ADVANCE SCOUT: TRADE WEEK! (4/17/13)

ADVANCE SCOUTWHAT IS ADVANCE SCOUT?

Each week, the Capeless Crew picks out those books that we think are most worthy of your dollars and attention. These books are chosen based on a variety of qualities, including relevance to real-world issues of the day, their sheer excellence as examples of the medium, and often with an eye towards the importance of a given book within the context of the comics industry.

SITUATION:

We’re trying out a new format this week, so let us know what you think in the comments below.

This week was a difficult one to pick books for. Most everything from DC is in mid-stride, with none of their books out having good jumping on points right now. Nothing from most of the smaller publishers was really eye-catching, and most of the Marvel NOW! books that are in mid-arc haven’t been collected yet. Whatever to do?

Rather than try to spin out a reason to buy random book X, we delved deeper into this week’s solicitations and found that there are several excellent trades hitting shelves this week, any of which is worth a spot on a discerning reader’s book shelf. So, it’s Trade Week on Advance Scout. If you’re trying to find something to wrap up and give to that comic book nerd in your life, this is a great place to start.

THIS WEEK’S SELECTIONS:

1. Avengers Vol 1: Avengers World

avengersvol5.1hc
AVENGERS VOLUME 5.1 (HC) – MARVEL COMICS – $24.99

The first arc of Jonathan Hickman’s AVENGERS was very high-minded and, though it rubbed some people the wrong way, did a superb job in setting the stage for things to come while also introducing a large number of new characters to the roster.

Give Marvel credit for bringing a high-quality collection to market very quickly. Too often publishers make it impossible for fans to ever get caught up in hard copy on a series, but with issue #9 still fresh on shelves, they have made it exceedingly easy to jump onto this fantastic book.
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2. Manhattan Projects Vol. 2

MANHATTAN PROJECTS VOLUME 2 - IMAGE COMICS
MANHATTAN PROJECTS VOLUME 2 – IMAGE COMICS – $14.99

Where Hickman had to spend much of the first volume introducing his readers to characters who, though closely resembling their historical counterparts, were different enough to require primers, here he is free to play in the universe he has created. He explores the dark side of fringe science, showing us Nazis and Russians, showing us dark forces worshiped by people in high places and dark purposes to which science run amok is set.

The first volume of this stellar series from Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra has been on shelves for some time and is essential in understanding this latest offering, but the price point for Image trades is so reasonable that, if you haven’t been reading this series, do yourself a favor and pick up both.

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3. Happy 

HAPPY - IMAGE COMICS - $14.99
HAPPY – IMAGE COMICS $12.99

When Image Comics lured in Grant Morrison, long time comic aficionados and neophytes alike knew that the result would be, at the very least, interesting. Happy was one of those series that, as you tried to read it month-t0-month, you knew would read better in trade. Now Morrison’s hallucinogenic fantasy thriller has been collected and should delight fans of the writer’s wit and mind-bending character explorations.

Capeless columnist Jay Gabel reviewed the first issue when it came out in September, likening it to the critically acclaimed Who is Jake Ellis?

This is a book for the mature reader in your life, but also that person with a mind willing to be bent to the mad whims of a writer like Grant Morrison, where the walls between reality and fantasy blur to an extent that to consider the points of the book too deeply is to risk madness.

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ANALYSIS

While this may not have been a great week for finding new jumping on points, it is a quality week in the trade market. While Marvel’s hardcover is easily the most expensive of the three at $24.99, none of these is a wallet-breaker, with both Image trades retailing for $15 or less. It’s a good week to flesh out your bookshelf and grab something that you can take outside with you now that spring is finally upon us!

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Thanks for checking out ADVANCE SCOUT! Be sure to check back next week for more recommendations, and don’t forget to share the link below!

Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville.

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  • Patrick M

    I enjoyed the different format this week. As a trade waiter, I’m always a bit disappointed when good collections get passed over for mediocre or bad floppy comics.

  • Joseph Torres

    If I’m not mistaken I’m pretty sure the Avengers Vol. 1 hardcover comes with a digital download. So, even more of a reason to pick it up for some people?

    • I think all of Marvel’s hardcovers come with digital codes now, don’t they?