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Dawn of New Secret 2099 Limited: World of Yesterday

When you have over 50 longboxes and at least as many shortboxes…and they have not been properly sorted since you had less than 10 longboxes and maybe 2 shortboxes…that’s a lotta chaos.

Over the years, I’ve taken to buying loads of "convenience copies" from bargain bins–deciding since I’m very fortunate and thus ABLE to afford to–I’d rather buy new, cheap duplicates even of stuff I consciously know darned well I already own for the convenience of having those particular issues "handy" in a "recent" comics-keeping-location rather than having to manhandle umpteen longboxes and undetermined quantities of shortboxes, rifling through each box individually in the hopes of coming across a specific issue or handful of issues that I at least THINK I remember having, and all that.

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Just before the end of 2019, having decided that I definitely want to seek out the entirety of Marvel‘s original 2099 line, I’d ordered a bunch of comics online for definite blind-spots or stuff that came later in the ’90s after my initial attention on the line had waned (particularly 2099 Unlimited, 2099 World of Tomorrow, Hulk 2099, Fantastic Four 2099). I’d also managed to get some other miscellaneous and sale-priced issues to have a good foundation of collecting the line.

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But the 2099 line is one I fondly remember from my youth, having begun with an off-the-shelf copy of Spider-Man 2099 #1 at Comics & Collectibles back in Fall 1992. I remember having a bunch of the issues, and it was a significant imprint/subset of the entirety of my collection at the time I went off to college in 1999 (which was a year after the last time my collection as a whole was more or less "properly organized"–as 2020 dawns, it’s been 22 years that brief period in Fall 1998!).

I’m quite a fan of the convenience copies and relish getting 25-cent and 50-cent fancy issues and enhanced covers and ’90s variants and other ’90s awesomeness, in part because I couldn’t get stuff THEN but can get it so cheaply NOW.

Over the final weekend prior to the new year, I got it into my head to do some heavy lifting, and began hunting through a number of my original range of longboxes (pre-2004) and made a slew of discoveries. For one thing, I had "fancy covers" for issues I didn’t remember having. I also found several very cool issues, PERIOD, that I did not remember having.

And thankfully, of course, I found my original range of 2099 comics.

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For personal posterity’s sake, below is the makeshift "inventory" of what was in that range, though the stack included quite a few duplicates I did not remember having. My thoughts continue beyond the list.


2099 World of Doom Special
1

2099 World of Tomorrow
4

2099 Unlimited
1, 7

DOOM 2099
1-10, 25 (foil)

GHOST RIDER 2099
1 (foil and regular), 2-13

HULK 2099
1-3

PUNISHER 2099
1,2,4,5,6,7,25 (foil)

RAVAGE 2099
1-5, 7-10, 13, 25 (foil)

SPIDER-MAN 2099
1-18, 25 (foil)

X-MEN 2099
1-5


spiderman2099(1992)001As said, I’d begun with the initial release of Spider-Man 2099 when it was a brand-new issue. It’s truly one of the more significant single issues IN my entire collection, as it was my first-ever #1 issue with Spider-Man in its title, and I was keen on this then-new line of comics that I was getting to get in on at the very, very beginning. (And don’t give me any of the nonsense of "previews" as true 1st appearances and all that!) Earlier that year, a friend had gotten at least a couple of the Spider-Man 30th-anniversary hologram issues. [I remember there being 4 of those in total; I feel like I remember his having the Amazing Spider-Man issues with the black border, at least; beyond that, I can’t disentangle my memories and deja vu and nearly 30 years of being aware of the issues.]

I recall the line getting a "staggered" release.

That is, where in present-day, 2019/2020, Marvel would kick the line off with ALL the titles in one month with multiple #1s possibly hitting the SAME DAY of release…back in 1992, the line launched with…

ravage2099(1992)001Spider-Man 2099 #1.

Then the next month, Ravage 2099 #1, and Spider-Man 2099 #2.

The third month, Doom 2099 #1, and the respective 2nd and 3rd issues for the first titles.

And then the fourth month, Punisher 2099 #1, with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th issues of the earlier titles.

The following fall, X-Men 2099 launched. That gave the line 5 titles, all at different numbers, having gotten to be its own thing in its given month of launch, and so on.

I remember there being some 800-number (presumably 1993 or 1994) that you could call for "insider tips" from Marvel about upcoming stuff. This was pre-common-internet, so most information (at least in my part of the comics fandom world) came by word of mouth and by stuff like Wizard magazine…so whatever the ad was (in), I remember (along with my friend) being intrigued by that ad with the phone number…and excited when we got parental permission to actually CALL.

ghostrider2099(1994)001I don’t recall what ELSE was announced in this way, but I do remember that being when I first heard about an upcoming then-addition to the 2099 line: Ghost Rider! So of course I was on the lookout for THAT #1, and it being a TRUE "discovery" and such and not just something that "showed up" but something I’d learned of EARLY, before it appeared in Wizard, before the comic shop owner could tell ME about it, etc.…it was something SPECIAL.

It was also a bit of an anomaly, as the 2099 #1s went. The previous FIVE titles all had the same-style foiling and border, just different-colored foil, making the issues very distinctive. But Ghost Rider‘s #1–while it had the general design and shape of the border–was a multi-color/prismatic/shiny-reflective foiling, rather than the distinctive single-color foiling (red, silver, gold, purple, or blue of the first 5 or green of the later Hulk). The Hulk premiere apparently went back to the distinctive colored foil.

doom2099(1993)001Unfortunately, I could only keep up with SO MANY titles, so I mostly hung on to Spider-Man 2099, as my then-favorite (though I’ll be darned if I can remember details of that run at this point!). Apparently I lasted a year and a half with it, and missed an issue here or there, but had filled in those holes prior to 1999.

While going through the collection I found a number of issues bagged with the same-style sticker with the same handwriting of prices, firmly indicating I picked up a bunch of issues as back-issues. This reminded me that I had obviously been a bit inconsistent and didn’t get everything I had exactly at-release/every-month-to-month…but I’d been invested enough back then to track down what back-issues I could for a reasonable price!

I also found duplicates of Doom 2099 and Ravage 2099 #1s. Based on most being loose and no prices on the bag-and-boarded copies, I can make the reasonable assumption that the bag-and-board copies are my actual original copies for those two titles, as I’d early in my collecting I’d had a phase where I attempted to bag and board "everything" before giving that up as a lost cause–I could bag and board, OR I could get MORE COMICS. (I wanted more comics!)

punisher2099(1993)001Despite the duplicates…there was only 1 copy of Spider-Man 2099 #1 in the bunch, and it had the familiar dents/spine damage I remembered, as well as the direct-market "2099" where the upc/bar code is on newsstand copies, so I know THAT one to be as "for certain" as possible to be my actual original copy of the issue; the genuine artifact. Ditto for Ghost Rider 2099 #1’s shiny foil. I didn’t remember getting both versions at the time, but clearly remembered getting the shiny foil. So either I got both at once or I’d gotten a non-shiny copy not long after. I’d thought it was only rather recently that I’d obtained a non-shiny copy (2019 recently)…so, c’est la vie.

I had the original 2099 Unlimited #1 issue–I believe offhand this was the "first appearance" of the Hulk of 2099. And while I vaguely recalled having gotten Hulk 2099 #1 at some point after it was out (I do recall I did not get it "on release") I would’ve sworn I had no subsequent issues, but apparently I’d gotten the first 3.

xmen2099(1993)001All in all, back in the ’90s, I primarily kept up with Spider-Man 2099 and Ghost Rider 2099. I lapsed pretty quickly on the other titles, even on "back issues." BUT a couple years into the runs, the original books all rolled up on their 25th issues! Those were a big deal (to me), probably as much for having had the #1s as anything else; but I snagged the fancy foil/embossed versions of those. I don’t recall now if I knew at the time there were non-fancy versions or not; though I’m keenly aware of that in more recent years!

And somewhere along the way, I just stopped buying any of the titles. With other memories I have from the early-to-mid-’90s with comics, it’s reasonable to assume that I made a conscious decision to do so, in favor of other stuff I was interested in. The 2099 titles pre-date the Ultraverse by at least 6 (and maybe 9-10) months; but I’d probably opted to stay with several Ultraverse titles along with the Superman books and post-Age of Apocalypse the various X-titles. And with finite allowance & lunch money (and convincing Dad to "invest" in more issues for me to have) I could only keep up with so many titles, and 2099 stuff fell off.

hulk2099(1994)001Only later did I realize that the line had not only disappeared from me, but from EVERYONE.

As I have come to understand it (at present as of this typing), when Marvel hit the hard times before/around the bankruptcy, they started doing lower print runs on lesser-selling titles and eventually a number of those titles went away entirely. (And that’s why you could fairly easily get GI Joe #1 for $10 but #155 seems to be a $100+ book!)

I believe one of the editors was let go, and the writers quit in protest, which led to the individual titles disappearing, and the 2099 line being "consolidated" into the single 2099 World of Tomorrow book before petering out and done was done.

I also remember there being some hubbub over the Doom character taking over and some AD or After Doom branding going into stuff. I believe I’d most noticed that in Ghost Rider as it affected the status quo. If I had the actual issues where Doom’s coup happened, I don’t recall; my memories of relevant issues are far more recent with zero recollection of owning the issues at all when they were new/current in the mid-’90s.


captain_marvel(1999)028In the years since, the line never totally disappeared the way some do. I remember being THRILLED at a Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) story involving 2099. Which makes sense, as the writer was Peter David.

And I have half-formed memories of "hearing about" some other appearances of the Spider-Man character in modern issues (maybe it was just one of the video games), and then there was whatever that Spider-Verse event was); and a "modern run" of subsequent Spider-Man 2099 stuff (also by Peter David if I recall correctly.

There was also the 2099 corner of the 2015 Secret Wars stuff.

MOST RECENTLY (as of this typing), Marvel just had a 2099 "event," with the recognition that in 2019, it’d been 80 years since the start of what became Marvel in 1939, and 80 years from then-present 2019, it would be 2099. As I understand (and bought thusly) the "event" includes 4 issues of the current Nick Spencer Amazing Spider-Man title (#s 33-36) as well as bookending 2099 Alpha and 2099 Omega specials, with a number of one-shots featuring individual characters. Most of the "original class" or "OG" were represented–Spider-Man, Doom, Punisher, and Ghost Rider. Rounded out by late-addition Fantastic Four and newly-promoted Venom (who I believe appeared in late issues of the original Spider-Man 2099 issues). And of all things, Conan the Barbarian was shoehorned in. However, no Ravage 2099 nor X-Men 2099, though I’m aware that the X-team was represented on a "2099 Variant" of an issue of Hickman‘s not-actually-Uncanny X-Men title.

hickman_xmen2099_ron_lim_variantIt’s admittedly this "event" that re-sparked my interest in the line, triggering my nostalgia, particularly with the cover of the main 2099 Alpha issue. Though I’d made up my mind NOT to buy the rest of the event, I had an in-the-moment/spur-of-the-moment change of heart when there was nothing new for me for the week of December 25, 2019 AND the shop had the entire selection of issues I was missing in-stock (albeit one was a variant I didn’t notice until I got home). (And I may have gotten the last copy of several of what I did get).

I count 2099 among the "dead universes," such as the Ultraverse or ’90s Valiant or CrossGen. In the collecting sense, I see a "dead universe" as an entire line of comics that is no longer being actively/regularly added to; a FINITE body of comics, and so its completion is a goal that is reasonably attainable without a constantly-increasing quantity of stuff to acquire. It’s not going to involve having to locate THOUSANDS of issues.

2099(2019)promoI believe that all-told, the entire body of 2099 stuff comes in under 300 individual issues. And I seem to have had a 75-issue jump-start, with an additional 20-something issue leap, such that I may already be near the 1/3 mark. I also recall getting a bunch of X-Men 2099 and X-Nation 2099 issues in the last several years that I still have to dig out. As such, I believe the majority of my hunt will be the later issues of the original 6 titles.

I don’t know if I’m going to include the "modern" Spider-Man 2099 books in this hunt. While technically 2099, being nearly two decades removed, they’re more a "recycled concept" to me and "modern Marvel" than they are "classic ’90s 2099." I’ll probably eventually seek them out for the sake of completion and all, but that’ll be subject to a number of factors.

But for now, as 2020 kicks into gear, 2099 looms as a primary collecting goal/focus for me, along with Spawn.

We’ll see where I am within the year!

dawn_of_new_secret_2099_limited_world_of_yesterday_blogtrailer

Vexed by Variants AGAIN! The Weekly Haul: Week of December 26, 2019

weekly_haul_header

I am so sick and tired of VARIANTS! And of course, this time it’s gonna be all the MORE memorable because it’s with an event, it’s the final week of the year, etc…it’s not "just" a random week during the year.

It’s ALSO reminding me to STOP GIVING MARVEL A CHANCE.

So, let’s get into it…the final week of the year for new comics…albeit, I have no NEW-new comics, due to the week between Christmas and New Year being a small week of remnants and all that.

weeklyhaul_20191226a

So having ventured to the comic shop and soundly deciding AGAINST Marvel‘s Incoming ($9.99 and they couldn’t even squarebind the thing to go on a shelf?!?) I noticed the 2099 Omega issue from last week that no one seemed to have had.

And there next to it was the latest issue of The Amazing Spider-Man…picking that up to look at, I saw a checklist for the whole event, listing it as the last ASM issue involved.

Ok, I’ve got nothing else for the week…FINE. Let’s see what other issues are available. 33…34…is that 35? Pull out a couple copies…sure enough, yeah. 35…cool. All 4 issues. Plus the Omega issue, as I had bought the Alpha issue a few weeks ago.

Well…let’s see if they have the Doom issue? Yup. Spider-Man? Yup. Ok…what about Punisher? There it was. Ghost Rider? There as well. Hmm…Fantastic Four? Check. Ok…Conan? Sure enough…there. What was missing? Venom. Oh, look…there it was.

I was gonna wait for a collected volume, but with not having any luck finding any reference to an event collected volume online after all, and not having other stuff for the week…AND EVERY ISSUE OF THE EVENT AVAILABLE (to buy all at once, in-person, one place, one purchase, INSTANT GRATIFICATION)…and the shop was about to close for the night.

variants_20191226_2099a

I get home, pretty pleased with my buy, despite it being a clear exception to my intent as recently as earlier in the day.

Amazing Spider-Man #34 is a VARIANT!

I grabbed issues in a hurry. Looking at the TITLE, looking at the ISSUE NUMBER. Marvel HAD–to my knowledge–been putting the word "VARIANT" in the box with the Marvel logo and issue number. So having looked at that box on all the issues, I figured I was good. No variants. Just the standard, regular, basic, non-variant covers.

Because of the [bleep]ing THEME, apparently the thing was put ELSEWHERE on the darned cover, where even though I was looking for it with the issue number and Marvel logo, I failed to see it was ELSEWHERE.

Because I was in a rush, and not studying the covers in their entirety and all that. Just taking logos and numbers at face value.

variants_20191226_2099b

And thus even the random, against-my-better-judgement satisfaction of snagging an ENTIRE EVENT all at once, is tarnished by stupid frustration.

And that is NOT what comics should be.

To the notion of "it’s just a cover," I argue that IF it’s JUST a cover, then STOP WITH THE [bleep]ing VARIANTS! Let the cover BE THE cover!

I should NOT HAVE TO STUDY every part of EVERY cover of EVERY ISSUE that I buy, hunt for indicia in the issue, spoil the contents of the issue itself for other indication, pull up web pages on my phone, have memorized covers before going to the store just to AVOID VARIANTS.

When I am specifically, ACTIVELY, consciously TRYING TO AVOID variants and I STILL CANNOT avoid them all…there are too [bleep]ing many of the things!

It’s NOT the comic shop’s fault…it’s the publisher.

And my feeling my own stupidity at this.

I dropped all Valiant comics in the summer of 2015 over one 4-issue stunt. And I did the same with Boom Studios in January 2016 over ONE ISSUE’s variants.

Marvel is in rarified air, and by rights, I really SHOULD just drop them entirely, on the principle.

This’ll certainly teach ME to not do any impulse-buys or quantity-buys from Marvel for sure. And reminds me to just stick with BACK ISSUES from the BARGAIN BINS. Stuff I actually KNOW and/or that is inconsequential at a price point up to 90% cheaper than a single new issue.

weeklyhaul_20191226_blogtrailer

Redeeming Black Friday: The Haul

This year’s Black Friday was particularly frustrating and discouraging due to a number of factors. I feel most justified in my disappointment that after getting the newest Big Bang Theory season on DVD from Best Buy Online the last 6-7 years, this year there was no such deal.

In the end, for the first time in about a decade, I did not buy anything from Best Buy (online or otherwise) on/around Black Friday. For that matter, the only movie I remember buying was Bumblebee because it was a combo pack with digital for about the price of one weekend’s Redbox rental. I did buy my first Keurig for about 1/3 off–not bad, but not exactly grandiose or living up to the general "hype" of Black Friday as some wallet-melting sale-day. 

black_friday_haul_11292019_sarah02

So where I’d not been sure if I was going to go to the big Black Friday event at Carol & John’s in Cleveland–after all, I remembered last year‘s crowd and wasn’t planning on spending much, so the odds of winning any of the raffles–especially one of the Marvels Platinum Edition hardcovers–seemed highly counter to being worth braving the crowds.

But I was disappointed and discouraged from the day, and figured it’d do my mind some good to at least get out and get a few comics–my sort of "retail therapy." Plus, I had a bit of "FOMO" wondering if there’d be a treasure-trove of Spawn issues I could get on the cheap.

And it eventually occurred to me that the sale was ongoing–and figured I could "cheat" a bit and if I got there early, have more time in a quieter space to dig through boxes of comics, knowing I wouldn’t be checking out until the sale was in effect.

Little did I realize that I’d lose track of the time, and despite not finding one single issue of Spawn to buy, I’d more than meet the minimum to further halve the cost of the comics I was buying. $1 each, or 100+ for 50 cents each. Functionally, at 50, it would be the same price whether I bought 50 issues or 100 issues…so why stop AT 50?

And then after managing to get my precariously-balanced stack of comics to the checkout and adding several supplies and eventually a sticker to goose my final price to one more raffle ticket, I got stuff out to the car and returned for the first raffle.

Where I didn’t win anything.

So I wandered around the store awhile and ended up buying a book and a couple current single issues. Paid for those, got two more raffle tickets, and then read outside for a bit until the second raffle.

Where I actually won one of the "bonus" prizes–a slipcover/box set of DC’s Greatest Hits! I took my newest purchase and my prize out to the car, and listened to an audiobook for a bit. Then headed back in for the next raffle…and won a graphic novel from a curated selection. I chose the Joker tpb collecting the ’70s Joker series. I’d had my eye on the book for years (thinking as I type, it has the 2012-2016 DC logo, so I must’ve had my eye on the book since at least as far back as 2016 pre-Rebirth!).

Having not had dinner (I hadn’t actually planned to stay past the first raffle) by going-on-9pm it was definitely time to get some dinner, so I walked to Subway a few stores down in the plaza and got a sandwich that I took and dropped off in my car before heading back over for the next raffle–where I did not win anything.

Back out to my car, ate half my sandwich and listened to an audiobook, and realized I was exhausted and with the huge crowd and seeing people seemingly spending way more than me and having my odds of winning ANYthing falling further, it was time to get going.

BUT.

But being "only" about 15 minutes from the next drawing, why not go back in for one last one before getting the heck outta Dodge?

Surprisingly, I then ran into an old coworker from a job I had a couple years ago; so got to chat and catch up a bit. It was such a shock and pleasant surprise! That made it worth having stayed–having gone back in–one last time.

And then as we and others noticed/commented that no one had chosen either of the Marvels books (several of the other large prizes had been snapped up) I heard my name.

After verifying that it was indeed my name and that it was indeed for one of the large prizes…I chose the Marvels Platinum Edition.

All the more knowing there was a 3-prize-cap for the evening (and I’d definitely hit my 3!), it was a good time to call it a night.

black_friday_haul_11292019a

I’ve won occasional prizes in drawings here and there for various things. Even at comic shops–I’d won a $20 credit a number of years ago at Kenmore, and a $25 credit at Comic Heaven back in Fall 2016. But these three items–the Marvels edition, the DC’s Greatest Hits, and the Joker volume–make up the largest/most expensive I’ve ever won.

And absolutely "redeemed" Black Friday for me.

The comics I got were already more or less worthwhile for having gone out; but these made it more than worth having gone out–especially the Marvels book. (And, extra added bonus? The digital code that supposedly expired several years ago redeemed so I got the digital copy along with the physical…the FULL PACKAGE even though the book came out in 2013 or 2014!)


While the raffle prizes moooooore than made the evening for me…I also scored over 100 (what worked out to be) 50-cent comics, making quite the ’90s-riffic haul.

The crux of the sale was a room full of longboxes of $1 comics. $1 each…or 100+ for 50 cents each. 50 comics for $50, or 100 comics for $50. At 50, it just makes sense to get another 50!

And as my 2019 blogging has primarily been showing off the various hauls…why not show off the Black Friday haul as well?

black_friday_haul_11292019b

So, after determining no Spawn (that I could see, anyway), I kinda took a haphazard approach to my browsing. Top of my pile–several Wolverine issues. As far as I know, all are duplicates…making these very much "convenience copies." 48-50 to get TO #50 with that classic die-cut cover. And incidentally, a "sequel" to the classic BWS Weapon X serial that ran in Marvel Comics Presents #s 73-84 or so. And then the "classic" #104 where we found out Onslaught’s tie to the events of Fatal Attractions. And while I may very well never get to it (especially with my lack of blogging the last couple years) I’m willing to grab convenience copies for potential The ’90s Revisited coverage!

black_friday_haul_11292019c

Grabbed a handful of old Image issues (and 1 Eternity with Zen). And yeah, that was two copies of Youngblood #1. Because hey, get to show off both covers. BUT this being a variant DONE RIGHT: it’s a flipbook! BOTH covers on one issue. You only have to buy multiple copies of the issue if you want to DISPLAY both sides!

And both the Prophet and Knightmare issues sport nice, shiny "chromium" covers! I’m always on the lookout for more chromium in the wild. Turned out I already had the Prophet issue, but Knightmare is a new addition to my chromium covers collection!

black_friday_haul_11292019d

The Tim Drake Robin is one of my favorite characters, so for sheer nostalgia, snagged these. The ongoing Robin #1 is fairly iconic–at least to me. And I’m NOT actually sure offhand if I have any of the Robin II: The Joker’s WIld collector sets before this. I have the various single issues, and even a slipcase of the series with all covers (holograms). These remind me a lot of the Robin III: Cry of the Huntress bagged editions, which is part of what casts these into doubt in my mind as to whether I already had them or not…making them all the more cool to have/find!

black_friday_haul_11292019e

Snagged copies of several of the Superman #1 issues largely for the nostalgia and convenience. Ditto for the Action 600, Superman 100, and Adventures of Superman 505 (this latter is one of my all-time favorite Superman covers!) (THOUGH apparently it wasn’t one of my top 10 when I did a post on such covers 6 1/2 years ago. Top 11, or I think of Man of Tomorrow #1 moreso; the two are remarkably similar at a glance!)

And Blackhawk because hey, why not?

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A handful of Batman issues–largely nostalgia, and convenience-copies with Tom Lyle art. And for the heckuvit, Batman #500 for the sake of having it (yet again). Meanwhile, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #25 is one of my favorite covers from that series and the whole KnightQuest thing. Especially for basically having a really cool-looking cover celebrating 25 issues, while serving the ongoing overall story, and the "gimmick" being the silver color not usually found on comics.

Resurrection Man #1 for the "hologram" thing; and Phantom Stranger because I’m not actually sure I had the issue!

black_friday_haul_11292019g

Snagged a bunch of DC One Million tie-in #1,000,000 issues. I had a bunch already and couldn’t find a reference in my phone of which ones (ugh!) so I bought one of each that I could!  black_friday_haul_11292019hStill working on the set overall…but I’m pretty close to having the full DC One Million event in single issues!

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A new convenience-copy of the The Kingdom "fifth-week event" (I believe) from back in the day. Pretty sure this was where we got Hypertime; though pretty sure as well we’re a couple of such things further on now. Hypermulticrisisverses?

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I am STILL after all these years waiting for a SINGLE VOLUME collection of the Thy Kingdom Come saga. Maybe I’ll have to get a copy of the issues bound for that to happen?

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This makes for a good start on a second copy of the saga to (maybe) eventually get bound. Or for a convenience-copy re-read someday before I get my accumulation properly sorted.

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Snagged a bunch of Astonishing X-Men issues since it was most of the run!

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Highly glad I hadn’t tried to "catch up" on the single issues before, given the way of the X stuff the last couple years and finite-ness of the particular run, and here getting 8 issues for the cover price of 1!

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I picked up some X-Force stuff. Pretty sure I have all 5 cards’ editions, but snagged dupes of 4 of them; and the first 3 (of I believe 4) issues of a mini-series.

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Grabbed some 2099 #1s for the nostalgia, convenience, and just liking the pretty foil. Ditto on the Namor issue. And for cheap copies of gimmicky covers, grabbed the Punisher: War Zone issue. Also grabbed a couple further issues of Namor for the story beyond the shiny cover; and the Machine Man/Bastion annual as a giant-sized issue. And I may eventually accumulate a set of these team-up annuals yet.

black_friday_haul_11292019p

Grabbed a few Spider-Man issues for interesting covers and such; stuff that caught my attention in a "I might enjoy reading that or re-reading it" kinda way. The X-Men Unlimited #2 always catches my attention. And the Marvel Spotlight issue for Uncanny X-Men hitting 500 issues looks interesting.

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Found a lot of X-Men stuff. I tend to snag #40 when I come across it…it’s one of my all-time favorite/most memorable issues from childhood. X-Men: Alpha is another favorite (plus it’s shiny!). X-Men: Prime is similar, and pretty. And there’s also some serious nostalgia for me on the two main Onslaught issues, so snagging a pair together is quite cool.

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Then I’m starting to build up my Marvel Comics Presents collection; so with some recent purchases, I think these two extended my collection 2 issues further into the run from #1. And I have visions of destroying X-Men #1 to use the cover as a poster to hang. And the inside cover is also a poster-image…so I’ll have to destroy at least two copies. And if I can do that to 50-cent copies rather than tracking the issue down for $4-6, all the better!

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And thanks to some then-VERY-recent discussion of the issue and the variants and being able to get all 5 (6 total) I went for it. Here’s the comparison of the "deluxe" edition fully opened up compared to the 4 single-panel covers laid out.


Over 120 issues. It’s amazing how quickly they can pile up and add up. Plenty of random "junk" in there, but it was also a bit of "retail therapy" and all. But does continue to contribute to me eventually hitting a point where it’ll just make full financial sense to get my accumulation organized so that I won’t even be interested in buying "convenience copies" of anything!

THAT said…if I get to them, I’ve got a couple more large bargain-bin hauls to potentially show off…whether I get to that before the end of the year remains to be seen!

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The Weekly Haul Catch-Up: Weeks of November 20, 2019 to December 11, 2019

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Once again, it’s been a few weeks since a "Weekly Haul" post. Though I did get a random post up the other day with some bare-bones random brief thoughts on Marvel‘s 2099 stuff…and a path-to-500 for DC to give us a Robin #500 (semi-tongue-in-cheek, using "Marvel Math.").

So let’s play catch-up on the last few weeks’ hauls. Or rather, the "main" hauls…as I have partial plans for a couple other things from recent weeks as well!


Week of November 20, 2019

Having dropped some titles, I’ve been finding my regular weeks a bit more manageable, and even been willing to "try" a bit of randomness with other titles for whatever reason(s).

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Batman has long been a pull; I believe this may be the single longest run of the title I’ve had, at least for issue quantity. I have the entirety of King‘s run thus far, and though I’ve planned to "finish out" the run, since I think they’re shifting to monthly from biweekly AND there’s no sign yet of the promised Batman/Catwoman series, I may go ahead and continue along. With rumours of yet another relaunch next year anyway, It probably can’t hurt too much to get a few more issues and simply have a complete run.

He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse is just an interesting premise to me, mixed with a bit of would-be-nostalgia, that I decided to get the first issue in a slight bit of "support," slight bit of gambling. I had/have no intention of subsequent single issues, though I may watch for reviews to pick up a collected edition.

I’ve settled pretty firmly into enjoying/appreciating the various "Facsimile" edition reprints, so the Green Lantern/Green Arrow drug issue was a no-brainer.

I need to catch up on reading TMNT Urban Legends, especially as we’re getting close to the couple of issues I’d had in college that showed me how much the characters had been changed and solidly impacted a paper I wrote about the Turtles.

Doom caught my eye along with the classic "font" for the title 2099 so I gave in and bought the first issue for the sheer nostalgia of the thing. I opted NOT to pick up subsequent issues…though my interest in the ORIGINAL 2099 stuff has been rekindled.

I snagged the Death of Superman: The Wake tpb because…well, Death of Superman. This collected a digital-only (or digital-first?) mini-series and I was interested for its title and concept, thinking it’d give some insight to the "current version" of the infamous now-27-year-old story. (Unfortunately, I was highly disappointed and found the thing to be something better-suited for distribution in cereal boxes!)


Local Comic Shop Day (November 23, 2019)

I’m not very keen on "Local Comic Shop Day" in general. I’m fairly accepting of "Halloween Comic Fest" but LCSD isn’t much of a "thing" to me.

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That being said…there were a couple issues I wound up picking up. The Walking Dead: The Alien one-shot, and a Super DInosaur reprint or whatever it is. I am pretty sure I have the original Super Dinosaur issue(s) from back in the day…somewhere. And given the nature of the Walking Dead issue–new story, not by Kirkman himself, and not previously available in print, and with the final volume of the TPBs out MONTHS ago, seemed like a decent companion piece to the series.


Week of November 27, 2019

Having decided in 2015 that it was officially my "next Grail," I was ‘officially’ on the lookout for an in-my-price-range copy of Uncanny X-Men #266 up until finally scoring a copy earlier this year.

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So hardly six months after finally getting my genuine, actual real Uncanny X-Men #266…Marvel puts out a facsimile edition of the issue. Not that I wasn’t going to buy the thing, but it kinda figures, on the timing. I can’t be sure if the facsimile edition would have satisfied me in terms of my personal collection, though. C’est la vie.

We also got the final (for now) issue of Hope, which I look forward to binge-reading/catching up on.

I’d picked up the Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer issue a few weeks earlier, and decided to also get the first issue of what I BELIEVE is an ongoing new Hellblazer series. I enjoyed both issues well enough and they definitely have the general feel of the original 300-issue series, while being a different version of the Constantine character. I may well grab the 2nd issue if I notice it when it’s out, and go from there.

Continuing their pattern, along with the Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis, we also got a DC Dollar Comics reprint of the first issue of the original Infinite Crisis #1.

I’m pretty sure I have all the earlier issues of Second Coming so grabbed the latest issue. It’s one that I really need to get around to READING to decide whether I genuinely want to be getting it…though at this point I’d likely have been much better-served just waiting for a collected edition.

And finally, I decided to grab a recent-back-issue in Dark Horse‘s The Little Mermaid. It’s a mini-series, but being from Dark Horse I was curious how it’d stack up to the IDW stuff as well as how it’ll wind up in collected format, as well as being curious if it was actually a reprint as I’m fairly sure we already had a comics adaptation of the film.


Week of December 4, 2019

And getting into December…

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New Batman issue.

And the fifth/final issue of the 5-issue TMNT: Shredder in Hell mini-series. A mini-series that saw its first issue come out in January 2019. And I’d believe the series to be monthly, that it was due to wrap up by May or June…yet it only JUST made it ahead of TMNT #100…and I believe MAY have caused the apparent delay in that issue.

The latest Spawn issue. At #303, it’s my 47th issue in a row for the series…coming up on MY 50th as such!

The newest Usagi Yojimbo gets us to #7 of the latest series. And having just picked up the first issue, I decided to get the second of The Little Mermaid.

I swore off all Boom! Studios books nearly four years ago.However, my primary "exception" in comics is the TMNT. So a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers/TMNT book was an interesting quandary for me. In the end, I opted to allow my "TMNT Exception" to OVERRIDE my refusal to get single issues from Boom! Studios…though I ALMOST reconsidered when I saw the variant cover (or one of them, anyway) was a turtle’s hands holding a Power Ranger helmet…like it was just being insulting at that point.

Finally for the week, a facsimile edition of the "death of Flash" issue of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths; as well as a facsimile edition of Marvel‘s original Star Wars #1. And for good measure, a DC Dollar Comics issue of Birds of Prey.


Week of December 11, 2019

…and now we’re up to the most recent week and (perhaps) back on schedule! I’m also a bit unsure of what the remainder of the year holds, with this week’s December 18 being the last non-holiday Wednesday of the year, with the following Wednesday being December 25th–Christmas Day; and the very next Wednesday will be New Year’s Day (also, January 1st, the first day of a new year!)

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IDW‘s ongoing TMNT title finally hits its 100th issue! This also marks 100 issues that I’ve kept up with the series, buying every single issue, from #1 to #100, as it came out. Which is also a record for me, I’m sure, for ANY single run of ANY comic series in all my 30-some years of being into comics.

Then, despite dropping the Superman books, I ended up grabbing a copy of #17 off the rack while waiting in line at a Black Friday sale, so went ahead and–against better judgement–picked up #18 as well. I suppose it says ENOUGH that I didn’t immediately read either issue. And I guess we’ll see if I pick up any of the specials further dealing with "the reveal." As of this typing, though, I’m ready to wash my hands of the thing, though!

I would not have bothered with the Defenders issue except for it being a facsimile edition, so I went ahead and got it for the sake of having it. I’m highly confident that it’s GOTTA be better and a much superior time-value than any MODERN Marvel $4.99 issues!

Finally, the Tales of the Dark Multiverse: Teen Titans – The Judas Contract as well as the DC Dollar Comics reprint of the ending of the original Judas Contract story (as I believe it’ll be the ending of the story that diverges things for the Dark Multiverse).

I think there was an "off" week for Comic Shop News, and I’d’ve sworn we just had one of these previews, but maybe not? Either way…a cheery sorta Hembeck image of the characters ready for 2020!


Neca, Target, and Turtle Two-Packs

Along with the Wednesday comic shop visit on the 11th, I also ducked into a Target across the street, in a vain attempt to find a certain two-pack of figures.

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I was rather shocked to actually find them…as I’d been in Target stores well over two-dozen times across the four weeks ending with December 11th (and at least 7 or 8 different Target locations amidst those!)

But I finally scored the only 2-pack I wanted from the new wave of classic-TMNT figures, and for retail price, rather than the 2X-3X pricing of scalpers.

‘Nuff said.

While I’m interested in Leatherhead coming up for the line, I have no particular interest in Slash, nor a pixelated Shredder. So if these waves continue to be the turtles themselves, re-issues of Foot Soldiers, and a pack of new characters, I would just hope that Leatherhead could be his own thing, or come paired with a Foot Ninja and that the 3rd wave is something that would NOT require such frustration and effort to track down.

I found this Bebop/Rocksteady pack the very day after I’d more or less officially decided to "give up" on the line, at least until after the new year, but since I was across the street from the Target figured what was ONE MORE try after so ridiculously many for the previous several weeks?

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Marvel 2099 Universe

It’s been way too long since I’ve gotten around to any posts. And as I have several partial-posts queued up but computer issues have hindered my getting to stuff as planned…here’s a quick thought on Marvel‘s 2099 stuff.

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A few weeks ago, I snagged the 2099 Alpha one-shot for sheer nostalgia. I then–despite more of said nostalgia–passed on any further single issues from the "event," LARGELY because of the $4.99 price point for each issue, but also having seen something about a collected volume coming soon. I’d much rather pay a cheaper price for a collected volume, over the much higher price for single issues. Especially as even now–weeks later–I still haven’t even read the initial Alpha issue!

BUT…the whole matter has rekindled my interest in the ORIGINAL 2099 stuff. Couple that with snagging new "convenience copies" of Doom, Ravage, Punisher, and X-Men and then happening across a stack of bargain-bin issues I’d forgotten about that included Ghost Rider and Along with my ongoing #SpawnQuest I’m thinking I may focus in on the 2099 line as a "dead universe" to collect in 2020.

Which may eventually lead to snagging the 2019 single issues, but we’ll see where I wind up.

Foot-Tall Heroes: Spider-Men and Supermen

I’ve long-resisted the Titan Hero figures. These are 12" figures with little articulation (particularly compared to say, Marvel Legends or even the 3.75" figures.

I’d gotten a couple in the last year-plus, though: a Spider-Man 2099 because I had the Marvel Legends figure and the 3.75" figure and thought I’d be able to find the Pop Vinyl figure.

I’d bought a Robin because hey…Robin.

And then recently, on a whim, I snagged the Scarlet Spider. Then also on a whim, the Iron Spider. Then because I’d bought these others…I got a "regular" Spider-Man since why not?

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So now I have four Spider-Men foot-tall figures…they’re as tall or taller than most of the books on the shelf.

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And I’ve also snagged the Justice League Action  Superman, and Electric-Blue Superman (though I think I already had this, but couldn’t find it…so maybe I’ll get to paint one red if I find a duplicate).

I’m now actually interested in a Hulk and Hulkbuster Iron Man, as well as Black Panther. And I’d definitely like some ’90s-style X-Men.

But as always, it’s more "stuff," and adds to my wonder at ever having "everything" on a shelf, on display…though it’ll certainly allow for plenty of "rotation" of stuff.

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Secret Wars – Week of June 10, 2015

Several weeks in and finally getting to some of the #2s for the Secret Wars tie-ins. I enjoyed the week’s reading overall, though none of the #2s particularly stood out or overly impressed me. As always, I’m not thrilled with the $3.99 price point, but these could have been worse for the price. We also had the Marvel Zombies #1, which I covered by itself.

Inferno #2

secretwars_inferno002I definitely picked this up because of the first issue, and was curious at where things would go. This issue manages to lose the “shiny newness” factor of the first and settles (for me) into a middle ground of “good” but “not terribly memorable in itself.” Even though I did read the issue, its content and the specific details of the issue mostly faded from conscious memory…outside of what happens to Nightcrawler. I’m quite sure I’d have enjoyed it more if I was familiar with the original Inferno story; but here, I’m simply experiencing the details of this iteration with a general knowledge of continuity after the original. While I’m not overly engaged at this point, the only real negative for me (story or art or overall) is a passive lack of engaged interest. Nothing actively puts me off or kills my willingness to continue with the series.

Secret Wars 2099 #2

secretwars_2099002I’m still not entirely sure what to think of this book, but as a Peter David one I really find myself wanting to like it. This issue gives us more background (and questions) on the Avengers 2099…particularly Captain America and her alter ego. We also re-meet the Hulk of 2099 and see him face off with the Avengers. I only loosely remember the existence of the Hulk 2099 title and character, with a lot more “awareness OF” than actual reading experience on the character. While we have Miguel heading Alchemax, this is sort of the first (familiar) 2099 character for me, grounding the new characters (Hercules simply seems to be “my” Hercules but traumatized). Taken alone as itself I don’t think I’d care nearly as much for this title; but as a 2099 combined with David‘s writing, I want to see where this goes, and look forward to the next issue.

Ultimate End #2

secretwars_ultimateend002Things start to make a lot more sense to me here and explain stuff I was unclear on with the first issue. For one thing, I assumed the first issue had some bit of flashback going on, or something preceding the start of Secret Wars itself; I get clarification here that what I’m actually seeing is heroes from two different worlds put together and trying to figure their situation out, but AS a part of Battleworld. We get some nice character interactions between the two Tony Starks, and other Spider-Man/Peter Parker and Ultimate Gwen and Aunt May. We also get a Green Hulk vs. Gray Hulk fight to cap off the issue. I’m also seeing that unlike my initial assessment, this is much like any of the other tie-ins to Secret Wars in that we have characters from the given setting(s) and get a story involving them, in the context of Battleworld.

Overall Thoughts on the week

I’ve definitely found myself significantly more interested in the #1s to “try” them than with the continuations of the series. I’ve already passed on Secret Wars Journal #2, and suspect that in the coming weeks/months I’ll “drop” other titles and possibly pass on even more. No matter how interested I may be or how “fun” the thing might look…I have a limited budget, and $3.99 upon $3.99 stack up REALLY fast, and whatever of these tie-ins I buy are ON TOP OF stuff I’m already getting, and are not going to supplant any of those. The “sticker shock” of Marvel‘s $3.99 books continues to be THE #1 detriment for me. I look forward to the next couple weeks, with less tie-ins that I’m after, and hope that what I *am* getting with balance out more across the weeks as the event goes on.

Secret Wars 2099 #1 [Review]

secretwars_2099001Writer: Peter David
Artist: Will Sliney
Colorists: Antonio Fabela & Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Dave Rapoza
Editor: Devin Lewis
Senior Editor: Nick Lowe
Published by: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: July 2015
Cover Price: $3.99

I haven’t read a 2099 book in years. Sadly, it may have been well over a decade, and closer to two. But I’ve been on a major Spider-Man 2099 kick lately with toys and really loving the classic Spidey 2099 costume, having avoided the recent series primarily for the $3.99 cover price (though there were other ‘standard’ Marvel factors for me). But throwing in with a bunch of the Secret Wars stuff, this seemed well worth checking out, so I grabbed it.

The story of the issue gets around a bit, as we begin with getting to see the 2099 Black Widow in civilian guise get called away from flirtation to action, then we meet the other current ‘Avengers’ (a female Captain America, a new Hawkeye, a new Iron Man, and Hercules, as well as Black Widow). They face off against some teched-up thugs, while interpersonal stuff comes out about the characters, and after the fight with the villais we’re given more insight into who the new characters are as well as what’s exacerbated stuff with Hercules. We meet the team’s advocate in Alchemax, as well as the current Vision, and learn of a pending threat to the team.

Even as this story is relatively simple and generic, if not a bit blatant in showing us various personality bits with the various characters and how this tea has come to be, it still works well. There’s a definite feeling for me of an "older" comic with these elements, and knowing this is Peter David back on 2099 stuff is a definite treat, perhaps contributing to my enjoying this…to my wanting to enjoy this.

I’m less familiar with the art team, but I do like the visuals on the whole. I don’t care for the cover art overall…except for Iron Man, whose armor looks fantastic to me on the cover. I actually like it throughout the issue, but particularly on the cover.

As this is new stuff, pushing the 2099 universe forward a bit or in a different direction (but no mention or reference to Doom having taken over, etc), it’s not exactly a beginning…yet it doesn’t entirely feel like just some continuation, either.

I was curious about this…curious enough to check it out. This was not a bad issue, and I’m interested on the whole in learning more of these characters…but with all the many Secret Wars tie-ins, some of these will ultimately competed with each other. I’m more willing to check out *A* first issue than to stick with an entire (mini) series. I’m not choosing from this issue to not continue, but this isn’t quite enough for me to say I absolutely will get the next issue.

If you’re a 2099 fan, you’ll definitely want to get this; ditto (I imagine) if you’d followed the recent Spidey 2099 series…or if you’re just a fan of Peter David‘s work. And of course, if you’re an Avengers fan this could almost be titled Avengers 2099, except its timing is such that it gets the Secret Wars branding foremost, and may prove to take on the entirety of the 2099 stuff, with just this first issue so focused on the Avengers team.

Recommended, definitely one of the more interesting of the tie-ins so far.

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