Food or Comics? | <i>Vengeance</i>, <i>Flight</i>, crossovers and more

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. We're coming a little late today due to a power outage in my neck of the woods -- due to a blackout, not because I spent the money for the electric bill on Flashpoint or Fear Itself tie-ins.

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, my first pick off the shelf would be Vengeance #1 (Marvel, $3.99); I love Joe Casey, and especially when he's given a long leash and room to play in a big universe. Seeing Nick Dragotta drawing this is an added bonus. Next up would be comics' dueling summer blockbusters, Flashpoint #3 (DC, $3.99) and Fear Itself #4 (Marvel, $3.99). After that, I'd get the excellent Flashpoint: Batman, Knight of Vengeance #2 (DC, $2.99); when Azzarello is on the ball he's great to read, and this seems to be that.

If I had $30, I'd double back and get Toby Cypress' Rodd Racer (Image, $7.99); I'm spoiled in that Toby sent me an advance preview of this, which only made me want to read it more. Next up would be Uncanny X-Men #540 (Marvel, $3.99); I really feel Kieron Gillen has already got a firmer grasp on the characters here than Matt Fraction did in the length of his run. I hope Gillen's given some time to really explore things outside the big-event crossover seasons to come. If Chris Claremont can do those epic baseball issues, I want Gillen to do some music equivalent --who knows, maybe Wolverine saw the Ramones at CBGB's. Last up would be Jonah Hex #69 (DC, $2.99); seeing Jeff Lemire joining Palmiotti and Gray is a mind-bender.

For the splurge, it's an easy pick -- Flight Vol. 8 ($27). Kazu and company really pioneered a new frontier in comics, continuing on from the trailblazing nature of Jeff Smith with Bone. I hope the end of Flight doesn't diminish the creative output from the creators shown in these issues going forward in comics.

Graeme McMillan

If I had $15 in this first week of July, I'd put more than half of it towards keeping up with the Big Two's big summer events, with both Flashpoint #3 (DC, $3.99) and Fear Itself #4 (Marvel, $3.99) out this week. I've been enjoying the former much more than the latter, but I admit: I'm expecting a turnaround from the death at the end of FI #3 that I am, in a weird way, hooked to find out how quickly it happens. Marvel gets another $3.99 of my money with the first issue of Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta's Vengeance, because I'm curious to see what pop thrills Casey has cooked up for his latest journey into the Marvel Universe's little-seen underside.

If I had $30, the first thing I'd add to my list would be the first issue of Elric: The Balance Lost (BOOM!, $3.99); I've never gotten into Moorcock's fantasy character and always kind of regretted that. With Chris Roberson writing this new series, I feel like I might finally have my "in." If nothing else, Roberson's writing will make the whole thing enjoyable, even if Elric himself turns out to be not for me. A couple of Flashpoint tie-ins would also make the cut: Flashpoint: Secret Seven #2 and Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #2 (Both DC, $2.99) had strong enough first issues that I'll likely pick up their follow-ups. Also potentially making the "Huh, I liked the first one enough, so maybe...?" pile: Wolverine and Black Cat: Claws 2 #1 (Marvel, $3.99). I surprised myself by enjoying the first series of Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Joe Linser's team-up book a few years ago, so the follow-up might be worth picking up.

If I'm splurging this week, I'm going back to my nostalgiaplace: Roy Thomas' Infinity Inc. begins what I hope is a long run of collections with DC's Infinity Inc.: The Generations Saga hardcover ($39.99), and I'm enough of a sucker of both Thomas' 1980s DC work and Earth-2 stories in general that this is pretty close to a must-have for me.

Brigid Alverson

If I had $15, I'd be a sad girl indeed, because the book I most want this week costs more than that. However, I'd go to the comics store and flip through vol. 1 of Monster Hunter Orage ($10.99), a new adventure manga (based on the Monster Hunter game, but only loosely) by Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima, and vol. 3 of Oresama Teacher ($9.99), and pick whichever one I liked better -- I'm kind of on the fence here. Then I'd pick up Robert Bloch's That Hellbound Train #2 and go home to read my comics and sulk.

If I had $30, the world becomes a brighter place, because now I can afford the first volume of Wandering Son ($19.99), Shimura Takakao's quiet, sensitive story of a boy who wishes he was a girl and a girl who has already started dressing like a boy. Fantagraphics has produced this in a beautiful hardbound edition as part of their lit-manga line, and it's a must-have.

My splurge item would definitely be the eighth volume of the Flight anthology. It's the last, and I'm afraid it will have run out of steam, but I'm still willing to give it a chance.

JK Parkin

If I had $15, like Graeme, I'd start with the latest issues of the two big summer crossovers, Flashpoint #3 (DC, $3.99) and Fear Itself #4 (Marvel, $3.99). Unlike Graeme, I'd probably say Fear Itself is edging out Flashpoint for me, but it's pretty close. I'd also grab Secret Six #35 (DC, $2.99), the unfortunately penultimate issue. And I'd round it out with Chew #19 (Image, $2.99), because, well, it's Chew.

If I had $30, I'd also get Jonah Hex #69 (DC, $2.99); this series has had a plethora of great and visually interesting artists, and Lemire's a great addition to the list. I'd also pick up Red Skull #1 (Marvel, $2.99) if for no other reason than it gives me an excuse to show off David Aja's awesome cover in this post. I'd also get Batman Beyond #7 (DC, $2.99). Heroes for Hire #9 (Marvel, $2.99) has an eclectic cast, so let's grab that one, and then round it all out with The Boys #56 (Dynamite, $3.99).

For my splurge item, I'd go with the 27 collection (Image, $16.99), by by writer Charles Soule and artist Renzo Podesta. I understand it'll get a second series, which should be good news for fans of the book.

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