I just discovered Marvel’s Epic Collection line . They’ve been around since 2013 and I’ve only recently become aware of them.
The whole idea behind Epic Collections has brought out the completist in me. In a previous post I did bring up the subject of the satisfaction of having a complete collection of even just one comicbook title. Marvel’s Epic Collection is a tacit invite for me and you to do just that.
Marvel Essentials vs Epic Collections
Maybe, like me, you already own some books in Marvel’s Essential Line? These are black & white collections of old Marvels for those who want to read the old stories. Looking at Essential Fantastic Four No. 1 on my shelf for example, it covers FF issue 1-20 and Annual 1. So a lot of books in a convenient package.
I never did get around to seriously collecting the Essentials because, at the time, my financial situation was such that I could not responsibly budget for comicbooks – even the relatively cheap Essentials. Also, shelf space was not abundant so that I worried about storage.
These days with the advent of digital comics I can seriously consider embarking on completing a title through collected volumes with Epic Collections holding a place in that overall scheme or strategy. A big plus is that Epic Collections are in color.
Unlike those lucky enthusiasts I see in YouTube I can’t reasonably expect to own every Epic Collection that Marvel puts out. So for my first purchase I have to choose a grand total of one Epic Collection book!
Choosing an Epic Collection
Hmmm? What should it be?
I’m disinclined to choosing a team book since logic dictates that writers can more easily do character development when they’re handling a single-character title. But still, some of those team books are very tempting. Here are my thoughts as I consider each kind of available Epic Collection in turn.
Spider-Man – Definitely not. Don’t get me wrong. I like Spider-Man. I went through two distinct phases in my collecting life when I bought nothing but Spider-Man books. What puts me off is the sheer number of Spider-Man books out there. Even if I just focus on Amazing that’s still a huge number of issues. Ambitiously, I’m approaching this as a collect everything of that title kind of thing and doing that with Spider-Man; it’s just too overwhelming.
Hulk – Growing up, Hulk was a favorite, but right now the appeal of getting angry and turning into a big, green monster isn’t as big as when I was a kid. I’m crossing off Hulk on the basis of lack of interest in the character.
Captain America – If my interest in the Hulk has waned over the years my interest in Captain America has increased. So this is a title I’m willing to consider.
X-Men – If Spider-Man was too massive for me to collect then that goes double for X-Men. The amount of X-Men books out there gives me that impression that I simply will never be able to complete the title. No. Too intimidating.
Thor – Definitely under consideration. I’ve always enjoyed reading this character. I love the background stories and the world he inhabits. There’s a lot of Thor books but not nearly as many as Spidey or the mutant books. So definitely under consideration.
Fantastic Four – Just like Spider-Man, I went through a period when everything I bought was FF. This almost makes we want to back off from my decision not to choose a team book. Almost.
Avengers – Nope, with some hesitation. Avengers books sacrifice single character development for the dynamism of a team. Who doesn’t like Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? But still, I want to see single character development.
Daredevil – Born Again was one of the all-time great stories. I love Daredevil’s street vibe and I always will. But DD – in spite of all the great runs in the title – does not belong to Marvel’s top tier of characters. I can choose only one, so it can’t be Matt.
And the winner is . . .
In the end my choice is Thor. My first purchase will be Thor Essential Collection Volume 1. The very start. Am I going to actually buy this? Maybe, I certainly intend to , you certainly will read about it here if I do.
I choose Thor with the intent of following a holy grail of comics fandom: amassing a complete collection. With that, let me put out a caveat: My intent is only to collect the first Thor series. That would be Journey Into Mystery No. 83 to Mighty Thor no. 502. Around four hundred twenty issues with a handful of annuals. Doable. Tough for me but still doable. And it all starts with getting Thor Essential Collection Volume 1.