Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 8

This morning, as I ran (slowly and laboriously) on the treadmill and listened to a podcast (the excellent 11 O'Clock Comics Podcast, that is), I was struck by a revelation. An honest-to-goodness thunderbolt from Odin hit me right between the eyes.

[Editor's Note: While it may very well be possible that the mythic god, Odin, struck me with a bolt of lightning somewhere in the vicinity of my forehead, it's probably a safer bet to assume that it was just the shock of running a mile at 5:30 in the morning that did it. Either way, a revelation I did have.]

Remembering that last year's Waiting for Wednesday feature didn't end with Issue 52, I tried to think back to when, exactly, WfW began. But because my memory is about as bad as Stan Lee's on a good day, I decided to do a little research on the blog.

And guess what I found out?

Only the greatest news ever, and certainly the most momentous comics-related news of the entire day, that's what.

This week marks the one year anniversary of this column. Yep. One year old. To be precise, February 25th is the exact day that all the madness (and copy/paste-ing from various publisher's Web sites) began, and you can go back and read that first post right here.

You know, for its historical significance.

So to mark this momentous occasion in fandom, I'd like to take a moment and reflect on the year that was, and to relive my own glory.

Okay. Done.

Oh, and remember that whole bit about this being the "most momentous comics-related news of the entire day"? Yeah, no. It's not. This morning, many news organizations (including my local NBC affiliate!) are reporting that a copy of Action Comics, issue 1, featuring the very first appearance of Superman, has sold for the record-smashing price of $1 million.

You can read a bit about it from the LA Times if you don't believe me.

Now, this particular sale is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because, well, it's Action 1. And secondly, because the previous record for this book was somewhere in the $300,000 range. I have no idea what condition this latest copy is in, but I have to imagine it's similar to that of previous copies that have come to market.

Thirdly, there is an auction starting Thursday of this week at Heritage Auctions, featuring a high-mid grade Detective Comics, issue 27 (the first appearance of Batman). It's been widely reported within the industry that this book, because of its condition, was expected to sell for well over the previous record of $300,000 for Action 1.

With the news of the $1 million Action 1 breaking today, though, I have no idea how that Detective will be affected. Batman is arguably (read: he is) more popular than Superman, but Action 1 is the Holy Grail of comics.

So, what will the most expensive comic of all time be? It's kind of a cool little horse race we've got going now. Will the Detective come close to that magical million dollar mark?

Well, the auction ends Sunday night, so I plan to post the final bid price sometime next week.

On to this week's books, though. Oh! Actually, ya know what might be a good idea, and something I probably should have weeks ago? If you go to Diamond's Previews World homepage, then click on the "New Releases" link on the bottom right of the screen, you'll come to the official shipping list for comics shops.

Like I said, probably should have brought that up a while ago.

Diamond's list is finalized every Monday afternoon, so what you see on the site Monday evenings (Tuesdays when there's a federal holiday) is what will be at your store come Wednesday.

Just so you know.

Speaking of books, there are quite a few good ones shipping today. Not nearly as many as last week, thankfully, as last week's shipment featured a stupid number of new hard covers from Marvel. Which was a major head-scratcher for me.

The point of putting out collections is to get those who may not follow the books issue-to-issue to pick up the full story instead, yes?


And why don't those fans follow the books issue-to-issue? Because it tends to get very expensive, week after week. So, let's release five hard covers on the same day. Yeah, no, that won't discourage the trade waiters.

Anyway, that whole tangent aside, this week's first, and biggest, title is DC's Blackest Night, issue 7. In this, the penultimate part of Geoff Johns' epic, I'm gonna go ahead and assume that something penultimate-y is going to happen.
Blackest Night #7This book has been the DC title of the past seven months, and Johns has steered the DC ship for the past year-plus. If you're not reading it, it's because of one of two reasons--either you're waiting for the trade, or you just don't like the DC Universe at all.

I love this book and everything about it, and I love the fact that I have seen (seriously, I have) people walking around town with different lantern color t-shirts. And I'm not talking about, around town during a convention. I'm talking, Tuesday afternoon, at the deli counter.

Anyway, here's the blurb from DC:

As Nekron continues to wage war on life throughout the universe, Hal Jordan discovers the grim, true mission behind the villain's return. But the truth is so cosmically abysmal that it threatens to expose a secret that could tear the very universe asunder. You can't miss this stunning, penultimate issue to the year's biggest event!

See what I mean about the penultimate? And anything with the words, "cosmically" and "abysmal" in its description has to be good, right?

Next up we have Ultimate Enemy, issue 2, from Marvel. I'm really, really enjoying the whole Ultimate line relaunch, and I enjoyed the first issue of this series. If you missed it, there'll likely still be some copies of issue one sitting on your store's shelves, so do yourself a favor and grab one.
Ultimate EnemyWritten by Brian Bendis and with art by Rafa Sandoval, Enemy is just a good, fun comic book with things exploding, and the Thing punching things. Really can't go wrong with any of that.

Here's the solicit info from Marvel:

The explosive new mini-series continues!! The super hero survivors of the mysterious attacks on the Ultimate Universe are forced to deal with the damage dropped at their doorstep. But who is behind it all? There's one person who has had just about enough with pain and suffering in life and isn't going to take it anymore.

That person is Susan Storm, the Invisible Woman...and she is going to kick somebody's @$#. Join fan-favorite BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN) and rising super-star, RAFA SANDOVAL (AVENGERS: INITIATIVE) as they bring you the next mind-blowing chapter!

Check it out, because it's good.

And, since it's just about time to wrap this anniversary edition up, I'll just quickly mention a few of the books I feel like I constantly promote on the blog. I love Vertigo's Madame Xanadu series and issue 20 ships today, which is a terrific accomplishment for a book with very little hype.

I'm enjoying Marvel's latest Stephen King mini-series, The Dark Tower: The Battle of Jericho Hill (all of these mini-series read GREAT in trade), and anyone with even a little bit of an interest in the prose work should be buying these books.

As always, New Avengers will be on my list today, with issue 62 shipping. It's a Siege tie-in, so there'll be some good stuff happening there. And, finally, because they put the price guide back in, I'll give a shout out to Wizard Magazine, issue 223, which features a cover story on the comic-to-film adaptation of Mark Millar's Kick-Ass.

And that's all she wrote for today.

Thanks, everyone, for reading my nonsense every week. For someone who is as verbose as I tend to be, I am truly at a loss for words when it comes to expressing my gratitude to you all for reading this column, and this blog. I have a blast writing for the site, and I look forward to the next 52 weeks!

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