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.
Picked by @AndrewJTom
Batgirl/Robin Year One TP (DC Comics)
Collects Batgirl Year One #1-9 and Robin Year One #1-4, $24.99
Remember back when you read Batman: Year One and thought, “Dang! That was one of the coolest comics I’ve ever read. They should do this with all of the characters.” ? Fast forward several years and your wish has come true. But mostly to fandom’s dissatisfaction. Yeah, there’ve been some good ones like Green Arrow: Year One, JLA Year One, and Weapon X; but for every one of the good ones, we got a Spider-man: Chapter One, X-men: the Hidden Years, or Wolverine: Origin (something we never wanted to begin with). This week I’m recommending a double-shot of Year One goodness with Batgirl/Robin: Year One. Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon have crafted two tales that harken back to a time when we were kids. This is a time when we thought that kid superheroes were cool (regardless of the notion of child endangerment). We also see some early work of Marcos Martin and Javier Pulido. Their styles and storytelling work perfectly for these types of stories and put you in an era where you actually feel like you were transported to “Year One”. After so many mediocre and below par Year One stories, this collection gives us two of the “good ones”.
Picked by @CaptDS9E
Sweet Tooth Vol. 6: Wild Game TP (DC Comics/Vertigo)
Collects Sweet Tooth #33-40, $16.99
Usually I pick the first Volume of a series or a complete collection, so you can quickly get into it. However this week I am picking the final volume of a great series, thus suggesting you read an entire thing from the beginning, as it is one of my favorites. The series is Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire, which ran 40 issues from 2009-2013. The story takes place in a post apocalyptic world, where most of the population has died from a mysterious virus, and that virus has caused a lot of children to be born with animal features. The main character is a 9 year old boy named Gus who has deer antlers/deer features, and lives in the woods with his father, hidden away from the rest of society. Things change, as his father passes away, and his life is forever changed. Gus is saved from being attacked by a man named Jeppard, which sets up an adventure, and friendship that neither could have dreamed of. Starting in Nebraska, and slowly working their way across the western half of the US, they run into crazy doctors, street gangs, other hybrid children, new allies, old enemies, and eventually figure out what crazy stuff is behind what has happened to the world. The first 5 volumes are a great read, and unlike some writers ending their stories, Lemire sticks the landing in Volume 6. The last issue of this series, is one of the best I have read since I got back into comics five years ago, and makes reading the other 39 worth while. You may even shed a tear.
Picked by @chriscampbell8
Edison Rex TP (IDW)
Collects the first 6 issues of the Monkeybrain Comics digital series for the first time, $19.99
I had never read a comic from MonkeyBrain comics prior to reading the first issue of Edison Rex. I purchased the first issue digitally on the iPad for 99 cents a few months ago back when it was a “digital exclusive”. Now the story from Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver is being released as a trade paperback through a partnership with IDW. This delivery format intrigued me and I wanted to support it — the digital floppies followed by a print collection. I must confess that I’ve only read the first issue, but based on the strength of the first issue alone, I feel the trade is worthy of your attention. The story itself begins with the classic Superman/Lex Luthor relationship but quickly refocuses after a fun twist ending I won’t reveal here. I found myself wanting to read the next issue, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle. And now with this release from IDW, I’m going to remedy that.
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Saga Vol. 2 TP (Image)
Collects Saga #7-12, $14.99
Forget the bizarro hoopla about Saga issue #12. This is a comic about (alien) adults for adults. And, frankly, it’s one of the most well-crafted, beautifully drawn comics to come along in years. What writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples are doing with this book is breathtaking. Star Wars meets Romeo & Juliet doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. I have loved BKV’s work since discovering Runaways (followed quickly by consuming Pride of Baghdad, Doctor Strange: The Oath, and Y: The Last Man. If you haven’t checked out those books, you should.) The same goes for Staples’ Mystery Society work – simply gorgeous. And the marriage of these two creative forces provides a spark to this book missing from so many others competing for your dollar on the store shelves: heart. This second arc collection builds on everything the first six issues began. Here, the reader’s introduced to Marko’s parents as they meet their granddaughter for the first time, and his ex-girlfriend Gwendolyn as she joins the bounty hunter The Will in his quest to bring the fugitive couple to ground. All of this takes place amid well-paced flashbacks to Marko and Alana’s first meeting and budding romance. Sex! Violence! Aliens! Robots! The headlines might be what grab your attention, but the substance of the story is what will keep you coming back for more.
Picked by Shane
Invincible Iron Man Vol. 11: The Future TP (Marvel)
Collects Invincible Iron Man #521-527, $19.99
I don’t have to tell anyone here about my love for Shellhead. This volume compiles the last run of floppies I bought to complete my collection dating back to Volume #1, Issue #1 from 1968. After this volume, it officially starts the Marvel Now run and that’s when I told myself I’d go the trade route for any future Iron Man. This last run was pretty solid. I won’t lie; it’ll be a bit hard to get into if you haven’t been reading everything that leads up to it thus far. But you should be able to pick up on it well enough. We’ve found out that after bowing down to the demands of the Government and Hammer Industries and giving up the Iron Man armor, Tony Stark has even more problems to deal with as The Mandarin has been in control of his mind. Tony teams up with some of his greatest enemies to try to stop the greater evil that is his arch nemesis. You have another person in an upgraded Iron Man armor, Pepper Potts as Rescue and some great armored action. I don’t want to spoil anything else, just read it!
Picked by @ChrisCCL
Complete Flash Gordon Library Volume 3 The Fall Of Ming HC 1941-1944 (Titan), $39.95
Those of you who listen to my weekly podcast know that I’ve been reading all of the Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four (I’m currently on Volume 9 with Volume 15 due in August), but what I haven’t told you is that I’m also reading Flash Gordon. I own all five volumes of the complete Flash Gordon Dark Horse Archives which reprints every comic book appearance from 1947-1982 and the comic strip reprint series from Titan. I can tell you that the strip reproduction is simply amazing! If you have never read Flash by the hand of the great Alex Raymond now is the time to do so. Sure there have been several attempts to reprint Flash over the years, but it has never been done so well and with so much care.
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.