Comics I Bought 22 January 2009

The impact of Marvel’s policy to increase the price of their ongoing series to $3.99 had its first effect on my regular comic buying this week. Dark Avengers #1 and The Mighty Avengers #21 both came out this week but I left them on the shelf. Both comics are not special mini-series but regular monthly series with no extra pages or anything to justify a price increase of 33.3%. Although I was enjoying Bendis’ Avengers stories, I was disappointed by the ending of Secret Invasion as an advert for the next Marvel event in which I have no interest; therefore, I don’t want to read Dark Avengers, let alone for that price. I might read it in trade if it gets good reviews but I can safely ignore it for now. The Mighty Avengers has a new writer with Dan Slott, meaning I have an excuse for dropping it – Bendis never really sold the series as a separate entity to me, only as part of the Avengers and Skrull Invasion stories. I hope that Slott does well and, again, I might try it out in trade later on, but I’m not going to try something out for $3.99.

The decision to not buy these comics isn’t related to the current economic climate – I don’t have many expenditures and I don’t buy many comic books, so I don’t have to worry about how much they cost. The decision is related to Marvel’s price hike for no justifiable reason. However, it doesn’t mean I don’t pay attention to how much comics cost. This week, for the first time, the exchange rate has impacted the price of the books I buy – previously, a £2.99 book cost me £2.00; this week, they had gone up to £2.20 (a 10% increase). I wonder how much further the price will go? Onto the reviews.

100 Bullets #99
Deals are made, plays are played out, guns are pointed, conversations are had and things change. I’m definitely going to have to re-read the whole series to understand everything but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying this book. It’s a complete package – great Dave Johnson covers, sharp writing from Brian Azzarello and lovely, moody art from Eduardo Risso – and it’s been a great run. I can’t wait for the final book next month.

X-Factor #39
You can always trust Peter David to pull the rug out from under you; he’s not a conventional plotter and this is one of his strengths. It sometimes doesn’t work out (I don’t think people liked the bounty hunter direction for She-Hulk, hence the cancellation) but he always keeps the reader on their toes, never letting you get too comfortable with situation, changing the status quo deliberately. As requested by David in his foreword to this issue, I won’t reveal what happens in this story; I’ll only say that it is a great turn of events that I should have seen coming as a possibility, but I didn’t. Well played, Mr David.

Only two books this week (and not due to finances); I’d already decided not to buy all the Final Crisis tie-ins, so didn’t buy Superman Beyond (in 3D). I’ll end up writing more and more reviews of trades at this rate – is that the fate for the weekly comic book in general?

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