Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Solicitation Commentary for September 2010

In this first edition of what I hope to make a monthly feature, I’m going to take a look at some of the graphic novels and collected editions that have been solicited for the month of September 2010. Titles are in bold and I’ve broken things up by publisher, making it easier for you to skip around if you feel so inclined. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what’s coming out in September!

Marvel Comics
The Mighty Thor Omnibus Volume One Stan Lee Jack Kirby Marvel Solicitations September 2010 Cover hardcover hc comic bookI’m really excited for a few things coming out from Marvel this month. First and foremost is The Mighty Thor Omnibus, Vol. 1, collecting the character’s initial appearances starting with Journey into Mystery #83 and extending all the way to issue #120 of that title. I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time, and I hope enough people buy it to show Marvel that there’s still a market for Omnibus collections of classic material like this one — not just for the bloated, poorly-written crossovers of the 1980s and ‘90s (see further down this post).

I’m also pretty pumped for The ’Nam, Vol. 2, collecting The ’Nam #11-20. As a huge fan of war literature, especially Vietnam war literature, this series has interested me for almost as long as I’ve been interested in comics. Until recently, though, it was only available in a handful of trade paperbacks which have been out of print for probably about fifteen years. Marvel released a collection of the first ten issues last year, which I actually just ordered a few days ago and expect to have in my hands soon.

I’m substantially less thrilled about the Acts of Vengeance Omnibus, a hundred-dollar hardcover collecting issues from more different series than I feel like going to the trouble of naming. For those unaware, Acts of Vengeance was a fairly pointless crossover in the early 1990s that featured Spider-Man and the Avengers...well, fighting people, what else? The only interesting part of it has to do with Spider-Man gaining cosmic powers (which he uses to make mincemeat of the Hulk), but other than that, there’s not much to see here — certainly not enough to warrant a collection of this magnitude, that’s for sure. It blows my mind that we keep seeing Omnibus collections for mediocre stories like this one when there still aren’t ones featuring classic Avengers material or Spider-Man drawn by John Romita (although, as I’ve already mentioned, I do have to give Marvel credit for finally releasing a classic Thor Omnibus).

And it’s a bit off the beaten path, but I’m also looking forward to Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius Ultimate Collection, Book 1 (what a mouthful!), which collects Chris Eliopoulos’s eight one-shots starring the son of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. I read the first one when it came out and thought it was a lot of fun — it’s very similar to Calvin & Hobbes, both in writing and art style — but the collections so far have been too small and too expensive. But at $19.99, the price for this one feels just right to me.

So that makes three books from Marvel I’ll probably be picking up, and one I’ll do my best to avoid. A few others I’ll be considering but haven’t really decided on yet are Avengers: The Coming of the Beast, which collects the early appearances of the X-Men’s Beast as an Avenger, and a new hardcover edition of Captain America: War and Remembrance, collecting the Roger Stern/John Byrne run on that character.

DC Comics
Legion of Superheroes The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe Edition Paul Levitz Keith Giffen Darkseid DC Comics Solicitations September 2010 Cover hardcover hc comic bookOne of DC’s most notable collected edition releases for September is its new Deluxe Edition of Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga. This storyline was actually one of the first ever released in a trade paperback format, back when the idea of collecting comics was still pretty new. I’ve only gotten into the Legion recently, by way of the first Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Edition, but I’ll certainly be picking up The Great Darkness Saga at some point, in one form or another.

Another classic release I’m really glad to see is The Green Lantern Chronicles, Vol. 3, collecting Green Lantern #10-14 and The Flash #131. Those being my two favorite comic books published by DC in the Silver Age, this one will be making it onto my bookshelf without any doubt.

Also possibly worth looking into is Jonah Hex: Counting Corpses, which collects Jonah Hex #43 and 50-54. I’ve never read anything featuring the character, personally, but this volume has interior art (as well as cover art) by Darwyn Cooke, one of the most gifted and visionary artists working in comics today. If you’re interested in the character, what with the movie coming out and all, I’d say this looks like a great place to get started.

Showcase Presents Superman Volume One Otto Binder Bill Finger Jerry Coleman Robert Bernstein Alvin Schwartz Jerry Siegel Brainiac DC Comics Solicitations September 2010 Cover trade paperback tpb comic bookOne DC release I find a bit troubling is the new printing of Showcase Presents Superman, Vol. 1, which collects over 500 pages’ worth of Silver Age Superman comics in black and white. Along with the first Showcase Presents Green Lantern collection, this was one of the first Showcase Presents books that DC released, debuting at a cover price of only $9.99. From that point on, the Showcase Presents line was priced at $16.99 (later $17.99) to compete with Marvel’s Essential line.

This new printing, however, is neither $9.99 nor $17.99, but rather a whopping $19.99. This is the same price point that Marvel raised the Essentials to last year, which in my opinion is far too much for a black-and-white collection of comics that were originally printed in color. It’s safe to say that the Showcase Presents books will continue to retail for this higher price from now on, which is a real shame. It goes without saying that if you’ve been in the market for the first Showcase Presents Superman collection, you might want to try and find it now for $9.99 before this new printing comes out.

On the Vertigo side of things, it’s worth noting that DC is publishing new editions of the first three Sandman trades. These feature the restored art and coloring of the series’ four Absolute editions, and are highly recommended if you don’t own those books already.

Dark Horse Comics
While Marvel and DC are apparently struggling to put out black-and-white collections of their color comics at a reasonable price, Dark Horse has been doing an amazing job with their Little Lulu collections – the series recently transitioned to color, and each book contains over 200 pages in color for only $14.99. I absolutely adore these books, and I’m happy to see them continuing with Little Lulu, Vol. 25: The Burglar-Proof Clubhouse and Other Stories. If you’re at all a fan of classic comics for kids, it’s hard to do much better than this series.

I’m also glad to see Dark Horse continuing at such a steady clip with its Tarzan: The Jesse Marsh Years and Turok, Son of Stone series, both of which will reach a seventh volume in September. I recently read the first Tarzan collection and was fairly impressed with it — you can expect a full review at some point.

I haven’t seen the solicitations for any other publishers yet (I don’t think any others have been released yet), so I may update this post if something really interesting is announced by IDW, Boom, or Image. Barring something completely unforeseen, though, that should about do it for me for the month of September. Check out the solicitations for yourself at Comic Book Resources — here are the links for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics — and feel free, as always, to leave your thoughts in the comment section. What will you be picking up in September?


  1. You've definitely did your homework on upcoming things. I like this new form of blogging you've graced us with. I know who to come to in regards to upcoming collections. :)

    I've found it easier for me to read collections/graphic novels of many issues instead of hunting individual issues down. Lol. I'm always missing one or two. Like I was glad that "Amazons Attack" came out in a collection of the issues.

    You DO have me interested in "Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga". Sounds very interesting. Also the Jonah Hex stuff sounds cool. Pretty cool they have a movie coming out as well. I had no idea this character existed. Lol.

  2. You know, I have the entire 'Nam series but I've never read it... It was part of my father's old comic collection that he gave me(along with a BOATLOAD of old Conan books), but it just never really interested me... Anyway, the ONLY thing from Acts of Vengeance that I found worth reading was the Captain America portion of the story, which dealt with Magneto going after the Red Skull due to Skull's Nazi roots. Since there are rarely villain vs villain storylines, that always stuck out for me. That was probably the only Acts of Vengeance thing that stuck out for me...

    And yeah, $20 for a collection of black and white stories is WAY too much money...

  3. Thanks for stopping by, folks! I agree, Falisha, getting things in trade takes a lot of the hassle out of reading older stories. It's also a great deal cheaper when we're talking about really old stuff. Those are the two main reasons I switched from buying monthly comics to trade-waiting.

    Sorry The 'Nam didn't catch your attention, X. I ordered the first collection a few days ago, but I actually saw it yesterday when I was in Barnes & Noble. I gave it a quick flip-through, and now I'm even more excited to get my copy. I'll let you know what I think, and whether it'd be worth it for you to read some of the issues you already have.

    I haven't read the Captain America issues in question, but they would have been written during Mark Gruenwald's tenure on the title (which I've read part of) so yeah, they're probably pretty good. I guess the main thing I don't like about "events" like Acts of Vengeance is that no matter how good the stories were in each individual title, there wasn't enough of an overarching story between the tie-ins to warrant all the hype and fuss. To that point, I think we'd be much better served with some collections of Gruenwald's Cap than with an overpriced Acts of Vengeance collection.

  4. A collection of Gruenwald's Cap would be fantastic!

    And I'm personally still tickled that they threw Secret Wars II into an Omnibus. Is that still the Omni with the highest page count (and thus the cheapest price-per-page), or have any of these other crossovers that are being collected managed to dwarf even that one?

  5. Hey Don, nice to see you here! Secret Wars II is indeed still the biggest Omnibus (at 1184 pages), but not by much -- it's 50 pages longer than Punisher by Garth Ennis, and just under 100 pages longer than Amazing Spider-Man and New X-Men. Acts of Vengeance will be just under 750 pages, if memory serves.

    On the one hand, I think it's cool that Marvel is making an effort to collect all of these crossovers in their entirety. Ideally, they'll have collected everything they've ever published one day, whether it's good or bad...it's just nice to be able to have access to that material either way. I just wish they would focus on the good stuff before they get to the bad, you know?

    I've never actually read Secret Wars II -- it's always just seemed kinda scattershot with all those issues from different series tying into it. Would you recommend it?

    And as long as we're talking about Omnibus collections, I'm betting you're probably excited for the Thor Omnibus as well, Don. Will you be getting it, or do you have all of the Thor Masterworks already?

  6. Yeah I'm always up for buying stuff in trade. I can never go into borders or any bookstore without snatching something to read in the Comic Section. Lol.

    Any good recommendations from the DC side? :) You and X are always recommending good reads.

  7. Mark Gruenwald's Cap run is my second favorite Cap run ever, only behind Ed Brubaker's current work. I'm lucky enough to have pretty much the full run, and while there are some real stinkers in there(Cap-Wolf anybody?)there are also a bunch of gems. And yeah, the Skull/Magneto battle was indeed a part of Mark's Cap run. That was a SWEET fight...

  8. Falisha, in terms of some things that are already out from DC and have just been released recently, I've heard a lot of good things about the new Wednesday Comics hardcover. They've also just released the third and final Gotham Central collection, which is about what it's like to be an ordinary cop in a city that's also home to Batman and his rogues gallery. I just finished the first Gotham Central book and I loved it, so I'll be finishing out the series as soon as I get the chance.

  9. Marc, I just mentioned visiting the library in a reply to you on X blog and Gotham Central was another set of books they had that looked interesting.

    I'll definitely have to pick those up. I'll definitely have some stuff to read this summer while chilling on the porch sipping tea. :D

  10. Gotham Central is worth picking up. They're about to start releasing the new versions of the collections in paperback too. If you're impatient, there are already paperback releases that don't collect it sequentially for some reason.

    As for me.. well, you know - everything dc and not much else. I got a goal!

    I've been really happy with the showcase books, but then again, I've been getting them for 6.50 a pop. I can't imagine paying 20 bucks or more for anything unless it's a really nice hardcover, like a hard to find archive. I've been managing to get archives for around 15 lately! But the thrill of the hunt is part of the fun for me.

  11. Thanks Ian. I got two votes for picking up Gotham Central. I'll have a lot more down time to read so I'll be collecting up things to read. :)

    Also bookmarked your site/blog...I can see myself spending HOURS researching new stuff to find and read. :)

  12. Thanks Falisha, I noticed you made an account!

    I hope you find it useful. Feel free to leave comments if you have any questions (none are too silly or stupid - often confusion is my fault because the database isn't fully populated yet anyway.)

  13. Aw no problem.

    I've done some soul searching on there and it's very useful. Definitely could've use this when I got into reading comics a year ago. Lol. But it's definitely helpful. :)

  14. Glad you're finding Ian's site helpful too, Falisha. Discovering new collections and graphic novels is always fun, and it's nice to have a structure to how you read them that you can refer back to.

  15. Glad to see Jonah Hex getting some love. The book has been good from the beginning, with a lot of done-in-one stories that actually have some substance.

    Are you a big Thor fan? I just picked up the new "all ages" Thor: The Mighty Avenger book and it's a lot of fun. After seeing that you reviewed those Marvel Adventure books, it might be something to watch for in trades in the future.

    What do you think of Dark Horse revamping Solar, Turok, and Magnus?

  16. I'm a fan of the science fiction-oriented Silver Age Thor, although I haven't read a lot of modern Thor aside from about 3/4 of Straczysnki's run (which I've loved so far). I've heard wonderful things about that new all-ages Thor book, and will definitely be checking it out; it sounds like it's right up my alley.

    I think the general idea of revamping those franchises is a good one. However, I don't think Jim Shooter is the man to do it. I've never liked his writing even one bit! Have you read any of those new series?

  17. You know I never really liked any of those DH characters, but I gave the Free Comic Book Day Solar/Magnus a shot. I totally agree that one writer shouldn't be heading up all the titles.