Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


It’s criminal that they haven’t finished the Ostrander/ Mandrake Spectre and Martian Manhunter runs. Two volumes each and then nothing. C’mon, DC. This is great stuff that you are just sitting on here.


You know I did consider buying that, but then I wondered if it’d be completed and didn’t.


Why would you want those when you could buy yet more new versions of Sandman, Watchmen and a third HC of the Death of Superman?!


I’m waiting for each individual page of Watchmen to be released as a separate hardcover.


They’d still, somehow, manage to print a page or two out of order!


Re: Books etc

What does a status of Exported mean?


Received but not despatched.

If you want to get an update, log in, go to message box, start new conversation with order ref and they should respond fairly quickly.

They can sometimes be slower - I suspect their got blasted due to that price drop - but their comms are good.


Descender Deluxe Edition HC Vol 1 (#1-16)

The story focuses on a universe were robots are common place. Then one day a group of Galactus sized robots called The Harvesters show up, and start fucking shit up. We then flashforward and see the fallout of their attack.

I thought this was pretty great. Jeff Lemire does a good job of throwing you straight into the action, but doing enough world building along the way so you actually care about what’s going on. Which pays of in the final issues of this collection, were we flashback to see how each character got to where we first met them.

The art from Dustin Nguyen is stunning. I’ve seen him dabble with this style before. Normally on covers, or in flashback sequences. I love the sketchy look of the pencils, with the colours giving the whole thing an almost watercolour look.

Lemire sets up some really interesting mysteries as to the origins of The Harvesters, and their connections to a young robot named TIM-21. I’m eagerly awaiting volume two to see how this wraps up.


It’s also one of those books best read in huge chunks like this first OHC. I’m holding off until the second to then re-read Chapters 1-4 followed by the next two.


Absolute Sandman Overture arrived today. It’s a lovely looking book, but is totally not worth $125. Having never read it before, I do look forward to doing so soon. I think I might actually read it first before doing my re-read of main series.

Btw, it’s back on Books Etc for £46 - if anyone missed out the first time and wants to bag it now.


Seconded. It is a lovely book, excellent production values but yeah, DC gouged the hell out of it on the price.


This is most definitely the case.

I was reading Descende volume by volume and I got to the stage where I had 2 or 3 volumes unread because i just wasn’t that excited about reading on further

When it came to reading them, I read it again from volume 1 and I found I enjoyed it an awful lot more - it was actually pretty addictive, after each volume all I could think about was when I was going to get the chance to read the next - it’s far more rewarding in longer sittings


Finally read Chrononauts, which is gonzo Chief at his best. Though Sean Murphy’s art is better.


A nice new cover for the upcoming Loeb/Sale Batman omnibus.


America’s Got Powers TPB

I decided to revisit this recently, after I saw the physical TPB on sale for just a couple of quid. It’s actually better than I remembered in some respects, and certainly a fun ride as a ‘blockbuster’ comic, even if there’s a lack of depth and a slight first-draft quality to the story that stops it from being quite as great as it feels like it could have been.

Jonathan Ross seems to be taking a leaf out of the Mark Millar playbook here, with a high-concept pitch (what if there was a reality TV show for superheroes?) that allows for some big visuals and action scenes, some outlandish character concepts and some fun satirical swipes around the edges. He also ties the story to a sympathetic lead who is just well-defined enough that you buy into them as a character, while also being enough of a blank slate that you can project yourself in their position and empathise with them. And there’s some ‘edgy’ swearing peppered throughout that unfortunately limits to adult readership what would actually have been a pretty fun all-ages story.

Ross isn’t really the big draw here, though. It’s Bryan Hitch who steals the show with his trademark ‘widescreen’ action that brings the story to life in a dynamic fashion. It’s in the post-Ultimates mould, the kind of thing we saw in his Fantastic Four run, with white panel borders that help open up the page and make the images feel less constrained, even when dealing with the pretty chaotic battle images that Ross’ script calls for.

One element of the art that was much-commented-on at the time was the inclusion of celebrity likenesses as models for the characters. I don’t know whether it was Ross or Hitch who made the decision, but it ends up being a bit of a double-edged sword: while it helps to establish a shorthand personality for the character immediately, it’s undeniably distracting to turn the page and suddenly be faced with David Tennant.


Or even Sarah Palin.


But these ‘cameos’ are for the most part fairly unintrusive, and don’t take away from the other strengths of the art. Hitch is called on to come up with a lot of different superhero concepts here, and he manages to make all of the major ones feel reasonably distinct. Even for the (intentionally) generic and interchangeable background heroes in the story, there’s a very distinctive Hitch look to them. Given the extent to which his style has been adopted by recent superhero movies, it leaves me wondering whether anyone has had more influence on contemporary superhero costume design than Bryan Hitch?

So it’s a book that’s worth a read for the visuals first and foremost. Ross manages to turn in quite a few scenes that are a decent amount of fun on their own (the sequence with two stoner kids getting Giant-Man style powers is particularly memorable), but it doesn’t all hang together brilliantly, with a slightly disjointed feel, especially as things build towards the big finale.

With a bit more polish and maybe a couple more editing passes, this could have been a stronger book - but as it is, it’s worth a read if you see it cheaply, just for the art.


America’s Got Powers was incredibly underrated at the time. It’s one of those books that should have been evergreen but doesn’t seem to have held on. I would still love to see the end Hitch’s follow up book, Real Heroes. It had a lot to say in a similar realm. “What if superhero actors really became superheroes?”


Me too. I enjoyed Real Heroes and was disappointed it didn’t end.


Both books felt very Millar-esque, like concepts that were instantly understandable and had huge potential for adaptation.


Some more Marvel fishing for next spring. Lots of Complete Collections.

I thought this one was slated for this year.

This is Busiek’s run.

Spider-Man 2099 Classic v5 in all but name, for some reason.

and some DC for measure


Is that Avengers book the first time one of the ‘classic’ omnibus runs has gone to a volume four? I think it might be. FF, UXM and Spidey are all currently on their third.