Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Hulk's Epic Journeys!

There's no denying that the Epic Collections from Marvel are handsome volumes, beautiful color renditions of vintage comics from various periods of Marvel history. It's the earliest ones which strike my fancy, those that gather up in lush color the earliest stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko among others. But I've let them go by for the most part because I own these stories a few times over, in individual reprints, in Essential volumes, and otherwise.

But the recent collection The Incredible Hulk - Man or Monster? showcasing the earliest misadventures of the gamma irradiated giant has won me over. This book gathers together no only the original series of six Hulk comics, but then goes on to document the Hulk's journey across the Marvel Universe in and out of the Avengers and in conflict with the Fantastic Four. The Hulk's story is in many ways the story of the early Marvel Universe and it's all here in one handy volume. Also we have the Hulk tackling Spider-Man in his own title and mashing it up with Giant-Man in anticipation of his getting his own slot in Tales to Astonish. The volume closes out with an untold story of battle between Hulk and Thor when they clashed in Avengers #3, the comic I personally consider the single best comic Marvel ever produced.

There's a lot to love in this collection. Below are the covers of the comics included in the order in which they appear.

I see more of these Epic Collections in my future.

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  1. Yeah, what's not to like about a book such as this? As you say, having all those early Hulk tales in one volume is incredibly handy, even if one already has the stories in other reprints (as I do). The Thor and Daredevil volumes are also great, Rip - in fact, I can't think of a bad one among them. Regarding ASM #14, when that tale was reprinted in Marvel Tales in the '80s, the cover was flipped and the Hulk pic removed, which was a shame as it's one of the best pics of Hulkie I've ever seen. Great to see the original version in the Epic book (and here too).

    1. I think I want to get all of the early stuff (Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-Man, etc.). The X-Men volume looks really good. The Kirby-Chic Stone material is really what I crave to have in full color. I likely won't pop for Spidey since I have the Ditko stuff in Masterwork trades already.

      Rip Off

    2. Does your Masterworks of Spidey have the original art of AF #15, Rip? The early printings didn't, 'though the more recent ones do. The Epic volume has them as well. The X-Men volume IS really - you'd love it.


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