SpartanNerd Review…”1602: Witch Hunter Angela Part One”

Regular readers know that I already reviewed “The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows.”  This book is along the same lines.  A result of the current spin on “Marvel Secret Wars,” “1602…Angela” takes place in an alternate storyline.

Before I write any more, let me explain why I was drawn to picking this title up at “The Tangled Web” on June 13…

Me and Angela go back aways.  I used to read Spawn comics quite a bit.  I don’t own many of those anymore.  But I remember enjoying the story immensely…I couldn’t put it down.  And even recently I read back over “Spawn: The Dark Ages.”  Angela and angels of her ilk were a key component to all of these stories.

In Spawn, the angels were depicted as a group of business women you definitely didn’t want to be your boss.  They worked in a tall skyscraper, and dressed in pants suits or similar…on the high end of the “professional dress” spectrum.  Then, if they suspected a Spawn or other demonic force nearby, the clothes would come off…and wings were revealed, and very very skimpy battle ribbons would be what adorned the woman.  Oh yes.  Generally a huge weapon as well.  These angels were the toughest fight for Spawn.  But Angela was different.  She and Spawn “hit it off.”  A very forbidden relationship came to a head until right at the 100th issue, Angela killed Malebolgia, (basically the devil…but not Satan.)  However, she would be killed as well.  Then Spawn would go downhill and I would stop reading, as McFarlane “jumped the shark,” wanting to take the book into a more “horror” direction.

Similarly, (but not as relevant), Immaculata was the Dark Ages Spawn’s enemy.  As a story told around the same time period as “1602”, there are things that pulled me to purchasing because I read and enjoyed this so much.  Immaculata wasn’t a “business woman,” but a nun.  She was suppressing her angel-ness.  But when Spawn came around, those animal angel instincts awoke…and similar to described above, this terrific warrior appeared in place of the nun.

The angel stories I am recalling here were AWESOME.  Later I would learn there were ownership disputes about Angela between Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman.  And I heard nothing more about it for a long time.

In the middle of my reading of “DC New 52,” Marvel come out with “Age of Ultron.”  I didn’t read it.  Ultron rang a bell, as I read “Secret Wars” from the 1980’s.  The final issue had a black bag so you couldn’t see the cover.  It was hiding “Angela”!  Marvel had secured the rights to the character.

The only knowledge about this, besides what I just told you, is that I have seen some Angela titles on the shelves.  I skipped them not, not immersed in Marvel’s ecosystem.  But it is clear that she is “Asgard’s Assassin,” implying to me that she works for Odin, or similar.  (Explaining how she is an angel in a universe not really having a consistent God.  Spawn’s universe eventually, very slowly explained how God’s angels worked.)

All that to say why I was drawn to this story.  I expected the barbary of “Spawn: the Dark Ages” and the awesomeness of Angela, the thing who killed Spawn’s devil.

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The cover art was OK.  Angela here appears Elizabethan but also science fiction.  There were some prettier alternate covers, but since I am not immersed in the Secret Wars, or Marvel’s version of Angela, I skipped those. The cover does show a remnant of McFarlane’s version, in there are those ribbons floating around her.  We see these throughout the comic.  She doesn’t use them for any purpose…they do serve in the place of a halo, I believe.  Though they might have some kind of weaponized use.

The art in this book is inconsistent.  Some of it “old school” Marvel.  Some of it more modern.  Why?I liked it, though.  And here is one of my favorite pieces from the book.  The color scheme reminds me of “Jem and the Rockers.”  Basically, Sarah and Angela are a team of angels hunting “witchbreed.”

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I’ll not show you a picture, but just let me say that one of the witchbreed has claws like Wolverine!  Maybe it is that she is hunting mutants…

Angela describes Sarah and themselves as “Angels of Doom.”  Throughout the book, where God’s name would probably be mentioned, instead we hear “Doom.”  This echoes the larger Secret Wars story, where we are told that Victor Von Doom is “god and master.”

Because this book just came out, I am blurring the words here.  But this is one of my favorite pieces of art from the book, right near the end.

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Basically, Sarah has been cursed.  And so the lead-in to a larger story.

SpartanNerd’s rating of “1602: Witch Hunter Angela.”  Well, did this story meet my expectations?

This is a dark story, with two brutal killings and Sarah being cursed.  It kept me reading…I read it three times to be sure I got it all.  There is a lot here.  I still have some questions.

I’m confused.  Who is Kit Marlow?  Was that Shakespeare of Marlow?  Why is there someone with glasses…glasses weren’t invented for two hundred years….Is there more implied in this story than the reader can just see?  Sarah’s flashback led us to believe that she was training to be a warrior, and not a lady…though her words said otherwise.

The art was good, but varied in style.  There is more than one artist on this book…they need to work to smooth it out.  I enjoyed the “Jem” color scheme.  And the more modern “muted” look as well.  But the two styles are jarring when going from one place to another.

I think I will read part two, which will come out on July 29, evidently…according to the last page.  The book is going to feature the Guardians of the Galaxy in the next issue, it seems.

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I think I will read it.

The SpartanNerd rates “1602: Witch Hunter Angela” at 3/5.  While I have plenty of complaints and questions, I have read it over three times.  And am curious about what will happen next.  Angela (and Sarah) gets a point for coolness anyway.

Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments, oh Hub City Geeks!

SpartanNerd Follow Up…Terraria

(This entry is a follow-up on an article you can find here!)

I’ve finally done it!  Beaten every boss and maximized my character, as well as earned all of the NPCs.  The problem with Terraria…there isn’t a specific goal.  You just…play….

I suppose I can consider that I have beaten the game.  I have already begun a few new worlds.

Here’s what I have learned…

It took me a long time to beat “The Wall of Flesh.”  But after I did, WOW, the game got a lot more fun!  My continual defeat to that boss had me put the game down for about two months.  My character could kill any other creature he would encounter or summon.  But in order to advance, killing the Wall of Flesh is very necessary.

The mechanical bosses are very difficult (Except for the coolest one, “The Destroyer.”)  “The Twins” beat me over and over.  And I had a hard time coming by “Lenses” late in the game…an item essential for building the “Mechanical Eye” needed to summon the Twins.  The way I eventually beat them was by rigging a transporter…I built a boss arena right in the middle of the Hallow, Purity, Jungle, and Crimson biomes in my world.  I preserved a single Crimson Altar right in the middle of the arena.  I rigged a transporter that would take me to the nurse…I would be healed, and then zip back to the arena!

The “Solar Eclipse” and “The Steampunker” are essential to getting the strongest and best items.  “The Clentaminator” is a very nice machine for shaping your world how you want it to be.

I found some very nice weapons and made some as well.  However, the strongest weapons and items aren’t necessarily the best.  I made “The True Night’s Edge” and “The True Excalibur.”  But the “Murderous Death Sickle” is the best weapon I found.  It launches copies of itself that spin through walls and hit any enemies around it.  And you can fire multiple copies..so you are surrounding yourself with powerful hitting energy!  Virtually no enemy on the game except the bosses can withstand this weapon.  And the bosses don’t stand long!

As for wings…I crafted both the Angel and Demon wings.  Neither seemed as good as the Fairy wings.  I also have the sparkly wings, and I haven’t decided yet if I like them as much as the fairy wings.

I still can’t mine the Jungle Temple Bricks.  I have spent minimal time finding spoilers.  I finally broke down and learned how to mine the “green stuff…”  I had a BEAST drill, but it just wouldn’t do it.  So I have the best drill now, the Drax,…which can.  (The green stuff is “Chlorophyte”.)  But even the Drax can’t bust the Jungle Temple block.  The internet says a “Picksaw” is required…a rare item drop from beating The Golem.  I have beaten him five times, and he hasn’t dropped the Picksaw.  😦   What makes Golem so frustrating is the rarity of the “Lihzard Power Cell,” an uncraftable item rarely dropped.  YOU CAN beat “Plantera” and take his jungle key to a new world, where you can unlock the temple and just steal one or two from the chests inside, then bring it back to your world.  But this feels like cheating to me.  Either way, I’ve done it in order to summon the Golem…and he always drops something really nice.  But he hasn’t dropped the Picksaw yet.

Following are a couple of pictures of my game!


My world is quite large and detailed.  Note that I have been “purifying” the world.   You can see my “Boss Arena,”  That square thing right at the underground level.  I designed the arena around a Crimson Altar, so that I could summon a boss here easily.  It is easy for me to see whether or not it is daytime or nighttime…most bosses have to be summoned at night.  Before I cleansed it, a little of the Crimson, Purity, Hallowed, and Jungle all converged at the arena…this caused a variety of enemies to always spawn in the arena.  I also have two machines.  One generates hearts so that my character can easily heal during a fight, the other is the transporter, discussed above.

Eventually I figured out that it was best to build the houses for the NPCs in the sky.  The Harpies and Wyverns are occasionally a headache.  But during Blood Moon and other events, the NPCs are always safe.  The most interesting part of this plan is that there is a Mushroom Biome incorporated into the Sky City…to accommodate the mushroom man character.  This biome eventually became a money generator.  I would harvest the mushrooms and sell them to NPCs and then buy stuff.


Here is a close-up of my Sky City.  Notice the transporter…If I had a mechanical item selected in the access bar, then you could see a long wire leading off to the arena, which is strategically a good distance from the Sky City.  It was challenging to build, though.

And the picture below is of my character, named “Teddie”, is fighting the Golem.  You can see I put the heart generator machine nearby so I could constantly heal.

Terraria has been a terrific romp into a kind of game I never played before.  The game designers evidently also push out special holiday bosses and biomes.  The two month break I took evidently had an Easter theme…but I missed out.  But I will keep my eyes pealed.  If the game designers do that, I will continue to be engaged in this deep, new, and yet nostalgic game.

SpartanNerd and SpartanKid Unboxing and Review…D-Arts Megaman X (Ultimate Armor X)

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SpartanKid purchased D-Arts Ultimate Armor X with some money that he saved up.  It was $47.29 on Ebay.  The other figures in this line have been excellent.  Does Ultimate Armor X measure up?  Keep reading to find out!

(Link to SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review of Megaman X Black Zero)

(Link to pictures of Megaman X…no review was done for that figure…)

Megaman X came in this window box.  There is Japanese writing all over it, except for the branding and the name of the character.  I suspect the words in the black under the window explain that this is the Ultimate Armor version.

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The back of the box shows some suggested poses for Megaman X.  Everything is in Japanese…so…

The sides of the box deliver just as good of an experience as the other toys in this line.

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Opening the box you see this double blister tray.

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You can see all of Megaman’s parts and accessories in this tray.

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You also get this nifty sheet of instructions.  Good thing there are good pictures!  I need to scan that QR code and see where it takes me.  (I did.  The site is in Japanese, with no translation button evident.  It appears to have a shopping cart, however.)

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Megaman X looks like this standing up.  His big feet insure that he doesn’t fall over.  Noteworthy, those feet have two rocket boosters on the soles, as opposed to one on the other figures.  I suppose this means he flies faster…

(SpartanKid tells me that the others can’t fly at all!  Zero can double jump depending on your upgrade.)

He has some gems that are very evident…this alongside the blue and gold color scheme as well as the purple armor color makes this character very colorful when compared to Black Zero and regular Megaman X.

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These were the accessories that came with Megaman X (that weren’t currently on the figure…with exception to the face for comparison purposes.)  One face is shifty eyed.  One is screaming from battle.  The other is normal.

The green blast is from a halfway charged shot.  (According to the SpartanKid.)

Megaman X comes with an arm to change out the buster cannon, and two extra hands.  The other round thing is the end of the buster cannon to use the charged shot.

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At first I thought the shifty eyed face would be kind of dumb, until I saw this pose.  It looks spectacular!

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The screaming face lets you do a Mortal Kombat inspired uppercut.

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Megaman X firing the halfway charged X-Buster cannon….

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The SpartanKid said that Ultimate Armor Megaman X doesn’t always have the wings out on the backpack.  The wings are removable for those special times.  I really like the circuitry details on the backpack.  (This detail is all over the figure…his plastic is semi-transluscent, giving a very cool effect.

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Comparison Time…(Oh, Pixel Dan!)

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Black Zero is still in good shape.  Regular Megaman X has taken some…abuse…his arm had to be super-glued into place after over a year of rambunctious SpartanKid play.  Really a testament to the surprising durability of these figures.  As an adult, I would expect as much from figures that cost so much.

We didn’t take any pictures, but the accessories are all interchangeable, as are the faces.

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Here is a battle pose between Megaman X, Black Zero, and Axl.  Note that Axl isn’t a D-Arts figure…

SpartanKid has some things to say….

“Ultimate Armor X has a lot of details not evident in the games.”

“In Megaman X 5, Ultimate Armor X is a cheat code, and an unlockable thing…(the same for Black zero as well.)”

“One of my only complaints is that he DID NOT come with a Z-Saber…Like he had in Megaman X 6.”

SpartanNerd Rating of D-Arts Megaman X Ultimate Armor version is 5/5.  While Black Zero had an issue with the pegs for the hands right out of the box, no such issue has been apparent on this figure.  This figure is over the top as far as details, accessories, articulation, and posibility.

SpartanNerd Rating of D-Arts Megaman X Ultimate Armor version is 5/5. Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd Review…The Amazing Spider-Man #1: Renew Your Vows

By now, you know that Spider-Man was at one time the top of my list of comics characters.  I haven’t read any Spider-Man since “Back In Black.”  The story splitting Peter and Mary Jane Watson up repelled me, and I walked away from comics for awhile.  I did pick up Amazing Spider-Man #1 last year after Superior Spider-Man came to a close.  (The idea of Doc Ock as Spider-Man…no as Peter Parker…was also very repulsive to me.)

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So I saw this on the shelf while I was failing at Friday Night Magic…I decided to give it a shot.

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I haven’t been reading Secret Wars…Marvel’s current story…a throwback to the big story from the 1980’s.  This blurb clears things up a bit, and makes the story accessible.  For me, it also represents a disclaimer.  Presented here is almost an “else worlds” or “What If?” story.  I understand that the writers are trying to bring back fans of different past versions of their characters.  DC did this with Convergence.  Now Marvel is doing it with Secret Wars.

Incidentally, I am quite a fan of Dr. Doom.  Maybe I SHOULD be reading Secret Wars.

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The Spider-Man child…this is a new development…and very important to this particular story line.  Her name is Annie.

We are largely seeing a happy family.  MJ is concerned about Peter.  When Peter goes to work, he learns that something is happening to the super heroes.  So he goes to visit the Avengers to see what’s up.

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We get a very enlightening conversation between Spidey and Iron Man.  The Avengers don’t know Spider-Man’s identity.  Some of what was “fixed” with the same story that split Peter and MJ up.  The world “forgot” Spider-Man’s secret identity…divulged during the Marvel Civil War.  (I know this from talking to people at The Tangled Web.)

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Since a major criminal breakout happened, Spidey suddenly knew his family was in danger.  The one guy who knew his secret identity…Eddie Brock.

I would like to say that I am glad to see Venom as a bad guy again!  The SpartanTeen read that Agent Venom story, where Venom was a good guy…Also I was put-off by that story.  Could they PLEASE stop destroying the characters!

Eddie Brock Venom is as disgusting as ever.  “We will suck out her lungs,” in reference to Annie.  Typical rant from classic Eddie Brock Venom, mid 1990s.

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If a psycho said this about my daughter….What would I do…Spidey does just that.  KILLS VENOM!

Sorry for giving it away, readers.  But it is necessary…You see, this story is “The most controversial Spidey story of the year!” You were going to hear it one way or another!

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We learn that there is a bad guy…”Regent” who is killing super powered people and stealing their powers for himself.IMG_6194

What does Spidey say about this…

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Chilling!  And unexpected, really.

A lot of people have said in the past that they preferred the bachelor Spider-Man to the married man.  That Mary Jane became a liability.  Aunt May certainly always was.  The “Back in Black” story arc showed Peter and his family targeted, and Spider-Man beating up Kingpin more than I ever saw him beat anyone.

But this just outright killing of Venom, because his family’s safety was at stake…

Well that’s … controversial!

I am now hooked, and will keep reading!

I give this story a 5/5!  It does what it was supposed to do.  It is a no frills origin story of an alternate universe Spider-Man.  We have the information we need, and what might be fuzzy is clearly spelled out.  The art is good.  I even like little Annie.  (I wonder if she will have powers?)

One of my hopes is when they stitch the worlds back together, we have a married but “normal” Spider-Man!

SpartanNerd gives Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man #1: Renew Your Vows a 5/5.  Do you agree, or disagree, oh Hub City Geeks?  Let me know in the comments!

his story is addressing the larger story…Heroes disappearing and dying. Venom is back…as Eddie Brock…Disgusting as ever.  The way I like it.  “We will suck out her brains.” Spider-Man evidently kills Venom! There is an insert talking about “The most controversial Spidey story of the year.”  More than one reason, it seems. The art wasn’t distracting at all.  It was in fact very captivating.   Talk about ASM #1 from last year…and what you thought of the art. Always “With great power comes great responsibility.”  This issue turns it on its head saying that family trumps this saying.  

SpartanNerd…Retiring the Zoids

Around 1990-1993…ish…My grandmother gave me a Christmas present.  It was “Robostrux Terox”.  My brother got “Radox”.  My father put them together…we watched them walk and light up.  He declared “I never want to see another one of these.”  He then put them on the top shelf for display….

Eventually we moved to a new house, and I took full on possession of Terox.  Now I could play with him everyday.  But as I was becoming a teenager, I didn’t necessarily want too.  I still thought he was cool…I never saw a toy like him again…until around 2000 or 2001 as a married adult.  I was flipping channels…and BEHOLD…my Terox was on TV!  A different color, but it was definitely him.

I may never know what happened to my original Terox.  I went back to my parents house looking for him, but he was nowhere.  So, I decided to look at Toys R Us.  I found lots of “Zoids.”  I bought several of them, but none of them were Terox.  So I went digging on the internet.  This is where I found out that Robostrux Terox was actually the American version of “Gojulas Zoid.”  I decided to go ahead and order the $100 toy…

Six or more weeks later….(There was a trade embargo or something that happened…Gojulas was supposed to be shipped from Japan.  I thought he never would arrive.  And $100 wasn’t easy for a just married SpartanNerd to just drop!)…Anyways he arrived, and I relived the headache my father must have done when he assembled Terox all those years prior.

As soon as I had him built, I turned him on, watched him walk around and light up, and then put him on display.  This time with a collection of friends!

Terox was blue and gray, with some red details.  Gojulas is silver and dark gray.

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Eventually I would see my brothers at Wal-Mart in Florence, SC.  Robostrux Radox was actually Pterox Zoid.  This was thankfully only $20.

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Eventually, I started putting these on display in my classroom.  They have lived in that environment, on and off, for about ten years.  Sadly, both models began to crumble.  So I have dismantled them for parts.  Still, I thought I would share these final pictures before dismantling them.

I don’t collect Zoids anymore.  I actually sold most of them before moving several years back at a yard sale.  I kept these for their sentimental value.  The batteries corroded on the inside of Pterox.  And Gojulas would constantly fall apart.  Neither model has walked properly in years.  Pterox is especially bad because his wing action is tied to his leg movement.

They were fun, and the kids really enjoyed them, having never seen toys like them before.  “Whoa!  Is that a Transformer!?”  “Wow!  Can I play with that?”  I would just say, “Maybe later this year.”  Sadly knowing that I wouldn’t do so without heartache.

A Robostrux Terox MIB is on sale on Ebay for $500!  Doesn’t that make you think!

SpartanNerd and SpartanTeen Review…Gundam Heavyarms XXXG-01H (Model)

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(SpartanTeen is commenting on the model, while the SpartanNerd is taking pictures.)

Heavy arms whole body is a weapon.

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Lots of details need paint, so the details will pop.

I messed up at first, and decided to trick it out with battle damage.

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Painting the joints makes them easy to come apart at the chest doors for the Vulcan cannons.

The hands are a pain.  The interchangeable hands make it easy for Heavyarms to drop his gun.

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Why didn’t the beam saber come with a blade?

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The chain ammunition comes apart easily, and the bullets go everywhere.

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It is very sturdy, and probably could survive three foot falls.

This is my favorite model so far.

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SpartanNerd/SpartanTeen Gundam Evaluation Checklist

1 Too wrong
2 not right enough
3 could be better
4 pretty good, but…
5 perfect
Construction
Was it difficult considering the level it is supposed to be?    5
Stupid problems?   2
Instructions easy to read?   1
Diagrams clear?   5
Stickers? Paint     5
Articulation
stands easily?   5
moves without falling apart    5
posable/interchangeable hands    2
lots of articulation points    5
Dynamic poses    5
Accessories
Weapons   4
holds weapons/appropriate weapons   4
Stand     1
expansions      1
Weapon storage     4
playability
durable     5
photogenic     5
holds weapons?      5
Reasonalbe Facimile to media representation     5
Aesthetics     5
Figure specific features
morph/ transform/ change form      5
action feature    1
LED lights    1
Diarama      1
Pilot included?  Does he fit in the cockpit or is he in scale or not.     5
SpartanNerd/SpartanTeen rate Master Grade Heavyarms XXXG-01H 3.68 out of 5.
(More pictures following.)
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