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    $16.47 $16.41 list($24.95)
    1. Flight Volume 2
    $11.56 $10.67 list($17.00)
    2. The Hard Goodbye (Sin City, Book
    $19.69 list($28.95)
    3. The Complete Peanuts 1955-1956
    $11.56 $10.90 list($17.00)
    4. A Dame to Kill For (Sin City,
    $12.92 $12.30 list($19.00)
    5. That Yellow Bastard (Sin City,
    $11.56 $10.92 list($17.00)
    6. The Big Fat Kill (Sin City, Book
    $19.79 list($29.99)
    7. X-Men: Complete Age Of Apocalypse
    $18.48 $18.16 list($28.00)
    8. Hell and Back (Sin City, Book
    $10.20 $9.55 list($15.00)
    9. Booze, Broads, & Bullets (Sin
    $9.60 $7.86 list($12.00)
    10. Family Values (Sin City, Book
    $13.59 $12.40 list($19.99)
    11. Batman: Year One Deluxe Edition
    $15.96 list($19.95)
    12. Superman/Batman: Supergirl - Volume
    $17.49 $15.89 list($24.99)
    13. Marvel 1602, Volume 1 (Marvel
    $13.57 $13.05 list($19.95)
    14. V for Vendetta
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    15. Star Wars: Visionaries (Star Wars
    $19.79 $18.00 list($29.99)
    16. Wanted
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    17. Black Widow: Homecoming
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    18. Watchmen
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    19. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
    $29.95 $8.00
    20. Dark Encounters (Star Wars: A

    1. Flight Volume 2
    by Becky Cloonan, Chris Appelhans, Clio Chiang, Michel Gagne
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1582404771
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-23)
    Publisher: Image Comics
    Sales Rank: 5674
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The second volume of the widely acclaimed Flight anthology. Featuring new stories by up-and-coming creators, established comics professionals, and the original crew, Flight Volume Two continues the tradition of celebrating the graphic narrative medium.From the fantasy of a fading childhood romance in a small seaside town to the tale of a pair of monster hunters looking to make a quick buck to the allegory of a young robot finding meaning in his disposal, this volume once again features stories for readers of all ages and tastes. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Collection
    Of the 33 stories in this book, I don't think there was one that I didn't like for one reason or another. I'm generally not a big fan of superhero comics or of those that try too hard to be dark and edgy, and this is a nice alternative. I got a strong impression that the creators of the comics in this book just had fun and really put themselves into their work. The art styles are quite varied and impressive. Some of the stories are funny, some emotional, and some just inspiring artistically. The stories range from one page to around 20.

    Although the book is large (and a great bargain at the Amazon price), it's a quick read. But this isn't a bad thing--I felt that I more than got my money's worth. I'll be looking for other work by some of these artists and ordering the first volume. I hope the Flight series continues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another Ground Breaking Anthology
    Kazu Kibuishi (editor, director, artist, and writer) has assembled some of the most talented artists and writers for this collection of stories and poems. Not sure why Amazon is crediting Becky Cloonan with this masterpiece since she only wrote one story for this volume (other than her being alphabetically first). The quality of the stories and the art is equally as great as Volume 1. Plus this volume has a lot more pages. Get this from Amazon while you can. I got a first printing!

    All of the stories are tied together with one common thread: Flight or Flying. My personal favorite story from this collection is "The Robot and the sparrow" by Jake Parker. Well written, well drawn, and even has some comic book stories you can read to the kids at night. =]

    It is hard to describe just how awesome this book is. You will leave this book with a good feeling and a smile on your face.

    5-0 out of 5 stars First class art work, a style for everyone.
    I was intrigued by the cover in the book store so I decided to pick it up. Wow, was I ever impressed. I used to be into comic books and art in general while in high school, but never in my wildest dreams would I have envisioned what the medium would become. Yes, I am getting old and no, I haven't been keeping up with comics. So, there may be better out there but not with so many different styles: One in pastel, one comp. generated, another in oils, and even a more traditional pen and ink section (all executed exquisitely).

    If you are interested in finding out what can be accomplished stylistically and artistically in the world of graphic novels look no further. I can't wait to find volume two.
    ... Read more

    2. The Hard Goodbye (Sin City, Book 1: Second Edition)
    by Frank Miller
    list price: $17.00
    our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593072937
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-09)
    Publisher: Dark Horse
    Sales Rank: 820
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Sin City launched the long-running, critically acclaimed series of comics novels by Frank Miller. Having worked on some of the most important comic books in the 1980s, including Marvel Comics's Daredevil and the influential Batman graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, Miller was already a heavy-weight cartoonist, but he hit his stride with Sin City. It gave him the freedom that doesn't come when working on someone else's characters. While the art isn't as polished as in later books, it is in many ways the quintessential Sin City story: tough-guy Marv finds the girl of his dreams, an incredible beauty named Goldie. But when Goldie is murdered on their first night together, Marv scours the bars and back alleys of Sin City to find her killer in hopes of avenging her death. ... Read more

    Reviews (65)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Really good novel
    This is a great graphic novel. The art is very good and unique however, it can look a little sloppy at times it's sill great. The story is very goodand the words are in the movie. Also the diologue and monologues are very natural and discriptive at the same time. If you don't like sex and violece avoid this at all cost. If you're into that sort of thing pick it but, it's a little short for 17 bucks but it's very good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great beggining to Sin City
    I have to say that as soon as I saw the trailer for Sin City on TV i became obssesed. After that it was sin city this sin city that. Although I haven't seen the movie yet, i cant till its on video. Anyways this is one of the best comic books/graphic novels I have ever read. Frank Miller's way of drawing in all black or white is amazing. The storyline definately keeps you wanting to know who Marv is killing next. The basic plot of the story is about a brute of a man by the name of Marv who falls in love with a hooker named Goldie after one night. He wakes up and finds her dead next to him, and spends the rest of the story fighting and killing his way to the culprit. Kevin is by far the most disturbing character ever made (a mute cannibal who cuts the heads of women and eats the rest of them). The comic book does have nudity and some violence in it and isn't appropriate for young kids who are used to stuff like spider man or x-men. this is definately a must read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Marv introduces you to the comic noir of Miller's "Sin City"
    In a note in the back of "The Hard Goodbye," Frank Miller explains that this one got away from him.What was supposed to be a 48-page crime thriller turned into a 200-page graphic novel, all because Marv, the story's brutal misanthropic protagonist, started bossing Miller around.If you have seen "Sin City" the movie where Mickey Rourke steals the film as Marv, then you can understand Miller's explanation.You will understand it even more when you read the graphic novel, the first volume in the Miller's comic noir saga.

    For me Frank Miller began the road that ends in "Sin City" with "Daredevil" #164, which retold the hero's origin.There is a series of panels in which Daredevil is chasing down the Fixer, the man who arranged the fight that Battling Murdock refused to throw.In each frame Daredevil gets closer to his quarry and cutting across the panels is a line representing the Fixer's heart beat, which goes from blind panic to full cardiac arrest before flatlining.It was at that point that I knew Miller was starting to think of what he could do with art in a comic book.After his work on "Daredevil" there was "Ronin" and "The Dark Knight Returns," and eventually Miller gets to Marv.

    There is no doubt that Marv is the walking path of destruction that dominates this narrative.He is extremely violent, deeply disturbed, and whatever medication he is taking is just not doing the job.Still, he is a sympathetic figure because pretty much everybody he is maiming and killing are the real scum of the earth and he is on a mission to avenge the death of Goldie, the beautiful blonde who gave him a toss in the hay.He falls asleep in bed with her, having one of those moments of true happiness that never bodes well, and wakes up with her dead and the cops on their way.Marv is being set up, but that is incidental in his mind to the fact somebody killed Goldie, so somebody has to pay along with everybody else who stands in his way.The grand irony here is Marv and his interior monologues are the voice of sanity by the time he finds the killer.

    The characters and the dialogue are easy to characterize as Mickey Spillane types on steroids.Then there is Miller's artwork as he explores what can done with just black and white on a page.The result is wildly experimental and sometimes you can a sense of how rough Miller's ideas are by the time he finishes a page.The first page of the story is more black than white, with Goldie's lips, the outline of her hair, the white skin exposed by the strapless gown and gloves etched out in seductive folds sets the tone for the artwork.The second page is the opposite with more white than black and offers a more conventional view of Marv and Goldie, and already you like the first page better.The third page offers a synthesis of the first two and it is like Miller is laying out the new ground rules.There are figures reduced to silhouettes except for hair or teeth (or bandages), and others reduced to white images against a field of black.Then we get to Marv standing in the rain in Chapter 8 and looking at the statue of Cardinal Roarke, at which point Miller is trying something completely different from the rest of the book.

    I have no doubt that if Miller was to do "The Hard Goodbye" today that there would be significant changes in the artwork that would provide a refinement of the raw energy displayed here.There are times when the justification for the artwork seems to clearly be that it is different from the pages Miller has just drawn as opposed to be the best way of illustrating that part of the narrative.But this is the first story in an ongoing series, so allowances can be made if Miller really did decide to do a page a certainly way for no other reason than he had not done one that way yet.After all, it is not like he was coming up with 200 different pages of artwork and by the time you get to Chapter 8, which I think is artistically far and away the best of the entire graphic novel, it is equally clear Miller knows exactly what he is doing and all of the pieces are falling into place.The joy of watching the art evolve in this story makes up for the rough patches.

    These stories were originally published in issues #51-62 of the Dark Horse comic book series "Dark Horses Presents" and in the "Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special."This second edition has come out with the rest of the extant "Sin City" collection in term to be gobbled up by fans of the movie version and those who come from the theater to the graphic novel will probably be surprised how faithful Robert Rodriguez was to Frank Miller's story and vision.Then again, that was the whole point of doing the film the way it was done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars High impact artwork
    "See the life through the eyes of an artist, and the art through the eyes of life."

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's not easy being green...
    ...or black and white for that matter. The good guys in this book are bad and the bad guys are just plain disgusting! A pill popping murderer(with a soft heart) battles a flesh eating priest and his misunderstood cannibal friend. It just doesn't get any darker than this.

    Besides the unnaturally sexy women (most of whom are prostitutes), there is nothing attractive about this world that Frank Miller has created. Yet still you will find yourself sucked in by that part of yourself that wants to slow down as you drive by an accident. ... Read more

    3. The Complete Peanuts 1955-1956
    by Charles M. Schulz, Matt Groening, Gary Groth
    list price: $28.95
    our price: $19.69
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1560976470
    Catlog: Book (2005-04)
    Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
    Sales Rank: 14361
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    Book Description

    The New York Times best-selling series continues!

    The third volume in our acclaimed series takes us into the mid-1950s as Linus learns to talk, Snoopy begins to explore his eccentricities (including his hilarious first series of impressions), Lucy's unrequited crush on Schroeder takes final shape, and Charlie Brown becomes...well, even more Charlie Brown-ish! Over half of the strips in this volume have never been printed since their original appearance in newspapers a half-century ago! Even the most dedicated Peanuts collector/fan is sure to find many new treasures. The Complete Peanuts will run 25 volumes, collecting two years chronologically at a rate of two a year for twelve years. Each volume is designed by the award-winning cartoonist Seth (It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken) and features impeccable production values; every single strip from Charles M. Schulz's 50-year American classic is reproduced better than ever before. This volume includes an introduction by Matt Groening (The Simpsons) as well as the popular Complete Peanuts index, a hit with librarians and collectors alike, and an epilogue by series editor Gary Groth. ... Read more

    4. A Dame to Kill For (Sin City, Book 2: Second Edition)
    by Frank Miller
    list price: $17.00
    our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593072945
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-02)
    Publisher: Dark Horse
    Sales Rank: 1036
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Because of a shocking ending to the first Sin City book, many people wondered how successful Frank Miller could be with future tales of his no-holds-barred city noir. Enter Dwight McCarthy, a clean-living photographer who tries to avoid trouble because he knows what he's capable of. His tactics don't do him much good when a girl from his past (who he can't say no to) shows up and professes her love for him. When he finds out she's in way over her head, it looks as though trouble has found him. What's going to happen? You guessed it: people get hurt. ... Read more

    Reviews (24)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sin city is so cool
    I really liked Marv in Book 1 and in the movie.Marv was my favorite movie story.I was really sad to see him die in the first book.

    But, this book is really cool, because it takes place about the same time as Book 1, chronologically, and Marv is in this story a lot.This story is the first story with Dwight in it, back before he got his facelift.

    I was also relieved that they didn't cherry pick the best story lines for Sin City 1, the movie.This story is every bit as well written as the other stories.

    There's a lot more nudity in this book than the first one, and the book is printed entirely in black and white.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Better have tough innards
    After the horrific ending in Sin City 1, I wasn't sure I could handle another in the series. Enter Sin City 2, "A Dame to Kill For," and photographer Dwight McCarthy. Not the coolest guy in the world, but, then I guess it fits the genre. His life is ugly and boring. He'd like to make some changes, but then Ava returns from his past. Sleazy Dwight falls hard, again, and the result is violent, sadistic and infatuating.

    Don't know how many of these I can take, but I am hooked on the visual, comic book imagery Miller creates. I'd definitely not recommend this book for teenagers (my 13-year-old is my sample) or for the faint-of-heart.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The story of how Dwight ended up with a new mug in Sin City
    "A Dame to Kill For," which is Book 2 in Frank Miller's "Sin City" series, is now going to be known as the only one of the first four books that was not part of the "Sin City" movie.Given the options it was a smart move because this one tells the story of what happened that made Dwight get a new mug and "The Big Fat Kill" is the better tale of the two if you are going to do one Dwight story and if you want to do a story in two parts "That Yellow Bastard" is a better choice as well.

    Dwight is reduced by circumstances, most notably an attempt to stay sober, to spying on men cheating on their wives with prostitutes so that he can take their photographs.What he desperately wants is one clear chance to wipe the slate clean and get his life together.Four years earlier Ava left Dwight for another man and he knows that seeing her again is nothing but bad news above the fold even without the banner headline.He should just kill her or at least walk away, but when she begs him for help none of the cold harsh realities of what she has done and what sort of woman she really is matters to Dwight.He is going to need all the help he can get to deal with Ava, because being sober is not making Dwight smart enough to avoid making one big mistake.

    In terms of the "Sin City" chronology, "A Dame to Kill For" comes before "The Hard Goodbye."We know because Marv is not only in the bar where Nancy is dancing as Dwight comes by for a visit, he helps his pal out when the hero of this story finds the man mountain named Manute to be insurmountable.This ends up working against this story in a couple of ways.You had to agree that it is hard to think of Marv as just a sidekick given how strong of a character that he is, and the fact that Dwight cannot handle Manute makes him a lesser hero.After all, it is Marv who labels Ava with the titular appellation.I knew that he was going to get his act together in the end, given what happens in the next book, but for most of this one Dwight is getting beat up, thrown through a window, and shot a whole bunch of times.Clearly Miller is making a point about the healing power of a burning desire for revenge

    Overall, the black & white artwork (or, I should say, white on black artwork) is less experimental in Book 2 and if anything looks like it was drawn with white ink on black paper rather than the other way around.For me the sequence that stands out is in Chapter 2 when Dwight heads to a bar to meet with Ava and all of the panels have smoke drifting through them, although some of Miller's panels where the blinds on the windows make for alternative parallel lines of light and darkness are interesting (there are others that are just overkill).For the most part Miller is laying out the story so that it looks more like a conventional comic book than Book 1, so there is not the sense of boldness from before.But then the story is less ambitious as Dwight comes across as just another guy who made the mistake of thinking with some other part of his anatomy besides what is between his ears.

    In 1995 "A Dame to Kill For" won Will Eisner's Best Limited Series Award so it is not like it is a book to skip.If you make it to Book 2 in the "Sin City" series you should be in for the long haul and more of those hot nights, dry and windless, that are the kind that make people do sweaty, secret things.

    4-0 out of 5 stars May not be the best in the series but is still very good
    I definately thought the hard goodbye was great, but a dame to kill for wasn't the best. The story is about a guy named Dwight who is trying to forget his past. Until he meets Ava again, she is an old girlfriend who left him for a richer man. This is where the story got a little too mushy. Dwight starts loving her again and starts trying to save her when she tells him her husbands abusive gaurd named Manute beats her and tortures her. You'll find Marv is also in this story because this story takes place before and during the hard goodbye. Although this book does have a very good twist to it i just wasn't interested in Dwight's love life. it is still a good book though.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love and death and grey all over...
    Sin City may be black ink on white paper, but it's nothing without the grey. The characters in this book are grey--all over.

    A Dame to Kill For is the story of Dwight. Dwight is a good guy with 2 bad habits--booze & broads. But he's sober now. He's taking great pictures of husbands doing nasty things to women who aren't their wives in order to make a living as a private-eye. Dwight is damaged, but on the mend--until Ava shows up. Then it all gets messy. Really messy.

    This is the 2nd tale of Sin City and about mid-way through the story Marv, the star of the first book, makes a guest appearance. This book stands completely on its own from book 1 (The Hard Goodbye). However, Marv's story in The Hard Goodbye begins to intertwine with Dwight's and Miller throws in a few cameos for those who read The Hard Goodbye.

    This is probably my favorite Sin City yarn. I love them all, but in my opinion creator Frank Miller found his stride in book 1 then ran with it in spades with this book.

    And for those folks delving into the world of Sin City because of the 2005 film, this book will be a special treat cuz it's the prequel to Dwight's story in The Big Fat Kill, in which Clive Owen, Michael Clarke Duncan & Rosario Dawson starred in the 2005 film.Do yourself a favor and throw down the cash for this book now. Trust me, $12 is peanuts for the all entertainment packed in these pages. ... Read more

    5. That Yellow Bastard (Sin City, Book 4: Second Edition)
    list price: $19.00
    our price: $12.92
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593072961
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-09)
    Publisher: Dark Horse
    Sales Rank: 1975
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    In a Sin City short story, "The Babe Wore Red," Frank Miller deviated from his stark black-and-white artwork by adding tiny bits of color throughout the story. The girl's dress was red, her lips were red--you get the picture. In That Yellow Bastard, the fourth Sin City graphic novel, Miller's experiment with yellow ink is also a tremendous success.The setup is simple. On the last day before he retires, Hartigan, an old cop, gets a call about an 11-year-old girl who has been kidnapped by a lunatic.Hartigan has got just one more thing to do before he retires: save the girl. Saving her is the easy part, because Hartigan has uncovered something really bad that is not going to stop until it catches up with him.That Yellow Bastard is nerve-racking to the very end. ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars THAT YELLOW BASTARD!
    The story starts with Hartigan, who is a 60 year old cop with a heart condition during his last day before his retirement. Not more than an hour before he's ready to leave he gets a call about an eleven year old girl whos been kidnapped. The girl is Nancy Callahan, the kidnapper is senator Roark's son. Hartigan risks his life to save her before she's raped and killed. When he shoots Junior and saves the girl all hell breaks lose. He is held captive by Junior's father and is beaten for eight years. And framed by senator roark for raping Nancy. Junior Roark undergoes a surgory because of Harigan shooting him. The surgeory ends up turning him all yellow. Hartigan gets out of captivity and uknowingly leads yellow bastard right to Nancy. This story will definately keep you reading all the way to the tragic ending. yellow bastard is by far the most disgusting character creating by Miller. He's a pervert child rapist who gets turned on by listening to women screaming in pain. This is definatetly innapropriate for younger kids, but if your older you'll love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic in its own right
    To be frank (ha ha), I haven't seen another Greek tragedy realized in the noir genre as well since "Taxi Driver". "That Yellow Bastard" just nails it, thanks to Frank Miller, who I consider not only a legend in the comics industry, but in the literary mainstream as well. He is a Grade-A knock-you-on-your-ass storyteller and artist, plain and simple. This is not an introspective tale, and it will not make you feel warm and good inside, but then again neither do all the other Sin City yarns. This is probably more tragic than "The Hard Goodbye" in an emotional aspect, because even though Marv was a tough-as-nails, morally-confused man, whom everybody wanted dead in the first place, Sin City beat Hartigan down harder in every which way. His life is torn to shreds when he fights a war against corruption that he couldn't win in the first place. In my eyes, the downward spiral for Hartigan is as enduring as "Hamlet" or say "Romeo and Juliet", since Hartigan has this unshakable bond with a girl he saved 8 years prior, but in the end, any chance of happiness he could share with Nancy Callahan ultimately falls apart and trust me, if the last three or so pages doesn't kick you in the gut, nothing else will. I sincerely hope that this will be remembered in the far future as a great piece of storytelling. Raymond Chandler and Sam Spade would be proud.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Sin City Book
    "That Yellow Bastard" is Miller's best work on the Sin City series."A Dame to Kill For" is a close second.The movie has helped to make these books more widely available.A year ago, this was a tough book to find.

    There are a bunch of Sin City books out there that are collections of short stories. I prefer the longer stories, so they feel more like a book than a comic. If you feel the same way, order the titles I mentioned above, and also pick up "The Big Fat Kill."

    "That Yellow Bastard" is represented in the movie with the Bruce Willis/Jessica Alba parts, mostly in the final third of the movie.

    I was riveted for the whole book, couldn't put it down.Buy it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars BOOM!
    This is the fourth graphic novel in Frank Miller's Sin City series.John Hartigan is one of the few honest cops in Sin City, and it's his last day on the job before he retires.He saves a little girl from a rapist/child killer, but the murderer has a big shot politician father.Hartigan's life goes to Hell afterwards, and that's all I will say about the plot.This is another awesome black and white "noir" comic by Miller (with yellow used to color "That Yellow Bastard").Just a great example of graphic storytelling.This is one of the stories being adapted in the upcoming Sin City motion picture.Here is a list of who plays the characters from this book:

    John Hartigan - Bruce Willis
    Nancy Callahan - Jessica Alba
    Junior - Nick Stahl
    Bob - Michael Madsen
    Lucille - Carla Gugino

    5-0 out of 5 stars "I take his weapons away from him...both of them"
    What makes Frank Miller tick?What drives one of the most renowned writers in comic history to write the kind of character driven, gritty and hard edged stories he is famous for?Who knows, but from his early work on Daredevil to his groundbreaking Dark Knight Returns story, the man has proven he is a master writer.His Sin City stories for Dark Horse are no exception, and That Yellow Bastard is without a doubt the best Sin City yarn Miller has ever penned.John Hartigan is an old cop on the verge of retirement, and on his last day on the job, he responds to a kidnapping call.What results is a showdown with a deranged psychopath in order to save a young girl named Nancy, but regular Sin City readers know that in this city, things don't always work out for the best.By the time That Yellow Bastard reaches it's climax, you'll be left in awe at one of the absolute greatest comics ever created.Miller's art is about what you might expect: unpleasent, gritty, and well suited to the story.Not to mention, you'll never look at the color yellow the same way again.That Yellow Bastard is devestatingly surreal and brutal at the same time, and if you've never read any of Miller's Sin City works, now has never been a better time to dive in, and with the upcoming movie coming out, you might want to check this out first. ... Read more

    6. The Big Fat Kill (Sin City, Book 3: Second Edition)
    list price: $17.00
    our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593072953
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-16)
    Publisher: Dark Horse
    Sales Rank: 2249
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    With The Big Fat Kill Frank Miller is at it again with another comics packed with guns, lovers, losers, and surprises. In Sin City's Old Town, the prostitutes run the show. "The cops stay out.That leaves the girls free to keep the pimps and the mob out." Sounds like an OK place, right? It is until a pushy, loud-mouthed guy who has had one too many drinks comes into Old Town and gets himself killed by the ladies. When they find out who he is, they realize that "it'll be war. The streets will run red with blood. Women's blood." ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Dwight story from the movie
    Frank Miller has done such an excellent job with each of his books.I'm reading all of the Sin City books, and I just finished this one.

    I'm totally amazed at how closely the movie follows the book, and yet there were subtle differences that make the movie better, and the book more interesting to read.For example, this book references a few things from earlier books, and those references didn't make it into the movie.

    The artwork in this is incredible.The story is incredible.

    This book, and the other two books have been entirely black and white, except for the pictures of the comic covers in the first few pages, which really doens't count.

    I recommend this book to everyone, except those who are turned off by blatant violence, nudity, and language.

    So far this is one of my favorite sin city books. The story starts off at Dwights girlfriend Shellie's house. Jackie Boy (who is Shellie's previous lover) is outside her door and wont leave her alone and insists he comes in. So he comes in drunk with some friends. Dwight is at her house and is waiting for Jack in the bathroom. Jack hits Shellie and Dwight roughs him up a little bit and scares them off. Jack and his friends drive off to old town with Dwight following them. The girls of old town then gruesomely kill jack and his friends. They then find out something about jack that makes them wish they never killed him. From then on it turns into a bloodbath of revenge and murder as Dwight and the girls do there best to keep all of sin city from crashing down on them. This is a very well written and illustrated story. But keep the young kids away.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Dwight has to help out the ladies of Old Town with a problem
    "The Big Fat Kill," Book 3 of Frank Miller's "Sin City" graphic novels once again focuses on the character of Dwight, who got himself a new face and a new attitude in the previous story, "A Dame to Kill For."The latter was the more important part, because Dwight did not come across as being anyway as interesting as Marv, the hero of the first "Sin City" story who is back to lend Dwight a helping hand in the second.Dwight is not exactly alone this time either, but he is certainly more capable of holding his own than previously.

    Dwight is spending some time with Shellie the waitress when Jackie Boy shows up with a mean drunk and four of his friends.The old Dwight would have had some problems with that situation, but our hero has definitely grown up.Getting Jackie Boy to leave Shellie alone should be the end of it, but Dwight is convinced that the night will not end until Jackie Boy hurts somebody and Dwight takes the responsibility for making sure that does not happen.But when Jackie Boy ends up to Old Town where the ladies ply their trade of prostitution and are the law, "beautiful and merciless," it looks like Dwight's help is not need at all.This, however, turns out to be the biggest mistake of the night and suddenly Dwight's services are most decidedly needed.

    It will seem strange to pick out this particular "Sin City" story and say it is a bit over the top, since obviously all of them are.The ending is certainly brutally efficient but at the cost of any notion of elegance, which is usually preferred in a comic noir story such as this.Miller is certainly not experimenting as much in terms of his artwork as he was in the first novel in the series, but the rough way in which Dwight and Jackie Boy's faces are drawn is not to my liking.The full-page panels in this one have Miller's best artwork.This includes Dwight introducing Jackie Boy to the toilet, Dwight jumping into his car, and some of the ladies of Old Town.Still, all things considered, this ends up being a second tier Miller story and Dwight is still a second tier hero, still well worth the reading but not as good as it gets in "Sin City."

    This trade paperback collects together the five issues of the original Dark Horse comic series, along with their covers (which actually introduce some color to Miller's artwork).In the back of the book you will find a Gallery of "Sin City" art contributed by the likes of Arthur Adams, Sergio Aragones, Joe Kumbert, Mike Mignola, John Romita, Walter Simonson, and some other artists who present their interpretations of Nancy Callahan, the ladies of Old Town, and other "Sin City" characters.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Big Fat Cool
    After getting this yesterday (...), I began to read with extremely high hopes. Those hopes were met. The action from the Sin City film was delivered.


    Five out of five.

    Nice art, good story, great dialogue, and a nice noir feeling to it. Recommended to fans of the flick, even though they're getting basically the same thing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Frank Miller hits his stride with this one
    "The Big Fat Kill" is a fantastic tale, told in a classic "noir" style with the modern touch of Frank Miller.

    My favorite character is a supporting one, Miho, a Crouching-Tiger-style martial arts expert.The main story is about Dwight and... well, I won't ruin the book by giving away the whole story.Just buy it, you won't be sorry.

    "Dame to Kill For," and "That Yellow Bastard" are also excellent."The Hard Goodbye" was a little gory for my taste, so if ultra-violence isn't your bag, you could skip that one (it's a "stand-alone" story anyway).

    "The Big Fat Kill" is represented in the movie with the Clive Owen/Rosario Dawson parts, about the middle third of the film.

    This is one great book! ... Read more

    7. X-Men: Complete Age Of Apocalypse Epic Book 1 Tpb
    by Not Available
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0785117148
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-16)
    Publisher: Marvel Comics
    Sales Rank: 996396
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    Book Description

    It begins here!The critically acclaimed, fan-favorite storyline that rocked the X-Men Universe to its core is collected across four volumes!In a cracked-mirror world ruled by the genocidal mutant despot Apocalypse, only one hope remains: Magneto and his Astonishing X-Men! The first in a four volume series collecting the entire Age of Apocalypse storyline. ... Read more

    8. Hell and Back (Sin City, Book 7: Second Edition)
    by Frank Miller
    list price: $28.00
    our price: $18.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593072996
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-06)
    Publisher: Dark Horse
    Sales Rank: 2250
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Can anything be darker than noir? Try Frank Miller's Sin Cityseries. The tasty Hell and Back features Wallace, a brooding artist with a decided talent for hurting people, and Esther, a stunningly beautiful actress accidentally mixed up in a slavery ring that extends far and deep enough to transcend the word conspiracy. The tale twists, turns, and backtracks, teasing the reader with hints of terror to come--until the explosive climax. Miller's art is exactly right for his words; he uses more black than white, and color only when appropriate. The chapter dealing with Wallace's drug hallucinations is beautiful, heartbreaking, and terrifying in turn. Readers interested in the human dark side should find out what fans of Sin City already know: Frank Miller has seen it and wants to share. --Rob Lightner ... Read more

    Reviews (13)

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's no kind of night to stay in the city.
    This is the seventh and final (so far) book in Frank Miller's Sin City series.This time around, the story stars the new character of "Wallace".Wallace is an artist/war hero who saves a beautiful woman from commiting suicide.The woman ends up getting kidnapped, and Wallace goes to "Hell and back" to rescue her.That's all I will say about the plot.Some supporting characters from previous Sin City books show up here, but I won't spoil the surprise.This isn't the best Sin City story, but it's certainly the longest.If you read the other Sin City books, you may experience a "been there, done that" sensation while reading this book.Once again, a heroic guy rescues a damsel in distress.But while the plot may be a tad familiar, I still enjoyed the book.The artwork is as gorgeous as ever, and there are a few new touches, here and there.This is not the first Sin City book you should read, but fans of the series will probably enjoy it.I would recommend reading the books in order, so this would be the last one to read.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A swing and a miss...or three.
    Hell & Back is Frank Miller's latest addition to his Sin City series of black & white comics, and unfortunately his most disappointing. Frank shakes things up and takes a few chances with this particular Sin City yarn and for that I applaud him. However, not every gamble pays off and such is the case with Hell & Back.

    Miller's Sin City is renowned for packing so much onto a plain white page with just black ink. He changed things up by adding splashes of color in a few short stories (Book 6), then again with his infamous Yellow Bastard character from the great story That Yellow Bastard (Book 5). Miller adds a lot of colors here with the forgettable female German assassin in leopard print and neon hair. Also Miller altered the way he drew the characters in this book-they became more angular, "blocky" and disproportionate. His style in this book is much closer to his style in DK2 than his other Sin City stuff. So basically Miller altered the way he drew Sin City and rather than being fresh it was off-putting. The look just ain't Sin City enough to be Sin City.

    Another mistake is length. Hell & Back is Miller's longest yarn yet-over 100 pages longer than the usual Sin City tale. Miller tries to make this story epic, prolific even. But instead he comes up with 100 pages too much. Part of what makes a Sin City story so great is Miller's sense of editing. Director Robert Rodriguez said one of the main reasons he wanted to make Sin City into a movie with Miller is because it would be so simple because Miller already did the hard work of editing the stories so well on the page.

    And the last big mistake I think Miller made is plot. All Sin City tales have good guys doing bad things for nasty reasons-usually for revenge-with the protagonists facing real consequences for their actions. Without giving the ending away, Hell & Back doesn't really live up to the Sin City standard Miller set with the other books. He subtitled this "A Sin City Love Story," but the thing is EVERY Sin City story is a love story! Marv & Goldie, Hartigan & Nancy, Dwight & Ava & Gail-all great love stories.

    Basically I think Miller tried (and failed) to reinvent the wheel with this tale. Sin City wasn't broke and it didn't need fixing. That being said, a mediocre Sin City yarn is better than none at all and the die-hards should scoop this one up, but the new or casual reader could easily give this one a pass.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not for me
    I am not really familiar w/ Frank Miller's Sin City works, I had mostly read his Batman: DKR, Year One, Wolverine and Daredevil books, So, I decided to give the Sin City books a try. I really didn't enjoy the story and seems like your run-of-the-mill hot damsel in distress with the "hero" to the rescue. But the rescue soon turns to a Stevel Segal movie with a lot of violence, topped off with nudity and sex. It's not a bad story but it's not a great story, not for me anyways. Maybe, it's because I've been reading superhero comic books for nearly 15 years, so it wasn't to my liking.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Lovely ladies...who may be deeper than we think...
    In Miller's most recent installment, Hell and Back: A Sin City Love Story, the plot centers around a mystery beauty by the name of Esther. Our hero, a former black op agent-turned-artist named Wallace, meets Esther while saving her from drowning. His first thoughts are telling: "She's a little heavier than she looks. Strong body...Strong body. She's in good shape." Once revived, she falls in love with his art, and he with her. It's a bond so deep enough that, when Esther is abducted, Wallace vows to find her and make her captors pay. It's not an uncommon plot for a Sin City tale. The original 1991 12-issue arc focused on a redemptive, disfigured thug named Marv looking to avenge the one woman to ever show him physical love: "The perfect woman. The goddess," named Goldie. Marv is aided by his tough-as-nails probation officer, Lucille, and his gun named Gladys. Similar to all the women in Sin City, Gladys is portrayed as powerful and sensual. It's a trend that continues into Hell and Back. Esther never begs for release, never cries. But she is also seldom clothed and often exposed. Likewise, her "roommate" Delia is a lethal nymphomaniac, only challenged as the embodiment of power and sexuality by the equally potent assassin, Mariah. Frank Miller goes to great lengths to always draw his women dripping with seduction. They pose either with skintight clothing, drenched in moisture, bare-nipples, or entirely nude. However, the happily married Miller is no misogynist nor a capitalist of the female form; I believe he's a progressive. As I said, the women of Sin City are strong and, paradoxically, gain even more strength from each seductive pose Miller draws. They are not victims of the male gaze; they ensorcel their viewers. Like the black widow or Basic Instinct's Catherine Tramell, they only allow men to look at them; they enhance their power by enthralling viewers. Miller's "good guys" certainly respect both women's beauty and power.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Far from the best of Miller
    It is a good work, but it doesn't keep the level of the others Sin City tales. This time, the main character - Wallace - is an ex-soldier, extremely well trained (almost a Ninja) trying to save a girl from a secret organization. But Wallace is a good Samaritan, the kind of person we'd never expect to find in Sin City. Personally I prefer the anti-heroes normally found in Frank Miller's stories.
    Action and violence are present as well as in other Sin City tales, what makes this story worthy to be read, but don't expect to find the best of Miller. ... Read more

    9. Booze, Broads, & Bullets (Sin City, Book 6: Second Edition)
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593072988
    Catlog: Book (2005-03)
    Publisher: Dark Horse
    Sales Rank: 1071
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The most diverse volume of Sin City material available, Booze, Broads, & Bullets, showcases Frank Miller's vignettes and color experiments from throughout the years of his groundbreaking crime series, and includes art created especially for the original collection. A good entry point for new readers wondering what Sin City is all about - or longtime readers who can't get enough - Miller has painted a gritty, decadent, and gloriously dirty portrait. Have a taste of the city ... just one little taste. Just one. ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    4-0 out of 5 stars You being good yet?
    This book collects various shorter Sin City stories that were published in various comic books.There are eleven separate stories here, so I will offer brief reviews of all of them.

    "Just Another Saturday Night" is a typical Marv story. (4 stars)
    "Fat Man and Little Boy" is a short comedy starring small time hoods Klump and Shlubb. (4 stars)
    "The Customer is Always Right" was the prologue in the recent Sin City movie. (4 stars)
    "Silent Night" is a Marv story with virtually no dialogue. (3 stars)
    "And Behind Door Number Three..." is a brief story featuring the girls of Old Town. (3 stars)
    "Blue Eyes" introduces the character of Delia. (4 stars)
    "Rats" stars a Nazi war criminal. (3 stars)
    "Daddy's Little Girl" stars the one-shot character of Johnny. (3 stars)
    "Wrong Turn" is a longer Delia story. (4 stars)
    "Wrong Track" is a shorter Delia story. (3 stars)
    "The Babe Wore Red" stars Dwight and is the best story in here. (5 stars)

    So there you have it."The Babe Wore Red" is so great, that the book is worth getting just for that one story.But all the other stories also have something to recommend them.That is to say, they all have gorgeous art by Frank Miller, even if a few of them are a bit lacking in the plot department.If you are a fan of the other Sin City books, you will probably enjoy this one, too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars your stupid
    To whoever wrote the review reguarding the awfulness of this book has no imagination. Even if the story isn't for you, the art is still exelent.It's also low touse Millers drinking as an excuse for not seeing the books quality.If you don't like it then state your reasons for not liking it and leave your personal vendetta against Miller out of it. Theres plenty more Batman and Dare-devil out there for you,so get over it.By the way this is an awsome collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
    This is such an excellent comic book.I cannot wait for Robert Rodriguez's film to come out.It is going to be excellent and amazing and I don't know what else to say.Frank Miller is such a creative genius, and Rodriguez is as well, and with that cast?The movie will be great, but only because the comic was great first.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great fun for kids of all a-- well... for big kids anyway.
    This is by no means Millers best work, but it is definately worth picking up if you enjoy sin city. It's basically a collection of short stories, each different and not necesarrily related. The art work as always is very very good, and as always the stories are entertaining. Keep 'em coming Frank! .... no? .... oh... (drops head in sorrow). Oh well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very good.
    This is a very good colection of the shorter sin city pieces. What I like most about it is that you can see Frank Miller's art style progress to the form it's in now. Many great stories with the sadistic sin city twist. Notfor the week-hearted! ... Read more

    10. Family Values (Sin City, Book 5: Second Edition)
    by Frank Miller
    list price: $12.00
    our price: $9.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 159307297X
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-02)
    Publisher: Dark Horse
    Sales Rank: 1549
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Marking a departure for Miller from an entire career of serialized stories, this 128-page epic spilled out of him all at once...and you can't help but read it the same way! Family Values is a milestone among Miller's work, allowing him enough room to tell this classic story of grit and revenge exactly the way he wanted to. With deadly Miho running on roller-blades, Dwight running on adrenaline, and the Sin City mob on clean-up detail, this yarn from the Town Without Pity is not to be missed. ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    3-0 out of 5 stars SHORT AND POINTLESS
    This is basically a revenge story staring Dwight and the lovely Miho. Although Dwight and Miho are not the ones seeking revenge. I really have to say that this book didn't make all that much sense at first, and when I did figure out the point the whole plot was kind of pointless. yeah it doesn't make sense but once you read it you'll know what I mean. The art once again is beautiful and the story will keep you reading all the way to the confusing ending. I would much rather give this three and a half stars but the rating scale is only in whole numbers. Don't get me wrong though, I am a huge fan of these books but this one wasn't that great. Miho's ninja style moves are extremely awsome in this book, but that's just about the only highlight here.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good old-fashioned vendetta
    Sin City has quickly become one of my favorite graphic novel series.It makes no apologies about it's gory, vicious fights and simple, rough dialogue. Family Values is an excellent story which stays true to the style.One of my favorite characters, the lovely Miho, gets a lot of the limelight here.Her ninja techniques, swordplay, and hand-to-hand fighting skills are all over the top and very fun to watch.The men in the story are almost always macho types, ready to take it and dish it out--until they run into Miho.A dark humor pervades every single one of the Sin City books I've read so far, and it perfectly compliments the film noir style of writing and graphics.If you haven't read any of the other books in the series, I would recommend starting with the first volume, The Hard Goodbye, which is the best by far.

    4-0 out of 5 stars There's gonna be Hell to pay.
    This is the third Sin City story to star "Dwight"; the first two were "A Dame To Kill For" and "The Big Fat Kill".You really should read those books before you read this one.This time around, Dwight and Miho are on a mission for the girls of Old Town, which I won't spoil by revealing anything about.Unlike the other Sin City books, which are serialized and have chapters, this is a continuous story that is about 120 pages long.It doesn't take long to read; I read the whole thing during my lunch break.I didn't feel it was quite as good as the other "Dwight" stories, but it is still a fun, quick read.The storyline didn't intrigue me as much this time around, but the artwork is as great as ever.I think most of Frank Miller's fans will enjoy this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Build up to a Surprise Ending
    I disagree with the reviewer that states the ending fizzles.The Sin City story contained within "Family Values" has the biggest build up and surprise ending of all the Sin City stories in my opinion.Miller again successfully makes dislikeable characters and situations a very enjoyable read.

    The art in "Family Values" is not Miller's strongest, but he more than makes up for it with excellent narration and storytelling.While it is at times over the top and almost forced, the deadliness of prostitute/assassin, Miho, is a joy to read and watch because she is truly excellent at her job.Dwight's loyalty the girls of Old Town is awe inspiring, considering the fact that he is an admitted murderer, and someone I would never trust.Dwight and Miho work flawlessly together as the two main characters of this book, and anyone who liked "The Big Fat Kill" will get a kick out of this as well.It's violent, entertaining, and keeps you on the edge of your seat until it's done.A great read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hard-boiled noir
    This story grabbed by the throat and dragged me, page by page, to it's surprising end.

    I wasn't struggling. This is a very well-done revenge story in the classic style, but built with modern pieces. The art captured the tone beautifully: harsh black and white, with the emphasis on the black. Every page is drawn in jagged, bleak contrast. Only Miho stands out, a ghostly white drawn with delicate line, and an interesting addition to the usual noir cast of characters.

    This is a keeper. Every time I open it, its mood grabs me all over again.

    Oh, and when I finished the story, I had an uncontrollable urge to watch Bogart or Cagney.

    //wiredweird ... Read more

    11. Batman: Year One Deluxe Edition
    by Frank Miller
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $13.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1401206905
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Sales Rank: 3172
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great retelling of Batman's origin
    Batman is a character I've always enjoyed, but I've only recently started getting into the Batman comics.After reading Frank Miller's exceptional "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" graphic novel, I really wanted to acquire more Batman comics that depicted the characters in a similar manner:as deep, well-thought-out characters that you really feel emotionally attached to by the end of the story.The problem was that, being new to comics, I was tossed into a sea of nearly endless Batman comics, and I didn't really know where to begin.

    Well, where better to start than at the very beginning?

    Batman: Year One is the story of Batman's first year in Gotham City after returning from training abroad, making it the perfect book for someone unfamiliar with Batman's origins, or just looking for a fresh take on the classic story.But the book is as much about the origins of Jim Gordon, who will later become the famed police commissioner of Gotham City, as it is about Batman's beginning.The story hinges on Gordon's attempts to clean up a police force that is corrupt to its very core, and his encounters with the Batman that finally lead up to a climactic confrontation that brings both men together in their fight against crime.

    Firse of all, the packaging and presentation of the story is top-notch.The book is hard bound and comes with a very nice partial sleeve that makes it look very classy.The cover itself depicts a simple black and white drawing of Batman that is quite effective for portraying what the book is about.Each chapter of the story opens with the origin comic book cover from each issue, and they are very vivid and clean.There are many extras, from an amusing illustrated afterword by the artist, David Mazzuccelli, and many pages of preliminary and promotional artwork.In the end, I felt that some of these features could have probably been dropped in favor of a slightly lower price tag, but they are nice additions that give the book a more "deluxe edition" feel.

    The artwork in the story is very good.I really like David Mazzuccelli's style.He's really not entirely different from Miller himself in that his artwork isn't terribly elaborate, but is supremely effective in telling a story.Mazzuccelli really has a strength when it comes to facial expressions.You can really see how the characters feel by the looks on their faces, particularly in the more emotional spots of the book.The backgrounds and characters are beautiful, though, and the colors are very nice and vivid.The artwork brilliantly aids in telling the dark story of Batman's birth and Gordon's struggles.

    The storyline is nothing short of superb as well.I've held Frank Miller in high regard ever since reading "The Dark Knight Returns", and this book is written in a very similar style.You can tell that Miller really likes using internal monologues to convey the thoughts and feelings of the characters, and they are very effective and give the story a depth that other comics don't have.The story progresses logically and is very readable.It's a great retelling of the familiar story of Batman's beginning infused with an almost literary style.

    Miller is an expert at characterization.I was amazed at how much depth and likeability he could give even minor characters.A character that I found myself sympathizing with and surprisingly liking is Gordon's wife Barbara.With only powerful artwork and a few lines, I felt that she was portrayed very powerfully and believably, making her a great character that further enhances the personality and depth of Gordon.You can tell that Miller really likes Jim Gordon, as he is given more characterization than anyone else in the story.I really felt connected to the character by the end of the story, because he is so remarkably human, and not totally unlike myself.He makes mistakes, but he is in the end a good person, and I think this is what makes him so appealing, perhaps even more than Batman himself.This is not to say that the characterization of Batman is lacking in the story; quite the contrary, in fact. Bruce Wayne is also portrayed as a man who has his fair share of problems that he is trying to overcome in his never-ending fight to purge Gotham of corruption.The deep characterizations are what really make this book shine.

    The only gripe I have with the storyline and characterizations is a subplot involving Catwoman in the story.While she is brilliantly portrayed, I ended up feeling as if her role in the story didn't have much meaning other than to set her up as a potential romantic interest of Batman in the future as well as a recognized rogue and thief.But her actions have relatively little bearing on where the story goes.The subplot is still enjoyable, and in the end it doesn't detract from the overall greatness of the storyline.

    Some may be disappointed by the utter lack of classic Batman villains in the story.There is no Joker, no Two-Face, no Riddler, no Scarecrow, no one.Instead, Batman fights criminals that don't seem very different from the ones we find in real life.He is combating thugs and the corruption at the heart of the Gotham City:the politicians and police officers that are on the take and are part of the problem instead of the solution.I felt this gave the comic more credibility, but some will undoubtedly be disappointed that Batman isn't fighting one of his famous and colorful enemies.In fact, the only mention of one such villain in the entire book is in the very last panel on the very last page of the very last chapter.

    The only major problem I have with the overall graphic novel is that it is short.The story itself is only around ninety pages.But they are a great ninety pages, and you won't be disappointed with them.But you will be left wishing that the story wouldn't end, making the length of the story the comic's greatest shortcoming.

    This graphic novel is definitely a must-have for Batman fanatics, and I would heartily recommend it to people who are new to the world of Batman.After all, what better way is there to get into the world of the Dark Knight than by reading the story of where it all began?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally a fitting publication for this great story
    When this miniseries first came out back in the eighties it left everyone breathless. David Mazzucchelli's art is some of the finest I've ever seen. It moves like a motion picture yet every stillis ready to be framed (nice homage to the famous Hopper painting on the side: Gorden and Sgt. Essen having a late night coffee in a cafe called ... Hopper)
    Frank Miller tells a story right from the beginning of the Batman saga. Bruce Wayne and Lieutenant Gordon discover they are both fighting on the same side to clean Gotham from the human filth. The only way to survive in the mess is as a team. They become friends.
    On top of the fantastic graphic novel this book includes over 40 pages of sketches, layouts and script pages. Every Batman fan should have it, what do I say, this is one for you. Buy it. You won't be disappointed, I swear.

    5-0 out of 5 stars batman is awesome
    This is one of the best pieces on Batman I have ever read. It really has some awesome action and great character development of Bruce Wayne and Lt. Gordon. This is right up there with "The Dark Knight Returns" and I personally think its better. Thank you Frank Miller. You are awesome. ... Read more

    12. Superman/Batman: Supergirl - Volume 2
    by Jeph Loeb
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $15.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1401203477
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Sales Rank: 54400
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    13. Marvel 1602, Volume 1 (Marvel Heroes)
    by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert
    list price: $24.99
    our price: $17.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0785110704
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
    Sales Rank: 1437
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    Book Description

    "1602 is a triumph. The Marvel universe hasn't been this engrossing in ages."- Entertainment Weekly Neil Gaiman's vision of the Marvel Universe in the year 1602! The year is 1602, and strange things are stirring in England. In the service of Queen Elizabeth, court magician Dr. Stephen Strange senses that the bizarre weather plaguing the skies above is not of natural origin. Her majesty's premier spy, Sir Nicholas Fury, fends off an assassination attempt on the Queen by winged warriors rumored to be in service to a mad despot named Doom. News is spreading of "witchbreed" sightings - young men bearing fantastic superhuman powers and abilities. And in the center of the rising chaos is Virginia Dare, a young girl newly arrived from the New World, guarded by a towering Indian warrior. Can Fury and his allies find a connection to these unusual happenings before the whole world ends? In Marvel 1602, award-winning writer Neil Gaiman presents a unique vision of the Marvel Universe set four hundred years in the past. Classic Marvel icons such as the X-Men, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and Daredevil appear in this intriguing world of 17th- century science and sorcery, instantly familiar to readers, yet subtly different in this new time. Marvel 1602 combines classic Marvel action and adventure with the historically accurate setting of Queen Elizabeth's reign to create a unique series unlike any other published by Marvel Comics ... Read more

    14. V for Vendetta
    by Alan Moore, David Lloyd
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0930289528
    Catlog: Book (1995-04-01)
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Sales Rank: 6283
    Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (77)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Magus of Oz
    Alan Moore is a great literary figure who happens to write comic books, graphic novels and lyrics for rock bands. He is a hidden jewel of a writer who has produced, over the last two decades, provocative and important work that draws together popular culture, art, magick and the occult, philosophy, fairy tales and mythology, psychology, surrealism, science fiction, pulp fiction and cosmic prophecy into one harmonious whole that is flavored by that Holy Grail of every writer: an original voice.

    V FOR VENDETTA has a long and painful history (it's initial run in England was aborted before all ten issues could be produced) but I first heard of it in 1987 when it started to be printed by D.C. Comics. I hadn't gone near comic books in over fifteen years and I was afraid of starting all up again, but someone had lent me a copy of SWAMP THING with the demand that I read it. "But it's SWAMP THING!" I protested, feeling uneasy about spending my time reading about a radioactive sludge monster who fights villians. Yet, it was a SWAMP TIHNG written by Alan Moore, and it was full of sublime prose, elegant ideas, sensuality, psychedelic revelations and gnosticism. I was blown away, so when the first issue of VENDETTA came out, I snapped it up. For 10 glorious months I read each installment as it came out and by the time number 10 had come, I was reshaping all my thoughts about literature, about story telling, about politics, society, culture, magick.

    Part Orwell's 1984, part Phantom of the Opera, part Batman in Dark Knight mode, V FOR VENDETTA tells the story of an England under the rule of a fascist government and the journey of a young girl from street prostitute to rebel leader. V. himself is a poetic twist on the Beast from Beauty & the Beast, or Eric from Phantom of the Opera, a masked anarchist who moves about the fascist reign of terror with the ease of a neutrino unaffected by gravity. Possible the result of a bizarre medical experiment in a concentration camp, V. is now determined to bring down the government and free the minds and bodies of the masses suffering under its own psychological oppression. Fusing ideas from Wilhelm Reich, Aleister Crowley, George Orwell and even the Batman comic book, Moore has created his own Dark Knight, a far more mysterious and morally problematic one. He carries upon his shoulders the weight of the world, attempting to bring light and hope to the darkness prisons where men and women are beaten and tortured for being homosexual, to the medical labs of the prison camps where Mengele-like doctors are operating without inhibition on dehumanized prisoners.

    V FOR VENDETTA raises the bar on the literary value of comic books, taking the genre of Batman and Spider-man and elevating it above the level of fist-fights, action sequences and costumed villians into the realm of a modern-day political and magickal myth. And towards the end when Evey the heroine watches the crowds in the street riot and destroy each other, she says, "Is this your anarchy, V?" and V replies, "No, this is Chaos" that one little moment, V. has made a distinction that is too subtle for most writers, far less the writers of comic books.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Frightening and powerful
    In the early 1980's, Alan Moore (Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell, chances are if you're reading this you know the list) began this chilling work. In an alternate world, it's 1997, and America and the Soviets have nuked each other to extinction. England is left, now under a fascist regime, and everything seems to be under control, until a mysterious terrorist, wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and calling himself V, begins picking off government officials and destroying buildings and monuments. Moore's storytelling is nothing short of chilling; from the basic element of the loss of freedom to a totalitarian government to just who really fights for good (is it V or the government?), V For Vendetta is nearly unforgettable. That combined with David Lloyd's ultra eerie washed out color art make this one of the most chilling works in the world of comics you'll ever likely find. It's not as profound or as important as Moore's Watchmen or his Swamp Thing run, but this is still worth reading.

    4-0 out of 5 stars No superheroes in a comic? Gee, what a concept. . .
    A vision of a totalitarian future of Britian cut off from contact with the rest of the world (which may no longer exist), this story is very indiciative of the time when Alan Moore started it, the early 1980s. It's a bleak view of the future from the British culture that gave us punk rock and Max Headroom. Compared to them, this is somewhat optimistic. However, it's also obvious that Moore didn't finish the story soon after he started it, instead returning to it years later (sometime during his work on DC's _The Watchmen_). There is a change in the outlook and a bit of a rushed feel towards the end.

    There are two protagonists in this story: the vigilante, a terrorist who takes on the totalitarian government while dressed as Guy Fawkes, and the girl he saves from government thugs and then mentors. But Moore follows the lives of a number of characters, from party officials to cheap thugs, and views this world through their eyes. The characterizations of these people making their lives in an oppressive regime is realistic. The change of views is also a nice parallel to the story's all-seeing computer and camera system that the vigilante hacks into and slowly takes control of.

    Moore doesn't make the vigilante, known as V, impossibly pure. In fact, V's manipulation of the somewhat innocent wife of a party official, Rose, is harsh. He justifies his cruel manipulations as necessary to create a natural outcome of anarchy. And he seems to place art above people at times -- a truly complex character.

    This is not Moore's most mature work, but there is an energy and imagination here that is excellent, and the pacing works well. Others' comparissons to Orwell's work and even _Lord of the Flies_ are well earned. Although I disagree with some of the politics Moore champions, I think the internal logic of the story is sound, as are most of the characters' motives and actions. Moore presents what kind of people really make up a despotic state.

    The art is also not up to modern standards, instead confined to the format of the British magazine it was originally serialed in. That's best viewed as an amusing artifact.

    Without a doubt, this book shows its age -- as much as _1984_, _Animal Farm_, and other politically-oriented fables do. Times change, but futuristic stories are more about the times they're written in than the future. And this is a fable with a definite (political) moral -- despite the rest of the story's subtlety and shadings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Strange that Alan Moore would write this...
    Many of the themes here seem strange coming from Alan Moore, frankly. Other reviewers have called the work "Orwellian", but actually, it's closer to a British version of Ayn Rand, as the story is closer thematically to "Anthem" and even parts of "Atlas Shrugged" than "1984".

    And that seems odd to me. Alan Moore definitely does not seem to be the Ayn Rand type, and I'm sure he's not a fan of her economic beliefs or even her rational philosphy, but he's borrowing directly from the absolutist nature of her heroes (V is as sure of himself as John Galt ever was) and he's painting a portrait of the nature of freedom that closely matches Rand's (tying freedom together with identity, ala "Anthem").

    Anyway, "V for Vendetta" is dated in that the story takes place in a "future" time that we are already well past, but the story itself is timeless in ways that WATCHMEN can never be. Whereas WATCHMEN plays with comics conventions and now shows the age of those very industy trends, VENDETTA took a different approach, trying to be it's own entity. As such, it still stands alone as a unique and inventive story.


    4-0 out of 5 stars Still holds up, mostly..
    Just re-read 'V for Vendetta' again, to see what I thought of it after all these years. Putting aside all of the book's political, scientific and socialogical naivites (some of which Moore himself points out in the introduction and afterward), this story is shockingly effective, if a bit heavy handed, and yes, depressing.

    In re-reading it, V comes off as less than a character and more as the polemic abstract that Moore intended. Yes, V's drive toward anarchy is little hard to swallow, and being asked to sympathise with a terrorist in light of today's world is difficult ( which is the main obstacle I see in this story ever making it to the movie screen, that, and the overriding British-ness of the story, which I understand is integral and which I appreciate. Too much would be lost in transplanting this to an American setting).

    Also, there are some unexplained plot holes: one being just how does V gain access to the fate computer? Without being detected?

    That said, the first third of this book is still impossible to put down, really great stuff (aside from some character stumbles: V spouts quotes and exposites and it comes off as intially awkward), as the authorities unravel why V may doing what he's doing, but I really enjoyed the middle section this time, which chronicles Evey out on her own. The scene where she is captured and confined is still harrowing and mind-blowing.

    All in all, I see this as a very personal and well-crafted story by Alan Moore, although people always want to compare it to Watchmen in terms of quality and realism. Bear in mind that it was serialized in its initial run and created over seven years. David Lloyd's artwork, while at times muddy (I still have trouble telling who's who in the last third), is also often brilliantly rendered, cinematic, and very effective. He has a way with a panel or facial expression that is attuned perfectly to the emotions conveyed by the story. Moore wrote at the time that he would not finish the story's run with any other artist, and one can see why.

    Again, as Moore explains the book's evolution in the afterward, this is the work of younger, hungry and sometimes naive artists. As a comic work I find it moving, magnificent and compelling. ... Read more

    15. Star Wars: Visionaries (Star Wars (Dark Horse))
    by Not Available
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593073119
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-02)
    Publisher: Dark Horse
    Sales Rank: 181353
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    Book Description

    They've been responsible for some of hte most dazzling and awe-inspiring visuals ever put to film, and now the concept artists behind the Star Wars prequels are bringing their considerable talents to comics.Just in time for Star Wars: Episode III, the wildly gifted mind of the Lucasfilm art department and visual effects powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic come together to tell their own Star Wars tales in this compilation of short stories.Given free reign to explore any and every aspect of the Star Wars universe, each artist offers a new twist or a deeper view into that galaxy far, far away.Nowhere else will you find a more pure or more different look at George Lucas' enduring creation than through the eyes of the Star Wars: Visionaries. ... Read more

    16. Wanted
    by Mark Millar
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1582404801
    Catlog: Book (2005-03)
    Publisher: Image Comics
    Sales Rank: 50153
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    What if everything in your life was out of your hands and those around you propelled your fate? Your girlfriend left you for your best friend; your boss gave your job to someone better. What if then, after all this, someone gave you back total control? What if he revealed you were the next in line to join a secret society of super-villians that controlled the entire planet? Mark Millar and J.G. Jones provide a look at one man who goes from being the world's biggest loser to the deadliest assassin alive. The most talked-about superhero series of the year is now collected in this stunning hardcover edition! Mark Millar examines what happens when absolute power does corrupt absolutely, and everyman Wesley Gibson inherits incredible powers. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure, undiluted Millar
    Longtime comic fan here, going way out on a limb:this is the best thing to hit comics since "Watchmen".There, I said it."Wanted" is also one of the most extreme, graphic, bloody, disgusting, nihilistic things I've ever read.As much as I recommend it, I also cannot stress highly enough:if you have ever been offended by *anything* in your *entire* life, do not read this book, 'cause it ain't for you.If you're of a strong, open mind and looking for something to knock your socks off, "Wanted" fills the bill nicely.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just plain awesome
    From the twisted mind of Mark Millar (The Ultimates, Chosen, The Authority) comes Wanted: a six issue mini-series from Top Cow that is everything a comic should be.Wesley Gibson is down on his luck young man letting society run his life.He's stuck in a dead end job, lives with his cheating girlfriend, abused by his boss, and generally walked all over.Then one day his life changes forever.Wesley learns that he is the son of the Killer, the greatest super villain of all time, and that his father has died and he has inherited everything.Soon enough, Wesley is trained to be the sadistic killing machine that he was always meant to be, and no longer a slave to society.However, Wesley soon learns that there is trouble brewing in the super villain society, and as the secret of his father's death which involves various conspirators unravels, Wesley learns that maybe the last thing he ever wanted in his life was to be wanted.Drawing numerous comparisons to Fight Club, only more nihlistic (if such a thing is possible), Wanted manages to be one of the most insanely darkly humerous and blood curdingly violent comics since Vertigo's Preacher series, and the stunning art of J.G. Jones gives Wanted a cinematic look that is nothing short of incredible.This handsome hardcover TPB of the mini-series is a must have for comic fans who missed out on the single issues, and even though it may be hard to swallow at times (this is definitely not for the faint of heart), this is blockbuster comic storytelling at it's best. ... Read more

    17. Black Widow: Homecoming
    by Richard K. Morgan
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $10.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0785114939
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-11)
    Publisher: Marvel Comics
    Sales Rank: 30433
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The deadliest agent in the Marvel Universe has finally gotten out of the spy game, and she's not asking for much, just a life of her own. When a sudden assassination attempt provides a harsh reality check, the former Soviet agent tracks a string of international killings that will lead her back to a Russia she can barely recognize.Collects Black Widow #1-6. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly solid Black Widow story
    As a previous reviewer mentioned, the Black Widow has been one of the lesser known and mishandled characters in the Marvel Universe.In the hands of novelist Richard K. Morgan, he has taken to the character back to the roots of her origin, focusing more on action, espionage, and story rather than exploiting a sexy drawing for adolescent boys to slobber over.The story concerns Natasha being thrown back into the spy game (as if she ever really left) after an assassination attempt on her life.Soon, along with her male sidekick, she's kicking butt and taking names, all the while unraveling a conspiracy which evolves into the best Black Widow story Marvel has ever published.This TPB's only flaw is that it wears a bit thin towards the end, but the art by the great Bill Sienkiewicz is worth giving this a look at alone.All in all, if you've been looking for a mature and action packed mainstream comic, give this a look.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not too shabby
    I am relatively new to the graphic novel/comic scene so I have not read any of the old incarnations of this character. I enjoyed this book. It was easy to follow and her actions seemed to make sense. I was surprised that this was written by Richard Morgan. Morgan wrote one of the worst books ever written "Fallen Angels". Honestly If I had noticed that he was the author of this I never would have read it. Kudos to him for better writing this time around.

    The art is very well done as well. Nice bright colours and good lines etc....

    I look forward to more in this series (there will be more?)


    5-0 out of 5 stars Morgan's Widow has fangs!
    Over the years Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow, has shown up time and again, often working with The Avengers and Daredevil.Despite the efforts of more recent Widow scribes such as Jim Starlin, Devin Grayson, Greg Rucka and Bendis, she's long been a laughingstock character -- little more than a sex object, "the bike of the Marvel Universe."But now novelist Richard Morgan (ALTERED CARBON; WOKEN FURIES; etc.) has teamed up with artist Bill Sienkiewicz (ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN) and utterly outdone all previous incarnations of this superspy.While keeping to established continuity, Morgan has updated the Widow, making her a much more human, respectable character, and the book much less misogynstic than it often has been.He's scripted a tight, mean, intelligent and topical comic book, aimed at adults rather than adolescent boys, that any fan of espionage fiction, superhero comics or plain ol' good storytelling should enjoy.Anyone picking up this book looking for exaggerated female bodies in kinky poses will be disappointed, but if you're looking for a very fine comic book, look no further.Do yourself a favor, even if you don't think you care for this particular character, and pick up this book.The Black Widow finally has her fangs. ... Read more

    18. Watchmen
    by Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore
    list price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0930289234
    Catlog: Book (1995-04-01)
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Sales Rank: 1647
    Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (248)

    5-0 out of 5 stars "...a multilayered epic sporting a fantastic script..."
    I just recently got into graphic novels, but so far have read books from the SANDMAN series, The MAUS books, and of course, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Needless to say, I've been sucked into the genre by these amazing stories, and I'm simply going down the list of highly acclaimed cult classics. Of course, when I got to WATCHMEN, I was skeptical. I'd heard of Batman and Sandman, but who the Watchmen? Sounded kind of obscure, and fraknly, a bit phony. Of course, after reading countless positive reviews claiming this book to be one of the absolute best in the history of comic literature, I had to pick it up. Right off the bat, I could tell there was something special about this one, which maybe wasn't so noticeable in the others I'd read.

    The story starts out simple enough, with the murder of a "superhero," called The Comedian. He was evidently a member of a team, but only one of his former comrades, Rorschach seems to care about his death in the slightest. The others all remember him as a bad, immoral man, and therefore, a terrible hero. At first, you'll be wondering why the others don't grieve for him as Rorschach does, but as you see what foul deeds he committed, you'll start arguing the other way. Why is it that Rorschach is scouring the streets, searching for clues as to who may have killed The Comedian? Why is Rorschach the only one who cares about the ex-superhero's falling?

    In this book, much like in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, superheroes are not seen simply as idols and virtual gods through the eyes of the public. They're seen as a rebellious vigilante who disregard the police and take matters into their own hands. This is the story of an alternate 1985 where the world is rapidly turning into a hell which humans are creating for themselves, where superheroes struggling for internal-order are hated and ridiculed for their valiant actions. The superheroes themselves aren't all that important here--they simply represent the steriotypical masked figures in tights; a group of "normal" citizens fighting to change matters which may very well be out of their control. Alan Moore masterfully creates a multilayered epic sporting a fantastic script, filled with controversial dialogue and an interesting plot which changes the way people think about superheroes and comic books in general.

    Rorschach's search for truth, along with the reader's search for explanation is explored through a series of flashbacks, side-stories and subplots. The 417 page graphic novel is split into 12 chapters, each with little tidbits in-between, providing some interesting background information on the characters. WATCHMEN is kind of a mini-series of comic-books, and was entirely original. The characters had never appeared in any other comic before, and never appeared in another again. When compared to THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, I say that WATCHMEN is slightly superior. While THE DARK KNIGHT was an exciting and moving tale of Batman's aging and eventual returning to the superhero life, where he was needed most, it was very short (about half the length of WATCHMEN) and left open ends, which were covered in some not-as-good sequels. WATCHMEN is simply a great solo-story which requires no background information or further reading, and boasts a strong, recurring theme: "Who watches the watchmen?" Compared to other graphic novels, ranging mainly from 100-200 pages, WATCHMEN is significantly longer, not only giving you more of a bang for your buck, but increasing the amount of pleasure you'll experience from reading this book.

    My only real gripe about this book is to do with the art. Don't get me wrong--It's amazing stuff, filled with vivid colors that you wouldn't expect to see in such a dark story--but the action sequences leave something to be desired. Compared to THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, filled with tons of cool blurs, lines and other cinematic goodies you'd expect to make a comic book feel more animated, WATCHMEN is severely lacking in that department. If you try to see the book as a cartoon, like many of us do, it will look like a poorly animated one. Or, simply a series of stills, which is what a comic book is, but almost all comics successfully create the illusion of animation and movement within their pages. Nevertheless, the art is still amazing to look at, it will just require more imagination to see the characters moving.

    If I were you, I wouldn't read any other reviews or check any futher into this great graphic novel. If you do, you might back out, thinking that it sounds too corny or not your type of book. Some people are turned off by the whole superhero idea, but Watchmen basically handles it in the most intimate and unconventional manner, bringing a whole new light to those imaginary masked-defenders of the Earth. If you enjoyed THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, this should be right up your alley, delivering more of what the former excelled in. If you aren't into comic books, then you should probably just head over to your nearest book store and read the first 10 pages or whatever. Chances are, you'll find that you love this and then you can buy it on the spot.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (Who watches the watchmen?)
    Comic books superheroes are basically fascist vigilantes, with Superman and his dedication to truth, justice and the American way being the exception that proves the rule. Both "Watchmen" and "The Dark Knight Returns," the two greatest examples of graphic storytelling, deal explicitly with the underlying fear the ordinary citizenry have of the demi-gods they worship. The one inherent advantage that "Watchman" has over Frank Miller's classic tale is that it requires no knowledge of the existing mythos of its characters because Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, the Comedian and the rest of the former members of the Crimebusters.

    The brainchild of writer Alan Moore ("Swamp Thing," "V for Vendetta," "From Hell") and artist Dave Gibbons ("Rogue Trooper," "Doctor Who," "Green Lantern"), "Watchmen" was originally published by DC Comics in twelve issues in 1986-87. Moore and Gibbons won the Best Writer/Artist combination award at the 1987 Jack Kirby Comics Industry Awards ceremony. The central story in "Watchmen" is quite simple: apparently someone is killing off or discrediting the former Crimebusters. The remaining members end up coming together to discover the who and the why behind it all, and the payoff to the mystery is most satisfactory. But what makes "Watchmen" so special is the breadth and depth of both the characters and their respective subplots: Dr. Manhattan dealing with his responsibility to humanity given his god-like powers; Nite Owl having trouble leaving his secret identity behind; Rorschach being examined by a psychiatrist. Each chapter offers a specific focus on one of the characters, yet advances the overall narrative.

    Beyond that the intricate narrative, Moore and Gibbons offer two additional levels to the story. First, each chapter is followed by a "non-comic" section that develops more of the backstories, such as numerous excerpts from Hollis Mason's autobiography "Under the Hood" or Professor Mitlon Glass' "Dr. Manhattan: Super-Powers and the Superpowers," an interview with Adrian Veidt, or reports from the police files of Walter Joseph Kovacs. Second, almost every issue has scenes from "Tales of the Black Freighter," a comic-book being read by a kid near a newsstand, which offers an allegorical perspective on the main plot line.

    "Watchmen" certainly nudged the comics industry in the right direction towards greater sophistication and intelligence, although a full appreciation of its significance is always going to be lost on the bean counters. The Book Club Edition of "Watchmen" offers the teaser: "He's America's ultimate weapon . . . and he's about to desert to Mars." As a representation of the work as a whole that description is simply stupid, especially since it is followed by a glowing recommendation by Harlan Ellison that concludes "anyone who misses this milestone event in the genre of the fantastic is a myopic dope." If you ever spent time reading and enjoying any superhero comic book, you will appreciate what you find in "Watchmen."

    5-0 out of 5 stars awesome, baby
    Yes, this is an graphic novel, but every page carries every ounce of narrative density and depth that you'd expect from a more text-heavy tome. Frankly, there's so much to say about this work that I hardly know where to begin, so I won't. Instead, I'll just heartily recommend it to everyone--not just my comic geek friends. In fact, I would especially recommend it to friends of mine who don't read comics or graphic novels because they think those things are (a). just for kids or (b). not as satisfying as a more traditionally formatted read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It has its flaws, but WATCHMEN is still excellent
    WATCHMEN is by no means perfect. I thought it was when I read it a year ago, but I have revisited it a week ago.

    I'm not a huge fan of American comics (although I read Japanese comics regularly), but WATCHMEN is definitely the best that I've read. The art is very blunt, and says what it wants to clearly. This isn't the most beautiful piece of artwork in the world, but it's very good.

    For the record, I agree with what some of the people are saying about clichés and having some things repeated over and over again. Some of that does get tedious and a bit boring after a while, but that can also be said about some of my other favorite comic books that I read.

    The sex stuff was a bit out there. Laurie isn't the brightest bulb and seems to be sex with two legs. Personally, I don't see why she and her mother had to be like that, and that should have been easily emitted. Oh well. Alan Moore's choice, I suppose...

    The violence was tasteful, though.

    The political viewpoints are very interesting. I, myself, am very interested in politics, and want to major in political science when I get into college (as well as English). Personally, I think that this is very relevant to what's going on in the world right now, with America slowly crumbling, morals deteriorating (with the exception of gay marriages in Massachusetts), and trying to fix countries that want to be left alone. With the war on terror, a lot of the cold war themes are appropriate for this time. A fair amount of what Alan Moore says is true in his socio-political comments, both about what's going on in our country and our interaction with other countries. The symbolism is sometimes a little subtle, and you'd have to read it over and over again to get all of the tiny little points.

    Rorschach is probably one of the most rounded characters I've ever read in a comic book. He's endlessly fascinating, and I really like him. He's my favorite comic book character, and is up there in my favorite fictional characters of all time.

    I'm not trying to give anything away, but I think that this story is very sad in its aspect that it says clearly that most human beings, whether they are famous or the most despicable things on the planets, die quietly without a fight.

    While, as mentioned before, some of the events in this novel are not very plausible (Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach's psychiatrist becoming depressed because of what Rorschach told him, etc.), this is a comic book. It's not supposed to be completely realistic. They make a simple statement through pictures put to words. That is the point of comics, in my opinion.

    I liked the plot. It was all right, although I don't think it compares with Shakespeare or Twain. A more realistic comparison is with Robert Cormier, who writes for young adults with similar themes. Pick up something by him if you read this, you'd probably like that, too. (We All Fall Down is excellent.)

    I really liked some of the information at the end of some of the chapters (chapter six, especially), but some of it was just okay.

    I didn't really like the ending, but, in a way, it was fitting. It was good, but it was definitely not my favorite part of the book.

    In short:

    +: Rorschach, art, politics, symbolism, characters in general, tasteful violence, overall themes of the book

    In between: plot, ending text, last chapter, plausibility

    -: sex, clichés, (although I didn't mention it) language

    I don't see why you shouldn't read it, but don't expect it to be perfect. I think how much you like it depends from person to person. If you tend to get easily bored, don't read it. If you haven't ever read comic books before, give it a try. If you are a regular to comics, try it, and ditch it if you think it's overrated by the third chapter. I'm not going to say you aren't going to be disappointed, but I wasn't.

    I love this comic despite its faults, and I think it should be read over and over again. It is still a classic, and has not let go of any of its power.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What if costumed superheroes really existed?
    That is the simple question that Watchmen poses and is one of the many clever conceits that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons employ throughout the 12-issue mini-series that is collected in this fine trade paperback.

    Moore and Gibbons present a world not unlike ours. An alternate reality where the United States won Vietnam (thanks to Dr. Manhattan--the book's only Superman) and as a result Nixon stayed President. Dirgibles instead of airplanes can be seen in the sky, there are electric powered cars and a popular fast food chain of Indian restaurants known as Gunga Diner are everywhere.

    In this world, superheroes have been outlawed because the police felt that their jobs were threatened and so only Government sanctioned costumed heroes can legally operate. That doesn't stop Rorschach, a masked vigilante from plying his trade.

    Why am I going into all this detail? Because Watchmen is all about the details. Moore and Gibbons vividly draw us into this world through the most minute details, often populating the backgrounds of panels so that they only become obvious upon multiple readings.

    What is so astounding about Watchmen is that it works on so many levels. Superficially, it's a murder mystery. However, it also asks many big questions like, who makes the world? Who is responible? Is everything planned out or is it all up to chance?

    Watchmen is also a marvel of technique. Moore and Gibbons employ all sorts of film techniques (zoom ins, close-ups, revolving "the camera" around somebody, lighting effects, etc) and also several techniques of rhythm. For example, look closely at the panel layout for Chapter 5: Feaful Symmetry. The panel layout on the first page is exactly the same as the last page and so on until the center pages which mirror each other perfectly. Or all of the smiley face images that pop up throughout the various chapters. This is only a taste of what is going on in this book. It really is an astounding work.

    There is a reason why Watchmen is so highly regarded. It is an amazing accomplishment and one that takes the costumed superhero genre seriously. If you haven't ever read this book before then I strongly recommend checking it out. If you aren't a huge fan of comic books, this one will change your mind. It proves that comics aren't just for kids. Not any more. ... Read more

    19. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
    by DC Comics
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1563893428
    Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
    Publisher: DC Comics
    Sales Rank: 6427
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (199)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Batman at his best
    I've always been a fan of Batman, but I've never been in to comic books that much. Recently I stumbled on to Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and I was really impressed. The four book saga, now combined into a graphic novel, tells the story of an aging Batman who has been retired for 10 years. Still tortured by the death of his parents, and by the growing rampant crime in the streets of Gotham, Bruce Wayne once again unleashes the Batman on Gotham's underworld. However, Batman finds himself returning into a world where super heroes are unwanted and have all but vanished.

    Miller's portrayal of an overly polictically correct world with little room for Batman, is compelling and original. The book's dark portrayal of a brooding, violent, Batman who has lost his faith in the justice system's ability to rehabilitate criminals set the stage for the modern portrayal of Batman in both comics and film. In my opinion, this is a story of Batman the way he should be portrayed, as the tortured punisher of evil not the friendly neighborhood super hero. We can leave that to Superman, and if you've ever wanted to see Superman get brought down a few pegs, this is the book for you.

    The artwork is gritty, intriguing and fits in perfectly with the story. This book inspired me to check out more graphic novels, and works by Frank Miller.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a comic book work unlike any other
    I've been a comic book reader for many years, and to this day I cannot recall another single work of comic book art that is quite so brilliant as Frank Miller's Dark Knight. Certainly Cerebus, Sandman, Cages and From Hell are to be lauded for their genuine genius, but Dark Knight remains my all-time favourite creation. Frank Miller has written a gripping story of tragic heroism and bitter social commentary. His Batman is truly a larger-than-life, tormented hero, brilliantly conceived with his many flaws and perverse obsessions intact. Miller plays with the comic book universe beautifully, realising a world wherein the so-called "super-hero" does exist, and exploring the ramifications of this fact. Batman's final confrontation with Superman at the end of this graphic novel is bar-none the most cunningly conceived battle in comic book history. It is achingly poignant to see the two old warriors confront one another at last: Superman with his compromised good-guy! agenda and Batman with his twisted, demoniac fixation. Batman loathes the figure that Superman has become, while Clark Kent pities the poor, lost soul who has sacrificed his very existence for that which he pursues with a vengeance. "You Bruce, with your obsession..." Miller has created in Dark Knight a vividly real and passionately affecting tale of Heroes and Madmen, riveting from start to finish.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The Best Laid Graphic Novels of Mice and Men Often Go Astray
    "In MY opinion..." Ankurpanchbudhe said in his list. Well I know for a fact that this is not a graphic novel, -- Ankurpanchbudhe's opinion is stupid -- and so is Ankurpanchbudhe. I'm going to write a criticism of the review that Ankurpanchebudhe started his list with. It never pleases me more than when someone calls a reprint collection in a thick softcover comic book form all in one a graphic novel. I bet if you went to a book store and looked at the "graphic novel" section and got a price guide that you would not find any graphic novels there at all. It's kind of like what we called a oneshot back when I lived in California. Kids that thought they were comic collectors would throw around the word oneshot because it made them sound smart. I got a oneshot! You got a oneshot? I have a oneshot! They have a oneshot. He has a oneshot. She has a oneshot. We have a oneshot. Everbody has a one shot. They would say. Longshot. Deadshot. Shattershot. Bloodshot. Sunspot. Blindspot. Grimlock. Shotshot. (Wouldn't that make a great super hero? Two shots on his name? Put him in a comic book and you could make a million!) Just because it has the word "shot" in it doesn't mean it's good. Don't call something a graphic novel unless you look it up in the price guide and it says GN next to it. Buy this book for what it is and you'll be a lot happier. One of these days I'm going to finish a list that has all of the things that Ankurpanchbudhe's list has criticising each criticisim blow-by-blow. None of the things on Ankurpanchbudhe's list is a graphic novel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best graphic novel ever done, period.
    Best character (Batman), best writing, cool drawings, and, importantly, Miller does not deviate from the legend like most other comic (and Hollywood) writers seem to have a proclivity for doing. Just watch the recently released "Troy" movie to see how little regard the average writer has in keeping the mythology intact (Hector does NOT kill Meneleus in the texts, Achilles was NOT in the Trojan horse with Odysseus in the texts). Jeph Loeb, in the critically acclaimed "A Superman for All Seasons," tells us that Lex Luthor did not grow up with Clark Kent in Smallville. Why would anyone weed that out of the legend? This is a major peeve of mine. Show some respect for the legend, for Crissakes. Ironically, Loeb now produces the "Smallville" TV series, which is entirely based on the fact that the two rivals were childhood friends before their falling out.

    This is the brilliance of "The Dark Night Returns." Miller completely respects the legend, while creating something entirely new at the same time.

    2-0 out of 5 stars poisonous
    I'm a pretty big fan of comics; but I got something of a late start, with Sandman about 7 years ago. So there's a lot of stuff I just haven't got around to reading. I'd heard of Frank Miller, naturally -- he's one of the "big names" that you hear about, if you make even a cursory exploration into comics -- but for one reason or another I hadn't actually read any of his stuff. Without knowing anything about his work, there was something about him that didn't appeal to me, viscerally. But I was nosing around the comics section at the library the other day, and I saw his Dark Knight Returns; and it's supposed to be this seminal work, and I thought, "Hey! Finally I'll get to read some Frank Miller!"

    My conclusion? Frank Miller is a fine writer, but has absolutely *no business writing superheroes.* He comes from that self-satisfied stratum of hipster, who thinks that if you aren't injecting Politics and Current Events into your art, then it's not Real Art. And it's not even well thought out politics, either. I read as much as I could. You get used to reading leftist politics, when you enjoy things like comics and fantasy and science-fiction, so I figured I could just tune it out and focus on the story. The last straw, though, was when he trots out the old saw of portraying Reagan (this was written in the '80s) as an aw-shucks idiot who is sumultaneously a somnambulist bungler and a sinister mastermind. And maybe another time I would have been able to ignore it. But I think it was just too fresh, too soon.

    So I picked up the other comic I got from the library: a volume of Kurt Busiek's Astro City. What a breath of fresh air, after reading Miller's poison! The more I read, the more I just fell in love. I mean, he has superheroes who fight for god.. and they *aren't* jokes. They aren't the bad guys! How novel is that? Busiek takes superheroes seriously. He takes good and evil seriously, while still leaving room for humor, for human frailty, for both despair and hope, for real emotion. This is what superheroes are supposed to be.

    So that's my endorsement for Kurt Busiek. He reminds me quite a lot of Gaiman, in the way that he constructs his stories. If you're interested in comics at all, you need to read Astro City. ... Read more

    20. Dark Encounters (Star Wars: A Long Time Ago..., Book 2)
    by Archie Goodwin, Carmine Infantino, Terry Austin, Various
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $29.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1569717850
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-10)
    Publisher: Dark Horse
    Sales Rank: 311864
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Star Wars: A Long Time Ago... features classic Star Wars stories not seen in over twenty years! Originally printed by Marvel Comics, these stories have been re-colored using today’s computer technology, giving "old" work a fresh face. Volume 2 collects issues of the original Marvel run and contains such riveting classics as "Crucible" and the unforgettable "What Ever Happened to Jabba the Hut?" ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Marvel Star Wars
    I read the first volume in this series, "Doomworld," and enjoyed it, but thought it was a bit corny and too cartoonish in places. I was surprised and pleased that the comics got much better with time.

    A good portion of this set of 19 comics revolves around the Tagge family, who generally opposes Darth Vader, but also opposes the rebellion. Baron Tagge even hopes to supplant Darth Vader himself, though we know where such schemes end. In "Doom Mission," we find Baron Tagge has created a space station within the stormy atmosphere of the gas giant Yavin where Tie fighters launch attacks against the rebel base on the fourth moon. This story is quite creative with how Baron Tagge created the space station, how it was discovered and how it was eventually attacked.

    There are quite a few creative moments in the various stories. In a series of three stories, "The Jawa Express," "Saber Clash," and "Thunder in the Stars," we see the Tagge family test and implement an interesting device that freezes anything between implanted towers. The Tagge family uses this device as a weapon against rebel forces.

    In one of the most creative stories, "Riders in the Void," we find Luke and Leia have jumped into the void between galaxies. In one of the emptiest places in the universe Luke and Leia discover a unique, organic space ship with only one inhabitant, who is marginally insane. The ship and its inhabitant have an interesting and unique history, and there are moments when I wondered how Luke and Leia were going to escape.

    Creature creation was similarly unique and better than in the first 20 comics of "Doomworld." In "The Long Hunt/A Duel of Eagles" we meet the winged people of Skye. In "Cavern of the Crawling Death" we learn about stone mites that destroy everything they contact as they eat it.

    There are a few departures from the Star Wars universe as we know it today that are forgivable given that the second two Star Wars movies had yet to be released. We see a Jabba the Hut very different from the slug-like creature we came to know and loathe. We also see the continuing romance between Luke and Leia, though we also know that they are brother and sister. Yet, the general tone of the stories fits well within the Star Wars universe, and the astute reader can see some of the substantial creativity yet to come.

    If you read "Doomworld" and liked it, you'll find that "Dark Encounters" is substantially better and more interesting. The quality of the stories is still lower than the general caliber of the Dark Horse stories, but some of them are very creative and interesting. For those readers that look back fondly on memories of comics from the 60s and 70s, these are the types of stories that you remember well. Enjoy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Solid Improvement
    3.5 stars actually.

    The artwork, and the plotting improves dramatically in this second collection of Marvel stories. Unlike most of the first collection, these stories mostly feel like they could take place in the Star Wars universe and are viable adventures that the heroes could have had before The Empire Strikes Back.

    Still though, they are not stellar work by any means, merely solid. In retrospect, due to the authors not knowing where George Lucas was going, some of the things you see cause some cognitive dissonance. No fault of the authors, but it is still jarring to see things you know are untrue.

    Decent artwork, and stories in a rather large collection make this a worthwhile collection if you'd like to read a sort of slightly altered universe of what the Star Wars characters did between the movies.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Green Rabbits and Cyborg Bounty Hunters...
    I've just ordered the reprint trade paperback reprints of these Marvel books. I remember reading and re-reading all of these "beyond the movie" adventures when I was a kid. It was just such an incredible charge to see what Luke, Han, and company were doing between the movies. Water worlds, gambling satellites, Darth Vader learning the name of the Death Star's destroyer(a nice plot device), the blocky artwork and awkward poses of Carmine Infantino artwork, wondering WHY these adventurers NEVER changed their clothes as they NEVER seemed to make their way back to Yavin Base after their Flash Gordon-esque side-adventures... Oh, and we can't forget that Obi-Wan Jedi story with the droid 68RKO (which were the call letters of a radio station if I'm not mistaken)...They really DID capture the imagination. Hopefully, Dark Horse will get around to publishing a VOLUME 3 because therein lie the BEST Marvel STAR WARS tales. But these first two will take you to a Long Time Ago in a Decade Not Far Away Enough--The Seventies. You'll see the pop-cultural impact of the first wave of STAR WARS mania, in many ways as endearingly cheesy as that Thanksgiving Holiday special. If you remember these, you will LOVE them all over again...if you don't, then prepare to be mightily entertained, whether you like comics, STAR WARS, or pop-culture in general. These books definitely belong on your shelf...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first collection!
    This is the second trade paperback reprinting the original Marvel Star Wars comics from the late 70's/early 80's. It picks up immediately following the first trade paperback, and goes forward (timeline-wise) up to the first issue of Marvel's Empire Strikes Back adaptation.

    Now, I've already given the first volume a good review, and this one's not going to be any different. I enjoyed these stories immensely when they first came out, and it still gives me a thrill to glance through my collection every now and then. Some of the covers were amazing!

    The stories, for the most part, are the strongest from Marvel's entire line. The very last story in the collection, a fill-in tale where Luke and Leia end up on a large ship that is alive and has emotions, is probably the strongest in the entire batch. But there are other great moments mingled in with the rest. I think the issues featuring bounty hunters (including a cyborg) and the role they play in the Star Wars Universe are particulary interesting reads. And the story where Han and Chewy are trapped in a cavern with metal-eating termites chewing away at the Millenium Falcon (while a very thin Jabba the Hut stands outside the cave waiting for Solo to exit) is a classic.

    Of course, not all of the stories work. There are some cheesy moments when Luke returns to Tatooine, and a few other issues that look like the artwork was rushed to meet a deadline, but overall, most of the issues are still fun to read.

    Should you buy it? If you're a Star Wars nut, of course! But I think these stories would also be great for a parent looking for some good safe stories set in the Star Wars universe to give to their son/daughter. ... Read more

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