Wednesday, May 21, 2008

400 Pages Of John Byrne

IDW is offering up for sale 400 pages of John Byrne's early 90s series Next Men in one big volume next week...

"Now, John Byrne's Next Men series is back, collected in thick, black-and-white volumes, the first one offering 400+ pages of fantastic story and art. The first, “honkin’ phonebook-sized”—so described by Byrne himself—of John Byrne’s Compleat Next Men will be in stores May 28.

In addition to the first 12-issues of Next Men, IDW Publishing’s collection of John Byrne’s Compleat Next Men, Volume 1 includes the series’ original story, the 64-page 2112 graphic novel, as well as the MIV back-up strips that ran in the original comics."

Does anybody know how much this is going to cost?

This is sort of like Byrne's renaissance over there at IDW...


  1. According to Amazon and BN, full price is $19.99. I've heard nothing but good things about this. And didn't Hellboy first appear in this series?

  2. It's the last truly great stuff I think Byrne's done, and should be able to fit in 3 or so phonebooks. I don't think black and white will harm it at all - his art was really great in this series.

  3. $19.99? Seriously? This will be bought. I think it's Byrne's best work.

  4. Note that the second one (which will be released in a few months) is priced at $24.99 (although Amazon has a generous discount, and will even spot you another 5% off if you pre-order). Of course, it's 500 pages, not 400.

    Is this the whole series? As I recall, they were 20 or so pages each, and there were, what, 30 or so issues? You might be able to snag the whole series for $45 retail.

    I already pre-ordered this. If you can hunt down the originals, do so just for JB's letter columns, which were quite interesting. He gives an interesting defense of abortion, calling it pre-birth justifiable homicide, in one letter column. And there's the infamous "Am I the next Jack Kirby?" column after Jack's death. (Answer: no, but you're the first John Byrne, and at the time, that's good enough. Nowadays, he's the first Goddamn John Byrne.)

  5. I ordered mine for $9.99 through Discount Comics. I own the originals, too.

  6. I too liked this series. Can't say I have read much Byrne since this one but from what you guys say I haven't missed much!

    I am not a fan of the "phone book" format. It is too awkward and I think you could pick up the colour "original" books for nothing...


  7. Book One is 1970 yen here in Japan. That's around 20 bucks, I guess. It's available for pre-order on so I'll be buying it.

  8. Any word on his Torch of Liberty stuff being collected anywhere? I really liked that character as a backup in the Danger Unlimited backissues I found.

  9. Crap, I can't believe I missed that solicitation. But count me in on the chorus of people who think this is a MSUT BUY. I own all the original issues and will likely still buy this.

    I think I'm happy the trades won't include the letters column with Byrne's "A Flame About This High" editorials. I had a couple letters printed in there back in the day, and I think I'm better off with those not seeing print ever again.

    HELLBOY was in an early issue or two. I think you're right, Scott, that Hellboy showed up here before his own series. I forgot about that.

  10. I bought all the originals, and waited for him to return to finish the series. I won't be buying this. Or, after re-reading the issues, even picking up any eventual conclusion. For those who are still looking forward to a conclusion, I hope this does well enough that Byrne goes ahead and finishes it. It sucks to have an incomplete story.

    In general, it is really nice to see more and more of the older stuff brought back into print, though. Truly a great time to be a comics fan, since so much past work is available in addition to all the current work.

  11. One thing these phone books will fix is the screwy nature of the Dark Horse trades. They left out the Mark IV backup stories until right at the very end, leaving the characters with zero context once they appeared in the main series. If you hadn't read the floppies, you were out of luck in deciphering the story.

    Marc Mason
    Comics Waiting Room

  12. I think Byrne's art is better in black-and-white.

    I bought the hardcover edition years ago, and will probably buy this. The old trades are still floating around pretty cheaply.

    What I would really enjoy is an Essential Sensational She-Hulk! (Say THAT five times fast!)

  13. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Hellboy's first color apperance was the JBNM book, but his first official appearance was San Diego Comic Con Special #2, July 1993. Just FYI.


    Personally, I just hope IDW convinces Byrne to continue the storyline, otherwise this is just a waste of time.

  14. According to Wikipedia (truthiness personified digitally), John Byrne ended the book because of the crappy market for comics at the time. If these "phone books" do well, it might encourage him to finish (or resume) the series with IDW.

  15. Anonymous4:11 PM

    Scott Iskow:

    Yes, I know the story. He meant to take a 'hiatus' for six months and then do the next arc, but the 'bottom fell out' of the market and has 'never recovered'.

    And I certainly understand after thirteen years(!) of "hiatus" that he's got to get the book out to the audience that's here now, because lord knows many among his original JBNM audience have up and left the building, just because many of that section of fans just aren't reading comics at all anymore. And I wish him well with it.

    But if he's got the same attitude he did when the book was originally running - that he needs to hit that 100,000 readers or higher mark to warrant continuing the book - then I don't expect he'll ever finish the story. I hope he's come to grips with the realities of the market as it is currently structured and that IDW can make it worth his while financially, irregardless of sales.