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!
Dark Horse Comics – Predator Hunters #1 - $3.99
By Chris Warner and Francisco Ruiz Velasco
Dynamite's pulling out all the stops on their new Predator comic, not only taking it back to the basic formula that the older comics did so well under, and also taking it a new direction. The government is responding to the hostile invasion the way it should have been handled a long time ago; By building an elite team of surviving "Hunters" to go after the Predators wherever they may appear. Assembled entirely from the ranks of "Sole Survivors" from previous Predator stories (And perhaps a few new), Dark Horse appears set to deliver on a deadly game of cat and mouse... But who's the cat in this scenario? I can't wait to pick up more issues of this fun read.
Here's the solicit:
Space aliens have been coming to Earth for centuries-but not with any message of brotherhood or peace. They're here to hunt the toughest, most dangerous humans they can find. Only now their former prey have teamed up against them. Predators, watch your backs! o Written by Predator comic series veteran Chris Warner! o Art by Francisco Ruiz Velasco. o Covers feature special metallic ink!
Aftershock Comics – Pestilence #1 - $3.99
By Frank Tieri and Oleg Okunev
From Aftershock Comics comes a stunning look at a parallel earth where the Black Death was no mere disease; it was in fact a Zombie Epidemic. The Art was some of the most impressive I've seen, and gave the fight scenes a sense of vitality that is missing from other comics. As Zombies threaten to consume the world, a small band of crusaders are tasked with rooting out the corruption infecting the Catholic Church. Can they stand against the swelling horde of Zombies threatening all of Europe?
Here's the solicit:
NEW SERIES! It's the late 14th Century, and a Great Pestilence-the 'Black Death'- is sweeping across Europe, killing over 100 million people. BUT, what if history as we know it was a lie? What if, in reality, this was no straightforward plague, but the FIRST non-recorded Zombie Infestation of man? Ex-Crusader Roderick Helms and his fellow 'black ops' agents the Church, Fiat Lux, must seek out the cause of this undead outbreak and vanquish it before mankind ceases to exist! Written by the master of violence, gore, and mayhem, Frank Tieri (Marvel vs Capcom, Wolverine, Deadpool), with spectacular art from Disney illustrator, Oleg Okunev, and covers by Eisner Award-nominated artist Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher, Hellblzer)!
Dynamite Entertainment - Project Superpowers Hero Killers #1 - $3.99
By Ryan Browne and Pete Woods
From Dynamite comes a fantastic and hilarious look at the world of super-heroes set in the fictional city of Libertyville which had a crime problem so bad the mayor offered a cash incentive for superheroes to solve them. Soon enough they had more superheros than they knew what to do with, and vagrant superheros filled every unemployment line. When three child sidekicks decide to get away from their dickhead masters and strike out on their own, what lengths will they go to protect their income?
Here's the solicit:
Welcome to Libertyville U.S.A.! Home of too damn many superheroes! Watch out, crime, here comes Captain Battle Jr.! And Sparky! And Tim! Yeah, you know?Tim! What? You've never heard of them? Huh. Well, it's hard to be a sidekick when there is a city full of capes running around stopping every misdemeanor with a spandex wrapped flourish. Now watch as things get weird when three lad companions (totally not weird) try to get to the criminals before their bosses do! From the insanity-riddled minds of Ryan Browne (God Hates Astronauts) and Pete Woods (Robin, Deadpool). Prepare to feel the wrath of Tim!
Oni Press – The Damned #1 - $1.00
By Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt
Next up is a new horror comic from Oni Press written by, you guessed it, Cullen Bunn. It looks like he's come up with a really unique idea this time, and set his new horror comic in an alternate prohibition where the crime families involved were secretly ruled by demons from the shadows. Eddie's simple life as a club owner is about to be upset when an old friend comes to town off a gambling hot streak, and with a mysterious artifact in tow. When the balance of power is upset, how will the ensuing chaos interfere in the life of a man who cannot die?
Here's the solicit:
'Ill-Gotten': Part 1-In a Prohibition-era world where demonic princes pull the strings that make crime families dance, Eddie is a mortal with two things working for him. First of all, he can't die. Well, he can and does, quite often, but he doesn't stay down for long. Second, Eddie runs the Gehenna Room, a nightclub with a strict 'no demons allowed' policy. But blessings and curses don't look all that different these days, and failing to tell the two apart can get a guy killed-over and over again in Eddie's case. So when one of Eddie's old pals shows up seeking sanctuary, Eddie knows he's in for a double-cross, and that means walking the line between salvation and damnation once more.
Pick of the Week: Image Comics- Youngblood #1 - $3.99
By Chad Bowers and Jim Towe
Last but not least is a Youngblood reboot than I enjoyed far more than anyone should ever admit in public. Set in the aftermath of Youngblood's dissolution following a hacktivist group called The Bloodstream spreading scandals and rumors, ultimately ruining their reputation and causing the downfall of Image's premier super-team. As superpowered individuals continue to appear, new heroes have been stepping up to face the inevitable attacks of the supervillains using a phone app called "Help!" Now that these beginning heroes are starting to vanish without a trace, can the Shaft and Badrock form a new team that can redeem Youngbloods reputation?
Here's the solicit:
'YOUNGBLOOD REBORN,' Part One DEBUT ANNIVERSARY ISSUE! 25 years ago, YOUNGBLOOD launched the Image Revolution and turned the comics world on its head! Now the original blockbuster hit series returns with an all-new cast and a brand-new mission! When a young hero goes missing, his friend's search for answers leads to some unexpected allies. Together, they'll do whatever it takes to find him?even if it means resurrecting the world's most infamous super-team. Gear up, strap in, and get ready to rediscover comics' most extreme universe with creators CHAD BOWERS (X-Men '92, Deadpool: Bad Blood) and newcomer JIM TOWE!
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.