Growing up, there were many benefits to being a comic book fan. Yes, there were some drawbacks. It wasn’t that long ago that superhero comics were the exclusive domain of nerds, geeks, and kids. The fact that superheroes now regularly make billions at the box office proves that more people liked them than anyone dared admit.
Even before they became mainstream, comics and superheroes had plenty of upsides. For one, they were relatively cheap. When I was a kid, a comic book cost just a couple of bucks at most and didn’t require an extra summer job to get into. I could get by just by mowing lawns and collecting my allowance. Compared to other hobbies that required investment, that’s a hell of a bargain.
I had some friends that loved cars, golf, and fashion. I guarantee they spent way more money on accessories than I ever did on comics. Hell, I knew girls who spent more money on boy band merchandise than I spent on comics. I doubt many of those same girls have that stuff. I still have comics that I bought while I was in high school.
These days, it’s never been easier to get into comics. Now, all you need is an Amazon account and Comixology. Plus, with services like Comixology Unlimited, you can basically read hundreds of books a month for the cost of a latte. I challenge anyone to find a better deal.
In the meantime, another New Comic Book Day is upon us and with it comes more benefits of being a comic fan. Here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
The following video is from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. It is my full review of “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Please note that this video has major spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie, you have been warned. Also, it’s a great movie! You should definitely see it the first chance you get. Enjoy!
This time of year used to be so bittersweet. The week before Labor Day was often the last week before I went back to school and, as I’ve noted before, I had a less-than-enjoyable experience at school. I would often dread each passing day in this week, knowing that at the start of next week, I’d be going back to a place that made me miserable for seven hours a day. It was nerve-racking, to say the least.
That was often the week I needed new comics the most. It was the week when I needed a quality escape the most. I dreaded school so much that anything I could look forward to was a welcome reprieve. I always made it a point to go to my local comic shop that Wednesday and buy some extra books to get me through. For that, I’ll always thank the owner of that shop for letting me go a little overboard.
Years later, this particular week isn’t nearly as nerve racking. For the most part, it’s just another week. However, I haven’t forgotten how difficult it was in my youth and how comics helped me get through it. I had so many issues back then and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the comics I love. I know that sounds melodramatic, but I swear it’s true.
I know a lot of kids are already back in school. I also know some are poised to return next week. To those kids who dreaded it like I did, I urge you all to hang in there. Be strong and be safe out there. You’ll get through this, just like I did. Hopefully, a stack of new comics will help in some way. Here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
Last week, I went on my first extended vacation in over a year. I actually left the state, traveled somewhere nice, and enjoyed myself in ways that didn’t just involve lounging on my couch. It was a wonderful feeling. The fact that I got to enjoy New Comic Book Day on the beach on a nice summer day just made it so much more enjoyable.
Seriously, it was one of the most relaxing feelings I’ve had in quite some time. It was refreshing, therapeutic, and so many other things I don’t have words to describe.
Now, I’m back home and back in my routine. I’m still recovering from some nasty sunburns. I think I’ve used an entire bottle of aloe vera, but the worst is behind me. It’s a good thing too because I’m healed up just in time for another New Comic Book Day. I may not be able to enjoy this one on a nice sunny beach, but sometimes my couch and a nice cup of coffee is still plenty enjoyable.
My vacation may be over, but that’s the beauty of being a fan of comics and having a Comixology account. Every week feels like an event. Every week gives you something to look forward to. How you enjoy it is up to you. Last week, I got to enjoy it on the beach. This week, I get to enjoy it on my couch. Both can be plenty relaxing for all the right reasons.
I encourage others to embrace that feeling. To assist, here’s my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
The following is a video from my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. This is actually a video I’ve been planning to make for quite some time now. I always wanted to release it alongside the release of the “Black Widow” movie, but if you followed the news last year, you understand why that was such a challenge.
As frustrating as the wait has been, it’s finally happening. This movie is coming out and that means it’s a great time to get back into Black Widow comics. As it just so happens, last year brought us one of the best gems featuring Black Widow in years, courtesy of Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande. I rarely make such a statement for a comic that’s not even two years old, but this one definitely warranted an exception. Watch this video to find out why. Enjoy!
I’m a firm believer that when you love something, you can combine it with damn near anything and make it inherently better. If you love chocolate, then it’ll make peanut butter better. If you like watching baseball, then watching baseball while naked will make it better. There are plenty of other examples I could give, but I’d rather not get too personal about what I do on a Sunday afternoon.
With comics, I’ve learned over the years that you can find many combinations to enhance the experience. I’ve woken up at 4:30 a.m. to read comics with a nice cup of coffee while sitting in my recliner. I’ve slept in, gone outside, and read comics on my iPad in a swim suit while I got a little sun. I’ve even read comics with a glass of whiskey before bed. I can safely attest that both experiences were enhanced considerably.
Now that we’re in the middle of summer and pandemic lockdowns are ending, we have an opportunity to enjoy things in new ways. If you love comics as much as I do, you’ve got a lot to work with, especially on Wednesday mornings. The only limit is your imagination, decency laws, and how your willingness to spend extra money on things that may seem wasteful later on.
Dare to be creative.
Dare to be a little crazy, even.
Comics give you that flexibility. With the 4th of July just a few days away, I have a few ideas as to how I’ll supplement my comic reading experience. I won’t share all the details. Just expect them to involve beer, hot dogs, and speedos. I don’t know how much that’ll inspire you. All I can offer is my pull list and pick of the week. I hope that helps. Enjoy!
I’m a simple man. Whenever a trailer of any kind, even a teaser, gets released by Marvel Studios, I take notice. I’m not the only one, either. A trailer release by Marvel Studios is almost always cause for celebration and excitement. It shows on how often these trailers rack up record-breaking hits in a short span of time.
Even a trailer for lesser-known characters is bound to draw interest. Marvel Studios has proven before that they can turn obscure characters like the “Guardians of the Galaxy” into a multi-billion dollar franchise. Now, they hope to do the same with the “Eternals.”
Given their unprecedentedtrack record of success, I wouldn’t bet against Kevin Feige and company. These visionaries have all more than earned our trust, as well as the benefit of the doubt. However, turning “Eternals” into a successful franchise will likely be even harder than “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
I say that as someone with a very shallow knowledge of Eternals. I like to think of myself as a pretty well-informed Marvel fan, but even I don’t know much about these characters. I’m aware of their basic history, but much of my interest is tied to how their story ties into that of mutants, albeit indirectly.
I suspect most causal fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are in a similar boat. They don’t know who these characters are. They’re nowhere near as iconic as Captain America, Iron Man, or Thor. However, they are showing up in the MCU, so we all take notice. We just have no idea what to expect, given the obscure nature of this franchise.
Well, a few days ago, we finally got our first glimpse when a teaser trailer for “Eternals” came out. Being a lifelong Marvel fan, it certainly made my day. In case you haven’t seen it, here it is.
Regardless of how you feel about the characters, it’s still a visual spectacle to behold. Marvel Studios always seems to fill their films with plenty of dazzling spectacles. It looks like “Eternals” is searching for a way to raise the bar once more and history says they will.
Beyond the spectacle, the trailer offers some hints as to what kind of story we’ll be getting with “Eternals.” In short, they’re a race of immortal humanoid beings who arrive in the distant past aboard a massive ship. This detail is ripped straight from the pages of the comics, as originally penned by Jack Kirby.
Beyond that, we learn that they’ve been living amongst humans for millennia. However, they’ve kept their distance, refusing to interfere or significantly impact human affairs. Then, something changes. Now, they’re ready to make their presence known to a world that is still recovering from the events of Thanos’ infamous snap.
That’s all very intriguing. I’m certainly curious to learn more. The cast is full of well-known stars like Selma Hayek and Angelina Jolie. The history of the MCU has already proven quite rich through other movies, like “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Ant Man.” This promises to broaden that history even more.
That’s certainly good from a storytelling perspective. However, seeing this trailer still leaves me with one burning question, which in turn raises other similar questions.
Why did these powerful beings wait so long to reveal themselves to the world?
That’s a relevant question and one that mutants will also face once the X-Men come to the MCU, as I’ve covered before in one of my YouTube videos. However, it’s even more relevant for the Eternals.
These are powerful, immortal beings with abilities that are nothing short of god-like. If this trailer is any indication, they’ve been around for the entire breadth of human history. That means they’ve witnessed every war, every plague, every disaster, and every collapse, of which there have been plenty.
Even in the context of the MCU, they’ve witnessed some pretty terrible events.
They watched the Chitari invade New York City.
They saw Dormammu attempt to absorb the Earth into the Dark Dimension.
They watched Ultron nearly end the world.
They watched the Avenger try and fail to stop Thanos.
They may even be aware of a Skrull infiltration that began during the events of “Captain Marvel.”
They’re aware of all of this, but still chose not to get involved. Is it wrong to ask for a legitimate reason? Is it wrong to pre-judge them for having so much inherent power and not using it to stop terrible event?
Never mind the events that shaped world history. If they could’ve made a difference in the battle against Thanos and Ultron, then why didn’t that? What’s their reason for staying hidden? In the comics, their primary reason centers around protecting Earth from the nefarious Deviants. However, even the comics don’t offer much insight into why they just stand aside and let other catastrophic events occur.
It raises a larger question that the MCU will have to grapple with, which often gets overlooked in the comics. In a world where powerful beings like this exist, does their inaction constitute an egregious act? If they could’ve stopped Thanos, then does their decision to stay hidden warrant criticism?
It’s a difficult question and one that comes up much more frequently in DC Comics. On more than one occasion, Superman has been criticized for not helping humanity on a larger scale. It’s very much a common trope and one that gets increasingly difficult to address as a shared universe grows.
Like I said earlier, Marvel Studios has a stellar track record with telling great stories that at least partially address these questions. I sincerely hope that track record continues with “Eternals.” I also hope it’s more serious in asking the bigger questions about what it means to have power and be a respectable hero.
The Avengers who assembled to defeat Thanos were all powerful in their own right. Together, they are a force that can battle god-like threats and win. At the same time, they all have major limitations. The Eternals have limitations as well, but they’re unique in just how present they’ve been for the extent of human history.
In that sense, they have a greater responsibility than even someone like Spider-Man or Thor. If they’ve been present for so many terrible events, but chose to do nothing, then what do we make of them? How do they become heroes in that context? I don’t claim to know the answer. I just look forward to seeing this movie and finding out for myself.
Growing up, I learned an important lesson about habits. We all develop them. We all have some that can be a vice at times. It’s just a matter of nurturing healthy, enriching habits while avoiding the ones that can be more destructive. In that sense, I think I made a good choice in nurturing my love of comics.
Instead of smoking crack, playing golf, or some other habit that required way too much money or frustration, I pursued a habit that involved spend a couple bucks a week on some books that gave me regular joy. As a habit, it was both healthier and offered greater value in the grand scheme of things.
Even today, as an adult, I find waking up early on New Comic Book Day and enjoying a stack of new comics offers a tremendous value. Granted, there are some weeks where I’ll spend upwards of $50 on new comics, but that’s still less than the cost of maintaining other, more damaging habits. Again, just look at how expensive crack and golf lessons are.
It certainly helps that I don’t need to wait for the mail or go to a comic shop once a week. Thanks to Comixology, the value I get from my comic habit has never been greater. I no longer need go out of my way too much to enjoy this habit that I’ve come to love. The joy of comics is just so easy and accessible. Plus, you can enjoy them with coffee and/or alcohol. What more could you want?
To that end, I’d like to help others like me enjoy that habit. Here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!
Sometimes, the days of the week just line up perfectly. Like the years in which Halloween is on a Saturday or the 4th of July is on a Friday, everything just falls into place perfectly. For me, who identifies as both a comic book fan and a Star Wars fan, a year when new comic book day falls on or the day after May 4th is just too perfect.
For those of you who don’t know, May 4th is also known as Star Wars Day. It’s an annual celebration of the stories we love about a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. If you were on social media at any point yesterday, you likely saw people saying something like “May the 4th be with you.” That’s just Star Wars fans celebratory and being coy. It’s a beautiful thing.
The fact this is happening right before new comic book day this year just makes it even more special. Like many other Star Wars fans, I have more than my share of Star Wars comics in my collection. I also rarely need a reason to go back and watch my favorite episodes of shows like “The Mandalorian” or “The Clone Wars.” If I can do that and read a new stack of comics, then that’s a day well spent.
So, if you’re either a Star Wars fan or a comic book fan, today is a special day. If you happen to be a fan of both, it’s extra special. Find a way to celebrate and enjoy it. It’s not often the calendar works out this way. Cherish it as best you can. May the Force be with you all and here’s my pull list for this extra special new comic book day. Enjoy!
This is usually the time of year when I pay my taxes. Then again, this is not a usual year, nor was last year. I still made the effort. I did my duty, as a citizen of the United States, to pay my fair share. Naturally, I’m a little sore and a bit jaded, as tends to be the case for anyone who deals with the IRS. That makes this New Comic Book Day all the more enjoyable.
We all have duties and responsibilities that aren’t exactly fun. We still do them because it’s the responsible thing to do, as functioning adults. However, while there’s always a time for duty and responsibility, there’s also a time for fun and relaxation. That’s what new comics do for me. After paying my taxes, I appreciate that feeling even more.
There aren’t a lot of epic stories you can tell about paying your taxes or making it through another year without falling behind on your bills. That’s perfectly fine. Now, I’m eager to follow those stories.
I want to read a comic that involves superheroes beating up invading aliens. I want to read a story about giant monsters fighting giant monsters. I just spent a good chunk of my weekend itemizing deductions and going over my W2 forms. I need this.
If you’ve managed to pay your taxes like I have, more power to you. Enjoy this week more than most. If you haven’t, I strongly encourage you to do so. Tangling with the Joker, Lex Luthor, and Godzilla is arduous, but it’ll never be as scary as dealing with the IRS. I’ve given them my share. Now, here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!