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.
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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.
The Marvel Scarlet Witch Sale runs through Sunday, 5/9.
The value buy here is Vision & The Scarlet Witch: The Saga of Wanda and Vision. It’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.
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 International / Justice 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.
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.
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. 😉
Still On Sale
- The Marvel Star Wars May the Fourth Sale runs through Monday, 5/16. ($0.99/$1.99 tpbs – definitely check it out if you’re remotely into Star Wars)
- The DC Epic eBooks Sale runs through Monday, 5/9.
- The IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sale runs through Monday, 5/9.
- The Marvel America Chavez Sale runs through Thursday, 5/12.