Marvel Pocket Books from Panini

Since this has been one of my most popular posts, I've opted to convert it into an expanded page.

There's another series of (mainly) ongoing reprints that doesn't get much attention - even their own publisher doesn't seem to have a section of their website devoted to them. For some years now Panini, who hold the Marvel licence over here, have produced a series of "Marvel Pocket Books" reprinting Marvel issues from all eras in a colour, digest format.

The books themselves have had a few publishing problems in the past - very stiff card covers and strong glue that have made them difficult to read at times - but they've changed the stocks used and are now sufficiently flexible. The early years saw them use what appear to be digitally enhanced colouring but more recently they have used the original colours.

Some of the books pick issues from highly regarded storylines across eras; others present runs sequentially though they've had the familiar copyright problems and also haven't always included annuals. Much of the material has also been printed in the Essentials so I won't be reviewing them all but there are some gems here not available in that format.

Finding a clear list of the contents of each book is tricky so I've opted to expand mine. Each series is presented broadly in issue order. Here goes:


Astonishing Ant-Man


Origins

(The final cover is slightly different from the preview shown; I'll aim to get the printed version displayed as soon as possible.)

Reprints Marvel Premiere #47 to #48, Iron Man #131 to #133, Avengers #195 to #196 & #223 and Marvel Team-Up #103


Avengers


The Bride of Ultron

Reprints Avengers #158 to #167

The focus on storylines has left out one of the most famous Avengers annuals of all, #7.


The Korvac Saga

Reprints Thor Annual #6 and Avengers #168 & #170 to #177

Issue #169 is a fill-in and has been left out here, breaking what would otherwise be a continuous run of thirty issues over three books.


Nights of Wundagore

Reprints Avengers #178 to #187


Avengers West Coast


Vision Quest

Reprints Avengers West Coast #42 to #49


Darker than Scarlet

(The final cover is slightly different from the preview shown; I'll aim to get the printed version displayed as soon as possible.)

Reprints Avengers West Coast #50 to #57


Captain America


The Coming of the Falcon

Reprints Captain America #109 to #119


Blood on the Moors

Reprints Captain America #247 to #255

This is the Roger Stern and John Byrne run complete in one book.


Daredevil


Marked for Murder

Reprints Daredevil #158 to #161 & #163 to #167


Deathlok the Demolisher


Origins

Reprints Astonishing Tales #25 to #28 and #30 to #35


Doctor Strange


The Montesi Formula

(The final cover is slightly different from the preview shown; I'll aim to get the printed version displayed as soon as possible.)

Reprints Tomb of Dracula #44 and Doctor Strange (second series) #14 & #58 to #62


Fantastic Four


The Coming of Galactus!

Reprints Fantastic Four #44 to #51 & Annual #3


Doomsday

Reprints Fantastic Four #52 to #60


Where Stalks the Sandman

Reprints Fantastic Four #61 to #67 & Annual #4


The Flames of Battle

Reprints Fantastic Four #68 to #73 & Annual #5


Incredible Hulk


The Coming of the Hulk!

Reprints Incredible Hulk #1 to #6

In a nice piece of recycling, the cover image reuses that from the original edition of Essential Hulk volume 1


The Monster Unleashed!

Reprints the Hulk stories from Tales to Astonish #101 and Incredible Hulk #102 to #108


World's End

Reprints Incredible Hulk #109 to #117



Iron Man


The Tragedy and the Triumph

Reprints the Iron Man stories from Tales of Suspense #91 to #99, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 and Iron Man #1 to #4


Unmasked

Reprints Iron Man #5 to #14


Demon in a Bottle

Reprints Iron Man #120 to #129

A leap forward for one of the most acclaimed Iron Man stories of all.


Armour Wars

Reprints Iron Man #225 to #232


Rocket Raccoon


Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant

Reprints the four part Rocket Raccoon limited series from the 1980s plus the earliest appearances of Rocket and Groot from Tales to Astonish #13, Marvel Preview #7 and Incredible Hulk #271


Silver Surfer


Origins

Reprints Silver Surfer #1 to #5 from the original 1968 series


Spider-Man


The End of the Green Goblin!

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #39 to #46

Annual #3 has been left out and it hasn't (yet) been included in any of the subsequent books.


The Wings of the Vulture!

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #47 to #52 and Annual #4

The annual is in a closer position to its original publication than when it first appeared in the Essentials.


To Kill a Spider-Man!

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #53 to #61



The Madness of Mysterio!

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #62 to #67 and Annual #2 & #5

Whilst Annual #5 is in about the right place, Annual #2 seems to be making up the numbers to prevent the book ending midway through an extended storyline. It's surprising that they choose to include the last Ditko annual rather than the first Romita one given where the pocketbook series began.


To Crush the Kingpin

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #68 to #77

Like the early editions of the Essentials, the pocketbooks haven't included the two issues of the Spectacular Spider-Man magazine.


Night of the Prowler

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #78 to #85



The Death of Captain Stacy

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #86 to #93



In The Grip of the Goblin

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #94 to #102

There's a pattern emerging about which villain will always get the cover whenever possible...


The Spider-Slayer

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #103 to #111

It's a slightly odd title to use considering that this is in fact the third Spider-Slayer storyline.


Countdown to Chaos!

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #112 to #120

So at least one of the Spectacular Spider-Man magazines is included in some form.


The Night Gwen Stacy Died

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #121 to #128 and Marvel Team-Up #15

It's interesting to see the latter issue (a team-up with Ghost Rider) has been included here; probably to keep issue #129 back for the next book both because of the popularity of the character it introduces and also so as not to split up the Jackal storyline even further. Annual #9 came out during this run and although it was a reprint the story was from Spectacular Spider-Man magazine #2 (as a "Green Goblin tribute issue") and this would have been an opportunity to make up for the earlier omission.


The Punisher Strikes Twice

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #129 to #135, Marvel Team-Up #22 and Giant-Size Spider-Man #1

Again a Marvel Team-Up (with Hawkeye) is used to tread water rather than split up another storyline that can be used to sell the following book. Note that Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1 has been overlooked.


The Green Goblin Lives Again

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #136 to #142, What If? #1 and Giant-Size Spider-Man #4

Here copyright problems have prevented Giant-Size Spider-Man #2 & #3 from appearing. Yes #2 was reprinted in Essential Spider-Man volume 6, but for various reasons older copyrights have different lengths in the UK from the US. What If? #1 is an interesting inclusion as an alternate reality story (and frankly is much more of a Fantastic Four story than a Spider-Man one) but again it helps tread water.


The Delusion Conspiracy

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #143 to #150 and Giant-Size Spider-Man #5


Shattered by the Shocker

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #151 to #160



War of the Reptile-Men

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #161 to #170 and the back-up story from Annual #11

Yes, only the back-up, and there's no sign of Annual #10 at all.



Green Grows the Goblin!

Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #171 to #180 and The Man Called Nova #12.



Thor


When Gods Go Mad!

Reprints Thor #179 to #188


In the Shadow of Mangog!

Reprints Thor #189 to #198


Thor: Son of Asgard


The Warriors Teen

Reprints Thor: Son of Asgard #1 to #6 and recoloured versions of the "Tales of Asgard" stories from Journey into Mystery #97 to #103


Worthy

Reprints Thor: Son of Asgard #7 to #12, recoloured versions of the "Tales of Asgard" stories from Journey into Mystery #104 to #108 and the main story in original colours from #112


Uncanny X-Men


Second Genesis

Reprints Giant-Size X-Men #1 and X-Men #94 to #103


Magneto Triumphant

Reprints X-Men #104 to #117


Wanted: Wolverine - Dead or Alive

Reprints X-Men #118 to #124 and Annual #3


Dark Phoenix

Reprints X-Men #125 to #137


Days of Future Past

Reprints X-Men #138 to #143 and Annual #4

This one has two separate covers. The one on the right is the original, the one on the left is from a later printing to tie in with the movie.


Rogue Storm

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #144 to #150


God Loves, Man Kills

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #151 to #153, Annual #5 and Marvel Graphic Novel #5 "God Loves, Man Kills"


Night Screams

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #154 to #161


Beyond the Farthest Star

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #162 to #168


Scarlet in Glory

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #169 to #175


Blood Feud

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #176 to #179, Annual #6, New Mutants #13 to #14 and a story from Marvel Team-Up #100

It's interesting to see some of the New Mutants crossover issues included here as they don't normally appear in sequential runs. However Uncanny X-Men annual #6 has arrived rather late in the cycle.


Love and Madness

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #180 to #184 and New Mutants #15 to #17

There's also a one page text explanation of Secret Wars including an advert for Panini's reprint of it.


Legacy of the Lost

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #185 to #191


The Gift

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #192 to #194 and X-Men and Alpha Flight #1 to #2


The Trial of Magneto

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #195 to #200


The Asgardian War

Reprints Uncanny X-Men #201 to #203, Annual #9 and New Mutants Special Edition #1


As with Spider-Man the X-Men are well served by a long sequential run and go one better by starting at a more natural point. The books get a bonus for including New Mutants #13 to #17 which deal with Kitty Pryde's absence from the main title at a critical period; these issues have not, to the best of my knowledge, been included in any other X-Men sequential reprint runs. However once again it's the annuals that let the side down. Annuals #3 to #5 all appear in approximately the right places but #6 is heavily delayed from its placing and annuals #7 and #8 have both been left out.



Venom


Venom: Birth of a Monster

Reprints Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #107 to #110 & Amazing Spider-Man #298-300.

It should come as no surprise to learn that this pocketbook was released around the time of Venom's big screen debut in the movie Spider-Man 3.


Wolverine


Wolverine By Chris Claremont and Frank Miller

Reprints the four issue limited series Wolverine from 1982 plus Uncanny X-Men #172 & #173 and Incredible Hulk #181


Wolverine: First Class


The Rookie

Reprints Wolverine: First Class #1 to #8


Leader of the Pack

Reprints Wolverine: First Class #9 to #16


X-Men: The Hidden Years


The Ghost and the Darkness

Reprints X-Men: The Hidden Years #1 to #7 and the preview story from X-Men vol 2 #94


Destroy All Mutants!

Reprints X-Men: The Hidden Years #8 to midway through #14

It seems stopping mid-issue was the only way to end the book at a clear point.


Worlds Within Worlds!

Reprints X-Men: The Hidden Years from the rest of #14 to #22








And Panini have also used the digest format for some out of continuity books aimed at younger audiences. Purists may dispute whether they're "Marvel Pocket Books" or not but they've been sold on the same shelves and I'm including them to allow readers make up their own minds:


Iron Man


Armoured Avenger

Reprints Marvel Adventures Iron Man #1 and #7 to #12 and Marvel Adventures Iron Man Golden Avenger #1


Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures

This UK series began reprinting the comics based on the mid 1990s Spider-Man cartoon but, facing a shortage of material, it began originating additional adventures to fill up the gaps and carried on after the US material ran out.


Night of the Goblin

Reprints the original stories from Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures #101, #103 to #107, #109, #111, #113 to #115 and #117 to #120


Riot at Ryker's Island!

Reprints the original stories from Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures #121 to #136







(There are also some Triplepacks but these are just three regular books sold in a pack.)

Overall it's nice to see more use of the digest format. However some of these books jump about a bit whilst it's a pity that Panini have a very hit and miss approach to including annuals. Had they consistently included them all then the pocket books could be the elusive Holy Grail of collected editions - complete, sequential, cheap enough to attract the casual buyer to dip in, and optimally sized for easy reading & carrying.

9 comments:

  1. Epic Work Man .Very Helpful.Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the info! I recently bought Dark Phoenix and I like the format/price but, as you said, it's kind of stiff. I'll probably get a more recent one (Dark Phoenix was published in 2006) to see how it is.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why haven't any new Pocket Books been released this year? Panini haven't stopped releasing them - have they??

    ReplyDelete
  4. No, some Dr Strange and Avengers West Coast ones just came out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No way! Where? How? What? Nothing on Amazon! Please provide proof, my good friend :)

      Delete
  5. Have they stopped producing these? It seems like we've been waiting ages since the last one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry to say they have no plans for any new pocketbooks at the moment. However, last year they did re-print some of the old ones. Source: https://twitter.com/Ed_Hammond101/status/766280511555788800

      Delete
  6. Thanks for this. Love these pocket books but could never find a decent list before.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...