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

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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!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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The Weekly Haul – Week of September 17th, 2014

Another monstrous week price-wise…outside of Batman Eternal and the $1 reprint/special edition of Gotham Central #1 (perfectly timed for Monday’s premiere of Gotham) (and the freebie Banned Books Week guide), everything was that price point I so despise…but at least they were the spiffy 3-D covers that sucked me in again this year!

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And of course, perhaps conspicuously so, one might notice the absence again of anything from Marvel. Such a shame, especially considering how much I enjoyed the X-Men in the ’90s and certain parts of other stuff in the last 10-12 years.

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Definitely a good-looking crop of the DC 3-D books for Futures End this week. Might be the classic-looking yellow-and-red logo against the blue field, but I think that Supergirl cover is my favorite this week.  I wasn’t going to pick up Batman/Superman…but figured it’s a one-shot, already spending a lot for the week, it’s Batman, and Superman…so I might as well add it to the pile.

So here’s to a lot of interesting reading and the third of four weeks of getting fairly deeply re-acquainted with a bunch of DC output.

Batman/Superman #3.1: Doomsday #1 [Review]

foreverevildoomsday001Tales of Doom

Written by: Greg Pak
Pencils by: Brett Booth
Inks by: Norm Rapmund
Colors by: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover by: Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea and Tomeu Morey
Assistant Editor: Anthony Marques
Editor: Mike Cotton
Group Editor: Eddie Berganza
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

This issue is REALLY the entire reason I “bought into” Villains Month at all to begin with, prior to deciding to “also” check out the Cyborg Superman issue and everything snowballing from there. Doomsday is probably THE key character for me, even more than the Cyborg, when it comes to my history with Superman. Whether the actual Doomsday arc, the issue of Reign of the Supermen where the Cyborg throws his body into space, the Hunter/Prey mini-series, the Doomsday Wars mini-series, his appearance during Our Worlds At War or his “Jokerization” during Last Laugh…the creature is one that I’ve “always” taken note of. 

All that said, my initial take on this issue is extreme disappointment. Labeled Doomsday #1 for the issue, I expected actual details–of the creature, of its past, clarification of its involvement with Superman already –and perhaps something of what might yet be coming. While we do get a look at the past, with the creature inserted much more closely to Superman himself in the family history…it seems to almost “cheapen” the character, making it just another part of stuff carrying over from Krypton to plague Superman on Earth, rather than something that arrives out of nowhere or “legend” and all that.

Rather than any real background on the character or firm details of the creature’s origins, we’re given a glimpse of a past encounter with the creature involving Zod, and from Lara’s perspective.  We get some development of Zod’s history with Supergirl (Kara)…which works in context of showing the danger the creature can present, of its place in Kryptonians’ consciousness…but really does not seem to “matter” for an issue that’s supposed to “focus” on the creature. This story seems like it would be far more appropriate as an issue of Supergirl, showing her remembering what she’s learned of the creature. Though the creature’s prominence on the cover is apt, this issue doesn’t really feel like it lives up to its “title,” and certainly fails to live up to my own expectations.

Despite that, had this simply been a random issue of Supergirl and I saw the creature so prominently placed on the cover, I’d’ve likely found this a rather enjoyable “one-shot” of sorts. And with the Zod/Kara stuff, it’s seeming likely that the entirety of Villains Month MIGHT actually drive me to checking out the Supergirl title.

The story itself is solid; I do like the art in and of itself. I don’t mind the reconfiguration of the bone protrusions from Doomsday, except the cheek-horns that just look totally ridiculous to me and seem a pointless addition to the face. While I’ll read about “any” Doomsday, this is somehow probably my least-favorite of all the looks the character’s been given.

All in all…I suspect if you’re a fan of the Supergirl series, you’ll enjoy this. Ditto if you’re a fan of Pak or Booth, or just want the cover to look at. With the apparent “consolidation” of titles for this month, I don’t know where Doomsday is likely to next show up (if at all), but this issue feels like it’s pointing me to the Supergirl title. If you’re expecting to find out where Doomsday came from in-continuity of New 52 or the New 52 “past” of the creature and Superman, you’ll have to look elsewhere or stretch a between-the-lines interpretation.

As a $3.99 one-shot with the fancy 3-D cover…if you can find this at cover price (or opt for the “standard” edition or digital edition), and don’t hold high expectations (or my comments have dispelled those expectations), it’s not bad and I have to “grudgingly” admit I’d recommend it as an expectation-less standalone.

Batman/Superman #1 [Review]

batmansuperman001Crossworld

Writer: Greg Pak
Artists: Jae Lee, Ben Oliver
Colors: June Chung, Daniel Brown
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover: Jae Lee with June Chung
Associate Editor: Rickey Purdin
Group Editor: Eddie Berganza
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

I bought this issue to meet a credit card minimum. Of everything on the “new” shelf, it was the only thing that really grabbed my attention for a one-shot purchase with potential. Other than setting this apart from the Loeb-launched Superman/Batman from a decade ago, I do find myself mildly curious as to any significance to the title, having Batman listed first. At least BOTH characters are spotlighted on the standard cover…you don’t have to track down two covers to get both title characters in one shot.

Unfortunately, it was a lot more disappointing than I expected. I’d avoided it on Wednesday–I just had zero interest in it from the start. ANOTHER “Superman meets Batman for the FIRST TIME” story. And that’s where it goes wrong; where I go wrong. I am absolutely NOT the “target audience” for this book: I’m bored and put-out by the New 52 at this point…and to ME, the “first meeting” between Superman and Batman happened “One Night in Gotham City” in the 1980s’ Man of Steel #3.

Leaving nostalgia and such aside, I have a real problem with a young Superman–Superboy???–being so…arrogant, angry, violent. To say nothing of the fact that I did read the first-ever New 52 issue, Justice League #1. And I’m recalling a scene in which Batman and Green Lantern talk about some alien in Metropolis, and meet Superman “for the first time.” So that makes this issue essentially a fairly big plothole to a casual such reader as myself.

Clark Kent visits Gotham, and realizes he really does not fit into this dark city. When he confronts some kids bullying another, he meets a drunk, stinking boy billionaire with more street sense than he’d’ve expected. Turns out Clark was looking for Bruce, to see what he knew of several Wayne employees murdered recently. The two part on neutral terms, neither impressed with the other. The murderer strikes again, and Batman leaps into the fray, surprised at the identity…before Superman busts in, throwing around violence and making a bad situation worse. Another entity joins the situation, and just makes things confusing…though that seems to set up what may be the plot for the next few issues.

Visually I’m not all that impressed…Lee‘s art is not particularly “up my alley,” it’s very stylized and just not what I would choose. Because it’s so…what it is, this feels like it ought to me some sort of Elseworlds book, or some intercompany crossover in the vein of these characters meeting the Aliens or Predators. I’ve never really cared for the jeans, t-shirt and cape get-up for Superman; the look is done no favors here, in my eyes. There’s also something to the way Lee depicts the “S” that bugs me–like it’s trying to be a mash-up of the overly-lined Man of Steel film logo and the more stylized Superman Returns film logo.

Lee‘s art gets the job done, though…even depicting the violence fairly disturbingly (something Lee‘s style does well with). So while it’s not my cup of tea and I have nitpicky issues, I won’t fault it too heavily in and of itself.

I don’t care for the art shift toward the end of the issue. It fits reasonably well given the shift in scenery and all–but I find myself wondering if this is an issue of timing or a planned function to serve the story itself (or just happened to work as it is).

The story itself roughly fits a fairly standard mold for these characters…the idea that while they come to work together when more seasoned at the whole “super-hero” thing, they clash in the early days of their careers is not new. What little I know of the New 52 incarnation of Superman kinda fits, though again I don’t like it much. Batman I’m less sure on–this Bruce Wayne sorta fits with Year One, and probably perfectly fits with the upcoming Zero Year stuff. Given Clark’s readiness to cut loose with his powers it’s sort of astonishing that he doesn’t (seem to) recognize Batman as a mortal man and “reveal” him or at least peek under the cowl with X-ray vision. (Then again, I realize I don’t know the origin of this version of Superman, so maybe he didn’t have access to that power yet).

All in all, I imagine that if you’re a fan of Jae Lee‘s art, of the New 52 early Superman, and/or Pak‘s writing, and have no particular “attachment” to ’80s/’90s Superman and Batman, you’ll probably enjoy this. You might have to overlook that this is yet another $3.99 book…but hey? $2.99 seems to be an exception rather than the rule, these days.

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