Here's hoping that you guys are ready to read about Tony Stark this week, as an incredible amount of Marvel Comics' output has some kind of role for the soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture Iron Man. In comparison, DC only have three Batman-related books out, showing once again how willing they are to lose their market share in this competitive, movie-led environment. Will they never learn?
More interestingly, DC are also releasing the collected edition of Faker, which deals with that college-age dilemma that we've all gone through at one point or another: "What if one of my friends isn't actually real, but instead a physical manifestation of the collective subconsciousness of my social circle?" Written by Lucifer's Mike Carey with lovely scratchy art by The Losers' and Judge Dredd's Jock, consider it the pick of a crop of DC trade paperbacks that also include the highly enjoyable second volume of 1950s sci-fi tales known as Showcase Presents: The Legion of Super-Heroes, future dystopian superhero hijinks in Wildstorm: Armageddon and Robin Hood-inspired archery in Green Arrow: Year One.
(If you're not picking up the expensive books tomorrow but have a hankering for some alternate world superheroics, DC/Wildstorm: Dream War #1 takes the superheroes-fighting-each-other trope and adds in a boost of "dream logic," which will be coming to a Jamba Juice near you soon.)
For those of you who are looking for some Iron Man action, Robert Downey Jr.'s latest meal-ticket can be found in no less than eight separate titles this week (and maybe more; is Shellhead still appearing in Avengers: The Initiative?). But the two that you really want to look for are Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #1 — which sees Iron Man fighting Doctor Doom for the title of "Biggest Asshole In Armor 2008" - and The Invincible Iron Man Omnibus, a 720-page hardcover collecting the first fifty-one stories of Tony Stark's career from the days when men were men, women were ornaments and communists were undermining life itself with their every breath.
As usual, it falls to other publishers to come up with the truly unmissable goods this week, and I'm not talking about the return of Captain Action — the 1960s action figure who could transform himself into various superheroes including Batman and the Lone Ranger — in Captain Action #0. (Although, really? It looks like fun.) I'm also not talking about Boom! Studios' new Lovecraft-inspired anthology, Cthulhu Tales. No, I'm talking about the much-delayed (by more than three years) American Flagg hardcover, reprinting Howard Chaykin's 1980s SF satire for an audience who have probably never read anything like it ever before — Brash, bold, sex-crazed (Well, it is Chaykin) and shot through with Reagan-era politics, Flagg is a great clash of old school, the origins of new school, and some crazy graphic design tricks that no-one else would dare do these days. It's 2032, and out-of-work TV host Reuben Flagg emigrates from Mars to Chicago, joining the Plexus Rangers, who enforce the law in the corrupt dystopian city. Highly recommended if you can come up with the $80 for the hardcover.
For everyone else, why not take a look at what else you could buy instead, and then find out where to buy it. Or, alternatively, rob a bank so that the American Flagg book could be yours after all. Your choice...