Marvel Universe INHUMANS Found!

The only time I mention any of Hasbro's Marvel figures around here, it's because of backwards hands and quality control issues, but I wanted to mention something that they did right, for a change.
The Inhumans are among my very favorite of the many genius Kirby creations.  I don't even care what they have done with (or to) the characters in recent years, which is the attitude I've had to adopt for any Kirby creation, actually...anyway, before I get off the subject: these figures are awesome.  THANK YOU, Hasbro.
There is artwork on the back of MODOK; is it possible we could get one, and one that is halfway decent?? I really do understand that, with this line of figures, Hasbro has tried to make many of them as classic as possible, while trying to allow as much "modern" look to come through as possible--after all, they have to appeal to both sorts of collectors.  I snapped up the Green Goblin, Electro, Kraven, and Kang as fast as possible, but I'm unable to complete a Fantastic Four that looks authentic yet, for lack of a classic Invisible Girl, and I am waiting with baited breath to get an up-close look at the forthcoming Mysterio to see if, well, he's "classic" enough.  MODOK presents size problems, of course, to be a regular carded figure, but my worry is his look--please, keep him old school.  Like the Minimates one.
Now, my only request is, can we please, please, please finish the team? Like a two-pack of Triton with a beautiful, perfectly-to-scale Lockjaw? I can dream, can't I?



Original Stills: Destroy All Monsters and Atragon!

What's even sweeter about this is, this is an angle of the "group shot" that isn't one you commonly see...and I like how Gorosaurus' mouth is WIIIDE open!
A sweet packet of awesomeness that just came in the mail this weekend.  This first DAM still was worth the $20 alone that I paid for all seven! The other two DAM stills showcase the SY-3 and the Moonbase, but while the one ATRAGON still showing the titular vehicle is cool, the other three leave something to be desired...I mean, not one still with Manda in it?? Oh well! You win some, you lose some, I guess!

"No one will be seated during The Canoe-Paddling Sequence....please do not divulge any of the secrets of The Canoe-Paddling Sequence to any of your friends."
Okay, this one is actually pretty cool!
But really, unless this was a film called THE FISTFIGHT, I don't see how the studio thinks a still like this is good marketing for a science fiction/fantasy film full of cool effects!


Slim Goodbody - Healthy Is Wealthy (CBS, 1980)

I loved Captain Kangaroo, as a kid.  I remember Slim segments from the show, and I remember his robot.  I had a couple of different approaches to this post:  I could completely lambaste this album, but I started reading up, and I discovered that Slim is STILL going, and he's had a 30+ year mission of educating kids on health and nutrition...so go, Slim!
Now, that said, are there still moments worthy of sampling? Oh heck, yess.

P.S.--I am a bit confused by the "Kraft" sponsorship of this LP.  It is missing the obligatory UPC barcode that would have been present by 1980, so I have concluded that this was a mail-away promotion, or perhaps point-of-sale promotion from grocery stores or something.  If anyone has any further information, please comment!


Items of the Week: ATRAGON Lobby Card and more

Two things I've picked up, and two that I've seen in the wild:
First up, a lovely, crisp ATRAGON American lobby card. Great showcasing of Manda here (with horns and whiskers and all that...did you ever notice they were lost by DESTROY ALL MONSTERS?), even if it is hand-colored, which they did back then.  For some reason..which is why Baragon is green on my FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD lobby card (see previous post).
Next up, a vintage trading card from the SPOOK STORIES series 2, made by Leaf.  It's dated 1961, but as we all know, this image is from KING KONG vs. GODZILLA, so they never updated their fine print for the second series.
Back side of the card...I am guilty as charged, having just recently made fun of these old cards, with their lame jokes and dodgy captions...but I cannot resist the lure of vintage American trading cards featuring Godzilla!
Oh, Japan...do you really have a thing called the ULTRA DINER? Of course you do. Does Bandai produce food products like "Ultraseven's Hashed Beef"? Of course it does. I saw this on Ebay, and it said, in wonky English, that the actor who was Dan Moriboshi either owns a restaurant, and/or works in one...and I thought it was Ultraman Ace who was the chef!
"Chile & Tamarind"...wait, what?!
Okay, this is really the FAIL of the week, but I'm not labeling it as such, on a technicality. This was at a local grocery store.  First off, BLEAH to anyone who wants to chew gum flavored as such, but it struck me that the flavor was not only tamarind, but an entire South American country as well...isn't it "Chili Pepper" after all? Unless that was the intention..."enjoy the flavor of tamarind, expertly blended with trees, dirt.....burros...."
So, according to Wikipedia, it's a sort-of alternate spelling to say "Chile" in reference to peppers, so I didn't exactly stamp a FAIL on it....but in defense of language, we have to draw the line somewhere, folks.  It's like the millions of people who continually use the word "disrespect" as a verb.  Continual misuse of the English language may cause a  new entry to be placed in the official dictionary after several years, but it doesn't make it correct.  Or even a good idea.


Bat-Manga, Examined (part four: context is everything)

To conclude our more-in-depth-than-it-should-ever-be look at the English adventures of Japanese Batman, here are a handful of panels that are even more hilarious by themselves than the last batch...feast your brains on these:

And my personal favorite, from the entire book.....it probably shouldn't, but this panel cracks me up more than any other:


GORGO on Blu-Ray Arrives!

Well, actually it arrived 2 or 3 weeks ago, but I finally got around to diving in this weekend.  I have to say that the disc is worth the purchase--not only is the picture improved over the previous DVD release (especially in the area of color), but there is a plethora of extras that make it worthwhile.  
Included are galleries of posters, lobby cards, and stills, as well as pressbooks and even comics.  My only complaint is that they parade by the viewer at their own pace, and I would have preferred being able to flip through, but that's what the pause button is for, I guess.
My favorite extra was the 30-minute documentary, which is a very smart look at the film, and how it fits in in the lineage of giant monster films, historically.  Special focus is given to show how unique GORGO is within this lineage.  There are several recordings of the director in his own words, discussing the production of the film, which made for an extremely enjoyable 30 minutes that went by very quickly!
Now I can get started on my JOHNNY SOKKO set finally!


Carmine Infantino, RIP (1925-2013)

My first elementary-school encounter with one of the all-time greats.
Thank you for all of your work, which is too much to list.  We have lost another great luminary.

Bat-Manga, Examined (part three)

Continuing our look at some translated adventures of Japanese Batman, we are now going to zoom out, farther away from plot or substance, and look at some strange, isolated moments that confused or interested me...I call these real "what the heck?" moments. Let's get one thing straight: as far as this blog is concerned, when we say "what the heck?" we mean it like this:
In the voice of Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent.  Just so you know. It's crucial that you understand this. With that in mind...
Here's a guy that Japanese Batman and Japanese Robin find, and rescue, only to find out he was really the bad guy, and really not in danger...
Can this actually be done, without help? I GUESS it could...but could it be done in a way that was convincing enough to fool Japanese Batman? Apparently so, but whatever.
All I could think of as I stared at this panel was, "Some days, you just can't get rid of a wrecking ball!!" (Little BATMAN THE MOVIE joke there.)
Here's one of the many Japanese toys shown in the book, but it strikes me that this entire package is actually pretty scary.  I like the BUY ME, in English, but the art is so lacking in its depiction that it is actually frightening.  It screams "unauthorized" to me, but who knows?
The rest of these panels are better served to be viewed without commentary, so enjoy with your own mind's reaction:

In the first panel, note the disappearing "R" on Japanese Robin's costume, in true Hanna-Barbera style.  
In Part Four, we will continue in this direction, with some panels that have even more "what THE heck?!" than I thought possible.


Bat-Manga, Examined (part two)

Because of my quest to pursue the sharing of knowledge (and mostly because I am completely bored at work), here is part two of our in-depth look at some things that caught my fancy in the Japanese Batman manga stories.  Today we will look at the villains featured in the translated stories.
In one of the opening pages of the book, the Joker is shown, and you can see plenty of neat-o Japanese toys from the 60's that feature the Penguin and the Riddler, but by a strange twist of fate, only one real Batman villain appears in these stories.  The rest were invented by the author, and fall somewhere between:  Golden Age villain stereotypes from American comics, and the average episode of Speed Racer.
Yes.  That is really his name.  Pretty much equivalent to naming a Super Villain "King Bank-Robber Guy" or "President Malfeasance Gentleman," but there it is.  His power is, he can die and come back whenever he wants.  That's why he is called Lord Death Man.  What does he want to do to our heroes?
Heh heh, yeah, that's right.  He wants to...wait, what?
Hmm, that's strange.  It seems to make sense to the Caped Crusaders.  At least that's over for now--
Okay, WHAT IS THE OBSESSION WITH BEEHIVES? In America, we say "Swiss Cheese," or use a metaphor of something that has several holes, hence the getting-shot-with-a-gun thing.  From my experience, beehives typically have one hole...the entrance.  Let's move on to the next villain.
Yes, that is also really his name.  With his collar up (which it is the rest of the time) and hat off, he looks like Nightwing did in the 1970's, and he has a magic wand thingy that can control the weather, not unlike another D.C. villain that has a magic wand thingy that can control the weather.  I have no understanding of his name, but luckily for us, this guy does NOT dance in giant bird cages wearing bikinis and body paint.
Next, Batman and Robin fight Jim Carrey.  No, actually, it's a guy who is sort of a cross between Two-Face from the comics, and False-Face from the TV show.  To sum it up, this happens to him:
We have all had days like that.  And then he goes on a crime spree:
He can't quite decide whether to wear masks, or go around as the Incredible Melting Man and gross out people.
He also doesn't know the difference between a Rock Pulverizer and a shiny gemstone.
Moving on, we encounter a villain we have acutally heard of:
Clayface, although this is a guy who falls into a pool of slime in a cave, and gains the ability to turn into Pterodactyls and stuff.  Unfortunately, this ability wears off after a while, allowing this to happen:
Batman, too, gains the ability to turn into dinosaurs, and if this shocks you (like it did me, briefly), remember that far, far stupider stuff than this was done in the late 40's and 1950's in American comics.
But I will call you Grodd, because you are a giant talking gorilla.  And why draw all the anatomy and stuff that gorillas have, panel after panel, when you can just have him wear a sheet and a helmet? That's much easier, and much less hairy.  He does disrobe at the end, when he is easily defeated.  Oh, and he turns stupid again, and probably goes back to the circus.
Next time, in Part Three, we will examine some "What THE heck?!" moments, but for now, I will leave you with the "Quote of the Day":
Isn't that what guns DO?