Collecting a complete run is no small task, but the challenge is rewarding in and of itself. Here are five more recommendations for your undertaking.
Considering the number of runs there are in comics, I can’t cover them all. You’ll notice that I left out Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko namely because collecting all their original issues would cost a small fortune. With that in mind, I decided to stick with a few more of my favorite comic runs that are feasible to own.
CHRIS CLAREMONT’S X-MEN 1975-1979
When you’ve written comics for the same title for nearly two decades, that adds up to a lot of issues. Personally, I’m aiming to gradually put together Claremont’s series-defining 1970s run on X-Men. Beginning with 1975’s X-Men #94 and ending with December 1979’s X-Men #128, this is when Claremont and company redefined the X-Men and established the mutants as Marvel’s most popular team. It’s a lot to collect with some expensive keys mixed in, but I’m already up to X-Men #100 with a few others scattered throughout.
JOHN BYRNE’S X-MEN
This overlaps with the 1970s Claremont run, but it also expands into the 1980s with some iconic X-Men art by Byrne and inker Terry Austin. The Claremont/Byrne era had a profound impact on Marvel Comics for decades to come. While there’s no denying that X-Men had a string of amazing artists during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, the Bryne run is arguably the standard for all X-Men artists. This is an impressive run to own, and I envy anyone who has them all.
NEIL GAIMAN’S SANDMAN
Ever since Netflix announced a Sandman live-action series, prices have been climbing for Morpheus’ key issues. Despite the cost involved, it’s well worth your efforts to have the original Sandman run in your collection. Part horror, part fantasy, Gaiman created a mythology in itself for Dream and his vast assortment of supporting characters.
ED BRUBAKER/STEVE EPTING’S CAPTAIN AMERICA
I have a confession: I was never a fan of Captain America comics. Sure, I love Cap just like practically everyone else, but most of his comics didn’t grab my attention. Then came Brubaker’s Cap run, and no one has come close to touching it in terms of engaging storytelling and character development.
As great as Brubaker’s writing was for those issues, don’t let that overshadow the significance of Steve Epting’s beautiful pencils. Personally, I thought the duo did such an impressive job with Cap’s death and the transition to Bucky taking over the shield that those two elements should never have changed.
Keep in mind that this is not all of Brubaker and Epting’s work on Captain America, but those first 50 issues were masterful and would be the core of any Brubaker/Epting run.
GEOFF JOHNS’ GREEN LANTERN
Once upon a time, I had thought of Green Lantern as an outdated, hokey character from a bygone era before I was introduced to the Sinestro Corps War. After that, I was hooked, and I was enthralled with Johns’ stories. Starting with Rebirth and pushing through Blackest Night and his time in the New 52, Johns redefined a classic character for a modern audience.