Category Archives: Comics!

Comics Books: How Marvel is Killing the Industry One Gimmick at a Time

For the last few months, I’ve been in denial. In denial of the slow decline of comics. There, I said it: Comics are declining. Shawn had texted me a couple of times in the past saying as much once he left the hobby behind. I didn’t want to believe it, and in those cases agreed with his observations but not necessarily that the entire industry was in trouble. After all, DC Comics was still putting out quality books. Well folks, the industry is in trouble. DC Comics is still chugging along producing really great stuff (Batman, Batman: White Knight, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Dark Nights Metal), but Marvel Comics has stopped pulling its weight.

If you remember it was only last August that Marvel announced their “Legacy” initiative after Secret Empire concluded, which was essentially just a fancy term for going back to original numbering on their line of books and “bringing the fun back to comics”.

I gritted my teeth and said, “Ok, it feels like a reboot-ish thing but I’ll try a few titles out.”

I fell under the spell of the Lenticular covers, fully aware that it felt all too familiar. It felt like the same mistakes that were made back in ’96, when the industry essentially collapsed and Marvel declared bankruptcy. Gimmick covers, reboots, character deaths,..etc, it turned off both the casual reader and the collector. Cripes, I still remember standing in line just to pick up Superman #75 because it was the end of Superman. At that point we were not yet conditioned to the fact that a death isn’t a death in comics. A little while later after enduring the painfully crappy “Funeral for a Friend” crossover and the god-awful Four Supermen crossover, Superman was alive and well and the industry was, well, not.

So what happened this fall? Marvel puts out their fancy little covers and we all flock to buy them. Wrong. We actually didn’t all run out and buy them. I mean, I did because I’m an idiot but a majority of people realized that a cover doesn’t matter. It’s what’s between the covers that matters. And what was between those covers was of the same quality that existed before Legacy, and that quality wasn’t great in comparison to what DC was putting out. Sure, there were a few good storylines, but as a whole Marvel was in trouble.

One of their most talented writers, Brian Michael Bendis, decided to jump ship and joined the competition. He later revealed that Marvel tried to convince him to stay by offering him a Deadpool or Wolverine book. Typical Marvel. This brings me to my next point: riding the hype wave of a popular character until people stop caring. How many Deadpool books can they pump out? Again, sins of the past..Do you remember how many Wolverine books were around in the 90’s? How many cameos he had in other books? It was mind-boggling. Deadpool is being treated the same way. You can’t base an entire company off of one frickin’ character. I’ll be honest with you, DC is starting to fall into the same trap with Batman. Since Scott Snyder wrote the hell out of the “New 52” series and sold a ton of books, there has been a real focus on Bats in the DC Universe. Are the books good? Absolutely. Just yesterday, I told Shawn to give White Knight a try. However this doesn’t mean that every month there should be a new Bats series, and its starting to be that way. DC just released Brave and Bold: Batman & The Wonder Woman #1 as well as Batman: Sins of the Father #1. That’s two new titles in the same month. So while DC is putting out better quality, I do get worried that they will fall into the same traps that Marvel has.

One thing they haven’t done is raise their cover prices, which in the end is what most people care about. They even lowered the price on their Dark Nights Metal books once they saw that the sales were so great for the first two one-shots a dollar. Maybe it’s just me but that shows that they listen to and appreciate their audience. I read an interview with Marvel chief Joe Quesada where he takes the exact opposite approach and defends the $4-$5 cover prices essentially saying that the fans have enjoyed underpriced books for too long and Marvel charges what they think the creativity in their books is really worth. My guess is that he feels untouchable because Marvel Studios is an absolute juggernaut in the box office, and soundly kicks the bajeezus out of DC. Fun fact: Did you know that Black Panther has already surpassed Justice League in total domestic sales in its first week?! So while, Quesada might feel untouchable in that aspect of the business, he, unfortunately for him, only runs the comic side. The lesson that is being learned as we speak is that movie viewers do not turn into comic readers.

So how does Marvel try to remedy this problem? By rebooting. Over and over again. Y’know to give any new readers a “jumping on point”. So in May, coincidentally when Avengers: Infinity War is due to release, Marvel is going to, yup, reboot again! All that Legacy “bringing the fun back to comics” stuff? Gone! Long-term readers? Eh, go screw! I don’t understand the mentality of this decision. Do they really think that because a gazillion Avengers tickets will be sold that it will translate into a gazillion issues of Avengers #1 being sold? What happens when the second Avengers: Infinity War flick is released? Another reboot? This logic alienates current readers in order to possibly attract new ones, which obviously hasn’t worked.

They are calling this upcoming reboot their “Fresh Start” initiative. (Shakes head)

After many conversations with Shawn combined with the points I’ve made above, I believe that your buddies at 2 Guys has a solution to save the industry, or at the very least, save Marvel Comics.

-Drop cover prices to $2.99 to be even with DC. Your books currently suffer from low quality writing and art, so the excuse of us having to pay for their creative value holds no water.
-For the love of ****ing God stop rebooting.
-Hire some new talent, get some unknown pencillers, some unknown writers, colorists,..etc, who knows? You might discover the next Scott Snyder or David Finch.
-No more Lenticular covers, no more shiny covers, hell, I wouldn’t be sad to see variants go away in general.
-No more cheap gimmicks like mish-mashing ****ing characters like “Weapon H” or “Red Goblin”. Do we really need another Wolverine-like character? No. No, we don’t.

Well, that’s my two cents as far as the comic industry goes, agree? Disagree? Let me know. I think that one thing we can all agree on as comic fans is that our hobby needs to be protected from cash grabby schemes and we deserve better than what Marvel is selling us. DC? Well you’re doing fine, but watch those Bat books and the foil covers, we’ve got our eyes on you….

Comic Haul! #3

This haul from the middle of December strays from my usual ordering habits as I usually don’t order runs of one title. Last summer Shawn had mentioned that the Aquaman series was pretty entertaining. Being the comic nut that I am I made a mental note to give it a shot once my pull list thinned out a bit. Once Secret Empire ended, I had the room but then those godamn Marvel Lenticular covers came out and I was suckered. Needless to say Aquaman was an afterthought until a coworker mentioned how he really liked the series. About a month ago I finally ordered the first seven issues since they were all on sale.

Note: I’m slightly tweaking the way I’m writing these posts to include the official solicitation for each comic followed by my thoughts about it. The reason being that I’m self critical and don’t believe that my previous overviews of the plot were giving you guys enough information.

Aquaman vol.6 #1 (DC Comics, 1st printing, Rebirth)

THE DROWNING’ Chapter one Black Manta returns, and as Aquaman attempts to broker lasting peace between Atlantis and the surface world, his greatest foe engineers a plan to destroy everything and everyone the undersea hero loves.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting too much to begin with as I’ve never been a big Aquaman fan, so my expectations were set low. Fortunately, this issue was fantastic. The Black Manta terrorism angle added a serious overtone to this otherwise fun issue. The art of Brad Walker really impressed me and the story was a solid start to the series. I’m hooked. Get it? Because it’s Aquaman…fish?..hooked? Eh, I’m not proud of that one either. 8/10

Aquaman vol.6 #2 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

THE DROWNING,’ Chapter Two: In issue #2, unity between land and sea is Arthur Curry’s greatest dream. But Black Manta has a dream too: to destroy everything Aquaman stands for, starting with the sea king’s Atlantean embassy and everyone in it.

Again, another solid issue. The Drowning storyline is really good so far. *****SPOILER ALERT***** After the Black Mantis blows up the Atlantean Embassy (issue #1), Aquaman finds himself at odds with the United States military. 8/10

Aquaman vol.6 #3 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

THE DROWNING,’ Chapter Three: In issue #3, Aquaman’s mission of peace is dealt a devastating blow when Atlantean terrorists attack the surface world in retribution for Black Manta’s deadly assault on their embassy.

****SPOILER ALERT**** The “twist” in this book was very predictable..clearly it wasn’t “Atlantean terrorists” that took out a navy ship. I mean, we just got through 2 issues where the Black Manta made it perfectly clear that he wanted to destroy Aquaman by any means necessary and we all know that he isn’t the only one who shares that sentiment. What better way to take Aquaman down? Frame the guy and let him get locked up or killed. 7/10

Aquaman vol.6 #4 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

The Drowning’ part four. Aquaman is arrested for a war crime he didn’t commit: ordering an Atlantean terrorist attack on the surface, killing hundreds! The young king is willing to sit behind bars if it means peace between two worlds, but one ally is determined to break Aquaman out, no matter the cost: his girlfriend Mera!

I was really loving this Aquaman series until I hit this book. Pet peeve: switching artists in the middle of a storyline. The art fell flat in this issue, good thing the story is definitely pulling the weight. 7/10

Aquaman vol.6 #5 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

The Drowning’ part five. Unjustly branded a murderer and a fugitive, Aquaman’s forced to defend himself against the might of America’s military. Meanwhile, Black Manta and the deadly underwater crime cabal known as N.E.M.O. advance their plan for revenge on Aquaman.

This one is basically one long action scene with Aquaman and Mera fighting the military to get back to the water. Also Black Mantis reminds us why he is not one you want to screw with after coming across fairly weak at the end of #2. No real surprises in the issue besides Black Mantis meeting the head of N.E.M.O. 7/10

Aquaman vol.6 #6 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

THE DROWNING’ conclusion! As this first epic concludes, Aquaman and Mera are on the run for a crime they didn’t commit. They’ve fought through every kind of firepower the U.S. military has thrown. Now all that’s left between them and Atlantis is the Man of Steel.

This was a crazy issue! Who would win in a fight? Supes or Fishguy? It’s not as one-sided as you might think as Aquaman can hold his own. Right when he throws the first punch my jaw dropped and it stayed that way until the end. It didn’t feel like the usual superhero kind of fight though, more of a fight you would have with your brother in the backyard. It was really, really interesting to see how Aquaman views himself within the Justice League as his frustration bubbles to the surface (I swear I didn’t mean that pun). The ending was decent but didn’t feel like the true ending of the story, more of a direct bridge to the next arc. 9.5/10

Aquaman vol.6 #7 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

‘Who framed Aquaman?’ The investigation into the Atlantean attack on American forces kicks off a mystery as the criminal collective N.E.M.O. unleashes a new and terrible weapon that threatens the existence of Atlantis itself.

This is the beginning of the next arc, where Mantis and N.E.M.O wake up a giant unstoppable creature to tear through Atlantis. Right when the creature wakes up it has a “Doomsday” feel to it as it smashes the Atlantean army flat. Entertaining issue and spoke to the B-monster movie guy in me. 8/10.

Ok, that’s it for the Aquaman portion of my order, I did grab a couple of other comics:

Hawkman Found#1 (DC Comics, 1st printing, Metal tie-in, foil cover)

One of DC’S greatest heroes is missing! No one has seen or heard from Carter Hall-a.k.a. Hawkman-in years. Reincarnated repeatedly since the dawn of humanity, Hawkman has spent his many lives uncovering history’s most fantastic mysteries, and now he has become one himself! Take a journey into the one of the darkest corners of the DC Universe as a mysterious man tries to piece together what happened to Hawkman, and how it all connects to the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL!

I mentioned in one of my previous comic hauls that I felt “Metal” was kinda going off the rails and becoming convoluted. Thankfully, this book is more straightforward than the main Metal books. One of the main plot lines of Metal has been that Hawkman is incredibly important as he is the guardian of “The Forge” of the universe but he is awol. This one shot is focused on reintroducing Carter Hall as he fights to rediscover who he is in order to escape a psychic prison. It’s entertaining and worthwhile to check out but I didn’t feel like it added a ton to the overall story. It did make me think that there should be a Hawkman series though. 8/10

Avengers vol.6 #672 (Marvel Comics, Lenticular cover)

WORLDS COLLIDE Part 1 
Following the events of GENERATIONS comes the long-promised clash between the Avengers and the Champions! The countdown has started as the High Evolutionary, a twisted scientist determined to create a better world at all costs, sets the Earth on a collision course with destruction! The Avengers and the Champions are ready to meet this threat – but will their first cataclysmic clash deter them from changing the world?

Wow! Just look at the synopsis! Looks entertaining doesn’t it? Yeah, I liked the cover. Haven’t read this one yet. N/A

That’s it for this haul, as always thanks for reading!

Rapid Fire! Random Thoughts 1/29

-C’mon UPS, bring me my copy of Dragonball FighterZ. I’m tired of watching all of the gameplay videos on Youtube, I just want to play the friggin’ game!

-Scott Snyder is taking over Justice League after the next Justice League event. How the heck are they going to fit all of the those character in that book with all of those text boxes?! Hah! I kid, I’m sure it’s going to be really good. I’m definitely adding it to my pull list. I am a little confused as he and Greg Capullo kept teasing fans on Twitter about working on a Swamp Thing series. Hopefully that’s something that’s still in the works. I personally think his cerebral style of writing would fit Swamp Thing much better than Justice League but hey, what do I know?

-Speaking of the next Justice League event, it starts up after Dark Nights Metal concludes and during the event the title will be going weekly. Much like the Avengers: No Surrender storyline. Hey, I’m all for more comics and competition is healthy but how about a price break? I would have to think that having an expedited deadline on each book would cause the quality to suffer a bit. Do you really want to spend $20 a month on just The Avengers or even $12 for just the Justice League? I know I don’t.

-Looks like Rivals of Ixalan has lit the fire of 2 Guys Gaming again. This weekend we will have a sealed draft and I’m pretty excited for it. Quite a few cards in the set have my brain churning out some deck lists.

-I know that my random thoughts are supposed to be rapid but something has really bothered me today. Usually I listen to Boston sports radio station WEEI maybe once a day for an hour or so just to see what the topics of the day are. I tuned in this morning just in time for Tom Brady to call in and, in a really restrained way, tell them that he felt disrespected and that he was going to evaluate whether he wanted to continue his weekly interview with them. This was apparently due to a comment that a host, Alex Reimer, had said about his 5 year old daughter. Last Thursday night, after watching the Brady Facebook documentary series, he decided that he would call Brady’s little girl an “annoying little pissant”. Dude. Really? A 5 year old who is just excited about playing a soccer game? What the hell is wrong with you? Of all the things he could have talked about pertaining to the first episode that’s what he came up with? That’s his hot take? No, that’s his cry for attention and notoriety in the world of sports media. My guess is that he wanted to go for “funny” shock value but it ended up ruining his career. Or at least it should. He has since been indefinitely suspended as the big dogs of WEEI tear out their hair since Tom Brady basically flipped them the verbal bird this morning and hung up. Tom Brady is a public figure so he is under the media’s microscope at all times, but to sink to insulting his kid? That crosses a line.

I don’t blame the guy at all, to be honest he probably should have done so a long time ago. The morning guys he talks to are two of the biggest idiots in radio with one of them, Minihane, always going for the hot controversial take in order to keep his name in the papers, keep the ratings up and foster this new culture of shock value that is becoming more pervasive in the halls of WEEI. At this point, the morning show doesn’t even talk about sports, they talk about other journalists, politics, and most of all other hosts of the station. WEEI has turned into nothing more than childish in-fighting between shows with younger hosts saying dumb crap in an attempt to emulate Kirk Minihane. I’m essentially done with the station at this point, let me know when it gets back to sports instead of hosts calling each names and criticizing each other. It reminds me of my days working in a warehouse with each shift claiming to be better than the one before it.

This is the reason why I stopped watching ESPN. I can’t stand Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman, both of which personify all that I can’t stand about sports media. Mindlessly shouting “hot takes” at each other and arguing over each other for an entire show and collecting a paycheck for it doesn’t take talent, it takes the masses approving of this kind of “reporting”. “Hey! Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless like to yell and say dumb stuff too! Let’s give them a show!” Good idea Fox! Not that I should expect anything less from you.

Aren’t we better than this people? Do you think these hosts really believe half of the garbage they are spouting? You don’t think it’s fabricated?! Is watching Stephen A. Smith/Max Kellerman trying to form words to eloquently debate their points and shouting them at each other really entertaining? Whatever happened to just reporting the news and reporting it accurately in order to make a name for yourself instead of always going for the hot take that will get your name out there? It seems like having journalistic integrity is no longer important in our society as all of these shows have decent ratings. Apparently I just need to stay away from sports media all together.

Comic Haul! #2

Comic Haul #2 (Midtown Comics -link to site below)

Hey gang! I’ve got another comic haul to share with you. As you know, I’m running behind on sharing my hauls so this one is from the beginning of December.

Batman Lost #1 (DC Comics, 1st printing, foil cover)

Gotta tell you, For the most part, I’m loving all of these Dark Nights Metal one shots. This one was really well done. It starts with an elderly Bruce Wayne reading a story from his past to his grand-daughter. The story she chooses is the first adventure he had as Batman. As he reads the story there are discrepancies from what he had originally wrote. I won’t give to much away but I’ll just say that it ties in nicely with the main Metal story. 9/10

Batman the Devastator #1 (DC Comics, 1st printing, foil cover)

Another Metal one-shot. This issue tells the origin story of the Batman-Doomsday hybrid baddie. Batoomsday? Doombat? Eh..you know who I’m talking about. Anyways..SPOILER ALERT……………………….On Earth 0, Batman is forced to infect himself with the Doomsday virus in order to put a beating down on Superman who has gone…batty. Heh. You see what I did there? I’m not proud of it. Pretty action-packed issue. 7/10

Batman the Merciless #1 (DC Comics, 1st printing, foil cover)

Metal one-shot. I’ll level with you, while this story was okay, it definitely wasn’t as good as the others. So what makes this one not as good as the others? Simply put, it’s wordy. Too wordy. Blocks of text friggin’ assault you on every page. Listen, I can understand that the writer has only one issue to fill in the backstory of the evil Batmen but this one felt too ambitious. Well if you’re curious…….SPOILER ALERT……………………………………..On Earth -11, Batman loses his woman, Wonder Woman to be exact. Ares kills her and Batman takes care of him..and then puts on his helmet, which he was warned not to do, and this turns him into The Merciless. Buy this issue if you’re trying to collect all of the one-shots, otherwise save yourself the money and be happy with my synopsis. 5/10

Mighty Thor vol. 2 #700 (Marvel Comics, 1st printing)

This issue starts the Death of the Mighty Thor storyline, which so far has been pretty good. Jane’s cancer is getting worse as a beast called Mangog shows up to unleash his final judgment on the gods of Asgard. War Thor, the blood thirsty badass that he is, decides that he can take it down and goes to fight it, leading to one of the biggest ass kickings I’ve seen in the pages of a comic book. I won’t tell you who is doing the kicking though. 8/10

Monsters Unleashed vol.2 #7 (Marvel Comics, Lenticular variant cover)

I..uh..I didn’t read it. I bought it for the lenticular cover that pays homage to Fantastic Four #1. Therefore I can’t give this a rating. N/ A

Spider-Gwen vol.2 #25 (Marvel Comics, Lenticular variant cover)

Ok, so this starts out with Spider-Gwen doing spidery stuff and..I…didn’t actually read the issue. I’m a mark for special covers!! Oh god, I grew up in the 90’s, I saw what all those prism, foil, and hologram covers did to the industry yet I cant stop myself! To be fair, this cover is the Lenticular version of one of my all time favorites, Amazing Spider-Man #316 so it was a no-brainer for me to pick it up. N/A

Batman White Knight #1 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

This is the first issue in a 7 part series. Batman, finally has enough of Joker and beats him half to death, the brutality of said beating is too much for Gotham City who now view Batman as a maniac and Joker, cured of insanity, as the hero. The Joker, now known as Jack, sets out to right his wrongs by trying to save the city from Batman. I really enjoyed this issue, it was a really fresh take on the Batman-Joker relationship and has become a must-read for me. 9/10

Batman White Knight #2 (DC Comics, 1st printing)

Issue 2 of 7. Jack (Joker) focuses on exposing corruption within the Gotham City PD, while he also forms an army of super villains. Meanwhile, public support is not on Batman’s side. This issue, while really good, didn’t quite have the pacing of #1, which made some parts feel slow. 8/10

Dark Nights Metal #3 (DC Comics, 1st printing, foil cover)

I’m going to catch a lot of flak for this but Dark Nights is getting confusing. I feel like there are too many side stories that Scott Snyder is trying to pull together into one cohesive story and it’s just not working. Listen, I loved the previous Batman series, even though it was very wordy (something I pointed out to Shawn a few times), but as Metal has progressed it feels like the overall story is suffocating in over-exposition. Is it awful? No, it’s still entertaining at times. To me, Capullo’s art is what is keeping me buying this series. It’s too bad that some of the art is getting covered up by huge text bubbles. 6/10

That’s it for this haul!

Midtown Comics:
www.midtowncomics.com

Comic Haul! #1

Comic Haul #1 (Midtown Comics)

Note: Most of my hauls come from, and will come from, Midtown Comics. Being cheap, something that I proudly admit, I refuse to pay full price for a comic as cover prices have become ridiculous (lookin’ at you, Marvel). Since Midtown sells brand new books at 15% off cover they are usually my go-to guys for my comic fix. Plus, every comic you buy comes with a resealable bag and board, which again saves money since you don’t have to buy the bags and boards yourself. When I first started collecting comics again I would drive to the two comic stores about 10 miles away once or twice a week to see if they had the issues I was looking for, and probably 70% of the time, they were sold out by the time I got there. After a month and a half of not being able to get Batman #24, along with multiple conversations with Shawn about how cover prices were pricing him out of the hobby. I just gave up completely and decided to go with Midtown since they have more buying power than my LCS and essentially had everything in stock along with variants that only they can get. Shipping is reasonable too, from my experience anything up to a dozen books is $3.99, and up to 20 is $4.99. I actually did a cost analysis (I believe I mentioned I’m an analyst for a large company), and Midtown’s shipping charges were actually 7% cheaper than the gas I was burning up driving to the comic stores. All told by buying from Midtown I was saving between 22%-30% depending on the quantity I purchased. I know that this sounds like a blatant sales pitch but at this point in time 2GuysGaming is not affiliated with Midtown Comics, this is me just being honest with my experience of doing business with them and also want to keep this awesome hobby alive for those who currently read/collect and I don’t want to see anyone else get priced out of it like Noob. So, sorry, LCS, it’s not you, and it’s not me, it’s Marvel Comics. $4 bucks a book is ridiculous in a declining industry, and especially when your main competitor is a buck less. I’ve included the Midtown Comics link below.

Ok, onto the haul! This one was a shipment of books that I ordered during their Black Friday sale, most back issues were a whopping 75% off. Yes, I know it’s almost February and I’m referencing Black Friday. There will be frequent “haul” articles being posted while I get caught up to date.

’68 Last Rites #1 (Image Comics)

Awful. Seriously awful. I took a chance because I have become played out on The Walking Dead and wanted to try another zombie book. This is what I get for taking a chance. It’s just mindless violence with a weak story and multiple f-bombs sprinkled in for good measure. At least it was on sale for $1.65 so I didn’t blow too much money on it. I give this one a 0 out of 10. Wait, that’s not fair, I *did* get a free bag and board out of the deal. 1/10

’68 Last Rites #2 (Image Comics)

I thought that maybe the first issue was a fluke, a horrible fluke, and that the next issue would solidify the story a bit without relying on gratuitous violence to sell the book to the masses. I was wrong. Just as dumb as the first issue and the art got worse. Even the free bag and board can’t save it. 0/10

’68 Last Rites #3 (Image Comics)

Y’know what? I didn’t even read it. I’m sorry but if the writer can’t sell the book to me in the first two issues then I’m done. But hey, at least I can’t give it a 0/10 since I didn’t read it, right? That wouldn’t fair. Wrong, it’s my article dammit! 0/10

’68 Last Rites #4 (Image Comics)

See above. Or don’t. Maybe the other ’68 miniseries might be better but I’m not going to find out. I’ll just go ahead and assume it’s a 0/10.

Batman: The Drowned #1 (DC Comics, 1st printing, Foil cover, Metal tie-in)

I really like the cover on this one. Jason Fabok’s artwork keeps getting better and the overall foil cover design looks really cool. Yeah, I definitely just marked out over a foil cover, ..I feel dirty. The origin story itself is one of the better ones of the Dark Batmen one-shots. I kind of hope that after Metal concludes we still see some of these characters, namely the Batman Who Laughs and The Drowned. 8/10

Batman Vol.2 #41 (DC Comics, New 52)

It’s Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo and it was on sale for only a couple of bucks. You can’t go wrong. I’m actually trying to collect all 52 issues of Batman Vol.2, but it’s proving to be an expensive endeavor so I was pretty pumped to find back issues on sale. This issue debuts Bruce Wayne’s replacement as Batman. Spoiler alert…………………………………………………..it’s Gordon with a bad haircut. Regardless, it’s a really great read. 7/10

Batman Vol.2 #43 (DC Comics, New 52)

Another book I needed to fill a hole in my Batman New 52 run. This issue is the first appearance of Mr. Bloom, which is one of the better storylines of the series in my opinion. Not as good as Death of a Family but better than Zero Year. You really feel like Gotham City is going to straight to hell and how the flip is Bat-Gordon going to save the day?! 8/10

Batman Vol.2 #47 (DC Comics, New 52)

Bat-Gordon vs Mr. Bloom. Will Bruce Wayne return and retake the mantle of Batman? Good god, let’s hope so because Bat-Gordon sucks out loud at being Batman and has become Bloom’s personal punching bag. 7/10

Batman Vol.3 #1 (DC Comics, Rebirth, 1st printing)

I missed the chance to pick up the 1st issue of the newest Batman series (Rebirth) and had to settle for the 3rd printing instead. As a collector as well as a reader this bothered the crap out of me as I had a feeling the 1st printing would increase in value much like the New 52 first issue skyrocketed. Well my feeling wasn’t quite right as the 1st issue did in fact, rise to $10 but then plateaued. Still, this whole series has been really decent so I had finally made up my mind that I would make the $10 investment and see what happened. Thankfully, Midtown had this issue on sale for $2.75 before I could pull the trigger. Ok, now let me remove my collector hat, the story was a pretty solid start to the series. It was a classic fun Batman action story (missile gets fired at a plane), but then evolved into the introduction of Gotham and Gotham Girl. Like I said, solid start to the series and immediately hooked me. 9/10

TMNT Vol. 5 #48 (IDW, Kevin Eastman variant cover)

I’ll admit that nostalgia played a part in choosing to buy a few TMNT issues. I was a huge fan when I was a kid and had heard really positive things about the series. I remember reading the original series growing up and being a fan of Kevin Eastman’s art, so while Midtown had several issues on sale, I decided to only get the Eastman variants, hence why I grabbed random issues. After reading this issue and a few other ones (listed below), I texted Shawn, my go-to when I feel the need to make a comic/gaming observation and told him that I actually enjoyed the title. While this issue was weaker than the rest that I bought, it was a fun read and even though it takes place in the middle of an story arc, I had a general idea of what was going on and didn’t feel lost. 6/10

TMNT Vol. 5 #58 (IDW, Kevin Eastman variant cover)

Leatherhead Part 3. I knew it was the final issue of the Leatherhead story arc when I bought it but unfortunately the other issues were not on sale. Hey, I said I was cheap. I told myself that I wouldn’t read it until I picked up #’s 56 and 57, but that promise lasted about 20 minutes after the box of comics arrived at my door. As with #48, I wasn’t lost as far as what had happened in the previous two issues and Leatherhead’s origin story was pretty neat and far different from the Cajun gator that I remembered from the original cartoon (Do you remember that awful Louisana Cajun country accent?). This version of Leatherhead is a hundred times better and has a much darker origin. 7/10

TMNT Vol. 5 #73 (IDW, Kevin Eastman variant cover)

The Trial of Krang Part 1. Yes! I finally grabbed an issue that wasn’t in the middle/at the end of a story arc! I’ll be honest, this story sold me TMNT going forward. Krang finally gets brought to justice to answer for his many, many crimes. You would think it would be an open and shut case, but not so fast. Really great story, I highly recommend all 3 parts. 8/10

TMNT Vol. 5 #74 (IDW, Kevin Eastman variant cover)

The Trial of Krang Part 2. See above. It’s good, okay, it’s really good. The trial begins and as the surprise witnesses show up to testify against Krang, ..SPOILER ALERT……………………………………..an invasion begins that forces the judge to postpone the trial until things calm down again. 8/10

Okay guys n’ gals, that’s it for this haul!

Midtown Comics Link:
www.midtowncomics.com