Friday, December 15, 2017

The dolly's not his. Presumably.


Sometimes, you may find a figure on eBay or Amazon that you were either previously unaware of, never saw in stores, or otherwise slept on. Thanks to those sites, you can now go back and get those figures, but what do you do for quality control problems on a nine-year-old figure? Like this one! Diamond Select's Battlestar: Galactica Razor Cylon Warrior, from 2008.

This was an exclusive from somewhere called "ToyRocket.com," which I hadn't heard of before, but doesn't appear to be there anymore. There were other styles of Cylons available as exclusives for ThinkGeek, Toys R Us, and Action Figure Express; but they were all the newer reboot style. ToyRocket's was a Guardian or Centurion, more closely resembling the Cylons of the original TV series, especially in the head. But unlike the originals, who were actors in suits, I'm pretty sure all of the reboot Cylons (except the ones in human form) were CGI.

The Cylon Warrior has some interesting pistons on its legs, arms, and torso; but a small ring in the left shoulder was was broken out of the package, so the piston is all that's holding his arm on. A bit of glue or something might reinforce that, at the cost of a little range of motion. Still, it makes me feel this figure is a bit fragile. He came with a rifle, with the barrel a little bent; and a dolly. A dolly? I'm guessing it's not the Cylon's, but rather some fallen human child's. It's an odd choice, but symbolic. It's that or come with a literal child's face to stomp on...

Around the start of October, I honestly thought for a moment that I would be pretty much done with buying figures for the year: I had finished the Marvel Legends Netflix and Ragnarok waves, and got the DC Multiverse Rookie wave; I didn't think anything else was coming out the rest of the year! Not only was I wrong about that, I also opted to get a lot of Star Trek and other sci-fi figures. With more coming; I may have to update this picture at the end of the year.
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Two Eclipso figures, but no Metal Men? That seems unfair.


I mentioned before not buying the DC Universe Classics Metal Men, because I honestly didn't think Mattel would get anywhere near finishing the team. They did, long after it was too late to go back and pick them up! I probably had more Eclipso comics than Metal Men too, but here's one for the latter...guest starring Eclipso! From 1976, Metal Men #49, "The Dark God Cometh!" Plot and script by Martin Pasko, plot and art by Walt Simonson.

The splash page recaps it pretty succinctly: Eclipso has "summoned a mysterious giant whatsis from the waters surrounding Diablo Island!" It's up to the Metal Men to stop it, even if their creator Dr. Magnus seems a bit befuzzled today, or maybe concussed. Eclipso gets turned back into Bruce Gordon twice this ish, once to deliver some exposition about the whatsis, Umbra: this is a bit of Eclipso's origin that would be retconned later, or at least over-shadowed (as it were) with his fallen angel of vengeance bit.

This was reprinted in the 1989 trade The Art of Walt Simonson, so I knew I had read this before; but I don't mind having a copy to shove into the scanner. This was his last issue on the book, although he would do the covers for #50-52.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"Uninhabitable."


As happens once in a month of Sundays around here, we're referencing actual Marvel continuity for Nightcrawler! I haven't read this one in that aforementioned month o'Sundays, but Nightcrawler was there for Broodworld's destruction in Uncanny X-Men #166 and for Galactus eating the Skrull Throneworld in X-Men #90.

If I had to guess, I'd bet Deadpool's probably seen at least one planet destroyed in his trips in space--either during Deadpool Corps or maybe Deadpool Kills Deadpool. Or maybe the Thanos one. Pretty much inevitable with Pool around...
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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What the hell, here's Nightcrawler in space too.


Bill Willingham is best known for Fables, which is I think was Vertigo's best-selling title for most of its run. And I haven't read it, but I'm still a fan of his since he wrote two really fun Nightcrawler comics: X-Men Unlimited #49, and today's book from 2015, Guardians Team-Up #6, written by Bill Willingham, art by Diogo Saito.

It's the "648th Quinquennial Blade-Fighting Championship," and while the Kree's Haracon the Ghostmaker will be defending his title, two new contenders are moving up the ranks: Nightcrawler and Gamora! Nightcrawler tells the announcers a story, that he been kidnapped by pirates as a child, worked his way up through the ranks, and said pirates may be betting big on him, or against him. (There's a fun bit with one of the announcers, a fan who absolutely doesn't give a damn about anything except swordfighting!) He also wins his matches without killing (which is seen as an "exotic taboo" for "primitive backwater worlds") or using his powers...yet. Gamora, however, is not worried about facing him in the semi-finals; probably because he's not their real target: their entry in the tournament was a ruse, to get at war criminal Haracon.

After capturing Haracon, Gamora gives Kurt a ride back to earth "since your puny, wimpy teleportation power couldn't get you to earth all by yourself, I felt obligated." There, he talks her into drinks, since why not? A super-fun done-in-one, absolutely grab it if you see it. Although like Kurt, I'm pretty sure Gamora would wipe the floor with him if the fight went the distance.
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Monday, December 11, 2017

Deadpool in space! This is not a drill!


So we've been dicking around with our Deadpool in space storyline "The Stars My Aggravation for, um, well over three and a half years now. We've been at it so long, Deadpool's actually gone back into space in the comics again! From 2017, Rocket #4, "The Blue River Score, part 4: Dirty Money" Written by Al Ewing, art by Adam Gorham.

Rocket Raccoon has found himself in a jam: framed by an ex, he's now the subject of a "perpetual warrant," which the bounty hunting Technet (from classic Excalibur comics) is putting to good use: they've actually busted him out a couple times, to cash in on "capturing" him again. But Rocket has some new help: Deadpool! What's he doing in space? Well, post-Secret Empire, he's not in a good place...

Pool suggests buying off the Technet, and for that much money, Rocket can't hit a legit business, or his bounty would go up, so they'll have to hit the mob. Specifically, mob boss Cordyceps Jones. (The name is a clue!) While the heist goes off without a hitch, afterwards Rocket grudgingly realizes Pool is hurting, but Pool doesn't reach out for help, because he doesn't feel like he deserves it. (And in his own book, I think Pool would go "screw it, I'm a villain now.") Rocket pays off the Technet; in fact, he goes a step further and hires them. The Technet are way more competent here than I'd ever seen them, and in the next couple issues Ewing actually makes you sympathize with Gatecrasher, if you can believe it. And while he's working within the current plot for him, Ewing's Deadpool is on point.

This was part of a big ol' box I got from Forbidden Planet, including another surprisingly glum Rocket Raccoon book, the trade for Grounded. Even with Kraven the Hunter and his glorious van (a joke I thought originated in Squirrel Girl) or more accurately, because of them; Rocket has a miserable time trapped on earth. Lot of jokes, sure; but still kind of a downer.
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Friday, December 08, 2017


We'll close out the week with one more book with a shiny foil cover: from 1993, Darkhawk #25, "Return to Forever Part Five: Death and Life" Written by Danny Fingeroth, pencils by Mike Manley, inks by Mike Manley and Aaron McClellan.

The cover proclaims "The Mind-Blowing Origin Finale!" Maybe a bit over-hyped, and I think it's been retconned or revamped a bit to boot. Teenager Chris Powell had discovered a mysterious amulet, which allowed him to become the mysterious Darkhawk. Sort of: if you're old enough, perhaps you recall this 1993 trading card:

Over the course of his book's first two years, Chris came to realize he was trading places with Darkhawk, which was actually some kind of android he controlled with his mind somehow. But he had no idea where the amulet or Darkhawk come from, or where he went when they switched, until now. And it's not the simplest possible explanation--well, maybe not anyway. It involves an alien criminal's conspiracy to collect a bunch of scientists to extort or bribe them into building him "expendable--yet repairable--agents." The scientists put together teleportation, weaponized androids, extra-dimensional storage, telepathic control and more into the Darkhawks, then realize they can't let the crime boss get them. The ensuing rebellion ends up with the crime boss trapped in an android that would later take the name Evilhawk, and one of the scientists mind-transferred to the extra-dimensional ship. (The latter, all the better to deliver exposition to Chris!)

To explain how a Darkhawk amulet got to earth in the first place, there's also a telepathy-broadcast subplot, involving two homeless guys that had been following Chris's progress: they had been scientists before that. It's pretty convoluted! And it's mostly wrapped up pretty quickly in a fight on the extra-dimensional ship, as Evilhawk tries to take Chris's human body, but he manages to resist enough to grab his amulet, change places back into Darkhawk, then reflect Evilhawk's disintegration ray back, seemingly killing him. Again, pretty quick after all that backstory, but this had been building up for two years! Still, I know there's a "Brotherhood of Raptors" now, so at least some of this may have been altered since. There's also multiple subplots still running as well: I think Chris is expelled from school and his house burns down. Can't have a clean win, huh?

I almost put this away and missed the Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation here: Paid circulation, actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date, 181,750. Not too shabby, for what I would've considered a mid-tier book!

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Thursday, December 07, 2017

This is the last chapter of the crossover, but you didn't have to read the whole thing anyway...


So I've mentioned the Phalanx a couple times on the blog, as Marvel's knockoff of the Borg; but there was more to them than that. Um...er...gimme a minute. From 1994, Excalibur #82, "Life Signs Part Three: The Light of a Tainted Dawn" Plot by Scott Lobdell, script by Todd Dezago, pencils by Ken Lashley and Steve Epting, inks by Philip Moy, W. C. Carani, John Floyd, Harry Candelario, and John Livesay. I have the shiny cover one sitting next to me, although it's just a strip of shiny that's supposed to look like circuitry, for an extra buck!

This was the final chapter of "The Phalanx Covenant" crossover, or one of them: it was split into three plotlines. You could read the whole thing, or follow Banshee and the kids who would become Generation X; Cyclops, Wolverine, and Jean Grey trying to rescue the captured X-Men; or the rest. X-Factor, X-Force, and Excalibur were trying to stop the Phalanx from building a spire that would...do something. I had thought the Phalanx were just straight aliens, but reading up on them I think these batch included humans who used Technarch tech (like the New Mutants' Warlock) in an attempt to kill mutants, that went a bit south on them. It was part of that X-Factor storyline that retconned Warren's friend Cameron Hodge into a villain, to try to backfill why the original X-Men would've thought it was a good idea to pose as mutant hunters...

Forge becomes a key part of the Phalanx's plan, since their leader, the hooded and weird Shinar, co-opts his mutant power of making stuff: the Phalanx tech has Forge virtually hypnotized to play with it. Meanwhile, Nightcrawler leads a strike team against the spire, since he reasons the "logical and rational" Phalanx wouldn't be able to cope with an illogical and surprising attack. As Douglock tries to sacrifice himself to save Cannonball and Wolfsbane, Kurt gets to Forge, and he manages to resist and not fix the Phalanx's endgame.

While it's neat to see Kurt leading the conclusion of a crossover like this...it's not great. Lashley and Epting have done tons better work than this, and the whole crossover feels like diminishing returns from Marvel chasing that Age of Apocalypse high--no, I take that back: this pre-dated AoA by a year or so! Huh. I should've known that, since Generation X was part of AoA, and it featured Blink, who died during this crossover.

So far this week I think this is the third book with a fancy 90's cover, I think I might be able to find one more...
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