The Ones that Got Away (Part 3)
“What the heck kind of doggone title is that, Donist?! Do we need to be worried about you?! Are you okay?!” Never fear, Denizens, all is well with the Donist and Donist World. I just happened to be sitting in our conference room — the area roped off by hanging sheets in Mom’s basement — and thinking about all of the comics I wanted to read throughout the years but had missed for one reason or another. As I thought about them, I realized there were tons of series that snuck by me somehow, and I’m not even counting any comics from the past two decades. So, let’s have a look and see what can be done about this now that we are in the age of the internet where online shopping and digital services can help remedy this dire situation. As I prepare to stumble into the confessional booth, I want to hear about your regrets concerning comics you missed out on over the years, so please let me know about them by posting a comment. I’m happy to lend an ear, to commiserate, to help you work through the emotions and try to find a way to move on. Together, we can set things right. (You can check out “Part 1” and “Part 2.”)
In an effort to torment ourselves even further, we bought a black and white magazine that showed every single cover of The Uncanny X-Men ever printed (sorry, I don’t remember the magazine’s title) and we would ponder aloud about why the Proletariat looked like Colossus, or what the deal was with the Phoenix. Thankfully, we wouldn’t have to wait too terribly long. Marvel soon realized the limitations of having a massive hit comic that tons of new fans desperately wanted to read yet they could not find the back issues needed to get the whole story. Thus, Marvel released The Dark Phoenix Saga trade in 1984. Jeff and I reread this book so many times it literally fell apart in our hands after a couple of years. Now, after all these years — and a helluva Marvel digital sale — I have X-Men Epic Collection: Second Genesis just waiting to be read.
Wanna know what’s in it? Okay, best strap in for the rundown of everything contained in this beastly 528-page beauty. Here’s what you get: Giant-Size X-Men #1, The Uncanny X-Men #94–110, Marvel Team-Up #53, 69–70, Marvel Team-Up Annual #1, Iron Fist #14–15, material from Foom #10. So, yeah, this one’s gonna keep me busy for a good long while. I honestly can’t wait to dive back into the issues I’ve already read and even more so to immerse myself in the many issues I’ve been dying to read for all these years. So exciting!
I then started to hear more and more about Alan Davis and his gorgeous art, but it was the Captain Britain graphic novel written by Alan Moore and featuring Davis’s illustrations that showed me I had greatly underestimated ol’ Brian Braddock. At this point, I knew more of the characters and wanted to see how the UK’s heroes mixed with the US’s characters, especially when it became clear that Claremont was the one writing the stories. Unfortunately, there were a lot of books I had missed, so I just had to let it go…until now.
With the Excalibur Epic Collection: The Sword is Drawn, we have yet another behemoth of a book clocking in at 496 pages of what looks to be a heavenly series. In this collection you will find the following: Captain Britain 1–2, Excalibur 1–11, Excalibur: The Sword is Drawn, Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem, The Mighty World of Marvel #7, 14–15, Marvel Comics Presents #31–38. Hot diggity dog, I’m excited to finally check out the world of Excalibur, however, it will be a little while before I can crack into it, but when I do, the Denizens will be the first to know.
Part of the reason for not picking up this series back in the ’80s was I remember being turned off by the notion that someone had to die in this comic, and it seemed a bit much that DC was accepting votes by telephone to determine which character would end up buying the farm. It was all kind of heartless. Despite reading some fairly brutal comics from the likes of Frank Miller and Alan Moore, I guess I was fine with Batman being a dark comic, but offing Robin — or rather, one of the Robins — seemed a bit sensationalist. But what did I know? I was just a kid.
Now it looks like I need to finally see what all the fuss was about and crawl up under the hood of this popular storyline. It’s on the “Need to Read” list, and I hope to delve into Batman: A Death in the Family before the end of the year. I’m especially curious as to what the Denizens think about the death in this issue and about the storyline as a whole. Let me know! This volume contains Batman 426–429 and 440–442, and New Teen Titans #60–61.