New Comic Book Day pickups for September 04, 2019:
SPAWN 300: I haven’t read Spawn since the 90s, and I think I only have the first few issues at that. Three hundred issues is a monumental achievement for a title however, so I wanted to show some sort of appreciation for the milestone. I went with the 90s cover.
Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium 1: I know next to nothing about the old Legion of Super-Heroes, but I know it’s set in the future and somehow has Superman/Superboy in it, so that’s good enough for me. This may have been a “Hype Train” purchase.
Supergirl 33: I spent most of the spring and summer collecting back issues from the 90s. I got hooked on the Death of Superman story, which Supergirl was a part. Now that I’m starting to read current monthlies again, I’ve added Supergirl to my pile. I still need to catch up on the last couple of issues, but I’m liking what I’ve read so far.
I’ve been reacquainting myself with the world of comics over the last few months. I got heavily into Kirby’s New Gods and Mister Miracle first. Then I discovered the current Hawkman title. Then I discovered the older Hawkman/Hawkworld titles. Then, well, you get the idea.
I’ve also discovered I have way more shop options than I thought. I’ve been going to the Fantasy Shop and places like Half Price Books and Slackers to find comics in my area. Turns out, I have two hardcore comic shops within five minutes of my house. Add to that another shop near the community center I work out at (when I get around to it), and I’m pretty flush with options. It’s been fun visiting each while I’ve been hunting down specific issues.
One thing I never took much interest in until now are comic shop dollar bins. When I started getting back into comics several years ago, my opinion on back issues was one of quality. If I were paying roughly $3 each for back issues, then I wanted the best version possible. Dollar bins were where you found the beat up, yellowed books no one wanted. It was a crap shoot if books were bagged and in any kind of order.
Back in March, one of the local stores held a fifty cent back issue tent sale. I debated going because of this prejudice toward the dollar bins. I was looking for a specific New Gods issue though, so at the last minute I veered off in the direction with the mindset of spending twenty minutes max there.
Well, I found the issue I was looking for. I also found another thirty or so books, including almost the entire run of Mister Miracle from the late 80s. For fifty cents each, I didn’t care what condition they were in.
After that day, the floodgates opened. I started hitting every shop to dig through their dollar bins. That’s where I found a lot of old Hawkman books, old Thor books, old books I knew about but had never read. It was a gold mine and I was surprised these books were just sitting here…for a dollar each.
It’s a lot of drudgery looking through the disorganized mess that comes with the dollar bins, but it’s been a hell of a good time finding diamonds in the rough. I’m even looking forward to upcoming conventions specifically for their dollar bins.
It hit me early on in this new appreciation for the dollar bins: this is originally how I began collecting comics, specifically back issues. I had an allowance of six dollars. If my local shop (RIP Comics, Card and More) had two of the same back issue, one at forty cents and one at a dollar (prices were different back then), I’d almost always choose the forty cent option so I could stretch my allowance. Quality didn’t matter, the story did.
So that’s what I’m doing now and why I think I love it so much. Not only am I getting decent quality books for the most part, but most importantly I’m getting more for my money. It’s to the point now where I’m going back and catching up on a lot of 90s titles I missed and have cancelled most of my current titles. Comic books are $3-$4 an issue now. That’s three or four dollar books (more if I catch a fifty cent sale). Why wouldn’t I be stoked for that kind of return?
One of the things that kept me going while I was miserable in school was Teen Titans Go! I had a small interest in the cartoon for a few months, but watching a dollar showing of Teen Titans Go! to the Movies was just what I needed during a particularly nasty weekend of schoolwork. I don’t think I’ve had that much fun at a movie in quite some time.
In news that would probably only interest me, DC’s recent Rebirth storyline has brought Wally West back into continuity. After reading his entire run as the Flash a few years ago, I was pretty bummed when the New 52 erased him from the mythos. Now he’s back, and I almost cried when I read Rebirth number one.
The entire issue revolves around Wally trying to break out of the Speed Force to primarily warn the other heroes that something is coming that will affect everything they know. The problem is, no one remembers Wally when he pops in and out of the Speed Force. It takes an impassioned, though resigned, plea to Barry to finally make someone remember him. As a Flash obsessive, these few pages were exceptionally emotional. I wouldn’t say I shed real tears, but it certainly got misty for a few minutes.
Now I’m excited for what’s to come. I’m excited to have Wally back, even if it’s as a part of the Titans series. I’m excited to see how he gets his life back, how he gets Linda (his wife) back. Yes, I’m excited.
I’ve always considered myself to be a Marvel guy, even though The Flash is probably my favorite hero. Marvel had the grittiness that I felt DC lacked, especially growing up. Marvel had all the mutants in the various X books, and they had the Thunder God himself, Thor. I always felt DC was too clean, too good. All their heroes wore capes and spandex, while everyone at Marvel wore ammunition belts and dusters.
Over the last few years however, especially when I get into The Flash hardcore two summers ago, I’ve found myself gravitating toward the DC aesthetic more than Marvel. While there are still a few Marvel titles I follow (namely Moon Knight), my interest in the DC universe is growing. I’ve been reading through the recent New 52 version of Justice League, and I just got a stack of single hero graphic novels with the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. These are books I never would have considered reading growing up. That’s not entirely true. I did dabble in a few DC titles here and there in the past, but Marvel was by far my publisher.
My most recent interest is Cyborg. He’s a character I had zero interest in up until a few weeks ago. In reading the Justice League book however, I’ve become more attached the character. I’m super excited for his solo book coming in late July.
I don’t know when the lines truly crossed for me, but I’m enjoying catching up on the mountain of back catalog for the DC universe. It’s been nice to spend time reading comics like this spring, like I did a couple of years ago with The Flash. I just hope DC doesn’t let me down by prematurely canceling titles like they’re known to do.