Triple Toy Threat!

This week, I was invited to two advance movie screenings. One starred Scarlet Witch, Shadow King, & Mantis. The other starred Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, & Punisher. So I went to the first. Not only did I enjoy it very much, it’s tangentially in the nerdy wheelhouse. Unfortunately I’m not supposed to tell you about it because of a stupid NDA which prevents me from building advance buzz for the movie without being subject to legal action.  Unless the point of that clause is reverse psychology. Even with the astronomical odds of the studio reading my blog, I’ll err on the side of paranoia & talk toys today.

The Bradford Exchange of Canada is producing a talking 12″ Justin Trudeau doll! Several articles are reporting that this is a bizarre product, seemingly oblivious to the fact that replicas of prominent political leaders are quite common in the high end 1/6 scale doll world. What’s actually bizarre is that the Bradford Exchange & its international affiliate websites refuse to sell this Prime Minister effigy outside of Canada!

Speaking of dreamy world leaders, here’s T’Challa!

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Includes authentic Wakandan jungle diorama!

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Thor: Ragnarok Trailer Looks Hela Good!

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BREAK IT DOWN NOW!

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi’s trailer isn’t being unveiled until Friday.  It matters not, for Disney let slip the hounds of awesome with the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok! It looks Hela good! (Look forward to me recycling this pun for my review of the whole movie!) Wardrobe committed to Hela’s insane antlers! She had better be getting a Marvel Legends toy unlike most MCU villains! The fact that Loki’s got his horns back instantly makes this a superior film to The Dark World. And instead of focusing on a floating truck, this one’s stuffed to the gills with stuff that fans actually want to see in a Thor adaptation including Jack Kirby wall murals! My concern now is how they’re going to have enough time to introduce Hela, Valkyrie, Executioner, Grandmaster, & maybe Surtur (but no Enchantress or Balder) since Marvel Studios’ master plan didn’t have the foresight to set up any of them previously.  I preemptively resent “Planet Hulk” being grafted onto Thor’s final solo movie when so much Asgardian mythos needs fleshing out, but Thor is just so adorable when he sees his friend from work! Please subvert the superheroes  pointlessly battling each other trope! The colors are so pretty! The important thing is Taika Waititi’s movie looks like oodles of fun!

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What Is Dead May Never Die On TV?

Gotham is committed to pitting the Riddler against Penguin. This is a huge bummer since I really enjoyed them being murder besties even if they didn’t hook up. I sympathize with shippers feeling betrayed, but I also understand the writers going with this for maximum drama since it’s the relationship viewers actually care about.  At least it’s making Babs & Tabs more pivotal & finding work for Clayface. You can tell the psychological warfare taking it’s toll because Oswald didn’t even eat the birthday cake of Nygma’s replacement after killing him! Will Riddler cause Disco Vampire to wear a monocle via gratuitous eye violence ala Arkham City? Then they can let eyegones be bygones. Or will they go for the “Penguin doesn’t need a reason to wear a monocle” explanation that nobody had a problem with for decades?

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Unexpected fun fact: Dr. Leslie Thompkins is most effective at violating perps’ rights to get intel.

The way that they’re addressing reanimation as simultaneously bonkers & mundane is perfect. I appreciate that they turned the Joker’s face removal in the New 52 from edgy horror into a joke about poseurs. It’s only just returned & already announcing a winter break after next week? You can’t have two winter finales in the same season, Gotham! That’s madness!

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2016’s Final Casualty Will Be Itself

Welcome to the first blog after our one hundredth! It’s also the last I’ll be writing this year. We’re almost out of 2016! At first I thought people were overreacting about how bad 2016 was, but the year wore me down too. Even my first publisher went belly up. This is specifically not a retrospective post, however, because the year hasn’t finished yet.

To the future we must point our gaze! The big question is now whether 2016 will be slain by the greenery of 2017 or will this year snuff itself out?  Good riddance to 2016! Welcome, 2017!* Now I’ll use the metaphor of annual death & rebirth to segue into an iZombie & X-Men mashup that loses its mirth if you analyze it within the bounds of either fandom.

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Both Anna Paquin & Rose McIver were in The Piano!

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This Custom Is A Rogue One

Yes, you read the headline right. This custom is a Rogue one. It’s just not a Rogue One custom. Now that I’ve lured all you Star Wars fans in, gaze upon my custom X-Men: Evolution Rogue action figure! (Now with moderately improved photographs! Who would’ve thunk daylight would’ve been the missing ingredient?)

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This custom began its life as an X-Treme Rogue, unfortunately afflicted with some broken joints.  Once I got a replacement, I made this one into goth Rogue from X-Men: Evolution since Toy Biz never made one. The first was fortuitously misassembled with the sleeveless arms of her long-haired variant to make this easier. Her pallid complexion gets washed out in photographs, but I assure you she’s the spitting image of legitimutant vampire Kate Beckinsale.

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I’m a bit disappointed this look never made it into mainline continuity like Logan’s lame second suit, inferior to the orange original. The closest it got was this Julie Bell cover where the the green has sadly been replaced by icky yellow. Even with model sheets, promo images, & clips, matching the cartoon colors proved tricky because animators hate consistency. It took me until recently to get the shoulder pads right. In violation of cartoon accuracy, I gave her the collar she only wore in civilian attire.  I extended the green down her sleeves since it’s Rogue’s signature color. Part of me wants to repaint her boots & gloves green too for color unity. The other part of me likes that this costume has so many colors in it to reflect Rogue absorbing various powers. So tell me whether or not I should keep tinkering with it. My easily malleable mind might even be swayed by you.

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0112If you prefer this mutie belle when she leeches all the alien-augmented muscle mass out of Ms. Marvel, check out my other Rogue custom. Continue reading

Ghost Rider & Gotham Get TV Revved Up

As threatened last installment, let’s kick off the 2016 Fall TV season with spoilery reviews of Agents of SHIELD & Gotham nobody demanded!

Agents of SHIELD’s fourth season opened much stronger than the last, in no small part due to the absence of Ward & Lincoln. Nothing in its content so far indicates that it was necessary to move an hour later, as parts of last season were grislier & more risque. Not that it needs to be edgier, so long as it doesn’t backslide into season one’s syndicated 90’s vibe.

As it turns out, ABC was right that Ghost Rider was the only selling point this season needed. The Ghost Rider transformation effect was amazing! Where have they been hiding this CGI? It was The F-Lash worthy! SHIELD’s effects generally look embarrassing in comparison to its cinematic siblings’, so this was a very welcome surprise. Featuring Marvel characters that don’t have movies lined up is exactly what this show needs to do more often! He’s already a better vigilante than the Punisher as he has a nifty jacket & his menacing key-spinning is on point. He doesn’t preclude Danny “best Ghost Rider” Ketch from being in the MCU either!

Will Ghost Driver Rider drag race Lola? I’m guessing not, as flying cars have been seriously underused in the MCU despite being a prominent part of SHIELD lore. They only gave us  three very brief & cheesey scenes of Lola being flown in season one. I’m still mad that Nick Fury didn’t get to fly his unchic SUV in The Winter Soldier. If you won’t do anything cool with flying cars, maybe you shouldn’t have entrenched them in movie canon, Marvel?

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I’m overdue on saying Chloe Bennet as Quake is the most improved cast member. She’s come a long way from being the insufferably perfect hacker snowflake a whole spy squad instantly accepted back in season one. She & the writers make it seem like her going rogue is genuine character development instead of an obvious delaying tactic for getting the band back together. I dig Quake’s raccoon eyes, but her hair is still too long.

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Batfleck Gets Slade!

So Ben Affleck randomly released test footage of Deathstroke on the Twitter. This version of Slade Wilson looks great although, just like with Magneto, I miss his studded gorget. I can’t believe how vibrant the blue, orange, & silver are!

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He’s awful squinty, but odds are it’s Joe “remember when I was Flash Thompson?” Manganiello (who was hinted at for the role while Suicide Squad was being made) … or a random stuntman. It’s been rumored Deathstroke will be the prime antagonist for the solo Batfleck movie that’s not in production yet, so way to spoil the Justice League’s after credits scene, Affleck! Pitting Batman against Slade Wilson is an unorthodox choice, but I’ll embrace it if it spares us more of Jared Leto’s Joker. What if  the Batfleck film is inspired by Beware The Batman, & the big showdown is Deathstroke vs. Alfred Pennyworth?

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