Food or Comics? | A dollop of Defenders

Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.

Check out Diamond’s release list or ComicList, and tell us what you’re getting in our comments field.

Chris Arrant

If I had $15, I’d start with Image’s new anthology Thought Bubble Anthology #1 (Image, $2.99). That Becky Cloonan cover is great, and seeing that the book holds new shorts from Andy Diggle, Duncan Fegredo and others is enticing. Next up would be a DC three-pack: Swamp Thing #4 (DC, $2.99), Animal Man #4 (DC, $2.99), Action Comics #4 (DC, $3.99). DC really wins this week when it comes to my wallet, and these three books are becoming the key titles in the New 52.

If I had $30, I’d try out Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson’s Defenders #1 (Marvel, $3.99). While I was nonplussed by their previous collaboration in Uncanny X-Men, I remain high on other segments of their work and hope this one lives up to that potential. Next up would be X-Club #1 (Marvel, $2.99), based solely on this eclectic line-up. The X-Club was one of the few parts of the previously mentioned Fraction run on Uncanny X-Men I enjoyed, and I hope this mini makes them a more viable part of the universe long-term. Next up I’d get iZombie #20 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) for the ongoing adventures of Roberson and Allred and Irredeemable #32. I’m really enjoying what Diego Barreto brings to the book, and Mark Waid continues to deliver.

If I could splurge, I’d get IDW’s collection of Mike Grell’s Shaman’s Tears maxi-series. This was one of the early Image titles, and gave me my first glimpse of Grell’s work and the potential for Image outside the original 7. As the series went on I ended up going back to track down Grell’s earlier work, but Shaman’s Tears holds a special place and I’m anxious to relive it without dusting off my longboxes.

Chris Mautner

If I had $15:

A lot of my regular monthly buys are out this week, so my first $15 would be split in some manner between Boys #61 (gross-out humor!), Glamorpuss #22 (Misogyny! Jeff Jones tribute!) and Vol. 8 of Bakuman (paper-thin leads sweat profusely over making manga - but in exciting ways!).

If I had $30:

I'm way behind in the series (I only just got Vol. 9), but Vol. 17 of Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack is out this week, so I might get that, but hold off on reading it for awhile.


My splurge pick for the week would likely be one of three books. Firstly there's Grant Morrison: Combining the World of Contemporary Comics, a new lengthy analysis of the noted writer by Marc Singer, who's no slouch himself with words. Secondly there's Vol. 3 of the Art of Herge, a collection of hardcover books featuring stuff George Remi (his real name) did outside of his most famous creation. I have the first volume, and it's a lot of fun to pour over. Finally there's Eyes of the Cat, which collects the first collaboration of Moebius and Jodorowsky. Humanoids apparently is only doing a limited run of this $70 book -- 750 copies -- so get 'em while they're hot.

Graeme McMillan

It's been a long time since I've bought a single issue of DC's Hellblazer - I've been reading it in trades for awhile - but this week's Hellblazer Annual #1 (DC, $4.99) seems particular enticing for many reasons, not least of which is the creative team of Peter Milligan and Simon Bisley, 2000AD veterans both and a pairing that's proven surprisingly well-suited to the title on issues of the regular book. For the remaining amount of my $15 starter, I'll add the still-great Action Comics #4 (DC, $3.99), including the much-teased Steel solo story back-up strip, and the debut of Marvel's latest attempt to revive The Defenders (#1, $3.99). For this week's episode of Wait, Wait, Jeff Lester and I re-read the entire Steve Gerber run on the original incarnation of this title, and it reminded me just how much I really love the idea of the Defenders as a "non-team," and the characters involved. I'm really hopeful about this book, and really, really praying that it doesn't break my comic-loving heart.

If I had $30, I'd pick up Image's Thought Bubble Anthology #1 ($2.99) to see what Andy Diggle, Duncan Fegredo and the like are up to these days, as well as my guilty pleasure from the New 52, OMAC #4 (DC, $2.99); I'm very worried about the future of this title if Keith Giffen really is off the title as artist with #6, but we'll see what lunacy happens between now and then nonetheless.

In terms of splurging, Vertigo's Bad Doings, Big Ideas hardcover collection of Bill Willingham's non-Fables material (DC, $49.99) looks very, very tempting indeed, but if I had suddenly discovered a large amount of disposible income, Marvel's X-Statix Omnibus ($125.00) would be coming home with me, thankyouverymuch.

Michael May

If I had $15, I'd start with a couple of $1 comics: Jurassic Strike Force 5 #0 ($0.99) from Zenescope and Boom's Valen the Outcsast #1 ($1.00). Zenescope doesn't usually publish my kind of comics, but they've got me figured out with a bunch of lightsaber-wielding, mutated dinosaurs who fight an army of other mutated dinosaurs and the alien warlord who created them. The pitch for Valen is Undead Conan, so as long as his eyes aren't falling out of their sockets and I can't see his intestines, I'm interested. Next, I'd grab a trio of comics featuring some cool, female heroes. I'm not thrilled by the mediocre story being told in Huntress, but I do like a globe-trotting adventuress and I'm not frustrated enough yet to give up on it. I'll give #3 ($2.99) a shot. Fear Itself: The Fearless #4 ($2.99) features another international adventure with a butt-kicking woman, but has a much more fun plot. Then there's Bonnie Lass #4 ($2.99), which is still a funny, unique pirate comic set in an interesting, not-always-that-piratey world. Finally, I'm getting Action Comics #4 ($3.99). I'm still enjoying it, but I'm beginning to question whether I'm enjoying it an extra dollar's worth over my other comics. This issue and it's back-up story (as opposed to lame Making Of featurettes) will help determine that.

If I had $30, I'd add X-Club #1 ($2.99). Since Alpha Flight's going away, I'll be back to making due with former AF members like Madison Jeffries appearing in other people's series. Plus, a mutant science team is just a cool concept. Then I'd get Betrayal on the Planet of the Apes #2 ($3.99) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro-Series #1: Raphael ($3.99), two books that would have made the $15 cut if they were priced lower. I'd top off the stack with Voltron #1 ($3.99). I know nothing about Voltron, but it's about a giant robot, so I'm willing to learn.

My splurge item this week is Girls: The Complete Collection ($49.99). I read some of the last issues in that creepily sexy series and was hooked enough to want to go back and start at the beginning.

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