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
Adventures of Superman: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez HC (DC Comics)
Whenever someone asks “Who is the best Batman artist?” we typically all have some type of answer. Though our answers may range from Neal Adams, Greg Capullo, Bruce Timm, or Norm Breyfogle… we typically have an answer and can defend that answer. Now… if someone asks you, “Who’s the best Superman artist?” what do you say? For most of us, this question is a little bit harder to answer. We may even have to think about it for a few minutes. Some of us may bring up Curt Swan, Frank Quitely, or John Byrne. However, when I think about the Superman that I grew up wearing on my pajamas; or the Superman that was on the t-shirt I wore to second grade. It’s typically the Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez Superman. JLGL was the artist by which all DC comic characters were referenced when I was a kid (especially for merchandising). His versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Green Lantern, and Aquaman were the versions that were on every piece of merchandise that my parents bought me and his drawings were the style guides by which every artist based their versions at the time in comics history. So it’s no surprise that DC has released this beautiful book in their latest addition to the “creators” series of books. Collected in this volume are a handful of Superman issues, and several issues from (my favorite Superman title) DC Comics Presents. The volume contains appearances by Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, Solomon Grundy, Supergirl, The Flash, Adam Strange, the Metal Men and Firestorm (The story with Firestorm is a personal favorite of mine). Most of these stories have never been collected and will likely not be collected again. If you’re a Superman fan, have been collecting the “creators” series of hardcovers, both (like me), or you just wanna read some great pre-crisis stories of the Man of Steel, you should definitely pick this up.
Collects Superman #294, #301-302, #307-309 and #347, All-New Collectors Edition C-54 (This is the old Treasury Edition: Superman vs. Wonder Woman) and DC Comics Presents #1-4, #17, #20, #24 and #31, $39.99
Picked by @Dief88
Iron Man: Extremis (Marvel)
Extremis has sort of become the paradigmatic Iron Man story in the years since it was first published, and that’s due to several factors. One is that Warren Ellis was responsible for its plot, which combines a retelling of Iron Man’s origin (now set in Afghanistan, rather than Vietnam) with a modern-day tale of tech warfare and corporate intrigue. And then there’s Adi Granov’s artwork, which still strikes me with its incredible production values. The images in each panel strike a unique balance between cutting-edge computer graphics and traditional painted art. The clarity of Granov’s work makes it no surprise that he was brought on to help design the costume for the first Iron Man movie, or that Extremis has since been adapted into a motion comic.
Collects Iron Man (2005) #1-6, $14.99
Iron Man: Extremis Prose Novel (Marvel) , $24.99
Also coming out this month is a novelization of the Extremis storyline, written by Marie Javins – presumably as a tie-in to Iron Man 3, since the movie has been said to be at least partly inspired by the Ellis/Granov storyline. While a part of me wishes that Marvel would focus their prose fiction efforts on telling original stories that wouldn’t work as well either in comics or on film, the fact that they’re devoting resources to producing traditional novels at all is kind of cool, since they haven’t done much of it in the past few years. (Remember all of those Spider-Man and X-Men novels they put out in the early to mid-‘90s? How cool would it be for Marvel to start something like that up again?) At any rate, it’s nice to see Javins on a Marvel project again – if you’ve been reading comics for a while, you might recognize her name from her many credits as a colorist and editor at Marvel in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Picked by Shane
Iron Man: Season One (Marvel), $24.99
Those of you who read this Friday feature will know of my love for Shellhead. The onslaught of books leading up to the premiere of Iron Man 3 has started. We have five Iron Man titles out this week alone and it is almost a month away from the premiere. I know what you’re thinking… ANOTHER re-telling of the Iron Man origin? I didn’t pick up the floppies of this series for that very reason, but now that the hardcover is coming out, I’m excited. The Season One series has gotten fairly good reviews and we have Howard “American Flagg” Chaykin writing and some beautiful artwork by Gerald Parel. This is a must buy for my Iron Man collection. If you are just beginning your journey through the Marvel universe, these Season One editions should bring you up to speed on the characters and what better place to begin but with my favorite, Iron Man!
Picked by @adambesenyodi
West Coast Avengers Omnibus (Marvel)
The mid-’80s are my childhood comics reading heyday. I was an early teenager and a full-blown Marvel fanatic. I loved the Avengers – both the team and the book. The rotating roster and gamut-spanning exploits (everything from Earthbound to cosmic was fair game) sucked me in on every level. The Vision and Hawkeye were always among my favorites, and to see them butt heads and clash over the Scarlet Witch only added to the drama. When Hawkeye came back from his solo adventure married, and Vision was elevated to team leader as the first team was returning from Secret Wars, I knew things could get interesting. Sure enough, soon Vision was shipping his former romantic rival out to the Golden State to head up the West Coast franchise. The struggles Hawkeye faced as he tried his hand at team leader is the crux of the book, making for a fascinating character study. Throw in the archer’s wife, Wonder Man, Tigra, and an unexpected Iron Man, and you have a dynamic ripe for soap opera adventure!
Collects West Coast Avengers (1984) #1-4; Iron Man Annual #7; Avengers #250; West Coast Avengers #1-16; Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1985) #1-2; Avengers Annual #15; West Coast Avengers Annual #1; material from Avengers (1963) #239, #243-244, #246; and material from Avengers West Coast #100, $75.00
Picked by @ChrisCCL
DC Universe Secret Origins TP (DC Comics)
Reprints of reprints are always a fun thing to recommend. Originally Secret Origins was a series of Giants and covered Golden Age and Silver Age characters – and that’s what we have here. I own all four reprint “trades” individually as there were easy to find at conventions, but if you don’t want to hunt them down, pick up this 320 page softcover. I hope that DC would continue to reprint the full 50-issue series from 1986-1990 and/or the sister series, Who’s Who, that has sadly become lost in time.
Collects Secret Origins (1961), More Secret Origins (1965), Even More Secret Origins (2004), and Weird Secret Origins (2004), $24.99
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.