Hellboy, Sci-Fi Captains, and Flying Creatures – Geekout 23

Are you as excited for this list as I am? Probably not, since I’ve seen the prompts. Let’s jump right into this one! Today I’m tasked with naming Two characters from Hellboy, Four Fictional Sci-Fi Captains, and Four Fantasy Creatures that Fly.

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Let’s put it all together!

Two characters from Hellboy

Nope. I wasn’t excited about this one. The extent of my Hellboy knowledge is that I’ve seen parts of the movie a couple of times, many years ago. I also can’t come close to naming two characters.

Hellboy

Yep. I’m cheating here probably. This is all I’ve got. I know there’s the blue fish-looking guy and some others, but this is the only name I can come up with.

Four Fictional Sci-Fi Captains

This is one of the ones I was excited about, since there are some great choices.

Malcolm Reynolds – Firefly/Serenity

Malcolm is the Captain of the Serenity, a Firefly-class transport vessel. I’m not going to sit here and try to sell you on the show, I’m sure I (and others) have done that before.

Jean-Luc Picard – Star Trek

An honorable member of Starfleet, Jean-Luc Picard captains the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I’m betting most of you knew that already. He and Kirk are Star Trek’s best known, which makes sense having each captained Enterprises on television and movies. And if you want to bother him, just barge in and call him John Luck Pickerd.

James Holden – The Expanse

I originally watched this series, but started reading the books before finishing watching the first season of the show. Now I’m nearly done reading the sixth (the most recent) book in the series. Season two will be out soon. It should cover the events of the second half of the first book. I’m looking forward to it. James Holden is a good captain of the Rocinante.

Han Solo – Star Wars

Didn’t think I’d skip this one, did you? Go Han Solo! This scruffy-looking Captain of the Millennium Falcon joins up with the rebellion after agreeing to ferry Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Have you really not seen Star Wars? If not, let me know. I’ve got recommendations for where to start!

Commander Shepard – Mass Effect

“I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favorite blog on the Internet.” – Commander Shepard

The protagonist of the Mass Effect series he/she captains the Normandy. I don’t want to get too into the details, since they’re pretty significant to the stories of the games. When playing the game, you decide whether Commander Shepard is male or female, so it’s hard to pronoun in this post.

Four Fantasy Creatures that Fly

One of the most useful abilities for a creature is flight. This level of mobility makes creatures useful in stories as hunters, mounts, and sometimes both!

Dragons

I’m not really sure what I need to say about Dragons as you should know of these already. There are plenty of types of dragons, and many of them are capable of flying. D&D players enjoy telling you the alignment of dragons based on the color of the dragon. It’s a thing.

Flying Bison – Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Kora

In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is often accompanied by his lifelong companion and friend, Appa. As a flying bison, Appa is able to carry Aang and his friends in their travels. Flying bison are very large creatures without wings, so how they manage to fly is quite mysterious. We know they’re using airbending (air magic from the show) somehow, but how they can keep such a heavy creature up is beyond me!

Griffin

Common in fantasy settings, griffins are mythical creatures composed of features of a lion and an eagle. They’ve got wings and talons from the eagle and have hind legs, bodies and tails of a lion. I think there’s some disagreement on the features of griffin heads, but I usually think of a lion head with a beak. Either way, they fly using those wings, so count for this list.

Interestingly, my character in the Solar Exalted game I’ve mentioned previously just finished taming a Griffin as a makeshift mount. Should be quite useful as I need to fly quite high very soon.

Thestral – Harry Potter Series

These creatures are visible only to those who’ve seen death, which means they’re invisible to many. They’re almost skeletal horses with bat-like wings and are how the carriages are pulled to Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter series.

Wrap Up

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Tune in next time for a post covering General Geekiness, Gaming, and Comics.

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Flying Cars, Grimm Tales, and Bond Villains – Geekout 20

Writing a blog post nearly every day means that I can write about all kinds of geeky topics. It’s been interesting writing these this year. So for a backstory, I received a page-a-day desk calendar for Christmas. On the calendar, it challenges you to list some geeky things based on three prompts it provides each day. I take that, and I write a little bit about each of my responses.

For example, today I am supposed to list Four Films in which Flying Cars appear, Four Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, and Four James Bond Enemies. If I’m restricting my answers in some way, I’ll usually explain how.

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Let’s see how this day goes!

Four Films in which Flying Cars appear

For this, I think I’ll distinguish that flying cars and near-ground hovering cars are not the same thing. I’d also like to think that the name “car” is not required for these vehicles, but they should be car-like.

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

In atmosphere, it’s common to have “speeders” in Star Wars. There are landspeeders, snowspeeders, airspeeders, etc. in their world. I’d say that the airspeeders seen in the second of the prequels are most certainly an example of flying cars in a film.

Back to the Future Part II

Where this movie’s going, we don’t need roads. In this film we seen flying cars landing on streets and continuing to drive. These cars use a hovering technology to lift them up into the sky as flying cars. We get to see this quite early, since Doc Brown has converted the DeLorean time machine into a flying car before the events of the movie take place – or in the future past… OK, let’s not go there.

Star Trek Into Darkness

They may not be common in Star Trek films and TV, however, flying cars do exist in the world. In fact, if you saw Star Trek Into Darkness, you watched current Spock’s fighting prowess on display while he was standing atop a flying car.

The Fifth Element

In The Fifth Element, our main protagonist is a cab driver named Korben Dallas. His cab? A flying cab, because the film is full of flying cars. I don’t have to get into the details of the film too much here, which is good; I wouldn’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who wants to watch it. I enjoy the film, and think Gary Oldman and Chris Tucker play some amazingly fun characters in the film!

Four Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

And in this category, we’ll see how these both Grimm and grim tales have been adapted into modern version we still tell today!

Rapunzel

I’ll focus on what most people won’t know here, and I’ll assume that most people have seen Tangled. In the Grimm’s story, Rapunzel’s soon-to-be father is caught stealing food from the witch’s garden. The food was a craving from his pregnant wife. He is allowed the food in exchange for the soon-be-born child.

You know the locked in the tower and climb the hair bit of the story, but the prince part has some changes as well. He gets Rapunzel pregnant and plans an escape with her during his visits. Before they can complete the plan, Rapunzel foolishly gives away his visits, and when he next climbs up, the witch is the only one there. She pushes him onto thorns, blinding him. A bit more violent eh?

This is surprisingly a happy story, since he eventually finds her from her singing. His sight is restored by her tears and they raise their children happily ever after. This version takes a dark turn, but ends up in the light.

Hansel and Gretel

Again, the story starts as we all know it. The children are taken into the woods, because the family will not be able to feed them during the famine. They children leave stones as they walk, so they may follow them home. The next time they’re unable to get the stones, so they use bread crumbs. Could have worked if animals (likely mostly birds) hadn’t eaten the crumbs.

The children are now lost in the woods for days and, unlike the candy-houses of modern day, find a sugary bread and cake house. Obviously the starving children eat some of the house before being lured inside by the witch who discovers them eating her house!

The witch enslaves Gretel and is fattening Hansel for a meal, force-feeding him. Lucky for the children, the witch has poor eyesight, so when she checks to see how plump Hansel is getting, he shows her a bone instead of a finger. This fools the witch, but she eventually decides to eat both children immediately.

Before the witch can throw Gretel into the oven, she tricks the witch into leaning in first, and Gretel pushes her in, killing the witch.

And as we saw with the last tale, the story ends happily here. After the grim, cannibalistic encounter ending in the children murdering an old woman, they escape home with the witch’s treasure. Their evil stepmother, the one who wanted them gone in the first place has died, and the treasure now makes the family rich and happy.

Rumpelstiltskin

Like with Hansel and Gretel, this one has it’s darker element maintained well in modern versions. I forget exactly how the girl gets locked up by the king, but I believe her father had claimed that she could spin gold from straw. Anyway, once locked up, she’s told to spin the gold or be killed.

Luckily (or perhaps unluckily?) a magical being shows up to help. He offers his services in exchange for her jewelry, and spins the gold. I forget how many times this exchange happens, but eventually she’s out of items to trade for his services. The king has also declared he will marry her if she can spin gold again. Without anything to offer, he demands her first-born child as payment and does the deed.

Avoiding death again, she’s set free and marries the king. When their first child is born, she refuses to give him up, offering instead riches. In an uncharacteristic bit of generosity, he offers to rescind his claim if she can guess his name within some time period. No one knows his name, so she’s doomed (likely why he was willing to offer the opportunity).

She searches for him in the woods at night, and she somehow manages to find him talking excitedly to himself about his great success. In his excitement, he refers to himself by name, and she’s able to return home and give his name at the final opportunity to guess. He leaves without the child, and we get another happily ever after.

Cinderella

The story of the wicked stepmother and stepsisters is consistent here. She’s good and kind as her mother instructed her just before dying, which doesn’t help Cinderella much. Of note, Cinderella is not the German name of her, it’s the English. I just searched, and it seems that it’s “Aschenputtel”, and the Internet tells me that literally means Ash Fool.

I recall there being something done in their version that triggers the magical elements with the birds. I don’t recall what it is, but she does get help from birds in this version (it wasn’t just Disney’s version!) They help with chores and such, so she can be done in time for the ball. You know, the ball where the prince is looking for his bride. She’s left behind anyway, and the birds give her the outfit. I don’t remember how, but I recall it being the birds still.

There’s no midnight thing, but after the ball she makes an escape from the prince. To be honest, I’m not sure why she does that! Unlike in some modern versions, there are more nights of balls. Cinderella returns again, and the prince looses her again when she escapes while he’s walking her home. Failing again to find her, he plans a “trap” for the third night. While the ball is in progress, he has the stairs coated in a sticky substance to keep her from running away. When she tries, one of her golden, yes golden, slippers gets stuck. Now the prince has a way to find his bride-to-be during the day!

Ready for the less-than-pleasant part? In order to fit into the slipper, at the suggestion of their mother, one stepsister cuts off some toes and the other her own heel. Each in turn is thus able to fit the slipper, nearly fooling the prince. The noticed bleeding feet eventually giving away their disturbing treachery. Obviously, when Cinderella tries on the slipper, not only does it fit, but the prince recognizes it’s her.

And just in case it wasn’t disturbing enough already, those evil stepsisters get their eyes either poked or plucked out (I can’t remember which) by the birds from earlier. A bit gruesome there. At least Cinderella and her prince get a happy ending!

Four James Bond Enemies

This says “enemies”, so I’m going to allow myself the main villain or their henchmen. I’ll try to avoid hitting the same film multiple times, since that’s no fun. Although a couple I could pull their whole set of enemies and be happy with the result!

Goldfinger – Goldfinger

The titular character of a Bond film, this antagonist is obviously gold-obsessed, even killing someone and painting her with gold. To be honest, I don’t know if the paint killed her, or if she was dead first. Been forever, since I’ve seen the movie. Either way, he’s plotting some evil that you can watch the movie to learn about!

Janus – GoldenEye

Spoiler Alert! I like this character too much to exclude him from this list, but I attached that spoiler alert just in case. This is the assumed name of Alec Trevelyan, known also as 006. Bond was fooled into thinking he was killed by General Ourumov in the beginning of the film. Since Ourumov is the traitor working with him, that obviously was faked. Anyway, he’s a brilliant villain played by Sean Bean, so how can you dislike the character?

Jaws – Multiple Films

This giant brute is a recurring character in the Bond franchise, and attempts to kill 007 more than a couple of times. I most know him from Moonraker, because he was included in the bonus level of that title in the GoldenEye video game for the Nintendo 64. Jaws is depicted with metal teeth, which, in addition to being scary and iconic, can bite through quite a lot.

Oddjob – Goldfinger

I couldn’t do it! I like Goldfinger and wanted to include him, but I’m adding his henchman, Oddjob here as well! This henchman is strong, and also has a blade in the brim of his hat (likely a chakram). As a result, he is able to throw the hat as a weapon to decapitate his target.

Also, you’re practically cheating if you choose him as a character in the GoldenEye N64 game… The character model (and thus hit box) is shorter than the other characters! Don’t remember him being that short in the film, so perhaps the game developers just wanted a short character and chose him.

Wrap Up

Wrote a lot more than I intended today! Anyway, make sure to follow my blog to catch the next post, which will cover a Gaming, a Comics, and a Sci-Fi topic!

Comic Artists, Star Trek Characters, and Wands – Geekout 18

As I start the 18th of these posts, I’m looking at the page from this calendar, and I don’t think it read my saying that I don’t know people’s names. My next failing day is here! Today I’m supposed to name Two Comic Book Artists, Four Characters from the Star Trek Universe, and Six Films or Television Shows in which Characters Use Wands.

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As you may have guessed from my not knowing people’s names, I’ll be failing that first prompt. Let’s get to it.

Two Comic Book Artists

Probably my area of least expertise for this stuff is comic books, so it’s no surprise that I barely know the names of the authors of comics. I can’t name one comic book artist, and I’ve been trying to think of one since this morning. Sorry, artists. I appreciate your work, but I’m failing you here.

Four Characters from the Star Trek Universe

To start this one, I was thinking about restricting myself here. At first I was thinking of naming only characters whose names start with “Q”. Other options are just Ferengi, Vulcans, or Klingons. The latter options are still easy, so I think I’ll name doctors, since that sounds fun.

Beverly Crusher

My personal favorite of the Next Generation medical officers. Am I remembering correctly that she only missed one season, not being aboard the Enterprise? It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of her son, Wesley.

Doctor Phlox

One of the stranger medical officers on the show, Doctor Phlox had all kinds of interesting creatures to help with things. The only alien I’m including in this list, his medical knowledge was quite varied, learning things from various cultures. It always made him a little fun.

“The Doctor” – Emergency Medical Hologram

It’s interesting how this medical hologram was able to grow so much during the show. His being active too long let them learn just how advanced his program really was. He learned and became so much more than just a hologram. His growth reminds me of Data’s in some ways. One might overlook the needs of a hologram, but what is sentience and intelligence anyway?

Julian Bashir

Spoiler alert! I warned you! As it turns out, in a way, the only normal human on my list was Doctor Crusher. Julian is an Augment, which is the Star Trek term for the genetically enhanced humans. This is why Julian is as smart as he is, and it’s a secret he needs to keep (this is frowned upon). If you’ve forgotten what an Augment is, think Khan.

Six Films or Television Shows in which Characters Use Wands

Six is a large number of distinct movies and films to name! We’ll see if I succeed here! I’m thinking “wand” means I cannot include magical staves or scepters. I won’t do this, but I just realized I could name all 8 Harry Potter movies and be done. I’ll not do that though, since that’s boring.

Harry Potter Series

A bit obvious, the witches and wizards in this series wield wands to focus their magical powers.

Cinderella

The Fairy Godmother in the Cinderella cartoon uses a wand to cast her spells that set Cinderella up for a fun night at the ball.

Fantasia

I believe that Mickey uses a want to start some of the “fun” in this one. Am I wrong about that?

The Wizard of Oz

I seem to recall at leas the good witch using a wand in this. The fireball from the wicked witch was thrown by hand, right? Wow it’s been a while since I’ve seen this. I should watch it again, since I’m having trouble remembering.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I think the White Witch uses a wand to cast her spells. Might be a scepter, but I think it’s a wand. Now I’ll need to grab the book later and check. Yes, it will be the book I check rather than the film.

Fairly Odd Parents

Wand wielders in this! Spent about a half hour coming up with a TV show, since the prompt allowed for them.

Wrap Up

I spent way too much time coming up with Wand stuff. I went through all kinds of options. I was thinking of shows that had a D&D style episode like Monsters and Mazes from Dexter’s Lab, Bender’s Game from Futurama, and the D&D game in Reboot. Couldn’t remember if any of them actually had a wand though.

I don’t feel too bad about missing one of the three prompts today, since I felt good about the next two.

Anyway, tomorrow I’ll be back with General Geekiness, Gaming, and Comics.

Comic Vehicles, Star Trek Actors, and Madeleine – Geekout 13

Catching up due to weekends being lumped together! Although, along with that, I’m not going to be able to complete this one. Today I’ll be writing about Four Iconic Comic Book Vehicles, Six Actors that have appeared on Star Trek, and Two Madeleine L’Engle Titles.

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Let’s get to it!

Four Iconic Comic Book Vehicles

The vehicles in comic books are sometimes ridiculous, but can also be fun. Sometimes it’s only certain incarnations of them that are ridiculous.

Batmobile – Batman

I’m not sure I could have started anywhere else for this. Everyone’s heard of this fun ride by now. Not sure which style I like the best. Some are cornier and arguable poorly designed, but they’re still fun!

Invisible Jet – Wonder Woman

Not as iconic today as it was before, but this is still a very well-known vehicle. I seem to recall a sketch (Robot Chicken I thin) where Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are “sitting in the invisible jet” and encouraging Aquaman to jump in. When he lands on his butt, all three of them laugh at him. Makes you wonder if she even has an invisible jet!!!

Helicarrier – S.H.I.E.L.D.

This is certain to be the largest vehicle I’ll list here. Unlike with the Iconic Named Sci-Fi Starships prompt, this one didn’t require named vehicles. For that reason, I’m counting a Helicarrier without choosing a specific one. No specific one would be iconic enough anyway. The biggest problem with a carrier, it can’t go over land. Problem solved.

Motorcycle – Ghost Rider

Not sure how many people saw this one coming! It’s pretty darn iconic. With “Rider” in his name, I’d say his vehicle must be significant!

Six Actors that have appeared on Star Trek

Since I don’t know people’s names, this is impossible if I don’t stick to the main cast. I don’t want to stick to the main cast, so I looked up the actors’ names based on other roles they’ve played outside of Star Trek. For example, the first listed actor I googled “vizzini actor” to get his name. Just to prove I can, I’ll list six main cast members at the bottom.

Wallace Shawn

With such a recognizable voice, who wouldn’t know immediately he’d been cast as the Grand Nagus? Talk about a fun character. Have you guessed yet that I like the Ferengi?

Terry O’Quinn

And “John Locke actor” got me this name. He was in a very memorable Star Trek: The Next Generation episode indeed! I’ll not spoil the episode, but you can tell almost immediately that something interesting is going on.

John de Lancie

I did not have to look up this name. Also, I’m deviating from my previous trend of choosing people known for something other than Star Trek. Yes, he’s been in other roles, but this one is too iconic for sci-fi nerds. Either way, I really like John de Lancie and Q too much to leave him off of the list! Also, I wouldn’t want to slight Q by not mentioning him here!

Dean Stockwell

Joining his old Quantum Leap buddy, Scott Bakula, for an appearance in Star Trek: Enterprise, this actor who also played Brother Cavil in Battlestar Galactica makes for a good chioce. Yes, I looked up his name using “brother cavil actor”. Tried “cavil actor” first, but that failed for a reason people other than me would expect.

Whoopi Goldberg

Another that I didn’t have to search based on a different role. I’m not counting her as main cast for the same reason that Q wouldn’t be. Most episodes of Star Trek: he Next Generation didn’t include her. She is well-known enough herself that I don’t know what else I’d say about her.

John Rhys-Davies

And who could forget when Janeway met “Leonardo da Vinci” on the holodeck!? Knew his name too! I’m proud of myself! He also played professor Maximillian Arturo in Sliders. Huh? Who’s Gimli? What’s this

Clint Howard

Someone is going to love this part. I searched for “ice cream man actor” to find him. Then, seeing his name, I remembered it (and who his brother is). He was a child actor in Star Trek and returned for Deep Space Nine and Enterprise if I remember right. Was he ever in Voyager or The Next Generation? If he did have a role in those, I’d be very impressed!

Yes, I included seven, because I wanted to!

Without Looking Up Names

Just proving that I do know some main cast members names.

  • William Shatner
  • Leonard Nimoy
  • George Takei
  • Patrick Stewart
  • John de Lancie
  • Jonathan Frakes
  • Brent Spiner
  • Wil Wheaton
  • Scott Bakula
  • Kate Mulgrew

Two Madeleine L’Engle Titles

This is where I fail. I only know of one thing she’s written.

A Wrinkle in Time

I haven’t read it, but it’s too well-known for me to not know of this one. I’m sure people have recommended that I read it more than once, but I’ve just got so many books to read. Never enough time. It’s on the list, just not high enough to have been read yet.

Wrap Up

Two weeks of these down, fifty to go!

Fictional Elements, Greco-Roman Movies, and J.J. Abrams – Geekout 10

Well into the second week of this, I’m hoping to get back on track. This seems to be the day. Some large numbers here, but I think I can get some good answers to these. Today we’re looking for Two Fictional Sci-Fi Elements/Materials, Six Films Based on Greco-Roman Mythology, and Four Films or Television Shows Created by J.J. Abrams.

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That first one, the sci-fi one, is a cake walk. The fantasy prompt should also not be too hard to come up with, even with six being the number. The general geekiness question about J.J. Abrams at first seemed easy, but “created by” might be the challenge here. Let’s get started!

Two Fictional Sci-Fi Elements/Materials

Well here’s an easy one. Don’t even have to leave Star Trek and Star Wars for this one.

Transparisteel

As the name implies, this is a strong, transparent material. If you’ve played any Star Wars games, you’ll have come across this material frequently. It’s often used for “windows” on starships, cockpits and other areas needing transparency.

Dilithium Crystals

Any Star Trek fan will immediately know these crystals. They’re used in the warp drives on starships in the Star Trek universe. As such, they’re important in many episodes of Star Trek.

Six Films Based on Greco-Roman Mythology

I’ve not seen plenty of these, but I do know of their existence. Surprisingly difficult, since I’m (for now) unwilling to accept multiple Hercules movies.

Troy

This movie follows Achilles and depicts the events of the Trojan Horse. Definitely qualifies for this category.

Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief

Based on the first book in a series, this is a light take on mythology. It’s a modern setting, but involves gods, their children, and plenty of other mythical creatures.

Hercules

I’ll lump both Rockules and the animated Disney movie together for this. I’m not a big fan of either of these two movies, but they exist!

Clash of the Titans

Classic movie. I’ve not seen this one either. It’s about the titans, so it fits the prompt.

300

Yes, I’m counting this one. The same as the Trojan horse story, this seems to fall into the realm of myth closely enough.

Wrath of the Titans

I did not see this movie when it came out a few years ago. Was it good? I was guessing not, since most of this type of movie aren’t. Also about titans, so fits the bill for this one.

Four Films or Television Shows Created by J.J. Abrams

I’ve been wrestling with the idea of what constitutes “created by”, because I’d like to consider it to be something he had the idea for, produced, directed, helped write, etc. I started with three TV shows that I believe qualify, but couldn’t come up with anything else that I thought fit the bill.

Lost

My wife and I really enjoyed watching this show. There were points where it was not-so-good, so it’s hard to evaluate its legacy at this point. I think it suffered from the same issue that many shows do, which is they don’t set out with a full story and are making too many changes as they go. Each season gets a focus, throwing off the rhythm.

Fringe

Walter. The show is good, but Walter makes this show. Some great characters and a lot of fun here. This show is supposed to go off the rails a bit, so it’s fun that it does. Setting expectations for the win!

Alias

I only saw a few episodes of this show, but my wife watched it consistently. She seemed to like it, but I never got around to catching up from the beginning.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I didn’t want to use this example, since he’s not the creator of Star Wars. He didn’t even say, “hey I want to make Star Wars VII”. I think a more accurate description is that Disney wanted to make episode VII and he was selected to work on it. I’m fairly certain he was involved in screenplay, directing, producing, etc. I guess I’ll call that enough and include it here.

Wrap Up

Didn’t finish it as well as I would have liked, but I did manage to get there. Calling that a win for now.

Scientists, Pants-less Protagonists, and Frank Miller – Geekout 9

Nope. Can’t get out of this streak yet! I just don’t know real people’s names! Sorry, but it’s kind of my thing. While yesterday, I didn’t know He-Man well enough. Today I’m struggling to remember who Frank Miller is and what works he’s done. I’m supposed to name Four Fictional Scientists in Television, Four Video Game Protagonists that Don’t Wear Pants, and Two Frank Miller Comic Books.

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I’m already having a laugh about that gaming question. The general geekiness and comics questions are normal questions.

Four Fictional Scientists in Television

Wishing this weren’t restricted to television, because I know a steely-eyed missile man I’d like to be naming right here. Well, there are more than enough scientists on television, so here goes.

Dexter – Dexter’s Laboratory

I’ve mentioned his sister Dee Dee already, so I might as well mention him as well. The titular character of the series, Dexter is quite the scientist (not just for his age). His lab, experiments, and creations make for some fantastic episodic fun in the show. I don’t even know if we’re rooting for him to succeed or not most of the time, but he’s a wild character for sure.

Samantha Carter – Stargate Franchise

With a Ph.D. in astrophysics, she makes an awesome part of the SG1 team. She speaks nerd with Daniel and military with O’Neill. She may be a military woman first, but her science background is vital at points during the show. While Dr. Jackson may be the one referred to with the title, it’s only because her military rank is used instead. Her promotions through the series are also quite useful, since it lets you know where you are in the series when someone calls by rank.

Gaius Baltar – Battlestar Galactica

Being a famous scientist is what got him to safety in the first place, and set him up in a great position with the fleet. He’s a very fun character in the show. I don’t want to get too far into things, but some of his decisions are quite enjoyable to watch him make! And if you ever play the Battlestar Galactica board game, be careful of trusting this character.

Spock – Star Trek

I wanted to choose one of the many Science Officers from Star Trek, and I figured Spock was as good a choice as any. I think being the Science Officer of the Enterprise would qualify you as a scientist, don’t you? I’m not sure how much I need to say about this pointy-eared alien. When you think about it though, you can choose nearly all of the characters in The Federation, since being a scientist is basically a requirement for all of them!

Four Video Game Protagonists that Don’t Wear Pants

Some characters I’m having trouble remembering if they wear pants or not, so I’m avoiding them just in case. With cartoony characters either wearing just a shirt or just pants is sometimes a thing! And for clarification, I’m interpreting this as no pants, shorts, skirts, etc. It would be way too easy a question if it allowed dresses and skirts to count!

Sonic the Hedgehog

The pants would only slow him down. Shoes and gloves are all that are required for speed! The Blue Blur has so many games, but his originals are the real classics we all love. If you’ve never played a sonic game, they’re classics of the 2D platforming genre that you should play. They’re old games, so most of the gameplay was in replay value. That means the time commitment to “have played it” is very minimal.

Conker – Conker’s Bad Fur Day

Now if you enjoy raunchy, inappropriate humor, this is your Squirrel! My introduction to him was in one of my all-time favorite racing games, Diddy Kong Racing. He wasn’t so out there in that game, but he ends up in the gutter and down the toilet in his own game (sometimes literally). He was the protagonist of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and I think many parents were surprised the cute red squirrel game was rated M.

Donkey Kong – Donkey Kong Country

Could’ve gone with Diddy as well, but figured the classic made the most sense.  I believe his only article of clothing is a tie. This was a wonderful game from my childhood. I remember going crazy for this game. It was remarkable what they did with the series as well. I still listen to the music from this franchise. The character design for this guy was wonderful. Don’t let his lack of pants dissuade you from playing this classic series of games!

Meat Boy – Super Meat Boy

Meat doesn’t need pants. Plus, it would get caught in all of the gears and such. Who wants to eat that? This guy is from a crazy platforming game that really is a lot of fun, which I think might surprise some people. You play as a moving, slab of meat sliding and jumping on floors and walls. Yep, it’s not a normal game. Fun though!

Two Frank Miller Comic Books

After some thinking, I think he’s the 300 guy. That’s all I’ve got. I know I’ve heard that other stuff was created by the creator of 300, but I just can’t recall what it was for. I know the others have to be realistic, gritty stuff, but I don’t want to guess.

300

Surprisingly I never saw this one, but it’s on the list of movies I want to see. I may read the comic book. We’ll see if I’ve got the time for it!

Thoughts on possible other works by Frank Miller

My wife was trying to get me to think of what might have worked on (I’m sure she knows plenty!), but I said I didn’t want to be giving guess answers. So I’m adding some thoughts here instead of guessing.

I know they’ve got to be gritty comics. He might have done some Batman comics for DC, since Batman tends to have darker, grittier stories than many other heroes. I could see him writing for one or more of the Defenders characters on the Marvel side; Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones all seem like characters he could work with. And I’m probably even guessing on these lines based on her thinking I would be capable of guessing them.

Wrap Up

I’m hoping a future one of these asks for works by Alan Moore, since I could name a few without even trying. I’m really enjoying the open-ended ones though, where I can choose from any franchise I like. The first two questions today are great examples of that!

RPGs, WW2, and Sci-Fi TV – Geekout 6

I am disappointed that the first prompt for the day only requires listing 2, but I can understand that for many people only 1 is obvious. Let’s jump in! Today’s prompt is Two Tabletop RPGs, Four Comic Book Characters Alive During WW2, and Six Sci-Fi Television Shows.

2017-01-06 Geekout

I’ll warn you in advance that I’m adding an honorable mentions list to my gaming question of the day, since I’ve got too many to name.

Two Tabletop RPGs

Well here’s one that I wish had a larger number. Yeah, plenty of people are going to name one obvious one and have trouble coming up with a second. That’s just that outside the RPG community, only one game has risen to the public’s mind as much as D&D.

Dungeons & Dragons

Considering that the Geekout prompts have already challenged me to name Two Dungeons and Dragons Character Classes, it seems like they made this one incredibly simple to get the first. Even people who’d forgotten the game existed would’ve been reminded five days ago.

As I mentioned in that post, I’ve been playing this game a looong time. My father got my playing D&D using the first edition advanced books. As years passed, my friends and I moved through Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, Dungeons & Dragons v3.5, Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, and Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. Yes, I did play Pathfinder (a.k.a. D&D 3.75).

Here are some of my D&D books that were near enough to grab and take some quick photos. I grouped them roughly by edition, having the 3.0 and 3.5 together.

AdvancedDungeonsAndDragonsSecondEditionAdvancedDungeonsAndDragonsDungeonsAndDragonsThirdEditionDungeonsAndDragonsFourthEditionDungeonsAndDragonsFifthEdition

 

Exalted

While you might have thought that my favorite Tabletop RPG (based on the amount of D&D I’ve played) is D&D. It’s not. My favorite game is definitely Exalted. I’ve been playing in an infrequently played Exalted campaign for years now, and my group gets together to play whenever we’re in the same city.

My regular, weekly gaming session is currently an Abyssal Exalted game and the less frequently played one is a classic, Solar Exalted game.

Solar Campaign

In my solar campaign, I play a priest of the Unconquered Sun. As anyone who knows the game would expect, the character is a Zenith caste. He frees slaves, protects innocents, and tries to provide food and shelter to anyone and everyone he can. Driven primarily by compassion and conviction, he’s trying to carve out a better world than what exists today.

Abyssal Campaign

Surprisingly, this campaign has had a severe lack of combat considering we’re playing Abyssals, which are commonly known as Death Knights. We’ve been working behind the scenes and are establishing positions where we’re likely to behave more like you’d expect from creatures of darkness. Just hasn’t happened yet. We find it funny, because our “light-side” game involves much more killing than the “dark-side” one.

Honorable Mentions

  • Pathfinder – Often referred to as D&D 3.75, this game leveraged the D20 system based on Wizards of the Coast making it an open system for expansion. That means that when D&D went to 4th edition, the people who thought it had gone the wrong way we able to fall back to 3.75. My group was among those, and we enjoyed Pathfinder as it added new life and ideas to D&D 3.5.
  • Eclipse Phase – A game I’ve played once that seemed very interesting. It’s futuristic, and has some cool mechanics. I’ve got the book for it, and I’d like to use that to play the game more. It’s so hard to get games going (and finding the time to play them requires even more!)
  • GURPS –  I wanted to mention this one despite my not having played it. I know plenty of people who swear by this system. They tend to be the people who play way too many Steve Jackson games already. The name of this system is ridiculous. It’s the “Generic Universal RolePlaying System”, and yes, people do say “gurps” rather than spelling G-U-R-P-S.
  • Shadowrun – I’ve only played a little bit of Shadowrun, but it’s also a very cool roleplaying game. It is set in a fictional future society and combines technology and fantasy ideas. There are fantasy creatures like elves, dwarves, etc. in their world, and it’s on Earth still. It’s set in the future, so technology has advanced some. I’ve often laughed with people about how off the game is in its technology though. A challenge that anyone imagining the future will run into!

Four Comic Book Characters Alive During WW2

OK. This one is a little tough, since I know my comic book characters mostly through their cartoon, movie, and TV adaptations rather than the comics. I’m fairly certain that my selections here were alive during WW2 in the comic books, but I can’t say for certain.

Captain America

This one should be obvious, so I started here. This is kind of his thing, since he’s basically the character made to fight that war. With all of the movies about him, do I really need to say much more? No I’m not including his friend Bucky in the list.

Magneto

I’d guess he’s that old in the comics as well, since he’s been around for quite a long time, and he’s (as far as I know) often one of the older characters. In the films they certainly have him alive for WW2. In fact, it’s quite central to his character’s backstory in the films. He’s got the tattoo as a reminder of that time period.

Wolverine

Not sure how old Wolverine is to be honest, but given that he doesn’t really get much older, it’s not hard for him to have been there. At least in his origin movie, he was definitely there for WW2.

I liked this character a lot as a kid, despite the outfits from that period that I now laugh at. He’s interesting because the claws are nice, but his real power is just healing. On the surface that might seem super amazing, but keep in mind that is different from impervious. When Superman deflects a bullet, does it hurt? I doubt it. I’d guess that Wolverine feels every cut before it heals closed. Now that would build a not-so-light-side character over time.

Peggy Carter

And we’re back to the badass herself, Agent Peggy Carter! Yes, she’s probably more of a badass now than she was in the early comics, but she’s kicks some serious butt. Obviously around for the right time period, since she was in that time period with Cap.

Six Sci-Fi Television Shows

Well here’s a great one for me! I’ve watched so many sci-fi shows, so I’m going to lump franchises together. I’d have too many to list otherwise.

Star Trek

Is there a more iconic answer to this? I don’t think anything else could have come before Star Trek. Sure, Trek and Wars are often compare, but Wars is known for movies and Trek for TV. They may both cross over that, but traditionally that’s where each stood strongest.

My favorite of these would surprise many people. I’m a Deep Space Nine fan, which is not a common opinion. It bridged the Next Generation and Voyager gap nicely. So far no Star Trek series has been made that I did not enjoy. I’m not sure if I’m going to watch the upcoming one, since they’re planning to have it be streaming only and behind a subscription paywall. If I were watching their full lineup of shows, maybe, but I’m not and won’t be.

Firefly

This is a fantastic, wonderful show that probably could have and should have been one of the greatest shows ever made. Joss Whedon is known for doing ensemble casts well, and this show is a lot of the reason why he’s known for that. I’d watch the heck out of this show if it continued, but I don’t want it to continue anymore. More than anything else, I worry that this canceled-too-soon show will be made far worse if it were continued at this point.

I did not watch the show when it originally aired. To be honest, I didn’t get a good vibes from the marketing of the show during its airing. After it was cancelled, some people made sure I saw the show. I was hooked after watching the first episode. Yes, the 2 hour pilot that Fox didn’t air until the show had been marked for cancellation was so good that it along sold me on the show. Most shows take a few episodes before I’m really into them.

Anyway, if you want t good Firefly rant, I enjoy this video. The Firefly rant starts at 1:30.

Battlestar Galactica

I’m referring to the reimagined series here, not the original. I tried to watch that one, but just didn’t get into the original one. As you’d expect, fans disagree on which parts are good and bad, etc. Through the series, however, I believe the best part is the characters. I may not always agree with the directions a character took, but I love the characters in this story. And if you’re a board gamer, I’m a big fan of the board game based on this show. The more popular game, The Resistance, is pretty much based on a mechanic from this board game.

Stargate

Again I’m talking about multiple shows here. SG1, the original series, is a classic that is loved by the fans. Before the later-season cast changes, it’s one of the best shows you’ll find within the genre. No, the issues weren’t the cast changes themselves, but the show did start going off the rails a bit toward the end. I think they were just getting exhausted for ideas and still trying to keep the show going.

Teal’c, Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, Jack O’Neill, “Hammond of Texas”, and a wide variety of other enjoyable characters kept that show going strong for a long time. The concept itself is great, and it allowed the series to expand on the idea a few times.

I’ll probably bug some people here, but I did not like Atlantis. I watched it at the beginning, but it lost me very quickly. The show seemed to drift from science fiction into fantasy, and that’s not what I like in my Stargate. It just didn’t feel like Stargate anymore.

And for the show that got cancelled too early, Stargate: Universe, it only received two seasons of content, which in some ways seems deserved. The issue, however, is that the show was great right at the start, and didn’t hit its stride until it was nearing its cancelation. Yes, that happens a lot with shows, they get something going and just end. And yes, I’m a big fan of Nicholas Rush in the show.

I didn’t watch infinity, so I’ve not much to say on that point.

My favorite episode of Stargate is definitely the Groundhog Day Episode, “Window of Opportunity”, which features a Groundhog Day-like timeloop. In it, Jack starts each loop being asked a question by Daniel while he’s eating his bowl of Fruit Loops. The problem is that Jack didn’t hear the question the first time, so can never answer that question. The best part is after Daniel suggests that they can do anything, so they decide to go golfing through the Stargate. “Colonel O’Neill, what the hell are you doing?” “IN THE MIDDLE OF MY BACKSWING?!?!”

Sliders

This must be the least popular of the shows on this list, but Sliders did have quite a few seasons in the 90s. In this show, the main character invents a device that allows people to “slide” between dimensions. He and some others end up traveling together through dimensions as they try to find their way home. It’s a fun show that obviously gets off its rails quickly, but there are some good seasons at the beginning if you’re interested in some 90s nostalgia.

The Expanse

My wife suggested we watch this series. I agreed, since it sounded interesting. After watching a couple of episodes, she mentioned something about the books. Well, I’d not heard of the book series, so I started reading the books. They’re great! I’m currently reading the 6th book, which came out almost exactly a month ago. I’m not reading it quickly, usually a chapter at a time. I think the TV show did the books justice, and I’m really looking forward to what they do going forward.

If you’re interested, the first season of the show doesn’t follow the books exactly, but is mostly the first half of the first book. Looks like they’re pulling in characters earlier than they appear in the books, but this makes sense for a TV show where you need to meet characters sooner. Books can get away with that a little better.