Does "Hellboy in Hell" Finale Signal the End of Mike Mignola's Time With the Character?
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15, I’d mostly grab the second issues of some DC stuff I enjoyed last month: Batman ($2.99), Birds of Prey ($2.99), and especially Wonder Woman ($2.99). No Justice League for me though. Unlike Action Comics, I didn’t enjoy the first issue enough that I can rationalize paying $4 for it. Instead, I’ll grab Avengers 1959 #2 ($2.99) and Red 5’s Bonnie Lass #2 ($2.95), both of which had strong first issues.
If I had $30, I’d have to put back Bonnie Lass and wait for the collection in order to afford Jonathan Case’s atomic-sea-monster-love-story Dear Creature ($15.99).
If I had some splurge money, I’d likely grab the first issues of the 30 Days of Night ongoing ($3.99) and John Byrne’s Cold War ($3.99) as well as Dark Horse Presents #5 ($7.99). And if I had lots of extra money, I’d take First Second’s Nursery Rhyme Comics ($18.99) and Orcs, Volume 1: Forged for War ($17.99) too. I’ve already read Nursery Rhyme Comics and it’s wonderful; I’m curious to see if Orcs can redeem those creatures from the ennui I feel about them from growing up with Tolkien and D&D. If it was anybody but First Second publishing it, I don’t think I’d give it a chance.
If I had $15 this week, the first thing I’d make a run for in the store would be Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes #1 (IDW, $3.99), Chris Roberson and Jeffrey Moy’s mash-up of two of my favorite SF series and something I have been embarrassingly looking forward to since its original announcement. I’m also finding myself obsessed with Fear Itself #7 (Marvel, $4.99), for slightly different reasons; after a year in which the climaxes of both Flashpoint and Schism underwhelmed, I just want Fear Itself to go out with a bang. Talking of underwhelming, I wasn’t completely on board with the first issue of DC’s new Justice League, but I’ll be picking up #2 (DC, $3.99) to see what happens next nonetheless, and seeing if things improve.
If I had $30, I’d continue my Legion of Super-Heroes love with DC Comics Presents Superboy’s Legion #1 (DC, $7.99), the latter a collection of an Alan Davis/Mark Farmer Elseworlds series that I’ve never read. I’d round out my purchases with another DC $7.99 reprint book – I have money left from the original $15, honest – and grab Vertigo Resurrected: The Eaters (DC, $7.99), which brings a Peter Milligan horror story from the early ’90s back into print for the first time in far, far too long.
If I were going to splurge this week, I could be persuaded to grab Marvel’s 15-Love TP ($14.99), based upon surprisingly good reviews of the mini. I admit, “tennis manga done by American and European creators” doesn’t sound like a great idea to me, but some of those reviews really sold it to me.
If I had $15: Butcher Baker, Candlestickmaker #4, the latest issue of the last of The Boys spin-off mini-series would be my first grab. I might also pick up the fourth issue of the newspaper anthology Pood, which, with this issue, features the work of Joe Staton.
If I had $30: Well, I’ve been long intrigued to read Alan Moore’s Neonomicon, especially since it generated such controversy and outright hatred. Now that it’s been collected in trade paperback it seems like I have a golden opportunity.
On the complete other end of the spectrum I feel obliged to point out that First Second’s Nursery Rhyme Comics anthology, which we highlighted via a series of interviews with contributors on the blog last week, is also out in stores. Even if you don’t have young children at home, it’s a pretty boss book.
Splurge: Let’s see, there’s Vol. 16 of Tezuka’s Black Jack (and it’s always nice to see that’s continuing along) as well as MetaMaus, the “DVD features” companion to Art Spiegelman’s Maus that comes with an actual DVD and (I think) is thicker than the work it references.
But if you really want to splurge, you gotta go for The Metabarons Ultimate Collectors Slipcase edition. $130 gets you all of Alexandro Jodorowsky and Juan Gimenez’s trippy, multi-generational sci-fi epic. Get it for the Eurocomic nerd in your life.
If I had $15, my first purchase would be Jason Aaron’s Wolverine #17 (Marvel, $3.99). Re-teaming with his original Wolverine collaborator Ron Garney, this one is billed as a post-Schism tale but the shadows of the last story arc of the title itself cast longer on the series to me. Next up would be Wonder Woman #2 (DC, $2.99), because I’m really interested to see Azzarello explore the mythological worldview that Diana inhabits. Lastly would be the de facto anthology of record in comics currently, Dark Horse Presents #5 (Dark Horse, $7.99). This issue promises a short by Eric Powell about a suicidal space robot, so what’s not to love.
If I had $30, I’d double-back and get the finale of Fear Itself #7 (Marvel, $4.99). Although the writing hasn’t lived up to my expectations compared to previous events or previous work by Matt Fraction, I still enjoy Stuart Immonen’s work here and am interested to see what he pulls out for the final issue. After that I’d get the under-the-radar OGN by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Juan Santacruz – Book Smart (Kickstart, $8.99). This is out of the poorly publicized line of titles that the film company Kickstart is doing in comics, but the stories are strong as is the creators involved.
If I could splurge, I’d splurge all over the Metabarons Ultimate Collection Slip Case (Humanoids, $129.95). Sure I have most of these in earlier editions, but by adding this to my bookshelf I can give away those older ones and spread the love. That’s validation, right? You’ll back me up with my wife when I spent $130 on comics I already have, right? Right?