The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist
Top writers and artists relate the exploits of the Escapist, the Houdini-like superhero created by the protagonists of Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. This collection of issues one and two also features the novel’s Luna Moth, a.k.a. librarian Judy Dark.
Batman in the Forties
These 17 selections from the earliest Batman comics include the superhero’s first appearance in May 1939, the story of his origins some months later, and the 1940 introduction of Robin.
This sequel to the award-winning Bizarro Comics anthology again turns the DC Universe characters over to alternative cartoonists, such as Harvey Pekar, Craig Thompson, and the Hernandez brothers, with very creative and funny results.
Arrowsmith: So Smart in Their Fine Uniforms
In the first volume of an alternate history series, Fletcher Arrowsmith of the United States of Columbia trains and fights as an airman in the European war of 1915—a war fought with zombies, vampires, and deadly magic as well as technology.
John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines
The British magician/exorcist travels to Los Angeles to rout the demons who have caused a worldwide plague that leaves victims in comas, deprived of their souls. Award-winning veteran Mike Carey wrote this installment in the long-running series.
DC: The New Frontier
The New Frontier is the Silver Age of the DC Universe, when newcomers such as The Flash and Green Lantern joined the Golden Age superheroes in the 1950s. Cooke’s stories set the “keepers of the flame”—Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman—and their heirs in a realistic Cold War setting with interesting results.
The Global Frequency, a worldwide organization of operatives with specialized talents, combats menaces ranging from terrorists to a cyborg warrior. Each story in this first volume, Planet Ablaze, is illustrated by a different artist and features a different cast of agents.
Superman: True Brit
Johnson and co-writer John Cleese of Monty Python fame envision the consequences of Superman’s space capsule landing in England in the late 20th Century. Colin Clark loses the American Way for cricket, a job with a tabloid, and a comment that he wears “rather garish tights.”
In the first volume of a series by British comics veterans Andy Diggle and Jock, members of a CIA Special Forces unit reject assignments they consider amoral and go underground to halt the kind of dirty operations they once performed.
Writer/artist David Mack’s beautiful series recounts the exploits of Kabuki, an agent for an organization that polices the intertwined realms of business, organized crime, and politics in Japan. Deeply affected by the death of her mother, Kabuki embarks on a quest to come to terms with her family, history, culture, and identity—even if her personal crusade brings her in direct conflict with the powers she serves.
Christopher Chance, a master of disguise, impersonates his clients to identify and foil their attackers. This sophisticated reinvention of a 1970s DC character features complex plotting and insight into the psychological impact of Chance’s flexible identity.
Starman: Grand Guignol
Jack Knight has assumed the role of Starman from his dead older brother, using the energy-harnessing cosmic rod invented by his father, the original 1940s superhero. This ninth volume of the full-series collection pits Starman against evil forces led by the Shade, in an epic battle for Opal City.
Ghost in the Shell
The second volume of the 1995 manga is a brilliant espionage adventure set in Shirow’s future world dominated by cyborgs. Even more than in the previous story, the acclaimed artist and writer thoughtfully explores the relationship between technology, personality, and the “ghost”’human spirituality.