Hasbro is bringing the big guns to Comic-Con International (July 12-15) with a special edition of a Marvel mainstay that just might block out the San Diego sun — it’s the Super Helicarrier, a tricked out version of the hovering military fortress that gives Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. a mobile headquarters.
The Super Helicarrier will be sold at the Hasbro’s booth ( No. 3329) while supplies last, which won’t be long even with the hefty price tag ($129.99) and the intimidating prospect of actually lugging this thing through the human traffic jam of the Con’s trading floor. At just over 4 feet long, the Super Helicarrier is the size of standard ironing board so, you know, good luck with that.
Hasbro brought the standard version of their Helicarrier to the New York Toy Fair just before Valentine’s Day but this limited edition is more than a foot longer and comes with two special-edition action figures — new versions of Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill — as well as “additional weaponry,” which is a pretty great name for a rock band if you’re thinking of starting one. There’s also special packaging with artwork by Joe Quesada.
The Helicarrier (or Heli-Carrier, as it used to be called in the comics) is a Marvel touchstone but longtime readers such as myself remain flabbergasted that it actually made it from the Silver Age spinner rack to the silver screen with the release of “The Avengers.”
It wasn’t that long ago that Hollywood looked at comics like their fertile ground that was full of conceptual weeds — the standard approach to comics was to yank out most of the mythology and find a way to make a comic book property look like a proper movie. Now the evolving approach is to create a movie that looks and feels like a proper comic book. Moreover, every bit of published lore is treated like an archaeological dig where the goal is preservation when possible.
Can it be true that “Catwoman” was really only eight years ago?
The Helicarrier is essentially an aircraft carrier that uses giant turbines to lurch into the wild blue yonder. Is it a safe or practical way to travel? No, clearly it’s ludicrous, a disaster waiting to happen — but it was an awesome visual to behold when it first arrive back in 1965.
That’s a memorable page from “Strange Tales” No. 135 in which Jack Kirby and Stan Lee introduced the colossal aircraft as well as the entire concept of S.H.I.E.L.D. The same issue gave us the first appearance of the nutjob terrorist group called Hydra and even the ever-popular Life Model Decoys, which, come to think of it, is another good name for a band.
– Geoff Boucher
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