Comic Roundup vol.1

Here’s the start of a little series on comics  I’ve recently read (“recently” meaning within the last two months with this initial go at it).  I typically read trades these days, since, well, I don’t have the room right now to maintain a serious comic book collection.  Although e-comics have been compelling; unfortunately, my current ereader doesn’t have a good library of them yet.

So, here we go, after the jump. (I’ve always wanted to say that.)

All-Star Superman

I’ve heard quite a bit about this series by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, but I simply had not gotten around to obtaining it and reading it until now.  I’m not much of a Superman fan except when watching him beat the crap out of things in the various DC animated things, but this is a comic that really captures what Superman is all about.  Needless to say, this is not an original opinion, but the fact that so many got it puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that it is simply that good.

Batman: The Long Halloween

This is the Batman story that is part of the inspiration behind The Dark Knight, as well as some themes in the Arkham series of video games.  In essence, it’s a retelling of Harvey Dent’s eventual transformation into Two-Face, reframed within a murder mystery that takes place over the entirety of a year. It’s excellent.

The Avengers: The Big Three

A small collection of Avengers comics starting from the mid-60s all the way up till the late 90s.  From the title, you can probably guess this collection focuses on Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor.

Well, sort of.  “The Big Three” appear throughout, but it’s really about origins in the first half, a smattering of other things in the latter halves, and advertisement for other trades.

The interesting bit is the collection of the early 90s The Avengers miniseries “The Terminatrix Objective”.  It’s interesting in that the artwork is so very characteristic of many comics of that time: almost everyone was trying to be Rob Liefeld. The story was just as much 90s nonsense as well.

Fantastic Four Visionaries by Walter Simonson: vol. 1

That’s a mouthful of a title.  All of the “Visionaries” collections for the FF are like this.  Nothing spectacularly noteworthy about this one: it’s a Fantastic Four collection of comics written by Walt Simonson.  You have Kang the Conqueror, Nebula, and the noteworthy bit: a confrontation with the Black Celestial. Time travel is a given since Kang is involved.

Just as with all of the other trades that Marvel has been churning out, if you want to read these stories without spending a bunch of money on the originals, it’s a good deal.

Marvel Masterworks: The Uncanny X-Men vol.2

This collects the “original” Phoenix Saga, wherein Jean Grey becomes Phoenix after surviving the shuttle crash, and ends up repairing the M’Kraan Crystal.  Noteworthy to read for that purpose, as well as seeing Chris Claremont’s early writing.  “Show, not tell” was definitely not his motto back then.

B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth & Other Stories

It is no secret that I’m a fan of Mike Mignola’s work, particularly Hellboy.  So I’ve been going back and checking out some of the other stuff, specifically B.P.R.D.

Hollow Earth & Other Stories is the first collection of the B.P.R.D. stories; wherein the ghostly medium Johann Krauss is introduced and we learn that the Earth is more hollow than one realized.  If you like anything involving the paranormal, you’ll like this.

Fairy Quest: Outlaws

Many of the aforementioned comics were picked up during this year’s trip to Dragon*Con.  Another was the hardcover Fairy Quest by Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos, which was the result of a Kickstarter. This one I picked up on a whim, after opening it up and seeing just a couple of pages while waiting in line for Ramos to sign my badge, as he did the artwork for it this year.

The idea is nothing particularly new: the characters in fairy tales are real, and the stories play out in real time whenever they are read aloud.  However, they provide their own unique, charming twist to the story.  Heck, the entire thing absolutely bursts with charm.  I love charming things.  Therefore, I love Fairy Quest.  It’s something that you can definitely share with your kids, too.

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