Tag Archives: Marvel

Meet Deadpool: Earth’s Funniest Superhero

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By Nick Saunders
7/27/13

You are quite possibly asking yourself, “Who is Deadpool, and why the hell do I care?” Since you clicked this stinky linky of mine, I will assume your curiosity is piqued enough to stick around and find out.

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Deadpool is a Marvel superhero/antihero created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza as an X-Universe antagonist back in 1991. He is quite literally, along with Cable, the only valuable contribution Rob Liefeld has ever made to the world of comics.

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And if the name Deadpool does ring a bell for you, it might be due to his horrendously botched appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (see my previous rant here). Thank you very little, Gavin Hood. Way to turn a perfect casting choice into an upper decker.

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A product of the same Weapon X program that gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton, he possesses a similar healing factor, elevated strength, fighting expertise, and enthusiasm for disembowelment. Oh yeah, and he looks like a burnt up weiner as a result of these enhancements, and is crazier than Amanda Bynes holding a bottle of Tanqueray and some hair clippers.

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I first encountered the character when I was collecting X-Men figures in the early 90’s. I saw the first Deadpool toy and thought, since when did Spiderman become a ninja? Either way I bought it.

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Then, when he got his own ongoing title in 1997, I started reading it and was instantly hooked. I couldn’t tell what I liked more, Ed McGuinness’s pencils or Joe Kelly’s writing. Since then, he has become a cult favorite among comic fans, and has been featured in titles like Cable & Deadpool, Deadpool Corps, Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth, and now the ongoing Marvel NOW title.

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However let’s get back to the point of this post, which is to convey that he is utterly bad-ass. But not in the same vein as, say, the Punisher. He is not your typical brooding, humorless, tormented killing machine. He makes killing supervillians funny. Laugh out loud, cracking up, oops I crapped my pants funny. His head gets blown off repeatedly and he still pops off one-liners. In a more recent issue, he killed a demonically resurrected JFK dressed as Marilyn Monroe and punched Nixon in his zombie balls. He quotes Wu-Tang and references Ice-T. He takes sarcasm and wisecracking to a level Spiderman can’t even touch. Here are a few choice examples of the “Merc With a Mouth” in action:

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Here he is demonstrating a proper Dragon Punch to Kitty Pryde’s face:

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And here accompanying an undead Teddy Roosevelt on a hunting expedition:

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Hopefully this gives you an idea of the kind of character we are dealing with here. If you have never read a Deadpool comic, go pick one up- you won’t be disappointed.

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Oh Captain, My Captain: Some of the best Captain America toys ever made

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By Nick Saunders
7/4/13

I thought that a fitting way to celebrate our freedom from the crumpet-eating Brits would be to take a look back at some of my favorite Captain America toys that have been made in the last 30 years. He has always been one of my favorite superheroes, and I always love scoring a new Cap toy.

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Secret Wars Captain America, Mattel (1984)

In 1984, Mattel released an entire Secret Wars line to cooncide with the Marvel crossover comic being published at the time. These were also meant to be placed in direct competition with the DC Super Powers figures being made by Kenner.

This Cap was particularly cool because the figure was durable unlike the Kenner line, and featured the line’s signature shield gimmick with a lenticular insert that would alternate images.

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Marvel Super Heroes Captain America, Toy Biz (1990)

It took a few years to get another decent Cap figure again, but Marvel subsidiary Toy Biz hit a home run with their Marvel Super Heroes line in 1990. This figure is unique because he had a shield that was mounted on a spring-loaded launcher.

Also, no doubt due to my highly persuasive (read: irritating) begging and campaigning, my folks were generous enough to get me the accompanying Captain America Turbo Coupe. This was basically a Corvette ZR-1 on steroids with a working shield battering ram and detachable hidden glider. One of the greatest action figure vehicles ever made, I really wish I knew what I did with mine.

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Marvel Legends Series 1 Captain America, Toy Biz (2002)

The modern standard for action figure quality was established in 2002 when Toy Biz conceived and released the Marvel Legends toy line. These hyper detailed and articulated 6-inch figures redefined the superhero toy and further blurred the line between “toy” and “collectible.” This piece still remains one of the highlights of my action figure collection.

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Marvel Legends Ultimate WWII Captain America, Hasbro (2008)

Considered the primary influence for the costume of Cap in Captain America: The First Avenger, this Ultimates modeled figure came in a 2-pack with the first Marvel Legends iteration of Ultimate Nick Fury. This depicts Cap while fighting in World War II, prior his deep-freeze in the Arctic.

It comes to the party strapped with a pistol, shield, and machine gun, with removable ammo belt, helmet, and an interchangeable head. Steve Rogers definitely was smoking Nazis in style.

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Marvel Legends Heroic Age Captain America, Hasbro (2012)

This figure actually is a depiction of Bucky Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier), former sidekick of Captain America, who took up the shield while the original Cap was temporarily “dead.”

I really despised the design of this suit when it first debuted in the comics, but the first time I came across this figure my opinion of the revamped suit totally reversed. It has a tactical vibe to it with the black accents and gear, metallic paint, and the included pistol and Rambo shank give it beaucoup street cred. Yes, I just said an action figure has beaucoup street cred.

My brother gave this to me last year for my birthday, and it remains one of my favorites.

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Transformers Crossovers Captain America, Hasbro (2009)

Last, but not least, I feel the need to include the Transformers Crossovers Captain America. While some TF and Marvel fans alike very much disliked this toy line, this particular figure stands out as one of the better molds they made. I personally dig the rugged Humvee alternate mode and the robot is solid with a well-translated likeness of Cap. It comes with a detachable spare tire that expands into his signature shield.

Ironically, as often as I have heard people dog on this toy line, I frequently see in online forums examples of this particular toy being used as the base for custom Transformer kitbashes (custom figures made out of the parts of other toys).

So that’s what I’ve got for today. My thanks go out to the men and women who continue to protect our freedom so that men like me can blog about toys.

Thumbs up soldier!