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The Weekly Haul: Week of November 24, 2021

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Here we are again, this time with the most recent week’s haul! And…if you care, Dear Reader, this is Monday, after having a post just this past Friday! So…SLIGHTLY sorta kinda maybe partly possibly back to some semblance of a schedule…

Anyway, while I could have crammed this into the previous post, I figured it proved to be a HUGE week (THE most expensive new comics week I can even remember!), and so well worthy of being its own post. Plus, this jump-starts me a bit to try to get back to at least the weekly rhythm heading into the final few weeks of the year!

Week of November 24, 2021

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Starting off for this huge week…Marvel "dominates." X-Men and Wolverine have their "next issue" for X-books. Death of Doctor Strange continues with its third issue. Amazing Spider-Man continues with its latest issue; and we have the first issue of a new Hulk series. I’ve had issues with the writer of the previous series–Immortal Hulk–so avoided that. Couple weeks back, bought the new Venom #1 because I SAW it and crossed it (somehow) with this Hulk #1, knowing I was wanting to give the #1 a chance on a series I’d been avoiding. Oops.

Thanks to Marvel Unlimited and their Infinite Comics and loving the It’s Jeff piece, which has Kate Bishop in it, I got it on the brain to grab this Hawkeye: Kate Bishop #1. Not sure how it’ll compare…apparently (it turns out) this one’s NOT by Kelly Thompson, so…we’ll see.

Checking out this Black Panther series with a new writer; and I believe an early (but as yet still upcoming) issue is gonna have a big tie to the current X-books, so might as well build some context.

Saw the Darkhold: Blade #1 available again and snagged it. Oops…I already had the darned thing. Gonna have to start maybe keeping a checklist on my phone and mark/indicate getting issues or not, and checking that.

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Getting into NON-Marvel stuff, there’s the newest issues of Radiant Black, as well as TWO Spawn-universe issues in King Spawn and Gunslinger Spawn. Then we have a Local Comic Shop Day variant of Walking Dead Deluxe…the issue introducing the Governor! I couldn’t pass up the shiny silver foil…cheesey ’90s-style gimmick, and with there being so many variants on this series this time through anyway…why not? I’m giving Echolands a bit longer, along with Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters. I thought this one was a mini-series, so given I was trying to support a new book on concept, it being ongoing where I’ve yet to read any issues, it’s probably gonna wind up getting cut.

GI Joe: ARAH and Usagi Yojimbo issues. Current and classic…a good combo.

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Going off the beaten path, couple of Source Point Press books in Good Boy, Unborn, and Haunted High-Ons. (couple, three…whatever).

Snagged Friday on strength of Brubaker‘s name…turns out it’s a single chapter of a graphic novel. Ugh. I enjoyed the issue well enough and definitely interested in getting the full book…I’d probably actually be more annoyed if it was most other things, but helps that I actually read the thing right away and found out!

Had the first 3 issues of Masters of the Universe Revelation, and apparently had missed the 4th. Got stuck with this variant, but at least it’s *A* copy of #4. Duplicated the Last Ronin Design Archive, having ordered a copy to be CERTAIN to get it…wasn’t sure if it was included with my regular pulls. Could be worse.

Finally, snagged the Miskatonic: Even Death May Die as I’ve been grabbing these large "album-size" books from Aftershock…especially like that they’re one-shots! And the Geiger books collects 6 issues…for $9.99. A great price for the story…ESPECIALLY considering the single issues were $3.99/each, so $9.99 vs. $23.94. I’m a sucker and double-dipped…solely to try to continue to "support" the $9.99-volume-1 thing.

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Sarah-Cat kept photobombing as I got stuff situated to get photos for this post, so she gets to wear this week’s Comic Shop News and gives me plenty of justification to work that into this post, where I usually won’t include CSN unless it fits in my regular laying out of other comics for the week.

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A friend sent me an early birthday & Christmas present…the first couple volumes in Brubaker/PhillipsReckless series. I think there’s one other one out, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for that one in the not-too-distant future, I think.


All in all…as said above, HUGE week. Even with a couple stragglers from previous weeks and a cheapo-TPB…these huge, expensive weeks are getting old fast…and while I obviously have gotten fairly liberal in giving random stuff a shot…I’ve not been READING stuff, and so it’s getting hard to justify at the prices…especially combined with OTHER STUFF in life I"m spending money on.

So Definitely gonna have to start looking at trimming back again, even though I’ve already nearly-completely excised DC from my purchasing!

It’s made all the more annoying/complicated/frustrating with all the recent delays and schedule-shuffling and such with paper shortages/supply-chain problems. Stuff clusters, and then I get monster weeks like this!

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The Monthly Haul: October 20 to November 17, 2021

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Well, ONCE AGAIN, despite the best of intentions, I let a few more weeks slip by!

So, here we are again with me covering multiple weeks in one post. This time out, "only" FIVE weeks, though…a month. October 20 through November 17!

As with my last post catching up on 3 months, I’m just going to leave these as more of a "gallery" than anything else rather than trying to come up with random ‘vamping’ stuff to fill space/remember back across the weeks and all that.


Week of October 20, 2021

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Week of October 27, 2021

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Week of November 3, 2021

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Week of November 10, 2021

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Week of November 17, 2021

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And with that, we’re allllllmost caught up to "current."

And despite my last few times saying so….barring some catastrophic technology issue, should be covering the CURRENT/most recent week–11/24–in my very next post…on MONDAY!

And from there, will start dropping some posts that I’ve had percolating for months in my mind that are finally getting written…and we’ll see where the next 5-6 weeks take us as far as 2021 goes, before whatever 2022 brings…

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The Quarterly Haul: July 21 to October 13, 2021

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Well…I VAGUELY recall thinking–way back in July–over THREE MONTHS AGO–that I’d be getting back to posting The Weekly Haul…well…WEEKLY!

But life–and WORK*–got busy and crazy and all that; had a health scare with the Chloe-cat; and then it was just simply overwhelming thinking about catching up. And with some especially busy weeks with work, and TRYING to actually READ (and CATCH UP TO CURRENT from 2019!) on X-Men stuff…I just haven’t really touched this blog.

Then there’s also that frankly…this is a vanity project. It’s in no way "monetized," and about 14 months ago I even started PAYING for a domain and to have WordPress NOT show ads, so not only am I not making money from this blog, it’s COSTING ME money just by its very EXISTENCE.

Whatever…my blog, my schedule, and it’s a benefit of doing my own thing that I’m not causing others issues with my (lack of) schedule and such.

ANYway…here we are, nearly the end of October. And while I’d actually figured I’d cut my losses and just pick back up with current…I never really stopped my weekly routine of at least taking PHOTOS for this blog, it’s just a matter of actually "processing" said photos and then WRITING and formatting actual blog posts using those photos.

So, this post is gonna be VERRRRRRRYYYYYY photo-heavy as I cover THIRTEEN weeks….from July 21st to October 13! However, I AM going to forego the issue-by-issue commentary and "list," and simply present the photos of the weeks’ hauls, divided up by week. And given the time-frame, some may be SLIGHTLY out of order, as these include purchases from both the weekly shop and another I don’t get to every week…I’ve managed to ID a release date by when certain issues came out (according to League of Comic Geeks) and have the photos roughly ordered within each "week."

These Weekly Haul posts are largely for myself, and while I think I managed to cover every week of 2019…2020 had a huge gap from The Shutdowns and such. And I couldn’t quite get myself to "let go" for this year, so…here we are. If you enjoy it, great…if not…well, hopefully I’ve got some other content you’ll enjoy.

On with the hauls!


Week of July 21, 2021

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Week of July 28, 2021

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Week of August 4, 2021

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Week of August 11, 2021  

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Week of August 18, 2021

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Week of August 25, 2021

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Week of September 1, 2021

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Week of September 8, 2021

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Week of September 15, 2021

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Week of September 22, 2021

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Week of September 29, 2021

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Week of October 6, 2021

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Week of October 13, 2021

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…and Famous Last Words…but hopefully I’m getting this blog back on track!

IF I get to it, then coming soon: "The" Chris Claremont signing, a HUGE haul of X-books from a Not-at-Comic-Con sale, loads of toys acquisitions, and…whatever else comes to mind to post.

As always…time shall tell!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 14, 2021

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Annnnnnnnd we’re back to covering a single week’s haul in a single post!

This time out, looking at stuff from the week of July 14!

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Starting with the X-stuff, we’ve got three for the week: Way of X #4, Excalibur #22 (and officially a "senior book" over the adjective-less X-Men now), and X-Corp #3. Can’t say I’m thrilled at the prospect of this latter one…and definitely not a fan of the "whitespace" and "minimalistic" look to it. It also makes the title logo look all the more like a "fon" in a way that I am not keen on and why I initially was not thrilled with this style. The other two at least look interesting and the Excalibur cover makes it look like something actually happens in the issue.

Then we have Sinister War #1, kicking off this ‘event’ in Amazing Spider-Man at least (I think). The logo "font" draws from the ’90s Spider-style, and definitely prompts a bit of nostalgia for me. We also have the 4th issue of Carnage Black White & Blood. And then Aliens: Aftermath #1 which I’m not entirely sure if this is a mini-series or one-shot…but it certainly looks more interesting than the other Alien (singular) comics Marvel has published to date!

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We have a new issue of TMNT and yet again, I’m buying far more out of "habit" and such than anything else. I’ve bought the title monthly since #1 in 2011 nearly 10 years ago…but I don’t think there’s been as relatively DRY a stretch as 101-119 here otherwise. Even as "slow" and weird as I initially found the first few issues post-#50, stuff picked up again pretty quickly. We’re nearly 5 arcs into this "Mutant-Town" era and other than an Annual, what have we REALLY gotten to move the story forward from #100? Feels like next to nothing, to me, at least.

This Savage Hearts #1 caught me for its title logo. This is also a #1, so in-the-moment I figured why not? I’m not keen on the art on the cover…but the strength of the LOGO grabbed me. (Minimalistic-logo/trade-dress/design folks, it’s a comic book…the more stylized and bold and BIG the logo, the more it looks like a comic book and likely will grab my attention over blending into every OTHER minimalistic thing…!)

The Batman/Scooby-Doo Mysteries continues to get my $2.99 in support of the price point and lack of variant covers!

Mouse Guard is an interesting title–and size/format for its issues–and coming "back" after (I think years) too long, I was all about getting this issue. It (barely) gets a "pass" being Archaia–I realize the brand is owned by Boom but I believe it’s still its own thing overall, and the issue lacks a Boom LOGO so that gets this around my no-Boom-single-issues thing.

And the Vampiverse thing on Comic Shop News gives me mixed feelings…given the TONS of variant covers Dynamite does, it seems like they already have LOADS of Vampi titles; they probably publish more COVERS for one title than many smaller publishers publish titles!

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Next up is the second issue of Skybound X, which I’m hearing mixed things on and have yet to read myself, but kinda bought in on multiple fronts, though it’s sounding less "celebration" and more "extended ad the buyer pays for"…

Bunny Mask is an odd title for me, but I’d bought the first issue, saw this second one, and decided to get it. Plus the Aftershock brand is growing on me a bit. Helm Greycastle‘s 3rd issue puts this at or over halfway through the series, I believe/hope. The title puts me in mind of Masters of the Universe stuff, while knowing it’s not that. Some stuff I saw with solicitation for the series bugged me a bit, but I’ll ignore that for an ok-at-least story, and already have 2 issues, so might as well keep on (contradictory as that is to my lamenting mini-series finishing before I’ve read a #1 and might as well have waited for the collected volume).

GI Joe: A Real American Hero #284 puts us with a mere 16 issues to the big #300. And with getting stuff at multiple shops, the regular cover of TMNT (if I’m double-dipping, might as well get a different cover. I’m not buying multiples FOR the cover). Same with Batman/Scooby-Doo.

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And then just because it arrived and was handy when I was getting photos for the blog…I fiiiiiinally pulled the trigger on ordering this metallic Fugitoid figurine from Mirage (it’s a Playmates figure, some sort of thing not sold in regular stores, that I ordered from Mirage itself). I actually forgot that I’d ordered this (it was that much of a whimsical order) but now having it, I’m quite glad to have it.


This week definitely skewed a bit Marvel-heavy. That’s fairly "incidental" in terms of the X-books, though: I’m getting them for being X, not for being Marvel. The Black/White/Blood thing caught me with Wolverine so the Carnage mini I’ve treated as a bit of an extension; and Sinister War is a Spider-thing…and while I’ll probably suck it up with the inevitable $10 ginormous thing that’s likely to be the 75th issue of Amazing Spider-Man, I’m looking at winding back down on the title. Especially if they’re looking to sideline Peter Parker for awhile. I’m really not interested in a non-Peter ASM title right now.

I think the new Blue Beetle/Booster Gold book starts next week, which will get me back to general-ish DC…on strength of the title and creator (Dan Jurgens)’s involvement. For wanting such a title for so long, I can’t NOT support it, though my support is still going to be grudgingly given, just for it being DC at this point.

But that’s stuff for next week, methinks.

This is it for this coverage of a single week’s new comics…let’s see if I can get back to at least doing this much with the blog on a regular basis!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 14, 2021

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Another week, some new comics…

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Nothing all that exciting this week. Wolverine and Children of the Atom are "the latest X-books this week." Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon is the latest issue of that series…cruising on along on strength of the first issue and Larry Hama‘s name.

Then Star Trek: The Next Generation: The GIft as a reprint of an older story and getting some nostalgia. I’m not much interested in "modern" TNG comics, but occasional stuff like this I’ll check out. Cheaper than "hunting" back-issues to get the story, anyway.

GI Joe: A Real American Hero #279 is another "latest issue/issue-out-this-week."

And the Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries is the first time in a few weeks that DC has been on here. But it’s a $2.99 comic! Given their shift mostly to $4.99/$5.99 and such…I’d be just part of the problem if I complain about their prices but then DIDN’T support a $2.99 book!

Finally, for the Comic Shop News issue this week…Looking just at the top, my first thought was "…again?" on The Mighty Crusaders/The Shield. My second thought was "Huh…that looks like Rob Liefeld art…" Unfolding the issue…sure enough, saw the ‘signature’ on the art. Say what you will about the man’s art…it’s typically very recognizable!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 7, 2021

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Another week, another haul. AND no DC stuff!

  • 4 Marvel
  • 3 Image
  • 1 Aftershock
  • 1 IDW

Marvel‘s got the X-stuff. Image has new stuff; as does Aftershock; and IDW with a hefty, thick reprint volume.

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Geiger I bought for names alone: Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. No idea what the comic’s supposed to be about, but with these creators involved…certainly something to take a look at! Especially for NOT being something published by DC, particularly given Johns‘ history with DC.

Project Patron caught my eye somehow and seemed like an interesting enough concept at the time for me to decide to give its #1 a chance. We’ll see if it goes further, as I REALLY do NOT like $5 comics. I’ll accept ’em a bit more from a small publisher like this (compared to, say, Marvel or DC), of course.

Fire Power is definitely truckin’ along. And unlike most other recent "new series," it’s one I’ve actually kept up on, at least in buying. It’s an enjoyable enough title, though I may opt out on the singles and switch to the paperbacks. The initial hype has worn off, for me. Then again…it’s not DC and so more of a worthwhile book of late.

Nocterra is another exception: I’d picked up #1 on creator name (Scott Snyder) and though I’ve yet to read #1, snagged #2. Similar boat: creator(s) I know from DC but on a book that’s…(you guessed it!) not from DC!

Both Marauders #19 and Excalibur #20 are here by virtue simply of being current X ongoings. I’m into the #8s of the "first wave" of Dawn of X stuff…apparently up to right about a year ago just ahead of The Hiatus. So a bit to go, yet, and then the first third of X of Swords and then "catching up" from there to current, and hopefully STAY current. I suppose I now need to aim to catch up in time for the Hellfire Gala stuff…

Amazing Spider-Man is a definite "morbid curiosity" thing at this point–I’ve been "starved" for Spider-Man stuff and it’s at least "the main/traditional title" over stunt minis and such. I need to find a point for a good, clean break I think. Or keep watching it FOR the aforementioned morbid curiosity…

I have NOT been all over the Marvel Tales books the way I’ve tried to be the facsimile editions. That said, I got it into my head to get this one…though I’m more looking forward to the upcoming Thanos Quest one. Squadron Supreme is primarily a blind spot for me in Marvel stuff; so things like this offer to fill in that gap a tiny bit. IF I ever get around to reading it!

And finally, Tranformers ’84: Legends & Rumors. $7.99 for "100 pages" (not sure if ads and such are included in that page count or not). But still, for the price of two skinny comics with maybe 40-44 pages (let’s say even 60 between them with ads), this is like a third issue "free" and the Transformers are another relative blind spot for me, so the would-be nostalgia gets me.


All in all, not a bad week. Still pretty darned expensive…but a good third of that is the two $8 reprints issues. If I factored out reprints, "new stuff," and X-stuff, that’d leave me with Fire Power for the week. And that wouldn’t even really justify going to the comic shop!

Next week looks to be a decent-sized week as well. Until then…

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The Infinity Gauntlet Keepsake Collection

This is an interesting artifact I stumbled on at Kenmore Komics the other week. It’s apparently from wayyyy back in 1991 (when the original The Infinity Gauntlet was published), and I’m not sure offhand how one would have acquired it back then, but it’s "officially" numbered as 1909 of a 5000 print run. So for the ’90s…kinda "limited edition"?

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Anyway, the envelope containts 6×9" prints (black and white) of all 6 issues’ covers (AN ENTIRE EVENT SERIES and there were ONLY SIX COVERS. Total. Not per issue. But total.) There was also an "uncut sheet" of "6" trading cards featuring the covers’ images in color.

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Here’s the "trading cards" sheet.

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I realized that two 6×9" prints will fit perfectly side-by-side in 9×12" frames, so these can be 1. protected and 2. displayed, hanging simply on a wall as I display plenty of other comics, posters, etc.

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While in a way there’s nothing particularly special about these prints…they’re exactly the sort of comics-based "ephemera" that I really enjoy.

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And coming across this as I did, while perhaps a bit pricey, for the novelty of it, I was glad to buy it. I get more enjoyment out of this than several generic "modern" Marvel comics. And knowing how the original Infinity Gauntlet issues have taken off price-wise in a Marvel Cinematic Universe world, something like this was rather reasonably priced!

There was also a Gen13 thing like this, but I don’t have nearly the nostalgic attachment to Gen13 that I do to Thanos, Warlock, and the Infinity Gauntlet stuff in general.

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A Speculator’s Guide to Marvel’s Alien (2021) #1

Marvel recently released an Alien #1, after Dark Horse had the license for 30-some years. In fact, outside of a single graphic novel/album adaptation of the first film, I’m pretty sure that every Alien/Aliens/Aliens vs. Predator/AvP, etc comic published until March 24, 2021 had been published by Dark Horse.

To go along with this Bold New Enterprise and such, I’ve put together a Speculator’s Guide to highlight some of the "key" firsts and why you should absolutely stock up on and hoard this issue and alllllll its variants.

After all…that’s what comics are all about*, right?

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Consider the following my bonus "Speculator Guide" to Marvel’s Alien #1:

  • First Alien comic published by Marvel
  • First appearance of Gabriel Cruz
  • First appearance of Danny Cruz
  • First appearance of the Movement
  • First appearance of Epsilon Station.
  • First ("cameo") appearance of some sort of Xenomorph variant in dream sequences
    • First Marvel appearance of any Xenomorph variant
  • First cover appearance of some sort of Xenomorph variant (variant covers)
  • First Marvel Alien #1
  • First Alien cover by InHyuk Lee
  • First Alien cover by Steve McNiven & Laura Martin
  • First Alien cover by Peach Momoko
  • First Alien cover by Ron Lim & Israel Silva
  • First Alien cover by Todd Nauck & Rachelle Rosenberg
  • First Alien cover by Patrick Gleason
  • First Alien cover by Skottie Young
  • First Alien cover by David Finch & Frank D’Armata
  • First Alien cover by Salvador Larroca & Guru-eFX
  • First Alien comic written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
  • First Alien comic edited by Jake Thomas and Shannon Andrews Ballesteros
  • First $4.99 Alien comic not part of an event series
  • First ongoing Alien #1 at $4.99 price
  • First appearance of Facehuggers in Marvel
  • First facehugging in Marvel
  • First Alien comic with Captain Marvel (ad)
  • First Alien comic with Spider-Man (ad)
  • First Alien comic with Spider-Woman (ad)
  • First Alien comic with Venom (ad)
  • First Alien comic with Nightcrawler (ad)
  • First Alien comic with The Mighty Valkyries (ad)
  • First Alien comic with the Champions (ad)

I may have missed a few things, but there you have it! Feel free to chime in on what I’ve missed. I imagine we’ll see plenty of other "key" things about #2 in a few weeks, but that’ll be a Whole New Cycle of Key-ness after this issue’s been milked for all it’s worth…right?

(*This post is tongue-in-cheek but with a point to be had.)

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As random art or "prints" go…I like a number of these covers. But even for comic cover-sized prints $5 is a bit much. And since they’re basically all generic images…this really could be a year and a half’s worth of covers!

Put ’em in an art book…do an Alien Gallery by Marvel issue or something. (With so many covers just for #1, they’ve already got a full Gallery issue’s contents!)

Here’s hoping that the series develops something worthwhile and works out to more than JUST a TON of VARIANTS and being "not-Dark Horse." Let’s get some substance and such! Beyond hype, beyond mere "speculation."

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Alien (2021) #1 [Review]

alien(2021)_001Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Color Art: Guru-eFX
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: InHyuk Lee
Variants: [Too Many]
Design: Jay Bowden
Assistant Editor: Shannon Andrews Ballesteros
Editor: Jake Thomas
Published by: Marvel Comics
Cover Date: May 2021
Story Pages: 30
Info Pages/Credits Pages: 2 (double-page spread)
Cover Price: $4.99

There’s a lot to unpack here, mostly cosmetic and comparison.

They very first thing for me is that–as always–there are TOO MANY DARNED VARIAN COVERS. Do a pin-up gallery or something! Give us bonus art pages–the back cover, the inside covers, I don’t know. Knock it off with all the ****ed variants, though!

Secondly but still surfacey…what a freaking BORING logo. Basically just a spaced-out generic FONT. In my (surely vast) ignorance on the matter, I do not "get" the shift in branding to ALIEN (singular, with boring/generic font as "logo") away from the more dynamic, attention-grabbing ALIENS with the glowy effect and such. Same sorta problem I have with the novels from Titan. Maybe it differentiates a bit from Dark Horse-published stuff, but….I’m rather irked at all the crap regarding the licensing and such anyway, so this does nothing to endear this to my heart! While I know that the logo for the original 1978 film was basically just this "boring/generic font as ‘logo,’" the logo for the 1986 film was much more interesting, so in terms of using a logo from the series, it’s not like that one isn’t available (as far as I am aware, as just some dumb customer).

Thirdly and (also still surface stuff): yet another $4.99 #1. I pay $5/issue for a LOT of stuff lately, and generally without complaint (I’m looking at current-day X-BOOKS stuff in admitting that). But then, those are things I’ve been buying en masse and not sitting down to "analyze" and specifically, singularly discuss as a single-issue item in a relative vacuum. $5 gets you 5 things from Dollar Tree. You can go more upscale and get something at Five Below. But a mere 2 $5s is $10; 4 is $20, and that $20 might net you a "fine" condition back-issue (even a "key"!) decades-old that will be more memorable and appreciated than SEVERAL generic modern issues flocked by oodles of generic variant covers.

So, getting back to the cover: While on a technical level, this cover’s not bad….it’s very, very generic. It’s nothing but a pin-up image of a lone Xenomorph on a black background, with generic white text denoting several creators and the title. Nothing about ANY specific characters, or the world of the franchise, not even any sort of creepy background or something to be atmospheric beyond a lone creature coming out of the darkness with enough light glinting off of it that–the more I think on it–the more it seems there should be SOMEthing visible besides the creature.

We open on flashback/dream stuff of someone in some sort of capsule with "Alien Inside" painted on it from the outside (with spray-paint? With blood?) and come to find one Gabriel Cruz talking with his therapist–a Bishop-model synthetic. He’s retiring from his position as Security Chief on Weyland-Yutani’s Epsilon Station to go back to Earth and try to rebuild a relationship with his son. We then briefly meet a couple, conspiring on something…and find that the male is Cruz’s son, Danny. He’s feigning his part of patching things over to get ahold of his dad’s old W-Y badge. After they split, we get more insight into Cruz and his background and this dream sequence thing in a Xenomorph hive, seems to be about another son since lost. Back to Epsilon Station and the son, girlfriend, and others bust in, murdering indiscriminately, and find that they’ve breached a laboratory rather than a server farm. They find scientists still present, and before they can all be killed, a lockdown is initiated, destruction ensues, and facehugging commences. To Be Continued…

The flashback/dream stuff here is obviously present to have the Xenomorphs make an appearance in the issue for an issue that is part of a Serialized Graphic Novel that does not feature the titular creature(s) in its first quarter (sixth?). The comic IS titled ALIEN, after all, and I’m sure Marvel would hope loads of "new readers" would flock to their iteration of the title just for that word "MARVEL" on the cover and buy into the thing. This is Marvel, but this isn’t 2001 Hide-The-Hero Marvelright? And other than these bits, this is basically just a comic about normal humans with typical-ish (albeit 200 years in the future) human technology. No superpowers, no gaudy costumes, no hopeful musical montages.

The art itself is good quality; I like the appearance; and there’s nothing "bad art" about this thing in and of itself. Between the glimpse at the Xenomorphs/nest and present-day stuff, just flipping through this it looks like an Aliens comic. (Oops. Sorry. ALIEN. Singular. Darn that "s"…)

Story-wise…I’m neither impressed nor disgusted. This in no way reads as anything new or spectacular; there’s nothing revelatory or really…anything different whatsoever from pretty much any other Alien/Aliens comic published by Dark Horse. The story is a couple hundred years in the future from us as readers; it’s set after Alien and Aliens (preserving the film canon/timeline) but otherwise is a bit nebulous and indistinct. We have some arbitrarily-chosen human protagonist, haunted by something horrible that happened in the past either to him directly or to someone close to him that involved creatures in darkness that he may or may not know what they are–while we (the reader) know (by the title on the cover, at least) exactly what they are. Yadda yadda yadda, Weyland-Yutani is evil, misguided people accidentally wind up loosing facehuggers to begin an outbreak, etc…blah blah blah.

We do have 30 story-pages (as opposed to a standard 20) so the extra 10 pages for $1 are a better value than a standard $2 per 10 pages. We also get a double-paged spread of 2 pages "infopage"/"credits pages" with dramatic placement, going for a cinematic presentation. Cold open, slight development, bam! Credits, scene cut…comics. Nothing special or original. Despite my annoyance with Almost Every First Issue Must Be An Oversized Five Dollar Thing Heaven Forbid First Issues Just Be First Issues, the TECHNICAL "value" is there, so…yeah.

While by no means a "bad issue," this lacks anything significant–to me, at least–for being a NEW #1, fro a "NEW" publisher, etc. 30 years of Dark Horse publishing Aliens comics, and then Marvel gets the license due to the Disney buyout. And a bit of a gap from DH trailing off and nothing at all for a few months. And now "the big debut" from Marvel (my phrasing, not Marketing) and the property is not even given the Star Wars RUSH/deluge of publishing (as I’m recalling from 2015, Marvel had an omnibus AND first issue of new Star Wars ongoing published the very first week of 2015 when their license went officially active, followed either that same month or immediate months after with multiple other series.) These were directly, overtly placed in a singular, known timeline, building a new/additional canon.

Alien, however, does/did not get this. No, this is a new series launched practically FOUR MONTHS into  Marvel having had the license. That Omnibus? It’s not even due til sometime later in April. And…but for the title on the cover (ALIEN singular) and the publisher logo (MARVEL)–there is really no difference…no new or exciting feel, no particular tone (whether internal or external/meta) to indicate this is any sort of a new era, nothing about new/rebuilding canon, just nothing at all that there’s anything that Marvel brings to the table that Dark Horse did not.

Except that Dark Horse never did umpteen variants on a single issue.

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By and large, this issue could certainly just be the first issue of the next Dark Horse-published mini-series. The art is good, but nothing new for the property. The story is good, but nothing new for the property. The (main, ignoring variants) cover isn’t bad, but nothing new for the property.

If you’re already a fan of the property and were regularly buying the content from Dark Horse, this should be right in line with any of that and thus no reason not to buy Marvel‘s #1. If you’re newly interested in Alien/Aliens/etc. in comics, this is just as decent a jumping-on point as any other #1 with the title on the cover. I suppose the only real difference is that where so many "firsts" were already exhausted by Dark Horse, this provides a Marvel Modern Reset to stuff, dragging a 30-year-old comics property into a New Age for New Speculation.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 31, 2021

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And here we are, back for another week’s haul of new issues, "current week." Not a bad week in and of itself, even with forgetting to message ahead.

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X-Men Legends #2 has the same trade dress as the first issue, which I do like…overall. I do think the corner box would be a bit more appealing with the number there, as the large issue number with the logo suggests this is X-Men Legends 2, #whatever, at a glance…much like X-Men Forever or such had been.

Spawn is now at #316. When Uncanny X-Men‘s original run was at #316, I think that was summer 1994, around the Phalanx Covenant!

And we have the new issue of Batman/Catwoman–#4–and I’m a bit iffy on this series, but at minimum, my "OCD" has me wanting to just get the series to slot in with the rest of King‘s Batman Rebirth run.

I’m extremely confident that this month’s issue of Crossover is an homage to CatesGod Country #1, given the "landscape" orientation vs the standard "portrait" orientation. [Edit: ok, looks like it was a cover for #2 of that series. So much for the aforementioned confidence!]

Interestingly enough on the timing…Usagi Yojimbo: Wanderer’s Road #5 (the current iteration of "Color Classics" reprinting early UY content) is ALSO a "landscape" cover! Surely coincidence, but highly noticeable anyway!

And while I opened on X-Men Legends, I close here on X-Men #19. For the moment, yet another "just the next issue available of an X-title," until I get caught up.

Finally, this week’s Comic Shop News features something called Seven Swords. I did a quick search online and seems that it’s at least NOT something from Boom Studios, so maybe I’ll keep an eye out for it. I’ll at least likely recognize this cover image, so if that’s available and not drowned out/hidden by others…well, maybe I’ll try it spur-of-the-moment?


This was a five-Wednesday month. Having six new issues, though…does not seem like stuff was necessarily shuffled to accommodate the "extra" week. I’m good with it, though.

We’ll see what April holds. I know I’m looking forward to the debut of Way of X…and I can’t quite remember if Predator launches in April, or not til May. Also considering the Aliens Omnibus vol. 1 from Marvel solely on the "completionist" angle. Again…time shall tell.

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