Sunday, September 30, 2012

She-Hulk 12: Another She-Hulk Series Bites The Dust

In this finale, writer Dan Slott wraps up the Titania story with another fun issue.  Here are some random thoughts on this issue:

*I miss letters pages.  I have no idea if this series was intended from the beginning to be a twelve-issue miniseries or if it was a regular series that Marvel canceled for low sales, then saw the good buzz the series received and decided to reboot it a few months later.  If comics had letters pages during this era, I'd probably know this.  And, no, I'm not searching ancient Internet message boards to figure this out.

*Though the series isn't metafictional, Slott keeps the John Byrne spirit alive a bit by having She-Hulk seek out answers in a comic book store as to how to beat Titania.  Marvel in the Marvel universe publishes officially-licensed comics, you see.  I'm pretty sure also that She-Hulk meets Evan Dorkin's The Eltingville Club in the comic shop, though only three of them (maybe the fourth doesn't like comics).

*An ad for Westfield Comics comics mail order service quotes a customer from Somerville, Massachusetts, USA which is puzzling.  Is the guy an invalid?  There are a zillion (well, maybe not a zillion, but a lot of) good comics shops in the Boston area.  Why does he need mail order?  When I was in Boston earlier this year, I visited a number of them and those were just the ones in walking distance from downtown (if I had taken the T, Boston's mass transit, I could have hit even more).  Admittedly, not everyone will walk from Boston to Somerville and back, but I did.  Maybe Westfield gives big discounts or something.  I used to get mail order comics when I lived in the boonies.  It was like Christmas twelve months a year.  I don't get as many comics anymore, so even with the discounted price, it doesn't pay for me since I'd have to pay postage and that would end up costing me more overall. 

*The comic also has an ad for a cd-rom collection that had forty years of Spider-Man comics on them.  This was a good deal for $50.  Unfortunately, Marvel realized that the digital comics market was growing and took the license away from GIT Corp, the company who made the cd-roms.  It was nice while it lasted.

*She-Hulk would go on hiatus after this issue, but it would return in eight months with a new number one issue (much to the confusion of future collectors, I'm sure).  You only have to wait until tomorrow though to read about it!


  1. Funny you mention the Spider-Man CD-ROM. I was cleaning my garage this afternoon and came across my copy of that. At the time, I thought I'd sell my issues since I'd have the stories on CD, but I still have a long box of Amazing Spider-Man too. And 2012 is the 50th anniversary of Spidey, so now I am ten years behind to boot!

  2. Those DVD-ROMs are rare and, as a result, they've held their value. You could probably sell yours on eBay for whatever you paid for it originally (all right, you lost a bit of value due to inflation, but you probably also enjoyed the product so it's used), which is more than can be said for most of the comics on eBay.

  3. Regarding your third random thoughts bullet point...

    I have completely abandoned brick & mortar local comic shops except to pick up bags/boards. I buy all my physical comics through DCBS at a hefty discount. I primarily read Marvel, and I only buy physical copies of singles that come with free digital copies (most of their $3.99 books), or books that aren't available digitally. DCBS's discount is significant enough to justify this approach.

    I guess because I didn't set foot in an LCS until I was in my thirties (it was all Lawson's spinner racks and The Newstand at Quaker Square for comics down in my little corner of Northeast Ohio), I have no real nostalgic affection for LCSs. I don't understand handwringing by the publishers over saving them. I don't recall Houghton Mifflin or Harcourt or Bantam trying to find a way to keep Borders afloat, and I don't see why DC or Marvel should have to keep a model that maintains the LCS. Get the books back in grocery store checkout lines like Archie does and you'll probably have a better chance at attracting the next generation of comics readers (or supplementing the blockbuster movies and TV shows and other comic-inspired media because, let's be honest, the comic book itself is no longer the primary focus).

    Another issue is that Apple has screwed the digital marketplace with their original $0.99 model. Most people have no hesitation dropping $0.99 for an app or a song or a comic. But I realize that might not always be a fair return for the property owner. But I do think $3.99 for a digital comic is too much to pay 30 or 60 days after it was originally published. Matt Fraction's recent Defenders run was sitting at $3.99 an issue (its original cover price) on ComiXology until very recently. His Hawkeye solo book is still at original cover price ($2.99) for digital even though it's on issue #3, I believe. (As I said, though, I can totally justify buying a $3.99 Marvel book at a 30%-50% discount that comes with a free digital copy, and immediately boxing the physical copy after redeeming the download.)

    Bottom Line: Make good stories, and make it easy for me to legally purchase them digitally at a reasonable price, and I'll be happy.

  4. I agree. Given the amount of overhead cut out, digital comics should be about 99 cents an issue. They'd likely sell more that way too. They should also make them downloadable like MP3s. Having to be online to read a comic one owns is a drag. I think the companies are moving slowly in the right direction. I viewed DC's big New 52 thing in September 2011 as basically cover for launching digital sales, though why they went with comiXology mainly instead of just selling stuff directly was a bit baffling.

  5. ComiXology comics are available off-line once purchased and downloaded. I read my ComiXology books off-line all the time (did it earlier today, as a matter of fact, on a plane).

    You're right, the real story at the time of the New 52 announcements was the digital model. I think going with ComiXology just made sense with regards to availability and convenience. Marvel has their own stand-alone digital comics app, but I only access and read them through ComiXology because my Top Shelf and Image and DC and others are then all in one spot. Dark Horse is the one "mid-major" holdout on ComiXology, and that keeps me from buying their digital comics. I have their app on my iPad, but I never think of opening it when I want to buy/read a comic. Out of sight, out of mind. DC avoided that by going with the established model.

  6. If comiXology comics can be read offline, then that's good news! I'm more likely to try them out now.


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