The Frugal Collector – Episode 8/1/2012

Recently, I set a new goal for myself – to spend only $10 per week on comic books. Since I buy everything through the Comixology app, it’s incredibly easy for me to overspend on current and back issues. In addition to being frugal, this forces me to be very selective about my choices. So I thought to myself, “Which comics can I live without? Which ones are really worth my time?” And then I thought to myself “How big of a geek am I that I feel the need to make a budget to curb my spending on comic books?” Some questions, though, are better left unanswered.

This Week’s Picks!
Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe ($2.99)

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Deadpool! Now with 75% more screaming!

I’ll admit it – I wasn’t really expecting Eisner-quality material when I bought this one. These books are generally an excuse to watch super-people fight to the death, which is surprisingly more fun than watching them fight to the knock-out. Even though these books are generally set in an alternate universe, the fights generally feel like they carry a little more weight.

This issue, we get to experience a meaner, deadlier version of Deadpool, one without his trademark fractured consciousness. As you could expect, unleashing a tactically brilliant, ruthless, cold-blooded killer with an unmatchable healing factor upon the world leads to major carnage in the Marvel Universe.

Cullen Bunn’s script does a serviceable job setting up the rules of this universe and explaining what happened to create this version of Deadpool, but the book falls surprisingly flat when it comes to depicting action. The story opens at the end of what must have been a spectacular fight, yet the lack of action in the opening scene left you hoping for something spectacular that never occurred. Here’s hoping the slow first issue grows into a spectacular slaughter-fest. There were a couple of good, heartfelt moments in this issue, but, let’s face it – we’re only reading this for the mayhem.

I’ve been a sucker for these “(Blank) Kills Marvel” books since the hard-to-find Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe title in 1995. Since then, we’ve seen Marvel Universe Versus The Punisher, which was a pretty good read, and Marvel Universe Versus Wolverine, which was a BLAST. The problem with these books is that the action is either contrived and unbelievable ( Punisher Kills…) or the foes faced by the titular hero are powered down for some reason (in Marvel Universe Versus… the heroes are all infected by some sort of rage-inducing, cannibalism virus). Deadpool Kills… should prove to be fun because we actually get to see fully-powered heroes fighting against an opponent at the top of his game.

Hawkeye #1 ($2.99)
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I’ve been waiting for this book since I saw the promo art for it at the beginning of summer. Matt Fraction and David Aja worked together on one of my favorite books, The Immortal Iron Fist, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw they’d be teaming up again.

Confession time – I’ve never really cared too much about 616 Hawkeye. I loved what Mark Millar did with Hawkeye during his run on Ultimates, but the mainstream Hawkeye just never did it for me. Maybe it was his ridiculous purple-on-blue color scheme, or maybe it was the fact that he was ALWAYS kind of a jerk to everyone, or maybe it was the time he died because he thought it was more heroic to be a suicide bomber than to take off his arrow quiver.

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But whatever. After Iron Fist and Iron Man, I’ll read anything Fraction puts his name on. So far, I haven’t been disappointed. This was a fun first issue, light on the super but heavy on the heroics, which is where Fraction really shines as a writer. This Hawkeye is cocky, sure, but he’s a good guy. Maybe he’s not the smartest guy around, but he has a big heart, and this story does a great job of capturing his voice and character.

I had two issues with this book. One, the story and dialog can venture into corniness every now and then. Two, Hawkeye looks just like Iron Fist. They make a joke of this the comic, so I know Aja knows about it, but it’s still a little weird. Otherwise, Aja’s work is spot-on. He’s really amazing when it comes to drawing street-level heroes, because his style is gritty and “real” while still feeling very much like a comic book. I keep meaning to see if he’s ever drawn for Daredevil, a book I’m sure his style is suited for.

Hawkeye will definitely be in my pull list for next month. Make sure to check it out.

Avengers vs X-Men #9 ($3.99)
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Finally. After 9 issues of Marvel’s latest punch-fest excuse to sell issues, I’ve finally found an issue worth reading. To be honest, I almost didn’t buy the book. I had originally purchased an older issue of Invincible Iron Man, but, knowing I was going to be writing about this week’s issues, decided to not count the back issue towards my $10 limit and picked up AvX as well.

I’m glad I did. This issue was narrated by Spider-Man, meaning author Jason Aaron used the patented “Marvel every-man” approach to the story. It was a welcome change of pace from the coldness of the rest of the series, and some of the moments in this issue were mildly shocking. We get to see the dissolution of a marriage, the possible rebirth of a villain, and the destructive nature of the Phoenix’s influence.

I’m not going to held my breath for this title. If it took 9 issues for a single interesting, exciting moment, I’m not expecting to see any more throughout this saga. But issue 9 may possibly have ensured I’ll stick around for the ending, even if I have some fundamental problems with the series.

So there we go – no disappointments this week, which means my money was well spent. Sorry this one got posted a bit late in the publishing week, but I’ve been trying to change my writing schedule a bit and only just discovered what works. New comics on Wednesday!

-Nate

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One response to “The Frugal Collector – Episode 8/1/2012”

  1. wwayne says :

    I agree, there’s a big Daredevil influence in Hawkeye (which thrills me a lot, since I’m a big fan of the man without fear). I instantly thought to Matt when I recognized Aja’s art: he did draw some issues of Daredevil, and his style perfectly ties with the noir atmosphere of the series. Then I recognized some wonderful tributes: Hawkeye uses a card as weapon, exactly like Bullseye used to do, and he throws a wet dog on a counter, which really reminds of the panel in which Daredevil throws a wet Nuke on a table, in the last chapter of Daredevil: Born Again. Hawkeye has the kind of magic that makes you say “This is an instant classic”, exactly like I thought when I started to read Lemire’s Animal Man.
    I do see what you mean when you talk about your narrow budget, since I’m in a similar situation: some months I can afford to order almost every comic book that looks promising, and some others I can barely order the comics I enjoy most. This can be seen from my pre – order list from here to November:

    Deathstroke # 12 (08/08)
    Grifter # 12 (08/08)
    Hawk and Dove Vol. 1: First Strikes TP (15/08)
    Nightwing # 12 (15/08)
    Action Comics # 0 (05/09)
    Detective Comics # 0 (05/09)
    Smallville Season 11 # 5 (05/09)
    Batman: Arkham Unhinged # 6 (12/09)
    Deathstroke # 0 (12/09)
    Grifter # 0 (12/09)
    Stumptown # 1 (12/09)
    Team 7 # 0 (12/09)
    Batwoman # 0 (19/09)
    DC Universe Presents # 0 (19/09)
    Nightwing # 0 (19/09)
    Happy! # 1 (of 4) (26/09)
    Voodoo Vol. 1: What lies beneath TP (26/09)
    Youngblood # 75 (26/09)
    Grifter # 13 (10/10)
    Team 7 # 1 (10/10)
    Nightwing # 13 (17/10)
    Blue Beetle Vol. 1: Metamorphosis TP (14/11)
    Blackhawks Vol. 1: The great leap forward TP (21/11)

    As you can see, I ordered a bunch of comics for September, and barely anything for the other months. What do you think about the comics I put in my pull list?

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