Tag Archives: Star Wars

ThrawnTrilogy

Best of Dark Horse Star Wars

With the news about the Star Wars license moving to Marvel in 2015, I thought I would do a quick post post about some of my favorite Dark Horse releases over the years. There have been twenty years of some great books from them, and you still have plenty of time to pick them up.

ThrawnTrilogy

Star Wars Thrawn Triology HC

Five years after the fall of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is the first in a new line of Jedi Knights. Han Solo and Princess Leia have married, together assuming many burdens of the New Republic’s government. But across the galaxy lies a dying part of the Empire – all the more dangerous near death – and it has just discovered something that could bring it back to life! The last of the Emperor’s warlords, Admiral Thrawn, is ready to destroy the New Republic – and the odds are stacked heavily against Luke, Leia, and Han!

The Thrawn Trilogy is an adaption of Timonthy Zahn’s best selling novels which came out in the early 90′s. When these novels came out it was a big event, as they were promoted heavily in newspapers, magazines, and other forms of media.  It also helped that they are some of the best Star Wars stories ever written. That is in part because Admiral Thrawn became a fan favorite Villain, and even to this day he has still been mentioned or shown in books, comics, and toys.  Fans have been hoping these would have been the stories for the next films.  That may never happen, but at least we have this great comic adaption . I have read it many times over the last few years, enjoying it more every time.

 

Dark Empire Trilogy

 

Star Wars Dark Empire Trilogy

Six years after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, the battle for the galaxy’s freedom rages on. The Empire has been mysteriously reborn under an unknown leader, wielding a new weapon of great power. Princess Leia and Han Solo struggle to hold together the New Republic while the galaxy’s savior, Luke Skywalker, fights an inner battle as he is drawn to the dark side, just as his father…

 

This first part of this Trilogy is of major significance for a variety of reasons. It is one of the first Star Wars books Dark Horse published, the first comic to spin directly out of the events of the Thrawn Trilogy, Boba Fett returns, Luke tangles with his Dark Side, we meet the first child of the Solo’s, and a major player from the original movies returns (won’t spoil it). It’s success has paved the way for all the Star Wars comic’s Dark Horse has published after it.

Crimson Empire

Star Wars Crimson Empire Vol 1

Kir Kanos is the last surviving member of the elite Crimson Guard. He’s on the run — and the Empire will stop at nothing to destroy him! The story details an amazing encounter with Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine and reveals at last what happened to the Crimson Guard after the death of the Emperor in Empire’s End! The final battle of the last of the Royal Guards is about to begin — and you have a ringside seat!

Over the years there have been a few books about different parts of the Galactic Empire. However none have been as good as the first part of the Crimson Empire Trilogy. I found Kir Kanos, and the supporting cast to be very interesting characters. I love reading about the internal doings on the Empire,  and I could never tell which way the story would turn next.

 

SWLegacyVol1

 

Star Wars Legacy Volume 1-3 HC Omnibus

A legion of Sith have conquered what was left of the Empire, the Jedi have been purged-or fled into hiding-and the galaxy is divided. Meet Cade Skywalker, a bounty hunter who doesn’t want anything to do with the Jedi, his famous name, or his legacy . . . But his legacy is determined to follow him as the good guys and the bad guys begin to search for him-as a savior, and as a threat.

Anytime someone asks me what Star Wars Comics to start with, I always point them to Star Wars Legacy. It is the series that everyone recommended to me years back when I wanted to get into SW Comics. It has Jedi, Sith, The Empire, bounty hunters, great action, political intrigue, and everything else you would want from a Star Wars story. It was also one of the longest running stories in SW comics, and had a great finale.

SWLegacyVol2

 

Star Wars Legacy 2 : Volume 1

A new hero is introduced to the Star Wars saga: Ania Solos, the great-great granddaughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa. Ania Solo is just a girl trying to make her way in the galaxy – and have a little adventure along the way! But when she stumbles upon a broken communications droid and a missing lightsaber, a little adventure turns into a whole lot of trouble… for Ania and her friends! Suddenly on the run from local police and a determined Imperial Knight, Ania discovers that one little lightsaber seems to be the center of a much bigger plot, filled with impostors, prisoners, missing planets, and the Sith!

The last on my list is the newest Legacy series written by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Behcko. This is one of the series that will end because of the loss of the license. You do not have to read the original Legacy to enjoy this book, but it does mention a few things from it.  The story of Ania Solo who was just working in a Junk Yard, which led to her getting into Galactic affairs,  has been a lot of fun. Gabriel and Corinna  have come up with a great supporting cast, which I hope will show up in the Marvel books.  I love the way Hardman draws Star Wars, and I hope Marvel gives him that chance again down the road,  because they would be fools not to.

 

There are many other great Star Wars books that have been published by Dark Horse over the years, but these are a great place to start. By the time you finish these, I am sure Dark Horse will have a few Digital Sales before the clock hits 2015. Enjoy!!!

6 Collected Editions Worthy Of Your Attention #28

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.

Creepy Presents Steve Ditko HC (Dark Horse)
Creepy Presents Steve Ditko HC (Dark Horse)

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Creepy Presents Steve Ditko HC (Dark Horse), $19.99
Look, I’m not gonna’ go all “comics historian” on you; but even the most cynical comics fan needs to have a soft spot in their heart for Steve Ditko. I’ve never really been that much of a Ditko fan, much less Ditko purist (like the boss, Chris Marshall), but I respected the man and the contributions that he’s made to the medium over the years. Of course I knew that he was the creator of Spider-Man, but over time I went on to discover his other contributions that weren’t necessarily ripe for Saturday morning cartoons. Books like the Question, Dr. Strange, The Creeper, and Mr. A would eventually reinforce the greatness of Ditko’s legacy to me as I grew older and learned to appreciate him more and more. When the new solicits for this weeks collected editions came out I noticed that there was a new “Creepy Presents” HC coming… and it was a Steve Ditko collection. First of all, I had NO idea that Ditko ever did work for Creepy or Eerie. Obviously, I needed to talk to my good friend Zack (a Ditko historian) to get the low down on this book. I discovered that Ditko crafted sixteen stories with collaborator, Archie Goodwin (fifteen of which are printed in this volume). After my conversation with Zack I came to the realization that this format (produced by those classic magazines) was the perfect book to spotlight the genius of Steve Ditko. It’s a place that can let Ditko’s brilliance run wild, while dazzling us with dark, mind bending images that would’ve never seen print in a Marvel or DC book. It’s a place that allows he and Archie to craft their stories at a finite pace, without the confines of editorial control. Aside from the joy that is Steve Ditko, the “Creepy/Eerie Presents…” series being published by Dark Horse are currently one of the best values in the collected edition market. These are high quality books that retail for around $20 (except the Corben book at $30). The books are hardbound, oversized, and printed on quality paper. They’re a great alternative to the Creepy/Eerie Archives which can be a little bit cost prohibitive, but also are a great introduction to the stories of these classic magazines. One word of warning to you though, they’re highly addictive. If you haven’t started your collection of Creepy/Eerie books, this is the perfect one to start with.

Star Wars: Agent Of The Empire Volume 2 - Hard Targets TP (Dark Horse)
Star Wars: Agent Of The Empire Volume 2 – Hard Targets TP (Dark Horse)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Star Wars: Agent Of The Empire Volume 2 – Hard Targets TP (Dark Horse)
Collects Star Wars: Agent Of The Empire Hard Targets, $19.99
Dark Horse has put out a lot of good SW books over the years, but the last few have seen many great ones. One of those is Agent of the Empire. The first miniseries introduced us to Johan Cross who is an Imperial Intelligence officer, who does whatever he needs to do, to get things done for the Empire. In other words he is a mix of characters like James Bond, Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, etc., however is not a good guy. In this second miniseries he returns to his home world of Alderaan for a celebration of the current Count Dooku (yes there seems to be many over the years). However an assassin kills the count, which sends Johan on chase where he does not know who he can trust, as he tries to protect the dead Count’s young son. Are people he trusted really his allies, and are enemies really the people who he should fear? It’s a fun ride, which also has cameos by some major players in the SW universe. Really fun read for any Star Wars fan, and another great character created by writer John Ostrander.

Camelot 3000 TPB (DC Comics)
Camelot 3000 TPB (DC Comics)

Picked by @ReverendLove
Camelot 3000 TPB (DC Comics)
Collects Camelot 3000 #’s 1-12, $19.99
Gather round ye Knights of Ole and share in the adventures of a reborn King Arthur and his court in a far-flung future brought to us by Mike Barr and the incredible Brian Bolland. It was published in 1982 for the direct market only and was DC’s first maxi-series, replete with glossy paper and a story to match. “Camelot 3000” tells the tale of King Arthur and six of his knights of the Round Table who are reincarnated into modern bodies and assume their old identities…except for Arthur and Merlin, who have somehow slept the centuries away.
As in the original legend though, disaster has already been sown for this new Camelot by the seeds of the old romantic triangle that trapped and destroyed the friendship and love between Arthur, Guinevere and the home-wrecker, Sir Lancelot. My favourite of the reborn Knights is the tormented Sir Tristan, who, unlike the others, was reborn into the body of a woman and struggles with his/her loyalty to Arthur when tempted by the villain, Morgaine le Fey to betray the Court in exchange for her old body. The writing is quick paced, imaginative and keeps you on the edge of your seat as King Arthur and his merry gang fight for the freedom of earth. Bolland’s work, is, of course, simply beautiful and serves the storytelling side of the series admirably. I’ve always loved Bolland’s covers and it seemed that after this series, aside from the classic “The Killing Joke”, that he has been relegated to been the King of Covers for DC Comics. Sometimes though, I wish he’d put them aside and give us some of that old-time Bolland magic!
I was always a sucker for legends and myths when I was a kid and as an adult I got to engage that passion once again with Barr and Bolland’s “Camelot 3000”.

Guild The Official Companion SC (Titan Publishing)
Guild The Official Companion SC (Titan Publishing)

Picked by Shane
Guild The Official Companion SC (Titan Publishing), $19.95
I’m a sucker for these companion books. On top of that, Titan has published some beautiful books. I’ve bought every one they’ve made about Firefly/Serenity. The Guild is a very fun web series. With the number of TV shows, movies and of course, COMICS that take up my limited free time, I usually don’t even bother watching anything on the web except the occasional short YouTube clip. I don’t remember what got me interested in The Guild, but it was getting a lot of publicity and I liked its creator Felicia Day. She was a Joss Whedon regular who starred in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and another great product of the World Wide Web, Dr. Horrible’s Sing- Along Blog. It wasn’t even about something I was into… online gaming. I didn’t have a PS3 (I do now) or Xbox, nor did I play anything on my PC. But this series hooked me right in. So far there have been six seasons and it just keeps getting better and better. If you get a chance, check out the web series about the online guild called the Knights of Good and both their online and very bizarre offline adventures. This book should be a good primer for the beginner and a great addition to the die-hard fan’s library. Can’t wait to read this one!

Nightwing Vol. 2: Night Of The Owls TP (DC Comics)
Nightwing Vol. 2: Night Of The Owls TP (DC Comics)

Picked by @chriscampbell8
Nightwing Vol. 2: Night Of The Owls TP (DC Comics)
Collects Nightwing #8-12 and #0, $14.99
As with many, I thoroughly enjoyed the Night of the Owls event that ran through the Batman family of books. And with this second volume of Nightwing, you get the best tie-ins to that event. The writing (Kyle Higgins) and the art (mostly Eddy Barrows) is all top-notch, but I have to applaud Higgins and his decision to introduce an ancestor of Dick Grayson as a Talon. So many possibilities! I hope everyone is already reading Nightwing (because Dick Grayson may be my favorite DC character), but if you’re not, this is a great TPB to pick up. And while you’re at it, grab the Night of the Owls TPB. Solid stuff here. And also included is the Nightwing #0 issue, which gives us a fresh (and condensed) origin of Dick. Turns out Dick was never a ward of Bruce’s!? Pick it up to find out more.

Back Issue! #66 - Bronze Age Team-Ups (TwoMorrows Publishing)
Back Issue! #66 – Bronze Age Team-Ups (TwoMorrows Publishing)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Back Issue! #66 – Bronze Age Team-Ups (TwoMorrows Publishing), $8.95
If you’re a comic reader of a certain age, there is really no reason you shouldn’t be reading Back Issue! magazine. Published by TwoMorrows, the focus is squarely on the Bronze Age of Comics, that sweet spot loosely defined somewhere between the beginning of the 1970s through the mid-1980s. Some of the most prominent characteristics of that period in comics are team-ups and company crossovers, and this issue of Back Issue! focuses on both. Promising thoughtful commentary on titles like the Spider-Man-centric Marvel Team-Up and the FF’s The Thing starring in Marvel Two-In-One that helped define the period, Back Issue! does a great job scratching the nostalgic itch. Folded into this issue, look for additional features on the baxter-papered Chris Claremont written, Walter Simonson drawn, and Terry Austin inked Marvel and DC Present The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans, and Marvel’s Super-Villain Team-Up. Although Marvel was the standard-bearer for team-ups in the era, DC’s attempts don’t go unnoticed in this issue either. There are also features on the likes of DC Comics Presents, Super-Team Family, and Superman/Captain Marvel Smackdown. All this in digital or physical copy format under a new Austin-inked Gil Kane Marvel Superhero Team-up cover, you simply can’t go wrong! (Full disclosure note: Both CCL site proprietor Chris Marshall and I have contributed features to Back Issue! magazine over the years.)

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 #26

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.

Love And Rockets Companion 30 Years And Counting SC (Fantagraphics)
Love And Rockets Companion 30 Years And Counting SC (Fantagraphics)

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Love And Rockets Companion 30 Years And Counting SC (Fantagraphics), $29.99
There are several comic series over the years that I’ve been interested in trying out.  Friends of mine like Jeff Douglas and Bobgar Ornelas have always told me, “Dude, you’ve gotta’ read Love & Rockets.  You’ll love it!”. But, like any other long running independent series, Love & Rockets has always seemed a little bit impenetrable.  Regardless of the countless comments from those two guys of “You can jump in anywhere”, I’ve always been a little hesitant to jump in and read it, knowing what a rich world the Hernandez brothers have built with this series.  For guys like me that want to try L&R, yet are afraid of diving in, I’m recommending the new Love & Rockets 30 years Companion.  This book is treasure trove of DVD style bonus features that help to flesh out and understand the Love & Rockets universe.  It has interviews with the creators, a family tree of the characters, unpublished art, DVD covers, and all sorts of other goodies.  It’s a great introduction for the trepidations of Love & Rockets novice, or a great collection of bonus material for a hardcore L&R fan. If you have any interest at all in the work of these creators, this is a “must have” book for you.

Star Wars: Purge TP (Dark Horse)
Star Wars: Purge TP (Dark Horse)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Star Wars: Purge TP (Dark Horse)
Star Wars: Purge (2005), Star Wars: Purge – Seconds To Die (2009), Star Wars: Purge – The Hidden Blade (2010) and Star Wars: Purge – The Tyrant’s Fist #1-2 (2012), $17.99
The Star Wars universe can be a bit overwhelming. As an Original Trilogy fan, I tend to be a bit discerning regarding what I consume from the expanded universe. Marvel’s original adaptations and ongoing series, Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, the Clone Wars TV show, Dark Horse’s Darth Vader and the Lost Command… those are the places I’m comfortable. Added to that list are the Purge books. Dark Horse produced three one-shots and a two-parter, all centered around Darth Vader hunting down the Jedi who escaped the original execution of Order 66. John Ostrander penned the first two issues back in 2005 and 2009 before handing the reigns to Haden Blackman in 2010 and Alexander Freed late last year. Set shortly after the events of Episode III and well before the rise of the rebellion, these are fun, easily digestible stories that will feel both new and familiar to old school Star Wars fans.

Absolute Blackest Night HC (DC Comics)
Absolute Blackest Night HC (DC Comics)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Absolute Blackest Night HC (DC Comics)
Collects Blackest Night #0, Blackest Night #1-8, Untold Tales Of The Blackest Night #1, DC Universe #0, The Blackest Night Director’s Cut #1, and Green Lantern #43-48 and #50-52, 576 pages, $125.00
The reason I got back into reading comics was because of Geoff Johns Green Lantern /Peter Tomasi’s Green Lantern Corps runs. I had mentioned to a few friends, that I wanted to try out a few things, after being away from comics for 10+ years, So more then a few mentioned that I really should read the last 4+ years worth of issues as a big event called Blackest Night was coming. I caught up in a months time, and I am very glad I did. In the 4+ year build up to Blackest Night, we learned that there are more Color Spectrum powers out there then the just the Green we have known about. There are also Red, Blue, Indigo, Yellow, Orange and Star Saphire (Pink), each for a different emotion. Hal Jordan and the other Earthling Lanterns are told about a Blackest Night prophecy, that once new Corps for these color spectrum powers came to pass, there would be a War of Light that would destroy the Universe. We learn that it’s not one of these Corps that will make that happen, but another Corps called Black Lanterns, which are for the Death of all living things. The Black Lantern Corps members led by Nekron and Black Hand, are the dead risen back to life. As this army of risen dead spread across death across the universe The Seven Corps of the Emotional spectrum must put aside their differences and join together or all life will be lost. This series has a lot of twists are turns, as heroes thought dead return, a lot of Lantern characters we learned to like are no more, but for me it was a satisfying ending to a very long tale. The art by Ivan Reis is really fantastic, and I can not wait to see it in the Absolute format. If there is an event to be owned in this format, Blackest Night is one of them.

Mouse Guard, Volume 3: The Black Axe HC (Archaia Entertainment)
Mouse Guard, Volume 3: The Black Axe HC (Archaia Entertainment)

Picked by @ReverendLove
Mouse Guard, Volume 3: The Black Axe HC (Archaia Entertainment)
Collects Mouse Guard: Black Axe #1-6, a reprinting of the 2010 Free Comic Book Day story and Introduction by Monty Python’s Terry Jones, $24.95
The book I’m itching to read the most this week is the third collection of David Petersen’s “Mouse Guard” comics called “the Black Axe”. I was a big fan of “Mouse Guard” from the first issue in 2006 and have loved every new instalment of the book the Eisner winning Peterson has produced in the intervening years. It’s one of those comics like “Bone” that reaches a broad audience of all ages and yet is surprisingly well written. The art is quietly spectacular and the storytelling is second to none, with a fresh pace and thoughtful framing. I think the best way to describe “Mouse Guard” is that it’s like “Prince Valiant”…but for mice.
Squeak, squeak!

The Lone Ranger Behind The Mask HC (Insight Editions)
The Lone Ranger Behind The Mask HC (Insight Editions)

Picked by @ChrisCCL
The Lone Ranger Behind The Mask HC (Insight Editions), $45.00
So I took Patrick to see The Lone Ranger last week and I just can’t believe all the negativity it has received from critics! We both thought it was a fun, fast-paced summer movie! OK I do understand that Johnny Depp did his best not to make Jack Sparrow into an Indian, but he was a driving force as executive producer to bring this hero to the big screen. I remember when my dad brought me to see Legend Of The Lone Ranger back in 1981 – now that was a stinker. Even the old black and white TV show is campy. Let’s face it, it’s hard to compete with the more contemporary superhero movie heroes of today; Westerns are just so hard to make and market in 2013. Yes, True Grit did well and was acclaimed at the Oscars, but the even with the good films we also get Cowboys & Aliens and Jonah Hex – both comic books and both much, much worse then The Lone Ranger. OK all that said, I like coffee table books that give the definitive behind-the-scene look at a big blockbuster movie. It’s very much like DVD extras on paper. They can also be nice investments as they get under ordered and thus under printed and become rare gems on eBay. This particular Lone Ranger book was written by unit publicist Michael Singer with a foreword by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and an introduction by director Gore Verbinski.
Hi-Ho Silver!!!

and…

Back Issue 65 B Teams
Back Issue 65 B Teams

Back Issue Magazine #65 – features the Bronze Age’s battling “B-Teams”, TwoMorrows Publishing, $8.95
Want a quick and easy way to get ready for the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy movie or get ready for Marvel Comics next big event featuring the Inhumans? Then skip Wikipedia nd get some real sight form some of comics greatest creators with the latest installment of Back Issue! Other teams covered in this issue include: The Defenders, The Champions, Peter David’s X-Factor, Teen Titans West, Legion of Substitute Heroes, and Doom Patrol!

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 #21

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.

Absolute Top 10 HC (DC Comics)
Absolute Top 10 HC (DC Comics)

Picked by @ChrisCampbell8
Absolute Top 10 HC (DC Comics)
Collects Top 10 #1-12, Top 10: The Forty-Niners, Smax #1-5 and a story from America’s Best Comics Special #1, $99.99
I always have a difficult time describing an Alan Moore work when trying to recommend the book to a friend. It shouldn’t be a difficult task, but when describing the work, I keep interrupting myself and say “I’m not doing this comic justice – it’s Alan Moore and its brilliant – just read it”. Not everything is brilliant, of course, but the Alan Moore section of my home library is certainly a target-rich environment.  The newest addition to the section is the Absolute Top 10 by Alan Moore and Gene Ha. First it should be noted that this is an expensive item – an Absolute Edition. And people should be picky when choosing an Absolute. I follow three simple rules. First, is it a great story, whether by a comic legend or not? Check. Are the visuals worthy of the oversized nature? Gene Ha – check. Is it more than a few issues? Green Lantern Rebirth – I’m looking at your pathetic story page count. Check. But getting back to the story, Top 10 is a glimpse into the lives of various police officers in the 10th precinct of Neopolis, where people with powers are everywhere and science fiction wackiness is in full display. But you know, I’m really not doing it justice. It’s Alan Moore. It’s brilliant. It’s got a Galactapuss! Read it.

Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1 TP (Dark Horse)
Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1 TP (Dark Horse)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
Star Wars Omnibus: Wild Space Volume 1 TP (Dark Horse)
Collects Star Wars 3-D #1-3; Star Wars: Devilworlds #1-2; Star Wars: Death Masque; Star Wars Weekly #60, #94-99, and #104-115; Star Wars from Pizzazz #10-16; The Rebel Thief, X-Wing Marks the Spot, Imperial Spy, and The Gambler’s Quest from Star Wars Kids #1-15; Star
Wars: The Mixed-Up Droid; Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Galoob minicomic; Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Ertl minicomic; and StarWars: Droids from Apple Jacks. A mega-collection of previously uncollected adventures!, $24.99

Dark Horse has done a spectacular job of identifying stories both classic and of more recent vintage from the far reaches of the galaxy and collecting them in their Star Wars Omnibus line. They’ve pulled together everything from the entire original Marvel run to the ’80s Droids and Ewoks series to the Infinities stories of the early 2000s and beyond. Here, in their 28th omnibus, Dark Horse has really gone out of its way to collect a treasure trove of orphaned and one-off Star Wars tales. Highlights include two arcs from Pizzazz magazine, along with rarities like the Star Wars: Droids single-page comic from Kellogg’s Apple Jacks cereal, the 12-page Mixed-Up Droid comic that accompanied the audiobook of the same name, and the three Blackthorne Publishing Star Wars 3-D comics from ’87 and ’88. Also included are the Shadows of the Empire mini-comics originally included with the Galoob Micro Machines and Ertl model kits that were left out of Dark Horse’s Shadows of the Empire Omnibus back in 2010. This 480-page collection is worth the investment. And if you were paying close attention, you probably noticed that this is only volume 1. A second volume is scheduled to follow later this year and include more gems, like Sergio Aragonés Stomps Star Wars!

Doctor Strange The Oath TP (New Printing, Marvel)
Doctor Strange The Oath TP (New Printing, Marvel)

Picked by @Dief88
Doctor Strange The Oath TP (New Printing, Marvel)
Collects Doctor Strange: The Oath #1-#5, $19.99
Why Marvel has chosen this week to reprint Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s excellent Doctor Strange: The Oath is anyone’s guess (we’re still a few years out from the Doctor Strange movie that’s supposedly in development), but it’s great that they have. The Oath is a modern classic that simply needs to be in print. More so than perhaps any other Doctor Strange story, this one is practically dripping with real, relatable emotions, all expertly developed by Vaughan. For instance, Strange is stricken with grief and fear by the fact that his longtime servant, Wong, is dying. He even experiences love – with a mortal, for once! For those familiar with Martin’s more recent artwork in Amazing Spider-Man, know that The Oath is just as lush and colorful a comic (and with quite a few more mystical characters and creatures thrown in, to boot). The only truly disappointing thing about The Oath is that subsequent writers didn’t pick up the ball that Vaughan had placed in their court, and that the character has languished for years now as a result. Maybe the upcoming movie and the fact this trade is being reprinted are indicative of a change on the horizon? (By the hoary #$@!ing hosts, let’s hope so!)

Superior Spider-Man Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy TP (Marvel)
Superior Spider-Man Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy TP (Marvel)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
Superior Spider-Man Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy TP (Marvel)
Collects Superior Spider-Man #1-5, $17.99
There has been a huge split between Spider-Man fans with this book, but I am here to tell you that it is awesome. . For those who do now know, at the end of Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus switched minds with Peter Parker, thus switched bodies. Doc Oct was now Parker/Spider-Man, and Peter ended up dying inside Doc Oct’s sick body. This caused a huge uproar for a lot of fans (shocker). How could they kill Peter Parker, it’s a travesty. However it really was not. These events have led to the fantastic brand new series, The Superior Spider-Man. This is the story of Doctor Octopus not only trying to fit in as a new Superior Spider-Man, but also into Peter Parkers personal and professional life. How will he fit in at work, with the Avengers, and with his friends/family. Dan Slott does a fantastic job of balancing all of these things, while making Doc Oct one of the more interesting characters in comics right now. It’s serious, it’s funny(takes a few jabs at the Spider-Man fans), and he throws a few twists in turns in there to make you be on the edge of your seats. I also have to give huge credit to fantastic Ryan Stegman on art duties. I have really enjoyed his stuff in other books, but he has taken it to an entirely different level. He was born to draw Spider-Man, and I hope he stays on it for a very long time. I see people every day, say big two comics do not take enough chances, but there are some out there. This is one of those books changing things up, and bringing a different dynamic to a long running series, even if for a few years. Get it ASAP.

Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 1 TP (Marvel)
Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 1 TP (Marvel)

Picked by Shane
Spider-Man 2099 Vol. 1 TP (Marvel)
Collects Spider-Man 2099 #1-10, $24.99
In 1992, Marvel started its 2099 line of books. It was a series of re-imaginings of Marvel characters taking place over 100 years in the future. I was not collecting a lot of comics at that point, but these series’ grabbed me for some reason. To this day, this line remains one of my fondest memories of nineties era comics, which to many was a bleak time for the comic business. I collected several of these titles including Ghost Rider 2099, X-Men 2099 and Spider-Man 2099. For me, there was something to like in all of them and now writing about the upcoming release of this volume of Spider-Man 2099 makes me what to pull out the long boxes and start reading them again. In the Spider-Man 2099 title, our hero Miguel O’Hara worked on a genetics program inspired by the original Spider-Man. In a lab accident, he acquired spider-like abilities thus making him the title hero. Evidently the character will be appearing in the Superior Spider-Man title this year, so what better way to get up to speed with the character, but with this volume collecting issues 1-10 of the original series.

Marvel Noir: Spider-Man/Punisher TP (Marvel)
Marvel Noir: Spider-Man/Punisher TP (Marvel)

Picked by @ChrisCCL
Marvel Noir: Spider-Man/Punisher TP (Marvel)
Collects Spider-Man Noir #1-4, Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without A Face #1-4 and Punisher Noir #1-4, $34.99
So many good collected editions came out this week, but if I have to go with one it would be this Marvel Noir. This series is essentially Marvel’s version of DC’s Elseworlds, but with all the stories taking place around the 1930s to the 1940s. It’s a little more violent then the 616 universe that we know of, but not as graphic as the MAX line. What’s nice about these three stories, and in fact all the Noir books, is that they are 4-issue series. So the stories are tight and compact and not drawn out with the more common 6-issue pace. This book is the second of three; the first Noir collection reprinted the X-Men and Wolverine comics and upcoming in June will be Daredevil/Luke Cage and Iron Man. When it’s all said and done these three books will be a welcome addition to your library.

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.

2 Collected Editions and 9 Free Comic Book Day Comics Worthy Of Your Attention #17

After a week off due to C2E2, the CCL Friday Feature is back! As a bonus, some of us recommend a Free Comic Book Day book to you! Enjoy!

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.

Get Jiro! TP (DC Comics/Vertigo)
Get Jiro! TP (DC Comics/Vertigo)

Picked by @AndrewJTom
Get Jiro! TP (DC Comics/Vertigo), $14.99
Who would’ve thought that a guy like Anthony Bourdain had it in him to write a comic? Not only did he write a comic… he wrote a GREAT comic. Last year I was up at Wizard World Chicago and I was digging around in one of those $5 trade bins. When low and behold, I pulled out the new Get Jiro HC (which I’d heard Chris Neseman swoon over on a recent EOC podcast). I snatched this sucker up lickety-split, gave the foolish vendor my $5 and stuffed that bad boy in my backpack. Eventually, the books I brought home from the show made it to the top of my Regina pile (If you don’t know what a Regina Pile is, check www.urbandictionary.com). I was shocked by the goodness that was in this book. There’s really nothing that I can say to accurately describe this book, except that it’s something that you need to experience for yourself. This isn’t a book for “foodies”, it’s a book for comic nerds, film geeks, and foodies. Don’t expect this book to be like a $100 steak dinner. This book is more like a great burger and fries prepared by the hands of a master griller. Not exactly the most sophisticated of high art, but ohhhhh soooo good, and just what you needed.

Iron Man/War Machine: Hands Of The Mandarin TP (Marvel)
Iron Man/War Machine: Hands Of The Mandarin TP (Marvel)

Picked by @Dief88
Iron Man/War Machine: Hands Of The Mandarin TP (Marvel)
Collects War Machine (1994) #8-10, Iron Man (1968) #310-312, Force Works #6-7 and material from Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #169-172, $24.99
If you’re looking for some never-before-reprinted Iron Man stories featuring characters from Iron Man 3 this FCBD, Hands of the Mandarin is your ticket. This era of Marvel comics tends to get a bad rap (and for good reason, in some cases), but you could do a lot worse than the mini-crossover collected in this trade. Included are all of the “prologue” issues, as well as tie-in issues of Force Works, an underrated series that featured early superhero writing by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. This trade should also definitely be on the radar of anyone who picked up War Machine Classic Vol. 1, since we’re unlikely to see a second volume and Hands of the Mandarin picks up right where that trade leaves off.

(FCBD) TMNT The Animated Adventures (IDW)
(FCBD) TMNT The Animated Adventures (IDW)

Picked by @CaptDS9E
(FCBD) TMNT The Animated Adventures (IDW)
Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of comics that are good for kids to read. So I decided my two picks for FCBD, would be titles that both parents and kids could read together and have fun with.  The first is TMNT New Animated Adventures which is based on the  animated series that airs on Nickelodeon every Sunday morning. For those who do not know , the series is about four mutant turtles, and their allies, who try to stop the evil forces of the Shredder, Karai, and the evil aliens named the Kraang.  There is always a great mix of action, comedy and all around fun make this book a must read for fans of the series, as well as new readers interested in this very popular property.
and…

(FCBD) Atomic Robo and Friends (Red 5)
(FCBD) Atomic Robo and Friends (Red 5)

(FCBD) Atomic Robo and Friends (Red 5)
The second book is Atomic Robo and Friends. I recently caught up on every Atomic Robo release, and I am  Pissed it took me so long to finally read them, as they are fantastic. Atomic Robo is a wise cracking Living Robot who was created by famous scientist Nicola Tesla. Every chapter of this series is a different adventure spanning a period of Robo’s life. Sometimes we see when Robo was newly created, and fighting a  creature from a different dimension, sometimes we follow his adventures in WWII fighting crazy Nazi scientists, and sometimes fighting a smart talking dinosaur. Anything is possible in this series, which makes every arc feel like a new book.
So on FCBD make sure to pick these two issues up, as you will not be upset with your choice, and either will be the kid your are bringing with you. Enjoy!

(FCBD) Mouse Guard (Archaia)
(FCBD) Mouse Guard (Archaia)

Picked by @adambesenyodi
(FCBD) Mouse Guard (Archaia)
For the fourth year in a row, Archaia Studios Press is featuring David Petersen’s Mouse Guard as their Free Comic Book Day offering. After a brief departure in format last year, the distinct square flip book design returns this year. Set in the past of this now familiar world of altruistic, anthropomorphic mice that protect those that need protecting, the FCBD book features a backstory about young Sadie, further developing the rich history of these characters and their realm. As impressive as it is to realize Petersen writes, draws, colors, and letters the book, the more impressive feat is creating a completely immersive world filled with genuine characters and real emotion. It’s an all-ages book with adventure and heart. The original series was the first comic book I read to my kiddo when he was old enough to understand the medium. And it’s a series that we both still read to this day. If you’ve never picked up a Mouse Guard book – or a comic book, for that matter – I couldn’t recommend this any more highly. Get out and find your local comic book shop on Free Comic Book Day, pick up a copy of Mouse Guard, maybe buy a book or two while you’re there, and feel good about supporting your local community and the medium we love!

(FCBD) Prince Valiant (Fantagraphics)
(FCBD) Prince Valiant (Fantagraphics)

Picked by Shane
(FCBD) Prince Valiant (Fantagraphics)
When I was young, nothing excited me more than stories set in the realm of King Arthur. That is why I always loved reading Prince Valiant. To this day, I read it every Sunday in my local paper. The problem with reading an epic story like this is the pacing. Reading a grand adventure a few panels at a time every week is painstaking. That is why I am always happy to see collected editions of these strips, so I could read a whole adventure in one sitting instead of reading it over a few months span. This FCBD edition collects two stories, Home Again and The Challenge. I look forward to reading them both and I think you will too!
and…

(FCBD) 2000AD Special (2000AD)
(FCBD) 2000AD Special (2000AD)
(FCBD) Judge Dredd Classics (IDW)
(FCBD) Judge Dredd Classics (IDW)

(FCBD) 2000AD Special (2000AD) and (FCBD) Judge Dredd Classics (IDW)
People who know me well, think I’m an anglophile (a person who greatly admires or favors England and things English). As I sip my Earl Grey tea, I like to watch my Doctor Who, Monty Python or (insert BBC comedy or Scifi show here). Over time, I’ve also sought out other things British, like their comic books. Such as the stories of Judge Dredd and other classics from the 2000 AD series. The recent Dredd film has seemingly opened the floodgates. We Americans are getting reprints and new stories from these British Scifi worlds. I am really looking forward to both the 2000 AD special and the Judge Dredd Classics FCBD editions. The Dredd edition promises some reprints of classic tales, but with an all-new coloring as well as some other bonus material. The 2000 AD special also offers up a Dredd story, but lets us sample some other British Scifi goodness. I look forward to both editions and the many other fun books this Free Comic Book Day. I have made it a tradition for my son and I to go every year and it seems like the offerings keep getting better and better.

(FCBD) Valiant Masters (Valiant)
(FCBD) Valiant Masters (Valiant)
(FCBD) Harbinger Wars (Valiant)
(FCBD) Harbinger Wars (Valiant)

Picked by @chriscampbell8
(FCBD) Valiant Masters (Valiant) and (FCBD) Harbinger Wars (Valiant)
Valiant Comics has you covered this Saturday, with FCBD offerings covering the past, present, and future of the Valiant Universe. The reason that they’re able to cover so much ground is that they’re actually offering two different comics. Amazing, right? The first sampler focuses on the recently relaunched series, with a special focus on their first mini-series and crossover event, Harbinger Wars. This sampler should give the reader a good idea of what the new Valiant universe is all about – great characters, crisp writing and beautiful art. The downside? This is just a sampler, so if you flip through this book this weekend, consider taking the plunge with one of the series the next time you’re in the shop. The second sampler deals with the classic Valiant material, and focuses on Ninjak, Shadowman, and Eternal Warrior. This work is definitely from another era, which can be a good thing at times! There are masters at work in these pages, such as Barry Windsor Smith. And this sampler will help you decide if you’re ready to dip your toe into classic Valiant! Happy FCBD!

(FCBD) Star Wars (Dark Horse)
(FCBD) Star Wars (Dark Horse)

Picked by @ChrisCCL
(FCBD) Star Wars (Dark Horse)
Darth Vader and Boba Fett.
Sometimes Adversaries.
Sometimes Allies.
Sometimes Employer and Employee.
Always two of the most popular villains in the history of pop culture.
‘Nuff said. Pick up this book.
There’s also excerpts from the new Captain Midnight series and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

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.