Disney caught up to comics in killing death. Here be SPOILERS for Disney+’s Loki series, the direct sequel to this Hydundai commercial. (I thought Marvel Studios shilled for Audi?) This is not a trick. Oddly I don’t have too much to say about it? (Don’t get your hopes up about it being short though.) So stay for the mini-rants about alternate timelines vs. alternate realities & identity changes in adaptations!
Bozhe moi! Marvel movies are finally back on the big screen! (Is The New Mutants a joke to you?) In Soviet Russia, The Wages of Cinema collaboreview listens to you! Now that you’ve seen Guardians, we can finally move onto Black Widow. It’s got some Red Sparrow, Hanna, Anna, & Atomic Blonde mixed in too. If Marvel had prioritized getting Natasha a solo flick when interest in her was at its apex, it could’ve beaten all those movies to the punch. There was even supposed to be a Black Widow movie before the MCU! After the podcast is a web of
My magnanimous brother-in-law got me Disney+ to watch The Mandalorian, but instead I used it to watch The One & Only Ivan! It’s the most bittersweet gorilla living with humans movie since Buddy. I always weep at gorilla films. Why won’t Hollywood make more gorilla films that aren’t tearjerkers? Togo has Willem Dafoe & so many handsome puppers! It made me cry too! I further delayed watching the Star Wars show by prioritizing Marvel’s 616 documentary series. I agree with the author of Deadpool Bi-Annual #1 that Brute Force should have its own cartoon & toyline. Even moreso than Stranger Things, the Interwuzzle’s collective inability not to spoil this actually disinclined me to watching it firsthand as soon as possible.
So I eventually got around to watching it. Even later, I got around to editing together my blog review. (This blog takes place prior to WandaVision.) Has everybody else already seen The Mandalorian? If so, you’ll be innoculated from SPOILERS in this cold take. What it lack in thoroughness, it makes up in action figure pics. I’m gonna regret putting them all into one article where they’re germane instead of spacing them out into non-topical blogs!
After last week’s freestyle toy rant breather, it’s back to reviewing stuff the general public cares about. The Falcon & The Winter Soldier was intended to be the first of of Marvel’s Disney+ series but covid prevented that. (Rumors has it a pandemic storyline was scrapped due to an actual pandemic happening. I’m unsure how much credence to give this since this series already has enough percolating without that.) TFATWS isn’t an elegant acronym. Since WandaVision is named for the main character’s ship name, why isn’t this titled Falucky? (This show put their unresolved sexual tension into couples therapy!) Or it could’ve been updated to Captain America & White Wolf. (It’s so odd Marvel dragged out the reveal of Wanda’s supranym for so long while they cavalierly gave Bucky a new codename he didn’t use in the comics.)
This was the series I was least excited about because I’m one of those people who insists Bucky should’ve stayed dead! (I don’t care much about Hawkeye either aside from the new supporting cast.) It’s only thanks to Sebastian Stan that I can bear to tolerate him as a co-lead. He furrows his brow most intensely! Anthony Mackie’s Falcon remains endearing. For better & worse, Disney+’s second MCU series isn’t as ambitious as WandaVision. There are curious parallels to The Boys in content but not tone. Now begin the SPOILERS for Toucan Sam & The Frosted Flake!
Action figures are good, but they can be better! All you have to do is become a customizer! Toys are like drugs except you need to find a place to keep them after the high wears off.
NY Toy Fair has been cancelled for 2021. In lieu of the big press show, many companies are doing smaller virtual conventions through the year. The most hyped was last week’s Hasbro Pulse Fest Fan Fest. Rather than spacing things out, Mattel, Diamond Select, & NECA decided to post similar events around the same time with less fanfare. They were all underwhelming to various degrees. I would’ve made more impulse pre-orders had Hasbro not suddenly jacked up the price of all their 6″ lines by $3. It doesn’t sound that steep on an individual basis, but it adds up when they encourage you to buy entire series of Marvel Legends to complete BAFs. With customers’ budgets already stretched thin by the terrible 2020, this feels like a precarious time to raise prices on non-essentials.
D+ means Disney used to have a higher average before absorbing Fox. Wand Division is the new math. WandaVision was supposed to be bumped it forward to 2020 to make a perfect 20/20 vision joke. Although it completed filming before the pandemic production pauses, unlike Falcon & Winter Soldier, it then got pushed back to its original 2021 slot so it wouldn’t compete with The Mandalorian’s second season. Viewers are supposed to be excited for bona fide Marvel Cinematic Universe characters appearing on a televison show instead of a movie, as if Phil Coulson, Peggy Carter, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Sif, Jasper Sitwell, Edwin Jarvis, Gideon Malick, Dr. List, & the Howling Commandos didn’t already on Agents of SHIELD & Peggy Carter. Remember when SHIELD premiered & people were mad they’d have to watch one series on free network television to fully understand the Marvel movies they paid for? Now that there’s a bunch of more directly influential series that behind a subscription service paywall, fans are excited?
Marvel Studios’ movies are sometimes described as television in cinemas since they link to form a larger story. This time it could argued that MCU’s lucky thirteenth television series is a long movie split into weekly installments. (So are these Disney+ Marvel series going to be event series? I don’t feel like making new tags for them if they’re each one & done. So this’ll just get the standard “Avengers” & like it. If renewed, we can consider making unique tags.) SPOILER warning for nine episodes of the most popular television series of the moment. You really deserve a prize if you’d made it unspoiled this far.
Whilst watching The Gifted, it occurred to me that its Polaris could be customized from a Marvel Legends Jessica Jones. Shortly thereafter, I saw someone had used this recipe. Not being the first person to execute it dampened my zeal to make one. When I decided to try my own, I found the price of loose Jessicas had skyrocketed since I acquired mine. Then I saw a bootleg custom The Gifted Polaris on eBay. I don’t normally go in for these gray market pieces, but this one included a superb Emma Dumont likeness I’d not seen in this scale. (Perhaps it was hydroshrunk from one of an unlicensed 1/6 scale Polaris, of which there are a few varieties?) My winning bid ended up being only slightly more than an official Marvel Legends figure. It was supposed to be delivered within the broad range of June 10 – August 4. A China Post tracking number was created on May 21 when I ordered it & then nothing. As 2020 was an exhausting string of calamities, I decided to wait patiently for it & save my anxiety for other matters. The day before its last possible delivery date, I leaned “this user is no longer registered on eBay” from my purchase history. The other listings for this product from assorted sellers disappeared too. That’s the karmic thanks I get for trying to be a good citizen of the ‘Net & alerting other fans to its existence.
Dare I trust AliExpress? Its price was double the refund I received from eBay. (A version with Lorna’s head on Elektra’s body was moderately cheaper.) I decided to go for it while they were still in stock rather than miss out & pay triple later. (It doesn’t appear to be available there anymore either, so I did something astute for a change.) I shaved a few bucks off via a coupon from a friend, Kinou Menthe, who was already a customer. I had to specially authorize my credit card to make this payment. The downloadable invoice PDF did not reflect the coupon, which panicked me greatly. It arrived three weeks later, which is quite reasonable considering I ordered it amidst a pandemic. Then I panicked that the reason it had such a good likeness with a professional paint job is that it was stolen from Hasbro’s secret production line & an official version at a more reasonable price would soon be unveiled now that Fox X-Men are back on the table. Thus far one hasn’t materialized (he wrote as as he rushed to publish this before the inaugural Marvel Fan First Friday of 2021).
Now that Wonder Woman 1984 & The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Part 4 are done, I can resume blogging unpunctually! As threatened last year, here’s my review of the X-Men crossover, X Of Swords! (What is the proper formatting for a crossover’s name?) I finished it just in time for readers to have moved on. I didn’t get all the issues so it’s also recapped poorly. I still complain about earlier “Dawn Of X” stuff too. To make that go down smoother, I modified my Mister Sinister! I hear he’s a magnificent bastard in Hellions, but that’s sadly one of the books I didn’t have on my pull list because I accidentally prioritized titles I don’t enjoy.
It’s odd how Swamp Thing is often described as an obscure character when he had some of the highest media saturation for a DC Comics character prior to its shared movieverse. I never saw either film despite wishing to do so. (Tubi currently just has the sequel.) I recently leaned he previously had a poorly received yet somehow syndicated live action TV series in the 90’s. I did see the movie of Man-Thing, Marvel’s mucky counterpart, featuring the future Trish Walker when it aired as a SciFi Original Movie. Despite being made by the director of the beloved Virtuosity & Lawnmower Man (Sadly Cybo-Man is the exception to the Monkey With A Gun rule.), Man-Thing is so terrible that the title creature is ashamed to show his iconic visage until the climax.
Thanks to the intro of his very short-lived cartoon of which I only vaguely recall seeing the pilot, I’ll always associate Swamp Thing with Jimi Hendrix & The Troggs. (Is Swampy jealous Man-Thing has his own The Mountain Goats song?). He was embargoed from appearing on Justice League Unlimited (aside from some Easter eggs snuck in) because by that point he was cloistered away in the mature readers Vertigo imprint. Thankfully Justice League Action allowed him & John Constantine to poison the minds of the youth! Swampy is very toyetic, yet somehow I never acquired any of his action figures.
Unlike last week’s merry Marvel miscellany, here’s a blog with a pruned topic. You’ve seen my fire gourd, now read my review of Swamp Thing’s relatively new television series! It’s doomed, which makes it more tragic. Now I finally have firsthand anger over this. The morass below is crawling with SPOILERS!
After last week’s commissioned deep dive into Stormfront the proverbial milkshake duck, I figured it’s time to clear out some of the Marvel content cluttering my drafts. I won’t be finished editing my X Of Swords review until nobody cares, so this is light on X-Men content. It does have a surfeit of pre-Christmas action figure photos if that’s your bag. (I will regret this if Santa only delivers coal this year.) After the MCU news musings not involving She-Hulk, my comic book thoughts are separated by superfluous tildes!