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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 25, 2018

This is an odd week. For one thing…it’s Marvel-heavy, which almost never happens–not for new issues, anyway. Secondly, I managed to initially flat-out forget to grab (or otherwise missed) a couple issues I’d specifically intended to get!

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I believe this week’s issue of The Mighty Thor is the final issue…well, for a few weeks, as we’re already getting another Thor #1 soon! Thinking it looks a bit standalone, and though I detest the $4.99 price point, it IS 12 more pages for “only” an extra $1 (compared to the 20-page $3.99 Marvel issues) I grabbed my second Thanos Annual #1 of the last several years. What can I say? It would feel odd not to snag the issue, given the movie that premieres this week!

Of the various True Believers issues…I have to say that the Infinity Gauntlet #1 and now this Infinity War #1 are easily a couple of the best values given the size. And of course, I greatly enjoy that they retain their original logo and (mostly) original cover. After all…these are rather “iconic” covers, from some ancient time when variants were rare, and specific comics were actually recognizable BY their covers.

The newest issue of The Terrifics is here, as is the final issue of the Demon: Hell is Earth mini (which is one less title to be picking up, slightly easing the monthly outspend).

And of course, the newest issue of Previews…which at this point is just an odd catalog, with separate publications for Marvel and DC and whatever else is contained.

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Somehow I missed Detective Comics for the week, as well as the start of the newest Aliens mini-series: Dust to Dust (and just before Alien Day 2018, to boot!).

I also realized I’d either missed, or skipped, the newest issue of Batman: Creature of the Night. I feel like this issue was really late, and suspect the next of being the same…such that this has really lost some of its momentum for me.

C’est la vie!

Once again, here it is the day before the next New Comic Book Day. But then, I’m also getting used to a “schedule” of having Ultraverse Revisited posts on Monday/Wednesday/Friday…so the other couple posts of the week are balancing differently than once upon a time.

Also some other stuff coming up that I should be sharing in the near future!

Meanwhile…tomorrow is another Wednesday for new comics, and this upcoming Saturday is Free Comic Book Day at participating local comic shops!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 28, 2018

This was another interesting week for new comics. Small-ish, but some high prices making it feel like a slightly bigger week. And I totally forgot to look for a certain back-issue that I’d missed last week, so I may be back out this weekend hunting.

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We have the $4.99 conclusion to Metal; the $4.99 next issue of Doomsday Clock (that I’m about ready to jump off and just wait for the eventual collected edition); and the $4.99 250th issue of GI Joe: A Real American Hero (the numbering goes back to the original Marvel-published #1 from the early 1980s!).

On the idea that I’ll catch up on reading TMNT before I make it back to the shop with the pull-list, snagged the "B" cover since IF I’m gonna have two copies of the issue, might as well get a different image. PLUS the TMNT stuff is my core "exception" where I’ll let a LOT more go than I will with any other property. The second issue of The Terrifics; the new Detective Comics (which is no longer going to sync necessarily with Action Comics the way it has for most of the past 22 or so months).

The latest issue of The Demon: Hell is Earth; and then the booklets that go along with the latest issue of Previews.

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And there’s the issue of Previews itself, along with image+; these kinda just are what they are.


Next week starts the April books; and also puts us into the month in which we should be getting Action Comics #1,000. While by regular scheduling that should have been this week, it’s being "held" for 3 weeks so its release coincides with the 80th anniversary of Superman. And based on the understanding that it’s otherwise done…I’m pretty much ok with it for said anniversary status.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of February 28, 2018

This week’s another moderate-sized week…certainly not tiny, but not as big as some. Of course, part of that came from leaving several titles that I’ve bought out of habit but I’m so ridiculously far behind on actually reading that the issues–if I opt to catch up–will probably be bargain-bin-fodder by the time I’d get around to where I’d be ready to read them anyway.

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Action Comics #998 means we’re a mere TWO ISSUES from the big #1000! I’ve been looking forward to The Terrifics for awhile, and glad to see it finally make it out. I think one thing I like about it over the likes of Silencer and Damage is that it actually uses characters I’ve read before, albeit in a new way…WHILE introducing other stuff. Then there’s Detective Comics #975, another title approaching #1000. THen the latest issue of the 6-issue Demon: Hell Is Earth mini. The latest TMNT issue–#79, chapter 4 of Invasion of the Triceratons. And a 25-cent Primer issue from Aspen. 25 cents, of course I’m gonna snag it!

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Then there’s GI Joe: A Real American Hero #s 248 and 249…the “A” covers. I’d snagged #s 246 & 247 a couple weeks back on a whim, so finding an actual “A” cover in stock (as opposed to a “B” or “RI” cover!) for #248, got that AND the latest new issue in #249…just ahead of the big #250 issue!

And while the cover alone would have caught me anyway, knowing ahead of time from a TwoMorrows Facebook post last night that the new Back Issue deals with editors, I was interested in it for content and so went in actually looking for the issue.

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And then there’s the new issue of Previews, which partly showcases on its cover the reason I’ve once more dropped Marvel–they can’t even make it 6 months from real-world-release to announcing the NEXT “Big Thing” or “relaunch” or renumbering-but-it’s-not-a-reboot or whatever. (Whether it’s an actual EVENT series or “just” an initiative…it seems like they are entirely incapable of real-world-time having one thing actually finish before announcing/rolling out the hype-machine on the next thing!)

That said, it’s a new big catalog of comics coming up, and a sort of time capsule for down the road.

And that, for now, is that…the weekly haul to close out February 2018!

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Interest vs. Price

ultimateinfinitythumbScanning through my Facebook newsfeed last night, a posted image caught my eye.

Diamond/Previews had posted a cover image for Ultimate Comics Ultimates #25, which seems to show Ultimate Cap, Ultimate Thor, and Ultimate Iron Patriot (?) fighting from the grip of an Infinity Gauntlet.

Now, I definitely think Thanos is getting a bit over-exposed years now UNTIL the next Avengers film. And there’s that part of me with fond memories of the original Infinity Gauntlet story; that part of me that recalls Infinity War #1 that summer before the Death of Superman, and even the more recent Infinity Abyss (was that really over 10 years ago now???).

I also quite enjoyed Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet by Brian Clevinger, from a few years back.

But the more recent stuff involving the Infinity Gems–and Marvel‘s Illuminati–just hasn’t sat right with that kid in me, so I’ve mostly tried to avoid it. Contemporary writers are welcome to do as they will–but if I don’t like the new stuff, I’ll just revisit the old. My wallet, my choice.

That said…I often enjoy some of the “twists” or “re-imagingings” of stuff from the Ultimate line, and since the Ultimate stuff is not in-continuity with the “main” Marvel universe, I’m far more open to changes/etc. there.

So, back to the cover image. Ultimates (“Avengers”?) facing the Infinity Gauntlet or its Ultimate Comics counterpart. I could really enjoy this. It’s got my interest, my curiosity. Something that’s gotta be on a fairly grand scale, right?

If I knew the Ultimate Comics to be priced at, say, $2.99…the image alone would do more than any generic/mysterious “teaser” has done and I’d email my comic shop to request the issue be ordered/pulled for me.

But I know–like what seems the vast majority of Marvel‘s comics these days–these are at least $3.99. So, since I’m not currently following ANY of the Ultimate Comics titles and I am so sick of $3.99, right now I have no intention of buying in on this.

Sounds like a new creative team, probably a decent one-shot issue or jumping-on point…but the price, that extra dollar that Marvel just HAS TO HAVE serves once again to be an anti-sale for me. Had they “stepped” their pricing and perhaps spent at least a couple years at $3.25 or $3.50 BEFORE going whole-hog to $3.99…maybe I wouldn’t be so vocally bitter.

Sorry, Marvel. I’m intrigued, interested, and I’d be all over this at the $2.99 price point…but at $3.99/issue, I intend to pass on this.

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THE REST OF THE STACK #2

Due to personal finances, this was a small week for comics for me…but the pricing for these “Halloween Ashcan Comics” was just right for snagging them. And as stuff I read after the regular comics I picked up, they very much fit the criteria as “the rest of the stack.” They’re also something I’d want to touch on anyway…they don’t quite warrant full-review treatment, but the fact they exist seems to call for something. These are smaller than normal comics–both in length (about 12 pages inside the covers) and physical size (fold an 8 1/2″ by 11″ piece of paper in half and that’s your size). I call these “ashcan comics” because that’s the term I recall for comics like this from the mid-1990s. Perhaps I’ll touch on the topic of such comics another time.

For me, this is a mixed bunch. My favorite of these five specials is the Betty Cooper Confidential–probably because it seems best suited to the format. It read very much like a short story from one of the Archie digests I’d buy in the checkout lane at Walmart or some such. Even this is largely a preview for another book, though. The story–which has Betty’s diary blown away on the wind and then recovered in pieces by her friends–is one of those that plays all the characters as being friends, with far less competition or other conflict between them than in other stories. Given this is a light-hearted piece, that works fine. I’ve never been a great judge of a good age group for Archie books…but I’d say this one’s quite mild and safe for any age that’d be interested.

The Popeye comic features a reprint of what seems to be a classic serial in which Popeye & friends encounter a “ghosk” on their ship. There’s not much to it, but it’s definitely got the feel of the old Popeye cartoons I’ve recently exposed myself to. I can mostly hear Popeye and Olive’s voices in my head as I read this, but there’s something distinct to these pages–they are not simply an adaptation nor exact source material for any of the cartoons I can recall. The Ghost theme seems chosen for Halloween (where these specials are intended to be available for giving out)…but the few pages we get does not give a complete story, and just seems to end after giving up several clues and a likely reveal, though no real details or context. Still, it’s a good sampler for what Seeger’s classic strip is like, and for seeing Popeye in comic panels rather than in motion on a tv screen.

The Star Wars issue is a brief story that sees Han and Chewie wind up on a planet in need of fuel, and discovering undead inhabitants doomed to relive the accident that claimed their lives. In a way, this story feels rather out of place for what I’m used to with the Star Wars universe. At the same time, it’s also plausible given the suspension of disbelief one needs in order to believe in aliens, space ships, and The Force. We do get a “complete adventure” in these pages, which is nice–it’s just a quick slice-of-life sorta piece detailing this one particular incident the characters faced. I couldn’t say how it holds up to Star Wars canon, but it’s certainly worth the couple minutes it takes to read!

I’d expected the Casper/Little Lulu to be my least-favorite of all of these, but it has some slight charm to it. I don’t particularly LIKE it, but I can appreciate the strips for both characters for what they are–classic strips that were well-known in their time (I at least know OF the characters, even if I can’t tell you much of anything else other than what you see in this issue). Like the Popeye issue, this is interesting as a classic of comic strips, but if you’re not interested in the characters going in, this probably isn’t going to do anything to change your mind.

Finally, the Domo issue–which was sitting next to the just-released full-sized volume of the same title (Domo: The Manga) feels very much like a previw and nothing else. I’m not even sure what to make OF Domo or whatever the character may otherwise be called. I’ve seen the image of the character represented in various elements of pop culture, but know even less about it than I do Casper. The stories contained in this issue don’t really make sense to me, and I’m relatively certain as such that I am not at all the target audience. If you like Domo, this might be worth your time. If you don’t…then don’t bother with this.

I’ve always forgotten about these until they’ve been on the shelf at my local comic store, so buying any in bulk hasn’t seemed an option, though these would be great to have to give away–whether to kids out trick-or-treating for Halloween, or just to have to hand friends who otherwise wouldn’t give a darn about comics. It’s kind of a shame DC and Marvel didn’t have any in this bunch.

If you’re interested in any of these, check with your local comics retailer–mine had these on the shelf for $.25 each or a set of all 5 for $1 (which is why I wound up with the Casper/Little Lulu and Domo issues). Taken as a whole, for the time spent just reading these, they were well worth that $1. I’d almost be willing to buy stuff like this on a regular basis, especially from DC–give me a couple 6ish-page previews of a couple titles (make it a flip book and preview two titles in one issue, showcasing a cover for each) instead of the in-issue previews that get so annoying, and I’d likely read them.

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