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: 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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Comixology Sales: DC’s Vertigo (The Whole Thing), Alpha Flight, Hawkeye and Excellent Deals from TKO

This week’s Comixology sales include some big value in a surprising place as TKO takes a bow. DC puts Vertigo in the discount category for the week and Marvel goes for a wide thematic spread.

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

A Marvel Comics Variety Pack

Marvel’s Alpha Flight Sale runs through Sunday (1/24). For Alpha Flight, we recommend the original series, Alpha Flight “Classic”  as they’re calling it for the reprints.  That’s the John Byrne run currently available. There’s nothing wrong with the unreprinted Bill Mantlo/Mike Mignola run that this catches the tail end of, either.

Alpha Flight

Marvel’s Hawkeye Sale runs through Thursday (1/28).  And if you’re going to do Hawkeye, then you want the Matt Fraction/David Aja Hawkeye It’s an odd run that’s off in its own little corner of the Marvel universe and not necessarily consistent characterization with, say, Avengers… but it’s awfully entertaining. <insert Pizza Dog reference here>

Hawkeye

The Marvel Dark Reign Sale runs through Sunday (1/24). Dark Reign was an attempt to do a thematic event, as opposed to a mini-series and tie-in books.  This was effectively an event that was all tie-ins, without that central mini-series.  The premise is that after Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn manages to take over SHIELD, which he remakes in his own image and he starts to try and track down the various heroes  and expand his power base.

There is one Dark Reign sequence that stands high above the others.  Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca stopped their Iron Man storyline and moved over the “World’s Most Wanted” storyline.  Osborn wants the information in Tony Stark’s brain. Stark’s on the run and attempting to overwrite his brain so Osborn can’t get at everyone’s secret identity.  It’s a self-contained story within the Dark Reign framework and it’s available in two volumes: Iron Man: World’s Most Wanted V.1 and Iron Man: World’s Most Wanted V. 2

.Iron Man   Iron Man

Vertigo Lives On In Sales

DC’s Vertigo Sale runs through Monday (1/25).  DC cancelled Vertigo, but son of a gun if it doesn’t keep popping up as a dedicated category when things go on sale. It’s almost like people like Vertigo or something…

Since the whole thing is here, let’s highlight some of the foundational Vertigo comics.

  • Saga of the Swamp Thing – Alan Moore lit the inspirational fuse with Swamp Thing and took him on a tour of America and to the stars. Along the way, a certain Mr. Constantine was introduced.
  • Hellblazer  The Swamp Thing spin-off has been through a LOT of hands and it was the longest lived Vertigo title. Sometimes the de facto flagship, sometimes not. You can dive into pretty much any era and enjoy it.
  • Sandman – Neil Gaiman’s breakthrough project started out being grounded in the DC superhero universe and horror anthologies, then broke out into it’s own mythologies. We’ll see on TV soon enough.  This was probably the most influential title.  Sandman: The Dream Hunters with P. Craig Russel is listed separately.

If you want to throw in Doom Patrol and Shade as OG Vertigo titles, I’m probably not going to argue with those, either.  Lots of history with the imprint.

Saga of the Swamp Thing   Hellblazer   Sandman   Sandman: The Dream Hunters

TKO Has the Best Value of the Week

The TKO Linewide Sale runs through (Sunday 1/31).  You may not be familiar with TKO.  That’s OK, here at the Tower of Cheap, we hadn’t really read of their titles until last week… but we came away impressed and at $1.99/$2.99 for full graphic novels, there are great values here.

Sentient by Jeff Lemire and Gabriel Walta is the best value of the week! The solicitation is about a ship’s AI having to raise the children left on the ship after the adults perish.  You might read this and expect it to be some kind of sweet, kindly YA story. And you’d be wrong. This is a DARK, blunt and brutal science fiction tale that still fits the same description. It’s also excellent all the way around. Sentient earned it’s Eisner nomination.  Just don’t go into when you’re craving a light fluffy read.  It’s almost trigger-warning level dark.  Highly recommended.

The Fearsome Doctor Fang is written by TV writer Tze Chun and Mike Weiss with art by Dan McDaid, who’s done some Judge Dredd work over at IDW. This one is a steampunk adventure that takes the old Fu Manchu trope and inverts its it. Our mysterious science villain is actually a hero. Tech suits, missing siblings and deadly ancient treasures. Something of a steampunk Indiana Jones romp, it’s a fun comic.

Sara is by Garth Ennis and Steve Epting. While we haven’t read this one yet, it’s not really being flip when we say that you’ll already know whether or not you’ll like Ennis & Epting on a book about Russian women snipers in World War II.  Ennis WWII books are a known quantity.

Sentient   The Fearsome Doctor Fang   Sara

Still on Sale