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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 28, 2018

This was another interesting week for new comics. Small-ish, but some high prices making it feel like a slightly bigger week. And I totally forgot to look for a certain back-issue that I’d missed last week, so I may be back out this weekend hunting.

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We have the $4.99 conclusion to Metal; the $4.99 next issue of Doomsday Clock (that I’m about ready to jump off and just wait for the eventual collected edition); and the $4.99 250th issue of GI Joe: A Real American Hero (the numbering goes back to the original Marvel-published #1 from the early 1980s!).

On the idea that I’ll catch up on reading TMNT before I make it back to the shop with the pull-list, snagged the "B" cover since IF I’m gonna have two copies of the issue, might as well get a different image. PLUS the TMNT stuff is my core "exception" where I’ll let a LOT more go than I will with any other property. The second issue of The Terrifics; the new Detective Comics (which is no longer going to sync necessarily with Action Comics the way it has for most of the past 22 or so months).

The latest issue of The Demon: Hell is Earth; and then the booklets that go along with the latest issue of Previews.

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And there’s the issue of Previews itself, along with image+; these kinda just are what they are.


Next week starts the April books; and also puts us into the month in which we should be getting Action Comics #1,000. While by regular scheduling that should have been this week, it’s being "held" for 3 weeks so its release coincides with the 80th anniversary of Superman. And based on the understanding that it’s otherwise done…I’m pretty much ok with it for said anniversary status.

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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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On Damage and ‘The New Age of DC Heroes’ and Avengers: No Surrender

damage_0001_trifoldI picked up Damage #1 last Wednesday. Partly for being a #1, partly starting this "New Age of DC Heroes," partly hype, partly the vertical-tri-fold-front-cover, and largely because despite being a #1, a new launch, not part of what was known as "Rebirth," it was "only" $2.99…so of course I "should" support it, the way I grouse about Marvel‘s constant $3.99-at-the-lowest pricing.

Unfortunately, the thing was more flash than substance for me. I put it on top of my stack to read, but when I went to read it…after several pages, I just started kinda skimming and flipping on through. "Oh, look…the Suicide Squad…goodie!" and nothing remotely resembling the Damage character I’d expected (with SOMETHING related to the ’90s title…)

Maybe I’m just THAT far outta the loop, behind on reading my Metal books. But I don’t remember the last time a new (as opposed to years-old-back-issue) comic actually had me zoning out and turning pages without interest enough to READ them.

Having no idea who this "new" character was, or motivation; a look reminding me somehow of Valiant‘s Shadowman (not positive points with Valiant on my personal crap-list for the last 2 1/2 years) and nothing really grabbing me to ENGAGE with any characters, it was NOT a good #1, to me.

A "good #1" is one that I can have zero knowledge about, zero reliance upon some other comic/event/series, and the issue by itself, all by its lonesome, pulls me in and leaves me actively interested in the next issue (a GREAT #1 has me emailing the comic shop immediately to add the book to my pull list…).

The "trifold" cover gimmick is FAR from being anywhere near as "cool" as I’m sure they were going for. "Wraparound" covers–the "double-panel"/"wide" layouts work well for the "widescreen" action, but this just looks odd, and to me, really look like they’d be three different covers!

While Damage (2018) #1 may end up being a good series, and a better, engaging story in collected/binge format (with more than JUST this one issue to go on), the first issue failed to grab me or engage me, and as the kickoff of this new line, has actually damaged the "brand" a bit, where I no longer have the "enthusiasm" for the "whole line" that I’d had. Now I figure I’ll try The Terrifics since I’d already planned to, and maybe see if/what else grabs me.  


avengers_0675As usual, while I’m often quite "down" on Marvel, I try to still get stuff here or there, IF ONLY to have some bit of "informed" knowledge of stuff. I bought the Legacy one-shot, so I can comment on not seeing how any of that’s come to play YET in any books, particularly Wolverine actually being back.

And where I’ve had ZERO INTEREST in umpteen different Avengers titles, since I AM interested in AN Avengers book, I decided to bite the bullet and try this No Surrender thing. I would absolutely NOT be on-board for an indefinite weekly $3.99 book. But as a contained 16-week thing, I got/read the first issue, and went ahead and picked up the second this past week.

I really don’t know what TO think of it so far…it does not feel like any Avengers book I’m familiar with. I liked Rogue on the cover of 675, but not sure where I am with her inside the book…I’ve obviously missed quite a bit over the past 5+ years and Uncanny Avengers and whatnot.

avengers_0676But I’m willing to "support" a single title in place of numerous different Avengers titles. Heck, do like the old Superman comics did, and have a weekly overall narrative…but each creative team can "focus" more heavily on some plot-thread or another according to their interest, while moving an overall "main" narrative forward each week.

As a 16-issue story, though, this will be ripe for an "omnibus" (because heaven forbid a single, complete story marketing as a single, complete story should ever be put out in a single, complete volume as a story rather than premium-high-priced Omnibus branding), so I’m still a bit cautious. Yet with Marvel‘s constant over-pricing of stuff, I figure the 16-issue (even if first and final chapters are double-length) "single volume edition" will be at minimum a $75 cover price (compared to ~$66 for the singles) and more likely $100ish ($5/issue would be $80, but being Marvel, I’d see them more likely to jump up to the next major price point of the $100 mark just because hey, people will pay it!).

I’ll probably check out the third issue this coming Wednesday, if only to give the singular, weekly thing a bit more of a chance…and go from there.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of November 1, 2017

This week was a rather large week for new comics! Lotta interesting and interesting-ish stuff out…

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I need to catch up on my actual READING of them, but I’m really digging these one-shots focusing on the various Bat-men. For what I feel compelled to get new in the week, it’s great that there’s a new chapter each week, and does not feel like an overwhelming amount with say, five or six (or seemingly so) or more chapters out in a week. PLUS, the shiny foil covers are fun as they’ve not (yet) been used to fatigue, and for something called Metal, they’re truly appropriate!

Then there’s TMNT/Ghostbusters 2…a fun crossover conceptually, and I enjoyed the first series, so why not a second? And getting at least a weekly dose of TMNT through this, plus the "regular" stuff? Makes for a good month!

As anyone reading this knows, I’m sick and tired of variants, in general. An honest exception is where it’s warranted…such as with this week’s Superman #34! Shows that the 800th issue can be celebrated without having to DERAIL an entire numbered series! It’s observing the anniversary without having to BE a #800!

After the Jetsons backup in one of the specials back in the spring, I certainly wasn’t going to not check out an actual series that looks like it follows up on that! And I’m amused at the "return" of some more obscure characters lately, what with Deadman here, Ragman recently, and Mister Miracle. Then Usagi Yojimbo, which has been trucking along over the years; even with some hiatuses apparently, but it’s back, and I’m enjoying it thus far.

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Now, here’s where location and promotion can pay off: Black Lightning takes place locally, apparently–Cleveland, Ohio–and I don’t think I’d realized, but apparently the creator is local, too! So of course I’ll check this series out! I’m giving Harley and Ivy/Betty and Veronica a chance for the heckuvit…it’s a novelty thing. DuckTales ought to be a given, but I’m still not ready to commit month in/month out…especially as I’m behind on watching the new cartoon.

I need to catch up on actually reading Bane and Astonishing X-Men; already having several issues defeats the point of a collected volume, so "cheaper" to finish out the stories (plus the convenience of having all the issues in-house when I do finally binge-read).

I was not going to bother with Captain America, but some strong positive words on it from a shop owner went a long way with me. It gets this one issue, and I probably won’t come back til the novelty of whatever #700 is…but then again, maybe I’ll end up sticking around until #700. Time shall tell!

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The Lion King is one of my all-time favorite films (period, no sub-categorizing or such for "animated feature" or stuff like that). So for the price of two DC issues (or 1 1/2 Marvel issues), got this mini-graphic novel sized book. I think it might just be a print edition of a digital comic I’d bought years ago, but especially if so, cool to have this in print.

And somehow, I’d missed the DC Essential Graphic Novels edition for 2017, so definitely glad to have it for 2018…my OCD demands I still seek out a 2017 edition to go on the shelf with previous years!

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The Deadman issue is another with an "enhanced cover," which–again–I’m enjoying from DC for the nostalgia and such, and rather judicious use. It certainly fits for something like this title, and as long as it’s only for the first issue, I’m cool with it. (If every issue was this way, no-go!). Even if the $4.99 cover price was because of this, I’m ok with that as well, from DC, in this case: no real hubbub over the cover, so it was just there, and so I was willing to pay the extra. And if the issue would have been $4.99 anyway, then heck yeah, give me something extra! (Like the foil on the Dark Nights/Metal issues!)

And then as a bonus for the week, there were left over comics from Halloween ComicsFest, so I was able to get some of the non-kids-oriented comics (Sabrina, for one) and several other issues I’d missed out on with only choosing the ones I did last weekend. I was satisfied with what I’d gotten over the weekend…so these are definite bonus on top of that, making an expensive week feel that much more substantial!

The Weekly Haul: Week of October 25, 2017

Another simple but expensive sorta week for me! A couple of big issues, a couple of "enhanced covers" a la ’90s goodness, but at today’s prices!

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THE big issue for me this week was TMNT #75. 75th issue, final chapter of the Trial of Krang, squarebound/prestige format, and with this current story, every successive issue is the highest-numbered issue a TMNT comic has ever reached. Here’s hoping we see a #100 and beyond! Due to pull list and geography, I’ll be getting the issue twice…so as the turtles are and always have been a firm exception to my other personal "rules" of comics, I picked up the B cover for now, as the A cover’s on hold for me to pick up probably next week, due to some personal hassles to deal with this weekend.

Then there’s the new Detective Comics, the penultimate chapter of A Lonely Place of Living; ditto (penultimate, I believe) in the Action Comics chapter of The Oz Effect.

Next is the shiny cover that’s become signature for this Metal event. Being in a nostalgic mood and seeing "my" Thor logo and "my" Thor on the cover, I decided I oughtta support the thing.

I’m not much for all anthologies, but decided to throw in with getting the DC House of Horror squarebound special. I believe it’s essentially this year’s New Talent Showcase or such.

Wednesday was dubbed "TMNT Day" for hitting #75, and there was this sampler issue given out that recaps the IDW run so far. Basically a "primer" to allow someone to (I suppose) jump right in with #75.

I’ve been getting Kamandi Challenge all year, but can’t remember where I left off. I’m kicking myself a bit, as at this point I pretty much could wait for the collected edition. I keep getting each new issue in case "this" is the month I binge-read/catch up…but at #10, we’re nearly to the end and to a collected volume!

Finally, I snagged Royal City vol. 1, as it’s a $9.99 vol 1, and a friend had highly recommended the series, even giving me a copy of #1; now I’ll get to read the entire first arc and go from there.

The Weekly Haul – Week of October 18, 2017

A game I’ve been looking forward to for awhile now finally arrived! Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. This is basically an adaptation of the Betrayal at House on the Hill, with Dungeons & Dragons elements. Given I quite enjoy both, this was a definite one for me to pick up!

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Of course, the next challenge is getting to actually play the game.

On to this week’s comics

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Hard to believe it’s been over a year and a half now of the "weekly" Superman stuff again, and not liking the "skip weeks" because those are weeks without a new issue of Superman or Action Comics.

Also hard to believe that just between #s 225 and 227, I’ve acquired Savage Dragon 1-101 and assorted mini-series, specials, one-shots, etc.

Quite enjoying the Metal books, story and foil covers! Since the things would be $3.99 anyway, why not have some fun with the foil and such? If ever there was a series that "deserved" the metallic/foil covers, it’s this!

Sadly, the Marvel Legacy stuff is virtually dead on arrival for me. Yet, much as I did this past spring, I’m doing a small sampling to at least (grudgingly) give things a chance. I’m down enough on contemporary Marvel stuff, but if I flat-out never buy anything from them, well, I hardly have room to complain then, right? And at least with these, along with the jacked-up pricing, we get "fancy covers." Unfortunately, these are utterly craptastic quality covers compared to DC‘s. Looking basically head-on, they’re blurry with glare, and neither image truly comes through clearly! More on that matter in another post (or posts) later sometime.

Rounding out the week, trying a randomish Image #1 in Maestros. No clue what it’s supposed to be about, but figured I’d check it out. Wonder Woman/Conan‘s here because I got the 1st issue, and don’t want to have to "hunt" this later. Ditto on Dead of Winter. And I very definitely want to support Alterna and their "newsprint comics," even to being happy to buy an issue multiple times, as even 2 copies of an issue are still cheaper than any one single issue of a Marvel series.

All in all an interesting week with a mix of stuff. Though it definitely pales next to an order I’m expecting by the weekend (that I’ll almost certainly document here once it arrives).

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