A look back… Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1998)

david_hasselhoff_nick_fury.jpgAs fans across the nation (it already premiered overseas) await the release of the latest superhero epic, Captain America: Civil War, I thought it would be a good opportunity to look back to a simpler time when comic books were not looked upon as fodder for mega blockbusters. To a time when they were quickly forgotten TV movies of the week. To a time when the Hoff was Nick Fury.

At the time, Hasselhoff was in a position to reinvent himself, to a degree (keep in mind, this was Baywatch era Hoff) and acting as a tough-as-nails action hero sorta suits him. Even with the extremely limited resources, the TV movie is pretty good. It’s faithful to the source material (something fans complain about even in the face of the super successful feature films) down to the characters and vehicle designs. Aside from some cringe-worthy performances, the cast is pretty good too. And, it may be the headaches caused by eyestrain, but David Hasselhoff makes a picture perfect Nick Fury.


Nick Fury by Lee Weeks

So while we sit in the comfy recliner or stadium seats tonight (or maybe later this weekend), enjoying a scintillating display of computer graphics, brilliant cinematography and high octane acting, remember that this torch was carried by so many during a time when no one… *NO ONE* cared for the silly books. And yet, some tried to do them justice. Yes… even the Hoff (and Rex Smith, too… I guess).

First look at Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens

Happy Star Wars Day and May the Fourth Be With You.

StarWars_Lego_ForceAwakensTo celebrate, here is an 8 minute clip of the upcoming Lego Star Wars game that will adapt Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Lead through by one of the game developers, this is fun look at what is to come.

C3PO_21_panel_aPersonally, I’m excited about the PlayStation exclusive content The Phantom Limb, which could be related to the C-3PO one-shot by former Starman team James Robinson and Tony Harris.

Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens has June 28th release date and can be pre-ordered from Amazon. StarWars_Lego_ForceAwakens_PS4
I plan to attend a special event at the Baxter Barcade in wonderful Chapel Hill this evening. How will you be celebrating this May 4th?

Toys of the past: Action Man

hqdefaultWhile we had G.I. Joe Action Team in the US, across the pond Action Man by Palitoy reigned supreme. Plaid Stallions brings us this omnibus of advertising from yesteryear. Showcasing the realistic musculature, moving eyes, fuzzy beards and more, Action Man was the height of the toy doll craze (possibly topped by Captain Action, but that;’s a whole other thing).

How could this be any cooler? Tom Baker voice over at the 2:30 mark!

(Nostalgic and into odd films? You may be interested in a related article on the film Marwencol, in which a man works through his trauma with old G.I. Joe’s and develops a stunning fantasy world)


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.

Doctor Who And The Dinosaur Invasion MMPB (not verified by Diamond), $7.99
Doctor Who And The Web Of Fear MMPB (not verified by Diamond), $7.99
Doctor Who And The Zarbi MMPB (not verified by Diamond), $7.99
DrWho_BattlefieldDoctor Who Battlefield MMPB (not verified by Diamond), $7.99
Doctor Who Genesis Of The Daleks MMPB (not verified by Diamond), $7.99
Doctor Who The Visitation MMPB (not verified by Diamond), $7.99
Doctor Who Vengeance On Varos MMPB (not verified by Diamond), $7.99
Klaus #5 (Of 7)(Cover A Dan Mora), $3.99
Jon Sable Freelance Omnibus Volume 3 TP, $59.95
Whisper Campaign HC (Limited Edition), $100.00
Batman And Robin Volume 7 Robin Rises TP, $19.99
Detective Comics #52 (Guillem March Regular Cover), $3.99
Midnighter_12Midnighter #12, $2.99
Survivors’ Club #8, $3.99
Unfollow #7, $3.99
Will Eisner’s The Spirit #10 (Cover A Eric Powell), $3.99
Complete Peanuts Volume 25 1999-2000 HC, $29.99
Hip Hop Family Tree #9 (not verified by Diamond), $3.99
HeavyMetal_280.jpgHeavy Metal #280 (Cover A Brian Ewing)(not verified by Diamond), $7.95
We Stand On Guard Deluxe HC, $24.99
Wicked + The Divine #19 (Cover A Jamie McKelvie & Matt Wilson), $3.50
Amazing Spider-Man #12 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99
BlackWidow_3.jpgBlack Widow #3 (Chris Samnee Regular Cover), $3.99
Captain America Sam Wilson #9, $3.99
Contest Of Champions #8 (Scott Rahzzah Wilson), $3.99
Daredevil By Mark Waid And Chris Samnee Volume 5 HC, $34.99
Daredevil Punisher #1 (Of 4), $4.99
MoonKnight_2.jpgMoon Knight #2 (Greg Smallwood Regular Cover), $3.99
685310_punisher-1-christopher-action-figure-variant.jpgPunisher #1 (Alex Maleev Variant Cover), AR
Star Wars Poe Dameron #2 (Declan Shalvey Variant Cover), $3.99
Kolchak Dan Shamble Zombie PI #1 (Cover A Dennis Calero), $4.99
Artof_CharlieChanHockChyeArt Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye HC (Signed Bookplate Edition), $30.00
Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor Year Two #9 (Cover B Photo), $3.99
Star Wars Insider Magazine #165 (Newsstand Edition), $7.99

“You wonder what I see in your future? Possibility.”


The first wave of films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe established a rich history of science fiction, fantasy, high adventure and history. Marvel is now ushering in its latest wave with an exploration into the realm of magic with the sorcerer supreme, Doctor Strange.

One of the founding members of the interconnected Marvel comic book world, Doctor Strange began as the central star in a horror-themed suspenseful component of the Strange Tales comic. Whenever a lost and damaged soul found themselves facing a problem too dangerous and otherworldly for anyone else, they would visit a spooky house that appeared to only be partially visible and ask for the assistance of Doctor Strange. The guardian of our realm of reality against the dark forces of the beyond, Doctor Strange battled monsters and forces far outside of human knowledge.


But his beginnings were far more humble and tragic. The upcoming blockbuster film stars Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, co-starring Mads Mikkelsen as the villain Baron Mordo, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. Directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) with a script by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus), the movie will serve as the first glimpse into yet another facet of the dynamic and colorful world of Marvel Comics.

The arrogant and selfish Stephen Strange was a gifted surgeon who only used his gifts for personal gain. So brash is Strange that he smokes (again) in the operating room! After cannily finagling a business deal out of what should have been pro bono work, Strange is involved in a horrible car accident that robs him of his talented hands. Refusing to be anything but a brilliant surgeon, Strange spends all of his money foolishly attempting to heal his hands with no success. Strange ends up a vagrant, hopelessly wandering the streets until he hears of the ‘Ancient One’ who may hold some solution in far off Tibet.

Strange manages to find his way to the far off land and also to the home of the Ancient One but still has not learned humility. In the home of the wise seer, he meets the Ancient One’s pupil, Baron Mordo… who is definitely evil. Mordo has plans for the Ancient One that will result in him stealing the old man’s power from him, leaving Mordo as the Sorcerer Supreme. Strange elects to stay on in order to somehow stop Mordo. Somehow Strange side-steps learning humility to discovering that the energy fueling his immense ego can instead be transferred to something akin to courage. – Via DP Quick Review in 2010

Doctor Strange has a 4th of November 2016 release date.

Alex Reviews The Mad Hatter!

20150824_AlexFirstDayMy son has released his second video review, this time focusing on that dastardly chapeau-obsessed fiend, the Mad Hatter.

While the review focuses on a toy based on the character from the 1966 Batman TV series, Alex takes the time to provide a brief primer on a character who is a bit more complicated than one might think. Initially created as an impish villain inspired by his namesake from Alice in Wonderland, a second Hatter was introduced a decade later with no ties to Lewis Carroll’s work but a burning need to posses all hats, especially Batman’s cowl.

Portrayed by David Wayne, then a hot commodity, the Mad Hatter appeared in two stories, one focused on getting revenge on the jury who convicted him and a follow up in which he irradiates Batman’s cowl, turning it pink. Armed with a top hat that housed a secret mesmerizing beam, the Mad Hatter was a formidable foe for the caped crusader and just weird enough to be fondly remembered. An unusual and quirky character, he has proven popular enough to still have an appeal, even to a seven year old kid.

Watch the review here!


Are you a Doctor Who enthusiast? A padawan or master for Star Wars? Addicted to comics or a fan of video games? This week is your week, as is every week at your local comic book shop.

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.

684321_actionverse-1.jpgActionverse #1 (Of 6)(Featuring The F1rst Hero)(Cover A Lee Moder & Stressing), $3.99
Adventure Time #51 (Cover B Mia Schwartz), $3.99
Abe Sapien #32, $3.50
Alabaster The Good The Bad And The Bird #5 (Of 5), $3.99
Lone Wolf And Cub Omnibus Volume 12 TP, $19.99
Star Wars The Force Awakens Read Along Storybook With CD SC, $6.99
Star Wars The Force Awakens Storybook HC, $16.99
Star Wars The Force Awakens Tales From A Galaxy Far Far Away HC, $12.99
Doc Savage The Spider’s Web #5 (Of 5)(Cover A Wilfredo Torres), $3.99
jan160398.jpgStar Trek The Classic UK Comics Volume 1 HC, $49.99
Jupiter’s Circle Volume 2 #5 (Of 6)(Cover B Frank Quitely), $3.50
Limbo #6 (Of 6), $2.99
Manhattan Projects Volume 6 TP, $14.99
Monstress #5, $3.99
No Mercy #9, $3.99
Pretty Deadly #9, $3.50
681862_64100e49eebbfe60c48c7fcc07e42078e26ae1b2All-New All-Different Avengers #8 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99
All-New Inhumans #6, $3.99
All-New X-Men #8, $3.99
681861_5f9c7ad57f18ebcfab6fe8ecac1e5f0bfb684b60.jpgAmazing Spider-Man #10 (Alex Ross Regular Cover), $3.99
Black Widow #1 (Chris Samnee 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Captain America 75th Anniversary Magazine #1 (Alex Ross Cover), $9.99
Darth Vader #19, $3.99
Gwenpool #1 (Francisco Herrera Variant Cover), AR
Hercules #6, $3.99
Illuminati #6, $3.99
Mockingbird #2 (Joelle Jones Regular Cover), $3.99
Old Man Logan #3 (Andrea Sorrentino 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Red Wolf #5, $3.99
Uncanny X-Men #4 (Greg Land 2nd Printing Variant Cover), $3.99
Web Warriors #6, $3.99
681896_410a463d9166bec563fb14f7fd2a8c89e502d0cb.jpgWeirdworld #5, $3.99
Burne Hogarth’s Tarzan Volume 3 Versus The Nazis HC, $39.95
dec151586.jpgDoctor Who The Eleventh Doctor Volume 4 The Then And Now HC, $19.99
Doctor Who The Ninth Doctor #1 (Cover A Shea Standefer), $3.99
Marvel HeroClix Captain America Civil War Starter Set, $24.99
AUG152567.jpgMega Man Blueprint Previews Exclusive Royal Heather T-Shirt SM, AR
jan162772.jpgX-Files I Want To Believe Pint Glass, AR


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.

Irwin Allen’s Lost In Space #1 (Cover A Steve Stanley), $3.99
EC Archives Shock SuspenStories Volume 1 HC, $49.99
Eerie Archives Volume 21 HC, $49.99
Eerie Comics Volume 1 Close Encounters Of The Spooky Kind TP, $19.99
Aquaman Volume 6 Maelstrom TP, $19.99
Astro City #33, $3.99
Batman And Robin Eternal #24, $2.99
Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 (Of 6)(Freddie E. Williams II 2nd Printing Variant Cover)(not verified by Diamond), 3.99
Robin Son Of Batman #10 (Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray Regular Cover), $3.99
Will Eisner’s The Spirit #9 (Cover A Eric Powell), $3.99
PatienceDan Clowes’ Patience HC, $29.99
Alex Raymond An Artistic Journey Adventure Intrigue And Romance HC, $75.00
Nameless.jpgNameless HC, $24.99
ODY-C #10, $3.99
All-New X-Men #6, $3.99
Captain America Omnibus Volume 2 HC (John Romita Sr. Direct Market Variant Cover), $99.99
Power Man And Iron Fist #2 (Sanford Greene Regular Cover), $3.99
secretWarsSecret Wars HC, $50.00
Squadron Supreme #5 (Alex Garner Regular Cover), $3.99
Pre-Code Classics Web Of Evil Volume 3 HC (Slipcase Edition), $69.99
Roy Thomas Presents Planet Comics Volume 12 HC (Slipcase Edition), $69.99
Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files Volume 11 TP, $19.99
Nikopol Trilogy Volume 1 HC, $34.99
Star Wars Jedi Master Magazine #3, $4.99
Marvel HeroClix Gamma Smash Monthly Organized Play Kit, AR
Star Trek Attack Wing Void Monthly Organized Play Kit, AR
Back To The Future 30th Anniversary Minimates 1985 Box Set, AR
BacktotheFuture_Minimate.jpgBack To The Future 30th Anniversary Time Machine Minimates, AR
Batman 1966 Batgirl Maquette Diorama, AR
BatgirlBatman Classic Batwoman Maquette, AR

Questions involving Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Wars

By guest columnist Mark Ricard

SECRET_WARS_009-600x910 After a long wait and a extra issue,Secret Wars 9 came out and finished the long “epic event” that Jonathan Hickman had started nearly four years earlier in the pages of Avengers and New Avengers. This article is not so much a review of the event but all of the things in Hickman’s run. This was supposed to be a conclusion to all of the story threads that he had begun from Avengers and New Avengers in the last three years. However it left many unanswered questions plus quite a few continuity problems. This paper has a twofold approach. I will try to address the unanswered questions that Avengers and Secret Wars have left unanswered and it will also ask how they are related to questions in terms of the continuity of past stories. First I will start with the Beyonders.

The-Beyonders1. Beyonders

It was revealed at the start of Secret Wars that the Beyonders were the cause of the Incursions that were destroying the multiverse. They used the Molecule Man as a “bomb”, to destroy each timeline in which he exists. In essence their plane was to destroy the multiverse. This leads to to two unanswered questions. First and most importantly,why did the Beyonders want to destroy the multiverse? Given that this is what started the entire story,it is the most significant unanswered question in the series. Yet we are never given any motive or background about these enigmatic creatures. Secondly do the Beyonders exist outside of the multiverse? If they do, then where?

  • 1.2 Continunity Questions

The Beyonders were originally created by the late Mark Grunewald in Marvel Two in One. They used the alien race called the Spihinxtors to take away Counter Earth from the High Evolutionary. One gets the impression that the editors wanted to get rid of Counter Earth and created the Beyonders as plot device to remove a unwanted piece of the Marvel Universe out of continuity.

The Beyonders were next mentioned in Steve Engleheart’s run on the Fantastic Four. It was first discovered that they created the Savage Land with the help of the alien race called the Nuwali. Why they chose to do this was unexplained. Technically they seemed obsessed with Earth for some reason. There motives are however vague. Here was a chance to explain a loose thread in continuity that was never addressed. Hickman never cleared these points up. It is true that neither of these stories were his but a story this long could have taken the time to tell us more. In Fantastic Four 319 is always revealed that the Beyonders were the creators of the Cosmic Cubes that exist in the Marvel Universe. Which leads us to part 2.

4667045-new+avengers+(2013-2015)+033-0122. Molecule Man and the Cosmic Cube

  • 2.1 Cosmic Cubes

cosmiccubeCosmic Cubes existed in the Marvel Universe since the days of Lee and Kirby. The origin was not explained or at least retconned until the story mentioned above. The cubes can develop sentience and evolve in living creatures. This has happened before. Three times. First there is the Shaper of Worlds who developed from a Kree made cosmic cube. He and his assistant Glorian have appeared a number of times. Their whereabouts are explained in Silver Surfer 13-15 by Dan Slott and Mike Allred. There is also another being who is unaccounted for. His name is Kubik. Kubik evolved from a Cube that was created by the organization known as AIM. The character has not been seen in this story. In fact he has not appeared since Fantastic Four Annual 27 according to Marvel Wiki. The significance of this character lies with the Beyonder and the Molecule Man.

  • 2.2 Molecule Man

The Molecule Man’s origins were retconned in 319. There it was explained that his power was from half of a Cosmic Cube. The power of the other half was in a entity called the Beyonder. Judging by the way he has been written by Hickman in this event, the Molecule Man is more like the Shaper of Worlds. Someone with vast power who needs someone to direct it because he cannot use it himself. Technically this is a change from what readers were told before. This leads us to a discussion of a entity called the Beyonder.

New_Avengers_Vol_3_29_Textless3 The Beyonder

The Beyonder was originally a character created by Jim Shooter for the the first two Secret Wars events. This recent event was named for those stories. Originally he was a powerful alien who existed in his own dimension, this was changed in the retcon as described above. After that story the Beyonder took on a new form as Kosmos and Kubik became his mentor. This was seen in Fantastic Four 25 and 26. Sometime later Kosmos/Beyonder appeared again using the name Maker. This was in Thanos 8-10. In these issues we find that the Maker/Beyonder was incarcerated at a prison called the Kyln after committing violent crimes against the Shiar Empire for reasons the Maker itself did not understand. The character Oracle had tried to psychically shut down the mind of Beyonder/Maker. We also learn that the Maker has taken over the prison and does not remember his/her identity. Thanos eventually defeats her and psychically erases Beyonder/Makers. Thanos explains that though the mind is erased the essence and or energy of the Beyonder still exists inside the body. And that energy must be contained within it.

Later in the Annihilliation Event the Kyln is destroyed. Thanos sends the Skreet to go back and check if the body is alive. It is. This was in Silver Surfer Annihilation issue 3. That is the last time the Beyonder was seen in physical form. According to the Secret Wars 2015 Handbook the Beyonder is a “child Unit”. This is consistent with the earlier story in 319. However the connection between Molecule Man, his powers and the Beyonder has yet to be mentioned. We could assume that Kubik and the Shaper were lying to them. But then what was their motive? The point is that if the Beyonder/Maker’s power is part of or linked with Molecule Man then it must be explained how it relates to the plans the Beyonders had for the Molecule Man. There is also the unanswered question of why the Beyonder chose to take on mortal form again. Though that is not directly related to the issues of the Secret Wars.

The link between these characters is something that should have been explained.

References for parts 1-3.


Secret Wars Official Marvel Comics Guide to the Mulitiverse 2015 Marvel Comics

SecretWars_Builders4. The Builders

Jonathan Hickman introduced a new alien race to the Marvel Universe called the Builders. The are alleged to be the oldest race of beings in the universe. They also supervise or destroy other races that they see as troublesome. The Builders believed that Earth was such a race. Earth is the source of the incursions mentioned before. This leads to the first unanswered question. How did they know this? It was not explained in the story. The other problem is the relationship between the Builders and the Captain Universe power. They say the Captain Universe force was the founder of their race. The Problem with this is that the Captain Universe power is currently originating from the Microverse. This shown as far back as Micronauts V1 31,and 35. The power itself originates from the Sword in the Star. The only way this can be consistent is if the Sword in the Star is the founder of the race. Finally what the fate of the Builders was both during and after Hickman’s Secret Wars is unclear. They have not been mentioned again.

newuniverse4.2 Builders, New Universe, Captain Universe and the White Event.

The New Universe was reinvented by writer Warren Ellis in the Marvel series, New Universal. A White Event occurs that bestows people with superpowers. The powers originate from the Superflow. The Superflow exists outside of the ordinary Mutliverse. When the event occurs it gives four different people four specific powers. These are the Starbrand, Nightmask, Cipher, and Justice power. In the current storyline Hickman has only shown the first two of these. The latter have yet to appear. Furthermore he has tied the origin of the Superflow and these powers with the Builders. Consistent with this in Avengers vol 5 6. we learn the Captain Universe force is related to this power. The current recipient of the Captain Universe power translates the Nightmask’s speech. She explains that they are part of the same force. This makes sense since it was the founder of the Builders who now control the Superflow. However it was not explained further.

There is a way to connect the history of the Captain Universe/Enigma Force with the powers in the New Universal powers. If Marvel is interested in how to do this they can contact me. It will not be explained in this paper.

References for 4



SecretWars5. Other unanswered questions

There are a few other unanswered questions that need to be addressed. Do the Celestials still exist? What about the living Tribunal and other abstract entities that were said to be destroyed by the Beyonders. Do we still have a mutliverse? And if we do,then in what ways does it differ from the Multiverse we had before this event? Perhaps some might think that expecting all those pieces to be put together seems to be asking too much. However remember that A) This was supposed to be the event reshaped Marvel Continuity the way Crisis on Infinite Earths did with DC Comics and that B) Marvel had nearly 3 years and over 80 some issues in which to tell this story.

Readers might also be interested in Zeno’s articles on Hickman and the New Universe