Toy Story #1 Review

Following on from the first part of this story as seen in the recent Toy Story #0 from BOOM! Studios, The Return of Buzz Lightyear, Part Two is presented here in another charming instalment of this widely adored franchise. Jesse Blaze Snider again impresses with his considerable writing skills. There’s a lot to live up to whenever you stamp a Pixar property boldly on the cover, but BOOM! can afford to be confident. Jumping from the dark vampire romance of Dead Romeo to this kid friendly series with ease, Snider manages to erase any doubt as to his storytelling diversity. The guy is funny. Like the previous issue, I enjoyed this more than I thought. Snider knows what Toy Story fans expect, ie, humour, emotion and light hearted fun and with the 3rd film set for a June release, now is the time to dive in and get reintroduced to these characters. Setting the comic between Toy Story 2 and 3 is a wise move, as it gives Snider more characters to…play with and creates a familiarity for fans of the films.

Following on from the #0 issue in which Buzz was returned to the toy store, and replaced by a brand new version in Andy’s room, the adventure continues with great aplomb. Woody rounds up the troops to rescue his gallant friend from the shelves, and tries to convince the newer Buzz and fellow Space Ranger Booster to go along with the plan. One daring flight down the squeaky stairs later (with a quick diversion for Andy’s dog Buster) and the rescue attempt in miniature form begins.

Wordplay including a karaoke machine named Mike and dialogue such as, “Allright girls and toys!” makes this the kind of tale that parents can enjoy just as much as their kids. It’s obvious that Snider is enjoying himself here. When Woody and co. steal Andy’s mum’s car to get to the toy store, and get pulled over by a bewildered cop – genius. When they arrive at their destination to find an angry swarm of Buzz Lightyears dressed as a samurai, ninja and other assorted varities – genius-er!

Artist Nathan Watson matches Snider every step of the way. The key to making comics funny is down to two visual cues – timing and facial expressions. Watson nails both. His loose style is closer to the Buzz Lightyear animated TV series than anything resembling drool inducing CGI wizardry, but it works well. All of the characters from Slinky to dinosaur Rex to piggy bank Hamm are portrayed with such skill that there’s no question that these are the same characters from the films. Thankfully this is an ongoing series, so there’s a few more issues to catch up with Woody and Buzz before Toy Story 3 arrives.

20th Century Boys 2 DVD

Press release below from Viz regarding this month’s sequel adaptation to a very popular manga.


Special Theatrical Screening Also Planned For Live-Action Sci-Fi Film –The Second In A Trilogy Based On Popular Manga Series By Naoki Urasawa

VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, will release the science fiction feature 20th CENTURY BOYS 2: THE LAST HOPE on DVD on February 16th in North America through its distributor, VIZ Media. 20th CENTURY BOYS will carry a MSRP of $24.92 US / $35.99 CAN.

The 20th CENTURY BOYS saga is based on Naoki Urasawa’s manga series, 20th CENTURY BOYS (published in the US by VIZ Media), which has become a national phenomenon in Japan, selling over 20 million copies of the 24 volumes. Urasawa is the creator of many famous works such as the hit manga series, MONSTER and PLUTO also published in the US by VIZ Media.

The film is directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, who began directing commercials and music videos at Nihon Television. One of his most recent films includes Happily Ever After (2007) is also released by VIZ Pictures and distributed by VIZ Media. Both Naoki Urasawa and Music Director Ryomei Shirai are fans of the 1970’s rock music scene and chose “20th Century Boy” by T.REX (Imperial Records) as the main theme song.

The story began in 1969 when a young boy named Kenji and his friends write “The Book of Prophecy” in which they write about a future where they fight against an evil organization trying to takeover the world and bring about doomsday. Years later in 1997, a mysterious cult being led by a man only known as “Friend” emerges and begins to gain strong influence over society. A series of catastrophic events begin to occur mirroring the prophecies made up by the young Kenji and the greatest fear is the climax of “The Book” becoming a reality; December 31st, 2000, a terrifying giant virus-spreading robot will attack the entire city of Tokyo leading to the end of mankind. The only people who know about “The Book” are Kenji and his childhood friends. Who is “Friend”? Will Kenji and his friends be able to save mankind and live to see the 21st Century?

In 20TH CENTURY BOYS 2: THE LAST HOPE it is 2015, and “Friend” rules a disturbing new world. Kenji has been missing since the Bloody New Year’s Eve of 2000, and his niece Kanna is now in high school. Her history textbook contains a fabricated story about Kenji and his friends being the terrorists behind the horrific events of 2000. Kanna, knowing the truth, openly resents this, and as a result she is marked as a problem child by her teacher and sent to the Friend Land program because of her anti-Friend behavior. Friend Land is a facility where people with rebellious behavior are re-educated. As the program begins, Kanna and her classmate Kyoko Koizumi achieve high marks and are sent to the advanced program called the Bonus Stage, where they find themselves in a virtual reconstruction of 1971, when Kenji and his friends were kids. There, each of the girls learns crucial secrets about “Friend.”

The surviving secret base members have been separated since Bloody New Year’s Eve but each has spent the last 15 years in various activities opposing Friend and his regime. As Kenji’s friends all try to find out the truth about Friend, they discover the shocking existence of The New Book of Prophecy, the sequel to The Book of Prophecy. The New Book describes an event: In 2015, at a church in Shinjuku, a savior will rise to uphold justice but will be assassinated. Who is the savior? Once again, Doomsday looms near…

To celebrate this DVD release, VIZ Pictures will be holding a special screening event at VIZ Cinema in San Francisco on February 9th at 7:30PM. Ticket for admission is $25.00, which will include a ticket for the screening, a copy of the 20TH CENTURY BOYS 2: THE LAST HOPE DVD, poster, and pin! Additionally, VIZ Pictures is raffling off 20th Century Boys T-shirts before the show so come watch the film for a chance to win! Tickets are available at the box office or online at For more information about this event, please visit or

“20th CENTURY BOYS has been a mega hit since it mesmerized audiences with it’s U.S. theatrical premiere of 20th CENTURY BOYS 1: BEGINNING OF THE END in the summer of 2009, and we are excited to announce the U.S. debut of 20th CENTURY BOYS 2: THE LAST HOPE,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “We also hope fans in the San Francisco Bay Area can join us for the one night only special screening at VIZ Cinema to experience 20th CENTURY BOYS on the Big Screen.”

For more information on 20th CENTURY BOYS or other VIZ Pictures titles, please visit

Captain America is an Avenger

Marvel is reuniting the original Avengers trio of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor! This is a teaser image of the current Cap (ie, the man once known as Bucky) rather than the recently resurrected original Cap, Steve Rogers with the declaration of his Avengers status. This pic reveals  a glimpse of May’s Brian Michael Bendis/John Romita Jr Avengers #1.