Reviews of trade paperbacks of comic books (mostly Marvel), along with a few other semi-relevant comments / reviews.

27 April 2009

July 2009 Solicitations

Better late than never, they say. Of course, that’s debatable. Here are the July 2009 solicitations from the big four comic companies, minus IDW and plus Dark Horse (I kid Dark Horse, but really, it and Image fell behind IDW in sales).

From Marvel:

  • Agents of Atlas: Dark Reign (hardcover): Can Jeff Parker bring back what everyone liked in the original (poorly selling) mini? $24.99
  • X-Men: Wolverine / Gambit (hardcover): Reprinting the forgettable Wolverine / Gambit: Victims miniseries from the mid-’90s. The mini was published to capitalize on Gambit’s popularity, and it’s most likely reissued because of the movie. I mean, what other reason can there be to reprint this? (Yes, I know, Loeb / Sale. That doesn’t cover up that it isn’t much good.) $19.99
  • Mephisto vs. (hardcover): The ‘80s miniseries that tried to cover up that it was a miniseries at all by having each issue have a different title! $19.99
  • Spider-Girl, v. 11: Marked for Death (digest): Yes, they really are charging $13 for seven issues of a digest. That’s ridiculous and must stop now. $12.99
  • New Warriors Classic, v. 1: It’s about time. It seems odd it would take so long for a cult favorite like New Warriors to get on the schedule, but the Classic line has been a little slow, so I suppose it makes sense. $24.99
  • X-Men: The Shattering: Rumored on Amazon for a while, this one comes in at a whopping $35. Yes, it has eleven issues plus an annual, but that’s $3 an issue. And three of those reprinted issues are the Astonishing X-Men series, and I’m very reluctant to pay for those. $34.99
  • The Essentials (now $20! Geez, there’s a recession on, Marvel!) are Essential Marvel Two-in-One, v .3, and Essential Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man, v. 4. Both are excellent choices, especially Spectacular, which will reprint the Owl / Octopus War and its aftermath, the Black Cat / Spidey romance, and a Fred Hembeck penciled issue. $19.99 each

From DC, who believe in giving you value for your money (and really is eating Marvel’s lunch on that score):

  • Gotham Central, v. 2: Jokers and Madmen (hardcover): I didn’t see v. 1, but it’s good that Gotham Central is getting a hardcover reprint that includes all the issues, not just the greatest hits. The missing issues really upset me in the TPBs. Reasonable price for 12 issues in hardback, and I bet it will have better stories than the comparably sized but more expensive paperback X-Men: The Shattering. $29.99
  • Secret Six: Unhinged: Gail Simone writes another series with second-tier characters. That’s usually enjoyable, and the price is right as well. $14.99
  • Tom Strong: Deluxe Edition, v. 1 (hardcover): I haven’t read Tom Strong, but the other ABC titles were all excellent, and I doubt this will be different. It is $40 for twelve issues, though, so you might hunt down older, cheaper reprints. $39.99
  • Fables, v. 12: The Dark Ages: The Adversary’s gone, but the story goes on. $17.99
  • The Showcases (still a reassuring $17) are Showcase Presents Eclipso and Showcase Presents The Flash, v. 3. I have to admit, DC is much more daring with its Showcase selections than Marvel is with Essentials; on the other hand, I have a real distaste for a lot of Silver Age DC, so it doesn’t do much for me. If you’re less wedded to Marvel or another company, though, you have to love DC. $16.99 $9.99 for Eclipso and $16.99 for Flash
  • Not TPBs, but DC is reprinting the #1s for Green Lantern: Rebirth, Y: The Last Man, Tom Strong, and All-Star Superman and Batman #608 for $1 each. Neat, although I wonder why the first issue of Batman: Hush is being reprinted.

From Image:

  • Back to Brooklyn: Garth Ennis does a violent organized crime story. This is for a certain demographic, and you know if you are in that demographic if you have the entire Ennis run on Punisher. $14.99

From Dark Horse, which is always a little unusual compared to the other three:

  • Noir (hardcover): An interesting black-and-white book. It’s a collection of noir stories, with an impressive list of creators, including comics’ noir leaders, Ed Brubaker and Brian Azzarello. $24.95
  • Pictures that Tick: Dave McKean’s short comics stories from the ‘90s and early ‘00s. Probably worth reading, even if you don’t buy it — McKean is always interesting. $19.95
  • I would mention The Umbrella Academy, v. 2: Dallas (hardcover), but it’s a limited-run $80 edition. No thanks. The TPB will be out in October.

Anyone else got any bright ideas?

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Blogger Marc said...

It looks like Showcase Presents Eclipso will actually only been $10, since it's a little over half the size of a normal volume. I don't know anything about Eclipso, but for the $6 it'll cost after online discounts I'm definitely up for trying it out.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Raoul said...

Good point; I'll correct that. DC really is giving readers more for the money; they had another reduced-price, half-size Showcase (Bat Lash) the previous month as well.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

According to Amazon, they're doing the same for the upcoming Showcase Presents Super Friends book as well. It's too bad Marvel doesn't do something similar to collect some of its more obscure and shorter-lived titles.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Raoul said...

Hmm. What would be the best candidate for the half-sized Essential? What I can think of is the really oddballs -- Team America and U.S. 1, for example -- and limited series like Fallen Angels. I don't think quite enough time has gone by to give Team America that rosy glow of nostalgia, and I don't know if Essentials are the right way to go with miniseries.

Skull the Slayer, maybe? Is there enough there?

5:04 PM  

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