Wednesday, May 27, 2009


There have been numerous complaints across the web about the poor distribution of the DC Universe figures.

One of the major gripes was the infamous Wave 5, otherwise known as the Wal-Mart wave. (Personally, I'm still looking for Atom & Black Lightning)

People are too quick to blame Mattel, when they don't know the entire story, nor do they want to.

I've explained before on how distribution works (see the article "Toy Distribution 101"), but it doesn't seem like anyone wanted to hear what I was saying.

I for one am sick & tired of all the complaining from the fanboys.

All they do is complain, safe behind their computers, & not take any action.

So I decided to call Wal-Mart and find out what the deal is.

Here are the details of my conversation.

I started out by calling Wal-Mart's Media Relations department.

I spoke to a representative who was extremely helpful.

I asked the rep some questions & concerns I had.

The rep, in turn, presented them to Wal-Mart's buyer of the Mattel DC Universe figures.

The rep got back to me with some answers:

Wal-Mart does not carry DCU in all of their stores.

There are only 1800 stores that carry this line, & they are mainly located in the South & Mid-West.

That means that those of us in the Northeast,Northwest, & the West Coast are pretty much screwed.

Wal-Mart considers this line a collector's item and not a heavy license line like Transformers or Star Wars.

Because of this, they don't order high quantities and it causes the Wal-Mart stores to limit how much peg space they dedicate to DCU.

So what YOU can do?

There are a couple of things you can do.

First, talk to your local Wal-Mart store manager.

Tell them you would like the store to carry them.

They might be able to get some in.

Second, call Wal-Mart customer service 1-800-925-6278.

you want your local Wal-Mart to carry them.

With Wave 10 being another Wal-Mart wave, there's going to a lot of disappointed fans.

So call Wal-Mart & tell them how you feel.

Maybe if we all rattle their cages, Wal-Mart will get the hint, order more product, and stock more stores in different areas.

Finally to finish off, & to be very blunt:



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5 Quick Questions with Elliot S. Maggin

Elliot S. Maggin is an American writer of comic books, film, television and novels. He was a main writer for DC Comics during the Bronze and early Modern ages of comics in the 1970s and 1980s. He is particularly associated with the character of Superman, where he worked on both Action Comics and Superman.

Maggin started working as a professional writer in his teens, selling historical stories about the Boer War to a boys' magazine. He attended Brandeis University, where he wrote a term paper titled "What Can One Man Do?" for a class during his junior year. When it received a grade of B+, Maggin disagreed with the assessment, remade it as a comic book script, and sent his script to DC Comics. It was passed around the DC offices, and Neal Adams chose to draw the script. Though the initial grade was not amended, Maggin became a writer for DC, selling his stories to fund a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Maggin is responsible for a number of innovations in the DC Multiverse. Two that continue to shape the worlds of DC are Superboy-Prime (later given greater definition by Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns and others) and Lexcorp (later more fully developed by John Byrne and others).

In addition to the hundreds of stories Maggin wrote for the DC comics universe, he has also written television scripts, stories for film, animation and journalistic pieces. Many of them have continued to show his allegiance to comic book characters. He wrote two Superman novels, Last Son of Krypton and Miracle Monday. He also wrote the novelization of the graphic novel Kingdom Come based on the story by Mark Waid, and a novel featuring the Marvel mutant superhero team Generation X. He has occasionally sold scripts to non-print versions of superheroes, including Spider-Man (1994), X-Men (1992) and Batman: The Animated Series.

Besides his work in comics, he has received compensation for raising horses, skiing instruction, teaching at various high schools and colleges, writing stories for Atari video games, and working on websites. In addition to on-going freelance writing, he currently works as a developmental learning consultant for Kaiser Permanente.

He agreed to answer 5 Quick Questions

1) What would you say is your greatest achievement in comics?

I like to think I put Superman back on track at a crucial time. I saved Superman. Cool, huh? At the time I started writing comics no one seemed much interested in the character. He was old stuff, and DC was institutionally perplexed enough with what to do next that they effectively put their flagship character in the hands of a couple of kids still in college. Mort Weisinger had just retired, leaving the character to his buddy Julie Schwartz who had very little familiarity with him until he did a good deal of research. Denny O’Neil had just finished a good run on Superman, but he just hated working with the character. He felt he had to de-power Superman in order to work with him, and that was kind of off the point so he didn’t have any idea of where to go next – other than back to Batman. Len Wein did some really good stuff, but he was more interested in making up new stuff than in plowing an already mature field. Cary Bates loved Superman, and the chemistry between us was such that we would compete with each other to do stories that were innovative at the same time as they stayed within the tradition of the mythology. We tried to approach the stories as a scholar would approach classical mythological themes, but we placed them squarely in the modern world. Instead of a magic castle or a gingerbread house we’d involve a subway or a skyscraper as a setting. The idea was to place the wonder in the world with which readers were familiar. I wrote a treatment for a Superman movie and had a hand in pushing the company to revive the character in other media. No one really considered my treatment for a film, but it lit a fire under the management to do something new with Superman. So eventually I expanded the treatment as a novel, Superman: Last Son of Krypton, which was marketed with the first Chris Reeve Superman movie. Oh, and I also made up the phrase “Last Son of Krypton,” which people seem to think has been tagged on the character as long as “Man of Steel.”

I must be in an effusive mood. I don’t usually talk about this stuff. Thanks for asking.

2) Who was your favorite writer or artist that you worked with & why?

Obviously my favorite writer with whom to work was Cary. I didn’t really work with a lot of other writers. I’ve worked with some of the most significant artists in the field. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have: Alex Toth. We did only one story together – a Superman-Batman-Luthor free-for-all -- but what I liked about what Alex did was that he was able to translate the intent of my script into the attitudes of the players. I always thought of these characters as just guys interacting with their world, ex officio, hanging out together. That’s the way they talked to each other, and when Alex drew them that was also the way they stood and moved. No one poses for the camera in an Alex story. The iconography is something that results from the circumstance, rather than the other way around. Very few artists are able to communicate that. Almost as few ever try.

3) What character you have never worked .., would you like to do & why?

Kull the Conqueror. Remember him? Kind of a second-tier Robert E Howard creation that had a short run at Marvel in the Seventies. Roy Thomas wrote it and I think John and Marie Severin did the art. It was kind of a little unassuming masterpiece. He was this barbarian freebooter who became king of pre-civilized Atlantis, a walking id who became the most powerful person on the planet. An uneducated Henry VIII. A smart George W Bush. There was great grist there. They made a movie later on with Kevin Sorbo, who was actually pretty good, but overall the movie bit the big one.

4) Who are your influences?

In real life, Julie Schwartz and a guy named Max Lerner who wrote a political column and some great books on American civilization. In my mind, Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Kurt Vonnegut, Homer and – a little bit – Scott Card. But don’t have a political conversation with that last guy; he’ll drive you up a wall.

5) What hero or villain would you like to change if you could and why?

Tough one. I think what I most like to do is change characters back. I like to bring them back to what originally made them successful, before people with outsize egos started screwing with them. I’d like to write the screenplay for yet another attempt to re-create the Hulk for the movies. Neither script got it right. You know what I’d really like to write? Topper. Remember him? He was a stuffy banker who was haunted by the free spirits of the wild, generally intoxicated couple who had previously lived in his house. It was a terrific television series in the Fifties and there have been several unsuccessful, ill-thought-out attempts to revive him, and there’s supposed to be a new movie next year with Steve Martin in the lead. That’s pretty good casting; I’m hopeful. I hope they’ll approach it less as a vehicle for Steve Martin – as they approached Clouseau – and more as an updated version of what worked really well back at the dawn of time. I kind of know how I think they should do it. I hope they nail it. Who else? I wish Kings on NBC had caught on. Had been given a chance to catch on. I’d love to take a crack at King David too. Now there’s an icon for you.

Check out Elliot's own website at

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New Batman & Superman 2-packs in Stores August!

Here's the latest on the Batman & Superman 2 packs.

Hey Toy Fans,

Summer rocks. Days are longer, weather's warmer, and a pair of new DCUC 2-packs arrives! Each pack holds a repaint of a classic hero paired with a villain figure in window box packaging. Check 'em out!

* Fists of Clay Figure Pack with Clayface vs. Batman. Features mud-spattered Batman for the first-time, facing off with the previously hard-to-find 2007 Clayface figure.

* Clash in the Cosmos Figure Pack with Superman vs. Braniac. Includes the first-ever DCUC Superman with Heat Vision eyes, up against an all-new figure of Classic Brainiac!

You'll find them at your local Toys 'R Us, drug and grocery stores, and online in August. Stay tuned for more details as we get them…


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July Comics Offer Sneak Preview of Film

G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra takes over theatres on August 7th, but comic fans can get an advance look in July!

Under license from Hasbro, Inc. and working closely with Paramount Pictures, IDW is proud to offer a four-issue weekly comic book adaptation of the much-anticipated motion picture that delivers an exclusive glimpse of what to expect, from costumes to plot twists.

“G.I. JOE was an essential part of my childhood. I saw COBRA agents around every schoolyard corner,” said Andy Schmidt, IDW’s G.I. JOE editor. “It is an honor to be part of an intensely fun and uniquely relevant group of characters. As a lifelong G.I. JOE fan, to be associated with the wide release of the new G.I. JOE film in particular is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Written by IDW’s own Denton Tipton, the four-issue movie adaptation chronicles every twist and turn of the film. Artist Casey Maloney successfully brings the characters from screen to panel and all the emotion and action with them.

“IDW has done a fantastic job in capturing all the pent-up excitement for G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra,” said Michael Kelly, Hasbro’s Senior Global Publishing Manager. “Every page of the upcoming series clearly reflects IDW’s commitment to bringing G.I. JOE fans the highest quality comic … and those fans will not be disappointed!”

G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA Movie Adaptation #1 is on sale the first week of July, with each subsequent installment debuting weekly thereafter. Each issue will boast two cover options, the regular covers by artist Casey Maloney and the variant “teaser poster” images from the film studio itself. No G.I. JOE fan’s collection will be complete without all four explosive issues!

G.I. JOE Movie Adaptation #1-4 release weekly in July 2009. Diamond Order Codes: Issue #1 – MAY090890; Issue #2 – MAY 090891; Issue #3 – MAY090892; Issue #4 – MAY090893


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Trapp's Rap - Terminator Salvation Review

The question I ask myself is, "What made the first and second Terminator films so good?" I mean, there was a reason why those two films did so well right? And if it wasn't that fundamental element that made it so good, the Terminator franchise would be a flop. I left the theatre after watching Terminator: Salvation asking that very question and pondered on it a few times throughout the rest of the evening.

This film as most of us know is all about the war between the machines and the humans and is also the start of everything we know about the first Terminator movie. John Conner is a profit-like character that leads everyone into the war against the machines. He also listens to recordings left by his mother, Sarah Conner, to help inform him about what he must do and the task he must find Kyle Reese and send him back in time to meet Sarah so John can be born to eventually lead the rebellion against the machines. (confusing huh? yeah, most movies that deal with time travel are.)

The film started off quite well, We go back into the past where a man by the name of Marcus Wright is sentenced to death for a crime we can only assume is murder. (briefly he states that he did something terrible to his family and feels he deserves death.) A women visits him in his cell and asks him to donate his body to a cause. There is a very awkward sentimental scene between the two, and Marcus accepts to sign to organ donor papers in exchange for a kiss from this woman. So we learn that this man is important!

We now see a desert like scene where a battle between a battalion of humans lead by John Conner are duking it out tooth and nail with some of Skynet's machines. This scene is to introduce John Conner into the story and show he and his army of men and women are very well into the war. once this battle is over, John Conner heads back to base, and Marcus Wright all of the sudden appears out of nowhere completely nude and is screaming in pain, We don't know why.

in a nut shell, Marcus Wright doesn't know he has been turned into an Infiltration model to help find certain individuals, John Conner and Kyle Reese. And like in Terminator 3, Marcus has to decide if he is man or machine. And of course, in following the typical Hollywood formula, Marcus chooses that he is a man deep down inside and goes against his programing, giving the resistance a very powerful ally.

And the movie ends on a high note, with Arnold (or a very nicely animated Arnold) making a cameo appearance and casing down John Conner in the machine building factory. The movie is over, I walk out with my crew and we all head home.

So I go back to that question, What made Terminator one and two so good? As interesting and creative as the story of the terminator, Skynet and the Conner family is, what made the first two films so great was the suspense! The Terminator was unstoppable. it didn't matter how many times you shot at it, burned it, melted it, crushed it, etc etc etc, it just kept on coming at you. And while you watch the mayhem, you wonder when it's going to stop! How much more can a machine take?? And just when everything seems done, like the terminator couldn't possibly take anymore damage, it comes right back at you, in full force. And you love every minute of the insanity!

Terminator: Salvation had numerous suspenseful scenes in it, but they didn't work for me. A few scenes were very tense at times, but over all, it was very dull and dragged to many times to be exciting. I didn't feel like I was watching a Terminator film, which made me sad. not only that, I felt the drama within the story wasn't written well. Everything was long a drug out for my taste, mostly because everything that we see on screen we already knew. No new revelations about this storyline were given, There were no plot twists that put me on the edge of my seat, and no big surprises.

The only real redeeming aspect of the film, apart from the acting quality, was the ending, and I'm not attributing that to the fact that the terminator we all know and love made an appearance, even though I did like it! It was at this point where it finally felt like I was watching a Terminator film. This was the only moment in the movie I became tense and unknowingly clenching my fists in anticipation for what might happen next, if only the whole film could have been like this.

I would have to put this film only slightly above Terminator three and give it a 2.5 out of 5 star rating. Now maybe I would need to go see it again. It's possible that the expectations I had put on the film prior is what influenced my opinion of the movie as a whole. But I honestly was not impressed and actually disappointed.

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1st Look - Diamond Select - Ghostbusters Minimates Packaging

Don’t Worry, They’re Just here to get some Readings…

Oh, who are we kidding. They’re not here to get readings… they’re here to save Dana & Louis before they turn into Demon Dogs!
Here’s your first look at the amazing packaging!

Looks like it might be too late for Louis:


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Marvel Launches HALO UPRISING Site & Offers Free Digital Comic!

Marvel is proud to announce the launch of the official Halo ® Uprising landing page at Marvel.Com, spotlighting the acclaimed limited series one week before the hardcover collection hits stores.

Bridging the blockbuster Halo 2 and Halo 3 video games, the Eisner-winning team of writer Brian Bendis and artist Alex Maleev join forces for the action-packed landmark collection that has everyone talking—Halo Uprising Premiere HC. Click over to to learn more about the hardcover, find a comic shop near you and read Halo Uprising #1 for free, courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!

Plus, don’t miss the HALO spotlight on, as Halo Uprising and other adaptations of the popular video game series get the spotlight!

What’re you waiting for? Click over to and get an in depth look at the Halo Uprising HC and find out how to secure your copy today!

Penciled by ALEX MALEEV
17 & Up …$24.99
ON-SALE 6/3/09!


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Martin Able cover to 'Hack/Slash' #22 turns some heads

Hack/Slash #22 is on shelves now, and it's attracting plenty of attention. In addition to Tim Seeley's Cover A to the issue, artist Martin Able provided a killer Cover B that's worth hunting down.

It even earned a vote for "Cover of the Week" over at The Weekly Crisis among covers for The Punisher and Invincible. Don't miss out, and track this one down while you still can.

The latest installment in the series also showed up on the reading list at T
he Weekly Comic Book Review, who's interested in seeing where Tim Seeley will be taking the series and said:

"Whether it be through dark comedy or some old-fashioned slasher movie gore, you can always count on Hack/Slash to deliver a good time. "

Ask for Hack/Slash #22 at your favorite comic shop, or round out your ongoing run by visiting
the DDP webstore today.


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IDW Previews For Week Of June 3rd

IDW has released some previews for their books that will be in stores on June 3rd.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Movie Adaptation #3
Simon Furman (w) • Alex Milne (a) • Josh Nizzi, photo (c)
The official adaptation of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen reaches its penultimate chapter in this weekly series, where the noble AUTOBOTS work with their human allies to end the threat of the treacherous DECEPTICONS. Penned by Transformers mainstaySimon Furman with art by Alex Milne (Reign of Starscream). In stores June 3.

Transformers Best of the UK: City of Fear #5
Simon Furman (w) • Dan Reed (a) • Andrew Griffith (c)
ULTRA MAGNUS searches for a missing AUTOBOT spy, CHAMELEON. The trail leads to an old arena where Ultra Magnus has to fight both his opponent, Hooligan, and his own conscience. This fan-favorite collection of tales from the UK concludes here, with an all-new cover by Andrew Griffith!

G.I. Joe Movie Prequel #4
Chuck Dixon (w) • SL Gallant (a) • Joe Corroney, photo (c)
It's an impossible mission when the Vice President of the United States becomes hostage to desperate terrorists in an unassailable location even an army couldn't take. But why send an army when G.I. Joe's silent warrior can do the job? Find out what Snake Eyes was up to before the events of this summer's biggest action blockbuster!

GI Joe: The Best of Duke TPB
Larry Hama (w) • Mike Vosburg, Rod Whigham (a) • DiVito (c)
Collecting the most defining comics moments of the G.I. JOE cast, this volume focuses on Duke, one of the team’s most dependable members. Read about his heroic adventures in classic issues like #22, 23, 48, 49, 50, and 80!

Angel: Not Fade Away #2
Joss Whedon & Jeffrey Bell (story) • Scott Tipton (w) • Stephen Mooney (a & c)
The comics adaptation of Angel heartbreaking final episode continues! As their world crumbles around them, Angel and company prepare for their final battle with Wolfram & Hart and the Circle of the Black Thorn: one in which no prisoners are taken and no punches are pulled.

Doctor Who Classics: Series 2 #7
Steve Parkhouse (w) • Dave Gibbons (a) • Gibbons (c)
IDW’s newly recolored reprints of classic Doctor Who tales from years past continues. In this issue, Steve Parkhouse and Dave Gibbons conclude “The Tides of Time,” featuring the Fifth Doctor. This issue also includes “Stars over Stockbridge” by the same creative team. Featuring all-new colors by Charlie Kirchoff.

Star Trek: Crew #4
John Byrne (w & a & c)
It's a war that has raged for decades… but who are the combatants, and what is their unexpected connection to the Earth of centuries past? The crew of the U.S.S. Hood will have only hours to find out, or die trying!

Astro Boy Movie Prequel: Underground #2
Scott Tipton (w) • Diego Jourdan (a) Jourdan, Ashley Wood (c)
Astro Boy’s return to comics continues, in preparation for his blockbuster feature film debut later this year! Astro begins to explore the strange subterranean world miles below the earth’s crust, and soon finds himself caught in the middle of a brutal civil war! Look for the Ashley Wood variant cover!


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