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Dropping a Comic Because of the Art

I hesitantly checked out the first Johns/Romita Jr. issue of Superman this summer, and thought I’d give it a chance, even though I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the art. I figured it would grow on me.

inconsistent_superman

I’m done.

I’m interested in the STORY but while I may not be an artist myself, I know what I do and do not like, even if I can’t typically pinpoint it.

But this week, in the latest issue (#35) I pinpointed it in this particular case. Just within a couple pages, we have at least four different people in the darned costume with varying facial structure, visual definition, and necks!

I get that there are issues of “perspective” and “angles” and all sorts of other stuff that I–as Not-an-Artist–am not gonna “get” here.

But I obviously don’t like the visual style, don’t like the way Superman (in this example) is drawn, the inking/coloring can’t get past that, and I definitely don’t like Ulysses’ look (though that could be given a pass where Superman is a far more familiar character to me).

Johns has me for the story…but the art–for me–is just such a turnoff that I’m done. This isn’t some self-contained series like All-Star Superman was. This is simply THE Superman book, but the costume is just a costume to me, if the character isn’t recognizable facially.

Vote with my wallet, right?

The Weekly Haul – Week of October 22nd, 2014

Another week, another haul…

weekly_haul_october_22nd_2014

Kinda “normalizing” a bit. Decided to try Predator: Fire and Stone #1 to give all 4 #1s a shot, though having realized they’re just all 4-issue minis, I figure I’ll wait for the 16-issue compendium/omnibus/whatever.

Giving DC a chance on all 3 weeklies, still…though I’m a bit iffy on World’s End. Already falling into the trap I did at the start with the other two in getting backed-up on several issues…though I suppose reading several issues at a time won’t be bad.

Continuing to quite enjoy Valiant, and TMNT, and Letter 44.

And as usual…quite a spread of titles/publishers…but clearly lacking in Marvel.

Hunter/Prey Superman/Doomsday and Vintage TMNT

Over the weekend while visiting a friend, he took me to a local store that had a mix of toys (mostly vintage stuff), video games (lotta vintage stuff), comics (vintage back issues and 25-cent books and more recent graphic novels/collected volumes).

I was rather thrilled to see some vintage TMNT toys, and several hanging in “home-made” packaging.

I was awed when I spotted a very familiar but unseen-in-person-in-many-years action figure pack:

hunter_prey_superman_doomsday_double_pack_front

I distinctly remember having seen this and several of the other figures in the line “back in the day” while out shopping with my aunt and sister. But at the time I thought I was “out of” getting action figures and such, to say nothing of whatever this thing cost retail.

Seeing the $12 price tag on this, I took it off the peg and vowed to myself if I bought nothing else that night, I was buying this. At this scale, either one of the figures would be $10 or more, if not $12 individually.

Add in the fancy packaging with the comic book and either one would probably be $15 or more at Toys R Us or such present-day. But this is a vintage–or near-vintage–pack, of TWO figures…so $6/figure plus the comic still there? Awesome. (And I do have a loose copy of the comic somewhere, pulled from a quarter bin at some point in the last few years).

hunter_prey_superman_doomsday_double_pack_back

While I wouldn’t mind getting a couple of the other figures, I’m not too keen on yet another quasi-standard Superman just to get Massacre, and I still have hopes of someday tracking down DC Direct versions of Steel, Superboy, and the Eradicator.

The Hunter-Prey Superman with Doomsday is the gem of the bunch, to me, though…and one of the coolest purchases I’ve made recently.

vintage_metalhead_and_foot_ninja

For $5 apiece, I snagged this vintage Metalhead and Foot Ninja. I was already paying $9ish/ea for the “reprint” Foot, adding another to the mix for $5 is well worthwhile to me.

And my recent fascination with having the various versions of TMNT figures through the years made Metalhead a no-brainer as well. While these purchases move me into new territory–buying actual vintage objects, “copies” of what I remember having had a different copy of in my youth–still a cool purchase…especially for the price!

vintage_foot_ninja

vintage_metalhead

TMNT Revisited: TMNT Adventures (Mini-Series) #3

tmntadventuresmini003Full Post at TMNT Revisited

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (Mini-Series) #3

TMNT Toys in the Wild: Original Comic Book Leonardo & Michelangelo

It was just very recently I saw something about exclusive figure-and-comic Leo & Mikey “Original Comic Book” versions. Of course, those are to be “Exclusive” to Toys R Us.

However, I found the “basic” figures at Target recently for $1 cheaper than usual (on sale this week), and opted to go with these rather than waste time and money later trying to “hunt” them down.

TMNT_original_comic_book_leonardo_front

I definitely like the look, and glad they’re “colorized” rather than being a black and white figure. The original comics may have been black-and-white, but that’s a factor of the medium, not the characters.

TMNT_original_comic_book_leonardo_profile

I’m also glad for the variant color scheme both on the front and backing of the package, making it extremely simple to look for these without having to touch every single figure on a peg.

I nearly put these back…but they were just way too cool to me to pass up. I just hope finding Raph and Don won’t be too much hassle…!

TMNT_original_comic_book_michelangelo_front

Of course, given the turtles all originally wore red masks, I may actually have to use these photos to keep the characters straight later, if they’re separated from their weapons.

TMNT_original_comic_book_michelangelo_profile

It’s also interesting to see the various different art styles on the packaging…I’m almost surprised they didn’t change up the logo to the classic, for these…but they’re still part of the “current” overall line of TMNT toys.

But of all the “variant” turtles…the Original Comic Book versions seem the most distinct, and by far the most “worthy” “variants” of all…at least to me!

The Weekly Haul – Week of October 15th, 2014

While it could have been a small-ish week, this proved–yet again–to be another HUGE week, as far as my desires for a $10-$20 week are concerned.

weekly_haul_october_15th_2014a

Turok and Magnus both out, as well as Unity and Q2: Quantum and Woody for Valiant, both TMNT books from IDW, and the DC weeklies. I’m far enough behind on Futures End that I let that stay behind, with the intent I’ll catch up next week. Not likely at this point to catch up on the reading, so…c’est la vie.

weekly_haul_october_15th_2014b

And though I have several of them from the previous round of One Dollar Debut editions, snagged the various Valiant books. Store owner gave me the Valiant Universe Handbook free, and the others fell within my usual standing order of all $1/promo-priced books.

With the cover changes to the review blurbs, at least these are different-looking editions.

I usually despise variant covers…but these $1 editions I’ll let slide, BECAUSE they’re Valiant, and they’re not every-day editions.

The Action Philosophers is apparently the first chapter of a hardback due out next week…while it could be interesting, I’ve sorta had my eye on The Fifth Beatle for a bit, so if I buy anything from Dark Horse, that’s likely to be the one I go for.

Along with all these, I also picked up the “final” chapter of The Death of Wolverine, to read the thing for myself before various reviews and spoilers and such. I was rather disappointed, but at least that was my own thoughts/feelings without being “spoiled” on the “how” front.

$4.99 for a shiny cover…didn’t bother to count the pages, but seemed like very little story for the price, and unlike the recent DC 3D covers, this cover seemed to be an added element of the price, along with several pages as a “checklist” of the various variant covers for this miniseries.

I’ll just have to make darned sure I redeem the digital code so that part doesn’t go to “waste.”

Spoilers on The Death of Wolverine

deathofwolverineshiny004b

Yeah…spoilers.

I’m gonna spoil the thing.

That means I’m definitely giving away how the issue ends.

Talking about how it ends means the issue and series will be spoiled.

Beyond the title itself being a spoiler.

‘Cuz I’m gonna spoil the details of how he dies, etc. And I’m going to assume you’ve read the issue if you’re reading this, or you don’t care.

From here on, the blame’s on you, Bub.

So, I’ve never bought into this, not really. For one thing, we JUST HAD a Death of Wolverine in 2008, and a Wolverine Goes to Hell in 2011.

deathofwolverinetpb2008 wolverinegoestohelltpb

But now, hardly 6 (and 3) years later, after whatever the heck’s gone on in the last couple years’ worth of Wolverine comics with Marvel Now and such since AvX…we have an event mini-series showcasing the death in the title itself.

deathofwolverineshiny004b

I might have bought the entire mini at $3.99 an issue with the shiny covers. They can even kinda get away with it, in my mind, on the notion of shiny covers = shiny metallic claws. But for $4.99…nope, no thank you.

And I only bought this issue to read the conclusion for myself before having it spoiled for ME, and to gauge my interest in the series in general. But I’d already been put off at the notion of a 4-issue “event mini-series” followed by a 7-issue follow-up mini, and then the various other tie-ins.

I was greatly disappointed at the LACK of a “previously” page for this issue–having grown QUITE accustomed to them in Marvel’s single-issues, given their easy omission for the graphic novel. So I don’t really know in any detail what came before in this particular mini, nor much of the recent past for the character, except he’d become “killable” with the apparent loss of his healing factor.

This issue lacked much of any substance for me as a result–picking up simply with Wolverine entering a lab facility much like the one so integral to his own history, and finding Cornelius–presumably and contextually the “mad scientist” doctor who was so integral to Wolverine’s past–experimenting on numerous subjects, STILL seeking to perfect the adamantium bonding process.

The hurt-able Wolverine fights a guard–enhanced/upgraded by Cornelius–where blood is shed and it looked like Wolverine lost his claws…or some sort of add-ons. With Cornelius facing ruination once more, he begins the adamantium process on his subjects, and it seems Wolverine tries to stop it–cutting the feed, but as a result being bathed in the liquidized metal.

Cornelius flees, and the adamantium-drenched Wolverine follows. Extracting Wolverine-like justice on the doctor, he then walks to the edge of the facility to face the sunrise/sunset (whichever) where he sinks to his knees and “dies,” the liquidized metal hardening around him.

Whether he suffocates, or the metal was hot and he was burned to death, or what, I’m not actually sure “just” reading through. And while PERHAPS there’s something “fitting” to him being killed encased in the stuff that he was famous for having inside him, it doesn’t work for me. Not at initial reading, not right now. Not for this EVENT.

Had this been just another issue of an ongoing Wolverine series, where he happened to die…an issue UN-hyped and simply ending leaving the QUESTION of “is he dead?!?” hanging, and THEN having followup books to deal with his apparent death…maybe that’d work better for me.

I’m also quite bothered by the price point to the feeling of lack of story. There are a bunch of pages of “checklist” of the numerous variant covers for this series. Unneeded pages, because you don’t need so darned many variant covers (or any at all!)

For Marvel‘s pricing–the $3.99+ cover prices–I’m not about to buy into a minimum of 19 issues of followup to a 4-issue mini-series. Maybe if I find collected volumes cheaply, or happen across stuff in a bargain bin, or perhaps for one or two issues pick ‘em up another week when I haven’t already busted my budget. But no certainty.

I “get” that they (Soule in particular, it seems) want to convey the illusion that Wolverine is actually, fully, totally, completely, definitely, really, no-joke dead Dead DEAD not-coming-back-ever-never-Never…but nope, I don’t buy that.

Maybe he’s “off the table” for the final couple months of 2014, all of 2015, and into 2016 (so far planned). Two years? Ok.

Throw in an extra year, let’s say he’s dead through late 2017. Three years. He’ll be back. I honestly, truly CANNOT imagine a Marvel “capable” of resisting the urge to keep THE Wolverine–Logan, James Howlett, whatever his name is–the character that’s been around since the ’70s and all–off the table for more than a few years. Granted, I thought for sure Jean Grey would be back within a year or two and we’re going on 11 years now. But Jean never supported an ongoing solo series, and Wolverine’s topped 300 issues of solo-ongoing issues.

So…I blew $5 on a crappy single issue with a shiny cover. I read the death for myself, and I’m basically back to no Marvel for a bit. Looking back into the issue, I will probably pick up the Nightcrawler “tie-in” as that will likely be a meaningful story, and if it’s just one issue, all the better…I don’t have to invest in a bunch of issues.

On the whole? This is what it is. I shouldn’t be surprised; I’m certainly not at all impressed, and while “they” got me for this issue…I’m thankful that I KNEW BETTER than to get the entire series. All those tie-ins? Maybe if there’s a Death of Wolverine Omnibus or something I’ll consider it.

After all…the lasting element of the Death of Superman 22 years ago wasn’t the death itself–that was just the vehicle to get to stories of what happened once Superman was gone; how the people around him reacted and got on with their lives, etc. And I might’ve just talked myself into an interest in the follow-up stuff with that analogy…but for Marvel’s pricing, frequency of shipping, and driving stuff into the ground in big clusters rather than spread out and “paced.”

So long, Wolverine…see ya soon.

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