6 Image Firsts Trade Paperbacks You Should Be Buying


Written by James Ferguson



Image Comics has been releasing a ton of great funny books and from the looks of the latest Image Expo, the publisher is showing no signs of stopping.  There are a bunch of great trade paperbacks coming up in the next few months that you should definitely be on the lookout for to add to your horror  / sci-fi comic collection.  The best part is that you can do it for cheap as most of these books have a cover price of just $9.99 and they tend to come out right around the next issue so you can get caught up before diving into the ongoing series.  Check them out below!


(Oh, quick note.  You'll notice that Wayward isn't included in the below list.  It's not because you shouldn't buy it, because you definitely should.  I had just written about the release already on its own which you can check out here.)


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Madame Frankenstein

This isn't really an “Image First” as it is a complete mini-series and not an ongoing, but it's a trade paperback that has earned its place on this list.  Set in 1932, the book follows Vincent Krall, a down-on-his-luck med student that takes on a near impossible task.  He wants to create the perfect woman by reanimating the corpse of the woman he loved but could never possess.  The story spirals into the dark reaches of obsession as Vincent sees his creation as an object, not a living creature.  

The seven-issue mini-series from Jamie S. Rich and Megan Levens is a Great Gatsby approach to the Frankenstein story.  The collection retails for $16.99 and will be available in comic book shops on February 25th and book stores on March 10th.


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The '80s produced a ton of great movies where normal kids went on amazing adventures, often to faraway lands. The Goonies. The NeverEnding Story. Labryinth. What happened after those kids came back though? What happened to their families? Birthright plays with that, along with the overall hero's journey. The comic, written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Andrei Bressan, centers on the Rhodes family. One day their young son, Mikey disappears. It turns out that he went to the fantasy world of Terranos where he was destined to destroy the evil that threatened this land. He was the chosen one and had twenty years' worth of adventures while only one year passed here. During that time, Mikey's family is ripped apart. Then he returns. Now what?


Birthright mixes fantasy elements with emotional drama that packs a punch. The opening scene is heartbreaking as Mikey's father searches in vain for his son. The first trade paperback, entitled Homecoming, collects issues #1 - #5 and retails for $9.99. It will be available in comic book stores on March 4th, 2015 and in book stores on March 17th, 2015.



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The Humans


I see a lot of comics come through HorrorTalk HQ. There are zombies, ghosts, goblins, vampires, werewolves, aliens, and good old-fashioned serial killers. The Humans is on an island all its own. Set in Bakersfield, California in 1970, the comic follows the baddest biker gang of all. They get into rumbles defending their turf. They cook drugs. They party like no other. They're also apes. The first story arc picks up with the return of one of the gang members that was long thought dead. Is he the same as he was before he went off to war?


This is a combination of everything you loved about exploitation-era cinema wrapped in a gorgeously drawn comic from Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely. It's a damn fun book. The first volume, Humans for Life, collects issues #0 - #4 and retails for $9.99. It's set for release in comic book shops on March 11th, 2015 and in book stores on March 24th, 2015.



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The Fade Out


Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips made a comic. That should be enough to get you to buy this book. If you're still on the fence for some odd reason, The Fade Out is the first of the duo's collaborations as part of the new five year deal they have with Image Comics to basically publish whatever they want. It's a crime noir series set in Hollywood in 1948 where a starlet has died under suspicious circumstances. A writer knows that she was murdered and he's wracked with guilt over the secret he must keep in order to save his skin.


This is a tense read that oozes nostalgia and old school pulp. Brubaker and Phillips stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Hammett, Spillane, and Chandler. The first volume collects issues #1 - #4 and retails for $9.99. It will be available in comic book stores on February 25th, 2015 and book stores on March 10th, 2015.



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There have been a handful of dynamite sci-fi western comics that have popped up recently. Copperhead is definitely one of them. It focuses on a small mining town on a distant planet where single mother Clara Bronson just became the new sheriff. She has some secrets and skeletons in her closet that led her to Copperhead that are bound to get out as she investigates a grisly massacre.


The comic, written by Jay Faerber and illustrated by Scott Godlewski, expertly mixes the elements of both genres with an epic scope to it. Clara is a strong female lead who takes no shit from anyone. The fact that she's shrouded in mystery just adds to the appeal. The first volume, entitled A New Sheriff in Town, collects the first five issues and retails for that now all too familiar price of $9.99. It's due out in comic book stores on March 11th, 2015 and in book stores on March 24th, 2015.



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Sooner or later, we're just going to run this planet into the ground, right? Low, from Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, looks at a version of our world where humankind has retreated to the bottom of the ocean to escape the scorching radiation of the sun. People have all but given up, knowing that the world is doomed. Hope is a foreign concept and Stel Caine may be the last one that has any.


This comic presents a harsh alternate reality with some absolutely gorgeous visuals from Tocchini. His style is a perfect fit for this book, meshing science fiction with dystopian society, all deep under the sea. Stel is powerful in her belief that she can save humanity, but you have to ask yourself if it's worth saving. The first volume, entitled The Delirium of Hope, debuts in comic book stores on March 25th, 2015 and in book stores on April 7th, 2015. It collects the first six issues of the series and retails for...you guessed it...$9.99.







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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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