COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR SEPTEMBER 2014: PART TWO: DC and Marvel Comics

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.


by KC Carlson

Too many choices! Too many books! Part One is here.

DC COMICS SELECTED BOOKS

Batman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition

Batman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition


Batman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition (Graphitti Designs/DC Comics): Introducing the latest publisher to offer large-format collections replicating the original art experience — and given Graphitti’s decades-long production of high-quality products, this promises to be among the best! First out is a reproduction/collection of Kelley Jones’ original artwork for Batman #515-525 (minus the interiors for #520, which Kelley did not draw). This is some of his classic Batman work, and I can personally attest Kelley was on fire during this era! (When I was at DC, my first assistant-editing assignment for them was Kelley and Mike Baron’s Deadman miniseries. (Hi, Kelley!) So I got to experience Kelley’s original artwork first-hand, and I can confirm that you’re in for a treat getting to see this.)

Graphitti editor Bob Chapman is all about quality control. As with similar books, all the original B&W artwork is scanned in full color, so you can see all the artifacts (stray pencil marks, whiteout, coffee stains (!), and blue-pencil editing marks) that you would see if you were holding the original! These books will be printed with the art at actual size on a rich, heavy paper stock. The hardcover collections will feature Smythe-sewn bindings.

After speaking with Bob at a recent show, he told me that he’s on a massive search for original artwork that is now in personal collections for future editions. They’re especially looking for Silver Age artwork from any of the DC classic artists and projects of the era. Silver Age original art is especially tough to find, as what wasn’t routinely destroyed was given away to fans visiting the NYC offices or as rewards for having good fan letters published (especially in Julie Schwartz’s office). Some DC Silver Age original art was saved from destruction by DC fans-turned-pros during the late ‘60s, so some does exist, but it would sure be fun to actually see some Silver Age collections coming out of this search!

If you go to http://www.graphittidesigns.com/ and click on “What Are Gallery Editions?”, you’ll get a sneak peek at some of the very exciting projects they’re currently working on! The Batman: Kelly Jones Gallery Edition is a 248-page oversize (12″ x 17″) mostly B&W (but scanned and printed in color) hardcover. Available in November.

JSA Omnibus Volume 2

JSA Omnibus Volume 2


JSA Omnibus Volume 2 (DC Comics): Quickly following up on Volume One, this volume will collect JSA #26-81, JSA Annual #1, and JSA Secret Files #1, featuring work by Geoff Johns, David Goyer, Rags Morales, Peter Snejbjerg, Stephen Sadowski, Leonard Kirk, Carlos Pacheco, Don Kramer, Jerry Ordway, and others. Cover by Carlos Pacheco. I love this material, and I bought the first volume. But, I wonder if these books are physically getting too big? Volume One is so big it can barely be held comfortably and too heavy to be held for long. And Volume Two is even bigger! 1,488-page oversize (7.25″ x 10.875″) color hardcover. Available in November.

Teen Titans: A Celebration of 50 Years

Teen Titans: A Celebration of 50 Years


Teen Titans: A Celebration of 50 Years (DC Comics): We actually know nothing about this book other than it will include representative Teen Titans stories by classic Titans creators including Bob Haney, Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Nick Cardy, and George Pérez. Duh. And DC’s asking you to spend $75 on this, based on this skimpy info. They must be on vacation this month… I bet it gets re-solicited. 400-page color (we assume) hardcover. Scheduled to be available in November.

Batman ‘66 Volume 1

Batman ‘66 Volume 1


Batman ‘66 Volume 1 (DC Comics): Now in softcover! Fun stuff! Groovy new comic series, based on concepts, characters, and situations from the original 1966 ABC TV series! Collects issues #1-5 by Jeff Parker, Jonathan Case, Ty Templeton, Ruben Procopio, and others. 176-page color softcover. Available in October.

MARVEL COMICS: BIG BOOKS

Captain America: The Trial of Captain America Omnibus

Captain America: The Trial of Captain America Omnibus


Captain America: The Trial of Captain America Omnibus (Marvel Comics): More of Ed Brubaker’s acclaimed work on Captain America featuring dual (and dueling!) Caps — the returning Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier). Who will wield the shield? Plus, Bucky’s secret past is exposed to the world! The Winter Soldier is hot, hot, hot after the recent movie, and some of his background is revealed here. Also features the Falcon, Black Widow, Baron Zemo, Sin, and the Serpent Squad. Plus, tragedy and heartbreak! (sob) Features many great artists including Luke Ross, Jackson Guice, Daniel Acuña, Ed McGuiness, Steve McNiven, Alan Davis, and more! Collecting Captain America Reborn: Who Will Wield the Shield? #1, Captain America (2005) #602-619 and #615.1, Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1-4, and Captain America (2011) #1-10. 944-page oversize color hardcover. Available in December.

Deadpool & Cable Omnibus

Deadpool & Cable Omnibus


Deadpool & Cable Omnibus (Marvel Comics): This book is so big that you could probably kill somebody with it! (Let’s not give Deadpool any ideas!) This collects the entire original 50-issue Cable and Deadpool series from 2004 (plus the Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular, the classic one-shot co-starring the Great Lakes Avengers which redefined the word “classic”!). Features the X-Men, Spider-Man, Captain America, the Fantastic Four, action, adventure, time travel, dimension-hopping, black humor, black ops, Bea Arthur, chimichangas (yes, that whole thing started here), and lots of gunfire. Oh, so much gunfire… Marvel’s version of the Odd Couple is on display, and no one is safe! BYO bullets! 1,272-page oversize color hardcover. Available in October.

Original Sin Companion

Original Sin Companion


Original Sin Companion (Marvel Comics): An Omnibus in all but name. This collects all of the various tie-in books to the still currently ongoing Original Sin event, starring a headless Nick Fury (or does it?) and an unmoving, eyeless Watcher. Where are his eyes? They’re now on every good Marvel fan’s desk, thanks to a truly bizarre promotional giveaway! Stop looking at me! This book features the side-stories where we learn about individual hero’s hidden sins. Includes Avengers (2012) #29-34, Deadpool (2012) #29-34, Mighty Avengers (2013) #10-12, All-New Invaders #6-7, Nova (2013) #18-20, Original Sin #3.1-3.4 (aka Iron Man vs. Thor) and #5.1-5.5 (aka Thor & Loki), Fantastic Four (2014) #6-8, Daredevil (2014) #6-7, Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #4-5, Uncanny X-Men (2013) #23-25, Guardians Of The Galaxy Annual (2014) #1, and material from Point One #1. 856-page oversize color hardcover. Available in December.

X-Men: Inferno Prologue

X-Men: Inferno Prologue


X-Men: Inferno Prologue (Marvel Comics): And why isn’t this an Omnibus? It’s oversized and over 800 pages. Is Marvel trying to disguise the fact that they have five mega-books on this month’s schedule?! This one collects all the Marvel mutant titles of the day, leading up to one of Marvel’s earliest and memorable mega-crossovers — Inferno! But before that, the then-three major mutant teams (X-Men, New Mutants, and X-Factor) must deal with the Brood, Genosha, Freedom Force, Apocalypse, and the Evolutionary War. And the stunning death of one of their own! While all this is going on, demons are rumbling around on Earth, which could cause real problems. Unfortunately, the mutants are otherwise occupied! And Inferno begins its slow burn… Features work by Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, Steve Lightle, Terry Shoemaker, Rick Leonardi, Mark Silvestri, Arthur Adams, and more! Cover by Silvestri. Collecting X-Factor (1986) #27-32 and Annual #3, Uncanny X-Men (1981) #228-238, New Mutants (1983) #62-70 and Annual #4, X-Men Annual (1970) #12, and material from Marvel Age Annual #4 and Marvel Fanfare (1982) #40. 824-page oversize color hardcover. Available in December.

Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie Omnibus

Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie Omnibus


Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie Omnibus (Marvel Comics): Collecting the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (and lots of additional artists). It’s old plus new as previous Young Avengers Wiccan, Hulkling, and Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop team with Kid Loki, Marvel Boy, Prodigy, and Ms. America to save the entire multiverse. Because someone’s gotta do it. As the promo puts it, featuring fight scenes! Kissing! Fake IDs! Kissing! Drama! Plentiful feels (that’s Tumblr for “meaningful emotional character beats”)! And oh yeah, nightclubs! Collects Young Avengers (2013) #1-15 and material from Marvel NOW! Point One #1. 360-page oversize color hardcover. Available with two different covers: the regular one by Jamie McKelvie and a Direct Market-only cover by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Available in December.

THOR, THOR, AND MORE THOR (say 50 times fast!)

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 13

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 13


Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 13 (Marvel Comics): From the classic Gerry Conway/John Buscema run comes these beautiful stories featuring boasts, battles, and broken bones! Thor teams up with Hercules to battle their way through hell (aka Pluto’s underworld) to rescue a fair damsel. Plus Sif, Balder, and the unstoppable Destroyer return; Firelord debuts; and the origin of Ego the Living Planet is revealed. Hard to believe all this could be contained in just this one book! Features additional art by Rich Buckler, Sal Buscema, Arvell Jones, and Keith Pollard and a cover by Gil Kane. Collects Thor (1966) #217-228 and a story from Marvel Treasury Edition #3. 256-page color hardcover. Available in December.

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 5

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 5


Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 5 (Marvel Comics): Now in softcover! An all-Stan Lee/Jack Kirby extravaganza! You want HUGE stories? Look no further! Thor is captured by Rigellian colonizers and forced to battle Ego the Living Planet. (Oh, hey, him again! I hope he doesn’t get big-headed from all the attention!) Then, the action turns non-stop as Thor battles the High Evolutionary and his Man-Beasts, Ulik the Troll (in his first appearance), and the unstoppable Destroyer (who, as we learned from the book above, apparently really is unstoppable — since he keeps coming back!). Plus, Jane Foster and Lady Sif — to the death! (Okay, not really, but they’re both in here and Thor is troubled.) Collects Thor (1966) #131-140 and Annual #2. 264-page color softcover. Available in December.

MARVEL EPIC COLLECTIONS

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Great Power

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Great Power


Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Great Power (Marvel Comics): Volume One in the Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection line collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #1-17, Annual #1, and the classic origin story from Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15. By Stan Lee and Steve Ditko! ‘Nuff said! These stories are part of the foundation of the Marvel Universe, featuring the first appearances of dozens of classic characters including Peter Parker, Uncle Ben, Aunt May, the Daily Bugle and its editor J. Jonah Jameson, and plenty of villains including the Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, the Sandman, the Vulture, Electro, and more! One of the comic book series which redefined superheroes for all time! The stories are all shiny and prettied-up for this remastered Epic Collection — a line planned to reprint much of the classic series in cheaper-than-hardcover color editions! 504-page color softcover. Available in October.

Thor Epic Collection: The God of Thunder

Thor Epic Collection: The God of Thunder


Thor Epic Collection: The God of Thunder (Marvel Comics): Another classic Volume One collection — this one featuring Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s The Mighty Thor! Creating modern mythology for a whole new audience! Most of the classic characters are introduced here including Thor, Odin, Heimdall, Balder, and (everybody’s favorite) Thor’s half-brother Loki the God of Mischief. Plus the Rainbow Bridge to Eternal Asgard, and the earth-bound (but not for long) Doctor Don Blake and his nurse Jane Foster. The wonderful Tales of Asgard backup series is also included. It’s Thor-riffic! Collects all the Thor material from Journey Into Mystery (1952) #83-109. Remastered for this new reprinting. 480-page color softcover. Available in October.

Moon Knight Epic Collection: Bad Moon Rising

Moon Knight Epic Collection: Bad Moon Rising


Moon Knight Epic Collection: Bad Moon Rising (Marvel Comics): Collecting all of Moon Knight’s far-flung early appearances from his first in Werewolf by Night and Hulk Magazine through guest-spots from the Defenders to Marvel Two-in-One and eventually his own comic book. Because of all this early bouncing around, you can witness the slowly-evolving development of the personalities (he has four) of this fascinating character, including much of the earliest work on the character by Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz. Other creators include Don Perlin (co-creator with Moench), David Anthony Kraft, Bill Mantlo, Steven Grant, Keith Giffen, Mike Zeck, Jim Mooney, Gene Colan, and Keith Pollard. Collects Werewolf By Night (1972) #32-33; Marvel Spotlight (1971) #28-29; Defenders (1972) #47-50; Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #22-23; Marvel Two-in-One (1974) #52; and Moon Knight (1980) #1-4 — plus material from Hulk Magazine #11-15, #17-18, and #20 and Marvel Preview #21. Remastered for this new reprinting. 504-page color softcover. Available in October. And in case you missed it, Bob Greenberger takes a look at this book/character here.

MORE MARVEL MORE MARVEL MORE MARVEL

Spider-Man Newspaper Strips Volume 2

Spider-Man Newspaper Strips Volume 2


Spider-Man Newspaper Strips Volume 2 (Marvel Comics): Now in softcover! This collects the Spidey newspaper strips by Stan “the Man” Lee and “Jazzy” John Romita from January 29, 1979, to January 11, 1981. The Sunday strips are in color, and the dailies are in glorious black and white! And… (as Stan might say back in the day) “all the strips are in chronological order! As a special value and at no extra charge to you, Mighty Marvellite! Excelsior!” ‘Nuff said… 312-page B&W and color softcover. Available in October. Sheesh!

Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt Prose Novel

Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt Prose Novel


Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt Prose Novel (Marvel Comics): For those of you who like their comic books without pictures. (Umm… No, Don’t go there…) Based on the classic (and creepy) graphic novel by J.M. DeMatteis and Make Zeck, Neil Kleid (writer of the Xeric Award-winning Ninety Candles, Brownsville, and short stories for Marvel and DC Comics) tackles this new prose adaptation, featuring a new cover by Zeck. The original GN was one of the most un-Spider-Man-like Spidey stories ever written, a deadly serious battle of identity and will, with nary a wisecrack in sight. Starring Kraven the Hunter (it’s actually mostly his story) in internal crisis. After years of crushing defeats from Spider-Man, Kraven mounts one last attempt to exterminate his rival — and succeeds! And, in triumph, dons Spider-Man’s costume and actually becomes him! (Long before Doc Ock!) And that’s when the story really takes off! Shock following shock has become a cliché in this day and age, but this story actually lives up to it. 304-page hardcover novel. Available in October.

The Ages of the X-Men: Essays on the Children of the Atom in Changing Times

The Ages of the X-Men: Essays on the Children of the Atom in Changing Times


The Ages of the X-Men: Essays on the Children of the Atom in Changing Times (McFarland): Not actually published or authorized by Marvel, this is a collection of academic essays edited by Joseph J. Darowski, a professor of English at Brigham Young University-Idaho. Each essay examines a specific era of the X-Men franchise in relationship to contemporary social concerns. The essays are arranged chronologically, from an analysis of popular science at the time of the first X-Men comic book in 1963 to an interpretation of a storyline in light of President Obama’s first presidential campaign. Topics ranging from Communism to celebrity culture to school violence are addressed by scholars who provide new insights into the super-team poster-child for the misunderstood and different. 248-page softcover. May have big words.

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KC CARLSON: DC Comics’ New 52 vs. current booking in the WWE. Lots of brilliant characters, but only a handful (overused, older characters) are ever really pushed. Discuss.

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

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