Swear to Glob that’s probably the unintentional dirtiest title attached to an article of mine to date.
In case you somehow missed the news yesterday, New York Comic Con 2013 tickets go on sale tomorrow at FPNYC. More info can be found here: http://www.fpusadailyplanet.com/2013/08/09/new-york-comic-con-2013-tickets-on-sale-at-forbidden-planet-nyc-monday-august-12th-at-7pm/
If you’re interested in going, I urge you to get there early, as these things have been selling out everywhere real fast. Also prepare to deal with some sort of line, which is pretty much unavoidable at this point, and is good training for the show itself. NYCC be crowded man.
So let’s take a look at some new toys, yes? If you’ve been keeping up to date on these reviews, you should be aware that I’ve not been particularly kind to the DC Collectibles Injustice 2-packs. There’s a new set available, and man, I’m glad the company’s step up their game, as the new figures are actually quite excellent. There’s 2 sets available, Superman/Nightwing & Black Adam/Aquaman and as you can tell by the image attached, the sculpts are really solid. While I know the redesigns are not everyone’s thing, you have to admit the detailing on this figure’s sculpts are nuts, even if the faces are still kind of off. That’s the trade off with dealing with 3.75″ figures. Also worth noting that at least one figure per set comes with accessories, as Nightwing comes back with his fighting sticks and Aquaman comes with a trident. They’re fairly priced at $30 a pop, and I imagine these won’t be around as long, given how popular these character are…despite Aquaman’s presence. (And the traditional Aquman joke has been made, hurray!).
Mattel has also put out some new DC toys, all of various degrees of quality. There’s one of the final Justice League Unlimited 3-packs in stock, featuring Dr. Destiny, Toyman and Firfly, the later 2 available for the first time ever. Stylized and limited in articulation, this a definitely a collector’s only set. Then there’s the newest wave of Batman Unlimited figures. Aside from a New 52 Batman figure that’s been released at least 4 times, there’s a creepy as hell Vampire Batman based on the classic Elseworld stories, as well as the first “Beware the Batman” style figure. Truth be told I’m not that crazy about that Beware figure in a 6″ scale, but that’s a matter of taste, not quality. The Vampire Batman is horrifying, and I mean that in the best way. It’s nice to see some new sculpts come out of Mattel, even if both of them are Batman-related.
It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a look at anything Marvel related, mostly because it’s been awhile since we’ve gotten anything from Hasbro Marvel-related. Thor 2 doesn’t open until November, Iron Man 3 stuff has been out for, I’ve yet to see Wolverine stuff anywhere, and there’s been nothing from the Universe/Legends lines in months. However there is the Ultimate Spider-Man toy line, which is 100% for kids, and currently in stock. Based on the hit Disney XD cartoon, there’s both 3.75″ and 6″ inch figures, usually packaged with some sort of action accessory. It’s cool to see something aimed at kids, considering most Marvel stuff is aimed at collectors, but it makes them difficult to review from an adult perspective. I’m mean they’re great for kids, and man, we now live in a world where Nova and Iron Fist are now household names. Good on Disney-Marvel right? If you’re interested, we got ‘em in stock, although the pricing is all over the place, because there’s a ton of different types of toys available. Hasbro is definetly looking to get money= get paid with these toys.
Before I get into “This Week in Matt Fraction Comics” (stalkingmattfraction.tumblr.com), let’s take a quick look into two of DC’s digital-first offerings – Batman ’66 and Injustice: God Amongst Us. Both these books are INSANE, and I mean that in 2 completely different ways. The former, written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Jonathan Case, is an all new on-going series that takes place in the Mayor Adam West/ Burt Ward 60s Batman series, and is fantastic. Assuming you like your Batman campy, because if you don’t then this book is definitely not for you. I certainly don’t mind, and this book takes advantage of not being restricted to a TV budget, and the results are superb. Well worth the cover price IMO. Injustice:GAU has about a dozen creators attached to it, and is insane because of what goes down in this SUPER GRIMMDARK DCU. The book, a prequel/side story to the hit fighting game, starts off with Superman murdering his wife and unborn child under the influence of Kypronite-infused Scarecrow gas, and contains such moments as Superman, now Emperor of the World, outing Batman’s secret identity via Twitter. It is a GLORIOUS train wreck, one I cannot help but laugh at. Each of these books are $4 a pop and you enjoyment may vary.
Let’s move to the part of the article where I gush about Matt Fraction comics yes? Hawkeye Annual #1 dropped this past week, starring Kate Bishop Hawkeye, not the Hawkguy, continuing to sett up the new status quo on this book. Fraction’s on words, and Javier Pulido, last seen drawing issues 4 & 5 of the main series returns, bringing amazing visuals. Javier drawing kick-ass females come as no suprise to anyone who remembers his time on Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman run. Something I really dug about this issue was how Pulido & Fraction handled Katie-Kate’s internal monologue. Instead of using thought balloons, the creators opted for little panels with a Peanuts-esque Hawkeye waxing poetically, leading to often hilarious results, and was a neat alternative to having thought balloon clog up the page. Having Pulido draw this issue is also very fitting because the issue’s villain , Madam Masque’s, presence in the book is due to events that happens in the 2 issues he drew. For $5, you definitely get your money’s worth with this book, as it’s a fantastic done-in-one that helps build the overall narrative of Fraction’s HAWKGUY series. I’m sure no one is surprised when I say that I loved it.
Another Fraction-penned book with amazing art was collected in FF Volume 1: Fantastic Faux. The first volume of this NOW!-rebooted series does not however, collect the first bunch of issues, rather collects issues 4-8 of the series. The book is being collected in chronological order, meaning you’ll need to buy the first volume of Fantastic Four to get issues #1-3. MARVEL COMICS EVERYONE!
Back to the book itself, these 4 issues are drawn by legendary artist Mike Allred, which is as good as having Jack Kirby back at Marvel, with Joe Quinones swinging by to do a guest issue. Note, Joe is definitely more than ideal to draw this book with Allred is playing catch up, so no complaints on that front. The book is definitely a lot bigger in scope and more dramatic than Hawkguy in terms of tone, but still has some off-beat humor as seen in Fraction’s more personal work. Much like F4, it theme of Family is still a big one, only with a more non-traditional cast. Also Allred was born to drawn the Fantastic Four, so seeing him in action this book is a treat, especially with his wife Laura’s colors bringing Mike’s pencils to life.
In terms of content, the new FF continue to struggle with the slew of problems left as a result of a world without an F4. There also is a ton of stuff done with the Inhumans, which is probably setting the stage for the new Inhuman series Fraction is doing post Infinity, the big Marvel event starting in office. While it doesn’t connect with me on a personal level like Hawkeye does, FF is definitely a great book, and one worthy of your time!
That’s all I was allowed to spend on comics this week. Next time, The Enemy Within concludes, Dazzler: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. hunts the Uncanny X-Men and I take a look at the 3rd volume of Fatale.
If you’re an avid gamer like me, you probably own a 3DS by now (And if you bought a Vita instead, my condolences). You may also may be a strategy RPG fan, which means you’re probably playing Project X Zone (or SMT IV. Or Fire Emblem Awakening still. I may have not though this through.) For all of you not in the know, PXZ is a cool crossover RPG featuring characters from Capcom, SEGA and Bandai-Namco franchises. Not exactly the deepest SPRG, but fun regardless, at least in my opinion. I mention this because I was looking through our import toys section recently and spotted 2 females from the game in VERY cool action figure form (NOTE: If you’re looking for something a little more Street Fighter, Devil May Cry or Tekken-ish, obviously Square Enix has you covered). From Bandai’s D-Art line is ::: Takes a breathe ::: Alisa Illnichina Amiella from God Eater Burst (Avail on PSN for your PSP/PS Vita), and from Max Factory, Figma T-Elos of Xenosaga fame (Playstation 2. It….took awhile Xenosaga to get quality figures apparently)!
It’s been some time since I’ve last taken a look at any high-end import figures, but not much has changed since. The Figmas are still a little on the fragile side, but T-Elos does comes with the usual insane amount of accessories you’d expect from the line, and still maintains a ridiculous amount of articulation. Plus I’m a big fan of how T-Elos armor came out in the final product, despite there not being much of it. And no complaints in the sculpt or paint department, despite the fan-servicey design. A slight downside is that she’s not strapped like the KOS-MOS Figma, which came with a bad-ass Gattling Gun. Instead you get a pistol, variant parts and a stand.
Alisa is also guilty of not being the most modest dresser, but she’s a cool figure. Her joints are well hidden, which for a super-poseable figure, is nice. Her design translates well into the 3rd dimension, and I really like how the plaid paint job came out. Also, her hat is removable, which amuses greatly for some reason. She also comes with a HUGE sword, which I’m a fan of. Oh and variant faces, hands, blah blah blah, you know the drill by now. Both these figures go for about $70, which isn’t too bad considering their imports, but they may not your thing. If they are, then I suggest you get here soon, because supplies are limited.
Making a surprise appearance on our shelves is the Chris Nolan take on the Batmobile, the Tumbler (WAY different from the Batmobile Tumblr btw) from the Revoltech line. You’d think there wouldn’t be much to offer from a vehicle-based Revoltech, but no, it’s actually pretty sweet. This spring loaded badass can transform between modes, open up it’s cockpit so you can place a tiny Batman figure in there and…has a blue flame speed effect. Alright so that last one isn’t that cool, but again, I’m easily amused. There’s also a surprisingly sturdy clear stand packaged with it, so you can make the Batmobile look airborne (with help from the blue flame. Go Flame!). This 5 1/2 long vehicle retails for about $45 which is GREAT for a Revoltech, especially one that probably won’t be in stock for too long.
That’s is for toys this week! Next time we got some new Heroclixs to look out, some classic Sci-Fi figures getting new awesome figures and…..more Batman figures from Square Enix ::: insert multiple profanities here :::
GO TEAM VENTURE! The Venture Brothers is back on the air after 3 long years! Austensibly a parody of Johnny Quest, the Venture Brothers has grown into a touching story about people with extraordinary abilities failing in ordinary ways. Packed with nerds, super-hero wannabies and other marginal social pariahs, the Venture Brothers is about US, viewed through the mirror of the pop culture we love.
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.
Hey FPNYC Faithful, let’s see what kind of neat stuff we got in this wee-
::: Checks out shelves ::
::: Bangs head against wall repeatedly :::
Don’t get me wrong y’all. I like talking about toys, and letting the 6 of you who read this know what’s new in releases this week, but man, I can only talk about Super Hero toys so much. And as fate would have it, this would be the week where we’re hit with a plethora of super hero toys. One specific one, a character I was talking about literally just last week.
For those not in the know, WB games is releasing “InJustice” this week, which a DC-based fighting game in the vein of Mortal Kombat, only was less violent. Which means tie-in toys. We’ll be seeing some DC made ones in a week or 2, but Mattel struck first by tossing an Injustice Batman figure in the newest wave of DC Unlimited figures. New 52 Superman is also re-released in this wave, which is fine because it’s actually a decent Superman figures, as well as the new 52 Wonder Woman. The newest figures in the line are actually pretty good by the way. It’s been hella fortnight since we’ve seen a Wonder Woman figure from Mattel, and this one (an all new-figure BTW) captures the look designed by Jim Lee/ Cliff Chang quite well. It also does a nice job of covering up the fact that WW’s current on-going is violent (and awesome) as hell. As for Injustice Bats, I’m not crazy about the design, but since it’s original, it forced Mattel to make a new sculpt, which means this figure is also 100% new. It’s also fairly articulate and shiny, which makes me wonder if all Unlimited Batman figures are to be shiny from this point on.
In addition to the new DC Unlimited line, there’s a new wave of Batman character only -based Unlimited line of highly articulate figures on our shelves. One with no less than 3 different versions of Bruce Wayne. No, I can’t make this up, especially given the selection of this line.
The new 52 Batman and Batgirl are brought back for this line, and look, another Dark Knight Returns Batman (those animated movies must have really sold well for DC to be pushing tie-in merchandise this hard) being one of the 2 new first time offerings. The other….::: clears throat:: Planet X Batman with Batmite. Aka Batman of Zur-An-Arrh. What’s that mean? Yo, I’ve read Batman R.I.P. (Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel) and I suggest you do the same, because that is the only way any of that would make sense. Anywho, the re-packs are good if you missed them the 1st time around (the new 52 Bats goes great w/ the new 52 Supes and WW), and at least the new offerings are unique to say the very least. Both Unlimited lines are $20 per figure, and given the hype behind Injustice, you may wanna grab the figure before the game drops. Both DC and Mattel are going to be pushing tie-in toys hard these next couple of months, and given Bats popularity, he’s probably going to be one of the harder figures to fine. Not that there’s a shortage of Bat-toys or anything…
Free comic book day is just three weeks away. Don’t miss the chance to get a big bag of comics for absolutely nothing.Put it in your date books, mark it on your calender, save it to your phone and be here bright and early at FP on May 4th for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY.
Welcome back to FPNYC’s offical Bioshock blog (Blogshock? Bioblog?)!! “REAL” Bioshock fans will get the reference in the title, which only make sense if you own a TV. And continue to not comment on the blog. Good times.
I mentioned the existence of a “Bioshock Infinite” art book last week, and now that I’ve beaten the damn game (REALLY good doesn’t even begin to cover the quality of the game, or it’s ending, play it for yourself and I’m fairly confident you’ll agree), I picked a copy of it for myself because I may have an addiction problem of sorts.
So what did I think of it? I’ll get to that in a minute, because I just want to point out that I am loving the fact that we’re getting quality artbooks based on western video game over here. Bradygames have released some okayish ones, but the books released by Udon (where the crap is the Bayonetta on Udon??) and more recently Dark Horse are really well packaged, and make for really good reads/collectibles. MORE OF THIS PEOPLE, CHRIS APPROVES!
“The Art of Bioshock Infinite” is a 184 page hardcover released by Dark Horse Comics that clocks in at 9 x 0.9 x 12 inches and retails for $40. While some chapters are light on text, it’s a relatively spoiler-free read, and chock-full of gorgeous art. There’s a lot of cool concept art for things that never made it into the game, or went through a ton of changes. At $40 it’s hard to recommend this book for any non-fans, but if you sunk 12+ hours into the game like I did within a week of it’s release and need a new fix, this is a good way to get it until the board game and/or the Heroclixs drop.
::: Swears this is the last time he’ll mention the game until said ‘Clixs or more toys are released. You are powerless to stop him :::
The newest, and possibly final wave of Arkham City Batman toys via Square-Enix have hit our shelves and man, they are beefy. This time around we’re graced by an extremely jacked version of Tim Drake as Robin (new 52 continuity joke goes here) and the AC take on the classic Dark Knight Returns version of Batman (Frank Miller joke goes here). As you can tell, there’s A LOT of plastic involved with this figures, which means you’re definitely getting your $60-worth with these figures.
While I’m not crazy about cage-fighter Robin (AC’s continuity is a tad silly in some areas) look, I have to admit that the figure captures the design well. Both he and Batman sport 26 points of articulation, and come with variant hands, heads, and some accessories; a bo staff for Robin, and a grappling hook for Batman. I would have gone with a mud-covered mutant gang member corpse myself, but that’s just me. And yes, Robin IS in scale with the standard AC Batman & Catwoman figures, and I guess the DKR Batman too, even though blah blah canon, blah blah nerd, blah blah prostitute joke.
I am such a good blogger you guys.