Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
August is the third month of DC Comics’ revamped lineup, which has yet to begin in earnest. Although you might think that would limit what there is to discuss in the August solicitations, I found a good bit to talk about. There are some unusual marketing moves, a few good guest-star opportunities, and even some nice tchotchkes. Let’s take a look.
“Truth” rolls on throughout the four Superman titles, and with its secret revealed in DC’s Free Comic Book Day preview, there’s not much point in speculating about the details. I’m not sure what to think about DC pairing its latest linewide relaunch with a couple of massive changes to Superman and Batman. I started reading The Amazing Spider-Man after the dust had settled from “One More Day,” because I didn’t want to deal with a series of big events or their immediate ramifications. Accordingly, it makes me think that Supes will have his secret restored at some point — perhaps in time for next spring’s Issue 50, which would also be just in time for the big Batman v Superman movie — and if I were thinking about returning to Superman, I might just wait until then. (Of course, since the New 52 relaunch, Supes has gotten far more attention than Clark has, so this could just be an extension of that.)
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With its Variant Play Arts Kai line, Square Enix reimagines familiar characters, ranging from Darth Vader to the Dark Knight. After teasing the prototype in February at Toy Fair, the company today officially unveiled its new take on Thor, and seldom has Marvel’s god of thunder looked so pumped, so angry and so metal.
This action figure isn’t a radical departure for the character (a Dark Ages-inspired makeover might’ve been fun), but it’s definitely interesting, with bulging veins, armor for days, and a hammer that’s half Thor’s height. The swinging Mjolnir attachment and lightning effect are nice touches.
Following the debut Wednesday of the new LEGO Dimensions trailer, we now get a look at seven of the team packs and fun packs teased in the gameplay footage — including The Joker and Harley Quinn.
Developed by TT Games for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the Disney Infinity-style “toy-to-life” game will launch Sept. 27 with Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle minifigures and the Batmobile. Players will then be able to purchase of additional fun packs and team packs, containing LEGO sets that they’ll build into characters, vehicles and devices that they’ll be able to introduce into the game with the Toy Pad.
I’d never really thought about it, but considering Daredevil’s blindness and sonar vision, it would’ve made way more sense for the Man Without Fear to be named “Batman.” Well, except for those pesky trademark issues, and the Caped Crusader’s 25-year head start.
Dorkly’s Andrew Bridgman makes the case in this funny animated video that finds the guardian of Hell’s Kitchen struggling to rationalize his costumed identity, only to find his shaky argument further undermined by the appearance of Ghost Rider. Sorry, Matt, from now on you’re “New Batman.”
David Letterman’s farewell last night after 33 years on television was packed with tributes from the likes of Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Peyton Manning and the Foo Fighters. While the Simpsons apparently weren’t able to appear in person on the Late Show — hey, Beavis and Butthead pulled it off in 1996 — they did send along a clip that pokes fun both at Letterman and their own long-running series.
Legal | Nicaragua has refused entry to the French cartoonist Julien Berjeaut, who uses the pen name “Jul.” Berjeaut, who has done freelance work for Charlie Hebdo, was slated to be part of a panel titled “Humor against barbarity, homage to Charlie Hebdo and freedom of expression” at a conference in Managua. He made a video that was played at the event instead. Berjeaut said he doesn’t know why he was barred from the country. [Miami Herald]
Legal | Two men were questioned by police after they were spotted taking photos of the home of Laurent Sourisseau, the publishing director of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Sourisseau has been under police guard since the January attack on Charlie Hebdo‘s Paris headquarters, in which 12 people were killed. [The Local]
As promised, Hot Toys has unveiled a new wave of adorable Avengers: Age of Ultron Cosbaby figures that not only includes the Vision but also — brace yourselves! — Black Widow.
They’re joined by 3.75-inch bobblehead versions of Ultron Prime, Ultron Mark I, Iron Man Mark XLV, War Machine II and, in the collectible set of seven, Tony Stark, holding a teeny-tiny helmet.
Ashley Wood’s 3A Toys has partnered with Frederator Studios to produce a series of action figures based on Bravest Warriors, the animated web series created by Adventure Time’s Pendleton Ward.
The 1/6th-scale collectibles are fully articulated with detailed fabric clothing. The line debuts with Chris Kirkman (11.9 inches tall) and Beth Tezuka (10.4 inches tall), which are available for preorder beginning Thursday for $100 each (including worldwide shipping).
Even as we eagerly await details about Samsung’s Iron Man-edition Galaxy S6 Edge, ColorWare has unveiled a custom iPhone 6 Black Widow that’s not only pricey, but also not the Black Widow phone Marvel fans were hoping for.
Sure, it’s black and red, and sports the hourglass emblem. But it also featured raised web details, signaling that it has nothing to with the Soviet super-spy turned Avengers (or even Spider-Man, for that matter). Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice-looking phone; it just strikes me as a bit misleading (yes, I’m aware of the black widow spider, but I call shenanigans).
Following a two-month fight with Walmart, cartoonist Jeph Jacques has shut down his parody site walmart.horse and turned over the domain name to the retail giant.
Launched in February, the website consisted solely of the above image, created from two public-domain photos superimposed on one another. The idea came to the cartoonist after he saw a list of new Top Level Domains, domain-name extensions that reflect specific interest. “The idea behind the site started out as a conversation with a friend of mine,” he explained in March. “We were extremely amused by the new .horse TLD and decided to register a bunch of ridiculous domain names with it.”
Although you may not be ready to save the galaxy, you will be able to save your change in this Green Lantern battery vinyl bank from Diamond Select Toys.
Standing nearly 12 inches tall, the bank is based on the Green Lantern power battery shown in the Justice League animated series. There’s a coin slot and top and and access door in the base. Presumably you’re required to recite the Green Lantern Oath each time you take own money. Set to arrive in October, it’s available for preorder now.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment goes all out in the latest trailer for LEGO Dimensions, which sees Christopher Lloyd reprise his role as Doc Brown from Back to the Future.
It’s just one of numerous properties that will be featured as part of the upcoming “toy-to-life” game — others include DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who and Jurassic World — developed by TT Games. Unlike with the popular Skylanders and Disney Infinity, players won’t purchase characters but instead LEGO sets that they’ll build into characters, vehicles and devices that can be introduced into the game with the Toy Pad.
The list of crimes involving people in Spider-Man masks is long and legendary, encompassing acts ranging from street brawls to convenience-store robberies. Let’s chalk it up to the widespread availability of Spider-Man costumes — he is, after all, one of the most popular and recognizable characters on the planet — and not a sign of a deeper sociological problem. Or, heaven forbid, damning evidence that J. Jonah Jameson has been right all along.
The latest entry on that web-covered tally comes from Powhatan, Virginia, where a man in a Spider-Man mask and his two bandana-wearing amazing friends — let’s call them Iceman and Firestar — ransacked a firearms dealer early Monday, making off with 30 guns.
Libraries | Digital media distributor Midwest Tape has announced a new e-book and comics service for libraries, which will be accessed via its hoopla platform. Unlike the widely used Overdrive, the service will allow multiple checkouts for a single book, rather than limiting checkouts to one user at a time. [Publishers Weekly]
Legal | The trial began Tuesday for Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani on charges of spreading propaganda and insulting members of parliament, stemming from a cartoon she posted on Facebook depicting politicians as monkeys and other animals. Farghadani has been an activist in other ways as well, meeting with the families of people killed during the 2009 presidential elections. She was arrested last August and sent to prison, released, and then arrested again after posting a video online describing beatings by prison guards. She has been in solitary confinement since January and suffered a heart attack in February, after being on a hunger strike for three weeks. [The Washington Post]
Rockstar North’s Grand Theft Auto V reached a couple of milestones this week, with shipments of the action-adventure game approaching 52 million, and the introduction of its first Superman mod.
A mere five weeks after the game was released for PC, one enterprising player created his first mod, replacing one of the three protagonists, Trevor Phillips, with the Man of Steel. While it’s not a complete conversion, it does feature a costume-clad Superman who can punch and kick cars across the street and even take flight. He may want to work on that landing, however.