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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 19th, 2017

Much as expected, this was a huge week for me, in quantity of NEW comics, in PRICE, and having looked forward to stuff in general!

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I’ve been looking forward to The Button for months now, pretty much since it was announced, and to finally have the first chapter leaves me anxious for the next, now!

I had not even realized that I missed an issue of Highlander; so I believe NOW I’m actually caught up. And I decided to try the Riverdale Digest #1 half thinking it was going to be original material. Nope…it reprints the first issues of several of the "new" Archie titles. For $6, not a bad thing…and I’d be happy to pay $6 on a continuing monthly basis for a digest like this cycling through "monthly" issues of each series it contains! (Beats the heck outta $3.99 for one issue, and wading through two-DOZEN variant covers!)

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I’m WAAAAAY behind on READING Letter 44, but haven’t wanted to give the title up. Of course, I just found out that it apparently will be ending at #35 in July…so hopefully life will be such that I’ll be able to dedicate some serious reading time to re-read what issues I actually HAVE read, and then on through the whole run!

I’m definitely into the "habit" or "groove" of following Spawn, though I’ve no clue where it’s going or whatnot. As long as it stays at $2.99, I’ll probably keep up. However, it’s one that I definitely WILL drop on principle if it jumps to $3.99! The price point is one of its high selling points for me, and what helped get me onto it over a year ago.

Despite being quarter-bin fodder, I snagged a number of these True Believers editions/reprints of key X-Men premiere issues. Though I’m sorta (morbidly) amused at having paid $1 for the X-Men "Blue" issue, considering how many copies I have of it, and that I’ve bought copies of the "deluxe" edition (that this reprint’s cover is a panel from) just to rip the cover off as a poster.

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I also raided the bargain bins…though I found a lot more in an expanded 50-cent bin than the 25-cent bin that I was interested in. Knowing I’m already looking to fill in some 49-50 issues of Action Comics and nearly as many Superman as-is from the New 52 era, I figured with these issues of Superman Unchained, I think now I just need to snag #9 to have the whole series.

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Then there were some 25-cent issues of Detective Comics; at least 2 of which I don’t think I already had.

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And continuing my general trend…I’m happy to get ’90s Marvel comics from bargain bins. 50 cents on these, though I know I already had the Marvels issue, and 99% certain I already had the Amazing Fantasy 16-18 run. Still, for the convenience and all, and the four issues combined being still only HALF the price of a contemporary issue, not bad.


It’s also proving to be an interesting week with a convergence of release dates and such for several things I’d pre-ordered and/or had on my "radar" that I finally realized were out!

Definitely hoping next week will be a lot smaller at least price-wise, but we’ll see!

Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of April 12th, 2017)

Last week really only had two NEW "new" issues, neither of which I’m giving a full review treatment to…so here are some stream-of-consciousness thoughts on them, as I’ve been doing for the previous couple weeks.


Action Comics #977

action_comics_0977It’s definitely an "interesting" time to be a Superman fan. From following The Final Days of Superman in anticipation of the shift-over to the "pre-Flashpoint" Superman "taking over" the main titles while the trailing-end of Lois and Clark were coming out, to the recent Superman Reborn 4-part "crossover," I’ve largely week-in and week-out been looking forward to each subsequent issue, and thoroughly enjoying that fact alone, as well as the stories themselves. Now it’s a bit weird, with Superman Reborn having just wrapped up, and not yet into firmly-established territory as to what’s "canon" and in what way, as readers and being in a similar boat with the characters themselves. I suppose I’m liking that with the Supermen "merged" and reality re-written (again) into a single timeline, at least we no longer have the "weight" of Clark and Lois having actually lost their REAL families and friends and all that, and existing as refugees on a world and timeline not even their own. Now that they just "are," and always have been, part of this timeline, events are what they are. Then again, we lose that interesting aspect of them "knowing" what most don’t, and the ability to see "parallels" play out and proactively nip situations in the bud on this Earth, having already been through the tough crap on their own. None of this really addresses the current issue I’m meant to be discussing.

Suffice it to say, I was looking forward to this (and look forward to the next) for more establishment of current canon, though this issue still left me in the dark, like I’m being "shown" stuff without really being told or getting concrete confirmation. Some of that perhaps can be blamed on various sites such as Bleeding Cool for jumping the gun and scrambling to be "First!" to draw some conclusion or post a spoiler or whatever.

I’m just in this to enjoy an overall ongoing story and characters and long-form narrative threads with issue by issue tangible story payoff and such. And I’m getting that, so I continue to be happy with these titles.


X-Men: Blue #1

xmenblue_0001I want to like the whole "original 5 X-Men in the present" thing, but it’s worn thin. I liked the concept enough initially that I actually bought into several of the original Marvel Now titles, All-New X-Men as a particular favorite of the bunch. But 4 1/2 years later–some 54 months or so, and at LEAST as many issues–it’s no longer a novelty. Jean Grey was already dead, and had been for the better part of a decade. Angel had recently been "dealt with." With/since the "arrival" of the "O5," we’ve seen major changes to present-day Beast, the apparent death of Cyclops, some shoehorning of stuff with Iceman…and generally gotten to where these "O5" largely ARE their own characters…and functionally (if not actually) seeming to serve as "replacements" for the older "original versions" of the characters.

I think I’d be more interested if this team was "scattered," but having them serve as an actual group, a team, "headlining" their own group title, there’s just something about it that doesn’t sit right with me, however much I might see potential in and while reading enjoy about the book.

I also have some problem with having my sense of nostalgia toyed with in this whole ResurrXion initiative, as well as the (meta?) fact of having trouble finding some of the issues to even TRY without it being some big multi-store, multi-city hunt, where I am NOT interested in a long-term "commitment" via pull-listing any of these titles.

The $5 price tag sucks as well, and though this is a "thicker" issue, we basically have a main story and a "backup" story. I’d personally have little/no clue as to the character in the "backup," except having read other posts online referring to the character by name and strongly suggesting that it’s an Ultimate Universe mutant character now in "the 616." Which means we likely now have at LEAST 3 "alternate" versions of a "Wolverine" character, while the actual Logan remains in character limbo, which is highly discouraging to me.

As with most Marvel titles, the price and use of ridiculous variants, and other meta/real-world factors had me intending to not EVEN try these #1s…but I gave in, compromising my stance on price point for a single-issue of each, though I’ve no intention of picking up a #2.

What I can say, though, is that I’m "interested" enough to consider collected volumes…again dependent upon pricing and format (I’ll refuse any hardcover under 12 issues, or any paperback of 6 issues or less that gets too close to $20).


While these issues were part of a pretty small week for new comics…the upcoming week looks to be quite huge, both in terms of specific issues (the start of the Batman/Flash story The Button) and in quantity. I’m definitely looking forward to some really good reads out of the coming week’s stuff!

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The Weekly Haul – Week of April 12th, 2017

This was a pretty small week. Weapon X was sold out already (of the REGULAR cover…I think I saw a couple variants,but was not at all interested in those). So I wound up just grabbing several quick things and called it a week.

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New issue of Action Comics, getting into some post-Superman Reborn stuff, though I’m not sure I’m totally "getting" it. And the third and apparently final (with Weapon X #1 not being in stock with a standard/non-variant cover) X-launch issue for me.

The $1 True Believers issues are fun enough, and I continue to be willing to pay the $1 or so for them!

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Figuring I’d be kicking myself for passing on it, for the price of a mere 5 contemporary Marvel issues, I snagged this HEFTY (as in: very THICK!) collected volume with what appear to be the bulk of the Carnage stuff outside of Maximum Carnage. Farrrrr better value than any new "standard price" issue!

Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of April 5th, 2017)

Once again, real life got in the way, and I’m not going to get around to formal/proper reviews of any of the week’s titles. However, in a bit more of a free-form fashion, I do have some thoughts to put out there regarding the several issues I actually did manage to get read from the most recent week’s purchases!


X-Men Gold #1

xmengold_0001I actually surprisingly enjoyed X-Men: Gold #1, until the weekend hubbub over subversive/hidden messages from the artist. Sure, the issue includes newer/modern/contemporary elements and characters, but if definitely had the right sort of "Rebirth"-y tone to it that would make it appealing…particularly if the title was going to be a MARVEL $2.99 book. Price it lower, like $2.99, and I’d probably give even a book like this as a WEEKLY a shot (barring other things turning me off entirely).

The story was strong, and where I "went in" expecting not to like it, I enjoyed it, and was able to figure out enough as I read along to compensate for missing the last several years of continuity. It would be a solid "welcome back" type of issue and launch if I was planning to stay with it for any length. But while I opted to go against my initial intention of not getting these whatsoever, I went in planning only to try Prime, X-Men Gold #1 and X-Men Blue #1. Gold would have convinced me to come back for #2 if it was not to be $3.99 and $3.99 twice-monthly. I just can’t get past Marvel‘s pricing compared to DC…and I was down to not even bothering with DC, either, prior to announcements of major shakeup (Rebirth, Final Days of Superman) and the reversion in cover price.

I’ll wait for discounted collected editions, which admittedly do comic shops little good, though even this will depend in part on how hard I stand on the "issue" with the artist’s hidden messaging, and where that goes.


Superman #20

superman(2016)_0020In the "casual reader" sense, between not "getting" the entirety of the ending to Superman Reborn and not yet having the follow-up/epilogue exploration that I believe is coming in the next couple issues of Action Comics, I don’t feel like I have any major differences to look for. So this issue read primarily like "just" another issue, drawing on prior continuity from this series itself at least–such as Batman showing up again, Superman meeting him outside instead of inviting him in, etc. Of course, this time, Lois insists Batman and his son come in, that all may interact civilly, not just outside.

And ultimately, this was a fun issue, that seems steeped in continuity without actually giving us much…though it did reveal something about Clark and Lois’ neighbor, which seems like it may impact that status quo a bit, though if so, it seems like it could be a real shame. Time will definitely tell on this story, though.

I’m not enamored with the art, though it fits earlier issues and isn’t really out of the norm…but something about it seemed to just not connect right with me. Still…even a Superman issue like this is far better than the titles have been in years, and I continue to thrill at the fact that nearly a year in and I’m STILL week in and week out looking forward to the next week’s Superman issue, and disappointed on "fifth weeks" when there is NOT a new issue.


The Sovereigns #0

sovereigns_0000Darn it…I wasn’t gonna try this. Yet another "relaunch" for the Gold Key properties, where the last three in recent years didn’t seem to last more than for a year’s worth of issues (number-wise, if not dragged out by lateness). But Dynamite did well to utilize the "promotional price" of "only" $1 for this issue, which meant I’d at least buy it for my "dollar-or-under" self-mandate even if not for the content/title itself. But HAVING the thing, decided I wasn’t going to NOT read it. I was curious.

And darned if it didn’t pique my interest a bit. I’m willing on principle to give this take a shot, this reimagining of the characters.

Unfortunately, there are several catches:

  • Price. I don’t like the $3.99, so that’s a turnoff. This isn’t TMNT, after all.
  • Variants. While I do buy titles that seem to have variants on every single issue, Dynamite (to me) has a reputation as one of "those" publishers, for whom the variants are much more of the "selling point" and that do NUMEROUS variants on EVERY SINGLE ISSUE, far more egregious than "simply" every issue having *A* variant.
  • Lack of trust. The initial Dynamite relaunch didn’t last long at all, relatively speaking (though they did get 3 collected editions from the three ongoings and one from the mini). I’d much rather have a singular complete story or collected edition to read all at once, and having been burned by that relaunch and again by the "only" 5 issues of Gold Key Alliance as a quasi-reboot/failed-reboot/whatever…"Fool me once" and all that.

So while I’d be inclined to give the stuff a shot, I’m unwilling to plan on it, given the multiple burns I’ve had. At the same time, at least said burns have not been the flat-out anti-longtime-reader things that Valiant has done, and I’d be willing to buy these because they’re NOT Valiant, at least.


The coming week’s new books include X-Men: Blue as well as Weapon X and several True Believers reprints. The reprints I’m actually looking forward to. I’ll probably still give Blue the first issue chance, given I’ve already got Prime and Gold. Surprisingly, Weapon X at least looks to be a $3.99 #1 instead of $4.99 or higher…so we’ll see what else is onhand and how finances look. I’m most looking forward to the new Action Comics issue, and there’s a new Spawn issue which means I need to actually catch up on the previous issue.

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The Weekly Haul – Week of April 5, 2017

This week’s haul wound up being decently-sized comic-wise while remaining quite cheap, for the number of issues. It’s proven rather expensive on non-comic stuff, particularly the TMNT Toys front.

On to the point of this post, though–this week’s comics/Wednesday Purchase!

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Three $1 issues this week. I was going to pass on The Sovereigns, but for "only" $1, figure I’ll give it a try. It IS Dynamite, and it IS yet another apparent "relaunch" or "reboot" of the Gold Key properties, and I’d swear we’re ONLY a few months removed from the last series dealing with them!

I was skeptical of the True Believers Giant-Size X-Men #1 reprint, given the way the Age of Apocalypse one a couple years back cut off part way through, not EVEN giving us the full issue…and I’m pretty sure the Infinity Gauntlet one did the same. Flipping through…looks like this actually is the complete issue, though! So definitely worth the price!

And of course, definitely cool to have this reprint of the ORIGINAL X-Men #1. I’d seen these listed for release this week and couldn’t place what event they’d be tied to–the Wolverine series and Deadpool series had been tied to the release of their respective movies. Then dawned on me…ResurrXion.

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The newest issue of the Captain Atom mini is out…and I was AGAIN "surprised" at its "only" being $2.99…fully mentally "expected" it to be $3.99!

The Skottie Young print came "free" with thepurchase of the X-Men: Gold issue; which itself is an atrocious $4.99…but as with last week’s Prime, I figure I’ll give the first issues a shot to at least see a BIT for myself, and judge if I might be interested in collected volumes or such down the road.

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ALSO flying radically in the face of my usual, with its presence and price and looking like such a great art piece, I actually snagged a copy of the Superman variant along with the main cover. This variant will be getting framed and hung, though, to be on display…not gathering dust somewhere merely existing in an abyss of longboxes!

The penultimate issue of the Life and Death mega-thing for AVP, Predator, Aliens, and Prometheus came out last week, but I missed it, so grabbed it this week.

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I also decided to pull the trigger on this Eaglemoss Superman figurine, figuring I didn’t want to have to hunt it later, and thus one less item to hunt for.

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This is from the same series as the Robin figurine I’d ordered online, so the back is almost entirely the same, just a changed image for the character booklet, and this one lacks the extraneous sticker of the online retailer for the Robin figure.

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Like the Robin one, I definitely look forward to going through the booklet to see what this take on the general Superman saga is, and compare it to my own existing knowledge and such.

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Finally, here’s the figurine itself; if the photo displays as largely on your monitor as mine, it’s actually larger-than-life! The face is a bit "off" for me, and something about the pose and such in genera isn’t QUITE as iconic as I might like for a Superman thing…but for what it is, it’ll do, I suppose. For better or worse, at this point, most Superman figures essentially disappear into a crowd when added to my Superman shelf…


Extra Week of March 29th Stuff

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Though I’d somewhat expected a couple other issues (the AVP: LIfe and Death one in particular) to be waiting for me, the only one at the usual shop was Aliens: Defiance. So I hit the 25-cent bins a bit half-heartedly…didn’t find much, outside of several early issues of Dark Horse Comics (…Presents?). There was also a variant of the 25-cent 25th-issue of Outcast done in the style of classic Image books, so I grabbed that. I suppose part of my problem with variants is pricing…I’m much more accepting of them on a 25-cent issue where it’s easily-accessible/available and NOT a hassle to find. Such as finding an issue without even setting out to, and NOT being "denied" a PREFERRED image that I go in for!

There’s also the IDW Publishing  catalog The Gateway Collection, showing off books they have available. The catalog was free, so why not? It helped give me hope that I’ll soon be able to get the hardcover TMNT: The IDW Collection vol. 2, as I trust it would not be advertised if it was gonna be left out of print!

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There was also a table of old fast-food toys for $2/apiece. I was rather shocked to find this White Ranger…partly just to find it at all, and maybe moreso to discover it was part of a McDonald’s promotion and not the Burger King I’ve thought for the last however many years! (I suppose nearly 22 years removed, I can be forgiven the poor memory from when I was a 14-year-old kid!).

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I also snagged the Red Ranger. Unfortunately, there were no other Rangers, or I’d have surely bought them all on the spot!

Though "just" Happy Meal toys, these figures are certainly on par with standard commercially-available figures from toy stores…the White Ranger was an almost perfect match for the 2010-or-so series of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers released to coincide with the "remastered" first-season episodes; and served in that role until just a month or two back when I finally added a "real" version to my mix.


Next week I’ll likely have some TMNT stuff to show off, and perhaps delve back through photos on my phone for some random stuff to share.

Time shall tell!

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Some Thoughts On the Week’s Comics (Week of March 29th, 2017)

I didn’t (and haven’t, and won’t) get around to full review treatment for any of last week’s issues at this point, but I did have a few thoughts on several issues. Unfortunately, I haven’t actually gotten around to reading all the new issues I bought, as Real Life has continued to be a bit of a hindrance in that department. But given a couple of purchases were made with the intention of writing about them, I figure I probably should actually write about ’em.


X-Men: Prime (2017)

xmenprime2017When I (premeditatively) decided I would actually go ahead and pick this issue up–despite having originally decided flat-out not to touch any of these ResurrXion titles–I’d had no idea that I would find it completely sold out at two shops before 6pm its day of release. I found a copy at a third shop, which was down to only four copies at that point, including the Venom variant.

The second shop actually did have the Venom variant as well, but I didn’t even recognize it as an X-Men issue, let alone this issue, THE issue I was very specifically looking for! (Way to go, Marvel and stupid-*** variants!)

I bought this issue largely on the premise that I was already buying several $5 issues, might as well lump one more into the mix…plus, I’d have no room to talk about it if I didn’t at least give it a shot myself, right?

The art wasn’t all that bad…it certainly didn’t put me off the X-titles. But it’s far from being enough in and of itself to pull me in. The multiple art teams wasn’t terribly jarring, though it was noticeable…particularly when it came to Storm, due to the character’s hair style(s).

The story felt rather forgettable…nothing really drew me in, and I did not feel like there was really even a full STORY here…more a through line to give us a quick tour of characters and situations that’d make up a number of too-expensive biweekly series and such.

This certainly trades on NOSTALGIA, in title as well as the notion of the ResurrXion thing in general, and the forthcoming X-Men: Blue and X-Men: Gold titles. It cerainly suckered me into stuff.

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I read the ORIGINAL X-Men: Prime back in 1995 the day it came out, a week after X-Men: Omega, the end of the Age of Apocalypse saga.

At that time, I’d been following the original Uncanny X-Men series, the original X-Men series, the original Wolverine series off and on, with a spattering of other titles…and having gotten and read the entirety of the X-family of titles the month prior to the Age of Apocalypse and then the entirety of that saga…so I was pretty "up" on the books at the time going in and coming out, so I was a ripe target for such a book, to touch briefly on numerous characters and stuff that’d "spin out" into other titles that I was planning on trying to follow.

This time around? Not so much. It’s telling that I almost have more to say about the original from 22 years ago than this one from a week ago!


All-New X-Men (2015) #19

all_new_xmen_0019I can firmly blame my purchase of this issue on hype from Bleeding Coo, and a curiosity for more detail, and to get some actual context. There’s also something about that cover that hit a bit of the nostalgia-trigger for me as well…perhaps the banner at the bottom identifying this as a finale, perhaps the fonts, I don’t know…but it’s telling that I was more interested in this AS a final issue than I was in a #1 for this or any of a number of other X-books when they’ve hit over the last few years.

The art for this wasn’t bad; nothing overly distracting or such. I actually rather like the costumes and general character designs overall (though Jean looks a bit "off" for this cover despite my otherwise liking it). I especially like the young Cyclops’ costume…a lot like the ’90s version that I’d definitely claim as my favorite and consider THE most iconic of the character’s looks.

Though I already knew it going in, this issue "reveals" that the "past" these X-Men came from and have "access" to presently has their younger selves as if they’d never been pulled out of time…and thus, this young team has nowhere else to GO, and are apparently separate from the adult versions they’ve thought where their own older selves.

I can’t begin to guess at all the continuity or lack thereof in the last couple years since I read most of the original run of the original iteration of this title (from 2012/2013)…but this seems to cut these characters "loose," where there’s no longer a "question" of when or if they’ll go back to their own time–the adult X-Men have past selves properly in their own time, and these five apparently aren’t it, so whatever they do, they’ve got their own future/fate to forge in the present, simply AS themselves, and all their new/recent status quo elements.

The novelty has worn off for me on these versions of the characters…there may still be some interesting-ish stuff to be done with them, but overall, I’m less than thrilled at the notion that these are simply THE "replacements" overall for the characters I grew up on, and am not thrilled at any notion of continuing to follow their adventures (I believe they’re X-Men: Blue?)


Booster Gold/Flintstones #1

booster_gold_flintstones_0001While hardly on the same level as Robin, Superman, or the TMNT, Booster Gold is definitely a draw for me.

Already curious about the re-imagined take on the Flintstones, realizing this was coming had my interest…all the more when I saw this cover (which may actually be a variant…I which case it’s a rarity as I far, Far, FAR prefer it to the other cover!)

The story’s a bit light and goofy, and rather irreverent…and I don’t get much of a sense of Booster himself as a character here nor of the Flintstones characters. In a way, I guess that makes this a good stand-alone issue, as I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything with any of the characters involved.

The Booster side of the story seems largely predicated on what I’d consider an outdated take on the character, drawing visually on more recent takes on the character while not seeming to use his most recent ongoing series (that touched into and ended with Flashpoint back in 2011). I’m not sure how it ties in with his general New 52 stuff, but that’s because I haven’t read much of that.

I was curious as well, once I got the issue, at what the Jetsons story would be, and suspected from the image on the cover that it’d involve a new take on the robot maid…and I was definitely right! The story proved to be an interesting glimpse into a new version of the characters’ lives/status quo, while also telling an interesting story of how a robot maid would be able to be such an integral part of the family.

Though the $5 cover price is a bit much, for the length of the issue and its contents, the two stories, it’s mostly worthwhile. I enjoyed the issue overall, probably more for the Jetsons than the lead feature, but I did not feel like my money was wasted by having bought this.


I still have the Green Lantern/Space Ghost and Adam Strange/Future Quest issues to read, as well as most of the first Flintstones volume, and assorted other "recent" issues. I’m hoping to keep this week a bit "small," after such an expensive week last week…looking forward to the new Superman issue, as well as needing to check for the AvP: Life and Death #4 that I missed last week.

Also looks like a season of omnibii is approaching, which may get very expensive very quickly…and only a couple weeks or so until The Button, which with Superman Reborn now completed, is probably the story I’m most looking forward to for a few weeks.

Time will certainly tell!

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The Weekly Haul – Weeks of March 22nd & 29th, 2017

This week’s both huge yet small. Mostly EXPENSIVE.

THREE $5 issues ($4.99) from DC… but these are the would-be-Annuals-now-simply-Specials with the DC heroes crossing over/teaming up with the Hanna-Barbera characters. I don’t know that I’ll be getting ALL of them over the coming months…but these three had my attention…particularly the Booster Gold/Flintstones one and Green Lantern/Space Ghost. I saw the Adam Strange/Future Quest cover enough times that I apparently added it to my stack…so I’ll make a point to read it at least!

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Then I grudgingly hunted down X-Men: Prime…where typically I’ll "vote with my wallet" AGAINST stuff like this…since I was ALREADY throwing price out the window with the DC books, and have long groused about the state of the X-books, I can at least bite the bullet on this issue to "try" it. After all…I can’t KEEP knocking stuff–can’t knock the "new" stuff or the "change of course" or "seeming change of course" if I don’t at least try it. Then after seeing a preview and LOVING the art (a DEFINITE rarity for me, as I virtually NEVER buy solely based on the art) got the apparently-final issue of All-New X-Men (volume whatever…3, 4?). And the preview book was "free," so…whatever.

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The third issue of Kamandi Challenge is out…I need to read #2 yet, but don’t want to fall behind.

Finally, for a $6 cover price, Dark Horse Number Ones reprints 8 #1 issues from Dark Horse…I’m all about these sorts of volumes, especially on the price. It’s even preferable to $1 #1 reprints!

And speaking of reprints…there’s some sort of $10 edition of Letter 44 vol. 1 out…beats the heck outta the $20 cover price on the original edition! I did not get that as I’ve gotten way behind on the single issues, and have all the single issues. Though for the price, I may track it down eventually.

Below, I cover last week‘s haul, which I neglected til now out of frustration at trying to track down the Action Comics issue.

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