In the endless struggle to outdo themselves, Marvel recently released a “Planet-Size” issue of X-Men! What’s next, “Universe-Size”? And where do we store such books?
As noted in a recent news release, the “biggest” comic ever (just kidding!) will be coming out from Marvel, and it’s called Planet-Size X-Men #1! It’ll be created by Gerry Duggan and Pepe Larraz and will arrive in local comics shops on June 16!
Here’s more from the official Marvel news release:
Twelve titles, twelve stories, all focused on a single night that will go down in Marvel Comics history. Stay tuned for more HELLFIRE GALA cover reveals, costume designs, variants covers, and more as the buildup to this major turning point in the saga of the X-Men begins!
And you thought “Giant-Size” was big! Hah!
Granted, the mutants haven’t been the “big deal” they have been in the past, so Marvel is doing their best to revive the X-Men franchise. I guess that phrase “Go big or go home” applies here!
‘GIANT-SIZE’ IS STILL FUN
When I was younger, one of my favorite kinds of books to buy was those “Giant-Size” annual-type comics. Granted, it was the ’60s and I was brand new to comics, so all those stories from the previous decade were unexplored territory.
They used to cost a whole 25 cents for 80 pages! Back in those days, that was a lot of money for a kid to spend! I loved it! I would lay on the floor and be there for an hour or longer as I read these crazy tales!
Of course, my favorites were the sci-fi or “odd” Batman stories. Why was Batman wearing a rainbow-colored costume? Was he gay? (Just kidding again!) How did Batman become a giant (appropriately enough)? Why did Batman have the same powers as Superman? That kind of stuff!
Interestingly enough, not that long ago a friend let me read a Batman comic from the ’40s. Believe me, I handled it with care! It was a regular issue, and it had three self-contained stories! You don’t get that kind of storytelling in a whole year these days! I guess those “80-Page Giants” carried on that tradition!
I also miss that word “adventure!” So often these days, heroes are self-exploring to the extreme. It used to be that they were trying to solve external puzzles instead of internal conflicts. I still prefer that kind of story! Don’t get me wrong–I love character development!
IS BIGGER BETTER?
The interesting thing about stories to me is that I don’t worry about “bigness” all that much anymore. I’m more interested in quality—Is it an engaging tale? Do I care about what’s going on? Are the characters interesting?
That’s what matters more to me these days. If I get a great read that’s only 22 pages long, I’m happy!
DC has been putting out those bigger books that are thematic in nature. That means the stories have something to do with a specific subject. The one I remember most was last year’s “Cybernetic Summer” that combined computers and the like along with hot weather. They still don’t mix well in my mind!
It was an okay book. I enjoyed seeing the wide variety of characters in one offering, but it wasn’t something I really have had the desire to keep among the better books in my collection. It was an 80-Page Giant, though, so I was good with spending the $9.99 cover price, not the 25 cents I plunked down when I was younger.
But it was a fun read. Was it worth the money? Probably! I continue to buy those books when they come out, and that includes the Holiday-themed and those focusing on the various seasons. I also pick up the Marvel “event” bigger comics as well!
Like I said, they add nice variety in my reading diet! And I always enjoy something like that in my stack of stuff!
DOES SIZE REALLY MATTER?
In my collection, I keep certain trade paperbacks or longer stories because, every so often, I enjoy diving into a good read for longer than five minutes (the average length for the average comic these days).
I also have a habit of pulling out previous issues in a specific storyline in a favorite comic. I want to remember what I need to know in the current tale so I “get” everything I can out of it.
However, I still long for the days of more “self-contained” stories. In many of today’s issues, we might get the equivalent of 15 whole minutes. I remember the “Ultimate” Fantastic Four issue where they spent the entire book getting walking to and then launching their Fantasti-Car. Really. That’s just too little content in a 22-page issue for my liking.
I’ve come to enjoy those books that collect daily strips from the newspapers. In each three or four panels, something has to happen. Then, when you put them all together, you get a lot taking place in your reading. I prefer that to the endless word balloons that make a page seem grey and unreadable.
As much as a “Planet-Size” comic (which I don’t have the room to store, anyway—just kidding again!) appeals to me, I’d rather that we get “Planet-Size” writing that reveals itself in a gripping tale I can’t wait to talk with others about! Maybe we should call the well-written comics “Planet-Size” instead of referring to the page count?