THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST VOL. 2: THE SEVEN CAPITAL CITIES OF HEAVEN (Marvel, 2008; Hardcover)
Collects The Immortal Iron Fist Nos. 8-14 and The Immortal Iron Fist Annual No.1 (cover dates October, 2007- June, 2008).
This is a really good series by Ed Brubaker and company. I love old Iron Fist from the '70s, and this adds new layers to the mythos. The only thing that concerns me is that there is the potential to over complicate things which could turn Iron Fist into a crapfest. We'll have to wait and see, right?
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GOLDEN AGE MARVEL COMICS VOL. 3 (Marvel, 2008; Hardcover)
Collects Marvel Mystery Comics Nos. 9-12 (cover dates July- October, 1940)
After a two plus year wait, we finally get Volume 3 of this series! Lots of cheesy Golden Age fun with Electro, the Marvel of the Age, an "Iron-Man" robot, The Sub-Mariner by Bill Everett, the Human Torch by Carl Burgos, the Angel, Ka-Zar, the Masked Raider, and others. I have to be in the mood for most of this stuff, but when I am, these are fun reads. The Sub-Mariner is worlds better than the rest of the stuff here and worth the price of admission alone.
Collects Amazing Spider-Man No. 415, Excalibur (Vol. 1) No. 100 (partial), Green Goblin No. 12, Punisher (Vol. 3) No. 11, Sensational Spider-Man No. 8, Spider-Man No. 72, Wolverine (Vol. 2) No. 104, X-Factor (Vol. 1) Nos. 125, 126, X-Force (Vol. 1) No. 57 and X-Man No. 18 (cover dates August- September, 1996).
This one falls under the category of 'careful what you wish for'. The Onslaught trades from the '90s are incredibly rare and expensive. After years of wishing and hoping that Marvel would re-issue them, I now have the first three of four chunky trades collecting this crapfest in all of its garish glory. It's hard to tell what sucks more, the '90s ComiCraft fonts, the fact that every hero is ridiculously muscular and has new costumes, overly-written scripts, the fact that Cable and X-Man are all the most powerful mutants EVER, the crappy artwork, the *boxes in every single panel…my God, I am glad that I missed this decade! I don't know how people kept the faith in Marvel during those times. I'm not sure that I could have! I hate all of the Liefield creations with nonsensical names like Random, Domino, Shatterstar, etc. I also hate how Cable, X-Man, and all of the aforementioned have some sort of marking over their left eye, and how many of them have "face paint" ala Paul Stanley. Horrible. Coincidentally, the latest CBG also has an article about the "eye" thing. I also hate the current trend in these X-trades where they feature part of an issue. That reminds of those horrible hack job trades that Marvel put out in the '90s. I prefer to have the entire issue collected.
EXCALIBUR CLASSIC VOL. 5 (Marvel, 2008)
Collects Excalibur (Vol. 1) Nos. 29-34 and Excalibur: Weird War III (cover dates Late September, 1990- February, 1991).
Good stuff despite a few rough patches, i.e. multiple creative teams, lackluster artwork and lettering, and being overly British. I know that this is supposed to be a British series, but man does Claremont lay it on thick! Simon Furman and Alan Moore don't try to write that British, and they actually live there! There are spots where the dialogue needs subtitles.
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 11 (Marvel, 2008)
Collects Fantastic Four (Vol. 1) Nos. 105-116 (cover dates December, 1970- November, 1971)
This is the first run of FF post-Kirby. John Romita, Sr. and then John Buscema more than capably handle the artwork in "the King's" absence. Stan Lee exits towards the end of the book to be replaced by Archie Goodwin. The Bronze Age is on!
WONDER WOMAN VOL. 2: CHALLENGE OF THE GODS (DC, 2004)
Collects Wonder Woman (Vol. 2) Nos. 8-14 (cover dates September, 1987- March, 1988)
George Perez is one of my favorite artists, and this is part of his (so far) great run on this title. I have never read these issues before, so bear with me. I wouldn't have dreamed of crossing the "party line" when these issues originally came out in the '80s, but with age comes wisdom, yadda-yadda. I appreciate how much detail Perez puts into each panel, especially when showing the Greek mythology stuff. My only complaint about this package is that DC uses chinsy paper in their trades. It's not like this book sold at a lower price point because of the cheaper paper stock.