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Ringquest Update and the Weekend Haul (Weekend of 11/9/2019)

Hard to believe it’s been 10 years now since Blackest Night was going strong, and DC gave away a bunch of plastic rings as promotional items with tie-i issues of the event. And then a few months later they did a couple additional rings. If you search "Ring Quest" in this blog, you’ll find some entries from back then; and here’s one that shows most of the rings 9 1/2 years ago.

Well, after all this time, we have ANOTHER ring!

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With the launch of the 2019 umpteenth-iteration of Legion of Super-Heroes, we get a new, updated ring; with a slightly more angular design on the logo, making it look a BIT more sleek and "newer" than the one we had before.

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Here’s the old one. It really DOES look a bit clunkier than the new one.

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And here they are side-by-side. I like the gold coloring of the older one a bit better…it has a bit more "sparkle" in my eyes; while the new one is a bit "shinier" but also very cool. These put me in mind of a lot of logo redesigns I’ve seen where the bulk of the logo is kept, but stuff is angled slightly to be more angular than blocky.

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And here are all the "recent" (2009 to present) plastic promo rings that I’m aware of existing; at the least, they’re the ones that I myself own, as laid out here for this very photo!

These are by far my favorite promotional items. As fun as some of the various pins and buttons can be as collectible objects…these things are just a whole other level of awesome!

Long after I’ve forgotten which specific comic most of them came with, I remember the general time and obviously still have the physical rings, even a decade later!

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A weekend visit with actually having TIME to BROWSE at Comic Heaven, I wound up buying a set of these Comico issues. It’s a set of 8, and only s3…somewhere between 25 cents and 50 cents an issue. And the first two volumes of Edge. These are from Crossgen when they had two "anthology titles" that collected 4 of their ongoing/monthly books into these monthly tpb collections. I really do wish other/current publishers would do something like this. I’d probably pretty happily pay $10 or so (mayyyyyyyybe even $15ish) for something like this with at least 4 issues’ contents.

And the Previews Gift Guide Holiday 2019.

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On Sunday I went to Carol and John’s where I snagged the Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (with the plastic ring!). I also got the Black Hammer 3 for $1 issue. 3 issues’ content for only $1…hard to beat that these days!

Then at Half-Price Books I snagged the Heavy Metal-published Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: A Quarter Century Celebration paperback from 2009. And using a 50%-off coupon, got Gambit: The Complete Collection vol. 1.

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They also had two of the Walking Dead hardcovers on sale for $3 apiece–these are the Jay Bonansinga novels from a few years back.

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Backtracking a bit–on Friday, lured in by a coupon for 40% off a single item, I visited a Half-Price Book in Mayfield Heights, Ohio…where I was pleasantly-ish surprised to find a significant collection of Mechwarrior: Dark Age novels.

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A couple months ago, I visited 7 Half-Price Books stores in 2 days, and one of my "goals in that was looking for Mechwarrior/Battletech books. Unfortunately, I’d only found a mere 2 that were worth getting.

But this shelf of books yielded 9 times that. 18 books in the series. Of course, my coupon–the reason I was there–was only good toward ONE item. So I saved a whopping $1.20.

BUT I added 18 books to my library, which takes me from missing more than two dozen to missing maybe a half-dozen in having the entire series. MUCH more manageable!

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Also finally snagged the X-Men promo trading cards from the "free stuff" counter at Carol and John’s. Missed these when I’d picked up X-Men #1 a few weeks back, and then where I’d seen them elsewhere, they’d still been "you have to buy X-Men #1 to get them." Having been a few weeks, now I have a set. Unfortunately, it’s after I’ve elected NOT to dive into the revamped X-line.

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Seven cards in the packet–one card each showing the cover of each first issue in the first "wave" of titles. On the back it lists the primary characters in the title; and the Krakoan language "key" is double-sided. This sure would have been VERY handy during HoX/PoX, but whatever.

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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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Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #1 [Review]

Quick Rating: Not Bad
Story Title: Yesterday’s Hero

The Legion members recount how a young Superman came to be part of their team…

legionofsuperheroesinthe31stcentury001Writer: J. Torres
Art: Chynna Clugston
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Rob Clark Jr.
Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Cover Art: Steve Uy
Publisher: Johnny-DC/DC Comics

The initial draw for me to this issue was the price. The prospect of buying a new issue with no discounts at a bricks and mortar store for just over the $2 mark grabbed my interest out of principle (though I sheepishly admit to virtually ignoring all Johnny-DC books for the last couple years). It’s a first issue, it’s cheap, and it features characters I’m not terribly familiar with…so hey, might as well check it out, right?
The first thing I noticed with the issue was the paper quality. Very thin, and if it isn’t, sure feels like the classic newsprint from comics of days gone by…which explains the cover price.

The story is pretty simple and straight-forward: the Legionaires have conflicting views on what exactly it was that led to a young man of steel being part of their 31st-century team. We basically get several narratives from the characters, recounting a couple of quick adventures, collectively serving as a first-issue introduction-and-origin of the team and info about its starring characters.

We’re given a look at the Legionaires "interviewing" the young man of steel to see that he’s eligible to join (this seems vaguely familiar to me as something from one of the original Legion of Super-Heroes stories from way-back-when); and then a fight with the Fatal Five.

The art is also fairly simple and not terribly detailed (which is not to say there’s no detail), and somewhat manga-ish. I realize this is to have it fit with the actual cartoon this series is a companion to (though I’m not sure if the first episode’s aired yet). It’s not particularly my cup of tea so to speak, but it fits the tone of the book, the characters are distinct and recognizeable, and so I really can’t complain about it in and of itself.

I’m not sure how this book will go over with long-time Legion of Super-Heroes fans, as my primary knowledge of the characters comes from the first year of the current iteration in the mainline DCU, but while this is definitely much different from that, I found it to be entertaining enough. I’m not a huge fan of the "Americanized-manga" styling, and a seemingly-on-the-surface over-simplification of things (the perception of which has largely kept out of the Teen Titans animated and Teen Titans Go! comic series). But as a simple, fun story not bogged down in continuity, this definitely isn’t bad.

It’s also a self-contained "full" story, in a debut issue of a new series, that actually introduces the main/core team, gives a look at all the characters and interacts with them…which scores points in MY book.

This is worth checking out if you’re looking (at least) for a quick diversion from all the heavy seriousness of many other current fare, and wouldn’t be a terrible issue to offer to the younger crowd–or read WITH them. Nothing all that spectacular, but certainly NOT bad at all.

Ratings:

Story: 3/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Adventure Comics #4 [Review]

Full review posted to comixtreme.com.

Overall: 2.5/5

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