Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Far Sector, Gotham Central, Pulp, Stray Dogs

This week in Comixology (at Amazon) Sales, Marvel has most of their Iron Man titles on sale, plus alternate Fantastic Four lineups. DC has a memorial day say… though more of that seems to be on sale in the UK and Image has OGNs on sale with collected editions sneaking into the listing.

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):

Does Whatever An Iron Can…

The Marvel Iron Man Legacy Sale runs through Monday, 5/23.

This would be one of those sales where most of the hero’s run is on sale, so we’re going to follow our usual protocol and start out by breaking out the primary titles and volumes first (because Amazon can’t be bothered to present things in a civilized manor).

  • Tales of Suspense – Iron Man debuted here in what was a split book with Captain America for most of the run.
  • Iron Man ’68-’96 – The original solo run in the era before constant relaunch gimmicks

OK, sit tight. The ’98 -’04 run is collected in VERY odd ways and poorly cataloged for browsing.  The truly excellent Kurt Busiek run lasts from 1-25. We can’t find 20-25 reprinted?!?  You can catch 1-19 and the Mike Grell run (50-59) in cheap omnibus form here.  You can catch Joe Quesada’s scripting run (26-32) and the Avengers: Disassembled tie-in late in this run in single volumes here. (But get the omnibus for Busiek, not the singles.)

  • Iron Man ’04-07 – Best known for launching with the “Extremis” storyline
  • Invincible Iron Man ’08-’12 – The excellent Matt Fraction / Salvador Larroca run. Save some money with the omnibus collecting the first 3 volumes.
  • Iron Man ’12-’14 – The Kieron Gillen run with Greg Land as initial artist
  • Superior Iron Man ’14-’15 – The Tom Taylor / Yildiray Cinar run.
  • Invincible Iron Man ’15-’16 – Brian Bendis and David Marquez/Mike Deodato, Jr. start out with Tony Stark in the armor
  • International Iron Man ’16 – Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev (And yes, we’re in the thick of the relaunches now)
  • Infamous Iron Man  ’16-’17 – Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev have Doctor Doom step in as Iron Man
  • Invincible Iron Man ’16-’18 – Brian Bendis and Stefano Caselli with Riri Williams/Ironheart filling Tony Stark’s shoes (yes, parallel substitute Iron Man runs)
  • Tony Stark: Iron Man ’18-’19 – The Dan Slott era with Valerio Schiti as the principle artist in the rotation.
  • Iron Man ’20 – ? – The current Christopher Cantwell / Cafu run. (Also available as $0.99 single issues but the collected editions are the better buy by a lot.)

Before we get into what’s good, a tweak on the general advice: The Masterworks and Epic Collections are both good deals and *in general* we like the Epic Collections as a slightly better buy. In this case, keep an eye on the Epic pricing. The $6.99 Epics are much better buys than the $8.99/$9.99 Epics.  We can all agree inflation sucks?

So what’s good?  We haven’t read ALL the Iron Man out there, but we’ve read a lot of them.

In our opinion Iron Man starts hitting it’s stride when Archie Goodwin arrives toward the end of the Tales of Suspense run and then is pure gold through issue 28 of the ’68 Iron Man series. Artists for this run include Gene Colan and George Tuska.

The next “all-star” run is #116-157 of the original Iron Man, that’s the David Michelinie / John Romita, Jr. / Bob Layton run that’s most famous for the “Demon in a Bottle” alcoholism arc, but there’s more to the run than just that arc.  The Denny O’Neil / Luke McDonnell run that follows is solid, but Michelinie & Layton return for #215-250 with a few artists, including Mark Bright and Jackson Guice… with Layton even switching to penciller, instead of his usual inking post, for parts of it.  This second run is most famous for “Armor Wars” (originally known as Stark Wars).

When Heroes Return hits, Kurt Busiek and Sean Chen are pop in for the excellent 1998 run, of which only 1-19 are currently reprinted.

The ’08 – ’12 run by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca is particularly good. You know how modern Marvel titles can get sidetracked by Events. Fraction and Larroca lean into it and produce a lengthy and self-contained arc with Tony Stark on the run and attempting to overwrite his brain to keep everyone’s secrets out of the hands of Norman Osborn. Yes, an honest to goodness great Event tie-in arc. It’s a rare thing.

We’re not quite ready to put the current Christopher Cantwell/Cafu run up in the above pantheon quite yet, but we think it’s the best Iron Man in a while and it’s one of the more ambitious arcs with Tony chasing Korvac into outer space and meditating on the nature of godhood and good intentions.

Iron Man: The Man Who Killed Tony Stark  Iron Man: Heroes Reborn  Iron Man: Big Iron

The More Things Change

The Marvel New Fantastic Four Sale runs through Monday, 5/23.

This would be a very small sale built around alternate FF lineups.

For instance, the “New Fantastic Four” Epic Collection is built around a Walter Simonson/Arthur Adams sequence where Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and Ghost Rider become the new Fantastic Four. We also like the Simonson arc featuring the FF’s showdown with the Time Variance Authority in the first half of this volume.

Or another “New Fantastic Four,” this time by Dwayne McDuffie and Paul Pelletier, where Black Panther and Storm tag in.

Fantastic Four   Fantastic Four

In Memoriam

The DC Memorial Day eBook Sale runs through Monday, 5/23.

There are a LOT of books to browse here and more is on sale that not on sale, so if you’ve got something from DC on your list, pop over and see if it’s on sale.

And there’s a catch. In a uniquely “Amazon trying to be Comixology” twist, there was originally a Part 2 to this sale. We are unable to locate the link for that from Thursday on.  We can find the link for the UK version of part 2… but it’s not clear to us that the books on sale in the UK part 2 are all on sale in the US. No idea what happened. Maybe the part 2 link will re-appear and maybe it won’t. It sure does seem like there’s a lot of drama around DC sales, doesn’t it?

Some recommendations?

Far Sector is one of DC’s best titles of the last couple years. N.K. Jemisin, who owns too many SF/F prose awards to reasonably keep track of, makes her comics debut with Jamal Igle excelling on the art duties. The setup – a rookie Green Lantern with an experimental new type of power ring is sent to world on the edge of the known universe where emotion was done away with generations ago in the aftermath of a horrific war. The first murder in 500 years has occurred and political alliance are about to upside down.  On top of everything else, superior world building. Highly recommended if you haven’t had a look yet.

Are you familiar with Gotham CentralTales of the Gotham City Police Department trying to handle the sort of threats that Gotham produces. With a pre-Question Rene Montoya. Near-universally praised and an enviable creative rotation of Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano and Kano.  Excellent stuff from the fringes of the Batman Family for $5.99@.

And for something completely different, and perhaps not even in the sale (since we can’t see the back half of the alphabetical listings) there’s Kamandi, Jack Kirby’s post-apocalyptic spin on Planet of the Apes with the last boy on Earth having adventures on a world where the animals are intelligent, bipedal and not always friendly. We’ve been seeing Kamandi’s influences on a lot of comics in the last year (Geiger quickly comes to mind). The bulk of the Kirby run is available for $0.99 each. Yes, there are a few issues missing, but this is an extremely fun run… and was probably Kirby’s biggest newsstand success at DC.  And yes, DC really ought to get this back in print as a collected edition!

Far Sector   Gotham Central   Kamandi

OGN

The Image Original Graphic Novel Sale runs through Thursday, 6/2.

Now, you might flip through this sale and say “a lot of these are really collected editions.” And you’d be right. So let’s recommend a few things from Image’s flagship OGN creative team, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

We’re quite fond of Recklessan OGN series by Brubaker and Phillips that calls back to the pulp paperback adventure novels of the 70s and early 80s. An off the books private detective/fixer who had a… falling out with his original government employers operates in 80s Los Angeles… a noir flavor of LA, to be precise.  Evil voices from the past, satanic sex cults, and real estate scams.  The first two are on sale and it’s a quality series.

And then there’s Pulp. Let’s face it, Brubaker and Phillips have a fair sized body of work and it’s quality work… but Pulp strikes us as one of the high points of their collaboration.  One part crime novel, one part meditation on aging, it’s got a little more gravitas than most. An aging pulp writer contemplates the youth he’s been trying to hide while stumbling into a combustible stew involving an obnoxious editor, a bank heist, nazi spies and a lot of gunplay. Highly recommended and this one has a more friendly $6.99 price point.

Now if you want a collected edition, not an OGN, you might be interested in Stray Dogs. We haven’t had a chance to read this yet, but it’s on our list and has stirred up quite a buzz. The tagline is “Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs,” which is to say, cute cartoon dogs in a psychological thriller by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner. It’s also on the Eisner Awards nomination list that recently dropped, so it’s definitely getting some notice.

  Pulp   Stray Gods

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Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: DC Classics w/ New Teen Titans, What If?, Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook, Peanuts

This week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales include DC “Classics,” which includes the Marv Wolfman/George Perez New Teen Titans run, so we’ll have to agree with the sale’s title. Marvel offers up What If? Fantagraphics discounts Peanuts and Dark Horse celebrates Cullen Bunn & Tyler Crook.  We would also remind you that there’s a very cheap Star Wars sale and a Doctor Strange sale that aren’t quite finished yet.

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):

A “Classical” Education

The DC Classics Sale runs through Monday, 5/16

This one is a DEEP dive into the DC backlist. And since the sale prices seem to have normalized, we’re happy to be able to point you to a few title that now have each volume on sale, which wasn’t happening in the last couple months.

Point in case: New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Perez now has the first 10 volumes (coincidentally, the Perez years) for $4.99 each. Previously several volumes would be at those bizarre prices that appeared to be in error. Well, no more of that.  New Teen Titans was effectively DC’s answer to X-Men in the early 80s (along with the Levitz/Giffen-era LSH, whose reprinting is more convoluted). It’s supposed to be a “classics” sale and this one is more classic than most.

Fast forward a few years and you get the “Man of Steel” era of Superman. Some people call it the John Byrne era, but this time frame also brings Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway into the fold. $4.99 – $5.99 per volume is also good pricing.

New Teen Titans   Superman: The Man of Steel

In general, the “Silver Age” collections tend to be a slightly larger page count and good bang for your buck.  However, you also might find yourself thinking that DC’s collected editions can be a little spotty and, gosh darn it, sometimes you’d just like to get some $0.99 single issues to fill in those series.  You’re in luck, there are a LOT of $0.99 single issues here, although it’s a royal pain to browse in Amazon sub-par user interface.  Here’s a cheat sheet for some of the single issues on sale:

If Not, Why Not?

The Marvel What If Sale runs through Monday, 5/16.

The interesting thing about What If is how often the modern age of Marvel has gone back to pilfer from it.  What If is where Jane Foster first took up the hammer of Thor. The first place Conan stalked the streets of the present. The first time the Hulk became a barbarian. Apparently, “there’s gold in them there hills!”  The larger collections are slightly more bang for your buck, BTW.

What If

The Fantagraphics Peanuts Sale runs through Monday, 5/16.

Yes, the classic Charles Schultz comic strip with Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Fantagraphics is reprinting it from the beginning. Strangely, there’s no series link on Amazon for this.

The Complete Peanuts

Tag Team?

The Dark Horse Bunn & Crook Sale runs through Monday, 5/23.

That would be Cullen Bunn & Tyler Crook, who’ve done quite a bit at Dark Horse over the years.  Their best known collaboration is probably Harrow County  (the omnibus editions are BY FAR the best buy).

If you’d like something a bit more recent, Parasomnia by Bunn and Andrea Mutti was a February release.  The Unbelievable Teens (part of the Black Hammer universe) by Jeff Lemire and Crook was released on 4/5… and this is as quickly as we’ve seen a collection go on sale!

Harrow County Omnibus 1   Parasomnia   Unbelievable Teens

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Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: Doctor Strange, Justice League, Scarlet Witch, Constantine and Jeff Lemire

In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales – Doctor Strange has pretty much his entire run on sale and the Scarlet Witch joins him with a sister sale of sorts. DC celebrates the death of the Justice League with (correct) discounts and Image celebrates the work of Jeff Lemire.

(Disclosure: If you buy something we link to on our site, we may earn commissions)

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):

Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo

The  Marvel Doctor Strange Sale runs through Sunday, 5/16.

And it’s most of the Doctor Strange material that’s been collected in book form. You’d almost think there was a movie out or something.

So first, as is our custom, we’ll walk you through the various series over the years… this is a little more complicated because the early Epic/Masterwork volumes aren’t on the same page. (We’ll let you you pick out the mini’s yourself, since those aren’t as convoluted.)

  • Strange Tales – This is a cluttered series page, but its the original Lee/Ditko run, so let’s break it down to Masterworks 1 and Masterworks 2 or Epic Edition 1
  • Doctor Strange ’68-’69 – the Masterworks listings are here and include the early Marvel Premiere run. The ’68 run is perhaps most notable for some amazing Gene Colan art, but the scripts don’t always live up to the art.
  • Doctor Strange ’74-’87 – The Masterworks here catch the end of the Marvel Premiere run and the Epics pick up with the back half of ’68 run. (Yes, it’s a confusing way to look at things.)
  • Strange Tales ’87-’88 – The Peter B. Gillis / Chris Warner era was back in Strange Tales in between the two “regular” Doctor Strange titles.
  • Doctor Strange ’88-’96 – Probably best known for the Roy & Dann Thomas run with Butch Guice and Geoff Isherwood as notable artists.
  • Doctor Strange ’15-’18 – Initially Jason Aaron/Chris Bachalo with Donny Cates tagging in towards the end. (The omnibuses here are the better buy)
  • Doctor Strange ’18-’19 – The Mark Waid / Jesus Saiz / Barry Kitson era with Strange in space.
  • Doctor Strange, Surgeon Supreme (’19) – the very much under-rated and too short Mark Waid / Kev Walker run. Walker knocks it out of the park here.
  • Death of Doctor Strange – Jed MacKay and Lee Garbett kill off Stephen Strange. For real. (OK, so far for real.) A clever series that delivers its titular promise in unexpected ways.
  • Strange (’22-?) – get the first couple issues of the new Sorcerer Supreme for $0.99

What’s good?  This is where we get into Masterworks vs. Epics… because the Masterworks are a LOT more complete right now, particularly through the 70s.  The original Lee/Ditko run is great and you can get that in the first Epic Collection. Things pick up again when Englehart and Brunner show up towards the end of the Marvel Premiere run and the whole ’74-’87 run is solid, though we have a particular soft spot for the Roger Stern / Marshall Rogers / Paul Smith material towards the end.  Yes, Doctor Strange had A list creators most of the time.  That’s your core.

Something under the radar?  The (as you’d expect with these creators) excellent Doctor Strange: The Oath by Brian K, Vaughan and Marcos Martin. The final Waid/Walker run is also a lot more under the radar than it should be.

Doctor Strange - The Oath    Doctor Strange in Strange Tales   Doctor Strange

Mutant Sorcery

The Marvel Scarlet Witch Sale runs through Sunday, 5/9.

The value buy here is Vision & The Scarlet Witch: The Saga of Wanda and VisionIt’s a sort of faux-Epic Edition, clocking in at 467 pages and including the wedding of Wanda and Vision from Giant-Size Avengers #4, the ’82 Bill Mantlo/Rick Leonardi mini-series and the ’85 Steve Englehart/Richard Howell 12-parter.

There’s a lot of West Coast Avengers in this sale, largely for Wanda’s heel-turn in the John Byrne Vision Quest/Darker than Scarlet era — the Epic Collections are the better buys here.

House of M by Brian Bendis and Olivier Coipel might be a little over-hyped at this point, but it’s the tent-pole “Wanda rewrites reality” story that’s central to the TV adaptation.

Vision and the Scarlet Witch   Avengers West Coast   House of M

Dead Again

The DC Justice League R.I.P. Sale runs through Monday, 5/16.

We’re actually not seeing the goofy $9.32 type prices on this sale that we’ve been seeing on other DC sales for the last couple months. Could the bug be fixed? That’s probably too much to ask for, but we’ll see what happens next week. In the meantime, some of these prices are a little higher than we’d like to see on a sale (part of that being the absurd practice of putting a hard cover list price on eBooks), but they seem like the intended sale prices for a change.

Anyway, this is DC’s celebrating killing off the Justice League as a lead-in to their next crossover event.  Let’s break down some of the major series here:

  • Justice League of America ’60-’87 – The original
  • Justice League of America ’87-’96 – This is, at least initially, the Justice League InternationalJustice League Europe run with Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis / Kevin Maguire.  BWA HA HA HA HA HA
  • JLA ’97-’06 – Best known for launching with the the Grant Morrison / Howard Porter run
  • Justice League of America ’06-11 – Initially launched as Brad Meltzer / Ed Benes and eventually got Dwayne McDuffie (who was undercut by editorial)
  • Justice League ’11-’16 – The New 52 Geoff Johns era, initially with Jim Lee art.
  • Justice League ’16 – ’18 – The Bryan Hitch (as writer) era with rotating artists
  • Justice League ’18-22 – It’s probably easiest to call the most recent incarnation the Scott Snyder era, as he launched the volume. So many rotating artists here.

That the timeline of the main series.  There are plenty of mini’s and spin-off series in there for your browsing.  If you’d like some $0.99 single issues (you are heard), if you sort by lowest price, you’ll see them quickly. Yes, even JLA: Classified.

Best bets?  For pure bang for your buck, head to the original Justice League of America run and pick up the first two “Silver Age” collections. ~300 pages for $4.99.

The Morrison/Porter JLA  run isn’t nearly the price per page value, but there’s a reason everyone comes back to it. The Waid/Hitch bits aren’t bad, either.

Under the radar?  The Christopher Priest / Pete Woods arc from ~3 years back. It’s just good comics without silly crossovers.

Justice League of America   JLA   Justice League by Priest

Unadvertised Sale

We have an overlooked gem for you this week.  John Constantine, Hellblazer by Si Spurrier, Aaron Campbell and Matias Bergara. It’s not clear to us if these are random discounts or it’s just the wacky “Epic” sale discounts getting fixed on this one.  Either way, this is one of the best comics we’ve read in the last year.

This is a really an extended 12-issues arc, so you’re going to want both volumes. It starts at the end of the world and follows Constantine through a series of gangland skirmishes as he tries to perceive who or what is the strangely familiar entity pulling the strings. Sometimes straight horror, sometimes comedy (Constantine vs. the sensitive new age magician is priceless), this is quite possibly the best work of all the creators involved.

John Constantine, Hellblazer

Jeff Who?

The Image Jeff Lemire Sale runs through Monday, 5/16.

Yes, we’ll go ahead and say it: we think Jeff Lemire is at his best when he’s working on his own projects and Image has a few of them on sale. Of possible note and interest:

Gideon Falls with Andrea Sorrentino – A sort of horror/science fiction mashup that starts out rural and claustrophobic and then unfurls across a fairly epic canvas and multiple landscapes… while still managing to have that feeling of claustrophobic terror being ready to swallow up the heroes at any moment.  Rock solid dark adventure.

Descender with Dustin Nguyen is a science fiction epic about a little boy who happens to be a robot who’s looking for his family and falls into the middle of a robot rebellion. A beautiful book.

Ascender is the sequel as Lemire and Nguyen pivot for a space adventure with magic and vampires… and at least one killer robot. 😉

Gideon Falls   Descender   Ascender

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