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The Weekly Haul: Week of September 25, 2019

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This is an "interesting" week of new comics. A "large" week as well, but not quite the price-shockingly-huge that several the last few months have been.

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We have the new issue of TMNT–#98–leaving us a mere 2 issues from the big #100! Odd in a way to consider that this has been running for about 1/3 the time Spawn has!

The 10th HOX/POX issue this week in Powers of X #5. Just one issue of each mini after this, before the official Dawn of X launch…which I’m struggling with on whether or not I’m going to dive in or not against better judgment.

I normally would not have picked up this The New Mutants: War Children, on principle of "only" being a one-shot, AND for being yet ANOTHER $5 issue. Buuuut…it’s Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz. So, something I’d definitely want to support!

Then we’ve got the latest issues of Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Dial H for Hero…all of which I’m (still significantly) behind on reading.

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I’m several issues behind on Criminal…but that’s always a great read when I get around to it.

A $1 reprint of Crisis on Infinite Earths, that I largely got for the cover…I love this piece, and it’s great seeing it on a single issue! And another Marvel facsimile edition…something I also am enjoying supporting. I may not specifically care about every such issue, but seeing it and being able to decide "in the moment" is a welcome thing!

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A comic shop further outside my usual range had a large quantity of King Conan #1 available. I actually drove out specifically because of that, last week…partly for myself, partly for a friend. And then this week they had these other four issues, so I did another trip out. 5 issues, $5…not bad at all!

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They also had these two Batman Day issues the 2nd time (and/or maybe I just didn’t see them the first time), so snagged them. I’m not keen on The Batman Who Laughs, but as a Batman Day thing, it’s an interesting artifact, and I wasn’t sure if it was something from the mini-series or going all the way back to the original event.


All in all, a solid week. Nothing as exciting as a Spawn #300 or such; though TMNT is up there in general. And the 100th issue WILL be a big deal on a number of fronts. One of which will be that it will be the 100th issue of following ANY single series unbroken for 100 issues for me. I’ve taken "breaks" from comics altogether several times over the years, and particular series more often; such that I have NEVER BEFORE followed a single series for 100 issues! (nor any series OF series, as Marvel in particular has become).

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of August 21 and 28, 2019

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Here we go…after months and months and months of virtually NO posting, I think this makes 3 posts in two weeks? That’s more frequent than once-a-week, even!

Still…two weeks’ worth of new comics to get to…but better than bunched up to 4, 5, or 6 weeks.


Week of August 21, 2019

Last week was a rather small week overall, though a bit more expensive with some extra-priced issues! It also spans 5 different publishers and within the same publisher, each issue is a different imprint/type of publication!

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The newest Batman was one of the comics of the week for speculators, apparently. Thankfully it’s on my pull list or I’d’ve missed out on the thing! Since it’s just part 3 of a 9 or so issue story–or there’s an interlude as a different story (City of Bane), I will wait until the entire City of Bane arc concludes before accepting any major change or such!

Then the new Powers of X issue…I’ve got generally mixed feelings on the whole Hickman relaunch of the X-line. I typically consider the writer’s stuff to be elitist, pretentious, and extremely off-putting for the apparent "need" to do "homework" to fully follow the stuff. I also dislike the cold, clinical visuals of so many "white pages" and massive white-space, to say nothing of just a few small-print words accounting for multiple entire pages of an issue, all the more on something costing $4.99+ an issue! I’m "invested" in the 12-issue House/Powers of X and likely to check out the first issues of the new X-titles, but we’ll see from there.

I’m a huge fan of the recent facimile/replica editions of stuff coming out. These are giving me a chance to own copies of the issues about as close to the original edition as I’m gonna get (or simply provide a certain nostalgia that I’m willing to pay for despite owning the originals). DC kicked off with this Batman issue reprinting the first appearance of R’as al Ghul.

Next was a Transformers #0, I believe intended to (story-wise) take place before Marvel‘s original #1 back in the ’80s. A new issue of Criminal this week…seems ages since the last issue, which may mean I missed #6 (or forgot about it over the last couple months). And I finally snagged an issue of Twiztid Haunted High-Ons on the day of release!

Finally, Superman: Year One #2, which is quite the anomaly for me, given my dislike of variants everywhere. I’ve been FAR preferring the B covers to the A on this series. Something to the regular ones just seem so entirely underwhelming to me.


Week of August 28, 2019

I’m pretty sure this week was about the most expensive week I’ve had, and REALLY stokes the flame of "I’ve gotta cut back!" as well as frustration at IDW for not spreading the TMNT stuff out more (even if some of it is late as heck).

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The new House of X…I don’t think I actually got around to reading last week’s Powers of X, so this’ll give me a bit more of a binge-read. Whether it’s collectively worth $10 I do not know…but I doubt it!

Speaking of $10…Marvel Comics #1000 is a hefty $9.99. I was absolutely going to pass on it, but decided to see for myself what the hype is all about. But that’s something I keep falling for, and eventually I’ll learn to quit!

Spider-Man: Life Story concludes with #6…I don’t recall reading #5, so that should be a definite treat to binge-read 1/3 of the series in one go, hopefully! Also relieves the "regular load" by $4.99/issue!

Despite being three different series with multiple creative teams…we have THREE different TMNT issues in one week! Shredder in Hell is several months late. I understood it to be a 5-issue series monthly…but here we’re at the end of the 8th month and only just now have the 4th issue. TMNT #97 is the latest chapter of City at War and continues the speculator-fire of a new female turtle; while we’re somehow "already" 16 issues into TMNT: Urban Legends, which is the 2/3 point for the series, I believe, including the brand-new issues due to cap off the run.

Even if I was not already getting the series, I’m certain this cover of GI Joe: A Real American Hero would have gotten me to buy it. I’d love a poster of this, even! There’s something to Cobra Commander on there, rolling a couple of dice with Snake-Eyes (both of them) showing. And likely dual-meaning of rolling two ones. This is another title I am ridiculously far-behind on reading. But I love that it’s a RARE series that began publication in the early-’80s and is STILL GOING TODAY (albeit with a 15 or so year gap between #155 and #156).

I was NOT going to get Batman Superman #1. But again with being something I’d probably want later, and somewhat wanting to give it a chance, and whatever other "excuses" I can make. I opted for this variant, though, because UNLIKE the MAIN covers, THIS one actually has BOTH heroes prominent on the first issue of their shared title! And even if I opt NOT to get #2 anytime soon, this one would be easily frameable as a piece of wall art.

Then a couple weeks late, Superman #14 with a different cover with no "battle damage" unlike what the original was gonna be, which is rather annoying, however unrelated or "red-skies"-ish the content might be to the far-too-many-comics Year of the Villain tie-ins.

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And speaking of those Year of the Villain tie-ins, the new Detective Comics has its freezing "battle damage" and is a tie-in. Yet another title I’m far behind on, but I’ve recently been convinced to continue a bit further by discussion with a friend…and assuming I catch up ON my reading!

Even more far behind stuff with the Wonder Comics line. Dial H #6 I believe was to be the final issue, but I think it’s been extended to 12 issues. I guess time will tell?

And I somehow got it into my head that Mark Bagley was the artist on Absolute Carnage so snagged #2. Turns out either he is NOT, or it was just one issue. I believe Stegman was the artist on Madrox and (maybe?) early issues of the relaunched PAD X-Factor series, and I recall liking his art, so…yeah. I’m interested in re-hunting Maximum Carnage and as long as it doesn’t get extra issues tacked on, see how JUST THE CORE MINI goes at this point.

Finally, two reprint/replica/whatever editions. A 3-D edition of Amazing Spider-Man #300…a bit of a novelty that struck the nostalgia buttons with me. PLUS I’m–at this point–quite happy to SUPPORT reprints and such, since they’re largely the best, most enjoyable stuff I’m finding from Marvel, at least, but largely also DC of late.

Annnnnd the week’s Comic Shop News.


I very seriously hope that next week’s haul is a bit smaller, at least by way of brand-new/new-on-the-rack issues. And considering I once swore that if "all" comics went to $3.99 I’d be done…there’s been a ridiculous number of $4.99 and $5.99 "basic" comics, which for me is even MORE likely to be UNsustainable.

I’m "old"–I remember 75-cent and $1.00 comics. And when I REALLY jumped in back in 1992, most comics where a whopping $1.25…4/$5 or 8/$10. We’re getting dangerously close to 1/$5 (or 2/$10)…which really puts comics into a HORRIBLE place, value-wise vs. say, spending $65 for a video game and only playing it for 3 hours or so.

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Super-Blog Team Up: Immortal – TMNT & Highlander

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One of my first thoughts on the topic of "Immortal" was Highlander…owing largely to a Queen song lyric: "I am immortal!" (continuing into "I have inside me blood of kings…I have no rival! No man can be my equal! Take me to the future of you all!"

And of course, IN Highlander, you have this tale of immortal beings who have lived among the mortal population secretly for centuries, no one knowing about them (except another group called The Watchers who observe the immortals but generally don’t interfere). So…Immortal. Check.

But in my participation with the SBTU, I’ve managed to go with TMNT stuff so far:

And as it so happens, in the current ongoing TMNT comics from IDW, the turtles and Splinter are the REINCARNATED Hamato Yoshi and his four sons, who originally lived and died in feudal Japan. And if they were reincarnated together once, nothing’s been obvious to indicate they couldn’t again, and if any of them were to be actually killed off in the comics, I’d imagine someone would note in-story that hopefully they’d meet again in the next lifetime…or some such. So, maybe not the same sort of immortal, but…check.


Still…what is "immortal?"

The dictionary definition–in this case, dictionary.com for ease of referenceIMMORTAL includes: "not mortal; not liable or subject to death; undying; remembered or celebrated through all time; not liable to perish or decay; imperishable; everlasting; perpetual; lasting; constant; of or relating to immortal beings or immortality; an immortal being; a person of enduring fame."

Much of my thought–my initial thoughts–with the word gravitates to Highlander, and that franchise’s use of the term; that the Highlanders (primarily Connor and Duncan Macleod–"Same clan, different vintage") and others of the series’ focus are "immortals."

That is, left to their own devices…they will live forever. They cannot die "naturally." But what keeps them from being gods; what keeps them fairly mortal-ish and relatable is the fact that their being "immortal" is basically a perpetual resurrection. They actually can be killed–albeit for a short while–but that’s in the physical, bodily sense. They physically die, but "get better" pretty quickly.

Sort of like Magic: The Gathering‘s planeswalker "spark," an immortal in the Highlander universe is born naturally, grows and ages naturally…and it takes an inciting event to "activate" their latent status. One who would be immortal must be killed violently to "activate" their immortality; else they will live, age, and die (permanently) a mortal.

Once activated, the way such an immortal can die permanently is by separating the head from the body. Other deaths don’t "stick." If an immortal is killed–their head separated from their body–and another immortal is present (and often, it is this immortal that removed said head from its body), the felled individual’s memories and essence is transferred to that other by way of "The Quickening." In that way, an immortal who has taken the head of numerous other immortals grows in strength and ability.

One of the "taglines" is "In the end, there can be only one." The immortals all come to learn of this notion; a prophecy of sorts; that by nature they are to battle one another until only one who remains, and to that individual goes "The Prize," which comes off to me (offhand) has a bit nebulous. But essentially, "The Prize" is a sort of godhood; and ostensibly this immortal would have the power/essence/etc of every other immortal from all history.


Highlander

Given it ran six seasons, much of the "Highlander Lore" as I think of it seems to have been expanded on throughout the tv series, though the "basics" were introduced in the original 1986 film.

highlander_dvds_filmsMy personal "head canon" slightly retcons the original film to mesh it with the tv series and excludes the 2nd and 3rd films. The fourth film sort of works in context with the tv series, coming after its conclusion, albeit not a perfect fit. The fifth film doesn’t really exist. And the 1994 animated series (Quentin MacLeod) and 2007 anime (Colin MacLeod) are just sorta out there, alternate realities or such.

The tv series follows Duncan MacLeod, and basically shows us his life in "present-day" (1990s) initially trying to live outside "The Game" (what the immortals call the active participation in killing one another and whittling their population down toward that one-in-the-end). He’s quickly brought back in, and then much of the series is (especially early-on) an "immortal-of-the-week" thing. Duncan in present-day, an immortal "villain" shows up, we get flashbacks to how Duncan’s crossed paths or otherwise has a "history" with that immortal, before (often) Duncan’s forced to take their head.

What always struck me was the exploration of someone who has lived hundreds of years living in present-day society…all that they’ve seen, all that’s changed in the world around them (all that they may have been part of as well)…and the perspective their immortality would bring them. Especially in terms of life, and lives, and phases of life. That one could live multiple "lifetimes" all over the world in varying situations over time.

And the way Duncan seemed to have this "history" with SO VERY MANY people who whatever they WERE to him, were not necessarily an active, regular part of his everyday 1990s life.

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And my thoughts would condense this down to what I could personally relate to, not actually being immortal…and all the more as I get older. So right now, 2019, that goes to the way I had friends and people I regularly interacted with in middle school, in high school, in college, in grad school, at a particular job.

Many–most–of these people may not be a regular part of my everyday life. But when our paths re-cross, it can be pleasant, or negative. Nostalgic or bittersweet. Even if I’ve not seen or talked to someone in 20 years, we had a time of life that we were a regular part of one another’s lives–say, in high school–so seeing them again would bring back memories, and though I may have never said one word about them to someone "newer" in my life now, it doesn’t change the importance of both people to my life.


TMNT 

I was introduced to the TMNT property in 1988 or 1989…it was after the cartoon had premiered, but ahead of the 1990 movie; and I recall that period where so many of the action figures were available (such as at Toys R Us) but the turtles themselves were nigh impossible to find. My own very first figure was a Rocksteady, as a result; and I recall "discovering" the villanous Slash because Dad spotted that one and it WAS a turtle…but not one of the main turtles. (And while I don’t recall if he bought it for me then and there or if I got the figure after, Slash is one of the original vintage TMNT figures I still own FROM when I was a kid. He is, however, re-outfitted with a 2017-acquired replacement belt).

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I quickly got into the TMNT–tv, comics, books, movies, the figures…big-time. This lasted til 1993/1994 or so, fading from all, down to the latter issues of the Archie TMNT series. While in that series’ run I had also found and gotten a few of the Mirage issues (including #50 and 51–the start of the original City At War story) I missed most of that, and then got the first issue of the "volume 2" series, but missed the rest of that run as well, and entirely missed the Image "volume 3" series until 2000/2001.

After several years "away," I got back into the TMNT with Peter Laird‘s second issue of "volume 4" showed up–I lucked across that, and happily enough, the comic shop (JC‘s in Toledo, OH) had a copy of #1 still available as well. I followed vol. 4 into the 2003 animated series, into the second volume of Tales of the TMNT, and while vol. 4 eventually lapsed, Tales continued. We also had the 2007 film. But then at the 25th anniversary year, Laird sold the property to Viacom, and for over a year (as I recall) there just simply was no TMNT. No cartoon, no comics.

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Though somewhere in there was TMNT Forever which brought the 2003 TMNT universe into contact with the 1980s’ TMNT universe, as well as touching on the various comics (primarily the original Mirage series). In its way, it was a sort of capstone to the first 25 years of the TMNT brand.

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Then in 2011, IDW launched their ongoing TMNT book (which is still going to this day–I believe #97 is out this week!) followed by Nickelodeon launching a new animated series in 2012, supported as "always" by a toyline from Playmates. That series ran til 2017 before (apparently, it seems to ME) being shelved in favor of a shift toward yet another new series, trying to reach a much younger audience with a Teen Titans Go style of animation in Rise of the TMNT.

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I’ve followed the IDW series for 96 issues so far–I’ve bought every issue of the series as a "new issue" since 2011’s #1, as well as all of the various one-shots, specials, annuals, and mini-series in that time. I’ve done that with no other comics series ever.

So the TMNT have been through a number of major iterations:

  • Mirage Comics (vols. 1, 2, & 4)
  • 1980s cartoon
  • Archie comics
  • 1990s films (loosely includes 2007 film)
  • Next Mutation live-action tv series
  • Image comics
  • 2003 cartoon
  • IDW comics
  • 2012 cartoon
  • 2014/2016 films
  • 2018 cartoon

That said, these don’t all line up exactly with one another; they’re not all strung one after another; there’s quite a bit of coexistence between versions. But I would say that to a certain degree, one could see them at their most "mainstream" by looking at their presence in the mass market toy aisles, which puts us (as of this typing) into the 4th (re?)incarnation (1980s/2003/2012/2018-present).

They’ve come through in different forms, making their own splash, and lasting. While none of the iterations have–in the mainstream–necessarily remained in a continuous "immortal" state, the rise/boom/fade cycle has enabled the general notion of the TMNT to survive, albeit living different lives down through time.


Highlander Memories

highlander_tpbsAs I’ve generally recalled it, I was introduced to Highlander in the summer of 1996–the summer after my freshman year of high school, ahead of sophomore year. I believe a friend had introduced me to the animated series, and talked about a live action series, that I then found in syndication on the USA network, I believe. When I found out new episodes were also airing–albeit around 11 at night on Saturdays–it wound up being something I got to share with my Dad, and became a regular thing for us for awhile: we’d watch Highlander, and sometimes whatever the show was that aired after it. And I’m sure that shared experience was one of the things that made it stick so much with me, and hold it as I do to this day.

Another important memory I have associated with the tv series is watching a couple episodes with friends back in 2005 or so after a Gen Con visit, as we assembled new miniatures we’d bought, an activity that lasted us a number of hours and episodes and movies but remains one of my favorite memories together.

Unlike TMNT, though, there’s not been much in the way of merchandise for Highlander…at least not affordably (for me). So it’s been more of a cerebral thing for me, and experiential thing…something that has mattered a great deal to me over the years, without having much to "show" for it.

highlander_novelsThere have been a couple of comics series over the years. Dynamite had the license for a short time, and I believe produced 12 issues and a mini-series, amounting to 4 TPB collections.

More recently, IDW published a 5-issue mini-series but I’m not aware of any further forthcoming Highlander comics (though I’d certainly be interested in more!)

I’m also aware of the property in games–there was a collectible card game at one point, and more recently some miniatures produced with at least two different games, though I’m not overly familiar with those.

And it seems like quite a few years now that there’s been a rumor of a reboot of the property…something I’m curious about and potentially interested in, for SOMEthing, though it’s seemed to me that the BEST of Highlander has been the tv series.


TMNT Memories

I have far more general memories with TMNT over the years; more than I can reasonably try to share in one blog post.

Whatever other toys and such I was into as a kid…it was TMNT that ruled them all. It was TMNT toys like Rocksteady that I even took to school to show off. It was the toy line I actually wanted the vehicles for–having at least the "Party Wagon" (van), the Blimp, and a "Pizza Thrower" that shot projectile pizza discs.

I remember "playing turtles" with my friend Zack for hours at a time as kids; between the two of us, having most of the figures available at the time (with plenty of overlap as well). And he had a Nintendo, and we often played the various TMNT games, particularly TMNT II: The Arcade Game when that came out. We’d even built our own playsets, and "customized" several of the figures. I especially recall our creating some sort of shirt for the barechested Shredder.

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I had the toys, storybooks, junior novels, the cereal, bedding, plush toys, the Burger King BK Kids Club edition of several of the VHS tapes, and so on.

And even as others drifted away from the property, parts stuck with me in such a way that I was easily "brought back" even as a college student and beyond.


Abrupt Concluding Thoughts

This feels like one of my least-organized blog posts. Perhaps I could have gone in-depth on the modern IDW TMNT series and details on the turtles and splinter as reincarnated entities. Perhaps some detailed synopsis of favorite Highlander episodes or specific memories of episodes of the series (Comes a Horseman particularly).

But I decided–and then backed myself into a corner time-wise–to be a bit more informal than I might otherwise have preferred. And though the comics are certainly parts of things, this is more of a general brain-dump with quasi-stream-of-conscious rambling, taking the topic "Immortal" and running with it.

If you’re reading this on my blog itself, you can type "Highlander" or "TMNT" into the search box up top and find the various posts I’ve written over the last 11-ish years and tagged with either term. Far more TMNT than Highlander, though…but you’ll find at least a review of Dynamite‘s Highlander #0 that I believe was originally published at cxPulp/Comixtreme back in the day.

Though my earliest TMNT toy pre-dates the 1990s…I’m still getting new ones! Below are my latest…TMNT Shadow Ninjas.

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(They’re intermixed with some other recent-ish toys and such!)


Super Blog Team-Up

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It’s been my privilege the last couple years to be part of the Super Blog Team-Up. As much as this is a blog "event" or "crossover" every now and then, the group has been a great community, with year-round nearly-daily discussion on topics related to comics and just about anything else as well as real-life topics.

It’s been a great group, brought together by shared interests, but everyone maintains their own views, topics, and so on.

For this outing, please check out these other fine blogs and podcasts as they cover their own topics from the "Immortal" heading!

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The Weekly Haul Catch-Up: May 22 to July 3, 2019

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Well…it’s been a looooong time since my last post. I certainly had not PLANNED on being 6 weeks between posts! But here we are! Work and "life" have gotten in the way of late–by the time I’m done with work I’m usually vegging out for the night; and family stuff has gotten in the way with weekends. AND since it’s not like I do this blogging for money or anyone other than myself…for better or worse, it’s one of the first things to fall to the side.

Of course, I’ve had the INTENTION each week of at least doing the Weekly Haul post, so I’ve had photos…so let’s just play catch-up all in one large go for now!


Week of May 22, 2019

This was a surprisingly Marvel-heavy week, with three Marvel issues!

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Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Dial H for Hero from DC.

Then Mr. & Mrs. X from Marvel, along with a True Believers (or rather, Marvel’s Greatest Creators, I guess) reprint of the What If..? issue that debuted Spider-Girl back in the day. And a "Facsimile Edition" of Alpha Flight #1.

Then there’s a single-issue edition of Drawing Blood #1, which is actually already available as a full-size collected edition via a Kickstarter from a couple years ago.

Back Issue has really come onto my radar the last couple years, and I was definitely interested in this issue spotlighting the THIRTIETH-anniversary of Tim Burton‘s Batman!

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We also once again had the full 6-drop of all the DC 100-Page Comic Giant! editions at Walmart…zero pretense of the "new comics every 2 weeks" or however they were billed at first!

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MINUS the Detective Comics 1000 issue, here’s what a shelf of the first 11 months’ worth of these looks like!


Week of May 29, 2019

This was one of THE most expensive smaller weeks in quite awhile for new comics!

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There’s the $5.99 Batman: Last Knight #1; the $9.99 Superman: Leviathan Rising giant-size issue; the $5.99 X-Men: Grand Design – X-Tinction #1; 3 issues for $10 on top of the "usual" frustrating $3.99 cover prices.

Said "regular" $3.99 each for the Heroes in Crisis finale; TMNT #94; and TMNT: Urban Legends #13.

Then $4.99 for Doomsday Clock #10 (apparently I was 5 weeks to getting around to actually reading it!) and $4.99 for the Detective Comics Annual.

Quite a price tag for "only" 8 issues!


Week of June 5, 2019

This week’s haul was big for a different reason! For the first time since the 25-cent issue a couple years ago, I bought an issue of The Walking Dead!

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New issues of Batman, of Young Justice, and of Adventures of the Super Sons.

The fifth issue of the current iteration of Criminal (just after I’d caught up on the previous four issues!)

And then, thanks to BleedingCool spoiling it for me, I was able to get a copy of Walking Dead #192. Granted–it was already spoiled for me, and was itself a surprise–I’d TOTALLY figured the ending (also spoiled) of #191 was all HYPE and would not actually go the way it did! Spoiled though it was, I figured I wanted to read it for MYSELF and NOT have to wait for another collected edition.

For the novelty of it–with Peter David and Dale Keown–decided to get Incredible Hulk: Last Call.

Then TMNT: Urban Legends #13 again (different cover…oops!), and Batman/TMNT III #2.


Week of June 12, 2019

And here we have the first issue of Event Leviathan, snagged because I wouldn’t want to have to hunt it down later, but presently "unreadable" until I catch up on my Action Comics reading. THen the new issues of Superman and Supergirl…I dig the covers, and Superman in particular at a glance fooled me a couple times into thinking I was looking at a ’90s comic!

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Then the new Detective Comics issue, Wonder Twins, and GI Joe: A Real American Hero.

I’m continuing to enjoy Spider-Man: Life Story and totally equate it with Superman: Secret Identity. I’m not sure how it’s gonna read in a collected volume, as it REALLY benefits from the gap between issues for its own time jumps. It’s technically a single narrative, but more like a bunch of one-shots; each with a 10-years-older Spider-Man, having progressed from being a teenager in the ’60s, 20-something in the ’70s, 30s in the ’80s, to his 40s here in the ’90s.

And a random True Believers Spider-Man vs. the gray Hulk issue.

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I also had gotten curious about the Flash: Year One story…and finding that all three issues available at the time were…available, I opted to snag them!

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Ordered a couple weeks earlier but arriving the week of June 12th, I got the Rebirth Deluxe Editions of Action Comics vol. 2-3 and Superman 1-4. Along with the vol. 1 of Action Comics and Action Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition that I already had, this gives me basically the complete "Rebirth-era" Superman saga in hardback.

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The Action Comics #1000 volume does not begin to match the trade dress, but then it IS sort of the break-point between these and the Bendis-era stuff. I’d consider going for the Batman and Detective Comics hardcovers…but with all the changes DC‘s been making to stuff, I haven’t a clue how many they’ll do or if later volumes will fit the trade dress or be split, and so on.

I’d gotten the Action Comics volume a couple years ago, and only got these others when I realized 1. they were available for ordering all in one go and 2. they were a "complete" set.


Week of June 19, 2019

I’d bailed on Usagi Yojimbo from Dark Horse when the series tried to switch to renumbering as mini-series to the story arc after having just gotten a couple issues with the intent of jumping on long-term. Getting a new start at IDW actually WARRANTS a new #1 and I’ll give the series another shot, having been aware of it for much of its history and enjoying what I HAVE read of it!

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Along with the premiere of the new Usagi series, yet another issue of Batman. I’m a few issues behind on reading–again–but have more or less been keeping up for 30-some issues now. I’m NOT happy about Tom King being forced off the main title and will likely consciously pass on the series from there–especially with the likelihood of a renumbering being close behind.

I’m enjoying getting the various facsimile editions from Marvel…again showing that I’m more than willing to buy their older stuff and far less keen on the new! I picked up a couple issues of the Marvel MAX Howard the Duck series back in 2001 or so, but otherwise don’t think I’ve actually gotten stuff…so this reprint of the first issue ought to be a good treat to read!

The final issue of Marvels Annotated wraps up the 5-issue (#s 0-4) re-presentation of the 1994 series for its 25th anniversary.

The next issue of TMNT: Urban Legends has us about 2/3 through the series. On a whim, I got Warlord of Mars Attacks for the sheer novelty of the properties’ mash-up.

And though I’ve not been a great fan of Frank Miller OR John Romita Jr., it’s Superman so I grabbed the first issue of Superman: Year One. It’s also notable for being one of the EXTREMELY VERY RARE cases where I consciously opted for the "variant" cover, far preferring it to the generic-seeming regular cover.

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And again here with the next round of the Walmart DC 100-Page Comic Giant!s.

I’m not entirely clear on their future from here…I believe they’re continuing, but no longer Walmart EXCLUSIVE; but not being the most stringent follower of solicitations or Diamond‘s PREVIEWS, I’m not sure if they’re orderable yet through comic shops, if the things will be re-numbering (again), and so on.


Week of June 26, 2019

Getting closer to present, the week of June 26th is only a couple weeks old!

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New Action Comics, new Detective Comics, and new Flash (for Year One).

The newest Spawn–#298–leaves us with just a couple issues til the big #300, which will be quite the sentimental thing for ME (and something I’ll likely cover in another post–perhaps moreso once that issue is out!).

We have the FINAL (ugh!) issue of Mr. & Mrs. X–as the board is cleared for the Hickman re-launch of stuff. Which I may check out against my own better judgment…I have my pre-conceived notions and expectations, but sort of feel I ought to give it a chance and see if I’m still on point with it or not.

And then the latest Dial H for Hero

And after far, far too long–the third/final issue of Batman: Damned.

Finally…for the sheer novelty of it, a very good-condition copy of the black-bagged edition of 1992’s Superman #75 for "only" $10.


Week of July 3, 2019

And lookie-here…we’re finally "current" again! The most recent week of new comics!

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I was tentatively on-board for Walking Dead #193 to "see what happens next" after the events of #192–PLUS in the month SINCE #192 hit, I managed to catch up completely on reading the series, going all the way back to the immediate aftermath of All-Out War in the early #120s! 70 or so issues read in a month! Of course, I’m floored at it turned out to be the FINAL issue…though I applaud the use of the "fake solicitations" a la Ultraverse (Malibu Comics) back in 1993 when they solicited a couple additional issues of the original Exiles series despite that being a 4-issue series with an ENDING.

As mentioned earlier, I’m stupidly far behind on reading Action Comics, and thus all of the Leviathan stuff…and not being quite sure where this Lois Lane series fits into things, I snagged the first issue. Hopefully I’ll get caught up sooner than later and figure out where things are…I’m NOT all that keen on adding Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen to the buys, especially if I’m not likely to get around to reading them until they’d be in collected format anyway!

Then the latest Batman/TMNT III issue; and the final issue of Adventures of the Super Sons.

Another facsimile edition in New Mutants #98. And continuing the ’90s fun…a $2.00 copy of the first print of Superman #75 "newsstand" edition. As with the previous week’s buy of the black bagged edition…got it for the novelty of the thing!

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And since I’ve taken to showing the week’s issue (albeit often un-referenced/mentioned), here’s this week’s Comic Shop News cover, spotlighting the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium coming soon.


And there I’m finally "caught up" again. Amidst all these weeks’ worth of new comics are some toy purchases I may or may not get to showing off, and a game or two, some movies, and some general "real-life" stuff.

But if I get to them, they’ll be their own posts.

And maybe sometime this summer I’ll get back to actually doing some reviews and other TRUE "content" for this blog.

At the least, I’m pretty sure I have an Exiles #4 post pretty much ready to go, and then have to get to Firearm #0, Ultraverse Premiere #0, and the November 1993 Ultraverse ads post to finish that month…and I’d like to get to December 1993’s Break-Thru event before too long. But we’ll see what real life holds in the nearer-than-not future!

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The Weekly Haul Catch-Up: Weeks of May 2, 9, & 16, 2019

Well, it’s been a few weeks since a Weekly Haul post. I’ve taken photos to do the posts, but real life got in the way of doing these posts themselves.

So, here are 3 weeks’ worth crammed into one!


Week of May 02, 2019

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A very DC week!

Batman and Batman/TMNT III were out May 2nd…as well as the 25-cent Year of the Villain issue. Like its predecessor last year or the year before–the issue is not all that interesting to me, and turns me off more than on to upcoming stuff; especially as I really have zero interest in "The Batman Who Laughs" OR Snyder‘s Justice League stuff.

We’re nearing the end of Adventures of the Super Sons, and who knows what the future holds for these characters. I’ve also gotten behind in reading the various Wonder Comics titles. Even though I recently decided to go "all-in" on them, if I’m already behind and not overly concerned about it…do I really need/want to be buying these titles?weeklyhaul_20190502b

At a visit to a Five Below store, I snagged a copy of the classic How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. I remember getting this from the library several times as a kid–though it’d been defaced by other borrowers in a rather inappropriate way. Having my own (clean) copy is cool…though after I bought it, it occurred to me that I may have snagged a copy from Half-Price Books previously…though where that particular copy got to, I’m not sure at the moment.

They also had this Hot Wheels Batman classic ’66 Batmobile. It’s basically the only car I really "care" about, NOT being a "cars guy." So, it’s another little trinket to add to the ever-expanding collection.

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Then a couple days after New Comic Day, went with friends to an evening pre-Free Comic Book Day event where they’d brewed some custom beer. I tried the Wolverine’s Canadian Ale, and a friend gave me his empty Cyclops Weak Summer Pilsner bottle so I’d have both!


Week of May 09, 2019

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May 9th was a small-ish week comics-wise. I’m once more falling behind on reading for Detective Comics, which even though I tend to like the writer’s work, leads me to wonder if I care enough to "keep up with" the title, now that we’re past #1000 and it lacks the "excitement" of the "build-up to" that 1000th issue.

I’ve kept up with Supergirl primarily on principle–I think I had all of the Rebirth run, and definitely wanted to support the notion of a series ACTUALLY CONTINUING THE NUMBERING. I’ve yet to read any of the current run, unfortunately, so it seems another one ripe for dropping. And as said above on other Wonder Comics…I begin to wonder if I was a bit premature going "all-in" on the imprint if I’m not gonna get around to reading the things!

It continues to be rather "telling" to me that I’m happy to re-buy (at a premium price) stuff like Annotated Marvels for $8 as that’s "only" double the price of a standard new Marvel issue but it’s an extra-sized thing with even more added content in the annotations..and it’s a known quantity to me, having gotten the original Marvels issues new as they came out back in 1994!

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While at a Gamestop looking for the TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan game for X-Box, I spotted this Batman Funko Pop figure and knowing I’d "eventually" want it, went ahead and bought it so I don’t have to "hunt" it later.

Which is, in itself, another thing I’m noticing a lot more lately–I’m buying way more than I’d typically do, because it seems "everything" so QUICKLY goes "out of print" and "unavailable" that if I don’t buy it on the spot, I won’t be able to (reasonably) do so later.

And that takes a lotta "fun" outta stuff.


Week of May 16, 2019

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…And now we’re to the current/most recent week!

New Superman issue, new Batman issue, and the new Naomi. I’m not into "speculating" on books, and this title is maybe more a driving factor in my reconsidering the Wonder Comics line if I’m not getting around to the reading.

Then there’s the new Immortal Hulk issue. This makes the 3rd issue in a row for the latter for me…though I don’t know that I’ll want to keep going with the series. It’s not really coming off the way I expected, and I’d probably get more from it if I’d read the earlier issues–but if I do those by Marvel Unlimited I might as well do the series that way.

I’ve been digging the Spider-Man: Life Story series, so that’s a "given" for me; and while I was really looking forward to the first issue of Shredder in Hell, I was NOT counting on it being BI-MONTHLY as it’s been so far. At this writing the series should’ve been finished already (or the final issue coming out in a couple days)…not having 2 more issues yet to come sometime later this year!

Despite the being-behind-on-reading, I’m a bit more willing to suppor IDW‘s Marvel stuff. Though even these may be short on my list as the newness/novelty wears off and collected volumes start coming out that put the single issues’ cover prices to shame.


I’m feeling fairly grouchy toward a lotta comics lately…and while much of my frustration is with Marvel, DC is stacking up quite a bit. I’m none too keen on the upcoming Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen 12-issue series. I’m behind on reading the main Superman and Action Comics titles as-is. And I’m NOT looking forward to the Leviathan "event" about to start. Also put-off by the Year of the Villain build-up (some of that from the 25-cent special having an opposite-from-intended effect on me, turning me off to stuff rather than building my excitement). As of this writing, I just saw some articles on Bleeding Cool with the August 2019 solicitations (and stuff from the Diamond Retailers’ Summit or such) with the upcoming cardstock cover variants (adding $1 to cover price for affected issues!) and that puts me yet further off from stuff.

EVERY SINGLE ISSUE having AT LEAST 2 covers continues to be a turn-off on principle.

Then the way stuff goes out of print and out of stock on collected volumes leaves me cold–recently, I’d thought I could "catch up" on the GI Joe Classic line; but maybe 2-3 weeks after I ordered vols. 7-8 (I had 1-6 from a few years ago) suddenly most of 9-16 is unavailable except from 3rd-party sellers jacking the prices way up for being "out of print."

I had had Game of Thrones spoiled for me from casual posts thrown out on Facebook that went significantly well beyond what I’d experienced so far, so I grudgingly gave up and gave in and though I’m only sequentially to season 5: episode 2, I watched season 8: episode 5, and will probably suck it up and watch the finale. If it’s gonna be totally spoiled for me anyway I might as well AT LEAST get the spoilers FIRST HAND from watching MYSELF!

So there’s that ending–and we’re a few weeks past Avengers Endgame and essentially the ending to 11 years’ worth of Marvel Cinematic Universe films–and The Big Bang Theory just ended–so it feels like a lot of endings lately.

And I begin to consider: maybe it’s time for me to take more of a "break" from comics?

Though I’ll "eventually" have to "play catch-up" anyway for the likes of Superman and Action Comics as I always do; perhaps I need to cut back to just a few things.

Spawn to #300. TMNT stuff. And Tom King‘s Batman, since it seems like NO ONE ELSE even actually does more than 10-20 issues anymore.

It’s not like I wouldn’t have other stuff to read–to catch up on reading–even if I never bought any more comics ever!

So who knows…

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 24, 2019

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Last week was a monumental week on a couple of fronts. Comic-wise, not so much. But I’ll get to those momentarily.

Avengers: Endgame premiered, and thanks to a friend scoring early tickets, I got to see a 6pm show of the film Thursday, April 22nd! I haven’t settled on quite the adjectives to use for it, and I really presently have no intention of attempting any formal review of the film.

I found the film to be "fitting," satisfying, well worth seeing, and I definitely enjoyed it. I loved catching various references and callbacks to other/earlier Marvel films, and one particularly key moment of self-identification that flashed back to the first of the Marvel Studios films.

While I lack the words, given the foundation of 21 earlier films, within the context of all those films and having seen them and all that…I’d be hard-pressed NOT to rank it up there with the original Iron Man and Captain America: Civil War. Though just as Infinity War brought back an awe originally found in the first 2012 Avengers, this one definitely surpassed that by far, for me.

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Eventually, I’m going to get caught up on Action Comics again. I’m almost going to have to, if I’m gonna follow the other Leviathan stuff coming in May. That said, there was definitely something to seeing the #1010 next to #1002–two four-digit numbers–with Detective Comics. I’ve yet to play any of the Arkham games…so this Arkham Knight stuff doesn’t hit the high notes for me that it probably does for others. I’m also still not overly keen on this new logo for the title…less so when seen next to the classic, nearly-original 80+ years old Action logo.

Heroes in Crisis #8 reveals stuff…and I was rather "shocked" when I realized that against initial intentions, I’ve kept on with each issue, after thinking I’d leave it for a collected edition if at all. I strongly feel like the title’s event(s) could EASILY have been condensed to 3-4 issues with the "interviews" done as bonus text pieces as backmatter and achieved the same effect in less than half the time/expense of the series as a whole. I’m digging King‘s Batman run…but HiC is far, far more a "miss" for me.

I also need to catch up on my reading for Mr. & Mrs. X…but keep up with the series because it’s Rogue and Gambit, and I’ve quite a bit of relative "history" with the characters going back 26-some years now.

I clearly, consciously remember getting Avengers Forever #1 "off the shelf" back in 1998–nearly 21 years ago. So it was fitting to get it again in this format–for only $1–and the realization that there are several years of high school graduates who were born AFTER the issue originally came out! In 1992/1993 as I was fully getting into comics, 21 years back was 1971/1972…I was closer to to Claremont‘s revamp of the X-Men then, than I am now to getting in post-1991!

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TMNT #93 kicks off City at War and begins the final run-up to #100. Criminal–basically, anything from Brubaker and Phillips–is always a treat. And for the heckuvit, I decided to "try" Ascender #1…though who knows when/if I’ll get to reading the darned thing.

Comic Shop News gives House of X the spotlight…and I’ve got mixed feelings on the thing. I’m curious and interested in something big and "key" with the X-Men…but I am NOT keen on the high-priced single-issues, nor the inevitable waste of space of entire pages with just a couple words on them that are typical to everything from Hickman…to say nothing of generally having a sense of pretentiousness from what I’ve read by the writer. Not so much that the writer is pretentious, but the air of the comics seem that way, as well as what I get from having to "do homework" to "appreciate" the stories. With two concurrent (and I believe, biweekly?) 6 issue-series across 12ish weeks…I’ll possibly check out first issues, but more than likely leave stuff for collected edition(s) if reviews warrant.

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I hit a significant quarter-bin jackpot on Good Friday (likely detailing that in an upcoming post). This past weekend, I found less of particular interest, despite snagging a "grail" (also in the likely-upcoming post). But for $1.75…two Wizard specials ($4.95 apiece cover price, I believe), the "chromium"/fancy covers for Bloodshot #0 and Turok #1 (another $8ish between the two), a Machine Man issue (that I mistook as some sort of 2099 special I’d missed all these years), and oversized Captain America (with stuff about Galactic Storm) and one of the number of variants from 2000’s X-Men #100. Easily $30ish in "value" for $1.75. Far superior value over even one $5 contemporary Marvel issue.


Hard to believe that the next New Comic Book Day will be MAY 2019 already. And it’ll be the first  NCBD post-Avengers Endgame. I wonder how different that may feel.

Or not.

Time’ll tell!

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NECA TMNT Quarter Scale: Donatello

It’s been a few weeks–maybe a month or so, now–since I got the last of the NECA TMNT quarter-scale figures I’ve been after.

I believe there’s also a Foot ninja and a Raphael-in-trenchcoat…but I’m really not interested in either of those. I prefer Raph as-is without the trenchcoat…and a lone Foot ninja makes little sense to me, and at this scale and price I’m NOT investing in 3-5+ of the things to justify the "generic minion/bad-guy" thing.

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I didn’t have the patience at the time to get a better shot of the front of the box…a bit of glare, as such.

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The sides of the box…

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The back of the box.

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I’d neglected at the time–due to other things going on in my private life–to get a solo shot of Donnie. Right now I don’t really have open space to properly get a good shot, so here he is towering over the Gamestop 1990 Movie Mikey and a Target 2-pack Foot ninja.

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And here’s the current (at least as of this posting in early April 2019) shelf of my NECA TMNT stuff with Raph, Leo & Mikey, and of course, Donnie…as well as the Baby Turtles that I started this crazy-expensive collecting ride with.

I may still try to get the ooze cannister prop and Casey Jones mask prop…but after a number of extremely-expensive (for me) purchases across a number of paychecks, and other stuff I’m trying to get…expensive NECA stuff is on hiatus for me at the moment.

(One more expensive NECA purchase from several weeks ago yet to share, though!)

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