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) 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 @ReverendLove
Fantastic Four By Jonathan Hickman Omnibus Vol. 1 HC
Published by Marvel
Collects Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1-5, Fantastic Four #570-588, FF #1-5 and material from Dark Reign: The Cabal #1, 800 pages, $100
I have always loved the Kirby-Lee run on the Fantastic Four and besides that classic run, thought the only other FF stories worth their salt were the 1980’s comic book tales by John Byrne…that was until a couple of years ago.
It was on a casual visit to my local comic book emporium, that I discovered Jonathan Hickman’s soon to be classic take on the first family of comics. I was astounded to see that there was still life in the old cosmic quartet and that these new stories were different from the usual FF fare as of late. Hickman brought to the Fantastic Four a whole new vision of Kirbyesque proportion and complex plot lines that could have been wrought by the cosmic master Jim Starlin, himself.
With Hickman at the wheel, we see a universe of uncertainty and menace where Reed Richards and his other dimensional doppelgangers try to “fix” the universe. We see Reed and the others, including members of his own family, as they attempt to play God and bring peace to a world tired and beset by strife between the heroes, mutants, Inhumans and the human population.
This is not the Fantastic Four of your parents day…this is a Fantastic Four that brims with possibilities and probabilities and stories that lead us down paths both new and unexplored. The only thing that’s certain in this volume is the rampant imagination and verbal stylings of one of the brightest stars to shine down upon the Marvel Universe in many a year.
You owe it to yourself to experience Mr. Hickman’s interpretation of the “World’s Greatest Comic Book Magazine”!
Picked by @Dief88
Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 1 (New Printing)
Published by Marvel
After much lobbying from hardcore collected editions enthusiasts, Marvel’s collections department has decided to roll out new printings of some of its earliest Omnibus editions. The first-ever Omnibus gets reprinted this week, and it’s a great one. Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 1 collects some of the best superhero comics ever created, as well as some of the best work by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. These stories were at the very beginning of Marvel’s early-‘60s superhero comics revolution, and that adventurous spirit pervades the thirty issues collected here.
Many fans point to the series’ second thirty-issue block as the heyday of the Lee/Kirby FF, and those stories are certainly excellent as well, but to my mind these earlier issues are a lot more interesting. They’re rougher in certain ways, but it’s fascinating to see Lee and Kirby constantly trying out different things with the artwork, characterization, and plot structure. A few of these experiments fail – the issue introducing the Impossible Man, for example, is quite possibly the worst Stan Lee comic I’ve ever read – but many others are brilliant. Fantastic Four #5, which introduces Dr. Doom, is in my opinion one of the best single issues of the Silver Age (ranking second only to Amazing Fantasy #15), and it’s in roughly equal company throughout this collection. This is a book that all readers of superhero comics should definitely consider having on their shelves.
…and a bonus recommendation….
Wolverine: The Return of Weapon X
Published by Marvel
Collects Wolverine (1988) #159-176 and Annual 2000-2001, $44.99
I have been waiting for this trade for more than a decade, and I can’t be more thrilled that it’s finally a reality. The issues collected in this book were among the first comics I bought after setting up my first pull list. I had subscribed to Wolverine’s ongoing series on a whim (purely because I needed to have a fifth title on my list), never having read it and knowing nothing about the creators. Little did I know that my first issue, #162, was essentially the ground floor for what would become – and what remains – my favorite Wolverine story of all time.
This isn’t just nostalgia talking. Frank Tieri’s run on the book with Sean Chen takes elements from all the best Wolverine stories (Weapon X, the Claremont/Miller miniseries, you name it) and blends them with the writer’s own off-kilter sensibilities. “The Return of Weapon X” is more than just an ode to Wolverine stories of the past – it’s also, at times, a biting satire of early-2000’s American popular culture. Tieri is also one of the few writers to successfully portray Wolverine as an introspective and truly intelligent man, rather than simply a mindless killing machine. This is one of the great Wolverine stories, and it’s wonderful that a new generation of readers now has the chance to experience (or re-experience) it.
Picked by @adambesenyodi
Mystery Society Deluxe HC
Published by IDW
This hardcover collects the five-issue series and the 2013 Special into one oversized book.
Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) offers up an entertaining enough story about Nick and Anastasia, a hipster mash-up of The Thin Man’s Nick and Norah and The Avengers’ John Steed and Emma Peel, and the couple at the center of the Mystery Society. They end up recruiting a few more members along the way (including a robot with the brain of Jules Verne!) on their quest to recover Edgar Allen Poe’s missing skull. It’s a crisp story with plenty of action sequences balanced by quippy repartee. But the real superstar of the series is Fiona Staples art. If you only know her work from Saga with Brian K. Vaughan, you owe it to yourself to go back and check out some of her earlier efforts. This or Wildstorm’s North 40 is a great place to start. The new Mystery Society Deluxe Hardcover collects the original five-issue series from 2010, plus the March 2013 one-shot that was written by Niles but with art duties taken over by Andrew Ritchie. Definitely worth a look!
Picked by @CaptDS9E
MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet TP
Published by Image
Collects MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet #1-5, $14.99
It’s been 19 years since Richard Dean Anderson played MacGyver on television, and fans of the character like myself have been hoping for more. Amid rumors of possibly a feature film, it was finally announced that we would get more of this great property in comic book form. Written by Tony Lee/MacGyver creator Lee David Ziotoff , with art by Will Sliney we get a fun miniseries called Fugitive Gauntlet. An old Biology Professor of Macs believes he has found the solution for world hunger. He contacts MacGyver, hoping the Phenonix Foundation can help with the many issues that could arise from such a world changing discovery. Namely companies trying to steal his idea for their own monetary gain, before it can be brought before the world for free. However like all things in MacGyver’s life, things go crazy quickly, the data is stolen, and his friend is killed. It forces MacGyver to go on an international crusade to figure out who stole the data, and who leaked the discovery to the thieves. As if he didn’t have enough problems, someone has put a sizable bounty on MacGyver’s head, putting many bounty hunters on his tail. Yes it is crazy as it sounds, just like episodes of the TV show were. We get the voice overs, the on the spot inventions to get out of tight spots, and plenty of the cliches we have grown to love. If your a fan of the show, then this is worth the read.
Picked by Shane
Fables: Werewolves Of The Heartland TP
Published by DC Comics
Fables is by far my favorite comic series out there. Still going strong with over 130+ issues, aside from the monthly series there has been a lot of other content out there for fans of this universe. There have been two spin-off series (Jack of Fables and Fairest), a prose novel, a couple of mini-series with the character Cinderella and some stand-alone graphic novels. The latest of which is Werewolves of the Heartland, which makes its trade paperback debut this week. This graphic novel is a solo tale for Bigby (the Big Bad Wolf), one of my favorite characters in the series. Bigby goes off on a quest to find a new location for Fabletown (the town where the exiled fairy tale characters live in the real world). In his quest he stumbles upon a small town of werewolves who seem to have a link to Bigby’s past. If you’re a fan of the series, this is a must buy. If you haven’t read the series yet, get the first trade paperback and begin your own quest now!
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.