A lot of comics come out every week. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of #1s and dramatic new status quos as they crash. That’s why I’m here. Whether you said you’d revisit checking that series out when it was collected in trade or you simply never noticed the announcement of that awesome OGN, whether you’re just waiting for that hardcover to be published as a trade or have been longing for a collection of your favorite stories since childhood, Tradewaiting is here for you, with the complete Diamond list of graphic novels and collections as well as some recommendations to scoop up.
So, without further ado, here’s what’s coming to the bookshelves of your LCS this fine week of November 28th, 2018.
The Highest House
In the land of Ossaniul, the Goddess demanded that magic be wiped out. But, though the names have changed, the wizened and the iron-willed still possess both power and the ability to create something out of nothing, the method has merely changed. The new way is slavery.
Moth is one such slave, plucked from his family by the Magister for mysterious purpose and turned loose to the various hierarchies of service vying for influence within the Highest House, an impregnable, massive fortress held by the impossibly wealthy Aldercrest family. Amidst its walls teem a veritable legion of slaves, each as disposable as the next, and Moth, sickly and small, has little chance of surviving long. Until he hears a little voice. The voice, Obsidian, will not only keep Moth safe, but ensure that he rises out of slavery. That is, if Moth will pay the price.
From the Hugo-nominated creators of The Unwritten, Mike Carey and Peter Gross, The Highest House looks to be a fascinating and unusual fantasy story. It mixes the lofty and the real in ways that modern fantasy has sadly moved away from somewhat and its rich yet limited color palette creates a unique visual energy around the world of Ossaniul.
I largely missed this book, despite its release in France and an oversized single-issue run in America this year. But, if you’re like me, you can benefit from that oversight by getting the first volume, reconstituted into its intended OGN format (and a little bit cheeper for it), this week. The Highest House arrives in trade paperback from IDW Publishing, priced at $24.99.
Aquaman – The Search For Mera: Deluxe Edition
Deserved or not, there aren’t a lot of beloved Aquaman stories, and until recently many of those went uncollected. But if you’ve ever gone looking through the back issue bins for some of the sea king’s classic adventures you’ll recognize this one right away. Nick Cardy graced this storyline with some of Aquaman’s most unforgettable covers, as Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo stepped in for the start of Aquaman’s biggest and perhaps best remembered adventure of the Silver Age.
The story starts out simply: Aquaman and family are assaulted in their sleep and Mera is abducted, setting off a desperate hunt by the distraught monarch to locate his stolen queen. Over the eight-issue story, Aquaman would tackle all manner of threats, including interdimensional wizards; the mob; and his old foe, Black Manta. And, with the King of Atlantis absent, his allies would contend with a coup at home and capture in the depths of the seas, as Aqualad is forced into the gladiator pits of the Elfdurans.
By today’s standards it’s a little bit scattered, but the combination of consistent plotting, slowly interweaving plot lines, and Aparo’s soon to be recognized talents made it a major hit and a staple Aquaman story to this day, easily finding its way to number two on CBR’s 2011 Greatest Aquaman Stories Ever Told (right behind another Skeates-penned epic, “Death of a Prince”).
On the artistic side, this was Jim Aparo’s first work at DC and far from the last. The impact he made on Aquaman propelled him to become one of the company’s go-to artists for horror, a definitive artistic voice on Batman titles, and the natural choice to draw a revival of Aquaman in Adventure Comics that proved popular enough to relaunch a solo book for the character!
Besides its iconic art, stunning covers, and unusual complexity for the time, “The Search for Mera” (particularly issue #40) has remained something of a collector’s item for almost sixty years, possibly because it has never been collected. Until now.
With Arthur Curry poised for a successful shot at cinema stardom, DC has finally collected “The Search for Mera”, opting for a complete telling as one of their deluxe edition hardcovers. Aparo’s art plays by the rules of its time but remains undeniably worthy of this high quality reprinting and getting the entire story in a single hardcover is kinder than two awkwardly short trade paperbacks. The hardcover retails for $34.99, which is neither a particular bargain for the number of issues, nor an outrageous asking price. At the very least, it will make the sought-after story much more affordable than the original issues have been in years, if not decades. Though it shows its age at times, this is a welcome addition for fans of Aquaman, Aparo aficionados, or those of us who have simply marveled at the covers in back-issue bins.
X-Men Classic: The Complete Collection vol. 1
The “All-New, All-Different’ X-Men easily earns its spot as one of the best and most commended superhero runs in history. The influence of the art and writing of Chris Claremont‘s run on the book is undeniable. And while any superhero fan can probably tell you what the Dark Phoenix is or why Magneto fears homo sapiens control of the planet, fewer have actually had the chance to read the run through as the serial story that Claremont and co. intended. And that’s a shame, as a huge part of the X-Men experience was the presence of the characters, not just the events and firsts that one absorbs from summaries. This was true even during the book’s heyday, when comic shops were relatively new and trade collections were rare. And so, in 1986, Marvel launched Classic X-Men, reprints of the Claremont run with brand new content from Claremont, John Bolton, Dave Cockrum, Kieron Dwyer, and Jo Duffy. Some of this content took the form of back matter, pin-ups, and new supplementary comics filling out the rich lives and personalities that Claremont had created for his X-Men, while some of it was inserted into the reprints themselves to better represent the world of the X-Men as it had evolved and fill in ideas that hadn’t fit into the standard printings.
Now some of you may recognize that strategy. Generally speaking, the changes made to Classic X-Men were better received than the Star Wars: Special Editions, making for more consistent characterization (rather than less) and laying the groundwork for beloved future stories (rather than smoothing over outright retcons). The series even included important stories like “A Fire In The Night”, which first depicted Magneto in Auschwitz and gave us the full story, never to my knowledge portrayed in the core X-Men series, behind Magneto’s estrangement from his wife, Magda, mentioned with true Bronze Age brevity in Uncanny X-Men #150.
Nonetheless, the thought of such revisionism may sit ill with some fans. Well, worry not. You can have it both ways!
You can collect the original Uncanny stories in any of the forms that Marvel provides (the Marvel Masterworks series is a slightly pricy but excellent way to do so, if you’re looking for one), but, if you’d like to turn on the special features, as it were, you can pick up the first installment of this Complete Collection, which omits the original stories but compiles all of the new material presented in the Classic X-Men series, along with page comparisons and articles explaining what changes were made, how they affected the story, and why they were introduced. It’s admittedly a little scholarly compared to your average trade purchase, but let’s not pretend that comic readers are shy when it comes to footnotes.
The Complete Collection, somewhat ironically, seems to divide last year’s X-Men: Classic Omnibus into two more digestible sections. I’m sure there are some who would prefer to track that volume down and, given this printing’s softcover presentation; smaller size; and lack of apparent additions, I don’t blame them. However, I appreciate the option to split the monetary investment into two parcels of $39.99 rather saving up for the $125 original. I also point out that this first volume collects the new material from Classic X-Men #1-23, meaning that, even without the original stories, this trade clocks in at a meaty 520 pages. That number comes from Amazon and might just be simple math dividing the omnibus’ 1040 pages, but, if so, that probably means that a couple of pages would be added to this release and, also, did you miss the part where I said the omnibus is 1040 pages long?! That’s a lot of comic and a shallower binding may well benefit the readability of these stories, probably intended only to be read in magazine format. In the end, the difference between the Complete Collection and the Omnibus is a matter of choice and availability, but they’re both fine ways to pick up this celebration of the X-Men as they were in their prime and, now, both available to you.
If that’s not enough to sate your comics bloodlust (inklust?), there’s plenty more. Some companies seem to be offering a little less for this fifth week of the month, but others are making up the difference. There’s lots to explore, so here’s Diamond’s complete listing of collections and graphic novels for this week to peruse at your leisure.
REALM TP VOL 02 (MR) $16.99
DARK HORSE COMICS
ART OF WE HAPPY FEW HC $39.99
BLACK HAMMER LIBRARY ED HC VOL 01 $49.99
CREEPY ARCHIVES HC VOL 27 $49.99
DISNEY CLASSICS MOBY DICK STARRING DONALD DUCK $10.99
HALO OMNIBUS TP VOL 01 $24.99
SWORD DAUGHTER HC VOL 01 SHE BRIGHTLY BURNS $19.99
THE ONCE AND FUTURE TARZAN TP $17.99
YOSHITAKA AMANO THE ILLUSTRATED BIOGRAPHY HC BEYOND THE FANTASY $49.99
YOSHITAKA AMANO THE ILLUSTRATED BIOGRAPHY LTD ED HC BEYOND THE FANTASY $149.99
ATOMIC EMPIRE HC $24.99
GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO TP VOL 21 $17.99
HIGHEST HOUSE TP $24.99
SUPERMAN SILVER AGE SUNDAYS HC VOL 01 $49.99
ALL STAR SUPERMAN TP BLACK LABEL $29.99
AQUAMAN THE SEARCH FOR MERA DELUXE ED HC $34.99
BATMAN KNIGHTSEND TP $19.99
ETERNITY GIRL TP (MR) $16.99
FUTURE QUEST PRESENTS TP VOL 02 $16.99
GREEN ARROW TP VOL 06 TRIAL OF TWO CITIES REBIRTH (RES) $16.99
IMMORTAL MEN TP THE END OF FOREVER $16.99
INVISIBLES BOOK 04 (MR) $24.99
SUPERMAN ACTION COMICS REBIRTH DLX COLL HC BOOK 03 $34.99
SUPERMAN TP VOL 07 BIZARROVERSE REBIRTH $16.99
TEEN TITANS THE SILVER AGE TP VOL 02 $34.99
YOUNG JUSTICE TP BOOK 03 $29.99
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN BY NICK SPENCER TP VOL 01 BACK BASICS $15.99
MARVEL KNIGHTS MARVEL BOY BY MORRISON & JONES TP $17.99
MIGHTY THOR TP VOL 05 DEATH OF THE MIGHTY THOR $24.99
MOON GIRL AND MARVEL UNIVERSE TP $15.99
QUICKSILVER TP NO SURRENDER $15.99
SPIDER-MAN DEADPOOL TP VOL 07 MY TWO DADS $17.99
X-FACTOR EPIC COLLECTION TP ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT X-FACTOR $39.99
X-MEN CLASSIC COMPLETE COLLECTION TP VOL 01 $39.99
X-MEN GOLD TP VOL 07 GODWAR $17.99
X-MEN MARAUDERS TP $39.99
CLUELESS ORIGINAL GN VOL 02 ONE LAST SUMMER $14.99
FIREFLY BIG DAMN HEROES BOX SET $150.00
PANDORAS LEGACY ORIGINAL GN $9.99
ROBOCOP CITIZENS ARREST TP $19.99
COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF DUKES DAUGHTER GN VOL 02 (MR) $12.99
BAREFOOT GEN GN VOL 01 (CURR PTG) (MR) $14.95
BEATLES IN COMICS HC $29.99
BLACK HOOD TP VOL 03 (MR) $14.99
CARDCAPTOR SAKURA CLEAR CARD GN VOL 05 $10.99
CATALYST PRIME SUMMIT TP VOL 02 PRICE OF POWER $14.99
CHARLES VESS BOOK OF BALLADS & SAGAS HC $29.99
COMPLETE ADVENTURES THREE MUSKETEERS SP ED TP $32.99
DAN DARE COMPLETE COLLECTION HC VOL 01 VENUS CAMPAIGN $59.99
DELINQUENT HOUSEWIFE GN VOL 02 $12.95
DISTANT WORLDS GN VOL 01 EPISODE 1 $11.95
DRAWING FROM HISTORY FORGOTTEN ART OF FORTUNINO MATANIA $77.99
ELRIC RUBY THRONE DLX ED HC $29.99
EMMA G WILDFORD HC $24.99
FRANK N STEIN PRIVATE EYE GN $19.99
GOLOSSEUM GN VOL 04 $12.99
GRAND BLUE DREAMING GN VOL 03 (MR) $12.99
GRIMJACK OMNIBUS TP VOL 04 $35.00
HARBINGER WARS 2 TP $19.99
I HEAR THE SUNSPOT GN VOL 03 LIMIT PT 1 $12.95
INSIDE MARI GN VOL 01 $12.95
KISMET MAN OF FATE SC $19.99
LAND OF THE LUSTROUS GN VOL 07 $12.99
LORD MARKSMAN & VANADIS GN VOL 09 $12.99
NEKOGAHARA STRAY CAT SAMURAI GN VOL 05 $12.99
OTHERWORLDLY IZAKAYA NOBU TP VOL 02 $12.99
PERSONA 3 GN VOL 08 $13.99
PERSONA 4 GN VOL 08 $13.99
PEZ GN $24.95
PLUME HC VOL 04 $29.99
PLUME OMNIBUS HC #1 $44.99
REAL ACCOUNT GN VOL 09 – 11 OMNIBUS (RES) $24.99
ROBOTECH TP VOL 03 BLIND GAME $16.99
SAINT SEIYA SAINTIA SHO GN VOL 04 $12.99
SEVEN DEADLY SINS GN VOL 29 $10.99
STAR WARS MILLENNIUM FALCON OWNERS MANUAL HC $29.99
THIS NIGHTMARE KILLS FASCISTS SC (MR) $19.99
TOMO CHAN IS A GIRL GN VOL 02 $12.99
UNDEAD MESSIAH MANGA GN VOL 02 $10.99
UQ HOLDER GN VOL 15 (MR) $10.99
VALERIAN COMPLETE COLLECTION HC VOL 07 $29.99
WALK THROUGH HELL TP VOL 01 $14.99
WOTAKOI LOVE IS HARD FOR OTAKU GN VOL 03 $17.99