Super Hero Squad Rumorbuster

Monday, September 29, 2008

Marvel Universe figures

I started reading the comments here and blew them off thinking... huh, just a few months back everyone loved the figures, now these guys are complaining about the look?

But upon going to the actual pictures at Marvelous News the figures don't look nearly as impressive as the initial photos. It looks like the sculpt is intact, but compare the Bullseye uncarded and Bullseye promo shot, or the flaming Human Torch uncarded and promo shots. Some of these figures aren't translating well. Perhaps it's just the angles of the poses but the shoulder joints in some poses look unusual when they join the torso, some of the detail looks washed out. They just look... off.

On the plus side, Marvelous News has this as Wave 1, and they won't hit for a while so we've got time to fix it right?

The line up:

- Black Panther
- Bullseye
- Daredevil
- Human Torch
- Human Torch (variant powered down, or is the variant powered up?)
- Iron Man
- Iron Man (Stealth Armor)
- Punisher
- Silver Surfer
- Spider-Man

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nick Fury on DVD, finally

Long-time Marvel fans know that there's a ton of Marvel movies waiting for DVD release, if for no other reason than for cult appeal and die-hard comic fans who want to know what the hype was. Examples? The Generation X made for TV movie, the Spider-Man live action series, Doctor Strange, Howard the Duck (which did get a region 2 DVD release last year).

This week, however, we can cross Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD off that list. Best Buy is promoting it in its weekly ad along with the other Iron Man related content (boxed sets, Blu Ray, single disk, two-disk releases... come on now!) Maybe with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine we can get the Generation X movie released, and then if Silver Surfer ever gets off the ground (pun intended) we can have the 80's Fantastic Four movie. Marvel would do well to realize that the movies are already out there in bootleg copies and imports being sold to hard core collectors for well above the price of a copy of Ghost Rider or Fantastic Four. While the market is small, they're willing to bear a premium cost for these things, and if you sell it at a reasonable rate, you'll probably get a fair number of curiosity seekers too.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No more Mega-sized?

I saw this on the Super Hero Squad Forum and so I checked out's Q&A where a Hasbro rep says Mega-sized figures might be a thing of the past

FIGURES.COM: The Superhero Squad line has proven popular over the years with kids and collectors alike. Will fans be seeing more larger scaled figures in this line similar to the Apocalypse or Galactus?

HASBRO: There are no current plans for mega-scale Squad figures in 2009.

What exactly does that mean in the end? Mega Scale figures haven't been selling? They're struggling for new ideas for characters popular enough to get mega-figures? They realized how silly a mega-sized Wendigo would be? We'll most likely never really know. Speculation on!

Be warned though, visiting the site treats you to nearly 30 flashing ads and then just teases a Superhero Times Q&A featuring... well, the same set of ads and even some text ads. Firefox + Ad Blocking Extension = a much more enjoyable reading experience, especially given the time it takes to render the page with ads.

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This may be our last farewell post... on Winter Soldier.

Same news, different delay:

Item number: 78452
Item name: Marvel Super Hero Squad – City in Crisis: Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson, Green Goblin and Sandman
Quantity: 1
Estimated ship date: 12/23/2008

Item number: 78453
Item name: Marvel Super Hero Squad – Winter Soldier Saga: Captain America, Falcon, Winter Soldier and Crossbone
Quantity: 1
Estimated ship date: 12/23/2008

Once again, you need to contact Hasbro to let them know that you still want these figures, now scheduled to ship sometime around Christmas apparently.

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Marvel Universe Update

From Marvelous News's new Q & A:

MN: How is the 3 3/4" Marvel line coming along? Has there been any kind of updates, changes or additions made since Comic-Con that you can talk about?

Hasbro: The line is coming along great - we're finalizing the 4th wave of single carded figures right now and we're hard at work on the 5th wave for 2009. We're continuing to partner closely with Marvel Publishing to make sure that there is a tight relationship between comic and toy. We're also in the middle of nailing down the full year 2010 lineup, which is always exciting. The fan reaction has been tremendous for this new line and we're looking at all sorts of exciting new possibilities and ideas!

So in sum: at least 5 waves have been worked on for 2009, the lineup is planned through 2010, and they hope the line stays connected with the comics.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

External Rumorbusting

The status of the 60's Batman TV series are famously rumor riddled. Lying in the Gutters is famously rumor riddled. Put the two together and you get... an editorial at TV Shows On DVD.

I'm 67% sure Rich will post a response on LITG about some of the statements made, but a few things stood out and I figured sine there haven't been any good Super Hero Squad rumors lately (although I'm positive another crop of "Is the line doomed? Winter Soldier still isn't out, Sentry still isn't out, Ultimate Hulk isn't out, Collector's Pack 2 still isn't out!" rumors to start any day now) I'd just sort out a few misconclusions from the TV Shows on DVD site (which I actually like, and if they ever read this, hopefully they'll take this as constructive as it's intended to be.

1) It's not a CBR article. It's an edition of LITG. A difference, though subtle, is that most in the comics world know not to blame CBR if Rich is wrong. It's tantamount to citing something from Steven King's column in Entertainment Weekly as "Entertainment Weekly said a lot of books nowdays are stoopid". LITG is generally treated as a wholly separate beast and it's probably better that way.

2) Who owns what...

"Let's clear that up, though, about whom under the Time Life conglomerate umbrella owns the character of "Batman" (and related characters and trademarks). We're told, time and again by people at the company, that it's DC Comics, and not any other division of Time Life! The folks at Warner Bros. Pictures does not own Batman, nor does Warner Home Video (as we relayed at the bottom of our recent report of what WHV execs said on the subject at a live online chat held a week ago at the Home Theater Forum). And these "sister" companies to DC Comics have exactly as much right to tell DC what to do, as you and I have to tell our own siblings what to do (i.e., none). And the parent company apparently has very little interest in stepping in and telling these individual divisions how to run their day-to-day operations."

Right... but what Rich is suggesting is that Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc., which does own DC Comics and is, in turn, owned by Time Warner, via their ownership of DC. While WB Pictures and WHV are sisters to DC, it's not because they're all owned by Time Warner, it's because they're all owned by Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. What Rich is suggesting is that Warner Brother Entertainment, because DC is it's subsidiary, is "A Warner Bros. Entertainment Company." (as they note at the bottom of their website) owns what DC owns. An imperfect analogy would be the court system. At any given appellate level, no court is really able to inflict law upon the next... that would DC and WB Pictures for instance. They both, however, are bound by the decisions of the court above them. This would be Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. The subsidiaries report not to each other, but to the same boss.

Rich doesn't suggest any co-subsidiary owns any rights over any other, but rather that the company that owns the company that owns the rights, owns the rights by owning the rights owners.

How much day to day control WB Entertainment Inc. exerts is also subject to rumor... looking into the rumors regarding the "Death of Batman" is a good cross-section of the rumors surrounding WB control over DC. However, the fact remains, they own the rights owners.

Suggesting that the parent company has "little interest" in telling the divisions how to run the day to day operations is just conjecture, and in this case, off point. Just because Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. can't force a company it owns and a company it does not own to come to an agreement regarding rights issues, does not mean that Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. doesn't have some say in what goes on. TV Shows on DVD may have its sources saying there's no interest in telling the divisions what to do, but LITG has its sources saying the opposite. Truth? Probably in the middle.

Anyway, the rest of the TV On DVD article is a list of parties that may or may not have some possible claim to a possible slice of the pie.

For instance, on costumes: "In fact, we have heard it said that some of those designs were copyrighted (though we've never been clear on the truth of that)."

On the Batmobile: "It's rumored that the unique Batmobile design warrants royalties or residuals."

On props: "It's rumored that the unique Batmobile design warrants royalties or residuals. Other props, both large (Bat-Boat, Bat-Cycle, Bat-Copter) and small (utility belt gadgets, designs of something like a batarang or bat-phone, villain props, maybe even the Shakespeare-switch to the Batcave) could all possibly be unique enough to the show to require some sort of addition [sic] license for a DVD release."

On an old lawsuit: "While we've heard that this particular lawsuit may be over (we're not sure), all of these issues would have to be taken care of prior to a DVD release."

The optimist in me thinks that most of these issues would be easily remedied once the owners of the footage and the owners of the characters get together. If, and this is a big if, the owners of certain possible claims (props, costumes) have legitimate claims, then the fact that they haven't come forward in the past 4 decades to make their rights, or at least their claims, known (taking them from possible rights owners to known parties) may extinguish some of these potential claims, and those claims that survive... well... honestly now, how many pennies per unit could it really take to pay off a potential prop designer currently getting nothing?

So there you go, my take on the rumor busting of others.

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Poll Results, New Poll - Villains

Ok, Poll results are in (and have been for a while… yeah, we’re a little backed up here) but in short, with 129 votes cast results for most wanted X-Character Super Hero Squad figure are:

Madrox 32 votes (24%)

Warpath 15 votes (11%)

Dazzler 62 votes (48%)

Cannonball 20 votes (15%)

And Dazzler is THE shock. Almost half of all votes cast despite her recent status as X-Curiosity (mainly because in recent years, the sole reason to give her an appearance has been to subject her to various questions and curiosities. Example: Jean Grey’s Genosha Invasion X-Men where she appears, dodges questions about her ex-pregnancy, her ex-boyfriend Longshot and her ex-rebellion in Mojoworld. Or New Excalibur where she appears, is possibly immortal, and dodges questions about it. Or in Uncanny X-Men where she appears, makes no mention of how she left Excalibur in part to reunite with Longshot who then also appears mysteriously in X-Factor with no mention made of what went on during their reconciliation. ) But she does have classic status, appearing during one of the X-Men’s major glory days, has some mainstream media exposure (granted, it’s all old by now) and is now back in the X-Men proper.

As for the rest, Madrox takes second while former X-Force teammates Warpath and Cannonball take up the bottom half.

And now for the new poll:

We’ve done Solo Books. We’ve done Team Books. We’ve done X-Books. This poll was going to be characters without ANY book, but most easily recognized characters are in one book or another so it would probably end up as a battle of the B-List characters (which is in itself a whole different poll) so we went with villains, and no, not because that’s the name of the new Heroes storyline. They rarely get more than a mini, and with the occasional exception of Weapon X and Thunderbolts, they rarely get any sort of indepth run to explore the characters.

Standard disclaimers for this sort of poll: rounding means results may not equal 100%, characters who’ve been given a “The Case For” don’t get a poll entry, we’re not official so while you’re opinion is important, it doesn’t guarantee results here, and finally the poll is a little buggy in relying on cookies or something to prevent ballot stuffing and as such, it’s not necessarily foolproof.

Mr. Sinister – Perpetual thorn in the X-Men’s side, he may have recently met one of his more final ends during Messiah Complex, but let’s be honest, he’s survived worse than blaster fire (in fact… his earlier appearances spent a lot of time explaining how he’s pretty much invulnerable, had malleable skin, was mostly vulnerable to Cyclops’s eyebeams) so there’s a strong chance he’ll come back to much with Summers DNA. Plus, what good is having the third Summers brother exposed if Sinister isn’t able to have some fun with it.

Thanos – The premier cosmic villain, the man behind the Infinite Gauntlet, the man that’s brought the universe to the brink of destruction time and again, only to have it screwed up one way or another, sometimes due to his own ego. Like all good villains, Thanos may currently be dead, but he’s come back from worse. Or at least just as bad.

Klaw – Master of sound, enemy of the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and Black Panther, frequent member of the Masters of Evil, imagine a grinning Klaw with translucent pink plastic energy crackling from his hand and you ask yourself what villain is more perfect for this line. Recently defeated in battle against the Fantastic Four, he’s probably the only member of this list not currently believed dead.

Doppleganger – The Spider-Man doppelganger from the Infinity War was just one of the many, many evil dopplegangers to plague Earth’s heroes during that War. While the remaining doppelgangers went wherever dead doppleganger’s go, the Demogoblin’s mystic energy kept the Spider-ganger alive. He may, emphasis on may, have died at the end of Maximum Carnage, but as the list of Spider-Villains that haven’t had figures made is getting thinner and thinner, and the Doppleganger remains a solid lower-level (however one measures level) Spider-villain, he’s not that unlikely.

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Danger of Dreadknight and Iron Monger Attacks coming soon to HTS?

With Iron Man coming to DVD on September 30, it would be really appropriate for Hasbro to put out the upcoming Iron Man 4-packs, and they've already put up preliminary pages for the Iron Monger Attacks set and Danger of Dreadknight sets.

And remember, just because Hasbro puts up preliminary pages does not necessarily guarantee that the products are imminent. Remember Winter Soldier was up as a pre-order in May before being taken down, and although the pages for Ultimate Hulk and the new Galactus Mega Packs are still available for viewing at the main Hasbro site, the coming soon pages were pulled, as were the pages for the ever-upcoming Sentry wave. Still, it's a good sign.

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Super Hero Squad Fabric?

Ok, standard disclaimer about not linking to ongoing eBay auctions because more often then not, the ones that benefit are the scalpers and all that... but if you go to eBay and search for Super Hero Squad Fabric you'll see one of the more interesting licensing examples of Marvel's Super Hero Squad. Literal bolts of fabric. Perfect for making pillow cases or curtains, or maybe even a backdrop for your display case? A search on Google Shopping shows some varieties of color. So puzzles? Check. Operation Hulk? Check. Fabric by the yard? Check. What's next? Birthday party napkins? Bubble dispensers? The future is wide open.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Infinite Heroes Black Adam et al

If you're not willing to pay the still-exorbitant eBay prices for Black Adam, Qwardian Weaponeer, Hush and the Manhunter robot (seriously... I just saw bidding up to $11 on a figure) you can try Impulse Creation. As a warning, I have NOT tried them before, and this is my first attempt at using them, but they have the figures in stock for $5.69, and shipping started at $6.50 for UPS. 4 figures, plus shipping, equaled just under $30. Anyone have any good results from this store?

Edit: 9/26/08 - Came home today to find my box with the figures in it. 4 days from order to opening isn't that bad, but as we all know past performance does not guarantee results. I probably won't get a chance to update the profiles until next weekend but who knows.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Headlines gone wild!

Every so often I come across some hype or some marketing that (in my opinion) humorously gets it all wrong. Either it markets a story that's not what is being told, it promises things it can't deliver, or best of all, it just sounds confused.

Take this blurb for X-Men: Worlds Apart for instance.

Point 1: Storm has in fact returned to the X-Men in Ellis's Astonishing X-Men. How long-lasting, who knows, but given the recent interviews suggesting a more fluid X-team structure (thus allowing Emma Frost to be in every X-story. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing) there's no reason to believe Storm can't continue being an X-Man who only pops up for occasional stories.

Point 2: Headline for that blurb for X-Men: Worlds Apart - "Storm returns to the X-Men"

Point 3: Marketing hype trying to explain why this story "matters" (and presumably why it was named X-Men: Worlds Apart rather than Storm (vol. __) or something less distinctly marketed because presumably the average reader is more likely to pick up an X-title focusing exclusively on one character, than a solo mini, and for the eventual bookstore placement it's presumably better to have it placed with the other X-books, rather than next to the Spider-man and Squadron Supreme trades) - blah blah blah "What she discovers, though, may force her into a position where she must decide: Will she remain a queen or return to her mutant teammates, the X-Men?"

Come on now. Calling it X-Men: Worlds Apart seems like a cheap attempt to game the alphanumeric organization, a little like aaa____username profiles. Marvel has gotten a little shameless with this recently, for example, in tying up both it's Excalibur and Exiles titles, Marvel threw them into a mini-series called X-Men Die by the Sword. Magneto, despite having already carried a few mini-series, gets his origin re-told in X-Men: Magneto Testament. But it's an unfortunate fact of editorial mandate that the events of a solo-character mini-series are unlikely to over-rule the developments of two ongoing series (Astonishing and Black Panther), and if you want us to at least pretend there's a chance something, anything, is actually going to happen, how about using a headline that plays along?

And we now return you to your every day programming.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Marvel's December Solicitations

Still no sign of the fabled Super Hero Squad comic series in the December solicitations but what do we have?

Spider-Man Brand New Day Yearbook - apparently has OHOTMU style profiles that (many would hope) explains some of the post-OMB storyline craziness.

Venom Dark Origin 5 - so far the story has just made Eddie more of a creepy loser but who knows how the story will turn out.

Lots of solicitations are classified until after Secret Invasion 8, so there's many, many gaping holes for titles like Initiative, Ms. Marvel and Iron Man. The Fantastic Four Cosmic special is equally classified, but Marvel seems to be insisting that Sue is due to die. If she is, that would explain why they're pumping out appearances of the Lady Liberators in Hulk, She-Hulk and the She-Hulk one-shot.

Immortal Iron Fist 21 gives us yet another possible glimpse into yet another possible future. Some day I expect Marvel to do a Countdown Arena type story where various characters from various futures fight to the death. My bet for favorite battle? The Moon Knight of 2099 will team up with the Iron Fist of 3099 to battle Killraven (the first one) whose brain has been placed in a Deathlok unit.

The Marvel Apes series has had a few surprises but it seems like December's 0 issue, chock full of reprint goodness, is just a test to see how padded the eventual hardcover needs to be.

New Warriors, the title (issue 19 that is) features more of Thrasher's visit to yet another possible future, while New Warriors, the group (the originals that is) visit Nova in Nova 19. Between Avengers The Initiative, appearances in New Warriors and now Nova, the original New Warriors (or Counter Force or whatever Marvel's trying to bill them as now) are getting as much as, if not more, exposure than the group that has their name.

Marvel has fallen in love with one shots recently and this month is no different, with one shots for She-Hulk, Moon Knight (a Christmas special at that), Thor, Wolverine and Punisher receiving one-shots, and Dark Reign following up on Secret Invasion's aftermath.

Thunderbolts 127 is apparently setting the stage for a board clearing, game changing new line-up and things don't look good for Songbird. Poor Songbird.

What If is back with another set of one-shots, and Marvel's Noir series of mini-series kick off with Spider-Man and X-Men.

Marvel's Adventures line only offers up Spider-Man, Avengers, Fantastic Four and Super heroes this month, but Wolverine and Power Pack continues.

And wrapping things up, Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men Kingbreaker are leading into the War of Kings.

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One more last word on Winter Soldier/City in Crisis

And that additional, final last word is... a date. September 23, 2007. One month, 5 e-mails threatening to cancel the order... one can only hope that this is in fact the final last word.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Infinite Heroes Black Canary set on TRU?

Toys R Us has an unusual listing on their website for "DC Comics Hero 3 Pack" and they're showing the picture for the Black Canary, Green Arrow and Green Lantern set, but not referring to the figures by name or as anything other than DC Comics Hero 3 Pack. Also unusual is their Flash 3-pack listing showing 3 prototypes two being Flash and the other a caped figure (Black Hand?)

So who knows what you'll get, but it sounds fun, if you don't mind paying $12.99 plus another $5 or so for shipping and handling for some figures that some reason are overpriced at $10 let alone $18. Still, keep checking stores and you'll get lucky soon enough.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Speaking of alternate realities...

After just complaining a bit about Jon Favreau's apparent belief that Marvel solves all its problems by alternate realitying stuff away, I came across the early solicitation for Final Crisis Secret Files: "Witness how Darkseid's death shattered the Multiverse, creating continuity ripples throughout the DC Universe!"

For those that don't know, DC editorial has had some flack lately for continuity issues, like Countdown only sort of staying in touch with the DCU, and most famously for the Fall of the New Gods storyline (in FotNG, Orion deals with Darkseid, the Infinite Man, the death of his friends and family, all while Superman witnesses. In Final Crisis, Orion is back to life, dying from a bullet traveling backward through time or some similar concept and some story about Darkseid being displaced through time to before Seven Soldiers. With the only-a-few-years-old Infinite Crisis having used Superboy's punch through reality to excuse Jason Todd's return to life and a few other odds and ends, is DC really that editorially mixed up that they need to do a chronology fix already?

And on a separate note: Another Teen Titans recruitment drive? Didn't they just have one leading into Titans? And wasn't the post-One Year later story one big recruitment drive with Miss Martian and Kid Devil?


Captain American is such a winner!

Everyone knows by now how I love data morphs and mutates like a virus on the Internet. I just read an interesting teaser at Digg for "Iron Man 2, 3 and 4" and the "may have Captain American and Hulk" comment. Now, I know we have our own typos here (and will continue to do so until we can afford a copy editor to take a pass at our posts), so no ill will about the good Captain's name, but I do have a pet peeve for the link-aggregator-post-that-has-something-rather-sensationalistic-as-a-title-but-is-actually-wishful-thinking-based-on-misinterpretation-of-something-else.

See, on Digg, where 500+ people have already "dugg" it (meaning they like it, they enjoy it, they support it, or maybe they just wanted to bookmark it for later and don't know how to use standard bookmarking) it's passed off as a possibility that Cap and Hulk will show up in these movies.

The article that is being "dugg" doesn't actually suggest that headline. Instead, that article says "Favreau does intend to include background links to the likes of Hulk and Captain America in the sequel, but finds Thor a little difficult to do so" and that this information came out during an interview with "Jon Favreau sitting down with a major contingent of online press".

And then at the end it points to the transcript of said interview with a "major contingent" (which was apparently just Hype! the way I read the transcript's intro.) The intro itself translates the interview as saying:

Marvel's current plans to set its upcoming slate of films – including Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers – in the same shared universe as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk is a tricky but still inviting prospect for Favreau, who plans to utilize his improvisational background to find clever ways to integrate certain elements of the other films into the sequels, enhancing and not disrupting his own storytelling needs. He thinks Cap and Hulk fit fairly easily into Iron Man's world, while Thor is more of a challenge.

And of course, the actual interview itself features Favreau just talking about how cool it is to throw in Nick Fury or Captain America's shield, the continuity problems inherent in these things (since Iron Man is looking to start a team at the end of Hulk, the story probably doesn't take place the day after Nick Fury approaches him at the end of Iron Man), and giving a ridiculously flippant dismissal of Marvel Comics continuity. When discussing the issue of timing between Hulk and Iron Man (and sequels) he wonderfully says:

That's clearly not the day after "Iron Man" ended. Where does it fit in the time continuum? I don't want to just ignore it or do what the comic books have done. I guess you could do what Marvel has said: "It's an alternate universe." They've gotten away with that one for a couple of decades, but how do you make all that work within that world?

Which is just sort of insulting to Marvel. Let's be honest, the "alternate universe" is not Marvel's answer for continuity problems... they've long since mentioned their sliding time-line principle to explain aging issues and pride at never having had to "fix" their continuity a-la Crisis. If someone nit-picks how Captain America couldn't have had a beer with the Juggernaut on the same night Ben Reilly and Jubilee were locked in deadly battle with the Checkermaster, Marvel doesn't "alternate universe" it away. They give a no-prize, or they say say it's not a big deal (and these things usually aren't that big a deal) and everyone moves on, or maybe a later writer will come in and fix things. Sorry, that's just a personal nitpick, that this guy lauded by some comic fans as so "respectful to the material" thinks Marvel has just spent "decades" dismissing every uncomfortable plot point as "alternate universe." If Marvel HAD been throwing plot points out as alternate dimension, many fans would probably be a lot happier.

Back to the interview though... Favreau doesn't suggest appearances by Captain America or Hulk in any of the Iron Man sequels. He says that these callbacks and nudge-nudge-wink-wink references are fun, they're a way to prove themselves to the fans, and that he sees problems in incorporating some of the superheroism of Avengers mythology (which Favreau says isn't tech but rather "dealing with inter-dimensional portals and all the sh*t that makes you jump the shark if you don't handle it right").

He goes on to talk about the difficulty of these convergent elements by saying:

Then "Hulk" went a little the same way. It's still kind of tech-based. You get to Cap and you say, "Okay, he was frozen in that thing –" and it's like, "Okay, I could maybe buy that, with the super-soldier thing." Then you get into Thor and it's like, "Okay, well now..." and so how do you make that all feel like it's in the same world as our movie is? That's going to be the challenge moving forward.

So long story short, we start with an interview where Iron Man's director says mixing these elements are difficult. The same article summarizes the interview as Favreau planning on using improvisation to "integrate certain elements of the other films into the sequels". And when this article is re-summarized by Dark Horizon it becomes an intention "to include background links to the likes of Hulk and Captain America in the sequel, but finds Thor a little difficult to do so." And by the time it gets to Digg, it becomes "Captain America and Hulk in Iron Man 2, 3 and 4?"

Now, does that mean Captain America and Hulk won't appear? No. It just means that there's nothing suggesting they will. A director saying that the shared universe is fun and challenging at the same time, and that some aspects work together better than others, is not the same as (or anywhere close to) suggesting character appearances or whatever else.

Ah telephone game... how we love you. Now everyone reading this post... quick... go out and post that Tigra and the other-dimensional Cat People are going to be in Iron Man 2. Post that everywhere... tell everyone! Oh, and say that a Hawkeye movie is in development too! What else... oh... and that the Doctor Strange movie is retroactively being including into Marvel's movieverse so Peter Hooten is going to reprise his role for the Captain America movie. I can't wait to see what these rumors turn into.

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Hopefully the last word on Winter Soldier/City in Crisis?

An e-mail saying there was going to be a delay until 8/20, but that orders would not be canceled.

Then the e-mail saying the product was delayed until 8/26 and would be canceled without confirmation.

Then the e-mail saying it would be delayed until 9/2 and would be canceled without confirmation.

Then the e-mail saying it would be delayed until 9/8 and would be canceled without confirmation.

Then the e-mail saying the item was backordered, would ship on 9/8/ and that the order has been confirmed.

Then the e-mail saying the item was delayd until 9/12 and would be canceled without confirmation.

Can you guess what just showed up in my inbox? That's right... an e-mail saying that the item is delayed until 9/17 and will be canceled without confirmation.

So we've had 5 e-mails threatening to cancel our order unless we confirm it, 1 e-mail saying the item was delayed but no further action was needed, and 1 e-mail saying it was delayed, full stop.

Hasbro, maybe you should consider giving us faithful shlubs a gift card, free shipping or maybe just a new poster?

At the very least, with all the delays, we should have flawless paint jobs. Mary Jane better be the best figure you've ever put out because you've had more than enough time to work on her.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

If You Like... part 4

As you may have notice, while we love Super Hero Squad here at Rumorbuster, there's a whole world of other merchandise out there that you might (and may already) enjoy and we like to bring that to you. Plus, who knew some of this stuff was out there?

A little backstory: Before Marvel and Hasbro entered into their licensing which has had... let's just say mixed reactions (while it brought us the Super Hero Squad, Mighty Muggs and the upcoming 3.75' line, some people think it was tantamount to a deal with Mephisto... read the comments there) their kid-friendly licensing brand was Spider-Man and Friends. There are books, toys, games (the fairly recent Spider-Man Yahtzee used the Spider-Man and Friends logo I believe, while the recent Operation: Hulk had the Super Hero Squad logo) and the whole shebang. These were one of the pieces of merchandise liscenced out, and I have no idea whether more figures were planned but scrapped, or if the line would have continued if not for the Super Hero Squad figures, but as far as I know, these are the only four [Marvel Universe] characters produced. Given that the concept is a lot like a wooden Mighty Mugg I could almost imagine a custom market for these guys given the uniformity of the bodies (although there are dog, horse and skirted princess forms, amongst others) but tucked away in the deep recesses of the infant entertainment aisle there was no way they could be found by a possibly far more lucrative market: The Adult Collector.

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Finally! Wave 9 and 10 hi-res photos!

Marvelous News! Hi-res!
Wave 9!
Wave 10! Nick Fury/Skrull!

Phew, now lets get on to the analysis! First off: Wave 9. And keep in mind, there's still a chance things will change from what we see here.

- Captain America's got a repaint. A weird one at that, with reversed stripes on the shield. Ok.
- Red Skull did end up with the clear Cosmic Cube
- Spider-Man (in the Electro pack) did end up being the white-web shooting one

Wave 10.

- The box says Nick Fury and Skrull Agent, so apparently Nick Fury is confirmed, and the SHIELD agent is possibly just an army builder in a box-set or a later character.
- From the way Ronin's knives change position in the box, can we assume he's got those wrist articulations that let you pivot the hand, even though it only looks "right" in a small area?
- Black Spidey looks to have metallic silver spider-logo... which, if true means everyone complaining that he's a straight re-pack can settle down. Now, such a slight repaint isn't any better for the majority of fans, but I'll accept it. Now here's hoping we don't have a new trend of taking all the Spidey-sculpts and releasing them as black-costume/silver spider variants.
- Spider-Man with the translucent red goop is coming with the Cyberman... I mean Ultron. Personally, I think translucent red goopy Spider-Man is one of the more visually dynamic versions of that sculpt, but that's opinion.
- Weapon X/Wolverine looks... well... like a Weapon X Wolverine should I suppose. There's been some banter on the trading boards about whether his near-nudeness will put off some parents, but look, let's be honest, the biggest potential sales problem is that he's not called Wolverine. I doubt many parents are going to freak out and refuse to buy the figure because he looks near-nude. More likely, they're going to wonder why he's near-nude, and then buy it anyway.
- Mystique looks good, but it's a little sad that almost every woman sculpt has been a virtual statue.

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New Infinite Heroes hitting

Surfers of and eBay will be noticing that Black Adam, Hush, the Manhunter robot, and Qwardian Weaponeer are starting to hit. Black Adam is the ever-interesting Series 1, Figure 1 (we've been wondering who that was going to be since figures 2-7 shipped already... it was an easy assumption though), Hush is Figure 8, the Weaponeer is 9, and the Manhunter is 10. Still no idea on how variants and chase figures are going to included in the numbering system though.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Infinite Heroes Checklist updated

The Infinite Heroes checklist has been updated, finally, to include the Atom and Black Hand figures as well as pictures of the figures released so far. Yes, I know about the site that stole the pictures from Michael Crawford's review to use as their own, so all I can do is ask people not to take these photos without at least letting us know, and reminding them that because I'm not a great photographer, they can probably take better photos on their own.

Anyway, we'll continue trying to put up profiles and photos of the remaining figures as they come out.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wolverine and the X-Men cast list

Marvel Animation Age has posted a cast list for the Wolverine and the X-Men series (I'm still thinking of posting reviews of the episodes, and maybe some Marvel movies and TV series here if there's any interest... or if there's any interest from people who want to review things that's great too, drop an email to but be warned because there be spoilers ahoy! Many of the characters listed are to be expected, but there's a few kind of shocking choices in there.

It's not totally complete though, as they acknowledge, and I can think of at least 2 mutants (or was that 3? I can't remember right now if _ _ _ _ spoke on the plane) that had a speaking role during the fight/climax of the first episode.


And again with the City in Crisis!

Everyone knows the drill now... Hasbro has sent out e-mails saying "whoopsie, our bad. City in Crisis and Winter Soldier are like... IDK, on a truck or something somewhere. Whatevs." And then we, the concerned pre-orderers, have to call or e-mail to confirm. Anyway, their new e-mail has an estimated ship date of 9/12/08, but honestly, at this point I think the "estimated ship dates" are automatically generated to be a few days after the original because this is what, the fourth time they've pushed the date back a few days, not counting the times they've sent e-mails saying there's a delay and we DON'T have to call them.

Anyway, when you do contact Hasbro, be sure to voice your displeasure, and let them know if you'd prefer a system that only cancels your order when YOU want it to, without forcing you to jump through hoops to keep something you ordered on order.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

City in Crisis/fulfillment issue?

One reader reports that after responding to the most recent request to confirm that they want the City in Crisis and Winter Soldier sets, they received the following e-mail.

Thank you for contacting us with your confirmation.

Please be aware that the items you ordered are currently not available but en route to our fulfillment center. We expect to be able to ship it by the dates indicated below. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Your credit card will not be charged for backordered items until they have been shipped.

Marvel Super Hero Squad – City in Crisis: Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson, Green Goblin and Sandman - Expected Ship Date 09/08/2008

Marvel Super Hero Squad – Winter Soldier Saga: Captain America, Falcon, Winter Soldier and Crossbone - Expected Ship Date - 09/08/2008

Will tomorrow be the real ship date? Will we have to call and confirm for our orders, again? Look for all this drama, and more, on the next edition of As Our Plastic Ships.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Lego Batman... the cartoon?

Well I wanted to post more up-close pictures of Hulk Wave 3, but because of a shipping mistake on Hasbro's end (and I swear on Captain America's grave, if, after waiting 10 days to make sure Skaar doesn't show up separately, I end up having to pay a premium on eBay because he's sold out online my vengeance will be mighty!) I'm going to wait to take photos (and this time I'll be sure to use better lighting.)

In the meantime, one of the greatest Lego sites of all times, Brickset pointed us to Eurogamer's article on the possibility of a Lego Batman cartoon. While Lego can be finicky with its licensed properties (while Star Wars is still going strong, the last Harry Potter movie received only one set, and it was yet another super-sized Hogwarts Castle) I can never tell if Lego Batman (one of the few micro-heroes we haven't covered here) is doing well or not. In 2006 when it started there were 7 sets, including the super-sized Batcave, Arkham Asylum and "collector's" Batmobile, while 2007 only had 2 sets and 2008 jumped up to 4 sets, all in the small-to-mid-sized range.

If I didn't blow my Lego budget on the new Castle sets, I'd probably pick up the older sets before they reach "OOP VHTF Rare OMG" status on eBay and you have to pay twice the price (or more... the Catwoman set is already listing for multiple-times listing price on eBay). Although the recent retailer's catalog featured pirates, farm sets and the new Power Miners sets, no word on what Lego Batman sets might be coming out in 2009 to capitalize on the video game that should come out later this month.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Newsclips 9/4/08

While it continues to be a slow news week, here's a few more news clips...

First off, internet thy name is misconception. "There have been talks and good ones with where to go with the character,” explained Cage" does NOT in any way equal "Nicholas Cage who starred as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider in the 2007 Marvel Comic adaptation, confirmed that a "Ghost Rider 2" movie was going to happen". Talks happen every day. Instead of linking to the front page of MTV's Splash Page, let's go to the actual interview which is much more skeptical of Cage's "confirmation" of a movie that has no villain, no plot, apparently no returning stars other than Cage who's having "talks", and a vague sense that the storyline will dig into the more religious aspect of things, as the comic has done recently.

Second, upon finding the most magical Toys R Us of all (there was a matte-grey Iron Man Hall of Armor 4-pack sitting right there on the peg in front of a half dozen silver!) I saw a Gamma Lab in the wild. So, at SDCC we were told it's a Toys R Us exclusive, one person on a trading forum was able to buy one at a Toys R Us (and promptly placed it on eBay for over $50), then it showed up on Hasbro Toy Shop (who promptly shipped them out... mine is waiting at the Post Office apparently), so the question remains whether it's a TRU exclusive also being sold on HTS, or whether the TRU exclusive was changed at the last minute or what.

Third, with the Punisher War Zone poster hanging up in theatres now it seems as good a time as any to talk about Marvel Movies. Newsarama is hosting an interview with Kevin Feige on Marvel's movie madness, rights issues. Be warned... it's a puff piece that refers to Incredible Hulk as a big hit, forgets which movies interviewee is actually involved in (Marvel Studios does NOT equal all Marvel movies... Punisher War Zone being a good example), then closes up by asking Feige if he still has a huge collection of action figures (the answer? He's pared down some of his collection to a core.) While part of me wants to make fun of what passes for journalism in some circles, the other part of me knows if I got around to doing interviews for the Rumorbuster I'd probably throw lots of softballs too.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Infinite Heroes Shipping Schedule? has posted a shipping list for the Infinite Heroes... of note, coming out this month (in addition to the ones already out) are:

Black Adam - September
Qwardian Soldier - September
Manhunter - September
Batwoman - September
The Question - September
Wildcat - September
Hush (Masked) - September

But check over there for the full list. As always, stay cynical... the dates mostly correspond (as in, they're within a month or so) with the pre-order dates from Entertainment Earth and Big Bad Toy Store, but no clue who their source is. All they mention is that Cornerstone Comics is reporting Scarecrow, Nightwing and Joker as "late additions"

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And again with the City in Crisis...

Third time is the charm?

Item number: 78452
Item name: Marvel Super Hero Squad – City in Crisis: Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson, Green Goblin and Sandman
Quantity: 1
Estimated ship date: 9/8/2008

Item number: 78453
Item name: Marvel Super Hero Squad – Winter Soldier Saga: Captain America, Falcon, Winter Soldier and Crossbone
Quantity: 1
Estimated ship date: 9/8/2008

And yes, once again, you must contact Hasbro or risk having your order canceled.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

News Clips 9/2/08

Since it has been a slow-news day (perhaps we're all just recovering from Labor Day in the US) here's some news clips:

1) Hasbrotoyshop has been shipping the Hulk Gamma Labs and Hulk Wave 3, but still no word on City in Crisis or Winter Soldier Saga.

2) Next Avengers, Marvel's latest direct-to-DVD movie, is on shelves today. 5th in Marvel's line, it's the 4th to feature Iron Man, 3rd to feature Hulk (although both parts of Hulk Vs are promoed on the dvd) and 3rd to feature, in some way or another, the Avengers roster used in the Ultimate Avengers movies.

3) In all-ages reads, this Wednesday should see the release of the newest Marvel Adventures Spider-Man digest featuring... Spider-Thor?

4) For those that hate Brand New Day (with Rich Johnston doing the numbers crunch on recent Spider-Man sales), don't forget that Spider-Man appears, married and well, in daily newspapers across the country.

5) For those interested in the upcoming Masters of the Universe Classics line, is hosting shots of the new Skeletor sculpt.

6) The TAG Blog has a history of the rise and fall of animation employment which certainly highlights something I've been thinking for a while... they just don't make cartoons the way they used to.