Review by Woodrow Phoenix
The Bill Sienkiewicz’s Mutants and Moon Knights… and Assassins… Artifact Edition, just like all IDW Artist’s Editions, presents high resolution scans made from photographing the original art produced by the artist for comics. They’re printed the same size as drawn, with paper selected to feel as close as possible to the original art board. The result gives readers the experience of viewing the actual original pages with all corrections, pencil markings, paste-ups and margin notes visible. The only difference between an Artist’s Edition and an Artifact Edition is that an Artifact Edition does not feature complete stories, but whatever pages can be gathered together including pencils, covers, ads, commissioned drawings and so on.
This collection features 159 pages of covers, pin-ups, and comics from Bill Sienkiewicz’s work for Marvel. There are 50 pages of art created for 13 issues of New Mutants, plus five covers, one unpublished. Moon Knight is represented by 19 interior pages, five covers, two unpublished covers and one unpublished painting. There are 51 pages from Elektra: Assassin, including the complete 32-page first issue, and scattered pages from the other seven issues, plus three covers. There are an additional three cover paintings for Elektra featured in other publications, plus one preliminary sketch. There are eight pages from Daredevil: Love And War. The remainder are six covers: three for Dazzler and one each for Daredevil, Beauty and the Beast and Punisher War Journal, plus two single-page drawings; the memorable house ad for Power Man, and a Wolfsbane Trading Card.
Unlike most Artist/Artifact Editions, alongside pencilled and inked pages this book features quite a few pages of painted art, and although the printing is excellent the colour art is a little soft. Some detail is lost on the uncoated paper and this is perhaps where a coated paper would have done a better job of reproducing the subleties of Sienkiewicz’s paintings more faithfully. One other detail to note is that 22 pages of art were created larger than the size of this book and have been reduced to fit: the cover of New Mutants 21 and eight interior pages from New Mutants 23, 26 and 31; two pages from Elektra Assassin 3 and 7; all the pages from Daredevil: Love and War; and all the Dazzler covers.
This is a great collection of superb and highly rated art from a technical and conceptual master of the craft, featuring many of his most famous images including the New Mutants giant bear, the ‘Hit It!’ sequence from Moon Knight, lots of classic Elektra and Daredevil images and the previously mentioned Power Man page. Fans will not be disappointed.