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Marvel Comics is marking its 75th anniversary this year, and one of the biggest elements of the celebration is the publication of the Marvel 75th anniversary omnibus of stories. Marvel asked fans to come up with suggestions for stories from its history that are legendary, defining, or just plain awesome. From those lists, Marvel culled and ranked the 75 most definitive Marvel comic book stories ever. These stories will be collected in the Marvel 75th anniversary omnibus.
There are some really great stories on the list, and some surprises as well. I did not expect to see either “The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man” or Annihilation in the top 20, but they are numbers #17 and 16, respectively. The top five of the list includes the Uncanny X-Men “Dark Phoenix Saga,” Daredevil: Born Again, Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt (which I included in my list of Spidey stories that deserve adaptation), Civil War, and “The Death of Gwen Stacy.”
What is interesting is that some of the entries are not single issues but rather full story arcs. It’s a little unclear whether the entire run of those storylines will be represented in the Omnibus, or just the first issues. For example, coming in at #9 on the list is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The run by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting has been lauded in many places and inspired the most recent Captain America film. However, the entire storyline is quite long. The Captain America, Vol. 1: Winter Soldier Collection alone is over 300 pages — and that’s just the first volume!
There are many other mini-series and long arcs on the list, such as Civil War, Secret Invasion, Secret Wars, Infinity Gauntlet, and Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men. The Marvel 75th anniversary Omnibus (which, based on all of this comics included, will be the size of a bus) will be out in stores in November. The beautiful cover was drawn by Paolo Rivera. There is no list price yet, but it figures to be rather steep considering both that it will contain dozens of comics and also that it will be a landmark collector’s piece.