Comic Report: Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey

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I just finished reviewing another trade collection on my other site but only the individual issues. Here I’ll be looking at the final collection, so we’ll take a week off from Transformers. I’ll resume the Alternators reviews next week with Side Swipe.

 

The Death and Return of Superman

The Death and Return of Superman video game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Doomsday is name that…well, should be familiar to everyone who speaks English because “doomsday” is a rather well-known word. But for Superman fans Doomsday also refers to the giant monster that killed him in one of the most famous story arc in comics. “The Death And Return Of Superman” is a multi-arc storyline dealing with Superman sacrificing himself to stop the only threat besides Darkseid who is Superman’s physical equal. All of his other enemies have to outwit Superman only to learn he’s more cunning than they thought. The storyline deals with his death, how the world is changed by his disappearance, and his ultimate return because no way is DC giving up what was their flagship character at the time, although it seems Batman has recently usurped that role. Which as much as I like Batman says more about the world at large than Superman himself. He’s still my favorite superhero.

The original storyline was huge, but it lacked any kind of actual origin for Doomsday. He just shows up one day and kills Superman. 1994’s Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey is a three-issue miniseries that brings us that origin. Where did Doomsday come from? Why did he want to kill Superman? Those answers were finally revealed, and then collected in a trade collection the next year. I’ve already reviewed the three issues, and will link to those reviews if you want a deeper analysis, as well as the actual issue where Superman and Doomsday fought to the death, which isn’t in this collection but I thought you might be curious. While I will go over my thoughts on the miniseries this is The Clutter Reports, so my focus will be on the collection more than the story itself.

You might want to look behind you, Doomy!

Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey

collecting issues one-three of the 1994 miniseries

DC Comics (1995)

WRITER/LAYOUTS: Dan Jurgens

FINISHED ART: Brett Breeding

COLOR GUIDES: Greg Wright

COLOR SEPARATIONS: Android Images

LETTERER: Bill Oakley

“SUPERMAN” CREATORS: Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster

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Transformers Report: Alternators Smokescreen

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Mikko Hirvonen driving his Subaru Impreza WRC ...

Mikko Hirvonen driving his Subaru Impreza WRC during the shakedown of the 2004 Cyprus Rally. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back during my review of Alternity Bumblebee I mentioned the Binaltech/Alternators line. This toyline was intended for collectors to the point that they resemble model toy cars from their size to real working doors and molded interiors. However, the line wasn’t as popular as Takara and Hasbro wanted, plus there were licensing issues, including two different branches of Honda disagreeing about whether or not they wanted their representative carrying weapons (Honda US didn’t like it, Honda Japan didn’t mind). Ultimately the line failed. Japan’s Binaltech had a storyline that continued into Alternity but Alternators had no such story. Alternity probably wasn’t launched in the US and elsewhere after the hassles of Alternators.

One interesting choice is the character chosen for the first toy, Smokescreen. While he had his fans, appearing in later early G1 as the third repaint of Prowl and Bluestreak, he doesn’t carry the impact of those other two. That doesn’t make him a good or bad toy so let’s look at this thing.

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Transformers Report: Masterpiece Optimus Prime

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Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Optimus Prime is a name any toy fan should know by now. He has versions and namesakes all throughout the Transformers multiverse. Every generation has their own Optimus Prime. But for 80s kids the original is still the one they think of, to the point that Peter Cullen, the voice from the cartoon, still gets called upon to give the character a voice.

For the 20th anniversary of the Transformers toyline Takara produced a special edition of Optimus, redesigned to more closely match the cartoon. Floro Dery, who did the design work for the original cartoon, didn’t stick too closely to the look of the toys. Some are really different (like Ratchet and Ironhide) while others (Reflector comes to mind) bears little if any resemblance to the toy they were selling. (Lucky Reflector was a mail-in offer.)  It was this version that the Masterpiece figure was meant to represent, and kicked off the Masterpiece line. Since there’s so much to talk about with this figure let’s get on with it.

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Toy Report: Block City

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I know I said Transformers were up next but since this was uncovered during the recent organizing project and I have plans for using them (I won’t say what in case it doesn’t work) I thought I would take a quick look at this set. Block City was a building block set that was introduced in the 1950s. In my admittedly short research I kept getting told the toyline ended in the 1960s and yet I remember getting these in the 1980s, late 1970s at best. So either my parents gave me one of their old toys for Christmas or they happened to find a store with leftovers.

With the success of LEGO and Lincoln Logs among other building toys a number of toymakers try to come up with their own building block sets. Some of them use licenses, like LEGO and Mega Blocks while other just hope parents won’t know any better or enthusiasts will want to try something new. Block City went through a few different owners in its time. My set was produced by Block City Incorporated out of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. (One of the previous creators also was out of Kentucky.) The original creators appears to be the Tri-State Plastic Molding Company, later distributed by the Chicago-based Plastic Block City Incorporated. The early sets came in tubes and boxes with names like “The New Yorker” and “The Chicagoan” (whether they were named after cities or magazines I wouldn’t know) and later less famous names like “Rolling Hills” and “Suburban”.  Here’s a good site to look into the history. By my time we just get numbers based on how many pieces came with the set, so mine is in a reusable pail simply dubbed “B-680”.

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Comic Re-Integration Finale + Bonus Projects

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There’s nothing more satisfying than a completed project, especially a big one that needed four weeks to complete. But complete it is. I wanted to sort my comics so they flow in a better order to properly go through them all, and I succeeded. I ended up finishing before the week was out so I took on some smaller project that I could only do once the comic re-integration project was complete. Let me take you on a short journey through my week and all I accomplished.

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Comic Re-Integration Project: Week 3

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This is going to be a short report. This week I was more interested in finally finishing my Christmas comic…which as you can guess from the posting date is already a few weeks left. If I can get it done for tonight I’ll be very happy. Not that I didn’t do anything. I did organize my letter “T” titles, which included two big ones: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (with at least four different continuities to sort separately) and some Transformers comics I came across, some of which I already pulled out since I know I don’t want them. Not that they’re bad (though some of them are) but IDW took the franchise in a direction I don’t care for, which is the opposite of what they did with the Turtles comics. And there’s still the border marking, mixed with my removable tape running out. I have to use regular tape and hope the bag doesn’t rip the next time I go to read the comics down this way. Removable tape is hard to find, if they still make it.

The plan is to finish off this phase of the project this week and move on to another project while I continue to slowly go through the collection, finding the comics I still enjoy and want to read again versus the ones I don’t care for and willing to go away, thus cutting down my oversized collection. We’re almost done with this one.

Comic Re-Integration Project: Week 2

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I needed a few days break before I resumed the project on Thursday. But I got quite a bit done in three days, and now I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I’m done with this I have to organize my records, then I can put the table away and have room to take down my Christmas decorations. So I want to get through this as fast as my body can go through. Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve accomplished this week.

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Comic Re-Integration Project: Day 5 (Week 1 wrap-up)

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table

There really isn’t much to report on today’s work. I sorted my Sonic The Hedgehog comics, and found there’s a few missing somewhere because of course there is. I found a couple of series I want to get rid of, but one of them needs to be reviewed on my other site first for completeness sake. I marked myself one week to complete this project, and I didn’t. There is still more sorting and organizing to do before my comics are in a proper order. That doesn’t mean I failed, though.

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Comic Re-Integration Project: Day 4

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It was time to break out the table again. Today was all about sorting comics. That was the plan…but the plan didn’t require me to hate myself for what I’ve done to myself! As I’ll get into I had to seal with one section of comics totally out of order and having to be sorted more than I thought, and other titles and letters I thought I was done with! It was a huge exercise in frustration and I only have my past self to blame! But I got through it and that’s what matters!

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Comic Re-Integration Project: Day 3

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Yes, it’s an older photo.

I’m calling it a day earlier than I have the past two days. At least as far as the project goes. I got two boxes sorted, so that’s a good thing. However, there’s another part of this process that’s slowed me down today.

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