Considering how many different shows Square Enix participates in, it's a wonder there were any new figures on display at this year's New York Comic Con. Fortunately for all, the Play Arts line saw some strong new additions this week, with the 2016 Warner Brothers' tentpole Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice getting the most attention. We had seen the standard Superman and Batman figures back at SDCC, but here we got looks at the prototypes for a second Batman figure and what could be the best Wonder Woman Square has ever done.
Seriously, Square Enix has dipped the toy quill in the DC Comics fountain before, and the Variant Wonder Woman, while true to Play Arts' style, wasn't exactly the strongest representation of the character. This new iteration, based on Gal Gadot's take on the iconic Amazonian, is incredibly detailed, but more importantly, it's spot-on, unembellished sculpt is the perfect counterpoint to the previous attempt. The articulation is impressive as always, but the real draw comes from that attention to detail Square has been stepping up over the course of the last year. The company's been working with a slightly larger scale than it was in the past, and though it means more expensive figures, it also means way more nuance for each figure.
For those of you wondering just how the previously announced Ultron and Hulkbuster Iron Man figures would play into the recent release of Disney Infinity 3.0, wonder no more. This upcoming March, Disney Infinity 3.0 will see a new add-on arrive in the form of Marvel Battlegrounds. The play set, which will be offered just like the Toy Box Takeover and Toy Box Speedway, will introduce a new four-player, Marvel-themed brawler into the fray. While it won't follow a similar path as Disney Infinity 2.0's Avengers story, Marvel Battlegrounds will indeed have a narrative, though that's not the most important news.
Joining Hulkbuster and Ultron will be an all-new Captain America The First Avenger figure. Featuring an unmasked Cap in a costume reminiscent of his Avengers: Age of Ultron costume (why call it the First Avenger then?), the figure will come in new pose, have new powers and abilities, and also look handsome as hell. This is as close as we're ever going to get to a Pixar-styled Chris Evans, so soak it in, everyone. He's just as dreamy and Dorito-y as ever, even in digitized form.
It may seem hard to believe, but Marvel has now completed two phases of films, ending Phase Two with Ant-Man before entering Phase Three next summer with Captain America: Civil War. The new MCU kicked off back in 2008 with Iron Man and ended with the first Avengers in 2012 — which already seems so, so long ago. As we prepare for Avengers: Age of Ultron to hit Blu-ray and DVD, one fan has put together this 10-minute retrospective looking back on the films of Phase One.
Last week Zack Snyder served Marvel a diss while discussing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and reiterating that the film is very serious and mythological. Shots were effectively fired, and this week they’re being returned by Sebastian Stan, who serves a diss right back at Snyder and DC while talking up Winter Soldier’s role in Captain America: Civil War.
Daniel Acuña is ridiculously talented. These unlettered preview pages from the upcoming Sam Wilson: Captain America #1, with writer Nick Spencer, are a testament to that truth, which probably ought to be acknowledged more --- though the fact that Acuña has been selected for such a prime gig as the new Captain America book is also a pretty good indicator of where he stands in the industry. Daniel Acuña is very, very good.
It’s been kind of a big week for Marvel — we haven’t really covered it here, but the company had a bit of a shakeup, as Marvel Studios disengaged from Marvel Entertainment, with Kevin Feige taking the movie end of things over to Disney and gaining more control over the MCU. On the heels of that major news, Chris Evans has revealed that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Clearly things are pretty good over at Marvel right now.
You know how much we love cosplay at ComicsAlliance; we put a spotlight on it every week. Fans who create their own costumes and dress up as their favorite heroes are some of the most passionate and enthusiastic people in comics, and the level of talent and committment on display at conventions seems to get more impressive every year. If there isn't a Carol Corps cosplay meet-up or a whole dang Spider-Verse at a show, you'll probably go home disappointed.
So it's great to see Marvel paying tribute to these fans with a selection of cosplay variant covers on several of its All-New All-Different launches this fall. The Marvel Cosplay variants place fans of Spider-Gwen, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Thor (both versions) and more on the covers of the books they love. Cosplay connoisseurs will see some familiar faces among the cosplayers, including Birds of Play's Amanda Lynne Shafer, cosplay legend Yaya Han, and Marvel's own in-house cosplay blogger Judy Stephens as Captain Marvel.
Captain America: Civil War has a lot on its plate before you get to the part where it has to adequately introduce Tom Holland’s new Spider-Man and it make it matter that he’s punching some of our favorite superheroes in the face. Sure, Spidey is getting his own solo movie in 2017, but you know what they say about first impressions. While we ponder how the movie will bring Peter Parker into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we can tear apart and reassemble a single scrap of news to keep ourselves occupied … and we now know just a little bit about one of Spider-Man’s action scenes.
Legendary hero Captain America has gone through more than his fair share of costume revisions over the years. Some have been more well-received than others, but the man has always stayed true to the core concept designed by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. It's hard to argue with the classic stars and bars. In fact, it's so hard to argue with the good ol' red, white and blue, even Cap's most radical revamps have incorporated the scheme because it's impossible to top. That even holds true when other characters that have suited up under the guise of the Captain like Bucky and Sam Wilson.
I thought for sure that Square Enix would take the character through some unexplored territory with its upcoming Play Arts Marvel Variant version, but even the talented team there found that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. While the Square Enix version of Captain America is immediately recognizable, it lacks much of that trademark Play Arts touch. It's not the most outrageous armored Avenger we've ever seen, and that oddly makes it kind of a boring figure.
Captain America: Civil War will be the cinematic incarnation of those early morning debates you used to have with your friends: which superhero would win in a fight? We’ve known that the main plot of the film would find Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers facing off against Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and that the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be torn between them, but now we know where those fractures lie. So, who is Team Captain America and who is Team Iron Man?
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