Patrick: Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure - February sees the launch of Mark Millar’s and Bryan Hitch’s run on Fantastic Four, but I’m more interested in this project, presenting the final, 103rd issue of Stan Lee’s and Jack Kirby’s landmark run on the series, never before printed in it’s entirety. Stan Lee scripts and Joe Sinnott inks over Jack Kirby’s pencils, which are also presented uninked with analysis by John Morrow. A reprint of Stan Lee’s and John Buscema’s Fantastic Four #108, which incorporated some of the material in a flashback sequence, is also included. Sounds like a nice package.
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 - This 64 page special issue is the conclusion of Joss Whedon’s and John Cassaday’s great run on Astonishing X-Men, which will be relaunched as Astonishing X-Men: Second Stage by Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi. Whedon’s final issue of Runaways is also out in February, apparently marking the end of his association with Marvel for the foreseeable future.
Dave: Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: The First Death HC - I read a few Laurell K. Hamilton books, including Guilty Pleasures, which was the first Anita Blake graphic novel adaptation from Marvel. The First Death is the first original story to get the graphic novel treatment, digging into events that occur before the hunter's first adventure in novels. What's kind of lame about this is that The First Death is only a two issue series, and the rest of this hardcover is filled with the Guilty Pleasures Handbook.
ClanDestine #1 (of 5) - A new mini-series from Alan Davis, in which he returns to a title he created for Marvel UK. When Alan Davis returned to Excalibur with issue 42, he took on writing chores and demonstrated an enthusiasm for creating characters like Cerise and Kylun, the same sort of enthusiasm he brought to ClanDestine when he left that book, where he carried over many English-mythology themes. I loved Excalibur, so I'm pretty anxious to check out this title, and luckily, the same month Marvel is releasing the original series in the ClanDestine Classic Premiere HC!
X-Force #1 - Another relaunch of X-Force. This team is a wetworks team of mutants featuring Wolfsbane, X-23, Warpath and, of course, what would an x-book be without Wolverine.
The Order (Volume 1): The Next Right Thing TP - I've been meaning to check this book out for awhile. It just seems like a fun colorful superhero book featuring, I believe, the California-based superhero group formed in wake of Civil War.
Patrick: Hellboy Library Edition Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil - This is a nice looking book. The first two of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy story-arcs are collected in this deluxe hardcover, plus supplementary material. I really like what I’ve read of Hellboy, including the material collected here.
Dave: Chickenhare (Volume 2): Fire In the Hole - The second collection of Chickenhare, an all-ages book featuring a cast of rare animals. The first collection was a lot of fun.
Dave: Tiny Titans #1 - This just looks cute as hell.
Patrick: Rasl #1 - Like his masterpiece, Bone, this new series from Jeff Smith will doubtless read best once it’s finished and collected, but there’s no way I’m going to wait that long to read it. Bone is without question one of my all time favorite comics, so I’m all kinds of excited about this new work, about an art thief who has the ability to travel between dimensions.
Digital Manga Publishing:
Dave: Speed Racer: Mach Go Go Go (Volumes 1- 2) - A 2-volume hardcover slipcase featuring the original work from Tatsuo Yoshida, restored just in time for the film and the book's 40th anniversary.
Patrick: The Education of Hopey Glass - I absolutely adored Jaime Hernandez’s last graphic novel, Ghost of Hoppers, to the point I cringed during a recent rereading of my review of it, so breathless was I in it’s praise. Despite my inability to properly articulate what makes Jaime’s books so damned impressive, trust me that you’re not going to want to miss this latest collection of material from the second volume of Love and Rockets.
Patrick: The Complete Little Orphan Annie Volume 1 - The golden age of classic comic strip reprints continues with this very welcome collection of the first three years of Harold Gray’s masterpiece.
Star Trek: Alien Spotlight: Romulans - John Byrne draws Star Trek. I’ve been rereading Byrne’s run on Fantastic Four and rewatching the original Star Trek series on DVD, so I…um…..oh god. I’m a nerd, aren’t I?
Patrick: Goddess of War #1 - This new series of oversized comic books from Lauren (Girl Stories) Weinstein sounds very interesting. Based on a persona created for her band, Flaming Fire, this first issue sees the titular Goddess, a former valkyrie and daughter of Thor, abandon her post for earth to be with her lover, the Apache Chief, inviting the wrath of the king of the Gods.
Patrick: Honey and Clover (Volume 1) - The first collection of the manga that replaced Ai Yazawa’s Nana in Shojo Beat. I’m afraid I haven’t got around to reading any of it yet, but I’ve heard good things, and it certainly looks nice.
Dave: Naruto (Volume 28) - Two years pass from the last volume to usher in a new era of Naruto!
Patrick: Kirby: King of the Comics - I know this has been somewhat delayed, so I’m not sure if I’ve already pointed it out in one of these posts, but it probably bears repeating that if you only buy one book about comics this year, this copiously illustrated biography/art book by Mark Evanier should probably be the one.
Art Spiegelman: Conversations - I think there has maybe been a series of these cartoonist “conversations” books? I can’t really vouch for the editor or publisher, but this seems like one that would be pretty hard to screw up, just because Spiegelman’s such an engaging figure to listen to talk about his own work and comics in general.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Volume 2: Rodrick Rules - Along with the color volumes of Jeff Smith’s Bone, Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the comic I am most frequently asked about by kids looking for it at the bookstore I work at. This thing seems to have come out of nowhere, but it’s gotten a great response, so it’s nice to see a second volume on the way.