Saturday, March 28, 2009

Big Box O' Love: March (Part 1)

Oh hey there, I guess I have a blog! Should get around to that "content" thing the kids are all talking about. Anyway, DCBS dropped this month's box off at my doorstep Friday, and here's a run-down of what I got.

Starman Omnibus Volume 2: I've made no secret that Starman is probably my favorite series ever, and this volume (and its place on the NYT best-seller list) just proves that it's worthy of my love.

Continuing on the first volume's collection of the entire series in chronological order, along with some stuff I didn't know existed (namely some Shade stories put out in the showcase books DC put out in the 90's), his book is just amazing. Though some of the coloring is a little dated, other than that, this is just a time-less book and I can't wait till I have the remaining four volumes in my hot little hands. By the way, anyone want to buy the first five trades of the series, cheap?

The Invincible Iron Man Volume 1: Finally, the first collection of Matt Fraction's take on Iron Man hits paperback and it's some good stuff. Though it does pay some lip-service to Tony Stark's post-Civil War place in the Marvel Universe as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., this book feels more like the thematic sequel to Warren Ellis's Extremis story-line,, Stark dealing with the technology he designed as a weapon and trying to make it positively benefit the world. Being Fraction, he manages this actually better than Ellis did, having a much more decompressed story that's a much more satisfying read. Bringing back Zeke Stane, who he introduced in his tragically short-lived series The Order to plague Stark, Fraction tells a good story, though I never really got Stane's motivations, or maybe he just had too many (Daddy-issues, inferiority complex, terminal asshole-itis). Salvador Larocca's art was very good, reminiscent of Adi Granov's work on the previously mentioned Extremis arc, but it had a little more life to it, probably because it was drawn instead of CG. Overall, a solid, well-done book.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1: Another book I've been waiting for in soft-cover for freaking ever, this collects the first six issues. Really, this book is a lot of fun, spinning out of Annihilation Conquest, Peter Quill and his cohorts (including Rocket Raccoon, who is, for some bizarre reason, one of my favorite characters, ever) are on a rather ill-defined mission to seal space-time fissures throughout the cosmos. Using Knowhere, the hollowed-out head of a dead Celestial that hangs on the event horizon of the (literal) end of the universe, as their home-base, the team deals with religious extremists, their own inter-group squabbles and the creeping tendrils of the Secret Invasion. I actually dropped collecting this book monthly when they got sucked into Secret Invasion, but I shouldn't have been so hasty seeing how they ultimately dealt with the situation, which was pretty ingenious on the part of the writers (Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, two writers who are no strangers to cosmic scale superheroics). Once again, Paul Pelletier puts in some very good work, it's a shame that his art doesn't get talked about more, between his work here, on Nova and on Fantastic Four he's proved he's got some serious chops.

So that's the first part, let's see if I can actually get through the other two books I got and get a Part 2 up tomorrow.


x-man75 said...

First off, I'm in total agreement with you about Starman Jason. I'll even go so far as to say that Starman IS my favorite comic book series ever. I don't think I've ever read a series with better character development or better dialogue.

Plus, as far as I'm concerned, the Shade was THE best supporting character in any comic book ever, period. Everything about the Shade, from his look, to his demeanor, to his manner of speech was simply magnificent.

As a matter of fact, just last week, I managed to order the Shade mini-series written by James Robinson back in the 1990's(it should be arriving sometime this coming week). Since I'm a bit obsessive about collecting everything involving my favorite characters, I was wondering if you could tell me exactly what comic books those Shade stories you said you didn't know existed were in. If there are some Shade comics laying around out there that I don't have, I'd love to rectify that situation!

Jason said...

Let's see, the Shade stories I had mentioned were from Showcase '95 #12 and Showcase '96 #4 & 5.

There are also some issues of Starman that were never collected in the trades too, but I can't remember the specific issues.

Oh yeah, there was a Mist one-shot put out as part of the "Girl-frenzy" event that DC did, I think, in 1997.

Another thing that hasn't been collected, and I'm still not sure if it'll be in the omnibi, is the Batman/Hellboy/Starman mini-series, which is a really cool book.

So there you go, that's all I remember for right now.

x-man75 said...

Great, I'll definitely be on the look-out for those Shade stories in Showcase. I actually managed to collect all of the loose issues that weren't collected in the Starman trades(I think they were mainly "Times Past" stories, which were among my favorite parts of Starman), as well as the "Girl-frenzy" issue and the JSA series from the late 90's which featured Jack as a member during the early issues(when I like a character, I'm nothing if not thorough!).

That Batman/Hellboy/Starman mini also sounds like something I'll be hunting down. Thanks for the quick answers Jason, now I have to start tracking these comics down!