X-O Manowar #30 Review

X-O Manowar #30 | Writer: Robert Vendtti | Artists: Diego Bernardo, Alisson Rodrigues | Colorist: Wil Quintana | Publisher: Valiant Entertainment | Price: $3.99 | From my column at Forces of Geek.com

In 1996, I was introduced to X-O Manowar via his crossover video game with Iron Man titled Heavy Metal. Years later, Valiant has done a marvelous job of fleshing out the character in this vast comic universe that has been created. Continue reading

My Childhood Super Powers

I love 80’s toys because they contain my first real memory of using my imagination to adventure in a galaxy far, far away. When I was four years old, my family and I were living in a tiny one room apartment known around town as the “roach motel”. Thanks to my Mother, who didn’t want her son to comprehend the gravity of our impoverished situation, I was introduced to a strange visitor from another planet who could make tall leaps in a single bound. His name was Superman, courtesy of Kenner’s Super Powers.

The popular action figure line of D.C. Comics heroes was launched in 1984 with the third and final series released in 1986. The yellow and blue star packaging of the collection stood out in every toy aisle. The figures were 3 ¾ inch scale with a trigger action response when the arms or legs were squeezed and came with a mini comic book featuring the character you were taking home. There were also play sets and vehicles derived from the source material and created specifically for the line.

Playing with these wonderful toys filled many of my days and nights. Over time, there were new additions made to my super powered roster, including Batman, Flash, Aquaman and The Joker. We could never find the Robin figure and I didn’t care to have Wonder Woman as a part of my collection because she is a girl and girls have cooties.

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The Batmobile was the crown jewel of my collection. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my Mother was so happy that she could get this for me. We could barely afford the figures, so being able to get such an iconic accessory was a big deal. I recently purchased a new one on eBay because I discarded the original as a teenager, thinking I was Kool Moe Dee or something. The new one is displayed proudly in my office with Superman in the driver’s seat and Green Lantern riding shotgun.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Super Powers and the Mattel toy company has released several  6″ versions that are painted to match their vintage counterparts. I really want to get the Superman figure, but there is no yellow “S” shield on the back of the cape (even though it’s on the original figure). This is a geeky pet peeve of mine that is holding me back from making the purchase, but I know I’ll cave at some point.

Even now, in my mid-thirties, I find myself waltzing down the toy aisle and looking at the contemporary toy offerings on the shelves. Super Powers will always have a special place in my heart because to me they were a touching gift from my parents that introduced me to the comic book genre that I’ve had nearly a lifelong passion for. The kid in me has a loud and commanding voice and I hope that never ends. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my sonnet to a joyous past.

Werdum Denies Hunt The Glass Slipper

 

Photo Credit UFC.COM

As an MMA fan, sometimes we pay for stories instead of fights. Last Saturday night, I didn’t plop down $54.95 to watch the first heavyweight title fight in thirteen months. I paid to see Mark Hunt shock the world and topple Fabricio Werdum on three weeks’ notice to become the interim champion as the UFC made their maiden voyage into the hardened fight mecca of Mexico. Unfortunately, Hunt would be denied his glass slipper via a flying knee in the second round. Continue reading

Silver Surfer #7 Review

Silver Surfer #7 | Writer: Dan Slott | Artist: Michael Allread | Colorist: Laure Allread | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $3.99 | From my column at Forces of Geek.com

The childhood me would have hated everything about this book because of the cosmic friendship Dan Slott has developed between Silver Surfer and Dawn, along with random craziness such as lady bug space creatures.

However, now that I’m in my mid-thirties, married with three cats, a dog, and some amazing nieces and nephews, I find myself saying the word “cute” more than is probably socially acceptable among my comrades, but that’s the first word that comes to mind when reading this book. Continue reading

Calling The Shots: Tito Ortiz vs. Stephan Bonnar

Bellator MMA, under the leadership of Scott Coker, will hold its biggest event to date on Saturday night when Tito Ortiz and Stephan Bonnar clash at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, CA. This is a fight that should have happened in the UFC, however, the stars never aligned for a plethora of reasons. Both fighters have been vocal about their disdain towards one another, which has garnered a lot of attention towards the bout. Bonnar is coming out a two-year retirement while Ortiz is fresh off a win over Bellator middleweight champion, Alexander Shlemenko. Continue reading

The Force Awakens My Excitement

The official title of the new Star Wars movie that is set to hit theaters on December 18, 2015 is The Force Awakens. I like the title, but without context, I can’t say that I love it, yet. It does feel right when saying it along with the names of the other titles such as A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

I did notice that “Episode VII” is absent from the title image. TheForce.net has confirmed with Lucasfilm that it will be not appear in the title or promotional material for the film, but it will be in the opening crawl. Continue reading

Superman Unchained #9 Review

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Superman Unchained #9| Writer: Scott Snyder  | Artist: Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Scott Williams | Colorists: Alex Sinclair, John Kalisz | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $4.99 | From my column at Forces of Geek.com

With several publishing delays, drastic character changes (Lex Luthor being a member of the Justice League) and the Superman ongoing series getting a new superstar creative team in the form of Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr, it was obvious that Superman Unchained wasn’t long for this world, even though it has been the quintessential telling of the Man of Steel’s exploits in the New 52. Continue reading

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers at Rhode Island Comic Con

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From the moment the pilot episode aired on Fox, The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers immediately captured my imagination. What was crummy for me is that the show became massively popular while I was in middle school. This meant I could never talk about the show with my friends because we all took a vow of silence, pretending we didn’t watch the show because we were too old to enjoy a kids television program.

I remember wanting to get the action figures, but I didn’t due to fear of ridicule if my friends came over my house and saw a Dragon Zord sitting on my bureau. Now that I’m an adult, concerns over what people think about my geeky hobbies aren’t even a blip on the radar.

The Green Ranger, played by Jason David Frank, is my all-time favorite Ranger. I’ve always felt that the White Ranger, also played by Frank, gets a bad rap. There is nothing wrong with the portrayal or character, it’s just hard to get someone to jump on board when a concept that was a 10 is replaced with an idea that is a 9.

I attended Rhode Island Comic Con this past weekend to cover the festivities for Forces of Geek and had I the pleasure of meeting comic book creators and the original Flash, John Wesley Shipp. The highlight of the convention for me was the Power Rangers Q & A panel featuring the original Red Ranger, Austin St. John. There were many fans in attendance and their passion and dedication to the franchise was an inspiring sight to behold. One person told me that he found the inspiration to lose weight because of the leadership that St. John exhibited on-screen.

I wrote an article reviewing the Power Ranger’s Q & A Panel at RICC and you can check it out at Forces of Geek.com 

 

Do You Remember The Original ECW Invasion?

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As a teenager in the growing up in the 1990’s, professional wrestling was my singular passion. While WWF/E was often front and center for me, Extreme Championship Wrestling, spent a few years as my favorite wrestling company. What drew me into ECW was the realistic storylines and hardcore atmosphere, complimented by blood, guts, tables, chairs and barbed wire brutality.

Naturally, I was thrilled when WWF and ECW worked together for a time in 1997. Taz, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Paul Heyman, and others appeared on Raw and in return, Jerry Lawler, with the help of Sabu and Rob Van Dam would infiltrate the ECW Arena. This was great stuff that really showed how to do a proper promotion vs. promotion angle.

Most wrestling fans only remember the poorly executed 2001 invasion angle involving ECW and WCW instead of its predecessor. I recently wrote an article for WhatCulture.com examining all the juicy details about this fresh concept during the heated stages of the Monday Night War. Click the link to check out 10 Things You Need To Know About The Original ECW Invasion.

The Death of Wolverine: Deadpool and Captain America #1 Review

The Death of Wolverine: Deadpool and Captain America #1  | Writer: Gerry Duggan  | Artist: Scott Kolins  | Colorist: Veronica Gandini  | Publisher: Marvel  | Price: $4.99 | From my column at Forces of Geek.com

In the wake of Wolverine’s passing, Captain America and Deadpool take on the task of eliminating their compatriot’s DNA so no razor-clawed clones can be created.  

Deadpool writer Gerry Duggan was the perfect choice to helm this story.  His team-up issues are pure fun, not only because of his expertise with the loud mouth mutant, but also because of his understanding of other characters and how they interact with such an…interesting personality. Continue reading