by KC Carlson
SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH
Solo Deluxe Edition (DC Comics): Solo was one of the best books DC Comics published that, sadly, nobody bought. Edited by Mark Chiarello, the series’ basic concept was for each issue to spotlight a single, generally visionary, comics creator who was given 48 pages (plus covers) to do pretty much whatever they wanted to do, as long as they showed off the range of their artistic sensibilities and abilities.
Twelve issues were released before the experimental series was canceled. These featured the work of Tim Sale, Richard Corben, Paul Pope, Howard Chaykin, Darwyn Cooke, Jordi Bernet, Michael Allred, Scott Hampton, Teddy Kristiansen, Damion Scott, Sergio Aragones, and Brendan McCarthy. Because the creators were allowed to collaborate with others, Neil Gaiman, Jeph Loeb, Brian Azzarello, Joe Kelly, Steven Seagle, Mark Evanier, John Arcudi, Diana Schutz, Laura Allred, and many others are also represented. This Deluxe Edition reprints it all in one volume.
Using DC characters was optional. Some did, so stories featuring Batman, Superman, Robin, The Spectre, and the Teen Titans are included. Other creators experimented with different genres, including westerns, war stories, sf, horror, and humor. In 2006, Solo received three Eisner Awards, including Best Anthology, Best Single Issue (#5 by Darwyn Cooke), and Best Short Story (“Teenage Sidekick” by Paul Pope in #3).
Solo is for the adventurous reader. You’ll love many stories. Others you will hate. It deserves another chance. Don’t miss it.
Solo Deluxe Edition is a 568-page color hardcover with a cover by Tim Sale. Available in June.
By the way, when Solo was canceled after issue #12, it left behind unfinished (and possibly un-started) issues by Brian Bolland, John Cassaday, Dave Gibbons, Adam Hughes, Kevin Maguire, Tony Harris, J. G. Jones, Kevin Nowlan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Walt Simonson, Jill Thompson, Brian Stelfreeze, Bruce Timm, John Van Fleet, George Pratt, and Matt Wagner. Simonson’s recent graphic novel The Judas Coin was originally proposed for his Solo issue.
THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS
ACG Collected Works: Forbidden Worlds Volume 4 (PS Artbooks): Collecting issues #19-25 from July 1953 to January 1954 of the classic sf/horror comic, featuring work by Paul Reinman and Ken Bald. 288-page color hardcover. NOTE: Deluxe versions and TPB versions of previous PS Artbook collections are also available.
Creepy Archives Volume 16 (Dark Horse): Collecting issues #73-77 of the classic horror anthology. This volume features work by Alex Toth, Wally Wood, Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Richard Corben, and more, plus an interview with John Severin, and all the issues’ original lettercols and full-color covers. 256-page B&W hardcover. Available in June.
Essential Defenders Volume 7 (Marvel): Behold the New Defenders! (Who are kind of the old X-Men — the Beast, Iceman, and Angel — accompanied by Valkyrie, Gargoyle, and Moondragon.) Besides collecting Defenders #126-139, this volume also includes the Iceman and Beauty and the Beast (Dazzler & Beast) miniseries. Features work by J.M. Dematteis, Alan Kupperburg, Sal Buscema, Mike Zeck, Ann Nocenti, and others. 528-page B&W trade paperback.
Forbidden Worlds Archives Volume 2 (Dark Horse): Collecting issues #5-8 of the classic sf/fantasy anthology series featuring possessed typewriters, 50-foot-tall mermen, and guys who attach human heads to circus animals. Has nothing to do with Roger Corman. Forward by Dan Nadel (Art Out of Time). 192-page color hardcover. Available in June.
Harvey Horrors Collected Works: Tomb of Terror Volume 3 (PS Artbooks): Collecting the final issues (#12-16, from November 1953 to July 1954) of this pre-Code horror classic. Features work from Howard Nostrand and Warren Kremer. 216-page color hardcover.
Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 2 (Fantagraphics): This companion to the previous 2010 Everett collection Fire and Water holds over 200 pages of beautifully restored Golden Age superhero comics from Amazing Mystery Funnies and Amazing-Man Comics, featuring characters including Amazing-Man, Hydroman, Skyrocket Steele, and the Chameleon, among others. Also includes a historical essay about Everett, his art, the history of this era, and his relationship with Marvel Comics. 240-page color hardcover.
Marvel Masterworks: Dr. Strange Volume 6 (Marvel): Collecting Doctor Strange (1974) #10-22 and Annual #1, plus Tomb of Dracula #44, by Steve Englehart, Gene Colan, and others. It’s the end of the world… and Dr. Strange doesn’t feel fine. In fact, he must battle… himself! There’s a Dracula crossover, a trip to Hell, and a time-traveling Occult History of America. What’s that funny smoky smell? Then Marv Wolfman takes over the writing and Dr. Strange rejects his Sorcerer Supreme status. Also features work by P. Craig Russell and Rudy Nebres. 288-page full color hardcover. Available in July.
Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four Volume 9 (Marvel): Collecting Fantastic Four #82-93 and Annual #7 by the Man and the King (Lee and Kirby, sheesh!). The FF are on the move — first to Attilian (home of the Inhumans), then Latervia (Dr. Doom), then down under (Mole Man), and finally outer space, when the Skrulls abduct the Thing! 272-page color trade paperback.
Marvel Masterworks: Mighty Thor Volume 4 (Marvel): Collecting Journey Into Mystery #121-125, Thor #126-130, and material from Not Brand Ecch #3, again by the Man and the King (I’m not tellin’ ya this time!). Thor faces off with the Absorbing Man, and then Thor and Hercules tussle until they go to hell to fight Pluto (not the dog). (Wait, if he’s not the dog, then what is Goofy?) (Can we focus here?) Plus lots of shortly great “Tales of Asgard” tales. (Redundant much?) 240-page color trade paperback.
The Original Daredevil Archives Volume 1 (Dark Horse): Collects the first four issues of the original Golden Age Daredevil, including the infamous Daredevil Battles Hitler. Nothing here about radar sense, billy clubs, or guys named Foggy or Swingin’ Mike — but plenty of Nazis, mobsters, mummies, and guys named Claw! Make no mistake, this is the original Charles Biro classic! Introduction by Michael T. Gilbert. 280-page color hardcover. Available in June.
Pre-Code Classics: Weird Mysteries Volume 1 (PS Artbooks): Collecting issues #1-6 from October 1952 to August 1953, featuring work by Richard Chizmar. 240-page color hardcover.
Steve Ditko’s Monsters Volume 2: Konga (IDW/Yoe Books): Collecting the complete Steve Ditko-illustrated Charlton comic series from the early 60s based on the 1961 science fiction film about a chimpanzee who gets super-sized from a sinister serum, and battles other giant monsters — as well as mole men, undersea creatures, beasts from space, and worst of all… the human race! (Where is he when we need him now?!) The oversized hardcover also features Joe Gill’s scripts and an introduction by weirdo Craig Yoe! 328-page color hardcover.
THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC STRIP COLLECTIONS
Terry and the Pirates: The George Wunder Years: Volume One: 1946-1948 (Hermes Press): When Milton Caniff left this classic adventure strip to create Steve Canyon in 1946, George Wunder stepped in and continued Terry and Pat’s adventures for another 27 years. Wunder’s first two years of strips (dailies and Sundays) are collected in this new volume in a 9” x 12” landscape format, with Sunday strips in color. All the strips are digitally restored, and each volume will include historical essays and other features. 256-page B&W and color hardcover. Available in July.
Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Color Sundays Volume 1: “Call of the Wild” (Fantagraphics): The B&W mouse is now in full color! Most of these Floyd Gottfredson Sunday comics from 1932-1935 have never been reprinted. They’ve been restored from Disney’s archives to recreate the strip’s original color. As always, plenty of supplementary material about the strips and creators is included. A perfect complement to the ongoing reprinting of the daily Mickey Mouse strips from Fantagraphics. 10.5” x 8.5” 280-page color hardcover.
SHELFBUSTERS! (Gimongous Hardcovers)
Absolute Superman/Batman Volume 1 (DC Comics): Collecting the Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness, and Michael Turner run of Superman/Batman (#1-13) in the popular oversized Absolute format. This version of the World’s Finest team debuts to take down President Luthor, then have to deal with a way-too-skinny Supergirl. Guest-starring Wonder Woman. Available in August. Guaranteed not to be reprinted again for at least 30 days. 336-page oversize color hardcover.
Captain Comet Archives Volume 1 (DC Comics): Collecting the complete Captain Comet adventures from DC’s classic Strange Adventures title by John Broome, Carmine Infantino, and Murphy Anderson, in one giant Archives volume. Also includes the character’s revival in the 70s in Secret Society of Super-Heroes. 400-page color hardcover. Available in August.
Superman: The Golden Age Omnibus Volume 1 (DC Comics): Collecting the original Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (and others) Superman stories from Action Comics #1-31, Superman #1-7, and stories from New York World’s Fair #1 and 1940 issues in the popular Omnibus format. (First time for DC Golden Age material.) Cover by Darwyn Cooke. 784-page color hardcover. Available in June.
Wolverine by Mark Millar Omnibus (Marvel Comics): Collecting two major Millar storylines. In Wolverine (2003) #20-32, aka Enemy of the State, Wolverine’s been brainwashed by the Hand. Friends and foes alike are not safe, especially a fellow X-Man. Then Wolvie gets captured and deprogrammed and the fun really begins. In Wolverine #66-72 and Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size #1, set in the future, Logan is really old. Really, really old. 576-page color hardcover. Available in July (when the movie is in theaters).
ALSO THIS MONTH
In the Days of the Mob (DC Comics): This companion volume to last year’s Spirit World collects Jack Kirby’s B&W gangster stories from the 1970s. It originally appeared as a single-issue B&W magazine for a DC distribution experiment and was canceled while Kirby was working on a second issue that would never appear. A couple of completed stories were printed in DC’s limited edition mail-order fanzine, Amazing World of DC Comics, and those will also be included in this deluxe edition. Part of the DC Jack Kirby Library. 108-page B&W hardcover. Available in August.
KC CARLSON: Also really old. No claws, though. Just receding thumbs.
WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you.