Monday, January 16, 2012

Buy This - Most Anticipated Books of 2012

Well, it finally happened. I'm sorry to say that there just isn't much shipping this week that engenders the desire in me to try and persuade you to buy it. Sure, there are the usual high-profile monthlies shipping but I think most people are already buying anything I'd list and if not... well that's your prerogative. So instead, today I'm going to give you a look at the five books I'm most anticipating in 2012. With the abundance of trades, hardcovers and original graphic novels already solicited for 2012 it's no mean feat narrowing down the five I'm most looking forward to but I'll be glad to try.

One thing to know going into this is that, much to my chagrin these titles are all big two. I looked elsewhere but maybe the smaller publishers just aren't soliciting books shipping after April. Whatever the case, these are all exclusively superhero and exclusively Marvel and DC...

Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin Absolute Edition

When this was announced I couldn't have been happier. Not just because its some of my favorite Batman stories ever but also because I'd been lax in purchasing the hardcover collections and due to that fact I will now be able to own this massive oversized, slip-cased edition. I love the absolute editions. they're far and away my favorite avenue for experiencing my favorite stories time and again. This one collects the entirety of Morrison's B&R run with artists like Cameron Stewart, and Frank Quitely along for the ride. Also included here is the Morrison-penned, and David Finch-drawn Batman: The Return one shot. It's a gorgeously drawn effort by Finch and the thought of getting to see it in the deluxe sized format has me salivating. This is far and away the book I'm most looking forward to owning.
Uncanny X-Force: Dark Angel Saga omnibus

This is a cheat. It hasn't been solicited yet and there's no guarantee it'll even come out this year if it ever does but I'm holding onto hope. X-Force was one of the best comics Marvel published last year. Wonderfully written (by Rick Remender) and pencilled equally well by Esad Ribic, Jerome Opena, and others, this collection would give B&R a run for it's money in the looks department. The story is an epic 18 issues that follows the teams exploits on secret missions that involve lots of killing. It also has a pretty huge effect on X-Men continuity (and one major character in particular) as a whole. Again, there's no guarantee this is coming but I'm hoping it is. A story this epic deserves to be collected in one of Marvel's expertly handled omnibus editions.
Infinite Crisis omnibus

This is ridiculous. It collects not only the main Infinite Crisis event but the lead-in "Countdown" one shot, all four six-issue mini series tie-ins, and each of the epilogue one shots for those minis, and an issue of the Sacrifice story which ran in Wonder Woman and Superman that tied into the event. It's the mother of all omnibus editions of major crossover events and no event in the last decade at either company deserves it more. I'm sure Infinite Crisis has it's haters but in my mind it's the perfect mega event. A beautifully drawn (by Phil Jimenez) mini with a then-unproven writer in Geoff Johns at the helm, this was a Crisis that actually managed to create a sense that this really was a major catastrophe within the DCU. Sure it had it's goofy moments but hey, in hindsight they aren't half as goofy as some of the events that followed it managed to get at times. Also, those four tie in miniseries'? Yeah, they're all awesome. Shadowpact is a blast, OMAC Project is Greg Rucka at his best, Villains United is the Dirty Dozen on steroids and Rann/Thanagar War is a colossal space-war saga drawn by Ivan Reis before he became one of the biggest names in comics. I. Must. Have. This.
Secret Warriors omnibus

Secret Warriors slid under the radar for the duration of it's run. I've read the whole thing and believe it to be one of the best single stories at Marvel in the last decade. Yes, it's 25 issues but this is essentially one long story. It's equal parts action, conspiracy, spy, mystery thriller with some wonderful art in the early issues and flashes of it in the later. The only downside to the series was the loss of Stefano Casseli after the initial arc. Lesser artists came aboard and though it's never an ugly book it loses a great deal of the visual flair that elevated the first six issues. Being a Jonathan Hickman series, it's densely plotted and cleverly constructed and, of course, loaded with big ideas. It also loosely ties into other Hickman books such as FF and SHIELD. The main reason to buy this is to have all the individual parts of the story in one convenient package. This will read beautifully when it's all bundled together.
Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War Absolute edition

There's only one reason I'm buying this in this format when I already own it in single issues and trade form... and that is seeing the art by Ivan Reis and Patrick Gleason in the oversized format. This is a ridiculously huge superhero story; in many ways every bit as big as Blackest Night since this is where many of the ideas and concepts that book would run with originated. Geoff Johns hit his stride on Green Lantern with this story and would maintain the level of quality apparent in his writing here for only a short while after it ended. Again, this is an artist showcase first and foremost for me and this book will probably become as much a coffee table book as a vital part of my comics collection.
So there you have it. Perhaps I can compile another one of these down the road and solely focus on smaller publishers but for now these are the books I most want to own right now. 2012 is going to break my wallet...

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