Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Trades Haul

I'm always on the look out for discounted/used trades, and with three V-Stock and Slackers stores within 25 minutes from my apartment, there's usually lots of cool stuff available. I buy trades at a couple local comic shops as well, but they don't have the stock rotation the mall shops have. These ranged in price from $4.99 to $9.99!

 Any Justice League or Justice Society material is a sure thing for me- never read one I didn't like. I love a team story, and like the Avengers or any of the assorted X-Books Marvel produces, DC's two super-groups are my cup of tea...

JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice 2002
I already read this and loved it- both teams in one! Lex Luthor is President of the U.S. in this & Despero is involved, things get freaky!
JLA: Strength In Numbers 1998
I've enjoyed a lot of 90's comics since getting back in to comics a couple years ago, but haven't read much JLA from this era. Different characters like Superman Blue, Huntress, and Steel fill out the famous team's roster here, and Martian Manhunter's in it which might be my favorite character. I loved the issues I read of his solo title from this era.

JLA: Syndicate Rules 2004-2005
Couldn't pass on more reading with Earth 2's Crime Syndicate, evil mirror versions of the Justice League. Just thumbed through, but the art looks killer!
Justice League of America: Team History 2010
This one's pretty recent. I really enjoyed the books I've read from the era right before Final Crisis (2009), which blew my mind having just got back into reading, so I'm looking forward to this slice from right after. This is supposedly during the Blackest Night era, and thumbing through I spied a Black Lantern, so I'm into that.

The Marvel books I found were all to do with the Secret Invasion saga- I read the main book as well as the Captain Marvel book from this series awhile back, and had flirted with the idea of reading some more of the several trades involving this arc...

The New Avengers: Illuminati  2007-2008
This appears to be right before Secret Invasion dropped, and all the characters interest me- if Black Bolt, Leader of the Inhumans, and Dr. Strange are involved, my interest is peaked.
Ms. Marvel: Secret Invasion 2008
I was enraptured by Captain Marvel's Secret Invasion TPB, in which Ms. Marvel starred, so I had no reason to think I wouldn't love this hardback for $9.99. Look at that cover! Great!

 Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? 2008-2009
This is a compilation of stories that illuminate key elements from the Secret Invasion story arc, biographical data and history on Skrulls through the ages, and a Marvel Spotlight on Secret Invasion. A sort of companion piece to the series, if you will.
Secret Invasion: Inhumans 2009
I've been fascinated with the Inhumans since I read about them in Marvel Essential: Fantastic Four, Vol. 3 a couple years ago, and enjoyed seeing them in the War of King's (2010) book I read earlier this year.

More Later- Make It FUN!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Marvel Vs. Capcom MiniMates 2-Packs

Would I try to review three MiniMate 2-packs in one post? Shut ya face- this is the Super-DuperToyBox  :D   Very late into collecting MiniMates, I picked these Marvel Vs. Capcom 2-packs up this summer along with a few others in attempt to get a few of my favorite Marvel characters. I've been unexpectedly surprised by how cool the Capcom mates have been, though I probably never played a Capcom game in my life. 
The Super-Skrull Vs. Crimson Viper set was a joy to find, mainly due to my fascination with the shape shifting alien race that genetically altered this Skrull warrior, Kl'rt, to defeat the Fantastic Four back in 1963.

 Diamond Select packed the accessories into this killer action figure, giving us a piece representing each member of the Fantastic Four: a swirling base & stretched arm & fist from Mr.Fantastic, the bottom of which is translucent, illustrating Sue's power of invisibility- the Thing's powerful rock hand, and a translucent "flame" gauntlet round out Super-Skrull's adaptation of the Four's powers. This is an outstanding MiniMate!
 As I said, my experience with and knowledge of Capcom is pretty much nada, but Crimson Viper is a unique MiniMate with another killer hairdo. I like her visor detailed fists, and mischievously arched eyebrows too- T.R.O.U.B.L.E. The cobalt base of her uniform is nice & contrasty against the highlight colors on the figure.

Crimson Viper is a character from the Street Fighter games. I read some pretty bad reviews of her on Wikipedia, and that she was introduced in 2008 to appeal to the American audience, based on Capcom's development team research. Her form-fitting suit enables her to perform electrical, seismic, and pyrotechnic moves, hence the translucent "flame" accessory that fits over her hand.

What a fun pair to do battle... ! 

 Doom & Wesker both came armed with some relatively detailed and unique pistols, Wesker's even enjoying a paint application. They look about the size of most 3 3/4" figure weapons, and I appreciate their inclusion.

Doom looks, well, just like Doom- pretty great with all the right details. He can't turn his head with the cloak on, which may have worked better with a separate, slip over hood piece.
Doom's range of motion is severely limited due to his bulky cloak, gauntlets, and boots, but he's a standout MiniMate- so fun! That holster will hold his gun by the way, loading into the hollow center from the back- a thoughtful touch on a great looking figure. This makes me want to assemble a MiniMate Fantastic Four to go with tiny Doom! Tee Hee Hee  :D

This set included the standard MiniMates clear disc base and this translucent orange ramp- I'm unsure if this was intended for Doom, but Wesker rides it better due to his superior range of movement.


I felt this set may have been my only chance to get a Doom, but I may like Wesker better for his flared trenchcoat and glossy black finish- reminds me of The Matrix. Mine has stuck right elbow, which luckily looks great outstretched, his pistol in hand. Wesker is from the Resident Evil game who later joined forces with Doctor Doom in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, in which the two build an army of supervillains. Wikipedia explains that he survived his death in the first game by injecting himself beforehand with an experimental virus, augmented with superhuman strength, speed and regeneration upon his revival, but at the expense of his humanity.

This is a cool set- much more fun out of package than I thought it would be, with cool sculpt, paint, and accessories. I have a tiny collection of Doom figures, so I couldn't resist, even if only for tiny Doom!
 This last set I definitely got for the Hulk, a favorite character I've loved since childhood, and a character I'm likely to buy when found. I had some Mego Hulks as a child and loved the 70's television show starring Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby. We go way back.
Some of the earlier MiniMate Hulks didn't enjoy these slip-over torsos and enlarged limbs the newer ones do. Hulk also has shoulder pads that clip over his biceps, another design improvement that opened up the base MiniMate figure for a wider range of body types since their debut.

Hulk is lovably bulky MiniMate, much like the Beast that came with the X-Factor set I posted on back in August, another favorite MiniMate of mine. There are about twenty different Hulk MiniMates, and this is good a representation of the Jade Giant as any in my opinion- I love his bright coloring! I wouldn't mind getting the Avengers Iron Man/Hulk 2-pack however, which features a more subdued color scheme and facial expression.

This set came with two bases, a standard MiniMates clear disc, and an unusual translucent flesh-colored base I can only assume was intended for the Hulk- perhaps a "poof" of dust where he stomps his foot? I'm not sure what to think of this.
While most all MiniMates have limited lateral range in the legs, Mike Haggar's have none at all, a figure that would benefit from a little swagger in his stance. I love the pipe accessory and pissed-off,  moustached face, but he's my least favorite of these. That said, I have to hand it to Diamond Select for the great detailing of his gold-buckled shoulder strap. Wikipedia says Mike first appeared in the 1989 Capcom arcade game Final Fight, a professional wrestler turned mayor of fictional Metro City. When the Mad Gear gang kidnaps his daughter Jessica in hopes of forcing Haggar into a reluctant cooperation with them, the mayor recruits the help of Jessica's boyfriend Cody and mutual friend Guy to rescue her and defeat the gang. That's a winning plot formula in my opinion  ;)

Whew! It nearly took me a week to put that all together, but I had fun & hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Of all the mini action figures, MiniMates may have to be some of the most fun, with all variety of characters & liscences from which they have produced. It's a shame they stopped making DC characters, though I do have a lot of DC mini figures from the Mattel DC Action League and Fisher Price Imaginext lines.
*See my post on the Marvel Vs. Capcom 2-packs: Modock/Akuma & Sentinel/Ryu!
*See my post on the Marvel Vs. Capcom 2-packs: Wolverine/Viewtiful Joe & Magneto/Zero!
*Check out the online MiniMates Database!
More Later- Make It FUN!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ultimate Spider-Man & Capt. America MiniMates

This was fun little set of MiniMates to find- I wasn't expecting to see these, and am pretty sure this Spidey is new to the MiniMates line. While I'm limited in my knowledge of Marvel's Ultimate Universe, I did enjoy the first twelve or so issues of the new Ultimate Spider-Man, featuring middle-schooler Miles Morales as the new webslinger- great stuff!

I haven't been thrilled with Hasbro's recent offerings of Miles Morales since they made no effort to make a new buck to accommodate the boy's smaller build. This is a shame since Miles' character makes for a great story, bringing Spider-Man back to his roots, the conflicted teenager as reluctant hero. Oddly, I somehow accept this scale indiscretion with the MiniMates Miles, likely due to the saving grace of it's removable mask that reveals a pretty fair likeness of the boy. The MiniMates designers more often than not successfully boil down a character's essence to a few simple features that are enough to emulate a reasonable likeness. I'm often surprised at their ability to do this within the seemingly limited MiniMate design parameters, and that's what I find so fascinating about these cool little action figures!

The paint on Miles' body is simple, but perfectly executed- it's cool to see Spidey back in black, and exciting to see another face under the mask! His accessory is a web, which while appreciated is coiled, and therefore hard to pose wrapped around an opponent, like Imhotep here...

Ultimate Captain America's mask is void of the trademark wings the character sports in regular Marvel continuity, but he does get the nifty star patches on each shoulder that I like. His torso also features the grey kevlar underlay beneath the blue portions that individualize the Ultimates version of Cap.

Cap has good accessories- an assault rifle, hairpiece for unmasked display, and of course his iconic shield. There's some paint slop on the shield, it's concentric rings decorated in metallic red, but it's largely unnoticeable just sitting on my desk. The verso of the shield is painted silver with tiny sculpted detail in the straps- impressive! It fits securely onto a peg protruding from Cap's wrist.
 There are several versions of both Spider-Man and Capt. America in the MiniMate lineup, but this one may float you boat if you've missed out before. I'm a big fan of variant outfits on iconic favorites, so this was an enjoyable discovery. I have several sets of MiniMates unopened that I'll try to schedule into posts here on the Super-DuperToyBox. I'm crazy about these tiny action figures- while there are many repeated characters, a surprising amount of variety is present for a mini figure line. These are fun toys  :) 

*Check out the online MiniMates Database!
More Later- Make It FUN!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

DC New 52: Earth 2, #4

I got so caught up in the 90's X-Factor issues lately that I kinda left you hanging on that last time I wrote about the New 52 Earth 2. In reality, the last post about this book only drew jeers about Grundy's kinky leather dress!  But hey- I was curious  :D   No seriously- I'm not sure why Hawkgirl is the cover girl on issue #4. I mean, she looks cool, but this issue is really about Captain Al Pratt of the World Army, also known as the Atom. It opens with a vague, brief bit of Pratt's history, before we find Flash and Hawkgirl nearly overwhelmed by Grundy's creeping death. Alan Scott bullets in to save the struggling wonders, but fares no better, Grundy's injuries quickly healing after each of the Green Lantern's ring blasts.

Pratt has been preparing to neutralize Grundy in the meantime however- leaping from a cargo plane, his atomic transformation completed as he stomps the evil creature into the ground before the astonished heroes... !

Kendra seems to know Pratt, confused by his larger than life arrival- his orders are to take her back, ordering Jay and Alan to stand down by order of the World Army Council. There have been many characters named Atom, but Al's size changing powers here are those of Atom-Smasher (Al Rothstein), godson of Pratt, whom I read about recently in some recent JSA trade paperbacks this year. Wikipedia compares the New 52 Earth 2 Pratt's costume to the one Damage wore, (son of the original Al Pratt), which I can definitely see. I was excited to see this revamped Atom-Smasher show up in Earth 2, in which Nicola Scott's gets a seamless assist from Eduardo Pansica on the penciling. While this book has felt a little light in content/thin, I've kept buying it for the art and have been pleased overall with the hero's wardrobe updates. My hopes of seeing more Superman, Batman, & Wonder Woman's cool new outfits were dashed uopn their deaths in the first issue of this book, but I do appreciate the JSA-inspired roster.

More Later-Make It FUN!