In this week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales, Marvel puts full runs of Iron Man and Thunderbolts on discount duty. DC goes Justice League-centric with their sale.
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):
Does Whatever An Iron Can…
The Marvel Iron Man Legacy Sale runs through Monday, 8/14
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. Iron Man isn’t as goofy to follow as, say, Spider-Gwen… but there are “quirks.”
- 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/Sean Chen/Patrick Zircher run lasts from 1-25. We can’t find 15-25 collected? (That entire run should be!) You can catch 1-14 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 version for Busiek.)
- 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-’22 – The Christopher Cantwell / Cafu run.
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? And the over general caveat: the Masterworks run sequentially and the Epic collections have some gaps. But you can still pick off some awfully nice material for $6.99.
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. (That’s collected in both Masterworks and Epic formats.)
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 (make sure you get a collection that includes #200!!!), 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 1-14 are currently collected.
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 were quite happy with the Christopher Cantwell/Cafu run. Tony Stark chases Korvac into outer space and meditates on the nature of godhood, good intentions and addictions. Lots of character work and action.
Thunder. Thunder. Thunderca… Whoops, Wrong Series!
The Marvel Thunderbolts Sale runs through Monday, 8/14.
The Thunderbolts have been through several iterations since they began in ’97, originally having been the Masters of Evil laying the groundwork for nefarious deeds. And yes, there’s a film in the works.
The original series was written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Mark Bagley. Eventually Fabian Nicieza tagged in as writer and Patrick Zircher became the lead artist a bit after that. The “regular” collected editions of this are a little spotty for the Nicieza/Zircher run and not everything is discounted, so we’d recommend the omnibus editions.
New Thunderbolts was the ’04-’06 relaunch, and yes, it’s included in the third omnibus of the original. Fabian Nicieza/Tom Grummett is the creative team, here.
This then turns back into (no adjective) Thunderbolts for ’06-’12, starting Nicieza/Grummett and then including runs by Warren Ellis / Mike Deodato and Jeff Parker/Kev Walker/Declan Shalvey
Thunderbolts relaunched for ’12-’14 with Daniel Way and then Charles Soule writing it. The artist rotation included Steve Dillon and Phil Noto.
Jim Zub and Jon Malin were behind the ’16-’17 Thunderbolts run.
And then the most recent series was King in Black: Thunderbolts by Matthew Rosenberg/Gerry Duggan/Juan E. Ferreyra/Luke Ross.
With Thunderbolts, we feel pretty strongly you need to read the first sequence or two and get a flavor for the concept before jumping into the later evolutions.
Wasn’t This a Comic Strip?
The DC World’s Greatest Super-Heroes Sale runs through Monday, 8/28.
Yes, The World’s Greatest Superheroes was definitely DC’s comic strip. And the strip isn’t even in the sale. (Did the person naming the sale realize it was a strip? Possibly not.)
This is sort of / kind of a Justice League sale. Let’s take a look at some of the better books with an eye on price, because not all discounts are created equal.
Kingdom Come is the classic mini-series by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. It’s a near-future showdown between a new generation and the old guard Justice League. Not quite post-apocalyptical, but close. If you’ve never run across it, the modern way to explain it is Injustice: Gods Among Us isn’t officially a reboot of Kingdom Come, but it sure feels like it at times.
A more under the radar pick is DC Universe: Legacies. This is a “history of the DC universe” type comic with an eye witness relating the broad strokes in a narrative. Len Wein does the writing along with a ridiculous set of artists: Brian Bolland, George Pérez, Joe Kubert, Andy Kubert, J.G. Jones, Scott Kolins and J.H. Williams III.
Also decent pricing on the landmark Grant Morrison / Howard Porter run of JLA (And yes, the prices go up when the creative teams tag off.)
Also of potential under the radar interest. Did you like the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons? Dwayne McDuffie had a run on JLA with Ed Benes on art. They didn’t really give him the full roster, but it’s still McDuffie on the Justice League.