• September 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    2930  
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

  • Advertisements

My Spawn Collection at 300

As of Spawn #300’s release–September 4, 2019–my Spawn collection isn’t all that large.

spawn_collection_09042019a

But it includes #s 1-19, 25, 30, and 257-300! Granted, in this photo, I have the 2019 Free Comic Book Day edition of #1 on top. I also have the Image Firsts edition. And the homage to Ultimate Spider-Man #1 edition of the Director’s Cut in there.

spawn_collection_09042019c

I have my real, actual #1 framed alongside the #1-homage cover of the Director’s Cut hanging on the wall down to the basement.

spawn_collection_09042019d

At a glance it disappears into a sea of framed stuff, but it’s still there! It’s how I like displaying the occasional variant that I do buy for the art!

spawn_collection_09042019e

Then I have a shelf of miscellaneous stuff that hasn’t been rehomed elsewhere as yet. Several bust banks, a Kotobukiya Professor X, the Neca Shredder…and Spawn figures I got a couple years back.

spawn_collection_09042019f

In this photo are a couple of early-ish (maybe not FIRST wave, but certainly from an early one!) Spawn action figures. These are standard-size; I’m not sure exactly what scale…they just are what they are. I also have my ORIGINAL Medieval Spawn figure minus its cape elsewhere, but when I had the chance to buy one that had the cape (and the sword) I jumped on it! Of course, with the originals, I do remember it being quite cool having a figure that also came with a "full-size" comic book. (And this was before Marvel Legends, even!)

While I don’t know if they were originally with either of these figures, I do have a couple issues that I think had originally come with some figures.

spawn_collection_09042019g

And there’s this oversized statue-size figure. I loved the price, and its size. I may not be willing to pay several hundred dollars for a statue, but a couple comics’ price for a plastic figure? Great by me!

spawn_collection_09042019i

My two original Spawn figures on a shelf of miscellaneous figures…

spawn_collection_09042019j

A bit of a closer view. Though…wow. Batman is REALLY rather prominent, there!

spawn_collection_09042019jb

OK…there we go. The Spawn figures!

So that’s Comics and toys.

"But what about the movie?!?" you might ask. "Wasn’t there an animated series?"

Got those, too.

spawn_collection_09042019h

The original film, as well as a "box set" of the animated series (from HBO, at least originally, I think?)


I probably have a handful of other Spawn things around. But other than getting the individual issues the last almost-4-years, I’ve really only dabbled in the character/property. (As I type, I recall I also have at least one of the Spawn/Batman issues…but if I jump up for every memory to add a photo, I’ll never finish this post and get to bed at a decent hour!)

I suppose this is a bit more than I thought when I first started typing tonight…and surely "more" than many people have.

I have roughly 70 issues of the main Spawn title…leaving me 230 issues to have the full series. Whether I’ll seek to attain that, I don’t know. A couple years ago, I hunted down 100 issues of Savage Dragon in barely a month. I don’t see THAT happening again.

But time will definitely tell!

spawn_collection_09042019_blogtrailer

Advertisements

The Weekly Haul: Week of September 4, 2019

weekly_haul_header

Well, how about that? Two weeks in a row! And this time at the "earliest" (Thursday) I tend to post a "Weekly Haul" entry! AND…third daily post in a row! (Of course, that’s nothing to 1300+ daily posts…check out Chris is on Infinite Earths, where Chris has been covering each and every segment from the late-1980s Action Comics Weekly run!)

Anyway…on to this week’s haul!

weeklyhaul_20190904a

Starting things off…Spawn (yes, that hot title that partially epitomized "the ’90s" and was part of the original Image launch when the books were going through Malibu, when it seemed so very many comics universes were launching, flashing in the pan, fizzling, and dying off) hits its 300th issue. Something I recall the early issues for–single digits and definitely early double-digits–has made it legitimately to 300 issues! No reboots, no relaunches, NO RENUMBERING! 300…and the "regular" single issues are STILL only $2.99 when virtually every other freaking comic out there, no matter how mainstream and large the publisher (I’m looking at DC and Marvel!) has gone over to $3.99 with far too many $4.99+ of late.

House of X #4 which is a stark reminder of TOO MANY VARIANT COVERS!

New Usagi Yojimbo and Batman/TMNT III this week.

A Batman replica edition (2nd in two weeks, I think?).

Then the newest Supergirl, which HAD been coming out paired with Superman until DC‘s recent recall crap.

Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1, by Neal Adams, breaks my usual "rule" of late on mini-series. But much as with The Coming of the Supermen, I’m curious about, and suspect this is what led to the other recent replica edition with the first appearance of al Ghul. Not really a fan of the art at this point, but the nostalgia bit a little harder than I’d’ve liked.

And of course, the new Bendis-helmed relaunch of the Legion of Super-Heroes begins. Not sure what I’ll make of it, but figured I’d check it out, as "only" 2 issues.

weeklyhaul_20190904b

While I repeatedly harp on the incredibly vast over-abundance of variants, when faced with numerous umpteen ones every single week, OCCASIONALLY one strikes my fancy.

This week, the main "honor" fell to Spawn, with an EXCUSABLE use of variants for its THREE-HUNDREDTH issue, arrived at legitimately. Thanks to the previous couple issues of the title being done in the style of classic Amazing Spider-Man issues, the homage to Amazing Spider-Man #300 was too much to want to pass up. And for all the $2.99 issues when everything from Marvel, DC, Archie, Dark Horse, and most everything even from Image as well as umpteen other publishers has been $3.99…I am willing to throw in for a couple variants in SUPPORT OF a title that has "held the line at $2.99!"

And then, because I forgot about the extra $1 on the cover price (UGH!) but liked the image, I got the variant of the Supergirl issue this week, which is bound for a frame and being hung somewhere in the basement.

Finally, the week’s Comic Shop News. The NOSTALGIA factor has the 2099 stuff on my radar. But assuming the bookend issues will be $5.99 with one-shots likely $4.99 and any tie-ins at least $3.99…I’ll probably wait for a collected edition IF ANYTHING AT ALL. I’m sick of buying into Marvel‘s hype and being let down more than not, and ESPECIALLY sick of their increased prices "because people will pay them." I’m guilty of that enough with HoX/PoX and such, but I will NOT do it blindly for anything/everything from the publisher!


Granted, the week’s total expense was massively inflated by the two intentional variants AND buying a pack of bags and boards…but the last few weeks in general have been feeling extremely expensive. Seems this happens every now and then, and has me pushed more and more to "pulling the trigger" on cutting way back on stuff.

I posted about the rare excitement for an issue coming out in Spawn #300, and other than TMNT closing in on #100, there just isn’t much that’s exciting me lately in comics…so much is habitual buying and stuff I keep hoping will take off in terms of being exciting, or taking chances on newer stuff that doesn’t.

It’s discouraging, with the added frustration of too darned many variants and such.

As ONE in-the-moment thought as I type: I wonder what it might look like to solely get  the TMNT and TMNT: Urban Legends titles with Spawn and possibly a couple of X-Men titles. But while I’ve "thrown in" with House of X/Powers of X, my increasing annoyance at the MASSIVE WASTED SPACE in the issues and vast over-abundance of "white space" in every single issue* I’m not AS convinced to follow the family of titles when they relaunch.

(*Hickman‘s vast over-use of whitespace seems a stylistic thing that I’d liken to Priest‘s captions. I like it where Priest does it, as they add something stylistically withOUT wasting entire pages, double-page-spreads, or more pages.)

Here’s wondering what next week’s haul will look like…

weeklyhaul_20190904_blogtrailer

Rare Excitement: Spawn #300 (But Stymied by Variants!)

I don’t feel like I TRULY get all that "excited" anymore for most new comics.

A lot of what I buy tends to feel rather habitual to some degree, such that a new issue is just simply "the next issue" of whatever, rather than something I truly look forward to and am eager to get to Wednesday and the comic shop to obtain and read the issue.

This week sees the arrival of Spawn #300.

Which totally BLOWS MY MIND in its way.

Spawn.

#300.

Not just 12 issues. And I especially recall #16 as something new-on-the-shelf at the time (though I don’t think I bought it at the time).

spawn016

Not just 25 issues, though that’s a pretty respectable number to get to.

spawn025

I definitely recall getting #25 when it came out, though, and I’m pretty sure it may very well have been my first issue of the series, despite other hype for the series in general and whatnot.

For all that, the series even made it to 50 issues (which would be QUITE the accomplishment based on modern Marvel, though Spawn is "original Image" and NOT Marvel.

spawn050

Heck, the series made it to 100 issues!

spawn100

It seemed like QUITE the accomplishment for an Image comic to hit #100…and especially something like Spawn that often seemed like most expected it to have been a flash in the pan that would go away after a few issues of burning brightly.

I remember jumping in around #185 or 189 or so for a few issues, skipping a few, and then getting #200 (for the sake of Spawn #200).

spawn200

But still, the title has kept on going.

I jumped on with #257 in 2015 when the issue’s cover REALLY stood out to me and caught my attention. And I stuck with the title, even adding it to a pull list, largely to "support" its $2.99 standard price point (which as of #299 has still held!).

And 44 issues later…closing in on FOUR YEARS later…here we are.

#300.

And I’m very much looking forward to the issue, and seeing where things are. I have to catch up on READING from about #272 or so; but I’ve spent hours over the past couple days digging through all my stacks and piles and boxes of comics from the past few years, and pulled the "run" together, with the exception of being unable to locate #286, which I’m happy enough to "replace" for the sake of having the run together in one place.

Typically I DESPISE variant covers, especially numerous covers. I’m much more forgiving for something like this–a 300th issue; though that’s from years and years of being (figuratively speaking) beaten over the head with variants.

Though it would seem to ME better to have an "iconic" cover ESPECIALLY for anniversary issues of this magnitude.

spawn001

My first issue "off the rack" of Uncanny X-Men was its oversized #300 issue…and the feeling of enormity to THAT at the time, at 300…that probably contributes to my excitement here for Spawn hitting that number.

I remember the earliest issues. I own the first 25-30 or so now, as well as a handful of others prior to 257.

But I’ve been "around" and "into comics" essentially for the entire run of Spawn.

So to see it hit this number is amazing to me, and enormous for the constant rebooting/renumbering of all the longest-running titles from other American publishers.

spawn300a

I’m all for the "main" cover, by McFarlane himself…assuming the above IS the "main" cover.

spawn300like1

I also really dig this cover (in its color version WITH the cover logo and such!)

spawn300parody

I also can’t help but appreciate the Amazing Spider-Man #300 riff, even if this isn’t THE final version. It fits nicely with the previous couple issues’ covers:

spawn_298_299

Now, whether the issue lives up to its hype…I haven’t the foggiest.

I’m just glad that there IS an issue that I’m this specifically stoked for. All the more as–unlike #200–I have the previous 43 issues to read up to current and fill in any immediate gaps.

We’ll see how things play out, even with just being able to get the "parody" cover and/or the main cover.

My primary annoyance is that I cannot find ANY page anywhere that specifically lists which cover is which to a list. Which cover is the "A" cover, which is the "B" cover, and so on. With so many covers…I would think the publisher at least ought to have something.

That I can’t just "message ahead" to the comic shop to hold the cover I specifically want is a definite PROBLEM with so many variants wantonly out there for the issue; before getting into any "ratioed" variants and such (those I choose to try to ignore entirely as best I can and hope that none of the images I’m interested in are the "ratioed.")

spawn300_excitement_blogtrailer

#HPBQuest 2019

I have a very mixed relationship with Half-Price Books. Many, many books and graphic novels and such that I own come from the chain. But much as I find great stuff at times, they drive me absolutely nuts when it comes to their trying to be too much all at once, instead of just a diversified used-books-and-such store. But that’s a subject for other posts.

This past weekend, I finally took the plunge and took a years-old idea and made a reality of it.

While I’ve been somewhat aware of their being at least 5 Half-Price Books locations in the Columbus, OH area in addition to the two that I’m aware of in the Cleveland, OH area, I don’t think I’ve ever made it to more than 2 stores in a given day: Either both that are still around here, or a couple of the Columbus ones when I’m in the area to visit a friend when she’s in town.

But what if I were to take a day, and simply make it my goal to visit as many of these as I could? No particular visitation, not meeting up with anyone…not the passive “I’m in the area, might as well stop by the nearest HPB location.” But a specific attempt to visit all 5 of the stores.

As I’ve mentally dubbed it after the fact…it became my #HPBQuest. (Something more than “merely” a typical #HPBHaul).

And then after I actually made it to all 5 of the Columbus-area stores…I realized it wouldn’t be a significantly different timespan, so I decided to add the Cleveland ones into the mix on the way back, so made a sixth stop. Unfortunately, though, traffic I’d hit between the 4th and 5th Columbus stores (due to an OSU game) delayed me long enough that I’d have gotten to the 7th store about 5 minutes or less until closing, and I never want to be that guy.

So for good measure, after hitting 6 in one day, I hit that seventh on my way to another engagement the day after, just for good measure. (After all, what if they had something fantastic-awesome-amazing and I missed out solely for not taking a few minutes to stop in?)

Anyway…after such a “quest,” here’s the “haul,” what I have to show for such a random, crazy stunt.


Half-Price Books #1: NorthPointe Plaza, Lewis Center

I’m not sure what I expected to find first, but I wound up getting three books at the first HPB I stopped at.

hpbquest08312019a

I snagged the updated Titan printing of the movie novelizations of Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection; though it turned out that I already had the latter. Oops.

I also grabbed MechWarrior Dark Age: Pandora’s Gambit, adding the first new MechWarrior book to my collection in probably 13-15 years.


Half-Price Books #2: Carriage Place Plaza, Columbus

While a bit underwhelmed at the first store, I found a fair number of MMPBs at the second. And probably my best find of the day in a Highlander complete TV series on VHS set (and just a few days after my Super-Blog Team-Up entry on Highlander and TMNT!)

hpbquest08312019b

I’ve occasionally thought back to some years ago seeing at least a couple of the Highlander seasons at a now-closed HPB in Mentor. Though I have the series on DVD, I’d always liked the way the series was done on VHS with the spines of the tapes all making a single image. There was also something to it for the series being available like that at all, in the late-1990s, when it was rather rare for any tv series to have more than a few episodes or a “Best Of…” selection.

Being the type of person I am, seeing all six of these seasons available grabbed my attention. When I realized that each was the price of a single issue of a modern comic series I knew I was absolutely buying these, if only to HAVE them.

I’ll have to research a bit to see if the DVDs are supposed to have the same content, or if there’s something unique to these VHS that will warrant getting a player to actually try watching some of these!

hpbquest08312019c

Since I’d already pulled them from the shelves, I also got several Dragonlance novels. The Legend of Huma is an old favorite, and in this case a duplicate…but as a favorite, I wanted to get it so I have a copy to perhaps gift to a friend or such!

The Battletech book was part of a hope of finding a number of books in the series, and GI Joe is GI Joe.


Half-Price Books #3: Lane Ave., Upper Arlington

The third HPB was the single largest I think I have ever seen!

Of course, when I first walked in, I thought it was the smallest. But the first room gave way to a hallway which opened into a massive room.

Unfortunately, despite being huge, they really didn’t have much that I was looking for or that I opted to buy, given what I’d already bought and might buy at other stores, with at least 3 more to go at the time.

hpbquest08312019d

While I may wind up kicking myself on it, I opted for a 10-episodes-only He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVD over a 2-box-set of the entire first season. #1, this was 1/5 the cost of the other and #2, just being practical, I don’t know when I’ll get around to actually watching even these, let alone binging–and sticking with it–an entire season!

I had never seen or known the Warmachine: Prime Rules Digest to exist, so bought it as a curiosity. I’m sure the full-size rules books that I own are VASTLY out of date as it is (ditto for Hordes), but for “only” $2.99 over $20-40, a curiosity was in order, here.


Half-Price Books #4: Shoppes At East Broad, Reynoldsburg

The fourth HPB was significantly less impressive after the size of the third. I did find the 4-issue Icons: Rogue series. I may already have this, but I’m equally likely to be thinking of a friend having bought the series for another friend. And while these ought to be 25-50 cent comics, they’re not something I’ve come across repeatedly or anything, so for $1 apiece, I figured that’s the price (or less) for anything Marvel publishes at present, and certainly worth spending for a full story like this.

hpbquest08312019e

I’m not quite sure what to make of the covers…I’m not used to seeing Rogue illustrated this way, with an almost photorealistic appearance clearly based on the actress from the 2000 X-Men film (hard to believe that was 19 years ago, and this comic series is 18 years old now!)

hpbquest08312019f

I normally am not much of a fan of oversized items, but I recall some hype over Molly Danger back in the day, and figured a collected edition would be over $10 now. And as a hardcover treasury-edition-sized thing for that price, this wasn’t bad.

I also scored the 4th and 5th seasons of Boy Meets World on the clearance shelves…which add nicely to the first 3 seasons I already have!

Finally, I actually found a copy of the live-action Masters of the Universe film that I’ve been keeping an eye out for.


Half-Price Books #5: S. State St. Westerville

By the fifth stop I was definitely getting rather worn down. I’d also hit some major traffic leaving the fourth store and at one point realized I’d wound up circling back completely to the store just trying to get away from the area.

A lot of intersections were coned-off as closed or turn-a-certain-way-ONLY and I ended up just following several roads for awhile (ignoring my phone’s GPS instructions) until I was far enough away to begin following the device again.

hpbquest08312019g

This HPB I consciously remember visiting a couple times previously. Alas, no amazing Further Adventures of the Batman finds this time or such.

I’ve gotten away from omnibus volumes as they’re generally just too large and unwieldy to me. But I opted to get this Brightest Day one, thinking it didn’t seem too thick or heavy, but at 25 issues a decent size–larger than an 18-issue volume, but not a ridiculous 50-60-issue volume.

Snagging The Boys Omnibus vol. 1 for 50% off beat prices I’ve seen looking on Amazon or such…and was in-stock and available in-person in much BETTER CONDITION than anything Amazon would bother to deliver.

I’m pretty sure I have Chew vol. 1 from ages back. Seeing vols. 2-3 on clearance at $3/each (cheaper than a single issue of a modern comic), I snagged them.


Half-Price Books #6: Great Northern Blvd, North Olmsted

Despite “completing” my goal of all 5 Columbus-area HPBs, I decided it wouldn’t add much to my return trip to aim for a more local one to cap off the trip.

hpbquest08312019h

This is one of the HPBs I’m most familiar with, that I probably get to every few weeks/couple months or so.

Having listened to the William Gibson Alien3 audiodrama from Audible and being deep into the Audible audiobook of Alien: Isolation, when I saw The Book of Alien, I was keenly interested.

I also found the best-condition copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets hardcover I’ve seen in years (even the dustjacket in better-than-Amazon-Prime condition!) so snagged that to complete my hardcover set of the series.

The Wonder Woman Anthology was a bit of a curiosity.Seems it was available exclusively through Costco, and contains the first Wonder Woman (New 52?) volume as well as the first volume of the New 52 Justice League and I think the first volume of the Rebirth Justice League. For $10, for such a thick volume, I figured why not?

Finally, saw the Zombies!!! base set (I think that’s what it is) and decided to get it rather than regret passing it up later. I’m looking forward to trying Zombicide with some friends in the near future, but with a new edition of that coming out next year, I’d rather wait. And I believe this game is the one that you can buy a “bag o’ zombies” and just seems a fun novelty to me and possibility for an interesting game, coming off the ending of The Walking Dead this summer and my 70-issue binge of the latter part of the series.


Half-Price Books #7: Golden Gate Plaza, Mayfield Heights

I could have just made it to Mayfield, but it would have been about 5 minutes until closing if I did…hardly time to go in and look around more than a cursory glance at a couple things. I’d wonder what I missed in such a rush-through of the store, plus I hate to be that guy in a retail place rushing in right before closing and holding everyone up.

Especially as visiting the next day would be a brief, convenient deviation from a straight point-A/point-B route to where I was going anyway!

hpbquest08312019i

Alas, nothing of significant interest that I had to see or pick up.

I did find an acceptable-condition-to-me (and almost certainly better-than-AmazonPrime condition) copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Which, as I’d mournfully realized the night before, I was also missing from a complete set of the hardcovers.

For taking the time, I decided to get a “replacement copy” of Aliens Book 1: Earth Hive. My copy has been read several times over, and the spine is quite the worse for wear. This copy has a nice, clean spine that looks a lot better on the shelf with the other novels. I may also eventually “replace” books 2 & 3, but time will tell on those.


The Forgotten Amazon Orders

I also had a couple of Amazon orders arrive over the weekend.

One I’d intentionally had in addition to the HPB stuff, and the other I’d totally forgotten about.

hpbquestweekend_a

I think it was only a couple weeks ago I discovered the Alien: Isolation novel would exist (I think it just came out?). In half-assedly putting together an order for it, I came across Alien: Echo, which seems to be a YA novel set in the Alien universe. Definitely an oddity, but being in-brand, it’s something I was very interested in!

hpbquestweekend_b

While I feel the series was vastly over-hyped and opted not to get it at the time, I did finally decide to get Batman: White Knight. I also was not thrilled about it being a retroactive addition to DC‘s Black Label branding. But c’est la vie and all that.

I also had looked up–initially to put on a list to look into it more at some later point–the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection hardcover. But for its price and the size of the thing, went ahead and ordered it along with the White Knight volume.

I’m far from being a particular fan of the He-Man/Masters of the Universe stuff. But with a new series recently announced, having watched the Toys That Made Us episode on Netflix semi-recently-ish, and a couple YouTube videos about the toys, and seeing the size of this hardcover at a store, I realized it’s an excellent sort of volume, collecting all the vintage mini-comics and such into one neat volume, rather than one having to hunt down all the individual pieces as rare artifacts with individual vintage toys. They’re just all here, together, in one item, quite fit for the shelf.

hpbquestweekend_c

I’m pretty sure that this is essentially an “oversized hardcover” to the minicomics as a regular “oversized hardcover” is to regular comics. It’s a bit larger than digest-sized, but not quite full comic-book dimensions. Still a great volume, and sure to be an excellent resource!


All told, I don’t expect I’ll particularly want to undertake such a “quest” again as this weekend. It was an idea that’s rattled around the back of my head for years, so now having actually done it…that idea and curiosity has been more than satisfied.

It was definitely something to do, got me away from home, and was maybe the first real trip I’ve taken in years, so plenty of positives despite no desire to do it again anytime soon.

That said, it’s primed the idea to me of another similar idea I’ve had with a friend, or visiting a number of comic shops in a single overall trip. Though I’m pretty sure the “Comic Shop Crawl” would need to be a full weekend thing, or started much earlier in the day.

Time will definitely tell, though!

hpbquest08312019_blogtrailer

The Weekly Haul: Weeks of August 21 and 28, 2019

weekly_haul_header

Here we go…after months and months and months of virtually NO posting, I think this makes 3 posts in two weeks? That’s more frequent than once-a-week, even!

Still…two weeks’ worth of new comics to get to…but better than bunched up to 4, 5, or 6 weeks.


Week of August 21, 2019

Last week was a rather small week overall, though a bit more expensive with some extra-priced issues! It also spans 5 different publishers and within the same publisher, each issue is a different imprint/type of publication!

weeklyhaul_20190821a

The newest Batman was one of the comics of the week for speculators, apparently. Thankfully it’s on my pull list or I’d’ve missed out on the thing! Since it’s just part 3 of a 9 or so issue story–or there’s an interlude as a different story (City of Bane), I will wait until the entire City of Bane arc concludes before accepting any major change or such!

Then the new Powers of X issue…I’ve got generally mixed feelings on the whole Hickman relaunch of the X-line. I typically consider the writer’s stuff to be elitist, pretentious, and extremely off-putting for the apparent "need" to do "homework" to fully follow the stuff. I also dislike the cold, clinical visuals of so many "white pages" and massive white-space, to say nothing of just a few small-print words accounting for multiple entire pages of an issue, all the more on something costing $4.99+ an issue! I’m "invested" in the 12-issue House/Powers of X and likely to check out the first issues of the new X-titles, but we’ll see from there.

I’m a huge fan of the recent facimile/replica editions of stuff coming out. These are giving me a chance to own copies of the issues about as close to the original edition as I’m gonna get (or simply provide a certain nostalgia that I’m willing to pay for despite owning the originals). DC kicked off with this Batman issue reprinting the first appearance of R’as al Ghul.

Next was a Transformers #0, I believe intended to (story-wise) take place before Marvel‘s original #1 back in the ’80s. A new issue of Criminal this week…seems ages since the last issue, which may mean I missed #6 (or forgot about it over the last couple months). And I finally snagged an issue of Twiztid Haunted High-Ons on the day of release!

Finally, Superman: Year One #2, which is quite the anomaly for me, given my dislike of variants everywhere. I’ve been FAR preferring the B covers to the A on this series. Something to the regular ones just seem so entirely underwhelming to me.


Week of August 28, 2019

I’m pretty sure this week was about the most expensive week I’ve had, and REALLY stokes the flame of "I’ve gotta cut back!" as well as frustration at IDW for not spreading the TMNT stuff out more (even if some of it is late as heck).

weeklyhaul_20190828a

The new House of X…I don’t think I actually got around to reading last week’s Powers of X, so this’ll give me a bit more of a binge-read. Whether it’s collectively worth $10 I do not know…but I doubt it!

Speaking of $10…Marvel Comics #1000 is a hefty $9.99. I was absolutely going to pass on it, but decided to see for myself what the hype is all about. But that’s something I keep falling for, and eventually I’ll learn to quit!

Spider-Man: Life Story concludes with #6…I don’t recall reading #5, so that should be a definite treat to binge-read 1/3 of the series in one go, hopefully! Also relieves the "regular load" by $4.99/issue!

Despite being three different series with multiple creative teams…we have THREE different TMNT issues in one week! Shredder in Hell is several months late. I understood it to be a 5-issue series monthly…but here we’re at the end of the 8th month and only just now have the 4th issue. TMNT #97 is the latest chapter of City at War and continues the speculator-fire of a new female turtle; while we’re somehow "already" 16 issues into TMNT: Urban Legends, which is the 2/3 point for the series, I believe, including the brand-new issues due to cap off the run.

Even if I was not already getting the series, I’m certain this cover of GI Joe: A Real American Hero would have gotten me to buy it. I’d love a poster of this, even! There’s something to Cobra Commander on there, rolling a couple of dice with Snake-Eyes (both of them) showing. And likely dual-meaning of rolling two ones. This is another title I am ridiculously far-behind on reading. But I love that it’s a RARE series that began publication in the early-’80s and is STILL GOING TODAY (albeit with a 15 or so year gap between #155 and #156).

I was NOT going to get Batman Superman #1. But again with being something I’d probably want later, and somewhat wanting to give it a chance, and whatever other "excuses" I can make. I opted for this variant, though, because UNLIKE the MAIN covers, THIS one actually has BOTH heroes prominent on the first issue of their shared title! And even if I opt NOT to get #2 anytime soon, this one would be easily frameable as a piece of wall art.

Then a couple weeks late, Superman #14 with a different cover with no "battle damage" unlike what the original was gonna be, which is rather annoying, however unrelated or "red-skies"-ish the content might be to the far-too-many-comics Year of the Villain tie-ins.

weeklyhaul_20190828b

And speaking of those Year of the Villain tie-ins, the new Detective Comics has its freezing "battle damage" and is a tie-in. Yet another title I’m far behind on, but I’ve recently been convinced to continue a bit further by discussion with a friend…and assuming I catch up ON my reading!

Even more far behind stuff with the Wonder Comics line. Dial H #6 I believe was to be the final issue, but I think it’s been extended to 12 issues. I guess time will tell?

And I somehow got it into my head that Mark Bagley was the artist on Absolute Carnage so snagged #2. Turns out either he is NOT, or it was just one issue. I believe Stegman was the artist on Madrox and (maybe?) early issues of the relaunched PAD X-Factor series, and I recall liking his art, so…yeah. I’m interested in re-hunting Maximum Carnage and as long as it doesn’t get extra issues tacked on, see how JUST THE CORE MINI goes at this point.

Finally, two reprint/replica/whatever editions. A 3-D edition of Amazing Spider-Man #300…a bit of a novelty that struck the nostalgia buttons with me. PLUS I’m–at this point–quite happy to SUPPORT reprints and such, since they’re largely the best, most enjoyable stuff I’m finding from Marvel, at least, but largely also DC of late.

Annnnnd the week’s Comic Shop News.


I very seriously hope that next week’s haul is a bit smaller, at least by way of brand-new/new-on-the-rack issues. And considering I once swore that if "all" comics went to $3.99 I’d be done…there’s been a ridiculous number of $4.99 and $5.99 "basic" comics, which for me is even MORE likely to be UNsustainable.

I’m "old"–I remember 75-cent and $1.00 comics. And when I REALLY jumped in back in 1992, most comics where a whopping $1.25…4/$5 or 8/$10. We’re getting dangerously close to 1/$5 (or 2/$10)…which really puts comics into a HORRIBLE place, value-wise vs. say, spending $65 for a video game and only playing it for 3 hours or so.

weeklyhaul_20190828_blogtrailer

Super-Blog Team Up: Immortal – TMNT & Highlander

super_blog_teamup_immortal_header

One of my first thoughts on the topic of "Immortal" was Highlander…owing largely to a Queen song lyric: "I am immortal!" (continuing into "I have inside me blood of kings…I have no rival! No man can be my equal! Take me to the future of you all!"

And of course, IN Highlander, you have this tale of immortal beings who have lived among the mortal population secretly for centuries, no one knowing about them (except another group called The Watchers who observe the immortals but generally don’t interfere). So…Immortal. Check.

But in my participation with the SBTU, I’ve managed to go with TMNT stuff so far:

And as it so happens, in the current ongoing TMNT comics from IDW, the turtles and Splinter are the REINCARNATED Hamato Yoshi and his four sons, who originally lived and died in feudal Japan. And if they were reincarnated together once, nothing’s been obvious to indicate they couldn’t again, and if any of them were to be actually killed off in the comics, I’d imagine someone would note in-story that hopefully they’d meet again in the next lifetime…or some such. So, maybe not the same sort of immortal, but…check.


Still…what is "immortal?"

The dictionary definition–in this case, dictionary.com for ease of referenceIMMORTAL includes: "not mortal; not liable or subject to death; undying; remembered or celebrated through all time; not liable to perish or decay; imperishable; everlasting; perpetual; lasting; constant; of or relating to immortal beings or immortality; an immortal being; a person of enduring fame."

Much of my thought–my initial thoughts–with the word gravitates to Highlander, and that franchise’s use of the term; that the Highlanders (primarily Connor and Duncan Macleod–"Same clan, different vintage") and others of the series’ focus are "immortals."

That is, left to their own devices…they will live forever. They cannot die "naturally." But what keeps them from being gods; what keeps them fairly mortal-ish and relatable is the fact that their being "immortal" is basically a perpetual resurrection. They actually can be killed–albeit for a short while–but that’s in the physical, bodily sense. They physically die, but "get better" pretty quickly.

Sort of like Magic: The Gathering‘s planeswalker "spark," an immortal in the Highlander universe is born naturally, grows and ages naturally…and it takes an inciting event to "activate" their latent status. One who would be immortal must be killed violently to "activate" their immortality; else they will live, age, and die (permanently) a mortal.

Once activated, the way such an immortal can die permanently is by separating the head from the body. Other deaths don’t "stick." If an immortal is killed–their head separated from their body–and another immortal is present (and often, it is this immortal that removed said head from its body), the felled individual’s memories and essence is transferred to that other by way of "The Quickening." In that way, an immortal who has taken the head of numerous other immortals grows in strength and ability.

One of the "taglines" is "In the end, there can be only one." The immortals all come to learn of this notion; a prophecy of sorts; that by nature they are to battle one another until only one who remains, and to that individual goes "The Prize," which comes off to me (offhand) has a bit nebulous. But essentially, "The Prize" is a sort of godhood; and ostensibly this immortal would have the power/essence/etc of every other immortal from all history.


Highlander

Given it ran six seasons, much of the "Highlander Lore" as I think of it seems to have been expanded on throughout the tv series, though the "basics" were introduced in the original 1986 film.

highlander_dvds_filmsMy personal "head canon" slightly retcons the original film to mesh it with the tv series and excludes the 2nd and 3rd films. The fourth film sort of works in context with the tv series, coming after its conclusion, albeit not a perfect fit. The fifth film doesn’t really exist. And the 1994 animated series (Quentin MacLeod) and 2007 anime (Colin MacLeod) are just sorta out there, alternate realities or such.

The tv series follows Duncan MacLeod, and basically shows us his life in "present-day" (1990s) initially trying to live outside "The Game" (what the immortals call the active participation in killing one another and whittling their population down toward that one-in-the-end). He’s quickly brought back in, and then much of the series is (especially early-on) an "immortal-of-the-week" thing. Duncan in present-day, an immortal "villain" shows up, we get flashbacks to how Duncan’s crossed paths or otherwise has a "history" with that immortal, before (often) Duncan’s forced to take their head.

What always struck me was the exploration of someone who has lived hundreds of years living in present-day society…all that they’ve seen, all that’s changed in the world around them (all that they may have been part of as well)…and the perspective their immortality would bring them. Especially in terms of life, and lives, and phases of life. That one could live multiple "lifetimes" all over the world in varying situations over time.

And the way Duncan seemed to have this "history" with SO VERY MANY people who whatever they WERE to him, were not necessarily an active, regular part of his everyday 1990s life.

highlander_dvds_tv

And my thoughts would condense this down to what I could personally relate to, not actually being immortal…and all the more as I get older. So right now, 2019, that goes to the way I had friends and people I regularly interacted with in middle school, in high school, in college, in grad school, at a particular job.

Many–most–of these people may not be a regular part of my everyday life. But when our paths re-cross, it can be pleasant, or negative. Nostalgic or bittersweet. Even if I’ve not seen or talked to someone in 20 years, we had a time of life that we were a regular part of one another’s lives–say, in high school–so seeing them again would bring back memories, and though I may have never said one word about them to someone "newer" in my life now, it doesn’t change the importance of both people to my life.


TMNT 

I was introduced to the TMNT property in 1988 or 1989…it was after the cartoon had premiered, but ahead of the 1990 movie; and I recall that period where so many of the action figures were available (such as at Toys R Us) but the turtles themselves were nigh impossible to find. My own very first figure was a Rocksteady, as a result; and I recall "discovering" the villanous Slash because Dad spotted that one and it WAS a turtle…but not one of the main turtles. (And while I don’t recall if he bought it for me then and there or if I got the figure after, Slash is one of the original vintage TMNT figures I still own FROM when I was a kid. He is, however, re-outfitted with a 2017-acquired replacement belt).

tmnt_vintage_shelves

I quickly got into the TMNT–tv, comics, books, movies, the figures…big-time. This lasted til 1993/1994 or so, fading from all, down to the latter issues of the Archie TMNT series. While in that series’ run I had also found and gotten a few of the Mirage issues (including #50 and 51–the start of the original City At War story) I missed most of that, and then got the first issue of the "volume 2" series, but missed the rest of that run as well, and entirely missed the Image "volume 3" series until 2000/2001.

After several years "away," I got back into the TMNT with Peter Laird‘s second issue of "volume 4" showed up–I lucked across that, and happily enough, the comic shop (JC‘s in Toledo, OH) had a copy of #1 still available as well. I followed vol. 4 into the 2003 animated series, into the second volume of Tales of the TMNT, and while vol. 4 eventually lapsed, Tales continued. We also had the 2007 film. But then at the 25th anniversary year, Laird sold the property to Viacom, and for over a year (as I recall) there just simply was no TMNT. No cartoon, no comics.

tmnt_4_main_iterations

Though somewhere in there was TMNT Forever which brought the 2003 TMNT universe into contact with the 1980s’ TMNT universe, as well as touching on the various comics (primarily the original Mirage series). In its way, it was a sort of capstone to the first 25 years of the TMNT brand.

history_of_tmnt_leo

Then in 2011, IDW launched their ongoing TMNT book (which is still going to this day–I believe #97 is out this week!) followed by Nickelodeon launching a new animated series in 2012, supported as "always" by a toyline from Playmates. That series ran til 2017 before (apparently, it seems to ME) being shelved in favor of a shift toward yet another new series, trying to reach a much younger audience with a Teen Titans Go style of animation in Rise of the TMNT.

tmnt_books

I’ve followed the IDW series for 96 issues so far–I’ve bought every issue of the series as a "new issue" since 2011’s #1, as well as all of the various one-shots, specials, annuals, and mini-series in that time. I’ve done that with no other comics series ever.

So the TMNT have been through a number of major iterations:

  • Mirage Comics (vols. 1, 2, & 4)
  • 1980s cartoon
  • Archie comics
  • 1990s films (loosely includes 2007 film)
  • Next Mutation live-action tv series
  • Image comics
  • 2003 cartoon
  • IDW comics
  • 2012 cartoon
  • 2014/2016 films
  • 2018 cartoon

That said, these don’t all line up exactly with one another; they’re not all strung one after another; there’s quite a bit of coexistence between versions. But I would say that to a certain degree, one could see them at their most "mainstream" by looking at their presence in the mass market toy aisles, which puts us (as of this typing) into the 4th (re?)incarnation (1980s/2003/2012/2018-present).

They’ve come through in different forms, making their own splash, and lasting. While none of the iterations have–in the mainstream–necessarily remained in a continuous "immortal" state, the rise/boom/fade cycle has enabled the general notion of the TMNT to survive, albeit living different lives down through time.


Highlander Memories

highlander_tpbsAs I’ve generally recalled it, I was introduced to Highlander in the summer of 1996–the summer after my freshman year of high school, ahead of sophomore year. I believe a friend had introduced me to the animated series, and talked about a live action series, that I then found in syndication on the USA network, I believe. When I found out new episodes were also airing–albeit around 11 at night on Saturdays–it wound up being something I got to share with my Dad, and became a regular thing for us for awhile: we’d watch Highlander, and sometimes whatever the show was that aired after it. And I’m sure that shared experience was one of the things that made it stick so much with me, and hold it as I do to this day.

Another important memory I have associated with the tv series is watching a couple episodes with friends back in 2005 or so after a Gen Con visit, as we assembled new miniatures we’d bought, an activity that lasted us a number of hours and episodes and movies but remains one of my favorite memories together.

Unlike TMNT, though, there’s not been much in the way of merchandise for Highlander…at least not affordably (for me). So it’s been more of a cerebral thing for me, and experiential thing…something that has mattered a great deal to me over the years, without having much to "show" for it.

highlander_novelsThere have been a couple of comics series over the years. Dynamite had the license for a short time, and I believe produced 12 issues and a mini-series, amounting to 4 TPB collections.

More recently, IDW published a 5-issue mini-series but I’m not aware of any further forthcoming Highlander comics (though I’d certainly be interested in more!)

I’m also aware of the property in games–there was a collectible card game at one point, and more recently some miniatures produced with at least two different games, though I’m not overly familiar with those.

And it seems like quite a few years now that there’s been a rumor of a reboot of the property…something I’m curious about and potentially interested in, for SOMEthing, though it’s seemed to me that the BEST of Highlander has been the tv series.


TMNT Memories

I have far more general memories with TMNT over the years; more than I can reasonably try to share in one blog post.

Whatever other toys and such I was into as a kid…it was TMNT that ruled them all. It was TMNT toys like Rocksteady that I even took to school to show off. It was the toy line I actually wanted the vehicles for–having at least the "Party Wagon" (van), the Blimp, and a "Pizza Thrower" that shot projectile pizza discs.

I remember "playing turtles" with my friend Zack for hours at a time as kids; between the two of us, having most of the figures available at the time (with plenty of overlap as well). And he had a Nintendo, and we often played the various TMNT games, particularly TMNT II: The Arcade Game when that came out. We’d even built our own playsets, and "customized" several of the figures. I especially recall our creating some sort of shirt for the barechested Shredder.

tmnt_dvds

I had the toys, storybooks, junior novels, the cereal, bedding, plush toys, the Burger King BK Kids Club edition of several of the VHS tapes, and so on.

And even as others drifted away from the property, parts stuck with me in such a way that I was easily "brought back" even as a college student and beyond.


Abrupt Concluding Thoughts

This feels like one of my least-organized blog posts. Perhaps I could have gone in-depth on the modern IDW TMNT series and details on the turtles and splinter as reincarnated entities. Perhaps some detailed synopsis of favorite Highlander episodes or specific memories of episodes of the series (Comes a Horseman particularly).

But I decided–and then backed myself into a corner time-wise–to be a bit more informal than I might otherwise have preferred. And though the comics are certainly parts of things, this is more of a general brain-dump with quasi-stream-of-conscious rambling, taking the topic "Immortal" and running with it.

If you’re reading this on my blog itself, you can type "Highlander" or "TMNT" into the search box up top and find the various posts I’ve written over the last 11-ish years and tagged with either term. Far more TMNT than Highlander, though…but you’ll find at least a review of Dynamite‘s Highlander #0 that I believe was originally published at cxPulp/Comixtreme back in the day.

Though my earliest TMNT toy pre-dates the 1990s…I’m still getting new ones! Below are my latest…TMNT Shadow Ninjas.

tmnt_newest_toys

(They’re intermixed with some other recent-ish toys and such!)


Super Blog Team-Up

super_blog_team_up_header_charltonhero

It’s been my privilege the last couple years to be part of the Super Blog Team-Up. As much as this is a blog "event" or "crossover" every now and then, the group has been a great community, with year-round nearly-daily discussion on topics related to comics and just about anything else as well as real-life topics.

It’s been a great group, brought together by shared interests, but everyone maintains their own views, topics, and so on.

For this outing, please check out these other fine blogs and podcasts as they cover their own topics from the "Immortal" heading!

super_blog_team_up_tmnt_highlander_blogtrailer

The Weekly Haul Catch-Up: July 10 to August 14, 2019

weekly_haul_header

Once again, it’s been a few weeks since posting! Maybe soon I’ll get back into a regular rhythm of things with at least 1 less distraction (11 seasons of The Big Bang Theory) behind me!


Week of July 10, 2019

All the way back to early July 2019 to start this re-catchup journey!

weeklyhaul_20190710a

weeklyhaul_20190710b

A very heavy-DC week, with the only Marvel stuff being reprints of old material.


Week of July 17, 2019

Another standard-ish week…

weeklyhaul_20190717a

Another replica edition and a reprint from Marvel. I opted to get Vampirella #1 on being written by Priest; the cover’s rather off-putting compared to the other stuff, and has long been one of the reasons I’ve NOT bought the title.

weeklyhaul_20190717b

Somehow the image from Comic Shop News of Vampirella with Red Sonja seems more…"normal"…-ish?

weeklyhaul_20190717c

Runners had finally come in from a Kickstarter!

weeklyhaul_20190717d

Snagged some Dreadstar from bargain bins for a great price! And far superior pricing to a Kickstarter earlier this year that I bailed on.

weeklyhaul_20190717e

Legend of the Shaders is a Kickstarter I’d been looking forward to, and was glad to get! "The Harp Twins" also do some great harp music covers of popular songs…some of my recent favorite instrumentals!

weeklyhaul_20190717f

More bargain bin books. Where was TwoMorrows Publishing when I was writing papers in college and needed citable "sources"?!?

weeklyhaul_20190717g

A batch of the Walmart DC Giants


Week of July 24, 2019

weeklyhaul_20190724a

A surprisingly Marvel-heavy week. I decided to throw in with the Hickman X-Men reboot to give stuff a shot. Marvels Epilogue was expensive for what it is, but goes with the Annotated series. And another X-Men replica edition adds to my collection of such things.

Behind on reading and not one bit impressed with the Year of the Villain stuff. DC just did a similar thing a year or two before the New 52, to say nothing of Underworld Unleashed back in the ’90s. I’d rather pick up ’90s comics than pay $5 an issue for modern stuff.

And then just on the offchance that I’d get around to "finally" getting/reading the original White Knight, figured pick up the new one so I wouldn’t have to "hunt" later.

And I couldn’t pass up at least a first issue of another Archie vs. Predator as the concept is just so ludicrous! Or at least, it WAS before Riverdale and the line’s reboot and whatnot. I think the original series is FINALLY available in paperback, nearly 3 years AFTER a hardcover was out.

weeklyhaul_20190724b

Another $2 newsstand copy of Superman #75.

muchkin_shelf

I finally got my Munchkin collection re-organized. At one point I thought I wanted to condense to a couple of their "monster box" things, but realized I’d rather just have the games obvious as to what they are, and NOT have to lug most of a collection around just to be able to play any given version.

Quite a shelf, though.


Week of July 31, 2019

Another X-Men week…

weeklyhaul_20190731a

And another couple newsstand Superman #75s. Because I could.

weeklyhaul_20190731b

And I’m iffy on the whole Dawn of X but time will tell.

weeklyhaul_20190731c

I finally "pulled the trigger" on the Armageddon 2001 saga and ordered the issues.

weeklyhaul_20190731d

We’ll see when/if I ever get around to actually reading the thing, but at least this way I can add the story to a "complete events" box I have with Eclipso: The Darkness Within, Bloodlines, and Zero Hour: Crisis in Time.


Week of August 7, 2019

And now into August…the current month at least!

weeklyhaul_20190807a

I opted to take a chance on Absolute Carnage #1. I was then glad I did when I read on Bleeding Cool that if one redeemed the digital code before 8/20, they’d get a "director’s cut" edition of the issue with some more extras including a variant covers gallery.

However, when I went to redeem my code, I found that my copy of the issue had no code whatsoever–apparently a misprint (the sticker didn’t get added to the issue). While Marvel Support provided me a code via Twitter, it only gave me a "basic edition," and when I pursued it, was told that that’s all that came with the issue.

So a digital-only director’s-cut edition for $2 MORE than PRINT is out there, and I feel severely shorted, with frustration toward Bleeding Cool AND Marvel on the matter such that I’m all the MORE determined to NOT buy into this event beyond having already WASTED $8.

shadow_ninjas_playmates_tmnt_raph_front

I came across new TMNT toys at a Target and found that I really like the stylized look, especially compared to my overall distaste for the Rise of the TMNT look.

I opted to buy Raphael as my "modern favorite" of the turtles (my "classic favorite" had been Leonardo as a kid).

shadow_ninjas_playmates_tmnt_raph_back

The back of the box…

shadow_ninjas_playmates_tmnt_leo_don_mike

My mistake, though, was in thinking I’d be happy with JUST the one turtle. I wound up spending an afternoon visiting several Targets to locate the other 3 turtles.

shadow_ninjas_playmates_tmnt_leo_front

Leonardo.

shadow_ninjas_playmates_tmnt_don_front

Donatello.

shadow_ninjas_playmates_tmnt_mike_front

Michelangelo.


Week of August 14, 2019

And finally, catching up to this past week…

weeklyhaul_20190814a

Another replica edition in X-Factor #87. Mostly I’d consider it a 25-cent book, but I’d still rather pay $3.99 for it than most of what Marvel is putting out presently. AND show that I support these reprints MORE than I do the bulk of their current output!

weeklyhaul_20190814b

The "final" batch of Walmart issues…at least as exclusives. Apparently there could be another 1 or two of the Superman one, but otherwise these are all "rebooting" AGAIN, and rather than the entire package being exclusively Walmart-only, apparently there will be Walmart-only COVERS as well as the retail giant getting a couple weeks to a month’s head-start on comic shops. But rather than 4 or 6 titles, suddenly DC is leaping to 10 or 12 with an eye on 20ish. Which seems a bit of overkill to me, and has me thinking I might throw in the towel on these.

weeklyhaul_20190814c

Here’s what 14 months of the things look like together on a shelf, though. Way too much reading yet to do anyway…plenty for a "rainy day" or such!


And this catches me up to current…I think I’ve actually thus far managed to document every week’s haul of 2019 so far. ‘Bout the only thing I’ve managed to keep up with, it seems.

Of course, as this post goes live, tomorrow–August 21–sees another new week of comics.

As I fall further behind in my reading, and that compounds itself.

The hobby becomes more "chore" week over week.

C’est la vie.

weeklyhaul_20190814_blogtrailer

%d bloggers like this: