The seller has about 20 copies. Might still be there.
Is your copy the first or second printing? Should say on the inside cover, below the contents.
Well, this sucks - just noticed Image have taken the select Volume 1 trades that were $9.99 / £8.99 and whacked them up to $12.99 / £11.99 RRP.
One way to reduce my experimenting I suppose.
Time for a round-up of what I’ve been reading over the past couple of weeks.
Glitterbomb v.2: The Fame Game
This was a good follow-up to the first volume that takes a supporting character from that book and makes her the lead of this one, telling a story about fame and the cynical media cycle that while also dealing with the fallout from the first volume’s explosive ending. Some good characterisation and a decent twist involving the supernatural creature of vengeance who appears in both volumes make this a worthy sequel.
I haven’t read this for a while. I own the singles digitally but only just bought this hardcopy trade, partly because I saw it cheap in a Forbiddenplanet sale and partly because I’m on a bit of a Sean Murphy kick lately. It’s as fun as I remember, a nice light breezy story that makes the most of the time-travel premise to have some crazy fun. The car chase sequence that zips through various time periods is the standout setpiece, but there are lots of great scenes where the writing and art come together really nicely. Up there with the best Millarworld books. I hope Netflix have the sense to adapt this sooner rather than later.
Klaus: Pen & Ink
This is a special edition of the first issue of Klaus that gives you a chance to see Dan Mora’s original art in all its black-and-white glory, accompanied with some fairly detailed commentary from both Mora and Morrison. I’ve been trying to track down a hardcopy for a while as it’s a huge oversized floppy that shows off the art at a giant size, but I haven’t managed it, so I finally grabbed it digitally in the recent sales. Mora’s art is just beautiful and there are some interesting nuggets in the commentary, both for the art and the writing.
The Immortal Hulk v.1: Or Is He Both?
All the enthusiastic responses to this book on MW made it the first title I snapped up in Comixology’s Christmas sales, and I wasn’t disappointed. It feels refreshingly old-school in some ways - the self-contained single-issue stories that also carry longer-running subplot elements; the Hulk as a separate nighttime presence; the more restrained creepy horror angle on the character - and both writing and art work well together and seem to be on the same page in terms of tone. I’ll definitely check out volume two.
Defenders v.2: Kingpins of New York
This was a bit of a disappointment. I don’t know if it’s because Bendis was leaving Marvel and had to wrap up his story earlier than expected, but the book throws loads of characters into the mix - far too many of them, really - and has them battle as part of a gang war over the title of Kingpin of New York in a way that never really feels like it goes anywhere. It’s all a bit of a mess and feels almost like a parody of stuff that Bendis has done a lot better in the past - even down to bringing in The Hood and a crew of D-list villains in exactly the same way as the writer did back in his Avengers days. And just as the book is gearing up for a big finale, it just… ends. It feels like a wasted opportunity. The only standout is a flashback to Wilson Fisk’s early days that works really well and feels like vintage Bendis - the kind of thing we saw during his Daredevil run. In the end, this book feels like a victim of circumstance and bad timing more than anything else, abruptly truncated.
The Underwater Welder
What a beautiful book this was. A very quiet and small-scale story, there are still some beautiful and visually-arresting sequences, but they all serve a low-key and introspective tale that revolves around a very small family of characters. It’s a touching, reflective story that creates truly three-dimensional personalities and explores resonant ideas around memory, guilt and parental responsibility, with distinctive (if sometimes slightly crude) inkwashed black-and-white art. The more I read of Lemire’s work the higher my opinion of him becomes.
Prez v.1: Corndog In Chief
This has been sitting in my to-read pile for a while, having checked out the first couple of issues way back when they first came out. It’s a fun, wacky satire that reminded me more than anything else of American Flagg. There are lots of good comedic ideas in here, and the lead character remains likeable throughout, but after what feels like a fairly focused beginning, it feels like the book gets a bit lost in its various subplots and doesn’t quite make the most of its central idea or achieve satire that’s quite as pointed as those first couple of issues. Still, it deserved a longer life.
Looks to be a first print.
Yeah, that’s the one with missing word balloons. I’ll probably leave it.
How bad is it? If it just 1 or 2 pages I think I can cope with that. If it’s more I’ll just stick it back on eBay.
Apparently there are pages in the wrong order at one point too, and some of the issues used low-quality versions of the art.
Superman Rebirth OHC3
After the strange, unexpected misfire that was the second volume’s combination of Multiplicity and Black Dawn - good stories to be sure but nowhere near the first two arcs - this was a return to form.
Not all of them are by the Tomasi and Gleason team, they do the start and end arcs, but even those by other writers - the Sinestro and Deathstroke stories - are effectively told.
The opening story of the Super-family taking a road trip struck the perfect balance in embodying the idealism of the US without going too far, this works for various audiences - which is quite the trick to pull off. Along the way Tomasi weaves in some smart observations on the US’ history and the perception of it, it does this quite subtly too, so much so I doubt some will have noticed it.
The final story sees Tomasi returning to Apokolips, a place he has gone to previously in his Batman and Robin run, but which also picks up strands from Justice League. The resolution he reaches here is quite intriguing. What also works well is Superman, Lois and Jon each having their story within the arc.
And then there is Lex. The resolution here to the Super-Lex strand might have been cynically expected, but Tomasi executes it far better than I expected. That Lex completely forgets that his “asking for help” was compulsion and coercion is very accurate to his nature. But it is in how he constructs his narrative on Apokolips, in seeking to escape the perception he is God of Apokolips he presents Superman as God instead and, in so doing, misses the point. Superman doesn’t consider himself a God, he doesn’t consider himself to be better than everyone else - which Lex certainly does. Which is what it all comes down to - Luthor considers himself finished and perfect, Superman does not, thus Luthor lacks Superman’s drive to be better because he already consider himself to be that. At the same time though, Luthor’s bravado and confidence is far from absolute. If anything it’s deeply insecure, evidenced by Luthor’s response to Superman’s criticism of him, he chooses to see it in the most destructive and negative sense.
Going to be fun to conclude this run with the final volume in May.
Huh. This is when I thought the book went off the rails. I agree with you that Mulitplicity wasn’t great, but I thought Black Dawn was aces. Afterwards the multiple fill ins and loss of a central ongoing plot really started wearing me down. I actually dropped the book at that point, only to come back for the final arc with Gleason.
Bringing up Kingdom Come again, that’s Waid’s best right there for me, his eternal calling card. Marvels was a love letter, a chance for fans to revel in everything Marvel had done, but Kingdom Come imagined a radical new future, the ultimate showdown and reconciliation between where the Image generation saw things headed and what DC still believed in, what it’s continued to champion into Rebirth, that idea that superheroes matter, that they are human, and that they exist at an epic scale, too. This would be the Infinity War/Endgame of the DC films if they wanted it to be.
It was superheroes as literature. It came around when I had finally gotten to indulge myself in reading comics, something I’d wanted to do for years when I was younger, but that whole period seemed designed to reward fans, at DC. They just kept throwing as many huge ideas as they could imagine at fans, and Kingdom Come was the culmination of all that. In hindsight you can see Neil Gaiman’s instincts in there, you can see Robinson’s, even though Jack Knight is absent. This was a vision of what that new generation Jack represented might have looked like across the board, rejecting the old ways, but not in the casual way he did. It’s a shame that it didn’t lead to a bigger attempt to introduce more characters like Jack. They could’ve easily modified Magog. I always viewed Aztek as that kind of character. Morrison and Millar leaned heavily in that direction in the series. Later there was Chronos, which badly needs rediscovering.
Spread: Volume 1 - 5
Volumes 1 to 5 is the complete story. I had read volumes 1-3 already, but having enjoyed the first two, my interest tailed off after the third.
Reading them all again I know why that was. Couple of reasons, firstly it begins to drop off with the third volume. It starts to get quite cliched, lazy and feels familiar, having watched the Walking Dead.
I remember at the time losing track of who was who and as a result losing track of what was happening and then naturally losing interest.
What I realise now is it starts because of the art. The art in the first two volumes, mostly by Kyle Straum, is a key selling point of the book. Almost the main selling point - if you have read this you will I’ll know what I mean in terms of the importance of the art, given the nature of the book.
Not only that, Kyle Straum writes the forward in the first volume. He waxes lyrical about his influences, to the extent that it’s almost the biggest part of the book. He then fucks off after volume 2 for whatever reason. He is brilliant so his departure is a blow.
2 of the artists who come in are real bargain basement stuff. Jen Hickman and John Bevins. There’s real technical issues, not least of which being neither of them can draw faces. So it becomes an issue trying to tell some the characters apart or trying to work out if a character is new or someone you have seen before and in some places you can’t tell if the character is male or female. Even when reading the volumes back to back. This really reduces the quality of the book overall.
Jordan loses his mojo when his artists leaves - I wonder if Straum had a lot of input into the first 12 issues. The difference in quality is quite startling. It makes sense that he did.
Let’s not focus only on the negatives though.
If you are a sucker for post apocalyptic worlds, Spread could be your bag, at least conceptually and initially.
There’s some familiar stuff here but Justin Jordan does enough to set it apart from others. The strengths early on are his straight forward writing style, his characterisation, his cinematic approach and keeping the dialogue & narration short and snappy - it really propels the book forward. And it’s a hell of a page turner, really addictive for the most part of those first 12 issues - At the end of each chapter of them I was almost always on the ‘just one more’ mindset.
Unfortunately Straum didn’t turn up again, and in volume 4 the story also felt like it was starting to wrap up, and doing so a bit too abruptly. I wonder if there was an issue with sales figures…but it felt like the book has started out with the intention of being something more than 5 volumes.
Volume 4 feels like a route towards an ending was levered in quicker than it should have been , and 5 is endgame.
In the end I think even Jordan loses interest. It tails off pretty badly. Some of the last few issues, like issue 22 read like they could have been written in a day. Volume 5 is the only volume without an intro, which reinforces that. As does the fact it took me about 10 minutes to read it - and I’m quite a slow reader.
One more gripe is that, a bit like the first Purge movie, I lost count of the amount of times that a character is about to kill another only for someone to appear behind them at the last minute and save them. It maybe became a bit more blatant because I read them in fairly quick succession.
This is one for eBay - I’ll be glad of the shelf space. Overall it’s a good but flawed bunch of books, that lose their way completely because of a handful of different problems. I’m glad I read it but I don’t think I’ll want to again.
There is an ending of sorts but it doesn’t feel earned and is generally pretty shit.
I remain to be convinced about Jordan as a writer, it would be unlikely that I’ll pick up anything of his again.
This was a great review, really informative, so thanks for that. I’m quite art-driven when it comes to comics, and changing to a worse artist partway through a series is one of the worst things that you could possibly do.
You read the entire volume in ten minutes?!? Or do you mean just the last issue?
The entire volume. No joke. I’d say less than 15 but I’m sure it was closer to 10.
Few reasons. The story becomes really rushed and he art isn’t very interesting to look at. The action scenes are not very good so the tendency was just to scan thru them.
It’s a real shame. At the time and again upon re-read, the first two volumes were very addictive.
Taking a look at the issue previews on Comixology, those first volumes do look pretty cool.
It sucks that the result ends up a waste.
Been a bit of a weird New Year for me. Usually, I get a lot of books for Christmas which keep me busy reading well into January. This year, I only got Dragon Ball Full Color Freeza v4 which is pretty good (a bit needlessly drawn out) but only took about an hour to read.
I’ve been sick since New Year’s Day - so much so that I haven’t even been able to play video games really - which is just when you could do with a big stack of books to fill your time. I ordered some books straight after Christmas, but they didn’t start turning up til today, and I’d already resorted to back issues of Cereal:Geek.
Anyway, one of the trades I just received is Young Justice Book 3, the only DC trade I’ve bought since YJ 2, because of all the production problems their books have had in recent years. Not got into it yet, but it’s got a weird production error on the spine. Clearly off-centre, encroaching significantly onto the back, but no corresponding overlap from the front.
Odd. Anyway, I’m keen to read Sins of Youth again. Hopefully it’s more comprehensive than the previous edition, which felt quite stripped down.
Compared to what I remember of the show, it’s breezy.
Nuts! I just bought the first two trades