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Lanard Aliens Collection 2021

It was right about a year ago–1/28/2020–that I happened across Lanard‘s Alien Collection figures for their 2020 output. They had a 12" Queen, 3 Xenomorph packs, a Xeno + power loader, and a vehicle. But that was then.

[I’ve titled this post with Aliens plural. The named branding on the boxes is singular, but I go interchangeably with the plural for the general historical branding that came out of the films and such. The Alien vs Aliens semantics as a sweeping/universal brand is–to me–a subject for some other post another time.]

I never really had use for nor cared about the human characters in the Alien playsets last year. I bought them FOR the Xenomorph figures. And in a world where a similarly-scaled figure is routinely $13 or more, $10 for a Xeno, a human, AND accessories…I was always more than happy to pay $10.

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Now we get significantly larger Alien figures–7" or so–with accessories–and we’re STILL at the $10 price point!

This also certainly beats the $26-$30+ for NECA Aliens figures. (All the more given that–at present–I’m personally refusing to buy any NECA product EXCEPT what TMNT I can actually find until I have "completed" my set of the basic TMNT releases.)

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Having fun Aliens with good sculpts from Lanard absolutely scratches the "Aliens itch" for me and at a price point I’m much happier with!

Plus at the lower price point and basic sculpting…there’s a lot more room for me to do some decent "army-building" and "customizing."

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Thoughhhhh thus far the extent of my customizing is essentially "aim black spray-paint at a figure." I spray-painted several dupes last year including a Queen and have been pretty satisfied with the end result.

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That said…I’ve also appreciated the brighter colors in large part for the nostalgia of the old Kenner figures. Said nostalgia also led to me purchasing a couple of the vintage figures last year to add to my shelf of Xenos.

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Unfortunately, I’ve more or less run out of space on the Aliens shelves…especially with the inclusion of Predators in the mix.

Though I should be able to squeeze these 7" figures in without TOO much trouble offhand.

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Fitting multiple additional Queens in are a whole different matter–given their bulk…and their tails!

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This new deluxe Queen being red works on MULTIPLE levels!

Firstly, it’s a new color to differentiate from last year’s purple Queen. Secondly it’s another brightly-colored figure like the rest of this line. And thirdly, it works given the ALIENS: GENOCIDE comics & novel history with the Red Aliens developing and fighting with the typical Aliens.

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I’m not particularly impressed with the sound effects of the figure and don’t really get the "light up" purpose. But considering the price point is EXACTLY THE SAME as the no-electronic version, and I’m basically just DISPLAYING the things, it doesn’t bother me! I’d much rather "have to" ignore sound effects that are manually-activated than having to "ignore" something visually-displeasing.


While the Queen alien is basically a slightly-enhanced re-issue of the purple; and these other 3 are essentially just scaled-up versions of the smaller ones from last year: I’m quite happy with them, and look forward to getting a few more.

I’m also VERY happy with them seeming like they’ll be quite plentiful/available in general DESPITE being Walmart-exxxxxxxclusive. Until the 2020 stuff was clearanced out, I feel like throughout the year I rarely–if ever–saw the Lanard Alien Collection pegs bare. Which is QUITE the opposite of other lines such as the Retro GI Joe where I think I’ve only 3 times seen ANY figures whatsoever present.

Even better than just these Alien figures is that Lanard ALSO has Predator figures! (Which I’ll likely be covering next!)

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Higher Earth #5 [Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
.

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

Supergirl #50 [Review]

Queen

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Jamal Igle
Inkers: Jon Sibal & Mark McKenna
Colorists: Nei Ruffino, Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover Artists: Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson
Published by: DC Comics

After quite a bit of foreshadowing, last issue provided the culmination (or so I’d thought) of Lana’s story. Where I’d thought it was going to be cancer or some other terminal illness and that DC would actually allow the character to be killed, that issue ended with Supergirl barging into the morgue and finding a cocoon where Lana’s body should have been. This issue opens some time after that with General Lane and his grunts finding the re-grown body of his daughter Lucy and discovering that she’s actually alive, despite being thought dead when her super-suit exploded awhile back. We then pick up wtih Gangbuster (in a new, weird-looking costume) busting into some alien hive and getting Supergirl out…as she’d been captured off-panel since the previous issue. The hospital Lana was in has been grown over by a cocoon, as we find out that the Insect Queen lives once again, having spent the past year preparing Lana’s body to be taken over. Supergirl and the Queen fight, and it’s not hard to guess what happens by the issue’s end. We have some definite closure to things, while elements are left open to coming stories…but this issue’s events are not likely to be simply brushed under a rug.

The art by Igle is quite good. In and of itself, I have no problems with the art.

The story is also quite strong as what it is. I have never had any interest in the Insect Queen stuff with Lana, and have zero nostalgia for the silver age stuff…it was actually the Insect Queen story in the main Superman book several years ago that led me to bail on the Superman titles entirely for a brief time. As such, I was quite dismayed to see it becoming a focal point for this storyline. To its credit, the actual, overt Insect Queen stuff is basically limited to a couple brief bits last issue, and now this issue, rather than being a huge part of the overall arc. I’m interested in seeing where Supergirl herself goes from here, as Gates has continued to grow the character and give her surprisingly realistic reactions to things instead of the usual, simplistic cliches one would normally expect.

What I dislike most about this issue is the ties back to the Superwoman story, as I to this day cannot be convinced that the Lucy Lane I’ve read for 15-some out of the last 20ish years is the same character…whether this is Gates claiming the character or simply doing the best with the hand dealt, I’m not sure.

In addition to the 40-page main story (which has a 26-page chunk with no ads!), we also get a short bonus tale by Jake Black and Helen Slater (the actress who played Supergirl in the Supergirl movie in the 1980s).

A Hero’s Journey

Writers: Jake Black, Helen Slater
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Wil Moss
Group Editor: Matt idelson

This short is pretty simplistic and straight-forward: it’s a recap of much of these first 50 issues of Supergirl. I recognize Black from his TMNT work, and it’s cool to see his name popping up like this. While the story is basically recap, it does add a bit to the Supergirl character, as we are reminded how far she’s come, and the changes over the past 17 issues or so have been brought both betterment and clarity to the title as well as the character in the title. I also quite enjoy the fact that Ron Troupe is still around and being used again lately…he is just as important a character to me as any of the supporting cast of the Superman family of titles…and I like a great deal better than, say, Steve Lombard or the current interpretation of Cat Grant.

The art for this story is clean and fairly simple, reminding me of any of a number of animated works that don’t use too much in the way of detailed lines to get things across. Again, that works for this story, though I don’t think I’d care much for the style on any ongoing basis for this title.

As a whole, I think the only “weak point” of the issue is the cover. Turner had a significant role in bringing this version of the character into contemporary continuity, but the art used for the cover just doesn’t work for me–it seems extremely out of place, especially given how far this title and the character have come over the past few years. Maybe it’s just over-nitpicky, but Supergirl’s ears on this cover make her look like an elf, and her physical build just seems out of proportion with the way she’s portrayed lately. As with most books, though…the issue can’t be judged solely by the cover.

Story: 3.5
Art: 3.5
Overall: 3.5

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