Tagged: batman

FREE IDEAS

The top picks for this week on many reviewer’s lists will probably include IDW’s X-Files Season 10 #1, the comic book continuation of the hit paranormal investigator drama which started it all. It will probably also have Age of Ultron #10, the top secret finale to Marvel’s latest crossover which will introduce a new status quo to the Marvel Universe and feature art drawn by the EiC himself, Mr. Joey Q.
Might I also call to your attention the always fun A+ X, which drops this week with #9, featuring a back-up story by Adam “Empowered” Warren? Might I also recommend the new 100 Bullets comic from the original creators, 100 Bullets Brother Lono #1, which picks up right where the old title left off? OR the ALWAYS ENJOYABLE Sergio Aragone’s Funnies #8?
I can? Super! You folks should really buy those books…and while we’re addressing each other, dear reader.
Occasionally I try to give back to my community by supplying to you, my loyal and trustworthy readers, FREE ideas you may utilize to make yourselves millions. True, many of these ideas are only applicable to the rich and powerful, but they say one should write for the audience you’d like to have, and they will find your words through the prism of time.
BIEBER COMICS
Someone needs to negotiate the comic book rights to Justin Bieber…and not just the Beeb, but One Direction, Little Mix and the rest of those garbage no talents. WHY? HOW many times do you hear the comic book press and publisher complain about the girls comics market?
Yet the idea to publish comics young ladies might want to read seems to never get used. I can only think this is because everybody on the planet Earth HATES young girls and doesn’t want them to have any fun…and Cindy Lauper says that that is all they really want. Some fun.
That last idea was so good, I can coast on the next couple…let’s see now:
EDIBLE COMICS
How many times do you hear the comic book press and publishers complain that nobody is eating their comic books anymore? Never? That’s because you can’t…yet! If we start printing comics on edible tortillas or ultra-thin sheets of soy, we can add a new dimension to the experience: TASTE!
Did you ever wonder what Wolverine TASTED like?! Well now you can find out, without having to have to stalk Hugh Jackman, tackle him at a movie premier and lick his pits. (Btw, he tastes like smokey canadian maple bacon.) Blood could taste like real blood to boost sales on vampire titles, and everybody will want to lick their favorite super heroes and super sheroes…in public. to see what Wonder Woman tastes like.
Wow, I really phoned that last idea in. This NEXT idea is going to be a smash!
SEQUEL COMICS
You know what was a great comic? Batman and Robin #20! When did that come out, like about a month ago? I’ve got a great idea! How about a sequel to that fine comic book. They could call it Batman and Robin #21! It could come out this week, and it could be about Batman fighting Batgirl because he wants to resurrect Damien. While we’re at it, let’s make sequels to Wonder Woman #20, Justice League #20, and Supergirl #20 this week as well. And let’s have a comic book that is going to kick off DC’s summer event, staring the mysterious Pandora! We can call it Trinity War Pandora #, and we can also make it come out this week!
Well, I don’t know if those ideas are going to make anyone a million dollars, but these NEXT ideas might!
PREQUEL COMICS
This week, let’s make some prequel comics! To set up the stupendous events of next month’s super comics, such as Indestructible Hulk #10Kick-Ass 3 #3 and Superior Spider-Man #13, why don’t we release titles this week so people will know what happened before? We can call them Indestructible Hulk #9, Kick Ass 3 #2 and Superior Spider-
Ah, you get the idea.

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BROCK OF AGES

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.

There is LOTS to celebrate with the Ventures back on! Forbidden Planet has a decent amount of Venture Brothers action figures, shirts, bobbleheads and other assorted merch. Don’t see what your looking for? Have any of our talented staff help you find it…or draw it for you! SURE! Wanna’ see Brock Sampson fight Empowered in the new (amazing) Empowered Special #4 out from Dark Horse this week? Just bring up your copy, add on a few extra bucks and DEMAND a Forbidden Planeteer draw Brock Sampson into the action with a sharpy.
THAT’S the kind of extra mile I’ve just committed our unwitting staff too. WARNING: Artistic abilities may vary
SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT

While we reel with the memories of last Sunday’s season premier and patiently await this Sunday’s new episode, let’s check out the following comics, available now, which are either great substitutes or inspiring source materials.
You should own The Complete Tick for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is written and mostly drawn by Ben Edlund. Ben is the current writer for Supernatural, but was an Angel writer and Joss Wheedon collaborator. Did you know that Edlund is also the only other human being to get a writing credit on The Venture Brothers besides Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer?
TRUE! Edlund wrote “Viva De Los Muertos,” as well as having story credits on “Careers in Science” and “Guess Who’s Coming to States Dinner?” This is because A) he’s great, but also B) Jackson Publick, a.k.a. Chris Mccullogh took over writing duties on the Tick comic once Ben left to work on the first Tick TV show. Chris wrote The Tick Karma Tornado (It’s…ok.) as well as wrote some GREAT episodes of both the Tick cartoon and live action shows.
Venture fans who DO NOT know the Tick origins of Jackson Publick’s career owe it to themselves to check it out! Also, I think Doc was Edlund’s roommate at College. It gets incestuous, I know.
For a bright, happy version of what the Venture Universe could look like, one should check out Tom Strong from Alan Moore and artist Chris Sprouse. Tom Strong is a semi-forgotten title, having been overshadowed both by Moore’s previous work and subsequent. As part of the ABC line of comics, Tom was the centerpiece, yet couldn’t compete with Top 10 and Promethia, the more interesting titles it shared a spotlight with.
Tom Strong is, like Rusty Venture, a super-scientist, born of scientific parents…only Tom is amazing at it. Where Rusty “Doc” Venture has a spindly robot handed down from his father which never seems to work right, Tom has a cool Victorian robot butler that half runs on steam. Where Doc has two sons who resent him and his life choices, Tom has a beautiful daughter, excited to follow in his footsteps.
Tom Strong is everything Rusty will never be, a beloved science hero with great hair and a working jetpack. Tom’s adventures are thrilling, new and exciting, and will remind you of the Venture Brothers for how DISsimilar they really are.
And do read Top 10 and Promethia. They are required.
WHEN THAT HAPPENS

Maybe you have a favorite show that’s NOT the Venture Brothers. Silly. Maybe they do make a comic out of it, or maybe they don’t. Next time you write a comics column, you should recommend it, and swell books like it…till then you should watch the Venture Brothers. Not just because I told you too…but because I told you too and I have a taser.

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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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YOU put the I in “COMIC.”

The comic book hits of tomorrow are written and drawn by the genius’ of today! I hope each and every one of you out there is creating your own amazing stories to thrill and entertain. Forbidden Planet has an excellent small press section, and there is no reason you books cannot be amongst them.
Until then, dear reader, maybe you’ll check out these other titels?
DREAM TEAM
Image has a brand new title out this week called The Dream Merchant #1, and Dark Horse has The Dream Thief #1 (of 5). Listen, we have GOT to get these two characters together! They might work out a plt for Inception 2.
Joking aside, both look like interesting sci/fi supernatural thrillers. In the Dream Merchant, a young boy has haunting dreams of an alternate timeline which has been erased by sinister forces. His dreams unlock the secrets to getting that reality back, but should he follow them or go back to sleep?
In the Dream Thief, an ancient mask worn by our hero once makes him the conduit for vengeful spirits while he slumbers. Think Poltergeist meets the Mask.
Here’s a helpful piece of advice: If you’re in a comic book and you should find a strange, creepy mask? JUST LEAVE IT ALONE! Same goes for drinking serums in laboratories, or flying in space or trying on any jewelry you find in a treasure chest or tomb.
Speaking of tombs,
MASTER OF HORROR
Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher #1 (of 2) is a new horror comic out from Richard Corbin and Dark Horse. I don’t know much about the writer on this book…Edgar Allen Poe? What comics has he worked on before? Can anyone tell me if this guy has done any superhero stuff, I’d like to read more of his work. Still, Richard Corbin is one of the best in horror books. If you’ve seen Corbin’s work then you know he’s both cartoony and horrifying, grotesque and fun all at once!
Kinda’ like this next book; John K. Presents Spumco Comic Book HC (34.99) is my NUMBER ONE pick this week! IDW continues their fine work reprinting in large format print classic material from hard to find sources. Spumco Comics is a collection (plus new material!) of the comic works of John K., the animation super star behind Ren and Stimpy. John K. has a unique style, and humor so low-brow people will wonder if you have any brows at all.
THE BIG TWO
DC has the second issue of their He-Man relaunch title (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #2) as well as Justice League #20, and the 30 page, final issue of Sword and Sorcery #8. DC is gearing up for their big summer specials, as well as a few surprises for our pal He-Man!
Marvel is swinging back with Age of Ultron #8, FF#7, and Wolverine and the X-Men #29 amongst others. Both Age of Ultron #8 and the latest Wolvie title are alternate future versions of the current Marvel Universe. Alternate titles are always fun! I suggest you read these now, so when you pick up the Return to the Age of Ultron Universe title Marvel will be publishing in 10 years, you’ll know what’s going on.
STILL DRAWING?
How’s your comic going…you know, the one you’r working on? WHAT? You haven’t started it yet, you’ve been reading my column?! DUDE/M’AME, drop this thing like your butt in a bouncy castle and get working on new comic books!
Don’t forget to clip all the pages of your comic book together with staples. Comics without staples is just a series of nonsensical leaflets which won’t stay together.

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SIMPLY THE BEST

All of the Forbidden Planet crew had an excellent time this past weekend on Free Comic Books Day! I’m sorry I couldn’t make it out in person to see everybody, but I unfortunately don’t exist anymore since Wolverine and Sue Storm went back in time to “take care of some business” in Age of Ultron #6. That’s right, I’ve been retconned out of existence.
STILL LUCKY
I still consider myself lucky, really. I’m sure the Avengers or whoever will work the problem out. Reading the LA Times in Limbo, a crazy story caught my eye! Apparently a dangerous suspect was arrested by police after a foiled hit-and-run assault which culminated in the perp trying to muscle her way into a Free Comic Book Day event at a Los Angeles comic shop! Comic book fans, some in costume, gazed in amazement as the suspect forcibly tried to hide in the shop after smashing her get away vehicle through a nearby street sign, only to have the car coast into the wall where the fans had JUST been standing.
The arrest was made possible by the shop owner who held the doors fast when he realized something was amiss.
Comic book retailers working hand in sweaty hand with the LAPD to arrest criminals usually left to Spidey, Nightwing and other fictional (street level) do-gooders. This sort of activity reminds me who the REAL super-heroes are…you know who?
THAT’S RIGHT
YOU! You are the greatest, bravest heroes we have! On behalf of Forbidden Planet, I want to thank you, the readers, fans and supporters for giving us a reason to open our doors! Retail is tough, comic book retail is FREAKIN’ tough, but not half as tough as you folks and your unswerving loyalty to comics.
Thank you for choosing Forbidden Planet as your watering trough for refreshing comics! If there’s every anything more we could be doing, a book you’d like us to carry or material you’d like to see, please be sure you let us know. We exist to serve…well, the rest of the staff does. I don’t (currently) exist at all. Stupid Wolverine.
IF I DID
When I do come back, hopefully with an eyepatch and some crazy new powers, I’ll have to hunt down the back issues of this week’s hot books! The Walking Dead #110, Batman (and Batman and Robin ) #20, Bravest Warriors #8, and some new Richard Corbin horror material from Dark Horse and Creepy Comics #12 all have to be mine!
The main Star Wars book has been a fun read, and Star Wars #5 hits this week, too! Plenty of back issues to scoop up if you haven’t been following it yet. SPEAKING of “star” properties, Star Trek Into Darkness drops this week, and the latest issue of IDW’s Star Trek Ongoing #21 picks up RIGHT after the movie ends! I repeat: DO NOT read Star Trek Ongoing #21 on Wednesday, but do read it Friday after you’ve seen the movie! I can’t wait!
Deadpool #9, Thor #8 and Avengers #11 round out a decent roster of Marvel Must Haves, and with that I lay another column to a close.
At the end of the day, the Forbidden Planet stays open because of you. We are gracious for your business and we hope you come back, soon. As long as you’re there to help, The Forbidden Planet will be there with all your comics, sci-fi, horror, Manga, and various plastic objet d’art you need.
Be good, stay safe, and see you next time!

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AN APPETIZER OF APOLOGY

Age of Ultron continues to improve, though it had little room to get worse. Issue six was very good, and shows what this series could be. I have to print a mild retraction: I gave issue four a real shellacking over the (And there will be AoU SPOILERS from here on in) casual death of She-Hulk.

Brian Michael Bendis decided to kill Shulkie by shooting her in the head with a laser, which I found a bit foolish as heroes with less constitution than She-Hulk, such as Hawkeye, Spider-Man and Captain America, have been heroing for years without getting shot in the head from the ever preset barrel of a laser pistol.
Until Age of Ultron #6, where Cap gets killed from a laser to the head. *SIGH. Anyone who wants to argue “Who would win in a fight” now has the answer. “Whoever has a laser.”
That’s Right. Han Solo can kill the entire Marvel Universe!
MAIN CORSE OF COMICS
A great week to be a comics fan! Free Comic Book Day is RIGHT around the corner, and Forbidden Planet will be the place to catch the goods! Till then, may we suggest you pay money?
Adventure Time Originals Vol. 1 Playing with Fire is a brand new graphic novel from the Adventure Time team which focuses on Flame Princess doing some solo adventureing. COULD be great!
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 was well done, and I’ll buy my ticket for #2 this week. I want to see where this ride goes. Also from Marvel is FF Now #6, some X-Books, some Spider-Books and some Avenger’s books…and one more thing.
Powers Bureau #1 and #2 are getting second printings this week…I think I’ll take a nibble. Brian Michael whatshisname is a writer you either love or hate, but credit where credit is due, homeboy writes some nice dialog. Powers was a tight title. Let’s see if Powers Bureau can live up to its predecessor.
DC will be entertaining us all with Aquaman #19 and Justice League Dark #19, among others. Aquaman’s going to fight an Ice King! I hope Gunther is in this issue!
Some top third party titles include Image’s Invincible #102 (YAY!), Dark Horse’s The Massive #11 and IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #21. This last title gets my money because, once again, Original artist Kevin Eastman is making a visit back home for art detail. That man can draw some stealthy Japanese murderous terrapins.
That should be the new title of the book!
AND FOR DESSERT?
As they say in Ratatouille, “How about a little perspective.”
Convention season is firing up, not to mention the oncoming crop of comic book movies, events and Free Comic Book Day. In Short, the Summer is almost here! At the same time, recent world event, whether it be shootings, bombings, earthquakes, fertilizer plant explosions, monster attacks or the Zombie apocalypse can make one feel like a gnat at a Nascar race.
One of the things that makes comics and geek culture so great is its ability to take us away from the pain and tragedy of the real world. It’s called “Escapism.” That doesn’t mean the badness goes away. How do we take bad our society from the crazies, global warming, destruction and Yetis?
We have a s much fun as we possibly can and try to make sure everybody else is doing the same!
Let’s make this Summer the best Summer in recent memory! Share your comics! Bring friends to the movies! Celebrate everything that makes life worth living, and share that passion with those around you. LET the Summer of FUN begin!

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WEIRD WILD AND WACKY

Great balance this week of exciting mainstream stuff, indie stuff and web stuff coming to press for the first time!
DC has a few more WTF covers trickling in this week. You know, their gatefold covers revealing crazy plot twists? Batwoman #19Justice League #19 and Nightwing #19 should (hopefully) keep the ball rolling on controversy…I know Wonder Woman #19 is reaching for that goal itself. Her gatefold involves her fighting a well known character, but making out with that self-same character in the fold!
Kinda’ lame, I know. Superman and Batman get gatefolds revealing WHO they might be punching/getting punched by. Wonder Woman, being a woman, is defined by her sexuality.
Check out the cover to this week’s Captain Marvel! Captain Marvel’s off to fight crime on a cool flying jet-bike! Good job, Marvel!
SPEAKING OF WHICH
Last week I did a good deal of grousing about Age of Ultron, but this week Marvel is bringing us Age of Ultron #6 and Wolverine and the X-Men #27. Both of these books look like a whole heck of a lot of fun!
Both will feature time travel, where Cap and team go forward to kick Ultron’s can and Wolverine going back in time to kill Antman as a back-up plan. That’s right: Wolvie #27 will feature Logan travelling back to Silver Age Marvel to kick some pint-sized, lycra butt. THIS could be great. Wolverine and the X-Men has been one of the better X-books lately, and with fun, action packed issues like this it is easy to see why.
Also from Marvel, Superior Spider-Man #8 (ALWAYS and interesting read) and Cable and X-Force #7. Cable and Cyclops are going to have a little Father/Son chat, now that they’re both crazy fugitives and all. This should be nice and awkward.
POWER
Solicitations for DC claim they have a new He Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 , as well as a reprint of Paul Pope’s ultra-cool Batman Year 100. He-Man and Batman need to admit their feelings for each other (Mutual distrust and dislike) and finally get on with the big fight they’ve been putting off for years! Dissolve all this tension, you two, and punch each others faces in!
OOOH! Now I have to draw a Batman/He-Man Mash-up. Let’s see: Joker as Skeletor, Catwoman as Beastman, Killer Crock as Merman and whatnot. Jim Gordon as Man-At-Arms is a given, but would it be more fun to make Barbara be a Batgirl/Teela or Orko?
INDIES AND WEBS
Adventure Time #15 hits the stands just in time to lighten the comic shop mood, and Ghostbusters #3 continues a pretty good story, imho. IDW also has the collected Mars Attacks IDW TP. Absolutely a must for fans of weird, wild and wacky action.
MEANWHILE, Double Fine Action Comics Vol. 1 and 2 hit the shelves, bringing Scott C.’s incredible webcomic to the tangible shores of print! Scott C. is as funny as he is talented, a brilliant cartoonist whose simple doodles drip with warmth and detail.
I’m also VERY INTRIGUED by Top Shelf’s Crater XV HC. It is a collection of Kevin Cannon’s webcomic which he’s also been publishing in his anthology comic Double Barrel. It looks great, and at $19.99 it looks well worth the purchase.
Happy Comics, Kids! I’m off to draw the most bad-ass Penguin/Trap Jaw mash-up the internet has ever seen. If the whole dang’ tube system has gone all “Skynet” tomorrow, you’ll know why.

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Creature of Habit

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…

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Stand tall for the Beast of America. Or Againist. Your choice.

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 :::

::: Makes another smarmy remark about reviewing yet another wave of Batman Play Arts figures:::

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.

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PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE

DC has a G’nort load of April Fool’s day covers out this week, which is to say gatefold covers that reveal hidden, unexpected plot points when you unfold them. Take for example Action Comics #19…Someone is trying to kick Superman’s big blue behind with Lex Luthor’s power suit, but it ain’t Lex. Flip the gatefold cover to reveal the mysterious bruiser, though I think the smart money is on (Wait for it) Muhammad Ali! He’s back, he’s pissed, and ready for a rematch!   Some of these new gatefolds will find their main characters replaced, defeated and re-robed, while other covers illuminate stunning plot twists, identities and WHO-KNOWS-WHAT?!   Marvel, on the other hand, has the far from surprising Age of Ultron #4 (though the twist at the end of #3 was fun.) Another hot book from the house of M this week is Superior Spider-Man #7. After the last issue, you know, the one where “Doc Oc as Spidey” beat the living tar out of two ridiculous super villains on live TV, the Avengers confront our our two fisted hero and tell him he’s out of line and a job.  

WACKY FUN

Abe Sapien Dark and Terrible #1 sees everybody’s favorite fish man out of a coma and mutated into a new monster, but what kind? IDW Has a SLEW of amazing titles this week, including Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter (a.k.a. Trailbreaker,) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Vol. 4 (with some incredible cartooning by Mark Bode) and Popeye #12. This last title is truly the greatest comic out this week for anyone over 60, as it will feature Popeye the sailor meeting Barney Google (with his goo-goo-googily eyes!)   Barney Google is one of the first EVER comic strip characters. Again, this isn’t too big a deal to anyone who isn’t a comics historian, but Roger Langridge continues to put out a comic which is both forward thinking and nostalgic…and hilarious.   Which brings me to a strange point; Where are the humor comics?  

GONE DRY

About the closest one can come to a humor book this week is Deadpool #7, and that is still a super hero comic. With the Hollywood Super Hero movies still cleaning up at the box office (and I will admit I predicted this would be over by now) it is hard to find room on the shelf for titles not supported by a film or television franchise. Heck, plenty of the books that aren’t on video yet are supported by backers who would like to see their supported titles become the next Walking Dead or Kick-Ass.   Ever since Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis hit the comic book scene, the trend has been to temper the super hero action with sporadic humor to keep things popping…or if that fails to take obscure characters and go straight out silly with it.   Giffen and DeMatteis have a new space DC book coming down the pipe called Larfleeze, who is a crazed, fuzzy fanged Orange Lantern out to make a name for himself in the universe. This WILL be added to my pull list…if it isn’t some April Fools joke.   Regardless, Our humor has become as grim and gritty as our heroes. I challenge you, talents of the comic book world, to make some good ole’ fun and goofy books again. DO IT, or I’ll blow up the Pentagon! (April fools! I won’t really blow up the Pentagon. That would be craz- Hold up a moment. There’s a knock at the mouth of my undisclosed cave. Why Hello there, Secret Service! Boy, you guys work fast! Well, gotta’ run now, I’m off to Gitmo for suspicion of being a terrorist. I hope they have comics on the boat ride down. Hopefully we’ll see you all next week…are any of you readers lawyers?)

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SECRETS

Where most internet era writers/critics/entertainers go wrong (Chris Harwick, Harry Knowles, are you listening?) is that they talk about themselves to a criminal degree. The solution is NOT to “Think of the reader first.” That’s impossible. All writers are narcissists, that’s why they write. No, the ACTUAL solution is having a bigger arsenals of word boomerangs. For example:

Out of the pages of Dark Horse Presents comes this week’s Buddy Cops one-shot, a sci-fi fantasy crime comic reminiscent of Quantum and Woody, the “classic” era JLA of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle and to a lesser extent Nextwave. Written by Nate Cosby, a former Marvel editor and Harvey Award winner, Buddy Cops would SEEM like the adventures of a drunk Buzz Lightyear with a traffic cop version of Kryten form Red Dwarf. It would seem that way because it is. Sometimes a banana is yadda yadda yadda. Derivative or not (and it is) it is still the only alcoholic sci-fi cop comic out this week, and the cover does seem to imply they’ll fight giant monsters. Sounds great, Mr. The Kid!

JOB WELL DONE

A fine, professional piece of reviewing that says the exact same thing as this, more honest if less palatable, write up:   I like humor comics, so I’m going to buy Buddy Cops this week. Hope it doesn’t suck. The subject matter is the beginning of the end for impartiality. You, the reader, would rather hear about this week’s BIG books, Batman #18, The Walking Dead #108 and Age of Ultron #2. Instead I’m writing about obscure Dark Horse comics that weren’t on your radar, books that could fail.   Lookit, you’re going to buy hit books whether I plug them or not. They’re going to be great, don’t worry (well, except for Age of Ultron #2. Phew!) You don’t need me to tell you that good comics are good.   My job as a comics reviewer is to try and expose you knuckle heads to fun stuff that might spark other interests. If you like Uncanny X-Men #3 (it’s been good, so far!) I can only hep you kids to stuff already on your radar. MORE Bendis (Powers) MORE Bachalo (Can’t beat his run on Generation-X or Vertigo’s Death) and more x-titles. If you like Buddy Cops (and I feel that’s a 50/50 proposition) THEN I can show you an entire genre of comics you might not know but could love.   Ever Hear of D.R. and Quinch, the crazy Alan Moore/Alan Davis sci-fi comedy? It’s fun! Have you ever read Judge Dredd? Phil Folgio’s Girl Genius, The Change-o-Bots?

END OF LINE

YOU love comics and I love comics. You’re probably reading this column because A)It came free with your purchase, B) you’ve read your comics and your bored on the subway/toilet or C) you’ve occasionally read this in the past and besides the weird jokes about mummies, cave life and the Penguin I’ve mentioned comics you MIGHT like.   Some hot picks this week include Constantine #1 (Could be good, we’ll try!) Batman and Robin #18 (Damn well better be good after all this hype,) Star Wars #3, GI Joe #2, All New X-Men #3 and the Adventure Time Hardcover reprint.   Explore, search, try new books. Listen to others recommendations. Figure out YOUR tastes. I always want you gals and guys to get the most out of your trips to the Forbidden Planet. Hopefully you catch some sparks. Till then, I’ll keep writing and reviewing.   NEXT WEEK: More mummy jokes in a cave with some Merpeople, we promise!

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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 13: To Destroy An Entire Planet!

I am in Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con as I write this. ECCC is the beginning of the 9 months the comics industry affectionately refers to as “Con Season.” 9 month seasons. Not so bright. Comics Industry- ok at making comics, less ok at everything else. Anyway, I flew in on the Forbidden Planet jet on Thursday night. Not the nicest private jet I have ever been on but that’s alright. I was just happy the doors closed all the way and the heat worked.

So after 4 days of intensive comics immersion in the form of announcements, chatting, gossip, snooping, and spying, what have I found out for you all? Comics people really like donuts and beer. I tried to find out other stuff but that’s all anyone really talks about. There was some cool stuff though. I saw a guy cosplay as Leeloo Multipass and that made me question my sexuality and vomit in my mouth at the same time. I saw a a bar fight where one man choked another man for 2 minutes and then both walked away like nothing happened. James Robinson called me Patrick for no discernible reason. I found out if you put Adventure Time on stuff you can probably take Scrooge McDuck style money baths. Someone who clearly doesn’t have parents or friends thought it was a good idea to cosplay as Geordi LaForge in blackface. I guess maybe some of the comic writers and artists are doing new books or redoing old books or something. I wasn’t paying attention to that. I am pretty sure there are comics planned through at least June of this year. After that, who knows?

But let’s talk about this week. Since I’ve been around a ton of comics all weekend and I’ve decided I really like ‘em I am going to TRY SOMETHING NEW. In an attempt to trick you into buying more stuff and save me the effort of thinking up more jokes, we are going to do this rapid fire style. I am going to call out some books than usual that are good, write a sentence or two, and you are going to buy them. Simple and elegant. GO!

REPTILE MUSEUM #1 & #2. Only issue #2 of Reptile Museum just came out, but consulting my trusty comput-o-tron tells me that it is statistically impossible that you read issue #1 so I will review both right now. Published by Ray Ray Books which, for all I know, is either a dude in his parents basement or a division of Newscorp, Reptile Museum is what we call an indie, mini, or self-published comic. This is annoying because technically everything but Marvel and DC are “indie” so that word is meaningless. Sometimes minis are huge so that word is meaningless. And like I said before, I have no idea if Cody Pickrodt published this or Rupert Murdoch, so self-published is a difficult label to use. Either way, Reptile Museum is great. A clever post apocalyptic story that answers questions and creates them at an equal rate. Two issues in and I have no real grasp of the world at all and I love that. A unique dystopian tale, Reptile Museum spends much more time on it’s characters than it does explaining it’s world. We follow as a character reenters the folds of a mysterious organization and shows himself to be a true badass. That’s really it. But it’s great. This is a huge story scaled down and made small and personal. Mysterious and exciting, this book is well worth your support. Buy it now because you may not easily get another chance.

ALL-STAR WESTERN vol.2- WAR OF LORDS AND OWLS. DC’s most consistently great book is All-Star Western. Jonah Hex is a brilliant character, Palmiotti & Gray handle him in a way that makes it almost impossible not to love and loathe him. Someone at editorial decided to make a book that takes place in the 1880′s cross over with Batman and it isn’t horrible and stupid, it’s actually quite fun. The art is great. It’s one of 3 westerns on store shelves. Go buy it.

SLEEPER Omnibus. Ed Brubaker does superhero crime noir comics. A deep cover superhero begins to lose his identity. Do you like stuff like The Departed, Infernal Affairs, or Donnie Brasco? Well this is better. $75 gets you 2 volumes of Sleeper, the Point Blank prequel, and a ton of bonus stuff. There isn’t much more that I can say other than fans of crime, superhero, great writing, or beautiful art must own these books.

Grant Morrison writes 50% crazy nonsense that is almost impenetrable. Then he writes 50% next level brilliance that is untouchable, fun and smart. Sean Murphy is one of the best artists in comics today. They teemed up on JOE THE BARBARIAN to tell the story of a little boy getting lost in his own fantastical mind. It is the best thing either of them has done in many years. These are the best guys in the business doing their best work. Buy the paperback version out this week and lock yourself in a room so you can read though it a few times.

I don’t care about the Rocketeer. Jennifer Connelly isn’t in the comics so 12 year old me doesn’t make adult me buy them. But then Mark Waid goes and does his thing of taking old things, getting rid of the excess, and making them fun again. Then Chris Samnee comes in and does his thing of making comics that are so pretty they make everything else seem like ugly, busy, squiggles. Both men make ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM a must own book for fans of pulp stuff or inventive ways to make action heroes feel fresh and familiar at the same time.

I just want to run the copy for LOST VEGAS #1 because either they have my sense of humor exactly and the notes to the editor are brilliantly funny OR someone really didn’t do their job. Either way Jim McCann and Janet Lee made RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN which is probably the most brilliant kids book in recent memory. Lost Vegas isn’t a kids book but it looks like it might be as brilliant. So, without further ado, the weird solicitation text for LOST VEGAS #1- The EISNER AWARD-WINNING team of JIM McCANN?& JANET LEE reunite to create a universe filled with intrigue as one gambler-turned-slave has 24 hours to go all in and pull off the greatest heist the universe has seen. (in this next section, can it be like a brochure, like a different font? If not, italics is cool) WELCOME TO LOST VEGAS! Aboard this luxurious casino-filled traveling space-station you will find the highest stakes games from every corner of every planet, unheard-of winnings, and the greatest attractions anywhere!* (Can the below section be a smaller font size?)*the fine print- those who bet it all and lose must work it off as indentured servants to the casino. Escape is not possible. No one is exempt from these rules.

Joe Casey is a great writer. He can do almost anything with style, heart, and humor. None of that matters because his new Image series is called SEX. He wins. SEX #1 is on shelves now. Buying any other comic instead of SEX makes you look stupid.

Cullen Bunn may be getting famous for his work over at Marvel but if there were any justice in the world he would already have been famous for his brilliant western series SIXTH GUN. He returns with a new series called HELHEIM launching this week. Vikings, the undead, gods, and monsters come together in what may be the most fun book of the year. I was lucky enough to see Joëlle Jones art for HELHEIM #1 this weekend and it is quite clear that Ms. Jones has just launched herself into the top tier of comic artists working today. With an art style that falls somewhere between Luther Strode‘s Tradd Moore and B.P.R.D.’s Tyler Crook but feels completely fresh at the same time, this book is painfully beautiful, which is what you want when you are dealing with swordsfights and beheadings.

I seem to do it every week so here I go to do it again. ARCHER & ARMSTRONG Vol 1 MICHAELANGELO CODE is out now. The Valiant relaunch books are great. Archer & Armstrong is buddy cop stuff done pitch perfect. A “struggling with his faith” teenager and a perpetual screw-up immortal are forced to work together to save the world from a problem that is both somewhat their doing. This isn’t life changing stuff, but it is the kind of comic you might fall in love with. This is super hero stuff that feels fresh. This trade is $9.99. If you read superhero books and someone as smart as me tells you that some of the best new ones are only $9.99 for volume #1 you really should buy it. Valiant are leaving cash on the table in order to offer books like this at “TRY ME!” prices. They believe in their books that much, and that should be enough for you.

OK, I wrote the last 2 paragraphs while snoring. I am going to go to sleep and regret not cosplaying as Spoonman or Niles Crane.

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FIGHT!

Logic assures that there can be Good comic books which do not contain fight scenes, but emotion would remind you that fight scenes are incredible awesome. Here at Forbidden Planet we want you, the comic book buying populous, to get in on all that the genre has to offer. Today we shall recommend a few tantalizing comics of the FIGHTING genre to whet the appetite for violence.

If these books inspire the youth of America to disassemble into full scale riot, then we have all done our jobs.

FIGHT!

I recommend you start off slowly. Pick up some almost ANYTHING by old Jack Kirby, especially his early Fantastic Four. As an appetizer, try some Savage Dragon, Invincible. Then start spiking your violence intake with some horror, maybe Hack/Slash. Now let’s begin in earnest to learn the art of fighting.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a catchy, yet descriptive, name for a comic which hid some of the best fight sequences of the eighties. While Marvel and DC where still just showing buffoons punching each other in the face or gut, the turtles were choreographing fight sequences detailed to feints and blocks. Pick up some of the classic Turtle books, ESPECIALLY the Return to New York saga.

DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, Frank Miller (W/A), DC

When picking the single greatest fight in comics, Dark Knight Returns Batman vs Superman is a strong contender.  If you haven’t read this book, do so now. Frank Miller may be a crazy misogynist homophobe who believes that “Might Makes Right,” but that is precisely the kind of kook you want writing violent comic books. Don’t get me wrong, Miller is as bad as his worst critics say, but his twisted belief in his limited moral compass makes for spectacular fights. Sin City, Wolverine, 300, Holy Terror, all flawed masterworks of brilliant brutality. Speaking of Miller’s other works:

HARD BOILED, Frank Miller (W), Geof Darrow (A), Dark Horse

Miller and Darrow won the 1991 Best writer/artist team Eisner for this baby, and I think that was a very nice bone for the committee to throw Frank’s way. It’s like saying Dolly Parton had nice ankles.

There is a plot to Hard Boiled, something about robots and insurance, but I can’t remember it to save my life. I do remember pages of gut churning fights between robots, humans and mutant freaks the likes of which have never been topped.

Hard Boiled is the most brutal fighting in comics, and Geof Darrow is the most brutal artist in comics. Darrow can draw metal squishing human face flesh into hamburger meat better than any man alive, which is why he was picked as the lead designer on the Matrix films.

Start here to see the craziest, grossest fights you can, and then if you ain’t sickened, go grab Darrow’s other works such as Shaolin Cowboy and Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot.

MORE MORE!

Ah Crap, I’m running out of room. Kick-Ass is a great punch em’ up, as are its sequels and spin offs. Michael Avon Oeming draws some pretty fair dust ups in the pages of Powers. Both Civil War and Secret Invasion have some nice full-scale skirmishes.

Although, really, so does most of the stuff you can buy here. GO VIOLENCE!

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Live from New York, a chance to give us your money!

S’up FPNYC Faithful? This week I though I try something different and take some pictures of  stuff I thought was neat IN-STORE, capturing our merchandise LIVE in it’s natural environment! And that doesn’t excite you, don’t worry, there’s some comic book toy talk a-coming as well!

Did you know for a mere $60 you too can own a talking 24″ Ted plush? Do you know that it exists in both PG and R rated language versions? IF YOU DO NOT DON’T WORRY, I JUST FOUND THAT OUT MYSELF! Truth be told, I enjoyed the movie, so it is tempting to drop the $60 on a stuff bear for the chance to drink Sam Adams & watch “Flash Gordon” with him while TAWKAN LIKE MARK WAWHBURG, WHO IS FROM BAWSTON, THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WARLD, NO ONE DENIES THIS! And yes, I’ve obviously put too much thought into this.

Or for a mere…..$300 or so dollars you can buy a “Ugly Monster” doll and a replica of the Game of Thrones’ Iron Throne. Note if you have that sort of money, please give me some so I can also buy that plush doggie in the 3rd picture I included above. It is very cute, and I would like to own it.

Continuing the trend of trying something new, I’m now going to discuss a video game action figure not made by Square Enix (that will be continued next time, because there are new Mass Effect 3 figures out!). This is NECA’s Elizabeth figure, from the upcoming 2K Games joint “Bioshock Infinite”. That’s right, this figure actually dropped before the game did, something that needs to happen more often in my opinion. She retails for $17, and in actually incredibly well sculpted. You can tell from the photo, but the detailing on her corset is crazy good, as is the face sculpt and hey, her skirt is made of a fabric-like material. It’s a nice touch. The downside is that she’s kind of lacking in the articulation department (very basic if anything), and she has balances issues. Also no accessories. Miss Elizabeth (possibly wrestling reference? Not sure!) needs a stand ASAP. For $17 you can do much worst, just don’t expect much from her.

SEE I TOLD YOU THERE WOULD BE SOME SORT OF COMICS-BASED TOY DISCUSSION! The 4th wave of Arkham City figures has dropped from DC Collectibles, and hey, check it out, some of them are actually well sculpted AND articulate. The Batman figure from this series is a prime example of this, and is 100% new for a change. Not bad DC Collectibles. I wonder how the rest of the line fairs?….

Nightwing is also fairly articulate, but the face is a little too effeminate for my liking. I know Dick Grayson is a pretty-boy/tumblr favorite, but it definitely takes away from the figure. Still it’s not that bad, and it’s a nice alternative to the Mattel made one from last year that you probably not found anywhere. Deadshot and Taila round out the line, and they’re very much in the same vein of the older figures. Decent sculpts, limited articulation. But lords know when we’ll be getting a Deadshot OR Taila figure again in the near future, so you may want to pick them up now. They’re $20 a pop and in-stock, but I imagine most of them will be sold out soon. So like, make with the buying people!

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