Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review- STEPHEN KING'S THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS

STEPHEN KING'S THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS (Marvel, 2009; Hardcover)
Collects Stephen King's The Stand: Captain Trips Nos. 1-5 (cover dates December, 2008- March, 2009)
Writers: Stephen King and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Mike Perkins
Colorist: Laura Martin

I have, sadly, never read a Stephen King book. I have seen most of the movies, but never bothered to read an actual book. I'm not sure what dialogue and narrative passages are King's or Aguirre-Sacasa's in this comic, but whoever is responsible for what is tops. Mike Perkins' artwork is also unbelievably good, ditto Laura Martin's coloring.
An infected soldier escapes from an Army base, spreading the man made Project: Blue chemical weapon to others. The army attempts to contain the spread, but things go south very fast. The president goes on television and denies that this is happening. The army censors news and radio broadcasts at gunpoint. Society begins to unravel as Captain Trips (as it is nicknamed) spreads and kills people. There is no cure and so far only one man seems to be immune to it. He is held captive at a secret Government base. 
Stories like this are the most terrifying because they are the most plausible. Everything that happens here could and would happen like this in real life. King wrote this in the late '70s, so this was way, way ahead of it's time. The fact that it reads as a contemporary work 34 years later only cements the timeless quality of the story.
While this series is old news to much of the comic book buying public, I find it impossible to be everywhere at once. I am constantly reading comics but can never keep up. Has anyone read the rest of the comic books in this series? Is the quality as good (or dare I dream...better) than this? Are they worth reading? Help a brother out!
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Interesting. The casewrap and endpapers are of higher quality than standard Marvel Premiere Edition hardcovers from this time period. I guess that Marvel figured on moving more units to “better” customers and so they spared no expense.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: The Stand Sketchbook (15 pages)
#1-5 variant covers by Mike Perkins and Laura Martin. (5 pages)
Cover process for #4 by Mike Perkins. (1 page)
#1-5 sketch variant covers by Lee Bermejo. (5 pages)
#3 script to final. (2 pages)
#4 script to final. (2 pages)
#5 script to final. (2 pages)
#5 page 2 pencils. (1 page)
#5 page 3 pencila. (1 page)
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Time was that Marvel used beautiful thick glossy coated stock in their books. This was book was from that time.
Binding rating: 4.5 out of 5. Curiouser and curiouser. This book has sewn binding, something that standard Marvel Premiere Edition hardcovers from this time period did not have.

http://www.instocktrades.com/TP/Marvel/STAND-CAPTAIN-TRIPS-PREM-HC-BERMEJO-ED/DEC082308


4 comments:

  1. Oh it's absolutely worth reading. I envy you not having read the book already. I read the book when it was published originally and several times since. It is a modern epic of almost Tolkien-esque quality. The graphic adaptation is extremely good. I have the Omnibus and it's an awesome volume...

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  2. Just as an aside, you should definitely read the book. It's really something else...probably King's best afaic. However, there are several other King books that you should probably read. I'd recommend The Dead Zone, Shining, and the short story collection Night Shift.

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  3. The book is excellent. I only read the first two tpb's before deciding to wait for the omnibus (which I ended up never picking up and now hear it had problems with the spine and glue etc). I'm sure reading it now it's a refreshing change from the usual violence-centered post-apocalyptic zombie-type stories.

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  4. I reviewed the omnibus on my blog a few months ago, and I thought it was an amazingly well-done book. I heard about the omnibus quality-control issues as I was midway through reading it, but I didn't have any problems whatsoever.

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