Comics Creators

The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


…unless you’re a Hawaiian masochist.


Not a bad pre-order price for the second Grant Morrison Batman omnibus - £39 at Amazon.

Although keep an eye on Speedyhen as it’s on there for £34.90, albeit not available to preorder yet.


Time to get the preorder in! This one I’ll go for because it’s doing something different to the formats I already have the material in.


Yeah, I think I’m double-dipping on this one as it sounds like it’s going to be collected properly, in the right reading order (which DC have never done for this material before).

(Actually it’s quadruple-dipping for some of it, when you take into account the singles, HCs, Absolute…)


I held off on any of the earlier collected editions, because I suspected that eventually they would get it right :wink:


Thing is, on this one there is merit for both - there’ll be times when you just want to read Bruce Wayne’s trip through time on its own, or blitz through the opening arc of Batman & Robin due to the Quitely art, without having to flip through the other issues.


Well, the Absolute has that massive oversized art, which is going to be hard to give up. I might keep it just for that.

(What DC should have really done was planned the Absolutes bettter and collected the omnibus contents in that format.)


Do you really trust them to not make a printing error here? The last one used the incorrect version of a Joker page in RIP, right?


Yeah, that was a shame. That was the only error though, which for DC is pretty amazing.


DC - Defective Comics


Marvel Universe By Frank Miller Omnibus

Well, this was a great read. Collecting pretty much everything Miller did at Marvel outside of his Daredevil and Elektra work, the thinking behind this book seems to be that if you already have those three omnibuses, you only need this to complete your Miller-Marvel collection.

Which, if you’re a Miller fan - especially of his early-era stuff (this book includes some of his first published work in comics) - is a pretty irresistible package. Even if you might get the impression from the back cover that there isn’t that much material collected here.

Thankfully though, there’s far more here than just those 15 issues.

Kicking off with a foreword by Neal Adams in which he basically says “of course I can’t be credited as the source of Frank Miller’s talent (but I can really)”, the book adopts a chronological approach that serves it really well, allowing you to see Miller’s growth as an artist as he works his way up from inventory stories and backups to more substantial and high-profile work.

I had already read (and already owned) all of the stories collected here, but the omnibus offers some great improvements when it comes to art reproduction, especially for those stories that were only previously available in the original single issues.

The Captain Marvel story is a good example - here’s a comparison with the original issue.

It really helps you appreciate the strength of Miller’s linework in all its glory, even in these very early and less polished stories.

The collection also scores points for including a fairly obscure story that was originally featured in the (now browning) pages of Marvel’s black-and-white newsprint magazine Marvel Preview, which again benefits from the cleaner reproduction on white paper.

By the time you get to the classic Wolverine mini, you can see just how quickly Miller’s art was refined (it’s pretty remarkable that he went from being a virtual unknown drawing Hulk inventory stories in the late seventies to producing Wolverine in 1982).

Here, again, the reproduction is better than even fairly recent editions. Here’s a picture of Mariko from an older OHC reprint before the Wolverine mini was Remastered for the Masterworks program a few years back:

And here’s how it now appears in the new omnibus:

Lots more fine detail and shades of grey visible.

Even when you get past the stories collected here, there’s a ton more content: various Miller forewords and afterwords from previous collections, factfile art pieces, countless covers from various Marvel titles of the late '70s and '80s, guest art from ‘jam’ issues like She-Hulk #50, copies of letters sent in by Miller to Marvel comics and printed in letter columns before he was a pro, Bullpen text pieces plugging his work, house ads, Hostess Fruit Pie Ads, unused covers… and lots and lots of scans of original art:

It’s a real treasure-trove for Miller fans, and it’s so comprehensive that it actually leads to my one complaint. Because there’s a Miller story missing from this collection: ‘The Philistine’, with Denny O’Neil, from Bizarre Adventures #31.

It’s only a short story, but it’s a good one, and one that sees Miller playing with the kind of high-contrast abstract art that would define work like Sin City.

I suspect that tiny copyright acknowledgement on the title page might give us a clue as to why the story was left out of this book, but if so it’s a shame they couldn’t reach an agreement to include it here.

Even without that, though, this is a great collection of odds and ends (and that classic Wolverine mini, which I hadn’t read in years but which still holds up), and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in Miller’s work.


Some mini-reviews:

Wildstorm: Michael Cray: Volume 2

Not a bad finale. It was certainly a stronger volume than its predecessor in terms of writing and art. Interesting too that both Luthor and Wayne turn up, though the former is just a name drop.

The Flintstones: Volumes 1-2

A series of 12 done-in-one stories, this sees Russell and Pugh holding up a cracked mirror to western society, while also riffing the hell out of it for as many jokes as possible. I don’t think this has quite the sustained charge of the Snagglepuss mini, but it is very, very good.

Hit-Girl in Rome

This was a very fun read and I might check out A Study in Emerald, as Scavone’s involved in that and he proved a good writer, nailing both the character and the bleak humour. I’m not so sure I’ll continue with the series beyond this point as it as particular creators that got my attention.

Warship Jolly Roger: Volumes 1-2

A 4-album Euro-comics SF epic by Runberg and Mortillo, it’s collected as two OHC volumes of about 120 pages each. I’ve kept an eye on Runberg since finding Orbital and this doesn’t disappoint. Motillo’s art is highly stylised but not to the extent of obscuring the narrative. Finally, Lion Forge’s presentation of this, as part of their Magnetic Press imprint, is excellent quality.


If I have the Daredevil and Elektra Omnibuses, at least two X-Men Omnibus reprints of the Wolverine mini, and the Frank Miller Spider-man OHC, is there much else in here for me? I’m not sure I can justify it; although I am awfully tempted given your review.


Man I completely lost track of Ellis’ Wildstorm. Did it ever finish? What were the other series?


#19 shipped a few weeks ago; I think #20 is out next week.

Only Michael Cray has come out so far. Which is a book of two halves. The first mediocre; the second (by the exact same creative team) a pretty fun read.

More are promised, but none announced as yet.


Remarkably few! Cray remains the only spin-off.


Thanks. I lost interest in Cray after it became a carousel of evil DC heroes, which felt like “old” Ellis and just not that interesting.


Other than a few random stories (Hulk, Captain Marvel, a Thing/Avengers yarn, a Captain America story and that Bizarre Adventures short) and lots of cover art (plus the various extras I mentioned), no, not really. You’ve got the meat of it already with the Spidey collection and the Wolverine mini (there’s barely any overlap with the Daredevil and Elektra omnis).

It’s maybe one to try and snag at a decent price if you get the chance though. I got mine for just over £30, which is about right I’d say. Selling off all the previous versions I had of these stories just about paid for the omnibus, so with the reproduction improvements and shedloads of extras it was worth it for me.


How long did it take you to read that Miller Omnibus do you think?

I got mine through as well and there’s actually a lot to it. It looks a really great and comprehensive package.

But I don’t know when I’ll start it because it looks like it would take me weeks to read!!


Been meaning to check this out? What’s a good price to pay?