Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reprint This! Update on Grant Morrison's "The Flash"

About twelve years back, one of my favorite comics writers, Grant Morrison, co-wrote a memorable nine-issue run of DC Comics' The Flash in conjunction with his then-partner, Mark Millar. It was an exciting, engaging run of very good comics, and DC has finally put it back in print. And they've bumbled it completely.

DC decided to to reprint the nine issues across two trade paperbacks, padding out the second with a three-parter that Millar wrote himself. So if you, dear reader, would like to read all of Morrison's nine comics, you have to buy two books. Worse, there's still a fair chunk of story missing. Morrison's run comprises a pair of three-part adventures, with three "one-shots" between them. The last of these "one-shots," however, is actually the last part of a three-episode crossover with the other DC titles Green Arrow and Green Lantern. DC's collection doesn't contain any backstory or recap of what happened in those comics; you'll have to scour the back issue bins to find them.

So, to recap: a proper Morrison Flash reprint should have contained eleven issues. These would be the nine that he co-wrote and the two crossover issues. Instead, DC reprinted twelve issues: the nine Morrison wrote and what is to my mind an unrelated three-parter, and they did it in two books when it could have fit in one. What a shambles; you'd do well to avoid these collections until somebody at DC gets their head screwed on right and does it correctly.

Read more about what I've written about Grant Morrison at A Journal of Zarjaz Things

I have not seen any substantive reviews of this book. If you see any or have written any, drop me a line and I will list them here.

In other reprinting news, the good folk at Down the Tubes have mentioned some interesting news from English publishers Reynolds & Hearn: A little later this month, they're releasing a pair of paperback collections which compile a random assortment of strips based on old Gerry Anderson properties, including some of the Thunderbirds material I've mentioned once before in this feature. Other series in the books include Fireball XL-5, Lady Penelope and Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons, along with Zero-X, which Wikipedia tells me was a spacecraft which crosses between the continuity of a couple of these Supermarionation shows.

The comics feature work from the likes of Frank Bellamy, Mike Noble and Ron Embleton, and originally appeared in the anthology TV21. Amazon ordering links: volume one and volume two.

Back in October, I mentioned that Fantagraphics has a complete collection of Sam's Strip by Mort Walker and Jerry Dumas due out soon. This arrived in most comic shops last week, or you can order the $22.99 softcover from the publisher now. Chad Nevett reviewed the book last month for Comic Book Resources.

Finally this month, IDW announced at February's WonderCon that they'll be bringing out a complete edition of Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer. There will be a standard hardcover and an oversized deluxe edition with several pages of previously unpublished drawings, both of which will contain all of the original episodes, and they're due out in October. Editor Scott Dunbier and new colorist Laura Martin talked about the project at Comic Book Resources.

See you next month! Thanks for reading!

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