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The Weekly Haul: Week of December 1, 2021

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Another week, another post, and…holy crap was this another ridiculously-huge week!

Let’s get into it…

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Three X-books. Trial of Magneto, Marauders, and New Mutants. All in one week.

Then the nearly-weekly Amazing Spider-Man, which despite a major shift in status quo, creative team, frequency, and even logo somehow managed to keep its "original numbering" for THIS volume. (Probably cuz someone at Marvel has their eye on the first #100 in YEARS!).

Speaking of "someone at Marvel," the Phoenix seems to have been "stolen" from the X-Realm…but I’m still getting this Phoenix Song Echo because of the Phoenix being an X-thing, even though I SHOULD–by rights–ignore it as an Avengers family title. But speaking of the big A…giant issue. And with some others of late…and getting much more back into Marvel in general as I’m increasingly disgusted with DC…well, I bit with the huge anniversary #50/#750.

I’ve got high "hopes" for The Marvels despite not having actually READ any of the issues yet. I tracked down the early issues "recently" so now it’s a "keep up and wait" game.

And somehow I got myself tangled up in Darkhold as well as The Death of Dr. Strange, so a couple tie-ins there.

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…and STILL another Marvel in Darkhawk, which I’m getting solely because of Kyle Higgins‘ name.

While I should just cut my losses, I still wound up grabbing the Hardware issue. Maybe I’ll just finish out these "season one" minis and let that be that. Of course, that assumes they even come out reliably with all the shenanigans with DC and Lunar and the whole printing/paper and supply chain crap at present.

New issue of Spawn. McFarlane publishes this title A DOLLAR CHEAPER than pretty much any other American comics publisher (outside of a couple of DC Scooby-Doo and maybe Looney Tunes and such titles). Not only that, but accompanying titles I believe are all $2.99. AND the Spawn titles all have these quality cardstock-y covers! I continue to vote with my dollar(s) buying these on principle for the price point!

IDW gives us a new issue of TMNT as well as some sort of one-shot behind-the-scenes Snake-Eyes: Deadgame thing. I’d gotten the mini in the Long Ago so grabbed this as well for completionary value.

New issue of Fire Power (I need to catch up on my reading). Snagged "the next issue" for The Magic Order 2, which means I have followed this second series an issue longer than the first. And while thinking of it like that, I’m kinda kicking myself for grabbing this issue. But being in a hurry on a lunch break…well, there ya go.

Also grabbed first issues for whatever King of Spies is (I think I grabbed this for Millar‘s name) and Maniacs of New York was snagged on strength of the publisher name. With my feelings against Boom and Valiant I’m glad to let Aftershock take their place…at least in MY buying. Even if I haven’t totally figured out what they’re all about, if they have a shared universe or if they’re just an Image "clone" or sorts.


This was a single-shop week; a one-shot purchase, with no collected volumes, no holiday spirit, nothing particularly special…but EIGHTEEN BOOKS..! That is absolutely NOT "sustainable" even for me, so I’ve GOT to figure out what I’m doing on that. Especially as I "try to support" some titles. I’m just one person, and weeks like this leave me (re) contemplating DCBS at least for some stuff. Current distribution/supply-chain woes being what they are, though, it’s hard to figure out which would be the better way to go.

December is a 5-Wednesday month…but one of those falls between Christmas and New Year which is traditionally an "off week." BUT as that STILL LEAVES the "normal" FOUR Wednesdays…this sure seemed like an awfully big one. C’est la vie I guess.

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A Wave of GI Joe

I actually (finally) completed the first wave of the Walmart-exclusive(?) "retro" GI Joe line!

I’m a total sucker for these, as I never really got "into" the brand as a kid. I consider my "official" intro to be September 2001 when (thanks to my friend Lonnie) I checked out the first issue of Devil’s Due‘s GI Joe comic series. I lapsed pretty quickly–initially–but wound up getting back into the series a couple years later, thanks in large part to Lonnie‘s purchase of Master & Apprentice #1 which I should have "picked up on" as I knew he already had it. As we walked outta the comic shop, he pulled it out of his bag and handed it to me.

I then followed the new (from Devil’s Due) stuff for years, and was definitely keen on the IDW continuation (by Larry Hama himself!) of the Marvel series–including original numbering.

I’ve long been much more interested in the story–and the idea of the story–than the toys; particularly given the relative lack of toys for me as an "adult collector" while wielding "adult money."

I bowed out on the GI Joe Classified line due to frustrations with Target-exclusives, price point, and all the crap around that.

These Walmart-exclusive figures have actually been attainable! AND they’re 1/3 cheaper than the larger figures, and hit more of a nostalgia button for me.

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Now, before anyone jumps on me for it–the Cobra Commander figure is–I believe–from a 25th anniversary line of retro-style figures; I bought it last summer because it was there and looked cool and, as it turns out, was a mere $2 more than these brand-new figures.

I believe there’s already a second wave of these, but it’s taken me months just to track these down–and I’ve had to "settle" for damaged packaging, both from the store and their online shipping, just to get these at all.

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I’m not overly impressed with the A.W.E. Striker…but I am with the H.I.S.S. Tank! I’m usually not really one for "vehicles" anymore, especially with lack of space to display ’em properly (a large part of so many toys remaining packaged lately is that I flat-out lack the open space/surface area to display stuff). But the retro packaging absolutely "sold" me on the tank. The Striker is more for the "completionist" in me.

It seems a shame that Playmates doesn’t have a "retro" TMNT line out right now. They’ve been putting out some limited box sets of the oldest base figures, but I’d be all over a bunch of the post-original-first-wave of TMNT same as I’m all over all these GI Joe figures…and vehicles. Let alone the Masters of the Universe line! (Which will, itself, be another post sometime).

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More Than Doubling my GI Joe Collection

full_stackThough I had limited exposure as a younger kid, I consider my true “introduction” to GI Joe to be the Image/Devil’s Due relaunch back in 2001 (as a friend pointed out, it was interesting timing, debuting September 12th, 2001).

Even letting the series go after a few issues, I got pulled back in for the Serpentor story around issues 22-25, and stuck around as Devil’s Due struck out on its own, its logo replacing the Image “I” on the covers. I was going to let it go again, but my friend suckered me with a copy of GI Joe: Master & Apprentice #1, and I was hooked through into the early few issues of America’s Elite before I did trail off.

I dabbled with jumping back in when the license moved to IDW (though I was rather irked at “losing” the Devil’s Due continuity and the property “starting over”). Of course, my aversion to $3.99-priced books led to my refusing to follow MULTIPLE ongoing series, and I lapsed.

Interesting as things seemed to be from “watching from the outside,” I just couldn’t talk myself into the investment, thinking “someday” I might get the paperbacks…but IDW‘s pricing on their paperback volumes rivals Marvel‘s these days in the “excessive pricing” area, so I’ve stuck to bargain bin finds.

I hit the figurative “jackpot” this week.

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I decided to flip through some issues in the bargain bin, despite a heavy week of “regular” new comics, and noticed a number of GI Joe comics, and figured hey, why not? Maybe I’d find a small run, a full story.

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After a handful of scattered issues, I noticed a bunch of issues of the GI Joe: A Real American Hero (ARAH) series (that continues the numbering from the classic Marvel series).

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As I was pulling these, the owner–still sorting through a collection–said something about maybe finding someone interested in all the GI Joe comics, which caught my attention…as if my mind had been read.

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So I wound up with most of the issues of ARAH from #162-190 or so…

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Most of the first year of the GI Joe relaunch from Cobra Civil War

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Most of the first year of the Snake-Eyes series…

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And most of the first year of the Cobra series from Cobra Civil War including the 2012 Annual.

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Given my interest in them, the rest of the GI Joe comics from the collection were held for me, and I picked them up Thursday. A scattering of ARAH issues, that filled in what I was missing, giving me a run of #162-191 (30 issues).

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What turned out to be the latter half of the GI Joe run from the Cobra Civil War era, giving me a full run of #s 0-21.

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The latter half of Snake-Eyes, which co-starred Storm Shadow for most of the latter issues, giving me a complete run of #s 1-21.

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And the latter half of Cobra, for a complete run of #s 1-21.

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I also wound up with both of the Infestation 2: GI Joe issues, a couple of the “classic” Image/Devil’s Due series, and the GI Joe: Retaliation Prequel, as well as early issues of the next relaunch of the franchise post-Cobra Civil War era…

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GI Joe #s 1-3 or so; GI Joe Special Missions #s 1-4 or so, and the first couple issues of GI Joe: Cobra Files.

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All told, just over 100 GI Joe comics–over $399.00 cover price–for just over $26. That’s less than the price of two PAPERBACK collections from IDW (or for that matter, Marvel).

Not a bad haul, and now I’m truly interested in the earlier issues of the pre-Cobra Civil War books, and might consider picking up the more current stuff. Of course, time will tell in the end…

Snake-Eyes: Declassified #6 [Review]

Quick Rating: Good!
Title: Untitled

An early Joe mission creates the Snake-Eyes readers were introduced to in the original G.I. Joe # 1…

snakeeyesdeclassified006Story: Brandon Jerwa
Pencils: Emiliano Santalucia
Colors: Jason Jensen
Letters: Brian Crowley
Cover Art: Emiliano Santalucia & Jeremy Roberts
Publisher: Devil’s Due

This issue wraps up the Snake-Eyes Declassified story, detailing in six issues the true "origin" of the man known to us only as Snake-Eyes.

This issue takes us into Snake-Eyes’ earliest days with the G.I. Joe team, and details the mission that largely shaped the character, particularly as he was first seen in the original Marvel series, way back in # 1.

As a reader who’s not terribly familiar with the character, I can say only that I enjoyed this issue, and that it seems to have certain elements I was aware of from flashbacks. Discussing the issue with a friend, it seems that not only this issue, but throughout the series, there have been scenes taken directly from those earliest issues, and given that, lends even more credibility/authenticity to this story.
After trauma in/surrounding his service to his country, Snake-Eyes has been through a lot, and has ultimately wound up on a "daring, highly-trained special mission force" where he can put his experience/training/abilities to good use. The Joes are sent on a rescue mission, but a mechanical failure with a helicopter leads to disaster, and in the midst of the disaster, several key things occur that close the gap between previous issues of this mini and the first issue of the Marvel series.

The art works very well here, conveying exactly what needs to be gotten across to the reader, including something as simple and subtle as the shifting of eyes in a 3-panel sequence at the beginning.
In the end, this story works very well as a story in and of itself–of a man’s trauma and the things he goes through as he deals with loss and hurt–but it also places into a single coherent chronicle the backstory to what is arguably one of (if not the) most popular characters of the G.I. Joe saga.

Though a "#6 of 6" is not necessarily the best jumping-on point, if you’ve followed this series thus far, I highly recommend getting this final issue. And if you’ve passe don the series–do consider checking out the TPB when it (inevitably) comes out.

Highly recommended.

Ratings:

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #156 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

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