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Paul McNamee "Rambleast Reviews" (North Ireland)
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Preacher Book 3
Preacher Book 3
by DILLON STEVE Garth Ennis
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ***2014 Printing Review***, 19 Jan 2013
This review is from: Preacher Book 3 (Paperback)
There may be some confusion about the contents of the various editions of Preacher available, and this review is intended to address it. Preacher: Book Three is a paperback volume collecting issues 27-33 of the series and the one-shots Saint Of Killers and Cassidy - Blood and Whiskey, from 1996-1998. The six-volume series of reprints should not be confused with the existing nine-volume series, each of which is subtitled. For example, this book collects half of Volume 4: Ancient History (the other half is in the fourth volume) and all of Volume 5: Dixie Fried. For every two of the new volumes, three of the old volumes' contents are covered, so if you're mixing and matching you'll need to be aware of that. These editions contain new introductions written specifically for these editions (Book Three's is by Garth Ennis), but do not reprint the old introductions used for the first printings of the paperbacks. I'll have reviews up for all six volumes just to make sure everyone's clear on what they might be buying.

The first half of this volume is taken up by spin-off books Saint Of Killers and Cassidy - Blood And Whiskey, and is one of the strongest volumes for it. Saint Of Killers is a four-issue series covering, as you'd rightly guess, the titular gunslinger's origins in the old west. While at first it seems like any old tale about a reformed cowboy atoning for his bad old days with a wife and child and suffrin' a wrongdoin', by the time he gets to hell and shoots the devil you know you're in Ennis territory. The dialogue is something of a departure from the main Preacher series and no less satisfying. Art for the series is by Steve Pugh (currently doing solid work on DC's Animal Man), whose linework is a lot busier than Dillon's but in the context of a one-off story works perfectly. The Cassidy issue is less worthy, given that it doesn't tell us a great deal more about him other than how he'd deal with a poncy cult of wanna-vampire-bes. Still, it's great fun and a worthwhile effort. The remaining issues pay off on those five, with said cult returning to give our terrific trio some grief and with more questions raised about Saint Of Killers' family, whose deaths might not have been as innocent as once thought. Ennis throws a real wrench in the workings of the Jesse/ Tulip/ Cassidy friendship that makes their journey seem a little less wholesome but makes for arguably the best ending to a comic series I can remember by the time the sixth book finishes. All in, another great collection of issues, and a decided improvement on the second volume.

Like I mentioned above, this edition has a new introduction by Ennis, in which he discusses a bar he used to frequent in New York which appears in the book. There's also a gallery at the back containing seven pages of Glenn Fabry's art for the original printings of the paperback collections and other promotional work.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


(Preacher, Book Three) By Ennis, Garth (Author) Hardcover on 21-Dec-2010
(Preacher, Book Three) By Ennis, Garth (Author) Hardcover on 21-Dec-2010
by Garth Ennis
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Preacher: Book Three, 19 Jan 2013
There may be some confusion about the contents of the various editions of Preacher available, and this review is intended to address it. Preacher: Book Three is a hardcover volume collecting issues 27-33 of the series and the one-shots Saint Of Killers and Cassidy - Blood and Whiskey, from 1996-1998. The six-volume hardcover series of reprints should not be confused with the existing series of nine paperback editions, each of which is subtitled. For example, this book collects half of Volume 4: Ancient History (the other half is in the fourth hardcover) and all of Volume 5: Dixie Fried. For every two hardcover volumes, three of the paperbacks' contents are covered, so if you're mixing and matching you'll need to be aware of that. The hardcover books contain new introductions written specifically for these editions (Book Three's is by Garth Ennis), but do not reprint the old introductions used for the first printings of the paperbacks. I'll have reviews up for all six volumes just to make sure everyone's clear on what they might be buying.

The first half of this volume is taken up by spin-off books Saint Of Killers and Cassidy - Blood And Whiskey, and is one of the strongest volumes for it. Saint Of Killers is a four-issue series covering, as you'd rightly guess, the titular gunslinger's origins in the old west. While at first it seems like any old tale about a reformed cowboy atoning for his bad old days with a wife and child and suffrin' a wrongdoin', by the time he gets to hell and shoots the devil you know you're in Ennis territory. The dialogue is something of a departure from the main Preacher series and no less satisfying. Art for the series is by Steve Pugh (currently doing solid work on DC's Animal Man), whose linework is a lot busier than Dillon's but in the context of a one-off story works perfectly. The Cassidy issue is less worthy, given that it doesn't tell us a great deal more about him other than how he'd deal with a poncy cult of wanna-vampire-bes. Still, it's great fun and a worthwhile effort. The remaining issues pay off on those five, with said cult returning to give our terrific trio some grief and with more questions raised about Saint Of Killers' family, whose deaths might not have been as innocent as once thought. Ennis throws a real wrench in the workings of the Jesse/ Tulip/ Cassidy friendship that makes their journey seem a little less wholesome but makes for arguably the best ending to a comic series I can remember by the time the sixth book finishes. All in, another great collection of issues, and a decided improvement on the second volume.

Like I mentioned above, this edition has a new introduction by Ennis, in which he discusses a bar he used to frequent in New York which appears in the book. There's also a gallery at the back containing seven pages of Glenn Fabry's art for the original printings of the paperback collections and other promotional work. The dustjacket is a nice matte finish of the pictured artwork, and its spine is perfectly synchronous with the other five volumes in the series. The book's cover underneath is a subtle black with gold lettering. The binding is sewn but at south of 350 pages that's not really a problem. Lastly, this book is not oversized like some of DC's other Deluxe hardcovers - it is only just taller than a regular TPB. Regardless, these books are absolutely gorgeous, and both the nicest format for this classic series so far released and the closest thing to a definitive presentation we're ever likely to get. Though Amazon's prices are particularly crazy on some of the volumes, I've seen many copies in high street stores so it may be worth looking around for whichever volumes are out of print. The listing you're reading this for had the book priced at around 30 when I wrote it, but you can find copies for around half that (HERE), which is Amazon's other listing for it.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


Preacher Deluxe : (Vol. 2)
Preacher Deluxe : (Vol. 2)
by Garth Ennis
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Preacher: Book Two (and where to find a copy), 19 Jan 2013
There may be some confusion about the contents of the various editions of Preacher available, and this review is intended to address it. Preacher: Book Two is a hardcover volume collecting issues 13-26 of the series, from 1996-1997. The six-volume hardcover series of reprints should not be confused with the existing series of nine paperback editions, each of which is subtitled. For example, this book collects the second half of the paperback Volume 2: Until The End Of The World and all of Volume 3: Proud Americans. For every two hardcover volumes, three of the paperbacks' contents are covered, so if you're mixing and matching you'll need to be aware of that. The hardcover books contain new introductions written specifically for these editions (Book Two's is by Stuart Moore), but do not reprint the old introductions used for the first printings of the paperbacks. I'll have reviews up for all six volumes just to make sure everyone's clear on what they might be buying.

Though some might disagree, I don't think the second volume is as strong as the first. It was probably around this time that Ennis and Dillon realised they had a hit on their hands, and most of what's contained in this book seems at times like an effort to push the limits of taste and decency. Sample characters include Jesus DeSade, the decadent host of a party that makes the shenanigans of Eyes Wide Shut look like a christening, and the regurgitating blimp-like head of The Grail, D'Aronique, by all accounts a rather nasty fellow and father to an inbred son who happens to be the direct descendant of Christ. Elsewhere, characters are raped, crushed, shot to pieces and not generally well looked after, with Jesse, Cassidy and Tulip all the while struggling to fit in to it somewhere. It's still a riveting thriller and a laugh-a-minute comedy, and with a great rescue subplot and immaculate pacing thrown in to boot, but I'd be slightly less likely to recommend this one to friends unless I knew for a fact they enjoyed the first volume. Let's just say it helps to embrace the juvenile, because Ennis tortures his poor characters to no end. Having said that, if you feel someone's in need of some comeuppance, they'll get it, and just when things were looking bleak he'll drop the Saint Of Killers in there to liven an already enlivened broth. Broth? I'm going to go with broth. Cassidy's Irish origins and first trip to New York are covered in a brilliant two-parter and as always, the series is carried by the friendship between its three leads (and now too by the oddly compelling Herr Starr), though that's to be challenged somewhat in the next book.

Like I mentioned above, this edition has a new introduction Stuart Moore, who discusses editing the first 12 issues (collected in the first volume). The dustjacket is a nice matte finish of the pictured artwork, and its spine is perfectly synchronous with the other five volumes in the series. The book's cover underneath is a subtle black with gold lettering. The binding is sewn but at just north of 350 pages that's not really a problem. Lastly, this book is not oversized like some of DC's other Deluxe hardcovers - it is only just taller than a regular TPB. Regardless, these books are absolutely gorgeous, and both the nicest format for this classic series so far released and the closest thing to a definitive presentation we're ever likely to get. Though Amazon's prices are particularly crazy on some of the volumes, I've seen many copies in high street stores so it may be worth looking around for whichever volumes are out of print. If you're looking for this one, Amazon has two links for it, and the other one (HERE) is harder to find but has the links to buy it.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


Preacher HC Book 02
Preacher HC Book 02
by Steve Dillon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 29.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Preacher: Book Two, 19 Jan 2013
This review is from: Preacher HC Book 02 (Hardcover)
There may be some confusion about the contents of the various editions of Preacher available, and this review is intended to address it. Preacher: Book Two is a hardcover volume collecting issues 13-26 of the series, from 1996-1997. The six-volume hardcover series of reprints should not be confused with the existing series of nine paperback editions, each of which is subtitled. For example, this book collects the second half of the paperback Volume 2: Until The End Of The World and all of Volume 3: Proud Americans. For every two hardcover volumes, three of the paperbacks' contents are covered, so if you're mixing and matching you'll need to be aware of that. The hardcover books contain new introductions written specifically for these editions (Book Two's is by Stuart Moore), but do not reprint the old introductions used for the first printings of the paperbacks. I'll have reviews up for all six volumes just to make sure everyone's clear on what they might be buying.

Though some might disagree, I don't think the second volume is as strong as the first. It was probably around this time that Ennis and Dillon realised they had a hit on their hands, and most of what's contained in this book seems at times like an effort to push the limits of taste and decency. Sample characters include Jesus DeSade, the decadent host of a party that makes the shenanigans of Eyes Wide Shut look like a christening, and the regurgitating blimp-like head of The Grail, D'Aronique, by all accounts a rather nasty fellow and father to an inbred son who happens to be the direct descendant of Christ. Elsewhere, characters are raped, crushed, shot to pieces and not generally well looked after, with Jesse, Cassidy and Tulip all the while struggling to fit in to it somewhere. It's still a riveting thriller and a laugh-a-minute comedy, and with a great rescue subplot and immaculate pacing thrown in to boot, but I'd be slightly less likely to recommend this one to friends unless I knew for a fact they enjoyed the first volume. Let's just say it helps to embrace the juvenile, because Ennis tortures his poor characters to no end. Having said that, if you feel someone's in need of some comeuppance, they'll get it, and just when things were looking bleak he'll drop the Saint Of Killers in there to liven an already enlivened broth. Broth? I'm going to go with broth. Cassidy's Irish origins and first trip to New York are covered in a brilliant two-parter and as always, the series is carried by the friendship between its three leads (and now too by the oddly compelling Herr Starr), though that's to be challenged somewhat in the next book.

Like I mentioned above, this edition has a new introduction Stuart Moore, who discusses editing the first 12 issues (collected in the first volume). The dustjacket is a nice matte finish of the pictured artwork, and its spine is perfectly synchronous with the other five volumes in the series. The book's cover underneath is a subtle black with gold lettering. The binding is sewn but at just north of 350 pages that's not really a problem. Lastly, this book is not oversized like some of DC's other Deluxe hardcovers - it is only just taller than a regular TPB. Regardless, these books are absolutely gorgeous, and both the nicest format for this classic series so far released and the closest thing to a definitive presentation we're ever likely to get. Though Amazon's prices are particularly crazy on some of the volumes, I've seen many copies in high street stores so it may be worth looking around for whichever volumes are out of print.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


Thor by Kieron Gillen Ultimate Collection
Thor by Kieron Gillen Ultimate Collection
by Kieron Gillen
Edition: Paperback
Price: 23.39

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another piece of the puzzle, 17 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Thor: Ultimate Collection by Kieron Gillen collects issues #604-614 of Thor, as well as Siege: Loki and New Mutants #11 from 2009-2010. It works best either as a sequel to J. Michael Straczynski's run (collected as Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3 or in one volume as an Omnibus) whose unfinished story it neatly concludes, or as a companion piece to Siege, whose events directly influence it to the point where this book is hard to follow without having read it beforehand, with only a few pages of dialogue-free recap images serving to summarize its plot. Simply put, as a book on its own merit, this cannot stand.

That's not to say it is without merit, however. The first arc (collected standalone as Latverian Prometheus) is the aforementioned conclusion to JMS' last story and pays off nicely the various plot points he set up: how long can a god survive without a heart?; how long shall Thor remain in exile from the Asgard he founded himself? I would maybe go as far to suggest simply reading that book instead of this if you just want the follow-up from JMS' books, because the rest of this Ultimate Collection is a bit of a mess. It's unfair to present these stories outside of context, but that's exactly what Marvel's done: the middle third of the book (originally released as Siege: Thor) drops you right in the middle of a much larger story without so much as a single piece of text explaining what's going on. Without shelling out for another book, well, see if you can figure it out. The final issues, from (Thor: Siege Aftermath), are readable on their own terms but are quite frankly boring, covering an expedition into hell (our hell, not the Norse variety) to sort out some trickery on the part of various devils and gods and one of the New Mutants and a lot of hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo and other phrases consisting of rhyming words. It's all very red and shouty and not terribly interesting.

Gillen's writing is fine but rarely exciting. His best work in this volume is wrapping up Straczynski's leftovers. Art is passable too, but nothing to write home about. In summary? Buy Latverian Prometheus if you're itching for closure, but if you're just itching for Thor, Marvel's not made it easy for you to like this book.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


THOR BY MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI OMNIBUS HC DM VAR ED
THOR BY MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI OMNIBUS HC DM VAR ED

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thor as he should be, 16 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Thor by J. Michael Straczynski is a curious Marvel Omnibus, collecting Fantastic Four #536-537, Thor #1-12 and #600-603 (after reverting back to the original numbering in anticipation of that milestone) and Thor Giant-Size Finale from 2007-2009. I say curious because relatively speaking it's a slender volume - Marvel has published larger books that didn't merit the Omnibus title. Stranger still is that, in preserving the integrity of that "by J. Michael Straczynski" title, the issues collected present an incomplete story. It's a comprehensive collection of his Thor work, then, if not a comprehensive collection for the character.

What a collection of an author's work it is, though. JMS brings Thor back from the dead with a conceit that suits the character so well it's beyond the rote criticism that comic book characters don't stay dead for long: it couldn't have gone any other way. Thor soon after sets about resurrecting, as is his godly ambition, much about what he knew before Ragnarok - the Norse apocalypse - took it from him. Considering that these characters are legends, both in their creation by Marvel in the 60's and since long before that, there's really nothing in this book that doesn't make sense. JMS deserves some of the barbs thrown his way for what he was peddling by the end of his Spider-Man run, but he doesn't put a foot wrong here and should be commended, in fact, for leaving the book so abruptly precisely because he wanted no part of the then-upcoming Seige storyline Marvel had waiting in the wings. Talk about the redemption of artistic integrity!

Certain elements from these issues found their way into Kenneth Branagh's excellent Thor movie from a few summers back, which goes to show how for the most part this book is new-reader-friendly - Asgard is born anew, and characters are reintroduced for the benefit of those hopping on the reboot to such an extent that the ultimate challenge - bringing the comicbook mythos to the silver screen - owes much to this run, as well as to the original stories. JMS writes the characters as they should be written, without imposing a sense of overbearing authorship: simply put, they sound like they should sound, and don't do things they wouldn't do. It's a perfect balance of reverence and exploration.

Art is mostly from Olivier Coipel, whose Thor is a square-jawed powerhouse in mail and a cape and whose figure work and composition is a real treat. A few issues are handled by Marko Djurdjevic, who works with a scratchier and more distinctly 'comic book' style, though the pair compliment each other rather than clashing. Of course, given the oversized hardcover treatment, both benefit from the increase in space afforded to their work. There are more than just a few fanboy freakout moments contained in these pages, and more often that not I was reading with a grin spread from ear to ear.

The Omnibus is as ever a thing of beauty, with a black cover with silver printing housing a gloss-paged sewn binding, which opens flat from front to back and is never uncomfortable to read. Extras take the form of artwork only, with relevant variant covers and sketches reproduced, as well as a thumbnail gallery of the first 500 issues' covers.

If you can find a copy, it's a great book to have and certainly the nicest format to have these issues in. The story is collected in Thor by Kieron Gillen Ultimate Collection, which contains issues #604-614 and others that are related, directly picking up where this book ends. Well worth hunting down for your first Thor read: I've linked to alternatives below for those who'd like a cheaper option for the same material

______________________

Omnibus Essentials:

PAGE COUNT - 520
BINDING - Sewn
ISSUES COLLECTED - 19: Fantastic Four #536-537, Thor #1-12 and #600-603 and and Thor Giant-Size Finale
CREATIVE TEAM - J. Michael Straczynski (w) and Olivier Coipel (a) with Marko Djurdjevic (a)
OTHER BOOKS COLLECTED - These issues were printed separately in three volumes, both in paperback and hardback. I'll link to the TPBs, which themselves link to the HCs - Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3
EXTRA CONTENT - 32 pages of variant covers, sketched artwork and 500 issues' worth of Thor covers on four pages

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


D'Addario Planet Waves Acoustic Guitar Accessories Pro Pack
D'Addario Planet Waves Acoustic Guitar Accessories Pro Pack

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive but expensive, 13 Jan 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like I said above, there's not much you'd need in a starter pack that you won't find in here (and even at that, it's marketed at pros rather than beginners) but it seems that 74 is a little pricey. There's no denying that a set including a strap, lead, tuner, capo and strings is a handy done-in-one for anyone who needs some gear for their acoustic guitar, but if you only need one or some of those components this is not for you. Having said that, each of the items contained within is of pretty high quality. I guess all I can do is leave it to you to judge. For me, it wouldn't be worth it, though my guitar-playing brother seems to think it's pretty decent value.


Spawn Origins Book 6
Spawn Origins Book 6
by Todd McFarlane
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 19.27

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A chore (but such handsome presentation), 9 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Spawn Origins Book 6 (Hardcover)
I'll speak a little about the stories in the issue first, though for many of you I imagine you're looking to Amazon to see whether it's worth upgrading your singles or trades to this hardcover edition. If that's what you're after head straight for the last two paragraphs. This edition collects issues #63-75 and in case this review ends up on the page for the paperback edition, that is not what's being reviewed.

This sixth volume takes the series in a new, episodic direction of self-contained horror stories towards its end, which is continued through the seventh book. It opens with a multi-part story in which Spawn's costume malfunctions and he's killed, and then revived, while The Freak instigates gang warfare in Rat City. There's also a recap issue that covers the series' history to date from round about the time the movie was released (incorporating the changes to continuity that the film featured). All in all, it's not a great volume. Spawn is best read in smaller chunks, as the endless machinations of Sam and Twitch, Cogliostro, Jason Wynn and how nothing EVER changes for them really begins to grate after a day's reading. Not the best, but it does pick up again. Art is spectacular as ever, but cannot carry the stories this time around.

If you're curious about this edition in particular, it's the same size as Marvel's oversized line (such as their Omnibus series). The artwork is printed on the book which doesn't come with a dust jacket and features a matte white with the image of Spawn battling Clown in gloss. The book has a sewn binding, though it's glued to the spine so it can't be laid flat. In terms of extras, there's snippets from interviews with Todd that act as a foreward and afterward as well as being interspersed between issues, and about 30 pages of extras which comprise original pencilled and inked pages, older trade covers and the Capullo covers for the two paperback Origins Collections. The spine for this volume is perfectly synchronous with those of the preceding and following books with only the numbering and the colour of the skull and text changed: for this collection, it is in blue.

All in all, it's a beautiful book and to date the nicest mass-produced version of these mid-run stories. The Spawn Collection books that were in publication a few years ago were better value in that they contained twenty issues apiece and cost less, but these volumes are gorgeous, uniform and for the first time for Spawn collections, tastefully executed. Well worth the upgrade or for a first time buy. This is a better volume than the last and it gets better still from here onwards, so it's worth having on merit as well as for a complete set or just to look at.

ALTERNATIVES
____________

You can also get these stories in two smaller paperbacks with the same trade dress - Spawn Origins Volume 11 and Spawn Origins Volume 12. Issues #55-75 are available in an older an much thicker collection in Spawn Collection Volume 4, which has come down in price considerably since these newer white editions hit the racks.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


Spawn Origins Book 5
Spawn Origins Book 5
by Todd McFarlane
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Moving things along, 9 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Spawn Origins Book 5 (Hardcover)
I'll speak a little about the stories in the issue first, though for many of you I imagine you're looking to Amazon to see whether it's worth upgrading your singles or trades to this hardcover edition. If that's what you're after head straight for the last two paragraphs. This edition collects issues #51-62 and in case this review ends up on the page for the paperback edition, that is not what's being reviewed.

The issues in this volume continue to take the series in a relatively interesting direction but there's still a lot of stalling. Spawn's biggest problem was always that just when you thought Todd was about to make progress, he'd spend another issue detailing Al's confusion, sitting about in the alleys being lectured by Cogliostro. While there's an element of that in this collection, there's enough progress to raise hopes for the next collection (which is teased with a last-page cliffhanger that's certain to entice those on the fence). Elsewhere, the Cy-Gor buildup from the previous volume resolves in a single-issue showdown whose consequences seem to be forgotten about by the time the book ends, but not before Spawn has a chance to get back from hell with a brand new face. He also has run-ins with Angela and Savage Dragon while forming an uneasy alliance with Terry, who's now aware his dead best friend's come back to life. Like I'll say about pretty much every volume, the scripts are a chore but the cheese is endearing and the artwork is phenomenal. If you've enjoyed any of the other volumes you'll enjoy this.

If you're curious about this edition in particular, it's the same size as Marvel's oversized line (such as their Omnibus series). The artwork is printed on the book which doesn't come with a dust jacket and features a matte white with the image of Spawn battling Clown in gloss. The book has a sewn binding, though it's glued to the spine so it can't be laid flat. In terms of extras, there's snippets from interviews with Todd that act as a foreward and afterward as well as being interspersed between issues, and about 30 pages of extras which comprise original pencilled and inked pages, older trade covers and the Capullo covers for the two paperback Origins Collections. The spine for this volume is perfectly synchronous with those of the preceding and following books with only the numbering and the colour of the skull and text changed: for this collection, it is in yellow.

All in all, it's a beautiful book and to date the nicest mass-produced version of these mid-run stories. The Spawn Collection books that were in publication a few years ago were better value in that they contained twenty issues apiece and cost less, but these volumes are gorgeous, uniform and for the first time for Spawn collections, tastefully executed. Well worth the upgrade or for a first time buy. This is a better volume than the last and it gets better still from here onwards, so it's worth having on merit as well as for a complete set or just to look at.

ALTERNATIVES
____________

You can also get these stories in two smaller paperbacks with the same trade dress - Spawn Origins Volume 9 and Spawn Origins Volume 10. Issues #34-#54 are available in an older and much thicker edition as Spawn Collection Volume 3 and #55-75 are in Spawn Collection Volume 4, both of which have come down in price considerably since these newer white editions hit the racks.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


Spawn Origins Book 4 (Spawn Origins Collections)
Spawn Origins Book 4 (Spawn Origins Collections)
by Alan Moore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 18.93

4.0 out of 5 stars Spawn recovers just in time for the big five oh, 9 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll speak a little about the stories in the issue first, though for many of you I imagine you're looking to Amazon to see whether it's worth upgrading your singles or trades to this hardcover edition. If that's what you're after head straight for the last two paragraphs. This edition collects issues #38-50 and in case this review ends up on the page for the paperback edition, that is not what's being reviewed.

This book collects better stories than the previous volume and more importantly actually moves forward with the overall Spawn mythos. Terry finally realises that the titular terror is in fact his erstwhile buddy, Spawn heads back to hell after an atypical act of altruism and there are developments with Al's ever-changing costume. On the conflict front, Spawn is confronted by reject angel Tiffany, tangles once more (and ends up being dissected by) The Curse and teams up with Tremor to take on the underworld. The highlights of the book for me, though, are issues #39 and #42. #39 is the Christmas issue, in which an impossibly cute child enjoys a yuletide miracle as a byproduct of Spawn's actions in a story executed with maximum schmaltz that's sure to warm the heart of all but the Grinchiest Spawn readers, while #42 treads similar ground as Spawn briefly befriends and mentors a young comics fan in the heartland of America while making his way cross-country (again) after some serious debilitation. Todd's writing is as much a labour to read as ever, but Spawn's afforded a cool line here and there and besides, there's no point in frontin', we buy these books for the artwork and Capullo, McFarlane and newcomer Tony Daniel's work, as ever beautifully coloured, is a wonder unto itself. On that front, at least, it just gets better and better.

If you're curious about this edition in particular, it's the same size as Marvel's oversized line (such as their Omnibus series). The artwork is printed on the book which doesn't come with a dust jacket and features a matte white with the image of Spawn battling Cy-Gor in gloss. The book has a sewn binding, though it's glued to the spine so it can't be laid flat. In terms of extras, there's snippets from interviews with Todd that act as a foreward and afterward as well as being interspersed between issues, and about 30 pages of extras which comprise original pencilled and inked pages, older trade covers and the Capullo covers for the two paperback Origins Collections. The spine for this volume is perfectly synchronous with those of the preceding and following books with only the numbering and the colour of the skull and text changed: for this collection, it is in purple.

All in all, it's a beautiful book and to date the nicest mass-produced version of these earlier stories. The Spawn Collection books that were in publication a few years ago were better value in that they contained twenty issues apiece and cost less, but these volumes are gorgeous, uniform and for the first time for Spawn collections, tastefully executed. Well worth the upgrade or for a first time buy. This is a better volume than the last and it gets better still from here onwards, so it's worth having on merit as well as for a complete set or just to look at.

ALTERNATIVES
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You can also get these stories in two smaller paperbacks with the same trade dress - Spawn Origins Volume 7 and Spawn Origins Volume 8 - and issues #34-#54 are available in an older and much thicker edition as Spawn Collection Volume Volume 3, which has come down in price considerably since these newer white editions hit the racks.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


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