Thursday, December 31, 2020

Marvel Legends Venom Wave 2 (Venompool BAF)

 I hadn't purchased the initial Monster Venom BAF wave from 2018, nor planned on picking up this second Marvel Legends Venom wave, but the Venompool BAF was so good that I couldn't resist. Check out the video:

Below, Venompool with my 2016 X-Men Wave Deadpool!
See the video above more more comparison photos with other figures!

The Venomized concept is a good one, appealing to kids and adults who read comics from the '80s and '90s when this character, and the spinoff character Carnage, came onto the scene. There are some cool figures in this wave, notably the Carnage figure, an upgrade from the 2018 release with more detailed sculpt. The Venomized Captain America was a Walmart exclusive that I had to hunt down after buying the other figures in this wave, sub-branded under the Maximum Venom logo as the Miles Morales and Ghost-Spider figures are. My favorite, however, is the 2018 cinematic Venom; while I prefer venom with his spider chest insignia, I love the proportions of this tall figure, and the interchangeable heads look fantastic. I'm unsure if the creepy toes are screen-accurate, but I like them! 

 There have been questions regarding the need for some of these figures, but I did like them- their articulation was good, and they make a great group. The outstanding Venompool BAF is why you showed  up, but there's some other fun stuff here. Reccomended!


Sunday, December 20, 2020

Wolverine Black White & Blood No.1 (NOV 2020)

I rarely pick up any single issue comics lately, but I was intrigued by this new title, Wolverine: Black White and Blood. I loved the Batman: Black and White title that was revived a few years ago, so I had to try an issue out. This book is meant to be a never-before-told tales sort of publication, and while some may ponder the necessity of another Wolverine series, the power of only black, white, and red is graphic and fitting of the character. It is predictably graphic in it's depiction of the sort of eviscerations administered by Wolverine on his unfortunate combatants. I love seeing all the drawing/inking  in a comic laid bare without color in black and white comics, and artists Adam Kubert, Joshua Cassara, and Declan Shalvey all bring their A game to these three short stories I sincerely enjoyed.

In "Beast Within Them", writer Gerry Duggan and artist Adam Kubert tell a tale of Logan's Weapon X days, Canadian Government Dept. K agents pitting a feral Wolverine against sequentially more and more powerful opponents, only to find he is virtually undefeatable. I love how they retrieve a spent Wolverine using a giant magnet at the end, as he catches his human reflection in a pool of blood he is lifted from.

Writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Joshua Cassara pit a Hydra Grand Inquisitor against a captive Wolverine in the spy-versus-spy "I Shall Be a Wolf", in which Nick Fury takes part. But Inquisitor Hersh has unwittingly fallen into Wolverine's trap in reality, ending this short story with a bang! The fight scenes are fantastic!

Declan Shalvey does double duty on the last tale, "Cabin Fever", adopting Frank Quitely's 2001 New X-Men look. There are no survivors in the end, save an orphaned child and the cop that arrived too late to save his partner, avenged by Wolverine only minutes before. Wolverine is one of my favorite characters, and this issue made me want to pick up the next! Recommended!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Marvel Legends War Machine & Silver Centurion

As if there wasn't enough Marvel Legends Iron Man figures in my collection, I recently added the new War Machine and Silver Centurion to my ranks within the las couple months. These were highly anticipated by the action figure community and they did not disappoint.

The arsenal of accessories afforded War Machine in his deluxe box format is sensational; lots of new blast effects here, including the fat shoulder cannon blast, sweeping wrist gun fire, and box rocket blast, the missiles of which are separate pieces. We've seen the launch blast, though a smoky paint job at it's base is new

War Machine's gauntlet gun will also accommodate the smaller barrel fire and smoke effects included as well. Options. An alternate set of hands many have been nice, but there is so much else to enjoy, it's hard to complain.

Also included in this deluxe release is an alternate, comic based head of Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes. This is a classic interpretation of the character, based on his first solo title in the mid-'90s, and he's perfect. Such a great figure!

Below, Classic War machine with my MCU Avengers War Machine, another interpretation of the character in Marvel Legends collection I absolutely loved. In spite of the aforementioned figure, this new Classic War Machine is tough to beat with all the accessories and associated Marvel Comics nostalgia...

The Walgreen's exclusive Classic Silver Centurion was highly sought after, and hard for me to find, stumbling onto only one in the wild. Like War Machine, he's represented true to his '90s aesthetic, and a fan favorite among many of the Marvel Legends community. While I'm a classic Iron Man fan, I did always appreciate the red and silver armor. The subtly metallic red against the silver paint is fantastic- he's a beautiful figure! 

Silver Centurion came with four repulsor blasts in light, translucent yellow, and wider add-on flairs for extra options. I like the color of these; with all the blast effects among the recent Iron Man releases, we now have innumerable options. While Siver Centurion seems minor in comparison to the Deluxe War Machine above, he is a seriously cool figure that is not to be overlooked!

Below, Silver Centurion and War Machine with my Marvel Legends 80th Anniversary Classic Iron Man and Iron Man 2020.  I've picked up at least seven new Marvel Legends Iron Man figures in the last year or so, but there is something special about these four classic interpretations that really appeal to me, and I think that's a common sentiment among collectors. Recommended!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Monday, December 14, 2020

MOTU Eternia Minis Series 2 He-Man & Skeletor

 This past weekend would mark the first time I've seen these MOTU Eternia Minis, having never found the 1st wave featuring the Castle Grayskull shell. I do like this Snake Mountain shell however, and was surprised to see them. Finding the new Mattel MOTU stuff here in the Midwest has been hit or miss, and I'm hoping that will change in 2021. I'm particularly mad for the new Origins line, and have been waiting for what seems like an eternity for any of the second wave. I don't have any plans for collecting all these Eternia Minis, but wanted to sample He-man & Skeletor at the very least.

One of the most fun features about these Eternia Minis are the clamshells they come packed in, which clasp at the sides like the classic Masters of the Universe playsets. There is a peg at the top to display each minifig, and they can be chained together via the hinge clasps at the sides. Great design and lots of fun! 

Mattel made the similar DC Action League Batman and Joker I've had for many years- a series I was really into upon their release in 2011. I sold most all my Action League figures off, along with all my DC Imaginext and Marvel MiniMates, in attempt to thin out the collection. I love minifigs, but they do pile up over time!

And finally, Eternia Mini He-Man and Skeletor with my MOTU Origins He-Man and Skeletor- two figures that really surprised me this year. After picking them up along with the Origins Battle Cat, I had to have more! I'm anxiously awaiting the second wave and next year's Castle Grayskull, which I have on preorder. While I had fond memories of Masters of the Universe from the early '80s, I wasn't collecting anything until these Origins figures bowled me over back in September!

More Later- Make It FUN!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Marvel Legends Deadpool, Gwenpool, Back In Black Deadpool, Venom Space Knight

I've had these boxed in my collection for the last three years or so, around when I took interest in Marvel Legends again. The brand was well into an upward trajectory that time, which has again hit another plateau of greatness in paint/sculpt quality, accessories, fan favorite characters, like every year for the last four or five years. In anticipation of the forthcoming Marvel Legends Venompool BAF Wave, I though I'd crack open these three figures related in theme by one or two aspects.

This highly treasured Deadpool didn't come with any of the Juggernaut BAF pieces, but was a stand alone packed with the most generous accessories arsenal of it's time. He's armed to the teeth! Deadpool is sporting the Bucky Cap buck, in it's fourth year of use here, and still in use today. We often lament the continued use of this torso, but it was revered upon it's first appearance in 2012, and it's because it's pretty good. He can reach for the katanas sheathed onto his back after all...

Deadpool also has a boot sheathed dagger, and a glut of five firearms, including an assault rifle, sub-machine gun, two holstered handguns, and a bazooka capped with a boxing glove! Incredible! 

I like the pairing of this Deadpool with my Marvel Legends classic Cable, two characters I really got into when I got into when reading X-Force about eight years ago. I'd missed this over-the-top era of comics, having moved onto college in the early '90s.

The more recent X-Force/Sasquatch BAF 1st Appearance Deadpool released in 2018 was also a stand-alone figure w/o a BAF part. He was a very popular figure with fantastic articulation, but no firearms, true to his inaugural appearance in New Mutants #98. There were two Deadpool released in this wave, the other a repaint of this X-Men/Juggernaut BAF in X-Force black and gray, as well as the Cable figure above.

When they released Gwenpool with the  Spider-Man/Lizard BAF Wave in 2018, I thought she'd be hard to get, but she was everywhere! I've wanted to open her since, and she did not disappoint. I felt at this point we were really starting to get nearly import quality upon her solicitation with a fantastic paint deco, sculpt, and accessories.

Below, Gwenpool with another interdimensional Marvel character, Spider-Gwen...

And in the spirit of total wackiness, Gwenpool takes a selfie with my Marvel Legends White Rabbit, who oddly pairs well with her, due in large part to her color scheme: they seem like they'd be friends... 

This Gamestop Exclusive Back in Black Deadpool is based on a story by writer Cullen Bunn, on the premise that the alien symbiote that paired up with Spider-Man in 1984's Secret Wars was first drawn to Deadpool, coming back to Deadpool after Peter Parker's rejection. He went on to become Venom, but not before going adventuring with Wade Wilson!

I'm going to stop here and insert another related figure from my collection I've not yet shown on this blog, the Marvel Legends Venom Space Knight BAF I bought on eBay about three years ago. I had read about this character in the comics just a couple years prior, and loved this version of Venom, especially teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy! These two pair nicely, and I purposely sought them out with this intent. Fast forward just a few years later and there is so much Venom stuff out now! 

Below, Back in Black Deadpool with my Marvel Legends Ben Reilly Spider-Man
who also included Carnage head and hands accessories...

I'm really happy with these figures, especially Deadpool and Gwenpool- the sculpt, paint, and accessories certainly reflected an accelerated effort to compete with an exponentially growing import market. Sometimes it takes awhile to get through some figures; I have s specific process, as opposed to just ripping open a figure, which time from my busy life doesn't always allow for. I have resolved to doing some multi-figure reviews to get more of them open in the coming new year, we'll see how that goes. In the mean time, I plan on getting some more posts out in the next couple weeks- stayed tuned!

More Later- Make It FUN!