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  1. #1
    Mind Sculptor weezer17's Avatar
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    Default Marvel Epic Collection -- can someone explain?

    Wikipedia didn't really give a good explanation of the "Epic Collection" is supposed to be, but I'm interested in hopping aboard any collected series Marvel is planning on doing, and since some of the Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection books are out of print and because this Epic Collection line seems really recent I want to get with the program if it's worth it!

    Now my first question is, why are there huge gaps in between the volume #'s?

    Please help!

    The last table is the one that I'm looking at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_...Complete_Epics

  2. #2
    Incredible Member Rimmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezer17 View Post
    Wikipedia didn't really give a good explanation of the "Epic Collection" is supposed to be, but I'm interested in hopping aboard any collected series Marvel is planning on doing, and since some of the Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection books are out of print and because this Epic Collection line seems really recent I want to get with the program if it's worth it!

    Now my first question is, why are there huge gaps in between the volume #'s?

    Please help!

    The last table is the one that I'm looking at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_...Complete_Epics
    The idea with the Epics is to collect an entire run of the big Marvel titles, but they're releasing them out of order. The reason there is they want to hit the gaps that don't have collections already first. This is a wink/nod to collectors. So if there was a gap between omnibus X and HC Y, this Epic could fill in that gap, etc...

    They are now hitting us with a slew of volume 1's, but after that, don't expect volume 2's, but probably something else.
    So ideally, if they keep it up, eventually you could have a row of 15+ volumes of Captain America Epics, or Iron Man, Thor, etc... but in the meantime it's going to be messy on your shelf.

    But there is a rhyme and reason behind it, if that helps. Thanks.

    *Edit: These are essentially replacements for the Black & White Essentials line, which was doing the same thing - getting continuous runs of books, except that these are in color. I've flipped through a few, they seem really nice.
    "Boomerang arrow, Kate... It comes back to you in the end. Boomerang. Respect it." - Clint
    "Why the hell do you need an arrow that comes back to you after you shoot it, Clint?" - Kate
    "Because... Boomerangs." - Clint.

  3. #3
    Mind Sculptor weezer17's Avatar
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    No, thank you so much! Obviously we don't know for sure, but in an ideal world will they be collecting everything? Even the sections that are gaps right now? I just want to clarify!

    Btw, great C.S. Lewis quote

  4. #4
    Spectacular Member ohmshalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rimmer View Post
    The idea with the Epics is to collect an entire run of the big Marvel titles, but they're releasing them out of order. The reason there is they want to hit the gaps that don't have collections already first. This is a wink/nod to collectors. So if there was a gap between omnibus X and HC Y, this Epic could fill in that gap, etc...

    They are now hitting us with a slew of volume 1's, but after that, don't expect volume 2's, but probably something else.
    So ideally, if they keep it up, eventually you could have a row of 15+ volumes of Captain America Epics, or Iron Man, Thor, etc... but in the meantime it's going to be messy on your shelf.

    But there is a rhyme and reason behind it, if that helps. Thanks.

    *Edit: These are essentially replacements for the Black & White Essentials line, which was doing the same thing - getting continuous runs of books, except that these are in color. I've flipped through a few, they seem really nice.
    So we can think of them as Marvel's answer to DC's Archives? Or is there a difference between the two?
    An unabashed DC Fanboy (who gives Marvel credit where credit is due).

  5. #5
    Amazing Member JShilpetski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmshalone View Post
    So we can think of them as Marvel's answer to DC's Archives? Or is there a difference between the two?
    That would be the Marvel Masterworks. (Hardcover collections of early, restored material.)

    Quote Originally Posted by weezer17 View Post
    Obviously we don't know for sure, but in an ideal world will they be collecting everything? Even the sections that are gaps right now? I just want to clarify!
    Yes, that's the plan. They're just avoiding stuff that's pretty available (Simonson Thor, Byrne FF, etc.), probably saving it for last. Each of the six original books of the line (Avengers, FF, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man) were planned out to around 20 volumes, until about 1990, when crossovers start getting messy.
    Last edited by JShilpetski; 08-22-2014 at 02:22 PM.

  6. #6
    Spectacular Member deltasun's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Which books are most recommended. I know it'll depend on one's character preference, but was curious about everyone's general favorites.

  7. #7
    Super Member DrGregatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmshalone View Post
    So we can think of them as Marvel's answer to DC's Archives? Or is there a difference between the two?
    Marvel Masterworks hardcovers would be the equivalent of the DC Archives; both have quality paper, a sewn-binding, top notch restoration and print series sequentially. Epics are paperbacks that use whatever restoration is currently available--no new restoration is done as a cost save. What really irks me is that DC can put out similar size hardcover books like Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin (page count 480) for only $40, but Marvel wants $45 for the first Daredevil epic (pagecount 456). I don't know why Marvel couldn't have made the Epic collections in hardcover for a similar price if DC can do it?

  8. #8
    Mind Sculptor weezer17's Avatar
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    Wait, so are Masterworks better quality? Should I just wait for the Masterworks to get reprinted later this year / early next year?

    Also, are the Epic Collection TPB's in color?

  9. #9
    Amazing Member JShilpetski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezer17 View Post
    Wait, so are Masterworks better quality? Should I just wait for the Masterworks to get reprinted later this year / early next year?

    Also, are the Epic Collection TPB's in color?
    Masterworks are nice hardcovers, but they can be pretty expensive. They have a great build quality, but you have to weight that against usually $25 to $35 for about 250 pages in HC, where epics are usually $20 for 500 in TPB. The restorations that are done for the MMW, though, are used whenever those stories are reprinted again (like an omnibus or the epics.)

    And yes, the epics are in color.

  10. #10
    Incredible Member CrazyOldHermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrGregatron View Post
    Epics are paperbacks that use whatever restoration is currently available--no new restoration is done as a cost save.
    Uh, except for when there is no restoration currently available, which is going to be quite often.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrGregatron View Post
    What really irks me is that DC can put out similar size hardcover books like Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin (page count 480) for only $40, but Marvel wants $45 for the first Daredevil epic (pagecount 456). I don't know why Marvel couldn't have made the Epic collections in hardcover for a similar price if DC can do it?
    DC can put out similar sized hardcover books like Tales of the Batman for the same price because DC has absolutely zero regard for build quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by weezer17 View Post
    Wait, so are Masterworks better quality? Should I just wait for the Masterworks to get reprinted later this year / early next year?

    Also, are the Epic Collection TPB's in color?
    Masterworks are higher quality but are much more expensive and have a much slower rate of release. You can wait years between volumes of some Masterworks lines while every Epic line is guaranteed to get at least one volume per year. Also, the Masterworks go in chronological order so a lot of material is a long ways off. With the Epics Marvel can jump around to material that is in high demand

  11. #11
    Mighty Member Groo Odyssey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezer17 View Post
    Wait, so are Masterworks better quality? Should I just wait for the Masterworks to get reprinted later this year / early next year?

    Also, are the Epic Collection TPB's in color?
    Wait..are the marvel masterworks getting reprinted? I'd like to start a mastworks library going but some of the editions are out of print. I dont know why marvel don't reprint them on a regular basis.
    Anne Bonnie, Princess Ugg, Five Ghosts, Saga, Rat Queens, Groo, Goon, Usagi Yojimbo, Sixth Gun, Wasteland, Courtney Crumrin, Jonah Hex, Walking Dead, Manifest Destiny, God Hates Astronauts, Spread, Fearless Dawn, Nailbiter, Copperhead, Stray Bullets, Birthright, Bone, Lazarus

  12. #12
    Amazing Member Henrik K. Kristensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezer17 View Post
    Wait, so are Masterworks better quality? Should I just wait for the Masterworks to get reprinted later this year / early next year?

    Also, are the Epic Collection TPB's in color?
    You know this really does come down to preference.

    I own books from all types of Marvel collections.

    Marvel Omnibus (collecting 18-35 issues)
    Oversized Hardcover.
    Later printings all have great sewn binding and good restoration. Recent books have been discussed a lot due to new thin paper, many hate the new paper.
    Personally I love the thinner volumes (below 750 pages), but the thick books are too big for my taste. They looks great on the shelf but I don't like reading them.
    I sometimes buy these for books I hold very dear, I don't see it as a large collection for me.
    My favorite Omnibus books are Daredevil by Bendis and Brubaker and Wolverine by Millar.

    Marvel Oversized Hardcovers (collecting 10-18 issues)
    These are a lot like Omnibus with smaller page count. But the binding is a hit and miss as sometimes it is great sewn with good paper, other times thin paper and glued.
    These mostly collect modern (post 1991) comics and are not meant as a complete collection, but often collect smaller runs. Do note that recently Marvel has published vol. 1 and 2 as OHC and the later comics in a different format. This annoys many collectors.
    My Favorite OHCs are Daredevil by Waid, Runaways vol. 1-3, Planet Hulk.

    Marvel HC Masterworks (collecting 10-13 issues)
    Great books however pre 2009 books didn't always have the best build quality, wasn't sewn and not best restoration. Volumes from after vol. 100 or so are AMAZING quality in all regards. If you want complete collections look for series where vol. 1 is printed later than 2009 (Iron Fist, Marvel Two-in-One etc.).

    Marvel SC Masterworks (collecting 10-13 issues)
    These are softcover with fantastic restoration and are published in order and at good value (if you like smaller TPBs)

    Marvel Classic Premiere (collecting 6-10 issues)
    The first set (fist 20 volumes or so) had tight glued binding, after that it was a better sewn binding. The later volumes changed the spine design a bit due to new Marvel logo, so the shelf will not be "uniform". I like the sewn ones as individual books, not as a big collection.

    Marvel Epics (collecting 18-22 issues)
    Large TPB collections.
    These are MY personal favorites. They collect a decent amount of comics. Have great paper (because I prefer non-glossy comic paper for classic (pre 1991) books.
    The only downside is that we don't know when our favorite books will be collected (on the upside i get top read comics I never read before like Thor: War of the Pantheons).
    Regarding not being published in order. These books don't have a volume number on the spine so your shelves will look good seven if you are missing volumes. (the vol number is printed on the bad for he book along with years the original comics were published).

    So what does better quality mean?
    TO ME the Epics are the best format. Other prefer Masterworks and those who don't mind huge books prefer Omnibus.

    >> Groo, the Marvel Masterworks vol. 1 are being re-printed due to Marvel Anniversary celebration.
    Absolutely nothing has been hinted that later volumes will get a re-print.

  13. #13
    Incredible Member CrazyOldHermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groo Odyssey View Post
    Wait..are the marvel masterworks getting reprinted? I'd like to start a mastworks library going but some of the editions are out of print. I dont know why marvel don't reprint them on a regular basis.
    Ten of the Vol 1s are being reprinted. Marvel doesn't reprint them regularly because there are 200 volumes in the line and a very specific market which is what Marvel bases their production and print runs off of.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member Groo Odyssey's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Well this certainly sucks, I have some of the vols 1 already and was wondering when some of the out of print subsequent volumes would be reprinted. Looks like I should just go the omnibus route.
    Anne Bonnie, Princess Ugg, Five Ghosts, Saga, Rat Queens, Groo, Goon, Usagi Yojimbo, Sixth Gun, Wasteland, Courtney Crumrin, Jonah Hex, Walking Dead, Manifest Destiny, God Hates Astronauts, Spread, Fearless Dawn, Nailbiter, Copperhead, Stray Bullets, Birthright, Bone, Lazarus

  15. #15
    Super Member DrGregatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyOldHermit View Post
    Uh, except for when there is no restoration currently available, which is going to be quite often.
    I hope they use decent restoration. I heard the Avengers The Final Threat Epic used the same substandard restoration Marvel used in the MPCs.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyOldHermit View Post
    DC can put out similar sized hardcover books like Tales of the Batman for the same price because DC has absolutely zero regard for build quality.



    Masterworks are higher quality but are much more expensive and have a much slower rate of release. You can wait years between volumes of some Masterworks lines while every Epic line is guaranteed to get at least one volume per year. Also, the Masterworks go in chronological order so a lot of material is a long ways off. With the Epics Marvel can jump around to material that is in high demand
    That's not true about these DC books--the construction is great or I'd let you know, believe you me! I own several Tales of The Batman HCs and the similar Superman HCs and they're 400-500 page books with a glued-binding but a hardcover and yet they're in the same price range as the Epics. There are no issues in build quality like there have been with many of the Marvel omnibuses I own (at least in my experience). Why did Marvel go cheap with the paperbacks? I'd be praising the Epic line if it were hardback.

    It is nice that Epics can jump around to the best material of the 1980s, but what happens to your complete run when other people don't buy the subpar material and sales flounder?

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