When I was a younger man things were a lot different than they are now. Not all of it was for the better. As depressing as the internet can be it does make it easier for everyone's dirty little secrets to come to light. I don't miss that part, so much. But what I do miss is the way comics used to be priced. Back in the day, I could scrounge some change out of my Gran's couch cushions and take it to a local recycled bookstore that was renovated out of an opera house my family used to own. I would swagger through the front entrance tipping a derby at the doorman, and flashing a glint of silver between my fingers. The cashier nodded, and pressed a button under the register. A bookcase slid across the floor revealing an iron wrought staircase, and I descended it into what I always imagined was what used to be the orchestra pit under the theater. That is where I found what I desired: Rows and rows of white boxes filled with every comic book imaginable, illuminated by soft white light that somehow filled the entire room. A subtle series of bells sounded from an unseen source, and a single poster board said the words I would never forget "All comics $.25." It was a magical time, but unfortunately one that would not last.
Then quickly things changed, and comics were no longer $1.25. Suddenly they were $2.50 and came with a bullsht trading card I already had. Put a crappy Wolverine Hologram on the cover, and now they are $3.00. Make that cover two pages and it's $3.25. Make the Hologram 3D, and now the book is $3.50. The whole pricing point just kept getting worse and worse. At one point a comic book fan and affluent banker looked at me condescendingly through a monocle and said "Outrageous prices, you say? Perhaps if you would stop being so lazy and get a second job you could afford comics". Then he cackled like the Penguin and drove off in a Ford Escort trailing exhaust and laughter in his wake. Comic book fans all over cried out for a Champion. We needed a man so large in stature and girth that the truth could not escape the pull of the gravity of his conclusions.
We needed Jude Terror. For a time, things were good. Jude's Legendary "5 Comics for Under $5 Dollars" articles were a big hit. At the height of their power, they did something that no one thought was possible. Jude's article caused DC Comics to reduce their entire line below the $5 dollar pricing point. Maybe it had to do with something else, maybe not. But something inescapable changed in Jude. Someone offered him money, and suddenly he could afford $5 comics. The internet cried out for help again.
I answered that desperate call. Rising from the ashes of the success of Judas Terror, I give you the phoenix reborn! Welcome to ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT SAY NO TO $5 COMICS NOW!
Action Lab Comics - Infinite Seven #1 - $3.99
By Dave Dwonch and Arturo Mesa
From Action Lab comes an exciting new book that looks right up my alley. Infinite 7 looks like a fun action-comedy that takes a cold hard look at the genre and ridicules it mercilessly. From what I've read of the comic, it was a ton of laughs and I look forward to picking it up.
Here's the solicit:
For centuries, a secret world government has employed the INFINITE SEVEN, the world's greatest assassins to do their dirty work. The only way to become one of their members is to prove your worth by killing one of their members. But what happens when Anthony Zane, a teenage boy from the suburbs does just that? Action hero archetypes are reimagined in what is sure to be the blockbuster series of the year! NOTE: Covers D and E interlock with 5 covers to be released throughout the first arc to form a MASSIVE Infinite Seven Poster!
Titan Comics – Samurai: Brothers In Arms #6 - $3.99
By Jean-Francois Di Giorgio and Frederic Genet
Titan Comics is wrapping up Samurai: Brothers In Arms, and what an epic tale it was. A dark and violent story of war wrapped in a delicate cloak of exquisite art that walks a fine line between ugliness and true beauty. A shame to come upon a book of this quality on it's final issue, but better late than never. This definitely is something worth reading for the martial arts film enthusiast.
Here's the solicit:
As the epic adventure of Takeo and Akio draws to an end, their former teacher and guardian, Master Kaz?, sets out to help his young charges in their final challenge. But travelling to the land of Ogomo is far from simple, as bandits and loots wait round every bend...
Image Comics - Birthright #22 - $2.99
By Joshua Williamson and Andrei Bressan
I'm never one to pass up on a new fantasy comic, but I've grown to dread it a little bit. How much longer can my luck hold? Apparently, I am good as least until mid-February because this comic proved to be another interesting entrant into the genre. The book starts out much like Chronicles of Narnia, with our intrepid hero being spirited off to another world to be its prophesied savior. Returning home he finds only a year has passed for his family and they have fallen apart due to his father being accused of his murder. Once he returns, he reveals he must save earth from five war criminals that have escaped here. Is that truly the reason he returned, or is his goal far more sinister than he let on?
Here's the solicit:
As the Rhodes family prepares to storm Mastema's 'castle,' Mikey Rhodes is held prisoner within its deepest recesses, right where he wants to be until an old foe reemerges.
Dynamite Entertainment – John Carter The End #1 -$3.99
By Brian Wood and Hayden Sherman
Over a century old, John Carter of Mars is a former confederate soldier who went prospecting for gold in Arizona after the war came to an end. While hiding in a cave from Apache warriors, he appears to die but is instead transported to Mars, teeming with life, and brutal aliens. Despite my lukewarm feelings towards the movie, I am hoping for a more original and refined product out of this book.
Here's the solicit:
THE DEATH OF MARS! Centuries have passed and time has taken its toll. Conflict burns across the landscape of Barsoom. A war of supremacy and genocide at the hands of a brutal despot has brought the planet to the edge of collapse. A search party has finally located an aged John Carter and Dejah Thoris, living in quiet seclusion on a desert moon, in perpetual mourning for a lost son. How could they be Mars' last hope?
Pick of the Week: Aspen Comics – All New Fathom #1- $3.99
By Blake Northcott and Marco Renna
Michael Turner was a comics legend, and the whole world mourned his passing when he lost his battle with cancer in 2008. Fathom has always been an extremely popular series, once optioned for a film by James Cameron, but unfortunately Michael Turner's battle with cancer left the release schedule somewhat more spotty than he would have liked. While I was more familiar with his work on Witchblade, I was really excited to see this comic return.
Here's the solicit:
Dive back into the world of MICHAEL TURNER'S FATHOM in this great jumping-on point for new readers! ASPEN MATTHEW'S role in the brand new ASPEN UNIVERSE, spawning out of last summer's mega-event, Aspen Universe: Revelations, is larger than ever! Now, the preeminent heroine must navigate the treacherous divide between the humans and her ancestral people of The Blue-as well as the surprises in store for both races in this all-new FATHOM landscape where anything is possible! Nearly two decades of the best-selling series created by superstar artist, the late Michael Turner, have culminated in this all-new FATHOM adventure by Aspen's newest up-and-coming talents! Please join newcomers, writer Blake Northcott and artist Marco Renna, as they bring readers back under the surface into the world of The Blue, and everything you loved about FATHOM!
Remain ever vigilant in the face of certain unnecessary costs, True Believers! Did I miss something you think deserves to be mentioned? As always, let me know in the comments below.