Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


No, definitely start with the Boom series.

The self-published issues feel like a TV pilot where the main ideas are the same but a bunch of stuff was changed before the second episode and never mentioned again.


It’s good stuff, very fun.


You buy a shit story, you get a shit book. :wink: but in all seriousness I feel your pain.


you know it surprisingly reads well as a trade. Probably not worth a big event but still reasonable enough. Certainly not worth the price I paid for it but I’ve managed to get a full refund


Yeah. I think it’s a pretty fun book. The tie in’s were shit. And, it would have been so much better if Hitch had managed to draw it all. Or at least a consistent artist throughout the second half rather than the hodge podge that we got. But, still, all things considered, it’s probably my favourite Bendis event book (this or House of M).


Rocket Girl Volume 2

Do I remember where this story was as it’s about 3-4 years between? Er, nope. Is it likely the book has been forgotten by many? Yes.

It’s a weird collection and, while this is a time travel story, the status of the story as of the end of issue 10 is that’s done. I might be wrong, but I’m not seeing a continuation on the cards.

Should really re-read 1-10 as a block, that might improve.

For now, it was OK, Reeder’s art was good.

Astro City: Volume 15: Ordinary Heroes

First, the bad news - no Andersen art, which is a shame as it’s him and Busiek that really make the book for me. Nonetheless, this is still an excellent volume with a set of strong stories, all with a common theme of time.

The volume really shows how Astro City is using both fictional and actual history, as we return to Marta and Shadow Hill, first seen way back when in the fourth issue in 1995! Now most books would pick up Marta’s story where it left off, but instead we get a re-introduction to the character - 20 years later!

Nor is the only time it does this, with a story of Jack-in-the-Box that spans generations, most of whom have featured in previous stories, with the kid that one Jack-in-the-Box retired in order to be a father to, now being 18.

I can’t think of any other superhero series that could do what they do here. It’s clever, it’s smart and so very good.

I think reading it now likely improves it. At the time, to echo Bobby’s post, it absolutely got the shit kicked out of it as a pointless event and the finale revelations didn’t help either.

Now? Well, it can be seen as feeding into Secret Wars, so can be looked on more kindly.


I’d say go for the Boom series. The self-published stuff is cute, but the Boom series is amazing. I only got around to reading it late last year and I instantly fell head over heels in love with it in a way I haven’t done with a series for a long time. It’s the ultimate in feelgood comfort food comics.


It’s one of the few books I really only read for the artwork. I love Reeder’s stuff and pimped it like hell to Millar, I think it may have worked as she’s doing variant covers for him now.


I met her last year at Glasgow comicon.
Incredibly kind with her time and ridiculously talented. Vin was basically her guide to Glasgow so that might be part of the Millar connection as well.

She said moving forward she’s more keen to stick to creator owned stuff but wouldn’t turn down a big 2 job if it was the right project


The Complete Okko

If you’re looking for a story that does something wholly new, forget about it - you won’t find that here. What you will find is a well-done tale of medieval Japan, complete with demons, magic, wars and politics, samurai and ronin.

Collecting a series of 10 albums, which form five two-part stories, the collection is excellent value for money - I got it for just over £20 online. There are some weaknesses to the collection, namely that due to binding needed to keep the book together, it can sometimes be hard to read a page near to the inside gutter, but I found this to be so very few times in a book of over 500 pages.

The stories themselves are well done though only the last really addresses and brings in the redemption element the blurb talks of. What is far more interesting is how Hub uses the pragmatic Okko to contrast the attitudes of the supposedly honour-bound Samurai and what monstrous acts those Samurai in turn use the excuse of honour to mask. That theme runs through all five stories.

Art is excellent, though sometimes suffers from being compressed into a standard size page.

All in all, it’s a great book of well-done tales that concludes quite surprisingly. The last story is framed by Okko, in split-second reaction, killing an innocent man. It is an act he has no excuse for and he tales it as a sign he must retire, to join a monastery and live out his days in contemplation and atonement. It’s surprising because tales set in this world can have a quite casual attitude to killing, which isn’t so here. It’s also, by way of this framing story, the tale of Okko’s past, alluded to in the previous stories, is unfurled. I’ll be getting The Complete Killer that’s due in June now.


Batman: New Gotham vol. 1, by Greg Rucka, Shawn Martinbrough, Phil Hester, et. al - Gotham rebuilds itself after No Man’s Land. Gordon is a widower, Wayne Enterprises is desperately building low-income housing, tension is boiling between Gothamites who stayed following the earthquake (OG’s) and those who fled the city (DZ’s, for deserters).

The best story by far is the first issue collected, “The Honored Dead,” which follows Gordon’s first day back on the job after his wife’s death. It becomes genuinely moving at the end when Batman intervenes and nudges Gordon toward a healthier way of processing his grief.

The next arc, “Evolution,” is good, too. It follows a gang war fostered by Whisper A’Daire, an agent of Ra’s al Ghul. A few issues later there’s a double-sized standalone issue called “Dependence” where Batman confronts Ra’s for his role in the gang war.

I wouldn’t call this book essential, but as it’s Rucka the stories are always solid. I will say that the coloring by Wildstorm FX is horrendous and knocks each story down a few notches. It’s just ugly to look at. Every arc has its own two-tone color scheme but the penciling and inking don’t seem to have adjusted at all to this style. Every page looks as if it would look more natural with conventional coloring. And the color schemes often clash. Too many issues use pale shades of orange as one of the colors, which are just close enough to a skin tone that pages where it’s the prominent color look vaguely sickening, like everything’s made of flesh. I appreciate that the stories are going for a distinctive look but it’s really poorly executed and they would have been better off just using conventional methods.


I haven’t read those issues since they were originally published, but I have a great fondness for them. Rucka really made me a fan with his work on NML, and that continued on into this Detective Comics run. I agree that the attempt at “noir” colouring didn’t really succeed the way they wanted it to. Did these issues include Sasha Bordeaux’s introduction?


The early ventures into computer colouring by the big two were a bit grim all round. On Avengers, there’s a massive drop in visual quality between the last trad coloured issue and the first done by Marvel’s Malibu acquired team, despite the same penciller and inker working on both issues.


Yep, she appears toward the end of the book. There’s gonna be a second trade that collects the rest of Rucka’s Detective run up until the “Bruce Wayne - Murderer?” arc.


I really liked that era of coloring.


I remember buying the first mini in singles when it came out but must have sold them as I can’t find them or actually remember any of it. I had contemplated getting this collection and now you’ve swayed me.


I got my copy from Book Depository.


Divinity Trilogy OHC

This was a good collection. Like the Rai and Book of the Dead OHCs, it also includes four expoloratory one-shots that focus on a specific character and their story relative to the main event, in this case - Stalinverse. (Though it is more accurately the Putinverse in the story.)

Valiant has been working its way through the standard superhero stories for a while now - everyone dies, dark future and so on. This time the trio of stories are built around the idea of reshaping reality and exactly how far that can be taken.

At the same time, the tales pursue a theme of what great power should be used - and not used for. In this respect the loyalty shown by both Kazmir and Myshka to their ideology comes across as small. Not only has that ideology failed completely, its works have collapsed and what did it ever do for you in the first place? It’s notable too that the battles are not your usual superhero slugfest but rather Abrams working to slowly collapse his former comrades ideological fervour in order to open them to the new possibilities that are theirs. He does that by blocking, parrying their attacks but isn’t inclined to pursue offensive options, likely because he already knows where that leads.

Across all three Hairsine does excellent art and a series of miniseries, spaced out in time, looks to be the perfect option for him.

EDIT: Amazon-fishing:

Excellent! I will not have to inflict great fury and vengeance upn Top Cow for not finishing this off!

Probably worth a look.


eternal empire volume 1

I really enjoyed Alex & Ada by Sarah Vaughn and Johnathan Luna, so this was very disappointing.

It felt like a very naive effort by someone very young, who is clearly inspired by parts of the Daenyrs & slaves storyline of Game of Thrones and the dialogue also comes across pretty immature as well - particularly as the characters are literally asking the questions on the law that the reader is asking themselves - subtle as a brick but yet serves no purpose as we don’t really get the answers anyway.

Luna’s art is serviceable if you are ok with his style, which I am, but the story itself is broken into really unengaging beats between issues and It just didn’t compel me at all. I’d lost interest well before the end of this volume and I won’t be reading any further.


I’ve been a bit skint lately, which is a handy excuse to re-read old trades I’ve got hanging around and haven’t read in ages (and possibly thin out the herd a bit). So far:

Superman and Supergirl: Maelstrom
I remember really quite liking this, mainly for Phil Noto’s art. It… hasn’t aged well. The story is pedestrian and uninvolving - some random woman on Apokalips decides she needs to kill Superman because she loves Darkseid and even after she rebels to do so (and fails) he helps her to try again for reasons almost entirely of plot expedience. Meanwhile Superman and Supergirl go camping on a planet where their powers don’t work, which is mainly just a showcase for the painful attempts to make mid-00s Supergirl feel like a real teenager (“I’m missing all my favourite reality shows!”). Noto’s art is wildly inconsistent too. There are the occasional really well rendered elements, such as faces, but on the same page, you’ll get bits that are almost flat colour, like he wasn’t interested in them. His story-telling’s also a bit lacking.

Superman: Red Son
As ever with Millar, the core concept - what if Superman landed in the Soviet Union instead of America - is interesting, but it loses me when it devolves into a fairly standard Superman as Utopian elseworld story, featuring gratuitous DCU cameos and analogues, and I was really just browsing by issue 3 (I do like the twist of Superman’s origin, although thinking about it, that surely creates some plot holes?). Also, the voice of a lot of characters is very familiar from other Millar works. Stalin spouts lines straight out of the mouths of Xavier and Magneto in Ultimate X-Men and Luthor is his typical obnoxious genius character, that’s desperate to mention how impossibly clever they are with every sentence out of their mouth (like Ultimate Beast, Ultimate Tony etc). The art’s nice, but I can see why Johnson sticks to covers these days.

Superman: Up, Up and Away
This held up better than I expected. It’s the post-Infinite Crisis, One Year Later story that ran across Superman and Action Comics to launch both Busiek and Johns’ runs. Neither of which I really intend to picking any more of up (well, maybe Busiek’s, but I’m not rushing out the door for 13 year old Superman comics). But despite being the start of a long gone, unsung run of comics, this kinda works well on its own. The relationship between Clark and Lois is nice and it’s fun to see Clark’s career doing so well while he’s not been Superman. Largely solid art by Pete Woods and Renato Guedes too. It suffers a tad from Johns’ typical “weren’t the 70s great?” attitude, ending on the construction of a new Arctic Fortress of Solitude that looks just like the one from the Reeve movies but at least there’s a decent story justifying it. I’m not a massive Superman fan, but this story manages to justify, as if it needs to, his existence, but also the validity of Clark as a more than a paper-thin disguise.