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.

2017-01-10 Geekout

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!

Advertisements

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.