Warner Brothers Infinite Batmen from Brave and the Bold
When you put them together, Marvel and DC have been publishing two continuous, multi-titled universes for more than 125 years. Trying to keep the rich histories of these books straight has been an uphill fight for the editors and the publishers, and it's a common problem in genre fiction. The instant an author has to account for more than two people in more than one book, she runs the risk of losing track of one of them for long enough to trigger a flood of enraged fan mail.
One of the ways to lure my wife to England for a vacation was the promise of seeing the Harry Potter studio tour outside of London. The other was Thomas the Tank Engine Land, which is a small corner of the larger theme park called Drayton Manor. Thematically, the larger park is a bit disjointed - it wants to have something for everyone, and thus there's no overarching theme. You have the Thomas rides for kids, from which adults without accompanying minors are actually banned; a small zoo tucked away from everything else that mostly seems to have emus; various high-intensity thrill rides, various not-so-thrilling rides, and rather disappointing food stands.
One thing that is clear is that whoever designed the park based parts of it on popular American theme parks...apparently without entirely understanding why. If Disneyland and Universal Studios are Superman, Drayton at times feels like Bizarro's cube-world...or an Axel Braun porn parody without any naked people. Here are its strangest interpretations of American attractions...More >>
Heathers is one of the greatest films of and about the '80s. Not only skewering the odd mix of cultural conservatism and libertine excess that still dominate high schools, writer Daniel Waters' script is a classic: dark, sharp, funny, mean (and at the same time, oddly sympathetic to its characters, even at their worst). Released in the spring of 1989, the film launched Waters' career, as well as that of its lead Christian Slater (J.D.), while kicking Winona Ryder's (Veronica) career to the next level following the success of Beetlejuice. The cool girl who gets fed up with with being an in-crowd crony, and the homicidal outsider who becomes her boyfriend, lived in the bizarro universe where John Hughes movies weren't afraid to use a pretty girl's death by cleaning solution as a punchline.
To commemorate 25 years of Heathers, Waters and I spoke by phone recently, with the writer looking back at how it got made (with very little supervision), its legacy (say thank you, Joss Whedon), and how sometimes trying to get Winona Ryder off your back leads to a surprise sequel announcement.More >>
Even though so many nerd properties are now pretty much mainstream, it's still a special time when a nerdy property gets popular enough for a porn parody. This has been true for things like The Avengers, James Cameron's Avatar, and Star Trek. And now it's true for Doctor Who as well.
Today, to celebrate, we're looking at Wood Rocket's Doctor Whore, a recently made (and free to watch online if you're 18) parody, that mainly focuses on the era of the 11th Doctor. This is actually the third Doctor Who skin flick I've heard of; its predecessors being Dr. Loo and the Filthy Phaleks, and Doctor Screw. (Nobody seems to have gone with the more obvious "Cocktor Who" yet.) Doctor Whore's name might not roll off the tongue as well its predecessors, but it still is something to look into.
This is your last warning: get your kids, pets, and whoever else will make you feel guilty out of the room, and hit the jump.
It's been more than 20 years since Mighty Morphin Power Rangers hit television sets across the United States and became an after-school sensation. Back then, kids cheered for Jason, Zack, Billy, Trini and Kimberly. Right now, the elementary school crowd is following the adventures of Troy, Noah, Emma, Gia, Jake and Orion on Nickeldeon. The characters changed over the years - as did the costumes and sets - but a lot of things remain the same. There is still the repurposed footage from Japanese Super Sentai series. There is still an air of campiness to it. More importantly, though, there are those wholesome teenage characters who learn about friendship and working for some greater good.
Liz Ohanesian Rita Replusa cosplay at Power Morphicon
Every couple years, Power Rangers fans descend upon Pasadena, California for Power Morphicon, a biannual convention that brings together the multiple generations of cast members under one roof. I last attended Power Morphicon in 2010 and it's grown a lot since then. The crowd was big enough to sustain a few long lines, mostly for the official Saban event and a panel with the original Rangers, and create a few cases of gridlock in the exhibit hall. A renewed interest in the series, thanks to 20th anniversary celebrations and a recent movie announcement, is certainly underfoot. The event is exciting enough to even capture the attention of those of us who casually watched the show way back when...and informative enough to teach the non-hardcore a thing or two about the franchise. Here are a few things I learned at Power Morphicon 2014.More >>
The ninth issue of Starlog hit the stands on September 1, 1977, the sixth of the eight-times-a-year issues. The focus is primarily on television, including the surely-going-to-happen new Star Trek series intended to replace the definitely-not-gonna-happen Star Trek feature film, but Star Wars continues to pull focus. And William Shatner tries to walk away from it all.More >>
My first real-life experience with death took place when I was about five years old. Apparently, while I was at kindergarten, one of my two hamsters decided he no longer liked his roommate, and proceeded to do his best Hannibal Lecter impression on him. My mother walked in and saw the surviving rodent elbows deep in his counterpart's entrails. As my home had a strict "No Cannibalism" policy, she felt it was necessary to dispose of the offending creature before he busted out a nice Chianti. Her method of execution was to take the hamster, put it in a mason jar, and heave it as far as she could into the woods (sorry PETA, but this took place 30 years ago, so the statute of limitations is long past). As I walked off the bus, my sister, absolutely delighted with the thought of delivering me disastrous news, ran down to tell me the tale of the untimely deaths of both of my beloved pets. I walked the rest of the way home from the bus crying my eyes out when to my surprise, I saw my hamster was walking up the street towards my house. It was a Christmas miracle in October, that is until my mom assured me that it was not my dead hamster, scooped him up, put him in another mason jar, SEALED it this time with a lid, poked holes in the lid so it wouldn't die relatively painlessly by asphyxiation and could instead starve to death, and then launched him once more into the woods.
Who ever expected Peggy Carter to be the breakout character of Captain America: The First Avenger? Thanks to Hayley Atwell's kickass yet compassionate performance, this once obscure supporting character will be headlining her own TV show on ABC. Agent Carter will act as a period piece prequel to Agents of SHIELD by showing the SSR of WWII before it upgraded to a cooler acronym. (Some sources say the show will take place between the first Captain America and the Agent Carter One-Shot.) Its eight-episode first season is slated to air during the middle hiatus of Agents of SHIELD's second season.
Hopefully its showrunners, Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, will learn from the mistakes of Marvel Studios' first foray into live action TV. Agents of SHIELD has the unfortunate habit of dealing with some nifty Marvel stuff in the most perfunctory manner possible, or wedging it between bland character work while it treads water. Agent Carter can hopefully avoid these pitfalls, especially if it surrounds Peggy with some dynamic characters from the comics. I'm acting under the assumption that anyone from the first Captain America who didn't have a dramatic exit (Howard Stark, Colonel Chester Phillips, the Howling Commandos, Dr. Arnim Zola) is potentially in play, so this list is just for new characters to be introduced. Stark butler Edwin Jarvis is already confirmed to appear, making JARVIS 50% creepier now that we know Tony based it off a real person. The Marvel Cinematic Universe's timeline doesn't exactly match up to Marvel' Comics' timeline (Nick Fury wasn't old enough to be a Howling Commando in the movieverse despite starring in a book named Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos!), so I'm picking the characters that would best fill out the espionage action showcase even if they weren't originally active during WWII. So who should Peggy Carter bring along with her when she inevitably conquers television?
Daniel Suchman Photography Just your average RPG group.
Dark Dungeons is a movie that dramatizes the infamous Jack Chick tract of the same name. For those of you inexperienced with the works of Mr. Chick, he is most famous for his warnings about the evils of games like D&D, rock music, and pretty much everything else that was invented after 1950. On the one hand, this is something funny; a remnant of history. On the other hand, such scares continue today on any and all sides of the political aisle, from GMO food to vaccinations to terrorists to nuclear energy washing up on shore from the Japanese tsunami. No one seems immune, and the Internet lets these things travel faster than ever.
I personally had my life influenced by this hysteria, as I was fascinated by role-playing games (RPGs) but due to some vague fear of cults and "real spells" I was banned from playing them. This was my status quo for many years until I reached my teenage years. I became the worst teenage rebel ever, making excuses for being out so I could attend game sessions, then smuggling D&D books back and forth. While other people took up drugs, illicit drinking, or casual sex I was trying to hide my Player's Handbook behind my back while leaving for the game store. It's pretty funny now but it led to some tense moments at the time. Having lived the hysteria, was I impressed by Dark Dungeons? Read on! [SPOILERS for those who don't know or can't guess how an evangelical tract about something Satanic is going to end]More >>
SummerSlam happened this weekend (result: John Cena gets time off to make movies), as did my best friend's birthday, so it's a treat to catch up on things that happened elsewhere, about which I did not know. With the aid of Kyle LeClair, here are some reader-submitted stories we might not have caught otherwise.
This week's tipsters include: troi, Anyone00, jaganar, SlyDante777, Gallen_Dugall, Timely_Flower-Hermit, Dr.Gonzo82More >>