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The Weekly Haul: Week of November 6, 2019

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I’m pretty sure this was the cheapest Wednesday I’ve had in MONTHS…and that INCLUDES buying an Image Compendium volume!

Let’s get to the week’s books..!

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I’d totally forgotten about the "acetate covers" or whatever they’re called. DC has really lost me overall, so the only thing redeeming about it is…even WITH this "fancy cover" on Batman #82 (or is that City of Bane #82???) it still carries a $3.99 price point. Small "wins," right?

New issue of TMNT: Urban Legends…we’re well past the halfway-point for this series, and just a couple issues shy of where I’d gotten in on the original Image run of TMNT for a couple issues. Looking forward to catching up on the reading and getting to that point…as well as the series finally getting a proper ending of sorts. The primary drawback to me is that I still want to get the original Image issues…but ALL anyone ever seems to have at conventions and such IS the IDW stuff, be it the current ongoing, color classics, or whatever.

Spawn #302 puts us 2 issues past the big one, and we’re back to the regular price point of $2.99 that got me onto the title a few years ago. I’m getting REALLY sick of the variants even on this title…but at least with it "only" being $2.99, even if I get a variant, I can still get multiple copies for the price of a single Marvel.

We have yet another DC Dollar Comics release in Flashpoint #1. This one seems rather RECENT to me to be reprinting, even though–scarily enough to think about–it’s been 8 1/2 years since it first saw print! I suppose it’s fitting for this week with the City of Bane issue, given the Flashpoint Batman’s involvement in the ongoing stuff.

And the CORRECT-PAGE-ORDER edition of the DC Dollar Comics Batman #497 is out. I didn’t bother to try to exchange the original. I still had bought a $1 comic, and for "only" $1 I’m willing to buy it again, still for the nostalgia and all that. Of course, it’s gonna be a crappy time for back-issue buyers with no indicator on the cover that anything’s different or amiss about the issue.

The biggest surprise of the week for me was this Image Firsts Compendium vol. 3. I saw it and picked it up to look at–a curiosity. It’s been several years since I’d seen one of these as a new publication. I recalled having the first volume, so for "only" $5.99 I figured I’d add it to my collection. It reprints 8 or so #1 issues from Image, in a handy single volume and cheaper than even the Image Firsts $1 editions if you want "everything." AND when I got home and checked my existing collection…I DO already have both earlier volumes, so I’m adding vol. 3 to my collection without any gaps!

Finally, we have this week’s Comic Shop News, this time spotlighting Captain America: The End, which I believe is one of a bunch of pending one-shots giving more characters the The End treatment–a limited story to provide an "ending" to the character(s) in question. This is capitalizing on series from YEARS back like Hulk: The End, Wolverine: The End, and the 18-issue trilogy of 6-issue arcs making up X-Men: The End. Of course, these are sure to be $4.99+ an issue with too many splash pages and such…over-hype and under-delivery that turns me off to so much of Marvel‘s fare.

I’m not their target audience, so I just won’t buy what I don’t care for…more power to those who want the stuff and get what they pay for.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 16, 2019

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This week’s an interesting week in terms of the weekly haul. Along with comics, it includes the single most expensive "leisure item" I think I have EVER bought!

Let’s get into ’em…

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When the Tales From the Dark Multiverse things were announced, they were very appealing to me. Re-imaginings of key stories such as Knightfall and The Death of Superman particularly, as key stories that really largely "defined" comics for me as a kid. Stuff to be sort of Elseworlds without the name, slotted into modern stuff. I was keen to get this Knightfall issue…though on reading it, did not enjoy it the way I’d thought I would. I’ll save that for further thought and a possible review.

DC really screwed up the DC Dollar Comics Batman #497–printing pages out of order, so you have pages 19, 21, 20, then 22. It’s particularly egregious as it’s a reprint, and not even "just" some new comic having an issue. It’s been published correctly in the past, repeatedly! How it gets screwed up now in 2019 is beyond me.

And perhaps appropriate in a Batman-heavy week is the latest chapter of City of Bane as we near the end of King‘s run on this main title. Particularly appropriate as this arc–if not the entire series–is a sort of "modern riff" on the original Knightfall arc.

It’s equally an X-Men heavy week, with the first issue of Hickman‘s ongoing X-Men title. I’m not keen on it being "legacy numbered" 645 or whatever–taking up the Uncanny numbering withOUT the Uncanny part of the title. Seems just MORE of Marvel‘s wanting to have its cake and eat it, playing fast and loose and ARBITRARILY with numbering. Additionally, while a small part of the issue, an exchange with "Kid-Cable" and Jean realllly put me off, as well as continued use of insert/whitespace pages. I’m also not keen on the apparent villain, and the apparent characterizations of several characters including Storm. As if HoX/PoX hadn’t already given me plenty of clues, I wonder what I am–or will be–subjecting myself to if I try to go all-in on the X-books or any of the titles at all. Especially as the next few weeks are just a "first wave" with MORE titles to follow, and the feeling I myself (reasonably or NOT) get of unpredictability/lack of clarity of publishing frequency coupled with Marvel‘s propensity to do random-seeming $5+ issues and/or the multiple-$4-issues-per-month for a single title.

The True Believers issues give us the first appearances of Rictor and Jubilee. Again, issues I’m glad to support for the $1 price point and NOT being "new" issues, but appreciating the quality and personal preference for the past.

We also have the finale (3rd issue of 3) of Superman: Year One from DC‘s massively over-pushed Black Label. I still need to read the second issue and then this; I recall not being AS put off by the first issue as a lot of folks did…we’ll see how I feel once I’d read a couple more issues and have the story in its entirety. I also feel like DC is really shoving Black Label as a "THING" and it’s a complete turn-off to me; all the MORE after their stuff with Batman: Damned that seemed like they neutered the entire purpose of this thing.

Finally, for the heckuvit and it being available for the price, I picked up a back-issue copy of Spider-Man Unlimited #1. This is the original series–and the issue that kicked off Maximum Carnage, which I remember getting each chapter as it came out across the several months; all 14 or so chapters! (Back when 14 chapters was a LOT for any given crossover, rather than just the number of variant covers on the first issue of an event mini that includes umpteen tie-in minis at inflated prices). I’d much rather pay $5 for a back issue with the nostalgia factor that I’ll enjoy seeing/owning/re-reading/etc over some blasé generic one-of-umpteen-covers reads-in-5-minutes-and-not-even-designed-to-stand-alone chapters of a current "event" comic.

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And then there’s the Arcade1Up edition of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / TMNT: Turtles in Time arcade cabinet.

This cost me only slightly less than my Nintendo Switch (with two games); but it’s a fixed unit capable of playing only two games. (without "modding"). BUT this is TMNT, which has long been my "exception" to normal stuff–be it variant covers, price I’ll pay per issue, etc. And the nostalgia factor for me of the original arcade game AT arcades/the mall…to own this 3/4-scale edition with its various features (no coins needed, all 4 controllers for up to 4 players at once [previous home console versions only allowed 2 players at a time, to best of my knowledge offhand–and specifically thinking of the Nintendo TMNT II: The Arcade Game] is very appealing.

"Online research" and YouTube folks have made it clear the opening song is changed–something to do with copyright issues–but I don’t know if I would’ve truly noticed had "everyone" not been "talking about it." I may have noticed something "off" but likely would have chalked it up to memory, and assuming that the game always HAD been slightly different from the cartoon.

A lot of people dislike the lack of a light-up marquee; but that really doesn’t bother me. I love the idea of these "mini" arcade cabinets; having such a thing in my home for playing at my own leisure and all that. The artwork is at least largely what I remember from the original machine, and enough of the "experience" of the unit itself is there to satisfy my arcade-nostalgia and such; I don’t need a 3/4-scale unit to be 100% accurate to the full-size original.

I don’t know how much "play" the unit will get long-term, but it’s definitely a major "piece" in my "collection," and one I’m glad to have. 9-year-old me is ecstatic at owning such a thing; while pushing-40-me finds it a very cool item.


Partly the purchase of the arcade machine; partly recent general expenses entertainment/leisure-wise…I’ve found even my "interest" in certain other expenses tamped down a bit. At least comic-wise.

I’ve also splurged a bit on some gaming stuff (partly on principle because I could) as well as a couple things I’d pre-ordered months ago on Amazon came up; and a couple Kickstarter things wrapped up.

I’m leaning more and more toward trying to cut back on comics, as I find less and less of interest, get turned off to stuff I feel like I "should" be liking; prices keep going up, variants piss me off, and rumors of gestating upcoming "initiatives" and so on percolate.

One more week down, and we’ll see what the coming one brings.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of September 18, 2019

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This week’s new comics wound up being relatively small, quantity-wise, but expensive (again) individually!

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The new Batman issue; seems these are on an irregular schedule. And the newest Superman and Supergirl, where it’s been barely a couple weeks since the previous issues, after the recall and reissue of both series’ previous issues.

The latest House of X, #5…so I believe there are "only" 3 more weeks of this Hickman prologue of stuff.

I didn’t even realize the Daredevil facsimile/replica edition was going to be out, so that was a pleasant surprise!

And then Spider-Man (vol. what?) #1 ("of 5"?). The (infamous?) J.J. Abrams & Son project. Fair bit of speculator buzz about it and discussion because of a "twist" to stuff in the issue. $4.99 (AGAIN–like House of X and the Darededevil issue) so it was a "grudging" sort of purchase. If it’s gonna have a lotta hype, introduce another new character, and so on…since I’ve NOT been keen on the "regular" Spider-Man stuff since One More Day (and that was what? 13 years ago, now?) I’m a bit more interested in stuff like what I "hear" this is supposed to be.

Finally, the new IDW GI Joe series. Yet another reboot/relaunch/whatever. I’ve lost track, honestly–is this the third iteration? Or the fourth?–since the license went to IDW. Buuuut with it NOT being part of some "forced" "shared universe" thing, I figured I’d check it out. And conveniently, a copy was in with my pulls, perhaps because of GI Joe: A Real American Hero. We’ll see if I go for a #2, but another that at least gets a first issue to impress me!

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And then the weekly Comic Shop News here, along with a supplemental Fall Preview.

The Raven preview/ashcan/whatever it is caught my eye. It’s thicker and has a MUCH better "look" to it than a lotta such things. Again–it caught my eye. I wasn’t sure if I actually cared for a copy, but flipped into it and decided yeah, I’ll check it out. And maybe I’ll go back for the full volume or such.

Time will tell.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of September 11, 2019

This has turned out to be a relatively small week of brand-new comics, after a few weeks of breathtakingly high totals!

Of course, to get stuff pared down, I’ve had to consciously bail on at least 4 mini-series mid-run, and avoid a couple first issues!

There’s just TOO MUCH established stuff that’s TOO EXPENSIVE to try much else. But that gets into topics for other posts, I think.

On to this week’s haul!

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The newest "HOX/POX" issue, whatever one we’re on now. I think this is "8 of 12" with the two series combined. The ONE issue so far that I’d actually want the VARIANT cover–Rogue (by Greg Land) and that’s the one no one has in-stock. Maybe at a convention sometime, or I’ll just find a high-res image and finally get my phone off its DEFAULT background.

Newest issues of Batman and Detective Comics. Both with a story-banner at the top and their logos at the bottom. Is September "Year of the Villain logos-at-the-bottom month" where August was "battle-damaged-logos month" or something?!?

Young Justice and Wonder Twins‘ new issues.

And the latest issue of Even Leviathan.


As Batman and Detective are both still biweekly (I believe), it seems STUPID to me to have them clustered together on the same week. If one misses a week, it ought to wait an extra week to keep the two titles "staggered." That way they’re just every-other-week, and for people buying BOTH titles, they aren’t doubled-up like this.

And the same goes for the Wonder Comics stuff–when there are less TITLES than there are WEEKS IN THE MONTH, these should be strategically-timed/released so that they’re not doubled-up one week and another week has NOTHING, as a result.

I skimmed the Young Justice issue for Tim Drake’s new codename that’s been teased…MAY have figured it out, but not sure if it’s the actual one, or a tease. Not keen on it if it’s what I think it is, BUT I think I can learn to live with it…and it has "potential," though I prefer the Red Robin moniker.

At least Tim Drake’s still around and they’re allowing the character to actually have much of his history and such without 100% throwing away a nearly-200-issue series’ worth of character development and such.

As "Grindy" as HOX/POX has been…4-5 issues at $5/ea per month means a single-dollar’s retraction allows for an extra issue for the same sort of expense…so if there are six X-books coming, then hypothetically I could get all of those for (average) the same cost I’ve been paying for these. At the same time, as annoyed and put-off as I am by Hickman‘s ridiculously pretentious use of "white pages" with just these handful of issues in a couple months…do I TRULY want to put up with that for the next 3+ years?!?

And if he’s got the primary, driving force for the whole family of titles…then do I really, truly want to get in on any of the titles if they’ll all just be beholden to his, where I’m not keen on having to read his title(s)?

Blah.

Another week down. Let’s see what next week holds?

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