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My Failure to Avoid Marvel Now

allnewxmen005Considering I had planned to simply finish out AvX last year and call it quits for a time with Marvel, they’ve done a great job of keeping me despite that, with this whole Marvel Now initiative.

In fact, at least as far as its impact on me–I’d say the thing’s a huge success.

I didn’t want to buy anything Marvel Now. I didn’t want to be interested. I WANTED the jumping-off point. I was truly looking forward to the excuse to pare back to simply Valiant and TMNT for a few months.

thunderbolts(now)002But I read that darned preview of All-New X-Men, and it hooked me. And I decided to read that first issue of A+X. And the two titles proved a slippery slope into a chunk of Marvel Now for me.

At the beginning of December, I thought Cable and X-Force was due out that week. As I was visiting a friend in Alabama, the only comic shop I had access to was one we found via the Comic Shop Locator Service, and Cable and X-Force was not with the new issues. So, in part due to it being only $2.99, I picked up Thunderbolts #1.

xmenlegacy(now)002A couple weeks ago, my local comic shop put a bunch of Marvel Now issues out on the rack for $1/apiece as “overstock,” so I picked up X-Men Legacy #s 1-2, Avengers Arena #1, and FF #1 to try. For $1 (or 99-cents) I’ll give most any full-size issue a try (I even have a standing order alongside my pull list for $1-and-under specials to be pulled).

While hunting for Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 a couple weeks back, I wound up buying Avengers #s 1-2 to more than meet a $5 minimum purchase for paying with a card at one shop, and then with a slow week last week went ahead and bought New Avengers #1 and X-Men Legacy #3.

avengers(now)002I’m looking forward to trying Uncanny X-Force #1 for the writing–I’ve enjoyed HumphriesHigher Earth, and with that ending figure I’ll give his UXF a shot. I’m also looking forward to an Uncanny X-Men focused on Cyclops and Magneto. Despite myself, I even enjoyed FF enough that–as a $2.99 book–I may look for other issues soon.

The trouble, unfortunately, is that most of these books are $3.99; as are upcoming ones.

Two new Avengers books and they don’t even seem to be set in the same continuity, let alone in the same continuity as what I think I’ve observed with the Captain America book.

aplusx003As of present, I’ve tried at least the first issue of 9 titles, with Uncanny X-Force and Superior Spider-Man #1s both forthcoming yet, which will put me up to 11. Toss in the pending Uncanny X-Men and apparently a Wolverine title (not Savage Wolverine), and across a few months Marvel‘s got me at about half the number of books I tried with DC‘s New 52 relaunch. Spread out like this, though…it feels like there’s more room to “breathe” and actually try different titles without being overwhelmed.

Which, in the end seems to be what they were going for, “learning” from DC‘s putting out 52 new titles in one month.

X-Men #16 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Rating: 3.5/5

Fantastic Four, death and the return of the polybag

ffdeathpic I’ve noticed the last issue or two of Fantastic Four having a running countdown on the cover, apparently counting down to a “death” of one of the core/original Fantastic Four characters.

And I’ve been noticing some comments around the internet—just enough to be what I’d count as “buzz” over the impending death of one of the characters.

From what I understand, the story is called “Three” and in ads, it’s being proclaimed that “One Will Fall.”

And the latest ad that I’ve seen (see photo associated with this post) I even see a notice on the ad that “This historic double-sized issue will arrive in a special polybag.”

Questions:

1. What makes this historic? Are you spoiling the story that literally? Is this going to REALLY be on the same level as The Death of Superman, the Death of Captain America, or some such? Is this going to TRULY, PERMANENTLY, for at-least-a-decade-or-so be the end of the story for one of the core FF members, whoever it is that “falls” or “dies?”

2. So it’s double-sized. Is it going to be double-priced, too? Along that line…what IS the price, anyway? $5.99? $6.99? Or is it less, and part of that double-size comes from reprint material, sketchbooky material, or what? Is the actual, main-feature top-billed story itself actually double-length?

3. What makes the polybag special? Does it glitter? Is it resealable, so that one can take the comic out to (gasp! horror! shock!) READ it, withOUT “destroying” the comic (since “damaging” a polybag APPARENTLY is akin to the paper stock itself being dunked in turpentine)?

4. WHY a polybag? Is there bonus material being bagged with the issue? An obituary? Poster? Memorial armband? promo trading card? Is the cost of the bags, and the extra processing and such part of the cost? What extra value is brought to the comic by sealing it in a polybag?

4b. I’ve always wondered at an experiment: ship a comic with just a cover, and all blank interior pages, except for a pull-out coupon. If you have that coupon, you can send it in/trade it in for an ACTUAL issue with actual interiors…

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