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The Death and Return of Superman "Gift Set"

I bought The Death of Superman on blu-ray last year when it came out…though it was heading into a less-than-ideal point in my personal life, so I never got around to/bothering to post about it.

Then in January, I was able to attend one of the Fathom Events theatrical showings of a double-feature of both The Death of Superman and the then-yet-to-be-released Reign of the Supermen; which I detailed in my post Reign of the Supermen…26 Years From Page to Screen.

Reign of the Supermen actually came out on home media the week of January 30, 2019.

And then, like with The Dark Knight Returns a couple/several years ago, they’ve gone and jammed the two films into one epic presentation. And me being me, and like with TDKR, I bought into the shiny new re-issue of what I already had.

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For their part, it helps that the thing has an awesome-looking figurine of Steel. I’m not keen on their marking it as a "gift set," but that more accurately describes this boxed edition that comes with the figurine, over just getting the movie(s) itself.

I nearly bought it in person, but discovered that if I went to the trouble of physically picking it off the shelf and carrying it to the front of the store and checking myself out…that would be one price. Or, by placing an online order at a Walmart I was going to be at for groceries anyway and having an employee track it down, check it out, bag and tag it, and then when I was ready, go find it and take it to await my showing up to grab it from a kiosk, I saved $5.

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First thing I did with this was get it open to get the Steel figure out; I have not yet dug in to the rest. It’s also interesting to me that they apparently include a blu-ray of Superman: Doomsday. I’ll be curious to see if that has the retrospective/documentary on it. I’d love to have THAT digitally.

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Out of the "gift box," the movie comes with the usual cardboard slipcover…and of course, the Steel figurine!

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The figurine is way bigger in this photo (at least on MY screen as I type this) than the physical object. I love how this looks…the contrast of the dark grey with the red cape! And I didn’t even notice the (glowing?) blue eyes until I took this photo.

Maybe I’ll do a random post in the near future showing this figurine with the "battle-damaged" Superman one that came with The Death of Superman last year.

I’m curious as to whether the upcoming (in just the next couple weeks, I think!) Wonder Woman animated movie will come with a character figurine. And perhaps along with the aforementioned Superman figurine, I ought to do a post showing my whole collection of figurines that have come with these DC animated features.

As always, and broken record that I am…time will tell.

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(Mighty Morphin’) Power Rangers on Home Media

The new Power Rangers movie hit home media this week, and as it stood, was one of the movies that I knew I definitely had an interest in purchasing, despite having seen it in the theater.

I opted to go with the Target steelbook edition…largely as it was supposed to come with a “graphic novel,” and I recall stuff like an X-Men one that came with a box set, or the Mask of the Phantasm one that came with a VHS back in the day, or even the full-sized Avengers Season One that came with the first MCU Avengers movie.

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The case itself looks good, and I find that I much prefer these costumes’ appearance in stills like this or in action on the screen…but something about the toys just does not work for me–they look like dollar-store generics to me and don’t have the nostalgia that the classic costumes’ design would have.

As I’m not expecting much of a series here and don’t expect to have much to line this up with on a shelf, I was also more open to the steelbook as it won’t be a weird item amidst others for me. The title and such is still on the side, and I like this image, and even the lightning symbol on the back works well; though I may try to cut down the cardboard that came with it to have the “specs” of the release with the case, since that was not itself duplicated on the steelbook.

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Strictly on the surfacey, technical level, my only real disappointment here is that the so-called “graphic novel” is nothing more than a comic! It is just a differently-sized comic book, essentially a “single issue” (though it may have more pages). [Edit: Power Rangers: Aftershock apparently was a 96-page original graphic novel published in standard edition for $14.99.]

This booklet has 60 pages of story…so either the graphic novel has something else, or this is severely truncated!

I’m also–despite this being “free”–not happy with it as sold. “Sequel comic” or “free comic” or a number of other terms could be used. But to me, a “graphic novel” indicates squarebound and a sturdier cover and such–something “prestige format” perhaps. This most certainly is not that!

I guess this just strikes a chord with me, as it looks (to me) like blatant misuse of the term “graphic novel” to get around the term “comic” or “comic book”–as if either is a bad word.

Had this edition of the release been more expensive for including the comic, I’d be quite miffed. As the non-Target-exclusive version was the same price…this IS still “bonus” and 60 pages, so it’s not like it’s “nothing” was done.

I do look forward to re-watching this, as well as the “extras,” despite seeing too many online pieces already as folks scramble all over themselves to make “news stories” of stuff that’s revealed in comments in the extras and such.

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Deadpool on DVD (and Blu-Ray, and Digital, and postcards…)

So, Deadpool hit home media this week.

No, I do not count the “early” release digital-only from a few weeks back.

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And after looking online to see if there were any fun exclusives, I went with Target. They have bonus postcards…and this edition was “on sale” to match the “regular get it at whatever retailer with no exclusives” edition’s pricing.

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Plenty of extras, too, so I didn’t even bother to consider/look at the DVD-only edition (especially for the First Week On Sale pricing being so similar!).

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As far as I can tell, outside of the “bonus” postcards, the only difference in Target‘s edition is the red plastic case instead of blue. And I’m totally ok with that!

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The postcards included seem genuine/usable…and I’m actually half considering putting some to use.

…Or they might just stay in the case and be forgotten about. But since I paid the same for this ad I would have for one without ’em…not a big deal either way.

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Still…very glad for the “combo edition” that certain publishers seem wholly opposed to anymore…especially for the price, if not principle.

Next step is actually sitting down and (re)watching the film…and certainly the extras!

Dark Knight Returns and Death of Superman Hardcovers

I’ve long been very interested in the Death of Superman hardcover edition from the line of Graphic Novel + Original Movie + Digital releases from Warner Bros. Not all that much the movie (though the documentary with it is well worth the price alone!).

Thing is…I wasn’t going to pay $27-something for it.

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Browsing at Walmart, having given up actually spotting anything of interest, I did a double take and realized I’d stumbled across a “super-hero display” in the home media section. As my eyes moved upward, I spotted these (as well as an empty Batman Year One slot, and overflowing Justice League: War and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis slots…with one copy of Dark Knight Returns and several Death of Superman.

All were price at $19.96 or so (think “$20”)…but while I knew they were usually $27, I noticed that the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns had a $34 cover price…so I wasn’t going to pass on it and find it upped to $25 or so…nor did I want to pass on it and then waste hours and gas trying to track these down in a Walmart for this price again.

Frankly, if I was buying the Batman one, I couldn’t not buy the Superman one, so I splurged and bought both.

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This also solves my “problem” with the DKR/DKII oversized deluxe hardcover: I now have THE one I particularly want, and got it for a mere $20. (I think the paperback edition is that price) plus I get the bluray, dvd, and digital combo pack of the movie…where the book itself is worth the price to me.

Ditto on the Superman one…and at least with the digital copy, that’s something all-new for me.

I’d also wondered about the packaging, only ever seeing these shrink-wrapped and un-openable: there are pockets built into the inside back cover to hold the bluray and the dvd; the  Batman one had an extra, un-attached sleeve for a bonus features disc; and the Digital Redemption Sheet was not attached. (Only two discs to the Superman book, so no extra sleeve).

It’s a bit of sticker shock buying both, but knowing myself and my OCD, I figured it was better to just buy them now than waste resources in a couple weeks trying to hunt them down.

This does make me want an animated Kingdom Come movie all the more, though.

So Disney DOES Still Do Blu-Ray + DVD combo packs!

I truly wish I knew what/why/who it was, determining if a home-media-release movie would have a BluRay/DVD combo pack. (+ Digital, too, even!)

I was in Target, and happened to notice these two new releases:

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And I just happened to further notice the formats.

UNLike the recent Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy (or Fox‘s X-Men: Days of Future Past, but that’s Fox and not Disney)…

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Maleficent, a live-action (like the Marvel films)…Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital. EMPHASIS…on the Blu-Ray and DVD!

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And an animated film, Planes: Fire and Rescue. Again with the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital.

So really…WHAT THE HECK?!?

Why include a DVD for SOME films and not others, along with the Blu-Ray and Digital grouping?

I mean…WHAT makes it seem like a “good idea” or anything the public would want?!?

I have personal reasons for not really wanting either of these two films, but I’d be inclined otherwise to buy them specifically to “support” the three-format combo while I refused already to buy the Captain America movie and will likely refuse to buy Guardians first-hand (If I buy Guardians I’ll likely go with a second-hand/”used” copy since that won’t be a sale Disney can track/count as “support” for an inferior product).

Bargain Bin Haul – Week of October 1st, 2014

After taking some time off of rummaging through the bargain-bins, with not having a bunch of expensive 3-D DC books, I snagged a handful of quasi-random books so I can read ’em sooner than not without having to dig through my own boxes.

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DC One Million 1-4 was a nice find. Recent activity in an Ultraverse Facebook group has me itching to dive into some serious Ultraverse reading. The Warlock issue was shiny and I was going to snag some other shiny issues for the heckuvit, but put ’em back. The Batman issue’s extremely familiar as a cover image but I can’t place it, so figure that’ll be a good re-read. And it’s become my personal policy to never, ever leave a copy of Superman #75 when it’s 25 or 50 cents regardless of the printing; a first printing I’ll go about $1 if I’m not spending too much otherwise.

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And the newest Transformers movie came out on home media this week. I’d considered buying the first three several times this summer but kept talking myself out of it. Then I decided I’d see if there was any kind of franchise-set, and sure enough, there’s this set at Walmart. For the first-week “sale,” I got it for $29.99. Considering I’d been willing to pay around $20-23 for the first 3, another $7 for the 4th to be included was not bad at all. Especially for being Blu-Ray, having some digital stuff, and considering the new one by itself was about $18-$20 for the first-week sale in the major chains.

On NOT Buying The Winter Soldier

Captain_America_The_Winter_Soldier_3DBluRay_BluRay_Digital_Combo_PackWhen I first saw the second Captain America movie, The Winter Soldier, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw it twice in the theater, actually, and enjoyed it as much or more the second time through.

And as such, I decided I actually WOULD buy this one when it was released on home media. (where I have NOT bought the first Cap film or either of the Thor films).

But now Disney‘s changing “the rules.” I finally get “trained” to actually EXPECT a BluRay/DVD combo pack (maybe with “digital” thrown in as a 3rd option) and they’ve switched to 3D-BluRay/BluRay/Digital, leaving me from there to have to choose ONLY a DVD or ONLY a BluRay.

Yet this is a film that since my roommate and I have a BluRay player, I’d certainly prefer to watch in the HD format (plus I hardly pay attention to “extras” anymore but have been further “trained” to EXPECT there to be MORE “extras” on anything BluRay than on DVD). However, as I’ll be visiting my parents this coming weekend, I’d really enjoy the chance to have them see it, and share that experience with them.

BUT…because of the weird encoding and “language” thing with DISNEY BluRays (forcing one to choose between “English” and whatever else BEFORE ever getting to a menu otherwise) their BR player is incapable of playing Disney‘s BluRays (plays others, but can’t get past the Disney-specific stuff). As such, this is ACTUALLY a case where I could gladly “justify” the notion of a DVD being packed with a BluRay (even though if you have a BluRay player it should play DVDs, but if you have the BluRay player why would you care to watch the DVD on it?).

Then I saw that Walmart has “exclusive” box covers, each focusing on a single character. Truthfully, on looking at the “thumbnails” on the display of the various boxes, I decided “ok, let’s see the Scarlett Johansson one and go from there.” Alas, for all the copies across numerous different displays and locations in the store, that was the only one they did NOT have in stock.

So, grumpy as I am at present, that’s pretty much that. DVD will EVENTUALLY be available in Redbox, so I’ll just have to wait until some visit after it’s available in Redbox to rent and watch it with my parents.

Despite all that, I might’ve gone ahead and “settled for” DVD/Digital, accepting the Digital as added value to giving up the HD of BluRay…but Disney just HAS TO be different for the sake of being different, it would seem.

Alien Resurrection: Found!

20121203-140243.jpgLast year, I tracked down the Aliens and Predator films on blu-ray. I’m stupidly particular about those cardboard sleeves, which made the hunt a bit more problematic that simply being in stock or not.

I wound up missing only Alien Resurrection, as Walmart and Target don’t carry it and I didn’t want to pay a full $20+ at Best Buy, couldn’t find it at any of the used stores, and an online purchase might not have the sleeve to “match up” to the other 3 Aliens films’ cases.

The other day at Sam’s Club (in Alabama, visiting a friend) I came across the film with the sleeve…for only $10…a great price (especially as I’d expected to pay at least $15 or so) to get this.

Given Joss Whedon’s involvement and seeing hints of Firefly in it (and starting to rewatch the Firefly pilot recently) I might just get sucked back into that, thanks to this.

Avengers: Season One [Review]

Writer: Peter David
Artists: Andrea DiVito, Jon Buran, Nigel Raynor, Mike Bowden, Walden Wong
Color Artist: Wil Quintana
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Art: Adi Granov
Assistant Editor: Jake Thomas
Associate Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Published by: Marvel Comics

When I heard that Avengers Season One was going to be included with the Walmart edition of the DVD/Bluray, I was pretty much “sold” on the spot. By the time this came out, though, I’d resigned myself to some sort of DVD-case-digest-size book, probably on crummy paperstock and not at all reasonably worth the added cost (though if it was one of these sets priced the same as the non-set package, it’d totally be worth it!)

The package felt suitably heavy, though, when I finally bought it the morning the thing was available. When I opened the package, seeing the pages-out, I was ready to be incensed at the actual packaging…until I slid out a full-size TPB volume that would easily command a $14.99+ cover price if it were being sold by itself. Even at some “bargain” $9.99 price, in and of itself the book makes the added cost worthwhile if you’re interested in the book itself.

The physical package is your average Marvel paperback. The cover stock and pages, and dimensions are as any other Marvel volume that this would be indistinguishable as an ‘exclusive’ if it wasn’t for the notice on the cover where the pricing would be “Custom Edition Not For Resale.” (That, and that this is a paperback where I believe thus far the other Season One books have been only in hardback).

The writing is solid–and I’d expect no less of David‘s work. He knows these characters and it shows–though in a way it reminds me that I myself do not know these characters particularly well in their pre-1990s iterations. While the writing is solid–it manages to capture these characters in a suitably generic sort of way–they’re recognizable without being placed entirely in the silver age nor the modern age. The relationships seem familiar to what I know of them in the comics, while bordering on adapting the movie versions.

Visually, much of the book is the same way. There are multiple artists (depicting different scenes/settings) which works fairly well as it differentiates what each character is seeing/doing through the story. Though it works, I got a distinct sense that I’m supposed to associate these comics with the characters from the movies, that this story is supposed to fit either the comics or the movie universe according to primary experience.

Sure, that works well enough–it is a tie-in product, after all. But the fact it evoked the movie characters as much as it did took me out of the story and left me unsure where the story’s supposed to be set, and I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have if it felt like it was more based in the traditional comics story. I suspect I was also soured a bit by a one-shot I read earlier this year that was set in the movie universe that itself felt like a waste of time.

If this was a $15 paperback or $20+ hardcover being sold by itself, I’d be pretty disappointed despite the creative talent involved and wondering if there’d be some way to get a refund. Standing solely on its own this–to me–is not something worth seeking out specifically.

But as a bonus included with a blu-ray I was already planning to buy, this gets points as a decent read, with art that never felt bad or out of place. And though it’s the size of 4-5ish single issues, I don’t think I paid more for this package than the cost of two standard Marvel comics in addition to the actual blu-ray pack.

All that said–you get a complete story in this volume. There’s no cliffhanger directing you into some other volume or series of volumes; this is not a prologue to a crossover/event nor some epilogue/continuation of a crossover/event. You have the characters, you see their adventure, the threat(s) they face, and you have resolution.

If you’ve seen the movie, the characters don’t particularly contradict the film. Or if you read this and then watch the film, stuff works overall.

And really, on the whole, I’m glad I went with the Walmart purchase for this book. If you can still find the blu-ray/DVD package with this graphic novel at your local Walmart, and want the Avengers film anyway, this is definitely a worthwhile purchase.

Possible Packaging for The Avengers?

packagingthumbThe other day, my roommate and I got to talking about the Avengers movie coming out in a couple days, and then of how we oughtta watch the “solo” films this week in the lead-up to it.

We then got to talking about DVD packaging (I have the original Iron Man in a case shaped like his helmet mask, and I have The Dark Knight in a case shaped like Batman’s cowl; he has one of the Transformers films in a transforming Bumblebee figure. And the gem of the special cases–his model of the 2009 Enterprise, with the film encased in the saucer section of the ship. (Something we’d joked about the time the film first hit theaters: how cool would it be for them to do a case that was the Enterprise, but the saucer held the DVDs? And then sure enough–the idea proved fruitful from elsewhere.)

So our conversation turned toward the packaging of Avengers and/or the solo films. Captain America’s shield–that’s round. WHY Target (they did those other ‘special cases’) didn’t have an “exclusive” packaging shaped like the shield is beyond us.

But then we got to thinking about how there’s bound to be special collector sets when Avengers comes out on home release, with it boxed with the other solo films.

Why not a box/case with Avengers, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America, and Thor attached to a handle–the disc case part being the head of Thor’s hammer?

Or returning to the idea of Cap’s shield…and this is the idea I think we liked best…have the films packaged in a much larger replica of the shield.

They could put the films around the outer rim, with Avengers locked in the center. Have the main front of Cap’s shield as the lid (screw-on, snap-on, hinged…whatever works).

How cool would that be?

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Above: Mock-up of 6-film Avengers package idea

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