It’s been awhile since I have done one of these Acquisitions posts. This is not due to me not buying any Superman books or comics in the past couple of weeks…months…years…whenever it is the last time I did one of these. Far from it. I have been getting stuff here and there, just not blogging about it. Recent purchases have made me want to get back into that game. First up are some variant covers I picked up for a reasonable price at my local comic shop.
There was a time when variant covers were the whipping boys of the comics crash of the ’90s. This is something of a fallacy but comics fandom has never met an oversimplification of a complicated problem that it didn’t like. The thing is they never really went away and in the past ten to fifteen years they’ve made a big comeback. It’s easy to dismiss them as a money grab and to be fair in some cases that is their design but that doesn’t change the fact that we as consumers have a choice in buying them. It also doesn’t mean that some of them aren’t pretty damn cool. DC has done pretty well with theme months in the last year or so and while I don’t normally buy them these practically begged to come home with me.
The artists involved. Want to get my attention? Put the artists that drew Superman during my favorite era (1986-1999) on the cover. It worked for Superman Unchained and when I stumbled upon these in the variant cover box at Dave’s Comics (in Fayetteville, GA for those curious) I knew they had to be mine. The Jurgens cover is just plain cool. While there are times when I do think that the concept of Composite Superman is silly there is something inherently charming about the character and when the right artist draws the character it takes that silly frown and turns it upside down. The horror cover shows what an amazing artist Jon Bogdanove is. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that back when I first came across his work in 1991 I wasn’t a fan but I can only say that I was a snot nosed 15 year old that didn’t know from art. Apparently this cover is the culmination of a running gag from the Super Summits Jon went to back when he was on the Superman titles.
Next up are a handful of covers from the Silver Age books I have managed to snag lately.
There was a time when the idea of collecting Superman comics from the Silver Age was something of a foreign concept for me. A few years back I completed my Bronze Age collection of Superman and Action Comics and thought, “Well, that’s as far back as I want to go. I’m good.” Then my local comic shop decided to start putting out these three dollar boxes that were full of Silver Age books. The comics may not have been in the best of shape but three bucks was too good a deal to pass up. This set my collecting goal post back a few yards and suddenly I was on the hunt from cover date October 1963 until today. That goal post got moved back a little further when I happened upon a cheap copy of Superman #148 and I have just stopped pulling the whole Picard thing of saying the line must be drawn here…here and no further because I know this to be a dirty, dirty lie.
I mean I won’t be hunting down a copy of Action Comics #1 from 1938 but there are other reasons for that, which I may have to write about one day.
The last cover you see if for Superman #222. This one is kind of special because it completes a short term collecting goal of mine. With that issue my run of Superman (which became Adventures of Superman in 1986 and then went back to being plain, old Superman in 2006 before ending its run in 2011) is not complete from issue 197 until issue 714. This is a minor victory in the grand scheme of things but it gave me a sense of accomplishment. It’s not a cherry collection. There are some that are pretty beaten up but when you are dealing with comics that are getting to be forty to fifty years old you take what you can find at a reasonable price. I can’t justify spending forty to fifty bucks on a comic but if one pops up at the $3 price and has some wear I will snag it for the collection.
Finally, I have a book that I got because of From Crisis to Crisis.
File this under “Books I Will Eventually Get Around To Getting If They are In The Fifty Cent Bin”. While I am pretty hardcore about having every main Superman title from 1986 to 2006 as well as the mini-series and specials published during that time period I haven’t gotten to the point where I want to track down all of Superman’s guest appearances. I used to have a list that has disappeared over the years as I have changed computers but actually buying all of them hasn’t been a priority. Mostly this is due to how much of an appearance Superman actually has in the story. Sometimes it’s just a panel so it ends up not being all that important so they end up in my collection if I run across them in the cheap bins.
Jeffrey and I covered this issue of Swamp Thing way back in episode 31 of From Crisis to Crisis. I had to rely on a digital copy back then but I kind of wanted a hard copy for the collection. Thankfully it was in the previously mentioned fifty cent bin at Dave’s so it didn’t set me back all that much. The story itself is a bit strange because it wraps up plot points that stretch back to before the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Apparently the Pre-Crisis Lex Luthor had something to do with Alec Holland becoming Swamp Thing but he didn’t get to Metropolis until this issue, which features the Post-Crisis take on Lex. My biggest problem with the issue was how Rick Veitch (the writer and penciller of the issue) portrayed Lex. His Lex is overbearing and at one point tries to force himself on a woman. That’s not the Post-Crisis Lex. He was a man of many tastes and was not to be denied, but he would never have to force himself on anyone. That Lex was much more smooth and seductive. It didn’t ruin the issue for me but that characterization always irked me.
And that is it for now. Hopefully I will be able to do more of these posts in the future as more stuff filters into the archives. I always have the best of intentions when it comes to this blog but real life tends to get in the way. So I can only speak in terms of hoping to get to something because every time I make definitive plans something bad happens.
Gloomy? Yes. Pessimistic? Maybe. Realistic? Oh yeah.