Sunday, March 13, 2016
THE UNBOXING - MARCH 2016
We'll get DC's offering out of the way first: the BATMAN: HARLEY & IVY Deluxe Edition hardcover collection, reprinting the limited series by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, as well as a number of other comic book team-ups from the BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES universe starring this duo and written by Dini. I've read every iteration of THE BATMAN ADVENTURES and its specials and annuals, but somehow I never got my hands on HARLEY & IVY when it was first published. I can't express how excited I am to read what is, to me, a "lost" Dini/Timm Batman production.
From Marvel, I've got an Avenger and two X-Men collections to look at -- first, CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE, the long-delayed fourth installment in the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale "color" series. Readers will recall that early last year I looked at the original "colors", DAREDEVIL: YELLOW, SPIDER-MAN: BLUE, and HULK: GRAY, which were published between 2001 and 2004. Now, at last, Loeb and Sale have created the long-ago teased WHITE as a companion to those series. I intend to read this one pretty soon and post my thoughts on it to go with the previous colors in short order.
In the X-universe, Marvel has seen fit to issue the Fabian Nicieza/Steve Skroce GAMBIT in a couple of thick trade paperbacks under the banner of X-MEN: GAMBIT: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION. This series, which ran twenty-five issues, was a monthly favorite of mine during the final days of Bob Harras's Marvel, and I'm very pleased to add the first installment to my bookcase.
UNCANNY X-MEN OMNIBUS volume 3. Marvel waited eight years between volumes 1 and 2 of this series, but they've fast-tracked volume 3, with a release only two years after the last one. I intend to publish an in-depth look at this volume in a week or two, so I'll withhold any thoughts on it until then, other than to mention that this closes out Dave Cockrum's second run and contains the entirety of Paul Smith's brief time on the series. With this book, my definitive "classic" X-Men period is entirely collected in Omnibus format, and I couldn't be happier.
I was also supposed to receive the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EPIC COLLECTION: RETURN OF THE SINISTER SIX this month, but for some reason my copy was delayed. It's no big deal; I wasn't planning to get to any time soon and so I can wait, but I figured I should mention that one as well right now in case anybody is interested in checking it out. (Weirdly, this happened previously with a CAPTAIN AMERICA Epic Collection as well. I wonder if these books just aren't getting very big initial retailer orders?)