COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR FEBRUARY 2015: PART 1 – CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS AND BOOKS WITH NEW MATERIAL

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.

KC Carlson. Art by Keith Wilson.


by KC Carlson

NEW STUFF

Avengers: Rage of Ultron

Avengers: Rage of Ultron


Avengers: Rage of Ultron OGN (Marvel): This is an all-new Original Graphic Novel by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña featuring the Avengers in conflict with their uber-foe Ultron (who just happens to be the Big Bad in the upcoming can’t-wait Avengers film next summer). In this story, when the Avengers last fought Ultron, they beat him down and launched him into space — supposedly never to see him again. (Silly Avengers! That trick never works!) Unfortunately, Ultron ends up on Titan (birthplace of Thanos) and eventually conquers the planet. Thanos’ bother (and former Avenger) Starfox is sent to seek the aid of his former teammates — but the Avengers he finds are radically different from the ones he once knew. Among them is Ultron’s creator Giant-Man, leading Hank Pym to confront his now planet-sized “son”. 120-page oversize color hardcover. Available in April 2015.

Bone Volume 1: Out From Boneville Tribute Edition

Bone Volume 1: Out From Boneville Tribute Edition


Bone Volume 1: Out From Boneville Tribute Edition (Cartoon Books): Most of this book is the 10th Anniversary Graphix (Scholastic) color printing of the first collection of Jeff Smith’s amazing Bone (just reviewed by Wayne Markley on Monday, right here). I’m mentioning it again because of the stellar array of comic creators who are contributing 48 pages of new material to the book. Look at this list of creators: Kate Beaton, Kazu Kibuishi, Dav Pilkey, Raina Telgemeier, Doug TenNapel, Craig Thompson, Dan Santat, and more! It’s very possible that Jeff Smith’s Bone may have inspired more new artists to start producing and publishing than any other modern comic work. Come join the celebration! 192-page 6” x 9” color hardcover. Available in February 2015.

Once Upon a Time: Out of the Past (Not actual cover).

Once Upon a Time: Out of the Past (Not actual cover).


Once Upon a Time: Out of the Past (Marvel): Mighty Marvel presents another original graphic novel based on the popular ABC TV show Once Upon a Time, where fairy tales come true — and not always for the best! This one is an all-new sequel to the previous Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen. Plotted by series writer and co-executive producer Kalinda Vazquez and co-written by returning author Corinna Bechko, this all-new blockbuster will spin four spellbinding, never-before-told tales of fan-favorite characters! The art is by Janet Lee, Betsy Peterschmidt, Pascal Campion, and Vanesa Del Rey with a cover by Stacey Lee. 112-page color hardcover. Available in April 2015.

The Sculptor

The Sculptor


The Sculptor (First Second): Scott McCloud’s much anticipated new work. You know him best from Understanding Comics, Making Comics, and Zot!, but The Sculptor is his first original graphic novel in years. David Smith is giving his life for his art, literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn’t making it any easier! It’s about a lot of things, but mostly the small, warm, human moments of everyday life… and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Neil Gaiman says “Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor is the best graphic novel I’ve read in years. It’s about art and love and why we keep on trying. It will break your heart.” 496-page 6” x 9” two-color hardcover.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS

Batman Noir: The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition

Batman Noir: The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition


Batman Noir: The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition (DC Comics): The classic 1986 Frank Miller and Klaus Janson epic story is reprinted again — but now in glorious BLACK & WHITE! (Sorry, Lynn Varley…) All your favorite scenes are still there, just a little noir-ier. Plus, suddenly all the TVs in Gotham City are now only broadcasting in black & white! Holy warranty problems! 208-page 7.5” x 11.5” B&W hardcover. Available in April 2015.

The Filth Deluxe Edition

The Filth Deluxe Edition


The Filth Deluxe Edition (DC Comics): Collecting the entire 13-issue run (plus bonuses!) of Grant Morrison’s hard-to-describe imaginative look at big ideas, exotic locales, and bizarre action, starring prosthetically outfitted dolphins in scuba gear and a hard-smoking communist chimpanzee. Rumor has it The Filth was originally a proposal for a Nick Fury series for Marvel Comics, and Morrison has reported (in 2007) that it is his favorite of his works. Art by Chris Weston and Gary Erskine. Originally published by Vertigo. Mature Readers. 352-page 7.0625” x 10.875” color hardcover. Available in April 2015.

Marvel Epic Collections:

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Round Robin

Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Round Robin


Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Round Robin (Marvel): Volume 22 in the Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collections. In adventures originally published in 1991-92, the web-slinger will need to do a little old-fashioned teaming up. How’s Moon Knight, Punisher, Nova, Night Thrasher, and Darkhawk? Not enough names? Well, the extravaganza known as the Vibranium Vendetta has Iron Man, Black Panther, Kingpin, and… hoo-boy… the metallic menace known as Ultron! Plus tussles with the Tri-Sentinel, The Secret Empire’s cyborg powerhouse Midnight, and some guy named Cardiac. Collecting Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #351-360 and Annual #25, Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #11, Web Of Spider-Man Annual #7, and Spider-Man: Fear Itself (the Marvel Graphic Novel by Gerry Conway, Stan Lee, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito). Also featuring work by David Michelinie, Al Milgrom, Mark Bagley, Chris Marrinan, Guang Yap, Marie Severin, Alan Kupperberg, and Paris Cullins. 488-page remastered color softcover.

Thor Epic Collection: To Wake the Mangog

Thor Epic Collection: To Wake the Mangog


Thor Epic Collection: To Wake the Mangog (Marvel): In Volume 4 in the Thor Epic Collections, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby really put Thor through some challenges in this epic era. Here’s all you need to know: a cosmic battle between Galactus and Ego the Living Planet; the return of “Him”, the man who would come to be known as Adam Warlock; and the universe-shaking origin of Galactus! Thor’s adventures get personal, too, with a surprising revelation regarding Donald Blake, the return of Jane Foster, and the dramatic dance between Balder and the Norn queen Karnilla. Collects Thor (1966) #154-174. It’s Thor-tastic!!! 456-page remastered color softcover.

Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk Volume 9

Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk Volume 9


Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk Volume 9 (Marvel): The Hulk was a wanderin’ kind of guy in the early 1970s. (Perhaps he was just trying to find himself.) And inevitably in his travels, he’d run into trouble, causing him to get angry, big, and green. What’s a sweet, lovable Hulk to do? Well, in this volume, he encounters Bruce Banner on Counter-Earth (huh?), along with the Rhino and the Abomination, then heads to Canada to visit the Mimic (a forgotten X-Man) and encounter the Wendigo for the first time! Then it’s back to America for more battles with General Thunderbolt Ross and Major Glenn Talbot (now the husband of Hulk’s honey, Betty Ross — currently transformed into the hideous Harpy!). It’s enough to make a misunderstood monster just want to hang around the campfire with a gallon or two of nice hot baked beans! Collects Incredible Hulk #157-170 by Steve Englehart and Herb Trimpe (with help by Archie Goodwin, Roy Thomas, Steve Gerber, and Chris Claremont). 304-page remastered color hardcover. Available in May 2015.

Return of the Gremlins

Return of the Gremlins


Return of the Gremlins (Dark Horse): This volume combines both new(-ish) and old material. The newer stuff is Mike Richardson and Dean Yeagle’s Return of the Gremlins comic, which is based on the classic Disney characters created by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach) in the 1940s. The original Disney Gremlins project was to have been an animated feature, but copyright issues and RAF rights reduced the project to merely an animated short. (Memorably, director Bob Clampett had a go with similar gremlin-like characters in a handful of Warner Bros.-produced Looney Tunes cartoons in the same era.) Although Disney abandoned plans for an animated Gremlins feature, they did produce a series of short, silent comic book stories (featuring a Gremlin Gus) in 1943 and 1944. Originally appearing in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #33-41, several of the stories were illustrated by Walt Kelley, who would later create the classic newspaper strip Pogo. This new Dark Horse Return of the Gremlins collection is said to also include “an archive of classic Gremlins comics and stories from the 1940s”. While DH don’t specifically mention the WDC&S stories, I’m not sure what else they could be. (Note that the famous Walt Disney logo also appears on the book’s cover.) The introduction to the book is by animation scholar Leonard Maltin. 120-page 7” x 10” color hardcover. Available in April 2015.

Robin the Boy Wonder: A Celebration of 75 Years

Robin the Boy Wonder: A Celebration of 75 Years


Robin the Boy Wonder: A Celebration of 75 Years (DC Comics): This book is said to be featuring work by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Dick Sprang, Don Cameron, Chuck Dixon, and others, but, as usual, no mention of the actual story contents. Let’s guess that it will include the classic 1940 origin story, at least one of Robin’s early solo stories from Star Spangled Comics, at least one “Death of Robin” story, and at least one where Robin (or Nightwing) gets the crap beaten out of him. (But not killed. That would be overkill.) Oh, and that one episode where there’s some misunderstanding about something. Cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams. 400-page color hardcover. Available in April 2015. Hmmm… I wonder if Stephanie Brown will be represented here.

Also Available:

Airboy Archives Volume 3

Airboy Archives Volume 3


Airboy Archives Volume 3 (IDW): Collecting — for the first time! — the Eclipse Comics series issues #26–34, the one-shots Air Maidens Special, Airboy and Mr. Monster, and Airboy Meets the Prowler, plus all of the Skywolf backup stories. Includes work by Chuck Dixon, Michael T. Gilbert, Timothy Truman, Gary Kwapisz, Graham Nolan, Ron Randall, Dan Spiegle, Larry Elmore, Michael T. Gilbert, Stan Woch, and John K. Snyder III, and features a cover by Truman. 308-page color softcover.

Avengers: Quicksilver

Avengers: Quicksilver


Avengers: Quicksilver (Marvel): Marvel’s newest filmic curiosity (in two different Marvel films by two different studios!) starred in his own 13-issue comic series in 1997-1998. Those issues are collected here, including crossover comics such as Heroes For Hire (1997) #15-16 and Heroes For Hire/Quicksilver Annual ‘98. Featuring The Knights of Wundagore, Thundra, Arkon, his sister the Scarlet Witch, his ex-wife Crystal, the Avengers, the Inhumans, and Heroes for Hire all against Exodus, Acolyte, and the resurgent High Evolutionary! Written by Tom Peyer, Joe Edkin, and John Ostrander, with art by Casey Jones, Rob Haynes, Derec Aucoin, Ivan Reis, Pasqual Ferry, and Chris Renaud. 440-page color softcover. Available in March 2015.

The Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Went Underground: Limited Edition Hardcover

The Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Went Underground: Limited Edition Hardcover


The Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Went Underground: Limited Edition Hardcover (Dark Horse): A special edition of the recent (and amazing) book about Marvel’s attempts to publish a magazine featuring the best of the 1970s underground artists and features. Besides the fascinating history, the book contains over 150 pages of classic underground work, much of it never before reprinted. This hardcover is limited to 250 copies — and signed by both Denis Kitchen and Stan Lee! 184-page 9.2” x 12.4” B&W (w/color) hardcover. Mature Readers.

Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 9

Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 9


Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 9 (Dark Horse): Collecting every uncensored page from Crime Does Not Pay #54 to #57, featuring amazing pre-Code work from comic greats including artists George Tuska, Fred Guardineer, Dan Barry, Richard “Dick” Briefer, Charles Biro, and others! New introduction by crime author Max Allan Collins. 280-page 7” x 10” color hardcover. Available in April 2015.

EC Archives: Shock SuspenStories Volume 3

EC Archives: Shock SuspenStories Volume 3


EC Archives: Shock SuspenStories Volume 3 (Dark Horse): Some of the best comics of the 1940s, by these classic artists: Jack Davis, Jack Kamen, Wally Wood, Reed Crandall, George Evans, Bernie Krigstein, Bill Elder, Joe Orlando, and Frank Frazetta! Digitally recolored, using Marie Severin’s original color guides, and including all the original ads, text pieces, and letters! Forward by Brian Michael Bendis, who explains why these stories are still important today! Shocking! 216-page 8 1/4” x 11” color hardcover. Available in April 2015.

Hawkeye: Avenging Archer

Hawkeye: Avenging Archer


Hawkeye: Avenging Archer (Marvel): Collecting a huge bunch of Hawk Guy (and Mockingbird) material from around 2010, including New Avengers: The Reunion #1-4, Hawkeye & Mockingbird #1-6, Widowmaker #1-4, Hawkeye: Blindspot #1-4, Hawkeye & Mockingbird Sketchbook, and material from Dark Reign: New Nation #1 and Enter the Heroic Age #1. A great way to collect all these odds & ends — also featuring Black Widow, Crossfire, Phantom Rider, and more. Work by Jim McCann, Duane Swierczynski, David Lopez, Manuel Garcia, and others. 480-page color softcover. Available in March 2015.

Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 8

Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 8


Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 8 (Dark Horse): Affordable versions of the classic samurai manga by Kazuo Kolke and Goseki Kojima. Collecting three stories from the original Volume 17, all of Volume 18, and two stories from Volume 19. 672-page 5” x 7” B&W softcover. Available in April 2015.

Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude

Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude


Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude (Marvel): This is your basic primer gearing up for next summer’s movie! Collects Marvel’s The Avengers #1-2, Avengers Cinematic Infinite Comic #1, Avengers (1963) #57-58, Avengers (1998) #22, and Avengers (2010) #12.1. Features work by Roy Thomas, Kurt Busiek & Brian Michael Bendis, John Buscema, George Pérez & Bryan Hitch, and others. 184-page color softcover. Available in March 2015.

Star Trek Gold Key Adventures Volume 3

Star Trek Gold Key Adventures Volume 3


Star Trek Gold Key Adventures Volume 3 (IDW): Collecting the original Gold Key Star Trek issues #13-18, featuring work by Len Wein and Alberto Giolitti. Fully remastered with new colors by Michael Stribling, including stories such as “Dark Traveler”, “The Enterprise Mutiny”, “The Hijacked Planet”, and more. 160-page color hardcover.

Super-Villains Unite: The Complete Super-Villain Team-Up

Super-Villains Unite: The Complete Super-Villain Team-Up


Super-Villains Unite: The Complete Super-Villain Team-Up (Marvel): Starring Namor, the Sub-Mariner, and Dr. Doom, and probably best-known as the Marvel series having more creators than characters. Written by Roy Thomas, Tony Isabella, Jim Shooter, Bill Mantlo, Steve Englehart, Gerry Conway, and Peter B. Gillis. Art by John Buscema, Mike Sekowsky, George Evans, Sal Buscema, Herb Trimpe, Keith Giffen, George Pérez, Jim Shooter, Bob Hall, Carmine Infantino, and Arvell Jones. Cover by Ron Wilson. Collects Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up #1-2, Super-Villain Team-Up #1-14 and #16-17, Avengers (1963) #154-156, and Champions #16. 464-page color softcover. And before you ask, Super-Villain Team-Up #15 was a reprint fill-in issue, not collected here. Sheesh!

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NEXT WEEK: Books even bigger than these! Three artist edition-style books! Some long-awaited classic newspaper strip collections. And a book or two about comics for all you non-fiction fans out there!

KC CARLSON: Snowing hard today, but I’m too busy to watch out the window. Bet it would be a lot warmer in here if I just burned some of these old comics…

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

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