Tag Archives: Winter Soldier

Hot Wheels Captain America Series

The slew of new Captain America merchandise seems to know no bounds! Hot Wheels is even getting in on the action with this series of 8 vehicles all designed with the Star-Spangled Avenger in mind.

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The series includes four cars dedicated to Cap himself, two for Bucky (WW2 and Winter Soldier), one for the Avengers and one for the sinister Red Skull.

Now I’m no expert, but I’m roughly 100% positive some of these aren’t real cars.

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I really like the 40’s Cap car and the Avengers car and the rest, while not winning any Stranger Awards (I should make that a thing) are still pretty cool. I would have liked some classic Cap stuff- maybe the Turbo Coupe? Or the Skull’s badass ride from The First Avenger?

If I understand correctly, these guys are all Walmart exclusives, but I can’t confirm that- a friend got them for me so I don’t know for sure. Regardless, these 8 autos are my only Hot Wheels toys, so I need to figure out how to display them- any thoughts?

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Captain America: Civil War Minimates Captain America and Winter Soldier 2-pack Quick Pic Gallery

 

I was roaming the aisles at Toys R Us today when I stumbled across the new Captain America: Civil War Minimates made by Diamond Select Toys. I picked up Cap/Bucky and Hawkeye/Vision (the latter is a TRU Exclusive) and really just could not wait to add a new Cap to the shelf. I’ll try to do a more in-depth review in the future, but for now enjoy the pics of Captain America and The Winter Soldier!

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And about that shelf…

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That’s our new boy in the back.

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Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 Review (Spoilers ahead!)

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This month’s issue of Captain America: Sam Wilson is sort of a big deal- not only is it the 75th anniversary of the character, but this latest book marks the return of Steve Rogers as a youthful Avenger. No, that isn’t a spoiler yet.  Well, not if you’ve read anything about anything comic-related over the past few months. Marvel hasn’t exactly been shy about the return of the original Cap since announcing Captain America: Steve Rogers #1.

The book is broken into several different stories- the main ongoing title is split between CA: Sam and CA: Steve, both written by CA:Sam regular Nick Spencer, and the supplemental stuff done a variety of other writers. As you may imagine, the artist duties are equally distributed throughout the book, but for the sake of keeping things organized, I’m simply going to review each story independently.

This is a mighty hefty book, with 60+ pages of story, so hit the bathroom now, because there’s no rest stops on the way.


 

“CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON”

Story: Nick Spencer/ Art: Angel Unzueta & Matt Yackey

The story starts with Sam arriving in Pleasant Hill at the same time as Bucky, AKA The Winter Soldier. Both were following separate tips that lead them to this remote S.H.I.E.L.D. installation to figure out just what is going on and shut down the KOBIK Program. Casual Marvel fans and Cap readers are likely having a “WTF?” moment. Luckily, Sam’s entire story here is really a “Catch the audience up to speed” recap.

Basically the idea is this: S.H.I.E.L.D. was doing a thing with the fragments of some Cosmic Cubes until Sam and Steve found out about it and forced them to shut it down. Well turns out under the direction of Maria Hill, that project, called KOBIK, was still under way in secret. I know, shocking, right? It seems that, at some point, the fragments of the Cubes fused together and became sentient, which isn’t that unusual as Cosmic Cubes have done that from time to time, but this one turned into a little girl also named Kobik instead of some giant super-being. S.H.I.E.L.D. decides to use Kobik’s infinite power to create the world’s most badass, yet morally questionable, prison by having her alter reality, turning dangerous villains into harmless townsfolk of the “Leave it to Beaver” style prison-town known as Pleasant Hill.

What could possibly go wrong?

Yeah, so everything. Somehow the Fixer builds a machine that reworks the villains, including the sinister Baron Zemo, and a Thunderbolts reunion tour starts just as Steve Rogers comes to shut the place down. Explosions, carnage…you know the deal.

This entire story arc gets explained over eight pages as Sam and Bucky fight their way through a gaggle of circus-themed villains with very little difficulty. The pair meet S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Avril Lavigne Kincaid and she helps the duo fill in the blanks along the way. We get a lot of Sam/Bucky bromance, or as my wife has started calling them, Bam. The two do work rather well together, and it’s fun to see them back in action for the first time since the Brubaker run a few years back. I know people are all about “shipping” Steve and Bucky, but this here, folks, is where I’d put my money.

Interesting note- my wife chose “Bam” after realizing the other option was “Sucky”. Good call.

Anyway, Kobik appears to Bam to warn them that Steve was in dire trouble, and he needs his friends now more than ever, so our dynamic duo (I’m kidnapping it for Marvel) rush to his side.

Like I said, this is a fairly short story, but since the purpose was really just to act as a recap, it didn’t need to be too long. I rather preferred this approach to just exposition, mainly because Bam was (were?) really entertaining to read.

The art in this short outing is handled by Angel Unzueta and Matt Yackey, who do a mostly successful job matching Spencer’s zany antics, but something about the way Bucky was drawn irks me. I can’t put my finger on it, but something” just seemed off. Overall a solid start to the 75th anniversary.


 

“CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS”

Story: Nick Spencer/ Daniel Acuna

GIANT, BLOODY OLD MAN ROGERS FACE!

I hope that got your attention, because that’s how the next chapter of this book starts. All we know is that Steve is at a considerable disadvantage and Crossbones, Cap’s long-time adversary, is about to finish the job. I love this scene, honestly, because once again we see just how much Spencer knows the characters he is writing. Crossbones’ lines about not underestimating Rogers and “Zemo’s an idiot” are really on-point.

We jump back in time (Spencer loves doing this) to the events that directly followed the Super-Villain prison riot in Avengers Standoff. Maria Hill is gravely injured and using the remainder of her energy to blame Steve for the bound-to-happen cataclysm that has just went down. We also learn that she intended to use Kobik on herself so she could live peacefully in this pseudo-reality she’s created. I’d feel bad for Hill if I didn’t dislike her so damn much.

Steve calls for medical attention, and after a brief back-and-forth with Mentallo, Zemo steps in and admits that, yes, he does need Hill alive, but in order to jump her up ahead the wait list for medical attention, someone else will need to step down and trade places with her. After all, HYDRA doesn’t value the powerful more than the little people. Apparently.

Unfortunately for Danny Rothstein, random S.H.I.E.L.D. accountant, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and that means his head is on the chopping block. Classic Zemo. Heartless, but classic. However, now that a spot has opened up on the list, Steve picks up Hill and is ordered to carry her across town to the local doctor. Of course he isn’t allowed to just go it alone as Zemo orders Father Patrick to accompany them. Who is he? Dunno, but odds are he’s a villainous villain.

While crossing the streets Steve, Hill and Patrick come across the Wrecking Crew, who, despite their immense powers, are easily tossed aside by Father Patrick. Just who is this mysterious badass!?!

The trio makes it to the building where Eric Selvig is locked up and Steve takes Hill inside while the good Reverend stays outside for some reason. After a brief exchange with Selvig, Steve learns where Kobik might be hiding and decides he needs to get to her before Zemo does. He makes a hasty escape, leaving Selvig and Hill behind to deal with Father Patrick, which seems like a terrible idea as we pretty much know this guy is a powerful villain. Turns out that it’s even more risky than we thought considering Father Patrick is revealed to be THE RED SKULL. I would tend to guess that Zemo had no clue who he was either, since  I can’t imagine he would ever entrust Steve’s safety to the Star-Spangled Avenger’s arch enemy. But this is where I get a bit confused. Steve has no clue who Father Patrick was, but his plan involves leaving a defenseless Hill and less-than-average Selvig behind with a man he just saw beat the snot out of a group of guys who regularly tackle Thor, which turns out to be okay since Patrick is revealed to be the Red Skull, and the Skull apparently has his own plan which involves leaving the helpless pair alone while ensuring Steve escapes “Zemo’s wrath”, and that in turn makes me wonder why the Skull didn’t just walk away after getting Steve to the building instead of trying to barge his way in to begin with. I’m honestly not clear on what his entire plan was.

Also I have no clue if this is the original Skull, or the cloned one that became Onslaught, or if there’s even a difference anymore, but in any of those cases when did the Red Skull become strong enough to single-handedly dismantle the Wrecking Crew in two seconds. Sure, it was a cool scene, but I feel like I missed something.

Moving on, Steve heads to the town’s bowling alley where Kobik is hiding out, and after a heartfelt plea for Kobik to stop using her powers, Steve is able to convince her to hide just as Crossbones enters the building. This should bring us full circle to where we started with this chapter, as Steve starts to get his wrinkled butt handed to him.

The next few pages are just Nick Spencer 100% completely getting Steve Rogers. It’s really refreshing after the last joker they had on the book to get a writer that understands the character, his motivations, and his mentality. I just love the way he writes Steve this entire book and it makes me excited for May’s “CA:Steve”.

This chapter comes to a close as Kobik steps in at the last minute and, just before the killing blow, “makes Steve a hero again” by returning him to his youth using her world-altering cubey powers. Yeah, you knew it was coming, and you knew this was likely how it would play out, but for some reason it doesn’t make the moment any less impactful. Watching Steve turn the tables on Crossbones and beat him down is, well, it’s one of the reasons I read this title. Bam shows up just in time for Steve to get in a good glamour shot as Bucky chimes in with “Wow! About time!”

Nick Spencer really tells a solid story here, despite some confusing Red Skulling, and it was an entertaining read from page one straight through. I already knew he understood Sam, but I’m glad to see he can write Steve, too. And the great thing is that while Spencer has a specific style he doesn’t make the two characters sound the same. They are each independent characters with their own personality, and that’s how it should be.

Daniel Acuna handles the art in this chapter and if you’re at all familiar with his work on Sam’s book you know what to expect. His bright colors and great action scenes are not the traditional comic art many people are used to, but I love it, and it goes well with this story. He won’t be sticking with Steve, though, as he’s continuing his run on Sam after this issue.


 

“PRESENTATION”

Story: Joss Whedon/ Art: John Cassaday

This next story is short, only 9 pages, but it’s not bad. Written by Joss Whedon, “Presentation” is the story of Steve Rogers losing his original shield. Now, I get a little turned around here because I thought Steve got his iconic shield long before he even went overseas (as he had it in Captain America Comics #2 back in 1941) and this story has him losing it while fighting some giant Nazi skull tank, but the Marvel history has been retconned so many times I don’t know what to believe anymore. It’s good to see John Cassaday drawing Cap again, too, and teamed up with Whedon’s writing it makes for a good, yet brief, read.


 

“CATCH ME IF YOU CAN”

Story & Art: Tim Sale

“Catch Me if You Can” is Tim Sale’s filler story about how Steve beats his way into a HYDRA facility to reclaim a cherished heirloom of his. 8 pages, 7 word bubbles- it’s short and sweet, but nothing stellar. I’m not a big fan of Sale’s art, so to each his own.


 

“PAS DE DEUX”

Story: Greg Rucka/ Art: Mike Perkins

Writer Greg Rucka seems to think Steve Rogers hates the ballet. That’s the only thing I got from this story. Wasn’t a fan. Always delighted to see Mike Perkins draw Cap again, though, I just wish he had more to work with.


 

For being the 75th anniversary issue, I had high expectations going in and, to be honest, I wasn’t let down. Yes, the supplemental stories weren’t spectacular, but they also weren’t bad, and we all know they’re not what we came here for.

Before I close this article out, though, I need to gripe about one thing I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned in these reviews before- the cover. No, it’s not bad art, and I actually like the throwback to the old Captain America Comics #1 cover that Alex Ross gave us. My problem is that it recreates the original cover where Cap is punching Hitler with Sam punching Steve. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but something about Steve Rogers in the “Hitler” spot on this cover just seems really wrong to me. It doesn’t even make sense with the story to have Sam punching Steve, but I guess that’s why they say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

That said, great book. Welcome back, Rogers!

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New Cap Themed Marvel Super Hero Mashers

This week on eBay a whole bunch of new auctions started popping up for new figures in Hasbro’s “Marvel Super Hero Mashers” line. While I haven’t seen any of these guys in stores yet, I am excited at the prospect of adding more variety to the collection.

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First up is the Winter Soldier. We saw this guy a while back at…uh…Toyfair? Comic Con? Well, wherever it was, we knew he had been produced. Looks like ol’ Bucky has finally started to make his way out into the world. What’s interesting here, though, is there appears to be a second version of the Winter Soldier out there in the form of a deluxe figure with extra accessories.

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Check out the severed Cap head and the disc launcher! What makes this version really extra-special cool is that awesome vac-metal arm!  I’m a sucker for vac-metal.

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Next up we have a new version of The Falcon, or, as Hasbro is legally obligated to call him, Marvel’s Falcon. This is an odd choice to me as it’s a repaint of the original figure done in a color scheme that, quite frankly, isn’t a thing. They could have gone with Sam’s original green and orange look, a more modern Falcon look, or, hey! I know! Maybe a Sam Wilson: Captain America repaint! All I can say is that I sure hope that last one is in the works.

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Next up is something completely out of left field but absolutely awesome- Captain America in his Ultimates universe WW2 outfit! I didn’t even know this one was coming out, but I won’t complain! While I would be more excited to see more of Steve’s supporting cast making their way into action figure form, this figure is just too cool too overlook!

And while we’re at it I want to point out that while looking at all these new toys the other day I did discover a certain someone who hasn’t made an appearance yet on eBay but does appear on the backs of several other figures’ packages.

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Yup, Red Skull! Well, Iron Skull, as he’s called in…um…somewhere? Well, whatever. They can call him “Rosehead Menaceman” for all I care, so long as I get this figure! Again, he hasn’t popped up on the “Bay” so Shmidty here probably hasn’t been released yet, but here’s to hoping he shows up soon in stores! DIg that Cosmic Cube!

Now Hasbro, seriously, Sam Wilson Cap.

 

Is There No Ceiling?

I wandered into my local Toys R Us today and nearly squeaked with joy when I saw that they had gotten in another case of the Marvel Legends Captain America movie wave. Sure, they didn’t have Widow, but since I still needed the Winter Soldier I quickly grabbed him off the peg. Unfortunately I then looked up and saw the price.

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$26.99???? This is getting absurd. I almost walked away last year when they went up to $22.99, but this is just too far. Sorry Hasbro, but you just got way too to rich for my blood.

TRU Minimates- where are you hiding?

Has anyone been able to find the Marvel Minimates Toys R Us series at retail anywhere? I’ve been holding off on hitting up eBay in hopes of striking mini-gold but so far I’ve found nothing, and man I needs me an “Agent of Shield” Winter Soldier! I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a Marvel NOW! Thor as well, to round out the big 4 (Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor) Avengers!

What’s worse (and far more alarming) is that every Toys R Us in my area seems to have minimates on clearance for less than $4 a set. While that’s great for someone who is looking to army build or customize, it calls the entire future of the line into question. A few months back I know Zach Oat said that Toys R Us passed on an exclusive Winter Soldier set of minimates, so does this mean they’re done with the line? I’ll hold off on my hysterical ranting until DST makes an official statement on this, but still. Yikes.