In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, practically the entire Fantastic Four catalog is on sale. Plus, Marvel offers discounts on Moon Knight, Devil’s Reign and the world of the 90s X-Men. And, in what seems to be another unannounced sale, Dark Horse presents Cyberpunk 2077.
Where did the New Releases and Sale pages go?
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In case you’re having troubles with the new UIX (a LOT of people have been):
- The new releases page is here.
- The “Comics Deals” page is here.
- The Kindle Deals comics page is here.
Marvel’s Fantastic Four Legacy Sale runs through Monday, 1/29.
So, first let’s break down the various FF titles/volumes on sale
- Fantastic Four ’61-’96 – The original run
- Fantastic Four ’98-’12 – Heroes Return era through Hickman
- But it’s easier to get the Hickman era here, where FF is included.
- Fantastic Four ’12-’14 – The Matt Fraction / Mark Bagley era
- Fantastic Four ’14-’15 – The James Robinson/Leonard Kirk run
- Fantastic Four ’18-’22 – The Dan Slott run with a rotating cast of artists
- Fantastic Four ’22 – Ryan North / Iban Coello
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 few issues 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 discounted Epics are now a little past the Lee/Kirby era, but stop with #146 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 5 volumes of Masterworks on sale (V. 21-25; note: V. 25 is here and not linked in with the rest of the series) or you can hop on to Fantastic Four Visionaires: John Byrne. You’d need to cut over to the Visionaries run at V. 6 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. The “regular” collections don’t go all the way to the end.
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.
The Light of the Silvery Moon
The Marvel Moon Knight Sale runs through Monday, 1/29.
The original Moon Knight run is mostly in Epic Collections, but it’s in two separate links because… well, we shouldn’t be surprised by this, should we? The first link has two volumes that are not closely related. Bad Moon Rising is the Werewolf by Night appearances through the backups in Hulk Magazine and the first issues of 1980 solo series. The other volume in that link… we’re not as big on. That was later volumes.
You can go here for the rest of the 1980 Moon Knight series, which was the most famous version for quite some time. If you came into the character through the TV series, know that the original Moon Knight was a lot closer to Batman and The Shadow. Oh, sure the werewolf showed up, but most of the mystical things around Konshu were kept in the background and a lot more mysterious. The multiple identities were originally more like the cover identities adopted by the Shadow (and the original series editor, Denny O’Neil, adapted The Shadow for DC.) This is where Moon Knight got popular.
If you came in through the TV show, there really isn’t a comic that quite matches that version of the character, but the series did draw on the Jeff Lemire / Greg Smallwood Moon Knight series in which Moon Knight has a run-in with the Egyptian gods and his personalities run amok. It’s also a good run.
We also have been enjoying the current Jed MacKay/Alessandro Cappuccio Moon Knight series. This one takes up the unenviable task of rationalizing the various incarnations over the years (and there have been a lot of different takes on the character). Mr. Knight is in therapy for his multiple personality issues. He’s running the Midnight Mission and conduct himself as Konshu’s ambassador… after a fashion, although he’s not really happy with Konshu. And there are vampires. Lots of vampires.
Highlights of the rest:
- Moon Knight ’89-’94 – Most of this is only collected in omnibus form for some reason for the longest running volume. This is largely the Terry Kavanaugh years with Gary Kwapisz and James Fry on art. Possibly more interesting, it also includes a Bruce Jones/Denys Cowan special and a Doug Moench/Art Nichols team-up with Shang Chi.
- Moon Knight ’10-12 – Brian Bendis / Alex Maleev; Controversial to say the least, this one really leans into Moon Knight’s multiple personality disorder and breaks the character if you prefer the original concept. On the other hand, it’s surprisingly witty and funny. One of the oddest takes on the character.
- Moon Knight ’14-’15- Most notable for the style-forward Warren Ellis/Declan Shalvey reworking (introducing the business suit)
The Marvel Devil’s Reign Sale runs through Monday, 1/29.
Devil’s Reign is effectively a section of the excellent Chip Zdarsky/Marco Checchetto Daredevil run where The Kingpin, in his capacity as Mayor of NYC, declares war on superheroes and organizes his own version of the Thunderbolts to hunt them down. This main mini-series in the main thing you’re looking for, here.
That said, in term of tie-ins, Devil’s Rain: X-Men by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto has a little more, by way of echoes moving forward, than you might expect. It establishes the ongoing relationship between Emma Frost and the Kingpin, which does crop up again further down the line in both the Daredevil and X-Men worlds. Plus, Phil Noto.
Hot Tub Mutant Machine
The Marvel 90s X-Men Sale runs through Monday, 1/29.
We know what you’re thinking and, yes, this is about the time the X-world got a lot more complicated and Event-heavy. And this is a pretty eclectic set. What do we recall as the winners from this period?
For X-Men (proper) we’d start with Mutant Genesis, which has the last bit of Chris Claremont’s original run as Jim Lee started to steer the boat a bit more.
Open things up a little wider and X-Factor pops to the top of the list. The selection of Epic Collections includes the Lousie & Walt Simonson run *and* the delightfully off-kilter first Peter David run (featuring Joe Quesada and Larry Stroman on art duties).
The Larry Hama Wolverine run is also on sale in Epic Collections. A fairly long run, too, and one of the most popular titles of the 90s. Marc Silvestri and Adam Kubert figure prominently on the artist lineup.
Now, a lot of people associate Scott Lobdell with 90s X-Men. If you want to read Lobdell’s best mutant work, that’s Generation X. It’s sort of a new New Mutants, since that title had morphed into X-Force, and we don’t think it’s even close. Chris Bachalo is the originating artist and sets the tone nicely.
There’s a bit more here for you to browse.
A Hugo Winner in an Unannounced Sale
Looks like there’s an unannounced sale on Dark Horse’s Cyberpunk 2077. A video game adaptation with an interesting award to its credit.
After which, the property went to the album format Dark Horse sometimes uses for titles with a higher bookstore profile, which are listed with the single issues:
Big City Dreams was the 2023 Hugo Award winner for Best Graphic Story or Comic. And there you have it.
Still on Sale
- The Marvel Best of 2023 Sale runs through Monday, 2/5
- The DC Vertigo Sale runs through Monday, 1/29
- The Zenescope OZ Reign of the Witch Queen Sale runs through Sunday, 2/18
- The Titan The Eleventh Doctor Sale runs through Monday, 2/26
- The Kodansha In Case You Missed It Sale runs through Monday, 01/29