COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS FOR APRIL 2015: THANOS, ONSLAUGHT, MOVIES, AND RIDDLES. ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II.

KC Carlson and his enforcer, Beau Smith.

KC Carlson and his enforcer, Beau Smith.


by KC Carlson

(Sorry the column is so Marvel-centric this time around. I’d love to cover more exciting DC books, if only they’d produce some — beyond the usual “latest six issues” collections of their New 52 titles. For some reason they keep forgetting that they have a vast history of great storylines for possible reprinting.)

NEW STUFF

Thanos: The Infinity Relativity

Thanos: The Infinity Relativity


Thanos: The Infinity Relativity Original Graphic Novel (Marvel): Annihilus, lord of the Negative Zone, makes a renewed assault on the positive universe, searching for a source of infinite power. To stop him, a fragile alliance of cosmic protectors forms. The Guardians of the Galaxy. Gladiator, Majestor of the Shi’ar. And Adam Warlock — whose complex cycle of death and rebirth has left him more confused than ever about his true nature. (Oh, a confused Warlock is always a good idea…) With Adam reunited with his Infinity Watch comrades Gamora, Drax, and Pip the Troll — and joined by newer friends like Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot — they hold the potential to end Annihilus’ threat once and for all… if only they knew how! But the answer lies in the dark mind of another. A Titan, whom some would hold as mad. (Or at least mildly irritated.) Could the fate of everything rest in the hands of… Thanos? Since this story and art are by Administrator of the Cosmic Code Authority Jim Starlin, the answer is yes! The infinite odyssey continues. 120-page oversize color hardcover. Available in June.

THIS MONTH IN CLASSIC COMIC BOOK COLLECTIONS

Batman: Arkham - The Riddler

Batman: Arkham – The Riddler


Batman: Arkham – The Riddler (DC Comics): Riddle me this! What book, collecting the very best stories about the King of Conundrums and the Prince of Puzzles, includes these stories, from the Golden Age to Today?! Detective Comics #140, #142, #377, #822, #837, Batman #171, #179, #292, #317, #362, Batman #23.2: The Riddler, Brave and the Bold #183, Joker’s Asylum II: The Riddler #1, and Legends of the Dark Knight 100-Page Super Spectacular #2. Bob Greenberger has much more to say about this book, soon, right here at the Westfield Blog! 296-page color softcover. Available in May.

Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isles

Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isles


Corto Maltese: Beyond the Windy Isles (IDW): The second volume in the definitive English-language edition of Hugo Pratt’s masterpiece, Corto Maltese, presented in the original oversized B&W graphic novel format and with new translations made from Pratt’s original Italian scripts. “Mushroom Heads” begins in Maracaibo, Venezuela, where Corto Maltese and Professor Steiner lead an expedition on the trail of the legendary El Dorado, financed by the antiquarian Levi Colombia. In “Banana Conga”, Corto has his first and nearly fatal encounter with the beautiful yet dangerous mercenary Venexiana Stevenson. Within this framework of adventure, Hugo Pratt weaves themes dealing with the exploitation of indigenous people, the noble struggle to gain freedom and independence, and how cowardice can poison men of all classes. The action, set in 1917, takes Corto Maltese from the Mosquito Coast to Barbados to a deadly struggle among Jivaro head-hunters in the Peruvian Amazon. Highly recommended. 120-page 9.2” x11.8” B&W softcover graphic novel. Available in May.

MARVEL EPIC COLLECTIONS:

Avengers Epic Collection: Behold... The Vision

Avengers Epic Collection: Behold… The Vision


Avengers Epic Collection: Behold… The Vision (Marvel): Collecting some of the most memorable Avengers stories of the era by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, including the history-making introduction of the Vision (coinciding with an all-out battle with Ultron!). Hank Pym goes all-strange and invents new super-heroic identities. (Goliath! Yellowjacket!) Plus, Kang the Conqueror, Squadron Sinister (gee, those guys seem familiar…), Black Panther, the Sons of the Serpent, Arkon the Magnificent (that’s what he said), and the return of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. All this, plus the Sub-Mariner, Human Torch, and Captain America from 1941! Additional artists include Sal Buscema, Gene Colan, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Howard Purcell. This is Volume #4 in the Avengers Epic Collections. Collecting Avengers (1963) #57-76 and Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #17 (featuring a Black Knight solo story!). 456-page remastered color softcover. Available in June.

Fantastic Four Epic Collection: Strange Days

Fantastic Four Epic Collection: Strange Days


Fantastic Four Epic Collection: Strange Days (Marvel): There’s a lot of “reset” button-pushing in these Fantastic Four stories from 1995-1996 (which incidentally closes out the famed series’ first run). When we start out, both Reed Richards and Doctor Doom are dead, and Reed’s son Franklin is an adult. But by the end of this book — all fixed! (Gotta love comics!) But uh oh… The end of the book also introduces Onslaught — who causes changes even worse than death and growing up! Plus Hyperstorm (who?), Ant-Man Scott Lang, and the small matter of the Sub-Mariner’s feelings for Sue Richards. Hope those are Comics Code-approved feelings, fella! Featuring work by Tom DeFalco, Paul Ryan, Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid, Carlos Pacheco, John Buscema, Adam Kubert, Joe Bennett, and with a cover by Pacheco. Collecting Fantastic Four (1961) #403-416, Fantastic Four: The Legend, Onslaught: Marvel Universe, and material from Tales of the Marvel Universe. This is Volume #25 in the Fantastic Four Epic Collections. 472-page remastered color softcover. Available in May.

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Volume 1

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Volume 1


Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The New Republic Volume 1 (Marvel): Collecting material originally published by Dark Horse Comics. When the Empire falls, a New Republic rises! After Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi, Emperor Palpatine is dead — but can his faithful Hand, Mara Jade, complete her final mission of revenge? Replica droid assassin Guri has also lost her master… but as she struggles for humanity, her android brain makes her a target! When rivals clash over Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire, the Bloated One makes a surprising appearance. And a mysterious doppelganger is asking for trouble impersonating everyone’s favorite bounty hunter — it’s Boba Fett vs. Boba Fett! Collecting Star Wars: Mara Jade – By the Emperor’s Hand #0-6, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire – Evolution #1-5, Star Wars: The Jabba Tape, Star Wars: Boba Fett – Twin Engines of Destruction, and material from Star Wars Tales #1, #3-5, #10, #14-15, #20, and #22. Written by Timothy Zahn, Michael A. Stackpole, Steve Perry, John Wagner, Andy Mangels, Ian Edginton, Rich Hedden, and more. Artists include Carlos Ezquerra, Ron Randall, Kilian Plunkett, John Nadeau, Igor Kordey, Carlos Meglia, and Rick Leonardi, with a cover by Duncan Fegredo. 488-page remastered color softcover. Available in May.

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 14

Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 14


Marvel Masterworks: The Mighty Thor Volume 14 (Marvel): More Thor! More Thor! More Thor! (Sorry, somebody dared me to say that three times fast!) In stories originally published in 1974-75 by Gerry Conway, John Buscema, Rich Buckler, Sal Buscema, Roy Thomas, Bill Mantlo, and George Tuska, Thor teams with Hercules to battle Loki and Firelord in a bid for the throne of Odin. (What, they can’t just buy a new one?) Plus, Jane Foster returns, conflicting Thor just as he wants to battle Absorbing Man and Ulik. (Oh, those distracting women!) And before it’s over, Thor will battle the gods of Egypt to save Odin from death itself (especially after Thor went to all that trouble to save Odin’s chair)! Plus, a rare Hercules solo tale from Marvel Premiere! (But you can probably also get it well done if you’re nice and look like you tip well.) Collects Thor (1966) #229-241 and Marvel Premiere #26. 280-page color hardcover. Available in two different cover formats. Available in July.

Sam Glanzman: A Sailor’s Story

Sam Glanzman: A Sailor’s Story


Sam Glanzman: A Sailor’s Story (Dover Graphic Novels): A new collection of both of Glanzman’s acclaimed accountings of his life as a Navy man during World War II. Originally published by Marvel as two of their Marvel Graphic Novel Series, both A Sailor’s Story and its sequel, A Sailor’s Story: Winds, Dreams and Dragons, are back in print for the first time in 25 years. Plus, there’s a never-before-seen 10-page adventure of the USS Stevens, the ship Glanzman served on in WWII, as well as the fondly remembered and fan-favorite back-up feature in hundreds of DC Comics’ acclaimed war comics mostly from the 1970s. New episodes appeared as recently as 2013 in DC’s miniseries Joe Kubert Presents. Hailed by Eisner Award–winning Astro City author Kurt Busiek as “one of the most honest, dedicated, and engaging cartoonists in comics history”, this new volume is also packed with tributes to Glanzman’s life and work, including a new Foreword by best-selling author Max Brooks, a new Introduction by original editor Larry Hama, a new Afterword by Batman writer Chuck Dixon, and exclusive Glanzman tributes by Joe Kubert, Stan Lee, Denny O’Neil, Walt Simonson, Chris Claremont, and many others. But Sam should tell his own story: Here’s a recent interview with Sam from Comic Book Resources. The new, expanded, and definitive edition of A Sailor’s Story is a 176-page 8” x 11” color softcover and is highly recommended.

Secret Wars Prelude

Secret Wars Prelude


Secret Wars Prelude (Marvel): Everything* you need to know before Marvel’s overwhelming 2015 mega-story starts this summer. “Follow the path to 2015’s event to end all events, Secret Wars — an epic more than 30 years in the making!” it says here. Has anyone actually asked Jim Shooter if he knew about this 2015 series back in 1984-86? I’m actually shocked — shocked, I tell you — that he wasn’t asked to write this one. “From the senses-staggering climax of 1984’s original Secret Wars saga, to the origin of Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man, it’s all been leading up to this. And Marvel’s master planner, Jonathan Hickman, has long been planting seeds for the story only he could write. The Ultimates face an enemy more powerful than the gods — and Reed Richards is its leader! Doctor Doom faces threats from a universe he created! And the Illuminati reunite to face the reality-destroying threat of the Incursions!” Wow! And all in just 240 pages! Collecting New Avengers (2013) #1-3, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10-12, Fantastic Four (1961) #611, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (2011) #1, and Ultimate Comics Ultimates #4. Includes work by Hickman, Shooter, Brian Michael Bendis, Steve Epting, Mike Zeck, Ryan Stegman, Sara Pichelli, and Esad Ribic, with a cover by Dale Keown. Note: Some of this material is also in Marvel’s $500 Secret Wars Box Set (listed last month) in case you ordered that and don’t want to double-dip. 240-page color softcover. Available in May. *Not a legally binding word.

Zenith Phase Three

Zenith Phase Three


Zenith Phase Three (Rebellion/2000 AD): After saving London from the supernazi Masterman and a nuclear missile strike, the shallow superhuman popstar Zenith has found that his fifteen minutes of fame are almost up. With his career on the downturn, he agrees to go to Alternative 23, where another version of the WWII superhero, Maximan, is gathering an army of superhuman beings from alternate Earths to take part in a multidimensional battle for survival. With the fate of all reality in the balance, will Zenith be able to drop the sarcasm and take things seriously for once? It’s doubtful… One of Grant Morrison’s early comics masterpieces, with unforgettable art by Steve Yeowell, Zenith Phase 3 has been unavailable in collected form for twenty years. 144-page B&W (w/partial color) hardcover.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE

The Road to Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron - The Art of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe

The Road to Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Art of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe


The Road to Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Art of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (Marvel): From alien invasions to the singularity! The whole world knows the Avengers now, but this special collection returns to the roots of Earth’s Mightiest and sets the path for new adventures! See how the Avengers went from a rag-tag team to a fighting force. Just in time for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, this keepsake volume collects art, interviews, and photography from Iron Man: Art of the Movie HC, Iron Man: The Art of Iron Man 2 HC, Iron Man 3: The Art of the Movie HC, Captain America: The Art of Captain America – The First Avenger HC, Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Art of the Movie HC, Thor: The Art of Thor the Movie HC, Thor: The Dark World – The Art of the Movie HC, and Avengers: The Art of Marvel’s Avengers HC. (So, a “best of all the previous books,” then. That’s cool.) 240-page slipcased color hardcover. Available in May.

Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron - The Art of the Movie

Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Art of the Movie


Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Art of the Movie (Marvel): The Avengers assemble again in Marvel Studios’ follow-up to the record-breaking Marvel’s The Avengers. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner reprise their roles as world-saving heroes in an adventure like no other. In this new collectible volume, go around the world with the Avengers in page after page of stunning concept art, production design, visual effects, revealing set photography, and commentary from cast and crew, including writer/director Joss Whedon and producer Kevin Feige. Written by Jacob Johnston and Jim McCann. 240-page slipcased color hardcover. Available in May.

Marvel’s Daredevil: Defender of Hell’s Kitchen - Season One

Marvel’s Daredevil: Defender of Hell’s Kitchen – Season One


Marvel’s Daredevil: Defender of Hell’s Kitchen – Season One (Marvel): The lowdown on Marvel’s new Netflix TV series, set to premiere on April 10, 2015. Marvel’s Daredevil follows the incredible journey of Matt Murdock, the Man Without Fear. Blinded in a tragic accident as a boy and imbued with extraordinary senses, Murdock has a mission to clean up his gritty city. He sets up practice in his old neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, New York, where he fights against injustice as a respected lawyer by day and masked vigilante at night. In this new collectible volume in line with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Season One Declassified, see the costume and set designs that bring the hero to life. Packed with stunning set and production photography, as well as exclusive interviews, this beautiful showcase reveals the details of the set and script of Marvel’s Daredevil through the eyes of the makers. 200-page color hardcover (landscape format). Available in May

NEXT WEEK: I look at a slew of monster-size books, including volumes devoted to Onslaught, the JSA, Spider-Verse, and Powers; new Peanuts, Rip Kirby, and The Phantom collections; a couple of new projects celebrating Jack Kirby; and a couple of books that Roger and I thought would never be released! Be here or be square! (Or be here and be square! I’m not one to judge!)

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KC CARLSON: Stopped reading most of DC’s New 52 a couple years ago out of frustration and started enjoying Marvel’s super-people better. Not all of them — I hate (a word I don’t like to use) a couple of their top writers’ work. But the more I read about DC’s Convergence, the more intrigued I get, especially since they’re playing in some of the areas of the DCU that I’m somewhat responsible for. Yet what I’ve heard so far about Secret Wars (2015) (and how it largely seems to exist to work around — or literally paper over — Marvel’s past corporate mistakes) makes me think that’s a bad reason to do a mega-crossover. Although it worked, for at least a few seconds, with DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, way back when. Bottom line, I think my head is going to frequently explode — like Lewis Black’s — many, many times over the next few months. Just warning you…

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. Sometimes I even irritate myself, so don’t take it personally.

 

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  1. KC’s Previews for April 2015 » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] of in the February Previews catalog, for items shipping in April or later in his Westfield columns. Part One looks at comic book collections, plus a bunch of Marvel Cinematic Universe art books. You’ll […]