Monday, November 27, 2017

Rewind: Marvel Universe Silver Samurai & Wolverine

After reading about Silver Samurai in the Wolverine #150 Giant-Sized Special from May of 2000, I was reminded of the Marvel Universe Greatest Battles Comic Pack I sold on my eBay store, which included the only Kenuichio action figure I've ever owned. And if you only had one, this was a good one to have- his detailed sculpt, flashy metallic presentation, and extra size among Hasbro's 3.75" line made him a standout! While I've successfully sold off most of my loose figures in this scale, I'll eventually put my carded samples up for auction- keep an eye on that if you live in the continental U.S. For now I've listed all my 2.25" DC Action League collection, as well as my 4" JLU figures.

The Wolverine included with Silver Samurai in that Greatest Battles pack wasn't that spectacular, but the Astonishing Wolverine I sold with his Marvel Universe Wave 16 counterparts was! I don't know if he's the best Wolverine in my collection, as the are so varied in make and scale, but I kinda hated to see him go   :D  Be sure to follow the Super-DuperToyBox on Instagram to see more of the toys in my collection revisited as I put them up of sale!

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Wolverine "Blood Debt" Continued & More...

Continued from my last post on the Wolverine #150 Giant-Sized Special, the "Blood Debt" story further unfurls, Logan tangled in the ongoing Kaishek clan power struggle between Kia and brother Haan! I couldn't find issue #151 in the dollar comics bin, but I did find #152 & #153 from July and August of 2000, respectively. There are a lot more scenes of Wolverine taking on piles of baddies, as illustrated below, after Kia betrays Gomm, and seeks to do the same to Haan. Logan reluctantly follows as bodyguard for the ambitious sister, looking for a window of opportunity to free the captive Amiko and Yukio.

Logan returns to find Kenuichio and Amiko, discovering Yukio has left for outer Mongolia to confront Kia, Pleas of young Amiko and battered Kenuichio are unequivocally shut down by the bloodied hero, determined to collect his debt in blood alone...

...and collect it he does. Wolverine # 153 concludes the "Blood Debt" story with Kenuichio and Amiko defying Logan, following him to a downright brutal takedown of Kia. The team barely survives the conflict, barely escaping the Kaishek tower as it explodes, a spark setting off a broken gas pipe by the clashing of Kia's sword and Logan's adamantium claws! Exhilarating! While I'm no literary critic, I really enjoyed this dark, but engaging return on the earlier Wolverine Vol. 1 characters, and continuance of the clan mythos. Classic Wolverine evolving into darker, modern Wolverine!

Dropping right when 20th Century Fox brought X-Men to the silver screen, these issues are packed with advertisement for the movie, merchandising for ToyBiz action figures, and solicitation for the new Ultimate X-Men book that would be released in February of 2001. Things like this are a big part of why I love the dollar comics bin, like small time capsules from exciting times past!

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wolverine Vol.1 #150 GIANT-SIZED Special, May 2000

Finding comics in the dollar bin that are worth the search can be a challenge, but I found myself on the hunt again recently, and felt pretty good about this Wolverine #150 Giant-Sized Special. I probably found the familiarity in the first issues of Wolverine, Vol. 1 by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller- one of my earliest experiences with the character. All the elements are there, including scenic Japan, Silver Samurai, Yukio, betrayal, and an exuberantly outnumbered Wolverine. "Blood Debt" story line is basically four issues, staring with #150, a callback to some of the characters surrounding Logan's beloved Mariko and her clan, the Yashida. Things get tense between Kenuichio (Silver Samurai) and a resentful Logan, who blames Mariko's death and the corruption of her clan on her brother, now corrupt and drunk. The confrontation and resulting hasty exit by Logan are watched by ambitious eyes...

Logan's erstwhile girlfriend Yukio enters the story, hand full watching over Amiko, Wolverine's adopted, but neglected daughter. Logan must reason with the angry child that Yukio can provide for her in ways he cannot, and his constant absence is regrettable, but out of duty.

I loved this page with Silver Samurai bashing in Yukio's door, sword ablaze! Seemingly confrontational, Kenuichio had actually been attacked, and had come to warn Logan of Haan Kaishek's intent to overthrow the clans as part of his criminal empire.

Haan's men find Kenuichio, Logan, Yukio and Amiko, attacking the penthouse and splintering the group.  Haan eventually catches up with Kenuichio, running him through and sending Logan into a berserker rage!

Kia distracts Logan long enough for Gomm, Haan's brother, to pop a cap in his adamantium skull, demanding he dispatch the former so he may claim his birthright at the head of the clans. Video of the captured Yukio and Amiko force our hero's hand into the middle of a clan war!

In the back of this issue were notes on the story and art, including pencil sketches by artist Steve Skroce, and part four of a Spider-Man/Avengers short plopped right in the middle. I enjoyed the art and reunion of characters in Wolverine's modern mythology of this issue- it was a fun return for me years later, found in the dollar comics bin!
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thor Ragnarok Gladiator Hulk BAF

As much as I admired the recent Thor Ragnarok Marvel Legends Series, I was mostly interested in this Gladiator Hulk BAF, and I'm in the midst of unloading a lot of my action figure collection. I just don't need all the extra figures, and as much as I paid for him, I still saved a lot of money buying Hulk on the secondary market. His articulation is hindered by his bulk and armor but he can do enough for me, and the sculpt and paint are a high mark for Hasbro Marvel Legends. Check out the video:

I picked up a loose Gladiator Thor from another seller. which like many figures from the Legends Ragnarok Series, is also a great figure in his own right. Like Hulk, Thor has an asymmetrical design, great colors, and a super-detailed sculpt are admirable. The pegged cape likes to come undone when posing in extreme positions, and his swords are made of an easily bent, rubbery plastic, like Hulk's accessories. These issues aside, Thor is so artfully done otherwise, it's hard to complain.

In the video above are some comparison shots with other figures, including the 14.5" Marvel Legends Hulk I bought this summer, and Angela from the Guardians of the Galaxy Series, who makes a great companion to these two. I've heard some nitpicks regarding both these recent Hulk figures, but they are probably the best two we've ever had. Getting two Hulk figures this good in one year, along with a figure like Angela, seems to have set a new bar for Hasbro Marvel Legends, backed by several other great figures produced recently.

Be sure to follow the Super-DuperToyBox Instagram for more pictures from my collection, and action figures for sale on my Super-DuperToyBox eBay store!

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Marvel Legends Angela

I found this Marvel Legends Angela without the Titus BAF for a heavily discounted price on eBay, which I didn't need anyway as I already had the parts to build mine. I had my eyes on this incredible figure for quite some time, knowing eventually I'd have to pick one up, and she did not disappoint!

There are so many great sculpting and paint details on this action figure that it's hard to believe it's a $20.00 action figure from Hasbro and not some expensive import. I had been reading the Guardians of the Galaxy title in 2013 when Angela made her Marvel debut, acquired  from Image Comics in a legal dispute between Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman, and was excited to see the action figure. All the modern articulation we've come to expect from Hasbro is present, except double-hinged elbows which may have helped handle the sword with both hands, but it's hard to complain about this figure.

Angela's pair of kama have golden blades to match her armor- I'd preferred the blades silver, but they look good, the raised handle wrappings helping her to grip them. I like the sword a  lot, which sheaths neatly onto the back of her belt.

Below, Angela with Hope Summers from the 2012 return of Marvel Legends- I loved the attention to detail on Hope, like Angela, even though she doesn't hold her weapon well at all. Angela is superior in many ways, but visually speaking, these two redheads show how well Hasbro can put together an action figure when they try...

Pictured below, Angela with Kid Nova and Titus from the same Guardians of the Galaxy wave- I'd swore off Marvel Legends some years ago, but Hasbro has really upped their game, these action figures being fine examples...

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Marvel Legends Titus BAF & Kid Nova

I didn't need every figure in the wave necessary, so I cut to the chase and got the remaining parts of him on eBay, most of which came in one slightly incomplete listing, supplementing with an arm I got from Drax, and the head from another seller. I was reading Marvel NOW! Nova in the summer of 2013, and seem to be in the minority regarding enthusiasm to Titus, as an action figure at least. I didn't stick with the title only in an effort to scale back my weekly purchases, but I liked the premise of Titus and the title character himself. This BAF measures in at approximately 7.75", and has some admirable heft.

The paint is nearly flawless if sparse, and most of the best articulation from modern Hasbro present. The bulk of the head is restrictive and Titus' elbows are single-hinged, but their range is useful enough. I thought he'd have a shin swivel, but that incised line appears to be immobile, perhaps a sculpted boot line from a reused part- this suits me fine as I've mixed feelings on shin swivels.

I enjoy pairings or small groupings when collecting, and found Kid Nova from the same series at an extremely discounted price w/o his BAF piece on eBay to go along with Titus. I liked their corresponding Nova Corps design elements, and contrasting size difference.

Sam Alexander Nova, son of Richard Rider Nova really was a great update to the Nova story, the character represented well here on a Marvel Legends youth buck. Again, a simple but effective outfit design I admire, and ample articulation. We did receive his A.I. bot accessory, which I love, but some blast extensions may have offered more- Sam can hardly hold it with his closed fists, and it won't stand upright alone.

This was a cool wave of Marvel Legends, but I'm cherry picking as usual. I'm in the midst of selling off a large portion of my collection anyway, and just don't need more to get rid of. I've acquired a few BAFs recently on eBay that I'll eventually show, preferring to spend money on what I really want rather than dozens of figures I have to sell later. If you have a mailing address in the continental U.S., be sure to check out my eBay clearance sale and see if there's something that interests you- new items going up every week!

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