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InnerCityGeeks Podcast: Episode 110 – Looking For A Place To Pee

This week Alex and Steve talk about Teen Titans GO! To The Movies, Black Panther being a boss, Animaniac’s making a come back, Stan Lee’s accusations, anticipated TV shows based on comics, Ikea’s weird ad and so much more. This episode also features music from Bad Wolves – “Learn To Live”.

Listen to the episode on SoundCloud / Stitcher!

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Exclusive Toys Coming To NYCC!

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by: Steve (@MisterJackal)

We are a few days away from New York Comic Con and I cannot wait! Tons of different panels. Exclusive looks into comics, television and movies. Cosplayers galore! Celebrity sightings! Meeting your favorite artist and writers! But most importantly… TOYS! The past couple years during NYCC, I am really excited to see the limited exclusives that are being offered by all the different geeky vendors. So, I figured I would make a list of my most anticipated toys coming to NYCC 2013.

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What You Should Know Before Watching The Amazing Spider-Man

by: Steve (@MisterJackal)

Summer is here and The Avengers have come blown us all away becoming Disney’s highest grossing movie of all time. Comic books have had a very hard time translating to both television and movies. Bringing us to the reason why you are reading this, Spider-Man! Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, making his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962. Originally, Peter Parker is an orphan teen raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben going through adolescence while being a costumed crimefighter with super-strength, agility, wall crawling and senses danger allowing to react quickly against the bad guys. The friendly neighborhood web swinger has had SO many different iterations, some better than others.

Starting in 1967, Spider-Man had his first animated series that lasted about three years. Extremely low-budget and included an reused an entire episode Rocket Robin Hood, that’s right backgrounds, characters and even storyline. The best thing and most know thing that came out of this show was its theme song.

Spider-Man was also an occasional character on the childrens educational show The Electric Company on a segment called Spidey’s Super Stories in which he would only speak in speech balloons so the children can read. How sweet! In 1977, The Amazing Spider-Man starring Nicholas Hammond as the wall crawler and even though it did receive good ratings lots of fans complained about the poor production quality and the fact that most of his adventures are absolutely ridiculous.

In 1978, there was a live action tokusatsu Spidey series produced in Japan that included giant robots, very similar to Ultraman or the Kamen Rider series. Here is the difference. Spider-Man was not Peter Parker, his name was Takuya Yamashiro, a young moto-cross  racer that sees a UFO, The Marveller, crashing down to Earth from the planet “Spider”. His father is a space archaeologist that is killed while investigating the crash. Takuya follows his dad to the crash site and he finds the last warrior of the Planet Spider, Garia who is searching for the destroyer of his home, Prof. Monster and The Iron Cross Army, but needs a successor to continue the fight. So Garia injects Takuya with his blood giving, him spider-like powers and also gives him a bracelet that actives his spider costume, shots web lines, and controls The Marveller, which turns in to a giant fighting robot called Leopardon! BAD ASS! But obviously had nothing to do with the comic besides the name Spider-Man.

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

In 1981, NBC aired Spider-Man, where Peter Parker was a crimefighting college student that worked as a photographer at the Daily Bugle and took care of Aunt May. But it didn’t do well with fans so they created Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends where he teamed up with Iceman of the X-Men and Firestar. Not very good… Then we don’t get any Spidey until 1994, when Fox created yet another  Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which aired for 5 seasons (the longest running Spider-Man series yet).

This series aired originally on Fox Kids side by side with X-Men. It was also, in my opinion, the closest and translation from comic to the small screen to date. The show focused on Spider-Man and his alter-ego Peter Parker, a student at Empire State University that freelanced as a photographer at the Daily Bugle. You are probably thinking its sounds just like the other series, blah blah blah. NO! It had the same base story, of course its Spider-Man, but what made it so go was that it also focused on all of his classic villians: Kingpin, Green Goblin, Rhino, Shocker, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Chameleon and my personal favorite Venom. Not only that but it also dealt with Parker’s love life, like his relationship with Mary Jane Watson and Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat. What more can you ask for in a good animated series.

Spider-Man Unlimited

It was then followed in 1999 by the short-lived Spider-Man Unlimited. Check out the plot… John Jameson, son of J. Jonah Jameson, is sent on a mission to Counter Earth (another Earth on the opposite side of the Sun). During this mission Peter Parker tries to stop Venom and Carnage from boarding the space shuttle and fails! WHAT!? Earth loses contact with Jameson and now the media blames Spider-Man. Parker is later believed to have died trying to save a guy from a burning building. He then uses this to his advantage and creates a new suit using nanotechnology from Mr. Fantastic to incorporate stealth technology and sonic weapons to his arsenal and goes on a rescue mission to Counter Earth. Sounds pretty cool right? Well, it only last 13 episodes with a cliffhanger that was never concluded. F***!

Ok, I think you are tired of me rambling on about television and are probably wondering what about the movies Steve?! In 2002, Sam Raimi, (The Evil Dead series) and Columbia Pictures brought us Spider-Man to the big screen. Starring Toby Maguire as Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn and James Franco as Harry Osborn. Peter Parker is a high school student that gets bitten by a genetically engineered super spider that alters his genetic make up giving him spider-like powers, including the ability to generate organic webbing (yes, he can shoot webs out of his skin). After his uncle is murdered, he decides to use his powers to protect New York City. (YAY, SPIDEY!) As the web head is discovering himself, industrialist Norman Osborn creates a performance enhancing serum that goes horribly wrong when he test it on himself causing him to create a psychotic and murderous alter ego, The Green Goblin! Personally, I thought this movie was fun the first time I saw it, being that it was the first version of Spider-Man on the big screen and seeing him swing through New York and fight the Green Goblin. But at the end of it all I wasn’t really sold, I thought it could have been done a little differently and I left yearning for more.

Spider-Man; The New Animated Series

In 2003, there is just another animated series titled Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, which computer animated and Peter was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris. This series was supposed to continue after the events from the movie and included Kingpin as depicted in the Daredevil adaptation for theaters. It aired on MTV and only lasted 13 episodes.

The next year, 2004, Spider-Man 2 was released with the majority of the original cast as well as Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavious a.k.a. Dr. Octopus. This film took place three years after the first, Peter is struggling between being Spidey and his personal life. Mary Jane is engaged and Harry Osborn has his heart set on avenging his father’s death. Dr. Octavious was in a freak accident while testing a dangerous fusion based experiment and the four mechanical tentacles he is using permanently fused to his spine making him even madder than he was. He goes on a crazed rampage through New York but Peter is going through his own issues; he is upset for being a horrible friend, he is hung up on Mary Jane and he loses his powers because he wants to lead a normal life. This one was my favorite of Spider-Man trilogy! Mostly because a lot of it looked more like a Raimi film, I loved the story and Alfred Molina did a great job as Doc Ock (one of my favorite Spidey villians). After seeing this I was really excited for the next one!

Soon after we hear rumors that the next villain was going to be Venom (I lost myself. I love Venom! My absolute favorite Spidey bad guy) and the Sandman. Then I heard Topher Grace from That 70’s Show was going to play Eddie Brock a.k.a. Venom and my hopes dropped a considerable amount. Not because he is a bad actor, because I think he is a decent actor, but I couldn’t see him as Brock let alone Venom.  So I forced myself to think it was all going to be alright, he will bulk up and the CGI will make it awesome.

Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 was released and was such a disappointment to tons of people, not just comic book fans. Harry Osborn is still crying about his dad being killed by Spider-Man in first part, finds out that Peter is actually Spider-Man in part two and uses Mary Jane to plot his revenge against the web head and eventually becomes another version of the Green Goblin. Eddie Brock is a rival photographer working for the Bugle and is out to make Spidey instead of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man we all know and love. Then there is Flint Marko a.k.a. The Sandman, played by Thomas Haden Church, is an escaped prisoner that winds up falling into a particle accelerator becoming a shape shifting sand being and goes out trying to rob banks to raise money for his dying daughter. Peter then finds out that Sandman was actually the one that killed his Uncle Ben and filled him with so much anger resulting in him getting the attention of this mysterious symbiotic goo from outer space which bonds with him, giving him a new costume and darker outlook. Sounds cool, right?! NO!!! I was going to continue to rant about how bad it was but if you guys like message me and I will rant about it separately. (Rage building inside)

Shortly after in 2008, we have The Spectacular Spider-Man which was fun mixture of the first few years of The Amazing Spider-Man and Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man. The story followed Peter Parker as a teen living in New York but he is dating Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane is just a friend. This was also the first Spidey series where some of the supporting characters were people of color, much like the Marvel Ultimate universe where Nick Fury is black. I really enjoyed this show because much like the comics, it showed Peter and Gwen’s growing relationship and that most of the first season focused on the creation Venom and Eddie Brock as well as the first appearance of the Green Goblin. Sadly it only lastest for two seasons when Sony’s adaptation copyrights went back to Marvel.

Earlier this year, Disney XD started airing Ultimate Spider-Man which is a bit different from any other Spidey shows. In this one, Peter is recruited by Nick Fury to become a part of a hero team, much like the Avengers, with Luke Cage a.k.a. Power Man, White Tiger, Iron Fist and Nova. After watching a few episodes, I must say it is enjoyable and reminds me a lot of Teen Titans (oh no, DC reference in a Marvel story). Hopefully this show last because I feel it has a lot of potential.

This week, in theaters we have a reboot of the Spider-Man movie franchise! YAY! The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Emma Stone (swoon) as Gwen Stacy and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors a.k.a. Lizard and is directed by Marc Webb (coincidence, maybe, I don’t know but a Spider-Man movie directed a guys thats last name is Webb is pretty cool to me.) Here is the plot…

Teenage social outcast Peter Parker spends his days trying to unravel the mystery of his own past, and trying to win the heart of his high school crush, Gwen Stacy. Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase belonging to his father, who abandoned him when he was a child, which leads him to his father’s former research partner, Dr. Curtis Connors. The discovery of his father’s secret coupled with an encounter with a genetically altered spider, will ultimately shape his destiny to become “Spider-Man” and bring him face to face with Connors, who becomes the Lizard.

After seeing a bunch of trailers and reading a bunch of reviews, I am totally sold on this movie and can not wait for it! If you haven’t seen a trailer, get out from under your rock and watch it now!

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What You Should Know Before Watching The Avengers

by: Steve (@MisterJackal)

The Avengers #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

The time has come, the biggest names in the comic book industry have come to life on the big screen in Marvel’s The Avengers. Even though the comic has been around since 1963, there are still many people who are completely oblivious about what and who The Avenger are. (Yeah, its true! I know I was surprised too.) So here is a brief movie history of The Avengers and the power hitters in the upcoming blockbuster.

The Avengers were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963 and originally consisted of Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp. Then in issue #4, Captain America was revived after being trapped in a block of ice. For decades, fans have loved the comics and always wondered what it would be like to see their favorite Marvel characters in action.

One of the most famous and most know adaptations was the television series The Incredible Hulk(1978) which

Lou Ferrigno (Hulk)and Bill Bixby (David Banner)

starred Bill Bixby as the brilliant scientist Dr. David Banner who after an experiment gone wrong is turned into the seven-foot tall power house we know as The Incredible Hulk (Lou Ferrigno). There were also a few other television shows and movies featuring some of Marvels big names like The Amazing Spider-Man (1977), Captain America 1 & 2 (1979), Howard The Duck (1986) and The Punisher (1989) none of which brought the comics to life as the most recent adaptations.

In 2008, Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist that creates an iron exoskeleton while in captivity in Afghanistan. The suit, even though huge and bulky, was equipped with flamethrowers, a missile launcher and limited range rockets, which allowed him to escape his captors. After his escape, he learns about a deadly conspiracy that could destroy the world. He creates a new and improved suit in order to fight this evil and save the world. This film was the first piece of Marvel’s puzzle of films leading to The Avengers and it set the bar pretty high for any other superhero movie to come. Iron Man was also the first in series of extra scene after the credits, which introduced people to Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division), played by Samuel L. Jackson. He also says “You think you are the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark You just don’t know.” Which let us know at this point, HOLY CRAP THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE THE AVENGERS!

In 2003, Ang Lee directed Hulk starring Eric Bana, which didn’t do well and in my opinion was on the same level as bad as the original Captain America movies. In its first week it made $62.1 million, the next week sales dropped 70% making it a huge financial let down. Totally understandable because it was BAD. Fast forward to 2008, a month after Iron Man, Marvel brought us The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton as Dr. Bruce Banner. In this movie, Banner is in hiding after he is transformed into the Hulk during a government experiment to recreate a “super soldier” (much like Captain America) that went bad. OH NO! He is running from General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt), who recruits Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), a part o f the British Royal Marine, and gives him a serum based on Banners blood transforming him into the beast that is Abomination. I really enjoyed this movie, not only because it was better that Ang Lee’s horrific attempt, but because of Ed Norton. He did a great job as Bruce Banner and it reminded me a lot of the Hulk comics I had read in my youth. On the run but also ready to throw down when things got out of hand. After the credits, we see Ross drinking at a bar and Tony Stark comes in, and says “What if I tell you, we are putting a team together?” AHHH!!!! I geeked all over myself!

Next on Marvel’s roster in 2010 was Iron Man 2. With RDJ once again reprising his role of the billionaire genius Tony Stark. After a very public outing in the first film we find Stark on trial for having the Iron Man suit and not surrendering it to the government for safe keeping. In this film we are introduced to Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson (yay!) and Lt. Col. James Rhodes aka War Machine (one of my favorite sidekicks in the Marvel Universe). Even though we already saw Rhodes (Terrance Howard) in the first film, he was replaced in the second one with Don Cheadle. Iron Man 2 was a decent movie, but lacked a lot of what I loved in the first one. Regardless, it had pretty good special effects and a decent story. At the end, we see a car driving through the dessert searching for an artifact that fell to Earth. MJOLNIR! THOR’S HAMMER! AHHHH!

Chris Helmsworth as Thor

Now to may 2011, we meet the God of Thunder, Thor! Chris Helmsworth plays the arrogant warrior that is casted out of Asgard by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and sent to live among humans on Earth where he becomes their protector. We are also introduced to the ever menacing Loki (Tom Hindleston). Thor was Marvel’s first attempt at 3D, it was full of amazing effects and decent acting, but wasn’t one of my favorites of the films. It kept me wanting more and left me feeling unsatisfied until the credits rolled. We see Nick Fury bringing in Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) to examine this cube that S.H.I.E.L.D. couldn’t figure out. Then we look over and we see Loki controlling Selvig. HINT! HINT! Oh yeah! Almost forgot to mention, this is also our first look at Clint Barton code name Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), the Legolas of the Marvel Universe!

Chris Evans as Captain America

Then in July of 2011, we are finally introduced to Steve Rogers, Captain America: The First Avenger! The story of a young kid that isn’t qualified to be in the military gets a chance to become a hero and defend the free world. Starring Chris Evans as Cap (WAIT!!! Wasn’t he the Human Torch a couple of years ago? Yes, but you get over that really quickly in this film). Taking place in 1942, on the brink of WWII, Rogers is recruited for “Project Rebirth”, which turned the scrawny asthmatic boy into the a super soldier! Eventually he goes to war and battles the Red Skull, played by the talented Hugo Weaving. This movie was probably my favorite of them all! They did a great job embodying the essence of Steve Rogers and made this movie so enjoyable for any comic book geek. The post credit scene shows Rogers training, when Fury tells him that he is trying to save the world, then we get our minds blown when they hit us with The Avengers teaser!!!! NERDGASM!

Now, I have seen The Avengers and all I have to say is HOLY CRAP! Possibly the best super hero movie ever made. Joss Whedon takes you on an amazing ride with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as they battle Loki and his army. Full of great laughs, amazing action sequences and some of the best 3D I have seen yet, Avengers is a must see! So what are you waiting for! ASSEMBLE!

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