Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

New Comics Day Observations 

Topic of conversation du jour yesterday: Is the third film always the one that kills the super-hero franchise? Superman III was not a very good movie, and it set the tone for the disastrous Superman IV. Batman Forever was a terribly poor choice of change in tone, and set the stage for the truly wretched Batman and Robin (not that I was ever that pleased with Burton's Batman films, either, but that's neither here nor there). All the news and rumors coming out about X-Men 3 have all the optimistic air of a train-wreck about them (Brett Ratner? Really?). And Spider-Man 3 is apparently casting people without a script. That's never really a good sign.

On the other hand, Batman Begins is starting the franchise over from scratch and it looks promising and has been getting fairly good reviews so far. Superman Returns, in contrast, is apparently a continuation of the previous four films...and to say that reaction to news coming out of that production has been mixed would be to understate severely.

So, I open up the question: Do super-hero franchise films need to stop at two?

Speaking of Batman Begins, we got little Hot Wheels cars of all the vehicles from the film. They're kind of neat, and cheap enough to be tempting, but they all come with this nightmarishly painted mini-figure of Batman. He's holding big metal claws or guns in each hand and his eyes take up approximately 60% of his face.

We also got some Predator mini-figures in. About half of them were some kind of clear plastic "variant" and we also got a "rare" Predator Trophies figurine. This is one of the very rare toys that I honestly think probably would have sold better in blind-box packaging. I'm foreseeing the "variants" and the short-packed figures going quickly, and me winding up with a half-dozen "Wounded Howling Predator" figures to try to find shelf or storage space for.

Last week we (finally) received our Army of Darkness trading cards. The person in charge of the cards went through a couple of boxes to try and put some sets together (we do better selling sets than individual packs of cards) and discovered that one of the cards simply did not exist. We contacted Diamond and were told that there was some kind of collation error, and that we'd be receiving some of the missing cards separately. We were supposed to receive them this week, and we were invoiced for them, but they were no shows. And since Diamond considered them a promotional item we can't reorder or back-order them, now that they're no longer in stock. So now we're stuck with a bunch of unsellable cards.

We got possibly the most specialty publication I've ever come across in stock this week: Green Mountain Cinema, a journal dedicated to films and film-makers from Vermont.

It was a light week for manga. The best of the few books we did get in was Yotsuba&!, a cute story about a curious and hyper-active girl. It's a good all-ages manga too, something I've been trying to build up our stock on, with no crude jokes and plenty of gentle humor.

It was also a big gay comics week, with the soft-cover edition of the second volume of Age of Bronze, Eric Shanower's epic retelling of the Trojan War, and Tim Fish's romance comic Cavalcade of Boys coming in. They're both very good as well.


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