Category Archive – Pop Culture

Week of Geek: Everyone’s Favorite Teenage Witch

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Hi Geeklings!  Everyone enjoying their August so far?  Ready for summer to be over or wishing it would never end?

Well, I’ve got one thing that might get you excited for the fall (you know, aside from Halloween and Pumpkin Spice and colorful leaves and everything that makes fall my favorite season).  Netflix is creating a new Archie series (after the hit show Riverdale) and this time their focus is on Sabrina: The Teenage Witch.  But it’s not going to be the groovy Sabrina that comic readers were first introduced to 1960s.  This isn’t even the bubbly family-friendly Sabrina that aired in the late 90s and early oughts on ABC.  Nope, we’re getting spooky for this incarnation.  Like REALLY spooky.  She is a witch, after all.

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The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is based off of the comic series of the same name.  (Before I go any further I want to mention that Comixology currently rates The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as 15+ only, meaning only teens 15 and up should read it.  We have it cataloged under Adult Comics.  I’ve read it, and it is not for everyone so proceed with caution.)  The comic was released under the Archie Horror line, after Afterlife with Archie became a hit (another series that featured Sabrina).

Archie Horror has now expanded to include Afterlife, Sabrina, Jughead: The Hunger and Vampironica.

Their horror take on Sabrina is set mostly in the 1960s and at first the set up seems pretty par for the course, at least for Sabrina Spellman; our heroine is a teen in high school living with her Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda, her talking black cat Salem and her cousin from England, Abrose.  She’s trying out for the school play, dating her dream boy Harvey and is trying to balance regular teen stuff with the fact that she and her family are witches.  Where it diverges from previous incarnations is that Sabrina and her family are not regular, good people who happen to be magic.  They’re the scary type of witches.  Satan-worshiping witches.  And as a half-mortal Sabrina must choose to follow her family into the church of night and become a full-fledged witch or renounce her heritage and live as a mortal.  Oh, and a terrifying undead witch named Madam Satan who has a serious grudge against Sabrina’s father is also out to make her life miserable.  Things are going to get… dark.

After Riverdale did so well on Netflix they decided to expand their teens-in-comics-in-dramatic-situations catalogue and green-lit The Chilling Adventures of SabrinaRoberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the Chief Creative Officer at Archie Comics and the executive-producer for Riverdale will also produce Sabrina.  That seems like a good thing, as he also wrote the comic it’s based on, as well as several others (he’s a busy dude, it seems).

I just have one question… are we getting a talking, smarmy Salem?

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Well, we are getting a Salem!  Whether he speaks remains to be seen.  Considering how the puppet-version of him was one of the goofy highlights of the 90s live-action series I hope we get some version of him here.

So what do we think Geeklings?  We have to wait until just before Halloween to watch, but will you make it part of your Halloween festivities this year?  (I know I will!)  More excited for more Riverdale?  Hope there’ll be a crossover?  Or so over teenage witches?  Post in the comments or over on WriteIt.

Have a great week, keep up those challenges for the Teen Challenge, don’t forget to register for the End of Summer Party, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: DC Heroines on the Big and Small Screens

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Hi Geeklings!  Everyone have a good long weekend?

Couple of interesting things over from Warner Bros and DC to report this week.  Looks like Supergirl is getting her own movie.  After the success of Wonder Woman and of the small-screen Supergirl series, it seems Warner Bros is willing to take another chance on the teen superheroine and bring her back to movie theaters (an attempt was made in 1984, but the less said about that the better).  For anyone unfamiliar, Supergirl is Superman’s younger cousin and a hero in her own right.  She has the same powers as her cousin and is known as the Girl of Steel.  Details are super scarce at the moment for a film version, but regardless it’s still exciting news!

While DC’s big feature films are hit and miss, it’s television universe is thriving and growing.  The Supergirl TV series is part of the Arrowverse, a collection of series that began with Arrow and are all interconnected and have frequent crossovers.  It was recently announced at San Diego Comic Con that Batwoman will join the Arrowverse, possibly with her own show.

And she’s also been cast.  Exciting times!

So how to get in on this?  Well, for Supergirl may I recommend…

Superman/Batman Vol. 1Superman/Batman Vol. 1 by Jeph Loeb – I LOVE this series, it actually got me back into reading comics in my 20s.  This volume collects the first two storylines, and the 2nd one reintroduces Supergirl after she hadn’t been in the comics in years.  Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are all here, as well as Big Barda and villain Darkseid.  Everyone is shocked when Batman discovers the pod carrying Kara Zor-El in Gotham harbor, and now everyone, including Kara, has to decide what must be done, especially when someone as powerful as Darkseid catches wind of her arrival.  The events of that story were also made into an animated movie (I personally preferred the comic, but give both a try).

Supergirl: Being SuperSupergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki – This four-issue stand-alone series took a more YA approach to Supergirl, her origin and her day to day struggles.  Kara Danvers has superpowers and crash landed to earth in a ship, but she’s fine to put all of that aside as she tries to deal with the pressures of high school and hang out with her friends and adoptive parents.  As Kara gears up for her 16th birthday an earthquake in her small town unearths some dark secrets, some misplaced trust and kicks her superpowers into overdrive.  Will she figure everything out or will this be her undoing?  You’ll have to read to find out.

Image result for supergirl blu raySupergirl TV Series – Launched in 2015, this popular CBS/CW series has introduced a new generation to Kara, and it’s popularity has helped convince Warner Bros to give a movie a chance.  In this series Kara Zor-El is sent to earth from a dying Krypton like her cousin Kal-El.  But Kara is 13 years old when she’s sent and was tasked to watch out for her baby cousin.  But when her ship is sent off course and finally arrives on earth decades later Kal is grown up, now named Clark Kent and famous the world over as Superman.  Years later, when Kara is 24 she attempts to launch a superhero career of her own, trying to get out of her cousin’s shadow and to hold a normal life at the same time.  (And yes, Superman does make an appearance in this show, but not until season 2.  Patience.)

Age of AtlantisSupergirl: Age of Atlantis by Jo Whittemore – If you’re digging the TV series and want more, there’s a book series tie in!  In this volume Kara has noticed that a lot of superpowered people are turning up in National City, but if that weren’t enough the Department of Extranormal Operations has caught a sea creature… a humanoid one.  So Kara now has 2 mysteries to sort out; all the superpowers showing up and what drew this individual from the sea to the city.  There’s also a collection of digital comics that tie into the series as well.

You can find the rest of the Arrowverse shows from our collection in this handy list.

As for Batwoman, be sure to read…

Batwoman by Greg Rucka and J.H. WilliamsBatwoman by Greg Rucka – This first volume introduces us to the New 52 version of Kate Kane, showing her backstory and her current work as Batwoman.  Former military, kicked out for being gay, Kate decides to take inspiration from Batman and begin fighting crime herself.  But a new threat comes to Gotham; the Religion of Crime and it’s riddle and storybook loving leader, known only as Alice.  But Alice may have secrets… secrets that tie to Kate and to her family.  It’s a riveting tale and a great introduction to this thoroughly modern hero.

What do we think Geeklings?  Excited?  Meh?  Keep giving us Marvel?  Post away in the comments or on WriteIt.

Have a great week, try to stay dry, keep your eyes peeled for Fan Con news, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Form Vortex Post!

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Hiya Geeklings!  It’s August!  Excited?  Sad the summer’s half over?  I say enjoy it while you can!  (Even if we’re getting a lot of rain lately)

So let me tell you about my latest discovered fandom.  I am way late to the party on this one, but who cares?  I found it eventually.  I kept seeing it in places like Tumblr, Pinterest and my usual nerdy online hang outs.  And then a few nights ago, on a whim, I decided to watch the first episode, just to see what the fuss was about.  I finished the first season last night.  Holy heck, it was SO GOOD!

So what is it?  Voltron: Legendary Defender!

Some of you may be asking What the heck is that?  Bit of a story there.  You see, back in the 1980s (yup, we’re going there again; it’s all the rage these days), what some television studios liked to do was to take Japanese anime and heavily edit it to make it an almost entirely new show on the cheap to sell toys.  Cynical?  Maybe. Do people still have fond memories?  Totally.  As this article details, that was the same for Voltron.  It took the anime Beast King GoLion and tweaked it, though not by a whole lot.  The first series made for North American audiences was Lion Force Voltron or Voltron: Defender of the Universe.  It featured five pilots of space ships shaped like lions that could combine into a giant robot named Voltron.  That was another thing that was huge back then: giant robots.  (See: Transformers)  These five pilots used Voltron at the behest of Princess Allura to battle the evil King Zarkon, his minions and his own giant ‘ro-beasts’.  Admittedly I don’t recall watching this when I was a kid but it had, and has, a pretty passionate fanbase.

(Ah, 80s Anime.  Nothing quite like it.)

Fast forward 30-odd years, past a few other versions of the show, to now and to Netflix.  Voltron: Legendary Defender tells a similar story but with updated characters and animation.  Five humans – Shiro, Keith, Lance, Pidge and Hunk – get swept up in galactic intrigue when they end up becoming the new paladins for Voltron, meaning they fly the lions and form the giant robot.  They’ve been recruited by Princess Allura and her majordomo Coran to fight against Emperor Zarkon and his Galra Empire that’s conquered most of the galaxy (think the Empire from Star Wars and all the bad that comes with it, except the Galra have had thousands of years to get it right).   The paladins each have their own unique personalities, hang ups, goals and strengths, and they must learn to work and fight together if they’re going to save the galaxy.

The animation style of Legendary Defender harkens back to shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra; shows that were produced in the United States but have very clear Anime influences.  No surprise for the comparisons; Legendary Defender‘s showrunners worked on both Airbender and Korra.  Similar characteristics exist in each show, such as a good mix of humor and drama, exaggerated facial expressions and some pretty epic action scenes.

It’s colorful, it’s funny, it’s inclusive, it’s compelling, it’s gorgeous.  I recommend it, and I’m definitely not the only one.

So if you don’t have Netflix, how to get in on this?  The first 2 seasons have just been released on DVD, so we’ll look into getting it into our collection, but in the meantime we have the graphic novel series on Hoopla and we have some of the episodes in book form.  Anyone else seen it and would recommend it?  Any naysayers?  Post away in the comments or over on Write It.

Have a good week Geeklings.  Keep your eyes peeled for news about this September’s Fan Con, and until next time, End of Line.

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Week of Geek: Your 2018 SDCC Trailer Round Up

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Hiya Geeklings!

So this past weekend was San Diego Comic Con, and as per usual we got a ton of news coming out of California on some of our favorite fandoms.  So today I thought I’d let them do the talking and post some of the new trailers that you guys might be interested in <3

Movies

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe didn’t have any panels or announcements this year (probably because they’re avoiding spoilers for the last Infinity War film) so that gave DC and Warner Bros a chance to shine.  We got our first trailer for this December’s Aquaman.  We first met the Atlantean royalty in previous films like Batman v Superman and Justice League but now he headlines his own film, and it’s looking pretty epic.

DC also unveiled a trailer for this April’s SHAZAM!.  If you guys aren’t familiar, Shazam is a long-running DC superhero (he used to be called Captain Marvel until Marvel Comics put a stop to that).  His alter ego is Billy Batson, a kid who becomes an adult superhero when he shouts SHAZAM, the name of a wizard who imparts his powers to him and an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury, all Greek gods and heroes (comics are weird but wonderful, aren’t they?).

This looks like a lot of fun, which is something the DCEU has not been known for lately.  Aquaman looks like it’s going for a more playful tone too, so hopefully that will continue.  These movies are supposed to be fun after all.

To get caught up check out the previous DCEU films.

Warner Bros also released our latest look at the Wizarding World with a new trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

I’m torn about this one, as I mentioned in a previous post.  Still looks amazing and I love this franchise and a lot of these characters so much but man, those two big problems are hard to get past.  We’ll have to see.  But, of course, we’ve got a perfect excuse to watch the other Wizarding World films (not like we really needed one)…

And we’ve got some monster movie fun for you with Godzilla: King of the Monsters.  If you’ve been watching Stranger Things you might recognize the star.

TV

The new Doctor is getting ready to make her debut and this new series looks delightful.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is coming back!  This was a big surprise at the Con this year.  Fans of the original series had hoped there’d be more episodes, as the show hadn’t really ended the way it was intended too, but there was no real indication that was happening… until the 10 year anniversary panel and this trailer was screened.  Fans are over the moon!  Plus we have the new show Star Wars: Resistance coming soon as well.  Good times for Star Wars animated series.

Netflix and Dreamworks’ Voltron: Legendary Defender screened a trailer for it’s 7th season and announced that there’ll be some representation in their series by introducing Shiro’s boyfriend Adam.

And we got another look at Netflix’s new Matt Groening series Disenchantment (I’ve already hyped this one up pretty hard, take a look).

Other news

Supergirl announced that it has cast the first transgender superhero on network television.  Nicole Maines, a transgender activist and actor, will play Nia Nal, a re-imagined version of Dream Girl, in the shows fourth season.  Awesome!

And Star Wars books.  So many Star Wars booksE.K. Johnston will be returning to the galaxy far far away to pen a stand-alone novel for Padme Amidala, the queen/senator/mother of Luke and Leia that we first met in The Phantom MenaceQueen’s Shadow tells of how Padme transitions from queen to senator and how she and her loyal handmaidens must navigate the metaphorical treacherous waters of the Galactic Senate.  There’ll also be a novel by Claudia Gray about Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi and there will also be a horror comic series called Tales from Vader’s Castle.  LOVE IT!  Read the full list of announced books here.

So that’s all for now.  Anything I missed?  Post away in the comments section.  Keep your eyes peeled for more news about our own Fan Con, coming Sept 29, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: The Return of She-Ra

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Hi again Geeklings!  Some of you may be looking at that post title and thinking ‘The Return-a WHO-ra?’  Yep, yet another 1980s property is getting a reboot, but this time I think it’s going to be pretty awesome.  We just got our first look at some of the art for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and I, for one, am SUPER stoked this particular 80s property is getting a new treatment.  Let me tell you why…

(Yup, heads up, Aunty Ali’s getting all nostalgic up in here.  It’s one of THOSE posts.)

Let me take you back to 1985.  Live Aid concerts were going on.  New Coke had just been introduced.  The Nintendo Entertainment System came out in North America.  What a time to be alive.  But you know what else debuted that year?  She-Ra: Princess of Power.  It was a spinoff of the Masters of the Universe franchise that toy maker Mattel released in 1982, which featured He-Man (yes, He-Man), Skeletor and others.  The 80s were a weird time, don’t judge us!

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Basically, the whole franchise is what you’d file under ‘Sword and Planet‘ fiction.  A little bit of space, a little bit of Sci Fi, a lot of swords and magic (Thor could be cataloged under that genre too).  For He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, it’s set on the planet Eternia.  Prince Adam becomes He-Man when re raises the Sword of Power and declares ‘By the Power of Grayskull’, referring to Castle Grayskull where he draws his power from.  With the help of his friends, He-Man defends Eternia and Castle Grayskull from the evil Skeletor, who wants that power for himself because of typical super villain reasons (funny thing about Skeletor; he looks plenty creepy but then you hear his voice and you can’t help but chuckle).

There were a LOT of other characters, because Mattel wanted to sell action figures to kids.  Was it a shameless way to make money?  You bet.  Did it work?  Yeah, pretty much.  They made millions of dollars.  But, as the awesome Netflix series The Toys That Made Us explained during their episode about He-Man, the people at Mattel couldn’t help but notice that it wasn’t just boys playing with these action figures.  Girls were playing with them too, which nobody really expected.  So what to do?  Appeal to girls and sell even MORE toys, of course.  Enter She-Ra.

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Mattel went to the people working on Barbie and asked them to come up with something, and that something turned out to be She-Ra.  Princess Adora is Prince Adam’s long-lost twin sister, who was kidnapped as a baby by the evil Hordak and raised on the planet Etheria to be a villain.  When Prince Adam finds her and frees her, she decides to stay on Etheria and lead the rebellion.  Like her brother she wields a sword, the Sword of Protection, and can transform into She-Ra when she holds it aloft and calls on Grayskull.

So there are some brief summaries of very indepth franchises that have had several reboots through the years.  Yep, I watched the originals as a kid, both He-Man and She-Ra, and have many fond memories… I even had some of the toys, as did my brothers.  But I am really excited about this new one, officially called She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.  First, the animation looks great.  As much as I loved the original Filmation series, it has not aged well.  This new version of She-Ra looks like a real girl, with a much more practical costume (I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone thinks you can fight in heels and really short skirts).  Canonically speaking, when we first meet Adora she is 16 years old.  Look at that gif up there from the original 80s show.  Does she look like a 16-year-old girl?  I think not (Adam/He-Man doesn’t look 16 either, what heck?).  This new version of Adora looks the part.  Her friends look like real people too.  And did you see that pic of Bright Moon, the city on Etheria?  So pretty!  Plus, Dreamworks is behind all of this, and they do know a thing or two about animation.

But the other thing I’m really excited about is who’s running the show.  Noelle Stevenson is one of the producers, and she’s been making waves lately with comic series like Nimona and The Lumberjanes, which are both charming, inclusive and exciting series with complex and relatable characters.  I loved Nimona and the Lumberjanes, so I have full confidence that Stevenson can give this franchise the update it needs while still keeping the fans happy.  Plus, another producer is Chuck Austen, and he’s worked on Steven Universe, another gorgeous, inclusive and complex show.  We’re in good hands.

So we don’t know too many details yet.  No word on whether He-Man will make an appearance, but I’m happy to focus on Adora for now.  The show premieres on Netflix in November (my birth month!) and as soon as it becomes available on Blu Ray or DVD we’ll see if we can get it into the library.  In the meantime, we’ve got Noelle Stevenson’s works to read and love (see links above).  If you want to check out the original animated series, we have The Secret of the Sword, which shows Adora’s origin.  There’s an official YouTube channel with quite a few episodes uploaded of both shows.  It’s goofy and ridiculous at times but quite endearing.  We have a volume of the 2012 comic reboot of The Masters of the Universe as well.

Let me leave you with what may be one of the most insane yet AWESOME creations of fanart to ever come out of this franchise.  Have a great week and until next time, End of Line.