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SpawnQuest #5: Batman & Spawn

spawnquest

Around 3 years ago, in 2016, I’d discovered some comics at Dollar Tree. $1 for a comic, a collector’s guide, etc. Not a horrible price, though most of the comics were what I’d consider 25-cent books. Freex #1 particularly caught my eye; as did another.

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One that seemed well worth the $1 price was Spawn/Batman by Frank Miller and Todd McFarlane.

And then recently at the Hall of Fame City Comic Con, I snagged what I consider a "convenience copy" of Batman/Spawn: War Devil.

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And last week as part of the regular Wednesday haul, I grabbed Spawn #91.

Not as keen this week to charge ahead. It’s actually sorta discouraging to realize just how spotty the rest of the series is going to be to get, and what a long haul it may well be.

And all the more how I’m particularly interested in getting my run filled in up to #100 for the near-future, even if the rest of the series ends up being a long slog.

And #301 came out this week…so I suppose I haven’t done horribly for the month between the issue that kicked off the excitement and the few weeks til its next came out.

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SpawnQuest #4: Nearing the End of Easy Acquisition

spawnquest

A couple weeks ago, I’d ordered a few more Spawn issues. While I’m not intending to get every last tie-in and off-shoot/spin-off (and not even counting stuff like Curse of the Spawn or the Sam & Twitch series in this hunt), I had a couple of the Spawn Fan edition issues, and two of the Spawn/WildC.A.T.s issues.

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So I ordered the missing FAN edition and crossovers. And a couple more of the single issues. Those arrived.

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I also went back to Comics & Friends and snagged what was left of what they had that I was missing.

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I probably should have cut myself off with fewer issues…but being logical/sensible, since I’d almost certainly be getting the issues anyway, better to just get ’em and be done than to arbitrarily hold off. Especially since–technically–I could afford ’em without significant problem or such.

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And then the next day, I swung back by Comic Heaven and snagged several more of the issues they had that I was missing.

I figured better to get these there as a regular shop I go to ahead of whatever I’d find at an upcoming convention or such!


Of course, seems that after this initial run of stocking up really quickly on a concentrated area of issues, I’m about to hit the harder part of stuff.

"Everyone" seems to have the first few issues of the series. I’ve heard the number "1.7 million" regarding the first issue, and imagine similar for the next several, and while surely declining numbers from there, seems like I’m "always" seeing the first 16-20ish issues as back issues. Beyond those, it seems quite spotty–even with the online retailers, let alone what bricks-and-mortar stores have in backissue inventory.

I’m definitely driving at 1-100 most immediately, now having 1-67, having 70 of the first 75, and 82 of the first 100. Not quite as quick, easy, or cheap as my Savage Dragon build-up a couple years ago. But I do think this one’s gonna have much better longevity.

As always, of course, though…time will tell!

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#SpawnQuest #3: Beyond 50

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After having snagged a bunch of issues online, the next part of my hunt turned to a comic shop I hadn’t been to in awhile that has a lot of backissues.

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I was thrilled to discover that–a perfect fit for having just filled in to Spawn #50–they had issues 51-55! The very next issue I’d need, and it was five issues in sequence!

(I suspect that before long, instead of being able to get "runs" of issues I’ll be forced to go piecemeal singles and more gradually fill in gaps, and have far more gaps in general!)

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On my way back from that shop, I realized that while I’d thought I’d checked another, I hadn’t…so I stopped in, and was able to get some more issues…and introduce several tiny "gaps" into things with them having a bunch of issues, but not every sequential issue.

As such, this expands the bulk of my collection to issue 69, albeit missing 4 issues (56, 63, 66, 68) from that.

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I also opted to go ahead and bag ‘n board the series so far. I’ve a feeling I’ll be moving the collection around over time as I add to it, and over the past year or so I’ve been bagging-and-boarding new comics for that same reason. Stacks "slide" a lot more this way (unfortunately) BUT issues can stack, be stood upright, and generally handled a bit less delicately without having covers getting creased or crunched, and so on.

I may not be fanatical about condition, but that doesn’t mean I want to "destroy" my own comics!

So this stack in the photo is Spawn 1-69 (minus 4 issues) and 257-300, as well as the modern/recent Medieval Spawn/Witchblade mini, the Spawn Kills Everyone one-shot and Spawn Kills Everyone 2 mini, as well as a couple Fan Edition issues, a couple issues that originally came with action figures, the first (only?) issue of Stupid (with a Spawn on the cover!), and couple issues of a Spawn/Wildcats mini.


I’m definitely in danger of over-committing, I think…at present, my official intent with this "SpawnQuest" is the main, actual Spawn series. #s 1-300+, period. NOT all the one-shots, spin-offs, tie-ins, crossovers, etc.

I believe there have been at least a couple iterations of Curse of the Spawn or some such, a couple of Sam & Twitch series, and numerous one-shots, annuals, specials, crossovers, tie-ins, and so on.

While I may (likely) wind up getting some of those as I go along, this "quest" definitely, specifically the main series. If I can get a bunch of those others, cool.

That said, I know I have–and I think from quarter bins, at that, as well!–the crossover issues with Batman. If I recall correctly, there were two. One was Spawn/Batman published by Image while the other was Batman/Spawn published by DC Comics. I believe the Frank Miller/Todd McFarlane one was Spawn/Batman, and that one I recall being a particularly "big deal" back in the early days of my being into comics, and was one of my earliest forays into Spawn, though I couldn’t tell you a darned thing about any "story" to the thing.

I do recall getting another copy of the issue back in 2016 or so in a pack of comics from a Dollar Tree, which I got specifically FOR that issue, as it was well worth the $1 by itself.

While this is a second "SpawnQuest" post in a week and my 5th or so Spawn post in 2 weeks, I can’t imagine I’ll be able to keep up quite such a frantic pace of acquisitions as I have. And it’ll be all too easy to–like with Savage Dragon a couple years ago–get distracted and leave off.

But I’ll probably take the opportunity–as this is also giving me "stuff" to even post ABOUT and get back into posting a bit after virtually nothing for a few months this year–to post photos of the other issues I do have, as–at least for me myself–I’d sort of like to be able to have shown photos of every issue from 1-300whatever by the time I "complete" the series to whatever then-present.

Time–as always–shall tell!

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#SpawnQuest #2: Issues 31-49

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I guess I could have titled an earlier post as "SpawnQuest #1," but I don’t think I was quite as "committed" to the thing at that point. Though I used the phrase "SpawnQuest" in it, and since it technically was the first post for this, I’m starting here, now, with #2! There IS no actual #1. (or perhaps I’ll retroactively go back and re-title the post…though I don’t really like doing that!)

But with several recent posts on Spawn, I suppose I’m making it a bit more official, if only for a few weeks.

I suppose the convention that weekend was like "testing the waters" or some such. But that was also "filling in a gap" in my collection. I forged ahead after that with a couple of online orders, to fill in the next gap in my collection, created by buying Spawn #50.


SpawnQuest #2

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Though I don’t believe I’d ordered from them in years, I remembered a site I’d ordered comics from in the past without any problems–NewKadia.com. I decided to check their selection, and found that they had a number of Spawn issues in stock. They also had a handy feature where I could type an issue number or range and add all to my cart; ALSO specifying best condition OR lowest price.

As I’m definitely going for a "reading copy" collection–I’m happy to have great-condition issues, but I just want the issues and for them to not look like they’re in horrible condition or such.

Since my next "immediate goal" after the convention last weekend was issues 31-49, I keyed in that range, selected "lowest price," and let those get added to my cart. I checked out, and that was that for NewKadia.

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For the remaining issues, I was able to use LoneStar Comics (aka mycomicshop.com).

Both orders arrived on the same day, which was even better…especially as I’d placed the order on a Wednesday and had them Saturday!

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While "just" ordering online certainly takes some of "the hunt" away, when I get "all about" something like amassing many issues quickly, I can be quite impatient and more "for" the "immediate gratification" than ever being able to say I hunted every issue down from bargain bins or such.

Especially as I saw from the Cleveland Comic Con, dealers that HAD Spawn at all had them clearly marked–a sort of "sub collection" or such, a specific "category." While I’ll be happy to grab any random issues in a 25-cent bin or such, the series is still going at #300 and beyond, has never been renumbered/relaunched and all that, and so has never just ENDED or been "dead" or such…so its issues are all still relevant and less likely to be "dumped" en masse or whatever.

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Along with filling in the #s 31-49 gap, I’d previously ordered Spawn: Resurrection #1…beginning from the other end of the series. I’m pretty sure (at the moment) that this one-shot fits between Spawn #s 250 and 251; that it goes with 251-256 as an arc; where I "joined in" with #257 and have kept up since.

And as I’ll likely show off existing issues as I go about this #SpawnQuest, here are several of the reprints of #1. The Image Firsts edition; the 25th anniversary edition (Ultimate Spider-Man #1 homage cover). And the 2019 Free Comic Book Day reprint.


I’m probably going to be a total broken record over the course of these posts, but I’m just amazed at the series being at #300, and that despite multiple different reprint editions OF the original, I actually own the original, as well! Particularly as I remember my friend Zack getting/having The Amazing Spider-Man #365 back in 1992 or early 1993–along with at least one of the other Spider-Man 30th-anniversary issues with the large hologram on the covers. Granted, that represents another 5 or so years’ worth of issues after the series’ 300th issue (1988?). But it was just absolutely unfathomable to me at the time that I’d ever be able to go all the way back to #1, say, on that series. (And all the moreso now in 2019!)

But with filling in this 31-49 gap, I already (now) have the first 50 issues of the series, as well as the latest 44 issues (257-300). With knowing I have a few issues from the 185-190ish range and #200, that means I have at least 100 issues out of the 300…so a third of the series!

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Weekend Acquisitions: Weekend of September 6-8 2019

Over the weekend, I wound up with a lot of "extra" purchasing that’s a bit beyond "normal." In addition to weekend comic shop visits, I had an InStockTrades order come in, as well as having gone to Cleveland Comic Con 2019 (that’ll be detailed in another post).

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I jumped on the chance to get Savage Sword of Conan #1. As this was a "regular-priced back-issue" (and not a 25-cent/50-cent/$1 bargain-bin issue) I had no qualms with "just" getting #1 since it was available. Plus, it’s from a time when #1 MEANT something and was "special"–in this case kicking off an over 200-issue series! (Whereas modern Marvel seems to MOSTLY max-out at 50 issues before a new #1, if not multiple #1s for the same title (renumbered/new volume) within a single year (or 12-month span).

I also snagged Deathmate: Black, having seen something recently noting it as the first appearance of Gen13. And then at another shop, snagged 2 copies of Gen13 #1. These are for the ongoing series, and not the original mini-series of the same title…but still, for the novelty of it, I was happy to spend the $1.25 (total!) for the 3 issues (again).

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Being on an Aliens kick recently, I’d ordered some recent-ish collected volumes. Though I have the single issues for all but Aliens: Resistance, I was willing to pay the discounted online price, where the full price was not worth it to me. I’ve also been a bit resistant to these "skinny" paperback volumes in light of the various omnibus volumes and library-edition oversized hardbacks and such.

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I was, however, quite willing to pay full price for Spawn: Origins vol. 1 as it was already one of the "Image $9.99 vol. 1s" and so a bargain at cover price.

And Classic G.I.Joe vol. 15, which I believe is TECHNICALLY out-of-print and unavailable online except for massively over-jacked-up third-party scalper prices. This still leaves me missing vols. 10-14.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of September 4, 2019

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Well, how about that? Two weeks in a row! And this time at the "earliest" (Thursday) I tend to post a "Weekly Haul" entry! AND…third daily post in a row! (Of course, that’s nothing to 1300+ daily posts…check out Chris is on Infinite Earths, where Chris has been covering each and every segment from the late-1980s Action Comics Weekly run!)

Anyway…on to this week’s haul!

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Starting things off…Spawn (yes, that hot title that partially epitomized "the ’90s" and was part of the original Image launch when the books were going through Malibu, when it seemed so very many comics universes were launching, flashing in the pan, fizzling, and dying off) hits its 300th issue. Something I recall the early issues for–single digits and definitely early double-digits–has made it legitimately to 300 issues! No reboots, no relaunches, NO RENUMBERING! 300…and the "regular" single issues are STILL only $2.99 when virtually every other freaking comic out there, no matter how mainstream and large the publisher (I’m looking at DC and Marvel!) has gone over to $3.99 with far too many $4.99+ of late.

House of X #4 which is a stark reminder of TOO MANY VARIANT COVERS!

New Usagi Yojimbo and Batman/TMNT III this week.

A Batman replica edition (2nd in two weeks, I think?).

Then the newest Supergirl, which HAD been coming out paired with Superman until DC‘s recent recall crap.

Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1, by Neal Adams, breaks my usual "rule" of late on mini-series. But much as with The Coming of the Supermen, I’m curious about, and suspect this is what led to the other recent replica edition with the first appearance of al Ghul. Not really a fan of the art at this point, but the nostalgia bit a little harder than I’d’ve liked.

And of course, the new Bendis-helmed relaunch of the Legion of Super-Heroes begins. Not sure what I’ll make of it, but figured I’d check it out, as "only" 2 issues.

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While I repeatedly harp on the incredibly vast over-abundance of variants, when faced with numerous umpteen ones every single week, OCCASIONALLY one strikes my fancy.

This week, the main "honor" fell to Spawn, with an EXCUSABLE use of variants for its THREE-HUNDREDTH issue, arrived at legitimately. Thanks to the previous couple issues of the title being done in the style of classic Amazing Spider-Man issues, the homage to Amazing Spider-Man #300 was too much to want to pass up. And for all the $2.99 issues when everything from Marvel, DC, Archie, Dark Horse, and most everything even from Image as well as umpteen other publishers has been $3.99…I am willing to throw in for a couple variants in SUPPORT OF a title that has "held the line at $2.99!"

And then, because I forgot about the extra $1 on the cover price (UGH!) but liked the image, I got the variant of the Supergirl issue this week, which is bound for a frame and being hung somewhere in the basement.

Finally, the week’s Comic Shop News. The NOSTALGIA factor has the 2099 stuff on my radar. But assuming the bookend issues will be $5.99 with one-shots likely $4.99 and any tie-ins at least $3.99…I’ll probably wait for a collected edition IF ANYTHING AT ALL. I’m sick of buying into Marvel‘s hype and being let down more than not, and ESPECIALLY sick of their increased prices "because people will pay them." I’m guilty of that enough with HoX/PoX and such, but I will NOT do it blindly for anything/everything from the publisher!


Granted, the week’s total expense was massively inflated by the two intentional variants AND buying a pack of bags and boards…but the last few weeks in general have been feeling extremely expensive. Seems this happens every now and then, and has me pushed more and more to "pulling the trigger" on cutting way back on stuff.

I posted about the rare excitement for an issue coming out in Spawn #300, and other than TMNT closing in on #100, there just isn’t much that’s exciting me lately in comics…so much is habitual buying and stuff I keep hoping will take off in terms of being exciting, or taking chances on newer stuff that doesn’t.

It’s discouraging, with the added frustration of too darned many variants and such.

As ONE in-the-moment thought as I type: I wonder what it might look like to solely get  the TMNT and TMNT: Urban Legends titles with Spawn and possibly a couple of X-Men titles. But while I’ve "thrown in" with House of X/Powers of X, my increasing annoyance at the MASSIVE WASTED SPACE in the issues and vast over-abundance of "white space" in every single issue* I’m not AS convinced to follow the family of titles when they relaunch.

(*Hickman‘s vast over-use of whitespace seems a stylistic thing that I’d liken to Priest‘s captions. I like it where Priest does it, as they add something stylistically withOUT wasting entire pages, double-page-spreads, or more pages.)

Here’s wondering what next week’s haul will look like…

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Rare Excitement: Spawn #300 (But Stymied by Variants!)

I don’t feel like I TRULY get all that "excited" anymore for most new comics.

A lot of what I buy tends to feel rather habitual to some degree, such that a new issue is just simply "the next issue" of whatever, rather than something I truly look forward to and am eager to get to Wednesday and the comic shop to obtain and read the issue.

This week sees the arrival of Spawn #300.

Which totally BLOWS MY MIND in its way.

Spawn.

#300.

Not just 12 issues. And I especially recall #16 as something new-on-the-shelf at the time (though I don’t think I bought it at the time).

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Not just 25 issues, though that’s a pretty respectable number to get to.

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I definitely recall getting #25 when it came out, though, and I’m pretty sure it may very well have been my first issue of the series, despite other hype for the series in general and whatnot.

For all that, the series even made it to 50 issues (which would be QUITE the accomplishment based on modern Marvel, though Spawn is "original Image" and NOT Marvel.

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Heck, the series made it to 100 issues!

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It seemed like QUITE the accomplishment for an Image comic to hit #100…and especially something like Spawn that often seemed like most expected it to have been a flash in the pan that would go away after a few issues of burning brightly.

I remember jumping in around #185 or 189 or so for a few issues, skipping a few, and then getting #200 (for the sake of Spawn #200).

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But still, the title has kept on going.

I jumped on with #257 in 2015 when the issue’s cover REALLY stood out to me and caught my attention. And I stuck with the title, even adding it to a pull list, largely to "support" its $2.99 standard price point (which as of #299 has still held!).

And 44 issues later…closing in on FOUR YEARS later…here we are.

#300.

And I’m very much looking forward to the issue, and seeing where things are. I have to catch up on READING from about #272 or so; but I’ve spent hours over the past couple days digging through all my stacks and piles and boxes of comics from the past few years, and pulled the "run" together, with the exception of being unable to locate #286, which I’m happy enough to "replace" for the sake of having the run together in one place.

Typically I DESPISE variant covers, especially numerous covers. I’m much more forgiving for something like this–a 300th issue; though that’s from years and years of being (figuratively speaking) beaten over the head with variants.

Though it would seem to ME better to have an "iconic" cover ESPECIALLY for anniversary issues of this magnitude.

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My first issue "off the rack" of Uncanny X-Men was its oversized #300 issue…and the feeling of enormity to THAT at the time, at 300…that probably contributes to my excitement here for Spawn hitting that number.

I remember the earliest issues. I own the first 25-30 or so now, as well as a handful of others prior to 257.

But I’ve been "around" and "into comics" essentially for the entire run of Spawn.

So to see it hit this number is amazing to me, and enormous for the constant rebooting/renumbering of all the longest-running titles from other American publishers.

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I’m all for the "main" cover, by McFarlane himself…assuming the above IS the "main" cover.

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I also really dig this cover (in its color version WITH the cover logo and such!)

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I also can’t help but appreciate the Amazing Spider-Man #300 riff, even if this isn’t THE final version. It fits nicely with the previous couple issues’ covers:

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Now, whether the issue lives up to its hype…I haven’t the foggiest.

I’m just glad that there IS an issue that I’m this specifically stoked for. All the more as–unlike #200–I have the previous 43 issues to read up to current and fill in any immediate gaps.

We’ll see how things play out, even with just being able to get the "parody" cover and/or the main cover.

My primary annoyance is that I cannot find ANY page anywhere that specifically lists which cover is which to a list. Which cover is the "A" cover, which is the "B" cover, and so on. With so many covers…I would think the publisher at least ought to have something.

That I can’t just "message ahead" to the comic shop to hold the cover I specifically want is a definite PROBLEM with so many variants wantonly out there for the issue; before getting into any "ratioed" variants and such (those I choose to try to ignore entirely as best I can and hope that none of the images I’m interested in are the "ratioed.")

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