Foreign Treasuries - Italy

We continue our "journey" around the globe searching for foreign editions of DC and Marvel treasuries!

Italy is one of the foreign countries that published the most DC and Marvel "big books" in the 70s. They were called Albo in Formato Gigante. Actually, italy is one of the few nations that released an "original" Marvel treasury outside the USA, as we are going to see next.

Editoriale Corno Editoriale Corno was the first publishing company to edit American treasury editions in Italy. Corno only released two books between 1976 and 1977.

In 1976, they published Superman & L'uomo Ragno--the first meeting of Superman and Spider-Man. In 1977, they secured their name in the history of foreign treasuries by releasing the only--as far as I know--foreign edition of Marvel's 2001: A Space Odyssey by Jack "King" Kirby. It was called 2001: Odissea Nello Spazio. The cover says it all--"The Capolavoro Di Jack Kirby", or "Jack Kirby's Masterpiece!"

Edizioni Cenisio Cenisio was the Italian publisher that released the most DC treasuries during the 70s and early 80s. After the success of Corno's books, Cenisio started to launch an extensive line of DC treasuries.

They started in 1978, with the Italian version of Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, called Superman Contro Cassius Clay. Following that, they published Superman Contro Flash, Superman Contro Wonder Woman, Superman Contro Shazam!, Superman Il Film, and Superboy E la Legione Dei Supereroi: Il Massacro Del Millenio (all 1979). And then in 1981, Superman & L'uomo Ragno: Holocausto Di Eroi, Batman Contro L'Incredible Hulk, and Superman: La Fortezza Della.

Solitudine ('82) Cenisio Cenisio also released a couple of "collections" with the treasuries that never had big sales and were returned to the publisher: Natale Con I Supereroi was simply a collection of Superman Contro Shazam! and Superboy E la Legione Dei Supereroi and it used the cover of Limited Collectors' Edition C34 Christmas with the Superheroes (???--rob). Il Superlibro Di Superman collected Superman Contro Wonder Woman, Superman Contro Cassius Clay, and Superboy E la Legione Dei Supereroi (again!!).

Those collections didn't have a large print run, since they were simply were put together by the remaining portions of the original editions. Today they are considered scarce among Italian collectors.

Marvel Italia Marvel Italia was a ramification of the US comic book publisher in Italy that re-launched some of the classic crossovers between Marvel and DC in a smaller format in 1995. Like in other foreign countries, this strategy was directed to attract a younger, "newer" audience (in my opinion, it didn't do anything except diminish the original editions). They were: Superman Contro L'uomo Ragno and Batman Contro Hulk (both 1995).

Playpress Playpress is the current owner of the entire DC line of comics in Italy, since 1999, they have been publishing all the Dini/Ross treasuries: Superman: Pace In Terra (1999), Batman: Guerra Al Crimine (2000), Shazam!: Il Potere Della Speranza (2001), Wonder Woman: Lo Spirito Della Verita (2002), JLA: Le Origini Segrete (2003), and JLA: Liberte E Giustizia (2004). Playpress also released, in 2004, a collection of the Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman treasuries called The Art of Alex Ross.

The Italian version of Superman vs. The Flash (LCE C48) has the same cover altered cover of the French edition, with a "different" Batman and no judge, Robin, or Green Lantern in the background. That Batman, by the way, was taken from the first page of Batman #265, art by Rich Buckler.

As in France, Muhammad Ali was still better known as Cassius Clay into the mid-70s and that's why Cenisio used his Christian name on the cover to Superman Contro Cassius Clay.

What...? Batman and the Hulk in the Negative Zone?? Take a look at the cover of the reprint of Batman Contro Hulk (1995). If you feel dizzy, that's perfectly normal. That weird CGI background that replaced the Joker and the rest of the Garcia-Lopez art was a poor attempt to make what's left of the original cover look more contemporary...with bad results. I wonder why Marvel Italia didn't last...

Among other Marvel titles released by Editoriale Cenisio in Italy, there was a monthly Spider-Man series called L'uomo Ragno Gigante, or Giant-Size Spider-Man. Actually it was a regular-size comic book and the first issue's cover art is the same as Marvel Treasury Edition #1.

Arrivederci, Miei Amici!

Next Stop: Spain

Update! Thanks to Treasury Hunter Giovanni Rolla we have an additional DC Italian language treasury, which you can see at the bottom of this page: Superboy e la Legione dei Super-Eroi! Thanks Giovanni!

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