Unparalleled Universe is a Blog about Action Figures, Comics,Movies,Music and all things nerdy and awesome.Please feel free to leave comments and post letting me know what you think.
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Tyler Crook
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
"The folk of Harrow County put the witch to death, but the witch did not die easily."
Damn. What a great read. I don't know what it is about creepy old towns, but I love the stories that can arise from them. And the TREES! Holy shit, something about the looming branches and gnarled roots just gives me goosebumps. I'm reading Wytches by Scott Snyder and those trees freak me out too. Harrow County definitely shook me up a little.
We're given a brief backdrop of the history of Harrow County right from the first pages. An eerie tale of the town witch, Hester Beck. There was a duality to her. She was known as a healing woman by the townfolk, yet wherever she went, livestock dropped dead. She held sermons and baptisms at Sulfur Creek in the presence of the local children, and the people of Harrow County were disconcerted by this. Eventually, they discovered her in the act of something unforgivable, and did what any old-timey townfolk would do. Hang her from a tree and set her on fire. As her face melted away, the witch whispered a promise...a promise that she will return to judge those who killed her.
It is now present day, and we are introduced to 17 year old Emmy. Haunted by dreams of ghouls and ghosts, she wakes and sees this huge tree outside her window. This tree has caused her a lot of distress and you understand why as soon as you see it. A barn on the farm Emmy lives on gives shelter to a birthing mama cow. The calf comes out bloodied, and another just a few feet away looks like its insides were torn out. This continues with more animals on this farm, and I think she began to see a pattern. I'm afraid of going into this further for fear of giving away too much, so I'll stop there. However, it seems like Emmy's Pa has some kind of idea on what's happening.
In the final scene, we see Emmy wandering through the woods close to her farm. She felt trapped at the farm, and the woods were a way for her to escape that feeling. She comes across a boy on the other side of the creek. She calls out to him, and in good creepy story fashion, he runs away. She chases after him and is lead through a thick gathering of thorns. I'll let you try to guess what she finds...
Sorry about the intermittent reviews these past couple of weeks. Work has been getting crazy and I won't be able to get a review out next week because I'm getting officially initiated into the union I work for. Because of that, I wanted to make sure I got something out for you guys this week. As always, support the art. Buy the book if it interests you. If you don't buy it, they don't make it!
Check out my podcast on iTunes and Stitcher also. Just me and my friends bullshitting, so if you have an hour to kill on a drive, at work, or anything like that, give it a listen! Thanks everyone.
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Federico Dallocchio
Published by: DC Comics
"Barry?...Maybe this time it's a marathon, not a sprint."
Convergence has taken over my life. I didn't want it to be this way, but I have bought into the madness. Okay, maybe I'm lying. I was pretty excited when hearing of this massive event spanning all of DC's comic book universes. However, I didn't expect it to be this far-reaching. Much of the ongoing story lines and universes are ones I am very unfamiliar with. Being sort of a n00b to the whole comic book game, I have a very limited amount of information and back story on them. So for any future Convergence reviews I do, I will be taking the position of someone who has no idea what the hell has been going on in all these multiple universes. That won't be too hard considering that's the exact position I'm in!
What I've enjoyed the most so far of this whole Convergence madness is that you really feel the chaotic nature of the circumstances at hand. Every story from these past 3 weeks has taken place right before Telos' voice rings loud throughout the multiverse as he communicates to the lesser beings that they will fight to the death until one city stands. The reason I chose to review The Flash this week is because I think it shines a light on the struggle the heroes have gone through being powerless and lost under the dome.
I can imagine it being pretty damn demoralizing for the "Fastest Man Alive" to not only jog alongside the common people, but to be outrun by them. Barry Allen clings to the hopes that everything will turn back to normal. He'll get his powers back, he'll be with Iris West again, and that things will just go back to the way they used to be. Yet, there is a part of him that is trying to grasp the concept that this new life they lead is the way it will be forever. It's been a year under the dome and nobody has any clue who did it, why they did it, or how they will fix it. All he does now is run and work.
Later that day, he meets with his universe's Bruce Wayne, and it seems more like a therapy session than a lunch between friends. As Barry leaves to return to the Gotham City Police Department where he works, the voice familiar to Convergence readers booms across the dome. "CITIZENS OF MY WORLD! NOW IS THE TIME! THE HOUR IS NEAR! JUDGMENT IS HERE!" Suddenly, Barry feels the power of the Speed Force surges through his body once again, and hope is still alive.
The art in this book is beautiful too. It's probably been my favorite art so far out of all these Convergence titles to come out. Federico Dallocchio did a fantastic job illustrating this version of Gotham City, and colorist Veronica Gandini really made the scenery pop.
There is a great resource for those of you who don't feel like reading 11 titles a week in order to keep up with this event. the DCR Podcast has been covering every Convergence title in a very entertaining way, If you don't want to read every issue, just plug in your headphones and let these guys give you a rundown of what's going on! Their episodes recapping the week usually come out a couple days after the comics so keep your eye out for that.
I'd also like to say, thanks for being patient with me. Last week I wasn't able to get a review up due to my work and school load. 60 hour weeks are killer and schoolwork and homework on top of that make it very hard for me to do the things I enjoy so thanks for still checking in! Do me a favor and check out my podcast on iTunes and Stitcher and if you could, leave a quick little rating and review! You guys are the shit!
Published by: DC Comics
"Only one city among many will survive this day!"
CONVERGENCE IS UPON US! Well holy shit, this is crazy. DC's Convergence event is finally here. Things have been set in motion and I cannot wait to see how it unravels!
So, I'm relatively new to the whole collecting comic books gig. It's been an amazing experience, but there is something that has always thrown me off about these huge superhero universes! I find the whole continuity, keeping up with multiple universes thing pretty difficult, especially since I got into comics during the wrapping up stages of DC's New 52 titles.
It takes some serious research to get up to speed with each different universe, and there really is a limit to how much you understand about them unless you've read all the material. I can imagine how hard it would be to juggle all this Infinite Crisis, Zero Hour, pre-New 52, pre-Flashpoint, post-Flashpoint, Kingdom Come, Injustice craziness if you aren't a comic book reading MACHINE. So in that sense, I'm actually really happy Convergence is happening. It seems like an effort to tie up all these straggling universes and meld everything into one cohesive story line moving forward. Executing an event of this scale seems like a hefty task, and I feel that DC has brought on some of the best writers and artists in the business to usher in this new era.
The beginning of the book shows a disaster in what appears to be the universe influenced by the Injustice: Gods Among Us titles. You can kinda tell based on Batman and Flash's suits, as well as the crazed and psychotic look in Superman's piercing red eyes. Gotham City has been decimated, and it's citizens have been annihilated. A booming message fills the air, yet they cannot find the source.
In a different universe, Thomas Wayne and Dick Grayson are zapped into the sky and land on the dusty ground of an unknown desert. Now, these iterations of Batman and Grayson are not to be confused with the Flashpoint Batman and super spy Grayson (thanks to a couple redditors for checking me on that). Following closely behind are other Earth-2 heroes Jay Garrick (Flash), Val Zod (Superman) and Alan Scott (Green Lantern). Ripped from a battle with Darkseid, they now try to figure out what the hell is going on as their powers start to fade.
You guys, this is the beginning of something INSANE. I got a rush just reading this first issue. It's a lot to digest right off the bat, but I feel like these writers are really putting in an effort to make all this multiverse mumbo-jumbo palatable for the layman. You MUST get this book.
Also real quick, I'd like to apologize for skipping my weekly review last week. Some personal stuff came up and it had to be dealt with. But I'm back in action and excited as ever for what's to come in the following months! Be sure to check out the rest of the Unparallelled Universe blog!
Aaaaand ONE more thing. So me and a couple friends decided to start a podcast. We bullshit around and talk about kinda silly stuff. It's for fun, and if you have some time to kill, you should definitely check it out. The podcast is in no way affiliated with Unparalleled Universe, just something I'm doing and I'd love for you to check it out! Thanks so much!
Suggested Listening: Molossus composed by Hans Zimmer for the Batman Begins score
Favorite Quote: "Citizens of my world! I have brought this convergence upon you. Now is the time. The hour is near. Judgment is here. Only one city shall survive, only the strong." - Telos
Marvel Knights: The Inhumans What's up everyone? I am here to show you a couple of customs I made recently. If you read my last post about customs, you know that I haven't been able to put a lot of time into customizing for the last couple of years but that's about to change. Here I have two customs I would like to share with you, Marvel Legends Style Triton and Gorgon from Marvel's Inhumans Royal Family. I have always been a huge fan of the Inhumans. I really liked that they were a family but all very different from each other and I was always fond of the strange powers each of them have. It's nice to see all the attention they are getting these days but to be honest, it feels kind of forced and generally not very exciting. A lot of people say Marvel is trying to have them replace mutants because Fox blah blah rights blah blah. Those kinds of conversations make it difficult for me to enjoy this new Inhuman uprising, I always liked the fact the Inhumans were kind of like Marvel's hidden eccentric treasure. With all that said, I really enjoyed the Uncanny Inhumans comic that recently came out. It is definitely hard to hate on a Blackbolt VS King the Conquerer no matter how you look at it. You should check that out for some great Blackbolt action. One of my favorite Inhumans stories is the Marvel Knights Inhumans by Paul Jenkins & Jae Lee. It is a really interesting story about the Inhumans and their culture, it almost feels like a documentary. You can pick that up here...Marvel Knights:The Inhumans
He was made using Ajani Goldmane from the Funko Legacy: Magic the Gathering(pictured above) figure as a base. The figure was really easy to work with. The plastic was pretty soft so I was able to cut the unwanted details off with very little effort and sanding. For his head I used the Despro Collect and Connect DC Universe figure. All of the other details were sculpted using Aves fixit. I am a little unhappy with how the paint came out but I can live with it. Some of the paint I was using had been sitting around for a few years and was not very smooth. I do plan on making a more classic version of him using the same base.
Take care of yourself! These shows can be/are very exhausting. Never sacrifice comfort for style. You will be doing a lot of walking and standing so make sure you have comfortable shoes. If anything get some Dr. Sholl's for your shoes. They are not very expensive and trust me, your feet will thank you. Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water. If possible keep a bottle of water on you at all times. Not sure how you feel about public fountains but refill as often as you can. Feel free to drink what you want but make sure to mix in water as often as you can. It's cheaper than most drinks and free if you use a public fountain.
Backpack it. You'll get cool and sometimes HUGE swag bags (Warner Brothers) at the shows but it's best to try and keep your hands free. Double strap it! I carried a side bag for a few years and halfway into the day it was killing my shoulder so I would switch it to the other and sure enough that one started killing me to. With all the freebies and stuff you'll buy its gonna fill up and get heavy fast so why get your arms all tired. If possible and your hotel or car is close enough, make a few drop offs and unload some of that weight. The backpack isn't just for swag, there are a few things you should keep in there. Aspirin for possible headaches and body aches. Gum and or Mints (do you want to meet Stan Lee with stank breath?). Snacks like trail mix, candy bars, fruit snacks or even power bars. A pen and or Sharpie. A bottle of water (remember stay hydrated). Coins, I always find myself needing quarters at these things. Your phone charger or one of those portable power packs for your phone or other device.
Have patience. Be prepared to do a lot of standing around and waiting. Remember your not the only one trying to get a sketch or book signed. Another thing to remember is just because you're in line doesn't mean you'll see the end of it. There are times when they will cut lines off for whatever reason, so make sure it's worth the time and effort. Ask the people already in line how long they've been waiting and if it's been moving.
Be nice and polite! These things can get awfully crowded and your personal bubble may get popped every now and then. Accidentally running into people or getting run into can and will happen. It's very rarely on purpose so if and when it does happen simply apologize and say excuse me. Your favorite writer or artist would be happy to sign your books, but not their whole twenty issue run on X-Men. Remember there are other people who want to meet them too, don't be that guy or gal. If you see someone drop something and they don't know it, pick it up and give it to them. There's nothing worse than losing your badge, phone or wallet on vacation.
Bring Your Own Food (B.Y.O.F.). Now most of the food at conventions is very expensive and not worth the price. Sure there may be plenty of spots around the convention center to eat but you can't leave to hit up Jack In The Box and be back in time for the Kevin Smith panel! Remember you do have some snacks in your trusty utility belt (backpack) but you should pack a lunch or at least buy something before you go into the show. Anyone who's spent all day in Hall H at SDCC know how important it is to bring a lunch and dinner with them. Eating throughout the day is just as important as drinking, you want to keep your energy up. Those snacks aren't just there to save you money, they also keep you energized.
Knowing is half the Battle! Bigger shows like San Diego Comic Con are excellent at providing you with resources to help plan for the weeks events. Get to know and love the event guide they provide you with. There is a ton of useful information in them like a map layout of the main exhibit floor with booth numbers and aisles to help you navigate your way to whatever it is you want to see or do. The map also shows you all the bathrooms (remember all that water your drinking). They let you know who's gonna be at the show. Whether it's your favorite actors, writers, artists or companies like DC and Marvel, it tells you where and when you can see or meet them.
You can't see and do it all. I know you have your heart set on seeing that Big Bang panel but you should have a backup plan in place just incase you can't get in. These shows don't clear the rooms out after each panel so you may have to show up early and sit through a few things you don't care for in order to see the panel you want, especially if it's to see some of the more popular stuff. I've slept outside overnight in the infamous Hall H line just to see that thirty second clip of Batman vs Superman and it was worth it! Ok there was a lot of other cool clips and stars there too but my point is, sacrifices must be made if you really want to see something. Make a list of all the panels and/or signings you want to go to even if they start at the same time. You won't know for sure which ones you'll actually get into, so it's always good to have a few back ups just in case.
The Buddy System. If you're at the show with your friends the chances of you guys wanting to see separate things is pretty high. Sure we all love Superman but say he wants to meet the artist drawing action comics and I want to meet the actor playing him in the movies (Henry Cavil), we'll need to split up, but before you go your separate ways, there's a few things you want to establish. Be sure you know your buddies phone number, and I don't mean having it saved in your phone, I mean actually having it written down in your pocket or having it memorized because if you lose your phone or it dies you could find yourself in a sticky situation with no way of contacting them. Always establish a check in time or meeting place. For example, we will meet at the Marvel Booth in a couple hours or I'll text every half hour to see if you're ready to meet back up. Staying in constant contact is important.
Venture Outside. It gets pretty crowded and stuffy in those halls not to mention ripe (yes the stories are true about "Con Stench") so take a break and get some fresh air when you can. Fresh air isn't the only thing outside either. Shows like SDCC have tons of things to see and do outside the convention center. If you thought there were tons of freebies in the exhibit hall there are just as many outside the convention center. Let's not forget there's a whole city out there. Unless you're in one of the twenty four hour Anime rooms, you might not want to go home when the exhibit hall closes. See what the city has to offer. Check out some of the local restaurants or maybe even enjoy some of the night life. Remember it's a vacation so make the most of it. I will admit though, some of those days can be long and exhausting, going straight back to the hotel room to get some rest is perfectly acceptable.
I hope some of these tips help make your Con experience a little more enjoyable and I'll see you out there on the Exhibit Floor!
Written by: Ray Fawkes
Art by: Ben Templesmith
Published by: DC Comics
"Millions will die tonight...if we are not strong."
The dark side of the DC Universe. The supernatural side. The straight up freaky side. These sides are represented perfectly in this book. And who better to illustrate these pages than Ben Templesmith? I'm afraid this review is going to turn into a Templesmith fanboy session, but the guy is absolutely phenomenal. His style fits almost too perfectly with the story being concocted by Ray Fawkes, who has been on a roll lately. His work on Batman Eternal and Constantine have really solidified him, at least in my opinion, as one of the most creative people in the business right now.
Jim Corrigan has a secret. An extremely potent and powerful secret. One his team, the Midnight Shift, has been kept in the dark about, until now. He can contain it no longer! When a menacing entity named Ikkondrid comes to Gotham City seeking retribution, there's only one thing that can stand in it's way...The Spectre!
But this salvation comes with a heavy price. The Spectre operates divinely, and Gotham is full of sin. Did Ikkondrid appear in Gotham to destroy it himself, or to act as a catalyst to bring forth the Spectre and let him do the dirty work? Corrigan has a battle of his own. Can he shut down the Spectre, or will Gotham fall?
Oh, and how silly of me, what would a nightmarish catastrophe in Gotham be without Batman blasting onto the scene?!
Now, I said I didn't want this to turn into a Ben Templesmith lovefest, but I think I lied about that. There isn't anything he does that I won't read. His writing is eerie, hair-raising and twisted, which meshes with his art in ways I've rarely seen. I'm sure Gotham feels like home to him. Mr. Templesmith recently had a Kickstarter (which I pledged for) to fund a re-imagining of H.P. Lovecraft's short story Dagon, and I suggest supporting it if that's still an option.
Get the book, guys. Hell, start from issue #1. This series is relatively new and there's still plenty of time to jump on this roller coaster and enjoy the ride. I've been trying to keep the reviews to series' that are in their early stages so that you have an opportunity to pick it up if it seems like something you'd like! As always, thanks for checking this out, and leave some damn comments so I know whether I should give this hobby up forever or not. Thanks!
Favorite Quote: "The Spectre is not a superhero. He's not here to protect us." - Jim Corrigan
Suggested Listening: "Judgment" composed by Steve Jablonsky for the Gears of War: Judgment score
There was also really cool communities of people that are also into customizing, like Figurerealm.com and the Fwoosh forums. Both of those places have people that are knowledgeable about customizing and they were very supportive in helping me learn what I know.
Being a customizer also makes you a different kind of collector. Instead of crying about Hasbro not making Earth X Captain America you are excited they haven't so that you can do it your self. Instead of being excited about a new White Iron Fist coming out, you are excited about a white base body so you can make a classic Karnak without paint rub. Or instead of being mad that your Black Series Luke Skywalker doesn't have a paint wash, you are excited to try out your new washes and dry brush technique on a new fantastic sculpt. You also kind of go from sounding like nerdy collector, to sounding like a deranged Dr. Frankenstein type of psychopath when you make comments like "all I need is the head, the body is useless", like I did when I saw the DC Direct Aquaman.
What was cool though, is that I was contacted by a lot of people that were familiar with my customs and wanted me to do commissions. So the fact that people were still actually into my customs made me very happy and kinda reignited the fire to make them again. With that being said, I have started on a few new customs and I've taken a few new commissions. I am excited to post them here on the blog and see what people think. Thanks for reading!
**all of these customs are a few years old but I will be posting new ones soon.
Written by: Robbie Thompson
Art by: Stacy Lee
Published by: Marvel Comics
"Really starting to get the hang of this. Crazy stuff happens, I punch it."
In an attempt to keep this review concise, we'll fast forward a bit. She was released from the bunker, the epic Spider-Verse catastrophe concluded, and she now roams the streets of New York a free woman. But how do you just pick up the pieces of a life that you were torn from so abruptly and hardly remember? As a start, Cindy begins the search for her family, whom she hasn't seen in many years. So far this Silk solo series has illustrated her efforts to resume the life she led, while also balancing her powers and her new life as a force for good.
Favorite Quote: "We've got one last night together. And I don't want to waste it fighting."
Suggested Listening: Becoming Spider-Man composed by James Horner from The Amazing Spider-Man score
HEY! Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog. Awesome action figure reviews and more! We're just some nerds who want to share it with the world. Check us out and spread the love! Comment and let me know if you like it! Thanks guys.
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