If you’ve always found the villains of Disney classics just as compelling as the heroes (yes, that includes Hot Jafar), you might remember last summer when we first told you about tabletop game Disney Villainous. In the family-friendly strategy game, players take on the roles of some of Disney’s most dastardly villains who get their chance to be the star of the story for once.

Start practicing those evil laughs again. This March, you’ll be able to take control of even more Disney villains in the new expansion Disney Villainous: Wicked to the Core!

Wicked to the Core, the second game in the Disney Villainous line, can be played as an expansion to the original Disney Villainous for a group of six players, or as a standalone game for 2-3 players. Hades from Hercules, Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog, and the Evil Queen from Snow White are newly playable characters with their own unique abilities, Villain Guides, illustrated Villain and Fate cards, and very fancy jewel-like mover pieces. The colorful game cards feature gorgeous artwork in the style of beloved animated classics that fans of Disney heroes and villains alike will love.

Villains also have their own special game boards, which they navigate as they attempt to reach their devious goals and crush their crooked competitors. Hades, Facilier, and the Evil Queen have their own stories to tell in Wicked to the Core, and it’s up to players ages 10 and up to discover them.

Disney Villainous: Wicked to the Core comes out March 3, 2019 at a suggested retail price of $24.99, but you can pre-order the game now exclusively at Target.com.

Who is your favorite Disney villain and why is it Hot Jafar? Tell us in the comments.

All Images: Disney / Ravensburger

Editor’s note: This post is sponsored by Ravensburger.

A lot of people out there might be familiar with the name Mark Mothersbaugh as the man who provided the amazing retro ’80s sounding score to Thor: Ragnarok, along with several other well known film and television projects. But his career is far more illustrious than just his compositions for the screen. He’s also the founder and frontman for legendary alternative rock band Devo, who were able to get a leg up in the music business in the first place thanks to the help of the legendary David Bowie, a big fan of theirs the moment he first heard them play live in New York City in 1977.

Now, according to Consequence of Sound, Mothersbaugh has revealed that he has discovered rare recordings of Devo jamming with Bowie, along with musician Brian Eno. Mothersbaugh discovered that he had several tapes from the recording sessions for Devo’s debut album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, which was produced by Eno along with Bowie. As a way to kill time while they awaited the arrival of a bandmate who missed a flight, Devo jammed with Bowie and Eno, and it turns out it was actually all recorded.

So will we ever hear any of these jam sessions? According to Mothersbaugh, it seems like a sure thing, as he said “I’m thinking we should see what’s on those tapes. I’m really curious to see what the heck they did.” Thanks to their 1980 hit song “Whip It,” Devo became the poster children for the electronic tinged, post-punk and New Wave  movements. And although the vast majority of the most popular New Wave acts were from the UK, Devo reminded everyone that Americans could be just as avant-garde as their British brethren. And hopefully soon, we’ll finally get to hear what a Bowie/Devo collaboration sounds like.

Images: EMI 

 

One of the longest-standing rivalries in the Marvel Comics universe is between the X-Men’s Rogue and Carol Danvers, the current Captain Marvel. While movie rights issues have kept their big screen counterparts separate, these two characters have deep entanglements going back decades. In the comics, their relationship is a soap opera for the ages.

This complicated relationship began in the pages of 1981’s Avengers Annual #11, which also happened to be the very first appearance of the X-Men’s Rogue, who at the time was still a member of the terrorist Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. This was a pretty packed issue, as it also saw the return of Carol Danvers to the Marvel Universe after a yearlong absence, and a rather controversial one at that.

In Avengers #200 a year earlier, Ms. Marvel was suddenly nine months pregnant overnight, and the father of the baby was unknown. She gave birth to a male child who grew up to adulthood in a matter of hours. He was revealed to be the time-traveling villain Marcus Immortus, who used Carol’s body to materialize into our world and escape from his dimension. Realizing he had to return to his dimension or die, he then “wooed” Carol and convinced her to go back with him. The Avengers agreed to let her go so that the two could “live happily ever after.”

Well, this development did not sit well with Marvel Comics writer Chris Claremont, who used to write Carol’s solo adventures in the pages of Ms. Marvel. So in Avengers Annual #11, Claremont wrote Carol back into the Marvel Universe. He reintroduced her as a mysterious blonde woman who was falling to her death off of the Golden Gate Bridge. Rescued by Spider-Woman before hitting the water, this “Jane Doe,” who was basically nonverbal and a total blank slate, was taken to a hospital, where it was revealed that she was none other than Carol Danvers herself.

It turned out that Carol’s powers and memories were completely drained by a teenage mutant named Rogue, who was introduced in this issue as a member of the mutant Brotherhood. Spider-Woman took Carol to Professor X, hoping that the telepathic mutant might be able to unlock Carol’s memories. He did unlock most of them, but some would be permanently lost due to what Rogue did to her, and she had lost her emotional connection to many of the memories she was able to get back. Furious at the Avengers for letting the creature who essentially violated her then abduct her, she left the team, letting them know in no uncertain terms that she felt betrayed by them. She chose to stay behind with the X-Men, despite being a non-mutant and having no powers.

But Carol’s time as a supporting character for the X-Men became contentious as well. Rogue, unable to control the flood of Carol’s memories that she had permanently absorbed, went to Professor X for help; at first, the X-Men balked at the notion of Rogue joining the team, but they ultimately relented. As for Carol, she’d acquired new cosmic powers and become the heroine Binary. But when she saw that Rogue has become an X-Men, she knocked her straight out of the mansion, furious that the young woman who stole her powers and memories was being given a pass. Carol left the X-Men around that time, unable to stand being so close to Rogue.

Over the rest of the ’80s, Rogue earned the X-Men’s trust as a team member, but Carol’s personality lingered within her mind. In fact, the two personalities would sometimes “trade off,” with Carol taking over Rogue’s body completely. There were even occasions where Rogue would wear Ms. Marvel’s old costume, much to Rogue’s own horror whenever she regained control of her body. While the real Carol was out in space having adventures as Binary, Rogue had essentially taken over Carol’s life on Earth.

This relationship finally came to a shocking end, during the time when the X-Men were living in the Australian outback. They were given the mystical portal known as the Siege Perilous. It could only be used once, and it granted any person who walked through it a new chance at life, essentially being reborn elsewhere. When Rogue walked through, she wound up literally split in two. The Carol part of her personality had a new body identical to Carol’s original; meanwhile, Rogue still had her absorbing powers, but lost the flight and super strength she had inherited from Carol.

But this version of Carol was corrupted by the Shadow King (an evil psychic entity that should be familiar to followers of the TV series Legion), and was going to kill Rogue, realizing that she and Rogue could not coexist in the same plane of existence. One of them would have to die, and it wasn’t going to be her. The two fought, but this “Carol” was then killed by Magneto, allowing Rogue to live. With Carol gone, Rogue regained her super strength and flight powers, and no longer had to worry about Carol Danvers being a part of her personality.

The real Carol would return to Earth years later and become Ms. Marvel again, and the two women would form a sort of truce.

But that was not the last time Rogue and Carol Danvers traded blows. Although she basically avoided crossing Rogue’s path for years, the two reunited and battled during the Avengers vs. X-Men event storyline in 2012. Now on opposing teams, the pair came to blows, and when Rogue tried to absorb Carol’s powers a second time, things got very ugly. But confronting her past with Rogue forced a change in Carol, as mere months later, she ditched the Ms. Marvel identity for good, and became Captain Marvel.

On the big screen, Rogue has been part of Fox’s X-Men franchise from the very beginning, but since Carol was not part of the X-Men character rights, their relationship has never been shown before in live-action. And with no Carol in the X-Men cinematic universe, Rogue never had super strength or flight. But with the X-Men joining the Disney umbrella soon, we could see this classic saga play out on the big screen before too long. Could we see Carol Danvers vs. Rogue in Captain Marvel 2? We’d know we’d be very down to see this dramatic rivalry play out on the big screen.

Images: Marvel Comics

J.J. Abrams has released a photo of the emotional last day of shooting for Star Wars: Episode IX, and it’s got our brain buzzing.

The photo features a group hug between the sequel trilogy trio of Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega in a desert location. Just which desert planet are our stalwart heroes on? While the assumption would likely be that they have returned to Rey’s desolate home planet of Jakku, there is reason to believe we could be going back to Star Wars‘ ground zero: Tatooine.

So why Tatooine, which Luke Skywalker once described as being the planet farthest away from the bright center of the universe? Lucasfilm has described Episode IX as not only the end of the current sequel trilogy, but the end of the entire Skywalker saga as we know it. More Star Wars films are coming, but the specific storyline centering on the Skywalker family will end with this upcoming chapter. What better place to end it than Tatooine, the place where it all started?

The beginning of the saga is The Phantom Menace; it’s when Qui-Gon Jinn discovered Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine. Or, if you’re thinking of the original trilogy, Luke’s home in the first released Star Wars film, A New Hope, is Tatooine. Whichever way you look at it, Tatooine is the franchise’s home sweet home. Given what a sentimental and nostalgic filmmaker Abrams is, we could easily see the saga ending surrounded by the rocks and sand of Tatooine.

And hey, the tall, cylindrical shape in the right background of the photo Abrams shared definitely looks reminiscent of Tatooine.

Star Wars does love to rhyme, so to speak. A New Hope began on Tatooine, and then Return of the Jedi returned there for the last installment of the original trilogy. So based on the rhyming pattern, this could be Jakku again, given that planet’s importance in The Force Awakens. But we are not-so-secretly hoping the Skywalker Saga ends on the world that made us want to travel to the galaxy far, far away in the first place.

Images: Lucasfilm 

 

While fans have debated over the years which particular team of Ghostbusters they’d like to see more of, from O.G. movie crew to animated iterations, “Answer the Call” all-female team, or more recently a new generation, nobody seems to have considered the possibility of robot Ghostbusters…until now. As 2019’s New York Toy Fair begins to kick off, Hasbro has revealed a first look at Ectotron, and yes, this ‘bot is a Ghostbusters Transformer, who goes from proton-pack armed robot to Ecto-1 in 22 steps.

Want to know more? You can, as this is no mere toy brand synergy: they’ve really thought the new character through. Its origin gets explored in a brand new five-part IDW Publishing comic series from creative team Erik Burnham & Dan Schoening, beginning in June 2019. One thing we can deduce from the toy is that at some point, the latest ‘buster encounters the original Slimer, who comes packaged as an accessory.

The Ectotron figure will be a Gamestop exclusive in the U.S. starting this summer, and the first in a series of what’s called Transformers Collaborative, which will cross Transformers over with other brands, much as used to happen with Star Wars. It is perhaps a way to get around licensing rules, as sometimes Hasbro may have the rights to make a toy car from a particular property, but not a figure. So if the figure form falls under the umbrella of a property Hasbro owns like Transformers, well…here’s hoping a Back to the Future DeLoreanTron can happen too.

Most immediately, though, Hasbro says to “be on the lookout for other possible TRANSFORMERS and Ghostbusters items. When these two iconic franchises come together – anything is possible!” We’re thinking Megatron could be made to look good in a marshmallow suit. Or that happy Statue of Liberty from the second movie could be the closest thing to a Spaceballs toy we’d ever get, if it can be made to transform.

Images: Hasbro

We’re having a hard time thinking about anything other than Star Wars: Episode IX. Director J.J. Abrams announced on Twitter today that filming has wrapped on the ninth and final film in the Skywalker saga. He also tweeted out our first clear look at the film in the form of a behind-the-scenes photo of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac embracing on set.

The image is incredibly emotional. Oscar Isaac is clearly feeling all the things, it’s the first time we’ve seen our new trio of heroes together in one space, and the desert settings hints that the Resistance has either returned to Rey’s home planet of Jakku, or to Tatooine, the planet that started it all.

But there’s another thing one eagle-eyed Twitter user noticed. Rey’s hair is back to her traditional three-bun style from The Force Awakens, but it appears more streamlined here, as if she braided them together instead of wrapping them individually. This wouldn’t be much of a big deal – it’s clearly the style she prefers when she’s in a hot climate – but as @Jennifer_deG observed, the hairstyle actually looks very close to the one Leia wore in The Last Jedi.

Obviously, it’s not an exact match. Leia’s hair isn’t in separate buns, but is more of a wavy beehive style. But there is a regality to the style that looks similar to the tighter, more precise look Rey is sporting in IX.

This makes sense if Leia does, indeed, die in the next installment. We know that the late, eternally great Carrie Fisher will appear in Episode IX thanks to re-purposed footage filmed for The Force Awakens. We don’t know her exact fate, but even before Fisher’s real-life passing, we saw Leia bestowing leadership roles to other members of the Resistance, namely Poe and Admiral Holdo. It seems likely that Rey, who re-joins the crew’s efforts at the end of The Last Jedi and shares a touching moment with Leia, will also assume some of her duties going forward. The hair may be a subtle nod, and it may just be a coincidence, but we like to think of Rey carrying the torch of General Leia’s profound legacy all the same.

Another cute tidbit about Rey’s hair? According to her on-set hairstylist, Flora Moody, the crew refers to the buns as “the balls.”

We can’t wait to see more of Rey and Leia when Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 19.

Images: Disney/Lucasfilm

Name your favorite band or musician. Also, what’s your most beloved movie? How about your favorite TV show, both animated and live-action? No matter who or what you said, there’s an amazing chance all of them will soon be available from Funko, because the collectible company has announced a staggering and wide-ranging number of new lines ahead of this year’s American International Toy Fair in New York City. No, seriously, the number of new toys is beyond belief.

Ahead of this weekend’s Toy Fair, Funko has been letting fans know on Twitter and their official blog the insane number of new products they will be debuting at the expo. It would have been overwhelming if they just announced musical acts, which includes classic rockers all the way up to artists dominating the charts today.

They’ll also have lots of new lines for their Animation Pops, and they also should have something for everyone.

Hmm, feels like a certain cartoon is missi….nope, there it is. The Simpsons are coming to NY too, and there are lots of other animated friends traveling with them.

TV fans won’t be left out other, and just like the other new lines the new television figures cover lots of favorites, both old and new.

Some of the all-time greatest game shows are also going to take a spin at the Fair.

Except for the Xenomorphs, there’s nothing scary about how much we love the new additions to Funko’s movie line.

Jaws? JAWS!!

So. Many. Ghostbusters. All the Ghostbusters in fact.

Holy crap. Seriously, holy crap. And what’s even crazier is they might not be done yet. Keep an eye out at the Funko blog and official Twitter page to see if they add anymore, though we can hardly name any pop culture properties that aren’t already Funko collectibles at this point.

Featured Image: Funko

I’ve never fully understood what the issue was with replicants coming to Earth in Blade Runner. So they look like us, big whoop. Now I understand completely, because there’s something incredibly unsettling about seeing a face that looks completely human but isn’t. I just didn’t appreciate that until I visited the website thispersondoesnotexist.com, which uses artificial intelligence to generate totally realistic faces for imaginary people.


These people don’t exist.

This endlessly fascinating–and terrifying–site (that we came across at The Verge) comes from software engineer Philip Wang. Using the network StyleGAN created by researchers at Nvidia, Wang made made a site that will “generate a new facial image” every time you refresh it. The way it works is his algorithm pulls from a huge set of real images and cobbles them into an all new, fake face that almost always looks indistinguishable from an actual human who lives on this planet.


These guys? Also totally imaginary.

Wang said he made the site to “raise some public awareness for this technology,” because “faces are most salient to our cognition.” This is obviously both amazing and also upsetting, since we already live in a world where people easily steal physical identities to deceive others online. Now they can easily access incredible A.I. technology to create someone from whole cloth that they can then use for a profile image. It’s basically impossible to tell the difference between who is real and who isn’t.

As Wang notes, this technology isn’t limited to just faces. The researchers whose work he is using “have also included pre-trained models for cats, cars, and bedrooms in their repository that you can immediately use.”And you know what that means: the next cat meme you see might not be real. That kitty might be computer-generated.

That’s even worse than the idea of replicants running around.

Images: ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com

Marvel hasn’t revealed much about the plot of Avengers: Endgame, but the two teasers for the film have both shown one major development: Steve Rogers is a desperate man. It’s a side of Captain America we’ve never seen before, one that looks to be setting up a major role reversal for him and Tony Stark. While that might not be a good thing for Cap, it might be the best thing that can happen to the Avengers.

The movie’s trailer and new commercial have both featured a Steve Rogers we don’t recognize. Instead of the determined soldier who fully commits to a course of action, he’s an emotional wreck without purpose. The trailer features him sitting alone with a tear running down his face, and then when Natasha tells him their plan is going to work, he says, “I know it is, ’cause I don’t know what I’m gonna do if it doesn’t.” Those aren’t the words of a confident man, they are the fears of someone who can’t handle the idea of failing again.

He is downright stable in the trailer compared to how he is in the commercial though, in which he’s at a group therapy meeting for survivors. He sits, unsure of himself, uneasy, like he would crawl out of his skin if he could. The Avengers lost, he let down his friends and the entire universe, and he doesn’t know how to accept or process any of it. Captain America has always faced the prospect of losing bravely, like in Age of Ultron when he told a worried Tony Stark they’d “lose together,” but he’s never actually lost until now. The Great Dusting has left the normally unflappable hero a mess. It has turned him into a truly desperate man who would go to any lengths to undo this terrible thing he blames himself for. The Snapture has left him looking a lot more like Tony Stark.

Ever since Loki brought any army to New York City through a portal in space, Tony has been driven by one fear: that it all might happen again. That sole focus has led Tony to make a series of rash, emotional decisions, all of which have been catastrophic. Ultron, Tony losing his mind and building a massive fleet of new suits (twice), the fracturing of the Avengers over the Sakovia Accords (further attempts at controlling the uncontrollable)–all of that happened because Tony was fighting a war before it happened. Despite Tony’s genius, his desperation to save the world and his loved ones causes him to act with his heart and not his head.

And yet, in the little we’ve seen of him in the Endgame footage, he’s been decidedly un-Tony. When he was dying in Iron Man 2 he was distraught and self-destructing, but in the Endgame trailer, he seems at peace with his impending death. And in his brief cameo in the commercial, he’s hard at work with Nebula, trying to resolve a problem. We don’t know the exact context of that moment, but combined with his calm confessional in the trailer, a picture is developing of a more even-keeled Tony who is dealing with the issues in front of him directly and rationally. He’s dealing with them the way the Steve Rogers normally does, all while Captain America is acting more like the typically emotional Tony.

It’s a complete role reversal for either, and while it should have Captain America fans worried for his safety, this development might ultimately heal their friendship and save the universe. The Avengers lost to Thanos because they weren’t unified, and the heart of that split was the demise of Steve and Tony’s relationship. Now though, Steve understands what has always driven Tony, because for the first time in his life he’s experiencing the desperation that makes Tony tick, for better and worse. And Tony will know exactly how Cap feels, because that’s how he always feels. The two heroes will be able to empathize with each other in a way almost no one else in the world can, which will strengthen their relationship. And unity is the only chance they have for undoing the Snap.

Images: Marvel

If you ever wanted to give your feline friend a scare, now’s your chance.

These hyper-realistic cat socks can transform your feet into paws of any color or stripe variety! They first caught on in Japan, where people had fun posting pictures of themselves wearing the socks to social media, accompanied by their rather curious pets.

“Silly hooman, you can’t fool me!”

As Twitter user @campanula73 shows, the socks have a pretty jarring effect. They make feet look like oversized versions of cat paws, complete with toe pads on the bottom and a super strange fur effect. When paired with normal human clothing, the overall look is pretty uncanny – and extra silly.

If your cat is the most important thing in your life, you can even get socks that match their coloring. #Twinning?

The cat foot socks were designed by Japanese company, Lemcos, and are available via several online retailers around the globe, like Alibaba Express out of China, and Amazon Prime here in the States. Added bonus: They’ll only set you back about $4. Not bad for such a convincing product!

If cats aren’t your thing, you can also go the more exotic animal route, with realistic socks that mimic the feet of elephants, eagles, zebras, and even dinosaurs, all available from the same line. There are also domestic animal options like dogs, horses, and donkeys.

We always recommend accepting the crazy cat person that lives inside of you, so we’re all in on these socks. What better way to understand your cat than to literally walk in its shoes?

Images: Lemcos

The Skywalker saga is nearly concluded. The story that started over 40 years ago with A New Hope, then called Star Wars, will conclude with the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX. And now, filming for the final installment has wrapped. Director J.J. Abrams shared the news on Friday that they wrapped photography on Episode IX. We’re not prepared for this much emotion today.

Do you see Oscar Isaac’s face? I can’t take it. Whether this photo is from the final day of filming or from another moment in the as yet untitled movie, we’re not sure. Isaac, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega certainly look intense, whatever’s happening. Poe, Rey, and Finn are the trio at the heart of the sequel trilogy, so their fates are sure to be intertwined in Episode IX. They haven’t shared a ton of screen time together, but my fingers are crossed that will change as the Resistance rallies to battle the First Order and Kylo Ren. Will they all be okay? I need to know.

Beyond this being notification about filming winding down, this is our first set photo from the movie. They appear to be on Jakku, the planet they all fled in The Force Awakens. I’d be more than fine with the Skywalker saga ending on a desert planet, even if it’s not Tatooine. And it’s a little thing, but it makes me happy to see Rey still has her staff (you can see her holding it in her other arm).

And now, we watch for the title.

Star Wars: Episode IX will be in theaters on December 22, 2019, a.k.a. not soon enough.

Featured Image: Bad Robot/Lucasfilm

Romantic comedies are having a moment. The beloved genre seemingly disappeared in the last decade as big-budget action stepped to the front. But rom-coms were never going to die out entirely, and after a recent string of Netflix hits—To All the Boys I Loved Before, Set It Up, and The Kissing Booth—it would appear the studios are once again investing in their own easygoing romance films.

Cue the new trailer for Long Shot, a political romantic comedy starring Charlie Theron as Secretary of State Charlotte Field and Seth Rogen as affable journalist Fred Flarsky. The two have nothing in common save one minor detail: Charlotte used to babysit Fred. Now, she’s running for president, and impulsively hires Fred to be her speechwriter. As is inevitable in this sort of movie, sparks fly at the most inconvenient of times.

Theron and Rogen are no strangers to romantic films, although in the past they gravitated towards gruffer comedy, like Theron’s turn in the Diablo Cody-scripted Young Adult or Rogen in his star-making comedy Knocked Up. The trailer for Long Shot paints it as a more traditional studio rom-com, but the two seem more than up for the challenge, and seem to have a nice, comfortable chemistry.

As more and more women throw their name into the 2020 presidential race, there’s also a timeliness to Long Shot that makes it extra exciting. The scene between Theron and her president boss, played by Bob Odenkirk, hint that the film is going to tackle gender issues pretty head-on. Theron has a knack for steely stares and cutting line delivery, so we can’t wait to see what she does with future presidential hopeful Charlotte.

Long Shot arrives in theaters May 4.

Images: Lionsgate

For over eight years now, the musical collective known as Postmodern Jukebox has been giving the world renditions of modern music done in the style of early 20th century musical genres.

They’ve given us swing and jazz infused covers of artists ranging from David Bowie and Prince, to more current artists like Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga. In addition, PMJ has also taken on jazzy versions of music from films like Harry Potter, not to mention TV animated favorites from back in the day like Darkwing Duck, Gummi Bears, Muppet Babies, and more. And now, they’ve turned their attentions to Pinky and the Brain.

Yes, they’ve revised the world of vintage weekday afternoon cartoons with their latest song, an amazing rendition of the theme song from Warner Animation’s classic series Pinky and the Brain. And as an added bonus, they’ve brought along a pair of very special guests for this particular number: Pinky and the Brain themselves, voice actors Rob Paulsen (host of Talkin’ Toonsand Maurice LaMarche! The two actors perform a little skit during the song, one which should give everyone who grew up watching their show all the nostalgic feels.

The reimagining of the Pinky and The Brain theme song as a Jessica Rabbit-style torch ballad, sung by singer and actress Emily Goglia, is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of anyone who loves old-timey tunes, or classic cartoons, or both. The single is part of the new Postmodern Jukebox album Sepia Is The New Orange, and if you’re of a certain age and watched shows like Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brian, then this one is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Once you’ve listened to this song a few times, be sure to visit the PMJ YouTube channel and check out hours of retro flavored renditions of some of your favorite tunes.

Images: Warner Brothers Animation 

 

DC Super Hero Girls has been a resounding success for the comics company since it launched in 2015. Based around redesigned versions of some of DC’s most famous female characters as they embarked on an education at Super Hero High.

The series spawned movies (including LEGO ones), comics, and a popular toy line,  but last year DC announced a reimagining of the concept from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic creator Lauren Faust. And the first girl power packed trailer has arrived!

The new version of the show has had a soft relaunch already with some shorts on YouTube, but this is our first look at the full series which will be debuting with a movie on Cartoon Network. Made up of Supergirl, Batgirl, Zatanna, Bumblebee, and Jessica Cruz’s Green Lantern, the new look is a far cry from the simple style of the original. It seems like it’ll be an action packed adventure with the teens in a normal school trying to get through day to day life and save the world against a number of female villains like Giganta, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy. We also get appearances from other DC characters like The Flash and other Green Lanterns too, which is always a lot of fun.

Faust has precedent for creating massive franchise hits with her work on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Powerpuff Girls. Fans of the animator might recognize the style of the show from Faust’s previous short lived DC Nation series Super Best Friends Forever. This shares the same dynamic look of Faust’s previous projects and once again centers on fierce young women finding their place in the world. We’re super excited to see the finished product when the film lands on Cartoon Network on March 8.

Images: Cartoon Network, Warner Bros., DC Entertainment

You may have heard about the sealed copy of the original The Legend of Zelda that recently sold for over $3,000. If that price makes you do a double take, you better sit down for this one! At an auction for an incredibly rare, unopened copy of Super Mario Bros., the game sold for a record-setting $100,150.

Wata Games, a new company that specializes in grading sealed copies of vintage video games, deemed this copy of the NES classic especially hard to come by. There were originally a number of variants of the first games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, explains the Wata Games website, with the “Black Box” copies being some of the very first boxes in the U.S.

Super Mario Bros. in particular had 11 variations of the game box released beginning in 1985, says Wata Games, with a sticker-sealed Black Box only available in Los Angeles and New York City to test the market.

This is one of those boxes.

“Not only are all of NES sticker sealed games extremely rare, but by their nature of not being sealed in shrink wrap they usually exhibit significant wear after more than 30 years,” Wata Games co-founder Kenneth Thrower said in a press release. “This game may be the condition census of all sticker sealed NES games known to exist.”

This copy of Super Mario Bros. was purchased at auction by three passionate collectors. If you’re looking to add exceedingly rare video games to your own budding collection, keep up with Wata Games and Heritage Auctions for even more pristine mementos of an era in gaming gone by.

Featured Image: Wata Games

Do you like scary movies?

No, it’s not a question from Ghost Face, but an invitation for horror fans. Beginning April 4, the Desmond in Los Angeles will host like I Like Scary Movies art installation, a “multi-sensory” experience inspired by some of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and New Line Cinema’s iconic horror films.

According to the press release, the immersive installation will “lure fans into artistic reinterpretations of the worlds of It, The Shining, Beetlejuice, The Lost Boys, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Attendees will be treated to a number of photo ops that let them “sink” into the Overlook Hotel carpet from The Shining, step into Pennywise’s lair from It, and wander through Beetlejuice’s graveyard.

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Reservations will be available soon.⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ •⠀ #ilikescarymovies

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I Like Scary Movies is coming from Maximillian, an experiential artist who has conjured up several Hollywood studio activations through the years, including Pirates of the Caribbean walk-throughs at Comic-Con and a drone light show at Dodger Stadium for Wonder Woman.

“Our goal was to create an experience where fans could take their time to engage with the fantastical worlds of scary movies that have shaped their fandom,” Maximillian said in the I Like Scary Movies press release. “We want them to be able to take a deep creative dive into some of their favorite movies in a way that is fun, engaging, artistic, and memorable, allowing them to really explore and enjoy the thrill of it all.”

In anticipation of the installation, we have an exclusive look at a Beetlejuice poster showing folks what they can expect from I Like Scary Movies: a whole lotta creepy craziness!

I Like Scary Movies opens April 4. Tickets are $39 and can be purchased on the website.

Images: I Like Scary Movies, Warner Bros. Pictures

This week the internet and space aficionados everywhere bid a fond farewell to the Mars rover Opportunity, which lost communication with NASA after a staggering 15 years of gathering invaluable data. If you mourned the roveror maybe just pretended to because you don’t know that much about itit’s never too late to learn about Oppy’s history and incredible accomplishments on the red planet.

CuriosityStream, a documentary-focused subscription streaming service, salutes Opportunity in the first episode of Space Probes: Red Rovers, which is currently free to stream with no login or subscription signup required! The 30-minute documentary reviews the groundbreaking missions of Mars rovers Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity, and the scientists and controllers behind them.

You’ll learn about the rocky start to the missions of twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity and all that they accomplished in their hunt for water on Mars, and experience the joy and sorrow of the teams that became rather fond of the robotic explorers.

And did you know there’s a “Super Rover” in the works for a mission that might be the predecessor to the first human explorers on the red planet? You’ll find out about it and more in the compelling episode.

If the free episode leaves you wanting more Mars, CuriosityStream is ready to get you started with a binge-watch you can’t find anywhere else. Packing For Mars, Destination Mars, and many more documentaries are available now with the site’s Red Planet playlist. There’s even a seven-day free trial to see if a Mars marathon is a mission you’re ready to go on.

CuriosityStream also shared a small tribute to the retired rover that sums up everything you need to know about its incredible lifetime.

Learn more about the science-doc subscription service on their website, CuriosityStream.com.

Featured Image: CuriosityStream

We’ve been studying Avengers: Endgame footage as though the fate of the universe itself depends on us deciphering its secrets. The latest mystery we’re trying to crack: The Case of the (Possibly) Missing Avenger in the most recent teaser, which seems to have edited out a character. Maybe. Let’s dive right in.

Since we all know Marvel trailers are about as trustworthy as Alexander Pierce, it’s hard not to wonder if two conspicuous pieces of empty space in the Super Bowl trailer have been airbrushed to avoid spoiling a surprise appearance or plot point. The first comes when Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Bruce Banner, and James Rhodes look up into the night sky outside the Avengers compound.

The second notable piece of blank space shows up at the end, when Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Rocket (or an ugly baby with a tail), Ant-Man, and War Machine—now all suited up—march through the compound’s hangar.

So who could be missing and why?

First, here’s who we know it isn’t: anyone who was dusted. All of the released footage seems to be primarily from the beginning of the movie, and it’s unlikely the Snapture will have been reversed that quickly.

So who could it be? Iron Man is clearly on the list. As is Nebula, seen working on the Guardians ship with him in this same teaser. Those gaps could also be hiding the presence of Captain Marvel, whom Nick Fury paged back to Earth (and possibly this timeline) at the end of Infinity War.

However, Tony, Nebula, and Carol Danvers are also our best candidates for what the Avengers are looking at in the night sky, since all three characters should be coming to Earth via space.

Since the last shot seems to be prelude to an epic battle, Marvel might be hiding another skilled warrior we don’t expect to see. One possibility is Valkyrie, who escaped off-screen from Thanos’ attack on the Asgradian ship at the start of Infinity War. (So did Korg, but there’s almost no chance he’s with the Avengers here, even though he’s the best.) There’s also a chance it’s Hawkeye a.k.a. Ronin, whom we saw meeting up with Natasha in the first trailer, and who makes a brief appearance in the commercial.

And if you’re really looking for a long shot, those empty spaces could belong to Pepper Potts, who just might become her comic book character Rescue in Endgame.

But our best working theory boils down to one obvious question: where is Bruce Banner in the hangar? We know from the earlier shot that he’s at the compound, so it’s strange that he’s not there with the rest of the troops now that the Avengers are suited up an ostensibly heading out on a mission.

Unless he is there with them. While it wouldn’t make much sense to edit out a shot of Bruce, perhaps that gap in the line could belong to Hulk, who has finally returned to large form (a fact that Marvel wants to keep secret until its reveal in-film). Even better, Marvel might be hiding the big screen debut of Professor Hulk, the merger of the giant green rage machine and Bruce Banner (and who might have already been seen).

However, Hulk can’t be the missing character in the first shot, so that mystery is still afoot. Unless, of course, nobody is edited out of the shot from outside at night, and it’s just a normal empty space.

Avengers: Endgame

That very well may be. Or it could be Tony, Nebula, Captain Marvel, or any number of other options. But when it comes to the hangar shot, the most logical answer: Hulk missing!

Images: Marvel

Warning: The following contains spoilers for the most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

When Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek in 1966, he made the series a symbol for the diverse and inclusive future he wished for humanity. Sure, the Captain was a white man, but just having an African-American woman and an Asian man on the bridge was huge deal in the mid ’60s. How huge? Network affiliates threatened Roddenberry’s job over the casting of Nichelle Nicoles as Lt. Uhura, a black female officer. When she and Shatner kissed, certain networks in the American South refused to air it. Showing people of color as capable officers back then was almost never done.

And as the gay rights movement gained traction all across the country after 1969, fans hoped Trek would finally include a gay character. And then we waited… and waited. When The Next Generation premiered in 1987, an openly gay character was still pretty much out of the question on a “family show.” But by the time Enterprise rolled around in 2001, shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer had already begun to feature LGBTQ characters. Still, Star Trek kept shying away.

The series that had been on the forefront of inclusivity was now extremely sheepish about including a regular gay cast member. So when Discovery finally announced they were adding not merely a single gay character as a series regular but a gay couple, in the form of Lt. Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz), fans were elated.

But then, the rug got pulled out from under us with the random “red shirt”-style death of Culber. In the Discovery season one episode “Despite Yourself,” Klingon sleeper agent Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) murdered the character of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hugh Culber. For a gay Trekker myself, after waiting years to see proper LGBT representation among the regular cast of a Star Trek series, it was like reopening an old wound and pouring salt in it. The fact that he was killed off so soon after being introduced, and in such an offhand way, recalled the way gay characters were “punished” for being who they are in old Hollywood films, and felt incredibly outdated in 2018.

So in bringing Culber back to life, this week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery finally rights a pretty serious wrong from the show’s first season. Of course, it’s the way Culber was brought back that highlights some of the greatest weaknesses we see in Discovery‘s storytelling.

While franchises like Star Wars have always woven mysticism and magic into their sci-fi narratives, Trek has been a different animal. Star Trek has always tried to lean more on the science in its science fiction, so things like magical resurrections have been rare. Obviously, there are exceptions to this; Spock famously died in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, only to brought back to life in the next film, but even that plot contrivance made a certain amount of sense. And yes, the character of Q is basically an omnipotent god, but Trek always went out of its way to show he was merely a highly advanced alien life form.

Distinct from cases like these, the central conceit of Discovery is hard for sci-fi fans to swallow. To sum up: the titular starship can appear anywhere in the universe instantly by traveling across what they call “the Mycelial Network.” This is a vast microscopic web and intergalactic ecosystem that basically leads everywhere and anywhere in the multiverse. And the key to this network are mycelium spores.

In layman’s terms, magic mushrooms allow people to think their ships wherever they want, and poof—they’re there. And to make matters more convoluted, this latest episode tells us that Culber’s soul was trapped in the Mycelial Network after death, and has now been rebirthed into a new body in our reality. Again, it’s the kind of thing that works great in Star Wars or a Marvel- or DC-style comic book science fantasy. Within the context of the Star Trek canon, the choice demonstrates how Discovery really couldn’t care less about veering too close to the supernatural.

But here’s the thing: ultimately, it doesn’t matter.

By reuniting Stamets and Culber, Star Trek has a viable LGBTQ couple to tell stories with again. Now, those stories can indeed involve bad things happening to these characters—I’m not advocating for so-called “empowerment porn”—but the show needs to give the characters the chance to deal with significant emotional consequences. If Culber had been written off a few seasons down the line, leading to an interesting arc for his partner Stamets, then by all means, as the saying goes, kill your darlings.

But right out the gate, this death felt gratuitous. Hopefully now that the pair are reunited, we can move forward and tell some interesting Star Trek stories featuring an LGBTQ couple for the first time in the franchise’s history, without apology. And if the origin of this relies on magic mushrooms, we’ll take it.

Images: CBS All Access 

There are three songs – and three songs only – that I will play on a bar jukebox. “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money, the full 14-minute version of “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang, and John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Why these three songs? Uh, they’re perfect. Obviously. They’re all delightful and have 100% approval rating with a margin of error of zero, making them ideal for the masses. But just because you can’t improve on perfection doesn’t mean you can’t find new ways to enjoy them, like with this unique rendition of the late John Denver’s classic tune starring our favorite video game plumber, Mario. And it’s-a super silly!

The Twitter account unusual things shared this brief snippet of Mario “singing” the beloved paean to West Virginia that was first released in 1971. While we are fairly certain this absurd cover won’t prove to be as timeless as Denver’s original, it will definitely make you laugh.

So dumb, which is why we like it so much. The part that really kills us is the “okie-dokie,” but we just really appreciate a classic country hit getting the added lyric of “mamma mia!” Thatsa authentic!

Also, we know you’re now guaranteed to have “Take Me Home, Country Roads” stuck in your head for the next week, and to that we say, “You’re welcome.” Because whether it’s Mario giving us a version with his particular vernacular, or some guy at the bar who is singing way too loud while he tells his friends, “Of course I put this on!” it’s a perfect song.

Now would it be possible to get Waluigi to do a cover of Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” and also a version of “Rapper’s Delight” from Toad, Peach, and Wario? We’d definitely hit play on both of those versions too.

Featured Image: Nintendo

Nickelodeon has big plans for everyone’s favorite pineapple dwelling sponge, but is a SpongeBob SquarePants Expanded Universe enough to win back young viewers? Host Amy Vorpahl breaks down the potential future nautical nonsense in today’s Nerdist News!

Editor’s note: This episode of Nerdist News is sponsored by Alita: Battle Angel.

Grow out those sideburns and grab your dad’s old leisure suit, because the video for Nick Waterhouse’s new throwback track is teleporting everyone to a ’70s late night show that never was with Danny Trejo as the host.

The artist’s soulful new song, “Wreck the Rod,” goes old school, and not just musically. The track’s official video takes us back to 1978, with Waterhouse starring as a washed up, sweaty, fictional version of himself clad in velour tuxedo. He is a guest on Dan After Dark, the late night show hosted by a very sincere, but very unaware Danny Trejo, who doesn’t seem to understand he’s insulting his very increasingly frustrated guest by asking about his stalled career.

“Wreck The Rod” is the latest single off of Waterhouse’s upcoming self-titled album and saunters like a recently unearthed Stax cut from the early ’70s. He said the inspiration for the song came from a conversation he had with The Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas, about some of her recordings during the ’60s, and her struggles in a music business that can eat up artists in their prime. “This is a song about singers like (Irma) being used up by an industry (in addition to a larger swath of society), about riding it out, about rising above, about an unsettling pleasure/pain dynamic,” Waterhouse said in a press release. “It’s saying Cmon, life – pile it on.”

You can also listen to the album’s other previously released track, “Song for Winners,” here.

Okay, we have one complaint about that one. No, nothing musically, it just needs more Danny Trejo in an awful suit.

Below you’ll find the list and dates of Nick’s upcoming spring tour, which kicks off in Europe in March before heading to North America in late April.

Featured Image: Innovative Leisure

Monday, March 18th – Manchester, United Kingdom – Gorilla
Tuesday, March 19 – Nottingham, United Kingdom – Rough Trade Nottingham
Wednesday, March 20th – London, United Kingdom – Rough Trade East
Thursday, March 21st – London, United Kingdom – 229 The Venue
Friday, March 22nd – Roubaix, France – La Cave aux Poètes
Saturday, March 23rd – Hasselt, Belgium – Botanique
Sunday, March 24th – Paris, France – Petit Bain
Tuesday, March 26th – Hamburg, Germany – Mojo Club
Wednesday, March 27th – Berlin, Germany – Columbia Theater
Thursday, March 28th – Nieuw-amsterdam, Netherlands – Het Zonnehuis
Saturday, March 30th – Tavros, Greece – Fuzz Live Music Club
Sunday, March 31st – Thessaloniki, Greece – Fix Factory Of Sound
Thursday, April 25th – Tustin, CA – Marty’s On Newport
Friday, April 26th – Los Angeles, CA – Regent Theater DTLA
Saturday, April 27th – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
Monday, April 29th – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios and Bar
Tuesday, April 30th – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
Wednesday, May 1st – Vancouver, Canada – Biltmore Cabaret
Friday, May 3rd – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
Saturday, May 4th – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
Monday, May 6th – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Wednesday, May 8th – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
Thursday, May 9th – Detroit, MI – shelter
Friday, May 10 – Toronto, Canada – Horseshoe Tavern
Saturday, May 11th – Burlington, VT – Club Metronome
Monday, May 13th – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
Tuesday, May 14th – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Thursday, May 16th – Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry
Friday, May 17th – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
Saturday, May 18th – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern Café and Music Hall
Monday, May 20th – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
Tuesday, May 21st – New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks
Thursday, May 23rd – Houston, TX – Bronze Peacock
Friday, May 24th – Austin, TX – Parish
Saturday, May 25th – Dallas, TX – Dada Dallas

If you can believe it, Batman celebrates his eightieth birthday this year. Yep, the iconic creation from the minds of Bill Finger and Bob Kane has been saving Gotham, beating up crims, and mourning his dead parents for an incredible eight decades.

Over that period he’s starred in thousands of comics—some extremely popular and some less so. To celebrate his monumental birthday, we’ve selected six of our favorite lesser read Batman stories for you to enjoy throughout this holiest of Bat-Years.

Batman: Scottish Connection

Alan Grant, Frank Quitely, Matt Hollingsworth, and Bill Oakley

When Batman is called to Scotland for a family funeral, he discovers a terrifying ancient curse putting the kilt-wearing inhabitants of the pastoral hamlet in grave danger. Come for Alan Grant’s outrageous conceit and stay for the beautiful early Frank Quitely art, which is a total treat and just makes you wish that he’d come back to drawing Big Two comics.

Batman: Prey

Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy, Jimmy Palmiotti, Terry Austin, Steve Oliff, and John Costanza

Originally published in Legends of the Dark Knight, this psychological thriller by writer Doug Moench and artists Paul Gulacy and Terry Austin focuses on the early days of Bruce’s time as Batman. As he tries to forge a relationship with Jim Gordon, he’s manipulated by Hugo Strange who causes him to question everything about himself, crafting a terrifying tale that dissects Bruce, Batman, and the very idea of self.

Batman: Gothic

Grant Morrison, Klaus Janson, John Costanza, and Steve Buccellato

This lesser known Grant Morrison-penned Batman story has splendid art by The Dark Knight Returns’ Klaus Janson, and is just a deliciously dark as the title leads you to believe. It’s a bleak murder mystery that sees Batman’s morals pushed to the limits as he’s recruited by Gotham’s mob bosses, who are being hunted down one by one. Though it seems like one of Morrison’s simplest stories, it actually includes ghosts, a faustian pact, and a villain who trades in souls.

Batman: The Cult

Jim Starlin, Bernie Wrightson, Bill Wray, and John Costanza

Bernie Wrightson is one of the great comic book artists and his Batman is one for the ages. This miniseries is an underrated gem that features Bruce Wayne in recovery from being indoctrinated into a cult led by Deacon Blackfire. The group’s machinations infect Gotham and Wrightson brings it all to life with his signature gothic brilliance.

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

Grant Morrison, Chris Sprouse, Frazer Irving, Yanick Paquette, Georges Jeanty, Ryan Sook, Lee Garbett, Karl Story, Jared Fletcher, and Guy Major

Another Grant Morrison wonder is this time-hopping miniseries showcasing Batman through six massively different eras; Morrison describes the adventure as, “Batman vs. history itself!” If you’ve ever wanted to see caveman Batman, pirate Batman, cowboy Batman, and even Puritan Witch Hunter Batman, then this strange and splendid series is for you.

Batman Adventures

Creators include Kelley Puckett, Martin Pasko, Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Glen Murakami, Dan Riba, and Kevin Altieri

One of the coolest, cutest, most fun, and ultimately most formative Batman comics, this out-of-continuity series reimagined stories made famous by Batman The Animated Series and is a total joy. It’s currently up to five volumes and includes pretty much every great Batman rogue and hero. A perfect pick if you’re tired of the grim and gritty world of Batman and want something a little more colorful in your comic book life.

Images: DC Comics

District 9 fans who’ve been missing Neill Blomkamp’s directorial style–whilst waiting for his Alien and Robocop sequels–can rejoice as Blomkamp and his Oats Studio are back with a live action short film–since rebranded as a trailer–tied to the release of Bioware’s upcoming online multiplayer action role-playing video game Anthem. Though it’s short on story the teaser is evocative as hell and will likely leave fans wanting more.

Though it’s only a couple of minutes long, it’s clear that a lot of work went into creating it, with the director telling Entertainment Weekly

“The amount of shooting time and how much imagery you have to actually capture into three minutes to make it feel legitimate is exponentially more work than you think it would be. I wrote two 10-page scripts, going off of the idea that a page is roughly a minute. I was proposing 20 minutes of footage, which was way beyond the budget scope we were dealing with. So I eventually condensed everything into one 10-page script and everyone was like, ‘Dude, it’s a three-minute piece. You can’t hand in a 10-page script.’ I was like, ‘No, it has to be 10 pages because we don’t know what’s gonna live and what’s gonna die in the edit room.’ We have to overshoot it in order to make it feel like a trailer so we can pick the best pieces. We can’t know that until the footage exists.”

The game itself is a mix of action role playing and third person shooter and revolves around a very anime trope: humans donning mech suits to fight stuff! In this cast those customizable suits are called Javelins, and they’re humanity’s last defense against mysterious and savage threats left behind by uncaring Gods. The short feels like more of a trailer for a larger movie than a singular short film. but as an atmosphere piece it’s pretty epic. You’ll be able to get your hands on Anthem on February 22, 2019.

Images: Bioware

The world may well and truly be ending, but Amazon Prime has offered a small bright light. The streaming service announced a premiere date for Good Omens on Wednesday; the limited six episode series will debut on May 31. Thank goodness because we need to see David Tennant as the demon Crowley and Michael Sheen as the angel Aziraphale in action STAT. The unlikely duo is working together to stop an impending apocalypse because neither of them are quite ready to watch the world burn. But they have a formidable foe in the silver-tongued Satan, who will be played by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Satan. Let that sink in. He’ll be voicing the devil, who will be an animated character in the live-action series.

Good Omens is based on the 1990 book of the same name (well, the book’s full title is Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter) by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The adaptation is set in 2018 and will see the angel and demon trying to locate an 11-year-old boy (who also happen to be the Antichrist) and stop him from ending the world as we know it. They’ve been living in the world of humans for all of time, and they don’t want to let go.

A look at the opening credits, animated in a lovely storybook-esque style, hints at the epic scale of their bold and wacky quest:

The animation has biblical and apocalyptical imagery–full on fish coming out of the seas and falling from the sky, folks–and also a whole lot of weirdness, which the book is known for. Good and Evil are essentially going to war, each trying to outdo the other. We humans are just stuck in the middle.

The series also stars Jon Hamm, Frances McDormand, Nick Offerman, and many more. Catch up on everything we know about Good Omens so far.

Images: Amazon Prime

Detective Comics is one of the longest running comic books to have ever graced the shelves of our local comic shops. The first issue came out in 1937 and only two years later in issue #27 Detective would introduce one of the most famous heroes of all time: the Batman! Now 80 years later DC is celebrating that monumental anniversary with the release of Detective Comics #1000.

The oversized 96-page issue will be filled with stories from some of your favorite Batman creators, including a new eight page yarn from Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and FCO Plascencia that encapsulates all that’s fun and exciting about the classic detective origins of the iconic character. Along with some exclusive pages we got to chat to Capullo and Snyder about their work on the landmark issue.

Nerdist: How did you two come to reunite on Detective #1000

Scott Snyder: [DC] approached me a few months ago and asked if I wanted to do something with Greg for Detective #1000. That title is such a seminal part of my whole tenure on Batman and means so much to me, that I knew that I wanted to do something and there was nobody else I wanted to do it with other than Greg.

Then they asked us to do the opener for the book. We’ve been doing so much with Batman for so long, and we still are with all the big cosmic stuff and all kinds of horror, that I wanted to do something that showed, no matter how many stories you do with this character, no matter how many cases you solve with him he’s always ripe to be reinvented. There’s always a sense of excitement and a kind of youth and a sense of beginning to him. No matter how long you’ve worked on him, there’s always a thrill to open up a blank page and say ‘we’re writing a Batman story.’

There are great easter eggs in the story, including Slam Bradley from the first ever issue of Detective Comics. How much fun was that?

Snyder: The funniest thing for us story-wise was that I had to ask them for files from the archives because of how hard those early issues of Detective Comics are so unavailable and dated and corny, but awesomely fun. I made a list of all the detectives who appeared in the early issues including Slam Bradley, and all the names were like Silver this, and Chess Rockwell that, and I really wanted to include them somewhere. It was a lot of fun to point at the grand tradition of detection, and how Batman is part of a larger history of solving mysteries.

This story seems a little different from the more serious and creepy Batman stuff you’ve done together. 

Greg Capullo: I got typecast with creepy stuff early on, after X-Force, and here I am! But a lot of the Batman stuff that I’ve done with Scott has been in the light, so this was a true dark detective story, where he’s going around with a flashlight in a cave. We’ve done some dark stuff before but this really felt like the traditional Batman that we all know. All these magical moments felt like they were from the Batman you grew up with as a kid, and then you get to go in to the room and discover all these amazing characters, and also anytime there’s Detective Chimp, I’m excited!

You introduce something entirely new here with the Detectives Guild, which seems to hint at a larger tradition outside of Batman. Could you tell us a bit more about coming up with them?

Snyder: I just felt as though one of the things that we associate with Batman is this vast library of stories; he’s probably the character with the most esteemed shelf of literature written about him. I think because of that, sometimes there’s this sense sometimes that he’s old and maybe he’s done, like we’ve seen him in so many iterations and yet the thing that makes him so adaptable is that aside from the gadgets, the car, the caves, the planes, all that cool stuff, he’s the World’s Greatest Detective. And to be a detective is to pursue mysteries that sometimes are much bigger than yourself, and that means that you’ll always have new stories to be pursued. And so I wanted to do something here that creates a tradition of that. Ultimately the tradition of detection is the tradition of being curious, of being human.

Detective Comics #1000 hits shelves on March 27.

Images: DC Comics

Our beloved Killing Eve was the most intriguing show of last year and ever since the shocking ending we’ve all been waiting to see what happens with our favorite spy / assassin pair. Well, this very happy Valentines Day, BBC America has a brand new trailer for you to enjoy, and it promises just as much madness, cat-and-mouse drama, and very good looks.

The first season introduced Sandra Oh’s Eve Polastri, a razor-sharp MI6 agent with a specific macabre passion for female serial killers, and Jodie Comer’s Villanelle, a brilliant, brutal, eccentric, and impulsive assassin. After Eve is set on Villanelle’s tail, the pair becomes inextricably linked to one another. The show became a massive word-of-mouth hit, with its viewership growing every single episode. The strong female characters and subversion of the spy thriller trope made it one of last year’s most talked about shows.

BBC America’s new trailer showcases the women as they deal with the earth-shattering events of the season one finale, with Eve struggling to come to terms with her actions and Villanelle becoming vulnerable in a way we’ve never really seen her be before.

The show also became famous for its incredible fashion, and some highlights from the new teaser include Villanelle in some very good kids comic book pajamas, someone in a tutu and a pigs mask, and Eve making cozy cold weather clothes look as chic as humanely possible. It’s all soundtracked by an impossibly creepy cover of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” of course, because the music department on this show is no slouch either!

If you’re excited for the new season you’ve only got a little while longer to wait as it debuts on both BBC America and AMC on Sunday, April 7 at 8 ET/7 CT. For now, you can just watch this trailer one million times.

Images: BBC/AMC

Tell anyone you’ve never seen the Paddington movies, and watch them erupt with a combination of excitement and exasperation. “Oh my god, you have too! They’re so amazing!” They’re not wrong either, as the first film’s Rotten Tomatoes score of 97% doesn’t even live up to the sequel’s perfect 100% (the latter actually changed our reviewer’s life). He’s just a very good bear, and soon there’s going to be a lot more of him to love, with a new animated series from Nickelodeon.

The network announced it is teaming up with StudioCanal for a Paddington CG-cartoon series (working title) aimed at pre-schoolers. (Though based on how beloved the films are by all ages, we guarantee it will also be viewed by many post-schoolers.) Also joining the show is producer David Heyman, who in addition to the two Paddingtons also produced every Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film. The most exciting news though might be that Ben Whishaw, who voices the kindly little bear for the big screen, will return to the role for the show, which will follow a younger Paddington on new adventures.

“Fully animated in 3D, the new Paddington series sees a younger Paddington writing to Aunt Lucy from Windsor Gardens. Each episode will open and close with Paddington’s letters as he tells Aunt Lucy what he has learned about life through the day’s new exciting adventure. The series will invite a new generation of fans into Paddington’s world full of heart, kindness, slapstick humour, fun and generosity.”

Yup, that’ll do, especially since our first look at the animation is even more wonderful than you’d imagine.

The only downside is that the show won’t come to Nickelodeon networks worldwide until 2020, as it looks for broadcast partners in certain countries. But that’s no reason not to smile, especially when you remember that not only are we going to get a Paddington cartoon soon, they’re also working on Paddington 3.

It’s certainly going to be nice to have a bear about the house and the theater.

Images: Nickelodeon, StudioCanal

Sit still, they’re coming right back.

As a former Snick kid, it’s been awesome watching Kenan Thompson’s career explode. The comedian has been a Saturday Night Live cast member for 16 years, the longest of any cast member in the history of the show. But before that, we kids knew him as the funny guy from All That and Kenan & Kel. Thompson must be feeling the same sense of nostalgia the rest of us have for old-school Nickelodeon, because he’s just been hired to executive produce a reboot of All That.

via GIPHY

And that’s not all: Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins says that other former cast members are expected to make a return in the new series. All That kickstarted the careers of actors like Thompson and Amanda Bynes, and even launched the spinoff movie Good Burger, starring Thompson and his Kenan & Kel co-star Kel Mitchell. (I bet you anything just hearing those words prompted you to think, “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”)

All That isn’t the only nostalgic Nickelodeon show getting a second life. The network is also working on a series of spinoffs for characters from the cartoon series SpongeBob SquarePants, though details as of yet are scant.

The All That reboot is expected to have a new cast of young people, which Thompson will help cast. He told Variety he isn’t giving up his gig at SNL, but will still be involved in establishing the show’s tone.

We’re pretty stoked that a new generation gets to grow up with All That, but can’t help but wonder which nostalgic segments and characters might make a reappearance. “Ask Ashley”? “Vital Information with Lori Beth Denberg”? I’m personally gunning for Thompson to slip back into the bathtub for “Everyday French with Pierre Escargot.”

No word yet on when the new series will launch, but we’ll definitely be watching on our big orange couch.

Images: Nickelodeon

Despite the fact that Game of Thrones‘ final season premieres in just two months, we don’t know much about what to expect just yet. All we’ve seen from season eight so far is Daenerys arriving at Winterfell. But the Three-Eyed Ravens at Watchers on the Wall seem to have discovered program details for the first episode. If correct, the first episode is going to include some intriguing surprise returns.

Internet sleuths found the URL for the still unlisted and unnamed premiere episode. At only an hour long, it’s not what we expected, since all six episodes have been teased as being featured length. Beyond this, the URL does list almost every major and minor cast member we expect to see this season.

However, two major omissions—Vladimir Furdik who plays the Night King (he’s definitely going to be on the show), and new addition Marc Rissmann, who is playing Commander of the Golden Company Harry Strickland—points to this list being incomplete, suggesting perhaps that it’s only a cast list for the season premiere episode.

And if that’s the case, the list has some unexpected names that might give us our best clues yet at what could happen in the premiere.

THE EXPECTED

With Jon and Daenerys heading to Winterfell, where so many are waiting and training, none of these names are a surprise:

Peter Dinklage (Tyrion), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys), Kit Harington (Jon), Liam Cunningham (Davos), Sophie Turner (Sansa), Maisie Williams (Arya), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), John Bradley (Sam), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran), Conleth Hill (Varys), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Rory McCann (The Hound), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Iain Glen (Jorah), Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), Daniel Portman (Podrick), Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Rupert Vansittart (Lord Yohn Royce), Bella Ramsey (Lyanna Mormont), Richard Rycroft (Maester Wolkan), Megan Parkinson (Alys Karstark), Harry Grasby (Ned Umber), and Staz Nair (Qhono).

Three others—Ben Crompton (Dolores Edd), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), and Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion)—could either be at Castle Black or fleeing to Winterfell to warn them about the Wall’s demise. The season seven finale script confirmed Tormund and Beric survived the Night King’s attack by running sideways and not down.

There are no surprises in King’s Landing either, where we’ll also see Lena Headey (Cersei), Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (The Mountain), and Anton Lesser (Qyburn). Jerome Flynn is also listed in the episode, but we hope Bronn stays far away from Cersei, as she thinks he betrayed her.

No surprise Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) is also included, but two other cast members appearance might tell us where we’ll see him.

THE SOMEWHAT EXPECTED

We knew we’d see Gemma Whelan’s Yara Greyjoy and her uncle Euron, played by Pilou Asbaek, this season. But if we’re not going to see Harry Strickland in this first episode, that means Euron likely hasn’t transported the Golden Company to King’s Landing yet. That would place Euron and his prisoner/niece either on a boat to Essos or already there. This might point to where we’ll see Theon too, since we know he’s on his way to save his sister. Could Theon’s pursuit hinder Cersei’s plan to get her mercenary army to Westeros?

If the Greyjoys end up in Essos, they could go to the major port city of Volantis, and there they just might run into another somewhat surprise appearance on this list: Carice van Houten.

Melisandre said she’d be back at some point to die in Westeros, but we didn’t expect to see her in episode one. If she’s not still in Volantis, that means she’s already back in the Realm. Will she have an army of red priests and priestesses with her to fight the darkness? We certainly hope so.

THE TOTALLY UNEXPECTED

We did not expect to see Lino Facioli on the cast list, largely because we forgot who he is. The young actor plays the irksome Robin Arryn. The Lord of the Vale was presumably at Winterfell during season seven, but we didn’t see him. It makes sense he’s still there and has a role to play; he’s just been such a non-factor we didn’t give him much thought.

Just like Jon bent the knee to Daenerys, and just like we know Sansa will begrudgingly give over Winterfell, Robin Arryn will be called on to decide if he and the Vale will also accept Daenerys as his queen. He’s a big baby so that might not go well, but this sets up an amazing opportunity for the show to call on the history of Westeros. The Vale bent the knee to Aegon the Conqueror after his sister Visenya gave the young Lord of the Vale a dragon ride as his horrified mother looked on.

We don’t care if the Night King wins if we get to see Daenerys give Robin Arryn a dragon ride first.

The last cast member is definitely the most surprising: Tobias Menzies, who plays Edmure Tully. The last time we saw him, he was betraying the Blackfish and giving Riverrun to the Lannisters and the Freys in season six. He did it in exchange for Jaime’s offer to be a respected prisoner at Casterly Rock with his wife and son, but it’s not clear if he ever ended up there, since Walder Frey later said Edmure was back in a cell.

Was he at The Twins when Arya killed all the Freys? Is he a free man now? If so, we might expect to see him head North. However if he was a prisoner of Casterly Rock, he would have been evacuated when the Lannisters gave up the castle, meaning he’s in King’s Landing now. He wouldn’t be as valuable a hostage as Cersei thinks, though, since Brienne knows he betrayed his uncle (she was there when it happened).

Either way, it’s a pretty intriguing name to see pop up. Is that true because we’re two months away from the premiere and still know so little that we’re super excited for Edmure freaking Tully? Or is interesting because literally everything about Game of Thrones fascinates us?

Yes.

Images: HBO

One of the many notable aspects of Russian Doll, Netflix’s new eight-episode dramedy series starring and co-created by Natasha Lyonne, is its soundtrack.

The show the story of a New Yorker who attends a party one night and gets trapped in a time loop that always ends in her death and restarts with her reviving in the bathroom of said party; every time Nadia dies and is resurrected, we hear “Gotta Get Up,” Harry Nilsson’s song from the 1971 album Nilsson Schmilsson. It becomes a comfortable rhythm, a gentle announcement that things still haven’t quite changed, but that there are still new beginnings.

As Lyonne told Refinery29, they tested many “resurrection” songs, spanning artists like Lou Reed and Roxy Music, but she kept coming back to Nilsson’s tune, which has a playful melody that masked the singer’s inner-demons.

via GIPHY

“Really, Harry Nilsson for me has been a lynchpin figure as a lineage to someone who knocked on death’s door and, in his case, didn’t make it,” Lyonne said. Nilsson, a prolific songwriter who worked closely with the Beatles, died of a heart attack at age 52 after a life of heavy drug and alcohol abuse. Lyonne herself kicked serious drug addiction in her 20s, which also led to heart problems; she underwent open-heart surgery in the early 2000s to correct damage caused from her excesses.

That makes the use of “Gotta Get Up” an especially poignant one. But it isn’t the only song that gives Russian Doll its unique edge. The series is a brilliant, hear-wrenching meditation on topics like mental illness, addiction, and endless cycle of self-destruction, and the entire soundtrack is loaded with gems reflecting its themes. The track list includes jams from John Maus, the Echocentrics, Cults, Pussy Riot, and more. Now, thanks to Spotify, you can listen to them all in one place with this official Russian Doll playlist.

 

Load it up, crank up the volume, and listen along to relive the perfect alchemy that is this beautiful, special show.

Images: Netflix

Normally only two things about LEGO frighten us: what they do to our checking accounts and accidentally stepping on them. Now The LEGO Group has given us something to really be afraid of – ghosts. Fortunately these spirits should offer some serious fun as part of a newly announced augmented reality game that will let you build sets that will become haunted houses.

LEGO Hidden Side will let kids (and, uh, adults too we hope) combine eight working, functional LEGO sets with an AR app that “fully and seamlessly integrates augmented reality with physical construction to reveal a hidden world of interactive play.” Players will be challenged to turn “a haunted world back to normal, one ghost at a time,” as they clear the physical sets of AR ghosts seen through their mobile devices.

In a press release announcing the game, senior vice president of the LEGO Group’s Creative Play Lab, Tom Donaldson, said that while LEGO is a tactile toy, this was a way to enhance how kids engage with them. “Our years of experience pioneering the convergence of technology and physical play have taught us that kids expect exciting play experiences that move seamlessly between physical and digital worlds – something we call fluid play,” said Donaldson.

The eight buildings that will sold for the game, which also double as normal LEGO sets full of details and mini-figures, range from a 174-piece set ($19.99), all the way up to a massive 1,474-piece set ($129.99), so there will be plenty of options for players of all ages, sizes, means, and scaredy cats who are frighted by ghosts.

The app for the game – which follows the story of two teenage bloggers Jack and Parker, whose high school is overrun by spirits – will be free to download. Players will be given “a first-person perspective to join the lead characters” as they use their phones to rid the town of paranormal activity.

“By holding their phones up to a physical LEGO model, ‘points of possession’ are activated, releasing virtual ghosts that kids must then capture to stop the haunting. Kids must keep one hand in each world – physical and digital – to progress the play. A short digital game can be played independent of the building sets. The app will add new ghosts, game challenges, and randomization of gameplay to keep kids coming back to their models.”

This is the first interactive service LEGO has ever offered, and after the game launches the app will expand with “new ghosts, new game challenges, and randomization of gameplay.”

LEGO Hidden Side will make its first appearance at this year’s American International Toy Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from February 16 -19 at booth 1335 in Hall 3B. However, it won’t hit stores until late in the summer.

Which means this fall you’ll have to worry that the LEGO you just stepped on, the one you swore wasn’t there before, was placed there by the ghost you forget to get rid of. Now that’s a scary thought.

Images: The LEGO Group

If you haven’t yet purchased a Nintendo Switch, then perhaps the deluge of announcements from Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct will change your mind.

During the video presentation, Nintendo announced a metric ton of new video games, remastered classic games, and a 99-player battle royale version of Tetris that promptly sent the Internet into a tizzy. Here’s are the biggest announcements that you missed during today’s reveal:

Super Mario Maker 2

Our long national nightmare of not being able to create our own custom Mario levels on the Switch is over. Super Mario Maker 2 is coming to the handheld console this June with a bunch of new tools, including diagonal slopes, which I promise is much more exciting than it sounds.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Originally released for the Game Boy back in 1993, the classic The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is getting a 3D remake for the Switch that is so relentlessly charming that if you manage to make it through the trailer without smiling, you’re legally dead inside. The “modern reimagining” arrives sometime later this year.

Astral Chain

Scratch that itch for frenetic, futuristic cyberpunk chaos with ASTRAL CHAIN, the anime-style, third-person action game from Platinum Games and NieR: Automata game designer Takahisa Taura that has you teaming up with a living weapon known as Legion to fight all manner of monsters. The game, which drops August 30, looks like a combination of Patlabor and Devil May Cry, which are two tastes that look like they’ll taste great together. Plus you can apparently dress as a giant dog mascot and recycle? Sign me all the way up.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

The good news is that there is a new Fire Emblem game about three noble houses–The Black Eagles, the Blue Lions, and the Golden Deer–that comprise an elite training academy where students are molded into warriors, mages, and specialists. You will become a professor leading the students of one of these houses through a series of tactical, grid-based battles with major life-or-death consequences. The bad news is that you have to wait until July 26 to play it.

Tetris 99

Who knew that Twitter was just champing at the bit to tear each other a new one in Tetris? Apparently, Nintendo did. Forget Apex Legends; the hottest new name in battle royale right now is Tetris 99, which as the title suggests is a 99-player competitive multiplayer version of Tetris. This Switch exclusive is free to play and available right now in the Nintendo eShop.

BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL!

On April 26, you and a friend can put your heads together for some co-op puzzle-solving action across 270 different levels in BoxBoy! + BoxGirl!.

Mortal Kombat 11

Get over here and play Mortal Kombat 11 on the go! The brutal fighting game is coming to the Switch on April 23. Prepare your body by brushing up on the deadly physics of the series in our new show, The Science of Mortal Kombat with Kyle Hill!

Final Fantasy IX

Originally released in 2000, the classic RPG is finally available on Nintendo Switch. If you slept on this back in the days of the first PlayStation, now is the time to fix the grievous error of your ways and enjoy its sprawling, fantasy worldbuilding right now. That’s right, the game is available immediately on the Nintendo eShop. And if you’re feeling nostalgic for a different PSX-era release, then hang tight because Final Fantasy VII hits the Switch on March 26.

Assassin’s Creed III Remastered

Relive the thrills and chills of the American Revolution on the go with this fully remastered version of Assassin’s Creed III coming to the Switch on May 21. With revamped gameplay, improved aiming, and all of the game’s original DLC included, it’s a no-brainer for action-adventure fans.

In addition to the aforementioned titles, Nintendo also revealed release dates for a slew of other games (Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order comes this summer), provided updates on DLC for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Persona 5‘s Joker arrives in April!), and much more, which you can find in the complete Nintendo Direct presentation on Nintendo’s website.

At a time when there are more science-fiction and fantasy movies being made than ever before, it’s hard to know what is a greater challenge for a film composer: inheriting an iconic character’s score, or creating one from scratch. In the past five years, Tom Holkenborg bka Junkie XL has done both; he’s become one of Hollywood’s go-to guys for hero themes. He has adapted or reimagined iconic melodies for modern audiences (Amazing Spider-Man 2, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), and created ear-worm anthems that become synonymous with a film series (Mad Max Fury Road, Deadpool).

For Alita: Battle Angel, Holkenborg started with the building blocks of two great creative minds, director Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron, who were adapting the immensely popular manga series by Yukito Kishiro, to compose music that enhances the details of a complex dystopian future while capturing the irrepressible optimism of its title character, a young woman who possesses more power than she realizes to effect change.

Nerdist recently spoke to Holkenborg via telephone about his work on the film, and about the ongoing challenges of being a composer tasked with creating the kinds of themes that become part of the pop cultural firmament. In addition to talking about his collaboration with Rodriguez and Cameron, Holkenborg explained both his inspiration and the process of transforming that into actual themes, and reflected on the musical climate, and community, of which he considers himself lucky to be part.

Nerdist: At what point did you join Alita, and what were your initial instincts about developing the music?

Tom Holkenborg: It was August 2017. That’s when I saw the initial cut of the film, which actually is not all that different now than it was back in the day. What was very specific instruction from both Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron but also producer Jon Landau was that it was very important to feel the heart of the film. Movies like this about a dystopian future with monsters, robots, action figures might fall too quickly into something very electronic in nature or very noisy. And it was very important because of the music we stay with Alita the main character throughout the movie.

In spite of all those elements, it’s a uniquely optimistic film. What does that mean for the instruments or themes you want to use?

TH: It was very important that it was a pretty, soaring melody that could be easily bent into something emotional, but also into something positive and heroic. She is a person who is constantly wondering what is out there, and that is very important in the music and the instrumentation. And because she is a CGI character with motion capture from [Rosa Salazar], it was very important that it feel very organic. That’s why for her I went for very organic instrumentation, a flute or a clarinet or strings or a Glockenspiel. It needed to feel organic and natural.

James Cameron worked for many years with composer, James Horner. Did any of his work influence you?

TH: The first time I met James [Cameron], he asked me how I worked. I explained that I usually write elaborate pieces of music and make initial sketches of what themes I have to capture. And James said, that’s exactly how I used to work with James [Horner]. And then throughout the process my day-to-day contact was more with Robert Rodriguez. But it was very interesting to see that they were both looking for the same outcome musically. [But] it’s not easy to fill the shoes of James Horner, and the only way to fill shoes like that is to stay really close to yourself. When Hans [Zimmer] and I worked on Batman vs. Superman and people asked if we’d reuse themes of John Williams or from other composers, we said the same thing. You have to stay close to yourself instead of trying to be or be influenced by somebody else.

Do you listen to other film scores or other composers for inspiration?

TH: My history has been 25 years in electronic music starting in the late ‘80s into 2010 when I did my last tour, and I’ve been a touring artist for 25 years. I try to incorporate it into film scores together with other music styles as much as I can. But again, you have to look at whether it makes sense. I think it’s fantastic that all of these composers are entering the field bringing a different approach to film scoring. It adds a really artistic, genuine character to it. Like when you listen to Ludwig Goransson’s scores, he lives hip-hop and works with hip-hop guys, so he incorporates that into a score in such a genuine way. And I’ve lived electronic music for so incredibly long, so adding electronic elements feels more genuine right from the start.

At this point you have a pretty considerable body of work of creating original hero themes. What advantages and disadvantages do you face when creating a new one?

TH: Yes, I have worked on a lot of movies with superheroes or really strong characters, and you develop an idea for certain things. Obviously, when something really sticks, especially studios and directors want to hear a little bit more of that in upcoming films after that. After Deadpool or Black Mass or Mad Max, they would say, can we do a version of that for this film? Sometimes that leads to a score that is somewhat similar to what you have done. But it also makes your brand stronger, so it’s like a catch-22. But people like John Williams and Hans Zimmer have obviously been extremely successful at that, so there’s always a give and take between having something very memorable and very unique and at the other side creating a style for yourself as a composer that is recognizable as a style unto itself.

The producers envision this as a trilogy. Is it a forgone conclusion that you will come back for the sequels?

TH: I would say this is going to stand or fall technically by the question of is Robert Rodriguez going to be responsible for the next movie or two movies? Because he’s the director that picks the composer. But there’s always a lot of talk when you work on a movie and there needs to be two or three for four more movies, and I’m always saying focus on the movie that we have at hand, because that’s the first thing that needs to be done properly. Yes, in the back of your head you’re thinking, can I take that theme somewhere else in the next movie? But if you then set up the music or the score thinking the payoff of the music is going to happen in the next one and that movie never happens, then there’s also no music payoff. So you need to make it work with it within the movie that’s there.

Is there a pie-in-the-sky character or franchise that you would love to tackle?

TH: One of my favorite animated movies from a long time ago that it’s been rumored Hollywood wants to take on is Akira. I thought it was such an incredibly strong animated movie, but also a very unique music approach, very minimal, very electronic. So if that ever were to be turned into a movie, I would stand in line for a job interview for that one.

Images: Fox; Dirk Kikstra

 

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is one of the most beloved sci-fi / fantasy novels of the last 20 years.

When it was announced in 2011 that it would be becoming a HBO show, fans rejoiced. That series never made it to our screens, but in 2014 it was picked up by Starz, who announced they would be developing the project with Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller with Michael Green, which seemed like the perfect fit.

Three years later the season debuted on the channel to generally positive reviews, but two years later we’re still waiting on the sophomore offering. The series has gone through multiple showrunners, and with the hint at a third season reported by Deadline at the Television Critics Association, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know.

The Production

American Gods has gone through a lot of behind the scenes problems throughout its almost decade long development and eventual production. This began with the leaving HBO, which HBO’s Michael Lombardo told Vulture was due to creative differences with the script. “We tried three different writers, we put a lot of effort into it. Some things just don’t happen.”

Though the show found a home at Starz after the first season, showrunners Brian Fuller and Michael Green announced they were leaving for season two. Though at first it appeared that the split was amicable, fans wondered why the creative team would have jumped ship, and in now deleted tweets Brian Fuller revealed his plans for the next season and that the pair were actually fired.

“Me and [Michael Green] never abandoned [American Gods]. We were dedicated to cast, crafted the season, wrote 5 episodes, even had Media (Gillian Anderson) as Mr. Rogers & Princess Leia. We were in the process of reducing scope due to a dramatic budget reduction when we were fired.”

In March 2018 (five months after Fuller and Green left), Jesse Alexander was brought on as new showrunner alongside Neil Gaiman. But in September, a report in The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Alexander was being “sidelined” due to “delays and frustrations.” Alexander was never replaced.

Season Two

Deadline describes the new season thus: “In season two, the battle moves toward a crisis point, as the destinies of gods and men collide. While Mr. World plots revenge for the attack against him in the first season, Shadow throws in his lot with Wednesday’s attempt to convince the Old Gods of the case for full-out war, with Laura and Mad Sweeney in tow.”

During the Television Critics Association winter press tour, the cast and crew spoke about season two and the tumultuous production (via Variety). For creator Gaiman it’s been a waiting game, but a worthwhile one.“It’s definitely taken a while to get Season 2 out but it takes awhile to get good [episodes]. I think we’d all rather have it good than have it quicker,” Gaiman said.

Emily Browning, who plays Laura Moon, revealed that the show begins about “30 minutes after season one ended.” As for the arc of her controversial character, Browning feels like “Laura finally has Shadow there in front of her and… as is probably to be expected of Laura, she realizes that maybe now she has what she wants she’s not entirely sure it’s what she wants.”

EW had some more interesting quotes, including one from Mr. Wednesday himself, Ian McShane, who’s clearly excited to get back to the source material. This season “is really a great way back to the book, which I thought we got away from in season one.… We needed to get back to the line in the book, which is reuniting Shadow [Ricky Whittle] with his story.” McShane explained. “Gaiman wrote a great blueprint for a TV series that can go wherever it wants as long as it remains true to the roots.” McShane added.

The actor summarized season two by comparing it to the journey that he feels Whittle’s Shadow Moon goes on, “The first season thematically tended to be: Weird shit happens and Shadow goes, ‘What the fuck is going on?’ Season two is Shadow figuring out what is going on, and weird shit is still happening, but now he is actually learning what’s going on.”

EW also got some insightful thoughts from the giant Leprechaun himself, Pablo Schreiber. “Where season one set up the world and took a lot of time to establish the world we were living in and set up these dialogues and hit on a number of issues, season two is a little more plot-driven,” the actor teased. “We’re really moving the book forward, and the story forward.”

Orlando Jones, who plays Mr. Nancy, also added his thoughts on how the new season would move things forward. “It was a lot of work just to get [the concept] out there,” Jones said. “In season two, a lot of those things are more rooted in characters and what their emotions are.”

Season Three

Deadline got the quote about the possibility of another season from a source close to the production. “We didn’t make season two of American Gods not to make a season three.” McShane also had thoughts on the further narrative at TCA, and said, it can go “wherever it wants, so long as it’s true to the roots. It’s not Harry Potter and it’s not the Marvel universe.”

Images: Starz

If you’re a longtime Dungeons & Dragons player, chances are the first image that comes to mind when you think “D&D” is the iconic red box set from 1983. No matter how old you are, the red box and its glorious Larry Elmore cover will always be a symbol of imagination and wonder, an endless supply of adventure stashed in a well-loved cardboard box that’s barely holding together.

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Netflix’s Stranger Things has long paid tribute to that era of Dungeons & Dragons from its very first episode; one of its most terrifying creatures even comes straight from the game. So it’s not a surprise–but it is a delight!–to see a new red box Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set hit store shelves, this time inspired by the hit television series.

The Stranger Things D&D Starter Set comes with everything you need to start playing Dungeons & Dragons, including the rule book, an adventure book, dice, Stranger Things character sheets, and two minis of the Demogorgon. According to the product description, the box includes an adventure that includes a one-of-a-kind monster “created” by series character Mike.D&D Stranger Things

Stranger Things has been inspiring a new generation of Dungeons & Dragons players, so this set holds the same promise of adventure that many of us enjoyed in the 1980s–but this time the only “panic” will probably be how to find this popular set still on store shelves, thankfully.

The Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set is out this May for a retail price of $24.99.

Images: Hasbro / Netflix

Article originally posted on Geek & Sundry.

The title of Greatest Dad in the World belongs, without question, to one particularly silly padre who faithfully does his wonderful best to recreate famous characters’ movements from video games, all for nothing more than the enjoyment of his family (and us). Because no other dad puts “pop” in pop entertainment quite like this father.

YouTube user Nick Luciano is back with another amazing video featuring his 67-year-old father doing a series of character moves from a video game. This time his dad spent two days filming over 200 taunts covering over 80 brawlers included in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Starting with Mario himself, Nick’s father twists, turns, fires, punches, twirls, and more, performing all of the many taunts in each playable character’s arsenal. This would be incredible enough if all he did was the physical movement, but the ingenuity behind some of the props featured here is also amazing.

His Donkey Kong taunts absolutely killed us and this website is now run by ghosts. This also makes the game’s strange inclusion of a Piranha Plant the best thing ever.

As mentioned above, this is not the first time this father-and-son duo made one of these videos. Their first foray was in 2015, and it also featured Smash Bros. taunts.

Clearly he was a natural from the start, though our personal favorite video is still the one in which he reenacted Street Fighter II turbo victory poses.

Look, we are sure many of you have truly amazing fathers who would do anything to make you happy. But here’s the thing—none of them have done these video game recreations, which means this man wears the crown for greatest dad in the world right now. And probably forever. Sorry, other dads.

Wonder which character taunt he’ll use to brag about it.

Featured Image: Nick Luciano

Denis Villeneuve is attempting the impossible. David Lynch couldn’t do it. Alejandro Jodorowsky tried and failed. John Harrison made a miniseries version of it for television. Now, it’s up to the director of Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 to make a successful adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal sci-fi novel, Dune.

He’s certainly off to a good start. We already know that Villeneuve, along with co-screenwriter Eric Roth, plan to split the source material into at least two films, which gives them the advantage of letting the ambitious, massive story breathe, instead of cramming it into one bloated feature. We also know he’s assembled an incredible A-list cast, which got even more exciting today with the news that Aquaman‘s Jason Momoa is in talks for a role.

If you’re unfamiliar with the source material, here’s some further reading about the production history, the plot, and the story’s cinematic history. But in this post, I’m going to break down the casting announcements. Here’s everyone who has been cast so far in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, along with information about the characters they’re playing.

via GIPHY

Timotheé Chalamet as Paul Atreides

According to Deadline, the Call Me By Your Name and Beautiful Boy actor will play our hero, Paul, the heir of House Atreides. Paul is raised in his mother’s Bene Gesserit religion and trained in martial arts and weaponry. In Dune, House Atreides own a desert planet named Arrakis, which is known for mining spice melange, a drug that enhances psychic abilities and allows hyperspace travel, among other things. After his family’s inheritance is stolen, Paul leads a revolution against the Harkonnen intruders to reclaim their legacy. Kyle MacLachlan played the role in Lynch’s version.

Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides

Poe Dameron himself is allegedly tapped to play Paul’s father, Leto, according to Variety. Duke Leto Atreides is a Caladan native who leaves his home planet to rule Arrakis. Though beloved by the people of Arrakis, Leto is eventually betrayed by the Padishah Emperor and invaded by Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, which inspires Paul’s revolution.

Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica

Wife of Leto and mother of Paul, Jessica was raised by the Bene Gesserit, who trained her as a mate for Leto, meant to provide him a daughter. The relationship turned into genuine love, and Paul was born against orders. After House Atreides is betrayed on Arrakis, Lady Jessica inspires her son to fight back against House Harkonnen. First reported by Variety, the Mission: Impossible – Fallout actress is in talks for the role.

Stellan Skarsgård as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen

The Swedish actor is set to play the film’s main villain, the traitorous head of House Harkonnen, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His longstanding rivalry with House Atreides leads the intrusion of Arrakis. Unlike Leto, Baron Harkonnen is a cruel and manipulative leader, prone to torture and blackmail. He is morbidly obese, with suspenders strapped to his flesh to help him walk.

Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Mohiam

THR also reported iconic English actress Rampling will play Gaius Helen Mohiam, a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother. Having raised and trained Lady Jessica in her childhood, she tests young Paul Atreides; she’s dubious of his existence but  curious about his abilities. Described as an “old crone,” she is described as a thin woman dressed in long black robes.

via GIPHY

Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck

The Avengers: Infinity War actor will tackle the part of Gurney Halleck, Paul’s weapons teacher and chief officer of Duke Leto. He later becomes a spice melange smuggler. Halleck was played by Patrick Stewart in Lynch’s film. Variety broke the news of Brolin’s casting..

Dave Bautista as Glossu ‘Beast’ Rabban 

After an impressive, albeit brief, turn in Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, Bautista is re-teaming with the director, according to a Variety exclusive. Bautista will play the nephew of Baron Harkonnen, who earns his nickname “Beast” after killing his own father. Rabban is as sadistic as his uncle and is tasked with ruling the planet Arrakis. Locals of the desert world, known as the Fremen, call Rabban by the nicknames “Demon Ruler” and “King Cobra” because of his viciousness.

Javier Bardem as Stilgar

Though his official role has yet to be confirmed, Variety reported that the Spanish actor is allegedly playing Stilgar, leader of the Sietch Tabr tribe of Fremen. Stilgar protects Paul and his mother after the Harkonnen invasion, becoming an ally to House Arteides.

Zendaya as Chani

According to Variety, the singer/actress is in talks to play Chani, a Fremen woman in charge of tending to Paul after the Harkonnen invasion of Arrakis. The two fall in love as Paul rises to power among the Fremen tribes and leads them in the retaliation against House Harkonnen.

Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho

Another superhero is in talks to join Dune, THR reports. Aquaman and Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa will play Duncan Idaho, a swordsmaster who is fiercely loyal to House Atreides. A fan favorite, Duncan Idaho is also the only character to appear in all of Herbert’s Dune books. So, should Villeneuve’s movie take off, Momoa could be around for a sequel series.

Images: Universal Pictures

(Editor’s note: Nerdist is a subsidiary of Legendary Digital Networks.)

The story of how Carol Danvers went from supporting female “love interest” to Marvel’s premiere heroine Captain Marvel, soon to star in her own feature film, is pretty extraordinary as far as mainstream comics go.

By the time Carol debuted as a hero, the idea of the female analogue to a popular male superhero had been around for decades. Superman had Supergirl, Batman had Batgirl, DC’s Captain Marvel (no relation) had Mary Marvel, etc. But Carol Danvers would be the first female “spin-off” character to not only supersede her male counterpart in popularity and overall importance, but also take his name and rank from him on a permanent basis. But it was a long, long road to get there.

To reiterate, Carol Danvers started out as a supporting character to the male superhero Captain Marvel, and a potential love interest for him. That said, from the get-go she was more than just the “girl” he was supposed to rescue on the regular. She was introduced in 1968 in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 as an officer in the United States Air Force and a Security Chief of a restricted military base, where she met the alien hero Mar-Vell (Captain Marvel) in his human disguise of Dr. Walter Lawson. At this time, most female comics characters had no positions of authority, so the fact that Carol was portrayed as security chief of high rank is no small thing.

In Captain Marvel #18 in 1969, Carol is caught in a battle between the alien Kree villain Yon-Rogg and Mar-Vell. A Kree device called the Psyche-Magnitron explodes in the ensuing fight, leaving Carol seriously injured. It was explained years later that her DNA and that of the alien Mar-Vell’s had fused during this incident, but she would not realize she had powers until nearly seven years later in 1976’s Ms. Marvel #1, when she became a superhero herself—yet another female spin-off a well known male hero.

But then, something unprecedented happened. Ms. Marvel became a more important and integral part of the Marvel Universe than her male counterpart ever was. This would be akin to Supergirl and Batgirl becoming the lead characters in the DC Universe, eclipsing Superman and Batman. Although the Ms. Marvel series only lasted a few years, she graduated to a position as one of the primary Avengers, one of Marvel’s most popular team books. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel’s own series was also canceled in 1979 after 12 years. In 1982, the graphic novel The Death of Captain Marvel was released, and unlike most comic book deaths, this one actually stuck.

So with Mar-Vell dead, it was time for Carol to step into the role of Captain Marvel… well, not so fast. It would be another 30 years before Carol would inherit the title for herself, shocking as it my seem. Although a woman would become the immediate inheritor of Mar-Vell’s title, it was not Carol. In the Amazing Spider-Man story “Who’s That Lady?”, an African-American woman from Louisiana named Monica Rambeau was granted energy powers by extraterrestrial forces (not the Kree) and became the new Captain Marvel, mere months after the death of Mar-Vell. She’d quickly became a member of the Avengers, and was even their leader for much of the ’80s.

So what happened to Carol Danvers during all this? While someone else was using the name Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel went through a tough time. She left the Avengers under dubious circumstances, and had her memories and powers stripped by the X-Man known as Rogue, although Professor X would work to help her regain her memories eventually. The former Ms. Marvel, once a high profile Avenger, became a non-powered supporting character in Uncanny X-Men. While it might seem like a downgrade, she was a character in the biggest selling title in comics at the time, so that’s something.

Carol’s de-powered days didn’t last long though, as it was in the pages of Uncanny X-Men that writer Chris Claremont (who once wrote Carol’s adventures in Ms. Marvel) gave her a big power upgrade, making her the cosmically powered character called Binary. She had a new look, a new costume, and left Earth to have adventures with the space-faring team the Starjammers. Sadly, this also meant she appeared very infrequently over the next decade. What good is a power upgrade if you don’t have a comic to show it off in?

During the ’90s, Monica Rambeau would change her name from Captain Marvel to Pulsar (and later Photon, before finally settling on Spectrum). But Carol still did not take over the Captain Marvel name. Instead, a new hero emerged named Genis-Vell, the son of the original Captain Marvel. He’d have two ongoing series of his own, the second of which lasted from 1999 to 2002. During this period, Carol Danvers would return to Earth and become an Avenger once more, and although she lost her Binary powers, her original Ms. Marvel powers returned, and she became a primary player in the Marvel Universe again, after nearly a decade of being sidelined.

The Genis-Vell character was killed off in 2006, which left the Captain Marvel name unused once more. You’d think that Carol, once again a prominent member of the Avengers and a key player in the  Marvel Universe as a whole, would have finally earned the right to the name. But nope. It wasn’t until 2012 that Marvel Comics finally allowed writer Kelly Sue DeConnick to give her the title she deserved, when she launched the new Captain Marvel series with Carol in the lead. Because of her upgrade in status, Carol at long last has the pedigree and rank that was long denied her as a character, despite having lasted literally decades longer than the male hero who inspired her. But as the saying goes, it’s far better late than never.

Images: Marvel Comics / Marvel Studios

Just like the fearless Captain Marvel herself, you can always count on Her Universe to take things higher and further! Inspired by Carol Danvers and the upcoming film from Marvel Studios, Her Universe’s new Captain Marvel fashion collection is as bold, vibrant, and powerful as the headlining hero.

Several pieces in Her Universe’s Captain Marvel line are based on the red, navy blue, and gold hues of Carol’s costume, which is quickly becoming a familiar sight in current pop culture. Most pieces feature Captain Marvel’s signature star insignia, not only front and center on jackets and T-shirts, but in the small details like zipper pulls and embroidery on the back of a distinctive olive green cotton jacket.

Pieces also have a military feel to them, an homage to Carol Danvers’ tenure in the Air Force early in her hero career, from a faux leather aviator jacket to an olive green cargo romper that’s both flirty and fandom-tastic. Pair any of these pieces with aviator sunglasses and you’ll feel ready to save the world from Skrulls (and other foes) yourself.

Our favorites, however, have to be the swingy cotton Captain Marvel dress coming soon to The Dress Shop at Disney Parks (shown above) and a metallic, eye-catching one-piece swimsuit only offered online, both inspired by Carol’s now iconic costume. And then there’s the tiny Captain Marvel windbreaker jacket just for tots, which is both fierce and fiercely cute. (Don’t worry, there’s a grownup version of the windbreaker as well.) Basically, we want all of the pieces in this collection.

You’ll find all of Her Universe’s Captain Marvel inspired fashion collection for men, women, and kids at HerUniverse.com, Hot Topic, BoxLunch, and Torrid.

Are you excited to see Captain Marvel on the big screen? Tell us why in the comments.

All Images: Her Universe / Hot Topic / Torrid

The trailer for Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen 2 is here!

It shows what looks like a darker and more intense adventure for Elsa, Anna, and Olaf, and fans have already take to social media to showcase their excitement over the long awaited return to Arendelle. Remember, it’s been over five years since the original Frozen hit theaters (we can’t believe it either), and some of those kids who were the target audience aren’t kids anymore. They’ve had time to become pretty decent artists and are surely responsible for some of the very cool (ha!) Frozen 2 fan art we’ve seen around the internet today.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorites, starting with a little Elsa chibi by speedyloaf on Twitter:

And this image of Elsa as she prepares to confront the waves (maybe searching for her parents?) by SilverBD is all sorts of dark and moody.

How fierce is this facial expression?!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

ponytail … elsa …. o-o #fanart #frozen #frozen2 #Disney

A post shared by Jenn St-Onge (@princess_jem4) on

These two sisters. They look like they’re going through a Lot in this trailer, and lezhengai captures the mood.

 

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Frozen ❄️ #frozen #Frozen2 #elsa #anna #portrait #fanart #myart #digitalart #doodle #sketch #disney #drawing

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Cosplayer Jenna already had an ice skating look for Elsa in the closet, and it closely matches the ice queen’s ensemble in the trailer.

Andi says they’re not a fan of Frozen but couldn’t resist illustrating Anna’s new look.

And hello new mysterious character:

https://pastelricky.tumblr.com/post/182785620117/i-dont-know-her-name-but-i-love-her-have-some

Let us buy these outfits, Disney!

https://frozenreferences.tumblr.com/post/182060525338/by-nicole-calma

You put those hands on your hips, Anna.

http://toyboyfan.tumblr.com/post/181692780892/princess-anna-is-serving-gerda-from-the-original

Frozen 2 is sure to inspire more cosplay and fan art as time goes on. By the time the film is here on November 22, we’re sure hundreds of people will already have donned Elsa’s new attire at a convention. We can’t wait to see it all!

It seems like there’s a new bit of casting news for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune every day, each announcement more impressive than the last. Today is no exception: Thanos himself, Josh Brolin, has officially signed on.

Legendary has not confirmed who Brolin will play in Dune, but Variety is reporting he’ll play “Gurney Halleck, the warmaster for Chalamet’s family and a mentor to his character.” That role was originally played by Patrick Stewart in the David Lynch film. This new version will be co-written by Villeneuve along with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts.

Dune is an adaptation of the classic Frank Herbert science fiction novel, about a young man named Paul Atreides whose family controls the desert planet Arrakis. Villeneuve plans to split the story into two parts. Here’s the full synopsis:

As the only producer of a highly valuable resource, control of Arrakis is highly contested among the noble families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, the story explores themes of politics, religion, and man’s relationship to nature as Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis. The project will be produced by Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, and Villeneuve. Thomas Tull will executive produce along with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert for the Frank Herbert estate and Kevin J. Anderson will serve as a creative consultant.

Brolin joins an already stacked cast that includes Timotheé Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, and Rebecca Ferguson as the members of House Atreides, with Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, Dave Bautista, and Stellan Skarsgård in supporting roles. No word yet on who Brolin will play.

via GIPHY

This will be the second attempt to bring Herbert’s opus to the big screen, after David Lynch’s much-maligned attempt in 1984. The dense novel is a sprawling family saga with hundreds of characters, so adapting it has been a challenge for everyone who’s dared to attempt it. Time will tell if Villeneuve can succeed where Alejandro Jodorowsky failed, but with a cast this excellent, he’s off to an impressive start.

Image: Dinsey/Marvel

Editor’s Note: Nerdist is a subsidiary of Legendary Digital Networks

Marriage isn’t for everyone, not even some married people. But you know what is? Cheese. Costco is giving you and your dairy soul mate a way to turn your special day into a celebration of both your loves with a massive cheese wedding cake.

A must for cheese heads!

The retail giant’s enormous new Sid Wainer & Son Cheese Lover Artisan Wedding Cake (that we first got a whiff of at Foodbeast) is a five-tiered, 24-pound dream for dairy aficionados everywhere.

“Comprised of gourmet cheeses sourced from around the world, the Cheese Lover Celebration Cake is a striking and delicious alternative to a classic centerpiece, cake, or cheese board. Simply decorate with flowers, ribbons, or edible garnishes tailored to your own color scheme for an unforgettable addition to your next dining event. This is also a tasty substitute to a traditional wedding cake and perfect for any formal event.”

Cheesessembly Required

The easily assembled cake, which they say must be refrigerated immediately until needed, includes eight pounds of Red Leicester (“similar to an English Cheddar”), seven pounds of Danish Blue (“subtle and tangy with only mild bleu cheese flavor”), five pounds of Murcia al Vino (“drunken goat cheese”), three pounds of Tuscan Sheep’s Cheese (“traditional Tuscan sheep’s milk cheese”), and 17 ounces of Brillat Savarin Triple Cream Brie (“luscious triple cream brie from the Normandy region of France.”) Such an array of artisanal cheeses comes with a wedding cake price though, retailing for $439.99.

That seems like a reasonable price tag. What makes less sense, though, is this is expected to serve between 105 and 150 people. Uh, have you ever seen what happens to the regular cheese cake at weddings? People are food monsters at any sort of function. Whether this is purchased for birthdays celebrations, a Bat Mitzvah, or a quiet night alone at home (don’t judge us), everyone loves cheese.

Cheese is like marriage, but better. Not only is it warm, delicious, and always there for you, you don’t need a divorce attorney if you’ve had enough of it.

Images: Costco

Though the Kree and the Skrulls started out as two alien races that didn’t have a lot to do with one another, their eventual conflict would make for decades of Marvel Comics storytelling, eventually forming part of the basis for the upcoming Captain Marvel film. But just who are these two alien races, and how and when did all this conflict begin spilling over onto poor old Earth?

The Skrulls first made themselves known in the second issue of Fantastic Four in 1962, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. When the green, shape-shifting aliens tried to impersonate the the Fantastic Four, they were found out. They were turned into cows and had their memories wiped, which is a pretty harsh way to deal with anyone if you ask us. But this was only the beginning of the Skrull Empire’s long simmering hatred of the human race.

The Kree, on the other hand, would not appear until five years later, in Fantastic Four #65. A militaristic race of blue-skinned humanoids, these conquerors produced the likes of the villainous Ronan the Accuser, and the heroic Mar-Vell, better known as the original Captain Marvel.

At some point, the writers at Marvel Comics realized that these two galactic super powers should at least be aware of each other, similarly to how Star Trek decided to make the Federations’s main adversaries, the Klingons and the Romulans, each other’s own mortal enemies.

The Original Kree-Skrull War

Now that both races had been introduced in the pages of various Marvel titles, writer Roy Thomas decided to create a conflict between both races that would put Earth squarely in the middle of it all. Running through Avengers #89-97, from 1971-72, the storyline focused on the Kree’s attempts to send Earth back to a prehistoric state, in an effort to make the planet hospitable as sort of beachhead in their conflict with the Skrulls.

Featuring Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) in a prominent role, as well as his colleague Carol Danvers, who would become Captain Marvel herself eventually, this story established the notion that the Skrulls would impersonate humans in positions of power to influence outcomes in their favor, as they impersonate U.S. Senator Craddock to sway public opinion against the Avengers. He is later discovered and exposed, but the precedent had been set. Although the story technically ended in Avengers #97, this was actually just the beginning.

Johnny and Lyja, Sittin’ in a Tree…

The biggest instance of Skrull impersonating a human on Earth to manipulate their enemies was when the Skrull operative named Lyja impersonated longstanding Fantastic Four supporting character Alicia Masters, and had her marry Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. In the original Stan Lee/Jack Kirby comics, Alicia Masters was the blind sculptress who loved Ben Grimm/the Thing despite his deformity. After being together for years, the pair broke up when the Thing left Earth, presumably forever.

With the Thing gone, Johnny and Alicia fell in love, and were eventually married. But when Ben came back from his outer space adventure, he was furious that his best buddy had married his girlfriend. He eventually made amends with the pair, but not long after, they revealed that Alicia had in fact been replaced with a Skrull operative named Lyja years before, and the Skrull who married Johnny was never the real deal. This allowed Ben and Alicia to get back together, and created all kinds of drama for Johnny and his Fantastic Four family.

Secret Invasion

Lyja’s infiltration of the Fantastic Four was but the first step into a larger revenge plot against Earth’s heroes which resulted in the 2008 series Secret Invasion. In the early 2000s, the Skrulls replaced various super-humans, including Spider-Woman, Hank Pym, the Inhumans’ Black Bolt, Elektra, many members of  S.H.I.E.L.D., and even Iron Man’s trusted butler, Edwin Jarvis.

Despite Marvel teasing that some heroes had in fact been Skrulls for decades, that didn’t seem to be the case in the end, as most had only recently been replaced. Ultimately, Reed Richards develops a device to expose and any Skrull posing as a human, and the invasion armada is repelled. After the infiltration, S.H.I.E.L.D. is dissolved, something akin to what happened in the MCU when HYDRA infiltrated the organization.

We don’t quite know what we’ll see of the Kree and the Skrulls in Captain Marvel, but we’re excited for some body-snatching action.

Images: Marvel Comics / Marvel Studios 

The new trailer for Frozen 2 is here and we’re surprised by how intense this thing looks.

Sure, the first Frozen dealt with themes of adventure and isolation, of familial strife and sibling love on the grandest of scales. But that still couldn’t prepare us for the sheer epicness of what the sequel seems to be going for. We see Queen Elsa running smack into a giant wave, using her freezing abilities to create sheets of ice to stand on. She’s either stranded somewhere remote or this is some kind of training sequence, with Elsa pushing the limits of powers to see how strong she can become.

If you think that sounds like something out of a superhero movie, you’re not alone. In fact, one talented Twitter user had the smart idea to put the theme for The Avengers over the Frozen 2 trailer, and the results are surprisingly perfect. Check it out!

Kudos, @jeeveswilliams, for having the good sense to line these epic properties up, because holy cow does that fit well! In fact, we’re not convinced that this wasn’t intentional. Maybe the good folks at Disney used The Avengers theme as temp music when cutting the trailer, or maybe it’s just another bit of Mouse House serendipity. Whatever the case, we’re so happy this mashup exists.

It’s fun stuff like this that’ll tide us over until Frozen 2 arrives later this year. So far, we have no idea what this movie will be about, other than a brief description from Disney that mentions the characters from the first film heading into the forest to uncover an ancient mystery about their kingdom, Arendelle. The trailer shows that Elsa sequence, along with images of her sister Anna surrounded by colorful icy diamonds, Kristoff leading a reindeer herd on his companion Sven, and Elsa using her frozen powers to protect Olaf. Avengers assemble, right?

via GIPHY

Frozen 2 arrives in theaters on November 22.

Images: Disney

For better or worse—and usually in the interest of spicing up sequel entries—fantasy franchises will occasionally go the route of bringing main characters’ long-thought-dead parents back to life. It happens often enough that when we catch glimpse of something like the first trailer for Frozen 2, we can’t help but to start theorizing.

Yes, we’re positing that Frozen 2 just may indeed be bringing Anna and Elsa’s parents, who died at sea (outdoor voice: OR DID THEY?) at the beginning of Disney’s 2013 mega hit, back from the great beyond. Whether or not this move would undercut the emotional stakes of the Arendellian sisters’ journey from lonely tots to empowered kingdom saviors, well, that’s yet to be determined. For now, we’re just interested in the hard, tangible clues.

For instance, the first half of the trailer’s devotion to Elsa taking on the very beast that took her parents from her so long ago: waves.

Now, there are plenty of reasons why Elsa might be taking on her proverbial Crime Alley. Maybe she’s got to trek beyond the horizon for some completely unrelated magical journey and her boat’s in the shop. Maybe she’s prepping for a surf competition against Lilo and Stitch. But we can’t help but imagine that Elsa would only take on the very thing that killed her parents if not to, perhaps, save her parents.

Of course, this would all be out of left field were not for another shot in the trailer: that of a mysterious, decidedly faceless, pair of adventurers. A curly-haired woman and a black-coated man show up at the 1:24 mark in the throes of some magical wind-type action in the always-autumn setting that appears to be a centerpiece for Frozen 2.

So who are they? Well, though their faces are dutifully obscured in the trailer, their general shapes and dress don’t seem too far beyond what we’ve seen of Queen Iduna and King Agnarr. Yes, her hair has gotten a little scragglier, but that’s what years of roughing it will do to you.

Set featured image

Perhaps the King and Queen didn’t kick the bucket on the high seas after all, but were marooned in Autumnberg and unable to trek back home. And if so, perhaps their journey had brought them face to face with the aforementioned magical wind—a different manifestation of the snow powers that inhabit their then-young-now-grown daughter Elsa?

If so, what have they been doing all this time? Bumming around Falltopia and enjoying Scandinavia’s answer to the Santa Ana Winds? Or perhaps combing this new magical realm for a cure for their daughter’s affliction? Yes, we have since come to understand Elsa’s powers as not an affliction whatsoever, but instead in fact a wonderful and defining component to her humanity. But you know, parents just don’t understand.

Whether the King and Queen are alive or not in Frozen 2, it does seem like Elsa’s forthcoming journey will drum up some childhood demons. Even if she’s just taking on waves for a surf contest, that’s gotta unearth some stuff!

Images: Disney

For 15 years now, NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity has been exploring the uncharted regions of the red planet. But in mid-2018, we stopped receiving transmissions from the rover, and began to fear it may have been finally been gone for good. On Wednesday afternoon, NASA will announce if its final attempt to contact the rover was successful or not. It’s unlikely the space agency will hear anything back from the robot nearly 34 million miles away, and at that time they will announce the end of the mission. No one is taking it well, and we don’t just mean scientists and engineers.

Missions end all the time, but the swan song for the little machine, affectionately called “Oppy,” is hitting people around the world in a way few other robot demises do. It all has to do with the unlikely and incredible length of Opportunity’s mission and its final message.

In a fantastic Twitter thread, science reporter Jacob Margolis explained the history of Oppy’s amazing journey—which began when it landed on Mars in 2004 alongside its twin robot Spirit, whose own mission ended in 2010—and what went wrong for Opportunity on the red planet last June. (FYI: You might need a moment to gather yourself after reading the whole story.)

A 90-day mission that lasted over 15 years and covered 28 miles across the beautiful barren surface of our celestial neighbor would be enough to make Oppy’s fatal dust storm ending emotional, but it’s Opportunity’s last message that has turned this goodbye into something bigger. Margolis said its final note was basically, “My battery is low and it’s getting dark.”

Yeah. Yeah.

As you can imagine, a real life Wall-E death scene has hit many hard, and they’ve taken to Twitter to bid farewell to a machine who represents so much: hard work, perseverance, hope, dreaming big, a better future beyond our own world, and how everyone and everything in the universe must one day face its own ending.  Since we’re not alone in getting a little choked up over what Oppy represents, here are some of our favorite goodbyes, memorials, and hopeful messages to bid adieu to a special robot who gave more than we ever imagined.

Farewell Opportunity. Your mission might be over, but we won’t forget what you did.

Featured Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For parents who have had to deal with their kids rewatching the movie over and over (and over and over) again every day for years, it might feel like Frozen was just released. Somehow it’s actually been over five years since the smash hit musical came to theaters in November of 2013.

But when it comes to Disney’s tale about a queen with magical ice powers, the Mouse House isn’t ready for you to let it go just yet. This fall Frozen 2 will come to theaters, and based on its first trailer it’s going to be an epic return.

This first, genuinely grand and gorgeous teaser is full of sweeping shots, intense moments, and a beautiful score (though The Avengers music works too). What it doesn’t have is any dialogue or even any real hint at what the story is about. Our biggest clue comes at the start, where Queen Elsa appears to be trapped Castaway-style on an island being inundated with massive waves even she can’t seem to traverse with her powers. (Stupid salt water and it’s high freezing point!) But that’s not the only issue Arendelle’s royal family and friends are facing, as a major storm seems to be brewing on a dangerous journey across the wilderness. Also, Anna and Elsa’s parents might be alive.

Normally Frozen makes us want to sing, or laugh, or cry, but this trailer has us ready to run through a wall, and we don’t even know what the problem is. We just want to grab a sword like Anna and start swinging.

Hopefully for parents who are destined to watch this a million times, that won’t be what their kids will do.

Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, and starring Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad, with music from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Frozen 2 comes to theaters on November 22, 2019.

Featured Image: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Welcome, Wednesday Warriors! It’s new comic book day! But before you head to the local comic shop, arm yourself with a few recommendations. We’re gonna get heavy this week, so prepare yourself for an onslaught of awesomeness! Get thee to the comic store and bring some hardcore happiness into your life! And, hey, for you big spenders out there, we also have a complete list of this week’s releases.

As usual, we will touch on a plot detail or two below, which means you are officially entering spoiler territory. You’ve been warned, friends!

MURDER FALCON #5

Written By: Daniel Warren Johnson
Art By: Daniel Warren Johnson
Colors By: Mike Spicer
Letters By: Rus Wooton and Daniel Warren Johnson

The fact that Murder Falcon is a visual masterpiece should be no surprise to anybody. Daniel Warren Johnson is an unparalleled talent who brings more life and energy to a single panel than most artists can muster in an entire book. On the other hand, the fact that Murder Falcon, a comic book about a giant, murderous falcon who is essentially fueled by heavy metal, has so much heart and emotion is a genuine surprise. Johnson is a superb writer—go read Extremity—but Murder Falcon seemed, at least on the surface, to be a goof. Just some fast-paced fun that would be a showcase for Johnson’s amazing artwork. And it is that. But, five issues in, and it’s clear that Johnson is telling a rich and complex story about courage, life, fear, and the things that drive us.

SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #1

Written By: Gerry Duggan
Art By: Ron Garney
Colors By: Richard Isanove
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham

The resurgence of Conan at Marvel has been spectacular thus far. We love Conan the Barbarian and we are happy to report that Savage Sword of Conan #1 is pretty damn great, too. Gerry Duggan and Ron Garney are giving our favorite Cimmerian a bleak kick-off in this series, but we all know that Conan thrives in bleak situations, so everything should turn out fine. Duggan himself thrives writing in the dark poetics of Hyborian Age and Garney’s storytelling is fluid and brutal (in a good way). Look, all you really need to know is that Conan breaks a dude’s finger off in order to pick a lock with the bone.

CRIMINAL #2

Written By: Ed Brubaker
Art By: Sean Phillips
Colors By: Jacob Phillips
Letters By: Sean Phillips

The second issue of the Criminal ongoing completely disregards the first issue and just jumps right into a new story featuring an old character. Sound confusing? It’s not. Like every other issue of Criminal, it’s a perfectly orchestrated slow burn that shines a light into the dark corners of a world that looks an awful lot like our own. This issue mixes hardboiled crime and comic books, which somehow go together delightfully. Brubaker and Phillips are in their imperial phase and things don’t show any sign of slowing.

HAWKMAN #9

Written By: Robert Venditti
Art By: Bryan Hitch with Andrew Currie
Colors By: Jeremiah Shipper
Letters By: Starkings and Comicraft

If you are going to have a scene in a superhero comic book where giant robots and an army of winged warriors attack a city, then Bryan Hitch is the guy you want to draw it. Nobody orchestrates large-scale destruction quite like Hitch; he just makes all the mayhem and violence look graceful and effortless. Hawkman #9, as you probably guessed, features giant robots and winged warriors attacking a city and it looks awesome. This book is much fun and seems to occupy its own little corner of the DC Universe. Big shout out to Jeremiah Shipper, too, who delivers some stunning colors in this issue. Just look at the sun on the page with the big villain reveal! Holy cow, right?

Okay, that’s it for us this week! Let us know what comics you are picking up in the comments below!

Featured Image: Image Comics

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Few things are as uplifting and whimsical as the beloved animated films of Hayao Miyazaki. From quieter slice of life tales like Whisper of the Heart to epic fantasies like Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, every story Studio Ghibli tells brings a little bit of magic to real life.

Artists from around the world are paying tribute to Miyazaki’s creativity with bursts of heartwarming inspiration of their own in a mixed media art exhibition opening in Honolulu this weekend.

“My Neighbor Hayao” is an art show from Spoke Art and POW! WOW! Hawai’i featuring over 150 international artists. The traveling art exhibition has already stopped by New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles before making its way to Hawaii. From bright and vibrant paintings, to incredibly detailed embroidered needlework, to delicately carved woodwork, to a tiny sculpture carved in the tip of a white crayon, the artists highlighted in the show display the same amount of delightful eccentricity and imagination as the work they’re inspired by.

Princess MononokeHowl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and many more of your favorite animated films are paid tribute with some truly stunning artwork that fills the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu only from February 13-17.

Seeing each artist’s interpretation of Miyazaki’s classic work is a treat for both the eyes and the mind, as many of them envision bold colors and dizzying designs that match the unusual nature of Studio Ghibli’s highly regarded creations. Visit the Spoke Art website for a look at a few more pieces from the one-of-a-kind exhibit and for more information about the gallery show opening this week.

Which Hayao Mikyazaki film has inspired you? Tell us which one and why in the comments.

Featured Image: Dan Mumford, Ponyo Loves Ham! by Jessica So Ren Tang, Wild White by Hoang Tran, Starry Dynamo by Brian Ashburn, Kiki by Allison Reimold