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Fwoosh’s E-Zine Talent Search Vote!

The time for the Fwoosh E-Zine Talent Search Competition has come to a close and with it we have seven potential columns.  Following the link will show you all potential candidates and their columns as well as the link for the voting.  Remember this is your chance to pick what you want to read on the e-zine so please help us out by letting your voice be heard.

Below you will find a list of possible future regular e-zine columns.  They are listed in order of submission.  I know I made a crack earlier about the vote being a massive popularity contest but all joking aside please vote for the column you like the best and not just your friend’s column.  I know, I know life’s full of tough decisions and this is one of them.  When you’re done reading through all the potential candidates’ work you can vote in this thread here:

After a week of voting, the top 3 most popular columns will be declared the winners.  With all that out of the way, let’s get to down to the nitty gritty:


AF’s "Toy Spotlight": 

This week’s spotlight: ML Hercules

Issued: 2006

Description: The Marvel Legends line is a great line of action figures; they have supported themselves on the shelves of retailers. This week’s spotlight is on the ML Hercules. Hercules is a character that lots of collector’s have been raving and ranting about since the beginning of ML. Hasbro (in the first attempted series of ML) has given the collector a Hercules….but at what price? Yeah, it sports approx 32 POA which gives it posing possibilities, but looking dead at it, it’s outdated. The shoulders could have been given more depth into the torso, considering it was made without a ‘lat cut’, which various figures were made with; it’s also missing toe artic, which makes the figure look weird (always being flat-footed). This particular figure also is missing a calf swivel, but collectors have their mixed opinions on that. Could Hasbro have done better? Yes, in some aspects. But it’s Hercules no less, and for now some collectors can sleep peacefully.

Would I buy this figure? No. I didn’t because I didn’t even like looking at it. If I didn’t get it in a trade, I still wouldn’t own it. Great toy for kids, though.

2-1/2 out of 5


SexyVonPoopy & Grimace404 with "Secret Identities": 


What is your name? Maximilian

What does Akatsuki mean? Story behind it? The name is Japanese. Depending on the kanji spelling, it has two meanings. The more prominent meaning is "dawn" or "daybreak" and would be spelled with a single kanji. If spelled with two kanji characters, the name could mean "Red Moon", which I think sounds more interesting. Akatsuki is the name of a group of mysterious ninja in the anime "Naruto", the name of a class of Japanese World War 2 destroyers, and the name of a mech in one of the Gundam anime series.

What type of counseling will you be specializing in? You mean what type of lawyer would I want to be? I am undecided. Both transactional law and litigation sound appealing to me at the moment. I also have an interest in environmental issues, energy technologies, fitness, and nutrition.

Around what time will you be taking the bar? Probably 2009.

Do you fwoosh daily?
Yes I do. Fwoosh is a great community and I love the wealth of information I get here.

Does your girlfriend fwoosh? Does she know about the fwoosh?
She doesn’t fwoosh, but I have mentioned the site to her.
When did the love for Iron Man start? I started liking Iron Man in the 1990s with the advent of the Iron Man animated series and Toy Biz’s great 5" action figure series. The shiny gold Hydro-Armor and silvery War Machine caught my eye first. I started reading Iron Man comics beginning with the Heroes Return re-launch, and I later acquired many Iron Man back issues. I also started reading the Avengers at this time.

Is it just Iron Man or is it all things technological and maybe
artificial intelligence?
I have loved armored and robotic characters since I was a young child. European knights, Japanese samurai, Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Boba Fett, and the B.A.T.s from G.I. Joe were particular favorites of mine. Iron Man is a natural progression from those characters.

Did the story arc of "civil war" do a good job of highlighting
ironman/tonystark? Did they stay true to the character (without
mentioning the rest of the story or universe?)

I think Civil War accurately presented the multi-faceted characteristics of Tony Stark. Throughout the character’s history, Stark has been particularly obsessed with taking responsibility for the use of his inventions. Ironically, this obsession with responsibility has lead Iron Man down occasionally moral dubious and irresponsible paths, such as during the Armor Wars. While Stark is an idealist when it comes to his own actions, he tends to treat others in a pragmatic manner. For example, he’s had no qualms attacking fellow heroes who were potentially using his technology; he lead an extermination squad to kill the Kree Supreme Intelligence; he wiped out the memories of much of the civilian population of the world when they discovered his secret identity; he’s killed particularly dangerous opponents, etc. Stark also takes pride in trying to think a few steps ahead, considering himself a futurist. Stark is also obsessed with control. For these reasons, I can understand why he’d act the way he did during the Civil War arc. There are also specific events that occurred in Iron Man’s book that helped sway him toward his Pro-Registration stance.

I liked the depiction of Tony stark in the illuminati book.
In other instances it’s too much iron man armor to meet his adversary.. .
Meaning a rampaging hulk would get the Hulkbuster treatment,
the Alien threat would get the outer space armor, that type of

I’m not sure what you’re asking here, but I do find Iron Man’s ability to prepare for his opponents and for different types of engagements, and his particular distrust of some of his allies quite amusing. One can compare Stark to Batman in this regard.

In the Illuminati he was stripped of his armor and then
fought back with gun he found (naked) the whole Illuminati was
fun for me anyway.

The Illuminati is a fun elitist book. I’ve enjoyed it so far.

Any opinion on the Iron Man movie to be released?
I am thrilled about the prospects this film presents. The cast collects a number of very talented individuals. Robert Downy Jr. is an inspired casting choice for Tony Stark. I think Downey will be able to add a lot of depth to the character. I have high hopes for this film.

Do you have a short list of Iron Man characters that have easily
defeated Iron Man and a list of character Iron Man has easily
trounced memorized in your head?

Not exactly memorized, but I do try to keep track of certain Iron Man battles. Without an opportunity to design equipment to counter a specific opponent, I’d rank Iron Man as a mid-tier heavy hitter. Given a chance to design unique weapons or devices for a particular scenario, Iron Man can theoretically reach top-tier heavy hitter levels of power.

To put it another way, Iron Man has fought on equal ground with Hulk and Namor (having defeated both characters in his Classic Armor), but he’d be unable to defeat Sentry or Silver Surfer without resorting to some sort of trickery or energy draining device, such as the weapons employed by Dr. Doom. For example, Sentry clearly had the upper hand against Iron Man until Stark tricked Sentry into believing horrible natural disasters were occurring simultaneously around the world, making Sentry panic.

Do you enjoy being the Iron Man expert on the fwoosh or is it
more of a burden?

I appreciate that complement. I try to research a lot about the character, but other fwooshers such as Kirk, Welshcat, thanos0341, Hiro Nogano, and Ash Talon know more about Classic Iron Man stories than I do. I try to make up for that by being fairly knowledgeable about 21st century Iron Man.

Do you have a favorite Iron Man legend? Do you have an armory
set up?

I have every ML Iron Man, thanks to some help from some very kind fwooshers. I’m biased, but I think Toy Biz consistently made the Iron Man figures some of the best figures in the line. ML 1 Classic Armor Iron Man was my first ML, and therefore is very special to me. In terms of amazing sculpts, House of M Iron Man is perhaps the best ML ever. And finally in terms of a blend of amazingly detailed sculpting along with an incredible range of motion and articulation, ML 8 Modern Armor Iron Man is king.

I do have all the armors displayed together.

Can you cook?
I can, but I only attempt to make complicated dishes for my girlfriend. I eat simple, healthy meals when cooking for myself.

How often do you go to the gym or stay home and work out?
I try to hit the weights four times a week, and cardio 3 times a week. I only have some light-weight dumbbells in my apartment, so I head to gyms.
What else do you enjoy?
I also enjoy reading historical fiction, hiking, rowing, and playing video games. My favorite games include Tekken, Mech Assault, Halo, and Gears of War.

I am assuming you live(d) in California and attend college in Boston
MA please correct me if I am wrong.

Yes. I grew up in Los Angeles, CA. I attended college in Cambridge MA, met my girlfriend (a Boston native), and I then decided to stay in the Boston area for law school.

Did the cartoon networks propaganda fiasco affect your life at all?

As a pop culture consumer and lawyer in the making and a
Bostonian I was curious of your thoughts on that whole episode.

Those light bright s were found in other cities and simply taken down.
This whole situation bothered me. My subway commute was delayed because of these strange ads. I feel that whoever placed the ads should have reasonably known that the suspicious placement of the devices would cause problems. Boston did not over-react. What if the devices had in fact been bombs? When people made fun of the Bostonian reaction, I was frustrated and started to get angry.

And what do you think about cold snowy winters?
I’m not really a fan. In many ways, I prefer Los Angles weather; however, I sunburn easily, so Boston is good for me in some respects. And my girlfriend is here, so ultimately I don’t mind the cold too much.

I notice you point out racial slurs very quickly and make your
displeasure known .Are you so
quick because of unfortunate experiences that happened to you
and around you
I try to point out inappropriate behavior to make sure that others, especially younger posters, are aware that courtesy and respect should be the norm. I have a diverse racial background, and I grew up in L.A., perhaps the most diverse city in the world. Race is on a lot of people’s minds in L.A., and as a person of a multi-ethnic descent, I occasionally found myself implicitly excluded by some people. I think diversity should be prized, and all people should be respected for the unique perspectives they bring to the discussion.

You’re very quick in your responses! I would hate to be across from
a future lawyer you. Not only are your posts fast but they are thought
out and researched and worded in an intelligent precise way.. .
In real life would you describe yourself as pensive and humble and
passive? The opposite of my online interpretations of you?

Hey, thanks for the complement! I prefer expressing myself via the written word such as in papers and prepared speeches. I like the extra time writing grants me to formulate my ideas. I’m not passive by any means, but as a rule, I’m not fond of speaking extemporaneously. And I prefer more intimate settings. I probably come across as being on the quieter side.

Will you ever own the definitive Ultron
marvel legend? I certainly hope so! Ultron is my favorite villain. I’ve attempted to customize my own version on two occasions.
Thanks Akat!
Thanks for thinking of interviewing me. I appreciate the opportunity!


Discogod’s "A View From The UK":



Y’know, we’re not that different, the USA and the UK. Sure, you guys have better breakfast cereals and we get naked boobies on TV, but we both have a lot of similarities. We both have glorified monkeys in charge of the countries, for example.

When it comes to collecting though, there’s a few subtle but crucial differences. You think you guys have it bad paying $10 for a Marvel Legend? How about paying $20+ for a single figure? We pay roughly double what you do for our toys.

Of course, that’s when they actually show up over here. Fantastic Four Classics? Not a chance. X-Men series 3? Furgeddaboutit. Not to mention all the store and convention exclusives. We have as much chance as finding WMDs in Iraq as we do of finding them over here.

It’s not just the availabilty of toys that sets us apart… It almost seems acceptible to be a collector in the States. If not encouraged, then it’s certainly tolerated. Here in the oh-so-repressed UK, mentioning that you collect toys or comics (especially at my age) garners you the kind of looks usually reserved for child molesters and Fred West. Sure, once in a while you’ll find a kindred spirit, but 9 times out of 10 you’re left trying to explain your hobby: "But they’re really cool…. Toys just aren’t for kids anymore!" Most of my closest friends don’t even know about my collection. I just don’t think they’d understand.

But it’s not all bad… Take the ML Giant Man series, a Wal-Mart exclusive. Well, we don’t have any Wal-Marts over here*. So how were we supposed to get hold of it? Ebay? Trades? Luckily, Woolworths stepped in. Now, 6 months later these damned figures are warming pegs all over my region, variants and all. Who’da thunk it?

*OK, technically we have one Wal-Mart. But it’s in Bristol, and remaining figure-less is preferable to journeying into the dark heart of Zummerzet…


CTVampSlayer with "CTV Interviews Customizers"

"Okay, Fwooshers, this is the first edition of CTV Interviews Customizers and I’m talking with one of the best customizers (and fwoosh staff) there is, Robokillah!
RK: Hey everyone.

CTV: Now that introductions are done, let’s get to the grilling! When did you start customizing?
RK: I’d say around ’97, ’98. Around the time I realized Star Wars wasn’t going to make all the characters I wanted.

CTV: So the first universe you started customizing was Star Wars? Do you remember your first custom?
RK: Yeah, I was a Star Wars freak. My first custom was a Luke in Stormtooper gear, repainted silver with black hair. I have no idea who he was supposed to be though.

CTV: Sounds like you were inventive even at the beginning of your custom career. Were you good at customs right away?
RK: Oh hell no. I did tons of research. Most of my early stuff was just copying other customizer’s work, with varying degrees of success. I slowly started making my own customs, but it took years to get to a point where I thought I was okay.

CTV: Who inspired you?
RK: It’s hard to remember back that far, but my first exposure to super hero customs was Iron Cow. His stuff was great.

CTV: So you’d credit him as an inspiration?
RK: For non-star-wars related customs, yes.

CTV: Do you have a favorite custom of your own?
RK: I don’t, actually. It’s usually whichever is the most recent. I try to advance with each custom, so it may be a paint technique, or perfect fodder, or any little thing that makes me love a custom.

CTV: Sounds good. Do you have a favorite custom of someone else’s?
RK: That’s a tough one.

CTV: That’s me, asking the tough questions!
RK: DoubleDealer’s Quitely Cyclops, IBentMyManThing’s Penance, Carl’s Fire Demon. I could go on and on. CTV: I’m sure, there are so many great customs and so many great customizers.

CTV: It’s true. What do you think drives people to create?
RK: I think everyone has their own reasons to customize. Filling out their collections, love of a certain aspect of customizing, to sell on eBay. If you enjoy it, I don’t think there’s any wrong reason to create.

CTV: I definitely agree. One last question, what advice would you give to a customizer who’s only just beginning?
RK: Don’t expect to make masterpieces when you’re just starting out, it takes practice. So if your first few customs don’t come out like you want them to, learn from that. Figure out what you do and don’t like, and learn from there.

CTV: Great advice. Thanks for sitting down with CIC, Robo.
RK: Anytime. "


TheBloodyAwfulPoet with "A Case For…" (Hoss Note: Pictures are clickable/expandable):

A Case for… NITRO 

Reduced Wolverine to a hairy, smoldering skeleton. Gave Captain Marvel cancer. Murdered hundreds of men, women and children when he incinerated a grade school. Through his actions, single-handedly brought about hero registration, kicking off the Marvel ‘Civil War’ and turning Iron Man into a complete tool. Once defeated by a tasty snack cake. 


Nitro, aka Robert Hunter, has the ability to detonate and reform himself from the resulting atomic gas. The Kree Lunatic Legion (cool name for a band, btw) gave Rob his oh-so-exciting powers. Instead of just using his ‘splodin gas powers to woo the babes, he decided to devote his life to getting his ass handed to him on a consistent basis throughout the seventies. 


Figure-wise, this is an easy one. Take a look at Icylocks’ excellent custom (below). The mass-produced version could be an easy repaint of the Moon Knight/Bullseye body with a new head. Either adding his lame chest jewel and some bracelets for the classic look, or even producing a clear "gasesous reform" version could make for an easy variant. 

 If Hasbro doesn’t think a white-haired albino in purple spandex will fly off the shelves just on looks alone (and really, how could the kids resist?), then he’s perfect for a ‘Civil War’-themed boxed set of figures. Toss in Nitro and Civil War-versions of a few heavy hitters like Iron Man (ML8 battle-damaged repaint, new head), Cap (FO battle-damaged repaint, new head), Wolverine (AST with new gloves, boots, mask), and Namor (another quick repaint of Bullseye/Moon Knight body with a vest & new head) and you’ve got yourself something both collectors and kids would pick up. 

 Despite getting his hand lopped off and the being tortured by Namor and his band of sea hippies, Nitro’s never had it so good. He’s getting all this face time as one of the most reviled villains in recent years. If he’s ever going to get a figure, now’s the time."


Kastor 417 with "On the Hunt with Kastor": 

Holiday Toy Hunt:

So I think I hit my low point in my toy addiction. Target has these new price scanners that tell you if they have more stock in their back rooms. Now this is both a blessing and a curse for collectors. Target also has a very loose policy on action figures and depending on who you get they will help you and get you more figures or say no and will not budge. Well I finally found the new Target exclusive DCSH 2 packs and the only Batgirl I found was all scratched up. So I asked at the store I found her if they could check if they had anymore in the back, they checked and nothing. Now I was not going to just leave her for fear of not finding her again (see to kick or not to kick) so I bought her thinking I would find another and return the damaged one to the store. The next day I went on a Target hunt and went to 5 targets and all checked in the back for a replacement figure. When I asked them to check I explained that I had one and it was damaged and needed a replacement, they were all very nice about it. Now at this point I just about gave up, I only had one more Target to try so I called Mattel to see if they could help. After a bit of time on the phone they could no but they offered to refund my money themselves. I said I had one more to try and left it at that.

I walked in to the Target with hope that I would find her but on the shelves nothing but Bizzaro. I picked one up and scanned it on the nearest scanner and they had figures in the stock room. I wandered through the aisles looking for someone to check for me when I saw a young guy with a ladder. I walked up and very polity I told him my story and then he replied sorry but we can not go into the stock room for a specific figure. I replied and told him about the damaged figure and other Targets were willing to check. Again I was denied, and the more I talked with him the more his metal handicap was apparent. I felt bad but was determined to find out if Batgirl was in the stock room. I knew the policy that he was told was right but I was not asking him to go get me a variant figure that I did not know was back there and sell it on eBay. At this point I only wanted to replace the figure I bought which was damaged. But for him the rules were solid and no matter what I said his response was always the same. I felt bad and mad at the same time and very conflicted, so I leave and see a report later that the toys were there and I missed them, or do I ask someone else and freak this guy out that I was getting him in trouble. Well there was a third option I took a deep breathe and explained my story, told him about my trips to other Targets, and assured him I did not want anything more then to replace my figure and finally he agreed to ask the manager if he could check for me. I heard the response over the walkie talkie, just as I though sure no problem. So he nervously went to the back muttering to himself I hope I don’t get in trouble, as I waited looking at the other figures in the aisle. When he returned I heard what I was afraid to hear, sorry they are all superman in the back. I thanked him so much for his help and told him how much I appreciated his help, knowing that this movement I would be remembered as the guy who mad his night stressful. I left feeling beaten and pitiful for how I acted and the worst part is I know this type of thing might happen again.

Short packed toys and exclusive figure cause a desire in some of us that have the need to complete things that can be very negative. I was not rude at all to this gentleman but the worry I put in him is not the person I usually am. I have always said I’m not and addictive person, after this incident I have to say hi my name is Kastor and I’m a toy addict.


Simmo with "The Weekly Marvel Trade-Off": 

First off the bat: Spider-Man Breakout!!


The very basic plot: The breakout at the Raft has meant that two feuding groups of villains are out on the street. The U-Foes are up against Crossfire and a small cadre of evil-doers. Spider-Man takes it upon himself to stop them, learning that he needs some help from his New Avengers team-mates Cap & Iron Man along the way.

Pro’s & Con’s-

Pro: A story element Marvel introduced is followed up on, a rarity at times, such as the way the 198 was pretty much sidelined in the major X-Books.
Con: The story element is from the first arc of New Avengers. I know Spidey is a member of the team (or, was…) but the title of the book is “Spider-Man” Breakout. It should be titled properly if the issues the book deals with are not Spidey specific.
Pro: The writing is basically passable. It’s clear, and the storyline makes sense. No re-inventing the wheel here, but it’s solid.
Pro: The storytelling of the art is, likewise, very clear. Not flashy, but it tells the story well.
Con: The dynamics of the art though, don’t work so well. There’s something about being able to see facial details of a character like Spider-Man underneath the mask that doesn’t do it for me. I like a smooth mask. Similarly, Cap’s uniform looks untidy, and a lot of the figures seem kind of…squidgy.
Pro: Villainy. I like seeing some good interaction between the bad guys. Marvel have got such a massive stable it’s really nice to see some of the lesser lights get some interaction.

So, the final trade-off: Are the cons outweighed by the pros? In this case, yes, but not by a lot. The art is a bit of a turn-off for me. And the story is not something we haven’t seen before. But the final tipping point is that it’s reasonable, and cheaper than buying in serial form.

Final score = +0.5



Once again the thread to vote in is here:

I’d also like to personally thank all the participants.  You’ve all managed to go beyond my own expectations and come up with some really great ideas for the E-Zine!

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