Holiday shopping for the superhero fan in your life is a tough gig. There are often alternate universes, timelines, and eras for a single character, and that special someone may have a preference for one while despising another. What follows below is a quick guide to a few high-end, sure-fire holiday releases that any superhero fan will treasure this season.
Go big: It’s always the thought that counts when gift giving, but if you want to hedge your bets and impress that loved one with sheer weight and size, there are a few great, recent options--starting with The New 52. Without a doubt, the biggest comics news this year was that DC Comics planned to reboot their entire universe, restarting 52 series at issue #1. This gigantic, 1,200-plus page tome collects all the first issues in a time capsule hardcover. It’s the perfect gift if you are at all unsure of which superheroes he or she follows since this one collects them all. There is a wide variety of contributors, from superstars like Jim Lee and Geoff Johns to artists’ artists like J.H. Williams III. The individual series will not be collected until later in 2012, so think of this as a shiny, historic sampler for teens and older.
If that superhero fan has a sense of humor and appreciates a good satire based on his or her favorite hobby, then the long-awaited X-Statix Omnibus is your go-to gift. This clever, gorgeous, and enormous hardcover (it also clocks in at over 1,200 pages) rounds up every appearance and piece of comics miscellany that involves the X-Statix team, from the original series (X-Force), to mini-series involving Wolverine, Dr. Strange, Gwen Stacy, and more. Plus, it features the stylized artwork of Mike Allred, Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope, and others. The individual collections are long out of print and hard-to-find; this one is a winner and a real boon for collectors.