COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR NEW ITEMS [SEP15] PART ONE: PANIC. HORROR. MANGOG. MAGICA. GRAWBADGER. T’CHAKA. FLINCH. FRUG. DOGS AND CATS, LIVING TOGETHER! MASS HYSTERIA! MUST BE WEDNESDAY…

by KC Carlson

SPOTLIGHT ON:

Superman: Secret Identity Deluxe Edition

Superman: Secret Identity Deluxe Edition


Superman: Secret Identity Deluxe Edition (DC Comics): Well, it’s only taken 12 years (!), but finally, this wonderfully great Superman coming-of-age/generational saga is being published in a Deluxe Edition format hardcover. Originally released as four Prestige Format issues by DC in 2004, and collected in softcover shortly thereafter, but criminally not promoted well — if at all, beyond its original solicitation — this amazing series is long overdue for re-evaluation with this new edition. Possibly the best-ever collaboration between Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen (with Wade von Grawbadger) — though there’s tough competition for that! It’s a difficult story/project to summarize properly due to its unique structure and setting. During that era, it might have been labelled as an Elseworlds project, although it wasn’t that exactly. Nor was it an Imaginary Tale, although it does share traits with that beloved storytelling form for a certain generation of DC readers.

Secret Identity is the Superman story that true-fans have always longed to read, but one that DC could not publish as a regular in-continuity story for various reasons. It’s somewhat epic in scope (covering about 40-50 years of Superman’s life — from teen years to his retirement) and like all good epics, it will bring a tear to the eye of even the most hardcore reader. It is also the perfect story to highlight the unique talents of its creators.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a Superman story, you will be immensely rewarded reading this book. That bookshelf you have of your favorite superhero comics is lacking something if Superman: Secret Identity is not on it.

244-page 7.0625” x 10.875” color hardcover. Available in January 2016.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS

Batman vs. Superman

Batman vs. Superman


Batman vs. Superman (DC Comics): Batman vs. Superman! “Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!” “Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes! Volcanoes!” “The dead rising from the grave!” “Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!”

Or something like that. This collects the adventures of the world’s most powerful man vs. the world’s richest man. No, it’s not the Presidential primaries … It’s Batman vs. Superman! Collects Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #4, Batman #612, Batman #35-36, Superman/Batman #32 and #78, and Justice League #2. Can’t we all just get along? Apparently Frank Miller, Jeph Loeb, Scott Snyder, Mark Verheiden, Joe Kelly, Geoff Johns, Klaus Janson, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, Matthew Clark, and Ed Benes don’t think so either. Cover by Jim Lee and Scott Williams. 160-page color softcover. Available in December. What, there’s a movie coming out? Really?

Black Panther by Christopher Priest: The Complete Collection Volume 2

Black Panther by Christopher Priest: The Complete Collection Volume 2


Black Panther by Christopher Priest: The Complete Collection Volume 2 (Marvel): Continuing the greatest modern run of Black Panther! When T’Challa falls to the one foe he’s never beaten, Killmonger earns the right to become the new Black Panther! Now, only Everett K. Ross can save T’Challa’s life — okay, maybe Ross plus Moon Knight, Brother Voodoo, and the Panther God. Still suffering, the deposed Wakandan leader finds himself caught in a cat trap with the Avengers and… Deadpool?! Storm of the X-Men offers comfort as Wakanda finds itself on the verge of war with Lemuria and Atlantis — and Klaw, Malice, and Man-Ape threaten to destroy the African Avenger once and for all! Plus: Ross spends a day in Mephisto’s metaphorical shoes (size 12EEEEEE!), and Captain America recounts his never-before-revealed wartime meeting with the former Black Panther, T’Chaka. Super heroics meet geopolitics as only Priest can mix them. Written by Christopher Priest, with art by Kyle Hotz, Sal Velluto, Tomm Coker, Mark Bright, Norm Breyfogle, and Jim Calafiore. Cover by Sal Velluto. Collects Black Panther (1998) #18-35 and Deadpool (1997) #44. 448-page remastered color softcover.

The EC Archives: Panic Volume 1

The EC Archives: Panic Volume 1


The EC Archives: Panic Volume 1 (Dark Horse): Panic was kind of the bastard cousin of Mad, the super-popular comic book created by Harvey Kurtzman and published by EC Comics in the 1950s that became one of the most popular (as well as the most widely imitated) comic books of that year (and perhaps, all time). EC publisher William M. Gaines (better known as Bill) obviously noted all of the imitators/competition for Mad and cannily thought he should publish one himself. So he did, and it was called Panic. The biggest difference between the two (actually) funny books was that Panic was not edited and (mostly) written by Harvey Kurtzman. It was edited and (mostly) written by EC Comics’ other editor (and major writer) Al Feldstein. So, Panic wasn’t bad — it looked great and even featured work by some of Mad’s best artists, like Jack Davis, Will Elder, and Wally Wood, plus Jack Kamen, Joe Orlando, Basil Wolverton, and others. Besides Feldstein, writers included Elder, future Mad co-editor Nick Meglin, and Jack Mendelsohn.

But Kurtzman didn’t think Panic was so funny. Besides co-opting his chosen creative partners, Panic even parodied Kurtzman’s famous signature! So while Kurtzman had other issues beside Panic with Gaines, Kurtzman eventually left EC and Mad, and Panic was cancelled after 12 issues. The first six are collected in this new Dark Horse collection. Thirty years after this, Kurtzman commented, “Panic was another sore point. Gaines, by some convoluted reasoning, decided to double the profit of Mad by doing a Feldstein version of Mad, and he just plundered all of my techniques and artists. For this there was a real conflict of interests.” Gaines ultimately selected Feldstein to edit Mad after Kurtzman left, which Feldstein did until he retired in 1985.

So, this new collection of the first six issues of Panic… a great read, and now you know a little of the history behind it! 216-page 8 3/16” x 11” hardcover and now back in color for the first time in decades! Available in January 2016. Oh, and did I mention that back in the 50s, the first issue was banned and caused all sorts of trouble…

Flinch Book One

Flinch Book One


Flinch Book One (Vertigo): Flinch was a quirky, frequently funny horror anthology published by Vertigo in the early ‘00s. Its main claim to fame was that comics’ top talents could cut loose with wild ideas not necessarily appropriate for “series” storytelling. Here’s a partial rundown of creators in this first volume, collecting Flinch #1-8: Jim Lee, Frank Quitely, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso (100 Bullets), Garth Ennis, Bill Willingham (Fables), Ty Templeton, Joe R. Lansdale, Greg Rucka, and many more. Something for everyone… including dead relatives! (BTW, according to Amazon, Flinch Book 2 will follow next May.) 192-page color softcover. Available in December. MATURE READERS.

Horror by Heck

Horror by Heck


Horror by Heck (Yoe Books/IDW): Better known today as the co-creator of Iron Man (even credited in the movies!), long-time artist at Marvel (Avengers) and DC (Wonder Woman) Don Heck apparently had a dark side. And, of course, Craig Yoe has discovered it and is now publishing it! In the 1950s, Heck did a score of artistically brilliant and extremely beyond-the-pale, extremely gruesome, pre-Code horror comic book covers and comics. Much of it is collected here. This beautiful hardcover book sports the usual Yoe Books detailed history, rare images reproduced from original art, and more mind-blowing ephemera to give a fascinating look at the dark side of Dapper Don Heck. (Are you reading this, Beau Smith?) Dashing Don seems to be having a long-in-coming creative re-evaulation by historians and fans of late, and it’s really great to see this largely-unknown body of work brought back into print. Introduction by my old pal (and artist who’s drawn his share of creepy stuff) Kelley Jones! 152-page 5.9” x 8.3” color hardcover. Available in December.

Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years

Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years


Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years (DC Comics): Well, I’m not sure that I’d actually call this book a “celebration”! As we all know, Lex is probably not much of a party guy! But it’s cool that DC’s producing a collection covering decades of a criminal career like no other. This collection includes every phase of Luthor’s history, from mad scientist to corrupt captain of industry, from President of the United States to member of the Justice League! Creators include Jerry Siegel, Geoff Johns, and hopefully many others. Cover by David Finch. 360-page oversize color hardcover. Available in December.

MARVEL EPIC COLLECTIONS

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: Infinities

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: Infinities


Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: Infinities (Marvel): The stories you know — reimagined! Play “What if?” with the original trilogy in a series of tales exploring the endless possibilities of Star Wars. How would A New Hope have gone if Luke Skywalker missed the target in his attack on the Death Star? What would have become of the Rebel Alliance if Luke perished in the icy wastelands of Hoth during The Empire Strikes Back? What if Return of the Jedis rescue of Han Solo had gone badly wrong? And in the ultimate alternate take on the galaxy far, far away, follow Annikin Starkiller into The Star Wars in an epic based on the original draft of George Lucas’ screenplay! Collects Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope #1-4, Star Wars Infinities: The Empire Strikes Back #1-4, Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi #1-4, and The Star Wars #0-8. Written by Chris Warner, Dave Land, Adam Gallardo, and J.W. Rinzler. Art by Drew Johnson, Al Rio, Davide Fabbri, Ryan Benjamin, Mike Mayhew, Scott Kolins, and others. Cover by Nick Runge. 504-page remastered color softcover. Available in December.

Wolverine Epic Collection: The Dying Game

Wolverine Epic Collection: The Dying Game


Wolverine Epic Collection: The Dying Game (Marvel): Volume #8 in the Wolverine Epic Collections. Logan succumbs to the beast within! Wolverine has lost his adamantium skeleton, and his healing factor is on the fritz, but he’s been coping fairly well. That ends now. The dark path that Logan’s on is about to cost him his humanity — perhaps forever! As Wolverine heads home, team-ups with Gambit, Deadpool, and Ghost Rider all lead to one of the greatest Wolverine/Sabretooth battles of all time — a clash of the titans from which neither escapes unscathed. In the unsettling aftermath, friends rally around Logan, hoping to keep him from succumbing to his animal side as he fights the N’Garai, the Juggernaut, Chimera, and more with ever-increasing savagery. But all hope seems lost when Wolverine is targeted by the heirs of Apocalypse: Genesis and the Dark Riders! Written by Larry Hama, Chris Golden, Ian Edginton, and John Ostrander, with art by Adam Kubert, Fabio Laguna, Duncan Rouleau, Chris Alexander, Ramon Bernardo, Val Semeiks, J.H. Williams III, Ben Herrera, and Jan Duursema. Collects Wolverine (1988) #87-100 and Annual ’95 and Wolverine: Knight of Terra. Cover by Adam Kubert. 488-page remastered color softcover. Available in December.

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 15

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 15


Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 15 (Marvel): When the Time-Twisters seek to destroy Earth, Thor embarks on an adventure with Zarrko the Tomorrow Man. (You know, if the “Tomorrow” Man was really smart, he’d just play the ponies every day and give up this crazy super-villain stuff!) (See, I could write for Marvel!) It’s a battle through time (with dinosaurs!) that will impress you to the end. Then, Thor fights the Firelord in the jungles of Latin America — and only Jane Foster can save him! (How times have changed… or have they?) The Warriors Three ramble off (do they listen to Zepplin?) on a solo adventure, while Thor returns to Asgard to face the one and only Mangog. Their battle will rage across the Fabled Realm, taking Thor to Hel in a quest to save Odin. (I went to Hel once — It was Hel getting there, and Hel driving home. Stupid Hel!) Plus: the return of “Tales of Asgard,” Thor vs. Ulik the Troll, and a giant-sized epic (yet, will still fit in this book) featuring Hercules! Written by Len Wein, David Anthony Kraft, and Steve Englehart with art by John Buscema and Pablo Marcos. Cover by Jack Kirby. Collects Thor (1966) #242-254 and Annual #5, Marvel Spotlight (1971) #30, and material from Marvel Treasury Edition #10. 304-page remastered color hardcover. Available in two different cover designs — one for each eye. (Sorry, Nick Fury.) Available in March 2016.

Suicide Squad Volume 2: The Nightshade Odyssey

Suicide Squad Volume 2: The Nightshade Odyssey


Suicide Squad Volume 2: The Nightshade Odyssey (DC Comics): Former Suicide Squad editor Bob Greenberger is going to cover this one soon, since he’ll probably have a few behind-the-scenes stories about the stories, the characters, and the characters who created the stories. That’ll be a lot more fun than me just making stuff up — like how Captain Boomerang never showered much. No wonder nobody liked him. It’s a 272-page softcover collecting Suicide Squad #9-16, and a couple of specials featuring Justice League International and the Doom Patrol. Good stuff by John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell, and Keith Giffen. Available in December.

Walt Disney Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Don Rosa Library Volume 4: The Last of the Clan McDuck

Walt Disney Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Don Rosa Library Volume 4: The Last of the Clan McDuck


Walt Disney Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Don Rosa Library Volume 4: The Last of the Clan McDuck (Fantagraphics): Another wonderful collection of stories by Don Rosa, whose charmingly quirky work both fits into and enhances the work of the original “Duck Man”, Carl Barks. In this new collection, much of Scrooge McDuck’s history unfolds: from Scrooge’s Scottish boyhood as “Last of the Clan McDuck”, to his teenage years as “Master of the Mississippi” on Uncle Pothole’s steamboat. Plus, Scrooge’s first fights with the Beagle Boys and Flintheart Glomgold ― and in a bonus “Chapter 0”, his earliest meeting with Magica De Spell! These books are always packed with extras, much written and prepared by Rosa himself, sharing creation secrets as well as clever references and “easter eggs” tucked away in the panels. Plus, Rosa’s cover art and behind-the-scenes factoids! Many of these stories have been collected before, but the look, design, and fantastic production work on these Fantagraphics editions most likely will stand as the “definitive” collections for a very long time, if not forever. 192-page 8.5” x 11” remastered color hardcover. Available in December.

Weird Love Volume 2: That’s The Way I Like It!

Weird Love Volume 2: That’s The Way I Like It!


Weird Love Volume 2: Thats The Way I Like It!: (Yoe Books/IDW): It’s going to be hard to top the absolutely bizarre romance stories from the first volume, but this list of story titles gives me high hopes for this second sleazy and stupefying volume from Craig Yoe: “Too Fat to Frug”, “Men You Shouldn’t Marry”, “Leader of the Pack”, “Love Slaves”, “Stay Away From Married Men”, “Trailer Park Girl: Flirtation on Wheels”, “Mail-Order Marriage”, “Thrill Crazy!”, “I Was a Border Racket Girl”, “I Was Too Beautiful”, “I Was a Waterfront Girl”, “I Was a Child Bride”, and, of course, ”I Married a Monster”. Includes work by Bob Powell, Bill Ward, Ogden Whitney, and many more. Added bonus: Introduction by leading romance comics historian Michelle Nolan (Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics). 168-page 7.5” x 9.8” color hardcover. Available in December.

Also Available:

Dream Logic

Dream Logic


Dream Logic (Dark Horse): Collects the entire 2010 Marvel Comics series of Dream Logic by David Mack and includes lots of new extra stuff, including the beautiful art and “making of” from Mack’s acclaimed tarot card set as well as his figure drawings exhibited in Los Angeles and Chicago. 240-page 7” x 10” color softcover. Available in January.

Green Arrow Volume 4: Blood of the Dragon

Green Arrow Volume 4: Blood of the Dragon


Green Arrow Volume 4: Blood of the Dragon (DC Comics): Collects Green Arrow #21-28 from 1989 by Mike Grell, Dan Jurgens, Trevor Von Eeden, J.J. Birch, and others. More bow and arrow than wrestling in these classic stories (Sorry. Just watched SummerSlam. Stephen Amell was awesome in the ring!) 264-page color softcover. Available in December.

Haunted Horror Pre-Code Cover Coloring Book Volume 1

Haunted Horror Pre-Code Cover Coloring Book Volume 1


Haunted Horror Pre-Code Cover Coloring Book Volume 1 (Yoe Books/IDW): Have you ever wanted to pull out your crayons and color blood, gore, ooze, and crawlies? Yeah, me neither. But I would be interested in coloring the work of pre-Code artists like Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, Dick Briefer, Don Heck, Bob Powell, Tom Sutton, Howard Nostrand, and many more in this 64-page 8.5” x 11” B&W softcover. I haven’t eaten a crayon in months! Available in December.

Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 11

Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 11


Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 11 (Dark Horse): The swords of Ōgami Ittō and Retsudō Yagyū stand waiting for the mortal enemies’ final confrontation, but Yagyū is imprisoned in Edo Castle with conniving poisoner Abeno as his warden. 736-page 5” x 7” B&W softcover. Available in January 2016.

Modesty Blaise: Ripper Jax

Modesty Blaise: Ripper Jax


Modesty Blaise: Ripper Jax (Volume 27) (Titan Books): Cool title. But no info about the book anywhere. (sigh) But most Blaise/O’Donnell fans probably don’t need any by now! By Peter O’Donnell and Enric Badia Romero. 138-page B&W softcover.

Nightwing Volume 3: False Starts

Nightwing Volume 3: False Starts


Nightwing Volume 3: False Starts (DC Comics): Great stuff by Chuck Dixon, Scott McDaniel, and Karl Story (as well as others) from the 90s when the Bat-books were firing on all cylinders! This one features post-earthquake stories from Nightwing #19-25 and #1,000,000 and Nightwing and Huntress #1-4. 296-page color softcover. Available in December.

Savage Sword of Conan Volume 21

Savage Sword of Conan Volume 21


Savage Sword of Conan Volume 21 (Dark Horse): Collects never-before collected stories — out of print for over twenty years — from Marvel Comics’ The Savage Sword of Conan #213-223. Features work by Roy Thomas, Rafael Kayanan, John Buscema, E.R. Cruz, and others. Cover by Julie Bell. 552-page 7” x 10” B&W softcover. Available in January 2016.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics Volume 6

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics Volume 6


T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classics Volume 6 (IDW): The original adventures of Dynamo, NoMan, Menthor, and others from T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents issues 15-19. Features the artwork of Wally Wood, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane, Chic Stone, and more. 236-page color softcover. Available in November.

NEXT WEEK: Lots of Omnibi, including a couple coming back into print. Also lots of newspaper strip collections. Must be holiday gift-giving (and getting) time! Plus stuff about Will Eisner, Jim Shooter, and Gil Kane. (They all walk into a bar, you see…)

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KC CARLSON: Smarter than politicians. (Who isn’t?) Also smarter than pelicans, who, by the way, are also smarter than politicians. So, elect a pelican today! Things couldn’t be worse!

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. We like pelicans also, but we don’t think you should vote for one. (We like hedgehogs.)

 

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