Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


Hulk (2008-2012) #23:

Issue 23. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it, but this was the best issue of the run (though just reading the artist list would tell you that).


Thanks for that, I’ll give it a look.


My copy of Seven Soldiers Omnibus arrived today.

For all that DC make some real howlers on some of their collections, when they get it right, the result tends to be a superb volume and this is. It was a good deal fatter than I expected, better than expected paper quality and all got for just under £32. Bargain.


Mine too. I switched at the last minute to Books Etc as it was very slightly cheaper than my Amazon pre-order, and they were messing me around with delivery dates (and I didn’t want another Grant Morrison Batman omnibus situation).


Its a very good price-per-issue but it’s also a shame the contents probably aren’t worth £32.


Ah, but value is a very subjective area. :wink:


I thought Seven Soldiers was great and I’m really looking forward to revisiting it.


I remember really liking a couple of the mini series’ but can’t remember which!


Have they ever announced a Deluxe edition of Kill or Be Killed? I’ve got oversized hardcovers of Criminal, The Fade Out, and Fatale on my shelf, and I’m waiting for this one. It would be a shame if they didn’t publish it in this format given they did with those other Brubaker books.


I think it’s a safe bet that Image will release a hardcover or (more likely) two of that series.


Not announced yet but almost certainly coming. I hope they collect the whole thing in one book - 20 issues would be a similar size to the Velvet collection.


There’s no plans yet for a Kill Or Be Killed hardcover. Maybe in a year or so?


Hope so. I’ve been holding out for one after buying the singles digitally.


Supergirl The Silver Age Omnibus Volume 2


This volume picks up right after volume 1, covering the run of Action Comics #308 (January 1964) to #376 (May 1969) in 702 pages, and it’s tempting to say it’s “more of the same”, but that is not entirely true. The creative teams are mostly the same. Leo Dorfman is the regular main writer, with fill-ins from the likes of Jerry Siegel and Otto Binder, and towards the end some young upstart called Cary Bates. The artist for the first half of the book is Jim Mooney, with Kurt Schaffenberger taking over as the regular in 1968. Interestingly, both artists seem to manage unbroken years-long monthly runs, and I don’t think there is ever a fill-in artist (though occasionally there is what seems to be an all-reprint issue, which obviously gives them a break; the reprint stories aren’t included here, but for completeness the new covers (usually by Curt Swan) for those issues are). And while I will never say a bad word about Schaffenberger, to me Jim Mooney drew the perfect Supergirl (as well as the best cat anyone has ever drawn).

So what, really, has changed? Mainly Supergirl herself. Unlike Superboy, who was doomed to be frozen as a high-school student forever (because if you age him, he becomes Superman, and those stories are already being told), Supergirl is allowed to grow up. From orphan to adopted high-school student in volume 1, in volume 2 Linda Danvers becomes an independent college student. Interesting to note that she went to college in November 1964, more than a year before Stan Lee sent Peter Parker to college in December 1965. Interesting because of the general perception that Stan allowing his characters to change and grow was one of the factors that made Marvel stand out from the static, “boring” DC heroes of the 60s. (Also worth noting in passing that Action Comics was still far outselling any Marvel comic at the time.)

Also worth noting is how bad DC writers are writing college slang. It’s sometimes quite cringeworthy. Or maybe American college kids really did speak like that in the 60s, which is worse! Frankly, it’s ridic [sic].

With college comes new story opportunities which, unfortunately, generally revolve around new boyfriends for Supergirl (or occasionally her classmates or professors). It does get a bit tedious waiting to see what kind of alien/robot/disguised villain the boyfriend will be this month.

Once we get past the boyfriend stories, there’s still plenty of interesting stuff. The first story arc in this issue, where Supergirl discovers that her real parents are still alive, is masterfully plotted, with plenty of twists and heart-wrenching moments. And the three-part Bates/Schaffenberger epic where Stanhope college is imprisoned in a force dome and Supergirl has to defeat the villains without powers, is just a masterclass in how to write a good super-hero story (and also a possible early instance of a “Mary-Sue” character by Cary Bates? Hmmm.) But for me, the single outstanding story in the collection is “Brainiac’s Blitz” (#339, July 1966), where Brainiac devises all manner of traps specifically to beat Superman, and Supergirl faces him instead and just breezes through everything he’s got. She’s so awesome :slight_smile: . The book’s introduction tells me it’s Jim Shooter’s first published comic, which surprised me as the story of him first submitting Legion of Super-Heroes stories while only 13 years old is well known. But I checked, and his first Legion story was also July '66 (Advenute #346, “One of Us Is a Traitor!”). It seems that he submitted his Legion scripts, was commissioned to write Supergirl on the basis of that, and presumably Action Comics was published earlier in the month than Adventure Comics was!

The other notable thing is the lack of pets. Comet the Super-Horse vanishes from Supergirl’s life when she goes to college, which is a good thing as their relationship was always a bit creepy anyway. But sadly, Streaky the Super-Cat also stays at home, which is a tragedy because Streaky was always the best thing ever to appear in comics.

So overall, there’s a lot to like here, but also some negatives. If pushed, I would say it works less well overall than the stories in the previous volume. Though there are still stand-out stories, there is also too much repetition of basic story themes. And somehow, the fresh innocence of Supergirl’s character is lacking. If you enjoyed volume 1 you should probably enjoy this too, but if you didn’t then I doubt these stories would win you over.


Had the chance to have a first flip through of the Seven Soldiers Omnibus tonight. It’s a really nicely-designed book, I love the boldness of the cover and spine.

Leafing through I’d forgotten how high the standard of art was throughout - definitely worthy of the bigger pages of the omnibus (and the really nice paper presents it well, heavy but not too glossy and shiny).

The final issue is such a bravura performance from JHW3 - imitating the styles of all seven separate minis and bringing them together, often on the same page.

Nice to see all the extras ported over from the previous collections too - plenty of extra material here (on both the writing and art) to get stuck into.

Looking forward to rereading the entire series in full.


I got mine this week as well.

My sandman re-read has convinced me to pare down my current pull list further and spend more time reading or re-reading the classics - which this certainly falls under

Yeah, the art is incredible throughout

I plan doing the Invsibles next after I finish Sandman omnibus Volume 2


I did a reread a while back after finding a copy of Anarchy for the Masses. It was really interesting to go back and forth between the individual issues and the behind the scenes details and analysis


I found Anarchy For The Masses a really useful companion too, when I did my last reread. A lot of stuff in there that I had missed.


It’s pretty much the way I’ve gone too, if I’m honest. Most of my reading is older stuff these days.


What is anarchy for the masses, is it like an unofficial companion ?