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The ’90s Revisited: TMNT Adventures: The Year of the Turtle #1

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tmnt_adventures_year_of_the_turtle_001Year of the Turtle Chapter One: Go, Go Mutant Turtles!

Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Hugh Haynes
Inkers: Harvey Mercadoocasio, Phil Sheehy
Colorist: Philip Lynch
Letterer: Jeff Powell
Cover Artists: Ron Lim, Harvey Mercadoocasio, Heroic Age
Interior Separations: Graphic Colour Works
Production Manager: Caryn Antoniuk
Production: Joe Pepitone, Pat Spaziante, Frank
Gagliardo
Editor: Freddy Mendez
Managing Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Published by: Archie Comics
Cover Date: January 1996
Cover Price: $1.50

I’m not CERTAIN when I discovered this mini-series. I have some vague memory of reading the third issue "back in the day," most likely from the library…so it’s likely been at LEAST 20-22 years (it came out in late-1995/early-1996). I only just (early-2020) acquired this first issue, and though I’m years behind in writing up my TMNT Revisited posts on the Archie series, I decided to dive into this one as something pretty much all-new to me.

This came after the ongoing Archie Adventure Series TMNT Adventures, and is functionally "volume 3," as there was a 3-issue mini-series, then the 72-issue ongoing series, and then this. I expected this to be a continuation/follow-up…perhaps like a "tv movie sequel" to a long-running series. However…expectation didn’t match reality!

We open on a man telling his child(?) about the last story of the Ninja Turtles. We find Shredder seeking some mystical artifact, and though his Foot Soldiers have failed against the defenses arrayed before it, he single-handedly takes down the defenders and claims the piece. Meanwhile, Splinter and the turtles are seeing another piece, and realize that one of the Mighty Mecha Power Raiders on tv seems to have it in/as his belt buckle…so they head to Radio City (where the MMPR actors are performing) to claim it before Shredder does. Shredder has some new hench-people includig Cyberius, and T.K.O. that he sends to get that next piece of the artifact, while he personally descends into the sewers and sneaks up on and catches Splinter unaware. The two battle, and while Splinter manages to escape/survive, he is by no means victorious over the villain. The hench-folks manage to get the piece of the artifact…not a good day for the turtles and Splinter! On returning home, the turtles find Splinter has been transformed! Somehow due to the artifact, his mutation has been undone…leaving him a man once more! Closing out the issue, we see that the storyteller from the opening of the issue is indeed Splinter…

From the cover, I knew there was some sort of reference to the Power Rangers. In the issue itself, within the turtles’ universe, these are the Mighty Mecha Power Raiders. Obviously meant to represent the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers…only without being anything official, and drawing on the popularity of that franchise and its notoriety in popular culture…especially for the time! What ESPECIALLY drew my attention with it was having JUST a couple days before reading this issue read Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers/TMNT #4–the 4th issue of 5 being published in 2020 by Boom and IDW!

Story-wise, this issue quickly reveals itself to not be a continuation or follow-up to the long-running series. For one thing, it’s an entirely different creative team. It also uses rather bland, generic versions of the characters…particularly the Shredder. The villain is shown with a look more akin to the 1990 film than the ’80s/’90s animated series, further separating from the TMNTA ongoing; and is back to evil for evil’s sake–no real or apparent motivation other than BEING evil.

There’s no real depth to any of the characters, though some weight is added in the storyteller’s reference to the "last" Ninja Turtles story, as if this WAS the FINAL ADVENTURE or such. Certainly the throw-away of the bested, defeated Foot lends to that. They could be slaughtered, if there’s no need to have them available for later stories! April is relegated to a tv news reporter ON TV without even interacting with the turtles; after her evolution throughout the ongoing series. And though we do find that the storyteller IS Splinter, we’re left hanging as to who the apparent child is he’s telling the story to and how they came together. Biological child? Adoptive? How much time has passed since Splinter was with the turtles? Are we to think this is another reality where Splinter and his turtles are just a series of stories being told to a child?

I do NOT know if this is Dan Slott‘s first writing gig in comics…but it’s certainly an EARLY gig. It’s not truly bad or anything, and structurally works pretty well (despite my questions in the paragraph above). Framing sequence that plays into/comes back out of the main story; we’re introduced to the villains, the heroes, the situation, and see some movement through the situation (gathering the artifact), etc.

The art is also by no means horrible, but lacks something from the ongoing series. Even though this is a completely separate series, creative team, etc.–it came after a 72-issue run with lots of characters and development, and being ONLY 3 issues (a mere 4% against the ongoing) would have a LOT to "live up to," especially without even the built-in depth of adapting episodes of the cartoon.

All in all, while the issue wasn’t particularly enjoyable to me, it was interesting to finally read. It’s also very possible that I’d built it up in my mind over two decades and so "expected" a lot more from it. Ultimately…it’s a TMNT comic book. I don’t believe it’s ever even been reprinted (IDW hasn’t even reprinted the TMNTA Specials, and also skipped most of the Mighty Mutanimals issues as well as 5 issues of TMNTA itself) so there’s some incentive to tracking the issues down as a completist or out of curiosity. Story-wise, it doesn’t seem to be anything significant, and its generic-ness and timing doesn’t do it any favors.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 18, 2020

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

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

So this IS the final one for March.

On with it…

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

And that’s it for new issues.

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

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

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

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

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

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The Weekly Haul 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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Hall of Fame City Comic Con 2019

Comic conventions have come to be a fairly "mixed" thing for me. On one hand, they’re a place to meet creators, and get access to all sorts of back issues and deals and such that are NOT available at the comic shops I frequent usually (and whose stock I largely "know" as-is and take advantage of weekly). On the other hand, I’m not thrilled with large crowds and all the unpredictability that comes with them, unknown parking situations, added parking and admission costs just to get access to the con, certain long lines, etc. Especially when attending alone (whether no one else wants to go with me, or "life" gets in the way and I don’t decide 100% that I myself am even going until the day-of).

This past weekend, I attended what apparently was the fourth annual Hall of Fame City Comic Con (and my second attendance of the show). I’d last gone to the 2017 show two years ago. I’d intended to attend last year’s show, but "life" was not going well at the time, which combined with trying to go alone, parking, and a monstrous-looking crowd that saw me forego the whole thing.

Probably "the" guest for the year was David Yost, the actor who portrayed BIlly Cranston in the original seasons of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. I knew going in that I definitely wanted to attend his panel/Q&A…which was definitely a quick hour! Me being me, I wasn’t interested in coming up with any questions to throw out, and don’t REALLY think I learned anything particularly "new," but I enjoyed the time. There’s something about simply hearing stuff "live" from someone, and taking in their presence and impact on a crowd of people that has such a different impact from simple "facts" or information gleaned by READING (online or otherwise).

I took a small poster that I’d planned to get signed, and looked forward to a quick photo with the actor…waiting until later into the day for the initial line to die down, and still stood in line for nearly an hour.

Only to THEN realize that it was $30/signature, $30/photo op, $50/shout out (whatever that is–something for podcasts or YouTube channels, perhaps?). So, disgusted at spending so much time in a line but unwilling to spend $30 for a "signature of opportunity" or a random photo that would embody "this was a $30 commercial transaction" to me, I bailed.

Lesson learned: look up signing/autograph costs ahead of time, and remember that there’s a significant difference in such "celebrity guests" and comic creators.

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After 3-4 times around the block, I finally found parking nearby. Then had to stand in the 11am sun for over a half-hour. Which admittedly wasn’t as bad as it initially looked–at first, I wasn’t even sure if I’d be in by noon. Where other conventions would have several lines going–at least at the point of admission itself once you got up there–this one seemed to have one line for pre-ordered tickets and one for on-the-spot/at-the-door, which created a definite bottlenecking effect; as well as only one person checking bags and such (I was thankful my bottle-opener and mini-pocketknife (that I always forget I even have on me til I need it) didn’t raise any alarms.)

Once in, I was handed the ashcan-sized "program" for the con, which included a map of the floor’s layout with where the various creators and vendors were located.

The only actual back-issue purchase I made of the whole show was this Batman/Spawn: War Devil issue…which is itself a "convenience purchase" to have it immediately with my Spawn stuff…I’ll get into that eventually with an upcoming "SpawnQuest" post.

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Where I first walked in, I was greeted by the Toys Time Forgot booth, which was fantastic, as that–with Dirk Manning–was one of my primary "goals" for the show. I got the store-exclusive Hope #3, and signed. While I make no secret of loathing variant covers in general…I find that something like this works as an exception. I haven’t thought too deeply on it, but I think part of it is that it’s not DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, etc. And that it’s SO limited as to be negligible; it’s NOT part of the "marketing" of the title "in general," and that Dirk is present and signing the issues in-person, such that the thing being a ‘variant" is nearly incidental, as it’s another creator-owned title; as a store-exclusive, it’s benefiting a specific retailer, and it’s a great souvenir/artifact of attending a particular event (store signing, or in this case, convention appearance).

I also got my Tales of Mr. Rhee hardcover signed; and Dirk gifted me a glow-in-the-dark pin!

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I’m pretty sure that at this point, Manning is the creator I’ve met most frequently, as he’s local to the region, attends a lot of shows and such, and is such a friendly, personable guy and just great to catch at the various shows. He’s really set a high standard in my book, which I’ve certainly held others up to in a big way.

I went from getting Hope and Tales of Mr. Rhee signed to the panel room to be sure I got a seat for Yost‘s panel.

From that panel, my aim was Mark Texeira and Mark Bagley. I’d spent a couple hours going through my comic boxes the night before specifically to locate my original 1998 Marvel Knights Black Panther #1 to get signed, and had bought a Wolverine issue (to avoid having to dig through boxes) earlier in the week.

Unfortunately…I saw that Texeira was charging for autographs–it looked like $10 each. Which immediately nixed the novelty of it, of spending a couple minutes (if that long) at the table and all. Outside of the likes of Stan Lee, Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, I just don’t see paying for autographs!

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So I cautiously made my way onward to Bagley‘s table, and was disappointed to see that he was charging, as well! BUT…then I realized his charging was specific. Signature-only: $10. Personalized: free.

As I’d intended anyway to have them personalized, nothing on my part was changed.

I got The Amazing Spider-Man #375 and Venom: Lethal Protector #1 signed; both being "key" books to ME personally, as a couple of my earliest Spider-Man and Spidey-related comics, and fairly big deals at the time. Though admittedly in 1993, I could not have told you these were Mark Bagley and actually hadn’t even realized the connection when I was getting Ultimate Spider-Man junior and senior years of college.

One of my favorite memories of early Ultimate Spider-Man was the shared enjoyment of the series with one of my best friends. There was something to getting the new issues, reading them, talking about them "in the moment" and the shared enjoyment that went a long way. And I’m pretty sure that was one factor that helped get me into reviewing and eventually blogging, and those few months in particular of it remain a high-level standard unmatched in recent years for me.

My friend had spent some time in Italy one summer for school, and brought back an Italian edition of Ultimate Spider-Man for me. It has the cover image of the U.S. #13, though it has the contents of #s 12 & 13, I believe.

So a gift from a friend from a shared period of shared enjoyment of a series, and signed by the creator…makes that a particularly key, sentimental issue in my collection.

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As I browsed, trying to determine if anyone had any Spawn comics, I spotted a familiar cover…TMNT: A Fishy Adventure. (I detail that book’s significance to me in my 2017 Super Blog Team-Up post on the Mighty Mutanimals.) Seeing that this was in much better condition and without any ex-library junk on it, I stepped in for a closer look and saw that a couple of the other storybooks were also available.

While I’d have been thrilled to have had Fight for the Turnstone and The Magic Crystal present, I was happy to also be able to get Return of the Shredder and The Incredible Shrinking Turtles.

That I was able to get these 3 for a mere $2 total was fantastic! Half the price of a cheap/standard-price comic these days, for 3 long-out of print and (in my experience) rare (especially in such good condition!) storybooks. Definitely the "deal of the show" for me!

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I then made my way back to the "panel room" for Mark Bagley‘s panel, which I thoroughly enjoyed. As someone else suggested when Bagley threatened that we’d just have to listen to him ramble if no one had questions…that’s one thing people enjoy with such panels. Just hearing the creator talk about their experiences and such, in their own words.

After the disappointment regarding bailing on meeting David Yost over the $30-$60 signature/photo op pricing, I ended up taking a 2nd look at a booth with some $6 ea/4-for-$20 books, and wound up getting the deluxe hardcover Marvel: Generations, Marvel Legacy, and Thanos: The Infinity Conflict. I also grabbed IDW‘s Saucer Country. Compared to the all-too-frequent-of-late $6 single-issues from Marvel, these oversized/deluxe hardcovers and OGN would actually BE worth $6/ea, and even better at functionally only $5!

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I then swung back around to Toys Time Forgot and caught Dirk again briefly, and then opted to "pull the trigger" on getting a couple of "exclusive" Pops (and hey, what convention’s complete without buying at least one of these little buggers, the last 8-some years?). I still have my eyes on the Swamp Thing one and possibly Lobo, but decided the TMNT branding meant more to me; especially as I do specifically still want to get Michelangelo, Donatello, Splinter, April, Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady if I can ever find them for what I consider reasonable pricing (i.e. NOT $20+ apiece!).

I departed the con from there. Met/got stuff signed by Dirk Manning and Mark Bagley; got to attend the David Yost and Mark Bagley panels…truly "more success than not" for the show, disappointing as it was discovering prices for Texira and Yost and choosing as such to pass on them.


I was yet again not particularly impressed with "dealer stock" for comics at the show. Bargain collected volumes, but those are by and large skinny, non-sequential volumes in a longer series and clearly "overstock" without much in the way of being ‘special’.

Plenty of generic variant covers overstock; and plenty of isolated modern back-issues that (at surface glance/appearance) seem to be overstock and primarily Marvel, with a fair bit of DC. I did manage to find 2-3 instances with some Spawn presence…one of which was that Batman/Spawn issue pictured at the top of this post. It seems that "everyone" that has Spawn stuff at a show has the earliest issues, isolated or as a run; but much past #40 or before #270 is not present.

While it makes sense for dealers to bring overstock to shows to try to get rid of it with people that normally don’t make it to their shops; it’s disappointing for someone like me looking for stuff that isn’t "just" random overstock.

It’s also discouraging when I’m looking for very particular back issues that no one’s "bothered" to bring; while any particular "fun" to serendipity in $1 bins or 3/$1 bins or 50-cent bins is totally lost on realizing that stuff is not sorted in any meaningful way. DC? Marvel? Image? Alphabetical? With so many other people around and also flipping through such bins…and MY knowing darned well that any significant "keys" are NOT going to be in there (especially at a convention) it’s just not worth the hassle (to ME) of riffling through such bins on the off-chance of finding anything "worth" getting.

ESPECIALLY when I’m very specifically interested in particular back-issues (Spawn, cheap X-Men #141, non-shiny Uncanny X-Men #350, shiny Wolverine #145).

I suppose we’ll see what I come across at a couple of upcoming shows if I actually make it to them.

All this said…I’ve now been to 2 of the 3 iterations of the Hall of Fame City Comic Con that I’ve been consciously aware of. And as such shows go, it’s been enjoyable overall. "Too many people" for my preference in a way…yet NOT so many as to have choked aisleways and such.

Employment, finances, and timing-permitting, I’ll very likely attend next year’s show. All the more now having this second instance in my experience, I’ll be that much more ready for a third!

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Legacy Megazord–Finally!

After several years, I finally managed to find the Legacy Megazord for something trying to be a reasonable price, but being significantly more than I’d choose…though still several times cheaper than anything I’ve seen available online!

I’d come across it at The Exchange a couple weeks ago and passed on it–initially–due to the price. But once I looked online and realized the cheapest it was being offered for, I resolved that since I was going to be in that area again, I’d check–and if the thing was still available, I’d get it; if not…then someone else obviously wanted it more than I did.

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The box definitely shows the wear and tear of being previously-owned. But fortunately, when I opened it, everything I expected was inside. Much as with the Dragonzord last year, it seems to have passed through at least one second-hand seller.

I’d missed out on this some years back, and passed on the Black and Gold edition when I’d seen that (for about half of this thing’s price) at Toys R Us once since then.

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Now, to a degree, I physically have the Legacy collection–I can build the Ultrazord–with the White Tigerzord standing by. Unfortunately, though, my Titanus is that "Limited Edition Black and Gold" edition I’d passed on for Megazord. (Given secondary pricing and "out of print" and other collectability factors, I got Titanus as I did for the clearance pricing it was, for the sake of at least having some version of it!) All things being equal, if I had the opportunity to "trade" that to someone for the regular edition, I’d be glad to.

So physically, I have the Legacy components…just that Titanus is not the right coloring. But that’s something for another time and another post, perhaps!

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Taking a quick photo of the Megazord, I realized it accidentally almost lined up with the box, hence this photo…

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And then here’s a slightly closer-up of the upper body with the sword.

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I must admit to a bit of buyer’s remorse on what I paid for this one. I’d seen stuff online last year and took comments for granted about the Legacy Dragonzord not being compatible with the all-plastic 2010 Megazord. Which I did already have…from 2010.

Can you tell the difference?

I barely can–but then, I know which is which and what I’m looking for.

(Legacy’s on the left, 2010’s on the right).

I’ve yet to take either of them apart for any fine, up-close comparisons; I might disassemble 2010 to have the five component Zords out, while Legacy displays as-is. Of course, I also plan to assemble Ultrazord at least once, just to be able to do so–that’s something that feels 25 years past-due for me.

Finding the time and patience amidst other stuff, though…that’ll be a different story.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of December 12, 2018

This past week was a rather large week, especially as single issues go. Maybe not huge, but large.

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Supergirl hits its 25th issue, which is an extra-sized $4.99 issue. Considering the series had apparently been cancelled for several months but came back with the existing numbering has been a huge selling point for me…and I’m willing to turn a “blind eye” to a $4.99 #25 much more than I am a #1! Though I’ve skipped several months’ worth of Detective Comics, I’ve opted to get back in for the run-up to #1,000. We’ll see what I think on that after I get around to actually reading #994, though!. While it seems most often that DC saves up its annuals for a 5th week, we get the Batman Annual this week, and it is another $4.99 issue. Again, I’m willing to accept that as this IS an annual, a special issue, and not intended as the premiere issue for a new series!

Then there’s the second issue of the Alien3 adaptation from William Gibson; I haven’t read the first issue yet, and actually need to figure out where it wound up. I probably “ought” to just wait for a collected volume at the rate I’m going, but then, I’m also preferring oversized stuff to skinny-as-heck paperbacks that fit in a comic bag and board that my regular comics fit in. I need to consolidate my Mr. and Mrs. X issues and read…but as a fan of Rogue and Gambit, and of Rogue and Gambit, it’s one Marvel series I’ll actually support. And at least conceptually, their being married is a welcome change, to me! And no particular interest for me in an Archie-published Archie special…buuuuuut it’s “only” $2.99 compared to virtually everything ELSE Archie publishes these days being $3.99 with umpteen variant covers. So I definitely wanted to support the $2.99 price point!

I’d jumped onto Spawn several years ago for the same reason: supporting something with a $2.99 price point! I suppose I ought to check on the price of the main title…and while I’d assumed this Spawn Kills Everyone was $2.99, it’s actually $3.99…and the first issue of a 4-issue mini-series, apparently. Still…I’m ok with it, given virtually everything else is $3.99, so not like it’s standing out, and “at least it’s not a Marvel.”

And as always, the TMNT stuff has long been my “exception” on stuff…including pricing. $7.99 for each of these “prestige format”/squarebound Macro-Series issues doesn’t really phase me. The more good, in-continuity quality TMNT content from IDW, the better!

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And speaking of TMNT…oh, here’s Chloe! Sarah photobombed last time…apaprently it’s Chloe’s turn! She did not care that I was taking photos for this blog…she saw me there, and insisted on some attention!

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So, speaking of TMNT…I don’t even know what to make of this Rise of the TMNT cover. And despite virtually everything else published by IDW having at LEAST one variant, I don’t believe these have had variants. I don’t really care about this series…but have to admit to the “habit” aspect, and knowing that it’s still actually TMNT content, and I’d kick myself if I had to “hunt down” “missing” issues later, so I’ll just get ’em as they come out and be done.

Finally…after however many weeks/months, we get the second issue of Batman: Damned. [ok, it’s been 12 weeks since #1 came out.] 12 weeks…3 months. I don’t remember the original schedule, but I think this is at least a MONTH late, maybe 6+ weeks. I got the first issue out of curiosityDC Black Label, a new Azzarello/Bermejo piece involving the Joker; the magazine-sized format…and if it wasn’t for all the stupid online “HYPE” I never would have even noticed a certain anatomical portrayal graphically present. Having the first issue and not hating it, I got the second issue; and as I believe it’s to be a 3-issue thing, I’m quite likely to also get the third/final issue as well.


Along with these issues, I also during the week snagged the Thanos Mighty Mugg figure from Hasbro. I’ve previously passed on all of these due to how small these are compared to the original line as well as not caring for the “gimmick” of the multiple faces. But hey…this is Thanos, so I went ahead and got it.

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And speaking of Thanos…thanks to an online sale from Hot Topic, I was able to get a significant discount on the Thanos-on-his-throne Pop vinyl…with FREE shipping by having it delivered to the local Hot Topic at the mall. Unexpectedly for me, Hot Topic also had a sale going of buy-1-get-1-50%-off for everything in the store includingPops. I happened across the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers White Tigerzord, which I would have bought “anyway” just for what it IS. That the store had the Grindelwald-and-Thestral already marked down 50%, and eligible for the further discount, it made for quite the “steal.”

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Aaaaaand that’s about enough for this week.

Two more New Comic Days for 2018…that means this was the 50th. And the final will be “interesting,” falling as it does the day right after Christmas…I’m not even sure what (if anything) will really be out that week or if it’ll warrant its own trip to the comics shop(s).

Time will tell…and we’ll see what the week of the 19th holds!

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Legacy Thunder Megazord–Power Up!

Toys R Us has been around my entire life. I have plenty of memories of the store–and toys bought there; going back at least to the late-1980s, and the initial Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze. Probably my earliest memory of it specifically is getting a Baxter Stockman (the fly) figure, and being annoyed when we were stuck at a train crossing for what seemed like forever to me as that little kid waiting to get home and open his new toy.

I hold no joy whatsoever in the chain closing–I remember being glad that my "local" store–several "local-ish" stores, for that matter–NOT being on the initial list of closures a few months back. Selfishly, for sentimentality at least, and nostalgia…but also for those employees that would be out of jobs. Recently laid-off myself…that’s not something I’d truly wish on anyone!

And me getting something at a significant discount? That’s by no means worth someone’s job, their livelihood and all that. So much more I could say in this vein–but let’s leave it that what I say is in context of the fact that I cannot change that the chain filed bankruptcy and is going out of business. I have been a regular Toys R Us customer even before the closing–albeit a bit discerning, when I knew I could get the most basic figures for the most basic/common toy lines cheaper at Walmart or Target. But plenty of the "adult collectibles" and such were only at Toys R Us. The worthwhile Power Rangers stuff–the Legacy line–was only at the chain. The Classic TMNT line was only at the chain. The best variety of other lines was at the chain. And plenty often, while a toy line was cheaper at Walmart or Target, it’d be the individual specific figures I most wanted that I’d locate at Toys R Us.

My very first TMNT figure–Rocksteady–was bought at Toys R Us. When the property returned in early 2003, it was Toys R Us where I snagged my figures. When the line returned a third time in 2012, my first figure from that line was from Toys R Us.


So, as stuff’s been discounted/clearanced, and I can’t buy the toy chain or single-handedly change the fact of it closing down, can’t employ anyone myself to save jobs, etc… to boil stuff down, "it is what it is."

A few weeks ago, I bought a huge Mega Construx set for the TMNT line–my single largest (most expensive) purchase from Toys R Us in my life. It was at a token discount, though already significantly clearanced from its MSRP. I bought it then because it was a Toys R Us exclusive as far as I know, and I didn’t want to "miss" it and wind up facing scalper pricing–double/triple MSRP–later–that would make it even more prohibitively expensive.

I thought that was it–my final purchase from the chain. With them going out of business–selling everything, even store fixtures–the shelves and such–surely they wouldn’t be getting anything new in. Surely, of whatever stuff was left, others who found the 10% off worthwhile would have cleared out anything/everything of interest to me.

And then, sure enough, I missed the closing. I saw some story online that they had closed, and I figured that was that.

Then a friend messaged me about something she’d seen at one. The chain itself had not yet closed! So I went back to the one location, figuring more consciously "one last time…" And ended up with some Power Rangers stuff. And then the local one to see what they had that might complement those.

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And I saw this. The Legacy Thunder Megazord. The box was a bit beat-up and less than pristine…but intact.

And 50% off.

Still very expensive for me, period, and especially at present. But it’s not likely I’d ever come across it again for this price. No, more than likely, it’d be 50% more than MSRP if not double or more. And I’ve had my eyes on this for a year and a half or so, having long since figured that at MSRP, it was too much…but for half that, it’d be more than worthwhile.

So, at 50% off…I bought it.

Expensive as a single unit, but it’s more like a "boxed set." With each of the Zords being the price of a Marvel Legends figure–to put it into a bit of perspective. And it was buying pieces piecemeal that I justified to myself the large Legendary Voltron set last year.


Anyway…a week later and I finally got this thing unpacked!

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First, the individual Zords! Red Dragon in Warrior Mode; Pink Firebird; Blue Unicorn; Yellow Griffin; Black Lion (not THAT Black Lion…). The set came with a base, allowing the Zords to join together as the Thunderzord Assault Team.

As the Red Dragon in Warrior Mode stands in the middle, which basically looks like it’s rather uncomfortable (even as a giant robot, another giant robot’s beak-up-the-backdoor probably wouldn’t be pleasant), I don’t like that as a display mode. Of course, for the four smaller Zords, it’s great, and the Red Dragon can stand separate on its own…basically like in the show!

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Of course, it also transforms on its own into "Dragon Mode," which is also pretty cool! He makes for a rather long piece that way, though, and sorta steals the scene!

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I really like the look of the Thunder Megazord. However, it’s a bit loose, and wobbly and leans a bit…and I had to half-disassemble it when the Firebird decided to split into three pieces on me (note: it’s not really supposed to split into 3 pieces!). I don’t think this is "the lean" that early versions had, but more a side-to-side lean…which might be something with my assembly and not the figures, but whatever. I’d be really annoyed if I’d paid anything like full price…but at half off and just having the thing, I’m pretty much ok with it, overall!

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For the heckuvit…here’s the Thunderzord Assault Team with the five Legendary Voltron lions (well, the smaller die-cast ones, anyway!)

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And here’s the Thunder Megazord with the larger version of the Legendary Voltron lions assembled into Voltron itself!

Though in retrospect I was technically exposed to Voltron–as these five lions that combined into a big one–first, having recalled sometime after I was introduced TO the Power Rangers that I’d seen a giant robot from five smaller ones before the show, it was truly MMPR that got to me first. But being a sucker for the combining robots and such, and nostalgic for Power Rangers in general, I guess they’re a lot like Star Trek for me.

I’m a fan of Star Trek, period. "The Original Series." "The Next Generation." To me, Star Trek has always been Star Trek, regardless of subtitle/flavor. And along with that, I’ve also been a fan of Star Wars, and though I’ve read a number of Star Trek novels to maybe 3 Star Wars books…on the whole, I don’t have any great one-or-the-other mentality to the properties.

And so it is here–Power Rangers. Voltron. I’m good with both, like ’em both.

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Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Tamashii Buddies

I can’t remember when I first saw the Tamashii Buddies figures for Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers–but it feels like it’s been at least a year.

I’ve only ever seen them at Toys R Us, but the price has often put me off on ’em, and I never got around to actually getting any of them.

Of course, over the past year and a half or so, my Power Rangers collection has expanded quite a bit.

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With Toys R Us‘ "Store Closing" "liquidation sale," prices recently moved to 40-60% off. "Action figures" went from 10% off (not really "worthwhile" as that’s barely tax) to 50% off (quite worthwhile).

After checking prices on a number of things, I ultimately settled primarily on these Tamashii Buddies figures.

I’m not 100% on how I feel about them…but whatever the case, I really like the way they look! I just wish they had figures for the other original Rangers–Black, Blue, Yellow. Based on the box art and the "look what else you can buy!" stuff, these are it…at least for what had made its way into Toys R Us.

These are from two different TRU stores–the one did not have Lord Zedd while the other, as it turned out, had all 5. Of course, I only "needed" Zedd when I went into the second store.

I wound up walking out with my second-largest single TRU purchase (price-wise) of my life (which I’ll likely post about some other time, along with the first).

Anyway…these are the latest additions to my Power Rangers collection…I just need to figure out the shelf arrangement to include them!

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Avengers Hot Wheels and Shelf Displays Update

This comes a couple weeks later than intended, but that’s just how things are!

At a Walmart, I’d come across another bin of Hot Wheels cars. Much as with several previous Marvel waves, I was able to find the entire numbered series, and given the small price point each (all 8 for less than the price of two Marvel comics), I went ahead and bought them.

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These were numbered 1 through 7 of 7…and then the Infinity Gauntlet car was unnumbered. Of course, had I only bought one, I definitely would have gone with that. Only two, and I’d’ve gone with that and #4; three I’d have gone with that and #s 4 & 5.

As usual, these are kinda neat, spotlighting the Avengers through history. As I was primarily into them for Heroes Reborn and Heroes Return, #s 4 & 5 are my favorite here because of the cards!


And with this as a bit of a filler post–new content weekdays–here’s an update to the toy shelves/displays!

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On top is the bulk of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers collection.

Then the TMNT (’80s/’90s) villains; then TMNT (’80s/’90s) "good guys" (non-turtles).

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On the other side, the Power Rangers extend on over at the top, joining an AT-AT and Fin Fang Foom.

Below that’s the Superman shelf.

And finally, the newest shelf, with the Doomsdays and then mostly ’90s-ish miscellaneous figures.

I’d intended to do a similar display for my Marvel Legends, but they won’t fit, doing the three-tier, so I’m going to have to figure out something else!

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More Recent Toys (As Of February 13th)

I’ve been accumulating some new toys lately. So, I’ll keep showing ’em off, whether or not I get to any lengthier "spotlights" on any of them.

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Several weeks back, I finally "gave in" and bought a blind-box of the Disney Afternoon Mystery Minis. I got Shere Khan from TaleSpin, I believe a Toys R Us exclusive for the set. Initially, I wasn’t all that thrilled, but he’s grown on me…especially as I liken this version to the mid-’80s Lex Luthor. I’ve got this at my desk at work, and have yet to hear any complaint!

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The mini I especially wanted from the set was Darkwing Duck himself. However, for the price of these, I decided it’d be much more economical to just order the loose figure online. While it was more than I’d prefer to pay for any single one of these…it was cheaper than buying two more blind-boxes. And this way, I have a cool figure from the set in Shere Khan, and I have THE figure I most wanted. No dupes, no fuss.

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I did not know the Justice League Action Mighty Minis line had continued until I happened across several packs at a Half-Price Books. I bought two, and wound up with these two Supermen. Some sort of "gold variant" and a "holographic". Not overly keen on ’em (I especially wanted The Atom!) but they go on my Superman shelf, so…could be worse?

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While I’m totally hit or miss on actually keeping up with Twitter, one time that I was on, saw a post from FigureFan Zero about a deal at ThinkGeek for a Mirror Univers Spock figure, apparently usually in the $80 range, on sale for a ridiculously great price. I followed the link, liked what I saw, and ordered it. I especially like that the figure came with a base, though I have yet to figure out a semi-permanent place to display it. Of course, I’m having that issue with a lot lately…really need to get around to assembling some bookcases I bought last year.

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Then there’s my favorite of late, and the one I’m most excited to have (FINALLY!) managed to get: the Legacy Dragonzord! I’ve been wanting this for years (it’s been over 2 1/2 years since I got the White Tigerzord) and just happened across one being sold via Walmart‘s third-party stuff. While a lot more expensive than I wanted to spend at the time, it was (including shipping) roughly what I paid for the White Tigerzord, and about $10 under my "upper limit" that I’d set for myself for this awhile back. Here it’s pictured with an Imaginext Green Ranger.

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Here’s the plastic 2010 Megazord next to the White Tigerzord in robot mode (and the visor was down when I took the photo without realizing it).

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And here’s a shot of the Dragonzord with the White Tigerzord in Tiger mode.

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…And the three Zords together. I would not mind getting the Thunder Megazord…but that’s a BIT pricy right now…especially with some other expensive stuff I’m very interested in at present, amidst all my other spending with comics and such!

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I happened across some blind boxes of the Loyal Subjects Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in a clearance aisle, 75% off. I got the T-Rex Zord, Saber-Toothed Tiger Zord, Red Ranger, and Blue Ranger.

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The Zords came with these teeny-tiny ultra-miniature figures. I thought that was great, as it actually gives the Zords some scale! And I never imagined such tiny Ranger figures…with removable helmets and poseability themselves!

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Here’s the full-size Red Ranger…more articulation than the tiny-mini.

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And the Blue Ranger. The helmets have hinge/clasps, and remove to show the human face of the Ranger inside. Of course, I prefer the helmets on, as these are the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and I’m not going for the cartoony human side.


To say that I’m on a Power Rangers kick lately would probably be an understatement. And I’m rather amazed to see how my MMPR collection has grown in the last 12-13 months!

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