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Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ July 25th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 6 Comments

Oh, sure, all those folks are down there in San Diego at the convention, experiencing their very own personal Ends of Civilization, but that won’t stop me from giving you all your regular frog-march through the latest installment of Previews! Grab your August 2014 edition of that esteemed publication and follow along with me:

p. 113 – Harley Quinn Annual #1:


Sure, a special “Scratch and Sniff” issue sounds like fun now, but should Scott Shaw! ever bring back his comic character The Turd, well….

p. 131 – Superman Unchained Deluxe Edition HC:


Hey, I wonder if DC will let us trade in all those #1s we ordered back when we thought this was an ongoing series as credit against orders on this book. That’d be pretty swell.

p. 146 – DC Comics Cover Girls Starfire Statue:


“Hi, Superman! I see you got your shorts back!”

p. 146 – Superman The Man of Steel Superman by Gary Frank Statue:


“Yes, and, oddly enough, I feel so free! Also, how come my statue isn’t called ‘DC Comics Cover Boys?’ I’ve been on covers!”

p. 163 – Edward Scissorhands #1:


Answering all those questions the original film didn’t address, like…c’mon, putting a vast array of unwieldy sharp blades at the ends of his arms? Vincent Price couldn’t put, like, rubber caps on the stumps ’til the hands were ready? Or maybe not activating Edward ’til he was finished? You know, stuff like that?

p. 252 – Rachel Rising #29:


Wow, Lady Death sure looks like she’s mellowed out a bit.

p. 260-1 – Antarctic Press Steampunk Month:


That’s like Aspen Comics advertising “New First Issue Month.”

p. 261 – JAWaS T-Shirt:


Oh, please, another mash-up? Do we really need yet another…um, another…well, okay, I kind of like this one. LOOK, I’M ONLY HUMAN

p. 375 – The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil:


Now what am I going to call my tell-all Alan Moore biography?

p. 434 – Modern Sci-Fi Films FAQ:


“So, do humans really only use 10% of their brains?”

“NO.”

“Was Prometheus any good?”

“NO.”

“Is R2-D2 the best character in the entire Star Wars saga?”

“YES.”

p. 437 – Push Start The Art of Video Games:


Hopefully it’ll include this rare Andy Warhol piece featuring the Hero from the Atari 2600′s Adventure:

p. 440 – DC Chess Collection #70 Constantine (White Pawn):


I wonder how John Constantine would feel about being a pawn. Too bad there’s no “Arrogant Bastard” piece…well, maybe the Knight.

p. 442 – Jack Kirby Collector #64:


In this issue: FORESHORTENING

p. 473 – Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back Cock-Knocker Retro Action Figure:


The barrier’s been breached, boys…you can totally use “cock” as a slang term for “penis” in the pages of Previews. What brave new world we have entered, my friends…what brave new world.

p. 522 – Doctor Who Tardis Spatula, Tardis Tray, “Bigger on the Inside” Welcome Mat:


Once Google Glass (or its competitors/successors) gets to be a little more prevalent, someone will develop an app that will digitally “skin” whatever you look at with whatever imagery you’d like.

These Doctor Who products will give you a little preview of that future.

p. 528 – Sherlock 1/6-Scale Figures:


Well, yeah, $230 bucks each seems a bit steep, but it’s so long between batches of episodes that you’ll be glad to have these figures around to act out your own episodes, fighting crime, solving mysteries, studying clues, kissing each other, racing after suspects, getting into disagreements but working it all out in the end, worrying about…what’s that? Yes, I said “getting into disagreements,” what about it?

p. 552 – Star Wars Millennium Falcon Chopping Board:


“Chewie, I hear a knocking sound from the top of the Falcon! Go check it out!”

“WRRRAAAARROROAAARH!”

“Get up there you big, furry oaf! I don’t care if it does smell like onions!”

Marvel Previews p. 12 et al. – Death of Wolverine The Logan Legacy #1, #2….:


Guys, they wouldn’t be putting out all these Death of Wolverine tie-in comics unless, as it says in the solicitations, he really was “now gone forever” and “permanently out of the picture.” There will never, ever be a “Return of Wolverine” event with a boatload of tie-ins, mark my words.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ June 26th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 5 Comments

Once again the end is nigh, and let us go together through this prophetic tome of doom (AKA Diamond Previews July 2014 edition) and see what awaits. Note: contains one local reference for punk rock fans or close readers of Love and Rockets, and a couple of links to YouTube files, at least one of which should not be clicked on in the presence of loved ones, the family pastor, or sensitive rodents. LET THE END BEGIN:

p. 90 – Superman Unchained #9:


It’s the final issue of what turned out to be a mini-series, which retailers weren’t warned about when it started, so it sure is nice for DC to buy back all those #1s everyone way overordered back then…wait, what? They’re not? Ah, well, that’s okay. Quarter boxes exist for a reason — right, two-or-three-relaunches-back Marvel series?

p. 128 – Batman and Superman Wood Figures:

p. 239 – Pen & Paper Gamer T-Shirt:


Hold on…an Antarctic Press t-shirt that isn’t mashing up Star Trek or Star Wars with, like, steampunk bacon or something? WHOA. Well, okay, a Klingon said that phrase along the bottom once, but still.

p. 259 – God Is Dead #19:


Hey, it’s the special Nardcore issue!

p. 412 – Big Hero 6: The Essential Guide HC:


“SPECIAL NOTE TO INVESTORS: probably too late to start trying to buy Big Hero 6 back issues for quick fat-cash turnaround.”

Also, “From the creators of Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen.” Great, I loved their work in the original Big Hero 6 comics.

p. 413 – Doctor Who Mad Libs:


“Fezzes are [adjective rhyming with 'pool']!”

“It’s [adjective rhyming with 'digger'] on the inside!”

“Oh for God’s sake it’s [just write in 'Rose' here] again.”

p. 474 – Firefly Malcolm Reynolds 1/6-Scale Action Figure:


Sure, at $179.95 the price seems a bit steep, but this is a high-quality figure with which you can act out your own new Firefly adventures for a good, long time, since the actual show is never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever coming back to TV.

p. 482 – Re-Animator Finger Creature 1/1-Scale Prop Replica:


Sure, that’s all well and good, but will they be doing a prop replica of that…other reanimated creature from the third film Beyond Re-Animator? (WARNING: Link not safe for work, or pretty much anywhere)

p. 511 – Star Wars Rebels Medium Talking Plushies:


This magical plushie doll comes in the shape of the Star Wars Rebels logo, and says “I’m a Disney/Lucasfilm trademark” whenever it’s lovingly squeezed!

p. 521 – Pop! Breaking Bad Vinyl Figures:


I’m glad to see Breaking Bad Babies is finally getting some traction. Also, there may be a spoiler in that figure assortment.

p. 528 – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy masks:


Well, my wardrobe for the coming fetish ball is all sorted out. Also, what if Baron Zemo was wearing one of those Rocket Raccoon masks instead of that other thing he had on when that accident with Adhesive-X permanently bonded it to his skin? Marvel’s WWII would have gone slightly differently, I’ll tell you that for free.

p. 535-6 – Assorted Walking Dead masks:


You know, this gives me an idea to help all those costume companies avoid heavy expenses with any defective masks that come off the assembly line (or whatever). If the mask comes out deformed or torn or whatever, just paint it to look like rotting bloody flesh and call it a “zombie mask!” I mean, what the heck, right? No one’s going to complain it doesn’t look like a zombie. Like, say, those Guardians of the Galaxy masks. If you had a bad batch come through, just slap a new paintjob on them and suddenly you have “Tree Zombie,” “Zombie Raccoon,” and “Ummm…Darth Zombie, I Guess.”

No need to thank me.

p. 536 – Walking Dead Rick Grimes Machete:


You can buy this for $19, or, um, you know. Of course, you’d have to put the blood spatter on it yourself, but that was just a suggestion, Your Honor, I didn’t actually tell anyone they had to do that.

p. 537 – Galaga Pillow:


So I can just wait for one of those mothership thingies to swoop down and grab my pillow with its tractor beam, I can shoot it later and suddenly have two pillows! My plan is flawless!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ May 30th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 13 Comments

Here he comes, here comes Progressive Ruin, he’s a demon on Previews, as we once again take a look through the industry catalog to see what’s ahead of us on the funnybook racetrack. Grab your copy of the June 2014 Diamond Previews, leave this tortured introduction behind, and let’s gaze into the world that’s coming:

p. 94 – Star Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie #2:


Man, if anything called out for one of those 3D covers, it’s this trial run for DC’s “Giant Phallic Symbol Cover Month!”

p. 111 – Harley Quinn #9 & #10:


Two issues scheduled for the month? Well, that’s one way DC can catch up with Marvel.

p. 158 – Cerebus High Society Digital/Audio Experience:


Dave Sim reading Cerebus to you, doing all the different voices, plus sound effects and music and such, while the panels progress before you, all on DVD.

This has inspired a similar project from me, “The Progressive Ruin Experience,” where I’ll just come to your homes and read off old website posts to you. And eat your food. And probably rifle through your wallets and purses when you aren’t looking. INVITE ME IN.

p. 233 – Spawn #246:


You know how I’m usually against constant reboots and restarting series with new first issues and all that? Well, for certain cases, I’d make an exception.

p. 254 – Momeye the Sailor Scout #1:

“She’s Momeye the Sailor Scout! She’s Momeye the Sailor Scout! She gets her bravado from fresh avocados, she’s Momeye the Sailor Scout! In this action/comedy from Fred Perry, Magical Sailor Scout Momeye and her best frenemy, Bruta buddy-brawl their way though one adventure after another. It’s not just gender-bent, it’s gender-punched through the celiing!”

I…I, uh…um…I don’t….

…Okay, you got me. I can’t resist a Popeye parody. But someone’s going to pay for “she gets her bravado from fresh avocados” — and I think that someone…is all of us.

p. 415 – Soul of the Dark Knight SC:


Finally detailing those lost early years of Bruce Wayne during his time at Motown.

p. 419 – Doctor Who The Official Guide on How to Be A Timelord HC:

First, be fictional. Next, um, wear a fez, I think. And be all timey…wimey, right? Is that it? Then kidnap innocent people and make them travel in time with you. And get a robot dog, but surely that goes without saying.

p. 421 – Star Wars in 100 Scenes:


NOTE: all scenes personally reedited by George Lucas to match his final, final vision of the films. Greedo shooting Lando during the Death Star II battle. Ewoks dancing and singing before Senator Palpatine at the Hoth rebel base. Chewbacca running over Jar Jar with Luke’s landspeeder while being chased by the Geonosian army. Biggs is everywhere. The Return of the Jedi post-credit sequence, with the rise of Darth Yoda, his little ears sticking out from either side of his black helmet. All of your favorite moments, featured in this exciting volume!

p. 425 – Marvel Chess Collection Absorbing Man:


Unfortunately, this piece tends to confuse things by turning light or dark depending on what square he’s on.

p. 434 – Doctor Who Stacked Tenth Doctor White T-shirt:


Ah, so it is “timey-wimey.” Also, Time Lord skeletons look weird.

p. 436 – Previews Exclusive Clothing spot ad:


Okay, I wasn’t paying attention when I turned the page, and had my hand covering up part of this image when I looked down and I thought, very briefly, that Diamond was selling shirts with this logo. Not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed by the truth.

p. 442 – Hawkeye Minimalist T-Shirt:


“Hey, I like purple books, too!”

“Uh, that’s not….”

“Dude, I thought Snake Eye’s mask was silver.”

“Huh?”

“I don’t like that your shirt’s telling me to look down at your crotch, you weirdo.”

“BUT IT’S NOT…AUGH”

p. 448 – The Big Bang Theory “I Love Soft Kitty” Black Boxers:


This doesn’t say very good things about me, but “Soft Kitty” was not the first term I associated with that cat face.

p. 455 – Batman Classic TV Series Batman Vinyl Bank:


[drops coins into Best Batman Bank]

“Well done, old chum! It is always wise to put away a little money…for a rainy day.”

“Did…did you just talk to me, Best Batman Bank?”

“Of course, citizen! Open communication is the hallmark of a healthy society!”

“I…I love you, Best Batman Bank.”

p. 460 – Marvel The Infinity Gauntlet Bank & Gold Pewter Keyring:


Okay, bank, fine. Keyring, fine. How ’bout an actual wearable Infinity Gauntlet? This was close, I think, but, like, something affordable. And make it quick, this dishwashing glove with the marbles glued to it isn’t going to last much longer.

Marvel Previews p. 38 – Iron Fist The Living Weapon #5:


Hmmm….


HMMMM….


HMMMM….


…well, maybe not.

p. 63 – Wolverine #12:


Will this be the end for any future Wolverine #1s? Find out in next month’s Wolverine #1!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ May 1st, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 7 Comments

Free Comic Book Day is just around the corner, but even that happy day can’t forestall the coming End of Civilization, predicted right here in the newest Diamond Previews! Grab your copy of the May 2014 edition and follow along, why don’t you:

p. 122 – 136 – The New 52 Future’s End one-shots with 3D covers:


Okay, so ordering DC’s 3D covers last time was a pain in the ass, what with the allocations and shortages and the ensuing hoohar with people trying to grab whatever covers they could find and folks charging $10 apiece for them right out of the gate and I think you’ll agree with me that all sucked.

So now DC is getting orders on 3D covers with (hopefully) enough leadtime to (hopefully) meet demand, and given that the excessive demand last time was mostly based on customers knowing the covers were in short supply, now I have to decide what numbers will actually be enough, if the 3D is “done” and customers won’t be as interested, if overall orders will be conservative and suddenly it’ll seem like there’s not enough to go around and demand jumps again and we won’t have enough, or if everyone overorders and we’re stuck with huge expensive excesses, especially on titles like Grayson which are getting a 3D special one-shot without any reasonable idea how that series is going to sell, aside from the mostly moribund sales for the Nightwing series its replacing, and so on and so on.

Or maybe I’ll get lucky and be hit by a bus before I have to think about placing any of these orders.

p. 143 – Batman Death of the Family Book and the Joker Mask Set:


Comes with “a replica hand-painted vinyl latex mask of The Joker that features sewn-on hair and a white elastic band.” Apparently the do-it-yourself kit that just came with a knife and formaldehyde didn’t make it out of the planning stages.

p. 145 – Forever Evil HC:


Hopefully Volume 2 will include the seventh and final issue of the series, whenever that comes out.

p. 265 – Rabbids Invasion Super Plunger Sound Blaster:


Sometimes things in Previews will make me feel really, really old.

p. 290 – Life with Archie #36:


Ah, yes, the Death of Archie, which 1) I have to explain to everyone looking for it that it’s not really the end of Archie comics for all time, it’s a possible future, blah blah they’ve stopped listening already, and 2) it won’t be out for months, so hopefully you’ll still care when it finally happens this summer sometime!

And look at this totally guilty dude:

p. 298 – Extinction Parade War #1:


Does anyone ever read Avatar’s solicit text all the way through? Maybe they should sneak, I don’t know, a secret phone number in there for people to call for prizes.

p. 414 – Swampmen Muck-Monsters of the Comics SC:


Oooh don’t you tease me again with this book, Twomorrows.

p. 451 – DC Board Book Batman Shapes:


“And what does this shape look like, Batman?”

“JUSTICE.”

“And this one?”

“VENGEANCE.”

“Er, okay. How ’bout this one?”

“M-MY PARENTS! A BLOO BLOO”

p. 451 – DC Board Book Superman Colors:

“And look, Superman, this one’s green!”

“Great Scott! Green (gasp) kryptonite! Feeling…weak! My powers…draining away!”

“Oh for God’s sake, Meryl Streep, it’s just cardboard.”

p. 451 – DC Super Friends Wonder Woman A Word Adventure! Board Book:


“‘It’s too what to make a Wonder Woman movie.’ It’s too what, now?”

“It’s too hard!”

“Yes, that’s right! Very good, Little Billy!”

p. 455 – The Twilight Zone FAQ SC:


“Which episode was the one….”

“‘Time Enough at Last,’ starring Burgess Meredith.”

“Well, what about…?”

“‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,’ starring William Shatner.”

“Okay, then what’s….”

“‘Showdown with Rance McGrew.’ Wow, no one ever asks about that one.”

p. 455 – The Big Butt Book 3D HC:


Comics, everyone!

p. 470 – Topps 2014 Chrome Wacky Packages Trading Cards:


Seems to me like “chrome trading cards” would be the very sort of thing Wacky Packages would make fun of.

p. 492 – Marvel Retro Spider-Man Limited Edition Action Figure Box Set:


Dress Spider-Man three different ways: based on the original ’70s Mego figure, with an updated costume, or as Elvis Costello!

p. 535 – Misc. 300 Rise of an Empire prop replicas:


You know, given enough time, these could be ancient artifacts displayed in a museum. “Here are the originals from approximately 500 BC…and then about 2500 years later, another now-extinct civilization duplicated these weapons and armor using inferior materials, which seemingly resulted in that culture’s eventual defeat and downfall.”

p. 539 – Zombie Magneto Mini-Bust:


why

p. 548 – Freddy Krueger Bishoujo Statue:


You know, just when I thought Freddy Krueger couldn’t possibly be made even more sexy….

p. 557 – Doctor Who Large Tote Bags:


I know y’all like to show everyone you’re a fan of the Doctor, but for the luvva Pete don’t bring this one with you to the airport as carry-on.

p. 584 – Peanuts Snoopy Keychains:


You’re Seriously Tripping Balls, Charlie Brown!

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ March 28th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 17 Comments

Hey, remember comics? Boy, I sure do. Those cute little booklets of pictures, folded and stapled, that we all so enjoyed. Those were the days, back when we had trees, and people who could read, and before the electromagnetic pulses destroyed all electronics. Ah, yes.

But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself! Civilization’s still here, but not for long, as perusing this month’s selection of goodies from Diamond Previews may show. Grab your copy of the April 2014 edition and follow along:

p. 101 – Superman #32:

“A NEW ERA for SUPERMAN begins….”

Oh, good, that’s like era number, what, four? five? in the last three years or so?

p. 149 – Superman Vs. Darkseid Statue (Second Edition):


“YOU WILL NEVER HAVE MY MAGICAL POOL OF ORANGE JELLO, KRYPTONIAN!”

p. 150 – DC Comics Super-Villains Harley Quinn Bust / DC Comics Cover Girls Katana Statue:


Oh, sure, the item that might sell has less than half the production run of the statue of the character no one’s ever been interested in, ever.

[THREE DAYS LATER: policeman gather around Mike's body, slumped over at his computer desk. A spilled Diet Coke is at his feet.

"We're not sure what happened here. The only clue we have is...this," says one policeman, as he points at the katana handle sticking out of Mike's back.]

p. 154 – Scribblenauts Unmasked Mini-Figures Blind Boxes Series 4:


Man, “blind box” packaging. There’s no way they’re going to suck me into buying blind-boxed stuff ever ag…


…DAMMIT.

p. 182 – Star Slammers Re-Mastered! #4:


I can’t believe they got four comics outta space pogs.

p. 259 – Mountain Dewback T-Shirt:


Coming soon: Yodoo-Hoo, 7-Ugnaught, Black Sunkist, Pepsi Max Rebo, Jar Jar Barq’s, and the dreaded Dooku Pepper.

p. 264 – Fathom Annual #1:


To be followed next year by Fathom Annual #1, and then Fathom Annual #1 the year after that.

p. 323 – The Twilight Zone Vol. 1 TPB:


I know the creative team’s decision to tell multi-issue stories over the course of this series was bit of a controversial one, but my disappointment is that the series wasn’t like “Crisis of Infinite Twilight Zones!” The aliens finally decide to take direct action on Maple Street, only to be countered by Mr. Dingle, who retains his superhuman powers from the Martian and Venusian experimentation! Meanwhile, the gremlin, who landed just outside of town after falling from the plane, teams up with Anthony Fremont to exact revenge upon a world that fears and despises them! Will Robot Grandma step in to help save the world, even as the Kanamits wait in orbit to eat whoever survives?

…I probably need to get out more.

p. 353 – The Smurfs Volume 18: The Finance Smurf:


Bilderberg Smurf’s secret meetings are looked upon with suspicion by Conspiracy Smurf: “They’re up to something smurfy…very smurfy indeed,” he says during his Smurf-to-Smurf AM radio interview.

p. 367 – Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor #1 / Doctor Who The Eleventh Doctor #1:


…released on a just slightly more-than-monthly schedule, with, I’m sure, a Twelfth Doctor series in the offing. And then, eventually, Doctors One through Nine get their own 15-issues-a-year series, and then there’s the War Doctor series telling all those adventures from those missing years. And then the series with the Curator from Day of the Doctor, fighting art thieves and such. And then a series starring the companions…heck, a series for each companion. Sarah Jane, of course, and Ace because Ace is awesome, and K-9, probably Leela, and sure, Rose, why not. And a Brigadier series. And a series for Vastra, Jenny and Strax. And so on.

Will probably still only be about half of the number of Avengers titles that’ll be on the stands by the time they get all these out.

p. 431 – Dream Vader T-Shirt:


Oooh Dream Vader
I believe you can get me to the lightsaber fight
Oooh Dream Vader
I believe we can find the Jedi Knights
Fly me high through the starry skies
Maybe to Dantooine
Cross the highways of hyperspace
Help me to forget Tatooine

p. 434 – Adventure Time Duality Leggings:


Yet another piece of clothing to add to the official store uniform.

p. 480 – Doctor Who Stress Toys:


Oh, good, I’m going to need these squeezable stress toys…

p. 481 – Mr. Potato Head Doctor Who Figures:


…after looking at these nightmarish things. Sheesh.

p. 489 – Star Wars R2-D2 Egg Cup:


Knowledge of the reproductive cycle of the droid is not for the weakhearted.

p. 501 – Doctor Who Car Magnet 3-Packs:


Okay, items like these generally only make sense to other fans of the property when they’re out of context like this. But, c’mon, “Bad Wolf” barely made sense in context.

p. 507 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Soft Touch PVC Key Holders:


“Honey, which one’s the key to the Ranger?”

“The Donatello one!”

[stares at the key rack for another five minutes]

Marvel Previews p. 75 – Marvel Minimates Series 57 Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Asst.:


Featuring a bunch of other sets that you’ll be shoving aside only to discover you can’t find the Drax/Groot/Rocket Raccoon pack.

Marvel Previews p. 79 – Marvel Masterworks Not Brand Echh Vol. 1 HC:


A missed opportunity to make one of the book’s variant covers look like the DC Archives trade dress.

“NOT BRAND ECHH ARCHIVES” — one of you Photoshop masters can slap together a replacement dustjacket for this, I’m sure.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ February 27th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 23 Comments

So I totally forgot that last month’s End of Civilization entry was the ninth anniversary of what I consider to be the very first EoC post, about the Buffy replica stake.

Nine years. Nine years of near-naked Japanese girly statues. Nine years of crazy prop replicas. Nine years of Monopoly jokes. Nine years of Marvel’s publishing shenanigans. Why, it only feels like I’ve been doing this for about 108 months.

And apparently I haven’t learned my lesson, because I’m doing it for another month. Get your March 2014 edition of Diamond Previews and follow along, as I hypocritically make fun of things I’m probably ordering for the store, and, in at least one case, myself:

p. 48 – Star Wars Rebel Heist #2 (of 4):


So, get ready to see this comic, and its eventual trade/hardcover collection, going for stupidly high prices on eBay shortly after Marvel takes over the franchise and the book’s printing lifespan of a couple of months or so is put down right quick.

Nice cover, though.

p. 89 – Marvel Classic Character X-Men 94 #3 – Cyclops:


“Ooooh, I’ve got such the headache, and massaging your own temple just doesn’t do it!”

p. 96 – Superman: Doomed #1:


1992: Line wrapped around the block, everyone waiting to get their “last issue” of Superman.

2014: Occasionally a customer will glance at this cover. “Huh, I thought Superman was dead. They’re still making his comics?”

p. 161 – DC Comics Icons Superman 1:6 Scale Statue:


“Clark? Clark, what’s taking you so long in the bathroom?”

“I’m…uh, I’m oiling my costume, Mom!”

“(sigh) I don’t know about that boy.”

p. 227 – The Walking Dead #127:

“In the aftermath of ‘ALL OUT WAR’ we discover…A NEW BEGINNING.”

Well, off to the next community of survivors who aren’t all that they seem!

p. 271 – Carpool T-Shirt:


So the difference between this “parody” shirt and what could actually be a Deadpool shirt is…what, exactly?

p. 275 – Sonic Super-Sized Digest #7:


I haven’t seen so many wieners in a piece of Sonic the Hedgehog art since the last time I looked at Tumblr.

p. 315 – Iznogoud Volume 9: The Grand Vizier Iznogoud GN:


Mike, circa 1989, helping a customer with back issues: “Here’s the Ms. Tree box…oh, ‘Ms. Tree!’ ‘Mystery!’ I get it!”

Mike, about a month ago, helping a customer look for humorous European graphic novels: “Here’s Iznogoud…oh, ‘Iznogoud!’ ‘Is No Good!’ 25 years later, I’m still stupid!”

p. 415 – The Quotable Doctor Who Wise Words Across Space and Time HC:


Simulate being in a crowd of Doctor Who fans by reading this book out loud to yourself!

p. 417 – Planet of the Apes Miniature Book Kit with Sound:


Okay, forget the sound bit (not Charlton Heston growling “write me out of most of the sequel, damn you,” but it should be), but let’s focus that this comes with a bag of actual sand that you can spread out on, I don’t know, your mantle next to Great-Aunt Gail’s urn as a base for your Taylor and Horse versus Lady Liberty diorama.

Here’s hoping the eventual The Shining Elevator Scene Kit comes with a pouch of fake blood.

p. 442 – Spider Pog T-Shirt:


Sometimes I mock Previews, sometimes it mocks me back.

p. 457 – Sin City Monopoly:


“Go to the electric chair. Go directly to the electric chair. Do not cross Senator Roark.”

p. 459 – Darth Vader Tinned Mints:


haaaaaa PURRRRR haaaaaa PURRRRR

“Why, Lord Vader, may I compliment you on how fresh your breath smells today!”

“ARE YOU SAYING MY BREATH DOES NOT NORMALLY SMELL FRESH?”

“N-n-no, Lord Vader, I, uh, I’m just….GACK! (choke!)”

“FEEL THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE. AND ALSO THESE TASTY, FRESHENING MINTS.”

p. 459 – Space Dog Tin Toy:


Man, this early version of K-9 is pretty rough.

p. 498 – DC Hero Swamp Thing Sofubi:


The upside of Swamp Thing comics not being published: much easier to keep up on buying appearances and merchandise.

The downside of Swamp Thing comics currently being published: “$119 for a Japanese import Swamp Thing toy! SON OF A BITCH”

p. 503 – The Beatles Yellow Submarine Titans Mini Figures:

“We are all
Tiny plastic things
Tiny plastic things
Tiny plastic things”

p. 527 – The Walking Dead Daryl Crossbow Mug:


I didn’t get this before, and I don’t get it now. Is “If Daryl Dies We Riot” really that strong of an iconic quote from The Walking Dead? Some kind of rallying cry, a mission-statement-y kind of thing? I mean, I’ve watched the whole series so far, and I don’t even remember anyone saying this. Not saying they didn’t, just that it apparently wasn’t all that memorable.

Now, if at some point Rick looks at the screen and declares “we ARE the walking dead,” put that on a mug.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ January 30th, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 14 Comments

Here I am, rocking you like a hurry-can once again with yet another look at what treasures await us in the not-too-distant future in the latest issue of Diamond Previews. Grab your copy of the February 2014 edition and follow along…and please enjoy the joke I totally stole from Mr. Show (video link maybe NSFW):

p. 76 – Conan the Avenger #1:


Man, Marvel’s ongoing Avengers title-creep has gone too far, too far I say.
 
 
p. 85 – Marvel Classic Character X-Men #94 #2 – Wolverine:


He’s the best at what he does, and what he does…is, well, look kind of creepy.
 
 
p. 140 – Graphic Ink The DC Comics Art of Frank Quitely HC:


Well, hello to you, too, Robin.
 
 
p. 141 – Watchmen TP New Edition:


“Watchmen TP the ‘Sorry Alan and Dave, We’re Going to Hold onto the Ownership of This Comic for a Bit Longer’ Edition.”
 
 
p. 261 – Heisenborg T-Shirt and Breaking Borg T-Shirt:


Oh, I don’t know.
 
 
p. 431 – Batman ’66 Boxers:


Friends, if you’re with that special someone, and you doff your street clothes and reveal these beneath, there is no possible way your evening will not be filled with more intimate romance than you’ve ever thought possible.

Also, I considered making a “Bat-pole” joke, but let’s not drag these thoughts of love into the gutters.
 
 
p. 449 – Hanna Barbera Captain Caveman 3-inch Action Figure:


This is just one of those instances where I scan an item out of Previews for, if not no particular reason, then only for the slightest of reasons, in this case those crazy thick, black “hairs” sticking out of his face and head, and I don’t have any kind of joke or anything, I just wish to compel you to gaze upon that terrible visage and those dark, twisty strands that beckon to you.
 
 
p. 453 – Mr. Potato Head: Marvel’s Spider-Man:


Oh, come on. “Spuder-Man.” It’s right there! C’MON!
 
 
p. 457 – Star Trek Tribble Mama Plush:


Just wondering if in the Star Trek world the larger Tribbles were hollowed out and used for hats or toupees? “Um, Jean-Luc, what’s that on your h–” “LOOK, MY HEAD WAS COLD, OKAY?”
 
 
p. 472 – Marvel Comics Juggernaut – Danger Room Session – Fine Art Statue:


Well, I don’t know about you, but my definition of “fine art” has been adjusted accordingly.
 
 
p. 486 – Doctor Who British Icon 12-Inch Dalek:


“WARNING: MAY BE TOO BRITISH FOR SOME BRITISH PEOPLE.”
 
 
p. 491 – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Play Arts ~KAI~: Snake:


Finally, I thought they’d never do an action figure of David Hasslefoff from the Nick Fury TV movie! …Wait, what? It’s not? Well, damn.
 
 
p. 500 – Sailor Moon Moon Stick Proplica:


First: “proplica?” Second:


Just sayin’.
 
 
p. 501 – Godzilla vs. Mothra: Mothra S.H.MonsterArts Figure:


At first glance, I thought the picture was of a throw rug, and oh, can you imagine my disappointment.
 
 
p. 506 – DC Comics Zombie String Dolls:

“MOM! Can’t we stay outside and play superhero just a little longer?”

“No, it’s dinner-time! Come inside and eat your salt!”

 
 
p. 507 – The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack Skellington Goblet:

Indiana Jones closely studies the array of goblets, large and small, ornate and plain, that are spread out before him, as Elsa and the Old Knight watch.

Suddenly, Indiana reaches out and grabs the Jack Skellington Goblet. He dips it into the water, then takes a deep drink from the skeletal chalice. A great cry goes out, as all the inhabitants from Halloweentown emerge from the shadows and celebrate Indiana’s success. The Mayor’s head spins around to its happy visage and declares today to be Indiana Jones Day!

“You have chosen…wisely,” intones the Old Knight, as Lock, Shock and Barrel chase each other around his legs.

 
 
p. 528 – Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery Blu-Ray & DVD:


Oh, give me a break. Surely by now everyone knows how fake this is! I mean, honestly, who thinks talking dogs are real?
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 3 – Amazing Spider-Man #1:


“Returns?” I had no idea Batman had left.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ January 3rd, 2014 § Filed under End of Civilization § 18 Comments

A new year is upon is, and so is a new Diamond Previews catalog, both full of dreams, hopes, and wonders. Well, the new year is, anyway…the Previews is filled with the same ol’ stuff you’ve come to expect. Grab your copy of the January 2014 edition and follow along…and I’m just going to go ahead and apologize both to Wonder Woman fans and my Irish ancestry right here.

p. 140 – Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell:


DC, seriously, you can have the name Fishnets Ahoy! Royalty-free! I don’t care! C’MON.

p. 152 – Scooby-Doo Team-Up #3:

“…Can even Batman, Robin, and Mystery Inc. outwit two unpredictable imps to deal with the spooky, magical hijinks of…Scooby-Mite?”

Gang, I think we’re finally getting the origin of Scrappy-Doo we’ve all been waiting for.

p. 168 – Batman Arkham City Rabbit Hole Batman Action Figure:


Well, sure, we can always use new Batman fig…


…AAAAAH

p. 168 – 1:1 Scale White Power Battery & Ring Prop Replica:


Well, at least someone somewhere has learned something about “placement of line breaks” in the several years since this solicit ran:

p. 182 – The X-Files Conspiracy: The Crow:


I think IDW and their licensees are leaving money on the table not crossing over more of this publisher’s titles:

“Scully, I’m telling you, these ponies talked.”

“Mulder….”

“No, really, Scully…they were all pastel-colored, and had these weird tattoos on their flanks.”

“Oh, come on, Mulder, you expect me to believe….”

“And sometimes they would appear as young girls, their skin tones still those same bright colors….”

“Mulder, that’s it. No more Internet for you.”

p. 323 – The Six Million Dollar Man Season Six #1:


“Mr. Austin, you’ve had another serious accident, and we had to repair you again.”

“Woo boy. How much did it cost this time?”

“Well, due to budget cutbacks, we were stuck with your original six million dollar budget.”

“Which means…?”

“Enjoy that bionic knee, because that’s all you’re getting.”

p. 398 – Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Neverland Age of Darkness #1:


So once a month your pal Mike has to go through Previews…I mean, aside from doing this post, I actually have to go through it seriously and like, spend the store’s money and order stuff for our shelves. And when I go through the Zenescope section, I take a little extra time, carefully consider all the variants available for each title, and then place my order numbers based on the relative sexiness of each variant.

In case you were wondering what my life was like.

p. 405 – The Ages of Wonder Woman SC and Hot & Pervy Paris Girls: Best of Petites Parisiennes HC:


So, what’s the Venn diagram showing buyers of each book look like?

p. 406 – The World According to Wolverine HC:


Pretty much just a retelling of The World According to Garp, but with more Sentinel attacks and appearances from Sabretooth.

p. 409 – Stephen King Films FAQ SC:

“Q: Should I watch Children of the Corn?

A: No, probably not.

Q: How about Lawnmower Man?

A: No way.

Q: Dreamcatcher, then. That one’s gotta be good. Tim Olyphant’s in it.

A: Yeah, you’d think so.

Q: Well…Maximum Overdrive? How’s that one?

A: That one’s a lot of fun, actually. Put it on the Netflix queue.”

p. 411- Fun with Kirk and Spock:


Not your long-awaited compilation of slash fiction. Sorry, friends.

p. 412 – William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back:


If this eventually leads to R2-D2 and C-3PO Are Dead, it will all be worth it.

p. 453 – Tonner DC The New 52 Wonder Woman 16-Inch Doll:


I don’t know what anyone’s complaining about, Gal Gadot looks great as Wonder Woman.

p. 455 – Mr. Potato Head Marvel’s Captain America:


Well, sure, that’s all well and good, but the Potato Head version of this character is just in poor taste.

p. 456 – E.T. 12-Inch Foam Figure:

“…Featuring detailed skin texture, life-like eyes, and soft to the touch.”

…And NOT A SEX TOY, you weirdos.

p. 456 – The Twilight Zone Talky Tina “Color Replica” Doll:


Okay, this doll does come with a talking mechanism, so surely it’s going to say “my name is Talky Tina and I’m going to kill you,” so if you’re looking to terrify the child in your life, here you go. But I prefer the Gremin’s Face 3D window-cling that you can affix to the outside of one of your car windows, which you can then hide with one of those windowshades that you can encourage your child to raise. “Go ahead, Little Billy, it’s not that sunny any more…go ahead and lift up that shade! It’s okay!” Oh, the hours of therapy that are sure to follow!

p. 460 – a whole page of Nerf Zombie Strike toys:


Oh, Nerf, no.

p. 488 – Star Wars 24″ R2-D2 Talking Plush:


A “talking” R2, huh? Well, let’s see….

“I’ve got claws, I can use ‘em!”

Wait, what?

“Math is hard!”

C’mon, you’re a droid! That can’t….

“My name is R2-D2 and I’m going to kill you!”

MOMMMMMMM!

p. 500 – DC Classics 20-Inch Leg Lamps:


At last, science has found a way to class-up the leg lamp. Let us all breathe a sigh of relief. I can’t decide which Ultra the Multi-Alien leg lamp to buy, though.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ November 28th, 2013 § Filed under End of Civilization § 8 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving to all you folks who celebrate such things, and Happy Thursday to everyone else…but regardless of how you spend your last Thursday in November, let us all come together and pay tribute to the most inevitable of events…the End of Civilization, as represented in the fine items offered for sale in the latest Diamond Previews catalog. Wipe that turkey off your fingers, swallow that last bit of green bean casserole, and follow along in your own copy of the December 2013 Previews as we learn what to expect in The World That’s Coming! And there may be a gratuitous Arlo Guthrie reference in there, too:

p. 150 – Justice League War Action Figures – Wonder Woman:


Relive the exciting moment in the Justice League War animated movie when Wonder Woman’s head was zapped by Brainiac’s shrink gun!

p. 154 – Superman Pool Cues:


This will go nicely with my Green Arrow dartboard, my Batman Family foosball table, my Black Canary Karaoke set, my Royal Flush Gang Video Poker machine, and of course my Mr. Freeze air hockey game.

p. 158 – The X-Files Conspiracy: TMNT:


I swear to God, I keep imagining the next X-Files movie as a crossover with the live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, and there’s a scene with Gillian Anderson exchanging dialogue with a dude in a Raphael costume and how sad is it that this will never happen. (But then again, the way things are going, never say never.)

p. 164 – Judge Dredd Mega City Two #2:


I am vacillating between “I totally want this to actually be what’s under Dredd’s helmet” and “even ‘censored’ seeing a pic of Dredd without his helmet like this feels so very wrong.”

Also, even stripped to his judgement-shorts, Dredd is never…unarmed, apparently.

p. 253 – Bat Fighter T-Shirt:


Okay, I get this is supposed to be a parody of the Batman logo, but honestly, it just looks like a straight-up Star Wars t-shirt. Not joking, not criticizing, just genuinely curious…how much grief does this company get over these only-just-barely-a-parody items from the actual owners of the properties?

p. 267 – Crossed Badlands #33 Blazing Hot 4 Cover Set:


Well, could have been worse…Avatar could have followed DC’s lead and combined these covers into a single lenticular image.

p. 376 – Doctor Who White Ghosts Audio CD:


Someone out there is desperately waiting for the audio adventures of The Curator, since a cute homage to the past from the recent Doctor Who 50th anniversary special obviously just can’t be left alone.

p. 389 – DIY Create Your Own Trading Card Set:


“At last, my Polar Bear Eating Vanilla Ice Cream in a Snowstorm trading card set is here!”

p. 394 – Star Wars Yoda Backpack Sand T-Shirt:


“OH GOD GET HIM OFF MY BACK HE’S CLAWING ME, HE’S CLAWING”

Related: all Yoda-in-backpack images pale in comparison to the greatest Yoda-in-backpage picture of them all.

p. 394 – Mephisto Red Heather T-Shirt:


Okay, all I can figure is that at this point, they’re just randomly picking comics to put on t-shirts. I mean, how did that get onto a shirt before this cover?

p. 394 – The Punisher Pixel Punisher Logo Black T-Shirt:


“IT’S TOO DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE, TAKE THIS.” [old man hands over full run of Punisher Armory]

p. 404 – My Little Pony “Rainbow Dash Face” Men’s Boxer Shorts:


I find the unfortunate boxer-flap abuse potential of this particular item to be…upsetting.

p. 411 – Alien Metal Bottle Opener:


Remember when the Alien was this mysterious and terrifying creature, of whom you were only able to see fleeting glimpses in the film you were probably too young to be watching anyway? …The mystery is pretty much gone, is what I’m saying.

p. 430 – The Twilight Zone Mystic Seer Replica (Red Version):


Yeah, okay, another high-priced prop replica for an old TV show, whatev….

“Complete with napkin holder and menu holder….”

Hmm. That’s nice, I guess.

“…It features a working coin mechanism and can act as a bank.”

Whoa. Keep talking.

“It even dispenses ‘fortunes!’”

Okay, I think I’m sold, but I’m not sure. Seer, will I buy your prop replica?

Oh, right.

p. 431 – Batman Arkham City Nightwing Arsenal 1/1-Scale Replica:


I feel like I’m missing out on Swamp Thing weapon replicas. Like, where are my replica Swamp Thing Hallucinogenic Tubers? (Ends up being a box full of plastic potatoes.)

As for this particular item, the set includes this:


…a letter to Dick Grayson from his mother, which ends with “We just got confirmation on the Gotham Show. How Exciting!”

How depressing, I think you mean.

p. 444 – Doctor Who Eleventh Doctor 15-Inch Talking Plush with LED Light:


And what he says is “whoa, whoa, WHOA, watch your hand there, buddy!”

p. 444 – Doctor Who 24″ TARDIS Plush with Lights and Sound:


NOT A SEX TOY. Hopefully. No hanky-panky in the TARDIS, but with the TARDIS…well, whatever you do in your own home, and all that.

p. 446 – Doctor Who Dalek Mr. Potato Head:


The Daleks as they are scared kids into hiding behind the couch. If they looked like this, Doctor Who would’ve scared kids into therapy.

p. 487 – Monopoly Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Edition:


Do not pass GO, do not pay any attention to the man behind the curtain.

Marvel Previews p. 4 – Fantastic Four #1:


Presumably related to Fin Fang Foom, the famous Marvel Monster. Or maybe you’ve heard of his other lesser known cousins, like Ding Dang Doom, Ring Rang Room, or Big Bang Boom.

I can make up these names all day. I’m not proud. Or tired.

Progressive Ruin presents…the End of Civilization.

§ October 31st, 2013 § Filed under End of Civilization § 13 Comments

It’s Halloween, and you can forget all those ghosts and witches, those haunted houses and demonic possessions. You want to see something really scary? Then grab your copy of the November 2013 edition of Diamond Previews and follow along!

p. 63 – Never Ending #3 (of 3):


Wait…Never Ending is ending? I feel as if my trust have been breached. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, KNAVE, KIRKBRIDE AND LOVE?

p. 149 – DC Comics Super Villains Deathstorm Action Figure:


This will look nice next to my Tomorrow Woman figure on my “Characters I’ll Never See Again” shelf.

p. 289 – Li’l Ernie one-shot:


So, Dynamite Comics. You’ve found a way to get me to buy an Evil Ernie comic: 1. Make him cute. 2. Throw an Art Baltazar cover on it. 3. Have it written and drawn by Roger Langridge.

Well played, Dynamite Comics. Well played indeed.

p. 298 – Deflower the Boss:


Don’t you get any ideas, employees Aaron or Timmy!

p. 328 – Hello Kitty: Delicious:


Hello Kitty’s stint on Iron Chef was shockingly disruptive.

p. 368 – Batman Science: The Real World Science Behind Batman’s Gear:


Shame about the subtitle, because I was really hoping for “POW! Take that, creationists! BIFF! Down for the count, psychics! SMACK! You’re out cold, antivaxxers!”

p. 385 – Topps 2014 MLP Chipz:

“Get ready to kick off the 2014 Major League Baseball season with MLB Chipz. You can collect these chipz, trade with your friends, or use them to play games. There are a number of different types of chipz, featuring the stars from around the Majors, including Magnetic, Glow-in-the-Dark, and bat chipz. You will be able to find one team sticker and one game board in each pack.”

These are basically pogs, aren’t they. Please tell me they’re not pogs. Please. PLEASE.

[Mike huddles in a fetal position in the corner of his living room. He is crying. The camera slowly pulls back as the room fades to black.]

PLEASE.

p. 389 – Deadpool Bold FX Snap Back Cap:


+1 for the Breaking Bad reference in the caption.

-1 for the creepy Steve Ditko-ish Dr. Strange interdimensional limbo-esque mouths being used in place of the Os.

p. 397 – Nightwing 52 Symbol Hoodie:


“Hey, why do you have a picture of fancy red briefs on your hoodie?”

p. 399 – Dr. Who “The Girl Who Waited” Junior’s Blue T-Shirt:


Totally going to be misinterpreted as some kind of statement of commitment to virginity ’til marriage, just you watch.

p. 402 – Doctor Who “Tardis” All-Over Print Navy Lounge Pants and My Little Pony “Multi-Character” Lounge Pants:


What, I don’t want ponies or sci-fi stuff on my pajama bottoms! That’ll make me look silly when I wear them to the store or the bank!

p. 406-7- Batman Classic TV Series Batman Bust:


Okay, I initially read the blurb as “6′ TALL!” and the idea of having a six-foot bust of Best Batman Adam West in my home was almost too much to bear.

p. 416 – ReAction Figures Alien Action Figures:


The proposed 1979 Alien action figure line finally comes to life. Store shelves that have waited so long, so very long, to be warmed by Dallas figures quiver with excitement.

p. 422 – Futurama Hedonismbot Vinyl Figure:


While I love Hedonismbot, I just don’t have the fifty bucks to frivolously spend on his vinyl representation. Truly I have violated the very spirit of Hedonismbot.

p. 429 – Dumb Ways to Die 4-Inch Rotocast Figurines:


The more merchandise based on Internet videos that’s produced, the greater the chance that I’ll finally get merchandise based on my favorite online cartoon.

p. 430 – Mr. Potato Head Homer Simpson Figure:


Ah, from the new Nightmare Fuel line of children’s toys, apparently. Well done, well done.

p. 438 – Lady Death La Muerta Statue:


“Whoa, what did they do to her face?”

“…She has a face?”

p. 438 – Conan the Brutal Statue:


This will provide a nice contrast to my “Conan the Remarkably Genteel” statue.

p. 442 – Juggernaut Mini-Bust:


“I’M THE JUGGERNAUT, BUST!”

…That was funnier in my head.

p. 443 – Battlestar Galactica Medal of Distinction 1/1-Scale Prop Replica:

“ANOVOS is humbled to release the 1:1-scale replica of Admiral William Adama’s Medal of Distinction featured in Battlestar Galactica’s third season episode, ‘Hero.’”

“Humbled.”

p. 483 – PEZ The Hobbit Movie Gift Set:


While people were mostly favorable to the Hobbit PEZ, they didn’t find it nearly as fresh or interesting as the Lord of the Rings PEZ.

p. 491 – G.G. Allin 1989 Throbblehead:


Let us hope that for maximum authenticity, each Throbblehead has been inserted into someone’s [REDACTED] prior to packaging and shipping.

p. 491 – Bouncing Souls The Guy Mascot Throbblehead:


SUPER-DEFORMED FRANK GORSHIN

p. 494 – Star Trek Pet Product Collection: Uniform Shirt and Spock Hoodie:


Surely this is the Trek reboot movie that we deserved.

p. 498 – The Walking Dead Rockmaster Electric Guitars:


SUNDAY 10 PM: THE WALKING DEAD – Rick finally defeats the walkers with the power of rock, exploding zombie heads with his awesome guitar riffs. WOOOOOOO [Series finale]

Marvel Previews – all those “MARVEL.NOW = ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW #! solicitations:


So we just restarted everything from #1s again, and now we’re kinda-sorta trying to do it again? What, did Aspen Comics buy Marvel when I wasn’t looking?

Marvel Previews p. 34-39: Miracleman #1 & #2:


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