Welcome to the new year, folks. Wish I could say it's been nothing but relaxation and umbrella drinks so far but the truth is I'm in the middle of an extended work schedule. I guess on some karmic level it's probably good to begin the year so gainfully employed but wouldn't ya know it's interfering with my blogging. In fact, this post has been sitting around half-written for over a week now. Late or not, I wanted to finish it as this post marks the one year anniversary of my Marvel Collector Corps subscription and most likely my last box from this service for the foreseeable future. Don't think of that as a judgment on what's included in the box, it's actually good, we'll get to the reasons for leaving in just a bit.
Last year when I first subscribed to Marvel collector Corps, I was treated to the divisive Guardians of the Galaxy holiday box complete with ornaments. Despite how many people complained about those items, I loved it. Over the following months the Deadpool and Civil War boxes were fantastic, then the Women of Marvel and Spider-Man installments were sorta blah only to have Dr. Strange show up to improve things a little. Having arrived into December yet again I was a little hopeful for more Christmas goodies but apparently Funko retreated and just offered a regular box, albeit a solid one.
Alright; first up are the usual patch and pin that I always struggle to find ways of writing about. Better than average pin, lesser patch, make of that what you will. I understand that these items are bread and butter for subscription boxes but that doesn't make it any easier to get excited for another patch cluttering up my odds & ends drawer.
Moving on we have a t-shirt which may be my favorite from collector corps so far. It's something that stands on its own as a nerdy shirt without having a deformed pop character on it, plus the colored neck is a nice touch. This one will see plenty of wear time, especially since I often use these as undershirts at work. They're comfy and it's always nice to know I can rip off a uniform Hulk Hogan style and be fully draped in nerdery.
Next up is this month's comic, Champions #1 which despite what the cover may tell you only has Cyclops in it for a single panel. This was a seriously weird choice for the box as it has almost nothing to do with X-Men or even mutants in general. Instead the Champions is a team comprised of many of the new teenage superheroes like Miles Morales/Spider-Man, Amadeus Cho/Hulk, and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel. The group is fed up with the normal operations of their super elders and decides to become a social conscious group that reaches out to the populace with hashtags and the like.
Right up front I should point out I am a fan of Chris Bachalo's art. While I've seen many people complain about his odd proportions and cartoonish style I think it plays well to a book centered around teenagers. Plus it's excellent to see these kids depicted in a way where they're realistically fit while still gangly and awkward.
What concerns me however is that this book seems to be biting off way more than it can chew. There's already and odd tone that arises from a group of kids as written by a 50 some year old man. I'm not saying the Mark Waid, can't pull it off, but within this first issue there are bits that seem really artificial such as Ms. Marvel's speech or Hulk's bizarre murderous tantrum that gets sort of glossed over. More than that is how this team is supposed to handle more “real” issues. Here they end up going out to stop a sex-trafficking ring run by a clown. It's the sort of subject matter you'd expect from Punisher or Daredevil yet colorful and wacky like a cartoon which makes for some awkward reading.
The toys this month are some interesting offerings. The side item this time around is part of the Rock Candy line. The line consists of these stylized versions of popular female characters. Sort of doll like in style though shorter and thicker than what you'd expect from a barbie. I'm not a huge mystique fan though I am very pleased they went with her classic look rather than say her scaley movie version.
The big ticket item this month is the first Pop Ride to appear in any Funko box. Most people on Funko forums had guessed it would probably be Logan's motorcycle due to shipping logistics. I ain't complaining though. Predictable as it may be, the bike is still bad ass, more so with the graying Logan holding out his claws to shred anything in his path. Wish I could pop some claws while riding my moped.
While this was a nice box featuring a great shirt and cool ride it suffers like many boxes have by failing to utilize it's theme. I mean X-Men is a massive franchise with so many characters and concepts to chose from yet we get toys featuring prominent personalities, and a comic that just barely includes a mutant within it's pages.
More so I think now may be the time to jump ship when it comes to Collector Corps. Overall I've loved my year with the service but there are other boxes I want to try, such as Funko's Smuggler's Bounty box which I've already signed up for thanks to this month's deluxe pop. Likewise I'm not very interested in the theme for February's Superhero Showdowns box. Beyond that are many other boxes I'd love to try and I have to keep an eye on funds a little more as things are changing at one of my jobs. Still, it's been a fun ride with collector corps and I recommend folks give it a try if they see a theme that interests them.
I'd love to stay and chat but there's still a few more days of work to attend too. With luck and the wind at my back there could be another post this week. Until then, lemme know if there are any subscription services you'd like me to cover this year? Speaking of which, how's the year treating you all so far?