You don’t have to be a big fan of Saturday morning cartoons to dig Tim Seeley’s Action Figure Collection, but it definitely helps. And a sense of humor because that’s just useful in general. AFC is a love letter to all things awesome and for readers of a certain age this is going to hit that sweet spot of actually seeing all your sketches and doodles come to life.
Colt Noble and the Megalords is a very thinly veiled Masters of the Universe homage. Readers won’t have to strain too hard to figure out who War-Man is and the Trap-Jaw, Evil-Lynn, Beast Man and Skeletor analogies. The trick here is Seeley adds in just enough variety to make it fun. Like Prince Jayson actually being attracted to his Teela stand-in Mareea and choosing his He-Man avatar from an action figure collection or Skeletor snarkily telling Evil-Lyn to dress sexy to distract guards.
Astute readers will also catch the Star Wars Imperial Guard stand-ins and random GI Joe vehicles. Noble plays out like a complex version of an imaginative child’s living room floor. This isn’t just a fun read, but it takes old school readers back to a time without game systems and their imaginations made anything possible, including He-Man teaming up with the Autobots to battle The Empire and Cobra.
I haven’t laughed this consistently while reading a comic book since Shirtless Bear Fighter. Jayson reads much more true to a teenage boy than Prince Adam ever was with his constant horn dog attitude. Of the various stories in this anthology, Colt Noble was easily my favorite.
Animaliens, the ThunderCats tribute, is the second tale. This is another fun homage to a classic 80s property even if it doesn’t pack the same snappy punch as Colt Noble. Jack Kraken is more or less a Deadpool style character with very interesting powers. Seeley largely plays Kraken straight and after Colt Noble, this would be the most viable character to see turned into a full-fledged comic. There’s a reason Colt and Kraken have multiple stories in this trade.
Deadstar Divas is next. This is more of a Powepuff Girls tale with alien volleyball players. Of the lot, this is the weirdest and least engaging. Superbeasts finds Seeley mixing classic monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein with superheroes. This is a pretty fun concept.
Seeley is joined by a range of artists including Mike Dimayuga, Sophie Campbell, Clint Hilniski and Seeley even draws a story as well. In his epilogue, Seeley pens a tribute to Dimayuga, who died in 2013. Dimayuga definitely had future star potential and his work is the highlight of the trade. The other artists are fine with most capturing the tone of an aspiring artist putting their ideas to paper.
At 162 pages, there’s a lot to read and fun concepts to explore. Hopefully it won’t be too long before Seeley releases Vol. 2 for all of us would be creators and kids who never want to grow up.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Photo Credits: Image Comics