Sunday, July 30, 2017


The Spider-Man party continues this month with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EPIC COLLECTION: KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT from Marvel. This book includes a notable chunk of Spidey stuff from the eighties, from the unmasking of the Hobgoblin to the SPIDER-MAN VS. WOLVERINE one-shot to wedding of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson to the eponymous storyline featuring Kraven the Hunter. I have mixed feelings about this era. Partly it's due to a lot of substandard artwork, but more than that, the stories often feel too dark for Spider-Man -- especially SPIDER-MAN/WOLVERINE and "Kraven's Last Hunt". But still, if I collect every installment of no other Epic Collection line, I will collect all of Spider-Man because -- it's Spider-Man!

In addition, this month Marvel also brings the DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU OMNIBUS volume 2, a black-and-white volume completing Marvel's collection of the magazine series that starred, among others, Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, and the Sons of the Tiger. As I mentioned when volume 1 was released, I've had a weird love of the Sons for many years without having read any of their actual adventures, and I'm pleased to finally rectify that. (That is to say, I'm rectifying my not having read the issues, not my love of the characters! That will endure even if I don't enjoy the stories.)

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Amazon has a "ghost" listing up for the 2018 release of the MASTER OF KUNG FU EPIC COLLECTION volume 1. I had previously speculated, based on statements from Marvel collected edition editors, that the Omnibuses might be the only way to get this material. I'm glad to see that's not the case; in addition to the fancy hardcovers, MASTER OF KUNG FU will also be available in a nice paperback format as well.


  1. I got sucked into some Deadly Hands of Kung Fu on Marvel Unlimited while reading the early Iron Fist comics recently. As we discussed when you wrote about the first Omnibus, I too have a soft spot for the Sons of the Tiger — as well as Hector Ayala, The White Tiger, due to Spectacular Spider-Man #20 blowing my mind a bit, and I’m not sure I ever knew that his introduction came in the Sons’ DHOKF strip. Anyway, Vol. 1 is currently 60% off at InStockTrades, which means I’m exercising some serious willpower.

    1. Hey, if you're looking for my thoughts on early IRON FIST, I read every issue a couple years back: IRON FIST CLASSIC.

      My main exposure to Hector Ayala is the SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN stories where Roger Stern has him beat up and gunned down by Gideon Mace -- so he never made a huge impression on me. The Sons, on the other hand, I knew very little of, so their legend was built for me based on their visuals and accompanying entry in the GAMER'S HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE from the old Marvel RPG system.


    2. Actually, I’ve been taking notes while reading Iron Fist partly with your reviews in mind. Of course, echoing Teebore in a comment on your post on the first issue, I haven’t gotten around to your Wolfman/Pérez Titans reviews yet despite being a huge proponent of that run and rereading it over the past couple of years as I’ve gotten the series in TPB for my eldest niece.


    3. Re Spectacular Spider-Man #20: I was 7 when it came out — still reliant on spinner racks as opposed to direct-market shops and still pretty constricted in my budget, although checking the GCD’s cover gallery against my memory it was the third issue in a row of the series that I’d gotten. Despite my understanding that Hector Ayala was a fairly minor character, Lightmaster’s belief that he was Spider-Man placing him in such a position that he had to out himself publicly as The White Tiger felt like a really big deal to Young Blam — as well as brilliantly ironic — because everyone knew secret identities were sacrosanct. I assume this isn’t a spoiler if you’ve read those later issues with him. 8^)