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 bullshit 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 – Shadow #1 - $3.99
By Si Spurrier and Daniel HDR
Dynamite's The Shadow has been a fun read from the beginning, but it looks like they are ready to push him to the next level. In a rousing tale that sees the shadow reawaken in modern times, Dynamite has crafted book that is as beautiful as it is provocative. This new chapter in the life is sure to be an exciting read, and I can't wait to pick up more issues.
Here's the solicit:
For the better part of a century the Shadow's sinister laughter brought the chill of fear to evil-doers - but in our modern times, the streets of Manhattan have gone largely silent. But he is not forgotten. Not by the people he's saved. Mary Jerez, is one of those people. The Shadow saved her from a horrifying school shooting - Mary knows all too well what evil lurks in the hearts of men. So when a horribly burnt man - incredibly strong and fierce, despite his terrible injuries- arrives under her care as a resident at the hospital - she believes she knows who he is, too. Is this mysterious man actually the Shadow - and with Mary's help, will evil-doers again know what it means to fear his terrible justice? Si Spurrier (X-Force, X-Men: Legacy, Judge Dredd) and Daniel HDR (Superman, Cyborg) bring the pulp icon into modern day in a tale full of deadly intrigue, gun-blazing action, and a study of the nature of evil!
Valiant Entertainment - Harbinger Renegade #6- $3.99
By Rafer Roberts and Juan Jose Ryp
Valiant gets a lot of flack for being too much like the Big 2, with all the events, crossovers, character deaths and variant covers you would expect. For a long time I was resistant to the idea of reading Valiant comics, but a lot of their recent work has turned me around. One of my favorite Valiant books of late is Generation Zero, and I was absolutely elated to find those characters appearing in Harbinger Renegade. Every time I pick up a Valiant book, I am impressed and Harbinger Renegade was no different.
Here's the solicit:
A HISTORIC HARBINGER MOMENT! After 'MASSACRE'?witness the brutal beginning of the Renegades' murderous new foe! At the height of the Dark Ages, one of the world's first psiots has made a terrible discovery: he is not alone. Lurking in the shadows, a mind as sadistic as it is powerful waits - a predator with a darkness so great, it will consume any rivals that dare reveal themselves. How will the secret of these legendary figures come to bear on the modern day...and how will it shape the catastrophic Harbinger War that is to come? 'MASSACRE' enters an insidious interlude revealing the origin of the Valiant Universe's greatest threat, as Harvey Award-nominated writer Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and incendiary artist Juan Jose Ryp (BRITANNIA) plot the next step in the road to HARBINGER WARS 2!
Image Comics- Redlands #1- $3.99
By Jordie Bellaire
Image has a huge share of the horror comic market already, and it's no surprise given the quality of the books they release. Redlands is a provocative supernatural thriller set in a small town in rural Florida on the verge of an assault by dark forces. As Halloween grows ever closer my interest in horror comics is sure to grow, so hopefully Image keeps up the pace.
Here's the solicit:
A brand-new horror book from the minds of Eisner Award-winner JORDIE BELLAIRE (PRETTY DEADLY, Vision, Batman) and critically acclaimed artist VANESA R. DEL REY (ZERO, Scarlet Witch, Constantine) brings you to the sleepy, sunny town of Redlands, Florida. The police are failing to maintain control of their old-fashioned town, and a coven of killer witches plan to take everything from them. This summer, hide your bibles.
Titan Comics – Quake Champions #1 - $3.99
By Ram V. and Alan Quah
From Dynamite comes a brand new comic based on the classic ID first person shooter series Quake as a tie in to the upcoming game Quake Champions. It was an enjoyably dark story focusing on soldiers in a dystopian future, and the story made for a very interesting read. The art in the book was impeccable, and this is sure to be a book worth recommending to any action junkie or any fan of Science Fiction military stories.
Here's the solicit:
TITAN COMICS TEAMS UP WITH BETHESDA SOFTWORKS TO PUBLISH BRAND-NEW COMICS BASED ON THE BEST-SELLING FRANCHISE, WHICH LEAD DIRECTLY INTO THE UPCOMING NEW GAME QUAKE CHAMPIONS. THE QUAKE CHAMPIONS COMIC IS A DIRECT PREQUEL TO THE NEW GAME AND ESTABLISHES THE CHARACTERS THAT WILL FEATURE IN THE EXPLOSIVE NEW GAME!
Pick of the Week: IDW Publishing - First Strike #1- $3.99
By Mairghread Scott and Max Dunbar
IDW's shared Hasbro Universe initiative has met with some mixed results so far, and I myself have been very critical. Imagine my surprise when I foud myself enjoying First Strike. While it has been a very long time since I last watched M.A.S.K. and have forgotten a lot about the series, I found this a very approachable book. In that regard I think the book does make an excellent jumping on point, and it is good to see Cobra returned as a major threat again.
Here's the solicit:
A Hasbro comic book event! As Earth joins the intergalactic community, a massive explosion threatens the peace! A new COBRA-led by the worst villains to ever tangle with G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., and the Transformers-is invading Cybertron and only Scarlett, Optimus Prime, G.I. Joe and the Autobots can save two worlds!' Bullet points: * The Hasbro comic book event of 2017 is here! * A perfect jumping on point for readers new and old! * An all-new explosive chapter in the Hasbro comic book line! Literally! There are explosions!
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.