The COMIC DE-SPEC-TIVE V2.2

First things first- apparently putting Scott Snyder on notice worked.  The first issue of the Justice League managed to wash the bad taste out of my mouth that was left there with the back half of Metal and sustained throughout No Justice.  

This is prime Lex Luthor and J’onn J’onzz and more importantly it sets the tone for what we can expect down the line- namely big changes, classic interactions and a sense of fun.  The art, as expected for a flagship book, is topnotch and jumping primarily between Cheung and Jimenez will guarantee consistency.

Let’s hope the other two JL titles on the horizon can follow suit.  I touched briefly on what the repercussions of the breaching of the Source Wall might be here.

Now, let’s investigate the week ahead.

 

 

It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that Image was railing against putting out too many books as well as against the harm that variants were having on the industry- well, so much for that.  (Though, unlike the Marvel ratio variants, my LCS doesn’t market price them.)

Anyway, Image releases yet another couple of new titles this week. First up is Weather Man. which has been heavily hyped elsewhere and while I thought the story was winding and well- developed and that the art serviced the story well, I just don’t see anything here to differentiate it from any of the other keepers that Image has been putting out.  

That’s no knock on this book but rather a credit to the creator-owned books coming out of the imprint. The 25-copy Scalera incentive above is the stash option obviously but don’t overpay!

 

 

The more interesting of the new Image issues this week, at least in terms of pedigree is a reboot of a 2010 Pilot Season offering developed by Robert Kirkman and Mark Silvestri.  

The concept for Stellar has been revived by Joseph Keatings and an at the top-of-his-game Bret Blevins (whose work almost single-handedly drove me off of New Mutants back in the day.).

There is an ashcan that predates this first issue but the book to look at here is the Silvestri sketch variant from 2010.

 

 

Speaking of ratio variants, I am looking forward to returning to Coda based on a first issue that did a great job of world building without alienating casual fans of the genre.

This is the 1:25 Wildgoose. One caveat and I don’t know if I missed this in the earlier solicits but this is being listed now as ‘2 (of 12)’.  I can’t emphasize enough that if you’re an online buyer that you should be combing through eBay and your bank of go-to online retailers.

For books that I’m buying multiples of this literally saves me hundreds of dollars monthly off of marked-up pre-sale listings.  On this book the range was from $12 (SOLD!) to $25 within a few clicks of the keyboard.

 

 

Speaking of prices that jumped all over the place, The Weeknd dropped the limited variant for Marvel’s The Weeknd Presents Starboy only from his website for  $5.95 and it sold out quickly. Subsequently, sold listings have fluctuated between $39 and $60.  

What will be interesting is to watch the regular cover as it was still available for below cover online but sales were jumping from $6.50 to $19.00 over this, um, Weeknd.

 

 

Always look forward to Jason Aaron on Thor; as is par for the course these days, first issues will provide you with a choice of variants that best fits your aesthetic.  I actually like the regular cover with the very cool new logo design best. (I’ve got your METAL right here, Scott Snyder!)  

Most of the variants are underwhelming, with the Ribic and Ward ones being passes in my book, but the connecting Party variant (available below cover) by Kaare Andrews has potential.

 

 

I am not a Spongebob fan but there is a devoted following out there.  The Broadway play is apparently Tony-caliber. This is one of those covers that catches my eye on a book with a relatively microscopic print-run (around 4500 monthly) so I’ll bite on a couple of below cover issues.

 

 

Something about this Sejic cover for the Hawkman relaunch has me really digging it.  Like most of the populace apparently, I can never really get into this particular character but I think Hitch’s interiors look pretty refined so I will pick up a few of this cover ‘B’ especially with DC’s super successful limited trade dress cover.

 

Who wore it better?

 

So has that Mattina fatigue set in yet?

 

Suicide Squad 43 ‘B’

 

How about now?

 

Flash 48 ‘B’

 

Cover art aficionados have long sung the praises of Dell’Otto, Granov, Mattina and the like but no matter how talented the artist, quality is bound to take a hit when said illustrator is overworked.  

Currently, only Joshua Middleton seems impervious to this but overexposure is a definite occupational hazard. Be careful what you wish for as you just may get it.

 

 

The long-delayed conclusion to the era-spanning saga, S.H.I.E.L.D. 6  Apart from Hickman acolytes, will anyone care? This will be incomprehensible for new fans jumping on board and maybe even for some former readers who forget what was happening when this book last came out.

 

 

The beginning of the insanely talented Michael “Copra” Fiffe’s three issue fill-in-the-gap run starts here.  There will be Blood-strike!

 

 

When you’re going to reference a classic, it can never hurt to bring in the original artist.

 

 

The next generation of Marvel heroes take center stage here in Marvel Rising Alpha 1.  Officially launched with the ‘0’ issue in which we were introduced to the enigmatic Ember Quade, this Stacey Lee 1:25 variant for the ‘Secret Warriors’ animated series precursor is sold out at virtually all online retailers.  

I almost pulled the trigger on this several times but I can’t justify paying the $30 price tag currently attached.  It also comes with two less pricey covers, if you plan to pick it up as a read.

 

 

There are a lot of plates spinning around the revamped Titans and Teen Titans books.  

Besides all of the ‘Crush’ hype in the junior Titans where she will make her official first appearance (DC Nation 1 and most of last week’s books don’t count, preview truth’ers!), Titans Special 1 will spin directly out of No Justice and in addition to some familiar faces, will mix things up a bit.  

As a precursor to Titans 1, the title will feature Dick Grayson, Donna Troy, Beast Boy, Raven, Miss Martian and Steel (Natasha Irons).  In addition to the latter two members being spec worthy as their firsts are still budget-priced, the cover to Titans 1 features a mysterious male character that some circles are whispering may be long-time Titan, Jericho.  

If that’s the case, we could see him pop up here first. (Rumor mill is also churning that a certain Czarnian is rumored to make a cameo appearance.)

 

 

Issue 1 was on radars for its black cover variant but the story was gripping and in true Ennis style did a great job of building foreboding discomfort in the reader.  I look forward to seeing the layers of the onion pulled back further…

 

Nancy Drew 1 1:25 Virgin

 

Guess they’re going for the Emma Roberts movie look for Dynamite’s updated take on the teenage sleuth. Tula Lotay’s virgin ‘fashion’ art cover is the rarest of the bunch.

 

 

Another Kaare Andrews sighting, this time for a feisty ‘A’ cover.  Isn’t this property rife for a fresh new take on this animated classic?  Are you reading this Cartoon Network? On the heels of Oliver’s amazing cover for issue 23 and the death of Fred in 25, Scooby Apocalypse is ‘spec-relevant’ due to its low print run but with a limited window…for now.

 

 

Though the jig is up for scoring these on the cheap, my OCD has me hunting each of these 1:10 Design Variants down sight unseen as these are often revealed late in the game.  

Webby took off and I don’t see how this one won’t follow suit. (And with Darkwing Duck’ recently popping up on a show within the show he has to be making a cover appearance soon, right?)  

Odds-on favorite for next issue would be another fan-fave, Gizmoduck, voiced by Lin Manuel-Miranda on the show.

 

Aliens: Dust to Dust 1 (D’anda Variant)

 

These Aliens covers are often dark ones; using a white background here really made the design elements stand out and I like this one as much as the last one Carlos D’anda did for issue 1.  PC-worthy at least.

 

 

Chip Zdarsky continues to be Marvel’s stealth secret weapon.  The revamp of this title, along with his work on that other Spidey-title, have been consistently entertaining reads that respect Marvel’s history while also not retreading the same old territory.  

In the Marvel Two-in-One Annual 1, we jump back to one of my favorite recent crossover events, Secret Wars, while also getting ready for the return of Marvel’s First Family.  The Park variant, sold out at the major online retailers, could also be a sneaky investment.  

One to watch.

 

 

These Loopydave covers all sort of blend together in my mind; the black ‘letterboxing’ will be tough to find in NM+ for completists.

 

 

The Millar Netflix era kicks off.  This limited series has three covers- two by talented interior artist, Olivier Coipel, and the decent AH! one above. (NYCC also just announced that they will be giving away a free 1st issue exclusive variant when merchandise is purchased online.)

While Millar spec has not been kind to investors in the past, maybe this will break the streak and open up the floodgates for more of his properties that are currently sitting in dusty longboxes.  This book will not be going to any additional printings but chances are that won’t matter.

Deadline is reporting that based on pre-order indications the book is apparently the most successful debut in two decades.  

Always the consummate entrepreneur, here’s what Millar had to say:

“In the past, we’ve always gone back for second, third and fourth printings, but we love the idea of making this as collectible as possible and literally doing no more printings after it sells out on Wednesday,” the Wanted and multi-Hollywood optioned writer declared. “I love the idea of scarcity here and making these a must-buy. So, it’s going to be a fun week and I’m curious what these move at on eBay by Wednesday night!”

 

 

The Batman Who Laughs shows up in the Immortal Men 3; another one of the post-Metal books. Here’s Jim Lee’s cover sketch which we broke over on the G+ page about 8 months ago; it would look great as a second print!

 

 

Elsewhere in the New Age of Heroes, over in Sideways, the new villain the Showman shows up.

 

 

This title has slipped under 20,000 which seems pretty much in line with the trend of these Metal spin-offs.  While I’ve enjoyed this one, I’m not sure it will make it past issue 12.

 

Small Press Variant Cover of the Week:

The ‘B’ variant by Nic Klein for Scout Comics Zinnober

 

 

Robocop: Citizen’s Arrest 3 Subscription Variant by David Rubin
Something about this cover just made me laugh, PC fodder only.

 

Another book that we spotlighted a while back on the CBSI page, and which was delayed from last week, is the second print for Deep Roots 1. Vault Comics continues to mine homages to, in this collector’s eyes, favorable results.  

Just like the Wasted Space 1 2nd print variants, this one promises to have an ultra-low print run as well.  I’m also loving that quality paper stock; Marvel could learn a thing or two from this up-and-comer!

 

 

As always, continue to spec the unex-spec-ted; until next time….            The Comic De-Spec-tive

 

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