Monday, October 31, 2016
Hmm. Apparently, I do a Halloween strip every couple of years! Well, this should hold things over for a bit then.
We went with Bat-Affleck there because he's sort of new, and because I had the unmasked one as well. He is way shorter than the Gotham figures.
Oh, and of course, the Silver Shamrock is a reference to the unfairly maligned, somewhat rediscovered, still kind of oddball Halloween III: Season of the Witch. It has nothing to do with Michael Myers or the rest of the Halloween movies, and would be by no means the best of that series, but retains a bit of charm; even if large sections of the plot go completely off the rails.
Friday, October 28, 2016
Perfect timing for Halloween: a Creature Features-style opening, that also name-checks classic DC horror title the Unexpected, from 2011's Doom Patrol #16, "Gazing into the Abyss" Written by Brian Keene and Keith Giffen, pencils by Giffen, inks by Al Milgrom.
After the opening, Larry asks Rita a relatively straight-forward question: are you the fifty-foot woman on TV destroying Delta City? No? OK, thanks, bye. Upon following up, there is a fifty-foot woman, in Delta City, eating people; and she does look like Rita! A creepy, dreadlocked cannibal version, but still. As the two Elasti-Women throw down, Larry runs into a Nazi version of himself, while Cliff notices an old friend: Ted Bruder, the Negative Man of the previous incarnation of the team. (Actually, looking it up, it was the version prior to that even; the 2001 "4/5 New! All Different!" John Arcudi/Tan Eng Huat era.)
A broken, disheveled Ted explains, that while his powers used to let him see the future, now he was seeing alternate futures and pasts. While he sees a lot of Elseworlds stuff, he also sees future versions of the Doom Patrol, monstrous, evil ones. What he thinks the team will become, given time; but worse, they keep coming back with him. After Rita has to punch down an anti-meat Cliff, the team takes Ted in, somewhat forcibly, and takes him back to Oolong Island, where he's put into an induced coma and stored away in a basement. Coming after a battle with the Chief (who had gone insane after giving himself Kryptonian powers, or he may have always been a megalomaniacal dick) Cliff worries he's acting just like him, and can't even cry for Ted, or any of them.
Even with the jokes, Ambush Bug, and fairly bright Giffen art; a dark issue. Possibly because guest-writer Brian Keene is an award-winning horror writer! Not familiar with his work yet, but I'll keep an eye out now. Also, if you're not up on DC Comics cities, Delta City was a go-to for Keith Giffen, since both the Heckler and Vext were set there. Hopefully, neither one was eaten by the cannibal Rita...
Thursday, October 27, 2016
We've checked out a few Diamond Select figures lately--the X-Men and Captain Kirk; and so far the bases have been their best features. Is that true for the figures we're looking at today? Well, yes, but the bases are really extra good this time. Still, maybe not as good as they're going to get...from Gotham, Jim Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Harvey Bullock, and Selina Kyle!
From the start, these are probably the nicest figures I've bought from Diamond Select since maybe Thanos or iZombie, in that they're actual figures, not glorified diorama pieces. Nice sculpt, nice paint, and a step up in articulation from the X-Men. My Jim Gordon was missing his tie, though: it looks like that's a separate (but not intended to be removable) piece, and it wasn't in the package. And there's even accessories! Jim comes with his gun, Harvey with a different gun and his hat, and Selina with a container of milk. (Alfred? Nothing.)
But once again, the bases outshine the figures! Jim and Selina each come with a section of wall and fire escape, that I think is supposed to be specifically Crime Alley, but it's tough to say without the chalk outline of Bruce Wayne's parents. Harvey comes with another section of wall, but he does not come with the dumpster that's shown on the back of his package, and mentioned on his Amazon listing! The dumpster may not have cost out, although per Toy News International it does come with the third series of Gotham figures Victor Zsasz. Still, this isn't the first time this has happened with Diamond Select, when some part or accessory doesn't make it to the final version; but sometimes the promotional pictures are still used long after the figure has come out, even if they are no longer accurate. (The Diamond Select Captain Kirk shows Khan holding a crushed phaser that wasn't included, the Diamond Select Nightcrawler was solicited and described on Amazon with a section of Danger Room that was not included. I think the photos and descriptions may just be used by Amazon as stock.)
Alfred "comes with the Wayne Manor fireplace mantel," per Amazon. It's a little blander than the alleyway pieces, but should look nice with the series three Bruce Wayne's bookshelf. I may have to order a set of series three, since the third figure, Barbara Kean, comes with the gates of Arkham Asylum! Diamond occasionally has figures available without the bases, at a good chunk off, but I'm not sure why you'd go that route. For example, Toys R Us has the Edward Nygma figure for $12.99, which I believe just comes with a coffee cup; versus the deluxe version for $24.99 or so with a rather good sized office desk. (I think that desk might've come with the new X-Files Scully as well.)
For some reason, Nygma is the only one of the Gotham figures I haven't seen locally. These four were all bought at Hastings, at various degrees of clearance from 60% or more off. I haven't sprung for the Oswald Cobblepot; not yet anyway. Maybe when he's 80% off.
Back to Alfred for a moment, he seems to have a fair amount of articulation; maybe not especially useful articulation, but he's got it. That may apply to all of them, but I appreciate the effort. (And we saw that Shakespeare bust some time back; it doesn't come with these, it's from Figures Toy Company.)
I took a few more pictures, with some different Batmen that I thought would scale well with the Gotham figures. I usually watch the show, although I missed a couple episodes last season where Jim Gordon, who had murdered a criminal mastermind and covered it up, was framed for another murder and sent to prison! Tough to backtrack on that to get him to Commissioner Gordon someday. Gotham isn't my favorite superhero show by a county mile--I watched the season premiere of Supergirl instead of the most recent episode; I'll catch it later! I do admire the show's ability to push through a plotline, even if it's not great...
I did get the Penguin figure, and another Jim and Selina, for a longer alley!
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
If I remember correctly, Advanced Idea Mechanics was an offshoot of HYDRA, before splitting off into its own thing and making things like "bowlcut," also known as MODOK. So I don't think the rank-and-file of either organization feel too warmly towards the other.
Although Amy doesn't get to meet his "doppel-counter," Kurt has met a few alt-versions of himself, in various issues of Excalibur. Possibly not as many as Deadpool has, though...
POOL: I'm glad you guys caught up! I wanna meet my doppel-counter, or whatever.
KURT2: Wait! Um, are you sure that's such a good idea?
KURT: Because...it's like matter meeting antimatter! You'd probably explode.
POOL: What are you talking about? We're all from the same universe, silly! I'm going to the transporter room, send him on over!
KURT2: Nice try.
KURT: Thanks. You have any contingency plan, in case they get out of hand?
KURT2: Enh, same thing we usually do: vent the room to space, blow him into vacuum, then grab his frozen body with the grapple arms, throw him in a bathtub and wait for him to thaw out again.
KURT2: Oh, it's basically a time-out for him. What do you do when Pool acts up? Teleport his head off?
KURT2: You do, don't you! Sick!
AMY: Psst! Hey, Hydra: you have an Amir over there?
BOB: 'Fraid not, pal. We don't have any A.I.M. types. They're a little too sketchy.
AMY: Oh, yeah, like Hydra's full of cool dudes.
BOB: Hey, we didn't turn anybody into a giant bowlcut, so cram it!
KURT: Kurt...is Amanda OK on your world?
KURT2: Yes. We're not together, but I see her often.
KURT: Good...glad to hear it.
KURT2: Does your earth have Satana?
KURT2: Treat her right.
KURT: I will. She is special, isn't she?
KURT2: I was going to say she will #### you up if you don't, but sure.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
This wasn't all from my last Hastings run, but a good chunk of what I got in their close-out. I do need to log out what I got, after I sort out the few things I got for gifts later, or to keep unopened. (I don't do a ton of that, but there were a couple things like Minimates or a retro Flash Gordon.)
Some of these I probably wouldn't have bought if they had been full price...or more than $2.50, but still.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Taking a long weekend, since I have to take care of a little home redecoration project. Which will probably involve picking up about a metric ton of comics...
In other news, the last local Hastings will close up shop tomorrow. There's a receipt there that's taller than I am, yet I'm still wondering if I got everything I could've before they folded. Probably? At least for what I was willing to pay. I may make a final sweep in the morning, but there may not be much left. Maybe Tuesday we'll check out what we got, so have a good one!
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Apocalyptic fiction comes in and out of fashion, and while it may be on an upswing now, it usually doesn't try to set a date for the apocalypse anymore. Well, this issue doesn't mention it either, but still: from 1975, Astonishing Tales #31, "Twice Removed from Yesterday..." Plot and layouts by Rich Buckler, script by Doug Moench, pencils by Keith Pollard, inks by Klaus Janson.
The cover blurb promises "The most savage Deathlok shocker of all!" And it over-promises more than a bit. This was maybe Deathlok's sixth issue (Astonishing Tales #29 was a reprint of the debut of the Guardians of the Galaxy) and the cyborg finally catches up to his old friend, Mike Travers. Traditionally in this kind of story, old friends are statistically likely to betray the hero, and Mike has, to Deathlok's eyes: since Luther Manning had been declared dead five years ago, Mike married his widow six months back. Disraught, Deathlok punches Mike, and it's mildly surprising he didn't accidentally-on-purpose kill him.
Luther had been clinging to the hope that he could get his life back--which seems ridiculously optimistic, he was basically a corpse with some aftermarket upgrades--and while part of that may have been lost, he was still trying to find the surgeon that turned him into the cyborg Deathlok. Stumbling across a mob hit, he overhears them talking about the surgeon, and after a shootout, gets in an argument with his onboard computer about whether or not he can make a jump to an escaping helicopter. The rest of this issue was a Tales of the Watcher reprint, although the next-issue blurb promises a full-length Deathlok story next month. (Between this and the fill-in, I imagine there were deadline problems sometime there.)
Deathlok was set in the far-flung future...of 1990. While there have been a variety of other versions in recent years, Luther Manning appeared in All-New Invaders in 2014. None of which explains why Deathlok calls two different people "turkey" this issue; except that I guess that was a Comics Code-approved epithet then...
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
We got the Art Asylum Captain Kirk figure last year, even though it came out in 2003. It's pretty good, even if the new Mezco One: 12 Collective Kirk is like an evolutionary step up from it. An evolutionary step back, however, is the Diamond Select Star Trek Captain Kirk.
Diamond's version is from 2014, but feels older; like a diorama piece McFarlane Toys was doing a decade ago. Kirk doesn't have a ton of articulation, although he comes with an alternate set of hands and legs: the spare hands are gripping a length of pipe, while the other legs are virtually the same, just in slightly more of a running pose. Both sets of legs have cut boot-tops, and that's about it. The Kirk likeness is marginal at best, although the paint seems nice enough.
Kirk also comes with an unarticulated Khan figure, and a clear support rod; to attach him to the real star of this set: another sweet Diamond base, this time of a console from the Enterprise's engineering section. The cardboard backer is reversible for an alternate look. The promo picture on Amazon shows Khan with a crushed hand phaser, which wasn't included with mine.
I think I've said before, that thanks to a childhood spent watching old Star Trek and Dr. Who episodes on terrible no-def televisions, my suspension of disbelief is mighty. But if you watch them on modern flatscreens, some of the flaws are a little more glaring. Like the stunt doubles, on the multiple episodes where Kirk fights Kirk. But this figure might work for that!
So I didn't love this one, but admittedly I'm someone who fiddles around with my action figures more than most: if dioramas are your thing, it might be up your alley, but I don't think it's top shelf there either. (To cram a bunch of metaphors together!) I got this cheap at a closing Hastings, along with a couple more Diamond Select figures we'll check out later. So far, the bases have been the best parts of them, and they probably will be there, too...