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!
Dynamite Entertainment - James Bond #1 - $3.99
By Ben Percy and Rapha Lobosco
Dynamite is no stranger to movie properties and it's no surprise to me they know their way around the James Bond franchise. I'm very excited to read this one, because I find the idea of James Bond hunting down an assassin in a deadly game of cat and mouse. If it involves skiing in the french alps, my favorite Bond sequence, I'm totally in!
Here's the solicit:
Black Box Part One - Whiteout The next epic adventure for 007 kicks off in the snowbound French Alps, where Bond finds himself in the crosshairs of an assassin who targets other assassins. This is the first puzzle piece in a larger adrenaline-fueled mystery that will send Bond across the globe to investigate a digital breach that threatens global security.
Action Lab / Danger Zone – Brigands #5 - $3.99
By Ram V. and Rosh
Brigands follows the tale of Stilian Desault, a brigand headed for the gallows during the Inquisition. He is rescued from his dark fate, ending in a shallow grave by the Lord Inquisitor in exchange for hunting down a priceless artifact: The Myros Pendulum. Fraught with peril and danger around every turn, Stilian and his crew must recover the artifact at all costs.. even if it means starting a war.
Here's the solicit:
Events at the port-city of Cartaduan come to a head. One half of our heroes are trapped and the oth-er, powerless in despair. Overhead, The Myros Comet flies ever closer throwing the colour of blood into the sky. One last time into the fray. Stilian's black heart will be tested. Scores will be settled. New uneasy allegiances are forged and sharp reckonings arrive pointedly. The world awaits like a wolf at a meaty feast. Even as our heroes set out into unknown waters they must remember. Some blades were made for battle. Stay sharp or die.
Boom! Studios - Big Trouble Little China Escape New York #6 - $3.99
By Greg Pak and Daniel Bayliss
Hold on to your horses, folks, here comes the final issue of the greatest crossover story of all time! Well, maybe not greatest, but you've got to admit that this team up is high on your list. Having been summoned to the Escape From... version of Earth by an alternate Wang, Ol' Jack must team up with Snake Plissken and Alter-Wang to defeat the marauder hordes. Only Jack has an unexpected hitchhiker, Lo Pan himself. Armed with the spell to summon people from other dimensions, Lo Pan has something sinister in store for our heroes. I'm only about halfway through this myself, but it only takes a few lines of solicit to see how epic the ending is.
Here's the solicit:
Final issue! As the President unleashes his endgame on the world, it will take every good and bad guy Snake and Jack can find to keep the pillars of heaven from crashing down.
IDW Publishing – Animal Noir #1 - $3.99
By Izar Lunacek
Animal Noir is a new comic book that caught my attention, and it certainly was an interesting read. Boy, this book is dark, and I definitely do not recommend it for children. Set in a world where animals of all kinds have learned to coexist... barely, this comic is a dark look at the snuff porn industry.
Here's the solicit:
Anthropomorphic animals like you've never seen them before. It's Chinatown meets Animal Farm and just like the George Orwell classic Lunacek and Juren's animals are an allegory for today's world. Private Investigator (and giraffe), Immanuel Diamond - Manny to his friends - has been asked by his uncle - an influential judge -- to track down a prey fantasy movie. Adult films in this world are staged hunts where one animal eats another and the judge's wife starred in one that has been hidden (until now). Giraffe detectives, hippo mob members, prey-obsessed lions, street fighting elephants, and oppressed zebras are just part of this wild animal kingdom.
Pick of the Week: Boom! Studios– Rat Queens #1 - $3.99
By Kurtis J. Wiebe and Owen Gieni
This is an important book I've been looking forward to a long time. Rat Queens couldn't have ended on a more maddening cliffhanger. For months, I languished, waiting for the issue that would pick that story up exactly where it left off. Which is very unfortunate, because that's not what they did. Check out Rat Queens, back with a brand new story arc! But who cares, it's Rat Queens and it's back.
Here's the solicit:
'CAT KINGS AND OTHER GARYS,' Part One-NEW STORY ARC! The Rat Queens are back! Betty, Violet, Dee, Braga, and Hannah return! Palisade is still a rat-infested troll's ass, and everyone still hates Gary. It's been a while since the Queens have done a good slaughter, so join them as they get back to the basics of killing monsters and drinking away the profits! A fresh, soft reboot to the head for the Rat Queens with artist OWEN GIENI!
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.