Monday, February 18, 2019

Recent Reading: Captain Marvel

Marvel Superheroes #12, 1967

As we are so close to Marvel Studio's release of Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson and Jude Law, I thought I'd put post a small tribute to one of my first comic superheroes of memory. Revisiting the Coming of Captain Marvel from Marvel Superheroes #12 was more a labor of love than literature, but still a time capsule of Marvel Comics' cosmic coming of age, setting the stage for a character with potential. Mar-Vell makes his first appearance in his green Kree soldier outfit!

Captain Marvel #29 (Nov. 1973)

While I have no surviving issues, I did recently snag a sweet Jim Starlin poster, featuring his cover art for Captain Marvel #29, from November 1973. I must have seen this drawing as a child because it's so familiar and personifies Mar-Vell in my mind. It's arguable that Starlin's run on Marv doesn't stand the test of time. Paul O' Connor from Longbox Graveyard affirmed my vague feelings after retreading the material recently, stating that while Starlin expanded the largely unexplored Marvel Universe on the pages of the book, creating lasting characters & backstory, Captain Marvel seemed flat against it. Still, he was a young, ambitious pioneer of Marvel the Cosmic, and made an impression on my Bronze-Age childhood. You can read The Life & Death of Captain Marvel (Marvel 2002) in trade paperback form, containing his complete solo title from 1972 until his death in 1982, reprinted from Marvel's first graphic novel, The Death of Captain Marvel. It left me awash in nostalgia back in 2011, but I suspect in part for how I idealized the character as a child.

Generations #1 Captain Marvel/Captain Mar-Vell (Nov. 2017)

Below, Generations #1 Ms. Marvel (Nov. 2017)
Backtracking to the end of 2017, some of the last physical comics I purchased since subscribing to Marvel Unlimited were a few of the Generations #1 issues, including Capt. Marvel/Capt. Mar-Vell. It was fun to see Mar-Vell back on the pages, though the book was criticized for it's generic writing. This is probably well-founded, and the characters seemed thrown together, the art uneven throughout, but not without some cool drawings. Another Generations book I picked up was Ms. Marvel. I wanted to get to know Carol Danvers better, taking the mantel over from a childhood hero of mine, and Kamala Khan taking over Ms. Marvel in turn. Read more about that from my Dec. 2017 post on the Marvel Legends action figures of Carol & Kamala- these aren't great comics, and were woefully overpriced, but I couldn't help but try.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Captain Marvel Pinup, 1978

As I just posted about the new Marvel Legends Captain Marvel, and we are nearing the release of the new Captain Marvel film, I thought I'd share this great Captain Marvel pinup I found on eBay recently. Featuring Captain Marvel #29 cover art by Jim Starlin (1973), the image measures 9.5 x 14". According to L.Lee Hymn of Tellshiar.Com, this pinup came from The Mighty World of Marvel Pin-up Book, published by Fireside in 1978 for $5.95 retail. On the verso of the poster is a description of Marvel team The Defenders, who would have been featured on the next page. Art by other Bronze-Age greats like John Romita, Herb Trimpe, Dave Cockrum, John Buscema, Gil Kane, Gene Colan, Jack Kirby and others were also featured. Hymn went on to tell me the book can sell for $150.-$300, individual plates going for $25.-$75. His website is a treasure trove of Marvel ephemera that is a must see! This image of Captain Marvel is an early if somewhat hazy memory from my first experiences with comic books, and a joy to frame for display in my home.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Marvel Legends Captain Marvel (2019)

I didn't want to buy the whole wave of recent Captain Marvel figures, so I was glad this standard issue Captain Marvel came two per case without any BAF parts. I am on the lookout for Target's exclusive Starforce edition with parts for a Dr. Minn-Erva however, maybe two. Don't get me wrong, I like the Kree Sentry BAF from this wave, but have minimal interest in the rest of the wave. If you only buy one, get this one.

Below, the 2019 Marvel Legends Captain Marvel with my 2015 Captain Marvel. While I love the update/movie treatment, my love for the first one isn't diminished, in spite of it's simpler sculpt and deco. I've heard some gentle complaints regarding the paint apps, but this sample is passable. I mildly resent the lack of blast effects accessories, more so because there will be a forth Carol Danvers/Capt. Marvel figure that will include them. Just sell us accessories packs, Hasbro -you're dropping the ball. Nerds would pay handsomely for these as an online exclusive. Big Bad Toy Store?

The Brie Larson head sculpt on the movie figure certainly has added nuance, but the 2015 comic version was fine for what it was- I prefer the darker blue. I think by and large, the Marvel Legends community is happy with the new face-print technology Hasbro has been employing, but mine will be displayed in her mohawk helmet...

The Marvel Legends Black Panther Wave Nakia and Okoye are in a lot of my comparison photos, especially any female Marvel Legends group shots, because they are so great. And you will see them again. Also pictured below is Thor Ragnarok Valkyrie, another powerful female warrior...

And this post pretty much has to feature a smackdown with my Infinity War Wave Thanos BAF, because this is what we are hoping for in the forthcoming Avengers: Endgame. I love all the Marvel Cosmic characters being produced in the Legends line, thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy, Infinity War, and Captain Marvel movies. What a great time to be a Marvel fan!

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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Batman Returns Vinyl (Applause, 1992)

I had been wanting a larger scale Tim Burton/Michael Keaton Batman for awhile, but didn't want to shell out too much. I remember and still happen upon some of the older Hamilton vinyls of Batman and Robin in their Bronze-Age outfits, so I went that route hunting down this 10.5" Batman Returns vinyl. You can get one pretty cheap on eBay if you're patient. While articulation is limited to swivels in the shoulders and waist, the sculpted details are surprisingly accurate, and his leathery, scalloped cape is pretty nice. He's a beautiful figure! Check out the video:

My framed Batman Returns poster has been featured on this blog- it's nice to have another piece of official merchandise from that era. The Tim Burton Batman movies are still my favorite, Batman Returns on the top of my list. It was a special time for me, during what was a renaissance in Batman's popularity and influence on popular culture, and like a lot of other teenagers, I was consumed by the ensuing licensing onslaught like no other of that time. Legendary!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Chinese Market Bootleg Infinity War Iron Spider

These Chinese market bootleg Avengers Infinity War  Iron Spider figures have been showing up stateside in the last year or more, the market driven by nerds disappointed in Hasbro's failure to include the waldoes on their recent Marvel Legends version. I picked mine up last July from one of the many eBay sellers shipping for south of sixteen bucks. Late to the game, I knew what I was getting into, several YouTube reviews already having been published, and he's about what I thought he'd be. Check out the video:

The articulation is lacking in this bootleg, but the glossy red paint makes him flashy, and the gold highlights and Iron Spider chest insignia sculpt rival the Marvel Legends figure. Hasbro really missed the mark, still not having produced a waldoes-wearing Spidey when we could get a bootleg all the way from China, and import's like S.H. Figuarts and Mafex that include this crucial accessory. Also worth mentioning, the flight stand included with the bootleg is great- Hasbro, take note.

Below, Chinese bootleg Iron Spider with my Marvel Legends Infinity War Iron Spider. I've seen others use the articulated waldoes from these bootlegs to modify their Hasbro Iron Spider with success, but I'm unsure I want to desecrate my Marvel Legends figure. For now he's a shiny novelty decorating my detolf case, which I enjoy.

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Marvel Legends T'Chaka

While I like the 2nd Marvel Legends Black Panther Wave, I'm not sure I want to buy them all. T'Chaka was the one I was most interested in, acquiring him through an Amazon Warehouse Deal, shipped to my home for the same price I'd pay at retail. That's assuming I'd see him at all- unlike the first Black Panther Wave last year, I have yet to see the second wave. Some of the figures are fetching a price of ten or more dollars above retail. Mine came with slightly damaged packaging, but I didn't care about that! 

The tribal skirt is the star of this release, but the new head for T'Chaka is nice as well- he's a mix of the Civil War Black Panther, and either Mordo or Dr. Strange for the legs, but it works.

He shares his black and gold scheme with Killmonger from the first Black Panther wave. I may have liked that figure more than the Black Panther. Amazing detail and articulation! Neither of these came with an unmasked head, though we now have a couple Erik Killmonger portraits from other releases.

And of course, a shot of T'Challa with Killmonger and T'Chaka is in order. We have been getting some great Black Panther figures from Hasbro in the last couple years, and these are probably the best, certainly in the sculpt, which are beautifully detailed.

I must say, I wouldn't mind having three of the Dora Milaje figures from this line, with their three head portraits- they'd make a great army build behind Nakia and Okoye from the first Marvel Legends Black Panther wave. Absolutely loved those figures- a beautiful pair! Of note, you can use Killmonger's hands for T'Chaka to grip any borrowed accessory from either waves.

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Friday, January 25, 2019

Marvel Legends 12" Thor

I picked up this Marvel Legends 12" Thor on sale recently with store credit at BBTS, on the hunt for another large scale God of Thunder to round out the top story of the sole detolf cabinet in my living room. He was a good value, complete with a bearded and shorn portrait, both able to accommodate the helmet or braided hair accessories, making four different looks possible. The additional clear blue Mjolnir may be a waste of plastic, but the regular hammer is nice, both made more useful with Thor's vertically hinged wrists on the grip hands. The rest of his articulation is serviceable, if somewhat clunky as larger figures tend to be. Likewise, his weight can overbear the ankles, but you can get him in poses, and fine hasn't faceplanted yet. The cape is one of the main attractions for this action figure, nearly as luxurious as my other two 1:6 scale Thors. Check out the video:

Below, Marvel Legends 12" Thor with Marvel Legends 14.5" Hulk, also produced by Hasbro in 2017. Only two Marvel Legends of this scale were produced last year, and I've not heard any news regarding plans for the future of this line. The demographic for this larger, more expensive action figure is smaller, perhaps limiting Hasbro's ability to make the kind of profit they are used to- retail pegs can accommodate more of their 6" line, and their library of molds/tooling is larger, making reuse of parts easier. I'd like to see more of these produced, starting with some females and villains, but the ten we received may have just been a gift. And what a gift they were.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

eBay Clearance Sale!

It's that time of year again to clear out some inventory from the Super-DuperToyBox! Click the eBay Clearance Sale badge at the top of the right sidebar of this blog to bid on some great Imaginext minifigs, MiniMates, and more! Hurry- the bids are already popping up due to my low pricing! Follow the Super-DuperToyBox Instagram to see live updates on a few of the items as they are going up for auction:

More Later- Make It FUN!