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The Weekly Haul: Week of May 9, 2018

Offhand, this might be the smallest week for new comics that I’ve had in a year or more…and that’s with “taking a chance on” two of the issues!

Here we go:

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Still keeping up with getting Detective Comics. If nothing else, if it keeps to the biweekly shipping, we’re less than a year from that hitting #1000. Otherwise, could be a couple more years.

I feel like it’s been awhile since seeing a Spawn crossover like this…so figured I’d at least get this first issue of Medieval Spawn/Witchblade. Maybe it’s a one-shot, I’m not actually sure. It’s Spawn, and it’s only $2.99. And that’s what got me following “modern Spawn” in the first place–it was a $2.99 book even as Savage Dragon had gone to $3.99, Marvel was defaulting to $3.99 when they didn’t have some lame “excuse” to do $4.99 or $5.99+; and shorly prior to the start of the Rebirth stuff, even DC was mostly $3.99!

I “took a chance” on Sideways #4 as I’m not actually sure if I got #3, or if I’d pulled the trigger on letting the title go. And I “took a chance” on Oblivion Song as I was pretty sure I was gonna let it go, but not yet having read #2 from last month, I don’t wanna have to “chase” the darned thing if I get to it sooner than not.


I don’t know if I’ll make a separate post of it later or not, but I guess I’m already sorta getting to it with my phrasing above: I’m finding that DC even has squandered a lot of the “good will” they’d built up with me.

I feel like the Action Comics and Superman specials’ existence suggest that the creative teams were not actually ready (or quite ready) for their runs to end, but The Powers That Be wanted to clear the deck for bringing Bendis in and try to mirror 1986’s Byrne relaunch of the Superman stuff. It’s too soon for me to judge on his stuff, but with the Action Comics piece and last week’s DC Nation piece, I’m feeling stuff as being a lot more For Tomorrow (the Brian Azzarello/Jim Lee 12-issue run back in 2004) than Byrne‘s Man of Steel (1986ish).

Justice League apparently going to a new #1 after the 4-part weekly No Justice has made that title rather “lame duck” for me, and I’m feeling increased trepidation toward the longevity of DC‘s other titles outside of Action and Detective getting to keep their Rebirth-to-present numbering. It’s a little late to go back to any original numbering with only one chunk breaking it up, as Action and Detective both have; most other titles that would be ‘worth’ ‘legacy’ numbering at minimum have two breaks (New 52 and Rebirth).

And though DC seems to have taken steps to differentiate their variants from the regular editions, and in the back of my mind I think I saw something somewhere about them re-evaluating the every-single-issue-must-have-at-minimum-2-covers thing, even if that’s the case it’s a bit late.

I’m so burned out on variants and renumbering, period, that I just want to wash my hands of even being exposed to the stuff.

I followed Metal and its main tie-ins, but got behind after just a couple issues…and have yet to “double back” to actually read the things…and at this point by the time I do, the collected edition will likely be out.

I realized shortly before starting this post, that we’re basically AT the 2-year mark for Rebirth, and as I recall it, we were told there’d be a 2-year through-line of stuff; that it would essentially be a big two-year story. But here we are, 2 years later, and Doomsday Clock has switched to bi-monthly, extending it by another year or so…and since it seems that IT is the vehicle by which the stuff begun in the Rebirth special will wrap up and move forward…the 2 year story’s become 3 at least, and the original plan’s been derailed.

Adding to all of this is things going on in my personal life, and I think I’m just burning out a fair bit on trying to keep up with new/current comics. Meanwhile, where I can spend $4 to $5+ for a single new issue, that same $4-5+ can buy me a 16-20+ issue run from quarter bins, or 4-5 dollar issues (most of a six-issue mini-series, if not an entire 4-5 issue mini-series).

Given I’d’ve been happy with just Detective and Spawn/Witchblade, and that the latter was something I just found out about existing on Tuesday…and the piles and stacks of new/recent comics that I’ve not gotten around to reading…

I’m just glad it was a small week.

We’ll see what next week holds.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 11, 2018

Thankfully, this proved to be another small-ish week for new comics!

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We have a new issue of TMNT, starting a new arc. I might be slightly “off” but it seems like IDW managed to FINALLY realize it is possible to do comics in longer-than-4-issue-arcs! Meanwhile, we have the 2nd issue of the new Sonic the Hedgehog…I remain skeptical of a WEEKLY $3.99 title. However, for a launch, I’m all for a quick succession of 4 issues–it gets more material out quicker, and gives a full (larger) arc in a shorter time, and while the “cost” to me is the same, without looking to the hassle that weekly titles are to comic shops, it gives me a chance to have several issues to decide if I want to continue with the series…without the question being dragged out for months.

We also have the new issue of Oblivion Song (I reviewed the first issue here) which I’ve pretty much lost interest in and haven’t experienced any “hype” for its SECOND issue (yet again where “only” the first issue/premiere of a series is pushed and then left to sink or float on its own while the “next big thing” is actively over-pushed).

Then we have what I think is the “final” issue of Supergirl (well, this current iteration anyway. Given the hit tv show, I can’t imagine there not being some sort of comic series going for it). And of couse, far behind as I am in the reading, the latest issue (again? Already?) of Detective Comics.

Finally, a True Believers reprint of The Infinity Gauntlet #1. From 1991…a 27-year-old comic that back then was “just comics” doing some gratuitous cosmic crossover and now is a multi-billion-dollar basis of movies. Though I’ve gotten copies of this issue from 25 and 50-cent bins in the (“distant”) past…this is certainly the cheapest way I’ll acquire any new copies. And on shinier, cleaner paper, possibly with “cleaned-up” colors/restorations…and certainly the (print copy) “convenience” of the issue, without digging through all my unsorted longboxes. Plus…it looks like this 2018 edition reprints the ENTIRE ISSUE. The 2015 edition (around Secret Wars) did not–as I recall–give the entire issue.

Next week will have the issue that–in nearly 30 years of being into comics–I’ve waited the longest for; having looked forward to it for some 23+ months: Action Comics #1,000.

And really, in a way I’ve been looking forward to it for over 350 months…since my first issue of the title as a new comic, waaaaaaay back with #651!

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Oblivion Song #1 [Review]

oblivion_song_0001Writer/Creator: Robert Kirkman
Artist/Creator: Lorenzo De Felici
Colorist: Annalisa Leoni
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Associate Editor: Arielle Basich
Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Cover: Lorenzo De Felici
Published by: Skybound Entertainment/Image Comics
Cover Date: March 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

Seeing some hype on this book ahead of time, when I saw it was "finally" out, I grabbed it to give this #1 a chance. I’m far from "wowed" with this, though there’s a bit of potential to it.

For the first 11 pages of the issue, the whole thing is basically some alien world with creatures that we have no idea what they are, some people that we don’t know who they are, we don’t know what’s going on, and as a comic book, I would expect a fair bit of dialogue or narration/captions to provide some exposition. Instead, it’s like something trying to be a storyboard or some other cinematic thing INSTEAD OF being a comic book.

Agh! Wha–?! Where?!

Huff! Huff! Huff!

Oh, crap.

No, no, no!

Oh, God!

Piece of junk…

C’mon… c’mon…

Work–damn you…

AHHH!

That would be sparse dialogue/word balloons for one page…but for 11 pages, that’s an average of a mere TWO words. Per PAGE.

Now, I count 23 more pages (several of which have similar quantities of dialogue), but that does put this issue at 34 pages, for "only" $3.99 compared to say, Marvel giving 20 pages for $3.99. So I suppose that makes up for this 11-page near-silent "prologue," though I’d almost expect something like that to have been a preview or prologue ISSUE or such with some other content–interview with the creators, some sketch pages, etc. and then the opening of a "regular" #1 to refer to it to remind a person there was content immediately preceding story-wise.

Essentially, over the course of this issue, we learn that some event happened in the past that shifted part of a city into some other dimension. While most have considered those people to be dead, there’s been cause for hope in some returning. We meet Nathan Crenshaw–who has some personally-developed tech allowing him to cross into that other dimension and with some sort of injection, return himself–and/or others–to Earth proper. He needs funding to be able to do this on a large scale, to thoroughly cover ground in the other dimension and rescue those that can be. He’s denied said funding, as we also come to learn that his primary motivation is rescuing his own brother. When he goes back for another go at finding him, we’re then introduced to some inhabitants/survivors of "Oblivion" including an individual certain to be crucial to the situation presented throughout the issue.

Story-wise, this issue does a fair bit of world-building, set-up, and introduction to the concept of the series. It definitely comes off as the pilot episode to a new series…even having the aforementioned cinematic feel that came off to me as counter to the purpose/point of being depicted on the page of a comic book. The scene might play well as live action, but for a comic book, I did not care for it at all–ESPECIALLY as THE opening sequence of a brand-new series.

That said, this is Robert Kirkman, who brings us The Walking Dead, and seeing as that series has run over 150 issues, there’s a lot more to go on from that series than this for now. Everything has to "start somewhere" and this being a whole different story, whole different world, and so on, there’s no context for "shorthanding" anything to convey more than what’s actually given. We’re only able to go on exactly what Kirkman gives us to figure out this world.

Visually, I have no complaint outside of just having zero context for the creatures of Oblivion and being tossed in to try to interpret what I’m seeing with no idea what I’m supposed to be looking at. The art in and of itself is good, and for the depiction of the people in the story and no point of comparison, it just works for me as "a comic book’s art." I imagine I’d have more to say for a subsequent issue, at least in terms of whether or not it stays consistent or such. I’m also glad that as short as much of the issue is on dialogue/words, at least there weren’t double-page "splash pages" to breeze by with but a glance.

This is an extra-length issue, based on assumption of 20-22 pages being a standard-length issue for $3.99; I would not expect so many pages in later issues (though would not mind them!) and would expect the extra pages made up for and allowed for the extended "silent" scenes. I’m curious to see what/how this develops, and on the strength of The Walking Dead would be inclined to give this series a shot. Of course, as with most comics and virtually all "indy" titles, I suspect I’d personally enjoy this more by waiting for a collected edition.

If you can find this for cover price (and not some jacked-up "speculator price") and enjoy Kirkman‘s work in general, I’d encourage picking this up to try for yourself and see how it comes off to you. As long as I’m not duped or otherwise vexed by a variant cover in the meantime or at point of sale, I’ll probably check out the next issue before I decide for sure if I’ll pass on the single issues and wait for a trade. Assuming this would get a "$9.99 Volume One," even getting the first couple issues AND a trade, it’ll cost about the same. That said, I’m not particularly "impressed" with this, and leave it as a more "passive" recommendation than anything "active."

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 7, 2018

This week ended up being a relatively small, simple week for me as far as new comics go.

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New Superman issue, new Batman issue, 10th issue of Bane: Conquest (of 12). I nearly missed noticing Rogue & Gambit. I gave in on “hype” for trying Kirman‘s new title Oblivion Song. Having quite enjoyed the animated series in the ’90s, I’ve been getting The Tick‘s new series.

And seems we’ve got a new wave of True Believers issues this month for Spider-Man and Venom. I snagged the re-purposed reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #300, billed here as Venom vs. Spider-Man. I was pleasantly surprised at the thickness of the issue, especially for “only” $1! (and for better or worse, this is probably the ONLY way that I’m gonna own a single-issue edition of Amazing Spider-Man #300!)


Fresh Start: No More Marvel

I did notice that X-Men: Red #2 was out…after so-so feelings from the first issue, I was considering getting #2 and giving the series a chance. The same goes for Avengers: No Surrender. After pointedly getting the issues for 6ish weeks running, I stopped cold-turkey. I am so incredibly sick and tired of Marvel‘s absolute unwillingness to stick with ANYTHING for more than a few months. In this case, they announced yet another mass renumbering to start in May, with a new Avengers #1, and Venom is renumbering, and a bunch of other titles. Rogue & Gambit is a 5-issue mini-series to my knowledge, and I’m treating it as its own thing, being a definite fan of the characters…and a definite “sentimental value” to it. And I’m willing to buy reprints like the 300, because it IS a reprint, is an issue I do not own, it’s an issue I have not read, and it’s “only” $1! Best of all, these reprints do not themselves have variant covers on release (and as reprints themselves I do not consider them variants, given the True Believers banner).

I feel like I should have totally, completely stuck to my guns regarding Marvel, but opted to sorta “buy into” a little bit with Legacy and had some now-obviously highly-misplaced “faith” that they MIGHT ACTUALLY “stick with” the “legacy numbering” even if they did other stunts and such.

However interesting stuff may look, however appealing, I’m trying to force myself to just be DONE with them. No Infinity Countdown, no Hunt for Wolverine, no X-Men: Red, no Avengers: No Surrender, no Astonshing X-Men. No Fresh Start for me. I’ll finish out Rogue & Gambit, I’ll perhaps snag reprint editions in True Believers, but as far as new/current stuff with Marvel…I intend to be done!

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