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Buying Into Young Animal From DC

I don’t know what it was, exactly–perhaps a simple comparison to early Vertigo from DC–but at the end of last week, I decided maybe I actually do want to check out the Young Animal stuff.

Life got in the way for several days, but I ventured out to a shop I hadn’t been to in quite awhile, and found that they (surprisingly?) actually had all three issues that I was aware of being out already, in stock.

buying_into_young_animal_october_17

I was a bit put off by the cover of Doom Patrol #1…but a quick search using my phone turned up several results showing that cover and without mention of it being a variant (needless to say, if I find out it is a variant, I’m not gonna be a happy camper. Not. At. All.)

There were two covers for Shade the Changing Girl, and I didn’t feel like messing with more searching, so I grabbed this cover. Again…not gonna be happy if I realize it’s a variant.

With the Young Animal stuff, though, I think it’s that I’m craving some imprint or line that I can follow entirely that isn’t some huge universe thing. And since (I believe) these are technically taking place in the DC universe, there’s potential for a lotta interesting stuff…"experimental" under the YA imprint, but not necessarily absolutely removed, either (the way there was a hard boundary between DC universe and Vertigo stuff back in the day).

I also enjoy getting in on stuff at/near the beginning, so getting in on the first issues of the first several series, I can try the things out. I’ve avoided basically anything regarding them, so I’ll be diving in fresh on the actual reading.

Of course, it’s also just occurred to me that I’ve actually doomed the line, being interested and actually actively seeking these out. Please don’t blame me if the whole thing flops within a year…

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Plastic Ring quest #4

And now the ‘ring quest’ is complete.  For many others who have also completed this set…it’s a goal poor Larfleeze–“Agent Orange”–will likely never get to do.

As I’ve said before, I think this is just about the coolest promotion for comics I’ve seen.

Of all the rings, of COURSE the coolest wound up being the Green Lantern ring. Because when you come right down to it–whether that first year or so following Kyle’s book, or that brief period after reading the Amalgam “Iron Lantern” issue when I was all the more interested in GL, to more recent years–it’s the “original” of the Corps.

Another thing that I wonder about is what other similar promotions could be done?  Including the year it came out (1991), next year (2010) will be 20 years OF The Infinity Gauntlet; 2011 obviously being the 20th “anniversary.”  How cool would it be to have something like this ring promotion for a re-issue of the original mini-series (6 gems, 6 issues…nice, no?).

Or sticking with DC: what about a Legion of Super-Heroes ring?  As with all these Lantern Corps rings…just change the color of plastic used and the little symbol on the top piece.  Such a ring could be tied to a special Legion issue or annual or issue of Adventure Comics or the like.

And what about a Flash ring?  Given Barry’s back, and I believe the Flash-costume-in-a-ring-for-easy-access was his thing…so why not use the red plastic again and put the lightning bolt on the top piece? And tie this, say, to the new Flash #1 by Johns.

Plastic Ring quest #3

Another week, two more rings.

This week’s rings were the blue and violet (or Star Sapphire). They came with Adventure Comics and Outsiders.

Amusingly enough, if you put ’em together, they look more blue and pink, almost as if they are something for kids.

With these rings, we’re left only missing the Green and Red rings…those are due next week, I believe.

Plastic Ring quest #2

ringquest002Now, this is getting to be more like it! Including that Black Ring from Blackest Night #1, 4 out of the 8 rings are now available.

I’m very thankful that my comic shop, at least, is giving the rings away with purchase of the comics that had to be ordered in X quantity to be able to order the rings.

I have not yet asked the comic shop if (any of) the rings are going to be for sale individually–I think the temptation to try to purchase an extra or two might be a bit too great. Of course, when you get right down to it, the ones I’d most be interested in getting multiples of would be the Green and Yellow.

But as-is…cool as these are, I think they’d lose just a little bit of specialness if they weren’t unique items in my collection.

Doom Patrol #4 [Review]

Dead Reckoning; The Coming of…The Clique!

DOOM PATROL
Writer: Keith Giffen
Penciller: Justiniano
Inker: Livesay
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Colorist: Guy Major
Cover: Justiniano, Andrew Mangum, Guy Major
Associate Editor: Sean Ryan
Editor: Elisabeth V. Gehrlein

METAL MEN
Plot: Keith Giffen
Dialogue: J.M. Dematteis
Art: Kevin Maguire
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Associate Editor: Sean Ryan
Editor: Elisabeth V. Gehrlein

It took me 3 attempts to make it all the way through this issue. The first two, I got hung up in the main feature. At the third attempt I managed to get through the main feature, and then all the way through the co-feature with no trouble at all.

I’m not entirely sure what was going on in the main story. To my knowledge all the characters are new to me–none of them rang any bells for me. We’re introduced to a bunch of characters contextually, though to be honest–I’m not sure if those are characters that are part of the current book, or references to the previous incarnation of this title, or what.

But as standard in Blackest Night comics so far, we see dead rise to elicit emotional response from the living, the aim being to ripen a heart with strong emotion before the subject is killed to power up the Black Lanterns.

The art’s quite good, to keep it simple. Though I’m unfamiliar with the characters, there’s no trouble telling them apart nor in following the action. And nothing to the visual style gave me any pause to contemplate quality.

The story itself was not enjoyable for me. I was not interested in the concept of this Doom Patrol before, and I’m not now after reading this issue. That’s not to say the story itself is bad–it’s not–but it doesn’t appeal to me.

This reminds me a bit of my early days in reading X-Men comics: being entirely unfamiliar with the characters and having no real sense of continuity, who characters were, and so on. While the story structure seems good, it just doesn’t interest me. However, for sake of following the entire Blackest Night event, I still intend to pick up the next issue.

If Doom Patrol’s your thing, this’ll be well worthwhile I think. If not…it doesn’t seem like it’s going to–from this issue, at least–add much to the Blackest Night event. Moreso the other way around–the event’s inserting something into this title’s story.

The Metal Men co-feature has nothing to do with Blackest Night, and seems quite timeless. A group of “female” robots have been activated by an arrogant creator seeking to outdo Magnus’ Metal Men. These girlbots proclaim themselves The Clique, and stir up trouble that gets the Metal Men involved (though they were quite happy enough to begin with, shopping with Magnus for a birthday present to give Tina–aka Platinum.)

I’m somewhat familiar with Magnus from 52, as well as the Metal Men from same as well as elsewhere around the DCU. They’re hardly my favorite characters; basically a take ’em or leave ’em situation. However, something about this story kept a sense of fun about things with some goofiness and the fantastic.

I was more engaged by this story than the Doom Patrol, and while I find The Clique to be a stupid/stereotypical element, it still works overall.

As a whole, I’m not entirely satisfied with the purchase as just a comic. In addition to simply being a Blackest Night crossover issue–the first tie-in of the event that’s not a Green Lantern book or mini-series–this issue is the first of several that are part of DC’s “ring promotion,” wherein retailers could order a bag of rings for every X number of copies of this issue they ordered. This issue came with a Yellow Ring. My inner fanboy was almost giddy at receiving the ring at no additonal cost–and for sheer enjoyment of starting a collection of the colored rings, this issue was more than worth its cover price to me.

Doom Patrol
Story: 4/10
Art: 7/10

Metal Men
Story: 6/10
Art: 7/10

Whole: 6/10

Plastic Ring quest #1

Goofy as it might seem…some things very easily amuse me. I got the biggest kick out of receiving this cheap plastic black ring back in July with the release of Blackest Night #1.  All the more because it was “big,” thick, and ACTUALLY FIT.  I could wear this thing, and not uncomfortably at that.

And I was quite excited at the prospect a couple months back at more rings, one for each of the Corps. The rumour was confirmed, and I’ve been looking forward to these.  Yesterday, I obtained the Yellow Lantern ring with my purchase of Doom Patrol #4, the first of the “traditional” crossover/tie-in issues of the Blackest Night event.

Pictured below are the two rings so far…

Lantern Corps: Black and Yellow

Expectations of the Stack: November 4, 2009

This may or may not become a regular feature with this blog, but I thought it’d be interesting to try in the short-term. This probably-weekly piece will be brief thoughts I have regarding the comics I’m looking at purchasing, based on the week’s shipping list from Diamond. If nothing else, I’ll be interested in seeing for myself how my expectations, sight-unseen, hold up to what I think of the books after I’ve read and thought on them for a bit.

Now, for the week of November 4th, 2009…

DOOM PATROL #4 (BLACKEST NIGHT)
Only reason I’m planning on getting this issue is that it’s an official Blackest Night tie-in. Also admittedly looking forward the the plastic ring that I’m hoping I’ll be able to get–they may be cheap hunks of plastic, but honestly…they’re just about the coolest promotion I can recall.

SUPERMAN WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #9 (OF 12)
Been getting this series, as with the other Superman titles. Almost seems a shame that it’s “only” 12 issues…but at the same time, better a finite-from-the-get-go series than yet ANOTHER supposedly ongoing series getting chopped hardly a year into its run. If anything of New Krypton (the planet) survives the arc, I hope they keep the numbering of this, even if they drop Superman’s name from the title…

HAUNT #2
Picked up the first issue thanks to blatent online promotion of the book. Wasn’t horrible, wasn’t wonderful. But given the “star power” behind it, I want to give it a couple more issues to grow on me…it’s got plenty of potential, and all that.

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #899
Though I tend to complain a lot about Marvel’s numbering (among many other things), I take the numbering of this as tongue-in-cheek, and given it’s Deadpool (and the nature of the character) I actually find this series’ numbering fairly amusing. The sheer audacity of the “countdown” numbering (as if it’s gonna last the next 5 years, let alone 75-some) fits nicely. The absurdly-high number will also keep this at a higher number than any other of the longest-running and recently-renumbered Marvel books out there.

DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS #347
Speaking of numbering, I love the fact that even though they could simply start the numbering from scratch on these books/concepts, Boom is keeping the old numbering and CONTINUING these Disney books. However, I certainly hope this does NOT have some 2-part cover split across editions of the same issue. I don’t like variants to begin with, but so long as I can get a copy with the cover I prefer of what’s out there, I’ll simmer in relative silence.

All in all, looks to be a decently-small week for me. Also one of the most diverse weeks, with 2 DC books, an Image book, a Marvel book, and a Boom book. Most weeks I seem to be all-DC with maybe one exception, if any.

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