Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


Dealer Alert

Aquaman Omnibus due Dec 2018:

Collects Aquaman #0-25, #23.1, #23.2, Justice League #15-17.

£39.70 for a 31-issue collection is a pretty good deal. Nearer the time SpeedyHen / Books Etc might go £2-3 cheaper but it depends on what RRP their systems have it as. In the interim, worth nabbing the preorder with the empire!


Firstly, £5 off £25 spend with Amazon if you install Amazon assistant.

Secondly, £39 for 31 issues is a great deal.

Thirdly, why would you want to waste £38 on that run?


You were doing so well there Bobby…

Ben, if you have not read it already, I recommend it. It’s good, solid, superhero comics very typical of Johns.


You should know by now that on this board a bad review from Bobby is the highest accolade a book can get. :wink:


Was going to get the Omnibus that was due Aug last year, as Johns-Reis is as good a combo as you can get.


I’m a huge fan of Peter David’s Aquaman (although I haven’t read all of that, to be fair). How does this run compare to that?


More action packed with the sort of general but deftly handled character moments that Johns is known for.


Dealer Alert

With the general best price for a RRP $125 / £110 Omnibus now being around £58-60, perhaps £2-3 cheaper in rare cases, a couple of good opportunities have come along with Amazon:

£59.91 currently.

£65.16 currently.

Worth bagging, as they might go lower still.

EDIT: Another price drop:

To £51.04.


Picked up these in FP yesterday. Not a massive Ramos fan but this is probably the best his art has ever looked. Also, I have Talent in singles but not at my house so it was worth 99p to be able to reread here and now.

These arrived as well which was cool and I got a free sketchbook. Nice!


So I now have “Slaine: The Horned God” which is issue 4 but volume 32 followed by “Slaine: Volume One” which is issue 18 but volume 29. Have they been taking numbering lessons from Marvel? :smiley:


Sláine: The Horned God was actually Issue One. I think they figured it was a good one to give as a sample, so they published it out of order. So Sláine Volume Two will be Vol. 30, Sláine Volume Three will be Vol. 31, which will bring them back to The Horned God.

All the other series have come out in order; Nemesis the Warlock 1-3 is Vol. 19, 20, and 21, Nikolai Dante 1-3 is 72-74, etc.


I guessed they would fill in 30-31 with other Slaine volumes. I’m not sure why they didn’t call #32 “Volume 4” though, to keep consistency. Unless it’s because “The Horned God” has better brand recognition among readers, but even then readers familiar enough to recognise the title should know that it was in “Volume 4” anyway.

I’m not complaining, I just think it’s curious :slight_smile:


Some more hot off the presses/hot out of the laminator library comics

Hellblazer v18 - The Gift
This is the end of Mike Carey’s run on the title. I’ve read some/most of that run in the original trades around when they came out and quite liked them. This left me rather underwhelmed. Partly because it follows on from a story I hadn’t read (where Constantine lives 40 years in a day and fathers three demon children), which is often a tad disorientating, but mostly because of the art. Aside from a fill-in by Frazer Irving (which is unusually poor) and one by Giueseppe Camuncoli (which is decent but a stylistic leap from everything else) the art’s provided by Leonardo Manco. He reminds me of Livio Ramondelli on the Transformers comics, in that he seems more interested in creating atmospheric murk rather than telling a story. There are far too many points in here where it’s not entirely clear what’s happening because Manco’s just produced panel after panel of “atmosphere” rather than clearly told the story. I get the want to make a horror comic like this look horrific, but as Camuncoli’s issue shows, you can still tell a horror story while having clear visuals.

Doctor Strange v5
This is the volume straight after Jason Aaron’s run (which I’ve not read yet) and a tie-in to Secret Empire (which I’ve also not read and probably won’t). So the odds aren’t good for it and yet… I really loved it. The main body of it at least, which is Dennis Hopeless doing a story of Strange stuck in New York, which has been covered by the Darkforce and filled with monsters. He ends up teaming with Spider-Woman, Ben Urich and Kingpin to take out Baron Mordo, who has claimed the Sanctom Sanctorum. And I know that doesn’t really sound like a good premise, but it really works. Hopeless dials back on the traditional fustiness of Strange’s manner, throwing in a bit of the dickhead approach Cumberbatch has in the movie, which makes his interaction with Jess and the others flow nicely. But there’s a still a sense of him being apart from the usual super-hero crowd, with his pragmatic attitude towards Kingpin. It works really well. I also love the new approach to Strange, with his magic diminished and having to rely on magical items (which I assume was part of Aaron’s run). I love magical trinkets and gimmicks like that and I think they often work better than Strange throwing up some hand-signs and doing some rhymes. There’s some inventive stuff in here.

And yet, this is all outshone by the artwork by Niko Henrichon, which is absolutely gorgeous. It’s clear and readable and yet still has this magnitude of detailed line-work creating monsters and creatures that are gruesome and well-lived. Coincidentally, it ends up being a perfect counter-point to Manco’s failings on Hellblazer.

There are a couple more issues written by Transformers’ John Barber, which are ok, but nothing to write home about. I wish Hopeless had done a full run with Henrichon, because it would have been great.


I read volume 1 of Babyteeth by Donnie Cates and Gary Brown.

I had already read issue 1 plus a lot of other Cates stuff and I’m already a fan of Brown’s loose style, so I pretty much knew what to expect.

Like Redneck and much of Cates output so far; he shows signs of being a decent storyteller who comes up with pretty good, if maybe a bit familiar, story ideas.

This is basically ‘What if a 16 year old gave birth to the antichrist’

Donnie Cates goes a bit too over the top, with stuff like demon racoons, and mysterious cabals - I prefer my horror more understated and refined.
It feels like he knocked this script out really quickly, it’s all quite fast and loose, like the art - which is a criticism I would point at pretty much everything I’ve read of his. Basically decent stories with unmemorable dialogue and not much to raise it above the rest of the masses of books published today.

There’s a good writer in there but I think to be great he needs to put out less books and focus on quality over quantity.

The big sister in the book is a bit of a cliche but I do like her and the dad and I’m hoping he can flesh them out a bit in future issues.
Unlike Redneck I will probably pick up the next volume, although it was a pretty quick read for the money.


It’s a mess. Issues are the order they are published in, volumes are the collection order.


Aquaman: The Waterbearer
Or, “the series where he gets the hand made of magic water.

I get that Aquaman has had a, shall we say, inconsistent flirtation with good sales over the years, but I’m not sure handing him over to Rick Veith for a sub-Vertigo, cod-Arthurian mythology make-over was the best of ideas. The actual hand thing is pretty cool, but the whole series gets tied up in a load of hoary mysticism stuff that just doesn’t feel natural to the character. A bit of swords and a sorcery works for Aquaman (I liked Busiek’s Conan-esque take for instance) but this just reads like a poor man’s Hellblazer. I mean there’s an issue where Aquaman and Garth swim about as fish for 20 pages.

What doesn’t help is that it’s so heavily in the shadow of a JLA story called the Obsidian Age and yet doesn’t bother to explicitly say what happened there. Everyone keeps saying that by resinking Atlantis, Arthur “murdered their myth” and I have absolutely no idea what that means. I’d go and read Age of Obsidian (maybe) except it’s been out of print for over a decade. Would a recap page have killed anyone? And in typical DC trade fashion, there’s two issues included out of order here (I don’t know if they’re both main series issues or if one is one of the included Secret Files issues though, as there’s nothing to say anywhere what issue is what, not even on the covers or cover credit pages. This is pretty basic stuff and DC keeps stuffing it up.


Justice League 3000 v1
This is pretty fun. It’s DeMatteis and Giffen together again with another dysfunctional group of super-heroes. This time they’re flawed clones of the big 5 JLAers, created in the far-flung future of the year 3000 to free the Commonwealth from the oppression of The Five. Cue traditional JLI-style bickering. By having the recreations of the original JLAers be flawed in both memories and powers (and with different costumes), the book creates interesting, distinct takes on them. Superman has no memories of being Clark Kent, for instance, so has little of the underlying morality that makes the original Superman a hero. But this Superman doesn’t want to acknowledge that and believes his own hype (and that he can fly, which he can’t, a gag that reminds me of Action League NOW! off that old show Kablam. No, just me?). I really like the costume the Flash has here.

So it’s a good story with interesting art by Howard Porter. It’s not what you’d call beautiful, but it works well enough. It is outshone by fill-in art on one issue, which is a tad embarrassing though. The only problem the book has, and it’s not really it’s own fault particularly, is that I was left wondering the entire time how it fits in with the Legion, who are from the same time period yet whose stories are completely incompatible with these. There’s no United Planets, none of the familiar races and The Five don’t turn out to be the Fatal Five. And that’s all fine, it’s just a bit distracting. I suppose, given this has “The New 52!” plastered on the cover, the Legion just don’t exist in this timeline? Eh, anyway, it’s a minor quibble for a fun book and one I’m definitely going to catch up on.


The Legion did exist in New 52 continuity with all (most) of their original setting and history in place. So you either have to assume that this is a different Earth or, even better, just remember that continuity has become a millstone that gets in the way of good storytelling and let it go :slight_smile:


JL 3k v1 was very fun stuff.

3k1 was very messy though. It felt rushed, inconsistently plotted, and had that typical “Giffen DGAF” tone he gets when he sees the end is near. But if you end up liking that, I’d check out Rebirth Blue Beetle after that. He follows up on some plot threads there.


Ragnarok Volume 1: Last God Standing - After seeing a short sketch session with Walt Simonson on SyFy’s Youtube channel where he talked about this book, I thought I might give it a try. I don’t have a lot of history with Simonson’s work but I really like the design of the half dead Thor and treading through the husk of Norse mythology tales was interesting. The IDW hardcover is also very nice. While it was a fun story, it’s ultimately not something that will sustain my interest. So while I don’t regret giving it a shot, I won’t continue with subsequent volumes.