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
Superman vs. Zod TP (DC Comics)
Growing up in the 70s and 80s was a pretty special time for a comics fan. In 1978 I was only 7 years old and my parents took me to see one of my favorite characters on the big screen, Superman. I was in complete amazement at what I saw on screen, but ultimately I was disappointed with the one thing that my 7 year old brain couldn’t understand. I wondered why the villain was Lex Luthor. I mean… Luthor was just a regular guy! Why didn’t they give us Bizarro or Brainiac? Someone who could actually go toe to toe with Big Blue in a knock down, drag out fight. A couple of years later (1980) I was 9 years old and my mom dropped me off at the movie theater so I could go see Superman II (back then, kids actually went to the movies by themselves). What I got this time was exactly what I wanted. Superman fought three other Kryptonians. Not only were they Kryptonians, but they were the vilest of Krypton’s criminals. Superman battled them in the streets of Metropolis and all the way to the north pole in the Fortress of Solitude (what was with the big cellophane “S” anyway?). After Superman II, I was determined to learn more about these Phantom Zone villains. Luckily, flea markets in the early 80s were aplenty and old comics were easy to come by on the cheap. Eventually, I scored a couple of stories from the flea market and/or Harold’s Drug Store. These stories featured General Zod and his sidekicks. Soon, I also scooped up the Phantom Zone mini-series and my appreciation for Zod was at it’s peak. But sadly, Zod and company were rarely used after that tremendous mini-series. Nowadays, General Zod has been redefined and re-imagined by Richard Donner and Geoff Johns. He’s more similar in appearance to Terence Stamp; and he’s been reestablished as one of Superman’s most interesting and evil villains. This new collection is pretty thin; but it does offer some early stories of General Zod and the Phantom Zone villains, including a look back at Zod’s treachery on Krypton told by Donner and Johns. Sadly, this doesn’t collect the beloved “Phantom Zone” mini-series (that’s coming later this year), but this will make a great companion book to the eventual Phantom Zone book (which is a MUST BUY). The best thing about this collection of old Superman vs. Zod stories is that it’s only $9.99 (which means you can score it at InStockTrades or Amazon for $5 or $6). At this price, I highly recommend picking this up, it’ll provide you with some good old fashioned comic “fun” and remind you of what comics were like back when you (and your parents) were kids.
Collects stories from Adventure Comics #283, Action Comics #473, #548-549, DC Comics Presents #97 and Action Comics Annual #10, $9.99
Picked by @Dief88
LOAC Essentials Vol. 2: The Gumps – The Saga of Mary Gold! (IDW)
The second in IDW’s “Library of American Comics Essentials” series, this hardcover marks the first reprinting of Sidney Smith’s comic strip The Gumps (which ran from 1917 to 1959) in almost 40 years. Beloved in its day, The Gumps was so popular that readers would actually write in with romantic advice for the strip’s characters. Collected in this volume is one of the series’ most heart-wrenching stories, “The Saga of Mary Gold,” which features a pretty significant “first” in comics history. At the ridiculously low price of $19.99, this is a book that fans of classic newspaper comics should definitely check out.
Collects strips from 1928-1929, $19.99
Picked by Shane
Judge Dredd Origins TP (2000 AD/Rebellion)
Like most Americans, my first intro to the Judge Dredd character was the 1995 Stallone film which I later found, out had little to do with the actual comic. That being said, I still enjoyed it for its cheesiness! But alas, there really wasn’t a lot of US published Dredd books out there at the time. Fast forward to today and we just got a new Dredd film starring Karl Urban of Star Trek fame as the lead character. It wasn’t widely distributed in the US but has become a cult classic nonetheless and is much more accurate to the source material. I bought it blind on Blu-Ray and never have I made a better purchase. The film also whet my appetite for the further adventures of our helmeted anti-hero. Now we are getting an abundance of Judge Dredd collected editions to satisfy any American’s curiosity. As of late, we have had the Case Files series and now we get Origins. This should be a great starting point for any curious comics fan to dip his or her feet into this universe and learn more about “dreaded” judges in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One that are everything from Police, judge, jury and executioner. I personally can’t wait to read this!!
Collects all 23 episodes published from 2006 – 2007, $19.99
Picked by ChrisCampbell8
Bomb Queen Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC (Image)
I have a confession to make. I love absurd comics with violence and humor that push the envelope. Enter the Bomb Queen. Written and drawn by Jimmie Robinson, the Bomb Queen is not a new character, but the Deluxe Edition volume 1 that was released this week is sort of a restart of the hardcover line for the series. I own the previous hardcover effort – appropriately entitled “Omnibust” – but that edition is quite hard to locate, so Jimmie has decided to update the trade dress and begin again. I’ve already read the material covered in the first Deluxe Edition, but I’ll be buying it again. Especially since a second volume has already been announced, which will let me continue my reading in my preferred format. The story itself is awesomely insane and violent, but never takes itself too seriously and is done in a visual style reminiscent of Ryan Ottley and Invincible. Once part of a quartet of Bomb Queens terrorizing the city, Bomb Queen emerges from her origin tale as the supreme villain in charge of the city. There are simply no more heroes to fight her, and the government doesn’t want to get involved. With the aid of her puppet mayor, crime-zones have been established throughout the city, and the people are generally behind her! Truly a messed-up city that deserves what it gets, right? Probably, but a challenger has come in the form of a politician looking to defeat the puppet mayor at the polls, and thus eliminate Bomb Queen’s (official) influence. You can see where this is going. The series has a wonderful black and dirty sense of humor and very solid art, so if you’re into that sort of thing, jump into this series. You’ll love it.
Collects Bomb Queen: Royal Flush #1-4, Bomb Queen II: Queen Of Hearts #1-4 And Bomb Queen Vs. Blacklight: Cat Fight (One-Shot), $24.99
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Human Torch Volume 1 TPB (Marvel)
Marvel has done a nice job of translating their hardcover “Masterworks” line to the softcover trade paperback format. And with these Golden Age reprints, there’s plenty to recommend, notably the debut and origin of Torch’s kid sidekick Toro in this particular volume. You’re not misreading the collection contents here, Timely’s Human Torch series kicked off with issue #2 and had two issue #5s (designated as issue #5A and issue #5B). While four issues for $30 is a little steep at first glance, this is more forgiving than some of Marvel’s other mispriced collections of modern story arcs. For starters, originally published in 1940 and 1941, these are 64-page single issues that are long out of circulation. Add to that the remastering, and you’re seeing these classic Carl Burgos, Bill Everett, and Joe Simon comics arguably looking better than they ever did!
Collects Human Torch (1940) #2-5A, $29.99
Picked by @ChrisCCL
Day of Judgment TP (DC Comics)
Ugh! I hate to be a downer but sometimes a book comes along that the can’t recommend. Today that collected edition is Day Of Judgement. Why? Simply put it’s not complete. The Day Of Judgement event took place with it’s own 5-issue series and nearly 20 tie-in books. It was panned by many, but I picked all the issues up and still have them packed away in a long box in my basement. The story revolved around The Spectre and his search for a new host who eventually will be the fallen Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Other supporting heroes hear are an incredible line up: Doctor Occult, Zatanna, Phantom Stranger, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Raven, Ragman, Alan Scott aka Sentinel and Faust. They come to form the super team, Sentinels Of Magic, which, sadly made their only appearance in this event. Did I happen to mention that the writer of Day Of Judgement was a young, self-starter named Geoff Johns? Of course he went on to be the architect of Green Lantern and other giant event books. I think you know how I would want this collected – as a full size, complete Absolute or Omnibus. For now, we’ll have to settle for this trade.
If there is a silver lining to be had from seeing this trade being released is that we may be getting collected editions of the Hal Jordan/Spectre 27-issue run as well as his appearance in Legends of the DC Universe #33-36.
Collects Day Of Judgment #1-5 and a story from Day Of Judgment Secret Files #1, $14.99
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.