Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


Dealer Alert

For those considering Wagner’s Mage, keep an eye on SpeedyHen:

A few years back, two OHCS for the first two volumes of the trilogy were done - the first SH are offering at £21.37! Now, as the new editions of Hero Discovered are going to be 2 paperbacks of around £10-11 online, this is pretty good.

Is in stick? Errrrrr… It was. Someone bought the last earlier today.

Currently OHC2 is out of stock, but that may change too, but is a few quid more at the £25-26 mark.


Oooo so many volumes! It’s even bigger than A Song of Fire and Ice! I’m going to enjoy reading this whole saga…

So, just checking, everyone is completely clear on the correct order to read all these books, right?



Start with Vol 1, obviously.


Recent reads:

King’s Quest

A continuation of the Dynamite’s Flash Gordon story after the King Collection of miniseries - yes, they issued a 25-issue paperback for RRP £44.99, but even while the issue-trade ratio is very good, it’s still feels too much and I’m sceptical of the binding quality, so I skipped it. It does an OK job of getting the reader up to speed, though the art starts off as bad and slowly improves over the course of the story, so not the best of starts.

The big problem is the story’s central idea: Dale Arden going to the dark side, “killing” Ming by sending him into the void and taking over from him. The resolution is cheap, last-minute and there’s too little in the way of consequence. What happens with the ‘demon’ manipulating Mandrake was quite unclear too. So, yes, it all pretty much falls apart at the end. I got this for about £9, so half price but £17.99? It ain’t worth that. Also, Acker’s an OK writer but he’s nowhere near Jeff Parker.

Flash Gordon: King’s Cross

Hey, guess who’s back? More than one return actually, but let’s talk about Parker. He clearly likes this material, though Hamm on the art is nowhere near Shaner who did the art for the previous Gordon tale by Parker. This is a fun read, it never takes itself too seriously and it never tries to really dispel the sense that somehow Flash and co will prevail.

Are either book essential? There’s nothing here to really match the combo of King’s Watch / Flash Gordon that was done a few years back. Of the two, King’s Cross is the stronger, but Dynamite need to put better creative teams on this property.

Powers: OHC7: Bureau

Well, here we are, the latest duo of trades, save for the recent hardback of the whatever-volume Powers is now on, in OHC form, so that matches well with the others. So, 7 OHCs, 16 trades - how long is too long? It’s a question every long running title has to eventually address or be doomed to decline. Unfortunately, on the evidence of this volume, Bendis and Oeming appear to prefer to duck the question.

The good - the interplay between Bendis and Oeming is good, the rhythms of Bendis’ distinctive dialogue works well - it isn’t new, but it’s always been good, as is the art.

The bad - plots are introduced, developed and then resolved in a very slapdash manner that gives a sense they don’t care anymore, but neither do they know how to wrap it up. The final issues suffer from this particularly badly, with revelations coming out of nowhere to sweep certain plot elements off the stage very quickly. Which is a shame because this could have been a far more effective reboot after the apocalypse of OHC6.

If there is ever a OHC8, would I consider it? Perhaps, if it was the same price point as this RRP £24.99 / $29.99 for a 12-issue OHC ain’t a bad deal.

This was a fun, Ok read but that isn’t really what this book was or ought to be.


The Last American

Having never read this old Epic series before, I was interested in the recent Rebellion reprint after seeing a preview a while back. It’s good, with some pretty great art, but suffers from a (presumably intentional) sense of pointlessness and inconclusiveness that leaves the whole thing feeling a bit empty.

The basic concept is that a single soldier - “Apocalypse Commander” Ulysses Pilgrim - has been cryogenically frozen and is awakened on July 4th, 2019, after a nuclear winter caused by global war has finally started to blow over.

As Pilgrim explores the barren wasteland of the USA in search of humanity, we learn a little bit more about his history, as well as getting some insights into his thoughts on and experience of politics.

John Wagner and Alan Grant’s story is an interesting musing on the futility of war - especially nuclear war - and the human cost of political violence. And it gives Mick McMahon the chance to depict some suitably bleak landscapes as Pilgrim’s progress is laid out to us.

There’s humour there too - particularly when it comes to Pilgrim’s eccentric robot companions - and the story often undercuts its fairly dark subject matter with absurd humour (Including, at one point, an extended musical sequence).

But many of the story and character teases that we are given end up having either a subdued payoff or no payoff at all, and the ending of the story is a little inconclusive (and makes me wonder whether things were deliberately left open with an eye to future stories).

Worth a read, but not a classic for me.


Can anybody recommend Simon Spurrier’s X-Men Legacy? Omni looks to be quite cheap at the minute, but space in my comic budget, omni shelf, and to-read pile are all in short supply.

This weekend I’ve struggled to get through most of The Legend of Wonder Woman vol 1. Not an enjoyable read for me; I will say that the art is serviceable and the colouring is vibrant, but everything is so needlessly protracted. Every single scene is far far wordier than it needs to be and just seems to go on forever. Any momentum is killed off, the plot moves at a snail’s pace, and I’m reading it after seeing the Wonder Woman movie, which has a very similar, yet much better story. I wouldn’t recommend this.

On the other hand, Roughneck by Jeff Lemire is incredible. I’m a huge Lemire fan, and this is a real classic from him. It’s very much in the vein of Essex County and Underwater Welder, narratively and visually. I don’t want to say too much about it, because a lot of the beauty of the book is the economy of Lemire’s storytelling here, a lot of the themes aren’t made obvious and it can take you until quite late on in the book to cotton on to them, because Lemire just spreads these elements throughout in a way that feels natural and it’s up to you to see them. It’s a really beautiful piece of work, I think it’ll definitely reward re-reads. I don’t want to say silly things early on, but this could possibly be Lemire’s most accomplished work of his career.

I’ve started on the Batman Ego hardcover this evening as well. All I can think of is what a unique and brilliant talent Darwyn Cooke was, there isn’t a stroke of this book so far that isn’t a masterpiece. Seeing him referred to in the past tense on the dust jacket was a bit of a cold water shock, i think it’s the first posthumous release of his I’ve bought. I hadn’t realised it’s been over a year since he passed away; a real loss to the comics industry and community.


It’s good

But not good enough to satisfy this


Just had a very pleasant surprise- Wordery have put my copy of Ragnarok Volume 2 in the post!


Just read through all three Southern Bastards trades. There’s no way this is going to end well for anyone, is there?!

Has there been any indication how many issues it’s going to run to because it feels like it’s heading towards a climax pretty soon.


I don’t think it’s due to end any time soon. No indication of that from the letters pages anyway.


Brilliant series. But I wish it would come out a little more often. It’s been ages since the last issue. The erratic shipping is really robbing it of any forward momentum.

I realise this is the trades thread so less of a concern to you guys :wink:


Did a bit of googling. Sounds like there’s at least two more arcs planned with the potential end point of 40 or so issues.


Yeah my only criticism of Southern Bastards would be the frequency it come out.

I’m reading in trade so it feels like ages since I read it last.

I’m assuming it’s down to Latour working on other stuff as a writer, because it’s not like Aaron has any problems knocking out quality scripts on a regular basis.


Have you read The Goddammed, Bruce?


Not just feels like, it has been ages. There have only been three issues released since January 2016, and the last one was six months ago.


I’ve given up on it. Just sold my trades on ebay.


Looking at that it seems like Latour drawing is the holdup. He says in the interview Bruce posted from January that issue 17 is in the works and #18 has a guest artist. On your list you see #18 is solicited two week after the previous issue. Which suggests #18 may have been finished first.


I haven’t. What’s it like, in a nutshell?


I’ll be happy enough to hold on. It’s a quick enough read to reread the previous instalments when a new trade comes out (which is what I did with this latest one).


I’ll be honest that as time goes on I am not only more patient about stuff being late, I don’t even notice as much.