Bargain Bin: Uncanny X-Force

Once I shied away from superhero titles, but now I’m on a quest to stretch my comic book budget further… (for a summary of that journey see this post.)

The Acquisition

I acquired 7 issues from a 50 cent bin at a local comic book shop over two separate trips. The issues range from 2 – 10. So I have fragments of about 3 different story arcs.

My Familiarity With the Title

I had zero experience with X-Force and my only familiarity with Marvel’s X line was through X-Men. Primarily the 90’s cartoon and the first 3 movies.

A friend of mine is a big Marvel fan and I mentioned that I had picked up the titles. He explained that X-Force was like the special ops of the X-Men. Or maybe it was dark ops. I can’t remember.

How were the Issues?

At times they were cool. And then there was the issue that featured a love triangle between Psi-Locke and 3 different versions of the character Fantomex. It seemed like it was an attempt to represent a poly-amorous relationship, but if that was the case I don’t think it was all that successful.

Frequently artists change in a series and sometimes the results can be jarring. That happened at least once in this series.

Will I read it to my children?

No. At best it had subplots that were confusing for adults.




Bargain Bin: Daredevil

Once I shied away from superhero titles, but now I’m on a quest to stretch my comic book budget further… (for a summary of that journey see this post.)

The Acquisition

My first serious endeavor into bargain priced comics was Daredevil. These were primarily acquired through 2 online auctions, for a total of 15 comics priced at about 75 cents an issue. The math works out to about $12 spent for 15 issues. Compared to current issues that are priced around $4/issue the same $12 would have yielded just 3 issues. Regardless of whether I enjoyed reading them, the purchase felt like a win.

I noticed there are not a lot of auctions specifically for the character Daredevil, but there are regular lots for sale in the range of about 6-8 issues. One auction included a complete story arc by Ed Brubaker (one of my favorite comic book writers).

My Familiarity With the Title

I had read a little of Daredevil on comixology (through a sale), This was mostly Frank Miller’s early work and Mark Waid’s recent run. As with most Marvel titles I feel like I don’t understand the larger context so I struggle to understand the story being told.

I also watched the movie and a few episodes of the Netflix series. As a grown adult, I have no shame in saying that I am not old enough to watch the Netflix series. It was gruesome and violent to the point I had my head turned for most of the episodes I watched. Surprisingly, my wife loved them.

How were the Issues?

These bargain additions are about the same experience for me in terms of not getting the broader context of the Marvel Universe. Some of the issues are good and I’d enjoy the others more if I understood what was going on.

The one thing that really struck me about the character is how self destructive he can be and then quite strikingly be overly optimistic. It made me wonder if the character is bipolar, and if that has been explored in the series.

Will I read it to my children?

Nope. Too gory. violent and sometimes just weird. For issues that fell under the Comics Code Authority they wouldn’t be enjoyable for my children.

Favorite Panels

At some point in my bargain reading I started taking pictures of panels that I thought I could sneak into a Facebook comment or two and look totally hip. Haven’t tried it yet, but here are the panels I’m saving for the right occasion.


Tales From the Comic Book Bargain Bins

It has been a long time since the last post, and there are good reasons.

To recap my comic book adventure, I sort of fell into them as a grown adult looking for something his children could read and finding new an exciting adventures that were tailored… to grown adults. I wasn’t the normal comic book fan, who have a tendency to come across as having collected comics for more years than they have been alive.

I tried to distance myself from that mentality and focused more on the limited series that had self contained plots. Essentially, avoiding superhero comics.

But here’s what I’ve learned. To collect a good series, you need to buy them new. If you don’t then acquiring them in the secondary market is at least twice as costly. And then comes the tricky part… you don’t know which series will be awesome, and which ones will make you shake your head for days… wondering why oh why was that ever printed? Not to mention that you can’t unload them on the secondary market because you are not the only one disappointed with the launch.

Looking back I can see this was my motivation for my 1 vs 1 reviews (where I compared two number 1 issues) and my One Two Reviews (where I reviewed the first two issues of a series as one whole, usually to determine whether I’d keep reading).

These were fun and quirky posts, but ultimately I became uncomfortable with the amount of money I was spending on these issues.

And that’s when I started looking in the bargain bins, which are almost always going to be full of superhero titles.

I’ve learned that a good superhero issue will provide enough of a recap at the beginning or through other writerly devices to make the storyline accessible to new readers. Operative phrase here is ‘a good superhero issue’.

Another thing I try to stick to is to only buy titles that have multiple issues availble. They don’t have to be sequential. I’ve purchased some that are pretty far apart, but I find buying 5 issues for two different titles more enjoyable to read than 5 random issues.

In anycase, when I have time (maybe tomorrow. maybe next year.) I’ll review a couple of those titles. Maybe.