Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Incredible Hulk, V.1, No.250

I always go for those double-size collector item when hunting for used comics, and the art by Sal Buscema in this Incredible Hulk issue I found back in January is right in my Bronze-Age wheelhouse. I've recalled fondly upon the Hulk of this era before on this blog, The Incredible Hulk TV show airing on CBS Friday nights, and being just the right age to appreciate this action oriented, fantastic character. Several panels of the art looked so familiar, that I questioned if I'd had the issue as a boy, but didn't recognize the cover. Because I wasn't 100% certain, I didn't tag it under Comics From My Youth here on the Super-DuperToyBox. Still, it would have been about the time I was obsessed with the Hulk and Spider-Man, two childhood favorites.

Though I was somewhat unfamiliar with the Sentinel of the Spaceways at this point, the Silver Surfer costars in Incredible Hulk #250, seeking to tap the seemingly exponential power of the Green Goliath to break free of Galactus' cursed imprisonment on Earth...

In exchange for his cure of his gamma-induced condition, Dr. Bruce Banner assists the Surfer in recreating the conditions that made him the Hulk! For awhile, Banner enjoys domestic bliss, developing a relationship with widower Clare and her daughter Mary Beth, both unaware of his past and the Silver Surfer's ulterior motives.

Driven mad by his ability to gain enough power, the Surfer goes mad, demanding Banner expose him to higher and higher doses of gamma, alerting the townsfolk to their clandestine experiment.

The gamma infuser damaged by the townspeople, and further by Banner's transformation, an angry Silver Surfer swoops in to drag the green behemoth into space! There, the cosmic being saps all of Banner's power, using it to finally break free of Galactus' prisoner force field, but dropping the helpless doctor into the vacuum of space!

Ironically, the Surfer rushes back to Earth in order to save Banner, returning the tortured scientist to his lonely curse, abandoned in the wilderness like so many times before. This was as much a Silver Surfer story as a Hulk story, the two cursed beings of great power, trapped by their respective pasts, bereft of understanding by those they encounter. I dunno if I'd call it great literature, but Incredible Hulk #250 is a fun romp through the Marvel of my childhood!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Nightwing Annual #1, 1997

Fresh from the dollar comics bin, Nightwing Annual #1, 1997. Of note, the author Devon K. Grayson's name is oddly similar to our hero's own alias, Dick Grayson. I like some of the other Pulp Heroes covers more than the Nightwing cover, but I do like this version of the character's outfit. In a nutshell, Dick marries a three-time widower in order to investigate the untimely deaths of her very rich late husbands. This is some time after Bruce and Dick settle the past differences that broke up the Dynamic Duo, and the ceremony is carried  out in Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred looking on, wise to the entire ruse! Even considering conventional suspension of disbelief, this is pretty far fetched. Talk about takin' one for the team- what a psycho  :D

Tim Drake, who took over the Robin mantle, is also in the know, as is Oracle, Barbara Gordon. There seems to be some tension between Dick in Barbara in discussion over Emily's acceptance of Dick's proposal- a silent look between the two after Babs sarcastically agrees to Dick's disbelief "Yeah, woman's got no taste. Imagine agreeing to marry the brightest, sweetest, most handsome, wealthiest young bachelor on the East coast. Definite nutcase." Uncomfortable! After some time, Dick's gut feeling is that Emily's friend Annelise Schubert is the murderer, vengeful of her father's imprisonment. a victim of Mr. Washburn's alleged shady business dealings years ago. It's Annelise's plot to frame Emily and take revenge! I love the pages of Dick sparring with Tim on the rooftops of Gotham, as he explains his theory of Emily's innocence to the youngster ...

When Annelise pops up during Dick & Emily's tropical honeymoon, a scuba dive is arranged for ease of snuffing out Emily's fourth groom. Unbeknownst to her, Emily's "husband" is a detective of the highest order, who detects tampering with the scuba tanks! An underwater struggle ensues, expertly drawn by artist Greg Land...

Annelise's plot is thwarted, but Dick breaks Emily's heart when she finds out the truth about their union. It was a fun romp, if absurd, with lots more than I could cram into one post. I enjoyed Land's pencil work, and the nostalgic feeling I get reading older comics with all their advertisements of the era. And what's there to lose at the price of one dollar, Friends?

More Later- Make It FUN!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ultimate Series Captain America

I'm loving the larger scale action figures coming out lately, nearly doing a flip when I saw this Disney Store Exclusive 1:6 scale Ultimate Series Captain America! Retailing at $35.00, this fully clothed 11.5" action figure is a great value, including a set of extra hands and 30+ points of articulation. Black Widow was also released in this format, with other characters to follow in the future. Check out the video:

Cap goes just perfectly with my new 12" Marvel Legends Series Iron Man below, what a pair! See my video above for more comparison shots with other figures in the Super-DuperToyBox collection!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

More Toy Shopping: Resale Scene August 2016

Some more sights I took in during August checking the local action figure retail scene, this batch mostly from local resale shops V-Stock & Slackers! Pictured above and below, 6" DC SuperHeroes. predecessors to the hugely successful DC Universe Classics line which I collected several of during their run. These were some of the first....

Below, the DC Direct JLA Series Wonder Woman, a classic rendering of the heroine. I'm looking forward to the forthcoming film, and am enjoying the character's introduction into the DC cinematic universe, portrayed by actress Gal Gadot. Check out my post on the DC Direct All Star Comics Series Wonder Woman!  

Now I collected more the 10" scale of '90s Toybiz figures two or three years ago, but I admire these smaller figures of this era for the same charming simplicity. If there was a sale I may have picked these up...

Pictured below, the new Gentle Giant Secret Wars Spider-Man, enlarged reissues of the popular '80s action figures I loved as a kid. Still have my Dr. Doom! I hate that these are going for such outrageous prices- I'd own some if they were priced more reasonably.

Below. some of the processors of the 3.75" Marvel Universe figures, which have been rebranded at least a couple times since I stopped collecting them, first as the Infinite Series, and now just under the Legends Series banner like the 6" and recent 12" figures. Though not listed on the Marvel Universe Checklist on ItsAllTrue.Net, these obviously predate the inaugural 2009 lineup of the highly articulated figures...

I'm unsure when the die cast figures pictured below were produced, but they sure have that '90s ToyBiz charm! I was particularly fond of the Human Torch/Dragon Man 2-pack! Like a lot of the Marvel ToyBiz figure lines, these have their own team franchise marquee, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men, etc....

And finally, a new Power Rangers line I discovered running through TRU afterward- a little off this post's theme, but I thought they looked cool! Though I was not into the Power Rangers during their '90s heyday, I've collected a few Sentai/Power Ranger figures in the last year or so, interested mostly in their uniform aesthetic. I've bought a few domestic Bandai, as well as several of the more detailed imports...

More Later- Make It FUN!