The Comic Pusher: New Releases for 3/27 Reviewed

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Presenting two recent sets of reviews from The Comicbook Pusherman, the Comic Review Blog of JHU Manager Jeffrey O. Gustafson, this week on Vertigo's new anthology Time Warp and And a Bunch of New Releases for Wednesday, March 27.

Eight Quick Reviews for March 27

Young Avengers 3 is by Kieron Gillen and Jaime McKelvie and good grief is this a fun comic. Weird interdimensional baddies are pretending to be the team's mommies and daddies and fisticuffs ensue. Meh concept, A-plus-plus doublegood execution, and McKelvie makes my heart flutter. We get some Billy & Hulkling & Kid Loki then Miss America Chavez shows up and you yell BOOWAH THAT WAS AWESOME because trust me homies, it's the best entrance in comics this week/month/maybe-year. Part of the nu-nu-nu-Marvel new wave of quality supercomic in the league of Hawkeye and Daredevil and Fraction FF (the Allred/Allred one). Worth the trip home by the issue and then the trade because you can never have too much of such a Good Thing and this is a Good Thing.

Journey Into Mystery 650 is the conclusion to a so-so-Sif story but Valerio Schitti on art is the reason for the buy. Schitti's stuff ain't shitty (sorry, couldn't not do it), far from it. Kathryn Immonen wrote this but Schitti's stuff is Stuart Immonen-ish in its energy and style and underrated nature because Immonen was the most underrated penciler on the planet til he blew up Fear Itself and All New X-Men (though he was honestly the coolest kid on the block since Nextwave). Bold, fun art from someone who oughtta be on the marquis and if he continues pulling out art this good he will be.

Garth Ennis had four great comics this week, all of them war comics in some fashion, and there is no-one in the world better at war comics than Ennis.

Fury Max 10 with Goran Parlov continued his tale of America's forays into murky international conflicts. This time Fury finds himself enmeshed in the Contra/Sandinista clusterfuckety in Nicaragua in the 1980s. American Special Forces are training rebels for dubious gains and Fury has been sent in to check up on the outfit, run by none other than Ennis & Parlov's best creation from their Punisher Max run, Barracuda. There is much discussion by the principals on what America is doing here and why, as well as Barracuda's own decidedly shady financial motivations in the region. Like with so many Ennissian dramas, complex seas of grey are what the characters find themselves in, and the path forward is expectedly labyrinthine and murky (and if anyone loves moral murk it's Ennis).

Ennis is still the best writer to utilize the playground he created in Crossed in this week's Crossed Badlands 26. The moral quandaries of a completely screwed post-apocalyptic world in his always entertaining and thoughtful parable about man's inhumanity to man get equal play to the true horror of the situation and the visceral thrill of some really, really twisted imagery. The first double page splash had me frankly guffawing Barracuda style, the horror that followed left me quiet like an awkward silence in a crowded elevator. What's left of an English military unit have decided to bombard populated areas with biological weapons, because logically this would wipe out the Crossed. It would take out any uninfected humans, too, but that's the cost of war. The characters do not come to this plan lightly, and the arguments and counterarguments - more moral murkiness - are presented equally. We know how the characters feel, at this point in his creative career we have a pretty good inkling of what Ennis feels, but he never tells the reader what to feel and the answers are never easy. (And the art by whomever Avatar keeps locked in their basement is quite crappy but if it ain't Jacen Burrows on your Avatar comics this week you're playing Russian Roulette with your eyes.)

Red Team 2 revels in uneasy answers, though counterarguments are less as the characters are more sure of their righteousness if not the really the legality of their actions - and we know damn well where Ennis comes down here. A group of elite NYPD have taken it upon themselves to, in essence, be team Punisher. But unlike the Punisher they are more concise with the vengeance the mete out, and work out in great detail where and how they will do what they do. There is a cold, immutable logic to what they are doing. We're not troubled by their actions because their targets have it coming, but when we put ourselves in their shoes could we do the same?

And then there's Battlefields 5, pure war comic and desert-island-worthy like all his pure war comics. Here we get The Fall and Rise Of Anna Kharkova Part 2, his latest in the epic of one Russian fighter pilot and her battles both against the enemy and against her own culture. Ennis excels at taking forgotten aspects of wars gone by (to borrow Fury's subtitle) and shining a light on them that is eye-opening, told with respect and humor and bracing reality and is easily is the best historical fiction you can find in comics. Anna Kharkova, returning in her second arc, had a rough end to World War 2, crashed, captured, then imprisoned by her own people, paranoid officious shitbags. She makes it out and into north Korea a few years later training pilots to fight Americans, but her desire to fly Migs and her insubordinate nature may do her in. Amazing stuff with nice art from frequent collaborator Russ Braun,

Elsewhere, Guardians of the Galaxy 1 was just alright and BPRD: Vampire 1 had Moon & Ba being creepy wonderful moody MOON AND BA (muito bom!).

Time Warp, Vertigo's Latest Anthology

Time Warp, new from Vertigo
Anthologies can be very hit or miss with the material in them. You can get fantastic short stories sandwiched between comics so bad you wonder what the hell the editor was thinking. And sometimes you get something like Kramer's Ergot 8, which was 100% unexpurgated gibberish. Time Warp, new this week, is the latest science fiction anthology from the rather moribund Vertigo, and it is quite good.

Time Warp is a follow up to the previous one-shots in the series, May 2011's Strange Adventures, October 2011's The Unexpected, May 2012's Mystery In Space, and October 2012's Ghosts. Each of these 80+ page anthologies have featured contributions from some of the best independent creators working in comics as well as new team-ups of DC talent. A couple had the initial chapters of larger upcoming Vertigo series or serialized multi-part stories, but for the most part the stories were self-contained while thematically similar in each issue. As a whole, the anthologies have been fun but containing equal amounts killer and filler.

Time Warp breaks the mold by having only one weak story among the nine presented, that being a part of a Dead Boy Detectives serial. There's quite a bit to enjoy in the rest of the issue. The opening is an amazing Rip Hunter Time Master tale ("R.I.P.") written by Lost creator Damon Lindelof and illustrated by Sweet Tooth's Jeff Lemire. Lemire's style here is perfect for the dinosaurs and time sphere mashup and Lindelof's script is concise and wonderfully, logically (and emotionally) plays with multiple Rips through to the final R.I.P. The next short story, Tom King and Tom Fowler's "It's Full of Demons" is a heartbreaking tale of madness through a distemporal alternate history lens, and one of two utterly different Kill Adolph Hitler stories (the other being the closing tale, "The Principal" by New Deadwardians' Dan Abnett & I.N.J. Culbard).

Andy MacDonald art from "00:00:30:00"
Gail Simone turns in an unexpectedly moving short story about a candy shop where the chef's creations will let you live "ten perfect minutes of your life," Gael Bertrand's art whimsical and stylish."The Grudge" by Si Spurrier & Michael Dowling is an completely and deliciously absurd tale of scientific one-upmanship through creative and sophomoric insults written across decades by two scientific rivals. "The Grudge" is a really funny, really absurd, oddly tragic, inventive short story.

"She's Not There" by Peter Milligan & M.K. Perker is a tale of spousal control not even limited by the bonds of death followed by "00:00:30:00" by Ray Fawkes & Andy MacDonald, a story I really liked. In a future war in space, when all seems lost, pilots can hit a time dilation field, giving them minutes of local time in just seconds, allowing them to complete mission objectives before being destroyed. But one pilot utilizes her time for more than just her duty, resulting in a lasting cultural change.

The penultimate story, "Warning Danger" by one of the best cartoonists working in mainstream comics, Matt Kindt, breaks away from the time travel theme shared by the other stories in the anthology. Like a mashup of Kindtian artistic flavor and Brandon Graham-like inventive sci-fi labeling, Kindt tells the story of a future war fought between just two combatants, enhanced and upgraded by years of research and billions in R&D. Two combatants, fighting on behalf of their respective worlds, the victor deciding the outcome of the entire war. Like the battle it portrays, it ends quickly but with a hint of the potential for abuse that such an arrangement could have.

If you've been enjoying the more frequent but more uneven anthology Dark Horse Presents, you should pick this up. A really solid jumble of time travel stories from a bunch of great creators, all for less than eight bucks.
For more exclusive reviews and opinions, visit Jeffrey's blog at and follow him on twitter, @B5Jeff.


The Weekly Checklist: New Comics and More for April 3, 2013

Ahoy! Here are the NEW comics, graphic novels, manga, books, action figures, statues, magazines and more coming to Jim Hanley's Universe in New York City Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

JHU Members can get exclusive discounts on the following new books through Tuesday, April 9:
Age of Ultron 4 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Superior Spider-Man 7 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
All New X-Men 10 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Thanos Rising 1 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Detective Comics 19 SRP: $7.99 JHU Price: $7.20

More Items of the Week! Here are some more cool comics we think you should get:
AVX: Versus TPB
Battle Angel Alita: Last Order Omnibus 1
Green Lantern 19
Harbinger Wars 1
Hulk: Indestructible 6
Iron Man: Extremis TPB (New Print)
Mobile Suit Gundam Origin: 1
Polarity 1
Punk Rock Jesus TPB
Sailor Moon:GN: Kodansha Edition 10
Uber 0
X-O Manowar TPB 2: Enter Ninjak

The FULL Checklist can be seen after the jump, or click "Read more..." below! Click here to see the visual checklist for April 3!

Kid Approved
Archie {Comics} Archie Meets Glee Part 2 642
Archie and Friends Double Digest 26
Archie: Sonic the Hedgehog (2) 247
Disney Fairies:GN: 11-Most Precious Gift
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic 2.2
Scooby Doo (8): Where Are You? 32
Simpsons:TPB: Bart Simpson: 6-Big Beastly Book of Bart (New Print)

Dark Horse Comics
Abe Sapien: Dark & Terrible 1
Brodys Ghost:TPB: 4
Conan:TPB: Savage Sword of Conan 13
Last Of Us: American Dreams 1
Massive 1
Snow Angel (One Shot)
Star Wars: Dark Times: Fire Carrier 3

DC Comics
Ame Comi Girls (Ongoing) 2
Animal Man (2) 19
Batman: Batwing 19
Batman: Detective Comics (2) 19
Batman: Detective Comics (2) (Combo Pack) 19
Batman: Detective Comics (2):TPB: 1-Faces Of Death
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight 7
DC Universe:TPB: By Alan Moore 0
DC Universe:TPB: Secret Origins
Dial H 11
Earth Two 11
Fables: Fairest 14
GI Combat:TPB: 1-War That Time Forgot
Green Arrow (4) 19
Green Lantern (5) 19
Green Lantern (5) (Combo Pack) 19
Injustice: Gods Among Us 2.2
Looney Tunes (3) 212
MAD:TPB: Totally Useless MAD
Phantom Stranger (2) 7
Punk Rock Jesus:TPB:
Smallville: Season 11: 12
Stormwatch 19
Superman: Action Comics (2) 19
Superman: Action Comics (2) (Combo Pack) 19
Superman:THC:Adventures of Superman: Jose Luis Garcia Lopez
Superman:TPB: Secret Identity (New Print)
Swamp Thing (5) 19
Worlds Finest (3) 11

Image Comics
68: Jungle Jim 1
Bedlam 6
Blackacre 5
Glory 34
Great Pacific 6
Mice Templar IV: Legend 1
Mind the Gap 9
Nowhere Men 3.3
Repossessed 4
Savage Dragon 186
Sex 1.2
Snapshot 3
Son Of Merlin 3
Spawn 230
Super Dinosaur 18
Witchblade 165

Marvel Comics
Age Of Apocalypse 14
Age Of Ultron 4
Avengers West Coast:THC: Omnibus (Variant Cover) 1
Castle: A Calm Before Storm 4
Dark Tower: Gunslinger Evil Ground 1
Fantastic Four:TPB: 1-New Departure New Arrivals
Hulk: Indestructible 6
Hulk: Red She Hulk 64
Hulk: Red She-hulk:TPB: Hell Hath No Fury
Iron Man 3: Prelude:TPB:
Iron Man:HC: Extremis Prose Novel 0
Iron Man:THC: 1-Believe
Iron Man:THC: Season One Prem 0
Iron Man:TPB: Extremis (New Print)
Iron Man:TPB: Marvel Universe Comic Reader 2
Spider-Man: Superior 4.2
Spider-Man: Superior 7
Thanos Rising 1
Venom (3) 33
Winter Soldier 17
X-Men: All New 10
X-Men: Deadpool (5) 7
X-Men: Ultimate Comics 25

Other Comics
50 Girls 50:HGN: + Other Stories: EC Al Williamson
Action Time Buddies (One Shot) 0
Army of Darkness (2) 12
Benjamin Bear:HGN: In Bright Ideas
Borderlands: Origins 3.2
Caligula: Heart Of Rome 4
Case Of Charles Dexter Ward:GN:
Dark Shadows 15
Demons Sermon:GN: On The Martial Arts
Dungeons & Dragons:TPB: 3-Down
Fashion Beast 8
GI Joe: Special Missions 2
GI Joe:TPB: Target Snake Eyes
Godzilla: Half Century War 5
Grimm Fairy Tales: Jungle Book: Last of the Species 2
Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood Vs Red Riding Hood 1
Grimm Fairy Tales: Unleashed 0
Harbinger Wars 1
Harvey Horrors:THC: Witches Tales 3
Harvey Horrors:THC: Witches Tales 4
Hypernaturals 10
Joe Palooka 5
Judge Dredd (4) 2.2
Kill Shakespeare: Tide Of Blood 2
Kiss:TPB: 2
Legend Of the Shadowclan 3
Letting It Go:HGN: 0
Little Prince:GN: 5-Star Snatchers Planet
Little Prince:GN: 6-Planet of the Night Globes
Locke & Key: Omega 4
Lone Ranger (5) 14
Lone Ranger:TPB: Omnibus 1
Masks 5
Memorial: Imaginary Fiends 2
Miss Fury 1
My Boyfriend Is Monster:GN: 7-He Loves Me Loves Me Not
My Boyfriend Is Monster:GN: 8-Match Made In Heaven
Planet Of the Apes: Cataclysm 8
Polarity 1
Popeye 12
PS Artbooks:TPB: Showcase 1
Shadowman 6
Steam Wars (One Shot)
Tain't the Meat It's The Humanity:HGN: EC Jack Davis
Tales Of Fear 1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:THC: Ultimate Collection (Red Label Edition)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:TPB: Classics 4
Transformers: Spotlight Trailcutter 1
Uber 0
X-O Manowar (Ongoing):TPB: 2-Enter Ninjak

Attack on Titan:GN: 4
Battle Angel Alita:GN: Last Order Omnibus 1
Bleach:GN: 56
Blue Exorcist:GN: 9
Devil & Her Love Song:GN: 8
Fairy Tail:GN: 24
GTO 14 Days In Shonan:GN: 8
Hana Kimi:GN: 3-in-1 Ed 4
Jiu Jiu:GN: 4
Kimi Ni Todoke:GN: From Me To You 16
Library Wars:GN: Love + Wars 9
Love Hina:TPB: Omnibus 5
Mobile Suit Gundam Origin:GN: 1
My Boyfriend Is A Vampire:GN: 4
Nura Rise Of the Yokai Clan:GN: 14
Sailor Moon:GN: Kodansha Edition 10
Slam Dunk:GN: 27
Toriko:GN: 15
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds:GN: 4

Cool Books
Valkyria Chronicles:SC: World Artworks 3

Comic Shop News 1346
Doctor Who:Mag: 458
Fairies Magazine 13
Famous Monsters Of Filmland 267
Gothic + Lolita Bible 45
Hobby Japan:Mag: Mar 2013 1012
Megami:Mag: Feb 2013 82
Monster High Magazine 2
Newtype:Mag: Feb 2013 117
SFX:Mag: 233
Sketch Magazine 42
Star Wars:Mag: Clone Wars 17

Magneto:STA: Action

Batman:AF: Hot Wheels 1/50 Diecast Asst
Doctor Who:AF: Trans-temporal Sonic Screwdriver
ztoys Star Trek Phaser Kit

Must be a Member of Jim Hanley's Universe to receive applicable discounts. Sale prices do not apply to variant covers. Can not be combined with other offers. Some restrictions may apply.



Visual Checklist for Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Visual Checklist for Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Each weekend, we will put up a visual checklist of all the cool items coming to Jim Hanley's Universe this Wednesday!

To see the NEW visual checklist for Wednesday, April 3, Click Here or click "Read more..." below! To see the text checklist for April 3, click here.


Walt Simonson Signing at Jim Hanley's Universe THIS Wednesday, April 3!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

To celebrate his new gig penciling Indestructible Hulk 6, the legendary Walt Simonson will be signing at our Manhattan Location on Wednesday, April 3 beginning at 6:00pm!

EXCLUSIVELY at Jim Hanley's Universe in New York City, Where Fans and Creators Meet!


Purchase of Indestructible Hulk 6 required to participate in signing. 


The Weekly Checklist: New Comics and More for March 27, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ahoy! Here are the NEW comics, graphic novels, manga, books, action figures, statues, magazines and more coming to Jim Hanley's Universe in New York City Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

JHU Members can get exclusive discounts on the following new books through Tuesday, April 2:
Age Of Ultron 3 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Uncanny Avengers 5 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Superior Spider-Man 6AU SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Guardians of the Galaxy SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Aquaman 18 SRP: $2.99 JHU Price: $2.70
Peanuts Volume 19 SRP: $28.99 JHU Price: $26.00 + ALL Fantagraphics Peanuts Collections
American Vampire HC 5 SRP: $29.99 JHU Price: $26.99 + ALL American Vampire Collections

More Items of the Week! Here are some more cool comics we think you should get:
Avengers Vs X-men TPB
Avengers: Young Avengers 3
Batman: Incorporated 9
Battlefields 5: The Fall and Rise Of Anna Kharkova Part 2
East Of West 1
Fatale 13
Fury: MAX 10
Massive 10
Nexus: Omnibus 2
Powers: Bureau 3
Red Team 2
Unwritten Volume 7: The Wound
X-Men: Deadpool Killustrated 3
Zaucer Of Zilk SC: Complete

The FULL Checklist can be seen after the jump, or click "Read more..." below! Click here to see the visual checklist for March 27!

Love and Rockets
Julio's Day

Kid Approved
Archie: Betty + Veronica Double Digest 211
Archie: Life with Archie Married Life 28
Futurama Comics 66
Johnny Boo:HGN: 5-Does Something
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic 5
Popeye: Classic (Ongoing) 8
Simpsons: Bart Simpson Comics 81
Spider-Man: Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures 12

Dark Horse Comics
Answer 3
BPRD: Vampire 1
Buffy: Angel + Faith 20
Criminal Macabre/30 Days of Night: Final Night 4
Dragon Age: Until We Sleep 1
Massive 10
Mister X: Hard Candy One Shot
Nexus:TPB: Omnibus 2
Star Wars: Dawn Of the Jedi: Prisoner of Bogan 4

DC Comics
All Star Western (2) 18
American Vampire:THC: 5
Aquaman (7) 18
Batman: Incorporated (2) 9
Batman: Incorporated (2) (Combo Pack) 9
Batman: The Dark Knight (2) 18
Batwing:TPB: 2-In The Shadow Of Ancients
Day Of Judgment:TPB: 0
Firestorm (4): Fury of Firestorm 18
Flash (5) 18
Green Arrow: Arrow 5
Hawkman (4): Savage 18
I Vampire 18
Injustice: Gods Among Us 3
Joe Kubert Presents 6
Justice League Dark 18
Red Lanterns 18
Sgt Rock:TPB: Showcase Presents 4
Superman (3) 18
Superman Vs Zod:TPB: 0
Superman: Family Adventures 11
Talon 6
Teen Titans (9) 18
Time Warp
Unwritten 47
Unwritten:TPB: 7-The Wound

Image Comics
68:TPB: 2-Scars 2
Bomb Queen:THC: Deluxe Edition 1
Clone 5
Dias De Los Muertos 2
East Of West 1
Fatale 13
Five Weapons 2
Guarding The Globe:TPB: 2
Hack/Slash 25
It Girl + Atomics:TPB: 1-Round One: Dark Streets Snap City
Legend of Luther Strode 2.2
Legend of Luther Strode 4
Morning Glories 25
Planetoid 5
Skullkickers: Savage 1
Spawn:THC: Origins 8
Think Tank 6
Todd the Ugliest Kid on Earth
Witch Doctor: Malpractice 5

Marvel Comics
A Plus X 6
Age Of Ultron 3
Avengers Vs X-men:TPB:
Avengers: New Avengers (3) 2.2
Avengers: Uncanny Avengers 5
Avengers: Young Avengers (2) 3
Doom 2099:TPB: Complete By Warren Ellis
Fantastic Four (4) 5AU
Fantastic Four: FF (2) 5
Fury: MAX 10
Gambit 10
Guardians of the Galaxy (4) 1
Hawkeye 1.5
Kick-Ass 2:TPB:
Marvel Masterworks:TPB: Golden Age Human Torch 1
Marvel Masterworks:TPB: Golden Age Human Torch (DME 51) 1
Marvel Universe Vs Avengers:TPB:
Morbius: Living Vampire 3
Powers: Bureau 3
Spider-Man: Lizard:TPB: No Turning Back 0
Spider-Man: Scarlet Spider 15
Spider-Man: Superior 6AU
Thor (3): Journey Into Mystery 650
Thor:TPB: Mighty Thor By Matt Fraction 3
Thunderbolts (2) 7
Wolverine and the X-Men 27
Wolverine and the X-Men:TPB: 3
Wolverine: Ultimate Comics 2
X-Force: Uncanny X-Force (2) 3
X-Men: All New:THC: 1-Here Comes Yesterday
X-Men: Deadpool Killustrated 3
X-Men: Legacy (3) 8
X-Men: The Astonishing X-Men (3) 60
X-Men: The Astonishing X-Men (3):TPB: 11-Weaponized

Other Cool Comics
Adventures Of Jodelle:HGN:
Archer + Armstrong 5
Are You My Mother:GN: A Comic Drama
Bad Machinery:GN: 1-Case Of the Team Spirit
Battlefields: Fall + Rise Of Anna Kharkova (Part 2) 5
Bionic Man vs. Bionic Woman 3
Borderlands: Origins
Critter (Ongoing) 9
Crossed: Badlands 26
Crumb:TPB: Complete 2-More Struggle
Deathmatch 4
Doctor Who (3) 7
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time
Ferals 13
Finding Gossamyr 4
Gene Simmons:GN: Comics Anthology 1
Green Hornet: Mark Waid 1
Grimm Fairy Tales 83
Grimm Fairy Tales: Sleepy Hollow:TPB:
Grimm Fairy Tales: Wonderland 9
Hawken:HGN: Genesis
Honey Badger vs. the World
How To Fake A Moon Landing:HGN: Exposing Myths of Science Denial
Ice Age: The Hidden Treasure (One Shot) 5
Immoderation:SC: Chad Ward: Goth Trilogy 0
Judge Dredd (4) 5
Judge Dredd:TPB: Origins
Julios Day:HGN:
Knights Of The Dinner Table 196
Last Zombie: Before the After (Cover A) 5
Library Of Aamerican Comics: Essentials:HGN: 2-Gump Saga: Mary Gold
Love And Capes:TPB: 4-What To Expect
Oz: Legend of Oz: The Wicked West 5
Peanuts (2) 7
Peanuts:THC: Complete Peanuts 19 19
Plume 3
Rachel Rising 15
Recounting Streets:HGN:
Red Team 2
Sherlock Holmes: Liverpool Demon 3
Sixth Gun: Sons Of the Gun 2
Star Trek: Ongoing 19
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hive:TPB: 0
Tower Chronicles:GN: 4-Geisthawk
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye (Ongoing):TPB: 3
Transformers: Robots In Disguise (Ongoing) 15
Transfusion 3
Vitriol: The Hunter 2
Witch + Wizard:GN: Manga 3
Witchblade/Red Sonja:TPB:
Zaucer Of Zilk:SC: Complete

Angelic Layer:GN: 2
Blood Lad:GN: Omnibus 2
Genshiken:GN: Second Season 2
Higurashi When They Cry:GN: 21
Soul Eater:GN: 13

Adult Comics
Bettie Page: In Danger 7
Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose 79

Cool Books
Art of Bioshock Infinite:HC:
Avenger:PB: 9-Double Novel
Midori Foo:SC: Book of Pictures
Spider:PB: 1-Double Novel
Takehito Harada Art Works:SC:

Cinefex:Mag: 133
Comic Shop News 1345
Fangoria:Mag: 322
Filmfax:Mag: 133
Juxtapoz:Mag: Apr 2013 147
Marvel Previews April 2013 Extras 116
Previews 295: April 2013 1688
Scary Monsters Magazine 87
Star Trek:Mag: (PX Edition) 44

Justice League Aquaman Action Figure
Justice League:AF: Aquaman 8 Piece Case
Justice League:AF: Aquaman 8 Piece Case
Justice League:AF: Flash Action Figure
Star Wars:AF: Kenner Rocket Firing Boba Fett 12in

Statues and Other Cool Stuff
Superman:STA: The Man Of Steel By Lee Bermejo
Batman:Pendant: Emblem Steel
Wonder Woman:Pendant: Stainless Steel Rose Gold

Must be a Member of Jim Hanley's Universe to receive applicable discounts. Sale prices do not apply to variant covers. Can not be combined with other offers. Some restrictions may apply.



Visual Checklist for Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Visual Checklist for Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Each weekend, we will put up a visual checklist of all the cool items coming to Jim Hanley's Universe this Wednesday!

To see the NEW visual checklist for Wednesday, March 27, Click Here or click "Read more..." below! To see the text checklist for March 27, click here.


The Comic Pusher: New Releases for 3/20 and More Reviewed

Presenting two recent sets of reviews from The Comicbook Pusherman, the Comic Review Blog of JHU Manager Jeffrey O. Gustafson, this week on Herge's The Adventures of Tintin: Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon and Four New Releases for Wednesday, March 20.

Quick Hits: Four New Comics for Wednesday, March 20 2013

Ultimate Spider-Man (issue 21 out today) may very well be my favorite purely superhero superhero comic, if that makes any sense. There is nothing more complicated than superheroics going on, not that superheroics are simple for young Miles Morales. Miles, the best new character in comics, is still coming to terms with his powers and all the responsibility and risk to himself and his friends and family this means. His father is in the hospital, a victim of Peter Parker's old enemy Venom, a case of mistaken identity. For not-all-that complicated reasons, Venom thinks his dad is the new Spider-Man. Miles feels that he and his power set are responsible for his family's situation, and in many ways he is and in many ways it was an unavoidable aspect of what it means to be a superpowered human. The path forward is fraught: in an America fractured by catastrophic war and political strife, how does he confront the menace that Venom represents while protecting his family? And how does he protect his identity when the government knows who he is and the police are sniffing around his door? He's not alone in his drama, and people from the martyred Peter Parker's past come into Miles' life to aid him in his struggle. The formula that made the original Steve Ditko/Stan Lee Amazing Spider-Man works so purely timeless and remarkable - young man in over his head just trying to live his life and do right by his values and be there for his family, filled with drama and humor -  is perfectly encapsulated in Ultimate Spider-Man. The dialogue and personal encounters are presented effortlessly, the plotting logical and tight. Brian Bendis is home with this setting, this universe, these characters. His scripting is simply flawless, and he - and we - are spoiled by the artistic talents of Sarah Pichelli. Her increasingly assured art - seamlessly alternating between angular Spidey-in-fight (although Miles does not appear in costume in this issue) to the nightmare monstrosity of Venom on through to extended sequences of people, wonderfully acted, simply talking - is frankly exhilarating. Where everything that is bad and wrong and ugly with superhero comics is represented in Bendis's truly abysmal Age of Ultron, everything that is fun and stirring and electric about superhero comics, the potentiality of the form in all it's wonder, can be found in Ultimate Spider-Man.

The stakes for Miles in Ultimate Spider-Man are more personal, singular, where the stakes in Jonathan Hickman's Avengers work are global, universal, multiversal. A superb example of decidedly epic superhero sci-fi storytelling in the long-form can be found in this week's New Avengers 4 and Avengers 8 both written by Jonathan Hickman. In Avengers we get the fiery birth (more accurately violent intrusion) of the New Universe in the Marvel Universe. A new Star-Brand, a world-protector, has been forged in the form of a young unassuming college student, at the cost of thousands of lives. The Avengers, expanding their ranks to include many of the Marvel Universe's heaviest heavy hitters comes to the scene to retrieve the Star-Brand and control the potential outcome. But vast new power comes with fear and uncertainty. Hickman's S.H.I.E.L.D. collaborator, Dustin Weaver turns in an issue of the wonderfully detailed and well-drafted art we have come to expect from him. In the more insular but no less epic New Avengers, the new Illuminati continue to dig the trench deeper as the dark cost of their actions begins to effect them. Nothing short of the Universe is at stake and they are willing to sacrifice an entire Earth to spare their own. But despite their own willingness to do the unthinkable, there morality prevents them from inaction when inaction would achieve their goals. This is a book of big ideas, from Dyson Spheres to Galactus and the anti-matter kitchen sink thrown in. Steve Epting's art here is some of his best, on Earth and an Earth and space, in heated conversation and a perfectly executed display of powers at odds. Everything that is and can be is at stake and the outcome is far from certain.

Moving on to my other favorite vividly realized shared universe in comics, Mike Mignola and John Arcudi's B.P.R.D. 105 continues to use the foundation of years of great storytelling and fun and unique concepts that make the Mignola-verse so continuously fresh and exciting. The Earth is a dark mirror of the one we know, with humanity in a state of constant war against interdimensional monsters who have overrun the entire globe. This is an international fight with borders being meaningless lines on a map. Splitting our time between the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense headquarters & the unexpected awakening of a key player, and the brutal environs of Siberia, the first part of "A Cold Day In Hell" effortlessly utilizes the rich setting and history and - always a dangerous concept - continuity that we've come to expect from the Hellboy/BPRD Universe. Where the various BPRD books have been hit-or-miss of late, this issue hits solidly on the sweet spot, the dark vision of a screwed world of monsters and menace wonderfully realized by Peter Snejbjerg and on art duties. Indeed Snejbjerg is probably the best artist to tackle BPRD-proper since Guy Davis left the book last year, and I look forward to a lot more from him here.

For Jeffrey's review of The Adventures of Tintin: Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon, click here or click Read More, below! 

The Adventures of Tintin, the hugely influential adventure series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé, were the first comics I read as a child. My mother was born and raised in Europe, so naturally growing up my family had an affinity for these comics long before I ever discovered superhero comics. I remember going to the local public library and borrowing the albums - I honestly don't think I took out a prose novel of any kind for the first how-many-ever years until I discovered Arthur C. Clarke and Madeleine L'Engle and Isaac Asimov. I'd take them home and soak in the adventures of ageless young reporter Tintin and his dog Snowy and the large and wonderfully ridiculous cast of supporting characters. But before a few months ago I hadn't read these comics in over twenty years, and rediscovering them has been been a joy.

It is simply not possible to understate the influence and importance of Hergé (nom de plume of Georges Remi) and Les Aventures de Tintin on the global comic landscape. First serialized in Belgian newspapers and his own magazine from 1929 to 1959 and then periodically until 1976, the collected adventures were packaged in 23 internationally best-selling albums, a quarter billion copies translated into over a hundred languages. These collections are trade paperbacks, indeed graphic novels by any other name, many decades before the term would be popularized. Hergé produced massively researched stories and clean, technical and wonderfully eloquent cartooning - a style he popularized called ligne claire ("clear line") that would dominate European comics. When considering Tintin, I like to put these within the context of the American comics of the same time periods. When compared to the comic books being produced stateside the difference in consistency of style, creator vision and length of stories is startling. A better comparison might be the masterpieces being produced by contemporary American comic strip artists, but even these important and influential works (for many decades) could not find the second life as books that Tintin immediately found. Some things about Tintin don't age well, especially the early colonialist and downright racist characterizations. (There is much that can be discussed about such portrayals but that is for another essay.) But it is Tintin's timelessness, sense of wonder, and beautiful art that keeps these books in circulation.

The Adventures of Tintin Volume 5
Little, Brown 2007
The titular and entirely mononymous Tintin is, ostensibly, an internationally renown reporter in his early twenties (though he could just as easily be a teenager). He finds himself on adventures all over the globe, every time becoming the story rather than reporting on it. Indeed, at no point does he ever file a story with anyone. He is always referred to as a "reporter," but I guess a more accurate description would be brave, smart, tenacious, plucky international investigator. An otherwise ill-defined everyman, the early stories (aside from the cultural insensitivity) are defined by Tintin's penchant for being repeatedly captured by various nefarious types and stumbling blindly upon the solutions to his cases. The stories get better after the first few volumes with the introduction of the large extended cast of entertaining, colorful and popular characters. There is the deaf superscientist Professor Calculus, the alcoholic blowhard sea captain Haddock, and the insanely incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson. These supporting characters often find themselves intertwined with Tintin no matter where his cases take him, and despite providing comic relief are often more fleshed out than Tintin himself.

Some years ago I got for my sister and her children a box set of all the gorgeous Little, Brown omnibus volumes. Each omnibus reprints three of the Casterman albums in wonderfully designed, compact hardcovers, which have also been released individually. In my re-exploration of the material I started at the beginning, which reprints the third through fifth albums (the first two albums are almost never reprinted in the United States). These stories are rough and not quite yet living up to the potential of the latter stories. I read through the first few albums like this then put it to the side, distracted by other comics, real life, the usual. Then the other day I saw the fifth Little, Brown omnibus on the shelf of the comic shop I work at, collecting the fifteenth through seventeenth albums, and I absolutely had to read it as soon as I could. I've seen these covers staring at me for years, but for some reason I just couldn't resist it this time - here, in all it's glory, was the chronicle of Tintin going to the Moon.

The first story in the omnibus is the wonderfully representative Tintin in the Land of Black Gold. War is brewing around the world and weird stuff is happening to gasoline and the answer may lie in the Middle East. After some misadventure getting arrested and kidnapped by insurgents, Tintin finds himself roped into finding the local Emir's kidnapped son. There is a lot of shadiness involving different geopolitical forces at the beck and of multinational petroleum conglomerates, and plenty of comic relief from Haddock and Thomson and Thompson and the rotten little malcontent that Tintin is trying to rescue. We also get a good example of the recurring rogue's gallery of villains often spearheading the nefarious plots or interfering in Tintin's attempts at do-goodery, a rogue's gallery that will come into deadly play in the following stories. The story then easily segues into (for me) the main event, the two-album journey to the moon. Not figuratively, the actual Earth's moon. So why is a young reporter and his sea captain friend going to the moon? Because it's Tintin and shit like this just happens. That's why.

Destination Moon by Herge
Casterman/Little, Brown 1953/1976
The story begins in Destination Moon. Professor Calculus has been commissioned by the recurring, vaguely Eastern European country Syldavia and its government to build a rocket to the moon. See, they're sitting on a ton of plutonium so they're building a space rocket, because that's just what you do with plutonium. Calculus has devised a unique and never-before used method of propulsion for a rocket with the intention of exploring the moon. Calculus, Tintin (with Snowy, naturally), Haddock, and the Syldavian engineer Frank Wolff are the chosen crew for the mission. But first the new rocket has to be tested, and a small-scale version is launched. But nefarious plans are afoot - agents of an unfriendly nation (somewhere, we never really see) have their own designs on Calculus and Syldavia's rocket and intend to remotely hijack it. We frequently see the clandestine plannings of the lead enemy agent and references to a spy within Syldavia's organization. Attempts are made at infiltrating the facility, at one point resulting in Tintin getting shot in the head by an enemy agent. But a bullet can't keep a good reporter down, and after a few months recovery while the rockets are built, the indomitable Tintin is soon assisting with the test launch. The ever perceptive reporter expects chicanery and convinces Calculus to secret a self-destruct device aboard the test rocket. Sure enough, enemy agents hijack the rocket signal and the device comes in handy.

The launch is seen as a successful test of concept and the manned mission to the moon is given the green light. Why a crew of untested, mostly untrained amateurs are going up instead professional astronauts or test pilots isn't explored, but by this point in Tintin's adventures you just kind of accept the improbable. Which is nice because the improbable is wildly entertaining. Haddock is reluctant if not downright recalcitrant, Calculus is fumbling at first then genius in the end, and Tintin just is. Some specific preparations are shown, but mostly we get vignettes of passing time intercut with extended scenes of lighthearted slapstick comedy.

These stories were originally serialized between 1950 and 1953, and much of the design sense is reflective of the wide-eyed, romantic science fiction of the era. Hergé's detailed draftsmanship and extensive research ethic play big roles in establishing the beautifully realized vision of the story. The rocket ship is purely classical in design, and the details lavished on the page with his trademark clarity is a visual feast. Everything from the nuclear facilities to the internal and external design of the rocket to the equipment at their disposal is cleanly rendered, continuously astonishing practical sci-fi set-pieces. Hergé's science certainly tries to get it right, with many technical details about such a journey spot-on, while managing to be way off the mark in so many other areas endemic of sci-fi works of the era. By the time they get to the moon, it's less the magnificent desolation of Armstrong and Aldrin and more the gee wiz sci-fi wonder of early fifties guesswork. Which is just fine. It's easy to overlook such naivety because the execution is just so wonderful.

Destination Moon ends on the cliffhanger of the launch that begins Explorers on the Moon, and the it doesn't take long for the shenanigans to ensue. Two pages in and Thompson and Thomson pop up, accidental stow-aways, of course. Their comic relief isn't really needed when you've already got Haddock's inspired exasperation (I reckon there could be entire treatises crafted about Haddock's inventive alliterative cursing that he frequently unleashes - Billions of Blistering Blue Barnacles! Thundering typhoons you Bashi-Bazouks!) but what the hell, why not have the two fools hanging around gumming up the works. There is much misadventure on the way, involving everything from a drunken space-walks to accidental zero-gravity acrobatics, but the anxiety and pressure of the ground crew over the fates of the erstwhile crew never lets up. Soon enough the seriousness of the proceedings makes itself evident, especially with the portentous looks at nefarious and underhanded subterfuge afoot.

Explorers on the Moon by Herge
Casterman/Little, Brown 1954/1976
Tintin is soon the first man on the moon and the interplanetary adventures begin. We see the joy of exploring the unknown in an alien, gravity-light environment. There is much serious science and exploration to do, too, but this unknown world is not without it's dangers from crevasses to caves to human error. And then there is the man made threat. The plans of the enemy are no longer limited to cutaways of obtuse declarations of evildo. With little room for error or interference, things take a deadly turn with the enemies' plans coming to scary fruition. At first the extent of the enemies' plans and one agent's thirst for revenge elicits a hearty laugh, and deservedly so for it is more than a little ridiculous. But things take a quick turn. In what is as much a tale of spycraft, sabotage, espionage and revenge as much as a science fiction adventure, the crew finds themselves fighting for their lives against a heartless enemy in the most difficult and inhospitable of environments.

It's the espionage angle that is the most surprising element of the story, the element that drives the climax of Explorers on the Moon and what gives the story its narrative kick. Lives are lost, sacrifices are made, and the tense and dangerous journey home is anything but a safe prospect. One of the aspects that makes the spy story work is the lack of definition in it in terms of the global players responsible - this isn't a cold war parable, but could be (from either perspective).

The expected, welcome humor comes back in the end, and we end up with a funny, entertaining, dramatic golden age science fiction-adventure-spy-humor graphic novel. In many ways Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon is atypical of Tintin with its overt science fiction tropes, and in every other way exactly like every other Tintin story. Tintin is about a determined, tough, young, smart investigator and his funny cast of friends (and his dog) having adventures of drama and humor set against entertaining geopolitical backdrops and improbable set-pieces. The Moon stories have all of these things, and rocket ships for good measure.


For more exclusive reviews and opinions, visit Jeffrey's blog at and follow him on twitter, @B5Jeff.

The above comics are in-stock and available from Jim Hanley's Universe, For 28 Years New York City's Premier Comic Book Store, Where Art and Literature Meet. 


Upcoming Signings at JHU: Walt Simonson April 3, Greg Pak April 10!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We've got two great signings coming up featuring industry legend Walt Simonson and one of the hottest writers in comics Greg Pak!

First, to celebrate his new gig penciling Indestructible Hulk 6, the legendary Walt Simonson will be signing at our Manhattan Location on Wednesday, April 3 beginning at 6:00pm!

Then, for X-Treme X-Men 13 we'll have Greg Pak (Herc, the upcoming Batman/Superman) signing at our Manhattan Location Wednesday, April 10 beginning at 6:00pm.

Stay tuned for more on both these signings as the dates draw near. EXCLUSIVELY at Jim Hanley's Universe in New York City, Where Fans and Creators Meet!


Purchase of Indestructible Hulk 6 required to participate in Simonson signing. Purchase of X-Treme X-Men 13 required to participate in Pak signing.


The Comic Pusher: The Massive Volume 1 (New This Week) and Black Lung Reviewed

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Presenting two recent reviews from The Comicbook Pusherman, the Comic Review Blog of JHU Manager Jeffrey O. Gustafson, this week on The Massive by Brian Wood and Black Lung by Chris Wright.

The Language of Pain: Black Lung by Chris Wright Reviewed

Black Lung by Chris Wright
Fantagraphics, 2012
It feels like my brain is still trying to digest Black Lung by Chris Wright, an unusual graphic novel of pain and anger and loss from Fantagraphics. The setting is vaguely the mid-nineteenth century, and the initial story threads are spread between an underworld of casual licentiousness and brutality, compassionate higher society, and brutal poverty. The disparate and somewhat meandering story threads coalesce with shocking frenzy into the story of a heartless, disgraced teacher getting shanghaied into service on a pirate ship. He becomes victim and witness to unspeakable brutality, and the aims of an intelligent, erudite pirate captain looking to sin as much as possible to reunite with his lover in hell.

The characters and story inhabit a violent and profane world, the vulgarity less like Johnny Ryan and more just an aspect of the reality presented. Wright's cartooning is completely original, his characters grotesqueries of the human form, all disproportionate limbs, asymmetrical bodies, bizarrely decorated heads. This is decidedly different, so other, in a way only achievable in the comic form. The cartooning style here creates a unique effect: when we see atrocities and violence, the unrealistic style forces the reader to build the scene in their mind - like with a novel - but without having to read through descriptions of the horrors. The images are the descriptive language almost like (and decidedly above) simple prose.

The novel climaxes in a torrent of reminiscence, a complete and total breakdown of reality into narrative and visual abstraction. What Wright achieves here is fairly remarkable, an interpretive phantasmagoria of imagery and non-linear cartooning language like the best works of Kevin Huizenga or an unhinged Chris Ware.

In Black Lung Wright presents a world of ceaseless violence and pain, his reflectively brutal cartooning interwoven with elegiac prose, with the very syntax of comic storytelling breaking down under the memory and transformative agony of loss and obsession.

Post-Apocalypse Now: Brian Wood's The Massive, Volume 1 Reviewed 

The Massive Volume 1: Black Pacific by
Brian Wood, Kristian Donaldson & Garry Brown
Dark Horse, 2013
The Massive Volume 1: Black Pacific, out this Wednesday, collects the first six issues of the latest ongoing series from writer Brian Wood. On a near-future Earth, there has been a ceaseless series of environmental and geopolitical calamities. There has been a complete global environmental and economic collapse (referred to as The Crash), and when I say complete, imagine the worst that can happen, then imagine the worst thing that can happen about once a month for a year. The Massive takes place in the immediate aftermath of the Earth's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year.

The setting is a ship, The Kapital, the floating operational base of the one-time militant environmental activist group Ninth Wave. Founded and run by shady former mercenaries and a multinational crew of far too-willing volunteers, the ship's mission has changed from environmental activism (think Whale Wars just with more competent volunteers with an eco-terrorist edge) to coming to terms with the nigh-apocalypse and the search for their missing sister ship, the titular Massive.

It's the search for The Massive that drives the leader of the group, internationally wanted man Callum Isreal, and also the book's weakest element. It's Israel's white whale and possibly one Massive MacGuffin - maybe the bloody thing just sank, who knows. He's fairly certain the ship is still out there, but why it's so hard to find (or unwilling to hook up with their brethren) isn't remotely explained yet. Thankfully the search for The Massive isn't the central plot point, as the series immediately focuses on the Kapital's exploration of the post-Crash world. Where your average post-apocalyptic fiction piece tends to be focused on a small aspect of a larger conflict or conflagration, the book's setting of a ship abroad affords a unique look at the entire geo-political post-apocalyptic landscape. Coupled with flashbacks to the days of the Crash Year and to Israel's mercenary past, you get a broad milieu of an Earth in political and environmental transition.

The book's expanded cast is made up of environmental nuts who suddenly have nothing to be nutty for because the environment is well screwed by this point. Their motivation for continuing, beyond simple inertia or lack of choice, is not really explored. Israel's closest allies up the chain of command do get a little more play, and have their own mysteries and hidden motivations that are slowly (and effectively) being doled out.

Brian Wood is really excelling at world building in the book, far more than he was in DMZ, constructing a vivid and well-delineated landscape recognizably built from the soggy ashes of the world we now inhabit. Things are very different here, but it's not too far removed from the present, nor our present understanding of the world, to get into Mad Max-like post apocalyptic territory. There is a great deal of narrative setup in play, but more in setting rather than plot, to the point where we can see that we will always be in a kind-of set-up mode because the world has been so profoundly changed and there is quite a lot of world out there left to see.

It's not quite clear where the book is going - unless, of course, the search for The Massive is the point, which would be most unfortunate. The other big mystery is what precipitated the Crash - we know very well and in great detail what happened, but there is some mystery as to why it all happened at once. I honestly doubt the book will be about the search for why, because no answer could really be satisfying (and how can a lone crew on a single ship discover the answers to such huge questions anyway?).

The initial story arc features nicely detailed art from Kristian Donaldson, who decidedly excels at building the environmental landscape and producing the look of the Kapital. Garry Brown, the series' current ongoing artist, takes over in the second arc of the book, with a slightly rougher but perfectly appropriate style. Dave Stewart's colors and Brian Wood's impeccable design centers the overall feel of the book.

The first volume of The Massive is an attractive graphic novel with an assured voice and viewpoint from what is Wood's best ongoing work, and presents enough of an intriguing mystery and setting to keep readers wanting more. At $20 it's a nicely valued trade paperback from Dark Horse, who are, to the benefit of readers and creators alike, very much keeping pace with the recent Image-spearheaded creator-owned renaissance.

For more exclusive reviews and opinions, visit Jeffrey's blog at and follow him on twitter, @B5Jeff.

The above comics are in-stock and available from Jim Hanley's Universe, For 28 Years New York City's Premier Comic Book Store, Where Art and Literature Meet. 


The Weekly Checklist: New Comics and More for March 20, 2013

Ahoy! Here are the NEW comics, graphic novels, manga, books, action figures, statues, magazines and more coming to Jim Hanley's Universe in New York City Wednesday, March 20, 2013.

JHU Members can get exclusive discounts on the following new books through Tuesday, March 26:
Avengers 8 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
New Avengers 4 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Justice League of America 2 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Justice League 18 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Superior Spider-Man 6 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
All New X-Men 9 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Batman HC 2-The City of Owls SRP: $24.99 JHU Price: $22.50

More Items of the Week! Here are some more cool comics we think you should get:
Adventure Time 14
Batman: Incorporated 8 (Second Print)
Batwoman 18
Chew 32
Constantine 1
Daredevil 24
Fables 127
Invincible 101
Massive TPB 1: Black Pacific
Mind Mgmt 9
Nightwing 18
Saga 11
Simpsons Comics 200
The Amazing Spider-Man 700 (Third Print)
Wolverine: Savage 3
X-Factor 253
X-O Manowar 11

The FULL Checklist can be seen after the jump, or click "Read more..." below! Click here to see the visual checklist for March 20!

Avatar Last Airbender:TPB: 4-The Search Part 1
BPRD: Hell on Earth: Cold Day In Hell (Part 1) 1
Conan (7): The Barbarian 14
Dark Horse Presents 22
Massive:TPB: 1-Black Pacific
Mind Mgmt 9
RIPD:TPB: 1.2 (Second Edition)
Star Wars: Legacy: Prisoner Of the Floating World 1
Tarzan:THC: Unautorized Tarzan 1
Wild Rover: Featuring The Sacrifice (One Shot)

Batman (2):THC: 2-The City of Owls
Batman (2):TPB: 1-The Court of Owls
Batman Beyond: Unlimited 14
Batman: Birds of Prey (7) 18
Batman: Catwoman (4) 18
Batman: Incorporated (2) 8.2 (Second Print)
Batwoman (2) 18
Constantine 1
DC Universe Online Legends 18
Django Unchained 1.3 (Third Print)
Fables 127
Green Lantern: New Guardians 18
JSA Liberty Files: The Whistling Skull 4
Justice League (5) 18
Justice League Of America (6) 2
Justice League Of America: Vibe 2
Legion of Super-Heroes (7) 18
Nightwing (3) 18
Red Hood And The Outlaws 18
Supergirl (6) 18
Superman: Action Comics (2) 18
Superman:THC: Death And Return of Superman: Omnibus
Sword Of Sorcery 6
Wonder Woman (4) 18
Wonder Woman:THC: Amazon Princess Archives 1

Artifacts 26
Chew 32
Comeback 5
Five Ghosts: Haunting Of Fabian Gray 1
Hip Flask: Elephantmen 47
Invincible 101
It Girl + the Atomics 8
Maximum Minimum Wage:HGN:
Nowhere Men 1.4 (Fourth Print)
Revival 8
Saga 11
Storm Dogs 4
Thief Of Thieves 10.2 (Second Print)

Avengers (5) 8
Avengers (5) 5.2 (Second Print)
Avengers: New Avengers (3) 4
Cable And X-Force 6
Captain America (7) 5
Captain Marvel (6) 11
Daredevil (3) 24
Daredevil:TPB: By Mark Waid 3
Dark Avengers 188
Gambit:TPB: 1-Once A Thief
Hawkeye 3.3 (Third Print)
Hawkeye 4.3 (Third Print)
Hawkeye 5.3 (Third Print)
Hawkeye 6.3 (Third Print)
Hulk: Indestructible 5
Iron Man (5) 6.2 (Second Print)
Iron Man: Invincible Iron Man:TPB: 10-Long Way Down
Marvel Masterworks:THC: Amazing Spider-Man 15
Nova (5) 2
Secret Avengers:THC: By Rick Remender Prem 3
Spider-Man: Superior 6
Spider-Man: Superior 3.2 (Second Print)
Spider-Man: The Amazing Spider-Man 700.3 (Third Print)
Spider-Man: Ultimate Comics (2) 21
Winter Soldier:TPB: 3-Black Widow Hunt
Wolverine: MAX 5
Wolverine: Savage 3
X-Factor (3) 253
X-Men: All New 9
X-Men: Deadpool (5) 6
X-Men: Deadpool (5) 4.2 (Second Print)
X-Men: Deadpool (5) 1.3 (Third Print)
X-Men: Deadpool (5) 2.3 (Third Print)
X-Men: Deadpool (5) 3.3 (Third Print)
X-Men: Deadpool:TPB: Classic: 8
X-Men: X-Termination 1

Adventure Time 14
All Crime 1
Barry's Best Buddy:HGN:
Bionic Man: Kevin Smith's 18
Black Paths:GN:
Crow:TPB: (Special Edition)
Crypt Of Horror 17
Damsels 6
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time 3
Doctor Who:THC: Forgotten
Executive Assistant: Assassins 9
Fanboys Vs Zombies 12
Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist 10
GI Joe (1): A Real American Hero:TPB: 6
GI Joe (10) 2
GI Joe: Special Missions 1
GI Joe:TPB: Target Snake Eyes
Godzilla: Ongoing:TPB: 2
Gold Digger 148
Grimm Fairy Tales: Madness Of Wonderland 2
Harbinger (Ongoing) 10
Hellraiser: Dark Watch 2
Hollows 4
Jennifer Blood 24
Judge Dredd: Year One 1
Judge Dredd:GN: Day Of Chaos Fourth Faction
Leonard Starr's Mary Perkins On Stage:TPB: 11
Memorial: Imaginary Fiends 1
Mystery Society: Special 2013
Olympians:GN: 5-Poseidon Earth Shaker
Penny Arcade:TPB: 9-Passions Howl
Phantom:THC: Complete Dailies 5 (1943-1944)
Poison Elves (2) 1
Popeye 11
Popeye:TPB: 2
Red Sonja: Queen Sonja 34
Roy Thomas Presents: The Heap:THC: 1
Soulfire (4) 4
Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness 3
Steed and Mrs Peel: Ongoing 6
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (5) (Ongoing) 20
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret Foot Clan 4
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:TPB: Adventures 4
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:TPB: Animated 1
The Spider 10
Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron 1
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye (Ongoing) 15
Voltron 11
X-O Manowar (Ongoing) 11
Zombies Vs Cheerleaders (2) 1

Archie: B + V Friends Double Digest 232
Archie: Comic Super Special 2
Archie: Sonic Universe 50
Archie: World of Archie Double Digest 27
My Little Pony: Micro Series: Rainbow Dash 2
Simpsons Comics 200

Psyren:GN: 9
Vagabond:GN: 34
Vampire Hunter D:SC: Novel: 19-Mercenary Road

Buffy:HC: Making Of A Slayer
Fire + Water:HC: Bill Everett Birth of Marvel
Glenn Fabry:SC: Sketchbook
How to Draw:SC: Adventure Friends And Heroes

2000 AD:Pack: Feb 2013 32
Amazing Figure Modeler:Mag: 54
Comic Heroes Magazine 17
Horrorhound:Mag: 40
Judge Dredd Megazine 333
Non Sport Update:Mag: (24) 2402
Scream Magazine 16
SFX:Mag: Special 60 (A To Z Of Sci-fi Cinema)
Star Trek Magazine 44

Vertigo Cover Girls:STA: Death

Batman:AF: Arkham City: Batman Dark Knight Returns Version
Batman:AF: Arkham City: Kai Robin Arkham City Version
DC:AF: Batman Automobilia Coll Mag: 2005 Batman Begins 3
Doctor Who:Prop: Future Sonic Screwdriver
Kamen Rider No 1:AF: S.H. Figuarts: Sakurajima Version
Marvel Select:AF: Amazing Spider-Man Movie: Spider-Man
Walking Dead:AF: TV Series 3: Merle Dixon
Walking Dead:AF: TV Series 3: Autopsy Zombie
Walking Dead:AF: TV Series 3: Michonne
Walking Dead:AF: TV Series 3: Pet Zombie 1
Walking Dead:AF: TV Series 3: Pet Zombie 2

Must be a Member of Jim Hanley's Universe to receive applicable discounts. Sale prices do not apply to variant covers. Can not be combined with other offers. Some restrictions may apply.



Visual Checklist for Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Visual Checklist for Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Each weekend, we will put up a visual checklist of all the cool items coming to Jim Hanley's Universe this Wednesday!

To see the NEW visual checklist for Wednesday, March 20, Click Here or click "Read more..." below! To see the text checklist for March 20, click here.


The Comic Pusher: Hawkeye Volume 1 and Shade Reviewed

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Presenting two recent reviews from The Comicbook Pusherman, the Comic Review Blog of JHU Manager Jeffrey O. Gustafson, this week on Shade by James Robinson and Hawkeye Volume 1 by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Javier Pulido. For three more reviews, on Delicate Creatures, Last Day In Vietnam and Persepolis, click here.


Shade by James Robinson and Various Artists (But Really Starring Javier Pulido)

Shade by Robinson and
Hamner, Pulido, Irving & more
DC Comics, 2013
Shade - not Ditko's Changing Man but James Robinson and Tony Harris's re-imagined golden age DC super-villain - is best known for his enigmatic appearances in Robinson & Harris's Starman opus. A twelve issue mini-series featuring the character, written by Robinson, with story arcs illustrated by various artists is an inspired choice and a good value for just $20. But it is a very inconsistent read, with the focus inevitably shifting from the mediocre story to the great lineup of artists chosen to tell it.

Shade, the immortal and extremely powerful Richard Swift, is a somewhat reformed villain who has a sharp wit and a mysterious past. He's nigh invulnerable and can wield a dark shadow force that can do all kinds of Unpleasant Things to people. What foes he does run into throughout the twelve issues he tends to dispatch with complete ease, his strength representing the story's biggest weakness. Despite his colorful vocabulary and his connection to Robinson's modern classic Starman, the story here - some descendant of his is trying to kill him and he runs into various adventures along the way - is honestly rather dull. Thankfully, the art is anything but dull.

The initial three issues by Cully Hamner are rather uninspired. Thankfully issue four features art by the amazing Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone in a wonderful World War 2 era flashback story. Stuff like this is Cooke's home turf and the one-shot shines compared to the content of the overall story itself. The book also features serviceable one-shots by Jill Thompson, and Gene Ha (doing the sadly anticlimactic origin end-piece). But before the expectedly moody three-issue arc by the inimitable Frazer Irving is the story's unintentional centerpiece and one of the best superhero stories put out last year featuring the art of Javier Pulido.

Pulido's three issues make him the star of this book, and between this and his superb Hawkeye work with Matt Fraction he has had the best year of his career. I would not fault the casual observer in noting that at first glance his stuff seems like a Marcos Martin clone, and to be fair some of his early work was with Martin or immediately following him. But starting with his recent Spider-Man work of the last couple of years, he has been making his own name, one that readers sat up and took notice with Hawkeye. And in Shade, he blows everyone out of the water with his trilogy of issues. In a story with vampires and zealots, Pulido's penciling possesses a mastery of shot-framing; bold inking creating stark, energetic imagery; and fluid, naturalistic action. It really is quite a wonder to experience and makes the whole package worth the price of admission.

For those more familiar with Shade and the DC Universe, I'd imagine the overall work would be more entertaining, alas for this reader it is just too uneven. But the artistic contributions make it worth the trip home, and again, at $20 for 12 issues it's a pretty good value for your comic-buying buck.


The Best Superhero Comic of 2012, Now In Trade Paperback - Hawkeye Volume 1: My Life As A Weapon by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Javier Pulido Reviewed

Hawkeye Volume 1:
My Life As A Weapon
by Matt Fraction, David Aja & Javier Pulido
Marvel, 2013
Today sees the release of the first volume of Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, David Aja & Javier Pulido and I haven't been this excited about a trade paperback since the first volume of Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples' Saga. Not a superhero book in any remotely traditional sense (more a book happening to take place in a superhero universe), Hawkeye plays with and expands the boundaries of the genre. You won't find Clint Barton in uniform or fighting supervillains here. This is a comic about a somewhat ordinary guy (he's kindof deaf, has really great aim, and can -and often does - take a beating) with an extraordinary job (he works with gods and superpeople and sometimes the government) just trying to do right by his friends and neighbors.

It's the relationship to his neighborhood in Brooklyn, and more specifically the people who live in his apartment building, that drives the book. This isn't Hawkeye doing Avengery stuff but Clint Barton on his day off trying to keep his life together while helping out the people he cares about. In the first arc, after finding out his apartment building has been targeted by shady gangsters, he outright buys the building, in part to keep together the vibrant community built there, in part to deny the gangsters what they want. And this really angers the gangsters, hilariously dubbed the Tracksuit Mafia (they are Russian, wear tracksuits, and love to say "Bro"), who target Clint for interfering with their plans. Throw in a mysterious femme on the run from the gangsters, and Kate Bishop (Marvel's other Hawkeye) and you get one hell of a grounded action adventure with Brooklyn as the playground. David Aja's art here is extraordinary. The story is Hawkeye on his day off, just a dude living his life, though with a unique set of problems. It's surprising how many artists can't do "regular," regular clothes, regular people. Aja does it with a unique, almost Mazzucchellian style that is engaging, fun, stylish and blissfully unlike anything else in its reserved elegance.

The volume's second arc features exemplary art by Javier Pulido, who had a career year last year (and between this and Shade he has cemented himself as one of the best artists working in the mainstream today). A cabal of villainy types has their hands on a tape that has on it something that could put Clint and the Avengers in the cross hairs. And they are auctioning the tape in Madripoor, the Marvel Universe Black Market City du jour. Clint's mission is to get the tape, but things go pear-shaped and it ends up in the hands of Marvel's best villainess, someone Fraction has proven quite good at writing, Madame Masque. Things aren't as they seem and Kate Bishop makes her star turn in Pulido's finest Marvel work to date.

Hawkeye is an artistic triumph in script and art, Marvel's more consistent answer to the high art we get at DC from J. H. Williams III and the perfect follow up to the heights achieved by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin & Paolo Rivera the year before in Daredevil. Uniquely flavored in an industry built on knock-offs, consistently exciting and fresh, this was the Best Superhero Comic of 2012, and (unusual for Marvel of late) packaged in a reasonably priced, gorgeously designed trade paperback.

For more exclusive reviews and opinions, visit Jeffrey's blog at and follow him on twitter, @B5Jeff.

The above comics are in-stock and available from Jim Hanley's Universe, For 28 Years New York City's Premier Comic Book Store, Where Art and Literature Meet. 



The Weekly Checklist: New Comics and More for March 13, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ahoy! Here are the NEW comics, graphic novels, manga, books, action figures, statues, magazines and more coming to Jim Hanley's Universe in New York City Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

JHU Members can get exclusive discounts on the following new books through Tuesday, March 19:
Age of Ultron #2 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Batman #18 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Uncanny X-Men #3 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Wolverine #1 SRP: $3.99 JHU Price: $3.60
Walking Dead #108 SRP: $2.99 JHU Price: $2.70
Hawkeye SC 1 SRP: $16.99 JHU Price: $15.30

More Items of the Week! Here are some more cool comics we think you should get:
Adventure Time: Mathematical Edition 1
Avengers: New Avengers 2 & 3 (Second Prints)
Buddy Cops 1
Chew: Omnivore Edition 3
Earth Two HC 1: The Gathering
Green Lantern Corps 18
Manhattan Projects 10
Neon Genesis Evangelion 3-In-1 Edition Volume 2
Superior Spider-Man 1 (Third Print)
Thor: God of Thunder 6
Tokyo Babylon 1
X-Factor Volume 19: Short Stories

The FULL Checklist can be seen after the jump, or click "Read more..." below! Click here to see the visual checklist for March 13!

Black Beetle: No Way Out 1.2 (Second Print)
Buddy Cops (One Shot)
Buffy TVS (3): Season 9 Freefall 19
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer:THC: Season 8: Library 4
Conan:TPB: Chronicles: 23-Well of Souls
Crime Does Not Pay:THC: Archives 4
Emily + the Strangers 2
Ghost 4
RIPD: City Of the Damned 4
Sledgehammer 44: 1
Star Wars 3
Star Wars:TPB: Clone Wars: Defenders Lost Temple

Batgirl (4) 18
Batman (2) 18
Batman And Robin (2) 18
Batman: Arkham Unhinged 12
Batman: Brave + Bold: All New:TPB: 3-Small Miracles
Before Watchmen: Ozymandias 6
Deathstroke 18
Demon Knights 18
Earth Two:THC: 1-The Gathering
Green Lantern Corps (3) 18
Green Lantern: Animated Series 12
I Vampire:TPB: 2-Rise Of The Vampires
Katana 2
Ravagers 10
Saucer Country 13
Suicide Squad (3) 18
Superboy (5) 18
Team 7 6
Threshold 3

Change 4
Chew:THC: Omnivore Edition 3
Darkness 111
End Times of Bram + Ben 3
Hoax Hunters 8
Manhattan Projects 10
Mind the Gap 8
Nowhere Men 4
Nowhere Men 2.3 (Third Print)
Peter Panzerfaust 10
Peter Panzerfaust 9.2 (Second Print)
Snapshot 1.2 (Second Print)
Spawn 229
Todd the Ugliest Kid on Earth 3
Triggergirl 6: 1
Walking Dead (2) 108
Where Is Jake Ellis 3

Age Of Ultron 2
Avengers (5) 4.2 (Second Print)
Avengers Academy:TPB: Avengers Vs X-Men
Avengers: Arena 6
Avengers: Assemble 13
Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes Adventures 12
Avengers: New Avengers (3) 2.2 (Second Print)
Avengers: New Avengers (3) 3.2 (Second Print)
Avengers: Secret Avengers (2) 2
Avengers: Uncanny 3.2 (Third Print)
Avengers:THC: Season One
Captain Marvel:TPB: Essential 2
Defenders: Fearless Defenders 2
Fantastic Four (4) 5
Guardians Of Galaxy:TPB: 2-Tomorrows Avengers
Hawkeye:TPB: 1-My Life As a Weapon
Spider-Man: Alpha: Big Time 2
Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man 18
Spider-Man: Superior 1.3 (Third Print)
Thor: God of Thunder 6
Thunderbolts (2) 6
Wolverine (5) 1
Wolverine and the X-Men 26
Wolverine: Ultimate Comics 1
Wolverine:TPB: Rot
X-Factor:TPB: 19-Short Stories
X-Men: All New 2.3 (Third Print)
X-Men: All New 3.3 (Third Print)
X-Men: All New 4.3 (Third Print)
X-Men: All New 5.3 (Third Print)
X-Men: All New 7.2 (Second Print)
X-Men: Legacy (3) 7
X-Men: Ultimate Comics 24
X-Men: Uncanny X-Men (3) 3
X-Men: X-Treme 12

Adventure Time:THC: Mathematical Edition 1
Aliens Vs Parker 1
Archer + Armstrong 8
Bad Kids Go To Hell (2) 1
Bionic Man: Kevin Smith's: Annual 1
Bloodshot (Ongoing) 9
Bravest Warriors 6
Crossed: Badlands 25
Crow:THC: Death And Rebirth
Dejah Thoris + Green Men of Mars 2
Doctor Who: Classics (5) 1
Dresden Files: Ghoul Goblin 3
Executive Assistant: Iris (3) 3
Femforce (30th Anniversary Special) 162
Fever Ridge: Macarthur Jungle War 2
Frazetta:SC: Sketchbook
Game of Thrones 13
Gearhearts Steampunk Glamor Revue 6
Ghostbusters 2
Ghostbusters: Ongoing:TPB: 4-Who Ya Gonna Call
GI Joe:TPB: Disavowed 7
Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths + Legends:TPB: 5
Grimm Fairy Tales: Saint Patricks Day Special
Grimm Universe 4
Hand Drying In America:HGN:
High Ways 3
Illustrators Annual of American Illustration:TPB: 54
Injustice: Gods Among Us 1.2 (Second Print)
Mars Attacks 8
Mickey Spillane: From the Files of Mike Hammer:THC: 1
Night Of the Living Dead Aftermath 5
Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt 7
Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time-Eye of the World 33
Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror 2
Shadow 10
Shrugged (2) 1
Star Trek: Ongoing:TPB: 4
Supurbia: Ongoing 5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Micro Series)
Transformers: Regeneration One 89
Voltron: Year One:TPB:
When David Lost His Voice:GN:

Archie and Friends Double Digest 25
Archie: Jughead's Double Digest 190
Garfield 11
Mega Man 23
Sabrina The Teenage Witch:TPB: 1-Magic Within
Spongebob Comics 18

07 Ghost:GN: 3
Blade of the Immortal:GN: 26-Blizzard
Fullmetal Alchemist:GN: 3-in-1 Edition 4
Neon Genesis Evangelion:GN: 3-In-1 Edition 2
Rin-ne:GN: 11
Tokyo Babylon:GN: 1

Comics And Narration:HC:
Doc Savage:PB: 65-Double Novel
Jim Balent:Portfolio: Love & Beauty
Juxtapoz:HC: New Contemporary
Shadow:PB: 70-Double Novel

Grimm:Mag: Collectors Special
Illustration Magazine 40
Megami:Mag: Jan 2013 81
Monsters From the Vault 31
Newtype:Mag: Jan 2013 116
Phineas And Ferb Magazine 16
Star Wars:Mag: Insider 140
Supernatural Magazine 36

Hulk:STA: Savage Hulk

Must be a Member of Jim Hanley's Universe to receive applicable discounts. Sale prices do not apply to variant covers. Can not be combined with other offers. Some restrictions may apply.



The Comic Pusher - Nemo: Heart of Ice and Marvel Comics: The Untold Story Reviewed

JHU Manager and web-guy Jeffrey O. Gustafson has a new comics review blog, The Comicbook Pusherman.  Below are two recent reviews, on Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, and Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's new League of Extraordinary Gentleman graphic novella Nemo: Heart of Ice. To see his review of Leela Corman's Unterzakhn, click here!

Review: Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's new League of Extraordinary Gentleman graphic novella Nemo: Heart of Ice

This article was originally published on the Comicbook Pusherman blog - Click here for more.

Nemo: Heart of Ice
A new League of Extraordinary Gentleman story
by Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill
Top Shelf and Knockabout, 2013
Nemo: Heart of Ice is the latest graphic novella from Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill set in their League of Extraordinary Gentleman universe. In essence, a spin-off; unlike their previous novellas that make up the Century trilogy, this is a stand alone tale utilizing the rich setting and cribbed public domain characters and concepts that makes their League work so much fun, and without necessarily playing a specific role in the Mina Murray stories that make up most of the League mythos.

We open in 1925 with Janni Dakkar (the new Captain Nemo first powerfully introduced in Century: 1910) and her crew of pirates as they rob a mysterious and influential monarch of her treasure. Soon, via Charles Foster Kane, a group of Americans are hired to hunt down Nemo and her crew and take back what was stolen. Janni, looking to step out of her father's prodigious shadow, heads to Antarctica to succeed in exploring a region her father failed at - with her pursuers hot on her tail. As she takes a select crew into the wilds of Antarctica she is soon ambushed by her American hunters and only barely manages escape. Lifting heavily from Poe and Verne's stories of the Antarctic, Moore and O'Neill's characters soon find themselves essentially inhabiting the pages of H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. Nemo and what is left of her crew must find a way to survive both the murderers on her trail and the abject, ancient horrors all around her.

A key facet of Lovecraft's work is that of humans encountering beings and ideas beyond the human ability to understand, and Moore and O'Neill utilize some pretty nifty trickery to translate that sense of confusion and distemperal horror. At one point, Nemo and crew encounter horrors in an area of the Antarctic that messes with their perception of time and indeed their very memory. Moore presents panels out of sequence, flawlessly woven into dialogue so that the effect is jarring on the reader, easily translating the seemingly untranslatable.

O'Neill's art and Ben Dimagmaliw's colors are stunning throughout. From human emotion to a wonderfully playful sequence at the beginning of the Antarctic journey to the ancient, alien terror of the bulk of the novel, Moore gives them plenty to play with and they execute the broad range of necessary imagery flawlessly. And like the other League stories, the work is densely plotted in story and art, packed with the type of minutiae that keep writers like Padraig O Mealoid and Jess Nevins in business, interpreting and analyzing the never ending references and allusions and sampling. But even if you don't know the many sources that inspired Moore in this run, like with all the League stories the narrative is enough to drive the reader forward in an entertaining, dramatic and uniquely flavored bit of graphic fiction.

While not as strong as Moore and O'Neill's early League work in terms of depth of characterization and plot, it is certainly the most accessible of the new League stories, in a gorgeously designed and affordable hardcover. A new reader can easily dive into and enjoy this work, a perfect entry into Moore's fictional universe of overlapping fictional universes and a fun study in horror and survival. 

75 Years of Triumph and Tragedy: Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story 

This article was originally published on the Comicbook Pusherman blog - Click here for more.

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story
By Sean Howe
Harper, 2012
To say that Sean Howe's comprehensive history, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, is "untold," is a bit disingenuous. There is nothing radically new or earth-shattering revealed here, most of the facts presented are well-known to those familiar with Marvel's long and complex history. Most of the story presented in Howe's history can be found in any number of articles, books, and interviews in magazines and newspapers published over the last three decades or so. But no-one before has collated all that history into one consise volume like Howe has here, and for that this book is an indispensable resource to historians and casual fans alike.

Covering Marvel's entire history, Howe skillfully weaves previously published interviews and articles with years of interviews & research conducted on his own. Marvel's history is unique and comparatively unsteady, dominated by mercurial personalities and notoriously cheap ownership. Marvel's comics in the 1930s and 1960s were completely unlike any other contemporary publications, and the people behind those eras were just as different. Martin Goodman, the magazine publisher who founded what would eventually become Marvel Comics, more or less fell into the comic publishing business. Using odd comic adventure stories prepackaged by the production company Funnies, Inc., Marvel's earliest stories featured flawed, even tragic heroes like the Frankenstein-monster The Human Torch and the murderous anti-hero (one of fictions earliest), Namor, The Sub-Mariner. These heroes, so different than the cookie cutter Superman and pulp knockoffs flooding the market soon included Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's costumed Nazi-smasher Captain America. In a recurring motif, Marvel soon came to loggerheads with Kirby (and Simon) and they bolted for the competition. This would be just the earliest in a long history of mistreatment of talent and Kirby especially, a history that leaves a black mark on Marvel's legacy to this day.

Breezing through the golden age and the rise of Martin's young nephew Stan Lee to the Editor's chair, Goodman's cheapness and fly-by-night series of corporate shell-gamesmanship left little leeway to creatively or financially advance the company beyond pale imitations of others' comics. Howe neither overlooks any facet of the company's history through his time, nor does he get bogged down in unnecessary detail. Soon enough we reach the Silver Age of comics that Marvel would usher in, the House That Jack Built. The Marvel Comics of the 1960s that Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and crew would produce completely changed the medium and the artform. Using the shared universe started by Marvel in comics' earliest crossovers in the early 1940s, Kirby's energetic illustrations and Lee's enthusiastic storytelling ushered in an age of human, flawed heroes diametrically opposed to the clean-cut flawless heroes of the Distinguished Competition. Much is made of the well-trodden history of the Marvel Style of comic creation and the disputes that would arise between Lee and his artistic collaborators over story direction and credit. Again, no new ground is broken over the well-known decades-long dispute between Kirby and Lee & Marvel that would arise at the end of the 1960s. Unlike Gerard Jones' deservedly passionate expose of comics' original sin in Men of Tomorrow,  Howe is fairly even-handed in portraying all sides of the story and the flaws inherent in all the memories and claims by all the parties involved. Needless to say, this would not be the first dispute over the creation of Marvel's heroes.

Lee, the inveterate self-promoter and company man would eventually head to Hollywood and a series of editors would take the reins throughout the 1970s. Personally, I was less familiar with the Marvel of the 1970s, and Howe does a great job at telling the story of the iconoclastic men and women of the era who produced some weird, drugged out material. Much is made of Steve Gerber and his contributions and fights with the company, and Marvel's unconscionable treatment of Kirby through his death in the 1990s. Lee's own contributions, creatively and corporately, are again handled with fairness to all sides. Breezing through the decades we get to Jim Shooter's rein in the 1980s and the tidal waves of good and bad that would come from that.

Not just focusing on the creative end of things, Howe also clearly paints a complex and winding picture of the corporate mismanagement that plagued the company through it's purchase by Disney at the end of the 2000s. Much is deservedly made of Marvel's contributions to the speculator boom and burst of the 1990s and the company's bankruptcy that nearly took down the whole industry with it. We get detailed pictures of the personalities that worked behind the scenes and the creators who Marvel repeatedly let slip through its fingers, from the Frank Millers of the 1980s through the Image defection of the 1990s.

One of Marvel's most important eras, one that began in 2000 with the rise of Joe Quesada that would cement Marvel as the top company in comics in terms of dollars and creatively, is the least detailed section of the book. The Isaac Perlmutter regime, the purchase by Disney, the success of the films, and the creators behind Marvel's modern Renaissance are touched on, but given relatively short-shrift. It seems that his history stops at the current regime, maybe because those in the company did not want to comment on their employers, or maybe because the past decade or so needs some more space before it can be effectively reported on. That is one small quibble in an otherwise entertaining, comprehensive history of one of the major cultural forces of the 20th century. Howe's tome is a must-read and easily earns its place with the other great comic book histories, Gerard Jones' masterpiece Men of Tomorrow and David Hadju's Ten Cent Plague.

For more exclusive reviews and opinions, visit Jeffrey's blog at and follow him on twitter, @B5Jeff.

The above comics are in-stock and available from Jim Hanley's Universe, For 28 Years New York City's Premier Comic Book Store, Where Art and Literature Meet. 




Copyright © 2007-2013 JHU Comics Corporation.

Small print! Images used are for promotional use only, and are copyright their respective authors. Views expressed are solely those of their respective authors. Information, including but not limited to scheduled events, promotions, and product availability are subject to change without notice. Special offers cannot be combined with other offers
. Some restrictions apply.