Recent Trades

First up on this report is the long awaited LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN:BLACK DOSSIER, America’s Best Comics by way of DC Comics.
Alan Moore is beyond doubt responsible for some of the most incredible comics reading material in the last twenty years. I first discovered this series in the hard cover collection and was hooked right out of the gate. And while I loved the second collection as well it left me, well I guess it left me wanting more.
So I waited.
And waited.
And now it’s here, the third installment. A lot of things that we look forward to seem to be a little less than the build up we give it in our minds. I’m happy to say that is not the case here. Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill delivered the goods.
The story has jumped to the future and Alan and Miss Harkness are on the run. They get their hands on the Black Dossier and in reading retrace how the world got the way it is. And it’s a strange world with a political agenda that breeds obedience, which as you might guess is not for our heroes. Inter-spaced with text passages and interesting inserts such as a Tijuana bible and 3-D glasses this story gives a possible close to the story, or at the very least wraps up this portion of it. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I can say that the game of cat and mouse played here with the merry chase is a wonderful way of telling this tale. As usual there are things that the reader who pays attention will pick up, and it will make you grin.
I understand there will be more from Mr. Moore and Mr. O’Neill in this realm they’ve created from another publisher (Top Shelf). While Top Shelf does nice work I will miss these wonderful editions from DC. This book is worth every penny and is one that will be reread many times.

52: The Companion is a collection of stories featuring the main characters from the miniseries including Steel, Booster Gold, Animal Man, Adam Strange and more. It’s a nice mix of tales and I would have had a hard time picking which ones to use. I think they chose well as each story showcases why these heroes are so fun to read. I really enjoyed rereading the Rip Hunter and Adam Strange.
This is exactly what it claims to be, a companion, and it is a nice addition to the 52 set.

I came to EX MACHINA a bit late, starting when the third collection came out. I read all three and then played the waiting game for each new collection. I can safely say that while I’m a huge fan of Brian K Vaughan, this is my favorite work by him.
This latest collection, Power Down, is another must have. The story is terrific as Mayor Hundred faces being powerless while the city is having a black out. While actually being able to enjoy the peacefulness of not hearing every machine there are enough other problems to make it moot.Secret are revealed and more plot twists in the overall arc are dangled. As a fan of the whole series I found this to be a very rewarding read.
I also really enjoyed the “extra feature” at the end with the artwork being spotlighted. The afterward by Tony Harris alone is worth the price of the book.

Moonstone has been doing some really cool stuff and one of the latest titles coming your way is THE PHANTOM: JUNGLE ACTION which will collect issues 5-11 of the ongoing series. Written by Chuck Dixon, Ben Raab and Rafael Nieves this brings abck the truly golden age of heroes. Wonderful artwork and a number of shorter stories make this book a real pleasure to read. You can pick it up with out having read any previous Phantom stories, though if you had it will only make it better.
It reminds me of Sunday mornings as a kid watching old black and white movies full of adventure and intrigue. Moonstone lets me lose myself when ever I open a book, and for that I say thanks.
And so will you if you pick this up.

Also out from DC is the HEROES hardcover. While season two may be a bit disappointing and the writers strike may throw off the schedule, fear not. This collection of the online comic with such creators as Aron Eli Coleite, Chuck Kim, Joe Pokaski, Oliver Grigsby, Pierluigi Cothran, Andrew Chambliss, Harrison Wilcox, Jesse Alexander, Christopher Zatta, Mark Warshaw and others; Art by Phil Jimenez, Michael Turner, Koi Turnbull, Marcus To, Peter Steigerwald, David Moran, Micah Gunnell, Travis Kotzebue, Jordan Kotzebue, Jason Badower, Staz Johnson, Steve Lejeune, Adam Archer, Mark Roslan and others; Covers by Jim Lee and Alex Ross. This is a stunning book and all fans of the show will love it.

Jim Starlin is back in space with DC in MYSTERY IN SPACE Volume One. Starlin really does write the space characters better than anyone and in this trade he gets to play with Captain Comet and The Weird. The artwork by Shane Davis only adds to the overall epic feeling this book has. DC has tended to stay more on earth with their heroes than Marvel, though the books in space they do write are wonderful and large. Captain Comet always felt under used to me and I think Starlin has really done him justice with this series. A bit different than the usual superhero story and action packed.

THE EXTERMINATORS is a really weird series. Simon Oliver has created along with the art work of Tony Moore a very fun and extremely entertaining read. A company that kills rodents and pests, employing a group of strange individuals ( and they would have to be a little weird right?) Though setting it in LA amps it up. Add a Vietnam refugee turned citizen with a love of experimenting, an ex con and…, well, just some really weird circumstances and you’ve got all the ingredients for a really unique book. This book makes me laugh, it makes me think, and it makes me made. And what more could you ask for? Go pick this up! This third volume also has the added bonus of an intro from Brian Azzarello.

There’s a few more on my bookcase so I hope to up date a bit more frequently than I have been!