Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: Spider-Man, Thor, Daredevil, Hercules, Vertigo and Mike Mignola

In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, the Vertigo catalog (or what’s left of it) is on sale, plus Spidey, Thor, Daredevil, Hercules and the Dark Horse works of Mike Mignola.

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

“Where is the alleged dead man, sir?”

The DC/Vertigo eBook Sale runs through Monday, 8/8.

Yes, we just had to break out that quote from the old “Man in a Suitcase” show because Vertigo gets an awful lot of sales for an imprint that’s supposed to be defunct.

Let’s break down the highlights of titles involved here:

  • Preacher – Garth Ennis / Steve Dillon (TV version was on AMC)
  • Hellblazer – The original run (TV and Film as “Constantine” and the Fox TV version was better than it gets credit for)
  • Lucifer – a Mike Carey/Peter Gross series (TV version on Fox, then Netflix)
  • Lucifer (’18 version) – Dan Watters/Max Fiumara/Sebastian Fiumara
  • Y – The Last Man – Brian K. Vaughan/Pia Guerra/Jose Marzon, Jr. (TV version was on FX on Hulu)
  • The Losers – Andy Diggle/Jock (film)
  • Sweet Tooth – Jeff Lemire (TV version on Netflix)
  • DMZ – Brian Wood/Riccardo Burcchiell (TV version on HBO Max)
  • iZombie – Chris Roberson/Mike Allred (TV version on CW)
  • Stardust – Neil Gaiman/Charles Vess (Film, though that was probably from the novel)
  • Fables – Bill Willingham/Mark Buckingham (primary artist)
  • Fables: The Wolf Among Us – video game adaption
  • Unwritten – Mike Carey/Peter Gross
  • The Invisibles – Grant Morrison and rotating artists
  • 100 Bullets – Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
  • American Vampire – Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque
  • Scalped – Jason Aaron/R.M. Guera
  • Daytripper – Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon
  • Animal Man – ’88 to ’95 version
  • We3 – Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (amazing this isn’t a movie yet)
  • Books of Magic (’18 version) – Kat Howard and Tom Fowler are the most frequent creators
  • The Wake – Scott Synder/Sean Murphy
  • Northlanders – Brian Wood / rotating artists
  • Global Frequency – Warren Ellis/rotating artists (we liked the TV pilot, but it wasn’t picked up)
  • Transmetropolitan – Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson

A lot of TV/film activity for a “dead” label, eh?

You can pretty much “pick your poison” with this sale.  That said, the 12-issue sized Preacher collections for $5.99 are a pretty good deal.  Same deal for the $5.99 double volumes of Y: The Last Man.

Preacher   Y the Last Man

Catches Your Money Just Like Flies

August’s “Marvel Monthly Sale” is The Spider-Man 60th Anniversary Sale, which runs through 9/5.

Yes, it cracks us up that the monthly sales always end in a different month.

This one is a little different from the last big Spidey sale in that it isn’t just Amazing Spider-Man it’s a 330-item selection across various titles.  They’re also using that scrolling carousel format on the main sale page that makes this a lot easier to parse.

A few ideas?

We always liked the Brand New Day  era of teams shuttling in and out for story arcs (it was all carefully coordinated) and you had all the usual suspects involved: Mark Waid, Dan Slott, Zeb Wells, John Romita, Jr., Phil Jimenez, Lee Weeks, etc., etc.

While his Iron Man work is more celebrated and his Amazing Spider-Man work often overshadowed by the artists he worked with, David Michelinie had a pretty good and lengthy run, much of which is in Epic Collections.  You can start with Venom, which feature art from some guy named McFarlane.

And coming in from left field, while Marvel Team-Up was usually the third wheel Spidey title, we’ve got a lot of love for the Chris Claremont/John Byrne era of it. After their Iron Fist run and leading into their X-Men run… which a little bit of mutant mayhem here and there.

Spider-Man: Brand New Day x Amazing Spider-Man - Venom x Marvel Team-Up

You Were Expecting “Brave Ulysses?”

The Marvel Thor: Tales of Asgard Sale runs through Thursday, 8/11.

This is an odd sale. Not _all_ of Thor, but mostly because only parts of the original ongoing title are on sale. Epic Collections, yes. Masterworks, not so much.

The sale presentation leads with Thor by Jason Aaron: The Complete Collection and these not-quite Epic-sized large collections are a good value at $6.99. We also think this particular set of collections eliminates the problem of “what order do I read this in?” one gets when the story flips between titles.

You really can’t go wrong with $3.99 for the *actual* Thor: Tales of Asgard, which is a collection of the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby “Tales of Asgard” backups from Journey Into Mystery and Thor. 300 pages worth.

And for an off-the-radar pick, it’s been forever since we notice Thor: Godstorm, which was a Kurt Busiek/Steve Rude mini-series back in the day. We seem to remember liking it and Rude always shows the love on Kirby properties, too.

Thor by Jason Aaron x Thor: Tales of Asgard x Thor: Godstorm

He Doesn’t Get Along with Amazons…

The Marvel Hercules Sale runs through Monday, 8/8.

Your “classic” solo Hercules would be the “Prince of Power” era pair of miniseries by Bob Layton, now in once volume.

If you want something totally under the radar, we enjoyed the short lived Dan Abnett/Luke Ross run where Herc sobers up and attempts to get serious about his trade.

Hercules: Prince of Power   Hercules

DD Found His Discounts

Marvel has a Daredevil: The Man Without Fear sale running through Thursday, 8/11.

Last week, this sale was listed, but there weren’t any discounts on the books.  This week, the discounts arrived.  And this is a WEIRD sale with multiple collections of the same material and different formats with different discounts.

The real meat of the Marvel Knights era of Daredevil (what this mostly seems to be) is a set of two runs that blend together: Brian Bendis/Alex Maleev, followed by Ed Brubaker/Michael Lark.

Your best value for the Bendis/Maleev run is the 3-volume Daredevil by Bendis and Maleev Ultimate Collection towards the bottom of the page, here.

You’ll find the Brubaker/Lark volumes discounted over here, toward the bottom of the page.

And as we said last time, Daredevil: Love’s Labor Lost is the only thing currently reprinted from the Denny O’Neil run the bridged that gap between Frank Miller’s two stints. The rest of it isn’t even on Marvel Unlimited.  This is the tale end of that run, featuring art by David Mazzucchelli, who’d started 9 issues earlier. It’s worth a look, if the discounts show up (and we don’t know why the rest of this era is buried).

Daredevil

They Like Mike

The Dark Horse Mike Mignola Sale runs through Monday, 8/15.

Yes, you might say Mignola’s important to Dark Horse.

Your core Mignola experience is going to be Hellboy, but you probably already knew that.  It’s wonderful and the omnibus line is the way to go.

While it does suffer from the “hardcover pricing for digital” problem, the Lobster Johnson Omnibus is still cheaper than getting the single volumes. It’s a rotating creative cast and a rotating tone from farce to pulp thriller, but we’ve found the adventures in the 1930s Hellboy-verse highly entertaining.

And, of course, the primary companion piece to Hellboy is B.P.R.D.the first arc of which is in omnibus editions here. There are some false starts, but one the “Plague of Frogs” arc properly starts up, your creative team is Mignola/John Arcudi/Guy Davis and it’s a helluva ride… pun intended.

However… you know how sometimes unexpected things show up in a sale (we’ll see how long it takes them to correct this after the column goes live)?  How about three issues of Captain America?  Yes, issues #286#287 and #288That’s a J.M. DeMatteis/Mike Zeck Deathlok storyline.  As it happens, one of the best arcs… but we’ve no idea what it has to do with a Mignola sale.  $0.99 a pop, if you’re inclined.  There are a lot of random Marvel single issues scattered throughout this sale if you page through it.

Hellboy   Lobster Johnson   BPRD - Plague of Frogs

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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: Sandman, Paper Girls, The Mask, Flaming Carrot and a Daredevil Non-Sale?

In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, it’s TV sale time:  Sandman and Paper Girls get solo sales as the Netflix/Prime hype builds. Marvel may or may not have a Daredevil sale. DC goes “Deluxe” and Dark Horse points out they have some superheroes, too.

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

We’re Going To Find Who Made That Pun

DC’s Sandman: The Streaming Sale runs through Monday, 8/8.

The Streaming? Oh, somebody thinks they’re funny.  Good grief.

Anyway, Sandman is finally coming to Netflix and it’s slated to drop on 8/5.  There’s a sale, although it’s really been on sale for about a month.  If you’re looking to read it, there is a slight difference in reading order between the two formats.  Since they’re doing an OK job separating out the options on the sale page, we’ll go through it that way… and then point out the important detail that page layout is hiding.

The Deluxe Format is reprinting straight through as it was published.

The “Graphic Novels,” the original collections, aren’t *quite* straight through. The short stories that sometimes pop up between arcs get their own volume.

There’s not _much_ price difference between the two, but the graphic novels will save you a couple bucks. Also, the Deluxe run – and there’s a reason they don’t link you to the series page on this – does not have the final, 5th volume on sale.

So, pick your poison.

Sandman

Where’s Their Two Dollars?

The Paper Girls Sale runs through Monday, 8/15.

Seems like we gave you the heads up on this a little earlier, but now there’s a solo sale.  Paper Girls is time-hopping science fiction romp by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang that finds some newspaper delivery girls stumbling into a very strange and recursive conflict. We enjoyed it and the Amazon Prime adaption drops today (if you’re reading this on 7/29).  The best buy here is the all-in-one Omnibus.

Paper Girls

We’re Holding Out For Chips Deluxe

The DC Deluxe eBooks Sale runs through Monday, 8/8.

This Deluxe eBook thing… higher page count, but based on print HC pricing, so you only want to approach during a sale. The whole HC pricing for digital model is problematic at its core, but let’s see if we can find some value buys.

Dial H is the reimagining of “Dial H for Hero” by weird fiction icon China Miéville, Mateus Santolouco and Alberto Ponticelli.  And a gloriously weird and offbeat thing it is, particularly as our heroes probe the topic of where the powers that get dialed up actually come from. A highly entertaining book that flew under the radar during the New 52 era and probably would have been more at home at Vertigo in the early ’90s. (That was not an insult.) #0-15 for $9.99, so under a buck per issue.

Marshal Law by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neil is roughly what you’d get if you crossed a meaner Judge Dredd with The Boys, although it precedes The Boys by over a decade. We’d forgotten DC still had the rights to this, but we’re probably within 10 feet of the HC while typing this.  The premise is a more fanatical lawman in the Judge Dredd mold stalking his prey in a future populated by superheroes.  And he HATES superheroes. Possibly more than Billy Butcher. So when one goes bad, it’s his pleasure to handle the situation.  Very funny, very dark and not for kids.  Not cheap, per se, but you get 450+ pages and it’s quality material.

A good budget buy would be JSA: The Golden Age by James Robinson and Paul Smith. $5.99 will get you the Elseworlds story of what happened to the Justice Society after WWII, featuring the McCarthy Committee and a conspiracy.  To say more would be spoilers, but this was effectively Robinson’s warm-up for Starman and Paul Smith is… well, Paul Smith.

Dial H   Marshal Law   JSA: The Golden Age

The Man Without Discounts

In theory, Marvel has a Daredevil: The Man Without Fear sale running through Thursday, 8/11.

BEWARE. As of this writing, it does not look like these comics are actually discounted.  It’s largely the Marvel Knights run – and we have no problem recommending that whole run, particularly the Bendis/Brubaker eras.

We’ll revisit this next week – if there are discounts by then. (We’ve seen the discounts arrive after a few days for DC sales in the past, but this is the first time we recall seeing one for Marvel.) Maybe these will turn into good deals.

In the meantime, we’ll say that Daredevil: Love’s Labor Lost is the only thing currently reprinted from the Denny O’Neil run the bridged that gap between Frank Miller’s two stints. The rest of it isn’t even on Marvel Unlimited.  This is the tale end of that run, featuring art by David Mazzucchelli, who’d started 9 issues earlier. It’s worth a look, if the discounts show up (and we don’t know why the rest of this era is buried).

Daredevil

Non-Big 2 Capes

The Dark Horse Superhero sale runs through Monday, 8/8.

OK, maybe this is a little shorter on literal capes. The usual suspects: Umbrella Academy, Black Hammer, Grendel and Nexus, we’ve talked about in recent weeks, but are here if you want to look them up.  We’ll look a little further afield for this sale.

The Mask is better known for the Jim Carey / Cameron Diaz film, but it was originally a comic. Primarily a John Arcudi (yes, also of B.P.R.D fame) and Doug Mahnke comic for the first few series (and following an incarnation as “The Masque,”) you can get a couple omnibuses of this particular flavor of mayhem.  And yes, that includes the Arcudi/Mahnke version debuting in the comic Mayhem.

If you want really off the beaten path, there’s The Flaming CarrotBob Burden’s 80’s creation is… hard to describe. Surreal is perhaps the word most often used. We’d probably add eccentric and absurdist. It’s also hard to compare to other comics.  Perhaps a stranger predecessor to The Tick with fewer powers floating around? Look, there’s a pretty good sized preview available if you click on the cover on the listing page. It might be easier to just read a bit yourself.  Know that it’s considered a cult classic.

For something a bit more recent (at least the DH edition is from June), there’s the Brian Bendis/Alex Maleev ScarletThis edition collects both of the previous series about a young woman who sparks a revolution while fighting back against corrupt police. It’s not what we’d call a superhero story. It’s more along the lines of the old school Bendis Caliber catalog… except with Maleev’s art and frankly we were happy to see the throwback. Frankly, this book is a lot more topical than when either series originally came out.

And if you’d like to explore the $0.99 single issue, this link will sort them to the top. (Still a bit of a mess, but easier access.)

Mask Omnibus   Flaming Carrot   Scarlet

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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: SDCC ’22 Discounts Continue with X-Men, Nightwing, BOOM! and IDW Joining the Party

In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, Comic-Con 2022 has arrived and the sales came along for the ride. Added to the pile: lots of X-Men, Eisner nods from DC, BOOM!’s wide swath of books and last week’s IDW link got fixed.

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

Just a heads up – there is a LOT of indie action at the “San Diego Graphic Novel Sales” page.  Or full annotations for the bulk of that are in last week’s column.

Brand X

The Marvel X-Men Legacy Sale runs through Thursday, 7/28.

It’s a legacy sale, so it’s the Uncanny X-Men core… although this may shorter list than some of the legacy sales. For instance,  X-Men wasn’t part of Heroes Reborn, so no relaunch there.

As is our custom, let’s run through the key series included, first:

And you might be asking yourself, “aren’t there usually more than one X-Men title and don’t they cross over a lot?” Yes, that would be a potential issue… pun intended. Not so much with the Epic Collections and the Masterworks as with the later series, and there are some Event collections in the set.

You should know our general advice right now. There’s a slight preference for the value of Epic Collections over Masterworks collections, but it depends on the exact price point and the Epic Collections sometimes have gaps.  That still applies here.  The wild card with X-Men is that it can get impenetrable with continuity and all the characters floating around. You can’t always just jump in.

So, recommendations with that in mind.

If you’ve never tried the original X-Men, we’d say go with The Sentinels Live Epic Collection. It’s at the very tail end of the original run that the original X-Men run is at its best: a bit of Jim Steranko and then a Roy Thomas / Neal Adams sequence that ended all too quickly.

For the “new” X-Men, we’re cool with the theory that Giant-Sized X-Men #1 / Uncanny X-Men #94 through #200 is one big arc. That’s where we’d start if we were new. The Epic Collections only take you to #153, at which point you need to start cutting in the Masterworks editions with V. 7 through 12.

For an alternate jumping on point, perhaps the Ed Brubaker era (# to # ) which is collected in three volumes starting with Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire.

We assume you already know about the Morrison run.

And if you were looking for the Events that started after #200… well, that’s next.

X-Men Epic Collection: The Sentinels Live   

Did Somebody Say Crossover?

The Marvel X-Men Milestones Sale runs through Monday, 7/25.

And this would be a set of single volume collections of the big “Event” storylines where the various X-titles converge.  And maybe look at it in chronological view.

Dark Phoenix is the classic, but perhaps best enjoyed in the context of that #94-200 run we described above.  Past that, everyone has their favorite. We might go out on a limb and suggest that Messiah Complex is the best post-Claremont arc, but… opinions vary.

Messiah Complex

Award Bait

The DC Eisners Sale runs through Monday, 7/25.

This is a tiny, 9 item sale that originally included some single issues that don’t appear to be on sale. No clue what was up with that.

Of the contenders, Batman is the usual suspect, but the Tom Taylor / Bruno Redondo Nightwing is the critical belle of the ball, here.

A bit more under the radar is the Ram V / Mike Perkins Swamp ThingWe’re not so sure that shouldn’t have waited to package the entire story in one volume (V.2 drops in ~3 weeks), but this slight reimaging of the character as a new avatar for The Green emerges is definitely an interesting read.

Nightwing   Swamp Thing

Return to the Planet of the Comic-Con Sales

The Boom! SDCC Graphic Novel Sale runs through 8/4/22.

This one popped on the SDCC later than the rest, and you know what?  There are a few BOOM! titles we’re happy to share the love for.

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead is an absolutely bonkers delight from Al Ewing (who’s on a hot streak) and Simone Di Meo. It starts out as tale of smuggling around a salvage operation, scavenging the body parts of dead gods found floating in space. Then it gets into suppressive governments and cults. We’re not sure precisely where it’s going to end up, but we’re happy to be along for the ride.  It appears only V. 1 is on sale.

Once and Future by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora is probably a little higher up on the BOOM! visibility scale. It’s a breezy adventure with a bit of humor and darkness around the edges at times concerning a fellow who’s been drafted into the family monster-hunting business by his grandmother (who isn’t as retired as she should be) and a plot to raise a decidedly unfriendly King Arthur from the grave. A really fun series.

And for a deeper cut that’s coming to the surface because of a Netflix film deal, there’s Irredeemable by Mark Waid, Peter Krause and Diego Barreto.  The high concept here is somewhere between “Superman has a psychotic break” and “Superman meets The Bad Seed.” The Plutonian, a sort of Superman-esque character finally snaps and decides he’s in charge.  The surviving heroes and villains must try to stay alive long enough to figure out how to stop him.  Interestingly, there seem to now be a lot of comparisons to The Boys, which you didn’t really hear when then two books were running. There is an “abuse of superpowers” theme in common, but the two series are nearly tonal opposites. The Boys, particularly the original comic, is slapstick and parody. Irredeemable plays it straight. We’ve always enjoyed it.

We Only Find Them When They're Dead   Once & Future   Irredeemable

How IDW Got Its Link Back

The IDW SDCC Sale runs through Monday, 7/25… and guess what?  Comixology/Amazon fixed the link from last week’s error, so now we can see the whole thing.

A buried bargain: $3.49 for Jeff Lemire’s Underwater Weldera well regarded science fiction character study graphic novel.

$3.99 will get you Bermuda by John Layman and Nick Bradshaw. This fairly recent collection (came out in Feb.) concerns a region of the Atlantic Ocean that collects missing ships and planes. There’s an island in it, inhabited by pirates, dinosaurs and assorted monsters.  And a 16 year old girl named Bermuda running roughshod over the lot of them.  A little bit of Kamandi, a little bit of Land of the Lost. It’s a really fun book with great art, too. Seems like it flew under the radar.

And for the “classic” option, it’s sometimes hard to find enough praise to heap on Darwyn Cooke’s Richard Stark’s Parker series of graphic novels.  An absolutely brilliant adaptation of the Donald Westlake crime novels about a thief who believes in payback. Highly recommended.

Underwater Welder   Bermuda   Richard Stark's Parker

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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: The Comic-Con Sales Arrive in Force: X-Men, House of M, Batman and Indies Galore

In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, the Comic-Con sale arrive in force. Multiple indie sales. X-Men and House of M at Marvel. Another wide sampler from DC, too.

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

The Comic-Con Run-Up Arrives in Force!

The “San Diego Graphic Novel Sales – Start Here” page is worth your time to look at.

How long does this grouping of sales last? No idea. They forgot to include dates. Figure it’s probably until the 25th (the Monday after SDCC)?  What particularly interesting is that the folks at… they’re still calling it the Comixology section for the moment… are continuing an attempt to make this a little more navigable by having more alphabetical carousels displaying covers on the various sales pages here.

This is a step in the right direction!

Anyway… lots of ground to cover, just with this section. Let’s hit some highlights… and remember, the Dark Horse sale listed on this page is something we covered last week.

From the “Recent Releases” category / carousel, we would draw your attention to Astro City Metrobook Vol. 1 by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson and Alex Ross. At $11.99, it’s at the higher end of price points we’ll recommend, but this is prime material from a LONG running series that’s relocating back to Image and you’re getting ~485 pages / ~19 issues for your troubles.  This is an examination of superhero genre – very much of the classic Silver Age concepts this early in the series. Busiek, Anderson and Ross are world building here and the viewpoint can switch from heroes to sidekicks to bystanders over the various series. Short version – it’s a distillation of everything good about superheroes and it can also be an excellent palette cleanser if Events are getting you down. Very highly recommended!

Astro City Metrobook

Omnibuses

The Omnibus link is something we heartily approve of.  It appears to be a gathering of omnibuses from the various sales currently running.  To quote the great Clay Davis, from the Wire: “sheeeeeeeeeeeee-” (you know the rest). That’s almost like something we’d do! And this is a place where flipping through the graphic carousels will save you a lot of time.

Highlights (we spoke of the joys of Hellboy-verse omnibuses last week):

Best buy: Saga Compendium One – the first 54 issues of the Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples masterwork for a lousy $23.99.  Less than fifty cents per issues.  Cheap and a modern classic. You don’t get much better than that.

Runner up: Paper Girls: The Complete Story – all 30 issues on the Brian K. Vaughan/Cliff Chiang time travel caper for $19.99. The TV version will be hitting Prime shortly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-1cyNm7iAU

And since the third volume in the series is coming out, Luther Arkwright contains The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and Heart of Empire, the first two series in Bryan Talbot’s legendary series about a dimension hopping, empire tumbling adventurer.  Another real winner!

Saga   Paper Girls  Luther Arkwright

Oni / Lion Forge

In regards to the  Oni Press and Lion Forge sales – we don’t really know any more about the situation over at Oni/Lion Forge than you’ve already read. We can’t discount the possibility that some of their titles could end up off the market for a little while. Possibly resurfacing at different publishers. If you’re interested in something and like the price, maybe pull the trigger in the next week or two. (We’ve always liked Kaijumax and Sixth Gun, though we’ve seen better prices for Sixth Gun.)

IDW and the bad link

The IDW SDCC Sale appears to have a bad link.  Only 25 items at that link and there’s a LOT more in the carousel on the main sale page, so scroll through that. And who knows, maybe Amazon will fix the link?

The original 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith for $0.99? Absolutely worth a look if you’ve never tried it. (After all, one could argue it’s the book that “made” IDW.) The high concept? Vampires in Alaska, so far north that the sun will set for 30 days and they’ll have free reign.

It’s not clear if GI JOE is on sale or not (we suspect those are sale prices we’re seeing) and that’s another one that might not be at IDW much longer, so if you like the prices, think about stocking up.

30 Days of Night 

Image

And then there’s the  Image SDDC Graphic Novel Sale.

Seems like the final prices here might be a little higher than we’ve seen in the past? Definitely, we’re seeing the old problem of the Deluxe volumes being on sale. The Deluxe volumes are oversized for print, ergo a little more expensive than the single volumes and usually an inferior deal in digital when everything is based on the print price. After all, there is no hardcover in digital.  So be aware of that while browsing here.

That said, the Spawn Compendium is a similar deal to that giant Saga collection – for $23.99 each, you’ve got a couple 50 issue volumes available. If you want to read the first 100 issues of Spawn, you can get them for under $0.50/issue this way.

Spawn Compendium

Dynamite

The Dynamite SDCC Graphic Novel Sale

The first two volumes of Red Sonja by Mark Russell and Bob Quinn are $6.99. Yes, the same Mark Russell from Flintstones and Billionaire Island.  And it works. The main story is a “straight” adventure, but all around the edges satirical elements sink in… if you’re paying attention.  An unusual Red Sonja one, to be sure, but a good one.

Red Sonja

Let the X-Sales Begin…

Marvel’s Reign of X Sale runs through Thursday, 7/21.

Let’s back up a little here.  Reign of X is sort of the third Act of the Hickman-run X-Men era. Act one is House of X / Powers of X. Act two is Dawn of X, which is all the “regular” titles and culminates in the X of Swords Event. Reign of X picks up after X of Swords.

This is the format that collects the issues of the individual series in a preferred reading order. Not quite publication order (you’ll read a two-part in a single title back-to-back, here and there) but that’s the easiest way to think of it.  In general, we think this reading experience is a better way to read Hickman’s X-Saga and seeing the breadth of the world building unfurl is additive. That said, we found the quality of the line a little less consistent in Reign of X than Dawn of X.  (Which is to say, we’re not going to blame you if you skip the Children of the Atom bits.)

This link will show the volumes in order.

Reign of X

Not the Byrne “Generations”

The Marvel Generations of X Sale runs through Thursday, 7/21

This is a somewhat eclectic set of X-Men (and X-Men family) runs. You’re most likely to recognize Wolverine and the X-Men from Jason Aaron / Chris Bachalo / Nick Bradshaw and Generation X by Scott Lobdell and… Chris Bachalo again (at least on the main title in the collection).

Wolverine and the X-Men    Generation X

No More Mutants

Marvel’s House of M sale runs through Monday, 7/18.

This would be the Event Miniseries where Wanda snaps and rewrites reality… forming the basis for the WandaVision TV series.  Brian Bendis and Olivier Coipel are your creators. This is the sort of Event where we recommend getting the main series and then dipping your toe into the supporting collections in the sale at your own discretion.  A good chunk of the Marvel line shifted their storylines to participate in the Event, buy how relevant they were to the main storyline varied widely and a lot of it would firmly be considered side stories. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not always presented as such.

House of M

DC’s SDCC Run-Up

The DC at SDCC  Ebooks Sale runs through Monday, 7/25.

What we have here is another 2K ebook drop, should you have time for an extended browse.

If you’re looking for a lower price point per eBook, Jonah Hex is good candidate, alternating between $4.99 and $5.99 volumes.  Dark western tales of the disfigured and tortured bounty hunter written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. The artists rotate quite a bit on this one and a certain point, Palmiotti & Gray seemed to be playing a game of “which legend can we get to draw the next issue?”  That is NOT a bad thing.

For $5.99, here’s something that’s under a lot of radars. Not everyone remembers, but prior to the more famous Long Halloween, Jeph Loeb and the late Tim Sale started out with Batman Halloween specials.  And let us assure you, that first one came out of nowhere and punched everyone right between the eyes. Batman: Haunted Knight collects the specials that got the Loeb/Sale ball rolling.

And for a value buy, DC Universe By Len Wein. $9.99 gets you 23 stories – not necessarily 23 issues, because some of the DC titles had backups back then, but you get an interesting mix here: a run of Wein’s under-appreciated Phantom Stranger run with Jim Aparo. The JLA/JSA team-up that reintroduced the Seven Soldiers of Victory. The DC Comics Presents run with Jim Starlin that introduces Mongul.

Jonah Hex   Batman - Haunted Knight   DC Universe by Len Wein

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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: DC’s Summer Sale (Batman and friends); Image Touts the Eisner Nods (Dept. of Truth); Dark Horse Has Everything on Sale (Everything)

In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, DC’s attempting to make summer sizzle, Image is touting its Eisner nods and Dark Horse… has everything on sale.

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

Interestingly, there are no new Marvel sales this week. Check the Still On Sale section for the links to the Thor / GoG / “July” sales which we also looked at in more detail last week.

For those keeping score at home, and we know a lot of you are, the 4th of July was a Marvel BOGO week last year.  We are long overdue for one and the evidence is starting to point to those having gone away when the Comixology site did.  We continue to hope, but until we see the next one…

And By Sizzle, They Mean the Weather

The DC Summer Sizzle eBook Sale runs through Monday, 7/11.

A similar 1K book graphic novel drop to what we’ve been seeing here recently. There’s a smattering of $4.99 titles, but you’re mostly going to find a floor of $5.99 here. Nothing particularly recent on sale here, but with 1000 books, there are always some highlights. Some things that we’ve enjoyed in the past.

Ex Machina originally came out under the Wildstorm banner (will it be rebranded as Black Label or will Vertigo stick around as a legacy label?), Ex Machina is what happens when a world’s first superhero attempts to retire from superheroics and is elected mayor of NYC. Of course… superhero retirements rarely go as planned. Politics against a background of costumes and power… and vice versa, too. It’s a good one and a bit earlier to the “super mayor” party.  Written by a pre-Saga Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Tony Harris, with a bit of Chris Sprouse and Jon Paul Leon.  It’s a very solid series.

Superman: Red Son is possibly Mark Millar’s best reviewed work.  With art by Dave Johnson and Killian Plunkett (we’re going to go ahead and say – we need more Dave Johnson interior art in life), this is an Elseworlds tale of Kal-El’s rocket landing in the Soviet Union, instead of Kansas, and Superman being raised as Stalin’s weapon.

James Tynion IV recently wrapped up a Batman run, but we honestly preferred his “Batman Family” flavored run from Detective Comics a few years earlier. Eddy Barrows and Alvaro Martinez Beuno are the lead artists and the Tynion run is V. 1-7.

Ex Machina   Superman: Red Son   Detective Comics by Tynion

Awards Season

The Image Eisners Sale runs through Monday, 7/25.

Which is to say, running until Comic-Con. And there are some interesting things here.

We’re fans of Department of Truth, the X-Files-ish horror/conspiracy theory about imagination and beliefs made real by James Tynion IV (that guy again) and  Martin Simmonds. We would like to specifically point out that V.1 is down to $3.99, so the first collection for the price of a single issue.  Also some $0.99 single issues, should you prefer that format… and single issues will be cheaper that $6.99 for 6 issues in a collected edition.

With that in mind, here’s a list of the titles being offered in $0.99 single issues.  Monstress has a $3.99 V. 1, otherwise you need to compare price vs. # of issues in the collection:

Department of Truth

And They Mean Everything.

The Dark Horse Everything 2022 Sale runs through Monday, 7/25.

If it’s not the full catalog, it would seem to be awfully close.

For a lot of folks, Dark Horse starts with Hellboy. (At least in the absence of Aliens and Boris the Bear.) They’re a little pricier than some things, but since they’re basically 4-in-1 volumes, we like the Omnibus editions as a starting point here. And if you browse there is plenty more of the Hellboy universe available. It’s a classic for a reason.

Speaking of classics, there’s also Nexus, Mike Baron’s and (mostly) Steve Rude’s science fiction series with superhero trappings of a man imbued with fusion power by a sinister alien who enlists him as an assassin. Nexus is haunted by dreams of mass murderers and the only way to make them stop is to kill the murders. Also something of a cold war satire around the edges. We’ve gone through the omnibus edition in the last ~3 years and had a good time of it.

Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder has always been one of those “if you know, you know” books. Under the indie radar for a loooooong time, it’s sprawling, world building science fiction series centered around Jaeger, who’s both a sin-eater and a Finder: a sort of tracker/bounty hunter with mysterious abilities related travel, healing and locating things.  You aren’t going to find very many comics with such well-developed alien cultures as Finder, either.  Steve Leiber put us onto this long before Dark Horse acquired the rights and if you can’t trust Steve Leiber, who can you trust?  Those two Finder Library omnibus volumes are over 600 pages each. Bang for your buck!

Bonus cheap: you can find volumes of Groo by Sergio Aragones & Mark Evanier  for as low as $2.99. Not a dumb price for such a dumb barbarian.

If you’re looking for $0.99 single issues, there are a bunch and you can work your way through them starting here.

Honestly, while Amazon makes browsing painful, there’s a lot of worthwhile material here if you have the time to flip through.

Hellboy: The Complete Short Stories   Nexus   Finder

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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: BIG Marvel Week – Nearly Full Runs of Thor and Fantastic Four, plus Inhumans, Eternals and X-Men… and the DH work of Matt Kindt

In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, Marvel is going all out for the 4th of July weekend: most of the Thor catalog, most of the Fantastic Four catalog,  a “monthly” sale and then some Avengers / X-Men / Eternals material.  Yeah, that’s a lot in a week DC didn’t drop a new sale. Also – Matt Kindt’s Dark Horse catalog.

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

Before we started, we’d like to note an improvement to Marvel listings. It’s not clear if this change originated on the Marvel side or the Amazon side, but they’re making an attempt to break up some of the titles into a way that’s a little easer to look at. It’s an improvement.  Not necessarily a fix, but a step in the right direction. (Not that we’ve been trying to fill that gap with a similar approach or anything.)  We’ll see if the next DC listing follows suit.

With that said, let’s dive in.

Hammers and Bolts

Marvel’s Thor Legacy Sale runs a whopping two week through Monday, 7/11.

You’d think there was a movie coming out or something…  and yes, it’s proper that Walt Simonson gets his own carousel on the main page.

The catalog style page is here, or you can scroll down to the bottom of the main page.

Here’s the breakdown by series/volume:

  • Journey Into Mystery ’52-’66 – The earliest Thor stories from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
  • The Mighty Thor ’66-’96 – From Lee & Kirby until the relaunches started
  • The Mighty Thor ’96-’04 – The Heroes return Dan Jurgens era, initially with John Romita, Jr.
  • Thor ’07-’11 – Starts with J. Michael Straczynski & Olivier Coipel, ends with Matt Fraction & Pasqual Ferry. Gillen in the middle.
  • The Mighty Thor ’11-’12 – Fraction gets a relaunch with Coipel, Ferry and early Pepe Larraz
  • The Jason Aaron era ’12-’19 – It’s a LOT easer to look at the omnibuses across all the relaunches here
  • Thor ’20 to present – The current Donny Cates run with Nic Klein as the primary artist – also available as $0.99 single issues

So let’s talk about the upcoming movie. If you want to catch up with that, you want the Jason Aaron era. The God Butcher is the first arc. If you go with that set of omnibuses, Jane Foster picks up the hammer in V.2. We don’t think that starting with the first Jane Foster issues (and slimmer volumes) is a great jumping on point. It’s a saga and you’ll get a lot more out of it if you start at the beginning of Aaron’s run.

Past that, we’re all about the Walt Simonson Thor. It’s probably the most influential run since early days and it’s great. You’ll want the Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson set that starts here. (The Thor by Walter Simonson version of the reprints seems to be missing the final volume. *sigh* These things happen.)

We also like to go back to the original Lee/Kirby. Not too early. We’d say stay closer to where it changed from Journey Into Mystery to Thor. The first year of JIM was a little rough. The Wrath of Odin Epic Collection is a good chunk of prime Lee/Kirby Thor and also features the first time Jane Foster was elevated to godhood, since Jane is a big topic right now. It’s also a $6.99 Epic Collection and you have to watch the price points on Epics right now.

Thor by Jason Aaron   Thor by Walt Simonson   Thor - The Wrath of Odin

Four Play

Marvel’s Fantastic Four Legacy Sale runs through Sunday, 7/7.

Yes, a throwback to sales ending on Sunday. And they’re not having carousels displaying highlights on this sale page, either. We’re not quite sure if we should read anything into that.

So, first let’s break down the various FF titles/volumes on sale

Yes, Fantastic Four has been relaunched less than other Marvel titles.  As to what’s good, the gold standard has always been the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby run. (And yes, we do think you can draw a straight line from Kirby’s Challengers of the Unknown at DC to Fantastic Four.) We’d say they start to hit their stride a little before Galactus shows up – V.3 of the Epic Collections (“The Coming of Galactus“) or V.4/5 of the Masterworks editions and you can ride a very fun train from there to the end of Lee/Kirby.

And at this point, we should talk about the “pick your poison” of Epic vs. Masterworks.  The Masterworks are built out straight into the Byrne era. We think the $6.99 Epic Collections are the best value here, though some of the newer ones are priced higher. The Epics go just past the Lee/Kirby era and then pick up again after Byrne’s run. Pick the format that works for you and has the issues you’re looking for.

Speaking of Byrne’s run, that’s the next highpoint that everyone agrees on.  How to read Byrne? Well, there are 3 volumes of Masterworks on sale (V. 21-23) or you can hop on to Fantastic Four Visionaires: John Byrne. You’d need to cut over to the Visionaries run at V. 4 to pick up where the discounted Masterworks leave off.  These comics really ought to be in an Epic Collection, but Marvel doesn’t seem in any hurry to roll the Visionaires up into a more economical package. (or should we say, economical when it’s on sale?)

Fast forward a bit to the Heroes Reborn era and there is a LOT to love about the Mark Waid / Mike Wieringo run. They brought back the “explorer” vibe from Lee/Kirby era that isn’t always there and upped the sense of wonder. You’d want the four Ultimate Collection volumes that start here.

And then, of course, there’s the the Hickman era. A long storyline that laid the groundwork for his Avengers run and you can certainly argue that his Secret Wars endcap to that is a Fantastic Four / Doctor Doom story. The omnibus editions we highlighted above include his FF spin-off comic that frequently crossed over with Fantastic Four, much like the Avengers titles flowed together. That packaging will be a better experience.

Fantastic Four - The Coming of Galactus    Fantastic Four by John Byrne   Fantastic Four by Waid

Guards! Guards! No… That’s Pratchett.  Never Mind.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Sale runs through Monday, 7/11.  That’s the link to the scroll bar view, so you need to go down to the bottom of the page, past the Thor links to get to the catalog view.)

First off, the foundational Steve Gerber/Al Milgrom run (sometimes repackaged as “Tomorrow’s Avengers”) doesn’t appear to be included and we take a dim view of that. Particularly if the Valentino run on that incarnation of the team is included.  Booooo!

So here’s the chronological breakdown by series

Those are the major beats to the Guardians. No, for all their film success, they’ve never really had what you’d call a long running title. Their sales peak was _probably_ the Valentino run in the ’90s and that volume is easily the longest running.  Which is not to say there haven’t been some enjoyable runs.

Recommendations?

We were *all in* for the Al Ewing run and quite peeved that it ended just as all the chess pieces seemed to have been moved in place. Highly recommended and included a throwback to the original conception of Star-Lord, too.

The Jim Valentino run is also a lot of fun, with the original Guardians in the far future. He also plays around with legacy characters in a way you used to see with Legion of Superheroes and Kamandi, back in the day.  And this is what Valentino was doing right before he left to form Image. That’s the first three volumes in the link. We’re honestly not familiar with the Michael Gallagher/Kevin West run that followed.

The Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning / Paul Pelletier / Brad Walker era is also solid, although we wouldn’t argue with you if you preferred to visit it through the Annihilation collections.  We’d put the DnA Nova as what really rebooted the Marvel “cosmic” sub-line, but this is where the Guardians of the present timeline formed and if your point of reference is the films, this is where you start.

Guardians of the Galaxy by Al Ewing   Guardians of the Galaxy by Jim Valentino   Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel’s July Sale

Marvel’s “Monthly July Sale” runs through… 8/1.  You thought it was going to be 7/31, didn’t you?  And that’s another Sunday end date, like we used to see.

They have display carousels on the main page for Deadpool, (Secret Empire era) Captain America, Wolverine, Inhumans, The Ulitmate Universe and “More Marvel.”  It’s an eclectic mix, sort of like a smaller scale version of the recent DC sales.

Some things we noticed that we’d give a thumbs up to.

If you’re into Inhumans, we still think that the ’98 Marvel Knight imprint Inhumans 12-parter by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee has not been topped.  Now, that said, the Hugo-nominated Black Bolt from Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward gives it a run for its money. Black Bolt awakens in a prison in outer space, with neither a memory of how he got there or his powers (that’s the all-in one edition, save a couple bucks with that).

A lousy $2.99 gets you Meltdowna Wolverine/Havok team-up written by Louise & Walt Simonson and painted by John J. Muth.  As you might guess from the lineup, it was originally serialized in the old “prestige format.”

Ultimate X-Men is getting pushed hard. We seem to recall liking it well enough at the time and it probably peaked around V. 5 & 6 in this set – that’s when Brian K. Vaughan was writing it. (He did Runaways and Mystique around then, too.)

Inhumans.   Black Bolt   Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown

Not the Lead-In We’d Have Chosen…

Marvel’s “Avengers, Eternals & X-Men” Sale runs through Sunday, 7/7.

Doubtless intended to whet the appetite for the current crossover Event with what has come before.  Honest, we were not big on Avengers Vs. X-Menso if you’re really curious, maybe read the main series before thinking about going after the tie-ins.

We have fonder (if a little vague) memories of Maximum Security for an Avengers/X-Men convergence.

If you’re in the mood for Eternals and the original Kirby isn’t handy (and it’s not on sale here — boooooo), you can do a lot worse then the Neil Gaiman / John Romita, Jr. series.

Maximum Security x

Kindt Without Keanu

The Dark Horse Matt Kindt sale runs through Monday, 7/4.

Kindt’s most celebrated work at Dark Horse is definitely Mind MGMT.  It’s a bit of a genre mashup about conspiracies and psychic espionage. Kindt writes AND draws it.  One man gang, as it were.  The omnibus editions are the best deal here.

If you’re looking for something similar to Mind MGMT, we’d point you towards Dept. H, wherein an investigator is sent to an underwater base to investigate sabotage and there are much stranger things going on than meets the eye.

For something a bit more recent, the single issue of Apache Delivery Service (which wrapped in April) are available for $0.99 a pop. Therein, witches complicate the hunt for a cache of gold in the jungles of Vietnam.

Mind MGMT   Dept. H   Apache Delivery Service

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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: Kieron Gillen’s Marvel Work (Eternals, Loki, X-Men); Original Sin; DC’s 2K Title Drop with Sandman, OMAC and Manhunter; Bloom County; Umbrella Academy

In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, we’ve got discounts on Kieron Gillen’s Marvel work – Eternals / Uncanny X-Men / Journey Into Mystery / etc.; Marvel’s Original Sin Event; another big block of DC collections, including Sandman; IDW cuts the prices on some classic newspaper strip collections; and we couldn’t really have a new season of Umbrella Academy without a sale on the original material, could we?

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

Journey into Gillen

The Marvel Kieron Gillen Sale runs through Monday, 6/27.

We find it really sad that a “Marvel” Gillen sale does not include our two favorite works of the bunch: Darth Vader and Doctor Aphra.  Yes, there will other Star Wars sales, but if you’re talking Gillen, that’s what we’d put at the top of the heap.

So let’s start out with a cleaner recap of the major items in this sale:

  • The Eternals with Eric Ribić.  $0.99 single issues only and the collected edition is NOT on sale for reasons known only to Amazon and/or Marvel.
  • War Hammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar with Jacen Burrows
  • Journey Into Mystery (i.e. Loki) with Doug Braithwaite and Richard Elson (among others) – omnibus editions
  • Uncanny X-Men – omnibus editions
  • Young Avengers with Jamie McKelvie – omnibus edition
  • Thor with Billy Tan / Richard Elson / Doug Braithwaite – omnibus edition
  • Iron Man with Greg Land / Dale Eaglesham / Joe Bennett / Luke Ross

What’s good?  This one’s going to be more personal preference than with many sales and to that end, we’d point out that we did read the War Hammer volume and it felt like that’s a book you’ll get a LOT more out of it if you’re a gamer.  (But if you’re already into War Hammer, you’ll probably love it.)  Past that, Journey Into Mystery is where Gillen really popped onto the Marvel radar, Young Avengers is the familiar team of Gillen/McKelvie and Gillen’s Mr. Sinister in Uncanny X-Men definitely has had influence.

Journey Into Mystery   Young Avengers   Uncanny X-Men

Casting the First Stone 

The Marvel Original Sin Sale runs through Monday, 6/27.

We’d probably call this a one book sale – Original Sin is a big Event by Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato. Someone’s killed the Watcher, dirty secrets are bubbling up from everyone’s past and… more would get into spoilers.  There are a few tie-in volumes also listed, but our recollection is that the tie-in volumes are not really necessary. While this is often the case with Events, it might be even more so here. Proceed with tie-ins only if they’re scratching an itch for you.

Original Sin

When they say “Multiverse,” they mean “Infinity”

The DC Multiverse and Beyond eBooks Sale runs through Monday, 7/4.

This is another entry in the new DC trend of dropping ~2000 collections without much noticeable curation, so you can pick through it at your leisure. Lowest prices are $4.99, but most non-YA doesn’t get below $5.99.

With the Netflix adaptation looming a little over a month away, they’re leading this sale off with Sandman.  And it’s certainly a classic series. The question is whether it will dip below $5.99 when the show drops and we don’t have an answer for that. DC’s been holding the line at $5.99 for most of their sales in the last couple months.

Of possible interest from the more recently published volumes (DC does wait awhile before applying discounts):

Jack Kirby’s OMAC: One Man Fighting Corps is listed at $5.99. If you’re not familiar with it, OMAC is a surprisingly subversive dystopian take on a future where billionaires/corporations are running amok. There are superhero trappings, but it’s really a science fiction adventure/satire.

And for something else out of left field in a good way, $5.99 will get Manhunter: The Deluxe Edition. This collects the Detective Comics serial by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson. An absolute classic run, it’s not as mainstream well-known because the Paul Kirk character wasn’t continued in his own title (for obvious reasons). It’s just an excellent stand-alone tale by two legends of the art form.

Sandman   OMAC   Manhunter

Where’s My Umbrella?

The Umbrella Academy Sale runs through Tuesday, 6/28.

Why yes, there’s a new season on Netflix and we might even start on that tonight. Funny how sales line up with such things…

This one’s a lot easier to define: it’s a series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba about an extremely dysfunctional family of superhumans who are more than a little scarred by their adoptive upbringing.  One series link for the collected editions and no fuss.  Good comic, too. We enjoyed it.

Umbrella Academy

Those Things in the Newspaper

The IDW Newspaper Classics Sale runs through Thursday, 6/30.

And by classics they mean comic strips.  In this case, we’re looking at:

Academia Waltz   Bloom County   For Better or For Worse

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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: Chip Zdarsky’s Marvel Titles (DD, Spidey, Invaders); Milestone Media; Squirrel Girl and Grendel

In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, we’ve got discounts on Chip Zdarsky Marvel run – think Daredevil and Spidey, Squirrel Girl, Grendel and Milestone Media from the DC files.

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

The Once and Future Mayor of Toronto

The Marvel Chip Zdarsky Sale runs through Monday, 6/20.

You did know that long before the Kingpin was mayor of NYC, Chip Zdarsky ran for mayor of Toronto, right?  We love that guy.

So, as you probably have heard, Zdarsky’s taking over Batman shortly and has been enjoying a very productive run at Marvel.  Let’s break down the main offerings.

So what’s good? We wouldn’t say “no” to any of it, with the caveat that we tend to look the other way when Steve Gerber isn’t the one writing Howard.

Daredevil is the title that’s probably gotten the most attention and it’s a very good one, well worth your time.  Mayor Fisk, a bizarre game of chess with billionaires and ‘ole Hornhead in jail… we have nothing but love.

You’ll hear big proponents for the Spidey work, particularly the mini’s.

However, the one that we’re the most in the bag for is actually InvadersThe original superteam of WWII reunites in the present day to try and figure out what’s going on with Namor’s erratic behavior. It’s sort of/ kind of a Sub-Mariner title, addressing several sub-plots from other titles over the years and attempting to streamline his timeline a bit. Conspiracies, global politics, Captain America. We miss this one coming out.

Daredevil by Zdarsky   Invaders

But Does She Know Bullwinkle?

The Marvel Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Sale runs through Monday, 6/20.

OK… this one is a little bit of a maze of multiple packagings of the same comics. Here’s how we’d probably approach this:

  • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series “2015A” and “2015B” by Ryan North and Erica Henderson. This is where everything starts and the original Squirrel Girl appearances are in the first volume.  These are omnibus editions and take you up to #31 of the “2015B” series.
  • To get the rest of the series, switch over to the single volumes and V.9 – 12 will take you from issue #32 to the end. Coincidentally, this is where Derek Charm pops in as artist.

That’s the easy way. Now, if you want the absolute cheapest way, you want to sub in these two alternate packaging volumes for V.2 and V.3 of those omnibuses above (i.e. #1-21 of “2015B”).

Yes… this is way more complicated than it should be.

Squirrel Girl

The McDuffie Legacy

The DC Spotlight: Milestone Sale runs through Monday 6/20.

As you may recall, Milestone was relaunched not too long ago, so what we have here is a mix of the original run and the new run.  Let’s try and organize this a bit, since this is a real mess to try and navigate on Amazon.

Original (with $0.99 single issues)

New (with $1.99 single issues)

So, what is Milestone? It was originally an imprint set up at (but not owned by) DC by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Derek Dingle and Michael Davis. It last around 4 years, initially making quite a splash and then fading a bit amidst strong rumors of backdoor politics at DC.  You remember the Static Shock cartoon? That’s Static from Milestone.

Creators that emerged through Milestone?  A bunch. Including Mark Bright, JH Williams III, John Paul Leon, Tommy Lee Edwards and Jamal Igle.

Recently, it reformed with Cowan and Dingle joined by Reginald Hudlin, who’s show-running the revived titles.

We’re going from distant memory on this, since we mostly switched over to collected editions a few years back, the original Milestone material has been mostly out of circulation and the collected editions mostly haven’t dropped on the new material.

Our favorite Milestone book is actually the ’12 run of Xombi by John Rozum and Frazier Irving. Great book, but only the first issue is available, so we’re not bothering with a link… and we’re waiting for the original Xombi to get reissued.

We do remember, and think very highly of, the first Hardware arc by Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan. Think Tony Stark inventing his armor while in a sort of indentured servitude to Lex Luthor. It’s a meditation on control and a pretty spot-on commentary about exclusive contracts and non-compete agreements. If you’ve seen some of the legalese from the tech industry around the time this was written, you might even say it had a certain basis in reality.

Past that, McDuffy didn’t write everything and Cowan didn’t draw everything… but their fingerprints are all over the place and those originals are worth a peek while they’re on sale.

Hardware

Whither Beowulf?

The Dark Horse Grendel Sale runs through Monday 6/27.

We wonder if there’s a TV debut approaching?  Hmmm…

Anyway, this is Matt Wagner’s long running (since 1982) series of the malevolent spirit of Grendel and it’s manifestations. Originally more a crime/noir with a bit o’ fantasy around the edges, it grew into horror and science fiction with some serious evolution along the way. This one’s a little easier to parse than most:

Start with the Omnibus editions.  V.1 will be what Netflix is initially adapting. V. 1-4 are the core, with Grendel Tales being side anthologies.  Disregard the expensive, not yet released, new Netflix edition of V.1.

Grendel: Devil’s Odyssey (with Matt Wagner doing art, as well as writing) is the latest continuation and takes place after Omnibus V.4

And for a side-excursion, Grendel Vs. The Shadow has the Hunter Rose version of Grendel (see: V.1) squaring off against the pulp detective.

Grendel Omnibus   Grendel: Devil's Odyssey   Grendel vs. The Shadow

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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: Ant-Man, DC Pride, Jeff Lemire’s Dark Horse Titles

Recent additions to the Comixology (at Amazon) sales include – DC’s Pride sale with Hellblazer, The Invisibles and Snagglepus; Ant-Man from Marvel and Dark Horse’s Jeff Lemire catalog.

Tuesday’s look at the X-Factor and Mickey Mouse sales are also still in effect.

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

You’d Think This Sale Would Be All Month

The DC Pride eBook Sale runs through Monday, 6/13.

It’s Pride month and DC’s curated a bit under 400 titles for this sale.  Let’s look at the lower priced options first.

It’s always a good time for Hellblazerwith many of the earlier volumes going for $5.99. Hellblazer was consistently entertaining over it’s original run, too. (We also can’t say enough good things about the most recent series.)

Completely at $5.99/volume, you’ve also got Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles an ancient secret society that advances humanity through anarchy (read: freedom) clashes with the forces of order (read: the aristocracy); i.e. an urban fantasy about sticking it to The Man. All kinds of artists you’ll recognize on this: Steve Yeowell, Jill Thompson, Phil Jimenez, Chris Weston… even early Ivan Reis.

But perhaps the most Pride Month book of the lot is Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles. And an unusual book it is. Mark Russell and Mike Freehan recast Snagglepuss as Tennessee Williams-esque playwright in 1950s NYC. The House Unamerican Activities Committee is trolling showbiz for subversives and communists. Snagglepuss is not without his enemies and being gay only puts a bigger target on his back. Yes, Snagglepuss as a dark social and political satire. And it’s good! Worth it for the Dorothy Parker bits, alone.

Hellblazer   The Invisibles   Snagglepuss

What Did the Pink Panther Say To The Ant?

The Marvel Ant-Man Sale runs through Monday, 6/13.

Since there are multiple formats for much of this, we’re going to walk through the highlights in the cheapest formats (which means omnibus, if available).

Ant-Man/Giant-Man Masterworks is one of the occasions we’ll give Masterworks a nod over Epics. In this case, the Epic is a higher price point and isn’t complete. We will caution you that this wasn’t one of Marvel’s better known Silver Age strips for a reason, but you get Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Dick Ayers, Carl Burgos and Bob Powell.  Still, it’s the Hank Pym run.

Ant-Man: Scott Lang is a compilation book of the early appearances of Scott Lang in the Ant-Man suit. i.e., Lang before Lang became more of a comedy character. This is a relatively David Michelinie-driven volume with the solo 2-parter in Marvel Premiere, an Avengers arc and an Iron Man arc.

Irredeemable Ant-Man is the Robert Kirkman / Phil Hester run with Eric O’Grady finding the Ant-Man suit. At this point, O’Grady’s an unethical SHIELD agent playing both sides against the middle and it’s a bit of a farce. And this is where Ant-Man starts being played as an action comedy. Something that’s still largely the case.

The Astonishing Ant-Man: The Complete Collection is the omnibus for the Nick Spencer era, with art by Ramon Rosanas, Anapaolo Martello and Brent Schoonover. This is where Ant-Man is reset closer to the films as more of an action-farce. Scott Lang has worse luck than Peter Parker and he tries to get his life together, get a job and start co-parenting his daughter… but things are seldom that easy.

Ant-Man: World Hive by new Spidey scribe Zeb Wells and Dylan Burnett finds Scott Lang forced to team up with Swarm. Yes, a Nazi scientist with a body made up of bees. There’s an honest-to-goodness invasion/conspiracy to create an insect uprising and he’s having the hardest time getting the Avengers… or Spidey… or even Black Cat to take him seriously. We particularly enjoyed this one.

Ant-Man Masterworks      Ant-Man: World Hive

Another Jeff (Collect Them All)

The Dark Horse Jeff Lemire Sale runs through Monday, 6.13.

As you might expect, this is dominated by the Black Hammer franchise, a superhero universe devised by Lemire and Dean Ormston.

The Black Hammer is the core series/story by Lemire and (mostly) Ormston.

The World of Black Hammer is the umbrella title for a series of mini-series that flesh out some of the characters and other corners of this universe. Lemire scripts and all sorts of artists pop up.

Note: the Library Editions tend to be a little more expensive than the regular volumes in digital and this sale.

And since Jeff Lemire is very capable of doing the illustrations himself, here are the single issues for Mazebooka recently completed urban fantasy series where Lemire did what we like to call “The Full Cartoonist.”

Black Hammer   Unbelievable Teens   Mazebook

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Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: X-Factor, The Hulk vs. The Thing, and Mickey Mouse

Recent additions to the Comixology (at Amazon) sales include – the many incarnations of X-Factor, the ongoing slugfest between The Hulk and The Thing and Disney’s Mickey Mouse across the years… and continents.

Since the dates the sales are getting announced have been shuffled, we’re playing this week a little differently and will be back Friday to talk about the new DC sale and what else pops up during the week.

Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?

In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):

Mutations

The Marvel X-Factor Legacy Sale runs through Monday, 6/13.

This one can basically be defined as the actual “X-Factor” titles and various crossovers, Events and guest appearances.  Let’s focus on the X-Factor titles.

  • X-Factor ’86-’98 – The first run, and a long one in the days before constant relaunches. The two things highlighted by the collections are Louise & Walt Simonson run and Peter David’s first run with Joe Quesada and Larry Stroman.
  • X-Factor ’05-’13 – commonly referred to as the Peter David era, and yes, he’s written a ton of X-Factor. This is where Madrox the Multiple Man steps in with the detective agency motif.   (You can save a couple bucks on the early volumes with the X-Factor by Peter David: The Complete Collection omnibuses)
  • All-New X-Factor ’14-’15 – I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know X-Factor was relaunched in Marvel’s “All-New” era. Still Peter David.
  • X-Factor ’20-’21 – The House of X / Powers of X era run by Leah Williams and David Baldeon

And then all manner of X-Men family Event/Crossover collections.

Recommendations? It depends on what you’re looking for.  The first two Epic Collections of the original run are more of the traditional X-Men school (and since it’s reuniting the original team, it should be). When Peter David pops up later in that run, things get quirky in a hurry.  It’s not like David is exclusively a humorist, but there’s a lot more humor in his work. His second run is a completely different creature than the how X-Factor began.

X-Factor   X-Factor by Peter David

The Classic Marvel Punch-Up

The Marvel Hulk Vs. Thing Sale runs through Thursday, 6/9.

Oh, yes… this is a reoccurring confrontation that goes back to the EARLY days of Marvel: Ben Grimm facing off with the Hulk. More often than not, this would happen in the pages of Fantastic Four and the various writers would go back to it every so often.

What you’re looking at here depends on whether you’re more of a Hulk person or FF person. After all that first Hulk Epic Collection is duplicating content from the FF Epic Collection and we personally find FF to be the stronger feature at the time.  And actually, that’s probably what we’d recommend here if you were only picking one – Fantastic Four Epic Collection Book 2, which also gives you some early Doctor Doom, Namor and X-Men, in addition The Hulk.

Fantastic Four

House of Mouse

The Fantagraphics Disney Masters and Mickey Mouse Sale runs through Wednesday, 6/22.

This is really two sales under one umbrella:

First, it’s a sale on the Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse comic strip. While perhaps not as heralded as Dick Tracy or Terry and the Pirates, Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse was an influential adventure strip and he stayed on it for decades.

Second, it’s a sale on the “Disney Master’s” line, which probably needs a word of explanation. It’s not clear that ALL of these titles are from the international markets, but certainly a number of them are Disney comics produced for the European markets (where Disney is very popular) and are making a US market debut.

Mickey Mouse   Mickey Mouse

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