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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 25, 2018

This week was a fairly small week of new release comics for me…small enough that I "padded it out" a bit.

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The new issue of Action Comics–#1001–was a given, for me. It’s been 3 months coming, since the huge #1000 issue.

After looking forward to The Flash War for so long and even letting the title go for several months, I got back in for the (finally) actual story itself…which seemed too short. This #51 "epilogue" issue is a pleasant surprise-extension of the story.

And Mr. and Mrs. X is Marvel actually getting me with a concept I’m interested in–fially having Rogue and Gambit get to this point (one of my earliest X-Men comics was #24–the "date" issue with the two.

I quite enjoyed the X-Men: Grand Design issues from the turn of the year, and was rather disappointed at the long delay between those and the next ones. Time healed that particular "wound" and it was a pleasant surprise to find this one out this week. Unlike other $5.99 issues, these actually feel heavy and "special" and worth the price.

I hadn’t realized The Hellblazer was ending…but as with the end of the 300+ issue Vertigo run, I opted to snag this final issue "immediately" with the intent to fill in the gaps I have in the story via collected volumes, eventually/someday.

Because I was "curious" after stupidly "buying into" some hype over the Teen Titans Special several weeks ago, figured I might as well give this issue a shot and see if it actually goes anywhere interesting, or if IT is all-hype/etc.

And finally, because it actually reprints an issue I did not yet own and had never even read before, the True Believers issue reprinting What If..? #1 was a handy addition for only $1. (3 Marvel comics for $11…pretty darned cheap considering their usual prices!)

Still, it’s rather dismaying that even the DC titles were all $3.99. I’ll occasionally be ok with occasional higher-price-point issues–Grand Design being an excellent example–but certainly not as a routine, regular thing. And for me, Marvel has far too often "abused" the higher prices in my eyes, such that I was honestly somewhat surprised that Mr. and Mrs. X was "only" $3.99 for a #1 issue. (Which was another reason to support the title–NOT EVERY #1 NEEDS TO BE a $4.99+ giant-sized issue! And yet, I could argue that this one would be more deserving of a giant-size status. Reprint X-Men #24, and maybe some other key issue from the characters’ pasts. Reprint the Avengers Annual Rogue first appeared in, and Uncanny X-Men #266 with Gambit’s first appearance–juxtapose their first appearances with how far they’ve come. After all, this title is not MERELY "the next month’s issue" of a title with a #1 slapped on the cover…it’s truly a new status quo for the characters, it’s a new title we have not seen before, and so on. (As opposed to the fifth(?) Amazing Spider-Man #1 or the seventh(?) Captain America #1 in the last 20 years)

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 11, 2018

This past week was a small week for me for comics!

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The new Superman #1–a long time (several months?) coming. I still think this would’ve been the place to start with the storyline that we got as Man of Steel (2018). Then we have the extra-sized Flash #50, with what I suppose is the "conclusion" of Flash War (at "only" 4 chapters…but an Annual prologue and whatever other lead-up threw me off with the title earlier in the year).

GI Joe: A Real American Hero #253…a series closing in on its 100th issue or so. This "began" with a Free Comic Book Day #155 1/2, if I’m recalling correctly–and then started properly with #156…picking up from the original Marvel numbering going back to the early 1980s! Given the time between 1995 and the start of this run, the series could legitimately have started with a new #1…but this has a feel of TRUE "legacy" in the numbering.

The second issue of Aliens: Dust to Dust is out; and the "surprise" new series from Kirkman Die!Die!Die! premiered with the barest heads-up that it was even going to be available. I opted to check it out on principle: the way I grouse about over-hype and over-marketing and such (particularly from the likes of Marvel) I feel I should at least check something like this out to "support" something NOT being part of the "hype machine" and all that. If they’re willing to take a chance putting it out withOUT all the hype/etc, I can take a chance on a #1. Normally I’d be annoyed at something with a distinct lack of information available…but especially as an exception to the norm, I’ll give it a bit of leeway.


And speaking of exceptions, I was actually going to go ahead and check out the new Amazing Spider-Man #1 given some online spoilers…I even went so far as to physically pick up a copy of the issue to look at…but the $5.99 (while not $9.99!) was still way too much for me for some "casual" "check-out." At $3.99…I’d’ve bought it. That extra $2–whether extra main-story pages or not, is too much. Marvel already put me off with years of $4.99 #1s…going up to $5.99 just keeps me out all the more! With all the relaunches/renumberings/WHATEVER…certainly they could do a "loss-leader" and give some extra pages for a lower price, to get folks to check the thing out?

There’s also some sort of "digital sale" for DC…and though I already have the print edition, $4.99 for the digital Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle was well worth a purchase…all the more as I’ve been annoyed lately at all the digital sales having been $5.99. Though my tablet (an iPad 2) is nearing the end of its functionality (I"ve already had to drop Marvel Unlimited due to incompatibility), it still works with the DC app (over 4 years on and I’ve yet to buy anything through Comixology itself since they dropped in-app purchases through Apple devices.) I’d been on the edge of paying $1.99/issue for the four-part The Mud Pack as it was…so here, for $3 cheaper, got a whole mess of additional issues’ content for the price. AND I don’t feel bad double-dipping on the digital for "only" $4.99 despite having the actual hardcover and numerous copies of each of the single issues from The Mud Pack.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 4, 2018

Last week was an odd week for comics, with a US holiday being on Wednesday itself…and with both Marvel AND DC putting out key books on the day, many comic shops opened for limited hours so as to accommodate making sure people could buy the Wedding issue of Batman as well as the premieres of the new Catwoman and Captain America series, among other things. I had a mix of stuff, making it to two shops, amidst a couple of other things going on.

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I was doing my darnedest to avoid SPOILERS for Batman, and while I technically succeeded…I saw ENOUGH to have a PRETTY STRONG GUESS as to what happened, though I still hoped I was wrong. I ended up buying the issue digitally so I could read it before 1am, and thus be "safe" with spoilers I knew were out there. Suffice it to say that I opted NOT to buy Catwoman. The new Man of Steel mini had its final issue–and I really feel like this SHOULD HAVE BEEN simply the first three issues of the new Superman and 1001-1003 of Action Comics with Bendis. I just don’t see the "specialness" to it that warranted this as a mini-series…we have a new villain, major developments…but nothing to the LEVEL OF the John Byrne stuff.

I’m quite enjoying the TMNT: Urban Legends, reprinting the Image run of the TMNT book in color. While I know Peter Laird retained some publishing rights to his own series when he sold the property…given we’ve seen some IDW reprints of the Tales of the TMNT run from the 2001+ era, I hope we might also eventually get colorized reprints of his TMNT vol. 4…perhaps even some sort of finishing of the story that trailed off around 2007.

I need to catch up on my reading of Spawn, though being "on" the title since #256 or so, I’m probably still on at least to #300. Of course, a jump from $2.99 to $3.99 might have me reconsidering that. And as much as I like Priest, I have yet to actually read any of the Deathstroke vs. Batman issues, and as I’m easing out of DC, as this arc wraps, I’ll probably be off the title.

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Bane: Conquest finally gets to its 12th issue. I can’t even honestly remember at this point if I read the first issue last year with stuff going on in my personal life–but the intent was always there, so I stuck with the title. Now by the time I get around to gathering all 12 issues together AND actually reading, I should have waited for the collected volume.

The sheer audacity of this The Pouch character got me for Bloodstrike: Brutalists. I have had zero luck finding concrete info as to whether this Brutalists numbering is continuing from the 1990s’ numbering or a more recent numbering. If the latter, I may jump in; otherwise, might go for a collected edition.

TMNT Universe is another I have to catch up on reading…though being TMNT, it’s an exception to most of my usual problems with comics and gets that "pass" on its over-pricing.

Then we have the newest DC Nation issue; a 10-cent Project Superpowers issue, and another Back Issue issue caught my eye.


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With plans to catch Ant-Man and the Wasp, and known traffic issues with my route, I built a lot of extra time into things on Friday and made it to a Booksamillion I hadn’t been to in awhile, and managed to get this Tyrannosaurus Rex Pop that I passed on some time back and regretted doing so. I thought about getting the Velociraptor but ultimately passed on it due to other books (see further below) and a few other factors for present.

I continue to notice that I love these figures for non-human-face characters. They’re excellent for the style…but the human characters/faces just look too generic for my taste.

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I stopped in at The Exchange, a location of which I hadn’t been to in awhile…and had a 3-way excellent find!

Some years back, a friend had found a copy of this The Further Adventures of the Joker book for me…though in regrettably poor condition. Still, it was the only copy of the thing I’d ever seen or come across. But here, I found one in much better condition, and for 25% cheaper than a standard Marvel comic!

I’d been vaguely aware THAT there was a hardcover edition of The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told, but finding it for $10–half the price of the PAPERback edition–and in relatively decent shape, and it being Superman…I snagged it, as I know full well I’d have totally regretted it if I didn’t and missed out. This is now shelved next to my original paperback copy (that I received as a Christmas gift in 1989…my first-ever TPB/graphic novel/collected edition).

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The Exchange also had this Samurai Usagi figure. I don’t’ recall if I’d actually ever seen this "in the wild" or not–I’d seen a couple of the regular version, and bought one of those at the time–but seeing this for only $10 (basically a $2ish premium over Target or Walmart before they prematurely clearanced the line out completely) I jumped on it.

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Along with the Jurassic Park Pop, the Booksamillion also actually had The Son of Neptune with the other bargain-priced volumes. I’d been eyeing these for quite awhile, but saw no point in buying the hardbacks for vols 3+ without owning vol. 2…and having bought vol. 1 in hardback when it first came out (whenever that was now) I wanted the hardbacks instead of the paperbacks. So finding vols 2-5, I sucked it up and spent the money to get these. The next challenge will be actually getting around to–you guessed it–reading them.

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And speaking of "challenge" and "reading" as a singular thing… Sarah-cat here has really gotten consistent with inserting herself into things whenever I’m trying to read OR take photos for this blog… but she’s so darned cute, and I’d always loved spotlighting Ziggy as well as Chloe along with comics and such, I can’t be annoyed with her. Especially when I can get her to actually look at the camera like this!

But as I posted on Twitter when I sent this photo out…it’s safe to assume that any photos in this blog have passed her inspection, as I can’t seem to take any without her being on-hand to supervise. Chloe is often nearby as well, though she seems to have delegated to Sarah, which means between both of them, this blog is 100% kitty-approved!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of June 27, 2018

This week’s proved to be a rather small (though more expensive for its size) week.

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The new Man of Steel issue…which, while it has a nostalgia-inducing cover evoking the nearly-26-year-old Doomsday / The Death of Superman story doesn’t so much as mention or touch on that story whatsoever. Flash 49, part 3 of The Flash War. And due to "hype" I snagged the Teen Titans Special…while it may be a bit of a turning point, I do NOT feel like it lived up to any of the hype at all.

Marvel has stupid-ridiculous prices for its single issues and collected volumes. But 6 $3.99 issues and 1 $4.99 issue in a $19.99 paperback is (comparatively) not bad. So I went ahead and got the Thanos Wins tpb. I suppose it’s also a way to support this straight to PAPERBACK thing, rather than going to hardcover first and THEN "eventually" paperback. ORRRRRR I flat-out missed the hardback, so…whatever.

Then because it was on sale, I picked up Hulk: World War Hulks for a whopping $5.99. Something like this–a deluxe/oversized hardcover, good and thick…for basically the price of a single Marvel issue? I’m there.

It’s also helpful finally updating my phone’s photos-of-my-shelves inventory so that I could look and confirm this wasn’t a duplicate, as I recognized the cover. But that’d be because half the cover is from Fall of the Hulks: Alpha that I reviewed some years back..

Next week will be ‘interesting’ with New Comics Day being July 4th…or Independence Day here in the U.S. and stores being open due to DC and Marvel putting out key issues that’ve been highly hyped, and no one shifted to this past week or July 11th, and Diamond didn’t push by a day for stuff to be on sale on Tuesday or held til Thursday.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of June 6, 2018

Once again, a decently-small week for new comics!

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The newest Man of Steel, the new Batman, and because of having already gotten a couple chapters, the newest Deathstroke for the vs. Batman arc. And for the sake of momentary completion since I got the first issue, Demi-God #2. Not sure if this is a mini-series, but not knowing when I’ll get to actually reading #1, didn’t want to then have to hunt for #2…particularly with the likelihood of then being "stuck" with a wrong cover.

And the "first" issue of DC Nation…which somehow I didn’t realize was going to be magazine-sized, nor what it is. Because of the #0 issue last month, I figured it was at least going to be comic-sized. At least this one’s "free," and I truly don’t have nearly as much room to grouse about that.

Of course, I’m sure it’s not free to comic shops–they still have to pay for stuff like this.

I also bought a print based on one of the covers to 1991’s X-Men #1–the Magneto piece. I’ve already got it in a frame, so getting a proper photo’s not happening right now–either too much shadow or too much glare or too much reflection.


Along with the comic-shop run, also stopped by a Walmart for groceries. And per usual, took a walk down the toy aisle, figuring I’d start my hunt/quest for finding the Deadpool Wave Cable figure from Marvel Legends. Fellow blogger FigureFanZero reviewed the figure the other day on his blog, and really sold me on it, showing what an awesome piece it is.

The figure’s been selling for stupid prices online, and with distribution and all, I figured I’d have to visit numerous Walmart stores–maybe several of them repeatedly–along with Targets to find the thing. I had seen it somewhere in-person before and passed on it, which made it all the more likely that it was going to be a real hassle to find again.

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But there it was, so of course I bought it. The price–and buying it at all–was made a bit more palatable by the fact of not having spent a huge amount on comics. I also saw the classic Deadpool from this wave. But since that’s apparently selling for a reasonable price online, I’m in less hurry for that. (Famous last words?)

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And then on the way out of Walmart, spotted this plush Deadpool looking loose and on top in one of those "claw machines." My first try, the claw simply didn’t firm up (stupid machine!) The second time, whatever the machine was programed for, the mechanism of the hook had caught on the loop at the top of the character’s head…such that even when the claw opened again over the delivery chute, the thing was still hanging there.

So I paid a third time and the claw immediately dropped it through the chute. All told, Plush Deadpool was cheaper than a comic book. And quite the cool "prize." I’m sure this would probably be a good $7-10 off the shelf. Much cheaper from the "claw machine."

For this photo…one could say he’s been defeated by the black panther…Sarah the Kitty.

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Recent Ultimate Spider-Man Acquisitions

Over the last several weeks, I actually came across a couple volumes of the Ultimate Spider-Man oversized hardcovers that I’d thought long since out of reach, at least barring very specific hunting.

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I came across vol. 9 at a sale at Comic Heaven recently; and about a week later discovered vol. 6 on the sale table as well. I ordered the Death of Spider-Man “omnibus” last weekend, having found it for just under 50% cover price INCLUDING shipping.

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I’m now “only” missing volumes 7 & 8 from having the complete run. Yet, I don’t want to pay full cover price, ideally…and certainly no intention of paying significantly ABOVE cover price JUST because the darned things are “out of print.”

Still…it’s a new short-term “goal” for my collection, and a bit of a challenge given the volumes are several years out of print and not simply in-stock online for “easy” purchase.

Marvel Now: All-New X-Men #s 2-5

allnewxmen002Of all of the Marvel Now books, All-New X-Men has been by far my favorite. I enjoyed the first issue quite a bit, and from the second issue on, the ride’s kept moving at a nice pace–other than the $3.99 price point, I’m actually quite enjoying the double-shipping.

The issue by issue pacing has been a little quick…I’m glad to get into the story more, but I do wish the single issues had a bit more content to them.

The preview that so thoroughly hooked me for the first issue had turned out to be the final several pages of the issue–a little disappointing, but it left me eager for #2. Getting into the second issue was a real treat–the writing is a definite “hit” for me from Bendis, and the art’s been thoroughly enjoyable. allnewxmen003Seeing the younger X-Men in the present and the reactions–theirs as well as the adults–worked very well…especially Wolverine’s reaction to Jean (and vice versa).

The third issue almost seems likely to be a backdoor pilot for Uncanny X-Men; though I have no complaint about the issue having a good look at Cyclops, Magneto, and their group…except it seemed a bit out of place after the first two issues–almost like it should’ve been something else. As a single issue, it sticks out; but the inevitable “graphic novel” collected edition will probably read just fine with the pacing.

allnewxmen004The fourth issue finally sees the intended consequence of the original X-Men being brought forward in time as Cyclops is stunned by their presence and tries to figure out what happened. And of course, the fifth issue seems to bring the first arc to a loose close, while solidifying the status quo.

And as has been all over the place, the fifth issue sees the Beast’s Next Mutation, which–after something like 11 years of getting used to “feline-Beast” is rather jarring and not much to my liking.

As said above–I’m really digging Immonen‘s art, and the rest of the art team is doing a superb job with giving a great-looking issue each time out. allnewxmen005I’ve yet to sit down and re-read the whole arc, but everything’s fit pretty well together visually.

The very concept of this title should leave me disliking it, but this is the original X-Men I read at the start of my freshman year of college in an Essential volume, meeting up with the present-day X-Men after 20 years I’ve followed them to some degree or another. And while the high concept shouldn’t seem to be sustainable–I once said that Lost, Prison Break, and Castle didn’t seem like [tv] series that should go beyond one season, so I’m open to seeing what’s done with this.

And with Bendis on the book, hopefully we get to see at least a couple years of this title, if not a good long run in general with something old bringing something new to the contemporary Marvel Universe.

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