Posts Tagged ‘Joker


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 283: Bruce Willis and Bruce Wayne

showcase logo smallIt’s a big week for Bruces and Blake and Erin take in Willis’s newest film, A Good Day to Die Hard, and talk about the repercussions of Wayne’s lastest battle with the Joker in the conclusion of Death of the Family. We also talk about the return of The Walking Dead, rejoice in the crapitude of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, and Blake recommends that if you’re not reading Morning Glories, you go back and start at the beginning. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 283: Bruce Willis and Bruce Wayne


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 281: The 2012 Year in Review

showcase logo small

It’s finally here, friends… the Showcase crew goes through everything interesting in the world of comics and pop culture for the past 12 months! This mammoth podcast touches on Marvel Now!, the New 52, The Walking Dead, hit movies, not-so-hit movies, LEGO, Aquaman, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, the Avengers, the X-Men, Hello Kitty and virtually everything else. And as always, the crew closes it out with their picks of the year. Go to the bathroom first, because this episode is a giant. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 281: The 2012 Year in Review


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 278: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Still stuffed from a particularly exciting Thanksgiving week, Blake and Erin sit down to talk about things from across the Geek landscape. They review the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, talk with much spoiler-tude about recent events in The Walking Dead (both comic and TV show), and dish on the Batman crossover Death of the Family, the resurrected Amethyst in DC’s Sword of Sorcery, and the big twist in Amazing Spider-Man #698. Oh, and they’ve got a little something personal to share with you guys, too. In the picks, Erin recommends the Walking Dead novels Rise of the Governor and The Road to Woodbury, and Blake picks the Marvel Now! reboot of Deadpool. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 278: Thanksgiving Leftovers


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 274: News From NYCC


Blake is by himself this week, taking a look at some of the news coming out from this weekend’s New York Comic-Con. From Marvel Now! to the SHIELD TV show, Scott Snyder on Superman and Mars Attacking… everyone, Blake gives his thoughts on these big announcements and more. In the picks, we look at Batman #13 and the Image Halloween Eve One-Shot! Don’t forget to e-mail us your top ten favorite movie monsters for our Halloween episode! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 274: News From NYCC


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 266: The Ultimate Villain Countdown

It’s time for another Showcase Countdown! This week, the boys each give their own top ten lists for the greatest villains of all time, then count down the ultimate list as voted on by the Showcase listeners. Tune in to find out whose villainy takes the top prize! In the picks, Mike goes with Superman #8, Kenny takes Aquaman #8, and Blake praises Fantastic Four #506.1. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 266: Ultimate Villain Countdown


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 248: Avengers Vs. X-Men and a Valiant Return

Blake and Erin talk about books both with and without pictures this week. New Kindle Convert Erin points you towards the “Black December” sale from the good folks at horror publisher Permuted Press, and Blake urges all writers to throw their support behind Operation eBook Drop. In comics chat, we discuss the passing of Jerry Robinson, the return of Valiant Comics and Marv Wolfman’s Night Force, and the next big thing at Marvel, Avengers Vs. X-Men. In the picks, Blake triples with Animal Man #4, Hack/Slash Annual #3, and Snowy Joey and the Christmas Dinosaurs. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 248: Avengers Vs. X-Men and a Valiant Return


Classic EBI #83: Spoiler Space

The world is full of comic book nerds, especially in Hollywood… but why don’t we see a lot of original superhero characters outside of comics? Can superheroes only thrive in one medium?

Everything But Imaginary #392: Medium Defiance

And in this week’s classic EBI, let’s look back at Oct. 6, 2004, when I thought about all the spoilers that were invading the internet… and I… struck… back…

Classic EBI #83: Spoiler Space

Now that we’ve all had a chance to read Detective Comics #799, wow, what a shocker, huh? I never suspected that Robin’s father, Jack Drake, would be killed by the Joker and a hermaphroditic gerbil on PCP. Talk about a shocker!

What? Oh, you mean you guys haven’t read it yet? You mean it won’t even be available to purchase for several more hours? Oh, gosh, I feel terrible now. Wow, it’s a good thing that everything I said there was complete and total rubbish, isn’t it? But now that I’ve got your attention, this would be a good time to talk about spoilers.

A “spoiler,” of course, is any piece of information regarding the plot of a story that you didn’t know yet, in essence, “spoiling” it for you. The term “spoiler” was coined because “ruiner” sounds funky. And before we go on much further, in case you didn’t get it, I was lying in the first paragraph. Being the kind, benevolent, dashing, callipygian, modest columnist-type-person that I am, I would never actually tell you what happened in Detective Comics #799 because that would spoil it for you. Also because some of you may know where I live.

For as long as there has been fiction, there have been spoilers. If you go back to the 1500s you can find scrolls written by people talking about that startling new play wherein, at the end, SPOILERS AHEAD! Romeo and Juliet both kill themselves. But since the invention of the Internet, spoilers have become a much bigger problem because now people have the ability to opine from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world as fast as the information can be processed in their brains. Or, more frequently, their mouths, since often people on the Internet have found ways to bypass their brains altogether.

This problem, of course, is not exclusive to comic books. Websites like Ain’t It Cool News make their name by giving out juicy spoilers for movies far in advance (and conveniently forgetting about it when the spoiler turns out not to be true), but at least they have the courtesy to stamp a big warning label before the spoiler appears. This, unfortunately, will not stop idiots from e-mailing it to you or blabbing it in a chatroom, but in this day and age, that’s the price you pay for daring to get out of bed in the morning.

You can also spoil books – I’m a big fan of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and frequently visit a message board devoted to such. When the advance review copies of the last book in that well-loved series began to circulate a month or so ago, there was a massive storm on that board between the people who were hurling spoilers around right and left and the people who didn’t want to know. One jerk actually went so far as to post the entire plot of the book in the middle of a thread where people were congratulating the administrator for pulling the plug on spoilers. Another popped into a chatroom and spouted out the ending to people who hadn’t read it yet. And this is for the end of a series that some people have been reading for 22 years. There is a word for people who do that sort of thing. However, I will not tell you what that word is since the filter would most likely block it out anyway. (HINT: it ends in “weed”.)

Now some people don’t mind spoilers. Some people are perfectly happy knowing that SPOILERS AHEAD! “Rosebud” was the name of his sled before the movie even starts. And if that’s your thing, hey, that’s fine. But there are an awful lot of us out there, myself included, who prefer not to know the ending. You’re the kids who always snuck into your parents’ closet looking for Christmas presents, whereas we’re the kids who just looked at the 18-inch box under the tree and hoped against hope that a puppy could fit in there somehow. If you want to discuss spoilers, you’ve got every right to, but you should also have the respect and courtesy to keep them amongst yourselves and not go blabbing that you find out in Amazing Spider-Man #512 that SPOILERS AHEAD! Norman Osborne is the father of Gwen Stacy’s children to anyone who hasn’t heard it yet.

Just last week a thread appeared here which started with the phrase “Well, now that we’ve all read Superman/Batman #12…” and proceeded to give away the entire plot. The trouble with this thread was, not all of us had read Superman/Batman #12 yet. This appeared on Friday. The book came out Wednesday. Not everyone gets their comic books the day of release – or even the same week – and you can’t just assume that they have. If I hadn’t finished reading the book about five minutes before, I may have had to go to the guy’s house and hit him with a frozen halibut.

Even worse was an incident a few weeks ago in the forum of our own Chris Sotomayor. Soto, one of the best colorists in the biz (and I say that out of genuine admiration, not just because he hosts a forum here), was discussing his upcoming work on the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Book of the Dead. Fans were speculating as to who would appear in that book, since the current Avengers Disassembled storyline was resulting in many casualties. Then someone appeared in the thread and asked Soto if he could post some pictures since, by now, we all knew that SPOILERS AHEAD! Hawkeye was the character who died in the much-touted Avengers #502.

The problem with this? He posted this message nearly a week before Avengers #502 even went on sale!

Oh, I was ticked.

Now to his credit, he’d tried to do something, at least. He changed the font color to white. Unfortunately, since the background text on the site is various shades of gray, that was worse than useless and the book was seriously spoiled for me. And it didn’t help that everybody else was talking about the death like it was common knowledge soon afterwards.

The obvious question to ask here is, how long is information considered a spoiler? Technically, I’d say any time before you, personally (or to be more specific, I personally) have read the comic. But that gets a little ridiculous. I mean, just because someone has never read Avengers #4 doesn’t mean they don’t already know SPOILERS AHEAD! they found Captain America frozen alive in a block of ice, thawed him out, made him a member of the team and he served proudly for at least 500 issues.

So how long is a reasonable amount of time to consider something a spoiler? When do you have to stop putting information like SPOILERS AHEAD! the boat sinks and Leo drowns in those little gray text boxes we use to shield the masses? I know some fans would prefer something remain a spoiler until the trade paperback comes out – this specifically applies to those fans who wait for the trade paperback. But I don’t think that’s always necessary. If you’re writing in a thread about Identity Crisis #3, you can reasonably assume people have read Identity Crisis #2 and know that SPOILERS AHEAD! Dr. Light raped Sue Dibney already.

Rather than cruising on a set period of time, I think it’s fair and logical to assume something is a spoiler until the next issue of that title comes out, whenever that happens to be. When Birds of Prey went biweekly, by the time #74 came out it should have been acceptable to reference how, in #73, SPOILERS AHEAD! Oracle defeated Brainiac.

And if that means you’ve got to talk about NYX #5 in spoiler blocks for the next six years or so before #6 comes out, so be it.

Some people don’t mind spoilers. Some people even like ‘em. And those people have plenty of opportunity to talk about them. But if you’ve got spoiler info, make sure you present it as such for a reasonable length of time. Otherwise, you’ll be like Homer Simpson walking out of The Empire Strikes Back and saying, SPOILERS AHEAD! “Wow, who would have thought Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father?”. This would, by extension, make the rest of us the people standing in line outside the theatre who wanted to kill him for saying it, and since very few of us have yellow skin, four fingers and an overbite, it’s not a fair analogy.

Like so many problems in the world of comics (and the rest of the world too, when you get right down to it), you can solve this one if you just apply a little common sense. Try it sometime. You might even like it.

Favorite of the Week: September 29, 2004

It’s a darn good thing that I had read Superman/Batman #12 before I read the spoiler, because this was a fantastic issue. (And considering how long it took to come out, it better have been.) Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Barda have stormed Apokalips, hoping to rescue Kara from the clutches of Darkseid… but what if she doesn’t want to be rescued? There’s plenty of action this issue, and then just when things seem to have settled down, Jeph Loeb hits you in the gut with a knockout punch, a real shocker. Granted, it’s the sort of shocker that you’re certain will be resolved in one of two ways, but it’s a shocker nonetheless. Now let’s all just hope Michael Turner manages to turn out issue #13 before Kara is old enough to have grandchildren.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page, and check out his new experiment in serial fiction at Tales of the Curtain.


Classic EBI #54: Crossover Crisis

You know the drill by now, friends. First of all, let’s look at this week’s Everthing But Imaginary. Earlier this week, Devil’s Due Publishing announced that they’re cutting off ties with Diamond Distribution. Why did they do this? What does it mean? See my thoughts here:

Everything But Imaginary #358: Breaking Away or Breaking Down?

Next, let’s look at this week’s classic Everything But Imaginary. This week we’re going back to March 21, 2004…

Crossover Crisis

In the past, friends, we have talked about the inter-company crossover, those rare occasions where Superman and Spider-Man cross paths, or Batman puts a hurt on the Punisher, or when Aunt May trades wheatcake recipes with Martha Kent. While it’s always fun to see characters from different “universes” come into contact with each other, these crossovers are usually pretty hollow because no lasting changes can be made due to the need not to infringe on the regular titles. Even if that wasn’t an issue, there would still be the problem of referring to events that included a character you can’t legally refer to. Although it would be funny, every once in a while, to see Wildcat talking to Billy Batson and saying, “Hey, remember that time… no, wait, that was the other Captain Marvel…”

There is, however, another kind of crossover that rings much truer, where things can be changed. I’m talking about the intra-company crossover, where all of Marvel’s characters or all of DC’s characters unite to face off against some major threat or some terrible crisis. The first major company-wide crossover I am aware of came in 1984, with Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars, in which the mysterious Beyonder kidnapped the most intriguing (read: best-selling) heroes and villains from the Marvel universe, dropped them on a distant planet called Battleworld, and told them to duke it out for his amusement. (Surprisingly, Brother Voodoo and Diablo got to stay home.) The story was 12 issues and wound up telling a pretty satisfying yarn, including some of the best Doctor Doom sequences ever.

The story was so popular, in fact, that before the heroes even had time to unpack their bags back on Earth, Marvel launched Secret Wars II, in which the Beyonder came to our planet. This story was not quite so well-received, but it was significant in that it helped spearhead something that would define crossovers in the future: a main story in the titular mini-series and other chapters spread out among the regular issues of all the Marvel titles. The story wasn’t contained in Secret Wars II, the Beyonder carried out parts of his agenda in many other titles, including Uncanny X-Men, Fantastic Four and even Dazzler.

At around the same time, DC Comics was launching the crossover that would not only define the entire genre, but give the shorthand name for such an event: Crisis on Infinite Earths. Similar in structure to what Marvel did, this event was contained in a 12-issue miniseries about time collapsing and worlds being destroyed. (This was done in an effort to “simplify” the DC Universe. Frankly, I didn’t think it was in need of simplifying — science fiction fans had no problem with the concept of alternate realities for generations, why did comic book fans? But that’s another column.)

However, across nearly every DC monthly at the time, as well as several miniseries and specials, other effects of the Crisis were felt. New heroes were introduced. Old ones were laid to rest. The whole thing was so well done that even today, 18 years later, I’m still trying to get all of the official crossovers (mostly for the prestige of being able to say I have all of the official crossovers, including Losers Special #1).

The crossover was a hit and, like any other hit in the field of entertainment, it had to be repeated. The year after Crisis, DC gave us Legends. Then Millennium. Then Invasion . Some of these were more successful than others, but they all had the same basic format — a miniseries to contain the main story and “bonus” chapters spread across other titles that readers could get or ignore as they wished. Although it bears noting that while people were willing to shell out $100 bucks for a hardcover collection of the 12 main Crisis issues, you can probably make a complete set of the Millennium miniseries and all its bonus chapters in your nearest quarter bin.

Marvel, at the same time, took a different approach, abandoning the miniseries and instead hosting crossovers in a family of titles but spreading out to affect others. When demons swarmed on New York in Inferno, Spider-Man and Cloak and Dagger mixed it up with them in their own titles, but the main battles were fought in the pages of Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, New Mutants and the X-Terminators miniseries.

A couple of years later came the Acts of Vengeance crossover, in which a mysterious mastermind who would turn out to be Loki, Norse god of trickery, convinced supervillains to attack each other’s enemies in order to gain the element of surprise. This resulted in unusual battles like Mandarin versus the X-Men, the Gray Gargoyle versus the Hulk and Typhoid Mary versus Power Pack. The crossover would touch everyone from the Punisher to Quasar, but the story began and ended in Avengers, Avengers West Coast and Avengers Spotlight.

Then both companies struck upon a gold mine for crossovers: the annuals. For years most comic books had an annual double-sized edition. With Evolutionary War, Marvel began the practice of running a single storyline through all of these annuals. DC followed suit with Armageddon 2001. Marvel gave us Atlantis Attacks. DC gave us Bloodlines.

Other companies got into the act. Valiant had Unity. Eclipse had Total Eclipse. Malibu had Genesis. Even Image had stuff like Shattered Image, Altered Image and, my personal favorite, Mars Attacks Image.

Then something happened. People started to get fed up with the crossovers. They felt it was a cheap ploy to get them to buy books they ordinarily wouldn’t have just to have the complete story. They felt that the stories themselves weren’t worth it (and with junk like DC’s Genesis, who can blame them?) Frankly, I think this frustrated attitude is indirectly the reason we no longer have annuals today. The last time any major company-wide crossovers were seen was in 2001, with DC’s abysmal Joker: Last Laugh and Marvel’s “Okay-but-not-good-enough-to-justify-20-crossovers” Maximum Security.

But while I sympathize, and even agree, with those who hate crossovers because of the “gotta get ‘em all” mentality, I can’t deny that there is a certain thrill in seeing lots of characters come together against one menace. Isn’t there any common ground?

You bet there is.

Just a few weeks ago we found it in Secret War (notice the lack of pluralization) by Brian Michael Bendis. Nick Fury discovers that all of the two-bit hoods in the Marvel Universe, the ones who aren’t smart enough to program a VCR but walk around with high-tech weaponry and nuclear reactors strapped to their backs, are all being supplied by a singular source, meaning they are no longer supervillains, but instead meet the definition of terrorists. It’s such a simple, brilliant idea, and future issues, which promise Fury putting together a superhero task force to fight the ultimate evil, should be great.

It’s a story that won’t have crossover “bonus chapters,” but whose implications for nearly every Marvel title are clearly evident. It’s something I can’t wait to see played out.

I’m hoping for something similar with DC’s Identity Crisis (there’s that word again) coming out this summer, a storyline about which no one seems to know anything except that someone will die and it’s somebody important enough to show Superman crying in the preview art. At CrossGen, several of their titles have come to an end with a promise of their storylines being concluded in Negation War.

Major ramifications. No cheap stunts.

The crossovers of the future, friends. Let’s hope they stay this way. (2010 note: They didn’t.)

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: March 10, 2004

It’s not that long ago that my two favorite comics at Marvel were Avengers and Thunderbolts. Now I don’t read either title anymore, for obvious reasons. When Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, the writers that put those titles in the upper tier for me, got together for a miniseries bringing back the latter from oblivion and the former from mediocrity, I jumped at it. The first issue of Avengers/Thunderbolts was a fine start, showing us where the Thunderbolts are since we left them at the end of Nicieza’s run and why the Avengers feel a need to stand against them. Throw in fantastic artwork by Barry Kitson and you’ve got the recipe for a great comic book.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.


Toy Stories: Haven’t I Seen You Somewhere Before?

As I’ve mentioned in assorted Toy Stories features, I do like variant figures. What do I mean, though, by a “variant”? Well, it could mean a lot of things — different, related characters with similar designs, redesigns of an existing figure to match a different uniform or look, an “energized” version of a character with such powers… pretty much anything that’s a “real” version of the character as has appeared in the comic books or TV show. And since the last few figures I have that I haven’t shared with you guys yet all fall into this category, I thought I’d give you guys the side-by-sides of several variants in my possession.

Monorail Mickey and Vinylmation Fireworks

Monorail Mickey and Vinylmation Fireworks

The entire point of Urban Vinyl figures is to use different designs on the same body mold, so I guess technically any of these fits the criteria. Here we see the Vinylmation “Monorail Mickey” next to the “Fireworks” mouse I showed you guys a couple of weeks ago. Side-by-site, you can really tell that the figures themselves are identical, and it’s just the paint job that’s different.

Let’s go to a far more extreme example, shall we?

Alex Luthor and Lex Luthor: Together Again

Alex Luthor and Lex Luthor: Together Again

If you recognize either of this pair, it’s probably the bald guy in the green armor with major overcompensation issues going on with his shoulder pads. This is Lex Luthor, arch-enemy of Superman, and (in the DC Universe, at least) former President of the United States. To his left, in the gold with the red hair, is Alex Luthor, sole survivor of the alternate universe called Earth-3. On Alex’s world, the heroes were villains, and the only superhero left was his father, Lex Luthor. So Alex is kinda Lex’s son from another dimension. If you’re a comic book geek like me, you have no problem understanding that.

Animated Wonder Woman vs. Comic Book Wonder Woman

Animated Wonder Woman vs. Comic Book Wonder Woman

On the left here is the Wonder Woman figure that came with the recent direct-to-DVD movie in which she starred, and designed to look like that version. On the right is the basic Infinite Heroes Wonder Woman figure, based on a more iconic comic book version. The body molds of these two figures is exactly the same, but the faces and hair are drastically different. Personally, I prefer the animated version. The lines on the comic version’s W-symbol are too heavy, and actually look more like a “cartoon” than the one that’s actually based on a cartoon. Plus, for some reason she has an expression that makes her look like she’s sniffing something vaguely unpleasant.

Flash Legacy: Wally West, Jay Garrick, and Zoom

Flash Legacy: Wally West, Jay Garrick, and Zoom

Next up we’ve got three different, related characters. In the center is Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash who’s been kicking butt and taking names since World War II. I was particularly happy to find this guy in a single pack, because for a while there the only place I saw him was as a variant figure in the Flash three-pack I’d already got, and I really don’t need extras of Mirror Master or Weather Wizard. Plus he’s just a great character. To the left, the gentleman in red is Wally West, Flash III and the guy many of us reading comics today grew up with as THE Flash. On the left is his former friend Hunter Zolomon, alias Zoom, now a particularly interesting madman who believes that the way to make the Flash a better superhero is by causing great tragedies in his life to overcome. Now that the second Flash, Barry Allen, has returned from the dead, I rather hope that means we’ll have two new figures coming soon — one of Barry, and one of Wally in the new costume that’s supposedly being designed by artist Ethan Van Sciver.

Now for a few figures that didn’t require much modification at all…

Pardon me, Im here to drop my brothers off for repairs.

"Pardon me, I'm here to drop my brothers off for repairs."

Billions of years ago, the Guardians of the Universe created a legion of robotic agents to protect innocent sentients from the evil one of their number unleashed. The Manhunters turned out to be psycho, though, so they canned them and got some living agents, the Green Lantern Corps. The Manhunters have never been really happy about this arrangement, though, and lately have been known to hang around with members of the Sinestro Corps. The guy in the middle came in a single pack, but the two fellas flanking him were a third of a Green Lantern Corps six-pack. They’re in serious need of some Turtle Wax.

Speaking of Green Lantern…

Green Lantern 2814.1 reporting for duty! Twice!

"Green Lantern 2814.1 reporting for duty! Twice!"

Hal Jordan is one of two Green Lanterns of Space Sector 2814. The second figure in this picture isn’t his partner, John Stewart, it’s an “energized” version of Hal. While the basic Hal figure came in a three-pack with his pals Green Arrow and Black Canary, the energy version was part of the same six-pack that included the two Manhunters, plus John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and a Qwardian Weaponer. Very few of the Infinite Heroes toys have come with accessories, and Hal is one that really should have one. Why have none of the various Green Lanterns who’ve got figures in this line come with a Power Battery?



Last, but not least, we’ve got the two renditions of Johnny Storm, alias the Human Torch, courtesy of the Marvel Universe line. One is Johnny with a little bit a fire atop his noggin. The other is Johnny in full “Flame on!” mode. Can you guess which is which?

I’ve showed you guys a couple of other side-by-sides before, so just for the sake of completeness, I’m going to show those pictures to you here too. Click on each picture to go to the corresponding article:

Stealth Iron Man and Daywear Iron Man. This is what the inside of Tony Starks closet looks like.

Stealth Iron Man and Daywear Iron Man. This is what the inside of Tony Stark's closet looks like.

Kingdom Come Superman and Classic Superman

Kingdom Come Superman and Classic Superman

And that’s all the toys I’ve got, folks. So this may be the last Toy Stories for a while, unless this weekend’s Nola Comic-Con brings me across some swag I’ve been looking for. Don’t worry, it’ll be back, I just don’t know when. In the meantime, in-between time, how about reading and commenting on Lost in Silver? Or the various reviews and other blogs I post here almost daily? I thrive on feedback, folks, so let’s hear some! Take it easy.


Toy Stories: You Are Now Leaving the 616 Universe…

 Once again, friends, I’m here to take a look at a few of the toys I’ve picked up recently. Although I’ve talked quite a bit about the new 3.75-inch Marvel Universe action figure line, it’s worth noting that Marvel has also launched two additional 3.75-inch lines based on its other media projects, the upcoming movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the current cartoon show Wolverine and the X-Men. How this obscure, little known character from a nearly unheard of comic book has garnered both a TV show and a feature film this year is utterly beyond me.

Let’s start with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Not having seen the movie yet, I really have no particular urge to get the movie figures, but Marvel and Hasbro have done something undeniably cool here. They’ve actually launched two subsets of this line — one series of figure based on the characters as they appear in the movies, and a second series based on the characters’ comic book appearance. I won’t get all of the figures in either line, but the fact that the comic versions are available makes it far more likely that I’ll pick up any. For example, check out this guy here:

Deadpool and his lil friens!

Deadpool and his lil' friens!

Honestly, I never much cared for Deadpool until about a year and a half ago, when I started getting issues of Cable and Deadpool to review for Comixtreme. The character turned out to be really, really funny. The action figure? Not bad. He came with about a thousand accessories — a machine gun, a pistol, a sai that (proportionately) could be used to skewer a couple of pigs, and two swords for the sheathes on his back. The figure looks good, but there are two major problems with it. First: the legs. As you can see in the picture, their poseability is extremely limited. They don’t close very far, and this was honestly the only posture I could get for him. Second: the swords. One of them fits into its scabbard very nicely. The other… don’t. This may be a problem specific to my figure, I admit, but I tried both swords on both sides, and the same one kept giving me trouble, despite being visually indistinguishable from its brother. Grr.

I’ve passed on the movie version of this character. Maybe after I actually seen the movie I’ll decide to get it. I do think Ryan Reynolds was a good choice for the character, for what it’s worth.

As for the other line, Wolverine and the X-Men is based on the new animated series I haven’t seen yet because I don’t get the Nicktoons network. If anyone knows a (legal) place to watch this show online, please let me know in the comments. In the meantime, I’m going to look at the figures and pick up the ones I like. This guy, for instance:

The Bouncing Beast!

Dr. Hank McCoy is my favorite character in the X-Men universe (as you’ll all hear in this coming weekend’s edition of the 2 in 1 Showcase podcast), and I’ll pick up almost any figure based on him. This animated-style figure is pretty good. I like the style, and his arms are massive. The articulation is pretty good as well. Hank also comes with three widget-type doohickeys that he can hold in either his hands or his feet, which is a nice touch.

Cyclops!... wearin a trenchcoat for no apparent reason!

Cyclops!... wearin' a trenchcoat for no apparent reason!

Finally, there’s this guy here. Scott Aloysius Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops, longtime leader of the X-Men, who for some reason wears a trenchcoat in the cartoon. This is a nice looking figure, although like Deadpool his hip articulation is really poor. He does have one cool accessory, though: a removable optic blast.

This is pretty neat. I’ve never seen a Cyclops figure with a blast before. On the other hand, it’s a pretty short-range blast. This could be quite a liability in some battle situations. Allow me to demonstrate, with the help of my lovely assistant, the Joker.

Clearly, you see how this version of Cyclops may have trouble thwarting evildoers.

Don’t forget, friends, you can scroll back through previous toy blogs at the Toy Stories category of Evertime Realms! More next week!

(Title note for people who are less of a geek than I am, which is just about everyone: “616” refers to the “core” Marvel Universe. In a comic book world with multiple alternate dimensions, Marvel chose to designate their main world as #616.)

May 2023

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