Friday, November 22, 2019


If you'll indulge me a moment: back in 2016, when I reviewed the UNCANNY X-MEN OMNIBUS vol. 3, I said:
"The first chunk of the "official" bonus material is possibly the coolest: 66 pages reprinting full profiles for every X-character seen in the original OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. This is basically a mini-handbook all on its own, and the profile art, by the likes of Smith, Cockrum, Byrne, and more, looks beautiful in the reconstructed Omnibus format. I know it might not be to everyone's taste, but this stuff gets me thinking that I would love to see a full OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE OMNIBUS. Yes, the profiles would be thirty years out of date, but that series is as much a part of my childhood -- and the childhoods of an entire generation -- as are the actual comics from which they draw their inspiration."
Well, here we are three-and-a-half years later, and this month's Unboxing features the arrival of (drum roll) the OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE OMNIBUS!

Like I said above, the profiles are way out of date, but I don't really care. This book is a lot of fun to flip through, and it features a Marvel Universe which exists now only in memory, with nearly all the characters shown as they were, preserved in their most iconic costumes (which is a reason I've never warmed up to the later "Deluxe Edition" handbook, which features several characters in their then-current and less timeless looks). And even though the book reprints the issues in order (with the "dead and inactive" characters lumped together in the back), there's a spiffy table of contents up front in complete alphabetical order, making it simple to find any character you might be looking for.

That's it for November, folks. With Black Friday coming up in just one week, I anticipate grabbing some digital releases from Comixology/Amazon -- but since that's nearly the end of the month, if I do so, I'll just save them for December.

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