Gahh! I grow tired of my Thursday West End comic shop routine, so I'm making it my mission to travel to some of the capital's other purveyors of geek. The brilliantly named They Walk Among Us is the first stop on this Londonwide tour.
Based in Richmond, it's on the other side of London to me so it was a bit of a trek to get to, but it's a darn fine little shop and well worth checking out. Here it is...
Cramming a lot into a relatively tight space, it has a small but diverse selection of back issues which includes a nice mix of silver, bronze and modern age books...
The shop is currently knocking ALL of these out at ridiculously low prices. Some are as little as 20p, but the majority go for 95p. I picked up four 70's issues of The House of Secrets in VF condition and a copy of World's Finest #147 for under a fiver.
This promotion goes on for the whole of June, and the guy who runs TWAU (Jon Browne) has a lot of old comics in the back of his shop to shift so he's constantly topping up those boxes.
He's a top chap actually, very keen to chat comics, I had a good yarn about golden age horror with him. He's clearly a comics fiend and is currently in the process of reading the entirety of Marvel's silver age output in chronological order. Hardcore.
He's also made it a mission to get every single volume of Marvel's Masterworks series (including the out of print volumes) in stock. Here's an admittedly shitty camera phone pic of that Masterwork section...
I've gone down the cheaper Essentials route, so won't be taking advantage of those bad boys. But I found plenty of other stuff to interest me in an excellent trades section. The Neal Adams Batman hardbacks were out of my price range, so I setteld on Volume#1 of The Batman Chronicles, a collection I had previously been unable to find in any of the West End shops.
New comics take up a couple of small wall racks, while the front of the shop is given over to toys and games - not really my bag although there were some reasonably priced second hand console games on offer.
As far as this week's comics go, I picked up just three...
Justice #12: Which will go in the "To Read pile" with the previous 11 issues.
New Avengers #31: I dropped New Avengers months ago. It had become too messy for me and felt rushed. However, this issue had a big reveal that I wanted to check out. The team has changed since I stopped buying it, but the old problems remain the same, and now the art jars with the story.
Leinil Yu's work is excellent in places, but it's too dark for Brian Bendis's brand of punchy, humour heavy storytelling. Not that there is much in the way of story here. It's just one long fight scene with a big reveal at the end. A five minute flick through job.
As for that reveal...as everyone seems to know already, Elektra is in fact a Skrull. Clearly this has wider implications for the Marvel Universe; the logical assumption being that this is the start of a reveal that will see Civil War explained as a Skrull attempt to divide and conquer the superhero community.
This seems to have upset a lot of people out there in comic message board land, and I suppose if it turns out that Iron Man and his pro-registration lackeys are all Skrulls there will be a lot more readers screaming CHEAT!
It would be a bit of a cop out on Marvel's part, but it would also get them out of the almighty corner they seem to have painted themselves into. It would also provide a fitting end to the whole money-spinning crossover driven mess if Civil War turned out to be nothing more than another Skrull invasion! Eat that event junkies. Nothing new to see here after all.
All this talk of money-spinning crossovers provides me with a useful segue into World War Hulk: Yes I cracked and bought issue #1. I have to say I'm not keen on Hulk marching around in his Spartacus outfit, but if I have to see him in that getup I suppose it might as well be drawn by John Romita Jnr.
Looks fantastic. Reads OK. Just a few points for the otherwise immaculate team of Romita Jnr, Klaus Janson and co...
No English football teams play in those hideous kits.
All professional English teams have shirts with player names on the back.
Huge banners on stilts are not allowed into English football grounds.
You forgot the goalkeeper and most of the net.
That is all.