Iron Man and X-Force in February – and the end of the Premiere Classics line!

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Two new omnibuses have been announced in Marvel’s November solicitations: X-Force Volume 1 and Iron Man By Michelinie, Layton and Romita Jr. Volume 1.

Is Cable feeling alright?

The first is the biggest surprise, reprinting some of the early X-force stuff by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, but Marvel might be trying to take advantage of how popular the current Uncanny incarnation of the team is. Newcomers will be surprised at how far they’ve come! Here’s the official blurb:

Beset from all sides by a growing roster of vicious foes, the New Mutants and their mysterious mentor Cable have no choice but to transform into a proactive, butt-kicking, take-no-prisoners mutant strike team! But can the new X-Force survive head-on clashes with Deadpool, the Morlocks, Proteus, Stryfe and his Mutant Liberation Front, the Juggernaut, the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and…S.H.I.E.L.D.? And what secrets are Cable and Domino hiding? It’s high-stakes adventure with all-out action, in-your-face attitude and enormous guns! Nineties’ nostalgia at its finest — guest-starring Spider-Man, the New Warriors, X-Factor and more!

Collecting NEW MUTANTS (1983) #98-100 and ANNUAL #7, X-MEN ANNUAL (1970) #15, X-FACTOR ANNUAL #6, X-FORCE (1991) #1-15, SPIDER-MAN (1990) #16, CABLE: BLOOD & METAL #1-2, and material from NEW WARRIORS ANNUAL #1 and X-FORCE ANNUAL (1992) #1.

848 PGS.

Todd McFarlane joins Liefeld, Nicieza and a few more on writing duties, while artists include Guang Yap, Tom Raney, Mike Mignola, Greg Capullo, John Romita Jr., McFarlane, Mark Bagley, Mark Pacella, Terry Shoemaker, and – of course – Liefeld, who also provides the two omnibus covers. At $99.99, expect this one to have an RRP of about £75 – with Forbidden Planet.co.uk normally offering these titles for £50.25!

Just for fun, here’s the 40 worst Rob Liefeld drawings. Warning: it’s very rude so is suitable only for adults! And here’s its sequel.

One of my mates absolutely hates Liefeld. While he doesn’t make me scratch my own eyes out or anything, I did get annoyed when he recently said that his creation, Deadpool, was so good that the comic would still be popular with the “D-list talent” Marvel are assigning to the Marvel NOW! relaunch. Seriously, Rob: people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Cover art by Bob Layton

I’m sure many will be looking forward to X-Force, but I’m more excited by the Iron Man Omnibus (mainly as it collects together some of John Romita Jr.’s run on the title!). JRJR is joined by artists like Bob Layton, Sal Buscema, and John Bryne, while writers include Layton, David Michelinie and Bill Mantlo. Here’s the blurb, folks:

Up-and-coming talents David Michelinie, Bob Layton and John Romita Jr. joined forces to take on Marvel’s Golden Avenger in 1978 — and captured lighting in a bottle! Now, their history-making first run is collected in one massive volume! From Tony Stark’s taboo-shattering struggle with alcoholism to Iron Man’s legendary clash with Dr. Doom during King Arthur’s time, this one’s got it all — including Justin Hammer’s introduction; a brutal battle against the Hulk; the menaces of Madame Masque, the Melter, Blizzard, Whiplash, the Dreadnoughts, the Titanium Man and more; and the debut of Tony’s outer-space and stealth armors! Guest-starring Ant-Man, Namor and more!

Collecting IRON MAN (1968) #115-157.

944 PGS.

With covers by JRJR and Bob Layton, the RRP is likely to be £75 – so expect to pay about £50! Thanks to the enormously popular films (Iron Man and Iron Man 2 were great, but wow, did Avengers Assemble knock it out of the park!), the character is massively popular, and this omnibus will collect together the Demon in a Bottle storyline that inspired the second movie.

Fans of John Romita Jr. can also see his latest work in Captain America #01, released in the same month as these books.

November will, of course, be a big month for our favourite comic publisher as they launch the jumping-on-point initiative, Marvel NOW!, with titles like All-New X-Men, Thor: God of Thunder and X-Men: Legacy.

Meanwhile, it’s been confirmed that the Premiere Classic line is ending. Marvel Collected Editions’ Jeph York said:

“Okay, after three months of solicits with no Premiere Classic HCs in them, I should probably end the suspense and make this official: Marvel has ended the Premiere Classic hardcover line.
They’ll still be collecting modern series in Premiere-sized HCs, and the Omnibus, OHC and Masterworks programs are not in danger. But the Premiere Classic line is being put to bed with volume #106.
Sorry, guys. I know quite a few of you loved them.
-Jeph!”

Collected Comics Library’s Chris Marshall suspects that the omnibuses may have something to do with this:

“Maybe the demise of the Marvel Premiere Classic’s can be attributed to the rise of the Omnibus. Marvel has collected a lot of this material and more in the bigger format. For example Thor by Walter Simonson and the recent solicit for the X-Force Omnibus collects a few of the MPC’s with many more comics and special material like sketches, rare art, liner notes and even a new intro! Perhaps consumers have been wise to this and have chosen not to buy the smaller edition in favor of the bigger more expansive book.”

It’s a huge shame, especially as the line has so many dedicated followers. But thankfully, classic stories will always live on…

“First Blood”: 40% Off Operation Zero Tolerance!

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Go to forbiddenplanet.co.uk before Wednesday 14th March to get 40% off August’s X-Men: Zero Tolerance HC.

This brings the price down from £55.99 to just £33.59.

At 640 pages, the book collects Generation X #26-31, X-Force #67-70, X-Men #65-70, Uncanny X-Men #346, Wolverine #115-118, Cable #45-47 and X-Man #30, with a cover by Francis Leinil Yu. Writers include Scott Lobdell, Steve Seagle and Terry Kavanagh, with artists like Joe Bennett, Carlos Pacheco and Salvador Larroca.

Here’s the blurb for the 1990s tale:

A rogue faction of the U.S. government, backed by powerful international forces and led by the man known only as Bastion, is about to launch a massive strike against the X-Men with one goal: the extermination of the entire mutant race. With Jubilee and Professor X captives, the X-Mansion overrun and Prime Sentinels darkening the skies, the X-Men, X-Force and Generation X must fight a war on many fronts. And it’s a war they’re losing. This is the X-Men’s darkest hour.

I’m really excited by this release; its reprint in the UK line, Essential X-Men, was being published as I was just getting into X-Men comics, right after the Onslaught saga.

Forbiddenplanet.com hasn’t got the book listed yet, but Amazon.co.uk has it at a pre-order price of £35.61.

It’s a big tome, but nobody seems to know if it’s officially an omnibus or just a Hardcover collection like The Invincible Iron Man books. Either way, it’s worth letting you know about it!

“The Art of War”: 40% Off Apocalypse!

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Personally, I think Apocalypse is one of the best characters in the MU, and if you’re a like-minded individual, you’ll want to get over to forbiddenplanet.co.uk to pre-order the upcoming Age of Apocalypse Omnibus.

Enter the AoA!

The 1072-page hardcover collects Uncanny X-Men #320-321, X-Men #40-41, Cable #20, X-Men Alpha, Amazing X-Men #1-4, Astonishing X-Men #1-4, Factor X #1-4, Gambit & The X-Ternals #1-4, Generation Next #1-4, Weapon X  #1-4, X-Calibre #1-4, X-Man #1-4, X-Men Omega, Age Of Apocalypse: The Chosen and X-Men Ashcan #2.

The massive book encompasses the entire MU, and sees the death of Charles Xavier and the victory of Apocalypse. What more could anybody ask for?! Well, how about a wealth of incredible creators, like Mark Waid, Scott Lobdell, Steve Epting and Salvador Larroca?

Cover B by Joe Maduriera.

Until 7th SEPTEMBER 2011 – Yes, tomorrow – you can get 40% off, bringing the price down to £57, if you visit:

http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&products_id=66034

With an RRP of £95, its certainly worth pre-ordering now to avoid paying more upon its release in February 2012. The discount is for Cover B, by Joe Madureira, while Billy Tan’s Cover A is available for £63.65; I expect the price of Cover B to increase to this when the offer ends. Cover A looks to be that of X-Men Alpha, re-coloured for two of the TPB editions of the 1995-96 mutant epic.

X-Men Alpha

These aforementioned four trade paperbacks were issued between 2005 and 2006, and can be found for about £15 each on the web. To get the whole story would cost you £60; so this omnibus is definitely worth it! Oddly, it apparently omits two issues that were included in May’s Prelude to Age of Apocalypse TPB (http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&products_id=63534); very strange indeed! Can anybody give us a hint as to why those two are missing from the omnibus? Or will this change nearer publication date?

Cover A by Billy Tan.

Amazon.co.uk doesn’t have the omnibus listed yet, while forbiddenplanet.com has the Tan cover for £64.85. So it’s definitely advisable to get to fp.co.uk as fast as possible.

The omnibus comes at a particularly good time, with the excellent Uncanny X-Force series focussing on many elements from the story. First of all, X-Force went face-to-face with Apocalypse (…sort of) and his horsemen in The Apocalypse Solution… Then, most recently, they journeyed into the actual Age of Apocalypse!

Uncanny X-Force #04. Cover art by Esad Ribic.

Come back soon for Spider-man, the Avengers… and the War Lord of Mars!

“Are you Ready?”: 40% Off X-Statix!

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The omnibus of Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s X-Statix is sure to be popular. The satirical series focussing on a group of mutants geared towards media success began as the controversial new X-Force, before a relaunch which lasted 26 issues, with numerous spin-offs.

Cover by Mike Allred

The massive 1200-page omnibus collects X-Force (1991) #116-129; Brotherhood #9; X-Statix #1-26; Wolverine/Doop #1-2; X-Statix Presents Dead Girl #1-5; and material from X-Men Unlimited (1993) #41, I [Heart] Marvel: My Mutant Heart and Nation X #4. Written by Peter Milligan, and Nick Derington, and pencilled by Mike Allred, Sean Phillips, Duncan Fegredo, Nick Dragotta, Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope, Nick Derington, Philip Bond, and Marcos Martin, the hardcover is set for release in November.

The series was, generally, very well-received, but with an RRP of £95, will you be buying the omnibus? But don’t panic; you don’t have to shed out almost £100…

Until Wednesday 15th June 2011, Forbiddenplanet.co.uk is offering the book at a brilliant £57.00, a saving of 40%! It’s highly recommended, so get over there fast.

But what if you’re reading this on the 16th June? Or even later? Once more, steady those nerves…

Doop by Mike Allred

Amazon.co.uk are currently selling the omnibus for just £57.16 (though they also state the RRP as £77.20, so let’s hope they don’t cancel pre-orders then hike the price up). Forbiddenplanet.com are offering the book at a still-very-reasonable £64.85.

We can draw parallels between this omnibus and Walter Simonson’s Thor, which is currently priced at £63.65 at Forbiddenplanet.co.uk, so it’s likely that X-Statix will rise to somewhere around that after the promotion ends.

Let me know your thoughts on the series, and if you’ll be getting the omnibus.

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