Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews May 2014: First Angela, Now The Residents!?!

I feel safe saying that I will be continuing this feature for the foreseeable future. This is the third installment and I am having a whole lot of fun writing these each month.

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalogue that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition.

Original Sin – Marvel
This is just the first thing I saw since it’s right on the cover of Marvel Previews. Every new item I see regarding this event gets me more interested, but this one is the most mind-blowing of all. Apparently the Residents are now a part of this Marvel crossover. I will gladly take them as Uatu’s replacement.

Sergio Aragonés’ Groo vs. Conan – Dark Horse
This might be the most successful attention-getting opening page I’ve ever seen. Because… What the fuck? I suppose if Cerebus and Spawn can hang out this isn’t all that surprising, but… wow. That’s something.

Chastity #1 - Dynamite
I could mention how much I’m enjoying Chastity writer Mark Andreyko’s work on Batwoman. Actually, I will. He’s been telling an entertaining, cohesive story that doesn’t have me constantly wondering if I missed something. It’s pretty standard fare, but it is fun and a vast improvement over the previous crea

But really it’s just that picture. How am I not supposed to like that? I realize it’s aimed at the lowest common denominator, but sometimes that’s me.

Rocket Raccoon – Marvel (18)
In this house Skottie Young is a revered name. We love his work. I really, really hope that this is an all-ages title because Lil’ Troublemaker loves Rocket and I want him to be able to read this. Granted, I can already tell that the Guardians of the Galaxy movie is chock-full of content that is not appropriate for him; but he’s seen all of the other Marvel movies. I literally can’t tell him no.

Teen Titans #1 – DC (83)
I’m not interested in the book, but that’s a beautiful page of artwork.

Star-Spangled War Stories featuring GI Zombie #1 – DC (84)
Gray and Palmiotti have earned enough good will for me to try this book, despite the fact that I know nothing about GI Zombie. I can’t even imagine this being relevant to my comic book interests, but those two are magic.

Batman: Death of the Family Book & Joker Mask – DC (143)
SOLD. Not only do I think this is one of the best Joker stories ever put together, I absolutely cannot pass up the opportunity to have my very own Joker skin mask. That’s just awesome. Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of Night of the Owls, I still kind of regret passing on that book/mask set just because it was such an interesting and unique collectible. And I do like the concept of the Owls. The story just got a little unwieldy.

Batman 75th Anniversary Action Figure 4-Pack – Set 1 – DC Collectibles (167)
Wow! These figures sure do look great together! What a tempting collection of the various appearances of Batman. And to think – this is just Set 1. Of how many? I hope FIFTY!

Okay – sorry. As a jaded toy collector, I can’t help but notice that these are four previously released DC Direct/Collectibles Batman figures that have just been repainted to match each other. And stuck in a box together for seventy-five dollars. That’s $18.75 apiece, which is more than some of these repaints sold for in the first place. While I think this is a really nifty idea and that these figures do look awesome with matching color schemes, sixty bucks would have been a lot more reasonable. Fifty would have made this and future sets a no-brainer. I would love to have a whole shelf of these. But that price point is just too steep.
Thrasher Suit Batman Deluxe Figure – DC Collectibles (173)
This is from DCC’s new line of action figures that are designed directly from specific artists’ styles. In this case it’s Greg Capullo. The rest of the figures in this first wave look okay (except for that butterface Catwoman), but there’s no way I can resist a giant robot Batman. Yeah, I know it’s actually more of a mech – this is the suit he used to beat down the Talons in “Night of the Owls”. And it looks RAD.

TMNT Original 1990 Motion Picture Special Edition – IDW (196)
Holy recovered memories, Batman.

I still have the original version of this adaptation at home, but I haven’t looked at it in years. Looking at this listing suddenly brought back the memory of using that adaptation as storyboards and shooting my own version of the 1990 TMNT movie using my dad’s camcorder with my action figures. I had completely forgotten that. Obviously I had to sub in various other figures for the FOOT Clan fight scenes, but I think it turned out pretty neat. I remember putting the soundtrack cassette in and playing it during the appropriate scenes.

I have no idea what happened to that. I bet you anything I recorded over all those hours of work at some point. Probably for wrestling.

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #13 – Marvel (M36)
I’ve heard lots of good things about this book. I still haven’t dipped into the whole Superior Spider-Man story, but I plan to. Really! I do! Stop looking at me like that.

Anyway, I just find this cover very appealing. I like the art and I like the goofiness.

Silver Surfer #5 – Marvel (M59)
First I wanted to mention that so far this comic is exactly as fantastic as I had hoped it would be. The story is fun and the art is Mike Allred.

Second I want to mention that this is an outstanding cover.

Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet – Marvel (M67)
This is a Deadpool book. Deadpool is the silliest character in regular Marvel Universe continuity. So why in the world is the Dracula in this book the stupid new 90s-looking Dracula and not the awesome mustache-having Dracula that will always be the true Marvel Dracula to me?

The Amazing Spider-Man movie bust looks fantastic and I absolutely love that pose. It’s different from the 300,000 other Spider-Man busts and statues that have come out over the past however many years. 
The Green Goblin bust also looks phenomenal – not for the pose, but for the amount of detail and the exposed exoskeleton (I guess) on the left side looks very cool. I do, however, hate the character design. I saw the movie last Friday (and am writing this Thursday night). Maybe there are story reasons for Goblin to look so boring. Maybe he mutates further and looks cooler. But I don’t like the Goblin or Rhino designs from this movie based on what I’ve seen so far.

Side Note: Check out yesterday’s review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to see how I ended up feeling about all of that.

Obviously the Mego-style Spidey seems like a must-have for any toy collector. I mean, it is a must-have. But eighty dollars? Really? I know it comes with a bunch of stuff, but that is a lot of money for one figure.

The Death of Archie - Archie
I just feel like I should mention this. As good as Afterlife With Archie has been I feel like I probably shouldn’t dismiss this as a stunt or scoff at the story or whatever. If I had to guess I’d say it will probably end up being great. But I don’t care. I’m just not an Archie guy! Sorry!

RoboCop #1 – BOOM! Studios (311)
I can’t help but notice this comic book is based in the continuity of the original RoboCop and not the dull remake. Weird.

Titan Comics’ Pages Full of Interesting Things (406)
I sort of poo-poo’d Titan’s new Doctor Who comic book last time, and that was partially based on their hilariously awful WWE comic book from years ago. But I have to admit that Titan has done something very impressive this month – they have created a two-page spread where everything in the main splash panels appeals to me in some way. That’s just weird.

I don’t know exactly what The Evil Within is, but those are some appealingly horrifying images.

Sally of the Wasteland is “a trip down the mutant-infested bayous of post-apocalyptic Louisiana interrupted by giant killer crawgators!” Yes. I would read that.

I like Tank Girl.

I know nothing about Johnny Nemo, but both of those images look cool. I want to know more about Johnny Nemo!
Finally, Black Dragon is by Chris Claremont and John Bolton. SOLD.

The Big Butt Book 3D – Taschen (455)
This is exactly what it says it is. A book full of pictures of butts. In 3D. I can’t decide if this is wonderful or if it’s a sign of the final collapse of civilization.

Boba Fett – Where?” T-Shirt (475)
This is fucking stupid. But I laughed out loud at it. What does that say about me?

Mars Attacks Dress (484)
Obviously I am not the best person to judge female attire, but this is one kickass dress.

Mechagodzilla Vinyl Bust Bank – Diamond Select Toys (496)
I’m going to put over DST’s banks in every single one of these articles until all of the Phantomaniacs own one. Because they are just awesome. These things seriously look so nice.

S.U.C.K.L.E. Series 1 Minifigures – October Toys (510)
I’ve always wanted some Sucklord toys, but have never wanted to spend the money on them. These little guys are totally affordable, but I can’t quite figure out how they’re coming from Diamond. They’re listed at two bucks apiece as opposed to being priced as a set. I hope that doesn’t mean they’re blind-bagged in a big box like other small collector toys. But I’m sure it does.

The Next Wave of ReAction Figures – Funko (519)
This time around we’ve got Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Back to the Future, Pulp Fiction, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The more of these I see, the more I think about the appeal of having characters from all of these licenses in the exact same style. And yeah – I know that’s been the point all along, but it’s really starting to materialize now. If these start showing up at retail as opposed to being something I have to order my wallet is going to be in trouble.

300 Armor and Stuff (535)

Is this still a thing? Or is Diamond just trying to clear these out of the warehouse? Don’t get me wrong – if I was a ripped dude I would happily run around Dragon Con in red underpants with a tureen on my head. But I just can’t imagine there’s still a big demand for this gear.

Side Note: I have a bunch of pictures of such dudes from Dragon Con 2007:
I wonder how many of those dudes still look like that?

Batman Returns: Life Size Penguin Commando Prop (536)

Who the heck buys this stuff? Never mind. I know I would if I had too much money to know what to do with.

Freddy vs. Jason Statue – Bishoujo ((548)

Sadly this is not the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever seen. But it’s up there.

Godzilla Blu-Ray 2-packs

These came in under my radar. I want them all. The Godzilla vs. Biollante I bought recently looks fantastic. It says these are scheduled to ship in June, but they actually came out yesterday. Go to the NeedlessThings Amazon Store and buy them! Or use the handy links below.

Also of Note

Once again Marvel offered a catalogue full of beautiful and eye-catching artwork while DC offered many images that led me to wonder how they were chosen to represent books from a major comic book publisher. DC did better this month than they did in my first installment of this feature, but they still can’t touch the quality and style being put forth by the House of Ideas.

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