Monday, November 25, 2019

DC Collectibles New 52 Hawkman & Aquaman

I've circled back about seven years to look at some of the New 52 characters DC Collectibles dropped after the relaunch of all their titles around that time. Having jumped right into Green Lantern, fresh off the ride that Blackest Night was, I also got into Green Lantern New Guardians, Earth 2, Justice League, and at least a few issues of some others. I've had my eye on Aquaman for years, and dove back in when finding Hawkman at a good price recently. DC Collectibles had recently changed their branding from DC Direct, but had yet to upgrade articulation, but what they lacked in that department was made up for in aesthetic with these stunning figures. Check out the video:

Below, Hawkman with DC Collectibles New 52 Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman with DC Collectibles New 52 Wonder Woman and Superman. I limited myself to just a few of these when I started collecting them at the end of 2012, but finding a few I missed out on at a discounted price here years later made me look again. Beautiful!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Marvel Legends Avengers Endgame Smart Hulk BAF Series

The main drive to acquire this Marvel Legends wave was to assemble the Endgame "Smart Hulk", but I do like most all the other figures, Rescue being the primary figure of interest. After first being announced, I was more excited about Shuri, but Beta Ray Bill, Union Jack, & Loki interest me more now. Additionally, I can pair the Endgame Power Gauntlet accessory included with the Mark LXXXV Iron Man in my last post. Check out the video:

Above, Professor Hulk gets his Power Gauntlet fit by Iron Man Mark LXXXV, and below standing gauntlet to gauntlet with the Avengers Endgame Thanos BAF I recently picked up loose on the secondary market. What a great looking pair of action figures! See more pairings and comparisons in the video above!

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Marvel Legends Avengers Endgame Iron Man Mark LXXXV

While uncertain how interested I am in the Lebowski Thor BAF for this wave, I did find the Iron Man Mark LXXXV I wanted on a peg at retail last week. Frankly, the Endgame Power Gauntlet accessory included that goes with the Smart Hulk BAF interested me more. Regardless, the deco on this Mark LXXXV is beautifully metallic in finish, and the fine armor sculpt details are fantastic.

We get four repulsor blasts with this figure, which is nice, but also repulsor blast hands that are hinged, unlike what we've been getting with our Iron Man figures for some time now. I've sold most all the original Iron Man and Iron Man 2 figures, yet I keep buying new Iron Man figures. A Marvel character who was once B, maybe C Level in now transformed into a top tier property by actor Robert Downey Jr,'s portrayal in the Iron Man and Avengers movies.

Below, Mark LXXXV with my Mark XLII Iron Man 3 figure, and again with the 80 Year Anniversary Classic Iron Man. Interesting how much the latest Mark LXXXV has in common with the Classic armor...

Below, Iron Man with some of his Avengers teammates, 

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Marvel Legends Storm (Apocalypse BAF)

I posted a shot of the Marvel Legends Retro Series Storm I picked up on my Instagram back in April, but was still on the lookout for the X-Men/Apocalypse Wave version with the mohawk. As luck would have it, I happened upon her on sale at a local GameStop, where we'd normally pay more for a figure than other retailers. No way I'm taking a pass on such an occasion. I love the retro Storm, and have been just enjoying her on card for the time being- she was difficult to track down at a reasonable price, and is somewhat of a treasure. I'm proud to report that mohawk Storm is her own brand of cool, and a fantastic action figure. Not all one color as I'd thought prior to up-close examination- her pants are actually dark grey, which along with the metallic details on the belt and choker necklace make her simple deco feel restrained instead of lazy.

The lighting effect accessories included are appropriate for Storm, but I have also used as fire, such as in my recent Halloween Hulk post. Her articulation is standard for female Legends buck, but she can do enough for me. The figure's neck suffers from lollipop syndrome, which the right pose can hide, but she is otherwise great looking. A swivel at the boot top would have been nice, but they are fixed. Regardless, Ororo stands fine, and with some attitude, I might add.

Storm shares her petite jacket and cuffed glove hands with the Retro Series Dazzler I picked up this summer, which initially didn't interest me, then surprised me by her simple charm as my surrogate for the earlier Rogue figure I never picked up. These two make a fun pair of heroes! Below, Storm with my 2017 Marvel Legends Walmart Exclusive Black Panther. Ororo married T'Challa in Black Panther #18 (2006), and even shared Fantastic Four duties for a brief period, replacing Sue & Reed during a leave of absence in the aftermath of Civil War.

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Currently Reading: Batman 80th Anniversary, Detective Comics No.1000 & More

Detective Comics #1000, May 2019

Though I started this post back in April, I have continued to pick up the occasional Batman book, as I did just this past weekend. So I'll get on with it here and mention some of what I've been reading. As with the character's 75th year in 2014, the hype surrounding Detective Comics #1000 and Batman's 80th anniversary reinvigorated my interest in DC Comics, resulting in a modest splurge on comics. Good on it's $10.00 price tag, 1000 was thick and fun to read. Manned with an All-Star lineup of  DC talent, this issue boasts 11 variant covers, topped by what at last count appeared to be no less than a stunning 75 retailer and creator variant covers! This romp through the character's history featured most all his surrounding cast and rogue's gallery, starting things off right with a detective story by author Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, several collaborations by some legendary Batman creators like Jim Lee, Tony S. Daniel, Paul Dini, Peter J. Tomasi, and Neal Adams fill the rest of it's 96 pages. Additional artwork and a great two page spread of the Bat Family make this a visually dashing issue.

Batman Vol.1 The Court of Owls, Batman Vol.2 The City of Owls, 2011-2012

I was reading a lot of comics when DC relaunched with it's New 52 campaign, but took a pass on the now highly lauded Court of Owls by author Scott Snyder and artist Gregg Capullo. I may have passed on one of the best New 52 books though, 'cause I really enjoyed this. I had eventually caught up with Capullo on Batman, jumping in at Batman: Zero Year in 2013, it just took me six years to backtrack. So nice to revisit Snyder & Capullo's Batman.

DC 80th Anniversary Giant Detective Comics Batman #1, 2019

I stumbled upon an endcap at Walmart this past year full of giant-sized issues of different DC Characters, one being this Detective Comics Batman. Mostly reprinted material, of particular interest to me, the 1967 debut of Batgirl, featuring sidekick Robin and the villainous Killer Moth, as well as the Boy Wonder's own debut from 1940. There's also some Bronze-Age material in here that tickles my nostalgia bone, but this would make a great gift for a kid just getting interested in Batman.

Batman: Ego and Other Tails (Darwyn Cooke/DC Comics, 2007)

I had just got back into comics as an adult around 2010, and discovered Justice League: The New Frontier (DC Comics, 2004) by the late great Darwyn Cooke. His Atomic-Age tale of the team's origin is like no other, and reestablished what I liked about superhero teams as a kid. Ego was just a continuation of this sweet spot for me, particularly in "Selina's Big Score", my favorite of the "tails" included. Artist Tim Sale shares a certain retro styling that is unique from Cooke, but complements this collection.

Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 (DC Comics, 2017)

More recently, I discovered this fun team-up of Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77, combining what are essentially my childhood versions of these two DC characters. I love the Alex Ross cover on this collected edition, and am a big fan of Michael and Laura Allred, who did the original issue covers also included here. Artist David Hahn has simple, animated style that is colorful and appropriate in tone for this adventure that I quite enjoyed. I particularly enjoyed Nightwing's appearance later on in the book, all grown up in his original disco outfit, kickin' butt! Ra's al Ghul and daughter Talia make great villains for this decades-spanning romp, starting with a young Bruce Wayne's meeting the Amazon he would later team up with as Batman, and later be pulled out of retirement by to put a stop to Ra's scheme to finish what he started. Though I only picked up a few issues of  Batman '66 when it dropped in 2013, I did enjoy them- this made me want to go back and get the collected editions of this even more, especially considering the passing of actor Adam West a couple years ago.
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