Friday, November 27, 2009

My Week In Comics: November 27, 2009

By the time you’re reading this, you’ve probably already gotten the last two Lantern ring replicas from your favorite local comic shop. For those who haven’t yet, Green and Red are out right now. Try this for fun: Say the Green Lantern oath slowly and loudly while slowly slipping the Green Lantern ring on your finger. Ignore the stares you get…you just became a goddamn Green Lantern!

But I digress. New comics this week! Let’s see what I got myself into!

It’s pretty stupid of me to get Blackest Night #5 without actually getting numbers 1 to 4, but aside from getting a discounted price for a Green Lantern ring if you buy the issue, the buzz around this particular ish made me curious. And this time, curiosity didn’t kill anybody. The entire spectrum of Lanterns have come together (whether they like it or not) to stop the threat of Nekron, while the rest of DC’s big guns arrive to try to stop the rest of the dead from doing any more damage.

I’ve never read a lick of Green Lantern before getting this ish, but Geoff Johns delivered by giving us some great character moments from all the Lanterns. Larfreeze in particular just became a favorite of mine. Greedy little bastard!

Shocking revelations on the nature of death in the DCU (“You’re still connected to [death]. To me.” Nekron snarls in one panel), a shocking “resurrection”, and an ending that just spells ‘we’re fucked’, bodes ill for the rest of the DCU, but not for this book, which gets a well-deserved 4 out of 5.

Queen Sonja #2 breaks it down with a breather of an issue, with Sonja’s prisoner from the previous ish fleshing out some of the history behind some very bad country with a douchebag for a king. Sonja doesn’t like it one bit (like all good bikini-clad warriors do) and decides to teach them a lesson only the She-Devil with a Sword can provide. Never thought I’d love a ‘story’ issue like this, but writer Joshua Ortega makes it interesting enough to keep me reading. When Sonja proclaims that an entire country just gained ‘a most dangerous enemy’ (i.e., her!), you just know it’s about to get good. That, and Mel Rubi’s smokin’ hot rendition of Sonja, gives this book a 4 out of 5.

Invincible Iron Man #20 opens up with a hologram recording of Tony Stark laying down his ‘last will and testament’ to someone off-panel. Like about 10 pages of it. It’s all well and good, though, because not only does Tony back-sass Osborn like crazy, he also lays down plans to revive him from his vegetative state, and he wants Iron Man, Thor and Captain America together to clean Osborn’s mess after. Can anyone say Siege?

Not much happens this issue, but I’m guessing this is the part where it all goes to hell for Osborn and co., and I’m loving the very prospect of defeat for these very bad people. This gets a 3 out of 5.

Finally, we come to Image United, a very ambitious project involving the original seven founders of Image Comics, along with some help from Robert Kirkman. The very thought of all these comic juggernauts coming together to basically do an artjam of a comic (with each creator drawing the characters they created, save for Whilce Portacio, for reasons you can probably research yourselves) blew my brains. I’m in this for my main man Whilce, and I’m happy that despite not having access to Wetworks for this story, the character he does draw is the focus of the story!

Good or bad, the story reads just like pure, distilled 90’s. Bad guys start trashing major cities in what I assume is America, and the Image heroes' solution is EXTREEEME violence and bad puns. But Fortress, the guy in the green and violet (ugh) suit is sensing that something is very wrong, and he needs all these heroes from all these different worlds to make it right.

If you have no connection to these characters, the book might be confusing, but if you want to see what an artjam from the most popular 90’s artists looks like, that's all you'll probably get out of it. I’d get this for nostalgia, if nothing else. Aside from the sheer awesomeness of seeing the Image founders drawing their own characters in one comic (never thought I’d see Velocity as done by Marc Silvestri again!), nothing much is explained, and the only hook they have to get you to buy the next issue is that if they don’t unite against this unseen threat, they are all going to die. We’ll give this issue another shot, but they better have more Witchblade in there if they want me to keep buying! This one’s a 3 out of 5.

An altogether satisfying week for comics, and that’s all I can hope for these days. If you think there should be more Witchblade in the next issue of Image United, or just want to talk about my choice of words in this blog post, leave me a comment below and let’s discuss! Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 09, 2009

ROTF Decepticon Bludgeon Review

With Transformers Universe taking an indefinite hiatus, Transfans can only get their fix from Hasbro’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie line, which is currently putting out new figures and tons of repaints long after the movie has gone from theaters.

Bludgeon (Decepticon Bludgeon to you copyright fans) is the latest Voyager class bot to come out of the ROTF line, and to be honest I’m impressed and downright psyched by what Hasbro has done to please both G1 fans and the casual movie-former lovers: they took a character so undeniably old-school and made it fit both the G1 and movie aesthetic, ultimately bridging both. He’s like the Barack Obama of TFs!

Now I’m not much of a Transformers wiz, having only started collecting TFs this year, but all I know is that back in the G1 days, Bludgeon was a samurai ghost robot, which for all intents and purposes is already awesome in and of itself. He was a Pretender, a smaller Transformer that hid under a larger shell. Bludgeon’s outer shell was a skeleton in samurai armor, and inside he was a robot that transformed into a tank. I don’t know why he thinks he can fool anyone by dressing up as a giant samurai skeleton, but Decepticons aren’t exactly known for smarts, only firepower, which Bludgeon has a metric ton of.

ROTF Decepticon Bludgeon
His alt-mode is a “jungle tank” according to the back of the box,, but us nerds know its actually a Japanese Type 90 tank. His turret rotates the full 360 degrees, something even ROTF Megatron was incapable of doing.

ROTF Decepticon Bludgeon
The machine gun on top of the turret also rotates, and it rolls on surfaces great. You haven’t even transformed him yet and you’ve got a great looking and highly playable toy tank!

ROTF Decepticon BludgeonROTF Decepticon Bludgeon

Transforming Bludgeon is a pretty involved process, but the engineering spent on this toy to turn it from a tank to a samurai robot is nothing short of impressive.

ROTF Decepticon BludgeonROTF Decepticon Bludgeon
There are a lot of things to flip over, turn around and break in two, but in the end you get a toy that really looks like an undead robot samurai, instead of Hasbro just giving some robot a samurai sword and helmet and calling it a day.

ROTF Decepticon BludgeonROTF Decepticon Bludgeon
Paint-wise, I love his shade of green on the tank, and the garish orange probably highlight his spectral nature. He’s got a Mech Alive feature, where the turret breaks in two to reveal a sheath for one his weapons, which I’ll get to in a minute.

ROTF Decepticon Bludgeon
Articulation is pretty limited, including a lack of waist swivel, but you can make the most out of what’s there. He’s got a neck swivel, swivel shoulders, arms and legs, double elbows and hinge knees, and you can get a pretty good variety of limber moves you expect a samurai to do!

ROTF Decepticon Bludgeon
Speaking of which, you can’t be a samurai without a sword, and Bludgeon gets to have the biggest-ass sword of all. Pull out the gray tip of the tank turret for his nodachi (long sword), and his Mech Alive feature brings out his wakizashi (short sword). You can store both through holes on his right hip just like a real samurai. Mad respect for Hasbro for going out of their way to put in these little details that really make Bludgeon more than a toy.

They’re both made of pretty soft plastic which is too bendy for my taste, but I guess it’s a blessing in disguise…it’s a bitch to get them in Bludgeon’s hands. Dude’s got grip! But once he’s armed, some poor Autobot’s about to become sashimi!

ROTF Decepticon Bludgeon
I never liked the movie aesthetic, to be honest, and the news of Universe phasing out made me ultra-sad. But Bludgeon gave me hope that we can get good, classic characters out of the movie line’s extended run. This big undead samurai robot is an awesome toy, with appeal that reaches across borders. You gotta respect the way of the samurai!

ROTF Decepticon Bludgeon
It's not out in the Philippines yet, but I got him from a specialty store in Greenhills for pretty much SRP. Once he drops, get him fast!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Yellow Lantern Rings are out!

Just got back from Planet X Comics in Glorietta 4 and it's confirmed: the first of the Lantern ring replicas have landed. Tons of Yellow Lantern rings over there! Get it for 40php when you buy the latest issue of Doom Patrol (Doom Patrol #4, a Blackest Night tie-in issue) out this week, or just buy it outright for 60php.

Yellow Lantern Ring Replica
Would have loved to buy Doom Patrol and support the books, but its either just 60php for the ring alone, or 165php for the book PLUS 40php for the ring, which is equal to WAY more than 60php. Never thought math would be this useful to me for once in my life!

More pics below.

Yellow Lantern Ring Replica
Yellow Lantern Ring Replica
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