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 @ReverendLove
The Mighty Thor Omnibus – Volume 2 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby HC (Marvel)
Collects Journey Into Mystery (1952) 121-125, Thor (1966) 126-152, Thor Annual (1966) 2, Not Brand Echh (1967), $99.99
One of the first Marvel titles that grabbed my attention when I began to buy up Silver Age comics in the 70’s was “The Mighty Thor” and this second Omnibus of the God of Thunder’s adventures contains most of the comics that first drew me to the fabled gates of Asgard. This volume is graced with the art of the King of Comics, Jack Kirby and for the most part, his pencils are inked by the much maligned Vince Colletta with one issue by “Wild” Bill Everett. The Inhumans stories that were back up stories for some of the later issues in this volume were inked by Joe Sinnott, but I don’t think those are included in this volume.
The stories begin with Thor’s troubles with the Absorbing Man and a little side trip to Vietnam in one of the last “Commie Bashing” tales that Stan Lee was known for in the early 60’s Marvel titles. The title begins to take us to other locales both foreign and fantastic from the Underworld to the far reaches of outer space where he meets up with one of the greatest Marvel “villains”, Ego, the Living Planet. I loved these stories with their wild organic landscapes that writhe with life to the super cool “anti-bodies” with those weird square heads that helped protect the Living Planet.
Thor returns to Earth where he encounters another great Marvel character, the High Evolutionary and his mutated animal Knights of Wundagore. The following stories flit from one new villain to the next for a few issues and this volume ends with Issue #152, which is the first part of the legendary Man-Gog
arc, that to this day, is still one of my favourite Thor stories of all time. I’d first came across this story in Marvel Treasury Edition #10 from 1976 but it was a few years until I’d found copies of the original comics and could read the entire epic including the several pages edited out of the Treasury Edition.
These stories bristle with magic and myth and modern day legends that today, still stride like giants through the Halls of the Palace that is known as Marvel Comics.
Picked by @CaptDS9E
X-O Manowar Volume 3 Planet Death TP (Valiant), $14.99
The first two volumes of the series that relaunched the Valiant comics universe, has built up to this huge turning point. Aric a Visigoth who was abducted by an Alien race called the Vine. has returned to present day Earth. He has become one with the X-O Manowar armor which he merged with during his escape from his captors. With some help from Ninjak and others, he has stopped the secret Vine invasion of earth. Next on his agenda, is taking the battle to the Vines home planet of Loam, to get revenge for what happened to him and his people. He arrives on the Loam with the desire to destroy the entire planet. However his mission takes on a shape he did not foresee. With unlikely alien allies, and help from the last people he thought he would meet, his mission takes on a new meaning not only for him, but the results will shape the Valiant universe in the year to come. If you have not yet jumped into the Valiant universe, this would be a good place to start, as things are getting more interesting all the time. Writer Robert Venditti has not only built a great story that builds every issue, but also one where you can jump on between arcs, and get you into the flow of things.
Picked by @ChrisCCL
Green Lantern: Sector 2814 Vol. 2 TP (DC Comics)
Collects Green Lantern #182-183 and #185-189, $16.99
Why is DC collecting these Green Lantern stories, Chris? We’ll sit back and let me tell you. As the title of the book states, Green Lantern: Sector 2814 is a Volume 2, but that is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually the 4th volume of Dave Gibbon’s Green Lantern run. The first two books were Tales of the Green Lantern Corps and collected all the back-ups he did from Green Lantern including Mogo Doesn’t Socialize with Alan Moore (#188, 1985). The first volume of this Sector 2814 series collects Green Lantern #172-176 and #178-181, which sets up Hal Jordan’s removal from the Corps and John Stewart’s ascension, which is coming out this week. So there you have it. Glad I could set it straight.
Nightwing: Old Friends New Enemies TP (DC Comics)
Secret Origins #13 and Action Comics Weekly #613-618 and #627-634, $14.99
In 1988, DC turned Superman’s title into a weekly book to directly compete with Marvel Comics Presents. DC (and Marvel) churned out a lot of content with these mini storylines that carried over week to week, thus forcing kids and adults to buy more to keep up with their favorite characters. It was also a tryout book as a few of them would go on to headline their own title. But before Dick Grayson did that in 1995, he held his own in the back pages of Action Comics. The “Weekly” only lasted from #601 (May 24, 1988) to #642 (March 14, 1989) but Nightwing got in two popular runs. First is a team-up with his Titans buddy, Speedy as they chase down Cheshire, from writer Marv Wolfman. One their second adventure, the duo head to Ireland to take on drug lords, but make no mistake, it’s much more of a Speedy story, then Nightwing. BTW, do you like the cover of this trade? It was done by the great Mike Kaluta.
American Comic Book Chronicles HC The 1950s (TwoMorrows Publishing), $40.95
The third book is this excellent, informative retrospective series is out this week. For the comic book novice or for the serious historian and anyone in between. This is an indispensable guide to American comic books. There isn’t much more to say other then: go buy it.
Finally we have a retro recommendation circa 2004…
Picked by @andrewjtom
Light Brigade TP (DC Comics), $19.99
Y’know there aren’t very many comics out there that are based around Christian theology. Many of the comics out there typically only show up in artists’ alleys and the occasional Christian bookstore. It’s pretty rare that you find a Christian themed book published by one of the “Big Two”, but that’s exactly what I’m gonna’ talk about today. One of my favorite collected editions over the last several years is a book called Light Brigade. Light Brigade is the brain-child of Pete Tomasi with amazing art by Peter Snejbjerg. The story focuses on a company of US soldiers in Europe during WWII. I won’t get into the plot, but expect Zombie Nazis, Warrior Angels, and a quest for the soldiers that leads to an opportunity to save mankind from the forces of evil. The great thing is that the book uses Christian theology as a story telling platform. It’s not “preachy” and doesn’t try to teach you a Sunday School lesson. It uses Christian faith to tell an entertaining story. This story is great for people who are non-Christians as well as Christians, but; you may get a little more out of the material if you can recall some of those Bible stories that you learned in Sunday School.
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.