Tagged: thor

The Main Event of Thor vs. Thanos In THE UNWORTHY THOR #5

Will Odinson become the Mighty Thor once more?

Jason Aaron‘s mini-series following Odinson’s quest for Ultimate Thors hammer reaches its finale this week! Odinson has battled off all who stood in his way including the Collector and Black Swan. With the help of his old friend, Beta Ray Bill, he has at last reached the location of the weapon that will make him the Mighty Thor once more. Will he be found worthy and wield a hammer fit for Thor again? One more challenger stands in his way who plans to pick up the weapon before Odison can: Thanos, the Mad Titan.

The final battle is here between two figures in the Marvel Universe who’ve undergone major trials and tribulations over the last couple years of comics. Who will lay the ultimate smacketh down? To say Jason Aaron’s been building up his Odinson saga with the greatest touch of craft and care is a bit of an understatement at this point. With art from Pascal Alixe and Aaron Kim Jacinto the final chapter of this book of Thor should be astounding.

At long last we’ve been promised to know what Nick Fury said to Thor Odinson during Original Sin that made him unworthy. The question we’ve been waiting an answer for since 2014 is at hand. Undoubtedly, all the answers we finally get will also pose a few more questions.  Whatever happens next, it’s one of those rare moments in superhero comics where the old lyric, “times, they are a’changin'” feels appropriate.

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Gods Come To Texas in GOD COUNTRY #2

Finally, the next chapter of this Gods among us epic is here!

In case you missed it (if you did, go get a copy of God Country #1 immediately), one of the best new series has its next issue coming out this New Comic Book Day. It’s rare when a book this good comes along. Do you like Southern Bastards? Thor? Epic mythological tales with heartbreaking family drama? Then you’ve no excuse not picking up God Country #2 this week.

Donny Cates (Buzzkill, The Ghost Fleet) might just be making a cult favorite. In the first issue we learned some of the deep and mythology busting secrets of Emmett Quinlan and his family. Having returned home to take care of his aging and mentally deteriorating father, Emmett was putting his wife and child through the ringer. His wife had had enough of Emmett’s dad’s cruelty and Emmett’s stubbornness to put his father in a home where he could be cared for properly. For some reason, still to be further explored, Emmett couldn’t bare to “give up” on his dad. Meanwhile, a twister was getting set to touch down. Little did we know this was no ordinary tornado and that it carried within it the key to unlocking mysteries of Emmett and his father.

After the amazing reveal at the end of the first issue, Emmett will continue to attempt to rebuild his family in the wake of the storm that broke them. Meanwhile, something otherworldly screams through the sky under a banner of war. The Gods have touched down in Texas and they are not going to leave empty handed. Why are you still reading?!?Buy your copy and get in on this at the ground floor.

Not sure if you can make it Wednesday? Sign up for a subscription box and put it on your pull list! This is one journey you don’t want to be left behind for.

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Review: Thor the Dark World and Thor: God of Thunder volume 1

Thor-The-Dark-World-Wide-ImageTHIS WEEK IN CONFESSIONS: I’m not exactly the biggest Thor fan out there. Might as well get that out of the way early. It’s been established a number of times that I’m a Clint Barton guy, so I wasn’t exactly super hyped going into Thor the Dark World this past weekend, aside from the fact that we were promise TWO whole post credit scenes. I enjoyed the first Thor movie well enough ( which had a Hawkeye cameo!), but I’ve been riding that Captain America The Winter Soldier hype-train since that trailer dropped a few weeks back.

That TL:DR review of Thor: 2 is that it’s fun and a nice step up from the original movie. All the pesky origin stuff is done with, so we get a lot more Thor being Thor and hitting stuff with Mew-Mew this time around,  all while Loki gets that Tumblr crowd money filling seats for repeated viewings. And most of this movie take place in Asgard/the non-Earth realms so there’s a very cool Star Wars/Lord of the Rings vibe to the whole thing that comes across as a giant love letter to Jack Kirby. All of the key players deliver, as Hemsworth’s more mature Thor is easier to root for, Kat Dennings remains a blessing and Tom Hiddleston is still perfect as the trickster god. This movie isn’t exactly the deepest thing playing in theaters, but it doesn’t pretend to be. Marvel has a winning formal for these movies, and The Dark World follows it to a T.

I do have 2 problems with the flick though. The first is the pacing. It starts off slow, but after the first 30 minutes, it takes off at breakneck speed and doesn’t slow down until the ending. And while could have been much worst, it could have been a tad better if certain scenes got a chance to breathe more. My other issue is Christopher Eccleston, and actor I adore from Doctor Who, isn’t utilized properly as the film’s big bad Malekith. I don’t understand why you would  cast an awesome actor like Eccleston and not take advantage of his talents, or flesh out his character more? Any schlub could have played him the version of Malekith portrayed in the film for a fraction of what Marvel paid Eccleston, who’s an ultimately forgettable villains once the credits start rolling/

Despite my issues with the film, it was a fun popcorn film overall, and the mid-credits scene was AWESOME and sets the stage for another Marvel film dropping in 2014 (2 guesses). So go check it out, it’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

thor_0

Now what if you’re fresh from the theater and want to pick up some Thor comics? “Where to start” you may ask, especially with a character as rich as Thor with great runs by a variety of talents creators like Kirby, Lee, Simonson, Fraction, Gillen, Jurgens and Romita and Copiel (also JMS). Assuming you can read, you’ve probably figured out that I’m going to suggest Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor: God of Thunder, one of the BEST books to emerge from the plenty-strong MARVEL NOW relaunch over the last year.

You may remember me tossing some shade at these creators 2 weeks ago when I was discussing the ending of Battle of the Atom. While I still think critique was justified, Aaron and Ribic are operating on a different level here on Thor:GoT. Volume 1, The God Butcher. It is a very different monster from said event, and quite frankly, the results are much better for it. The elevator pitch for this 1st collection is simple, it’s Thor vs. a serial killer of gods. The hook is that this isn’t the first time Thor’s thrown down with this dude, and this book gets into some Doctor Who level timey-whimey stuff, only a lot more violence. A. LOT. MORE. VIOLENT.

This is the usual level of insanity for a Jason Aaron book, complete with a title that’s a KISS reference, but it’s Esad Ribic who really shines in this book. This title FEELS like a epic fantasy story, with the sort of beautiful brutality you get from Game of Thrones. You many cringe once or twice reading this book, because it does not pull back the punches when the fists and hammers are thrown, and Ribic does a fantastic job of drawing violence. The beautiful imagery is only strengthened by Aaron’s awesome heavy metal scripts, that give Esada a ton of awesome stuff to work with. With little knowledge needed to get into this run, I can’t recommend this series enough. There’s currently 2 volumes of Thor:GoT out now in hardcover, each priced at $24.99 each.

 

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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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TRY SOMETHING NEW Chapter 8: During The Battle…

Greetings from Ice Station Zebra. For all you people out there who check the spines of your comics to make sure they don’t have creases or whatever it is you are looking for please note that Forbidden Planet is now refrigerated to ensure that your books stay extra fresh. No more rotten book smell! Anyway, about my column this week; I don’t know how many of you have peaked early in life but it is a terrible feeling. I’m pretty sure that last week’s column is as good as this column is ever going to get. I don’t know if you saw it but it was pretty great. There was a whole Choose Your Own Adventure type thing and I made lots of jokes about killing you. I don’t think I can top it and I am coming to terms with that. This is my Godfather III. I am just going through the motions here. But there is a ray of hope in this trainwreck of a column.

TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!

Well, that’s not necessarily true. Wednesday January 30th is my birthday. If you are reading this on another day then today is not, in fact, my birthday. But if you are reading this on Wednesday then HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Feel free to order yourself a piece of cake at dinner, sing me a song, and then eat it (the cake, not the song). So while I clearly have nothing to talk about in this column I thought, “I have done enough for my readers so far. Maybe too much. It’s time they do something for me.” So that is the theme of this week’s column. Stuff you can get me. A birthday wish list. Just so you know what you are up against, Forbidden Planet’s Tech Wizard/Actual Wizard Tyler got me a self portrait he painted. It’s 10’x10′, based on Botticelli’s “The Birth Of Venus”, and creepy as hell. I am hanging it above my bed so I remember to never sleep. But you should feel free to get me stuff that isn’t nightmare stuff.

MY BIRTHDAY WISH LIST:

For starters I always like cash. Any amount is fine, but if it’s under $10 it’s kind of rude. Feel free to stop by Forbidden Planet and leave cash with any of the register jockeys for me. There is a 50/50 shot I will get it. They aren’t the most trustworthy lot. I would also take Forbidden Planet gift cards. That isn’t going to pay my rent or buy me chocolate milk but it doesn’t hurt. RIYL: Capitalism. Buying stuff. Goods and services.

Global Frequency TP

You know what you could get me? GLOBAL FREQUENCY. Warren Ellis & a team of great artists come together to do single issue standalone sci-fi spy stories. A 21st century reimagining of stuff like Bond or Mission: Impossible, these stories focus more on fast paced and sometimes socially conscious thriller than they do on things like character. Originally released by Wildstorm in 2004, this book is finally back in print now. Ellis is a comic writing genius, but if you have never read his stuff this isn’t where I would start. Luckily for us, I already read Transmetropolitan, The Authority, & Nextwave so feel free to buy me this. RIYL: Queen & Country, Channel Zero, or 80’s and 90’s Bond films.

Hawkeye #7

I don’t think I would be causing much controversy among those paying attention if I pointed out that Matt Fraction & David Aja‘s HAWKEYE is the best book at Marvel right now. Sure Thor, and All New X-Men, and Punisher War Zone, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Daredevil are all putting up a good fight, but it’s sort of hopeless. Hawkguy feels fresh and relevant, smart and fun in a way that most comics don’t begin to approach. It is style AND substance. I hope every single person at Marvel (and DC) is noticing the bar is being raised each month. Issue #7 gives it an extra nudge. With 2 short stories about a massive hurricane hitting the Northeast, Hawkeye #7 manages to be topical while still being a book about everybody’s 6th favorite Avenger. On top of all this, Mr. Fraction is donating his salary from this issue to hurricane Sandy relief efforts. If you don’t know how comics tend to work, his salary is based on royalties from sales. Meaning that each issue you buy helps Sandy victims who are still desperately in need. So yes, by all means go give money to Occupy Sandy, but reward yourself with a copy of this book and keep the charity going. (And while you are at it, reward Mr. Fraction for being a class act by picking up his other series like Casanova or Five Fists Of Science.) And since it’s my birthday go ahead and buy me an issue as well. RIYL: helping people in need, near perfect superhero comics, Immortal Iron Fist, the idea of a Bryan Lee O’Malley and Chris Ware teaming up on an action book.

Tales Designed To Thrizzle HC Vol 02

First an anecdote. At a comic convention last year I bought an issue of TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE from Michael Kupperman and he signed it to me. I later gave the issue to my lovely ladyfriend, Alethea, as a gift. Giving someone else your stuff and acting like you got it for them is considered “not proper gift giving etiquette” by squares, teachers, and cops. Now, Matthew and Alethea contain some of the same letters but she can recognize that they are not the same name. It took her a whole 6+ months to notice that the book was inscribed to me instead of her but when she did… whoo boy was that fun. Anyway, in terms of funny comics going on right now there are not a ton of great options. Even if there were though, TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE Vol. 2 would stand head and shoulders above the competition. Volume 1 of TDTR was among the funniest things I have ever read. I easily put it alongside works like The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy or Calvin & Hobbes in terms of books I can revisit and still completely lose myself in over and over again. Michael Kupperman’s absurdest strips that range from the adventures of historical figures Twain & Einstein, to buddy cop duo Snake N’ Bacon, and the history of sex blimps, all peppered with old timey fake comic ads for odd products are nothing if not bafflingly weird and compelling. If you are at all a fan of the absurd in any form I would urge you to read this book. And since I only have volume 1 you can get me this as a great gift. RIYL: The anything goes spirit of old Mad Magazine, the fast paced boundary pushing humor of stuff like Monty Python, Kids In The Hall, Airplane! or Amazon Women On The Moon.

7 Miles a Second HC

7 MILES A SECOND. Painter, musician, photographer, filmmaker, writer, and activist, David Wojnarowicz was a key figure in the underground New York City art scene of the 1980’s. Often times having strong homo-erotic subtext, his work pushed cultural boundaries, continues to inspire new generations of artists today, and invoked the wrath of the christian right. After a lengthy court case, Mr. Wojnarawicz earned a hard fought victory against the loathsome Donald Wildmon and the American Family Association who sought to defund the National Endowment for the Arts. This single legal struggle did more for artists and artist rights in this country than most people can comprehend. By 1992 Mr. Wojnarowicz sadly lost his battle with AIDS. 7 Miles A Second was completed by his collaborator on the book, James Romberger, and published by Vertigo posthumously in 1996. Now it is back in print for the first time and is well worth your attention. Wojnarowicz autobiographical tales start you with his life as a child prostitute, onto his teenage years on the street, through his time has an HIV+ man, and onto his inevitable (at the time) conclusion. The stories serve as beautiful and brutal snapshots of a brilliant life lived too hard and extinguished too soon. It is not too much to say that we all owe a great cultural debt to Mr. Wojnarowicz and picking up this book and trying to understanding his life is a good first step toward understanding that debt. RIYL: Maus, American Splendor, or artists having the right and the ability to make a living in this country.

Well, that was a super depressing note to end on. Sorry about that. Anyway, I’m going to go because there are a lot of good books to read this week and you are still freaking out from all that sugar in the birthday cake. Even if you don’t want to buy me these or any other books you can still get me a present; you can go look at the comics on the shelves and promise to try something new.

Awww. What a sweet moment. Now if you excuse me I am going to go warm up by Tauntaun-ing one of Forbidden Planet’s managers and sleeping nestled in their gross guts.

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TRY SOMETHING NEW CHAPTER 7: Against The Evil Galactic Empire.

(note: This weeks column will be structured like a Choose Your Own Adventure. If you do not understand what a Choose Your Own Adventure story is you should call your parents and ask them why they didn’t give you a better childhood.)

So here we are again. Me at my computer, drinking chocolate milk like an adult. It’s 3 AM. I had a really long day and I don’t want to get into the details. On the bright side I had dinner at a Chinese restaurant next to Peter Scolari. I also thought I recognized the guy sitting on the other side of the room but I realized after dinner that I thought it was Walter Cronkite and I am pretty sure he’s dead. So that was either not him or the craziest celebrity sighting ever. Peter Scolari isn’t dead, right? If he is, you all should check out this Chinese spot on 74th and Amsterdam. It’s like Dawn Of The Dead but with soup dumplings. Anyway, enough about me. What’s going on with you? If you are reading the newsletter in Forbidden Planet please proceed to PARAGRAPH 1. If you are reading the blog on FPNYC.com skip ahead to PARAGRAPH 2. If you are reading the newsletter somewhere outside the store please jump to PARAGRAPH 3.

1. I see. Well, it’s good to see you in Forbidden Planet again. It feels like it’s been a while. Did you see Forbidden Planet’s own technical wizard/artistic muse Tyler yet? He’s here somewhere. He is always in the store. If you find him you should give him a hug. He will act like he doesn’t want you to, but he does. Maybe he’s downstairs. Duck under the rope and look for him in “The Dungeon”. (editor’s note: customers are not allowed to duck under the rope or touch Tyler.) Go on. It’s fine. Never listen to editors, cops, or your parents. The Dungeon is cool. It is full of Abominations and staff members eating halal food. Anyway, thanks for reading this before you do your shopping. You seem like a real savvy customer who wants to TRY SOMETHING NEW. Would you be offended if I made a suggestion? If you want to hear Matthew’s recommendation for you hurl onward to PARAGRAPH 4. If you want to act like a weirdo jerk and not hear his recommendation then slither ahead to PARAGRAPH 9.

2. Oh that’s cool. And hey, thanks for coming to FPNYC.com. There’s so much stuff on the internet. Some folks would have you believe there is too much stuff, but those folks are sociopaths. Either way, it really means a lot to me that you came all the way out here to the middle on internet nowhere to read this of all things. You can’t tell right now, but your dedication to our little blog just made technical wizard/evil henchmen Tyler tear up just now. He is acting like he has something in his eye but he doesn’t. He is an emotional dude. Don’t judge. Anyway, I think it’s really cool that you came here. I know you could be watching that video of the guy teaching the baby wolf how to howl or trying to figure out what Hawkeye from the Avengers would look like if he were a sexy lady. But you have a dedication to seeking out some of the worst comics journalism of all time and I think that is swell. That reminds me, do you know what book you might like? If you don’t know what book you might like and want to find out hop along to PARAGRAPH 6. If you are some freak who somehow already knows all of the books he/she will ever like crawl forward to PARAGRAPH 9.

3. Hey. Sorry to cut you off but I got something to say. I don’t want to be a jerk here but I am a little annoyed. Why would you come into Forbidden Planet, pick up a newsletter, and then wait to read it until you left? How are my book recommendations going to help you now? You can come back in a few days and hope that all the books I’ve recommended aren’t sold out, but I make no guarantees. A lot of people read this newsletter in the store and I am very persuasive. Anyway, I am not mad or anything, just disappointed. Our technical wizard/ jackbooted thug Tyler is really mad though. Next time you come into the store you better hope he isn’t in. Lucky for you, Tyler is almost never in the store. Anyway, I want to prove to you that I’m not mad. I want to recommend a book. Cool? If you want to be cool with Matthew launch yourself over to PARAGRAPH 8. If you don’t want to be cool with Matthew or anyone else creep on to PARAGRAPH 9.

4. I think you might like DARK HORSE PRESENTS #20. It’s one of the great comic anthologies of all time, showcasing amazing legends and exciting up and comers in all genres. Two cool new stories begin in this issue; Michael Avon Oeming‘s dark superhero story THE VICTORIES, and Geoffrey Thorne and Todd Harris‘ intriguing JOURNEYMEN! Josh Williamson‘s great take on the old pulp hero CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT is a great read for anyone who appreciates fun action, which you seem like you do. And this issue also has another installment of one of my favorite new series of 2012- THE WHITE SUITS. Crime and conspiracy stuff done in a fresh and stylized way, THE WHITE SUITS short story makes DARK HORSE PRESENTS worth the cover price alone. Anyway, pick this one up. It’s right over there on the shelf. I’m sure you’ll like it. If you pick up DARK HORSE PRESENTS #20 walk over to the register where one of the register jockeys will ring you up and say “do you want a bag and board for this?” even though it won’t fit in a bag because it is prestige format. THE END. If you choose not to buy DARK HORSE PRESENTS #20 lurk on over to PARAGRAPH 9.

5. The ground you are standing on momentarily groans like an old man before it gives way. You fall for what feels like a lifetime but is only a moment. Mercifully, you stop with a violent splash. You have landed in what seems to be water… maybe. As you look up you can just barely make out the fading sunlight. It’s beautiful, shades of red and orange blend together like a Gauguin. You barely hear tires kick up dirt as your only “friends” drive away. Are they laughing? The water is violently cold, a cold you could have never imagined. It fights its way deep into your muscles, into your bones even. They burn against the cold but it is a losing battle. The pain begins to give way to an almost peacefulness as treading water becomes harder and harder. Hypothermia begins to set in and you find that you now think of yourself in the past tense, “I was so young.” The universe doesn’t care though. THE END.

6. This is what I wanted to show you. It’s DAN THE UNHARMABLE. Have you read the single issues? No? Well that’s fine because this is the first volume of the collection. It’s by David Lapham. You may know him from such disturbing and ultraviolent books as CROSSED, CALIGULA, or FERALS. Or you might know him from a personal favorite of mine, STRAY BULLETS. STRAY BULLETS is one of the smartest and best slice of life/crime/I don’t know what books ever written. It’s LOVE & ROCKETS but with more murder. Lapham has an extraordinary ability to blur lines between the disturbing, the tragic, and the hilarious. DAN THE UNHARMABLE tells the story of an immortal private eye who gets caught up in a very personal case. It is violent, crass, low brow, funny, and exciting. Lapham can pull off this kind of schizophrenic storytelling in ways no one else would think of trying. If any of that interests you grab this and proceed to check out. If you order a copy of DAN THE UNHARMABLE vol 1 sit by your mailbox for a few days until the postman puts it in your hand. Thank your postman. It’s a thankless job. THE END. If you choose not to buy DAN THE UNHARMABLE Vol. 1. scurry on over to PARAGRAPH 9.

7. Her lips graze your neck and you can feel your pulse quicken. Her warm breath on your skin makes your toes tingle. She whispers something you can’t quite make out and your whole body starts to go numb. “Did she just say my real name?!” you think to yourself. Startled, you go to push her away but your legs give out before your hands can respond to your mental commands. You fall to the ground like a hostage dropped out the front door during a botched bank robbery. You hit the ground head first and your neck twists violently but painlessly to the right. The acrid taste of bile creeps up the back of your throat and fills your mouth. You can see part of your body you have never seen before; your back. Sticking straight out like a flag, the syringe she used is clearly visible. She leans down over you and sensually whispers one last sentence to you, “The universe wanted you dead.” No it doesn’t, you wanted to be able to tell her. It just doesn’t care. THE END.

8. So these Marvel Now books have been really great. Strong and smart editorial leadership has managed to put together a lot of really smart and interesting books without abandoning what came before them. THOR, ALL NEW X-MEN, NEW AVENGERS, CAPTAIN MARVEL, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, there are almost too many good Marvel books to name right now. Well two more enter the fold this week with #1 issues. Ron Garney and indie hotshot Sam Humphries launch an all new UNCANNY X-FORCE this week. Mohawk Storm is all you really need to know. Mr. Humphries likes to take his stories down unusual paths and that is just what an X-Force book should do, go where you least expect it. This may not be high on a lot of folks lists, but neither was Rick Remender‘s run on UNCANNY X-FORCE, and that ended up being one of the best Marvel books in 10 years.

In addition to UNCANNY X-FORCE #1, this week sees YOUNG AVENGERS #1. Most people don’t know this because most people didn’t read it but Allan Heinberg‘s YOUNG AVENGERS series was absolutely brilliant. It was a great idea grounded in very smart, very human characters. If Marvel played their cards right that book should have been the hit that Brian K. Vaughan‘s RUNAWAYS was, but they didn’t and it wasn’t. Well now Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, known separately for doing all sorts of really good stuff but known together as the team behind the brilliant and shamefully underloved PHONOGRAM are reuniting to make the Young Avengers count. There are a ton of great characters to fall in love with here and both of these guys excel at really good down to earth storytelling. And both Gillen and McKelvie are British indie rock dudes so hopefully they will throw in some references to The Arctic Monkeys or Caves or Chvrches or chip butty or stab vests or 56 Up or something else Americans don’t understand. I am excited to see a new young Marvel team act like a bunch of chavs. I hope someone calls Captain America a geezer. $5 says they throw in a reference to Ziggy Stardust before issue 6. That stuff is like their bible. If you want to go back to the store and buy copies of UNCANNY X-FORCE #1 & YOUNG AVENGERS #1 do so soon. Forbidden Planet are keeping some copies warm, but it’s cold out there. Hurry, hurry, super scurry! THE END. If you choose not to buy either of these books mosey on over to PARAGRAPH 9.

9. “Well it doesn’t seem like I have anything I can offer you. I tried to be nice. I tried to be helpful. I recommended cool new books. You seem uninterested. You seem like something is bothering you. Oh well. I hope you have a great life though.” With that your time with TRY SOMETHING NEW comes to an end. You can read on and find out if Unkie Dev still likes Hellboy a lot. You can go even further still and find out if that other guy still likes incomprehensible Japanese robot toys. But you won’t. Your ennui pushes you out the door. You need to walk. You wander for hours only to find yourself in a deserted part of town. Nearly deserted. You think you are being followed now but you can’t be sure. You duck into an alley to get away or maybe it’s just to clear your head. Why would someone be after you? You decide to stay in the alley just to catch your breath. You are safe. No one wants to hurt you. A misguided feeling of relief washes over. You decide to make the most of the alley and look into some people’s windows because, well, because you’re not a good person. As you look into a dingy studio apartment you catch a reflection in the window of a crazed, half starved man looming behind you. All at once three things enter your head. The first is “Was that tech wizard/escaped mental patient Tyler?” The second is “Was that a brick in his hand?” And the last thing to enter your head is the aforementioned brick. As you bleed to death in the backstreets of Anytown USA you finally understand that neither Tyler nor the universe ever cared about you. You realize that you wasted a great opportunity. You realize you should have TRIED SOMETHING NEW. THE END.

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Of Avengers and Multiple Warheads and Magic Whistles

Unkiedev’s Amazing Stuff

By Unkiedev

Captain Britain Secret Avengers 32You need Secret Avengers #34 this week. I don’t read this book, I don’t usually think about this book, but it features Captain Britain, an alternate universe Avengers team of all-monster Avengers and a whole lot of robot punching…hopefully by the monsters. SECRET AVENGERS If you do not own Captain Britain by Alan Moore and Alan Davis you need to go get it. NOW. It is, no joke, the best superhero book of all time. The Captain is a stiff upper-lipped British gentleman who likes his drink and gives his can-do cheerio best while fighting against impossible odds. As Psylocke’s brother, The Captain is marginally associated with those Extraordinary X-Gentlemen across the pond. By the bequest of Merlin, he is currently the protector of the Omniverse, which is a pretty big deal. It is in this capacity that he has traveled to Multiverse 4680 and teamed up with the Avengers of the Undead. The Avengers of the Undead are the best attempt to date for Marvel to have an amazing horror team. They are made up of several “What If” and poor story line alternative versions of Marvel heroes, including Mummy Thor (from, of all places, aMarvel Adventures Hulk issue), The Frankencastle Punisher, the werewolf Captain America from the 90’s, the bizarre mutated Spider-Man as well as vampire Wolverine and Brother Voodoo. THIS is why comic books are awesome.

WALL OF VOODOO

Not only that, America, but you get TWO issues featuring Brother Voodoo this week, as he’ll also be appearing in New Avengers #34, Bendis’s farewell issue to his long run on the Avengers. On top of that we’ll have The Goon #44, Adventure Time #10, Angel and Faith #16, and the Astro City Family Album HC. No one talks about Astro City these days, but it was (once) one of the best street level view books looking up at the capes as they fly. Similar to Secret Avengers, The Flash #14 is going to have a guy running really fast and punching a gorilla, and so it will get my money. It ain’t all Eisners and Ignatz, people. Sometimes you just wanna’ see a guy in tights beat up a monkey. If you do wish to get sophistimicated, three super art books hit the shelves this week. The first collection of Rick Geary’s Collected Omnibus of Victorian Murder, The Slipcase edition of Ashley Wood’s Sparrow and Multiple Warheads Alphabet to Infinity #2 from KING CITY creator Brandon Graham. All that AND Batman Dark Knight #14A+X #2All New X-Men #2, and She-Hulk teaming up with a girl in a Thing suit in the pages of the FF Now#1?! Is this a great week for comics or what?!

IF YOU BUY ONLY ONE BOOK

Not to be too redundant…punching monkeys and cross-dressing as The Thing are all fun and healthy pursuits, but if you were to only purchase ONE COMIC BOOK this week, won’t you, in all seriousness, please make it Sam Henderson’s The Magic Whistle #12? Sam Henderson is the type of creative genius that shines, ne’ flourishes in the shadowy backwaters of Comic Books, America’s Secret Pop-Culture Closet. Sam creates squiggly doodles instantly recognizable as equal parts inane and brilliant. The Magic Whistle is like Krazy Kat, but for stupid people. No amount of praise can be heaped upon Henderson. He is one of the most original voices in contemporary American comics. I SAY ALL THIS with complete honesty, though anyone who looks at a Henderson comic for the first time will assume I’m huffing bath grouting. Describing The Magic Whistle is like going to the Zoo to see an earthworm. It takes too damn long and wastes everybody’s time. Just go get Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle #12. You will see the highest vintage of dick and fart jokes humanity ever produced.

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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

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Merch Point

The Avengers movie is AWESOME, you have to go see it right now! Well, it was alright. Actually, I kinda’ didn’t like it. I know that’s strange, I mean, the director has done such impressive work, and it had that REALLY hot girl in it…what was her name? Dang it, it’s on the tip of my tongue. You know, she has the crazy red hair and the skin-tight cat suit. UMA THURMAN, that’s the gal.

I don’t see what all the fuss is about…folks have said that the Hulk steals the show, but he wasn’t even IN this picture. Plus, and let’s be honest, it was cool seeing Sean Connery, but the whole weather dominator thing was a little hokey.

I just felt like I wasn’t seeing the same movie as the critics.

WHAT NOW?

Did you know that the Forbidden Planet has a plethora of other, totally fun and non-Avengers related products that you can purchase and enjoy while you try to fill the empty shell that is the wasted time in your life between rewatchings of the Avenger’s movie?

OF COURSE YOU KNEW. You had to walk in the door just to pick this newsletter up, right (or maybe you’re reading this on our blog, between reviews for many of these fine non-Avengers related products)? You must have seen all the kick-ass stuff littering the display cases, shelves and walls. Did you need Doctor Who TARDIS salt and pepper-shakers? Do you need an officially licensed Hellboy or Buffy Ouiji Board? Do you need recreations of old hot rod plastic model kits?

You need it as much as you need this week’s Wonder Woman comic, or the new issue of Amazing Spider-Man. If only there was a place which had new comics AND fun, geeky chotskis, plus t-shirts, GI Joes and spiffy card games.

UPSTAIRS, and yes, I am aware that, to some of you, it is news there is an upstairs; there are card games, role playing games, dice games and MORE! In fact, the upstairs alone is a role playing game…you pretend that you’re a customer looking for nifty manga, and we pretend that we’re clerks. In reality we’re hard-light holograms, and the entire store is one giant holodeck. Continue reading

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The Summer of Marvel (part 2)

When we last talked, “The Avengers” wasn’t in theaters, and as of today, it has made ALL the money. Well at least a billion dollars worldwide. Will this mean cheaper Marvel comics for fans and an office with more than one bathroom for their employees? No and no. Does this mean a ton of tie-in merchandise? Yes and yes.

First off, there’s the comics “Fury’s Big Week” is one of 2 tie-in books, which ships in trade format this week. Collecting the 4 issue Avengers Prelude comic, is details Nick Fury’s actions prior to the Avengers flick. The 2nd tie-in series is “Black Widow Strikes“, and issue 2 ships this week as well. Written by Fred Van Lente, it’s an insanely great book (let alone tie in) and is worth a read if you dig the Black Widow/Avengers movie-verse. “Fury’s Big Week” retails for $14.99, and “BW Strikes” goes for about $2.99 per issue, and will be on shelves this Wednesday.

Moving on to the toy ends of things, we have the inexpensive Avengers Mini Figures. Standing at 2″, these $4 figures consist of the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye and Loki all sporting their movies designs. Granted the lack of Phil Coulson, Black Widow and Nick Fury sucks, these are small inexpensive figures, so what do you expect. They’re good for the kids or desks, otherwise I would go with the the 4″ inch figures, which we’ll look at soon. There’s also  a 6″ line in the “Marvel Legends” mold, but those are Walmart Exclusives, so screw that. Diamond Select is also coming out with a whole slew of Minimates that tie into the movie, and they’ve just announced that Agent Coulson will be getting the Minimate treatment, making it the best toy to be released this year. Continue reading

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Earth’s Mightiest Tie-Ins

By Chris Troy

The internet is a crazy place FPNYC Faithful! After checking some of my Twitter followers, it turns out Avatar Press’ co-founder Mark Seifery is following me, which is all sort of cool, despite the fact that “Crossed” is something I don’t have the stomach for. But their books (strictly for the 18+ crowd) are rad, so if you like writers such as Warren Ellis, Alan Moore, Gath Ennis and Jamie Delano, I recommend checking out some of catalog, which you can obviously find here at FPNYC.

So anyone with half a brain can probably tell by this article’s title that we’ll be discussing some of the new Avengers toys that have come in this past week. Hasbro’s going all out once again, offering action figures of various sizes, as well as a variety of roleplaying props. This is only the first wave of collectibles, so expect a ton more as May get closer.

I would usually give Nerf/Hasbro some crap for repacking some older toys from the previous Avenger solo movies, but when Hulk Hands are added to the equation, I really can’t hate on that. Although they replaced the electronic sound effects for a plastic Hulk mask, which is WHACKKKKK, because it means I’m going to have to yell “Hulk Smash” and provide my own sound effect noises. I mean kids will. Yes, that is what I meant.

Aside from that, you have Cap’s shield which is pretty much a large frisbee (nothing wrong with that) as well as another reissued toys from last summer, the Nerf Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer). There’s also the re-released Iron Man Electric Helmet from the 2nd Iron Man film. Prices range from $12-$30, depending on the item. We also carry a line of Avengers masks/helmets (Thor, Iron Man, Cap) that run for about $15 each. And keep an eye out the the Hawkeye version of  the Nerf Bow and Arrow, which will be out soonish I imagine.

Next up we have the “Ultimate Electric Avengers”, focusing of course on the Avengers’ trinity. As a nerd, I find the use of the word “Ultimate” humorous, because of how influential the “Ultimate” version of the characters were to the movie designs and eventually vice versa. All the characters have the ability to “make sounds and noises from the film” and each have a unique action figure. Cap can throw his shield,  Thor can swing his hammer and Iron Man’s…has a light up chest. Huh.  That’s…..something. Anyway, each of them retail for about $30 per figure, which for a 12″ figure that have lights and sounds and action functions, aren’t so bad.

Wrapping things up, we have the 3.5″ inch figures, in which Hasbro has hit the floor running with the volume of figures released so far. The single carded figures consist of a few comic and movie versions of the characters, mostly variants of Thor, Cap and Iron Man, as well as a Hulk, Loki and Ultimate Hawkeye. Obviously more characters will be released as the line progresses. There’s also some deluxe figures, packaged either with some air assault accessories that go for $20, or with vehicles, that go for $30. Expect more coverage on this figures as time goes on.

Hasbro is going all out for “The Avengers” which makes sense, as it’s a license to print money. If you like what I’ve shown ya, come by the store, or check out the store on our website, where you can probably save some $$$!

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The Return of Marvel Legends

by Chris Troy

Happy President’s Day FP Faithful! Was that wish an excuse to use an overplayed Marvel-based Abe Lincoln image? Yes, possibly, but hey, it’s the thought that counts right? Hopefully those of you who had the day off did something rad with it, as I slept for about 10 hours and spending most of Saturday drunk. Good times.

Anywho, let’s buckle down and talk toys. Toy Fair was last week and a TON of new offerings for 2012 were shown off. I was happy to see that Square Enix ended up with the Mass Effect license, and will end up making a plethora of rad figures later this year. The new GI Joe stuff looks great, and I’m sure Loran will be happy to talk about that soon. NECA is FINALLY making toys based on Valve products and I for one am excited for them. And Hasbro is going to make a killing off of that Marvel license, between the Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, and their comics stuff. Which brings us to today’s topic….

After what seems like like an eternity (despite the existences of several retailer exclusives), the fan-favorite 6″ Marvel Legends line has returned. As cool as the Universe line has been over the last couple of years, this is the line collectors has always preferred. Granted the quality and articulation took a bit of a hit when the licenses went from Toy Biz to Mattel, it improved greatly before the line’s “death” a few years back. Luckily fan demand called for its return and it’s back, complete with the build-a-figure pieces that it made famous first.

For the most part, the line is solid in terms of sculpt, paint, and variety. However there are some faults.  First being the price. When the line first debuted back in 2002, you could pick up your average figure at about $7.99 at retail. Now? $20 is the CHEAPEST you’ll be finding them. Yes I know the economy and inflation and what not, but damn, that’s pretty expensive, especially when half the figures don’t come with accessories. And while the articulation is there, it’s still not on the level that it was when Toy Biz was calling the shots. But enough with me bitching, let’s take a look at the figures.

Let’s start off with the Avengers trinity. Here we have Steve Rogers, rocking his “Heroic Age” era outfit. It’s not a bad figure, but the head sculpt is a little whack. Iron Man is rocking his Extremis -era outfit, and why I’m not crazy about the wrist joints, it’s a pretty solid figure overall. Both Cap and Iron Man have variants, Cap with his Ionic shield and black paint job, Iron Man with a blue stealth version. Rounding out the trio is Thor, wearing his modern costume, and is easily the best of the bunch, at least in terms of the Avengers. He’s slightly larger than the others, has a great sculpt, and comes with his hammer Mjolnir (or “Mew-Mew” if you will).  The only downside is that Thor does not come with a Terrax built a figure piece, whereas Cap comes with his lower torso, and Stark with his right leg.

I have no idea which version of Ghost Rider this figure is based on, as it’s certainly not the modern female, or Nicholas Cage. But it’s slightly smaller than Thor, exists in both a blue flame and orange flame version and comes with both Terrax arms. Why he didn’t he come with a bike instead of the arms is beyond me. Hope, the only mutant and female figure in the line, is my personal favorite. She comes rocking a huge-ass gun, which would make her adopted daddy Cable proud. She also comes packaged with Terrax’s head and axe.

Rounding out the wave are 2 villains, Constrictor and Klaw. Both are accessory-less, like Iron Man, but both are crazy articulated and well sculpted. Also I’m fairly certain that,  much like Hope, this is the first time either one of these dudes got the Legends treatment. In terms of build of figure pieces, you’ll get  an upper torso from Constrictor and a right leg from Klaw.

The return of the ML line isn’t perfect, but hey, it’s a start right? The first shipment is nearly sold out, so needless to say, there’s a demand. If you want em,  be ready to grab ’em upon sight.

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I hope you like Tiny Avengers

by Chris Troy

Alright so Marvel has literally dropped the release mic this past week, unleashing a plethora of new product related to the upcoming Avengers movie (go look at that extended Super Bowl trailer now!) and I want to talk about them, because they ARE RAD. But we’ll get back to that later.

Alright, so the next wave of NECA Gears of War 3 figures is in stock and again, I’m a fan of them. NECA’s female sculpts aren’t always the best, but their angry buff guys and monsters are usually solid toys. This applies to the 2nd wave of Gears figures, which are some of their most articulate figures to date (what with 30 some-odd points or articulation each). The wave consists of Dom Santiago, Damon Bard (my personal favorite!), and Augustus Cole aka THE COLE TRAIN BABY WOOOOOOOOOO! I’m assuming anyone who’s played any of the Gears games got that reference. Anywho, each figure goes for about $18 bucks a pop for each 6″ figure, which also come with various weapons from the games. For less than $20 bucks it’s a solid deal.

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The first new releases of 2012

By Chris Troy

Well okay, the title’s kind of a lie. Most of the new stuffs we’ll be looking at came in towards the end of 2011, but you know, I was busy playing catch up with the best of list and attending MAGfest (which again, was awesome). However most of the awesome new arrivals are STILL in stock (for now!), so we might as well go over what those things are just in case you the reader are interested. Which hopefully, you will be.

On the left, you’ll see a picture of the Robot Damashii Wing Zero Custom (from the Gundam Wing OVA “Endless Waltz”) from Bandai. I’m not exactly how new it is on the shelves of Japan, but we finally have it in at FPNYC, so that’s all that matters right? The Winger Zero Custom joins the Tallgeese 3 as the 2 Wing-related Robot Damashiis we have in, as well as the Gouf Custom and the Gundam Unicorn from the Universal Century line. All 3 of these figures are super articulated, come with a nice selection of variant parts and weapons, and are 2nd only to the Revoltech in overall mecha quality, which is impressive for a line that hasn’t been around as long. We’ve sold out of the One Piece/DBZ/MegaMan/Tiger and Bunny releases super fast, so if you want yourself a super articulated Gundam figure, you best come get them as soon as possible. Continue reading

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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

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