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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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: X-Men, Iron Man, Heroes Reborn and DMZ

This week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales include: The Dawn of X segment of X-Men comics, Heroes Reborn (OK, for our purposes, Heroes Return), Iron Man and the DMZ, now as seen on TV.

Side comments about the nature of reprinting cross-over Events included at no extra charge!

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X-Hijinks

Marvel’s X-Men: Dawn of X Sale runs through Thursday, 3/20.

To put this in the context of the Hickman era of X, you start out with the House of X / Powers of X mini’s, then you go into the “regular” X-Men family of titles. This post HoX/PoX era is what’s being called “Dawn of X” and it basically stops just before the X of Swords crossover Event.

Dawn of X is a series of trade paperbacks (or digital TPBs for our purposes) that collect the issues of the _entire_ X-Men line of books, to more properly approximate reading the line in release order. Oh, they’ll fudge the exact release order here and there for 2-parters, but you get the idea.

Essentially, particularly early on in the line, the ideas of the X-family floated between titles. Ben Percy’s Wolverine and X-Force cross-pollinated a fair amount, too. We’ve felt that you do get a more out of the X-line by reading it as a whole. It enhances the scope and the worldbuilding aspects. Oh, there’s a dud of an issue here and there, but on the whole, it’s a strong line. (We didn’t think the line was quite as uniformly strong post-X of Swords, but that’s for a different time.)

Marvel has been getting better about going back and collecting stories that bounced between titles (like Hickman’s Avengers saga) in the actual reading order, as opposed tpbs of the individual titles that you need to bounce between. In general, this is a good thing.

We wish we could get you this listed in numerical order, but Amazon’s sorting routines aren’t very good here… but we can give you the list in reverse order! <rolls eyes>

Dawn of X

We’ll Stick with the Return

Marvel’s Heroes Reborn Sale runs through Thursday, 3/24.

This is the 90s experiment when Marvel outsourced some of their titles to Image. Now, for our money, the gems here are from the “Heroes Return” period, when those title came back to Marvel:

Iron Man: Heroes Return – The Complete Collection V. 1 has Kurt Busiek, Roger Stern and Sean Chen as the primary creative team, re-establishing shell head back in the Marvel Universe. You get some Mandarin, there’s a side trip with Captain America and MODOK. This collects the first portion of one of our favorite Iron Man periods.

And speaking of high points, this sale also has Captain America: Heroes Return – The Complete Collection which is the Mark Waid/Ron Garney run resuming. (It had just started, and was abruptly halted, for Heroes Reborn.) A little Hydra, a lost shield… that MODOK tale from Iron Man is also reprinted here (a shared Annual). It’s a solid run.

Iron Man: Heroes Reborn   Captain America Heroes Return

We Forget… Is It Still 2020?

The last couple years really are a blur and this sale is confusing us!

The Marvel Iron Man 2020 and Other Stories Sale runs through Sunday, 3/20.

First off, the Heroes Return sale for Busiek/Chen Iron Man is by far the better deal, so ignore the shorter collections here.

Now here’s a comic we haven’t seen mentioned in quite a while: Iron Man: The Inevitable by Joe Casey and Frazier Irving. We liked that one when it was coming out. Stark tries to rehabilitate the Living Lazer, while Spymaster and the Ghost plot his downfall. Introspection, espionage and then some things blow up. We think the audience may have been expecting more slam-bang when it came out, but we recall this as a slower build up… and it likely benefits from a collected edition.

Iron Man: Iron Monger is the end of the Denny O’Neil/Luke McDonnell era… although McDonnell bows out a little early, so you get some Rich Buckler and Mark Bright starts his run with #200.  And #200 is a helluva ride. O’Neil runs Tony Stark through the ringer and this sees him dragging himself up from the gutters after an alcoholic relapse to deal with Obadiah Stane and his Iron Monger armor. That finale has proven very influential over the years!

Iron Man: The Inevitable   Iron Man: Iron Monger

Feudal Warlords of Manhattan

The Stream DC: DMZ Sale runs through Monday, 3/28.

And yes, that would be the old Vertigo series, DMZ by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. And it’s a good one. The premise? There’s been a militia uprising. The rebels have captured the coast and New Jersey. The US Army holds Long Island. Manhattan is a no-man’s land between the armies. A demilitarized zone, i.e. DMZ. A rookie photojournalist pulls an assignment in the DMZ, but things go pear-shaped and he finds himself stranded… but also with a unique opportunity as an embedded reporter, so he attempts to navigate a strange landscape of neighborhood-based warlords and the strange society that’s popped up around the Manhattanites who could get out… while both armies jockey for position in the shadows.

You can read a few volumes on Comixology Unlimited to test drive it, but if you’re buying, you want the larger deluxe editions for your lowest tab.

DMZ

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Comixology Sales: Batman Day, Iron Man, Uncle Scrooge by Carl Barks and Don Rosa

This week in Comixology Sales, it’s Batman Day and there’s a whole lot of Batman floating around, Marvel has a big run of Iron Man on sale and if you like Disney, especially Carl Barks and Don Rosa Uncle Scrooge, that’s at a discount, too.

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Batman Day

The DC Batman Day Sale runs through Monday, 9/20 and it comes in three parts: Graphic Novels, Single Issues I and Single Issues II.  Yes, that means a couple thousand single issues, including some oddities like Batman Family and the usually excellent – and mostly uncollected: Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight  (the original run, not the later digital-first edition).  Oddly enough, no Detective Comics single issues.

Batman Family   Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight

For collected editions, well… it’s mostly all there, from the current Tynion run (through Joker War) all the way back.  You can easily pick your own flavor of Batman, but we’d point out a couple things…

Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle V. 1 is a nice thick volume containing the beginning of Alan Grant/Norm Breyfogle run. Early enough the John Wagner was involved. You get the debuts of The Ventriloquist and The Ratcatcher, a Clayface reunion and a tale of The Demon, among other things.  Strong collection.

If you’d like something a little lighter on the wallet, while it’s included in the larger Archie Goodwin collection, Batman: Night Cries by Goodwin and Scott Hampton is a mere $1.99 for the standalone graphic novel.

Legends of the Dark Knight Norm Breyfogle   Batman: Night Cries

Not the Ozzy Version

The Marvel Iron Man: Massive Golden Avenger Sale runs through Sunday, 9/19.

This one is a real jumbled mess to browse, so we’re going to break this down by series.  The rule of thumb is that Epic Collections tend to be slightly better values than the Masterworks, but pick your format.  Masterworks are released in order, Epics are… a little eclectic in their releases.

Iron Man’s story starts in Tales of SuspenseCall us heretics, but we don’t think Shellhead really soars until Archie Goodwin shows up at the end of this run and takes Tony into the solo title.  That would be By Force of Arms if you go Epic or Masterworks V. 4.

So then the long running Iron Man series is one of eras. The opening run with Archie Goodwin is pure gold. While it’s not bad after Goodwin, it next takes a bit leap with David Michelinie and Bob Layton turn up.  Both runs, really.  The first run with John Romita, Jr. brings the classic “Demon in a Bottle” and the later run with Mark Bright brings “Armor Wars.” You can’t lose when those two are on Iron Man.  And, honestly, the Denny O’Neil/(mostly) Luke Mc Donnell run in between the Michelinie/Layton runs is under-rated.  The “Iron Monger” final arc ending in #200 is a good one that Hollywood embraced.

Iron Man: The Man Who Killed Tony Stark

The next superlative run was dubbed Iron Man: Heroes RebornThis is Kurt Busiek and Sean Chen. For inexplicable reasons, only about 1/2 of the series has been collected, but you can get all that has been in one volume. (Sorry Kurt, you can protest all you want, but your run is a highlight.)

Iron Man: Heroes Reborn

And the final entry on the highlights list is the Matt Fraction/Salvador Larroca run. This run gets special recognition for the “World’s Most Wanted” arc. When Dark Reign’s “non-event” event dropped, Fraction put the story arc on pause and delivered a KILLER self-contained epic about Tony Stark on the run.  And then popped back to what he was planning on doing a year later. Great run.  You can save a little money by getting the omnibus edition that collects the first 3 volumes.

Iron Man

*The first volume of the current Christopher Cantwell/Cafu Iron Man is $2.99. We’re enjoying it, but we’re not ready to put it on the wall before the first arc is over.  😉

Iron Man: Big Iron

If It Walks Like a Duck…

The Fantagraphics Disney Sale runs through Thursday, 9/23.

And with Disney, we’d point you to the Duck masters.  Carl Barks and Don Rosa. They rule the roost.

Uncle Scrooge   The Don Rosa Library

Still on Sale

Comixology Sales: $0.99 Marvel Masterworks and Holiday Sales from DC, Dynamite and IDW

Looking for some Comixology sales?  Welcome to the holiday sale season.  All these new sales are running into January, too.  $0.99 Marvel Masterworks are good and Cheap. DC, IDW and Dynamite are also catering to your discount needs.  Many of these sales are “linewide,” which means pretty much everything is on sale from those publishers.  Been waiting for something to go on sale? It’s probably there.

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Marvel gets CHEAP

Do you like classic Marvel?  If so you will LOVE the Marvel Masterworks sale (Amazon link) and might not get any further than this.  Volume 1’s are $0.99 and the rest are $1.99.  The page counts are always good and sometimes GREAT and you can’t beat the price.

The best buy here, and maybe the best buy on all of Comixology, is probably Black Panther Masterworks V. 1. That’s the entire Jungle Action run written by Don McGregor with art by Billy Graham, Rich Buckler and Gil Kane.  A truly excellent run that established a LOT of the character’s cast, especially Killmonger.  330 pages of excellence for $0.99?  If you haven’t tried it, this is the time.

You want a LOT of pages for your 99 cents?  Check out  Killraven (AKA War of the Worlds).  This post-apocalyptic band of freedom fighters throwing off the Martian yoke clocks in at 471 pages.  A lot of creators were involved with this, but it’s fondly remembered as a Don McGregor/P. Craig Russell feature.  And yes, it includes the graphic novel.

For something a little more off the radar, everyone remembers Jim Starlin’s Captain Marvel run. It was the first round with Thanos.  Hardly anyone remembers that Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom had an enjoyable run right after Starlin. That would be Captain Marvel Masterworks V. 4 and can be yours for a lousy $1.99 (V. 3 is the main Starlin run and grab that one if you haven’t read it.)

Black Panther Masterworks   Killraven  Captain Marvel

Head to the main link for an extended browse.  There’s a lot of very cheap classic comics and you don’t need me to tell you about Avengers and X-Men.  I will say that Doctor Strange is pretty solid the whole way through and if you like Golden Age Marvel and Atlas-era Marvel, pay close attention to the final two sections on the page.

Next up, we have the Marvel “Greatest Runs” sale.  Yes, it sounds like they need more fiber, but there are some superior deals here, too.

We’ve always been big fans of the Matt Fraction / Salvador Larroca run of Invincible Iron Man and the whole run is alternating $2.99 and $1.99 per volume.  Great prices.

Mark Waid’s superlative Daredevil run gets the omnibus treatment at $3.99 a pop.  This one starts out with Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera as the main artists and then settles into Chris Samnee as the lead for the duration. It probably falls into the modern classic category.

Immortal Iron Fist is an incredibly fun series that’s collected in 2 omnibuses.  Volume 1 (482 pages) is primarily written by Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction and primarily drawn by David Aja. Volume 2 (474 pages) is primarily written by Duane Swierczynski and drawn by the criminally under-rated Travel Foreman. Yes, you’ll want both volumes and you’ll probably want more Fat Cobra, too.

Iron Man  Daredevil  Iron Fist V. 1 Iron Fist V. 2

DC’s Holiday Sales

DC has a couple different sales conveniently located on one page.  And really, this one looks a lot like the Black Friday sale.

First up is a Wonder Woman sale… with 69 items!  <eye roll> Yes, DC… we see what you did there.  </eye roll>

For Wonder Woman, you can  click here and two classic runs begin and end the Omnibus section.  Wonder Woman by George Perez is the post-Crisis rebirth and actually wraps up with the War of the Gods volume.  Towards the end of the Perez run, you get some early Jill Thompson art, too.  That run really set the table for modern Wonder Woman.  At the end of the section is Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka, which is also an absolutely fantastic run.

Wonder Woman by George Perez Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka

For the general graphic novel sale — and this is linewide, so while almost everything is there, here are a some ideas of things that might not immediately jump out:

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra is getting a TV show pretty soon and it’s a great series.  Make sure you scroll to the Omnibus section — they’re same price as the “regular” collections, so double up the page count!

Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Vol. 1 is the original Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson run.  There’s a reason it’s a classic and it’s well worth your time.

We were always fans of Paul Levitz’s Doctor Fate and it sure didn’t hurt our feelings that Sonny Liew drew most of it.  Killer creators and an interesting way to get back to Fate’s Egyptian roots.

Y the Last Man   Swamp Thing  Doctor Fate

DC’s sales are running through Monday, 1/4.

Dynamite’s Holiday Sale

The Dynamite Linewide Sale comes in three parts: Graphic Novels and then single issues broken up into A-P, P-W and W-Z(Amazon link) It pretty much is the entire line.  When you’re looking at the graphic novels, remember that the majority of single issues are $0.99, so 6 single issues = $5.94. Be pure, be vigilant, be cheap!

As for what we’d draw your eye to, three things come to mind as we flip through the pages.  Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! is a hugely influential science fiction series with liberal does of satire.

The Shadow Masters Series is the absurdist and subversive take on The Shadow from the late ’80s by Andy Helfer, Bill Sienkiewicz and Kyle Baker (with a an extra special appearance by Marshall Rogers that almost defies description… old vendettas, children acting out and a nurse who used to be a professional wrestler.  It’s really something else.

Here at the Tower of Cheap, we’ve been waiting… and waiting… on the collected edition of the Christopher Priest/Ergün Gündüz Vampirella run and it keeps getting pushed back.  We keep hearing good things and the ever-reliable Priest on Vampi is so counter-intuitive, it’s probably worth it.  Guess what?  The single issues are (mostly) $0.99 if you want to get a jump on the collections.

This sale runs through Monday 1/4.

American Flagg!    The Shadow   Vampirella

IDW Holiday Sale

The IDW Linewide Sale is broken into SIX parts: Graphic Novels I, Graphic Novels II and then single issues I, II, III and IV.  (Amazon link) Which is to say, a whole lot o’ stuff.  What might we point you at the might otherwise slip your mind?

Bloom County: The Complete Library  A classic comic strip by a classic cartoonist.  Essentially, the whole archive is on sale.

Like Walt Simonson’s Thor? Then you need to check out Ragnarok. Valhalla has fallen and the survivors of the realm are picking up the pieces.  Although not everyone who survived is necessarily alive. Walt returns to the Norse mythos and it’s some of his best work.  Possibly the best thing IDW’s published.

Richard Stark’s Parker is another contender for the best thing IDW’s published. Darwyn Cooke adapts the crime novels about a professional thief who takes double-crosses extra personal. You might know the source material from the films like Point Blank and Payback.

This sale runs until Tuesday, 1/5.

Bloom County   Ragnarok Richard Stark's Parker

Still on sale

Comixology Sales: Marvel’s Black Friday Push Starts with X-Men, Spider-Man and Events

As Black Friday approaches, Marvel’s brought out some bigger names for their Comixology sales.  Hickman’s X-Men is on center stage with the Spectacular version of Spider-Man and their Events flanking them.

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Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men Universe

Let’s start things out with X-Men, because the Dawn of X Sale also features an interesting collection format that’s worth talking about.  Dawn of X is the umbrella title for the X-Men family of titles as overseen/showrun by Jonathan Hickman.  Whichhas been a nice run, truth be told.

This all starts out with the House of X / Powers of X collection that sets the table for this X-Men format.  I suppose you don’t absolutely have to read it before diving in, but it’s definitely helpful.

Once you’re past that, there are two options for reading the Hickman era (both of which are on sale): the collected editions of the individual titles or the Dawn of X collections. Dawn of X is an interesting construction.  Generally speaking, they’re taking 6 of the X-Men comics and packing them as a book format of that month’s titles for $10.99 in digital (the first seven volumes are $3.99@ in this sale).  Now, sometimes they’ll have two issues of one title in the package and so on, but it’s an interesting way to read the story of the X-Men universe as it unfolds in the monthlies, as opposed to how collected edition readers usually only read things title by title.  Personally, as someone reading the X-line in single issues, I find I do get a little more out of the line by reading the entire set.  Some of the story elements bleed into other books, particularly early on, and it does help with the worldbuilding.  This format is probably the best way to experience that in collected editions.

It’s also a format we could see more of in the future.  You frequently hear apocalyptic stories about the death of print comics and single issue comics.  While we’re not seeing any imminent danger of that, this is the sort of format that could effectively bundle single issue comics in a way more compatible with bookstore shelves.  It’s also potentially the way to handle anthology comics, which there are always questions about when industry figures discuss new formats and alternate strategies.

Dawn of X is a themed anthology, though one where the stories are more tightly interwoven than most.  You could picture something similar being down with Batman, especially, as well as properties like Spider-Man, Superman, Avengers and Justice League.  It would take a lot of work to make one of those franchises into its own little corner of a greater superhero universe the way Dawn of X is architected, but it’s certainly an experiment we could see more of and I think it’s worth contemplating the possibilities if reading the X-line in this format is interesting to you.  This sale runs through Sunday (11/29).

House of X / Powers of X   Dawn of X

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man

Next up on Marvel’s Black Friday trail, The Spectacular Spider-Man Sale.  Not Amazing, Spectacular.  The major flavors here are: original series / Peter Parker, the under-rated ’03 -’05  Spectacular Spider-Man  that was primarily written by Paul Jenkins with art by Humberto Ramos or Mark Buckingham and the more recent Chip Zdarksy/Adam Kubert Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man. Of particular note, while it’s on the dark side for Spidey, The Death of Jean DeWolff is considered a classic.  This sale runs through Thursday (11/26 — gobble, gobble).

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man  Spectacular Spider-Man  Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man  The Death of Jean DeWolff

Marvel does like big crossover Events

Finally, there’s the “Marvel World-Shattering Events Sale.” You’re probably familiar with the more recent events, since Marvel’s marketing typically runs through them.  Have a browse through the sale for those, but I’ll recommend some older Events instead that are a little more contained and with tighter circles of creators.

Avengers: The Kree/Skrull War is the granddaddy of Marvel Events in many ways.  This Roy Thomas / Neal Adams / John Buscema / Sal Buscema reverberated through future events like the Annihilation sequence and Empyre.

Iron Man: Armor Wars(or “Stark Wars” as it was originally known) has Tony looking to repossess some of his stolen technology and finding himself in all manner of trouble over it.  This David Michelinie/Bob Layton/Mark Bright run was a trendsetter.

X-Men: Asgardian Wars  has Loki causing all manner of trouble for the X-Men, New Mutants and Alpha Flight.  Written by Chris Claremont with A+ art from Paul Smith and Arthur Adams, this is one of the more fun X-Men sequences.

This sale runs through Thursday, 12/03.

Avengers: Kree/Skrull War   Armor Wars  X-Men: Asgardian Wars

Still on Sale