Tag Archives: captain america

Coming in 2016 from Diamond Select Toys: Deadpool, Catwoman and the Alien Queen!

A new batch of Diamond Select Toys products is up for pre-order at your local comic shop, or your favorite online retailer, and once again DST’s offerings represent the best of all worlds! From Aliens to Batman: The Animated Series to Cthulhu, from Gotham to Ghostbusters to Godzilla, from Jay and Silent Bob to Star Trek, these new products are just what you never knew you needed. Plus: two returning products from Star Trek and Back to the Future! Read on for details, and pre-order today!

Aliens Xenomorph Queen Vinyl Bust Bank

A Diamond Select Toys release! Talk about protection! Your spare change is safe and sound under the watchful eye of this all-new Xenomorph queen Vinyl Bust Bank. Based on the matriarch’s appearance in Aliens, this beautifully rendered bank features a detailed sculpt by Jean St. Jean  and a collectible-quality paint application, and stands alongside some of the finest Alien collectibles. But she also has a coin slot in back and an access door in the base, so she’ll guard your quarters like they were her own children! If you were going to put all your eggs in one basket, this is it! Comes packaged in a clear polybag with dorsal spines. (Item #SEP152158, SRP: $29.99)


Batman The Animated Series Catwoman Resin Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! Catwoman just got busted! The master thief, who has been perpetrator, partner and paramour to Batman, is now the newest resin bust in DST’s line of busts based on Batman: The Animated Series. With her feline companion perched on her shoulder, this approximately 6-inch bust of Selina Kyle features detailed paint applications and a purr-fectly formed sculpt atop an art-deco base. The bust comes packaged in a full-color box with a certificate of authenticity. Limited to 3,000 pieces. Sculpted by Varner Studios! (Item #SEP152161, SRP: $59.99)


Batman The Animated Series Femme Fatales Catwoman PVC Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! This cat has nine lives! Robbing the rich and running around on rooftops gets Selina Kyle’s engine racing, and now DST has captured her in the act with this 9-inch scale PVC statue! Standing atop a rooftop base with her feline friend, this PVC statue of Catwoman as she appeared in Batman: The Animated Series comes packaged in a full-color window box, and will fit in with the rest of your DC Animated Femme Fatales statues. Sculpted by Varner Studios! (Item #SEP152162, SRP: $44.99)


Batman The Animated Series Robin Vinyl Bust Bank

A Diamond Select Toys release! Even Batman needs a wingman sometimes! There’s nothing more annoying than fighting crime with a pocketful of loose change, so why not give it to your sidekick to hold? This vinyl bust bank of Robin is based on his appearance in Batman: The Animated Series, and features cartoon-accurate details, as well as a coin slot in the back and an access door in the base. Once secured inside the Boy Wonder, your money will be as safe as your secret identity! Packaged in a clear polybag. Batman bank coming soon! Sculpted by Varner Studios! (Item #SEP152163, SRP: $22.99)


Cthulhu Idol Glow-in-the-Dark Vinyl Bank

A Diamond Select Toys release! In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming… and glowing! This new, glow-in-the-dark vinyl bank of the Old God Cthulhu, as described in the stories of H.P. Lovecraft, measures approximately 8 inches tall and is cast in a glowing material that is recharged in sunlight. Bring him along when exploring the tunnels beneath the Mountains of Madness, or even the sunken city of R’lyeh! Packaged in a clear polybag. Sculpted by Eli Livingston! (Item #FEB158317, SRP: $22.99)


Star Trek TNG Femme Fatales Counselor Troi PVC Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! Hello, Counselor! Continuing DST’s line of Star Trek Femme Fatales statues, ship’s counselor Deanna Troi makes her debut, wearing the official U.S.S. Enterprise minidress uniform she wore when we first met her in Season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Standing approximately 9” tall atop her base, this detailed PVC statue comes packaged in a full-color window box. (Item #SEP152170, SRP: $44.99)


Ghostbusters Slimer Metal Bottle Opener

A Diamond Select Toys release! When Slimer’s thirsty, no bottlecap will stand in his way! The free-floating phantasm from Ghostbusters is known for his love of food, but he also enjoys a good beverage, and this metal bottle opener will pry a cap off of a bottle faster than you can say “He slimed me!” Plus, magnets on the back will hang Slimer on your refrigerator or containment unit until you need him again! Packaged in a full-color slipcase. (Item #SEP152172, SRP: $18.00)


Godzilla Mechagodzilla Pizza Cutter

A Diamond Select Toys release! When the countryside is smothered in cheese, the government needs a solution! This plastic pizza cutter in the shape of Mechagodzilla’s head is the appropriate response to a large pizza that needs to be cut down to size. Grasp the head, roll the sharp plastic wheel across the pizza, then remove the blade for easy washing! Your pizza parties will be the talk of Monster Island! Packaged in a full-color window box. (Item #SEP152173, SRP: $14.99)


Gotham City Shot Glasses

A Diamond Select Toys release! In Gotham City, there’s good shots and bad shots. Enjoy the good kind of shot in one of three different shot glasses inspired by famous Gotham City locations! From the TV show Gotham, belly up to the bar at Mooney’s, the bar with the fish logo, inspired by owner Fish Mooney. From Batman: The Animated Series, visit The Stacked Deck, where super-villains go to exchange stories about how they “Almost Got ‘Im.” Then go and earn a degree in mixology from Gotham City University, where the students study hard and party harder. Each shot glass comes packaged in a full-color window box.

Mooney’s Shot Glass (Item #SEP152166, SRP: $5.99)


Stacked Deck Shot Glass (Item #SEP152165, SRP: $5.99)


Gotham City University (Item #SEP152164, SRP: $5.99)


Jay and Silent Bob Bobble Heads

A Diamond Select Toys release! Always wanted to have Jay and Silent Bob head-bang right in your own home? Well, now you can with these all-new bobbleheads of the famous duo! Measuring approximately 7 inches tall, each resin bobblehead comes packaged in a full-color window box. Turn on some Russian heavy metal, set those heads a-noddin’, then sit back and enjoy the show!

Jay (Item #SEP152167, SRP: $19.99)


Silent Bob (Item #SEP152168, SRP: $19.99)


Asst. (2 of each) (Item #SEP152169, SRP $79.96)

Marvel Retro Cloth Deadpool Action Figure Gift Set

A Diamond Select Toys release! Remember that time in the 1970s when Deadpool got his own action figure? Neither does Deadpool! Realizing that a great injustice had been done, DST and EMCE Toys have teamed up to give the Merc with a Mouth the Mego-style 8-inch action figure he deserves. Arriving inside a retro-style window box, the figure is packaged in a tray alongside two bonus outfits – a more detailed, modernized Deadpool head and suit, and a white X-Force outfit with an unmasked head! Plus, more swords, guns and weapons than you can shake a taco at! Then take off all his clothes and have him dress him up in the costumes of your other Marvel Retro figures! Limited to only 3,000 sets. (Item #SEP152159, SRP: $80.00)


Marvel Captain America’s Shield Gelatin Mold

A Diamond Select Toys release! When Captain America throws his mighty shield, there’s gelatin for everyone! No other dessert will dare oppose a delicious gelatin made using this plastic mold in the shape of Cap’s shield. Measuring approximately 10 inches in diameter, snacktime at Avengers Mansion just got a lot more awesome! Packaged in a full-color window box. Not for use in the oven. (Item #SEP152160, SRP: $15.00)


Nightmare Before Christmas Pajama Jack Coffin Doll

A Diamond Select Toys release! Get ready for the big sleep! This frighteningly tall 16” doll of Jack Skellington in real cloth pajamas reproduces the classic figure of old for a new generation of Nightmare Before Christmas fans. Packaged in a full-length coffin, with viewing window, Jack comes with pajamas, nightcap, and a large book about The Scientific Method. Perfect reading for when you’re trying to catch a few winks! Packaged in a coffin-shaped window box. Limited to only 1,993 pieces. (Item #SEP152171, SRP: $50.00)


Offered Again:

Back to the Future OUTATIME License Plate Replica

A Diamond Select Toys release! Turn on your flux capacitor and fuel up your Mr. Fusion, because it’s time for another blast from the past! Long out of print, the Back to the Future “OUTATIME” License Plate Replica is back in the present, and ready for your collection! Recreating the legendary time machine’s famous tag, this full-size replica features window-box packaging perfect for shelf display, wall mounting or just spinning on a corner in between some flaming tire tracks. Packaged in a full-color collector sleeve. Not for street use after 1985. (Item #JUL084900, SRP: $35.00)


Star Trek Retro Cloth Lt. Sulu and Gorn Action Figure Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! Demand for more of our Mego-style cloth-costumed Star Trek figures is so high, we had to warp around the sun and go back in time to make more! Back in stock for the first time in several years, this assortment of 8-inch figures includes Lt. Hikaru Sulu, of the starship Enterprise, as well as DST’s screen-accurate reworking of the Gorn! Each figure comes packaged in a collector-friendly plastic clamshell, with a full-color insert. Fill the holes in your Star Trek Retro collection, or start your crew from the ground up right here! (Item #SEP084792, SRP: $159.92, or $19.99/ea.)

Gorn Sulu

Review: Captain America: White # 1

Captain_America_White_1_Cover_thumb“Remembering the littlest soldier”

To say this comic book is long-awaited is an understatement like saying that Dr. Dre’s Detox album is right on schedule. (I too awaited that album, back when I loved the rap genre)  The wonder team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are no strangers to each other. In fact the pair has created instant classics almost every time they collaborate. They gave us Batman: The Long Halloween, Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray and now Captain America: White.

When you have such a long wait for something it often falls completely flat. Usually it crumbles under the weight of its own expectation. The risk of over doing it and trying to please everyone is usually a harsh mistress. I’m happy to report here True Readers, that doesn’t happen at all.

The story opens with a thawed out Captain America on the Avengers table, thinking to himself how could he be alive? I have to say I am a very big fan of first person narration as it gives the best insight into a character and their motivation, while taking you along sidecar on their journey. Captain Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) has found himself awake in a new era and everything about his life has changed. Now this is nothing new to long time Cap fans, but Jeph Loeb really makes you feel for Steve here. Steve realizes that everyone and everything he cared for is long gone. The only tie to his past is Sgt. Nick Fury of the Howling Commandos and wasn’t the best relationship to begin with. Steve is not used to Fury’s respect and admiration as back in the times of WW II that was surely not the case. So faced with all these new faces and new surroundings, Steve does what anyone would do. He takes a break.

Fury goes looking for Steve a little later and is taken back to find him at a small local church on his knees with hands clasped tight. Steve not wanting to talk right away, shoos Fury so he can be alone. Here is the best part of the issue when we are left with a humbled Captain America and his thoughts.

Steve reminisces about his early days in the war when he was not publicly acknowledged as Captain America. He thinks about his biggest regret, the loss of his best friend James Buchanan Barnes or Bucky. Steve remembers exactly what it was like to be such an outsider and Bucky was right there. The kid was barely old enough to shave but willing to risk his life at the drop of a hat for the good of his country. He was everything Steve wasn’t: confident, brave, sociable and always armed with a sense of humor. Steve kept him close always and was very protective of him. He soon realized that he didn’t need any protection. He needed training.

One night when Steve was back from a mission he got careless, and left his tent open while he changed out of his Captain America uniform. The jig was up. Bucky saw the whole thing, and no way to deny it. As Bucky ran away in shock, he chased after him. Bucky swore up and down that he wouldn’t say a word to anyone. Steve believed him and said he was never worried. At that point Steve decided to give Bucky the training that America wouldn’t.

Seeing Bucky as an equal rather than a grunt, their bond was strong. I found a scene when they are training in the woods very enjoyable. Steve sneakily attacks Bucky and leaves him at his mercy. Bucky cries foul and Steve says “Tell that to the nazi creep who has a luger pointed at your head.” 

Bucky understands and the training continues until the day comes where he gives him his own uniform. Steve says that the order came from the President of The United States of America himself. Seems the President feels with Captain America having a teen sidekick it will help the army recruit more kids out of high school. He dons the uniform and the legend of Captain America and Bucky was born.

Bucky-comes-into-beingRight here I will leave you to pick up and read the rest of the issue itself as it was a very entertaining read. I have always been a fan of Tim Sales art style as it is so kinetic and seems to leap and dance across the page. While I don’t like everything Jeph Loeb writes, he does these bio pieces of comic greats very well. He seems to have a knack to find the most interesting angle on each character and bring it right to the forefront. This time with Steve is no different. Like Cap and Bucky are scoffed at in the issues as “circus performers”, so too I compare Loeb and Sale. This issue is like opening night under the Big Top. The lights are on, the audience is just getting settled in and the show is about to begin. Trust me they will only need a few moments to real make some magic.

Overall: While it may have not exactly been worth the seven-year wait we had to endure, nothing rarely is. If you separate it and take it for what is, a comic tale that encapsulates a historic moment in time while throwing some artistic sizzle and pizzazz, I think it succeeds. Is it the best thing I’ve read this year? No, but it doesn’t have to be. It was however damn good and lots of fun. Sometimes that’s all you need. It should be noted that this book actually contained both issue #1 and #0. So in that right it’s a bargain with two tales from this team for the price of one. There is a hilarious moment with Sgt Fury at the beginning, which I won’t spoil here. Sure this issue didn’t have Cap slinging his shield at the Red Skull or Baron Zemo, there will be plenty of time for that later. If you enjoy the bond between two buddies who happen to be American Icons, then I strongly suggest you check this book out. Even if you don’t I suggest you do anyway, you might change your mind. I can’t say until next month, because who knows if it will be out on time? All I can say is when the next installment does arrive, give it a grab. I’m confident that unlike Cap’s mighty shield, you will not be throwing it away from your person until its completely been read.

Story: Jeph Loeb Art: Tim Sale
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Definite Buy

Fashion Spotlight: The Future Bunch, Springtastic 5, and Hero vs Hero

Ript Apparel has three new designs! The Future Bunch, Springtastic 5, and Hero vs Hero, by Skullpy, Coddesigns, and JozVoz, are on sale today only! Get them before they’re gone!

The Future Bunch


Springtastic 5


Hero vs Hero







This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

What Could Be Expected in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

After its initial success with Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and Thor, Marvel Studios quickly realized that it had a formula for success on its hands and seemed ready to take advantage of it.  To do so though required a plan, and studio head Kevin Feige soon had broken down the movies into various phases, with the most recent Ant-Man signaling the end of phase 2.  Aside from the developments inside the movies, there have been some developments outside the movies which have affected the universe as well, chief among those the partial reversion of the rights to Spider-Man back to Marvel, or at least the use of Spider-Man inside the shared universe in a collaboration with Sony.

At the moment, we kn ow the entire lineup for phase 3, starting with Captain America: Civil War and continuing through two new Avengers movies and the Inhumans.  What might be expected in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?  The release of the newest Fantastic Four might signal some of the changes which we can anticipate ahead (there are some spoilers below).

Ant-Man and Wasp

waspMany expected Ant-Man to be one of the bigger disappointments thus far in the MCU, due to its ongoing problems with the direction, after it passed from Edgar Wright to Peyton Reed.  It seemed as though the studio was not going to take any risks with the character as they could not even confirm his role in any future movies.  This presumably will all change now that the movie has been released.  Although it can’t compare to the financial success of the year’s other Marvel movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, it also is noteworthy as being a better critical success, with a better rating at Rotten Tomatoes than Avengers.  With both financial and critical success it seems as though there will be more to come from these characters.  As was hinted at the end of the movie, there is still a lot of story left to tell as well, as the end hinted that Janet van Dyne might not be truly lost.  Furthermore Hope van Dyne was presented with a Wasp suit by her father.  There could be a lot of places to take the story of the two heroes, though one in particular might make the most sense …


micronautsThe Micronauts are a bit of an oddity in comics.  They started out as a line of toys, who were written into comics after in the 1970s after Marvel writer Bill Mantlo saw his son open a box of the toys.  The series started as somewhat of a standalone, but slowly was incorporated into the Marvel Universe, with appearances by some other mainstream characters.  While the rights for the characters do not presently rest with Marvel, there is a long publication history with the characters and as the rights rest with other smaller comic companies, it would likely not be too difficult to reacquire the rights.  Furthermore for the film studio that might try to replicate the runaway success of Guardians of the Galaxy, they might look smaller instead of bigger and find their next surprise hit there.  There would be some hurdles, but also there might be a few benefits, as Janet van Dyne disappeared into the smallest dimension, the Microverse.  This small universe is not in itself small, but the pathways to enter it are, and could give an explanation as to where the character disappeared.  They might find Janet in the Microverse, but they might also be able to find some other heroes there as well…

Fantastic Four

fantastic fourThe Fantastic Four is one of the best known Marvel properties that does not lie within the company’s grasp at the moment, instead being controlled by Fox.  While Fox has managed to control the X-Men franchise strongly enough with some decent movies, the Fantastic Four has mostly been a sequence of failures.  The first of the series was good enough to warrant a sequel, but this was before the wake of Marvel movies changed how fans expected superhero movies to turn out.  Marvel Studios was looking to be innovative, not just rehash generic action/sci-fi plots with superheroes thrown in.  The most recent attempt by Fox to revamp the Fantastic Four might have been an attempt to do the same, to get some new excitement into the mix, but it evidently did not turn out that way.  Critical response (and probably financial) will mean that the characters will have to be shelved for a while before the public has forgotten enough about them.  Using the Sony/Spider-Man approach, lending the characters back to Marvel Studios might be a wiser choice, one that would probably make more money for both, and one which would keep the fans happy.  By this point though, with two origin movies behind them, it might make sense to jump straight into the Fantastic Four with them already established as heroes.  They could exist in a similar sense to Hank Pym in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, unknown but still present.  More so, one of the places that is visited by the Fantastic Four is the Microverse, and if they were stuck there then it would be an easy bridge between Ant-Man and the return of Marvel’s first family.


namorIt is not entirely clear where the rights to Namor presently rest.  Kevin Feige has indicated that Marvel, if they desired, could make a Namor movie, but that there would be some “entanglements”.  Rights to the movie have rested with Universal, but seem to have at least partially lapsed.  What remains is speculated to be the same arrangement with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, that Marvel creates but Universal distributes.  While it was not a problem when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still nascent, it seems moving forward that Marvel likes to create and distribute, and to get rewarded financially at 100% for its efforts.  It might make exceptions for Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four but maybe less so for Namor.  Another factor to consider is what DC Comics will manage to do with its own movies.  The other of the big two comic companies is playing catchup, but also has the benefit of controlling the movie rights to nearly all of its characters.  They have already greenlit an Aquaman movie, but it remains to be seen just how well it will do.  Aquaman is after all a hero that is taken not so seriously in pop culture, but if DC can make it work, maybe it will give Marvel second thoughts about its own underwater hero.


thunderboltsThe fact that DC Comics is playing catchup in the movie game can also be to the advantage of Marvel.  Marvel has already taken its gambles and seen those pay off, as with Guardians of the Galaxy.  DC Comics, who are eager to catch up, are also taking their own gambles, and chief among those is the Suicide Squad.  Featuring a group of villains forced into a heroic role, it might catch on, or it might flop.  Fans certainly will not be very familiar with the concept, and the concept in itself is strange enough that it might not work.  On the other hand, it might work, and if yes then it could serve as a gamble that Marvel gets to witness the results of without gambling anything itself.  If popular it could use its own villain-turned-heroes team the Thunderbolts and catch the wave of people wanting more Suicide Squad before a sequel to the DC movie comes out.  If played right as well it could help quieten those that think that the MCU’s villains are the weakest part of the movies.


defendersMarvel is already a long way along in its development of the Doctor Strange movie, and holds the exclusive rights to the Hulk as long as he is not the featured character in a movie.  A Namor movie could be forthcoming depending on the success of Aquaman, and if Fox sees the benefits of doing so, a collaboration might be in the works to return the Fantastic Four and associated characters to the MCU, which would include the Silver Surfer.  Those four make up the original four members of the Defenders.  For those that are getting a bit tired of seeing the Avengers over and over again on the big screen, it might be an excuse to feature this other Marvel team (although Marvel is working on a street level Defenders television show as well.)  One interesting aspect about this team is that as opposed to the Avengers that the original team is made up of all non-street level characters, meaning that the stakes could be higher and that bigger things might happen as a result, such as …

World War Hulk

wwhThis has been a long rumored development in the MCU, but also not one that has not yet come to fruition.  Marvel has been careful to include in story arcs from the comics, and it has made for some great connections for fans of both mediums.  Although World War Hulk is not necessarily the best all time Hulk story, it is up there, and would be a better vehicle for putting a new spin on the Hulk stories, more so than what we are seeing at the movies, with both Hulk movies fitting the same general pattern of the Hulk being hunted by the government after smashing up a bunch of stuff.  It would also allow the character to move beyond the Avengers, which is a connection that is not as strong in the comics.  Also if all the pieces fell into place, it would mean that a lot of the major players from the crossover might be able to make it into the movie, save for the X-Men.


kateRumors abound that another major character will die in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War (especially that there are pictures from the set of a funeral sequence), and without any other way to verify this other than by seeing a movie that will not be released until 2016, it still seems likely that one of the characters that might be easiest to kill off would be Hawkeye.  He is among the less popular of the main characters in the MCU, and has been almost a footnote to the movies series, appearing to provide fans with another superhero, but also one that doesn’t really do much.  Even if he does not die in the movie, it is also worth noting that the character is one which is on the verge of retirement, being somewhat older than the other heroes and with responsibilities to his family.  This could leave open the possibility for a Hawkeye movie except not as we might expect.  As the movies expand in popularity it makes sense to be closer to four quadrant movies, and one way to do this is to introduce more female characters.  If Clint Barton were to retire on screen, it could open the door for Kate Bishop to step up, providing the MCU with another superheroine, and one with a lot more of an edge than Clint.

She-Hulk and Spider-Woman

shehulkOn that same note, if Marvel is looking to keep its female fans happy it might look to develop these characters as well.  Most of the main Marvel superheroines would be tied up elsewhere, with most of the major heroines being members of the X-Men, and other such as Sue Storm or Medusa mostly only operating as parts of teams.  Others such as Elektra and even Hellcat are tied to the television series, which mean that only a few major female characters would be left to get the big screen treatment.  She-Hulk and Spider-Woman could both be strong contenders to hold down their own movie, especially if Marvel did something unexpected and went off the script with the Spider-Gwen version of Spider-Woman.  It would also help to fill the ranks of the Avengers, a team which needs to be mixed up a bit from time to time to keep the roster fresh and the fans intrigued.


tigraKa-Zar is one of the longest running Marvel characters, but also one that has not had a very solid fanbase in modern years, although unquestionably popular among many.  Although Marvel is keen on taking risks, could it make the Savage Land work the same as it made Guardians of the Galaxy work?  The Savage Land is the source of many stories within the Marvel Universe, though most of them with the X-Men.  Why might the MCU be interested in the Savage Land?  It is a fantasy setting, and while it does not match up with other heroes, could still serve as an explanation for the re-appearance of some characters who also happen to be Avengers – Hercules, Tigra or even the Black Knight.  It might be a stretch, but Marvel will be looking for new blood for its Avengers as it moves forward, as is evident from the new roster after Age of Ultron.  Tigra especially might be interesting, as she not only is her own character, but is also indirectly responsible for the development of Hellcat, whose non-superpowered version is already set to be introduced in the Marvel television show Jessica Jones.

Iron Man 4

iron manThis is perhaps the biggest question to solve in phase 4.  A big part of what made the MCU so popular is that it based its hopes on the initial movie, Iron Man.  If this movie had failed so too would the plans for the shared universe.  Success would probably have still come the way of the studio, but it would have been a longer road.  Part of the runaway success of the original Iron Man was that Robert Downey Jr. was perfectly cast as Tony Stark, what some might say is not even really acting as he seems to be mostly playing himself.  That having been said, superheroes never really age but actors and actresses do.  While the studio can get a few more years out of Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson (all in their early to mid 30s), and even a lot more out of Paul Bettany (whose character the Vision wears so much makeup as to be ageless) and Elizabeth Olsen (who is in her mid 20s), it can probably expect less out of Robert Downey Jr, who is now 50.  They might push him for a couple more movies, but eventually he will need to be replaced, and the biggest question would then be by who, as the character is one that is of highest importance to the MCU.  There might be no bigger question heading forward in the MCU than who will fill this role.

Pop! is Coming to the Kitchen!

After showcasing prototypes at New York Toy Fair earlier this year, Funko has announced Pop! Home!

The first series of Pop! Home 12 oz. ceramic mugs feature some of Marvel’s greatest heroes!

Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Spider-Man are guaranteed to keep your drinks warm and safe from evil!

Pop! Home also includes salt and pepper shaker sets!

Spider-Man and Black Suit Spider-Man are packed together, as well as Captain America and Iron Man!

Pop! Home is out in October from Funko.

Fashion Spotlight: The American Shield, Devil’s Punishment, and Rebel Stitch

Ript Apparel has three new designs today. The American Shield, Devil’s Punishment, and Rebel Stitch from SergioDoe, Fortune-Cake, and TheFlyingPenguin will be for sale on July 25, 2015 only!

The American Shield by SergioDoe

The American Shield

Devil’s Punishment by Fortune-Cake

Devil's Punishment

Rebel Stitch by TheFlyingPenguin

Rebel Stitch



This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Redskin Revisionism

1872In the course of an average week, there are over a hundred comics released, each of about twenty pages, and each of those pages with between one and six panels.  This makes for several thousand panels in the course of any week which are released.  In the middle of that whole mix one panel was printed this week, and it might have been noticed and it might not have.  In fact its place might have been there simply for historical accuracy, or it might have been a bit of a jab at an ongoing controversy.  The panel was from the new comic series 1872, part of the massive crossover that is Secret Wars.  This story is set in the year 1872 in the Old West, with Steve Rogers more or less becoming Wyatt Earp and Tony Stark becoming Doc Holliday.  Part of the background of this story is that it involves a tycoon diverting water away from a small town for his mine, and the town struggles in the middle of a desert to find a way to live.  Among those struggling is a Native American, who plans to blow up the dam controlling the water and thus giving water back to the area.  He is caught in the act of sabotage and strung up in a noose ready to die, before Sheriff Rogers intervenes.  While the story is interesting for its recasting of the characters into different roles, the panel in question comes from the execution scene involving the native.  As the executioner hits the horse upon which he sits to tighten the slack on the rope, he utters a phrase which is one which is charged with so much debate in modern culture – Redskin.

There is one specific reference to this word which causes so many issues and that is the name for the Washington team in the NFL, the Redskins.  Many have had issues with the team name before, stating that it is offensive, much along the same lines as people are troubled by the Cleveland Indians.  Other teams have addressed racism claims in different ways, but the Redskins approach is perhaps the only one which says that it is using the team name out of respect for the brave Indian fighters known as Redskins and not as a racial slur.  Despite this claim, it is evident that the team has struggled with racism throughout its history, though its defense (or more accurately non-defense) this has been primarily targeted at black people, not at Native Americans.  The team’s original owner George Preston Marshall was the last holdout in terms of racial assimilation in the NFL, having held out for almost twenty years after other teams had been drafting and playing black players, and only did so after being forced to do so b y the federal government.

redskin002The claim and partial defense of the Redskins is that their name is not offensive, but rather is meant as a token of respect, that there were brave warriors from the past that used the name.  While this itself is up to debate, it is only an attempt to try to slice up a small piece of history and to leave the bigotry behind.  This panel exemplifies that perfectly.  At someone’s execution, one wouldn’t talk about the highlights of their life, or to describe their status as a brave warrior, instead one would probably shout all kinds of obscenities at them, including in this case the use of the term Redskin.  There have been other examples of the same, and even closer to the historical source.  For instance, the comic Western Fighters used the term on its twenty fourth issue in the early 1950.  At this time there was far less concern for racism in pop culture, as it was before the civil rights movement, and thus the truer use of the term was more apparent.

Thus while the Redskins say that it is used out of respect, it is actually a lot of historical revisionism, framing an offensive word in a way that makes it look like it is not offensive.  From a legal standpoint they might have the right to use the name (though this is also being slowly eroded), but their moral stance that this is done out of respect for an obscure group of warriors has no ground to stand on.  It is racism and it is racist, and there should be no history to hide behind on this subject, and that was highlighted this week by a single panel in a single comic.

Review: 1872 #1

1872For the most part Secret Wars has been a retrospective look back at some of the biggest crossovers which ever occurred in the Marvel universe.  While it has focused on a lot of these kinds of stories it has also branched out a bit from time to time.  Some of the minor focuses have been to recast heroes or to shine a light on some villains, most of whom have been working in some kind of confine of the Secret Wars world.  In the case of 1872 though we get something completely different from what we have seen thus far in this series.  Secret Wars was itself designed as a simple enough way to clean up the Marvel Universe, touching base with some of the bigger stories which have maybe gone off the plot of the main universe, while also addressing the various multiverse dimensions which are populated by a different list of heroes.

If this was the inspiration for Secret Wars then it was rewritten and thrown away, as the context of this series is exactly that of an alternate timeline that has never seen before.  In other words, it is expanding the multiverse, not contracting it.  Here Steve Rogers is cast as Wyatt Earp and Tony Stark is cast as Doc Holliday, as they battle a corrupt mayor (Fisk) and governor (Roxxon).  The issue at hand is the water supply for a small valley, which while it is fueling the work in a mine, it is also depriving people of their access to water.  Steve stands as the representative of the law, one which he knows is broken in certain ways, but which has lines which he seems reluctant to cross, else he erode his own sense of morality.  Standing beside him is Tony, a sidekick for banter but dangerous enough by himself it would seem.  Banner is also here, though his role is still a little vague.

The result of this strange mix is actually one of the smarter ideas to come out of Marvel for this whole crossover.  There was after all a time when western comics ruled the day in the medium, and this is a bit of an homage to those days, taking not just a crossover, but instead an entire genre and mixing it into the whole of Secret Wars.  The result is fun and is as good of a Western that modern comic readers will probably ever get to see, with the same grit that made the genre so beloved for so long without the anachronisms that are thrown in with the modern versions.

Story: Gerry Duggan  Art: Nik Virella
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Civil War #1

civilwar001The Civil War tie-in to the Secret Wars crossover is something that has not really been seen yet with Secret Wars, at least not to this degree.  While other of the stories have relied on retelling their specific crossovers through replacement of characters, or fitting the series into Secret Wars, the story here plays out somewhat differently.  It doesn’t even seem to tie into Secret Wars at all, instead acting as an elaborate “What If?” story.  In this case though it is an elaborate take on this kind of story asking what would have happened if the Marvel Civil War had never ended and had continued.

After a decent setup to show what drove the two factions of heroes apart for good, the new ground rules are laid out for the torn apart country.  One half of the USA is ruled by Stark and is called the Iron.  Here registration rules where those with super abilities are registered and led to leave a life which protects them from society and which protects society from them.  The other half of the divide is the Blue, the Western portion controlled by Captain America.  This is much more like a libertarian homeland, where the only rules are the most basic.  As the two sides are brought together for peace talks, things will obviously not go so easily.  Instead a major incident leaves both sides once again at each other’s throats.

This first issue is interesting, not only because of the different approach that it takes to the Secret Wars crossover, but also because of the fundamental questions which the original crossover posed, questions to which there are no real easy answers, and they are also the questions which underlie much of the public discourse in politics at the moment, especially in the USA.  The nuances are here as to deeper questions, and while it doesn’t exactly get around to addressing them, they are still there.  This issue thus borders on something a lot deeper, while still giving an engaging story to get into.  It might not be the best overall tie-in thus far to Secret Wars, but it definitely one of the most thought-provoking, and deserves to be placed at the head of the pack.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Leinil Francis Yu
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Spider-Island #1

si001In some ways the entirety of Secret Wars has at times read like a fan fic.  Although there is a strong enough core to the overall story to hold it together, it is equally a relatively fertile ground for creators to let loose in terms of creativity.  Some tie-ins have benefited from this and others have not, and in the case of Spider-Island it is very like the former.  The creative team here has taken the crossover from four summers ago and repurposed it, asking some common fan fic questions like what if the Spider Queen had managed to take over the Avengers?  Or what if Flash Thompson as Venom was the one fighting for the city, not Spider-Man.

The plot here focuses on Flash and his few allies – Jessica Drew, the Vision and Werewolf by Night.  They are fighting a losing battle against the spread of the spider virus, and they are desperate to find something which they can do to counter it.  Werewolf by Night is himself infested but only comes to the side of the heroes when her turns into a wolf at night, and he manages to give Flash the information that he might need to finally stop the spread of the virus.  He launches a covert mission with the Vision, Jessica and himself, but things don’t turn out exactly as planned, though in this case neither for the heroes nor the villains.

The result is a fresh take on the crossover by recasting some of the main characters and by changing the baseline of the setting.  It is a bit grittier than the original, but the reimagining works well as the reader is drawn into the story almost immediately and the pace never lets up.  It is also nice to see the backup feature showing us a slightly older Spider-Girl (now Spider-Woman) from the MC2, which also sort of ties into the Secret Wars crossover.  In the end this is a pretty decent tie-in to Secret Wars, proving once again that those who are willing to push the boundaries that the freedom of the crossover allows, also benefit from those risks, as they have paid off here and elsewhere for these tie-in series.

Story:  Christos Gage, Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz Art:  Paco Diaz and Sal Buscema 
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

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