COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS: FOR AUGUST ‘13 BOOKS

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.


by KC Carlson

SPOTLIGHT: MARVEL EPIC COLLECTIONS

Iron Man Epic Collection: The Enemy Within

Iron Man Epic Collection: The Enemy Within


Marvel begins an ambitious classic reprint trade paperback imprint in September — but available for ordering now. The first in the new line of Epic Collections (not to be confused with Marvel’s old line of Epic Comics, creator-owned projects from the 1980s and 90s) will be Iron Man Epic Collection: The Enemy Within, containing the 1980s stories where Tony Stark fell off the wagon into a self-destructive binge and Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes dons the Iron Man armor for the first time. This is also occasionally known as the Obadiah Stane era of the series, where the rival industrialist targets Stark International for a very hostile takeover with the aid of Magma, Thunderball, Firebrand, and others. Captain America, Black Panther, Nick Fury, and more guest-star. Creators include Denny O’Neil, Carmine Infantino, Paul Smith, and Luke McDonnell, with a cover by Steve Lightle. This will be a 504-page color softcover collecting Iron Man (1968) #158-177 and Annual #5.

The Epic Collections have been announced as a long-term reprint initiative which will eventually collect all the issues/stories of the starring character or series, organized into self-contained story arcs within the character’s run. For instance, this volume will be Volume 10 of the Iron Man Epic Collection. Initial volumes of other Epic Collection lines featuring Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, and the Avengers will soon be announced.

I’m not sure where this leaves the trade paperback versions of the Marvel Masterworks (which cover similar, but more regimented, ground), but there may be room for both. It initially appears that the Epic Collections may be targeted to Marvel movie fans rather than their hardcore comic book audience. However it all shakes out, it’s good to see Marvel acknowledging its entire history of publications, not just what’s happening now.

SOMETHING NEW/OLD

Avengers: Endless Wartime

Avengers: Endless Wartime


Since this column generally covers historical material from more than 30 or 40 years ago, I don’t normally mention new projects, but there are two this month that are tangentially related to the goings-on here. Avengers: Endless Wartime is the first in a series of all-new graphic novels (and not the “first” Marvel Graphic Novel, as we discussed here recently). It’s by Warren Ellis and Mike McKone, and I was more impressed by the preview of this book in this year’s Marvel Free Comic Book Day offering than I was by the lead feature (a preview of Infinity — which only told me what I already knew: Thanos is returning. Duh.). Avengers: Endless Wartime has a mystery villain who is still actually a mystery (to me, anyway), and if you saw Iron Man 3, you saw Ellis’ concepts on the big screen. This might be next. Check it out.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century


The other thing is a brand-new project based on an old favorite. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century features the classic newspaper strip character as updated by a modern master. It’s an all-new look at the out-of-time spaceman by Howard Chaykin, who loves to take old-timey things and make them new again (like The Shadow and Blackhawk and DC’s 50s sci-fi characters in Twilight). When I look at the promotional art for Buck Rogers, it takes my breath away, the same way American Flagg did at its launch. Hermes Press is publishing this as a four-part comic book miniseries, which will most likely be collected, but I’m not waiting.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS

The Chronicles of King Conan Vol. 6

The Chronicles of King Conan Vol. 6


The Chronicles of King Conan: Volume 6 (Dark Horse): “A Death In Stygia and Other Stories” from Marvel Comics’ Conan the King #26-30 features early work by artist Marc Silvestri. Written by Alan Zelenetz. Cover by Michael Kaluta. Available in October. 208-page color softcover.

The Complete Golden Age Airboy and Valkyrie

The Complete Golden Age Airboy and Valkyrie


The Complete Golden Age Airboy and Valkyrie (Canton Street Press): The archival collection of the original Fred Kida Airboy and Valkyrie material, digitally restored and complete in one volume. Collects Air Fighters Comics V1 #12, V2 #2, V2 #7, Airboy Comics V2 #12, V3 #6, 12, V4 #10, and V9 #2. Introduction by Timothy Truman. 136-page color hardcover. (Clearly, this is not possibly all of the Golden Age Airboy stories, but, as the publisher has informed us, it is all the GA Valkyrie stories from Air Fighters and Airboy comics, plus a couple of others, not all of them drawn by Kida.)

Creepy Archives Vol. 17

Creepy Archives Vol. 17


Creepy Archives Volume 17 (Dark Horse): Collecting Creepy #78-83, featuring stories by Alex Toth, Wally Wood, John Severin, Russ Heath, and Bernie Wrightson. Plus, Richard Corben’s “In Deep” and an interview with cover artist Ken Kelly. Available in October. 248-page B&W hardcover.

Essential Avengers Vol. 9

Essential Avengers Vol. 9


Essential Avengers Volume 9 (Marvel Comics): The Avengers discover deadly hidden secrets in the childhood history of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Tony Stark’s got secrets, also, and they’re in the Avengers’ basement. Henry Gyrich makes trouble, but not as much as the Grey Gargoyle, The Taskmaster, and Ultron. Plus, the controversial Ms. Marvel/Immortus story from Avengers #200, which you should not read without researching it on the internets. Plus, Hawkeye gets a job! Collecting Avengers #185-206 and Annual #9, plus material from Tales to Astonish (1979) #12. Featuring creative contributions by John Byrne, George Pérez, Jim Shooter, David Michelinie, Sal Buscema, Gene Colan, Mark Gruenwald, and others. Available in September. 496-page B&W softcover.

The First Kingdom Volume 1: The Birth of Tundra

The First Kingdom Volume 1: The Birth of Tundra


The First Kingdom Volume 1: The Birth of Tundra (Titan Books): One of the earliest examples of modern alternative comics (and also claimed by underground comix), Jack Katz’s The First Kingdom was first published in 1974, originally by Comics & Comix and later by Bud Plant. It’s a series of Homeric, post-apocalyptic graphic novels, aiming to be a futuristic Odyssey or Iliad. Titan Book’s new six-volume edition will be presented as a collector’s library for the first time, replete with cleaned and restored art from high-quality scans of the original artwork, and completely re-lettered throughout. Mature themes. 208-page B&W hardcover.

Inhumans: The Origin of the Inhumans

Inhumans: The Origin of the Inhumans


Inhumans: The Origin of the Inhumans (Marvel Comics): The early history of Marvel’s most mysterious heroes by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby is finally collected. Stan and Jack took their time filling in all the details (and leaving more for others) in the early years of Marvel, and here it all is under one cover. Collecting Fantastic Four # 36, #38, #41-47, #54, #62-65, and Annual #5, as well as the Origins of the Inhumans back-up series from Thor #146-152. Here’s your chance to bone up on Inhuman history before the proposed film! 424-page color softcover.

Marvel Masterworks: Marvel Two-in-One Vol. 1

Marvel Masterworks: Marvel Two-in-One Vol. 1


Marvel Masterworks: Marvel Two-in-One Volume One (Marvel): Marvel Masterworks celebrates its 200th volume by introducing a new series: The ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing’s beloved team-up title from the 1970s — Marvel Two-in-One. (Also one of Marvel’s worst actual title titles, just behind Giant-Size Man-Thing.) This collects the first ten issues, plus the two-issue “try-out” from Marvel Feature #11-12 — the first issue of which is the classic Thing/Hulk battle by Len Wein and Jim Starlin! Steve Gerber wrote the early Two-in-One issues (#1 features Man-Thing!), and artists include Gil Kane, Sal Buscema, and Herb Trimpe. Available in November. 248-page color hardcover.

Roy Thomas Presents Planet Comics Vol. 3

Roy Thomas Presents Planet Comics Vol. 3


Roy Thomas Presents Planet Comics Volume 3 (PS Artbooks): This book has been resolicited for September release. If you want it, you must reorder now, as all previous orders have been canceled. NOTE: Deluxe versions and TPB versions of previous PS Artbook collections are also available on the web site.

S.H.I.E.L.D. by Steranko (not actual cover)

S.H.I.E.L.D. by Steranko (not actual cover)


S.H.I.E.L.D. by Steranko: The Complete Collection (Marvel Comics): For the first time ever, Marvel is offering a complete-in-one-book collection of the Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. stories by Jim Steranko, the legendary and influential artist from the early days of Marvel. Steranko blended the styles of Will Eisner, Wally Wood, Salvador Dali, Pop Art, and more to create his own stunning storytelling style. Written and illustrated by Steranko (with appearances by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, and Jack Kirby). Collects the S.H.I.E.L.D. stories from Strange Tales #151-168 and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1-3 and #5. (#4 was a fill-in not by Steranko.) Available in September. 352-page color softcover.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics Vol. 1

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics Vol. 1


T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics Volume 1 (IDW): Tying in with IDW’s new T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents comic, this collects the first four issues of the original Tower series from the 1960s by Wally Wood, Reed Crandall, Gil Kane, George Tuska, Mike Sekowsky, Dan Adkins, Joe Orlando, Larry Ivie, Len Brown, Bill Pearson, Steve Skeates, and others. Includes all the stories, text pieces, and pin-ups from each issue. In softcover for the first time! 248-page color softcover.

Walt Kelly's Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics Vol. 1

Walt Kelly’s Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics Vol. 1


Walt Kelly’s P.O.G.O. (er, Pogo): The Complete Dell Comics: Volume One (Hermes Press): This new series will present all the Pogo material from Dell Comics’ Animal Comics (#1-3, #5, and #8-30), Four Color (#105 and 148), and Our Gang Comics (#6). These comics, beginning in 1942, pre-date the legendary newspaper strip, also by Kelly. This will be an archival release, digitally reconstructed, and including samples of original artwork, as well as scholarly essays from noted Pogo historians. (Harumph. Harumph.) Available in October. 272-page color laminated hardcover with deluxe dust jacket.

NOW IN SOFTCOVER

Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 3

Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 3


Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk Volume 3 (Marvel): Wrapping up ol’ Greenskin’s early adventures in Tales to Astonish (#80-101) and his first “new” Incredible issue #102. Hulk battles the Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner, the Mighty Thor, and more in these adventures by Stan Lee, Gary Friedrich, Marie Severin, Gil Kane, John Buscema, Bill Everett, and Jack Kirby! 288-page color softcover.

The Secret Society of Super-Villains

The Secret Society of Super-Villains


The Secret Society of Super-Villains Volume 1 (DC Comics): DC says this collects SSoSV #1-15, DC Special #27, DC Special Series #6, Super-Team Family #13-14, Justice League of America #166-168, and stories from Canceled Comics Cavalcade #2 and Amazing World of DC Comics #11, but I don’t believe them, as all this material cannot fit in a 208-page book. The SSoSV material was previously published in hardcover in two volumes, and the first hardcover only contained the first ten series issues and the Amazing World story. It coincidentally had the same page count listed for this paperback version. I’m guessing that DC just copied over the original, erroneous solicitation copy for the hardback. Please be aware that if you want all the SSoSV material, it probably won’t be contained here, and there’s likely a second paperback coming later. Or, DC should do the proper thing, and resolicit the whole thing correctly. Available in September. 208-page color softcover.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Gray Morrow Years

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Gray Morrow Years


Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Gray Morrow Years Volume 1: 1979-1981 and The Phantom: The Complete Series: The Charlton Years Volume 3 (Hermes Press): These items have been resolicited for September release. If you want them, you must reorder now, as all previous orders have been canceled.

The Complete Peanuts Vol. 20

The Complete Peanuts Vol. 20


The Complete Peanuts Volume 20: 1989-1990 (Fantagraphics): Moving into the strip’s last decade, its most overlooked (and least collected) era. Romance abounds, as Charlie Brown and Marcie end up at camp together, sending Peppermint Patty into mad jealousy; an old friend looks up Charlie Brown, but confuses him for Snoopy, and dates him instead; and Charlie Brown (or should we say “Brownie Charles”?) begins a romance with Peggy Jean. Also, Snoopy gets jury duty, Olaf is introduced, Pigpen runs for class president, and Lucy grooves to Michael Jackson on her boom box. Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) admires Charles M. Schulz in his introduction. 344-page B&W hardcover. Always recommended. A two-volume (1987-1988 & 1989-1990) box set is also available.

Rip Kirby Vol. 6

Rip Kirby Vol. 6


Rip Kirby Volume 6 (IDW/LoAC): Rip Kirby enters the Swinging Sixties in over 800 strips from 1959 to 1962. John Prentice’s art has never been better, and Fred Dickenson (who assisted the strip’s originator, Alex Raymond) takes over the scripting. The Library of American Comics always has exemplary production and restoration. 288-page B&W oversize (11” x 10”) hardcover.

The Wizard of Id: Dailies and Sundays Volume 3: 1973

The Wizard of Id: Dailies and Sundays Volume 3: 1973


The Wizard of Id: Dailies and Sundays Volume 3: 1973 (Titan Books): Collecting the award-winning, popular, and always funny strip by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart (B.C.). All of the daily and Sunday strips from 1973 — a prime era for the strip — are collected along with special background material. This also fulfills your yearly quota of wisecracking wizards, rotten rulers, drunken has-been jesters, and cowardly knights! 224-page color and B&W hardcover.

BIG Books

Age of Ultron

Age of Ultron


Age of Ultron (Marvel Comics): Collecting the not-yet-completed limited series that has stunned fans. Set in the future of the Marvel Universe, with many of the Marvel heroes dead (or about to be), Ultron has finally taken over, and a ragtag band of surviving heroes are battling back — with surprising outcomes. Collects Age of Ultron #1-10, as well as the various one-shot tie-ins and follow-ups. Primarily the work of Brian Michael Bendis, Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary, Paul Mounts, Brandon Peterson, and Carlos Pacheco, with a cameo by Joe Quesada. Available in September. 456-page color hardcover.

Avengers: West Coast Avengers Omnibus Vol. 2 (Al Milgrom cover)

Avengers: West Coast Avengers Omnibus Vol. 2 (Al Milgrom cover)


Avengers: West Coast Avengers Omnibus Volume 2 (Marvel Comics): A second volume of that other Avengers title from the 1980s. Collects West Coast Avengers #17-41 and Annual #2-3, Avengers Annual #16, Fantastic Four #19, and Dr. Strange #53. (That probably has all you newer Marvel readers pretty confused. Heh heh. Tut, tut. No need to rama this one home…) Featuring work by Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom, Mark Gruenwald, Tom Morgan, Bob Hall, Roger Stern, Marshall Rogers, and others, including Stan Lee and Jack Kirby — whoever they are! Available with two different covers: one by Carlos Pacheco and one by Al Milgrom. Available in November. 768-page color hardcover.

Conan: Red Nails Original Art Archives

Conan: Red Nails Original Art Archives


Conan: Red Nails Original Art Archives (Genesis West): Forty years after its initial release, Genesis West brings you the classic 58-page Conan tale Red Nails, as adapted by Roy Thomas and Barry (Windsor) Smith. Scanned in color to preserve bluelines and other editorial notes and presented at the size of the original art, this oversize hardbound edition faithfully captures the appearance of the actual pages as drawn in 1973. Creator bios and commentary are also included. There will be one printing only, so if you want it, you should order now. 136-page oversized (14” x 19”) color hardcover.

Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Omnibus

Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Omnibus


Daredevil by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Omnibus (New Printing) (Marvel Comics): Out of print for a bit, but once again available in November. Historical and important stuff by those two guys in the title, plus material by Roger McKenzie and David Michelinie, and featuring the first appearances of Elektra, Stick, and the Hand. MUCH better than the movie! Collects Daredevil #158-161 and #163-191, plus a story from What If? #28, also by Miller and Janson. 840-page color hardcover.

DC: One Million Omnibus

DC: One Million Omnibus


DC: One Million Omnibus (DC Comics): Over a thousand pages of Grant Morrison brain-bending concepts! One Million was a 1999 DC Comics “event” where all the regular DC comics that month were special Morrison-coordinated issues (usually by the regular creative teams) that took a Morrison-eye view of what the DC universe would look like in the 853rd Century. (Answer: Pretty damn weird!) Meet the descendants of the DCU in over 30 regular issues, plus DC One Million #1-4, DC One Million 80-Page Giant, and Superman/Batman #79-80. Available in October. 1,080-page color hardcover. (If DC was smart, they’d issue this as holograms. Or perhaps something more injectable…)

The Joker: Death of the Family

The Joker: Death of the Family


The Joker: Death of the Family (DC Comics): DC’s complete recent event, with the tangental tie-ins conveniently edited down to the essential pages. Sixteen full issues and sections from nine others. And, oh yeah, somebody actually dies. Available in October. 456-page color hardcover.

Joe Kubert’s Tor: Artist Edition

Joe Kubert’s Tor: Artist Edition


Joe Kubert’s Tor: Artist Edition (IDW): Kubert’s second appearance in an Artist Edition (the first was his amazing Tarzan collection). This time it’s personal, as Joe’s caveman creation Tor is spotlighted, with four issues and covers along with the rarely-seen Tor newspaper strip. If you don’t already know, Artist Editions are published at the original (large) size of the original art and carefully scanned (in color) so that you can see all of the artist’s fine detail, as well as fascinating blue-pencil sketching or corrections, paste-overs, editorial notes, and other artistic ephemera. These generally sell rapidly, so if you want one, don’t hesitate! 114 oversize (14” x 20”) page softcover.

BOOKS ABOUT COMICS

Fables Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition

Fables Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition


Fables Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition (DC/Vertigo): A guide to the hidden history of every Fables character, including historical information as well as fun facts and anecdotes. Written by academic scholar Jess Nevins (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Companion) with commentary by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham and art by Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, and cover artists James Jean and Joao Ruas. New wraparound cover by Adam Hughes. For mature readers. 256-page color hardcover.

__________________________

KC CARLSON: In the 853rd Century, he swept the floors at DC Comics. Man, could he tell stories about the DC editors and creators’ bizarre eating habits!

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you.

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