Posts tagged with "batman" - 2
Posted August 17, 2012 at 12:57 am


Since Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman is like the greatest thing ever, I've been hankering for a toy of Batman's "new 52" design.  Yeah, the one with all the extra lines.  But the DC Direct version sure wasn't gonna be it.  That thing is a lean Jim Lee statuette.  I wanted something a little closer to Greg Capullo's slightly more stocky take on Batman.  ...And probably something that has more than a handful of very shallow points of articulation.

And so I snagged myself Mattel's version.  It is much nicer in nearly every single way than the DC Direct one would have been, though it's in no way a perfect Batman toy.  My old "perfect" Batman six inch figure, the one from Public Enemies (seen being punched above), still has some advantages over it.  Namely... man, I know I am biased towards the cartoonish, but I still feel strongly that superheroes are way pinheaded most of the time, and it rubs me the wrong way.  And so Mattel's New 52 Batman's tiny head looks a little hilarious.  I thought maybe I could swap heads between the two, but after pulling on either head for a little bit, I was too apprehensive of breaking something, and so I let them be.

I just want a large cartoonish jaw, is that so wrong?  Also, I'm a big fan of the pouch-style belt versus the new belt-belt, but whatevs.   And I do wish there were a toy that were more faithful to Greg Capullo's art style.  I'd squee.

Anyway, where the hell are my Court of Owls toys?
Tags: batman
Posted July 30, 2012 at 12:21 am
MattyCollector's started putting the last few remaining JLU three-packs up in their store!  Y'know, the ones that were gonna be at retail, but Young Justice toys kind of swooped in and took their spot on the pegs, and also nobody was buying JLU anyway, and then nobody bought Young Justice either.  And so you're gonna be paying online exclusive markup for them, but I find that preferable to the alternative of NOT GETTING VANDAL SAVAGE OH MY GOD GIVE HIM TO ME.

The first set released was Batman/Mongul/Wonder Woman.  Obviously, you're buying this one for Mongul.  At least he's a 100% new sculpt to make up for the repeat WW/Batman guys.  (Again, these were supposed to be at retail, which is why those two are in there.)  The JLU new sculpts are always fantastic, and Mongul is no exception.  These toys really shine when they're sharp and individualized rather than being a decades-old Superman body with a new head.  And so Mongul's great.  And sufficiently huge.

I can't say all that much about Mongul himself.  He was in a really boring episode about a gladiator pit planet, and I tend to skip over that one a lot when I watch through my JLU DVDs.  No, Mongul got lucky by being written into Alan Moore's "For the Man Who Has Everything," which everyone loves and was then made into an episode of the JLU cartoon.  And I feel a little off by saying that, yeah, that episode is why Mongul is awesome, when really it could have been anygoddamnedbody in his role in that story and nothing would have changed.  Well, any of the 30 different outer space dictator dudes the Justice League fights, anyway.  Jervis Tetch (aka the Mad Hatter) pulled off a similar scheme in "Perchance to Dream," but I doubt he could have held off Wonder Woman.

I'm just saying, there's not a lot to Mongul.  He's the guy you go to when Darkseid and Despero are busy.

UPDATE: Decided to watch rewatch Mongul's episodes, and I hadn't noticed before that he had a character model tweak, probably because "War World" parts 1 and 2 put me to sleep.  When he shows up again in "For the Man Who Has Everything," he's a darker purple, some of his silver has been changed to black, and his hat is now purple.  He's also drawn a whole lot better, but that may have just been the animation studio.  Anyway, the toy is of his appearance from the Good Episode.  Surprise!
Posted April 26, 2012 at 2:05 am
I didn't know or care where it was "from," just that it was a frigging awesome 6"-scale rainbow pegasus unicorn, and that not only must I own it, but Batman must ride it.  Apparently it's a She-Ra thing!  I wouldn't know.  My mom cut me off He-Man for being anti-Jesus-Having-All-The-Power long before any spin-offs could happen.  But this, I would have it.

I wasn't sure I could justify dropping $33 plus shipping on a sudden whim.  So some readers on Twitter helped me out and bought some stuff from my store to give me an incentive to purchase the thing.  And so I totes did.

It's huge.  I mean, I know horses are pretty big, but this thing is, regardless, substantial.  There's a surprising amount of articulation -- the neck turns around in various directions and even the tail is a ratcheted balljoint.  The wings are removable, which is good, because I have to take one of them off to fit the thing on a shelf.

You know.

My Batman shelf.

Posted November 26, 2011 at 1:54 am
Hey, Shortpacked! Book 4 is now available for purchase in the store!

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I got my JLU 7-pack in the mail today, signifying the end of that toyline.  Which means it’s time to finally take stock of all of the duplicate Batmen, Supermen, and whoevers that I amassed in the past decade in the quest to get dudes they were packed with.

When I am done, I plan to just sell them all on eBay for probably five dollars. In the meantime, some preliminary photography.  For example:

1) Man, I am surprised I can only find one extra Martian Manhunter.  Clearly I must have more somewhere!  Did I really only ever end up with just one extra of him?  It seems impossible.

2) My original bin of extras was packed in SUPER TIGHT.  Like, creating-diamonds-out-of-coal-tight.  Related to this tidbit is an observation on how soft and goopy Giganta’s dress is.  Whoops.

2a) (Not entirely limited to Giganta’s dress.  I had one Superman’s cape embedded in the neck of another.)

3) Woo, “I can breathe in space” Batman!

4) Woo, “Atmosphere-destroying missile” Superman!

5) A sweet ass Scuba Flash.  I have a whole team of scuba guys, probably came with an Aquaman, but Flash is the sharpest of those.

There's a chance there might be more JLU stuff, but only because some of their 3-packs (*coughcoughcoughVandalSavagecoughcough*) never made it to retail and Matty's hinted at maybe offering those online maybe.  Maybe.

But meh.  It happens, it happens.  Stick a fork in this toyline.
Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:44 am
I will allow Drake back if necessary.


I was surprised I ended up liking Damian Wayne so much.  "The bratty son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Head" isn't really a character pitch that grabbed me.  But after these past few years he's really grown on me.

Part of that, though, I insist, is because he isn't paired with Bruce Wayne as Batman.  Batman's cranky, Damian's cranky... it's not a very diverse duo.  But when Dick Grayson is Batman, that's where I saw how Damian Wayne worked as a character.  Dick Grayson's a happier, more social Batman.  That's a good foil for Damian, the little brat with a (very buried) heart of gold.  But Dick doesn't get to be Batman anymore, and after the Flashpoint reboot, Bruce is going to be Batman to Damian's Robin.  It's nice that Damian's staying around, but I think pairing him with his dad sort of misses the point.  I hope I'm proved wrong.

But seriously, where's my damn Dick Grayson Batman toy?  I am kind of annoyed.  Instead, this DC Direct Damian Wayne comes in a wave with back-from-the-dead Bruce.  Dick is totally skipped over!  Grargh.   I snatched up Damian anyway, though, not only for myself, but because my wife thinks he's great.  Only with Dick, of course.

The toy is a standard DC Direct figure.  There's some minor articulation, a stand, and some accessories.  Damian looks a little older than 11, though.  I kind of wish he had an alternate head possibility with his hood over his head.  I kind of like the hood over his head.

Anyway, in conclusion, this is required reading.
Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:03 am
I may have put this on my head at some point.


Hello, everyone! I'm sitting in SFO airport, where I'll remain until 10:30 tonight. I had a really great time at Wondercon this weekend!

Yesterday (Sunday) was my birthday. I turned 32! It was a weird birthday for me, what with me being at a convention instead of lounging around at home taking it easy. Not that most of my days are grueling fights to the finish anyway, being a webcartoonist, but you know what I mean. I was a little apprehensive blowing my birthday weekend at a convention since my birthdays have a Routine. They've always had a Routine. They're not a difficult Routine, I mean, they usually involve leaving the house for Taco Bell at some point, watching a movie I like, and drawing a comic, all things I enjoy. Even back when I had a Real Job, I had a semblance of the Routine, albeit smooshed into a smaller portion of the day. But this year I wouldn't have the Routine! I would be "stuck" behind a table in a strange city far away from my home.

By Sunday, I was starting to run out of blacks.  Helloooo 70% gray!


This was a good idea! It was a very different birthday. I got to spend it with a very, very different group than I would have otherwise, like the Blind Ferret folks, Kel McDonald, Becky and Frank, Matt Boyd, Alina Pete, George Rohac... the list goes on. And since this was one of a half-dozen weekends of the year in which I am inexplicably a celebrity, it was really amazing. Folks kept on throwing cookies and cakes at me. I amassed so many baked goods that I still have some stuffed inside my backpack on my way home.

The only sore spot is that my wife wasn't here! She did happily end up on the phone with me on Saturday night when I got sung "Happy Birthday" to for the first time, which was incredibly fortunate, but she wasn't with me, which bothered me. We've only lived together for a few years! She was not yet a firmly established part of the Routine. I kind of want her to be part of the Routine forever. This was a misstep.

I was asked to draw approximately 30 million Soundwaves this weekend.


But enough of my #FirstWorldProblems. Since I had an extra day to goof around (I booked my flight waaaaay too late to get out of San Francisco at a reasonable time), I made sure to walk around the city for hours and hours and take lots of photos so I can use them as reference in the strip. After doing Dumbing of Age for over half a year (is that right? Over half a year? My brain is probably fried, so please check my math), I've grown a passion for making the environments more real. So look for that. I might even put my characters outside sometimes! Oh my God!

And look for a new character soon. That is all.
Posted March 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm
What, no Mad Bomber?


Jesus Christ, I have a buttload of Mattel to talk about.  I found the most recent wave of retail JLU on my way out of Columbus to C2E2, I got three more JLU sets at the con itself, and when I got home I had Ghostbusters Louis Tully.  Oh, right, and I got Action League Batman/Joker the day before I left.  Will have to get around to that some time.

Let's start with the Gray Ghost 3-pack set, then, I guess?

Hey, it's the Gray Ghost!  When Batman was a kid, he was super fanboy for the Gray Ghost.  The Gray Ghost was like his Power Rangers. But then Batman's parents died, Batman became Batman, and then Batman met the aging actor who played the Gray Ghost and got really pissed off that the aging actor who played the Gray Ghost won't put on a costume and fight real crime.  Batman, you are the world's greatest detective.  Why are you so dumb?

They were the first toys I opened at C2E2, but they certainly wouldn't be the last.


Also, there was lots of the actor who played the Gray Ghost throwing furniture around as the musical score pleasured itself.

The toy of the Gray Ghost is of the aging actor in the Gray Ghost costume, not the actual Gray Ghost, which is fine by me.  The latter is fictional, and so would look kind of weird standing in my display.  (You know what I mean!)  What's weird is that the Gray Ghost appears to be completely bald.  There's no paint for his hair behind his ears.  I remember the actor having thinning hair, not Lex Luthoring it.  Ah well.  Who's gonna be staring at the back of his head anyway.

It looks to me like Gray Ghost's got a new head, torso, and cape.  The rest is probably The Question or something.

If only I had my TNBA version to put in the middle here.


The rest of the three-pack is filled out with character reuses, but that's fine by me.  There's the requisite Batman, and he's the JLU toy decoed like the Batman: The Animated Series design.  It works well enough despite having the wrong belt.  I like that the inside of his cape is blue.

The third guy is the Joker, because why the hell not.  Fitting in with the BTAS theme, this is the JLU Joker toy decoed like BTAS Joker.  This interested me more than I thought it would.  I mean, I definitely prefer my JLU Joker, but it tickles my brain in the right areas to see that toy done up in an earlier model's colors.  The purple suit's a smidge bluer, he's got the orange shirt, and his bowtie is teal.  With the hair being a dark green and his face painted up just a little differently, he passes off as BTAS Joker pretty damn well.  JLU Joker is just BTAS Joker with sharper lines anyway.  He's certainly a better BTAS Joker toy than any of the original BTAS Joker toys, but that's what 20 years of sculpting advances will tend to do.

That's right.  Twenty.
Posted February 23, 2011 at 2:58 am


He's a big dude.


I has a Bane!  It's been a while since I've needed somebody from DC Universe Classics, and this time he's the friggin' build-a-figure.  The last time I wanted a build-a-figure, I ended up buying a whole wave of movie Spider-Man toys to get myself a Sandman.  Well, Bane's wave wasn't quite as desirable to me.  It was full of either characters I already had better toys of (Robin, Riddler), or guys I didn't really want or need (Jonah Hex).  And so I went the way that most people do when they want a build-a-figure and don't want to plunk down a few hundred to pick up the whole wave.... I went eBay!  It means I pay a little more (or a lot more) for an individual figure, but not nearly as much as I woulda had to pay if I'd gotten him the normal way.

I needed Bane because he fills an important slot in both of the arenas of DCUC I'm collecting: Batman villains and Secret Six dudes.  So far, there's been a 100% overlap!  It's a really uninteresting Venn diagram so far.  ...well, okay, I didn't pick up Parademon, but he really didn't look, y'know, proper.  Needed to be beefier and wear a fluffy vest or something.

If I ever do get a respectable Secret Six display, Bane may have to go through some minor changes.  See, in Secret Six, Bane has been off the Venom for quite a while, as he's decided it's a weakness and a crutch.  In fact, Bane is a very interesting character all around in Secret Six.  This should not really be possible, since he should be, by all rights, no more than that goofy muscle guy in the luchador mask who breaks Batman's back over his knee.  But under the insanely awesome care of Gail Simone, Bane is a compelling character in his own right.  Kinda weird in the head, but fascinating nonetheless.  And so I might have to get rid of that Venom tube that runs from his head to his arm.  It just wouldn't be proper!

But, hey.  Let's not delude ourselves.

I know why you're all here.  I know what the money shot is.

Let's do this.

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Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm
Today's strip was about "Spine Buster" Batman, but it's far from the weirdest thing in the current Batman: Brave and the Bold wave of action figures. It's not even the only thing related to spinal injury infliction! There's also "Spine Shocker" Batman, who comes with a giant serrated taser weapon. And let's not forget "Chainsaw Attack" Batman who, yes, comes with a giant chainsaw. Batman's parents weren't killed by a giant chainsaw, so hacking his enemies' limbs off one by one is well within his moral code.

But, really, the strangest is "Kickpuncher" The Joker. I was in the middle of my honeymoon when my friend Graham alerted me to this toy's existence. It was that important. See, Kickpuncher is a B-movie superhero within the world of NBC's Community, which is absolutely the best thing on television. Kickpuncher's superpower is that his punches have the power of kicks. He is amazing and it is a crime that NBC's webstore has zero Kickpuncher merchandise.

"Kickpuncher" The Joker has to be a reference to Kickpuncher of NBC's Community.  I mean, come on.  What the hell else would explain this?  It's insane.  It's absolutely insane.  And it's so bittersweet.  Mattel was sure to put a "TM" symbol after Kickpuncher, so unless Mattel cranks out some Community toys, any Kickpuncher toy is gonna have some legal hurdles.  It's awesome and terrible at the same time.  My soul burns.

"Kickpuncher" The Joker comes with a giant hand-held Bat-shaped brass knuckles weapon.  It's obviously recycled from some previous Batman figure, because, well, it's a Bat-shaped brass knuckles weapon.  Which he holds like a gun or crossbow.  Look, I don't know.  Just go with it.

It doesn't seem fair, what with Batman coming after his spine with chainsaws.
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