Part-works, those monthly collectables you pass in WHSmiths or book shops on the way to the confectionery counter, have been around for a while now, but both Eaglemoss and Hachette Partworks have recently restarted their Graphic Novel collections and we took a look at both.
Graphic Novel Partworks give you a new issue every few weeks, often containing extra features or a background to the story. Both of these sets also provide incentives if you order online. The DC set features replica first issue comics, tin plated covers and Bookends, while the Marvel set also features Bookends with a poster, shoulder bag and mug.
The similarities don’t stop there, both sets start with a cheap first issue in order to get new customers hooked on their product and they both feature a picture on the spine that grows as you collect the issues. The DC set’s spine is built up in order while the Marvel one requires different issues to be placed in a different order. The first three issues are numbers 42, 61 and 83, so it’s going to take a while to make sense of the spine this way, but it also builds anticipation for the completed set.
DC Graphic Novels Collection – Eaglemoss
The DC collection features the usual suspects with the first issues focusing on Batman and Superman. This isn’t surprising, given the popularity of the characters.
The 4th, 7th and 8th issues feature the Justice League in several of their incarnations and then it mostly returns to being Batman, Superman and their supporting cast for a while before getting around to Green Lantern and Wonder Woman stories. This is a little disappointing for those who are fans of DC’s wealth of characters and who would like a little variety earlier on in the set, but the one bonus is that there’s a book dedicated to Harley Quinn in issue 9 (Preludes and Knock Knock Jokes).
With such classics as Man of Steel, Death in the Family and the origins of both Green Lantern and The Justice League, there’s something for everyone here.
The beginning of each book contains an introduction to the story, artists and writers and the important events leading up to the current story, while the back of the book contains a covers gallery and a reproduction of a famous classic comic, with the first issue containing Detective Comics 27, the first ever appearance of Batman.
Each book is well bound with a well chosen piece of artwork on the front.
Marvel Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection – Hachette Partworks
The Marvel set is much like the DC one, though Hachette have made more of an effort to feature a wider range of heroes from the start.
The book contains a brief ‘The Story So Far…’ piece and cover art separates each comic, with a two page origins piece at the back alongside an Artist and Writer page and some wonderful art and sketches of the characters.
Each Graphic Novel has a uniform look thanks to the Marvel logo and pictures across the set and the same font used throughout.
Again, these are some of the best stories taken from the Marvel universe, though the first Spider-man story, Coming Home, feels like the middle part of a longer adventure so it seems odd to stick it right at the start of the collection.
Both these collections are well presented and feature must-have stories from their respective universes. They’re great for those new to graphic novels as well as collectors who want something to show off on their shelves. Most standard graphic novels are not of uniform size or shape so this is a good way of starting a collection that looks great on the shelf and collects some of the best stories that comics have to offer.