Make It So: Super7 ReAction Super Powers

Make It So: Super7 ReAction Super Powers by Jerry Whitworth

The 1980s was the golden age of the toy industry. The likes of G.I. Joe, Transformers, and the Masters of the Universe grew to become multi-billion dollar industries. One of the lesser known yet financially successful brands that has endured to today is Super Powers. Featuring the characters of DC Comics rendered in plastic masterfully crafted by the sculptors at Kenner, Super Powers acquired its name from the mechanical motion the action figures produced from squeezing hidden trigger levers. Initially releasing an impressive twelve figures in its first wave in 1984 including Superman, Batman, Robin, Joker, Lex Luthor, and Wonder Woman, Super Powers grew to produce 34 figures, eight vehicles, and one playset over the span of three years. Crashing alongside the rest of the action figure market in 1986, toy historian Jason “Toy Otter” Geyer uncovered a myriad of figures that were in the pipeline including a sub-line known as Power Plus. In the years since, the brand has consistently re-emerged time and again, notably in maquettes from Sideshow/Tweeterhead, statues from Kotobukiya, and action figures from Figures Toy Company and Mattel within the last decade. With this in mind, the time is ripe for Super7 to tackle Super Powers for its ReAction line.

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Top 10: Possible Ninja Turtles Crossovers

Top 10: Possible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Crossovers by Jerry Whitworth

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are no strangers to crossing over with others brands. During their earliest years, they passed through the worlds of Cerebus the Aardvark, Grimjack, Miyamoto Usagi, Flaming Carrot, Garfield, and the Savage Dragon. In more recent times, there’s been series dedicated to their adventures with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Batman, and the Ghostbusters. It recently came to light the Turtles nearly crossed over with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe until a series of unfortunate circumstances intervened. Ultimately crushed at Mattel’s end, that leaves the door open for New York’s favorite sewer dwelling, pizza eating heroes to continue their proud tradition of universe crossing. Lets take a look at what worlds they might pass through next.

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What Could Have Been: He-Man/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

What Could Have Been: He-Man/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Jerry Whitworth

Late last month, creator Freddie E. Williams II began selling pencil studies for a proposed He-Man/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover comic book series. At the time, Williams simple stated the project was delayed twice over the last year before being canceled. Williams had previously worked on such crossovers as Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I-III, He-Man/ThunderCats, and Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe. The art sold depicted mash-ups between various characters from both franchises showing Leonardo as He-Man, Michelangelo with Orko magic wand nunchaku, Raphael in Teela-inspired armor, Donatello with Man-at-Arms-based equipment, Prince Adam dressed as a ninja with the Ninja Turtles’ weapons, and an amalgamation of Shredder and Skeletor dubbed Shreddator. Recently, the creator spoke with the Raging Bullets podcast to discuss the defunct story.

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Top 10: Brands for Super7’s Ultimates

Top 10: Brands for Super7’s Ultimates by Jerry Whitworth

2021 is proving to be the year for Super7 and its Ultimates line. Built off the back of its iconic Masters of the Universe Ultimates, the line went on to adapt the likes of Ren & Stimpy, Toxic Crusaders, ThunderCats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Andre the Giant, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Conan the Barbarian, Disney, Voltron, and the Major Wrestling Podcast. Alluded to earlier, this year alone added the Good Brothers, Transformers, SilverHawks, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Godzilla to its ever expanding licenses. The question remains what could be next for the company with the likes of licenses such as the Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, Star Trek, Predator, Terminator, Arrowverse, Hellboy, Capcom, Alien, Robotech, Universal Monsters, Shogun Warriors, Legends of Lucha Libre, Robocop, Jem, Army of Darkness, G.I. Joe, and the Munsters having already passed through its doors. It should be mentioned, the likes of Marvel Comics, Wizarding World (Harry Potter), Middle-earth (Lord of the Rings), Jurassic Park/World, WWE, and AEW seem unlikely as they already have a number of toy distributors in place. Lets take a look at what could be coming to the Ultimates line.

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Top 10: Figures for Super7’s G.I. Joe Ultimates

Top 10: Figures for Super7’s G.I. Joe Ultimates by Jerry Whitworth

With Super7 getting the license to produce a Super Cyborg Cobra B.A.T. from G.I. Joe and three waves of Transformers Ultimates toys currently in the pipeline, chances are better than good a G.I. Joe Ultimates line is only a matter of time. And with a mysterious social media announcement of news of a future collaboration between the brands coming July 15th, the odds are even better. Like with many of the Ultimate figures we’ve seen up to this point, these toys will be based on the popular animated variations of the past. Keeping this in mind, the featured characters will be based on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (mixed with unique looking options from the comics and toyline that didn’t get animated). So, lets see what could be in the works.

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Top 10: Figures for Super7’s SilverHawks Ultimates

Top 10: Figures for Super7’s SilverHawks Ultimates by Jerry Whitworth

At the start of the year, Super7 announced it acquired the license to produce merchandise based on the SilverHawks brand and recently released images for their first action figures. SilverHawks Ultimates arrives in Spring 2022 and will initially include Quicksilver, Steelheart, Buzz-Saw, and Mon*Star. Following the success of ThunderCats, SilverHawks featured the adventures of Earth-born cyborg peacekeepers in the 29th century known as the SilverHawks as they battled the Mon*Star Gang in the galaxy of Limbo. Airing for one season of 65 episodes in 1986 with a toyline from Kenner the following year, SilverHawks emerged at a time when the action figure market collapsed under its own weight as the likes of G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, and Transformers struggled on store shelves. Super7 previously acquired the license to produce ThunderCats merchandise including an Ultimates line with four waves thus far (with a Thundertank coming in Winter 2022) and a ReAction line with two waves. Only time will tell if TigerSharks is in the future. Lets take a look at what figures could emerge in future waves of SilverHawks Ultimates.

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What Could Have Been: The CW’s Unproduced Arrowverse Shows

What Could Have Been: The CW’s Unproduced Arrowverse Shows by Jerry Whitworth

When Arrow made its television debut in 2012, no one knew it would explode into what became the Arrowverse (or the CWverse) with the Flash, Constantine, Vixen, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Freedom Fighters: The Ray, Black Lightning, Batwoman, Stargirl, Superman & Lois, and Naomi (not to mention all the connections made through Crisis on Infinite Earths). However, with the establishment of HBO Max, it seems its time is quickly coming to an end as recent attempts to continue to grow the brand have mostly collapsed while the streaming service picked up Doom Patrol, Titans, Peacemaker, Green Lantern, Strange Adventures, Justice League Dark, Constantine, and an untitled Gotham PD project (as Netflix plays with Lucifer and Sandman). Before the CW gives up being the superhero channel to whatever form it will take next (undoubtedly featuring young, attractive people that make poor decisions), lets take a look at what shows almost joined the Arrowverse/CWverse but didn’t make it to television.

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Who Are The Midnight Sons?

Who Are The Midnight Sons? by Jerry Whitworth

As the rumor mill is working over time speculating on future teams coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Young Avengers, Thunderbolts, Dark Avengers, and the West Coast Avengers, That Hashtag Show alleges the Midnight Sons are in the works. While over the years a number of groups emerged to tackle the paranormal (the Defenders and the Secret Defenders to a degree, Legion of Monsters with Ghost Rider and Morbius, Avengers of the Supernatural with Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, and Blade, and the Night Shift in a reverse manner), the Midnight Sons grew directly out of the popularity of Ghost Rider in the 1990s. Reinvented by Howard Mackie and Javier Saltares in 1990, Danny Ketch inherited the Ghost Rider mantle from Johnny Blaze of the 1970s and adopted a menacing spiked leather look wielding a chain and driving a flaming motorcycle with an armored design. Enhancing his rogues’ gallery with the likes of Lilith and the Lilin, Deathwatch, and Blackheart, Ghost Rider grew to have his own toyline and nearly was picked up as an animated series part of the X-Men, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and Hulk cartoon universe of the 1990s. The group came together in the comics during the Rise of the Midnight Sons.

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Who Are The West Coast Avengers?

Who Are The West Coast Avengers? by Jerry Whitworth

With the emergence of White Vision in WandaVision and U.S. Agent in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, speculation has arisen that the stage is being set for the West Coast Avengers. Introduced in 1984 in a miniseries of the same name, the West Coast Avengers was an extension of the Avengers lead by Hawkeye based out of Palos Verdes. Founded initially with Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Tigra, and Iron Man (James Rhodes), the group came to add Henry Pym, Moon Knight, Vision (who became White Vision around this time), Scarlet Witch, and U.S. Agent in the ensuing years (later becoming Force Works under Tony Stark). While Marvel’s characters typically sprung out of New York, in the 1970s a number of heroes started to appear in California including Werewolf by Night, Daredevil, Black Widow, Moon Knight, Black Goliath, Spider-Woman, and the Shroud as 1975 saw the formation of the Champions in Los Angeles lead by Black Widow with the Angel, Ghost Rider, Hercules, and Iceman. Lets take a look at what a West Coast Avengers could be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Who Are The Dark Avengers?

Who Are The Dark Avengers? by Jerry Whitworth

With the introduction of Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent in the season finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, speculation has arisen that in addition to the likely introduction of the Thunderbolts in the near future, the stage may be being set for the Dark Avengers as well. Introduced as part of the Dark Reign event, the Dark Avengers was the brainchild of Norman Osborn who, in the wake of Secret Invasion, was made the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. which he transitioned into the new organization H.A.M.M.E.R. Previously the head of the Thunderbolts, Osborn saw that group become a covert ops team while the Dark Avengers were founded as an extension of the Thunderbolts for H.A.M.M.E.R. with supervillains posing as the Avengers. The original team in the comics was composed of Moonstone in the role of Ms. Marvel, Venom/formerly Scorpion as Spider-Man, Bullseye as Hawkeye, and Daken as Wolverine with Ares as a stand-in for Thor and Osborn adopting a red, white, and blue version of the Iron Man armor as Iron Patriot. Heroes the Sentry and Noh-Varr as Captain Marvel rounded out the group. U.S. Agent was added to the team a number of years after. Lets take a look at what the Marvel Cinematic Universe version could entail.

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Top 10: Figures for NECA’s Gargoyles

Top 10: Figures for NECA’s Gargoyles by Jerry Whitworth

With the surprise announcement of NECA obtaining the Gargoyles license and the release of images of the forthcoming Goliath action figure, social media melted down. The cult favorite animated series from the 1990s, rallies have ridden like waves for Gargoyles to continue. In recent memory, hope sprung from campaigns to stream the series on Disney+ to show interest in the brand and from director Jordan Peele allegedly pursuing a feature film adapting it. Pre-orders have already begun for Goliath as five action figure sculpts are completed and more are in development. With a figure planned to be revealed every month, lets take a look at what could be coming down the line.

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Top 10: DC Rogues’ Galleries

Top 10: DC Rogues’ Galleries by Jerry Whitworth

A hero is only as good as the villains they face. Captain America and the Red Skull, Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, X-Men and Magneto, Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom, Iron Man and the Mandarin, Thor and Loki, Wolverine and Sabretooth, Hulk and the Leader, Daredevil and the Kingpin, Dr. Strange and Dormammu, Ghost Rider and Mephisto, Punisher and Jigsaw: good villains define great heroes. DC Comics quickly became the ground bed of superheroes following the popularity of Superman and equally gave rise to its share of memorable supervillains. Lets examine which rogues’ galleries are the best the multimedia brand has to offer.

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Make It So: The DC Cinematic Multiverse

Make It So: The DC Cinematic Multiverse by Jerry Whitworth

With the announcement of Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 from DC Comics following in the footsteps of series such as Batman ’66, Wonder Woman ’77, Smallville: Season 11, and assorted Arrowverse comics, the stage is set to tell a comic book story in the DC cinematic multiverse. A lot of the groundwork for this kind of series has already been established in the Arrowverse thanks in no small part to its Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. Therein, the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline was adapted in a toned down version featuring characters from the 1990 Flash television series, Smallville, and the DC Extended Universe, to name a few, as several Earths were merged into one and cutoff from the rest of the greater multiverse. Lets take a look at what a DC cinematic multiverse comic book series could entail.

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Generation X: The Original Movie Mutants

Generation X: The Original Movie Mutants by Jerry Whitworth

In recent weeks, rumors have spread that Kevin Feige’s remark about ‘mutants’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 was meant to mean a change of branding from ‘X-Men’ to ‘mutants’ when its characters make the transition. While Marvel’s plethora of mutants began with the X-Men, in the decades since their inception, the likes of Alpha Flight, Soviet Super-Soldiers, New Mutants, Morlocks, Freedom Force, X-Factor, Excalibur, X-Terminators, X-Force, Team X, XSE: Xavier’s Security Enforcers, Six Pack, X-Ternals, Generation X, Big Hero 6, New X-Men, X-Statix, Exiles, Agency X, and the Young X-Men have sprung up from that well. Interestingly enough, Fox’s X-Men brand began with one of these later groups in Generation X.

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Human Target: The Unlikely Television Hero

Human Target: The Unlikely Television Hero by Jerry Whitworth

With series like The Adventures of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ characters were no strangers to television and often times proved to be culturally iconic. Beyond the trinity and their assorted supporting characters (Supergirl, Batwoman, etc), the likes of company heavyweights such as the Flash, Captain Marvel/Shazam, and Green Arrow made their marks across airwaves as well. But there were also some peculiar characters that made the transition and caught on with viewers. One such character was Swamp Thing, the star of two feature films, two live action television series, and an animated series with accompanying toyline. Undoubtedly, this development arose from the critical acclaim of Alan Moore’s run with the property and a likely desire to diversify from solely superheroes. But arguably a more interesting choice for adaptation was the Human Target.

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