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 six comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.
Picked by @AndrewJTom
Judge Dredd The Complete Carlos Ezquerra Volume 1 HC (IDW), $49.99
If you’ve seen the Dredd movie from last summer (now available on Blu Ray and DVD), then you know why there’s a renewed interest in Judge Dredd. Dredd has been around for pretty much my entire comic collecting life. However, I didn’t discover him until DC held the rights to publish him in the 90s. From those few DC issues, I was hooked on the concept and the character. But the one thing that I missed out on was the original Judge Dredd stories from 2000 A.D. Yeah, I read the crossovers with Batman, saw that crappy Stallone movie, and gobbled up any Dredd appearances that I could get from my LCS. But; it wasn’t until recently that discovered the Complete Case Files and the scattered out of print trades that have been published by 2000 A.D. In my mind, though, the best thing that has happened to Dredd (for his North American audience) is the recent acquisition of the Dredd license by IDW Publishing. Along with new Dredd material, IDW is reprinting classic Dredd stories in “creator collections” that showcase stories from some of Dredd’s most prolific writers and artists over his storied history. This particular hardcover volume showcases the art of one of Dredd’s creator’s, Carlos Ezquera. This book is IDW’s first volume of Ezquera’s work which collects several complete Judge Dredd stories. This handsome hardcover maintains the integrity of Carlos’s line work (originally printed black & white in the pages of 2000 A.D), while presenting it in a durable tome for years of enjoyment. Diving into Judge Dredd without Ezquera would be like discovering Fantastic Four without Kirby. The Complete Carlos Ezquera is essential for any fan that wants to experience the greatness that is Judge Dredd.
Picked by @ChrisCampbell8
Judge Dredd, Vol. 1 TP (IDW), $19.99
“Let my education begin”, I said earlier this year. Like many of my fellow Americans, my reading history with Dredd has been lacking. In 2013, when IDW announced a new ongoing series written by one of my current favorite writers, I knew that it was time to dive in. And I’m happy I did! The IDW editorial staff did a great job pairing Duane Swierczynski, a man with obvious talent in the crime area, with Nelson Daniel. They’ve also decided to do a main-feature, along with a back-up to help flesh out the context of the Mega-Cities, which ends working extremely well. In terms of context and backdrop, Judge Dredd is obviously the main character, but just as with the movie that came out recently, the actual city of Mega-City One seems to be crowding in on the spotlight, like Rick’s Café Américain from Casablanca. The first few main stories have a cool sci-fi slant to them as well, involving situations where robots stop following orders (never a good thing), and kidnappers who clone the victims in an interesting extortion scheme with unintended collateral damage. This volume of Judge Dredd has fun stories, great art, introduces a new character successfully, and provides a comic unlike many others on your pull list. Some of my other co-hosts on No Apologies podcast have read the new series and enjoyed it as well, and we had some good conversations on the show. I recommend this!
Picked by @CaptDS9E
Mind MGMT Volume 1 HC (Dark Horse)
Collects Mind MGMT #1-6, $19.99
I have not read much of Matt Kindt’s work, but when I heard the premise for Mind MGMT I had to give it a try. The story begins as an unexplained event happens on a commercial airliner, that has erased the memories of all the passengers, and crew on board. We flash forward a few years later, to find that much is still not known about what happened on that day. The people on board the plane still have not recovered their full memories, and most of them have had a hard time moving on with their lives. Still perplexed about the entire story, a book writer named Meru decides that she is once again going to try to investigate what happened to these people, and get to the bottom of things. As Meru goes on her quest, she starts to find out that the event on the plane leads to a much larger world of secrets, cover ups, secret organizations, people with strange abilities, and that she may somehow be involved in it all. I really do not want to say more, as I do not want to spoil all the fun stuff. If you liked shows like Lost and Fringe, which have deep mythology, and twists/turns around every corner, then this is for you.
Picked by Shane
Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia HC (DK Publishing), $16.99
This month Doctor Who returned to the small screens of both the U.S. and UK. He returned with a new companion (the delightful Clara Oswald played by Jenna-Louise Coleman)and the promise of an incredible season. You see, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of this timeless sci-fi franchise. The original television series ran from late 1963 until 1989 and then we only had a television movie in 1996 until the Tardis returned to Earth television screens in 2005. During those years when we didn’t have any Who on TV, we still had plenty of adventures to keep us occupied in books, audio dramas and of course, comic books! Being this is the golden anniversary of the franchise, I expect a lot of books, comics and collectibles to flood the market. We have a few interesting things coming out this week. First of all, we have the DK Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia. I absolutely LOVE DK books. They are beautifully illustrated and carry a wealth of information in each packed volume. I cannot wait to get my hands on this one, since I’m sure it won’t disappoint. My favorite in the DK series so far… James Bond – The Secret World of 007. If you are a longtime fan of Doctor Who or a newbie in the universe of the time lords, check out this book. I’m sure you’ll spend hours with it. There are also a few collected editions coming out. Dalek Generation, Plague of the Cybermen and Shroud of Sorrow (Broadway Publishing). After 50 years, the good Doctor shows no signs of slowing down on TV or in the pages of comics. Now is certainly his golden age. Be sure to check out the DK book and then get your hands on some of those great comic adventures.
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Rocket Raccoon And Groot: The Complete Collection TPB (Marvel)
Collects Incredible Hulk (1968) #271; Rocket Raccoon #1-4; and material from Tales To Astonish (1959) #13, Marvel Preview #7, Annihilators #1-4 and Annihilators: Earthfall #1-4, $29.99
Who would have thought an anthropomorphic raccoon inspired by the Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon” and a sentient tree dreamed up by the Marvel Bullpen at the dawn of the ’60s would become popular enough in the new millennium to star in a live action, summer tent pole movie from Marvel Studios next year? Well, that is the journey taken by these two beloved cult characters. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning should be given plenty of credit for elevating Groot and Rocket Raccoon to where they are today with the Marvel Cosmic journeys they took them on in Annihilation/Guardians of the Galaxy/Annihilators stories, but it was the Bill Mantlo-penned trippy limited series that first put Rocket on my radar. Some of the archived material presented here was previously collected in the Annihilation Classic trade paperback in 2009, and the more recent stories under the covers of their respective Annihilators collections, but if you’re looking for one-part primer/one-part rollicking good time, this new book is a great place to start (or revisit) a couple of characters whose stars have been on the rise for the last half-decade or so. And the new cover by Mike Mignola is a simply gorgeous nod to his work on that original Rocket Raccoon four-issue mini-series he did back in the mid-’80s!
Picked by @ChrisCCL
Will Eisner’s The Spirit Artist’s Edition HC (IDW), $125.00
There are certain names in the comic book industry that are instantly recognizable: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Joe Kubert come to mind. But Will Eisner is a name that even the greats of comic books and comic strips give honor to. After all the Eisner Awards are the Oscars of the comic book publishing – that is saying something. Of course Eisner has the distinction of creating the modern graphic novel and if you have never read his Contract With God Trilogy (A Contract with God, and Other Tenement Stories; A Life Force; Dropsie Avenue), you owe it to yourself to do so. Your public library may even have a copy, as I know that mine does. But we are here to talk about Will Eisner’s greatest creation: The Spirit. DC proudly reprinted every Spirit strip in the 27 Volume Archive series (along with one volume from the Dark Horse comics). But now we get Eisner at his best. How the originals survived to produce this giant, 15 x 22, Artist’s Edition is beyond me, but we are so lucky to have it. It is truly is a time capsule. IDW has put together 17 of his most famous strips from Eisner’s post World War II years, when The Spirit was at his best. Don’t miss out on this historic collector item.
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.