You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
Yep, it’s time for more changes.
You may have read a few days back that I’m doing away with the Release Schedule portion.
Well, I’ve accepted all the bribes and it’s not going away, but It will be modified to better adhere t my own schedule. More on that in the podcast.
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 some comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.
Picked by @AndrewJTom
Batman, Incorporated Vol. 1: Demon Star HC (DC Comics) Collects Batman, Incorporated #0-6, $24.99
If you’re reading this blog (and other websites), then odds are that you’re pretty up to date on the comics that have been popular over the past year or so. Hidden among Vaughn’s Saga, Snyder & Capullo’s Batman, Waid’s Daredevil, and Aaron’s Thor is an often forgotten book called Batman Inc. This book, written by Grant Morrison, boasts the break-out work of Superstar artist, Chris Burnham. Morrison and Burnham have a great chemistry as they tell the penultimate chapter in Morrison’s epic Batman run. This book, is thought-provoking, beautiful, and lots of fun. If you have yet to discover Chris Burnham, then I recommend that you jump in head first with this volume. You’ll soon discover why Chris Burnham will be one of the most sought after illustrators in comics when his tenure on Batman Inc. comes to a close.
Picked by @CaptDS9E
Spider-Men TP (Marvel) Collects Spider-Men #1-5, $19.99
One of my favorite comic series for a long time has been Ultimate Spider-Man written by Brian Bendis. When word came out that he had decided to kill off Ultimate Universe Peter Parker, it caused a bit of an uproar. People cried about it being just another stunt. However Peters death very well done, and it then led us to be introduced to young a young kid name Miles Morales. As with the original Spider-Man stories, Miles gets bitten by a Spider, gains powers, and decides to take up the mantle of Spider-Man. Even with the change, the series continued to be fantastic, as Miles is a great character. It’s fun learning about his life, and family, but still seeing characters from before pop up, and interact with him. The one thing everyone wanted to see was Miles meet Peter Parker, and that is where this miniseries comes in. Peter Parker in the regular Marvel 616 universe gets thrown into a dimensional portal while fighting Mysterio, and ends up in the Ultimate Universe. He realizes he is not where he is supposed to be when he runs into different versions of people he knows like Nick Fury (who is African American here), Tony Stark (still drinks liquor), and of course this new Spider-Man. Their meeting at first results in some fighting, but they come together to find out how Peter was transported there. It’s great seeing Peter and Miles work together, and have each other discover their similarities and differences. The real heart of this series though, is when Peter decides to meet Ultimate Aunt May and Gwen Stacy who thought they would never see their Peter Parker again. This is a must read for any Spider-Man fan, and that last part will make you emotional every time.
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Essential Defenders Vol. 7 TP (Marvel) Collects Defenders (1972) #126-139, Iceman (1984) #1-4 and Beauty And The Beast (1984) #1-4, $19.99
Oh, man. Talk about right in my wheelhouse: You can’t get any closer than this collection! This is an assemblage of comics that speaks to me on so many levels. First and foremost, it’s J.M. DeMatteis blowing my young teenage mind when I read these issues fresh off the corner convenience store spinner rack 30 years ago. It’s the heyday of the Marvel Four-Issue Limited Series, collecting TWO of them alongside the introduction of the New Defenders team. There’s the über-trippy Iceman limited series that finds Bobby Drake up against the Void, and everyone’s favorite furry blue Beast falling in love and teaming up with Dazzler to battle Dr. Doom in the Beauty and the Beast limited series. In the collection’s namesake book, Beast rouses the troops, including his fellow original Children of the Atom, Iceman and Angel, alongside Gargoyle (whom DeMatteis would feature in a great four-issue limited series of his own just a year later that I wish Marvel had collected here!), Valkyrie, and Moondragon. This is the end of the original run of the title that began all the way back in 1972, but includes the title’s Assistant Editors’ Month entry by Ann Nocenti! Although you could probably find almost all of these original single issues for a song, the value of the black and white Essentials reprint line is undeniable, and this is a series that begs to be read and reread and passed around.
Picked by Shane
Unnatural Creatures Stories Selected By Neil Gaiman SC (Harper Collins), $9.99
I’ve loved Neil Gaiman’s writing ever since my friend put a copy of Good Omens (his collaboration with author Terry Prachett) in my hand. I immediately sought out more of his prose writing. Some of those works included American Gods and its sequel Anasi Boys, now both favorites of mine! A few of his books have been adapted into film and TV such as Stardust and Coraline. The British TV series Neverwhere was written by him and Lenny Henry and then Gaiman adapted and expanded it into a novel. I really enjoy this series and it is well worth watching! I haven’t even mentioned his comics yet. The Vertigo Sandman series is revered as one of the greatest comics of all time. You’ll hear stories of people who aren’t even big comic fans and they’ve read it. Its sister series Death was equally entertaining and his Marvel and DC runs are definitely worth seeking out. His Marvel series 1602 was an elsewhere tale of sorts that puts famous Marvel characters into the era of the 1600s; a time of American exploration by Europeans. Imagine the possibilities or just pick up the book and see what he did with it! Now, I’m going on and on about Gaiman and this collection of short stories wasn’t necessarily written by him, but they are stories selected by him. Because of his pedigree with fantasy and science fiction, I trust that he picked out a great selection of stories. This collection intrigues me. It contains sixteen stories all dealing with magical creatures. Some you’ve heard of before, some were made up for the stories in this book. One of the really cool things about getting this book is that sales of Unnatural Creatures benefit 826DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students in their creative and expository writing, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. So not only are you getting a great book, you are supporting a great cause. Check it out and also check out some of Gaiman’s other prose and comic works. You won’t be sorry! By the way, for you Doctor Who fans, the second Gaiman penned episode is airing this week. Don’t miss it!!
Picked by @ChrisCCL
The Complete Don Quixote GN (SelfMadeHero), $27.50
I was exposed to The Man Of La Mancha at a very early age. I saw the musical as a kid, read the book in high school (an updated translation) and saw the musical again (with Robert Goulet) in my 20′s. Each time I saw different things with this wildly peculiar hero. Yes, I said hero. In fact, if you didn’t know, Don Quixote was published in 1605! This fully illustrated edition from SelfMadeHero is a collection of Two Volumes that was published in 2011 and 2012. Now, here, in 2013 The Complete Hardcover has been published. Rob Davis has translated and illustrated the founding work of modern western literature with the utmost respect and care. Mr. Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) would be very proud. One question: Is Sancho Panza the first side-kick?
Thunderbolts Vol. 1: No Quarter TP (Marvel) Collects Thunderbolts (2013) #1-6, $15.99
As a Punisher fan, I wasn’t sure how well I’d like Frank in a team book. I mean, I enjoyed Marvel Knights all those years ago, but this time around he’s been paired up with Red Hulk, Deadpool, Elektra and Venom. As it turns out, this “team” is so dysfunctional – it works! The violent artwork from Steve Dillon is spot on and because of that, I’m surprised that it’s not a MAX book. You just wonder how long these Thunderbolts will be around for and just how it will inevitably implode. My money is on Frank.
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.
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.
Looking back this was a week to remember in the world of comics. We lost the great Joe Simon, a man that everyone who has read, whether they know it or not. We also lost Ed Barreto, at a young age of 57 and last week Jerry Robinson died. A somber week, indeed.
Comics must go on though and when it comes to DC Comics, there is no sign of stopping. Two major announcements this week with Absolute Batman and Robin by Grant Morrison and Absolute Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War. The latter of which I have a few issues with – or should I say, the lack of issues!
I also talk more recent comic books with X-Men. That’s right, I read X-Men for the first time in several years. I get down to business with the Schism hardcover and just where Wolverine, Cyclops and the rest of the mutants may be heading with Regenesis, X-Sanction and Avengers Vs X-Men.
All this and Bob and Doug McKenzie.
Merry Christmas, hoser.
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It’s always fun to deviate from he traditional review of a comic book collected edition. Today is such a show as I take a look at all of the DC Comics Animated movies, what storylines they are adapted from and where you can find them in print. I even go over the movies that are in production and the proposed and canceled ones, too.