The Trades Thread: volume two

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#37248

Here’s where we talk about collected editions: TPBs, hardcovers, omnibuses, Absolutes… anything with a spine!

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  • #39698

    I’m not sure “surprise, this is the last ever issue of this series!” is the kind of thing anyone wants to see in comics though.

    The voice of a man who’s never read any Chuck Austen.

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  • #39893

    A couple of recent reads:

    Batman by Grant Morrison omnibus v.3

    Rereading this final tranche of Morrison’s bat-epic really brought home to me a couple of things.

    The first is how separate it feels from the rest of the run. While everything in the first two omnibuses feels like part of one giant story that builds and builds and finally pays off with all the interlinked Return Of Bruce Wayne stuff, the Batman Incorporated era feels like something of an afterthought, a slightly artificial extension of the run that to some extent has to start all over again and build up a new threat, Leviathan, now that Doctor Hurt is gone.

    It’s still good and there are some excellent issues – and wonderful artists – in here, and the whole thing has more of a colourful traditional superhero feel to it than before. But it feels somehow less… essential, I guess, than the earlier parts of the run, despite being somewhat linked to it and paying off some stuff that was set up way back at the start.of Morrison’s tenure, notably around Damian.

    Which brings me to the second thing, and that’s the way that the story ultimately turns into a story about divorce and fighting parents and a child caught in the middle of it. And in that light the whole thing reads as very sad and depressing, especially once it comes to Damian’s grisly death and the climactic face-off between Bruce and Talia.

    Not only is the whole story ultimately resolved via a slightly left-field rise to prominence of a relatively minor character from Morrison’s run – who promptly disappears again as quickly as she entered – but it also leaves the story with a dead kid and a dead parent at the end of it, which gave me a real downer feeling this time around.

    Luckily Burnham’s art in the second half of Incorporated is so fantastic that it papers over the cracks in the story somewhat, with some fantastically dynamic and detailed and brutal action as well as some great ‘acting’ in his Quitely-esque style.

    Also, one final thing – I had to go through three copies of this book before getting a decent one (the first copy arrived damaged, the second was intact but had printing errors on certain page that caused giant ugly smudges down the centre), and even the decent-quality final copy I ended up with shipped with two dustjackets by mistake! I wonder whether quality issues were partly responsible for the very gradual staggered release of this book into the wild.

    Something Is Killing The Children v.1 TPB 

    This is a book that has been recommended to me by several people and it didn’t disappoint.

    It’s a quite tightly written monster story pitched somewhere between Stranger Things and Buffy that has no flab but still manages to create some distinctive characters.

    The ideas are fairly familiar but it’s told well. Maybe a little less of an atmospheric horror than I expected and more action-oriented, but that’s not a bad thing.

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  • #39896

    Glad you liked SiKTC. It actually gets better over the course of the second TPB. Worth sticking with.

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  • #39897

    Good to know! Was already planning to pick up the second on the strength of this.

  • #39966

    Books Etc now has the Mr Miracle Deluxe HC listed for £20.72.

    https://www.booksetc.co.uk/books/view/-9781779505576

  • #39967

    Doesn’t look to be much of a ‘deluxe’ edition from those dimensions though.  Wish DC wouldn’t mess around like this.

  • #39968

    It’s definitely a normal deluxe edition. I received my copy from the Book Depository yesterday. The dimensions on Books Etc must be wrong.

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    Avatar Ben
  • #39974

    Doesn’t look to be much of a ‘deluxe’ edition from those dimensions though.  Wish DC wouldn’t mess around like this.

    Mitch Gerads posted some photos of it a while back and it’s definitely a proper deluxe.

    Looks like a great package and beautiful presentation.

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    Avatar Ben
  • #39983

    Good.  Never really know with DC and the way they use language.

  • #40164

    This lovely-looking hardcover arrived today. Looking forward to having another read through this to see how the story holds up in one volume. Spectacular art on this one.

    Just a regular-sized HC, but very nicely designed.

    Finished this and didn’t really change my opinion on it second time around. The art is great and the main Azrael story is ok but the various twists around the Wayne Legacy and the supernatural elements end up muddying the plot and making the book worse rather than better.

    A straighter story of Batman fighting Azrael with a simpler version of the history would have been more satisfying I think.

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  • #40198

    A straighter story of Batman fighting Azrael with a simpler version of the history would have been more satisfying I think.

    You have a physical copy of the book and surely you must have a pair of scissors somewhere? Snip-snip!

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  • #40225

    Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 2

    This was a welcome surprise.  I wasn’t a fan of the first volume’s cliffhanger but the execution across this next set of issues does justify it quite effectively.  There’s a quite fast major revelation, one that without that slow burn of preceding issues wouldn’t have worked as well, nor the final resolution of the overall arc.

    Without giving it away, this second half goes heavily into meta territory, but without any sense of cynicism, which is why I think it works.  It’s an examination of stories, what they are, why they work, why they are needed but this isn’t some coolly removed post-modernist take.  In short, you can feel a sense of sincerity in these issues, that they are topics that matter to those telling the story.

    That and flipping around the superhero story so that it starts with the end and the final fates of the characters and then going back to tell stories of other times is a rather neat inversion.

    I wasn’t planning to but looks like I’ll be nabbing the World of Black Hammer Library Editions too.

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  • #40329

    I haven’t really done much of any Amazon fishing lately, given the pandemic and the mixed up release schedules, but I was just looking through Marvel’s listing and saw that this had snuck out:

    It hadn’t been listed that far in advance and I had worried they’d given up on the series again, but good to see it’s keeping it’s annual Halloween schedule. Now if only I could get hold of a copy of v1 at a good price (currently £150+ most places).

  • #40333

    By the way Martin, the Bunraku trade arrived – it’s a really nice, quality volume, well worth getting, even if you won’t get to it immediately.

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  • #40354

    Marvel omnibus news from Near Mint Condition:

    Empyre Omnibus due in April 2021

    Incredible Hulk Peter David Omnibus 3 due in May 2021.  Likely need a fourth to finish off the run.

  • #40359

    Now if only I could get hold of a copy of v1 at a good price

    TOMB OF DRACULA was one of my favorite series of the 1970s, a great team book with solid characterizations from Marv Wolfman and gorgeous art by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer. When Marvel issued the black-n-white ESSENTIAL TOD books a decade ago I picked them up as reading copies, but I still have the original series bagged and boarded in my basement.

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  • #40440

    This arrived today. What a great looking book.

    Tons of extras at the back too. I’m looking forward to rereading this.

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    Avatar Ben
  • #40442

    I borrowed the first Hulk Marvel Masterworks from the library. It’s a lot of fun and I enjoyed the fact Hulk is pretty much a straight up bad guy in his own comic. Also Hulk can fly which is weird.

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  • #40566

    For those of you who order regularly from Forbidden Planet, how long do they normally take to  despatch your order? I was charged for a book last Tuesday, and it’s still “Awaiting Dispatch” now. Is this normal?

  • #40590

    In recent times they’ve got a bit more laggy with this kind of thing, so I’ve had orders waiting several days between being charged and despatched. A bit irritating but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

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  • #40594

    They’ve gotten quite poor in the last month or two. Until recently I’ve never had a problem but the last couple of books I ordered took a couple of weeks to dispatch.

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  • #40601

    I think that’s probably a result of practical staff issues as they’ve been that way since the start of lockdown measures in March.

    I’m happy to cut them a bit of slack on that as they do get round to despatching books in the end, it just takes a little while longer.

  • #40702

    Got Black Hammer: The Quantum Age, as it was on sale at the comics shop. (I liked the main series a lot, but I generally didn’t get the spin-offs.) It was a neat little Legion of Super-Heroes story.

    I also got the first Jupiter’s Circle – I read Jupiter’s Legacy back then, but haven’t yet caught up with the follow-ups. At least I think that’s what I got; apparently, they’ve all been retitled Jupiter’s Legacy now, and the first two trades are Jupiter’s Circle? Anyway, I got what is now the first trade.

  • #40704

    I also got the first Jupiter’s Circle – I read Jupiter’s Legacy back then, but haven’t yet caught up with the follow-ups. At least I think that’s what I got; apparently, they’ve all been retitled Jupiter’s Legacy now, and the first two trades are Jupiter’s Circle? Anyway, I got what is now the first trade.

    Yeah, it’s confusing. The original Jupiter’s Legacy miniseries is now Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 3, and Jupiter’s Legacy 2 is now Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 4, while Jupiter’s Circle is now Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 1-2.

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  • #40711

    Complete Providence coming:

    Alan Moore’s Complete Providence Compendium – Order Now

    Just after I buy the individual HCs too. Fuckers. I said this would happen.

    Still, I’m hanging on to them for now as Avatar have a habit of not following through on books they promise.

  • #40712

    I also got the first Jupiter’s Circle – I read Jupiter’s Legacy back then, but haven’t yet caught up with the follow-ups. At least I think that’s what I got; apparently, they’ve all been retitled Jupiter’s Legacy now, and the first two trades are Jupiter’s Circle? Anyway, I got what is now the first trade.

    Yeah, it’s confusing. The original Jupiter’s Legacy miniseries is now Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 3, and Jupiter’s Legacy 2 is now Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 4, while Jupiter’s Circle is now Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 1-2.

    Which is a little odd because you really need to read the first volume of Legacy before Circle.

    I guess it’s just to give people an easy sequence of trades to market when the TV series comes along.

  • #40718

    Complete Providence coming:

    Alan Moore’s Complete Providence Compendium – Order Now

    Just after I buy the individual HCs too. Fuckers. I said this would happen.

    Still, I’m hanging on to them for now as Avatar have a habit of not following through on books they promise.

    Just checked the prices and it’s $59 for the HC plus another $74.30 shipping to the UK…! Yeah, I don’t think so. You can probably still get the three HCs for less than that if you shop around, and they’re OOP and often listed at silly prices these days.

    Interestingly, in the email they sent to existing customers that I got, they were quite open about needing to do this for cash-flow reasons, which is a bit concerning for anyone laying that kind of money out at this stage for a book that isn’t due to show up until next spring/summer.

  • #40721

    I also got the first Jupiter’s Circle – I read Jupiter’s Legacy back then, but haven’t yet caught up with the follow-ups. At least I think that’s what I got; apparently, they’ve all been retitled Jupiter’s Legacy now, and the first two trades are Jupiter’s Circle? Anyway, I got what is now the first trade.

    Yeah, it’s confusing. The original Jupiter’s Legacy miniseries is now Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 3, and Jupiter’s Legacy 2 is now Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 4, while Jupiter’s Circle is now Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 1-2.

    That’s ridiculous. Like DC renaming Watchmen “Watchmen v2” and Before Watchmen to “Watchmen v1”. Wait, no, I shouldn’t have said that, it’ll give them ideas!

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  • #40724

    It’s sad. Creatively they have done a lot of good stuff but Avatar are so badly run as a business. They really have consistently failed to market the great properties and creators they have in the book market, which should be their focus.

    Providence’s last issue came out 3 years ago and it absolutely should have had a $20-25 trade on the shelves right then to sit alongside Watchmen, V For Vendetta and From Hell.

    It’s a bit cruel but part of me thinks these properties would be better off if they went bust and somebody else picked them up and could do them justice.

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  • #40734

    Apparently a softcover version will be coming later through the regular channels.

  • #40744

    3 years too late.

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  • #40750

    Agree absolutely. If it even turns up (still waiting on that Cinema Purgatorio collection).

  • #40755

    Agree absolutely. If it even turns up (still waiting on that Cinema Purgatorio collection).

    Currently scheduled for January: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1592913342/

  • #40757

    Yeah, I saw it had been put back on the schedule. We’ll see. Still holding on to the original issues for now!

  • #40828

    It’s a bit cruel but part of me thinks these properties would be better off if they went bust and somebody else picked them up and could do them justice.

    It would be funny if DC bought out the company.

    Funny in terms of watching the fallout down Northampton way, I mean :-)

     

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  • #40837

    curses

    Attachments:
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  • #40914

    I bought my dad a copy of Sara by Garth Ennis & Steve Epting for his birthday. He’s a fan of Russian history and war movies and liked Fury: My War Gone By so I figure he’ll enjoy it. Of course, I had to read it myself before giving it to him tomorrow.

    Through most of Sara’s six issues I was thinking, this is technically excellent, both in terms of art and story, but the titular character is so emotionless that I find it a bit of a cold read. Then came the ending. Fuck. It’s still a cold book, mind you, but the way it ends is pure ice. In the best possible way. My dad can be a bit of sick bastard like me so I’m thinking he’ll like this one a lot.

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  • #40917

    My copy of Sara has arrived, not yet read – looks amazing.

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  • #40929

    It’s called SDRD, guys. Says so on the cover. Clearly.

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  • #40951

    Just finished Black Hammer Library Edition vol. 2

    I enjoyed that a lot, but I will say it works better now that they’re both available.
    1 & 2 go together and you can’t have one without the other.

    As Ben said above, there’s no cynicism, a genuine respect for the genre, and a sincere approach to giving his thoughts on everything.

    Love that Map and Who’s Who section.
    I want 10 years of Quantum League and Star Sheriff Squadron stories.
    _________________________________________________

    Okay, so what’s coming? Dates are for me (Amazon.ca) and could be the same for you

    The World of Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 1 – Oct. 27th
    Sherlock Frankenstein & the Legion of Evil and Doctor Andromeda and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows

    The World of Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 2 – Feb. 23rd ’21
    The Quantum Age and Black Hammer ’45

    The World of Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 3 – June 29th ’21
    Colonel Weird: Cosmagog and Barbalien: Red Planet

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    Avatar Ben
  • #40954

    World of 1 turned up on the 7 Oct Diamond list so expecting to turn up earlier at the Usual Suspects.

    Oh, Volume 3? Neat.

  • #41000

    Picked up the collection of Heartbeat from Boom! Studios. It’s a stunning looking book, and if you like Maria Llovet’s art this is her best yet.

    There’s beautiful fine detail and such great ‘acting’ in the faces and body language, which is key for an intense psychological thriller like this. And overall the finish is much tighter than the looser art style of her previous books.

    The story itself is a bit of an odd one, a kind of melodramatic murder-romance revolving around a tight-knight group of friends at a private school, with the protagonist a well-meaning but bullied girl who is drawn into the orbit of a dangerous and manipulative boy who she catches in a deadly act.

    It’s a little pretentious in its language – which suits the teenage angst vibe – but sometimes it feels slightly clunkily translated, with the wording slightly off, which doesn’t make for a smooth read in places.

    But the art and the intensity of the relationships just about carries it through in the end, and the various story threads all come together fairly well in the end.

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  • #41011

    I also reread this recently, digging it out after reading the latest White Knight, and while the art is nice I found the story to be a bit of a mess.

    Partly that’s because the split timeline of the story wasn’t handled well for me. After enjoying the Alien/Abyss-like undersea claustrophobia of the first five issues, the jump into the future and the switch to a Waterworld-esque fantasy world was jarring, and felt like it interrupted a story I cared about with another one that I struggled to love.

    (Also, the slightly ramshackle world-building reminded me of Snyder’s later Undiscovered Country – a lot of crazy concepts, but no real sense of how it all hangs together.)

    Then the final issue brings a big info-dump of explanation that recasts the entire story in a new light, but not one that helps to make more sense of everything. In fact, if anything, it only raises more questions.

    Still, it all looks lovely.

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  • #41012

    I borrowed The Wake from the library. And felt the same way. Stuff confusingly happens and is drawn nicely. I was onboard for the first half but was pissed off with the handbrake turn change of setting in the second half. I skim read the ending as there were too many goddamned words.

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  • #41044

    Add me to the list of those disappointed with The Wake. The first half was great but the second half was a complete failure for me. I really wish Snyder had stayed with the first half.

    Around that same time, Jeff Lemire had his series Trillium out. That was another series that face planted the landing. He was quite innovative with the storytelling but the story and its resolution failed to deliver.

  • #41045

    This arrived today. What a great looking book.

    Tons of extras at the back too. I’m looking forward to rereading this.

    I cracked this open earlier today and started reading, and somehow got through all twelve issues by the end of the day. It’s really good and probably King’s best work (although I probably need to reread Vision again to see for sure). Loved it just as much second time around. Gerads’ art is also amazingly good – the book just wouldn’t work without him.

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