If you listened to last week’s show then you’ll know I have started my annual “Adopt A Character” excursion. I picked two things for 2014: The classic Valiant comic books and Namor, The Sub-Mariner.
This week I go over the first four volumes of the Valiant Masters, which can be compared to the the Marvel Masterworks or the DC Archives. The first four volumes are as follows:
Valiant Masters: Bloodshot Vol. 1 HC – Blood Of The Machine
Collects Bloodshot (1994) #1-8 and featuring an all-new, never – before-seen story by the original creative team of Kevin VanHook and Don Perlin, $24.99, Oct. 24, 2012
Valiant Masters: Ninjak Vol. 1 – Black Water HC
Collects Ninjak (1994) #1-6, #0, and #00 and featuring special, rarely seen sketches and process art from the Valiant vault, $24.99, Feb. 27, 2013
Valiant Masters: Shadowman Vol. 1 – Spirits Within HC
Collects Shadowman (1992) #0, 1-7 and material from Darque Passages (1994) #1, $24.99, June 5, 2013
Valiant Masters: Rai Vol. 1 – From Honor To Strength HC
Collects Rai (1992) #1-8, $24.99, Dec 18, 2013
Valiant has also announced:
Valiant Masters: Eternal Warrior Vol. 1 – The Fist And Steel HC
Collects Eternal Warrior (1992) #1-7, Archer & Armstrong (1992)/Eternal Warrior (1992) #8, $24.99
…but has been postponed with no date set…and the just solicited:
Valiant Masters: H.A.R.D. Corps Vol. 1 – Search And Destroy HC
Collects HARBINGER (1992) #10-11 and H.A.R.D. CORPS (1993) #1-6, $39.99, April 16, 2014
That’s a lot to go over, but I do manage to sneak in some Fantagraphics and Dark Horse collected editions news and a bit on the Marvel Cinematic Universe coming to Netflix.
Next week: yep, you guessed it: Namor! Imperius Rex!
It’s that spooky time of year, especially if you live in Detroit! Come on in and grab a scary book!
Before I get to this year’s “spooktacular” show, I go over the crazy, fun weekend that was the Detroit Fanfare. Held at the Adoba Hotel in Dearborn, MI, I hosted the TwoMorrows Publishing booth. I had asked John Morrow if I could do it last April and I didn;t take much convincing. It turned out to be a great show, not only for TwoMorrows, but overall. It was well attended and had a plethora of top notch talent. And the even better news is that I will be hosting for TwoMorrows at the 2014 C2E2!
…and now on to something really scary…
Anyone, who knows anything about comic books knows that Spider-Man originated in Amazing Fantasy #15. That said, can you name the back-ups of that comic?
No? Well, you’re in luck because tonight I go over 3 suspenseful classics from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. I culled it from the Amazing Fantasy Omnibus, which was on my Top 10 book for 2007.
There’s even a neat letter from the Marvel Editor’s (Stan?) explaining the name change from Amazing Adult Fantasy to Amazing Fantasy — and we know how well that lasted.
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.
Picked by @Dief88 X-Men: X-Corps TP
Collects Uncanny X-Men (1963) #394-409 and Annual 2001
Published by Marvel
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.
Picked by Shane Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation: The Complete Series HC
Published by IDW
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.
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
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
Picked by @ChrisPartin Cowboy Ninja Viking Deluxe HC
Collects Cowboy Ninja Viking #1-10
Published by Image
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.
Picked by @AndrewJTom Hellboy: The Midnight Circus HC
Published by Dark Horse
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.
Picked by @ReverendLove Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 4 by Steve Ditko and Blake Bell
Published by Fantagraphics
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.
It’s been a few weeks since I last had a solo podcast, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I can tell you that I’ve read a few books, namely:
Nightwing: Old Friends, New Enemies (DC Comics) which collects the Nightwing/Speedy team-ups from Action Comics Weekly. It takes place shortly after Dick has left Batman as a partner but is still a member of the Titans. The first of the two tales was much more violent than I thought it would be including sex and drugs.
March by Rep. John Lewis (Top Shelf)the fist in the trilogy of life in the southern US in the 60′s. The details are sometimes hard to read and the language is not for the faint of heart, but t is a true story and one that should never be forgotten. I commend Chris Starros for taking on this project.
A few others that I have on my to read list include:
The First Kingdom by Jack Katz (Titan)
The Superman Dailies – Silver Age (IDW)
Star Trek Newspaper Strips Volume 1 (IDW)
Peanuts Sundays 1952-55 (Fantagraphics)
Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives Volume 2 and Impossible Tales: The Steve Ditko Archives Volume 4 Blake Bell (Fantagraphics)
I also go over details of X-Men Days Of Future Past HC (Marvel) which is due in 2014, including the fact that Days Of Future Present will be collected, as well. Yeah!!!
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.
Picked by @andrewjtom Savage Sword Of Conan Volume 14 TP (Dark Horse), $19.99
I’ve written about great Conan stories before (with Busiek and Truman’s books). This week, I’m gonna’ tell you to run out and get the new Savage Sword of Conan trade (V14). In fact, calling it a trade paperback is somewhat of a disservice to the book. It’s formatted more like a DC Showcase or Marvel Essential edition, reprinting 528 pages of content. The Savage Sword of Conan books contain material from the Savage Sword of Conan magazine that was printed in the 70s and 80s. Back then, Marvel printed the book as a “magazine” to circumvent the Comics Code and publish more mature Conan stories. Lucky for all of us…Dark Horse now has the rights to print these glorious stories and they’ve done so with (in my opinion) the best possible format for a run so large. Unlike the Showcase and Essential editions, these stories were originally printed in black and white. In these volumes, Dark Horse has been able to give us the stories exactly as they appeared originally. Because of the B&W magazine format, the art was drawn with the intention that they would never see color. It’s some of the most beautiful art from that period (Earlier volumes showcase work by Alfredo Alcala, John Buscema, and Barry Windsor Smith). There are a few things that you can be sure you’ll get with these old Savage Sword of Conan stories, Conan will kill some bad guys, Conan will fight some monsters, and Conan will get laid. Make no mistake that these stories are tremendous amount of fun and I highly recommend this (and any SSOC volume).
Picked by @adambesenyodi X-Men – Magik: Storm & Illyana TP (Marvel) Collects Uncanny X-Men (1963) #160 and Magik (1983) #1-4, $16.99
I grew up a Marvel fanboy in what was technically the Bronze Age of comics, but I could make an argument that it was actually the Golden Age of Marvel’s Four-Issue Limited Series era. In the early to mid-’80s, Marvel owned the spinner racks of my corner convenience store with their mini-series. Although ostensibly kicked off in 1982 by the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller Wolverine limited series, the concept quickly evolved to expertly highlight the second tier ranks of the Marvel Universe, like Hawkeye, Hercules (twice!), Jack of Hearts, Cloak & Dagger, West Coast Avengers, Vision & the Scarlet Witch, Rocket Raccoon, Transformers, Beauty & the Beast, Iceman, Falcon, and Nightcrawler. Magik falls squarely in this second tier camp, focusing on the mutant of the title and her mentor, Storm, cashing in on the popularity of the Uncanny X-Men and New Mutant books at the time. Claremont, who aged the six-year-old girl a full seven years between panels of Uncanny X-Men #160 (conveniently included here), authors this story that smartly explains that transformation over the course of these four issues. With appearances by versions of Storm, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, and her New Mutant teammates, Magik’s trials in Limbo are of the mind-bending sort Marvel capably delivered back in the day. The only thing missing from this collection is New Mutants #14, which also factors into the timeline of the series. These single issues were long out of print, but after decades of being only available in back issue bins, they were reprinted in a 2008 hardcover and are now being offered in trade paperback format. Regardless, the story is the perfect excuse to revisit a great example of this creative and commercial apex in Marvel’s publishing history.
Picked by Shane Fables Deluxe Edition Book 7 HC (DC Comics) Collects issues #52-59 and #64, $29.99
I’ve touted the virtues of the Eisner award winning series Fables here before and if you still haven’t picked up the series in any of its forms, it is never too late. The deluxe hardcovers are a great way to collect this series that is both cost effective and looks beautiful on your shelf. Fables is the only series I still collect monthly, but it is one I’d like to own in collected editions as well, specifically this format. Like Sandman and Preacher, it is a Vertigo series that warrants re-reading and I just don’t go back into the long boxes that often. This volume collects issues 52-59 and 64 which is a lot of different material. A good deal of the Fables storyline deals with the reasons the fabled characters escaped the magical realm and moved to our world, but along with the ongoing storyline, there are many short one shot tales that are just as interesting or even more so. The brunt of this edition deals with the preparations being made to go to war with The Adversary, the evil entity that caused the mass exodus of characters into our “real world.” One of the other stories deals with Bigby (the Big Bad Wolf) confronting his father (The North Wind) and then the rest of this volume consists of short tales including a nice little Christmas story. If you haven’t started reading Fables, start from the beginning. If you are on your way through these tales, hurry along so you can catch up to this volume. The monthly series is on issue #130 now, so you have a lot of catching up to do. But it is well worth your time!
Picked by @ReverendLove Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 5 HC (Dark Horse) Collects issues #38-41, $49.99
Crime does not pay, but this hardcover collection of the classic 40′s true crime comic of the same name pays out big time for Dark Horse’s growing line of archive editions. I fell in love with love with this mag from Lev Gleason and Magazine House when I read the first collection that Dark Horse published and I was so excited this week when the fifth volume made it’s way to my local comic book shop.
Although some of the art is not up to today’s standard…or really those of the day, the stories themselves bristle with grit, false glamour and unvarnished violence. The stories range from tales of gangsters and gun molls of urban America to the lone outlaw of the Old West as they all shoot their way across the nation and around the world.
Crime may not pay, but reading these comics, will enrich you beyond your wildest dreams.
Picked by @CaptDS9E Talon Vol. 1: Scourge Of The Owls TP (DC Comics) Collects Talon #0-7, $16.99
One of the most interesting things to come out of the new 52 was the introduction of the Court of Owls by in the pages of Batman. A secret group that has worked in Gotham, and other parts of the DCU for 100′s of years without being detected. At the end of that arc we learned that even though Batman stopped the Courts plan on Gotham, the group was much larger then believed. We may not have learned much more about them for a while in Batman, but James Tynion IV with input from Scott Snyder came up with an idea of Calvin Rose.
Many years ago, Calvin Rose became the only Talon who ever escaped from the Court of Owls. When word breaks out that the Court in Gotham was taken down by Batman, he returns to see for himself the status of the people he escaped from. With the hope that he can finally settle down for a life, without having to worry that he is still be tracked down. This sets into motion a chain of events in which we not only learn about this great new character, but also get an inside look into the highest levels of the Court of Owls. I really like the character of Rose, but the Court really is a major part of this book. Learning how much the Court has their claws into the DCU really is fascinating. We meet many different Talons, Leaders, allies, and enemies of the Court, which really brings something new to the Bat family mythos. People always say they want new characters and stories in DC/Marvel, well they have one in this series. If you like Snyder and Capullo’s Batman, I highly recommend you give this series by James Tynion IV, and Guillem March a shot.
Picked by @ChrisCCL Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 2: Konga HC (IDW), $34.99
This week sees the release of Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 2: Konga HC. It collects all the work that Steve Ditko did on this character for Charlton Comics in the 1960. It’s predecessor Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 1: Gorgo, was released back in March. These are great comics that have been restored by Craig Yoe, who knows a thing or two about Mr. Ditko having published The Art of Ditko and The Creativity of Ditko.
However, if you want a little more Gorgo and Konga, look no furher then the recent trade paperback of Captain Universe Power Unimaginable. That book reprints Web of Spider-Man Annual #6 (1990). The third story is “Child Star” written by Tony Isabella with art by Ditko. A small child receives the Uni-Power of Captain Universe and creates giant toy monsters of Gorgo and Konga, although Gorgo is called Gorga due to copyright. And there you have it!
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.