Friday, July 24, 2020


After a couple months off, The Unboxing returns with two books and a few digital items. First, from Marvel, it's the SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK BY JOHN BYRNE OMNIBUS. I own this run in four formats now -- original comic books, two trade paperbacks, digital versions of those trades, and now this Omnibus. I can't help it; I love Byrne's She-Hulk! Heck, if IDW was ever to offer an Artist's Edition of pages from this run, I'd buy that, too!

Which turns out to be a nice segue to our next book, from IDW: DAVE COCKRUM'S X-MEN ARTIFACT EDITION. Prior to buying this, I owned exactly one Artist/Artifact Edition, which hit The Unboxing just about two years ago, and that was the JOHN BYRNE'S X-MEN ARTIFACT EDITION... so you can see where my tastes lie. Further, since I don't buy these things very often, I went ahead and splurged on the signed and numbered limited edition, which has a "virgin" wraparound cover, as well as a Chris Claremont autograph. I did the same thing with the Byrne book a couple years ago -- it was a Comic-Con exclusive, signed and numbered by Byrne.

(Which actually has me wondering whether this limited edition Cockrum book was originally intended as an SDCC exclusive too, but was instead offered through IDW's website when the convention was cancelled. If so, things worked out great for me, since my friends and I had decided last year to skip SDCC this summer -- and for the foreseeable future -- since it's become far too crowded and borderline miserable for us to handle. Had this volume been a con exclusive, I wouldn't have been able to get it! But since it's not, it's right here beside the Byrne book.)

Going off on a tangent here, I started thinking after picking up the Cockrum book about what other Artist/Artifact editions I might be interested in. I'm really not all that into original art, but there are a few I'd pick up if they were ever to happen. Besides Byrne's She-Hulk, mentioned above, I would also be in for Artist Editions of George Pérez's late nineties AVENGERS run, Paul Smith's X-MEN run, Mark Bagley's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and THUNDERBOLTS, Joe Madureira's X-MEN, Ron Lim's work on the INFINITY events of the nineties, and certain things by Alan Davis. Plus, I would be really, really interested in an Artist's Edition of John Romita's work on the Spider-Man newspaper strip. I know IDW has published two books of Romita's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN material (plus a Gil Kane Spidey book, which is mostly inked by Romita), but while I do like all that stuff, the newspaper run is the "definitive" Romita Spidey, for me.

Anyway, moving on: we have some digital material from Marvel this month too, courtesy of a Spider-Man sale recently held by Amazon/Comixology. Against my better judgment, I went ahead and bought SPIDER-MAN: THE NEXT CHAPTER volume 1, volume 2, and volume 3, as well as SPIDER-MAN: REVENGE OF THE GREEN GOBLIN. These books collect pretty much all of the late nineties Spidey relaunch by Howard Mackie and John Byrne. While I didn't personally love this era for Spidey, I have long felt that this was some of John Romita, Jr.'s all-time best work, so I'm happy to own them. (Though I will reiterate for the umpteenth time that what I really want from Marvel is a series of books collecting the full post-Clone Saga/pre-relaunch era, which I really, really enjoyed as a teen.)

Also digitally from that same sale, I picked up two more Spider-Man Epic Collections: THE SECRET OF THE PETRIFIED TABLET (which collects a large chunk of one of my all-time favorite runs for Spidey) and MAXIMUM CARNAGE.

So that's it for July... will we see anything in August? Your guess is as good as mine!

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