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$2 UltraForce Jackpot

I think I went into the comic shop looking for a TMNT comic I missed. Found a newly-purchased collection, and some extremely well-priced UltraForce toys. $2 apiece!

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I’m usually NOT a fan of “variant” figures. Polar Prime? Nighstrike Prime? Yeah, kinda dumb. But then I realized that hey…the character can generate a different body every time he “Primes,” so this actually works! And that Night Man just looked cool.

Plus…given I’ve only really this year been coming across these, PERIOD…I’m not gonna pass one up for only $2!

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The “gem” tonight, though, was NM-E. Even the packaging is in better condition than the other figures (though eventually that won’t matter, as I’ve every intention to have these all outta the package once I find the proper display space!)

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I still think NM-E looks like an Alien,but hey…still one of my favorite (and more “iconic” Ultraverse villains. I just wish there was a Rune figure.

While I wouldn’t mind getting the whole set of these, having the “regular” Prime and Night Man already and now NM-E, I’m mainly going to be looking for Hardcase and Prototype.

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The Complete Calvin & Hobbes…finally on a shelf!

A few years ago, a friend gave me this box set. And it’s a sort of “forgotten favorite” in a sense, as I rarely think of it when I think of other big things in my collection.

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But it’s really one of the most meaningful items in my collection, being from a friend, and being Calvin & Hobbes. And it now sits in a prime spot on my new bookcase.

The Weekly Haul – Week of August 27th, 2014

A fairly small week. I think I’ve dropped Batman Eternal, passing on it this week. (or at least, maybe I’ll be done with the weekly buying and catch up every few weeks or so).

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Given Valiant has about 9 titles, two in one week is a nice balance: Rai by itself, and X-O Manowar as the week’s Armor Hunters tie-in.

New issue of TMNT: Turtles in Time, and newest Letter 44 address the rest, with Superman as the lone DC/Marvel representative.

All in all a good week’s worth of comics. Best of all, kept things in the $20 range…

Showing off the New Wizard Shelf

I added a new bookcase to my room this week as part of a new effort to re-organize and move away from the “piles” that have accumulated a bit since the last thorough cleaning.

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And I’ve decided once again to let the Wizard library have a shelf, where presently my entire Wizard run fits entirely onto a single shelf. While it’s not a COMPLETE run…it’s still a pretty lengthy run.

What’s pictured above spans issues 1-171 of the magazine’s history, and includes several “specials” published outside the regular numbering as well.

I may have mixed feelings on Wizard, but there’s no denying that it’s a bit of a time capsule and “slice of the moment” to flip back through old issues, see the various covers, and so on.

Finally! A Marvel Book Worth Its Cover Price!

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walmart_guardians_of_the_galaxy_cosmic_avengers_cMost Marvel volumes are vastly over-priced and well beyond what I can actually bring myself to spend for a single unit.

However, I found a promo-priced volume at Walmart that is VERY worthwhile.

This is a full-sized Marvel volume (if flimsy in the cover-department) for a whopping $5.00 cover price. I mean…this has MORE THAN ONE ISSUE of content in it. It has a digital code on top of the several issues it reprints. It’s a square-bound volume.

It’s not worth $19.99…but $5? Yeah, that beats the heck outta the usually bargain-priced $9.99 volumes that I consider more than worthwhile to “sample” a title. And so it is with this “Walmart Exclusive” that I found myself MORE THAN willing to spend cover price to buy the thing, and check out a title I wouldn’t otherwise.

I believe there are 3 other $5 volumes Walmart is offering–a 7-issue Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time, and (Bendis‘) Avengers vol. 1. If I come across the Spidey one, I might spend the #5 for that story. The Avengers one I’m quite “iffy” toward, and I already have the Cap issues in my Ed Brubaker Omnibus, so no particular “sense” duplicating for now (unless these $5 volumes were to become an ongoing “thing” and I could amass a small “library” of such volumes).

Definitely looking forward to reading this, after I catch up on some other reading. And who knows, maybe it’ll do something for me.

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The Weekly Haul – Week of August 20th, 2014

This week’s haul was a bit late, with me not making it to the shop until Friday this week. Back to a Valiant-heavy week, which is not a bad thing…

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I’m still a bit on the fence with Batman Eternal…I went ahead and picked up this week’s #20, figuring if nothing else, I’ll leave off on a round number that way, if I do decide to drop it. I suppose I should look into whatever the next “big” thing is in the main Batman title, because of Batman Eternal keeps to itself, maybe I’ll stick with it, even though I’ve all but decided to keep outta the Futures End stuff.

And I believe there’s only one more chapter of Superman: Doomed to go. And hey…three Valiants this week. Normally I might gripe about the clustering, but this week seems like a good mix.

The TMNT Annual is a prestige-format thing like the 2012 one was, and should be an interesting read.

I also hit the quarter bins and snagged a run of Rex Mundi and Out of the Vortex…might detail those later.

Not bad for the week…

The ’90s Revisited: Superman/Doomsday Hunter/Prey

supermandoomsdayhunterpreytpbStory & Layouts: Dan Jurgens
Finished Art: Brett Breeding
Lettering: Bill Oakley
Color Guides: Greg Wright
Color Separations by: Android Images
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Price: $14.95

It’s been a bit over 20 years since this story first debuted, back in the spring of 1994. I remember the excitement I had for its premiere, and the orangey front cover of the first issue is rather “iconic” to me–extremely distinctive and always grabs my attention.

While this took Superman–and Doomsday–from actual continuity at the time, it’s a primarily stand-alone series that gave fans a rematch between Superman and Doomsday, as well as an origin to the monster. Its events drew directly from continuity and impacted ongoing continuity in such a way that it could just as easily have been part of the ongoing “regular” comics story-wise, though its epic nature was well-suited to a separate series.

While I read an old collected edition this time through, the series was originally published as three prestige-format volumes priced at $4.95 apiece (and this was in 1994!). The format, of course, put each at the size of a small graphic novel, and the collected work is as thick as any contemporary 6-issue volume.

While the rest of the Superman creative teams were also involved in the whole Death/Return of Superman saga, this volume being a Jurgens/Breeding work and feeling so very familiar in this read-through suggests to me that this is where I primarily came to associate Jurgens with Doomsday, and this has pretty much the best-looking renditions of the character (in my mind) to this day. (I certainly prefer this version by far to anything in the contemporary New 52 with the character).

Though the story works as a whole–Superman hunts Doomsday and the two fight once more–the story is fairly nuanced, and nicely balanced across the three parts. 

The first volume is a hunt–as Superman recognizes the impact of lingering fear from having died at the beast’s previous attack and the need to face his fear. While he seeks a way to find Doomsday, we see the creature’s arrival and impact on Apokalips…taking down Darkseid, the Cyborg’s return, and Superman catching up. As a first chapter it’d be rather short to have the two actually meet, and we see Doomsday sent off before Superman can confront him.

The second volume sees Superman (and Waverider) dealing with things on Apocalypse–taking down the Cyborg, as well as Superman learning the origin of the creature. The origin takes up a goodly part of the chapter, and provides a (fictionally) plausible background for the creature from inception to its emergence in the Death of Superman story.

The third and final volume sees Superman actually face the creature in battle, with an entire planet at stake, with a new costume for the occasion. (Said costume is rather cool in itself to me for the nostalgia factor, but reeks of ’90s belts and pouches. I look at it as a chance for the costume to be done but not have to be kept in-continuity.) The creature is defeated, and status quo restored, making this not exactly timeless, but free of absolutely fitting between specific issues of the ongoing Superman titles of the time.

Another nostalgic factor to me for this volume is the fact that it contains an “introduction” (something long lost in the contemporary age of collected volumes) by Jurgens, discussing the story’s genesis and including some early design sketches of Doomsday.

I believe this series was reprinted in the Superman/Doomsday Omnibus that came out awhile back (and which is presently out of print last I’d checked) but have seen the singles for this in bargain bins. I would certainly enjoy a nice “deluxe hardcover” treatment for this, or even combine it with the later The Doomsday Wars which was done in the same length and format detailing a later confrontation with Doomsday, Superman, and (I believe) the Morrison-era JLA.

All in all, definitely one of the “greats” from my childhood, a favorite volume, and it certainly holds up to this day. Re-reading this was far more enjoyable than any of the Superman: Doomed chapters the last several months, and felt like a far better spending of time.

Though best read in context/knowledge of the general Death/Return of Superman stuff, this can be read by itself pretty well. In and of itself it’s a complete story, that does not REQUIRE previous reading, nor does it drive one into future reading.

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