Friday, May 21, 2010

Review: Bowen "Logan" Minibust

Before I start reviewing my new Logan bust, let me just clarify my new comics for last week. It's weird that i remembered the ones that I DIDN'T get. here are the ones that i did and their actual pictures together with the ones I got from ebay that same week..

New Mutants #6 was from my LCS, got mixed up wtih the others. Wolverine vol.2 1, Wolverine vol.3 33-35, 73-74, New X-Men 139-141 were the ones i got from ebay.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me start with my review of the Bowen Logan Mini-bust. I first saw this thing in the November 2009 Previews, it was going for $60 and it was supposed to ship out January 2010. I pre-ordered it since i wanted to collect the Bowen Mini-busts. Afterall, i already had 3 of the 4 released at that time, the Brown one being the one i lacked. I didn't really like the hair of the piece, it looked a bit too anime for me to aprreciate. I was real happy to find out that the prototype shown in the previews were still tweaked and in my opinion, the face of the one released was way better than that of the prototype. I've read from the different statue forums that this was supposedly a Weapon X model with a cigar in his mouth and stuff, i also read that it had to be changed in order for Marvel to green light it. I won't compare it to that bust but in my opinion, the changes were for the better. Anyway, I have no idea what type of shipping they used as it took only 4 MONTHS for it to reach the stores. I actually almost forgot about this piece until my LCS texted me that it finally arrived, i found a way to gather the remaining balance i had on this piece so i can finally get it. To my surprise, the bust was actually numbered up until 1300, i had the impression that it would be around the 3000 mark. I got number 299, a pretty good number though it's not really that low.

I guess i should start of with the packaging, it's basically the same with the other Bowen Mini-busts, the front and the box have a huge picture of the product inside. The left side has the specifics of the bust such as the sculptor and the height, while the right has a write up about the character. I think the write-up changes depending on the look which is a nice touch. I think the "LOGAN" could've been made better. Or maybe it could've just replaced the Wolverine logo. Having a plain font really hurts the look of the packaging for me. At the bottom of the box is the number of the bust, mine says 299/1300. Pretty plain, i guess Bowen doesn't feel the need to make CoAs. But the packaging isn't what i'm after, it's the one inside. And let me just say I'm not disappointed with the bust at all, I don't know if it's just the excitement of finally getting it but i think this just replaced the X-Force Kotobukiya as my favorite bust! This bust is years ahead (literally and figuratively) of the last Bowen Wolverine MB released. (Tigerstripe) There's just a whole lot more detail in the bust compared to the older ones.

Here's the actual picture of the bust, the front just looks so detailed. You just get the feeling that the shirt used to be white. It looks like it's been dragged through mud. The gloves look real nice, and the way the claws are placed seems as if there were slits especially made for them. the belt is very detailed too, i think it's inspired by the belt Wolverine uses in the Origins movie, this look is probably inspired by the movie. The bullet wounds seem nice, and just to prove that this Wolverine just went through war, even the back has bullet wounds.
You can see in the picture above that the wound seems to be closing leaving only a hole and dried blood on the shirt. You could also see the way paint is applied on the shirt. Oh, and if you think I'm just going to shower praises to this piece, your wrong. I do have some problems with it, such as the claws. They are REAL fragile, they seem to have been slid inside. It's also thinner compared to the other claws so you better be careful in handling them. My biggest problem with the piece though is the base. Unlike the other 4 Wolverine mini-busts, this one doesn't have it painted. It's a plain black base with claw slashes on it.
The wound on the head is a nice touch too, it shows the adamantium skeleton and it's nice that it's the same color as the claws. The face, though looks a bit anime-ish, looks nice cause it really seems that Logan is pissed. Ready to cut you open if you get on his bad side.

Overall, i think the bust is really good. Bowen lists the product as sold out so i guess if you want it, go check if your LCS ordered one, if not..try ebay. I saw this bust there a couple of months ago, going for $45.00 without the shipping, which will probably end up being $15.00.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

comic book bargains!

I'm going to take a break from my Uncanny Uniform thing to talk about something else..

This past weekend, Robinson's Manila had a 3-day mall wide sale (not sure but i think the other Robinson's malls did too), I really didn't care about it until i got to see Comic Odyssey from an escalator, i saw a sign saying "30% off" and as soon as i could, i went there as fast as i can. I was disappointed to find out that the discount was only for the 1:10, 1:25, etc. variants. I just figured to go to the P20 bargain bin that rarely has any issues i want but then i saw a sign that said: "all backissues P50 only".

That's FIFTY PESOS. A little over an american dollar. There is a catch though, the backissues they were talking about were the ones in the boxes. That's pretty much alright with me since I have all the recent issues i needed. The problem was that i had a very limited budget at that time so i couldn't go wild. I had to select VERY CAREFULLY.

I was only able to buy a total of 14 comics. Which costs P700 i guess, more or less US$15 but i'm too lazy to actually check. Bought 9 of them on friday and 5 more earlier today, too bad I didn't have more money with me. Unfortunately, i don't have a camera right now so I'll just try to remember which ones i bought and post the covers here. Here they are, and why i chose to buy them.

Wolverine 33-35 (House of M) I think the House of M story arc was the only one that was still complete over at the backissue bin, i bought them earlier today and i'm happy that my Vol.3 Wolverine is slowly beginning to fill itself out (stopped collecting after issue 9 thanks to being unable to go to malls before.)
Wolverine 74 - You might be wondering what this issue is doing here, and no I didn't get it cause i had no other choice. I got this since i bought the the reason i bought this is because I bought number 73 over at ebay (another story i'll try to touch up soon). And as much as possible, i try to have the complete storyarc. I especially hate it when i have just one or two missing, and since this specific storyarc is just a two parter, i grabbed the first chance i had of completing it.

BEST CHANCE TO GRAB THE OLDIES (not too sure if i got this ones or not)
i REALLY don't want to buy old issues twice or thrice their original price, but then i probably will since i still have a long way to go before i complete the 1st ongoing wolverine. I'm not so sure about some of them but i think these are the ones that i got. I'll clarify when i have the chance.
Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #2
Wolverine 14
Wolverine 16
Wolverine 18
Wolverine 20
Wolverine 22
Wolverine 35
Wolverine 44

Wolverine 46

As you can see, i threw out having a complete storyline out of the window. This is the best chance I'm going to have to get these things. They usually cost the same or even more than the current srp for new issues. I'm not really sure if i got a couple of them, though i'm sure i got 8 issues from the first Wolverine ongoing. It's just that I can't remember exactly which ones they are. I'll post the actual pictures once i get a chance, probably together with the ones i got from ebay. And finally...

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine 1 - this is also the reason why i bought the number 2, this might or might not be worth something but it's okay with me. I try to get as much number 1s as i can. Not because i plan on selling them in the future, nope..i intend to keep them as long as i could. I just like having #1s.
Weapon X 1- I already have a copy of this one, 2 of them actually. It's just that the copies i have are the ones that came free with the Marvel Legends AoA Weapon X figures from ToyBiz. I just couldn't pass up the chance of getting this number 1.

There you go, my sale hauls. if i just had more money then i could've bought more. I guess i'll make sure i'm ready the next time a similar event occurs.

I also bought 2 comics worth of books from my other comic book shop (the one i frequent the most), i'll try to share my thoughts on them sometime soon. Plus, i'm scheduled to meet-up with the guy from ebay who'll sell me more comics..stay tuned.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Uncanny Uniforms: Tigerstripe Wolverine

Anyone who grew up watching the animated X-Men series will pretty much associate Wolverine with this costume. This one is called "tigerstripe" probably because of the prominent stripes on the shoulder and the torso of the uniform. This uniform is probably the most recognizable to most people, though it isn't the most well liked. this uniform first appeared on the Giant Sized X-Men #1, where Xavier gets a new team to rescue his students from the living island of Kroaka(?). It was not conceived on purpose, the cover artist was supposed to draw the cat-face/first appearance uniform but he made a mistake of making the ears and the points on the boots longer. They liked that look so much that they decided to stick with it and drop the old look. Sometime around the mid1980s Wolverine dropped this style in favor of the crowd favorite brown and tan costume. Then sometime around the 90s this costume was once again used until they changed it into the New X-Men look which incorporated the style of the X-Men movies. There have been very little changes or variations to this look throughout the years that it has been used. Changes included are the sizr of the shoulder pads, color of the mask (ranging from black to blue) and the belt buckle, usually being X when he is with the X-Men and going with the normal belt buckle when he is on solo missions on his own book. Some of his most famous moments happened while he was wearing this uniform, such as going against the Hellfire Club all by himself while the other X-Men were held as prisoners. Having his adamantium sucked out from him by Magento. In terms of character development, a lot has changed about him compared to when he first appeared. Instead of being an actual Wolverine, they turned him into a teenaged boy. But when the artists drew his face unmasked, they made it look as if he was in his forties, and once again the look stuck. They also incorporated the adamantium claws to the character instead of the gloves, making it a part of the character himself.
Though the whiskers problem of the first appearance uniform was changed, the fact that it was still blue and yellow made it a lot less stealthy and intimidating in my mind. Though i guess being a superhero means that you have to wear bright colors. Since this is probably the most recognizable Wolverine look, a lot of merchandise using this look has been created already. I have quite a few of them and I'm going to share with you guys the ones that are opened. This is not counting the figures i have of him that are still unopened. And i myself admit that I'm lacking a lot of figures wherein he's sporting this look.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Uncanny Uniforms: First Appearance Wolverine

Here's a new thing for the blog, hopefully i don't get tired of doing this and continue until I finish the entire list. I plan on featuring every single one of Wolverine's different uniforms/costumes/looks on this site. As an added bonus, I'll feature some of my collections at the end of the post. Here we go..Enjoy!

The perfect way to start is to begin where it all began. Way way back to October 1974, the last page of The Incredible Hulk #180, where this little man wearing yellow and blue pops up at the last page of a comic book to join a fight between two huge beasts, the Hulk and Wendigo.

THE first appearance of THE Wolverine.

There's been A LOT of changes to Wolverine from when he was first conceptualized. The first artist assigned to create him thought that a wolverine is a female wolf, the claws weren't supposed to be a part of him, he was supposed to be a teenager. If you have read his first fight with the Hulk, it is almost as if he's a different character, he talks a lot and makes jokes kind of like how Spidey fights, and since his bones weren't bonded with adamantium, the Hulk breaks his ribs here. Oh, and poison gas knocks him out here too. Not the Wolverine we all know now. All those were changed throughout the years to create and maybe even perfect the character which is either famous or over-exposed (depends on your point-of-view).

Let me clear this up for you, Wolverine's very first appearance in comic books is actually in Incredible Hulk #180, #181 is where he is part of the cover and appears almost the entiriety of the book. This uniform has been used in very few comic books; if it is ever featured, it is usually just in flashback scenes. With good reason too, the mask on this thing doesn't really scream scary. But it's still a very important look since this is where it all started. As you can see in the picture his claws weren't in the right position, this is because they were not intended to be a part of him but instead it was supposed to be part of the gloves.The writers just changed it afterwards and made it a part of him in order to make him more unique and irreplaceable. Which is the right move, almost everyone associates claws on the hands to wolverine. When I was a kid, i used to bread knives between my fingers and pretend to be Wolverine right after watching the X-Men animated series. That wouldn't have happened if the claws were part of the gloves. This wasn't as bad as some other first appearance looks for other heroes such as Luke Cage but it also isn't as good as the real iconic ones such as Superman's and Spider-Man's. It should also be noted that for me, this isn't the worst Wolverine look ever created. There weren't a lot of things changed when they created the next Wolverine look, the changes weren't even intentional. They were a mistake made by the interior artist of Giant Sized X-Men #1. One more thing i almost forgot to note is that this is the look that was used in the Hulk Vs. Wolverine animated movie, which I think is one of the better DVD animated movies released by either Marvel or DC. It's a real nice treat, real action packed though they could have done it without other characters that popped up (Sabretooth, Deadpool, etc.) though I did enjoy Deadpool's appearance. I think it would have been better if the movie included the Wendigo instead of them.

As far as merchandise go, i don't really have a lot of first appearance Wolverines, i don't think a lot of them has been produced already since this looked appeared and disappeared before action figures and other stuff like that. As of this writing, I still haven't gotten the Marvel Select First Appearance variant from my local comic shop, though I already reserved one. All i have as of now is the Bowen Mini-bust, and the two Marvel Legends First Appearance from the Face-off line. On a side-note, i think this is the worst variant ever made by Toybiz, they just opened his mouth and called it a variant! Though it's still better than Hasbro's repaint variants.

I don't have enogh money to own either Incredible Hulk 180 or 181 so i settled for the next best thing, i bought a reprint of it. It was published October 1986, 4 years and 2 months before i was born.

Next-up: Tigerstripe.