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The Weekly Haul – Week of October 15th, 2014

While it could have been a small-ish week, this proved–yet again–to be another HUGE week, as far as my desires for a $10-$20 week are concerned.

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Turok and Magnus both out, as well as Unity and Q2: Quantum and Woody for Valiant, both TMNT books from IDW, and the DC weeklies. I’m far enough behind on Futures End that I let that stay behind, with the intent I’ll catch up next week. Not likely at this point to catch up on the reading, so…c’est la vie.

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And though I have several of them from the previous round of One Dollar Debut editions, snagged the various Valiant books. Store owner gave me the Valiant Universe Handbook free, and the others fell within my usual standing order of all $1/promo-priced books.

With the cover changes to the review blurbs, at least these are different-looking editions.

I usually despise variant covers…but these $1 editions I’ll let slide, BECAUSE they’re Valiant, and they’re not every-day editions.

The Action Philosophers is apparently the first chapter of a hardback due out next week…while it could be interesting, I’ve sorta had my eye on The Fifth Beatle for a bit, so if I buy anything from Dark Horse, that’s likely to be the one I go for.

Along with all these, I also picked up the “final” chapter of The Death of Wolverine, to read the thing for myself before various reviews and spoilers and such. I was rather disappointed, but at least that was my own thoughts/feelings without being “spoiled” on the “how” front.

$4.99 for a shiny cover…didn’t bother to count the pages, but seemed like very little story for the price, and unlike the recent DC 3D covers, this cover seemed to be an added element of the price, along with several pages as a “checklist” of the various variant covers for this miniseries.

I’ll just have to make darned sure I redeem the digital code so that part doesn’t go to “waste.”

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The Weekly Haul – Week of May 7th, 2014

This week had a moderate haul. Since I picked up Batman Eternal #s 1-4 last weekend, and it’s “only” $2.99, went ahead and picked up #5. And having just read Futures End #0, I went ahead and picked up #1 (again, key being that it’s “only” $2.99!). I feel like I’ve been getting All-New X-Factor out of “habit,” unfortunately…really need to catch up on that reading to decide how far I’m actually sticking with it!

Only one Valiant this week–Archer & Armstrong. And the newest Turok…hard to believe that’s already on issue #4! And the latest TMNT Color Classics, re-presenting the final chapter of Return to New York, this time in color.

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In the simple amusement of ’90s stuff for only 25 cents, I snagged this colorful Cyber Force issue, as well as Zorro #0 from Topps.

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Found a bunch of issues of Jim Starlin‘s ‘Breed, including some sort of gold-foil edition of #1. Pretty sure I have these from last year sometime, but as most of a “run,” figured I’d snag ’em again to be sure.

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Ditto on ‘Breed II

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A relatively rare find (for me, at least), snagged the entire six-issue (#s 0-5) mini-series Codename: Firearm. I know I have this series at least once-over, but again…complete series, all right there, for less than half the price of a current Marvel…yeah, pretty much a no-brainer for me.

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Finally, A Touch of SIlver #s 1-4. Not sure what to make of these, but they looked interesting. The covers with the photos caught my attention, and for $1, figured I’d get ’em to flip through more at my leisure whenever.

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All in all, not a bad haul, with a good mix of new stuff and some nice quarter-bin issues.

Next week I think the Superman arc Doomed starts, and since I’ve been keeping up lately with Superman/Wonder Woman, I’ll probably follow it just for the heckuvit. Plus, I want to get Superman #31 “in honor” of the 1980s’ Superman #31 being one of my first-ever comics.

Turok: Multiple Incarnations

I’ve been around for and consciously remember three premieres of new ongoing Turok series. The original (for me) was the Valiant launch from the mid-1990s; then the Dark Horse relaunch several years ago, and now the Dynamite relaunch from just last week.

While the issue has already had a sort of “iconic” look for me–it’s THE issue of Turok that I consciously notice in bargain bins all the time–I think it’s safe to say that Valiant‘s Turok #1 is officially iconic, given it’s the obvious source of the regular cover for the current #1. I didn’t make the connection originally, but knew there was SOMEthing “familiar” about the image, but when looking at them side-by-side, there’s no doubt.

I suppose if this were Bleeding Cool, that’d qualify as a “swipe file.”

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Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (Dynamite) #1 [Review]

turokdinosaurhunterdynamite001 Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Mirko Colak
Colorist: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Cover: Bart Sears
Turok Logo Design: Rian Hughes
Packaged/Edited by: Nate Cosby
Published by: Dynamite
Cover Price: $3.99

It wasn’t all that long ago that I learned of Dark Horse relaunching several former Gold Key titles, which grabbed my attention as former Valiant properties that I recognized from the 1990s. I saw it as a good point to jump aboard, as presumably the closest I was gonna get to a Valiant rebirth. Those titles only lasted a few months, and while I rather enjoyed them at the start, my interest trickled off with ’em. SINCE then, though…

Since then, Valiant‘s back, with a number of great titles proving the characters and universe have an audience…and are still going strong nearly 2 years in (a rather large accomplishment, to me, in an age of mini-series and things generally just not lasting).

So it’s with my enjoyment of the Valiant books that I’m checking out Dynamite‘s relaunching of the Gold Key titles. If Valiant itself can do well…then hey, here’s hoping Dynamite can hold it together for a couple years.

Outside of the names and basic premise (that is, humans existing in a world with dinosaurs still around), this seems a wholly fresh start. Where I recall the Dark Horse run being a closer re-telling (and those premiere issues included a reprint of the original series’ first issues), this seems much more like I expected based on the above Valiant comparison.

We’re introduced to a father vowing to protect his child, before being killed. Flashing ahead 16 years, we find that child an outcast, bullied but surviving on his own…to the chagrin of the others. When confronted he refuses to give in–it’s better (to him) to be alone. The latest confrontation is broken up by a surprise attack by large lizard creatures, which Turok and Andal (a name I recall from the Dark Horse iteration) barely survive as we learn what caused the attack.

Along with the general “strength” of the Valiant titles serving as influence to my buying this, I recognize writer Greg Pak from other stuff I’ve enjoyed…most recently Planet Hulk as well as Valiant‘s own Eternal Warrior. This issue and title benefits from my still relative unfamiliarity with Turok and cast–I only remember reading the first issue of the Dark Horse run and can’t honestly recall if I read beyond that.

I appreciated the use of “time” in this issue, seeing the past, present, and the flashbacks…actually following what was going on to pick up on a tone I feel I miss in a lot of comics. As a first issue goes, this definitely hits points I look for: we’re introduced to the main protagonist, to other characters, learn something of the protagonist and their status quo, and are introduced to the conflict. In less generalized terms: We meet Turok, we meet other characters including Andal, we get dinosaurs, and we get Turok fighting dinosaurs. Maybe more importantly to me…there’s no pretentious last-page spread/cliffhanger “revealing” that dinosaurs exist, as if the very title Dinosaur Hunter doesn’t tell us that.

There were several panels I had some trouble following who was who and exactly what was going on at first glance, but that was mainly during a fight sequence and I can’t imagine it being any worse than trying to visually parse out a fast-moving camera sequence for a movie or tv series. By and large the art is good, and I like the look of the characters, and there’s nothing particularly off-putting or distracting to me.

My primary problem with this issue is the variant covers–I’m used to there at least being some sort of notation on the cover declaring it a variant or not so had some frustration at determining exactly which cover of several was the “regular” or “standard” edition…ultimately identifying this by matching the front cover image with the interior cover (only later at home discoverng a 3-page gallery of thumbnails showing off all the variants for the issue). That identification is part of my preference for standard covers: I prefer the cover that is acknowledged in marketing and such and “fits” the issue and story. If a cover image is going to double up incorporated on the interior, I want the aesthetic of matching, not recognizing a difference.

Other than that and on the whole…I enjoyed this issue. As soon as I saw it at the shop, it was the main thing I wanted to get into and read, and it definitely measured up. The aforementioned issue with variant covers makes me hesitant to put it on a pull list, as I don’t want to get stuck with a variant, and I have a far lower tolerance for that with Dynamite than I do Valiant.

You need not have read anything involving Turok before to get in here, though there’ll undoubtedly be familiar elements if you have. This is functionally a new title and character, there’s no pre-existing continuity to know, you only need one copy of this issue to get into the story-so-far.

Definitely recommended.

This Week’s Comics Haul (Week of 2/5)

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This week was a bit of a surprise…apparently I still have Bleeding Cool on my pull-list…but for $1.99 it can stay there. I hadn’t realized Turok was gonna be out, and wound up digging through and got lucky enough to successfully locate the REGULAR cover. And I’m curious the publishing schedule of the TMNT Color Classics, as I totally forgot about it existing…

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And thanks to an Essentials blow-out, these three volumes with probably at least 50-60 issues’ content between ’em cost me little more than the cost of 5 current Marvel single-issues…!

Non-’90s Bargain-bin Finds

Usually when hitting the bargain bins, I’m grabbing ’90s stuff. Mostly DC and Marvel, and other randomish stuff. But this time, I found some stuff much more recent, from just the last several years, that totally made my day to find.

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First, I was surprised to discover several TPBs in the 25-cent bins–so much so that I actually asked if they were supposed to be in there. I recall seeing this Turok book a few years ago, but $14.95 seemed too steep for what it is. Of course, for 25-cents it’s an awesome purchase. The Sigil books are quite worthwhile at the price as well–one for me, one for a friend.

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While I’ve refused to pay $3.99 for certain comics, I can’t deny my interest in the Regenesis phase of X-Men stuff. I’ve told myself for awhile I’d backtrack via bargain-bins…I just expected $1-bins, so 25-cent bins I will definitely take advantage!

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I have several gaping holes in my X-Men run, that this bunch begins to plug, though just barely. I missed a few years where I was all but unaware of what was going on in this title; I’ve since caught up a bit (a couple of these issues I bought digitally during a comiXology sale a couple months back), but again…25-cents is a steal for issues so recent.

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I saw a set of these four Magneto issues at another comic shop a few weeks back–while I don’t recall the price, I think it was around $16…I thought these were $3.99 issues but looking now, they’re priced at $2.99 (further example of Marvel losing up-front sales from me for “training” me to believe anything they put out is more likely $3.99!). I’ve been interested in the title, and my waiting has CERTAINLY paid off here.

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Finally, I grabbed the two issues of X-Men Legacy I saw, and for 25-cents can afford to try The First X-Men (heck, if it still has the download code, that alone is “worth” the 25-cents!).

The entire bargain-bin haul for the week barely cost me what any two issues would have cost me new off the rack as recently as this past summer.

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