Friday, May 29, 2015

The Ultron-Signal! Let's Go!...away from it.

Got an Avengers: Age of Ultron projector pen at Wal-Mart the other day, with the Ultron-Signal! Just like in the movie!

I swear I have some actual, useful flashlights...somewhere.

Got my ticket for the Lilac City Comicon tomorrow! Can't wait!
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Traditionally, I thought that was a Marvel Misunderstanding...

I've mentioned I'm not following Secret Wars, and I'm even more not following DC's Convergence, which also features a lot of alternate universe versions fighting each other. But even moreso than Secret Wars, it's tough to read without figuring the original, (in this case) pre-52 versions would be able to solve things pretty quickly. Also, I have a hard time believing the One Million JLA--from the 853rd century--would be jobbed out in the ensuing battles with other universes' teams. (Unless the One Million team is completely dependent on future technology that doesn't work, there's no way they should have problems with vampire superheroes or pirates or whatever.)

Anyway, here's a couple scans from Nightwing #1,000,000, "The Anachronism" Written by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Karl Story. Nightwing meets the Batman from the 853rd century; and after a brief scuffle to establish themselves in the traditional manner, they fight Riddler henchwomen who were trying to rob a safe from a sunken casino.

I'm not sure where this was in Nightwing's continuity; but I liked how future Batman seemed a little disappointed in his life as less a crimefighter, more a warden. The One Million characters could use action figures, but I still need a decent Nightwing figure. Well, maybe this weekend.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"The Witchening."

I got the notion, possibly from one of the Marvel novels; that the Scarlet Witch talks like someone who was ashamed of her eastern European accent, and may have tried to get rid of it for years, before going the other way and completely embracing it.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Miguel probably bought that pizza, Pete's always broke as hell...

Spider-Man 2099 ended the other week, after a twelve issue run. While I liked it, and the last issue was pretty good, it didn't seem to reach the heights of the original series. Maybe because a full third of this run went to the Spider-Verse crossover, but we did get the giant robot Leopardon from the Japanese Spider-Man TV show out of it; and I have a hard time faulting that. Still, I think Peter David gets blindsided by crossovers more than any Marvel writer I've ever seen.

I remember Miguel as being a bit more abrasive, if not outright dickish, in the early issues of the first series. He really took to the role of Spidey, though; and those edges were rounded off, to the point that he seemed pretty mellow this series, despite being trapped some 70 or 80 years before he would even be born. I don't know how well most people would take that, though: I can't say I'd be overly excited to live in the year 1911. But that would still be recognizable to me: a thousand years back, assuming I could get to "civilization," the people wouldn't speak anything I recognized as English in 1015. I'm sure this is handwaved away when the Legion of Super-Heroes goes back in time, but can't recall how...I've often wanted to play with the idea of "time psychosis," where time travellers in "primitive" modern times would gradually lose their minds over little things like the quality of toilet paper or the slowness of download speeds.

Anyway, in the last issue of Spidey 2099, some cops assume Miguel is the Spider-Man of the present: although one points out they look nothing alike, the rest seem to figure Spidey just has more than one outfit. There is precedent, since Deadpool often does much the same thing (although Miguel didn't encourage their assumption either way) and Spidey does sometimes wear different suits.
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Monday, May 25, 2015

The blue finish is so it doesn't look like a murder-machine.

I'm not sure anyone remembers the 1998 Lost in Space movie, let alone fondly. Good cast with William Hurt and Gary Oldman, production values were pretty good, yet the script needed another pass or two. Or maybe it just worked better as a series, although that probably wouldn't have flown with this cast.

I liked the redesign of the Robot, but he has a blue finish that makes him resemble a mid-priced car (not unlike the one I have now, co-incidentally!) possibly because if he was gunmetal gray he'd probably look like a killing machine from Terminator. I went for a walk for yard sales the other day, and found this fellow at a thrift shop for under two bucks. He's missing a few pieces, but the electronics still work. I still have a smaller version of him somewhere, too.

Today's a day off, but I'm not sure what I'll have going for scans, until I pick up more books this weekend!
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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Probably my third-favorite Matthew Sweet song, but here we are.

The other day, I was finishing up on a box of blogged comics...I don't categorize them like that, that makes them sound spent, or like empties; but I won't necessarily open that box again very soon either. And it occurred to me that I had a small pile of stuff that was lying around but didn't need to be, so I put it all in a box and marked it "Do Not Open until May 2020!" That's a future-sounding year there!

That NECA Batman '89 that came with the Blu-Ray--oh, let's be honest, that's the other way around--was the first item for the capsule, since I bought a spare to keep in package. The Blu-Ray sure as fun isn't going to appreciate any; but if NECA manages to put any other DC Movie figures out (like a Chris Reeves Superman, please please please!) there may be some demand for this one. Or, as my wife pointed out, I may break the one I opened, so in five years I'll have another! Either way is fine by me.

The Magic: the Gathering girls were $2 each at a local Barnes & Noble. I paid more for them a month or so earlier and opened them, but they were still pretty cheap. Full disclosure: I did absolutely shatter one of Liliana's elbow joints, but hobbled it back together with a toothpick. The Walgreens exclusive Agent Venom was bought out of genuine curiosity: I wonder if it'll be in any sort of demand in five years, or will he have been forgotten? There were still a couple of him available, although the price hadn't gone down.

The Guardians of the Galaxy two-pack and the Legos were clearance buys, at various stores and different times; and I probably kept ones to open or give away as well. So were the Spongebob kitchen sponges, we'll see what condition those are in after five years. Same for the Bat-signal pen: I have multiples of those floating around; but am kicking myself for passing on the dumb Superman-signal one! Then a couple Kre-O G.I. Joes and a Transformer; which I'm assuming I didn't open because I realized I already had them from the decoder.

I threw in that Secret Wars #1 variant I won from Hastings, and two issues of the Transformers Dark Cybertron crossover...I actually have more issues of More Than Meets the Eye I could probably throw in there, since I've accidentally bought multiples on more than one occasion. Friggin' variant covers...Right now I wonder if Secret Wars will be looked up fondly in five years, or if it will be just another event like Fear Itself or Siege: remembered as a thing that happened, but little else.

I'm not expecting any of this stuff to be worth big cash money in five years...or fifty. But I'm curious to see if any of it is in huge demand, or remembered at all, or reviled. Today's post also marks nine years of Random Happenstance! Wouldn't have bet the farm on that one. I'm hoping to keep flogging away at it as long as I can.

Oh, and my favorite Matthew Sweet song is the first three minutes of "Sick of Myself." It would be perfect if it quit there, but over-eggs things by riffing further.
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Friday, May 22, 2015

"(Almost) Perfect Disguise."

Got the Star Wars Black Han Solo (Stormtrooper Disguise) the other day, and he blends pretty well with the other Stormtroopers. I'm guessing Han's cologne is pretty noticeable, though. Have a good long weekend!
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

I'm a little bit beat this week, but had time for Star-Lord's origin recap from Marvel Spotlight #7, "Tears for the World Called Heaven" Written by Doug Moench, art by Tom Sutton, with a Frank Miller cover. I had no idea it was a Miller cover, until I saw the reprint info. The rest of the issue didn't do much for me, but here we are.

This is more just a reminder that I have some of the black-and-white Marvel magazines with Star-Lord stories, that I need to dig into at some point. That said, I did knock these out real quick:

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"Hail Mary Time."

I don't think Pool's really looking for salvation, but he's a little desperate right now. I can't imagine any religion willingly taking him, either.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A (Smaller) Bunch of A-Holes:

I had no intention of getting these, but they were two bucks a pack and I'm not made of stone, guys: Guardians of the Galaxy 2.5 inch figures. The only pack I didn't see on the cheap was the Rocket/Groot/Nova Centurion one; and I can probably live without it. Maybe.

The articulation is limited, as is the paint; and the likenesses range from passable to soft. The accessories are doofy missile launchers (which may be attachable to the ships, sold separately!) and oversized pieces in ridiculous colors. For six to eight dollars a pack, not a great value; at $2 I'm a lot more forgiving.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

The Lilac City Comicon (formerly the Spokane Comicon) is coming up in a couple of weeks, so I should once again systematically make a list of the books I'm looking for, what I'm willing to pay for them, or so on. Or barring that, prepare to wade into any quarter bin I can get my hands on and grab whatever I vaguely remember looking for. Like back issues of the Secret Defenders: I just saw the cover to #15 for the first time, and it looks aggressively, and adorably, hilarious. (The corner box proclaims "All New! All Fresh!" which is just so sad...)

But today we'll take a peek at what's behind the fancy-pants "foil enhanced cover" of Secret Defenders #12, "Pawns" Written by Ron Marz, pencils by Tom Grindberg, inks by Dan Hudson. Thanos has resurrected Geatar, space pirate and second-in-command to Nebula; and who was previously best known as the corpse Thanos used to fake his death at the hands of the Silver Surfer just prior to Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos wants Geatar to run a mission for him, since he's too busy; and recruits from earth the villains Titanium Man, the Rhino, and Nitro; along with the Super-Skrull.

Before Thanos has to whup the Super-Skrull into line, Geatar manages a bargain with Thanos: he gets Thanos to agree to "stay his wrath" against Nebula. (Thanos here again denies being her grandfather.) Convincing them there's prizes in store for them as well, the villains are sent to the planet H'aarg, to steal "the Oracle of Ancient Knowledge," from a religious order that may be intent on universal holy war. But it remains to be seen if any part of this mission is as Thanos said...

I may have actually read this in 1994, but long since lost or sold my copy. Probably not super-hard to find, though: per the U.S. Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation; line C. Total Paid and/or requested Circulation...Average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 294,033. Average no copies single issue nearest to filing date: 142,600." It's not a stretch that a foil cover might have driven the numbers up some, but compared to March's sales charts from Comichron, 142,600 would've been good enough for fourth place behind Princess Leia #1, Star Wars #3, and Guardians Team-Up #1...
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Friday, May 15, 2015


Too clever for my own good, but so's this issue: from 2001, Nightwing #52, "Modern Romance" Written by Chuck Dixon, pencils by Greg Land, inks by Drew Geraci.

This issue was part of "Batman Dies!" month, wherein Batman...dies a bunch of times, mostly in the imaginations and speculations of various characters. Like the pages of Nightwing. OK, whatever. Selina has a dream of marrying Batman, only to murder him when he tries to answer the Bat-Signal after the wedding. Waking up, she wonders why she thinks about Bats, since he's as much as married to Gotham, so she wonders why she hangs around there either and opts for a road trip. Where? Um, Bl├╝dhaven, apparently, and she tries to rob a new casino of the Klopmann Diamond. Nightwing shows up, thinking she was hired by the crime family that was going to rob their own casino for the insurance money.

Nightwing and Catwoman scuffle with the mobsters, but Catwoman flirts with Dick a lot; partly to make him uncomfortable, partly to antagonize Batman, she thinks. Dick has a good laugh at that, and Selina slugs him one.

I thought this issue who go nicely with that Strange Deaths of the Batman trade I picked up, but outsmarted myself: part of this issue is reprinted in that trade! No real reason I could see, except Catwoman's dream only takes six pages.
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Eight Alpha Flight members today, no room for the Avengers on the cover too.

In ye olden times, when a comic reached it's hundredth issue, that usually meant a double-sized extravaganza, and maybe a good time to check back with a book you hadn't read in a while. Maybe. From 1991, Alpha Flight #100, "The Final Option" Credits weren't in this issue, but per the GCD, written by Fabian Nicieza, pencils by Michael Bair, Tom Morgan, June Brigman, Dave Ross, and John Calimee; inks by Michael Bair, Chris Ivy, Danny Bulanadi, and Larry Mahlstedt.

A ton of plotlines come to a head here: the alien Consortium assaults Toronto; as another alien species, the Quwrlln, explain why they saved James Hudson, the original Guardian, from the explosion that apparently didn't kill him back in Alpha Flight #12: to get super-heroes to help them save their world from Galactus.

A brief aside: Hudson returns in AF #25, where he reveals the explosion actually threw him through a space warp to Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter. He nearly died, but aliens found and saved him, but put him and his suit together! This was revealed to be a lie the next issue, when Omega Flight trashes Alpha Flight and "Hudson" is revealed to be evil robot Delphine Courtney! Several years and several writers later, in AF #89, Hudson is found held prisoner in a Roxxon facility, and the alien story is revealed to have been true after all! Hudson is killed again this issue, and although he'd be back later, I don't think he and his wife Heather would wear their Canadian-flag costumes together again: they've had different outfits here and there, and offhand I don't recall which one was using Guardian and which one was Vindicator at the time, or if they've switched since.

The dimension the Quwrlln were stuck in played havoc with Galactus's "life functions," but not anyone else: apparently, whatever was wrong with the place was beyond mortal kin, but messed him up. The heroes mostly pummel the poor Big G, and Hudson sacrifices himself to move the Consortium's world-ship into the Quwrlln's place, and vice versa. Galactus eats the invaders, both Quwrlln and earth are safe, and everybody's happy. Everybody still alive that didn't know Mac, I guess.

The Avengers guest-star, with Hercules punching Galactus a bit, a very enthusiastic alien biting She-Hulk, Captain America and Black Widow helping Northstar and Puck infiltrate a Consortium ship, and writer Nicieza apparently forgetting Quasar was basically Green Lantern and could've been way more helpful. Cap does show Black Widow mad respect, when Northstar asks how she's going to get off the ship before it warps out, Cap just nonchalantly tells him not to worry about it.

I...I'm not sure that guy's trying to stop her, exactly.

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