Is there one book that is a “must have” collected edition 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) Chris Partin (@ChrisPartin) 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 @ChrisPartin
The Black Beetle Volume 1: No Way Out HC
Published by Image
Francesco Francavilla is one of those creators that once you see what he can do with a comic book page you can only want to see another and another and… well, you get the point. BLACK BEETLE is Francavilla’s creator owned series at Dark Horse that will make you stand up and pay attention to what he’s capable of as a writer and as an artist.
BLACK BEETLE is a love letter to those pulp comic greats like THE SHADOW and THE SPIDER and there’s not a page or panel that you see in this hardcover that does not remind you of Francavilla’s influence by those characters and stories. The moment you open this book to the time you get to the last page you’re enveloped into a world of action and mystery. There’s very little opportunity to catch your breath and that is what makes this book so enjoyable – there’s no need to slow the pace down. The story is wall to wall action and you’re pulled in and are dragged behind the Black Beetle as he swings from roof tops, punches bad guys, and defeats the big, bad evil guy. All of it, you’re pulled in and Francavilla does an amazing job at keeping you in and entertained.
BLACK BEETLE VOL 1 HC is something that fans of high action and old-school mystery should pick up and be entertained by because that’s what it’s here to do.
Picked by @ReverendLove
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Volume 5: Christmas On Bear Mountain by Carl Bark HC
Published by Fantagraphics
I was never a huge cartoon duck fan outside of Howard the Duck and would have remained so if not for picking up Don Rosa’s Eisner winning “the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck” a few years ago. It turned me into a huge fan of the duck genre and then, to make matters worse, Fantagraphics decided to release an archive series that would collect the work of the Maestro of Cartoon Ducks, the legendary Carl Barks! I was trapped and had to give in to the guilty pleasure that comes from reading a well crafted duck tale.
This volume’s title story, “Christmas On Bear Mountain” is the first appearance of the richest duck of them all, Uncle Scrooge McDuck. In this story, Scrooge is a lot grouchier, bitter and ill tempered than his later incarnations and closer to the Dickens persona rather than Bark’s character. It’s a typical Christmas story with Donald, short on funds again, taking his nephews to Uncle Scrooge’s chalet on Bear Mountain to find some way to celebrate Christmas. As usual, the situation goes from calm to madcap crazy as Scrooge dresses up as a bear to test Donald and his nephews and somehow, a bear cub and his Mother get into the chalet and caught up in the story.
As with the other books in this series, there are a couple of other long form stories including the classic Barks tales “Volcano Valley”, “Adventure Down Under” and one of his more moody graphic works, titled “Ghost of the Grotto”. The book has seven 10 page short gag stories similar to the other books in the series and these certainly do not disappoint. Although the longer form stories are my favourites, I still enjoy Bark’s shorter pieces for their energy, light frivolity and slapstick timing.
I know that whenever I bring up the subject of ducks with my comic book pals, they look at me a-scant but I highly recommend this fabulous collection from Fantagraphics that celebrates the life and prodigious body of work of the Dean of Duckdom, the irreplaceable Carl Barks.
Picked by @CaptDS9E
Bloodshot Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars TPB
Collects Bloodshot #10-13
Published by Valiant
Valiant’s first big event, The Harbinger war is upon us. When Bloodshot attacks the PRS, all hell breaks loose. The Harbinger children (who have all sorts of special abilities) who were being help captive, escape into the general population. A large group goes into nearby Vegas and takes over a hotel, along with the Harbinger renegades from the proper Harbinger book. In this trade, another group escapes and travels with Bloodshot. Not only trying to evade the PRS who are hunting them down, but the Harbinger Foundation as well. They try to make there way to Vegas to join up with the other escaped group, but even though the young group he travels which thinks him to be their hero, Bloodshot does not realize that he has had a massive impact on these kids lives before, and not all of them who escaped may want his help, or call him ally. Bloodshot has been one of my favorite books since the Valiant relaunch because he is a very interesting character. Not even he knows his true history, because of all the reprogramming done to him over the years. Duane Swierczynski does a great job during this event showing his side of the tale, and Barry Kitson does a great job on the art duties. Not really a jumping on point, but more a recommendation to catch up on this series to this point.
Picked by @ChrisCCL
Complete Golden Age Airboy And Valkyrie HC
Published by Canton Street Press
First, I want to thank Canton Street Press for supplying me a copy of this book. As many of you know, I’m a fan of Golden Age material and especially Golden Age material that is reprinted for a new generation. Canton Street Press is a relatively new company and as they say on their website, “specializes in quality restorations of long out-of-print books of historical significance”. There’s no doubt that Airboy is one of those comics. Airboy was first published in Air Fighters Comics Vol. 1 #2 (November 1942) and was created by writers Charles Biro and Dick Wood and artist Al Camy. But as the title says, “Airboy AND Valkyrie”, so this books collects all the Golden Age appearances of the villainess – and later heroine. After reading the stories she reminds me of several women featured in Will Eisner’s The Spirit, particularly Sand Saref and Silk Satin. Not only is she dangerous, but she has dangerous curves and could give The Phantom Lady a run for her money in a cleavage contest.
The book, itself, is very affordable at $25 and the restiration and presentation is top notch. I only have one small complaint – the table of contents does not include the month and year of the comics collected in this book. Therefore, I have added them here for reference:
Air Fighters Vol. 2 #2 Airboy Meets Valkrie – November 1943
Air Fighters Vol. 2 #7 The Dath Lights – April 1944
Air Fighters Vol. 1 #12 Misery! – September 1943
Airboy Vol. 2 #12 The Return Of Misery! – January 1946
Airboy Vol. 3 #6 An American Legend – July 1946
Airboy Vol. 3 #12 The Wind of Battle – January 1947
Airboy Vol. 4 #10 Valkrie’s Viking Flying Club – November 1947
Airboy Vol. 9 #2 Valkrie Strikes Again – March 1952
With a quick glance it looks like the story “Misery” is out of place, but really if it was not included then “The Return Of Misery!” wouldn’t make much sense, hence it is included for continuity sake, but interestingly, it does not contain Valkrie. I hope CSP will be able to reprint the entire Airboy series in thicker editions similar to Marvel’s Masterworks, but I understand if there isn’t a market for them. If you are interested pick up this hardcover and be sure to check out other offerings from Canton Street Press including the complete Canteen Kate from Matt Baker.
DC Comics Essentials: Wonder Woman #1
Collects Wonder Woman #1 (Volume 4)
Published by DC Comics
I’ll make this recommendation very simple – if you haven’t picked up Wonder Woman yet – do it now. For only a buck you can experience, what is now my favorite book of DC’s New 52. What artist Cliff Chiang and writer Brian Azzarello are doing is nothing short of spectacular. What’s nice is that it doesn’t feel like a “superhero” book because it intertwines with Greek mythology and the JLA stays out of it. In fact, it’s difficult to pinpoint just where in DC continuity this takes place, which is fine by me. 5 Stars!
Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World Prelude TP
Collects Marvel’s Thor Adaptation #1-2, Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World Prelude #1-2 and Thor: God Of Thunder #13
Published by Marvel
It’s that time of year again – time for another Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie. That movie is Thor: The Dark World and with it comes this easy to read trade. You can plainly see why they first two min-series are collected but why God Of Thunder #13? That’s because it features the Dark Elves who play an integral part in the Dark World film. As with Wonder Woman above, the God Of Thunder series by writer Jason Aaron and artist Ron Garney is one of the best books on the market and one that’s at the top of my “to read” pile every month. If you’re interested in catching up, you can do so by picking up the first two collected editions of God of Thunder: Vol 1. God Butcher and Vol. 2 Godbomb.
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.