Who's Who in the DCU

My allergies are killing me Tim. I know I shouldn’t complain after what you’ve been through recently getting stranded in Cali. Have you even made it home yet?

Finally made it home today. I love to fly, but…man, that make it hard to love it sometimes. I’m just glad to finally be home.
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That said, yes California is beautiful. If I had a place to stay or could’ve afforded a nice hotel room for the extra days, I’m sure it would’ve been 100% fun.

On a sidenote, going out to the West Coast apparently jumpstarted my allergies. So believe me when I say you have a friend in suffering Mathan.

Links

Broken Dial

Beyond the Threshold

The DVD Lounge

Inside Fights

Machine Gun Funk

Moodspins

Not a True Ending

Popcorn Junkies

Primetime Pulse

Retro Grading

Tailgate Crashers

Also check our our DC Boards where we discuss whether Sinestro’s head is large because he’s evil or if he’s evil because his hear is so large?

Wow…I miss everything cool while I’m away.

Are you linking anything this week Tim?

I am not linking Continental’s website because they were TERRIBLE when it came to this mess on the West Coast. Bad Continental! BAD!

What I Read Last Week Recently

Martain Manhunter #4-8 – I wasn’t really impressed. I guess I’m glad that there’s a new status quo, but this story seemed like it had twists and turns just for the sake of having twists and turns. I wish this mini had been better.

Green Arrow #72 – I kind of enjoyed this issue. I really dug how Jason tried to bond with Mia. I liked that Batman and Ollie had their moment. I think that Judd has such a firm grasp on Jason. I hope those two stay together. And frankly I hope that Jason and Mia team up.

I thought Mia’s attitude post fight was unsupported by the previous text. Not saying Jason couldn’t have used his silver tongue to convince her to be uncomfortable with her role, I’m just saying the words he used didn’t seem all that powerful.

Stormwatch PHD #5 – Smith’s art was distracting at first, but it fit the tone with the issue. I bet this would have meant more to me if I’d been a fan of the team prior to this. But it was still fun. And was that a Monitor I saw?

I was thinking the same, but the rest of the issue leads me to believe we were looking at Jackson’s father.

Wonder Woman #5 – I’m a sucker for Pfeifer. I liked how the issue dealt with Wonder Woman’s impact on the women of the DCU. I dug it and how it was realistic. Some people are going to get different things from her inspiration. I’m really looking forward to this title.

Detective Comics #829 – I dig Moore’s writing and Clarke’s art. And I love how Bianchi’s still providing covers! Oh, and the story was solid. I was cool seeing Tim in action (as I don’t read Robin).

A pretty good fill-in arc. Didn’t set the world on fire or anything, but I don’t regret having it in my collection.

Welcome to Tranquility #4 – Decent issue. It was cool to see the two arch enemies who’ve mellowed with age. But the fun just wasn’t there this time around.

Teen Titans #44 – Eh, it was “ok.” Nothing special. There was tons of talking, but not much action. I kind of enjoyed the Kid Crusader stuff, but that’s about it.

52 Week Forty-Four/Forty-Five – I loved how Isis changed her tune and asked for vengeance. I loved how Black Adam cut loose. I just love this title.

Isis’s change of heart worked for the story, but it felt way too sudden to me. Which is sort of silly considering she was oozing pus all over the place, but that was my first reaction to it.

I’m not sure that Adam’s in the wrong here, to be completely honest. He invaded a country that was housing a villain who helped kill his family and bring misery to his country for weeks. Yes, the deaths of citizens are an indication that he’s gone ‘round the bend, but is he wrong to, in essence, declare war?

Green Lantern Corps #10 – The only thing I really enjoyed about this issue was appearance by the Sinestro Corps. That and the Kougarian outcasts who actually appreciated a Green Lantern. But apart from that I didn’t dig much.

Justice League of America #6 – Predictable ending, but some pretty good characterization. It made me care about Red Tornado, and not just enjoy his presence like Young Justice did. Meltzer continues to not disappoint me.

This opening arc was…problematic to me. I too appreciated the closer look at Red Tornado (by far my favorite elemental contained in a metal shell), but the rest of it was hit or miss at best. I think I’m still stuck on three issues worth of discussing who should be on the team for the team to, more or less, be assembled by this chance incident.

Scalped #3 – Decent ending to the first arc. The Thunderheart influence is obvious, but I’m interested enough to see how this thing is going to play out.

God, I love Thunderheart.

Sorry…but it’s true. VAL KILMER RULES!

Loveless #16 – I’m tired of raving about this book, but I do love it.

Manhunter #29 – Nice to see a thread from 52 picked up. Sad to see what’s in Mark’s future. It’s a great book as always. And Rigg’s inks have finally connected with me.

Mark definitely has it rough, but I’m very interested to see if he adapts to life as Azrael or if he chucks the whole thing. Loved Dylan stepping up and the revelation about Beetle’s identity.

Crossing Midnight #3-4 – I’m really enjoyed this book. And it’s because I’m not connecting 100%. It’s a weird title, which I’m chalking up to a Japanese story via a Brit writer. The cast keeps growing and I keep falling deeper and deeper into this title.

Justice #10 – I’ll admit to completely falling for the John Stewart swerve. They got me. I was so pissed and then I felt like a fool. Well played all.

Hyperion vs Nighthawk #3 – Hyperion got some cool points for his actions. But this book just depresses me.

Nothing quite like Darfur to bring you down, huh?

Outsiders #46 – Glad to see that we’re getting some explanation why Boomer’s on the team. Equally glad to see Grace show some depth. And I really believe in the relationship between Grace and Thunder. I dug the issue.

Nightwing #130 – Wolfman has yet to click was a writer on this title. I’m bored with his stuff. I hope that the next art will be better, but I’m tired of saying that about every OYL arc.

The Authority #2 – Worth the wait. I really can’t wait to see how the rest of the team adapts to being in the “real world.” Good read. And Ha’s art was a sight to behold as always.

The Atom #9 – Nice to learn more about Ryan’s youth. Zombies aren’t really my thing. But seeing Ryan outside of Ivy is nice.

Yeah, I’m way zombie-d out, but I like the angle on them here. Magic nunchucks are never not cool, you know?

OMAC #8 – Boo. This mini was a waste. I really wish it had some long lasting effects, and perhaps Brother Eye will appear elsewhere, but I’d have liked to see more of Mikey.

The Creeper #6 – Equally boo. It was great to see Justiniano and Wong on the art again, but apart from that this mini was pointless. The Creeper didn’t need a revamp.

Tale of the Unexpected #6 – Again, I only read the back up, but it was great as always. I loved the various cameos. I loved the soul searching by a nazi ape. I loved Azzarello’s script and Chiang’s art.

So much fun! I wish I could stop reading the lead though. It is so SO bad that it makes my head hurt and my stomach recoil.

Aaron doesn’t believe in “don’t ask, don’t tell”

Cavalier and Captain Stingaree? Cool, whatever. I remember the former from back in the day, but how about bringing me up to speed on Stingaree? And, was the mention of their relationship in JLA #2 just a throwaway line or has this storyline been written about elsewhere in the DCU?

Captain Stingaree is none other than Karl Courtney, one of the Courtney quadruplets.

Oh, but of course he is!

Naturally as the black sheep of the family he turned to crime and adopted the pirate motif. His high point as a criminal he was a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains.

As far as their relationship, we here at Who’s Who in the DCU respect the two swordsmen’s need for privacy. We’d hate cross swords with them, or even be on the receiving end their doubtlessly strong thrust. And DC obviously feels the same way, as this was the first it was mentioned.

Tim, is there any chance that Captain Stingaree could get a revamp?

There’s a chance. Let’s see.

Okay, I’m seeing a charming suburban sitcom type story about Captain Stingaree and Cavalier living together in Riverdale, New Jersey (having just gotten a civil union), getting along with the new neighbors. The neighborhood is, of course, hilariously uncomfortable with the swordsmen’s lifestyle choice (must resist swordfight pun), but can’t afford to run them out of town as they have led Riverdale High’s normally abysmal fencing squad to a winning record season. Meanwhile, the two are hiding the true scandal of their lives, that they continue to be supervillains in big, bad Jersey City.

Think that’ll work?

The Shade gets into the decompressed storyline debate a little late

What is your opinion on storylines which seem to be written for collections (The recent Justice League America series is a good example)

I guess that I’m off the opinion that if they’re good I like them. If they aren’t good, I don’t like them as much.

I’m not really a fan of trades when it comes to ongoing monthlies. I think that many times creative teams are assembled with the eventual trade in mind, which makes things such as subplots nearly extinct. I remember when Mr. Smith and the Predator were introduced in Green Lantern. I remember loving the mystery that was built around those two characters and how things progress month after month. There was an eventual payoff, but it wouldn’t have fit in a single trade. I miss stuff like that.

That said two of my favorite comics in recent memory Starman and 100 Bullets both featured arcs throughout their runs, arcs which are easily collected into trades. So I’m not completely against the practice.

Brad Meltzer probably didn’t need six issues to tell the tale he told in Justice League of America, but since he filled it with some fun and revealing characterization I didn’t mind the stretching of the story.

And while I realize that comics are a medium that allows writers to create gigantic stories without the worries of a budget, sometimes things can get out of hand. Personally I feel Hush was completely overblown. The story was little more than an excuse for Batman to interact with his most recognizable rogues and allies, drawn by Jim Lee. It wasn’t a great story, but it was a kind of fun event in the way that eating Halloween is fun that night, but you kind of feel sick the day afterwards.

I guess I like stories that are multipart in nature, but not necessarily written with the eventual trade in mind.

Tim, where do you stand on writing, trades and things of that nature.

I don’t think anyone should write for the trade. That said, it rarely bothers me when people write 6 (approximately) issue arcs. At least not in and of itself.

I guess, at the end of the day, Mathan has it right. I like good stories. If they are 12 part sagas or one off issues, it makes no difference to me. Good is good, bad is bad.

A lot of people have a problem with the lack of subplots that you mentioned Mathan, but I don’t see that as having to be the case. You can write in multi issue arcs and still have subplots stringing through the book. Look at Manhunter for a book that makes that sort of thing works. You can still plant seeds that will come to bloom later in the book while using an arc system. If there are a lack of subplots, it is a product of the way people are writing the arcs, not the arc system itself.

Aaron is trying to cut the atmosphere with a knife

‘K, I’m picking up tension between Supes and Green Arrow…at least I think I am. Real or imagined?

Probably a bit of both.

I mean Green Arrow, being the left wing dude he is, probably resents that Superman doesn’t do enough to upset the status quo. I mean the guy operates in Metropolis, yet the city still has an area called Suicide Slum. You’d think that with all his abilities he’d have had more of an impact on the city.

And Superman probably resents that Green Arrow stayed dead longer. And I’d imagine that Superman is equally peeved that Green Arrow got a big name talent to pen his resurrection. Could you imagine Kevin Smith writing Superman? I bet it’d be awesome!

So yeah, there might be some tension there.

Tim, have you ever sensed any tension between Green Arrow and Superman?

I think, lately, people have made an effort to write it in. It is probably belated fallout from Dark Knight Returns and one armed Ollie’s attitude to Supes back then.

Or, it could’ve just been this moment here.

That couldn’t have made Clark happy.

Aaron stirs up the Birthmark bees’ nest

Speaking of Supes, just how much of his post-Crisis “changes” have since been ret-conned back to his pre-Crisis existence? For example, now it appears that Supes “debuted” before he moved to Metropolis (whereas, in the ‘Man of Steel’ storyline, Byrne made it clear that Metropolis Superman was the first the public had seen of him.)

Um let’s make a list, shall we?

Superman, the sole survivor of Krypton – Not any more. Not only is Kara Zor-El hanging out in the DCU, but at least four kryptonian criminals recently escaped the Phantom Zone.

Clark Kent and Lex had no history – As revealed in Birthright Lex turned up in Smallville while Clark was still in high school and the two were actually friends.

Clark Kent, pretty much powerless until an adult – As witnessed in the recent Action Comics Annual #11 young Clark Kent was flying around Smallville with Mon El.

Only one kind of kryptonite – Kara Zor-El’s arrival on Earth also heralded the return kryptonite in various colors.

Lex Luthor is a multidimensional character – If we’re to gauge the future of Lex Luthor on the aforementioned Action Comics Annual gone are the days of Lex with business savvy. Instead we’ve got a Lex who wants only to kill Superman.

Tim, can you think of any other parts of Superman mythos that have been returned to their hokey Silver Age version?

Krypto.

I might be missing others, but it is all just too hard to think about.

Aaron looks back a few Crises

Speaking of which, in the 20+ years since “Crisis”, pretty much everyone in the DCU has been “re-done”. What are the best improvements with regards to pre-Crisis heroes and villains and which were done better before “Crisis”?

This question is oddly complex. I mean like you said, nearly everyone’s been revamped. That’s like a ton of characters. I’m probably going to have to give a quick flip through on of the various Who’s Who issues that I’ve got lying around.

Better Post Crisis

Aquaman – It wasn’t a major revamp, but what Peter David did with the character was pretty good work, compared to his relatively corny Pre-Crisis version.

Time & Tide, I believe, still stands as the single best Aquaman story ever. Granted, there isn’t much competition, but still.

Catwoman – The Pre Crisis Catwoman was sultry, but pretty two dimensional. Post Crisis Selina lead a life (on the street) before taking up the costume. She’s a fully realized character now, complete with her own underrated solo title. And she’s also a complex character; she’s not completely heroic yet not totally villainous.

Lex Luthor – Until relatively recently the guy didn’t wear purple and green armor. What more needs to be said?

Why, DC, why? Why’d you take our Lex away from us. Sob…wail.

Mordru – Pre-Crisis, this guy was pretty much limited to being a thorn in the side of the Legion of Super-Heroes. But Post-Crisis he ended up being a true threat to the JSA. It was a great twist and it made me really understand how powerful and scary the guy is.

Penguin – He was a lame character with a cheap gimmick. But now he’s much more tolerable as a legitimate front with criminal past and connections. He’s also more believable too.

Poison Ivy – Before she was another gimmicky villain. But as an villain with an eco bend, she seems much more realistic.

The Flash Legacy – Post Crisis the connections between Flashes, and speedsters in general, are flawless. Linking the characters and tying them together in such a fashion worked so well it’s almost a shame that it wasn’t always that way.

I never thought of that as having not extended to Pre-Crisis…that is a brilliant piece of working.

Huntress – Being Batman’s daughter, as she was Pre Crisis, is kind of corny. But a woman driven to vengeance on her own is acceptable. She also provided a nice distinction by being a crusader whose methods Batman didn’t approve of.

Despero – Dude was a wimp before the Crisis. But when he appeared afterwards he was an immense being, capable of going toe to toe with Martian Manhunter. How can you not like that makeover?

Krypton – Ok, I know it’s not a hero or villain, but it’s an entity. I loved the post Crisis Krypton. John Byrne’s World of Krypton is one of my favorite miniseries of all time. It’s such a powerful read. And it’s why I’m always going to be anti-cloning. Give my back my Krypton, DC!

Better Pre-Crisis

Hawkman – While Hawkman is all better now, immediately after the Crisis he was pretty messed up for a long time. I’ve got to say that for the sake of clarity Hawkman was better off before the Crisis.

The Creeper – Now on his third origin, The Creeper’s initial one was the best. He works best as a psycho freakout character. In the context of the mind altering drugs of the 1970’s the Creeper works. He’s just not a good now.

Ragman – I loved the original Ragman. Sure, getting powers via an livewire transmitting abilities of some folks to your body might seem hokey, but I liked it better than the soul sucking nature of his costume now. He wasn’t magical before, he was just an enhanced guy. I liked him better before!

See, I like the new soul sucking version. But that’s the first one I encountered, so that’s probably a big part of it.

Tim, who do you think was better off before Crisis and who was better off after?

I have to sort of excuse myself from this question because I’ve read almost no pre-Crisis books and own even less. The only book or set of characters that you didn’t mention that I can think of as being better off Pre-Crisis is Infinity, Inc. Crisis sort of removed their whole point of being, especially given the new JSA setup.

Everything else? Better post-Crisis.

The Shade has good eyes

Were there any noticeable appearances in the train in the latest issue of Tales of the Unexpected (considering all the odd characters that have showed up in that strip so far I refuse to believe they are just random faces.

You are 100% correct sir. Those aren’t just random faces sitting on that train. The gent in the cowboy had looks oddly like Logan or Wolverine. The guy with the red shades resembles Matt Murdock, also known as Daredevil. And the chap with the camera looking at his watch bears some similarity to Peter “Spider-Man” Parker.

I think it is also pretty clear that the guy with the glasses and the briefcase is none other than Clark Kent, ace Daily Planet reporter.

Tim, how much do you love the Dr. 13 tale in Tales of the Unexpected?

As big as all outdoors. I love it so much that, despite its briefness, I don’t even mind plunking down my money for the overpriced Tales of the Unexpected with its ultra awful lead story.

The Shade loves South Dakota

Mount Rushmore alive (in Tales of the Unexpected) is this a silver age thing?

It’s far more recent than the Silver Age. It’s actually reference to Brian Azzarello’s much maligned Superman arc For Tomorrow. At one point in the arc Superman battles a living Mount Rushmore.

Azzarello probably just threw this in as another example of something that DC wants to pretend never happened.

Tim, since you’ve already raved about this storyline, care to give us your thoughts in the NCAA tournament?

You may have hit on something that I love just as much as the Dr. 13 backup. MARCH MADNESS!!!!

Anyway, UCONN didn’t make it and Central Connecticut got beat in the opening round by Ohio so I guess I’m cheering for UNC to go all the way. But, mostly, I just love watching a ridiculous amount of college basketball in a very short amount of time. I won’t say that I’d leave Janelle for it, but if Janelle didn’t get my love of March Madness, let’s just say things would be strained these days.

The Shade’s eyes are apparently not as good as previously thought

Do you share my belief that the architects and the seven unknown men are one and the same…

Well, I’ve got to disagree with you on this point. As we see in Tales of the Unexpected #6 there are four architects. They are the ones whose faces replace those of the presidents on Mount Rushmore.

It appears that the architects are none other than Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Mark Waid and Greg Rucka. Grant’s the guy with the accent, Geoff is the guy next to him (who says “not a re-birth”). Mark is the bespectacled guy with hair and the bald guy with glasses is Greg.

That’s why their faces aren’t shown. And it also works in terms of the story. Those four are the architects of 52 and have a hand in shaping the current DCU. The characters in the story are pretty much left out of the mix (and the DCU) because the architects don’t love them.

Tim, did you enjoy eating any West Coast fast food, like maybe Jack in the Box, during your time stranded in Cali?

I did, in fact. I have a friend from Texas that is a HUGE Jack in the Box booster. I mean, to the point that every time he goes home, he gets a new “Jack” for his car antenna. So, I figured I’d have to see what inspired such devotion.

And the verdict? Not bad. Good, in fact. I’m not sad it isn’t out here on the East Coast and I don’t understand why my friend loves it so, but you could certainly do a lot worse (read: Burger King) in a fast food joint.

Kirk is still feeling the Superboy Prime ripples
John Henry Irons – before showing up in 52, wasn’t he crippled by nerve damage that wouldn’t allow him to use his armor (given to him by the Aegis Armour, which you covered in a previous column). Was that ever cleared up or did Superboy punch time again?
It’s not been cleared up. But I’m going to pretend that John is just that heroic that given the aftermath of the Battle of Metropolis, Steel donned his armor regardless of what the consequences for him would be.

But then, in something that we didn’t see in 52 John visited Bloodwynd who performed an ancient rite and cleared the nerve damage right up. Steel then went to John Stewart, who checked him out with his ring, and gave him a clean bill of health.

It’s either that or Steel got a sweet, but purely therapeutic massage from Raven.

Tim, how do you explain why John’s donning the armor again?

I’m inclined to say that DC just decided that it was best to have him no longer suffer from nerve damage, but I like your explanation better. Very (if I may use a term from a different company) No-Prize of you.

Aaron underestimates the awesomeness of the General

Steel mentioned losing his hand to “The General”. Please tell me that “The General” was a greater threat that his crappy name would indicate.

Um, hell yeah! The General is none other than Wade Eiling, the guy who set Captain Atom up with all that alien metal.

Furthermore The General had transplanted his brain into an indestructible body, that of the Shaggy Man. The Shaggy Man! Doesn’t that sound like more of a threat?

Tim, isn’t the Shaggy Man the most ferocious sounding name ever?

I don’t know…it sounds sort of weak.

But the General? Have no doubt, Aaron, the General is one terrifying piece of work.

BEHOLD!

Soak1313 has some questions about our favorite nearly nude

Why is Jericho mute and where does his body go when he posseses someone? I never really read Titans back in the day and the newest issue has me really curious about Jericho.

I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one curious about Jericho.

Did you just make a play on words with “curious”.

Jericho is mute because his father, Deathstroke, is a bastard. Y’see Deathstroke made some enemies in his years as a mercenary. An assassin named the Jackal kidnapped young Jericho, then known as Joey, and held him as a means to get to Slade. When Slade attempted a rescue one of the men that Jackal was using slit Joey’s throat.

Slade killed him, but the damage was done. Jericho would never speak again.

As for the mystery of Jericho’s body, it’s actually inside the person he possesses. It’s why on the rare occasions when he’s interrupted in the act of possessing someone his body is closer to the target than it was when he started.

But I mean, could you even imagine Jericho being inside you? I mean him actually putting his body inside yours? It gives me goosebumps, but in a good way. It’s actually the stuff that I dream about.

Tim, do you have a favorite Jericho moment?

That time Deathstroke skewered him? That was pretty cool.

I guess a close second would be his triumphant return, nearly nude and dripping with goo. Truly an awesome moment.


Can you say, “role reversal?”

The Shade wants to know what life is like on the other side

What is it like to have a half decent selection of shops in which to purchase comics. As I said above we have only one back issues shop and two actual comic shops where I live.

It’s actually quite glorious. I’ve had a variety of experiences with comic shops. Back in Tucson they were rather limited. Fantasy Comics, which stands as my favorite comic shop of all time, has the best back issue selection I’ve ever seen. They’re also reasonably priced.

In Baltimore none of the shops had a great selection of back issues, but I could get what I wanted in terms of new books.

But here in Vegas things are great. I literally have a comic shop just across the street, and that’s not even “my” shop. It’s got an adequate selection of back issues, but they’re priced a tad high for my taste/budget.

In less than a 10-minute drive I’ve got two more comic shops, one with some decent back issues. My shop, Dark Tower Comics, is a 20-minute drive away. It’s pretty much got zero back issues (but I’ll delve deeper into that later.) About half an hour away is yet another shop, again with a decent back issue selection.

Finally across town is Alternate Reality Comics, which would be “my” comic shop if it weren’t so far away. They’ve got some back issues, but they’ve a great mix of mainstream books and indie books.

Having multiple comic shops around to shop from is pretty cool. I know that if I happen to miss out on an issue, I can usually snatch it up at one of the other shops. If my shop doesn’t have a copy of a trade I want, I can usually find it across the street.

In terms of back issues, I’m pretty much at the point where there aren’t too many back issues I want to pick up. I’ve basically been seriously collecting for the past ten years, so I don’t have much that I’m really missing.

But yeah, it’s good to have options. I go to Dark Tower every week. I’ll stop by Alternate Reality every couple of months, and I run across the street once a month. Like I said, it’s cool to have options when one shop sells out of something, but most of the time it’s like having multiple flavors of ice cream; you can really only enjoy one at a time.

Tim, care to share your comic shop experiences?

I’ve gotta admit, I’ve always had great luck when it came to comic book shops and variety. In Connecticut, I had five (count ‘em, FIVE) comic shops that almost all had things to recommend them within driving distance of me. My primary store Heroes and Hitters, owned by the nicest guy ever Wayne, was about ten to fifteen minutes from any place I lived. Solid selection of back issues, a burgeoning TPB collection, a wide array of new releases, and a constantly refreshed 50 cent bin that is actually filled with some excellent finds on a regular basis combine to make it a near perfect store.

Just down the street is Omni which is mostly new releases, but also has great sales on older trades and does an excellent job on ordering and keeping in stock comic related merchandise (toys, posters, clothes, etc).

In Manchester, we find Buried Under which is my back issue store. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went there and didn’t find at least most of what I was looking for. Sometimes, it was priced a little higher than I was willing to pay, but it was still there. It loses points for kind of being a mess, but as an old customer, I’m not put off by the setup.

Back in the Wu is my first comic shop, the Eye Opener. It’s a good store, if a bit small, but I always feel awkward going into it because of times past. It’s sort of like running into an old girlfriend and thinking, “oh, she still looks good” while remembering, at the same time, you’ve traded up.

The last store near me in CT that I shopped was called the Dragon’s Lair (how sadly clichéd). I hate that store. I think it is mostly gamers these days, but I shopped there occasionally as it was transitioning from being mostly comics to mostly gamer stuff and boy did was that process awkward. The only comic shop I’ve entered that I felt truly uncomfortable in.

There was at least one other nearby (The Bookie) but that always seemed to be closed so I don’t think I ever actually bought a book from them.

Here in my present home of New Jersey, the stores are more spread out, but I still have great luck. Wild Pig Comics is my primary. They do a great job getting a good mix of new releases and keeping them on the shelves, a strong TPB collection, and a decent smattering of back issues. Even better is twice a year when the owner, Chris, buys up a bunch of collections and over orders on trades. He then has a twenty four hour sale where the collections are put on sale for 50 cents an issue and each of the trades is 50% off. It’s great.

MC Comics is the place to go, for me, for back issues in Jersey. They also have a ton of merchandise in stock that is otherwise hard to find.

Comic Relief is my back up for new releases that I miss at Wild Pig because it is much closer to my house and solely new release focused. If you’re a variant cover collector (I’m not) this would also be the place to go.

There is another comic store around whose name I can’t recall. They have an awesome selection of back issues, but the distance and the sheer tininess of the store largely keeps me away.

The only place I’ve ever been limited to one store was when I was in college. Then it was just Sarge’s. But Sarge’s was the biggest comic store I’d ever seen and I knew that I was always only a month or so away from going back home anyway so that was fine.

Sorry to hear you don’t have the same sort of opportunities, Shade. You ever consider a move to Connecticut, New Jersey or Vegas? It seems like we’d take good care of you.

This seems like a good place to end the column.

Next week we’ll cover a variety of things; jumping around timelines, pirate ghosts, and possibly all things Azrael. Maybe. But we might also answer your question, provided you submit it.

You can either email it to me or post it on our thread.

“I’m agnostic getting God, but man, she takes a female form.”

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