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The Weekly Haul Catch-Up: Weeks of November 20, 2019 to December 11, 2019

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Once again, it’s been a few weeks since a "Weekly Haul" post. Though I did get a random post up the other day with some bare-bones random brief thoughts on Marvel‘s 2099 stuff…and a path-to-500 for DC to give us a Robin #500 (semi-tongue-in-cheek, using "Marvel Math.").

So let’s play catch-up on the last few weeks’ hauls. Or rather, the "main" hauls…as I have partial plans for a couple other things from recent weeks as well!


Week of November 20, 2019

Having dropped some titles, I’ve been finding my regular weeks a bit more manageable, and even been willing to "try" a bit of randomness with other titles for whatever reason(s).

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Batman has long been a pull; I believe this may be the single longest run of the title I’ve had, at least for issue quantity. I have the entirety of King‘s run thus far, and though I’ve planned to "finish out" the run, since I think they’re shifting to monthly from biweekly AND there’s no sign yet of the promised Batman/Catwoman series, I may go ahead and continue along. With rumours of yet another relaunch next year anyway, It probably can’t hurt too much to get a few more issues and simply have a complete run.

He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse is just an interesting premise to me, mixed with a bit of would-be-nostalgia, that I decided to get the first issue in a slight bit of "support," slight bit of gambling. I had/have no intention of subsequent single issues, though I may watch for reviews to pick up a collected edition.

I’ve settled pretty firmly into enjoying/appreciating the various "Facsimile" edition reprints, so the Green Lantern/Green Arrow drug issue was a no-brainer.

I need to catch up on reading TMNT Urban Legends, especially as we’re getting close to the couple of issues I’d had in college that showed me how much the characters had been changed and solidly impacted a paper I wrote about the Turtles.

Doom caught my eye along with the classic "font" for the title 2099 so I gave in and bought the first issue for the sheer nostalgia of the thing. I opted NOT to pick up subsequent issues…though my interest in the ORIGINAL 2099 stuff has been rekindled.

I snagged the Death of Superman: The Wake tpb because…well, Death of Superman. This collected a digital-only (or digital-first?) mini-series and I was interested for its title and concept, thinking it’d give some insight to the "current version" of the infamous now-27-year-old story. (Unfortunately, I was highly disappointed and found the thing to be something better-suited for distribution in cereal boxes!)


Local Comic Shop Day (November 23, 2019)

I’m not very keen on "Local Comic Shop Day" in general. I’m fairly accepting of "Halloween Comic Fest" but LCSD isn’t much of a "thing" to me.

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That being said…there were a couple issues I wound up picking up. The Walking Dead: The Alien one-shot, and a Super DInosaur reprint or whatever it is. I am pretty sure I have the original Super Dinosaur issue(s) from back in the day…somewhere. And given the nature of the Walking Dead issue–new story, not by Kirkman himself, and not previously available in print, and with the final volume of the TPBs out MONTHS ago, seemed like a decent companion piece to the series.


Week of November 27, 2019

Having decided in 2015 that it was officially my "next Grail," I was ‘officially’ on the lookout for an in-my-price-range copy of Uncanny X-Men #266 up until finally scoring a copy earlier this year.

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So hardly six months after finally getting my genuine, actual real Uncanny X-Men #266…Marvel puts out a facsimile edition of the issue. Not that I wasn’t going to buy the thing, but it kinda figures, on the timing. I can’t be sure if the facsimile edition would have satisfied me in terms of my personal collection, though. C’est la vie.

We also got the final (for now) issue of Hope, which I look forward to binge-reading/catching up on.

I’d picked up the Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer issue a few weeks earlier, and decided to also get the first issue of what I BELIEVE is an ongoing new Hellblazer series. I enjoyed both issues well enough and they definitely have the general feel of the original 300-issue series, while being a different version of the Constantine character. I may well grab the 2nd issue if I notice it when it’s out, and go from there.

Continuing their pattern, along with the Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis, we also got a DC Dollar Comics reprint of the first issue of the original Infinite Crisis #1.

I’m pretty sure I have all the earlier issues of Second Coming so grabbed the latest issue. It’s one that I really need to get around to READING to decide whether I genuinely want to be getting it…though at this point I’d likely have been much better-served just waiting for a collected edition.

And finally, I decided to grab a recent-back-issue in Dark Horse‘s The Little Mermaid. It’s a mini-series, but being from Dark Horse I was curious how it’d stack up to the IDW stuff as well as how it’ll wind up in collected format, as well as being curious if it was actually a reprint as I’m fairly sure we already had a comics adaptation of the film.


Week of December 4, 2019

And getting into December…

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New Batman issue.

And the fifth/final issue of the 5-issue TMNT: Shredder in Hell mini-series. A mini-series that saw its first issue come out in January 2019. And I’d believe the series to be monthly, that it was due to wrap up by May or June…yet it only JUST made it ahead of TMNT #100…and I believe MAY have caused the apparent delay in that issue.

The latest Spawn issue. At #303, it’s my 47th issue in a row for the series…coming up on MY 50th as such!

The newest Usagi Yojimbo gets us to #7 of the latest series. And having just picked up the first issue, I decided to get the second of The Little Mermaid.

I swore off all Boom! Studios books nearly four years ago.However, my primary "exception" in comics is the TMNT. So a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers/TMNT book was an interesting quandary for me. In the end, I opted to allow my "TMNT Exception" to OVERRIDE my refusal to get single issues from Boom! Studios…though I ALMOST reconsidered when I saw the variant cover (or one of them, anyway) was a turtle’s hands holding a Power Ranger helmet…like it was just being insulting at that point.

Finally for the week, a facsimile edition of the "death of Flash" issue of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths; as well as a facsimile edition of Marvel‘s original Star Wars #1. And for good measure, a DC Dollar Comics issue of Birds of Prey.


Week of December 11, 2019

…and now we’re up to the most recent week and (perhaps) back on schedule! I’m also a bit unsure of what the remainder of the year holds, with this week’s December 18 being the last non-holiday Wednesday of the year, with the following Wednesday being December 25th–Christmas Day; and the very next Wednesday will be New Year’s Day (also, January 1st, the first day of a new year!)

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IDW‘s ongoing TMNT title finally hits its 100th issue! This also marks 100 issues that I’ve kept up with the series, buying every single issue, from #1 to #100, as it came out. Which is also a record for me, I’m sure, for ANY single run of ANY comic series in all my 30-some years of being into comics.

Then, despite dropping the Superman books, I ended up grabbing a copy of #17 off the rack while waiting in line at a Black Friday sale, so went ahead and–against better judgement–picked up #18 as well. I suppose it says ENOUGH that I didn’t immediately read either issue. And I guess we’ll see if I pick up any of the specials further dealing with "the reveal." As of this typing, though, I’m ready to wash my hands of the thing, though!

I would not have bothered with the Defenders issue except for it being a facsimile edition, so I went ahead and got it for the sake of having it. I’m highly confident that it’s GOTTA be better and a much superior time-value than any MODERN Marvel $4.99 issues!

Finally, the Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Teen Titans – The Judas Contract as well as the DC Dollar Comics reprint of the ending of the original Judas Contract story (as I believe it’ll be the ending of the story that diverges things for the Dark Multiverse).

I think there was an "off" week for Comic Shop News, and I’d’ve sworn we just had one of these previews, but maybe not? Either way…a cheery sorta Hembeck image of the characters ready for 2020!


Neca, Target, and Turtle Two-Packs

Along with the Wednesday comic shop visit on the 11th, I also ducked into a Target across the street, in a vain attempt to find a certain two-pack of figures.

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I was rather shocked to actually find them…as I’d been in Target stores well over two-dozen times across the four weeks ending with December 11th (and at least 7 or 8 different Target locations amidst those!)

But I finally scored the only 2-pack I wanted from the new wave of classic-TMNT figures, and for retail price, rather than the 2X-3X pricing of scalpers.

‘Nuff said.

While I’m interested in Leatherhead coming up for the line, I have no particular interest in Slash, nor a pixelated Shredder. So if these waves continue to be the turtles themselves, re-issues of Foot Soldiers, and a pack of new characters, I would just hope that Leatherhead could be his own thing, or come paired with a Foot Ninja and that the 3rd wave is something that would NOT require such frustration and effort to track down.

I found this Bebop/Rocksteady pack the very day after I’d more or less officially decided to "give up" on the line, at least until after the new year, but since I was across the street from the Target figured what was ONE MORE try after so ridiculously many for the previous several weeks?

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The Weekly Haul: Week of November 13, 2019

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This past week felt like the sort of balance I REALLY prefer to have with new comics. Though I may be "missing out" on other stuff…it’s still a bit more than I may have "time" for…especially with other distractions that I’ll get into down below!

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Though it’s another $6 book, Dark Multiverse: Blackest Night (the 3rd in a series of these specials) is sorta worth it…I’m willing to let it slide by for being a squarebound thing AND coming out alongside a $1 reprint of the original Blackest Night #1. Plus, having enjoyed plenty of Elseworlds stuff back in the day…if DC isn’t going to bring that imprint back, I can handle stuff like this. I’m still a bit wary and suspicious that this is leadup to some major event for the sake of a major event–and I’ve little intention of "buying back in" on such a thing with the way the new status quo is shaping up (and with Superman revealing his identity for the 2nd time in half a decade).

The Catwoman issue I bought because of having read that it offers her side to "the Wedding stuff," and I’m interested enough in that. And the "fancy cover" for the SAME PRICE AS USUAL is a very positive factor!

GI Joe: A Real American Hero is a title I’m still woefully behind on reading, but am still very supportive of, if only for its high numbering! I have a large amount of the original run and have the notion of filling in earlier issues in this run to eventually have the whole series. But time will tell.

I believe this 6th issue of the IDW run of Usagi Yojimbo is the 30th anniversary issue. I’m pretty sure I saw something on Facebook from Stan Sakai about that.

And then the The Tomb of Dracula facsimile edition is another I got on simple principle OF being a facsimile edition. I’ve lost track of the number of these…I’m not sure if they’re quite "weekly," but I’m certainly appreciating their frequency. I’d probably be quite happy if Marvel (and DC!) simply did a "series" that itself was simply these reprint editions–where one could "subscribe" TO the "line" without hassle to the comic shops.

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Having already had the first 5 of the 6 issues of Event Leviathan, I decided to finish that out. I’m continuing to be discouraged by the issue apparently "ending" with the "launch" of another event/series already. But at the same time, that also backs up my notion of it being time to back away from a lotta this stuff.

I’m not entirely sure what this Marvels X thing is that headlines the previews thing…but it seems like they missed the 25th anniversary of the original series. As a contained thing I might be interested, but time will tell.

And finally, Comic Shop News, spotlighting Superman revealing his identity to other heroes…and the reason I finally pulled the trigger on dropping Superman and Action Comics.

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On a more positive side…a Kickstarter project I backed recently came in! The second issue of Cat & Mouse by Roland Mann & Co. with the revived Silverline. As a Kickstarter thing, I’m more forgiving of variants and such, especially the Kickstarter Exclusive Edition covers–because the CONTENT is still available to anyone, even if the special cover isn’t. As a sucker for nostalgia, I’m cool with the Retro edition. There’s even some difference to the coloring, it looked like–which I appreciate! Finally, the "graphite edition" is not JUST a "sketch cover" (which I dislike as variants). This is a whole different edition of the issue, where the interior is also like this–so the cover is NOT some "inferior" thing, it’s actually a perfect match to its interior! And it gives a different look at the contents of the issue that I find rather cool as a novelty like this.

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The new Pokemon game came out last Friday. I broke with "tradition" of getting the "red" versions to get Sword…largely because of knowing a friend had pre-ordered Shield and I wanted to know I had a trading buddy. Then I realized that when I’d bought in on the Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon re-issue of the previous game, I’d also gone "blue" so…c’est la vie.

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I also snagged this nifty felt banner (the flip-side is a map of this new games new "region" in the Pokemon world) as well as the plush starter critter, Scorbunny. I’d gotten the plush of Litten 3 years ago with Pokemon Sun, so it just seemed fitting to make that a tradition of getting the plushie of the critter I’d start the game with!

I also then promptly blew away the weekend with first being up Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday, then spending the majority of the day Saturday and again into wee hours, and a decent chunk of time Sunday playing. As of this typing Monday evening, I’ve left off having acquired 5 of the 8 "gym badges" in the game. I also "bred" a couple Farfetch’d and Scorbunnies for trade, but pulled myself away from that side of the game for the time being. Mindless stuff with that almost 3 years ago is what led to my binging the entirety of How I Met Your Mother into 2017!

Heading fast toward "the holidays," I don’t know how long it’ll take me to "finish" the play-through of the "main game," but I’ve already sunk more time into this game than any other game since the original Pokemon Sun, in such a short span of time. I’ve probably got a way to go yet to match Breath of the Wild, but that was spaced across weeks before I lost interest. I certainly feel like I’ve already more than gotten my money’s worth out of this game compared to every other game I’ve bought other than Breath of the Wild.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 30, 2019

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Well…I was a week late posting last week’s edition, but here I’m essentially "early" for this week’s edition. Go figure, huh?

That’s what life does, though, I guess!

This was a large-small week. Relatively "small" in quantity. Small in quantity, but big in price.

Let’s get to it!

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #99

This is the 99th sequential issue I’ve bought for this series, beginning a little over 8 years ago in August of 2011. This is by far THE longest single uninterrupted "run" with any comic series for me with no "breaks." Even though I followed 2004’s Tales of the TMNT to its concluding issue, there were months at a time where I wasn’t able to get (an) issue(s) and would have to catch up 3-6 issues at a time with online orders and such. So as the title heads to its 100th issue, it’s also a big deal for ME in tracking that length! That this issue–#99–is $7.99 was unexpected as I expected this for the 100th issue. If it means the 100th will be even bigger…great! I’m all for more content. THOUGH even as MUCH as I allow TMNT to be my "exception," variant fatigue is even seeping in HERE to me. As well as this being the longest I’ve followed any single series in one go…part of me begins to wonder if even this could use a "break." Get to 100 and take a break for a few months. But then, look how long it took me to pull the trigger on other stuff I lamented pricing/etc. before finally dropping.

 Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1

This is another $5.99 #1 issue. At least it’s squarebound so quasi-"prestige format." Despite having a large #1 on the cover, the code in the barcode box that tells which cover you have (regular or variant(s)) is 0211, meaning this is being considered a #2…if these are one-shots, I’d expect that code to be 0111. I got sick enough of $4.99/issue with X-Men stuff the last few months; $5.99 is really quite out of the question for a "series" for me. Perhaps it IS DC trying to be sneaky, a la Marvel by making it look like one-shots while actually considering it a series?

The Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer #1

Then an issue I’d forgotten was coming: I believe this brings the John Constantine from the ’80s Books of Magic (back?) into canon; certainly a younger version of the character not being aged in "real time" from his first appearance. But I think I’d seen that this version may be a lot more Vertigo-esque than we’ve had since a version of the character crossed back to the main DC universe back in 2011 at the end of Brightest Dayin Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing. I was also rather surprised to see the Black Label…um…label on this. I thought it was Sandman Universe, not Black Label. Considering All-Star Superman was moved to Black Label and is not an "adult" or "mature readers" comic, it seems rather odd to me that BL would mean "adult" in and of itself. Whatever it means, I am truly growing tired of seeing it all over DC‘s output with their inconsistency and lack of clarity about stuff. So that’s a ding against this as well. Whether I’ll pick up and go with the ongoing series at the end of November remains to be seen. I’ll likely try the first issue at least, but more than likely will fall back to wait for collected editions.

DC Dollar Comics: Superman #75

This is one of THE more appropriate reprints, and feels like one of THE best-done for a DC Dollar Comics edition vs. a replica/facsimile edition. It’s $1, which is 25 cents less than the original issue was 27 years ago; and this comes out within 2-3 weeks OF the 27th anniversary of its original release! I was a bit surprised at DC keeping so MUCH of the classic cover intact…they even KEEP the original UPC box from the Direct Edition stating the creators, and put a NEW UPC box on the other side of the cover for the current edition. They also replicate part of the original corner box including the flying Superman image, and the cover dress/placement/font of the phrase The Death of Superman!. I almost feel like I would prefer this as a replica edition…I do not believe ANY reprint of the issue since the original 4 printings has had the gatefold back cover; so the effect has never been the same for the issue’s ending. I do find it odd that this reprint has a "To Be Continued in The Death of Superman" seeing as this is the end of that story. But much as with the Batman #497 a couple weeks ago…this is one of THE single issues I am absolutely MOST familiar with, and thus far more "sensitive" toward than most other reprints.

True Believers: X-Men: Moira MacTaggert #1

This one’s "just another" reprint to me. I believe it reprints X-Men #96; just a couple issues into the post-Giant-Size X-Men #1 era. I’m not sure when I thought the character had first appeared, but I would not have guessed it correctly.

True Believers: X-Men: Karima Shapandar, Omega Sentinel

This one’s another that I definitely recognized the cover image but would not have been able to tell you a number. I WAS pretty sure it was an X-Men Unlimited issue, and the indicia bore that out–originally published as X-Men Unlimited #27. As it was a quarterly title and #1 was in 1993 AND it took two quarters off during the original Age of Apocalypse for X-Men Chronicles…I’d place this as being an issue from 2000 if I had to hazard a guess. Which makes it relatively recent as True Believers reprints go.

Batman Annual #4

Not much in thoughts for this, except I’ve gotta catch up on reading the main title. I’m not sure how "between-the-issues" this one might be, though it looks like it may read well enough on its own…time will definitely tell!


One $7.99, one $5.99 two $4.99s and three $1 issues. $27 for 6 issues. When I got back into comics in a big way–particularly summer 1992–I could get 20 comics for $27, with a bit left over!

Next week looks to be decently-smallish…I’m tentatively planning on Legion of Super-Heroes solely for the stupid plastic ring, assuming one is available with it. I’ll pay $3.99 for the ring and a bonus comic…if I’m not enthused about a comic with a bonus ring.

And looking ahead…I’m not seeing anything offhand about more True Believers for November…I was starting to think these were basically weekly with a different theme each month. I guess not?

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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 Terrifics #1 [Review]

terrifics_0001Meet the Terrifics part 1 of 3

Storytellers: Ivan Reis & Jeff Lemire
Inker: Joe Prado
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Cover: Ivan Reis with Marcelo Maiolo
Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Editor: Paul Kaminski
Group Editor: Marie Javins
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: April 2018
Cover Price: $2.99

Of the New Age of Heroes line so far, this is the series I’ve been specifically looking forward to, on the idea that if Marvel wasn’t going to publish something like Fantastic Four, at least DC WOULD. And for the line so far, this one feels the most "normal" or "familiar" to me while being something different.

This is another one of those books with the tri-fold cover…but I’ve not been impressed with any of these, outside of the wishful thinking/impotent hope that they’ve meant less variant covers, by providing "alternate cover images" that OTHERWISE would have been presented as their own separate units as variant covers. The single front panel is the actual cover, and nothing overly impressed me of the other images.

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Mr. Terrific–Michael Holt–shows up to confront Simon Stagg. While the two have an apparent history–including Stagg’s having maneuvered Holt’s company out from under him–Holt is here to deal with a particular situation involving access to the Dark Multiverse. What he finds is an old ally in Metamorpho, and in dealing with the breach that Stagg has opened (and tried to plug with Metamorpho), also succeeds in reviving Plastic Man. The trio then finds themself on a planetoid that turns out to be a giant body, where they rescue a Linnya Wazzo, from Bgztl; an alien whose entire race can become intangible…though it’s presently a form she’s stuck in. As the group addresses a homing beacon…they’re confronted by the appearance of Tom Strong.

As a first issue goes, this works pretty well. We’re introduced to the "entire group" in the issue–Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man, and Linnya. We also meet an antagonist in Simon Stagg and have some setup to see that he’s gonna be problematic, as well as the situation that brings everyone together in Stagg’s trying to access the Dark Multiverse. Though we don’t get a LOT of time or motivational reasoning spent on any single character, they all at least do appear in the issue, we have introduction and setup, and a fun cliffhanger: I’m aware of the existence of Tom Strong, and this was rather unexpected, but is a welcome intro/experience that could lead to me seeking out some of the original stuff with the character! The credits/story title of the issue comes on the final page, and I really dig the fact that this is listed as part 1 of 3! Only three issues. Not four, not five, not six-for-the-trade. Three. Which suggests to me that this is written to be enjoyed as single issues as well, and at least on this first issue, it’s done a good job of that to me.

Visually, I also enjoyed this issue. Mr. Terrific, Plastic Man, and Metamorpho all looked quite familiar to me; nothing wonky to their appearances. I’d swear I recognized Stagg’s assistant from somewhere, too! And what little I’ve seen, Tom Strong also looked like he stepped right out of his own series, whenever that had left off. We’ll see how this art team holds up after this first three issue arc…but for this issue at least, I found it quite enjoyable.

It’s been a long time since I last regularly followed any iteration of the Fantastic Four–my two "major stints" with the book being the first couple years of the Heroes Return iteration, and then the Waid/Wieringo run in collected format several years later. While this didn’t feel like any rip-off of the format, I definitely see plenty of room for comparison, with a girl that can go intangible, a guy who stretches, a guy who’s super-smart, a guy that can morph/be an elemental-like figure…not exactly the blood-family and close-friend dynamic, but I see plenty of potential for a family dynamic to come of this…and if these characters as a group wind up out exploring/dealing with the edges of reality, and this Dark Multiverse…then yeah, I can see where it’ll fill a "void" left for readers that like the concept of the Fantastic Four. That I can find a title like this at DC is a welcome thing.

I was pleasantly surprised as well with this issue, to realize it was "only" $2.99. I didn’t pay much attention for its price at the shop–since I was already "sold" on the title and looking forward to it specifically ahead of time, that gave it a one-issue "pass" on price, since I knew it at least did NOT exceed the standard $4.99 of a Marvel #1. coming in at $2.99 as I believe the others have is definitely a strong positive, and makes this well worth supporting on principle alone!

All in all…I recommend checking this book out. It’s a #1, it’s a fresh concept to DC, it’s only $2.99 for the standard cover (with new tri-fold for extra art), and though there’s likely more to "get" or appreciate if you’re "up" on the Metal stuff, it’s an enjoyable issue in itself just knowing THAT Metal has happened and introduced some Dark Multiverse into characters’ knowledge.

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