Frustration.

It’s where I’m at right now, I’m incredibly frustrated at the lack of affordable physical copies of certain, not very old comic books.  Namely, Batman and Batgirl.  Both of these series have their first trade paperback out, but both only have the second volume collected into a hardback so far and I have not seen dates for paperback releases.  I’ve tried to avoid collecting series in hardback so far, I appreciate that the books are considerably more hard wearing but it makes buying comic books more expensive and when you’re in the position I’m in where you have quite an extensive monthly sub list, which keeps growing, it’s best to keep costs down as much as possible.

Thing is, they are both very popular series (for good reason) so most of the back issues are sold out in the local shops, so when I turned to eBay I was incredibly disappointed to see that many of the issues are going for as much as £5, plus shipping, each.  There doesn’t seem to be a way of keeping the costs down with either of these series, not right now anyway, especially since I’ve not seen any news about reprints of sold out issues.  It’s also worth noting that both series are up to issue 21 or 22 at this point so they have enough issues for at least three trade paperbacks.  Indeed, Batman at least has three, but volumes two and three are both hardback only right now.  It’s really frustrating, the whole point of this New 52 business was to give new and lapsed readers a good jumping on point, but for anyone that jumps on a couple of years down the line and wants to get up to date, it’s not looking very friendly from here.  Not for my poor wallet, anyway.  It’s made all the more disappointing by the fact the fact that I have loved both series so far, Batman and Batgirl are both incredibly interesting characters and I think they both have the absolute perfect writers and artists on board to bring them to life.  I was already a big fan of Gail Simone from her work on Gen-13, Birds of Prey and her awesome new series The Movement so I had every bit of confidence going into Batgirl.  Scott Snyder, however, I must admit I’d read nothing from before so I had no idea how this new beginning to Batman would take.  Snyder now quite easily rates in my top 5 Batman writers of all time, volume one was a cover to cover thrill ride, I loved every panel.

This weeks regular comics were pretty light this week, only picking up Action Comics #22 and The Movement #3, neither of which I have read yet because as soon as I got home I sat and read Catwoman volume 2.  I tell you what, all of the Gotham based New 52 books I’ve read so far have been excellent.  I know that it may seem like quite a biased view being such a big DC fan but, in fairness, not every DC book I’ve read has struck a chord with me and I always try to go into a new book with a completely clear and open mind.  The first volumes of Birds of Prey, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin and Batwoman were all spot on too, in my opinion.  It has unfortunately opening a significantly large can of worms now though since, to my knowledge, all are still currently running series.  I’d also like to point out, in reference to my earlier point, that Birds of Prey has the second trade paperback out now.  Why can’t the others?

Anyway, before I derail and get stuck on the same point, the end of the series that originally got me back into comic books is looming ever closer.  The Darkness #114 is out next Wednesday meaning there is only another two issues before the Darkness Falls mini series and then it’s gone.  I have to say I am very curious to see what Top Cow have got lined up to fill the void, I can’t imagine they’d end a series like this and not have something awesome waiting to swoop in.  I still don’t want it to end though, Jackie Estacado will most certainly be missed.  While I’m on the point of Top Cow, actually, I hope they hurry up and get Cyber Force #5 out.  I know that it’s free, and don’t get me wrong I’m incredibly grateful for this gift, but it feels like it’s been ages since I read a new issues of CF and I’m getting withdrawal now!

I started playing Arkham Asylum on hard mode the other day, that one certainly surprised me.  I couldn’t really see any difference at first, then I started getting hit and having no idea why and how to stop it.  Then I clocked onto the fact that the attack indicators are turned off on hard mode and it’s incredible, really, just how much harder this one little tweak makes combat.  You actually have to sit and carefully watch everyone around you, I’m having trouble when getting into fights with five or more unarmed thugs.  I dread to think what it’s going to be like when I have to deal with knives and shields and considerably larger groups of thugs.  I already have trouble dealing with the knife wielding maniacs with the indicators on so I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of checkpoint loads.  It actually makes me wish I’d just started the game on hard and learned how to play without the indicators right away, it’s how I’m going to play Arkham Origins first time around I think.

I had a couple more topics potentially lined up for tonight, but I think I’ll save those for another time.  To be honest I think the other points of discussion would make this a little long and I really can’t be bothered to type out that much tonight, not on top of this anyway.  I think instead of that I’m going to go make myself a nice cup of tea and play some more Arkham Asylum.  Go forth and enjoy the rest of your evenings, thanks very much for stopping by and reading me complain about stuff!

@NickLayland88

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