With the upcoming summer blockbuster season nearly upon us, the proverbial floodgates are creaking, ready to release a deluge of films upon an unsuspecting populace. While this past week has already graced us with “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” a mere month after “Deadpool” slashed the box office to pieces, the storm of super hero movies has just begun this year.
With these films comes a union of sorts between old fans of the properties and new blood brought in by the Hollywood titans of Warner Bros. and Disney, both of which are eager to see these caped crusaders and big blue Boy Scouts duke it out with both villains and each other, but what about those looking for a bit more ink with their capes?
While Phoenix and Tempe are known for many things, from the scrambled eggs of Matt’s Big Breakfast in Phoenix to the ice-cream sandwiches of Mill Avenue in Tempe, it also has a world for both longtime comic lovers and those looking to pick up their first graphic novel. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know Black Panther from Batman or if you can name every obscure member of Green Lantern’s rouge gallery, here’s five places to kick back and read some comics:
Ash Ave Comics
806 S. Ash Ave, Tempe
Located just around the corner from Cartel Coffee Lab, Ash Ave offers an impressive selection of graphic novels from the big name publishers like Marvel and DC all the way down to more hardcore brands like Image Comics and IDW Publishing. The store is neatly organized and small without being cramped, making it easy to find whatever gem you are looking for.
1051 E Camelback Road, Phoenix
1120 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa
6808 N. Dysart Road. #148, Glendale
With three locations across the Valley, Samurai Comics offers a wide variety of comics, collectibles and trading cards no matter if you are light railing down from ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus or off hanging out with friends in Glendale. If your interest lies more with dealing cards than turning pages, Samurai Comics offers tournaments in a wide variety of trading card games, from Yu-Gi-Oh! to Magic: The Gathering as well. They also have an eBay page for those with deeper pockets looking for that rare trading card or variant comic cover to add to their collection.
All About Books and Comics
24 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix
If back-issues are your thing, All About Books and Comics is the place to be. The winner of Phoenix New Times’ 2013 and 2014 “Best of Phoenix” Award, the comic store offers a very impressive back-log of everything from last month’s issue of “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “The Walking Dead,” to silver age treasures like “Plastic Man” and wild '90s comics like “Spawn,” “The Maxx” and “Pitt.” If you have a taste for a certain character or story or just want to go in blind to find a new series, no doubt you’ll find an issue here on the cheap. Of special note is its bundles of large chunks of a series for a pretty decent price, which is especially helpful if the comic you want to get into hasn’t gotten the graphic novel treatment yet. If you get hooked, the store also offers a subscription service for any ongoing series you want to lay claim to.
Critical Threat Comics and Games
715 S. Forest Ave, Tempe
Less than a block away from Old Main on ASU’s Tempe campus lies this little store. Offering a variety of board games, comics and collectibles, it is the perfect place for a student in need of a fix of this month’s issue of “Daredevil.” A student discount for those with an ASU ID sweetens the deal. If you’d much rather slay dragons than read comics, Critical Threat offers tabletop game nights every Tuesday, giving patrons a chance to get together and roll some dice in “Dungeons and Dragons” or “Pathfinder” with some friends.
Drawn to Comics
5801 W. Glendale Ave, Glendale
A locally owned and operated comic book store out in Glendale, Drawn to Comics offers a wide selection of back-issues and graphic novels alongside t-shirts and collectibles for fans both hardcore and new. This store also offers a discounts to all students regardless of university affiliation. For those looking to clean out their collection and make a quick buck in the process, Drawn to Comics also buys and trades comic books and toys.
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