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Thought for the day: How does our hero in Batman: Arkham manage to carry all of his gadgets?

August 19, 2015 Leave a comment

 

From left to right: Assorted running medals; Kenner Star Wars Power of the Force Beast Pack Luke Skywalker and Taun Taun; Matty Collector Ghostbusters “Ready to Believe You” Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Peter Venkman with the Ghostbusters Containment Unit; Derrick Rose DRose Tour Baller ID, and a DC Comics Heroclix No Man’s Land Utility Belt with Arkham: Batman gadgets such as Deathstroke’s Remote Claw from Arkham Origins, the Explosive Gel gun, REC–Remote Electrical Charge gun, and Cryptographic Sequencer from Arkham City, and the Batarang, Line Launcher, and Explosive Gel Detonator as seen in Arkham Knight. (August 19, 2015)

 
 

No doubt, all of the Batman: Arkham games were awesome and I under the ‘suspension of belief’ premise. But when Batman took off his Utility Belt in Arkham Knight–and seeing how few his pouches were–it begs to ask the question(s)…

Where does it all go?

How comes it never seems to slow him down?

Part of the perks of being the Batman I guess?

Review: Batman: Arkham Origins Action Figure 3-Pack featuring The Red Hood, Copperhead, and Slade Wilson

August 10, 2015 Leave a comment
Clockwise: Arkham Origins' The Joker as the Red Hood | Arkham Origins Action Figure 3-Pack (Front) | Copperhead |Arkham Origins Action Figure 3-Pack (Back) | Slade Wilson (Deathstroke Unmasked) | Arkham Origins Action Figure 3-Pack (Top)

Clockwise: Arkham Origins’ The Joker as the Red Hood | Arkham Origins Action Figure 3-Pack (Front) | Copperhead |Arkham Origins Action Figure 3-Pack (Back) | Slade Wilson (Deathstroke Unmasked) | Arkham Origins Action Figure 3-Pack (Top)

Time to play the game

Batman: Arkham Origins.

As much as I’d like to say that I was eagerly awaiting the release of this game in 2013, nothing could have been further from the truth.  Arkham Origins–advertised as the prequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum–was going to tackle the beginnings of the caped crusader.  But I had my reservations–in part–due to the reported developmental turnover from Batman: Arkham series creators Rocksteady Studios to Warner Bros. Games Montréal.  At that time, I had felt that it would have been a letdown–considering the high note that Batman: Arkham City had left me in–and didn’t bother picking it up again until I had a renewed interest in the franchise sometime in 2014.

After playing Batman: Arkham City (again) and pushing through Batman: Arkham Asylum (Note: I’m one of those guys who played Arkham City prior to trying out Arkham Asylum.), I finally picked up Arkham Origins and never looked back.

Criticised by some circles as not really contributing that much to the progression of the Batman: Arkham franchise, I absolutely loved Arkham Origins and thought it told a fascinating story.

A poster that reads, “ONE NIGHT TO KILL THE BAT | PAYMENT FOR THIS HIT IS | $50,000,000.”

That would get anyone’s newly motivated juices flowing.

Batman: Arkham Origins Action Figure 3-Pack (Unboxed): The Joker as The Red Hood, Copperhead, and Slade Wilson.

Batman: Arkham Origins Action Figure 3-Pack (Unboxed): The Joker as The Red Hood, Copperhead, and Slade Wilson.

Now to the toys

Until I made a trade for this box set this past weekend, my hired assassins count stood at two: Killer Croc and Deathstroke (Series 2).  I had also picked up the Batman (with Remote Claw) and Black Mask from the Arkham Origins 4-pack (The Joker and Deathstroke [with a metallic finish] were the other two figures in this particular set.).

Slightly off topic: Does anyone know the changes between Arkham Origins (Series 1) The Joker and Black Mask from the figures in the Arkham Origins 4-pack? Would really appreciate your input.  Thanks!

Ok, now back to this three-pack.  This set comes with The Joker as The Red Hood, the set exclusive female Copperhead, and an unmasked Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Wilson.  The Red Hood figure–clenched fists and all–is essential The Joker (Series 1) figure with a non-removable red dome and cape.  It gives off a  Maitre d’ feel and a great addition to this set.  On the other hand, the Copperhead figure is probably the main reason–unless you are a Deathstroke die-hard fan–that you’ll got this set.  Copperhead is one of three Arkham Origins assassins (the other two being the street tough Electrocutioner (Lester Buchinsky) and The Lady Shiva) who never made it to single figure assortment.  Lastly, Slade Wilson.  Last time I checked, Wilson was being sold in my local secondary market for roughly $40. Nuff’ said.

Back to Back: DC Collectibles Batman: Arkham Origins (Series 2) Deathstroke [Left] and an unmasked Deathstroke (Slade Wilson)

Back to Back: DC Collectibles Batman: Arkham Origins (Series 2) Deathstroke [Left] and an unmasked Deathstroke (Slade Wilson).

What is the appeal of this figure?

I guess I’ll never know.

Assassins Checklist:

  1. The ‘crocodile’ muscle: Killer Croc (Waylon Jones)
  2. Former military, failed medical experiment: Deathstroke (Slade Wilson)
  3. The burn victim and pyromaniac: Firefly (Garfield Lynns)
  4. The female contortionist: Copperhead
  5. Marksman: Deadshot (Floyd Lawton)
  6. Street [wannabe] tough guy: Electrocutioner (Lester Buchinsky)
  7. The Lady Shiva
  8. The Venom obsessed: Bane

Cut from the same cloth: Possible similarities between Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and Arkham Knight’s Pauli’s Diner

August 3, 2015 Leave a comment

Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942) [Top] and Pauli’s Diner from the Batman: Arkham Knight

 Came across one of the twentieth century’s most recognized works-of-art in Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942) today and remembered Pauli’s Diner from the Batman: Arkham Knight video game.

Although Pauli’s Diner (a possible nod to Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City writer Paul Dini) is more spacious than the diner depicted in Hopper’s work, I seem to unconciously associate the two. Is it possible that the “powers that be” over at Rocksteady could have also been inspired by the Nighthawks painting? It is a wallpaper option in most computers after all.

Then again, almost every old diner looks this way so you be the judge.

Oh! If you are currently playing Batman: Arkham Knight, do find time to visit Pauli’s Diner on Grand Avenue in Miagani Island for a Nigmatic surprise.

From Nay to Yea (at least this one time): Funko Pop! Ant-Man

August 2, 2015 Leave a comment

 

For a figure that doesn’t really do so much, Funko Pop! seems to have a loyal fanbase that competing brands can only dream of.

 
So it finally happened, the one product that I swore I would never buy has been bought. Not that I have anything against Funko’s Vinyl Bobble-Heads, it’s just that with their plethora of licenses and basic design–even the most obscure character would never be out of reach. Or putting it another way, the collection would never end.

If you’re into this specific collection, I’m pretty sure you have enough to fill up one entire wall–from top to bottom–of your room. Come on! Admit it! 

But I digress. The Ant-Man (movie version) Pop!–and to a lesser extent his nemesis Yellowjacket (movie version) Pop!–caught my eye during a chance visit to Filbars’ in Robinsons Place-Manila a couple of Saturday’s ago. The man-in-charge (at that time) sweetened the deal by allowing me to select my own Ant-Man from an entire box full of them. 

Check and mate. 

They made a sale.

And I’ve added another Ant-Man to my collection.

Books for Less Warehouse Sale 2015 Experience

August 1, 2015 Leave a comment

The Sea of Humanity that I was talking about.

Humidity. Dust. A sea of humanity were just some of the challenges that greeted us on the first day of the month-long ‘Books for Less Warehouse Sale’ along Mercedes Avenue in Barangay San Miguel, Pasig City.

The spacious warehouse–in the heart of Pasig–was filled with Balikbayan type boxes, tables, and shelves that were literally pouring out books like an unsupervised faucet. Even the very ground we walked on was not spared as those books that didn’t make it back to their proper places littered the floor.

Simply put, it was a mad house.

P20 pesos (less than 50 U.S. cents) for a book will do that to just about anyone.

The ‘Books for Less Warehouse Sale’ will run from August 1-31 (Except for the 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th).

Despite the strong turn out and with little to choose from, the trip wasn’t a total loss as I was able to pick up three hardbound books, three Sesame Street Libary classics, and a paperback for myself.

Bought:

  • Dare to Dream [1999] by Coach Jim Calhoun with Leigh Montville
  • Abnormal Psychology (2nd Ed) [1995] by Ronald J. Comer
  • Ecological Intelligence [2009] by Daniel Goleman
  • The Sesame Street Library Volumes 8, 12, & 14 [1978-79] by the Children’s Television Workshop/Funk & Wagnalls, Inc.
  • For Love of the Game (International Edition |Paperback) [1999] by Michael Shaara

Ant-Man Friday: Ant-Man (Scott Lang | Movie Version)

July 31, 2015 Leave a comment

With this Ultron Build-A-Figure head, i can now recreate those iconic ‘Hank Pym looking at the head of Ultron’ poses.

Currently another near impossible figure to find in Manila, I was quite fortunate to score the remaining Ant-Man (Scott Lang | Ant-Man movie version) from the local secondary market a couple of weeks ago. The figure is one of six figures (seven if you include the Walgreens “Black Ant” Eric O’Grady Ant-Man figure) from the Ant-Man Ultron Marvel Legends’ Infinity Series. The set is comprised of the aforementioned movie version Ant-Man, Bulldozer, Giant Man, Grim Reaper, Tiger Shark, and Wasp. Each figure–with the exception of O’Grady–comes with a part that when put together will form Ultron (Avengers: Age of Ultron movie version) This Scott Lang Ant-Man figure comes with a miniture version of himself, ANT-hony his faithful flying ant, a miniture Yellowjacket, and an Ultron Build-A-Figure head.

Ant-Man and Netflix Dardevil Blank Cover Variants by Mr. Norby Ela

July 30, 2015 Leave a comment

 

My first two blank cover variants: Artist Norby Ela’s Ant-Man (Top) and Netflix’ Daredevil. An added caveat is that it was made in my likeness.

 
Last May 2, 2015, I dropped by Artists Row in Fully Booked Bonifacio Global City for Free Comic Book Day 2015 and to support our local Filipino artists. They were all immensely talented.

I also decided to buy my first blank cover variants (Two Avengers titles, I believe). For those of you who are unfamiar with them, these are comic books that artists can sketch on.

I approached the talented Mr. Norby Ela who was nice enough to indulge my requests for an Ant-Man and Netflix’ Daredevil covers. I also mentioned that these would be my first blank cover variants ever and with that revelation, he said he would make them extra special–and indeed they were.

You can follow Mr. Ela on Instagram at @norbyela

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