Monday, February 27, 2017


STEPHEN KING: THE STAND OMNIBUS (Marvel, First Printing, 2012; Hardcover)

Omnibus dustjacket cover.

Collects Stephen King's The Stand: Captain Trips #1-5, Stephen King's The Stand: American Nightmares #1-5, Stephen King's The Stand: Soul Survivors #1-5, Stephen King's The Stand: Hardcases #1-5, Stephen King's The Stand: No Man's Land #1-5, and Stephen King's The Stand: The Night Has Come #1-6 (cover dates December, 2008- March, 2012)

Companion book dustjacket cover.

Writers: Original story by Stephen King, comic book adaptation by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Mike Perkins
Colorist: Laura Martin

Spines with dustjackets on.

Stephen King is synonymous with Horror. The Stand is a fan favorite, and while my mom was an early adopter of King in the '70s, I have never read the book. I'm not embarrassed to admit that my only prior knowledge of this story came from the Anthrax song Among The Living. I have no idea how well this holds up when compared to the source material, so my review will be based solely on how well it reads as a comic book.

Slipcase spine and spines of both books sans dustjackets.

I got a free copy of the Captain Trips Premiere Edition Hardcover a while back, read it, and loved it so much so that I bought this. Anyone who says that free tastes don't work is wrong. The gist of this series, for all four of you that don't know, is that the Army accidentally releases a supervirus codenamed Captain Trips which kills most of the population and causes the collapse of society.

It's through this chaos that an ultimate showdown between good and evil surfaces. On the side of Satan comes a man named Randall Flagg, “The Walkin' Dude”, a supernatural person with no past whose power grows as fear increases due to society's breakdown and the Government's attempts to suppress information. Flagg reaches out to the disenchanted through their dreams, playing on their fears and insecurities. He calls the survivors to Las Vegas, Nevada, where they will make their stand.

On the side of God is the world's oldest woman, Mother Abagail, who lives in rural Polk County, Nebraska. She reaches out through to the survivors through their dreams, with all of them making a perilous cross country journey to her farm. They end up reestablishing society, and the notion of a showdown with Flagg causes them to send spies to find out what is going on in Nevada. One of them, Tom Cullen, a man with special needs, ends up having a God-given shine that Flagg cannot pierce. Cullen ends up being my favorite character in the book, a real feat when you consider how fully formed the entire cast of characters is.

I won't go into the whys and hows of the battle, nor the outcome, nor how the story seems to continue on in an anticlimactic manner only to be saved at the last minute by a clever ending. I realize that my synopsis is vague, but that was done deliberately. I never give a blow by blow of the story when I do my reviews, as I am opposed to spoilers no matter how old the material is. I prefer to offer up an idea of what I have read as well as my thoughts about it. I am all about the joy of discovery. If this blog has a purpose it is to turn people onto comic books that they may missed amidst the never ending flurry of releases.

This was an incredibly satisfying read with beautiful artwork and tasteful coloring. It's dense and slow burning but it's a real page turner. It demands that you finish it, becoming more urgent with each passing issue. This material is available across a number of formats (original single issues, Premiere Edition hardcovers collecting each mini-series, softcover trade paperbacks which mirror those releases, this book, and of course digital), so there's no excuse not to check it out. Heck, your local library might even have it.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Stephen King's adaptations of this and both The Dark Tower sets received a unique slicpase for their Omnibus releases not found in any other book in the line. They collected thirty or so issues in one book and then had all of the extras in a second hardcover. They were also priced 50% higher than any other Marvel Omnibus during this time frame. While the second book and cardboard slipcase certainly added an expense, was it really fifty dollars more of expense? Come on, man. That said, it is a beautiful set.
Paper stock: Thick glossy stock. I miss the high quality paper that Marvel used to use in their Omniboo five years ago.
Binding: Sewn binding, lays flat. This book will last longer than I will.

This stamping appears on the cover of both books in this set.

Dustjacket, Hardback, and Slipcase notes: Dustjacket has that frosted matte feeling with spot varnish. Hardbacks have the faux leather casewrap, front cover stamp, and dye foil stamping on the spine that Marvel has sadly since done away with on their Omnibus line of books. 

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