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), and I (@ChrisCCL) are sharing six comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.
Picked by @AndrewJTom
Batman: The Black Mirror TP (DC Comics)
What’s hot in comics these days? I’ll tell you what’s hot… Scott Snyder. For the last 17 months, Scott Snyder (with artist, Greg Capullo) has produced some of the most engaging, and gripping Batman comics in many years. His depiction of Batman is more than likely going to be remembered as one of the great Batman runs of all time. Batman: The Black Mirror is where all of this glorious Scott Snyder Bat-mania starts. Back when Grant Morrison did the unthinkable by “killing” Bruce Wayne, Dick (Robin/Nightwing) Grayson took up the mantle of The Batman to carry on Bruce’s legacy. At that time, Snyder was given the assignment to write some of the short backup stories in Detective comics. But Fate knew that Snyder was destined for greatness and ultimately the main Batman book. Through some various unforeseen circumstances, Snyder was given a chance to turn his back-up feature into a full fledged Batman story arc in the pages of Detective. With this newfound opportunity, Snyder crafted a disturbing tale of Dick Grayson (as Batman) and a “new” villain that took the “cheerful” Dick-Grayson-Batman , and taught him what it’s “really” like to wear Bruce’s cape. With art by some of the top talents in the industry today (Jock and Francesco Francavilla) this Batman story is the book that won Scott Snyder one of the most coveted writing assignments in all of comics. Even though it may not be a Bruce Wayne story, it still deserves to sit on your Batman shelf with all of the great Batman books.
Collects Detective Comics #871-881, $16.99
Picked by @ChrisCampbell8
Valiant Masters: Ninjak Vol. 1 – Black Water HC (Valiant)
When Valiant Entertainment announced that it would be reprinting material from the original Valiant universe, I was positively giddy at the thought of devoting an entire shelf in my personal library to the endeavor. Alas, Valiant has only released a Bloodshot volume thus far, and it was starting to get a bit lonely. So I’m happy to report that the second release in the young Valiant Masters line is being released – Ninjak Volume 1:Black Water. For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Colin King is a sophisticated British playboy who also leads a secret life as the deadly spy Ninjak! The character was co-created by Mark Moretti and Joe Quesada, and Ninjak quickly became a fan-favorite and demanded his own ongoing series. With almost a million copies sold, if you collected comics in the 90’s, there is a good chance you owned a copy of Ninjak #1. The titular story arc focuses on Ninjak’s hunt for decrepit Dr. Silk and the mysterious Black Water weapon, and features some absolutely gorgeous covers by Quesada. It should be noted that Quesada left the penciling duties after issue 3, and the writing can be a bit winded at times, but this remains a must-buy for Valiant fans. One final note – this collection contains the much more elusive #0 and #00 issues, which are both written and drawn by Mark Moretti and tell the origin of the super-spy. If you like what you read, don’t forget that Instocktrades.com has the first TPB of the new Bloodshot and X-O Manowar for under $7 a piece! And check out Valiantfans.com for a great Valiant fan community, or NoApologies podcast episode 107 for a full-length podcast devoted to the new Valiant lineup. Long live Valiant!
Collects Ninjak (1994) #1-6, #0, and #00 and featuring special, rarely seen sketches and process art from the Valiant vault, $24.99
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Spider-Man Death Of Jean Dewolff TPB (New Printing), (Marvel)
Last year I dug out my old single issues of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man and reread the issues from ’83 and ’84 – many of which feature Police Captain Jean DeWolff – along with the original four issues from 1985 that comprise the main arc collected in this trade paperback. There is a distinct tonal shift from those earlier issues to what Peter David did on this, one of his first professional writing gigs. The “Death of Jean DeWolff” storyline is a near-complete deconstruction of Peter Parker, taking him to the edge and – arguably – pushing him over in the wake of his friend’s brutal death at the hands of the Sin-Eater. There is some great contrast between Spider-Man and Daredevil in the original arc that advances both characters on multiple levels. This collection throws in David’s return to the Sin-Eater character two years later, but with writing that elevates the characters and the medium to new heights, this is a perfect example of “must read” material on the strength of the original arc alone.
Collects Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #107-110 and #134-136, $19.99
Picked by Shane
Marvel Masterworks: Captain Marvel Vol. 1 TPB (Marvel)
Captain Marvel or Mar-Vell as he is known by, has always been a fascinating character to me. He wasn’t one of the Marvel A-Listers but when I was a kid, every time I saw a comic with him on the cover it caught my eye. What really brought me back into the character was when I was older and I got my hands on the classic Marvel graphic novel, The Death of Captain Marvel. This was the first of the large format graphic novel line Marvel published in the 80s. I happily own a first edition signed by Jim Starlin. Though that story was the end for an amazing character, it made me seek out some of his great adventures in the Marvel Universe. What better place to start the exploits of the Kree outcast who fought for Earth, then this first volume of his stories? Collecting some of the first issues, this Marvel Masterworks should be a must read for every Marvel Zombie!!
Collects Marvel Super-Heroes #12-13 and Captain Marvel #1-9, $24.99
Picked by @ChrisCCL
Superman Vs. Shazam! TP (DC Comics)
Any comic book fan knows that Captain Marvel was a rip-off of Superman and who went on to outsell the Man of Steel. DC Would eventually buy Fawcett Comics and subsequently integrate The Big Red Cheese into the DC Universe in 1972. And please let’s not get into Captain Mar-vell that Shane picked (see above). OK now that, that is over with let’s get in with why these comics were chosen to be included in this trade paperback – after all Captain Marvel and Superman have fought with each other in numerous comics over the years. All-New Collectors’ Edition C-58 from 1978 was the first meeting between the two titans. This 76-page treasury edition is very hard to find in mint condition. It’s nice to have it all collected here. In DC Comics Presents #33-34, from 1984, Superman teams up with Captain Marvel and the Shazam! Family to take on Mr. Mind. In DC Comics Presents #49, our two heroes take on Black Adam. Finally in and DC Comics Presents Annual #3, from 1984, Supermen: Earth-1 and Earth-2 team up with the entire Shazam! Family once again to battle Dr. Sivana. This is a must have for and Captain Marvel fan – the DC/Fawcett Captain Marvel fan.
Collects All-New Collectors’ Edition C-58, DC Comics Presents #33-34 and 49 and DC Comics Presents Annual #3, $19.99
Heavy Metal #261 (Heavy Metal), (Newsstand Edition), $7.95
It’s been years since I picked up Heavy Metal Magazine. It’s not like I don’t enjoy the content. HM has been known to showcase some of the best artistic talent from around the world. No, it’s mostly because the comic stores I shop at don’t carry it and I never remember to buy it online. Poor excuse, I know.That’s going to change with this issue #261. Why? Because I know one of the artists that is featured in this particular issue – Dave Watcher. I met Dave years ago thanks to the old Around Comics podcast and I’ve kept in touch with him ever since. I’ve admired his work including self published Guns Of Shadow Valley and Scar Tissue and the more recent That Hellbound Train (IDW) and TMNT (IDW). I still follow Dave on Facebook and am always in awe of his sketches – so much so that I even own an original Jay Garrick Flash sketch. Keep up the great work, Dave!
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.