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The $3.99 problem revisited

At $3.99 an issue, $8 buys me 2 new comics. Or, this week, with extra pages in Avengers vs. X-Men #12, that was 1 @ $4.99 and Higher Earth was 1 @ $3.99–$8.98 spent for just two comics.

But for another $8, I got quite a haul of cool “old” comics.

The gems of the bunch were these three #1s from 1997: Heroes for Hire, Thunderbolts, and Ka-Zar. HFH and Ka-Zar didn’t last all that long–but Thunderbolts has lasted pretty much to present-day, though that history is soon being negated for Marvel Now. Still…it’s highly gratifying to (though it’s 15 years after the fact) finally own the first issue, and moreso for only 25-cents!

01

Also snagged a few other early issues of Thunderbolts. I jumped on the title around #19 back in the day and followed it up til a few issues into New Thunderbolts before it eventually reverted to “original numbering.” I’m now about 10 issues shy of the first 18 issues, which I look forward to reading as one big chunk someday.

02

Recently picked up several of the X-Books’ Flashback issues. Seeing these in the quarter-bin, figured they’ll be fun reads. The Hulk issue looks really familiar–I might actually have snagged that years ago, or somehow already read it; but for $.25 I’ll take the chance.

03

Six more issues of Mage: The Hero Defined–this puts me at 9 out of the 15 issues…though I’ve discovered that apparently this was to be the middle section of a trilogy, and there’s another 15 issues of The Hero Discovered and (someday) The Hero Denied. Not exactly the level of the Marvel Numbering Shenanigans, but sorta frustrating to learn an entire series is actually not the beginning of the story.

04

The Man of Steel issue was great fun; couldn’t see just passing that up. Not sure of the Galactus issue is a one-shot or the first issue of a mini-series…but it’s another issue that hey–for a quarter, I’ll check it out. And the Astro City issue is a reprint of the Wizard-produced #1/2. This has the original “The Nearness of You” story that is probably my favorite single Astro City story, and is reprinted in one of the AC TPBs. Finding a single issue and getting to re-read it for only a quarter? Great stuff.

05

Finally, since the entire 8-issue series was there, figured I’d check this out. I’ve heard of Elektra: Assassin, and this predates a lot of the 90s/2000s stuff that was done with the character, so could be interesting. At the least, $2 beats the heck out of any collected edition–TPB or HC.

06

The Elektra series, the Thunderbolts issues, the Mage issues, and the others–32 issues in all–only cost me $8. For the cost, that’s a bonus 30 issues on the cost of two.

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