Tagged: Robin

Chris’ Comics: The Top 4 (and a Hawkguy) Finale

At last, it’s time for my final article for the Daily Planet. Instead of reviews, I’m going to recommend 4 series to you (plus Hawkeye, because we all know that’s coming) that are some of my favorite comics. There’s a few “well duh” choices on the list, but hopefully someone will find a new favorite on this list, or at least think I have excellent tastes in comics.

DCD5297571) Batgirl: Year One (Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, Marcos Martin) The only way you can buy Batgirl: Year One these days is in a trade packaged with the also great Robin: Year One. But Batgirl: Year One is arguably my favorite story featuring my favorite DC character. It’s a nice re-imagining of her origin from pre New 52 times, from a writer who wrote a good portion of the best Babs Gordon stories in the 90s. Marcos Martin later blew up on books like Spider-Man and Dr. Strange: The Oath, but this is where the Martin hype train officially began. A gorgeous story that does wonders for one of the most iconic superheroes out there, Batgirl: Year One is the one DC story I can’t recommend enough.

DCD4061942) Phonogram: The Singles Club  (Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson). While I absolutely adore this team’s work on The Wicked + The Divine and Young Avengers, P:TSC is my next pick, which was the first time Wilson joined Gillen and McKelvie on a creator owned joint. Set over the course of a single night, each issue in this trade tells a different story, focusing on a different character, and occasionally crossing over. My personal favorite of the various stories is the finale, a relatively silent story that focuses on Kid-With-a-Knife, one of the more simplistic but exciting characters in the series. While it’s technically the second part of the Phonogram trilogy, it’s by far the most accessible, and an excellent entry point for Gillen/McKelvie/Wilson’s indie work.

15958246263) The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, Becky Cloonan). I really wanted to throw a Grant Morrison penned story on this list, but honestly, there’s enough best of/recommendation lists out there featuring his work on All Star Superman, JLA, Doom Patrol, etc. Instead I’ve opted for a comic featuring a character played by Morrison in the My Chemical Romance music videos this comic series is based on/a sequel to. While being familiar with said music videos/album helps. Killjoys is good enough to enjoy on it’s own, thanks to Cloonan’s gorgeous art, and Way’s sensational and kinda out there scripts. While you can make an argument that both creators have stronger work on the market, this is a favorite of mine, and it’s definitely worth your time if you’re a fan of either creators.

07851983934) NEXTWAVE: Agents of H.A.T.E. (Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen) Also known as my favorite comic series before Hawkguy was a thing. Warren Ellis’ funniest book to date, in which his team of super hero pirates fight an evil corporation profiting from a war they’ve created. A cult favorite that’s influenced so many books, NEXTWAVE was at one point the weirdest but also one of the best looking books Marvel had ever published thanks to Stuart Immonen’s art. Assuming you haven’t read it, you should, unless you hate nuclear puppies, flesh eating koalas and dragons that wear shorts.

 

 

0785192190Hawkguy) Hawkeye (Matt Fraction, David Aja, Annie Wu, Matt Hollingsworth, and various) And here it is, my obvious favorite that I’ve never shut up while writing for Forbidden Planet NYC. Hawkeye was a game changer for Marvel, and is easily the best for-hire work Fraction and Aja have done, possibly ever. The creative team makes walking dumpster fire Clint Barton one of the most relatable characters in comics, while making Hawkeye Kate Bishop a break out star. From the Pizza Dog issue to the Sandy relief issue, there’s some many amazing, genre defining comics that show that you can do big 2 comics with an indie comics sensibility. No comic series has affected as much as this book has, and there’s never going to be a time where I won’t recommend it.

And with that, I take my leave. I’d like to thank everyone who’s read my work, my fellow contributors, and the fine folk at Forbidden Planet for giving me a stage over these last years to talk about comics, and toys. I’ve had a blast, and if you care to see what I’m doing post Forbidden Planet, give me a follow on twitter (@theanarchris). Thanks for the memories FPNYC faithful!

 

Post to Twitter

Chris’ Comics: Nightwing #1

Nightwing-1Nightwing #1

Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M. Mangual

DC $2.99

Nightwing is back this week, as we see writer Tim Seeley and artists Javier Fernandez and Chris Sotomayor start the “Better than Batman” arc. This arc appears to be a nice blend of the espionage elements introduced by Seeley in Grayson, mixed with some super heroics. It’s not as strong as the Rebirth one-shot, but there’s some enjoyable stuff in this issue.

Where this book really shines is in the writing. After barely allowing Dick to interact with the Bat-family for 2 years in Grayson, Seeley fully embraces it here, using characters like Damian and Batgirl for Dick to bounce off of. As someone who loves both those relationships, and is a known Dick X Barbara shipper, I dig it, as Seeley does a great job writing these characters talking to each other. And I really like Dick’s open defiance while working with the Court of Owls, keeping him a heroic character while working with/for the NTW_1_1enemy. As for Raptor, Dick’s new partner/ “mentor”, the potential for some cool stuff to be done with the character is there. But the writing is not without its share of flaws. The pacing feels off with this issue, as Seeley trips up a bit during the constant switching scenes between Gotham and Europe/Russia. And while Seeley uses Batgirl to voice that there are some weird similarities between Spyral and the Court of Owls, I hope he can steer clear of re-trending the same ground with the whole double agent thing as the book progresses.

With the twice shipping schedule Javier Fernandez, who isn’t bad, but isn’t as strong of an illustrator as Yanick Paquette was in the previous one-shot. While there’s nothing wrong with the bulk of his work (especially when it comes to drawing establishing shots and backgrounds), he seems to struggle with the title character. There were too many instances where Dick’s mask or Nightwing emblem on the costume is drawn too thin or small. It’s an odd complaint sure, but seeing it vary in size and thickness from page to page really took  me out of the story. Also Dick ends up with a Peyton Manning forehead way too many times in this issue. A shame, because Chris Sotomayor’s color are great in image-82this issue, and I love the design that letterer  Carlos M. Mangual has come up with for the Nightwing narration box.

Nightwing #1 isn’t a bad comic, but it’s disappointing, especially when compared to the Rebirth one shot that leads into it. That being said, there’s plenty of potential and time for the team to step up their game and tell a solid story. Seeley already has worked on a dozen or so GREAT Dick Grayson stories, and now that we’ve been introduced to the main players, he can go forth and tell a good story. And all Fernandez has to do is tweak his Nightwing and we’re good on the art. Again it’s a bit of a bummer that this comic isn’t the best, but it does enough things to be a interesting read and give readers hope for the future.

 

 

Post to Twitter

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.

Post to Twitter

Injustice for all: Super Hero Lego sets are killing my wallet.

Back from Maine suckers, you miss me? No? That’s….fair. The vacation was fun, but now I’m back, pimping out toys to the masses (and peeing myself in terror at those giant crab photos, what the hell is wrong with Australia???). And man, do I have some dope toys to pimp out.

In the early 2000s, Lego began to experiment with superhero-based sets after hitting a gold mine with the Star Wars and Harry Potter licenses. They managed to secure the rights to both Spider-Man (based on the 1st two Sam Raimi movies) and the Batman universe (mostly comic stuffs) and they sold alright, but the Spider-Man line died out within a year. Batman on the other hand would go on to inspire a hit video game, which saw a sequel earlier this summer. However, the time between those releases saw the superhero movies take over the box office, thanks in part to the Marvel Movie Universe and Nolan’s Batman trilogy. So 2012 saw the return of both Marvel and Lego DC sets, but instead of focusing only 1 character per universe, Lego decided to go for each respective universe. The results are, unsurprisingly, awesome.

Instead of starting off with Spider-Man again (although he’s on the way). Lego decided to start the Marvel line off with some Avengers tie ins. This was a genius move; it’s the 3rd highest grossing movie of all time, there’s a ton of Avengers, and WHY WOULDN’T YOU, RIGHT? There are currently 3 sets on the market. The Captain America Bike set with Cap and 2 “Alien Soldiers” ((still trying to be spoiler free! )) and Loki’s Cosmic Cube Escape set with the God of Mischief, Iron Man, and Hawkeye go for about $25 each. There’s also the massive Quinjet set, which comes with 3 vehicles, an alien soldier, Loki, Iron Man, Thor, and Black Widow. That set is pushing the $80 dollar range, but seeing how you’re getting nearly 750 Legos plus 5 mini-figs, that’s pretty good. There’s also an X-Men-related set available, featuring Magneto, Deadpool, Wolverine, and a helicopter. That’s another set in the $25 range, but you can’t put a price on the happiness one gets from a Lego Deadpool. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

In Stock: It’s Never Sunny in Gotham City

By Chris Troy

MANDATORY RETAIL CHRISTMAS WARNING: IT’S TWO WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS! UNLESS YOU’RE PAYING AMAZON A GOOD HUNK OF CHANGE PER YEAR FOR EXPRESS SHIPPING, NOW’S NOT THE BEST TIME TO BE SHOPPING ONLINE. LUCKY FOR YOU, Forbidden Planet NYC has a ton of great last minute ideas for the various collectors in your life, which can be acquired by walking into the store, giving us cash or plastic card in exchanged for goods. There’s also the website, if dates aren’t a concern.

So let’s see what’s new this week. We got…some new Bobbleheads in….wait don’t leave, I know that doesn’t sound exciting but follow me here! I’m not the biggest Bobblehead guy in the world either, mostly because I wasn’t around in…the 1960s I guess, when the bobblehead became a thing. I know they reappeared in the late 90s and still exist to date, but I couldn’t tell you why, as I’ve stated it’s not really my scene. HOWEVER, I am a big fan of F/X, and their hit show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” which if you’re not familiar, is a sitcom like “Cheers” only everyone in the main cast is a terrible human being and it leads to hilarity. We won’t be getting IASIP action figures anytime soon as far as I know, but NECA has released talking “It’s Always Sunny” Bobbleheads, which I guess is almost as good? I dunno. But they talk, specifically quoting some of the best lines from the show (sadly not the ones with profanities) and hey, who knows, maybe it will lead to toys at some point if they sell really well (HINT HINT). And that would be great, because my Revoltechs and Marvel Universe figures could really use the company of Charlie Kelly, local business-owner and cat enthusiast. Or at least some “Archer” figures. That would be great.

(This is where I could dump several Tumblr’s worth of IASIP’s gifs. Consider yourself lucky that I didn’t!)

So remember a while back when it seemed like there were new DC Direct toys dropping every other week? It’s kind of happening again, but to a lesser extent thankfully, as we now have 2 different lines of DC Direct toys on the shelves now. First to drop is the 4th wave of Green Lantern figures. I think it’s bull to consider this the 4th wave, considering we’ve been getting bombarded with “Black Night” toys for over a year, but hey, I’m not the numbers dude. This wave consists of Robot Green Lantern (yes, that felt awesome to type out) Stel, Lantern Arkkis Chummuk ( “Chummuk” is hilarious to me by the way), Red Lantern Guy Gardner, and Power Glow Hal Jordan. If you want to call Power Glow Hal a cop out because it’s an older Hal figure re-released in clear green plastic, you are 100% correct: it is. It’s bad and DC Direct should feel bad. On the bright side, you have two more obscure Green Lanterns to add to your Corps. collection, as well as a Red Lantern Guy (who I thought would come with his construct chainsaw but sadly does not). Either way, they’re on sale for about $20 a pop if you’re interested.

The other set of toys DC Direct dropped this week was the 1st wave of the new Arkham City line, based on the awesome game that dropped back in October. The first wave consists of a scrapped character design from Sucker Punch, a Sterling Archer in a Batman costume, and some roid-rager in a Robin costume. Or as the packaging says: Harley Quinn, Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Robin Tim Drake; who spends his off-time as a cage fighter according to the game’s plot. Between that interesting tidbit and Harley dressing like…well, slightly less offensively than her current New 52 version, I question the writing/art direction of the game. But Bat-Archer looks dope and is probably worth the $20 it sells for. I really suggest that if you want any Arkam City figure you buy it immediately, because once Arkham figures sell out, they tend to be gone for good.

Post to Twitter

NYCC Wrap-up/Recap!

by Chris Troy

::: Coughs for several minutes before vomiting up several organs of varying importance:::

Once again, New York Comic Con has come and gone, this time giving me a case of the death, along with a ton of freebies, like posters, shirts and comics that I would never buy. The con was awesome and if you want a recap of what I did that doesn’t involve toys, I suggest you check out the article I typed up for BleedingCool.com, which can be found right here: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/10/18/cosplaying-with-seth-green-chris-troys-nycc/

As for toy news from NYCC that you should care about:

– Next year’s Avengers toyline will have figures in-scale with Marvel Universe/ Marvel Movie figures as well as Marvel Legends sized figures. (3.5″ and 6″ to those unfamiliar with what the hell I’m talking about) On display were Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Hulk, & Loki for both lines, in addition to Black Widow, Thor, and Nick Fury for the 3.5″ figures.)

-The 2nd wave of the returning Marvel Legends line will consist of Big Time Spider-Man, Daken, Madam Hydra, Fantomex, Bucky, Captain America, Madam Masaque, Thunderball, and Build-a-Figure Arnim Zola. As good as the Avenger figures looks, these looks amazing, and I will end up buying WAY too many of them.

-DC Direct & Mattel both had “Arkham City”-based figures on display. Mattel’s will be 2-packs, and will feature characters like Harley Quinn, Robin, Batman, and the Joker. DC Direct, is making single cared figures of Batman and  literally ALL his villains from the game, as well as oversized deluxe characters from the first game like Venom-Joker, Killer Croc, & Bane. Also Catwoman, who I guess we can consider an alley at this point.

-Square Enix also had Arkham Asylum figures on display, Batman and the Joker of course. Also, photos of an armored Batman & Harley Quinn. In addition to these, there were Halo Play Arts Kai, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (which we just got in!), Serrah from Final Fantasy 13-2, as well as fully painted prototypes of the new Street Fighter 4 line, consisting of Ryu, Chun-Li, Akuma, and Cammy. Without a doubt, these are the BEST looking Street Fighter figures to date, so expect me to rave about Cammy when she drops in 2012. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Batman?! Batman you say?!

by Chris Troy

Well I managed to make it like, 2 weeks without talking about the big, bad bat. That’s impressive, as I think that’s the longest I’ve gone without discussing Batman related-merchandise on this blog since I’ve talked about things that weren’t Gundam related. But thinking it over, it makes sense, as the Bat is DC’s main cash cow, with children, fangirls and man-children all fans of the Batman. And with a ton of amateur “Dark Knight Rises” photos hitting the internet to help build hype for 2012 biggest non-Marvel movie,  it makes a ton of sense for DC & Mattel to be pumping out a ton of merchandise.

Up first is the recently released DC Direct “Batman Inc” line of figures, based on the Grant Morrison penned series that’s running late and may actually mess up the DC reboot/relaunch if  the 3 remaining issues don’t ship by 8/31. The first wave consist of Batman in his Morrison/David Finch redesign (sans shorts!) costume, Damian Wayne Robin, The Knight (England’s Batman) & the native American Batman Man-of-Bats.  Note: Bruce was out of costume for over a year, and despite 2 toylines that revolved around that fact, not once did we get a Dick Grayson Batman. DC, I am disappoint. That being said, this line is pretty cool. Bruce actually has ball-jointed shoulder joints, making arm movement for the figure easier. Damian is the smallest, making him in-scale with the other figures and comes with a staff and a sword, both of which a taller than he is. Man of Bats comes with a tomahawk (not sure if racist) and the Knight, who 1st debuted in Morrison’s JLA run (available in 4 glorious hardcovers) over a decade comes with nothing, but the stand. I’d complain more, but it’s the Knight, who I never expected would get his own figure, let alone an awesome mini-series written by Paul Cornell of Doctor Who fame, so I’ll take my victories when I can get em. Each of the 4 figures retail for about $20 a pop, and with fan-favorite characters like Damian and The Knight involved, you’ll want to pick them up ASAP. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Short packed: American Avengers, non-moving parts and 2 packs

By Chris Troy

Happy 4th of July FPNYC faithful. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be drunk by 2, bbqing and watching Battlestar Galatica on Netflix. Maybe some fireworks. I dunno, Battlestar is really good and fireworks may require me to leave my apartment. Either way, with less than 20 days until Marvel Studios’ “Captain America“, today’s the best day to do your patriotic Nerd duty and swing by the store or the website and pick up some Cap swag. We have a huge selection of comics, shirt, toys and other Cap-based merch in stock, so finding something relevant to your all-American interests won’t be too hard! Also keep your eyes out for the upcoming “Captain America” #1 by Ed Brubaker and Steve McNiven, continuing Ed’s fantastic run on Cap’s book. The current Cap series is getting a new co-writer Marc Andreyko with pencils by the underrated and awesome Chris Samnee. Both books are definitely worth the money, but I have to admit I’m more excited for the Bru/Andreyko/Samee book for the insane amount of talent attached to the title. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Birds and Gods: Bird Superheroes Dos and Don’ts

Superheroes are thinly veiled caricatures of our own hopes and insecurities. Finding the right balance between subtly recognizing these deep psychological urges and making the character cool is the entire trick to creating interesting and compelling characters. Think of it like making your first mixed drink: You want enough booze in there to knock your socks off, but put too much in and it will taste like liquorices flavored Scope.

That said you should probably stay away from birds when you’re making up new comic book characters. No one wants to read about birds. Birds ruin everything.

WHY NO BIRDS?

The concept of a super evolved dinosaur with telescopic vision and the power to fly SOUNDS cool until you realize that this is just your average, run-of-the-mill bird. YES, birds can fly, people would like to fly and therefore many people wish they could be birds. Creating a character AROUND a bird theme never seems to embody the freedom we all yearn for, as it underlies poor creativity and too much blatant symbolism; Bird superheroes seem half-baked, tacky and fairly pathetic. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

How to Draw Batman

How to Draw Batman

By Devin T. Quin

Apart from the summer of 2008 when Iron-Man was (briefly and strangely) the king of cool, Batman is the A-#1 comic-book bad boy that every living creature on Earth wants to be. Even actual bats! FUN FACT: do you know why the Dinosaurs went extinct? They all committed suicide when they found out it would be another few 100-million years before they could read “The Dark Knight Returns.”

Unfortunately very few of us will ever get to actually BE Batman, and the responsibility of wearing the famed cape and cowl of Gotham’s resident demigod takes its toll on those who do. For example, after filming “Batman and Robin” George Clooney was so Bat-Guano in the cabeza he lent his voice talents to South Park to play a gay dog, and after “Batman Returns” poor Michael Keaton was never heard from again.

No, better to live out our intrinsic need to be The Bat through art therapy. That’s right: in just five easy steps YOU TOO can draw Batman! Continue reading

Post to Twitter