Sunday, July 26, 2015


Three trade paperbacks reached my doorstep this month, all from Marvel. First up is ANT-MAN: SCOTT LANG, a collection of stories I've wanted to read for some time. As many know, back in the seventies, Hank Pym had moved away from his Ant-Man identity to become Giant-Man, then Goliath, then ultimately Yellowjacket. Marvel brought Ant-Man back into circulation by giving the codename and costume to a new character, a former burglar named Scott Lang (and if anyone saw the new ANT-MAN movie that came out last weekend, this story should sound pretty familiar).

David Michelinie created Scott and wrote several early appearances for him, all collected in this volume, before moving him into IRON MAN as a supporting character during his legendary run with artist Bob Layton. Because of that, this book will, in a way, make a nice companion for the IRON MAN BY MICHELINE & LAYTON OMNIBUS.

Next is the CAPTAIN AMERICA EPIC COLLECTION: STREETS OF POISON, reprinting a nice chunk of issues from the middle of Mark Gruenwald's decade-long run on the star-spangled sentinel. These issues are notable to modern audiences for some early appearances from the Red Skull's henchman, Crossbones, set to hit the Silver Screen in next year's CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR -- and, in general, they're just fun stories. Also, though there are chunks of issues missing between them, this book, plus the previously released CAPTAIN AMERICA EPIC COLLECTION: SOCIETY OF SERPENTS and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE CAPTAIN, together feature all the high-profile appearances of Gruenwald's Serpent Society, forming a more-or-less complete story arc for that group.

And finally there's X-MEN: THE HUNT FOR PROFESSOR X, collecting several issues from the brief but apparently well-regarded Joe Kelly/Steve Seagle run on X-MEN and UNCANNY X-MEN. While this is not my favorite portion of the nineties X-canon -- I mainly just think of it as filler between Scott Lobdell and Alan Davis -- I do recall some good stuff coming out of their time on the titles, and I'm happy to have the material collected. Strangely this is the second half of Kelly/Seagle, with the first portion still uncollected, but in any case I'm pretty sure one more volume would wrap up their year or so helming the X-books. Hopefully we'll see that soon.

P.S.: Remember, for a pretty definitive listing of all currently collected X-MEN and UNCANNY issues (at least, in my preferred formats), check out my X-MEN COLLECTED EDITIONS CHART.


  1. Does the Ant-Man trade just carry through to the Iron Man stuff, or does it go further, into, say, his "Under Siege" appearances, and up to his recurring role in FF in the 90s?

    I had no idea so much of Gruenwald's Cap run featured back-up stories, which is a pretty neat thing to see in 90s comics. I also really liked the way that Epic handled the annuals from that year.

    I probably won't pick up the Hunt For Xavier anytime soon, but I'm really, really happy to see it published, just from a "every issue should be available in a collected edition" perspective.

    1. ANT-MAN doesn't have the "Under Siege" stuff, but it does have Scott's first team-up with the Avengers, in the "Bride of Ultron" story that also introduced Taskmaster. Besides that, it includes his origin from MARVEL PREMIERE, a few Michelinie/Layton IRON MAN issues (including the full Hulk 3-parter, even though Ant-Man really only figures into the third chapter), and some MARVEL TEAM-UP stuff. It's a nice grab-bag of all his early appearances.

      I've always liked the backups in Gruenwald's CAP. They mainly appeared around the late eighties/early nineties, and you got all kinds of neat stuff, such as spotlight stories on the villains: there were Red Skull backups, Serpent Society backups, etc. He really fleshed out his mini "Cap-verse" with those stories.

      I think around the same time, Gru's pal Tom DeFalco resurrected the "Tales of Asgard" backups in THOR, too.

      I suspect the XAVIER book will stick around for a while, so probably no need to grab it right away. I find it odd that the storyline was called "Hunt for Xavier", but the trade has been titled "The Search For Professor X" for some reason. At any rate, I hope we get one more book to complete the Seagle/Kelly stuff. I haven't read that run since it was first published, and I'd love to give the whole thing another shot in one chunk.

    2. Oops -- the book is "The Hunt for Professor X". I swear it was solicited as "The Search...", but maybe I'm wrong. I guess that makes a bit more sense. It's the same title; they just swapped out his surname for his codename.