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Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of April 19th, 2017)

This week involved a lot more comics than previous recent weeks…and of course, that meant a higher quantity of immediate-reads, too. As I’ve been doing the last few weeks, since I’m not getting to full-on single-issue reviews, I’m just offering some of my immediate thoughts related to given issues, even if it’s more meta-textual than about the actual issue.


Batman #21

batman(2016)_0021I’ve been looking forward to this issue for months. Though I’m a good 19 issues behind in READING the title, I had no real problem jumping in…this feels sort of like checking in on a tv show that typically has a lot of slow episodes, where I can jump in after awhile and know I have missed stuff, but not have any trouble coming up to speed with the current episode I’m actually watching.

Essentially, it seems Batman is finally ready or able to "get serious" about this button he found waaaay back in DC Universe: Rebirth #1.

However, he faces an unusual threat over the course of the one minute it takes Barry to get to the Batcave.

For a detailed synopsis and coverage of the issue, check out Chris Sheehan‘s review at his blog, Chris is on Infinite Earths.

This seemed to be more action than substance to me…but darn was it pretty to look at! (Despite the physical violence). I got the "lenticular" cover–quasi-3-D with a shift from Batman to Flash; though I really dig the standard cover, too! This is one of VERY few issues that have seemed actually WORTH a $3.99 cover price (the "enhanced cover" justifies the cost, much as such covers did in the ’90s.) Also AS an "enhanced" cover, where it’s basically still the same image as the standard cover (except the standard one does a "splitscreen" thing), it’s not "just" slapping another artist’s stock image on the thing to sell more issues. It’s a story that looks to be central to the throughline of Rebirth in general, and thus–with ’90s logic–is ok with me to have this as an extra cover, where I do NOT care for variants in general.

I’m very much looking forward to the next few issues of the story, and really hope the Flash issues hold up to the visual quality and story quality of this issue…if not delving deeper story-wise!


Superman #21

superman(2016)_0021I’m much more interested in Superman Reborn: Aftermath stuff right now, so this Black Dawn stuff isn’t really doing it for me. Despite that, I’m actually enjoying the heck out of this title in its own way, especially with Batman and Damian guest-starring, seeing Damian and Jon interacting, and the whole "family element" that seems strong in this title.

We get some development of stuff with the Kents’ neighbors, we get to see the Super Sons in action along with Superman, and even have a returning element from the beginning of this iteration of the Superman book.

I’m sorta anxious to get along to the "back to Metropolis" stuff that I believe is coming up…but at the same time, I’m glad that it wasn’t something that was "just there because now it’s always been there" with zero explanation except that it’s how it is.

I’m wondering what developments are going to mean for certain supporting cast characters that I was starting to like with the pre-Reborn status quo, and hope they get handled well/believably, as roughly 20 issues seems far too short a time for their presence.

I’m quite enjoying the character-sharing going on, and that even without having read the main Batman book or most other titles lately, I still get a dose of them here.

As good as this title’s been…even a less-than-thrilling issue of Superman still beats the heck outta most other titles out there for me!


Highlander: The American Dream #3

highlander_american_dream_0003I was not sure what to expect from this series, and in a way, still don’t. But I actually read #s 2 & 3 back to back, and I’m enjoying it. I think I’d much prefer this as a full singular story than issue-sized chunks, but it’s cool reading Highlander again, and really feeling this is a solid prequel to the original film.

The art feels rather "off"–if I was just looking at this, I would not recognize Connor MacLeod as himself…he doesn’t really look to me like he does as portrayed in the films, in whatever time he’s shown. I get more of a Casablanca Humphrey Bogart vibe here than I do Connor MacLeod or Christopher Lambert.

Story-wise, though, this holds the feel of the original film’s continuity and does not feel like it strays into the tv series’ continuity. In this case, I’m liking that. I like(d) the tv series quite a bit, but it seemingly "retconning" the films is one thing…this holding to them is a welcome change…especially on the understanding/assumption that this is a limited series, hence the subtitle The American Dream.

Whatever the case, this far in, I’m pretty much "stuck" with the singles, now, barring a full-blown double-dipping. Given the price of IDW‘s collected volumes, though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. All the more with having no idea if they’ll hold the Highlander license long enough or "bother to" put out enough for any significant collection(s). I do definitely look forward to the next issue(s), though I’m tempted to stockpile ’em til the 6th issue to read all at once.


Spawn #272

spawn_0272This is my 16th issue (17 if we count the Spawn Kills Everyone #1 from last year when there seemed to be a delay) keeping up with this title…doubling my prior "longest run" with the title.

This is, though, a title where I’d be hard pressed to really summarize an issue, or retain many character names "consciously," though I’m getting to occasionally recognize characters in the title.

But I’m enjoying the series enough and able to follow along each issue pretty well–or well enough–and so I stick with it.

Of course, with this not being a "favorite" or anything, if they manage to annoy me with variants or a price increase straight from current $2.99 to $3.99 or such, I’ll almost surely drop it cold-turkey. At the same time, I’m kinda hoping to just stick with it to #300…though that’s a good 2 years (at least) away.

Time will tell, but between "jumping in" around #257 and just sticking with it, along with the $2.99 price point when so many others have climbed on to $3.99, this is a welcome monthly-ish title to me. I also greatly appreciate the high number, as it is now THE highest-legitimately-numbered series out there, as far as Marvel/DC/Image/Archie and such go (and excluding the iffy-ness of some of the Disney titles that have not been in constant ongoing production).


It’s nice having an assortment of titles from an assortment of publishers to go through in a given week. Also to have shorter, weekly, compact "event" stories that are "just" crossovers between titles, and not full-blown separate mini-series with tie-in mini-series and entire tie-in story arcs in other titles [The Button]. I’m certainly looking forward to the next chapter of that, as well as the next issue of Action Comics, and figure we’re due for new TMNT stuff.

That said…looking forward to a considerably smaller week as far as new issues at full price go!

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Curse Words…for Curse Words: Dropped Due to Variants

If you’ve been reading this blog for ANY length of time, you know that I–as a general rule–loathe variant covers. Primarily "ratioed" variants, but with very FEW exceptions, variants in general, their very existence.

And this week just REALLY reminded me WHY.

And though I COULD blame the comic shop, I personally place the blame squarely on the publisher, FOR doing a variant. Or allowing a variant. Or WHATEVER the case is.

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After actually rather enjoying the first issue, and looking forward to the second issue, the day finally came: Curse Words #2 was on "the list" as out on February 22nd.

Having been "burned" by a "surprise" variant on Moonshine #2 (which, by the way, immediately prompted me to NOT pick it up ,and thus lost me on singles on that series), I was "re-aware" of even Image doing variants on stuff (something I’d be more inclined to attribute to DC, Marvel, IDW, Boom, and Dynamite!).

So, when I saw two different covers, neither of which was visually "familiar" to me, and I was already expecting there to be a "new" or "unfamiliar" (because I ONLY bought one cover of #1!) issue, I figured fine, they did a second issue with variants, I had not really seen any "marketing" or such for the issue so was not (for once) pre-disposed to preferring one specific cover…so I grabbed the more appealing (to me) cover of the two or so I saw.

Got it home, even included the thing in my photos for my "Weekly Haul" post, none the wiser of anything.

But then I went to READ the thing.

And I saw that the word "Second" was NOT followed by "Issue" after all, on the cover.

Nope…it was followed by "Printing."

I managed to grab a second printing of #1, the issue that I already owned, that I bought and read weeks ago.

And of course, much as with most publishers, comics are not some "returnable" thing, so it’s not even like I can take the thing back to the shop for a refund or such. I’m stuck with a second copy of the first issue now, and no copies of the second.

Frankly, to say that I’m "annoyed" is an understatement.

On principle, I’m done with this book as single issues. I might snag the collected volume(s), but I will NOT support it any further as single issues.

Should I have noticed that it was not actually the second issue? Maybe. BUT when I know the second issue’s due out, with a cover that’s not mimicking the first, and I’m grabbing my comics in a hurry and just want to get stuff and get out after a long day at work, I’m not gonna examine every stupid facet of a cover. I buy comics because I want to read the story, not for stupid covers!

Maybe the shop should have put something with the issue to indicate 2nd printing. Maybe they should’ve shelved it with last month’s books instead of right next to the brand-new 2nd issue (but probably more sales having them together, so someone can immediately see and pick up BOTH issues if they’re looking for them/curious!).

So, I hold Image responsible…with no idea if the "idea" or "push" came from a creator or not. Just use the same darned cover, and mark it as a second printing! IF I wanted more "art" from something, I’d buy a darned print or something!

And on top of this…folks wonder why I tend to gravitate toward collected volumes for new issues. At least THERE, I’m FAR LESS LIKELY to wind up getting some 2nd print of something I already have, with just a cover in quick passing to go on.

The Weekly Haul: Week of February 22, 2017

This week in comics is probably my most expensive in awhile…or at least, it sure feels like it! But then, multiple $3.99 issues and two $4.99s will do that! (Ugh!)

weeklyhaul_02222017a

Actually, the only $2.99 of the week was Action Comics. I’ve been looking forward to Highlander for awhile, though other than knowing that there was a new (mini?) series coming, and something giving me the notion it’s a prequel to the original film, I know virtually nothing about it yet. I’m giving Curse Words and Kamandi Challenge a second issue, and of course, keeping up with the Prometheus/Aliens/Predator/AvP: Life and Death arc. And with TMNT being just about my favorite property, a bit eager on that new issue despite the price point (again, with TMNT remaining my conscious exception to pricing that’d put me off of other properties).

weeklyhaul_02222017b

And a second-for-the-week $4.99 TMNT book in the "Director’s Cut" of Batman/TMNT Adventures #1. I knew I’d ultimately regret it if I didn’t get the thing…and rather than waste time/money later in extra-hunting to get it, figured I’d just nip that right in the bud (so to speak).

And then the Dr. Strange keychain and Outcast #25 were "free" bonuses at the shop (along with a full-size Dr. Strange movie poster that I may photograph later once framed!).

Next step is getting stuff actually read!

The Weekly Haul – Week of January 18th, 2017

I think this was just about the simplest, most "basic" week of comics I’ve had in months!

weeklyhaul_01182017a

Just four issues, plain ‘n simple. Granted, that Kamandi Challenge is a monster of an issue…but it’s basically a small collected volume; and much like other similarly-sized issues, it’s squarebound WITH spine text, so skinny as it is compared to, say, Batman: Knightfall or such, it’ll go on the shelf. Somehow I’ve gotten it into my head that all 12 issues of the Kamandi Challenge itself will be this size, and sorta hoping so!

Of course, the latest Superman issue; and I look forward to reading The Ray‘s Rebirth issue.

I gave in on Curse Words for the hype AND actually being able to get the cover with the image I’ve come to associate with the first issue. The FAMILIAR image that’s been used with pretty much anything that’s stood out to me since the series was announced…and I think including the announcement. I do not like the price, at $3.99…but figured I’d try it anyway.

This week? No back issues, no bargain bins, no new collected volumes (if we don’t count the Kamandi issue as one). I do have a major InStockTrades purchase on its way, but that’ll either be its own post, or feed into another post, later.

The Weekly Haul – Week of December 28th, 2016

…The final weekly haul of the year.

And for me, a mere two "regular" issues.

weeklyhaul_12282016a

The weekly Superman issue (biweekly/two titles). And having checked out and mostly enjoyed A.D. After Death‘s first issue, figured I’d go ahead and stick with it, since I believe it’s a 3-issue mini. I dig the format–it makes it REALLY feel worth its cover price, at "only" double a DC book, and only a little more than a Marvel!

For the physical quality, size, and length of time it took to read…blows anything Marvel is currently putting out (new content) outta the water for me!

weeklyhaul_12282016c

The shop I went to actually had some TMNT back issues I was missing. Since I was buying the Clone Saga Epic volume last week, I’d passed on these at $3/ea…but grabbed ’em this week. Cuz hey, filling in gaps in an actual key part of my personal collection! And even as back issues more than a decade old, they only cost me what any current DC book would!

weeklyhaul_12282016b

And finally, I had a "surprise" package when I got home on Tuesday. I’d both somewhat forgotten about the Kickstarter as well as thought stuff wouldn’t be here til sometime in January. I’d ordered this Zen book with a print.

Have to say I’m rather disappointed that this is labeled as a volume 2, as I did NOT realize that when I ordered. I may have known it was not a vol. 1, but nothing indicated it being LABELED thusly, that I recall seeing. So it goes (unfortunately) from being a random Zen graphic novel to being an orphaned #2 with no #1 in my library.


While I may hit the shop–or my usual–or both, even!–before the 1st…this was the final Wednesday of 2016, and so my last regular purchase for the year.

Be "interesting," I guess, to see what the coming year holds…though I have never been good about the end-of-year lists and summaries or coming-year predictions/expectations and such. Perhaps I’ll manage one this year?

The Weekly Haul – Week of December 07, 2016

Down to the final several weeks of the year (and the first comics week for me post-2016 birthday)! Counting back to somewhere after Halloween 1988 and early spring 1989, I’ve been "into" comics for 28 years now–over 75% of my lifetime! Or to phrase another way… I’ve only NOT been into comics for something less than 1/4 of my entire life!

This week worked out to be a pretty small week overall…really small, actually, such that I snagged a collected volume at full cover price and bought some stuff from $1 bins!

weeklyhaul_12072016a

After the driving I’ve been doing lately, I opted to stick with "just" the closer comic shop for this week–which means I’ll have at least the Aliens: Defiance issue waiting for me next week.

Along with my non-pull-list double-dipping on the Superman titles (not waiting for end-of-the-month bundles to arrive to read), I picked up a 2nd copy of the Direct Currents #1 magazine…and showing how much I did not look at it last week, I was pleasantly shocked to see the Super Sons ad on its back… that’s got to be probably my most anticipated upcoming title! And I love that they’re using the "classic" Superman/Batman logo with it!

And then, having seen the volume in the Comixology Pull list thing, I was interested in this One Week in the Library book. A HUGE thing it had going for it was the cover price–$9.99–so I didn’t feel too badly about buying it at "full price," after last week paying $4.99 each for two annuals and an ongoing TMNT, as well as $7.99 for the New Talent Showcase issue. This is much thicker/substantive.

AND it’s a case of the title, the CONCEPT, a textual DESCRIPTION "selling" me (again, along with the price point). Not some 20-40% "preview" of the issue online ("leaked" or otherwise). Just a title and concept for an acceptable price!

weeklyhaul_12072016b

With a surprising lack of 50-cent/12-for-$5 bins, I looked through a bunch of $1 bins that seem to have replaced the cheaper/older stuff at this shop.

No runs to speak of, at least not that I picked out, but I did find these six issues that were worthwhile to me to pick up.

Kaijumax for the heckuvit–only $1, and I have the $9.99 collected volume, so even now I’m still well below cover price on the individual issues, and this gives me the actual first issue to compare against the collected volume. A DC #50 in The Flash was quite worthwhile for only $1…rather than the original $4.99 price! Same for The Flintstones–for the $1, I’ll check it out where I was unwilling to buy it at full cover price.

The Street Fighter/GI Joe was interesting enough as a concept, and for "only" $1, more than willing to snag the issue, if only for the cover. While I loathe variants, I can’t deny that some of these overdone "action figure cover variants" hit a nostalgic sweet-spot for me! And for the price, opted to go with this, even if I wind up just using the cover itself–literally–as an art piece or such.

Then the Magic: The Gathering and Munchkin issues I bought soley for the card included with each. Well, primarily on the Munchkin issue; and I’m not sure if I already had this MTG issue, but on the offchance I ever decide to track down the single issues, doesn’t hurt to already have this now at the price.


Knowing I was looking at a small week, and coming off a weekend where I pointedly did my best to ignore my own birthday, I went ahead an placed an order with InStockTrades for an X-Men book I’ve wanted for awhile (and there are several more high on my want-list that I cannot justify buying all at once, though I’m increasingly anxious regarding their remaining in-print and thus significantly discounted!).

Unfortunately, though, I was also surprised with a real-life intrusion of discovering a burned-out headlight, necessitating the purchase of a replacement, which will likely now be a rather cold-weather endeavor in the doing of replacing the thing. Coldest day of the week, it looks like, so of course the bulb wouldn’t blow while we were having highly-unseasonable warm weather…

The Weekly Haul – Week of November 23, 2016

For a Wednesday that includes issues from last week, and the cover prices on stuff, this ended up being a rather light "week" for me. Especially with some stuff I’d half expected to have come in. Not gonna complain, though!

weeklyhaul_11232016_a

Action Comics, A.D. After Death, and Super Powers! are from this week; as is TMNT, I believe. The Spawn issue and Darkwing Duck may be from last week; they were part of my pulls, but I didn’t make it to the usual shop last week. I actually swung by the other shop for the Action issue, as it was sold out at the usual.

I had not been planning on getting the After Death issue, especially being a limited series and "prestige format" at that…but its non-standard size caught my attention, and I figured might as well try it and see what I think of it.

weeklyhaul_11232016_b

As part of a week-long sale, the usual shop was having a clearance sale, getting a bunch stuff out, with a "progressive discount" thing–Monday was 60% off, today was 70% off, and I believe Friday and Saturday will be 80% and 90% respectively.

I wound up buying a couple packs of gamedice for Munchkin, and the first three books above.

Batman Eternal vol. 1 cost roughly 3 regular Marvel issues, while War Stories and Superman: Secrets of the Fortress of Solitude were hardly more than the cost of a Marvel #1 each.

At the other shop, seeing the actual/regular/"finished" color cover edition, I went ahead and picked up the DC Universe: Rebirth – The Deluxe Edition…figured better to just pay that now than wind up adding numerous other things to some online order for now

I also flipped through the 25-cent bins, but nothing really caught my eye. There were several bins of series stuff, but others had already cherry-picked stuff, so there weren’t even any true "runs" of anything for me to snag.

Plenty of other stuff with Black Friday this week that’s gonna suck up money I don’t really have anyway.


Really, of everything, the one I was most looking forward to was the Rebirth Deluxe. It’s not a bad volume, though I think I was expecting something else. I’ve gotten SO USED TO hardcovers–especially the "deluxe" and "oversized" hardcovers–having dustjackets that this one feels a bit cheapened somehow, still slightly incomplete. But for its size, it’s not a bad price, and it’s nice to add to my "events" shelf.

Next week is a "Fifth Week" or "skip week," which at least on the DC side means several Annuals, which is also a bit of a bummer as they weren’t part of the bundles I’ve been getting, so if I want ’em, I’ll be paying the full price…

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