Tag Archives: IDW

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #41

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) Chris Partin (@ChrisPartin) and I (@ChrisCCL) are sharing some comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.

X-Men: X-Corps TP
X-Men: X-Corps TP

Picked by @Dief88
X-Men: X-Corps TP
Collects Uncanny X-Men (1963) #394-409 and Annual 2001
Published by Marvel
$39.99
Starting in 2001, Grant Morrison catapulted superhero comics into the new millennium in the pages of New X-Men. Can you even imagine being the guy assigned to write Marvel’s other X-Men comic at the time?
But while it may have played second fiddle in its day (and been widely overlooked in the decade since, for that matter), Joe Casey’s run on Uncanny X-Men has a lot going for it. Although the key players of Morrison’s comic are essentially off the table, Casey assembles a great B-team in Angel, Nightcrawler, Iceman, former Generation X member Chamber, and (on occasion) Wolverine. Chamber is an especially inspired choice; his presence makes for some suitably dramatic moments when the team comes up against his former mentor, Banshee, whose new X-Corps organization has been attempting to fight crime through decidedly questionable means. It’s not all perfect – Casey’s run introduces the ill-conceived Stacy X, a mutant prostitute whose power is basically that she can seduce people – but on the whole its unique cast and story structure separate it (in the best way) from most other X-Men collections out there.

Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation: The Complete Series HC
Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation: The Complete Series HC

Picked by Shane
Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation: The Complete Series HC
Published by IDW
$34.99
Crossovers are always hit or miss, especially with well-established franchises. In the nineties, the Star Trek/X-Men crossover wasn’t very well received, but the recent Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes was a pretty solid story. Having both Star Trek and Doctor Who licenses, IDW tempted fate and brought two of television’s oldest science fiction franchises together. The result was a very well written and fairly seamless crossover. Both Doctor Who with his companions and the Next Generation crew fought similar enemies in the Cybermen and the Borg, so it was a natural fit to team our heroes together against these horrible adversaries. Both enemies have a mission to basically rob people of their humanity and make them part of a collective consciousness. It was a lot of fun seeing the characters from two iconic scifi shows working together against great odds to try to defeat these nearly unstoppable foes.
I had recommended this series before when the two trades came out. Now we have the option of a nice hard cover edition collecting the entire series. I rarely buy monthlies anymore, but did on this occasion. I couldn’t wait for this series to be collected. If you did wait and haven’t read it yet, there are no excuses now. If you are fan of either franchise or both, you’ll want to read this story.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 6: City Fall, Part 1 TP
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 6: City Fall, Part 1 TP

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 6: City Fall, Part 1 TP
The latest collection of the red-hot ongoing series kicks off with Kevin Eastman’s solo issue #21, a prelude to the first three parts of “City Fall”
Published by IDW
$17.99
City Fall is the first major event in the latest incarnation of the TMNT comics by IDW. Over the course of the first 7 trades (including the Heroes Micro series, and the Secret History of the Fall Clan) the Shredder has been moving his pieces into place, and has decided finally is now the time to strike and take over the entire city criminal empire. To do so, he will have to not only take down all the major crime families/gangs, but also the Ninja Turtles as well. Moving things into place ,Shredder and his foot clan abduct one of the Turtles closet allies. The turtles with a little bit of help, arrive at the place their friend is being held. A little late, as the Shredder does something horrific to their friend, starting a major battle. What the Turtles do not know, is that this has been Shredder’s plan all along. He has set this up to set up a larger plan. Something so shocking that even I could not believe it when it happened (it even ties back into the Secret History of the Foot Clan series I recommended before),And I’ve read and watched everything ever made of this property. Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman are doing comic of the year type story telling in this series, but the shining star of this arc is Mateus Santolouco (Secret History of the Footclan) on art. His work is so damn good I had to buy a page from the first issue of City Fall. Hell I may buy another down the road. It’s must see stuff

Cowboy Ninja Viking Deluxe HC
Cowboy Ninja Viking Deluxe HC

Picked by @ChrisPartin
Cowboy Ninja Viking Deluxe HC
Collects Cowboy Ninja Viking #1-10
Published by Image
$39.99
If there was a series I really thought deserved more attention and more issues it would be A.J. Lieberman and Riley Rossmo’s COWBOY NINJA VIKING. The series was about counter-intelligence unit that were transformed into people called Triplets and imbued with multiple personalities, in this case three of them, where they were able to tap their abilities and go into combat. The best of the bunch was a man named Duncan who had the abilities of a cowboy, a ninja, and a Viking.
I had a chance to talk to A.J. Lieberman back on my podcast, Image Addiction, about the series. At this point I was already a huge fan of the series because of Riley Rossmo’s amazing visuals. Lieberman’s conversation with us on the podcast elevated that excitement for the series. There really had been very little like this series before it, and there’s not been anything like it since and it’s a shame this series only lasted ten issues. The possible life this book could have had focusing on various Triplets over the course of a story arc could have been a lot of fun. What does make me happy is to see Image has not given up on this series and is giving it this deluxe hardcover treatment.
The series was originally printed in Golden Age format which really allowed Rossmo the room he needed to produce some of his best work of his career. The trade paperbacks that were released carried on this format, but now having it in an oversized volume collecting all of the series – breath taking! This deluxe hardcover will look great on your shelf as well as great in your hands as you read it over and over again. Definitely a must have in 2013 for me, and it should be for you as well.

Hellboy: The Midnight Circus HC
Hellboy: The Midnight Circus HC

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Hellboy: The Midnight Circus HC
Published by Dark Horse
$14.99
Look… I love me some Hellboy comics. Mike Mignola is responsible for some of my favorite stories over the last 20 years. That said, (I know this may sound “blasphemous”) but my favorite Hellboy stories are the ones drawn by Duncan Fegredo. Now, I know that this makes no logical sense when you consider that caliber of talent that has contributed to the Hellboy mythos in the past. Guys like Mignola and Richard Corben (both Master Cartoonists) have turned in wonderful HB stories. But Duncan Fegredo has really done some career defining work with Hellboy. He’s crafted a Mignola style sensibility, but, with his own flair that makes his issues seem both familiar and fresh at the same time. Hellboy: Midnight Circus is the latest Mignola/Fegredo collaboration. It’s an out of current continuity story that recounts a tale from Hellboy’s youth, which always lends itself to great time in the Hellboy universe. Pick this book up when you get a chance, it’s one that you won’t want to miss.

Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 by Steve Ditko and Blake Bell
Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 by Steve Ditko and Blake Bell

Picked by @ReverendLove
Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 by Steve Ditko and Blake Bell
Published by Fantagraphics
$39.99
I was elated today as I entered my local comic book store and found a copy of “Impossible Tales: the Steve Ditko Archives Volume 4” waiting to jump into my trembling hands.
I have been an admirer of Mr. Ditko’s work since I was a kid and was first introduced to the Maestro of Mystery by his 60′s DC character, the Creeper. I don’t know what it was, but I was entranced, reading that first issue over and over until it passed into comic book heaven. As I grew older, I discovered his work on the Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange and it cemented my love of Ditko’s dark lines of delineation and moody shadow work. Over the past few years, Fantagraphics has been releasing of Steve Ditko Archives covering a lot of his early work from the 1950′s and reprints a lot of his work that I had never seen before these archive editions.
This volume has stories from such classic comics as “Tales of the Mysterious Traveler”, “Out of this World”, “Strange Suspense Stories” and many others including my personal favourite, if for the title alone, “This Magazine is Haunted”. In these stories, you can see hints of future creations and techniques that would later grace the pages of the Atlas monster comics and lead eventually on to Dr. Strange and the Creeper.
When I read these stories, I could see the path that Ditko would continue to tread for decades as he progressed as an artist and a quiet pioneer of graphic storytelling.

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.

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.

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #33

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), 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.

Savage Sword Of Conan Volume 14 TP (Dark Horse)
Savage Sword Of Conan Volume 14 TP (Dark Horse)

Picked by @andrewjtom
Savage Sword Of Conan Volume 14 TP (Dark Horse), $19.99
I’ve written about great Conan stories before (with Busiek and Truman’s books). This week, I’m gonna’ tell you to run out and get the new Savage Sword of Conan trade (V14). In fact, calling it a trade paperback is somewhat of a disservice to the book. It’s formatted more like a DC Showcase or Marvel Essential edition, reprinting 528 pages of content. The Savage Sword of Conan books contain material from the Savage Sword of Conan magazine that was printed in the 70s and 80s. Back then, Marvel printed the book as a “magazine” to circumvent the Comics Code and publish more mature Conan stories. Lucky for all of us…Dark Horse now has the rights to print these glorious stories and they’ve done so with (in my opinion) the best possible format for a run so large. Unlike the Showcase and Essential editions, these stories were originally printed in black and white. In these volumes, Dark Horse has been able to give us the stories exactly as they appeared originally. Because of the B&W magazine format, the art was drawn with the intention that they would never see color. It’s some of the most beautiful art from that period (Earlier volumes showcase work by Alfredo Alcala, John Buscema, and Barry Windsor Smith). There are a few things that you can be sure you’ll get with these old Savage Sword of Conan stories, Conan will kill some bad guys, Conan will fight some monsters, and Conan will get laid. Make no mistake that these stories are tremendous amount of fun and I highly recommend this (and any SSOC volume).

X-Men – Magik: Storm & Illyana TP (Marvel)
X-Men – Magik: Storm & Illyana TP (Marvel)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
X-Men – Magik: Storm & Illyana TP (Marvel)
Collects Uncanny X-Men (1963) #160 and Magik (1983) #1-4, $16.99
I grew up a Marvel fanboy in what was technically the Bronze Age of comics, but I could make an argument that it was actually the Golden Age of Marvel’s Four-Issue Limited Series era. In the early to mid-’80s, Marvel owned the spinner racks of my corner convenience store with their mini-series. Although ostensibly kicked off in 1982 by the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller Wolverine limited series, the concept quickly evolved to expertly highlight the second tier ranks of the Marvel Universe, like Hawkeye, Hercules (twice!), Jack of Hearts, Cloak & Dagger, West Coast Avengers, Vision & the Scarlet Witch, Rocket Raccoon, Transformers, Beauty & the Beast, Iceman, Falcon, and Nightcrawler. Magik falls squarely in this second tier camp, focusing on the mutant of the title and her mentor, Storm, cashing in on the popularity of the Uncanny X-Men and New Mutant books at the time. Claremont, who aged the six-year-old girl a full seven years between panels of Uncanny X-Men #160 (conveniently included here), authors this story that smartly explains that transformation over the course of these four issues. With appearances by versions of Storm, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, and her New Mutant teammates, Magik’s trials in Limbo are of the mind-bending sort Marvel capably delivered back in the day. The only thing missing from this collection is New Mutants #14, which also factors into the timeline of the series. These single issues were long out of print, but after decades of being only available in back issue bins, they were reprinted in a 2008 hardcover and are now being offered in trade paperback format. Regardless, the story is the perfect excuse to revisit a great example of this creative and commercial apex in Marvel’s publishing history.

Fables Deluxe Edition Book 7 HC (DC Comics)
Fables Deluxe Edition Book 7 HC (DC Comics)

Picked by Shane
Fables Deluxe Edition Book 7 HC (DC Comics)
Collects issues #52-59 and #64, $29.99
I’ve touted the virtues of the Eisner award winning series Fables here before and if you still haven’t picked up the series in any of its forms, it is never too late. The deluxe hardcovers are a great way to collect this series that is both cost effective and looks beautiful on your shelf. Fables is the only series I still collect monthly, but it is one I’d like to own in collected editions as well, specifically this format. Like Sandman and Preacher, it is a Vertigo series that warrants re-reading and I just don’t go back into the long boxes that often. This volume collects issues 52-59 and 64 which is a lot of different material. A good deal of the Fables storyline deals with the reasons the fabled characters escaped the magical realm and moved to our world, but along with the ongoing storyline, there are many short one shot tales that are just as interesting or even more so. The brunt of this edition deals with the preparations being made to go to war with The Adversary, the evil entity that caused the mass exodus of characters into our “real world.” One of the other stories deals with Bigby (the Big Bad Wolf) confronting his father (The North Wind) and then the rest of this volume consists of short tales including a nice little Christmas story. If you haven’t started reading Fables, start from the beginning. If you are on your way through these tales, hurry along so you can catch up to this volume. The monthly series is on issue #130 now, so you have a lot of catching up to do. But it is well worth your time!

Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 5 HC (Dark Horse)
Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 5 HC (Dark Horse)

Picked by @ReverendLove
Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 5 HC (Dark Horse)
Collects issues #38-41, $49.99
Crime does not pay, but this hardcover collection of the classic 40′s true crime comic of the same name pays out big time for Dark Horse’s growing line of archive editions. I fell in love with love with this mag from Lev Gleason and Magazine House when I read the first collection that Dark Horse published and I was so excited this week when the fifth volume made it’s way to my local comic book shop.
Although some of the art is not up to today’s standard…or really those of the day, the stories themselves bristle with grit, false glamour and unvarnished violence. The stories range from tales of gangsters and gun molls of urban America to the lone outlaw of the Old West as they all shoot their way across the nation and around the world.
Crime may not pay, but reading these comics, will enrich you beyond your wildest dreams.

Talon Vol. 1: Scourge Of The Owls TP (DC Comics)
Talon Vol. 1: Scourge Of The Owls TP (DC Comics)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Talon Vol. 1: Scourge Of The Owls TP (DC Comics)
Collects Talon #0-7, $16.99
One of the most interesting things to come out of the new 52 was the introduction of the Court of Owls by in the pages of Batman. A secret group that has worked in Gotham, and other parts of the DCU for 100′s of years without being detected. At the end of that arc we learned that even though Batman stopped the Courts plan on Gotham, the group was much larger then believed. We may not have learned much more about them for a while in Batman, but James Tynion IV with input from Scott Snyder came up with an idea of Calvin Rose.
Many years ago, Calvin Rose became the only Talon who ever escaped from the Court of Owls.  When word breaks out that the Court in Gotham was taken down by Batman, he returns to see for himself the status of the people he escaped from. With the hope that he can finally settle down for a life, without having to worry that he is still be tracked down.  This sets into motion a chain of events in which we not only learn about this great new character, but also  get an inside look into the highest levels of the Court of Owls. I really like the character of Rose, but the Court really is a major part of this book. Learning how much the Court has their claws into the DCU really is fascinating. We meet many different Talons, Leaders, allies, and enemies of the Court, which really brings  something new to the Bat family mythos. People always say they want new characters and stories in DC/Marvel, well they have one in this series.  If you like Snyder and Capullo’s Batman, I highly recommend you give this series by James Tynion IV, and Guillem March a shot.

Steve Ditko's Monsters, Vol. 2: Konga HC (IDW)
Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 2: Konga HC (IDW)

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 2: Konga HC (IDW), $34.99
This week sees the release of Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 2: Konga HC. It collects all the work that Steve Ditko did on this character for Charlton Comics in the 1960. It’s predecessor Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 1: Gorgo, was released back in March. These are great comics that have been restored by Craig Yoe, who knows a thing or two about Mr. Ditko having published The Art of Ditko and The Creativity of Ditko.
However, if you want a little more Gorgo and Konga, look no furher then the recent trade paperback of Captain Universe Power Unimaginable. That book reprints Web of Spider-Man Annual #6 (1990). The third story is “Child Star” written by Tony Isabella with art by Ditko. A small child receives the Uni-Power of Captain Universe and creates giant toy monsters of Gorgo and Konga, although Gorgo is called Gorga due to copyright. And there you have it!

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.

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #31

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), 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.

March Volume 1 GN (Top Shelf Productions)
March Volume 1 GN (Top Shelf Productions)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
March Volume 1 GN (Top Shelf Productions), $14.95
I like it when this medium I love tries to do more than just entertain. It might not always be 100% successful, but there is something to be said for even making the attempt. In this case, Congressman John Lewis, with help from staff member Andrew Aydin, is using the format to tell his story through Nate Powell’s art. It’s ambitious not just because this is only the first of three volumes that will comprise the body of work, but also for the era it’s attempting to cover. Lewis is an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, and telling his own history in this manner somehow seems bold, if not entirely unique (The Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story comic book was published in 1957). There is opportunity here to expose a huge cross-section of readers to both an important part of our country’s history, and the power of the graphic novel. A story like this has the potential to ultimately fall somewhere between Brian K. Vaughn’s Pride of Baghdad and Art Spiegelman’s Maus.

Doc Savage The James Bama Commemorative 5-Pack Collection (Sanctum Productions)
Doc Savage The James Bama Commemorative 5-Pack Collection (Sanctum Productions)

Picked by Shane
Doc Savage The James Bama Commemorative 5-Pack Collection (Sanctum Productions), $49.95
I have had a love for the pulp heroes of the thirties for as long as I can remember. My first introduction to science fiction was watching Flash Gordon serials rerun on PBS. Characters like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, The Shadow and Doc Savage were around before Action Comics #1 first hit the stands and that first appearance of Superman is considered by many to be the first real superhero comic book. Doc Savage is a superhero in his own right. A bit like Batman in that his body and mind are his super powers, Doc is highly educated and has conditioned himself to near superhuman status. Along with his team of five, he fought criminals and had some incredible adventures. After the original run of pulp novels, the character’s appearance was sporadic over the years. There were book and comic runs as well as reprints of those original pulps. Marvel (he teamed up with The Thing for one notable Marvel Two-in-One appearance), DC and Dark Horse all tried their hands at comic series. DC tried to “reboot” Doc and other classic pulp heroes with their First Wave series, even teaming him up with Batman. Unfortunately this only had a short run. A lot of people know the character from the cheesy 1975 film with Ron Ely. My personal favorite stories were the Marvel magazines printed in the early seventies. These magazines were reprinted as a DC Showcase edition and it is well worth tracking down. If you really want to start at the beginning, the pulp novels are the way to go. This beautiful volume is being released in honor of the 80th anniversary of the character and collects Sanctum books’ first four James Bama variant editions (1, 2, 14 and 17). James Bama did 62 of the Doc Savage pulp novel covers in the sixties when they were being reprinted by Bantam books and his art is spectacular. Sanctum has done a beautiful job of again reprinting some of these original stories in nice oversized volumes introducing the character to a modern audience. This book not only includes some of the early pulp stories but an interview with Bama, some exclusive art prints, commentary and much more. If you never read Doc Savage, he is a fun character for comic and adventure fans alike and this volume should be a nice starting point and a beautiful piece to display on your bookshelf.

Prince Valiant HC Vol. 7 1949-1950 (Fantagraphics)
Prince Valiant HC Vol. 7 1949-1950 (Fantagraphics)

Picked by @ReverendLove
Prince Valiant HC Vol. 7 1949-1950 (Fantagraphics), $35.00
The new comics arrived today and buried deep in one of the last boxes was the latest volume in Fantagraphic’s collection of Hal Foster’s graphic masterpiece, “Prince Valiant”! I’d only ever seen pictures over the years of Foster’s magnum opus and had always wanted to get my hands on some kind of collection of these Sunday comics. Thankfully, Fantagraphics Books has obliged with this wonderful set of hardcovers with colour reproduced from original syndicate proof sheets restoring the vibrant and rich colours that previous reprints of the strip seem to have lacked.
“Prince Valiant” is a classic adventure comic that follows the exploits of the nordic Prince, who becomes a Knight of Arthur’s court and roams the medieval world with the singing sword Flamberge by his side fighting evil and injustice in all it’s forms. The artwork is beautifully detailed and it’s obvious that Foster dedicated a lot of time on research and in the comic’s final execution. The storytelling is paced with expertise and care, giving a feeling like you’re sitting at the knee of the great Prince as he regales you with wild tales of his travels and his many adventures.
I recommend that you give “Prince Valiant” a try and you will experience legends from the edge of time, still wrapped in the magic of Camelot and a world wide open for exploration, danger, romance and tragedy. In terms of the classic adventure comic strips of old, you’re not going to get anything much better than this timeless gem!

Transformers 30th Anniversary Collection HC (IDW)
Transformers 30th Anniversary Collection HC (IDW)

Picked by @chriscampbell8
Transformers 30th Anniversary Collection HC (IDW), $49.99
I’m a huge Transformers fan, including the cartoons, the toys and most definitely the comics. The movies, not so much, but that’s for another day.  IDW has released a “best of” collection celebrating the franchise, and one notable aspect of the collection is that it collects material from all of the publishers that have held the license over the years – Marvel, Marvel UK, DreamWave, and IDW.  It contains obvious choices such as Transformers #1 from Marvel, but also contains fan-favorite issues from All Hail Megatron and Last Stand of the Wreckers (a must-read series). To be fair, this collection may not be for everyone because it contains highlighted issues, but not the complete series of, for example, Last Stand of the Wreckers.  But for fans of the brand, this is a beautiful hardcover that celebrates the best of Transformers. A great item to check at the local LCS.

Amelia Cole and the Unknown World TP (IDW)
Amelia Cole and the Unknown World TP (IDW)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Amelia Cole and the Unknown World TP (IDW), $19.99
Over the last year, there have been many digital first comics released via Monkeybrain . My favorite of the bunch is Amelia Cole and the Unknown World written by D.J. Kirbride and Adam Knave, with Art by Nick Brokenshire . Amelia lives her life between two worlds, the Magic and the Non Magic. After Amelia faces a creature in the non magic realm that should have never appeared there, she visits her Aunt Dani in the magic realm to help get help figuring out what is going on. However as soon as she returns, the police on show up and to take action for the problems she has been causing by crossing over between worlds so much. This leads to her Aunt revealing a big secret to Amelia’s past , and sending her to a place she did not even known existed. A place where magic is highly regulated, and that Amelia has no way of leaving. However Amelia the strong character she is, quickly get’s involved in the worlds affairs, get’s into some trouble (see a pattern here), and a fun ride of mystery commences. The series get better and better as it goes on, and is a great book for comic readers of all ages.

and…

Smallville Season 11 Vol. 2: Detective TP (DC Comics)
Smallville Season 11 Vol. 2: Detective TP (DC Comics)

Smallville Season 11 Vol. 2: Detective TP (DC Comics)
Collects Smallville Season 11 #5-8, $14.99
I picked Volume 1 of Smallville for one of my first Pick Six choices, and I mentioned you wanted to read it because of things to come later in the series. Well what starts right away in Volume 2 . In the TV show, the Justice Society of America played a big part in the later seasons. However because of movies deals, animated series, and other legal stuff, the main Justice League characters were never introduced (though hinted at). The great thing however, is that Brian Q. Miller does not have to worry about those issues in the comic series. and he is taking full advantage of it. This trade finally introduces Batman AKA Bruce Wayne to the Smallville Universe. Things do not start out well between Clark and Bruce, as these young heroes get in a few altercations over differences on how to handle things. However, in great comic book fashion they realize they must work together if they are to stop a plot by those involved in both of their rogue galleries. Throw in Green Arrow, Lois, Martian Manhunter and Barbara Gordon as Nightwing, and you have one of the funnest comic arcs in the last few years. This is one DC digital first series not to be missed.

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.

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #24

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.

Batgirl/Robin Year One TP (DC Comics)
Batgirl/Robin Year One TP (DC Comics)

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Batgirl/Robin Year One TP (DC Comics)
Collects Batgirl Year One #1-9 and Robin Year One #1-4, $24.99
Remember back when you read Batman: Year One and thought, “Dang! That was one of the coolest comics I’ve ever read. They should do this with all of the characters.” ? Fast forward several years and your wish has come true. But mostly to fandom’s dissatisfaction. Yeah, there’ve been some good ones like Green Arrow: Year One, JLA Year One, and Weapon X; but for every one of the good ones, we got a Spider-man: Chapter One, X-men: the Hidden Years, or Wolverine: Origin (something we never wanted to begin with). This week I’m recommending a double-shot of Year One goodness with Batgirl/Robin: Year One. Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon have crafted two tales that harken back to a time when we were kids. This is a time when we thought that kid superheroes were cool (regardless of the notion of child endangerment). We also see some early work of Marcos Martin and Javier Pulido. Their styles and storytelling work perfectly for these types of stories and put you in an era where you actually feel like you were transported to “Year One”. After so many mediocre and below par Year One stories, this collection gives us two of the “good ones”.

Sweet Tooth Vol. 6: Wild Game TP (DC Comics/Vertigo)
Sweet Tooth Vol. 6: Wild Game TP (DC Comics/Vertigo)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Sweet Tooth Vol. 6: Wild Game TP (DC Comics/Vertigo)
Collects Sweet Tooth #33-40, $16.99
Usually I pick the first Volume of a series or a complete collection, so you can quickly get into it. However this week I am picking the final volume of a great series, thus suggesting you read an entire thing from the beginning, as it is one of my favorites. The series is Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire, which ran 40 issues from 2009-2013. The story takes place in a post apocalyptic world, where most of the population has died from a mysterious virus, and that virus has caused a lot of children to be born with animal features. The main character is a 9 year old boy named Gus who has deer antlers/deer features, and lives in the woods with his father, hidden away from the rest of society. Things change, as his father passes away, and his life is forever changed. Gus is saved from being attacked by a man named Jeppard, which sets up an adventure, and friendship that neither could have dreamed of. Starting in Nebraska, and slowly working their way across the western half of the US, they run into crazy doctors, street gangs, other hybrid children, new allies, old enemies, and eventually figure out what crazy stuff is behind what has happened to the world. The first 5 volumes are a great read, and unlike some writers ending their stories, Lemire sticks the landing in Volume 6. The last issue of this series, is one of the best I have read since I got back into comics five years ago, and makes reading the other 39 worth while. You may even shed a tear.

Edison Rex TP (IDW)
Edison Rex TP (IDW)

Picked by @chriscampbell8
Edison Rex TP (IDW)
Collects the first 6 issues of the Monkeybrain Comics digital series for the first time, $19.99
I had never read a comic from MonkeyBrain comics prior to reading the first issue of Edison Rex. I purchased the first issue digitally on the iPad for 99 cents a few months ago back when it was a “digital exclusive”. Now the story from Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver is being released as a trade paperback through a partnership with IDW. This delivery format intrigued me and I wanted to support it — the digital floppies followed by a print collection. I must confess that I’ve only read the first issue, but based on the strength of the first issue alone, I feel the trade is worthy of your attention. The story itself begins with the classic Superman/Lex Luthor relationship but quickly refocuses after a fun twist ending I won’t reveal here. I found myself wanting to read the next issue, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle. And now with this release from IDW, I’m going to remedy that.

Saga Vol. 2 TP (Image)
Saga Vol. 2 TP (Image)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Saga Vol. 2 TP (Image)
Collects Saga #7-12, $14.99
Forget the bizarro hoopla about Saga issue #12. This is a comic about (alien) adults for adults. And, frankly, it’s one of the most well-crafted, beautifully drawn comics to come along in years. What writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples are doing with this book is breathtaking. Star Wars meets Romeo & Juliet doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. I have loved BKV’s work since discovering Runaways (followed quickly by consuming Pride of Baghdad, Doctor Strange: The Oath, and Y: The Last Man. If you haven’t checked out those books, you should.) The same goes for Staples’ Mystery Society work – simply gorgeous. And the marriage of these two creative forces provides a spark to this book missing from so many others competing for your dollar on the store shelves: heart. This second arc collection builds on everything the first six issues began. Here, the reader’s introduced to Marko’s parents as they meet their granddaughter for the first time, and his ex-girlfriend Gwendolyn as she joins the bounty hunter The Will in his quest to bring the fugitive couple to ground. All of this takes place amid well-paced flashbacks to Marko and Alana’s first meeting and budding romance. Sex! Violence! Aliens! Robots! The headlines might be what grab your attention, but the substance of the story is what will keep you coming back for more.

Invincible Iron Man Vol. 11: The Future TP (Marvel)
Invincible Iron Man Vol. 11: The Future TP (Marvel)

Picked by Shane
Invincible Iron Man Vol. 11: The Future TP (Marvel)
Collects Invincible Iron Man #521-527, $19.99
I don’t have to tell anyone here about my love for Shellhead. This volume compiles the last run of floppies I bought to complete my collection dating back to Volume #1, Issue #1 from 1968. After this volume, it officially starts the Marvel Now run and that’s when I told myself I’d go the trade route for any future Iron Man. This last run was pretty solid. I won’t lie; it’ll be a bit hard to get into if you haven’t been reading everything that leads up to it thus far. But you should be able to pick up on it well enough. We’ve found out that after bowing down to the demands of the Government and Hammer Industries and giving up the Iron Man armor, Tony Stark has even more problems to deal with as The Mandarin has been in control of his mind. Tony teams up with some of his greatest enemies to try to stop the greater evil that is his arch nemesis. You have another person in an upgraded Iron Man armor, Pepper Potts as Rescue and some great armored action. I don’t want to spoil anything else, just read it!

Complete Flash Gordon Library Volume 3 The Fall Of Ming HC 1941-1944
Complete Flash Gordon Library Volume 3 The Fall Of Ming HC 1941-1944

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Complete Flash Gordon Library Volume 3 The Fall Of Ming HC 1941-1944 (Titan), $39.95
Those of you who listen to my weekly podcast know that I’ve been reading all of the Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four (I’m currently on Volume 9 with Volume 15 due in August), but what I haven’t told you is that I’m also reading Flash Gordon. I own all five volumes of the complete Flash Gordon Dark Horse Archives which reprints every comic book appearance from 1947-1982 and the comic strip reprint series from Titan. I can tell you that the strip reproduction is simply amazing! If you have never read Flash by the hand of the great Alex Raymond now is the time to do so. Sure there have been several attempts to reprint Flash over the years, but it has never been done so well and with so much care.

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.