I generally only talk about the huge numbers of Batman books being published in any given month as if having a bunch of books featuring the same character is a bad thing, as the overlapping books compete with one another for a shrinking number of regular readers. But there’s a positive side as well! For example, no matter how long you like Batman’s ears to be, there’s a Bat-book for you!
This week, for example, you can choose between the modestly-eared Batman of artist Neal Adams and Steve Scott (available in Batman: Odyssey #4 and Batman Confidential #49, respectively), the long, horn-like ears of Bernie Wrightson (in Batman: Hidden Treasures) and the exaggeratedly elongated ears of Kelley Jones (Batman: Unseen).
For more on those last two books, and other interesting releases for the week, read on!
Batman: Hidden Treasures #1: I love the title of this comic book, as it sounds nothing like the title of a Batman comic book (Er, I mean the sub-title; obviously “Batman:” sounds exactly like the title of a Batman comic book). “Hidden Treasures” sounds more like the name of a lingerie store or a type of indulgent chocolate candy or maybe even a self-help book than a Batman comic book. Will the contents live-up to the connotations? Considering that it’s a quote-unquote lost Bernie Wrightson story of nothing but splash pages or illustrations (featuring a script by Ron Marz and inks by Kevin Nowlan), paired with a reprint of a 1972 Len Wein and Wrightson issue of Swamp Thing probably not. It’s probably something much, much better. That adds up to 56 pages, give or take a bunch of ads, for $5.
Batman: Unseen: This is a 130-page, $15 collection of last year’s “scarifying” five-issue miniseries pitting Batman against an H.G. Wells-style Invisible Man (Don’t look at me; they used the word scarifying!). But it’s the creative team that sells this more than the concept—the reunited ’90s Batman creative team of writer Dough Moench and Kelley Jones. Jones’ art is, of course, something of an acquired taste, but I’m an unabashed fan of the man’s work, and consider him one of the least boring superhero artists of all time. This story is a pretty good example of what’s so un-boring about his artwork, with continual, innovative ways to illustrate invisible or only semi-visible men throughout.
Blondie Vol. 1: If you only know Blondie from the last few decades’ worth of domestic comedy rehashing running gags, the content and look of creator Chic Young’s earliest strips can be downright shocking. This 280-page, $50 collection starts with Young’s very first 1930 strip and collects the next three years’ worth, chronicling the courtship of flapper Blondie Boopadoop by weird-haired Dagwood Bumstead. It’s published by IDW, who will also have the 300-page, $50 Bloom County: The Complete Library Vol. 2 available this week.
CBLDF Liberty Annual 2010: This year’s 48-page, $5 special benefiting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund stars The Boys, Milk & Cheese, Conan and Boilerplate, and features contributions from an all-star line-up including, but not limited to, Frank Miller, Geoff Johns, Garth Ennis, Dave Gibbons, Jeff Smith, Paul Pope, Darick Robertson, Larry Marder, Terry Moore, Rob Liefeld and Jill Thompson. There’s a five-page preview available here.