Adamantium is tough stuff – one of the strongest fictional metals in fiction. And you might need a shelf made out of it to hold an upcoming X-Men collection that bears its name.
This May, Marvel will release X-Men Adamantium Collection; a 720 page, 20 pound, full color $200 tome collecting the biggest and the best of the various X-men stories since its creation in in 1963. This is the second in a “Adamantium Collection” books Marvel is now releasing, which Marvel’s Special Projects Editor Mark Beazley calls a “showcase of Marvel’s seminal stories in a massive format.”
“X-Men Adamantium Collection is the same size, page count and dimensions as the Wolverine Adamantium Collection which is a massive book,” Beazley tells Newsarama. “The hardcover trim size itself is 11 ½ x 15 ½. That fits into a slipcase. I think that collection weighed almost 20 pounds. It’s a brick. The paper stock is a thick matte stock.”
The X-Men team have one of the most impressive and diverse rosters in superhero comics, and X-Men Adamantium Collections boasts a similarly extraordinary bench with everyone from Stan Lee to Chris Claremont, Grant Morrison, Joss Whedon, Brian Michael Bendis, and many writers in-between. Illustrating these stories is the book’s co-creator Jack Kirby, as well as the defining runs by John Byrne, Jim Lee, Frank Quitely, Stuart Immonen and more.
In total, X-Men Adamantium Collection will include 25 single issues and one graphic novel. From the 1960s you have the original 1963 X-Men #1 along with 1969’s X-Men #57 through #59. From the seminal Claremont era you have the two part “Days of Future Past” storyarc in Uncanny X-Men #141-142 drawn by John Byrne, along with 1982’s X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel illustrated by Brent Anderson and the first three issues of 1991’s X-Men series with Jim Lee. The culmination of the group’s original love birds Scott Summers and Jean Grey is shown here with their 1994 wedding issue X-Men #30 by Fabian Nicieza and Andy Kubert, followed by a snapshot of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run with the #114-116 arc with Frank Quitely. Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon’s acclaimed Astonishing X-Men run is profiled with the first six issues of his run (with artist John Cassaday), then the over-sized Uncanny X-Men #500 released in 2008 featuring the team’s relocation to San Francisco. This massive tome culminates with the first arc of Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen’s return of the original X-Men from 2013’s All-New X-Men.
In addition to the 25 issues and one graphic novel included in X-Men Adamantium Collection, Marvel is promising some bonus material to supplement the bookshelf behemoth, including original artwork, text pieces and cover galleries. And at the 11 ½” x 15 ½” size Marvel is showcasing the art in these issues nearly to the size of the original art – the first for virtually all of these stories.
“Comic books are much smaller than the actual art boards most penciller use to create their work. This is pretty darn close to actual art board size,” Beazley points out.
With such a huge backlist of potential material to include in X-Men Adamantium Collection, the logistics of determining which stories were in and which stories weren’t was an admittedly arduous task according to Beazley.
“We have a crew of researchers who help us out planning many of our collections. Jeff Youngquist, Senior Editor of the Special Projects Dept., and I kicked ideas back and forth with them to try and pick stories that are regarded as classic and are representative of X-Men’s expansive 50 year history,” The editor explains. “It’s tough because there are so many amazing stories and only so much room. If we tried to fit in everything you wouldn’t be able to pick up the book. Thankfully, that’s what our digital subscription service, Marvel Unlimited, is for.”