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JLDark and Early Digital: Really?!?

I saw this ad this week, for the new Justice League Dark animated movie. And at first glance, I thought I had missed its release–despite being in a Walmart on Tuesday and actually looking at the movie section and new-release endcap without anything jumping out at me.


But no…I didn’t actually miss it. I realized the ad says on digital January 24.

I swear, every time I see ads like this, they just make me more and more angry, and less and less likely to buy anything new in the way of movies.

Bad enough the high price and shrinking "first week discounts" (if any) the last several years.

But this "digital-only" "window" just bugs the crap out of me.

Is there anyone who is REALLY just so desperate to see something like this, that they’d rather pay the $20ish for digital ONLY when a "mere" TWO WEEKS later for that SAME PRICE they can add blu-ray AND dvd to their stock?

Maybe if the digital version was say, $10, I’d consider it. I’d wait this one out on principle if I didn’t know myself and OCD on these. With the voice cast, content, and having all the previous such animated releases since the line started back in 2008, I’d kick myself for "missing" the thing.

But I’ve already gotten to where–despite loving them in the theater–I refuse to buy Marvel MCU movies; the way they screw around with "formats" and "combo packs" shut me out years ago.

Batman ’66 #2 [Review]

batman66002Emperior Penguin & Chandell’s Chanteuse

Written by: Jeff Parker
Art by: Ty Templeton & Jonathan Case
Colored by: Wes Hartman
Lettered by: Wes Abbott
Cover art by: Michael and Laura Allred
Edited by: Jim Chadwick
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

When I first heard of this digital-first series, I wasn’t that impressed. New comic stories based on the campy 45-year-old tv series? Where’s the fun in that? Yet, due to the price point–only 99 cents for the first digital chapter–I gave it a try anyway, and something about it pulled me in. I went ahead and bought the second chapter, but then discovered that unlike others, the print edition and third digital chapter would hit the same week–so I decided I’d “go print” on this.

The same issues I had with the first–particularly the art–are present here. I can “appreciate” the visual style for trying to evoke the ’60s and such, but it’s not that appealing to me personally. Yet, it certainly fits the story, so in and of itself I don’t really have much complaint. The character designs certainly bring back memories of the characters as played by the real-life actors, which I would say means goal achieved, placing these stories as fitting the classic series.

Story-wise, the plot definitely fits. A giant iceberg floats into Gotham harbor, blocking shipping traffic. Turns out the block of ice is ruled by The Penguin–now recognized as Emperor Penguin–as the iceberg’s been declared its own country (legally binding and all that!). Batman and Robin get involved where the police can’t, and the duo quickly discovers the Penguin’s ally–Mr. Freeze! Of course, things go cold before warming up, and the dizzying duo of detectives declares fowl (er…foul) and things come to a head.

In the back part of the issue, Bruce flies solo on a date with Kathy Kane, and winds up facing someone called the Siren as Batman, who eventually winds up benefiting from Kane’s assistance. I have no idea if this character ever appeared in the classic series or not, but I have no interest in the Siren, and this sort of story especially comes as a turnoff for me–in this comic as well as the way it always did in the tv series.

All in all, not a bad issue on the whole, though at only 2 issues, some of the novelty is already wearing off. If this were a mini-series there might be more appeal for me, but I have to wonder how long this will hold my attention as an ongoing. Despite that…if only for wanting to support what I see as one of the few things DC‘s doing “right” lately, I added this to my pull list, and hope to give it at least a few more issues before I’m “driven” to dropping it.

Vexed by Variants

injusticegodsamongus1314I just posted the other day about my enthusiasm toward the Injustice: Gods Among us digital-first series. However, turns out the 4th “print edition” came out this week…and I’ve not had much luck toward finding early issues.

I did make it to another comic shop (that I don’t get to all that often) where I found issues 2 & 3. I don’t remember much about 3, except that I’m NOT buying a #3 when I don’t know for certain if #4 or #5 are even out yet or not…and certainly not when I can’t get #1 and #2.

BUT…this shop had #2…just not the first print.

Which normally wouldn’t bother me…but the printing they had in-stock was one of these horrible “sketch variant” or “pencils/inks-only” non-first-print deals, basically black and white linework with the logo…DC couldn’t even be bothered to provide COLOR with the thing.

So now, rather than almost cheerfully double-dipping or at least following the more expensive print format…I’m ready to say ok, fine, had my one-shot reading of this series-so-far…and now my “demand” is not being met, so I’m done.

injusticegodsamongus01to06If I can’t get ANY printing (for cover price) that actually looks like it belongs with the series in general–especially when a series otherwise has a fairly consistent look/feel/tone…you’re gonna lose me.

I am so sick of variants as-is already just with the “first print” of issues. So here, rather than “satisfying a demand” for the issue…I’ve refused to buy an issue BECAUSE the cover is an “inferior product” to me. And further–that’s one less issue to have, and so one more hurdle to actually converting me to a customer.

If they’d do something “simple,” like putting a small Roman numeral somewhere on the cover to make it clear to the caring eye that the thing’s NOT the “first print” or “first edition,” that’d satisfy the collector, and the reader like me who just wants the cover that matches the marketing (and the Comics app).

(That’s what turned me off completely to House of M back in the day: the rare/”ratioed” variant cover’s image was used for advertising, and the “regular” cover seemed boring and generic by comparison; seemed Marvel thought so, too, given they didn’t even use it for much advertising that I remember).

I’m not buying into a series at #4 or #5 or even #6 and going from there–if I can’t get #1 that looks like the #1 in the app (image itself and the image’s coloring) I’m not likely to buy #2. No #2, no #3, and so on. If I have to wait for the collected edition…well, so be it–but I’m done with the series until then.

One last digital purchase (chapter 15, ending what will likely be issue #5) and then it’s a crapshoot from there–if the collected edition comes out on a slow week and I feel like splurging for the purchase then, or if I get around to ordering it from Amazon or such for a discount. Had that #2 been a fully-colored cover, matching the image I see in the app, I might have bought #2-3 then, bought #4 when it hit the other day, and then be that much more interested in tracking down #1, and going from there. Instead, a crappy variant–rather than encourage a sale–has DIScouraged me not only from that issue, not only from the issues so far…but from the series itself: print AND digital.

I prefer the collected volumes. I’m not going to support the single issues when I feel like I’m getting the raw end of the deal.

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