Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review- SLEEPER OMNIBUS HC

SLEEPER OMNIBUS (Vertigo/ DC, 2013; Hardcover)
Collects Point Blank Nos. 1-5, Sleeper: Season One Nos. 1-12, Sleeper: Season Two Nos. 1-12, Coup D'etat: Sleeper No. 1, and Coup D'etat: Afterward No. 1 (cover dates October, 2002- July, 2005).
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Sean Phillips with additional artwork by Colin Wilson and Jim Lee.
Colorists: Janet Gale, Tony Avina, Carrie Strachan, Alex Sinclair, and Randy Mayor.

I was late to the party for Ed Brubaker, I'll admit it. I didn't discover his writing until I bought the Civil War: Captain America trade paperback in 2007. I couldn't believe how good it was, and from there I picked up the Captain America By Ed Brubaker Omnibus and all subsequent Cap books, following him on Uncanny X-Men, later discovering Criminal and more. I was completely unaware of this title until this book was announced. It was like finding out that a band that you love actually had a few earlier albums available, and they were all being re-released in a gigantic box set with all of the trimmings.
Sleeper is a tale of secret operative parahumans involved in James Bond level cloak and dagger capers. Holden Carver is the star of the show, and he plays both sides...or are both sides that are playing him? I'm not telling you, because reviews that are essentially a synopsis and filled with spoilers suck, and you won't find any of that here, ever. Suffice it to say that is nary a dull moment in the 700-odd pages of this book. 
Miss Misery is fascinating, and plays the role of lover and teammate to Carver. I kept thinking of the old Nazareth song off of the classic Hair Of The Dog album. Blackwolf cracks me up, especially the story of how he chose his name. Fans of 1970s comics should get a hearty chuckle out of that.
All ages reading this is most certainly not. Indeed, one could turn this book into a drinking game, doing a shot for each curse word or bullet fired. You would die of alcohol poisoning by the end of the book if you did this, but it might prove fun if done by story arc. Let me know how that turns out for you. 
All of the ingredients that fans of Criminal and Fatale love are here, but the soup hasn't come to a boil yet. Instead of being great this merely really, really good. This would make a great stocking stuffer for the more discerning comic book fan on your Christmas shopping list...provided that the nails on your fireplace mantle can hold a stocking with a 5.2 pound book in it. (2.36 kilograms for readers in the non-English measuring system world outside of the United States, Liberia, and Burma).
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- A long, long time ago, in a house about a half an hour away...I made a video showing my disgust with the binding of DC's Omnibus hardcovers when compared to Marvel's. It got picked up by Bleeding Cool and even got the attention of Dan DiDio. DC actually fixed the binding of their Omniboo because of a crusade started in no small part by me on a message board in the early days of 2012. If I accomplish nothing else in life, I at least helped convince DC to switch to sewn binding on their Omnibus books. I have helped make the world a better place for everyone, and that makes me happy. My selflessness knows no bounds. I'm like the OCD Mother Theresa or Ralph Nader or something.
No, I really don't take myself that seriously. Smile, folks. 
DVD-style Extras included in this book: Last Words, an afterword by Ed Brubaker from 2009. (1 page)
Pin-up page by Sean Phillips, signed 2001. (1 page)
Logo and layout sketches (1 page)
Cover sketches for Sleeper Season One #1 (1 page)
Cover pencils for Sleeper Season One #2 (1 page)
Cover color and inks for Sleeper Season One #3 (1 page)
Cover inks for Sleeper Season One #4 (1 page)
Cover sketches for Sleeper Season One #10 and #4 (1 page)
Cover pencils for Sleeper Season One #10 (1 page)
Cover sketches for Sleeper Season One #10, 11, 12 (1 page)
Cover inks for Sleeper Season Two #2 (1 page)
Cover inks for Sleeper Season Two #3 (1 page)
Cover sketches for Sleeper: All False Moves and Sleeper: Out In The Cold TPBs (1 page)
Cover art for Sleeper: The Long Way Home TPB (1 page)
Cover art for Sleeper: The Long Way Home TPB (1 page)
Cover art for Sleeper: Out In The Cold TPB (1 page)
Sleeper Season One #1 issue layouts/pencils (6 pages)
Point Blank #1 variant cover and sketches by Colin Wilson (2 pages)
Character sketches by Colin Wilson (3 pages)
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. This book has beautiful glossy coated stock paper, which is ideal for material with modern computer coloring.
Binding rating: 4.75 out of 5. See The OCD zone for more details. Needless to say, I am happy. My crusade was one for the benefit of the people of Earth, and now my Sleeper Omnibus lays flat, give or take 20 pages in the front and back of the book.

http://www.instocktrades.com/TP/DC/SLEEPER-OMNIBUS-HC-%28MR%29/OCT120298


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