Saturday, August 25, 2012


by: Ana Bruja-Khayos
From the great mind of Adam Warren who brought you Dirty Pair comes Empowered.  The graphic novel series began in 2004 as a superhero comedy inspired by large commissions request for images of damsels in distress.  This created a world that is inhabited by super heroes, villains and minions that have very down to earth personalities and imperfections.  This makes this story ten times more likeable than your standard graphic novel.  Simply said “ A superhero story that doesn’t take itself too seriously”.

As of 2012 the series has produced seven graphics novels, and is very well love by many of Adam Warren’s fans.  When you see the books it will remind you of an american type manga.  It has some of the anime traits but with Adam Warren’s touch.  The pages are very bold black and white pencil drawings that literally gives it a very unique look with great panel flow.  As you are reading through the pages, at times you will have to stop and take a moment to enjoy all of the little details he hides in the environments, background props, and costumes.  If you love color on your graphics, I guarantee that you will not notices since the story is very unique.

Adam introduces the reader to this crazy world through a new heroine with the superhero name of Empowered, also known as “Emp” short for Elissa Megan Powers.  She just graduated school with a degree in “Metahuman Studies” for an unmentioned college and has just moves to city to pursue a career as a superhero.  Here she teams up with the Superhomies Superhero Group were she’s constantly bullied by the other top notch heroes.  The main reason is because of how her powers work. When she has the super suite on she has super strength, can cling on to walls,  and at times new abilities will appear that she’s not aware about it. However the super suite has a major weakness, it tears very very easily.  At time is described as a tissue paper thin.  The second the suite tears, she reverts to her regular human strength and she is very powerless.  From this scenario she has gain a reputation for constantly being caught, tied up, gagged, and even becoming shoulder candy for bad guys.

Most of us are used to hearing crazy stories on how traditional superheroes get the power from the a horrible accident, horrible experiment, or an alien from another world type scenarios.  In this world here the heroes get their power in the crazies ways like getting STD from screwing an alien chick, mail away powers, or a messed up contract with Satan in exchange for beauty.  The heroes are also emotionally flawed and traumatized by personal experiences, self-esteem issues, egos, and yes even the work office cooler chatter and gossip news on TV.


About Emp

Just like any of the other super heroes, EMP has her own hangups.  Her major one is that she thinks she has a “chubby booty” even though she is very sexy.  She’s constantly making remarks on how the suite really doesn’t do much to help her cover up her giant tuckus.  This  self esteem issue combined with her constant bondage and booty smacking issue with the super villains and at times coworkers and acquaintances really makes this young heroine a very unique character to follow along.  To most of her friends and coworkers she seem as kind of a ditzy girl that really should be doing this kind of work, but as the story goes one she actually retains her sweet humility even though her powers continue right under her fingers.

Her Friends

Along the way she has made some great friends, and not so great friends.   The S Superhomies Superhero Group is literally in the not so great friends.  The group is composed of several dozen super heroes, and raging at different ranks.  

but she has made 2 other great friends Thugboy and Ninjette.  The

Thug Boy was originally a minion for hire. He used to belong to a gang with now desist friends who use to robbed super villains blind and resold the stuff for profit.  During one of EMP’s super hero attempts they met and shortly after became  more than just superhero vs generic thug.  While Thug boy is very kind to EMP, he has a very dark past, and couple of misdeeds that are pledging him on the back of his mind and at times fears for his life.  

Nijet (AKA Kozue Kaburagi) is the princes of an an Assassin Kaburagi Ninja Clan.  The funny part is that even though she comes from asian asian type clan complete with asian names, she’s just a white girl from Jersey with a drinking problem.  As you read the story you come to find out that the she’s ran away from her clan because she was supposed to be sold or traded to another clan to be baby making machine for the rest of her life.  Not the future she wants.

There is one more character who comes into play in Emp’s crazy life later on in the story named “The Caged Demonwolf”.  It’s a very powerful immortal demon living on her coffee table.  You have to read the books to find the specs on this one. Bwahahahaha...

All in all, all that I will have to say is that THIS IS AN ADULT STORY and is NOT FOR CHILDREN due to some sexual content.  However this is a very fun, engaging, and at times surprisingly emotional story. I give this story three thumbs up. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hare Krishna Zombie by NECA Toys

Recently, I went a little crazy. While on vacation in Orlando, FL I walked into an independently run toy store with an abundance of NECA figures I hadn't picked up and regretted it. Face it, toys sometimes become a luxury when figuring out the monthly bills. Bi-annual insurance payments suck up my toy related spending cash for a month among other related living expenses. Well, without further fiscal bellyaching, let's get on with the blog.

One of the many NECA figures I picked up was the zombie Hare Krishna from George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Zombie movies were a big part of my early years, I was an adolescent raised on late night cable TV and monster movie marathons. George A. Romero's films were among my favorite, the action was fun and you got to a point in the movie where you actually started cheering on the zombies and hoped that no one survived the movie. One of those awesome scenes was from Dawn of the Dead where one of the human's in the cast almost became a snack for this particular zombie, in the mall stockroom. I actually remember booing when the Hare Krishna zombie missed Francine.

The NECA Hare Krishna figure didn't disappoint in the least. The paint applications are what you've come to expect of NECA's products, very clean and true to the movie character's designs. The orange robe is made out of a softer, rubbery plastic that allows some movement but the figure looks better on it's base than any other pose I could give him. I do like the paper box accessories the zombie comes with as well as the removable eye glasses and tambourine (there's a definite lack of tambourine accessories in the action figure world) . All in all an excellent figure and one you should consider adding to your collection if you get a chance.

Even more pictures at
Raging Nerdgasm on Flickr

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Raging Nerdgasm moment on the Matty Collector/ MOTUC debacle

(Raging Nerdgasm: A logo you can trust)

So, the time has come to decide whether you want to support this year's Matty Collector's MOTUC line. We've all read the warnings and "threats" that if they don't reach the "magic" number for subscriptions this year. A good portion of die hard He-Man fans have taken these warning to heart and ordered multiple subscriptions to show their loyalty to the line, Scott "Toy Guru" Neitlich has gone online numerous times since SDCC explaining how serious this event is and the consequences of not reaching the "magic" number and they've even had the acting talents of Pons Maar and Anthony De Longis (Saurod and Blade respectfully from the late 80's sci-fi epic Masters of the Universe, I use epic loosely but I'm sure you got the idea) as well as the sculpting talent behind the MOTUC (the 4 Horsemen) pleaded for you to buy a subscription. I know all of, the Pop Culture Network, The Great Rebellion and talents such as the folks from BKBN and Pixel Dan have begged the fans to take a moment of their time and buy into the $505 membership (and that's before taxes and shipping charges). I have been asked my opinion over the last 20 days, give or take, about my stance on the MOTUC in Crisis. I've been supportive on a person to person basis, explaining the pros and cons of it all and encouraging those who could afford it to subscribe and those who couldn't to just be willing to pay the applicable finders fees to be a cherry picker when the website runs out of stock.

(extra points if you hummed the NBC bars)

I consider myself a fan's fan, I try to answer every email in my inbox and do the best that I can to promote the companies I buy from. I enter forum discussions and take any questions and give an honest answer. If you can afford to and you want to, buy a subscription. If the last year's subscription was too much for you to handle, weigh your options and check your finances before buying into this year's subscription. At least this year's initial offerings from the line are much better than last year's Star Sisters announcement. I'm excited about MOTUC in 2013 but I'm not without my complaints.

(thanks to Poe Ghostal's site for this graphic, I think it still conveys the same feeling of frustration that it always has)

I enjoy the fan interaction and try to give them something that the larger toy companies cannot, one on one interaction and encouragement instead of "scary talk" and "threats" that some personalities do. All selflessly might I add, I buy everything I review out of pocket and receive absolutely no concessions from any retailer or company. My gripe is not with Mattel at large, they've done everything they can to round out people's short wishlist but they ballooned far too fast.

(remember the good old days when you couldn't wait for this site to open?)

They started out strong with the He-Man characters those of us in our late 20s to early 30s grew up with, they branched out to 200X Masters figures which were nice additions to the shelf but that's when it all started to get off course. Next came the introduction of Princess of Power figures and don't get me wrong, this is more on the money and on target than 200X figures any day. We get a Hordak, Bo and She-Ra and the fans get their first taste of POP sprinkled into their collection. Then we started getting New Adventures of He-Man figures, which is where you start to lose the purists. I personally loved the original NA line, I was always a space alien nut as a little kid and the idea of magic and sorcery was just bullshit I never really grasped. As a kid, I went through two Optikks and three or more Slush Heads because they went with me just about everywhere. Lastly, Mattel started getting into prototype figures like Demo-Man and Vikor or the newly released Vykron. I mean it's the middle of 2012 and not until a few weeks ago we hadn't even had a mention of Ram Man or other core characters that have yet to be made.

(the screen that prompted me to begin a regiment of nerve pills and lots of trips to the therapist) 

The line grew into this monster of a toy line, 16 basic figures and 4 quarterly "large" scale figures or army builders! That's a lot of frickin' toys even for me and I buy something pretty much everyday. That's not including your Ghostbusters subscription, Voltron subscription, DC Universe subscription and all the convention exclusives and surprise must haves such as the BTTF hoverboard, JLU 3 and 6 packs and other things. That's a whole hell of a lot of monthly charges, I hope you don't collect anything else or have aspirations to go on vacation or buy video games because your ass is spoken for; for the next 12 months.

(and you are forced to buy this piece of shit too)

Mattel does have it's faults, namely not holding Digital River accountable for their flubs (how many of you got that less than heartfelt apology from them this week?) and not being more hands on during production (i.e.- sloppy paint applications, backwards shoulders, wrong legs on Swiftwind, etc.). The He-Man branch off series slowly infiltrated the line and fans were stuck having to purchase Hurricane Hordak, Star Sister 3 pack, Bubble Power She-Ra and Thunder Punch He-Man which most fans felt kind of screwed when they got their monthly packages. Granted, they kind of whittled out the 200X figures but replaced them with equally confusing Battleground "variants" of Teela and Evilynn. A blonde Teela is slightly interesting but I still don't have a Meckaneck, poor move on making this a fan driven line. Also the mind boggling notion of making core characters like Orko and Queen Marlena convention exclusives not included in your base subscription.

(and then there's this asshole)

My main gripe is with the man in charge, the self proclaimed "toy guru" Scott Neitlich. For a guy who claims to have the fan's best interest in mind when going over things in motion for MOTUC, he has dropped the ball on more occasions than I care to mention. He's not very personable when it comes to the fans directly, his videos have all the pizzazz of a late night infomercial and he's been less than encouraging within the last few weeks of this membership drive. You are the face of a fan driven toy line, act like it for fuck sake. Answer direct questions when they are posed to you instead of skirting the issues at hand. Stop blaming cherry pickers when your line has given the fans a less than stellar 2012, own up to the mistakes made and push on. Cherry pickers or not, those assholes are buying your product so be nice to them.

(I just like this photo)

In the end my solution is make the MOTUC line a little more conservative considering the tough times most of your fans are experiencing. 1 figure a month is more than enough, maybe make the deluxe packs 3 times a year instead of 4 times and maybe skip the monthly figure that month (or some combination of that) and keep non essential figures like "battleground variants" or "prototype concept" figures limited to the conventions or special "website only" exclusives that people who don't want it can opt out. Keep Digital River accountable for their actions, they are selling your product with your name plastered all over it. Their flubs look just as bad on you as they do on them. And lastly, get rid of Scott "toy guru" Neitlich. He serves no real purpose anymore except as a joke to the collecting world.