Batman Returns (again)

I have dreams of owning one of the amazing replicas produced by Hot Toys. From Star Wars to the Avengers and beyond, these replicas are stunning. Based on the second Michael Keaton Batman film, this model uses the redesigned costume complete with art deco touches
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Hot Toys takes collectors back to 1992, and the cinematic world of Tim Burton, with the unveiling of its 1/6th-scale Batman and Bruce Wayne collectible figures from Batman Returns.

These are actually two releases, one the Batman figure and the other the Batman and Bruce Wayne set. The former boasts three interchangeable lower faces that capture Michael Keaton’s expressions, nine interchangeable palms, a batarang, grapple gun, two napalm packets, a line launcher, a Batmobile remote control, a signal jammer, and an LED light-up figure stand.

The Batman and Bruce Wayne set, naturally, comes with two figures, with this Dark Knight also equipped with a broken cowl. His tuxedo-clad alter ego, meanwhile, comes with eight interchangeable palms, a figure stand and “movie-accurate” facial features, although some collectors are already questioning the latter (if you squint, it kind of looks like Michael Keaton).


Both releases are targeted for the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Via Robot6

This item can be pre-ordered here

First Look at Captain America: Civil War

CivilWar
The first look at the third Captain America film based on the Marvel Comics story Civil War is here and it’s a doozy. It appears that Tony Stark will be donning a new suit of armor (in addition to new duds for the star spangled Avenger).

This is sure to mark a major turning point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
IronMan_CivilWar
Images Via HailHydra

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Captain America: Civil War has a May 6, 2016 release date.

More as it comes.

Don’t yield, Back S.H.I.E.L.D.!

A classic S.H.I.E.L.D. cover by Jim Steranko

A classic S.H.I.E.L.D. cover by Jim Steranko

Kirby and Lee may have created him, but it was the dynamic and stylish art of Jim Steranko that made Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. a cult hit.

While he is mostly known as the eyepatched man of mystery and intrigue, Nick Fury began his comic book existence as the leader of the ‘Howling Mad Commandos,’ fighting the Axis powers throughout the second world war. He was a popular character, so much so that he was given a new lease on life outside of the war comics genre. In answer to a fan letter asking ‘what happened to Nick Fury after WWII,’ Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division) was born. The series was a blend of James Bond and Peter Max in the mighty Marvel manner. Sharing a title with Dr. Strange, Fury’s adventures ran in 12 page installments of Strange Tales magazine.

The series became so popular that Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. graduated to its own monthly book. Utilizing the pop art feel of the 60’s and some of the most innovative page layouts, the series was hip, explosive and full of vitality. Without Steranko’s influence, Fury’s espionage team were never much of a hit though it remained a staple of the Marvel Universe, even in the motion pictures and later on TV in its own spinoff series.

This Summer, readers will get the chance to read a forgotten classic S.H.I.E.L.D. story, just in time for the organization’s 50th anniversary!

Via ComicBookResources:

SHIELD_Kirby_SterankoMarvel Comics celebrates half a century of its premiere spy agency this fall with a special story in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” several collections and S.H.I.E.L.D.-themed variant covers.

In August, Mark Waid and Lee Ferguson explore the origins of the agency in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” #9, with a never-before-printed story by Jack Kirby and Jim Steranko. Writer Al Ewing scripts a special back-up tale featuring the return of Dum Dum Dugan and the Howling Commandos to the Marvel U.

September sees five weekly one-shots flesh out various agents — Nick Fury, Agent Melinda May, Mockingbird, Quake and Agent Peggy Carter — written by David Walker, Jody Houser, Chelsea Cain, Kathryn Immonen, Matt Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon.

THIS WEEK AT YOUR COMIC SHOP 4/29/15

For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the links below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

667221_all-new-captain-america-6-wtd-variantBig Trouble In Little China #10 (Cover A Brian Churilla), $3.99
Batman40Batman #40 (Greg Capullo & Danny Miki Regular Cover), $4.99
Batman Volume 5 Zero Year Dark City TP, $16.99
Batman Volume 6 The Graveyard Shift HC, $24.99
Convergence Action Comics #1 (Of 2)(Amanda Conner Regular Cover), $3.99
BlueBeetleConvergence Blue Beetle #1 (Of 2)(Bret Blevins Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence Booster Gold #1 (Of 2)(Dan Jurgens & Danny Miki Regular Cover), $3.99
DetectiveComicsConvergence Detective Comics #1 (Of 2)(Bill Sienkiewicz Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence Infinity Inc #1 (Of 2)(Ben Caldwell Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence Justice Society Of America #1 (Of 2)(Dan Panosian Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence Plastic Man And The Freedom Fighters #1 (Of 2)(Hilary Barta Regular Cover), $3.99
LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia Updated And Expanded HC, $18.99
Ultimate Star Wars Characters Creatures Locations Technology Vehicles HC, $40.00
Golden Age Masterworks From The Golden Age Of Illustration HC, $44.95
Illustration Magazine #47, $15.00
Spread #7 (Cover A Kyle Strahm & Felipe Sobreiro), $3.50
All-New Captain America #6 (Stuart Immonen Regular Cover), $3.99
Avengers_44Avengers #44 (Dustin Weaver Regular Cover), $4.99
Daredevil_15Daredevil #15 (Chris Samnee Regular Cover), $3.99
Fantastic Four #645 (Leonard Kirk Regular Cover), $5.99
Moon Knight #14, $3.99
NewAvengers_33New Avengers #33 (Dustin Weaver Regular Cover), $4.99
Silver Surfer #11, $4.99
Spider-Man And The X-Men #6, $4.99
Phantom Detective Double Novel Volume 2 SC, $14.95
Shadow Double Novel Volume 95 SC, $14.95
BenjaminBearBenjamin Bear In Brain Storms HC, $12.95
Darth Vader And Friends HC, $14.95
Star Wars Epic Yarns Volume 1 A New Hope HC, $9.95
Star Wars Epic Yarns Volume 2 The Empire Strikes Back HC, $9.95
Star Wars Epic Yarns Volume 3 Return Of The Jedi HC, $9.95
Batman 1966 Penguin Bust, $59.99
Batman Arkham Knight Batman Action Figure, $24.95
Batman Arkham Knight Harley Quinn Action Figure, $24.95
Batman Arkham Knight Scarecrow Action Figure, $24.95
DoctorWho_Eccleston_BustDoctor Who The Ninth Doctor Mini Bust, $99.99
Marvel Minimates Avengers Age Of Ultron Single Figure Blind Packs, AR
XMen_MinimatesMarvel Minimates Series 60 Assortment Brotherhood, AR
Star Trek First Officer Spock Maxi Bust, $99.99

The Spirit cartoon that never was

WillEisnerSpiritWill Esiner is an undisputed genius of comic books. A frustrated painter and storyteller, he found a way to turn what he saw as weaknesses and transform them into strengths with the Spirit, a comic strip that has influenced nearly every cartoonist in the comic book business in some way. It is no wonder that Eisner coined the phrase ‘sequential art’ which so perfectly fits his narrative style.

In 1980, Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, Incredibles and Tomorrowland) was developing an animated version of the Spirit with Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz. Recently, this pencil test video started making the rounds and it is heartbreakingly wonderful.

Steven Paul Leiva: “In 2008 as Frank Miller’s live action feature film based on Will Eisner’s “The Spirit” was being released I wrote a piece for the Los Angeles Times on the time, back in 1980, when I became involved with Brad Bird and Gary Kurtz (producer of the first two “Star Wars” movies) in trying to get into production an animated feature based on “The Spirit” In that piece, which you can read here: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/uncategorized/the-spirit-that/ I spoke of a pencil test “trailer” for the our proposed film that was made by Bird along with several classmates from Cal Arts, most of whom were working at Disney at the time.”

Of course the Spirit is still with us. I was introduced to the strip through the Kitchen Sink reprint magazines and followed the hero’s transition to Dark Horse and DC Comics. Matt Wagner is now working on the character for Dynamite and it looks like it is going top be a stunner!

Click to read an interview with Wagner about the new Spirit series

Click to read an interview with Wagner about the new Spirit series

The Flash- ‘All Star Team Up’

The_Flash_TV_Series_Poster-6

The Flash TV series on the CW has been a roaring success, joining Arrow in firmly establishing the DCU on the small screen. While Arrow has been slow to embrace the more colorful aspects of the comic book world, the Flash has proudly waved its superhero flag high. In its first season there have been several villains straight out of the comic, time travel conundrums and even callbacks to the 1990’s Flash series! Of course Arrow teamed up with the fleet-footed one in a special crossover story as well.

Team-ups are one of the staples of superhero comic books. It’s fun to see characters work together, blending or clashing in crime-fighting style and it’s also more value for your money! I recall hearing that Avengers was popular with some readers simply because it featured so many heroes in one adventure. The Brave and the Bold team-up series ran for many years on this concept alone, pairing Batman with another hero from Green Lantern to Adam Strange and even the Joker! One issue even chronicled the creation of the Justice League of America!

Hawkman, The Flash, the Atom, Green Lantern and Superman were The Justice League in the old Filmation series

In the Flash’s sister series Arrow, the Atom has been getting more firmly developed and will soon star in his own spin-off series that will take the team-up concept even further, making it a weekly event. As a precursor to The Atom, ‘All Star Team Up’ (another title from the annals of DC Comics) has given us a taste of what it will be like to watch heroes pair up against a common foe.

I will admit that I am not up to speed on Arrow so my knowledge of this version of Ray Palmer is very slim. As such I am confused as to why he resembles Tony Stark/Iron Man than the scientist adventurer from the comics. Whereas the comic book Atom uses dwarf star alloy to shrink yet maintain his mass, making him as powerful as a bullet, this Atom is… basically Iron Man.

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I understand that the original intention was for Brandon Routh (the former Superman Returns star who now plays Palmer/the Atom) to portray Ted Kord/Blue Beetle but am less clear on why that did not happen. In any case… that’s the situation. The Atom is a rich businessman who flies around in an armored suit he designed to fight crime.

Moving on…

Unlike some other weekly comic book programs, The Flash has plenty of visual appeal and has a high production value. That kind of attention to the look and feel of the show made All Star Team an enjoyable and memorable experience. In just an hour there was dramatic tension, humor, mystery and a diabolical villain-ess who overwhelmed the Flash, prompting Ray Palmer to don his costume and pitch in.

There were a couple of dud lines such as when Palmer admits that he is hoping for technical assistance from the STAR Labs team with his suit as he has trouble ‘keeping it up.’ This of course prompted his girlfriend Felicity to insist that their sex life is great (there was an audible thud there).

As a weekly installment of a superhero TV show, this was a fast-moving episode that was a lot of fun. I’m a big fan of Daredevil and Gotham as well which are of course much grimmer and more intense, but I am happy that in this modern world where comic book characters are such a hot commodity there’s room for a guy who can run really fast.

We’ve come a long way from Legends of the Superheroes.

THIS WEEK AT YOUR COMIC SHOP 4/22/15

For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the links below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

Batman ’66 #22, $2.99
Batman ’66 Volume 2 TP, $14.99
Batman ’66 Volume 3 HC, $19.99
DC_convergence-3Convergence #3 (Of 8)(Ivan Reis & Joe Prado Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence Adventures Of Superman #1 (Of 2)(Mikel Janin Regular Cover), $3.99
Outsiders_BatmanConvergence Batman And The Outsiders #1 (Of 2)(Andy Kubert Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence Green Lantern Corps #1 (Of 2)(Tony Harris Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence Justice League America #1 (Of 2)(Chip Kidd Variant Cover), $3.99
Convergence Swamp Thing #1 (Of 2)(Kelley Jones Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence_FlashConvergence The Flash #1 (Of 2)(Michael Allred Regular Cover), $3.99
WonderWomanConvergence Wonder Woman #1 (Of 2)(Joshua Middleton Regular Cover), $3.99
Frank Thorne’s Red Sonja Art Edition Volume 3 HC, $150.00
MadHarvey Kurtzman Man Who Created MAD And Revolutionized Humor In America HC, $34.99
Empire Uprising #1 (Cover A Barry Kitson), $3.99
All-New X-Men #40, $3.99
SecretWars_activitybookMarvel Superheros Secret Wars Activity Book Facsimile Collection TP (not verified by Diamond), 24.99
starwars_vaderStar Wars #4 (John Cassaday Regular Cover), $3.99
AlterEgo_WonderWoman_Flash_GreenLanternAlter Ego #132, $8.95
Back Issue #80, $8.95
Draw #30, $8.95
Attack On Titan Eren Yeager Real Action Hero, $349.99
Avengers Age Of Ultron 12-Inch Titan Hero Iron Man Action Figure, AR
Avengers Age Of Ultron Hulk Vs Hulkbuster Fleece Blanket, $29.99
Avengers Age Of Ultron Mystery Minis, AR
Batman Animated Series The New Batman Adventures Creeper Action Figure, $24.95
Batman Black And White Batman Statue By Ivan Reis, $79.95
KingGhidorahGodzilla Mecha King Ghidorah S.H.Monster Arts Action Figure, AR

Doctor Who Missing Episodes- The Underwater Menace

DrWho_PatrickTroughtonPatrick Troughton is regarded as the most important actor to play the role of Doctor Who. Having influenced nearly every one of his successors from Peter Davison to Matt Smith, he set the standard in the blend of a weird alien persona who could be silly, intense and charming all at once. Sadly, most of the stories that he appeared in are lost.  Only half of his catalog has been released on DVD, much of it with gaps filled by narration or cartoons. In 2013, two of his stories (Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear) were made viewable with the discovery of nine parts, a major boon for fans.

To date, The Underwater Menace is the only story with a recently reclaimed missing episode not to be released on DVD. According to rumor, the folks at 2|Entertain were prepared to explore adding animated sequences to fill in the blanks for this classic story.

A rare vintage newspaper clipping from The Underwater Menace

A rare vintage newspaper clipping from The Underwater Menace

A 4-part story screened from 14 January 1967 to 4 February 1967, this was the third outing for Troughton as the Doctor, who was still finding his footing as the cosmic hobo. At this stage, there was a lot of quirkiness, silly hats and cross-dressing still to be worked through. This version of the Doctor was still in progress and to add to the challenge, a third companion, Jamie McCrimmon was added to the mix!

07_underwater_menace_-_troughton

The Underwater Menace is set in Atlantis, a mythical civilization guarded by men in wet suits, a general population bedecked in seaweed and shells and… the Fish People. Lording over them all is the great god Amdo, a deity represented by a massive stone idol. Challenging Amdo is the mad Professor Zaroff, who has plans to raise the sunken continent to the surface from which he will rule the world. The story isn’t generally regarded as a ‘classic’ due to the runaround plot and Joseph Furst whose performance as Zaroff stretches to outer space, but Underwater Menace does have some of the most iconic imagery of 1960’s Doctor Who in a long sequence following the Fish People in their habitat.

Episode 2 was discovered in 2011 and marks the earliest complete episode of the second Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton. This would join episode 3 which is already in the ‘vault.’ At this time, there are no plans to release this on DVD.

If, like many fans, you want to see this adventure released on DVD, let BBC Worldwide know by contacting them at this site.

THIS WEEK AT YOUR COMIC SHOP 4/15/15

For the complete list of this week’s comics, click here.

Not sure where your local comic shop is? Try comicshoplocator.com!

(note: all information including ad copy is from the publisher)
If you can’t make it to the shop, just click on any of the links below to be taken to an online retailer. I don’t get any referrals for these sales, I’m just doing my bit to spread the word on some neat products.

FoxFox #1 (David Mack Variant Cover), $3.99
Archie Vs Predator #1 (Of 4)(Cover B Eric Powell), $3.99
Crime Does Not Pay Archives Volume 9 HC, $49.99
668117_convergence-2-jae-lee-variant-coverConvergence #2 (Of 8)(Jae Lee Variant Cover), AR
Convergence Aquaman #1 (Of 2)(Becky Cloonan Regular Cover), $3.99
Convergence Batman Shadow Of The Bat #1 (Of 2)(Philip Tan Regular Cover), $3.99
JLIConvergence Justice League International #1 (Of 2)(Paul Renaud Regular Cover), $3.99
FilthFilth Deluxe Edition HC, $29.99
Masks 2 #1 (Of 8)(Butch Guice Virgin Variant Cover), AR
ShaftShaft #5 (Cover A Dennis Cowan & Bill Sienkiewicz), $3.99
DC Batman Automobilia Figurine Collection Magazine #56 (Batman #112 Boat), $19.95
Men Of Wrath TP, $14.99
MoonKnightMoon Knight Volume 2 Dead Will Rise TP, $17.99
Skrulls Must Die The Complete Skrull Kill Krew TP, $34.99
Uncanny X-Men #33 (Kris Anka Regular Cover), $3.99
Zenith Phase Three HC, $25.00
Doctor Who The Eleventh Doctor #11 (Boo Cook Regular Cover), $3.99
Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor #9 (Boo Cook Regular Cover), $3.99
Doctor Who The Twelfth Doctor #7 (Subscription Photo Cover), $3.99
BRunnerBlade Runner Original Soundtrack CD, AR
Trek_EnterpriseStar Trek The Undiscovered Country Enterprise-A Ship, $65.00
Wonder Woman The Art Of War Statue By Tony Daniel, $79.95

Godzilla, Ambassador of Tokyo!

Godzilla has officially graduated from the most feared king of monsters, harbinger of doom and reminder of the horror of nuclear war to head of Tokyo tourism. It’s a strange turn of events that I never would have predicted.

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Via Robot6

Godzilla, who has attacked and destroyed Tokyo no fewer than 28 times, was honored Thursday by the city, adding tourism ambassador and honorary resident of Shinjuku ward to his responsibilities as King of the Monsters.

The tributes arrived as part of a ceremony to officially unveil the life-size head of the kaiju that erupts from the roof of the eight-story Toho Cinemas in Shinjuku. When we say “life-size,” we mean the 80-ton head rises 39 feet from the roof and towers 171 feet above the street, the height of Godzilla in his 1954 film debut.

According to The Associated Press, an actor in a rubber suit attended Thursday’s ceremony. However, Toho studio executive Minami Ichikawa had to step in to accept the residency certificate from Shinjuku Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi because the suit’s claws weren’t made for actually grasping anything.

It’s worth pointing out that Shinjuku, known for its bars and noodle restaurants, has been flattened three times by Godzilla. But the ward forgives and forgets, with Yoshizumi referring to a long-held belief that any place destroyed by the monster on film prospers in real life.

“Godzilla is a character that is the pride of Japan,” he said.