Wow. Last week was such a wasteland. And not a good wasteland, like Fallout 3 (where I never could stop KILLING people). Just barren. This week is just a bit better– with at least a few great books to talk about… Even if the rest is mostly fodder for the recycling bin. (Please note I wrote “mostly” in that last sentence… In case you think I am painting all the rest of the books on this week’s list with that broad paint brush.)
Here’s a question for you all: When you see a large amount of older material being reprinted (like this week)… Would you rather see those books recolored by a fabulous new colorist using the latest techniques… Or have it appear in the original format on thick, bright paper (which makes the original coloring look like it were printed on an old dot matrix printer)? I know the coloring has already been redone on several books (Absolute Sandman, the Walter Simonson’s Thor Omnibus, Thor: Tales of Asgard and Claremont & Lee’s X-men, to name a few).
I’m not saying we should do away with the originals or stop reprinting them faithfully… Nor am I advocating that someone come in a paint over the line work and muddle the art. I’m just wondering if these classics should be reprinted both ways. I, for one, would pay good money to see a master colorist like Dave Stewart faithfully recolor John Romita Sr’s Amazing Spider-man run. Hell, given my love for those issues, I would most likely buy both versions.
I know this is going to be a fairly controversial choice. But I don’t care. Maybe I’m way too much of a fanboy to be objective about Joss Whedon’s work. I can accept that. I can even live with it.
My inner critic wants to scream that the book is muddled in several parts– as Joss and Brian K. Vaughn often went way too far with their “unlimited” comic book budget to do whatever– and take Buffy wherever– Joss wanted them to.
The naked lovemaking scene (in the air! usually) between Buffy & Angel (that lasted for a good part of Issue #34) is a classic bit of ballsy comic book making for me… And isn’t even in this hardcover (which only reprints the first two story arcs). Still I loved far more parts of the comics (that actually appear in this collection) than I disliked… Which is better than 70% of the comics I read nowadays.
Even though I own all the trades, there is NO WAY I could resist this bigger format hardcover. So I bought it. The one thing I definitely won’t miss about the Dark Horse trades… They used a weird gloss on the softcovers– so no matter how many times I washed my hands before reading them, the covers always showed tons of fingerprints after I finished… Requiring me getting a soft cloth to wipe them down to erase my tracks. (Which is really weird since it’s not like I eat a big bucket of fried chicken before I start reading my comics.)
I haven’t graduated to the Nerdvana Quirk of wearing white gloves when I read a book (and I never will)– so I’m happy the fingerprint problem will be erased when I reread this Hardcover.
27 Vol 2
Absolute Batman Dark Victory HC – Own the Trade
Adventures into the the Unknown Archives Vol 1 HC
Adventures of Dog Mendonca Pizzaboy
Amazing Spider-Man Young Readers Vol 1
Andrew Loomis Successful Drawing HC
Artifacts Origins First Born – Own the Trades
Avengers Many Faces Of Henry Pym – Hero, Scientist, Wife-Beater… No Thanks
Batman Knightfall Vol 2 Knightquest (New Edition)
Best of Sonic the Hedgehog HC
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Library Vol 1 HC - HOT Pick of the Week!
Buck Rogers in 25th Century Dailies Vol 6 HC
Caligula Vol 1
Caligula Vol 1 HC
Caligula Vol 1 HC (Signed Edition)
Comic Book History Of Comics
Daken Dark Wolverine No More Heroes HC
Deadpool Max Involuntary Armageddon – Own the Hardcover
Dino Duck Prehysterical
Doctor Solar Man of the Atom Vol 2 Revelation
Foot Soldiers Vol 1
GI Joe A Real American Hero Vol 4
Golden Age Western Comics HC
Harvey Horrors Chamber of Chills Vol 2 HC
Haunt Vol 3
Joe Hill’s The Cape HC – Runner Up Pick of the Week!
Mad Archives HC Vol 3
Marvel Universe Spider-man Amazing Fantasy Digest
Mighty Thor By Matt Fraction Vol 2 HC
Mighty Thor By Matt Fraction Vol 1 – Own the Hardcover
MMW Amazing Spider-Man Vol 7 SC
MMW Atlas Era Journey Into Mystery Vol 4 HC
Queen Sonja Vol 3 Coming of Age
Rogue Trooper Tales of Nu Earth Vol 1 (S&S Edition)
Showcase Presents Sea Devils Vol 1
Space Family Robinson Archives Vol 4 HC
Stormwatch Vol 1 The Dark Side
Strawberry Shortcake Vol 1 Berry Fun
Strikeforce Morituri Vol 3
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man DOSM Fallout
Uncanny X-Force Otherworld HC
Uncanny X-Force Vol 3 Dark Angel Saga Book 1 – Own the Hardcover
Venom Circle Of Four HC
Zorro Rides Again Vol 1
Bamboo Blade Vol 13
Daniel X The Manga Vol 3
Deltora Quest Vol 6
Makeshift Miracle Vol 1 The Girl From Nowhere HC
Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol 12
Nabari No Ou Vol 10
Omamori Himari Vol 7
Pandora Hearts Vol 10
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Vol 1
Soul Eater Vol 9
Sumomomo Momomo Vol 12
Until Death Do Us Part Vol 1
There’s not a lot to say about Joe Hill that hasn’t already been said. Joe Hill is a GREAT writer. Period. Even more importantly, Joe Hill is also great to his fans. Follow him on Twitter. It should take about 5 to 10 tweets (or less) to watch it happen.
That Hill’s The Cape began as a short tale (originally collected in the writer’s 2005 short story compilation 20th Century Ghosts)… Then was able to be adapted into an intriguing, multi-layered 5 issue mini-series (including a #0 Preview issue) with zero narrative padding evident… Is a testament to the depth of Hill’s talent– and the strong feelings he invokes with just a few words.
The ability to create more with less is absolutely an art.
Psst! Don’t be telling Brian Michael Bendis or any of his current comic book peers… But back in the day Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee (and virtually every other artist and writer until around 1995 or so) could shove a shitload of plot, character development and action into EVERY issue of EVERY comic book… Just like the creators do in this collection.
On its own, The Cape stands as the ultimate What If? story… As in “What would you do if you suddenly developed super powers?” Would you be Captain America or a Bad Guy… Or maybe just a Selfish Guy? Barring discovering your powers during a World War, a national disaster (or worse) to help determine your fate… With no Odin or Uncle Ben standing behind you to be your moral compass… What would you do?
Would you rescue a kitten out of a tree or drop a bear on a policeman’s car? (You’ll have to read this collection to figure that reference out.)
The answer in The Cape is one answer to this question. Not all the answers, of course– but quite possibly a very real one… If one of us were having a bad series of days, months and years– and suddenly discovered we had power beyond the mortal norm.
Hill’s short story is faithfully and excellently adapted by Jason Ciaramella, with equally great art by Zach Howard. It is a must read.