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The Official Newsletter of Heroes and Dragons


Issue # 8.34 ó March 28, 2004

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Pick of the Week ó JLA/Avengers # 4

Thatís right.  You can stop calling.  You can stop asking.  You can stop trying to name all the characters on the cover to issue # 3 to pass the time.  Why?  Because JLA/Avengers # 4 is finally here.

After recovering from a hand injury sustained while drawing that absolutely mind-blowing cover to JLA/Avengers # 3, George Pťrez is back in the saddle and dedicated to drawing every single character connected to the JLA and Avengers that you could possibly ever think of ó and then some.  The wait was certainly worth it, people.  When you see every single panel filled to the brim with different heroes than the last, youíll know what I mean.

This series has been a heck of a lot of fun, and the last issue is no exception.  Kurt Busiek has provided a script that adds reason to the vast madness of a crossover as colossal as this.  The story so far has been like reading the comics of my youth.  Big, colorful super-heroes hop between dimensions in search of items of power and, of course, in typical super-hero fashion, beat the heck out of each other at the drop of a hat.

In this final issue, the heroes have put aside their differences to fight off the end of both of their universes.  And standing in their way is virtually every villain either team has ever faced before.  I kid you not.

One of the things Iíve enjoyed most about this series is how Busiek points out the differences between the heroes of the DC and Marvel universes.  The JLA seem to Captain America to be fascist dictators who force people to worship them ó and to Superman, the turmoil throughout the Marvel universe shows that the Avengers arenít doing enough.  Itís a really nice contrast between the two companies and their heroes.

If youíve made it this far and havenít rushed down to Heroes and Dragons to pick it up, I donít know what else I can say to make you do so.   Well, there is one thing: Batman vs. Batroc the Leaper!

Hey, whereíd everyone go?

For more of Tug's recommendations, click here.

Toys of the Week ó Marvel Legends Series 5

Welcome back once again, toy fiends.

This weekís review covers Marvel Legends Series 5.  This continuation of the popular Marvel Legends line includes Blade; Sabretooth; Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Mr. Fantastic; Silver Surfer (with Howard the Duck); Colossus; and a chase figure of the Red Skull.

Again ToyBiz presents us with super-articulated, well-executed figures of everyoneís favorite Marvel characters.  Sure, ToyBiz has made some odd choices, but that is nothing new and nothing that is going to change anytime soon.  ToyBiz has a successful line and they show no sign of letting up.

Admittedly, I put off buying this series.  Why?  Iím not completely sure.  I hate chase figures.  (I understand why ToyBiz continues to produce them, but I donít like them.)  When the series first appeared, Blade was absent, and that annoyed me.  And since Iíd mostly picked at the previous assortments, I wasnít sure I wanted to get completely involved.  Iím glad I did!  I found Red Skull and later Blade, and once I started I couldnít stop.  These things are addictive.

If only ToyBiz wouldnít reuse body parts from one figure to the next.  But after years of seeing poor product cranked out by ToyBiz, Iím just happy theyíve started producing toys that actually try to compete with the rest of the market.

But I canít be too hard on these.  ToyBiz has come a long way over the past few years, and if a little bit of the sculpt is sacrificed to enhance the articulation and the fun factor, then thatís all right.

Every figure in Marvel Legends Series 5 has at least one accessory, its base.

Sabretooth comes with another chunck of a destroyed Sentinel, this time a foot.  He looks great displayed on it, and itís great to have another chunk of Sentinel.

Mr. Fantastic comes with part of the Fantasticar, which is well-detailed, has a folding seat, and looks just as it should ó like a flying bathtub.

Colossus has the chest piece of a Sentinel, but it looks too small compared to all the other Sentinel pieces.  If you were hoping to piece together a complete Sentinel, you had better start looking elsewhere.

Nick Fury comes with his jetpack and a trail of smoke that suspends him in mid-flight.  He looks much better that way.

Silver Surfer comes with his cosmic surfboard and attaches to it via magnets in his feet.  This means that, just like last yearís magnetic Spiderman, Surfer can hang out on your fridge!  And as a special bonus, Surfer comes with a figure of Howard the Duck.  What more do you want?  Heís a well-sculpted and painted representation of everybodyís favorite wise-cracking duck.

Blade has the most accessories.  His base is his motorcycle.  While not as impressive as Ghost Riderís bike, it still serves its purpose.  Blade also has a faux leather coat, sword, gun, sunglasses, and a throwing weapon.

The Red Skull has a repainted base from the Series 1 Captain America but also comes with hand gun and his hat.

With a suggested retail price between $8 and $10, Marvel Legends are a great buy.  You get a lot for your money, and compared to some other super-hero toys. they seem like a steal.

This is a line of super-hero toys you can actually play with.  They can pass any Articulation test you toss at them:  They can sit in chairs, lay on operating tables, do a split, and look great mid-stride.  If there was ever a line that took playing with your toys to a new level, it would be Marvel Legends.  The whole line deserves a high score, but due to a few inconsistencies here and there, they get a respectable 4Ĺ stars as a whole.

Now if youíll excuse me, I have to break up a fight between Silver Surfer and Silent Bob!

For the Toyman's complete review, click here.

Coming Events

Lord of the Rings CCG League meets this Tuesday, March 30 at 4:00pm.

Hellboy opens in theaters this Friday, April 2.

Comic Club plans to organize a Columbia, SC viewing of Hellboy at Dutch Square AMC Theaters.  Contact Chad if you're interested.  The tentative plan is for Saturday afternoon, April 3.

Comic Club meets to discuss Hellboy: Seed of Destruction and Hellboy: The Corpse on Thursday, April 8 at 7:30pm.

Site to See

The future is here!  Researchers at the University of California's Mechanical Engineering Department are making shocking strides in human strength augmentation through the use of mechanical exoskeltons.  With Dr. Octopus making his film debut in May, now seems the perfect time to direct you to UC Berkeley's Bleex Project:

UC Berkeley's Bleex Project



Dragon's Breath is written and administered by Scott Simmons.
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