• May 2020
    S M T W T F S
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

26 Years of Marvels

Marvels came out in 1994.

While I don’t recall the exact date of getting #1…I do remember being in Comics & Collectibles with Dad, and chatting with Chris (the owner), and he showed us this absolutely stunning/beautiful issue with a painted image of the (original) Human Torch and some sort of clear cover piece with the title.

It was an expensive issue–$5.95 cover price! (at a time when most regular comics were $1.50-$1.95).

marvels_all_singles

I managed to get all four issues, and though a lot of the nuance of the series was lost on me at the time, I still loved the art, and remember Alex Ross was the FIRST artist–by name–whose work I could recognize/name at a glance.

Not terribly long after the original issues, there was a new #0 issue published. Sadly, this one did not have the fancy cover/deluxe format. However, it fits very well in with the second print editions of the main series.

And then last year we got the Annotated Marvels or Marvels Annotated, with #0’s content covered in the first issue. And following the four issues, a new Marvels Epilogue was released.

marvels_hardcovers

I’m almost certain that I had a paperback edition of Marvels, for awhile. As of this typing, I was unable to locate it, so half wonder if I gave it away at some point.

Otherwise…I have the 10th Anniversary Edition deluxe oversized hardcover; the recently-acquired 25th Anniversary Edition deluxe oversized hardover; the Platinum Edition oversized slipcase edition; and the Monster-Sized hardcover.

For scale, the smallest books in the pic above–the deluxe oversized hardcovers–are larger wide/tall than a standard comic book!

marvels_originals

It’s sort of odd to consider that my original editions are now vintage comic books! They are definitely unique artifacts in my collection…in part as I’ve had them so long AND I’m relatively certain I have never even seen these editions in a quarter-bin or fifty-cent bin…probably not even a dollar bin. The first two issues’ covers are particularly "iconic" to me; and there’s a scene that must be in #3 of the Silver Surfer and a field of asteroids that always stuck with me.

marvels_regulars

I’d also gotten the #0 issue while it was still new, along with the "2nd print" of #1. I only in 2020 got the "2nd print" of #s 2-4. These were regular-format issues with standard covers and interiors without the cardstock/acetate deluxe treatment…and were half the price of the deluxe originals.

marvels_annotated

In 2019, the series was reprinted again for its 25th anniversary, this time with a bunch of extra material/annotations regarding the originals. Of course, while the originals are singular, iconic covers…OF COURSE Marvel had to do multiple variant covers on each issue. I, of course, went for the standard covers–showing the original-style logo (up the left side of the cover this time instead of across the top) and new images. There were other new images for the variants…as well as near-"virgin" editions of the original covers with virtually no trade dress. (And to me the trade dress–the solid color and border with the image otherwise showing through the title–is an iconic part of the series and its covers; a ‘virgin’ cover looks to me like just some "print" or like someone ripped the acetate layer off!

Like the 1994 #0 issue, 2019’s Epilogue issue is a standard-sized comic, regular cover without any cardstock/fancy upgrades to it.


Before the pandemic/shutdowns, Marvel was publishing Marvels X that I’ve "thought of" as a Marvels-style take on the X-Men side of stuff but have come to realize might have more to do with the Earth X/Universe X/Paradise X trilogy of projects.

I believe there was also some sort of Tales of the Marvels thing in the works.

I’ll have to (later) verify on Marvels X; I’ve never gotten into that series nor found collected volumes of the trilogy affordable with matching trade dress and such.

I’d been pretty dead-set against Tales of the Marvels or whatever it was to be, on principle and the use of variants and pricing. Having brought all my classic Marvels stuff together now, I think it likely that I’d make an exception.

Obviously I have a thing for this classic project, having three editions of the single issues, and at least four editions of the collected editions.

In the end, I suppose time will tell!

26_years_of_marvels_blogtrailer

Life During Quarantine: Savage Dragon, the Anniversary of Marvels, and the Walking Dead

A couple weeks ago, I got it into my head to see what Savage Dragon Archives volumes were available to order. InStockTrades actually had volumes 4-9 available…which–when added to 1-3 that I’ve had for years–would take me all the way to Savage Dragon #225 content-wise! Which for me is basically "the entire series," though I’ll probably "give in" and get #250 later this year when that comes out.

sd_archives_marvels_25th_01

I also remembered that the 25th anniversary edition of Marvels was supposed to have been out, so I looked for that, and decided to add it on into the order as well…and was curious about its size, "assuming" it would be "oversized" but not for certain.

I was definitely thinking about the 10th anniversary edition, and wondered if they’d be the same size.

sd_archives_marvels_25th_02

Lo and behold…they are! Which is most excellent! I’ll need to do a deeper dig later, but I know primarily a huge difference is the 25th anniversary edition has the "annotations" from the Annotated Marvels re-release from last year, and I believe also contains the Marvels Epilogue issue.

sd_archives_marvels_25th_03

I remember being flabbergasted at the cover price of the 10th anniversary edition…and it was quite awhile after it came out before I acquired my copy (at a significant discount, though I don’t remember offhand what I paid for sure). The 25th anniversary edition is priced a mere ONE CENT higher than the 10th anniversary edition. (And to think…that was the 10th, but this 25th could be the 15th of the 10th…)

I’m a sucker for this series, though, and may have to do a post specifically looking at it, sometime later.

sd_archives_marvels_25th_04

Those Savage Dragon perfectly fit on the shelf (well, having displaced some miscellaneous color editions of the series). I really like having the "entire series" like this…it’s very satisfying compared to so many other series that I’m missing volumes.

Part of pulling the trigger on these is still being ticked-off at missing out on a bunch of GI Joe: A Real American Hero volumes by about a week last year. Saw that IST had all the ones I was missing, and "had to" just order them so I wouldn’t "miss out" again!

sd_archives_marvels_25th_05

While these don’t exactly show off the "over the years" piecemeal sort of collection the various existing TPBs are…I don’t have a full run of those, even; and I’d rather have a single version.

sd_archives_marvels_25th_06

Where does The Walking Dead come in? Just so happens that the shelf my Savage Dragon volumes were on share with The Walking Dead.

Here are several of the hardcover novels from over the years. I’m sure I’m missing at least a couple, but I’ll either find ’em or I won’t…maybe I’ll specifically hunt them later. Maybe I’ll happen across them somewhere.

sd_archives_marvels_25th_07

And here’s the complete run of The Walking Dead in paperbacks. The BKV(?) special from last year; all 32 volumes of the series; the Walking Dead Survivors Guide, and the sticks-out-like-a-sore-thumb-hardcover-ONLY Here’s Negan.

I went through a "shark-movie" phase quite awhile back, and from there into zombies. When I finally gave Walking Dead a shot, the 5th paperback had just come out. I started with volume 1, and VERY quickly breezed through acquiring/reading all 5 volumes. I then waited several months, having by then missed an issue or two after volume 5, figuring I’d get volume 6, and then jump on with the single issues.

Following the singles didn’t work all that well for me, and I went in and out getting them. I remember getting singles to the early-50s at least (a little over a year of singles) and feeling like #49 was almost a whole new series. I went TPB-only for awhile, but got back to the singles for the story leading up to just past #100. Then back to the TPBs…but dabbled with digital for All-Out War…and then left the series altogether for a few years.

Last year with hype over a questionable cliffhanger with Rick, I hopped back in and quickly filled the gap from the previous few years, and followed the singles to the end of the series (later getting the TPB for the sake of "completing" the series.


And now I have a nice little shelf of two (for me) complete series…plus some novels.

life_during_quarantine_savage_dragon_marvels_walking_dead_blogtrailer

The Weekly Haul: Week of March 25, 2020 – The End

weekly_haul_header

The End…for now?


"The Shutdown." COVID-19. "Corona Virus." Whatever.

Life during quarantine.

No more new comics for the foreseeable future, hence March 25’s comics marking "The End" for now.

weeklyhaul_20200325a

Two new TMNT comics: the main ongoing series’ 104th issue…and the recent ‘companion mini-series’ Jennika (2nd issue of 3) giving our newest turtle the spotlight. Also from IDW is the latest Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics issue.

Then there’s the newest Spawn issue–#306. Hard to believe it’s already been (over) 6 months since the big 300th!

So that’s IDW and Image

What of DC (that just under 4 years ago I went all-in on with their main "DC Universe" titles)? What of Marvel (whose X-Men are some of my favorite characters, whose Age of Apocalypse in 1995 holds to this day as one of my all-time favorite comics events 25 years later)?

Well, from Marvel there’s the facsimile edition of Incredible Hulk #182 and from DC there’s their Vertig…er…Black Label / Sandman Universe dual/sub-imprint whatever Hellblazer #5.

weeklyhaul_20200325b

Then there’s the newest issue of Back Issue from TwoMorrows Publishing. Even just reading a couple articles in any given issue is high quality and provides more value:time ratio for the price than a single issue of a comic! So always glad to get an issue, and support the publisher!

Along with the week’s new comics, I was given a copy of the newest Previews (and its assorted accessories) with the acknowledgement that it’s probably "worthless" now with the shutdowns, but it is what it is. (The catalog).


Plenty of thoughts on all this real-world stuff. Several major fictional parallels I’ve recalled or been reminded of. But those are for some other post, perhaps.

For now…figured I’d get this posted, and that’s that for 2020’s The Weekly Haul posts for the foreseeable future.

May find other content to post. Haven’t shared newest shelves, or configurations of all my junk. Actually getting some The ’90s Revisited posts done lately (probably none this week, though). And who knows?

Depression’s barking at my heels, exhaustion’s been a near-constant thing lately. I saw that explained somewhere today or yesterday as being that there’s nothing to specifically, physically FIGHT, but neither is there any true running away from all this–FLIGHT–and so supposedly it’s natural to be more exhausted with the fight-or-flight reaction jammed up.

Who knows?

Life during quarantine, though.

More later in some fashion.

weeklyhaul_20200325_blogtrailer

The Weekly Haul: Weeks of 2/19, 2/26, 3/4, and 3/11/2020

weekly_haul_header

Another month, another "weekly" haul-update. I actually had planned on doing this post earlier in the week, but figured if I was gonna be behind and play catchup, might as well make it another 4-week post to match the last one.

But in a real rarity for me (and this blog!) of late, I actually had two full single-issue posts earlier in the week.

  1. First, I had my first non-Ultraverse ’90s Revisited post in ages, covering Uncanny X-Men #303.
  2. Then I had a (late to post, having written a couple weeks ago) review of the "new" comic TMNT: Jennika #1 (from the Week of February 26, below)…my first review of a newer-than-2010 comic in 14 months or so!

Anyway…onto the point of this post you’re reading…my documenting for myself (at least) what I’ve picked up in the way of new comics for the last few New Comic Day Wednesdays.


Week of February 19, 2020

weeklyhaul_20200219a

New post-#100 TMNT; new Spawn (we’re 6 issues in past the big #300!); and third/last American Jesus for this round. 3-issue mini originally, and this followup is also a 3-issue thing. Maybe we’ll get a new paperback with all 6 issues?

DC Dollar Comics brought a New Teen Titans reprint; and Marvel had some sort of (FREE!!!) Wolverine thing. I won’t turn down free Wolverine, even though I hate the "new logo" and refused to spend $7.99 on a #1 issue.

And since it was a relatively small week, I opted to splurge on the $9.99 DC: Crimes of Passion giant-issue; having developed a bit of a sub-collection of the squarebound not-quite-TPBs DC issues that actually go on the shelf.

(*come to think of it, if they’re not gonna do out-and-out trade paperbacks monthly as anthologies, why can’t publishers just do squarebound COMICS that contain the materials of single-issue titles as anthologies and see which sell BETTER? I’d gladly pay $9.99 for one of these with 4-5 X-books’ content rather than $3.99 apiece for 20-page batches of infographics + a few pages of stories!)

Finally for the week, having snagged Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 a week or two before, I’d ordered the Avengers Annual to cap off that arc, and check off another "minor grail" for myself.

And as almost-always…the weekly Comic Shop News.


Week of February 26, 2020

weeklyhaul_20200226a

The final week of February finally brought the first issue of TMNT: Jennika. I don’t know that I was looking forward to it, exactly, but I think it was late and I’d begun to "wonder" about it. See my review (linked above), though, for the issue in and of itself.

Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics #2 brings another (color) installment of early UY. While I understand the TMNT Color Classics to have rather limited material to pull from (especially as they focused specifically on Eastman/Lairdcentric TMNT) I a really hoping that this UYCC is an indefinite ONGOING thing that lasts for a lotta years. I’ll happily keep buying both this and the "new" ongoing.

I don’t even remember now why I’d wound up grabbing Dark Horse‘s The Little Mermaid mini, but I think this was the final issue? OCD/completist since I had the earlier issues. I’ve yet to READ any of them to determine if they’re a new adaptation of the film, or some sort of re-imagining, or what. But congratulations to Dark Horse: this is what CAN happen when something is put out that is NOT over-hyped, NOT sold on the quantity of variant covers, NOT some huge event, NOT begun with an over-priced first issue, etc.!

New issue of Hellblazer, which is yet another that I (sadly) need to catch up on reading before I have to kick myself for not just waiting for collected editions. Or perhaps to just decide TO wait for the collected editions and take my hit now.

Then the week’s "facsimile"/"replica" editions: Wolverine #1 and The Flash #123 (easy to remember as 1-2-3!). Though I already have an original edition of Wolverine, I’m glad to keep supporting these reprints! And the Flash issue is a great addition as well as what it is. (Though I did discover a day or two after buying it that I had a Millennium Edition reprint of the issue. I prefer this new one for being closer to what the original would look like…but the ME reprints are a good bit of nostalgia to me some 20 years later!)


Week of March 4, 2020

weeklyhaul_20200304a

March starts off with a bit of a whimper, with "only" 5 issues…two of those (40%!!!) being reprints. Mystery in Space is not honestly one I’d really care for or likely even be all that interested in from a bargain bin. But as said above…I’m happy to "support" these sorts of reprints, as I find far more VALUE in them than modern comics. And of course, $1 comics can hardly be beat as "new" comics, such as the DC Dollar Comics: Swamp Thing issue, reprinting an Alan Moore story.

Having heard a lotta good stuff about King‘s Vision series and Mister Miracle; and despite having bought the entirety of the latter without having yet read it…on the strength of 85 issues of Batman, I figured I’d give Strange Adventures a try. My primary complaint is the "dual" covers that could easily have been flip-book covers or doubled-up covers and gotten a similar effect withOUT making me have to choose one OVER the other. That’ll likely be the primary deciding factor in my picking up #2-onward…how cheesed-off am I at the nature of the existence of "basic" variants for this title?

Speaking of Batman… I’ve repeatedly pointed out (or meant to) my dropping the title with the end of King‘s run. Multiple reasons, varaints, likely pending reboot/relaunch, Something Generation with DC, and then over-hype and speculator/scalper crap with #89. BUT while out of state visiting a friend recently, happened across a copy (first print) of #89. For cover price. Despite all the hype and apparent sell-outs and over-priced flippage and such. I was NOT going to buy it in and of itself, though, even for cover price…not to leave a gap of 3 issues. So I checked. They also had issues 86-88. So in one fell swoop, I was able to catch up on the title (which I already had 1-85!) and as of then was fully caught up. So I emailed the local shop and added it back to my pulls beginning with this 90th issue, figuring fine…I’ll buy Batman and keep the run going, and so I can take stuff in for myself without having to "hunt" or play the "speculator game."

Finally, we’re getting to the tail-end of the TMNT Urban Legends run, reprinting the old Image TMNT series. I had two issues from later in the run that I bought back around 2000 or so; I’m not sure offhand but pretty sure at least ONE of those has now been reprinted in color in this series, and if this issue isn’t the other, then the next issue should be. And then we’ll get the first-time-ever published ending to the series (though how that jibes with a fan-produced ending, I don’t know, and that’s not a game I’m getting into on ridiculously-limited-edition completionist stuff).


Week of March 11, 2020

weeklyhaul_20200311a

And now we’re caught up to the current (as of this typing) week’s haul. And I’ve been halfway waiting for something like this to happen…here, it finally did.

Nothing but reprints for me.

Two DC Dollar Comic reprints of key Robin issues: the death of Jason Todd, and the first issue of the first TIm Drake mini-series. (More fitting would have been to reprint the final chapter of Lonely Place of Dying, where Tim first-ever dons the Robin costume) but for $1, whatever. And of course, I have both of the original issues and I’m still happy to buy these reprints, if only to "support" the reprints program. While I likely would have passed on Robin #1 as such, I still, repeatedly-to-be-said, would somewhat prefer these be done ALL as facsimile/replica editions. More on that below!

The definite gem of the week for me is the facsimile/replica edition of Detective Comics #38, the first appearance of the original Robin (Dick Grayson). I don’t recall now if there’s been a reprint in these recent replicas of #27, but this really makes me want one to go with it. Of the two, I think this is most appealing for me as such a fan of Robin.

Finally, we have a Thor replica/facsimile edition that again…I’ll buy to support the program, even if not every single individual issue is of specific singular interest or significance to me .

And Comic Shop News shows off some DC thing with the multiverse and maybe generations. I barely care at this point, with my only real interest in "new" DC being these reprints, and even Marvel isn’t getting me with non-reprint stuff (even though I SHOULD be an easy mark for their Marvels X and other upcoming Marvels stuff…I refuse to go in on the $4.99 pricing!)


Anyway…there we go. Another month in my "new comics" buying. I’ve bought some other stuff in the time, but those have been non-Wednesday purchases, stuff I consider to be "off" from the standard/regular/weekly "hauls."

As to my earlier-mentioned "idea" on the reprints:

For DC Dollar Comics, have a plain-color blank cover of some appropriate color; either say, standard black for all, or white for all, or something appropriate to the title/cover’s look. And have a small-ish image of the actual original cover (logos, pricing, blurbs, and all!) Whether it’s a small centered image, or nearly-full-size but with a distinct "border" for the flat color base.

Then for actual replica/facsimile editions, do as they’ve been doing with having then look as close to the original as possible.

I just don’t like the way the DCDC reprints are some weird mutant hybrid of original and new appearances. Familiar art, but the new DCDC trade dress, and weird numbers/number-placement on stuff. Like it more or less tells you what it’s reprinting, and yet you still almost have to know to be sure. Reprinting a New Teen Titans #2 with the new trade dress and a #1 on the cover.


This almost works out better doing these posts like this than feeling like QUITE so random/arbitrary as actual weekly things…especially buying so few comics every week.

Maybe I should try to aim for doing one more for March for the 18th and 25th…and then adjust to The Weekly Hauls and just go by month. Hm.

weeklyhaul_20200311_blogtrailer

Dawn of New Secret 2099 Limited: World of Yesterday

When you have over 50 longboxes and at least as many shortboxes…and they have not been properly sorted since you had less than 10 longboxes and maybe 2 shortboxes…that’s a lotta chaos.

Over the years, I’ve taken to buying loads of "convenience copies" from bargain bins–deciding since I’m very fortunate and thus ABLE to afford to–I’d rather buy new, cheap duplicates even of stuff I consciously know darned well I already own for the convenience of having those particular issues "handy" in a "recent" comics-keeping-location rather than having to manhandle umpteen longboxes and undetermined quantities of shortboxes, rifling through each box individually in the hopes of coming across a specific issue or handful of issues that I at least THINK I remember having, and all that.

2099promoposter1992


Just before the end of 2019, having decided that I definitely want to seek out the entirety of Marvel‘s original 2099 line, I’d ordered a bunch of comics online for definite blind-spots or stuff that came later in the ’90s after my initial attention on the line had waned (particularly 2099 Unlimited, 2099 World of Tomorrow, Hulk 2099, Fantastic Four 2099). I’d also managed to get some other miscellaneous and sale-priced issues to have a good foundation of collecting the line.

marvel_2099_collage_small

But the 2099 line is one I fondly remember from my youth, having begun with an off-the-shelf copy of Spider-Man 2099 #1 at Comics & Collectibles back in Fall 1992. I remember having a bunch of the issues, and it was a significant imprint/subset of the entirety of my collection at the time I went off to college in 1999 (which was a year after the last time my collection as a whole was more or less "properly organized"–as 2020 dawns, it’s been 22 years that brief period in Fall 1998!).

I’m quite a fan of the convenience copies and relish getting 25-cent and 50-cent fancy issues and enhanced covers and ’90s variants and other ’90s awesomeness, in part because I couldn’t get stuff THEN but can get it so cheaply NOW.

Over the final weekend prior to the new year, I got it into my head to do some heavy lifting, and began hunting through a number of my original range of longboxes (pre-2004) and made a slew of discoveries. For one thing, I had "fancy covers" for issues I didn’t remember having. I also found several very cool issues, PERIOD, that I did not remember having.

And thankfully, of course, I found my original range of 2099 comics.

original_2099_collection

For personal posterity’s sake, below is the makeshift "inventory" of what was in that range, though the stack included quite a few duplicates I did not remember having. My thoughts continue beyond the list.


2099 World of Doom Special
1

2099 World of Tomorrow
4

2099 Unlimited
1, 7

DOOM 2099
1-10, 25 (foil)

GHOST RIDER 2099
1 (foil and regular), 2-13

HULK 2099
1-3

PUNISHER 2099
1,2,4,5,6,7,25 (foil)

RAVAGE 2099
1-5, 7-10, 13, 25 (foil)

SPIDER-MAN 2099
1-18, 25 (foil)

X-MEN 2099
1-5


spiderman2099(1992)001As said, I’d begun with the initial release of Spider-Man 2099 when it was a brand-new issue. It’s truly one of the more significant single issues IN my entire collection, as it was my first-ever #1 issue with Spider-Man in its title, and I was keen on this then-new line of comics that I was getting to get in on at the very, very beginning. (And don’t give me any of the nonsense of "previews" as true 1st appearances and all that!) Earlier that year, a friend had gotten at least a couple of the Spider-Man 30th-anniversary hologram issues. [I remember there being 4 of those in total; I feel like I remember his having the Amazing Spider-Man issues with the black border, at least; beyond that, I can’t disentangle my memories and deja vu and nearly 30 years of being aware of the issues.]

I recall the line getting a "staggered" release.

That is, where in present-day, 2019/2020, Marvel would kick the line off with ALL the titles in one month with multiple #1s possibly hitting the SAME DAY of release…back in 1992, the line launched with…

ravage2099(1992)001Spider-Man 2099 #1.

Then the next month, Ravage 2099 #1, and Spider-Man 2099 #2.

The third month, Doom 2099 #1, and the respective 2nd and 3rd issues for the first titles.

And then the fourth month, Punisher 2099 #1, with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th issues of the earlier titles.

The following fall, X-Men 2099 launched. That gave the line 5 titles, all at different numbers, having gotten to be its own thing in its given month of launch, and so on.

I remember there being some 800-number (presumably 1993 or 1994) that you could call for "insider tips" from Marvel about upcoming stuff. This was pre-common-internet, so most information (at least in my part of the comics fandom world) came by word of mouth and by stuff like Wizard magazine…so whatever the ad was (in), I remember (along with my friend) being intrigued by that ad with the phone number…and excited when we got parental permission to actually CALL.

ghostrider2099(1994)001I don’t recall what ELSE was announced in this way, but I do remember that being when I first heard about an upcoming then-addition to the 2099 line: Ghost Rider! So of course I was on the lookout for THAT #1, and it being a TRUE "discovery" and such and not just something that "showed up" but something I’d learned of EARLY, before it appeared in Wizard, before the comic shop owner could tell ME about it, etc.…it was something SPECIAL.

It was also a bit of an anomaly, as the 2099 #1s went. The previous FIVE titles all had the same-style foiling and border, just different-colored foil, making the issues very distinctive. But Ghost Rider‘s #1–while it had the general design and shape of the border–was a multi-color/prismatic/shiny-reflective foiling, rather than the distinctive single-color foiling (red, silver, gold, purple, or blue of the first 5 or green of the later Hulk). The Hulk premiere apparently went back to the distinctive colored foil.

doom2099(1993)001Unfortunately, I could only keep up with SO MANY titles, so I mostly hung on to Spider-Man 2099, as my then-favorite (though I’ll be darned if I can remember details of that run at this point!). Apparently I lasted a year and a half with it, and missed an issue here or there, but had filled in those holes prior to 1999.

While going through the collection I found a number of issues bagged with the same-style sticker with the same handwriting of prices, firmly indicating I picked up a bunch of issues as back-issues. This reminded me that I had obviously been a bit inconsistent and didn’t get everything I had exactly at-release/every-month-to-month…but I’d been invested enough back then to track down what back-issues I could for a reasonable price!

I also found duplicates of Doom 2099 and Ravage 2099 #1s. Based on most being loose and no prices on the bag-and-boarded copies, I can make the reasonable assumption that the bag-and-board copies are my actual original copies for those two titles, as I’d early in my collecting I’d had a phase where I attempted to bag and board "everything" before giving that up as a lost cause–I could bag and board, OR I could get MORE COMICS. (I wanted more comics!)

punisher2099(1993)001Despite the duplicates…there was only 1 copy of Spider-Man 2099 #1 in the bunch, and it had the familiar dents/spine damage I remembered, as well as the direct-market "2099" where the upc/bar code is on newsstand copies, so I know THAT one to be as "for certain" as possible to be my actual original copy of the issue; the genuine artifact. Ditto for Ghost Rider 2099 #1’s shiny foil. I didn’t remember getting both versions at the time, but clearly remembered getting the shiny foil. So either I got both at once or I’d gotten a non-shiny copy not long after. I’d thought it was only rather recently that I’d obtained a non-shiny copy (2019 recently)…so, c’est la vie.

I had the original 2099 Unlimited #1 issue–I believe offhand this was the "first appearance" of the Hulk of 2099. And while I vaguely recalled having gotten Hulk 2099 #1 at some point after it was out (I do recall I did not get it "on release") I would’ve sworn I had no subsequent issues, but apparently I’d gotten the first 3.

xmen2099(1993)001All in all, back in the ’90s, I primarily kept up with Spider-Man 2099 and Ghost Rider 2099. I lapsed pretty quickly on the other titles, even on "back issues." BUT a couple years into the runs, the original books all rolled up on their 25th issues! Those were a big deal (to me), probably as much for having had the #1s as anything else; but I snagged the fancy foil/embossed versions of those. I don’t recall now if I knew at the time there were non-fancy versions or not; though I’m keenly aware of that in more recent years!

And somewhere along the way, I just stopped buying any of the titles. With other memories I have from the early-to-mid-’90s with comics, it’s reasonable to assume that I made a conscious decision to do so, in favor of other stuff I was interested in. The 2099 titles pre-date the Ultraverse by at least 6 (and maybe 9-10) months; but I’d probably opted to stay with several Ultraverse titles along with the Superman books and post-Age of Apocalypse the various X-titles. And with finite allowance & lunch money (and convincing Dad to "invest" in more issues for me to have) I could only keep up with so many titles, and 2099 stuff fell off.

hulk2099(1994)001Only later did I realize that the line had not only disappeared from me, but from EVERYONE.

As I have come to understand it (at present as of this typing), when Marvel hit the hard times before/around the bankruptcy, they started doing lower print runs on lesser-selling titles and eventually a number of those titles went away entirely. (And that’s why you could fairly easily get GI Joe #1 for $10 but #155 seems to be a $100+ book!)

I believe one of the editors was let go, and the writers quit in protest, which led to the individual titles disappearing, and the 2099 line being "consolidated" into the single 2099 World of Tomorrow book before petering out and done was done.

I also remember there being some hubbub over the Doom character taking over and some AD or After Doom branding going into stuff. I believe I’d most noticed that in Ghost Rider as it affected the status quo. If I had the actual issues where Doom’s coup happened, I don’t recall; my memories of relevant issues are far more recent with zero recollection of owning the issues at all when they were new/current in the mid-’90s.


captain_marvel(1999)028In the years since, the line never totally disappeared the way some do. I remember being THRILLED at a Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) story involving 2099. Which makes sense, as the writer was Peter David.

And I have half-formed memories of "hearing about" some other appearances of the Spider-Man character in modern issues (maybe it was just one of the video games), and then there was whatever that Spider-Verse event was); and a "modern run" of subsequent Spider-Man 2099 stuff (also by Peter David if I recall correctly.

There was also the 2099 corner of the 2015 Secret Wars stuff.

MOST RECENTLY (as of this typing), Marvel just had a 2099 "event," with the recognition that in 2019, it’d been 80 years since the start of what became Marvel in 1939, and 80 years from then-present 2019, it would be 2099. As I understand (and bought thusly) the "event" includes 4 issues of the current Nick Spencer Amazing Spider-Man title (#s 33-36) as well as bookending 2099 Alpha and 2099 Omega specials, with a number of one-shots featuring individual characters. Most of the "original class" or "OG" were represented–Spider-Man, Doom, Punisher, and Ghost Rider. Rounded out by late-addition Fantastic Four and newly-promoted Venom (who I believe appeared in late issues of the original Spider-Man 2099 issues). And of all things, Conan the Barbarian was shoehorned in. However, no Ravage 2099 nor X-Men 2099, though I’m aware that the X-team was represented on a "2099 Variant" of an issue of Hickman‘s not-actually-Uncanny X-Men title.

hickman_xmen2099_ron_lim_variantIt’s admittedly this "event" that re-sparked my interest in the line, triggering my nostalgia, particularly with the cover of the main 2099 Alpha issue. Though I’d made up my mind NOT to buy the rest of the event, I had an in-the-moment/spur-of-the-moment change of heart when there was nothing new for me for the week of December 25, 2019 AND the shop had the entire selection of issues I was missing in-stock (albeit one was a variant I didn’t notice until I got home). (And I may have gotten the last copy of several of what I did get).

I count 2099 among the "dead universes," such as the Ultraverse or ’90s Valiant or CrossGen. In the collecting sense, I see a "dead universe" as an entire line of comics that is no longer being actively/regularly added to; a FINITE body of comics, and so its completion is a goal that is reasonably attainable without a constantly-increasing quantity of stuff to acquire. It’s not going to involve having to locate THOUSANDS of issues.

2099(2019)promoI believe that all-told, the entire body of 2099 stuff comes in under 300 individual issues. And I seem to have had a 75-issue jump-start, with an additional 20-something issue leap, such that I may already be near the 1/3 mark. I also recall getting a bunch of X-Men 2099 and X-Nation 2099 issues in the last several years that I still have to dig out. As such, I believe the majority of my hunt will be the later issues of the original 6 titles.

I don’t know if I’m going to include the "modern" Spider-Man 2099 books in this hunt. While technically 2099, being nearly two decades removed, they’re more a "recycled concept" to me and "modern Marvel" than they are "classic ’90s 2099." I’ll probably eventually seek them out for the sake of completion and all, but that’ll be subject to a number of factors.

But for now, as 2020 kicks into gear, 2099 looms as a primary collecting goal/focus for me, along with Spawn.

We’ll see where I am within the year!

dawn_of_new_secret_2099_limited_world_of_yesterday_blogtrailer

The Weekly Haul: Week of January 8, 2020

weekly_haul_header

Another week, another batch of new comics…and a toy from Amazon.

weeklyhaul_20200108a

This week’s new comics are basically all IDW. New TMNT, TMNT/Power Rangers, and GI Joe: A Real American Hero.

DC only gets in with a $1 comic, reprinting an issue of Brave and the Bold, though I’d considered the new Batman issue. But with King‘s run being shorted, and DC getting into Marvel‘s renumbering games, and rumours flying about a universal reboot (and assumably if true, a renumbering as well) and thinking I saw something about this new run being maybe 14 issues or so, and I figure I’m just better off skipping it.

I’ve had a heckuva time getting around to reading much in any issues of Back Issue but for sheer content I’m happy to support the print magazine. It always seems to be high-quality, so…yeah. AND with other stuff being sparse, it’s "only" like adding 2 1/2 issues to an already small stack.

And then Marvel had nothing of enough interest to me for the right price point. I might have checked out Marvels X #1 but I’m NOT keen on continuously, repeatedly "supporting" the $4.99 price point, especially the way THEY seem to do that for all their #1s and then wonder (?) why more people may not try them(?) By not getting #1, I won’t be getting subsequent issues, so…hopefully oodles of variants and that $1 higher price point serves them well, I suppose.

weeklyhaul_20200108b

Comic Shop News continues to be a weekly thing…and worth showing here since I got it, even though I didn’t cram it into the main photo.

weeklyhaul_20200108c

Over the previous weekend, I’d come across this X-Men Archangel figure at a Booksamillion and REALLY liked the way it looked. I passed on it, though–already spending more on other stuff, and not wanting to buy it on an absolute impulse.

After thinking on it for a few days and finding it for a lower price via Amazon, I ended up ordering it after all, and it arrived Thursday.

I’ve got some version of Angel from back before 2010 or so, I think, from the old-style Marvel Legends (that came with comic books!). But this version–Archangel–is just so bright, colorful, and flat-out cool-looking (to me!) that I decided I’d definitely like it in my collection!

I continue to REALLY like the "modern" take on figures in that they’ll come with "alternate" heads that you can swap out depending on personal preference for display/play and all that. Where I swear I remember some early Marvel Legends having "variants" where the only difference was…a head swapped out.

I’ve definitely appreciated the last couple weeks being pretty small on new comics, and hope to keep to that for awhile.

Meanwhile, I’m leaning into focusing on tracking down (cheap "reader copy" condition!) issues of DC Comics Presents that I’m missing, along with Marvel‘s classic (1990s) 2099 line, and of course, Spawn with my #SpawnQuest.

weeklyhaul_20200108_blogtrailer

Vexed by Variants AGAIN! The Weekly Haul: Week of December 26, 2019

weekly_haul_header

I am so sick and tired of VARIANTS! And of course, this time it’s gonna be all the MORE memorable because it’s with an event, it’s the final week of the year, etc…it’s not "just" a random week during the year.

It’s ALSO reminding me to STOP GIVING MARVEL A CHANCE.

So, let’s get into it…the final week of the year for new comics…albeit, I have no NEW-new comics, due to the week between Christmas and New Year being a small week of remnants and all that.

weeklyhaul_20191226a

So having ventured to the comic shop and soundly deciding AGAINST Marvel‘s Incoming ($9.99 and they couldn’t even squarebind the thing to go on a shelf?!?) I noticed the 2099 Omega issue from last week that no one seemed to have had.

And there next to it was the latest issue of The Amazing Spider-Man…picking that up to look at, I saw a checklist for the whole event, listing it as the last ASM issue involved.

Ok, I’ve got nothing else for the week…FINE. Let’s see what other issues are available. 33…34…is that 35? Pull out a couple copies…sure enough, yeah. 35…cool. All 4 issues. Plus the Omega issue, as I had bought the Alpha issue a few weeks ago.

Well…let’s see if they have the Doom issue? Yup. Spider-Man? Yup. Ok…what about Punisher? There it was. Ghost Rider? There as well. Hmm…Fantastic Four? Check. Ok…Conan? Sure enough…there. What was missing? Venom. Oh, look…there it was.

I was gonna wait for a collected volume, but with not having any luck finding any reference to an event collected volume online after all, and not having other stuff for the week…AND EVERY ISSUE OF THE EVENT AVAILABLE (to buy all at once, in-person, one place, one purchase, INSTANT GRATIFICATION)…and the shop was about to close for the night.

variants_20191226_2099a

I get home, pretty pleased with my buy, despite it being a clear exception to my intent as recently as earlier in the day.

Amazing Spider-Man #34 is a VARIANT!

I grabbed issues in a hurry. Looking at the TITLE, looking at the ISSUE NUMBER. Marvel HAD–to my knowledge–been putting the word "VARIANT" in the box with the Marvel logo and issue number. So having looked at that box on all the issues, I figured I was good. No variants. Just the standard, regular, basic, non-variant covers.

Because of the [bleep]ing THEME, apparently the thing was put ELSEWHERE on the darned cover, where even though I was looking for it with the issue number and Marvel logo, I failed to see it was ELSEWHERE.

Because I was in a rush, and not studying the covers in their entirety and all that. Just taking logos and numbers at face value.

variants_20191226_2099b

And thus even the random, against-my-better-judgement satisfaction of snagging an ENTIRE EVENT all at once, is tarnished by stupid frustration.

And that is NOT what comics should be.

To the notion of "it’s just a cover," I argue that IF it’s JUST a cover, then STOP WITH THE [bleep]ing VARIANTS! Let the cover BE THE cover!

I should NOT HAVE TO STUDY every part of EVERY cover of EVERY ISSUE that I buy, hunt for indicia in the issue, spoil the contents of the issue itself for other indication, pull up web pages on my phone, have memorized covers before going to the store just to AVOID VARIANTS.

When I am specifically, ACTIVELY, consciously TRYING TO AVOID variants and I STILL CANNOT avoid them all…there are too [bleep]ing many of the things!

It’s NOT the comic shop’s fault…it’s the publisher.

And my feeling my own stupidity at this.

I dropped all Valiant comics in the summer of 2015 over one 4-issue stunt. And I did the same with Boom Studios in January 2016 over ONE ISSUE’s variants.

Marvel is in rarified air, and by rights, I really SHOULD just drop them entirely, on the principle.

This’ll certainly teach ME to not do any impulse-buys or quantity-buys from Marvel for sure. And reminds me to just stick with BACK ISSUES from the BARGAIN BINS. Stuff I actually KNOW and/or that is inconsequential at a price point up to 90% cheaper than a single new issue.

weeklyhaul_20191226_blogtrailer

%d bloggers like this: