Geek Fuel Unboxing – April 2015

Check out the unboxing video for Geek Fuel’s April 2015 box.

To order your own box, please click the following referral link:


#OrphanBlack Twitter contest this Saturday!

The following contest announcement was posted to the Orphan Black Tumblr account:

Want to win an authentic piece of orphanblack wardrobe? WELL TOO BAD WE ARE KEEPING IT FOR OURSE Well you’re in luck! We are reluctantly giving #CloneClub the chance to win a clone-themed prize packs in Orphan Black Season 3′s inaugural WATCH TO WIN!

WHEN TO WATCH: Tune into Episode 3.03: Formalized, Complex, and Costly on SATURDAY, May 2 at 9/8c on bbcamerica.

HOW TO ENTER: During the show, tweet your live commentary with the hashtag#OrphanBlack, and you’re automatically entered to win. So easy, even poor Donnie Hendrix couldn’t eff it up. Watch the live broadcast, tweet the hashtag #OrphanBlack, win. We’ll keep the entry window open during both the East/West coast airings.

PRIZES: The Helena Prize Pack includes a baby shower frock that is sure to make you the star of any clone gathering, along with a Helena Pop! Funko, a OB comic book signed by John & Graeme, and some other OB goodies. The Alison Prize Pack includes a Glendale Community Theatre tee, and the VERY SHIRT worn in the beautiful disaster known as Blood Ties, as well as an Alison Pop! Funko, a signed comic book, and all the extra swiggity swag we can cram into the shipping box.

OFFICIAL RULES: Click here for serious legal talk.

Good luck, #CloneClub.


Everything about #HeroesReborn — on its way to NBC

In February 2014 NBC announced that it would be bringing back the superhero show Heroes. The first teaser trailer appeared on 22 February:

A second teaser trailer aired during Super Bowl XLIX on 1 February 2015:

Update: NBC now has a page dedicated to the show on its website. As of 10 May 2015 several new photos have been posted.

Cast announcements have since followed periodically. As of this writing, the following actors are confirmed by the official Heroes Twitter account (@heroes):

* These cast members were reported in Deadline but have not been confirmed by the official Heroes Twitter account.

Bookmark this post! More news will be announced here as it becomes available.

Movie Rule no. 915: The Alarm Clock

Ever notice how certain clichés seem to recur as plot devices in a lot of movies—no matter what genre? There are unwritten rules in movies, and I have decided to pull back the curtain and reveal these hidden movie rules.

Rule no. 915: No movie character can ever set their alarm clock for a time that would allow them not to be late for their job, appointment, etc.

Corollary Rule no. 915a: If for some reason an alarm clock is set at an appropriate time, the character must use the Snooze button to ensure that they are late.

Why is it that the only time we ever see alarm clocks in movies, the still-sleeping character looks at it and immediately discovers that he or she is late? If they have to be at work at 8am in downtown NYC, why don’t the characters set the alarm clock for like 5:30am so they can wake up, drink some coffee, take a shower, get dressed, and have a reasonable commute to work? Why does the main character always have to be late for everything?

Matrix (2000): And who sets an alarm clock for 9:18? Did he just sleep through it? Does the alarm ever work? We certainly never see Neo get to work on time. Just sayin’.

Back to the Future (1985): Marty has only been at Doc’s house for 5 minutes, so when Doc tells him that the clocks are all 20 minutes slow, it means that Marty left his own house 20 minutes late! Why is he so surprised to find out that he is therefore 20 minutes late?

The obvious answer is that being late is a plot device to cheaply increase the tension in any given scene.

When Marvel jumped the shark #80sComics

During the past week there has been quite a bit of controversy over Iceman’s retconned/alternate-continuity homosexuality. This reminds me of a number of other times that Marvel Comics has printed stories designed to stir up controversy.

Captain America quits!

Captain America vol. 1, no. 332 (August 1987)

Captain America 332To some degree foreshadowing parts of the “Civil War” plot, back in 1987, the Pentagon demanded that Steve Rogers (Captain America) become an official agent of the U. S. government. Rather than accept these terms, Rogers turned in his mask and shield, retiring as Captain America.

In the coming issues, another superhero called the Super-Patriot (John Walker) was appointed the new Captain America. Rogers would soon don a very cool-looking black version of the Captain America uniform and a different shield, and fight crime under the moniker of “The Captain.” Hey, the black costume worked for Spider-man (see below) so why not give it a shot with Cap?

Walker’s Captain America didn’t have the same moral code as Rogers, though, and was decidedly more violent and brutal. After killing a group of villains, Walker resigned and Rogers once again became Captain America (in issue no. 350). Walker eventually returned (to the West Coast Avengers) as “U. S. Agent,” wearing the black costume of “The Captain.” Though ultimately temporary, this change actually lasted 18 issues!

Gay Canadian super-hero?

Alpha Flight vol. 1, no. 106 (March 1992)

Alpha Flight 106The controversy over Iceman isn’t the first time that a super-hero’s sexuality was an issue. Twenty-three years ago, the first mainstream super-hero came out of the closet.

Northstar was a founding member of the Canadian super-team Alpha Flight. In this issue, he came out of the closet: quite literally announcing, “I’m gay.”

This was quite a big deal, because at that time, Marvel still adhered to the Comics Code Authority, which had only been revised to allow for the depiction of homosexuals in 1989. Neither Marvel or DC had yet taken advantage of this revision until Northstar.

On the other hand, the impact was (probably intentionally) minimal. Alpha Flight was not a terribly popular book, and the team only occasionally interacted with the other, American, super-heroes.

New looks

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars no. 8 (December 1984) & Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1, no. 252

Fantastic Four vol. 1, no. 310 (January 1988)

Amazing Spiderman 252One of the most popular gimmicks in comics has been the dramatic costume change/update. Marvel did this with quite a few characters in the mid- to late-1980s.

secret-wars-8coverThe most famous, of course, was Spider-Man. Though gaining his new black costume during the mega-crossover event Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, the costume made its first main-title appearance in issue 252 (May 1984), released a few months earlier.

Fantastic Four 310The black costume was so popular that, even after it was discovered to be a parasitic alien creature (not truly a “symbiote” as it was called), Spidey wore a cloth version for a while longer, while also occasionally also wearing his original blue and red design.

Another strange appearance change (or two) occurred in Fantastic Four. Ben Grimm’s Thing had always struggled with nature of his “power.” In 1988 he and Ms. Marvel were both zapped with cosmic rays, causing Ms. Marvel to turn into the Thing from the team’s early days, while Grimm developed sharper rocky growths on his body. Eventually they were healed and returned to normal.

Other appearance changes around this same time include Thor’s beard and the red-and-white Iron Man armor.

Mrs. Spider-Man

Amazing Spiderman Annual 21Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) Annual no. 21 (1987)

In 1987 Spidey married Mary Jane Watson. It was front-page news even in the mainstream press.

This issue also marked one of the first uses of variant cover art. One edition had Peter Parker and Mary Jane standing at the altar; the other had Spidey (in costume) and Mary Jane standing at the altar.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments what your favorite “jumping the shark” Marvel moment was, whether one of these or something else.

Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan now with TNA Impact Wrestling!

Here, for your listening pleasure, while you read the rest of this news, the video for “Disarm” by the Smashing Pumpkins from their album Siamese Dream (1994).

Today, 27 April 2015, TNA Wrestling has announced that Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan will serve as Senior Producer, Creative and Talent Development, effective immediately. According to the official announcement, “In this position, Corgan will develop characters and create story lines for TNA’s flagship program IMPACT WRESTLING, broadcast Friday nights at 9/8c on Destination America, as well as other TNA programming.”

Corgan has a history with professional wrestling, previously establishing the Chicago-based wrestling organization Resistance Pro Wrestling which he left in November 2014. With the Smashing Pumpkins, Corgan also wrote the song “G.L.O.W.,” referring to the 1980s cult hit wrestling program, “The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.”

The announcement quotes Corgan: “Saying I’m humbled and honored by this opportunity to be part of TNA, a world-class wrestling organization, is an understatement and a dream come true. . . . What’s great is the entire TNA organization stands in full support of my music life with the Smashing Pumpkins. In return, I’m fully committed to using my 30 years of entertainment experience, along with my deep-rooted passion for pro wrestling, to take on the thrilling challenge of creatively contributing to IMPACT WRESTLING, finding and developing new talent, and working eye-to-eye with the best-of-the-best. For as cultures currently evolve at great speed, so must pro wrestling meet and supersede such expectations to thrive.”

TNA’s Josh Matthews interviewed Billy Corgan about the appointment. Watch the video of this interview below.

“Community” on Yahoo! Screen – mid-season review

I was horribly disappointed to learn that Community had not been picked up for their #sixseasonsandamovie sixth season on NBC. Though not a huge ratings success (I assume) the show has a loyal and rabid cult following, including myself. The fifth season finale aired about a year ago, on 17 April 2014, and I feared it would be the last time I visited Greendale.

I wasn’t sure what to think about the news a few months ago that the show had been picked up for another season of new material, to air on Yahoo! Screen. Though I watch a lot of YouTube videos and listen to podcasts on my computer, I rarely watch full-length television shows.

For Community, though, it has been worth it, but mostly because I still like the characters from the previous five seasons. At points it almost feels like nostalgia rather than actually enjoying the episode.

Community - Season 4

Since its inception, Community has lost a number of its characters, beginning with Pearce (played by Chevy Chase) and followed by Troy (played by Donald Glover). John Oliver is also gone. This season marks the disappearance of Shirley (played by Yvette Nicole Brown).

There are two new additions to the cast, however: beginning in the season premiere Paget Brewster portrays Francesca ‘Frankie’ Dart, a rare straightwoman; and episode 5 introduces the always-funny Keith David as Elroy Patashnik.

Besides the characters, at least so far this season, another element is missing. Gone too are the surreal, outside-of-the-box stories that made Community the cult favorite it is. So far, the characters have not been animated or clay-mated, nor have they been inside a video game, a haunted house, a zombie apocalypse, an alternate reality, or a paintball war. So far, the plots have been “safe” comedy fare. Funny yes, at times very funny, but not the Community I have loved since its 2009 debut.

With six episodes left, it is still possible that the show will return to form. I will keep watching just in case.

New episodes of Community air on Yahoo!Screen on Tuesdays. Click here to watch.