Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deal alert: Complete Man from U.N.C.L.E. on DVD for $84.99

Today only on Amazon buy the Complete Man from U.N.C.L.E. on DVD for $84.99, regularly $199.92.

Muppets movie teaser poster

John Carter (of Mars) teaser poster

Marvel Legends action figure line returns

Hasbro's line of super-articulated Marvel Comics action figures is being revamped with a new series set to debut during next weeks Comicon International in San Diego.

Action Figure Insider reports:

They will be showing Marvel Legends wave 1 & 2 of the relaunch at the show. Wave 1 will be in the case the whole show. Wave 2 will debut at Hasbro’s Marvel panel and then be in the case after that.
Wave 1 will be: Klaw (classic look), Hope Summers, Constrictor, Steve Rogers as the Super Soldier, Iron Man (one of his classic armors), what looks to be the new movie version of Ghost Rider, the Comic Con Thor and the Build-a-figure is Terrax

Comics' ludicrous rating system

As comics industry watchers likely know, both DC and Marvel have dumped the Comics Code Seal of Approval in favor of their own ratings systems: The use of letters such as "A" for "all ages," "T" for "teen," "T+" for "teen plus" (whatever that means), "M" for "mature."

On the surface, it's not a bad idea. The CCA seal, which came about as a result of the juvenille delinquency panic of the 1950s, was initially heavy-handed and later became irrelevant. As the years went by, I'm sure many parents had no idea what that little stamp on comic book covers meant, or even knew to look for it in the first place.

So, dumping the CAA seal, fine. Adopting an alternative rating as a way to flag children and parents about the general appropriateness of a title was well intentioned. Video games do the same, and the comics publishers used similar letters as those included on game covers. But, in execution, the move has been a ridiculous disaster, especially as instituted by Marvel.

First off, Marvel just slapped letters on its covers and never gave any indication in the ratings box what the letter meant. Does "A" mean adult, or "all ages"? DC, at least, included a note in the ratings box explaining what the letter meant.

Then Marvel started changing the ratings on its titles willy nilly. In the last month, I've noticed some of the titles I read -- Amazing Spider-Man, FF, Invincible Iron Man -- all previously rated "A" are now rated "T+." As far as I've been able to tell, there's been no change in tone or approach to the books, no discernible increase in more "mature" content. And, most importantly, there was no warning in the comics' letter pages that this rating change was coming, or even that it had happened and why.

I read the titles mentioned above with my 13-year-old son. The original "A" reading gave me some confidence that they were ok for him. Reading them myself, I could confirm, they were just fine. At "T+" they seem just the same. But, again, why the random bumping up of the rating?

My suspicion is that Marvel "adjusted" its ratings for these flagship titles to give them the same ratings DC has given most of its titles. But it would've been nice to let readers know.

I think ratings do serve a purpose in helping parents of young children to help determine if a title is appropriate. But they need to make sense to folks who don't regularly read comics or follow the happenings of the industry.

This is especially important with DC's massive, line-wide reboot coming up soon. If this effort is really aimed at getting comics in the hands of new readers (I'm skeptical, but hopeful), then things like ratings need to be thought out well, not distributed at random. Marvel needs to think about it, too. Because of DC does lure new readers to the industry, some are likely going to want to read Spider-Man along with Batman and Superman and the Justice League.

New comics and action figures July 20, 2011

Things I'll buy:

AVENGERS #15

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #506

SERGIO ARAGONES FUNNIES #1

Things I may try:

DC RETROACTIVE BATMAN THE 70S #1

DC RETROACTIVE THE FLASH THE 70S #1

DC RETROACTIVE WONDER WOMAN THE 70S #1

Other items of interest:

DC Direct Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne: Batman: High Seas Action Figure
DC Direct Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne: Batman: High Seas Action Figure
DC Direct Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne: Batman: Wild West Action Figure
DC Direct Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne: Batman: Wild West Action Figure

DC Direct Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne: Batman: Prehistoric Action Figure
DC Direct Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne: Batman: Prehistoric Action Figure

DC Direct Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne: Batman: Witch Hunter Action Figure
DC Direct Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne: Batman: Witch Hunter Action Figure

Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 1
Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 1

Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 2
Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 2

DC Direct DC Universe Online Statue: Black Canary
DC Direct DC Universe Online Statue: Black Canary

DC Direct DC Universe Online Statue: The Flash


DC Direct DC Universe Online Statue: The Flash


Angel Omnibus Volume 2 TP
Angel Omnibus Volume 2 TP

Classic G.I. Joe Volume 12 TP (G. I. Joe (Graphic Novels))
Classic G.I. Joe Volume 12 TP (G. I. Joe (Graphic Novels))

Incredible Hulks: Planet Savage
Incredible Hulks: Planet Savage

Wolverine: Wolverine vs. the X-Men
Wolverine: Wolverine vs. the X-Men

Walt Disney Treasury: Donald Duck Volume 2
Walt Disney Treasury: Donald Duck Volume 2