Monday, January 31, 2011

Random Thoughts 24

This week in comics and action figures was a week of death....



Torch's fire put out- Yes, Johnny Storm gave his life to save others from the horde known as The Annihilation Wave. Although, no corpse could be recovered or even seen, it's certain that the former hero/actor/male model/hot rodder could not have survived. The team has seen its fair share of "deaths" with each of the quartet having several passings. Most of these turned out to be fake outs however. One actually made the trip all the way to heaven before being given a second chance. I'd say that this "death" will inevitably be undone. Such is the nature with comic character deaths [especially Marvel ones]. Look out for those "very special issue of" stories about how heroes deal with the news...

I come to bury Wizard, not praise it- This week the publisher of Wizard and Toyfare announced that those magazines would cease being published. Wizard started in the 90's and quickly became the slickest, coolest source for news, interviews and sneak peaks of the comic book industry. Those were, of course, pre-Internet days. Wizard remained pretty relevant until the early 2000's when Internet availability and technology progressed to the point where news reported in the magazine was old news by the date it went on sale. Now with blogs, podcasts, and sites like CBR, Newsarama and even MTV covering comics Wizard's role is done better and faster. Wizard failed to change...and for that deserves to die. To be honest, the quality of the mag was pretty poor for the last six or seven years, more and more mistakes and skimpier articles...that's why I stopped reading it five years ago. Toyfare also suffered from lack of good editing, but still had nice pictures of new toys coming out, so that I will miss. However, I say good riddance to Wizard. Of course, I do hope that those who lost their jobs find work soon. I'm not heartless. And the way the employees were told was distasteful and cowardly...but that's another topic.

No toy for U!- Mattel cancelled the TRU exclusive "Infinite Heroes" Green Lantern movie figure. Pre-sales had started and with release just a few weeks away, they pulled the item. Produced in a limited batch of 2,418 (the sector Hal Jordan patrols as a Green Lantern), the 4 inch figure came with a GL ring. No real reason has been given for the cancellation.

Thundercats!- Following a leak of pics from the UK Toy Fair, Bandai released info and pics of the new redesigned 'cats for the new show appearing this fall. It seems to draw alot from anime design styling, much like the 2002 He-Man reimagining. I just hope the voice acting is good. Thundercats is the property that I most wanted to return in some form. I was hoping Mattel would get the licence and do action figures similar to Masters Of the Universe Classics and DC Universe Classics. I'll just have to see what Bandai comes up with.

Superman Lives- In breaking news...a new Superman was cast. And he's *gasp* a Brit! Henry Cavill from The Tudors won the part. Hmmm? This seems familiar. I don't know much of Cavill's work, but that Bale guy worked out okay.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Random Thoughts 23

I know it's been almost two months without a post...

I'm a terrible blogger.

It's not that I haven't been writing stuff for this blog. It's that I can't finish what I do write. Or that I'm not satisfied with whatever I do finish to post it here. So I've committed myself to do something for this weekend...and here it is.

A few news items first:

The leaks of Thor, Cap, X-Men and Spidey set photos- These have to be a marketing ploy to "test the waters" and get the public, or rather the geek fanbase, used to the look of the costumes so when the movie hits less attention will be paid to the them. A sort of desensitizing campaign, if you will.

The Dark Knight Rises casting- The news here for me was not so much as who the actors were, but rather which character they would be portraying. I trust Nolan to take Bane back to his strategic mastermind criminal roots instead of having him be dumb muscle. I also noticed that Anne Hathaway is credited as playing Selina Kyle. I wonder if the exclusion of the Catwoman name is significant or a fake out.

Fredrick Wertham spins in his grave- This week both DC Comics and Archie Comics dropped the long standing regulatory (censoring) commission for their comics in favor of their own ratings system. The Comics Code Authority was created in the mid-1950's by Marvel, DC and Archie (as well as others) to avoid being shut down for corrupting young minds. While the movies developed a scaled ratings system comics were stuck with a pass or fail stamp. Literally having a comic without a CCA on the cover was verboten (anti-drug issues aside). Loosened in the 80's (what wasn't) it remained a part of the industry. Marvel bucked the system for it's own ratings in the early 2000's. Now that its two other major supporters are will most likely die.

Digital River(dale)- Archie Comics announced that they will offer their comics online same day/date as at retail. I must say that Archie Comics is really impressing me as a company. To have the "married Archie" and "student that happens to be gay" story elements as well as the modernization steps with new ratings system and same day digital releases ends my perception of the company as an out of touch stale entity.

FF Tuesday?- Well it's been a few weeks since retailers have been allowed to get books shipped on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. This was done with the implicit understanding that books would not be for sale until the next day. Marvel is now testing this new deal by allowing early sales of Fantastic Four #587. They say it's to stave off the spoiler of which member of the Four dies, setting up the next arc and relaunch of the team. This is just a test to see if certain books can be marketed like this as being "early".

Holy E-footnotes, Batman!- I grew up loving the comic book tradition of referencing past issues of not only the same title but other titles where the events had some bearing on what was happening in the issue I was reading. This habit was slowly phased out during the early 2000's. I was surprised when Amazing Spider-Man #652 had something that reminded me of those footnotes. Referring readers to go to the online OHOTMU entry for the old and somewhat obscure villain the Looter. I wonder how many people were unfamiliar with him enough to check out that page.

So that's all for now..... Glad I got that done as I've been "busy" reading the DC Showcase Teen Titans and watching all the streaming Tom Baker Doctor Who I can through Netflix.

Hopefully I will have another post up next Mon.