Highlights of this week’s Comixology Sales include Hickman’s Avengers, the chronology of once and future Spider-Man, Ben Reilly, Dark Horse’s Halloween sale and a whole bunch of DC graphic novels… which is to say, Batman.
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The New Spider-Man (Again)
The Marvel Ben Reilly: Spider-Man Sale runs through Sunday, 10/10.
If you’re not up on this, it’s going to take some explaining. When Nick Spenser leaves Amazing Spider-Man, the Ben Reilly character will be putting on the Spidey suit and taking over. (Yeah, we know. It almost certainly won’t be forever.) So this sale is about catching you on the character. You’re going to need a score card, so let’s walk you through this.
Spider-Man: The Original Clone Saga is where this kicks off, way back in the 70s. (Yeah, we’re talking clones, so this is a long and winding road.) The clone saga truly starts with a plot by The Jackal spawning the first clones at the end of the Gerry Conway/Ross Andru run. Then we fast forward to the first encounter with Carrion in the Bill Mantlo/Sal Buscema Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man run as the clones return. This is where Ben Reilly comes from, though you won’t read that name yet.
Flash forward to the ’90s. Nobody really called the “Original Clone Saga” anything like that until the “Clone Saga” took over the Spidey line in the 90s. It’s collected in the 5 (thick) volume “Spider-Man: The Complete Clone Saga Epic” series. This is where Ben Reilly, Peter’s clone, shows up as the Scarlett Spider. So you’ve got the Jackal back running around, and hijinks with Venom and Carnage in the middle of it.
At the conclusion of how Marvel’s collecting the Clone Saga, Ben Reilly takes over as Spidey. This run is collected as Spider-Man: The Complete Ben Reilly Epic. At the end of it, we’re done with Ben Reilly for awhile and many would say that’s the real end of the Clone Sage (90s version).
Of course, this is comics, so of course Ben Reilly is back from the grave in the Dan Slott-era Amazing Spider-Man: The Clone Conspiracy. And then he spins off into his own series, as you knew he would in the current era. But hey, we warned you all this clone stuff is a long and winding road. That’s your primer for the new Spidey era.
The Marvel Avengers by Jonathan Hickman Sale runs through Sunday, 10/10.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Hickman’s Avengers run is really one long story and you need to treat it as such. Do not try and read Avengers and New Avengers as separate collections. That’s not how the material was published.
Fortunately, Avengers by Jonathan Hickman: The Complete Collection seems to be taking that approach. Yes, this sequence includes Infinity, so you don’t need to buy that on its own. Next up is Time Runs Out, which is the ending arc of Avengers and New Avengers. All in one oversized volume. And finally, after the collapse of known universes, the story wraps up in Secret Wars.
“Epic” is a word that gets thrown around a lot at Marvel. Hickman’s Avengers tale earns that word. The sheer scope of the story is stunning and is really a vital part of the experience. Don’t jump in at the end. Start at the beginning and take the full ride. In for a penny, in for a pound. Or maybe five pounds in this case.
Let the Halloween Sales Begin
‘Tis the season for horror-ish sales and The Dark Horse Halloween Sale kicks it off (and runs through Monday, 11/1).
There’s a lot of stuff in here, since Dark Horse has always published a lot of horror. We’ll assume you already know about Hellboy and B.P.R.D – both are in there and both are worth your time if you haven’t partaken, but we’ll focus on some different offerings.
Point in case, one of the… outer resident of the Mignola-verse is Baltimore, the tale of a world where the vampires rose at the end of WWI and the bloody quest for vengeance Lord Baltimore sets out for against those vampires. Now conveniently contained in two omnibus editions, we had a good time reading those a few months back. Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden are the authors with Ben Steinbeck and Peter Bergting tagging off on art.
It seems like this is the season for some Neil Gaiman, and there’s plenty on sale. Perhaps it’s a good year for Snow, Glass, Apples? That would be Colleen Doran adapting Neil’s twisted retelling of the legend of Snow White. (Also available in The Neil Gaiman Library V. 3)
And for something extra below the radar, we offer up The Marquis. Originally published by Oni, this is a supernatural affair written and drawn by Guy Davis. Yes, the same Guy Davis who rocked B.P.R.D. The Marquis concerns an ex-inquisitor in the 18th century who can see the demons who are possessing members of society as he dons a mask to root them out… in a hail of bullets. It’s Guy Davis with the gloves off, slinging horrors at the reader.
The Road to PR
The DC Road to FanDome Sale comes in Part 1 (100 Bullets to New Teen Titans) and Part 2 (New Teen Titans to Zero Hour). FanDome is DC’s attempt to pass off a PR event as their own convention, so they’re pretty much putting most of their graphic novels up for 50% off.
If you’d like a little bang for your buck, you could do a lot worse than Batman by Ed Brubaker V. 1. That’s Brubaker with Scott McDaniel and Karl Story as the primary art team. 317 pages for $5.99. There’s a second volume, but heads up that it’s in the middle of the “Bruce Wayne: Fugitive” event, so parts of it might read a little odd – not an uncommon problem with single-creator themed Batman collections.
Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen by Jack Kirby is essentially the Fourth World Superman title and it’s a little under-rated. Jimmy Olsen hooks up with the Cadmus Project as Intergang and Darkseid loom over things and Superman keeps watch. A more influential series than you might realize – these additions to the mythos have largely stuck around over the years.
The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman is Liam Sharp’s tale of Batman and Wonder Woman investigating the death of a Celtic god from a couple years back (before Sharp hooked up with Grant Morrison for Green Lantern).
No Time to
The Dynamite James Bond Sale runs through Monday, 10/18.
If you like Ian Flemming’s novels, have we got a comic for you. Kill Chain by Andy Diggle and Luca Casalanguida bring Bond back into the crosshairs of SMERSH. One of the best 007 updates, period.