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Preparing for Marco Polo season 2 by Sir Kent Said!

Preparing for Marco Polo season 2 by Sir Kent Said!

Sir Kent is Toylab's resident Film Critic
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Did you miss Marco Polo Season 1?  Time to catch up now as the 2nd season of this ground breaking series is preparing to come out!

First things first you need to know about one guy and its not Marco Polo.

Kublai Khan (/ˈkuːblaɪ ˈkɑːn/;[1] Mongolian: Хубилай хаан, Xubilaĭ xaan; Middle Mongolian: Qubilai Qaγan, "King Qubilai"; September 23, 1215 – February 18, 1294),[2][3] born Kublai (Mongolian: Хубилай, Xubilaĭ; Middle Mongolian: Qubilai; also spelled Khubilai) and also known by the temple name Shizu (Emperor Shizu of Yuan; Chinese: 元世祖; pinyin: Yuán Shìzǔ; Wade–Giles: Yüan Shih-tsu), was the fifth Khagan (Great Khan) of the Mongol Empire (Ikh Mongol Uls), reigning from 1260 to 1294 (although due to the division of the empire this was a nominal position). He also founded the Yuan dynasty in China as a conquest dynasty in 1271, and ruled as the first Yuan emperor until his death in 1294.

Kublai was the fourth son of Tolui (his second son with Sorghaghtani Beki) and a grandson of Genghis Khan. He succeeded his older brother Möngke as Khagan in 1260, but had to defeat his younger brother Ariq Böke in the Toluid Civil War lasting until 1264. This episode marked the beginning of disunity in the empire.[4] Kublai's real power was limited to China and Mongolia, though as Khagan he still had influence in the Ilkhanate and, to a significantly lesser degree, in the Golden Horde.[5][6][7] If one counts the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific to the Black Sea, from Siberia to modern day Afghanistan – one fifth of the world's inhabited land area.[8]

In 1271, Kublai established the Yuan dynasty, which ruled over present-day Mongolia, China, Korea, and some adjacent areas, and assumed the role of Emperor of China. By 1279, the Yuan forces had overcome the last resistance of the Southern Song dynasty, and Kublai became the first non-native Emperor to conquer all of China.


Trailer For Marco Polo Season 2:

When you have a period piece coming from directors
David Petrarca
John Maybury
Daniel Minahan
Joachin Ronning
Alik Sakhraov
AND Espen Sandberg
You would tend to think that such a project would be lost! SURELY this many people couldn't POSSIBLY have the same vision for a series! I mean there is a clash of ego's and directing styles that simply could not mesh between so many muthuf'BEEPas! This speaks, yet again, to the vision, faith, passion and ball's to the wall style of Netflix. They has a vision, a hope a dream for telling the story of
MARCO POLO which played out more like a big budget
HISTORY CHANNEL version of Kublai Khan.

They trusted that these five director's, using the right cast, setting and writing could bring those visions, hope's and dreams to life. You know what, season one of the series was balls on, in my opinion and I look forward to season two coming out on Netflix this weekend. MARCO POLO tells the story of a young explorer named Marco Polo
(Lorenzo Richelmy). Who, against his father's wishes, joins an expedition into the Mongolian kingdom in order to open up trade for Italy and bring Christianity to the people there. They find the journey to be precarious and the saint that Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong) asked to meet dies along the way!

Upon meeting with Khan and discovering that he rarely accepts failure for his orders, Marco's father, Niccolo
(Pierfrancesco Favino) offers to leave his son in the care of the great Khan in exchange for not only sparing all of their lives but, opening trade between the two countries. What follows is a wonderful telling of drama, betrayal and just down right HATE! I mean haters gonna hate but DAYUM! For it is a little known fact but Kublai Khan was much more than a blood thirsty Mongol. His interest including expanding his country through commerce and trade. He wanted to include all dates in his kingdom and test, he even wanted to include the Chinese...even if it meant beating that ass a little first.

Much of this caused doubt (Hate) from some who longed for him to rule like his ancestors. The costumes and setting are perfect and the battle and individual fight scenes are as good, I think, as the original
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Oh yup, I went there!). So, if your like me and you're chomping at the bite for the next season of DAREDEVIL, JESSICA JONES and the new
IRON FIST, maybe you should check out season one of MARCO POLO and then, kill the rest of your weekend with season two.

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Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes review by Sir Kent Said

Marco Polo One Hundred Eyes - Review 

By Sir Kent:
If you haven't seen the series Marco Polo be warned SPOILERS!!!

I think in our unbridled passion for the MCU/NETFLIX collaboration on the DAREDEVIL and JESSICA JONES, I think we had forgotten about another Netflix made series that is deserving of just as much fanfare. MARCO POLO was released in late 2014 and was a military drama that told the exploits of Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong). The grandson and greatest successor of Genghis Khan. There are many reasons to enjoy this series. Be it his wife, Empress Chabi who is in charge of picking out the concubines who will pleasure the Great Khan (I'm thinking that's gotta suck for a wife!).

Or one of his most trusted advisors Ahmad (Mahesh Jadu) plotting to behead him who joins forces with a concubine sent by Jia Sidao (Chin Han) to try and assassinate the
Great Khan. All of these subplots make for great watching but for me, the stand out in the entire series was
ONE HUNDRED EYES (Tom Wu). Netflix obviously agrees because they dedicated a short, 30 minute episode to tell the story of how this warrior monk came to be in the service of the Great Khan. I think if Samuel L. Jackson were to see this guy, he would definitely call him a “Bad ass muthufucka!”. For even though blinded on order's of the Great Khan, he still manages to kill Jia Sidao with the mantas technique that he had only been exposed to once!

I did mention that he is blind and beat Sidao with a technique that HE created! Ain't that a bitch?!?! I think even more fascinating than this is how and why One Hundred Eyes was blinded in the first place. One Hundred Eyes was a monk at a monastery bordering the warring states of China and
The Mongolian Empire. Like any monk would, they rendered aid to wounded warriors from China.

This enraged the Great Khan and he sent men to the temple to kill anyone there and burn the temple to the ground. The men were met by a single monk and 25 of them fell to his righteousness. He was captured but not killed. Instead he was brought before the Great Khan who asked him how he was able to kill that many men by himself? He replied not only in a disrespectful, taunting tone. When threatened by the Great Khan he replied, very defiantly “Life and death are the same thread”.

Realizing that not only was this warrior monk of too great a value to simply kill but him not having a fear of death vexed the Great Khan. He ordered that the monk be blindfolded and forced to fight. During which, the monk killed everyone in that room, including the general son of an emperor ally. This could not go unpunished but once again, Khan couldn't simply kill the monk. He devised a way of punishing him without killing and possibly forcing him to do his bidding.

He ordered the monk to be blinded using the venom of a spitting viper. The last sight the monk ever saw was this cobra being raised out of a basket and aimed at his face. However blinding him was only a first move for Khan. For despite that, the monk, through his believes, his lifelong dedication to his fighting style or sheer will, seemed to prosper WITHOUT his eyes! So Khan was left with only one option.

Either One Hundred Eyes would train his officers in his kind of kung-fu or, Khan would order the destruction of the last monastery and everything within it. The monks entire history and people would be wiped out. Having been shot and having to relearn to do basic things like, tying my shoes, buttoning my shirts, using flatware or how to throw a punch with a hand that is filled with surgical steel, pins and buckshot, I identify with this deeply. “Life and death are the same thread”. Our lives are but a star in the infinite space (Just made that up. Feel free to quote me).

One Hundred Eyes is fascinating to me in this series because with all of this insanity going on around him, he has still managed to hold on to the person he was before he was caught. He gives himself to the service of the Khan because it is not TO HIM. It's to the people he wishes to protect. That's some otherworldly deep kinda shit there bitchs! If you haven't watched MARCO POLO: ONE HUNDRED EYES or the series MARCO POLO, knock that shit out tonight after the game's

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Bullseye art and cosplay


 Villains week continues with art and cosplay of the villain Bullseye.
The ruthless Bullseye hates to miss and likes to look good while being bad.

Related Posts:
Who is Bullseye? 
More amazing art and cosplay!

Bullseye Sketch

He looks a little crazy

Important symbols of Bullseyes past

 There is a new female version of Bullseye called Lady Bullseye.

Lady Bullseye throwing stars
Daredevil and Lady Bullseye battle
Black Panther and Lady Bullseye

Bullseye looking fierce
Bullseye and Silver Sable

Bullyseye with a card

Lady Bullseye
Lady Bullseye striking a pose

Related Posts:
Who is Bullseye? 
More amazing art and cosplay!

Who is J'son the father of StarLord / Peter Quill?


J'son of Spartax is emperor of the Spartoi Empire and the father of Earth-born hero Peter Quill AKA StarLord.   At least in the comic books, this is changed in the MCU where the character Ego will be Peter Quill's father.

J'son is raised by the former Emperor his father E'son to be the Emperor.  He is modeled a bit after Peter the Great of Russia.  He lives on multiple worlds and does multiple jobs.   The jobs he excels at the most are as a soldier and pilot.  Bureaucrats try to delay him becoming the emperor because they see him as too enlightened.  Eventually, J'son does indeed become emperor.

On a visit to Earth he meets and falls in love with Meredith Quill.  He has to leave to become Emperor of a massive space empire the Spartoi.  In the original story he erases her memory to ease her pain in the new version seen below he does not.  Unknown to him she is pregnant with his child, Peter Quill.  He also accidentally leaves his gun behind.  The antagonistic alien race known as the Badoon end up attacking the Quill household perhaps because they detect the gun from Spartax.  Meredith is killed.  Quill ends up looking skyward and is not very fond of his father who he blames for both abandoning him and the death of his mother.

Note Movie Origin is slightly different than this:
Peter Quill's mother dies from cancer and tells her son that his father was like an Angel.  Yondu then kidnaps Peter Quill.  Apparently, he was hired by Peter's father to deliver Peter to him but instead Yondu decides to keep him.  Yondu at one point calls Peter's father a "Dick."
Keep in mind that Marvel had to alter this origin story some because they do not own the movie rights to the Aliens the Badoon.

StarLord does meet his father.  J'son at one point and J'son offers the title of Emperor to StarLord but StarLord refuses.  The two do not always get along.  J'son disagrees with how Quill lives his life.  Quill does not like anyone telling him what to do, even an emperor, even his dad.  J'son does love his son and often interferes on his behalf when he is able to.

Spartoi and Spartax:

Concept Art of Spartax for GoTG movie - Not used

Not much is known of the Spartoi.  They are a supposed offshoot of the Shi'ar Empire, they appear to be human like, and based off Starlord they can obviously mate with humans, and their home planet is Sparta.
Their government is an empire with an emperor at its head.  The empire stretches over hundreds of planets.

See a Marvel Universe Map HERE

Are they humans?  Could be.  There is an ancient race in the marvel universe called the Xorri and they were human in appearance and happened to seed many worlds.  Both the Spartoi and Humans could come from the Xorri.

Placement of Spartax in the Marvel Universe.  My guess is that it is in the Triangulum Galaxy along with the Shi'ar Empire or in a completely separate neighboring galaxy.  This is not clear for a few reasons.  First, the Shi'ar supposedly control their entire galaxy so this leaves no room for another empire.  The two being offshoots of a single empire would indicate that that the Spartoi Empire is close in proximity to the Shi'ar.


An Angel?
In the Movie GoTG, Meridith Quill says J'son was an Angel.

I thought that J'son would still be the father of Starlord for three reasons:

1) There were plans for a Spartax in the first movie,
2) Yondu met and was hired by the father to deliver Peter to him and calls him a "dick." Means that Quill's father is still a man of means, and likely a leader.
3) The father son Conflict between J'son and Starlord is a great story

No J'son?
NOW though we know that J'son will not be father of Starlord and this opens up a lot of doors.
Still there are rumors that Marvel will change the story so that Adam Warlock or Yondu will be his father.
Who is Starlord's Father?

Toylab has a freaking TON of Guardians of the Galaxy content related to reviews, the comics, art and cosplay check it all out at in the link below!

Toylab's Guardians of the Galaxy HQ


Preparing for Denver Comic Con


Denver Comic Con time is approaching fast.  They have added a slew of new guests since last I looked.  It is now time for the Toy Lab to buckle down and decided on the Con Plan!!!

 It is amazing how huge this thing is getting.  It has buzz being generated all around the country.  I have never entirely understood how Denver did not have a Comic Con for so many years as we have had the largest comicbook retailer (Mile High Comics) in the world in Denver for a looong time.



This will likely change and be updated as we get closer.

The full list of guests can be viewed here:

Listen to our Podcast Preview of Denver Comic Con!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are some names that stand out to me:

Movies TV 

Clark Greg and Haley Atwell - These are the two actors that I am most excited to meet.  Clark and Hayley have been the faces in the forefront of Marvel TV for the past few years anchoring the shows Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter.  There are BAzillion! questions I want to ask Clark Gregg.  Who is the new director, will the Inhuman Royal Family ever show up, what about Mar Vell?

Karl Urban - Karl is the Doctor Bones in the new Star Trek films he is also set to play Skurge the Executioner in Thor Ragnarok.  Skurge is a massively underated character and I am pumped to see what Karl's thoughts are on playing him.  As Bones he has a massive new coming out soon in Star Trek Beyond.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan - That is right Negan himself will be in the mile high city.  My guess is that he will not slip who was on the other end of the bat.   It still should make for an awesome panel if he discusses Walking Dead.

Many others including actors from Gotham, Star Trek and Vampire Diaries


The Comic Book related people coming out for this con is the best I have seen at a Denver Comic Con.  Among them are some of the most proflic and greatest writers in comic history including the likes of Stan Lee and Peter David.  As well as a slew of up and comers.

A major presence from DC is expected which will roughly coincide with their relaunch of the universe with DC Rebirth:   I was actually at the San Diego Comic Con after the New 52 announcement and there were some major fireworks at different DC panels.  This time I expect the fans to be much more happy with where the DC Universe is heading.

Official Announcement from DCC:
DC Comics is changing this year more than any time since 2011’s “New 52,” and the publisher is sending its Editorial Department to DCC’16 to give YOU all the details!‪#‎DCC2016‬ ‪#‎DenverComicCon‬
Don’t miss the DC: Rebirth panel on the xFinity Stage in the Bellco Theater on Saturday, June 18 at 4:45 p.m. The panel will include editor Dan DiDio who will give you the full scoop on what to expect in the coming months, along with other DC comics creators.
Plus, in Room 607 on Friday, June 17 at 1:30 p.m., editor Marie Javins and creator Shea Fontana will talk about the new series DC Superhero Girls, a hit with kids. Finally, make sure to hit the DC: Masters of the Art Form panel with DC editor Larry Ganem, which will feature some of the publisher’s hottest artists attending DCC, on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. on the xFinity Stage. (And you’ll still have time for all that last minute shopping before the show closes!)

Stan Lee - 
Stan The Man Lee - He recently announced that he will be sticking closer to home and may have done his last NYC comic con.  The most active Marvel writer of all time is not getting any younger and now is the time to meet him.

John Romita Jr - 
Spider-Man, Punisher, Marvel, DC John is one of the most well known comic artists.  John's father was also a famous Spider-Man artist making the Romita name synomous with with the wall crawler.

Alex Saviuk - 
Alex Saviuk was a longtime artist of Web of Spider-Man and creator of the villainous Tombstone.
My first comics were drawn by Alex Saviuk and in my minds eye Spider-Man should still look the way that Alex Saviuk drew him.  This is no coincidence because he was the artist on nearly 70 issues of Web of Spider-Man along with a few Amazing Spider-Man making him one of top Spider-Man artists ever!

Georges Jeanty - 
Jeanty has done amazing work with both the Buffy and Firefly comics and he is a totally awesome dude to talk to.

J Scott Campbell -
Scott is one of the most famous artists known especially for his drawings of  dynamic females.

Peter David -
Among the most prolific and outspoken comic writers of alltime Peter David always generates interesting stories whether on the page or in a panel.  Last I looked Peter was in the top 10 most prolific Marvel writers.

Jim Shooter - 
The often controversial former editor in chief of Marvel will be in attendance.  Shooter presided over many changes at Marvel including sales to specialty stores.  He also led the company through Secret Wars and many famous Marvel stories including Frank Miller's run on Daredevil and Claremont's X-Men run.  Despite many successes and obvious talent for story telling Shooter is also known for losing some of Marvel's talent to DC.  Shooter eventually left Marvel to go to Valiant and later in 1993 to Defiance where he was embroiled in a famous lawsuit over the title Warriors of Plasm.  Marvel said the title Warriors of Plasm infringed on their character Plasmer.  Eventually, Defiant won the court battle but after spending 300k in courtroom fees Defiant's capital had eroded and the company eventually collapsed.
Shooter has been accused of some writers including fellow guest Peter David of taking too much credit for the specialty store sales model.

There are always great Cosplayers at Denver Comic Con which really adds to the fun.  There are professionals that come here as well really amazing amateurs.  No matter who they are they make the crowd really colorful and vibrant.

Ivy DoomKitty -
Ivy is a professional cosplayer known especially for her Gender Bending take on Doctor Doom.

Cara Nichol AKA AZ Powergirl
Cara has attended every Denver Comic Con and always makes a splash with one of her cosplays.  She is at the forefront of using her cosplay fame to launch comics and other entrepreneurial vehicles so I always pay attention to her.  Last I heard she was running for a seat in the House of Representatives of Arizona with the Green Party.  

Full Denver Comic Con Coverage!

Awesome Gifs of the Lady Sif in the MCU

Cool Pictures of The Lady Sif  from the MCU

Actress Jaime Alexander has depicted the adventurous, The Lady Sif in Thor 1, Thor: The Dark World,  and is set to play her again in Thor 3: Ragnarok.  She has also appeared in two episodes of Agents of SHIELD.

Click Here to Return to the Lady Sif

Thor 1:

Thor 2: The Dark World:

Agents of SHIELD:

Click Here to Return to the Lady Sif

For More Fun Stuff!

Shop at Hammergedon - The ultimate Thor store

Who is Heimdall?
Who is Thor?

Marvel - News, Characters, Reviews, Movies, and Comics 


What is Denver Comic Con?

Denver Comic Con is a 3 day convention held every year in Denver Colorado.  The convention fills up the Denver Convention center located in Downtown Denver.  The first DCC convention was held June 15-17th 2012.  It was created to support a non-profit educational group called Comic Book Class Room, its name has since been changed to Pop Culture Class Room.  The event hosts a wide variety of film, comic, game, scifi, horror and cosplay guests every year.

Next Con Date:  June 17th - 19th 2016

So What exactly does that mean:
  • Exhibition Floor - Basically a comic con is a place where geeks of all stripes get together and do geeky things with others geeks.  Denver Comic Con includes a massive floor space that houses a huge variety of vendors, artists, novelists, comic creators, artists and other guests.
  • Panels -  Panels are little group meetings that are hosted by various guests to discuss a variety of topics.  Everything from Fast vs Slow Zombies to how Chris Hemsworth hair looks like could be discussed in a panel.  Many panels also include the release of video game and movie trailers.
  • Cosplay - The floor space of Denver Comic Con is also full of cosplayers.  These are individuals who dress up as their favorite TV/Film/Novel/Comic character.  The cosplayers are often an attraction to themselves. There is a stage where many pictures of Cosplayers take group shots.  There are also Cosplay tournaments that occur during each con.
  • Education space-  Denver Comic Con supports an educational foundation called the Pop Culture Classroom and as such a large amount of floor space is dedicated for education of young children.  There are a variety of kid centric events and activities in this space.  In the first comic con William Shattner famously read childrens books to a large group of kids.
To really understand a con you need to go to one.  For each person it will mean something different.  There are so many panels and things to see such that each person will have a very customized experience based off their own interests.

How big exactly is Denver Comic Con - Answer really, really big

2012:   27,700
2013:   61,000
2014:   86,500
2015: 101,500

I'm trying to find a source of comparison for Denver's attendance in relation to the other Con's.  San Diego Comic Con's site says its attendance in 2013 was 130k+.  I am not sure how many could be included in that plus my guess is a lot!  It looks like both cons in Chicago (Wizard World and C2E2)  are big but smaller than 80k.  Phoenix Comic Con in 2014 was 78k.  Emerald City Comic Con was 70k in 2014.  New York Comic Con in 2014 had attendance of 151k.

My guess is that Denver is now the third biggest con in the US (and likely internationally) behind San Diego and NYC.


Denver Comic Con News:

All Comic Con News and Posts

DC All Access Panel reveals DC's amazing future projects
Meeting John Beatty and his amazing Daredevil Sketch! 
Meeting Shawn Crystal and his Awesome Fantomex sketch!
Meeting Justin Ponsor artist on Amazing Spider-Man Spider-Verse series 

Striking Cosplay of Denver Comic Con 2015

Denver Comic Con 2014 Battle Plan

See the Amazing COSPLAY at Denver Comic CON!
Top 5 Best Game of Thrones COSPLAYs at Denver Comic Con 2014 
Top 5 Best Marvel COSPLAYs at Denver Comic Con 2014 
Top 5 Best DC COSPLAYS at Denver Comic Con 2014
Top 5 Best Horror COSPLAYs at Denver Comic Con 
Top 5 Best Video Game COSPLAYs at Denver Comic Con 2014

Panels and Guests
Shambling like a Zombie with Max Brooks  
Meeting talented and amazing Greg Horn  
Catching up with Firefly with George Jeanty

The Line at Denver Comic Con a major success! 
Funny conversations at Denver Comic CON, Seen and heard 
Random Pictures at Denver Comic Con 2014 

Highlights of Past Denver Comic Cons:
Wil Wheaton Gives Advice on how to Deal with Bullies At Denver Comiccon