Sunday, February 11, 2018


Nothing in physical format this month, but we do have the "Digital Unboxing" to enjoy. A couple weeks ago, Amazon had another of their bargain basement Marvel sales, and I took advantage to pick up a few collections dirt cheap: BLACK PANTHER: PANTHER'S QUEST, INVADERS CLASSIC: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION volume 1 and volume 2, and IRON MAN EPIC COLLECTION: DOOM. Also, in a Dark Horse sale I grabbed THE BLACK BEETLE IN: KARA BÖCEK by Francisco Francavilla, and in a Conan-specific Dark Horse sale, I picked up CONAN AND THE JEWELS OF GWAHLUR by P. Craig Russell.

(It was announced recently that Marvel has regained the Conan license, and presumably they will begin publishing Epic Collections, Omnibuses, etc. of their original Conan material when the transfer takes effect in 2019. But I recall that when Dark Horse lost the STAR WARS license, they had a massive, insanely discounted sale near the end of their final year, and I'm holding out to see if they do the same with Conan later in 2018. I only picked up JEWELS OF GWAHLUR because it looked cool and was pretty cheap to begin with.)

And now a surprise: The Unboxing Junior Edition! I love to read to my son, and we have a ton of little simple readers for him to enjoy. But recently I started reading him a MICKEY AND MINNIE STORYBOOK COLLECTION which is a little advanced (he's only nineteen months old, after all), but which he still seems to really like. Thus I checked to see if there was a Marvel equivalent, and came across three such books on Amazon! The books all come in an earlier and a more recent edition, and since the covers of the recent ones aren't very uniform, I went with the lovely matching prior printings (which also happen to cost less on Amazon).

So now we have an AVENGERS STORYBOOK COLLECTION, a SPIDER-MAN STORYBOOK COLLECTION, and a MARVEL SUPER HEROES STORYBOOK COLLECTION to read. And the best part -- and one of the major reasons I'm mentioning these here -- is that these books were printed before Marvel stopped promoting certain characters whose rights belong with Fox, so the SUPER HEROES book actually includes a Fantastic Four story and a Silver Surfer story. In addition, the collection goes deep with certain characters you don't normally see in these kids' books, like Daredevil and She-Hulk.

The second reason I decided to spotlight these books is that, even though they were published within the past few years, they present the more classic versions of the characters (albeit usually in 2000s-era costumes). So the SUPER HEROES book, for example, has a story about Professor X's younger days, which covers his encounter with Baron Strucker alongside Magneto, his first meeting with the Shadow King, and even his battle against the demonic Lucifer (!), as well as a story about the original X-Men and even one covering the "All-New, All-Different" team's mission to Krakoa! That's some relatively obscure material for a kids' book, when they could've taken the easier route of Magneto and the Brotherhood all the way through.

Anyway, I won't gush too much over these things, but for someone like me, it's great to have the ability to read kids' books to my son which cover the actual, authentic backstories of these characters as originally conceived in the comics. I don't intend to be one of those parents who tries to force his interests onto his child -- in fact it would break my heart if my son grew to resent Marvel simply over my pushing him into it -- but I do want to introduce him to Marvel, and I would prefer to do that via the original continuity and characters, then let him branch out into whatever he likes going forward.


  1. I'm gonna have to check out those Marvel storybooks - they sound great.

    My son has a set of Golden Book adaptations of the Star Wars movies, and those are particularly fun (for me) to read just in terms of how the story gets adapted, or the more complicated/adult stuff (like Anakin, you know, burning alive) gets handled.

    Like, I don't want to force my interests on my kid, but I'm going to make sure he's at least aware of them. I like to say "I want to take him to the comic shop with me until he's old enough to say he doesn't want to do Dad's weird stuff anymore." :)

    1. We have Golden Books of the original trilogy, but not the prequels. I've never seen them out and about, so I should probably just grab them off Amazon.

      The Marvel books are a lot of fun, and I even went ahead and ordered 5-MINUTE MARVEL STORIES, 5-MINUTE AVENGERS STORIES, and 5-MINUTE SPIDER-MAN STORIES, too. They look to be about the same reading level based on Amazon previews and, while I think they duplicate some ground from these books, they also have stories that these don't, like Captain America waking from suspended animation and Spider-Man trying to join the Fantastic Four.

      As you saw on Twitter, I'm sorting all these stories into a better continuity order for bedtime reading. I'm going to add all the 5-MINUTE STORIES into that list as well, once they arrive. I'm also looking at a couple of paperback readers which appear to be done in the same style and which cover the Kree/Skrull war and "Days of Future Past" to add to our "Marvel Storybook Universe".

      I'm with you; I'm sure my son will eventually outgrow my interests, but I hope on some level he remains into the characters. Even if reading comics isn't his thing, I'd like to see him follow Marvel in cartoons and movies -- but I'll leave that up to him. After I introduce him to all of it, it'll be his choice whether to stay interested! For the first few years, though, I hope he will be, if for no other reason than to emulate Dad.