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
Sleeper Omnibus HC (DC Comics)
My first exposure to Ed Brubaker was when my friend, Cam said, “You should try Captain America. It’s really good”. Y’see Cam owns a comic book store and while he’s typically a DC guy, he had pretty strong feelings about Brubaker’s Captain America run. Needless to say, I took Cam’s advice and took home the first Captain America Omnibus. After the first read, I was hooked. Not only was I hooked on Cap, but I was hooked on Ed Brubaker as well. I started reading more from Brubaker; Gotham Central, Criminal, Daredevil, and eventually I stumbled upon Sleeper. I knew absolutely nothing about the book, the characters, or the Wildstorm universe. What I did know was that I had faith. Faith in the team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Sleeper would soon become my favorite work of this author. Even though the comic existed in the Wildstorm universe, this was a different world than that of the WildC.A.T.S. The world of Sleeper was full of violence, profanity, sex, crime, and super powers. This was a comic that I couldn’t foresee what was going to happen next. It followed no typical comic book tropes… and I loved every page of it. For $75, this Sleeper Omnibus can’t come recommended higher. If you are a fan of crime books, spy books, or just plain ole’ “great books” you owe it to yourself to give this book a read. I’m positive that it will be a story that you’ll read many more times in the years to come. Don’t miss this.
Collects Point Blank #1-5 (Sleeper prequel), Sleeper Season One #1-12, Sleeper Season Two #1-12, Coup D’Etat: Sleeper #1 and Coup D’Etat Afterword #1, 720 pages, $75.00
Rocketeer Cargo Of Doom HC and Direct Market Edition HC (IDW), $24.99
Look, I’m not gonna’ pretend that I don’t have a soft spot for The Rocketeer. Guys like Dave Stevens, Al Williamson, and Mark Schultz are some of my favorite artists. Regular followers of this column will remember that I picked the Rocketeer Artist Edition a few weeks back. So, it’s pretty safe to say that Stevens’ Rocketeer holds a special place in my heart that can’t be replaced. Many years after the loss of Dave Stevens we’re blessed with a Rocketeer tale told by comic veteran Mark Waid, and Wunderkind artist, Chris Samnee. Waid and Samnee have crafted an old school Rocketeer tale that incorporates the essential mythos that make Cliff Secord the hero that I loved in that very first tale. This book is part adventure, part humor, part mystery, and all around Jurassic level fun. I don’t have to tell you how good of a writer that Mark Waid is or explain to you the artistic merits of Chris Samnee. But, the one thing that I really admire about this book is that… where it would’ve been very tempting to emulate Dave Steven’s art style, Chris Samnee doesn’t. He draws the Rocketeer and Cliff’s friends the way that Chris Samnee sees them, and that is one of the many reasons that makes this book special.
Picked by @Dief88
Game Of Thrones The Poster Collection SC (Insight Editions), $24.99
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and art/photography books, then this might be just what you’ve been waiting for. Insight Editions, the publisher, is fantastic when it comes to these kinds of books; my personal favorites are their two collections of Bruce Springsteen photographs, which are beautifully put together and have great reproduction quality. There’s no reason to expect this collection of Game of Thrones posters will be any different, and unlike with a lot of their books, the pictures in this one are actually removable. Just do me a favor and don’t hang up the Joffrey poster, okay? Joffrey is literally the worst.
Picked by @ChrisCCL
The Shade TP (DC Comics)
Poor Shade, he never really got it going. James Robinson tried his best to keep Opal City alive after his signature character Starman, aka Jack Knight, retired. That’s what probably did this series in sales wise. That and it went a little too long at 12 issues. Critics also said that the comic was too “wordy” and not enough action. However, those of us who are familiar with Starman, know that Robinson wanted to tell the definitive Shade story – and here we have it. Mark my words; a few years from now comic fans will touting that they read the singles issues as it was being released, when in reality they’ll be hunting down back issues at the local Knights of Columbus convention on a Sunday afternoon. Truth is that this is a good series and one that deserves a second look. My only wish is that it would have been released as a nice hardcover to match the 6 Volume Starman Omnibus series instead of a trade paperback.
Collects The Shade #1-12, $19.99
Steve Ditko’s Monsters Volume 1 Gorgo HC (IDW)
We all know Steve Ditko’s work: Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, The Question and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) are just some of his most well-known and beloved creations. But it seems to me that horror and monster comics have always been a fascination of Ditko. His tales from the Atlas (Marvel) and Charlton Comics are still being studied and copied today. Here, with first volume of Ditko Monsters, is Gorgo. This creature is loosely based on a cross between King Kong and Godzilla and was actually a feature film in 1961. Later that year Charlton published a 23-issue comic based on the monster movie and a three issue follow-up series ran from 1962-64. Unfortunately, for the die-hard Gorgo fans this is an incomplete volume as it only collects the books that Ditko worked on: #1-3, #11, #13-16 and The Return of Gorgo #2-3. Still, for the Steve Ditko collector, this is an indispensable volume that must be added to you collected editions library.
Collects Gorgo #1-3, #11, #13-16 and The Return of Gorgo #2-3, $34.99
Roy Thomas Presents Phantom Lady The Collected Works Volume 1 HC (PS Artbooks)
Gorgeous and scantily clad, The Phantom Lady was everything a boy wanted in 1941. But it was Matt Baker who gave us even more when he took over as artist with #13; the master of “good girl art” added sex appeal. When #17 hit the newsstands the nation took notice and so did the young men fighting in WWII. Dr. Fredric Whertham also took notice, so much so, that he used The Phantom Lady as ammunition against the comic book industry, itself, in his book The Seduction Of The Innocent. This of course led to the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in 1953, and, in turn, led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority in 1954. The ironic thing is that The Phantom Lady’s alter ego was Sandra Knight, daughter of Senator Harry Knight! I would have loved to know what Whertham thought of that! In this volume, which is limited to only 1,700 copies, Roy Thomas presents the very first Phantom Lady comics from both Quality Comics and Fox Features Syndicate. A true collector’s item if there ever was one.
Collects Phantom Lady stories from Police Comic #1-23 and Phantom Lady #13-15, $47.99
and we have a bonus 7th book this week..
Stuck on Star Trek HC (Universe), $19.95
Picked by Shane
If you’re a child of the 70s, some of your fondest memories are from playing with Colorforms. The Colorforms sets let you play in almost any television, movie or comic world you could dream of. The concept was simple… a scene or picture from the featured property was your “playing board” and the set came with a bunch of stick on characters and items that you could place on the board in various ways. Everything was reusable, so you could create an infinite number of scenarios. There were sets featuring Superman, G.I. Joe, Evel Knievel (another 70s mainstay!), Planet of the Apes, rock legends Kiss, you name it. And of course there was a Star Trek set. The Star Trek set leaves me with the fondest memories because for some reason, this is the set I remember loving the most. It was a simple bridge scene and it came with some of your favorite crew members and aliens to play with. This new Stuck on Star Trek book looks to recreate the nostalgia of that famous Colorforms set and amp it up a bit with several scenes from the TV series in a spiral bound book. This looks like a fun throwback for every Trekker or Trekkie that is a child of the 70s. I really can’t wait to get my hands on this book and see what it has to offer. And maybe bring back that child in myself for a little bit!
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.