Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: Shang Chi, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Superman, Green Lantern and Elfquest

This week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales include Marvel’s transmedia heroes: Shang Chi and Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), plus the original Kree Captain Marvel. DC highlights include Superman, Green Lantern and Jimmy Olsen, while Dark Horse discounts Elfquest.

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):

(Former) Master of Kung Fu

The Marvel Shang Chi Sale runs through Monday, 6/6.

Shang Chi has a… complicated story at Marvel that involves a lot of “inside Baseball” maneuvering behind the scenes.  There are basically three periods to the character:

Period #1 is what we’ll call the “classic” period, for lack of a better term. Master of Kung Fu started out as a licensing deal for the old Fu Manchu novels.  In original run, Shang is the son of Fu Manchu, who’s rejected his ways and is working with an elderly Sir Dennis Nayland Smith (protagonist of the novels) and British Intelligence against Fu Manchu’s schemes. When Doug Moench settled in as writer, especially with Paul Gulacy, Mike Zeck and/or Gene Day on art duties, it settled into a sort of pulpy espionage comic with touches of fantasy around the edges.  It’s also widely considered one of Marvel’s best works of the ’70s.  The series technically lasted past Doug Moench leaving for DC, but only by a couple issues.  Moench would eventually return for a Marvel Comics Presents serial (alongside a revival of another 70s cult star, Man-Thing) and a special.

There are two Epic Collections of this run, though the second is probably more representative of the series.

Eventually, Marvel decided to revive the character a little more actively, but in the 00’s, they no longer had the Fu Manchu license, so they updated Shang’s costume to more of a track suit (*cough* Bruce Lee *cough*) and just didn’t talk about his father and/or tried to switch his father to The Yellow Claw, a 50s Marvel Fu Manchu knock-off that appeared every once in a while. In this period, Shang was usually popping up in team books, like Secret Avengers.

Then, a bit more recently (and likely influenced by Marvel Studios), Marvel decided maybe it wasn’t such a good thing to have one of their most prominent Asian characters rooted in the most famous Yellow Peril franchise.  So they pulled in heavy hitter Gene Lueng Yang, Dike Ruan and Phillip Tan to relaunch Shang Chi as more of a fantasy adventure hero. An ongoing series followed shortly thereafter.  It’s a pretty big shift between eras. If you’re familiar with the character from the films, this is the version you’re looking for.

Master of Kung Fu   Secret Avengers   Shang-Chi

You Look Marvelous

The Marvel Ms. Marvel Sale runs through Monday 6/20.

This would be Ms. Marvel as in Kamala Khan, not the current Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers. Hmm… it’s like there was a TV show coming out or something?  Let’s break this down by volume, since there have been relaunches.

  • Ms. Marvel ’14-15 – The original run with G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona as the primary artist
  • Ms. Marvel ’15-’19 – How silly is this relaunch? The collected edition number doesn’t even reset! It’s still Wilson and Alphona, although the artist rotate a bit as it goes on.
  • Magnificent Ms. Marvel ’91-’21 – Relaunched after Wilson’s departure, this is written by Saladin Ahmed with Minkyu Jung and Joey Vazquez as the lead artists
  • Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit – The most recent mini-series (only single issues are on sale) by Samira Ahmed and Andrés Genolet.

There’s a selection of Champions, where Ms. Marvel was a member, also on sale.

Recommendations? We thought Ms. Marvel was at its best early in the run, before it got too integrated into the Marvel universe, but that’s just us.  Definitely start with Wilson’s run, though.  It made quite the mainstream splash.

Ms. Marvel

Speaking of Marvelous…

The Marvel Captain Mar-Vell Sale runs through Monday, 6/6.

Yes, things have gotten complex enough that Marvel is calling him by his Kree name of Mar-Vell. This would be Marvel’s original Captain Marvel, who’s title Carol Danvers took up in recent years… yet, only one of the two series comprising the bulk of the sale is of the original Marvel.

What we’re looking at:

  • Captain Marvel ’68-’79 – This being the original run most people think of.
  • Captain Marvel ’02-’04 – This being the adventure of the orginal Mar-Vell’s son, Genesis. Written by Peter David with seemingly a different artist for each arc.

Recommendations? If you’re not looking to get the full run of Masterworks for the original run, we’d point you towards two volumes:

  1. Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin: The Complete Collection – Get this in place of Masterworks V. 3. It also contains the Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel and some other material for a slightly high page count.  This is the first Thanos storyline and Starlin’s Captain Marvel is the character’s high point.
  2. Captain Marvel Masterworks V. 4 – This volume is largely forgotten, but a friend made this magically appear in our Comixology account a couple years back and we enjoyed it. Steve Englehart and Al Milgrim pick up where Starlin leaves off and run with it for a bit. The Supreme Intelligence schemes and Ronan accuses. Not quite to the legendary level of Starlin, but these two volumes are effectively the “Best of.”

Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin   Captain Marvel

Crisis On the Road To Utopia

The DC Road To Dark Crisis eBook Sale runs through Monday, 6/13.

These “Road To” titles always make us think the marketing departments are Bob Hope/Bing Crosby fans…

So, while this is supposed to be a Dark Crisis lead-in sale, the 1000-ish comics in it suggest that might be hyperbole.  Or perhaps DC will prove us wrong and the Meg (Princess Diaries) Cabot / Cara McGee Black Canary: Ignite YA OGN is really leading into Dark Crisis?

There’s obvious a LOT on sale, so it’s worth a browse.  Recommendations? Sure.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Vol. 1: Hero of Metropolis is a bona fide hidden gem. Completely under most radars as a digital first comic, this is a string of connected “classic” Superman tales as a conspiracy unfolds in the background… with the Parasite, Metallo and a giant ape in the mix. It also has a strong sense of humor with a subplot about how hard it is to stash your clothes when changing into costume. Robert Venditti writes it, Paul Pelletier is the primary artist.  Probably our favorite Superman in at least a couple years. (Plus, $5.99 is one of the lower price points, here.)

While a little more expensive at $8.99 (but at least you’re getting 12 issues, here), Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen: Who Killed Jimmy Olsen by Matt Fraction and Steve Leiber is an instant classic. This is a surprisingly densely plotted screwball adventure that simultaneously calls back to the over-the-top silliness of the Silver Age. As Jimmy Olsen tries to stay alive long enough to solve his own murder, we witness: a drunken marriage in Gorilla City, an ancestral feud between the Luthors and the Olsens, podcast pranks and… look, OF COURSE there’s a giant turtle. A masterpiece.

The first two volumes/season are priced a little lower, but the entirety of the Grant Morrison/Liam Sharp Green Lantern run is now on sale.  Morrison explores a lot of tropes in what starts out as exploring the “space cop” aspect of GL. Sharp varies the art with the themes for a different experience than you typically get with a mainline DC character, too.  This is essentially one extended story told across two “seasons.”

Season One
Season Two (Note: the 80th Anniversary book is NOT part of the story, despite how it’s displayed.)

Superman: Man of Tomorrow   Jimmy Olsen   Green Lantern

Wolf Riders

The Dark Horse Elfquest Sale runs through Monday, 6/13.

This is the classic and pioneering fantasy tale of Elves fleeing when the humans burn down their forest by Wendy and Richard Pini.

The saga, except for the current installment, is collected in very thick omnibus volumes as The Complete Elfquest and 500-600 pages for $5.99 is a good deal!

The current installment is Elfquest: Stargazer’s Huntof which the second book isn’t out, but the first is on sale.

Elfquest   Elfquest: Stargazer's Hunt

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Still On Sale

Comixology (at Amazon) Sales: Immortal Hulk, X-Men, Captain Marvel and Outcast

This week’s Comixology (at Amazon) sales include, the wonder that is Immortal HulkX-Men Legacy, Captain Marvel (so many relaunches to keep track of) and a possible late addition to the Image Omnibus sale.

But first, we should probably talk about Amazon’s inability to get their sale prices right on the first iteration of a sale. This seems like it’s mostly a DC thing, but sale prices are dropping TWICE on some comics. The first time when the sale first appears and the second time a day or two after the sales are posted. It’s strange and the best advice we can give is that if the price doesn’t end in .99 or .49, it’s likely there’s an update that hasn’t happened yet.

We can’t tell if this is deliberate or a technical error, and if it’s a technical error, whether the problem is on the Amazon side or the DC side.  Regardless of why, this is really inconvenient. While Amazon (and even Comixology) have always had the odd title that lagged behind the rest of the sale, this has gotten ridiculous.

On a related note, we can’t really tell if all of the Dark Horse titles on the Deals page are really on sale.  You don’t sill the digital list price vs. sale price listed on those, just

That’s not the most helpful thing in the world.

Now, if you go into the sale listings, *some* of the comics will have the “best price in 30 days” banner. Those are probably one sale. The rest? We’re just not sure.  We like things like Hellboy and Joe Kubert’s Tarzan, but we’re not sure those are great sale prices for everything listed.

Speaking of digital list price vs. sale price, if an individual book is enrolled in Comixology Unlimited, you need to be logged out of Unlimited to be able to see the original list price.  Yes, this is yet another inconvenience after Amazon’s attempted absorption of the Comixology site.

We’re so old, we remember when Amazon actually cared about the customer experience. It’s just not clear how much the care about their comics customers, since we keep having all sorts of new hiccups.

Anyway, back to the Cheap.

(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):

The End of the Immortal

Marvel’s Immortal Hulk Sale runs through Thursday, 3/31.

Easily the sale of the week.

This is Al Ewing’s horror-tinged opus. The Hulk and other gamma-afflicted characters gather. It seems those dosed with gamma might not be able to die and it all seems tied to a mysterious green door that might lead to Hell. And there’s someone behind the door.

Now, there are two parallels sets of reprints here: the “regular” volumes (1-11) and the deluxe volumes (Book 1-4). The deluxe ones reprint 2 of the regular volumes, so you’d be waiting on V. 5. Otherwise, there’s not an appreciable price difference between formats.

Note: V. 11 collects various one-shots and is optional.  V.1-10 gets you the full story.

Other than that, just enjoy one of the best comics of the last decade.

Immortal Hulk

LoX?

Marvel’s X-Men Legacy Sale runs through Sunday, 3/27.

This would be the (largely) Mike Carey era of the X-Men: Legacy comic. You might know him from Lucifer and My Faith in Frankie or in his secret identity as M.R. Carey with The Girl With All the Gifts. Yes, he gets around a little.

It’s the X-Men, so there’s quite a few artists passing through – Scot Eaton, Khoi Pham and Clay Mann all figure prominently.

This picks up after Messiah Complex and runs into Avengers Vs. X-Men with Christos Gage penning the last couple volumes.

(The actual series page might be easier to navigate.)

X-Men Legacy

Not A Big Red Cheese?

The Captain Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Hero Sale runs through Sunday, 3/27.

Hmmm… was somebody bending over backwards to riff on the original Captain Marvel being “The World’s Mightiest Mortal?” It does seem that way, doesn’t it?

OK… brace yourselves… this one has a ton of relaunches:

We think that’s the overly complicated chronology, anyway. For recommendations, we’re not really Captain Marvel experts, but we’re inclined to say go with the current Thompson run. Kelly Sue DeConnick has a very dedicated fanbase, so maybe browse the sample pages there and see if that catches your fancy, too?

Speaking of Complex Relaunches

The Wonder Woman sale was broken down in the last installment.

A Late Addition

That  Image Omnibus sale running through 3/31?

We’re not sure if this was a late addition to the sale or our eye skipped over it, but there’s an omnibus of the Robert Kirkman / Paul Azaceta series Outcast available. 48 issues for $27 is fractionally a lesser deal than the Spawn Omnibuses, but that’s about $3.38 per “normal” collection/ ~56 cents/issue.

We need to read the last volume, but this story that’s twist and subversion of demonic possession has been holding our interest.

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Still on Sale

Comixology Sales: Old Man Logan; Ms. Marvel; V For Vendetta; Early Bendis and a LOT of Image Comics

Highlight of this week’s Comixology Sales include Marvel dropping prices on Old Man Logan and Ms. Marvel, DC having an “essential” sale (why yes, that includes Batman) and a ton of Image gets the discount treatment.

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

Ageism For Mutants?!?

The Old Man Logan Sale runs through Sunday, 7/25. If Jennifer Walters finds out they’re calling Logan that at the office, there might be a discrimination suit!

You’re mostly looking at two flavors here: The original post-apocalyptic Mark Millar / Steve McNiven Old Man LoganWhile we’d probably call this a variation on Days of Future Past, in terms of the superheroes in a bleak future, this one really was a trend setter and has inspired a lot of imitators. “Old Man” is not an uncommon way to start a title at Marvel these days.

Then you’ve got the ongoing Old Man Logan series, initially by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. This one brings the older Logan back in time to the present and, frankly, was better than most people were expecting at the time.

Wolerine: Old Man Logan   Wolverine: Old Man Logan

You Look Mahvellous

The Ms. Marvel Sale runs through Thursday, 7/29.

This would be the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel, as opposed to Carol Danvers, and we’re firm in thinking you need to start with the original G. Willow Wilson / Adrian Alphona series that caused quite a stir (especially on the Scholastic circuit).

Ms. Marvel

Essential Oils Minus the Oil

The DC Essentials Sales runs through Monday, 7/26.

For something relatively current, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed DCeasedthe Tom Taylor / Trevor Hairsine / Stefano Gaudiano vehicle where the Anti-Life Equation gets lose and creates a zombie doomsday scenario. What can we say, as he often does, Taylor takes a pitch that sounds like “Marvel Zombies for DC” and creates something new with depth. (Mind you, Marvel Zombies was also a lot of fun for a few installments.)

Going back a bit further, Multiversity is one of Grant Morrison’s best vehicles for sheer world building fun. This one hops dimensions as we follow a conspiracy across the multiverse. And, being that rare self-contained event, Morrison’s got a murderer’s row of artists for the story, including Frank Quitely, Jim Lee, Chris Sprouse and Doug Mahnke.

And if you want to go back to the 80s, Alan Moore and David Lloyd did a project called V for Vendetta that started as a serial in Warrior magazine and finished up at DC. A very political tale of resistance to tyranny, it’s proven influential and was an early hit that crossed over to the mainstream.

DCeased   Multiversity   V for Vendetta

Image HumbleBrag Sale

The Image Eisner Sale runs though Monday, 8/2.

There’s some pretty strong and recent content here, so we’ll just highlight three things we particularly liked.

The Department of Truth by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds is the real deal. It’s an X-Files-esque tale of conspiracies theories become real and the power of belief. Tynion’s definitely having a moment right now. Simmonds’s art style is a good fit for the material, too.

The team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have also been having a particularly strong run that’s represented here by two original graphic novels. We’d probably put Pulp slightly ahead, that would be the meditative tale of pulp writer in 1930s reliving his wild younger days with a hail of bullets.  That said, Reckless, the opener for a series about an ex-FBI undercover man turned underground fixer, is pretty darn good, too.

Department of Truth   Pulp  Reckless

Image Throws in the Kitchen Sink

The Image Mega Sale runs through Monday, 8/2. It might not be the entire Image library, but it’s close enough. Plenty to browse, but let’s highlight a few things that might not pop to the top of your mind.

Once upon a time, Bendis was not a big name creator. Yes, that really was quite a while ago, but back when he was an emerging writing, Todd McFarlane tapped him to write the Spawn spin-off Sam and Twitch.  Yes, the oddball detectives investigating dark things. Who was drawing it?  Names you’ll recognize: Angel Medina, Ashley Wood, Alex Maleev.  Yes, Bendis and Maleev go WAY back.

Lewis & Clark – Monster Hunters.  That’s the elevator pitch for Manifest Destiny by Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts and Tony Akins. Lewis & Clark are sent to map out the Northwest Territory, but also to investigate unsettling supernatural questions and clear out the territory of monsters. It starts out light and fun before descending into madness. Usually under the radar, always enjoyable.

The Black Monday Murders by Jonathan Hickman and Tom Coker is a tale of an occult cartel controlling the world’s financial system and the power struggle an apparent murder sets off in it. One of our favorite things from Hickman and Coker knocks it out of the park with some downright haunting art.  Coker occasionally posts pages from his work on the third act, so we’re hoping it’s not too far away from being scheduled.

   Sam and Twitch   Manifest Destiny   The Black Monday Murders

Still on Sale