Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Marvel Comics Presents: Wolverine Vol. 2 Review

Marvel Comics Presents: Wolverine Vol. 2
Marvel Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
136 pages
ISBN: 9780785118831

Contributors: Chris Claremont, John Buscema, Marv Wolfman, Erik Larsen, Joe Rubinstein, and additional covers by John Byrne/ Bob Layton/ Bryan Hitch/ Rob Liefeld/ Kevin O'Neill & others.

Reprints: Marvel Comics Presents #38-50 (only the Wolverine stories), Marvel Age Annual #4 (preview story for Wolverine regular series)

Synopsis: 'Patch' goes to Hong Kong to investigate the death of a friend. Mysteriously an entire city block has been disintegrated and his friend perished in the tragedy.  While checking out the scene a shadowy, black creature begins wreaking havoc.  It eats a policeman and Patch tries to fight it, but is stopped by an incredible coldness within the creature itself.  Chased by the creature he is helped by a young woman named Mai.  She has survived the creature's previous attacks and is trying to stop it alongside several other rampage survivors.  Just as suddenly a white creature appears to oppose the black creature.  Their battle causes an immense feedback which caused the initial disintegration of the city block and then they disappear.  Patch joins up with Mai and her comrades to find the source of the creatures. 

In a second story Spider-Man happens upon the supposedly dead Wolverine hanging out on a rooftop.  He mistakes him for an impostor and picks a fight.  Soon they're reconciled and teaming up to stop a kidnapping by some evil mutants.  Spider-Man whines and Wolverine scratches on stuff, the end.

Pros: A couple decent covers, Erik Larsen's Spider-Man is amusing, rare reprint of Wolverine regular series preview

Cons: Buscema's and Larsen's art is a bit sloppy, Wolverine jumps in the ocean and catches a great white shark with his claws...seriously

Mike Tells It Straight: Both stories in this second volume are utterly craptastic with zero continuity value.  Strangely each one features an obscenely obese mutant villain.  Only the diehard Wolverine completist should bother getting this volume.  If you have the original comics burn them immediately.

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Marvel Comics Presents: Wolverine Vol. 1 Review

Marvel Comics Presents: Wolverine Vol. 1
Marvel Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
104 pages
ISBN: 9780785118268

Contributors: Chris Claremont, John Buscema, Klaus Janson, and additional covers by Walt Simonson/ John Romita Jr/ Charles Vess & others.

Reprints: Marvel Comics Presents #1-10 (only the Wolverine stories)

Synopsis: Madripoor is an island principality off the coast of Singapore where anything can be bought and the ultra-rich lord it over the poor.  Modern skyscrapers tower over slums in low town.  Life is a commodity with a typically meager price point.  It's the perfect place for Wolverine to spend some down time. 

He immediately becomes involved in a turf war between an up-and-coming crime boss and the established crimelord.  What link does the upstart have with the X-Men that catches Wolverine by surprise?  The crimelord hires some uniquely talented muscle to take down the outsider meddling in his affairs. 

Pros: Prelude to Wolverine regular series, introduces us to Madripoor, origin of Tyger Tiger, first Patch persona, cover to #2 is a seriously classic image of Wolverine

Cons: Razorfist is the main villain's primary muscle - a guy with big blades instead of hands and Wolverine has trouble fighting this guy?, first two MCP covers were good and the rest sucked, art in later issues gets a bit sloppy

Mike Tells It Straight: Essential reading as Madripoor, Tyger Tiger, and Patch were major plot points during the first 100 issues of Wolverine's regular series.  Claremont shaped Wolverine's character in X-Men and this story springs directly from those pages. The story is decently written, the art gets weaker by the end, and it filled in some major back story.  This edition is redundant if you're planning to purchase the Wolverine Omnibus since it's included in that volume.

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Daisy Kutter: The Last Train Review

Daisy Kutter: The Last Train
Viper Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback - Digest-sized
192 pages
ISBN 9780975419328

Contributors: Kazu Kibuishi

Reprints: Daisy Kutter: The Last Train #1-4 (of 4)

Synopsis: Daisy Kutter has hung up her spurs after living the outlaw life and many consider exploits legendary.  Now the proprietor of a general store on a backwater planet her current life if incredibly mundane in comparison to her former glory days.  When two strangers offer her a job to test some new-model security robots by robbing the owner's train she accepts against her own misgivings. 

The mock train heist is on, but the owner has a secret which could spell the end for Daisy.  Factor in her former lover and present sheriff of the town she lives in deciding to take a train ride on the same day and it all spells trouble with a capital D-A-I-S-Y!

Pros: Well done black & white gradient artwork, polished manga-style, mildly reminiscient of Leiji Matsumoto, lots of extras: sketchbook, pinups by other artists, interview

Cons: Simplistic storyline, mostly g-rated

Mike Tells It Straight: Kibuishi has a unique art style which is simple, straightforward, and pleasant.  He crafts a believable world and populates it with endearing characters.  This story is very basic and easy to understand.  It's an enjoyable read meant for a younger audience and those wishing to keep things relatively light (even with the gunfights and killing).  Those looking for a mature, gritty story should steer clear.

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Uncanny X-Men Omnibus Hardcover Review

Uncanny X-Men Omnibus
Marvel Comics
Oversized Hardcover
848 pages
ISBN 9780785121015

Contributors: Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, Terry Austin, Glynis Oliver, Frank Miller, George Perez, and original Giant-Size X-Men #1 cover by Gil Kane.

Reprints: Giant-Size X-Men #1, X-Men (Uncanny) #94-131, X-Men Annual #3

Background: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the X-Men in 1963.  The original team's exploits were chronicled for 66 issues (until 1970) before being cancelled.  Issues 67 through 93 were reprints of the series until their relaunch in 1975 with Giant-Size X-Men #1. 

Synopsis: The X-Men have been captured by Krakoa, the living island.  Cyclops manages to escape and Professor Xavier desperately scours the globe in order to assemble a new team!  Soon Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Banshee, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, and Sunfire are training in the Danger Room.  They rescue the original team and defeat Krakoa, but once the dust settles all the old members have no interest in staying together.  Only Cyclops remains to train the new recruits and transform them from a team of loners. 

Tragedy strikes on their first mission as one of the X-Men dies!  Still reeling from their loss they face the return of the Sentinels and a journey into near-Earth orbit.  On the way back Jean Grey seemingly sacrifices her life to save the X-Men, but is mysteriously resurrected as Phoenix!  Magneto returns to face a fresh crop of mutants calling themselves X-Men, but can a group with such obvious handicaps (two members with high metal content in their bodies) and inexperience overcome the most powerful foe of the original team?

Witness the shocking origin of Professor X along with the first missions of Canada's premier super-hero team: Alpha Flight.  They plan to reacquire Wolverine (aka Weapon X) for the Canadian government.  Who is Mutant X and what is his shocking link to Moira Mactaggart?  Meet Kitty Pryde and then see the X-Men face the Hellfire Club!

Pros: You get to watch Chris Claremont go from rookie writer to breakthrough talent in the span of these issues, Byrne's art is groundbreaking for the time, Cockrum continues to do phenomenal covers after he leaves regular penciling duties, beautiful hardcover collection, great extras like: house ads, Cockrum character designs, and Classic X-Men covers by Art Adams

Cons: Characters in the early issues are pretty one-dimensional, George Perez annual wasn't up to par with regular series, they created Alpha Flight and Dazzler, "master of the dangling sub-plot" easily describes Claremont and some of his stories took decades to resolve

Mike Tells It Straight: This is the way to be introduced to the "All-New, All Different" X-Men!  Claremont was a rookie when this gig started and his writing talent forged the X-Men into the #1 comic of all time.  He made the X-Men multi-dimensional and added a maturity to their stories.  These issues represent the foundation of the X-Men under Claremont's guidance and easily fall under "must reading" for any fan.  

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Monday, March 22, 2010

DMZ Vol. 2 Body of a Journalist Review

DMZ Vol. 2 - Body of a Journalist
DC Comics - Vertigo
Softcover Trade Paperback
168 pages
ISBN: 9781401212476

Contributors: Brian Wood, Riccardo Burchielli, Kristian Donaldson, Jeromy Cox, Jared Fletcher, and introduction by D. Randall Blythe (from Lamb of God).

Reprints: DMZ #6-12

Synopsis: America is in the midst of its second civil war and the inhabitants of Manhattan Island are caught between the two opposing armies.  Matty Roth is the lone journalist reporting on life inside the DMZ (demilitarized zone) after being stranded one year ago on a failed journalistic expedition headed by Viktor Ferguson.  Liberty News sponsored the expedition and airs Matty's reports, although heavily edited for their pro-United States agenda.

Matty gets embroiled in negotiations between the USA/FSA as Viktor Ferguson (thought dead in the helicopter crash in the first volume) is revealed to be alive and in FSA custody.  We get our first real look at life before the war in Zee's origin.

Pros: Burchielli's art continues to be gritty and detailed, Wood's storytelling and handle on the characters improves

Cons: Filler issue by Wood with all of his notes/bios for the myriad characters, US military would assassinate Matty after the Ferguson affair (I would)

Mike Tells It Straight: Wood established the DMZ setting in the first volume and then gives us a merciless page-turner in this second volume.  Matty is trapped in the middle of a power struggle threatening to destroy the entire DMZ.  It is betrayal and double-dealing as Matty gets hung out to dry by his network sponsors.  You'll be hooked after this one!

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

DMZ Vol. 1 On the Ground Review

DMZ Vol. 1 - On the Ground
DC Comics - Vertigo
Softcover Trade Paperback
128 pages
ISBN: 9781401210625

Contributors: Brian Wood, Riccardo Burchielli, Jeromy Cox, Jared Fletcher, and introduction by Brian Azzarello.

Reprints: DMZ #1-5

Synopsis: In the near future America is being torn apart by its second civil war.  Manhattan Island has become a war zone with the United States on one side and the Free States on the other.  Commonly known as the DMZ (short for demilitarized zone) it's the most dangerous place to live in the nation.  A press expedition is launched by Liberty News to document the largely unknown conditions within the city.  Viktor Ferguson is the famous journalist leading the group with phototech intern Matty Roth attached.

Their initial landing into the DMZ goes disastrously wrong with their helicopter shot down and Matty left to fend for himself.  He quickly meets Zee, a local insurgent (aka resident) and former med student who runs a free clinic and she introduces him to the diverse, prolific culture still remaining on the island despite the sometimes horrific conditions. 

Pros: Gritty art, Wood knows NYC and his thorough research shines through, surprisingly compelling

Cons: Some characters/situations feel overly contrived

Mike Tells It Straight: Wood put a lot of thought into this story and despite the far-fetched premise it's very captivating.  In this first volume he keeps the explanations to a minimum and instead hooks you with the fast-paced action as Matty is stranded in the DMZ.  It's the little details the creators add which really make this book.  For example, Matty ducks behind a dumpster to wait out sniper fire and looks over at a dead dog with its guts exploded out by maggots.  Gritty realism (or maybe chewy).

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Barnes and Noble Update

Wednesday - Second shipment from B&N arrives and the discount drops to 60.9%.  The only books pending from B&N are pre-orders now (and fingers crossed they arrive). 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Barnes and Noble Update

Monday - The first shipment arrives from B&N and so far the discount is better than Amazon's = 64.2%.  Tally is updated and one more shipment in the mail arriving this week.  Then it's all pre-orders (and potential cancellations). 

Barnes and Noble Update - Cancellations!!

Friday - The two orders I placed on Wednesday had expected shipping dates for March 12 (today).  I checked and re-checked order status on B& all day in eager anticipation.  Did my expedited shipping pay off? 

Unfortunately, no dice.  The cancellation emails came rolling in during the afternoon.  One per book cancelled and I must have received around 8-10 at once.  I've must applaud B&N for being straight-forward and cancelling the errors outright.  It was not the messy Amazon promise to deliver one book per customer and then rescind on the deal. 

Strangely, the pre-orders remain alive and prices have dropped below the original $10.79.  Now I'm waiting for Tomb of Dracula omnibus v2 $9.59 shipping on 3/31, House of M: No More Mutants $10.11 shipping on 4/14, and X-Men: Inferno Crossovers $10.11 shipping on 7/21.  I'm expecting B&N to cancel these before they ship, but they may have a pre-order price honoring clause (like Amazon supposedly did). 

Form of cancellation letter:

Dear _____ ,

We apologize, but despite our efforts, we weren't able to fulfill some or all of the items in your order, as noted below. These items have been canceled from your order.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and look forward to your next visit to

Thank you for shopping with us.


-- Barnes & Noble

To review your order status, click
This part of your order has been canceled:
Product Description Quantity
Rising Stars Compendium Hardcover 1

Please be assured that you were not charged for the title(s) above.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Amazon Price Glitch Update - Final Tally

Friday - Today the final packages arrived that were ordered during the Amazon Price Glitch of 2010.  Among them was one omnibus. 

Tally stats are updated and final 'glitch' discount was 59.7%.

Was it all worth it?  Honestly, the discount was pretty decent, but it wasn't earth-shattering.  60% off brand new hardcovers is great, but it's not an insane 90% once-in-a-lifetime deal.  I bought some great books and will have reading material for at least six months so I'm overall happy with the experience.  Maybe some people got better deals than me, but I wanted to run the numbers and show one perspective on the 'glitch' sale. 

Oh yeah, then there's the $25 coupon compensation for being involved.  I don't think Amazon owes me anything, but will gladly accept it anyway.  I'd love to spend it on an omnibus of some sort, but Amazon continues to keep their sales offerings of involved titles down.  It could be a sold-out scenario  or they're waiting until the Diamond 'glitch' is fixed for good.  Regardless, DC is making out with uninterrupted sales (thanks to being distributed by Random House). 

Overall Amazon's margin was probably hit due to the 'glitch', but it may not be as drastic or devastating in the end.  If the common experience is a 60% markdown and their cost is only 20-40% (based on volume purchases/buying power) we're might see positives (not including shipping or overhead).  A temporary margin hit is better than a lasting one. 

The real question is what about Diamond Distributors?  They seem to have been the cause of the price catastrophe at not one, but two online retailers.  They're the largest comic publishing distributor and are probably being held accountable in some way for the error.  We'll see if the 'glitch' has any lasting impact on comic/graphic novel distribution.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lightning Strikes Twice!? - Barnes & Noble Price Glitch

Wed. Evening - Checked online and happened across this article:

Here we go again!

Apparently Barnes & Noble had a similar price glitch on books *surprise* from Diamond Distributors today.  Prices were $14.99 this afternoon and evening, although the glitch was resolved much more quickly (probably since today is a weekday and not Saturday night) than in Amazon's case.  I managed to place two orders with lightning speed:

Items from Barnes & Noble
Shipping Method: Expedited Air Service
Criminal: The Deluxe Edition HC
Hardcover 1 $10.79
Walking Dead Compendium Volume 1
Paperback 1 $10.79
Hellboy Library Edition Volume 2: The Chained Coffin, The Right Hand of Doom, and Others
Other Format 1 $11.99
Witchblade Compendium Volume 2
Hardcover 1 $10.79
Rising Stars Compendium Hardcover
Hardcover 1 $10.79
Expected ship date: March 12, 2010
Shipment Subtotal: $55.15
Shipping & Handling: $39.93
Sales Tax: $8.31
Shipment Total: $103.39

Items from Barnes & Noble
Shipping Method: Expedited Delivery
Captain Britain By Alan Moore & Alan Davis Omnibus HC Classic Costume Cover
Hardcover 1 $10.79
Daredevil By Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Omnibus Volume 2 HC
Hardcover 1 $10.79
Tomb Of Dracula Omnibus Volume 2 HC
Hardcover 1 $10.79
X-Men: Inferno HC
Hardcover 1 $10.79
Hardcover 1 $6.28
Spider-Man: One More Day
Hardcover 1 $6.28
House Of M: No More Mutants HC, Vol. 4
Hardcover 1 $10.11
X-Men: Inferno Crossovers HC
Hardcover 1 $10.11
X-Men: Mutant Massacre HC
Hardcover 1 $10.79
Invincible Iron Man Volume 1 HC
Hardcover 1 $10.79
Shipment Subtotal: $97.52
Shipping & Handling: $33.84
Sales Tax: $11.50
Shipment Total: $142.86

What did we learn from the Amazon glitch?  Don't be cheap and go with free shipping.  Get expedited shipping and your items in the pipeline as quickly as possible!

Amazon Price Glitch Update

Wed. 6:44pm - Came home from work and checked mail to find package from second shipment had arrived.  Updated 'glitch' sale tally and savings are now at 54.2%.  Not a big change and only two more packages in-transit!

Amazon Price Glitch Update

Wed. 11:01am - Email from Amazon giving $25 promotional certificate to my account:


We wanted to follow up on a recent message we sent about the cancellation of your recent order.

To recap: Due to a pricing error, we sold many more graphic novels than expected. In fact, we completely sold out — we don't have any in stock right now, and we're not sure when we'll be able to get more.

We're sorry for any frustration the issue may have caused, and have applied a $25 promotional certificate to your account.

You can use it the next time you order an item shipped and sold by You'll see your available promotional balance at checkout--this amount will be applied to your next order automatically without entering a claim code.

I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again soon.


Customer Service

Please note: this e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

Wed. 1:00pm - Home for lunch and packages from third/sixth shipments on doorstep.  Updated 'glitch' sale tally and savings are now 54.4% off MSRP.  No significant change so far and half of my shipments have arrived.  I'm still planning to ask Amazon to honor the pre-orders at the 'glitch' price, but will probably send the email tonight. 

Amazon Price Glitch Update

How great were the deals during the Amazon 'glitch' sale on comics?  I'll give you my personal experience in real-time as the packages arrive!  Check out the Amazon price glitch tally at the top of my blog for stats.

After Tuesday's single package delivery we're at a 53.7% discount off MSRP (including shipping).  Not bad, but not earth-shattering.  Definitely bearable by Amazon and probably a minor blip to their margin (so far). 

News updates:

Amazon is purportedly offering (or going to offer) $25 gift certificates to those who received quantity change emails.  Personally unconfirmed at this time.

Amazon still not listing sales offerings on Marvel or many other graphic novels as of today:

The Amazon Comic Book Price Glitch of 2010 - Marvel Omnibus Sale Madness!!!

If you're a comic book fan then the past few days have probably been the strangest, most hopeful yet disappointing in your entire life!  That is to say, if you were one of the lucky folks who put in an order over the weekend at Amazon during the price glitch sale of the century.  It's been such an interesting ride I have to share my experiences (for posterity if nothing else).

Sat. 10:00pm - I'm online and decide to check out Amazon to see if any new omnibuses are listed for pre-order.  My search results show an astounding $14.99 price for about 85% of the Marvel omnibuses and I'm completely floored.  After more searching I notice almost all the Marvel (and even Icon) books are all listed at the same low price (hardcovers and trade paperbacks alike).  It's unbelievable and I assume Amazon is having a massive clearance sale.  I check the DC absolute editions to see if they're on sale, but no good. 

Sat. 10:36pm - Adrenaline pumping I order a big list of omnibuses I've had my eye on for quite a while including a few pre-orders and one Icon book.  After placing the order I search the site for any mention of a clearance sale or promotion to no avail.  Chalking it up to dumb luck I settle in to a peaceful slumber.  Below is my order:

Order Summary:
Shipping Method: FREE Super Saver Shipping
Shipping Preference: Group my items into as few shipments as possible
Subtotal of Items: $224.85
Shipping & Handling: $17.85
Super Saver Discount: -$17.85
Shipping estimate for these items: March 26, 2010 - April 5, 2010

1 "Fantastic Four Omnibus, Vol. 1 (v. 1)"
Stan Lee; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Civil War"
Mark Millar; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "The X-Men Omnibus, Vol. 1"
Stan Lee; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Iron Man Omnibus, Vol. 1"
Stan Lee; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Secret Wars Omnibus"
Jim Shooter; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Wolverine Omnibus, Vol. 1"
Chris Claremont; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Golden Age Marvel Comics Omnibus Volume 1 HC Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic Cover"
John Compton; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "The Ultimates Omnibus"
Mark Millar; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Daredevil Omnibus, Vol. 1"
Ed Brubaker; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "The Death of Captain America Omnibus"
Ed Brubaker; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Omnibus, Vol. 2"
Brian Michael Bendis; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Criminal (Deluxe Edition)"
Ed Brubaker; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Invincible Iron Man Omnibus, Vol. 1"
Matt Fraction; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Howard The Duck Omnibus"
Steve Gerber; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Tomb Of Dracula Omnibus Volume 1 HC Variant (v. 1)"
Gerry Conway; Hardcover; $14.99

Sun. 12:00pm - I check back on Amazon and notice their top 10 sellers in books are all omnibuses from Marvel, but now the price is $8.24.  It's too good to be true and I begin to suspect an error.  My guess is they're system automatically discounts top 100 books to capitalize on popular sellers (hey, it's their business model).  Selling these omnibuses at this insanely low price can't be profitable, but I go with it.  I perform a quick web search for news on the pricing and just get sites extolling the amazing sale at Amazon.  The first site with the news appears to be Bleeding Cool (

Sun. 1:08pm - I can't resist placing another order at these unholy prices, but decide to tempt fate by ordering multiples.  I originally ordered only one of each and then changed the quantities in the shopping cart to 10 each to test the theory.  It worked for a few, but many had purchase limits of 3.  Strangely the purchase limits dropped from 3 to 2 for some when I finally placed the order. 

Order Summary:
Shipping Method: FREE Super Saver Shipping
Shipping Preference: Group my items into as few shipments as possible
Subtotal of Items: $311.63
Shipping & Handling: $39.63
Super Saver Discount: -$39.63
Pre-order Guarantee: -$0.00
Delivery estimate: We need a little more time to provide you with a good estimate. We'll notify you via e-mail as soon as we have an estimated delivery date. You can cancel at any time.

3 "Fantastic Four Omnibus, Vol. 1 (v. 1)"
Stan Lee; Hardcover; $8.24
5 "The Incredible Hulk Omnibus, Vol. 1 (v. 1)"
Stan Lee; Hardcover; $8.24
2 "The X-Men Omnibus, Vol. 1"
Stan Lee; Hardcover; $8.24
10 "Iron Man Omnibus, Vol. 1"
Stan Lee; Hardcover; $8.24
2 "Secret Wars Omnibus"
Jim Shooter; Hardcover; $8.24
2 "Wolverine Omnibus, Vol. 1"
Chris Claremont; Hardcover; $8.24
2 "The Ultimates Omnibus"
Mark Millar; Hardcover; $8.24
10 "Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Omnibus, Vol. 2"
Brian Michael Bendis; Hardcover; $8.24
1 "The Marshal Law Omnibus"
Pat Mills; Hardcover; $14.99

Sun. 1:31pm - Received an email from Amazon giving delivery date estimates for my second order.  So far so good.

Sun. 2:00pm - I check back at Bleeding cool finding a thread ( talking about the Amazon glitch and speculating on the cause.  It's believed Diamond Book Distributors had an error in either upload or linking to Amazon's site which caused the price discrepancy.  The glitch was being fixed and checked the Amazon site confirming many (not all) of the omnibuses were back to their regular pricing.

Sun. 3:24pm - Tempting fate again I place an order for high-price hardcovers with 'glitch' prices. 

Order Summary:
Shipping Method: FREE Super Saver Shipping
Shipping Preference: Group my items into as few shipments as possible
Subtotal of Items: $239.84
Shipping & Handling: $18.84
Super Saver Discount: -$18.84
Pre-order Guarantee: -$0.00

Shipping estimate for these items: May 18, 2010 - July 7, 2010
1 "X-Men: Supernovas"
Mike Carey; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1: Rise & Fall of the Shi'ar Empire"
Ed Brubaker; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Annihilation: Conquest, Book 2 (Bk. 2)"
Javier Grillo-Marxuach; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "X-Men: Messiah Complex"
Mike Carey; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Ultimate X-Men, Vol. 8 (v. 8)"
Robert Kirkman; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Annihilation Classic HC"
Todd Dezago; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Avengers: First To Last Premiere HC (The Avengers)"
Peter David; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Avengers Forever"
Kurt Busiek; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "House Of M: Spider-Man, Fantastic Four & X-Men HC"
Mark Waid; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "House Of M: Wolverine, Iron Man & Hulk HC"
Greg Pak; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man, Thor & Captain America"
Michael Avon Oeming; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "Hulk: Green Hulk/Red Hulk HC (Incredible Hulk)"
Jeph Loeb; Hardcover; $14.99
1 "X-Men: Asgardian Wars"
Chris Claremont; Hardcover; $14.99

Shipping estimate for these items: June 1, 2010
1 "House Of M: No More Mutants HC"
David Hine; Hardcover; $14.99

Shipping estimate for these items: June 7, 2010
1 "X-Force, Vol. 1"
Craig Kyle; Hardcover; $14.99

Shipping estimate for these items: August 9, 2010
1 "X-Men: Inferno Crossovers HC"
Various; Hardcover; $14.99

Sun. Evening - I continue to read discussion threads online (mostly at Bleeding Cool, but also one at Byrne Robotics) to discover as much as I could about speculation on the glitch.  By now almost all of Amazon's prices were back to normal and many (me included) were waiting with baited breath for cancellation notices.  I try to sleep, but have trouble as thoughts of a 50+ lbs box crammed full of omnibuses being delivered to my doorstep continually run through my mind!

Mon. Morning - I awaken with a start and frantically check my cell phone for new emails.  Curses!!  I have 11 emails from Amazon delivered during the wee hours of Monday morning.  Impatiently I boot up my computer and check my inbox.  It appears Amazon has prepared their response to the price glitch and I read the first email expecting cancellation.  What I get instead is a polite update talking about an error and reset of multiple quantity orders being reset to honor one item at the incorrect price.  Hope springs eternal as I prepare for work completely satisfied with my orders and incredible luck!!!  I expect a deal has been made between Amazon and Diamond whereas Diamond will eat the cost of the error (pure speculation on my part).  Emails all sent between 12:00-12:30am Monday morning.


We're contacting you about order #. Unfortunately, we recently discovered that an error caused the following item(s) to be displayed at an incorrect price:

The X-Men Omnibus, Vol. 1

At any given time, despite our best efforts, a small number of the millions of items on our site may be mispriced. However, this was our mistake, and we'll honor the incorrect price for one of the items you ordered. We're unable to honor the price for multiple quantities of this item. Therefore, we've adjusted the quantity of your order to "1." We're sorry for the disappointing news.

The correct price is listed on our website now, so if you'd like to place another order for more of this item, you can do so here:[ASIN]/

We value your business and hope to see you again soon.


Customer Service Department

Please note: this e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

Mon. 11:32am - First shipping notification arrives:

The following items have been shipped to you by items (Sold by, LLC):
1 X-Men: Supernovas $14.99
1 Hulk: Green Hulk/Red Hulk ... $14.99
1 X-Men: Asgardian Wars $14.99

Mon. 12:11pm - Second shipping notification arrives:

The following items have been shipped to you by items (Sold by, LLC):
1 Annihilation: Conquest, Bo... $14.99
1 Ultimate X-Men, Vol. 8 (v.... $14.99
1 Annihilation Classic HC $14.99
1 Avengers: First To Last Pr... $14.99

Mon. 12:35pm - I notice all of the omnibuses in my orders are going to take 1-2 weeks to ship.  The items in stock from my third order have begun shipping and I continue crossing my fingers for the rest of the day.  Online speculation about the situation abounds and many comment on the quantity change emails notices.  Most are very satisfied and actually happy that the folks buying multiple copies to sell on ebay are deterred from karmic retribution.
Mon. 7:37pm - Third shipping notification arrives:
The following items have been shipped to you by items (Sold by, LLC):
1 Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1: Rise... $14.99
1 House Of M: Spider-Man, Fa... $14.99
1 House Of M: Wolverine, Iro...

Mon. Late Evening - The day has passed without an outright cancellation and the promise of at least one copy (which is more than generous) of each book ordered.  As I drift off to sleep pleasant thoughts such as donating to Chile earthquake relief and donating clothing to the Goodwill drift through my untroubled mind. 

Tues. 2:08-2:09am - Fourth and fifth shipping notifications arrive:

The following items have been shipped to you by items (Sold by, LLC):
1 Civil War $14.99

The following items have been shipped to you by items (Sold by, LLC):
1 Daredevil by Brian Michael... $14.99
1 Criminal (Deluxe Edition) $14.99

Tues. 7:00am - I wake up to find the additional shipping notifications for in stock items.  Quick check on Bleeding Cool raises some alarms as people report receiving cancellation notices.  Nothing yet as I head to work.

Tues. 11:17am - Sixth shipping notification arrives:

The following items have been shipped to you by items (Sold by, LLC):
1 Invincible Iron Man Omnibu... $14.99

Tues. 12:00pm - Home for lunch break and arrive to find first package on doorstep.  Giddy with elation I open it to find the perfect contents of the first shipment.  It all finally seems real.  Quick check on Amazon shows no open orders.  My unshipped items have just vanished from the site. 

Tues. 12:20-12:21pm - Cancellation emails arrive confirming suspicion that unshipped items have been removed.  I read the emails (two which are exactly the same, similar to a double-tap to the head) with dismay and return to work with hopes slightly dashed.


Our records indicate you recently ordered 'Fantastic Four Omnibus, Vol. 1 (v. 1) The X-Men Omnibus, Vol. 1 Howard The Duck Omnibus Iron Man Omnibus, Vol. 1 Secret Wars Omnibus Tomb Of Dracula Omnibus Volume 1 HC Variant (v. 1) Wolverine Omnibus, Vol. 1 Golden Age Marvel Comics Omnibus Volume 1 HC Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic Cover The Ultimates Omnibus Daredevil Omnibus, Vol. 1 The Death of Captain America Omnibus
X-Men: Messiah Complex
Avengers Forever
House Of M: No More Mutants HC
Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man, Thor & Captain America X-Force, Vol. 1
X-Men: Inferno Crossovers HC
The Incredible Hulk Omnibus, Vol. 1 (v. 1) Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev Omnibus, Vol. 2 The Marshal Law Omnibus'. Unfortunately, due to a pricing error, we sold many more than expected. In fact, we completely sold out — we don't have any in stock right now, and we're not even sure if we'll be able to get more.

As a result, we've had to cancel your order. I realize this is disappointing news, and I'm so sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

You may want to check our website from time to time to see if this item is available. If anyone is selling it, you'll see a "More Buying Choices" box on the product detail page; if it's not available from any sellers, you might see an "Order it used" or "Alert me" link. "Order it used" allows you to place a pre-order for the item in case another seller lists the item for sale later. "Alert me" allows you to sign up so we can e-mail you when Amazon has stock available for purchase.

I'm sorry I don't have better news. We hope to see you again soon.

Tues. Evening  - I return home and begin researching again.  Bleeding Cool threads include comments by members successful in negotiating with Amazon customer service to get full or partial honoring of their 'glitch' orders.  Method was to point out pre-order pricing guarantee and in-stock status on some items.  I prepare to do the same until I notice Amazon has completely pulled their sales offerings for all of the items (DC absolutes remain untouched and woefully overpriced).  Many reported getting omnibuses processed and shipped which makes me think Amazon possibly did honor their one item quantity notice - until their stock ran out.  It's obvious they're in damage control mode right now and figuring the next move.  Until

Now - I write this report to chronicle an experience during this fateful event in the history of comics.  Where were you during the $14.99 omnibus glitch sale at Amazon?


Monday, March 8, 2010

Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia Review

Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia
DC Comics
Softcover Graphic Novel
96 pages
ISBN 761941234922

Contributors: Greg Rucka, J.G. Jones, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Dave Stewart

Synopsis: Hiketeia in ancient Greek culture is a ritual of supplication where the supplicant binds themselves to a benefactor, but also binds the benefactor to protect them in turn.  The Erinyes (or Furies) observe the ritual and enact vengeance if it is not properly upheld.  They are present when a distraught young lady offers herself to Diana, who is unable to turn her away and accepts her as a supplicant.  When Batman comes knocking in search of the girl Diana knows something is amiss, but trapped within the strict protocol of the ritual she dares not trigger the Furies reprisal.  How does Diana solve a seemingly impossible dilemma and what secret does the girl harbor?

Pros: Great art by Jones who is known for his portrayal of beautiful female figures

Cons: Seriously expensive for such a short story, depressing, Wonder Woman/Batman fight is not very believable

Mike Tells It Straight: This story just doesn't work for some reason.  It's too expensive (originally a high-priced hardcover), has absolutely no continuity ramifications, and leaves you unsatisfied at the end.  Rucka is better known for his crime drama on Batman, but had a successful run on Wonder Woman afterwards.  I don't know why they didn't just carve out three issues of the regular series for this story and then include it in a trade paperback for a more affordable price.  Only completists need apply.

TO BUY and Recommendations: