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TMNT (2012) Wave 2 toys at Walmart

tmnt(2012)wave2

For some reason, I thought I was going to have to wait til Spring 2013 for new TMNT figures. As such, I was quite pleasantly surprised to find the 3-figure second wave of TMNT toys at a local Walmart.

Of this wave, Metalhead’s the only familiar character for me. I had the Metalhead figure from the original 1980s line, though I’m not particularly familiar as yet with the comics version of the character. I don’t know if I lucked across this wave just a couple days after it came out or not–but the Metalhead episode of the cartoon just aired 3 days ago.

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Dogpound is a new character to me; though I recognize the character of Bradford from the episode where Mikey “friended” him on a social network, somehow I don’t remember him being mutated yet–may just not have stood out to me at all. This is probably the largest–and heaviest–of all the standard TMNT figures so far…which makes up a bit for the toys’ pricing.

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Fishface I only recognize from some photo I saw online awhile back of a prototype or from Toyfair or some such. This is probably my least-favorite of the entire line so far–I should have left this guy on the peg, but figured my OCD would torture me til I wasted time and money on gas hunting the figure down later, so went ahead and just bought it now while all 3 figures were in front of me.

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And here are the profiles from the back of the figures’ cards:

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dogpoundprofile

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Finally, here’s the modified roster for this wave, showing all 12 figures to date for this line. I really dig this format–for years I’ve hated the lines that show maybe 2-3 other figures…you never know what other figures are actually OUT, from any given single figure, that way! Here, you get to see the ENTIRE LINE–first AND second waves–so you know what figures EXIST…and thus, what to even look for. I see 12 unique figures, I have 12 (plus the extra Foot Soldiers and Kraang), so I’m good (until the next wave hits–whenever that is).

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Talking Myself Into All-New X-Men

allnewxmenpostcardfrontthird002I intentionally did not buy Uncanny Avengers. I’m giving AvX: Consequences a pass because it began the week right after AvX 12, is only 5 issues, and is weekly. But I have no desire whatsoever to “support” Marvel Now for a number of reasons, PRIMARILY that I am so incredibly sick and tired of renumbering, tons of variant covers, and the $3.99 price point.

Some of the premises for Marvel Now titles interest me–I’m so totally torn over whether or not to try A+X as a preview showing what looks like the Maestro Hulk and Days of Future Past Logan caught my attention, and having just read Avengers: X-Sanction I’m interested in the Cap/Cable thing, see where they stand. Even though that may put me at risk of interest in Cable and X-Force.

allnewxmenpostcardfrontthird001But the biggest problem-title for me is the All-New X-Men. I hate all the retconning of the past decade, and loose/basic time-travel rules tell us all 5 X-Men will eventually return, in order to age into the present without changing history, and they’ll have no memory of stuff after.

But in general, time-travel stories, alternate timelines, etc. often interest me; my favorite for X-Men is certainly the original (mid-1990s) Age of Apocalypse (I care very little for anything done with AoA from 2005-present). So a time-travel X-Men story…ok.

allnewxmenpostcardfrontthird003Often we see time-travel stories from the point of view of having the focal character(s) and traveling “with” them into a “possible future.” You have the characters at current status quo, and the future is some possibility, taking outlandish concepts and seeing what events might twist the current characters into vastly different people by the time the future rolls around.

Here with this title, it’s kinda the other way around–we have our “present” that IS “the future” to these characters–we’ve seen the events as they’ve unfolded all these years that brought the characters from their teenage-original-X-Men-years to present. We’ve seen Fatal Attractions, The Shattering, The Twelve, Dream’s End, the Morrison run, Whedon‘s Astonishing X-Men run, House of M, Messiah Complex, Second Coming, AvX, and everything in-between.

greenlanternemeraldknightstpbGranted, this isn’t an entirely new concept….but to me it’s an intriguing “twist” of sorts. The closest comparison I can think of offhand would be Green Lantern: Emerald Knights when Kyle accidentally brought a young Hal Jordan to the then-present DCU and Hal got to learn of his own future, the Parallax corruption and so on.

I haven’t cared for all of Bendis‘ work…and certainly been “poisoned” a bit on his stuff due to marketing/hype. I avoided New Avengers on principle–Variant covers, as well as renumbering Avengers to #500 just to end at #503 and “relaunch” with New Avengers #1; having variant covers for EVERY ISSUE for the first 6-8 issues, I opted out. newavengers(2004)001Then with the Heroic Age relaunching of Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, etc. I was all set to dive in…but was unwilling to actually do so at $3.99/issue.

I loved early Ultimate Spider-Man…quick though the issues are to read, the first 60-70 some issues are probably my favorite Spider-Man comics, period. So I already “know” contemporary Marvel and X-Men, and given his run on Ultimate Spider-Man, trust Bendis to write the young X-Men enjoyably.

Apparently the first 6 issues will be bi-weekly, so…yeah, 6 $4 issues means $24 in only 3 months…but I’m assuming that’s a full 6-issue arc, ultimatespiderman013presumably withOUT having to wait a whole 6 months. So I can give the title at least a couple issues, maybe the whole first arc, to win me over long-term…and re-evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

So maybe in that regard, Marvel Now will be a success. And I guess I shouldn’t wish failure on it. I’m just not the primary target audience. But if I can find something to enjoy–great, that’s one more thing TO enjoy. And if I don’t enjoy it, or lose interest…I’ll still be able to fall back on the Valiant titles and IDW‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles books.

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Higher Earth #6 [Advance Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
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Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

AvX: Consequences #3 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
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Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

The ’90s Revisited – X-Men: Fatal Attractions

My six-part look back at the Fatal Attractions even/crossover that celebrated 30 years of the X-Men. Links below.

X-Factor #92  |  X-Force #25  |  Uncanny X-Men #304

X-Men #25  |  Wolverine #75  |  Excalibur #71

Avengers: X-Sanction [Review]

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciler: Ed McGuinness
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colorist: Morry Hollowell
Lettering: Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne
Cover Art: Ed McGuiness, Dexter Vines & Morry Hollowell
Published by: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $24.99

I found this volume at a Half-Price Books last weekend, and wound up buying it. Not the best deal I’ve ever found–especially for something as skinny as this volume–but not the worst.

As single issues, this story came out I believe December 2011 to March 2012, essentially leading into AvX.

Last year, I was both put off yet intrigued at a new story focusing on Cable. Though the character had supposedly died at the end of 2010’s Second Coming, here he was, back after less than 2 years; barely a year and a half (in other measure: less than 3 6-issue arcs’ time). From what I recall, despite some mild interest in Cable’s return and dealing with the Avengers…it was this being a mini-series priced at $3.99 that really put me off. And then learning it wasn’t even to be a self-contained story, but lead into a major 2012 event. So I passed on it as singles.

Though this only contains 4 issues, it’s priced at $24.99–essentially $6.25 per issue of content (makes $3.99 per issue seem like a steal). Granted, this is an oversized hardcover, and a 4-issue premiere hardcover might be $19.99 (basically $5 per issue of content), so the oversized format could “justify” a higher price. But this sort of pricing is absolutely NOT worthwhile for only four issues, and this story in particular.

I’m actually somewhat regretting paying half of that $24.99 for this as-is.

The Ed McGuiness art is not bad–I liked his work on some of the Superman and then Superman/Batman stuff, and while I wouldn’t consider it exactly “ideal” for this story, it works.

The story itself seems overly simple and “decompressed” to a large degree and really comes out of nowhere. Cable draws Falcon off from a fight and incapacitates him, knowing Captain America would follow. The two fight, and Cap is incapacitated. Next, Iron Man shows up and he, too, is incapacitated. Then Red Hulk shows up, followed by Cyclops, Wolverine, and Hope herself. We learn amidst all this that Cable apparently did not actually die, but reunited with Blaquesmith, and learns that the destroyed world they’re in could be prevented if Hope had lived–having apparently died due to the Avengers. So with just hours to live until the techno-organic ravaging his body kills him, Cable travels to the past to take out the Avengers so that Hope can live and save the world.

While it’s long since become a moot point…I continue to find myself curious about Cable’s techno-organic virus; recalling that in #100 of his series back in the early 2000s, the character made a concerted effort and managed to excise the virus, removing it as a factor in his life. Seeing it back here and playing such a pivotal role seems rather contradictory.

I’m also not convinced that this needed to be its own separate series…if it was really so important, it might have been worth an issue or two of an Avengers title or even one of the X-books. At the least, it could probably have been “compressed” to fit a double-sized one-shot rather than be stretched into 4 issues.

Ultimately, this is a fairly mediocre series/story/volume, and way too quick a read for $25. If you can find it for half (preferably more)-off, the art at least is worth looking at, and while I don’t recall what material is contained in the It’s Coming tpb preceding AvX, this seems like it would have been much better served being billed as a specific prequel to AvXrather than some stand-alone thing.

Revisiting Elder Dragons – A Magic: The Gathering Legend

Full post at FantasyRantz.wordpress.com.

A 2012 look at Acclaim/Armada‘s 2-issue mini-series from the 1990s with a tale of the Elder Dragons from the Legends expansion of Magic: The Gathering.

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