hard cover album +3 packets + 2 cards limited edition 16,90€
The dark side of the force! Ok, let’s not talk about Star Wars but even here the villains make their mark. We are convinced that the great success of Marvel comics, as well as those of DC Comics, is linked not only to great heroes but also to villains of the highest level. Think what Spider-Man would be without Goblins, the X-Men without Magneto, Cap without the Red Skull and especially the Fantastic Four without Doctor Doom, for those who write the bad number 1. By the way, many of these anti-heroes actually they have aspects that allow them to be appreciable and, in some ways, understandable. Another strong point of American comic fiction.
The album cover and title is actually partly misleading, one gets the impression that the setting of the collection is the perennial struggle between good and evil, where heroes and enemies alternate page after page. The idea, on the other hand, is more “extreme” and effective, for once at the center of attention there are mainly them, the bad guys, those who are almost always destined to lose in comic stories. The sparring partners, between the pages this time, are the superheroes.
The same graphic layout of the individual pages may seem misleading, in the one on the left we find the name of the hero in the one on the right, in the one on the right the name of the villain on duty. Panini could have limited himself to this, instead the work is much more detailed, more impressive, more refined, as if to want to create an Encyclopedia of Marvel Villains.
In fact, for each comic, intended as a character, there is space for the main enemy but also others, basically at least 4 villains per comic are represented in stickers, leading to more than a hundred at the end of the album! Also the lyrics are interesting and well written, in addition to the first appearance in the comics, the creators and the features, also some hints to the most important, epic or sometimes dramatic stories. There is little space, but you really get a more than acceptable idea of what happened in 60 years of Marvel Comics (for some characters more years, for others less).
We would like to list all the villains represented in the stickers, but why take away the pleasure of discovering or rediscovering them by turning the pages? But we do not resist and here we name those who have deserved a special space: Goblin, Prowler, Carnage, Ultron, Thanos, Red Skull, Loki, Modok, Abominio, Kree, Taskmaster, Discord, Killmonger, Dormammu, Doctor Doom, Magneto, Cable, Bullseye. Someone is missing, the Mandarin and the Vulture come to mind. Others perhaps would have deserved more space, for example Kingpin or Galactus. However, it remains a very fun and beautiful album even just to browse, let alone attach the stickers!
The stickers (after the half misstep of the previous album) are an added value, we like them very much, “amazing” especially in their variety, in particular the special ones that light up but are even more pleasant to the touch. Not to mention the shaped ones that we really like them! The cards are also much more interesting than the previous ones, 25 villains (put first, rightly seen as the album is set up) and 25 heroes, all with graphic references to their characteristics. A bit like in the 70s, on the famous comics of Editoriale Corno, now we can really find out “who is stronger between the Thing and the Hulk”.
The final 12 pages with a very funny story created by the legendary Eric Powell (creator of “The Goon”, also published by Panini Comics). Good job Panini to have added this absolute gem to close a well-made album. Too bad only for the devastating quality of the paper, easy to think it is linked to the current crisis of the raw material, in reality it is a problem that we have begun to notice for several years .. sorry, but we do not believe it. At least the album is homage with the starter pack and the collection is really too interesting to go further, despite the problems it is definitely one of the albums of the year.
Fortunately, the hardcover version is also available, on the Panini website and in the Comics shops. Perhaps this is Panini’s new path, a low-quality product for newsstands and hardcover with better paper (until proven otherwise) for the collectors’ circuit. In the box we find 2 other limited edition cards so as to enrich the three limited edition cards that we find in the starter pack and which portray historical Marvel covers, but not the usual classics, another choice we like.
MARVEL 80th (PANINI)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 132 stickers: 192 (1-192) + 50 cards (C1-C50) starter pack: € 4.90 album + 3 packets packets: € 1.00 (4 stickers + 1 card)
It’s always time for Heroes! After the unsuccessful Marvel Superheroes a few years ago, Panini tries again and this time hits the target. The new album on the Marvel universe is well done, traces the publishing history since the 40s and decade after decade reaches the present day. Captions certainly made by Marvel Italia staff, tell us about the evolution of the characters and the birth of new heroes. Authors are also given due credit and are remembered too. It is also very interesting to give space to comics that have not passed the test of time with others who have drawn their strength from time. Each decade has its own characteristics, the 40s and 50s feature western, war and love comics that have gradually disappeared. The splendid stories of the Invaders (Captain America, Human Torch, Namor, etc.) set during the Second World War and the horror stories that in Italy were within the Eureka Pocket series of the legendary Editoriale Corno.
The first 39 stickers of 192 total are dedicated to this period, good Panini not to forget them to go directly to the birth of the Marvel Universe with Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and all the others. The years in which Marvel made the leap in quality by telling comics in a new way, the concept of “great heroes with big problems” became a global success.
Marvel’s merit is not to sit on our laurels but to continue to churn out great characters, in the 70s the mutant era arrives with the X-Men and Wolverine but also Ghost Rider and Dracula; alongside shocking stories that made it clear where Stan Lee and associates wanted to go, the death of Gwen Stacy still shakes today! The 80s are an expression of the most urban comics, it is the golden period of Daredevil but also the arrival of icons such as Punisher and Venom. The following decade is that of the great sagas, in these years the character Deadpool is born. The new millennium sees Marvel take on new paths by creating alternative universes such as Ultimate and 2099, up to the present day with the explosion of the Marvel Cinema Universe.
Beautiful page that bears the name “The world outside the window”, the Marvel Universe to remember some moments of history (11 September, Holocaust, etc.) and raise awareness on uncommon issues in comics such as AIDS, drugs, homosexuality, etc. .
The album closes with a short unpublished story in stickers with Captain America. In general the stickers are of good quality even if they are rather light, the specials are beautiful as always. Special mention for the 50 cards, a successful extra with the 50 most important Marvel comics, really beautiful close-ups!
The copy of the album in our possession has poor quality paper that creates undulations on all pages, we hope it is just a defective copy. It would be really sensational if, in the face of an excellent album, an economic way had been chosen for printing .. Speaking of editorial choices, there is NO hardcover version or better, it does not exist in Italy, because in other countries it is found, especially in Brazil where for years the production has been more refined and of quality than the Italian one.
Why was the limited edition not made? The answer is simple, go to the Panini site and you will still find the limited Batman and Donald Duck, released almost a year ago. Poor sales. After having canceled the low cost hardcover, now goodbye to the luxury version too. Wouldn’t it have been better since last year to give up the luxury and just make a simpler version and print it in a few thousand copies? Maybe on demand, as is already done with the Calciatori hardcover. It is a serious detail, it indicates a scarce consideration to that part of collectors who, although they are perhaps few compared to the total, for decades, with their passion and their presence, have contributed to bringing the success of sticker albums to newsstands, streets, in schools and on meeting and work places.
Sorry Panini, but really the disappointment is great
BATMAN 8O YEARS (Panini Italy)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 79
stickers: 192 (1-192) + 36 cards (1-36)
starter pack: € 4.90 (album + 5 sachets)
packets: € 1.00 (4 stickers + 1 card)
box: 36 packets
Limited Edition: hard cover 1000 copies € 49.90
comment: on some occasions it is fortunate to have to wait a few days before doing the review, it helps to study the product better and not get caught up in a small disappointment instead of new emotions. Panini has decided to change the formula that had characterized previous albums (from Tex to Mickey Mouse), no more paperbacks and no more hardcover for shops. Only stapled standard and limited hard cover edition always in an elegant case.
This editorial earthquake has displaced everyone, wrong to stop at the form, better to think about the substance. Obviously to appreciate the Batman album you don’t have to be only collectors of stickers but also lovers of comics, in this way really getting caught up in the emotions and also by the memories for the less young is a moment.
Semi citing a Woody Allen film: “Everything you wanted to see on the Marvel Super-Heroes album but you didn’t find”. Funny that Panini, publisher of Marvel Comics in Italy, manages to make a great album on “competition”, that is the most beloved hero of the DC Comics universe.
It is limited to call it an album, more correct to browse it like a small encyclopedia of Batman in stickers. The first pages have the flavor of the myth with the first appearances of the Dark Knight back in 1939, which continues with the best of the character through the years. Following the world of Batman, from the Bat-Cavern to the countless gadgets and the Bat-Mobile.
Space also for the many comics characters, with spectacular splash pages with shaped stickers, great heroes and friends Robin, Batgirl, Batwoman, Alfred and James Gordon. The great enemies Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Penguin and many others.
Still missing much at the end of the album, from comics to television with animated series and absolute joy for us “old”, as many as 9 stickers dedicated to the classic TV series with Adam West. From TV to the big screen with all the movies with Batman as protagonist, from the first of Tim Burton to the last “all american heroes” linked to the Justice League.
Comics, TV series, movies … how to finish the album? Of course with the stickers also of video games! Complete, exciting, COOL, with many special figurines, 24 holographic and even more 24 that light up in the dark. There is no more suitable album than this where to put them.
The album though stapled has an internal page in cardboard, after the cover the checklist of all 36 cards, at the bottom of the album the box to be detached to contain them. Also the cards are really beautiful, the first 18 dedicated to the covers from the historical to the most recent ones, from 19 to 27 the various Batman costumes over the years, from 28 to 36 all the cars of the Dark Knight!
Then the limited box set, printed in just 1000 numbered copies. By the way, unlike the previous ones, we find the number even outside, nothing changes, but happy to have an important number like nr. 100. The box contains the hardcover album with a beautiful silk-screen print inside and a second box to put the 36 cards, exposed in all their splendor.
So let’s go back to the starting point, if the first thought was of disappointment for the changes that took place with this Batman and Donald Duck albums, a more detailed analysis makes Panini’s choices not only acceptable but also understandable. The Deluxe Limited has really become an object of high quality and aimed only at collectors, the intermediate versions did not give credit to this choice. Furthermore it is probable that sales of not limited hardcover were not such as to motivate the continuation.
Although Panini does not declare it, I believe instead that the choice to stop producing the paperback with envelopes inside is linked to the need to protect the environment and the progressive elimination of plastic. I think we are right at the beginning of a path that probably Panini will continue in the months and years to come, I want to think and believe it is so, with the absolute curiosity to see what will happen next year with the Calciatori Adrenalyn 2021!
Final judgment: 10/10 with honors (for the limited and for the ecological choice)