Jim Lee has been drawing comics for more than 30 years and is one of the most popular comic book artists of all time. The impact his dynamic artwork has had on the comics industry—to his legions of fans and the artists who have been inspired by and emulated him—is truly immeasurable. And, in a career filled with highlights, his work on X-Men is arguably his most popular and enduring.
This very special Artist’s Edition features Lee’s stellar work on X-Men, including the complete oversized X-Men #1 main story—still the bestselling comic book ever published in the modern era! Additionally, there will be covers, splash pages, pin-ups, and interior pages by Lee doing what he does best—creating great comics. Each page has been meticulously scanned from Lee’s original art for this book… affording the reader insight into his creative process never before available outside of original art collectors. Produced in the one and only, accept no imitations, multi-Eisner award-winning Artist’s Edition format. For any fan of Jim Lee, this book will soon become a cherished centrepiece of your collection!
Special bonus! There is a gorgeous double foldout in this book that features all four connecting covers from X-Men #1!
- IDW Publishing, February 24, 2021
- ISBN: 978-1-68405-809-9
- 12″ x 17″, 160 pages
- $150 USD
- Order Online: Amazon, Bookshop, eBay, Forbidden Planet, Books Etc
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
A new format for IDW, combining Artist’s Edition and Artifact Edition: a complete story and pages from various issues. Plus a gallery section of covers and unique images. A strong introduction by Scott Williams and a one-page biography of Lee to close it all out. It’s always nice to see the inker mentioned on the cover.
The art included comes from a large number of sources, and as such appears in varying conditions. No issues with the scans: all pages present well. Most pages are off-white to slightly yellowed; a few are yellow and tan. Two pages from X-Men issue 2 have text that appears to have bled, and some pages have yellowed word balloons. Lots of interesting things happening on the original art pages: paste-ups, glue but missing paste-ups, blue lines in the art and word balloons, red lines in the art, Zip-A-Tone, margin notes, and a whole lot more. If your interest in AE format books is the “warts and all” portion, you’re in for a real treat.
One special treat is the double foldout featuring the four covers to X-Men issue 1 and triptych wall posters. There are quite a few double-page spreads but they suffer from gutter loss; no amount of spine stretching helped. Overall the binding is a little too tight and the book will not lay flat.
Another strong design by Randall Dahlk with a simpler esthetic. Three colours used for the pages, building off the blue from the cover. Clean image enlargements for the endpapers. The X-Men logo on the introduction is a nice touch. And while I appreciate the page numbers listed on the table of contents, none of the book’s pages have page numbers so it’s a bit of a hunt to find something specific.
A sewn binding of heavy matte paper stock. The book comes shrink-wrapped in a cardboard case bearing a sticker that shows the cover image and UPC. This is the second AE format book to come in this style of cardboard case where the cover is glued to the sides and there is a thumb hole to get the book out. It’s too tight and I have to tip the book out and then pull it as the back cover keeps sticking in the case. This is only an issue for me as I keep all my AE format books in their cardboard cases.
I was surprised by the visible change in inkers when the book moved from Scott Williams to Art Thibert. It’s all personal preference, but Lee with Williams provides the best results. For the keen-eyed see if you can find the spelling mistake; it’s on an IDW page and not original art.
This material was just outside my nostalgia wheelhouse but I remember buying multiple copies of every cover of X-Men issue 1. X-Men issue 268 is a standout and the art presents better than my recollection. The inks on those ninjas! Could this become IDW’s best-selling Artist’s Edition, topping David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again?