If I had to make a list of the most recognizable figures in the entire world I think that Batman would be in the top 10. Maybe even the top 5. That brooding big eared bad boy probably lies somewhere on the list below Jesus Christ, but above Norman Reedus. So… chances are, someone on your Christmas shopping list is a Bat-Fan! Now I know I just said Batman is one of the most well known figures, yes… but… that doesn’t mean I expect you to know what to get the Boy Wonder of your Dynamic Duo for this holiday season. Those are references to Batman, stick with me kid and you’ll be dancing with the devil by the pale moonlight in no time!
Batman The Killing Joke – The super duper deluxe re-colored hardcover edition of the definitive Joker story written by that Watchmen guy. Quote me on that when handing this bad boy over to your gift recipient and they will be wowed by your knowledge!
Batman is Brave! – It’s never too early to get the tykes into vigilante crime fighting. This is one of those old school kids books with the thick cardboard pages, the kind that sops up baby drool real good!
Batman and Joker Salt and Pepper Shakers – Just a dash of the right spices from out of one of these magnetic shakers will add a little BIFF BANG and POW to your super supper. Just don’t ask me how the magnets work.
Batman 1966 1/4 scale Figure – Fans of the classic Batman television series will just love to get their grip on all 18 inches of Adam West in those iconic grey tights!
Batman The Court of Owls TPB – The first collection of the newest ongoing Batman run now available in a sleek affordable softcover edition. Issues one through seven of Scott Snyder’s take on the cape for only 16.99. Now that’s a lot of Bats on the cheap!
Big Batman Logo Button – Lets take a ride down memory lane… It’s the summer of 89 and the Tim Burton Batman movie is the biggest thing to happen to pop culture since the Moonwalk. No not that fake moon landing stuff, I mean Jack-o dancing back-o… wards? Anyway… what I’m trying to say is, Batman was huge and you know what else was huge in the 80’s – buttons. I blame it on Bobby McFerrin’s Be Happy BS and those smiley faces, but I digress. So we see the flick and as my family exits the theater I remember people selling all types of bootleg bat-stuff including these gigantic Batman logo buttons! I’m talking real big, like hubcap big, but maybe my memory has been fogged by years of fogging my brain, maybe they were just kinda big like this one and they just seemed big cause I was small… needless to say my parents didn’t buy me one of those buttons and I now have to write x-mas shopping list guides as a way to work out my mommy issues.
Heroclix Batman Booster Pack – In a world where underground crime rings and table top gaming collide! Heroclix is one of the most accessible and down right fun collectible games on the market, so grab up some of these booster packs and get a game going! Don’t worry, house rules are acceptable.
Batman Animated Series Logo Shirt – Batman the Animated series was another huge factor in securing Batman’s image firmly in the consciousness of the modern world. If you know someone who was coming to age in the mid 90’s chances are this “cartoon” was their daily dose of the Dark Knight. This grey shirt with that iconic angular logo will be a fitting gift for that special Bat-Maniac in your life.
Well there you have it Bat Boys and Bat Girls, just a few of the many Bat related goodies we have in stock and ready to be gifted by you! I’m pretty proud of myself, a full holiday shopping guide and only one Insane Clown Posse reference. Bloop!
I love you, Wednesday, but you’re killing me today.
We’ve processed another HUGE shipment in the FP vault this week and I’m astounded by how much great stuff we’ve just received… a sizable chunk of which consists of The Sandman Overture #1 and our the new ish of our best-selling comic series, Saga. There’s also Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel’s new comic The Fox, a Halloween issue of Adventure Time, Superior Spidey #20, Fabulous Killjoys, Five Ghosts #6 and a hell’a more single issues.
PLUS(!) The Death of the Family HC Batman volume 3, Avatar The Search pt. 3, Maria M by Gilbert Hernandez, Rage of Poseidon by Anders Nilsen. AND we forgot to highlight last week’s Dogs of War, illustrated by Nathan Fox.
Whew. That’s only scratching the surface and doesn’t even cover a few pallets of new toys (
Ahem, cough cough cough Er, that was formerly a link to Boba Fett from Hasbro’s new Star Wars Black 6″ figure series but you kids subsequently went ape and sold us out the same day). See ya tomorrow.
FACT: I HAVE NOT BEEN DOING A GREAT JOB OF KEEPING UP ON THIS PART OF THE BLOG, A DOZEN APOLOGIES! NYCC prep has been crazier than usual.
IT HAS BEGUN! Revealed back at San Diego Comic Con this past summer, the first 2 waves of Batman ’66 figures have finally hit our shelves. FINALLY MORE BATMAN FIGURES JOKE GOES HERE! I imagine there’s actually some hype around these toys, as the long beloved TV show still has a huge fanbase, despite the fact that you can’t watch the show in any format due to legal problems. At least in a manner that Fox or Warner profits from. You can however give us cash money for action figures though. Series 1 has Batman, the Riddler and Penguin, and series 2 adds the Jokers and Surf’s Up Batman, complete with Bat-trunks and Bat-surf board. Which is pretty great, at least in my opinion you guys. Mattel, forced to not being able to recycle parts, has done a great job with these sculpts, going as far as to sculpt on a tiny mustache on the Joker’s upper lip and putting slippers over the Riddler’s leotard, both nice nods to the show. And the paint jobs are super sharp, only matching the figures up to their on-screen counterparts even more. At $24 a pop, this probably only appeals to older collectors/ fans of the show, but at least you’re getting your money’s worth. And it’s only beginning, as we’ll be getting a button more Batman ’66 related products in.
Maybe you’re saying to yourself “Chris, maybe I want some DC toys, but I want them with some questionable designs!” ARE YOU EVER IN LUCK MYSTERIOUS INTERNET PERSON. The first line of the DC Variant Play Art Kai figures are out and man. Just..man.
LOOK AT HOW FRIKKIN HUGE THEIR LEGS ARE!
As someone who’s played his fair share of Japanese video game and watched a decent amount of the animes, I really don’t get what’s going on here. These are like Amei-Con statues gone rogue, only articulate and packing variant pieces and weapons. LIKE A KATANA, WHY WOULD BATMAN BE PACKING A KATANA, THAT IS A FINE WAY TO KILL PEOPLE, SOMETHING BATS DOES NOT DO. And don’t be fooled by these preview shots, the shoulders on these things are actually awful and bulky on both Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. I’m not sure who’d want to spend $80+ on these, but we have them in stock if you’re someone who is.
Going to stop talking DC for the day to point out that we also have some new Minimates in stock. There’s a Tomb Raider series, which is pretty great and diverse as hell IMO, a The Wolverine set which is kinda bland, and a new Marvel set featuring Marvel NOW character like Superior Spider-Man and the new Nova. It’s hard to judge these things, as they’re pretty much perfect. Standard figures with fun accessories, some cool, minimal sculpts and a good price point. I’m a big fan of the Tomb Raider game, and these minimates are a nice alternative to the solo Tomb Raider Play Arts we got earlier this year, although the Wolverine set remains a cruel tease to that Legends set we’ve yet to get. BOO URNS!
That’s all for this week! I’ll probably get another bunch of new toy preview/reviews up after NYCC, where I’ll be drunk on news/booze.
The deadlines for the Forbidden Planet blog/Daily Planet are much like the rules of Calvin-ball, which is to say capricious. That porcupine attack on Wednesday kept me from my desk desk until Friday…but then I had to go into deep cover for my day job as a full emersion secret shopper. Am I shopping in your store right NOW? EVEN I DON’T KNOW!
I just got off work, had enough time to eat some grubs (Not a typo, I live in a cave, remember) and get to work on my column Sunday night…at the same time as the Breaking Bad season finale. So pardon me as I type as I watch. LET’S DO THIS!
This week is the last week before the New York Comic Con rocks our brains like a batch of blue meth! ON NO, LOOK OUT WALTER! Boy, this show is intense. Here’s a commercial break. What was I saying? OH YEAH, NYCC! If you didn’t get a badge remember, you can always go down to the convention center, take a cell phone photo of the badge, create a phony on your home PC, then go down to Chinatown till you find the right plastic lanyard and badge holder. It’s what Stan Lee does…how else would he get into every con for free?
As for this week’s comics, Dark Horse has issue two of The Star Wars, and I am THERE! DC/Vertigo has a new spooky anthology called the Witching Hour, and I’m hesitant. I do like me some Halloween fun, so I’ll probably give this a shot…sharing the title with the Loeb/Bachalo mini from the early millennium isn’t helping this one out, here. That book wasn’t either of their best work.
OH WAIT, IT’S BACK ON! Jees, this show is brutal. I don’t know why my friends watch it. Hmm? No, I don’t watch it, but if I don’t watch tonight’s episode then I won’t know what my friends are talking about, and I won’t know what to be mad about them spoiling on my facebook. I won’t post any spoilers, I promise. Boy, that’s a weird place to stick that salami, Walter. Is it even going to fit?
WHERE WAS I?
All New X-Men #17 has the latest on the Battle for the Atom. I am LOVING this! Best X-cross over in a while. People can give Bendis a hard time for a bunch of things, but he’s taking the f’ed up, time travelling dysfunctional family aspect of the X-Men and making it the central theme of a crossover. Further, the title is populated with young, new x-men, all forced to take sides in issues that have nothing to do with them. The final legacy of Xavier’s dream is that his X-men grew up into messed up adults incapable of making great decisions, let alone save the world.
Fantomex Max #1 out this week as well. Yes, please.
Ugh. People really LIKE this show? It’s so upsetting and nasty. Some of the jokes are ok, I suppose. The art style kinda’ bugs me, too. Are people supposed to be hearing the baby speak, or is it just the audience. The dog seems to understand him. Commercial.
Indie comic publisher Microcosm is doing single issues of Henry and Glenn Forever, the amazing tale of Black Flag’s Henry Rollins living in an “alternative relationship” with ex-Misfit’s front man Glenn Danzig. Do pick up a copy of #2, available now, or the classic collection of strips that started it all. It is excellent stuff for comic, music or humor fans alike!
ALL IS SAID AND DONE
Pfff. what was all the fuss about? I’m glad I haven’t been watching that show for years. It’s not even well animated. Why is it funny for a fat guy to punch a chicken for five straight minutes? It’s like they don’t even want me to watch. And my friends all said the chicken man bits were some of the best. No thank you, Breaking Bad.
Oh Well. There’s another blu-ray set I can skip! Hopefully you and I, reader, will be sneaking into the comic con with Stan Lee next week, checking out all the cosplay, comics and expensive con food for ourselves!
Occasionally, we here at the Forbidden Planet do make mistakes. Worse, we might not realize our mistake and publish it online or in the pages of the Daily Planet even after (ha) an extremely (HA HA) rigorous (HA HA HA) round of fact checking (BWAA-HA HA!) We would therefore like to take this opportunity to apologize and print a correction.
LAST WEEK, and indeed in many of the previous installments of Unkiedev’s Amazing Stuff, Unkiedev did not mention nor heap any praise onto cartoonist Cameron Stewart. This was completely in error and we’d like to rectify that slip up now.
Cameron Stewart is incredible, a sensational artist of such dramatic talent and skill that one wonders how he could go unnoticed. His framing, pacing and timing, along with his work ethic and humor belie a top notch professional deserving of greater attention. Again, we apologize for the mistake.
How could I have missed this guy?! As the artist on Sea Guy, Batman and Robin, B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth and a longbox full of other swell comics (Most of which I own) Stewart turned in such clear, dependable work it was hard to see the forest through the trees. NO, his style isn’t flashy, nor is it overly cartoony. It has a quiet movement, and a clear design.
The best magic tricks go completely unnoticed. I can only think I’ve overlooked Mr. Stewart this long because I’m an idiot and he’s one of those artists who makes it all seem so effortless you hardly notice his genius till it hits you like a brick.
Check out his work for yourself and see what I mean: http://cameron-stewart.tumblr.com/
We may never be able to fully repair the damage done with this slip up, but we can plug Cameron’s moody webcomic Sin Titulo, published for the first time this week by Dark Horse. Sin Titulo is a creepy son-of-a-bitch, a windy little dream of a Graphic Novel more akin to a Philip K. Dick story than most of the film adaptations of the same.
It’s hard to sum Sin Titulo up, and it is easier to describe than review. It reads like a Richard Sala story, but a bit more Craig Thompson-y. For those who DON’T read the Comics Journal, a more effective description would be “It’s spooky and weird, but not in cheesy horror way.”
In Sin Titulo a young gentlemen quickly loses his girl, car and job investigating a strange photo he finds in his dead grandfather’s effects. What he finds is a world of violence, loneliness and lies, as well as the path to unlocking the secrets of his own mind.
I’m going on record with Sin Titulo as the best gift for folks on your holiday shopping list who like the idea of comics but who have never read anything before. I GUARANTEE you this will be made into a feature film in the next 10 years, adding another “Cool” level of cache to this gift.
NO it is not too early to start your holiday shopping! Hanukah is on Thanksgiving this year, for crying out loud, which surely seems a sign of the End Times. Maybe the Mayans were off by a year or two.
SKILLS TO PAY BILLS
There. I feel better printing that correction. Dark Horse also has a new Empowered special out this week called Empowered Special #5, A Drink With Ninjette. Empowered in a personal favorite, and these stand alone issues are great ways to get acquainted with this strange, sexy title.
DC has more cool 3D villain books, Including The Joker’s Daughter in Batman The Dark Knight #23. IDW has the first issue of their new Power Puff Girls license, as well as their already impressive roster of GI Joe, Transformers, and the TMNT. Image doesn’t have a leg to stand on this week, just two small books you probably aren’t interested in called Saga#14 and Sex #7. Marvel is also light this week. I mean, you don’t really want to read Guardians of the Galaxy #6, Avengers #20, Deadpool, Wolverine and the X-Men or the always surprising FF, do you?
Nah, I thought not. Get it together, comic book industry. Sheesh.
The funky cool DC Villain month covers continue to march upon the shelves, making all other books jealous. YES, I would like a 3D lenticular Penguin cover! Thank you, Batman 23, that is ever so polite of you! So shiny! So motion-y.
By comparison, all other comics seem as boring as a rained out golf match. IF we could judge books by their covers, then I’d say that DC is winning this month. BUT WE CAN’T, because the government won’t let us. Thanks a lot, Bloomberg.
DEV’S “I HAVE A DREAM” SPEECH
Occasionally, through deep meditation and special herbs, I have flashes of insight and knowledge beyond my ken. I do my best to share these brain burst with you, my readers, in the hopes that you will be seeds in the fertile soil of the marketplace and sprout the fruit of my visions through consumer action.
We need a crossover where Gamera fights the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
I leave this up to IDW to arrange. After all, they currently have the TMNT license, as evidenced by their Classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol 6 and The New Animated TMNT #3 on the shelves this week. They ALSO have an amazing talent for publishing inter company material, as evidences by their incredible artist additions of some top quality work from Marvel, Dark Horse and more. TRUE, there is no DC artist editions yet, but there are MAD artist editions and MAD, like DC, is a Warner IP.
Third, IDW has done a great job of crossovers! Under IDW Popeye has fought off the Mars Attacks Martians. The Ghostbusters have fought off Cthulhu. BOTH Star Trek and the Transformers fought off a zombie invasion borne of the Robots and Zombies universe!
Dark Horse published some Gamera books in the not too distant past. Who knows who currently holds the license. I’m sure IDW can get to the bottom of it.
FRIENEMIES IN A HALF SHELL
Gamera, for the three of you not in the know and the hundreds of you who are pretending like you do, is a giant mutant turtle with tusks who is the Pepsi to Godzilla’s Coke. They inhabit different worlds but accomplish the same goal…stripping the paint off of cars through stomping and fire breathing! YES Gamera is predominantly a good guy (or girl. I don’t mean to make gender stereotypes of turtles through my ignorance) as are the TMNT. How to make these erstwhile allied fight?
SIMPLE: Using the current turtle comic continuity, Krang uses his dimensional portal to bring in a monster capable of destroying the city. This monster is none other than Gyaos, the winged arch meanie of Gamera! Gamera is drawn to the fight, but the turtles mistake him for their enemy and go at him with deadly ninja force!
Should this be a hit (and how could it not) we can get right on to the follow up, Gamera Vs. TMNT Vs. Blastoise! Nintendo are notoriously stingy with sharing their IPs, so this may be a bit of a long shot. Plus we all know Mega Evolved Blastoise would win.
A PLEA FOR SANITY
Though originally solicited about a month ago, Previews is reporting that Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle #13 is shipping this week. Who am I to argue with Previews? Let’s say, hypothetically, that I am wrong and Magic Whistle has already shipped.
Let this serve as a REMINDER to pick up a copy. Sam Henderson is to comics as Gallagher is to the fruit smoothie industry, which is to say a subtle genius ahead of his time. Don’t be put off by the art, which admittedly looks like a cross between Hello Kitty and Guernica. The Magic Whistle will genuinely make you smile, laugh, and believe in the healing powers of idiocy.
NEXT WEEK: Unkiedev pitches his incredible Big Bird Vs. Killer Shrike comic idea, and we print an apology to everybody who actually purchased Magic Whistle #13 based on this column. An apology, but not a retraction. “I’m sorry you can’t appreciate the greatest comics genius of our time.” THERE’S your apology, philistine!
Dan Didio, the co-publisher of DC Comics, has done “The Stupid.” The Stupid is when you make a bad situation worse by opening your friggin’ pie hole and saying something inflammatory and brain dead. think we have all, once or another, done “The Stupid.”
This week saw the announcement of the ENTIRE creative team of Batwoman walking off the title afterfinally realizing that DC Editorial will not let them tell the stories they want. To Whit: Katy Perry is gay. She loves women and wants to marry them. DC comics says she can’t.
Wait, modern New 52 Batwoman is named Katy Perry, isn’t she? That’s a weird coincidence, seeing as how there’s that singer lady who- OH. Batwoman’s name is Kate Kane? That explains a lot! I was wondering how that got past DC legal.
NOW, DC doesn’t want you to think that they are in any way homophobic and that their decision to disallow gay marriage in their comics has anything to do with discrimination. To prove that DC isn’t an institution of meanies, Dan DiDio made sure to state for the record, this past weekend at the Baltimore Comic Con, that NO Superhero in the DC Universe, post New 52, is allowed to get married.
That’s right. “The Stupid.”
He justifies that superheroes, apparently much like Catholic priests, are too invested in the salvation of other people to have the time for happiness for themselves. Furthermore, Superheroes, again like priests, need to be constantly miserable in order to do their jobs.
Let’s ignore how well that worked out for the Catholics, shall we? Let’s also, for one second, sidestep the complete history of comic book narrative which proves this to be untrue, not to mention the questionable timing which does taint this as a homophobic, knee jerk reaction. Further, let’s disregard the irony that the original Batwoman was introduced into comics through homophobia in the first place, so that Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson had women to pal around with so people viewing the comic through a gay lens could stop doing that, please. Are all the gender and LBGT issues out of the argument now?
GOOD, says DC Editorial. Finally, let’s toss out all marketing data to suggest that potential comic book readers and creators know what we want to read better than marketing lawyers and editors.
Once the piranhas are done with the meat, the bare bones of the issue is thus: DC’s current editorial opinion is that YOU, the comic book reading public, only want to read about depressed, moping jerks who can’t get dates.
SOAK IN IT
The profound wrongness of this is obvious to anyone who isn’t Dan DiDio or the DC Editors. Old timers like myself will tell you about the ancient times for comic books, when titles were aimed at kids, and you could buy different varieties of titles. DC has decided that, not only will kids be shunned from the table, and that you will ONLY be able to buy superhero titles, but that EVERY SINGLE one of them has to be tragic and sad. Shelf after shelf of Batman.
I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it. If Alan Moore finally laid down the hatchet and told DC he wants to write a new Watchmen sequel book where Night Owl and Silk Specter are married, they would let him. If Neil Gaiman, after his much anticipated Sandman Origin run decides to do a new Sandman project featuring the wedding of Dream, they would let him.
This is simply editorial stupidity, compounded by some pretty piss poor PR damage control on the part of Mr. DiDio. Comics is a business, and the current revenue generators are the movies and the merch. I’m not saying that Dan is lying, I’m sure there is a secret edict within DC to keep marriage out of the pages. With DC relaunching their crumbled film empire in a fast paced game of catch-up with Marvel, the most likely suggestion is that this editorial decision is based more on money than narrative.
One never knows which character could be licensed for TV, Films or even animated flicks next. Until there’s plans to marry characters on screen, I’m sure there’s a moratorium on weddings in the comics.
Still, someone needs to tell Dan DiDio that comics are still bought by fans, and fans want their heroes to be happy. Maybe not all the time… but we sure don’t want every title to be a mope fest. That’s what we buy comics to escape from.
One time I stopped for directions at an old lighthouse in Maine. I was on vacation and had lost my way. The kindly old lighthouse keeper, who admittedly was transparent below the waist, gave me directions that wound and rambled and terminated in me climbing down a ladder on an abandoned pier to discover a skeleton crushed under a rotting boat. Turns out the Lighthouse keeper died in a hurricane 20 years ago and just wanted me to bury his body.
When his directions started with “Do yea’ have a shovel abouts ya’?,” I should have known something was up. I never did get to the dang beach.
You and I and everybody we know will probably buy Marvel Infinity #2 this week, but I sure do hope it’s a bit more cohesive and action packed than that sprawling first issue. Let’s cleanse the pallet from that tepid Marvel Infinity cross-over. I’m going to recommend X-Men Battle for the Atom #1 this week. It seems like some good freaky X-fun with lots of twists, turns and excitement. Needless to say, you’ll have to pick up All New X-Men #16 as well to continue the story. Two things the X-folks do well is hook up and fight, and with multiple X-realities merging throughout this storyline, this should be wilder than a booze fueled prom night!
Dark Horse (finally) have The Star Wars #1 out this week, and I can’t be happier! For those not in the know, The Star Wars is an alternate take on the original Star Wars film based entirely on early stage concept art and scripts. There is no Millenium Falcon, No Tattoine, and no Obi Wan Kenobi. Thrill to the adventures of Kane Starkiller, his children/padawans Deak and Annikin and a cast both familiar yet strange.
This week also kicks off DC’s Villain Month, a whole month of villain based stories with fantastically evil new covers! Start with Forever Evil #1, then continue with your favorite baddies throughout whichever titles you chose. For more DC #1 fun, we also get DC vs The Masters of the Universe #1! Two “Can’t miss” books from a company that is doing some impressive stories to match their gimmicks.
WHAT ABOUT THAT GHOST?
Now I just recommended five fun comics to ya’ll, and I do hope you read them. Heck, I’ll recommend two more, while I’m at it. Batman Black and White #1 and Superior Spider Man #17 should be great reads. As should the Harry Potter Series, which if you haven’t read them you really should. OOh! Catch-22 is a fun book! It has lots of neat depressing bits. If you like depressing but impressive reads, you should check out some Kurt Vonnegut. Maybe Slaughterhouse 5?
Recommending is fun!
Right. What about the ghost? Whenever anybody gives you advice, directions, insights or commands: Consider the Source! Why did I listen do that stupid ghost? Probably because I had been snorting pixie stix like a madman…it was vacation after all. IF you want to read any of the above recommendations, you should think about whether I am a reliable taste maker or not.
The answer is yes I am. Do as your told. As Humpty says, “If a doo-doo punk chump points a finger like a stump, you tell them ‘STEP OFF, I’m doing the HUMP.”
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.