Batman Day At Build-A-Bear Features New Harley Quinn, Joker And Others

My wallet is fortunate enough that Lil’ G-Man is still to young for this, but those days are ending soon…

Tomorrow (Saturday 23rd) is Batman Day and Build-A-Bear is joining in the fun with new characters from DC Comics. Included are a online exclusive Harley Quinn (celebrating her 25th anniversary) and Joker bears, as well as sneak peaks at the new Justice League characters that will be released mid October to coincide with the movie.

Harley Quinn Bear
The classic Harley Quinn, not the Margot Robbie one
Joker Bear
Want me to make a pencil disappear?

Currently, Build-A-Bear has Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman costumes available for your bears, but these will be complete kits.

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Geeky Daddy Movie Review Of Wonder Woman

Obvious Warning: Spoilers (but not many) Ahead!

The whole Geeky Family have been looking forward to this movie for quite some time and were not disappointed!

I was getting nervous about the quality of this movie because, right up until about 2 weeks before Wonder Woman’s release, it seemed as though Warner Bros was spending more time and money promoting November’s Justice League than May’s release of Wonder Woman.

Did that signify a lack of confidence in the film by Warner executives?

If so…then these executives sure missed the boat because this movie was excellent!

I wanted to make sure this review was handled from the right point of view, so Geeky Mommie will be taking over this movie review from here on:


It takes a woman apparently for DC to get it right. After tepid movies following DC’s success with Christian Bale’s Batman, they put out a great movie with Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot slays as the title character and who doesn’t love a great origin story followed by fighting for the good guys in WWI?

I was a little concerned originally when Gal Gadot was announced for the role, thinking it would have been more fitting for Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif in Thor). I was impressed with Gadot from the Fast and the Furious movies but was worried she was a little too scrawny to play Wonder Woman. Well, luckily, I am not a casting director because they nailed it. Gadot was stunning and her acting has greatly improved since her debut in the fourth Fast movie.

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The movie starts with Bruce Wayne (Batfleck – although he doesn’t appear in the film) sending Diana Prince/Wonder Woman the picture of her in WWI looking identical to present day. With the picture is a note that says he’d love to hear her story and thus begins the flashback. The beginning is a little forced and could have been there either to let us know it was a flashback or to show that Wonder Woman (hereafter referred to as WW) and Batman are still talking. Regardless, I think it would have been more interesting to start talking about the Gods and creation of the Amazons, but we get over it quickly. I also was concerned that it was mansplaining Diana’s character – needing Bruce Wayne to make her relevant. Luckily, this wasn’t the case.

We see a child Diana, played by 8-year-old Lilly Aspell, who happens to be incredibly adorable, wanting to learn how to fight. As the only child on an island of women and daughter of the Queen, she’s adored by all, but a bit of a handful. We also learn that DC took some liberties with the Greek Gods (although I guess we don’t necessarily know what happened to the Gods circa 1900ish), and Ares has gone and killed all of them. The Amazons are tasked with killing him, but are also protected on an invisible island where they live in paradise and train to fight pretty much 24/7.

Despite Queen Hippolyta’s reluctance, Diana learns to fight from her aunt, Antiope, played by a ripped Robin Wright. The Princess Bride was barely recognizable, but seriously, don’t mess with her. At one point she takes out three guys with one pull of her bow. She would have taken out Wesley, Andre the Giant, Inigo Montoya and the Sicilian mastermind without breaking a sweat.

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Chris Pine’s Steven Trevor (which by the way is my brother-in-law’s name!) brings WWI to Paradise Island after Diana’s accidental show of power apparently weakens the island’s shield and Wonder Woman is off and running to save the world from Ares (I totally called which character was Ares!), the Germans and an evil woman scientist who is creating deadly poison to use against the Allies.

Diana’s fish out of water when arriving in London was both funny (walking through a revolving door with a sword) and thought provoking. While slightly naive, Diana is still highly intelligent and educated in all things (including details about men), but doesn’t understand a world where men are essentially in charge. We’re reminded that woman can’t even vote at this time, and when she crashes a military intelligence meeting, the men are shocked that a woman is in their presence. Surprisingly, throughout most of the movie, the only people who didn’t treat her differently because she was a woman were the Germans, who shot at her regardlessly, which we’ll discuss later.

We also have a great scene where Diana needs to find appropriate clothing, which could have been an amazing 80’s movie montage. And then the typical scene of finding a group to take on an important mission, much like Captain America’s Howling Commandos. Wonder Woman probably didn’t even need these guys and they didn’t really add a ton to the story – nameless soldiers would have worked just fine, apart from the Native American “The Chief” showing that even Steven Trevor’s people aren’t saints.

wonder woman outfits

Once they make it to the front line of the war, just sit back and enjoy the action. With no better way to state it, WW just kicked ass. Between Gal Gadot’s training and her stuntwoman, she looked flawless (much unlike the super awkward Laurel Lance from CW’s The Arrow), and I was rooting for her with every kick, punch, leap and otherwise amazing feat. One of the best scenes is her crossing over a trench called “No Man’s Land”, drawing all of the fire so that the soldiers could cross and liberate a city.

One of the odd things here though is that a half-naked woman (really rare for the time period) steps out into the battlefield between the trenches and the Germans don’t stop and think, “what is this”, or even ogle – they just start shooting. I’m not sure if this is to show that at no point does WW use sexuality to get ahead or to show that the Germans looked at everyone (even women and children) as the enemy, but thought it was interesting. Even though her outfit is pretty revealing (although at least this one has a little skirt), she was proud of her warrior body as opposed to trying to sexualize it. And even though she was stunning, it still wasn’t sexual, but very empowering. As a side note though, I love that when she goes to fight she takes her hair down. Nothing like having your hair whip around during a fight.

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I’d be distracted.

Overall, the movie was a lot of fun, with action and a few comic bits. It wasn’t as funny as a Marvel movie, but not as dark as most of the DC movies have been. It struck a perfect balance to make it more appropriate for a younger audience than the other DC movies. Yes, there is war and death, but it wasn’t handled in a gratuitous way and the power of her as a role model for both girls and boys outweighs this. Being a mom to a boy, I appreciated that this movie was about a strong woman, but not at the expense of men or by saying men are dumb/weak/etc. I hope that my son thinks of women as strong and powerful when he grows up (like his mom!), but knows that boys are great too.

Overall, the Geeky Family gives Wonder Woman a 4.5 out of 5 Geeky Daddy Movie Rating and a Sidekick Friendly (Above the age of 8 due to violence) rating.

Geeky Daddy Movie Rating

Geeky Daddy Movie Rating (1)

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amazon
Shop Amazon for all your Wonder Woman needs!

Free Comic Book Day Is Tomorrow (May 6th)! Here Are The Titles Available & Where To Get Them For Free!

The first Saturday in May is known as Free Comic Book Day because it is the day you can visit your local comic book specialty store for….you guessed it: Free Comic Books!

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Started in 2002, Free Comic Book Day is an effort from the comic book industry (publishers, distributors & retailers) to help drive foot traffic into your local “brick and mortar” comic book retailer.  Like other retail industry, comic book specialty stores have seen a huge chunk of their clients migrant toward online vendors.

Each year, publishers apply to provide comic books at cost to retailers, who in turn give them away for free. Since this is a large expense for the retailer, not all shops participate. Here is a list of participating Comic Book Stores near you! Simply enter in your zip code. As well as offering the publisher Free Comic Book Day issues, many stores also offer free refreshments, snacks, drawings, art contest, face painting and other fun activities for children and adults.

This is a program open to comic book specialty stores only, not the corner convenience store that happens to have a wire spinning comic book rack (do stores still have those?).

As a former small business owner myself, I know the difficulty of competing against online retailers and how insulting it is when a customer stands in your showroom on their smartphone looking for an online dealer selling your same merchandise for less.

It is important for all of us to help support our neighborhood small businesses to keep the money local, tax dollars local and help support our communities.

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Publishers that participate in the event include the mainstays such as Marvel, DC, IDW, Valiant and Darkhorse as well as smaller, independent publishers such as Bongo, Archie, Chapterhouse and New England Press.

Famous Titles participating include Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Barbie, Spider-Man, Dr. Who, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Tick, Avatar, Spongebob, Monster High and Dragonball Z! Here is the full list of 50 issues!

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I wrote previously about this Star Trek: The Next Generation free issue involving the Mirror Universe!  Really looking forward to this one!

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Blank Comic Book For Kids Create Your Own Comics With This Comic Book Journal Notebook Over 100 Pages Large Big 8.5 x 11 Cartoon Comic Book With Lots of Templates Blank Comic Boo
Blank Comic Book for Kids Available on Amazon.com

“Powerless” Lacked Power To Stay On The Air

Unfortunately, I think everyone who kept an eye on the ratings saw this coming eventually.

While NBC has yet to make an official announcement, Powerless has been pulled from their Thursday night time slot and replaced with reruns of Superstore.

The show started off with poor ratings and never really found itself. Initially meant to be about an insurance company that handles damage claims from superhero encounters (similar to Marvel’s Damage Control), the pilot took on extensive late re-shoots to become about the R & D department of Wayne Tech.

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Stars of Powerless. Source: BleedingCool News

While I was not a huge fan of the Powerless, my wife and I did watch it and did find the series entertaining. While some of the humor did seem rather forced initially, I thought the chemistry of the main three (Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk and Danny Pudi) did improve week over week and Christina Kirk’s deadpan sarcasm was always delivered perfectly.

An official statement from NBC should be coming soon.

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote Streaming Media Stick
Firestick Available on Amazon.com

How Close Did Joe Manganiello Come To Playing Superman In “Man Of Steel”?

Uproxx has an interesting article about an interview Joe Manganiello had recently with an MTV podcast where he discussed many roles….including Superman.

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In the interview, he revealed that he had meetings with The Man Of Steel producers Jon Jashni and Thomas Tull which lead to a 90 minute meeting with director Zack Snyder.  It was in the meeting with Snyder that the director called the HBO costume department to get Manganiello’s sizes, that things fell apart.

Before Joe Manganiello Was Deathstroke He Nearly Played Superman
Transcribed by Screen Rant

I assume from Manganiello’s interview that the issue was scheduling between the filming of True Blood and the shoot schedule for Man Of Steel.

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Photo credit Geekscape.com

It is interesting to think about how much “Man of Steel” (and “Batman V. Superman”) would have been different without Henry Cavill.  I really don’t see them changing much and True Blood was definitely a positive for Manganiello’s career.

To my knowledge, Joe Manganiello is still scheduled to play one of DC’s best villains, Deathstroke, in the much delayed but hopefully still being made Ben Affleck “The Batman” movie.

supes
Man of Steel Collectible Figurine Edition available on Amazon.com

New Aquaman Footage Released By Zack Snyder

Justice League director Zack Snyder released some brief footage on Vero yesterday of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman swimming underwater.

In the video, Aquaman appears to be swimming towards either Poseidon or possibly Ocean Master.  Either way, the special effects look pretty cool.

Snyder does not specify if this particular shot is from the Justice League movie he is directing (which has a release date of November 17th, 2017) or the upcoming Aquaman movie that, as I mentioned previously, will be directed by The Conjuring and Furious 7’s James Wan. Aquaman has a scheduled release date of October 5th, 2018.

Warner Bros does plan on releasing solo movies for all their Justice League members over the next few years as they continue to build popularity for their non-Trinity (Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman) DC Comics properties.

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They all look so serious…

Per IMDb.com, here is the synopsis of the Justice League movie:

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes-Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash-it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

In Justice League, beyond Jason Momoa as Aquaman, we will see Ben Affleck return as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, and Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko.

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Aquaman Action Figure Available On Amazon.com

Comic Book Legend Jack Kirby Fought Fascism Any Place & Any Where He Could

Jack Kirby was a bad@$$ is whatever he did.

Mark Peters of Paste Magazine has a terrific write up about how comic book legend Jack Kirby fought against fascism in his writing, drawing and real life.



Even before enlisting in the army in WWII, he partnered with Joe Simon to create Captain America, whose first appearance to the world was punching Hitler in the face on the cover of Captain America Comics in March 1941.  Bare in mind this is before the United States officially entered the war.  That is a heck of a statement about how he felt towards the Nazis.

Once in the European theater, Kirby was often used on scouting missions. Because of his artistic skills, he would be sent ahead of his unit so he could draw pictures of the enemy positions.

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Jack Kirby Army photo: Marvel.com

It was on one such scouting mission that he discovered one of the worst products of the Nazis: concentration camps. The experience weighed heavily on him, as he described later to Ray Wyman in “Conversations with Jack”, which was excerpted in Jack Kirby Collector.

Jack was not afraid to throw down with Nazis anywhere.  As Mark Evanier describes in his biography Kirby: King of Comics, “…Jack took a call. A voice on the other end said, ‘There are three of us down here in the lobby. We want to see the guy who does this disgusting comic book and show him what real Nazis would do to his Captain America’. To the horror of others in the office, Kirby rolled up his sleeves and headed downstairs. The callers, however, were gone by the time he arrived.”

He vilified Fascism in a number of his post WWII characters such as Dr. Doom for Marvel Comics and Darkseid for DC Comics.  One of the most timeless villains he created was the hate mongering evangelists Godfrey for DC Comics whose followers despised diversity. This character was updated in the DC animated movies to be more of a Rush Limbaugh type shock jock television host with followers screaming things like “Tell it like it is Godfrey!”

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Kirby in 1992

Jack Kirby was a rough around the edges and take no prisoners type of guy that is harder and harder to find nowadays.  Kirby passed away in 1994 due to heart failure.

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