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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 10, 2018

The past week ended up being a large-ish week, without being huge nor tiny (I know, great phrasing, isn’t it?).

Anyway…let’s dive in!

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The new Superman, Supergirl, and Flash issues are part of the annual "stunt month" stuff that DC often does. This year–foil-ized covers at no additional cover price (that I’m aware of). I’m buying titles anyway, already grudgingly paying $3.99…but hey…SHINY!

The Cursed Comics Cavalcade is an 80-page squarebound issue for $9.99. The Swamp Thing Halloween Horror issue is a 100-page squarebound issue for $4.99…but you have to go to Walmart to get it. All told, though…180 pages for $14.98 is NOT bad these days when a skinny 120-page volume might be $17.99!

Adding to the horror theme, the Constantine: City of Demons – The Movie came out. I haven’t gotten around to watching yet, but I believe it’s basically a series of "shorts" that were available on the CW‘s web site last year, but now stitched together as a feature-length thing. I’m not sure how well it may or may not match up to Justice League Dark from last year, but what little I’ve seen of it, the visuals seem like they’d fit in. And best of all, Matt Ryan reprises the voice for John Constantine!

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Over the weekend, Saturday October 13th was designated Walking Dead Day to observe 15 years since the original The Walking Dead #1 back in 2003. There was a "free" issue with several short stories focusing on specific characters; a $2.99 reprint of #1 with a new cover (that I figured hey, I really wanna support the price point), and a number of blind-bagged issues…reprints of various "key" issues throughout the series (particularly front-heavy to the first 100 issues).

I opted to snag #100, figuring that’d be my easiest point of comparison of new to original editions. I almost ended up "leaving it in the bag," though, figuring "ignorance is bliss."

From what I understand, each blind-bagged issue has 4 covers:

  • Color with trade dress
  • Color "virgin" (no trade dress)
  • Black and White with trade dress
  • Black and White "virgin" (no trade dress)

I opted, ultimately, to open mine, dreading any but the color with trade dress. Surprisingly enough (for a 1:4 chance), that’s the one I got, which makes me feel a lot better about the purchase. However, something to the cover just doesn’t sit right with me/makes me squeamish, so for filing purposes, I slid it back into the black bag.

Also snagged a Batman Day reprint of Batman: White Knight #1, since it was there and I was there.

Finally, I’d forgotten to look for Nightwing #50 on Wednesday after passing on it the previous week, but snagged the last copy on Saturday. I’d not been keen on the $4.99 price and such, but after reading the latest issue of Batman decided I was curious about how stuff was being handled on the Nightwing side of things, and decided it was worth getting, if only to follow for another issue or two and see how long-term stuff will be.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 3, 2018

Another week, another batch of new comics! (and stuff).

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Batman, as usual. #56…means it’s been 6 issues (3 months biweekly) SINCE the infamous Wedding Issue with #50. While I’ve "kept up with" the reading of this title since the Booster Gold arc that began in #45, all the hubbub with #50 and it coming off like the end of "Act One" has made #51-onward feel like a new series in its own way…just (UNLIKE virtually every Marvel title ever) without the renumbering after #50.

I need to catch up on the Super Sons, but knowing I’d eventually be wanting the single issues, it’s easier to "keep up with" than to hunt down later for "everything." And then Die!Die!Die! gets another issue to keep me going (or not).

I was "on the fence" with X-Men Black: Magneto for a number of reasons–$4.99 price, being a one-shot, I don’t plan to get an X-Men Black ongoing, I’m not "current" with most X-Men stuff, I’m not buying 5 issues for the Apocalypse story, etc.

But then I saw Chris Claremont‘s name, and figured fine…with it being a larger issue AND only a one-shot and being a (RARE these days) Claremont issue, I’d give it a chance.

I’m a bit of a sucker for the promotional "magazines," hence the Marvel Universe one here. And hey…free! (at least to me, and though I don’t plan to get into the new/weekly Uncanny X-Men, on the chance something in print could convince me, it’s worth letting the comic shop pay to get something in my hands that might "sell" me on a weekly).

Finally, last week’s and this week’s Comic Shop News. I remember when these were numbered in the 300s…that means I’ve been seeing them for at least 1,000 weeks!

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Several of this week’s DC issues had shiny, foil covers! I was tempted with one of the New Age of Heroes issues just for the shiny cover (DC, shiny cover, ONLY $2.99…) but then I realized the Batman one had the shiny cover, and since I was getting it anyway, that satisfied the urge for a shiny cover.

I saw a couple Facebook posts about them, and seems it’s for their "annual" "stunt month" thing. Looks like at least a couple other issues I’d be getting anyway will have the foiling, so I’ll be content with what I’m getting anyway. I’ve no intention of going out of my way for these! (But absolutely give DC credit for NOT bumping these by $1 cover price just for the foil!)

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And I recently made my first purchase through a Facebook buy/sell/trade group. Someone was getting rid of a bunch of stuff. Seeing what was being asked for for Star Wars vol. 1 and Darth Vader vol. 1 and vol. 2, I’d figured it was reasonable for any single volume. That it was for all three AND included shipping…I jumped on the deal!

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Suffice it to say that including shipping, it was like getting a discount on Star Wars vol. 1, with both of the Darth Vader volumes as pure bonus! They came with an extra plastic cover over the dustjackets–I’m not sure if I could remove these…frankly, if these sorts of covers were cheap and easy to handle I’d consider them for most of my dust jackets on stuff I own!

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A local Walmart had these Power Rangers Legacy Collection helmets on clearance. I’ve had my eyes on these for most of the year. Getting both for less than the original price of either individually made them very well worthwhile.


I might do a separate post on the topic in more depth, but in brief: today (Friday, October 5, 2018) the newest Magic: The Gathering set–Guilds of Ravnica–is officially available/on sale, presumably at local game stores, but also at Walmart (and presumably also Target).

The Power Ranges helmets are a much better, more "tangible" value than 4 "random" booster packs of presumably* crap-physical-quality cards that more than likely would not have anything "special" in them. Knowing I was going to willfully stay out of buying this set on principle, I spent less on other stuff I’m happier with and have already gotten more entertainment value (and much more to come yet) out of than opening some boosters and putting some cards in a box or such.

There’s that old thing that works out to "For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost." For want of $20 (Jace’s Spellbook) I want little/nothing to do with "the local game store" and have near-zero use/need for Magic cards now.

We’ll see how fired-up I get in the near future on stuff, as to whether or not this gets expanded into a new post!

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Remembering Kayla on the 28th Anniversary of Her Birth

28 years ago–October 4, 1990–Miss Kayla Crystal came into this world. At least, that’s what information my family was given when we responded to a classified ad for this 15-month-old female sealpoint Himalayan in early January 1992.

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Kayla was part of my life from an evening in January 1992 until the morning of May 9th, 2010. Just over 18 years.

As we knew her exact birthdate, I’ve always observed it.

And though she’s been gone over 8 years now, she’s not forgotten, even as I’ve continued to grieve as I have over Ziggy these past 10 months, who I had a scant 7 years with where I expected at least as many more. (and it feels odd in a way to mention them together, as they never met, and my time with each of them is separated by months).

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Happy birthday, Kayla.

Night Kitten, Pretty Kitty. Babycat. Kayla-kitty. I miss you. Perhaps you and Christy have met Ziggy at the rainbow bridge, and I’ll see you all waiting happily together when my time, too, comes…

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TMNT Toys in the Wild: Rise of the TMNT 1st Wave

I already posted about the Raphael figure I bought over the weekend, with the new Rise of the TMNT toy line starting to make its appearance.

I came across a display of the entire first wave of basic figures, and got photos of them "in the wild" (actually at a Walmart). Including the not-in-the-wild Raphael, here are my photos of the figures "on the card" as well as their "profile" from the back of the card, a la the old "clip-and-collect" profiles from the ’80s line.


Raphael:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_raph_profile


Leonardo:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_leo_profile


Donatello:

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Michelangelo:

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Splinter:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_splinter_profile


April:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_april_profile


Meat Sweats:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_meatsweats_profile


Baron Draxum:

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rise_of_the_tmnt_toys_barondraxum_profile


Origami Ninja:

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Until seeing the figures for myself, I hadn’t realized the Origami Ninja had a foot slapped on its face…which does somewhat "qualify" it as a Foot Ninja…so against prior expectations, I may (eventually, perhaps) try to get several.

And Baron Draxum seems rather obviously a stand-in for Shredder, so there’s a good chance I may (again, eventually, perhaps) try to get one.

I’d figured Meat Sweats would be "worth it" for bulk alone…but I think I’ve pretty much decided that if I want a large pig muant…I’d rather go with a 30+ year old classic in Bebop.

Time will definitely tell. And I suppose I’ll be curious as to what other figures will make their ways out for this line.

I remember the 2012 line rolling out by early August 2012, and 3-4 more figures by Christmas. Given we’re at early October for these, I think I’d be sorta surprised to see a second wave in 2018, though not too surprised if another makes it out in early 2019.

I have issues with the extremely-limited nature and high prices on the Neca figures…and I think it would be absolutely fantastic if Playmates were to produce a line of figures based on the IDW comics…ideally in the style of Mateus Santolouco. The four turtles, Splinter, April, Casey, Shredder, Krang, (human) Baxter Stockman (with mousers), maybe a multipack of named Utrom characters; the Neutrinos, the Mutanimals…Bludgeon, Koya, Bebop, Rocksteady…Alopex, Agent Bishop, The Pantheon…

To borrow a phrasing style…I’d buy the heck outta those, at under-$10/figure!

But that wishlist and topic is surely a topic for some other post.

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New Rise of the TMNT Figures are Out

For the first time in over six years…there’s a new "main" line of TMNT toys out.

BEING that it is the Ninja Turtles–my core "exception" on stuff in comics–that bleeds a bit into the toys.

I’m not a fan of Rise of the TMNT. I was NEVER the best at "keeping up" with the 2012 animated series–nor ANY animated series, PERIOD, in the last 15 years or so, no matter how much I love the series itself. But I’ve always HATED the "optics" of Rise–namely, that the 2012 series was flat-out cancelled TO MAKE WAY FOR this new series. Whether that was actually the case or not, I don’t know–but it’s certainly how I FEEL on the thing.

I watched the first episode some time back now, it was "free"–and while it wasn’t as "bad" as I’d expected (perhaps my view has softened since I watched it), I did not like it, and I really do not like a number of elements from it, particularly the character designs.

But somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that when the new toys came out, I’d probably "at least" try getting Raphael. "Traditionally" Leonardo was always my favorite of the turtles, and the one I’d claim as a kid and growing up. But over the last 10-15 years, I’ve found a newer preference for Raphael.

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So I did indeed go ahead and get Raphael, finding the figure available this weekend at a local-ish Walmart.

And on the surface, the figure itself doesn’t look totally horrid or such…this one, at least, actually more or less looks like a decent TMNT figure, albeit the character does not come with the sais that have been associated with this character for 34 years. But the "new/different weapons" thing is a whole other matter I’m not getting much into right now.

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The back of the figure is more or less what I would expect, if slightly more basic-looking. The bulk of the back is the "profile" of the character. It makes sense of course, for that to dominate…it just seems almost "too" dominant to me. With a new series, new toy line, I’d somewhat expect the part showing the figures available in this first wave to be a bit bigger, to better emphasize and show off THAT there are other figures!

Even so, I’m not enamored with most of these other figures as shown. Leonardo is dominated by the giant sword and seems scrawny; as does Donatello with a more proportionate staff weapon; and Michelangelo also seems rather scrawny for a Ninja Turtle.

I’ll be curious about Splinter as he looks rather small, but could be interesting.

This is the first "main" TMNT toy line that I’m aware of that has NOT included a Shredder in its premiere wave. On one hand, that’s a bit refreshing; on the other–and in context of these toys–I find it rather lame.

The butcher character might be interesting for size…it looks like a nice, bulky character that’ll at least be worth its price for that bulk; where the ninja doesn’t look like it’ll even stand on its own.

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As a TMNT guy, as a collector…not having a Shredder and not having any Foot ninjas does this line a real disservice. I’m not invested in any of the villains…and with neither Shredder nor Foot, there’s not even the notion of having a new version to "match up with" the previous versions.

I’m reluctant on the other turtles, but have NOT ruled out the idea with myself that I’ll get the other turtles and Splinter to at least have the "set."

I appreciate the idea of having new characters and NOT merely regurgitating the past. That said…I’m NOT invested in the new show. I’m not invested in the particular new characters. I may get the other three turtles and Splinter–at least eventually–but I don’t really see getting much into this iteration of the toy line.

I could wind up eating those words, though.

Time will tell.

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IDW TMNT Collection (September 2018)

For the first time in nearly half a decade, I’ve finally pulled together the entirety of my TMNT collection (since IDW started publishing them).

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The collection doesn’t fit into a single shortbox, so I have it split between the two…and they’re not tightly-packed, so there’s room for probably another year or so’s worth in the first box, and plenty of room in the second for some adjusting to avoid over-tight packing.

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The first box (on the left) has the main series and one-shots/annuals/etc. and TMNT Universe, plus the Heroes and Villains iterations of the Micro-Series (and I’ll likely file the upcoming Macro-Series issues here as well).

The second box includes the various other mini-series, as well as the New Animated Adventures and Amazing Adventures ongoings that were based on the 2012 Nickelodeon animated series.

To the best of my knowledge–as of this post (end of September 2018), this is a full run of every "single issue" from IDW for the main/new TMNT material. (This excludes the digest-sized episode adaptation things, and the Color Classics reprints that I have in a longbox of pre-IDW TMNT stuff).

These are all "just" the "A" covers–I have a handful of variant covers that I’ve wound up with over the years (TMNT are a grudging "exception" to my rule on variants, where I’ll bend slightly on the matter). A collection including all the variants would probably be 3, 4, even 5 times this size, and absolutely beyond the scope of my own interest…which is the story side. The OCD "collector" side that I indulge is in having 1 of each issue, period.

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The Complete Life and Death

I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. It’s been well over a YEAR since the individual comics finished and it seems like forever that the individual skinny paperbacks have been out…and even a paperback edition collecting the entire series has been out for awhile.

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But this oversized hardcover "library edition" version of The Complete Life and Death is finally out.

This collects the entire Life and Death mega-arc, that spanned four mini-series, each touching on a brand: Prometheus, Aliens, AvP, and Predator.

Even the first issue of the story had comparison to/reference of the previous such mega-arc Fire and Stone…and it’s great to finally have this volume to add to my growing library of these beautiful hardcovers!

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Here’s the book with the other hardcovers and paired with Fire and Stone.

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…and here’s my entire Aliens shelf. Assuming I discovered the Aliens vs. Predator novels in 1995 (I don’t recall for sure as of this typing nor do I feel like looking up copyright dates), that’s less than a decade after the first Predator FILM. And it’s been 23 years SINCE then…so for the majority of the time I’ve even been aware of either property, they’ve been a "shared universe," particularly in the comics.

For me, they just go together.

This shelf is the comics/graphic novels shelf…I have several shelves of novels (I believe I most recently showed those off back in April for Aliens Day 2018.)

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