Marvel’s so excited about their Ant-Man sale on Comixology, they renamed Tales to Astonish! Plus Hellboy & the B.P.R.D., Saga, Outer Darkness, Elephantmen, Miles Morales: Spider-Man and a bunch more digital comics at deep discounts.
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Marvel leads the weekend with its Ant-Man Sale. Ant-Man comes in primarily two flavors: Hank Pym and Scott Lang. (We’re going to ignore O’Grady.) For Hank Pym’s original Tales to Astonish run, your best deal is picking up the two Marvel Masterworks volumes. You should, regardless, click that link and see how Marvel has rebranded those Tales to Astonish issues as “Ant-Man.” Even the ones after Pym had switched his identity to Giant Man. It’s a hoot. Those pre-Hulk Tales of Astonish are also available in the original format (i.e., as Tales to Astonish), but those versions aren’t on sale. This sale runs until Sunday (11/15).
For Scott Lang, there have been a few recent titles and they’ve tended towards tongue-in-cheek. There were two Nick Spencer/Ramon Rosanas runs: Second Chance Man sets up the new status quo as the bumbling hard luck father seeking approval. Astonishing Ant-Man then continues that arc.
Ant-Man & The Wasp: Lost and Found by Mark Waid and Javier Garron finds Scott Lang and Nadia Pym lost in subatomic space. Ant-Man: World Hive by Zeb Wells and Dylan Burnett finds Scott Lang wearing out his welcome as a house guest in an ant hill while encountering an insect conspiracy and is forced to team up with Swarm. Yes, that would be the Swarm whose body is made of bees.
Then there’s the Dark Horse Hellboy & BPRD Sale through Monday (11/16). I had occasion to go back and re-read most of these a few months ago and it’s high quality work. BPRD is also very much an ongoing saga told in large acts. There are a lot creators involved in the saga, with Mike Mignola and John Arcudi being the primary writers through Hell on Earth. Guy Davis is the primary artist for most of Plague of Frogs and Hell on Earth.
The prequel is B.P.R.D. 1946 – 1948 featuring Prof. Bruttenholm and his original agents running down Nazi vampire experiments. That’s a 469 page volume with three series in it.
The BPRD sequence really starts with The Plague of Frogs. Specifically, it starts picking up about halfway through the first omnibus as the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense investigates the increasing appearances of frog-like monsters and slowly come to realize something very bad is on the way. This leads into the next sequence, Hell on Earth, which is accurately named. Ancient powers get unleashed and the world is just trying to survive. You know how with a lot comics, you can be pretty sure they’re not going to that dark, disaster-ridden place? Well, BPRD goes there. And does it well. The best value for these titles is the omnibus editions, which are all 400+ pages (i.e., 3 of the regular collected editions). There’s a bit more in the series, but those three sequences are the backbone and everything I’ve ever read of the series has been high quality.
Let’s also talk a little more about the ongoing Image Science Fiction Sale that runs through Thursday (11/19). So much good stuff in this one. Farmhand by Rob Guillory is about a farm that grows replacement organs instead of corn and the strange things that are starting to happen to the transplants. You may remember Rob as the artist of Chew. If you liked Chew, you should like Farmhand. It might be a little darker, but the two are very much compatible. Speaking of Chew, Outer Darkness by Chew writer John Layman and Afu Chan is also on sale. Outer Darkness is about ghosts and demonic possessions in the outer reaches of space and it’s fantastic. It also ends with a Chew crossover. Saga is also on sale. What else really needs to be said about the Brian K. Vaughan/Fiona Staples classic, other than we’re all impatiently waiting for new issues to resume? Note: as is often the case with Image, it’s slightly less expensive to get the “Collected Editions” than the “Omnibuses” in digital. It usually works the other way with Dark Horse digital sales.
The Elephantmen Sale contains the Image run of Richard Starking’s long-running Elephantmen series. Comixology scooped this series up as an exclusive title, post-Image. The “elephantmen” are genetically engineered human/animal hybrids bred and trained to be mercenaries by a company the sought to own them and rent them out. Eventually, things changed and the survivors seek to integrate back into society with a lot of baggage from their wars and old scores that pop up wanting to be settled. Starking assembled a wonderful set of artists like Moritat and Ladronn for the series and it’s definitely worth a look.
Still on sale