Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poll: An abundance of Doctors

To say that Doctor Who has experienced a resurgence in popularity since it's return to television back in 2005 would be a monumental understatement. For the Whovians, this poll is for you: Who is your favorite Doctor? For non-Whovians or curious about the show, here's a handy guide to learn about the Doctor.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My judgement on Terra Nova: Worth watching

It looks like it has a lot of promise. Time travel, dinosaurs, mysteries and secrets. Did I mention dinosaurs?

There's a separate group of colonists called Sixers

They're comprised of the sixth group of colonists and may have been part of a plot to seize control of Terra Nova. After they were found out, they split with a whole mess of supplies and equipment and started their own settlement. They also control an iron quarry and use raw ore to trade with Terra Nova. This is getting interesting for sure.

And mysterious equations and formulae etched into rocks near a hidden pool

The plot, as they say, thickens.

Terra Nova: What I've learned so far

  • Earth is completely ruined environmentally, to the extent that the air is so polluted, not even rebreather masks can handle it.
  • Families are limited to only two children. Anymore and there are legal consequences. The son of the main character mentioned fines.
  • There's a time machine. Some kind of "time fracture" leading to an alternate reality was discovered and a machine was built to transport colonists to the past of that world.
  • There are dinosaurs.
  • Stephen Lynch plays the commander of the colony. I've yet to see any Navi, though.
  • Giant oxygen eating leeches. They're used to siphon off excess oxygen from people having a hard time adapting to the fresh air.

Action Comics #1

Covered
Aka the comic that started it all. The first appearance of not just the Man of Steel, but of the first superhero.

Sorry, How I Met Your Mother, but I'm watching Terra Nova tonight

The legen--wait for it--dary adventures of Barney Stinson will have to wait another day, because a scifi series with time travel and dinosaurs just trumps it.

Life Magazine, America's Couple: Reed and Sue Richards

Phil Noto
You have no idea how badly I wish this was a real issue of Life Magazine. (via Laughing Squid)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let's see Christian Bale and Jack Nicholson hang ten

Everyone Eats Cookies

Everyone Eats Cookies
(Click to embiggen both)

I was originally going to say Heath Ledger, but that probably would have been poor taste. Yeah...

MacGyver escaping East Germany on a jet-ski made out of a coffin

Now there's a sentence for you. In the twelfth episode of MacGyver, the opening scene (some of the episodes featured "opening gambits" of MacGyver escaping or doing something totally badass before the main story began) had MacGyver inside of a coffin being carried across a bridge presumably connecting the two halves of Berlin. An East German border guard gets a tip-off that all is not right and the pallbearers toss the coffin over the side of the bridge before escaping. What happens next is just too awesome for words.



He built a jet-ski out of a frakking coffin. Chuck Norris has nothing on Angus MacGyver!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vintage ad for fallout shelter supplies

Saw these over at Retrospace and just had to post them here. It's hard to believe that only a few decades ago, people were building shelters and stocking up on supplies in the hopes of weathering a nuclear war. I was born during the last decade of the Cold War, but I don't remember any of it, unfortunately. Of course, families weren't the only ones building fallout shelters, towns and cities were too. I remember when I lived in a big town/small city called Harrisonburg, I saw an old fallout shelter sign on a building. Supposedly the high school I went to had a shelter too. Sadly, there were no Pip-Boys or Vault-Tec Vaults.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Star Wars #1

UGO
First pimped at the 1976 Comic-Con (where Star Wars was shown for the first time) and released the following year, Marvel Comic's run of Star Wars lasted until 1986 and accumulated 130 issues. It was also credited with reversing Marvel's misfortunes in 1977 and saving the company from financial ruin.

How about a bit of retro game music? Legend of Zelda's Overworld theme

I have been listening to this over and over again. I can't get enough!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Facepalming moments in nerd history: Tyroc

World of Black Heroes
Inspired by this strip from ComicsCritics, let's talk about one of the most facepalm worthy moments in comics: Tyroc. Yeah, that's him on the left. You see, back in the day, several writers and artists for The Legion of Super-Heroes wanted to add a black character to the otherwise Caucasian cast. DC's powers-that-be cockblocked every attempt until 1976 when in Superboy #216 they introduced Tyroc. I'll let Mike Grell explain the creation of this character:

According to Mike Grell, who co-created Tyroc with Cary Bates, the character of Tyroc was "sort of a sore spot with me." He had previously tried to introduce black characters into the series, but had been prevented by then-editor Murray Boltinoff. "I kept getting stalled off...and finally comes Tyroc. They might as well have named him Tyrone. Their explanation for why there were no black people [in the Legion] was that all the black people had gone to live on an island. It's possibly the most racist concept I've ever heard in my life...I mean, it's a segregationist's dream, right? So they named him Tyroc, and gave him the world's stupidest super-power."
DC Comics wiki


The whole "all the black people live on an island by themselves" is true, for the most part. Tyroc and his people are the descendants of a group of slaves who rebelled while being transported to wherever a thousand or so years prior and ended up settling on an island off the coast of Africa that whatever reason, fades in and out of reality ever so often. Jim Shooter, who originally advocated for a black character when he wrote for the series back in the 60s, didn't like the idea of DC making a big deal about Tyroc being black, feeling that they should have treated him like any other character. He really didn't like his origin. Did I mention Tyroc's civilization are racial separatists and Superboy #216 was basically a "blacks shouldn't be racist against whites" "moral"? At this point, if you've probably facepalmed so many times, you're face hurts. Take a moment.

On the bright side, Tyroc eventually became President of Earth and months later, Zero Hour wiped that continuity out of existence. On the other hand, this was his last real appearance until 2007 when a form of the old continuity was reformed and he was brought back as a Legionnaire.  The period he was missing was due to the fact that Paul Levitz, who took over writing duties did not like Tyroc. Fortunately, they changed his costume when he returned, so he doesn't look like a joke anymore.

The thing that bugs me is that it took until the late 70s before DC created black characters. True, Mal Duncan, a member of the Teen Titans who went by the names Hornblower and Herald, first appeared in 1970, which would make him the first black DC hero, but apparently he didn't start superheroing until 1976. Meanwhile, Marvel had several, including Black Panther, Luke Cage, Falcon, and I believe Blade. Talk about fail.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spider-Mobile

Amazing Spider-Man #130
Marvel Universe Wiki
So way back in 1974, Marvel did an issue of Amazing Spider-Man featuring a the wall-crawler driving a tricked out dune buggy. As the story goes, two execs from an advertising agency, Carter and Lombardo, wanted Spidey to promote a new engine built by a fictional car company called Corona Motors. Well, superheroing doesn't pay the bills (unless you're an Avenger) and so he accepts, only finding out later that the car was not included. Fortunately, this was in Johnny Storm's area of expertise and for whatever reason built a dune buggy.

Did I mention that Spider-Man not only lacked a driver's license, but did not even know how to drive. Eventually, after a short adventure and some dick moves by Mysterio, the Spider-Mobile ended up in the Hudson. The two ad-men meanwhile put a notice in the Daily Bugle announcing that they would hire Phoenix Wright or Matlock or someone to sue Spidey if he didn't hand over the car they hired him to promote. Well, at some point the Tinkerer had salvaged the Spider-Mobile, repaired and tricked it out and set it loose against Spider-Man.

Spider-Man Web
Did I mention that Spider-Man totally got his ass kicked and captured by a dune buggy? Because that's exactly was happened. Amazing really, a guy who can lift fifteen tons, has a precognitive early warning system and has tackled the likes of Venom, Carnage, Green and Hobgoblins and more, and yet, he is beaten by a dune buggy. He ultimately overcame the Tinkerer and the Hoopty from Hell and handed the latter over to Carter and Lombardo in his own special way.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Disregard Minecraft, acquire Legos

Only a nerd would build a seven foot long, 180 pound Venator-class Star Destroyer from Star Wars out of Legos. Over 43,000 Legos, to be exact. This is why I love nerds and will always be proud to call myself a one. Head on over to Geek Art Gallery to check out the rest.

The original peer-to-peer music sharing site

Retro-Space (Flickr)
And you know the RIAA would love to go back in time and sue the kid who decided to share his music with his friends and then sue his friends just for good measure.

Friday, September 9, 2011

An abundance of X-Titles

Alternate title: Holy crap, that is a lot of X-Books! (via Topless Robot)



I was going to make a joke about how it's the 90s all over again, but I'm pretty sure they didn't have four different X-Men titles running concurrently back then. The 2000s, on the other hand, did. You had like five or six X-Men titles popping up, from Astonishing X-Men to X-Treme X-Men. Two of those don't really count though: X-Men: Unlimited and X-Men: The Hidden Years. The latter was sort of an anthology series and after it was rebooted, a one-shot per character series, while the latter focused on the original team's adventures in-between their cancellation and Giant-Sized X-Men #1. Additionally, some of those other titles didn't last more than a few years before being canned, because the market just can't handle that much X-Men.

I've got a bigger question though, what in the hell is with Wolverine's arms? There's no possible way he could bend his arms with muscles. Comic book artists tend to have a less-than-superb understanding of human anatomy, but geesh!

Also, is that Nightcrawler on the X-Force cover? Isn't he dead?

Cobra troopers are dedicated to the cause 24/7

Credit: Joepedia.
Olivia Newton-John wants to hear their bodies talk,
but all they'll say is "COBRA!".
Dedicated enough that they leave their helmets and masks on while on vacation. In Antarctica. That's a pretty odd place to put a resort, even odder that they're wearing their masks in a place that, until a group of Joes happened to show up, was known only to Cobra. Then again, we're talking about a massive terrorist organization with no discernible ideology or end goal, who's leadership consists of a silver-headed weapons dealer, a German chick with a leather/PVC fetish, and headed by a lizardman with the leadership skills of James Buchanan and who has no qualms about electrocuting then punching midgets. So really, if you think about it (not too hard, though), Cobra troopers wearing masks and helmets while on vacation in the South Pole really isn't that weird.

The episode that picture hails from is called The Viper is Coming, which while sounding ominous, is one of the sillier episodes of G.I. Joe. Now, I want you to stop and think about what I just said. Reread that sentence a few times. G.I Joe is rife with silly and absurd episodes, like the one where Cobra goes bankrupt, Destro invents a machine to brainwash people via 80s metal, and Cobra Commander, as mentioned earlier, electrocutes and punches a midget before robbing him. Another episode had Cobra causing all paper money in the United States to disintegrate, in some nutty plan to destroy and replace the U.S. economy with Cobra Bucks. Foolish, Cobra Commander, if you wanted to destroy the U.S. economy, then you should have just gotten involved in sub-prime mortgages and derivatives.

Anyway, in The Viper is Coming, the Joes are hanging out at Barbecue's newly renovated firehouse, Barbecue being the Joe's resident firefighter and stereotypical Irish-American from Boston. After Roadblock, Footloose, and Alpine succeed in wrecking the place, they receive the first of three calls from someone calling themselves 'The Viper'. The first call, he says "The Viper is coming; five seventy-five." The Joes assume that someone at Cobra is a turncoat and tipping them off. Somehow, this leads the Joes to Antarctica, because clearly, the Pentagon will rubber stamp any trips the Joes want to go on, even ones based on a vague tip from an unknown source. Surprisingly, the Soviets don't raise a stink even though the U.S. suddenly deploys large numbers of troops and vehicles to the Antarctic. Lo and behold, they stumble across the aforementioned Cobra resort and manage to capture all the troops hanging out there. The best part is that Scarlet rushes into one room full of armed troopers, fires once into the air and all the Cobras surrender. Clearly, this wasn't so much a resort as the first step in transitioning out the slackers.

So, the Joes clear out a Cobra base and head back to Barbecue's firehouse, when ring, ring, another call from the Viper, who says he'll "start on the west corner." Now, Scarlet must be related to Evel Knievel, because she makes a jump of logic that would him crap his jumpsuit, and deduces that 'corner' must mean 'point' and that Cobra plans to attack West Point Military Academy. Seriously, Superman himself could not have made that kind of leap in a single bound. The Joes go away and sure enough, Major Bludd shows up with tanks and troopers and the goal of kidnapping a U.S. Senator and a General. Now see, those are goals, not building a machine to turn money to dust. Predictably, the team cleans Bludd's clock, this time with the aid of an entire graduating class of cadets. I tell ya, the only thing more embarrassing than getting your ass kicked by a counter-terrorism force with a non-existent dress code is getting your ass kicked by a counter-terrorism force with a non-existent dress code and a bunch of inexperienced college graduates.

Not surprisingly, the Joes again head back to Barbecue's pad and get another call from The Viper, who says he'll "start at the top floor." Scarlet, once more jumps to a conclusion and the Joes head to Extensive Enterprise Tower, the tallest building in the world and a front for Cobra. Now, I just want to stop right here and paint a picture for you. G.I. Joe gets a very vague, pretty much non-existent "tip" that leads them to not just the headquarters of a major corporation, but the biggest skyscraper in the middle of a presumably major city and the military just O.K.s the deployment of dozens, possibly even hundreds of soldiers and military vehicles into an American city, completely in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, a real law that prevents military units from being used as a domestic peace keeping force. True, this is a cartoon from the 80s aimed at selling toys, but I can't believe a president would just give the go ahead and not get his ass chewed out by the opposing political party and the media. Then again, the government in the G.I. Joeverse signed off on the creation of the G.I. Joes in the first place, so they're clearly not playing with a full deck. Predictably, there's a battle - in the middle of a major city with missiles exploding against buildings and everything - and the Joes win, no surprise there.

Credit: Joepedia.
Better shoot him, just in case.
The episode ends with one more call from The Viper, who announces he'll show up the following day at noon. The Joes, not knowing who or what The Viper is, and apparently ignoring how helpful his tips have been, set up machine gun nests, armored vehicles, and soldiers around Barbecue's firehouse. Then, The Viper shows up. Despite it obviously being a short old German dude armed only with a bucket and a squeegee, the Joes aren't taking any chances and aim guns at him like he's Osama bin Laden. So yeah, it turns out that The Viper isn't an informant, but a window cleaner and all those "tips" were just his hourly rate (5.75) and where he'd start cleaning (west corner at the top), the Joes are just capable of jumping to wild conclusions. Man, imagine if none of those tips panned out and they wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for nothing. Then again, Reagan was president at the time, so it's not like anybody would notice.

All in all, The Viper is Coming is just a straight up silly episode, but funny all the same.

Edit: Updated and improved a tad.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Forty-five years ago, a five year mission stretched into a legendary journey



September 8, 1966, a science fiction series called Star Trek premiered on CBS. While lasting only three seasons, it would utterly change not only nerdom, but the world. It would spawn eleven films, five sequels, numerous novels, comics, games, and other merchandise. It would also inspire Martin Cooper to develop a handheld, wireless phone based on the communicators from the show - the mobile phone. It would also inspire people to become engineers, doctors, scientists and more. Star Trek has left an indelible mark not only on science fiction and popular culture, but on society. It had the first interracial kiss on television and boldly addressed racism and discrimination.

Not bad for one little scifi show that lasted all of three seasons. Well done, Mr. Roddenberry.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Heroes in a half-shell, turtle power!



Oh god, this was my show back when I was a kid. And the toys! Sweet Cheesus, the toys! I had the turtles, April O'Neill, Splinter, Shredder, Krang (but not his robot body, oddly), Bebop & Rocksteady, Casey Jones, some of the vehicles, and the turtle communicator! Oh man, the nostalgia!

Damn, that's nerdy! Homemade PIP-Boy 3000

Joystiq
Holy nerdcrafts, Batman! The PIP-Boy is easily one of the most iconic and coolest things about the Fallout games. The 3000 model is from Fallout 3 and your character gets one early on, as a birthday present/rite of passage into young adulthood. Joystiq's article also has a YouTube video of MyMagicPudding, the creator of this awesome piece of nerdswag, showing his creation off. Pretty damn snazzy, if you ask me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Photo dump: Star Trek








I posted these last night on my Tumblr and people seemed to like them, even though they're just title cards. My favorite series are TNG, TOS and DS9. Voyager and Enterprise were disappointing not because of their crap writing or tired tropes, but because they both genuinely had the potential to be as great as TOS and TNG, but were horribly mismanaged. The reboot's title card is just there for completion's sake. The Animated Series doesn't count.

Pictures via the agony booth.

Muppet Who and the ten nerdiest celeb comic writers

First up, one of the nerdiest pictures I have ever seen.
via My Junk Drawer
So frakking awesome. Kermit as the Eleventh Doctor!

Next, Topless Robot has compiled a list of the ten nerdiest celebs who have ever written comics and indeed, it is pretty damn nerdy!

Snake Eyes, everyone's favorite G.I. Joe bad ass

Not even joking, he was the de facto favorite, even if kids proclaimed liking another character, Snake Eyes was also there to trump them. It's not that big of a surprise either, the guy is a frakking ninja who regularly employed guns and swords. He was like the embodiment of a bad ass. He had another quality that was intriguing too: his silence. Snake Eyes never talk in neither the comics or the cartoons. His face was only  shown once near the end of the G.I. Joe comic's run at Marvel and with good reason; he was horribly disfigured.

As the story goes, he lost his face and his voice during an early G.I. Joe mission. The helicopter he, Scarlet and the others were on crashed, and while everyone was able to bailout before it hit the ground, Snake Eyes stayed behind to help free Scarlet, who had become stuck. While he was doing that, a window exploded, nailing him in the face and throat with glass, which would ruin anybody's day. He survived, but was horribly scarred and refusing immediate medical attention, lost his ability to speak. Of course, he doesn't look like that now, thanks to plastic surgery he received in one of the post-Marvel series.

I'm still a big Snake Eyes fan and I plan on eventually buying some G.I. Joes to decorate my bookcase and rest assured, he will be the first I buy. Him and Storm Shadow. Epic ninja fight, yo.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cutting edge computer technology, circa 1967

Retro-Space
I was going to make a "but will it run Crysis?" joke, but I'm skeptical if that thing could even run Pong.

Nerd music: Weezer - In the Garage

I wish I had Kitty Pryde. Nightcrawler? I guess he could show up too...later on.

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