Showing posts from 2015

A Look At Monsters vs. Aliens: The TV Series

One of my all-time favorite CGI animated comedies is Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), a loving tribute/sendup of the pulpy sci-fi flicks from the "Atomic Age" of the '50s and '60s. What I didn't know was that MvA went on to become a short-lived CGI cartoon on Nickelodeon that ran from March 2013 to February 2014.

I found out about this series completely by accident last month when I was scrolling through my digital cable TV menu and saw an ad for MvA that looked familiar but included characters that I didn't recognize from the movie. Boy, was I surprised--not just to find it, but to see that it's a worthy follow-up to the movie that should have lasted longer than a single season. Read on for my complete review.

Figures Toy Company Releases Super Friends Mego Figures

Of my many years of being a geek, I've learned two things: 1) never underestimate the power of nostalgia and 2) never underestimate the lingering appeal of a well-designed toy.

Even though Mego went out of business in 1983, its contribution to geek toys has lived on among collectors for many years since. Specifically, its eight-inch action figure model--a model that's flexible enough for any franchise license and cheap to produce--has been enjoying a renaissance in recent years.

Toy companies such as Bif Bang Pow and NECA have been releasing figures for various licenses based on the Mego figure model, licenses that were never carried by Mego when it was still in business. In contrast, Figures Toy Company has been releasing DC superhero figures that look exactly like the same figures that Mego released during its heyday the '70s. These figures have been so popular that Figures Toy Company has expanded its DC lines to include different versions of popular DC characters, such…

Cyberbullies Get Deleted in Unfriended (2014)

Way back in 2001, Japanese horror director Kiyoshi Kurosawa released a film called Kairo (a.k.a. Pulse). An apocalyptic story, Kairo told the tale of a group of Japanese college students who are investigating the death of their friend and its connection to a mysterious Web site that promised the change for the living to communicate with the dead. As the movie unfolds, it turns out that the site is allowing hordes of dead spirits to invade the world of the living, which in turn causes people to either commit suicide or simply vanish, leaving behind nothing but a shadow-shaped arrangements of ash.

The heavy-handed message of Kairo was its metaphorical prediction that the Internet would inevitably cause people's sense of community to collapse. This would lead to an epidemic of depression and dispair as more and more individuals become separated from their fellow human beings because of too much technology invading our lives.

Well, it's 2015, the Internet is as popular as ever, and…

A Look at Hallmark's Predator Ornament

As part of this year's annual release of Christmas ornaments, Hallmark has included an ornament based on the titular monster from the 1987 creature feature Predator. I just picked up one for my own holiday season geek tree, and here are some thoughts I have about Hallmark's attempt at turning an interplanetary big game hunter into a Yuletide decoration. Read on ...

A Killer from the Past Wreaks Havoc with the Present in The Caller (2011)

The plot device of time travel most commonly appears within the science fiction genre, imagining the possibility of a technology that would allow people to freely move forward and backwards through time. Yet when time travel appears in the horror genre in films such as Donnie Darko (2001) and Triangle (2009), the story sometimes ignores the technology idea and instead depicts a reality where warps in time are just random events that happen to hapless, unsuspecting victims. Such a view is a very unnerving one, that something as inescapable and inexorable as time can also be inconceivably unstable and that people can be sucked into parallel timelines or never-ending time loops without anyone else noticing. In the case of The Caller, a 2011 thriller directed by Matthew Parkhill, the story of horrible, unexpected things that can happen when the present unwittingly shares information with the past.

The Caller focuses on Mary Kee (Rachelle Lefevre), a woman who just divorced her abusive husb…

Play with Virtual RC Flying Toys in Wii U's Quadcopter Pilot Challenge

The latest waves of remote control (RC) flying toys have fascinated me, and their falling prices have tempted me on more than one occassion into actually buying one. Yet while I may be a nerd by choice, I am also a klutz by nature; thus, I'm certain that I'd somehow wind up breaking the toy within days--if not hours or minutes--after purchase. Thankfully, someone at TACS Games understands my geeky dilemma and has recently released Quadcopter Pilot Challenge as a downloadable eShop game for the Wii U. Read on for my complete review.

Available Now: We Belong Dead's Christopher Lee Tribute Issue

When horror icon Christopher Lee passed away last June, it felt like a particular era of horror cinema came to an end. Lee led an extremely impressive life, but his contributions to the horror genre--as well as pop culture in general--are truly legendary. In honor of his passing, UK horror magazine We Belong Dead has recently published a special 100 page, full-color issue as a tribute to Lee and the many memorable roles he brought to life on the silver screen.

The issue covers Lee's prolific career, from his most popular films (The Wicker Man, The Lord of the Rings series, his portrayal of Dracula in numerous films, etc.) to his more obscure work (Night of the Big Heat, Taste of Fear, Nothing but the Night, etc.). The details provided in this issue about Lee's career are exhaustive in scope, both well-researched and well-written by a diverse selection of contributors. Among the personal fan reflections about Lee and in-depth analyses of the films and studios in which Lee worked…

Movie Review: It Follows, But It Does Not Scare

In case you've been ignoring American film releases since the beginning of the year, a horror film called It Follows became quite the hit among film critics when it was released last March, scoring a high 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I finally got the chance to see it last weekend and while I can see why critics were impressed by this film, I felt that the end result was less than the sum of its parts. Read on for my complete review.

Available Now--Jaws 2: The Making of The Hollywood Sequel by Louis R. Pisano and Michael A. Smith

Jaws fans, rejoice! BearManor Media is taking orders for Jaws 2: The Making of The Hollywood Sequel by Louis R. Pisano and Michael A. Smith. Available in both hardcover and softcover editions, this book takes readers on an in-depth journey into the troubled production of the 1978 sequel to Steven Spielberg's hit movie. Jaws 2 was the first blockbuster sequel to the film that is credited with kicking off the summer blockbuster era, thus making it the sequel (as alluded to in the book's subtitle) that proved how lucrative blockbuster movie sequels can be. In fact, Jaws 2 remained the high-grossing sequel to a summer blockbuster until the sequel of another summer blockbuster film, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, took the honor in 1980.

There have been plenty of books written about Jaws, but the same amount of detailed information about any of its sequels is almost impossible to find. So far, the only materials that focused their attention on the first sequel were The Jaws 2 Lo…

Monsters in the Memory Palace: Bryan Fuller's Hannibal (2013 - 2015)

After my many years of media consumption, I've come to a particular conclusion about movie and TV adaptations of books. If the adaptation is to stand on its own, its creative team should be permitted to change the source material in ways the work to the benefit of the visual mediums in which they are working. In contrast, slavish devotion to the precise replication of a book into another medium runs the very high risk of the adaptation being regarded as little more than an imitation of an original (and an inferior one at that). The opportunity to experiment with source material has allowed novel-based films such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Planet of the Apes and Jaws to be viewed as equal or superior to their points of origin.

Another example that can be added to this list is Hannibal, a TV series that just ended its three-season run on NBC. Read on for my complete review of this short-lived exercise in smart and stylish TV horror.

Machine Robo's Magnificent Robot Combiners

I don't collect Transformers merchandise, but I see articles and advertisements about it when I browse through Japanese robot toy sites. From what I can gather, one of the latest product lines for Transformers is called "Combiner Wars", a line that consists of five or six transforming robot toys that combine into one bigger robot.

Combiner robot toys have been around for a long time, and Transformers had quite a few of them even back in the '80s. Yet of the many combiner robot toys I've seen over the years, the ones that have consistently impressed me were the ones released by Bandai under the Machine Robo line. Whereas other robot toy lines are stuck in the novelty of combining smaller toys into a bigger toy, Machine Robo has used the concept of combination to promote creative play. Read on for a review of how Machine Robo has built upon its combiner toys throughout the years.

IDW's The Fly: Outbreak Lacks Buzz

Sometimes it's nice to see a movie franchise find a second life in another medium, like novels and comic books. Other times, the second life turns out to be a turn for the worse. In the later category is The Fly: Outbreak, a comic book miniseries published by IDW Publishing. This miniseries recently concluded its fifth and final issue and after reading the entire series, I feel that this is one insect monster story that needs to be sent back to the telepods. Read on for my complete review.

Scaling a Popular Space Opera with Star Wars Micro Machines

As we move closer to December, more and more details about the long-awaited Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens have found their way on to the Internet. Some of have arrived in the form of production stills and preview footage, while others came through teaser photos of tie-in toys. Among those toys is a name that hasn't appeared much since the '90s: Micro Machines. According to recent news, one of the first Force Awakens toys will be a Micro Machines play set that features miniatures of characters, vehicles and locations from the upcoming sequel, a play set that folds into a replica of the Millennium Falcon.

This post will look at the Micro Machines line of Star Wars toys during the '90s. Even though this line made its debut long after Kenner stopped making Star Wars toys, Micro Machines produced some of the most detailed and affordable replicas of the saga's numerous vehicles. Read on ...

Funko's Movie Monster Figures Get Their Own Haunted House

For such low-detail action figures, Funko's set of classic Universal movie monster figures (Dracula, The Mummy, etc.) sure do have some nice real estate.

As part of the exclusives that it produced for this year's San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), Funko produced a multi-story haunted house play set that's scaled to its line of 3 and 3/4 inch ReAction figures. While the ReAction Universal monster figures would be the most logical choice to go with this play set, it can be used for any of the 3 and 3/4 inch figures Funko has produced for its multi-licensed ReAction line. Thus, if you want Ellen Ripley, Sarah Connor and Snake Plissken fighting Pinhead in a haunted house, or have the cast of Goonies form their own monster squad to fight Michael Meyers, Jason Vorhees and the Predator in a haunted house, you can do it.

Despite the fact that Funko designed its ReAction figures to emulate the kind of action figures that were made in the '70s and '80s, their prices are vastly differ…

Remembering Erector Sets

A 725 Erector set.

Between the number of licenses it has acquired over the years and its expansion into other mediums such as video games, TV shows and movies, Lego is frequently identified as the go-to construction toy for building things both simple and complex. Because of Lego's dominance, it's easy to forget the many, many other construction toys that have appeared throughout the last few decades. These toys, such as Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys, took different approaches to the concept of creative play, proving that interlocking plastic bricks aren't the only way for kids to make something fun.

This post is about my experience (and lack of experience) with one of the more sophisticated construction toys, the Erector sets. Erector sets were originally produced by the A.C. Gilbert Company and designed to emulate the tools and materials used in mechanical construction. While they may lack the name recognition of Lego, Erector sets have been providing hours of sturdy, nuts-a…

Puzzle Video Games, Cubed: Breezeblox, Rush and Edge

Being a fan of video games for as long as I can remember, I'm somewhat surprised over how my gaming preferences have changed over time. I've previously gravitated towards more complex and graphically sophisticated games in order to experience the latest advancements in gaming technology. Yet as my real life becomes more stressful and personal funds get smaller, I find myself going back to the basics: simple yet intriguing visuals matched with simple yet addictive game play. This post will look at three indie puzzle games that caught my attention--Breezeblox by Brennan Maddox, and Rush and Edge by Two Tribes--and why they're the go-to games for unwinding when reality causes your brain to overheat.

Bouncing Back with Mondo's Madballs

As with previous Comic-Cons, I frequently find myself looking around the Web after the event is over to see what kinds of products that toy and collectibles companies are planning to release for geek-a-holics like me in the weeks and months to come. While I was surfing through one Comic-Con '15 photo set, I saw a product on display that I haven't seen in years: Madballs.

Mondo's Madballs on display at Comic-Con 2015.

A collectibles company named Mondo is planning to release new versions of the original Madballs toys that were first released in 1985 by AmToy, a subsidiary company of American Greetings. Madballs were intended to capitalize on the "gross out" humor that was popular in the mid-80s with trading cards such as Garbage Pail Kids, toys such as the Mad Scientist Monster Lab, and movies such as Gremlins. As such, Madballs were a hit, with the line expanding to offer action figures, comic books, animated home videos, and a video game.

Even though Madballs are o…

An Italian Plumber Returns to the Realm of Coin-Ops in Luigi Mansion Arcade

Even though they're mostly associated with Nintendo's line of home gaming consoles, Italian plumber brothers Mario and Luigi started their journey to digital stardom in the coin-op arcades. In the early '80s, Mario first appeared in the arcade classic Donkey Kong, and Luigi made his debut in Mario Bros. They've spent most of their time since then in console-only games but it appears that Luigi hasn't forgotten his roots, since he's the star of the new Luigi Mansion Arcade game that was recently released in Japan.

Luigi Mansion Arcade is a first-person rail shooter along the lines of House of the Dead, although it takes its plot, settings and characters from the Luigi Mansion games that were previously released on the Nintendo GameCube and 3DS. In the game, up to two players explore a haunted mansion and use the Poltergust 3000 to capture a selection of ghosts.

As you can see from the video below, Luigi Mansion Arcade looks like loads of fun. I'm sure that th…

More Zoids Robot Toys: Tribots and R.A.T.S.

Way, way back in 2010, I posted a retrospective about Tomy's toy robot line Zoids and two of its less popular spin-offs, Starriors and Z-Knights. I recently learned that Tomy produced two other spin-offs during the '80s that weren't sold in the United States: Tribots and the Robot Anti-Terror Squad (R.A.T.S.). These two other lines also less popular than Zoids, but that doesn't make them look any less fun. Click below for more details and pictures of these interesting yet obscure robot toys from the '80s, and how they fit in to Tomy's approach to motorized, mechanical play.

New NECA Alien Figures: Red Alien Queen and Isolation Xenomorph

NECA has done wonders with its Predator license over the years, so it made me wonder when (and if) it would finally get around to putting the same level of effort into its Alien line. While it still has a way to go, NECA's recent announcement about two upcoming Alien figures shows plenty of potential in this line's future.

The first figure is the deluxe red Alien Queen figure, which is scheduled for release this November. This figure is based on the red Alien Queen that was seen in the Aliens: Genocide comic miniseries that was published by Dark Horse, and it serves as a complementary piece for NECA's previously released red Alien figure that was also based on Genocide.

The red Alien Queen is basically a repaint of NECA's previous Alien Queen figure but with a slightly different head sculpt. Nevertheless, it you're willing to spend the money to cover its $100+ price tag, the red Alien Queen would make a colorful addition to any fan's Alien collection.

The second f…

James Cameron is Right (Sort of)--Terminator 3 Could Have Been Terminator: Genisys

In the weeks leading up to its July release, Terminator: Genisys has been rolling out plot spoilers and a direct endorsement from Terminator creator James Cameron himself in order to convince fans that the new sequel is worth the price of admission. From the endorsement, the most publicized quote from Cameron is how he feels that Genisys is the "real" Terminator 3. To be more specific, he stated that “in my mind, I think of [Genisys] as the third film.”

The odd thing about this quote is that Cameron is more right than he realizes. According to an October 2009 blog post by Terminator 3 screenwriter John D. Brancato, the original draft of T3 sounds an awful lot like what we'll be seeing in Genisys. John Connor might believe that the future is not set, but it looks like the future that will become known as Terminator: Genisys was set as far back as 2001. Read on, with some minor spoilers ahead ...

Disney Cancels Tron 3--Can The Grid Survive?

It looks like it is the end of line for the Tron franchise for now. A few days ago, Disney announced that it will not launch the production of Tron 3. From what I've read, two excuses have been given for this decision:

1. The failure of Tomorrowland to become a box office hit during Memorial Day weekend has prompted Disney to back away from "riskier live-action science fiction offerings". (On the other hand, if this summer's video game-themed Pixels movie becomes a smash hit, would that prompt Disney to put Tron 3 back into development?)

2. Disney pulled Tron 3 because of its over-crowded movie release schedule, which is currently filled with Pixar movies, Marvel movies, Star Wars movies, and live-action remakes of its own animated movies such as The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.

While I hate to see Disney putting Tron on hold, I've watched how Disney has handled the Tron franchise over the years (from the first film all the way through to the animated Tron:…

Square Enix Transforms the Predator into an Oni Demon

Back in 2011, Sideshow Collectibles released a Samurai Predator figure as part of its Alien vs. Predator line. As the figure's name suggests, the design mixed together the Predator's usual appearance with Samurai armor into something that, as I commented earlier, "look(s) like a monster that came straight from ancient Japanese folklore." Fast-forward to 2015 and Square Enix will be releasing a new Predator figure as part of its Play Arts Kai line that combines the movie monster's appearance with something from another area of ancient Japanese culture: oni.

According to Wikipedia, "Oni are a kind of yokai from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demons, devils, ogres or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theatre. ... Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, …

Is Modern Science Fiction Cinema Maturity Challenged?

For those of you who have been away from the geek-o-sphere on the Internets lately, there's been a bit of a-twittering about comments that were recently made by Simon Pegg in an interview with Radio Times magazine about the next Star Trek movie and the current state of science fiction films in general. For the sake of brevity, here's an assembled version of the Pegg quotes that caused the most offense:
"Before Star Wars, the films that were box-office hits were The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Bonnie and Clyde and The French Connection ... gritty, amoral art movies. Then suddenly the onus switched over to spectacle and everything changed ... I don’t know if that is a good thing. Obviously I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science fiction and genre cinema but part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilised by our own taste. Now we’re essentially all consuming very childish things – comic books, superheroes. Adults are watching this stuff, and…

A Look Back at a Vintage Movie Monsters Giant Poster Book

As fan memorabilia goes, poster books are odd collectibles. Sure, fans have always sought out magazines and books about their favorite topics and have also purchased posters that feature images of said topics. However, somewhere along the line, publishers got the bright idea to combine print with posters, although I'm still baffled as to why. For example, if a fan chooses not to use the poster book not as a poster but as a book, then the book eventually falls apart because the seams give away quickly from being folded and unfolded so many times.

Here's a post about one poster book that was published in 1979, the Movie Monsters Giant Poster Book. As you can tell by the tape stains, tears and missing corners in the photos that I've taken, this poster book had already been through the ringer by the time I got my hands on it during the mid '80s. Nevertheless, it was such a unique find that I was willing to trade some comics to one of my classmates for it. Read on to see mor…

Nintendo 3DS's StreetPass: It's All About Miis

I've been a Nintendo fan for a long time, but I never paid much attention to the hand-held side of its gaming console selection. The most involved I got with one was when Namco released Pac-Man Vs. back in 2003, a competitive multiplayer game which required both the GameCube and a GameBoy Advance. Since my Mrs. already had a GameBoy Advance, we picked up this title and had a blast playing the game with our friends for hours at a time; otherwise, the allure of hand-held consoles eluded me.

Fast-forward to 2015, and I'm beginning to see why the hand-held Nintendo 3DS system attracts gamers--largely because of its pre-loaded application, StreetPass Mii Plaza. I saw someone playing it on his 3DS when I was on the Metro the other day. The gamer in question was older than me (shocking, right?), but he was completely absorbed in the games he was playing with his Mii avatar and an army of other Miis. The Miis were wearing samurai armor, which is part of the battle simulation game Warr…

Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Evolution of Superhero Movies

This would normally be a post where I write a review of Marvel's latest blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron. While I'll get around to doing that here, this post will be about something that I find equally fascinating--namely, the critical and fandom responses to this new movie. Some have argued that between the new Avengers, the upcoming Ant-Man and Fantastic Four movies, and the pending releases of DC's Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, we have reached (or are reaching) a point of superhero over-saturation at the box office. On the other hand, I think that what we're seeing is pop culture's confusion over what Marvel is trying to accomplish and whether the critics and fans appreciate how this can improve superhero films in the long run. Read on ...

Four Reasons Why Star Wars Still Matters

Way back when it first appeared on the pop culture landscape in 1977, Star Wars became my gateway drug for all things sci-fi. I was obsessed with it then, still obsessed with it now, and my brain is still reeling from the many announcements that were made at the recent Star Wars Celebration event a few weeks ago. The year-end release of Episode 7: The Force Awakens, James Earl Jones returning as the voice of Darth Vader for season two of Rebels, the next Star Wars Battlefront's connection to the next trilogy ... I don't think I've ever seen this franchise firing on all cylinders simultaneously before. Star Wars has never lacked for ambition; but with so many resources being devoted to keeping the saga alive and growing, I think that franchise fans are going to be in for plenty of wonderful surprises and thrills leading up to the release of Episode 7.

Star Wars didn't become a fan favorite overnight; it went through many, many growing pains to become the durable saga tha…

Will Lego Dimensions Have Monster Minifigs?

This week, Lego tossed its minifig hat into the video game/toy combo ring with the preview trailer for Lego Dimensions, which is scheduled for release for both the PC and the major game consoles in September.

Following on the heels of Skylander, Disney Infinity and Nintendo's line of amiibo figures, Dimensions promises to let players mix-and-match characters and kits from both Lego-exclusive lines (Ninjago) and licensed Lego lines (Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, Wizard of Oz, DC superheros). Depending on how well the initial launch package sells, Lego plans to release an ongoing series of Dimension kits and expansion packs so that players will keep customizing and building upon (no pun intended) their Lego-ized gaming experience.

I've largely avoided the toy tie-in video game trend up to this point, but Lego Dimensions shows much more promise than its competitors. For starters, Lego has landed the Jurassic World license, so I'm sure that an army of Lego dinosaurs wil…

The Video Dead, Video Nasties, and VHS Horror Rentals

The other week, I finally watched The Video Dead, a low-budget, straight-to-video zombie flick from 1987 about a possessed TV set that belches out walking corpses from its screen. This film isn't a classic by any means (more about that later), but I felt that I had to watch it at least once for what it represented--specifically, the impact that England's "Video Nasty" list had on VHS horror movie releases here in the United States. In some ways, the Video Nasty list was to VHS horror movies as the Senate Subcommittee Hearings on Juvenile Delinquency in 1954 were to horror comic books, even though the results were completely different. Read on ....

The 3D Film Archive--Keeping 3D Movie History Alive

For 3D film fans like me, the last few years have provided a mixture of good news and bad news. The good news is that 3D technology has become so commonplace that watching high-quality, on-demand 3D content on TV is possible. The bad news is that most of the 3D movies that were made prior to the recent 3D boom--namely, 3D films that were made between the 1950s and '80s--are not available on Blu-ray. Thankfully, a group known as the 3D Film Archive is working to change that by restoring and releasing 3D films from yesteryear for your home viewing pleasure.

The 3D Film Archive itself has been around for quite some time, but it has only recently entered the Blu-ray business. It was founded back in 1990 by 3D film fanatic Bob Furmanek, who has spent decades tracking down studio files, laboratory records and film prints of both popular and obscure 3D films. To date, the 3D Film Archive played a vital role in ensuring the release of older 3D films on Blu-ray, films such as Dragonfly Squa…

Sony Eyes Robotech as Live-Action Film Franchise

Oh, Robotech ... why can't I quit you?

Ever since this beloved anime franchise stopped publishing new novels and comic books in the '90s, it has largely been in a state of limbo. Aside from a few projects here and there--such as two video games and collector-grade toy releases--the franchise has been inert for over 15 years. The Shadow Chronicles in 2006 promised to launch a new chapter in the series--along with a retconned timeline--but that didn't make it past a pilot movie; last year, the Robotech Academy Kickstarter project, which would have delivered a new anime series had it reached its funding goal, crashed and burned within months of its announcement. Even Dynamite Entertainment's new run of Robotech comics began and ended with a non-canonical, five-issue crossover with Voltron.

One rumor that I've heard is that all animated Robotech projects have been put on hold because of the possibility of a live-action movie, a possibility that's been around since ac…

Transgenic Sins of the Flesh: A Review of The Fly: Outbreak #1

Many franchises have found an active life--or after-life--in the medium of comic books. Some use it as a way to build and explore an "expanded universe" (e.g., Star Trek, Star Wars) while others use it to continue a story that ended in a different medium (e.g., Millennium, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Given my interest in all things "Big Bug" related, a recent franchise tie-in comic book intrigued me so much that I couldn't wait for the trade paperback: The Fly: Outbreak by IDW Publishing, written by Brandon Seifert and drawn by menton3.

Outbreak picks up some time after the events of The Fly II. Martin, son of the late Seth "Brundlefly" Brundle, has returned to Bartok Industries to continue his research into his father's telepods in order to find a cure for his condition. He appears to be a normal human being, but he still experiences occasional problems that stem from his inherited insect genes. During the course of the first issue, Martin learns t…