Editorial | Have You Seen This (X)man?

Yes, I actually own this book.

Yes, I actually own this book.

As many of my readers who regularly follow the blog know, I really love Marvel’s blue, furry X-man Beast.  I’ve written poems about him, and even my local comic book store regularly puts aside issues in which he appears for me to pick up.  Seriously, it doesn’t matter what the book is about, I will buy it if Beast is in it.  About a year ago I decided that I wanted to find a Beast statue, so I enlisted Andrew to help me look.  I had no idea what I was getting us both into.

The first place I looked for Beast was, naturally, New York Comic Con.  Conventions are often a great place to get hard to find collectible items.  Lots of times comic book store owners will bring comics and collectibles that have been sitting in their stores for a long time, and they are willing to strike a bargain to avoid taking them home again.  So I enthusiastically started at one end of the floor and headed toward the other.  I have to be honest; I didn’t scour NYCC for a Beast statue.  That was my first convention and I was pretty overwhelmed with the shiny things on both sides of me.  Besides, how hard could it possibly be to find a statue of one of Marvel’s more popular characters?  That was probably a poor choice of rhetorical questions.

NYCC was a bust, but I was not yet discouraged.  So the next stop was my local comic book stores.  By the third or fourth store, I was getting a little tired.  One shop had a Beast resin bust, but it wasn’t really what I was looking for.  I really wanted a statue of X-man Beast—although I was willing to settle for the Avengers style Beast if I had to.  Andrew did his best to console me by finding a Funko Pop Beast figure, which is adorable, but just whet my appetite even more for the statue I was so sure I was going to find.

He's awesome, even in Funko form!

He’s awesome, even in Funko form!

I researched online and realized that there have been very few statues of Beast ever made, which is surprising considering that he has been in several of the X-men movies.  I finally found a limited edition statue online… for about $1800.

By the end of May, I had been to three conventions and four comic book stores looking for my Beast, but with absolutely no luck.  Andrew had been to all the same conventions, plus a couple more and promised to grab a statue if he found one, but even a trip to Emerald City Con in Seattle turned up nothing.

Finally, I went to Phoenix Comicon and asked at every booth.  Some of the proprietors vaguely remembered seeing a Beast figure, but no one could remember where.  Finally, I came across a tiny stall filled with Marvel and DC action figures.  I glanced around, but I didn’t immediately see what I was looking for and turned to leave, rather dejectedly.  From behind me Andrew said excitedly, “Oh they have one!”  I whipped around and sure enough, there was a Beast figurine hanging on the kiosk wall.  I was so excited and shocked to actually find what I was looking for that my hands were shaking when I handed my money to the sweet lady who owned the stall.

So now I have a Beast figure standing next to my Funko Pop Beast on a shelf.  They are both wonderful additions to my collection and sad reminders that the real prize is still out there.  I just know that I’m going to find the perfect Beast statue one of these days!  (Seriously, though, if you find one, let me know!)

At least the shipping is free?

At least the shipping is free?

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Saturday Review: Thor & Loki, The Tenth Realm

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This summer, as with every summer for the last seven years, I have found myself eyeballs deep in the latest comic book event. This year it is Marvel’s Original Sin, which to my surprise has been pretty enjoyable. What is even more surprising is how much I’m liking the tie-in, especially this week’s Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm #2.

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Saturday Review: Saga #21

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I have been a devoted fan of Saga since issue #1. I still remember reading that first issue in my car and being blown away and wanting more, but knowing I’d have to wait a full month before I could have some. Since then, whenever a new Saga issue comes out, it is the first book I read. While I am still loving the book, I have to admit that I am even more lost than ever.

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Winning Science July 25, 2014

Now I don’t know about other people but I really enjoy watching Scarlett Johansson. What I can’t stand is when movies are based on complete junk science, and unfortunately it seems that Scarlett’s newest movie Lucy is one such movie. The basic concept is that Johansson’s character begins gaining superpowers after being exposed to a drug that allows her to access her entire brain. The truth of the matter, however, is that humans really do use nearly all of our brains. While it is not all used for conscious actions, studies and experiments have shown that every part of our brain has an important function. This makes a lot of sense given that even when a very small percent of the brain has been damaged it can still have a major impact on a person’s ability to function.

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The article also has a humorous example of what happens when people without ADD take ADD meds like Ritalin.

Given recent events in Ukraine and the Middle East, anti-missile technology has returned to the forefront of many people’s minds. While systems that use missiles to shoot down other missiles or rockets are the current standard, many military groups are turning to something from science fiction, lasers. Obviously lasers themselves aren’t science fiction, but the idea of using them to destroy missiles harkens back to the pulp novels of the 1950s. The star wars program of the 1980s made some attempts to use lasers, but they weren’t particularly successful. Recent tests however have met with much better results. One system was able to track and hit mortars as they were fired, though it is not yet powerful enough to destroy the mortar.

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There is still quite a long way to go, but lasers show surprising promise.

Most of the time when we think of green vehicles, we think of cars such as those from companies like Tesla. I would wager that most people wouldn’t think of airplanes, but Chip Yates does. Yates now holds five, world speed records, all using a battery powered aircraft. The small craft is equivalent to single engine aircraft like Cessna. Battery powered aircraft actually have several advantages over standard motor driven planes, the biggest of which is that the motor doesn’t need air. As a plane increases its altitude, the air gets thinner and therefore the engine output goes down. An electric plane doesn’t have that problem and can maintain an even climb speed, no matter the altitude. Of course battery powered planes suffer from the same weakness that other battery powered vehicles do: that of range. At full power, the plane can only stay in the air for fifteen minutes.

Chip Yates with his electric plane.

Chip Yates with his electric plane.

Despite the current limits, Yates dreams of someday recreating Charles Lindburg’s transatlantic flight in an electric plane.

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