Trades for 10-24-11: My first digital trade!

Hi guys! Today will be a special article because it marks my dip into the digital comics pool. I've been reading the free stuff from, and I made an account so I could read the 17 yrs+ free comics like Animal Man #1 and Chew #1.

See if you can find me! My username's chezkevin.

Captain America vol. 1: Winter Soldier Premiere HC (out of print)

by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting
Collecting Marvel Comics' Captain America (v. 5) #'s 1-7

The best word to describe this would be subtle. Yes. The Red Skull is assassinated and his followers attempt attacks on the world in order to fuel his Cosmic Cube, but that's not the main conflict. The main conflict comes from Cap's inner demons. He comes off as this stoic war hero with all these memories that attack him at night. It's a bit more psychological than your average capes-and-tights book.

Epting is sound as the penciller, and the inks/colors really emphasize the noir tone in the pages. It's war, with all the sound and the fury, but it's also war in Cap's head. The scenes of action are a reprieve from Cap's inner turmoil. By the end of the book, we find out who assassinated the Red Skull, and, yes, Steve knows the guy from WWII, but we don't quite get the full story. Captain America is a title that rewards the patient, meticulous reader, but the story here is incredibly long-form for the format.

This volume doesn't really stand on its own: an interested reader would be better off reading the Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection, collecting #'s 1-9 and 11-14.

Chew Vol. 1: Taster's Choice ($5.99 ComiXology, 128 pages)
by John Layman and Rob Guillory
Collecting Image Comics' Chew #'s 1-5

There's a crazy amount of options out there if you're looking for comics. For this specific trade, I could have gone to Amazon ($9.99), discount comic book service ($5.99 + shipping), (from $3.75, used) or ComiXology. I decided on comiXology because I was getting another trade that was priced cheaper than anywhere else. There's also that sense of instant gratification.

When you buy it on comiXology, you get the five issues, separately along with a 3-page bonus material. When you finish an issue, it takes you back to the table of contents, not to the next issue. And that's a great way to read the trade, because each issue has its own story and contributes to the larger arc of Tony Chu's inaugural work for the FDA. Y'see, Tony Chu's a cibopath -- from the taste of any one thing, he'll get an idea of its life and how it died. In the first issue he's hired by the FDA for his talents in order to break up the chicken black market. Thanks to the bird flu, poultry is now banned in America! Chew takes a fresh idea and a believable main character and makes a great comic book out of it.

The art and the writing is full of flair that you won't find in any other comic. The comedy is great and Guillory lands the emotional beats in Chu's life. I'm on board. Expect me to be reviewing next month's issue.

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