Ask Luke's Mother-in-Law: Desert Radio, Mean Maleficent and Pirate Kitten

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

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A veteran of the LAPD, widow of a Green Beret and self-described crazy cat lady, Luke's Mother-in-Law fears no questions. Ask her anything in the comments section - no issue is too big, too trivial or too weird for her to tackle, but if you get out of line, she will let you know!

All questions and answers are real.

Hello, hello from the vortex of Joshua Tree. This week I attended the 25th anniversay of our local radio station, Z107.7, which is locally owned by Gary and Cindy. They started here in the basin 25 yrs ago. Not many locally owned stations are still around, but little old Joshua Tree has one; they always comment that they are located in a strip mall next to the biggest drug dealer in town: the local family owned pharmacy. Yep, we even have one of those here...next to the local pizza and Indian food restaurant. Z107.7 has been in operation as long as I have lived in the desert. Julia was even a guest DJ when she was in elementary school. Anyway, here is to another 25 yrs of great broadcasting. If you are ever in Joshua Tree stop by and see this treasure.

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Captain America's Now Black and Winged, Iron Man May Turn Heel

Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Announced last night on The Colbert Report - presumably because the in-character host is always insisting that he doesn't see color ("People tell me I'm white, and I believe them") - the new identity of Captain America is official. It's Sam Wilson, a.k.a. Falcon...and he's keeping the wings (since he's not getting the super-serum, we can't blame him). This seems like a reasonable reaction to the popularity of Anthony Mackie's onscreen portrayal of Wilson - though Joe Quesada stressed that this is just for the comics and not, at this point anyway, the movies.

Meanwhile, Iron Man will be getting what Axel Alonso refers to as a "Genius Bar costume" that looks like a shiny white Apple product, and a new nickname as "the Superior Iron Man," which brings to mind the recent Doc Ock Spidey. "Like the Superior Spider-Man, Superior Iron Man is a character that's hard to root for," says Alonso in Entertainment Weekly. Again, this may be in anticipation of movie trends - the new cinematic Ultron is a Stark-programmed robot who takes on the worst aspects of Tony's personality without the redeeming qualities - but officially, on-record is just for the comics.

And by next year, it'll all be undone again somehow, I'm sure. In the meantime, some of you cosplayers better hurry and get at least one of these outfits done by next week.

Movie Ultron Revealed, and Looks Like He Should

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 11:17 am

Click to enlarge:

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EW has the first look at Avengers: Age of Ultron, along with other set photos that only confirm outfits we've seen from set photos before,a s well as Don Cheadle's participation this time out.

So, with an Ultron face that basic, I'm wondering about the motion-capture acting. Did James Spader just have, like, five dots on his face?


New Comic Book Day: Archie Dies, Ash Marries, Teen Titans Go...in the Wrong Direction

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 8:00 am

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Comics often has a teen girl problem - typically, it does know what they want, how to market to them, and in the case of Teen Titans #1, what they look like.

The "teen" in the sketchy Internet sense Titans cover is one of the blessed few lowlights in a week that gives us new work from the creator of Scott Pilgrim, a look into the far-flung future of the X-Men, a massive mash-up of some of Cartoon Network's early original programming (sadly minus Johnny Bravo) and people continue to make Army of Darkness comics because some of you out there keep hoping Army of Darkness 2 will be a thing.

It won't be. Cut it out.

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The 18 Coolest Exclusives to Snag at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Gentile Giant

If you're a business, you don't go to San Diego Comic-Con without an exclusive. For us fans, well, it might be unusual if we come home without an exclusive. At the biggest pop-culture event in the United States, exclusive can mean a lot of things: toys, comics, clothing, even beer. Some of these items will be available after the convention, maybe months later. Others come in fairly large runs, so you might have decent odds of scoring one. Others come in editions of 250 or less. If you really want one of those, you're going to have to make standing in line a priority. Your best course of action might be to pick out some alternate souvenirs.

With a week to go before the convention, many companies have already announced what they're bringing to San Diego. Still, there could be a few more surprises over the coming days (look for a new one to be revealed on this very site at 10 a.m. today). Below are a few of the standouts - technically, more than 18 - arranged by franchise. Whether your jam is Alien or Hello Kitty, there's likely something for you at San Diego Comic-Con.

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Comics Trifecta: TMNT Meet Ghostbusters, Lady Thor and Star Wars Marvel Legends

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm

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Yes, the Ghostbusters and Ninja Turtles that you actually like - i.e. Egon's team and TMNT without flaring nostrils, rather than the nonsense we're likely getting from both onscreen shortly -will join forces to save New York from ghosts and mutants. Unlike past IDW universe crossovers that have featured both sets of characters but kept them in their own separate worlds, this will feature them side by side.

Which means, ironically, that from the Ghostbusters' point of view, the Turtles will indeed be extra-dimensional beings. I think this is the one instance where we can forgive that.

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New Big Hero 6 Trailer Gives Us a Better Look at San Fransokyo

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 12:18 pm

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Considering all the character images that dropped yesterday, I figured the new trailer would focus on the team, but perhaps smartly, Disney isn't giving us too much too fast - these scenes are primarily still about selling the central relationship between genius kid Hiro and his robot pal Baymax. And since I'm getting some definite Incredibles vibes - and not just because it basically copies the suck-in-your-gut moment from that film - that means it's working.

Crucially, too, the jeopardy feels real, with a genuinely scary-looking villain. I want to see a comic-book movie rather than a traditional Disney cartoon, and I'm getting the good feeling that we will.

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Disney Reveals Big Hero 6 Characters and Their Voice-Actors

Monday, July 14, 2014 at 1:54 pm

First, as a reminder, here's what they look like in the comics. Obviously Fox still owns Silver Samurai so you won't be seeing him.

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Now, the Disney CG versions...

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Funko's Amputee Obsession: Armless Wampa, Headless Hershel Toys for Comic-Con

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm

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Funko, known for their black-eyed bobbleheads of almost every successful property there is, seem like they're showing a bit of a dark side. For Comic-Con, they're doing not one, but TWO toys based on popular dismemberment scenes. Oh, sure, the Wampa in Empire Strikes Back had it coming, and considering what happened to Darth Maul, the ice beast got off easy.

Not so Hershel Greene on The Walking Dead...

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Geek Apparel of the Week: Rocket Raccoon Invades Your Favorite Wolf Moon T-Shirt

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 10:00 am

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James Gunn's sense of humor appears to have rubbed off on the licensors for Guardians of the Galaxy, but even if the movie and the comic behind it had never existed, one-upping the uber-manly and iconic Three Wolf Moon shirt by adding raccoons with guns was clearly an inevitability. For maximum effect, if someone asks you about the shirt, don't even tell them it's a character from comics and movies. Just be all redneck Sam Jackson, and tell them you like motherfucking raccoons with big motherfucking guns. Because who doesn't?

Okay, homeowners trying to keep their trashcans upright. You got me on that one. But who ELSE?

(Bonus GAOTW: Topless Roboteer Brando Lars did a pretty snazzy and unlikely mash-up tee featuring Game of Thrones and...well, you should really see for yourself)