Tag Archives: fantastic four

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #38

Is there one book that is a “must have” collected edition 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.

Fantastic Four By Jonathan Hickman Omnibus Vol. 1 HC
Fantastic Four By Jonathan Hickman Omnibus Vol. 1 HC

Picked by @ReverendLove
Fantastic Four By Jonathan Hickman Omnibus Vol. 1 HC
Published by Marvel
Collects Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1-5, Fantastic Four #570-588, FF #1-5 and material from Dark Reign: The Cabal #1, 800 pages, $100
I have always loved the Kirby-Lee run on the Fantastic Four and besides that classic run, thought the only other FF stories worth their salt were the 1980′s comic book tales by John Byrne…that was until a couple of years ago.
It was on a casual visit to my local comic book emporium, that I discovered Jonathan Hickman’s soon to be classic take on the first family of comics. I was astounded to see that there was still life in the old cosmic quartet and that these new stories were different from the usual FF fare as of late. Hickman brought to the Fantastic Four a whole new vision of Kirbyesque proportion and complex plot lines that could have been wrought by the cosmic master Jim Starlin, himself.
With Hickman at the wheel, we see a universe of uncertainty and menace where Reed Richards and his other dimensional doppelgangers try to “fix” the universe. We see Reed and the others, including members of his own family, as they attempt to play God and bring peace to a world tired and beset by strife between the heroes, mutants, Inhumans and the human population.
This is not the Fantastic Four of your parents day…this is a Fantastic Four that brims with possibilities and probabilities and stories that lead us down paths both new and unexplored. The only thing that’s certain in this volume is the rampant imagination and verbal stylings of one of the brightest stars to shine down upon the Marvel Universe in many a year.
You owe it to yourself to experience Mr. Hickman’s interpretation of the “World’s Greatest Comic Book Magazine”!

Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 1 (New Printing)
Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 1 (New Printing)

Picked by @Dief88
Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 1 (New Printing)
Published by Marvel
After much lobbying from hardcore collected editions enthusiasts, Marvel’s collections department has decided to roll out new printings of some of its earliest Omnibus editions. The first-ever Omnibus gets reprinted this week, and it’s a great one. Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 1 collects some of the best superhero comics ever created, as well as some of the best work by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. These stories were at the very beginning of Marvel’s early-‘60s superhero comics revolution, and that adventurous spirit pervades the thirty issues collected here.
Many fans point to the series’ second thirty-issue block as the heyday of the Lee/Kirby FF, and those stories are certainly excellent as well, but to my mind these earlier issues are a lot more interesting. They’re rougher in certain ways, but it’s fascinating to see Lee and Kirby constantly trying out different things with the artwork, characterization, and plot structure. A few of these experiments fail – the issue introducing the Impossible Man, for example, is quite possibly the worst Stan Lee comic I’ve ever read – but many others are brilliant. Fantastic Four #5, which introduces Dr. Doom, is in my opinion one of the best single issues of the Silver Age (ranking second only to Amazing Fantasy #15), and it’s in roughly equal company throughout this collection. This is a book that all readers of superhero comics should definitely consider having on their shelves.

…and a bonus recommendation….

Wolverine: The Return of Weapon X
Wolverine: The Return of Weapon X

Wolverine: The Return of Weapon X
Published by Marvel
Collects Wolverine (1988) #159-176 and Annual 2000-2001, $44.99
I have been waiting for this trade for more than a decade, and I can’t be more thrilled that it’s finally a reality. The issues collected in this book were among the first comics I bought after setting up my first pull list. I had subscribed to Wolverine’s ongoing series on a whim (purely because I needed to have a fifth title on my list), never having read it and knowing nothing about the creators. Little did I know that my first issue, #162, was essentially the ground floor for what would become – and what remains – my favorite Wolverine story of all time.
This isn’t just nostalgia talking. Frank Tieri’s run on the book with Sean Chen takes elements from all the best Wolverine stories (Weapon X, the Claremont/Miller miniseries, you name it) and blends them with the writer’s own off-kilter sensibilities. “The Return of Weapon X” is more than just an ode to Wolverine stories of the past – it’s also, at times, a biting satire of early-2000’s American popular culture. Tieri is also one of the few writers to successfully portray Wolverine as an introspective and truly intelligent man, rather than simply a mindless killing machine. This is one of the great Wolverine stories, and it’s wonderful that a new generation of readers now has the chance to experience (or re-experience) it.

Mystery Society Deluxe HC
Mystery Society Deluxe HC

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Mystery Society Deluxe HC
Published by IDW
$27.99
This hardcover collects the five-issue series and the 2013 Special into one oversized book.
Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) offers up an entertaining enough story about Nick and Anastasia, a hipster mash-up of The Thin Man’s Nick and Norah and The Avengers’ John Steed and Emma Peel, and the couple at the center of the Mystery Society. They end up recruiting a few more members along the way (including a robot with the brain of Jules Verne!) on their quest to recover Edgar Allen Poe’s missing skull. It’s a crisp story with plenty of action sequences balanced by quippy repartee. But the real superstar of the series is Fiona Staples art. If you only know her work from Saga with Brian K. Vaughan, you owe it to yourself to go back and check out some of her earlier efforts. This or Wildstorm’s North 40 is a great place to start. The new Mystery Society Deluxe Hardcover collects the original five-issue series from 2010, plus the March 2013 one-shot that was written by Niles but with art duties taken over by Andrew Ritchie. Definitely worth a look!

MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet TP
MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet TP

Picked by @CaptDS9E
MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet TP
Published by Image
Collects MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet #1-5, $14.99
It’s been 19 years since Richard Dean Anderson played MacGyver on television, and fans of the character like myself have been hoping for more. Amid rumors of possibly a feature film, it was finally announced that we would get more of this great property in comic book form. Written by Tony Lee/MacGyver creator Lee David Ziotoff , with art by Will Sliney we get a fun miniseries called Fugitive Gauntlet. An old Biology Professor of Macs believes he has found the solution for world hunger. He contacts MacGyver, hoping the Phenonix Foundation can help with the many issues that could arise from such a world changing discovery. Namely companies trying to steal his idea for their own monetary gain, before it can be brought before the world for free. However like all things in MacGyver’s life, things go crazy quickly, the data is stolen, and his friend is killed. It forces MacGyver to go on an international crusade to figure out who stole the data, and who leaked the discovery to the thieves. As if he didn’t have enough problems, someone has put a sizable bounty on MacGyver’s head, putting many bounty hunters on his tail. Yes it is crazy as it sounds, just like episodes of the TV show were. We get the voice overs, the on the spot inventions to get out of tight spots, and plenty of the cliches we have grown to love. If your a fan of the show, then this is worth the read.

Fables: Werewolves Of The Heartland TP
Fables: Werewolves Of The Heartland TP

Picked by Shane
Fables: Werewolves Of The Heartland TP
Published by DC Comics
$14.99
Fables is by far my favorite comic series out there. Still going strong with over 130+ issues, aside from the monthly series there has been a lot of other content out there for fans of this universe. There have been two spin-off series (Jack of Fables and Fairest), a prose novel, a couple of mini-series with the character Cinderella and some stand-alone graphic novels. The latest of which is Werewolves of the Heartland, which makes its trade paperback debut this week. This graphic novel is a solo tale for Bigby (the Big Bad Wolf), one of my favorite characters in the series. Bigby goes off on a quest to find a new location for Fabletown (the town where the exiled fairy tale characters live in the real world). In his quest he stumbles upon a small town of werewolves who seem to have a link to Bigby’s past. If you’re a fan of the series, this is a must buy. If you haven’t read the series yet, get the first trade paperback and begin your own quest now!

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.

Please Don’t Hate Me As I Scrutinize The Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer and The Inhumans

Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Volume 5
Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Volume 5

Many of your know that I’ve been reading Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s epic run of Fantastic Four #1-102 by way of the Marvel Masterworks series. I finished it a few weeks ago and although I had a few problems with the early stories I have come to realize that Stan and Jack were just getting the Marvel Universe off and running and the characters themselves had yet to come into their own. The best of the FF was came in Volume Five where the team met The Inhumans, The Black Panther and Galactus and his herald, The Silver Surfer. The latter half of the run where – again, while great – had a few bumps in the road. The stories seemed forced with too much bickering between Johnny Storm, The Human Torch and Ben Grimm, The Thing. Sue Storm (Invisible Girl) was still the lady-in-waiting even though she was married to Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic). Always the clod, Reed treated his three extended family members like has-beens. Going into the run I had always disliked The Thing for his self-loathing, but I have now come to have no respect for Reed. Empty promises and lies to Ben, giving no credit for Johnny for saving Earth from Galactus and being a terrible husband to Sue. Even in the pages of Fantastic Four in comic shops right today, Reed is a liar and self-absorbed. And that will always be his problem – not trusting in his fellow team members or family. Shame on him. It also didn’t help that one of the Fantastic Fours greatest adversary Namor, The Sub-Mariner, did not appear between #33 and #102.

But it was Fantastic Four #98, May 1970, that had me the most dumbfounded. This issue celebrates the Apollo 11 moon landing from July 1969 (you must forego any continuity to real world time). With all his brilliance; with all his scientific know-how; with all his “I must help and save the human race”, it seems that Reed has never bothered to share his achievements with the US government or more specifically, NASA! We as readers know that the Fantastic Four had already traveled to the moon on more than one occasion to visit The Watcher. We also know that the Earth has been visited by alien species (the Kree and The Skrulls) and the Human Torch and The Thing has traveled half way across the cosmos on separate occasions! But noooooo, Reed has some sort or Prime Directive with his own planet and thus gives no tech or guidance to the astronaut crew. The ending makes it seem that Neil Armstrong is the first man on the moon, however we know Reed was first — in April 1963 (oh and the human villain The Red Ghost was also on the moon.

Marvel Masterworks Silver Surfer Volume 1
Marvel Masterworks Silver Surfer Volume 1

But now that my FF is done I went ahead and picked up Stan and Jack’s other creation in Masterwork form – The Silver Surfer Volumes 1-2 (this time with pencils by John Buscema). Collected here is the full run of #1-18 from August 1986 – September 1970. It was not a lighthearted read by any stretch. The premise is a sequel to The Galactus Trilogy (Fantastic Four #48-50, March – May 1966) and deals with the Surfer’s exile on Earth. Most of all it’s a prison story. The Silver Surfer is confined to Earth and some space above our planet, but how far out is never told. It is here that we learn more about the man Norrin Radd. Every comic is that of despair. He longs for space travel and to see his beloved Shalla-Bal from his home planet of Zenn-La. The Silver Surfer, is good-hearted and forgiving even though he keeps running into diabolical humans, monsters, witches, and super villains like Doctor Doom who have it in for him. He even fights with Thor, Human Torch, and Spider-Man for no real good reason. It’s upsetting to see that the Silver Surfer’s faith in humanity fades with every turn of the page. In the pages of #17 it looks like Mephisto may finally get his way with him. Transporting Shalla-Bal to Earth, he and makes a deal with the Surfer that if he destroys Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. he will be free and be with his woman forever more. However Mephisto places Shalla-Bal in S.H.I.EL.D. HQ in hopes that the Silver Surfer will kill her too by mistake, and thus go bat-shit crazy and destroy the Earth leaving Mephisto ruler of a dead world. The plan is thwarted but Mephisto may have gotten closer to his master plan without even realizing it. In #18 we meet the Silver Surfer in mid-fight with The Inhumans! How he got there we do not know, but it’s good to see Jack Kirby back on the pencils. At the end, our “hero” is so enraged at the human race that he vows to finally take matters in his own hands. This is what Mephisto wanted all along. Unfortunately the series abruptly ends and we are left with perhaps the biggest cliffhanger the Marvel Bullpen has ever created. As you know the Silver Surfer would calm down and become a hero here on Earth (with The Defenders) and in the vastness of space thanks to the 1982 one-shot by John Byrne and Stan Lee.

Marvel Masterworks Inhumans Volume 1
Marvel Masterworks Inhumans Volume 1

Speaking of The Inhumans, that is where I turn to next in my extended Fantastic Four/Lee & Kirby family of Marvel Masterworks. But I’m a bit perplexed as to why Silver Surfer #17 (September 1970) is not included in The Inhumans Volume 1. After all this Two Volume Masterworks series collects all the Inhuman back up stories from Thor and Amazing Adventures. It would have been easy to add in SS #17 and place it in between Marvel Super-Heroes #15 (July 1968) and Amazing Adventures #1 (August 1970). Yes, it is more of a Surfer story then Inhuman, but it would have given context to just where Black Bolt & Co. have been with their ongoing fight with Maximus. It should be pointed out that on September 18, 2013, Marvel will release a more comprehensive Inhumans collection with Inhumans: The Origin Of The Inhumans TP, Fantastic Four (1961) #36, #38, #41-47, #54, #62-65 and Annual #5, plus portions of #48, #50, #52 and #55-61; and material from Thor (1966) #146-152, $39.99. A Volume 2 would start with the aforementioned Marvel Super-Heroes #15. We’ll have to wait and see if Silver Surfer #17 gets included.

CCL Podcast #364 – Stan and Jack’s Fantastic Four #51-102

Marvel Masterworks The Fantastic Four Volume 6
Marvel Masterworks The Fantastic Four Volume 6

Collected Comics Library Podcast #364
30.6Mb; 31m 56s

Well, well, I finally got around to reading Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s epic run of Fantastic Four. This past week I finished it and today I want to share with you all the fun, extra, bonus material from Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Volume 6-10.

Also on the show I talk a little bit about Marvel Premiere Classic: Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller just in time for The Wolverine movie and TwoMorrows Publishing The Star*Reach Companion. Just what was Star*Reach, why it was so important and how can you collected it – one word: BitTorrent.

Lastly there is a great question from Zac about how to find DC and Marvel anthology books.

Chris

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stan lee, jack kirby, fantastic four, wolverine, chris claremont, frank miller, star*reach

CCL Podcast #355 – Why Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Volume 5 Is The Greatest Collected Edition Ever

Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Volume 5
Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Volume 5

Collected Comics Library Podcast #355
34.3Mb; 37m 22s

Back in the day The Fantastic Four was dubbed The World’s Greatest Comics Magazine. No such truer words were written when in 1965-1966, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby not only wed Reed Richards and Sue Storm but introduced characters like The Inhumans, Galactus and The Silver Surfer who have had impact in the Marvel Universe for 50 years and in today. Today we explore this comic that have been collected in Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Volume 5.

Also on today’s show: Marvel’s New Epic line of what are turning out to be colorized versions of the Essentials, thoughts on Carmine Infantino, DC’s New 52 Villains Omnibus due in December and the Eisner Awards.

Cheers!

Chris

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6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #5

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.

X-Men Mutant Massacre TP (Marvel)
X-Men Mutant Massacre TP (Marvel)

Picked by @AndrewJTom
X-Men Mutant Massacre TP (New Printing) (Marvel)
There are few memories of Junior High that I look fondly upon now that I’m in my forties.  Buried deep within my subconscious underneath all of the ass-kickings and social anxiety is a memory of The Mutant Massacre.  I remember eagerly awaiting the next issue of an enormous (at that time) crossover that encompassed the X-Men and few other key Marvel comics.  The title of “The Mutant Massacre” promised mass carnage; and with that promise I knew that good old fashioned comic book action would accompany it.  I gobbled up every X-book available and the crossovers that would ultimately tell the story of how the Maurauders went into the sewers of New York City and wiped out the misfit collection mutants known as the Morlocks.  Along the way we saw some life changing moments for some of our favorite characters that would be the catalyst for countless stories for years to come.
Collects Uncanny X-Men (1963) #210-214, X-Factor (1986) #9-11, New Mutants (1983) #46, Thor (1966) #373-374, Power Pack (1984) #27 And Daredevil (1964) #238, $34.99

Global Frequency TP (DC Comics)
Global Frequency TP (DC Comics)

Picked by Shane
Global Frequency TP (DC Comics)
There have been many books, comics, films, etc. on covert operations groups that keep the world safe from government projects gone awry. One of them, the incredible Fox TV series, Fringe just finished its five year run. If you were a fan of that series, than this comic is the one for you. Warren Ellis first caught my attention with his amazing Extremis run on Iron Man. A lot of his stuff has a technology or more “hard SCIFI” slant to it and that’s what might isolate some people, but make others jump on right on board. I’m of the later persuasion. After reading Extremis, I sought out some of his other work and this was one I loved!
Global Frequency is a group of 1001 people worldwide that take care of the things world governments can’t. The projects they worked on in their secret labs and other serious threats to society. But the ones that should be kept secret, like using science to wage war, but not knowing the price. Or maybe taking care of the people that need to be dealt with outside the boundaries of the law. This group isn’t just the former Green Berets and SEALs or CIA covert agents. It is a group of people with various skill sets that help this group operate, whether it be a high school computer genius, an aging scientist with knowledge in genetics, a parkour expert and also those ex-soldiers who may have a particular skill they need like a sniper or demolitions expert. This group utilizes a vast network of people around the world. That is one of the reasons this comic is interesting. You read it and can put yourself into it. You read it and hope that one day you’ll get a call that will put you on the Global Frequency. By the way, this one isn’t for the kids!
An interesting aside is that there was a TV pilot that didn’t sell, but if you look around enough, you’ll find a copy! But first check out this great comic collection! It is well worth the read!
Collects Global Frequency #1-12, $19.99

Fantastic Four Reunited They Stand TP (Marvel)
Fantastic Four Reunited They Stand TP (Marvel)

Picked by @Dief88
Fantastic Four Reunited They Stand TP (Marvel)
The superhero collected edition most likely to fly under the radar this week is probably Fantastic Four: Reunited They Stand, a collection of late-’70s material starring Marvel’s First Family. The centerpiece here is a set of three issues published between the issues collected in Fantastic Four: The Overthrow of Doom and Fantastic Four: In Search of Galactus, effectively bridging the gap between those collections. All three books are written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by Keith Pollard; it’s nice to see Marvel’s commitment to keeping creative runs like this one in print, even if (as I’m guessing) the preorders weren’t extremely high. This collection also includes three Fantastic Four Annuals (one of which is by the same creative team as the main series issues), which makes for a nice bonus, if not necessarily a seamless reading experience.
Collects Fantastic Four (1961) #201-203 and Annuals #12-14, $24.99

Star Wars Omnibus Infinities TP (Dark Horse)
Star Wars Omnibus Infinities TP (Dark Horse)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Star Wars Omnibus: Infinities TP (Dark Horse)
The Star Wars Universe is as vast and varying as your imagination will let it be, but I’ve always stuck pretty close to home. Raised on the Original Trilogy and Marvel Star Wars comic books, most of the Expanded Universe has never really been on my radar. Infinities are a bit different, though. They diverge from a seemingly random point in each of the original movies and explore how the stories would have unfolded with those alternate timeline twists. Dark Horse produced one Infinities miniseries for each of the Original Trilogy stories in the early-to-mid-2000s. What’s unique is that the comic books aren’t direct sequels to one another. For example, the Infinities - Return of the Jedi story doesn’t pick up where the events of Infinities - Empire Strikes Back ends, rather it assumes the original stories for Episodes IV and V played out as intended, picking up a new thread only within the Episode VI story. These are just really fun, alternate, “what if?” takes on the classic Star Wars Universe, and it will be nice to have them collected under one cover as a part of Dark Horse’s omnibus line.
Collects Star Wars: Infinities – A New Hope; The Empire Strikes Back; and Return of the Jedi, $24.99

Transformers Complete Drift HC (IDW)
Transformers Complete Drift HC (IDW)

Picked by @ChrisCampbell8
Transformers Complete Drift HC (IDW)
IDW has been putting out superb Transformers material, especially since they relaunched the ongoing MTMTE and Robots in Disguise series. But they have also been collecting the entire IDW Transformers line in beautiful, oversized hardcovers. Now, for the first time, IDW has collected the complete Drift saga in a standalone hardcover collection. A divisive character in Transformers fandom, the Decepticon-turned-Autobot received his own mini-series, as well as a spotlight issue. Originally a feared Decepticon warrior named Deadlock, Drift eventually sees the error of his ways and pursues a quest to hunt down and eliminate Decepticons across the universe. If you don’t have already have the IDW Transformers Collection hardcovers, strongly consider picking this up.
The deluxe upgrade as the four-issue mini-series plus the Spotlight issue is collected in this hard cover oversized edition, $24.99

Prince Valiant HC Vol 6 1947-1948 (Fantagraphics)
Prince Valiant HC Vol 6 1947-1948 (Fantagraphics)

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Prince Valiant Volume 6 1947-1948 HC (Fantagraphics), $35.00
Prince Valiant has been around for decades and you can still find him the Sunday comics of your favorite newspaper. As a knight of King Arthur’s roundtable, he has had many adventures throughout Camelot and Europe. But there was a time when he traveled to the New World – 1000 years before Christopher Columbus! Collected here in this sixth volume, the Viking conqueror Ulfran kidnaps Val’s new bride Aleta. The pursuit leads him across the North Atlantic and into what is now Northern Canada and Newfoundland. Creator Hal Foster does not stop there, after the rescue of Aleta, she has a son, Arn, on present day American soil! Coupled with the brilliant artwork, this would become one of the more memorable story-lines that Foster had ever penned. Also, the craftsmanship that Fantagraphics is putting into these hardcover reprints is second to none. Highly recommend for the fan of adventure fiction.

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.