№26: Thank you Teachers of Boundless Borders! | This Week’s Comic Book Haul | Toy Review: McFarlane DC Multiverse: Red Hood [Unmasked] | The Boss Baby: Family Business | Now Open: Route 115 Store!

July 6, 2021

Welcome to the tedi.substack.com weekly newsletter! At the beginning of each week*, this newsletter will touch on any number of entertaining, informative, or (possibly) useful topics.

First off, I’d like to wish all of my American readers and subscribers a happy 245th Independence Day!

This week’s newsletter hopes to give you a little bit of everything with stories of thanks, comics, action figures, an animated film, and (last but not least) photos of our newly opened Route 115 Store!

For more, check out the section of interest below.

As we move further into 2021, your comments and feedback will also be of immense help in shaping the direction of the newsletter.

Thank you in advance for your time and constructive feedback. Read away!

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* - Unless something exciting comes up that necessitates an additional entry.

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Big Thanks to the Teachers of Boundless Borders Facebook group!

Last Saturday, I received a thank you package from The Teachers of Boundless Borders Facebook group (through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Paolo Alvendia) for the free mental health talk (How to take care of your Mental Health: In Conversation with Dr. Tedi Villasor) that we did last March 6, 2021.

The group sent me a really cool Dallas Mavericks Luka Dončić Jersey Shirt! Thanks again guys!

The 22-year-old Slovenian is among my Top 25 all-time favorite players!

This Week’s Comic Book Haul (June 28th - July 4th, 2021)

Got a text message from my LCS (Local Comic Book Store) to inform me that I had “two weeks worth” of books on-hand. Now, I was there last week but constant weather and COVID-19 related shipping delays, I took their word for it.

Given the volume of books that I picked up this week, I’ve broken them down into two parts: The Walking Dead Deluxe and Everything Else.

The Walking Dead Deluxe

Smart. Image/Skybound continued the headshot cover trend (by David Finch and Dave McCaig) with the release of the second printings of The Walking Dead Deluxe #7-#12. It is a move that all but guarantees that they will release another batch of second printings (Issues #13-#18) in a month’s time.

The question is…how many more headshots could the possibly make? Because it would sure look cool the display them all side-by-side.

Everything Else

Everything else is comprised of the the other titles on my pull list: Department of Truth, Something is Killing the Children (Both written by James Tynion IV), and my latest addition, Black Hammer Reborn by Jeff Lemire and Caitlin Yarsky.

Rounding up this selection is a second printing of Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #3

From Left to Right: Department of Truth #10 covers: Martin Simmonds Variant (Cover A), Vincenzo Riccardi Variant (Cover B) and Michael Dialynas Variant (Cover C) | Something is Killing the Children #17 covers: Werther Dell’Edera Variant (Cover A) and Ozgur Yildirim Glow-In-The-Dark Variant (Cover B).

Here is a breakdown of each title:

1) Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #3 (2nd Printing) (Mikel Janin Recolored Variant | Cover C | 2nd Print) - The selling point of this limited series: Batman and Snake-Eyes square off in this one! Sadly, I missed the boat on a first printing. But I was able to secure 2nd print copies for my son and I.

2) Black Hammer Reborn #1 (Jeff Lemire Variant | Cover B) - Been eagerly waiting for this one. Jeff Lemire’s latest addition to his Black Hammer Universe takes place twenty years after the events of Black Hammer: Age of Doom. This time around, the story focuses on the life of Lucy Weber (Black Hammer II).

Fun fact about this book: Only 9 pages were done traditionally for this issue.

3) Department of Truth #10 (Martin Simmonds Variant | Cover A | Vincenzo Riccardi Variant | Cover B | and Michael Dialynas Variant | Cover C) - Just heard the DoT artist and co-creator Martin Simmonds recently sold all of the original art of Issue #10! It is the third straight issue to sell out!

Wow… (Channelling my best Owen Wilson impression)

4) Something is Killing the Children #17 (Werther Dell’Edera Variant | Cover A and Ozgur Yildirim Glow-In-The-Dark Variant | Cover B) - With store exclusive variants becoming increasingly challenging to procure, I’ve decided to just focus on the book’s regular cover and available variants. It’s the sane choice!

Toy Review: McFarlane DC Multiverse: Red Hood [Unmasked] (Gold Label Series) (July 4, 2021)

My Comic Book Naiveté

In the world of comics, there was a time—albeit briefly—that I believed that DC Comics would never resurrect Jason Todd and that Marvel Comics would follow suit with Uncle Ben Parker and Bucky Barnes. They were worth more—for lack of a better word—“dead.”

From a storytelling standpoint, the demise of each character had a significant impact in the direction of Batman, Spider-Man, and Captain America, respectively. Batman, for instance, became more withdrawn and reckless. With the loss of Todd, his narrative shifted from one of trust and teamwork to an unwillingness to risk the life of another partner. To a lesser degree, Captain America was also haunted with the loss of Barnes.

But in terms of character origin stories, the tragic loss of Uncle Ben Parker cemented Spider-Man into the hero that we know today. The line “With great power comes great responsibility” just wouldn’t have the same impact if Uncle Ben did not pay the ultimate price.

Yet despite this argument—and the countless more before it—money talks.

Jason Todd (as the Red Hood) was brought back to life by the creative team of Judd Winick and Doug Mahnke in February 2005. Coincidentally (or maybe not), Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Captain America run featured the return of Bucky Barnes (as the Winter Soldier) in May 2005.

Now that I got that off my chest, let’s pivot the discussion to the Red Hood.

Red Hood (Jason Todd)

Popularly known as the alias of the man who would eventually become The Joker in Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke, the name has taken on a whole new meaning following Judd Winick and Doug Mahnke’s Batman: Under The Red Hood storyline (If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out. If you’re short on time, check out 2010 direct-to-video film).

Now without taking a really deep dive into the origins of Jason Todd, his run as the second Robin was ultimately cut short when a DC Comics endorsed telephone poll voted to that the brash and arrogant Boy Wonder would not survive a confrontation with The Joker. An event that led to The Batman down the very dark “Batman works alone” path the I mentioned earlier.

Todd had managed to remain “dead” for almost 27 years before Winick and Mahnke’s resurrection. Since then, the popularity of Jason Todd/Red Hood merchandise has grown exponentially with two of the rarest figures—DC Direct’s Batman: Hush Jason Todd [ToyFare Exclusive] (2004) and DC Collectibles’ Batman: Arkham Knight Red Hood [GameStop Exclusive] (2015)°—immediately coming to mind.

This brings us full circle and back to the McFarlane DC Multiverse: Red Hood [Unmasked] action figure. Standing 7” tall, this Jason Todd figure is actually McFarlane’s follow-up to the McFarlane DC Multiverse: Nightwing vs Red Hood [Two-Pack] that was released earlier this year [January 2021].

Both Masked and Unmasked variants may not go as much as the exclusives I mentioned earlier, but here in Manila, they will sell out for sure.

As a friend of mine used to say, “They won’t even make it to the pegs.”

So, if you happen to see one out in the wild and at cost. The one piece of advice that I can give you is: “Don’t think! Buy!”


° - Not to brag, but I have both of them. Given their rarity, I was able to secure the 2004 ToyFare Exclusive locally (Sealed. But the box could have been in better shape). While the GameStop exclusive with the help of a good friend abroad. (This one is a BIB [Back in Box] as they were selling for insane prices back in those days).

Jason Todd comes with three accessories, including a crowbar! A bit much, don’t you think? Photo taken on July 4, 2021. ©Tedi Gustilo Villasor

Monday Movie Night: The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021)

One of my favourite scenes in the The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021) involved a computer-animated Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (MOTU) vintage Castle Greyskull playset.

For Monday Movie Night, we watched The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021). In truth, I went into the movie blind as I didn’t get a chance to watch the first film nor look up any of the sequel’s voice actors. What I did know about the franchise was: There is a baby in it, he wears a suit, and he could talk like a grown-up.

Well, as soon as we started watching the movie, I got all of those elements right except that this time around it was a baby girl named Tina. As the new “Boss Baby,” Tina’s job was to bring her father (Tim) and his estranged brother (Ted) together in order to stop a Dr. Erwin Armstrong from eradicating all grownups in the world.

Seems pretty straightforward enough.

Jokes aside, I enjoyed the humor as well as the pacing. For almost the entire movie, I kept on telling myself, “Dr. Armstrong sounds a lot like Jeff Goldblum” (Turns out I was right) yet oddly looks like comedian Larry David (You guys be the judge of that comparison).”

Another interesting dynamic for me were the toys that Tim and his brother Ted played with when they were younger. Some of them really lined up to my own childhood—especially that Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (MOTU) Castle Greyskull. Boy, do I have a story about that playset!

Some critics didn’t like it, but I surely did.

Give The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021) some consideration if you’re looking for your next family movie and are drawing a blank.

Now Open: The Route 115 Store!

My brother, Martin and I are happy to announce that our very own shop display—located in BOX 115 Cabinet of UNBOX Greenhills, Promenade Hall—is now open for business!

Here are a few photos of our Route 115 Store!

Check out and follow our Instagram account (route115store) for upcoming items or you can email us directly at route115store@gmail dot com.

Remember, all roads lead to BOX 115! ■


Tedi Gustilo Villasor, Ph.D. is a former columnist for Baby Magazine (Philippines) as well as a past contributor to NBA.com/Philippines. His other works include the indie comic books Lindol and OBIsessions.

Click here for more information on his work as a psychologist.

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  • Click here to order Lindol (with artist and co-creator Randy Valiente) from our online partner Secret HQ.

  • Click here to order OBIsessions (with artist and co-creator Jann Galino) from our online partner Secret HQ.

  • Click on the following links to order Issue #1, Issue #2, and Issue #3 of Lindol (with artist and co-creator Randy Valiente) from our online partner Mervstore.com.

  • If you happen to drop by Comic Odyssey’s Robinson’s Galleria, the branch is stocked with copies of Lindol #1.

tedi.substack.com is a weekly newsletter—published every Monday*—that touches on a variety of events and interests—namely mine. Should you happen to find the newsletter entertaining, informative, or (possibly) useful, kindly consider on supporting my work so that I could invest more into the future of the newsletter. Truly, every little bit helps.

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