Friday Round Up: The Glorious Return

Ash vs Evil Dead returns to Starz for season 2 this October. I can’t wait. I really, really enjoyed the first season. Above is a short, official teaser for the second season. Apparently Ash will team up with Ruby Knowby who isn’t a demon but wants the Necronomicon power for her own. Interesting.

MOVIES

Sulu fencing from Star Trek the original Series

Yesterday came the news that in Star Trek Beyond, the movie will reveal that Sulu… is gay. And it isn’t a plot point or anything, just some background on the character that will somehow be mentioned in passing. My initial reaction was thinking it made plenty of sense. First, it’s past time for someone in the LGBTQI world to be represented in something as progressive and inclusive as Star Trek. As the Vulcans say, “infinite diversity in infinite combinations.”

Plus, there were no real storylines where Sulu was romantic with anyone back on the original series or films so his personal life was pretty unexplored. I think the most we learned about Sulu was that he liked fencing, his family was from San Francisco, and he wore a jacket like a cape in his off-duty hours. It was intended as a bit of a tribute to George Takei, who originated the role and came out as gay long after his Star Trek work.

And that’s when things get weird. You see, Takei said he wasn’t actually much of a fan of the idea. He said Simon Pegg consulted him about it when he was writing the movie and Takei argued that he played the character as heterosexual and that’s how Gene Roddenberry had created the character. So Takei felt protective of that and argued they should create a new character to represent diversity. He thought they were going to listen to him so he was surprised at the news and wasn’t much of a fan.

So, I am all for diversity in all sorts of ways on Star Trek. But I am disappointed that Takei himself isn’t excited by the idea. He didn’t feel honored by it. He felt like they humored him and didn’t listen to his input after asking for it. Because all of the original cast’s characters are iconic, I probably would’ve tried to be more respectful to any of the cast or original series writers and producers. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to say that Sulu is gay. But if I had to choose between the two, I probably would’ve respected Takei’s wishes and created a new gay crewmember. Hopefully that’s something the upcoming TV series can tackle.

Ellen Ripley

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sigourney Weaver confirmed that Neill Blomkamp’s proposed Alien sequel with her character, Ripley, is still in development and they’re just waiting for Ridley Scott to finish his prequel (or prequels) so that the franchise isn’t stepping on itself. She also confirmed that if they make it, it will be a direct sequel to Aliens and ignore Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. She did not go into detail about how this would affect the Alien vs. Predator movies and where those hallowed films would fall in the new continuity. It’s all anyone cares about.

TOYS

2016 marvel collectors vault

This is the time of year when we all get a bit jealous of those going to the San Diego Comic Con. Hasbro gave another reason for that jealousy. They will have a 5-pack of their 3.75″ Marvel figures for sale called the Collector’s Vault. It will contain articulated versions of fairly obscure character Moon Boy (a caveman kid that rides a big red T-Rex called Devil Dinosaur) and the Collector (at least semi-known since he was in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie). Then they have non-articulated figures for Cosmo, the space dog, Howard the Duck (in his current private eye suit) and Lockjaw, the massive dog of the Inhumans who teleports them around. For some reason it also has 3 powerful cosmic objects: the Wand of Watoomb (Dr. Strange), The Casket of Ancient Winters (Thor) and the Zodiac Key (Nick Fury/S.H.I.E.L.D.) These are all really weird characters and it’s very unlikely any of them aside from Collector would get mainstream mass releases. So if Marvel figures are your bag, good luck getting these Convention Exclusives.

ART

matthew skiff duke and cobra commander

What if all the 80s cartoon characters didn’t have mortal enemies? What if they were secretly best buds? That’s the premise of artist Matthew Skiff’s current Gallery 1988 show in Los Angeles, titled “Best Friends”. Can’t make it to the show? You can still buy prints online of stuff like Duke and Cobra Commander throwing back colas, Lion-o and Mumm-Ra sharing a bowl of cereal, Venkman and Samhain sharing some Hi-C and many more.

COMICS

riri williams

In Marvel Comics, a genius named RiRi Williams has been playing a supporting role in Iron Man comics. She’s a 15-year old african-american student at MIT and she’s been building her own armor. Speculation was she may be taking the place of War Machine at some point, which seemed even more likely when he got taken out in Civil War II. But now comes word that she will actually be the new Iron Man. Not sure what would make Tony Stark take a break but she’s super likable and interesting so I’m curious where this goes.

TV

game of thrones walkers

Apparently Game of Thrones is planning on filming season 7 later than usual. Still, because it will be a shorter season it will probably still debut around June like it has in the past. This news comes from showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss who were on the UFC podcast. Yeah, I guess they sometimes interview non-MMA folks. The reason for the delay makes sense. Winter has finally hit Westeros and they need to wait until it really gets colder and overcast and hopefully snowy throughout Europe where they film the show.

CELEBS

magic the gathering black lotus

Black Lotus, one of the most valuable cards in Magic: The Gathering

Do you remember that douchebag Martin Shkreli? He’s the dude who, in September of 2015, bought a drug people need and jacked the price by 5,556 percent (from $13.5 to $750 per tablet). People hate him. He’s a smug jerk. He further cemented his asshole reputation by buying the Wu-Tang album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which is a big deal because there’s only a single copy. Now he’s aiming his sites at nerd culture.

He posted this week to the Magic: The Gathering subreddit that he intends to acquire as many valuable cards as he can and asked for help pointing him to where he could get them. All this will do is help jack up the price on rare cards like Black Lotus that are already prohibitively expensive for many players to buy and therefore use in competitions. Technically, this is Shkreli’s second foray into nerd culture. He still owes some pro gamers hundreds of thousands that he promised them when he baked the team Ex Nihilo to compete in League of Legends (they failed to qualify for the most recent tournament).