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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 19th, 2017

Much as expected, this was a huge week for me, in quantity of NEW comics, in PRICE, and having looked forward to stuff in general!

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I’ve been looking forward to The Button for months now, pretty much since it was announced, and to finally have the first chapter leaves me anxious for the next, now!

I had not even realized that I missed an issue of Highlander; so I believe NOW I’m actually caught up. And I decided to try the Riverdale Digest #1 half thinking it was going to be original material. Nope…it reprints the first issues of several of the "new" Archie titles. For $6, not a bad thing…and I’d be happy to pay $6 on a continuing monthly basis for a digest like this cycling through "monthly" issues of each series it contains! (Beats the heck outta $3.99 for one issue, and wading through two-DOZEN variant covers!)

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I’m WAAAAAY behind on READING Letter 44, but haven’t wanted to give the title up. Of course, I just found out that it apparently will be ending at #35 in July…so hopefully life will be such that I’ll be able to dedicate some serious reading time to re-read what issues I actually HAVE read, and then on through the whole run!

I’m definitely into the "habit" or "groove" of following Spawn, though I’ve no clue where it’s going or whatnot. As long as it stays at $2.99, I’ll probably keep up. However, it’s one that I definitely WILL drop on principle if it jumps to $3.99! The price point is one of its high selling points for me, and what helped get me onto it over a year ago.

Despite being quarter-bin fodder, I snagged a number of these True Believers editions/reprints of key X-Men premiere issues. Though I’m sorta (morbidly) amused at having paid $1 for the X-Men "Blue" issue, considering how many copies I have of it, and that I’ve bought copies of the "deluxe" edition (that this reprint’s cover is a panel from) just to rip the cover off as a poster.

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I also raided the bargain bins…though I found a lot more in an expanded 50-cent bin than the 25-cent bin that I was interested in. Knowing I’m already looking to fill in some 49-50 issues of Action Comics and nearly as many Superman as-is from the New 52 era, I figured with these issues of Superman Unchained, I think now I just need to snag #9 to have the whole series.

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Then there were some 25-cent issues of Detective Comics; at least 2 of which I don’t think I already had.

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And continuing my general trend…I’m happy to get ’90s Marvel comics from bargain bins. 50 cents on these, though I know I already had the Marvels issue, and 99% certain I already had the Amazing Fantasy 16-18 run. Still, for the convenience and all, and the four issues combined being still only HALF the price of a contemporary issue, not bad.


It’s also proving to be an interesting week with a convergence of release dates and such for several things I’d pre-ordered and/or had on my "radar" that I finally realized were out!

Definitely hoping next week will be a lot smaller at least price-wise, but we’ll see!

Token Post: Non-Comics This Week

Just a quick/token-y post.

This week we got a new Teen Titans animated movie. I first went to Target to get it but balked at the EXTRA-steep price. Found it $3 cheaper at Walmart…which sorta balances out the Tales of the TMNT: Super Shredder pricing.

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I think of all the DC animated movies, the only ones I’ve missed the figurines for are the Wonder Woman and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse ones. While nostalgia gives Ted Kord the edge for me in terms of "Favorite Blue Beetle," I can’t deny that I dig Jaime’s version of the costume…

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And these darned figurines are a weak spot or "guilty pleasure" for me, they always sucker me for the extra few dollars for this edition of the movies. (Add Gods and Monsters to the list of ones I did not get with a/the figurine).

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And last for this post, Wild Times: An Oral History of Wildstorm Studios arrived. I’d backed this on Kickstarter a couple months ago and was looking forward to it, and then forgot it with stuff going on in my personal life the last couple weeks…so this was a pleasant arrival.


Hopefully I’ll get to something a little more substantive for tomorrow’s post, but time will tell. I also hope to get to actually watch the Teen Titans movie this weekend…as it does not look like it will happen sooner. As always, though…time will tell!

Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of April 12th, 2017)

Last week really only had two NEW "new" issues, neither of which I’m giving a full review treatment to…so here are some stream-of-consciousness thoughts on them, as I’ve been doing for the previous couple weeks.


Action Comics #977

action_comics_0977It’s definitely an "interesting" time to be a Superman fan. From following The Final Days of Superman in anticipation of the shift-over to the "pre-Flashpoint" Superman "taking over" the main titles while the trailing-end of Lois and Clark were coming out, to the recent Superman Reborn 4-part "crossover," I’ve largely week-in and week-out been looking forward to each subsequent issue, and thoroughly enjoying that fact alone, as well as the stories themselves. Now it’s a bit weird, with Superman Reborn having just wrapped up, and not yet into firmly-established territory as to what’s "canon" and in what way, as readers and being in a similar boat with the characters themselves. I suppose I’m liking that with the Supermen "merged" and reality re-written (again) into a single timeline, at least we no longer have the "weight" of Clark and Lois having actually lost their REAL families and friends and all that, and existing as refugees on a world and timeline not even their own. Now that they just "are," and always have been, part of this timeline, events are what they are. Then again, we lose that interesting aspect of them "knowing" what most don’t, and the ability to see "parallels" play out and proactively nip situations in the bud on this Earth, having already been through the tough crap on their own. None of this really addresses the current issue I’m meant to be discussing.

Suffice it to say, I was looking forward to this (and look forward to the next) for more establishment of current canon, though this issue still left me in the dark, like I’m being "shown" stuff without really being told or getting concrete confirmation. Some of that perhaps can be blamed on various sites such as Bleeding Cool for jumping the gun and scrambling to be "First!" to draw some conclusion or post a spoiler or whatever.

I’m just in this to enjoy an overall ongoing story and characters and long-form narrative threads with issue by issue tangible story payoff and such. And I’m getting that, so I continue to be happy with these titles.


X-Men: Blue #1

xmenblue_0001I want to like the whole "original 5 X-Men in the present" thing, but it’s worn thin. I liked the concept enough initially that I actually bought into several of the original Marvel Now titles, All-New X-Men as a particular favorite of the bunch. But 4 1/2 years later–some 54 months or so, and at LEAST as many issues–it’s no longer a novelty. Jean Grey was already dead, and had been for the better part of a decade. Angel had recently been "dealt with." With/since the "arrival" of the "O5," we’ve seen major changes to present-day Beast, the apparent death of Cyclops, some shoehorning of stuff with Iceman…and generally gotten to where these "O5" largely ARE their own characters…and functionally (if not actually) seeming to serve as "replacements" for the older "original versions" of the characters.

I think I’d be more interested if this team was "scattered," but having them serve as an actual group, a team, "headlining" their own group title, there’s just something about it that doesn’t sit right with me, however much I might see potential in and while reading enjoy about the book.

I also have some problem with having my sense of nostalgia toyed with in this whole ResurrXion initiative, as well as the (meta?) fact of having trouble finding some of the issues to even TRY without it being some big multi-store, multi-city hunt, where I am NOT interested in a long-term "commitment" via pull-listing any of these titles.

The $5 price tag sucks as well, and though this is a "thicker" issue, we basically have a main story and a "backup" story. I’d personally have little/no clue as to the character in the "backup," except having read other posts online referring to the character by name and strongly suggesting that it’s an Ultimate Universe mutant character now in "the 616." Which means we likely now have at LEAST 3 "alternate" versions of a "Wolverine" character, while the actual Logan remains in character limbo, which is highly discouraging to me.

As with most Marvel titles, the price and use of ridiculous variants, and other meta/real-world factors had me intending to not EVEN try these #1s…but I gave in, compromising my stance on price point for a single-issue of each, though I’ve no intention of picking up a #2.

What I can say, though, is that I’m "interested" enough to consider collected volumes…again dependent upon pricing and format (I’ll refuse any hardcover under 12 issues, or any paperback of 6 issues or less that gets too close to $20).


While these issues were part of a pretty small week for new comics…the upcoming week looks to be quite huge, both in terms of specific issues (the start of the Batman/Flash story The Button) and in quantity. I’m definitely looking forward to some really good reads out of the coming week’s stuff!

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Some Recent Effective/Appealing Ads from DC

I usually try to ignore ads, or avoid them, or get past them ASAP. But some of them work, and actually ARE appealing and/or effective. Here are several recent ones that caught my attention, from Superman #20 and Action Comics #977.

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Initially, I wasn’t sure what to make of the news of The Button…it was "news" but seemed so far off. Now, lately, this ad has me chomping at the bit for the story…I’m not sure if this image is two parts of the same "lenticular cover," or if it’s an amalgamation of two, or what…but this ad itself, this split-down-the-middle image is one I really dig, and has me extremely interested and eager to get to the story!

Perhaps it’s that it still feels rather new to me (relatively speaking) to see Batman and the Flash so closely linked.

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Then there’s the new Warner Bros. Animation animated film Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. Sure, it’s an updated "based ON" sorta thing, adapting the ’80s story to fit a 2010s-era setting (characters, versions of said characters) and to shoehorn it in to the DC Animated Universe.

But as one of THE original stories I remember being talked about for these films, way back in 2007 or 2008 or whenever it was that this line started (was it really a decade ago?!?) it’s good to see that this is finally getting a release.

Of course, it also means I’ve long passed my window for reading the original story first…something that I (shamefully) have never actually read myself.

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I’d known Bane was getting a "limited series," AND that Chuck Dixon was back writing the character, but then I forgot again.

I really wish they’d put a cover price with ads like this…either boldly proclaim its worthiness at a certain price…or if it’s thought that the price would be a turn-off, consider a different price!

I don’t know if this will be $3.99 or "only" $2.99 offhand…at $2.99 I might follow it. $3.99 and I’ll probably check out the first issue and then wait for the cheaper collected edition(s).

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I have a definite love/hate thing going on with DC and their portrayal of Zod in the Superman books. I’ve lost track of all the different Zods we’ve had, just in the last 15 or so years, so on one hand, I’m not keen on yet another.

On the other hand, the drama to this image–"everyone" knows the whole "Kneel before Zod" thing–so just SEEING the character, AND seeing Superman…well…kneel…yeah.

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And finally, I have to reiterate that THIS is the way to do the multi-panel "build-an-image" thing with covers!

You do NOT force someone to buy 2, 3, 4, or more copies OF THE SAME ISSUE to form the one image!

You treat someone to a cool, larger image as a "reward" FOR following a larger set of issues (whether a crossover, story, mini-series, whatever)!

I’m tempted to check this out partly in support of that alone (we’ll see if I actually remember or feel the same way once the issues start coming out.)


Of course, there were many, many more ads and such in the two issues, but these were the stand-out ones to me.

A sort of "runner-up" would be a "post card" from a comic shop for a 4-part story in Old Man Logan…the images of Wolverine in different costumes with older comic covers making up the background is a really cool design, and probably would have hooked me…except the issues are Old Man Logan–a Marvel title, $3.99 an issue, and I’d rather read a singular story OR even just wait six months and maybe remember to read it on Unlimited.

Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of April 5th, 2017)

Once again, real life got in the way, and I’m not going to get around to formal/proper reviews of any of the week’s titles. However, in a bit more of a free-form fashion, I do have some thoughts to put out there regarding the several issues I actually did manage to get read from the most recent week’s purchases!


X-Men Gold #1

xmengold_0001I actually surprisingly enjoyed X-Men: Gold #1, until the weekend hubbub over subversive/hidden messages from the artist. Sure, the issue includes newer/modern/contemporary elements and characters, but if definitely had the right sort of "Rebirth"-y tone to it that would make it appealing…particularly if the title was going to be a MARVEL $2.99 book. Price it lower, like $2.99, and I’d probably give even a book like this as a WEEKLY a shot (barring other things turning me off entirely).

The story was strong, and where I "went in" expecting not to like it, I enjoyed it, and was able to figure out enough as I read along to compensate for missing the last several years of continuity. It would be a solid "welcome back" type of issue and launch if I was planning to stay with it for any length. But while I opted to go against my initial intention of not getting these whatsoever, I went in planning only to try Prime, X-Men Gold #1 and X-Men Blue #1. Gold would have convinced me to come back for #2 if it was not to be $3.99 and $3.99 twice-monthly. I just can’t get past Marvel‘s pricing compared to DC…and I was down to not even bothering with DC, either, prior to announcements of major shakeup (Rebirth, Final Days of Superman) and the reversion in cover price.

I’ll wait for discounted collected editions, which admittedly do comic shops little good, though even this will depend in part on how hard I stand on the "issue" with the artist’s hidden messaging, and where that goes.


Superman #20

superman(2016)_0020In the "casual reader" sense, between not "getting" the entirety of the ending to Superman Reborn and not yet having the follow-up/epilogue exploration that I believe is coming in the next couple issues of Action Comics, I don’t feel like I have any major differences to look for. So this issue read primarily like "just" another issue, drawing on prior continuity from this series itself at least–such as Batman showing up again, Superman meeting him outside instead of inviting him in, etc. Of course, this time, Lois insists Batman and his son come in, that all may interact civilly, not just outside.

And ultimately, this was a fun issue, that seems steeped in continuity without actually giving us much…though it did reveal something about Clark and Lois’ neighbor, which seems like it may impact that status quo a bit, though if so, it seems like it could be a real shame. Time will definitely tell on this story, though.

I’m not enamored with the art, though it fits earlier issues and isn’t really out of the norm…but something about it seemed to just not connect right with me. Still…even a Superman issue like this is far better than the titles have been in years, and I continue to thrill at the fact that nearly a year in and I’m STILL week in and week out looking forward to the next week’s Superman issue, and disappointed on "fifth weeks" when there is NOT a new issue.


The Sovereigns #0

sovereigns_0000Darn it…I wasn’t gonna try this. Yet another "relaunch" for the Gold Key properties, where the last three in recent years didn’t seem to last more than for a year’s worth of issues (number-wise, if not dragged out by lateness). But Dynamite did well to utilize the "promotional price" of "only" $1 for this issue, which meant I’d at least buy it for my "dollar-or-under" self-mandate even if not for the content/title itself. But HAVING the thing, decided I wasn’t going to NOT read it. I was curious.

And darned if it didn’t pique my interest a bit. I’m willing on principle to give this take a shot, this reimagining of the characters.

Unfortunately, there are several catches:

  • Price. I don’t like the $3.99, so that’s a turnoff. This isn’t TMNT, after all.
  • Variants. While I do buy titles that seem to have variants on every single issue, Dynamite (to me) has a reputation as one of "those" publishers, for whom the variants are much more of the "selling point" and that do NUMEROUS variants on EVERY SINGLE ISSUE, far more egregious than "simply" every issue having *A* variant.
  • Lack of trust. The initial Dynamite relaunch didn’t last long at all, relatively speaking (though they did get 3 collected editions from the three ongoings and one from the mini). I’d much rather have a singular complete story or collected edition to read all at once, and having been burned by that relaunch and again by the "only" 5 issues of Gold Key Alliance as a quasi-reboot/failed-reboot/whatever…"Fool me once" and all that.

So while I’d be inclined to give the stuff a shot, I’m unwilling to plan on it, given the multiple burns I’ve had. At the same time, at least said burns have not been the flat-out anti-longtime-reader things that Valiant has done, and I’d be willing to buy these because they’re NOT Valiant, at least.


The coming week’s new books include X-Men: Blue as well as Weapon X and several True Believers reprints. The reprints I’m actually looking forward to. I’ll probably still give Blue the first issue chance, given I’ve already got Prime and Gold. Surprisingly, Weapon X at least looks to be a $3.99 #1 instead of $4.99 or higher…so we’ll see what else is onhand and how finances look. I’m most looking forward to the new Action Comics issue, and there’s a new Spawn issue which means I need to actually catch up on the previous issue.

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New Robins of Spring

I’ve added some new Robins to my collection this year…and most recently, my first-ever “new in package” Eaglemoss figurine!

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I’ve been contemplating ordering this one for awhile, but held off awhile. I finally pulled the trigger and ordered it, actually expecting it to be “loose,” though hopefully well-packed. I was pleasantly-surprised to get it still in its package, which afforded me a little more context on these figures than I’d seen so far.

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For one thing, definitely cool to see more, including a number of ones I do not have. I’d gotten the Penguin and Ra’s Al Ghul, but the rest of these are new (to me). Definitely VERY interested in the Superman one, as well as Green Arrow and this version of Batgirl!

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Along with the Eaglemoss figurine, other recent additions include the Batman: The Animated Series Robin from Funko, though this one’s one of my Tim Drake exceptions, as I’ve found myself increasingly interested in figures and such of all the Robins, not just Tim.

Then there’s the Imaginext version of Tim’s Robin, as well as the Imaginext version of Red Robin. And finally, the elusive Mighty Minis version of Red Robin.

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These join a few of my other Robins, as well as the other Eaglemoss figurines and other Mighty Minis and such. Not in this particular photo are a 12″ Robin from the Batman Unlimited “Titan Heroes” line, a Robin bust bank, a huge version of that Dorbz Robin, and at least one shot glass.

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This is the booklet that came with the Eaglemoss figure…while this is not my favorite version of the costume, it is Tim Drake, and I want to say he was in it for several years before going to the Red Robin thing for a couple years, before the New 52 stuff.

I do look forward to actually reading through this booklet, though I wonder at its take on the character, and what I’ll learn from it or if it’ll seem “off” to me, considering I’ve largely followed the character (off and on) since 1989. (Just think: in 2 more years, Tim Drake will have been around for 30 years! More than 1/3 the entire existence of the Batman comics!)

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Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of March 29th, 2017)

I didn’t (and haven’t, and won’t) get around to full review treatment for any of last week’s issues at this point, but I did have a few thoughts on several issues. Unfortunately, I haven’t actually gotten around to reading all the new issues I bought, as Real Life has continued to be a bit of a hindrance in that department. But given a couple of purchases were made with the intention of writing about them, I figure I probably should actually write about ’em.


X-Men: Prime (2017)

xmenprime2017When I (premeditatively) decided I would actually go ahead and pick this issue up–despite having originally decided flat-out not to touch any of these ResurrXion titles–I’d had no idea that I would find it completely sold out at two shops before 6pm its day of release. I found a copy at a third shop, which was down to only four copies at that point, including the Venom variant.

The second shop actually did have the Venom variant as well, but I didn’t even recognize it as an X-Men issue, let alone this issue, THE issue I was very specifically looking for! (Way to go, Marvel and stupid-*** variants!)

I bought this issue largely on the premise that I was already buying several $5 issues, might as well lump one more into the mix…plus, I’d have no room to talk about it if I didn’t at least give it a shot myself, right?

The art wasn’t all that bad…it certainly didn’t put me off the X-titles. But it’s far from being enough in and of itself to pull me in. The multiple art teams wasn’t terribly jarring, though it was noticeable…particularly when it came to Storm, due to the character’s hair style(s).

The story felt rather forgettable…nothing really drew me in, and I did not feel like there was really even a full STORY here…more a through line to give us a quick tour of characters and situations that’d make up a number of too-expensive biweekly series and such.

This certainly trades on NOSTALGIA, in title as well as the notion of the ResurrXion thing in general, and the forthcoming X-Men: Blue and X-Men: Gold titles. It cerainly suckered me into stuff.

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I read the ORIGINAL X-Men: Prime back in 1995 the day it came out, a week after X-Men: Omega, the end of the Age of Apocalypse saga.

At that time, I’d been following the original Uncanny X-Men series, the original X-Men series, the original Wolverine series off and on, with a spattering of other titles…and having gotten and read the entirety of the X-family of titles the month prior to the Age of Apocalypse and then the entirety of that saga…so I was pretty "up" on the books at the time going in and coming out, so I was a ripe target for such a book, to touch briefly on numerous characters and stuff that’d "spin out" into other titles that I was planning on trying to follow.

This time around? Not so much. It’s telling that I almost have more to say about the original from 22 years ago than this one from a week ago!


All-New X-Men (2015) #19

all_new_xmen_0019I can firmly blame my purchase of this issue on hype from Bleeding Coo, and a curiosity for more detail, and to get some actual context. There’s also something about that cover that hit a bit of the nostalgia-trigger for me as well…perhaps the banner at the bottom identifying this as a finale, perhaps the fonts, I don’t know…but it’s telling that I was more interested in this AS a final issue than I was in a #1 for this or any of a number of other X-books when they’ve hit over the last few years.

The art for this wasn’t bad; nothing overly distracting or such. I actually rather like the costumes and general character designs overall (though Jean looks a bit "off" for this cover despite my otherwise liking it). I especially like the young Cyclops’ costume…a lot like the ’90s version that I’d definitely claim as my favorite and consider THE most iconic of the character’s looks.

Though I already knew it going in, this issue "reveals" that the "past" these X-Men came from and have "access" to presently has their younger selves as if they’d never been pulled out of time…and thus, this young team has nowhere else to GO, and are apparently separate from the adult versions they’ve thought where their own older selves.

I can’t begin to guess at all the continuity or lack thereof in the last couple years since I read most of the original run of the original iteration of this title (from 2012/2013)…but this seems to cut these characters "loose," where there’s no longer a "question" of when or if they’ll go back to their own time–the adult X-Men have past selves properly in their own time, and these five apparently aren’t it, so whatever they do, they’ve got their own future/fate to forge in the present, simply AS themselves, and all their new/recent status quo elements.

The novelty has worn off for me on these versions of the characters…there may still be some interesting-ish stuff to be done with them, but overall, I’m less than thrilled at the notion that these are simply THE "replacements" overall for the characters I grew up on, and am not thrilled at any notion of continuing to follow their adventures (I believe they’re X-Men: Blue?)


Booster Gold/Flintstones #1

booster_gold_flintstones_0001While hardly on the same level as Robin, Superman, or the TMNT, Booster Gold is definitely a draw for me.

Already curious about the re-imagined take on the Flintstones, realizing this was coming had my interest…all the more when I saw this cover (which may actually be a variant…I which case it’s a rarity as I far, Far, FAR prefer it to the other cover!)

The story’s a bit light and goofy, and rather irreverent…and I don’t get much of a sense of Booster himself as a character here nor of the Flintstones characters. In a way, I guess that makes this a good stand-alone issue, as I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything with any of the characters involved.

The Booster side of the story seems largely predicated on what I’d consider an outdated take on the character, drawing visually on more recent takes on the character while not seeming to use his most recent ongoing series (that touched into and ended with Flashpoint back in 2011). I’m not sure how it ties in with his general New 52 stuff, but that’s because I haven’t read much of that.

I was curious as well, once I got the issue, at what the Jetsons story would be, and suspected from the image on the cover that it’d involve a new take on the robot maid…and I was definitely right! The story proved to be an interesting glimpse into a new version of the characters’ lives/status quo, while also telling an interesting story of how a robot maid would be able to be such an integral part of the family.

Though the $5 cover price is a bit much, for the length of the issue and its contents, the two stories, it’s mostly worthwhile. I enjoyed the issue overall, probably more for the Jetsons than the lead feature, but I did not feel like my money was wasted by having bought this.


I still have the Green Lantern/Space Ghost and Adam Strange/Future Quest issues to read, as well as most of the first Flintstones volume, and assorted other "recent" issues. I’m hoping to keep this week a bit "small," after such an expensive week last week…looking forward to the new Superman issue, as well as needing to check for the AvP: Life and Death #4 that I missed last week.

Also looks like a season of omnibii is approaching, which may get very expensive very quickly…and only a couple weeks or so until The Button, which with Superman Reborn now completed, is probably the story I’m most looking forward to for a few weeks.

Time will certainly tell!

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