Friday, March 18, 2011

Captain Britain Omnibus Hardcover Review

Captain Britain Omnibus
Marvel Comics
Oversized Hardcover
688 pages
ISBN 9780785137603

Contributors: Alan Davis, Alan Moore, Jamie Delano, Dave Thorpe, Paul Neary, Steve Craddock, Mike Collins, Chris Claremont, Mike Carlin, Mark Farmer, Dennis Janke, Noel Davis, Glynis Oliver, Tom Orzechowski, and many others

Reprints: Marvel Super-Heroes #377-388, The Daredevils #1-11, The Mighty World of Marvel #7-16, Captain Britain (1985) #1-14 (of 14), New Mutants Annual #2, and Uncanny X-Men Annual #11, and Captain America #305-306

Synopsis: Bathed in magic and clothed in science, Captain Britain has fought countless battles against powerful threats to common decency. We catch up with our hero and his companion, Jackdaw the Elf, as they fall back to their proper Earth dimension after aiding King Arthur and Merlin. Transformed along the way, the Captain's star sceptre vanishes and his costume changes. The pair land on an unfortunate version of Earth where an oppressive government has outlawed all superheroes. They uncover an interdimensional plan to heal the wayward planet by Majestrix Opal Luna Saturnyne of the Dimensional Development Court. Eventually the two adventurers join forces with her, but all their plans run to ruin as Mad Jim Jaspers and deadly cybiote The Fury descend upon the scene.  Jaspers' reality-warping powers completely unravel everything and it's a savage battle for survival with no one getting out alive!
Incredibly the Captain's adventures continue as Merlin guides his catspaw from the clutches of death and returns him to his proper home.  Here he discovers a secret lurking within the ruins of his ancestral home, must rescue the former Majestrix from a dimensional kangaroo court, reconnects with his psychic sister Betsy, faces off against the resurrected Slaymaster, meets Merlin's daughter Roma, reunites with Captain UK, and the terrifying return of both The Fury and Mad Jim Jaspers! 

Rebuilding after the catastrophic Jaspers Warp, Brian Braddock struggles to regain some semblance of a normal life. The life of a hero is never quiet and his trials continue!  We're introduced to the were-woman Meggan, the incredible Gatecrasher with her Technet, a reappearance of the Crazy Gang, the Warpies, Jamie Braddock's startling secret, the maiming of Betsy Braddock, and a final showdown with Slaymaster!

Carrying on after her tragic misfortune in the guise of Captain Britain, Betsy Braddock is kidnapped and used by Mojo in a plot to ensnare the New Mutants.  Her brother Brian rushes to the rescue and thus the Braddock twins' fate is forever entwined with the X-Men! Later Brian and Meggan visit Betsy at Xavier's school only to be forced on a self-defeating cosmic quest for the ultimate prize.  One by one our heroes fall to their own inner desires until only one remains - can the universe still be saved?  A final tale brings Captain America to England to battle Captain Britain!

Pros: You get to witness Alan Davis and Alan Moore progress from rookies to pros (especially Davis) within these pages, Delano gives a great follow-up performance to Moore, Claremont's annuals are excellent, lots of cool extras including: Alan Davis' sketchbook, history of Captain Britain by Alan Moore, promotional art, Mastermind files on CB, Cherubim backup stories from CB #11-14, Captain Granbretan prose story by Grant Morrison (which was actually pretty cool) w/art pages, introductions by Alan Moore and Chris Claremont, and covers from all the various reprintings (including alternate omnibus cover)

Cons: Captain America issues are utter crap (both writing and art despite Paul Neary's involvement) showing the ineptitude of American writers to pull off a British story, Jackdaw the Elf is totally lame (Alan Moore takes care of this one right quick!), early issues are pretty rough and tend to have some silliness

Mike Tells It Straight: Captain Britain was created in the mid-1970's by American comic book creators and his first series was a jumble of misrepresentations by constantly rotating creative teams. This volume contains his entire second incarnation under a bevy of legendary comics creators.  I hold one creator responsible and synonymous with Captain Britain - Alan Davis. His career began on the character and he's the main artist on almost all the stories collected here. Dave Thorpe gets honorable mention for his initial writing concepts, but is brilliantly outshined by Alan Moore in his prime. The current multiversal hierarchy made popular in Exiles was first introduced by Moore (Earth-616 sound familiar?). Moore gives us a unique view of the superhero archetype.
I'm really digging the Marvel omnibus editions and this volume is another gem. While the main stories were previously reprinted (Captain Britain TPB & Captain Britain TPB (Before Excalibur...) we get loads of behind-the-scenes extras in a luscious oversized hardcover with dustjacket. Highly recommended!

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ANNIVERSARY Amazon Price Glitch of 2010 + Barnes and Noble

It was one year ago when lightning rained down from the heavens and Amazon's prices mysteriously plummeted for trade paperbacks, hardcovers, and the epic omnibus editions! Within 24 hours the Top 100 bestselling books were all omnibuses and comic hardcovers fueled by the manic ordering of thousands of fans. Ebay auctions by sellers looking to profit from the situation were posted before shipment confirmations were ever received. Later the cause was found to be errors in Diamond Distribution's upload for the weekend which sent a collective shiver through comic fandom across the US.  My own personal experience in the thick of things can be found in the labels section under "Amazon Price Glitch of 2010"


Start: March 6, 2010 - Saturday night the "glitch" was discovered
Finish: March 12, 2010 - Final round of books arrive
Duration: 6 days on an emotional roller coaster!

$599.86 MSRP of Items Received

$241.72 Paid to Amazon

59.7% Savings off MSRP
+$25.00 gift certificate

Actual items received details:
Civil War Hardcover $14.99
Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Omnibus Vol. 2 Hardcover $14.99
Criminal (Deluxe Edition) Hardcover $14.99
Invincible Iron Man Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $14.99
X-Men: Supernovas Hardcover $14.99
Uncanny X-Men: Rise & Fall of the Shi'ar Empire Hardcover $14.99
Annihilation: Conquest Book 2 Hardcover $14.99
Ultimate X-Men Vol. 8 Hardcover $14.99
Annihilation Classic Hardcover $14.99
Avengers: First To Last Premiere Hardcover $14.99
House Of M: Spider-Man, Fantastic Four & X-Men Hardcover $14.99
House Of M: Wolverine, Iron Man & Hulk Hardcover $14.99
Hulk: Green Hulk/Red Hulk Hardcover $14.99
X-Men: Asgardian Wars Hardcover $14.99

Cancelled items:
X-Men: Messiah Complex Hardcover $14.99
Avengers Forever Hardcover $14.99
Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man, Thor & Captain America Hardcover $14.99
House Of M: No More Mutants Hardcover $14.99
X-Force Vol. 1 Hardcover $14.99
X-Men: Inferno Crossovers Hardcover $14.99
3x Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $8.24
5x The Incredible Hulk Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $8.24
2x The X-Men Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $8.24
10x Iron Man Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $8.24
2x Secret Wars Omnibus Hardcover $8.24
2x Wolverine Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $8.24
2x The Ultimates Omnibus Hardcover $8.24
10x Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Omnibus Vol. 2 Hardcover $8.24
The Marshal Law Omnibus Hardcover $14.99 (pre-order)
Fantastic Four Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $14.99
The X-Men Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $14.99
Iron Man Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $14.99
Secret Wars Omnibus Hardcover $14.99
Wolverine Omnibus Vol. 1 Hardcover $14.99
Golden Age Marvel Comics Omnibus Vol 1 Hardcover $14.99
The Ultimates Omnibus Hardcover $14.99
Daredevil Omnibus by Ed Brubaker Vol. 1 Hardcover $14.99
The Death of Captain America Omnibus Hardcover $14.99
Howard The Duck Omnibus Hardcover $14.99
Tomb Of Dracula Omnibus Volume 1 Hardcover $14.99


After lightning comes thunder and incredibly it was Barnes and Noble with the same type of "glitch". The Amazon glitch had prepared me for this second round and I fired off several small orders (including quite a few pre-orders).  This time the discount attained was much better (due to the pre-order lock-in prices).

Start: March 10, 2010 - Wednesday afternoon/early evening
Finish: October 18, 2010 - After receiving many books my final pre-order was cancelled
Duration: 7 months of nail-biting anticipation!

$324.93 MSRP of Items Received

$100.84 Paid to Barnes and Noble

69% Savings off MSRP

Actual items received details:
Walking Dead Compendium Vol 1 Paperback $10.79
Tomb Of Dracula Omnibus Vol 2 Hardcover $10.79
Killraven Hardcover $6.28 (bargain bin)
Spider-Man: One More Day Hardcover $6.28 (bargain bin)
House Of M: No More Mutants Hardcover $10.11
X-Men: Mutant Massacre Hardcover $10.79
Invincible Iron Man Vol 1 Hardcover $10.79

Cancelled items:
Criminal: The Deluxe Edition Hardcover $10.79
Hellboy Library Edition Vol 2 Hardcover $11.99
Witchblade Compendium Vol 2 Hardcover $10.79
Rising Stars Compendium Hardcover $10.79
Captain Britain Omnibus Hardcover $10.79
Daredevil By Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Omnibus Vol 2 Hardcover $10.79
X-Men: Inferno Hardcover $10.79
X-Men: Inferno Crossovers Hardcover $10.11

Seeing all of those amazing omnibuses and hardcovers for ridiculously low prices was an utter shock. Waiting to see if any of the books would be honored over the next week was unbelievably intense.  I think the odds of a price glitch of this magnitude happening again are akin to being struck twice by lightning.  Those who lived it will always remember the Amazon Price Glitch of 2010!