Friday, February 26, 2010


The first "beast" figure in the line, Battle Cat is likely the ultimate version of this character. He is far superior to any previous incarnation of He-Man's fighting tiger and he has far more detail and articulation than I think anyone was expecting. He is a heavy bulky figure who is well worth the $30 plus shipping that Matty was asking for him.

The first thing you are likely to notice about him in his really nice window box packaging, is just how big this new Battle Cat is. He is scaled to the figures, which are a good deal larger than any of the previous lines, so Battle Cat actually comes out to be about the size of a small house cat.

He is also directly modeled on the vintage figure, there is little to no 200X influence on the design, which is a very good thing in this case as the classic design is far more distinctive and interesting, with its large, beaked helmet and vacant eyes.

BC comes complete with his helmet and a large harness both of which are colored a dark red. The Horsemen have brought out lots of great detail on this classic design, such as a finely-lined, leathery look to the saddle as well as numerous bronzy highlights on the various bolts, buckles and rivets. The saddle area features indentations for He-Man's fuzzy shorts, allowing you to fit characters in there reasonably tightly.


There are also two straps on either side, ostensibly to hold the Power Sword, although these are a rather silly place to store something as precious as the Sword of He. It would have been nice if there had been somewhere closer to the saddle to store weapons. I would have also liked to have seen some sort of t-bar on the saddle for He-Man to grab on to. Also, there should be a more secure way to keep the helmet on, as it tends to shift and come off too easily.

As I said above, Battle Cat has an amazing amount of articulation for an animal figure like this and I am very relieved that all of his joints are reasonably tight. The head seems to be on a ball joint, although the sculpt prevents a lot of movement, which is a shame. You can completely rotate the head and there is some lateral play but turning the head or looking up is restricted. The jaw is on a hinge joint and opens and closes fully. The neck slides up and down and can bring BC's nose to the ground or at about chest height on the MOTUC figures, again with no lateral motion.

Unfortunately, Battle Cat cannot really look up. The legs are fully articulated at each joint, as they would be on a real cat and the paws are even on a ball joint and can be rotated. There is even a little play on the shoulders allowing BC to move his front limbs in and out a bit. The figure even features "mid torso" articulation, allowing him to arch his back somewhat or event twist at the waist (take that Teela!). The tail is made of a flexible plastic (but does not hold a shape if you bend it) and is on a combo ball and hinge joint allowing it to be posed numerous ways.

Sadly, Battle Cat sold out before many people could get him but Matty seems to be rushing him into re-release for the fall, so fans will have another shot to get this iconic Masters of the Universe character. Mattel and the Horsemen really went all out with this figure, and it most have cost them a lot to make a brand new figure, this big with this much articulation and still sell it at the relatively reasonable price of $30. Make sure you are ready to go when he is re-released or pick him up on the secondary market because no MOTUC collection is complete without the fighting tiger of Eternia.

Patrick Garone
Senior Reviewer

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COMIC NEWS: PREVIEWS Next: March issue Spotlights Image’s Spawn #203 and DC’s Brightest Day #1

New issue arrives in comic shops Feb. 24 and features products on sale beginning May 2010

Spawn creator Todd McFarlane is joined by writer Will Carlton and artist Szymon Kudranski for Image Comics’ SPAWN #203, an issue that not only marks the new creative team’s debut, but one that’s featured on the front cover of the March PREVIEWS, the comic shops’ catalog.

Image has designated March “Spawn Month,” and with this new team picking up the reigns of the ongoing title, it’s easy to see why. Carlton, Kudranski, and McFarlane start off strong, as Spawn learns of a lineage connection between himself, Clown, and Bludd, the vampire clan leader.

March PREVIEWS’ back cover demands just as much attention with a feature on DC Comics’ BRIGHTEST DAY #1, which begins the 26-issue, bi-weekly series that follows the conclusion of Blackest Night. Following the story of Blackest Night as crafted by Green Lantern’s Geoff Johns and Green Lantern Corps writer Peter Tomasi, those same scribes team once again to tell this new story impacting the entire DC Universe. A select group of DC heroes will uncover a secret that binds them, and no DC fan will want to miss finding out what it is.

March PREVIEWS editorial features:

Featured Theme
“Manga Month” – is back! Manga Month comes around every March, when PREVIEWS highlights products from publishers and creators that fuel readers’ enthusiasm for the Asian-influenced art form. Featuring a mix of material imported from overseas and created by American artists inspired by manga, the products offered during Manga Month represent some of the best on the market, and are certain to find favor with established manga-maniacs and new converts alike.

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PREVIEWS Next: March Issue’s Covers & Features
Matt Wagner – This month’s creator feature spotlights Matt Wagner, the creator of Grendel who is also set to re-establish the origins of a classic hero for Dynamite Entertainment with Green Hornet: Year One. In the feature, Wagner shares his current comic reading list with PREVIEWS fans.
Sneak Peeks
In March, comic fans are given a glimpse of Dark Horse Comics’ Janet Evanovich’s Troublemaker Hardcover Book One, DC Comics/WildStorm’s A God Somewhere Trade Paperback, DC/Vertigo Crime’s Revolver Hardcover, and Image Comics’ Sam & Twitch: The Writer #1, Shadowhawk #1, and What Happened to Baron Von Shock? #1.
Bob Overstreet Interview
Overstreet Price Guide Celebrates 40th Edition—The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide has provided comic book fans, collectors, and dealers with prices, grading information, articles, and resource material for 40 years. In celebration of the milestone, Bob Overstreet, creator of The Guide, looks back on his career and the resource’s rich history for PREVIEWS readers.

Plus: Staff Picks, our Top 100 Comics and Bestseller Charts, and much more!

March PREVIEWS’ Gems of the Month

The Gems of the Month from March’s catalog include: Dark Horse Comics’ Janet Evanovich’s Troublemaker Hardcover Book One and Cardcaptor Sakura Dark Horse Omnibus Edition Volume 1, DC Comics’ Brightest Day #1 and Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #1, Image Comics’ Sam & Twitch: The Writer #1 and Shadowhawk #1, Marvel Comics’ Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine #1, and Wizard Entertainment’s Wizard #225.

All this and more is waiting in the March issue of PREVIEWS, which hits your local comic shop on Wednesday, February 24th at a cover price of $4.50. Ask your comic shop retailer on how you can qualify for a free issue. Pre-orders are due to your comic shop by March 13th for merchandise in this issue.

For a sneak peek at this issue’s Gems, Featured Items, and more head on over to

To find a comic shop near you, visit

ABOUT DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS—the world's largest distributor of English-language comic books and pop-culture related merchandise, Diamond is based in Baltimore, MD, and services more than 4,000 specialty retailers worldwide. For more information, visit Diamond on the web at

ABOUT PREVIEWS: PREVIEWS is a monthly “mag-a-log” (catalog and magazine) used by comic shop retailers and over 50,000 comic shop customers to pre-order comics, graphic novels, and other pop-culture merchandise. Items solicited in each catalog are schedule two months in advance. For more information, visit

© 2008 Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. All rights reserved. Diamond, the Diamond logo, and PREVIEWS are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Diamond Comic Distributors in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective copyright owners.

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COMIC NEWS: 18 Free Comic Book Day Previews Available Now!

From cool kids comics to the greatest super-hero fare, from classic reprints to the latest stories, it’s a wide spectrum of comics covered in the Gold and Silver comic books available for Free Comic Book Day 2010, taking place Saturday, May 1, 2010!

No you can go the Comics Page of the website and view six-page Previews of eighteen of the Gold and Silver titles.

Books you now have the opportunity to preview are:

Gold Titles
• Archaia Entertainment's Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock Flip Book
• Archie Comics' Archie's Summer Splash! #1
• Boom Studios' Toy Story
• Drawn & Quarterly's YOW! The John Stanley Library
• IDW Publishing's G.I. JOE #155 1/2
• Image Comics' Fractured Fables

Silver Titles
• Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog: Hide & Seek & Destroy!
• Aspen Comics' Worlds of Aspen
• Asylum Press' Fearless Dawn/Asylum Press Sampler
• BOOM! Studio's Irredeemable #1 FCBD Edition
• Del Rey Comics' Del Rey Showcase
• IDW's Library of American Comics #0
• Marvel Comics' Iron Man: Supernova
• New England Comics' The Tick #1
• Radical Publishing's Radical: Bigger Books! Bigger Value!
• Red 5 Comics' Atomic Robo & Friends
• Storm Lion's Freedome Formula: Speed Metal Overtures
• Th3rd World Studios' The Stuff of Legend: Mortal Instruments Preview

Don't forget to also become an FCBD fan at Facebook and follow us on Twitter at

As we add the sponsor book previews we'll be "tweeting" their arrival on the FCBD website!

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Great entry point for new readers!

IRREDEEMABLE SPECIAL #1 is written by Mark Waid with interior art by Howard Chaykin, Paul Azaceta and Emma Rios. This special issue ships April 2010, with two covers by Paul Azaceta and Dan Panosian in a 50/50 split, a 1-in-10 incentive cover featuring art by Jeffrey Spokes and carries a Diamond Code of FEB100758.

About BOOM! Studios
BOOM! Studios ( is a unique publishing house specializing in high-profile projects across a wide variety of different genres from some of the industry’s biggest talents, including Philip K. Dick’s DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?, The Henson Company’s FARSCAPE, and the original Mark Waid series IRREDEEMABLE. BOOM! recently launched its youth imprint, BOOM Kids!, with Pixar’s THE INCREDIBLES, CARS, and TOY STORY, as well as Disney’s THE MUPPETS, DONALD DUCK, UNCLE SCROOGE and WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES. This year, BOOM! Studios celebrates its fifth anniversary.


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COMIC REVIEW: GI Joe: Operation Hiss # 2 (IDW)

One of the strengths of great G.I. Joe Comics, is that regardless of how absurd the set-ups or plot twists or technology involved in a particular story, the characters generally acted like no nonsense military personnel. They most often made the smart, level-headed decisions that revealed their professionalism, dedication, and training.

In IDW's continuation of the Rise of Cobra based continuity, G.I. Joe: Operation HISS, somebody somewhere forgot this lesson, forgot that soldiers and especially officers are not, frankly, idiots.

On what do I base this review? The fact that in an attempt to infiltrate a private military corporation believed to be linked to Cobra, Hawk sends one of the people he can't possibly send. A person nearly any highly placed person in Cobra is going to be able to make a positive identification of. A soldier who might possibly have been engaged to one of Cobra's top agents. Who was in the US military with Cobra's Commander.

Right. Duke. How is this even possible? How is Duke even considered?

Sure, sure, you can maybe claim I'm just being the fanboy picking apart the book. But on this indefensibly stupid decision...the kind of decision no previous incarnation of Hawk would even have considered...the book falls apart for me. Some might say that with Destro, Baroness, and Cobra Commander in custody (something the first issue of the miniseries breaks out an Exposition Fairy moment to remind us of) this doesn't matter as much. Nonsense; anything connected to Cobra is still going to have too much easy access to information that will allow them to positively ID Duke.

There are things to like about this book; it introduces Dataframe (although, frankly, why it introduces a new character to do what was Breaker's job in the movie is something I don't quite understand). The art has a sharp style that I tend to like, heavy on the ink, but interesting to look at, with clearly defined and flowing action. Major Bludd is appropriately cutthroat and an interesting 'new' villain for the movie continuity, and I love his updated character design (though it could do, perhaps, with a touch less black). If you really enjoy the movie continuity, you probably won't be disappointed by this book.

Maybe Duke is front and center because, in the movie continuity, Duke simply must be front and center. Ultimately that doesn't change my central point; a G.I. Joe book in which Hawk has no critical thinking ability is not one I want to read. I wanted to like this book, and I really enjoy its art. But I can't recommend it.

Dan Ford
Staff Reviewer

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