Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Rant Review: Masters of the Universe Classics Entrapta figure

First off, a bit of housekeeping: Regular Rant readers have surely noticed that it's been a few weeks since the last MOTU post. Unfortunately, an increasingly crazy work schedule, coupled with more time spent with my niece's baby in recent months, has led to me having less time to spend on these posts. I could still hammer 'em out in half the time and keep to the schedule, but I don't do things half-assed like that. What this means is that, going forward, MOTUC features and reviews will be posted every two weeks most of the time. I may occasionally be able to get them posted in consecutive weeks here and there, but they'll be on a bi-weekly schedule for the most part. It's not all bad news, though, as I'm also planning to post one full-length comic story per month, too! If you liked the last one, you'll dig these, too!

With that out of the way, let's dive right into this review! As I've made clear on multiple occasions, I was never into the She-Ra: Princess of Power cartoon. I have no nostalgia for it, but since nostalgia has never been the driving factor for me in deciding which figures I want, quite a few POP figures have found their way into my MOTUC collection. Entrapta is the latest one. I still know virtually nothing about her, but she's a mean lady with gold thigh boots and seven foot long prehensile braids, and that makes for a pretty cool figure. She's basically an evil version of Medusa from the Inhumans, with a more flamboyant fashion sense!

'Trapta's sculpt is among the better ones for the POP females in this line, with a great face sculpt that is both attractive and cruel. (She has that in common with Octavia.) The braids themselves are very well done, sculpted in dynamic poses, with tendrils of hair branching off from the main braids here and there, and some nice detailing. They give the figure a cool dynamic look, even when she's in a standard standing pose. There is a good bit of part reuse, of course, and at first glance, it seems that the most obvious is Castaspella's dress. This was surely done as a nod to the vintage toy, which sported the same reuse. On closer inspection, however, it appears to be a new sculpt, or at least a retool, as 'Trapta has a tiny Hordak head nestled in her bosom. If not for that, she could be mistaken for a heroic character if you showed her to someone who didn't know who she was. The Horde symbol does look odd without the wings, and I frankly would have preferred a full Horde logo instead of the nod to the vintage toy. However, the vintage toy influence usually reigns supreme in this line, so I can't really fault the figure for being held to that standard.

Entrapta has a very eye-catching color scheme, with her bright pink hair, gold boots and collar, and pink & purple dress. Some areas has a nice metallic sheen, and the figure really pops overall. Even among other POP females, she really stands out! She has a great look overall, and the paint apps are all pretty neat. She has the standard articulation for females using the 2.0 body, with a couple of additions. Aside from the usual ball jointed head, shoulders, and hips, swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, and thighs, and hinges at the elbows, knees, and ankles, 'Trapta has pin & disc joints at the base of each braid, and a swivel at the last ribbon on each, near the ends. This doesn't allow for super poseability of the braids, of course, but it does help to get them into position to aid certain poses. Her head's range of motion is far more limited by the high collar than it is by her hair. I'm actually rather surprised at how well the figure stands with the weight of those braids. She is a bit tougher to get into stable poses than the standard figure, but not by as much as I expected. 'Trapta has two accessories, the standard POP shield in purple, and the Shaping Staff, as wielded by Evil-Lyn in the Filmation MOTU cartoon. As always, it's great to get cool accessories like this! Although the staff was never used by 'Trapta in the show, it looks so good with her that I think I'll let her keep it.

For a figure I never really cared about, Entrapta is a pretty cool figure. She's not one of my favorite females in the line, but she is one of the better ones. Her origins as a POP character and her bright pink color scheme may be off-putting to many collectors, but she's a great addition to my collection, and a nice new member to fill out the ranks of the Horde a bit more. That's it for this week, but scroll down for more photos, and come on back in two weeks for the next feature!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Free Comic Book Day 2018 Guide

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day, so here I am with this year's edition of the FCBD guide! For those of you who have never participated, it may be helpful to have a few of the details clarified. Generally, FCBD goes something like this: You enter your local comic shop-- if you're unsure where the nearest one is, you can find out right here-- and the FCBD comics are displayed on a table or shelf, usually separate from the rest of the merchandise. Some shops place a limit on how many free books you can choose, while some let you grab as many as you like; it's all up to the owners of each store. Whatever the case, make sure to buy something while you're there, because while the comics are free to customers, the stores have to pay for them. They pay much less than they do for a normal comic, but it's still money out of their pockets.

FCBD grows each year, and so does the selection of free comics. It can be a little overwhelming, particularly with all the extra traffic most shops experience during the event. It helps to have a few key comics in mind that you're interested in. Lucky thing you happened across this, eh? (Of course, keep in mind that not every comic shop will have ordered every single comic. Generally, the majority will be offered, however.)

Once again, the owners of Hattiesburg's own Southern Fried Comics graciously allowed me to come by a few days early and read through this year's comics. Thanks to their generosity, I'm able to bring you a thorough look at this year's FCBD offerings! Let's start by taking a look at my top picks.

Bongo Comics Free-For-All: Simpsons Comics are always solid all-ages fun, entertaining to adults and children alike.

Amazing Spider-Man: Marvel is relaunching Spider-Man-- yes, again-- and this issue is a fun preview. Writer Nick Spencer has become a rather polarizing figure for many, but he always turns out very solid work, and his style is a perfect fit for Spidey. This is one of the funnest FCBD comics on offer this year!

Relay: This story featuring a space traveler landing on a technologically undeveloped planet is a very entertaining kickoff to a sci-fi story with lots of promise. Another draw is the excellent art by Andy Clarke's art.

Spongebob's Freestyle Funnies: As with the Bongo FFA, Spongebob comics are always reliable fun for all ages. 

The Tick: It's the Tick! 

Shadowman: Valiant has been remarkably consistent in the quality of its comics since its relaunch a few years ago. Shadowman has been a character they've kinda struggled with, but this latest incarnation is very promising. If you're looking for a superhero comic that's off the beaten path, you can't do much better then looking in Valiant's direction!

Shadow Roads: There just aren't enough westerns in comics, and this one is quite solid, and has a sci-fi twist. Billed as a spiritual successor to the acclaimed The Sixth Gun, this is one to keep an eye on. 

Unicron: IDW's long-running Tranformers comics are about to face the threat of the world-destroying Unicron, and cult favorite character Rom is along for the ride. 

Bob's Burgers: Like the show? Then you'll like this comic! 

Berlin: I actually didn't get to read this one, but it looks fascinating. Lutes is a fantastic creator, and the subject matter is very compelling. I'll be tracking down a copy of this one!

Barrier: A compelling story from a solid writer and a fantastic artist, clocking in at 53 pages, to be followed by four weekly chapters completing the story? If you like engaging, visually beautiful stories and instant gratification, this is the comic for you! 

Taking the kids along? Then you'll want to keep an eye out for these Kid-Friendly Comics!
DC Superhero Girls
Power Rangers
Comics Friends Forever
Invader Zim
Disney Princess Ariel
2000 AD Regened
Adventure Time
Howard Lovecraft's Big Book of Summer Fun
Legend of Korra
Miraculous Adventures
Nightmare Before Christmas- Zero's Journey
Star Wars Adventures
And of course, the aforementioned Bongo Comics FFA, Spongebob's FF, and Bob's Burgers.

There are still more comics to discover, however! you can view the full selection here. These are just the ones that stuck out to me, for one reason or another. Whichever comics catch your eye, be sure to get out tomorrow and have some fun, and support your local comic shop in the bargain!