Posts Tagged With: Hardcover Collection

Review: Jack Kirby’s Silver Star Hardcover Collection

silver-star-hcTitle: Jack Kirby’s Silver Star Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Image Comics (hardcover collection), Pacific Comics (original issues)

Cost: $34.99

Storytellers: Jack Kirby (creator/writer/pencils), Mike Royer (inks/letters, issues #1-4), D. Bruce Berry (inks/letters, issues #5-6).

Truly Jack Kirby’s wildest concept, Silver Star tells the story of Morgan Miller, a name who is the next evolution of human: Homo-Geneticus! During an engagement Viet Nam, Morgan displays a feat of incredible strength, by lifting a throwing a tank, and afterward discovers his true potential, as a super-powered being. Wearing a silver suit, designed to contain his powers, Morgan becomes the Silver Star, a man with the abilities of atom rearrangement (think Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen), he can teleport, astral project and create with a thought. He becomes aware that his father, a doctor and scientist, had experimented on many subjects, including his own son, while they were in the womb, in order to create a version of man who could withstand the atomic bomb. Morgan is connected to these “Others” and wishes to seek them out in order to stop one of their own, the villain Darius Drumm, a powerful Homo-Geneticus who was raised by a cult, which has given him many mental scars (to match his outward ones) and seeks to remake the world as he sees fit. Drumm and Morgan seek the “Others”, with Drumm killing off most but Morgan is able to find a few, one of which is a female stunt woman named Norma Richmond, with whom he starts a relationship and helps him defeat Drumm.

My synopsis on this one isn’t great, because there is a lot going on here, but if you liked anything that I mentioned, then you must read this, because I absolutely loved this story! I love, pretty much everything that Jack Kirby has created, so I can’t tell if I’m biased or not, but I thought that there were some very interesting concepts here, that could have been explored, had this been written in a post-Watchmen era. Jack’s art is fantastic and the new coloring makes each page stand out, especially Jack’s double-paged splash pages. The story is good, but most of the dialogue is a bit dated by now, but that’s to be expected. This collection also includes a copy of Jack Kirby’s original screenplay, because this story was meant to be a movie with the ability to expand into other mediums.

I picked this one up on a whim, not knowing what to expect from it and I’m glad that I did! This was the last series that Kirby did and I think that he ended his creative and professional career on a high note!

Recommended

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Review: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Hardcover Collection

9781616558772Title: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Cost: $29.99

Storytellers: Too many to list, with some going uncredited. However, the one’s listed on the back cover include Robert Kirkman and Bruce Timm.

This, novel-sized, think monstrosity, contain over 1230 pages of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe related minicomics, which were packaged with the original toys produced by Mattel. This hardcover collection includes comics from the Masters of the Universe (1982), Princess of Power (including the fashion guide), He-Man: The New Adventures, Masters of the Universe (2000), and Masters of the Universe Classics toylines, as well as some unpublished works and designs.

This collection is not for the faint of heart. It is a massive collection of some of the oddest and weirdest stories every told in the comics. The stories presented in the original minicomics are nothing like the animated adventures of He-Man or She-Ra. In fact, the first few issues of the ‘Masters minicomics aren’t even comics, they are more like a Golden Book, where there is one picture/scene per pages with some text underneath. This collection also includes some commentary, which is present at the bottom of the page, giving you more insight into these classic tales.

I find myself enjoying these versions of the characters better than their animated counterparts, as the comics come off more serious and less childish, if that can be believed. One thing that I found interesting, is how, in the early issues, He-Man talks about changing outfits or armors depending on the situation. They were definitely toying around (pun intended) with the ideal of He-Man having different accessory packs, where he could change armors depending on how you wanted to play with him, which is odd, because changing outfits is a feature of dolls!

Anyway, if you’re a ‘Masters’ fan or someone who wants to read, or re-read, these unique promotional items, which were used to flesh out a world for the toys to inhabit, then this is the collection for you. I loved everything about this one and it currently sits front and center on my book shelf!

Recommended

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Review: Thor- For Asgard Hardcover Collection

Thor For Asgard HCTitle: Thor- For Asgard Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $19.99

Storytellers: Robert Rodi (writer) with Simone Bianchi (artist)

Thor: For Asgard is a beautiful story of Norse mythology, telling the tale of sacrifice and responsibility. With Odin gone, traveling the Nine Realms to find an answer to the winter that plagues Asgard, Thor is the regent All-Father, setting aside his hammer in order to keep Asgard, and the Nine Realms in one piece. However, the signs of Ragnarok are upon the Norse Gods and it’s up to Thor to stop the Civil War among his people and find a way to the the gods to reclaim their immortality.

This is a very basic synopsis to the overall story, which I don’t want to spoil, as you should read this book. I love Thor, especially when a writer tackles the Norse God Thor and not the super-hero Thor. The story in this one is great, but it’s the art that steals the show, making this hardcover fantastic! Whether you love Marvel’s Thor or the mythological Thor, this book will not disappoint!

Recommended

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Review: Wild Blue Yonder Hardcover Collection

Wild Blue Yonder HCTitle: Wild Blue Yonder Hardcover Collection

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Cost: $29.99

Storytellers: Mike Raicht (story & writer) with Austin Harrison (story) and Zach Howard (story & artist)

Set in a post-apocalyptic future, where the Earth is too irritated to live on, so several “communities” have formed up, either high in the mountains or on large floating fortresses. Our main lead, Cola, calls The Dawn home, which is commanded by her mother. The Dawn is a highly sought after vessel, because it runs on some sort of solar power, so it doesn’t need fuel. The Judge, leader of another fleet, wants The Dawn, so his people can survive, as all usable fuel is drying up. Cola acquires a new gun, the name of a position in the fleet that accompanies a chosen pilot on mission, using a rocket pack, to help take down enemy crafts and get in close when needed, at a mountain tavern. Her new gun is Tug, a mysterious young man who has lost his parents and is lost in the world. Cola brings Tug aboard The Dawn and he receives his training. Cola and Tug get close, but it is soon revealed that Tug is a plant and is sending information back to the Judge on their course. By the time Tug is discovered, the Judge and his fleet are on top of them and a huge battle ensues. Tug changes sides and helps Cola fight back against the Judge, even sacrificing himself to destroy the Judge’s fuel tanker. In the end, Cola still misses Tug and the Judge and his fleet are defeated and life goes back to some sense of normality, well normal for a post-apocalyptic world.

I picked this hardcover up at the Twin Tiers Comic Con, on the recommendation of writer (I know, he’s a little biased). I really love Mike Raicht’s other series, Stuff of Legend, so I gave this one a try, after he called it Mad Max with planes…and he wasn’t foolin’. This hardcover is amazing form start to finish and features great, gritty art by Zach Howard. Much like Stuff of Legend, I really think that this hardcover could be adapted into an awesome action movie. The world and characters are great and the end definitely leaves you wanting more! I really liked our main lead, Cola, as a wild and unpredictable youth, who happens to be a badass pilot and the daughter of the community’s leader. Cola struggles through a lot within the hardcover’s six chapters, and I hope we get to ride with her at least one more time. If the idea of a great comic with fantastic art and an awesome story sounds like fun or the idea of Mad Max with planes peaks your interest, then this is the series for you!

Recommended

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Review: The Thing- Project Pegasus Hardcover Collection

The Thing- Project Pegasus HCTitle: The Thing- Project Pegasus Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $24.99

Storytellers: Ralph Macchio and Mark Gruenwald (writers) with Sal Buscema, John Byrne, and George Perez (artists)

Collecting 8 issues of Marvel Two-in-One, this hardcover collection follows the adventures of The Thing as he works for Project Pegasus, as hired security. Marvel Two-in-One, was a team-up book, where the Fantastic Four’s Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing, would adventure with a whole host of Marvel heroes. Within this collection, the Thing teams up with, Quasar, Giant-Man, Man-Thing, Captain America and Thundra. The first two issues are separate from the story, but work at setting things up. The Thing busts into Project Pegasus looking for Wundarr, an old friend who has the ability to drain energy. After battling Captain America, the Thing relents, as long as he gets to see his old friend. However, the Entropists have other plans, and steal the Project’s artificial Cosmic Cube. After battling their leader, the cult is thwarted by the combined efforts of the Thing, Captain America and Man-Thing, however, because of the Cosmic Cube, Wundarr is put into a coma-like state.

Flash forward a few issues and the Thing is now working at the facility, as a security guard, under the supervision of Quasar. Several odd events occur at the Project Pegasus facility, like an attack from Deathlok, Thundra and the nuclear-power mutant, Nuklo, All of these attacks were a ruse to smuggle in something to the facility, where the evil Dr Lightener is building a device to steal the facilities energy and become the Nth Man. He succeeds, but fortunately, Wundarr awakens reborn, and helps the staff (and prisoners) of the facility to stop the Nth Man and save all of reality!

OK, I intended to have this review ready for “Fantastic Four Week” earlier in August, but life happens. So here it is and I must say, that I really enjoyed this hardcover collection. As not only a Fantastic Four fan, but a Thing fan, this collection was right up my alley. While it may be outdated now, with several of the characters and concepts no longer being used at Marvel, I still had a lot of fun. I miss the days of Marvel’s team-up series, and I for one would love to see a new Two-in-One series start up, as long as it’s starring my favorite Marvel hero and member of the Fantastic Four! This collection has decent art, which was probably top-notch at the time and a crazy, but entertaining story!

Recommended

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Review: Fantastic Four- The Lost Adventures Hardcover Collection

FF The Lost Adventures HCTitle: Fantastic Four- The Lost Adventures Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $24.99

Storytellers: Stan Lee (writer) with Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott and John Romita Jr (artists)

This hardcover is both a celebration of the Fantastic Four and a collection of mostly modern Stan Lee stories. We start the collection off with The Lost Adventure, which is an old Jack Kirby story that got shelved when he “jumped ship” and left for DC. His pages got reused later, in issue #108, but the story was altered and finished by other artists. The Lost Adventure showcases the original story, finished by Stan Lee and put together using Jack’s old notes. In addition, we get an essay by John Morrow, a Jack Kirby historian, Jack’s original pencils and issue #108, so that you can compare the stories. We also get the Stan Lee written and John Romita Jr drawn The Last Fantastic Four Story, which presents the final adventure of out titled heroes as they try to save the world from annihilation by a cosmic species. We finish the collection with two FF reprints, both written by Stan Lee for the team’s 25th and 45th anniversaries. In Fantastic Four #296, in a story plotted by Jim Shooter, we see the Thing have a crisis of faith, as he turns to an old enemy for companionship. The last tale is from a back-up story featured in Fantastic Four #543, where is a humorous tale, we see the FF try to quit after no one pays tribute to their 45th anniversary. Well, no one except Stan Lee himself!

This has got to be one of my favorite Fantastic Four collections to date! While I love Stan’s early comic work, I’ve never been fond of his more modern stuff, but his more modern FF stories are great! We get humor, sadness, cosmic battles, old enemies, allies turning to enemies, and the return of Jack Kirby to the team that made his famous. If you love the FF, like me, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Marvel’s First Family, than this collection. Great stories that span the ages all with great art!

Recommended

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Review: Fantastic Four- World’s Greatest Comics Magazine Hardcover Collection

FF WGCM HCTitle: Fantastic Four- World’s Greatest Comics Magazine Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cost: $34.99

Storytellers: Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson, Bruce Timm, Tom DeFalco, Kurt Busiek, Jeph Loeb and Stan Lee (writers) with Erik Larsen, Bruce Timm, Keith Giffen, Jorge Lucas, Ron Frenz, Gordon Purcell, Tom Sciolo, Shannon Denton, Mike Manley, Rick Veitch, Graham Nolan, Bill Wray, Paul Ryan, Frank Fosco, Dave Ross, Al Milgrom, Steve Rude, and Dan Jurgens (artist)

In a massive 12-issue story that takes place between Fantastic Four #100 and #101, the Fantastic Four face off against their oldest and most deadliest foe, Doctor Doom. Bringing in all of their friends and allies, from the Avengers to the X-Men to Daredevil and Spider-Man to the Inhumans and the Silver Surfer and even the Norse Gods of Asgard, the Fantastic Four must battle their greatest foe, as he possesses the Cosmic Cube, an Inhuman Motherbox portable computer, the Horn of Atlantis and even technology stolen from the Watcher.

Giving a complete synopsis of this story would do it a disservice, as there is so much going on here, that it needs to be read to be enjoyed. I really love the attempt to make this story feel like an old (or missing) Lee and Kirby Fantastic Four story, which is one of the reasons I picked this one up as soon as I saw it. The art in this collection is simply amazing, even if multiple artists are involved (which after an issue or two, becomes unnoticeable). The story isn’t groundbreaking, but very, very enjoyable, especially if you love old school Marvel storytelling. As a huge Fantastic Four fan, I really love this hardcover collection, because it proves that the FF is the World’s Greatest Comic Magazine!

Recommended

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Review: Mad Max: Fury Road- Inspired Artists Deluxe Edition Hardcover and Nux & Immortan Joe #1

Mad Max Fury Road- Inspired Artists Deluxe Edition HCTitle: Mad Max: Fury Road- Inspired Artists Deluxe Edition Hardcover

Publisher: Vertigo (DC Comics)

Cost: $24.99

Storytellers: Ellie Pyle (editor) with Dave McKean, Rebekah Isaacs, Declan Shalvey, Tara McPherson, Javier Pulido, Gilbert Hernandez, Simon Bisley, Teddy Kristiansen, John Paul Leon, Tommy Lee Edwards, George Pratt, Cliff Chiang,  Gabrielle Dell’Orto, Nicola Scott, Howard Chaykin, David Mack, Paul Pope, Dave Johnson, Lee Bermejo, Bill Sienkiewicz (artists, to name a few)

There’s nothing to synopsis here, as there’s no story. Within this hardcover is art inspired by the movie, Mad Max: Fury Road. 65 artists, of all styles and levels of notoriety, give us some of their best scenes, from this groundbreaking movie. While the $25 price tag may keep most away, the art is too good to pass up. If you loved Mad Max: Fury Road as much as I did (and I really love this movie, which the fanboy doesn’t want to admit, but it’s better than Avenger: Age of Ultron, and I really loved that movie as well), then you should grab this. If you want to save a few bucks and don’t mind shopping online, Amazon has it listed for around $18. Every piece in this book could make for an awesome desktop wallpaper!

Recommended

 

Mad Max Fury Road- Nux & Immortan Joe #1Title: Mad Max: Fury Road- Nux & Immortan Joe #1

Publisher: Vertigo (DC Comics)

Cost: $4.99

Storytellers: George Miller (story), Nico Lathouris and Mark Sexton (script) with Mark Sexton, Leandro Fernandez, Riccardo Burchielli, and Andrea Mutti (artists)

In this one-shot, we learn about the “origins” of two major characters from Mad Max: Fury Road, henchmen-turned-hero Nux and the villain Immortan Joe. Nux is a strong boy born into the Wastes by parents who loved him. But when he’s left alone in the world, this young boy shows strength and courage and impresses Immortan Joe’s henchmen, the War Boys. The boy is inducted into the family and dubbed Nux, because he’s a hard nut to crack. The longer of the two stories tells the beginning of Immortan Joe as Colonel Joe Moore, a veteran of the Oil Wars and hero of the Water Wars. He slowly crept into darkness, as he acquired women, weapons and an army through unscrupulous means. Joe gained..immortality, by helping liberate a water pumping station from the clan that was hold up inside. Emerging as the victor, Joe became Immortan Joe and took the pumping station as his Citadel, where he hoarded the weapons, gas, water and woman for himself and his followers!

Did I already mention that I loved Mad Max: Fury Road? Anyway, this issue is great, as it not only sheds some light on Nux’s background, but gives up the how and why Joe rose to immortal status and acquired the Citadel and the women for himself. The art is good, not great, but the story is where this issue shines. If you have any interest in Mad Max: Fury Road, you should definitely pick up this issue, as you get more insight into some of the major players in the movie. I can’t wait for the Furiosa and Mad Max issue to be released!

Recommended

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Review: Astro City: Victory Hardcover Collection

Astro City Victory HCTitle: Astro City: Victory Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Vertigo (DC Comics)

Cost: $24.99

Storytellers: Kurt Busiek (writer) with Brent Anderson (artist) and Alex Ross (cover artist)

Winged Victory’s origin is told as a mysterious villain sets her up as a mastermind behind most of Astro City’s female villains. As her havens and training facilities for women are being shut down, Winged Victory starts to lose faith in herself and her mission, which forces a meeting with the Forces behind her power. As Samaritan and the Confessor try to help a fellow hero clear her name, it’s up to Winged Victory and help from a unlike source to track down the villain responsible and bring them to justice! This collection also features the Astro City Guide, which is part comic, part guide to the city and it’s heroes.

It’s been a while since I read anything Astro City, having only read the first collection and the Confession storyline, but I also like the heroes, the concept, and the ease of access and the “familiar, but different” characters. While the art is good, the really draw is the story, which is great, giving us a team up by the Astro City “Trinity”. It’s always enjoyable to finally get a heroes origin, which we get from Winged Victory, who up until now, had a background shrouded in mystery. I may try and pick up some more Astro City titles, as this one reminded me how good this series is!

Recommended

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Review: Wonder Woman Volume 6- Bones Hardcover Collection

WW_v6-bones-cvr_54613815139309.24759244Title: Wonder Woman Volume 6- Bones Hardcover Collection

Publisher: DC Comics

Cost: $22.99

Storytellers: Brian Azzarello (writer) with Cliff Chiang and Goran Sudzuka (artists)

The Amazons are freed from Hera’s curse and are ready for battle, as the First Born has taken the throne of Olympus and is systematically taking out the remaining Pantheon of Gods. Wonder Woman must deal with her Amazon sisters and take her place as Queen in order to stop the First Born and save Zola and her son. Gods die (or are at least defeated) and Wonder Woman learns to unleash her full potential in order to save Olympus and the world.

Six hardcover collections is what it took for Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang to tell their extremely epic Wonder Woman tale, and it’s fantastic! I really love this series, and how it incorporates the Gods of legend into the modern world. I would still say that the only flaw that this story has, is that it really doesn’t connect to the larger DC Universe, save for the New 52 introduction of Orion and the New Gods through this series. However, with that said, I really enjoy the fact that this series isn’t bogged down with comic crossovers and constant guest star appearances by members of the Justice League. This collection some of the best writing and art on the market and definitely the best coming from DC Comics. I’ll miss this team and their take on Wonder Woman, as I’m sure the new team will connect her more the DC Universe proper, especially now that she’s going to be part of Warner Bros big screen push for the DC Cinematic Universe. With the end of Sensation Comics (at least I think it’s over, as no new issues have been released for weeks) and the end of this amazing run on Wonder Woman, I may have to say goodbye to this Amazon Warrior, but hopefully it’s not for too long.

Recommended

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