Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews June 2014: DAMMIT!

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalogue that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition.

The Multiversity – DC (Front Cover)

I was way more excited for this before Batman, Incorporated nosedived into its drawn-out and disappointing conclusion. But I still love Grant Morrison and will be checking this out. Well, giving this a chance. I also want to point out that while I may have worked up an irrational amount of hatred towards Mattel for their choice to release that stupid rabbit in their Masters of the Universe Classics line, this image of Captain Carrot delights me.
I don’t know what the heck Multiversity is going to be about, but my curiosity is definitely piqued. I think part of what has me so interested is that it really has nothing to do with DC’s current continuity.
Sixis – Marvel (Back Cover)

I believe this is a major event.

No – not “Sixis”. I don’t know anything about that. I am referring to the fact that I am interested in the things being advertised on both covers of Previews.

This is by Rick Remender – one of my favorite current writers – and features the biggest villains in the history of the Marvel Universe. And Carnage. I’m sure this and Multiversity will be elaborated upon inside, but I just wanted to point out how impressive these covers are. This looks to be an exciting issue of Previews!
Terminal Hero – Dynamite (Inside Front Cover)

I see Jae Lee’s art and I immediately want to buy whatever it is. But then I see Peter Milligan’s name and I’m kind of like, “Eh…”. It’s not that I don’t think that Milligan is a talented writer, but he’s just not always on my wavelength. I believe I’ll pass on this one.
Battlepug Volume 3: Sit! Stay! Die! HC – Dark Horse (56)

I don’t know exactly how to describe Battlepug – the first webcomic I ever read - but I will say that if you love Conan the Barbarian and pugs, then it’s for you! Mike Norton has created an extremely weird world that’s ended up being much more than the gimmicky thing it seems to be.
The Art of the Venture Bros. – Dark Horse (58)

SOLD. The Venture Bros. is one of the very best things that has ever been on TV. It excited me greatly that something like this is coming out. I will state this right now – this will be the source of a new tattoo.
Batman Eternal – DC (105)

I meant to read this. What happened? I’m 95% sure I didn’t put it on my pull list, but I don’t know why. Is this good? Help me out, Phantomaniacs!
Batman#34 – DC (107)

I think that is an absolutely fantastic cover. I’ve given DC a lot of shit for the sub-par art they’ve been choosing to promote their book sin the pages of Previews ever since I started this column, but they seem to have a stepped it up a notch with this issue. Of course, I still have quite a few pages of DC solicitations left…
All-Star Western #34 – DC (118)

DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT
Damn it.
Batman ’66 #14 – DC (121)

Introducing this:


Into Batman ’66 canon.

Okay, maybe not really. But still awesome. I dearly love this book. I read it to Lil’ Troublemaker and do all the voices to the best of my ability.
Batman: Arkham Asylum 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition HC – DC (132)

This irritates me. I already have the original hardcover of this story. If this is just a reprint I don’t need it. But if there are extras or something I totally want it. This blurb doesn’t say anything about that despite the fact that the title refers to it as a “Deluxe” edition.

Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth (as it is properly titled) fucked me up. I was thirteen when it came out, and I did not have access to the brain-staining perversions of the internet that kids today do. I wasn’t ready for the familiar villains of wacky Gotham City to be acting like this. It was a whole different kind of darkness from The Dark Knight Returns. Dave McKean’s creepy, wonderful art didn’t help things. I think this might have disturbed me even more deeply than Batman XXX.
Batman Animated Series Action Figures – DC Collectibles (146)

I do not need to start another collection, but I can’t not buy these. I just can’t. Batman: The Animated Series and the DC animated universe in general are responsible for such a huge portion of my love for DC and form a big foundation for my adult dorkery. If I have to drop something else to collect this line, I will. Heck- if I have to sell my DCUC to collect this line I will. I would much rather have animated-style versions of all of those characters (if that is a possibility).

For now I am ordering this first wave for review. I’m not committing to the whole series yet. But I have to give it a try.
Batman 75th Anniversary Action Figure 4-Pack Set 2 – DC Collectibles (147)

I’ll not this second set just because I want to once again point out that I think re-decoing all of the old DC Direct/Collectibles figures to match is an excellent idea, but these are overpriced. Whoever does go for these is going to have one fantastic looking shelf, though.
Batman: Black & White Statues – DC Collectibles (153)

I want all of these. I don’t quite understand why the Eduardo Risso one isn’t sporting the Noel costume, though.
Guardians of the Galaxy #18 – Marvel (M12)

Against my better judgment I picked up Guardians #14 because I love Nick Bradshaw and also because the movie is coming out and I don’t actually know much about the Guardians of the Galaxy. I say “against my better judgment” because I am not a fan of Brian Michael Bendis’ work on team books.

But I enjoyed that first issue and was looking forward to following the series.
And now I see that Ed McGuinness is taking over art duties. I don’t care for McGuinness’ art. But I’m going to hang in there and give it a shot, just like I did with Bendis’ writing.
Ultimate FF #6 - Marvel (M22)

what!?!...
Silver Surfer – Marvel (M59)

This is an incredible and delightful book. I hope you’re all reading it.
Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew – Cosmic Times (303)

I will give this a chance based on title, concept, and cover art. It looks a little too cartoony for me, but if it’s good storytelling I’ll be okay. I’ll let you guys know what I think.
Bob’s Burgers – Dynamite Entertainment (310/311)

I am always hesitant to buy television tie-ins like this, but I love Bob’s Burgers and Loren Bouchard himself assures us that it might be a good idea to buy the book:
Maybe.
Steampunk Battlestar Galactica 1880 – Dynamite Entertainment (314/315)

As if millions of Dragon Con-goers suddenly cried out in ecstasy.

This seems absurd and unbelievable – like one of Comics Alliances’ old April Fools’ Day jokes – but Tony Lee is a great writer. I’m not gonna buy it because not one bit of this concept is my thing, but if you like either of the involved concepts I’d suggest you give it a shot.
Owly Books – Top Shelf Productions (384)

Some of the best comics I have ever read and fun for all ages – buy them all! I read my first ones before we even had Lil’ Troublemaker and loved them.
Biff’s Pleasure Paradise Merchandise – Diamond Select Toys (412)

I am buying one of those shot glasses. This stuff is great.
Bounty Hunter Code: Revelations of Boba Fett – Star Wars (421)

From the description this doesn’t actually sound like something I’m all that interested in, but it’s a Boba Fett thing. I’m torn. This is something I think I need to flip through before I buy it.
The Walking Dead: Michonne & Walker T-Shirt (435)

That’s a sword, idiot.

I often wonder who is responsible for the copy in Previews. Sometimes it’s painfully bad and other times it actually contains massive spoilers for comic books. But again – that is a sword, not a bat.
Army of Darkness S-Mart Work Shirt (436)

I would absolutely buy that and write “Phantom” on it if it weren’t for the stupid “Army of Darkness” logo on the sleeve. I suppose I could just make my own.
Walking Dead Michonne Vinyl Bust Bank – Diamond Select Toys (453)

I told you guys last time – I’m going to keep putting these Diamond bust banks over until you all own one. They’re awesome.
X-Men Legends 6-Inch Action Figures – Hasbro (460)

There’s an awful lot of wacky speculation surrounding Marvel and FOX right now, so I suppose I might as well take this opportunity to weigh in.

I absolutely, 100% believe that something is up and that Marvel/Disney is fucking with FOX’s Marvel franchises. There is simply no other explanation for the complete lack of merchandising tie-ins to Days of Future Past. I’ve heard all kinds of incorrect rationalizations for why this might be – other X-movies haven’t had successful toy lines, the franchise isn’t kid-friendly enough – but there is simply no way that FOX didn’t want to cash in on one of the best-known comic book franchises of all time. Now, I don’t know what happened. But there is not a doubt in my mind that Marvel is cockblocking FOX from merchandising money. Have you ever seen a sequel of this scale follow something as successful as First Class and not even have a fucking t-shirt?

I’ve said my piece. If I’m wrong…. Well, I’m not. I don’t know exactly what Marvel’s endgame is – other than possibly just wanting to harass FOX – but something is definitely up.

Oh, and I’ve decided to skip these figures. They’re a shared Exclusive between Diamond and Toys R Us. I’d like to have Stryfe and the Jubilee build-a-figure. Storm looks okay but is all paint and no sculpt barring the head. Magneto loos good, but not $23 good.
The Next Next Wave of ReAction Figures – Funko (468)

It was brilliant of Funko to plan for these to hit stores right before Halloween. This assortment features all of the modern horror guys, Predators, the Universal Monsters, and The Goonies. Once again – as soon as I find some of these at retail I’m going to be in trouble.
Predators: Bad Blood Action Figure – NECA (469)

You guys know how much I love NECA and how much I love the Predator franchise, but I think I’ve decided that this guy looks kind of stupid. He’s from one of the Dark Horse comic books and I think that maybe he looked cooler on the page than he does in three dimensions.
Predator: Blade Fighter Vehicle – NECA (469)

It is totally mind-blowing that NECA is releasing an update of the old Kenner Blade Fighter. It looks fantastic and I would love to have one, but I just cannot justify that price. I’m not saying that it isn’t worth it, but I just can’t spend that much for one.
Sadistik: The Diabolikal Super-Kriminal – Go Hero (470)

If this were an actual figure of Diabolik I would buy it in a second. As is it is always just going to be a knock-off of Diabolik, no matter how cool it looks.
Really Expensive Sixth Scale Sportsball Figures – Enterbay (501)

These look pretty amazing but I just don’t understand. I know, I know – I am not a sports guy. And sports guys probably can’t understand why I would choose a sixth scale Boba Fett loaded down with weapons and armor over one of these guys in short pants.
I will give Enterbay credit for producing a goal.
Game of Thrones: Tyrion Lannister Sixth Scale Figure – threeZero (510)

This figure presents me with a problem. I do not want to start collecting sixth scale Game of Thrones figures. But I really want this Tyrion because not only does it look incredible, it is the first Tyrion figure to represent him as he should be – in regular court clothes rather than battle armor. He even comes with a book. $130 isn’t bad for an import sixth scale figure, but future GoT figures would be more since they’re going to be 12” tall rather than 8 5/8”. But this Tyrion really does look amazing. Maybe I could just buy a Tyrion and stop there. Yeah, sure I could.
Evil Dead Masks & Book – (526/527)

The masks look fantastic and I want all three of them. The Necronomicon looks a little sketchy and I’m going to need to know if it opens and has pages inside before I commit anywhere near fifty bucks to it.
Also of Note
DC seems to have stepped up their art game a bit, but Marvel is still producing the most dynamic and interesting images for their Previews pages. I guess that’s what you have to do when you have your own, separate book. I still think that’s kind of lame.


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