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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 24, 2019

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Last week was a monumental week on a couple of fronts. Comic-wise, not so much. But I’ll get to those momentarily.

Avengers: Endgame premiered, and thanks to a friend scoring early tickets, I got to see a 6pm show of the film Thursday, April 22nd! I haven’t settled on quite the adjectives to use for it, and I really presently have no intention of attempting any formal review of the film.

I found the film to be "fitting," satisfying, well worth seeing, and I definitely enjoyed it. I loved catching various references and callbacks to other/earlier Marvel films, and one particularly key moment of self-identification that flashed back to the first of the Marvel Studios films.

While I lack the words, given the foundation of 21 earlier films, within the context of all those films and having seen them and all that…I’d be hard-pressed NOT to rank it up there with the original Iron Man and Captain America: Civil War. Though just as Infinity War brought back an awe originally found in the first 2012 Avengers, this one definitely surpassed that by far, for me.

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Eventually, I’m going to get caught up on Action Comics again. I’m almost going to have to, if I’m gonna follow the other Leviathan stuff coming in May. That said, there was definitely something to seeing the #1010 next to #1002–two four-digit numbers–with Detective Comics. I’ve yet to play any of the Arkham games…so this Arkham Knight stuff doesn’t hit the high notes for me that it probably does for others. I’m also still not overly keen on this new logo for the title…less so when seen next to the classic, nearly-original 80+ years old Action logo.

Heroes in Crisis #8 reveals stuff…and I was rather "shocked" when I realized that against initial intentions, I’ve kept on with each issue, after thinking I’d leave it for a collected edition if at all. I strongly feel like the title’s event(s) could EASILY have been condensed to 3-4 issues with the "interviews" done as bonus text pieces as backmatter and achieved the same effect in less than half the time/expense of the series as a whole. I’m digging King‘s Batman run…but HiC is far, far more a "miss" for me.

I also need to catch up on my reading for Mr. & Mrs. X…but keep up with the series because it’s Rogue and Gambit, and I’ve quite a bit of relative "history" with the characters going back 26-some years now.

I clearly, consciously remember getting Avengers Forever #1 "off the shelf" back in 1998–nearly 21 years ago. So it was fitting to get it again in this format–for only $1–and the realization that there are several years of high school graduates who were born AFTER the issue originally came out! In 1992/1993 as I was fully getting into comics, 21 years back was 1971/1972…I was closer to to Claremont‘s revamp of the X-Men then, than I am now to getting in post-1991!

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TMNT #93 kicks off City at War and begins the final run-up to #100. Criminal–basically, anything from Brubaker and Phillips–is always a treat. And for the heckuvit, I decided to "try" Ascender #1…though who knows when/if I’ll get to reading the darned thing.

Comic Shop News gives House of X the spotlight…and I’ve got mixed feelings on the thing. I’m curious and interested in something big and "key" with the X-Men…but I am NOT keen on the high-priced single-issues, nor the inevitable waste of space of entire pages with just a couple words on them that are typical to everything from Hickman…to say nothing of generally having a sense of pretentiousness from what I’ve read by the writer. Not so much that the writer is pretentious, but the air of the comics seem that way, as well as what I get from having to "do homework" to "appreciate" the stories. With two concurrent (and I believe, biweekly?) 6 issue-series across 12ish weeks…I’ll possibly check out first issues, but more than likely leave stuff for collected edition(s) if reviews warrant.

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I hit a significant quarter-bin jackpot on Good Friday (likely detailing that in an upcoming post). This past weekend, I found less of particular interest, despite snagging a "grail" (also in the likely-upcoming post). But for $1.75…two Wizard specials ($4.95 apiece cover price, I believe), the "chromium"/fancy covers for Bloodshot #0 and Turok #1 (another $8ish between the two), a Machine Man issue (that I mistook as some sort of 2099 special I’d missed all these years), and oversized Captain America (with stuff about Galactic Storm) and one of the number of variants from 2000’s X-Men #100. Easily $30ish in "value" for $1.75. Far superior value over even one $5 contemporary Marvel issue.


Hard to believe that the next New Comic Book Day will be MAY 2019 already. And it’ll be the first  NCBD post-Avengers Endgame. I wonder how different that may feel.

Or not.

Time’ll tell!

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The Weekend Haul – Weekend of June 2-4 2017

While everyone else is covering Wonder Woman‘s opening weekend (I saw the film and thought it was fantastic, far more enjoyable and such than Man of Steel or Batman v Superman, and above Suicide Squad) I’m gonna continue on for now. Maybe I’ll write up lengthier, more in-depth thoughts, maybe not.

Prior to seeing the film, I made it to Kenmore to pick up my pulls, and after earlier in the day seeing a staff photo with the statues in the background (and still annoyed that someone bought the Robin statue I had intended to buy a week or two before I went to buy it) I opted to splurge big-time (for me) on this Superman statue.

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This is my first statue, at least as I’d consider stuff to be statues. I suppose the Super Powers Robin and Super Powers Superman that I have might be considered some sort of statue, but I don’t count ’em as such.

The box for this Icon Heroes Superman says "collectible statue paperweight" and I don’t quite get where "paperweight" comes in, but whatever. This is larger than any other Superman I’ve yet got, heavier, and has a base, and is very much a statue in my book!

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Though the face is a bit generic, and the "S" seems to be more New 52 to me offhand than not, it works (and the costume is more the classic–including the trunks!). I like the pose, and the "movement" of the cape…that it’s not just "flat" hanging off him.

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The "detail" of the yellow S on the back of the cape doesn’t seem to be a sticker, but does not seem to be "painted" on…probably some sort of transfer. No bother, though–it looks good to me!

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Comics-wise, had Letter 44, Highlander: The American Dream, and TMNT Universe on my pulls, and couldn’t remember if I’d had Aliens: Dead Orbit but managed to grab that from the shelf. And seeing this other Spawn cover (an updated take on the classic, original #1 issue cover), I bought it to pair with one of my copies of the original first issue for my wall. I’m treating it functionally like buying a small print, and not as a variant cover; regardless of nitpicking on words, though–it’s going to be displayed and not just simply be filed into some box o’ variants or such.

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I also snagged the Wonder Woman Day issues–a reprint of the first issue of the Rebirth run, and a chapter of SuperHero Girls: Summer Olympus. (Then on Saturday, I also snagged the cardboard tiara and bracers for a friend’s daughter from Comic Heaven along with an extra copy of the comics to go with ’em.)

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I spent a whopping $1 from the 25-cent bins on a couple older comics–The Flash and Brave and the Bold, then a ’90s Justice League Quarterly and the newsstand edition of Batman #500.

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Attending the Lake Effect Comic Con on Sunday, I completed my (now-vintage) original set of TMNT: City at War for the same price as some Marvel contemporary #1 issues. And got the X-Men Forever 2 volumes as a 3/$10 deal.

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I also snagged this Marvel Treasury Edition of Superman and Spider-Man for a whopping $5.

This is a bit of a "novelty" for me–I believe the only other "treasury" type issues I have are far more recent–a reprint of GI Joe #1 a friend gave me, and an IDW edition of TMNT #50.

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I got this Batman at a Barnes and Noble, and a Wolverine I had ordered arrived.

While at the Lake Effect Comic Con, I found a dealer than had a large selection of these Pop! figures…but they all seemed to be marked up quite high–far above anything I was willing to pay. I feel "vindicated" (so to speak) on having ordered this Wolverine, and I bought the Batman in a foolish sort of passive-spite, being able to get it at a "regular" price.

Overall, an extremely expensive weekend, particularly with some other stuff I’d ordered (and forgot about).

Here’s hoping this week’s new comics are another very light load!

The Fourth Fifty: IDW’s TMNT

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I remember picking up the Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50 back in the summer of 1992. I didn’t fully “get” the issue, but it was a significant milestone in an age of round numbers (25/50/75/etc), anniversary issues and all that. It was apparently the first full collaboration between Eastman and Laird on an issue of the series in quite some time, plus it kicked off the City at War storyline, which to this day holds plenty of significance to the TMNT mythology 23 years later. In retrospect, the issue came out “only” 8 years into the turtles’ existence…basically in the first quarter of the entire time they’ve been around.

Only the year following, the 50th issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures from Archie hit, concluding a 3-part Black Hole Trilogy that picked up/integrated the alien Sarnath and “canonized” the 2-part The Incredible Shrinking Turtles story from issues 3-4. The issue included a pull-out poster, and gold ink on the cover, lending it a bit of a special look compared to other covers of the series.

In 2008, the second volume of Mirage‘s Tales of the TMNT reached its 50th issue, which was again a pretty significant milestone…all the more for me, personally–it was the first series that I ever followed uninterrupted from the very first issue TO its 50th (and/or beyond).

Now, in 2015, we have the 50th issue of IDW‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, another that I have followed uninterrupted from its very first issue to this 50th, and have every intention of continuing as far beyond as they’re willing to go without renumbering.

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TMNT #50 Treasury Edition

I learned of this “treasury edition” a few weeks back, and asked about it at the comic shop, and was put down for an order. For the sheer physical size of the thing, and the price of usual comics, $9.99 seemed like a steal for this. Of course, now that it finally came in and I had a chance to look at it, it did not turn out to be exactly what I’d expected.

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I’d expected this to simply be an over-sized reprint of the original issue–just the original issue in its entirety, blown up to this massive size. Instead, it turned out that this is basically a companion piece to the issue (blown up to this massive size).

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We get a look at the original layouts to the issue, beautifully reproduced–so much so that I kept looking closer: the intro to the volume references the ballpoint pen, and darned if everything doesn’t look like Kevin Eastman himself actually drew on blank pages and handed the result to me! I also like the annotations throughout…

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Once beyond the layouts for the entire issue, we get a look at many of the final pages in various states (pencils-then-inks, etc); again annotated, allowing quite a look at the process that went into the issue.

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And then at the back of the volume, we get the original notes/outline to the entire City at War story, which proved interesting reading (and has bee all the more eager to dive into the story when my copy of the TMNT Ultimate Collection vol. 4 arrives in the next few days!)

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As I said above…this is very much an oversized publication, as you can see here. While this wasn’t exactly what I expected, and I would have gladly paid $15-$20 for this plus the full-size pages of the original issue, it’s quite a worthwhile volume.

The original Eastman & Laird run, the Tales run, Return to New York, and City at War are my favorite of the original series. And the original printing of #50 back in 1992 or so was offhand THE first issue of the “real” TMNT that I ever bought/owned, so it has special significance for me.

I even have a City at War poster that’s hung in my living room for the last couple years since I acquired it that I fully intend to get framed one of these days.

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