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iReview | The Official Handbook of the MARVEL UNIVERSE

For the first time collected in one volume, the one that started it all, every hero, every villain, every landmark location of the Marvel Universe as it was chronicled in the early 80s.

Imagine if you will, what it was like for me in 1982 — I was then a still emerging comic book fanatic — to gaze upon a singular volume of published books from Marvel Comics that would give me details about every single one of the major heroes and villains in the Mighty Marvel pantheon. I suddenly had an insider’s view of my favorite character’s alter egos, the major locations they operated out, and how many of them got their superpowers. Not to mention, every alphabetized entry featured my favorite Marvel hero in a super “superhero” pose!

Marvel was only beginning to celebrate a landmark publishing milestone in 1982 when The Official Handbook of the MARVEL UNIVERSE was first released, but many of imprint’s titles were rapidly marking their pace as best-selling books leaving significant marks on popular culture. Suddenly to hold in my hands, a book that immediately validated the role models I had accepted into my most impressionable adolescence, to learn that Captain America was 6’ 2” and weighed 240 and that by comparison Spider-Man was 5’ 10” and his eyes were Hazel — my heroes were real!

I was also infamously obsessed with written mythologies and historically intricate narratives, and Mark Gruenwald and many of the creative staff in the Mighty Marvel Bullpen had gone to incredible depths of detail to realize the world for me. The OHOTMU (as it had become popularly known among devotees) put it all together for me, and among my most favorite entries were the ones that listed everyone on the roster of the most popular superhero teams like the Avengers and the Defenders, and especially who were the founding members and where they were based.

The OHOTMU changed the way I looked at comics. It made them tangible and relevant to my world; especially as a native New Yorker, I felt I could just walk on over to the famed headquarters of the Fantastic Four, the Baxter Building and head on uptown to the Fifth Avenue location of the Avengers Mansion. Over the course of the original volume’s publication, the initial 12-issue release was followed by two additional tomes chronicling the “Book of the Dead and Inactive” as well as a technical volume detailing “Weapons and Paraphernalia” there would be many changes…

The new omnibus repurposes John Byrne’s classic art from the final issue of the series featuring many of the Marvel Universe’s major players.

From A to Z

Once Marvel got its groove, it wasn’t long before a “Deluxe Edition” of the Handbook replaced the original, elaborating on some of the entires popularized by the first. An entires “Origin” would be replaced by “History and in many cases would guarantee that most of the major character entries would have greater relevancy, as a hero like Black Panther would have their legacy chronicled over the course of multiple pages — and not limited to a single page. This would also provide an opportunity to detail a hero and villain’s look during the span of their career!

And speaking of legacy, as in the case of one’s like Hank Pym, the “Original” Ant-Man for example that passed on their identity to a new individual, a roman numeral would differentiate between the two. Scott Lang would be known as “Ant-Man II”, while Hank Pym would be referred to as “Ant-Man I”, etc. Future volumes would also more readily define a character’s “Strength Level” for easy comparison and individuals that had been gone inactive or deceased would be incorporated into the natural mix of things, more accurately defining the entirety of the Marvel Universe.

But it all started with the first series of books, and now those iconic 15-issues have been faithfully reprinted and collected in the latest Marvel Omnibus and featuring many of the original artwork and interlocking covers from the 80s issues that have become iconic. This is not just a nostalgic trip down memory lane, this is the classic Marvel Universe in its purest form, even as it prepares to mark its 80th Anniversary redefining popular culture as one of the narrators of the leading modern mythologies dictating legends of heroics and inspiring the impossible in our imaginations.

Marvel Omnibus | The Official Handbook of the MARVEL UNIVERSE | $75.00 available from Marvel collecting The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983) #1 — #15. Check it out here.

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UnBoxing | DC Prime: BATMAN Action Figure

DC Collectibles inaugurates its new line of “Prime” action figures with an impressive update of The Dark Knight to commemorate the hero’s 80 Anniversary celebration!

Fans will never outgrow the hands-on experience that comes with holding an action figure inspiring them to revisit their most cherished moments from a favorite film, graphic novel or television series. It’s like owning a piece of history or becoming a part of the action, especially as the business of providing more coveted items for the adult enthusiast is manufactured to appeal to their high-end sensibilities. Always ready to seize on an opportunity, DC Collectibles joined the fray about 20 years ago and continues to aspire to greatness.

In 1998 the publishing imprint decided to take a more personal approach to produce and provide its readership with products that not only spoke to their audiences more closely but recruited DC artists, writers, and graphic designers to effectively become much more collaborative. The action figure lines produced all much easily resonated more authentically than when parsed out to manufacturers. DC Collectibles has prided itself on creating items with a functional playability but also an enthusiastic dedication to collectibility with an aesthetic to match.

The DC brand of DC Collectibles continues to excel in the market. After the recent line of  “Icon” action figures that spotlighted in extreme detail the most iconic characters in the DC Comics Universe wrapped in 2018, the next series of offerings began to take shape. The first series meant to celebrate the 20 Year Anniversary of DC Collectibles were the “Essentials” line. Based on the designs of some of DC’s most favorite artists the action figures measured approximately 6.9” in height and were tailored to appear as the characters currently in publication.

DC Collectibles | DC Prime: THE BATMAN Action Figure available now.

In order to keep up with a tradition of innovation and excellence, DC Collectibles has now pushed its boundaries with an all-new set of action figures that are primed to make your mouth water. Introducing DC Prime from DC Collectibles and it is only appropriate that the most commercially successful and popular character, The Batman inaugurate the new figures in this extreme offering!

Primed For Battle

The Dark Knight Detective is celebrating 80 years of pop-culture relevance. In his most recent incarnation since the publishing-wide “Rebirth” relaunch of the DC pantheon of heroes, The Batman was redesigned and outfitted to more properly take on the dregs of Gotham City in a streamline Kevlar armor suit that is perfect for contemporary urban warfare. That is on full display and in an ultimate representation in the new DC Prime: BATMAN Action Figure from DC Comics Collectibles.

The DC Prime action figure comes in at a whopping 9.2” and is heavily articulated for durable playability as well as intense posing. Designed by renowned artists Riccardo Federici and Wonil Song it features over 23 points of articulation and more than 18 additional parts and accessories, all specially designed to complement Federici’s urban street fighter. The wired, fabric cape is also posable and shields our Dark Knight Detective from the most perilous assaults. The figure comes packed in a blister box decorated with product designs and a stand to display the figure.

You can be guaranteed that billionaire Bruce Wayne is constantly readapting and perfecting his suit especially as his enemies become deadlier and more lethal in their tactics. Utilizing the most durable materials in his fight, Batman’s armor plating is meticulously detailed and perfectly constructed; each piece in place to defend the Caped Crusader and also traverse the concrete, steel terrain of Gotham City. His utility belt is aptly armed with the most sophisticated weapon systems including grappling guns, Batarangs, and Batman’s uniquely crafted tools.

Whether you’re a fan of The Batman or an avid collector, this DC Collectible is unlike anything offered before and is accurately suited to its new moniker as a DC Prime offering. “The Batman” figure is promised as the first in the new line, and fans are already anticipating what the second DC hero to come to life will be. Many hope that given that The Flash is celebrating its 80 Years in publication next month, DC Collectibles will honor the Scarlet Speedster with his own DC Prime interpretation.

DC Collectibles | DC Prime: BATMAN Action Figure | $125.00 available from DC Comics Collectibles here while supplies last.

UnBoxing | Star Trek REMAN WARBIRD “SCIMITAR” from Eaglemoss

As formidable as it appeared fearsome the Scimitar was at the center of a coup within the Romulan Empire that ultimately lead to the Federation facing their greatest nemesis and turned the tide of power in the galaxy.

The crew of the Federation Starship Enterprise under the command of Jean-Luc Picard couldn’t have imagined what they would be facing when they were dispatched into Romulan space to meet with the empire’s new praetor. The latter half of the 23rd Century was wrought with tension; the Federation was still recollecting itself after its war with the Dominion and Starfleet was perhaps at its most vulnerable. The tenuous relationship between the Federation and the Romulans had been sheathed as the two superpowers found a common foe.

As the various factions worked to reassert themselves, on Romulas, the homeworld of the Romulan Empire, a military coup was in play to unseat the current senate and instead put in place Shinzon, a Reman and relatively untested leader who ascended to the heights of power by creating a weapon of near-unstoppable capabilities. The Reman Warbird Scimitar represented a ferocious superiority, dwarfing Picard’s Sovereign-class USS Enterprise with more enough firepower to take an armada, but at its core, the vessel was a weapon of mass destruction servicing a madman.

As the latest “Special Issue” release in it Star Trek The Official Starships Collection Eaglemoss Collections has captured in great detail the deadly beauty of this enemy ship that was first introduced on the big screen in Star Trek: Nemesis the final feature-length film starring the cast of The Next Generation. It took the might of the Enterprise and the Romulan Warbird Valdore to eventually cripple Shinzon’s monster, which was capable of multiple maneuvers in battle including the ability to fire while partially cloaked. The Scimitar measured over 890 meters in length.

The Ultimate Nemesis

Though not as elegant as similarly styled ships that have appeared in the service of the Romulan Star Empire, the Reman Warbird Scimitar was constructed by the Remans, an oft-set cast that of people that share space with the power-thirsty Romulans. The Scimitar was built with one purpose and one purpose alone, to intimidate and annihilate its enemies. Very much in step with the Romulan edict of design tribute to a “bird of prey” the Scimitar has swooping wings on either side of its muscular fuselage, that resembles the feathered wings found on an attacking condor.

Those wings conceal the most dangerous weapon created in the galaxy. Once they are deployed and fan out to target its enemy, the Scimitar could unleash its full capabilities and ignite its thalaron weapon system. Though the Eaglemoss Collections model does not have this feature it still looks impressively powerful and the surface detail is a revelation. Though the ship was destroyed in Star Trek: Nemesis never to be seen again, the CGI model has developed from one of the starship illustrator extraordinaire John Eaves designs and completed by the team of SFX modelers.

The “Special Issue” release is larger than the regular ship models in the line of the Official Starships Collection and is often scarcely available. The Scimitar joins recent “Special Issue” releases that have included V’Ger from Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Starfleet’s Spacedock.

https://shop.eaglemoss.com/usa/star-trek-starships/scimitar-starship

Reman Warbird Scimitar | Special Issue | Star Trek The Official Starships Collections | $45.00 available from Eaglemoss Collections here.

First Look | Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as BLACK ADAM

Lightning strikes from the heavens and after much anticipation, the first images of action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reveal how he will look like the DC anti-hero BLACK ADAM!

Thunder rumbles in the distant heavens. The DC cinematic universe has been teasing the introduction of this particular character from their pantheon for some time, and now the first illustrated image of what action-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will look like as the anti-hero Black Adam a feature film of which is set to premiere in theaters December 2021. It’ll be paving the way for what is certain to be an inevitable showdown between two of DC Comics’ most powerful beings!

After the success of the recent action-comedy Shazam! which brought the publishing giant’s Most Powerful Mortal to the big screen, rumors had started to circulate that Johnson would be brought into the franchise as the hero’s greatest adversary. It is now being reported that Black Adam starring Johnson will go begin production summer of 2020, and the production has released the first images of Johnson as the title character in artwork from BossLogic and DC legend Jim Lee. Johnson excitedly shared the image across social networking.

Johnson has been expressing his interest in bringing this titan to the bog screen for some time, and especially not shying away from his enthusiasm about joining the DC Cinematic Universe. The film’s producer Hiram Garcia has also revealed the depths of which they intend to dive into, by realizing Black Adam’s origins in an entirely new and textured fashion. The character was introduced as a villainous foil to Shazam!, but has become entirely something else in contemporary publications.

Dwayne Johnson as he might appear as the titular anti-hero starring in “Black Adam” set for release 2021.

How the character will evolve into a film will be very carefully watched, given the critical reception most DC properties (outside of Batman) experience in the cinematic market. Successes are few and far between for Warner Bros the studio that owns the properties, unlike the competitor’s record, which is, well, marvelous! Recent releases beginning with Wonder Woman, followed by Aquaman and the recent critical and lucrative success of Todd Phillips Joker means that perhaps lightning may strike again — for Black Adam.

Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson is scheduled for theatrical release December 2021

UnBoxing | Star Trek Starship Collection “CLOAKED” DEFIANT from Eaglemoss

It’s one “Tough Little Ship” and is being offered as a Convention Exclusive for fans attending NYCC! The USS Defiant Cloaked — now you see it, now you don’t!

When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine introduced its hero ship the USS Defiant, among the most stunning revelations about the vessel that would be used in defense against enemy incursions emerging from the nearby wormhole was that it was possessed of cloaking technology! The reason this was so controversial to fans is the fact that the ability for starships to move so stealthily throughout space was often associated with Starfleet’s enemies, and not in keeping with the Federation’s promise of peacekeeping and exploration.

The USS Defiant was also constructed with a singular purpose and that was to repel enemies and even the odds on the battlefield, most significantly to deal with the threat of the dangerously provocative Borg. The muscly little ship was to be moored in defense of the edges of Federation space at Deep Space Nine which was in Bajoran territory and captained by the station’s commander Benjamin Sisko. The ship saw its fair share of conflict, proving formidable against the Dominion and the aforementioned cybernetic alien Borg in Star Trek: First Contact.

Now Eaglemoss Collections / Hero Collector has given collectors an opportunity to own their very own bit of stealth technology with the exclusive “Convention Only” model of the USS Defiant NX-74205 “Cloaked” and available to fans attending this season’s New York Comic-Con. The high-end collectible will be available during the convention season, but only for as long as it remains in stock. The modelers at Eaglemoss will be selling the specialty item at their booth, along with displays of all their most exciting new releases.

Convention Exclusive

For those intrepid fans brave enough to traverse the subway ride to the West Side of Manhattan this fall, Eaglemoss Collections / Hero Collector made the endeavor even more special by offering Trek enthusiasts an opportunity to pick-up the exclusive collectible. The model of the USS Defiant NX-74205 “Cloaked” was available in a limited production run of only 2.500 individual pieces. The model is molded in transparent plastic to simulate the “cloaked” effect and includes a display stand and 20-age magazine in the newer, more compact issue.

Upon the re-release and reissue of the Star Trek The Official Starships Collections, Eaglemoss Collections / Hero Collector decidedly repackaged many of the ships in the line in a new smaller-range blister box. The “cloaked” USS Defiant is accordingly packaged. The model itself is handsomely detailed, made to simulate the effect of being in stealth mode, collectors should be warned — it is incredibly fragile and should be handled carefully. The “convention exclusive” model is being made available to online collectors — so grab yours before they disappear!

USS Defiant NX-74205 CLOAKED | Convention Exclusive | Star Trek The Official Starships Collections from Eaglemoss Collections | $40.00 available from Eaglemoss Collections here.

UnBoxing | The Flash “JAY GARRICK” from Eaglemoss

Continuing in the great tradition of their existing line of collectible figurines, Eaglemoss Collections/Hero Collector introduce  THE FLASH Figurine Collection based on the characters from the primetime hit!

Make some space on that shelf, perhaps somewhere next to your set of DC All-Star Figurines. The folks at Eaglemoss Collections/Hero Collector have expanded on their series of DC Comics collectible items and realized for fans a series of resin figures based on the primetime heroes in the DC “Arrowverse” with The Flash Figurine Collection. The carefully handcrafted figures are characteristically posed and ready for action, each is carefully painted and captures the likeness of its “real-life” counterpart.

Each figure is cast in a specially formulated resin at 1:16 scale in a specially designed blister box featuring on-set photography. The enclosed magazine describes each characters’ background details their ability and provides an insight into their place with the context of The Flash television series. The figures in the line include The Flash, Kid Flash and Issue #3 goes back to the “Golden Age” spotlighting The Flash of Earth-3, Jay Garrick. The veteran speedster is posed tipping his winged helmet.

The Crimson Comet

In a brilliant play on casting, actor John Wesley Shipp who appeared on The Flash as “Henry Allen” the father of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) was also tapped to play the Golden Age speedster. Jay Garrick had been taken prisoner by the psychopath Hunter Solomon and assumed Garrick’s identity as well as his powers as “The Flash” of Earth-2. He kept Jay chained in a cage and suppressed his powers with an iron mask in his hideout. Garrick was eventually freed by the intervention of The Flash and his friends from Earth-1.

When the iron mask was removed, everyone was surprised to see that the real Jay Garrick bore a striking resemblance to Henry Allen, who was murdered by Solomon as part of his plan to destroy Barry Allen. Jay Garrick, The Flash of Earth-3 resumed his heroic alter-ego and returned to his own universe, but has often partnered with Barry Allen and his friends. Casting John Wesley Shipp in the role of the Golden Age hero was something that fans had always wanted, especially since the actor was the original Scarlet Speedster and headliner of the 1990 CBS series The Flash.

The figurine captures Shipp’s likeness and reproduces the beautifully designed suit based on the character that first appeared in The Flash Comics #1 80 years ago.

The Flash JAY GARRICK | Issue #3 | The Flash Figurine Collection | $19.99 available from Eaglemoss Collections and Hero Collector. Visit the website here.

Pop-Culture Redefined. Reimagined. Remixed.

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