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A Year of DC 3.75"/4" from Spinmaster

Last year, I started seeing some new DC action figures from Spinmaster. (Also from McFarlane Toys). The Spinmaster figures are smaller–3.75" or 4" scale, I’m not actually certain which…but considerably smaller than 6"/7" figures like the DC Multiverse or Marvel Legends figures.

Due to increasingly limited shelf-space…and already having a shelf jam-packed with loose Superman figures–I didn’t immediately open the Superman that I got. And then I chased down a black suit, bearded variant. And then over the past year, I’ve occasionally snagged another figure as my eye’s been caught.

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Having the "actual" Superman (Rebirth-era without the trunks) I’m not bothered by other variants. I’m actually hoping for a version WITH the trunks! I’m not overly-keen on Lex Luthor, but liked the appearance with the packaging and actually having the "logo" for his name. The "tech" Superman or whatever reminded me of the Cyborg Superman, so while obviously not that, I snagged it. Captain Marvel, Flash, and Aquaman were cool. After the Mattel 3.75 Infinite Heroes Wonder Woman standing out in my mind as one of those figures that would not stand on its own, I only got her figure to go with Superman and (separately) Batman.


But it’s been more than clear to me that Spinmaster‘s (and DC‘s!) HEART lies with BATMAN. Soooo many more figures, where the general DC ones seem–by comparison–to be token action figure presence to claim presence, perhaps to maintain a license or some such? Stuff over MY pay grade.

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Robin (Tim Drake) is one of my favorite comic characters, and over the last few years I’ve wound up with quite a collection of Robin figures and such.I like to think that these variant Robins are intended to be the various characters–Tim, Damian, and Jason, at least.

I finally caved recently-ish and snagged the most NORMAL-LOOKING/most-comics-accurate-looking-to-me Batman. Nightwing and Catwoman for obvious ties to Bat-stuff.

And an apparently armored Batman putting me in mind of Dark Knight Returns, but perhaps intended more as Batman v. Superman. Whatever. It’s bulky and cool.

Then there were some of the big, bulky villains! Killer Croc, Bronze Tiger, King Shark, and Man-Bat.

Somewhere along the way, spotted Talon and figured for this line, and being (relatively-speaking) pretty cheap (1/3 to 1/2 the price of the larger Multiverse scale figures), I’d rather have more characters, so grabbed it. Same for Killer Moth. I even grudgingly bought Batwoman figuring she’d go well with a grouping of Detective Comics: Rebirth characters at least.

And that golden Joker…happened across that and initially figured I’d get it as "trade bait," but have since more or less settled on keeping it for the heckuvit, at least for now. There’s another Joker variant that I may keep an eye out for as well. Despite this, I still think it’s rather stupid to have limited chase variants in action figures; but all the more when they’re functionally UNPAINTED figures merely done in some alternate color plastic!

But as said…with this scale and the possibility quantity-wise, I’m more ok with stuff than I’d be if these were DC Multiverse or such.

And these are just "basic figures," without getting into any of the multi-packs and such that have even more recently caught my eye.

I see plenty of activity in a toy group I’m in on Facebook about the Multiverse figures…but I feel like I don’t/haven’t seen much of anything for this line.

Fine by me–if the only figure(s) being "chased" for this line ARE the solid-color-unpainted variants, that leaves more of the actual figures for me to be able to get without dealing with…shall we say…"resellers."

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DC Villains Month, Week Four

BANE (Batman #23.4)

foreverevilbane001 It’s rather discouraging to see such a great character go to waste. But, seems that’s what’s happened with Bane in the New 52. I was hoping for something with a lot more depth in this issue, than I found a year and a half ago in The Dark Knight #6. But this seems to be pretty much that same Bane…the one that–to me–truly seems to ignore 15 years of character development and depth. The issue basically shows us Bane recruiting an army to “take back” “his” city (Gotham) as if his only goal has ever been the taking of Gotham. He’s making use of a modified Venom, which flies in the face of what I saw as one of the character’s greatest strengths and the poignancy of the second Vengeance of Bane issue: his rising above and overcoming the need for Venom, and consistently proving himself powerful and smart with no use for the drug that had once had such hold on him. What I get out of this issue is pretty much a caricature of the character circa 1993 with none of the depth/growth/developoment that made me continue to like the character beyond the Knightfall arc 20 years ago. I see no reason to care about or be interested in this New 52 Bane, and I suppose I’m thankful to “get” that from a single issue rather than investing in an entire multi-issue arc…such as the Forever Evil tie-in mini this issue was probably aiming to “sell” me on picking up as a continuation.

SINESTRO (Green Lantern #23.4)

foreverevilsinestro001 I quite enjoyed the Sinestro Corps War a few years back, and enthusiastically followed all the Green Lantern stuff for years, but gradually trailed off. My past enjoyment of Sinestro as a character was the “selling point” for me for this issue, once I’d decided to get some of these Villains Month issues. I’ve been very loosely “aware” of stuff the last couple years in the GL side of things, so was not totally lost with this issue. It was cool to “catch up” a bit on Sinestro–even from a point of view outside of his own. While the “witness” is not entirely reliable to me, the overall context seems to me that we’ve had some extra detail added to Sinestro’s background–including his introduction into the GL Corps–that fits within established stuff. While not quite enough to spur me back to the monthly issues, this was an enjoyable glimpse back into the GL side of the DC Universe and hint at what I should expect as I gradually get caught up with the collected volumes from the last couple years.

BLACK ADAM (Justice League #23.4)

foreverevilblackadam001 I really wasn’t going to ‘bother’ with this issue. I’ve not been a huge fan of Black Adam except under Johns‘ writing, and I hadn’t cared for what I’d seen second-hand of the New 52 Shazam stuff…and was not at all interested in buying Justice League for the “backups,” and generally figured the Shazam side of things was no longer for me. But a friend’s into Shazam, and knowing he’s interested sparked my interest…as well as realizing that hey, this IS by Johns, so why not? And even though I am not “up to speed” on the New 52 status quo of the (formerly?) Marvel family, this issue provided some interesting details, and left me more curious about other New 52 stuff than any of the other Villains Month issues. With a collected edition of the New 52 Shazam story thus far just out, I might actually be inclined to check it out and see where I land thanks to this issue.

METALLO (Action Comics #23.4)

foreverevilmetallo001 I have never been a particular fan of Metallo, though I got kind of attached to the Byrne version introduced in Byrne‘s Superman #1. That take on the character–as he showed up with differing amounts of power and control over machines, the machine with a human brain basically–is the one I prefer. I’m not a particular fan of the former military John Corben or the ties to Sam Lane and Lois Lane. It just seems a bit too complicated having a major Superman villain be basically just a girlfriend’s spurned “ex.” Technically this issue does what I would hope for–introduces me to the character, shows how he got the way he is, and shows what he can do. But my lack of interest in the character in general taints that, and left me fairly cold and honestly did nothing to spark my interest in where the character might go from here. I’m pretty sure I remember Corben showing up in one of the earliest issues of the New 52 Superman (unless that’s blurred with Geoff JohnsSecret Origin mini from a couple years ago), and this issue hints at a prior battle with Superman, so it would seem to me the only real “significance” of this particular issue is the “introduction” of the “Kryptonite heart” and technically being the issue in which Metallo is recruited by the Society.

PARASITE (Superman #23.4)

foreverevilparasite001 If I’ve not been a fan of Metallo, I actually dread Parasite. I think the only time I found the character relatively tolerable was the 1990s Superman: The Animated Series. I especially disliked the character’s transformation in the mid-90s’ comics to the tapeworm-round-mouthed blob, and the continued round-mouthed look in general. And it seems the character was just redone in the last few years in JohnsSuperman: Secret Origin arc. So having yet another version of the character isn’t that appealing. As I read this issue, I found myself wondering why, exactly, I had even bothered to buy it–I grabbed it “off the shelf” not having pre-ordered it–when I should have “left it” same as I did the Bizarro issue (a character I likely would have preferred over this) and H’el (a character I’ve yet to actually read anything with). At least this issue confirms for me that I’m STILL not at all interested in Parasite, and saves me investing in a longer story than just this one issue.

KILLER CROC (Batman and Robin #23.4)

foreverevilkillercroc001 I think this is probably one of the better versions of the character I’ve seen; it definitely works for me, at the least. I never really cared for the grey-skinned version of the character on the Animated Series, and wasn’t all that fond of what I saw of the character in the early/mid ’90s (specifically around Knightfall). That version “worked,” though and I liked it better than the later “Leatherhead-lite” version that was further mutated a few years ago to look more like a “real” crocodile. This issue shows a Killer Croc that is green-skinned, some of the looks of a crocodile, but much more human-looking overall without losing the “monster” appearance. Something to this take on the character doesn’t go over badly for me. I like that the character’s still more muscle than anything else, yet he shows some room for brains, and definitely has a fairly disctinct “place” within the Gotham hierarchy of Batman rogues. I won’t specifically seek anything else out with the character just as a result of reading this, but the issue lets me know that handled similarly I probably won’t dread another Killer Croc story down the line.

Batman: The Dark Knight #1 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

Story: 3/5
Art: 4.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Joker’s Asylum II: Killer Croc #1 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

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