Thursday, May 8, 2014

Marvel NowRater (May 2014)

Original Sins

The event of the year has just begun, with the Watcher getting shot and blood's everywhere.

All hell broke lose when they realize the killer has not only taken the Watcher's eyes, but also what he kept in his liar. To recap, Watcher has almost anything the whole Universe has to offer, all the most powerful weapons and tools including the ultimate nullifier, and tons of unknown techs. Not to mention the eye that kept all the secrets are now being held by someone, or more likely "someones".

That's it on the content for now, since this might be one of the better written events in years as long as the ending is convincing. Moving on to the character choices, this event does not disappoint in teaming up heroes from different teams, with Ant Man and Black Panther with Emma Frost, and also Doctor Strange alongside Punisher, in addition to the return of original Nick Fury! And of course, the old boring rule that Captain America, Wolverine, Thor and Iron Man has to appear everytime.... boo

Last but not least, events also means lots of variant covers apart from having the writers trashing characters they don't like. Original Sin features the usual Deadpool and Scottie Young variant, and also an interlocking variant, as shown below.



Original Sin #2 Preview


Thursday, November 7, 2013

X-men: Battle of the Atoms

Here goes another Marvel event (thankfully it is X-men and not Avengers again), and surprisingly it turned out better than I expected.

Even this event totally violated the time travel rule (not far behind Age of Ultron, which also abused the time travel concept), it is fascinating to see the dynamic between the huge amount of characters. It does have major impact on the present day Marvel Universe, let alone changes of rosters in the X-men teams. And of course it raises a lot of question (which they say will lead to the big X-men event next year).


Here is where things stand now:


WINNER -

Present Cyclops:
>He survived, even his younger time traveled self nearly died and wiped him off too.
>His roster just got a lot more powerful after Kitty Pryde left Wolverine to join him.

Past original X-men:
>They survived the event despite their lack of experience and control
>Stayed in the present day to hope help make this a better world
>Joined present day Cyclops


LOSER -

Present Wolverine:
>He lost his healing factor, but he did manage to survive after his future son tried to kill him
>One of his professor, Kitty Pryde left his school
>His ego will eventually cost him

S.H.I.E.L.D:
>Totally failed with the plan of having a mutant liaison
>Have to pay for what the future brotherhood had done as both Wolverine and Cyclops are now aware of S.H.E.I.L.D having new Sentinels, meaning that they were labelled as threats


Deceased/Injured -

Deadpool (future) - dead
Xavier (future) - handicapped
Colossus (future) - something happened to him, but not explained
Jubilee (future) - dead
Beast (future) - most likely dead
Xorn/Jean Grey (future) - self destructed



Mysteries -

What happened to future Colosuss?

Where is the future Brotherhood?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Comics Flash 4/9

It is September 2013, more or less one year after the begin of Avengers versus X-men, sadly it wasn't what I'd recommend, twisted characters, unbelievable and unconvincing ending, and it did is prove that Avengers is what they cared about last year, and surely this will continue until the Avengers movie franchise go down like X-men: The Last Stand.

Back to the comics, Infinity finally sstarts to make some sense. A whole issue (issue 1) of I-don't-know-what-really-happened, introducing builders, and having Thanos, Inhumans, possibly everything Marvel have left in the cold for the past few years make a come back all at once. The latest change of events is that Thanos is actually hunting for his son!?! OMG! This better not disappoint me like Age of Ultron (which ended not long ago, April 2013, another totally horrible ending)
Invinity #1 Variant
But on a wider scope, Marvel has once again successfully jam packed so many events in one year (apart from the ones mentioned above, there's also events like Enemy within, which I skipped out on), and I have no idea which one among the lots is the main event, or maybe there's no such thing anymore.

Moving on to DC, Trinity War just ended last week; and now we have Forever Evil and the Villains month, so seem like DC doesn't want to let Marvel get all that event frenzy.

Forever Evil #1 Sketch Variant
I actually missed out the first issue on Trinity War, but surprising;y I didn't seem to miss out on anything at all, and that to me is not a really good event, though I have to admit that is better than the ones by Marvel (AvX or AoU), at least everything seemed to make sense, and I like the part where there's a traitor (a bit cheesy, but it worked for me).

And also, I have to say that the 3D covers look legit, and having to cost the same as most Marvel comics just made it even better. However, I have no idea that these one shots actually have nothing to do with whatever comic it took over for the week, and also some happen to be tie-ins with the main event and some are to be continued in another series, and that is really confusing for me. For example, JLA this week is Deadshot#1 which have nothing to do with JLA, it was sort of like a story of his origin and his present status with Forever Evil in play (maybe it is a tie-in too), and it said to be continued in Suicide Squad. Omg, I only buy this because I am reading JLA, I would have bought Joker or Poison Ivy if I know they have nothing to do with the original comics line.

JLA #7.1:
 Deadshot #1 3D cover
Over all, I would rather see villains fight against each other (I guess that's what gonna happen as the cover of future Forever evil does have villains fighting each other, and they just can't afford to stop all other comics series to give ways for villains that long, can they?).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Marvel Legends, is its return good or bad?

Comic fans are across ages and scattered all around the world; and with the movie franchise of X-men and now Avengers, seemingly everyone has known a bunch of Marvel heroes and villains, making Marvel truly legend.

But is bringing back Marvel Legends a smart choice for the company? My answer would be no. And here is why.

Series 1 Marvel Legends 
Looking back on the previous Marvel Legend series, the first ones feature a classic hero or villain that you must have heard of even you didn't read the comics, including Electra, Spiderman and more; and along with the figure is a comic book and also a nice 'scene' which also acts as the figure stand, the 'scene' is always at least twice as big as the character, making it truly a background instead of a boring piece of plastic. (Imagine something like the ones you get from diamond select and make it ten times better, then it is what you'll get with the earliest Marvel Legends.)

Sentinel Series with BAF
(notice the size of Sentinel's leg)
Possibly having the figure and a really beautiful setting (and a real comic book) cost quite something, as the settings never appeared in the following series, which was replaced by the BAF parts, in long build-a-figure parts. Which once again, the figure is mostly a well-known hero or villain like Daredevil, Cyclops, Mystique and Angel. And the BAFs are even more impressive as it features some of the most notorious villains like Galactus and Sentinel, some other series include heroes like Giant man as the BAF. The BAF usually is twice as tall as the normal figures included in each pack if not higher, (or fatter in some specific case) And of course, it comes with a legit comic book and some even comes with exclusive game cards as a bonus. Variant figures are included for some figures, like Storm's Mohawk, Cyclops's X-force uniform and so on.

And now, look at the renewed Marvel Legends, the only thing that's improved is that the some figures looked better than the old ones and that it comes with a colorful package; however, no comics, no game cards and of course no beautiful backdrop, what a bummer.

On top of that, the BAF included is a less interesting villain in the first two series after the renewal and they already are being shortened in height as they only stand a little taller than other figures, not twice as tall like the old ones. Also, it starts to include less familiar characters like protector or moonstone and even someone like Sentry who died a long time ago, some may say you know the character well, but the truth is, if you are not a comic fan, you wouldn't know who the heck protector is. Also, variants nowadays does not only mean a slightly difference between characters, but sometimes it is even a different character, for example Punisher and Blade is regarded as the same figure as they are in the same 'category'. meaning that if someone buy a set, you will not be able to get all the different characters.

Returning Marvel Legends (no BAF, just figure stand...)

If that is not a strong enough reason to say that bringing back Marvel Legend is actually a dumb decision, look at series 3, which didn't even have a BAF, as it is being replaced by a piece of plastic as the figure stand. Even though BAF is back from series 4, but they chose rocket racoon (acceptable) and hit monkey, Really!? Hit Monkey, how many people actually know about the monkey with high agility? I'm sure not much. And the size of the BAF is tiny tiny, as the characters they chose are really tiny tiny in the Marvel Universe. Again, what the heck?! My suggestion will be to use wasp and ant man as the future BAFs so actually they don't have to put in any BAF parts as they are too too tiny and no one would have been able to see it anyways.

As for the final reason why I don't like the new Marvel Legends, the old ones cost half as much as the new ones, can't believe that can you.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Iron Man 3, just don't get so excited (yet)

Spoiler alert: If u hv not seen the movie and still want to get surprised in the theatre, DO NOT continue reading.

Iron Man is everywhere.

That is not a bald statement as Iron Man is literally all over the place, billboards and advertisements, figures and IM costumes, he even managed to make it onto food wrappers. This has truly become the Iron Man month as Iron Man already took up more than half of the show times in theatres. But is the movie really that well?

Pros:
1. Finally a superhero film that includes girl power, and Potts did time after time proved it.

2. A party of Iron Man armors is the final showdown that is sure to wow our eyes (too bad they didn't focus on the specific powers pf each one)

3. The scene after the credits was pretty funny, and of course that's gotta do with Avengers 2

Badly bad:
1. Mandarin was a completely different person from the comics. The once Asian looking villain that can do more than just playing with lightning and fire has become a dumb actor which was hired by Killian and thought being Mandarin was part of a performance.

2. People that was in the Extremis program can endure different a level of damage though they
pretty much went throught the same 'training' process.

3. Pepper can manage to destroy an armor with one punch and then use a part of the armor to get Killian. But she failed to put the armor into action when she was given Mk 42 to use earlier, so the Extremis also help her to learn to use the armor?

But afterall, it's still a pretty good film (the alteration to Mandarin is definitely not though)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Marvel Beginnings 1-3

'Marvel Beginnings is a trading card trilogy published by Upperdeck Entertainment...' you can read things like that in my previous posts, which I am not going to repeat here.

Marvel Beginnings is said to be one of the card sets with the biggest base set, which is a total of 540 cards. With a ton of inserts like micromotion, die-cut, and more rares one like hologram and autograph. And here, I'll be doing a review on the separate cards across the series.



Base Card:
The base card includes a modern image of the character with also their first appearance inscribed in the small square. While at the back, it includes the info on the character's first appearance and his/her story on entering the Marvel world.
Cyclops Base Card (MB III)

Base Card:
Micromotion cards has a hit rate of (1:2packs), it actually looks pretty good in hand, which is a relatively well-done among such high hit rate inserts. The back of the card includes a short passage concerning the character, it may be their bio, one of their important chapters in Marvel or just something interesting but not well-known among fans. Unlike base cards, micromotions have different designs in the 3 parts of Marvel Beginnings.





Die-cut cards:
Die-cut cards has the same hit rate like micromotion cards (1:2 packs). Usually each pack contains either a die-cut or a micromotion, but in rare cases you can actually find both!!! Once again, this is a pretty good insert set that has such a high hit rate. Each card has an old image of the character in front and a more modern and recent image at the back. Each part of Marvel Beginnings has a different theme for the die-cut cards, like S1 is X-men die-cut while S3 is villains die-cut cards.

Wonder Man (Avengers) Die-cut



Breakthrough issues (Autograph) cards:
Breakthrough issues cards are the most common inserts (one per pack most the time), and the normal ones totally worth no money and have no collecting value. That's why they add autograph cards as an insert. With the autograph card, they also have a certificate to go with it, which the certificate does have a really good print. What makes it better is that the two cards are put into a sleeve, which is very thoughtful of the company (, though most card collectors would have got their own sleeves ready for sketch and other good pulls).




Hologram Card:
Hologram cards are always a 'high-end' production, which explains why the pull rate of this type of cards is extremely low (not even guaranteed one per box). Hologram cards was already featured in Marvel trading cards a few century back, but the holograms then is totally different from the ones featured in this series. Sure to say, they (once again) look better in hand than in scan, the character print is on top of the hologram background, which includes the Avengers logo and the 'Avengers' word. What makes this even better is that their are couple of layers in the background to make the card more worth it, both for collecting and in $$.




Sketch Cards:
Last but not least, the type of insert that most of us look forward to - sketch cards. Sketch cards is the only type of card that have a wide range of qualities, yo may get an awesome colored sketch by one of the famous artist in the field, while on the other hand, there's still chance for a black and white boring sketch on a character that you don't even know, by an artist you've never heard of. That is why the value of sketch cards also have a wide range of values (on ebay).



Sketch by Gilbert Monsanto (MBI)
Thing sketch by Layron DeJarnette (MBII)


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Marvel Beginnings 3


It is time to hunt for trading cards again, but which one should I do? Bronze age, Marvel premier, greatest heroes?


Marvel Beginnings 3 was out Dec 2012, it is the last wave of the series.
Each  box contains 24 packs, each pack contains 7 cards (on average)

Type of cards:
-180 Basecards
-Micro-motion cards (1:2 packs)
-Breakthrough issues (1:1 pack)
-Breakthrough issue autograph cards (1:48 packs)
-Villains die-cuts (1:2 packs)
-Avengers Hologram (1:72 packs)
-Sketch Cards (1:48 packs)
-Ultimate Panel Focus (1:288 packs)
-Printing Plates (1:?? packs)



This is my first ever box break on Marvel Trading cards:

Red Hulk Hologram
Autograph card




















For other review on this series and also other trading card-related infos, plz read the following posts:
http://www.marvelhunt.blogspot.com/2012/06/marvel-beginnings-i-series-1-review.html
http://www.marvelhunt.blogspot.com/2012/06/marvel-beginnings-ii.html