Friday, April 19, 2019


What's this? The Unboxing on Friday?! It's true, and the reason why will be explained in this very space... next Friday! But for now, after skipping the past two months, The Unboxing returns at last with three offerings from Marvel, and I think the wait was worth it!

First we have two trade paperbacks, starting with CAPTAIN AMERICA EPIC COLLECTION: THE SUPERIA STRATAGEM. Over the past few years, Marvel has been steadily plugging away at completing Mark Gruenwald's ten-year run on CAPTAIN AMERICA in a number of trade paperbacks. Currently, thanks to this new volume and the previously released Epic Collections SOCIETY OF SERPENTS, JUSTICE IS SERVED, THE BLOODSTONE HUNT, and STREETS OF POISON, plus the out-of-print Epic-in-all-but-name THE CAPTAIN, we've got issues 307 - 397 collected. That's ninety-one issues plus associated annuals and such, covering nearly the first seven years of Gruenwald's run. Gruenwald's final CAP issue was 443, so we've still got quite a ways to go, but at the very least it's safe to say that the "prime" material is pretty much all available at this point. (Though I love all of it and will happily snap up the rest of the run as it's released!)

Next is X-MEN: ONSLAUGHT AFTERMATH, and I cannot overstate how absolutely thrilled I am to own this book. Those who follow my X-Men Collected Editions chart know that this was the final piece needed to close the X-Men's 1990s gap. As of now, thanks to ONSLAUGHT AFTERMATH, EVERY. SINGLE. ISSUE. of UNCANNY X-MEN and X-MEN from the full decade of the nineties has been collected. I seriously want to do a little jig over this. It's been my goal for about the past five years to have that entire run of issues on my bookshelf, and now I can finally say that the mission is accomplished.

(Of course this isn't to say I won't re-buy some of this material as it finds its way into better collections -- upgrading from paperbacks to hardcovers, for example -- but the point is that for now, the goal is complete.)

And speaking of rebuying, our last book is one that I couldn't resist even though I've purchased all of it in various formats over the years -- comics when I was a teen, trade paperbacks and hardcovers as an adult... but now we have it here, all collected in one comprehensive and definitive oversized hardcover, just in time for a certain major motion picture it inspired: the THANOS WARS: INFINITY ORIGIN OMNIBUS. The name is an inelegant mouthful, but the contents are what's important here. This book collects all of Jim Starlin's early Thanos material, from his first appearance in IRON MAN #55, through his war against Captain Mar-Vell and the Avengers, and up to his dealings with Adam Warlock -- plus everything in between, whether Thanos-related or not. I've probably mentioned it here before, but for the record, Starlin's cosmic stuff at 1970s Marvel is among my all-time favorite comic book runs, and it's wonderful to see it get the high-end treatment it deserves at long last.

1 comment:

  1. I’m happy for you re the completion of the ’90s X-Men library — which I don’t mean snarkily even though it’s not my bag. The omnibus of the original ’70s Thanos saga, on the other hand, is right up my alley. No matter how often I’ve seen the material in recent years, I still get a strong nostalgic flashback to being freaked out by the pair of annuals that concluded the story at the ripe age of 6; Marvel comics of the era were not for precocious readers quite that young, although on balance I can’t blame my parents.