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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 18, 2018

This was a small week comics-wise!

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New Batman, first issue of Archie Meets Batman ’66, a #0-issue for Rise of the TMNT, and the second issue of The Magic Order. I either haven’t read #1 yet despite buying it, or have totally forgotten it already, but went ahead and picked up #2 to be sure to have it. Whether I’d go on to a 3rd issue remains to be seen!


I ended up splurging on some new DuckTales stuff this week:

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I was VERRRRRRRY glad to find that Launchpad is available as a single-figure card, and NOT exclusive to the Suncatcher (plane) playset, and got him, as well as Flintheart Glomgold.

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Larger view of Launchpad…

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Larger view of Glomgold…

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I also went ahead and bought the Target-exclusive 10-inch Scrooge McDuck Pop vinyl (From Funko. Not being much of a statues guy, this one struck me as "statuesque" and though it’s not my favorite interpretation of Scrooge, I like it for what it is.

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The cats didn’t know what to make of Scrooge, though, and both came over to check him out before I could even get him outta the box!

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Sarah took off after determining that he wasn’t food, treat, nor comics to lay on. Chloe settled in to ask how she might obtain the same sort of financial success as Scrooge…

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Funko Batman ’66 Batmobile with Batman & Robin

I (somehow) managed to forget that I’d ordered this last week, when I opted to buy the Adam West Batman Bust Bank over the weekend. Perhaps I was torn on it and figured I could still cancel the order (I didn’t). Whatever the case…it arrived Monday.

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There was also a factor of the price–getting this much cheaper ordering online than had I bought it in a store in-person.

The box is snazzy and not bad as a window-box or whatnot…but you just don’t get the greatest sense of the Batmobile and the figures with everything roped into place inside a brightly-colored box!

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Some of the car gets lost in the angles of the box…out of the box, easy enough to just see the car for itself, and the sheer awesomeness that is this car!

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Sadly, there’s no flame effect for the back. Atomic batteries to power…turbines to speed indeed.

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And while the car is cool enough on its own…it’s even better with its classic occupants!

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At either angle, they look good in this!

My only real complaint with the set is that the capes aren’t particularly removable…nor are they cloth, and so it’s hard to get the figures to actually SIT in the vehicle. I had to put Batman’s cape over the back of his seat for the figure to actually sit down in and not be standing up outta the seat.

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I am not a "car guy" or such. But if you wanna talk cool-looking cars, or a "dream car" and all that…the 1966 Batmobile is that for me.

As with the Bust Bank over the weekend…I hold that it’s a shame it took West‘s passing to remind me how much he and his portrayal of Batman meant to me–really meant–and while I feel sorta guilty "suddenly" getting stuff like this…I do feel like it’s before the items disappear or otherwise go full-on collectors’-items because of the man’s death. I wouldn’t want to have to "hunt" for these or pay jacked-up "premium prices" because someone raises the price on "Adam West memorabilia" or such.


I’ll leave off with a clip I found while looking for something else, but that I found quite interesting:

On the passing of Adam West

It was quite outta the blue, getting a message from a friend yesterday. Adam West passed away…

Great. Thanks, 2017. And an image of some posts I’ve seen the last couple months about how "2017 is worse than 2016" or some such–presumably referring to "celebrity deaths" and the like.

This was outta the blue, yeah, but while surprising, at the same time, somehow not shocking. Unwelcome, yes. Undesired, certainly. But he was old, right?

I flipped over to Google, and keyed in simply "Adam West," not wanting to prompt any false stories of death or such. Perhaps it’s a hoax, right?

Nope.

Too many results, saying that he’d indeed passed.

He was 88. Short battle with leukemia.

I had just made plans to meet up with a friend for awhile, and had an urgent family matter to attend to, so didn’t sit or dwell.

While at a comic shop, saw that they had Batman on–the ’66 series’ movie–and wound up loitering a bit with that. Enjoying the campy stuff, musing over the typical stuff–a bat ladder? Bat shark spray? Bat copter? But it was what it was.

As a kid, I never understood my parents’ seeing humor in the show or ridiculousness in it.

As a kid, I took it seriously. It was Batman. I’m sure I knew it was dated, yeah, it was from decades earlier! (~24-25ish years at the time, barely half the series’ existence as of now in 2017) But it was still Batman.

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I got slightly choked up seeing this, when a friend sent it to me yesterday.

He’s gone on.

We’re still here. We remember the actor, and what he meant to us–if not personally, then at least as Batman, as a hero, as that figure we’d watch on the tv screen.

 

Mr. West meant a lot to more people than I can imagine.

I said to a friend that some part of me half-thought he’d live forever.

Knowing of Stan Lee having "health issues" the last several years, seeing all the celebrity deaths in 2016, I kept expecting to see his name amidst others.

Part of me (morbidly) still does. Certainly don’t wish it, just sadly expecting it, statistically.

But Adam West?

It hadn’t really even occurred to me that we’d ever lose him.

I think back to a few years ago, I went to a Wizard World in Columbus, Ohio, with a couple friends. We got to see the ’66 Batmobile (albeit from outside its display area).

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I got to see it "live," "in-person."

After a restroom break, I was asked if I’d seen Burt Ward in there–apparently he (and a couple bodyguards?) had entered shortly after me. No, I didn’t see/consciously know he was even in there while I was til after the fact…but that’s my claim to fame: I got to pee with Burt Ward.

And we also got to attend a panel with the two as the focus. Adam West and Burt Ward. They talked to us, the audience, for a bit, and then did a Q&A session. Plenty of people lined up for it, there were plenty of questions, and the two men easily filled the allotted time for the panel.

I think it was this panel that I first learned of the two and their "rivalry" on set, trying to crowd each other out of the shot or otherwise steal the focus of the camera.

Flash forward to last Fall, and the animated movie The Return of the Caped Crusaders–it was an interesting thing, hearing the familiar voices, but knowing they’re all significantly "older". I first learned of the film then-coming-up because relatively recent to that point, I’d become ‘friends’ with Ward on Facebook.

I remember back in college, when I watched the ’66 film for the first time in a number of years, and found it so extremely hokey and off-putting. PARTICULARLY that the Bat-Copter goes down, and there’s CONVENIENTLY some mattress sale going on in the parking lot immediately below the distressed machine.

I–like apparently many–had my phase of finding the series distasteful and such an artifact of the past.

Several years ago, though, I was ecstatic when I learned we’d be getting the series on DVD/home release. I got the first season pretty early on–but could not begin to justify the steep price on the entire series all at once. Somewhere along the way after that, I got the first part of season 2. And then I think it was "Black Friday 2015" or otherwise some online/promo-pricing I got the second half of season 2 and season 3…so I functionally have the complete series on DVD, just without all the bonus-premium-EXTRA-extras from the single-box full-series set.

And I haven’t watched much yet, but I’ve liked just having the option. At whatever point I’d choose, I can pop a disc in and watch whatever episodes strike my fancy. Or at least, I can look up where they’d be and try to find the appropriate disc to do so.


I never met West in person. Never got anything signed, never talked to him, etc. He wasn’t/hasn’t been on my "bucket list" of individuals I would like to meet someday and all that.

Perhaps I took stuff for granted.

Perhaps it was simply not considering losing the guy.

I’ve often "wondered" at people seeming personally, deeply affected by celebrity deaths. Yeah, I get the significance but few have "meant" as much to me.

Despite the time, the years since the show was first on and all that, there was something to Adam West as Batman, and knowing he was still "out there," still around, still making appearances, doing voicework, etc.

But he’s gone.

And as I see numerous posts from fellow bloggers, fellow fans, friends on Facebook, etc…it hits home. This is a big one. I’m saddened at having learned of his passing. I’m sad, perhaps overly selfishly so, that I’ll never have another opportunity to "meet" him. No more Adam West AND Burt Ward.

A hero–an actor who played a hero–is gone. Someone who touched millions of lives, mine included, has gone. Whatever metatextual stuff there may be…that’s a part of my life now gone, someone who was ‘always there’ even if I never noticed, or rarely did.

I watched a couple segments on YouTube about his passing, and was ok.

But then there was that transition noise into the theme music, and tears filled my eyes.


But y’know?

If I’m this affected, if we’re this affected, millions of us as fans past and present, old and new and all that–we’re hurt at this loss, we feel a loss in our lives?

I can’t imagine it for the family.

There are loads of cliché words to be said (that I won’t); but it’s TRUE: I can’t imagine what it must be for them, losing someone close to them, that actually IS a part of their lives, by blood, by family, and not just someone that played any of a number of characters that impacted us.

 

What can I truly say? I can’t even organize my thoughts. This whole post is stream-of-consciousness…I wasn’t even gonna do this post. But that’d be to somehow do the whole head-in-the-sand thing, or in trying NOT to do/be something, I’d DO/BE that.

I’ve been a Superman fan practically my whole life, back to some of my earliest conscious, consistent memories. But next to Superman, next to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there was Batman. Michael Keaton, yeah, and Adam West. Keaton was one version, a couple hours, a single movie, then two movies.

Adam West was hours upon hours of continuous stories of daring-do and such.

He won’t be forgotten.

This Week’s Comics Haul (November 20, 2013)

I’m loving the $1 “promo” issues of late. At the LEAST they add “value” to the “stack.” I picked up Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time #12 (of 12) on a whim just to check it out since I haven’t a clue when I’ll get to read the entire series. And Ben 10 I figured I’d just try, see if I liked it. With only about 8 titles and at least 4 Wednesdays in a month, I haven’t figured out why Valiant can’t better “stagger” their books!

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Also hit the quarter-bins at JC’s in the Falls. Finally got Supergirl #1 (PAD’s run), couldn’t pass up Superman the Man of Steel #1 on principle (see upcoming Akron Comicon post from the con a couple weeks ago).

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And finally got Superman Red to go with my Superman Blue that I got a couple years ago. I’m re-realizing how much I like the pre-New 52 Tim Drake Robin character, particularly given my history with the character and comics in general (another story for another time). These figures will be coming out of the packages ASAP; to display with my other JLA figures, and the cards are slightly curled and just seem “worn” such that I might as well ditch the packaging.

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Catching up on some recent non-villains reading

ASTRO CITY #4

astrocity004This is exactly the sort of story I absolutely love from this series. Astro City brings to life a certain reality of superhumans existing in ordinary society, and rarely does so better than showing us that not every last individual that develops a power is automatically a hero or villain. We’re brought into a world of individuals who have found other uses for their powers, making a living with the use of their power outside the flash-bang of the constant hero/villain battles. In this case, a telekinetic using her powers to assist in the special effects for film, allowing model movement without cumbersome wires. of course, there are those that would see such use as a waste of talent and seek to round these folks up and force them to use their powers for someone’s gain. But that’s where a network of the non-action folks comes in as they have one another’s backs. Great story, great art, and a fantastic self-contained one-issue story. Even when I tell myself I’ll wait for the collected volume(s), it’s issues like this that keep me coming back for the single-issue Astro City experience!

BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE (2013) #1

batmanblackandwhite001Despite overall enjoyment of the one-shot nature of the Villains Month books this September, as a longer-term thing I’ve been gravitating to DC‘s digital-first stuff that basically exists on its own. I saw and passed on this issue the week it came out, but wound up buying it this past weekend on others’ recommendation and ended up quite enjoying it. While the $4.99 cover price is rather off-putting, it FELT like I had a lengthy reading experience out of the deal. The multiple short stories lend an air of added value, as not only do we not “need” to buy the next issue to resolve a cliffhanger but got several COMPLETE stories in this issue. I quite enjoyed the mix of stories and art, and look forward to the next issue. Also, while I usually hate “sketch covers” and such, which this one would certainly qualify as in my eyes…this one works here because it’s perfectly fitting to the contents of the issue and nature of the book itself. Though I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing this image in full color as a poster or such.

TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #3

tmntnewanimatedadventures003I’m continuing to enjoy pretty much any dose of TMNT in comic form, and this title continues to have exactly what I’m looking for in it. I’m really enjoying Brizuela‘s art as it nicely carries the tone of the tv series while keeping a comic look and being its own thing. I did find the story itself fairly forgettable on the whole here, but in a way that could actually be a bit of a strength: it fits so well with other episodes of the tv series and earlier issues of this series that it just blends right in. The cover made me think we were getting an expanded look at Kraang-Prime, which unfortunately was not actually the case; but still made for a cool, interesting cover. There’s not much in the way of solid “mythology” to this series, as it’s truly a companion of sorts to the tv series…but I’m liking it. Now if we could just get a single-issue edition classic reprint series of the old Archie TMNT Adventures, I’d be all set!

BATMAN ’66 #3

batman66003This issue was fairly fun for me. Usually I wouldn’t much care for this sort of thing, but I enjoyed seeing the Red Hood concept introduced into the ’66 universe. It definitely fit well, and kept the typical tone I’d expect from the classic tv series. Unfortunately, I’m noticing a pattern wherein we have a story taking up 2/3 of the issue and another short filler taking up the final third…and I’ve had to basically force myself through the final story. I appreciate the pagecount for the price, but would prefer more to the main story’s segments. On the whole, I’m still getting a “feel” for this series though look forward to what else we get from it. I suppose I could pick and choose from the digital chapters, but while I’ll buy some comics digitally, since this is a title I’m choosing as a “DC Fix” or “Batman Fix” for the month, I’d prefer to buy it in print for the time-being. I do wonder how long until the visual style wears on me…I appreciate having the characters look like the actors’ depictions and such (note Joker’s facial hair in this issue), but I don’t care for some of the other flourishes.

Batman ’66 #2 [Review]

batman66002Emperior Penguin & Chandell’s Chanteuse

Written by: Jeff Parker
Art by: Ty Templeton & Jonathan Case
Colored by: Wes Hartman
Lettered by: Wes Abbott
Cover art by: Michael and Laura Allred
Edited by: Jim Chadwick
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

When I first heard of this digital-first series, I wasn’t that impressed. New comic stories based on the campy 45-year-old tv series? Where’s the fun in that? Yet, due to the price point–only 99 cents for the first digital chapter–I gave it a try anyway, and something about it pulled me in. I went ahead and bought the second chapter, but then discovered that unlike others, the print edition and third digital chapter would hit the same week–so I decided I’d “go print” on this.

The same issues I had with the first–particularly the art–are present here. I can “appreciate” the visual style for trying to evoke the ’60s and such, but it’s not that appealing to me personally. Yet, it certainly fits the story, so in and of itself I don’t really have much complaint. The character designs certainly bring back memories of the characters as played by the real-life actors, which I would say means goal achieved, placing these stories as fitting the classic series.

Story-wise, the plot definitely fits. A giant iceberg floats into Gotham harbor, blocking shipping traffic. Turns out the block of ice is ruled by The Penguin–now recognized as Emperor Penguin–as the iceberg’s been declared its own country (legally binding and all that!). Batman and Robin get involved where the police can’t, and the duo quickly discovers the Penguin’s ally–Mr. Freeze! Of course, things go cold before warming up, and the dizzying duo of detectives declares fowl (er…foul) and things come to a head.

In the back part of the issue, Bruce flies solo on a date with Kathy Kane, and winds up facing someone called the Siren as Batman, who eventually winds up benefiting from Kane’s assistance. I have no idea if this character ever appeared in the classic series or not, but I have no interest in the Siren, and this sort of story especially comes as a turnoff for me–in this comic as well as the way it always did in the tv series.

All in all, not a bad issue on the whole, though at only 2 issues, some of the novelty is already wearing off. If this were a mini-series there might be more appeal for me, but I have to wonder how long this will hold my attention as an ongoing. Despite that…if only for wanting to support what I see as one of the few things DC‘s doing “right” lately, I added this to my pull list, and hope to give it at least a few more issues before I’m “driven” to dropping it.

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