DC vs. Marvel: The Road To Justice League Part One.. Going Beyond Batman

Justice League 2017 Movie - Justice League Part One Heroes Splash

KAPOW! ZOK!! CRASH! WHAMM!!

Batman has been kicking some major ass for a few decades now. Even though I’m a die-hard Marvel fan, Batman is by far one of my favorite heroes. Heck, he is one of my favorite fictional characters PERIOD.  DC has some strong characters but it always seems to go back to Batman.  On the cusp of a revitalized DC cinematic universe and the new Justice League movie (Justice League Part One), you have to ask yourself:

Can DC do better than Batman?

Here’s a guy whose superpower is simply “resourcefulness”. He learned martial arts and is a bit of a ninja. He employs his knowledge of psychology to exploit enemy weaknesses. He’s arguably the greatest detective, second maybe to Sherlock Holmes (though that depends on which iteration of Batman we’re talking about). Oh, and he has cool gadgets that would make Iron Man blush. If you include the Batman show run from 1966 through 1968 (hey, it’s canon DAMMIT), his dance skills are undeniable as well – that Batusi, though!

FUN FACT: Growing up, Julie Newmar was totally my crush.. I still say she’s the most purrfect Catwoman ever.

Julie Newmar as Catwoman. Purrrrfect.

Julie Newmar as Catwoman. Those eyes always get me. They’re purrrrrfect.

Julie Newmar as Catwoman. Purrrrfect.

Since 1939, Batman has been a compelling force in all facets of geek culture: video games, tabletop games, trading cards, comics, novels, TV, and the big screen. In my humble opinion, all of the Batman content is timeless and even the horribad stuff (say, Batman & Robin of 1997, where there was an entire competitive ice skating scene and lots of frollicking) is enjoyable to some extent. Heck, if you go back to the Sunsoft Batman games of the 80s/90s, they are still super-duper fun and hold up well in spite of the dated graphics – even if you’re not a retro hipster like me! Hmmm, I smell a future #RetroFriday theme…

Animated GIF: Batman NES 8-bit wall jumping!

8-bit Batman goodness. Thank you, NES and Sunsoft. You climb them walls, Batman!

The Batman universe is so massive that it’s spawned countless TV shows and animated series. Just to name a few, we have Batman (1996), Batman: The Animated Series (1992), The New Batman Adventures (1997), Batman Beyond (1999), The Batman (2004), and Birds of Prey (2002). Yeah, I went there on the last one and you know what? Birds of Prey had tons of potential, as cheesy as it was. We got to see what happens in a world where Batman finally gives up and others pick up the slack. Plus you get to meet his daughter, The Huntress, and an older Batgirl – AWESOME!

Ashley Scott as The Huntress (Birds Of Prey).

Casting for Birds Of Prey may be one of the reasons it didn’t succeed but Ashley Scott did bring a lot to the role of The Huntress. Rawr.

As huge as Batman is, he’s only a small part of the DC universe but it’s undeniable that he overshadows everything else. I mean, the recent slew of Batman games are still kicking ass, against all odds (you know, because licensed games tend to suck). Beyond the Arkham/Dark Knight themed video games of the Xbox 360/PS3 and Xbox One/PS4 generations, there are a slew of Batman-themed puzzle and arcade-style online casino games that are strangely sticky. It goes to show that we can’t get enough Batman! Now, if we can get a Batman-themed Texas Tea game, we’ll be set – that particular game has paid out quite well for me during my Vegas excursions.

Texas Tea giant screen multiplayer model - EPIC!

FYI: Texas Tea is widely addicting and, if someone makes a mobile equivalent with online play, I bet it be a huge success. Just remember who gave you the idea.

Marvel vs. DC Cinematic Universe

So let’s talk about the DC universe as a whole. If you ask our fellow geeks, most might say that the DC is still lagging way behind Marvel. On the TV front, the combined efforts of The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow have created a very believable world with compelling enemies and loosely-connected story lines. On the big screen, they’re not doing so hot.

DC has made it clear that they’re not interested in tying in their television series with their silver screen stuff. I think that is a smart decision as it gives them more creative freedom. Some fans would like to see the TV actors do large-scale productions but that may not work as well. For example, Steve Amell is great but he hasn’t done too hot in movies. Without the TV backdrop, however, DC needs to rely on their movie universe alone or risk losing people.

On the Marvel side, you have the Netflix shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the most recent Iron Fist. Let’s just get this out of the way: Iron Fist is actually a really strong show but critics are slamming it because controversy and contrarian opinions garner attention. Anywho, all of these shows have fleshed out the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) nicely without getting in the way of each other too much.

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Extra Life & Twitch Stream Teams: How They [Should] Work & Why They Fail

GeekyAntics Extra Life Promo | Heroes Of All Sizes CTA | http://geekyantics.net/extralife

With around four weeks left until our Extra Life 2016 Twitch marathon, we’ve been thinking a lot more about online teams, communities, and tribes.  You see, we know they work and that they’re the only way to cut through the noise and unfair advantages huge brands have..  Yet the comfort people find in anonymity and lurking has become a major barrier.

Every week, we receive hundreds, if not thousands, of solicitations from folks that want to advertise with us, hire us, sell us a product, or join our stream team.  The latter has become particularly prominent, which is great, but folks think all it takes to join a team is a quick tweet or comment.  On Twitch, stream teams are essentially the following:

  • People join to siphon viewers from others.
  • They name drop when it’s convenient for them and makes them look good.
  • Individual team members rarely interact or acknowledge each other.
  • The people at the top get richer while the folks at the bottom continue to struggle.
  • You wouldn’t know they were a team if it weren’t for the “playing as” text.
  • Everyone is too busy promoting their own stuff to share and play nice.
  • The rich get richer, the poor get poorer (hmmm, that seems to be a recurring theme).

The Rich Get Richer

This is a terrible model and we are setting out to fix it, whether we’re partnered with Twitch or not.  The first phase is education.  We’re growing awareness about the abuse and ignorance that keeps us little people struggling.  Meanwhile, we’re identifying the best practices to make us as efficient as possible – so we have more free time to nurture relationships and do the little things you can’t automate!

Of course, we can create tools, systems, and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) but it still falls upon the individuals to live out those values and do the work.  I know I’ve been on the soap box a lot lately but I hope that I impress upon everyone just how important what we are doing really is.  It’s a long road ahead, certainly, but we’ve had big wins and will continue to push forward.  Let’s briefly look at what we hope to accomplish as we head into 2017 and beyond!

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Mini Zombie Photo Journal: #WalkerStalkerCon #Atlanta 2014 | #TWTT #HorsePLAY

UPDATE:  Had some tech issues.  All sorted out now.  This was supposed to be a early morning piece.  My bad!

Day One of Walker Stalker Con was pretty darn awesome.  It’s already almost time to head back but here are some quick highlights.  I apologize in advance for some of the crappy photos but, hey, it’s something!

 

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Eric and James of The Walker Stalkers podcast kicked off the event sharing a brief history of the event.  It’s hard to believe it hasn’t even been two years since WSC started.

 

They discussed how the event started as a simple fan meetup.  The expected turnout was 1K but, instead, over 10K people showed up.  This year, they are expecting over 50K at the event.  Their growth has been amazing and inspiring!  This reminds us that podcasts are still ripe opportunities.

 

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Walker Stalkers LIVE reminded us that this is a true fan event.  Eric and James offered General Admissions attendees a chance at a free VIP upgrade by playing The Walking Dead Family Feud.  It was awesome seeing old TWD cast members sitting right there with the fans.  The energy and wit the actors brought was refreshing and it really set the tone for the event.  This is huge considering Dania, a.k.a. Michonne, cancelled at the very last minute and other issues overshadowed Day One.  To that I say “shame on you” to the managers and agents who failed to see the importance of this event.

 

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Lots of great surveys were featured in this game of Family Feud.  The big one is shown above, when contestants were asked, “What are the biggest threats in The Walking Dead?”  Sadly, spoiled food and squirrels did not make the board.  Doh.

 

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The main panel room on the 3rd floor of AmericasMart building 2 is huge.  There is not much scheduled in the space, which is a shame, but the setup is nice.  Great lighting and set pieces.  This event space in Atlanta is impressive and spacious, yet it’s not overwhelming like, say, Jacob Javits Center in NYC.  There is a certain warmth here.

 

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The next panel I caught was Emory University’s Zombie Ethics discussion.  They went deep on the allure of The Walking Dead and what defines ethics under normal or apocalyptic circumstances.  Are zombies sentient enough to be subject to ethics ?  Is mistreatment of zombies animal cruelty?  Does choice and free will determine the responsibility of ethics?   I really enjoyed the discussion so expect a write-up on it.  There were audio issues but the presenters and experts were wonderful so I stuck around for the whole thing.

 

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The Wonder That Is Woman

Joan of Arc

The wonder that is woman

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

 

What is woman?

What does it mean to be a woman in our time? What is her place in the world? What is her situation? What are her problems?

These are the questions which our clumsy and stumbling journey has brought us as we further reflect on the female gamer and geek – here, on the Horseplay podcast and elsewhere. Warning: this is not a flirtation with feminism. Nor is it an introduction to the self-enamors of a boyish circle jerk.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Woman, like Man, is not to be ignored, rejected or exploited – nor should she get an armful of get out of jail cards to play with reckless whim. Woman belongs here just as does Man. She represents a mystery, a wonder and a good which transcends our infantile ambitions to possess and use her for our own purposes. When I say, good, I do not mean a commodity, but a boon, a gift and a blessing.
Immaculate Conception
Mary, Mother of Jesus

It does not require great imagination to understand her as a boon, gift and blessing when we consider her as a mother. But motherhood is not the only blessing, she is a treasure as a wife, daughter, sister, saint, hero, etc. – if she pursues her identity with dignity, grace and love.

Thank You

Thank you, women. And thank you who work, who contribute to culture that lifts up the human spirit, and who serve in causes and missions that bring compassion and hope to all of the human family. Thank you, every woman!

Women have contributed to human history as much as men. And in every noble endeavor including science, art, and culture.
Marie Curie
Women have made great sacrifices and faced great challenges just as much as men. Humanity is blessed by the presence, excellence and gift of great women.
Rosa Parks.
Sadly, history and popular culture does not admit to enough of the evidence of women’s achievements and contributions – but we are not so ignorant nor of limited imagination to deny the unrecorded evidence of culture, progress and hope to which women have made contribution.
..
Edith Stein
Edith Stein

A woman’s dignity derives from these things and much more. It is a dignity, however, that has often been unappreciated, unacknowledged, and, sadly, much abused.
Queen Rania of Jordan
When the woman rises (as Maya Angelou proclaims in her poem), humanity rises. When the woman rises into a daybreak that is wonderously clear, we rise to it together – men, women and children.
Liu Yang

Folly

There remains obstacles to the full integration of virtuous women within social, political and economic activities. There remains inequalities and prejudices that prevent the woman from being freely herself, a boon, a gift and a blessing. There remains injustice, violence against women, and the abuse of women which are perpetuated by human folly – yours and mine.


This folly ends when we honor the dignity of the woman. It ends when all of us allow ourselves to accept, celebrate and praise her dignity in the individual woman. It ends when the individual woman demonstrates her dignity as a woman and she rejects the vulgar, dehumanizing and savage passions which we must all struggle to reject.

Mother Teresa

Men (and boys) must see women who exemplify what a blessing she is as mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, professional, leader, hero, etc. They must see women of great dignity with their own eyes. Otherwise, the ignorance and folly of men shall continue.

Make it so

If the task seems daunting to women (to be virtuous), the burden upon men must be to search for signs of her dignity, honor her when those signs are demonstrated, and defend her dignity against the savage ambitions and behavior of the stupid.

Even in a game.
Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz


Especially in a game. Because contrary to the anti-social perversions of the infantile and undeveloped gamer, geek or otherwise (of which there are too many), the best games are social activities where we learn and exercise good graces, deepen our relationships with others, and truly enjoy each other.
Angela Gheorghiu
Good women can bring much to a game including sensibility, humanity, coherence, loyalty, organization, communication and, last but not least, community skills.

Let go of the pain and anger

The need to hurt, humiliate, offend and/or dominate others (online or offline) is a symptom of a sickness, a disease and all that pain you now bear up in an undignified and demonic manner.


But do not give up hope. Not on you. Not on us. This is not hell and what is broken can often be mended – especially if the patient is pure of heart.

To think and believe otherwise is to be confused, miserable, broken, and deeply maladjusted.

Or do you believe me to be mistaken? Tell me. Comment below, shout at me on Facebook or give me a hat tip on Twitter.

Angela Gheorghiu sings the aria “Vissi d’arte” in Puccini’s opera ‘Tosca’
Stan Faryna
6 June 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

Woman Crush Wednesday – Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif – Thor)

Jaimie Alexander Sexy Lingerie Shot - Courtesy Of Esquire

Tonight I will be joining Chip Cella and Andy Uruqhart over at the Agents of SHIELDcast so this g33k Grrl (emphasis on the “Grrrrrr”)pick by our friends at Be Like Water comes right on time. I just saw the Thor: Dark World movie and loved it, possibly more than the first. Lady Sif is definitely easy on the eyes.. We hope to see more of her on the S.H.I.E.L.D. show..  Giggity.

I bet we’re all curious to see how many people will be cosplaying Lady Sif now that she seems to be a mainstay.  Now, on a more serious note, do you think Lady Sif added more substance to the S.H.I.E.L.D. show?  Better yet…

Lady Sif – Sizzle or fizzle?

Let us know in the comments and be sure to visit our friends at their respective blogs, Facebook pages, podcasts, etc!