Mo’ M.O.D.O.K.S., Mo’ Battle – “Secret Wars: Battleworld” #1

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James Stokoe’s variant cover for Marvel’s “Secret Wars: Battleworld” #1

One-Two Punch…
Marvel Comics has just announced a new Secret Wars title to launch on May 20, 2015. Secret Wars: Battleworld #1 will be a limited series of 4-issues. This advance look promises pages packed with epic art in every panel and a multitude of heroes and villains in outre combinations and situations across Marvel’s blistering Battleworld.
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“Secret Wars: Battleword” drops in May 2015. Here’s Paco Medina’s heroic cover for issue 1.

Tale of Two Battles…
Each issue will feature two distinct stories. Issue 1 is created by writers Josh Williamson and Ed Brisson, with art by Mike Henderson and Scott Hepburn. We’ll see the conjuring of Dr. Strange pack an extra punch when he melds his ethereal talents with the earthly power of The Punisher, and they’ll be a sky jamming mess of M.O.D.O.K. as Mr. Big Head enlists all the M.O.D.O.K.’s ever to do his bidding.

Enjoy the previews and grab a copy of the premiere issue from your local comic dealer when it hits the stands.

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“Secret Wars: Battleworld” action figure variant cover by James Tyler Christopher

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Harrowing Experience: Dark Horse Horror/Fantasy Series

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Dark Horse Comics “Harrow County” will have you crawling out of your skin.

What It Is…
With no spoilers given, I can say that Dark Horse Comics’ newest horror fantasy called Harrow County is like tucking into a good Ray Bradbury tale. It’s a coming of age story about rural farm girl Emmy and a community with some secrets.

The opening pages, worthy of Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, immediately draw us in as “healer” Hester Beck loses her life at the hands of the titular town’s folks. Her dying words threaten that there will to be hell to pay and her murderers can only wait for the other shoe to drop.

County Crows…
Harrow County is an excellent pairing of prose and art that truly compliment each other. Cullen Bunn’s (Deadpool) script is thoroughly attentive to sense and natural surroundings (“Her earliest memories were those of the taste of freshly turned earth and the bleating of goats.”) as well as the progress of the narrative. The work is peppered with colloquialisms like “haints” (ghosts) and “snake doctors” (dragon flies) that ground us in the locale. There is also a one page strip “Tales of Harrow County,” drawn by Owen Gieni, that gives us an additional glimpse of the supernatural events plaguing the residents.

Tyler Crook’s (B.R.P.D.) renderings of Emmy and her circumscribed world are embellished with a palette of watercolor washes of muted autumnal green and burnt orange. The children’s book look of the art balances the descriptive gravity of the text and makes the gorier visuals all the more impactful.

Issue #1 is a fine set-up for this new ongoing series with just enough of a creepy cliff-hanger to make you wait breathlessly for answers. Look for it at your favorite comic shoppe on May 13th.

Got Game? Dark Horse’s New “Thrones” Collectibles

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Dark Horse Deluxe Statue portrays Daenerys and Drogon in a rare relaxed moment.

Dark Horse continues their roll out of exceptional Game of Thrones collectibles and in honor of the 5th season premiere of that mega-popular HBO epic, it seems appropriate to post a gallery of some of the series related items currently available and those just on the horizon.

Hang Time…
I thought Dark Horse’s original Daenerys bust (with baby dragon perched on her shoulder) was un-toppable but this new limited edition takes things to a whole new level. In the midst of so many amazing things displayed at New York Toy Fair 2015, the prototype of Dark Horse’s Deanerys and Drogon statue was a stop-you-in-your-tracks attention getter. Evoking a calm before the storm moment – just a girl and her pet hanging out – the massive 18” long x 14” wide showpiece comes prepainted and will be available in July 2015. Pre-orders are probably a smart move as previous Deluxe editions, like Jon Snow and Ghost, have quickly sold out.
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Steely Clan…
If July is too far away, fans of Brienne of Tarth can get her visage in statue form starting this Wednesday, April 15. The 13″ tall statue is a finely detailed Gentle Giant Studios sculpt that portrays the warrior in fierce fighting pose wielding Oathkeeper her spell-forged sword of Valyrian steel. Brienne is limited to a casting of 950.

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Brienne brandishes Oathkeeper her spell-forged sword.

In addition to these high end deluxe offerings Dark Horse has Game of Thrones collectibles in every price range, including crests, coffee cups, and moderately priced production figures.

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Are We Not Men? NECA Limited Edition “Apes” Lawgiver Statue

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NECA’s Lawgiver Statue strikes an imposing vision over their stunning Ape City diorama

Dear (Juris) Prudence…
The extraordinary sculpt work produced for NECA’s (National Entertainment Collectibles Association) classic Planet of the Apes (1968) action figures truly imbues them with the personality of their on-screen analogs and is what makes them some of my favorite collectibles. This week the toy company brings another key piece to original PotA fans in the form of the The Lawgiver Statue. The visage of the wizened orangutan was featured at NECA’s New York International Toy Fair 2015 booth as part of the jaw dropping diorama pictured below.
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At Toy Fair 15, NECA presented an amazing setting for their classic “Planet of the Apes” action figures.

Goin’ to Ape City, Gonna Have Some Fun…
At a foot tall, the highly detailed resin statue is scaled proportionally to the toy maker’s classic Apes 6” action figures. As you can see it is a perfect compliment to any Ape City tableau. Word to the wise…, it’s expressly limited to a single run of 1700 pieces.
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NECA’s 6″ Dr. Zaius action figure doles out a few rules of his own.

SkeletonPete Says…
As an early teen “monster kid” I well remember the Lawgiver statue being a prominent prop in publicity shots of actor Maurice Evans sporting make-up man John Chambers’ then state of the art prosthetics. I was apparently impressed enough to paint this fairly large Dr. Zaius portrait which I recently discovered during a home basement “dig.”
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Dr. Zaius publicity photo inspired this teenage artistic endeavor.

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Heads, You Lose: Archie Vs. Predator Cover Variants

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Eric Powell’s variant cover art for Archie Versus Predator #1 forecasts a grim outcome for Jughead Jones.

There Will Be Blood…
We’ve already given you the heads-up about Dark Horse Comics’ whacked out Archie Vs. Predator series. Now that the variant covers have been revealed it looks like it’s heads-off for the unsuspecting gang.

Artists Eric Powell and Francesco Francavilla take no prisoners in their gritty depictions of the rumble in the jungles of Costa Rica. Will the hunter from another planet run rampant ‘round Riverdale and really make a jug out of Jughead’s head? You’ll find out in issue #1, due on April 15 just like your taxes.

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Francesco Francavilla’s Archie Versus Predator #1 variant adds a gritty reality to the usual mirth.