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.
With my first $15 I'd get the following: The Massive #1 (Dark Horse, $3.50), X-Men #30 (Marvel, $3.99), Spider-Men #1 (Marvel, $3.99), and Saucer Country #4 (Vertigo, $2.99). That leaves me roughly 50 cents out of my budget. I dunno if it was planned this way or not, but two of Brian Wood's latest projects, The Massive and his run on the X-Men (of the un-Ultimate variety), kick off this week. We also have the debut of Spider-Men, the crossover that features Peter Parker of the 616 Marvel U meeting up with Miles Morales from the Ultimate-verse. I've enjoyed the Miles Morales/Ultimate Spider-Man stories this far, which is the reason I'm getting it. Finally, Saucer Country is the best of the new Vertigo titles, featuring clever writing by Paul Cornell and great art by Ryan Kelly.
Add another $15 and I'd also get Captain America #13 (Marvel, $3.99), Uncanny X-Force #26 (Marvel, $3.99), Resurrection Man #10 (DC Comics, $2.99), and Frankenstein: Agent of Shade #10 (DC Comics, $2.99). Again, with some change left over for a candy bar or whatever. I laughed out loud at the big reveal at the end of the last issue of Captain America, as we learned who the new guy was behind the Scourge mask. I assume this is a What If? comic, along the lines of "What if (name redacted for spoiler reasons) wasn't lame?" So I have to see this through. I mentioned this weekend on What Are You Reading? that I'd downloaded a whole bunch of the current run of Uncanny X-Force for 99 cents from comiXology, and since then I've completely caught up on the book, so I'll definitley be getting the current issue. Add to that one of the final times I'll get to see Abnett and Lanning's Resurrection Man comic (sniff ... well, it was probably a longshot anyway, based on how well his last comic did) and the debut of Matt Kindt on Frankenstein, and that rounds out my week of comics.
I don't really have anything on my splurge radar this week, so maybe I'll just hold onto the cash and save it for next time.
If I had $15, it's a pretty quiet week for me at the entry level. I'd likely flip through the Ian Brill-penned horror series Dracula World Order, but that's about it.
If I had $30: Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt ($28) completely snuck up on me. I had no idea Joe Sacco was working on a new book, let alone one with acclaimed author Chris Hedges. The book focuses on tales of ravaged parts of America, usually as a result of corporate greed. No, you likely won't find any "fair and balanced" journalism here, and I'm not sure if Sacco only provides illustrations here or actual comics, but he remains one of the top cartoonists in the country and I'll check out anything he does regardless.
Splurge: Prince Valiant, Vol. 5 is out with more swashbuckling shenanigans (I reviewed it in last Sunday's What Are You Reading). There's also the first trade collection of Batwoman: Hydrology. I haven't been following the Batwoman series on a monthly basis, but I like J.H, Williams so I figure this is at least worth a look-see.
If I had $15 this week, I'd follow John's lead and grab Spider-Men #1 (Marvel, $3.99) and The Massive #1 (Dark Horse, $3.50); two pretty different launches, but ones where I'm cautiously optimistic based on early reviews and hoping not to be disappointed in the finished product.
If I had $30, I'd add Marvel's Essential Spider-Man, Vol. 11 ($19.99) to the stack. We're firmly in the era I grew up on now, so the nostalgic lure is far too strong to resist. Plus, Romita Jnr art!
When it gets to the splurging, I have to make up for a past mistake: Orc Stain, Vol. 1 (Image, $17.99) is getting a new printing, and I've been told by enough people whose opinions I trust that I'm an idiot for jumping off the series early that it's time to give it a second chance. If it doesn't work for me this time, I'll just accept I have no taste.
If I had $15, I’d be all over The Massive #1 (Dark Horse, $3.50). I’ve been a reader and a journalist covering Brian Wood’s work since his AiT-PlanetLar days, and this is the culmination of many things brewing over the years. A lot of people see this as the spiritual successor to DMZ, but I also see threads from The Tourist and even DV8: Gods and Monsters in this. Very excited. After that, I’d jump with both feet into superheroes with Invincible #92 (Image, $2.99). Excited to see Ryan Ottley and Cory Walker now sharing this book, and I hope it becomes a common thing: the Invincible world is busting at the seams, but spin-off titles like Guarding the Globe and Astonishing Wolf-Man never seem to match up to the parent title. From that, I jump to another Image title, Dancer #2 (Image, $3.50). I’m in love with Nic Klein’s art style (don’t tell my wife!), and I’m excited to see him doing this over being artist #17 in the revolving door of DC or Marvel. Last up would be Uncanny X-Force #26 (Marvel, $3.99). The bloom’s fallen off this rose somewhat after the conclusion of “The Dark Angel Saga,” but it seems to be putting the pieces into place to mount a new offensive. I feel like there’s a lot of balls in the air here, making it hard to handle them all as a reader, but I’m still in.
If I had $30, I’d double-back and pick up Conan the Barbarian #5 (Dark Horse, $3.50). I had made up my mind to switch to the trade on this one, but consider it an impulse buy. The comic is just that good. From swords and sorcery to vampires, I’d pick up American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #1 (Vertigo, $2.99). The positioning and format choices for AmVamp have been a great service to Scott and Rafael’s storytelling, and seeing Dustin Nguyen join the fold is interesting – although they have big shoes to fill after Sean Murphy’s AmVamp mini. From that I’d go over to Batman #10 (DC, $3.99) to see more of the Court of Owls. I continue to be left reeling by Greg Capullo’s artwork here, and I think it elevates Snyder’s story like few others can. My final choice for the week would be Fantastic Four #607 (Marvel, $2.99). As Hickman brings his run to a close, this pairing of Giuseppe Camuncoli and Karl Kesel on art is an interesting choice, and the previews released show they’ve found a style that looks like neither of their work. We’ll see.
If I could splurge, I’d get Prince Valiant, Vol. 5: 1945-1946 (Fantagraphics, $29.99). Mirroring the sword-fighting epic from my first choice Conan The Barbarian, this is arguably the comic that defined that genre. The last volume ended right in the middle of Val’s epic wooing of Aleta, and I’m glad to see I’ll find out the full story – and more – in this new collection.
If I had $15, I'd join everyone else in checking out The Massive #1 ($3.50). I've been curious about Brian Wood's work for years, but have never gotten around to reading much of it. My fondness for ocean adventure makes this series a perfect one to try out. I'd also grab Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE #10 ($2.99), because I love that series and I expect to keep on loving it with Matt Kindt in control, and X-Men Legacy #268 ($2.99). I'm still catching up on X-Men Legacy, but I've enjoyed it for a while now as the Rogue series it is (in everything but name). Finally, I'd take a chance on Planetoid #1 ($2.99) for the space pirates.
If I had $30, I'd leave the store with a lot of it this week. But not before I added American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #1 ($2.99) and Batgirl #10 ($2.99) to my stack.
My splurge for the week would be Alex Alice's Siegfried, Volume 1 ($24.95). It retells Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung and since Archaia's publishing it, I know it's going to look great.