Buying comics can be an expensive hobby. A lot of fans simply can’t afford everything they’re interested in, due to rising prices and the over-saturation of the market with superhero titles.
That’s why we’re here. Every week, the Multiversity staff is asked “What would you buy this week if you couldn’t go over $20?” and shares their reasons why, in order to help others who might have similar tastes make their own decisions in buying comics on a budget. Be sure to leave your own picks in the comments!
Black Beetle: No Way Out #1 ($3.99) – Same rules apply as the previous one-shot: Francesco Francavilla is one of the best illustrators in the business these days, and pulp action like this is what Francavilla does best. Anyone who likes pulp characters such as the Shadow or Zorro and who misses out on this new series is making a terrible mistake. Don’t be one of those people.
Conan the Barbarian #12 ($3.50) – ‘The Death’ has been one of the best arcs since Brian Wood started writing Conan, and I can’t wait to see how it ends. So long as Wood can keep up his work showing us a new side to everyone’s favorite barbarian, and as long as artist Declan Shalvey keeps up the great work, I doubt anyone will walk away from this issue disappointed.
Saga #9 ($2.99) – It just gets better and better and better. Some of our readers voiced their disagreement with us when we gave “Saga” various #1 spots in our 2012 in Review series, and I understand — it wasn’t my #1 choice for best ongoing, either. However, “Saga” has a mass appeal that you rarely see in either genre fiction or in a niche medium like this, much less in both. That is why it won… well, that, and because it is a damn great book.
New Avengers #2 ($3.99) – The possibilities for this book are very exciting, and the first issue was an incredibly promising start. This week, we hopefully get to see what direction the series is going in the long haul. Jonathan Hickman is great at this kind of high concept, massive scale science fiction, and he and artist Steve Epting have come to work very well together. This was my most anticipated of the Marvel NOW! books, and the first issue met most of my expectations.
Pathfinder #4 ($3.99) – This book is passing under to many radars, and it’s a shame. This is a fun fantasy ongoing written by one of the industry’s rising stars, and packed with enough bonus features to justify the $3.99 price tag.
B.P.R.D. 1948 #4 ($3.50): – Spoiler alert: this series features Li’l Hellboy. That said, how can you not buy it now? Pamcakes!
Insurgent #1 ($2.99): – We had series co-writer F.J. DeSanto on The Hour Cosmic last week, and he was a charming fella who sold this book as “Blade Runner meets Halo.” I can dig that.
Threshold #1 ($3.99): – Keith Giffen doing cosmic DC, with a Larfleeze backup? Has someone been reading my dream journal?
Comeback #3 ($3.50): – One of the best time-travel stories in recent memory, and beautifully illustrated to boot. If you aren’t buying this, you’re missing out, big time.
Saga #9 ($2.99): – I fear David Harper would slit my throat if this isn’t on my list, so here it is. Oh, and it is an absolutely fantastic book.
New Avengers #2 ($3,99): – The first issue was an engaging prologue, but I am ready for this series to really kick off this week. Plus, those Jock covers are something to behold.
Total:: $20.96 – I’ve gone under every week for the last month, so you should have another buck lying around.
Fashion Beast #5 ($3.99) – I’m really urging everyone to check this out. It’s this really offbeat thing that isn’t like anything else I’ve read from Alan Moore. And it’s drenched in 80’s vibes, so you know, that’s pretty fun too.
Batman #16 ($3.99) – A Joker story was a very obvious choice for DC’s biggest talent writing DC’s most popular book. But that fact doesn’t do justice to just how good this arc is turning out to be. I’m not sure whether Joker stories are easier or harder to write, but you have to admit that the pressure was on. Snyder & Capullo have something really special going on.
Threshold #1 ($3.99) – A Keith Giffen “Guardians of the Galaxy” rip-off for the New 52? Might be awful. Might be cool.
Saga #9 ($2.99) – “Comics Should Be Saga”
All-New X-Men #6 ($3.99) – Don’t say I can’t admit when I’m wrong. I was a huge skeptic of Bendis writing the X-Men, especially with this “time-travelers”premise. What we ended up getting was a book that feels like one of Marvel’s event books, only in bi-weekly fashion. Bendis is avoiding his worst tendencies and writing a big book that matters. I can’t wait until he adds “Uncanny X-Men” to his workload and splits these plots up a bit.
Captain Marvel #9 ($2.99) – Question: Will I ever shut up about “Captain Marvel”? Answer: probably not, no. Gun to my head, I’d say it’s easily my favourite Marvel book right now with a great, compelling lead and consistently great art and the best part? This week’s issue is the perfect jumping on point for the title. So if you’re not already reading it, you might as well start now.
Avengers Assemble #11 ($3.99) – What happens when Spider-Woman is trapped with a crazed Hulk? Hell if I know, but I’m getting this issue to find out because Kelly Sue may be writing the most wholly fun Avengers title right now.
Saga #9 ($2.99) – It’s “Saga”. C’mon, do I even have to? I’m buying it, you’re buying it, everyone’s buying it.
Savage Wolverine #1 ($3.99) – It’s Frank Cho. It’s Wolverine. It’s the Savage Land and freakin’ dinosaurs. Even if I don’t keep up with the series, I always knew I was getting the first issue at least.
New Avengers #2 ($3.99) – Remember how I called “Avengers Assemble” the most fun Avengers title? Well, this is the opposite of that. Somehow, Hickman’s managed to all ready create an overbearing sense of dread with the characters’ actions in the first issue. I can’t wait to see where this goes.
X-Factor #250 ($2.99) – X-Factor has been going strong for a long, long time under the pen of Peter David. This landmark issue culminates a lot of the storylines that have been building in this book, but perhaps most of all, buying this book means supporting the superb talent of David, a writer who has long been underrated and has recently suffered a stroke. He’s one of the absolute gems of the industry, and he deserves your support all of the time. Now though? This is when he really needs your support.
Saga #9 ($2.99) – Umm. Yeah. It’s Saga. So, I’ll be buying it surprisingly.
Comeback #3 ($3.50) – Ed Brisson and Michael Walsh in two issues have developed one of the more fascinating and well-done hybrids of noir and sci-fi I’ve ever experienced. Not that I’ve seen that a lot, but man, I am enjoying the living hell out of it.
Indestructible Hulk #3 ($3.99) – Man this comic is entertaining. Mark Waid and Leinil Yu have crafted a very fun, very new feeling Hulk book, and it’s definitely something I am all about.
B.P.R.D. 1948 #4 ($3.50) – Oh man. This comic is strange and very, very well told, and it’s Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Max Fiumara having a lot of fun with some really great monster stuff.
Total: $16.97 (a lot of interesting near misses, but I’ll save some space for walking the racks)
Saga #9 ($2.99) — Doesn’t really require justification at this point. It’s Saga!
Lil’ Depressed Boy #15 ($3.99) — Things were going (reasonably) well for LDB for a bit, but now it looks like the axe is going to drop, and it’s making this lovably deadpan story all the more suspenseful. I just hope LDB’s heart doesn’t get broken into too many pieces.
Comeback #3 ($3.50) — Still not as on board with this series as I could be, but it’s been good fun keeping track of all the little details and clues as they come up. Plus the art (and especially the colours) are magnificent.
Creator-Owned Heroes #8 ($4.99) — Sad that this is going to be the last one, but at least we’re getting this last helping of miscellaneous creator-owned awesomeness.
The High Ways #1 ($3.99) — I’m not sure what to expect from this IDW/John Byrne title, but it’s science fiction and the concept looks promising, so why not?
One Trick Rip-Off + Deep Cuts ($29.99 retail, OR $19.39 on Amazon) – I know, I know, I know. “Oh, Matt! That’s too much money! This column is about spending $20, and you’re asking us to spend more than that! Please don’t do that to us!” Yeah, well, sorry, but it’s Paul Pope, and when you have the opportunity to spend money on Paul Pope then you need to forsake all that other stuff you would normally get and get the Paul Pope.
Look. Paul Pope is one of my absolute favorite artists, and I’m happy to admit I don’t own enough by him. Sure, I’ve got all the stuff you can “easily” get – his Vertigo books, “Batman: Year 100″ (actually not that easy to get anymore) – but I always want more. Dare I say, I always need more. I’m constantly on the lookout for work by Paul Pope that I do not yet own because more than any other comic, that’s the stuff I need. Pope is a fantastic and versatile artist, perfect at evoking specific moods to the same extent that music can and always diving into unforeseen landscapes and cool sci-fi dystopias; “100%” blew my mind the first time I read it, seeing how deftly Pope can make his art sing , and I love revisiting it. But no matter how many times I read and re-read it, I must have more.
That’s where “One Trick Rip-Off” comes in, reprinting Pope I don’t yet own TIMES TWO! You get the full graphic novel, now in color with colors by Jamie Grant (“All Star Superman,” anyone?) and then and extra 150 pages of additional material from all of Pope’s career for 288 pages of comic. What more could you want this week? What else could possibly be better than this?
Total: $29.99 – Oh, just suck it up and find an extra $10. Ask your mom to PayPal it to you or something.