Thursday, June 30, 2011

Toys! Toys! Toys!

You know I've been recently reflecting on all the cool toys I've owned at one time, and of the recent cool collection of Marvel Legends and DCUC figures I have. I really like those 2 lines, and can't wait for the return next year of the Marvel Legends line; it's been far too long, but it did allow me to collect choice figures from the DCUC line.

But before those two lines even thought about popping up, one company's line of action figures had me hooked as a kid: Toy Biz.

Yes, back then multiple points of articulation and pose-ability weren't at the forefront, or at the very least, as advanced as today's action figures. Just check out old pictures, or if you were lucky enough to get your hands on some back then, you know what I mean. I was so fortunate that my parents indulged me so much in buying sooo many figures, even if they were probably sick of them. But I was in love with the toy biz figures, specifically the X-Men line. I remember when they 1st started out with the first wave of figures. They weren't the best looking, but they were at least a decent starting-off point.

Remember these? I had everyone but Juggernaut, Storm, and Apocalypse. I guess in part due to an availability problem with Jugger and Apoc, but mostly because I didn't care for they way they were made, and probably because Storm was girl. Yeah I know how sexist of me, but that's how I rolled back then.

As the years went on, the line got better, the figures got better and included more variety. Then the X-Men cartoon started on FOX, and that really got the ball rolling, both for the toy line and for my rapid buying of these figures. God I miss the old X-men and Spider-Man cartoon on FOX. Batman too. How awesome was that show huh? Maybe later I'll devote an entire post about my love of that show. Even my fiancee' loved that show, and she isn't a major comic fan, but she did like Batman.

*On as an aside, I think FOX was fucking stupid for cancelling their cartoon line-up. Yes in later years it sucked, with shows about animated Pinatas, Fairies, and numerous Sonic and TMNT reboots, but they could have dumped all that for more quality shows. It's a shame that the then WB network picked up where FOX left off, showcasing Batman, a new X-men series, and even a LOSH cartoon series. Off course you'd also be stuck with duds like Yu-ge-oh! and Pokemon. I'm sorry, but I just could never get into those shows, and the fads they inspired at the time. I maybe considered a nerd or geek for apologetically loving comic books, but I draw the line at card games and D&D. Yeah, some may say "Hey what's wrong with those?". I say if you like 'em fine, but it's not my cup of tea son.

Anyways, back to the main topic, I loved the X-Men toy line. They made a crap load of Wolverine figures of course, but they did put out figures you wouldn't normally see, and still don't in the ML equivalent. Figures like Cyclops's dad Corsair, Strong Guy, Havok in his X-Factor duds, Forge, Kylun from Alan Davis' Excalibur, Trevor Fitzroy, the X-cutioner, and more. Hell even one of the Reavers, Bone-Breaker, had his own figure!

I also collected some of the figures from the animated-inspired Spider-Man line, collecting Kraven, Hobgoblin, Mysterio, Carnage, Dr.Octopus(he was my favorite from that line), and a few others.

Here's a picture gallery of all or most of the toy biz figures I used to own. Enjoy:

Yeah that's enough! You get the idea, I had alot of these fuckers around the house.

Okay, have a good 4th of July weekend and drive safe!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Makes Kick-Ass look like Shit!"

And these were the very words emblazoned on the cover of the 1st issue of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Nemesis. Yes folks, welcome to another edition of Random........Comic.....Review.....

I chose this particular comic because it promised to be different than anything else on the market at the time, even though in reality, it presented the type of action and violence anyone who's already read a Mark Millar comic expected.
I'll get to what I personally think and what others have said about it later.

First, on to the review.....

Nemesis#1 "Chapter One"(May 2010) by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

The comic starts off in Toyko, Japan, where the police commissioner is being held captive by a super-villain dressed in all white and no logo. The villain's taunting the commissioner with a list of things he's failed to keep the villain from doing. While all this is happening, a task force or swat team is running towards a building that seems to be the same one where the commissioner and villain are. Unfortunately for the swat team, the mysterious villain in white purposely led the men into a trap. The building there in is not where the commissioner is, but a room filled to the hilt with explosives. It explodes, causing the building to smash into an underground train station. The commissioner is then shown to be seated in what's probably the same underground train station. After more taunting by the mysterious villain, he police commissioner begs to end his shame. To which the villain responds "All in good time, sir. I said ten thirty-five on the card I sent and the train doesn't come for another twenty seconds." The commissioner responds with "Train? What train?" and then in comes the high-speed train that runs right over the police commissioner.
To add further insult to injury, the very train that ran over the commissioner falls to its own destruction since there no longer any track left to keep it afloat.

And with that, the mysterious villain in white decides to target America next.

The comic shifts to the inside of a convenience store in Washington,D.C. that was being robbed. The would-be robbers are brutely and quickly gunned down a disguised chief of police. When asked by his Sargent how he managed to get in, he responds "Well, crack-heads tend not count their hostages son. I just wandered in the back door wearing a baseball cap."
Remind me to ask a crack-head to confirm that last remark.

The chief's name is Blake Morrow, and he's approached by two FBI agents that tell ask him if he's ever heard of the Nemesis situation? He asks if they mean the cop-killer in Japan? They say yes, and hand him a business card with his name and a date on it. This is supposed to be when Chief Marrow's supposed to die. He immediately begins the process of placing his wife and family into protective custody.

We now see Air Force One getting hijacked by Nemesis. He jumps onto the plane, killing the pilots immediately. He quickly jumps into the plane and pilots it down through a nearby tunnel. The plane suddenly blows up, killing all or most of the people nearby.

Nemesis then takes over the television airways taunting Chief Morrow. We then see the president beaten, tied-up, and at the feet of Nemesis. To be continued.

So, what do I think? This series was supposed to be under the premise "what if Batman was a super-villain?" Now I don't own the other 3 issues, but if you want to know how it all ends in case you don't already now, feel free to wiki it.

I honestly liked what I read. Sure I was kind of shocked to see a guy to so violently and graphically rundown by a high-speed train, but then again this is a Mark Millar comic we're talking about. If you've read Wanted(liked the movie, but wish they kept the super-villain/powers in it), Old Man Logan, and The Authority by him, then you'd know what to expect.

Other reviewers weren't too kind to the series; mostly they felt that it was too typical of Millar, flat, lacking characterization and depth. I guess some of that is true, but I did enjoy the 1st issue nonetheless, and probably should hunt the other three down, or get the trade. Kick-Ass is another good book by Millar that I keep meaning to buy. Millar and Romita Jr. basically give us Spider-Man for 21st century in that one, as the main character becomes and a you-tube sensation after his 1st case. Good stuff that you should at least check out.

Okay I'm outta' here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Remembering Gene Colan....

While it's old news by now, it doesn't make it any less important in the comic world, but legendary artist Gene Colan died last Thursday. He had been apparently battling with liver disease, and that combined with a broken hip he suffered after a nasty fall, finally took its tool on an already deteriorating health. He was 84.

I myself didn't know the man. I was introduced to his work while reading thru Les Daniels' Marvel: 5 Fabulous Decades of the world's greatest comics History book he wrote. There were really cool panels of art from Colan's days penciling Captain America. This one scene that was depicted, featured the Red Skull transforming back into his real form after using the Cosmic Cube to morph into looking like Captain America. I always though how cool he made the whole process look.

Colan worked on countless titles by both DC, Marvel and other publishers. You can wiki or google him, and be amazed at the amount of work he produced during his long career.

Here's a neat little nit of info about the man I recently found @
"Gene grew up in New York & graduated from George Washington High School (a one-of-a-kind public school majoring in gifted students in the visual arts). Gene also studied at the Art Students League of New York under renowned illustrator Frank Riley and the famous surrealistic, modern Japanese painter Kuniashi. During World War II, a two year ticket with Special Services in the Army Air Corps found Corporal Colan in the Philippines where his artwork brightened the pages of the Manila Times and won him numerous awards. Back in the States, Gene Colan's official career in comics began in 1944 at Fiction House drawing Wings Comics. Gene then settled down to the task of finding a permanent niche in the comic industry, showing work to both National (DC) and Timely (Marvel) Comics. Stan Lee at Timely Comics was impressed enough to hire Gene for around sixty odd dollars a week. Since that time, Gene has been associated with both companies from 1946 to the present day. In addition, Gene has also freelanced for numerous independent publishers over the years as well."

Below are just a few quick samples of the type of characters he's worked on during his career:

You know, I remember watching a brief interview on him on the Daredevil movie DVD, and in the extras section. He talked about working long hours to complete an issue, but that he loved doing it. He also briefly mentioned how being so meticulous and so into finishing his job, that he often neglected/missed out on time with his family. You almost get a sense of regret there, but that could just be me. I hope if he had any issues with his family over devoting so much time to his work, that there were eventually settled.
Great work by a great man. He'll be sorely missed.

If anyone's interested, his long-time friend and biographer, Clifford Meth, has a blog devoted to his memories, stories, and lessons he learned from Mr.Colan. You can find it here:

Have a good one....

Monday, June 27, 2011

What the hell were they thinking?

Here's a real quick today, featuring weird-ass pictures of random and various superheroes doing God knows what.


"Closing time. You don't have to go home but you can't stay here."

Well..... I kinda always knew this day would come, and it sure has. It's been a hell of a ride, but it's time to for it end. Ti...