Somehow, people are finding my site by searching for “Marvel Epic Collections,” probably because I wrote a post explaining what they were, last March. Since I’m constantly researching upcoming Epic Collections for myself, I figure, hey, may as well share what I’ve found with others.
Here are some (but definitely not all) upcoming Marvel Epic Collections that I think are interesting (and that I may or may not purchase myself). The scheduled release dates I’ve listed are taken from current solicitations, and are subject to change.
- Nov 2: Amazing Spider-Man: Lifetheft (collects: Amazing Spider-Man #381-393 & Annual #28, Spider-Man (1990) #45, Spectacular Spider-Man #211, Web of Spider-Man #112, Amazing Spider-Man Ashcan Edition #1) — In the immediate follow-up to MAXIMUM CARNAGE, we learn the truth behind the mystery of Peter Parker’s parents’ mysterious recent return! This also collects the stories where The Vulture went from a wrinkly old man to a much younger one. I’ve never read that story, so I’m curious to see how that happened!
- Nov 9: Iron Man: In the Hands of Evil (collects Iron Man #310-318, War Machine #8-10, Force Works #6-7, Iron Man/Force Works Collectors’ Preview #1, material from Marvel Comics Presents #169-172) — Now that Iron Man’s Modular Armor has a Marvel Legends toy, how about a collection of stories from the time period where he wore it? I wasn’t reading Iron Man comics at this time, but there’s a story that pits Iron Man vs War Machine, and one that has The Mandarin take on Force Works (which is the “90s-Cool” renaming of the West Coast Avengers). PLUS, Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man? I’m not generally collecting the Iron Man EC’s, but I might have to pick this one up.
- Nov 16: X-Men: I, Magneto (collects Uncanny X-Men #144-153, X-Men Annual #5, Avengers Annual #10, Bizarre Adventures #27, material from Marvel Fanfare #1-4) — Picking up immediately after The Dark Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past, X-Men #150 is the issue where it’s revealed that Magneto is a holocaust survivor, and is the beginnings of his turn from unquestionable villain into maybe-you-have-a-point anti-hero. Avengers Annual #10 is Rogue’s first appearance, and that Bizarre Adventures issue includes a story about the Grey family mourning Jean’s apparent death as the Dark Phoenix. This is all good stuff for X-Men fans.
- Dec 7: Deadpool: The Circle Chase (collects New Mutants #98; X-Force #2, 11, 15; Nomad #4; Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1-4; Secret Defenders #15-17; Deadpool (2nd miniseries) #1-4; material from Avengers #366; Silver Sable & the Wild Pack #23) — This is a collection of most (if not all?) of Deadpool’s early appearances before his ongoing series started in 1997. That first miniseries, The Circle Chase, is the first professional work of Joe Madureira, and is the origin of Black Tom Cassidy’s weird half-tree transformation. I’m not sure the appearances in Nomad, Secret Defenders, Avengers or Silver Sable are particularly noteworthy, but it’s nice to get them all in one place, along with BOTH of DP’s original miniseries.
- Dec 21: Venom: Lethal Protector (collects Amazing Spider-Man #361-363, 374; Spider-Man: The Trial of Venom #1; Web of Spider-Man #95-96; Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #5-6; Venom: Lethal Protector #1-6; material from Marvel Comics Presents #117-122; Amazing Spider-Man #373, 375) — Venom’s second Epic Collection is his rise to popularity and the beginning of his ongoing series-of-mini-series that lasted throughout almost the entire 1990s. ASM #361-363 are that very first CARNAGE storyline. The Web of Spidey and Spirits of Vengeance issues included are the “Spirits of Venom” story that I remember being really cool when they happend (Spidey and Venom and Ghost Rider and Blaze? sign 10 year old me up!), and ASM 373 and 375 are Venom’s big face turn that lead directly into the Lethal Protector miniseries, which introduces the other symbiotes who have made their returns to comics over the last few years: Riot, Phage, Lasher, Scream, and Agony. MCP #117-122 is a light-on-story battle between Venom and Wolverine, drawn by Sam Kieth, creator of The Maxx. I’m totally on board for all of this.
- Jan 11: Silver Surfer: Parable (collects Silver Surfer (1987) #15-23 & Annual 1-2, Fantastic Four #325, Marvel Graphic Novel: Silver Surfer, Silver Surfer (1988) 1-2, material from Marvel Comics Presents #1) — The fourth volume of Silver Surfer’s ECs includes the second part of the run that eventually lead into Infinity Gauntlet. The real highlight here is the 1988 2-issue miniseries after which the entire volume is titled: Parable. If I’m not mistaken, this is the first work French comics legend Jean Giraud, Moebius drew for an American publisher. He also storyboarded a few movies you might’ve heard of: Alien, Tron, The Fifth Element, and The Abyss. Even if I wasn’t already collecting all of The Surfer’s Epic Collections, I’d grab this for those two issues alone.
- Feb 15: Excalibur: The Battle for Britain (collects Excalibur #104-115, -1; Colossus (1997) #1; Kitty Pryde: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1-3; New Mutants: Truth or Death #1-3) — The most recent Excalibur Epic Collection released ends at issue #58, so there’s a 46-issue gap in there, strangely. Either way, here’s what the British arm of the X-Men family were up to after the events of 1996’s Onslaught, including that brief time Nightcrawler had his head shaved.
- Mar 22: X-Men: Bishop’s Crossing (collects Uncanny X-Men #281-288 & Annual 16, X-Men (vol 2) #4-9 & Annual 1, Ghost Rider (vol 2) #26-27) — The X-Men: Mutant Genesis Epic Collection included the lead-in to 1991’s X-Men #1, the greatest selling comic of all time. This is hat happens immediately afterwards, as Bishop travels back in time to join the team, and then the X-Men team up with Ghost Rider to fight The Brood down in New Orleans where we meet Gambit’s estranged wife, Bella Donna Bordeaux. Oh, and then there’s some stuff about Wolverine’s mysterious past. This is right AFTER Chris Claremont left the series, so the actual quality of the issues is variable, but the events are nonetheless pretty cool. It’s also the end of Jim Lee’s run on full pencils for Marvel (though he did rough layouts for X-Men (vol 2) #10-11) before starting Image comics, so it’s probably worth picking up to see him draw Ghost Rider and The Brood, if you didn’t pick those up back in 1992.
- Apr 26: X-Factor: Afterlives (Collects X-Factor #101-111 & Annual #9, Spider-Man & X-Factor: Shadowgames #1-3, X-Force #38, Excalibur #82) — This leaves a hole in the current X-Factor Epic Collection after the reboot with Havok & Polaris’ team, but the hole is where the 90s crossovers X-Cutioner’s Song (already released as an X-Force Epic Collection), Fatal Attractions (not yet collected in EC format), and the Phalanx Covenant (part of Generation X Epic Collection vol 1). This picks up after all that, and gets the team back on track after the seeming death of Madrox the Multiple Man.