Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pros & Cons: Marvel Miniature Game by Knight Models

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 is 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 rulebook and look over the figures and their associated cards. Here are my first impressions for Knight Models’ Marvel game from those observations.


  • 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.

  • 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.


  • It’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.

  • The 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.

  • 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.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Batman vs Superman - no spoiler reaction

If you've read a few of my articles, Facebook posts, or tweets, you know at least two things about me. First, I'm a nerd dad and second, I love superheroes. The latter being the most important part for this article. I'm calling this article a reaction rather than a review of Batman vs. Superman. There are enough reviews floating around so i thought I'd try something a little different. Still, watch for a review for the movie soon. But I digress...

If I said Batman vs Superman was disappointing, I think my buddy Loose would probably punch me in the teeth. He and I have had long discussions about how I liked the Fantastic Four reboot film by Fox. Yes you heard me right, I found some merit in that trainwreck of a film. To say that Batman vs Superman disappointed me almost seems like hypocrisy. Check out my article, "What the Fantastic Four Remake Taught Me," for more details. Let me be clear though, I am in no way saying that I liked Fantastic Four better than Batman vs Superman!

Excited about this film for some time, I went into Batman vs Superman expecting DC's A-game. My excitement caused me to mistakenly buy extra tickets online. The film was like begrudgingly giving an A student a C+ grade on an exam. That is what the student earned, but not what the teacher expected.  Batman vs Superman had all the tools it needed to be great movie, bankable actors, big budget, compelling characters, great costumes, and excellent effects; everything it needed to reach the top, and it fell short.

I will not say that Batman vs Superman was a bad movie. There was an valiant effort on my part to see the movie before reading any of the many negative reviews.  My first reaction on Facebook after watching the movie..."not sure how I feel about it." The film had let me down on several levels which left me a little numb.  Much to my chagrin, there were points in the film that were frustrating; There were other points to the movie that were awesome. I'll stay away from specifics for now to keep the spoilers out of this. Bad reviews or not, I don't think that this film is a deal breaker for DC. Suicide Squad is on the horizon and a Wonder Woman film is in the works as well.

Batman vs Superman, Dawn of Justice was not anything special, and that's too bad because it should've been.

How did you feel about the Batman vs Superman? Leave a comment, but no spoilers please.

Monday, March 21, 2016

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fallout 4 DLC – Automatron

The first DLC for Fallout 4 is right around the corner. The trailer looks impressive. This should be out next week. I'm excited... Hope you got your season passes...

What do you think of the trailer? Are you excited?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

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...

Friday, March 4, 2016

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. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Did CWs Flash jump the KING Shark?

I've already said before that when it comes to superheroes, I'm rather bias. So when my buddy Loose asked me about this week's episode of the Flash on CW, I was ready to talk it up. The meta of the week was King Shark and the Jaws references were awesome!

SPOILER ALERT! if you haven't seen the episode, you are about to enter spoiler land...

Ok. So if you saw the episode, then you saw Zoom's face. While I kind of figured that was coming, having my chat with Loose got me to thinking. He said that he was disappointed in the reveal of Zoom and that Flash had "jumped the shark!" If you don't know the expression, GOOGLE it. While I appreciated his pun (King Shark/jumped the shark...try to keep up), I asked what he meant. I liked the episode. The Jaws references like "I think we need a bigger Flash..." were cool, the guest appearance of Diggle and Lyla, while we watched Barry, Cisco, Wells, Wells' daughter, and Catlin deal with the consequences of their Earth 2 visit, Jay's death, and the fact that all the breaches were closed. I even enjoyed how the CW had Wally West continue to be a cocky jerk when dealing with Barry. So I liked the episode and I didn't know what he was talking about... then he said Zoom... And then it made sense. Zoom's reveal was almost a parallel to the Reverse Flash's reveal. Wells/Thawne was a mentor to Barry, kept secrets and manipulated others, and as the Reverse Flash he overpowered and outclassed Flash. So Jay Garrick/Zoom is the basically the same. He's someone that the team trusted and he's been manipulating things.

Still though, I think a better Zoom reveal would've been Barry's dad or Wally West maybe. For Zoom to be Jay at best seems like lazy writing and at worse is bad writing. Eventhough I concede that Jay Garrick being Zoom wasn't the best writing choice, I'm still going to watch the Flash. And while I think there were better choices, its not a game changer for me at this point. I still love Cisco enough to watch the show for just his nerd commentary.

What do you think? Did the Flash jump the shark or did he just kick King Shark's butt? Leave a comment about your opinion.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Late to the party - Firefly board game

 You can't take the sky from me...

Any nerd worth his weight in comics and pewter models recognizes that line from the short lived cult classic show Firefly. I am a big fan of the show and I wasn't only "late to the party" on the show but also on the board game.

Over 6 years ago I had the flu and was stuck in bed. A friend of mine suggested watching Firefly and loaned me the movie Serenity.Well after the first episode, I binge-watched the entire season and the Serenity movie that day (that was before Netflix and binging was a thing). So I was an instant fan and enjoyed rewatching the episodes over and over ever since. That brings me to a sad fact. For quite some time I had seen the Firefly board game and I avoided it. I couldn't believe that the game was fun, plus, (at least at the time) I thought it was a little on the expensive side (about $50 bucks for the core game).

Fast forward to last week at FLINTCON, an annual local miniature gaming event. This was my first time attending and while I was there to demo a few games...I ended up having a little time to play in some games myself. The real fun began as I noticed the Firefly board game under a table behind me. I immediately asked the person, Mike, about the Firefly game. I told him I never played it and he asked if I wanted to try it. Oh I'm soooo glad he did. I ended up playing the game with Mike and his friend Nic. They broke down the basic rules of the game, made a few references to the show and then we started playing. After about 40 minutes into the game, Mike had to leave.  I was having so much fun, Nic offered to just finish it out with me. I ended up winning the game, but that wasn't the best part; I actually enjoyed the game. The mechanics, the rules, the setup all put me in the mind of the show. It seemed like the next best thing to actually being on the ship with Mal and Zoe. Okay, maybe not the next best...but it was totally nerdgasmic. I have to admit that some of the characters and show references were lost on me. That was cool though, it just gave me a reason to watch the series again on Netflix (like I actually needed a reason..?).

Here's how the game works. Setup involves several decks of cards, a board/map of the 'verse, and a pile of various tokens. This wasn't that big of a deal; it took all of 5 or so minutes. I've played games less fun with way more setup time (koff...Legendary...koff). To start we pick our story card. This is a scenario which outlines the goals of the game and how you win. There are several including a mission that is for a single player. Next it was time to pick my captain. Of those available, I picked Corbin. I honestly had no idea who Corbin was in the show. Nic was able to pick first and he picked Naomi as his captain. Now Naomi I remembered. lady trained as a companion who ran a brothel. I can't remember exactly who Mike picked, I believe it was Monty. Anyway, next we picked our ships. We got $3000 bucks to start and then it was time to fly through the "black", hire a crew, and start doing jobs.  Nic ended up recruiting Zoe while Mike recruited Simon and Bridget. Late in the game I got to hire Wash.

Game play works like this. On your turn, you have two actions. You can either fly, buy, deal, or work. There are several decks of cards that represent the places you buy supplies from, the jobs you work (legal or otherwise), and the encounters you have as you travel the "black" There is an Alliance ship and a Reaver ship that are the big bads. You don't want to have to deal with either. These ships move around the board. As you move around the board you flip a "NAV" card for each space you travel. Hopefully you reveal a keep flying card and you can proceed. There are cards that can stop your move, offer you challenges, or serve you up to the Alliance or Reaver ship. If you don't manage to slip away, you can have to pay fines, lose gear, or kill off crew. Challenges involve dice roles that you add modifiers to based on your crew, their keywords/class/skills, and any gear they have. The SUPPLY decks allow you to recruit crew or buy gear. I  missed buying a fake ID and "fancy dudes" that I couldn't used for several of my challenges. The misbehave deck is for when you are doing illegal jobs and each card from this deck has challenges you must complete to proceed. The tokens come into play with your ship. Fuel tokens are required to move. Your crew can get unhappy and get a disgruntled token (two of these tokens and your crew member quits). Job cards may have prerequisites that are satisfied by crew skills, keywords, or gear.

The gameplay really gave me a feel for the show. Having to balance keeping my ship fueled, doing jobs to get money, keeping my crew happy, dealing with the Alliance, and Reavers, while interacting with specific characters from the show all do the show justice. I give the game an A! I also suggest any fan, even a moderate one, of the show play this game. In fact I almost say its necessary.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

DC Legends of Tomorrow in 4 words

Four words...
Strong characters...weak story

SPOILERS WARNING!!!  If you haven't seen the DC Legends of Tomorrow pilot parts 1 and 2, you might want to stop reading.

Ok. Thanks to the CW shows The Flash and Arrow we have a cast of interesting character interpretation for this time traveling super team show. I say interpretations because all of the heroes in the Legends show aren't original, but versions of comic book characters. Unfortunately for the show, it suffers from having so many cool characters that it can't seem to get out of its own way.

The show's premise, time traveling to stop the evil Vandal Savage. Ever since the tv show The Voyagers or the Back to the Future movies, I didn't mind time travel as a backdrop/plot device for a story. Its been done before and it will be done again. Unfortunately the CW has done time travel with The Flash so much that its getting a little old. In fact several members of the team faced Vandal Savage in the series prequel episodes of The Flash and Arrow and were saved due to The Flash traveling back in time. DC Legends of Tomorrow time "expert", Rip Hunter, talks about the ramifications and problems with corrupting the time line...case in point As our team of heroes travels back to the 1970s, Professor Stein almost misses meeting his wife for the first time and thus erasing their marriage. Also a piece of the Atom's suit falls into the hands of Vandal Savage which could've provided him with 2016 tech if he managed to reverse engineer it. Then Rip Hunter proceeds to help his heroes kill Vandal Savage's troopers in an all out but utterly pointless battle at the episode's climax. While admittedly fun to watch, I wonder what effect on the time line their deaths will have...oh its okay though I guess because they're evil.  Is the team going to have to have Atom sit out on missions due to how easily his technology fell into the wrong hands and nearly corrupted time? Still, for as easily as they got it back, maybe that's something that will happen every episode.

They figure out a way to kill Vandal Savage, but they don't succeed because Hawkman isn't the one who has to deal the final blow, its Hawkgirl who must do it. Information that while the Hawks didn't know seemed to be clear to Rip Hunter who chose not to tell them until after Hawkman was killed.

Vandal Savage is immortal, but when did he develop the super powers that all the campy slasher film villains have? The disappear without a trace power.

The battle at the climax wasn't the only seemingly pointless battle for our team within both parts of the pilot.

What's even more interesting is that our team fails at every turn. Vandal Savage is one step ahead of them and if that's not enough, our heroes just can't stop messing up. These are the folks who are going to save the world?

Still the show is visually stunning and stimulating to every superhero loving bone I have. I'm really surprised that I found so much fault in the show actually. If I found merit in the Fox Fantastic Four remake it says a lot about DC's Legend of Tomorrow that I had any issues with it.

What did you think of DC Legends of Tomorrow?

Tuesday, January 26, 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.

Monday, January 18, 2016

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?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What the Fantastic Four remake taught me

Whether you're a nerd dad like myself or a film watcher who doesn't know the difference between the Green Lantern and the Green Hornet; I'm sure there's one thing we can agree on.  The Fox 2015 film remake of Fantastic Four was. .. not a good film. Ok,  it stunk... it was the opposite of fantastic...or you could say it was a fantastic flop. Now before you start  thinking that my negativity comes from the fact that i don't think the movie was 'true to the comics', let's discuss this.  

Who am I kidding, no one cares about spoilers at this point?
Ignoring comic accuracy, the movie was extremely slow.  The heroes didn't get their powers until two-thirds of the way through the movie,  and the villain didn't show up until the movie was over.  Slow movies don't bother me,  as long as the characters are developed well Especially with GOOD superhero movies,  you have to find a balance between developing the character of the hero (and villain), empowering the hero (and villain), and finally having the hero/villain conflict. This movie didn't do well with any of that. 

From the nerd perspective, Ben Grimm is Reed Richards best friend.  For as long the movie took to get our heroes powered up,  we don't see much of Ben and Reed together. ..actually poor Ben didn't get much development until after her was transformed. And most of that was just anger from being changed. Having a black Professor Storm and Johnny Storm/Human Torch didn't matter to me. As a blerd,  I like seeing black heroes.  The fact that the Human Torch was black is interesting...maybe even a little cool, but it didn't make me stop and say...WOW this is going to be awesome!!! I'm sure I could list a multitude of those things wrong with the movie, but here's the punchline...
I liked it. Yep...you heard me right...I liked this movie. Well that leads me to what the Fantastic Four movie taught me. As a nerd dad, I have a blinders on when it comes to superheroes. I've been watching superhero movies for as long as I can remember, and I liked just about all of them. To be fair, when I was a kid, superhero movies weren't as abundant or profitable as they are now.  Frankly most of them stunk... And what's crazy is I know that the movies stunk and I found something good or cool in them that I liked. I watched the Fantastic Four movie and I found thinkgs that I liked about it. Even with the weak plot, the bad pacing, drawnout story...I  defy logic and found some way to like this movie. 
My buddy Loose (http://somelooseends.blogspot.com) and I were talking the other day about guilty pleasures... The Fantastic Four remake is one of mine...And unfortunately it's not alone. Here are a few other superhero movies that I liked that defy all logic...

Watch for my follow up article, where I review my favorite bad superhero movies.

What are the worse superhero flicks that you've seen... and liked???

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Nerd Dad Tips: 3 ways to make playing Fallout 4 more fun

Like most nerds, I usually have at least one thing or another that I obsess a bit too much over. Whether it be comics, Magic the Gathering, Heroclix, Pathfinder, or whatever, nerds can get really passionate about something...even if its just for a short time. My geeky drug of choice lately has been playing Fallout 4 on PS4. For those thinking of playing Fallout 4 or who are already, here are a few tips that I found have made playing more fun.

  1. Plan out your character ahead of time - Thinking about your character before you turn on the game seems like a waste of time, but its not. Deciding what kind of character you want to make before hand actually speeds things up. Want to make a sneaky sniper, a brawny melee fighter, or what about a tough, shoot from the hip gunslinger? Think of the perks that will best enhance your character and either make sure you have the necessary required stat or are working up to them. My buddy wrote out a page and a half backstory for his character. His paper had notes in the margin and parts of paragraphs scratched out. As geeky as that sounds, it actually helped while he played. When it came to making a dialog choice or what quest path to take, he had a point of reference for his character's motivations. I wanted to make a tough guy that had the Solar Powered perk. SO I made sure that I started my character with a 10 Endurance or for my sniper I made sure that I had an 7 for Agility and a 7 for Perception.
    Let the sun shine in...
  2. The clothes make the man - As you travel throughout the commonwealth, you'll find various appearal that can change your stats. A hat that gives +1 Perception or a suit that grants +2 Chrisma... by taking a few seconds to change your outfit, you can have better dialog interactions or bonuses when you level up. When I'm about to barter or have some dialog, I shead my armor and put on Reginald's suit (NO SPOILERS), a Milita hat, and Fashionable Glasses for a +5 Charisma boost. Or when I'm about to end a quest, I don the Liam's Glasses, Ushanka's Hat, and a Vault-Tec lab coat for a +5 Intelligence boost.
  3. I needed CHR...
  4. Find your window - Fallout 4 is so massive and with playing multiple characters, it can take up a lot of time. So if you're a nerd that doesn't want Fallout 4 to cost him/her their job or a nerd dad that doesn't want to end up angering your spouse into hiding your joysticks...you need to find a balance. Finding a "safe" time to play can save you some heartache. My window ended up being 4am-5:30am before work. I get up early and play before I start my day. The kids and mom are asleep...no one to distract or anger, the house is mine at that time and I'm free to play. 
    Warning, monsters may be closer than they appear...
I hope these tips help you enjoy playing Fallout 4 more. Watch for follow up Fallout 4 articles.

Do you have any tips for playing Fallout 4?

Friday, January 1, 2016

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....