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), 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
Batman, Incorporated Vol. 1: Demon Star HC (DC Comics)
Collects Batman, Incorporated #0-6, $24.99
If you’re reading this blog (and other websites), then odds are that you’re pretty up to date on the comics that have been popular over the past year or so. Hidden among Vaughn’s Saga, Snyder & Capullo’s Batman, Waid’s Daredevil, and Aaron’s Thor is an often forgotten book called Batman Inc. This book, written by Grant Morrison, boasts the break-out work of Superstar artist, Chris Burnham. Morrison and Burnham have a great chemistry as they tell the penultimate chapter in Morrison’s epic Batman run. This book, is thought-provoking, beautiful, and lots of fun. If you have yet to discover Chris Burnham, then I recommend that you jump in head first with this volume. You’ll soon discover why Chris Burnham will be one of the most sought after illustrators in comics when his tenure on Batman Inc. comes to a close.
Picked by @CaptDS9E
Spider-Men TP (Marvel)
Collects Spider-Men #1-5, $19.99
One of my favorite comic series for a long time has been Ultimate Spider-Man written by Brian Bendis. When word came out that he had decided to kill off Ultimate Universe Peter Parker, it caused a bit of an uproar. People cried about it being just another stunt. However Peters death very well done, and it then led us to be introduced to young a young kid name Miles Morales. As with the original Spider-Man stories, Miles gets bitten by a Spider, gains powers, and decides to take up the mantle of Spider-Man. Even with the change, the series continued to be fantastic, as Miles is a great character. It’s fun learning about his life, and family, but still seeing characters from before pop up, and interact with him. The one thing everyone wanted to see was Miles meet Peter Parker, and that is where this miniseries comes in. Peter Parker in the regular Marvel 616 universe gets thrown into a dimensional portal while fighting Mysterio, and ends up in the Ultimate Universe. He realizes he is not where he is supposed to be when he runs into different versions of people he knows like Nick Fury (who is African American here), Tony Stark (still drinks liquor), and of course this new Spider-Man. Their meeting at first results in some fighting, but they come together to find out how Peter was transported there. It’s great seeing Peter and Miles work together, and have each other discover their similarities and differences. The real heart of this series though, is when Peter decides to meet Ultimate Aunt May and Gwen Stacy who thought they would never see their Peter Parker again. This is a must read for any Spider-Man fan, and that last part will make you emotional every time.
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Essential Defenders Vol. 7 TP (Marvel)
Collects Defenders (1972) #126-139, Iceman (1984) #1-4 and Beauty And The Beast (1984) #1-4, $19.99
Oh, man. Talk about right in my wheelhouse: You can’t get any closer than this collection! This is an assemblage of comics that speaks to me on so many levels. First and foremost, it’s J.M. DeMatteis blowing my young teenage mind when I read these issues fresh off the corner convenience store spinner rack 30 years ago. It’s the heyday of the Marvel Four-Issue Limited Series, collecting TWO of them alongside the introduction of the New Defenders team. There’s the über-trippy Iceman limited series that finds Bobby Drake up against the Void, and everyone’s favorite furry blue Beast falling in love and teaming up with Dazzler to battle Dr. Doom in the Beauty and the Beast limited series. In the collection’s namesake book, Beast rouses the troops, including his fellow original Children of the Atom, Iceman and Angel, alongside Gargoyle (whom DeMatteis would feature in a great four-issue limited series of his own just a year later that I wish Marvel had collected here!), Valkyrie, and Moondragon. This is the end of the original run of the title that began all the way back in 1972, but includes the title’s Assistant Editors’ Month entry by Ann Nocenti! Although you could probably find almost all of these original single issues for a song, the value of the black and white Essentials reprint line is undeniable, and this is a series that begs to be read and reread and passed around.
Picked by Shane
Unnatural Creatures Stories Selected By Neil Gaiman SC (Harper Collins), $9.99
I’ve loved Neil Gaiman’s writing ever since my friend put a copy of Good Omens (his collaboration with author Terry Prachett) in my hand. I immediately sought out more of his prose writing. Some of those works included American Gods and its sequel Anasi Boys, now both favorites of mine! A few of his books have been adapted into film and TV such as Stardust and Coraline. The British TV series Neverwhere was written by him and Lenny Henry and then Gaiman adapted and expanded it into a novel. I really enjoy this series and it is well worth watching! I haven’t even mentioned his comics yet. The Vertigo Sandman series is revered as one of the greatest comics of all time. You’ll hear stories of people who aren’t even big comic fans and they’ve read it. Its sister series Death was equally entertaining and his Marvel and DC runs are definitely worth seeking out. His Marvel series 1602 was an elsewhere tale of sorts that puts famous Marvel characters into the era of the 1600s; a time of American exploration by Europeans. Imagine the possibilities or just pick up the book and see what he did with it! Now, I’m going on and on about Gaiman and this collection of short stories wasn’t necessarily written by him, but they are stories selected by him. Because of his pedigree with fantasy and science fiction, I trust that he picked out a great selection of stories. This collection intrigues me. It contains sixteen stories all dealing with magical creatures. Some you’ve heard of before, some were made up for the stories in this book. One of the really cool things about getting this book is that sales of Unnatural Creatures benefit 826DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students in their creative and expository writing, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. So not only are you getting a great book, you are supporting a great cause. Check it out and also check out some of Gaiman’s other prose and comic works. You won’t be sorry! By the way, for you Doctor Who fans, the second Gaiman penned episode is airing this week. Don’t miss it!!
Picked by @ChrisCCL
The Complete Don Quixote GN (SelfMadeHero), $27.50
I was exposed to The Man Of La Mancha at a very early age. I saw the musical as a kid, read the book in high school (an updated translation) and saw the musical again (with Robert Goulet) in my 20’s. Each time I saw different things with this wildly peculiar hero. Yes, I said hero. In fact, if you didn’t know, Don Quixote was published in 1605! This fully illustrated edition from SelfMadeHero is a collection of Two Volumes that was published in 2011 and 2012. Now, here, in 2013 The Complete Hardcover has been published. Rob Davis has translated and illustrated the founding work of modern western literature with the utmost respect and care. Mr. Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) would be very proud. One question: Is Sancho Panza the first side-kick?
Thunderbolts Vol. 1: No Quarter TP (Marvel)
Collects Thunderbolts (2013) #1-6, $15.99
As a Punisher fan, I wasn’t sure how well I’d like Frank in a team book. I mean, I enjoyed Marvel Knights all those years ago, but this time around he’s been paired up with Red Hulk, Deadpool, Elektra and Venom. As it turns out, this “team” is so dysfunctional – it works! The violent artwork from Steve Dillon is spot on and because of that, I’m surprised that it’s not a MAX book. You just wonder how long these Thunderbolts will be around for and just how it will inevitably implode. My money is on Frank.
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.