As Black Friday approaches, Marvel’s brought out some bigger names for their Comixology sales.  Hickman’s X-Men is on center stage with the Spectacular version of Spider-Man and their Events flanking them.

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Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men Universe

Let’s start things out with X-Men, because the Dawn of X Sale also features an interesting collection format that’s worth talking about.  Dawn of X is the umbrella title for the X-Men family of titles as overseen/showrun by Jonathan Hickman.  Whichhas been a nice run, truth be told.

This all starts out with the House of X / Powers of X collection that sets the table for this X-Men format.  I suppose you don’t absolutely have to read it before diving in, but it’s definitely helpful.

Once you’re past that, there are two options for reading the Hickman era (both of which are on sale): the collected editions of the individual titles or the Dawn of X collections. Dawn of X is an interesting construction.  Generally speaking, they’re taking 6 of the X-Men comics and packing them as a book format of that month’s titles for $10.99 in digital (the first seven volumes are $3.99@ in this sale).  Now, sometimes they’ll have two issues of one title in the package and so on, but it’s an interesting way to read the story of the X-Men universe as it unfolds in the monthlies, as opposed to how collected edition readers usually only read things title by title.  Personally, as someone reading the X-line in single issues, I find I do get a little more out of the line by reading the entire set.  Some of the story elements bleed into other books, particularly early on, and it does help with the worldbuilding.  This format is probably the best way to experience that in collected editions.

It’s also a format we could see more of in the future.  You frequently hear apocalyptic stories about the death of print comics and single issue comics.  While we’re not seeing any imminent danger of that, this is the sort of format that could effectively bundle single issue comics in a way more compatible with bookstore shelves.  It’s also potentially the way to handle anthology comics, which there are always questions about when industry figures discuss new formats and alternate strategies.

Dawn of X is a themed anthology, though one where the stories are more tightly interwoven than most.  You could picture something similar being down with Batman, especially, as well as properties like Spider-Man, Superman, Avengers and Justice League.  It would take a lot of work to make one of those franchises into its own little corner of a greater superhero universe the way Dawn of X is architected, but it’s certainly an experiment we could see more of and I think it’s worth contemplating the possibilities if reading the X-line in this format is interesting to you.  This sale runs through Sunday (11/29).

House of X / Powers of X   Dawn of X

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man

Next up on Marvel’s Black Friday trail, The Spectacular Spider-Man Sale.  Not Amazing, Spectacular.  The major flavors here are: original series / Peter Parker, the under-rated ’03 -’05  Spectacular Spider-Man  that was primarily written by Paul Jenkins with art by Humberto Ramos or Mark Buckingham and the more recent Chip Zdarksy/Adam Kubert Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man. Of particular note, while it’s on the dark side for Spidey, The Death of Jean DeWolff is considered a classic.  This sale runs through Thursday (11/26 — gobble, gobble).

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man  Spectacular Spider-Man  Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man  The Death of Jean DeWolff

Marvel does like big crossover Events

Finally, there’s the “Marvel World-Shattering Events Sale.” You’re probably familiar with the more recent events, since Marvel’s marketing typically runs through them.  Have a browse through the sale for those, but I’ll recommend some older Events instead that are a little more contained and with tighter circles of creators.

Avengers: The Kree/Skrull War is the granddaddy of Marvel Events in many ways.  This Roy Thomas / Neal Adams / John Buscema / Sal Buscema reverberated through future events like the Annihilation sequence and Empyre.

Iron Man: Armor Wars(or “Stark Wars” as it was originally known) has Tony looking to repossess some of his stolen technology and finding himself in all manner of trouble over it.  This David Michelinie/Bob Layton/Mark Bright run was a trendsetter.

X-Men: Asgardian Wars  has Loki causing all manner of trouble for the X-Men, New Mutants and Alpha Flight.  Written by Chris Claremont with A+ art from Paul Smith and Arthur Adams, this is one of the more fun X-Men sequences.

This sale runs through Thursday, 12/03.

Avengers: Kree/Skrull War   Armor Wars  X-Men: Asgardian Wars

Still on Sale