Everyone knows one of the most exciting aspects of any superhero is their origin story, which might explain why we see characters like Batman and Spider-Man‘s “humble beginnings” unfold in just about every DC and Marvel movie ever made. However, for as oversaturated with origin stories superhero movies are, reading all about your favorite hero’s rise to power has always been a lot more of a challenge thanks to how difficult it can be to find decent copies of older comics. Luckily for us, art book publishing company Taschen took notice of this glaring issue, and has now unveiled a pretty incredible project they’re working on in an attempt to remedy the problem.
Earlier today, Taschen revealed The Marvel Comics Library, an exclusive, long-term collaboration between the publishing house and Marvel that aims to reproduce some of Marvel’s most famous comics in all their original glory. The library will give Marvel fans a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lay their hands on the world’s most desirable comics” now in a new, extra-large format that helps to preserve the integrity of the books’ original artwork. Each volume will also feature an essay by a comic book historian, along with hundreds of photos and artifacts.
The first Marvel superhero to be given The Marvel Comics Library treatment? Why, it’s none other than Spider-Man, of course. In celebration of the webslinger’s upcoming 60th anniversary — and just ahead of the new film, Spider-Man: No Way Home — Taschen is releasing an omnibus entitled Spider-Man. Vol. 1. 1962–1964. The collection contains the first 21 issues of Spider-Man, as well as a historical essay by Marvel editor Ralph Macchio and much more:
“Travel back in time to witness the creation of the world’s favorite web-slinger as dreamed up by comic book legends Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, who redefined what it meant to be a hero. In this Hulk-sized, collector’s dream, the first 21 Spider-Man stories from 1962–1964 have been meticulously photographed from the most pristine copies of these rare comic books—a fine art celebration of the teen super hero in this inaugural volume of TASCHEN’s Marvel Comics Library series.”
If that’s not exciting enough, The Marvel Comics Library also offers some serious incentives to comic book collectors. According to the official Teschen website, the first 5,000 copies of Spider-Man. Vol. 1 will be numbered and released as a “Famous First Edition.” The book will also boast a “Collector’s Edition,” which is limited to just 1,000 copies and features an aluminum print cover tipped into a leatherette-bound spine, foil embossing, and housed in a slipcase. Each book is individually numbered.
In addition to Spider-Man, Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Captain America collections have also been revealed for The Marvel Comics Library. However, this project is apparently running for at least a decade, meaning countless others are surely on the way.