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The main site is on indefinite hiatus due to various constraints and energies being directed elsewhere.
However, it will be kept online for as long as possible in the hope it can be properly revived in the future.

26th March 2017, 09:08 PM: Comics: Machine Men Mini-Comics

 
In Australia the Machine Robo line was imported as Machine Men, distributed by Bandai Australia. Like the European version and unlike the American Machine Men line the toys sold well enough that Bandai opted to keep the original branding, even after Gobots took off. Indeed, uniquely the cartoon was even retitled Challenge of the Machine Men to fit in with the toys. To help promote the figures, Bandai Australia did provide catalogues that included short comic strips.


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25th March 2017, 11:10 PM: Minifigures - Red Robin

 
Red Robin has been the identity of three different characters, all former Robins. The character debuted in Alex Ross' acclaimed Kingdom Come as an identity of Dick Grayson, the original Robin, with the costume clearly a mash-up of mentor Batman and his own. The design was striking enough to make it to regular continuity (or as regular as DC's continuity gets) as a guise for former Robin and current Red Hood Jason Todd whenever he was being overtly heroic before he eventually went nuts and spoilt it all. The identity then made it to the third Robin, Tim Drake - and that's who I'm saying this one is for ultimate line-up line-upability.


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25th March 2017, 11:06 PM: Comic Review: Transformers - International Incident

 
PUBLISHER: IDW (2010)
WRITER: MIKE COSTA
ARTISTS: E J SU, JAVIER SALTARES, GUIDO GUIDI

All comic writers have bad ideas. The trick is to realise them as such. The second batch of issues from Mike Costa's unsubtitled ongoing series are an odd bunch. The man has no quality control; not since Bob Budiasnky's second year on the old Marvel title (after which he was obviously trying to get fired) has a writer on Transformers had so many good ideas and so many bad ideas blended with a total inability to realise which is which. The result is bordering on schizophrenia and results in a wildly uneven ride. 

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25th March 2017, 09:49 PM: Comic Review: Thunderbolt Jaxon

 
PUBLISHER: WILDSTORM (2006)
WRITER: DAVE GIBBONS
ARTIST: JOHN HIGGINS

Wildstorm/DC brought up the rights to the fabled comic wing of IPC/Fleetway in 2005 and promised a selection of new material and reprints (the main hitch in the latter being the absence and poor condition of most physical masters). The opening gambit was Albion, written by Leah Moore and John Reppion and maybe read or spellchecked or vaguely acknowledged by Alan Moore. This was a hugely clumsy attempt to "do a Watchmen" for the characters but while it was nice to see so many characters back in print after decades on the sidelines and it was nowhere near the desecration of the infamous 2000AD Holiday Special it's generally considered impolite to mention the whole thing now. Phase two was a pair of spin-off five part miniseries "from the world of Albion!" largely chosen by casting around for British Invasion creators who had fond memories and asking them if they wanted to write anything. Dave Gibbons answered the call and chose Thunderbolt Jaxon, but there were two major catches - he didn't want to draw it and apparently he didn't want to write about Thunderbolt Jaxon either. Jaxon was never quite in Fleetway's first echelon, mainly being limited to Comet and Knockout rather than the A-list and his big moment might well have been a whiny death in Grant Morrison's Zenith. He was left out of Albion and you get the impression it wasn't so much to keep him free for this mini but because the writers didn't know who he was.

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25th March 2017, 01:12 AM: Comic Review: X-Men - X-Tinction Agenda

 
PUBLISHER: MARVEL (1990-1991)
WRITERS: CHRIS CLAREMONT, LOUISE SIMONSON
ARTISTS: JIM LEE, ROB LIEFIELD, JON BOGDANOVE

This is it, the progenitor, the prototype, the big daddy - the first real mutant crossover, the harbinger of "X-Cutioner's Song", "Fatal Attractions", "Age of Apocalypse" and "Onslaught". Marvel's mutant titles had done events before, starting with "Fall of the Mutants" in 1988 and "Inferno" the following year but for those each title had remained relatively self-contained. But 1990's "X-Tinction Agenda" featured a full flow of three issues of the three books with a constantly shifting cast; if you didn't buy all nine issues involved you would not have a clue what was happening and while each title would subtly focus ever so slightly on the home team it was only as part of an ongoing plot.

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A Second A Lap

A SECOND A LAP

Retro Formula One blog, currently focusing on race reports from the start of the World Championship - 500 articles and counting.


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