Is there one book that is a “must have” that came out this week? My friends Andy Tom (@AndrewJTom), Chris Campbell (ChrisCampbell8), Marc Diefenderfer (@Dief88), Shane Hannafey, Adam Besenyodi (@adambesenyodi), and I (@ChrisCCL) are sharing six comic book collected editions, reprints and/or graphic novels released this week that you may be interested in.
Picked by @AndrewJTom
Secret Battles of Genghis Khan (IDW), $21.99
I love world history. Especially dramatizations of history that are told in a format not all that dissimilar to a fictional account. In recent years, books like Petrograd have really captured my attention. Often times they may not be 100% accurate in their depiction, but the use of history to tell a compelling story is something I find fascinating. I suppose that somewhere deep within the recesses of my mind I’m thinking, “Yeah, it definitely could’ve happened that way.”
So last week I”m checking out the new releases and I see a book entitled “The Secret Battles of Genghis Khan”. I’ll admit that growing up in the 80s, I didn’t have much of a grasp on who Genghis Khan was aside from the guy with the sporting goods in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I grew older and wiser. Many years later I watched the oscar nominated film, Mongol. I became fascinated with Genghis Khan; and was eager to learn more about the man. Fast forward a few years… imagine my excitement when I saw a book on the release schedule entitled “The Secret Battles of Genghis Khan”. At first I was hesitant, wondering how good it could be if I hadn’t even heard of it before. Then I saw that the writer was Daryl Gregory. That’s right, the same guy who took Planet of the Apes (a franchise that hadn’t been utilized in many years) and turned it into an outstanding comic. Gregory was able to take an otherwise “burned out” property and turn it into something special. Then I thought, “Imagine what this guy can do with a legend, some history and a character like Genghis Khan”. This book tells the story of Temudjin as he wages war from the Middle East all the way to the Pacific Ocean and the bloody battles that gave him his fearsome reputation. If you’re a history buff, a Conan reader, or a military enthusiast; you owe it yourself to pick this one up. Remember… before there was Conan, the world had the Legend of Genghis Khan.
Picked by Shane
Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 Volume 2 (IDW), $17.99
Take the one of the oldest Scifi franchises in US history and one of the oldest Scifi franchises in UK history blend them together and what do you get? Like peanut butter and chocolate, two great tastes that go great together! Who would have thought this would have worked? There have been a lot of failed crossover attempts over the years, so when I read that Star Trek and Doctor Who were being melded together in comic book form, I was excited but cautious. The end product has definitely been a success, so if you haven’t read this already, with the release of this second volume, all the issues are now available in trade. Instead of going with the first crew of the Enterprise, IDW went with the Next Gen era of Star Trek and then took the latest incarnation of the doctor, as played by Matt Smith. Then they took some of the greatest foes of each franchise, the Borg and the Cybermen and thrust them upon our heroes. This melding was real obvious as you have two races with the same goal in mind; take all life forms and make them part of a collective whole that is part human, but more machine. Read how the crew of the USS Enterprise and the Tardis team take on these classic villains. This was a fun storyline and well worth the read! Check it out!
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Darwin: A Graphic Biography (Smithsonian Books), $9.95
Having a sixth-grade science nut in the house makes for an interesting perspective on things. (The number of hours he’s spent watching Mythbusters off the DVR, from Netflix, and on DVD would likely be staggering if calculated.) But that’s also what makes stuff like a graphic novel on the life of Charles Darwin a natural in our house. Originally produced in the UK in 2009 for the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth, Darwin: A Graphic Biography saw considerable exposure despite limited release. Now, Smithsonian Books has worked with writer Eugene Byrne and artist Simon Gurr to expand and repackage the content for a proper US release. If you can ignore the annoying “Ape TV” framing conceit, the story of Darwin’s life is presented in a way that should engage the middle school set enough to pass along some deep-thinking ideas, even if they aren’t necessarily looking for them.
Picked by @Dief88
Counter X Generation X Four Days TP (Marvel), $24.99
When the first X-Men movie was released in 2000, Marvel tried to boost sales by re-branding its X-Men titles under two major banners: “Revolution” for the ones that already sold fairly well, and “Counter X” for the rest. Unfortunately, the three Counter X titles lasted only two arcs before they were canceled (or, as was the case with X-Force, radically rebooted). One of the casualties was the long-running Generation X, and it’s the final five issues of that series that are collected in this trade. Interestingly, the first “Counter X” arcs for each series were collected way back in 2008, and it’s only now that Marvel has apparently decided to wrap them up; and that’s good news for us, because this trade contains some of Brian Wood’s earliest work on mainstream superhero comics. The team of mutant teenagers gets a fitting, if rather somber, send-off in these issues – one well worth reading if you’re interested in the characters or in seeing what Brian Wood was up to almost fifteen years ago.
Collects Generation X #71-75 and material from X-Men Unlimited (1993) #34
Picked by @ChrisCCL
American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-64 (TwoMorrows), $39.95
Well the long wait is finally over. First announced at Comic Con International (San Diego) in 2009, The American Comic Book Chronicles is one of the most ambitious projects ever by TwoMorrows. Of course, TwoMorrows Publishing is no stranger to comic book history. Their numerous books and magazines have produced in-depth analysis and research regarding our favorite hobby – and for some of us, profession. The Chronicle are just that: A year-by-year and decade-by-decade look at the comic book publishing history. The one volume 1980s book was to be the first but for whatever reason we are getting 1960-64 as the first hardcover. Volume 2 of the 1960s should follow soon and it’s with noting that the 1940s will be a two volumes set, too. Since I’m a writer for Back Issue Magazine, I was able to get an advance copy and I can tell you it full of wonderful discussion and artwork from what is arguably the most important 5 years in all of comicdom.
Marvel Firsts: WWII Super Heroes TP (Marvel), $39.99
So you’re interested in reading and learning more about the Golden Age Marvel Comics (Timely) heroes but don’t want to spend the money on expensive Masterworks? Well look no further then this new, wonderful and large sampler of GA material that showcases every notable hero. Marvel did this previously in a similar manner with the Golden Age of Marvel Comics Volumes 1-2 trade paperback set in 1999-2000. This new book does collect some of those stories but some new ones, too. It’s unfortunate that Marvel didn’t re-release the first 2 trades and simply just make a Volume 3. Instead Marvel decided to make the book as part of their Marvel Firsts line. Still, it’s a nice introduction to some famous (Sub-Mariner, Captain America, Human Torch) and not so famous (Ferret, Dynamic Man, Marvel, Black Marvel, Blazing Skull, Red Raven, Patriot, Young Allies, Whizzer, Rockman, Jack Frost, Destroyer, Witness, Miss America) characters that have been lost in time. However, even better the characters may just be the artists and writers who worked on the books: Jack Kirby, Carl Burgos, Joe Simon, and Bill Everett just to name a few.
Collects Marvel Comics #1; Daring Mystery Comics #1-3, #5 and #7; Marvel Mystery Comics #4, #13, #28 and #49; Mystic Comics #1-2 and #4-7; Red Raven Comics #1; Captain America Comics #1, #6 and #13; Human Torch Comics #4; Young Allies Comics #1; and USA Comics #1-2
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.