Here at Collected Editions, there’s a feature called “Uncollected Editions,” investigating comic book runs which have never been collected. DC Comics isn’t the only company behind on its collections, however.
Below are five runs which I think need to be put to trade. Naturally, there are others, so feel free to mention in the comments your favorite Marvel issues that you'd like to see in trade paperback.
During the research for this article, I discovered that a few of my suggestions, such as Untold Tales of Spider-Man, have finally been collected, to my relief.
5. Rom: Spaceknight Vol. 1 #1-75.
It may be a bit unfair to push Marvel to collect this, as Rom was a toy tie-in comic. Like the Transformers and G.I. Joe books, however, it transcended its toy roots and became a classic in its own rights. His supporting characters and the villains of the series, the Dire Wraiths, continue to make appearances, while Rom has even been turned into a human. The Rom character and design are owned by Parker Brothers, which is a subsidiary of Hasbro ... which now makes Marvel’s toys. There’s a chance that we may yet see Rom both in toy and comic book form in the near future.
4. The Rest of Thunderbolts Vol. 1 #15-41, #45-75.
The two Thunderbolts Classics editions have been mostly great, despite the first volume being just an expanded version of Justice, Like Lightning. I don’t want these Classics volumes to peter out before the whole series is collected. (Issues #42-44 are part of an Avengers crossover, The Nefaria Protocols, and are collected in that trade. Keep ‘em coming, Marvel!
3. Iron Man Vol. 1 #163-200.
A few years ago, I doubted that Marvel would ever collect the four-year-long Obadiah Stane saga in any convenient form. A few issues were collected in the Many Armors of Iron Man trade. However, the various omnibus editions and massive trades of The Clone Saga, Onslaught, and especially The Captain prove that Marvel has some interest in collecting longer stories. Though the Stane saga is somewhat padded out, it does feature Jim Rhodes’ first tenure as Iron Man and the classic Stark vs. Stane showdown. Two trades of The Captain’s length should do it.
2. Hellstorm Vol. 1 #1-21.
I mentioned in the Marvel Legacy Handbook review that this series was weirder than anything ever published by Vertigo. While Rafael Nieves and Len Kaminski both penned great stories, it really reached the heights of the bizarre under Warren Ellis’ tenure. I’ve been tempted to write a Hellstorm movie based on Ellis’ Armorer storyline. The artwork is extremely dark and gruesome, fitting the similar mood.
1. Iron Man Vol. 1 #300-318.
I’ve mentioned the Modular Armor era of Iron Man a few times before, so naturally, it’s at the top of my list. Len Kaminski’s run on Iron Man is often lumped into the 1990s Dark Age, but they actually precede the worst of the worst, although the art is of mixed quality. This run also includes the “Heart of Darkness” crossover between Iron Man, War Machine and Force Works. Issue #319 begins Tony’s descent into poorly-conceived villainy and the horror that is Teen Tony, but the issues before it deserve recognition.
Those are my picks -- what have you been waiting for Marvel to collect? [If it's the Avengers vs. X-Men crossover, you're in luck -- that's already on its way! -- ed.]