DC Comics)
Collects Talon #0-7, $16.99
One of the most interesting things to come out of the new 52 was the introduction of the Court of Owls by in the pages of Batman. A secret group that has worked in Gotham, and other parts of the DCU for 100′s of years without being detected. At the end of that arc we learned that even though Batman stopped the Courts plan on Gotham, the group was much larger then believed. We may not have learned much more about them for a while in Batman, but James Tynion IV with input from Scott Snyder came up with an idea of Calvin Rose.
Many years ago, Calvin Rose became the only Talon who ever escaped from the Court of Owls. When word breaks out that the Court in Gotham was taken down by Batman, he returns to see for himself the status of the people he escaped from. With the hope that he can finally settle down for a life, without having to worry that he is still be tracked down. This sets into motion a chain of events in which we not only learn about this great new character, but also get an inside look into the highest levels of the Court of Owls. I really like the character of Rose, but the Court really is a major part of this book. Learning how much the Court has their claws into the DCU really is fascinating. We meet many different Talons, Leaders, allies, and enemies of the Court, which really brings something new to the Bat family mythos. People always say they want new characters and stories in DC/Marvel, well they have one in this series. If you like Snyder and Capullo’s Batman, I highly recommend you give this series by James Tynion IV, and Guillem March a shot.
Picked by @ChrisCCL
Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 2: Konga HC (IDW), $34.99
This week sees the release of Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 2: Konga HC. It collects all the work that Steve Ditko did on this character for Charlton Comics in the 1960. It’s predecessor Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 1: Gorgo, was released back in March. These are great comics that have been restored by Craig Yoe, who knows a thing or two about Mr. Ditko having published The Art of Ditko and The Creativity of Ditko.
However, if you want a little more Gorgo and Konga, look no furher then the recent trade paperback of Captain Universe Power Unimaginable. That book reprints Web of Spider-Man Annual #6 (1990). The third story is “Child Star” written by Tony Isabella with art by Ditko. A small child receives the Uni-Power of Captain Universe and creates giant toy monsters of Gorgo and Konga, although Gorgo is called Gorga due to copyright. And there you have it!
Now it’s your turn. What books that came out this week do you recommend? Take a look at the sidebar to see this weeks collected edition releases.