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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 03, 2019

April 3rd was a decent-sized week of new comics. Not too huge, not tiny. Several #1s, a couple second (for me, at least) issues, and so on.

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I decided to give Major X a try, after some well-timed "hype" on it and such. Liefeld prompts a certain sort of nostalgia for me, and I was truly curious about the time-travel/meeting with 1991 characters aspect. Can’t say I’m overly impressed with the first issue, though, so it’s a crapshoot on whether I’ll "bother" with #2…probably depends on it being a slow week or not.

Sorta hard to believe we’re "already" at Young Justice #4. Ditto at already being to #9 for Adventures of the Super Sons. This is a series I’ll probably kick myself for…I wasn’t going to want to hunt it down later, but I am ridiculously/embarassingly far behind on reading anything with the title…AND with the Bendis stuff in "present" continuity…this seems something better left for the collected edition for me. …Except I think there’s either already or about to be a "vol. 1" for this series. But it’s a FINITE 12-issue series, so to me, there’s NO REASON only HALF the finite-series should be collected. It should be collected into a single full-story volume at its end. It’s that "collect everything regardless of length of run or PLANNED length of run" that (to me) can really turn folks off to getting single issues, even for something like this.

I’m giving Immortal Hulk another issue due to my curiosity…and wondering about a certain character. Figured I’d try Section Zero #1…I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something with it seems rather familiar to me, and I might be crossing it over mentally with something else from years ago, but I opted to pick it up "in case" so I can check it for myself.

Seems that IDW is again a "major factor" of my week with 3 of the week’s comics coming from them! I’m trying to give these Marvel Action: ______ titles a chance, and support them…especially as it seems like they do NOT have a TON of VARIANTS. And they’re likely far more self-contained than most of Marvel‘s own books, so strike me as being more "fun" and accessible without being involved in this week/month/quarter’s latest umpteen crossover event invasion secret whatevers.

GI Joe: A Real American Hero is–at #260 (or #105/106 from IDW itself) THE core GI Joe book to me at this point. Written by Larry Hama and having continued from the original Marvel series, it is at this point THE absolute longest-running Joe book I’m aware of, period, 2nd longest run for any publisher, where I think IDW itself may be on its 3rd-boot of stuff.

Finally, despite it being rather late, or perhaps because of it, I opted to snag Chandra #2. I’m not overly keen on this depiction of the character and such. But I’m VERY MUCH a fan of Magic: The Gathering in terms of its "lore" and with just a handful of books left to acquire to have the entirety of the in-print editions of the lore, I might as well get this as well.

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It’s cool to see Usagi Yojimbo get the cover of Comic Shop News for this week. AT LEAST with a "new publisher" in the title going to IDW, a "renumbering" is actually WARRANTED. It’s also likely a good jumping-on point for the character. I was highly put-off last year when I tried to jump onto the title and within a couple issues it switched to a new #1 with "legacy-style numbering" included to be a "mini-series" or such. I do NOT look forward to the umpteen variants on every single issue that IDW is surely going to pump out…but I’ll likely be giving it a chance anyway, being at the same publisher now as TMNT, and maybe I’ll "fold it in" with TMNT given the titles’ association through the years.

And there’s an Avengers Endgame previews to presumably push various collected volumes and such related or expected to be related to the film. I for one certainly appreciate these comic-sized ones for being comic-sized…as well as being a stand-alone thing instead of choking or bloating individual Marvel issues. And since I snagged the Captain Marvel one recently, figued I’d snag this as well.


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I also finally "pulled the trigger" on getting these Mortal Kombat figures from Funko. I’d seen them awhile back, and been "curious" about them more recently. I had NOT actually consciously realized they were Mortal Kombat X rather than "just" Mortal Kombat, but there you go. That three of my (if not my three, period) favorite characters are here made ’em a no-brainer.

I’d gotten Raiden, which OF COURSE then triggered my OCD and led to me hunting down the other two. I was able to get Scorpion and Sub-Zero at a Gamestop far off my usual area…but NOT far from where I was meeting a friend for Shazam which made things work out quite well!


shazam_ticket_stubAnd speaking OF Shazam, saw it on Friday the 5th.

I rather enjoyed it, though I’ve pretty much decided that I personally hold Wonder Woman (as #1) and Aquaman (as #2) above it in terms of my favorites of the "modern" crop of DC films (definitely over Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman, and Justice League…though I’ve yet to decide exactly where I hold Man of Steel in there, as I’d originally thought that and taken that one as a standalone property…as well as someone I’d seen it with sparking certain feelings).

I did not care for how New 52-heavy Shazam felt, but overall it was a fun film with plenty of light, humor, and so on; and even though toys had more than spoiled one thing (to say nothing of assumption and expectation from the comics doing so), I actually had had no idea what to expect of the film’s villain, and really dug the portrayal here. While I hope we’ll get Black Adam in a sequel, I’d prefer that before the "return" of this film’s villain. There was even a cameo I rather enjoyed that paid off through the film.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 6, 2019…and Fantasticon Toledo 2019

This was another small-ish week for new comics–single issues, anyway. But a much bigger week with other stuff!

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The week has the new issue of Batman with #66, resuming Tom King‘s run after the 2-issue Flash crossover. We’re "already" at the 3rd issue of Young Justice (time’s flying!). And we’re now 2/3 through this 12-issue Super Sons series.

On strength of Hama‘s stuff and the longevity of the series, I opted to also snag this GI Joe Yearbook issue rather than try to hunt it down later.

And though I had not planned on it for the week, the new issue of Back Issue was out, and had my attention from the Alex Ross Earth X cover.Though I somehow have not managed to finish previous issues, I can attest to the strength and value of this magazine, that I’ve quite enjoyed issues I’ve managed to get!

I’m not sure what to think of the notion, even, of Savage Avengers…but that’s what Comic Shop News chooses to spotlight this week.

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As new comics stuff at the comic shop goes, though, the real gem for me is the Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman Deluxe Edition. Much like last year’s Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman Deluxe Edition, this is a huge volume with a number of stories from throughout the history of the title, and I love that the trade dress was maintained to make the two books visually quite complimentary!


Along with new comics, this week also had a couple of conventions. Wizard World: Cleveland was held this weekend (I live close enough that if you’re not local, I can claim "Cleveland-area" geographically). However, where I’d’ve adored having a local Wizard World show 15, 20, definitely 25 years ago, I haven’t yet been to a Cleveland iteration.

Admission is just too high, with too many extra/hidden "fees" and such tacked on to manipulate the actual price, and too few comics dealers and comics-related things for me to justify the massive expense!

That said…I attended Fantasticon in Toledo, Ohio, with a couple of friends, and had quite a good time of it! And the admission price for that convention was under $10–I’m pretty sure a good 75% cheaper than WW and probably more comics in the room!

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Going into the con, my two main "goals" were to pick up the Plume Omnibus by K. Lynn Smith, as well as the new issue of Haunted High-Ons from Dirk Manning.

As it worked out…that was a complete success!

Manning has got to be one of the most personable, friendly creators I’ve ever met, and he’s honestly been "the" draw for me with several shows (or at least the deciding factor). And through his work, I’ve "discovered" Smith, as well as a number of others. But while I couldn’t justify the omnibus the last time I was at an appearance, this time I went in with it as the #1 thing on my list.

Manning has become a definite "exception" in my eyes–akin to my TMNT "exception"–such as my willingness to purchase a variant cover, or to find enjoyment in some "exclusive edition" of something.

The creators have a joint project in Hope, the first issue having been out in an early edition last year, and getting a wide, improved release this upcoming May for Free Comic Book Day. And they’ve (as of this writing) got a Kickstarter project that’s already fully-funded (so if you "back" it, it’s basically a "given" that you’re getting the book, no coming down to the wire and wondering if the thing will squeak across a fundling goal).

I’m quite judicious in my opting to back any such projects…but this was one I backed immediately. It’s for a collected edition of the first six issues of Hope, and though it’s not due til sometime next year, I’m happy to pay for it now and know it’ll be coming!

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The convention was a bit less successful in terms of other comics. I did get a print of this Firestorm cover from (and signed by) Gerry Conway. I found the Amazing Adventures issue and the Flash #1/2 in a 50%-off-marked-prices bin (so, cheaper than any contemporary new comic!). And for the heckuvit at another booth, saw this Aquaman #1 for $1, and decided to go for broke and buy it.

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At another booth, I came across this Rafiki with Simba Pop vinyl figure. I’d seen this at Toys R Us back in 2016, I think, maybe earlier, maybe later–but obviously some time prior to the chain’s closure. And I couldn’t find it again after that, so when I saw it for a "standard" price (as opposed to some jacked-up stupid price) I went ahead and got it.

At a Gamestop after the convention, saw some Captain Marvel Pop figures and remarked to my friend that if they had Goose the Cat I’d probably get it. Well, she had a keener eye than I did, and long story short…I got the figure. I’d hoped with it being a bit smaller it MIGHT be an "exception" to the "all-Marvel Pops are bobble-heads" but unfortunately that’s not the case. I’d be interested in a lot more of the Marvel figures if they were NOT bobbles..!

As another not-exactly-the-convention purchase, someone had a small table set up selling Girl Scout Cookies, so I snagged a couple boxes, as I missed out last year, and possibly the year before.

And I’d had another toy arrive that I’d ordered the week before…and which will likely be detailed in an upcoming post. But including that, and some other stuff, it’s been an incredibly expensive couple weeks.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of February 06, 2019

February starts out with a medium week. Not huge, not tiny. Though it’s another with an issue missing from the week before, picked up amidst the bunch!

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While I despise the $3.99 price point AND that DC is NOT doing digital codes with the books regularly/predictably, I think I’m pretty much ‘sold" on the Wonder Comics stuff, at least for checking out the first issue or two for each of the titles. This week had Young Justice #2, which was a no-brainer for me, given the way I enjoyed the first issue. This one didn’t hit me quite the same way, but was still enjoyable in itself!

We get the first chapter of The Price [of Justice] in Batman #64, beginning a 4-issue 2-per-title crossover with The Flash, written by the writer of The Flash (rather than Tom King, the regular on Batman).

From the previous week is the $9.99 Mysteries (of love) in Space, a giant-size special playing off the classic Mysteries in Space title. As a sucker for these giant-size issues, I snagged it. Where I’m "ok" with DC doing $10 issues and NOT OK with Marvel is that DC has the decency to have them be standalone issues and NOT part of a regular series. Get the special, don’t get the special…one isn’t "penalized" by a gap in their collection or feeling "forced" to buy the issues!

Adventures of the Super Sons is over the halfway point of its run; GI Joe: A Real American Hero sports one of THE highest-numbers in American comics (coming behind Spawn‘s #294 or so) and I’m giving these Marvel Action books a chance, if only for the "novelty" of being major Marvel properties published by IDW (and thus semi-immune to gated/ratioed/EXCESSIVE variants and crappy continuity stuff).

Finally, I tend to follow Blake Northcott‘s work, so of course snagged her Aspen Visions: Fathom issue. I think this is a one-shot, but time’ll bear that out, I suppose.

I missed the Man and Superman giant-size special, but hopefully it’ll be back in stock this upcoming Wednesday.

…Which will itself hopefully not be too huge a week, as I’ve had a couple other huge non-comics purchases within the current paycheck, and another planned for the next!

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of January 02 & January 09, 2019

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Despite my best intentions, starting 2019 out with doubling up on the "Weekly Haul" posting. Some planned changes/updates with logos and such also hasn’t happened yet for the blog, so rather than a hard break with the year, stuff’ll just roll out as it rolls out! Even this post’s "logo" above is not the final version, but I was messing with stuff the other day and decided I’d toss it up, whether it gets used just this once, or becomes a regular. If you’ve any thoughts on it, feel free to leave a comment!


Week of January 2nd, 2019

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The first week of the year started out pretty small, with only a handful of issues. I don’t recall, nor do I care to check back, but I’m not sure if we had an issue of Heroes in Crisis in December, even–of course, this is only by a week, so negligible, but whatever. Much as I’ve liked this writer’s Batman stuff, I’m really not caring for this event…it doesn’t feel like anything’s really HAPPENING. Or not enough per issue. But 4 issues in, and it NOT being $4.99, nor has it slipped to some bi-monthly (or less-frequent) schedule, so I’m probably in for the entire thing at this point…if only to see what comes of it.

It also seems that Action Comics slipped slightly…with #1001 having come out in July, January should see #1007.

While it’s fitting that Marvel (in particular!) honor Stan Lee…it appears to me that they’re only doing so by removing the logos but keeping regular images for covers. To me, that just makes these look like DC variants, and since the cover images don’t incorporate his likeness in any way or such, and it’s not like they’re putting the black memorial band OVER a logo. And given his own large/over-the-top/grandiose-ness…it seems to me a disservice to hide the big, bold logos and such of the characters that directly or tangentially are here because of him.

And Marvel sure wasted NO TIME rushing a ton of Conan stuff out. Much as they did four years ago with Star Wars. And frankly, that really puts me off quite a bit; as well as apparently having a couple more series debuting soon, and just…flooding the market. I opted to get this first issue just to try, but haven’t gotten around to reading it, and have yet to hear anything all that good about it.


Week of January 09, 2019

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This week was definitely a bigger week with more stuff out…though it also annoyed me to a certain degree.

Firstly, we get the premiere of the new Young Justice series with the new Young Justice #1. I quite enjoyed the issue, and look forward already to the next!

This is a Batman week, with both Batman and Nightwing out. I need to catch up on READING Nightwing OR just cut my losses and drop the title. Time’ll tell on that.

We’ve got the premiere of the new iteration of Brubaker and PhillipsCriminal title. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of this title in the past (and particularly remember the 10th anniversary issue!) so definitely giving this issue a shot…though I’ll likely trail off and wind up going with the collected editions. Again…time’ll tell.

The week had TWO issues of Aliens stuff. The conclusion of the 4-issue Dust to Dust mini. and the 3rd of (I believe) 4-issue adaptation of Gibson‘s screenplay for Alien3. I’m pretty sure I’ve wound up with variant covers for both series, just trying to get issues, and Dark Horse is back to the seemingly-rigid 4-issue cycles, so I’ve pretty much decided that for the multiple variant covers every issues and preferring the full(er) stories I’ll get the final issue of this Alien3 thing and then I’m done with the single issues. "Nostalgia" might prompt me to go against this if they do another Fire and Stone or Life and Death-style saga, but otherwise, at least collected volumes don’t USUALLY come with a bunch of variants!

And finally, we’re halfway through Adventures of the Super Sons now, and I have got to get the previous series and all 6 of these pulled together to get caught up on my reading.


I’m really looking forward to the new TMNT: Shredder in Hell mini that starts with the week of January 16th; as well as getting Bendis‘ "backstory" filled in on Jon Kent’s missing time between the end of the Rebirth stuff and his run (or the flashbacks, technically, from Bendis Man of Steel).

And depending on how the week shakes out, I may do a couple other posts soon for some other acquisitions of "stuff." As I’m repeating through this post, though…time will tell!

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Young Justice (2019) #1 [Review]

young_justice_(2019)_0001Seven Crises

Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Patrick Gleason
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Letters: DC Lettering
Cover: Gleason & Sanchez
Associate Editor: Jessica Chen
Editors: Mike Cotton & Andy Khouri
Group Editors: Brian Cunningham & Mark Doyle

I wasn’t going to get this. I vaguely remember it being announced, as well as seeing SOMETHING about these Wonder Comics and thinking hey…yet ANOTHER new imprint to not get into!

As to the property itself–the title Young Justice–I remember ads for the World Without GrownUps or whatever back in 1998 or so, and the premiere of the original Young Justice ongoing series. I mostly missed out on that at the time–I was getting a lot of Marvel at that point (with the Heroes Return titles) and mainly just the Superman titles from DC, offhand. The END of that Young Justice series (and Titans) came in the Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day mini-‘event’, which I picked up just after my OWN graduation day from college. The event led away from Young Justice and Titans and into two "new" series–a new iteration of Teen Titans and Outsiders, both of which I followed (getting in at #1 for lengthy runs) up to Infinite Crisis or so. I dove deep into DC continuity just after Young Justice. So I never had the nostalgia of the title or the particular iterations of the characters. When the animated series was out, I enjoyed the first several episodes, but lost track of it due to episode scheduling (as I do most animated series, it seems). So I had no huge attachment there to the title, either.

But somewhere along the way between this series being announced and this issue’s release, I found out (online) that Tim Drake would be Robin again, and that "my" Superboy–Connor Kent–the one introduced during 1993’s Reign of the Supermen–would be back. Seeing Superboy in particular on a cover image, I was "sold."

Maybe the first thing about this actual issue to note is the hefty $4.99 price point. I tend to DESPISE $4.99 #1 issues, particularly because of the way I feel that Marvel has abused the practice over the last few years. This issue felt thicker, though, and I’m more forgiving toward DC (though they have squandered a lot of the goodwill they earned from me with Rebirth). It is an extra-sized issue, with 30 story pages (an extra 1/3 content for the price of 1/4), so the "value" is technically there.

We open the issue on Gemworld, with someone relaying information about seven crises and Earth. We then jump to Earth, and a young woman’s arrival in Metropolis. This is Jinny Hex…new to the big city. As she’s dealing with having been pulled over for a busted taillight on her vehicle…agents of Gemworld invade, causing quite a ruckus. Jinny finds herself face to face with Robin (Tim Drake) and seems rather awe-struck. A flashback shows us an interaction between Tim and Cassie Sandsmark minutes earlier, also in Metropolis, as the two catch up briefly before Tim leaps into action with the invasion. Joining the action is Impulse–Bart Allen; he is clearly excited to be in action and interacting with the others while facing the invasion. Before long, Wonder Girl joins in as well as a Green Lantern Ring Construct…and Bart declares that Young Justice is back! It looks as if the heroes may have prevailed, and then they’re caught up in some sort of energy, and Robin comes to on Gemworld facing Amethyst…while Impulse finds himself facing a certain missing teammate to end the issue.

This issue provoked a reaction in me that I haven’t had in awhile from any comic, and that I don’t know entirely how to describe. But to try…in short, I flat-out enjoyed this comic, I loved seeing Tim referred to as Robin again, and something about these characters–even though I lack a huge amount of context for the grouping–really hit my nostalgia buttons. Perhaps because this is the first time it seems Tim Drake has properly–without likelihood of reprint revision–been referred to as Robin since 2009 or so. Perhaps it’s seeing Connor Kent Superboy again for the first time since at least 2011. Perhaps it’s that this feels like something from before the New 52, period.

Likely all of the above and that the issue was just…FUN. I mean, an invasion, the destruction of property and all that…sure, that’s not something to celebrate, but this IS a comic book, and we’re not beaten over the head while reading about the destruction itself or how it’s impacting some random character or bystander. We just get heroes in action, and saving people, and no real focus on dark, grim, gritty stuff.

I know I’ve had issues with Gleason‘s art in the past–I think to the point that I even came to dislike seeing his name on stuff; it was a sign that I would likely dislike the art. His art won me over a bit during the Rebirth run of Superman; and maybe I’m just so thrilled to see Robin and Superboy again, but I really dug the art on this issue! Gleason‘s style seems very well-suited for this sort of frenetic fun and the energetic nature of much of the issue–from Robin laying into Gemworlders to Bart completely enjoying himself in action…and even working in more serious stuff without coming off with stylistic things that’d get me complaining on some principle. There are several double-page spreads, and other than the "Young Justice is BACK!" bit, I could do without them. I tend to feel that most double-pagers are "cheats" and go by way too quickly for taking up multiple full pages, lowering the "value" in terms of per-page story content.

Story-wise, this seems like a pretty good first issue. I’m not at all current on Tim Drake stuff, nor Bart or Cassie; I vaguely recall something about Jinny being in a Walmart-exclusive comic, but she comes off as fresh and new here, as does Teen Lantern; I also lack any real familiarity with Amethyst and Gemworld except that they exist. But I was still able to enjoy the issue, with everyone getting introductions or otherwise at least being named on-page…no need to go online to hunt down "who" someone was or be left scratching my head. (And the lettering had a great touch, working character names in as logos in a way that doesn’t seem to be used much lately and reminds me quite a bit of ’90s comics). This isn’t a perfect story by any means…I didn’t really "get" the invasion or anything much from that–it was more incidental, an excuse for "big action" and something to bring the characters together, to get stuff from Point A to Point B and such. That it included these particular characters being pulled together, though…it worked for me.

This is certainly no done-in-one issue, and it really only serves so far to move pieces around to begin to move toward whatever the full story will eventually be. The issue is significant in itself as a single issue for bringing the characters together (if only certain characters in virtual cameos) and being the first time we’ve seen several in years–or at least, seemingly years. But this is just the opening chapter of a serialized graphic novel, that presumably will be the standard-ish 6 issues in length.

There’s a certain on-page authenticity to the various characters, that both looks and feels like what I’d expect of a Bendis-helmed comic. His work can be hit or miss for me, but this issue is definitely a hit. I got this for the characters involved, and was not disappointed. That Bendis is the writer is incidental to me, and something I’m fine with, based on this issue. Whether that holds for future issues remains to be seen! But for now, I’m definitely onboard for this title in particular…and having thoroughly enjoyed this, I may even consider checking out the other Wonder Comics titles.

If you’re a fan of Tim Drake, Bart Allen (at least as he was pre-2003), early Connor Kent Superboy, and so on…this is definitely worth jumping in on. Especially if you’ve been "away" from the characters for awhile or not staying current with DC‘s continuity. This does not feel like it relies on anything else going on…it’s just the world these characters inhabit and them coming together and working together. This is not spinning out of some other event or title…no prologue in Detective Comics or one of the Justice League titles or some other mini-series. And even if you’re not specifically a fan of a specific character in a particular role, if you enjoy teen heroes, enjoy seeing Robin/Wonder Girl/Impulse/etc. together in a title…I’d say this is worthwhile to check out.

I have every intention myself of picking up the next issue, and if I enjoy it the way I did this issue, I may be onboard for awhile!

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Young Justice #1 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Young Justice #0 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

 

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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