Published on January 5th, 2013 | by Mike Harding0
Marvel Graphic Novel Collection Issue 26 Review
Two weeks ago we reached issue 26 of the Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection, this means that we have now been reviewing for a full year. So after a year of releases, what did they release this week? Only a true classic, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Part 1, this is a book that I have been waiting for since this collection started. Originally released back in 1984 it was written by Jim Shooter, with art by Mike Zeck and Bob Layton.
This was a time when epic stories were done well; this entire twelve part series takes place between issues. I don’t mean that there were no issues released until this series finished, however, all the characters involved disappeared at the end of one issue, and returned the following issue talking about the “Secret War” they had been involved in. Now this may seem clever, but the downside is that any sense of drama surrounding the fate of the characters involved was lost. Of course this was not the only controversial element to this book, the entire storyline was devised as a support for Marvel’s then fledgling toy line.
The story is a simple one, take a handful of Marvel heroes from the most well-known books (Avengers, X-men, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spider-man), then take some of their classic villains, and make them fight. Admittedly it’s more complicated than that and it begins with the cosmic entity known as the Beyonder creating the planet known as Battleworld. When they arrive there they are told that if they fight and kill each other, then the winners will be returned home.
The initial battles are well crafted, and there are some great bits of dialogue between the various teams. The book also features the first appearances of the villains known as Titania and Volcana (both created by Dr Doom), there is also another clever moment when Claw is brought into the storyline following Dr Doom’s infiltration of Galactus’ spaceship.
As the story progress’, and armed with the knowledge that the story was a set-up for a toy line, it becomes obvious in parts where the toy connection comes in (the tractor like device that the villains use to capture the Lizard being an obvious one). It’s a true credit to Shooter’s writing that he was able to develop such a great story that fans would flock to buy this title. In fact it was such a success that some of the issues sold over a million copies (at the time a feat not achieved since the 1940’s).
In regards to this being value for money, it should be obvious that it is, hardback copies of this book usually cost around forty pound. Extra features are not bad, there are two covers showing the entire twelve-issue story, one by Mike Zeck, and the other by Alex Ross. There is a very good article on writer Jim Shooter, and another article chronicling how the series came into creation. We then have pencilled versions of the covers found in this half of the story.
There are no major reveals in the further reading section with the two books from the collection being Book 9: Spider-man: Kravens last hunt, and Book 10: Spider-man: Birth of Venom. Of course as this is a two-part story, there is also the reveal that Book 7 is part 2 of this tale.
The next book to be released is Thor: In Search of the Gods, written by Dan Jurgen, with art by John Romita Jr.
These new reveals leave the list looking like this:
*Titles in BOLD have already been released*
Book 01: Iron Man: Demon in a bottle
Book 02: Uncanny X-men: Dark Phoenix
Book 03: Captain Britain: A Crooked World
Book 04: Wolverine
Book 05: The Mighty Thor: The Last Viking
Book 06: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars part 1
Book 07: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars part 2
Book 08: Daredevil: Born Again
Book 09: The Amazing Spider-Man: The Birth of Venom
Book 10: Spider-man: Kraven’s Last Hunt
Book 11: The Incredible Hulk: Silent Screams
Book 12: Wolverine: Weapon X
Book 13: Marvels
Book 14: Avengers: Avengers Forever Part one
Book 15: Avengers: Avengers Forever Part two
Book 16: The Mighty Thor: In Search of Gods
Book 17: Daredevil: Guardian Devil
Book 18: The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank Part 1
Book 19: The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank Part 2
Book 20: Ultimate Spider-man: Power & Responsibility
Book 21: Spider-man: Coming Home
Book 22: Spider-man: Revelations
Book 23: New X-men: E is for Extinction
Book 24: New X-men: Imperial
Book 25: Spider-man: Blue
Book 26: Wolverine: Origins
Book 27: Captain America: The New Deal
Book 28: The Ultimates: Super-Human
Book 29: The Ultimates: Homeland Security
Book 32: 1602
Book 33: Secret War
Book 34: Avengers: Disassembled
Book 35: She-Hulk: Single Green Female
Book 36: Astonishing X-men: Gifted
Book 37: Astonishing X-men: Dangerous
Book 39: Ghost Rider: Road to Damnation
Book 40: House of M
Book 42: New Avengers: Breakout
Book 43: Iron Man: Extremis
Book 44: Captain America: Winter Soldier
Book 45: The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk part 1
Book 46: The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk part 2
Book 47: Fantastic Four: The End
Book 48: Marvel Zombies
Book 50: Civil War
Book 51: Fallen Son: Death of Captain America
Book 52: Thor: Reborn
Book 53: The Eternals
Book 55: World War Hulk
Book 56: Thunderbolts: Faith in Monsters
Book 57: Wolverine: Old Man Logan
Book 58: Secret Invasion
Book 59: Captain Britain & MI13: Vampire State
Book 60: Siege