5 reasons why you should be with Team IronMan for Civil War

In May, Captain America 3 is going to be war… Civil War. On one side you have Captain America and on the other you have Ironman.

Well if we’re going from what we know about the film so far, you should be with Team Ironman.
Let’s do a headcount:
There’s the King (Black Panther), the Master Assassin (Black Widow), the Robot (Vision), the Tin Soldier (War Machine), and the Shellhead (Iron Man).
.. and here’s five reasons why you should be with #TeamIronMan:
  1. TECHNOLOGICAL SUPERIORITY. Team Ironman has not only the Ironman and War Machine armors but then there’s Vision. The synthetic being who currently is sporting the bling known as the Mind Infinity Stone. Black Panther is also sporting a unique suit with untold technological advances from Wakanda.
  2.  MY GUNS ARE BIGGER THAN YOURS. Team Ironman has the most firepower! Between shoulder cannons, chest beams, wrist launchers, and many other devices hidden in the TWO armors, how is Team Cap going to match that? Vision has fired beams from the Mind Gem also.
  3. SHOW ME THE MONEY. Between having the resources of Tony Stark, the nation of Wakanda, and the United States government, Team Ironman has the biggest budget. This team isn’t hiding in some dive motel or eating scraps, we’re eatting good and sleeping well.
  4. I AM THE LAW. While rebellion is sometimes necessary (American Revolution, American Civil War, Star Wars), but in this case the law is on the side of Team Ironman. The US government, possibly the UN are supporting Team Ironman.
  5. ACE IN THE HOLE. We got the webhead! Spidey is a part of Team Ironman. With a great team, comes great responsibility.
These are only a few reasons, but there are many more.
So which team are you on #TeamIronman or TeamCap ? What are your reasons?

Pros & Cons: Marvel Miniature Game by Knight Models

Avengers starter
Avengers starter

This week Knight Models released its first run of Marvel Universe Miniature Game. As this game involves superheroes, I rushed to check it out. Actually, as a nerd dad, I had to ask my wife’s permission to get it. After a lengthy bargaining process, I rushed out to get the game. Because I’m a nerd dad, I plan to play the game in a day or so as the models that come in the started are not painted and need to be assembled. I did however read the rule book and look over the figures and their associated cards. Here are my first impressions for Knight Models’ Marvel game from those observations.

PROS

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    • The figure sculpts are well done and are free of the unnecessary flash you see on inferior models. Details like the individual plates of Thor’s armor or the disks in Black Widow’s belt confirm the quality of the models is impressive.

 

    • The rulebook looked to be well edited and concise. I liked the format of the rulebook.

 

    • As far as the rules go, the use of colors, symbols, keywords as well as numbered stats allow for thought-provoking ways to bring a superhero to life.

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    • The folding character cards hold a lot of information and give an interesting take on keeping track of your character.

 

    • The price-point of $55 – $60 dollars is acceptable for 4 figures, 4 character stat cards, and a rulebook.

 

    • You can customize your battlefield scenery with ready-made objects or make your own.

CONS



    • 20160404_222314It’s nice to have a miniature rulebook with a miniature game, but the small print made it hard to read. There were several times I had to read a section twice.







    • cap cardThe character card uses a color scheme that might be hard to read.
    • I was planning to purchase a DEADPOOL and a BLACK PANTHER figure along with the Avengers starter, but the $25 price tag for a single figure made me reconsider.  

 

    • This first run only included hero figures. There aren’t any villains to purchase.20160403_163814

 

    • Scenery is an added expense.




 

The game seems similar to Warhammer or Hordes. What are your thoughts? Are you enthusiastic about a new tabletop version of superhero warfare? Leave a comment. Watch for my upcoming full review of the game.

My minute with comic legends

 I was fortunate enough to spend a day at Fantasticon in Lansing, Michigan. Fantasticon is a pop culture and comic experience that spans several locations throughout the year. These show locations include cities in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. This is the first of my articles on my time as Fantasticon. While there, I had the awesome opportunity to sit at the Comic Legends of the Bronze Age paned.  The panel consisted of Keith Pollard, Mike Grell, Arvell Jones, and Kurt Lehner. Each of these talented gentlemen have over a decade of experience in the comic industry. It was fascinating listening to their stories of how they “broke in” to the industry, who they worked with, and what they worked on.



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Keith Pollard and Arvell Jones, two artists from the Detroit area, told a story of how they worked together in comics. Apparently the legendary John Romita Sr. looked at both of their work and had issues. He said that Pollard’s work was good but lacked excitement. He said that Jones work was also good but lacked consistancy. THe faces Jones drew from panel to panel looked like different characters. So Mr. Romita did what any forward thinking Marvelite would do…he teamed both Pollard and Jones together. I suppose he figured that both these talented guys together would equal a great artist.

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Both Pollard and Jones had a hand in creating two of Marvel Comics baddest ladies. Jones co-created the bionic armed Misty Knight. Pollard brought  Felicia Hardy aka The Black Cat to life in the pages of the Amazing Spider-Man. Pollard and Jones also did various work for DC.




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Mike Grell, creator of the DC character Warlord has served as both artist and writer. Not only has he done work for DC but Grell has done several creator owned works for various companies.  This includes the series Shamans’ Tears. Among many of Grell’s accomplishments in comics was the Green Arrow limited series Longbow Hunters. This led to an 80 issue Green Arrow run for Grell. He is credited for changing the direction of Green Arrow making him an ‘urban hunter’ and focusing Green Arrow on more street level threats. During the panel, Grell said that his influences on the character earned him a small nod in the current CW television series Arrow. In the first season of Arrow Laurel stands before a Judge Grell. He also mentioned how he had to explain to his nephew that he didn’t get paid for that. I told Grell that I would check out the Longbow Hunters series. I’ll post a review after I’ve finished it.

kurt-lehner-webKurt Lehner said that he grew up following and emulating the other panelsts. He feels that where he developed his “modern-retro” comic art style. While he’s been involved for almost two decades in comics, he didn’t feel he technically was a legend of the Bronze age. Many of Lehner’s work involved design work for animated features and films including Disney and Marvel. Lehner shared an interesting story that he said was the one thing that he was most proud of. At the time Lehner was working with the legendary Stan Lee on The Marvel Action Hour; Stan the man told Lehner (after looking at some of his work) that if he had walked into (Stan’s) office in the 70’s, he would’ve hired him on the spot.

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I had a chance to sit down and talk one on one with both Arvell Jones and Keith Pollard. Look for those follow up articles soon. It was awesome meeting these gentlemen and I hope to see them again.

Getting ready for Agents of SHIELD midseason premiere

There are only a few days left before the midseason premiere of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD on March 8th. A lot has happened to Agent Coulson and his group. There have been some setbacks, some victories, and some twists and turns. Before we think about the future of SHIELD, let’s take a quick look back at SHIELD’s past.

SEASON ONE Introduced us to a resurrected Coulson and his mobile response team meant to deal with mysterious situations in a world of miracles. The big bad of this season is called the Clairvoyant while Coulson searches for the secrets of his return to life. While handling some strange cases and working to take down the Clairvoyant, the team grows and SHIELD collapses (this is in direct connection of the MCU movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Hydra moles within SHIELD are exposed including a member of Coulson’s team. The Clairvoyant is also revealed to be a SHIELD/Hydra agent. This story arc concludes with the Clairvoyant’s defeat and a setup for next season dealing with Skye’s father and the side effects to Coulson’s resurrention.
 SEASON TWO Introduced us to Skye’s parents and the Inhumans (people given powers by alien crsytals). Coulson’s team fights for SHIELD to regain public and government trust. As Coulson learns of his connection to the Inhumans and his leadership is called into question. It is reveled that Coulson isn’t the only SHIELD agents left trying to do good, but these agents don’t trust Coulson and try to unseat him as director. Inhumans also plot against SHIELD. As this story arc finishes up, Skye is the first of Coulson’s Inhuman agents, the rogue Inhumans are defeated, and Coulson makes a sacrifice. In the aftermath, Simmons disappears.
 SEASON THREE Focuses on Coulson’s team working to get agent Simmons back as well as the growing population of Inhumans. We meet the government’s reponse to Inhumans in the ATCU. Also the threat of a rogue Inhuman who is killing other Inhumans is revealed. As our heroes pursue the Inhuman killer, it is revealed that he is someone close to home. Coulson tries to foster an alliance with the ATCU and works to bring Simmons back. Ward works with Hydra who are also interested in the place where Simmons is; only to find an ancient power. At the end of the first half of the season, Fitz and Coulson bring back Simmons while Ward brings back something else.
That brings us to now. Are you ready for “Bouncing Back” on March 8th (the next episode of MARVEL’s Agents of SHIELD)? What was your favorite part of Season Three so far? Leave a comment…

Wizard World Philly – THOR for free contest

Its HAMMER TIME. That’s right, enter this free contest to win a Chris Hemsworth VIP ticket (this includes an autograph, photo op, PLUS 1 ticket to the Thor Panel) for Wizard World Philadelphia. The contest ends March 10th.

Wizard World Philadelphia is from June 2nd – 5th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. 

ENTER TO WIN a @chrishemsworth VIP for #WizardWorld Philly!! Contest ends 3/10!! https://t.co/pB8DItwmkx pic.twitter.com/nT6AK1CQiU

— Wizard World (@WizardWorld) March 4, 2016

All MARVEL Fantasy Football Defense

A few weeks ago my buddy Loose and I were talking about Fantasy Football. As a nerd dad, let’s just say that sports aren’t my area of expertise. So Loose suggested that I make a Fantasy Football offensive team using superheroes. So I took the challegne and he said that he would do the same. To take the matter a step further, we agreed to put together a defensive Fantasy Football team to counter each other’s offense. Here is a link to Loose‘s article for his superhero offense. Below is my defensive team.

As Loose chose to have 3 wide receivers, so his team has a focus on the passing game. So I needed to bring a defense to deal with that. I chose the Nickel defense which has three cornerbacks as opposed to two (a linebacker is switched for a cornerback, also called a nickelback). Cornerbacks are the players that cover and defend against the wide receivers.

Image result for nickel defense


DT – Defensive Tackle: These 2 inside players of the defensive line who defend against the run and put pressure on the QB.  I chose STRONG GUY and BLOB. Both of these guys have strength, while Strong Guy gets stronger as he gets hit and the Blob…he can’t be moved. He literally fuses with the ground.
DE – Defensive End: The 2 outside players of the defensive line who put pressure on the QB and move to either try to sac the QB or tackle a runner. I chose DRAX THE DESTROYER and RAGE. Both of these heroes have strength and agility. Both are mobile enough to hold the line against the run and mobile enough to move through or around the offensive line to sac the QB.
I originally planned to counter Loose’s Mutant offensive line with a GAMMA powered defensive line by choosing the Hulk, Doc Samson, A-Bomb, and Red Hulk.  Then I thought I’d try to pick a few more “obscure” heroes.

LB – Linebacker: LB back up the defensive line and defend against the run and pass. I chose BETA RAY BILL and HYPERION. Both of these are in response to Thor as the Tight End. Beta Ray Bill is an alien version of Thor. Has all the same powers and carries a hammer like his called Stormbreaker. Hyperion is Marvel’s version of Superman. Strength, Flight, eye beams, gets his power from the sun. With these two behind my defensive line, I don’t see Thor as an issue.


CB – Cornerback: These players cover the wide receivers and defend against the pass.  My number one CB is NOVA, “the human rocket”. This guy is meant to cover Quicksilver. He can more than match his speed and he flies. To match Spider-man as a WR, I chose VENOM. He is the perfect counter for all of his abilities: speed, strength, webbing and Venom doesn’t trigger his spider sense. So he won’t see venom coming. To cover the Slot WR Namor, I originally was going with either Rogue or Ms. Marvel. But Loose told me “he dug deep” for his team, so I chose the CAPTAIN to cover Namor. The Captain is a drunkard who was given Superman like powers by aliens. So he can match Namor in speed and strength; as long as I can keep him sober for the game.


S – Safety: The safeties are that last line of defense for the deep pass or if a runner breaks through. As my last line, I first was going to pick War Machine and Iron Man. But this was after a suggestion from Loose, so I thought I’d go out on my own and pick BOX and MACH 1. Both of these armored heroes have various sensors to keep watch of any offensive characters that make it through the first lines of defense as well as an array of devices to take them down.


That’s my defense. What do you think? Did I pick characters a little too out of the norm? Should I have “stuck to the basics”? Drop me a comment and let me know.

I have to say this was fun. I learned a lot about football. From what players functions are to what’s the difference between the nickel and dime package. I’m actually looking forward to trying my hand at ACTUAL fantasy football. Not saying I’m going to be any good…but I know I’m going to enjoy it. Hope you enjoyed the read.

Fantasy Football 101 the Nerd way

I’m a nerd dad. While I have plenty of other adults…some fathers…that share my love of super heroes and video games there are those times…those slightly awkard times when I’m with a group of guys talking about sports. Whether it is the NBA, NFL, or MBL, I’m usually pretty much SOL during those chats.

A friend of mine who I talk video games and super heores with also is into sports When our conversations turn to the game last night or when he makes a playful sports reference to a NFL player, its almost always lost on me as I pause dumbfounded. Recently, he told me of his thoughts about starting a fantasy football league. I immediantly told him I’d participate. I figured I’d support my friend even though I’d be as about successful at fantasy football as an infant is at stockcar racing. Then my buddy had the awesome idea of having me make a fantasy football team with superheroes.  We both figured I could have a little fun and learn more about football in the process; learn more about a topic by relating it to something I’m not only familiar with, but passionate about. I also figured as I’m sure I’m not the only nerd who has been in that awkward guy sports talk situation, so thus this article was born.

I’ll start with “drafting” my offensive players and I’ll pick them from Marvel comic characters.



QB – Quarterback: Most always the leader of the team (there are a few exceptions). Needs to be intelligent, inspiring, confident, adaptable, aware (of the field) and accurate throwing the football. 

My initial choice was Daredevil. His radar sense makes him extremeply hard to surprise and aware of his surroundings. Although with all the things going on the field and the noise of the crowd, it would probably be too much for his enhanced senses. SO I chose CAPTAIN AMERICA as the QB. There are few comic characters who are more inspiring or a better leader. As CAP is superior fighter, he is able to adapt to almost any challenger(s).  He’s also mastered accuately throwing his shield, so throwing a football should come natural to him.

C – Center: Touches the ball on every play and hikes the ball to the quarterback. He calls out audibles and positions to the guards and tackles. Needs to be strong, tough, and intelligent. Doesn’t move much.

I first choice the Blob as I couldn’t think of anyone better to be rooted to a spot to hike the ball. I also thought of the Hulk, as Hulk is “the strongest one there is”. Then I found out how the center needs to be strong and intelligent. He signals the offensive line to make adjustments and snapping the ball is an important job. My center is the ever lovin’ blue eyed THING. The THING was a football star in college so he knows the game, he’s incredibly strong and durable as well. Finally, while he’s not a genius (he leaves the brainy work to Reed Richards), he’s a thinker. He not just a dumb brute or a savage brawler.

LG/RG – Guards (left and right): Their job is simple, to protect. For the most part, it involves protecting the quarterback while also protecting the ball carriers. Guards need to be tough physically and mentally. Disciplined enough to stay still until the play starts while also being strong enough to hold back the defense. Besides being strong, they also need to have nimble hands and feet. 

I chose DOC SAMSON and SHE-HULK. I know their aren’t any ladies in the NFL, but this is Marvel so let’s not be exculsive. Both these gamma powered heroes have the smarts, speed, and strength to be effect in the guard position. Not to mention both of them can take a hit, and hold the line.

LT/RT – Tackles (left and right): The Offensive Tackles are also tasked with protection. In fact I wasn’t sure what the difference between Guards and Tackles was. My buddy Loose, broke it down simply for me. Guards are for protection for the run, while Tackles are more for pass protection. So Tackles need the same attributes, but I also think they’d need to be aware of their surroundings to watch for the defense trying to sack the QB.

 I’m thinking I’d choose IRON-MAN and WAR MACHINE. They are a good team and complement each other. Few defensive players would get past them. Its also my understanding that where you place your stronger offensive protection players depends on whether your QB is right handed or left handed, that way you give more protection to his “blindside”. So IRON-MAN and SHE-HULK are going to placed on the left side as I believe CAPTAIN AMERICA is right handed.

TE – Tight end: The tight end acts as both a pass protection/blocker and another wide receiver if need be.So the TE needs to have speed, intelligence, as well as be tough enough to block defensive opponents.

My first thought was Namor. He’s got speed, strength, and is disciplined enough to follow routes. Then I thought about it and Namor is arrogant and a hot head. While Namor will take orders, his pride could keep his from following through especially if he feels his way is better. So I chose MS. MARVEL/CAPTAIN MARVEL (Carol Danvers). She also have strength, speed, and the discipline of a military officer. She’ll follow her routes without question and if she needs to block,she’s packing Kree enhanced strength to protect the ball carrier or QB.

WR – Wide Receivers The offense I chose has two main wide receivers, although you can have more. WR need speed…period. They need to be able to react quickly to shake and outrun persuers. They also need to be able to catch the ball. 

I chose QUICKSILVER and NORTHSTAR. Marvel  doesn’t have the abundance of “speedsters” like DC does. Still, these two guys are amoung the fastest. As they’re so fast, I’m sure they could catch whatever is thrown at them.

RB – Running Back: The running back is a player that runs with the ball. The RB needs speed, awareness, and finese. 

I thought speed was most important for RBs and was planning to choose Quicksilver, then I thought of Barry Sanders (former RB for the Detroit Lions). Barry wasn’t the fastest player, but what he did well was find holes in the defense to run through and shake defenders away by reacting quickly and changing directions.So this prompted me to choose SPIDER-MAN as my RB. I honestly am one of the few folks I know that don’t like the webhead. Still Spidey has speed, but more importantly, his agility and spider sense would help him avoid the defense.

FB – Full Back: The offense I’m using is more run based, other more pass centered offenses might not have a full back. The full back is a blocker that makes holes for the RB to go through, provides pass protection for the QB, and carries the ball for short yard runs.  

I considered the Rhino for this. He’s strong, tough, and has no problem charging in. While I think that the Rhino is a good choice, I went with JUGGERNAUT. Pretty much for the same reasons, he’s strong enough to charge his way through the defensive line, but also strong enough to hold the line for the QB when passing.

So that’s my MARVEL fantast football offensive line up. Next time I’ll post my defensive line up. I hope this helped you, even a little bit, with understanding some of the positions in football.

What do you think? Do you agree with my choices or do you have others you think would work better?

Like a (Super) Girl

As a nerd dad with three daughters and who is part of a Disney family, I thought I was destined to drown in princess gowns and pixie dust. So when Marvel was bought by Disney, I saw a ray of hope for getting my girls into superheroes. Disney Infinity was the first way I introduced my girls to the awesomeness that is the Avengers (they are still a little too young to watch the movie). Both CJ (age 6) and Ava (age 3) fell in love with Black Widow. We played together on PS3 for hours, saving the city from Frost Giants and stopping Loki. Next Disney XD gave us the Avengers Assemble animated series which strengthened their love for Black Widow. The girls liked the other heroes too, but Black Widow let them be super and “girlie”

It came time for CJ to go to first grade and Ava to start pre-K and they both needed backpacks. CJ wanted a Disney Princess backpack while Ava asked for an Avengers Backpack. It almost brought a tear to my eye. My little princess ASKED for the Avengers over Frozen/Queen Elsa, and all the other addictive frilly Disney “princessness.”Ava did have one request. She asked for a bag that had Black Widow on it. This was around the time after Avengers: Age of Ultron, so I figured it was going to be a simple task. I was wrong… oh boy was I wrong. I found at least six different variants of Avengers backpacks that featured characters, but only ONE of them included Black Widow. And that particular one was out of stock. The trooper that my daughter is…she accepted the backpack that had Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor on it. Then she needed a lunch box and I had similar issue finding one with Black Widow on it. I also happened to find an Avengers Assemble themed plastic container. I thought this would be awesome for Ava’s to carry in her lunch bag. Care to guess who were the characters featured on it? Captain America, Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man… yep no Black Widow. I was begining to wonder if they forgot she was part of the Avengers, As if the Avengers was some type of He-Man woman haters club. To be fair, the lunch box, well its more of a lunch bag, the container, and the backpack didn’t have Hawkeye, Vision, or Scarlet Witch on them either, but I digress.

 

Even the cup Ava got didn’t have Black Widow on it…
 

There is a point to this rant,a reason that I’m harping on the Avengers lack of Black Widow. Fast forward to Halloween and the time for the girls to get costumes. My wife ended up finding both a Black Widow and an Iron Man costume on sale. She got them both. Ava tried on both costumes and chose to be Iron Man for Halloween. That’s right…she chose to be Iron Man over the Black Widow.

 

The punchline of this article comes in the form of what Ava asked for for Christmas. She (and I quote) said she wanted “A Iron Man that talks”. The nerd pride that gleamed from my face could’ve been seen for miles I wager. I didn’t even know if the toy existed. We didn’t see any commericals that advertised anything like that. Still, I was determined to find one. I did and Ava loves her Iron Man.
SO I guess the moral of the story is if Marvel doesn’t give girls female heros to love…they’ll move on to Iron Man….

ANT-MAN a no spoilers review

NO SPOILERS

I had to make a deal with my wife to see Ant-Man on the Thursday before its official release. But alas that is the life of a nerd dad. Ok, maybe I’m laying it on a bit thick, but the deal was way worth it…Still I digress.
If you are a super hero fanatic like myself, you’ll enjoy this movie. The special effects are well done. The shrinking and growing scenes are cool and believable. The CGI ants were also cool. My wife was actually surprised by the number of ants in the ANT-MAN movie…lol. There were a few times that the shrinking scenes were a little hard to follow, but I’m sure it’ll be fine the second time I see it.
Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd do a good job of portraying our heroes. The torch passing between the two works well on screen. Former Lost hottie Evangline Lilly was cool as Hope. At first I thought her character was too rigid, but she warms up later. As expected with a Marvel movie, the weakest part of the film is the villain. While Corey Stoll is ok, it’s like he can’t make up his mind whether he was nefarious, psychotic, or simply misunderstood. While that might work with say the Joker, it makes Stoll’s motives seem more manufactured. Besides Rudds’ wisecracks and humor, there is the “plucky comedy relief” from what equates to sidekicks; in the form of Michael Pena, T.I., and David Dastmalchian. Their roles are funny and well placed. Pena is especially fun with his unique method of explaining things to our hero.
What makes this film especially good for me is the reason that I have a soft spot for all the Disney/Marvel super hero films…the Marvel Cinematic Universe! The fact that the films are connected and you get cameos and mentions of events from other films tickles my super hero loving bones. Some of the things they mentioned (nods and connections to other Marvel characters and movies) in the film almost gave me a nerdgasm. Then there are the cameos, and those actually did give me a several nerdgasms.
There are TWO post credit scenes, so make sure you stay for both.

Ant-Man is a must see for the super hero/comic lover, the Disney film lover, and everyone in between.
I give Ant-Man a B+