This month I’m going to revisit an old habit, where I blog the new collected comic releases each week with some color commentary. If you find this useful I’d really appreciate a comment or a tweet – I already know what I’m buying every week, so it’s only worth it to do this if you’re finding it helpful!
Dark Horse Comics
A $11 hardcover reprint of a 1993 David Gibbons / Mike Mignola take on Aliens where two mean abandon ship and are left alone with a xenomorph? Pretty damn tempting, I’d say, but I feel that way about most things Mignola. Pity they didn’t pair it up with the 2001 sequel Aliens: Salvation and Sacrifice, though.
Conan, Vol. 18: The Damned Horde HC – Collects Conan the Avenger. #7-12
I know, you’re looking at this and asking yourself, “Volume 18? Really? Do I need to pick up all 17 other volumes?” And I don’t know what to tell you, because I own all of one Conan comic and it was my father’s and I’ve still never read it.
Here’s what I can say: Fred Van Lente is a reliable scripter, and they wouldn’t have just rebooted the title if Vol. 17 wouldn’t be a halfway-decent picking up point despite the number stretching from Conan the Barbarian and Conan: Road Of Kings before that and Conan The Cimmerian before that and just plain old Conan before that way back in 2003. So, if you love Conan and want to get back to his comic roots (well, he was a novel first, but then very famously a comic), maybe you should start there. Or, you know, dip way back to Vol. 1, still readily available in TPB, because Dark Horse knows how to manage their backlist.
Hmm… now I kind of want to read Conan. This is how it happens. (Note that the awesome cover is not drawn by the interior artist Brian Ching, but I think his art is strong – it’s just not the cinematic style of the cover.)
Groo Friends and Foes, Vol. 1 TP – Collects #1-4
Groo is a long-standing silly parody of strong warrior-types like Conan, in a new 2015 ongoing from original artist/creator Sergio Aragones
Lady Killer TP – Collects #1-5
I’ve heard nothing but praise for this black comedy mini-series of a ’60s housewife assassin, and Dark Horse has an excellent track-record with these off-kilter, could-be-Image sorts of series.. Definitely a pick-up for me.
This is the first of an intended three volumes of original graphic novel from YA author Dan Jolley that the solicit breathlessly describes as “GLEE MEETS GAME OF THRONES.” Here’s some more info.
From the solicit, “Lifelong nerd Pete Ford’s been living two lives. In one, he’s a cool kid on the tennis team, and in the other he’s Lord Blackmane in the South Haven Action Roleplaying Club.” I tend to enjoy these sort of slice-of-unusual-real-life comics – I’d love to hear from a reader of this one.
Flash (The New 52) Vol. 5: History Lessons TP – Collects #26-29 and Annual 2.
This marks the end of Brian Buccellato’s pretty awesome run scripting this title, and artist Brett Booth ain’t bad either. A very enjoyable, mostly self-contained run of recent DC.
MAD MAX FURY ROAD TP – Collects Max Max: Fury Road Max #1-2, Furiosa #1, and Nux & Immortan Joe #1
DC snagged the comic preludes to this smash film by virtue of being owned by distributor Warner Brothers. Note that this is not an adaptation of the movie, but the one-shot stories were well-liked by fans.
The New 52: Futures End Vol. 03 TP – Collects #31-48.
The final volume of this weekly 2014-15 DC series – something they historically have done very well that Marvel cannot seem to get the hang of. Grab Volumes 1 and 2 – this is yet another big’un at over 400pgs!
Suicide Squad (1987) Vol. 1: Trial By Fire – Collects #1-8 and Secret Origins #14
DC isn’t much for backlist reprints these days unless they’re prohibitive classics, but they’re gearing up for the upcoming Squad movie by releasing this original Suicide Squad run to TPB. Note that 1987 was before Harley Quinn was a sparkle in Dini’s eye, so this is the more classic team of Rick Flagg, Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Enchantress, Captain Boomerang, Plastique, and Mindboggler.
Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition Book One HC – Collects #1-12.
Jeff Lemire is an ingenious writer who has breathed incredible life into every property he’s touched for DC and Marvel in the past half decade (notably, Animal man) plus he has won major acclaim for this series about an orphaned deer/man hybrid. This series is already resolved at #40 issues and generally got great reviews right through the end, so this is a great chance to jump on to a 3- or 4-book hardcover run.
Wonder Woman (The New 52) Vol. 6: Bones TP – Collects #30-35 and material from Secret Origins #6.
I didn’t love the first chapters of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s Olympic opus, but I’m impressed they went all the way to the intended end of their story and I’ve been picking this up in TPB all along with the intent to read it in one sitting – and that day is coming soon! Pick up Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in TP (the HCs are getting harder to find).
Wonder Woman (The New 52) Vol. 7 – War Torn HC – #36-40 and Annual 1.
A new take on the New52 Wonder Woman as writer Meredith Finch and artist and husband David Finch take over the book in a glossy redux that also promises to tap some discarded Moulson themes. I’m definitely interested, as I tend to enjoy Finch’s art when he manages to deliver it on time.
Last Days of American Crime Deluxe HC – Collects #1-3
I’ve been waiting for a deluxe version of this early, three-issue Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini collab, but this is one of those “book doesn’t fit the cover” situations where Tocchini’s art is nothing like the seductive Alex Maleev painted cover art. If I’m being honest, I find his panel work hard to follow on both Uncanny X-Force and Low, and Remender is hit-or-miss with me outside of X-Force. Probably not worth the full $25 retail price, but worth at least a look.
Nailbiter, Vol. 3: Blood in the Water TP – Collects #11-15
I’ve heard this is a fine little murder-mystery comic with some slasher/horror tendencies, and eventually I’m going to pick up that nice-priced $9.99 first TPB to check it out.
All-New X-Men Deluxe Edition, Vol. 2 Oversized HC – Collects All-Ne X-Men #11-15 and #18-21, and material from X-Men: Gold #1
I am no fan of this series, and even less a fan of the awkward fashion it’s being collected to avoid both the Battle of the Atom crossover and intermingling the co-released Uncanny X-Men. For other collection options, see the Uncanny X-Men guide.
Avengers by Jonathan Hickman Deluxe Edition, Vol. 2 Oversized HC – Collects Avengers (2012) #14-23.
This is another awkward recollection, now the fourth format to cover the Avengers Infinity issues. However, Hickman was really in fine form during the run-up to Infinity in #14-17 in a vibe that would continue in Avengers World, and the art in the book will look beautiful in oversize format. If you’d like to sample it in other formats, see Avengers or Marvel Universe Events: Infinity.
Jessica Jones: Alias, Vol. 1 TP – Collects Alias #1-9
Marvel can’t seem to stop re-issuing this series ahead of its Netflix debut, which I guess is a good thing? You can still nab its oversized hardcover Omnibus (though I prefer the pair of ultimate collections) because, honestly, you’re going to want the full 28 issues of this Bendis-penned glimpse of what happens to a superhero after she tries to be just a regular person. Hint: it involves being a somewhat terrible detective, drinking, and shagging B-list superheroes.
Enjoyable but flawed, Michael Gaydos’s art is utterly perfect and it still approaches required-reading status when it comes to post-2000 Marvel – and not just for the shocking opening sex scene.
Q2 – The Return of Quantum & Woody Deluxe HC – Collects #1-5.
Okay, how to explain this.
In the 1990s, author Christopher Priest and artist MD Bright created a spoof-ish superhero book for Valiant called Quantum & Woody that was of a similar not-actually-superheroic tone that you might associate with Deadpool. Said book became a cult hit. Valiant recently rebooted Q&W, but not with creator Priest onboard, and this was one of the few creator-related decisions Valiant made that caused any sort of stir with the fans.
As a result, the Priest/Bright team-up got resurrected for a mini-series reawakening the original unlikely pair of heroes rather than their recently-rebooted versions. This makes a companion to a recent Omnibus of the original series.
AdHouse Books: Gigant HC – This sounds amazing, so I’m just going to paste in the blurb:
A color-saturated, action-packed fantasy-comedy from Danish creator Rune Ryberg. The hero (Giant) is thrown into a bizarre journey within another dimension in an attempt to rescue his girlfriend who has been swallowed by a thousand-eyed monster.
Yeah – I might buy it. Here’s its graphic trailer.
Boom!: Hit: 1955 HC – Collects #1-4 and additional content. A direct-market-only expanded hardcover edition of a previous 2013 TPB.
Boom! – Suicide Risk, Vol. 5 – Collects #17-20 of a 25-issue series. I love, love, love everything that comes from the brain of Mike Carey – he wrote DC’s Lucifer, Marvel’s X-Men Legacy, and the amazing Unwritten. Plus, check out this log line: “Superpowered people are inexplicably rising from the streets and there’s a big problem: Too many supervillains, not enough superheroes.” Yes: totally up my alley. Thus, I am giving Volume 1 a try!
Drawn & Quarterly: Jerusalem Chronicles From The Holy City TP – A paperback of the acclaimed 2012 hardcover. Quoting the solicit, “Guy Delisle expertly lays the groundwork for a cultural road map of the Holy City, utilizing the classic stranger in a strange land point of view that made his other books required reading for understanding what daily life is like in cities few are able to travel to.”
Dynamite Entertainment: Sherlock Holmes vs Harry Houdini TP – Collects #1-5 of this mini-series. From the solicit, “Famed sleuth Sherlock Holmes and brash showman Harry Houdini must combine forces to defeat a mysterious mystic dedicated to destroying Houdini’s career and killing anyone who gets in his way.”
Dynamite Entertainment: Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Vol. 3: Raptor Forest – Collects #9-12. You probably remember Turok from his Acclaim video game of the same name, but he was also a Valiant Comics character in the same period. So why isn’t this a new Valiant book? Because Turok is actually a Gold Key Comics character and Valiant didn’t have the permanent rights. Co-writer Grek Pak turns in some of the most thoughtful work Marvel and DC ever have to show and gets slept on for it – I’m curious what he does with a more action-oriented book. This volume wraps up the series, which I believe stands alone as a reboot – you can pick up Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
Fantagraphics: Chicago HC – A autobiographical memoir look at Harvey- and Eisner-nominated cartoonist Glenn Head’s late teendom coming-of-age.
Fantagraphics: Sacred Heart GN – From the solicit, “This debut coming-of-age graphic novel [ed: by writer/artist Liz Suburbia], filled with teen loves and fights and parties, is a summer vacation-style bacchanalia set against the threat of a big reckoning that everyone believes is coming.”
Graphix: Space Dumplins, Vol. 1 Hardcover and Paperback – I almost skipped right over this one, but then I read the first line of the solicit – “Highly acclaimed graphic novelist Craig Thompson’s debut book for young readers about a plucky heroine on a mission to save her dad.” I have been lamenting lately that for as few little girl protagonists there are, there are even fewer active and responsible fathers in kid books – they’re much more a movie thing. Now I think I might check this out.
Humanoids: Z Word HC – From the solicit, “Los Angeles, 2060s. In a world where humans have to coexist alongside the living dead, a new work opportunity arises: zombie pest control.” Let’s admit: that sounds awesome.
IDW: Skylanders: Rift Into Overdrive HC – A tie-in to the video-game of the same name.
IDW: Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: The Daily Newspaper Comics, Vol. 1 HC – Collects 1938-1940. I’ve actually picked up some of these IDW newspaper reprints before, and they do a marvelous job of reproduction and presentation. If you have a Disney-lover in your life, this would make a great gift!
Super Genius: Neil Gaiman’s Teknophage HC and TPB – Please do not get excited about Mr. Gaiman’s name here. Teknophage is a character from a one-off story that got spun to an ongoing in his post-Sandman era that he never once wrote (though it was penned by Rick Veitch (Miracleman, Swamp Thing) with art from Bryan Talbot, so it’s not exactly dime-bin fodder, either) (or maybe it is, I really have no idea).
Zenescope: Grimm Fairy Tales: Tales of Terror, Vol. 01 HC – A collection of 13 issues of the long-running horror anthology title from the Zenescope, which has a bit of a T&A&Gore reputation (not that there’s anything wrong with that). For the life of me I cannot find this for sale on Amazon, though there are many other Zenescope Grimm books. Here’s a link to it on Cheap Graphic Novels.