Monday, September 21, 2009

Geekanerd Spotter: 8-Bit Mario in Paris

Geekanerd Spotter has seen plenty of 8-bit street art, but what makes this mini-mosaic featuring Mario any different? It's French! Fellow blogger and loyal reader Lena was recently in Paris, and snapped these pictures of Mario in his unnatural habit.

I've always said those Parisians had class. Can any old schoolers tell me the name of the white figure Mario is facing off against?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama With A Lightsaber

Jeez, Obama. Why are you such a nerd all the time? You're talking to Spider-Man, you give DVD Box sets to visiting world leaders, you're hanging out with John Hodgman....and now you're waving a lightsabre around on the White House lawn?!

For the first time in my life as an American, I truly believe one day I could be President.

Boring Context: Chicago wants to host the 2016 Olympic Games, so Chi-Guy Obama did some photo ops with a few Olympians, including some fencers. But where did he get a lightsaber? Did some Olympic PR intern bring it along for LOLs, or does Obama carry one at all times for his own personal protection? I need an answer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Panel Discussion: Scans from Secret Six, Red Robin, Dark Reign: The List, and More!

Every week (usually) we at Geekanerd rip panels from our comics and put them on display here, recognizing the best, worst, and weirdest moments of the week. Click for higher res.

Oh Hell No - Thunderbolts #135

Crazy unbelievable things happen all the time in comics, and this is how things should be. But every now and then there's a panel or two that just makes you go, "Oh hell no." These panels are fine examples. Lightsabers deflecting laser blasts, that I buy. Little metal bracelets attached to superhuman arms deflecting bullets, okay. But a thin metal blade deflecting a hail of near point-blank gun fire? You pushed me too far, comics. I just don't see it happening.

Best Punchline - Secret Six #13

So maybe this joke is actually not any funnier than any other bit in a Gail Simone book (it's a high bar), but the rarely used "PUNCHLINE SPOTLIGHT" really brings it home. If this were a cartoon, there'd be a wacky musical stinger and all the other Sixers would yell "waaaughh!" and fall down. This is why there should be a Secret Six cartoon. I will fund it.

Worst Peer Counseling - Red Robin #4

Regardless of whether or not Tim should be in therapy, Dick should not be suggesting it mid-fight as Tim throws a kick to his face. Tim is not likely to be receptive, and it's not going to defuse the the tension at that particular moment.

Most Unintentionally Hilarious Panel - Political Power - Barack Obama
But does young Barry Obama actually smoke that gigantic blunt? We'll never know, because this is the end of that scene. Either way, that picture of the beatifically young and innocent Mr. Obama with a huge joint in his face is totally awesome.

Best POV Shot- Secret Six #13
In case you ever wondered what it would be like to be Deadshot, here you go! Bursts of light, dead people, and bullet casings, in that order.

This one-panel sequence is just a idle daydream, but it's worth noting that in Deadshot's rebellion fantasy he kills his teammate Ragdoll along with his employers. Is that really necessary? I understand wanting to make a clean break of things, but Ragdoll tends to just go with the flow; I'm inclined to believe if Floyd decided to revolt against his employers (which I suspect he will by next issue), Ragdoll would switch sides just as easily - he's not much of a threat on his own anyway. I think the choice to include Ragdoll in the carnage is a way to indicating Floyd's distaste for the mission, and anyone who'd go along with it, despite how he himself has rationalized it.

Nitpick Alert - Red Robin #4
It's great that Tim hearts the troops, but I think he may be selling himself just a leeeettlle bit short here. This kid has taken on trained ninjas from the League of Shadows, not to mention all manner of alien/demon things during his Teen Titan adventures. I think he can handle a trio of soldiers.

Achievement in Rudeness - Dark Reign: The List #1

Context: Hawkeye (or Ronin or Clint or whatever) wants to pull a CIA style assassination on Norman Osbourne, cause why not!
DAMN! This is why people hate superheroes in your universe, Ms. Marvel. They're so damn superior! Can you please give whatshisname a real answer about why it's not okay to just kill Norman Osbourne? At least pull out the old "because we're better than that" or "it's a slippery slope" or "at what cost" or "who's next?". Don't just pick at your gloved fingernails and look at him like he just peed on the carpet. This is why I only read Marvel books for the villains.

Best Detail - Secret Six #13
Look, I know there are multiple scratches on the walls in Scandal's bedroom. She wears huge knives on her hands, it'll happen. I get that. But I just feel that it would be remiss not to point out that the wall above the headboard of her bed appears to be splintering apart. I appreciate that.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Doom Is Back in B-More! Gallagher Edition!

Dr. Victor von Doom is back in my hometown; terrorizing the unsuspecting citizens of Baltimore with comedic stylings straight from the early 80s. At least we now know that Latveria gets comedy central-cause it looks like Doom spends his daytime hours watching ancient Gallagher specials. I'm assuming he can't spend all that time plotting the destruction of the Fantastic Four; if that were the case you'd think there'd be some results by now. Either way, you haven't laughed at a smashed watermelon in decades! Live a little! Favorite line? "A big bowl of Trix... Because Sue Storm is a Whore!"

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The 10 Least Practical Superpowers

Who among us hasn't, at some point in their life, tried to bargain for super powers with whatever higher power they prefer. God, god, Allah, Vishnu, Xenu, Rama Kushna, a young George Lucas; you name it, some geek has prayed to it. Come on, don't act like I'm the crazy one here. And in the course of said bargaining, we've all come to the point where we say, "I don't need to be Superman-just give me ONE power!" Well, this post is dedicated to whichever lucky nerd out there gets his or her prayers answered... You don't want to be caught unawares and end up with some stinker of a power all because you were caught in the sway of its superficial coolness.

To that end, this list is, BY NO MEANS, a list of "lame" super powers. In fact, these might be some of the coolest superpowers out there. BUT, I'm judging these powers' practicality based on one's ability to immediately go out there and start "making a difference." How useful would any of these powers be when fighting actual crime, or helping actual people? Because, were any self-respecting geek lucky enough to be granted a super power, he or she is gonna run straight home, drape a bath towel over his or her shoulders, and dive straight into action! Would we have any other choice? Years of black and white comic book morality have left us emotionally crippled-I don't think we'd even be able to think of any other use for a super power. Anyway, read on to be sure you're any actual use to human kind once you've been chosen to defend it.

10: Flight

Though probably the most practical in a real world setting-who wouldn't jump at the chance to fly like the eagle and be forever exempt from layovers in Denver-flight, however, is not a great solo power in the world of costumed crime fighting. It would make for easy getaways, and I guess you could scout ahead; but what would you actually do to fight crime? Drop rocks? Hock a loogie? And you'd probably be as easy to hit as a low level duck in Duck Hunt [insert sound effect of that evil 8-bit dog laughter]. And imagine being in a super hero team fighting some sort of sinister alien menace or cybernetic demon... all your buddies will be in the fray while you flutter around and watch helplessly, hoping that you don't get swatted by a stray piece of urban demolition. There's a reason this power is always a compliment, and rarely the sole power... just look at the lamest character on Heroes (and that's saying something), Nathan Petrelli.

*UPDATE* To address the dissenters who argue that this power would be useful in a fight, I ask this: who says you can suddenly pick up people willy nilly just cause you can fly? You don't have super strength; so unless you are currently strong enough to lift a 200 lb. mugger with ease, I don't know why you think you could do it while hovering a few feet off the ground. Yes, you could probably save children and particularly light damsels in distress... otherwise, good luck trying to lift that flailing-with-a-knife lunatic outside the 7-11.

9: Invisibility
The second half of the classic philosophical dilemma: invisibility or flight? (obviously flight) Invisibility is another one of those powers that has a plethora of real world applications (almost all sinister) but isn't much good in the crime fighting department. Sure, you could spy on potential wrong-doers, but you couldn't do a lot more unless you back it up with some crazy karate skills or something. Upon closer speculation, it gets even grimmer. Best case scenario-you can turn your clothes invisible and you're stuck holding your breath and tiptoeing around killers and creeps.... worse case scenario, you're stuck covering your junk, and hoping no one bumps into your translucent, naked ass. Also, you're pretty limited to warmer climes.

8: Talking to Sea Animals
(or any animals really)

I feel bad about this one. Aquaman already catches enough crap from people who don't respect the King of the Sea... but really, talking to sea animals isn't gonna do you much good. The comics have us believe that there is an abundance of giant squid and blue whales; but really you'd be spending most of your time chatting with tuna and scad. And unless you're battling Somali pirates, the vast majority of crime takes place on land. And even if you could chat with land animals, in actuality you'd be mostly talking to the bottom of the food chain. Its not like there are bears and lions casually patrolling the streets waiting for your commands. Hope you know how to work with squirrels and pigeons, buddy.

7: Uncontrollable Monster Form

This one's kind of a "no duh" case; but it's still a common enough power that needs to be addressed. Sure, as a rampaging beast of a man, you could probably stop a whole lotta crime. You could also accidentally level a city street, squash a few misunderstanding cops, and kill your loved ones with an overzealous hug. If you were able to maintain your own consciousness, then obviously this one would be a winner. But if you give up control to the reptilian parts of your brain, then your alter ego is bound to be more of a villain than a hero. Also, the replacement wardrobe costs would bankrupt you.

6: Super Senses

Unless they're backed up by Daredevil's radar sense, super senses make you little more than a super stalker. You can listen to people have sex a mile away and try to check out some girl's butt (of course all you'll see are bones), but you really can't do much to fight crime. I suppose you could be some sort of Super Snitch, just listening to people plan crimes; but you'll probably spend most of your life sucking down aspirin for all the super migraines.

5: Any sort of Power Blasts
(laser eyes, laser fists, etc)

We have now exited the useless-in-the-field portion of the list, and entered the walking-death-factory stretch of the list.
Power blasts are cool, and really useful when fighting robots and other invulnerable super beings; BUT not so great when fighting your standard crime. We all know that a stray blast from Cyclops' eyes can demolish a steel and concrete wall. Well, imagine that same blast making contact with the fragile, waterballoon-stuffed-with-organs that is your typical bank robber: Boom! People confetti. So unless you're looking to haphazardly explode people like so many cut scenes from District 9, Power Blasts won't get you much further than a jail cell (specially designed to hold you of course).

4: Sonic Scream

Another power that is great on 3-color-printed paper, but not so much in practice is the popular Sonic Scream-which has been relegated almost solely to female characters for some offensive reason I'm sure. However, it's hard to imagine any situation where this power doesn't just burst everyones' ear drums within a 5 block radius. Unless you plan on handing out ear plugs to all potential victims before any crime occurs, you're going to spend most of your costumed career being scorned for deafening an entire populace for a few purse snatchers and a car jacker.

3: Pyrokinesis/Self-Combustion
(e.g. The Human Torch)

Fire's totally awesome! And the thought of being enveloped in living flame while being unscathed is equally awesome. Plus, you can fly! Bonus awesome! Too bad you'll be responsible for the burn ward overflow at all the area hospitals. You probably couldn't even get close to anyone, victim or aggressor, without melting flesh from bones. Extra minus: do you know any super smart, stretchy guys who can manufacture your clothing from unstable molecules? No? Well, then you'll have to find someplace warm and private every time you "flame off," cause you'll be spending alot of time naked... and alot of money replacing charred jeans.

2: Adamantium Claws

This might be one of the most popular of all time... naturally thanks to one of the arguably baddest assest superheroes of all time. But let's be honest, the claws aren't what makes the mutant; it's his healing factor. That's why Wolverine is the workhorse of the X-Men, the claws are just the garnish. Also, when not coupled with a healing factor, they can be more trouble than they're worth (as this video clearly demonstrates). Even if we can ignore the massive amounts of personal blood loss, you basically just have 6 deadly knives attached to your hands. You can go out, right now, and try to fight crime with a knife in both hands, and you're practically there... and there wouldn't be too good. You're either eviscerating muggers and landing in jail, or you're just gonna get shot. Either way, the style points don't make up for the all the blood loss and severed digits.

1: Trust Fund and Anger Issues

This last one isn't so much a power, as it is a successful formula for superhero makings. It works great in the comics! Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Oliver Queen, Ted Kord, Danny Rand, whatever Moon Knight's name is (I won't even bother looking it up)... all turned out great thanks to their money and various emotional problems! Why is this not a practical "power"? Because it actually exists! And we don't have a single super hero! You're telling me, out of all the thousands of spoiled rich kids with rage issues, not a one of them bothered to dedicate their life and wealth to fighting crime? This isn't a formula for nigh-invincible, robot armor; so much as it is a recipe for date rape. Wealth and emotional problems are wasted on the rich and emotionally disturbed.

So that's my list of impractical super powers. I look forward to any arguments you may pose... as I'm sure you're all straining your brains to think of practical crime-fighting applications for these stinkers. Either way, when you do get that one wish from a genie, make sure you think long and hard about the power you choose. May I suggest super speed or a green lantern ring?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Geekanerd Spotter: Invincibility Star Street Art

This entire condo complex has an invincibility star! Does that mean that the people who live here will never die, as long as they don't leave their rooms? But what kind of life would that be? Actually that may be a scenario all too familiar to both you and me, dear reader.

And speaking of you, regular readers have certainly noticed by know that our posting schedule and regular features have slowed way down recently - a bit of excusifying after the jump...

The slowdown in production is mainly because I, AHR, am residing outside of NYC for the fall, and accordingly my nerd powers are only operating at about half capacity. You see, LIKE SUPERMAN, I draw my powers from a localized source, in my case the Manhattan/Brooklyn area. I'm currently in Charlotte NC, which has at least one amazing comic store, but sadly not as many amazing nerd events to keep me inspired.

That said, the NYC Weekanerd Event Calendar and our Twitter/Facebook feeds still get updated all the time. Geekanerd proper will still be updated with feature articles, though on a slower schedule for the next few months.

If you have any feedback, holla: