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The Weekly Haul Catch-Up: May 22 to July 3, 2019

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Well…it’s been a looooong time since my last post. I certainly had not PLANNED on being 6 weeks between posts! But here we are! Work and "life" have gotten in the way of late–by the time I’m done with work I’m usually vegging out for the night; and family stuff has gotten in the way with weekends. AND since it’s not like I do this blogging for money or anyone other than myself…for better or worse, it’s one of the first things to fall to the side.

Of course, I’ve had the INTENTION each week of at least doing the Weekly Haul post, so I’ve had photos…so let’s just play catch-up all in one large go for now!


Week of May 22, 2019

This was a surprisingly Marvel-heavy week, with three Marvel issues!

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Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Dial H for Hero from DC.

Then Mr. & Mrs. X from Marvel, along with a True Believers (or rather, Marvel’s Greatest Creators, I guess) reprint of the What If..? issue that debuted Spider-Girl back in the day. And a "Facsimile Edition" of Alpha Flight #1.

Then there’s a single-issue edition of Drawing Blood #1, which is actually already available as a full-size collected edition via a Kickstarter from a couple years ago.

Back Issue has really come onto my radar the last couple years, and I was definitely interested in this issue spotlighting the THIRTIETH-anniversary of Tim Burton‘s Batman!

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We also once again had the full 6-drop of all the DC 100-Page Comic Giant! editions at Walmart…zero pretense of the "new comics every 2 weeks" or however they were billed at first!

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MINUS the Detective Comics 1000 issue, here’s what a shelf of the first 11 months’ worth of these looks like!


Week of May 29, 2019

This was one of THE most expensive smaller weeks in quite awhile for new comics!

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There’s the $5.99 Batman: Last Knight #1; the $9.99 Superman: Leviathan Rising giant-size issue; the $5.99 X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1; 3 issues for $10 on top of the "usual" frustrating $3.99 cover prices.

Said "regular" $3.99 each for the Heroes in Crisis finale; TMNT #94; and TMNT: Urban Legends #13.

Then $4.99 for Doomsday Clock #10 (apparently I was 5 weeks to getting around to actually reading it!) and $4.99 for the Detective Comics Annual.

Quite a price tag for "only" 8 issues!


Week of June 5, 2019

This week’s haul was big for a different reason! For the first time since the 25-cent issue a couple years ago, I bought an issue of The Walking Dead!

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New issues of Batman, of Young Justice, and of Adventures of the Super Sons.

The fifth issue of the current iteration of Criminal (just after I’d caught up on the previous four issues!)

And then, thanks to BleedingCool spoiling it for me, I was able to get a copy of Walking Dead #192. Granted–it was already spoiled for me, and was itself a surprise–I’d TOTALLY figured the ending (also spoiled) of #191 was all HYPE and would not actually go the way it did! Spoiled though it was, I figured I wanted to read it for MYSELF and NOT have to wait for another collected edition.

For the novelty of it–with Peter David and Dale Keown–decided to get Incredible Hulk: Last Call.

Then TMNT: Urban Legends #13 again (different cover…oops!), and Batman/TMNT III #2.


Week of June 12, 2019

And here we have the first issue of Event Leviathan, snagged because I wouldn’t want to have to hunt it down later, but presently "unreadable" until I catch up on my Action Comics reading. THen the new issues of Superman and Supergirl…I dig the covers, and Superman in particular at a glance fooled me a couple times into thinking I was looking at a ’90s comic!

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Then the new Detective Comics issue, Wonder Twins, and GI Joe: A Real American Hero.

I’m continuing to enjoy Spider-Man: Life Story and totally equate it with Superman: Secret Identity. I’m not sure how it’s gonna read in a collected volume, as it REALLY benefits from the gap between issues for its own time jumps. It’s technically a single narrative, but more like a bunch of one-shots; each with a 10-years-older Spider-Man, having progressed from being a teenager in the ’60s, 20-something in the ’70s, 30s in the ’80s, to his 40s here in the ’90s.

And a random True Believers Spider-Man vs. the gray Hulk issue.

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I also had gotten curious about the Flash: Year One story…and finding that all three issues available at the time were…available, I opted to snag them!

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Ordered a couple weeks earlier but arriving the week of June 12th, I got the Rebirth Deluxe Editions of Action Comics vol. 2-3 and Superman 1-4. Along with the vol. 1 of Action Comics and Action Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition that I already had, this gives me basically the complete "Rebirth-era" Superman saga in hardback.

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The Action Comics #1000 volume does not begin to match the trade dress, but then it IS sort of the break-point between these and the Bendis-era stuff. I’d consider going for the Batman and Detective Comics hardcovers…but with all the changes DC‘s been making to stuff, I haven’t a clue how many they’ll do or if later volumes will fit the trade dress or be split, and so on.

I’d gotten the Action Comics volume a couple years ago, and only got these others when I realized 1. they were available for ordering all in one go and 2. they were a "complete" set.


Week of June 19, 2019

I’d bailed on Usagi Yojimbo from Dark Horse when the series tried to switch to renumbering as mini-series to the story arc after having just gotten a couple issues with the intent of jumping on long-term. Getting a new start at IDW actually WARRANTS a new #1 and I’ll give the series another shot, having been aware of it for much of its history and enjoying what I HAVE read of it!

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Along with the premiere of the new Usagi series, yet another issue of Batman. I’m a few issues behind on reading–again–but have more or less been keeping up for 30-some issues now. I’m NOT happy about Tom King being forced off the main title and will likely consciously pass on the series from there–especially with the likelihood of a renumbering being close behind.

I’m enjoying getting the various facsimile editions from Marvel…again showing that I’m more than willing to buy their older stuff and far less keen on the new! I picked up a couple issues of the Marvel MAX Howard the Duck series back in 2001 or so, but otherwise don’t think I’ve actually gotten stuff…so this reprint of the first issue ought to be a good treat to read!

The final issue of Marvels Annotated wraps up the 5-issue (#s 0-4) re-presentation of the 1994 series for its 25th anniversary.

The next issue of TMNT: Urban Legends has us about 2/3 through the series. On a whim, I got Warlord of Mars Attacks for the sheer novelty of the properties’ mash-up.

And though I’ve not been a great fan of Frank Miller OR John Romita Jr., it’s Superman so I grabbed the first issue of Superman: Year One. It’s also notable for being one of the EXTREMELY VERY RARE cases where I consciously opted for the "variant" cover, far preferring it to the generic-seeming regular cover.

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And again here with the next round of the Walmart DC 100-Page Comic Giant!s.

I’m not entirely clear on their future from here…I believe they’re continuing, but no longer Walmart EXCLUSIVE; but not being the most stringent follower of solicitations or Diamond‘s PREVIEWS, I’m not sure if they’re orderable yet through comic shops, if the things will be re-numbering (again), and so on.


Week of June 26, 2019

Getting closer to present, the week of June 26th is only a couple weeks old!

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New Action Comics, new Detective Comics, and new Flash (for Year One).

The newest Spawn–#298–leaves us with just a couple issues til the big #300, which will be quite the sentimental thing for ME (and something I’ll likely cover in another post–perhaps moreso once that issue is out!).

We have the FINAL (ugh!) issue of Mr. & Mrs. X–as the board is cleared for the Hickman re-launch of stuff. Which I may check out against my own better judgment…I have my pre-conceived notions and expectations, but sort of feel I ought to give it a chance and see if I’m still on point with it or not.

And then the latest Dial H for Hero

And after far, far too long–the third/final issue of Batman: Damned.

Finally…for the sheer novelty of it, a very good-condition copy of the black-bagged edition of 1992’s Superman #75 for "only" $10.


Week of July 3, 2019

And lookie-here…we’re finally "current" again! The most recent week of new comics!

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I was tentatively on-board for Walking Dead #193 to "see what happens next" after the events of #192–PLUS in the month SINCE #192 hit, I managed to catch up completely on reading the series, going all the way back to the immediate aftermath of All-Out War in the early #120s! 70 or so issues read in a month! Of course, I’m floored at it turned out to be the FINAL issue…though I applaud the use of the "fake solicitations" a la Ultraverse (Malibu Comics) back in 1993 when they solicited a couple additional issues of the original Exiles series despite that being a 4-issue series with an ENDING.

As mentioned earlier, I’m stupidly far behind on reading Action Comics, and thus all of the Leviathan stuff…and not being quite sure where this Lois Lane series fits into things, I snagged the first issue. Hopefully I’ll get caught up sooner than later and figure out where things are…I’m NOT all that keen on adding Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to the buys, especially if I’m not likely to get around to reading them until they’d be in collected format anyway!

Then the latest Batman/TMNT III issue; and the final issue of Adventures of the Super Sons.

Another facsimile edition in New Mutants #98. And continuing the ’90s fun…a $2.00 copy of the first print of Superman #75 "newsstand" edition. As with the previous week’s buy of the black bagged edition…got it for the novelty of the thing!

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And since I’ve taken to showing the week’s issue (albeit often un-referenced/mentioned), here’s this week’s Comic Shop News cover, spotlighting the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium coming soon.


And there I’m finally "caught up" again. Amidst all these weeks’ worth of new comics are some toy purchases I may or may not get to showing off, and a game or two, some movies, and some general "real-life" stuff.

But if I get to them, they’ll be their own posts.

And maybe sometime this summer I’ll get back to actually doing some reviews and other TRUE "content" for this blog.

At the least, I’m pretty sure I have an Exiles #4 post pretty much ready to go, and then have to get to Firearm #0, Ultraverse Premiere #0, and the November 1993 Ultraverse ads post to finish that month…and I’d like to get to December 1993’s Break-Thru event before too long. But we’ll see what real life holds in the nearer-than-not future!

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The ’00s Revisited: Detective Comics #826

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Writer: Paul Dini
Penciller: Don Kramer
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover: Simone Bianchi
Assoc. Editor: Michael Siglain
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: February 2007
Cover Price: $2.99

Hard to believe even this issue was published OVER 12 YEARS AGO, but then, it’s been 8 since the announcement of The New 52, and it’s been a decade longer SINCE Tim Burton’s Batman than IT was from the ’60s series. Time flies. This issue is from a period where I’d largely stepped away from the Bat-books, before I came back for Batman RIP and Battle for the Cowl and such. So though I obviously knew Detective Comics was out there, I was not buying it regularly in 2006/2007. I actually found out about this issue from a post on Facebook with a discussion of "favorite Tim stories," and decided to track it down. Sort of surprisingly, the very first place I looked for it, I found it–for about $4, or "only" $1 more than cover price, and perfectly in line with what would be paid for a contemporary 2019 new comic!

This issue opens on Robin–Tim Drake–speeding away, being chased and shot at after winding up in the middle of rival drug gangs. As his bike is totaled, a minivan pulls up and someone throws the passenger door open, calling to him by name. Not looking a gift-horse in the mouth, Robin leaps in…to be greeted by The Joker! When Tim awakes from the Joker’s gas, he’s bound to his seat, the heat in the vehicle is on, the seat-warmer is on, and the original owners of the vehicle are dead in the back. Tim’s in for a hell-ride with one of those most deadly individuals he’s come up against, as the Joker drives over pedestrians and generally tortures Tim with his inability to DO anything. We get some flashbacks to some "human" moments Tim has with Dick…that also lend context to Tim’s eventually distracting Joker enough to escape. Unfortunately, he’s unable to capture the Joker. Batman appears, and the two leave the scene, knowing this is anything but the end of their old foe.

I don’t know if I’d consider this the greatest Tim story ever–but for reading it as a sole, single issue, completely out of any context of issues surrounding it, and getting a complete story in one issue…this is definitely an excellent issue TO get as a one-shot!

Adding to my enjoyment of this issue was having just watched a couple episodes from early in Batman: The Animated Series. Perhaps that this issue was written by the same Paul Dini that wrote those episodes, this had a certain vibe that fit right in with that…especially for being a complete story told in a short amount of time!

The cover is primarily black-and-white…with only the title logo "Detective Comics" in red. Bianchi is a hit-or-miss artist with me…but for a cover, this works very well! It also helps that the cover is actually RELEVANT to the CONTENTS of the issue–something that seems to all-too-rarely be the case in 2019, where "variants" rule and the cover doesn’t often seem to matter.

The interior art is quite good as well. I would not say I’m familiar with Kramer‘s work by style or name, but I was able to follow the story quite well and "get" what was going on, with no great distractions to yank me out of the story. If the art doesn’t "blow me away" with sheer awesomeness, then I greatly appreciate when–as with this issue–it recedes to the background and simply does its job. BY receding to the background it’s better as it becomes part of the story, the issue, and doesn’t take anything away. That said, this is probably one of the best-looking Jokers I’ve seen, and I WOULD welcome this art for the Joker in more contemporary stories!

Story-wise, the writing is very good, and along with presenting a solid story about Tim as Robin–facing and surviving The Joker–it gets into character moments/downtime with the character, and manages to give us a complete story in a single issue! Nowadays something like this one issue would be stretched to at least 3 issues, if not somehow 6 to be a full graphic novel, if one wants a "complete story." While it might be slightly toned back, this would be an excellent episode of Batman: The Animated Series.

Having thoroughly enjoyed this issue, I’m reminded that I may have read that there was a time with the title where Dini was doing a bunch of done-in-one issues…and I will definitely have to "investigate" that as that’s something I would almost certainly enjoy reading more of!

If you’re a fan of Robin, of Tim Drake, of Joker stories, or just getting a full story in a single issue of a comic, I’d highly recommend this! I consider it to absolutely be "worth" $4 or so…and anything under that is a bargain!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of February 06, 2019

February starts out with a medium week. Not huge, not tiny. Though it’s another with an issue missing from the week before, picked up amidst the bunch!

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While I despise the $3.99 price point AND that DC is NOT doing digital codes with the books regularly/predictably, I think I’m pretty much ‘sold" on the Wonder Comics stuff, at least for checking out the first issue or two for each of the titles. This week had Young Justice #2, which was a no-brainer for me, given the way I enjoyed the first issue. This one didn’t hit me quite the same way, but was still enjoyable in itself!

We get the first chapter of The Price [of Justice] in Batman #64, beginning a 4-issue 2-per-title crossover with The Flash, written by the writer of The Flash (rather than Tom King, the regular on Batman).

From the previous week is the $9.99 Mysteries (of love) in Space, a giant-size special playing off the classic Mysteries in Space title. As a sucker for these giant-size issues, I snagged it. Where I’m "ok" with DC doing $10 issues and NOT OK with Marvel is that DC has the decency to have them be standalone issues and NOT part of a regular series. Get the special, don’t get the special…one isn’t "penalized" by a gap in their collection or feeling "forced" to buy the issues!

Adventures of the Super Sons is over the halfway point of its run; GI Joe: A Real American Hero sports one of THE highest-numbers in American comics (coming behind Spawn‘s #294 or so) and I’m giving these Marvel Action books a chance, if only for the "novelty" of being major Marvel properties published by IDW (and thus semi-immune to gated/ratioed/EXCESSIVE variants and crappy continuity stuff).

Finally, I tend to follow Blake Northcott‘s work, so of course snagged her Aspen Visions: Fathom issue. I think this is a one-shot, but time’ll bear that out, I suppose.

I missed the Man and Superman giant-size special, but hopefully it’ll be back in stock this upcoming Wednesday.

…Which will itself hopefully not be too huge a week, as I’ve had a couple other huge non-comics purchases within the current paycheck, and another planned for the next!

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Toys in the Wild: DC Primal Age [Addendum]

I posted the other day about the DC Primal Age toys from Funko.

Regarding the Joker Beast, I’d said

Of all the characters, The Joker is the one who gets a "ride" or in this case, I guess more of a "mount."

In visiting a different Target, I spotted an unfamiliar toy and looked closer!

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Apparently the Joker Beast is the "bad guys’ mount" while the "good guys" get Ace the Bathound. Seems I neglected to look at the back of the box for the Joker Beast, or I’d’ve realized there was one figure I had not seen!

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The back of the Ace the Bathound box shows the eight "solo" figures as well as Ace and Joker Beast (though the art shows the mounts with their riders, the riders do NOT come with the mounts!).

If there are more than the eight figures, two mounts, and Batcave in terms of the toys, I’m presently unaware. And while I’d really like a Superman for this line…if he’s some sort of "exclusive" ANYwhere (convention or otherwise) that will–to me–be a HUGE red slash AGAINST Funko and this line as a whole!

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There’s also a fun little bit that apparently got past whoever approved the box-art/design for print. "Collect the all!"? As opposed to "Collect them all!"

For something of this scale, this mass-market (albeit Target-exclusive), that strikes me as a rather significant error to make it past the QC stages and into production! (Especially given my recent job-hunting and the requirements "asked for" with anything involving editing/proofing/etc.!)

So hey, if this was Bleeding Cool and not a personal blog, I’d urge you to snap these up while you can as–if the mistake is caught for any later waves/printings, these could be "collectors’ items!" (albeit a ridiculously stupid thing to differentiate or make something such).

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DC Gallery: Shazam!

A couple weeks back–January 16–I noticed a new statue on a display shelf at Comic Heaven. Captain Marvel! (Well…legally/officially "Shazam" but that’s a whole other post/series of posts).

Anyway…a new DC Gallery statue from Diamond Select!

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I’d known this was "coming soon," but was thinking it was due at the end of the month, January 30 or so. But seeing it in front of me…and having suspected I’d be quite interested in it when I saw an image of it some weeks earlier–I bought it on the spot!

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While the face is somehow a bit off, and short of actual light-up effects, the lightning isn’t going to be spot-on…I still like the design of this overall; it captures the character for me–more of the new, perhaps, than the classic…but I didn’t really come to be much of a fan of this character until a couple years into the New 52 era. So I’m naturally going to be more accepting of changes if I notice them at all. And of course, there’s the simple matter of taking what I can get!

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I continue to really like this line of statues. They’re solid without being too heavy; light without feeling stupid-cheap.

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This piece joins several of my Marvel Gallery statues from the last few months, as well as an unpictured-here Batman: The Animated Series Robin that resides with a bunch of other Robin stuff in my collection.

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Toys in the Wild: DC Primal Age

As with many toys based on comics, it IS the comics that spark my interest.

Of course, it doesn’t seem all that often that there’s a sort of "original property" to come of it in quite this way.

Funko had (has? I don’t know if they’re still making them) a line of vintage-style action figures–just small, basic figures on a little card; then they’ve done some larger figures, and their Mortal Kombat ones especially caught my eye (though the price put me off).

Then Bleeding Cool ran a piece about a new Target-exclusive 100-page comic with a similar trade dress to the Walmart-exclusive books…and the "completist" in me decided that yeah, I would be seeking it out.

Apparently this Target one is based on a new toy line or such. And in seeking out the comic I found an endcap display of what seems to be the entire toy line!

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In an age where it seems some entire toy lines are relegated to 2-3 pegs, period…it’s cool to see this line get at least an initial larger endcap display! Here we have 4 pegs of the figures, a t-shirt, lunchboxes, the comic itself, and the Batcave playset. (With a Joker Beast on a shelf below these).

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For me, the "main attraction" is the comic. I was somewhat surprised at its basically $10 price ($9.99 or $9.95…) but that’s in line with this sorta thing; I imagine it’s bulk that helps allow the Walmart books to be "only" $5.

This DC Primal Age or DC: Primal Age feels a lot like an Elseworlds thing, or like something out of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (except featuring a lot more characters in "a past").

That it’s a comic–essentially an "original graphic novel" but cheaper, and "supporting" (or supported by?) a toy line makes it a bit more "special."

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There are old-style lunchboxes. I’d be sorta interested except that I don’t need yet another sort of item to collect. I dig the look of this one’s art, though…and something about it reminds me a bit of He-Man or even Conan the Adventurer (the animated one, not the live action).

And then there are the figures themselves:

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Maybe my favorite of the bunch is Batman…though unfortunately there’s no Superman. I’m not sure if I feel better about it having read the comic and Superman at least being there, than if he wasn’t even (at least) acknowledged there.

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Green Lantern’s another one that’s rather appealing, and works well here. He’s at once familiar yet fits this alternate reality.

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I’ve got mixed feelings on the look of Aquaman…but I really like that we get an apparently-’90s-inspired "hook for a hand" take on the character.

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This Wonder Woman is one of the more "normal"-looking ones of the bunch; also smaller and far less bulky than most of the others.

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I’m not overly keen on this look for Scarecrow…something to it is fitting of the character/name, but also looks rather generic to me.

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Mister Freeze is an interesting one…almost like an old, blue Conan; I can go with the "ice-gladiator" look, but there’s something slightly "off" to me. At the same time…this would be the first of the villains I’d get!

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King Shark is an interesting character…on one hand, doesn’t seem to fit–a "fish out of water" and all that–but then, on the "primal" theme and "knowing" sharks are rather ancient…it’s kinda fitting.

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While perhaps one of the more "iconic" characters, I’ve gotten rather tired of–and bored of–umpteen different Jokers. Still…like Batman, Joker seems to work well with numerous interpretations.

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Of all the characters, The Joker is the one who gets a "ride" or in this case, I guess more of a "mount." It fits, sure, but I’m not overly keen on it. Then again, as a display piece, it’d make a nice addition. I’m just not sure about its $20 price!

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The Batcave seems like a neat thing; sort of the "ultimate piece" to the toy line. $60 may not be horrible for it, but it’s something quite impractical for me as I’d have nowhere to display it, and at this size, displaying is far less versatile than "just" the figures themselves!

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The card backs all seem to be the same…which works; I definitely like that they show "all" the figures.

As mentioned above, though, I’m disappointed that Superman was not included…though I’d hope perhaps there are plans for a second wave of figures that might include him!


While the photos above were taken in the store, I did wind up deciding to buy one for now.

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Here’s a slightly-larger look at the art-depiction of the entire line (another nice throwback touch).

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And here is Batman himself, out of the package and armed with his sword and carrying his shield.

The figure is not particularly-well articulated…but for me at least, that is definitely part of the charm of this sort of figure, in an age of hyper- and over-articulation in figures, it’s great to get some basic figures that just simply look cool and that have some basic poses.

Like a lot of stuff out of the ’80s and my childhood.

Still, at roughly $12/figure I don’t really see trying to get them all; though if they last in the stores long enough, maybe I’ll snag one here and there and eventually end up with them all. I picked up Batman, and am definitely interested in Green Lantern and Aquaman, as well as a villain, so likely Mister Freeze or King Shark. So time will tell.

It’s also very refreshing to see a line such as this with just ONE version of each character; and a good MIX of "good guys" AND "bad guys," where often it seems like there’s not much of a mix with maybe "just" some "good guys" or umpteen variants of a main "good guy" and one or no villains.

I enjoyed the comic–despite its size, I read it basically in one sitting, and I’d say it’s a large reason why I’d enjoy getting some of the other characters! This feels like something that could totally be a cartoon series…and I guess that’s where the comic sort of takes the place of the cartoon, giving stories involving the characters and to provide further interest in the figures.

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of January 16 & 23, 2019

Looks like these Weekly Haul posts are becoming more of a biweekly thing than weekly, despite best of intentions otherwise. And broken record as I feel on saying that.

Here are the previous couple of weeks’ worth of new comics…with another new week now just a couple days away!


Week of January 16, 2019

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Detective Comics is really ramping up toward the 1,000th issue! I was amazed at how quickly the first two chapters of this story read, and this one itself seemed a pretty fast read. Loving the art, but the story makes it seem like it’s going to be so much better as a singular "graphic novel" in collected form.

Superman finally–about nine months in–gives us the story of the "missing" time and we now have a mid to late teens Superboy in Jon…which really is not my cup of tea. Perhaps it’ll be undone by the end of this current arc, but I doubt it…we’ll see where it goes, though!

Then we have Supergirl and the TMNT issue of IDW‘s series of 20/20 special issues celebrating the publisher’s 20th anniversary. This TMNT 20/20 jumps forward 20 years, and proved a too-quick read with too little space to really do any justice to the story…and there’s loads of potential here!

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The DC Walmart-exclusive 100-page giants seem to have thrown the 2-every-2-weeks schedule out the window, and are landing all-4-at-once again…right about the 4 week mark since the #6s! And it turns out that #7 is the final issue for both the Justice League of America and Teen Titans iterations…they’re being replaced with Wonder Woman and Titans respectively, starting with new #1s while adding Swamp Thing and Flash to the lineup (apparently Batman and Superman get to continue with their existing numbering.


Week of January 23, 2019

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The most recent week of new comics brings us a non-Black-Label issue with Batman and Constantine; I need to catch up on reading this title, and really look forward to reading this issue! I snagged the second issue of Geoff JohnsShazam! title, even though it’s several weeks late. I have yet to read the first issue, and as my usual trap seems to be…I get a subsequent issue so when/if I finally get to reading one issue, I’m not "stuck" having to "hunt down" another issue.

I lucked out and the local Target had the DC Primal Age exclusive issue. I had a rude surprise in thinking it was going to be like the Walmart issues at $5, but this one was $10! Still, that’s in line with DC‘s own non-Walmart such issues, so…c’est la vie. At least it’s DC and not Marvel

TMNT hits its 90th issue; and we get the third issue of GI Joe: A Real American Hero – Silent Option. And for the heckuvit, I opted to try the IDW 20/20 issue of Jem and the Holograms. It’s a one-shot, and given my own age, I figure it might be interesting to read about the characters 20 years older than "usual," as it puts them into my own real, current age range.

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Despite swearing off of the latest Uncanny X-Men iteration due to pricing, frequency, and event-orientation (with Age of X-Man and such) I couldn’t quite bring myself to pass up this Annual given the focus on–and return of–Cyclops. And I was firmly set on NO MORE DARK HORSE Aliens minis due to variants and the like…but when I recognized Tristan Jones‘ art on this variant…I gave in and got it, since it IS #1, so at least it’s not just another variant-on-any-old-issue-nothing-special. Maybe I’ll suck it up and buy the rest of the mini…especially or at least if he’s got variants on the whole thing.

I snagged this free Isola Prologue issue cuz hey…"free." And we have the weekly Comic Shop News, this one focusing on Age of X-Man: Alpha…something playing on nostalgia (1995’s X-Men: Alpha). If Marvel does some sort of omnibus for the event, has a single-volume of Uncanny X-Men 1-10 and such and I can get then for a decent price…I might snag ’em. Otherwise I’ll wait for conventions later in the year and see if the singles can be had for half price for standard covers…if reviews and word of mouth bear ’em out as worthwhile.

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I’m not actually sure anymore what IDW‘s schedule is for print and digital releases as it almost seems like they’re releasing stuff early digitally with print coming the following week. And I’m not sure how I feel about Spawn Kills Everyone 2 being $3.99 an issue for a 4-issue mini-series…but I threw in with Spawn several years ago, and have decided to at least "stick it out" through the 300th issue. And that includes this mini, given the original special a year or two ago, whenever it was.


All in all, not a huge haul for new comics for the couple weeks…though some other stuff I bought more than made up for the comics spending. Buuuut I’ll get into those as the week progresses!

And as usual…here’s to hoping the new week of new comics is small-ish…

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Reign of the Supermen…26 Years From Page to Screen

Last week–maybe the week before as well (but this last week for sure) I was greeted with a pleasant surprise in an ad. Most advertising is frustrating, deceptive, or otherwise just bugs the sheer heck outta me. This was one of THE BEST ads I can think of in a number of YEARS.

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See…THIS ad prompted me to ACTION. It informed me of this two-day event. Reminded me that this was happening, as I believe I’d seen SOMEthing about it some time back. And it was well-timed, being the Wednesday before the event–providing me with several days to consider and make plans and actually attend the event!

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The Death of Superman came out last July or so, and I enjoyed it overall. It was certainly far superior to 2007’s Superman: Doomsday (which I still hold as primarily worthwhile for its retrospective documentary on the actual comics event).

This "do-over" was good, catching a number of good points from the original comics…while updating, modifying, and adjusting stuff in such a way as to fit it–essentially–into the New 52 continuity, as the last few years of these DC Universe Movie features have been–some based directly on those comics, others drawing inspiration from, and so on.

For me, probably the most stand-out thing about this The Death of Superman was the way it pulled off addressing Lex Luthor as he’s generally been known, and yet the Luthor at the time in the comics was vastly different. I remember that moment in here leaving me chuckling–like "Alright, I was wondering, and that’s good, I like that, that’s awesome!"

In its Return of the King style multiple "epilogues," it also drew from what I feel is one of THE absolute KEY moments of Funeral for a Friend/World Without a Superman, the heart of that story, and in some ways maybe the entire reason one could do this sort of story. It gives us a voiceover of Bibbo praying, talking to God, asking how it is that He would take Superman…while a washed up old roughneck like him goes on living. It was a scene in the comics that made me cry in 1993, it’s a scene that has brought tears to my eyes multiple times since in re-reading the comics, and darned if it didn’t have my eyes wet in the theater the other day!

[SPOILER WARNING! I’m gonna get into spoilers below with Reign of the Supermen!]

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The biggest draw here for ME, of this double-feature, though, was Reign of the Supermen. Not only the chance to see these on "the big screen," but the fact that it was a chance to see this one a couple days BEFORE the "digital-only" "window" that I so thoroughly DESPISE that has been such a trend lately/for years.

I’m still trying to decide what I think of this one, and perhaps as I’m typing this I’ll better settle it out.

————— [Again, spoiler warning! Stop reading if you care about knowing nothing really about it going into Reign of the Supermen!] —————

Something that really stood out to me quite a bit was the way that the Justice League was involved, as well as the very presence AT ALL of Darkseid.That more than even just the costumes rooted this as a sort of New 52 version of The Death and Return of Superman stuff.

It worked–having Doomsday be a weapon of Darkseid, and Darkseid having been behind Hank Henshaw, and all that. In context of Darkseid being THE big Justice League foe of the New 52 and all that; being the driving force of the "origin" of the League, etc.

But it also turned this into a Justice League story in which Superman had died…rather than being fully at its heart a Superman story.

While I can "appreciate" certain stuff with Darkseid and even like certain visual interpretations…on the whole I just do not care for the character and find the character to be vastly over-used and uninteresting.

We still had key moments adapted into the film. Steel still had a momentary subplot with weapons; Superboy hitting on women; the "visored Superman" still used deadly force; the Cyborg still saved the president and was recognized as the real, one, true Superman; and so on. Scenes had some clever nods to comic covers in montage mode that I really liked. To "just anyone" it was a montage; someone like me that read the individual comics each week as the story originally unfolded across much of 1993, it was an excellent way to acknowledge the original comics without being hung up on them and their story.

While Superman, the Supermen were a primary driving force…I just strongly feel that this could have been just as easily Justice League: Invasion II or some such.

In the end, though, I enjoyed this, especially as I decided that for me at least it’s simply the New 52 version of the death and return story, updated and adapted for the New 52 such that it fit the altered continuity and such, while keeping many of the moments from the comics that were important and informative of the characters. Unfortunately, the biggest disservice was probably done to the Eradicator, with virtually no real character exploration nor explanation. (Why the visor??? The visor wasn’t even really acknowledged! except his being "the visored" Superman)


I’ve missed at least a couple other Fathom Events presentations of DC Universe movies. I’d been very interested in and planning on going to see the Batman: The Killing Joke back in 2016, but was laid off days before and still in a bit of "shock" over the whole situation, and didn’t go. And I’m pretty certain there was at least one other "premiere" in theaters in 2017 and/or 2018.

But it feels "fitting" to see these…and all the better a value for having both together. I think the listing I saw indicated the combined thing was 2 hours 45 minutes or so–which makes for a "longer movie," with an individual 70-74 minute animated feature "short" and a "full length" film running closer to 120 minutes. But unlike most of these "longer movies" in theaters, having these as two movies but back to back…there was a whopping 5-minute "intermission," which was more than enough time to go to the restroom and grab a quick drink. I certainly wish more films would be a bit longer BUT (such as on a cliffhanger) have a brief intermission for using the restroom and such.

I despise this "digital window" on movies. I have never ONCE decided to blow $20 on a digital-only film JUST to have it 2 weeks before it would be available on physical media. It just pisses me off. If "digital" were a completely separate thing and there were NEVER "DVD + Digital" or "Blu-Ray + Digital" or "Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital" combo packs, that’d be a different thing. I refuse to "convert" to digital-ONLY when it’s basically the same price to get the physical media WITH a digital code. (Or for $2-3 difference–cheaper than a single issue of a comic book–it’s negligible for a huge benefit/convenience!)

Even having bought and watched The Death of Superman last year, and even just having seen Reign of the Supermen in the theater…I’ll still be buying the latter in a couple weeks when it’s available.

If you’ve bought/watched The Death of Superman this is a solid continuation. And even if you’re not really a Superman fan but dig Batman and the rest of the Justice League, this is also very much a Justice League thing, and fits with the other recent Justice League animated features, references the Teen Titans, and generally works in that continuity.

It’s taken 26 years…from the original comics to this animated (double) feature. I’m glad to be able to have ’em, all the more as they make a 25+ year old story "new" and "current" again for an entirely new generation!

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Young Justice (2019) #1 [Review]

young_justice_(2019)_0001Seven Crises

Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Patrick Gleason
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters: DC Lettering
Cover: Gleason & Sanchez
Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Editors: Mike Cotton & Andy Khouri
Group Editors: Brian Cunningham & Mark Doyle

I wasn’t going to get this. I vaguely remember it being announced, as well as seeing SOMETHING about these Wonder Comics and thinking hey…yet ANOTHER new imprint to not get into!

As to the property itself–the title Young Justice–I remember ads for the World Without GrownUps or whatever back in 1998 or so, and the premiere of the original Young Justice ongoing series. I mostly missed out on that at the time–I was getting a lot of Marvel at that point (with the Heroes Return titles) and mainly just the Superman titles from DC, offhand. The END of that Young Justice series (and Titans) came in the Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day mini-‘event’, which I picked up just after my OWN graduation day from college. The event led away from Young Justice and Titans and into two "new" series–a new iteration of Teen Titans and Outsiders, both of which I followed (getting in at #1 for lengthy runs) up to Infinite Crisis or so. I dove deep into DC continuity just after Young Justice. So I never had the nostalgia of the title or the particular iterations of the characters. When the animated series was out, I enjoyed the first several episodes, but lost track of it due to episode scheduling (as I do most animated series, it seems). So I had no huge attachment there to the title, either.

But somewhere along the way between this series being announced and this issue’s release, I found out (online) that Tim Drake would be Robin again, and that "my" Superboy–Connor Kent–the one introduced during 1993’s Reign of the Supermen–would be back. Seeing Superboy in particular on a cover image, I was "sold."

Maybe the first thing about this actual issue to note is the hefty $4.99 price point. I tend to DESPISE $4.99 #1 issues, particularly because of the way I feel that Marvel has abused the practice over the last few years. This issue felt thicker, though, and I’m more forgiving toward DC (though they have squandered a lot of the goodwill they earned from me with Rebirth). It is an extra-sized issue, with 30 story pages (an extra 1/3 content for the price of 1/4), so the "value" is technically there.

We open the issue on Gemworld, with someone relaying information about seven crises and Earth. We then jump to Earth, and a young woman’s arrival in Metropolis. This is Jinny Hex…new to the big city. As she’s dealing with having been pulled over for a busted taillight on her vehicle…agents of Gemworld invade, causing quite a ruckus. Jinny finds herself face to face with Robin (Tim Drake) and seems rather awe-struck. A flashback shows us an interaction between Tim and Cassie Sandsmark minutes earlier, also in Metropolis, as the two catch up briefly before Tim leaps into action with the invasion. Joining the action is Impulse–Bart Allen; he is clearly excited to be in action and interacting with the others while facing the invasion. Before long, Wonder Girl joins in as well as a Green Lantern Ring Construct…and Bart declares that Young Justice is back! It looks as if the heroes may have prevailed, and then they’re caught up in some sort of energy, and Robin comes to on Gemworld facing Amethyst…while Impulse finds himself facing a certain missing teammate to end the issue.

This issue provoked a reaction in me that I haven’t had in awhile from any comic, and that I don’t know entirely how to describe. But to try…in short, I flat-out enjoyed this comic, I loved seeing Tim referred to as Robin again, and something about these characters–even though I lack a huge amount of context for the grouping–really hit my nostalgia buttons. Perhaps because this is the first time it seems Tim Drake has properly–without likelihood of reprint revision–been referred to as Robin since 2009 or so. Perhaps it’s seeing Connor Kent Superboy again for the first time since at least 2011. Perhaps it’s that this feels like something from before the New 52, period.

Likely all of the above and that the issue was just…FUN. I mean, an invasion, the destruction of property and all that…sure, that’s not something to celebrate, but this IS a comic book, and we’re not beaten over the head while reading about the destruction itself or how it’s impacting some random character or bystander. We just get heroes in action, and saving people, and no real focus on dark, grim, gritty stuff.

I know I’ve had issues with Gleason‘s art in the past–I think to the point that I even came to dislike seeing his name on stuff; it was a sign that I would likely dislike the art. His art won me over a bit during the Rebirth run of Superman; and maybe I’m just so thrilled to see Robin and Superboy again, but I really dug the art on this issue! Gleason‘s style seems very well-suited for this sort of frenetic fun and the energetic nature of much of the issue–from Robin laying into Gemworlders to Bart completely enjoying himself in action…and even working in more serious stuff without coming off with stylistic things that’d get me complaining on some principle. There are several double-page spreads, and other than the "Young Justice is BACK!" bit, I could do without them. I tend to feel that most double-pagers are "cheats" and go by way too quickly for taking up multiple full pages, lowering the "value" in terms of per-page story content.

Story-wise, this seems like a pretty good first issue. I’m not at all current on Tim Drake stuff, nor Bart or Cassie; I vaguely recall something about Jinny being in a Walmart-exclusive comic, but she comes off as fresh and new here, as does Teen Lantern; I also lack any real familiarity with Amethyst and Gemworld except that they exist. But I was still able to enjoy the issue, with everyone getting introductions or otherwise at least being named on-page…no need to go online to hunt down "who" someone was or be left scratching my head. (And the lettering had a great touch, working character names in as logos in a way that doesn’t seem to be used much lately and reminds me quite a bit of ’90s comics). This isn’t a perfect story by any means…I didn’t really "get" the invasion or anything much from that–it was more incidental, an excuse for "big action" and something to bring the characters together, to get stuff from Point A to Point B and such. That it included these particular characters being pulled together, though…it worked for me.

This is certainly no done-in-one issue, and it really only serves so far to move pieces around to begin to move toward whatever the full story will eventually be. The issue is significant in itself as a single issue for bringing the characters together (if only certain characters in virtual cameos) and being the first time we’ve seen several in years–or at least, seemingly years. But this is just the opening chapter of a serialized graphic novel, that presumably will be the standard-ish 6 issues in length.

There’s a certain on-page authenticity to the various characters, that both looks and feels like what I’d expect of a Bendis-helmed comic. His work can be hit or miss for me, but this issue is definitely a hit. I got this for the characters involved, and was not disappointed. That Bendis is the writer is incidental to me, and something I’m fine with, based on this issue. Whether that holds for future issues remains to be seen! But for now, I’m definitely onboard for this title in particular…and having thoroughly enjoyed this, I may even consider checking out the other Wonder Comics titles.

If you’re a fan of Tim Drake, Bart Allen (at least as he was pre-2003), early Connor Kent Superboy, and so on…this is definitely worth jumping in on. Especially if you’ve been "away" from the characters for awhile or not staying current with DC‘s continuity. This does not feel like it relies on anything else going on…it’s just the world these characters inhabit and them coming together and working together. This is not spinning out of some other event or title…no prologue in Detective Comics or one of the Justice League titles or some other mini-series. And even if you’re not specifically a fan of a specific character in a particular role, if you enjoy teen heroes, enjoy seeing Robin/Wonder Girl/Impulse/etc. together in a title…I’d say this is worthwhile to check out.

I have every intention myself of picking up the next issue, and if I enjoy it the way I did this issue, I may be onboard for awhile!

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The ’90s Revisited: Robin #24 – Underworld Unleashed!

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robin_0024Insects and Violence

Story: Chuck Dixon
Pencils: Aaron Lopresti
Inks: Stan Woch
Colors: Adrienne Roy
Letters: Tim Harkins
Cover: Mike Wieringo, Terry Austin, Bob LeRose, Curtis King, John Wren
Associate Editor: Jordan B. Gorfinkel
Editor: Denny O’Neil
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: December 1995
Cover Price: $1.95

Last month, a number of blogs and podcasts joined together to present #BestEventEver 2018, covering the 1995 event Underworld Unleashed! Due to computer issues and developments in my personal life, I’ve stretched my part into November to cover the Robin issues. In addition to my own posts, please check out these other blogs and podcasts for in-depth coverage of the various issues that were part of the event…and join in on further peeks at and discussions of the event on Twitter by joining at hashtags #BestEventEver and #UnderworldReUnleashed!

ITG | Resurrections: An Adam Warlock/Thanos Podcast | Relatively Geeky Podcast Network | The Retroist | Chris is on Infinite Earths | Cosmic Treadmill | The Pop Culture Palace | Rolled Spine’s Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Podcast | The Idol-Head of Diabolu | Justice’s First Dawn | Justice Trek: The Podcast


This issue is a sort of tie-in that’s not a tie-in. In the previous issue, we got to see Drury Walker and Neron and Walker’s transformation from joke-villain Killer Moth into the monstrous bug-creature Charaxes, which ties in well with the general Underworld Unleashed stuff. This issue, though…if it wasn’t for the Underworld Unleashed logo on the cover, and following directly on the previous issue–one wouldn’t even know there was some larger "event" going on! This can be read as its own thing–you don’t need Underworld Unleashed itself, and other than simply knowing Tim’s been captured by the creature, you don’t even REALLY need the previous issue! (Thanks to context and exposition…and speaking for myself, 30 years of comics-reading.)

Robin’s been cocooned ALIENS-style (well, lots-of-things-style, but I’m in an ALIENS frame of mind), unable to free himself yet, but in contact with Alfred…who can provide some information if not actual help (such as the fact that a ‘Charaxes’ is a butterfly, not a moth…but Robin’s not sure his captor’s sweating the details. While Tim struggles and eventually manages to use his extending bo to free himself…the police–even armed with a shotgun–don’t fare well against Charaxes. Robin then gets to have a go at the creature, but eventually it looks like he’ll get to experience that which Alfred had told him about…when a mysterious figure shows up, shoots Charaxes, captures him in a high-tech net…as our hero passes out. When he wakes, it’s to Batman (who arrived too late to have helped), and both are left to wonder about the mysterious entity. At school the next day, Tim is approached by a rival who is willing to put aside differences and "recruit" Tim…in vigilante opposition to the influx of new students. When he shows off a gun…he’s got Tim’s attention!

This is a fairly solid issue of Robin. We get to see our titular hero escape a "death trap," fight the villain, and even interact with Alfred and Batman. In addition, we get to see a bit of Ariana and her family in their new home, as well as see Tim at school with his friends. While this issue came off a cliffhanger, one isn’t really missing a CRUCIAL piece of story–it’s easy enough to catch up from exposition. This is from a time when comics were not locked into a rigid cycle of X number of issues = 1 graphic novel/collected volume. Each issue was episodic, rather than "just" X of Y serialized chapters of a SINGLE story.

It’s perhaps a bit fitting that I get to this issue a couple WEEKS later than I had intended–it’s a "straggler" issue for me on reading, as well as covering as part of the #BestEventEver coverage of Underworld Unleashed. While it’s technically a tie-in, it seems to be a later one, and labeled as such almost as an afterthought. You’d want to read this if you’re reading the series, and if you read the previous issue and cared about how Robin escapes from Charaxes…but this really seems to have absolutely nothing to do with Underworld Unleashed, and would be suitable for getting in conjunction with that solely for the logo on the cover.

Visually, I like the issue. It’s just Robin for me. It’s not trying to be some distinctive visual interpretation, it’s just…Robin art for a Robin issue. If I wasn’t looking at the credits I probably wouldn’t identify the artist offhand…but in the way this issue is, that’s a good thing, as it just looks like a ’90s Robin issue, and not a bad one at that.

As with most ’90s comics…this is definitely worth a 25-cent purchase, though there’s not really much to this to make it stand out as a sole, single, isolated issue. Aside from the "completist" mentality for Underworld Unlimited, if you’re not interested in early Tim Drake Robin stuff, or Killer Moth and that character’s oddities, or the art…I woudln’t suggest hunting this down for the sake of itself.

As a Robin issue, and my being a fan of this character…these two issues were a treat to revisit and I’m quite glad to have read them!


Again, please check out these other sites for additional, more in-depth coverage of the various other issues–including the main event mini itself–for Underworld Unleashed!

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