Dirty D’s F.O.C. (6/24/23)

Hello again. Summer is upon us and so is another week’s Final Order Cut-off.

Remember back in the day when Summer meant getting excited about Marvel and DC cross over annuals which tied into a single mini-series (and maybe a few flagship books had cross overs) and that $5 allowance was enough to grab all the main books each week? That was a long time ago. And we still get those cross over events, but they seem to be constant, and not so much something you looked forward to reading one or two books each week stretched out over the summer.

But I digress. Let’s jump into this week’s books on FOC.

Judge These Books by Their Cover



Astonishing Iceman #1 (Miss Minutes Variant)
For the fans of Miss Minutes. She has yet to appear in a story, but has a few cool covers. Hopefully we see more of her in Loki: Season 2.




She-Hulk #15 (Jeff Dekal Variant)
Dekal has been around for a while, and has his fans. His run on Catwoman was stellar. Why he doesn’t get incentive cover art jobs, I don’t know. But I’m not complaining paying cover price for PC books which feature his work.




Harley Quinn Black White Redder #1 (of 6) (Artgerm Foil Variant)

This cover is a little different style than what we normally see from Artgerm (doesn’t look so computer/A.I. generated), but I think that’s a good thing. I liked this cover before I found the foil variant (which is what I’m picking up). I’m sure the regular card stock will look just as sweet if you don’t want to pay the extra $2 (at least they’re not charging retailers cover, unlike Marvel’s wacky philosophy).




Hawkgirl #1 (of 6) (Schmidt Variant)

This is a strong contender for cover of the week. Not many Hawkgirl fans out there, I’m guessing. So I’m not sure how well this series will do, but if you’re going to give it a shot thankfully they made this an open order cover (should have been the 1:25 or 1:50, IMO…but DC’s mistake is the fan’s gain).


Read It / Issue #1’s



Sandman Universe Special Thessaly #1

Thessaly reunites Nightmare Country visionary James Tynion IV with star Faithless artist Maria Llovet to take you on a journey through the festering darkness pulsating beneath Hollywood’s glitz and glamour!

This sounds like it could be a good read. Fan favorite horror Tynion IV writing for fan favorate horror character Sandman.




Big Game #1 (of 5)

BIG GAME pulls together KICK-ASS- KINGSMAN- NEMESIS- THE MAGIC ORDER- and ALL the Millarworld franchises in one special event.

There is some buzz around this series. If you like Millar’s work and these characters, this mini-series is for you. A lot of covers to choose from, so just pick your favorite.




Death of Venomverse #1

Since Carnage is intent on wiping out symbiotes, probably won’t see any new faces here. There are other covers, but cover A is a nice Bjorn Barends work.




What if Dark Venom #1


I know we have enough symbiote/venoms out there at the moment, but this one-shot could be a good read (and admit it, you’re curious to see Ben Grimm with a long tongue!). I doubt this character mash-up goes anywhere otherwise. The homage of FF 51 is also worth a look.

New Characters



Scarlet Witch #7 (Villalobos Homage Variant)

Now the Scarlet Witch has attracted the attention of a dangerous new foe – introducing NICOLA ZOSIMOS, A.K.A. HEXFINDER!

The new character does appear on Cover B (checking the first app + cover box), but also appears on the 1:10 Design Variant and 1:50 Hetrick variant. The 1:50 is nice, but Villain spec isn’t the best spec, so if you feel its worth a gamble I’d go with the $3.99 book.




Star Wars Mandalorian Season 2 #2 (Concept Art Variant)

This will be the first appearance of Captain Teva of the Adelphi Rangers of the New Republic Starfighter Corps (and formerly of the Rebel Alliance). Although Teva hasn’t been a big part of the Mandalorian series, Season 3 left off with the idea that Mando and Grogu may be teaming up with Teva in either season 4, or some other format. Basically he’s going to be around for a while.

I personally prefer the Concept Art variants of this series. I think these make a great set, I just wish they didn’t restart the number of season 2 (would have been nice if Chapter 10 was issue #10).


Pick of the Week



Venom #23 (Cafu Spoiler Variant)

A NEW VISION OF TOXIN! Toxin isn’t the only symbiote in this story who’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen! The symbiote family is about to grow a little larger… and what’s coming will change the continuing saga of the symbiotes FOREVER!

I’ll admit this a slow week for spec. So this book basically wins by default. But it promises a new character, and given this is a spoiler cover I’m guessing that new character appears on the cover. So checking the first appearance + first cover box.

It should be noted there are also a few store exclusives that are also playing the spoiler cover game, and claiming the new character will be on their book’s cover. However they are also advertising a limited release, below the number they are required to order from Marvel to qualify for a store exclusive. So that brings controversy with them as many don’t like holding back or destroying copies to create artificial scarcity and charge high prices. So this open order spoiler might be the better buy-in and risk vs. reward at $3.99 IF the character has any traction.

There is also an “insignia logo variant” for this issue, however the open order has the bar code on the front (versus the back) and takes away from an otherwise nice cover by doing so. There is a 1:300 Incentive virgin copy so this issue will be heavily ordered. I’m holding out hope Walmart will put out its own variant of this cover (FYI – all Walmart variants place the barcode on the back cover).


Drek of the Week

Where to begin with this one? So much to choose from.

  • All Marvel 2nd Print variants – There are a lot, many 1st prints debuted a new character. But for some reason Marvel forgot putting that new characters on the cover of the later printings sells books better than re-colored art or new art without new characters. Best to avoid these.
  • All DC Knight Terrors – None of these new characters are going to go anywhere. They are one and done. That’s not to say there wont be good stories, but read the summaries and if you do choose to buy for the read, chose the cover that appeals to you. Don’t expect more.


Parting Thoughts

A lot of Marvel books will have variant covers of new characters associated with the upcoming G.O.D.s series by Jonathan Hickman. Also within the comics will be a bonus story page involving the character on the cover. So we’re looking at new character/cameos across marvel books this month. Will any of them pan out? Likely not …but just be aware in case some of these characters start to create a buzz. There’s just too many to list here.

Diamond Comic Distributors is offering eleven extremely limited PREVIEWS exclusive comic books for this year’s Comic-Con International: San Diego, taking place July 19 through July 23. You can find the list of books in an article on the main site, so no point in repeating it here. No idea how “limited” these are, and it’s odd calling it an SDCC exclusive if you can’t actually buy them at the show (you can “preview them at the DIAMOND booth) and you get them from your local shop…but they appear to be on FOC this week, which would mean by the time SDCC comes along there may be no books left to order…(?). Yeah, hard to figure out the thought process on this one…So if interested reach out to your LCS this weekend or on TFAW.


That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend!

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