Tag Archives: Image Comics

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 #40

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.

The Black Beetle Volume 1: No Way Out HC
The Black Beetle Volume 1: No Way Out HC

Picked by @ChrisPartin
The Black Beetle Volume 1: No Way Out HC
Published by Image
$19.99
Francesco Francavilla is one of those creators that once you see what he can do with a comic book page you can only want to see another and another and… well, you get the point. BLACK BEETLE is Francavilla’s creator owned series at Dark Horse that will make you stand up and pay attention to what he’s capable of as a writer and as an artist.
BLACK BEETLE is a love letter to those pulp comic greats like THE SHADOW and THE SPIDER and there’s not a page or panel that you see in this hardcover that does not remind you of Francavilla’s influence by those characters and stories. The moment you open this book to the time you get to the last page you’re enveloped into a world of action and mystery. There’s very little opportunity to catch your breath and that is what makes this book so enjoyable – there’s no need to slow the pace down. The story is wall to wall action and you’re pulled in and are dragged behind the Black Beetle as he swings from roof tops, punches bad guys, and defeats the big, bad evil guy. All of it, you’re pulled in and Francavilla does an amazing job at keeping you in and entertained.
BLACK BEETLE VOL 1 HC is something that fans of high action and old-school mystery should pick up and be entertained by because that’s what it’s here to do.

Walt Disney's Donald Duck Volume 5: Christmas On Bear Mountain by Carl Bark HC
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Volume 5: Christmas On Bear Mountain by Carl Bark HC

Picked by @ReverendLove
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Volume 5: Christmas On Bear Mountain by Carl Bark HC
Published by Fantagraphics
$28.99
I was never a huge cartoon duck fan outside of Howard the Duck and would have remained so if not for picking up Don Rosa’s Eisner winning “the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck” a few years ago. It turned me into a huge fan of the duck genre and then, to make matters worse, Fantagraphics decided to release an archive series that would collect the work of the Maestro of Cartoon Ducks, the legendary Carl Barks! I was trapped and had to give in to the guilty pleasure that comes from reading a well crafted duck tale.
This volume’s title story, “Christmas On Bear Mountain” is the first appearance of the richest duck of them all, Uncle Scrooge McDuck. In this story, Scrooge is a lot grouchier, bitter and ill tempered than his later incarnations and closer to the Dickens persona rather than Bark’s character. It’s a typical Christmas story with Donald, short on funds again, taking his nephews to Uncle Scrooge’s chalet on Bear Mountain to find some way to celebrate Christmas. As usual, the situation goes from calm to madcap crazy as Scrooge dresses up as a bear to test Donald and his nephews and somehow, a bear cub and his Mother get into the chalet and caught up in the story.
As with the other books in this series, there are a couple of other long form stories including the classic Barks tales “Volcano Valley”, “Adventure Down Under” and one of his more moody graphic works, titled “Ghost of the Grotto”. The book has seven 10 page short gag stories similar to the other books in the series and these certainly do not disappoint. Although the longer form stories are my favourites, I still enjoy Bark’s shorter pieces for their energy, light frivolity and slapstick timing.
I know that whenever I bring up the subject of ducks with my comic book pals, they look at me a-scant but I highly recommend this fabulous collection from Fantagraphics that celebrates the life and prodigious body of work of the Dean of Duckdom, the irreplaceable Carl Barks.

Bloodshot Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars TPB
Bloodshot Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars TPB

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Bloodshot Vol. 3: Harbinger Wars TPB
Collects Bloodshot #10-13
Published by Valiant
$14.99
Valiant’s first big event, The Harbinger war is upon us. When Bloodshot attacks the PRS, all hell breaks loose. The Harbinger children (who have all sorts of special abilities) who were being help captive, escape into the general population. A large group goes into nearby Vegas and takes over a hotel, along with the Harbinger renegades from the proper Harbinger book. In this trade, another group escapes and travels with Bloodshot. Not only trying to evade the PRS who are hunting them down, but the Harbinger Foundation as well. They try to make there way to Vegas to join up with the other escaped group, but even though the young group he travels which thinks him to be their hero, Bloodshot does not realize that he has had a massive impact on these kids lives before, and not all of them who escaped may want his help, or call him ally. Bloodshot has been one of my favorite books since the Valiant relaunch because he is a very interesting character. Not even he knows his true history, because of all the reprogramming done to him over the years. Duane Swierczynski does a great job during this event showing his side of the tale, and Barry Kitson does a great job on the art duties. Not really a jumping on point, but more a recommendation to catch up on this series to this point.

Complete Golden Age Airboy And Valkyrie HC
Complete Golden Age Airboy And Valkyrie HC

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Complete Golden Age Airboy And Valkyrie HC
Published by Canton Street Press
$24.99
First, I want to thank Canton Street Press for supplying me a copy of this book. As many of you know, I’m a fan of Golden Age material and especially Golden Age material that is reprinted for a new generation. Canton Street Press is a relatively new company and as they say on their website, “specializes in quality restorations of long out-of-print books of historical significance”. There’s no doubt that Airboy is one of those comics. Airboy was first published in Air Fighters Comics Vol. 1 #2 (November 1942) and was created by writers Charles Biro and Dick Wood and artist Al Camy. But as the title says, “Airboy AND Valkyrie”, so this books collects all the Golden Age appearances of the villainess – and later heroine. After reading the stories she reminds me of several women featured in Will Eisner’s The Spirit, particularly Sand Saref and Silk Satin. Not only is she dangerous, but she has dangerous curves and could give The Phantom Lady a run for her money in a cleavage contest.
The book, itself, is very affordable at $25 and the restiration and presentation is top notch. I only have one small complaint – the table of contents does not include the month and year of the comics collected in this book. Therefore, I have added them here for reference:

Air Fighters Vol. 2 #2 Airboy Meets Valkrie – November 1943
Air Fighters Vol. 2 #7 The Dath Lights – April 1944
Air Fighters Vol. 1 #12 Misery! – September 1943
Airboy Vol. 2 #12 The Return Of Misery! – January 1946
Airboy Vol. 3 #6 An American Legend – July 1946
Airboy Vol. 3 #12 The Wind of Battle – January 1947
Airboy Vol. 4 #10 Valkrie’s Viking Flying Club – November 1947
Airboy Vol. 9 #2 Valkrie Strikes Again – March 1952

With a quick glance it looks like the story “Misery” is out of place, but really if it was not included then “The Return Of Misery!” wouldn’t make much sense, hence it is included for continuity sake, but interestingly, it does not contain Valkrie. I hope CSP will be able to reprint the entire Airboy series in thicker editions similar to Marvel’s Masterworks, but I understand if there isn’t a market for them. If you are interested pick up this hardcover and be sure to check out other offerings from Canton Street Press including the complete Canteen Kate from Matt Baker.

and…

DC Comics Essentials: Wonder Woman #1
DC Comics Essentials: Wonder Woman #1

DC Comics Essentials: Wonder Woman #1
Collects Wonder Woman #1 (Volume 4)
Published by DC Comics
$1.00
I’ll make this recommendation very simple – if you haven’t picked up Wonder Woman yet – do it now. For only a buck you can experience, what is now my favorite book of DC’s New 52. What artist Cliff Chiang and writer Brian Azzarello are doing is nothing short of spectacular. What’s nice is that it doesn’t feel like a “superhero” book because it intertwines with Greek mythology and the JLA stays out of it. In fact, it’s difficult to pinpoint just where in DC continuity this takes place, which is fine by me. 5 Stars!

and…

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World Prelude TP
Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World Prelude TP

Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World Prelude TP
Collects Marvel’s Thor Adaptation #1-2, Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World Prelude #1-2 and Thor: God Of Thunder #13
Published by Marvel
$14.99
It’s that time of year again – time for another Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie. That movie is Thor: The Dark World and with it comes this easy to read trade. You can plainly see why they first two min-series are collected but why God Of Thunder #13? That’s because it features the Dark Elves who play an integral part in the Dark World film. As with Wonder Woman above, the God Of Thunder series by writer Jason Aaron and artist Ron Garney is one of the best books on the market and one that’s at the top of my “to read” pile every month. If you’re interested in catching up, you can do so by picking up the first two collected editions of God of Thunder: Vol 1. God Butcher and Vol. 2 Godbomb.

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 #39

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.

Battling Boy Volume 1 HC
Battling Boy Volume 1 HC

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Battling Boy Volume 1 HC
Published by :01 First Second
$24.99
There were many different concepts introduced a couple of years ago when the Nu52 launched from DC comics. Many of these were the typical DC fare done by “big names”. Some were old favorites done by new talents. Fortunately for us, there were a few of these books that were old favorites (or dream projects) done by highly respected creators. Among those books were OMAC by Keith Giffen and Frankenstein by Jeff Lemire. Now, neither one of these books survived the marketplace for very long; but for the short time we had them, they were some of the most enjoyable comics on the stand. The rumor amongst comics fandom (keep in mind that this is just rumor, and I have no basis to ground this story; but it IS entertaining) is that the uber-talented Paul Pope wanted to do a Kamandi comic (this may or may not have been during the Nu52 launch). Upon Paul’s request to be given the keys to the Last Boy on Earth, DC editorial unceremoniously told him “NO” and “it wouldn’t sell” because “kids don’t read comics”. In my mind, I see Paul marching out of DC’s office with a cloudy thought balloon over his head declaring that he was “going to write and draw Kamandi regardless”. Fast forward to October of 2013 and we have Paul Pope’s Battling Boy. Battling Boy is about a young boy deposited on a world with a mission to liberate it from the vicious monsters that inhabit it. I’m so excited for this book that I stopped at DCBS on my way home last night for fear of them running out, and having to wait for a re-order. The solicit for this book just screams “inspired by Jack Kirby’s Kamandi”. That, combined with the genius and raw artistic talent that is Paul Pope makes this a “must have book” for any comic fan.

Creepy Archives Volume 17 HC
Creepy Archives Volume 17 HC

Picked by @ReverendLove
Creepy Archives Volume 17 HC
Collects Creepy #78-83
Published by Dark Horse Comics
$49.99
I remember with great fondness the Warren magazines “Creepy” and “Eerie” as the forbidden fruit of the comic book world from my youth and love Dark Horse’s line of hardcovers that collects these lost gems of the comic book arts. The books sit there on my shelves, bristling with horror, violence and a healthy does of nudity, all of which enthralled my teenage mind.
Today I picked up the 17th volume in the “Creepy” archives line and once again, I was deliriously happy with my acquisition. This book covers issues 78 to 83 and it starts out with a bang with a couple of great stories from Alex Toth and a team up of Wally Wood and John Severin. Subsequent issues feature the artistic talents of such giants as Russ Heath, Esteban Maroto, Richard Corben, Al Williamson, Berni Wrightson and many others who got to experiment with stories you couldn’t find at the Big Two at the time. This all star line-up of artists dovetails perfectly with a top notch squad of writers that includes Archie Goodwin, Bill DuBay, Bruce Jones, Doug Moench and several other sequential scribes who crafted some great tales of terror, suspense and slow death.
The Warren magazines were truly ahead of their time, treating this still young art form of comics with the reverence and respect it would not get from the general public for a couple of decades.

Marvel Comics The Untold Story SC
Marvel Comics The Untold Story SC

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Marvel Comics The Untold Story SC
Published by Harper Collins
$15.99
Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is a warts-and-all account of what went on behind the scenes as the company evolved from upstart to innovator to bankruptcy to industry giant to becoming a part of the Disney family. When originally released in hardcover last year, the book was on every Marvel fanboy’s “must read” list, and with good reason. It shines a light into even the darkest corners of the iconic company. The prevailing themes seem to revolve around the idea that artists don’t make good businessmen, the fascinating phenomenon of fans transitioning to the creator role in the ’70s, and the soap opera carnival that was the bullpen. The result is a 50+ year history page-turner of Marvel Comics. The main criticism I hear about the book is the lack of accompanying illustrations or photos. But here’s the thing: This is a non-fiction prose book. If you’re looking for an illustrated, “single issue milestones” account of Marvel’s history, I would highly recommend complimenting Howe’s book with DK’s Marvel Chronicle: A Year by Year History. Either way, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story should be on your reading stack.

Our own contributor @Dief88 posted an excellent review of Marvel Comics The Untold Story on his own blog, With Great Power…

Lazarus Vol. 1 TP
Lazarus Vol. 1 TP

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Lazarus Vol. 1 TP
Collects Lazarus #1-4
Published by Image Comics
$9.99
Other then East of West which I picked a few weeks again, my other favorite Image book this year is Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. In the future, something unknown to us has happened to the US, and mob like families run everything. Some of the remaining population works for them , and the rest are pretty much treated like dirt. One of those families is the Carlyle’s, and their enforcer is a female Lazarus named Forever. Forever like other Lazarus’s have many special abilities which we discover some of in this volume. Doing whatever work her “father” needs her to do, she is as loyal as anyone can be. However this makes many other family members jealous, which leads to a lot of internal family conflict, and backstabbing. Add in dealings with some of the other families, and we have our self a very good mob drama with all these Sci-fi/post apocalyptic elements mixed together. Forever is one of the most interesting female characters I have read since Rucka did his run on Batwoman, and before that Tara Chase in his series Queen and Country. Rucka just writes great woman. This is also my favorite artwork that I have seen from Lark, and he has done some great stuff over the years .I left a lot out of the description because frankly this is one of those books that I don’t want to spoil anything as one little thing could give something away. Give it a chance, the trade is only $9.99 retail.

Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 2 TP
Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 2 TP

Picked by Shane
Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 2 TP
Published by Dark Horse Comics
$24.99
I bought the first volume based on a fellow CCL reviewer’s write up and it had to be one of the best reads I’ve had all year. I have been highly anticipating this second volume’s release because of it. The first volume was a smorgasbord of lost Star Wars delights. Stories I grew up with in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Some of the stories were from Pizzazz magazine. Some were backup tales from Marvel’s UK comics. I Remember finding some of the UK comics in bookstores and grabbing them. Mostly they were the same stories from the U.S. editions, but they were oversized and also had backup tales and usually something special like a cut out tie-fighter you could put together. These are fond memories and if Dark Horse didn’t reprint these tales, those memories would be just that. There were even comics that were printed for inclusion in toy packages and cereal boxes. These stories are really fun reads. The best part about it was that the stories were about the characters I grew up with; from episodes 4-6. This new volume seems to crossover into the newer stuff, but I cannot wait nonetheless. I really applaud Dark Horse for diving in deep into the Star Wars treasure chests and reprinting every possible story they can find. All of the Dark Horse Star Wars Omnibuses are worth owning, but these Wild Space volumes are especially interesting as it is the stuff you might normally skip over or have never heard of. Give them a read. If you are a fan of Star Wars, I think you’ll love them!

God Hates Astronauts SC
God Hates Astronauts SC

Picked by @ChrisCCL
God Hates Astronauts, Vol. 1 TP
Published by Image Comics
$17.99
I first met Ryan Browne at the Summit City Comic Con in Ft. Wayne, in a few years ago. Walking by his table, his stack of creator owned work was eye-catching and upon a quick glance it was both funny and strange. But was even stranger was our connection. While talking with Ryan I found out that we attended the same high school – Grosse Pointe South, in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI and even though I’m 10+ years older then him, we had mutual friends. Well right there I had to buy up all his mini-comics including Blast Furnace and something called God Hates Astronauts. Now imagine my surprise when, in 2012, I came across a Kickstarter campaign by Browne for a full size, hardbound collected edition of GHA. I immediately donated and picked my book up at the 2013 C2E2 in Chicago. Shortly after the con, Image solicited this softcover and now all the world can enjoy this wildly off-beat and hilarious comic that includes some of the most imaginative characters ever created. But what exactly is God Hates Astronauts? Well, it’s a bit complicated so I’ll give you the official blurb:

GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS follows the story of a group of incompetent, small-minded, super powered narcissists called ‘The Power Persons Five’ who are hired by NASA to stop all farmers from launching themselves into space in homemade rocket ships. Unfortunately for NASA, this goal is scarcely even addressed and the book focuses more on extramarital affairs, bank-robbing owls, big gross swollen heads, ghost cow heads, olde tyme boxers, tigers eating cheeseburgers in the Crab Nebula, buffalo judges and tons of aggressive swearing. Not so much a superhero book as it is a parody of basically everything and a celebration of weird that is jam-packed with references to RoboCop and Die Hard.

Sold? You ought to be. BLITZKRIEG!

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 #37

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.

The Walking Dead 100 Project TP (Image)
The Walking Dead 100 Project TP (Image)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
The Walking Dead 100 Project TP (Image)
Robert Kirkman and Skybound team up with the Hero Initiative to present 100 all new covers envisioning the horrors of the bestselling The Walking Dead, $12.99; LTD ED HC $24.99
The Hero Initiative’s 100 Project series, where the non-profit has 100 artists provide their own interpretation of a specific landmark title, has always been a great way to indulge in a good sampling of various artists’ work, dig on various interpretations of your favorite characters, and feel good about yourself knowing the hard earned money you’re dropping is going to a worthy cause. The series has honored such titles as Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man, The Hulk, Wolverine, and The New Avengers, DC’s Justice League of America, and even Archie. Now, they are doing it all over again for Image’s The Walking Dead. Featuring everyone from Fred Hembeck to Jeff Lemire to Fiona Staples to Rich Koslowski, there is something for every fan in here. Offering the book in two flavors – trade paperback and hardcover – also means there’s a good chance it’ll fit into most anyone’s budget.

Shazam! Vol. 1 HC (DC Comics)
Shazam! Vol. 1 HC (DC Comics)

Picked by @andrewjtom
Shazam! Vol. 1 HC (DC Comics)
Collects Justice League #7-11, #0, #14-16 and #18-21, $24.99
SHAZAM!! That’s the first thing that probably goes through your head whenever you see a brand new Captain Marvel book (or in this case, Shazam). Despite my love for golden age characters and especially the Big Red Cheese, this book deserves your attention because of the creators, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Shazam plays directly to the type of story that Geoff Johns has excelled at so much in the past. Shazam is a beloved character that hasn’t had very many exciting things done with him in a long time. Johns has proven time after time that these “revitalization” type of stories centered around characters that have been lost to the depths of the long box are exactly where he thrives as a writer. Add Gary Frank to that magical formula and you’ve got a truly exciting creative team that has proven on two separate occasions (previously on Action Comics and Batman Earth One) that when they get together, great things happen. Pick this book up. I’m confident that you’ll dig it.

Justice League Vol. 3: Throne Of Atlantis HC (DC Comics)
Justice League Vol. 3: Throne Of Atlantis HC (DC Comics)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Justice League Vol. 3: Throne Of Atlantis HC (DC Comics)
Collects Justice League #13-17 and Aquaman #15-16, $24.99
Aquaman is one of my favorite books since the DC relaunch, and Justicle League was not that great. However both books crossed over for this big Aquaman event called Throne of Atlantis written by the regular writer on both series Geoff Johns. This is when the Justice League finally found it’s footing, and I started to really enjoy it. As Arthur is trying to figure out about a mysterious series of events that have gone on in his series, The Underwater city of Atlantis led by Ocean Master launches a massive attack on many of the biggest cities in the DC universe. So the Justice League only has one course of action, and that is to go on the attack , or risk the populations of these cities being killed. However like most big events, someone has set this madness in motion for a plan that none of the major parties knows about. It leads to revelations that could change Arthur and his place with Atlantis. Not to mention changes in the Justice League as well, as they realize it may be time to expand it’s roster, which is one of my favorite parts of this story arc. Add in Ivan Reis taking over art duties on Justice League, and Paul Pelleteir on Aquaman, and I would recommend this for the art alone. Really great work by them, but a highly enjoyable read overall as well.

Legends Of The Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Vol. 2 HC (DC Comics)
Legends Of The Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Vol. 2 HC (DC Comics)

Picked by @ReverendLove
Legends Of The Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Vol. 2 HC (DC Comics)
Collects The Brave And The Bold #123-145 and #147-151, $49.99
Growing up in the early 70′s, I was lucky enough to have been around for Jim Aparo’s fabulous work on “the Brave and the Bold” and other titles from “Aquaman” to “Adventure Comics” which featured his legendary run on “the Spectre”. But like many from my generation, I was a die hard Batman fan and found Mr. Aparo’s long run on “the Brave and the Bold” unequalled in quality and artistic execution.
The first book in this series covered some of my favourite Aparo stories in the run but this volume still has many gems although towards the end, we begin to stray into the latter Aparo years during which he adopted a simpler style that I found to be a bit wanting. This book starts in the later years of the “Early Aparo” period and these stories still have that great level of detail and solid composition that we’d come to expect from the pen of Aparo. One of my favourite stories from this period is the tale from the Brave and the Bold #124 in which Jim Aparo injects himself into the DC Universe to battle terrorists and to help the Caped Crusader and Sgt. Rock save the day. The heroes make the world a safer place and all without realizing the involvement of Mr. Aparo or fellow DC creators from the book, Bob Haney and Murray Boltinoff. Haney was one of the bright lights at DC in the early 70′s with a prodigious output and a neat turn of phrase. He created some of my favourite characters in the DC universe, from Metamorpho to Eclipso and so many more in his three decades with DC Comics.
“The Brave and the Bold” was one of my favourite comics growing up with it’s stories of Batman and a guest or guest stars to help him with whatever menace the Dark Knight would be battling in that particular issue. This run features heroes from the Flash to Mr. Miracle to the Metal Men and many others, all of whom dovetail perfectly with the tactics and abilities of the Batman.
I know some will find the stories somewhat dated and simplistic, but they are a snapshot into the world I grew up in and the stories that inspired and entertained me for many happy hours and for all this joy, I have to simply say, “Thank you, Mr. Aparo and Mr. Haney”.

Star Trek The Original Topps Trading Card Series HC (Abrams ComicArts)
Star Trek The Original Topps Trading Card Series HC (Abrams ComicArts)

Picked by Shane
Star Trek The Original Topps Trading Card Series HC (Abrams ComicArts), $19.95
Most anyone who grew up in the 70s has fond memories of collecting Topps trading cards. These Topps card packs consisted of a few cards, usually one sticker and maybe a stick of gum, depending on the series. Kids would spend their allowance money buying pack after pack, hoping to eventually get a complete set of cards. Along with sports cards, Topps produced series’ ranging from Superman the movie and Jaws to such eclectic series’ as Charlie’s Angels and Grease. I still have a complete set of the original Star Wars cards from my youth. Now, I never had the Star Trek cards nor have I ever really seen any of them. That being said, I’m looking very forward to this book. This book reprints all 88 cards, front and back as well as the 22 stickers from the series. Here is a bit of trivia for you. There are no cards in the series that feature crew member Sulu, so included in this book are four brand new cards including two featuring Sulu. It is written by a husband and wife team very familiar with Star Trek, having written several books on the subject. Some of their works are Star Trek 101, The Magic of Tribbles and the Deep Space Nine Companion just to name a few. It looks like Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann have put together a very nice package for the Trek fans out there.

Young Marvel: Little X-Men, Little Avengers, Big Trouble TP (Marvel)
Young Marvel: Little X-Men, Little Avengers, Big Trouble TP (Marvel)

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Young Marvel: Little X-Men, Little Avengers, Big Trouble TP (Marvel)
Collects A-Babies Vs. X-Babies #1, Wolverine (1988) #102.5, Pint-Sized X-Babies: Murderama and X-Babies Reborn, $24.99
I’ve been really fortunate over the past years. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several comic book creators over drinks, dinner and even podcasts. I first met Skottie Young in 2006 when I sat in on a recording of the Around Comics podcast. I have to laugh it off now, but the guy was a piece of work. He was a little loud and a little obnoxious but Skottie was all 100% genuine when it came to his passion about comic books. You can see it in his work and you can hear it in his voice. It’s been fun watching his career grow and even becoming a breakout artist on the Oz series with Eric Shanower and Skottie’s own take on the Marvel Babies. Hell, my own LCS has its own Skottie Young POS display! I wish all the best to Skottie and if you get the chance go meet him at a Con near you, he truly is one of the great guys in the business.

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.