Here, Marvel. Take My Money.

If you really wanna hurt me, this is where you'll do the most damage.
I'm already resigned to the fact that the next few months are gonna be particularly hard on my wallet. And it's not just because that gosh-darned movie would unleash hordes of merchandise that I would be powerless to resist, but it's also because I'm gonna have to rearrange, restructure, or worse - remodel my entire room just to fit them!

Anyway, here's a run down of the movie-related merchandise coming up in the next few months (or weeks) that I'm really looking forward to. Hopefully, my shops here in Manila would carry them so I won't have a hard time making acquisitions.

I don't get individual figures and "assemble the team". I prefer getting the entire group in one set! But I just might make an exception with Hasbro's Marvel Universe.
For a complete list and picture gallery, visit the ToyArk forums.
If they don't have a set, that's okay. There's still the Quinjet, which comes with an Iron Man figure. I  can just get this and collect everyone else individually.
I don't really play Heroclix, but they're coming up with a starter set.
More details from ComicBookMovie.com
Diamond Select Minimates Wave 44
Though not the movie versions, they're to be released in time for the movie.
Diamond Select Minimates Wave 45
This is gonna be tough as there are Toys R Us exclusives, and our local TRU shops don't even carry this.
Lego! ComicBookMovie has a complete listing of the sets.
Unfortunately, this means I'm gonna have two copies of some figures if I want to complete the whole set.
MiniMuggs spotted by members of the ToyArk forums.
Not as nicely packaged as last year's SDCC exclusive pack.

Funny thing about these things, especially for the Lego and Heroclix sets, are that the descriptions seem to reveal a bit more about the movie.

Flushies by Funko. They're cute, but I'm not too keen on getting them.
Pop! Marvel Vinyl Figure Bobble Heads. Also by Funko.
Wacky Wobbler Bobble Heads. Also by Funko.
More info from ComicBookMovie.com
Not entirely sold on this, but who knows?

The Art of the Avengers HC and Slipcase. Details from ComicBookMovie.com

Of course, there are other merchandise that I have no intention of getting like the perfume set and the costumes.


Man and Machine, God and Monster

I used to draw superheroes back when I was a kid up until I was in college, and I think I did okay at my best. If I were to draw again just so I can pay tribute to my favorite characters and add content to my long-neglected DeviantArt account, I'm gonna have to devote a lot of time just for practice. Unfortunately I was in a hurry last week as I wanted to put out material to draw attention to the fact that it was exactly 100 days before the movie hit Philippine cinemas. But thankfully I had other skills and talents to back up on.

So I played up my strengths as a professional copywriter and layout artist for a design / advertising agency to come up with materials that individualizes each member of the Avengers and really highlight their diversity. Well, the big four anyway.

I guess I was just disappointed that the posters for the movie aren't as dramatic or epic as they should be. I'm partly disappointed in myself that I can't find a word that also starts with the letter "M" for Thor. Well, actually, there is, but I have to use it for another set of materials I have coming up.

Anyway, do leave me a comment. Let me know what you think. And feel free to share away!

*All done using Magix Xara Photo and Graphic Designer 7*


Avengers Six: JARVIS!

And here we are at the end of my 6-day countdown. Big thanks to everyone who followed my blogs!
I thought I'd save the best for last, and so we now have the Avengers' venerable butler: Edwin Jarvis!

If there is one character in the Avengers' long history that truly deserves superstar status, it's this guy. After all, he's been there since day one and will probably be there until the very end. If he dies somewhere along the line, his death will be mourned by fans more than Captain America, the Wasp or any other Avenger who ever was.

From United They Stand. Notice the "A" logo on the jacket sleeve.

I take it back: You can take away everything on this list (including the Quinjet) and just leave Jarvis with the most unlikely group of heroes and you'd still have Earth's mightiest!
From Mighty Avengers 21. No mansion, no Quinjet, no big three. Still every bit the Avengers! (Jarvis is the one with the red scarf.)

I mentioned how some of the items on this list humanizes the Avengers, and none more so than Jarvis himself. After all, the Avengers is primarily an organization. Not a family. Not a school. Yet with Jarvis around, the team manages to find its heart.

From Ultimate Avengers
You can have the most powerful sorcerer or cosmic entity on your squad and still need Jarvis around. After all, who can a leader like Captain America turn to for advice about matters like team dynamics than the one person who has seen virtually every incarnation and lineup of the group since the beginning? When the fate of the world rests on your shoulders, who else can you turn to for just a little unburdening?

On of my favorite chapters in the I Am An Avenger anthology is this touching Jarvis / Wolverine story.

That's probably my only complaint with the Marvel movies and the current cartoon: Jarvis is reduced to an AI. I wonder who they would've gotten to play him in the movies if they choose to portray him as a real person. I bet that would've been a hard role to cast!

Even the Transformers know who to ask. From Lilformers.
This is part 6 of 6 in a series of blogs about what I think makes the Avengers.
Part 5: The Charter!
Part 4: The Communicard!
Part 3: The Quinjet!
Part 2: The Mansion!
Part 1: The Battle Cry!


Avengers Six: The Charter

Here is something that's not as tangible as the other items on this list, yet was the most convincing proof that Slott's Mighty Avengers was the superior of all the Avengers-related titles during the Dark Reign era.

From Mighty Avengers 24
Of course, that also means the New Avengers from the post-Civil War era up to the Heroic Age also had no claim to the name, which suits me just fine. I'll take any chance I get to write off Bendis' run as fan fiction or having taken place in another reality.

The first version of the Charter on Avengers Annual 11. Love the signatures! Read the rest of it here.
Several websites have reported that the Avengers are so far the only superhero team with their own Charter, which makes them really unique. Great! One more point for the A-team!

The second UN-sanctioned version of the Charter as it appeared on the Avengers 30th Anniversary Magazine. Already obsolete since the Avengers is no longer under the United Nations. Read the rest of it here.
With multiple squads of Avengers (along with SHIELD) now under the direction of Commander Rogers (himself not an original Avenger), it is unclear whether the Charter is still in effect. Like the Communicard, it hasn't been invoked in recent years (except for the brief mention above), and has neither been reprinted on the latest editions of the Avengers Handbook and Spotlight, nor the Ultimate Guide.

Click for more information about the Charter.

This is part 5 of 6 in a series of blogs about what I think makes the Avengers.
Part 4: The Communicard!
Part 3: The Quinjet!
Part 2: The Mansion!
Part 1: The Battle Cry!

Avengers Six: The Communicard!

Sure, the X-men also have their mansion and their supersonic plane, but one thing the Avengers have that they and not even the Justice League don't is a membership card / ID / ATM card/ communicator!

I know: Who needs it when the X-men has a chockful of telepaths and the League has the Martian Mahunter to rally the troops? Well, I can't argue with that logic but how about when the the psychics aren't around? For everything else, there's the Avengers Communicard!

I guess I like the idea of having members carry this doohickey around as it makes the Avengers look more like a real world organization - something I can relate to since I used to lead orgs back in my college days. There's just something empowering about carrying a card that entitles you to all the privileges, benefits, and responsibilities of being part of something bigger than yourself.

Also known as the Identicard. They were giving these away as part of the promotion for Siege.
And the thing is: Even when they're not on active duty, any Avenger can still carry that card with them and be called upon to return to active service if needed! Yes, it still comes with all the perks like security clearances and 10% off at Starbucks! Sweet, right?

Of course we haven't seen the Communicards in use in the post-Disassembled era, not even during Slott's run on the Mighty Avengers (at least not that I recall). But I'm glad that it hasn't been forgotten - the current animated series features the Communicard and it even makes an appearance right on the opening credits! (It's on 00:14)

Actually, one of the projects I want to do is have Communicards printed for each and every Avenger that ever was. I think that would be cool to use as trading cards!

Stack of Communicards based on the cartoon used as entrance passes to the Marvel booth at the last NYCC.
I doubt they would, but I would be really happy if they have Communicards in the movie!

This is part 4 of 6 in a series of blogs about what I think makes the Avengers.
Part 3: The Quinjet!
Part 2: The Mansion!
Part 1: The Battle Cry!


Avengers Six: The Quinjet!

Of course, the only recent news about the movie that I particularly care about is the concept art for the Quinjet.

I can't help but think that this actually part of a larger piece of art that's sure to set the Internet ablaze in the coming weeks, if not in the next few days. Anyway, the Quinjet, for me, is non-negotiable. If anyone's having anything to do with the Avengers, the Quinjet has to be there.

From Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Granted, it's first appearance was much later than the Mansion's (since issue 1), but it's use is actually far more practical. After all, unless you have Dr. Strange on your squad, how are you supposed to transport non-flying Avengers across the globe, let alone across the galaxy, to respond to a major threat?

From Next Avengers
So, yeah, the Quinjet does hold a somewhat iconic status for me similar to how their respective fan bases feel about the Star Destroyer or the Enterprise. So much so that for the longest time I've been looking for a toy or a model to add to my collection! Thankfully, the Superhero Squad line came up with this:

Yes, it's mine!
Which brings me to quite a puzzle: This toy, as well as the animated depictions, have shown the Quinjet capable of firepower. Yet, according to this site, the Quinjet has "no on-board weaponry". I have yet to find another material that confirms this, but from the behavior of the Quinjet in the comics, that looks to be about right.

The only other toy. From United They Stand. Not sure if this was ever released.
Yes, I know the Quinjet is not as iconic as the Batmobile or even the Blackbird - heck, sometimes I feel that slapping an "A" logo on any plane already makes it a Quinjet - but like the Mansion, the Quinjet adds a humanizing element to the mythos of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Sometimes, it even acts like a character in an Avengers story - just like in Busiek's closing issue for Vol. 3, which also printed my very first fan letter to Marvel!
In a testament to Busiek's genius as a writer, this issue had the Avengers accounting for one Quinjet that was destroyed and one that was illegally parked.
This is part 3 of 6 in a series of blogs about what I think makes the Avengers.
Part 2: The Mansion!
Part 1: The Battle Cry!


Avengers Six: The Mansion!

I've always felt that the Avengers Mansion is more than just Earth's Mightiest Heroes' HQ.

It's their home.

Members have used it as their personal base even when they're not in Avengers-related capacity, most notably Captain America right after he got unfrozen back in issue 4.

Baron Zemo tore through the Mansion and destroyed Cap's WWII memorabilia in the Under Siege storyline.
Sure, it's not as awesome or majestic as the Justice League's Satellite or Watch Tower, but there's something about heroes being based on ground level that makes them a little more human. Exactly the kind of thing Marvel goes for.

Actually, some of my most favorite issues are those that feature the Avengers just hanging around the Mansion, doing non-superhero things like, say, holding a barbecue.
*From I Am An Avenger No. 2
You can just imagine how disappointed I was when they had the Mansion destroyed during Disassembled with no plans of rebuilding. Instead, they housed the New Avengers at Stark Tower, which just didn't really click with me (see "ground level" sentiment above).

For years, I've endured the Avengers without the Mansion and it just didn't feel the same. The Mighty Avengers' dimension-hopping Infinite Avengers Mansion came quite close though.

Then the Heroic Age came and they brought the Mansion back, which was the only thing that got me excited about Bendis' run on Volume 2 of the New Avengers.
Then he had the place wrecked up again during the Annual, but apparently the damage isn't quite permanent as the Mansion now plays home to both the adjective-less and the New Avengers.

I would love for the movie to use the Mansion, but I highly doubt they will. Oh well. At least there's still the animated show.

Click here for more details about the Mansion, including schematics!

This is part 2 of 6 in a series of blogs about what I think makes the Avengers.
Part 1: The Battle Cry!


Avengers Six: Assemble!

And, no - I don't mean these guys:

I mean, the six things that makes the Avengers who they are (at least in the Marvel universe). Until this weekend, I'll be posting one daily beginning with today's "AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!"

It took Stan Lee three issues to finally come up with the Avengers' iconic battle cry.
Interestingly, it also took each one of the big three to arrive at it!

Captain America
*From Avengers Vol 1, No. 11

Iron Man
*From Avengers Vol 1, No. 12

*From Avengers Vol 1, No. 14

It finally made it into the cover and history by No. 16, which was also the first major shake up in the Avengers roster!

Avengers Assemble!

Props to ComicBookResources for the research!

PS: I was supposed to this as a 6-day countdown to the 100 days til the Avengers' local release, and it was supposed to start yesterday, but unfortunately, we didn't have Internet at home.

Yes, this post already appeared on my Tumblr.