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The Weekly Haul: Week of February 21, 2018

This week’s new haul was a somewhat medium-sized one: not as small as might be "ideal," but not ridiculously huge…in terms of new comics. I’ll detail the large quarter-bin haul in another post!

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New Superman and Batman issues; as well as Super Sons, Justice League, Wonder Woman/Conan…and maybe the top of the week: Batman/TMNT II.

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On the non-DC side…the seond to last issue of The Mighty Thor‘s arc The Death of the Mighty Thor. I bought in with the 700 issue last year, and decided I’d follow the arc…and we’ll see from there. Of course, with Marvel now announcing YET ANOTHER RELAUNCH/RENUMBERING INITIATIVE, I’m pretty much done with them. I grabbed the Infinity Countdown: Prime for Wolverine (the real Wolverine: Logan, the character introduced in The Incredible Hulk, that joined the X-Men, that had his own 180-ish issue series before all the renumbering shenanigans). I have no intention of actually following the event itself, but if I’m gonna grouse about stuff, I can at least get some actual reading in!

Maestros I need to actually read…five issues in, and I’m just hoping it’s worthwhile. And finally, the weekly Comic Shop News.

Outside of these…I had extra time available to me that I haven’t in a long while, so (perhaps recklessly, but that’s a discussion for some other time) I dug through quarter-bins, and found a lot of great stuff that I ended up getting…which will be the basis of a later post!

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More Life Changes and More Unknown Future

Six weeks shy of my 9-year anniversary with an employer, I was laid off back in 2016. 4 1/2 months later, I began a new job.

Now, last week, again completely outta nowhere, I was called into my manager’s office where I was informed that I was being laid off, effective immediately.

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It’s yet to set in overly much; immediate necessities have been set into motion and addressed.

Something’s different this time around; I can’t really put my finger on it.

It’s discouraging…maybe all the more because I was told it wasn’t something I myself had done or had not done. At least if I had done something, I’d have something to work on improving.

But I’m not putting stuff out here much beyond what I’ve already said.

Still, it’s a significant "life event," that I fear exemplifies "the new normal," where instead of one being able to just get a job, give their all and loyalty to one company, they’re just signing on for some temporary-yet-indeterminate time.

Much as too many comics have been: instead of going indefinitely, hundreds of issues in a run…now most comics only go so long before being put on hiatus and then renumbered as a new run.

Blah.

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Some Reflecting on Recent Phoenix-y…Stuff

phoenix_resurrection_0005I’d had high hopes for Phoenix Resurrection/The Return of Jean Grey series. I was especially looking forward to the return of the character, period. But this 5-issue "event comic," quasi-weekly series gave me two $4.99 books with three $3.99s tossed in, and other than "Psychics disappear, X-Men encounter several foes thought dead, and find out Jean is living in a Phoenix-created artificial reality," not much seemed to really happen. Add to that some half-arsed (to me) marketing about a Jean Grey tie-in issue where I thought I had missed something at the start of the ‘event’ and then made darned sure to grab when it actually came out the week of the finale, and I wasn’t overly keen on it.

Then for that supposed-tie-in to basically have nothing at all to actually do with the Phoenix Resurrection series/event itself, it’s like…why, exactly, was I just conned into buying the final issue of a series, when it’s not the end of the character, not about the character I wanted, and doesn’t offer anything meaningful to my reading of the earlier issues of Phoenix Resurrection? It seems that the Psych Wars arc had stuff earlier that did pertain to Phoenix Resurrection, and I didn’t get those; but this is tangential at best.

jean_grey_0011Once several issues were out, I wasn’t going to "just" hold off for a paperback–gotta give Marvel "credit" for that–pumping this out as a weekly thing rather than monthly. Rather than "have to" wait even just a couple months for a collected edition, seemed simpler to just continue with the singles, getting to read the serialized story closer together at least. But there’s also the fact that we knew blatantly from the start well before the first issue even hit that yes, this WOULD actually have the REAL return of the REAL Jean Grey…so it’s not like it was, say, a decade-later third mini to go with Phoenix: Endsong and Phoenix: Warsong, where we could "wonder" if it would actually end with Jean back among the living or not, or leave her dead. Like reading something called The Death of Superman, you know the outcome…and so the journey there, the details become all the more important. And for me, frankly, this series failed to deliver on that. Nothing much in it was singularly memorable, really; except the confirmation that yeah, Jean’s back, and a brief cameo near the end of the final issue..

We had the surprise of a temporarily-resurrected Cyclops (and then being left with a corpse, not even "just" the renewed absence of the character). Sure, Jean wanted "one last talk" with her husband/former husband/whatever they considered themselves. But how fitting would it have been to have also brought him back, with her? Resurrecting her, bringing him back, them having to learn to deal with each other again after how things were going with them just before her death, to say nothing of the actions Cyclops himself took after M-Day and AvX and all of that? (‘course, with Xavier apparently being back, too…almost seems "no harm, no foul" or such…) But it was basically "just" a cameo.

jean_grey_10_psych_warsI suppose I figured with a weekly 5-issue series titled with The Return of Jean Grey, we’d get MORE in the way of a contained "struggle" with her of simply being back; like they’d find her during issue 2, have 3-4 with stuff going on and her re-meeting the still-living, and perhaps by 5 have some big crisis come about because she IS back, where she’d have to face it and maybe face the likelihood of being killed again or something. As such, with the various X-characters dealing with missing psychics, the appearance of characters thought dead, etc. it seems like this would have worked far better as a bunch of subplots perhaps scattered across several titles, that would all then lead together into a one-shot issue; where the characters–having been brought together by events–would be there, and Phoenix Resurrection #5 could have been the oneshot or whatever.

A couple weeks back–the week after Phoenix Resurrection #5–I saw a lone copy of Jean Grey #10 remaining, and flipped through it and saw Phoenix stuff, so went ahead and bought it, feeling rather curious/suspicious. Sure enough, that one issue, not even branded as part of Phoenix Resurrection, had more conflict with the Phoenix Force and such, was more satisfying (BRIEF though it seemed!) than the entirety of the actual Phoenix Resurrection event/mini-series.

xmen_red_0001Then there was X-Men: Red #1. A bit larger physically, and $4.99 as a single issue…like last year’s X-Men: Prime, X-Men: Gold, and X-Men: Blue #1s. It’s got Nightcrawler, and our returned "real" Jean Grey, the adult, original, non-time-traveling character. Something to the issue as a whole has me considering getting #2, though I was not overly impressed with the issue or this newer take on Jean. I wanted her back as part of a team, back interacting with Cyclops, Wolverine, and various other ’90s mainstays…or something. On the five issue mini-series and now "headlining" a new series…I’m not seeing anything but "nostalgia" to "sell" me on the character. Like…great, now she’s back, but now what? What makes her singularly interesting and worthwhile TO get this sort of treatment?

I guess time will tell.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of February 14, 2018

Along with recent toy hauls and Ollie’s hauls, this week was a big comic week! I almost held off on some issues, but figured I’d just end up spending the same–or more–trying to hunt a bunch of stuff down later, or outright forget stuff that I didn’t want to. So…got a bunch of stuff, and here it is!

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I probably should have held off on the Metal stuff. I never intended to wind up so far behind on reading, but at this point, I’ve read up to #2 or so and none of the tie-ins. The shiny covers are also wearing a bit thin…yet, I still appreciate them as identifying markers for the series and its official chapters (i.e. not tie-ins). We’re just a couple issues/months away from Action Comics hitting #1,000. Sideways actually looks interesting, so I figured I’d pick that up. Detective Comics is another regular for me, and I’ve been trying to keep up with several of the mini-series such as Ragman and Deadman.

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I need to "stabilize" what extraneous DC books I’m keeping up with. I’m pretty sure Titans and The Flash are ones I’ll want to–emphasis on Wally West, and with the upcoming Flash War stuff.

Avengers: No Surrender as a weekly and hopefully having something to it. I’d much rather follow a single weekly than multiple separate titles. Though my math was definitely off, if this is a 16-week thing, it’s gonna end at #690…not #700!

Invincible concludes, so figured I’d pick that up to read. Eventually, someday, I’ll get caught up on the entire series. Especially as this caps it off and it’s a finite run.

I’m a fan of Tristan Jones‘ art…he’d posted some stuff on Facebook about this Lazarus issue out this week. I figured I may’ve missed earlier ones, but what the hey…now being aware, I’d grab this one to jump in. D’oh! It’s a 6-issue series, and this is the 6th issue. So, I’ll either have to backtrack on single issues, or nab a collected volume down the line.

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A Valentine’s Day promotion: draw a card from the bucket, and win something. Some free comics from the bargain bins, a graphic novel from the half-off bins, might’ve been other stuff. I drew one for a graphic novel from the half-off bins, and chose this Ultimate X-Men vol. 2. $30 cover price, in the half-off bins, $15…definitely an excellent "door prize" or Valentine’s gift.

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Thanks to a #SciFiJanuary post over at The Crapbox of Son of Cthulhu, I was interested enough to snag this Trekker Omnibus. It’s a little bit beat up and some slight curl to it…but for the price, and very pleasant surprise of its very existence, an absolutely excellent addition to my collection!

And Comic Shop News has had Superman on its cover two weeks in a row now…quite a nice change of pace!

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More Ollie’s Haul 2018 (to February 13)

"The Ollie’s sale" has been an ongoing thing for a few weeks now. And while I’d assumed "everything was out" to diminishing stock…that seems to NOT have been the case.

While I’d picked up a couple more books from "remnants," I then saw some Facebook posts about several individuals’ Ollie’s stores having NEW selection.

So, between "remnants" and visiting four different locations across the area, I’ve added another significant stack.

Though I’m still very much looking for the Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years volume that I have seen photos posted of as something that’s "out there."

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I’d also visited a Half-Price Books and found the Avengers Forever oversized hardcover–with a somewhat battered-all-around-the-edges dustjacket–that I recognized as being leftover from the closest one that closed January 3rd. It had a new sticker over the regular, marking the book down by at least $10. Because it’s "Out-of-Print" it worked out to only being about 43% off. But that’s still a darned sight better than I’d expect online!

Now if only Marvel would do a small-ish (27 or so issues with the #0 and if there was a #1/2 I’m forgetting) Captain Marvel Omnibus of the Peter David run from 1999. (Or just a couple of "regular" Oversized Hardcovers, since the Omnibus designation seems to translate to "add $30-50 to cover price despite size" in some cases). One for the "first run," and then one for the "U-Decide"-launched run.

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More Recent Toys (As Of February 13th)

I’ve been accumulating some new toys lately. So, I’ll keep showing ’em off, whether or not I get to any lengthier "spotlights" on any of them.

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Several weeks back, I finally "gave in" and bought a blind-box of the Disney Afternoon Mystery Minis. I got Shere Khan from TaleSpin, I believe a Toys R Us exclusive for the set. Initially, I wasn’t all that thrilled, but he’s grown on me…especially as I liken this version to the mid-’80s Lex Luthor. I’ve got this at my desk at work, and have yet to hear any complaint!

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The mini I especially wanted from the set was Darkwing Duck himself. However, for the price of these, I decided it’d be much more economical to just order the loose figure online. While it was more than I’d prefer to pay for any single one of these…it was cheaper than buying two more blind-boxes. And this way, I have a cool figure from the set in Shere Khan, and I have THE figure I most wanted. No dupes, no fuss.

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I did not know the Justice League Action Mighty Minis line had continued until I happened across several packs at a Half-Price Books. I bought two, and wound up with these two Supermen. Some sort of "gold variant" and a "holographic". Not overly keen on ’em (I especially wanted The Atom!) but they go on my Superman shelf, so…could be worse?

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While I’m totally hit or miss on actually keeping up with Twitter, one time that I was on, saw a post from FigureFan Zero about a deal at ThinkGeek for a Mirror Univers Spock figure, apparently usually in the $80 range, on sale for a ridiculously great price. I followed the link, liked what I saw, and ordered it. I especially like that the figure came with a base, though I have yet to figure out a semi-permanent place to display it. Of course, I’m having that issue with a lot lately…really need to get around to assembling some bookcases I bought last year.

legacy_dragonzord_imaginext_green_ranger

Then there’s my favorite of late, and the one I’m most excited to have (FINALLY!) managed to get: the Legacy Dragonzord! I’ve been wanting this for years (it’s been over 2 1/2 years since I got the White Tigerzord) and just happened across one being sold via Walmart‘s third-party stuff. While a lot more expensive than I wanted to spend at the time, it was (including shipping) roughly what I paid for the White Tigerzord, and about $10 under my "upper limit" that I’d set for myself for this awhile back. Here it’s pictured with an Imaginext Green Ranger.

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Here’s the plastic 2010 Megazord next to the White Tigerzord in robot mode (and the visor was down when I took the photo without realizing it).

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And here’s a shot of the Dragonzord with the White Tigerzord in Tiger mode.

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…And the three Zords together. I would not mind getting the Thunder Megazord…but that’s a BIT pricy right now…especially with some other expensive stuff I’m very interested in at present, amidst all my other spending with comics and such!

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I happened across some blind boxes of the Loyal Subjects Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in a clearance aisle, 75% off. I got the T-Rex Zord, Saber-Toothed Tiger Zord, Red Ranger, and Blue Ranger.

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The Zords came with these teeny-tiny ultra-miniature figures. I thought that was great, as it actually gives the Zords some scale! And I never imagined such tiny Ranger figures…with removable helmets and poseability themselves!

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Here’s the full-size Red Ranger…more articulation than the tiny-mini.

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And the Blue Ranger. The helmets have hinge/clasps, and remove to show the human face of the Ranger inside. Of course, I prefer the helmets on, as these are the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and I’m not going for the cartoony human side.


To say that I’m on a Power Rangers kick lately would probably be an understatement. And I’m rather amazed to see how my MMPR collection has grown in the last 12-13 months!

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Beginning of the End: Big Fun February 2nd, 2018

Early in the week–around January 29 or so–Big Fun of Cleveland, Ohio announced it would be closing…with a 50%-off-everything sale to commence that Friday, February 2nd.

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This is a store that I remember going into with a couple of friends as far back as1999 or so–basically half a lifetime ago–when it was much smaller and across the street. It recently got back onto my radar and had become extra special, a destination store, a reason unto itself to visit the Coventry area, as much so as BD’s Mongolian, and I’d been looking forward to getting several friends out for visits specifically to get them to this store in the nearish future.

Having gotten some missing TMNT figures from them throughout last year, I opted to venture in for the 50% off sale…figuring ignorantly that it wouldn’t be THAT crowded. But man, was I ever wrong there! The entire store was jam-packed, as the line itself to check out snaked throughout basically the whole of the place, with one having to fight through the line itself to look at anything, and staff doing their best to attend to prospective customers in need!

Ultimately, after finding what I wanted within the first 15 minutes in the place, it was another 100+ minutes standing in line to check out, and found a couple more items than planned specifically due to being in line for such a long time!

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I spotted this Barbaric figure in the Ninja Turtles case. After verifying the price, I decided it was WELL worthwhile, as the 50% off put it at contemporary pricing despite being a very rare late-line figure from the trailing-off end of the original TMNT toy line!

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Loose in the case, but with an accessory, I spotted the best-condition Tattoo I think I’ve ever seen since I was a kid. The figure’s clean, has a number of the sticker tattoos, and they don’t seem to be faded or peeling (or outright MISSING) the way they’ve been with a number of instances I’ve seen online. So he was a definite one to get!

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Knowing I was in for a long wait in line, I figured I should make it "worthwhile" and take advantage of the 50% off while I was there. So I snagged this Chrome Dome,which seems particularly shiny and clean, and comes with a couple of accessories. My main interest was for the wing on the back…my original figure is missing one! So this whole figure can either outright replace that, or if the part is able to be swapped without breaking anything, can complete my existing figure.

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Then Rahzar was another that had accessories, and though it turned out a friend did indeed have the character, is a relatively worthwhile acquisition for the accessories.

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While waiting in line, I spotted a display of several of these Eaglemoss figurines. I recognized Booster Gold and Penguin as ones I had, but then spotted Blue Beetle. Then I had a sudden bit of doubt: had I merely SEEN the design/pose of Booster so many times that I only thought I had him already? I distinctly remembered a Heroclix mini of the character in my display case, but was no longer absolutely, 100% sure that I had this one. I knew I didn’t have Blue Beetle. And sadly, I was unable to find any posts searching this very blog to cofirm, nor locate a photo in my phone. And since I certainly did not want to pass up either figure for the price…I bought them both.

And promptly discovered on getting home that yes, I did indeed already have Booster. Still, for prices I’d seen online for these, and the 50% off…it was not a horrible price to pay for Blue Beetle, and the "magazine" for Booster. And hey…it means I have an extra Booster to do something with.

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Here they are… Blue & Gold in the display case. You can also see the Heroclix Booster that threw me off.


Without getting into too much…I’m amazed at how many people showed up that first day. Further amazed when I saw a post on Facebook from the store’s Page, showing that there was a line down the block before they even opened that morning, and it was jam-packed all day. I know there were loads of toys and such on display of immense collectability, but I guess I underestimated the eagerness and widespread demand that would be triggered by a 50% off sale.

I probably should NOT have been surprised, though, given my own eagerness at various places to get something for 50% off that I would pass on at "full price" but is suddenly very worthwhile at the discount.

I don’t know if I’ll make it in again or not–while a couple months seems like a long time for "going out of business," I wonder at the pace of backstock from their basement being brought up and being stuff I’m interested in…and not sure about the crowds. Most likely I won’t be going back alone anyway, but perhaps with (a) friend(s) it would be worth it!

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