Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


Superman: Kyptonite - Fun little early Superman tale by Tim Sale and Darwyn Cooke. Sale’s artwork is gorgeous, Cooke’s writing is elegant and moving. The story is a loose adaptation of Superman’s first encounter with Kryptonite in the comics (rather than the story it first appeared in from the radio show). Cooke finds a really interesting take on Kryptonite: Superman ultimately feels relief over its existence because it makes him mortal, strengthening his connection to humanity. Really smart, well-executed stuff.


Does that mean they’re reprinting the HIckman FF omnibus? Been meaning to upgrade to something lasting for that run, but the omnibii are horribly expensive.


The complete collection is a paperback, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for an omnibus reprinting in the immediate future.


Ah, bummer. So not likely that they’d go back and issue the complete as a hardcover, eh?


While I’m fishing, here’s some DC including lots of Batman reprints…

ROFL at DC jumping on the term “Essential” now that Marvel’s ditched it. From the blurb: “The DC Essential Edition series of graphic novels highlights the best standalone stories the medium has to offer featuring comics’ greatest characters. These trade paperback editions focus on the easiest entry points DC has in its vast library, with seminal, groundbreaking tales that transcend the printed page. Start with the Essentials.”

Those new Knightfall trades claim to collect “never before collected” material, which so far seems contained to the “Prelude” trade. Otherwise, they’re smaller than the last editions (which were three 600 monsters) with the new v2 only going up to the end of the material in old v1.


Thanks for these Martin - the Gates of Gotham one sounds awfully dodgy, $35 RRP for 7 issues of content in a standard paperback?

In contrast Bane Conquest sounds like it could be good.


Deluxe edition will mean OHC, won’t it?


I read all of the new Moon Knight stuff over the weekend, from the Ellis/Wood/Bunn volume to Lemire’s run. It’s all terrific, though the Lemire issues really are standout, and while Shelvey’s art with Ellis is good, Smallwood is absolutely stunning in both volumes. I don’t get why Marvel haven’t given him another ongoing.

Lemire has to be one of the top writers in comics today, not to mention most versatile. He’s done landmark indie titles (Essex County, Underwater Welder), a classic Vertigo series (Sweet Tooth), and runs for DC and Marvel that will still be in print in decades (Green Arrow, MK); plus Black Hammer is shaping up to be something special. And that doesn’t even touch on his Valiant work. I don’t love everything he’s done —Trillium didn’t grab me and Descender isn’t one of my favorites — but it’s quite the back catalogue he’s got.


That’s not the comic series, it’s a YA prose novel, like the Squirrel Girl ones.


Quite a few of those were in DC’s recent solicits, which also included a ‘10th anniversary’ Final Crisis omnibus that includes all the Morrison stuff but also throws in all the non-Morrison tie-in series and one-shots too, and loads of only vaguely-related content (as well as ‘Batman RIP’ in its entirety and several other FC-related Morrison Batman issues).


I think this is going to end up being a weird read. Most of the non-Morrison tie-ins were only tangentially related to the main series, and a lot of them weren’t great. And chucking in all of ‘RIP’ feels like padding. I think I’ll stick with the Absolute version of Final Crisis (which collects all the Morrison stuff and not much else).


I feel like the Absolute Edition is cool, but the New Edition was probably best bang for buck.


That’s just the contents of the Absolute in paperback form isn’t it?

(Did that retain the 3D sections of Superman Beyond? I love that the Absolute kept that.)


Nah, but I never minded that.
Still, good concise volume.

The omnibus just seems indulgent. But then again - so is stuff like Unwrapped.


A few quick reviews of some stuff I’ve read recently.

Daredevil v.5: Supreme

When Charles Soule took over as writer of Daredevil, I was excited. His strong previous work, combined with his real-life experience as a lawyer, suggested that he could do great things with the Man Without Fear - and there was even a precedent in the form of his She-Hulk run that proved he could mix fun superheroics with the legal world.

But it took him a while to get going on Daredevil - and despite some high points (and a generally decent level of quality overall), his run has been a little mixed.

“Supreme”, though, is his best story yet. It takes all of Soule’s strengths as a writer and uses them to the book’s advantage, building a story around one of the oldest problems in superhero comics: the legal status of superheroes when it comes to criminals progressing through the justice system.

When you put it like that, it sounds dry and dull, but how many times have you seen discussions about how the activities of costumed superheroes actually get in the way of the police, and introduce difficulties into an arrest or trial that would lead criminals to be able to get away with their crimes in a way that wouldn’t happen if they’d been apprehended by the cops?

This story takes that problem and has Matt Murdock seek to solve it, taking his case to the highest court in the land to get a binding decision that (in theory) could change the law underpinning Marvel’s superhero universe forever. It’s gripping stuff, especially when you have a Kingpin-backed lawyer as a courtroom-adversary thrown in, and a fun conceit that sees Soule and his artists visualise the courtroom back-and-forths like big superhero fight sequences. As someone with a background in law myself, I often wish there was a bit more of it in Daredevil, so this story was very satisfying for me.

(There’s also a second, shorter story arc collected here which brings DD’s sidekick, Blindspot, back into the mix. It’s a pretty good globetrotting yarn that also uses the Hand fairly well, but it wasn’t as much fun to me as the main story arc.)

The Infinite Loop

On the face of it, this book appealed to me a lot with its fun-sounding time-travel concept, its offbeat romance and its civil-rights undertones, not to mention the bold, colourful artwork. But somehow it all fails to come together into something really coherent.

All the individual elements work well enough - the idea of a group of people who fix anomalies in the timestream is brought to life well through the writing and art techniques (I liked the use of flowcharts and multiple-choice questions to demonstrate the branching timelines), and the way the story regularly shifts gears to take a different direction from the one you might have expected is refreshing.

But it ends up feeling like the book can’t decide what it’s really about - or perhaps more accurately, can’t work out how to make the story adequately serve all the things that it’s really about.

By the end of the tale, you’re getting pages that are literally a trawl through the history of civil rights, followed by vignettes dealing with the issues faced by transgender teens, interspersed with a big sci-fi attack on an evil facility where time-lost “anomaly” characters are imprisoned, occasionally interrupted by cutaways to tender lesbian sex, while a cut-throat group of killer detectives chase our heroes through time… it’s just all too much, and it makes the book feel cluttered and overstuffed, which is a shame given the relative elegance of the earlier chapters. With a bit more focus and clarity, this could have been great.

Invincible Iron Man v.1: Reboot

I bought this in a sale, so I’m not too upset about the fact that I didn’t enjoy it that much. It’s a perfectly fine superhero comic, but it’s pretty by-numbers: there’s a big nasty villain (Madame Masque), a love interest for Tony, a new suit of armour, some guest-appearances by other Marvel characters (Dr Doom and Mary Jane), and some decent big action scenes. And of course, being Bendis, some enjoyable enough back-and-forth dialogue.

But it felt a bit like it was going through the motions to me, and (aside from the fairly interesting relationship between Doom and Tony), there wasn’t much here to keep me gripped. It was one of those books that I put down after a couple of issues and had to make myself go and finish weeks later, which is never a great sign.

It makes me look forward to Bendis having a fresh start at DC, though.


It’s not guaranteed, as this is the one area where DC still muck around a bit.

Metal is getting a ‘deluxe’ edition, but until I see the dimensions I won’t know for certain if it’s standard hardback or oversized.


I’m still rereading old trades and have come to Generation X Classic of which I have both volumes. I reread v1 and it’s much as I remember it - a decent 90s X-crossover in the Phalanx Covenant, followed by a promising start to the series proper, with Chris Bachalo’s art in its more readable and comprehensible stage, let down a bit at the end by the rather obnoxious Christmas issue (which has very 90s computer generated Christmas wallpaper behind all the panels and weird dwarves hanging out in the borders).

Onto volume 2 and… I don’t remember any of this. At all. I’m about 1/4 way in and it’s all unfamiliar. I genuinely don’t think I’ve actually read this before. Which is ridiculous, as I’ve had it for at least four years and it’s been in a pretty prominent place in my bookcase all that time. I really don’t understand how I could have not got around to reading it and then entirely forgotten and yet, it seems I did.

All of which means, hey, a new comic! Thanks Past Martin!


Cheers, Dave. I’ll check out he Supreme arc on MU. I felt the same as you about the Bendis Iron Man, though @garjones claims the run does get better.


I didn’t even read the start of his run with Tony, I just read the Riri issues onwards and the companion Doom book. I’ve enjoyed those. It’s interesting Bendis mentioned when he finished up at Marvel he was writing (with the exception of some Defenders) all his own creations. Riri, Miles and Jessica.


What’s the general consensus on Daredevil’s Shadowland event? I never read it as there were mixed reviews at the time (and I jumped off the DD book soon after Diggle took over as I was disappointed with how Brubaker’s run ended), but I see there’s a big Shadowland omnibus that’s just come out and I’m wondering whether to give it a shot.

(Partly out of completism, admittedly - it’s designed to exactly fill the gap between the end of the second Brubaker omnibus and the start of Waid’s first, and buying it would give me a run of seven consecutive DD omnibuses from the start of Bendis’ run to the end of Waid’s - his second omni is due next month.)


I didn’t like it. It’s one of those events that was supposed to just be an arc in the main series but was unnecessarily bulked out to an event. And Diggle’s run wasn’t all that good in the first place.

It’s basically the whole dark brooding run of Daredevil taken to its logical end point, and then taken much further past that to the point where it’s just cartoonishly grimdark.

I remember liking the Power Man mini by Van Lente and Asrar, but that’s it.