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Welcome to Near Mint Condition, the weekly column where we share the various sequential treats we're gobbling up off the shelves. The wonder of this column is audience participation. No shirts, no shoes required! Just sit there in your dingy underwear, your sweat, and seminal soaked (oh man am I typecasting our lot or what?) t-shirts and recommend a slurry of titles for me to check out. Don't know what being snapped into brown plastic bags this week? Hit up Comic List. ---- Couriers Complete Collection TPB What fresh fucking hell is this? There is a Brian Wood collection dropping that I ain't never heard of. Color me a bastard and prepare my back for self-flagellation. Couriers is a Wood collaboration with artist Rob G that dropped in four installments from 2002 until 2005. Early Wood! I am very much the excite. There is a rawness to early Brian Wood that isn't there in his newer stuff, having been supplanted by a refined swagger that I still worship. So while I don't lament his evolution, I am quite happy to engorge myself on his early material. What is Couriers about? What the fuck do you care? It's Brian Wood! Oh, you only have a limited amount of money and need to be wise about spending it? In that case the jam is about "mercenary bike messengers in New York City who do the jobs no one else will: the black market runs, the smuggling, the hits and the double crosses." I'm there. Oh, and it's mad cheap on Amazon at the current. Wood also has new issues of Conan and The Massive dropping this week, with both series being pretty goddamn entertaining. ---- Batman #15 Okay, so I haven't read the last couple of issues of Batman. I don't fucking care, I'm recommending the title for two reasons. First off, any gentleman who dresses himself in latex and fights a man covered in make-up is faithfully replicating my ideal Friday evening. For that I must give him both props and my money. Second off, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's run on the Flying Rodent has been the sparkling gem at the center crest of the superhero portion of the New 52. It has stripped down the excessive mythology of Morrison's run which had burned itself out by the end, replacing it with some earnest humanity. And gadgets. A fucking fuck load of gadgets. (Side note: Superman is hot as hell with a beard.) ---- Image Firsts Image has dominated my soul this year, with the House that Eric Stephenson Helms releasing fantastic title after fantastic title. If you have been one of those errant souls who didn't hop aboard the deluge of righteous titles as they arrived, Image is embracing the holiday spirit and doing you a solid. This week they're releasing reprints of the first issues of a batch of legitimate titles for $1. Pow! Goddamn, that hardens the nipples. Saga, Manhattan Projects, Chew, Walking Dead, Fatale and more are all offering themselves up to new believers for the low price. Take this chance at redemption my friends, take this chance. ---- Old City Blues Leather Bound Hardcover Shit, some weeks all you want are fetish objects. This leather-bound edition of Giannis Milonogiannis' graphic novel is so gorgeous I get a bit dribbly in the ground just looking at it. I've been enamored with Milonogiannis ever since I came across him this year in Prophet, and chased the dude down to this creator-owned. I thought I had reached the pinnacle of worship, but then he cut an interview with our own Rendar Frankenstein that confirmed he was, in fact, the man. The year of Milonogiannis (and Graham, to be fair) can only be faithfully concluded by me hunting down this beauty. It is sold out everywhere I have checked, but no worries. First you cloak yourself in blood. Then you cloak yourself in darkness. You wait patiently, anticipating the prey leaving the story. A visceral downward strike with my Diet Mountain Dew bottle with incapitate the subject. From there it is a quick rummaging through their objects, and the lamentable but necessary act of dragging them into the nearby bushes. I figure after I repeat this for thirty or forty people across seven or eight stores, someone's personal pile of loot will hold the golden ticket. Right? ---- For more of my nonsense, check out Omega Level.