Monday, June 17, 2013

Ornament Review: Captain America and the Avengers! - Comic Book Heroes #4 - 2011 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Another classic comic book cover brought to life
Cons: Comic book inside poorly edited
The Bottom Line
Superhero bursts
From a comic book cover
For the final time

Captain America Joins the Avengers a Year Early in the 2011 Entry of the Comic Book Heroes Ornament Series

Whether you are a comic book fan or not, it's been hard to escape the build up toward next summers Avengers movie.  It seems everyone who follows movies is talking about it.  Plus, Marvel has been including scenes building up to it in all their movies over the last couple of years.

With the movie coming out next summer, I was surprised to find out that this year's entry in Hallmark's Comic Book Heroes ornament series was Captain America and the Avengers!  Personally, I would have waited and released it next year to coincide with the movie.  But for whatever reason, it's out this year and just as good as the others in the series.

All the ornaments in this series are built around classic comic book covers.  In this case, we're looking at Avengers #4.  Originally released in March of 1964, this comic book brought Captain America from his World War II origins to the "present day" and teamed him up with Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, and Wasp.  In fact, the cover pretty much features all five of those characters.  It's a pretty much perfect recreation of this classic comic book.

But the twist that I love with this series is that the covers are 3D.  In this case, Captain America is climbing out of the cover.  His right hand and most of his left leg are still two dimensional, but most of the rest of him is popping right off the page.  He's leading with his shield, and he's got a great smile on his face.

This is also a mini comic book.  And here's where the ornament ultimately fails.  It attempts to recreate the complete storyline of this epic comic book in about seven pages.  Ironically, the back of the box the ornament came in does a better job of filling me in.  There are several major leaps in the comic book itself that made it feel like something from the story was missing.  While the others in the series have obviously been edited, this was the first time the story inside the ornament felt hacked instead of carefully edited for space.

As with the others in the series, you can stand this ornament up if you open the book.  It's actually surprisingly stable when you do that. 

If you are going to hang this ornament on your tree, you'll find the brass ring shooting out of the spine of the book.  It's a bit of a surprise, but this ornament actually tips back a little.  That works out well since it means you can see more of the detail on Captain America, who is facing down a bit as he jumps off the cover.  You can control just how much it tips.  When the book is closed, it tips back some, but it's not too bad.  The more you open the book, the more it tips back.

I've mentioned that is ornament is part of a Hallmark series.  As such, they've hidden a 4 in a Christmas tree on the ornament.  It was in the second place I looked, so it is fairly easy to spot.  While I think this series is wonderfully creative, not enough people agreed with me because this is the final Comic Book Heroes ornament they are doing, although I'm sure they will be doing the standard sculpts of superhero characters they've been doing for years.

And maybe that lack of interest is why they released Captain America and the Avengers! this year.  Those who have been collecting the Comic Book Heroes series will not be disappointed with the final entry in it, especially if the movie does well next year.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Comic Book Heroes series.

Original Price: $17.95

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