Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Welcome to the very last Food or Comics. Next week our new-release picks will take a different format, but this week we’re still talking about what comics we’d buy at our local 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.
Let’s be honest, if I had $15, I’d make sure that Batman Incorporated #8 (DC Comics, $2.99) was first on my list. Not because of any controversy — I’ve been enjoying the series all along — but because I’d be worried it’d sell out if I waited. I’d also grab two Dynamite books: Jennifer Blood #23 and Masks #4 (both $3.99); Al Ewing has done just insane, amazing things on the former, and the Chris Roberson/Dennis Calero team on the latter is just killing it.
If I had $30, I’d find myself time traveling to all the weeks prior in which I didn’t use all $30 to borrow a dollar from past-me, just so that I could get Showcase Presents Justice League of America, Vol. 6 (DC Comics, $19.99), which takes the series firmly into the 1970s and brings the team face to face with villains including the Shaggy Man, Amazo and countless other favorites of my childhood.
Should I have some splurging left in me after that nostalgia-fest, I’d likely go for the Judge Anderson: PSI Files, Vol. 3 collection (Rebellion, $32.99), which picks the series up just after I’d dropped off the 2000AD radar for awhile, and hopefully gives me the chance to get back into the character, now that I am firmly into Thrill Power again.
If I had $15, I ‘d start things off with Prophet #34 (Image, $3.99). What’s going on? I’m not quite sure, but I’m fine with wherever Brandon Graham and Simon Roy take me here. Prophet is the best theme park ride ever. Next up I’d get The Massive #9 (Dark Horse, $3.50), which feels like it could be the end of an arc for me and the beginning of something else. Callum Israel has really emerged from the large cast to become a great, nuanced character, and I hope we’ll see more of him moving forward. Third this week for me would be Hawkeye #8 (Marvel, $2.99), which looks to further cement David Aja as one of the great comics artists of our time. And finally, I would get Young Avengers #2 (Marvel, $2.99), because more Gillen and McKelvie is always a good thing.
If I had $30, I’d double back to my local comic shop for one more thing: Nemo: Heart of Ice (Top Shelf, $14.95), by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. Criminally under-promoted and misunderstood by fans due to the weight of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, this is Moore and O’Neill taking on Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo as a prestige-format graphic novel.
And if I could splurge one last time, I’d go out on a limb and try District 14 (Humanoids, $39.95) by Pierre Gabus and Romuald Reutimann. I know nothing about the creators or the book save what’s in the solicitation, but it sounds like a super-team made up of early 20th -century comic strip heavyweights, from Little Orphan Annie to Dick Tracy. Sold.
If I had $15, as this is the last week my hypothetical self will ever have $15 to spend on comics (or food, I guess), I’d start with two comics (along with Daredevil and Saga and probably some others I’m forgetting) that have served as the patron saints of this feature, Hawkeye #8 (Marvel, $2.99) and Batman Incorporated #8 (DC Comics, $2.99). Not only are they really good, but they’re also on the less-expensive side of the pricing spectrum these days. Next I’d grab two first issues — Five Weapons #1 (Image, $3.50) and Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #1 (IDW, $3.99). Respectively, they feature the work of Jimmie Robinson and Roger Langridge, so they should be worth checking out.
If I had $30, I liked Young Avengers #1, so I’d grab the second issue ($2.99) as well as Issue 5 of Avengers Arena ($2.99). Both feature Marvel’s younger heroes in two very different settings/tones. Next I’d get Uncanny Skullkickers #1 (Image, $3.50) — hey, first issue! It’s sure to be a collector’s item. Finally, I’d pick up Deathmatch #3 (BOOM! $3.99), which, as I said last month, is a lot of fun and better than I was expecting given the premise.
Splurge: I’d skip the comic shop and take Graeme, Michael, Brigid, Chris, Corey and Chris out to dinner for all their hard work on this feature over the past few years. It’s been fun, gang!
If I had $15, my first choice would be Nemo: Heart of Ice, Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s latest entry in their League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. Although I haven’t been thoroughly enthused with the some of the recent LOEG stories, I’m pretty much down for whatever Moore and O’Neill have planned, and the idea of a one-shot starring Captain Nemo’s daughter (last seen in 1901 and now exploring Antarctica circa 1925) is mighty appealing.
If I had $30, I’ve stuck it out this far on Batman Inc it seems silly not to pick up #8, even if the big surprise isn’t that much of a surprise by this point. With my extra money I’d likely pick up one of the many all-ages Eurocomics volumes British publisher Cinebook is putting out this week. Perhaps a Lucky Luke? I’ll close my eyes and blindly settle on Emperor Smith. Yes, that will do.
Splurge: It’s been several decades since the critically acclaimed, Depression-era tale Kings in Disguise was first released. Now creators James Vance and Dan Burr have finally produced a sequel, On the Ropes, which finds young Fred Bloch traveling with a WPA circus amidst some rather serious labor unrest. I’ve never read Kings, but grabbing that and Ropes this week seems like a perfect one-two punch to close out this final installment of FoC with.
This is a weird week for me because if I only had $15, I wouldn’t spend it on single-issue comics at all, but instead Nemo: Heart of Ice ($14.95). I like Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s version of Nemo better than I like Jules Verne’s, and this 48-page one-shot sounds more pulpy and accessible than the last few installments of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Can’t wait to try it out.
With $30, I still wouldn’t buy single issues; rather, I’d check out the adventures of another classic nautical hero with Xavier Dorison and Mathieu Lauffray’s Long John Silver, Volume 1: Lady Vivian Hastings ($13.95). It’s one of those Cinebook volumes Chris mentioned, and it’s about one of my favorite characters from literature. It’s hard not to buy monthlies, but even more difficult to pass this up.
If I could splurge, I’d like to say that I’d finally spend some money on some great-looking periodicals like Amala’s Blade #0 ($2.99), Hawkeye #8 ($2.99), FF #4 ($2.99), Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #1 ($3.99) … the list goes on and on. But I’m kidding myself if I say I’m grabbing those while Long John Silver, Volume 2: Neptune ($13.95) is sitting there waiting for me to finish Volume 1. Hey, I’m splurging though. I can get it all!
If I had $15, I’d start with The Massive #9 ($3.50), by Brian Wood and Garry Brown, for some good environmental-apocalypse comics, and The Unwritten #46 ($2.99), by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, for some good literary-referencing comics. Then to lighten things up I’d get Uncanny Skullkickers #1 ($3.50), by Jim Zub and Edwin Huang, and The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #1 ($3.99), by Roger Langridge and Jason Bone, for some high-energy adventure and comedy. That would leave me with a dollar to get Tic Tacs. I don’t know, can you still get Tic Tacs for $1? With tax, probably not. With California tax, I’d probably have to put three of those comics back, but let’s pretend I’m in New Hampshire.
If I had $30, I’d put it all back and just get Pantalones, TX: Don’t Chicken Out ($19.95), by Yehudi Mercado. This looks like absolute silliness, and Archaia’s books are always a work of art, so I’m sure it’ll be a treat. That would still leave me with some money, so I’d also get Joe Kubert Presents #5 ($4.99), by Joe Kubert, Paul Levitz, Sam Glanzman, Brian Buniak and whoever else for some of the last artwork of the master. Then I’d top it off with Witch Doctor: Malpractice #4 ($2.99), by Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner, so I can stock up on some good nightmare imagery for Wednesday night. And some more Tic Tacs.
For my splurge item, I’d get each member of the Food or Comics crew an ice cream sundae for so warmly welcoming me into the proceedings for the last few weeks, and to everyone that has read and commented. That’s a lot of ice cream.