Category Archives: Dollar Bin Reviews

Dollar Bin Reviews: X-Men Unlimited #15

x-men_unlimited_vol_1_15I went dollar bin diving again the other day, and I must say I was quite excited about the comic I ended up finding: X-Men Unlimited #15I’ve made no secret about my fondness for Maverick over the past year or so, and his solo series from the late 90’s remains one of my favourite runs to this day. I  had always read in the recap pages for that series a quick blurb about events that had occurred in a previous X-Men comic featuring Maverick and Chris Bradley but I never had a chance to find the comic, and over the years I forgot about it.

Imagine my joy, then, when I saw it in the dollar bin.

I didn’t recognize the issue immediately, instead grabbing it because Maverick was battling Wolverine on the cover (which is the exact reason I purchased Maverick #4 so many years ago), so when I opened the comic and saw the synopsis, I was quite excited. Stupidly so, even, because of my unreasonable level of enthusiasm for anything Maverick (except, maybe, his tenure as Agent Zero, but I did buy all of that anyway because… well…), because this book I just picked up for a dollar was one that I had given up looking for because I couldn’t remember the name of it. That I finally had a copy of this comic was fantastic, but after wanting it for so long, now that I have read the comic, did the story meet my expectations?

That’s a loaded question, really, but the long and the short of it is that it did. It really did.

X-Men Unlimited #15 is one of the those comics that’s a standalone story that has a little bit of a background to it, but everything you need to know is covered very well in the recap page. The standalone story featured in the comic itself, Second Contact, is in many ways a classic X-Men story. It has all the hallmarks from the anti-mutant terror, the fear of an unknown in the form of the deadly Legacy Virus, and a real human element.

It is probably one of the best X-Men comics I have read in years, and I’m sure the inclusion of Maverick has some bearing on that – for me any way – as did the price I paid for the comic, but despite my lofty expectations for this comic after finding it after twenty years, it more than met them, and not just because of the characters within the pages. As the issues comes to a close, you realize that  this isn’t a comic with a happy ending, and X-Men Unlimited #15 is all the stronger for it.

As a dollar bin find, this was probably one of the best I could ever hope for; I think that it’s a good sign that I’d have willingly paid $5 or more for the issue, and had I done so, I don’t think I’d have been disappointed.

Story: Howard Mackie Penciller: Duncan Roleau
Inker: Rob Hunter Colors: Shannon Blanchard Letters: Richard Starkings
Rating: Worth A Dollar

Dollar Bin Review: Green Goblin #3

green_goblin_vol_1_3Oh the dollar bins, that place where comics go to languish into nothingness when stores think that nobody cares about a certain issue (which is partly true), or they over ordered on a comic and have little choice but to drop the price to a dollar and hope they can get something for them.

It was in a bin like that, a bin that almost every comic shop has, that I found Green Goblin #3 from 1995. Why did I pick this up? Honestly because of the Scarlet Spider on the front cover, and I was curious to see how a comic about the Green Goblin would read.

Before I get into the story, the comic I picked up was bagged (but no board), and in surprisingly good condition. I’m not a grader by any means, but the spine is barely cracked, and there’s no creases anywhere. While the back cover isn’t a pristine white any more (and you can make out finger prints in something on the back) it’s condition is such that if I collected this series then I’d be happy enough to bag and board it to fill a hole. As it is? I have no idea what I’ll do with comic once I’ve finished reading it (which I haven’t done yet).

Before we start: there’s going to be spoilers. I doubt you care, but I feel obligated to tell you.

So, shall we begin?

Written by Tom Defalco with art by Scott McDaniel and colours by Joe Rosas, the comic is lettered by Jim Novak. We start off with Phil Urich, the Green Goblin, having an internal monologue that makes me hope whatever villain is in the issue will give him a severe beating. Also, when dd he become the Green Goblin? My memory of Spider-Man comics around this time is foggy at best… and three pages in that makes sense.

The next couple pages have the  Goblin pretending to be Batman in order to convince some kids help him find a woman’s hotel room that he’s crushing on. The bloke seems more than a little unhinged at this point, and not exactly the most heroic person, which I suppose makes sense given who the first Green Goblin was. At this point as I’m reading his internal monologue, I’m waiting for the villain to arrive. Or the Scarlet Spider. Either way, I’d like someone to hit him.

That said, there is a nice nod to the Concorde jet here a couple pages later. I’d half forgotten about that plane after it was decommissioned more than a decade ago. So that was cool.

But then we have several more pages of the Green Goblin  being a bit of a numpty, somewhat stupid and almost entirely annoying. This is a dude who broke into a woman’s hotel room because he was “in lust” with her (sounds lovely, eh?) before falling for a somewhat simple ruse from sad woman who’s intent on fighting the Scarlet Spider.

As a comic this was quite forgettable, in all honesty. The artwork had a nice feel to it, and presented well on the more newsprint-ish paper the comic is printed on, which has a far dfferent feel to the comics printed more than twenty years later. But despite it beng forgettable, and despite my desire for somebody to hit Phil Urich (yeah, Ben Urich‘s nephew. Which means there’s another Uncle Ben in the Spider-verse) for his stalkerish, and somewhat sociopathic inner monologue, this comic was almost worth a dollar.

Maybe the next one I pick up will be worth a buck (maybe two!), so find out what piqued my curiosity the next time I go looking through the dollar bins at my local comic shop. Will be utter tripe with a cool cover? Will it be a hidden gem? Who knows! But for a buck it’s hard to go wrong.

Comic: Green Goblin #3
Story: Tom Defalco Art: Scott McDaniel
Colors: Joe Rosas Letters: Jim Novak

Rating: Worth A Dollar