Just to prove that there are great comics to be had for less than the cost of some new releases, here are some of the comics I was able to pick up at a comic show this weekend. All of them lower grade copies, to be sure, but also all less than $5.
Well, this is somewhat disappointing. I’m only picking up one comic this week — GORILLA MAN #3 — which wraps up that mini. There’s not much more harping on Jeff Parker, Agents of Atlas, or Gorilla Man I can do at this point. I haven’t gotten to read last week’s comics yet, focusing instead on working my way through Joe Casey and Ashley Wood’s Automatic Kafka, which I’ve been trying to complete for several years now.
Since I have the opportunity (and it worked so well last time), I’ll throw today’s post open to comments: what should I check out?
The last time I did this I got some killer recommendations from Friend of the Blog Larry, who suggested DMZ and Nightly News among others. I’m on the 6th DMZ trade now and it just gets stronger with each collection. I’ve only been able to track down the first issue of Nightly News, but so far it’s incredible: everything Brian Wood’s Channel Zero promised to be but didn’t deliver on.
I say this every week, but what are YOU looking at? All suggestions will be considered, but anything coming out this week that has a $3 cover price will probably get picked up. Fire away!
It’s all-Marvel (and mostly kvetching) this week at your number one site for Golden Age Aquaman history. Here’s what I’m looking at this week.
- DEADPOOL #1000 – If anyone deserves to mock the recent spate anniversary issues, I suppose it deserves to be Deadpool, who has turned into the Marvel U’s answer to Ambush Bug. Still, in light of Marvel’s creative accounting when it comes to tallying up issue numbers, they’re shining The Harsh Spotlight of Truth (TM) on themselves more than the industry.
- GORILLA MAN #2 (OF 3) – I’ll take a new tack this time around. Rather than talking about the genius of Jeff Parker, I’ll talk about the genius of Ken Hale, the Gorilla Man. It would be all-too-easy to turn him into a despondent, woe-is-me reluctant hero, a la Ben Grimm. Instead, we get a funny, action-seeking hero who has embraced the reality of his situation and seeks to make the best of it. Parker’s look at the origin of Hale shows us that his life was never easy, but he has the strength of character to best of his situation. Also, the art is PURTY.
- MARVELMAN FAMILYS FINEST #2 (OF 6) – When the first issue came out I was very excited to get the chance to read some classic Marvelman, but when I actually picked it up (just before setting it right back down) on the stands I was disappointed. For $4 Marvel reprints these stories in black and white on the cheapest newsprint I’ve seen in a comic in a long time. A cynical man would say Marvel figured anyone who actually cared to pick this up would do so regardless of cost or production values, so I should probably just be relieved they didn’t throw in 3 pages of text by Bendis and charge $5.
- SHIELD #3 – Fortunately, Marvel saves some face with the new SHIELD book. I’m not entirely sure what the point is, but the ride so far has been worth it.
While I’m on the topic of Jonathan Hickman books, I’ve been filling in the gaps of his Fantastic Four run. I was particularly impressed with his first arc, “Solve Everything,” featuring the ultimate team-up of the Reed Richards’ of the multiverse, but every issue seems to top the one before it. It’s fun, adventurous, and scientific; pretty much everything an FF book should be. Last week’s issue kicks off what looks to be a pretty massive time travel arc, and the only quibble I can find is that it’s occasionally hard to tell the bearded characters apart. Don’t forget to stick around for the letter page, featuring Franklin and Val.
Well, that’s it for me. What are YOU looking at?
I’m running a day late due to a L.E.M.U.R. Comics Blog family reunion, as Matt and I sat around my living room talking comics rather than blogging about them. There are some really solid books out this week. New stuff to try, the conclusion of one of the best series of the 00’s, and more. Here’s what I’m looking at this week.
- ALAN MOORE NEONOMICON #1 (OF 4) – I tend not to care about most books put out by Avatar. Creators tend to take the lack of editing (or maybe more accurately, standards and practices,) as a reason to come up with the most disgusting books they can. Still, a new mini by Alan Moore is cause for celebration, and I’ll probably be snagging this one.
- ATLAS #3 – In light of last week’s new that Atlas will be ending with issue 5, if you haven’t read this yet, start with the first collections and pick this book up once it’s collected. I suspect this won’t be the last we see of our agents, though, since Jeff Parker will still be working in the Marvel Universe and he tends to bring his best characters with him.
- BATMAN BEYOND #2 (OF 6) – I enjoyed the first issue, though I’m not really sure if this comic has legs. I’ll be picking up #2 to make sure.
SCOTT PILGRIM GN VOL 06 FINEST HOUR –
With the Scott Pilgrim movie almost here, Bryan Lee O’Malley gives us the final book of the Scott Pilgrim saga. So far each book has been better than the one before, so I’m expecting big things from this one.
- THUNDERBOLTS #146 – Jeff Parker, Juggernaut, and Man-Thing. If that doesn’t sell you, nothing can.
- TIME MASTERS VANISHING POINT #1 (OF 6) – I’m not sure if I’ll wind up picking this one up, but this kicks off the DCU side of Return of Bruce Wayne, and we’ll learn why Superman and Booster Gold are trying to stop Batman from returning to the present. Um, Clark? You can’t.
That’s it for me. What are YOU looking at?
Thanks to everyone who came by to check out my piece on cover prices this weekend, and especially to everyone who’s commented. I hope we can make quite a conversation out of this.
As for this week’s comics…Well, there’s not much of note this week. And most of the noteworthy books are pretty pricey. Still, let’s dive in.
- ASTRO CITY SILVER AGENT #1 (OF 2) – I’ve resolved to start talking more about Astro City. Maybe I shouldn’t since I don’t have a full run (or even most recent issues), but I know enough to remember that Silver Agent was Astro City’s greatest hero. It will be very cool to see him, even if for only 2 issues.
- BATMAN #701 – More Morrison, that’s all I care about.
- GORILLA MAN #1 (OF 3) – I can’t believe we had to wait for The Uranian and Namora to get their own books before Ken Hale, the Gorilla Man and hands-down greatest Agent of Atlas, to get his.
- STUFF OF LEGEND THE JUNGLE #1 (OF 4) – The first Stuff of Legend book was terrific, and I’m glad to see there’s more on the way. Highly recommended if you’re looking for something different.
The biggest news of last week was how great the newest issue of Batman and Robin is. Morrison’s masterpiece is really building up now, and it’s incredible. Damian’s interactions with the Joker were
brilliantly accomplished, and Morrison really straddled the line between Batman of the past (the scenes with Dick and Commissioner Gordon reminded me of the 60’s TV show) and the future (the madness of
the Joker and Robin). This book was superbly done, and a lesson to anyone still writing 6-issue arcs of Batman versus generic gangsters.
I’ll close this week on a sad note, the passing of Harvey Pekar, of American Splendor fame. His was truly a unique voice in comics, and one that will be missed in comics.
Update: Yes, I stole this from this post over at Comics Alliance. I’m not proud. And I think it looks awesome.
It’s a week of trials this time around. Or at least trial and error.
- BATMAN AND ROBIN #13 – B&R has been consistently great, but with the current Return of Bruce Wayne tie-in happening right now, it’s by far the best Batman book I’ve read in some time. I’m putting this right up there with Morrison’s All-Star Superman. Except with, you know…Batman.
- BRIGADE #1 – I honestly can’t believe we’re getting another 90’s Liefeld throwback. I always thought Brigade was one of the worst of The Rob’s paramilitary superhero comics, but I may still be tempted to pick this up if Liefeld’s doing the art with the painted-style coloring that showed up as a preview in Image United.
- HIT-MONKEY #1 (OF 3) – I like the concept, but the cynic in me thinks this is just a cash-grab using Julie Schwartz’s theory that comics always sold better with a gorilla on the cover. Still, for 3 bucks I may bite and give it a try.
- MARVELMAN FAMILYS FINEST #1 (OF 6) – I’m a huge Miracleman fan, and I’m pretty excited that Marvel may finally reprint (or dare I hope?) finish Neil Gaiman’s run. Still, I’ve never had the opportunity to read any of the original Marvelman material, and I’m looking forward to the chance. If nothing else, it should be fairly insane.
- SHADOWLAND #1 (OF 5) and THANOS IMPERATIVE #1 (OF 6) and X-MEN #1 – Regardless of what publishers may think, there is such a thing as “event fatigue,” and I have it. I just lack the interest or motivation to keep up with whatever terrible line-wide crossover is supposed to the the big, new, status-quo shattering event. Of course, Marvel kicks off three new events this week (granted, Thanos Imperative is a reprint). Sorry, Marvel. No. You JUST got the 616 universe back into a recognizable shape. Let’s keep it that way for a while, shall we?
Last month Matt swore he was done with Green Lantern, but I’m hoping he makes an exception for last week’s issue. Featuring Lobo — the 90’s most inexplicable fad — hunting down Atrocitus, this issue was
all action, something we don’t really see enough of in Geoff Johns’ comics. While I’d hate to see him regain his Deadpool-like status he had 15 years ago, I really enjoyed this issue and felt like Lobo was making the meta-commentary I have been for the past year. The conclusion wasn’t especially original, but I liked it, and it set the groundwork for a story that could prove to be really interesting if he decides to follow it. We also finally got the origin story of Dex-Starr, the Red Lantern cat, and it read a little too much like “Dream of a Thousand Cats” but I liked it. This was a solid, fun chunk of storytelling, and I wish more of Blackest Night And Its Infinite Crossovers had been this well done.
That’s it for me. What are YOU looking at? And don’t forget, new comics come out on Thursday this week.
It’s a fairly light week again, which is still good because lately the local quarter bins have been full and I’ll probably be doing some heavy back issue shopping this Saturday. Still, there’s some solid books out this week. Here’s what I’m looking at.
- IMAGE FIRSTS INVINCIBLE # 1 – In spite of some questionable choices like Youngblood #1 and Savage Dragon #1, releasing this as a $1 book is a good call by Image. It’s a great superhero book by Robert Kirkman, full of twists and turns, and it stays in print in a variety of formats from trade to hardcover to Omnibus. I think the only thing they’re missing is digests.
- IMAGE FIRSTS PROOF #1 – Strangely, I don’t think I’m familiar with this book at all, but I’m willing to expand my horizons for a buck if it passes the flip test.
- MARVEL ZOMBIES 5 #2 (OF 5) – I’ve been digging Marvel Zombies for a while, but I just finished volume 4 and am fairly convinced that the concept has been played out for now and needs to take a little nap.
- NEMESIS #1 2ND PTG MCNIVEN VAR – If you missed out on the first print of Nemesis #1, now’s your week to check it out. My late review posted last week, but (SPOILER ALERT!) I liked it a lot.
Matt, please look elsewhere for the next bullet.
- THUNDERBOLTS #143 – A bad Jeff Parker story is better than most people’s good stories. Still, I feel like we’ve both been biding our time until the new direction kicks in.
Like Matt, I was entertained enough by Green Lantern #53 but felt that it was mostly starting points for new story arcs, like Johns has been doing a lot lately. Green Lantern has been okay, but I’m starting to
feel like I did when I dropped JSA several years back: that it’s solid but not great, and that I want just a little more out of the book. I also grabbed JLA on a whim, since I’d been wanting to check out Robinson’s new team and new writing, but I felt let down. It’s a really generic feelgood story about the team learning to work with each other, but I didn’t really care about any of the characters or how well they work with each other. This Starman is not the Mikaal Tomas I remember and every word coming out of Congorilla’s mouth just made me wish I were reading about Gorilla Man (even their origins are identical!). FAIL.
I WAS impressed by the conclusion of Avengers vs Atlas, though all the time travel talk left me mystified and disinterested. The beginning was especially strong, though, in a meta-textual look at fandom and how every line-up always be someone’s ideal team. We all have a favored line-up (see the Busiek/Perez run for mine), and anything else is always inadequate. (And here’s where we digress into an Avengers rant for no good reason…)
The current Avengers lineups don’t do anything for me. From a marketing point of view I understand why Marvel put in Spider-Man and Wolverine, and from a creative point of view I understand why Bendis put in Luke Cage and Ms. Marvel, but like a giant temporal cloud it’s not what I think the Avengers should be. To me, the key lineup is Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man (of course), along with the Vision and Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye (I accept Giant-Man/Ant-Man/Yellowjacket and Wasp, but don’t especially care about them). There should also be a couple lesser characters floating in and out, but the Avengers has never been a “big guns” team, so the lineup should be more fluid. It’s worked for 40 years, I would think that would be a pretty solid proof of concept.
Anyway, that’s it for me. What are YOU looking at?