My new comics purchases on Thursday

Written: 5 January, 2001

I finally went to my local comics shop on Thursday, after not having gone there since December 7th. So I had around 3 weeks' worth of stuff waiting for me in my pull bag. I haven't had a chance to read any of it yet, but I thought I'd list here what I bought. I ended up spending $78.71 for all of it. (Thanks to the shop's "30% off on new comics" policy. Without the discount, my total would have come to $111.16.)

Looking over this, it's kinda neat that I ended up buying new issues of Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, since growing up as a kid back in the late 1970s/early 1980s, I considered those some of the main Marvel titles...the Gruenwald titles (I think that he was editor or assistant editor on those four back then).

I had to wait around 20 minutes at the shop, and my friend who works there offered me a stool so I could talk with him by the cash register, so I became one of those "comic shop guys" that sits around a comic shop talking about comics -- for 20 minutes anyway. I'd kinda always wanted to do something like that, to talk comics with other fans on "new comics day," but most shops I've been in have never really given me that opportunity before (i.e., I'd usually just buy my stuff and leave). I was able to see what a few people were buying as they came in for the new comics, and I saw that Hulk Smash #1 and a thing called "Spider-Man/Sentry" seemed popular.

Anyway, here's what I bought:

ALL-STAR COMICS #8 (DC, $3.95)
This Millennium Edition reprints the 1941 comic in which Wonder Woman first appeared.

THE ALL-STAR COMPANION trade paperback (TwoMorrows, $19.95)
This 200+ page book was edited by Roy Thomas and features an index of every issue of All-Star Comics and is jam-packed with little bits of info and illustrations. In fact, it has more of a "scrapbook" look than I'd anticipated. But if you love the Golden-Age JSA or All-Star Squadron, then you'll want this book.

AMERICA'S BEST COMICS Special #1 (DC/ABC, $6.95)
I'd normally not get something that costs this much, but I've been really impressed by the ABC line. They are among the few comics that I buy currently that I've tried to interest non-comicfans with.

AVENGERS #37 (Marvel, $2.25)
Part 2 of Steve Epting's guesting on the book, before Alan Davis takes over. I enjoyed Epting's art this year on Aquaman, and it was generally good here as well, but I didn't like how the inking was so dark. I would have preferred that his Aquaman inker would have inked this as well -- maybe then it wouldn't have looked so dark.

BATMAN #1 (DC, $3.95)
This Millennium Edition reprints the 1940 debut issue. I already have a "tabloid-size" reprint of this from the 1970s, but it's kinda in tatters now, so this is a good replacement for it.

BONE #40 by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books, $2.95)

CAPTAIN AMERICA #37 (Marvel, $2.25)
I want to see how Cap gets out of this spot, in this issue (I haven't read it yet). I recall last issue, Protocide responded to Cap helping him by throwing Cap into a pit of lava, out of which there could be no escape.

THE COMICS JOURNAL #229 (Fantagraphics, $5.95)
This issue features an interview and lotsa art by long-time (and now, former) Archie artist, Dan DeCarlo.

The Lee-Kirbyesque mini-series by Erik Larsen & friends. Looks like good old-time fun.

IRON MAN #36 (Marvel, $2.25)
This actually came out last month, I think, but I wanted to get it because it's by the guest creative team of Chuck Dixon and Paul Ryan. Too bad the cover art is all goofy looking, like stuff from the old "Teen Tony" era.

KILLRAVEN by Joe Linsner (Marvel, $2.99)
I decided to get this one-shot after reading a review of it on another board.

In this issue's letters page, Mike Allred says this is the "last issue of Madman Comics as we know it," and it looks like he is going to concentrate on The Atomics for now, instead of doing any more Madman solo comics. I actually prefer The Atomics to Madman, so I'm not complaining.

Final issue of the mini-series by Stern, Byrne, & Milgrom. Some panels showing Captain America in this issue. Stern & Byrne had done one of the all-time great Cap runs back around 1980.

MEASLES #7 (Fantagraphics, $2.95)
I fear that this all-ages B&W anthology is a little too indiefied and artsy for the younger readers that it is presumably intended for.

MIDNIGHT NATION #4 (Image/Top Cow, $2.50)

PROMETHEA #12 (DC/ABC, $2.95)

THE SHADOW #1 (DC, $2.50)
This Millennium Edition reprints the 1973 comic by Denny O'Neil and Mike Kaluta.

STEVE DITKO'S 160-PAGE PACKAGE (self-published, $13.00)
This is Volume 3 in Ditko's current Package series, and this particular volumes consists of B&W reprints of twenty "ghost" stories that Ditko drew for Charlton during the 1970s. It also includes a foreword by Joe Gill, and a brief foreword written by Ditko about Gill. I'd written an article about Ditko's 1970s Charlton work for the fanzine "Ditkomania" a few years ago, and I see that four of the stories that I cited in the article were included in this volume. I was glad to see that because I felt that some of them -- particularly "The 9th Life," which closes the volume -- were hidden gems.

SUPERBOY #1 (DC, $2.95)
This Millennium Edition reprints the 1949 comic which was the first all-Superboy comic. As a big fan of the pre-Crisis Superboy, this is a comic I've dreamed of owning and I'm really glad that DC finally has reprinted it. There's also a page at the back giving additions and corrections to the credits info that has appeared in the other Millennium Edition reprints.

SUPERBOY #83 (DC, $2.25)
Haven't read this yet, but just judging by a flip through the pages, looking at the art, I'm wondering if I'll be dropping this title soon... This is the first issue by the new creative team of Joe Kelly and Pascual Ferry. And Superboy gets a new costume.

THOR #32 (Marvel, $3.50)
Got this in my pull bag by accident -- I want to get the upcoming Thor Annual -- but decided to get it anyway since it's a "100-Page Monster" is bound to have some old stuff I haven't read before, plus a new story to see what Thor is like now.

TOM STRONG #11 (DC/ABC, $2.95)


WAR AGAINST CRIME #11 (Gemstone, $2.50)
Reprints the 1950 EC comic. This is the "last issue of the last of the EC comics on Gemstone's production schedule." *Sob!* I've been buying these Gemstone reprints since I started buying new comics again (in 1997), and I'm really going to miss these great-looking, affordable reprints of old obscure non-superhero comics. It's too bad more people didn't buy these comics (yes, I'm looking at all of YOU, even those of you who claim to be fond of old comics or claim to want more variety of genres in comics!). I'm still hoping that maybe someday Gemstone's reprint line will return.

WONDER WOMAN #165 (DC, $2.25)
I just started picking this title up again last issue, when I heard Phil Jiminez was doing the art (and plotting). I'm not crazy about this Batman-related storyline so far, but I'm sure things will pick up later and eventually there will be some stand-out issues in this run, provided Jiminez stays with it.

X-MEN: THE HIDDEN YEARS #16 (Marvel, $2.50)
Byrne inks himself this issue, instead of Tom Palmer.

* And I got the following semi-newish issues for 50 cents each:

Part Four (of five) of the arc penciled by Marshall Rogers. So far I've managed to get parts 1-3 in the 50 cents boxes, too. Hoping I can get Part 5 that way, too -- as well as the newish Paul Gulacy-drawn Bat-arc, in whatever Bat-title that is in.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #11 (Marvel; Nov. 2000)
Got it because I noticed that the issue was penciled by Jim Starlin and inked by Al Milgrom!

DETECTIVE COMICS #750 (DC; Nov. 2000)
Cover price on this one was $4.95 because it's 64 pages. Has a lead story which is mainly in B&W except for shades of green (I remember when Ms. Tree did this sort of thing and I hated it, but somehow it works OK on Batman), and a color backup story.

FANTASTIC FOUR #35 (Marvel; Nov. 2000)
Cover-price on this comic was originally $3.25 -- I think because of the gold ink used in the logo! Anyway, it's the FF -- though not done in the old-time style that I'd like -- so I figured I'd get it. I still have a little stack of FFs from last year or so that I'd gotten in the 50-cent boxes and figured I'd get so I could keep up with the new FF series despite being unable to stomach buying them new at cover-price. But I still haven't even gotten around to reading the ones I bought in the 50-cent boxes...

MARVEL KNIGHTS #4 (Marvel; October 2000)
I'd probably be buying this series new if it wasn't $2.99 and if it didn't seem so dark or something.

THUNDERBOLTS #44 (Marvel; Nov. 2000)
This was part of the recent Avengers cross-over, with Count Nefaria. I'd read the Avengers parts a couple months back, now I get to read the Thunderbolts half. (Because I decline to buy this title new due to the less-than-satisfying art style, IMO.)

And there you have it: my comics purchases from Thursday. I have a lot of reading to do!