Friday, April 2, 2010



IDW's Transformers series continues on its dark and winding path with issue number 5. The looming conflict between the Autobots, Ultra Magnus, and Rodimus's renegade group of Cybertronians comes to a head in the new issue while Optimus continues his voluntary incarceration. Meanwhile, the Decepticons live up to their name...


The art is particularly good in this issue, particularly in the early pages featuring Optimus Prime. The art features a style that is very cool and detailed but still clear and based on classic Transformers. The character models seem to be halfway between the movie characters and those of the Classics/Universe toys. The art also recalls the Japanese roots of the franchise and in those early pages, Optimus looks very much like a futuristic samurai robot.

The Stunticons get a lot of attention in this issue, which is nice as these evil counterparts to the Autobots have been underused in Transformers media. A subplot involves the recovery of the deactivated Breakdown from the Spike Witwitcky and Skywatch. The issue ends with the betrayal of the Decepticons and the formation of Menasor. The art on these last half dozen panels is really stunning.

Overall, Transformers #5 continues the quality storytelling that we have come to expect from this new ongoing series, which is unafraid to take some risks with its characters and storytelling. So far a main character has been killed, the beloved leader of the Autobots is so doubtful about his role in the war that he has taken himself out of the equation, Ultra Magnus is a total schmuck, and Rodimus is a dumbass. I for one am happy that the writers are taking these very familiar characters and finding new aspects of their personalities to show off in a compelling story.

Patrick Garone
Creative Director

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Matty took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions.

1. Toyguru and Matty confirmed several times that the hyper-stylized, so called ‘anime” look of the 200X figures, should be retired for good. And also that POP/NA/200X figures that didn’t have an action figure in the ‘80s MOTU line would be introduced in MOTUC, sculpted in the same way as if the figure was going to be made in the ‘80s but with added detail and improved articulation. However She-Ra and Count Marzo were sculpted with static body parts that are entirely reminiscent of the 200X line and NECA statues (windblown hair for both and windblown cape for Marzo). This is a very modern approach to action figure sculpting that didn’t even exist in the ‘80s. Although it might make head movement easier it actually limits pose-ability in the sense that the figures can only be posed in display settings that allow for blowing wind (it’s impossible to place them in settings like the indoors of Castle Grayskull or Royal Palace where there is supposed to be no wind). Online polls done on the Mattycollector forums show that collectors would prefer “vintage style” neutrally positioned hair and capes. Why have Mattel and/or the Four Horsemen opted for such a modern approach for these two figures, in a line that is supposed to be strictly classic?

This was actually noted by upper management and we will be toning down the amount of wind blown hair, etc. on figures for a more unified Classic look. The direction for the current line is to avoid the "anime" interpretation of the 2002 line as that look is retired.

2. We know you can’t comment on specific characters that haven’t been announced, but are “civilian” “historical” DC characters like Sgt. Rock or Jonah Hex being considered for a DCU treatment?


3. On, you explained what the status descriptions meant, but you forgot one. Can you explain when it says “Currently Unavailable”?

This description means we are sold out but more may come in one day when we go into another run - like what we did for Stratos.

4. With all the constant problem there are every month with Digital River, are you looking into change to another provider?

We are committed to delivering the best service possible but we can not comment specifically on our relationship with Digital River.

5. Back to the Walmart issue, you keep saying Mattycollector is listening to the fans. But doing another wave exclusive to a store that has proven time & time again that they don’t care about the DCU line, doesn’t seem like you are listening to the fans. The fans are frustrated & just about had it with Walmart Waves. We do not want another exclusive wave. We want all waves available everywhere.

While we do listen to fans on our lines we also listen to retailers. Doing an exclusive wave for Wal-Mart is part of an overall strategy to bring DCUC to Wal-Mart stores and while we do take fan comments, this is not a particular issue we can let the fans vote on.

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Access to Over 500 of Marvel’s Greatest Titles Including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man and Hulk

Marvel Entertainment is proud to announce the launch of the Marvel Comics App for iPad on the App Store. This landmark app launches with over 500 of Marvel’s greatest comic books, from classic stories to modern tales, featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor and more of the world’s most popular Super Heroes. The Marvel Comics App brings the world of Marvel to iPad owners with each comic presented at incredibly high resolution possible on iPad’s full color screen, a user-friendly search engine, innovative viewing options and more.

“We’re excited to introduce an unparalleled digital comic experience to our fans with the Marvel Comics App for iPad,” said Dan Buckley, publisher & CEO, Marvel Publishing. “The iPad is the first device that offers us a chance to present digital comics that are even close to replicating the experience of reading a print comic. This new world of digital comics distribution provides us great opportunities to reach new readers, allow consumers to sample our diverse stories and characters, and we believe it will drive these new fans into the App Store and local comic shops each week to find even more.”

Fans will be granted unrivaled access to Marvel’s rich library of comics, with launch titles ranging from the first appearances of characters such as Spider-Man and the X-Men to modern classics like the debut of Red Hulk, Jonathan Hickman’s acclaimed Fantastic Four run, Joss Whedon & John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men and lots more. Every comic available through the Marvel Comics App is optimized for the iPad through painstaking re-coloring and re-digitizing of select content.

Marvel worked with ComiXology to create the perfect app for new readers, offering the option to preview three pages from each available comic before purchasing and a cutting edge recommendation engine for every fan to find a comic they’re sure to love. The app also arms fans with a handy comic shop locator, allowing them to find their local retailer’s address and phone number and then journey even further into the Marvel Universe. To further enhance the mobile reading experience on the iPad, the Marvel Comics App features multiple viewing modes, taking readers panel-by-panel through the comic book in a smooth, action-packed progression using just the swipe of a finger.

The Marvel Comics App for iPad is available for free from the App Store on iPad or at Individual comics are priced at just $1.99 each with new content arriving every week.

To commemorate this historic event, Marvel is offering select titles free for a limited time, such as New Avengers #1, which launched a new era for super hero comics; Captain America #1, Invincible Iron Man #1 & Thor #1, the perfect place for new readers to discover the titular heroes; and Super Hero Squad #1, suited for fans of all ages, especially our youngest ones.

The Marvel Comics App is also available for iPhone and iPod touch. For all the details on Marvel’s historic announcement and a closer look at the Marvel Comics App, please visit


About Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics). Marvel's strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world, including feature films, consumer products, toys, video games, animated television, direct-to-DVD and online. For more information visit

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Eager to start its 2010 Archaia All Access Convention Tour, Archaia Entertainment announced it is exhibiting at Comic-Con International’s WonderCon, Northern California's premiere comics and popular arts event, to be held at Moscone Center South in San Francisco April 2-4, 2010.

The publisher will set up shop at Booth #813 where it will offer for sale copies of its latest hardcover offerings, including The Killer Vol. 2, Days Missing Vol. 1, Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 2 and Robotika Vol. 2: For a Few Rubles More. There will also be many free giveaways and the opportunity to meet with several Archaia creators, including Chandra Free (The God Machine), Patrick McEvoy (Starkweather), Tom Pinchuk (Hybrid Bastards!), Josh Finney and Kat Rocha (Titanium Rain), and a bevy of writers and artists who are working on the upcoming Fraggle Rock comic series, including Heather White, Jeff Stokely, Leigh Dragoon and Adrianne Ambrose.

“This is what we live for! It’s fantastic to be able to come out and meet our fans, reward them with some cool giveaways and tease them with some subtle hints of what exciting projects are coming next from Archaia,” said Archaia Marketing Manager Mel Caylo. “This is the first time at WonderCon for many of our staff, and we’re looking forward to the Comic-Con International group putting on a phenomenal show!”

The Archaia booth will be open on Friday, April 2 from 12-7 p.m.; Saturday, April 3 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sunday, April 4 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition, the publisher will present a panel in Room 236/238 on Sunday, April 4 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. to speak about some exciting new developments, including the announcement of several new titles. In addition to the creators listed above, on hand to speak about their projects will be Michael McMillian (Lucid) and Joshua Hale Fialkov (Tumor), plus there’s always the potential of a surprise “speaker”!

Archaia is always interested in publishing creator-owned comic books in the adventure, fantasy, horror, pulp noir and science fiction genres that contain idiosyncratic and atypical writing and art, so submissions will be accepted at the booth all weekend. If you would like to leave behind a submission, please consult the “Submissions” section on the Archaia website ( for criteria.

After WonderCon, the Archaia All Access Convention Tour will make stops at C2E2 (April 16-18 in Chicago, Ill.), The LA Times Festival of Books (April 24-25 in Los Angeles, Calif.), San Diego Comic-Con (July 21-25 in San Diego, Calif.), Baltimore Comic-Con (August 27-28 in Baltimore, Md.), New York Comic Con (Oct. 8-10 in New York, N.Y.) and Long Beach Comic Con (Oct. 29-31 in Long Beach, Calif.).

About Archaia

Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful material that perpetually transforms minds. With a slate including the popular Eisner Award-winning title Mouse Guard, as well as Gunnerkrigg Court, Roddenberry Productions’ Days Missing, Robotika, Awakening, The Killer, Killing Pickman, Artesia and the Publisher’s latest additions of Titanium Rain; Tumor; The God Machine; The Jim Henson Company library; and Mr. Murder Is Dead and Lucid with Before the Door Pictures, Archaia has become synonymous with quality content.

For more information on Archaia or any Archaia titles please visit Archaia can also be found on Facebook (, MySpace ( and Twitter (

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COMIC REVIEW: Die Hard: Year One TPB (BOOM! Studios)


Detective John Mcclane? No sir, this is beat cop Officer Mcclane. Assigned to foot patrol during the 4th of July celebration in the heart of New York City, it seemed it was going to be a long,hot day for John Mcclane.


After some time it turns out that Mcclane scores some kind of luck when a wealthy women notices the handsome cop and asks the Commissioner of the NYPD himself that Officer Mcclane help with security on her yacht for a who's who party that night. Mcclane agrees but knows what the lady has in mind, and it's not Security. The plot of the series unfolds on the boat that night. It turns out to be a staged robbery/hit job and Officer Mcclane is there to kick some serious ass. Like the hero we know and love, Mcclane saves the day and ends up getting a promotion to Detective.

This book is a guilty pleasure of mine. The story starts off a little slow but you have to remember that this is the first time your seeing John Mcclane. It's interesting as you get a lot of back story on John Mcclane, like the fact that he served in Vietnam and how the war affected him.I'm glad to see that this book is getting more then just one run as the second series of year one books are already out and following Detective Mcclane on another busy day in the NYPD I'm sure.

Rick Alaia
Staff Reviewer

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