Tagged: Alpha-Flight

New toys, outdated references.

REAL TALK (note how real that is with the use of capitalization, caps-lock AND italics): Forbidden Planet NYC tends to get a lot of stuff in on a weekly basis. Some of this stuff isn’t even Batman-related. And some of it sells out before I take notice. Or I don’t notice it at all, as I usually just beeline to the new comics upon entering the store.

Case in point: Maybe you wanted a statue that wasn’t an anime take on a character you like. Maybe you wanted it to be just a head instead. A head that could double as pen cup as well. GOOD NEWS, WE HAVE THAT VAGUELY SPECIFIC REQUEST COVERED! Marvel and Gentle Giant have teamed up to make a series of desk accessories and have started with everyone’s favorite overexposed Merc-with-a-Mouth, Deadpool! The Deadpool Pen cup will definitely result in a trip to H.R., but will be totally worth it! IT LOOKS GREAT! IT, UM, HOLDS STUFF! YOU CAN USE THE NINJA STARS EMBEDDED IN HIS  HEAD AS ERASERS ( No I’m serious, you can). AND THE ARROW IS A FLETCHING CAP TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOUR PEN/PENCIL IS AN ARROW, HOW CRAZY IS THAT??! It retails for about $106, which for a polystone statue/conversation starters/co-worker keeper-awayer is well worth it.

Okay so maybe you don’t want a Deadpool pen cup because you’re crazy or something. But let’s say you do want to throw your money at something Marvel related that’s not a comic and still totally Canadian related, but not Deadpool or Wolverine. WHAT IS UP WITH YOUR WEIRD REQUESTS?  Questionable tastes aside, Marvel and Art Asylum/Diamond Select has released 2 different Alpha Flight Minimate sets! Set 1 includes Guardian (dead!), Marrina (dead!), Puck (X-Force-d) and Northstar (happily married X-man). And set 3 includes Aurora (Alive), Shaman (dead!), Snowbird (Alive?…) and Sasquatch (????). Each sets retails for about $20 and is definitely the only time you’ll be able to buy a full Alpha Flight roster in plastic anytime soon.

And maybe you’re a jerk/tired of my crappy jokes and you’re trying to drive me insane by forcing me to talk about Batman toys again. Congrads, Square-Enix has you covered, because apparently Batman is their plastic Final Fantasy. The first line of their Dark Knight Trilogy Play Art Kai Black (:: takes a breath::) is out and it’s a doozey of a line up. There’s the DKT Batman, because yo, how are you not going to start off a new Batman toy line without the Bat, and Bane, because ::: mumbles something in a terrible Bane impersonation :::. And we all know the drill by now; top of the line sculpts, solid multiple points of articulation, variant hands, etc. In terms of specific accessories, Batman comes with a selection of militarized (THANKS NOLAN) toys and Bane comes with a broken Bat-cowl, WHICH YOU BETTER NOT THINK GIVES YOU POWER ( ::: high fives self :::) ! These suckers go for $75 a pop, and you’ll want them now before the Catwoman and Joker figures drop in a few months.

Oh, what’s that? You just wanted something Adventure Time related? Cool, the latest wave of Pop Vinyl figures is Adventure Time themed. At $12 a pop you can choose from Finn, Jake, Lumpy Space Princess, Marceline or the Ice King. I would say their “Mathematical” or some such, but I pretty much blew my reference wad on Batman.

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DC/DC

DC has a few small comics coming out this week, no big deal. Just, you know, a couple of home-brewed, indie titles you might not care about…they’re so small and insignificant, they’ll prolly only sell a couple of copies. S’no biggie…just, uhm-

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 AND EARTH-2 #2 FEATURING GAY PEOPLE! CALL THE MEDIA! PUT DOWN THAT SANDWICH! YOWZA, GO GET EVERYBODY!

FAIR IS FAIR

Unkiedev is by no means anti-gimmick. If DC put out a comic book with 3D glasses so Batman’s pointy ears were coming right at’cha, or a scratch and sniff cover of Superman’s armpit, I would be the first in line to buy. I do have a problem, however, with lying.

For DC to pretend that Watchmen sequels, prequels, and any other “uels,” is anything more than an excuse to let today’s top talents play in Alan Moore’s sandbox while we the audience get to look on for a nominal fee, they are blowing smoke up our collective kilts.

Listen DC, just don’t tell me this is because you feel there’s an insatiable desire for the compelling stories that may arise. A gimmick is a gimmick. Be honest.

Unkiedev is, as well, not opposed to capitalism. If it was good enough for Ben “Master Turkey Baster” Franklin, it’s good enough for yours truly. I WANT the comic book industry to make money, to thrive and survive. I want great comic book shops like Forbidden Planet to keep the lights on and the registers ringing. I want super-talented writers and artists to earn their living in the industry I love.

I just wish we didn’t need to stoop so low as new Watchmen comics in order to put a dent into the collective attention of mainstream audiences. Breakaway titles, such as Walking Dead, 30 Days of Night, Scott Pilgrim, and Kick-Ass have proven that comics still play just as well to the masses when given the proper room to shine!

AND FOR THE RECORD, Unkiedev is not opposed to being a hypocrite. I will eat an entire bag of Frito corn chips and tell you, all the while, that I hate them. I can’t stand smoking…except for cigars, and pipes, and the occasional “jazz cigarette.”

With one hand I will be waving a finger at myself, accusing “shame” with every waggle as my other hand passes the cash to the cashier in order to get my copy of Before Watchmen The Minutemen #1.

I can hate the sin, and like the sinner, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to like these sinful comics despite myself.

QUEER AS SUPERFOLKS

Similarly, if DC’s publicity department hasn’t ruined the surprise for you, an old DC stalwart is coming out of the titanium closet in Earth-2 #2. I WON’T BE TELLING YOU WHO, but here’s a hint: it’s not LOBO. The New York Times and several other media outlets have beaten me to that punch, but I will be asking a few questions.

Why couldn’t this have happened sooner? Why couldn’t it happen to a current character, not an Earth-2 reboot character? Why did DC feel the need to tell every paper in town about their “little secret?” Is this about storytelling or marketing?

Comics is a business, I can accept that. Marvel made a big public splash getting ink off of the gay marriage between the Alpha-Flight member Northstar and his boyfriend, and Archie comics did the same with their token GLBT character Kevin Keller.

When Marvel announced a few years back that old-timey western comics hero the Rawhide Kid was gay it seemed less like a marketing ploy and more like an interesting story. NOTE TO ANYONE WHO READ THOSE ISSUES: too bad it wasn’t a good story.

And that’s the point. I will support my favorite comics companies, their books, and the stores that sell them…I just wish the industry was getting ink in the press over great stories and not gimmicks, reruns, and controversies.

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More musings from Unkiedev, Earth’s own sidekick, can be read at unkiedev.blogspot.com

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