Star Trek in Discussions to Return to TV

If you thought the silver screen would be your only source of new material in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe, it turns out you could be wonderfully, delightfully wrong.

A new report from Latino Review suggests that not only is CBS in discussions to produce a new Trek television show, but that director Bryan Singer has been mentioned as potential executive.

When contacted, CBS employees who preferred to remain unnamed said, “All we know is that talks are being had in good faith. We don’t know how much longer it will remain talks.”

Though various attempts to return Trek to the small screen have come and gone, the Latino Review article points out that the strength of recent fan productions, like Star Trek: Phase II or the upcoming Star Trek Axanar fan film (of which the existing “Prelude to Axanar” apparently includes Singer as a fan) will provide an excellent baseline to existing executives as a benchmark of what the show and storyline are capable of with fan-originated budgets and modern technology.

As a long-time fan of this fantastic franchise, I’m very curious to see what a modern take on the Star Trek universe might look like on the small screen. If nothing else, though, with any luck we’ll have Idris Elba and Star Trek 3 to tide us over in 2016.

Ben Fried-Lee is a blogger, podcaster, dancer, and lifelong Star Trek fan living in the Bay Area. There are at least three phasers lying somewhere around his house, as soon as he also finds the tricorder to search for them.

Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion Launch Campaign for Convention-based Comedy

Do you miss Firefly? Well, join the rest of the galaxy in continuing to wait. But if you miss the actors from Firefly, wait no longer! (Or rather, wait a little longer.) The hilarious Alan Tudyk and his sidekick, Nathan Fillion, have teamed up to produce Con Man, a comedy about what it’s like to be an actor from a cancelled-too-soon science fiction series working the convention circuit. It’s a real stretch for them, let me tell you.

The promotional video on their IndieGoGo Page promises appearances from Felicia Day, Gina Torres, James Gunn and Seth Green, with more surprises to come as they raise more money, I’d imagine. Right now, the total they’re looking for is only to produce the first three, ten minute episodes, but if they smash their funding goals they’ll produce the whole series, and build a spaceship.

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in seeing, go forth! Click the link above, and give them your money!

UPDATE: As of 12:07 pm PST, they’ve already funded the first three episodes. But keep giving them your money so they can make the whole series!

Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick to Adapt Sex Criminals for TV!

Man, just writing that title probably got me put on a list somewhere.

Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction, two of the most popular writers in comic books today (Matt is responsible for the aforementioned Sex Criminals, as well as AvX, Five Fists of Science, and the currently amazing Hawkeye, while DeConnick rebooted Captain Marvel to incredible success and writes the fantastic Bitch Planet), are teaming up with Universal TV to bring some of their independent projects and some original ideas to television. The first announced project is Sex Criminals, which has been a critical darling on the comic circuit for months now.

The book follows the story of Jon and Suzie, two people who have the power to stop time when they orgasm. What sounds like a setup for a bad porn goes on wild twists and turns and becomes an incredible comic book that you should really be reading right now.

No word on when or on what network we’ll see the show (I can’t imagine it’ll be NBC), but watch this space for more details.

We Already Have a Great Wonder Woman Show – It’s Called Agent Carter.

Agent Carter promotional television show poster

During Maggie Gyllenhaal’s acceptance speech at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards last Sunday, she mentioned how proud she was to see that women were gaining a voice and being represented, multi-dimensionally, in entertainment. On a recent commercial, ABC made claims to being a leader in representing women by showing a span of a few of their television shows over the last decade, including ALIAS, Scandal, and now, Agent Carter. To me, (and many others out there) one character comes to mind with whom most identify women’s equality, and that’s Wonder Woman. Agent Carter, now three episodes in, has surprised me. Because Marvel comics has accomplished something that the owners of Wonder Woman haven’t been able to do in almost 40 years. They’ve brought Wonder Woman’s essence back, and done it better than the company that owns the rights to the character.

Wonder Woman 1st appearance cover
 

Wonder Woman debuted back in 1941, and was created by industrial psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston III, who is also credited for being the creator of the industrial psychological tool called the DISC profile (used by many Fortune 500 companies), and also the systolic pressure test, which was the precursor to the lie detector test. When Moulton created Wonder Woman under the pseudonym Charles Moulton, he mentioned that, “Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all he allure of a good and beautiful woman.” In essence, DC Comics’ Wonder Woman is a character of supreme balance. She may be strong and powerful, but she knows the time and place to use said power because it is tempered by truth, love, and compassion.  Since 1979’s Wonder Woman TV show starring Lynda Carter, DC has not been able to put out a successful live action Wonder Woman in either film or television format. They’ve had nearly 40 years to reintroduce the world to the most iconic female superhero ever created but it seems that Marvel has beaten them to the punch with Agent Carter. Here are the six reasons why I feel Agent Carter has given us a reinvented take on Wonder Woman:

The Time Period

Wonder Woman was a product of World War II. It is a time when women were not afforded the same rights as men, and were just beginning to find their voice. During our current er,a where there is growing awareness of women not being depicted in entertainment as well as they could be, the post World War era seems to be a perfect time upon which to hearken back and show a woman overcoming overwhelming adversity and showing their ability to do whatever a man can do.

Agent Carter poster by Marvel
The Look

Although Hayley Atwell who plays Peggy Carter is missing the crystalline signature blue eyes, one can’t help but notice the unmistakable ‘beauty of Aphrodite’ which she embodies. Not to mention the traditional Wonder Woman statuesque-ness and dark tresses.

Screen capture from Agent Carter working in office.
The Dual Identity

This is where we really start to come around full circle. In the 1979 Lynda Carter television show Wonder Woman, she utilized her secret identity of Diana Prince to do reconnaissance work under cover, while fighting crime with a much stronger arm later as Wonder Woman. Showing the ability of the character to balance both raw power and grace, Agent Carter does nearly the same exact thing through her mild mannered secretarial endeavors in the office.

Screen capture from Agent Carter
The Strength and Power

As stated before Marston believed that womens’ power was being dismissed in society. Wonder Woman showed that women can be just as strong as the most powerful of men. Agent Carter does the same thing. However, there is one thing that makes this show and character special…Carter shows her physical and mental prowess WITHOUT SUPERPOWERS! Hereby making her more relate-able to modern day audiences, and basically saying that women can kick ass and take names regardless of genetics.

The Visitor

Wonder Woman was a stranger from a strange land. Agent Carter although in America, is obviously not American due to her accent. While this has yet to be addressed, there are some clues which elude to her not being a native as she navigates her way around the countryside. I’m sure more will be revealed soon.

Compassionate moment: Screenshot from Agent Carter
The Compassion

To me, this is where it all comes together. This is the huge blaring pink elephant that has been in the room, and no one’s wanted to mention it. It is that DC Comics has missed the compassion that makes Wonder Woman, well…Wonder Woman! In the Justice League cartoon she was hyper aggressive. In the Adrianne Palicki version she was an absolute bitch. In Justice League: War animated film she was basically a jock who was obsessed with fighting. In the previous Azarello run of the comic book, the Amazons were turned into butchers. The current New 52 run by the Finches have her depicted as a pissed off “…punch-first, ask-questions later” type. Last but not least, the upcoming Zack Snyder film has her donning a Xena: Warrior Princess-esque like battle armor. With all that being said, DC Comics seems to have missed the memo: Compassion and Kindness is what makes Wonder Woman special and unique. Remember what Marston said? The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman, plus the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” I’m proud to say that this sixth and final point, Agent Carter has absolutely mastered. We have seen her ask questions and then kick ass. We have seen Peggy’s compassion for human loss. We have seen Carter’s ability to be vulnerable. We have even already begun to see Agent Carter’s compassion for others. To me this is the icing on the cake and the proof that DC is missing the huge mark that Marvel is hitting dead on.

Marvel’s promotional photo of Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter

As you can see, Marvel has already created a Wonder Woman-like character for the modern era. However, the question is this: Will DC, the actual owners of Wonder Woman, rise to the occasion with the new Gal Gadot character, or will they just allow another angry woman to be presented by Zack Snyder? I guess only time will tell.

Brian J. Patterson is an actor, writer and producer that splits his time between San Francisco and Los Angeles. His home is a shrine to comic books…but mostly Wonder Woman.

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The Best Everything of 2014

This is it, folks. The last day of 2014. A day when we sit back and reflect on all of the awesome things we saw and did this year. We hope it was as awesome for you as it was for us, and thanks for tuning in each and every day to the Ace of Geeks. We couldn’t be doing this without you, and we appreciate every since one of you guys. Next year, look for brand new content, new shows, more articles, and more coverage of conventions around the world. But for now, let’s look back and reflect on the best of this year. Here, by popular vote, are our staff’s picks for the best of 2014:

BEST MOVIE
 
Guardians of the Galaxy
As if anyone was surprised by this choice. The number one grossing movie in America is also our number one pick for the best movie this year. James Gunn took the film that everyone was convinced would be Marvel’s first big failure, and instead turned out an space opera adventure filled with heart and soul. He made you care about a talking raccoon, and weep for a walking tree. Stellar performances by a breakout cast including Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana made us believe in a world that included the floating head of a Celestial and a Infinity Gem. With this film, Marvel proved they could make a blockbuster as nerdy as they wanted, and still have a massive hit.
Close Runners Up: Big Hero 6, How to Train Your Dragon 2
Other Staff Favorites: The Lego Movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Raid 2, Gone Girl, Maleficent
BEST BOOK
 
SKIN GAME, BY JIM BUTCHER
Our favorite series about Chicago’s own private eye/wizard came back strong this year, with a heist story that’s not to be missed. Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden is (as always) in over his head as the new Winter Knight, and Queen Mab forces him to join with one of his worst enemies to steal from a god. What follows is a roaringly fun story with tons of twists and turns, and one or two final surprises that will have fans of the series jumping out of their seats for joy. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, now’s the right time to go grab a copy of the first book and read them all.
BEST LIVE ACTION TELEVISION SHOW
AGENTS OF SHIELD
If there was an award for “most improved”, Agents of Shield would win that, too. After a tepid first season, struggling to find filler material, Agents of Shield finally hit its stride with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the destruction of the very organization that’s in the show’s title. The formerly unbearable Grant Ward turned evil in a spectacular fashion, and the team developed tons of new problems that turned them from cookie cutter characters into a real, breathing group of human beings. This season has been non-stop full of blows to each of the characters, while tying in yet another super-nerdy part of the Marvel Universe. If you gave up on Shield, go catch up. It finally feels like a Whedon show.
Close Runners Up: Game of Thrones, Sleepy Hollow, Flash, Selfie
Other Staff Favorites: Person of Interest, The Librarians
BEST ANIMATED TV SHOW
THE LEGEND OF KORRA
I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. Because this is an Avatar show, I of course failed. Korra went out in one of the best finales in cartoon history this year, building their characters and giving each of them one final moment of utter badassery. We never knew we’d miss this show as much as we already do, but we spend every day wishing there’d be just one more season. Bryan Konietzko and Dante Demartino, we tip our hats to you, thank you for the eight wonderful seasons of the best cartoon storytelling we could ask for. We cannot wait to see what you do next.
Close Runner Ups: Star Wars Rebels, Sword Art Online 2, Over the Garden Wall
Other Staff Favorites: Young Justice (ok, it’s old, but it hit Netflix this year), Bojack Horseman, Hajime no Ippo: Fighting, Bee and Puppycat
BEST COMIC BOOK
 
THE CROW: CURARE

The Crow: Curare is an amazing and triumphant return from series creator James O’Barr, and represents so much about what we loved about the original comic. The story, loosely based on a true Detroit murder case, follows retired police officer Joe Stalk. After years of obsessing over an unsolved murder of an unidentifiable little girl, his life is ruined. His wife left him, he lives off his meager pension and tries to drown his obsession with alcohol. But when the spirit of the little girl finally catches up with him, accompanied by The Crow, they endeavor to solve her murder together to get the closure they both so desperately need.

O’barr, true to his form, makes you feel the pain of his protagonists, while the art work and color pallet of Antoine Dode, though cartoony, bring an extreme sense of unease and sorrow with every frame. An excellent work if you are a fan of the series or not.

Other Staff Favorites: Loki: Agent of Asgard, Vattu, Original Sin, TMNT: City Fall, Rat Queens, Earth 2: World’s End, Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Tooth and Claw
BEST VIDEO GAME
 
SUPER SMASH BROS. FOR WII U
After the disappointment to many fans of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, anticipation was high for a return to form in the newest Super Smash Bros. game. And boy did Sakurai and co. deliver. One of the best rosters in years, and the best mechanics since Melee make for a game that’s a ton of fun at parties and at tournaments. The joy of having Link beat up Samus, or using anyone to beat up that damned Dog from Duck Hunt never gets old. The game’s suffering from a little over-use of Diddy Kong right now, but we’re confident players will find a way to defeat the banana throwing pest and find a whole new character to call broken.
Closer Runner Up: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Other Staff Favorites: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Transistor, Five Nights at Freddie’s, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Dark Souls 2, Persona Q, Monument Valley, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix
BEST BOARD GAME
 
KING OF TOKYO
Allright, we know, King of Tokyo came out in 2012. But board games are a little different than movies and TV – sometimes, you discover them at just the right time. And nothing has dominated our play sessions like this game right here. On the surface, it’s a simple, Yahtzee style game of press your luck dice rolling. But the addition of wonderfully designed Kaiju characters battling for control of the city of Tokyo really draws everyone in, and the consequences of each turn of the dice make what would be a simple party game a real nailbiter. The sequel, King of New York, is out now and we can’t wait to try it.
Other Staff Favorites: Betrayal at the House on the Hill, Tokaido, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Slash
BEST TABLETOP GAME
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS: FIFTH EDITION
It’s been the year of Dungeons and Dragons. We admit, we were a little concerned by the first beta tests of the game over the last few years – the game seemed like it was throwing out too many of the lessons learned by modern gaming to please the hardcore Pathfinder set. But when the final edition was in our hands, all of that was gone. In it’s place was a game that magically managed to balance the crunchiness of 3.5, the fun of battles in 4th, and the roleplaying innovations of modern games like Fate. While it doesn’t get all of it perfect, it’s the best version of D&D we’ve played in a long, long time. And even more importantly, the book took the time to make sure everyone felt included, with sections on gender inclusiveness and art that heavily featured minority characters. Bravo, Wizards.
Other Staff Favorites: Robotech RPG Tactics, Magic: the Gathering 2014
So that’s our list for the year. What about you folks – what were your favorite things or 2014, and what did you think we missed? Sound off in the comments.
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Five Things to Binge On for the Rest of the Holiday

Christmas is over. Hanukkah’s over. Your obligations to your family, hopefully, are over. And now you’re sitting in the house, wondering what you’re going to do until New Years. Now’s the perfect time to start binging on your favorite geek entertainment. But there’s so much to choose from these days – what should you watch or play or read, and what’s a waste of your time? Here’s our top five recommendations, as put together by the Ace of Geeks Staff.

Marco Polo
Where to get it: Netflix
Too…much…smoulder.

 
Netflix’s first attempt at having their own Game of Thrones, Marco Polo is the story of the titular explorer’s time as the prisoner/servant/butler of the Kublai Kahn. As a Netflix series, you can watch the entire show right this damn minute, and you should. While it might not have the zeitgeist of Thrones, Marco Polo has been full of the kind of intrigue and excitement fans of Martin’s books and show have been craving. Lead actor Lorenzo Richelmy – an actual Italian, playing an Italian, imagine that – has been playing the explorer with a swagger that’s fun to watch, and the rest of the cast is just as good. Since the show takes place in Mongolia, we’re blessed with a whole host of really talented Asian actors, something that television has been sorely lacking these days. Spend a few hours checking up a romanticized version of a fun story.
Other Drama Recommendations: Downton Abbey, before the new season starts January 4th.
Selfie
Where to get it: Hulu
 
And speaking of talented Asian-American actors finally getting their due, here’s John Cho, everybody. We were a little tepid on Selfie when it first premiered, but since that time the unfortunately-cancelled show has come into its own. The entire season (so far) is on Hulu right now, and you owe it to yourself to check out the excellent chemistry between Karen Gillian and John Cho. This is one of the few sitcoms of the last few years that’s managed to make me laugh consistently, and at least two other members of our staff agree. Worth your time, despite the stupid name.
Other Comedy Recommendations: Community; Marry Me; The Colbert Report
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Where to get it: Steam, Xbox, Playstation
 
Some of my staff suggested Skyrim. (Ok, a lot of my staff.) Others suggested Dragon Age: Inquisition, which we were a little divided on. But for my money, if you’re going to sink hundreds of hours into a game this week, it should be Shadow of Mordor. The plot may be a little thin, but you cannot beat the fun of Mordor’s Nemesis System. The game continually creates legions of named Uruks, with their own quirks, strengths, and weaknesses, and sends them after you with aplomb. Everyone has their own favorite pet Uruk, the one who came back to challenge you again and again, no matter how many times you put him down. Mine was named – I shit you not – Duch the Poet. He wrote little limericks for me every time I put him down. I was really sad the last time we faced, and I took off his head.
Other Game Recommendations: Dragon Age: Inquisition; Skyrim; Halo: Master Chief Collection; Bayonetta 2; Your Steam Backlog.
Parasyte
Where to get it: Crunchyroll
 
Parasyte tells the story of a boy and his hand. No, not like that. In the world of this new anime, alien parasites have replaced the brains of some of humanity, taking over their bodies and turning them into warped monsters. Shinichi Izumi is similarly attacked, but the alien is only able to replace his hand, giving it infinite transformations and mutations. The two quickly bond, and begin defending themselves against antagonistic Parasites. It’s certainly a weird (and graphically violent) concept, but it’s a lot of fun to watch as the pair become friends and do battle with all sorts of weird looking alien creatures. A great mix of comedy and body horror.
Other Anime Recommendations: Sword Art Online II; The Devil is a Part Timer; The Legend of Korra (Did I just start a fight in the comments by calling that an anime?)
Serial
Where to get it: iTunes
If you haven’t heard of it, you will. The first podcast to truly go viral, Serial is being listened to by your coworkers, your friends, your family, even your enemies. Do you want to go into your next swordfight to the death and not have a witty quip about Best Buy and payphones to make? In all seriousness, though, Sarah Keonig’s investigation into the 1990s murder of Hae Min Lee is a fascinating listen, with a ton of surprising twists and turns. Now that the entire season is out, it’s the perfect time to catch the whole story. Just don’t expect a perfect resolution – like real life, the truth may not be as simple or as easy as we’d like.
Other Podcast Recommendations: Welcome to Nightvale, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, The Nerdist Podcast, The Ace of Geeks Podcast. (Come on, I had to.)
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