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Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of April 5th, 2017)

Once again, real life got in the way, and I’m not going to get around to formal/proper reviews of any of the week’s titles. However, in a bit more of a free-form fashion, I do have some thoughts to put out there regarding the several issues I actually did manage to get read from the most recent week’s purchases!


X-Men Gold #1

xmengold_0001I actually surprisingly enjoyed X-Men: Gold #1, until the weekend hubbub over subversive/hidden messages from the artist. Sure, the issue includes newer/modern/contemporary elements and characters, but if definitely had the right sort of "Rebirth"-y tone to it that would make it appealing…particularly if the title was going to be a MARVEL $2.99 book. Price it lower, like $2.99, and I’d probably give even a book like this as a WEEKLY a shot (barring other things turning me off entirely).

The story was strong, and where I "went in" expecting not to like it, I enjoyed it, and was able to figure out enough as I read along to compensate for missing the last several years of continuity. It would be a solid "welcome back" type of issue and launch if I was planning to stay with it for any length. But while I opted to go against my initial intention of not getting these whatsoever, I went in planning only to try Prime, X-Men Gold #1 and X-Men Blue #1. Gold would have convinced me to come back for #2 if it was not to be $3.99 and $3.99 twice-monthly. I just can’t get past Marvel‘s pricing compared to DC…and I was down to not even bothering with DC, either, prior to announcements of major shakeup (Rebirth, Final Days of Superman) and the reversion in cover price.

I’ll wait for discounted collected editions, which admittedly do comic shops little good, though even this will depend in part on how hard I stand on the "issue" with the artist’s hidden messaging, and where that goes.


Superman #20

superman(2016)_0020In the "casual reader" sense, between not "getting" the entirety of the ending to Superman Reborn and not yet having the follow-up/epilogue exploration that I believe is coming in the next couple issues of Action Comics, I don’t feel like I have any major differences to look for. So this issue read primarily like "just" another issue, drawing on prior continuity from this series itself at least–such as Batman showing up again, Superman meeting him outside instead of inviting him in, etc. Of course, this time, Lois insists Batman and his son come in, that all may interact civilly, not just outside.

And ultimately, this was a fun issue, that seems steeped in continuity without actually giving us much…though it did reveal something about Clark and Lois’ neighbor, which seems like it may impact that status quo a bit, though if so, it seems like it could be a real shame. Time will definitely tell on this story, though.

I’m not enamored with the art, though it fits earlier issues and isn’t really out of the norm…but something about it seemed to just not connect right with me. Still…even a Superman issue like this is far better than the titles have been in years, and I continue to thrill at the fact that nearly a year in and I’m STILL week in and week out looking forward to the next week’s Superman issue, and disappointed on "fifth weeks" when there is NOT a new issue.


The Sovereigns #0

sovereigns_0000Darn it…I wasn’t gonna try this. Yet another "relaunch" for the Gold Key properties, where the last three in recent years didn’t seem to last more than for a year’s worth of issues (number-wise, if not dragged out by lateness). But Dynamite did well to utilize the "promotional price" of "only" $1 for this issue, which meant I’d at least buy it for my "dollar-or-under" self-mandate even if not for the content/title itself. But HAVING the thing, decided I wasn’t going to NOT read it. I was curious.

And darned if it didn’t pique my interest a bit. I’m willing on principle to give this take a shot, this reimagining of the characters.

Unfortunately, there are several catches:

  • Price. I don’t like the $3.99, so that’s a turnoff. This isn’t TMNT, after all.
  • Variants. While I do buy titles that seem to have variants on every single issue, Dynamite (to me) has a reputation as one of "those" publishers, for whom the variants are much more of the "selling point" and that do NUMEROUS variants on EVERY SINGLE ISSUE, far more egregious than "simply" every issue having *A* variant.
  • Lack of trust. The initial Dynamite relaunch didn’t last long at all, relatively speaking (though they did get 3 collected editions from the three ongoings and one from the mini). I’d much rather have a singular complete story or collected edition to read all at once, and having been burned by that relaunch and again by the "only" 5 issues of Gold Key Alliance as a quasi-reboot/failed-reboot/whatever…"Fool me once" and all that.

So while I’d be inclined to give the stuff a shot, I’m unwilling to plan on it, given the multiple burns I’ve had. At the same time, at least said burns have not been the flat-out anti-longtime-reader things that Valiant has done, and I’d be willing to buy these because they’re NOT Valiant, at least.


The coming week’s new books include X-Men: Blue as well as Weapon X and several True Believers reprints. The reprints I’m actually looking forward to. I’ll probably still give Blue the first issue chance, given I’ve already got Prime and Gold. Surprisingly, Weapon X at least looks to be a $3.99 #1 instead of $4.99 or higher…so we’ll see what else is onhand and how finances look. I’m most looking forward to the new Action Comics issue, and there’s a new Spawn issue which means I need to actually catch up on the previous issue.

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Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of March 29th, 2017)

I didn’t (and haven’t, and won’t) get around to full review treatment for any of last week’s issues at this point, but I did have a few thoughts on several issues. Unfortunately, I haven’t actually gotten around to reading all the new issues I bought, as Real Life has continued to be a bit of a hindrance in that department. But given a couple of purchases were made with the intention of writing about them, I figure I probably should actually write about ’em.


X-Men: Prime (2017)

xmenprime2017When I (premeditatively) decided I would actually go ahead and pick this issue up–despite having originally decided flat-out not to touch any of these ResurrXion titles–I’d had no idea that I would find it completely sold out at two shops before 6pm its day of release. I found a copy at a third shop, which was down to only four copies at that point, including the Venom variant.

The second shop actually did have the Venom variant as well, but I didn’t even recognize it as an X-Men issue, let alone this issue, THE issue I was very specifically looking for! (Way to go, Marvel and stupid-*** variants!)

I bought this issue largely on the premise that I was already buying several $5 issues, might as well lump one more into the mix…plus, I’d have no room to talk about it if I didn’t at least give it a shot myself, right?

The art wasn’t all that bad…it certainly didn’t put me off the X-titles. But it’s far from being enough in and of itself to pull me in. The multiple art teams wasn’t terribly jarring, though it was noticeable…particularly when it came to Storm, due to the character’s hair style(s).

The story felt rather forgettable…nothing really drew me in, and I did not feel like there was really even a full STORY here…more a through line to give us a quick tour of characters and situations that’d make up a number of too-expensive biweekly series and such.

This certainly trades on NOSTALGIA, in title as well as the notion of the ResurrXion thing in general, and the forthcoming X-Men: Blue and X-Men: Gold titles. It cerainly suckered me into stuff.

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I read the ORIGINAL X-Men: Prime back in 1995 the day it came out, a week after X-Men: Omega, the end of the Age of Apocalypse saga.

At that time, I’d been following the original Uncanny X-Men series, the original X-Men series, the original Wolverine series off and on, with a spattering of other titles…and having gotten and read the entirety of the X-family of titles the month prior to the Age of Apocalypse and then the entirety of that saga…so I was pretty "up" on the books at the time going in and coming out, so I was a ripe target for such a book, to touch briefly on numerous characters and stuff that’d "spin out" into other titles that I was planning on trying to follow.

This time around? Not so much. It’s telling that I almost have more to say about the original from 22 years ago than this one from a week ago!


All-New X-Men (2015) #19

all_new_xmen_0019I can firmly blame my purchase of this issue on hype from Bleeding Coo, and a curiosity for more detail, and to get some actual context. There’s also something about that cover that hit a bit of the nostalgia-trigger for me as well…perhaps the banner at the bottom identifying this as a finale, perhaps the fonts, I don’t know…but it’s telling that I was more interested in this AS a final issue than I was in a #1 for this or any of a number of other X-books when they’ve hit over the last few years.

The art for this wasn’t bad; nothing overly distracting or such. I actually rather like the costumes and general character designs overall (though Jean looks a bit "off" for this cover despite my otherwise liking it). I especially like the young Cyclops’ costume…a lot like the ’90s version that I’d definitely claim as my favorite and consider THE most iconic of the character’s looks.

Though I already knew it going in, this issue "reveals" that the "past" these X-Men came from and have "access" to presently has their younger selves as if they’d never been pulled out of time…and thus, this young team has nowhere else to GO, and are apparently separate from the adult versions they’ve thought where their own older selves.

I can’t begin to guess at all the continuity or lack thereof in the last couple years since I read most of the original run of the original iteration of this title (from 2012/2013)…but this seems to cut these characters "loose," where there’s no longer a "question" of when or if they’ll go back to their own time–the adult X-Men have past selves properly in their own time, and these five apparently aren’t it, so whatever they do, they’ve got their own future/fate to forge in the present, simply AS themselves, and all their new/recent status quo elements.

The novelty has worn off for me on these versions of the characters…there may still be some interesting-ish stuff to be done with them, but overall, I’m less than thrilled at the notion that these are simply THE "replacements" overall for the characters I grew up on, and am not thrilled at any notion of continuing to follow their adventures (I believe they’re X-Men: Blue?)


Booster Gold/Flintstones #1

booster_gold_flintstones_0001While hardly on the same level as Robin, Superman, or the TMNT, Booster Gold is definitely a draw for me.

Already curious about the re-imagined take on the Flintstones, realizing this was coming had my interest…all the more when I saw this cover (which may actually be a variant…I which case it’s a rarity as I far, Far, FAR prefer it to the other cover!)

The story’s a bit light and goofy, and rather irreverent…and I don’t get much of a sense of Booster himself as a character here nor of the Flintstones characters. In a way, I guess that makes this a good stand-alone issue, as I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything with any of the characters involved.

The Booster side of the story seems largely predicated on what I’d consider an outdated take on the character, drawing visually on more recent takes on the character while not seeming to use his most recent ongoing series (that touched into and ended with Flashpoint back in 2011). I’m not sure how it ties in with his general New 52 stuff, but that’s because I haven’t read much of that.

I was curious as well, once I got the issue, at what the Jetsons story would be, and suspected from the image on the cover that it’d involve a new take on the robot maid…and I was definitely right! The story proved to be an interesting glimpse into a new version of the characters’ lives/status quo, while also telling an interesting story of how a robot maid would be able to be such an integral part of the family.

Though the $5 cover price is a bit much, for the length of the issue and its contents, the two stories, it’s mostly worthwhile. I enjoyed the issue overall, probably more for the Jetsons than the lead feature, but I did not feel like my money was wasted by having bought this.


I still have the Green Lantern/Space Ghost and Adam Strange/Future Quest issues to read, as well as most of the first Flintstones volume, and assorted other "recent" issues. I’m hoping to keep this week a bit "small," after such an expensive week last week…looking forward to the new Superman issue, as well as needing to check for the AvP: Life and Death #4 that I missed last week.

Also looks like a season of omnibii is approaching, which may get very expensive very quickly…and only a couple weeks or so until The Button, which with Superman Reborn now completed, is probably the story I’m most looking forward to for a few weeks.

Time will certainly tell!

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The Weekly Haul – Weeks of March 22nd & 29th, 2017

This week’s both huge yet small. Mostly EXPENSIVE.

THREE $5 issues ($4.99) from DC… but these are the would-be-Annuals-now-simply-Specials with the DC heroes crossing over/teaming up with the Hanna-Barbera characters. I don’t know that I’ll be getting ALL of them over the coming months…but these three had my attention…particularly the Booster Gold/Flintstones one and Green Lantern/Space Ghost. I saw the Adam Strange/Future Quest cover enough times that I apparently added it to my stack…so I’ll make a point to read it at least!

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Then I grudgingly hunted down X-Men: Prime…where typically I’ll "vote with my wallet" AGAINST stuff like this…since I was ALREADY throwing price out the window with the DC books, and have long groused about the state of the X-books, I can at least bite the bullet on this issue to "try" it. After all…I can’t KEEP knocking stuff–can’t knock the "new" stuff or the "change of course" or "seeming change of course" if I don’t at least try it. Then after seeing a preview and LOVING the art (a DEFINITE rarity for me, as I virtually NEVER buy solely based on the art) got the apparently-final issue of All-New X-Men (volume whatever…3, 4?). And the preview book was "free," so…whatever.

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The third issue of Kamandi Challenge is out…I need to read #2 yet, but don’t want to fall behind.

Finally, for a $6 cover price, Dark Horse Number Ones reprints 8 #1 issues from Dark Horse…I’m all about these sorts of volumes, especially on the price. It’s even preferable to $1 #1 reprints!

And speaking of reprints…there’s some sort of $10 edition of Letter 44 vol. 1 out…beats the heck outta the $20 cover price on the original edition! I did not get that as I’ve gotten way behind on the single issues, and have all the single issues. Though for the price, I may track it down eventually.

Below, I cover last week‘s haul, which I neglected til now out of frustration at trying to track down the Action Comics issue.

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The Weekly Haul – Weeks of March 1st & 8th, 2017

Week of March 8th, 2017:

This week was a pretty small week for new comics for me: only two new issues!

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We’ve got the second chapter of Superman: Reborn in Action Comics #975 (a 38-page issue for only $3.99!). And the second issue of Blake Northcott‘s All New Fathom.

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Along with the new issues, I noticed a couple of familiar-in-style polybag tops sticking out of the $1 bins…upon investigating, they were indeed issues of Wizard! For being only $1 apiece, I snagged all 8 issues present, figuring I’ll at least enjoy opening them and going through the goodies that came with them…as well as "replacing" posters long since ripped out and lost.

Ziggy was curious what I was doing, so got himself into the photo. A nice little bonus, no?

And because I totally forgot to do it from last week, below I’ll cover last week’s haul.

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of February 8th & 15th, 2017

This week was not a tiny week, nor a huge week…but did have one issue in particular I’ve been looking forward to for awhile, another I was curious about and bought grudgingly despite variant covers. Plus some extras, and an Image vol. 1.

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I’ve been anticipating Super Sons for several months now, and though somewhat initially disappointed at it not being out last fall, was glad for time to be given to letting the characters/situation develop a bit more before rushing the title out. And I’m curious about The Wildstorm, but nearly passed on the first issue entirely due to no less than three apparently "equal ratio" variant covers, none of which seemed necessarily "iconic" or recognizeable. Then there’s the regular Superman issue; the fun Batman/TMNT Adventures, giving the second issue of God Country a chance, and not about to pass up a 25-cent issue (Invincible).

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On Tuesday, taking Carol & John’s up on their Feb. 14th promotion, I stopped in, and wound up purchasing the most recent Hellblazer volume. For my "prize," I got to choose five Marvel single issues. Figured I’d give the first couple a shot; the Star Wars Annual seemed an especially good "value" for being "free," and though I"d let the series go, I’m not opposed to "completing" a run of the short-lived X-Men ’92 series (now only missing 4 issues or so).

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And though I’d somewhat intended to buy the first paperback of the current Action Comics run, Superman: Path of Doom…flipping through the volume, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it. $17 for 6 issues I already have, the first issue in print and digital, and handy. Plus, no bonus content, no "introduction" or "afterward" or such…just another 6-issue "graphic novel."

So I opted to snag Seven to Eternity vol. 1…same or larger thickness, and $7 cheaper.

Since I didn’t get around to posting it last week with rushing my All New Fathom #1 review, and the original got bumped for timing this week, below is my Weekly Haul post of stuff from from last week.

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The Weekly Haul – Week of January 25th, 2017

At least for Wednesday, this was another "basic" kinda week. Nothing really extra or spectacular…just a huge week OF new books!

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The usual Superman issue-of-the-week with the new Action Comics issue. The premiere issue of the Kamandi Challenge hit. While I was hoping for something squarebound and less expensive, for what it is and everything else they’ve had so reasonably priced, I’ll give DC a "pass" on the extra-sized $4.99 issue. And speaking of "passes," since I’m double-dipping for the immediate read, I grabbed a variant of Batman/TMNT Adventures so at least I have some variety. Finally, the last (I think) of the JLoA ___ Rebirth issues that I neglected from DCBS.

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Then the "indie"-ish stuff. Surgeon X #5, though I can’t find #4 and think I might’ve actually intended to let the series go to wait for a collected volume. Oops. And part of me was gonna let Reborn go for the same reason…finding out it’s "just" a "limited series" rather than an indefinite ongoing was quite disappointing. And again for the heckuvit, decided to "try" Loose Ends #1, since the "A" cover was present and I didn’t have much expectations, and it’s a "new series" and #1.

Finally, of course, is the newest AvP issue in the Life and Death mega-arc.

So the week’s added a fair number of "imminent reads" to my alarmingly-quickly-growing "to read" pile, and I’m thinking a lot about what to cut back on sooner than not, given reading habits of the last half-year or so.

Time shall tell!

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!

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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.

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