September 24, 2011

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Digging into Digital: Comixology's JLA 101 Sale

Don't argue with these people.  Buy their comic!
Comixology and DC continue their partnership with yet another "101" sale, where 101 comics are placed on sale for 99 cents in Comixology's digital market.  This time around, it's one of my favorite concepts, the Justice Leage, and in some of my favorite incarnations.

It would be easy to spend almost $100 on this sale.  In fact, had they not included the comics excrement that is Identity Crisis and the lame but inoffensive first two arcs of the most recent Justice League of America series, this post would probably be advocating just buying as much as you can without having your credit card confiscated.

As it is, most of us have some sort of budget to maintain, and thus cannot get everything.  So instead, I'm going to break this down into spending chunks, rather like the Robot 6 blog does in their "Food or Comics" columns.

$5 Sampler Plates

For those looking to just spend a few dollars here and there, I have three idea for you:

  • Grant Morrison's JLA was one of my favorite runs, both the series itself and within Morrison's lengthy comics catalog.  There's a lot to love about that series, but his best story arc was by far the first one, taking up issues 1-4.  For $4, you can get a solid introduction to Morrison's team, Batman being awesome, and the League showing why the team must always be about the biggest names in DC comics.
  • If you want to see what the old Justice League of America could do at the beginning of the 1980s, look no further than Gerry Conway did with the team in part of his great run, issues 183-185.  The JLA battle Darkseid with the help of the JSA, and it's a battle to the very end for the fate of the DC Universe.
  • Care to try some alternative JLA history?  One of the best is Alan Davis' JLA:  The Nail.  A nail prevents Martha and Jonathan Kent from rescuing Superman, and the world is a very different place as a result.  This comic shows that dark doesn't have to be pages upon pages of gore, but they're around when you need them.  Fans of Irredeemable should check this one out, as there are some echoes to be found.

Upscale Appetizers ($6 to $10)

If you want to add some more to your plate or spend a bit at the sale, these are three good groupings that still stay under the $10 mark:

  • I recommended it at the Wonder Woman sale, and I'll do it again here:  Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier is one of the best DC comics stories I've read, both from the artwork and the storyline.  Cooke works in just about every hero from the tail end of the Golden Age to the start of the Silver Age and finds a way to give them a big threat to fight.  It makes for one hell of a story.  I have the Absolute edition, but if you just want to read the story, go grab this.  I can't imagine anyone disliking it.
  • I have a very strong soft spot for the DeMatteis-Giffen Justice League, and the first seven issues are available here as part of the sale.  See what happens when DC allows their creators to have a sense of humor while still battling menaces only a gathering of great heroes can fight--as long as they stop fighting each other.  This is a definite departure from what I usually like about the Justice League, but the writing pair find a way to make it work.  If you've never seen the Bwa-ha-ha League, this is a nice introduction.
  • Grant Morrison takes his crack at a JLA-Darkseid story, and even brings in other iconic DC villains in the process in his Rock of Ages arc.  It's 6 issues, and I haven't read it in forever, but I remember it being amazing.  If you can afford a second Morrison arc, grab this one.  It's also a fine compliment to the Conway story, I think, playing to Morrison's strengths while also hewing close to the great epic adventures of the original title.

Full Dinners (More than $10)

Sometimes you just have to pretend you're obsessed with comics again, and splurge.  If you aren't worried about how much you're spending, here are three high-ticket options for you:


  • Grant Morrison's JLA was extremely good, as I mentioned above.  If I wasn't sticking to a budget, I'd get every single one available in this sale.  That would be issues 1-17, 24-26, 28-31, and 35-41.  Don't bother with the fill in stories, you're spending enough as it is.  On the other hand, you're getting awesome comics from a master of the genre.
  • Mark Waid's initial issues of JLA were not very good.  However, he more than makes up for it in the 12 part maxi-series JLA:  Year One.  While almost none of it matters anymore, the series itself is a good story that shows Waid at his continuity-smoothing best.  Waid nearly seamlessly places the JLA within DC's continuity of the time, all while still making the plot more important than the patches.  It's his typical great work, and a must-read for Waid fans.
  • Those looking for a trip down nostalgia lane should get all of the JLA-JSA crossovers in the sale.  I had a lot of these in single issue form back in the day, and I read them several times.  They aren't all amazing, but they laid the groundwork for the comics we read today, by establishing the need to keep upping the ante.  Sometimes they're a bit dated, but I think they still have value, especially at a dollar apiece.  Anyone who likes old comics shouldn't hesitate to pick them all up.

So there's my recommendations for the JLA sale.  I hope you find some great comics!