Justice League

It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of going to see a big budget Justice League would have seemed like utter nonsense.  But now we live in that word, where the number of superhero films that we have all seen is growing exponentially, and they aren’t just about Superman or Batman, but now Superman and Batman.  And their friends.  Continue reading Justice League


Doctor Who: Rapture [Big Finish]

During the 90’s, while Doctor Who was completely out of production, the BBC authorized a series of “New Adventure” novels featuring the ongoing adventures of the show’s final cast, the 7th Doctor and his companion AceThe books took on a darker tone than the series had, with more vicious and crude content.

The Rapture Continue reading Doctor Who: Rapture [Big Finish]

Geeking Out With My Daughters: Preparing for the Future [Doctor Who–The Empty Child]

I’ve been watching Doctor Who with my children recently, going back to the beginning of the revival series (aka, what’s easily available on Netflix).  Just today we got up to The Empty Child by Steven Moffat, and part way through the second episode of the two-parter, The Doctor Dances before real life got in the way.

If you are familiar with it, you know that it’s pretty creepy stuff, and I’d say the first great story that the series produced.

Anyway, shortly afterwards as we were getting ready to go, my middle child (13 years old now) starts chattering to me about what’s she’s taking away from the show, and says this:

So, rules if you are in a little-child-in-a-gasmask-pocalypse:  don’t open the door, don’t answer the phone, tell the child to go to his room but then don’t go to his room yourself.

It warms my heart as a parent to see my kids offspring pulling these important life lessons out of their popular entertainment!

Doctor Who: Energy of the Daleks [Big Finish – Fourth Doctor]

The supplemental material that comes with Energy of the Daleks reveals that part of the intention with the story was to give the Fourth Doctor an opportunity to encounter the Daleks in a more typical adventure than he ever had on television:  one that didn’t feature Davros and which involved the Daleks up to their regular galaxy-conquering, exterminating, shenanigans. The story hits this target but it’s not a very high bar to be aiming for.  If one doesn’t have built-in nostalgic love for the Daleks and their screechy voices, then there’s not much to raise this story above the “ordinary” level.

Energy of the Daleks Continue reading Doctor Who: Energy of the Daleks [Big Finish – Fourth Doctor]

A Legion of Nerdy Mugs

So, it turns out that I have a number of hobbies and interests that some might consider to be, how shall we put this, a bit “nerdy”: for example, comic books or science fiction TV or mystery games, etc.

And it turns out that like many people with nerdy interests, I have a birthday.  One that I celebrate every year, often with presents.  Plus Christmas.

And I think sometimes people aren’t sure what to get me, even though I–like all people with a hobby–think I’m a pretty easy person to shop for (“Just get The Flash by Geoff Johns, vol. 3 or Showcase Presents The Unknown Soldier vol 2 or a Doctor Who DVD, but not the new series, cuz I watch that on iTunes or Netflix–c’mon, it’s so obvious!”)

Anyway, the result of this confluence of circumstances is that over the years, I have received  a lot of mugs.  A lot of nerdy mugs. Even…a Legion of nerdy mugs!

Mugs Legion
My favorite comic series, the Legion of Super-Heroes, started with only three members, so six definitely counts

Continue reading A Legion of Nerdy Mugs

Criticisms of Wonder Woman

Hey ho, Ben the nerdy superhero-fan / movie critic here.  I already wrote a blogpost about Wonder Woman, the critically acclaimed, financially successful DC superhero film from earlier this year.  But, even so, here is another one.

No movie, even a popular one, is loved by everyone, and lots of people have offered various criticisms of Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot, pointing out what they feel are glaring flaws.  Some of them are indeed glaring flaws, but others are bizarre criticisms that I can’t really understand.  Maybe others do, but I don’t, and they annoy me, so I decided to rant about it a bit here. Continue reading Criticisms of Wonder Woman

Jughead, vol. 1 (thanks, library!)

Libraries are awesome places.  Books, movies, comics…for free.  Growing up, we didn’t really have a lot of comics in the library (although I did discover a “best of” Batman collection once, and some Peanuts books), but now that hard cover and paper collections of comics are the norm, it’s much more common. I’ve discovered a lot of good stuff at the library over the years, including Bone, Future Foundation, New York FourAnimal Crackers and more.

But I’ve also pretty much exhausted my library at home (Perth), rarely is there something new that I’m interested in.  Fortunately, I’m currently on holidays in Adelaide with my in-laws, and it turns out their local library has a completely different collection of comics to browse through, including…

Jughead, vol. 1, by Chip Zdarksy and Erica Henderson.

Reading Jughead

Continue reading Jughead, vol. 1 (thanks, library!)

Doctor Who: …ish [Big Finish]

There’s something about Doctor Who which brings out the craziest in people.  I’m not talking about fans (maybe that’s true, but if so it’s probably true of anything people get fanatical about), but about writers and creators.  Stories often feature insane, far-reaching plots and concepts.  This was true back in the original series, and only seemed to increase during the “wilderness years” that followed its cancellation in 1990.  Indeed, I read a bunch of the New Adventures line of novels that came out during that time period and it seemed like the writers reveled in doing whatever crazy thing they wanted to the characters or the concept.  In the modern series, actual changes to the core concept are more restrained, but the show still gives writers the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild.

Ish Continue reading Doctor Who: …ish [Big Finish]

Colossal – an oddball of a monster movie

How to describe Colossal, the 2016 offering from writer and director Nacho Vigolondo? It’s an oddity of a movie:  it’s got a small cast, a limited scope, relatively few special effects, and yet with all that, it’s still about a giant monster knocking down buildings in South Korea.

Colossal Continue reading Colossal – an oddball of a monster movie

Wonder Woman

As everyone whose paying attention knows, there are a lots of superhero films out there now, with at least several mainstream ones each year.  As a comic reader since my youth and a movie fan, I consider this to be generally a good thing.  Still, most of the time I find that I’m not strongly drawn to watch these movies more than once.  Mostly, it’s just been because of my children that I’ve gone back to most of these movies for a second watch through…although most of the time I have enjoyed that process.

So with that in mind, tonight I’m rewatching Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman

Continue reading Wonder Woman