Four Letter Nerd

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From “The Office” to “Spider-Man 2”!

It’s your favorite temp, turned coke-head executive, turned temp again! That’s right folks, none other than Ryan Howard himself! B.J. Novak has been revealed to be playing “A. Smythe”, or Alistair Smythe for those acquainted with the Spider-Man comics and cartoons.

ASM2  Director, Marc Webb, revealed this pic via his Twitter.

 

If you’re like me and grew up with the Spider-Man cartoon, you’ll remember Alistair Smythe like this…

 

For those not familiar with the character, Alistair’s father Spencer Smythe created the first-generation of robotic Spider-Slayers but eventually died due to overexposure to radioactive materials that went into creating the Slayers. Alistair inherited the business, so to speak, and developed a pretty strong hatred of Spidey (sons of dead fathers seem to really hate the Wall-Crawler). Alistair created himself a type of suit that allowed him walk (he was previously confined to a wheelchair) and also gave him super-strength and he used it to fight Spider-Man. Surprise Surprise though… he was defeated.

It also gave some wicked all-natural 80’s shoulder pads…

 

Other than the devastating loss of that sweet mullet, this is a pretty good casting fit in my opinion. I mean, Alistair was always kind of a smug-ish smarty pants, and Novak can TOTALLY pull that off. I will say, that pic makes him look a little more menacing than he was prior to his “transformation”. He was more of a sad-sack, nobody-came-to-my-pity-party kind of guy. You know the kind of dude I mean…

I’m down with this. The only other thing about this flick that was exciting me for a while there was Dane DeHaan as Harry Osbourn/Green Goblin. Now there’s this.

Man of Steel Sequel Release Date Pushed Back!

It’s been announced by Warner Bros and DC that the highly anticipated sequel to last year’s Man of Steel has been pushed back from it’s original release date of July 17 2015 to May 06, 2016. The reason that’s being given is it’s so that it can provide “the filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story.”

Source: “MAN OF STEEL” SEQUEL MOVED TO 2016

Additionally, the new release date is the same day that Marvel had announced they’d be releasing an as-yet-untitled project. That same month X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled to release, in the following month Amazing Spider-Man 3 is on the docket, and then Marvel has ANOTHER movie set for July 8. Early summer 2016 is getting kind of crowded…

Oh yeah, I almost forgot that this has been announced as well…

 

That’s just too many superhero movies in one small block of time. Seriously. There’s 12 f—ing months in a year and these movie studios feel like they have to cram EVERY superhero movie into this 4 month box (May – August). I think what should happen is this:

X-Men and Spider-Man can stay where they are. I don’t really care about them. Not because I don’t think they’ll be good, I just don’t think they’ll be GREAT. Marvel should let WB and DC just have that date for the Man of Steel sequel, and they should push they’re projects back to July and August. Hell, they could even do July or August and then November. I’m sure whatever they have planned won’t have any real competition in those months and it’ll build hype between films.

Whatever the case may be, the main thing here is that it’s going to be A LOT longer before we get to see a glimpse of Batffleck, or Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman garb. That’s the thing that bums me out. I’m really curious what the costumes are gonna look like for those two.

Holy Batsuit Nipples, Batman!

Speed Racer Is A Superhero?

(Editor’s note: this article was written by Jason Hill)

Sorry, Spider-Man, you have had this spot for twenty years, and it’s time for a change. I originally chose you as my favorite because of your snarky one liners, unique set of super powers, and how you used your brain as much as your brawn. Unfortunately, I think I have somehow outgrown this … uh, hold on. Some of the readers have noticed the title and seem to have a complaint. Wait for a minute while I have a quick dialog with them.

Sorry about that Spidey. Now back to what I was saying, I just … Hey, don’t look at me like that. You’re still my favorite Marvel superhero if that makes you feel any better. Wait! Don’t leave! We can still be friends! … Spidey?

 

Okay, I see the looks some of you are giving me. You seem to be the Judges of Every Real Kind of Superhero, so I’ll address you as such. I’m just going to initialize it to save space. Please voice your concern.

J.E.R.K.S. : Speed Racer isn’t a superhero.

Me : Why not?

J.E.R.K.S. : He doesn’t have any super powers.

Me : Neither does Batman or the Punisher.

J.E.R.K.S. : Yeah, but they have special equipment, special weapons, special vehicles, and so forth.

Me : Speed Racer has a special vehicle. It’s called the Mach 5. I’d be so bold to say that it’s on par with the Bat-mobile. As for special equipment and special weapons, he doesn’t need them. I think it makes his character stronger for not having them.

J.E.R.K.S. : Well, he doesn’t fight crime.

Me : Yes he does. He has taken down numerous crime bosses and even works closely with Inspector Detector on occasion. (Inspector Detector is the Jim Gordon of this universe)

J.E.R.K.S. : He’s probably never saved anyone, though.

Me : He saves people all the time! Many of them are the cheaters who tried to put his life in the very danger that they’re being saved from.

J.E.R.K.S. : Doesn’t he just use his “Special Car” to help him win all his races? Last time I checked, that was called cheating. Not very hero like.

Me : [sigh] Have you ever watched an episode? Speed Racer NEVER cheats! Never! He depends on the Mach 5’s engine and aerodynamic design, and his superior driving skills to win races. The only time he uses the Mach 5’s other features are to avoid traps left by the cheaters, or to keep himself from terribly wrecking. In both instances, all the other cars (if there are any left) have passed him and he has to try to reclaim his position using the first three things I mentioned.

J.E.R.K.S. : Well, uh … um … So what? He’s just a boring goody goody who has a lame back story. Me : Oh no, you didn’t! I think it time for me to go on a rant.

First of all, I want you to remember that Superman is a “goody goody” as well, and he has superpowers to back it up. Secondly, he’s not a goody goody. He disobeys his father constantly. He has broken out of prison. He killed a shark. That’s right! He killed a shark! To save someone who was trying to make him crash.

superman-III

Look, the reason I like Speed Racer so much is that he does what he believes is right and he sticks to it. Though others may tell him what he ought to do, he makes his own decisions on his own convictions. He’s also willing to take the responsibility for his actions. His life is racing and he hates to lose, but he won’t hesitate to pull over if it means doing the right thing. This also makes him very selfless. He will do what ever he can to help someone out, even if it means selling the Mach 5!

Another thing I like about him is how he relies on people. Most superheroes need to have secret identities to protect their loved ones, and they have to face their problems on their own. Not Speed Racer! His family and friends are in the thick of it with him, and they aren’t just useless stand-ins that get in the way.

His girlfriend, Trixie, can fly helicopters and planes to let Speed know the conditions ahead and go back for help. His best friend, Sparky, and his father, Pops, both work on the Mach 5 to get it into top condition. (Speed is also capable of fixing his car, but isn’t as good as Sparky) And who knows how many sticky situations Spritle and Chim Chim (his little brother and pet chimp) have helped him out of.

In my opinion, I think Speed Racer is the perfect mix of Superman and Batman. Like Batman, he has no powers and an awesome car. Like Superman, he has high morals and sticks to his guns. Like Batman, he has people he can rely on. Like Superman, he likes to lead by example.

Unlike Batman, he doesn’t have as dark of a back story. It isn’t squeaky clean though. Remember that his brother ran away from home, and his father refused to see his full potential. I feel that I’m able to relate to his story more than Batman’s. My folks are both still alive, but I haven’t seen my brother in ages. Yeah, I can understand where Speed is coming from.

Unlike Superman, he has no super powers. Now this makes him really interesting to me because he doesn’t back down from a fight because of this. You’re mistaken if you think he just drives around in his car all day. It seems like there’s a fist fight every other episode. He’ll even charge a guy with a gun when given the right opportunity, and the show is smart about too. They don’t have him taking on hoards of badies with guns and coming out on top like it was nothing. Speed Racer is very aware of his own mortality. He’s been captured by more than one goon with a gun. This doesn’t make him a coward, though, because as soon as he has a chance, he’ll tackle the guy.

Speed Racer is a man who knows who he is and knows what he stands for. He is confident in his abilities, but not to the point of arrogance. He wants to help people and win the race to prove he has what it takes to be a professional racer. And when the odds are against him and there’s dangerous work to do, you bet your life Speed Racer will see it through. Go Speed Racer! Go Speed Racer! Go Speed Racer! Go!

There are you satisfied now? Can Speed Racer be called a superhero yet?

J.E.R.K.S. : Um … He doesn’t have a comic book, does he? Can’t be considered a real superhero without a comic.

Me: Oh for the love of … wait. He does have a comic. Actually it’s a manga, which is a Japanese comic, but it’s a comic all the same. Anyway, this conversation is over. If I haven’t convinced you that Speed Racer is a real Superhero, I probably won’t any time soon.

 

If given the choice between the Mach 5 and the Bat-mobile, Jason Hill would choose Kitt from Knight Rider, because talking cars are awesome.

Kitt

From the Nerdery (Mailbag): Comic Book Crushes, Caped Catholicism, and the Ultimate Nerd War

This weeks nerd of the week are the awesome people behind this fan-made Wonder Woman trailer.  Check it out! It’s awesome.

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On to the mailbag!

Name: Laura
Question #1: Who is your comic book crush? I know everybody has got one!

Bill — Ok! My kinda question! Where on earth to begin? Well for starters I am one hell of a picky man. I have only dated redheads. So by that standard it’s obvious Jean Grey is my comic book love. Except in the movies, she was WAY to manly. So, that’s my crush for the Marvel world.

Now for the DC universe, once again it’s a redhead. I got go with Poison Ivy. Maybe it’s the lack of clothes and green skin, but I can’t help but think “damn…” That’s not weird right? Well, screw you, What ever.

(Honorable mention goes to Kitty Pryde. Yeah yeah yeah, I know she’s not a redhead so that’s why she gets the HONORABLE mention. Bobby Drake is one lucky fellow.)

Cam — I honestly don’t have a longstanding comic book crush (I grew up liking Batman, and he was too busy brooding), so like a crafty politician I will subtly broaden the subject. Now that the subject has been broadened I will have to go with Natalie Portman for two reasons: 1. She was Padme’ in Star Wars. You can hate on those movies all you want, but in 1999 I was 11, and I was obsessed with all things Star Wars. That means during my formative years when I began to realize that girls are awesome, Portman was right there in the middle of my obsession (although Ep. II is probably my least favorite, she is definitely hottest in that movie). 2. She also happens to be Jane Foster, the love interest of Thor (can’t WAIT), who is currently a close second to my favorite superhero, Superman. So not only was she right their with me from 11-17, she is also in the movie I am most excited about right now.

Cody — Much to the surprise of my wife, Poison Ivy is my comic book crush. There is just something about her that is extremely attractive to me. I don’t think she’s overly sexual like Cat Woman, but I imagine she’d be very sexy in real life.

Robbie — Mary Jane Watson is my comic book crush. Sure I’m partial to all things Spider-man, but Mary Jane has this charming girl next door thing going on. She’s also supportive in most cases of Peter and his secret identity, which is a plus. In a comic book world of Wonder Womans, Jean Greys and Black Widows, some realism is nice in a female comic book character.

Stephen — When I was younger, I would have definitely said Rouge; Mostly because of the X-Men cartoon. That accent really did it for me, and there’s something really exciting about a tough woman who can kick a dude’s ass. For that reason, I’m going to say that my new crush is Hit-Girl.

Bill: That’s f—ed up dude.

Stephen: What? Why? She’s 18 isn’t she?

Bill: No dude, she’s 16.

Stephen: Well… dammit.

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Name: Jackie

Question #2: Who do you think would win in a fight, The Hulk or Wolverine? My money is
on Wolverine, he’s got a healing factor and his only weakness is that he’ll drown in
water, I think?

Ah… the age old question. Wise men have pondered for many years. First off, I’ll clarify that Wolverine can come back from drowning. In the “AvX: What If” books, somebody tried to trap him underwater and when Namor got him he just revived. The idea is that the only way you could stop Wolverine is by separating his head from his body, but depending on the nature of regeneration it’s possible that his head would just grow right back. It may take awhile, but it’s possible. If anyone could snap his adamantium –clad spine and twist his furry head off, it’s Hulk. But Hulk isn’t without his weaknesses either… As soon as he calms down he’s turning right back into weak, frail Bruce Banner and Wolvie could run him through. The question then becomes, how fast can Banner turn into Hulk? In the Avengers, Bruce makes this statement, “I got low. I didn’t see an end, so I put a bullet in my mouth… and the other guy spit it out.” Obviously he can Hulk-out faster than a speeding bullet, so he can probably Hulk-out faster than a speeding clawed-Canadian. If I HAVE to choose who would win this fight… I’m going to say Hulk. Not because I like him better or anything, I just think there are ways of permanently containing Wolverine, and “Hulk is the strongest there is.” — Stephen

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Name: Nathan

Question #3: Are there any super heroes who are outspokenly religious?

Many mainstream comic book characters have some sort of religious attribute about them; whether it’s Nightcrawler’s, non-secretive, devout Catholic beliefs or Captain America stating that “there’s only one god”. The thing you have to understand about mainstream comics though, is that they have “gods” so religion is a very circumstantial thing in this medium. Thor and the hierarchy of the Asgardians are considered to be “gods” in some respects. Hell, even GOD, a monotheistic deity, exists is some comics. More recently in their New 52 DC introduced a Muslim Green Lantern named Simon Baz. The character has been effective in allowing comics to address the challenges that face Muslim-Americans today, though you could argue that the overtones are more political than religious.

Are any superheroes OUTSPOKENLY religious? Not really. Stan Lee once said that he purposely avoided writing overtly religious characters, and regarding his approach to the issue of religion and comics he said, “I thought of myself as an ‘equal opportunity writer,’”. — Stephen

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Name: Paige

Question #4: Which do you like more Star Wars or Star Trek?

Cam — I am obviously going to go with Star Wars, but I think both are great. Star Wars is more of a fantasy/mythical tale, while Star Trek is more scientifically feasible (especially in the Next Generation), and the fantasy/mythical aspects just resonate more with me. I love epic stories more than I like probable sci-fi (it’s probably the reason I got a degree in philosophy and not science or mathematics). Star Wars is absolutely steeped in lore and myth. Is it realistic? Not at all, and I love it. It’s fantasy in the future. What’s not to love?

Cody — Because we HAVE to pick a side, I’m going to say Star Wars. I didn’t watch them in order originally, because we borrowed whatever was available, but I distinctly remember looking at the VHS sleeve of Return of the Jedi and just think how cool Luke looked on it. It was by far my favorite of the original trilogy. It’s a sentimental thing here. Though I have a great love of Star Trek: The Next Generation. We used to stay up late and watch it with my dad when I was eight.

Robbie — I’m going Star Wars on this for a multitude of reasons. I will say though, I respect what the old Star Trek shows/movies stood for. I love the new Star Trek movies and believe they should create a premium television series on the scale of Game Of Thrones or Breaking Bad. Imagine throwing an insane budget at every episode with JJ Abrams directing/producing.

Stephen — Star Wars. Boba Fett. Nothing else matters.

Why I Relate To Peter Parker

peter-parker

For my entire life, Spiderman has been my favorite superhero. As a kid, the only reason that I probably liked him was because I thought he had a cool looking costume (which I still do.) As I started to grow up more and go through the awkward years of middle school and high school, I started seeing Peter Parker as someone to look up to. The story of Peter Parker’s evolution to Spiderman is fairly common knowledge, but I’ll give you a refresher anyways. Peter Parker is your typical nerdy, awkward teenage high schooler who is just trying to survive the growing pains of life. Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider and eventually gains his super powers. Obviously, I’m no web slinging super hero but I relate so well to Peter Parker in other ways.

I admired Peter’s work ethic. As a high schooler he had the ambition to use his photography talents to land a job at The Daily Bugle. I’ve been a web designer for years now, so I appreciate the fact that in Ultimate Spiderman he was a web designer. Maybe that is an odd reason on why I stuck with web design? Anyways, I had an incredible respect for how much he handled. He did it all. Student, boyfriend, superhero, taking care of Aunt May, you name it and he did it. Pretty incredible stuff for a high school kid to handle. Granted, I didn’t do near that much throughout high school but it helped me focus on and handle what I had to do.

High school life must be hard on a teenage super hero.

This is about to get pretty personal, but hear me out. Similar to the way Peter lost Uncle Ben, my junior year of high school I lost my grandmother, who I was very close with. This was the first real experience of loss that I had up to that point in my life. It was very hard for my high school mind to deal with, or anyone to deal with really. Around this time, I started reading the Ultimate Spiderman series. This was the first time that I really dove in to the Spiderman’s story and the first time I read a comic regularly.  Following the story and seeing Uncle Ben’s death outside of a movie for the first time hit me hard. I saw the pain that Peter went through and I could relate to that.

Ben’s line “with great power, comes great responsibility.” stuck with me after my grandmother’s death. I knew she would say the same thing. She always saw my potential, talents and wanted me to always make the best of what I had. Ben saw that Peter had potential to do something great and wanted to make sure that he met that potential. Peter Parker had been the nerdy awkward one his entire life and then realized he could do something great with what he was given. We’re all weak and human in our own ways, but we all have something great to offer the world and the people around us. Peter Parker is the regular guy that I can relate to, to make me believe I can be something better. Whether it’s losing someone, having a close friend believe in you or a simple comic book character, sometimes we just need a push to realize what we have to offer.

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