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The Weekly Haul: Week of November 13, 2019

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This past week felt like the sort of balance I REALLY prefer to have with new comics. Though I may be "missing out" on other stuff…it’s still a bit more than I may have "time" for…especially with other distractions that I’ll get into down below!

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Though it’s another $6 book, Dark Multiverse: Blackest Night (the 3rd in a series of these specials) is sorta worth it…I’m willing to let it slide by for being a squarebound thing AND coming out alongside a $1 reprint of the original Blackest Night #1. Plus, having enjoyed plenty of Elseworlds stuff back in the day…if DC isn’t going to bring that imprint back, I can handle stuff like this. I’m still a bit wary and suspicious that this is leadup to some major event for the sake of a major event–and I’ve little intention of "buying back in" on such a thing with the way the new status quo is shaping up (and with Superman revealing his identity for the 2nd time in half a decade).

The Catwoman issue I bought because of having read that it offers her side to "the Wedding stuff," and I’m interested enough in that. And the "fancy cover" for the SAME PRICE AS USUAL is a very positive factor!

GI Joe: A Real American Hero is a title I’m still woefully behind on reading, but am still very supportive of, if only for its high numbering! I have a large amount of the original run and have the notion of filling in earlier issues in this run to eventually have the whole series. But time will tell.

I believe this 6th issue of the IDW run of Usagi Yojimbo is the 30th anniversary issue. I’m pretty sure I saw something on Facebook from Stan Sakai about that.

And then the The Tomb of Dracula facsimile edition is another I got on simple principle OF being a facsimile edition. I’ve lost track of the number of these…I’m not sure if they’re quite "weekly," but I’m certainly appreciating their frequency. I’d probably be quite happy if Marvel (and DC!) simply did a "series" that itself was simply these reprint editions–where one could "subscribe" TO the "line" without hassle to the comic shops.

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Having already had the first 5 of the 6 issues of Event Leviathan, I decided to finish that out. I’m continuing to be discouraged by the issue apparently "ending" with the "launch" of another event/series already. But at the same time, that also backs up my notion of it being time to back away from a lotta this stuff.

I’m not entirely sure what this Marvels X thing is that headlines the previews thing…but it seems like they missed the 25th anniversary of the original series. As a contained thing I might be interested, but time will tell.

And finally, Comic Shop News, spotlighting Superman revealing his identity to other heroes…and the reason I finally pulled the trigger on dropping Superman and Action Comics.

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On a more positive side…a Kickstarter project I backed recently came in! The second issue of Cat & Mouse by Roland Mann & Co. with the revived Silverline. As a Kickstarter thing, I’m more forgiving of variants and such, especially the Kickstarter Exclusive Edition covers–because the CONTENT is still available to anyone, even if the special cover isn’t. As a sucker for nostalgia, I’m cool with the Retro edition. There’s even some difference to the coloring, it looked like–which I appreciate! Finally, the "graphite edition" is not JUST a "sketch cover" (which I dislike as variants). This is a whole different edition of the issue, where the interior is also like this–so the cover is NOT some "inferior" thing, it’s actually a perfect match to its interior! And it gives a different look at the contents of the issue that I find rather cool as a novelty like this.

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The new Pokemon game came out last Friday. I broke with "tradition" of getting the "red" versions to get Sword…largely because of knowing a friend had pre-ordered Shield and I wanted to know I had a trading buddy. Then I realized that when I’d bought in on the Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon re-issue of the previous game, I’d also gone "blue" so…c’est la vie.

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I also snagged this nifty felt banner (the flip-side is a map of this new games new "region" in the Pokemon world) as well as the plush starter critter, Scorbunny. I’d gotten the plush of Litten 3 years ago with Pokemon Sun, so it just seemed fitting to make that a tradition of getting the plushie of the critter I’d start the game with!

I also then promptly blew away the weekend with first being up Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday, then spending the majority of the day Saturday and again into wee hours, and a decent chunk of time Sunday playing. As of this typing Monday evening, I’ve left off having acquired 5 of the 8 "gym badges" in the game. I also "bred" a couple Farfetch’d and Scorbunnies for trade, but pulled myself away from that side of the game for the time being. Mindless stuff with that almost 3 years ago is what led to my binging the entirety of How I Met Your Mother into 2017!

Heading fast toward "the holidays," I don’t know how long it’ll take me to "finish" the play-through of the "main game," but I’ve already sunk more time into this game than any other game since the original Pokemon Sun, in such a short span of time. I’ve probably got a way to go yet to match Breath of the Wild, but that was spaced across weeks before I lost interest. I certainly feel like I’ve already more than gotten my money’s worth out of this game compared to every other game I’ve bought other than Breath of the Wild.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of October 23, 2019 & Halloween Comicfest Weekend Stuff

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The week of October 23rd wound up being probably THE smallest week I’ve had in ages, as brand-new-this-week comics go. But offset with some other stuff.

I officially pulled the trigger on dropping a lot of what I’d been getting. Though I still expect to get remnants from that for the next several weeks–stuff already ordered because it had been on my pulls at FOC–I probably won’t feature them here.

Let’s get into the stuff I am showing, though!

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The only real new comic for me this week was Criminal #9. Partly to make up for that–I can’t really fault the comic shop for the publisher(s) raising my ire–I picked up Spider-Man: Life Story. This is a DEFINITE exception to the USUAL for Marvel for me. I see this story much like Superman: Secret Identity and with that sort of nostalgia and such, absolutely wanted to get the collected volume. And getting it in-person, it is NOT damaged by Amazon‘s incompetence.

And a book I had backed on Kickstarter came in–Regards, Ditko–featuring correspondence between the creator and the author over a time. I figured this would be a nice addition to my "comics reference" "library."

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Then there were several $1 issues. Another DC Dollar Comics, this time featuring Swamp Thing #1. And a couple more X-Men-related True Believers issues.

Plus the Comic Shop News for the week.

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The weekend also included Halloween Comicfest–essentially Free Comic Book Day but for Halloween. Visiting with friends, I went to Vault of Midnight in Ann Arbor, Michigan. While understandable for "everyone" to have access to stuff, there was a strict limit of 3 issues, which meant I was not all that interested in "wasting" my 3 on unknowns. I knew going in I absolutely, particularly wanted The Adventures of Cthulhu Jr. and Dastardly Dirk #1. And then I wasn’t gonna pass up the Usagi Yojimbo mini-comic/ashcan. Finally, though I wouldn’t pay for random Marvel, I opted for the Ghost Rider issue, over ’90s nostalgia and Danny Ketch.

In "support" of the shop, I bought Second Coming #s 3-4; I know full well I have #1 at least, and pretty sure #2…I could not remember if I had gotten (to) #3, and decided I’d pay its price in shipping special-ordering stuff online anyway, so if it’s a duplicate, it’s not the end of the world. I also grabbed the first paperback volume of Stumptown thanks to the new tv series.

At another shop, not finding anything of particular interest in stock (or for a price I was willing to pay) I did grab the facsimile edition of Incredible Hulk #1 that I apparently missed on the Wednesday prior.

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On Monday, my DCBS order of 100-Page Giants arrived. I’d swear I actually ordered a bundle of TWELVE of the things, of which only 6 came…so I’m assuming something screwy is going on with scheduling for the things, working around Walmart exclusivity-windows and such…or something. NOT a good start, and though I’d initially been figuring maybe I’d just order these for awhile–cheaper than Walmart and keep up my "run" of the things–I’m reconsidering. I’ve barely touched the Walmart ones thus far, though I amassed all but a Detective Comics anniversary special that apparently never even showed up in Ohio.

The oddness and irregularity and such combined with knowing there are different covers, but not knowing what’s actually coming with them all or schedules…it just makes it seem like a mess, and far more convoluted than simply having 4 titles or so each month with 3-4 issues’ worth of content for a bargain $5 cover price.


Despite all my grousing, passive-aggressiveness and grumpiness/sarcasm toward a lot of modern comics…

I have been reading and thoroughly ENJOYING the ’80s Marvel series Strikeforce: Morituri, thanks to Chris Sheehan and Chris Bailey and their Morituri Mondays podcast (over at ChrisAndReggie.com). I actually ordered all 31 or so issues of the series (plus all 5 issues of a follow-up mini-series), so I have the physical copies…though once I’d renewed my Marvel Unlimited subscription have found it far simpler to read the issues on my tablet without ads and without juggling loose issues.

As of this typing, I’ve read the first 12 issues…meaning I’m 1/3 of the way through everything; though I’m only a few minutes into the fourth episode (of 6 so far) of the podcast.

I can’t believe I’ve been "into" comics for over 30 years and I’m only now in late-2019 reading this series for the first time! I enjoyed the first several issues enough…but the sixth issue I think was the "I’m sold!" point, and left me eager to keep reading through the series.

Chris and Chris are doing an excellent job presenting the series, and as I’ve already listened to their analysis of the first 3 issues and started into the 4th and know they’ll be covering the rest, I don’t see even attempting an ’80s Revisited post on any of the issues myself…unless I do some sort of "response post" or something more limited.

But right now, theirs is THE podcast I’m prioritizing over any others until I’m "caught" up and then hopefully "keep up" awhile.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of September 4, 2019

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Well, how about that? Two weeks in a row! And this time at the "earliest" (Thursday) I tend to post a "Weekly Haul" entry! AND…third daily post in a row! (Of course, that’s nothing to 1300+ daily posts…check out Chris is on Infinite Earths, where Chris has been covering each and every segment from the late-1980s Action Comics Weekly run!)

Anyway…on to this week’s haul!

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Starting things off…Spawn (yes, that hot title that partially epitomized "the ’90s" and was part of the original Image launch when the books were going through Malibu, when it seemed so very many comics universes were launching, flashing in the pan, fizzling, and dying off) hits its 300th issue. Something I recall the early issues for–single digits and definitely early double-digits–has made it legitimately to 300 issues! No reboots, no relaunches, NO RENUMBERING! 300…and the "regular" single issues are STILL only $2.99 when virtually every other freaking comic out there, no matter how mainstream and large the publisher (I’m looking at DC and Marvel!) has gone over to $3.99 with far too many $4.99+ of late.

House of X #4 which is a stark reminder of TOO MANY VARIANT COVERS!

New Usagi Yojimbo and Batman/TMNT III this week.

A Batman replica edition (2nd in two weeks, I think?).

Then the newest Supergirl, which HAD been coming out paired with Superman until DC‘s recent recall crap.

Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1, by Neal Adams, breaks my usual "rule" of late on mini-series. But much as with The Coming of the Supermen, I’m curious about, and suspect this is what led to the other recent replica edition with the first appearance of al Ghul. Not really a fan of the art at this point, but the nostalgia bit a little harder than I’d’ve liked.

And of course, the new Bendis-helmed relaunch of the Legion of Super-Heroes begins. Not sure what I’ll make of it, but figured I’d check it out, as "only" 2 issues.

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While I repeatedly harp on the incredibly vast over-abundance of variants, when faced with numerous umpteen ones every single week, OCCASIONALLY one strikes my fancy.

This week, the main "honor" fell to Spawn, with an EXCUSABLE use of variants for its THREE-HUNDREDTH issue, arrived at legitimately. Thanks to the previous couple issues of the title being done in the style of classic Amazing Spider-Man issues, the homage to Amazing Spider-Man #300 was too much to want to pass up. And for all the $2.99 issues when everything from Marvel, DC, Archie, Dark Horse, and most everything even from Image as well as umpteen other publishers has been $3.99…I am willing to throw in for a couple variants in SUPPORT OF a title that has "held the line at $2.99!"

And then, because I forgot about the extra $1 on the cover price (UGH!) but liked the image, I got the variant of the Supergirl issue this week, which is bound for a frame and being hung somewhere in the basement.

Finally, the week’s Comic Shop News. The NOSTALGIA factor has the 2099 stuff on my radar. But assuming the bookend issues will be $5.99 with one-shots likely $4.99 and any tie-ins at least $3.99…I’ll probably wait for a collected edition IF ANYTHING AT ALL. I’m sick of buying into Marvel‘s hype and being let down more than not, and ESPECIALLY sick of their increased prices "because people will pay them." I’m guilty of that enough with HoX/PoX and such, but I will NOT do it blindly for anything/everything from the publisher!


Granted, the week’s total expense was massively inflated by the two intentional variants AND buying a pack of bags and boards…but the last few weeks in general have been feeling extremely expensive. Seems this happens every now and then, and has me pushed more and more to "pulling the trigger" on cutting way back on stuff.

I posted about the rare excitement for an issue coming out in Spawn #300, and other than TMNT closing in on #100, there just isn’t much that’s exciting me lately in comics…so much is habitual buying and stuff I keep hoping will take off in terms of being exciting, or taking chances on newer stuff that doesn’t.

It’s discouraging, with the added frustration of too darned many variants and such.

As ONE in-the-moment thought as I type: I wonder what it might look like to solely get  the TMNT and TMNT: Urban Legends titles with Spawn and possibly a couple of X-Men titles. But while I’ve "thrown in" with House of X/Powers of X, my increasing annoyance at the MASSIVE WASTED SPACE in the issues and vast over-abundance of "white space" in every single issue* I’m not AS convinced to follow the family of titles when they relaunch.

(*Hickman‘s vast over-use of whitespace seems a stylistic thing that I’d liken to Priest‘s captions. I like it where Priest does it, as they add something stylistically withOUT wasting entire pages, double-page-spreads, or more pages.)

Here’s wondering what next week’s haul will look like…

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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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My All-Star TMNT Team-Up

When it comes to DC and Marvel, I don’t think I really have much of anything interesting to add by way of teams I’d like to see. So when going with the idea of talking about "my" Justice League, I found my mind going back to the TMNT, as well as Avengers Forever. This may be a bit more Avengers Forever than Justice League, but we’ll see what I wind up with!

splinter_1980sAs there have been numerous iterations of the TMNT and related properties, I’d be very interested in seeing interactions between them, for something a bit longer than a ~70 minute movie or ~24 minute cartoon episode. I also think that with a team book–such as Justice League–one of the big appealing factors is getting a bunch of heroes in one place and seeing how they interact, and how interactions play off of (and/or into) stuff going on with the individual titles.

So if I was gonna create some sort of Justice League-style group/book/story, I’d gravitate toward the TMNT. And I’d want to pull in characters from different iterations–for nostalgia, and for there being all sorts of story potential spinning off of each character involved, going back into their own "universe" or "time" or whatever. And I’d see something like this–for my part–as a limited, finite thing…at most, maybe 12-18 issues…though with pulling the characters in and potential for "Easter eggs" and other references and such, as a fan I’d probably feel 6 issues to be too few to do the idea much justice (no pun intended).

leo_miragecomicsI’d start out with the 1980s cartoon version of Splinter. This version brings together the mutant rat and the human Hamato Yoshi; it gives us a human background with the mutant/animal present; and there’s just something to the heart of this version of the character that I’ve seen at times that I have not gotten the same way in other versions!

Along with this Splinter, I would want to use the original Mirage iteration of Leonardo, and would pull him from later in the "Volume Four" run of the comics, where he’s in his 30s…he’d be a sort of senior leader of the group, with more experience and such, and it’d be interesting to see this older Leo interact with a version of Splinter; and see how they’d get along, and how their relationship would be, this Leo having recently lost his Splinter, and this Splinter never having had a son so badly injured by the Foot, nor having executed a Shredder.

mikey_2003I’d pull in the 2003 cartoon Mikey, to be the "heart" of the team in general, as well as a lighter side to stuff. He’d certainly bug the heck outta some of the characters, but he’d be thrilled to be interacting with brothers/Splinter from alternate universes and such, and to be part of a "league" of his fellows, playing any sort of overt hero role!

For Raphael, I’d pull in the 1990 movie version. This one would, to me, have similar "heart" but displayed in a different way. He’s short-tempered, darned good at what he does, plenty of room to grow, and experienced his share of tragedy and triumph. It would also be interesting to see him play raph_1990movieoff of Leonardo, with the two having a shared experience in their past–Raph more recently, Leo half or more a lifetime ago–of being beaten within an inch of their lives by the Foot. This Raph would likely be quickly annoyed by Mikey, and cautious of Splinter, and certainly butt heads with Leo.

I’d get the IDW Donatello present-day; in a way, this would be "the" connection to ongoing continuity. And come to think of it, he would also have that "grievous injury" in common with Raph and Leo; but I see this Donnie getting along well with Mikey, if being a bit more serious.

Rounding the group out a bit, I’d get the Archie version of April from later in the TMNT Adventures series–where she’s had training from Splinter, has a katana, and is not going to be surprised or overly "green" in dealing with the turtles’ world (or this case, worlds plural!).

donatello_idwAnd it’d be rather interesting to somehow involve Miyamoto Usagi. He’d already be time-displaced anyway, but he’d actually have ties of his own to several of these characters. I’d likely want to go with the "comics version" of the character, to be his own thing, rather than pulled from the ’80s or 2003 cartoons; though I suppose this would quasi-double-dip with IDW Donnie, given last year’s crossover issue. "Everyone" would be better able to identify with him, I think, in being out of place/knowing these are different versions of individuals they know.

archie_aprilAnd of course, if all of these are brought together, there’d be potential for others–such as from the 2012 cartoon or the 2014 film franchise–to be brought in at some point, if only to cameo.

I don’t know what would bring them together, exactly–perhaps Renet (cliché as that would be) bouncing around in time accumulating representatives from the various timelines to combat some threat. And what would that threat be? We’ve already seen the 2003 cartoon’s Shredder try to destroy the Turtle-multiverse; and we’ve seen ’80s cartoon Shredder and Krang interact with the 2012 series. And frankly, I do get kinda tired of Shredder all the time.

usagi_miyamoto_usagiPerhaps reality has been fractured, hence all these different versions of the characters. And so they come together to learn OF each other, and see different ways their lives could have gone, and learn to appreciate different aspects of one another. Perhaps in the course of this, have some further time-hopping go on. This group is "bound" together someway–maybe a new, future Donatello has created a device that Renet brings, providing all with a technological tether–some sort of armband or anklet or such–that keeps them together and helps them move through time/space without mucking up the timelines.

And eventually, cheesy as it is, they come to see an essence of family that they all share–here with each other, and their family "back home," and maybe get sorta "meta" and let things resolve back to the current IDW universe, as it already seems to draw "elements" from various other iterations…we could see the characters from the other actual continuities somehow dispersed back, and though they may not be the "main" timeline, they know that they’ve influenced a timeline.


I may well have to expand on this idea someday. In fact, I almost certainly will need to, given this largely being a short-term, off-the-cuff brainstorming. Obviously there’s a lot more detail I’d have to work out, specific story, even specific villain/antagonist/etc.


#DIYJusticeLeague

Fellow bloggers’ posts on this same theme (My post you just read was a last-second throw-together to partake in a fun group-prompt!) In no particular order, check out everyone’s posts, and even dig back through older posts. Everyone’s got great stuff–on this DIY Justice League theme, as well as their individual "blog missions", and loads of great content!


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The Weekly Haul: Week of November 1, 2017

This week was a rather large week for new comics! Lotta interesting and interesting-ish stuff out…

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I need to catch up on my actual READING of them, but I’m really digging these one-shots focusing on the various Bat-men. For what I feel compelled to get new in the week, it’s great that there’s a new chapter each week, and does not feel like an overwhelming amount with say, five or six (or seemingly so) or more chapters out in a week. PLUS, the shiny foil covers are fun as they’ve not (yet) been used to fatigue, and for something called Metal, they’re truly appropriate!

Then there’s TMNT/Ghostbusters 2…a fun crossover conceptually, and I enjoyed the first series, so why not a second? And getting at least a weekly dose of TMNT through this, plus the "regular" stuff? Makes for a good month!

As anyone reading this knows, I’m sick and tired of variants, in general. An honest exception is where it’s warranted…such as with this week’s Superman #34! Shows that the 800th issue can be celebrated without having to DERAIL an entire numbered series! It’s observing the anniversary without having to BE a #800!

After the Jetsons backup in one of the specials back in the spring, I certainly wasn’t going to not check out an actual series that looks like it follows up on that! And I’m amused at the "return" of some more obscure characters lately, what with Deadman here, Ragman recently, and Mister Miracle. Then Usagi Yojimbo, which has been trucking along over the years; even with some hiatuses apparently, but it’s back, and I’m enjoying it thus far.

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Now, here’s where location and promotion can pay off: Black Lightning takes place locally, apparently–Cleveland, Ohio–and I don’t think I’d realized, but apparently the creator is local, too! So of course I’ll check this series out! I’m giving Harley and Ivy/Betty and Veronica a chance for the heckuvit…it’s a novelty thing. DuckTales ought to be a given, but I’m still not ready to commit month in/month out…especially as I’m behind on watching the new cartoon.

I need to catch up on actually reading Bane and Astonishing X-Men; already having several issues defeats the point of a collected volume, so "cheaper" to finish out the stories (plus the convenience of having all the issues in-house when I do finally binge-read).

I was not going to bother with Captain America, but some strong positive words on it from a shop owner went a long way with me. It gets this one issue, and I probably won’t come back til the novelty of whatever #700 is…but then again, maybe I’ll end up sticking around until #700. Time shall tell!

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The Lion King is one of my all-time favorite films (period, no sub-categorizing or such for "animated feature" or stuff like that). So for the price of two DC issues (or 1 1/2 Marvel issues), got this mini-graphic novel sized book. I think it might just be a print edition of a digital comic I’d bought years ago, but especially if so, cool to have this in print.

And somehow, I’d missed the DC Essential Graphic Novels edition for 2017, so definitely glad to have it for 2018…my OCD demands I still seek out a 2017 edition to go on the shelf with previous years!

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The Deadman issue is another with an "enhanced cover," which–again–I’m enjoying from DC for the nostalgia and such, and rather judicious use. It certainly fits for something like this title, and as long as it’s only for the first issue, I’m cool with it. (If every issue was this way, no-go!). Even if the $4.99 cover price was because of this, I’m ok with that as well, from DC, in this case: no real hubbub over the cover, so it was just there, and so I was willing to pay the extra. And if the issue would have been $4.99 anyway, then heck yeah, give me something extra! (Like the foil on the Dark Nights/Metal issues!)

And then as a bonus for the week, there were left over comics from Halloween ComicsFest, so I was able to get some of the non-kids-oriented comics (Sabrina, for one) and several other issues I’d missed out on with only choosing the ones I did last weekend. I was satisfied with what I’d gotten over the weekend…so these are definite bonus on top of that, making an expensive week feel that much more substantial!

TMNT/Usagi Yojimbo (2017) One-Shot [Review]

tmnt_usagiyojimbo_oneshot_2017Story, Art, and Letters by: Stan Sakai
Colors by: Tom Luth
Collection Design by: Shawn Lee
Edited by: Bobby Curnow, Philip R. Simon, Megan Walker
Published by: IDW/Dark Horse
Cover Date: July 2017
Cover Price: $7.99

I’ve looked forward to this since it was announced, whenever that was–a couple or a few months ago, perhaps. "Knowing" this was going to be a more expensive issue, I just naturally "assumed" it would be a "prestige format" book–squarebound and such–like the two annuals or the big 50th issue! Instead, for the steep $7.99 price point, we get a slightly-thicker-than-usual standard-feeling issue, staples and all. So that was an immediate bit of disappointment format-wise, and a bit of a shock.

Another initial, pre-story immediate complaint I have is one that’s usual for me: there are TOO MANY DARNED COVERS! Instead of having UMPTEEN different covers, all for the same single one-shot single-issue, why not have a "gallery" included in the issue as a true, actual, real BONUS to those buying the comic, with extra pages by whatever artist(s) showing the characters involved? Instead, we have a number of variants and "exclusives" that are REALLY getting very "old" and extremely off-putting to me as a guy who just wants the entire content-story and iconic, singular covers, not generic incentive chase covers all the darned time!

The story of the issue is fairly basic: increased earthquake activity rocks the land, and we come to find out that everything could be destroyed if a piece of rock isn’t replaced from where it was broken off. Because of the rock’s brokenness, a giant catfish named Namazu is no longer properly held, and HIS movement underground will tear the land apart. Usagi meets Kakera-Sensei and knows what must be done. He gathers four turtles at the river, and Kakera-Sensei works his magic, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are summoned–into or replacing or in place of the four regular turtles. Usagi immediately recognizes them all…but they fail to recognize him. The group sets off, with Kakera-Sensei explaining the situation as they go. Despite a terrible battle with Jei and the forces he’s rounded up, they all manage to save the day. The Ninja Turtles are sent home and the regular turtles returned, and Usagi and Kakera-Sensei go their own ways.

The most noticeable thing for me about this issue–beyond the price and umpteen covers–is the art. This is Stan Sakai working on both his own long-running character (introduced roughly the same time as the TMNT themselves, back in 1984!) and the TMNT for the first time in quite a number of years. At first, the visual style was a little bit off-putting for being different–notably the turtles’ teeth–from what I’m used to of late on the main/ongoing TMNT comic. But after just a few pages, I settled right in and enjoyed the art. I loved some of the "symbolic"-ness of art, showing where someone’s killed on-panel, but it’s far from gratuitous violence and such, and more fact-of-the-matter without being graphically so or gory, etc.

Story-wise, though I had expected this was to be more a story with Sakai‘s Miyamoto Usagi being brought to the Turtles’ world, it was the other way around with the turtles brought to Usagi’s. As I realized this, the art grew on me even more, for being that much more "authentic," given Sakai‘s continued involvement on the main Usagi Yojimbo title. That this felt like what I expect such a story would feel like with just that title, the inclusion of the turtles is like a bonus. The story is rather timeless–at least as far as the turtles–and though it can be pretty safely "assumed" that these are "our" turtles, the current IDW turtles–there’s no particular reference or anchoring point to the current TMNT continuity to bind this to any particular point. There also did not seem to be anything overtly binding this to any fixed point for the Usagi Yojimbo title, either. As such, this would seem like a prime sort of special for fans of either property without needing any particular familiarity with the other…and also one that fans of either could get in on without having to worry about being "up" on any of the other comics of the last few years.

The main hurdle, perhaps, would be that pesky, premium price point. For me, personally, I ultimately will give TMNT stuff a "pass," of sorts that I won’t any other series/property, carried over from the Mirage days, and this would be little exception. That the crossing-over of TMNT and Usagi Yojimbo has been essentially a "tradition" dating back to the earliest days of the properties, of which this is (hopefully) "just" the latest iteration makes this issue that much more of a special thing, worthy in its way of the higher price point.

In the end, if you can get past the price point and the variant covers, I’d highly recommend this to fans of Usagi Yojimbo, fans of the TMNT, fans of both properties/series, and even to "lapsed" fans of either. I’d also recommend it to anyone with any interest in either property, looking for a truly one-shot experience. There’s no "continued FROM" for this, there’s no "To Be Continued," this is just truly a done-in-one, singular stand-alone issue…and a mighty fine one at that.

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