Friday, 26 June 2020

Epic Collections: Thoughts on what were the December 2020 Epics and What The Schedule Now Looks Like

Back at the start of March I wrote this
We await further entries, and I'll update this page when they come but Near Mint Condition shared this Facebook post giving the following provisional list of Epics arriving in comic shops when:
December:
Avengers Epic Collection: Heavy Metal
Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Epic Collection Vol. 2
X-Force Epic Collection Vol. 3
X-Men Epic Collection: The Fate Of The Phoenix
Obviously this is subject to alteration and for many of those we're awaiting volume numbers and more importantly contents and exact release dates.
Then the Chaos Bug struck and things went to pieces and when Near Mint Condition did An Advance Look At Marvel Collected Editions Releasing in December of 2020 I din't say anything about the extra and different books released!

Star Wars: Legends The New Republic v5

Diamond/Comic Shop Date: WAS 18 Nov 2020NOW: 24 Feb 2021
Hachette/Book Shop Date: WAS 01 Dec 2020NOW: 09 Mar 2021
Hachette Link: https://www.hachettebookgroup.biz/titles/marvel-comics/star-wars-legends-epic-collection-the-new-republic-vol-5/9781302926984/
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1302926985

Contents:

STAR WARS: DARK EMPIRE (1991) 1-6;
STAR WARS: DARK EMPIRE II (1994) 1-6;
STAR WARS: EMPIRE'S END (1995) 1-2;
STAR WARS HANDBOOK (1998) 1, 3;
MATERIAL FROM STAR WARS TALES (1999) 8, 11, 16-17

We didn't know this book was coming but with New Republic skipping 2019 there was a volume due which we were pretty sure was Dark Empire.

This is the big one for Star Wars fans, as Dark Empire is still seen in many ways as the gold standard for Dark Horse's Star Wars comics line even though it started off as a project at Marvel.

The book also contains both sequels, which I think makes it the first time all three have been printed together as full size paperbacks - there's a Dark Horse hardcover that quickly sold out.

No idea about the Tales stories!

Star Wars Handbook is a three (*technically* FOUR) issue limited series in the style of The Offcial Handbook of the Marvel Universe. (Wouldn't they make a decent series of Epic Collections? Which would also, hopefully, get them available digitally for the first time!) Handbook 1 is Rogue Squadron which there wasn't space for in previous volumes - The New Republic v3 promises it will follow in a later volume. Handbook 3 is Dark Empire, so is apropriately positioned here. The missing Handbook 2 is Crimson Empire which will presumably follow in The New Republic v6 or v7 when Crimson Empire is printed.

Incredible Hulk v5 Who Will Judge The Hulk?
Diamond/Comic Shop Date: WAS 25 Nov NOW: 03 Mar 2021
Hachette/Book Shop Date: WAS 08 Dec 2020NOW: 16 Mar 2021
Hachette Link: https://www.hachettebookgroup.biz/titles/marvel-comics/incredible-hulk-epic-collection-who-will-judge-the-hulk/9781302922061/
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1302922068

Contents:

INCREDIBLE HULK (1968) 138-156,
ANNUAL (1968) 3-4 (COVER ONLY);
AVENGERS (1963) 88

Like New Republic v5, we didn't know this book was coming either but an earlier Hulk volume was technically due - 4 In the Hands of HYDRA was September 2019. The Hulk Annuals are covers only because they reprinted Hulk stories from Tales to Astonish issues 70-77. The crossover between Avengers 88 & Incredible Hulk 140 had 2 planned airings this year also appearing in Avengers Epic 5: This Beachhead Earth.

Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years v2 Hawks from the Sea
Diamond/Comic Shop Date: WAS 02 Dec NOW: 10 Mar 2021
Hachette/Book Shop Date: WAS 15 Dec 2020NOW: 23 Mar 2021
Hachette Link: https://www.hachettebookgroup.biz/titles/marvel-comics/conan-the-barbarian-epic-collection-the-original-marvel-years-hawks-from-the-sea/9781302926557/
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1302926551

Contents:

Conan the Barbarian (1970) 14-26

I previously said

SLIGHLY surprised to see another so soon but there's a LOT of Conan to get through. Won't even make a guess because I think we think the contents of v1 may not be final.

But, In Theory, there should be issues featuring Red Sonja in here, 24 for example..... who Marvel do not own the rights to! Do Marvel's rights for Conan include printing her guest appearances?

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=4434&page=gallery
So yes, just another 13 issues for volume 2 and at 20 pages an issue taht results in a thin Epic of 288 pages, less pages the Conan Marvel Years 1 and indeed the new shortest Epic beating Ms Marvel Epic 1 This Woman, This Warrior's 312 pages.
X-Force v7 Zero Tolerance
Diamond/Comic Shop Date: WAS 09 Dec NOW: 17 Mar 2021
Hachette/Book Shop Date: WAS 22 Dec 2020NOW: 30 Mar 2021
Hachette Link: https://www.hachettebookgroup.biz/titles/marvel-comics/x-force-epic-collection-zero-tolerance/9781302927110/
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1302927116

Contents:

X-Force (1991) 67-84, -1

This was a surprise because what we expected from Near Mint Condition's Facebook post giving a provisional list of Epics arriving in comic shops was this:

X-Force v3
Expected, ish. The only worry was X-Force's appearances in the Epic schedule have been erratic.

Contents (Guess) X-Force v3 20-33, Annual 2, Nomad 20, New Warriors 44-46

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=4128&page=gallery
So if this is 7 the Epics 3-6 cover 20-66, Annuals 2 & 3, X-Force and Cable Annuals '95, '96 & '97. It also leaves 85-129, X-Force/Champions Annual '98, X-Force Annual 1999 X-& X-Force:Rough Cut #1 as the material for the remaining Epics which looks slightly more than 2 books. (96, 98 & 102 have a bonus 8 page Cable Spider-Man reprint, 100 is double sized and 116 is the Milligan revamp that morphs into the 26 issue X-Statix after X-Force ends)
Avengers v18 Heavy Metal
Diamond/Comic Shop Date: WAS 16 Dec NOW: 11 Nov 2020
Hachette/Book Shop Date: WAS 29 Dec 2020NOW: 24 Nov 2020
Hachette Link: https://www.hachettebookgroup.biz/titles/marvel-comics/avengers-epic-collection-heavy-metal/9781302923150/
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1302923153

Contents:

Avengers (1963) 286-303;
Avengers Annual (1967) 17
Here's what I said about the trade when it was announced:
Avengers had been concentrating on Harras and I expected to see his next volume, 25 (368-378, Annual 23, X-Men 26, Avengers West Coast 101 & 102 and Uncanny X-Men 307)

Contents (Guess) Avengers v18 286-300, Annual 17, Thor 390

Let's back that up with some calcs:

286-300 is 15 issues, 16 and a bit as 300 is slightly over double sized.

Annual 17 is between 297 & 298 and is slightly over double sized. All but 19 issues.

301-303 are one story, so they need to stay together, not enough room for all 3, especially as 304 should really be with them.

One issue short. Avengers all together in Thor 390, where Cap lifts the hammer, so that goes in.

This is the Epic volume a friend has been waiting for with the start of the Simonson Time Barrier story and the Cross Time Council of Kangs

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=3986&page=gallery

Bye bye to the Old Avengers Heavy Metal trade which finished 3 issues too early!
So the inclusion of 301-3 is something of a surprise as it takes the Epic to 22 x 22 page issues + bonus material, so it'll be a big one. But gaining 3 issues here is a great thing as it takes 3 issues off the next volume which then makes space for West Coast Avengers 53-55, their Acts of Vengeace issues in the next volume. It also makes the next two volumes easy to predict because the 20 issue limit and story breaks fall in the same places:
19 304-318, Annual 18 (Atlantis Attacks), Avengers West Coast 53-33.

20 319-333, Annual 20 (Terminus Factor) plus the main Terminus Factor stories from Captain America Annual #9, Iron Man Annual #11, Thor Annual #15 & Avengers West Coast Annual #5 319-324 is The Crossing Line by Fabian Nicieza and 326-333 are Larry Hama's run

Avengers Epic 18 Heavy Metal is the only book I can see that has benefitted from the COVID disrution to Marvel's schedules moving from 16th December (Diamond) & 29th December (Hachette) to 11th and 24th November respectively.
Number
Title
Comic Shop
Book Shop
Old Comic Shop Date
Date Difference
Order Difference
184
Iron Man 17 War Machine
17 Jun 2020
OUT
08 Apr 2020
70
0
185
Fantastic Four 5 The Name Is Doom
24 Jun 2020
07 Jul 2020
29 Apr 2020
56
-1
186
Star Wars: Legends 3 Legacy
08 Jul 2020
21 Jul 2020
22 Apr 2020
77
1
187
Avengers 5 This Beachhead Earth
29 Jul 2020
11 Aug 2020
27 May 2020
63
-2
188
Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years 1 The Coming of Conan
05 Aug 2020
18 Aug 2020
10 Jun 2020
56
-5
189
Star Wars: Legends 4 The Rebellion
19 Aug 2020
01 Sep 2020
13 May 2020
98
2
190
Iron Man 4 The Fury of Firebrand
26 Aug 2020
08 Sep 2020
29 Jul 2020
28
-7
191
X-Men 6 Proteus
26 Aug 2020
08 Sep 2020
24 Jun 2020
63
-3
192
Silver Surfer 8 Resurrection
09 Sep 2020
22 Sep 2020
20 May 2020
112
4
193
Star Wars: Legends 6 The Empire
16 Sep 2020
29 Sep 2020
03 Jun 2020
105
1
194
West Coast Avengers 3 Tales To Astonish
23 Sep 2020
06 Oct 2020
05 Aug 2020
0
-4
195
Conan Chronicles 5 Horrors Beneath The Stones
23 Sep 2020
06 Oct 2020
03 Jun 2020
112
5
196
New Mutants 7 Cable
30 Sep 2020
13 Oct 2020
08 Jul 2020
84
1
197
Black Widow 2 The Coldest War
07 Oct 2020
20 Oct 2020
15 Jul 2020
84
1
198
Captain America 10 Monsters And Men
14 Oct 2020
27 Oct 2020
23 Sep 2020
21
-3
199
Master Of Kung Fu 3 Traitors To The Crown
21 Oct 2020
03 Nov 2020
30 Sep 2020
21
-4
200
Fantastic Four 6 At War With Atlantis
28 Oct 2020
10 Nov 2020
26 Aug 2020
63
0
201
Venom 1 Symbiosis
04 Nov 2020
17 Nov 2020
30 Sep 2020
35
-3
202
Avengers 18 Heavy Metal
11 Nov 2020
24 Nov 2020
16 Dec 2020
-35
-13
203
Daredevil 15 Last Rites
18 Nov 2020
01 Dec 2020
03 Jun 2020
168
12
204
Star Wars: Legends 1 Tales of the Jedi
25 Nov 2020
08 Dec 2020
14 Oct 2020
42
-1
205
Incredible Hulk 14 Going Grey
02 Dec 2020
15 Dec 2020
21 Oct 2020
42
-1
206
West Coast Avengers 4 Vision Quest
09 Dec 2020
22 Dec 2020
04 Nov 2020
35
-2
207
Thor 19 The Thor War
09 Dec 2020
22 Dec 2020
26 Aug 2020
105
8
208
Black Panther 3 Panther's Prey
30 Dec 2020
12 Jan 2021
30 Sep 2020
91
6
209
Doctor Strange 4 Alone Against Eternity
27 Jan 2021
09 Feb 2021
28 Oct 2020
91
2
210
Conan Chronicles 6 Song of Belit
10 Feb 2021
23 Feb 2021
04 Nov 2020
98
1
211
X-Factor 3 The Angel of Death
17 Feb 2021
02 Mar 2021
11 Nov 2020
98
1
212
Star Wars: Legends 5 The New Republic
24 Feb 2021
09 Mar 2021
18 Nov 2020
98
1
213
Incredible Hulk 5 Who Will Judge The Hulk?
03 Mar 2021
16 Mar 2021
25 Nov 2020
98
1
214
Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years 2 Hawks from the Sea
10 Mar 2021
23 Mar 2021
02 Dec 2020
98
1
215
X-Force 7 Zero Tolerance
17 Mar 2021
30 Mar 2021
09 Dec 2020
98
1

One thing made clearer by this table is the FF6 *IS* Epic 200: previously it and Thor 19 The Thor War wer out the same day and it was slightly confusing!

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

2021 Epic Collection Speculation

There should have been 44 Epics in 2020, but thanks to Covid there were 36 with 8 carried over into first 3 months of 2021. If we assume the same intended numbers for 2021 there's a potential 36 slots left for 2020
Of those 8 are carried over to the first 3 months of 2021:
2 Conan
1 SW
5 MU books of which:
2 earlier twice a year books - Hulk 5 & X-Men 7
2 other X books - X-Factor 3 and X-Force 7
1 once a year MU book - Doctor Strange 4
Generally Hachette announce in 3 blocks of 4 months (Jan-Apr, May-Aug & Sep-Dec) The first of those blocks would normally be due nowish. We know Jan-March so that leaves April. Maybe 3 of those 36 slots will go In April, and one of them is likely to be SW to tie in with May 4th. The Old Republic and Original Marvel Years were the 2 SW Epics NOT to be originally scheduled in 2020 so it will PROBABLY be one of those; Old Republic is the one that usually appears earlier in the year and volume 4 is the next one due.

It's a reasonable assumption, but not a certainty, that the announced by Marvel but not confirmed elsewhere X-Men 7 Fate of the Phoenix will go in April. Which leaves 1 slot.

Thanks to our old friend, the Marvel Cinematic Universe schedule, we can have a VERY good guess at the identity of this other April book:

February 12 2021 The Eternals
May 7 2021 Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
November 5 2021 Untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel
February 11 2022 Thor: Love and Thunder
March 25 2022 Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

34 Epic slots left, 17 per block of 4 months

4 of those, 2 each in each of the remaining blocks of 4 months, will be Conan. The Original Marvel Years appear to be in sequence, so 3 & 4, and I don't know enough about the Dark Horse Conan to speculate what the next 2 volumes will contain.

30 Epic slots left, 15 per block of 4 months

4 of those, 2 each in each of the remaining blocks of 4 months, will probably be Star Wars

One of the Star Wars WILL be Original Marvel Years having skipped 2020

Another is LIKELY to be The Menace Revealed 3, which also missed 2020 but only has one more to go

That leaves 2 from the following:

Tales of the Jedi 2 - which only started in 2020
The Clone Wars 4
The Empire 7
The Rebellion 5
Legacy 4 - which only has one volume to go, containing the Legacy II series.
Take your pick!

26 Epic slots left, 13 per block of 4 months, essentially 3 MU Epics per month

Right, here we go, this is what we're really here for. By my reckoning there are 25 MU Epics in progress (We assume Iron Fist, Black Widow, Black Panther & Ms Marvel are finished and Venom was a one shot) 9 of those are usually, but not always, twice a year. So it would take 34 slots to do everything in a year

6 of them have a 2021 release already (either carried over from 2020 or deduced from the Marvel Cinema schedule) and are unlikely to have another. 6 from 34 is 28

Earlier FF & West Coast Avengers both unexpectedly had two releases in 2020 so I would think both are unlikely to appear in 2021. 2 more off, 26. With 26 slots left, how conveient.

Now of course it won't work out quite like that: Marvel might fancy a reduced schedule, plus there's the demands of crossovers and any media tie ins which we haven't foreseen. And who knows what knew titles they might launch on a whim?

So let's get started: of the twice a year volumes we're expecting 2, earlier and later, for the following titles - numbers in the titles main volume are in parenthesis, the fraction represents what portion of the presumed Epics are remaining

1 Iron Man (332) 9/20?
2 Thor (502) 10/23
3 Amazing Spider-Man (441) 12/26 (To Clone Saga)
4 Avengers (402) 14/28
5 Captain America (454) 9/22
6 Daredevil (380) 10/21
3 twice a year volumes have had their earlier volumes eliminated, by virtue of already being scheduled or having 2 in 2020: we expect just later volumes here:
7 Fantastic Four (416) 14/25 2 earlier volumes in 2020
8 Hulk (474) 13/24 Incredible Hulk v5 Who Will Judge The Hulk?
9 Uncanny X-Men (544) 9/19 (To Mutant Genesis) X-Men v7 The Fate Of The Phoenix
3 MU volumes have had their volumes eliminated, by virtue of already being scheduled or having 2 in 2020: we expect no further releases in 2021 for these titles
Doctor Strange (183, 81, 90) 7/13 Doctor Strange v4 Alone Against Eternity
Master of Kung-Fu (125) 3/6? v4 prob April 2021 for film
West Coast Avengers (102) 4/8? 2 volumes in 2020
That leaves 2 MU titles with regular releases we expect to see in 2021
10 Silver Surfer (146) 8/14
11 Punisher (104/18) 5/9?
Plus SIX which all missed in 2020
12 Defenders (152) 5/9
13 Marvel Two-In-One (100) 4/5?
14 Sgt Fury 4/5? (it's complicated)
15 Moon Knight (38, 6, 60, 4, 4) 4/7? (MK is complete to end of it's v1 and may or may not resume)
16 Ant-Man 1/2
17 PMIF (50-125) 1/4
2 of the other X-Books have 2021 releases scheduled
X-Factor (149) 7/11 X-Factor v3 The Angel of Death
X-Force (129) 7/10? X-Force v7 Zero Tolerance
Leaving 3 other X-Books needing scheduling
18 Wolverine (189) 9/15
19 New Mutants (100) 4/8
20 Excalibur (125) 4/8?
So let's get speculating on the probables.

Quite frequently Epic will publish a sequence of books in order IE 1, 2, 3, 4 etc, which is especially true for the earlier books. That's a big guide for us then. There's also a growing number of 1 volume gaps needing filling.....

There are two things worth mentioning before we start that might influence the choices:

The first is, as I said above, there's a Spider-Man movie due in November. That will almost certainly demand at least one epic bt also represents an ideal point to launch another Spider-Man Epic

The second is the recent death of Denny O'Neill. This has resulted in some publicity for his work so I could see SOMETHING or SOMETHINGS Denny O'Neill related hitting. His Daredevil (194-226) & Epics 10 & 11 is largely unreprinted and there would be certain scheduling advances to getting a book of that out and delaying the remaining later DD volumes by a year. His ASM (207-223, Annuals 14 & 15) is probably out of Masterworks exclusivity by next year and we've been waiting for the finale to his Iron Man run (196 to 208, part of Epic 12 "Iron Monger" 196-214 & Annual 8) since Epic 11 was released in 2016

Iron Man(332) 9/20

1 - Earlier: Epic 5 is next in sequence - 47-60?

2 - Later: Epic 18 is next in sequence - probably called Crash and Burn 290-306, Annual 14 - but there's a maximum of 3 left at the end of Iron Man, which is going to last the presumed 7 years remaining on the Epic publishing program so these might get spaced out. Following Denny O'Neill's death, has the time for Epic 12 - 196-214, annual 8 - come at last?

Thor(502) 10/23

3 - Earlier: Epic 6 is next in sequence - 217-c240

4 - Later: Thor Epic 19 is one of the last epics to be released in 2020. Again 3 to go at this end of the run - the final one is out - could it be taking a break in 2021? Or leaping back to 13 and 337 upwards - The Simonson run? Get it in Epics before the Masterworks get there and complicate thing? 20, next in sequence looks something like 451 – 467, Thunderstrike 1, Thor Corps 1 – 4. What it WON'T be is 10 - 280 something to 302 as that's been in a Eternals Complete Collection in early 2021. We tried to get it to changed to the Epic but no success :-(

Amazing Spider-Man(441) 12/26 (To Clone Saga)

5 - Earlier: Epic 6 is next in sequence & one volume gap - 86-104. My feeling is this is a near racing certainty and, for reasons outlined below, is less likely to be connected to the film so is more likely to appear earlier in the year. The ASM Epics are very popular and by May 2021 there won't have been an ASM Epic for 14 months so I would pencil this in there on the schedule.

6 - Later: 2019's Epic 19 Assasin Nation closed a gap - the two prior and three following volumes were already out. So 2020's Epic was a jump out of sequence. 25 Maximum Carnage was almost certainly chosen because the Maximum Carnage trades were due at the same time. They could continued with 26 - which nicely buffers up to Clone Saga if predictions are acurate but Asm 16 273-288, Hooky Graphic Novel is a long standing gap. Else it's 23/24 with something between 361 and 377 or the 26 pre Clone Saga volume. Plus Denny O'Neill's death may raise the profile of a volume of his work. But I suspect the choice may ultimately be dictated by 2021's Spider-Man film and the identity of the villain: if we get the Hobgoblin, 16 could be in luck!

Avengers(402) 14/28

7 - Earlier: Epic 6 is next in sequence & one volume gap - 98-114. Another I'm nearly certain about.

8 - Later: 2020's 18 Heavy Metal was something of a surprise. 19 - 304-318, Annual 18 (Atlantis Attacks) and WCA 53-55 (Acts of Vengeance) would follow it and be nice - IIRC the Byrne written issues withing aren't bad- or 25 Bloodties - 367-368, Annual 23, X-Men 26, Uncanny X-Men 307 & Avengers West Coast 101-2 - would pick up the interupted sequence of Bob Harras books. Anything other than those two would be surprising to me.

Captain America(454) 9/22

9 - Earlier: …... Is a little difficult. 5 is MASSIVELY overdue 160-180something, all of the Secret Empire trade (169-176) and some of Nomad (177-186). 11 would be next in sequence after 2020's release of 190 but that's mainly already collected material.

10 - Later: Cap ALSO has just 3 Epics left at the to end of his run - the final one is out - another candidate for a 2021 break? Next in line is Epic 19 411-4?? - see our discussion at the weekend which got a little complicated!

Daredevil(380) 10/21

11 - Earlier: Epic 5 is next in sequence - 87-107 and overdue having skipped 2020. Third near certainty.

12 - Later: Epic 16 is next in sequence - DD 301-309, Annual 8, Nomad 4-6, Punisher War Journal 45-47, Elektra Lives Again would seem likely. But maybe something c10 with the unreprinted Denny O'Neill stuff?

13 Fantastic Four(416) 14/25: Epic 19 - FF 321-333, Annual 22 - is the next in sequence to the last later FF release in 2019 and is a 1 volume gap. It looks VERY slight so maybe Sue & Read's appearances in Avengers 299-303 could bulk it up. It won't be a book covering the early Byrne issues as they're all recently Masterworked and have previously been Visionaried. But maybe a book covering the gap between Essentials & Byrne (208-232 and largely unreprinted) might be an outside chance.

14 Hulk(474) 13/24: Epic 15 "Ground Zero" 331-346 & Graphic Novel: The Big Change is next in sequence and much in demand as it starts the Peter David run

15 Uncanny X-Men(544) 9/19 (To Mutant Genesis): ….. Well it's not going to be 13 (199-209, New Mutants Special Edition 1, NM Annual 2, X-Men Annuals 9 & 10) as that's what Masterworks is printing in 2020 and prob 2021. It's UNLIKELY to 14 (210-219, Annual 11, X-Men/FF, X-Men/Avengers as that material will be Masterworks in 2023. 15's a possible - that'd line up nicely with X-Factor 3 out early 2020. 16 maybe, Inferno. 17's out. 18 is the Jim Lee 1 volume gap which I reckon is unlikely thanks to 6 issues worth showing up in New Mutants 7 Autumn 2020. I'm 50/50 on later X-Men missing out but I'd be tempted to have a few quid with the turf accountants on 11: 177-188, Kitty Pryde & Wolverine, maybe MTU 150: mostly unreprinted in paperback.

16 Silver Surfer(146) 8/14: Who knows? SS is random numbers. 2 & 8 are 1 volume holes. 2 straight after the Omnibus with the same stuff? Not sure I see that. 8 is before the 2020 release. Place bets now.

17 Punisher(104/18) 5/9?: Again, Who Knows? 1, 4 & 6 are 1 volume holes. 1 is one of 2 currently missing Epic 1s…..

18 Defenders(152) 5/9: … The other of which is Defenders. Having completed the end of the run in order (6-9) I expect them to return to the beginning. The Sub-Mariner #34-35, Marvel Feature #1-3, The Defenders #1-12 & Avengers #115-118

19 Marvel Two-In-One(100) 4/5?: Epic 2. Overdue, but the last of the material needed should be out of Masterorks exclusivity window now. 20-31 ish, Annuals 1&2, FF Annual 11, Avengers Annual 7

20 Sgt Fury 4/5?(it's complicated): Epic 2. Overdue. 20-40, Annual 1

21 Moon Knight(38, 6, 60, 4, 4) 4/7? (complete to end of v1): Epic 4 Fist of Khonshu 1-6, Marc Spector Moon Knight 1-?? ….. That's if they are going on to print these

22 Ant-Man1/2: Epic 2 oh we live In hope Tales to Astonish 60-69 Marvel Feature #4-10, Luke Cage, Power Man #24-25, Black Goliath #1-5, The Champions #11-13, Marvel Premiere #47-48 and material from The Invincible Iron Man #44

23 Power Man & Iron Fist(50-125) 1/4: Epic 4 PMIF 108-125 (finish) That looks a little thin so possibly Secret Wars II 2 ?

24 Wolverine(189) 9/15: Another Random book. But my money would be on either 3 - 31-??, the start of the Larry Hama run, or 7 - 76-86, Cable 16, ?? as a one volume gap and the next in sequence after 2020's release. Wolverine also has slightly more volumes needed than the presumed 7 year finish so could have a 2 book year coming soon

25 New Mutants(100) 4/8: Epic 3 - 32-46ish, NM Special Edition, Annual 2, X-Men Annuals 9 & 10: New Mutants has an early/late sequence in 1, 6, 2, 7 so 3 is to be expected this coming year

26 Excalibur (125) 4/8? Epic 5 is next in sequence and they've all ben in sequence so far. 59-75, annual 1 Round off the Alan Davies run. Any thoughts of jumping ahead will have taken a back set I imagine

Friday, 13 March 2020

2020 October & November Epic Collections

From Near Mint Condition and Epic Marvel Podcast's Breaking News: 11 New Marvel Epic Collections in 2020! Video and Near Mint Condition's provisional schedule on FB we had a pretty good idea which trades were out when in Comic stores:
September:
Black Panther Epic Collection: Panther's Prey
Captain America Epic Collection: Monsters And Men
Master Of Kung Fu Epic Collection: Traitors To The Crown
October:
Doctor Strange Epic Collection: Alone Against Eternity
Incredible Hulk Epic Collection Vol. 15
November:
Incredible Hulk Epic Collection: Who Will Judge The Hulk?
X-Factor Epic Collection Vol. 2
December:
Avengers Epic Collection: Heavy Metal
Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Epic Collection Vol. 2
X-Force Epic Collection Vol. 3
X-Men Epic Collection: The Fate Of The Phoenix
We covered these in 2020 Epic Collections September to December.

The Hachette trade catalogue for September revealed two more - Fantastic Four Epic Collection 6: At War With Atlantis, collecting Fantastic Four 88-104, Annual 7 and Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure, and Thor Epic Collection 19: The Thor War, collecting Thor 437-450, Annuals 16 & 17 - both of which are on sale in Comic shops (via Diamond) on 26th August 2020 and on sale in Book shops (via Hachette) on 8th September 2020.

So when Near Mint Condition and The Epic Marvel Podcast did An Advance Look At Marvel Collected Editions Releasing in October & November of 2020 we thought we knew roughly what to expect. The only things we knew might be missing were licensed titles like Star Wars Legends and Conan Chronicles. We might have got that a tinsy bit wrong....

In Book Shops October:

Star Wars Legends: Tales of the Jedi 1
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi – Force Storm #1-5
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi – Prisoner of Bogan #1-5
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi – Force War #1-5
Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi #0

This is a new Star Wars Epic Collection series, the first one for some time, covering the ancient history of the Jedi as depicted by Dark Horse.

I've seen the following predicted for later volumes in this series

2
Golden Age of the Sith 0-5
Fall of the Sith Empire 1-5
Tales of the Jedi 1-5
The Freedon Nadd Uprising 1-2
3
Dark Lords of the Sith 1-6
Sith War 1-6
Redemption 1-5
Black Panther 3: Panther's Prey
Panther's Prey 1-4
Material from Marvel Comics Presents 13-37, 148
Material from Solo Avengers 19
Material from Marvel Super Heroes 1
Material from Marvel Fanfare 60
Material from FF Unlimited 1

Very much as expected.

Captain America 10 Monsters and Men
Captain America 267-285, Annual 6
Defenders 106

Very much as expected, possibly with a couple more issues that we thought.

Captain America Epic 11 then is a one volume gap so we know what's in it in terms of Cap: There's four Zeck issues left, 286-289 the first three of which are a Deathlok story. 290-301 have been reprinted in Captain America: Death of the Red Skull. Annual 7 is yet to be reprinted. That's the equivilent of 18 issues: is there enough space for the Falcon 4 issue limites series?

Venom 1 Symbiosis
Amazing Spider-Man #258, 300, 315-317, 332-333, 346-347, 388
Web of Spider-Man #1
Avengers: Deathtrap – The Vault
Darkhawk #13-14
Material from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #25-26
Material from Web of Spider-Man Annual #7-8
Material from Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #12

A complete surprise! When I looked at Marvel Epic Collections and the MCU I mentioned Venom 2 was due 2nd October and reckoned an Amazing Spider-Man Epic 18 Venom (295-310, Annual 22) repaint was likely. Never in a million years did I think they'd do a Venom Epic. Most of thius is already repinted in the Amazing Spider-Man Epics.

Master Of Kung Fu 3 Traitors to the Crown
Master Of Kung Fu 54-79

Pretty much as expected.

MOKF runs to 125 plus Marvel Team Up 82-85, What If 16, story in Marvel Comics Presents 1-8 and MOKF: Bleeding Black. That's probably 3 more Epics.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is scheduled for cinemas February 12th 2021 , does that mean 2021's Master of Kung-Fu volume will be earlier in late April? Maybe a second volume to tie in to the home release a few months later?

In Book Shops November:
Conan Chronicles 6 Song of Belit
Conan the Barbarian (2012) #7-25

Almost exactly what I was expecting, completing Dark Horse's 2012-2014 Conan The Barbarian.

X-Factor 3 Angel of Death
X-Factor 21-36, Annual 3
Power Pack 36

Oh my. This book was listed in Near Mint Condition and Epic Marvel Podcast's Breaking News: 11 New Marvel Epic Collections in 2020! Video as X-Factor Epic 2. My guess for that was

X-Factor 10-20, Annual 2
Thor 373-374 & 378
Power Pack 27 Incredible Hulk 336-337
Well that prediction for volume 2 looks good still for the actual issues, and when I had a go at predicting the rest of X-Factor I got this one all but dead on. I'm now able to predict the next few accurately:
4 "Inferno/Judgement War"
37-50
UXM 242 & 243
Marvel Fanfare 50
5
51-59 & Annuals 4-5
UXM 262-4 & Annual 14
Prisoner of Love
6 "Xtinction Agenda"
61-70 & Annual 6
UXM 270-272, possibly 273, definitely 280
New Mutants 95-97
I'll be honest, I think I'd have preferred Epic 2: 12-17 are unreprinted, and thus not on Comixology*, and it looks like it'll have a nice selection of bonus material with X-Factor's appearances elsewhere. In Epic 3 21-26 are in Fall of the Mutants v2, and 36 was in Inferno v1. 27-36 & Annual 3 were also printed in the Inferno Prologue HC.

* OK 13 is but that's a mistake: Comixology got it when they should have got X-Factor 130 to go in the X-Men: Onslaught Aftermath book.

Doctor Strange 4 Alone Against Eternity
Doctor Strange 6-26, Annual 1
Tomb of Dracula 44,
Giant Size Doctor Strange 1 cover

As expected!

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled for cinemas May 7th 2021, does that mean 2021's Doctor Strange volume will be earlier in late April? Maybe a second volume to tie in to the home release a few months later?

Doctor Strange Epic 8 Triumph and Torment is out which collects Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme 1–13. So Epics 5-7 need to collect Doctor Strange 27-81 and the Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales 1-19.

Epic 13 is out too collecting Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme 76-90 so we know Epics 9-12 collect Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme 14-75. That's 61 issues over 4 Epics so we're looking for a few extras to go in there but what?

Incredible Hulk 14 Going Grey
Incredible Hulk 314-330, Annual 14-15
Material from Marvel Fanfare 29

When this was discussed on Near Mint Condition and Epic Marvel Podcast's Breaking News: 11 New Marvel Epic Collections in 2020! Video it was down as Epic 15 and they suggested it might be the material in between the Bill Mantlo (ends Hulk 312) and Peter David (starts Hulk 331) runs. Maths suggested, based on the number of issues, that Epic 15 needed to start c331, not end before it. It turns out that EVERYONE was right because it's actually the volume before 15, with EXACTLY the contents many were hoping for 15 to have.

Hulk Visionaries: John Byrne reprints 314-319 & Annual 14 plus material from Marvel Fanfare 29. That means that 320-330 & Annual 15 are reprinted here for the first time.

15 "Ground Zero"
331 - 346 (the issue after Ground Zero Far far too elegant a stopping point to miss that)
The Big Change Grahic Novel (same month as 337)
16
346-362
Web of Spider-Man 44
Fantastic Four 320
Avengers Annual 17 (Main story)
Marvel Comics Presents 26 (Hulk story)
17 "Countdown"
363-380 & Annual 16 (Lifeform)
Marvel Comics Presents 49 (Hulk story)
18
381-396 & Annual 17 (Subteranean Wars)
X-Factor 76
Avengers West Coast 4 Vision Quest
Avengers West Coast 38-52, Annual 3-4
material from Avengers Spotlight 23

This was a complete surprise, and not just because we didn't know about it! Avengers West Coast 3 Tales to Astonish is only scheduled for release in August 2020 so to get twpo so close is unusual. Of course now I see it it's obvious that it's there to tie into the WandaVision television series, which is backed up by a rerelease of the original Vision & Scarlet Witch trade.

No real objections to this as Visionquest is a great story burt *maybe* Avengers Epic 8 (Avengers 129-148 & Giant Size Avengers 2-4), which shows the Vision & carlet Witch marrying, might have been a better choice as a celbratory Vision & Scarlet Witch volume?

Does an extra Avengers West Coast in 2020 mean no Avengers West Coast for 2021?

52 issues and 4 annuals will then be Epic'd out of West Coast Avengers run of 102 issues and 8 annuals: 50 issues, effectively 52 down to 75 & 100 being double sized, and 4 double sized annuals remain. That hits 60 issues and 3 epics on the nose.

Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, Conan Chronicles, Venom and Avengers West Coast we didn't know about plus we had the wrong Volume Numbers for X-Factor and Hulk.

So the volumes we don't know contents for yet are these, ordered by their comic shop dates:

November:
Incredible Hulk Epic Collection: Who Will Judge The Hulk?
December:
Avengers Epic Collection: Heavy Metal
Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Epic Collection Vol. 2
X-Force Epic Collection Vol. 3
X-Men Epic Collection: The Fate Of The Phoenix
They will be due in book shops, and thus on the Hachette catalogue for, December 2020 or possibly January 2021. It's possible they might be joined by another Star Wars book.......

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

September - December 2020 Epic Collections from the Hachette Website

The Web Site for Hachette, Marvel's distributor to book stores, has started to update with the September - December 2020 Epic collections. We already have a good idea of the bulk of what's coming via Near Mint Condition and Epic Marvel Podcast's Breaking News: 11 New Marvel Epic Collections in 2020! video and the Hachette trade catalogue for September which I looked at in 2020 Epic Collections September to December and Two NEW September 2020 Epic Collections and Comic Shop vs Book Shop dates. However there might be some licensed material, Star Wars and Conan, yet to be revealed.

The first two books added to Hachette'S Web Site we had most of the information for already, but the dates were new and confirmed why they were missing from the list in the first video linked above:

Fantastic Four Epic Collection 6: At War with Atlantis

https://www.hachettebookgroup.biz/titles/none/fantastic-four-epic-collection-at-war-with-atlantis/9781302922023/

ISBN: 9781302922023
On Sale Comicshops (via Diamond): 26th August 2020
On Sale Bookshops (via Hachette): 8th September 2020
Price: $39.99 ($52.00 in Canada)
Pages: 408
Added To The Hachette Site: 4th March 2020

COLLECTING: FANTASTIC FOUR 88-104, ANNUAL 7; FANTASTIC FOUR: THE LOST ADVENTURE

Thor Epic Collection 19: The Thor War
https://www.hachettebookgroup.biz/titles/none/thor-epic-collection-the-thor-war/9781302927066/

ISBN: 9781302927066
On Sale Comicshops (via Diamond): 26th August 2020
On Sale Bookshops (via Hachette): 8th September 2020
Price: $39.99 ($52.00 in Canada)
Pages: 472
Added To The Hachette Site: 4th March 2020

COLLECTING: THOR 437-450, THOR ANNUAL 16-17

If my accounting is accurate, this will be Epic Collection number 200!

We await further entries, and I'll update this page when they come but Near Mint Condition shared this Facebook post giving the following provisional list of Epics arriving in comic shops when:
September:
Black Panther Epic Collection: Panther's Prey
Captain America Epic Collection: Monsters And Men
Master Of Kung Fu Epic Collection: Traitors To The Crown
October:
Doctor Strange Epic Collection: Alone Against Eternity
Incredible Hulk Epic Collection Vol. 15
November:
Incredible Hulk Epic Collection: Who Will Judge The Hulk?
X-Factor Epic Collection Vol. 2
December:
Avengers Epic Collection: Heavy Metal
Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Epic Collection Vol. 2
X-Force Epic Collection Vol. 3
X-Men Epic Collection: The Fate Of The Phoenix
Obviously this is subject to alteration and for many of those we're awaiting volume numbers and more importantly contents and exact release dates.

Also remember that any book that arrives in a Comicshop is in Bookshops 2 weeks later:

COMIC SHOPS BOOK SHOPS
19 Aug 2020 01 Sep 2020
26 Aug 2020 08 Sep 2020
02 Sep 2020 15 Sep 2020
09 Sep 2020 22 Sep 2020
16 Sep 2020 29 Sep 2020
23 Sep 2020 06 Oct 2020
30 Sep 2020 13 Oct 2020
07 Oct 2020 20 Oct 2020
14 Oct 2020 27 Oct 2020
21 Oct 2020 03 Nov 2020
28 Oct 2020 10 Nov 2020
04 Nov 2020 17 Nov 2020
11 Nov 2020 24 Nov 2020
18 Nov 2020 01 Dec 2020
25 Nov 2020 08 Dec 2020
02 Dec 2020 15 Dec 2020
09 Dec 2020 22 Dec 2020
16 Dec 2020 29 Dec 2020
23 Dec 2020 05 Jan 2021
30 Dec 2020 12 Jan 2021

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Two NEW September 2020 Epic Collections and Comic Shop vs Book Shop dates

When I did 2020 Epic Collections September to December from Near Mint Condition and Epic Marvel Podcast's Breaking News: 11 New Marvel Epic Collections in 2020! video I said:
I think there's at least one of Later Thor, Earlier DD or Later FF hidden away at the start of Sept.
Sure enough the same suspects were back last night with a peak at the Hachette trade catalogue for September and guess what?

Fantastic Four Epic Collection 6: At War With Atlantis

Collecting: Fantastic Four 88-104, Annual 7 and Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure

FF now has six consecutive volumes and is the first title to have two consecutive earlier volumes in the same year: Avengers did two later volumes in 2019 and X-Men is set to repeat the feat with 6 Proteus and 7 Fate of the Phoenix in 2019 too.

Thor Epic Collection 19: The Thor War
Collecting: Thor 437-450, Annuals 16 & 17

Very much as expected.

So I got both titles right even if I didn't get the FF volume right. The Hachette trade catalogue for September video indicates these are the only two Epics for September.

BUT I later added to 2020 Epic Collections September to December this addendum:

Near Mint Condition have subsequently released a provisional schedule on FB:

September:

Black Panther Epic Collection: Panther's Prey
Captain America Epic Collection: Monsters And Men
Master Of Kung Fu Epic Collection: Traitors To The Crown
Thor: The Eternals Saga - The Complete Collection
Tomb Of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 4
October:
Doctor Strange Epic Collection: Alone Against Eternity
Incredible Hulk Epic Collection Vol. 15
Man-Thing By Steve Gerber: The Complete Collection Vol. 3
November:
Incredible Hulk Epic Collection: Who Will Judge The Hulk?
Iron Man By Mike Grell: The Complete Collection
X-Factor Epic Collection Vol. 2
December:
Avengers Epic Collection: Heavy Metal
Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Epic Collection Vol. 2
X-Force Epic Collection Vol. 3
X-Men Epic Collection: The Fate Of The Phoenix
So how could FF 6 & Thor 19 be the only Epics in Septemeber and Black Panther 3 Panther's Prey, Captain America 10 Monsters And Men and Master Of Kung Fu 5 Traitors To The Crown also be the Epics coming in September?

The answer is we'e dealing with two different but connected timescales here.

Comics & trades hit comic shops on a Wednesday, and those are the dates in Previews etc. Comixology gets them the same day.

13 days later they hit book shops, Amazon and the like, via Hachette, Marvel's book distributor.

The dates in the The Hachette trade catalogue for September video are from the Hachette catalogue whose book release dates that month are Tuesdays 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th of that month. These books will be found in comic shops 19th & 26th of August and 2nd, 9th & 16th of September respectively.

So I'd take a punt FF & Thor are due in book shops 1st & 8th September, so would have been in comic shops 19th & 25th August. Following that there's a three weeks gap and, subject to plans having changed, we get Black Panther 3 Panther's Prey, Captain America 10 Monsters And Men & Master Of Kung Fu 3 Traitors To The Crown in comic shops 23rd & 30th September which then arrive in book shops via Hachette 6th & 13th October.

Clear? No I thought not, it is confusing!

Comic shop dates on the left, book shop/hachette/amazon dates on the right:

Comic Shops   Book Shops
Wednesday Aug 19 = Tuesday Sep 01
Wednesday Aug 26 = Tuesday Sep 08
Wednesday Sep 02 = Tuesday Sep 15
Wednesday Sep 09 = Tuesday Sep 22
Wednesday Sep 16 = Tuesday Sep 29
Wednesday Sep 23 = Tuesday Oct 06
Wednesday Sep 30 = Tuesday Oct 13
The theory is further backed up by looking at prior releases. FF & Thor were first two weeks of September in book shops last year followed by no Epics for the rest of the month and a glut in October. (First date listed is comic shops, 2nd is book shops 13 days later)
Epic Comic Shops Book Shops
Fantastic Four 4 The Mystery Of The Black Panther Aug 21 2019 Sep 03 2019
Thor 18 The Black Galaxy Aug 28 2019 Sep 10 2019
West Coast Avengers 2 Lost in Space-Time Sep 18 2019 Oct 01 2019
Star Wars: Legends 2 The Menace Revealed Sep 18 2019 Oct 01 2019
Incredible Hulk 4 In The Hands Of Hydra Sep 25 2019 Oct 08 2019
Indeed there's a very similar pattern the year before
Epic Comic Shops Book Shops
Defenders 8 The New Defenders Aug 15 2018 Aug 28 2018
Amazing Spider-Man 18 Venom Aug 29 2018 Sep 11 2018
Star Wars: Legends 1 The Menace Revealed Sep 19 2018 Oct 02 2018
Thor 5 The Fall of Asgard Sep 26 2018. Oct 09 2018
West Coast Avengers 1 How The West Was Won Sep 26 2018 Oct 09 2018

Thursday, 30 January 2020

2020 Epic Collections September to December

Some late 2020 Epics have been announced by Near Mint Condition and The Epic Marvel Podcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0ONVkP1ctM

Complete Collections
Tomb of Dracula v4
Thor The Eternals Saga
Iron Man Mike Grell
Man Thing by Steve Gerber v3
Thor Eternals saga torpedoes my idea that Thor Epic 10 is incoming!

Epic Collections

Conan The Marvel Years v2
SLIGHLY surprised to see another so soon but there's a LOT of Conan to get through. Won't even make a guess because I think we think the contents of v1 may not be final.

But, In Theory, there should be issues featuring Red Sonja in here, 24 for example..... who Marvel do not own the rights to! Do Marvel's rights for Conan include printing her guest appearances?

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=4434&page=gallery
X-Force v3
Expected, ish. The only worry was X-Force's appearances in the Epic schedule have been erratic.

Contents (Guess) X-Force v3 20-33, Annual 2, Nomad 20, New Warriors 44-46

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=4128&page=gallery It's the 4th part of Fatal Attractions printed in Epics, just UXM 304 & Excalibur 71 to go
Master Of Kung Fu v3 Traitors to the Crown
Expected, next volume in sequence, slightly overdue as usually MOKF has been summer.

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=4014&page=gallery

Uses 72's Title, volume starts at 54 so something like 54-75, Marvel Two In One 29, What If 16
Hulk v5 Who will judge the Hulk?
Expected, next volume in sequence, usually an earlier Hulk in the Autumn

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=3984&page=gallery

Uses 152's Title, volume starts 138. Should include Avengers 88 which crosses over with Hulk 140. Issue length is up and down during the volume so it's hard to be exact but should run to c 156/157
Black Panther v3 Panther's Prey
A surprise!

Black Panther was considered "probably done" with everything up to the 88 Limited series printed.

11 page Black Panther story in Solo Avengers 19

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/comic.php?comicid=49307

Black Panther runs in Marvel Comics Presents in 1989, with 8 page stories in issues 13-37, 24 issues of 8 pages

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=4743&page=gallery

Panther's Prey is a 1991 4 issue Limited series

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?page=gallery&seriesid=4183

There's a 9 page Black Panther story in Marvel Fanfare 60

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/story.php?storyid=129549

A single other Panther story in MCP 148

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/story.php?storyid=124074

The next Panther series is in 1998

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?page=gallery&seriesid=8879
X-Factor v2
A surprise!

I was expecting v9, 101-113, Annual 9, X-Force 38 Excalibur 82 (Phalanx Covenant) following on from 7 & 8 the last two years

Contents (Guess) "Mutant Massacre" 10-20, Annual 2, Thor 373-374 & 378, Power Pack 27 and Hulk 336-337

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=4068&page=gallery

Avengers v18 Heavy Metal
A BIG surprise!

Avengers had been concentrating on Harras and I expected to see his next volume, 25 (368-378, Annual 23, X-Men 26, Avengers West Coast 101 & 102 and Uncanny X-Men 307)

Contents (Guess) Avengers v18 286-300, Annual 17, Thor 390

Let's back that up with some calcs:

286-300 is 15 issues, 16 and a bit as 300 is slightly over double sized.

Annual 17 is between 297 & 298 and is slightly over double sized. All but 19 issues.

301-303 are one story, so they need to stay together, not enough room for all 3, especially as 304 should really be with them.

One issue short. Avengers all together in Thor 390, where Cap lifts the hammer, so that goes in.

This is the Epic volume a friend has been waiting for with the start of the Simonson Time Barrier story and the Cross Time Council of Kangs

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=3986&page=gallery

Bye bye to the Old Avengers Heavy Metal trade which finished 3 issues too early!

Captain America v10 Of Monsters and Men
A BIG BIG Surprise!

An earlier Cap is waaaay Overdue (years) so Epic 5 starting 160 was very much expected.

This is 279's title. Epic 9 Dawn's Early Light (247-266, annual 5) is out as is Epic 12 Society of Serpents (302-317) so I had a go at Cap Epics 10 and 11 a while back:

10 Of Monsters & Men: 267-283, Annual 6, Defenders 106-107

11 - which will go on the "one volume gap" list: 284-301, Annual 7
Most of 11 was reprinted in Death of the Red Skull

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=3983&page=gallery

Doesn't shift an old trade but I've got all the issues in a long box under the bed!
Doctor Strange v4 Alone Against Eternity
Doctor Strange's Epic releases have been very random so I had no idea what to expect!

Alone Against Eternity is the title of Doctor Strange 10 http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/comic.php?comicid=47212

This confirms it to be Doctor Strange Epic 4, following on from 3 which you've read. This is the fifth Doctor Strange release but the first to be adjacent to another volume.

Will start issue 6

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=4035&page=gallery

The Masterworks for this period include

5 Marvel Premiere #9-14 and Doctor Strange #1-9

6 Doctor Strange #10-22, Annual #1 and Tomb of Dracula #44

7 Doctor Strange #23-37 and material from Chamber of Chills #3-4

Doctor Strange Annual 1 is the same month as DS 19 http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/newsstand.php?publisher=marvel&type=cover&month=10&year=1976&sort=alpha

Chamber of Chills 3 & 4 are cover dated March & May 73 before Doctor Strange the series started http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/newsstand.php?type=cover&month=3&year=1973&publisher=marvel&sort=alpha&checklist=null http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/newsstand.php?type=cover&month=5&year=1973&publisher=marvel&sort=alpha&checklist=null

I think this looks something like 6-26, Tomb of Dracula 44 and maybe those Chamber of Chills Issues
Hulk v15
A BIG BIG BIG Surprise!

We'd been expecting a later Hulk but probably v23 to follow on from 19-22.

The consensus of opinion was this was the stuff between Mantlo and David's runs, so the Byrne Written & Drawn and Milgrom written issues which would be Hulk 314-330, Annuals 14 & 15 Marvel Fanfare 29. I thought that looked a little fat for an Epic: 314-330 is 17 issues by itself, Marvel Fanfare 29 makes 18 and 2 each for each of the annuals = 22 issues. So I got digging....

330-396 is 67 issues without including doubles sized and annuals and extras - FF issue, Hulk vs Thing GN. so at 20 x 22 page issues per Epic 16-18 ain't gonna cover that.

Will try do do the numbers..... but I think this looks more like Milgrom and start of Peter David or even straight start of Peter David. The PD Visionaries contents are:

1) 331-339
2) 340-348
3) 349-354 Web of Spider-Man 44. Fantastic Four 320
4) 355-363 Marvel Comic Presents 26, 45
5) 364-372 Annual 16
6) 373-382
7) 383-389 Annual 17
8) 390-396 Annual 18, X-Factor 76
That's another 9 issues (annuals count 2) taking us to 76. At least three doubles in there too (345, 377 & 393) taking us to 79.... which is 4 whole Epics.

Nah, this isn't the in between volume, this is the first 20 issues worth of Peter David.

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=3984&page=gallery

The numbers

I think 15 is 331 - 346, the issue after Ground Zero Far far too elegant a stopping point to miss that, plus the Big Change Grahic Novel (same month as 337)

16 346-362, Web of Spider-Man 44, FF 320, Avengers Annual 17 main story and MCP 26

17 "Countdown" 363-380, MCP49, Annual 16 Lifeform

18 381-396 Annual 17 Subteranean Wars, X-Factor 76

That's the two Peter David Visionaries that I kept gone!
X-Men v7 Fate of the Phoenix
Slightly surprised by this.

But possibly not as much as I should have been as 2020 is the 40th anniversary of the Phoenix story and there has been a lot off speculation this might appear.

IF it's a 2020 book, and I'm not 100% convinced it is, it will be the first of the "two volume a year" Epics to have 2 earlier volumes out in the same year - most have an earlier and a later volume but Avengers did two later volumes in 2019.

Unless ASM 16, Ion Man 12 or Avengers 6 is sitting hidden away, X-Men will be the first Epic with SEVEN consecutive volumes out.

Very much expecting this to be 129-143 (Byrne's last issue) Annual 5, Bizarre Adventures 27 and MTIO 89 - Angel

http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/features/series.php?seriesid=3987&page=gallery

I can get shot of the paperbacks of the first 5 X-Men MMWs thanks to this!




After the first 4 I was thinking "Yeah, pretty much what I'm expecting" then it went Radio Rental. Last third of the year has been easy to predict till now, lots of volumes in roughly the same place, chugging out next in sequence. Not this time!

I think there's at least one of Later Thor, Earlier DD or Later FF hidden away at the start of Sept. I think at least one, maybe two of these are actually early 2021 - possibly X-Men, as it would be odd to have two earlier volumes, or Hulk 15, as later Hulk has usually been year start.

Still SW and a possible Conan Chronicles to come.


Near Mint Condition have subsequently released a provisional schedule on FB:

September:

Black Panther Epic Collection: Panther's Prey
Captain America Epic Collection: Monsters And Men
Master Of Kung Fu Epic Collection: Traitors To The Crown
Thor: The Eternals Saga - The Complete Collection
Tomb Of Dracula: The Complete Collection Vol. 4
October:
Doctor Strange Epic Collection: Alone Against Eternity
Incredible Hulk Epic Collection Vol. 15
Man-Thing By Steve Gerber: The Complete Collection Vol. 3
November:
Incredible Hulk Epic Collection: Who Will Judge The Hulk?
Iron Man By Mike Grell: The Complete Collection
X-Factor Epic Collection Vol. 2
December:
Avengers Epic Collection: Heavy Metal
Conan The Barbarian: The Original Marvel Years Epic Collection Vol. 2
X-Force Epic Collection Vol. 3
X-Men Epic Collection: The Fate Of The Phoenix

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Marvel Epic Collections and the MCU

I've been looking at the upcoming MCU films and thinking how they might effect The Epic Collections. Marvel does like a nice tie in and if the Epics can schedule an appropriate volume around then, all well and good. Frequently there's two bites of the cherry, one for the film release, one for the home media release.

Cases in point: The two Ms Marvel volumes, the timing of the ASM Venom volume, The Two Black Widow volumes and the two New Mutants volumes this year, Renewal's reprint is just before the film and Cable's release is probably around about the DVD release.

So using the information half inched from Wikipedia's Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Four page and it's Live-action theatrical films based on Marvel Comics links I've come up with this list. The first three cover the period where we know what books are coming out:

New Mutants
April 3, 2020

Black Widow
May 1, 2020

Morbius
July 31st 2020

Interestingly no Epic to tie in with Morbius - his first appearance will be in ASM Epic 6 (86-104) and we've had two ASM Epics early this year - but I can see a nice big Omnibus on the runway. Future films are:
Venom 2
October 2, 2020

The Eternals
November 6, 2020

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
February 12, 2021

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
May 7, 2021

Untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel
July 16, 2021

Thor: Love and Thunder
November 5, 2021

And I think these might hint at some stuff to come, possibly at some vague shapes for the 2021 schedules and possibly explain some books which have moved round the schedules recently.

So here's a little speculation:

Venom 2 - October 2, 2020

As I said, we've had TWO ASM Epics alredy this year. I think the Venom 2 Movie might trigger some reprints. I'd say ASM 18 Venom (295-310, Annual 22) to solve the QC issues but that's still in print. Quite a few appearances in the next few volumes though, several of which are currently OOP.

The Eternals - November 6, 2020

The obvious prediction to make here would be for an Eternals Epic Collection 1, but that would need the Kirby Eternals series, which is getting a printing as a Complete Collection in July. I A) think that's a bit soon for it to be getting another print in another format and B) can't see much (any?) Epic material that's also been in a complete collection.

But there's something else they could do and that's an Epic with the Thor Eternals saga in. That'd be Thor Epic 10 containing something like #279-302 and Annual #7-8, Marvel Treasury Edition #24, 26.

The last half of the issues that would be in Thor Epic 10 are about (29th January) to be reprinted in Thor Masterworks 19. Usually I'd be tempted to say straight away that that would take them off the Epics schedule for a bit but here I'm not so sure. Thor Masterworks normally appear in the Autumn - the last 3 have, and indeed Thor MMW 18 only came out 18th September 2019 so that's a very small gap between volumes. They'd be good thing to have out opposite the Eternals Film, so what's it doing pulled forward, out of the MMW's usual release area and away from when it would benefit from the film? The only conclusion I can come to is that Thor Epic 10 is on the runway for about when The Eternals is due to hit the cinema or early 2021 when the home release is due.

That might also make some sense of there being just one Thor Epic, a later one, in 2019 and the earlier volume shifting to a spring release slot.

There's just one Epic 10 already, and that's Iron Man's. Be interesting to see if Thor 10 counts as an earlier or later Epic.

Of course if Thor 10 *did* come out early 2021 that would bump the expected release of Thor 7, which is the next of the earlier releases in order and would contain 217 to something like 240. Now I want that volume as it would contain 234-236, the earliest Thor issues I read. But maybe that volume getting bumped back a bit wouldn't be a bad thing.....

So while I'm not 100% sure where, I do think it's pretty likely Thor Epic 10 will be coming out to tie in with either the cinema or home media release of The Eternals

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings - February 12, 2021

Easier one this. Master Of Kung Fu got bumped out of it's usual summer position this year. I expect we'll see Epic 3 late in 2020 so it's on the shelves for the film's release and Epic 4 c April-June to tie in with the Home Media release.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness - May 7, 2021

Much earlier Doctor Strange release for 2021 late April early May, which might mean no late 2020 Doctor Strange Epic this year..... But might also mean possibly a second 2021 Doctor Strange Epic to tie in with the home media release.

Untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel - July 16, 2021

Amazing Spider-Man's Epics are early this year, next year they might be middle of the year. ASM is popular anyway with 2 Epics a year so this Movie might be an ideal point to launch one of the other Spider-Man Epics, probably Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man.

Thor: Love and Thunder - November 5, 2021

There's usually a late year Thor Epic or 2, but that changed this last year with just a later Thor at the end of the year and an earlier one in the Spring. Above we speculated that Thor Epic 10 might be in the pipeline in connection with Eternals bumping Thor Epic 7..... what if Thor Epic 7 gets bumped to here? There's a major Jane Foster plotline in the 230s issues and Jane Foster supposedly has a big role in the new Thor film.

So....

Late 2020/Early 2021 Thor Epic 10 to tie in with The Eternals Movie

Late 2020 MOKF Epic 3 to tie in with Shang-Chi's Cinema Release

Early 2021 MOKF Epic 4 to tie in with Shang-Chi's Home Media Release

cApril 2021 Doctor Strange Epic ?? to tie in with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Cinema Release

?? cSept 2021 Doctor Strange Epic ?? to tie in with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Home Media Release

June/July 2021/late 2021 2 ASM Epics and Peter Parker Epic 1 to tie i with the Untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel releases

November 2021 Thor Epic 7 to tie in with the Thor: Love and Thunder Cinema Release