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Diamond Select Toys in Store This Week: The Fantastic Four, Ahsoka Tano and More!

Diamond Select Toys has lots coming to stores this week! The Human Torch and the Thing team up to defeat Doctor Doom, Ahsoka Tano faces off with Asajj Ventress, and Iron Man and Rogue do whatever a couple of awesome busts do! Busts, action figures, statues… there’s a little bit of everything in this week’s offerings. It’s the best of all worlds!

Legends in 3D Marvel Comic Doctor Doom 1/2 Scale Bust 

A Diamond Select Toys release! Behold the magnificent visage of Doom! Victor Von Doom, ruler of Latveria, is a Legend among his people, and now he’s a Legend in 3D! This 10-inch bust depicts the monarch in scale, atop a castle pedestal decorated with Doom’s monogram, and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #DEC202073, SRP: $175.00)

Legends in 3D Star Wars Ahsoka Tano Half-Scale Bust

A Gentle Giant Ltd. release! She’s one of the most popular characters in Star Wars fandom, and now Ahsoka Tano is a Legend in 3D! This approximately 10-inch bust captures the Jedi Knight in scale, atop a sculpted, lightsaber-inspired pedestal. Limited to only 1,000 pieces, she features detailed sculpting and paint applications, and comes packaged in a numbered, full-color box with a certificate of authenticity. (JAN211969, SRP: $175.00)

Marvel Animated Style Thing Statue 

A Gentle Giant Ltd. release! It’s clobberin’ time! The rocky curmudgeon of the Fantastic Four is now a super-adorable animated-style statue! Based on the variant cover artwork of Skottie Young, this action-packed piece shows Thing running into the fray, and stands approximately 4 inches tall. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it features detailed sculpting and paint applications, and comes packed in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Sculpted by Paul Harding! (Item # DEC202079, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Animated X-Men Rogue Mini-Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! Mutant pride, shugah! Southern belle Rogue enters the fray as the newest bust based on X-Men: The Animated Series! Capturing the cartoon’s costume and colors, this approximately 6-inch tall, 1/7 scale bust sits on a grey pedestal and is in scale to the rest of the X-Men. Includes a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Limited to 3,000 pieces. Designed by Barry Bradfield, sculpted by Paul Harding! (Item #NOV201956, SRP: $59.99)

Marvel Comic Iron Man 1/7 Scale Mini-Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! Iron Man flexes his technological might in this all-new bust based on Marvel Comics! Charging up a repulsor blast while extending various segments of his armor, this 1/7 scale bust stands approximately 6 inches tall atop a similarly armored pedestal base. Featuring detailed sculpting and paint applications, this resin bust is limited to 3,000 pieces, and comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by Nelson Asencio, sculpted by Juan Pitluk. (Item # DEC202077, SRP: $69.99)

Marvel Select Human Torch Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! Flame on! The Fantastic Four’s hot-headed member gets his first-ever Marvel Select action figure with this all-new release! Standing approximately 7 inches tall and featuring 16 points of articulation, this figure is cast in translucent material, and comes with interchangeable flame effects, a flight stand and a Golden Age Torch head! It comes packaged in display-ready Select packaging, with side-panel artwork for shelf reference. Designed by Eamon O’Donoghue, sculpted by Chris Dahlberg! (Item #NOV201958, SRP: $29.99)

Star Wars Clone Wars Asajj Ventress 1/6 Scale Mini-Bust 

A Gentle Giant Ltd. release! Asajj Ventress makes her long-awaited entrance to the 1/6 Scale Star Wars bust line from Gentle Giant Ltd.! The Sith wields her twin red lightsabers and includes a removable cloak, making her a necessary addition to any Star Wars bust collection. She stands approximately 6 inches tall, 8 inches with lightsabers. Limited to only 1,500 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. (Item #DEC202068, SRP: $120.00)

Novelist Walter Mosley Takes on The Thing for Marvel this November

This fall, renowned storyteller Walter Mosley, known for his definitive and bestselling international work in mystery and crime fiction, brings his signature fiction writing style to a sweeping saga of Yancy Street’s favorite son in The Thing. The six-issue series debuts in November 2021.

Written by Mosley and with art by Tom Reilly, the story will range from the urban sprawl of the alleys of Manhattan to the furthest reaches of the cosmos itself. In The Thing, a lonely evening and a chance encounter (or is it?) sends Ben Grimm embarking on a sojourn that will have him confronting—and battling—figures both old and new.

Featuring guest appearances from throughout the Marvel Universe, as well as precision artwork by Reilly, THE NEXT BIG THING will remind audiences why The Thing is one of the most popular and beloved characters in the history of comics!

Don’t miss The Thing when it hits stands this November.

Diamond Select Toys New to Pre-Order: Vision, Scarlet Witch, Iron Giant, and More!

It’s almost time for a new Previews catalog to arrive, full of new items from Diamond Select Toys and Gentle Giant Ltd., and here’s a sneak peek at what’s in it! In addition to a new figure based on the popular WandaVision series, and the first-ever set of G.I. Joe Minimates, there are products based on Marvel, Star Wars, The Crow, The Iron Giant, and Lord of the Rings! Read on for details, then pre-order through your local comic shop!

The Crow Movie Gallery Rooftop PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Crouching on a rooftop, Eric Draven stalks his prey in this all-new Gallery Diorama based on the cult-favorite movie The Crow! With the Crow on his shoulder and steam circling his feet, this approximately 10-inch sculpture is made of high-quality PVC and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. It comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #APR212361, SRP: $49.99)

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Minimates Series 1 FCBD Box Set

A Diamond Select Toys release! Yo, Joe! Who fights for freedom wherever there’s trouble? The all-new G.I. Joe Minimates line! Based on the popular Real American Hero looks, this first box set includes Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Storm Shadow and Cobra Commander, and it’s exclusively available to retailers participating in Free Comic Book Day! Each 2-inch Minimates mini-figure features 14 points of articulation and includes interchangeable parts and accessories, and all come packaged in a full-color blister card. Designed by Barry Bradfield! (Item #APR210053, SRP: $29.99)

Iron Giant Select Battle Mode Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Iron Giant attacks! Celebrate the dark side of the Iron Giant with this all-new action figure featuring gun hands, undented angry head and of course, light-up eyes!,This approximately 8.5-inch action figure features approximately 16 points of articulation and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. It comes packaged in our display-ready Select action figure packaging. (Item #APR212366, SRP: $29.99)

Lord of the Rings Deluxe Action Figures Series 3 Asst,

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Evil one has risen! Complete your 13-inch build-a-figure of Sauron with this, the third series of Lord of the Rings Deluxe action figures! Aragorn and a Moria Orc are the two figures in this series, each with weapons and accessories – the orc even includes alternate heads so you can customize different orcs! Each 7-inch scale figure features multiple points of articulation, as well as detailed sculpting and paint applications. Each comes packaged in a full-color Deluxe window box. Designed by Eamon O’Donoghue, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! (Item #APR212365, SRP: $29.99/ea.)

Marvel Animated Style Apocalypse Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! The first mutant makes his animated-style debut in this all-new statue based on the Marvel artwork of Skottie Young! Measuring approximately 4.5 inches tall and almost as wide, this detailed statue of X-Men foe Apocalypse features art-accurate paint applications, and comes on a simple black base. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Sculpted by Paul Harding! (Item #APR212359, SRP: $59.99)

Marvel Comic Premier Collection Thing Resin Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! It’s clobberin’ time! The ever-loving blue-eyed Thing arrives in the Premier Collection as an all-new classically styled statue! The Fantastic Four’s rocky curmudgeon strikes a fighting pose in front of a poster announcing an upcoming wrestling match, and clocks in at about 9 inches tall. Featuring detailed sculpting and paint applications, this statue is limited to only 3,000 pieces and comes packaged in a full-color box with a certificate of authenticity. Designed by Caesar, hand-sculpted by Clayburn Moore! (Item #APR212360, SRP: $175.00)

Marvel Comic Gallery VS Vision PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Vision appears! A long-awaited addition to the Marvel Gallery line, this approximately 10.5-inch-tall sculpture of the synthezoid Avenger depicts the Vision on a battlefield base, phasing through a piece of rubble. Featuring detailed sculpting and paint applications, it comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Nelson X. Asencio, hand-sculpted by Jean St. Jean! (Item #APR212358, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Select Scarlet Witch TV Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! It’s Wanda! The Scarlet Witch arrives in the Marvel Select action figure line with a figure based on her final look in the WandaVision Disney+ series! Measuring approximately 7 inches tall, Wanda wears her latest outfit, and comes packaged in the famous Select action figure packaging. It features 16 points of articulation, as well as detailed sculpting and paint applications and an interchangeable hooded head. Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! (Item #APR212357, SRP: $29.99)

Star Wars Return of the Jedi Boba Fett Milestones 1/6 Scale Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! Boba is back! The recently revived bounty hunter is captured at his moment of triumph, in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, in this all-new 1/6 scale statue. Standing in Jabba’s throne room, blaster at the ready, Boba Fett measures approximately 12 inches tall and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Limited to only 1,000 pieces, it comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Sculpted by Joe Menna! (Item #APR212362, SRP: $250.00)

Star Wars Rebels Darth Maul 1/7 Scale Mini-Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Sith warrior is now the latest animated bust! Based on his appearance in the Star Wars: Rebels animated series, Darth Maul wields his double-bladed lightsaber in preparation of facing his Jedi opponents. Measuring approximately 6 inches tall, this 1/7 scale mini-bust features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color window box. Designed by Barry Bradfield, sculpted by Paul Harding! (Item #APR212363, SRP: $59.99)

Star Wars Rise of Skywalker Emperor Palpatine 1/6 Scale Mini-Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! As seen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the evil Emperor Palpatine returns! This all new 1/6 scale bust captures Sith lord Palpatine’s appearance in the latest Star Wars film, and stands approximately 7 inches tall. Limited to only 1500 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by the Silva Bros., sculpted by Gentle Giant Ltd.! (Item #APR212364, SRP: $120.00)

Diamond Select Toys Summer Preview: Star Wars, Marvel, Tron and More!

Summer is coming! Okay, not for a while, but if there’s one thing that will get you through the long, cold months, it’s images of the newest pre-orders from Diamond Select Toys and Gentle Giant Ltd.! Shipping this summer, new items from Marvel Comics, Godzilla, Tron, Mortal Kombat and Avatar: The Last Airbender are now up for pre-ordering thorugh your local comic shop and your favorite online retailers.

Avatar The Last Airbender Gallery Katara PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Avatar: The Last Airbender is finding a new generation of fans on Netflix, and the Gallery Diorama line is targeting a new generation of collectors! This approximately 9-inch tall diorama of Katara depicts her wielding her waterbending powers as she stands in the middle of a mini-tsunami. Made of high-quality PVC, this diorama features detailed sculpting and paint applications, and features translucent water effects that catch the light. Packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Uriel Caton, sculpted by Salvador Gomes. (Item #DEC202071, SRP: $49.99)

Godzilla Gallery King Ghidorah 1991 PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Hail to the King! King Ghidorah rises from the sea in this detailed diorama, a companion piece to the 1991 Godzilla diorama. Based on his appearance on the poster for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, he measures approximately 11 inches tall. Display it with Godzilla to form a larger scene! It comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Jorge Santos Souza. (Item #DEC202072, SRP: $89.99)

Legends in 3D Marvel Comic Doctor Doom 1/2 Scale Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! Behold the magnificent visage of Doom! Victor Von Doom, ruler of Latveria, is a Legend among his people, and now he’s a Legend in 3D! This 10-inch bust depicts the monarch in ½ scale, atop a castle pedestal decorated with Doom’s monogram, and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Limited to only 1,000 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item # DEC202073, SRP: $175.00)

Marvel Animated Style Thing Statue

A Gentle Giant Ltd. release! It’s clobberin’ time! The rocky curmudgeon of the Fantastic Four is now a super-adorable animated-style statue! Based on the variant cover artwork of Skottie Young, this action-packed piece shows Thing running into the fray, and stands approximately 4 inches tall. Limited to only 3,000 pieces, it features detailed sculpting and paint applications, and comes packed in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Sculpted by Paul Harding! (Item # DEC202079, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Comic Iron Man 1/7 Scale Mini-Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! Iron Man flexes his technological might in this all-new bust based on Marvel Comics! Charging up a repulsor blast while extending various segments of his armor, this 1/7 scale bust stands approximately 6 inches tall atop a similarly armored pedestal base. Featuring detailed sculpting and paint applications, this resin bust is limited to 3,000 pieces, and comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by Nelson Asencio, sculpted by Juan Pitluk. (Item # DEC202077, SRP: $69.99)

Marvel Comic Gallery Firestar PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! This Gallery Diorama is smoking hot! Depicting New Warrior, Avenger and Spider-Man amazing friend Firestar, this sculpture shows her soaring into the sky, fire at her fingertips. Measuring approximately 10 inches tall, this dynamic figure is made of high-quality PVC and  features detailed sculpting and paint applications; the flames are cast in translucent material to catch the light. It comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Uriel Caton, sculpted by Alejandro Pereira. (Item # DEC202075, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Comic Premier Collection Sabretooth Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! The claws are out! This approximately 10-inch tall statue of Wolverine foe Sabretooth shows the assassin in his classic costume, hunting his prey across a rocky, snowy landscape. Made of high-quality resin, this statue features detailed sculpting and paint applications. It is limited to only 3,000 pieces and comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Designed by Nelson Asencio, hand-sculpted by Clayburn Moore. (Item # DEC202076, SRP: $200.00)

Marvel Comics Minimates Series 80 Espionage Asst.

A Diamond Select Toys release! It’s the landmark 80th series of Marvel Minimates, and we’re celebrating with a packed wave of fan demands! Since 2003, the line has captured hundreds of Marvel characters, but there are still plenty to make, and this wave delivers! Frequent fan requests Deathlok, Mockingbird, Ghost and Constrictor are joined by Spider-Woman in her second outfit and Iron Man in his stealth armor – an updated throwback to one of the first Minimates ever released! Each 2-inch mini-figure features 14 points of articulation and fully interchangeable parts and comes in a pack of two. Designed by Barry Bradfield!  (Item # DEC202078, SRP: $9.99/ea,)

Marvel Select Titanium Man Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! One of the most requested Marvel Select action figures is now a reality! Despite being one of Iron Man’s oldest and deadliest foes, the Titanium Man has never been captured in his classic appearance as an action figure. Now, this 9.5” figure will fill a massive hole in fans’ collections! Featuring 16 points of articulation, this figure features an interchangeable Boris Bullski head, interchangeable hands, and clip-on energy effects. It comes packaged in display-ready Select action figure packaging with side-panel artwork for shelf reference. Designed by Yuri Tming, sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios! (Item # DEC202074, SRP: $29.99)

Mortal Kombat Gallery Raiden PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Kombat continues! The next entry in the knockout Mortal Kombat line of Gallery Dioramas is none other than Raiden himself, protector of Earth! Based on his appearance in the original 1992 video game, this approximately 10-inch diorama sees him drawing up electricity from the earth to launch a lightning attack! Made of high-quality PVC, it features detailed sculpting and paint applications, and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Nelson Asencio, sculpted by Salvador Gomes. (Item # DEC202070, SRP: $49.99)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker C-3PO & Babu Frik 1/6 Scale Bust

A Gentle Giant Ltd. release! C-3PO gets a tune-up in the newest 1/6 scale Star Wars bust from Gentle Giant Ltd.! With Babu Frik on his shoulder and his wiring exposed to the world, C-3PO measures approximately 6 inches tall, and is a necessary addition to any Star Wars bust collection. Limited to only 1,500 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. (Item # DEC202069, SRP: $120.00)

Star Wars Clone Wars Asajj Ventress 1/6 Scale Mini-Bust

A Gentle Giant Ltd. release! Asajj Ventress makes her long-awaited entrance to the 1/6 Scale Star Wars bust line from Gentle Giant Ltd.! The Sith wields her twin red lightsabers and includes a removable cloak, making her a necessary addition to any Star Wars bust collection. She stands approximately 6 inches tall, 8 inches with lightsabers. Limited to only 1,500 pieces, it comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. (Item #DEC202068, SRP: $120.00)

Tron Electronic Arcade-Style Action Figures Box Set

A Diamond Select Toys release! Greetings Programs, welcome to the world of Tron!  Straight out of Flynn’s arcade comes Diamond Select’s newest box set from the 1982 landmark motion picture Tron.

This exclusive action figure packaging is inspired by the actual vintage 1980’s Tron arcade machine. This electronic boxset showcases Tron and Sark’s final showdown as Flynn plunges into the Master Control Program’s core to return to the real world.   

The arcade-styled packaging features a full light-up Tron marquee, an authentic replica of the Tron arcade joystick and two different UV light sequences. The multiple flashing multicolored LEDs and ultraviolet lights are activated by either pressing the Player 1 or Player 2 start buttons located on top of the replica arcade control console.   

This Tron boxset comes packed with 7″ collectors scale action figures of Tron, Sark and Flynn, featuring 16 points of articulation with identity disc accessories and UV reflective paint which glows, when electronics in the package are activated. The Tron Electronic Arcade Style Boxset includes batteries and stands over 16 inches tall and over 11 inches wide. Final product may vary.

Figures designed by Yuri Tming and sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios. Packaging design by David Forrest of Kinetic Underground. (Item #MAR208005, SRP: $120.00)

The Thing Enters Kabam’s Marvel Contest of Champions

It’s clobberin’ time! The “Thing” has officially made his way to Kabam’s Marvel Contest of Champions! Join THIS MAN…THIS MONSTER event quest and stay tuned as other Fantastic Four characters will be added into the game throughout the year.

Benjamin Grimm, also known as “Thing”, served as the pilot on the starship expedition led by Reed Richards. During the voyage, the ship encountered unprecedented levels of radiation, granting the crew extraordinary powers. Ben gained incredible physical strength, and his body was covered in a flexible, rock-like hide. After returning to earth, the team banded together to form the Fantastic Four.

The Champion’s spotlight is here if you’d like to know about this character’s abilities and stats.

Review: Fantastic Four #1

After a three year absence, the book that kicked off the Marvel Universe is back sort of in Fantastic Four #1. Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, and Marte Gracia’s first issue doesn’t have Marvel’s First Family fighting Mole Man or the Trapster just yet and creates a slow build to the reunion. However, there is plenty of sweetness, comedy, and a little of bit of familial strife along the way as Slott and Pichelli play in-universe with reader expectations about the team reuniting and the oil and water dynamic of the Human Torch and the ever loving blue eyed Thing. They do have a quite funny flashback to a “forgotten” adventure of the Fantastic Four that asks as a proof of concept that shows that Slott call pull off all the voices of the bickering, yet loving sitcom family with superpowers. In addition to this, Slott, Simone Bianchi, and Marco Russo craft a Dr. Doom backup story that is a little more traditionalist than his recent appearances in Invincible Iron Man and Marvel Two-in-One,  and there’s also a super fun and quite metafictional one page backup drawn by Skottie Young and colored by Jeremy Treece.

For her work on Fantastic Four #1, Sara Pichelli brings a looser, almost more playful art style that still shows emotions and body language in a fluid way with the help of inker Elisabetta D’Amico and colorist Marte Gracia. Even though he’s made of rocks, Pichelli’s take on The Thing is lively and utterly human. Beneath his ungainly movements, he’s a loving man, and the scene where he proposes to his long time girlfriend Alicia Masters is sentimental without being sappy. Dan Slott writes The Thing as maybe giving up on seeing Reed, Sue, Valeria, and Franklin ever again, but he still has a family in Alicia and Johnny. However, The Thing and the Human Torch aren’t always loving BFFs, and Gracia shows the subtle difference in the Torch’s flame when he’s going off in action and when he flies off the handle after Ben asks him to be his best man. This scene shows that there’s still tension in Ben and Johnny’s relationship in an organic, not drama for the sake of drama way and even builds off the way that Chip Zdarsky has written them in Marvel Two-in-One where Ben knows that Sue and Reed are lost forever while giving Johnny a false sense of hope that they’re somewhere in the multiverse.

Johnny still believes the Fantastic Four will reunite and immediately flames on to where their sign shoots off in the sky with a flare gun like in the original Fantastic Four #1. Of course, it’s just a prank, but it’s foreshadowing to a grander, earned moment all overlaid in a beautiful blue by Marte Gracia like hope in the midst of despair. And hope and family are major themes throughout Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli’s story in Fantastic Four #1. Even if Ben and Johnny don’t interact with Ben and Sue, they share plenty of moments with the “extended” Fantastic Four family, including Wyatt Wingfoot, Jennifer Walters, and the aforementioned Alicia Masters. Johnny and Wyatt take in a Mets game, and Slott engages in what is either queer subtext or queer baiting using the stadium kiss cam while Jen pops up later to flirt with Wyatt and also legally represent the Yancy Street kids who set off the false Fantastic Four flare. Slott modernizes the relationship between the Thing and what was formerly known as the Yancy Street gang making him kind of a community leader instead of the participant in an endless Itchy and Scratchy situation.

Other than the poetic ending, the best moment of Fantastic Four #1 is the flashback sequence where the Fantastic Four and supporting cast find their way back to New York City through the power of Johnny singing the Wayne Newton standard, “Danke Schoen”. It’s funny, cheesy, heartwarming, and adventurous all at once like the best Fantastic Four stories. This is thanks to some little details emphasized by Pichelli like the way Reed cranes his neck when explain the quantum science or whatever of this karaoke journey home situation and then immediately retracts when he doesn’t want to out and out say that Sue isn’t the greatest singer. There’s also time for some transcendent beauty in the midst of screwball comedy: a Marte Gracia colored cosmic flame in the deep blue night sky that even Alicia, who is blind, can see. This little adventure shows the Fantastic Four are about science as well as deep human wonder through the vessel of a family ensemble.

Slott, Simone Bianchi, and Marco Russo’s Dr. Doom backup story creates a different kind of wonder, and the baroque severeness of Bianchi’s art easily contrasts with the cosmic smoothness, yet expressive cartooning of Sara Pichelli and Elisabetta D’Amico. It’s a back to basics Doom story as one of his former subjects pays a visit to the half-abandoned Doomstadt (There’s lots of Doombots per usual.) and asks him to liberate Latveria from one of the many stop gap authoritarian regimes that have been in place since he left them to play hero/Iron Man. And the way Slott writes Doom and Bianchi draws him is the complete opposite of the “Infamous Iron Man” as his face is no longer pretty, and he’s ready to rule with an iron grip and an iron mask. Like the main story of Fantastic Four #1, the Doom backup is about hope and symbols, but it’s a dark and twisted mirror to Marvel’s First Family.

Fantastic Four #1 is nothing short of a triumphant return for Marvel’s first superhero team. Dan Slott hits a nice balance between tearing heart strings, broad humor, and the wonders of the universe in his script while also crafting an aura of mystery and terror in the Dr. Doom backup story with Simone Bianchi and Marco Russo. In the visual department, Sara Pichelli shows why she is one of Marvel’s best and versatile artists hitting all the smaller, yet very important character beats as well as the big spreads and “Flame on!” moments.

Whether you’ve been reading the title since 1961 or this is your first FF adventure, Fantastic Four #1 is definitely worth your $5.99.

Story: Dan Slott Pencils: Sara Pichelli Inks: Sara Pichelli with Elisabetta D’Amico
Colors: Marte Gracia Backup Art: Simone Bianchi, Skottie Young
Backup Colors: Simone Bianchi and Marco Russo, Jeremy Treece Letters: Joe Caramagna
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Marvel Two-in-One #1

In Marvel Two-in-One #1, writer Chip Zdarsky, penciler Jim Cheung, inkers John Dell and Walden Wong, and colorist Frank Martin break every emotional bone in your Fantastic Four loving body. A comic co-starring the Human Torch was the last place that I expected to see an homage to the opening scene of The Dark Knight Returns where an aging, alcoholic Bruce Wayne tries to find a “good death” by crashing a very expensive stock car. However, Zdarsky, Cheung, and company pull it off complete with a nine panel grid, downcast eyes, and red and blacks from Martin that look like a funeral pyre. And Marvel Two-in-One has a quite wistful tone throughout the issue as Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm come to terms with their grief for the missing Richards family as well as the adventures they once had.

From his work on Jughead Howard the Duck, and of course, Sex Criminals, Chip Zdarsky does funny very well, and that shows in Marvel Two-in-One with the Thing’s deadpan one-liners (Apparently, he was just the Fantastic Four’s “bus driver”.) and a hilarious meta-joke featuring all the actors who have played the Human Torch. But he mainly goes for pathos in this comic, which is helped by the range of expression in Jim Cheung’s pencils and the detailed added in by veteran inkers John Dell and Walden Wong. For example, there is a two page almost silent sequence where the Thing visits a warehouse with all the FF’s stuff, including the Fantasticar, and remembers his family and their last adventure in blue tinged flashbacks. The first half of the comic is almost overwhelming for him with reminders of Reed and Sue everywhere and call from beyond the grave for him to watch after Johnny, who is suffering from both grief and the possible loss of his powers.

Also, the Thing and Human Torch don’t really team up in Marvel Two-in-One #1, which is perfectly fine. We do get a nice nod to the original Two-in-One series when the Thing lays out a villain in one panel that would probably have taken Spider-Man an entire issue or two to defeat depending on decompression. Zdarsky and Cheung have the two emotionally charged brothers physically and verbally butt heads before finally confiding in each other and finding a shared goal in exploring the multiverse using a very cool Reed Richards doodad. Martin turns on the flames before cooling down and going for simple muted colors as they start to talk and trust in each other again. Since the original Jack Kirby and Stan Lee Fantastic Four run, Johnny and Ben have butted heads with the Thing being jealous of Human Torch’s good looks and popularity while he is treated like a monster. However, they are family even if Zdarsky sneaks in a dark end-of-comic twist to get them to team up. It’s so dark that it makes presumably reformed supervillain Dr. Doom shudder.

In Marvel Two-in-One #1, Chip Zdarsky, Jim Cheung, John Dell, Walden Wong, and Frank Martin craft a comic that is true to the legacy of Marvel’s First Family and deals with the emotional fallout of their disappearance at the end of Secret Wars. They also set up a rocky course for the Thing and Human Torch to begin their own adventures with Dr. Doom watching from the shadows as he is still a little salty that he is not the one responsible for Reed Richards’ demise. Marvel Two-in-One is the first step of a road story featuring two brothers that butt heads, yet still love each other with plenty of nostalgia and a sliver of hope to boot.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Pencils: Jim Cheung Inks: John Dell with Walden Wong Colors: Frank Martin
Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

The Marvel Universe Miniature Game Adds the Dark Avengers, Dr. Doom, and the Thing!

It’s been around a little over two months since Knight Model‘s last release for the Marvel Universe Miniature Game. The game publisher has announced three new releases today and two are pretty shocking! The game gets some more much-needed villains and one of the members of the Fantastic Four, a whole lot of support for the Avengers faction!

It should be no surprise that Dr. Doom is coming to the game, and at level 11 he will likely have entire teams built around him. With abilities to prevent ranged attacks, teleport, and more, he’s every bit the powerful villain he should be.

Marvel Universe Miniature Game Dr. Doom

What’s Dr. Doom without the Fantastic Four to stop him? The Thing is now available to bring to your team. He’s as tough as you’d expect. Can the rest of the FF be far behind?

Marvel Universe Miniature Game The Thing

The Dark Avengers are ready to take on all comers! Composing of Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn), Ares, Sentry, and Ms. Marvel, this is a superhero team made up of villains. Not one I expected to see in the game, and definitely not this early.

Marvel Universe Miniature Game Dark Avengers

All of the models are available for order now!

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 …

Micronauts

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.

Namor

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.

Thunderbolts

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.

Defenders

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.

Hawkeye

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.

Ka-Zar

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.

The Denny’s Thing Burger, Not Exactly Kosher (Updated)

thing-burger_thumb-m

With Fantastic Four out in the theaters this weekend, and big question I had answered below, I decided to run this post again.

Denny‘s is running a tie-in with the upcoming Fantastic Four film and features various dishes with a “theme” pertaining to the character it ties in to. As a whole I’d shrug my shoulders, but the one for The Thing is actually interesting. I’ll ignore the 1920 calories, 1180 of them from fat, the high amount of fat, cholesterol, and sodium. You might be a superhero to survive eating it.

For those that might not know, Benjamin Grimm aka The Thing, is one of the more high-profile Jewish characters in the Marvel universe. While he’s not regularly at synagogue in the comics, he has said Jewish prayers in comics and mentioned his religion every so often.

Back to the hamburger. It includes the burger, cheddar cheese, bacon, and a cheddar bun, among other things (special “thing” sauce). Pick up on the issue here? Not only does the hamburger include bacon (some Jews don’t eat pork, I do), but it also mixes milk and meat (unless Denny’s is admitting their cheese is anything but). This violate Kosher law which prevents the mixing of the two. In other words, this is a meal a lot of Jews probably wouldn’t eat.

The Thing might not keep kosher, stats vary as to how many Jews do (anywhere from 15% to 40%), it definitely is a bit insensitive to his history and background. Definitely a hand. head. slap. moment.

Update: So went to see Fantastic Four last night, and in the beginning of the film there’s a Menorah on Ben Grimm’s shelf, so there’s at least one nod he’s Jewish.

And check out the genius ad below for this fantasticly offensive meal.

Almost American
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