Nautilus collectible coming soon

Nautilus

Nautilus

eFX Inc. has designed a 1/45th scale collector’s replica of Captain Nemo’s ship, the Nautilus. This limited edition Nautilus will preview at the San Diego Comic-Con thsi week, so if you happen to be there, go check it out!

At the Expo, the Nautilus will also make a preview appearance along with a real treasure, the original restored model of the Nautilus designed by Harper Goff that was used in the film 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. You’ll find the model in the “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” exhibit!

 

Details on the new collectible Nautilus include:

  • Internal and external lighting

  • A recreation of the lush and fabulous Victorian Salon aboard the ship

  • A recreation of the Wheelhouse

  • The Nautilus is handcrafted from resin with machine & die-cast metal and injection-molded ABS detail

  • The edition size will be limited to no more than 500 pieces

  • Each Nautilus comes with its own display base, a numbered plaque, and a Certificate of Authenticity

No word on cost yet, but expect something of this quality to be a bit pricey, so start saving up your coins now. eFX Inc., will begin taking pre-orders shortly after the D23 Expo in September with delivery to commence in early 2010.

For more information visit: www.efxcollectibles.com

Thanks to Miceage.com for the info.

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Comics: Batman & Robin #1 (2009)

B_and_R1For fans of All Star Superman and The Authority, you’re in for a treat with Batman & Robin #1 (Batman Reborn arc) with the infamous creative team of writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely.

Coming off the heels of the supposed death of Bruce Wayne in Final Crisis #7 and the ensuing ‘Battle for the Cowl’ story arc (yawn), the Batman Reborn arc kicks off with Dick Grayson (the original Robin and more recently Nightwing) assuming the Bat mantle and Bruce’s estranged son Damien as the new Robin in a new DC series.

A little background first on the ‘bat’ universe within DC:  At the end of Final Crisis we are supposed to believe that Bruce Wayne mortally perished, yet in the last page it hinted very heavily that Bruce did in fact ‘not’ die, but taking a self imposed sabbatical for a while.  What this was supposed to accomplish for us comic fanatics I’m just not sure, because if DC was trying to shock us or make us care about Batman, they failed, at least in my opinion.  As a matter of fact Final Crisis in itself was a disappointment, especially since it was so drawn out and late with several issues.

So we are supposed to ‘believe’ Bruce is indeed dead, and thus a vacuum of power has been been created within Gotham City with many of the B-list hero’s in and around Gotham are going to pick up the pieces and continue on with Batman’s brand of justice.  So we have Robin, Huntress, Batgirl, Jason Todd, The Outsiders, Nightwing, Batwoman, etc., etc., etc. all vying for the lead spot in the totally predictable and utterly boring “Battle for the Cowl” arc. 

I’m sorry if I seem a little sour on this, but really, did anyone truly believe that Dick Grayson would not come out on top after all this and become the new ‘temporary’ Batman?  And I say temporary only because if you think Bruce is truly dead, then you may as well give up reading comics now.  Also, if you are one to believe that the next Batman movie will be out in 2010 or 2011, do you think DC would have one of their main characters in limbo when all the merchandising hoopla begins?  Nah, at best (or worst depending on how you look at it), Bruce will be back within 2 years….the same way most of DC’s ‘dead hero’ roster always returns back in time.  As far as the other titles go, I’m not so excited….so Red Robin is set in Europe, and Outsiders is just plain lame since it became ‘Batman and the Outsiders just over a year back witha  direction change that took the fun out of the book.  And sadly, while the new Batwoman may be something to look at as far as eye candy goes, nothing over there has made me care all that much.  Clearly Gotham is still too saturated with Bat-esque goodies and baddies running around in spandex…sigh.

Anyway, I’m off point.  Back to the comic at hand.  Morrison and Quitely’s take on Batman & Robin is very fun witha  mixture of dry humor and sarcasm.  Batman overall needed a nice change up within any of their titles, and this one looks very promising.  You can’t really go wrong with Morrison’s writing, and Quitely’s unique art style is both detailed and fresh on the characters within. 

While Dick Grayson is the lead in this title, it’s clear that a lot of focus and development is in store for Damien, and his character while coming off as a little spoiled prat at times is a good counter contrast to Dick’s. 

Introduced in this issue is a few minor tweaks to the traditional costumes (I particularly like Batman’s new belt), a new batmobile, and a new ‘lair’ (underneath a Gotham skyscraper that coincidentally is shaped like a bat if you look hard enough).  Also look for a new rogue in ‘Pyg’, a sadistic new villain whose minions are probably the most ‘eerie’ I’ve ever seen within the pages any Batman title.  It’s refreshing for a new criminal face other than another rehash of the Joker, Clayface, Penguin or whomever.

Morrison and Quitely have the first three issues here and are setting up the foundation for a hopefully solid run for future writers and artists on this title lik ethey did for X-Men #114 some eight years back.  Anyway, this title is fun and exciting and really does qualify as a ‘shake up’ within the established universe without throwing everything out the window before it, but again, in all seriousness, do we really expect Bruce to be gone for more than 2 years?

Comics: Ghost Rider #34

Ghost Rider #34

Ghost Rider #34

It’s been a long time since I reviewed any comics (so much going on), and I’m still a bit behind in my readings, but I wanted to take the time share my thoughts on Marvels latest incarnation of the Spirit of Vengeance, Ghost Rider.

The current series (believe it or not is credited as volume 6) has wrapped up it’s Zadkiel arc ending in #32, and it looks as if Danny Ketch now the Ghost Rider again and writer  Jason Aaron with artist Tony Moore perhaps may be taking the book in a new direction.

After the culimation of such a long and convulted Zadkiel arc, this issue is a self-contained ‘fun’ issue that just stars Danny Ketch in the title role what the reader can imagine as only a few days or weeks after the issue #32.  It’s a bit unclear the exact passage of time, but it isn’t central to this story.  Danny realizes he was duped as Zadkiel’s agent in rounding up and destroying all the other Ghost Rider’s around the globe, and only has a fraction of the power he just had. 

Here Danny runs across the path of a Hillbilly Trucker who made a deal with a devil to sell his own soul so that he could continue to compete in today’s job market.  I know, I know…it’s sounds very lame up front, but the origin of the Trucker is actually done pretty well and within only a few panels.  It reminds you of the old ghost stories you heard around the campfire as a little kid…a legend of horrific fun.

There is the obligatory fight between the Trucker (with his truck no doubt) and Ghost Rider.  The action is tight and fast and Tony Moore’s art is really done well within the panels.  When Danny turns into Ghost Rider, the artwork on this alone give a whole new realization of the transformation process and you can imagine how brutal it is on the human host. 

The fight itself needs to be understood as fun, because you’ll need to set aside a little realism when your eyebrows cock that an 18-wheeler rig has the same hadnling and pickup speed of Danny’s cycle.  If you can get past that, supernaturally powered or not, you’ll have a good time.  The ending is good and a bit of a throwback to the old 70’s style B horror movies, and there a little gem surprise in the ‘end credits’ if you will.  I won’t spoil it here, but there was a little easter egg on the very last page.

I give this issue a 4 out of 5 for its art and fun value.

Now putting all the above aside I have a gripe and a concern.  My concern is that I think the regular run of this series may be ending with issue #35, and then launch into a 6 part miniseries and may continue thereafter as a ‘mini-series’ typ eof title.  That bums me out, because Ghost Rider has so much potential, and has had some good history and creativity under it’s belt, but it just can’t seem to get traction over at Marvel for the long haul.  They try and try with this title and it inevitably gets cut way before its time.  Maybe this sould be a ‘Max’ title, or bi-monthly until readers can appreciate this cast of characters.

Now my gripe:  Volume 6 started with Johnny escaping from ‘the’ Hell itself and having to defeat ‘the’ Lucifer (i.e. Satan…the antithesis of God).  After the first year Johnny not only put the Devil down, he also goes toe-to-toe with the Hulk (see World War Hulk crossover) and hold his own.  Then somewhere around the Zadkiel arc starting up, Johnny teams up with multiple versions of GR from around the globe and get defeated by Zadkeil?  WTF?  So Johnny can beat Satan, but can’t beat Zadkiel with the helps of others?  So is Zadkiel more powerful than Satan, the father of all sin and evil?  Yeah, I know this is a comic, but something just doesn’t seem to jive here….How did Zadkiel outsmart both heaven and Lucifer and defeat so many other Rider’s.  If you’re going to go that route, then you need to retcon Lucifer or change the story outcome somehow….this just doesn’t work in the overall mythos of the Marvel Universe, and that of our own to boot.

Personal gaming journal #5

It’s been a really long time since I did any updates on the games I enjoy playing, so I’ll just give a quick synopsis of where I’m getting my feet wet again.  That is to say, I’m going a little retro lately, digging out some of my older 360 games, and even a much older PC game.  Why?  Well, I just can’t justify all the new $60 games these days and I know if I wait around long enough, they’ll eventually drop in price to something a bit more attractive to the pocket.  There are just so many big titles I’d like to get my hands on, but I am definitely discovering that ‘Platinum Hits’ is where it’s at.

  • Was able to pick up Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for $29.99 a few weeks back.  I can’t say I’m a big fan of them, actually, there are a few songs of theirs I don’t like at all, but there are plenty of tolerable ones plus the addition of other artists like Joan Jett and RUN DMC make it palatable and fun.  I’m about 1/2 way done on ‘medium’ difficulty and so far have racked up quite a few gamer points.
  • 1 vs 100 (Xbox Live) – I like trivia, and this beta has been going on way too long lately, but the gameplay is addictive and when it finally goes Live (gold) to win real MS points, I’ll be all over it.  I suck at sports question though, and up until those are being asked, I surprised how well I’m doing against other players.
  • WOW – Taking a break…need to recharge my batteries, but I think the frozen north is calling my name again.
  • CoH/CoV – Also taking a break. 
  • Fallout 3 ‘The Pitt expansion’ – Pretty good expansion with a few neat weapons.  There were some tense moments with the Trogs as they have the ability to seemingly jump out of nowhere and you need to be much more aware of your ammo supply than before.  A nice diversion, but really looking forward to getting ‘Point Lookout’ DLC.
  • Saints Row 2 – Not playing as much as I’d like because of the ‘mature’ content and my daughter hanging around way too much.  Fun little sandbox version of GTA4 I picked up also for $29.99.  Looking forward to playing this again soon.
  • GTA4 – Same as above with the daughter.  Was getting back into it and finally making some progress on the game just to put it back on the shelf until I get some alone time.
  • Brothers In Arms Hell Highway – Played the demo and I really like it.  I may pick this up soon as it’s currently going for $24.99. 
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 – Lovin’ it.  I may give this it’s own post soon enough, it warrants it and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the content.  I jumped right into tour/career mode and working my way up.  Wind can be very frustrating to me if it’s over 15 MPH, and some holes just seem very random, but overall it takes me a good hour to play 1 round and I have some nail biting moments and get very excited when I do a fabulous shot, and very hard on myself when I shoot a crappy one.
  • Railroad Tycoon 3 – Totally retro Win 98 game I’m really getting into as well.  Graphics are a little dated at this point, but who doesn’t love playing with trains?  Deserves it’s own post as well.

Waiting for Blu-Ray quality for streaming? Keep waiting…..

Been holding off on buying a Blu-ray  player because you think some high-def streaming/download service will make the format obsolete soon?   The wait may be longer than you may have expected.

Studio Briefing reports that according to a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, it could be at minimum five years or possibly more before high-definition films comparable to Blu-ray quality can be streamed to your home entertainment system.

The reason? – lack of infrastructure.  Specifically a lack of high speed online access. The study says that though many homes are connected to video services offering high-def titles, most consumers’ broadband connections are too slow to stream HD video.

Blu-ray discs output video at an average rate of 25-35Mbps.  Streaming HD video is compressed even further so it requires a connection of 18-20Mbps to operate at full quality. (See Netflix streaming on Xbox for example)

Unfortunately the average broadband subscriber’s connection presently sits somewhere around 2.5Mbps.

Brandon Routh on Superman sequel

Omelete.com recently spoke with Brandon Routh on the set of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and was asked if he had heard anything about the progress of a “Superman Returns” sequel.

Routh stated that his contract to play the Man of Steel had infact expired.  Routh says “The contract term has expired. But if they call me again, [I would go] back to the character without thinking twice.”

What about the general progress of the sequel “I do not know of anything. I’m sure that Warner Bros. is moving there, but everything is still uncertain. Really, I do not know anything.”

Routh also admits in the interview that the first film was sadly lacking much in the way of action and feels disappointed the franchise didn’t get a second chance after ‘Returns’ underperformed.