DC Comics

batmancover

Batman Unlimited
“New 52” Batman
6 Inch Scale
By Mattel
$16.99

2013 may be Superman’s big year with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel coming out this summer but as usual Big Blue may be overshadowed a certain Dark Knight Detective. Currently, Batman is dominating nearly all forms of mass media, with a new animated series set to debut this spring, animated films chronicling his adventures with the JLA and solo, the video games Arkham Asylum and Arkham City still heating up game consoles, and several appearances in Mattel toylines (biggest news there being the classic 1966 TV show finally getting the action figure treatment this fall), with the newest offering and the subject of this review being in the 6” scale range from the successor to DC Universe Classics, DC Unlimited. So without further ado…nanananananananana….BATMAN!

As a young boy, Bruce Wayne saw his parents fall victim to a senseless crime. His focused purpose became to avenge their deaths by fighting Gotham City’s criminal elements a Batman. The people of Gotham City see Batman as an almost mythical figure, able to tame any adversary, no matter how powerful. To thwart crime, he relies on his awesome deductive powers, sheer physical speed, and an assortment of high-tech weaponry and unique crime-fighting aids.

When DC announced it was rebooting its entire universe in 2011, dubbing it “the new 52”, much of the company’s near eighty year history was wiped, with the exception of Batman; aside from the erasing of previous Batgirl Stephanie Brown from the timeline, much of Batman’s previous history remained intact. Also unlike most of the DC Universe, Batman has fared better with his current storylines. “Night of the Owls” and “Death of the Family” have both garnered much acclaim, with the core Batman titles getting its best reviews in years.

batmanbatarang
2011 also marked the end of DC Universe Classics at retail (Wave 20 being released a year later), to be replaced at first by the rarely seen All-Stars line, and now the Unlimited imprint that is both a replacement for DCUC as well as last year’s Batman Legacy line. Keeping that in mind, the focus of Unlimited is to present characters from the DC Universe as they appear currently, while Batman Unlimited features different facets of the Batman mythos from the years; wave 1 also includes Batgirl appears in her new-52 costume while the Penguin is in colors reminiscent of his Super Powers figure. Wave 2, already hitting stores, is slated to include Batman from Frank Miller’s game changing “The Dark Knight Returns” and another Bats called Planet X Batman (pulled from an obscure Silver Age tale and given a much darker turn in Grant Morrison’s hands during the “Batman R.I.P.” storyline), while yet another is intended to appear in an outfit from the upcoming Injustice: Gods Among Us video game.

Again, for 2013 being Superman’s big year, there’s an awful lot of Batman going around.

Continue reading

This Sunday starts the 2013 Toy Fair, which will no doubt be full of a ton of reveals that will have the world of toys talking for weeks and months to come. Back at San Diego Comic Con this year, we saw a very brief sneak peak at Mattel’s new 1960’s Batman figures. It’s a huge coup for Mattel and it’s part of what no doubt is going to be a huge influx of merchandise from the classic show thanks to licensing deals finally being worked out. I suspect a DVD set is on the horizon, which will be huge news.

Batman 66

But for toy collectors, the toys are arguably the biggest deal. Mattel has a love/hate relationship with fans, but I’d say most were happy that the house that Barbie built has the keys to this franchise. The figures we’ve seen thus far look pretty faithful to the source material. Of course with all those new molds and such, heaven help us on what the price point will be. I’m not sure if it’ll be better to be a MattyCollector exclusive, or having to go through the pegs at the local Walmart which will no doubt be clogged with Riddlers and Aunt Harriets. I’m kidding, Mattel won’t make a Harriet but if they do, I’ll send Toy Guru one of my world famous fruit cakes in the mail.

Anywho, the figures look good for the most part, but I mean good in a very subjective sense. I mean, they more or less look goofy. But we’re talking the 60’s Batman show, so of course it’s supposed to look goofy. If anything, Penguin looks a bit too fat, but again it’s hard to say much on these pictures. This line is for the most devoted and it’s great to see that Mattel seems to be pulling out all the stops. At least for now.

Photos from Entertainment Earth, stop by there and buy something from this link and help us stay in bidness. Now if we can just get a Jerry Lawler Super King and “Cease and Desist” Adam West Batman I’d be in hog heaven.

DSCN4751

Imaginext DC Superfriends
Hawkman & Flash
2 Inch scale
By: Fisher-Price
$5.99

Toy distribution can be a strange thing. Back in April of 2011, I mentioned in my Imaginext Green Lantern review, seeing Hawkman & Flash being bundled with that toy. Yet earlier this month is the first time I’ve ever seen the Flash and Hawkman “single” pack. I know it’s been out for a while, but it’s just now starting to hit stores around me.

DSCN4732

Which can be pretty frustrating. Especially when Target has had those Imaginext tube displays (you know with all the figures inside) out for a good year or so. Making me look at figures that never seem to appear on shelves. But finally these guys are in my area and I decided to buy some. Why? Well I still like the Imaginext line and it’s not like Mattel is putting any other DC product out these days.

Continue reading

Captain Action 04 1
Captain Action #4
DC Comics
Story by Gil Kane
Art by Gil Kane
1969

We’re now almost done with the DC comics Captain Action run and Gil Kane is now completely in charge. Considering how much better things got once Kane got control, that’s probably not a bad thing. Still, I have to wonder how much the writing was on the wall at this point. DC obviously was beginning to care less and less about Captain Action and even Ideal was about to pull the plug on the toys.

Captain Action (1968) 04 - 06

The comic starts off detailing where Dr. Evil disappeared to in the climax of the last issue. He ends up in some world between worlds again, only this time he discovers an alien race that happens to look just like him. They are super advanced, but apparently are on the end of their life cycle. They want to just disappear and die off, but Dr. Evil will have none of it.

Captain Action (1968) 04 - 07

Instead he convinces them that the Earth would make a suitable planet for them to inhabit and take over. It doesn’t really make a ton of sense, but he manages to whip them up into a frenzy. Once he succeeds in that, he decides to go after Captain Action and distract him so the invasion can begin. He tries to enter Captain Action’s mind but the Captain is too strong… So he enters Carl’s mind, because Carl only exists to get Captain Action in trouble.

Captain Action (1968) 04 - 13

With Carl under his spell, he gets him to unleash some sort of monsters. This isn’t very clearly defined, but somehow a device of Captain Action’s is able to unleash these monsters. Carl snaps out of the trance, just in time to team up with Pop to face the evil monsters.

Captain Action (1968) 04 - 14

Captain Action and Action Boy manage to defeat the monsters rather easily. Dr. Evil isn’t happy that his plan didn’t work. Captain Action isn’t happy that his sidekick son is useless.

Continue reading


Captain Action #3
DC Comics
Story by Gil Kane
Art by Gil Kane & Wally Wood
1969

And like that, Jim Shooter’s run on Captain Action comes to an end. Amazingly, it’s for the better, as issue #3 of Captain Action is immediately a million times better than the first two issues. While there are some problems with this comic, it’s a stronger overall story and concept. It also greatly reflects a lot of the changes that were going on in the era.

We start off with Captain Action in his regular form, working with son Carl on extracting the power from the magic coins. Incredibly, Professor Arno believes that he can use the powers not just for himself, but the good of all mankind. He’s a nice guy. No wonder Krellik didn’t like him. They’ve borrowed a machine from the famed Dr. Tracy, in hopes of getting some progress.

Meanwhile Dr. Tracy is working on a machine of his that can repair fault lines and prevent earthquakes. It’s a great concept, but just as he thinks his machine might be ready, an earthquake is about to occur! He switches on the machine, but it’s too late. A horrific earthquake strikes California. The first two Captain Action comics were full of a lot of “Golly, gee whiz” and now less than two pages into this one we’ve got babies and children being killed in a natural disaster. We’re through the looking glass here people.

Tracy’s machine has some crazed effect, where it drags him into some trippy world between worlds. His body and mind alter, forever changing him. Some of the language here is pretty deep and world’s apart from the first two issues. This is like some some Kirby-esque concept.

Dr. Tracy is transformed into another being. He then dubs himself, Dr. Evil, because that’s all that fills his heart. He wants to destroy mankind and raise his own beings. He wants to evolve mankind, like he was evolved. Time to turn everyone into a blue skinned freak!

Continue reading