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The Great January 2018 Ollie’s Haul

Monday, I’d seen a post in a Facebook group about their "Ollie’s haul."

Ok, sure, great…cool, but not like MY local Ollie’s has had much selection of DC books, nor of such variety within DC.

But then I saw another post later, and still a third not long after that. So I figured there must be something "up."

I went to my local Ollie’s location, figuring maybe I’d find a "couple" books.

I wound up walking out with a larger-than-expected stack of books.

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I’d left dozens of others at the store–most I’d be "interested" in, especially with virtually everything being priced the same as current Marvel single-issues. (The Teen Titans: A Celebration of 50 Years above was a whopping $5.99).

So, Tuesday night, I ended up managing to get to three other Ollie’s locations–thanks to my already-40+ minute commute to work putting me "in reasonable range."

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So, I absolutely blew way, WAYYYY past any intended "budget," but with books up to 80-something-percent off, primarily $20 volumes for $3.99, $50 volumes for as low as $6, and a handful of others at $2.99…the entire selection available was well worth buying.

But as much as even I spend, even I have my limits (among other things, foregoing some fast-food in favor of books) and so to my eye, got the best of the best, the most interesting/worthwhile to me. I’d still absolutely love to get more of the _____: A Celebration of __ Years books (particularly the Lex Luthor, Batman, and Robin volumes, but also stuff like Flash and Green Lantern and Justice Society, Batgirl, and Green Arrow).

This very much unplanned major splurge actually has me contemplating foregoing the Wednesday comic shop routine this week..though I’ll likely stick to a few "key" things and play catchup the following week.

Then there’s also that notion of "retail therapy," and all this running around and such serving as distraction and mental "alternative focus" with missing Ziggy and dealing with learning to live with the loss. But that gets into plenty of other things not for this post.

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Phoenix Resurrection and Death and Legacy and Reprints

phoenixresurrection2017_0001It’s kinda interesting to me that I apparently had the same thought as Marvel last week. Namely, looking back to the last "true" appearance of a "live" Jean Grey to juxtapose the first issue of her apparent return. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

I already posted a review of the actual issue–Phoenix Resurrection #1–with comments on the issue itself as any other issue.

But here, I want to get a bit more of a look at the cover, the "death of" issue from 13 years ago, as well as Marvel‘s reprint of that issue as one of its True Believers $1 issues.

While I’m not keen on Phoenix Resurrection #1’s cover showing off a Dark Phoenix (I"d swear I’ve seen marketing with Jean in her traditionally-green Phoenix outfit), it does make the cover go a bit better with its 13-some-year-old-counterpart, if the issues are looked at as bookends of sorts.

Of course, I would be remiss, as an Ultraverse fan, if I didn’t bring up the fact that this is NOT the first time we’ve had a mini-series/mini-event Phoenix Resurrection. Back in November 1995 or so, the Phoenix Force crossed into the Ultraverse for a story that spanned seven 3-page segments ("flipbooks") of the seven then-current Ultraverse titles, leading into several double-sized one-shots: Phoenix Resurrection Genesis, Phoenix Resurrection Revelations, and Phoenix Resurrection Aftermath.

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Pardon the quality of the Ultraverse image, as it’s actually a photo of a poster in a frame behind glass, on a wall with less than ideal lighting/reflection.

On to the current issue(s) at hand, though…

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I’d already thought, ahead of last Wednesday’s releases, that I wanted to track down a copy of New X Men #150 for "nostalgia" and as the opening "bookend" of stuff. Perhaps it’s the conscious knowledge of how old the issue is, but #150 actually looks quite dated, to me. Yet, with all the fire/flame effect on it, it fits right in, really, with the new 2017 issue. Even the cover dress is really not all that far off.

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Marvel had the same thought/inclination, apparently, as they put out a True Believers #1 issue reprinting New X Men #150. Perhaps showing the modernity of stuff, even back to the early 2000s, the image doesn’t seem to have really been doctored or modified, outside of having "cover copy" swapped around–in an age of digital/digitally-available art, there’s a lot more that can (easily? simply?) be done, I’d say.

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To hold/feel the two issues, the reprint felt incredibly skinny, like it was physically only about half the size. I recall being rather miffed at the True Believers reprint of X-Men: Alpha a couple years ago NOT having the entire issue in it, and feared the same had happened here!

But on side-by-side comparison, this reprint simply omits…a huge over-abundance of ads! In the original issue, the vast bulk of the issue was in single-page increments, with a story-page on the left, and an ad on the right (occasionally with another 2-page ad to follow). The thing felt so huge and bulky because it was padded out a good 50% or more with ads! So this "skinny" by comparison reprint has the entirety of the issue’s actual content, just minus the ads.

I was also interested at the lack of "previously" caption in the issue…it certainly would have benefited this reprint to have it, to further contextualize what someone was reading, particularly if they were getting the reprint TO read the story for the first time, not having read the original edition.

The original issue–as an extra-sized (even without the ads thing–was $3.50…something that would surely be at least $4.99 if not $5.99+ nowadays. And reprinted in full here for a mere $1. The art’s the same, maybe some slight differences on the coloring, but both issues being "modern," there’s not much of anything that would need to be "remastered" from old paper styling and whatnot.

With the reprint, I felt a bit foolish buying a new copy of the original issue, but I’d planned on getting that one for this sort of comparison, if only for my own sake, but I did get it on sale (for about $2.80, so even with the reprint, I got both for less than what a single, standard, regular Marvel issue would cost).

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