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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 3, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Norm Breyfogle (1960-2018)

I was sitting, reading, when a notification popped up for me. Tom Mason had posted something in the Ultraverse Facebook group. I try to keep up on stuff with the group, and especially take notice when Mason posts.

When I saw what he posted–as it took a moment to sink in what I was reading–I actually said out loud "Holy crap..!"

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The screenshot above should link to a Bleeding Cool article.

I’m sure there’ll be loads of articles in the days to come on the man, his life, his work, stuff from the last several years, quotes from creators, and so on…at BC and all the usual comics sites. There’s already a lot of stuff on Twitter.


I was lucky enough to have met Norm once. Granted, it was–at least as I recall it–maybe for an entire minute or so.

It was at the 2012 Akron Comicon, and along with fellow Ultraverse creator Mike Barr, he was the draw for me, the main reason to be there.

For me, it was exciting just to get to briefly meet, in-person, the man who had drawn the very first Batman comic I ever owned, that my Mom bought for me in 1989: Detective Comics #604.

And he’d been the artist on Prime, another of my favorite comics from the ’90s.

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There are no sufficient words when anyone’s life ends; especially not from someone who never actually knew the person and all that.

But I was a fan of his work. Breyfogle‘s Batman was definitive, and extremely recognizable, and–to me–is among THE BEST. Aparo, Byrne, Breyfogle.

Between (my) early issues of Detective Comics and Batman, and the likes of Prime…he was a key artist in my childhood experience with comics…something that cannot be erased.

I know he’d had health issues the last few years (I’m sure there’ll be plenty of stuff out there about that, too!); but his having survived stuff in 2014 or so, I guess I just "assumed" he would still be with us for a long time to come; that he’d still be a presence in comics.

So it was shocking to learn that he’s passed.

I never knew him, and I know he wouldn’t (and I would not expect) him to remember me–just some guy that handed him several comics to sign more than half a decade ago, in a line that had dozens of people, at a single appearance–but through his art, through his work, which I assume he enjoyed and took well-deserved pride in…he touched many lives, of which I can confirm specifically in my own case.

And while I feel the loss in this way, I can’t imagine the loss his family feels, that of loved ones and friends and such. And cliché as it is, I can only pray for eventual healing, peace, and comfort in the wake of loss, though the loss never leaves you and anyone touched by the loss is forever changed.

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of September 12 & 19, 2018

I’m definitely falling behind with stuff. C’est la vie…it’s my blog, I’m not getting paid or making any money for this, so…it’s all at my own leisure/whim/schedule!

Playing catchup from the previous couple weeks…

Week of September 12, 2018

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Superman #3, Supergirl #22, and Flash 54 from DC. It’s good to see Supergirl, at least, able to continue some numbering; I definitely want to support the title if only for that!

Then from IDW, the newest issue of GI Joe: A Real American Hero, hitting its 101st issue…which is rather hard to believe from IDW with their numerous GI Joe renumberings over the past few years. This also keeps it at one of THE highest-numbered series in ongoing comics, and the only one currently being published to attain its number LEGITIMATELY. Had they “piggybacked” on Devil’s Due‘s runs, which HAD been set as the same continuity as the Marvel series, they could be pushing #350 in the first half of 2019. As-is, this numbering is from the Marvel series AND its continuity is Larry Hama‘s, continuing off his run with that original series.

Week of September 19, 2018

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I had been sorta iffy on DC‘s Black Label line. But I was curious about the format of the book in conjunction with the price. Magazine-sized, “only” $6.99 (for a bigger format, prestige/squarebound than “regular” issues) and the Azzarello/Bermejo art team. The overemphasis on a certain part of human anatomy has been ridiculous, though. I honestly do not think I’d’ve even noticed had every so-called “comic news” site not been trumpeting it from the rooftops (the charge led by a certain BC site).

The regular Batman #55 continues to be an interesting read, though I’m not sure about the direction things seem to be going. Time will tell, but I don’t see its events leading me into another title right now.

And it’s great to see Hama get to do even more in his GI Joe stuff without being constrained 100% to only one single title.

Mister Miracle is nearing its conclusion…and hard to believe we’re already at Mr. and Mrs. X!

Time definitely flies…

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The Weekly Haul – Week of September 5, 2018

I managed to keep this week reasonably small-ish, though definitely could have been a bit smaller still!

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With the Image TMNT series hard to find, this current run from IDW reprinting that series–and in color–is a HUGE treat! I’ve been aware OF the series and its events, but this is the first I’m getting to actually read them for myself. It’s a very interesting thing–I don’t know that I would LIKE the series in and of itself, but as the historical, finite thing that it is, I’m quite enjoying it.

Batman #54 is a one-off issue, and quite enjoyable in and of itself.

I enjoyed Leviathan #1 enough that I was curious for #2…whether I get this one read and what I’m thinking of it will determine if I continue with single issues.

I need to pull together all my single issues of Deathstroke for this vs. Batman story to actually read…definitely should have just waited for a collected volume at this point.

I’m inclined to wait for a collected volume on Adventures of the Super Sons as I’m ridiculously behind on the ongoing series let alone this new one…but I’d kick myself later having to play "catch up" if I don’t "keep up" with the singles.

And this True Believers issue of Marvel Knights Daredevil has a PARTICULAR bit of nostalgia for me: this was THE issue that got me INTO Daredevil. I’d been aware of the character–and past runs, such as Frank Miller‘s, and the then-more-recent Man Without Fear mini-series. But buying the new Marvel Knights premiere issue in August/September 1998 was the first time I’d bought Daredevil consciously/intentionally as a new/current issue!

Bonus in getting this edition essentially off the same rack (at Comic Heaven in Willoughby, OH!) that I got the original back in ’98.

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The newest issue of DC Nation is out. I do NOT like the old trick of emphasizing a character death…and I’m NOT gonna be happy if they kill off Tim Drake (again) or Kyle Rayner (again?). Seems lately that DC is pushing to follow Marvel, and senselessly killing off characters for "shock value" or such is one of those things that I’ve FELT has been MORE overdone by Marvel than DC.

And we have this week’s edition of Comic Shop News, and some sort of CBLDF publication Read Banned Comics.

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The other day, I’d stopped into Half-Price Books to take advantage of a 20%-off-your-entire-purchase sale. I couldn’t remember if I already had it, but for being cheaper than a Marvel #1 issue, snagged JLA: Crisis of Conscience. And then despite the RIDICULOUSLY HIGH price FOR THE Half-Price Books STORE CHAIN, bought this duplicate/extra/convenience copy of Secret Origins featuring Batman and The Mud Pack.

Then while shopping at Ollie’s (a bargain outlet), found this hardcover "archive" or "omnibus" of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Comic Book. Given this was at Ollie‘s and long past the publisher seeing any real value off its sale, I bought it–plus, it’s all or primarily reprinting old Marvel content from the 1990s…so I do not feel I’ve violated my personal avoidance of Boom! Studios stuff.

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I also snagged five Dragonlance novels and an extra/reading copy of Magic the Gathering: Invasion. Flat price plus the sale discount and each of these was significantly cheaper than any non-True Believers-edition Marvel comic.

Sadly, it turned out that I already had the Draconian Measures paperback…oops! But I’d rather pay less-than-$4 for a duplicate in such good condition than pass on it and find out I did NOT have it, and not be able to easily find it in good condition again without a major hunt.

I had the hardbacks already for the Margaret Weis Amber and ____ series but not these paperbacks.

All in all, a good week for comics, and books, if a bit expensive. But as usual…could have been a lot more expensive at full price on the HPB stuff!

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The Weekly Haul Catch-Up and Bargain Bins Haul: Weeks of August 8, 15, and 22

Life’s been a roller-coaster lately with stuff going on in my personal life. Things are looking up–though my world’s been rocked, and actually doing anything for this blog has been about the last thing on my mind!

Playing catch-up on the "weekly haul" from the last several weeks, though…


Week of August 22, 2018

The newest week has been a decent size–not tiny, not huge!

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The second issue of BendisAction Comics; the third post-Flash War issue of The Flash; and the second issue of Mr. & Mrs. X.

Then there’s the second issue of the "surprise" series Die!Die!Die!. I’m not sure if I’ll keep up with this series, but it made its impact on me with the first issue, such that I wanted to get this second issue!

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I also finally remembered to order the newest issue of Collectors. With stuff going on in personal life last year I managed to miss the third issue, and this En Fuego issue.

So it was well worthwhile–"optimizing" shipping cost–to order the latest (#4) as well as the other issues!

These collect the strips from the webcomic series, and I love having a physical edition to go through without having to only view them online!


Week of August 15, 2018

Last week was also fairly regular.

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I quite enjoyed the Mr. Freeze arc in Batman following the events of #50. And I’m loving the TMNT: Urban Legends series, reprinting the Image TMNT series from the late-1990s.

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I probably should not have bothered with Medieval Spawn/Witchblade as here the series is complete and I’ve not actually read the first issue.

We’re 8 issues in on this Marvel digest series. I’d enjoy different reprints rather than a lot of what’s been getting put in these, but c’est la vie.

And I’ve decided to wait til the Bebop & Rocksteady mini has all 5 issues to read them in one go–I gave up the IDW paperbacks for the TMNT stuff years ago in favor of the hardcovers.


Week of August 08, 2018

And two weeks ago a mixed sort of week with a couple of the regulars, plus a couple one-offs.

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The second issue of the newest iteration of Superman, and I love that the "new" run of Supergirl picks up on the Rebirth numbering…that is truly the way it needs to be done!

I opted to "try" The Sandman Universe. I’m not interested in adding a bunch of new series to my purchasing, and while the issue wasn’t bad, it didn’t blow me away. I loved the main The Sandman series when I read it back in 2001/2002 and all…but it’s not something I see enjoying month to month…especially at $3.99 an issue multiple times each month (multiple titles). Especially with DC‘s recent "history" with imprints (Young Animal in particular).

I’ve been back to keeping up with The Flash and decided to "try" the 50th issue of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps; though at this point that’s a bit of a regret.


Bargain Bin Haul

It’s been awhile since much of a true bargain-bin "haul," but I found a lot of fun stuff last week…CLEARLY re-emphasizing again just what a ’90s guy I am!

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These were primarily "newsstand" editions with the newsstand bar codes. I did not realize there was a NON-shiny edition of WildC.A.T.s, so that’s a neat little novelty.

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Snagged a bunch of Malibu #1s.

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And a handful of Now Comics issues, and the random Jesus issue.

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These were some "random" issues of no particular theme. I forgot that I have a small run of early Spawn issues relatively "handy," so the #3 is superfluous. I’m passively interested in the mpi editions of The Man of Steel issues for the novelty…I had acquired the One Night in Gotham City issue with the audiocassette wayyyy back–my first exposure to the "modern" relationship between Superman and Batman.

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These Dracula issues caught my eye…I wasn’t sure what they were, but seems they reprint some early appearances of the Marvel version of the character.

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For the heckuvit, snagged a bunch of "shiny" covers! Paid less for these in total than any single one of the issues cost two decades ago!

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These were a combo of shiny issues, the Spider-Man hologram, some "extra color" covers, and die-cut/etc.

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The Mitefall is a prestige-format issue, Force Works is bagged with some inserts including an animation cell, and the Zen issues of thicker covers with foiling for the logo.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor issues are absolute relics–back when Marvel would actually acknowledge a new run/etc, rather than renumbering for the sake of renumbering. The rest of these caught my attention as fun acquisitions for "only" 25 cents–duplicate and otherwise.

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I was surprised to find New Warriors #1…but I guess the title’s just not as relevant as it once might have been. I’m still working on my "runs" of the 2099 titles–the original series, not the "modern" iteration(s) of Spider-Man.

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Just some more #1s…

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Some non-Marvel/non-DC #1s.

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A bunch of DC #1s…probably most notable to me is the Teen Titans issue as I am not sure if I’ve ever had a copy of this issue; and given how long the Starman series ran, it’s cool to find #1 like this.

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And finally, even more #1s and specials from DC.


I’m constantly re-amazed at what I can occasionally find in bargain-bins…and the sheer quantity of issues I can stack up for 25 cents…I can buy over 100 25-cent issues for the price of FOUR Marvel #1s present-day!

And these 25-cent issues include various thicker covers, double/triple-size issues, cover enhancements/gimmicks, etc…and these over-100-issues-for-25-cents-each are largely themselves priced such that the entire stack cost less than cover price of maybe 10 of these issues–some of the issues nearly 30 years old!

This is also withOUT attending a convention that I refuse to deal with given lack of communication last year, and "digs" they and their representatives have taken at me online for voicing my concerns over the communication issue last year and how in impacted my attempt to attend the convention.

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Batman (2016) #52 [Review]

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Script: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks
Color: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Lee Weeks, Elizabeth Breitweiser
Assoc. Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Batman Created by: Bob Kane with Bill Finger
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: Early October 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

While I own the entire run, I think I’ve basically only READ the first issue, the proposal issue, and #45-present for this series. I’m trying to be more diligent at "keeping up with" the series now, having finally jumped back in without forcing myself to backtrack and try to get through a 2-year queue just to "allow" myself to read current issues.

I was grabbed by the Booster Gold cover of #45 or so and opted to read that "out of order" due to Booster’s presence…and kept going. Then I "had to" read #50 before coming across spoilers, which I SOMEWHAT managed to do. Now it’s been about a month since #50, meaning two more issues as the series is biweekly. I’d "misplaced" #51, but with not wanting to fall IMMEDIATELY behind again, I managed to find it, and quite enjoyed it. I went immediately into this issue–same creative team as #51–and by the end of the issue, just sat with the feeling that I want the next chapter ASAP, in a way that I didn’t even have with #50.

I’m "assuming" this is a 3-issue mini-arc…something about it just "feels" like a 3-parter. Coming into this issue, we find the situation being recapped in the form of the jurors reviewing available evidence as presented to them. Bruce insists on going back over three key pieces of evidence for context. We get flashes of the actual fight between Batman and Freeze as the jurors discuss things–Mr. Freeze (barred as part of probation from donning his costume and having a freeze gun) having his costume and rebuilt a freeze gun; being prepared for Batman and what expectations he’d HAVE for a confrontation with Batman; his confession and why he stuck to it even when out of Batman’s presence. To Bruce Wayne’s fellow jurors, Batman is better than the police–he’s THE best, he’s the one who’s infallible, and if Batman delivered Freeze, then OBVIOUSLY Freeze is guilty. But Bruce has information and context that the other jurors do not and likely will not…but he must now find a way to prove his own belief in Freeze’s actual innocence of the particular crime he’s being tried for.

I’m so-so regarding the art. It’s not bad, and I’d swear I’ve got a positive mental thought behind Weeks’ name in terms of art…but it just seemed somehow "off" to me here (and in #51). Perhaps it’s because of seeing some Jim Aparo art recently, and some other stuff…so on actual reading of this issue, my mind wanted other art, and so compared this to that. I’m not sure the phrasing I’m looking for, but Mr. Freeze in particular seems frail and "wiry" to me here, in a sickly sort of way…not the stronger/more powerful character I tend to picture. There’s also something to the line work that just feels rather "messy" and does so in a way that keeps me from liking it as much in and of itself. It’s surely a design/visual choice and quite intentional and not bad art…but it wouldn’t be my first choice as of reading the issue. That said, it definitely gets the story across, the jumps between Bruce and the other jurors, and the earlier interaction between Batman and Fries. The characters look human, no weird oddities to anatomy or such and the various characters are distinct, and there’s a contrast to the Batman stuff.

Story-wise, that contrast works very well, showing us a brutal, violent-beyond-usual Batman dealing with Mr. Freeze even while we see Bruce trying to work things out "remotely" for firstly how he didn’t catch something as Batman as well having realized he–as Batman–was wrong for going after Freeze, and must now find a way to get the criminal off, as Bruce now believes that the man is innocent of the particular crime he was brought down over…and because he knows that, it’s not (in this case) justice, and means someone else committed the crime and thus is more important to be "brought to justice."

Despite any of my negative/so-so-ness about the art…as an entire package, I greatly enjoyed this issue. I want to read the next issue; and I suspect that it will be "top of the stack" due to my eagerness, in a way that #51 was not, initially, after #50. I love this use of Bruce Wayne–as Bruce Wayne, as a character, and not JUST as Batman. Seeing Bruce Wayne involved in something, interacting with others as Bruce Wayne, and even discussing Batman and seeing/reading ("hearing") certain things and getting meaning that someone who does NOT know Bruce and Batman are one and the same would not. It’s also interesting to consider the ethical things–such as Bruce serving on a jury involving a case with a man that he himself brought in, without anyone else knowing that fact. But then, a masked vigilante running around serving a greater good YET technically breaking a number of laws doing so adds other stuff to the mix. In context of Batman stories, though, I always find myself going back to Untold Legend of the Batman and a flashback of Bruce’s moment of realization that Justice and The Law are not automatically the same thing.

This is a Bruce Wayne back in a familiar place thanks to a new situation; I was reminded a bit of A Lonely Place of Dying, which is certainly another factor that sparked a positive feeling for me.

This isn’t for everyone, obviously…but it begins to move things forward with developments from #50, and yet almost feels like a new series. I’m very thankful this is NOT some new #2, as the numbering continuing on clearly shows that there can be a new focus and a series can feel fresh even without an arbitrary #1 slapped on the cover. The primary drawback to the issue is the price–I’d swear up to #49, this series was $2.99 and now carries the $3.99 price point. I’ve long been down on Marvel for biweekly $3.99 books, having often felt that I was very OK with DC doing the biweekly thing since the issues were 25% cheaper. As I’ve significantly trimmed back on what I’m buying, it’s not the huge thing it could be, but does have me a bit wary.

Still, having read the two issues back to back and being eager for the next chapter…having enjoyed this issue and the story in and of itself…and DC still having a bit of ok will (if not entirely "good will") from me, I’ll let the point go for now.

Regardless of Batman #50, one who "knows" Batman in general ought to have little trouble picking up with #51 and this issue for a good story. As part 2 of a multi issue story, I do not recommend this issue without #51…and if you don’t already have this issue, you’d probably enjoy the story better if you wait and got all 3 issues at once, if not waiting for a collected volume.

For a $3.99 issue, I liked this, I’m glad to have the issue, and I’m actively looking forward to the next issue.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of August 2, 2018

The first week of August…and a decent-sized week of new comics, including a piece I’ve been looking forward to for some time!

Of course, Chloe was quick to come by and check things out as I took these photos, so I’ll give her first spot in this post!

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I’m a sentimental fool when it comes to this cat…and I simply enjoy her company and love when she actually stays put like this for a good photo.

On with the week’s new comics!

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We’ve got the first issue of the 12-issue (planned) "maxi-series" Adventures of the Super-Sons, following their 16-issue ongoing series that ended not too long ago. The newest issue of Batman, essentially a "#2" in my eyes, for "the Next 50 Issues" of this run and considering #50 a finale of sorts. (However, I extremely highly totally completely hope that DC does NOT renumber the series anytime before a new 200+th issue!)

I’ve gotta catch up on the actual reading, but we’ve got part 5 (somehow I thought it was a 4-parter) of the Deathstroke Batman story. Then there’s the 10th issue of Mister Miracle, and the 254th GI Joe: A Real American Hero.

And for the heckuvit, of this week‘s round of "indy" #1s, I decided to check out Leviathan. As much as the out-there premise caught my attention from a text/blurb preview, it was honestly that title logo that got me. I love the big, blocky logos, and find skinny generic-typeface-minimalist logos completely uninteresting and a bit pretentious. So a big, bold title that actually looks substantive and significant…it’s a dumb aesthetic thing, but it sold me!

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Then the book I’ve been looking forward to for awhile–TwoMorrowsComic Book Implosion, an "oral history" of the DC Comics "Implosion" of the late 1970s. Having long heard the term and been vaguely aware of it in broad strokes, a nice historical piece in-depth on the subject, in print format for me to get to as time allows…this had my attention from the publisher’s first social media post I saw about it!

Hard to believe it’s been another month already–DC Nation #3–but here it is. I also quite like the way the animated Star Trek look fits so well with the ’80s animated Transformers look. I might actually check out the first issue if it’s out on a "slow week," and go from there!

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