Patience is a virtue, they say. And good things come to those who wait. So, I’ve become a wait-for-the-trade kinda guy with my comic book collecting.
Bear in mind, I do buy a few single comic book issues here and there, and I basically bought the Waid/Kitson Legion of Super-Heroes run since I was afraid it would not merit being turned into a trade paperback (I was wrong). I’m also buying Infinite Crisis in single issues even though I know that’s definitely going to be a trade, but the story is too good and such an “event” to wait. Those types of books are far and few between.
I also plan on getting the upcoming 52 from DC Comics because it looks great, and it’s been a long time since I had something every week waiting for me at my store… although I’d like to see a price point per issue.
In any case, I buy what I buy because I prefer to get the whole story in one volume. Some trades I buy in addition to the individual issues, but I try very hard not to do that anymore. In some instances, I stopped buying the individual issues and actively waited for the trade. With others, I knew a trade was forthcoming, so I waited.
From January 2005 to January 2006, I pre-ordered twenty trade paperbacks. I bought additional ones at Wizard World and mostly from Borders and Barnes and Noble. Here are the trades that I enjoyed last year (in no particular order) and why:
BATMAN STRANGE APPARITIONS
My Dad has these original issues, and I remember reading them as a kid. The art is incredible, and the storytelling was far and away stronger than what I was reading in Spidey Super-Stories. This should be the template for any new Batman writer getting an assignment.
I actively waited for this one even though my shop had all six issues ready to sell to me. The reinvention of Cat-man as a major player in the DC Universe was something that I certainly didn’t see happening. The double Luthor thing was a nice twist.
SUPERMAN BATMAN VOL 2 SUPERGIRL
I bought the individual issues of this and really enjoyed it. Some people can’t stand Turner’s art, but I think it’s great in that totally disproportioned but totally hot girl art he does. The story introduces Supergirl back into the Superman mythos, and I liked it very much, especially since it appears Kara Zor-El will be spending plenty of time in the 31st century with the renamed Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes.
FABLES VOL 6 HOMELANDS
Each trade of this marvelous series makes me want to learn more about these characters and how they’ve adapted to their new home in New York City and elsewhere. I bought the first trade on a whim and greatly enjoyed it and have bought every subsequent one. This is actually not something that I would normally buy, but I branched out, and I’m better for it. If superheroes are tiresome, check Fables out.
What if the super villains won and killed all the superheroes and made it look like there never ever were heroes and villains to begin with? I loved the fish out of water aspect of the whole series, and the son becomes the father bits. The art wasn’t too bad, and Mark Millar pretty much had it firing on all cylinders until the end, when I felt “meh” about it.
MINISTRY OF SPACE
Finally, something my Dad could enjoy. He read it in one sitting over Christmas. We both love what-if stories and alternate history stories. This one has it all in spades. For those of you out there that aren’t really into comics, this is one to take a chance with
POWERS VOL 8 LEGENDS
I have a great run of Powers issues. I also bought the trades because Bendis’s storytelling really lends itself to long-form trade reading. This is the first trade that I did not buy the original issues.
ASTONISHING X-MEN VOL 2 DANGEROUS
Whedon’s work here feels like old-school Claremont. The Chris Claremont that I grew up with put together some amazing stories like the Dark Phoenix saga and Days of Future Past. Of course, Kitty would be a major player with Whedon (he does like those female protagonists). The return of Colossus was okay, but the behind-the-scenes stuff with the White Queen is making me all giddy inside.
INVINCIBLE VOL 1
I’m cheating here since this one isn’t a trade paperback. I received the hardcover as a gift. It’s an amazing story with some high-quality art, but I love the added bonus features like Kirkman’s script and original proposal. Well worth the money.
SLEEPER VOL 3 & 4
I finished up this finite series with the last two trades, which really could be read as one long story. I love super spy stories, and this is one of the best. Undercover spies, deadly women, lies twisted upon more lies… this story has it all and much, much more. If you like comics, super spies, and can take some adult language and situations, then this is for you.