NEXT MEN: THE PREMIERE COLLECTION VOL. 3 (IDW, 2010; Hardcover)
Collects Next Men Nos. 21-30 (cover dates December, 1993- December, 1994)
Creator, Writer & Artist: John Byrne
I forgot how awesome this series was until I re-read the issues in this hardcover. Plot twists upon plot twists, things get almost confusing. You have to sit back and look at all of the pieces and then connect the dots, re-check lines to those dots, and then it makes sense...almost. Next Men is in my top 5 most satisfying reads for '90s comics books. I remember getting to the end of Compleat Next Men Vol. 2 (the black and white phone book released a couple of years ago) and being completely disappointed because the series was cancelled and I would never know how things ended. Byrne finally resurrected the series, and I bumped the first hardcover of the new series up in my queue because I need to know what happens next.
Byrne's writing is at its best here, and his artwork is excellent. I would rank this series as being right behind his work on Uncanny X-Men and Fantastic Four.
The OCD zone- Beautiful production. This is a super tall hardcover, being about the same size as a DC Absolute Edition or EC Library hardcover. The paper: extremely thick coated stock. The binding is sewn. The material is reproduced by scans of the original issues, which makes the colors seem muted when compared to many of their high end counterparts. Oh, and I am still pissed at IDW for making Vol. 1 shorter and narrower by inches. My bookshelves shall be forever inconsistent. A pox upon you, IDW!