This TPB is really a thin volume. It is the size of a prestige format comic book, and originally sold for ten dollars, which even the was more than the average price of such a tome, normally around seven bucks. So take that into account. It is a reprint of various stories of Matt Baker's "Phantom Lady," which originally appeared in the late 1940's. There are six stories - which run between 6 & 10 pages - from four different issues of Phantom Lady and two issues of All-Top Comics. The reproductions are color scans from the comic books. The color scans, frankly, are mediocre - the colors are vibrant, however the quality wavers. Some times colors and linework are blurry, some times the colors are dark, some times the linework isn't solid. In general the reproduction lacks crispness.
But the reproduction quality is better than some TPB's of modern comic books (like the Marvel repro's of Jim Starlin's "Dreadstar" - which are dreadful). Some of the pages did come out very well, tho, and thankfully Verotik used a low gloss paper. So far, it seems only Fantagraphics Books has completely mastered colors scans from comic books, and they use a non-gloss thick stock paper which allows for maximum absorption of the inks - leading to vibrant colors and solid linework. But the low gloss paper of this book is absorbent enough to produce a very colorful, bright, lively reproduction.
Matt Baker was one of the first black comic book professional artists, and Phantom Lady was one of the first female superheroes. Baker was known as a premier "good girl" artist, and indeed, he drew gorgeous women. Otherwise, his art is very high quality, he was certainly one of the best comic book artists of the Golden Age. Unfortunately, he also one of the most under appreciated, with little of his art reprinted. Baker's art in this volume is fantastic. He not only drew the most beautiful women, but also great action sequences, and innovative panel design. The writing leaves much to be desired, however, plots are contrived, illogical, thought the characterization is often good.
I gave this book only three stars because of the quality of the scans, the shortness of the volume, and the scattershot nature of the anthology. This is no complete Archive collection of Baker's Phantom Lady work. But unfortunately, it is one of the few collections that have made it into print so far. If, like me, you decide you'd rather enjoy some of this remarkable artist's work now, rather than wait for some publisher to figure out that Baker still has appeal, then this is one of your few choices. I paid more than twice what this book sold for originally (including p/h), and I can't wholeheartedly say that it was worth it - but since I am a big fan of Matt Baker, I am glad I got the book. However, if I had known that this was a prestige sized book when I bought it, I might not have done so.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 20927 KB
- Print Length: 33 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00OFBPDI4
- Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 1 customer rating