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Late to the Party: On Marvel and Diversity and Sales and Such

It’s been interesting to read the various pieces over the past few weeks (from ICv2, Bleeding Cool, I’ve wound up clicking a couple links to stuff at CBR, etc) on “Marvel and Diversity” and “the Sales Slump” and whatnot. (And you either know what I’m talking about or not…if not, you probably won’t care about what I have to say here, and I’m NOT playing linky-link “name-dropping” with this post).

Why Marvel has fallen so far in MY eyes, and MY willingness to give them money on any REGULAR basis:

  1. Price
  2. Renumbering (Rebooting, Relaunching, whatever)
  3. Variants
  4. “Event Fatigue”
  5. Inorganic Change for Change’s Sake (Parker marriage, Death of Wolverine, character “replacement”)
  6. Hero vs. Hero with few villains in sight
  7. Rehashing old story elements/beating a dead horse
  8. Everything is a mini-series yet nothing is billed as such

To elaborate a bit:

#1: Price

I am a customer. I am not a shop owner, newsstand, etc. If $2.99 is not enough margin for profit, then what the HECK was $1.99 or $1.25 or $1, and other prices before?!? I’m relatively CERTAIN that the leap from $2.99 straight to $3.99 and the full-dollar increpricesments since ($4.99, $5.99, $9.99) are far BEYOND any reasonable equivalency of inflation and the like. And WHATEVER the “logic” or “reasoning” behind it, that does not change MY bottom line as the customer: I see ridiculously-high prices, I’m gonna resist, be more conservative, and be much much more discerning in what I buy than at lower price points. SINCE I am not a shop owner, newsstand, etc. I am not concerned with all the logistics…as a customer, I’m JUST looking at the price that *I* pay in exchange for leaving with the product.



#2: Renumbering (Rebooting, Relaunching, whatever)


My first issue of Uncanny X-Men was #300. First Captain America I remember was around 400. Adventures of Superman was 453, Action Comics was 651. Detective Comics was 604 and Batman was on #439. Avengers was in the late 300s. Iron Man was in the high 200s, and I’m pretty sure I remember seeing #300 hit. Marvel might try to “go back to” “legacy numbering” by “adding up” all their numbers to a huge whole (effectively leaping from #6 to #150, or #25 to #200, or #10 to #300, or whatever). But that’s merely a superficial, hollow gesture: they canNOT suddenly “get back” what they scrapped, abandoned, avoided, blew up for the last 17-20 years.

high_numbered_first_issuesa_thumb

In the late-’80s/early to mid ’90s, if I found a book at #440, I could easily backtrack and find #250, or #389, or whatever previous issue, and be fine. Suddenly jump to a “total number” system, and I’m in the same (but worse?) boat as NOW: ok, here’s #607…but, well, there’s STILL no #550-599 or such! Here’s #300, but where the heck are #s 40-299?!? Here’s #150, but where’s anything numbered 30-149? Here’s #200, but where’s anything numbered 180-199 and why is it that maybe the most recent prior story arc tops out at #23? (* arbitrary numbers for concept, I’m of NO mood to look up concrete numbers and titles!)


#3: Variants

venom_variantVariants are one thing if they’re used sparingly, and are ACTUALLY “special.” But when there are variants on virtually EVERY SINGLE ISSUE, and it’s an extreme rarity for anything to NOT have a variant, it’s too much! Worse, having NUMEROUS variants for seemingly every single title, and/or even just on several titles in one month, even multiple in one week, with crazy “ratios” on them…it’s a huge turnoff just on PRINCIPLE, regardless of my not personally caring about/for them or wanting them, etc.

And if it means taking some initial “hit” to GET AWAY FROM so many darned variants, then suck it up, cupcake, and just DO it. If you START with “inflated numbers” because of PROPPING stuff up FROM THE START with variants and rely solely on numbers based ON variants, it doesn’t seem like you’re working with accurate counts and reasonable, realistic expectations. (Though I’m not getting into nor do I necessarily care about exceptions or such). I just see a flood of variants such that it’s SPECIAL when there are NOT a ton of variants for something! Again with me being a customer, and not caring about the behind the scenes logistics or logic or reason, it’s just my feeling simply as and from the perspective of being the customer.


#4: “Event Fatigue”

Secret_Invasion_Dark_Reign_Vol_1_1I think MY tipping point was back in 2008 or so, when two “event”/”status quo header” things converged in a single issue; something like SECRET INVASION: DARK REIGN. When “events” just roll into the next event into the next event, then these so-called EVENTS just become STATUS QUO. And when numerous low-numbered and new TITLES get sucked into arc-length tie-ins, it makes the non-tie-in issues into the “special status” or rarities; I haven’t checked but for NOT following, it sometimes seems like there are more tie-ins than not these days, one event to another, such that it’s more common for an issue to BE a tie-in than to not be tying into an event of some sort.

(Might was well just embrace the “seasonal model” and say THIS season is “Civil War II” and everything can just tie to that, then THAT season can be “__________” and everything carries that banner, etc.)

At the VERY least, ONE event should be able to completely wrap up, conclude, end, be DONE and OVER, with some downtime, before REAL-WORLD there’s any teasing/hinting/hyping the NEXT event. When you’re barely HALFWAY into an event and already announcing/soliciting the next relaunch or launch or event or prologue or such (and/or any COMBINATION)…you’re doing too many and far too close together!


#5: Inorganic Change for Change’s Sake (Parker marriage, Death of Wolverine, character “replacement”)

amazing_spiderman_0544This one is certainly far less clear, and I tend to waver on various things depending on exact context, various immediate thoughts, and reasonable conversation. While I absolutely WANT there to be change and GROWTH and for that to be LASTING CHANGE (essentially 20 years now of the Clark/Lois marriage, with a several-year hiccup in the New 52 stuff…and of course, that’s a DC example, not Marvel). Just as I often wondered what it’d be like to “finally” get to the same age as Superman, similar thoughts with Peter Parker. To be years-past high school and college crap; just to actually BE an adult and into another stage of life withOUT all the “drama” FROM high school and college.

And when Marvel‘s shoehorning in a future/older Logan, a clone/daughter female stand-in, I’ve lost track of death/life status of his son, they seem to be bringing in another alternate-reality younger version…it’s like they WANT to have Wolverine, they WANT to have stuff based on that character, but they’re going outta their way to do anything BUT the actual genuine character, rather than SIMPLY dialing-back the character’s presence in EVERYTHING.

When the main/existing titles star unfamiliar characters to the familiar title, I have an issue with it–have new titles and new characters, sure. But save the classic TITLES for classic CHARACTERS. Do stuff organically, and don’t draw crap out. If Thor becomes unworthy, let us IN on it as readers, and follow that story in the course of his own ongoing title, not multiple realunches of the title. (See also: Eric Masterson in the late-80s/early-90s).

I, personally, am NOT going to buy a title specifically/solely on the starring character being “female” or “white” or “non-white” or “straight” or “GLTBQ” or any of those typical “checkboxes” and such. I’m interested in characters that are MORE THAN “just” some “characteristic.” I also don’t want to be preached at, guilted, and so on. Don’t be combative toward me, don’t insult me, don’t tell me I’m wrong or guilty for not embracing every new title and character spun off when there’s already a huge flood of titles and everything is so ridiculously PRICED!

There HAS TO be room for new stories withOUT completely, totally altering characters or changing them outright, especially in some sudden sense. At the same time, I’ll readily admit that some sudden SHIFTS might be required, major significant changes within a single story arc, perhaps…but it has to be “reasonable” and “work,” and not just feel like some “mandate” handed down or that it’s pushing some “agenda” or whatever.

Brubaker‘s Captain America felt far less “general super-hero” than it did a solid spy epic, realistic while holding to classic elements. Bringing Bucky back seemed like such a crap idea, but it was simply DONE WELL and now HAS become an integral part of the character(s). The Iron Man shift from bigger/bulkier armor that (realistically) would need a whole team to transport it was done away with by the Extremis stuff, the bio-armor or whatever it was, allowing Tony to be himself AND quickly/simply go into Iron Man mode.


#6: Hero vs. Hero with few villains in sight

civil_warsWhile I KNOW there was stuff like the Phoenix (AvX) and within that, the X-Men dealt with a new take on Sinister, and I “know” there were some other “villains” in some X-books or that I consciously am aware that there have been various villains plaguing Spider-Man or such… it seems like the biggest events have largely been hero-versus-hero, the larger conflicts being between the heroes themselves, and less of the singular villain threats. While some of this might be more “realistic” or “logical” in a “real world” sort of way…in that “real world” sense, to ME, these “heroes” would also be much more threat than not, and really WOULD themselves functionally be villain figures or legitimate threats/sources of fear for the public. It’s the suspension of disbelief, the fantasy, the larger-than-(real)-life stuff with the characters, the embracing of their being fiction, that made them escapism and entertainment and all that.

I’ll readily admit that some of the more “classic” villains and “plots” and such are “dated” and maybe don’t work as well in contemporary stories; when you have characters getting so much more well-rounded and developed, the “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! I am ______ and I shall soon RULE THE WORLD!” stuff doesn’t work so well.

But it also seems like there’s an over-saturation of so FEW villains, and so much MORE of the hero-vs-hero crap or merely “situational” stuff. Of course, I’m so far outta the loop and unwilling to “come back” at any great length until my interest and trust is restored (and that’s talking years of consistency avoiding the stuff that pushes me away).


#7: Rehashing old story elements/beating a dead horse

clonageWe already had a Clone Saga. So why does that have to be brought back again (granted, as a conspiracy)? We already had a Civil War…that’s done again? We’ve had numerous “Return of the Phoenix Force” stories. Numerous “Death of _____.”

Merely digging up old story titles to “reimagine” or “sequel-ize” just doesn’t work for me. Some stuff, there’s room to play on nostalgia or have fun “nods” to past things, but being so overt and forced on stuff, it sucks.

I’m the consumer, and from THAT standpoint I don’t really CARE about logistics of new storytelling and creative teams and such, or “synergy” or whatever…I just care about having new, GOOD stories about characters I want to read and not feel like anything’s forced or pushed, and that I’m not being insulted, bullied, coerced, etc.


#8: Everything is a mini-series yet nothing is billed as such

transformers_0080I sorta tacked this point on, but it goes with points 1 & 2 (Price and Renumbering). I am glad to read and follow lengthy ongoing series, because there’s something TO eventually looking back and realizing I’ve been following _____ for 30 issues, or 68 issues, or whatever. But when it seems like Marvel RARELY gets anything past issue 20 or so, and 30 is like some ancient, mystically-high number…and there are so many Omnibus and thicker hardcover/paperback collections where an entire run of a book can be collected into a single volume, I’d much prefer THAT format. If you’re ONLY going to have 6 issues, I’d rather buy/read them in a single volume. Especially if/when I’m paying a PREMIUM for it. If the single issues were CHEAPER, I’d be fine with that, but BOTH formats are premium-priced, so let me have my freaking CHOICE, as the consumer. I don’t want to be forced/manipulated into something or required to double-dip or such!

limited_series_vs_stealth_cancelIt used to be that something intended as a “limited series” would be marked accordingly, and an ongoing/non-limited series would simply be THERE. Granted, occasionally something INTENDED to be a LIMITED series would be EXTENDED to an ongoing series or such (See the 1980s’ Transformers or 1995’s X-Man for examples).

But there wasn’t the “stealth cancelling” and stuf just put out there with NO designation as a limited run (outside of stunts like Malibu‘s Exiles thing in the early Ultraverse days).

You either expect something to last awhile, or you don’t–but you should be up-front with your customers instead of trying to sucker them!


Concluding-ish

There are so many other factors and details and combinations and whatnot. These have all been “main” things, and any/all individually or in any random combination, at a random time, with a certain sort or source of hype, can serve to frustrate me or just set me off such that I’ll drop or avoid something on principle alone, if not flat-out long-term line-wide disinterest and such.

DC is guilty of plenty, but their lower prices on single issues, their far better prices on collected volumes and size of collected volumes (with great/superior pricing) get them a better “pass” on stuff. I’d waked away from them completely for a time, and their Rebirth initiative brought me back I a surprising way and I’ve stuck with stuff. Barely a year into that initiative and they have yet to announce any significant or line-wide renumbering initiative or relaunch or whatever; and outside of their having “restored” Action Comics and Detective Comics to legacy numbering, I hope they–at this point–simply keep the “current numbering” and allow long-standing titles TO amass larger numbers again…to EARN the high numbers.

And even if I can’t exactly put my finger on a reason, Marvel has so disgusted me on so many of these in various ways that their BRAND itself is “tainted” and I just associate the name Marvel with too-high prices, ridiculous stories, variants, lack of consistency and numbering and whatnot such that outside of rare/special/nostalgic things (X-Men: Prime/Gold/Blue and such) I’m just gonna gravitate to DC or TMNT right now.

Some Recent Effective/Appealing Ads from DC

I usually try to ignore ads, or avoid them, or get past them ASAP. But some of them work, and actually ARE appealing and/or effective. Here are several recent ones that caught my attention, from Superman #20 and Action Comics #977.

dc_ads_early_april2017_thebutton

Initially, I wasn’t sure what to make of the news of The Button…it was "news" but seemed so far off. Now, lately, this ad has me chomping at the bit for the story…I’m not sure if this image is two parts of the same "lenticular cover," or if it’s an amalgamation of two, or what…but this ad itself, this split-down-the-middle image is one I really dig, and has me extremely interested and eager to get to the story!

Perhaps it’s that it still feels rather new to me (relatively speaking) to see Batman and the Flash so closely linked.

dc_ads_early_april2017_teentitans_judascontract

Then there’s the new Warner Bros. Animation animated film Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. Sure, it’s an updated "based ON" sorta thing, adapting the ’80s story to fit a 2010s-era setting (characters, versions of said characters) and to shoehorn it in to the DC Animated Universe.

But as one of THE original stories I remember being talked about for these films, way back in 2007 or 2008 or whenever it was that this line started (was it really a decade ago?!?) it’s good to see that this is finally getting a release.

Of course, it also means I’ve long passed my window for reading the original story first…something that I (shamefully) have never actually read myself.

dc_ads_early_april2017_baneconquest

I’d known Bane was getting a "limited series," AND that Chuck Dixon was back writing the character, but then I forgot again.

I really wish they’d put a cover price with ads like this…either boldly proclaim its worthiness at a certain price…or if it’s thought that the price would be a turn-off, consider a different price!

I don’t know if this will be $3.99 or "only" $2.99 offhand…at $2.99 I might follow it. $3.99 and I’ll probably check out the first issue and then wait for the cheaper collected edition(s).

dc_ads_early_april2017_revenge

I have a definite love/hate thing going on with DC and their portrayal of Zod in the Superman books. I’ve lost track of all the different Zods we’ve had, just in the last 15 or so years, so on one hand, I’m not keen on yet another.

On the other hand, the drama to this image–"everyone" knows the whole "Kneel before Zod" thing–so just SEEING the character, AND seeing Superman…well…kneel…yeah.

dc_ads_early_april2017_lazaruscontract

And finally, I have to reiterate that THIS is the way to do the multi-panel "build-an-image" thing with covers!

You do NOT force someone to buy 2, 3, 4, or more copies OF THE SAME ISSUE to form the one image!

You treat someone to a cool, larger image as a "reward" FOR following a larger set of issues (whether a crossover, story, mini-series, whatever)!

I’m tempted to check this out partly in support of that alone (we’ll see if I actually remember or feel the same way once the issues start coming out.)


Of course, there were many, many more ads and such in the two issues, but these were the stand-out ones to me.

A sort of "runner-up" would be a "post card" from a comic shop for a 4-part story in Old Man Logan…the images of Wolverine in different costumes with older comic covers making up the background is a really cool design, and probably would have hooked me…except the issues are Old Man Logan–a Marvel title, $3.99 an issue, and I’d rather read a singular story OR even just wait six months and maybe remember to read it on Unlimited.

The Weekly Haul – Week of April 12th, 2017

This was a pretty small week. Weapon X was sold out already (of the REGULAR cover…I think I saw a couple variants,but was not at all interested in those). So I wound up just grabbing several quick things and called it a week.

weeklyhaul_04122017a

New issue of Action Comics, getting into some post-Superman Reborn stuff, though I’m not sure I’m totally "getting" it. And the third and apparently final (with Weapon X #1 not being in stock with a standard/non-variant cover) X-launch issue for me.

The $1 True Believers issues are fun enough, and I continue to be willing to pay the $1 or so for them!

weeklyhaul_04122017b

Figuring I’d be kicking myself for passing on it, for the price of a mere 5 contemporary Marvel issues, I snagged this HEFTY (as in: very THICK!) collected volume with what appear to be the bulk of the Carnage stuff outside of Maximum Carnage. Farrrrr better value than any new "standard price" issue!

New TMNT Toys: Super Shredder, Crimson Leader, and Muckman

I finally tracked down the new Tales of the TMNT: Super Shredder figure. After seeing the wave back in early January (and stupidly "passing" on any of the characters) I then found myself highly interested in at least Super Shredder himself…said interest ramped up once I finally got the DVD and got to SEE some of the episodes with the character!

super_shredder_super_shredder_front

Here’s the figure, still on the card. I intend to get him off it, but that hasn’t quite happened just yet.

super_shredder_super_shredder_back

Here’s the back of the card. We see simply Super Shredder, and the four turtles variants. While they’re not horrible by any means, they’re "just" variants, and not particularly interesting to me, nor nostalgia-inducing or eye-catching, etc.

I was initially actually partly turned off BY the back of the card for this wave–I’ve long disliked the "generic" cards, far preferring the individualized ones, where you know simply by the card itself what figure it came with, and details are tailored TO the specific character!

super_shredder_crimson_leader_front

This time around, after checking numerous Walmarts, Toys R Us, and Target stores, when I found the figures actually in stock again, I was surprised by a couple of figures I’d had zero expectation of seeing.

Crimson Leader is one of them.

Didn’t remember seeing Tiger Claw quite like this (maybe I fell asleep or didn’t get as far into the DVD as I’d thought) so had zero expectation of a figure; didn’t know that I didn’t know and all that.

I nearly passed on it…but on the off-chance that I’d change my mind, I opted to buy it, to prevent an extremely expensive-through-buying-other-stuff-by-being-in-stores-I-otherwise-wouldn’t-be-in campaign later hunting for this later.

muckman2012_front

The biggest surprise to me was finding Muckman!

I’d have sworn I saw something about the figure at least a year back, maybe 2-ish, that a prototype had been created but the figure was then cancelled (to my definite disappointment).

When I saw the figure on the box of a new version of one of the vehicles for this line, I thought it was an old one, and had gotten past QC or some such since the figure had been cancelled

So finding this in-person, seeing it almost simultaneously with Super Shredder, I grabbed it off the peg, added it to my cart, and couldn’t wait to get out of the store with it to get it home and opened.

muckman2012_back

Here’s the back of Muckman’s card. Doing away with the Dimension X wave and such, we have some figures both new, recent, and old.

A couple versions of each turtle–the "Spyline" TMNT and the "Super Ninja" TMNT. We have the "regular" non-serpent Karai, a couple of "Ninja Action" turtles, and three of the Mutanimals.

On the "bad guys" side, we have Super Shredder and Crimson Leader…despite this figure obviously having a different sort of card back than the Super Shredder-specific figures.

Recent-ish figures like Armaggon and Robug are here, as well as mid-time figures like the mutant Shredders, Bebop, Rocksteady, and the Robotic Foot Soldier. I’m not sure if I’m glad to se Stockman-Fly hanging around…though I’m rather surprised at seeing Dogpound BACK in the mix…especially with ALSO having Rahzar in this same mix.

C’est la vie, I guess..!

muckman2012_profile

Muckman’s profile bit…

muckman2012_figure

…And the figure already out of his packaging/off the card!

muckman2012_card_good_guys

A slightly larger view of the figures on the card back for the good guys…

muckman2012_card_bad_guys

…and the bad.

muckman_1990s_2012_blogtrailer

And finally, the "classic" Muckman side-by-side with "new" Muckman.

I’m rather disappointed with the new one NOT having the manhole-cover foot…I know I’d seen an image of a "prototype" WITH it; it wasn’t til I had this figure out of its package that I realized the difference.

Annoying as some stuff is with over-reverence of the ’80s animated series…when there ARE good nods back with the TOYS I tend to quite appreciate it…it’s a small detail that would have REALLY made this a great figure in the nostalgic sense.

Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of April 5th, 2017)

Once again, real life got in the way, and I’m not going to get around to formal/proper reviews of any of the week’s titles. However, in a bit more of a free-form fashion, I do have some thoughts to put out there regarding the several issues I actually did manage to get read from the most recent week’s purchases!


X-Men Gold #1

xmengold_0001I actually surprisingly enjoyed X-Men: Gold #1, until the weekend hubbub over subversive/hidden messages from the artist. Sure, the issue includes newer/modern/contemporary elements and characters, but if definitely had the right sort of "Rebirth"-y tone to it that would make it appealing…particularly if the title was going to be a MARVEL $2.99 book. Price it lower, like $2.99, and I’d probably give even a book like this as a WEEKLY a shot (barring other things turning me off entirely).

The story was strong, and where I "went in" expecting not to like it, I enjoyed it, and was able to figure out enough as I read along to compensate for missing the last several years of continuity. It would be a solid "welcome back" type of issue and launch if I was planning to stay with it for any length. But while I opted to go against my initial intention of not getting these whatsoever, I went in planning only to try Prime, X-Men Gold #1 and X-Men Blue #1. Gold would have convinced me to come back for #2 if it was not to be $3.99 and $3.99 twice-monthly. I just can’t get past Marvel‘s pricing compared to DC…and I was down to not even bothering with DC, either, prior to announcements of major shakeup (Rebirth, Final Days of Superman) and the reversion in cover price.

I’ll wait for discounted collected editions, which admittedly do comic shops little good, though even this will depend in part on how hard I stand on the "issue" with the artist’s hidden messaging, and where that goes.


Superman #20

superman(2016)_0020In the "casual reader" sense, between not "getting" the entirety of the ending to Superman Reborn and not yet having the follow-up/epilogue exploration that I believe is coming in the next couple issues of Action Comics, I don’t feel like I have any major differences to look for. So this issue read primarily like "just" another issue, drawing on prior continuity from this series itself at least–such as Batman showing up again, Superman meeting him outside instead of inviting him in, etc. Of course, this time, Lois insists Batman and his son come in, that all may interact civilly, not just outside.

And ultimately, this was a fun issue, that seems steeped in continuity without actually giving us much…though it did reveal something about Clark and Lois’ neighbor, which seems like it may impact that status quo a bit, though if so, it seems like it could be a real shame. Time will definitely tell on this story, though.

I’m not enamored with the art, though it fits earlier issues and isn’t really out of the norm…but something about it seemed to just not connect right with me. Still…even a Superman issue like this is far better than the titles have been in years, and I continue to thrill at the fact that nearly a year in and I’m STILL week in and week out looking forward to the next week’s Superman issue, and disappointed on "fifth weeks" when there is NOT a new issue.


The Sovereigns #0

sovereigns_0000Darn it…I wasn’t gonna try this. Yet another "relaunch" for the Gold Key properties, where the last three in recent years didn’t seem to last more than for a year’s worth of issues (number-wise, if not dragged out by lateness). But Dynamite did well to utilize the "promotional price" of "only" $1 for this issue, which meant I’d at least buy it for my "dollar-or-under" self-mandate even if not for the content/title itself. But HAVING the thing, decided I wasn’t going to NOT read it. I was curious.

And darned if it didn’t pique my interest a bit. I’m willing on principle to give this take a shot, this reimagining of the characters.

Unfortunately, there are several catches:

  • Price. I don’t like the $3.99, so that’s a turnoff. This isn’t TMNT, after all.
  • Variants. While I do buy titles that seem to have variants on every single issue, Dynamite (to me) has a reputation as one of "those" publishers, for whom the variants are much more of the "selling point" and that do NUMEROUS variants on EVERY SINGLE ISSUE, far more egregious than "simply" every issue having *A* variant.
  • Lack of trust. The initial Dynamite relaunch didn’t last long at all, relatively speaking (though they did get 3 collected editions from the three ongoings and one from the mini). I’d much rather have a singular complete story or collected edition to read all at once, and having been burned by that relaunch and again by the "only" 5 issues of Gold Key Alliance as a quasi-reboot/failed-reboot/whatever…"Fool me once" and all that.

So while I’d be inclined to give the stuff a shot, I’m unwilling to plan on it, given the multiple burns I’ve had. At the same time, at least said burns have not been the flat-out anti-longtime-reader things that Valiant has done, and I’d be willing to buy these because they’re NOT Valiant, at least.


The coming week’s new books include X-Men: Blue as well as Weapon X and several True Believers reprints. The reprints I’m actually looking forward to. I’ll probably still give Blue the first issue chance, given I’ve already got Prime and Gold. Surprisingly, Weapon X at least looks to be a $3.99 #1 instead of $4.99 or higher…so we’ll see what else is onhand and how finances look. I’m most looking forward to the new Action Comics issue, and there’s a new Spawn issue which means I need to actually catch up on the previous issue.

superman(2015)_0020_blogtrailer

More New (to me) Classic TMNT Toys

I received some more of the vintage TMNT figures I’d ordered last week, which was quite cool. I’ve also realized that Wingnut must have been THE figure I was most missing having, of the earlier figures…it’s just so cool actually having Wingnut & Screwloose after all these years!

fall_of_the_mighty_mutanimals_200x306With the newer vintage figures, I believe I now have what Mutanimals characters there were: Man Ray (Ray Fillet), Mondo Gecko, Leatherhead, and Wingnut & Screwloose. To my knowledge, they never did figures for Jagwar or Dreadmon.

Though Slash kinda got tied into them toward the end of the Archie run of TMNT Adventures, and the current versions of Slash (IDW series and the 2012 animated series) are both Mutanimals, I don’t quite see him as a "classic" Mutanimal.

While I was taking photos for this blog, both cats interrupted me, with Chloe being particularly disruptive. I wound up taking the opportunity to get a photo to do a mockup of a comic book style cover, hence the image to the left of her with the figures she knocked over.

On to the recent figures!

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This order included a "replacement" Rocksteady. Of a number of figures, this one’s one of the more disappointing ones for me to have had to replace: the character was THE first TMNT figure I ever got, back in the heyday when stores were inundated with figures but NO ONE had the turtles themselves!

Rat King and Usagi Yojimbo are figures I’d never owned, and thus totally new to me. I’d seen images of this "newer" version of April, and really dug it…the face is slightly off, but I like the hair, and the extra coloring…makes the figure look far, far less bland than the original iteration.

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The other order I’d had was Wyrm and Leatherhead. I’ve never cared for this version of Leatherhead–the character as depicted on the original animated series–but I came to like the Archie comics version, and wanted the figure solely for having been one of the Mighty Mutanimals. The figure is actually probably one of my least-favorite sculpt-wise, and just looks awkward and tiny as heck compared to his 2003 and 2012 series’ incarnations, or even the original Mirage comics.

Wyrm is far more colorful than I’d prefer, particularly compared to the TMNT Adventures version, but I’m still definitely glad to finally have the character in my collection!

Updating my "list" of figures I’m wanting:

Replacements

  • Ace Duck
  • Baxter Stockman
  • Fugitoid
  • Rocksteady
  • Splinter
  • Party Wagon (vehicle)

New (to me)

  • General Traag
  • Rat King
  • Leatherhead
  • Usagi Yojimbo
  • Dirtbag
  • Tattoo
  • Wyrm
  • April II
  • Merdude
  • Hothead
  • Krang’s Android Body (regular figure size)
  • Robotic Foot Soldier(s)
  • Toon Shreder
  • Dask (Neutrino)
  • Kala (Neutrino)
  • Zak (Neutrino)
  • Movie Star Leo
  • Movie Star Mike
  • Movie Star Raph
  • Foot Cruiser (vehicle)

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Along with the figures, I also ordered several accessories! The main one was Donatello’s belt. I had the original figure, still…but was missing the belt. It’s amazing how different and how "complete" the character looks WITH the belt, such a simple accessory!

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And my $2 incomplete Triceraton received a $1.50 tail, making for a $3.50 replacement figure overall–cheaper than a Marvel comic!

The Rocksteady and Rat King figures pictured above were technically bought withOUT their belts…but it was actually CHEAPER to buy the figures and the belts individually than to buy the characters with their belts and some other accessory(ies) each, that I didn’t particularly care for!

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Here’s the "new" April side-by-side with the original April, for comparison…

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Usagi Yojimbo (classic) next to his 2003 counterpart, with an appropriate background! Usagi Yojimbo is actually the title of the comic series, though in those comics, not actually the CHARACTER’s name. (Oops, original animated series…) For sake of simplicity, in terms of the figures, I go with that, despite knowing better. ‘Nuff said.

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And finally, my Mighty Mutanimals, at long last, assembled!

The Weekly Haul – Week of April 5, 2017

This week’s haul wound up being decently-sized comic-wise while remaining quite cheap, for the number of issues. It’s proven rather expensive on non-comic stuff, particularly the TMNT Toys front.

On to the point of this post, though–this week’s comics/Wednesday Purchase!

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Three $1 issues this week. I was going to pass on The Sovereigns, but for "only" $1, figure I’ll give it a try. It IS Dynamite, and it IS yet another apparent "relaunch" or "reboot" of the Gold Key properties, and I’d swear we’re ONLY a few months removed from the last series dealing with them!

I was skeptical of the True Believers Giant-Size X-Men #1 reprint, given the way the Age of Apocalypse one a couple years back cut off part way through, not EVEN giving us the full issue…and I’m pretty sure the Infinity Gauntlet one did the same. Flipping through…looks like this actually is the complete issue, though! So definitely worth the price!

And of course, definitely cool to have this reprint of the ORIGINAL X-Men #1. I’d seen these listed for release this week and couldn’t place what event they’d be tied to–the Wolverine series and Deadpool series had been tied to the release of their respective movies. Then dawned on me…ResurrXion.

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The newest issue of the Captain Atom mini is out…and I was AGAIN "surprised" at its "only" being $2.99…fully mentally "expected" it to be $3.99!

The Skottie Young print came "free" with thepurchase of the X-Men: Gold issue; which itself is an atrocious $4.99…but as with last week’s Prime, I figure I’ll give the first issues a shot to at least see a BIT for myself, and judge if I might be interested in collected volumes or such down the road.

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ALSO flying radically in the face of my usual, with its presence and price and looking like such a great art piece, I actually snagged a copy of the Superman variant along with the main cover. This variant will be getting framed and hung, though, to be on display…not gathering dust somewhere merely existing in an abyss of longboxes!

The penultimate issue of the Life and Death mega-thing for AVP, Predator, Aliens, and Prometheus came out last week, but I missed it, so grabbed it this week.

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I also decided to pull the trigger on this Eaglemoss Superman figurine, figuring I didn’t want to have to hunt it later, and thus one less item to hunt for.

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This is from the same series as the Robin figurine I’d ordered online, so the back is almost entirely the same, just a changed image for the character booklet, and this one lacks the extraneous sticker of the online retailer for the Robin figure.

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Like the Robin one, I definitely look forward to going through the booklet to see what this take on the general Superman saga is, and compare it to my own existing knowledge and such.

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Finally, here’s the figurine itself; if the photo displays as largely on your monitor as mine, it’s actually larger-than-life! The face is a bit "off" for me, and something about the pose and such in genera isn’t QUITE as iconic as I might like for a Superman thing…but for what it is, it’ll do, I suppose. For better or worse, at this point, most Superman figures essentially disappear into a crowd when added to my Superman shelf…


Extra Week of March 29th Stuff

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Though I’d somewhat expected a couple other issues (the AVP: LIfe and Death one in particular) to be waiting for me, the only one at the usual shop was Aliens: Defiance. So I hit the 25-cent bins a bit half-heartedly…didn’t find much, outside of several early issues of Dark Horse Comics (…Presents?). There was also a variant of the 25-cent 25th-issue of Outcast done in the style of classic Image books, so I grabbed that. I suppose part of my problem with variants is pricing…I’m much more accepting of them on a 25-cent issue where it’s easily-accessible/available and NOT a hassle to find. Such as finding an issue without even setting out to, and NOT being "denied" a PREFERRED image that I go in for!

There’s also the IDW Publishing  catalog The Gateway Collection, showing off books they have available. The catalog was free, so why not? It helped give me hope that I’ll soon be able to get the hardcover TMNT: The IDW Collection vol. 2, as I trust it would not be advertised if it was gonna be left out of print!

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There was also a table of old fast-food toys for $2/apiece. I was rather shocked to find this White Ranger…partly just to find it at all, and maybe moreso to discover it was part of a McDonald’s promotion and not the Burger King I’ve thought for the last however many years! (I suppose nearly 22 years removed, I can be forgiven the poor memory from when I was a 14-year-old kid!).

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I also snagged the Red Ranger. Unfortunately, there were no other Rangers, or I’d have surely bought them all on the spot!

Though "just" Happy Meal toys, these figures are certainly on par with standard commercially-available figures from toy stores…the White Ranger was an almost perfect match for the 2010-or-so series of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers released to coincide with the "remastered" first-season episodes; and served in that role until just a month or two back when I finally added a "real" version to my mix.


Next week I’ll likely have some TMNT stuff to show off, and perhaps delve back through photos on my phone for some random stuff to share.

Time shall tell!

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