Book Depository seem to have mis-priced Redneck Vol. 1 Deep In The Heart TP which is out next week. It’s currently going for 9.66 euros with the 10% pre-order discount (the US cover price is $17). I’m not sure if this is just the European site or what but chances are this will be corrected soon.
Just gone active and will likely change:
Absolute WildC.A.T.s has been delayed two months. It’s almost too easy.
But, wasn’t this one originally solicited to have Jim Lee’s Savage Dragon issue as well? Or am I dreaming that?
But the Absolute Authority reprint is here!
This version includes the Planetary crossover story as well as the promised new story by Ellis and Hitch. Both are sandwiched between arcs two and three.
There are plenty of extras here too - I can’t remember how many are duplicated from the original but there’s a script, some sketches and pencils and unused art, and even the cover art from the TPB and the original Absolute:
Maybe not worth the upgrade if you have the original Absolute, but definitely the version to get if you have the choice.
What’s that like?
So the new release date is?
Cool. I’m happy with my first printing, but the new short gets printed in the Wildstorm 25th Anniversary Hardcover too. So I’m looking forward to getting my hands on that. Eventually.
Around Valentine’s Day.
Balls - there’s a really good SH price, if it doesn’t change, for this and a delay means it’s more likely to go up!
I can’t say it’s top of my hit-list but at the price SH have, a lot of people would buy it.
You’re not wrong! If that goes live I’m definitely in for it too.
Hell, I’d put in a preorder I know’d expire, as they tend to honor those too.
I don’t even particularly want that book, but £36 for prime Jim Lee artwork (arguably never bettered) in Absolute format is too good not to get.
The Life and Times of Martha Washington
There’s no way of getting around it: This is a flawed collection, but not so much as I feared it could be.
In a way it is an excellent reflection of its writers strengths and weaknesses, whereas Gibbon’s art is generally excellent no matter what.
All in all, it’s the first story, Give Me Liberty, that is the best and the smartest, contrasting Martha with Moretti, a black girl with nothing versus a rich, colonial spoilt white boy and everything flows from that collision. The concept of the Green is quite the idea and I could see some politician doing it for real at some point.
The other aspect that really comes to the fore is how it reads like a story that 2000AD would have done. It has a scattergun approach, everything and everyone gets a kicking in this. And there’s very wry gags, like the Surgeon’-General’s pronouncement: Crime is not a disease, disease is crime! Judge Death would approve.
The second main story, Martha Washington Goes to War, is 80% good, it’s only in the fifth and final issue it goes off the rails, with rapid plot leaps all over the place. The third and final main tale, Martha Washington Saves the World, is far better. Martha versus AI, you know who’s going to win that one.
Then there’s the end, Martha Washington Dies and, well… The way the previous tale ended opened up a lot of doors for the character, but instead her creators lost interest and then killed her off years later with a weird, mystical conclusion, with the world once more in the crapper. All the doors opened by the ending of the previous story are slammed shut and it feels a bit of a waste.
In a way, it’s the Frank Miller as he was versus the Frank Miller he became and I know which I prefer.
The short stories covered are very good, but are more intermission than anything substantive.
Strangely, this is the first DHC collection I’ve bought in ages where the production values are, by their standards, lacking! The paper is thin, the compression increased compared to most of the other DHC trades I have. I was expecting this to be akin to the new Usagi Yojimbo or Elfquest trades but it’s noticeably slimmer, due to that paper type.
If you haven’t read it, I’d say it’s definitely worth a look, it does some very smart story-telling and there’s worse ways to spend £15-16 these days.
Great review, Ben. I have this setting on my shelf and need to read it.
One point I forgot to include is it’s quite interesting reading this in the future years it envisaged!
EDIT: I forgot to post this earlier:
I Hate Fairyland: Volume 3: Good Girl
I’m still not convinced that this is a book that should look to go for a long run, but while Young can execute it so well it’ll remain a brilliantly fun one. From Larry’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ riff to Gert’s slow realisation that she’s been a total bastard psychopath, the book never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously. It is a screwball sicko comedy book, not a deadly serious character examination.
The end of book cliffhanger, however, where Gert meets the Devil to find that it’s her casts an interesting light on her being unable to return home and why she’s been such a violent bastard to everyone. Will have to see how that gets picked up in Volume 4.
It’s good. It really feels like a ‘lost’ Authority story (which according to some suggestions I’ve read, it may be) and packs quite a lot of action and character work into a fairly short page count. Very much a Jenny Sparks-centric story that fits nicely just before the final arc of the Ellis/Hitch run.
I’m also getting the upcoming Wildstorm celebration book so I guess I’ll end up with two copies of it!
Did the Hitch written and drawn story that was going to be in the cancelled Authority: Widescreen one-shot ever come out?
I don’t think it ever did.
Recently arrived, new, not yet read, acquisitions:
The Wild Storm: Volume 1
A bold aesthetic in the cover design really makes this stand out in a good way - a really good start.
Justice League: The Darkseid War Saga Omnibus
Wow, what a mouthful of a title. That aside, this is a decent quality omnibus - good paper and binding to show the story off to the max. If you can get this for anything in the region of £37-39, you’ll get your money’s worth.
Plus, a recent read:
Superman: Action Comics OHC1
This was excellent.
It starts by asking what happens if Lex Luthor got his fondest wish, Superman dead, and goes from there. Unlike past depictions, this version of Lex isn’t inclined to crow over his deceased adversary, indeed, to a degree he no longer sees him in that light as he used to. I find this version of Lex interesting, as he still has his arsehole tendencies, but they’re tempered, restrained which in turn makes a better case for Lex actually being as intelligent as he claims to be.
The main arc of the volume, a new fight with Doomsday could so easily have gone wrong but doesn’t. It’s something I’ve noticed across the Rebirth books I’ve read - DC has this fantastically convoluted history and continuity, multiple worlds, multiple versions of characters, but it hasn’t always been able to use that to its advantage. This was one of Johns’ strengths and it’s one he’s clearly bring to the line, but with others creating the stories in the main. So, this fight with Doomsday draws on the previous Death of Superman story, and the expanded origin Doomsday came to acquire too, in a very effective way.
I have no doubt reading this monthly could have frustrated for it’s, more or less, a big punch-up, akin to the Eradicator fight that was done over in Superman, but for those reading it in collected form? It reads brilliantly. They take the time to do a superb, extended fight sequence - where Doomsday is smarter than before, but so too is Superman. Ok, yes, there is a second story here, but it can’t possibly match the first one and is far more of a necessary, quieter, plot strand pickup tale.
I’ll be getting the second OHC that’s due at the start of next year and then the Oz Effect OHC.
I’m a big fan of Divinity. Its brevity of storytelling means it relies on big moments, and whether or not you consider its insights compelling probably determines how you view the results. I like that combination. Kindt as a writer always thinks big, and he always has his characters tossed in mind-boggling confrontations. And that’s Divinity in a nutshell, too.
I haven’t read his Unity, but having it described that way makes me want to have a look.
I thought it was pretty poor. Jurgens’ writing style is so dated it felt like a bad 90’s superman comic. The Doomsday arc was groan inducingly bad with trite clichéd dialogue. The Superman and Super Sons books are so far ahead of Action in terms of quality it’s shocking.