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Life During Quarantine: Duplicates From Sorting X-Men Stuff

I decided to break this off into its own post, as my last one got rather lengthy.

In the course of sorting through all my X-Men and related comics, I came across plennnnnnty of duplicates. Some intentional, some just from lack of proper checklist of missing stuff.

While I’d initially had an accurate list I was working from back in 2012 or so; in early-2013 my phone at the time fritzed out, and the backup didn’t work, so I lost my list. Then I found something to restore from, but it did NOT include changes between initially creating the list and then, so I wound up RE-buying a lot of issues needlessly.

This was part of what FINALLY prompted me to get around to going through all this X-stuff; to get a newly-ACCURATE checklist to work from!

A few issues stood out as I went through, enough to take some photos; though I didn’t take nearly as many photos as there are issues that "mean something" to me; so what follows is a SMALLLLL selecting of notable issues I observed, but by no means is it comprehensive!

The first photo I took during sorting was a set of one of each X-Force #1 that I presently have.

Seven in total: 1 each of the original bagged-with-a-different-card #1s (one of each card, still bagged), 1 unbagged first print, and a "gold" second print.

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While these may have been "hot stuff" "back in the day," they’re less so now; and as I’ve obtained a number of copies from bargain-bins, I’ve no qualms about leaving copies of the issues bagged!

I should ALSO note that while I mostly despise modern variants…emphasis there is on modern variants. X-Force #1 has 5 "versions"? Sure. But it was a first issue, a new launch/"re"-launch, and as a #1, a definite rarity at the time (nowadays Marvel might as well number EVERYTHING #1!)

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I came across a variant cover of the 1997 Flashback Month "Minus-1" issue of X-Men, SEEMINGLY signed by Stan Lee! I feel it EQUALLY likely to be genuine as not; it may not have a certificate of authenticity/witness…but over the years, knowing just how MANY issues he had to have signed (and this being published 23 years ago), it’s perfectly likely that SOME issues he signed slipped through the cracks in notice when whole collections have been sold over the years. I’ll choose to believe this is a genuine signature; its validity doesn’t need to be proven. It’s not something I’m gonna be trying to sell, whatever the case!

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Turned out I had a couple of the old Marvel Legends reprints that came with the action figures filed in with the regular issues. This The Beast issue reprints X-Men #3…

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…while this Gambit issue reprints X-Men #4!

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Back in 2002 or so, I snagged the original Wolverine mini-series for 25 cents or so apiece along with the first issue of the ongoing!

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Since 2012,I’d finally acquired Wolverine/Gambit: Victims #4. I’d bought the first three issues as they came out, back in 1995 or 1996, but never got the final issue. So here that mini is, in my possession and finally complete after nearly a quarter-century!

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Apparently I’ve been snagging Onslaught: X-Men repeatedly from bargain-bins!

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Ditto for Onslaught: Marvel Universe! One of these turned out to be some sort of reprint, though…sort of akin to DC‘s Millennium Editions from around 2000, I suppose.

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And several X-Men: Primes.

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The issue immediately prior to the Age of Apocalypse, one of my favorite/significant issues is X-Men #41, which I’ve wound up with a number of copies. These in the photo; the one filed in the collection, and I have a "framed" one as well!

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Over the years, of ALL the issues in the series one could get, the ONLY Mutant X issues that I bought, apparently was #1. Repeatedly. Pulling stuff together, every single copy not from my original collection was #1! At least one of them was a variant of #1, that I was able to merge into the existing collection. And a bit of insult onto injury…despite having bought the series as it came out, start to finish…I found I’m missing a couple issues. The covers are familiar, so perhaps I misplaced them somehow. But thinking I had every issue otherwise would certainly explain "only" buying #1 as a novelty each time I did. (Obviously never recalling that I’d already bought an "extra" "novelty" copy).

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I had several copies of Generation X #1 (the chromium cover); and I have the copy filed away in the collection as well as one with a separate sub-stack of Chromium Covers! I remember the summer this came out, and the Phalanx Covenant crossover/event. I’ve actually been tracking down the NON-shiny covers for that.

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And finally, after its initial significance in 1996, I seem to have maintained a fondness for X-Men #54. This was the issue that finally revealed the secret of Onslaught, just before the event itself. If I recall correctly (as of this typing, having shelved/boxed everything and not now having the issue in front of my to flip through) this was the issue that resolved the "X-Traitor" subplot…hence being a Rather Big Deal at the time. The issue and the Onslaught stuff was a big deal to me as a kid. I’d followed the Age of Apocalypse in its entirety, kept on with the return to the 616 universe, and had read the issue with the first mention of Onslaught, so it was really cool seeing how all that paid off after the build!


I did not come across my Fatal Attractions duplicates stash, so I suspect I’ve got some more rogue (no pun intended) X-stuff around. That’ll be stuff for some other time, though!

Yesterday’s post and this have been a couple weeks in the making, overall. And with quite a few posts’ drafts I’ve found, I decided to go ahead and push these on out before they became yet MORE "dead content".

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Life During Quarantine: Organizing an X-Men Collection

I’m very fortunate in that I already worked remotely prior to all the pandemic/quarantine/lockdown/etc stuff. I’ve seen some disruption, but to a very large degree, work-life has not changed except for "more meetings."

THE main change for me has been suddenly comic shops were closed and so were pretty much all other casual-browsing stores and such that I’d frequent.

I have NOT had the sudden influx of time so many have; sometimes that’s been frustrating, but logically, consciously, I have to be thankful for that–I’ve been fortunate enough to have and keep a job; no cut in hours, pay, furlough, layoff.

That said…I did finally talk myself into taking a few days off several weeks back; just to have a couple "extra" days to do whatever/"not-work" and such.

I decided that as intimidating and overwhelming as its been, it was time to finally try to at least START going through my collectioaccumulation. 50+ longboxes, and nearly as many shortboxes. MOST of them virtually untouched for nearly half a decade.

I’ve long been content to buy countless duplicates as "convenience copies," because I tend to get those from 25-cent bins, sometimes 50-cent bins. But when I know darned well that I already HAVE (an) issue(s) it is just NOT "sustainable" to keep doing that. It should NOT be easier to order new copies from an online comic shop than to simply pull a box and an issue in my own collection.

But while I’ve managed to literally FIT everything into the space I work with, I have not had the space to do some wide spread-out sorting of the entire collection all at once.

So…I had to start somewhere.

X-Men.

Back in 2011 or 2012, I finally had gone through the longboxes I had at my parents’ at the time and pulled everything X-Men and X-Men-related (aka "X-Adjacent") and got those to my apartment at the time; and went through everything there and finally brought them all together, and made myself a checklist on the Notes app on my phone of missing issues I wanted to track down.

My goal was essentially complete runs of all of the ’90s X-and-adjacent books. Uncanny X-Men I’d go back as far as I could–for awhile, Inferno–and then forward to pretty much the then-present.

Now, in 2020, that remains basically the same–except I’m going back to Days of Future Past and basically going for as "complete" as I can with everything to maybe 2010-ish or so before all the especially-ridiculous renumbering crap started becoming so ubiquitous.

I’m not overly concerned with The New Mutants as I am the titles that were current when I got into Marvel in the 1990s; or moreso, X-stuff from the Age of Apocalypse.

Those being Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, X-Factor, X-Force, Wolverine, Cable, Excalibur, Generation X, X-Man, and X-Men Unlimited.

Anyway…the task at hand: first step, gather all the X-Men and related comics in my collection! Stuff I sorted 8-9 years ago; stuff I’ve accumulated since then attempting to fill that initial "missing-X-stuff" checklist, etc.

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I had some boxes pre-marked from back then as well as a couple boxes friends gifted me of Excalibur  and X-Force. I otherwise had to go through MOST of my longboxes (that were not otherwise marked as other stuff–like my Superman Byrne-to-2005ish stuff). Pull the X-stuff and get it consolidated in other boxes and piles and whatnot.

Lug said boxes through the basement and up the stairs.

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And finally pile all together in one condensed space to prepare for the actual sorting. Which wound up having to wait til after I worked a few days again.

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I initially emptied the pre-sorted stuff from 2011/2012 and stacked those.

I’ve been keen on IDing as many of my "original copies" of stuff as I can–same as I was back in ’11/’12. So along with sorting, when I "merged" stuff, I gave priority to my "older" copies. They may not be in the best condition, but if I had it in 1993, that–primarily/hypothetically–should be the copy I kept in the "main" collection.

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With two cats who absolutely MUST sniff, check out, step on, walk on, lay on ANYTHING paper-like on the floor OR that I’m paying attention to that is not initially them, I wound up closing these initial stacks in with empty boxes, and then as I sorted the rest of the books by title, I piled those largely on top of these…but still ran out of room.

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Thankfully, neither cat was overly interested in settling on "piles" as they were "single issues," especially while I was standing/moving around sorting. Sarah was especially keen on keeping tabs, though.

Eventually I had stacks of accumulated back issues by title, with a separate stack (not pictured) of misc. single issues/one-shots/specials/mini-series/etc.

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Then the task was to sort the "accumulation" issues, within each title and merge those into what I already had.

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One series I was particularly keen to get sorted was the 1991-originating X-Men, as I’d gotten this nifty "art box" or whatever; a shortbox with the art from the first issue’s "deluxe edition" cover.

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EXcluding its stint as NEW X MEN and later as X-Men Legacy, this single shortbox almost perfectly holds the entirety of that X-Men series. And I don’t even have to label the box to know what it has in it!

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Sarah-cat was always nearby through the sorting/merging process.

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I was a bit surprised at what I wound up having with Uncanny X-Men. I had a few more "early" issues (pre-#141) than I remembered; and it turned out I’m still missing more issues than I’d thought.

However, as of this typing, from #s 142-454, I’m only missing 158, 359, and 422. Then another 26 issues between 455-514, and all of 515-544or so. So still quite a few to finish out the series. Ultimately, my aim is Uncanny X-Men (vol 1) #s 141-544, plus contemporary Annuals in that range.

Once I’ve managed those, THEN I may look into creeping backwards a bit. BUT I believe the infamous end of the Dark Phoenix Saga was only #137–and I’m still hunting for #141 in my price range; so that’s all of 4 issues to have another "key" in the way.

As-is, going back to #141 is "only" about 47 issues into Claremont‘s run (I believe he started with #94) and Classic X-Men/X-Men Classic suitably covers that era, while there are various reprint volumes and such to cover the original few years of the X-Men.

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X-Factor #92 was one of my earliest issues getting into X-stuff and kicked off the Fatal Attractions arc celebrating the then-30-years of the property. As I was getting into the titles back then, 1993 was "only" 30 years removed from the original silver-age X-Men premiere! And was "only" about 18 years removed from the start of Claremont‘s epic run. (As I type this in 2020, it’s been 27 years since X-Factor #92!!!)

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Not to leave Sarah as the only interruption, Chloe had to get some attention as well!

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I lost track of how many times Sarah knocked over a stack or shoved issues around. Not my first choice…but ultimately, the comics are just THINGS. I cherish these cats, and that they love being around me and my stuff!

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And a random(-ish) photo of Ziggy lounging on some longboxes, taken some years back obviously. He’d "helped" me sort through X-stuff back in 2011/2012 at my parents’ house. Sadly, losing him back in 2017, he never got to see the entirety of this collection of X-stuff unified.

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…and here is the entirety (as of May 11, 2020!) of my X-Men and X-Adjacent collection!

As I was going through boxes at the start of this project, I was able to consolidate a number of my shortboxes and shift stuff around to free up this rack FOR the X-stuff!

It also worked out that I’d just ordered a case of 10 new BCW shortboxes so I was able to put the bulk of the newly-properly-sorted stuff into those.

And I’ve also decided that while it’s going to ultimately be a huge expense…I have GOT to convert the ENTIRETY of my collection to shortboxes. I’m getting way too old to be slinging longboxes!

But as it’s gonna take a bunch of "sub-collections" to get eventually to having the ENTIRE thing sorted…I don’t have to go singular-lump-sum to do that.

I anticipate my NEXT major sorting project to be "Superman and Batman stuff," followed by "general DC", "general Marvel", and then whatever’s left.

I also need to start looking into some sort of inventory system. I failed to do that before shelving the X-stuff, but along with getting my "missing stuff to seek out" lists, I really need to also have a list of what I actually have as well.

Though I can envision the ultimate whole of everything…I have no set timeline in place. Depends on quarantine stuff, work stuff, family stuff…stuff-stuff.


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The Last of the Giants?

The last day of the month. (Possibly?) the last shipment (for me) from DCBS. The last of the DC Giants.

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And somewhere in there apparently I’d added a spare copy of the Uncanny X-Men #266 replica edition. And the Alterna Giants issue. Probably to go along with the Robin 80th anniversary issue and such. Trying to add stuff to the order to "justify" the DC giants and shipping, considering we went from what appeared like we’d be getting 10-12 per month down to the minimum number per month that Walmart started with a couple years ago.

As of tonight (3/31/2020) had an email from Lonestar/mycomicshop.com saying they’re closing down for the duration of the shutdown order in their state. Midtown‘s offering delays for any orders, despite pumping out emails of supposed sales on stuff (might sound good for some %percent sale but hardly matters if they don’t have anything or MUCH actually for that pricing).

With this DCBS shipment, I believe that’s all my "channels" cleared out and up to date.

More endings.

We’ll see what/if there are any new beginnings

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 25, 2020 – The End

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The End…for now?


"The Shutdown." COVID-19. "Corona Virus." Whatever.

Life during quarantine.

No more new comics for the foreseeable future, hence March 25’s comics marking "The End" for now.

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Two new TMNT comics: the main ongoing series’ 104th issue…and the recent ‘companion mini-series’ Jennika (2nd issue of 3) giving our newest turtle the spotlight. Also from IDW is the latest Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics issue.

Then there’s the newest Spawn issue–#306. Hard to believe it’s already been (over) 6 months since the big 300th!

So that’s IDW and Image

What of DC (that just under 4 years ago I went all-in on with their main "DC Universe" titles)? What of Marvel (whose X-Men are some of my favorite characters, whose Age of Apocalypse in 1995 holds to this day as one of my all-time favorite comics events 25 years later)?

Well, from Marvel there’s the facsimile edition of Incredible Hulk #182 and from DC there’s their Vertig…er…Black Label / Sandman Universe dual/sub-imprint whatever Hellblazer #5.

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Then there’s the newest issue of Back Issue from TwoMorrows Publishing. Even just reading a couple articles in any given issue is high quality and provides more value:time ratio for the price than a single issue of a comic! So always glad to get an issue, and support the publisher!

Along with the week’s new comics, I was given a copy of the newest Previews (and its assorted accessories) with the acknowledgement that it’s probably "worthless" now with the shutdowns, but it is what it is. (The catalog).


Plenty of thoughts on all this real-world stuff. Several major fictional parallels I’ve recalled or been reminded of. But those are for some other post, perhaps.

For now…figured I’d get this posted, and that’s that for 2020’s The Weekly Haul posts for the foreseeable future.

May find other content to post. Haven’t shared newest shelves, or configurations of all my junk. Actually getting some The ’90s Revisited posts done lately (probably none this week, though). And who knows?

Depression’s barking at my heels, exhaustion’s been a near-constant thing lately. I saw that explained somewhere today or yesterday as being that there’s nothing to specifically, physically FIGHT, but neither is there any true running away from all this–FLIGHT–and so supposedly it’s natural to be more exhausted with the fight-or-flight reaction jammed up.

Who knows?

Life during quarantine, though.

More later in some fashion.

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2020 Grails Update: March 29

As the year began, I listed several "grail" issues for the year. With a couple of those acquired (plus a couple of "unlisted" grails in Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 and Avengers Annual #7), it’s time to update the ‘grail list’ going forward.

And I’ve added my current price range that I’m willing to spend offhand (ideal max $…recognizing that condition plays a huge part!). If you have (and want to sell) at the price, or see these in the wild for the price and would want to help a blogger out…feel free to give me a holler and we could maybe see what we could work out.

(Of course, plenty of variables including how much I’ve otherwise spent recently, plan to spend imminently, and everything associated with the current COVID-19 crisis! AND I’m not looking to "lowball" anyone–I’m aware of the rarity/scarcity of the issues…as I’m aware of what I’m personally willing to pay to acquire a copy at present. This is also as of March 29, 2020 and may very likely no longer apply–PLEASE consider searching my blog for "grails" or "Grail Comics" and see what newer/more recent entries I may have pertaining to these!)


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2020 ‘Grails’

  • TMNT Adventures Special #10 (Fall 1994) (~$10-15)
  • Prime #1 (hologram cover, silver OR gold) (~$10 silver, ~$15 gold)
  • Uncanny X-Men #141 (part 1 of Days of Future Past) (~$30-40)
  • Avengers Annual #10 (~$30)
  • DC Comics Presents #26 (~$20)
  • Dreamwave TMNT #7
  • TMNT Adventures: Year of the Turtle #1
  • Wolverine (1988) #145 (foil edition)

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And some high-interest series-seeking:

  • Spawn #s 101, 132-256
  • Archie C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa (vol. 1) #s 1-3
  • Archie C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa (vol. 2) #s 1-3
  • Mirage TMNT #s 3-7, 27, 44
  • Mirage TMNT vol. 2 # 10
  • Mirage Tales of the TMNT vol. 1 #s 1-5
  • Mirage Casey Jones/Raphael #s 2-4
  • Mirage Donatello: The Brain Thief #4
  • Image TMNT #s 1-18, 21+

Of course, a lotta this stuff would be stuff to look for at conventions. But such gatherings are presently on hold indefinitely.

And as I’m quick to order comics I want online, part of what elevates stuff to ‘grail’ status is NOT being able to "just order it online." Whether that’s the issue not being available AT ALL in any online place I have checked…or not available for what is a reasonable price to me.

As I am NOT a reseller and am interested in issues to own for myself, there’s just not the same "value" to issues, and I’m not willing to pay nearly as much as others might.

As of this typing, that TMNT Special is probably my highest-interest grail as it would (to my knowledge) complete my collection of every TMNT comic published by Archie! And the Prime hologram would do the same for my Ultraverse holograms.

The X-Men and Avengers issues being the keys that they are, I’m in less of a hurry, especially for my desired price range. I know they are keys, I know they’re typically far more expensive than what I’m willing to pay. But years of patience paid off and I got Uncanny X-Men #266 for my desired price-range last year (and just months before Marvel did a facsimile/replica edition!). So…hope springs eternal!

I’m also looking to fill in my run of DC Comics Presents, that being a series I was aware of early-on in my comics collecting and considerations of hunting for back issues…though I never did get to much of a hunt and am still missing about half the series. With the New Teen Titans insert (see Chris’ post over at Chris is on Infinite Earths) making the issue a major "key," the series looks to be one of those where 90% of the series is 10% of the cost, and the final 10% of the series carries 90% of the cost!

I’ve already largely lapsed from my initial interest in hunting down the classic Marvel 2099 stuff; time will tell if that fire gets relit.

Considering how crazy the last 3 weeks have been, who really knows?

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[Rant] Life During Quarantine: Another Side-Effect of Variants

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So, stuck inside Saturday night, and a Facebook group I’m in has had some listings from a local-region shop as they sell some stuff to make up for being stuck closed.

And I saw one listing for four issues from a local creator, signed. As a spin-off series, it prompted me to check to see if the series it spun off from was available.

I figured…I really shouldn’t be spending MORE MONEY this weekend, with payday STILL a few days off…but I’m feeling depressed, frustrated, discontent, and willing for a little bit of non-retail "retail therapy."

A quick bit of online-sleuthing and I located the publisher website, and there’s a bundle of the "main" series. For less than cover price, so with shipping, wouldn’t be horrendous. Ok…

Double-checking the spin-off series…first issue is sold-out. Ok, back to that Facebook listing (viewing on the phone since the computer was loading slowly) and happened to notice…wait. That cover for #1 doesn’t look quite right.

Looking between the phone screen and computer screen…aha!

The Facebook listing is for the first four issues, yes…but they’re the variant covers!

NOT what I want. With very few, rare exceptions, I don’t want variant covers. I want to buy the actual/main/regular/real/non-variant covers for stuff!

So, what momentarily flared, the idea of splurging and buying this set of 4 issues from a comic shop owner, while simultaneously ordering 11 issues of a main series from the publisher itself quickly fizzled.

Stuff like this, I’m an all-or-nothing kinda guy. If it’s ALL in front of me, able to buy all at once, no hassling with numerous other sources across an extended period of time to gradually hunt down and piece together a full run/set, I’m far more willing to splurge and be liberal with my spending.

Even when I’m planning until that day to specifically NOT buy the stuff.

So…thanks to them being variants…I’m not buying the set of 4 issues.

Certainly no need to buy the 5th issue someway right now, without those 4.

And without these, no extra/driven desire for that main series.

Because of 4 variants, I’m not buying 15-16 issues that otherwise would virtually guarantee I’d be buying subsequent issues of both series, whenever they’d be put out.

But variants drive sales, right?

Variants entice purchases, right?

Variants are fun for the buyer, right?

right?

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 18, 2020

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And here we are…a weekly haul post for the 2nd week in a row. I’d planned on waiting a couple weeks, to be able to finish out March and then switch to monthly posts.

Buuuuut…as of this typing (on Sunday, March 22nd) the governor has just issued the "stay at home" order closing all non-essential businesses, which means (presumably) no new comics until at least April 8th (the order goes to the 7th, I believe, but the 8th is the first Wednesday after that).

So this IS the final one for March.

On with it…

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New issue of the ongoing Usagi Yojimbo and the 4th (of 5!) issue of the Power Rangers/TMNT crossover mini (if this is anything like the Batman crossovers, we’re in for at least 2 more!). And speaking of the caped crusader, Batman #91.

And that’s it for new issues.

Then we have the premiere of the classic Justice League of America in Brave and the Bold as a facsimile/replica edition…and DC Dollar Comics reprints of the ’80s Justice League and 1997’s JLA.

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And along with the usual Comic Shop News, we get the 2020 Spring Preview.

All in all, nothing all that special. Just…usual.

And rather anti-climactic for the mandatory state-issued pause in business.

I’m pretty sure the preview’s gonna fall apart as we inch into Spring with a pandemic lockdown.

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of 2/19, 2/26, 3/4, and 3/11/2020

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Another month, another "weekly" haul-update. I actually had planned on doing this post earlier in the week, but figured if I was gonna be behind and play catchup, might as well make it another 4-week post to match the last one.

But in a real rarity for me (and this blog!) of late, I actually had two full single-issue posts earlier in the week.

  1. First, I had my first non-Ultraverse ’90s Revisited post in ages, covering Uncanny X-Men #303.
  2. Then I had a (late to post, having written a couple weeks ago) review of the "new" comic TMNT: Jennika #1 (from the Week of February 26, below)…my first review of a newer-than-2010 comic in 14 months or so!

Anyway…onto the point of this post you’re reading…my documenting for myself (at least) what I’ve picked up in the way of new comics for the last few New Comic Day Wednesdays.


Week of February 19, 2020

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New post-#100 TMNT; new Spawn (we’re 6 issues in past the big #300!); and third/last American Jesus for this round. 3-issue mini originally, and this followup is also a 3-issue thing. Maybe we’ll get a new paperback with all 6 issues?

DC Dollar Comics brought a New Teen Titans reprint; and Marvel had some sort of (FREE!!!) Wolverine thing. I won’t turn down free Wolverine, even though I hate the "new logo" and refused to spend $7.99 on a #1 issue.

And since it was a relatively small week, I opted to splurge on the $9.99 DC: Crimes of Passion giant-issue; having developed a bit of a sub-collection of the squarebound not-quite-TPBs DC issues that actually go on the shelf.

(*come to think of it, if they’re not gonna do out-and-out trade paperbacks monthly as anthologies, why can’t publishers just do squarebound COMICS that contain the materials of single-issue titles as anthologies and see which sell BETTER? I’d gladly pay $9.99 for one of these with 4-5 X-books’ content rather than $3.99 apiece for 20-page batches of infographics + a few pages of stories!)

Finally for the week, having snagged Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 a week or two before, I’d ordered the Avengers Annual to cap off that arc, and check off another "minor grail" for myself.

And as almost-always…the weekly Comic Shop News.


Week of February 26, 2020

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The final week of February finally brought the first issue of TMNT: Jennika. I don’t know that I was looking forward to it, exactly, but I think it was late and I’d begun to "wonder" about it. See my review (linked above), though, for the issue in and of itself.

Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics #2 brings another (color) installment of early UY. While I understand the TMNT Color Classics to have rather limited material to pull from (especially as they focused specifically on Eastman/Lairdcentric TMNT) I a really hoping that this UYCC is an indefinite ONGOING thing that lasts for a lotta years. I’ll happily keep buying both this and the "new" ongoing.

I don’t even remember now why I’d wound up grabbing Dark Horse‘s The Little Mermaid mini, but I think this was the final issue? OCD/completist since I had the earlier issues. I’ve yet to READ any of them to determine if they’re a new adaptation of the film, or some sort of re-imagining, or what. But congratulations to Dark Horse: this is what CAN happen when something is put out that is NOT over-hyped, NOT sold on the quantity of variant covers, NOT some huge event, NOT begun with an over-priced first issue, etc.!

New issue of Hellblazer, which is yet another that I (sadly) need to catch up on reading before I have to kick myself for not just waiting for collected editions. Or perhaps to just decide TO wait for the collected editions and take my hit now.

Then the week’s "facsimile"/"replica" editions: Wolverine #1 and The Flash #123 (easy to remember as 1-2-3!). Though I already have an original edition of Wolverine, I’m glad to keep supporting these reprints! And the Flash issue is a great addition as well as what it is. (Though I did discover a day or two after buying it that I had a Millennium Edition reprint of the issue. I prefer this new one for being closer to what the original would look like…but the ME reprints are a good bit of nostalgia to me some 20 years later!)


Week of March 4, 2020

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March starts off with a bit of a whimper, with "only" 5 issues…two of those (40%!!!) being reprints. Mystery in Space is not honestly one I’d really care for or likely even be all that interested in from a bargain bin. But as said above…I’m happy to "support" these sorts of reprints, as I find far more VALUE in them than modern comics. And of course, $1 comics can hardly be beat as "new" comics, such as the DC Dollar Comics: Swamp Thing issue, reprinting an Alan Moore story.

Having heard a lotta good stuff about King‘s Vision series and Mister Miracle; and despite having bought the entirety of the latter without having yet read it…on the strength of 85 issues of Batman, I figured I’d give Strange Adventures a try. My primary complaint is the "dual" covers that could easily have been flip-book covers or doubled-up covers and gotten a similar effect withOUT making me have to choose one OVER the other. That’ll likely be the primary deciding factor in my picking up #2-onward…how cheesed-off am I at the nature of the existence of "basic" variants for this title?

Speaking of Batman… I’ve repeatedly pointed out (or meant to) my dropping the title with the end of King‘s run. Multiple reasons, varaints, likely pending reboot/relaunch, Something Generation with DC, and then over-hype and speculator/scalper crap with #89. BUT while out of state visiting a friend recently, happened across a copy (first print) of #89. For cover price. Despite all the hype and apparent sell-outs and over-priced flippage and such. I was NOT going to buy it in and of itself, though, even for cover price…not to leave a gap of 3 issues. So I checked. They also had issues 86-88. So in one fell swoop, I was able to catch up on the title (which I already had 1-85!) and as of then was fully caught up. So I emailed the local shop and added it back to my pulls beginning with this 90th issue, figuring fine…I’ll buy Batman and keep the run going, and so I can take stuff in for myself without having to "hunt" or play the "speculator game."

Finally, we’re getting to the tail-end of the TMNT Urban Legends run, reprinting the old Image TMNT series. I had two issues from later in the run that I bought back around 2000 or so; I’m not sure offhand but pretty sure at least ONE of those has now been reprinted in color in this series, and if this issue isn’t the other, then the next issue should be. And then we’ll get the first-time-ever published ending to the series (though how that jibes with a fan-produced ending, I don’t know, and that’s not a game I’m getting into on ridiculously-limited-edition completionist stuff).


Week of March 11, 2020

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And now we’re caught up to the current (as of this typing) week’s haul. And I’ve been halfway waiting for something like this to happen…here, it finally did.

Nothing but reprints for me.

Two DC Dollar Comic reprints of key Robin issues: the death of Jason Todd, and the first issue of the first TIm Drake mini-series. (More fitting would have been to reprint the final chapter of Lonely Place of Dying, where Tim first-ever dons the Robin costume) but for $1, whatever. And of course, I have both of the original issues and I’m still happy to buy these reprints, if only to "support" the reprints program. While I likely would have passed on Robin #1 as such, I still, repeatedly-to-be-said, would somewhat prefer these be done ALL as facsimile/replica editions. More on that below!

The definite gem of the week for me is the facsimile/replica edition of Detective Comics #38, the first appearance of the original Robin (Dick Grayson). I don’t recall now if there’s been a reprint in these recent replicas of #27, but this really makes me want one to go with it. Of the two, I think this is most appealing for me as such a fan of Robin.

Finally, we have a Thor replica/facsimile edition that again…I’ll buy to support the program, even if not every single individual issue is of specific singular interest or significance to me .

And Comic Shop News shows off some DC thing with the multiverse and maybe generations. I barely care at this point, with my only real interest in "new" DC being these reprints, and even Marvel isn’t getting me with non-reprint stuff (even though I SHOULD be an easy mark for their Marvels X and other upcoming Marvels stuff…I refuse to go in on the $4.99 pricing!)


Anyway…there we go. Another month in my "new comics" buying. I’ve bought some other stuff in the time, but those have been non-Wednesday purchases, stuff I consider to be "off" from the standard/regular/weekly "hauls."

As to my earlier-mentioned "idea" on the reprints:

For DC Dollar Comics, have a plain-color blank cover of some appropriate color; either say, standard black for all, or white for all, or something appropriate to the title/cover’s look. And have a small-ish image of the actual original cover (logos, pricing, blurbs, and all!) Whether it’s a small centered image, or nearly-full-size but with a distinct "border" for the flat color base.

Then for actual replica/facsimile editions, do as they’ve been doing with having then look as close to the original as possible.

I just don’t like the way the DCDC reprints are some weird mutant hybrid of original and new appearances. Familiar art, but the new DCDC trade dress, and weird numbers/number-placement on stuff. Like it more or less tells you what it’s reprinting, and yet you still almost have to know to be sure. Reprinting a New Teen Titans #2 with the new trade dress and a #1 on the cover.


This almost works out better doing these posts like this than feeling like QUITE so random/arbitrary as actual weekly things…especially buying so few comics every week.

Maybe I should try to aim for doing one more for March for the 18th and 25th…and then adjust to The Weekly Hauls and just go by month. Hm.

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The Weekly Haul: Weeks of 1/22, 1/29, 2/5, and 2/12/2020

Well…so much for those intentions of actually keeping up with these posts week-to-week!

Two or so weeks, and then nothing for the last 4 (almost 5!) weeks. Go figure.

Well, let’s jump in and look at the main hauls for the past 4 Wednesdays ahead of this week’s new stuff for the 19th.


Week of January 22, 2020

January 22nd had several interesting books, as well as a "lingering habit" I’m having a bit more trouble breaking than expected.

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New Hellblazer; I enjoyed the one-shot and first couple issues well enough…and definitely want to support the title as something as close to the old Vertigo version as we’re gonna get.

DC Dollar Comics are $1, so…yeah.

Superman #19 because I kept thinking I’d actually READ the reveal stuff, but it turns out I am just so against it and think it’s stupid, repetitive, unneeded, and totally NOT what I’m interested or looking for in Superman comics. C’est la vie.

IDW‘s color reprints of the old Image TMNT title has–I think–finally caught up to the two issues I got back in 1999/2000 or so. Which means it’s time for me to dig everything out, catch up on reading and prepare for the endgame of the title with the never-before-released ending.

Ghostbusters Year One was an interesting enough premise…and it seemed a small-ish week, so I bit. Guess what I’ve yet to read, though?

And the second issue (of 3, I believe) of American Jesus, following Millar‘s Chosen from back in the day. As of this writing, I believe the 3rd/final issue is due out this week, so looks like I’ll be reading the entire thing in one go as single issues where I could have simply waited for a collected edition.


Week of January 29, 2020

Final week of January was an interesting one for me…and a rare situation I’ve not had in probably more years than I care to consider.

I did not go to the comic shop. My parents had errands to run, one of which put them literally about 5 feet from Comic Heaven, so I was able to message ahead for issues I was interested in to be pulled (in addition to regular pulls), and Mom was able to go in and get my issues for me!

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We had the debut of IDW‘s color reprint series of Usagi Yojimbo in Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics #1. I’m hoping this is a rather indefinite series that will simply run on and on and on. It’s certainly worthy of it, reprinting a strong, long-running/STILL-RUNNING series but in color so it’s both reprint and new. And I’d much rather buy it than most other $3.99 books, and though I have most of the series in collected volumes I’m happy to get the this way to read individually in much smaller bite-size doses!

TMNT seems like a whole new book again, though I haven’t decided if that’s good or not. It’s got good art, though, and it IS TMNT. I’m VERY glad that IDW has at LEAST had the sense to NOT repeatedly renumber this series. As a whole new continuity kicked off in 2011, it obviously more than deserved its #1 then–new title, creative team, publisher, continuity/universe–but it’s been refreshing that it did NOT renumber after the events of #50, and yet again did not renumber after the events of #100…both of which saw seismic shifts in the story that then played out across quite a number of issues eventually growing familiar. Even if the property was NOT a personal "exception" on stuff, I definitely am glad to "support" the title for the numbering. And here’s another way to look at it: #100 is a mere 1/3 of Spawn, which has a brand going back to the early 1990s!

Criminal is on #12 already which means I’m probably about 8 issues behind on reading again. As I understand, the "back matter" of the title adds reading-time (aka "value") to its price, as well as unique material one only gets that way and not in a collected volume. (Leaving the collected volumes to collect the actual Criminal STORY).

Then for Marvel and DC, reiterating the fairly steady point of late wherein I’m not much interested in their NEW content but am glad to buy even extra-priced gimmickey REPRINTS of old material. Starting to seem like Marvel has some new replica edition out practically every week! I’m ok with that, though, as long as they don’t "double up". That said, they may HAVE for this week, in which case I’ve "missed" a replica edition. But AS a replica edition, not like it’s some "hot new" comic being speculated on or sporting umpteen different tiered variant covers, so I may eventually get around to it. I’m amused at the "old style" 3-D gimmick and though $8 is a bit overpriced for an issue, I’ll accept it as a rare/occasional gimmick. It’s not like it’s a trial issue of some new series, a premiere of a new series, and since it’s nostalgic (for me) material, so be it. Finally, apparently Black Canary’s modern costume’s debut is worthy of a reprint edition. For $1, though, I won’t complain much.


Week of February 5, 2020

…and another week of "indy" comics for new stuff and reprints for Marvel and DC! And contrary to my language above (*left in for my writing on each week based on the photo and memory rather than all 4 weeks as a whole) I "made up" that missed replica edition from Marvel here.

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As I repeat ad nauseum…the Ninja Turtles are a MAJOR "exception" for me in comics. I’ll tolerate far more with that property than any other property. Ditto on pricing, variants, etc. Though my patience has been tried a bit more lately, it’s that "exception" that overrides my blanket condemnation of Boom! Studios as a publisher (*See my 4-year-old grudge over MMPR #0 and variants) and "allows" me to buy something with their logo on it in MMPR/TMNT #3.

Then the newest issue of the ongoing/new content/main Usagi Yojimbo title from IDW. Just a week apart from the Color Classics issue. I definitely hope they keep these titles separate–with "only" 2 titles, it makes absolutely NO SENSE to me to cluster them on a single week, especially with the publisher having output all the other weeks of a month. That clustering is another factor that drives (people like me) to drop stuff. Expensive as comics are, one can rationalize/justify them when the per-week expenses are kept down…but even one or two "extra" issues can either blow a budget OR call attention to a budget one’s regularly exceeding and promote sticker shock, which in turn promotes dropping of titles.

I’m woefully behind on GI Joe: A Real American Hero to the point I’ve been considering letting it lapse. Of course, I tell myself I’m just one good binge-read away from catching up. However, I think I let a bit of another "exception" creep in these days with the title…that is, even when IDW started it, they kicked off with #155 1/2 as a "#0"-type issue and their first "proper" issue that usually would have been a #1 was actually #156. And they’re a good 114 issues into this run. First, 114 issues without a renumbering; second, 114 issues on a numbering from a previous series that had ended a decade and a half earlier!

Then Marvel‘s other replica edition in a Fantastic Four annual. An extra $1 to the cover price but it IS an extra-sized issue, and an annual, and a far superior value time-wise on reading than MODERN annuals full of full-page and double-page splash panels and few words and other "cheats" to pad out an issue’s page-count while reducing the time it takes to read any given issue. Like the DC Green Lantern replica edition, I really dig these sorts of reprints where they’re close enough to the original to be able to slot them in as that original without much problem (and for $4-$5 instead of $50-$1000s). There’s something to DC‘s Dollar Comics line–the trade dress, I think–that seems a bit "off" to me. It’s like they do this weird hybrid of taking the look of the original, but changing it to not be "overly-close" to the look of the original and to carry the "branding" of the DC Collar Comics. So they’re sort of iconic and yet not…at the same time.

Moving beyond the week’s new-printed comics…my first "grail of the year" acquisition!

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It "only" took me a bit over 20 years to get this foil edition of Wolverine #145. Back in (October?) 1999, when Mom went to the comic shop for me to get the issue, she got the "regular" non-foil edition ($2.99 vs. this edition’s $3.99). Once I went back and tried to track down this edition, I’ve either not found it whatsoever, or it’s been astronomically priced. EVEN the ONLINE regulars have not had the thing in-stock, and I’ve not found it at any shops in-person nor at any conventions where I’ve looked.

I "discovered" a new (to me) online selling site (online fleamarket of sorts) and someone had it on offer for $8 or so. With shipping, it hardly cost me 3 modern Marvel comics that (thanks to variants, over-frequent shipping, generic covers, generic stories to be undone in a year and/or by short-term creative directions, etc) made it a real steal for what it is!

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Of course, it’s a definite "wall book" for me!


Week of February 12, 2020

And here we come to the "finally caught up"…for a day, or so.

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Again with "supporting" some format, I am definitely very much behind stuff like what these Dawn of X volumes appear to be: 6-issue collections…but not of individual titles. These volumes are collecting sequential issues of ALL 6 TITLES that made up the Dawn of X "initiative" following HoX/PoX last year. This one has the #1 issues of all 6 titles in an "anthology" format. $24.99 for 6 issues that were $4.99 apiece. So even though I already did get X-Men #1 last year, that still means that I’ve basically paid $30 for all 6 total…breaking even, even WITH that issue being doubled-up with this collection.

DC Dollar Comics reprinting the first appearance of Cassandra Cain; and a replica edition of the first issue of the Claremont/Miller Wolverine mini-series. Sorta interesting that in paying $3.99 for this edition, that’s 16 times what I paid for the copy of the original that I own.

The Vampirella magazine is a replica edition as well–I believe this is the first 3 issues now reprinted like this.

And while I really haven’t had or taken the time to read cover-to-cover any of the TwoMorrows magazines, I do find it’s often one or two (or a few) articles that are of particular interest. And really, if I spend 20 minutes on an issue, it’s certainly matched the time-"value" of virtually any modern $3.99-$7.99-$9.99 comic!

Sort of goes to show how much I’ve managed to cut back lately that I actually had NO NEW COMICS ISSUES (content-wise) for the week. Nothing but REPRINTS and a magazine ABOUT comics (creators)!

While checking out, I glanced over at the display case with "priced" significant back issues, and recognized something I’ve only seen digitally or as reprints: the Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2.

For $20.

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Now, this thing has seen better days. It’s creased, worn, beaten…overall in pretty crummy condition. As much as I’m all FOR buying umpteen duplicates of an issue as "convenience copies" from 25-cent bins, generally this condition would get even a 25-cent comic left in the box.

Except this is an issue I’ve been interested in for 22-some years or so. And with last year having broken my "$10 or less" thing for single issues, I’m now willing to pay more than $10 for a single issue…IF it meets certain criteria (that might be accumulated "in the moment"). In this case: it’s THE issue. It’s one I’ve known of and been interested in for over 20 years (over half my life!). At $20…that’s "only" 5 modern $3.99 issues, or 4 modern $4.99 #1 issues…or 2.5 modern $7.99 #1 issues. And let me tell y’all, I’m far happier with having this book than I’d be to have a random Fallen Angels #1, Darth Vader (since 2015, vol. 3) #1 and Wolverine vol. (what are we up to? 8? 9?) #1.

As I am NOT a collector to resell, but collector to HAVE…I’m MORE than happy to have this in this condition!

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And it fits quite well on "the wall" with other similar type issues. Older keys, just lacking in that "NM+" grading condition and such. But it has sentimental value for me for its content and notoriety and memories it brings up…and that puts it on a level that FEW (if any?) modern (2005-present, let’s say?) comics attain.

So…there we go. Four weeks of new-comics-days’ hauls, plus 2 "grails" acquired. Factor in that huge Spawn acquisition in early January and it’s been a much more productive back-issue year than new-issue.

I also–for the week of February 12–resisted the temptation to buy the Superman: Heroes (late!) issue dealing with (MORE) of the ditching-of-the-secret-identity crap. A $5.99 issue that reinforces how 20-year-old non-quarter-bin comics for $4 and $5 and $6 are an EXCELLENT value by comparison…at least to me.

And after the speculation and speculators and whatnot blow over, I would not be surprised to find the issue (the main, non-variant regular basic un-special cover) available in $1 bins this spring/later this year at conventions.

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The Alien/Predator Shelves as of 2/8/2020

I posted a couple weeks ago about discovering the Alien Collection toys from Lanard.

I had not initially bought the APC vehicle, but did wind up going back for that. I also purchased a $10 MegaConstrux egg thing shaped like an Alien egg that came with a packet of slime/ooze with pieces to build two "minifigure" Xenomorphs.

I also came across a couple online listings for classic Kenner Aliens figures, and got a "regular-sized" Alien Queen as well as a Gorilla Alien and a Bull Alien.

All together, my once rather sparse shelf filled up fast to the point of nearly overflowing. Such that I may end up moving the Predators off just to have a little more room for the Aliens…but time will tell!

Anyway, though I’ve shown off the collection in the past, here’s the most up-to-date version of my Aliens/Predator shelves!

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The figures and such get the top of the shelving unit for the maximum amount of space and to accommodate the rather large size of the Queens.

While I’m pretty sure I’m missing a couple books, I do at least have most of the Alien/Aliens line of novels, and most of the Predator ones, though I’m missing the Dark Hors Press (DH Press) novels as well as the most recent anthology and film adaptations.

Though for the moment Mage Knight and MechWarrior: Dark Age still share the shelf…a major MW acquisition last year means that series is going to have to get its own space…which will also allow a little more space for the Alien/Aliens books and such.

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The graphic novels have their own space on a different, larger bookcase to allow for the size of the Library Editions (and even the regular-sized graphic novel editions).

Adding purchases from the latter part of last year in, there’s no longer room for the films to all share the shelf, so I had to move the individual Alien films and a couple misc. items elsehwere. (Perhaps they’ll help replace MechWarrior on the novels’ shelf?)

As it is, I left the Alien Anthology blu-ray set and the newer films.

I’m not sure if Dark Horse is going to continue their full-size collections of the older Aliens material, so I’m not at all in any hurry to replace the omnibii.with those…though I’d prefer the newer format. Time will tell!

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