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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science #1

Welcome to another installment of “Food or Comics?” Every week we set certain hypothetical spending limits on ourselves and go through the agony of trying to determine what comes home and what stays on the shelves. So join us as we run down what comics we’d buy if we only had $15 and $30 to spend, as well as what we’d get if we had some “mad money” to splurge with.

Check out Diamond’s full release list if you’d like to play along in our comments section.

Michael May

If I had $15:

As usual, I’d spend it on single issues. Starting with Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science #1 ($3.50), then picking up a couple of Moonstone books: Zeroids #2 ($3.99) and Return of the Originals: From the Vault – The Pulp Files ($1.99). I enjoyed the first issue of the genre-mashing Zeroids and have been looking forward to the next part of the story; From the Vault is sort of Moonstone’s version of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe or DC’s Who’s Who. I don’t know nearly as much about the classic pulp characters as I’d like, so I’m looking forward to the education. Next I’d check out IDW’s Dungeons & Dragons #1 ($3.99) to see if they’ve figured out how to do a good D&D comic. That brings me to $13.47.

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Food or Comics? | This week’s comics on a budget

House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2

House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2

If it’s Tuesday, it must be time for Food or Comics?, where every week some of the Robot 6 crew talk about what comics we’d buy if we were subject to certain spending limits — $15 and $30, as well as if we had extra money to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item. Check out Diamond’s release list to see what arrives in comic shops this week,then play along in our comments section.

JK Parkin

If I had $15 to spend:

Strange Tales 2 #1 ($4.99)
House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2 ($4.99)

Two $5 anthologies that should be well worth the asking price. Strange Tales II, the sequel to Marvel’s indie cartoonist anthology from last year, features new stories by Rafael Grampa, Kate Beaton, Frank Santoro, Dash Shaw, Jeff Lemire, Kevin Huizenga, Jhonen Vasquez and many more. House of Mystery Halloween Annual #2, meanwhile, features stories by folks like Mike Kaluta, Jill Thompson, Chris Roberson, Mike Allred, Matthew Sturges and Peter Milligan. Most notably, it has a new “Lucifer” story by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, which is the big draw for me personally.

Update: I received an advanced copy of this in the mail tonight, and saw that the Madame Xanadu story isn’t actually by Mike Kaluta and Jill Thompson, as was noted in the above-linked CBR story. No, the Madame Xanadu story is actually by Matt Wagner and Brandon Graham. And it is pretty awesome.

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Bruce Wayne’s long walk home takes him through eight one-shots

Bruce Wayne: The Road Home

Bruce Wayne: The Road Home

If you think Superman’s got some ground to cover, wait’ll you see how far Bruce Wayne has to go to get home. DC’s The Source blog reveals that October will bring Bruce Wayne: The Road Home, eight one-shots that will cover how Batman’s “protégés, allies and foes” react to his return.

“Bruce Wayne’s journey back home has been a long and dangerous road, but before he can assume the mantle of the Bat again, he must first figure out how things have changed in the world around him, how relationships have changed…and how those changes will effect his decisions moving forward as the protector of Gotham City,” said Batman Group Editor Mike Marts.

Although specific titles weren’t mentioned, the post did list the eight writers who are involved — Adam Beechen, Fabian Nicieza, Mike Barr, Pere Perez, Ramon Bachs, Marc Andreyko, Cliff Richards and Bryan Q. Miller — as well as some of the characters, including Dick Grayson, Damian, Birds of Prey, Red Robin and Commissioner Gordon. Each comic will feature a connecting cover by artist Shane Davis.

Cameron Stewart talks about leaving Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Cowboy Batman sketch by Cameron Stewart

Cowboy Batman sketch by Cameron Stewart

Yesterday, DC announced that frequent Grant Morrison collaborator Cameron Stewart has been replaced by Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight artist Georges Jeanty on the Western-themed fourth issue of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. Post-solicitation creative-team changes are a dime a dozen at DC, but this is certainly one of the more high-profile examples of that kind of switcheroo I can think of. Amid all the say-it-ain’t-sos, Stewart took to his blog to offer a fairly circumspect summary of the situation:

Unfortunately, several weeks back I was forced to make the difficult decision to leave the book. It was a decision that I struggled with, but sadly conditions were such that I felt that my work would be drastically compromised and subpar should I stay on board, and so I felt that it was best that I walked away. I’d like to extend big thanks to my editors for trying to do whatever they could to make it possible for me to stay, but in the end it just wasn’t happening.

Stewart added that the only thing he’d drawn for the issue was the cover and a sketch or two, so the final product will be all Jeanty. He also promised a big announcement at the San Diego Comic-Con regarding a popular property he and Karl Kerschl will be working on. So while fans of his Bat-work (like me!!!) are no doubt disappointed, there are at least a few more Cam jams coming down the pike.

Straight for the art | Cameron Stewart’s Wild West Bruce Wayne

Bruce Wayne by Cameron Stewart

Bruce Wayne by Cameron Stewart

On his blog, artist Cameron Stewart shares some preliminary sketches of cowboy Bruce Wayne. Stewart will draw the third issue of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, featuring the time-hopping lead character in the Wild West.

Bonus: Chris Sprouse’s variant cover to issue #1

DC rolls out final two Return of Bruce Wayne covers

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #5

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #5

DC Comics unleashed today the final two covers for its Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries. Featuring art by Andy Kubert, the covers for issue five and six feature the most familiar renditions of Batman yet — Detective Batman and Superhero Batman.

See the first issue here, issue two here, and issues three and four here. Issue six is available after the jump.

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Pirate, Cowboy Batman on ‘Return of Bruce Wayne’ covers

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #3

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #3

DC Comics revealed the final next two covers for its Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries today; above you’ll see the cover to issue #3, and after the jump you can find the cover to issue #4. (Update: It’s actually a six-issue mini, so we still have two more to go).

You can also check out the covers to issue #1 and issue #2 if you missed them; all of them feature Andy Kubert drawing various historically themed Batmen, from a caveman to a cowboy.

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DC reveals Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2 cover

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2

On the heels of last month’s reveal of the cover to issue #1, DC Comics has released Andy Kubert’s cover to the second issue of the upcoming Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries. Written by Grant Morrison, it looks like Bruce will be huntin’ some witches …

Straight for the art | Two Bat previews from DC Comics

DC Comics posted two images yesterday related to two of the Bat titles … first up, here’s Andy Kubert’s cover to the first issue of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne:

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

But wait, there’s more! Here’s a double-page spread from Detective Comics #861 by Jock, who is working with Greg Rucka on the next story arc:

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