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!
I’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.
One 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.
One 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?