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.
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.
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?
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 Central? Tales 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!
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 Reckless, an 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.
Still On Sale
- The Dark Horse Bunn & Crook Sale runs through Monday, 5/23