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80th Anniversary Batman Imaginext Singles

After about 4 weeks and more than two-dozen Target visits, I had finally managed to get the Neca Bebop and Rocksteady two-pack a few weeks back. I feel like that was ONE OF the, if not THE most hassle I’ve ever had finding a particular toy at non-scalper prices. I’m not after first-editions, they aren’t SDCC-exclusives, etc.

ANYWAY.

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I’d found out about a series of Imaginext Batman figures for the character’s 80th anniversary (WHY is there virtually NOTHING for Superman, but EVERYTHING for BATMAN?!?).

A few days after learning of their existence, I opted to go ahead and check for them at the local Walmart.

Which ONLY had 2 of the figures–the Green Lantern one and the Justice one.

Of course, the one I most wanted was the Knightquest one!

For the price, I went ahead and got the two, figuring I’d regret it later if I didn’t.

I also decided to visit a second Walmart since the one I was at first ALSO did NOT have the only other thing I’d gone in for (treating the figures as a secondary objective).

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The second Walmart had all 5, so I was able to get the 3 I was unable to at the first, and have what I believe is the complete set. (IF there are more than 5 in the series, I am blissfully unaware!).

And I was simply amazed at the fact of being able to go out–ONE evening, a mere TWO visits to a store–and actually being able to find what I was looking for!

EXTREMELY refreshing after the frustration and discouragement trying to get the Bebop and Rocksteady pack!

I am NOT a "thrill of the hunt" kinda person for most things…especially when they’re ARTIFICIALLY-LIMITED and such or seem like some one-off. With toys–figures, statues, whatever–if it’s cool, if it’s desirable such that I want one…I just want the publisher to LET ME give them my money and be done.

Anyway…these remind me a bit of HotWheels in there being this mini-set and there being several figures, with a cardback featuring some cover or other piece of art that the figure represents.

But for me personally…these are much more appealing, as they can be opened and displayed with other small figures without having to worry about them rolling off a shelf or such.

If I’d gone for only 2 or 3 of these, I’d probably leave out the Green Lantern and Zur-En-Arr ones and possibly the Justice one. But not being terribly expensive, and not being able to change the past, I’m happy to have all 5.

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Deluxe Crisis Catch-Up

I splurged a bit recently to play catch-up on some Crisis stuff…partly inspired by the CW‘s "Arrow-verse" crossover event of 2019-2020.

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I’d snagged the Crisis on Infinite Earths Deluxe Edition some years back, highly impressed with its sheer size and (relatively) cheap price FOR its size. Looks like that was specifically 2015, and I’d bought it as a "birthday present" to myself at the time.

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But then I’d happened across a copy of the Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion, vol. 1 for 50% off. And then with some disappointment over (lack of) good Black Friday sales and such, I ended up splurging on the 2nd and 3rd COIE Companion volumes.

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They make quite a great-looking set, at least to my eye! And I much Much MUCH prefer volumes like these to a single-volume "omnibus"! Imagine having all 3 Companion volumes as a single book! Sure, it might be the price of only 2 of the volumes. But these are books that I’ll actually be able to READ without breaking my wrists!

Plus, I also won’t have to worry about these self-destructing on a bookshelf under their own weight!

Now, the next thing to investigate is some Crisis on Multiple Earths hardcovers. I’m not sure off the top of my head how many paperbacks there are/were under that title…I think 6-7. And I’d imagine those could easily fit into 3 hardback volumes that would sure be pretty sitting next to these!

Time will tell, though!

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Redeeming Black Friday: The Haul

This year’s Black Friday was particularly frustrating and discouraging due to a number of factors. I feel most justified in my disappointment that after getting the newest Big Bang Theory season on DVD from Best Buy Online the last 6-7 years, this year there was no such deal.

In the end, for the first time in about a decade, I did not buy anything from Best Buy (online or otherwise) on/around Black Friday. For that matter, the only movie I remember buying was Bumblebee because it was a combo pack with digital for about the price of one weekend’s Redbox rental. I did buy my first Keurig for about 1/3 off–not bad, but not exactly grandiose or living up to the general "hype" of Black Friday as some wallet-melting sale-day. 

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So where I’d not been sure if I was going to go to the big Black Friday event at Carol & John’s in Cleveland–after all, I remembered last year‘s crowd and wasn’t planning on spending much, so the odds of winning any of the raffles–especially one of the Marvels Platinum Edition hardcovers–seemed highly counter to being worth braving the crowds.

But I was disappointed and discouraged from the day, and figured it’d do my mind some good to at least get out and get a few comics–my sort of "retail therapy." Plus, I had a bit of "FOMO" wondering if there’d be a treasure-trove of Spawn issues I could get on the cheap.

And it eventually occurred to me that the sale was ongoing–and figured I could "cheat" a bit and if I got there early, have more time in a quieter space to dig through boxes of comics, knowing I wouldn’t be checking out until the sale was in effect.

Little did I realize that I’d lose track of the time, and despite not finding one single issue of Spawn to buy, I’d more than meet the minimum to further halve the cost of the comics I was buying. $1 each, or 100+ for 50 cents each. Functionally, at 50, it would be the same price whether I bought 50 issues or 100 issues…so why stop AT 50?

And then after managing to get my precariously-balanced stack of comics to the checkout and adding several supplies and eventually a sticker to goose my final price to one more raffle ticket, I got stuff out to the car and returned for the first raffle.

Where I didn’t win anything.

So I wandered around the store awhile and ended up buying a book and a couple current single issues. Paid for those, got two more raffle tickets, and then read outside for a bit until the second raffle.

Where I actually won one of the "bonus" prizes–a slipcover/box set of DC’s Greatest Hits! I took my newest purchase and my prize out to the car, and listened to an audiobook for a bit. Then headed back in for the next raffle…and won a graphic novel from a curated selection. I chose the Joker tpb collecting the ’70s Joker series. I’d had my eye on the book for years (thinking as I type, it has the 2012-2016 DC logo, so I must’ve had my eye on the book since at least as far back as 2016 pre-Rebirth!).

Having not had dinner (I hadn’t actually planned to stay past the first raffle) by going-on-9pm it was definitely time to get some dinner, so I walked to Subway a few stores down in the plaza and got a sandwich that I took and dropped off in my car before heading back over for the next raffle–where I did not win anything.

Back out to my car, ate half my sandwich and listened to an audiobook, and realized I was exhausted and with the huge crowd and seeing people seemingly spending way more than me and having my odds of winning ANYthing falling further, it was time to get going.

BUT.

But being "only" about 15 minutes from the next drawing, why not go back in for one last one before getting the heck outta Dodge?

Surprisingly, I then ran into an old coworker from a job I had a couple years ago; so got to chat and catch up a bit. It was such a shock and pleasant surprise! That made it worth having stayed–having gone back in–one last time.

And then as we and others noticed/commented that no one had chosen either of the Marvels books (several of the other large prizes had been snapped up) I heard my name.

After verifying that it was indeed my name and that it was indeed for one of the large prizes…I chose the Marvels Platinum Edition.

All the more knowing there was a 3-prize-cap for the evening (and I’d definitely hit my 3!), it was a good time to call it a night.

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I’ve won occasional prizes in drawings here and there for various things. Even at comic shops–I’d won a $20 credit a number of years ago at Kenmore, and a $25 credit at Comic Heaven back in Fall 2016. But these three items–the Marvels edition, the DC’s Greatest Hits, and the Joker volume–make up the largest/most expensive I’ve ever won.

And absolutely "redeemed" Black Friday for me.

The comics I got were already more or less worthwhile for having gone out; but these made it more than worth having gone out–especially the Marvels book. (And, extra added bonus? The digital code that supposedly expired several years ago redeemed so I got the digital copy along with the physical…the FULL PACKAGE even though the book came out in 2013 or 2014!)


While the raffle prizes moooooore than made the evening for me…I also scored over 100 (what worked out to be) 50-cent comics, making quite the ’90s-riffic haul.

The crux of the sale was a room full of longboxes of $1 comics. $1 each…or 100+ for 50 cents each. 50 comics for $50, or 100 comics for $50. At 50, it just makes sense to get another 50!

And as my 2019 blogging has primarily been showing off the various hauls…why not show off the Black Friday haul as well?

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So, after determining no Spawn (that I could see, anyway), I kinda took a haphazard approach to my browsing. Top of my pile–several Wolverine issues. As far as I know, all are duplicates…making these very much "convenience copies." 48-50 to get TO #50 with that classic die-cut cover. And incidentally, a "sequel" to the classic BWS Weapon X serial that ran in Marvel Comics Presents #s 73-84 or so. And then the "classic" #104 where we found out Onslaught’s tie to the events of Fatal Attractions. And while I may very well never get to it (especially with my lack of blogging the last couple years) I’m willing to grab convenience copies for potential The ’90s Revisited coverage!

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Grabbed a handful of old Image issues (and 1 Eternity with Zen). And yeah, that was two copies of Youngblood #1. Because hey, get to show off both covers. BUT this being a variant DONE RIGHT: it’s a flipbook! BOTH covers on one issue. You only have to buy multiple copies of the issue if you want to DISPLAY both sides!

And both the Prophet and Knightmare issues sport nice, shiny "chromium" covers! I’m always on the lookout for more chromium in the wild. Turned out I already had the Prophet issue, but Knightmare is a new addition to my chromium covers collection!

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The Tim Drake Robin is one of my favorite characters, so for sheer nostalgia, snagged these. The ongoing Robin #1 is fairly iconic–at least to me. And I’m NOT actually sure offhand if I have any of the Robin II: The Joker’s WIld collector sets before this. I have the various single issues, and even a slipcase of the series with all covers (holograms). These remind me a lot of the Robin III: Cry of the Huntress bagged editions, which is part of what casts these into doubt in my mind as to whether I already had them or not…making them all the more cool to have/find!

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Snagged copies of several of the Superman #1 issues largely for the nostalgia and convenience. Ditto for the Action 600, Superman 100, and Adventures of Superman 505 (this latter is one of my all-time favorite Superman covers!) (THOUGH apparently it wasn’t one of my top 10 when I did a post on such covers 6 1/2 years ago. Top 11, or I think of Man of Tomorrow #1 moreso; the two are remarkably similar at a glance!)

And Blackhawk because hey, why not?

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A handful of Batman issues–largely nostalgia, and convenience-copies with Tom Lyle art. And for the heckuvit, Batman #500 for the sake of having it (yet again). Meanwhile, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #25 is one of my favorite covers from that series and the whole KnightQuest thing. Especially for basically having a really cool-looking cover celebrating 25 issues, while serving the ongoing overall story, and the "gimmick" being the silver color not usually found on comics.

Resurrection Man #1 for the "hologram" thing; and Phantom Stranger because I’m not actually sure I had the issue!

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Snagged a bunch of DC One Million tie-in #1,000,000 issues. I had a bunch already and couldn’t find a reference in my phone of which ones (ugh!) so I bought one of each that I could!  black_friday_haul_11292019hStill working on the set overall…but I’m pretty close to having the full DC One Million event in single issues!

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A new convenience-copy of the The Kingdom "fifth-week event" (I believe) from back in the day. Pretty sure this was where we got Hypertime; though pretty sure as well we’re a couple of such things further on now. Hypermulticrisisverses?

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I am STILL after all these years waiting for a SINGLE VOLUME collection of the Thy Kingdom Come saga. Maybe I’ll have to get a copy of the issues bound for that to happen?

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This makes for a good start on a second copy of the saga to (maybe) eventually get bound. Or for a convenience-copy re-read someday before I get my accumulation properly sorted.

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Snagged a bunch of Astonishing X-Men issues since it was most of the run!

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Highly glad I hadn’t tried to "catch up" on the single issues before, given the way of the X stuff the last couple years and finite-ness of the particular run, and here getting 8 issues for the cover price of 1!

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I picked up some X-Force stuff. Pretty sure I have all 5 cards’ editions, but snagged dupes of 4 of them; and the first 3 (of I believe 4) issues of a mini-series.

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Grabbed some 2099 #1s for the nostalgia, convenience, and just liking the pretty foil. Ditto on the Namor issue. And for cheap copies of gimmicky covers, grabbed the Punisher: War Zone issue. Also grabbed a couple further issues of Namor for the story beyond the shiny cover; and the Machine Man/Bastion annual as a giant-sized issue. And I may eventually accumulate a set of these team-up annuals yet.

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Grabbed a few Spider-Man issues for interesting covers and such; stuff that caught my attention in a "I might enjoy reading that or re-reading it" kinda way. The X-Men Unlimited #2 always catches my attention. And the Marvel Spotlight issue for Uncanny X-Men hitting 500 issues looks interesting.

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Found a lot of X-Men stuff. I tend to snag #40 when I come across it…it’s one of my all-time favorite/most memorable issues from childhood. X-Men: Alpha is another favorite (plus it’s shiny!). X-Men: Prime is similar, and pretty. And there’s also some serious nostalgia for me on the two main Onslaught issues, so snagging a pair together is quite cool.

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Then I’m starting to build up my Marvel Comics Presents collection; so with some recent purchases, I think these two extended my collection 2 issues further into the run from #1. And I have visions of destroying X-Men #1 to use the cover as a poster to hang. And the inside cover is also a poster-image…so I’ll have to destroy at least two copies. And if I can do that to 50-cent copies rather than tracking the issue down for $4-6, all the better!

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And thanks to some then-VERY-recent discussion of the issue and the variants and being able to get all 5 (6 total) I went for it. Here’s the comparison of the "deluxe" edition fully opened up compared to the 4 single-panel covers laid out.


Over 120 issues. It’s amazing how quickly they can pile up and add up. Plenty of random "junk" in there, but it was also a bit of "retail therapy" and all. But does continue to contribute to me eventually hitting a point where it’ll just make full financial sense to get my accumulation organized so that I won’t even be interested in buying "convenience copies" of anything!

THAT said…if I get to them, I’ve got a couple more large bargain-bin hauls to potentially show off…whether I get to that before the end of the year remains to be seen!

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30 Years: My First-Ever Collected Volume/Graphic Novel

I don’t think it was Christmas day exactly, but it was for Christmas that a childhood friend gave me The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told; as much from him as his parents, I believe.

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That was Christmas 1989, as I recall–I do not believe it was the FIRST Christmas I was interested in comics, but the second–after Mom had bought me some comics throughout 1989, with my having "gotten by" on comics Grandpa had brought for me in 1988.

30 years later, I still have this book. Even though somewhere I have a newer copy in better condition, I’ve opted to keep my original copy on the shelf in my main collection.

Some of the key Superman stories were in this book and this was how I first read them. From the original Action Comics #1 story, to For the Man Who Has Everything and loads in-between…even up to Superman #2 in the Byrne "reboot era." That one stuck out as an odd piece to me at the time, not really fitting with the other stories, and in retrospect I would have thought perhaps something else like the Man of Steel #3 (One Night in Gotham City) might have fit better, to have "representation" from the then-young reboot. (With a 1987 copyright date, I believe this volume predates the Return to Krypton in Superman #18, as well as the Supergirl Saga and so on…likely even Action Comics #600).

This was ALSO my first-ever collected volume, first-ever "graphic novel," first-ever comic BOOK. Despite the hundreds of volumes in my library now this one holds a special place as THE first in my collection, going back to my earliest days being into comics (and pre-dating my first "lapse" from comics).

As it was a Christmas gift…I felt it an appropriate thing to share today, Christmas Day 2019…as my earliest days into comics are in a cascading 30-year-anniversary going forward.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of December 18, 2019

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Just about the end of the year…and this might be the FIRST year I’ve actually "successfully" documented every week’s "main" haul (of NEW comics). December 18th may well be the "last week" of new comics for ME as I don’t think there’s REALLY much of anything coming out December 26th (25th being Christmas) and the publishers (especially DC) seemed to really load the week here.

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THREE big endings this week (just with stuff I bought…I’m pretty sure there were a number of others as well!).

Tom King‘s run on Batman (and City of Bane within) ends with the 85th issue here. Supposedly King‘s story will continue into/wrap up in a Batman/Catwoman series, but apparently there’s going to be at least a 4-month wait with nothing showing through March 2020 solicitations, making April 2020 the earliest for that to pick up.

Doomsday Clock finally has its final issue, #12, some 25 or so months after #1 and 13 or so after originally intended. I skipped a middle chunk of issues but opted to get #12, as I’d gotten #1 and wanted to read it for myself to see how it ended.

And I should have just waited for the collected volume for Batman: Last Knight on Earth…I have yet to read #1, and here’s the 3rd and final issue…so why not have just waited?

Hellblazer #2 marks the 3rd issue in this new iteration. The one-shot and #1 were good overall and I’m digging the new Vertigo-esque take on the character after years of stuff being watered down. I’m pretty sure the writer had a run on the original Hellblazer series as well, so that’d fit!

While I’d been curious about Millar/Netflix and their Project X-Mas thing, speculation I’d read indicated a host of things that it could be. My initial thought awhile back was American Jesus/Chosen but I dismissed that, figuring it to be another title like Fell that was SO good and promising and I enjoyed and…figured it’d never be heard from again. So when Bleeding Cool spoiled what the book was, I emailed the comic shop to have a copy held. I remember getting the original Chosen issues, and then buying the American Jesus tpb…so definitely looking forward to reading this new mini!

And continuing with the facsimile/replica editions, Eternals #1.

Finally, though I got it the weekend before, the Crisis on Infinite Earths 100-page giant issue, from Walmart. Because somehow I’d come to believe IT was to be another "exclusive," so grabbed it when I saw it…but apparently it’s not. Of course, if I waited for the non-Walmart edition, I believe I’d STILL be waiting, so there’s that.


All in all, not that huge a week; albeit some more expensive-than-usual issues.

I’m mostly hoping that 2020 is a more focused year; with (hopefully) consistently-smaller weeks in the way of NEW new stuff. If I get to it by year’s end, I’ll hopefully detail some thoughts for this blog heading into the new year, as well as some current "grail" comics/specific-issues goals for the 2020 hunt, and so on.

For now…instead of scheduling this post to go live tomorrow morning (Christmas!) I’m just going to send it live tonight. Because why not? These are more for me than anything else, and I’m my own "boss" as the sole proprietor of this blog…

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Robin #500: Marvel Math-ing 80 Years of The Boy Wonder

So, apparently in 2020, DC is going to publish a $9.99 one-shot celebrating 80 years of Robin. Whereas in 2018, they did so for Superman with Action Comics #1000. And in 2019, they did so for Batman with Detective Comics #1000. And coming up in January and February 2020, they’re doing so with Wonder Woman #750 and Flash #750…all characters with present ongoing titles.

I’ve long cut DC some slack with the numbering on Action and Detective compared to Marvel‘s titles, as both have ONE "lapse" in numbering, which makes it relatively easy to slot the issues into their proper spots.

But now their doing the same for Wonder Woman and Flash requires a bit more work due to gaps and shorter runs and (at least with Wonder Woman) prior "legacy renumbering."

And with DC pulling other stuff that’s caused me to almost entirely back away while eyeing moving further away–and seeming to be following Marvel‘s lead in a negative (to me) manner…fine.

So WHAT IF..DC did "Marvel Math" for Robin, heading toward this 80th anniversary thing?

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The way I have it figured…they should be able to give us a giant-sized Robin #500, celebrating 500 issues featuring Robin (Dick, Tim, Stephanie, and Damian, at least) as well as the 80th anniversary of the character.

Even nearly 17 years later, I still don’t care for what they’ve done with Jason/Red Hood…and I wouldn’t count the Red Hood stuff as that’s been more of a team title (to my knowledge) and I don’t know enough about the title(s) and the character, nor has Jason operated AS Robin in the time that Tim or Dick have had titles of their own.

Now, granted, MY math here gets a bit screwy and isn’t entirely in the best order, and there’s certainly overlap, particularly in the original Robin and Nightwing ongoing titles. But frankly…if Marvel can screw around with grabbing random stuff to get to certain numbers, then I’m going to do the same here.

Perhaps my math is off slightly somewhere, but regardless…at this point, I feel like the Robin 80 Years 100-Page Super Spectacular or whatever it’s going to be called–with "decades variants" and the works–really ought to just simply be Robin #500.

What do you think? Would you be "for" a Robin #500?

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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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