Over the last year, I’ve looked at Marvel books, usually focusing on new issues or trades that compile recent storylines. As you can imagine, I can’t get to writing about all of them in a given week, but there have been so many trades I’ve been waiting to highlight in a gift guide entry such as this. I’ll jump into them in a moment, but first an important caveat.
I’m looking at these books in digital form, which is my preferred method of reading comics these days. It saves space and if you’re reading books on an iPad, they simply look fantastic. That doesn’t mean I don’t think we should be supporting our Local Comic Shops – far from it. If you want to do physical purchases over the hollidays and have the opportunity to do curbside pickup to put any of these titles under the tree for someone, please, PLEASE do so. If a comic book ship isn’t possible, Barnes & Nobles and Indigo can help you out. If all else fails, there’s also that giant online retailer. That being said, every title on here is also available digitally, whatever way you or the one you’re buying for likes to read.
Wolverine by Benjamin Percy Volume 1
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artists: Adam Kubert, Viktor Bogdanovic
Wolverine has played a key part in the nation of Krakoa since Jonathan Hickman became the Head of X. He’s in multiple titles, he’s finally allowed to have some real intimacy with Jean Grey, and he’s often able to do the things he’s best at (which aren’t very nice). Wolverine also has his own standalone series, under the watchful eye of writer Benjamin Percy and featuring outstanding artwork from Adam Kubert and Viktor Bogdanovic. This book collects the first five issues and features classic Wolvie villains like Lady Deathstrike and Omega Red, to name but a few. For those of us who can’t get enough of Logan, this collection should satiate your need for the Snikt!
Winter Soldier: The Complete Collection
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Butch Guide, Michael Lark
Now we’re dipping back into the recent Marvel past with a book that compiles writer Brubaker’s outstanding Winter Soldier series. For decades fans and critics alike thought there was no way to bring Bucky Barnes back from the dead in a legitimate way, but Brubaker, a masterful writer, managed to not only do so, but he did so in such a way that Bucky aka the Winter Soldier has become part of the pop culture vernacular, inside and outside of comics proper. One if the highlights of this final Brubaker run is the relationship between Bucky and Black Widow, something that we never got to see play out on screen, apart from quick line from Natasha in Captain America: Winter Soldier. For fans of espionage, this is a solid title they’ll enjoy.
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Writers: Jim Steranko, Various
Artist: Jim Steranko
The final two titles on this list come with some addtional caveats. Over the last few years, Marvel has begun publishing these massive King-size “Is” books that you’d need a really big coffee table to display them on. They are gorgeous! I actually have one of these King-size books in my collection, Fantastic Four: Behold…Galactus. Nearly as big as ole’ Galan himself, it really is an amazing way to appreciate Jack Kirby’s work.
If you have a fan of either the work of legendary artists Jim Steranko and/or Steve Ditko, you should seriously consider getting Ditko Is…Strange and Steranko Is…Revolutionary in the physical formate. The Steranko title collects his complete run chronicling Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D in a format that beautifully highlights the art. The same can be said with the Ditko title, which collects his and Stan Lee’s entire Doctor Strange work . The artist’s work was brought to magnificent life in the MCU Doctor Strange film, and the King-size format will definitely to Ditko’s work justice and then some.
Of course, if price or space is an issue, the digital versions of these titles are easy to get and you don’t need to make new shelves to hold them. The stories and art hold up in either format, so ultimately depends on who you’re buying for and how much space they have to store their books.
So much reading, so little time! But those are four titles the Marvel Zombie in your life will love getting for the holidays in any format.