06th Aug2014

West Week Ever – 8/8/14

by Will




So, with all of the Guardians of the Galaxy hype, I decided to check out another James Gunn movie, Super. If you’ve never seen it, it stars Rainn Wilson as a guy who becomes a vigilante to save his wife from a drug dealer. Wilson becomes The Crimson Bolt, and Ellen Page is his sidekick, Bolty. It’s a really dark comedy, but I enjoyed it. I’m not so sure I’m cool with the ending, as there are a few unanswered questions, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

Girl Meets World has been renewed for a second season. This isn’t really a surprise, but I guess it’s good news for someone. I’ve watched a few episodes, but it’s nowhere near my new favorite show or anything. It’s way too schmaltzy, even for a Disney Channel show. I like when teens get into crazy adventures, while every episode of this show seems to have a heavy-handed message. Even Boy Meets World didn’t get as sentimental as this show. I guess I’ve been ruined by years of iCarly, where I expect every tween show to have snarky banter and food fights.


In other TV news, I caught the premiere of Partners. While it’s good that Martin and Kelsey are working again, this is a PASS. I miss the old, outrageous Martin, while he seems to be playing the straight man here. It just doesn’t work for me. It’s not that funny, and it’s certainly not Appointment Television.

James Corden may be Craig Ferguson’s successor on The Late Late Show. I tend to know my British pop culture, but I have no clue who he is. Moving on…


So, I caught Black Jesus last  night, even though I expected the gates of Hell to open at any moment. My opinion of the show: it’s definitely something. I hate to say it, but I laughed. A couple of times. I do feel, however, that the funniest stuff in the show would still be funny without the Jesus angle. Plus, there’s the whole Is He or Isn’t He aspect about Black Jesus. I mean, he seems to be some bum who thinks he’s Jesus, but he does have powers. They’ll probably never just come out and answer it, as that would be the end of the show. I felt kinda bad about watching it, but I’ll probably watch it again.

Warner Bros shocked the geek world on Wednesday when it was announced that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice would be moved from May 2016 to March 2016. This takes it out of competition with Captain America 3, but it also prevents Warners from being able to label it a “Summer blockbuster”. They also announced a slate of 11 movies scheduled straight through to 2020, but no titles or actors have been announced, so this was pretty much an empty gesture. This could be a sign of DC finally getting its house in order, but that’s now how it’s being perceived online. For all of their planning, DC will always be compared to Marvel’s cinematic success. When people hear about more Marvel movies, they tend to get excited. On the flip side, when they hear about DC’s movie plans, they suddenly get pessimistic. Maybe DC will actually pull this off and succeed. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


Call off the dogs, as the cast of The Big Bang Theory has reached an agreement over their contracts. I know a ton of you were probably hoping that negotiations would collapse, but the show now has the actors locked in through season 10. The three leads (Galecki, Parsons, and Cuoco-Sweeting) will end up making about $1M per episode, in addition to some of the money on the back end (merchandising, syndication, etc). The next tier, comprised of Kunal Nayyar and Simon Helberg, will make 80% of what the leads make, and also get the same percentage off the back end. I was surprised to learn that the other women on the show make almost nothing when compared to the others. At the moment, Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik make about $30,000 per episode, and their new deals will have them making $100K per episode by the final season.

In music news, a friend of mine from my college days, Tat Tong, is now a songwriter hitting the big time. His most recent song, “Happy Little Pill”, for artist Troye Sivan, just hit #1 on the Billboard trending chart, as well as #1 on the US iTunes chart. It’s a hauntingly beautiful song, and I’m both jealous of and proud of him.


The new Ninja Turtles movie comes out this week, and my pals over at The Robot’s Pajamas have put together Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Week. Be sure to hop over there and check out all the great posts they’ve put up over the course of the week.

Links I Loved

My 30 Year-Long Man Crush Timeline – UnderScoopFire!

Some Highlights from This Weekend’s Lego BrickFair – Cool & Collected

The Urge to Purge – Pop Pop! It’s Trash Culture

Classick Team-Up! #11: Engineernerd of TV and Film Toys – Cold Slither Podcast Network

SDCC 2014 – Interview with the Cast of Power Rangers Super Megaforce – Awesome Toy Blog

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal – Reborn – The Holidaze

In Case You Missed It This Week

Thrift Justice: YSE – Special Forces


Of course Guardians of the Galaxy had The West Week Ever! It’s a movie with a talking raccoon and tree monster that made $94 million in its opening weekend! While it was expected to be a modest success, nobody saw that coming. NOBODY. If you claim you did, I’ll call you a liar. I thought this was gonna be Marvel’s first bomb, but I’m sitting here, eating crow with Chick-Fil-A sauce. Chris Pratt’s on his way to being a big name, Batista’s gaining respect from the acting community, Marvel’s shutting down Etsy shops specializing in Baby Groots, and everyone loves Rocket. It’s been quite a 7-day run for Guardians, and it will probably end up winning the box office this weekend, too. I still think the plot was a bit thin, and the villains were barely fleshed out, but I won’t fight that it was a fun movie. I really need to see it again. In any case, for surprising EVERYBODY, Guardians of the Galaxy had the West Week Ever.

Welp, that’s it for this week, but be sure to tune in Tuesday when I’ll debut a brand new installment of “Reboot That Bitch”!

01st Aug2014

West Week Ever – 8/1/14

by Will





Like a good fanboy, I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy last night and I LOVED IT. A little known fact about me is that I hate Space Marvel. Even though I started reading comics in the era of The Infinity Gauntlet and all that, that stuff just never clicked with me. So, I’ve never cared about Thanos or the Infinity Gems or any of that. So, I went into this movie with its subject matter being a little out of my wheelhouse. That was probably for the best, however, as it meant that I didn’t have the typical fanboy quibbles that tend to arise with comic movies. The cast was superb. I mean, Zoe Saldana got lost in that role, while Chris Pratt is gonna be a big star. Batista was thoroughly entertaining, and Rocket did exactly what Rocket was supposed to do. The 3-D was incredible. I hadn’t intended to see it in 3-D, but I mistakenly thought there was a midnight showing when the last show was a 10:45 3-D showing. There were parts when I really thought weapons flying at me were gonna hit me. Anyway, it’s a great movie and I can’t wait to see it again. I am, however, curious to see how they tie all the “spaceness” of this movie into the “real worldness” of the other Marvel films. Sure, they fought aliens in The Avengers, but those were faceless grunts and haven’t really been dealt with since. Whatever. I’m sure I have nothing to worry about.

While waiting for Guardians to start, I saw the trailer for Annie starring Quvenzhane Wallis. It actually looks really cute, but I’m dreading all of the comment sections of websites I’m gonna have to avoid once that trailer hits TV. It’ll be a whopping “Why are they remaking Annie?”, with a smattering of “Why are they making her black?” Yeah, it’s gonna be a riot…


San Diego Comic Con came and went, and there were no real clear winners or losers. Marvel didn’t reveal any of their upcoming “mystery” movies, while DC didn’t announce the movie slate that Nikki Finke had leaked a few months back. The omissions were more glaring than what was present. There was no Star Wars Episode VII news, no Jurassic World footage, and nothing from the Fantastic Four reboot. I’m not gonna do a full-scale SDCC recap, as there are other sites for that. I’ll touch on a few things, though.


Following the debut of some Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice footage, we finally got our first look at Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman suit. I don’t hate it. I just hope it’s her introductory suit and that she eventually ends up in something with some color to it. Twitter was on fire Saturday when the photo was released, but it didn’t move me one way or another. It’s kinda Xena-esque, but isn’t that what it should be? Maybe she comes to Man’s World in this suit, and adopts her more colorful suit later. Who knows? I still haven’t seen Man of Steel, so that shows how much I care about that whole movie universe right now.

Shout Factory announced that they would be distributing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger on DVD in the US. This is the show from which the original Power Rangers footage came, so this is a pretty big deal. Up til now, fans were forced to watch subtitled versions that were encoded by other, more die-hard fans. Contrary to the kids show that we got in the US, Zyruranger is a much darker product, and I’m looking forward to finally being able to watch it without having to resort to torrents.


I finally got around to seeing The LEGO Movie. Man, was that good! I didn’t expect to like it, as I didn’t think any of the trailers looked that funny, nor did you get a good idea of the plot. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I got the disc from Redbox. Did I mention that Chris Pratt is gonna be a big deal? And I LOVED Will Arnett as Douchebag Batman. Anyway, I’m slowly starting to realize that I’m a LEGO fan, which is surprising to me. Up til now, I’ve considered myself more of a LEGO Broker – I find them cheap, and I sell them high. I never stop to think about my personal collection unless it concerns minifigures. I loves me some minifigures. Lately, though, I find myself going to the LEGO Store when I don’t have to, and I found myself disappointed when I realized I’ll be out of town for BrickFair. What’s happening to me?! Am I becoming an Adult Fan of LEGO?


Did you catch Sharknado 2: The Second One on Wednesday night? If not, you missed a great time. Sure, it’s a bad movie, but it fostered such a sense of community with folks online. I haven’t had that much fun livetweeting since Catfish‘s season ended. If you missed it, try to catch the rerun, as it’s worth it just for the D-list cameos.


Since I finished The Cleveland Show, I’ve been looking for another light show to binge-watch on Netflix. I ran across a show called Trailer Park Boys that looked kinda interesting. This Canadian show lasted 7 seasons, so it must be good, right? WRONG. I couldn’t get through 2 episodes of this thing. Basically, it’s a mockumentary, like The Office, that focuses on the residents of a trailer park in Nova Scotia, so there’s a lot of dudes talking directly to the camera. This is a big Canadian franchise, with movies and stage shows and everything, but it just goes to show that there’s a different type of humor across the border. Sad, ’cause I really liked other Canadian comedies, like Corner Gas. Anyway, I might give the show another shot, but I might just move on to Better Off Ted.


Speaking of TV, next week sees the debut of two perplexing shows. The first one is Partners, airing on FX. What’s so odd about it? Well, it stars Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence as legal partners. Yes, Frasier Crane and Marty-Mar, in a buddy comedy. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be like Nothing To Lose (anyone remember that movie?), but I don’t expect much. This is another example of a 10/90 deal, which is all the rage in television right now. Oh, you don’t know what a 10/90 deal is? Well, allow me to educate you. 10/90 deals were created by production company Debmar-Mercury, where 10 episodes of a show are created as a sort of “test drive”. If those episodes reach a certain ratings threshold, they will then make 90 more episodes, which basically gets the show to instant syndication. Tyler Perry’s comedies House of Payne and Meet The Browns followed this model, as well as Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management. Anyway, I can see why Martin needs a job, but does Kelsey owe that much in alimony that he’s got to keep working? I mean, he made a shitload of money there at the end of Frasier, yet he’s been working on failed shows ever since (Back To You, Hank, Boss). Anyway, I miss seeing Martin on TV, so I’ll at least check out a few episodes.

The next show that’s already got people riled up is Black Jesus, from Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder. If you haven’t heard of this project, here’s the trailer:

Do I really even need to say more? I mean, blasphemy aside, it doesn’t even look funny. Early episodes of The Boondocks had a cleverness to them, while this just seems like it’s an attempt to see how many groups it can offend. Conservative Christians? Blacks? Mexicans? They’re all there. Maybe the trailer wasn’t cut to show us the funniest  material, but I had come to expect more from McGruder. Just looking at the YouTube comments, I can already see problems looming that are reminiscent of Chappelle’s Show. Dave once said that he quit the show because he realized that folks had started laughing at him during some of the skits instead of with him. There is a difference, and I could see that happening here. Is the audience getting the same joke that McGruder is trying to tell, or are they laughing at the whole farce of it? This show is gonna be problematic…

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

In toy news, Hasbro showed off Marvel Legends figures of Maria Hill and Agent Coulson from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since I collect movie-specific Marvel Legends, I will DEFINITELY be getting these. I fear that they’ll be pretty hard to find, though, since Hill’s a female figure, and Coulson comes with that suit body that customizer’s are gonna want to snatch up. So, I may have to turn to Twitter connections in order to track these down.

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com

courtesy of AwesomeToyBlog.com



This week, *NSYNC released a new double-CD collection and the group didn’t even know about it. Ya see, it was one of those cash grab “Essential” collections that doesn’t contain any new material. Still, it entered the charts in the Top 10, so it’s got people clamoring for a reunion again. It’s got some deep cuts on it that were never on albums but, being a true *NSYNC fan, I’ve had those songs for years. Yeah, I’m a boyband snob.

Links I Loved
NEW EP: Reappropriate: The Podcast – Ep. 2 | “Thinking Man” Superhero Movies – Reappropriate

5 Ways to Bring G.I. Joe Back to Television – UnderScoopFire!

Meet The Guardians of the [LEGO] Galaxy – Double Dumbass On You


I may not talk about him, especially since I assume that all of my internet friends know each other, but there’s one friend in particular who’s my favorite person on the internet. Matt Guzy runs AwesomeToyBlog.com, and he’s always my go-to source for San Diego Comic Con news, as he seems to be able to get closer to some companies than other sites. Why is he my favorite person on the internet? Well, there are so many reasons (he designed my website banner, for one), but he solidified that status when he did this:

Those are the Power Rangers! THE POWER RANGERS SAID MY NAME!!!!!! Matt got the chance to meet the current cast of Power Rangers Super Megaforce for a Q&A session at SDCC. Before leaving for the show, he’d asked me for some ideas on questions to ask them, but I had no idea they’d actually find out my name. I may be heavily biased, but it’s my site and I can do what I want. If you want to see some great galleries of the toys from SDCC, head over to AwesomeToyBlog.com. But because he got the Power Rangers…the friggin’ POWER RANGERS to say my name, @MattGuzy had the West Week Ever.

03rd Jul2014

West Week Ever – 7/3/14

by Will




That’s right, folks – we’re a day early this week! Nobody’s gonna be online tomorrow, with it being the holiday and all, but I didn’t feel like skipping  a week. So, here we are!


Girl Meets World finally debuted last Friday night, and I almost forgot about it. Luckily, someone tweeted about it that day, so I didn’t miss it. If you were following my livetweets of the show, then you already know my feelings. If not, here we go. At its core, it’s a Disney Channel show. Sure, a lot of us tuned in for the nostalgia factor, but we’re not the target audience. This is a coming of age tale for young teens, and it’s kinda heavy-handed in that aspect. There’s a lot of lines like, “Make this world yours”, which isn’t the kind of stuff you normally get from tween shows. I kinda wanted someone to get into a pie fight or something. I guess I’m too used to iCarly, but it wasn’t…zany enough for me. Oh, and I’m scared Feeny might be dead. Anyway, I’ll tune in for more, as there’s not really much else on Friday nights. Plus, I can’t wait for the episode with Minkus that they teased after the episode.



I stopped by the Redbox last week, and finally got around to checking out the movie herIf you’re not familiar with it, Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his artificially intelligent operating system. Man, what a weird movie. I heard everyone raving about it, and people genuinely seemed to like it, but I’m not sure I’m in that camp. It’s such a lonely movie, and I don’t envy Joaquin’s character at all. Based on his personality, it’s easy to see how he’d fall for the first thing that showed interest in him. It seems to take place in the not so distant future, but it’s a future I’m not sure I wanna live to see. Everything just seems to sterile and boring. Has human interaction become so strained and foreign that people are looking for it in other places? It just doesn’t seem like a happy existence. Anyway, the movie certainly leaves you with a lot to think about.

Ron Funches

Comedy Central started the new season of The Half Hour, and last week featured comedian Ron Funches. I LOVE this guy, and it’s not just because he kinda sounds like Cleveland Brown. I first learned about him from Aisha Tyler’s Girl on Guy podcast, and I’ve been following him ever since. He was in the pilot for Enlisted, and he’s also a supporting character on NBC’s Undateable. If you can catch his special On Demand, do it ’cause it’s hilarious!


Speaking of comedy, Lindsay made us watch Whitney Cummings: I Love YouI tend to like Whitney’s television ventures, as I liked her NBC series and I like 2 Broke Girls. That said, I’ve never really liked her standup. She has one special where she basically yells the whole time, and it’s so annoying that I’ve never been able to sit through it. Well, this special was just as bad. Apparently, she recently went through a breakup, and man does it show! The entire hour is basically about how much guys suck, and how all they think about is sex, yadda, yadda, yadda. I was pretty much done 20 minutes in, but there were parts that Lindsay seemed to like, so maybe it wasn’t for males. I dunno. Needless to say, I DON’T recommend it.


It’s been announced that the long-awaited 1966 Batman series will finally be released in November. The available formats include DVD, Blu-Ray, and digital streaming, plus there will be a bunch of special features. To commemorate the release, there will be a special panel at San Diego Comic-Con with Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar. I know this is big news for a lot of people, but I’m fine with my convention bootleg DVD set. They’re gonna really have to bring it with the special features for me to consider getting this.



I don’t know how I forgot to write about this, but Arsenio‘s canceled. I kinda unofficially found myself on Arsenio Watch, and he had become quite the staple of West Week Ever. Well, even though a second season had been ordered, the studio reneged and decided that he wasn’t attracting as much of an audience as they would have liked. In fact, Jay Leno even appeared on Arsenio’s show, announcing the second season. So, I guess we can chalk this up to another instance of Leno ruining everything he touches. Anyway, Arsenio got the axe. The show is losing its timeslots across the country, but it still comes on here. They’re just showing old episodes until the end of the Summer.


I’m not much of a Transformers guy, but I know that some of you are. If that’s the case, make sure you head over to The Robot’s Pajamas, as this week is Transformers Week. Vincent’s got a lot of great content, especially from some guest bloggers with whom you may not be familiar. Anyway, be sure to check it out!

I realized last week that I’ve now been on 30 podcast episodes. Considering I used to think that podcasts were silly, that’s pretty cool. I just want to thank you all for having me, and beg that you have me back on soon! Speaking of podcasts, The Cold Slither Podcast has now morphed into the Cold Slither Podcast Network, and the first offering from this new venture debuted today as the Good and Terrible Show. Be sure to give it a listen!

Links I Loved

Toy Tragedy: Soundwave, a Love Lost and then Found – The Robot’s Pajamas

238 Reasons We Love America – UnderScoopFire!

Unreleased Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toys PART 2! – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

Toy Hunting at Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con ’14 – Double Dumbass On You


It was touch and go for a while. NBC finally got the balls to cancel Community, and fans clamored for someone else to pick up the ball and run with it. I consider myself a fan of Community, but I’ve also been vocal in my displeasure with the most recent season. Even though creator Dan Harmon was back onboard, much like the recent season of The Boondocks, the show felt like a shell of its former self. Cast members were dropping like flies, as the season started without the controversial Chevy Chase, and then Donald Glover/Childish Gambino soon followed. The season ended with an episode basically daring NBC to cancel it, and the network took the dare. It was rumored that Hulu was in talks to pick up the show for a sixth season, but those talks fell apart. Well, this week it was announced that Yahoo would be producing the 6th season as part of Yahoo Screen. It’s believed that Yahoo acquired the show in a bid to establish credibility in the programming world, especially since details on Yahoo Screen at scarce at this point. Whatever the reason, the decision has made a lot of fans very happy. To add to that, there’s even talk that the fabled movie part of #sixseasonsandamovie may actually happen, too. With the entire cast and Harmon on board, it’s a great week for the students of Greendale Community College. For that reason, Community had the West Week Ever.

27th Jun2014

West Week Ever – 6/27/14

by Will





Last week, I finally got to see 22 Jump Street, and it was HILARIOUS. It’s the same exact movie as the first one, but it pokes fun at that fact. If you’ve seen the movie, then you know that the end credits show what the next sequels would look like in the franchise, like 23 Jump Street: Medical School and 41 Jump Street: Magic School. I want ALL of these sequels to happen!

Elden Henson

There’s been a lot of movement on the casting for the Netflix Daredevil series. While I was on my bye week, they announced that Rosario Dawson had been cast in an important role – believed by many to be Elektra. Yesterday, it was announced that Elden Henson had been cast as Matt Murdock’s friend and legal partner, Foggy Nelson. Apparently he was in The Mighty Ducks, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen those movies that I don’t remember him.

The Flash

The pilot for The Flash leaked this week, and I had to watch it. Usually, I’d do a whole post on the thing, but I figure I’ll wait until everyone’s had a chance to see it. Barry has a Spider-Man quality to him, which makes me like him. It’s better than Smallville, and more engaging to me than Arrow. Nice Easter eggs (Ferris Air, Iron Heights, etc). It’s gonna be like Smallville/Misfits, though, where every villain of the week is gonna be a result of the same phenomenon that created him. I won’t say any more, so as not to give away spoilers, but I’ll just say that the final scene gave me chills. Oh, and I love Tom Cavanagh in everything, so there’s that.


Speaking of TV, when does The Goldbergs get great? I mean, ABC’s been airing it twice every Wednesday, giving me a chance to catch up on the show that all my friends love. That said, I like it, but don’t love it. Does it hit its stride at some point? Is this it? I really want to love it, but something’s missing for me. Maybe I just don’t wanna revisit the 80s. Maybe it’s the fact that it won’t commit to a year, instead going with “1980-something”.

I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but someone redid the credits as if the show were an 80s action series.

I’d totally watch this show.

I never watched Wacky Races, but I did enjoy the “Fender Bender 500″ shorts on Wake, Rattle, and Roll. This was a pretty cool commercial, giving us a live action Wacky Race.

I hate when a song paints a pretty clear story that’s completely ignored by the video. That’s the case with Lady Antebellum’s “Bartender”. In the song, a girl’s trying to get over her ex, so she needs a night out where all she does is drink and dance. It even goes as far to spell out what she’s wearing (favorite dress and sky high leather boots). The video does NONE of this. Instead, it has Kate Upton getting into a drinking contest with Arrested Development/Veep‘s Tony Hale. I guess it’s good for all you Kate Upton fans, but she’s dressed like a housewife.

I received my first check this week for work done for a comic company. That’s a pretty big milestone for me, and I kinda don’t wanna cash the check. Something like that should be framed! Anyway, I’ll talk more about it when I’m given the OK. It’s really nothing major, so don’t get too excited.

2014-06-25 20.38.16

Be sure to check out my review of Mattel’s DC Multiverse figures over at The Nerds of Color. I’m not really an action figure reviewer, and it shows, but I still had a few thoughts on the movie-inspired figures.

Links I Loved

Hey Squirrels, Electric Hatchback Cars, 80s Lovers and Cheap Piñatas – Can We Talk? – UnderScoopFire!

The Drive (and Despair) of The Rock: Dwayne Johnson on His Depression, Decision to Fire Agents and Paul Walker’s Death – The Hollywood Reporter

Mr. Serious Presents: A Love Letter to Batman ’89 – UnderScoopFire!

Looking Back at Batman: The Animated Series – The Nerds of Color


So, this week saw the 25th anniversary of 1989′s Batman, which ushered in a new era of comic book movies. It also seemed to have a profound effect on the lives of geeks everywhere. In the past week, I’ve been on 2 separate podcasts about the impact that the movie had on pop culture, plus my pals over at The Nerds of Color have christened this “Bat Week” in honor of the anniversary. Since I’ve been on those podcasts, I really don’t have much more to say about the movie than what I said there. If you’re interested, check out the final episode of The Cold Slither Podcast, as well as the latest episode of Hard N.O.C. Life. In any case, for making us believe a man could dress up like a bat and fight crime, Batman had the West Week Ever.

06th Jun2014

West Week Ever – 6/6/14

by Will







So, I finally saw Ted. I guess to commemorate the release of A Million Ways To Die In The West, Ted was brought back to Redbox and I was able to snag it during one of my many trips to 7/11 last week. In all, I really enjoyed it. Someone described it to me as a “live action Family Guy“, and it did not disappoint. I especially loved the world in which it was set – where folks just accept this sentient bear, and that he’s such old news that they don’t even turn and stare at this point.


I also watched the pilot for Tagteam on YouTube. I never would’ve known about this had the Nerd Lunch Podcast not mentioned it last week, so I thank them for that. If you’ve never heard of it, Tagteam was an ABC pilot from 1991 that aired the night before Super Bowl XXV. In it, Jesse Ventura and Roddy Piper play pro wrestlers who find themselves banned for life from wrestling because they wouldn’t throw a match. Without any real skills, they struggle to figure out what to do next with their lives. After foiling an armed robbery at their local grocery store, they decide to join the police academy so they can keep taking down bad guys. On their first case, they’re assigned to guard a witness to a murder, but they end up suspended when their veteran partners are attacked and the witness gets away. In the end, the two use their wrestling skills to take down the hitmen and deliver the witness to the courthouse just in time for her to testify. Ya know, given the era in which it was made, it didn’t suck. I guess ABC just didn’t get the ratings they’d hoped for. It had that Glen A. Larson style of violence, where folks are shot at but not killed. To me, however, the most baffling aspect was that Ventura and Piper were going to be working the undercover unit, having been midcard tag-team wrestlers in their former career. Sure, the average guy on the street may not recognize them, but eventually someone’s gonna say “Hey, didn’t I see you wrestle at the Garden?” or whatever.


On the Netflix front, I watched Women Who Kill, which is nothing like it sounds. It’s a standup special featuring female comedians. In all, there were four – Amy Schumer, Rachel Feinstein, Nikki Glaser, and Marina Franklin. If you know your comedy, you’re probably asking “who?” to that last one. As the only black woman on the special, Marina’s not as well known as her white contemporaries, which is a crime because she is hilarious. Amy has her own show, Rachel is a co-host of Upload with Shaquille O’Neal, Nikki was a co-host of Nikki and Sara Live!, but Marina’s biggest credit is Best Week Ever back in ’04. It just goes to show the divide in opportunities in comedy. Give Marina some work!


I’ve got more DVDs than I’ll ever watch in my lifetime, but I’m trying to make a dent in them. Since they’re short, I decided to watch a few of the DC animated movies. First up, I watched Batman: Under the Red Hood. The problem with these things is that they try to tell 6 month story arcs in 77 minute cartoons. Sure, a lot of those comics are decompressed, but the DVDs tend to tackle pretty major storylines that need a chance to “breathe”, so to speak. It’s been so long since I read the actual Red Hood story that I couldn’t tell you if it was accurate or not. The major beats were there, with Ra’s Al Ghul, etc, but it still felt rushed. My favorite part of the DVD, actually, was the Jonah Hex DC Short that was included on it. I think it’s because if you pay close attention, you’ll see and hear a cowboy motorboat a prostitute in the background.


Next up, I watched Batman: Year One. Again, it’s been so long since I read the story that I don’t know how accurate it was, but it was an entertaining watch. It’s basically Jim Gordon’s story, and I didn’t even realize it he was voiced by Bryan Cranston until I saw the credits. My problem with the movie is the same problem I have with the comic: WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES JR?!!! Sure, the comic has recently tried to reintegrate him into continuity, but they made him psychotic and didn’t do a great job explaining where he’d been. I mean, this seminal storyline introduces the fact that Gordon has a kid, and then the next 25 years are spent ignoring that kid and focusing on Gordon’s niece/daughter, Barbara.


It was a big week for director news, as Marvel announced that Dr. Strange will be directed by Scott Derrickson. Derrickson’s mainly a horror director, and I’m not a horror guy, so I’ve seen nothing that he’s done. Next up, Josh Trank has been announced as the director of the first standalone Star Wars spinoff. Again, I haven’t seen Chronicle, but I’m looking forward to his Fantastic Four reboot, so I’m not all that familiar with his work. Meanwhile, the hunt is still on for a replacement for Edgar Wright on Ant-Man.


I’ve come to realize that Jamie Lynn is the more talented sister in the Spears family. Sure, everyone knows Britney, but a lot don’t realize she has a younger sister, Jamie Lynn, who rose to fame as the star of Nick’s Zoey 101. That all came to an abrupt end when Jamie Lynn got pregnant at the age of 16. Now 23, she’s embarking on a country career with the release of her first EP, The Journey. And if you like country music, it’s really good. Vocally, she’s an actual, talented singer, unlike Britney who does that whole breathless moan thing. Anyway, here’s her first single, “How Could I Want More?”

A Guy Love Reunion!

Links I Loved

Dave Holmes Revisits ‘U Can’t Touch This,’ ‘Poison,’ and Other 1990 Jams – Vulture

Mr. Serious Presents: Power-Ranking this Season’s 5 Freshman Comedies that Got Renewed – UnderScoopFire!

Baywatch Creator on Indie TV: A Producer’s Guide to Avoiding the Upfront Madness – Box Office Insider

X-Men: Days of Future Past – Nerd Thoughts! – The Robot’s Pajamas

America’s Best News Channel Is Owned by Arabs – Huff Post Media


This week, I did things a little differently. Ya see, nothing really stood out to me as having had THE West Week Ever, so I opened it up to votes on Twitter. Based on the suggestions I got, I was amazed by how different all of our tastes are. Orange is the New Black is coming back, but I’ve never seen it, so it doesn’t hold a ton of meaning for me. Sure, Reading Rainbow had a pretty incredible Kickstarter campaign last week, but ol’ literate Kunta Kinte doesn’t do much for me. Speaking of Kickstarter, a couple of smaller boutique toy companies also had a good week promoting their respective toy lines, but I knew next to nothing about them. Someone even mentioned Mario Kart 8, but I still haven’t played the GameCube version that I’ve been sitting on for years. Finally, @crookedninja recommended Ghostbusters. Eureka! I LOVE the Ghostbusters franchise! This week has seen an explosion of Ghostbusters-related news to mark the 30th anniversary of the franchise. First, the LEGO CUUSOO Ecto-1 set was finally released at retail, allowing fans the chance to build the famous car. Next, it was announced that the original film will be getting a theatrical re-release on August 29th, to be followed by a blu-Ray release on September 16th. Ghostbusters has often been called the perfect movie, but I’ve always been more of a fan of what the movie led to, i.e. toys and cartoons. I still have my Ghostbusters firehouse and proton pack, and I was a HUGE fan of The Real Ghostbusters. I’m actually kind of ashamed that I didn’t think of it myself, as the Ghostbusters franchise has truly had a banner week. So, for tugging on the nostalgia heartstrings, and for being all around awesome, Ghostbusters is having the West Week Ever.

30th May2014

West Week Ever – 5/30/14

by Will


This week, I learned that my mother likes the song “Roar”, but thought it was by Rihanna. She’s also never heard of Katy Perry…



I finally remembered that I have Netflix, so I fired up the old Nook when I couldn’t get to sleep. I finished up season 1 of Maron, which I’m still loving. I hear that season 2 started on IFC a few weeks ago, so I’m probably a year away from being able to watch those episodes. A lot of the plots come from his standup, so it’s interesting to see the changes he’s made to some of the material. I also caught a movie called Conception, which I mainly watched for its cast. It had Rafi from The League, Connie Britton, Iceman’s brother, Julie Bowen, the chick who voiced Bobby Hill, Jonathan Silverman and Haley from Modern Family. It followed 9 different couples at different stages of their relationships, and it ends with them all *spoiler alert* pregnant. So, the movie basically follows each couple on the day they unknowingly conceive. I liked that it abandoned a trope common with these kinds of Valentines Day/Love Actually movies where Couple A lives next door to Couple B, who happen to be related to Couple F, etc. There’s a unique framing device for the movie, but none of these couples know each other, so you’re not left waiting for their paths to cross. It wasn’t bad, and it as short. Almost too short. But if you’re looking for something on Netflix to help you kill 87 minutes, you could do a lot worse.


After last week’s edition was published, Marvel announced that Edgar Wright had left Ant-Man. Fan reaction to this was pretty negative, but I don’t really care. It’s said that it was due to creative differences, and I could probably see how that came about. Plus, after having seen Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim, I’m not entirely sure what Wright would bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that would fit with what’s already been done. I always felt his Ant-Man would be a bit of a departure, taking things more into the weird area of the universe that we’re going to see from Guardians of the Galaxy. We’re still not sure if GotG is gonna be a success, so that might not be the direction in which the franchise should go.


I lied about Days of Future Past last week. I said I’d wait until it came out on DVD, but the hype was so prevalent, that I had to go see it last Friday night. Long story short, I enjoyed it. I don’t envy anyone tasked with connecting the two cinematic universes, but it did a capable job of doing so. I’ve never read the original storyline, so is Bolivar Trask a little person in the comics? If not, why cast Peter Dinklage, other than the fact that he’s Peter Dinklage. I think, in a movie filled with people with superpowers, Trask was the least believable aspect of the movie. After all, nobody takes midgets seriously enough to give them that much political power. Anyway, I’m still having nightmares from the scenes where the future X-Men are killed. I mean, they ripped Colossus in half! And I’ve never fully understood Bishop’s power, but I feel like he could’ve survived the attack that killed him. It seemed like he was just the sacrificial lamb like Darwin was in First Class, which feels racist to me, since both have powers that should make them relatively hard to kill. Yes, I realize ALL the future X-Men died, but Bishop died FIRST. #CISM


Stacey Dash has been hired by Fox News as contributor. Let that sink in for moment. Welp, good for them for getting another black person in their ranks. I can only imagine this is a side effect of the same sorcery that keeps her ageless.


Apparently, Hulu is in talks to resurrect Community. Good for them, in their bid to be considered relevant. Seriously, if you want movies, you do Netflix or Amazon streaming. If you want recent episodes of TV, you go to the network site or you use the free Hulu. I still don’t see any need for Hulu Plus, but if this helps to legitimize that platform, then more power to them. I still think that Community squandered season 5, and doesn’t really deserve a sixth season, but that’s just me.

Links I Loved

How Magneto Saved the Redskins – The D.C. Universe

X-Men: The Animated Series Helped Set the Template for Today’s Comic-Book Movies – Vulture

Masculinity vs. “Misogylinity”: What Asian Americans Can Learn from #UCSB Shooting – Reappropriate

10 Television Shows That Would Suck as LEGO Minifigures – UnderScoopFire!

Meet the Man Behind the WWE Championship Belts – Bleacher Report



If you’ve seen Stardust (I have!) or Boardwalk Empire (I haven’t!), then you’ve seen Charlie Cox. Well, consider yourself ahead of the curve, as it was announced this week that he’ll be playing Dardevil in Marvel’s upcoming Netflix series. I’m actually surprised that it hasn’t receive more press than it has. When Marvel casts a movie, it’s huge news, but I’m not sure if folks know what to make of these Netflix series at this stage in the game. I can’t remember Stardust, as I saw it 7 years ago, but I can say that I definitely see a resemblance to Matt Murdock. This has me excited for what’s coming up, and should cement Cox’s name in the minds of fanboys everywhere. So, for being the Next Big Thing from Marvel, Charlie Cox is having the West Week Ever.

23rd May2014

West Week Ever – 5/23/14

by Will






Girl Meets World has already premiered on Disney WATCH, Disney’s online on-demand site. I’m tempted to go watch it, but they make you enter your cable provider credentials and a bunch of other info I don’t have at my disposal (my wife handles all that). So, I guess I’ll just wait until June 27th with the rest of y’all. I’m getting excited, though! In the meantime, here’s the theme song:

It’s sung by the show’s stars, so Disney’s still pumping out those actress/singers.


X-Men: Days of Future Past comes out today, and I just can’t bring myself to care. Mainly, I just don’t trust Bryan Singer. Sure, he was great on X2, but that was SO long ago, and the taint of Superman Returns is still somewhat fresh. So far, the reviews have been positive, but I still may wait for Redbox on this one.


The Man of Steel sequel’s title has been officially released: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As I said on Twitter:


That’s simply not the title of a box office hit, but I don’t get paid the big bucks so what do I know?


24 is back, and 2004 Will would be really excited. 2014 Will, however, just can’t get on that horse. There are no stakes, as Jack can’t die and even something as shocking as Valencia, CA getting nuked is just brushed aside like it’s nothing. I can’t do that dance anymore. I do, however, still follow along with what’s happening by listening to the Cold Slither Podcast’s: Anutha Twenny Fo Podcast. I may not care about Jack Bauer, but I still love hearing what other folks think about him, and Classick Materia does not disappoint! You can catch new episodes every week at ColdSlitherPodcast.com

Last week, I had the pleasure of guesting on the No Topic Required Podcast. As you can probably guess, there was no main topic, but we discussed net neutrality, network TV fall schedules and more. You can listen to it here.

Links I Loved

Knockoff Analysis: Lego Ninja Turtles – Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang

10 Ways ‘The Golden Girls’ Was Way Before Its Time – UnderScoopFire!

Where The New Black Comics Writers Are – The Nerds of Color

How Did the Newest Saturday Night Live Cast Members Do in Their First Season? – Vulture

Top 10 Sci-Fi Scenes Ruined by Bad Extras – The Robot’s Pajamas

In Case You Missed It This Week

Upfronts with Will – NBC Edition

Upfronts with Will – CBS Edition

It had no right to be any good. Michael Jackson died in 2009, and here’s a new album being released 5 year later, comprised of scraps and unreleased tracks. It was a recipe for disaster. Xscape came out last Tuesday and defied expectations. The debut single, “Love Never Felt So Good” is a disco masterpiece – both in it’s mixed form, as well as the remix with Justin Timberlake. That single, however, wasn’t the end. You see, we’d been introduced to modern-day hologram technology in 2012, when a hologram of Tupac Shakur “performed” at Coachella. Now, that same technology was about to be applied to the former King of Pop. Last Sunday, at the Billboard Music Awards, hologram MJ gave a dazzling performance set to the song “Slave to the Rhythm”. Not only was it an amazing spectacle, but it also led me to playing “Slave” on repeat for the rest of the week. So, for an amazing posthumous album, and an amazing posthumous performance, Michael Jackson has the honor of being awarded the first posthumous West Week Ever.


16th May2014

West Week Ever – 5/16/14

by Will






Jay-Z and his sister-in-law, Solange Knowles, got into a fight in an elevator. Yup, kinda like that scene in The Winter Soldier. I really don’t have much to say about it, but felt I should mention it.


I spent the past few days discussing the new shows coming from Fox and ABC. Well, it appears that ABC has made the trailers for Selfie and Forever private. I’m not sure what to make of that. Are critics already tearing the shows apart based on those 3-minute teasers? I kinda wanna know what’s going on there.


So, it was announced that Channing Tatum will play Gambit in an upcoming X-Men film. Were this 1992, I’d be climbing the walls over this news. Sadly, though, Gambit’s been kinda neutered over the past 10 years or so. He used to be a cool, Cajun man of mystery, and now he’s just some lame dude. And I’m not sure Tatum’s the one to play him, but his star is rising, so I guess it was his turn to be in a comic book movie.


It appears that FXX has canceled Legit, which is unfortunate. Starring comedian Jim Jeffries, Legit started a bit rough, but ended up having a lot of heart. Like a lot of shows, the move to FXX didn’t treat it so well. In fact, I kept forgetting which night it even aired. I’m sad to see it go, but clearly I wasn’t the best fan. FX also canceled the animated show Chozen, which is just fine with me ’cause I never found it funny. Focusing on a gay, white rapper, it was originally supposed to air on FXX, but at the last minute they decided to pair it with Archer. Other than the fact that they were both animated, the shows had nothing in common, and didn’t really share an audience.


In other TV news, How I Met Your Dad will not being going forward at CBS. Thank you, TV Jesus! According to reports, the network had issues with the pilot, but the creators wouldn’t agree to changes until they were guaranteed a series order. It turned into a bit of a standoff until the very last minute when CBS was prepared to announce the Fall schedule. Since it’s a 20th Century Fox show, the creators are going to try to shop it to other networks, but I think we can call this one dead. I, for one, am glad because I really didn’t feel like getting on that horse again.


Speaking of CBS, they announced that the next season of Two and a Half Men – its 12th – will be its last. I know that it’s always the go-to show when people want to cite how bad television has become, but I’ve always enjoyed it. Plus, everyone expected it to die once Charlie Sheen left, but the arrival of Ashton Kutcher was a breath of fresh air. It’s had its share of controversy, from Sheen’s meltdown to Angus T. Jones’s departure, but those events never hurt the quality of the show, as it just kept trucking along. I love the chemistry between Cryer and Kutcher, and I’ll be sad to see that go. Anyway, now that they know it’ll be the end, it gives them time to plan some special surprises. It’s even rumored that Sheen may make an appearance before everything is said and done. I’ll miss the show, but 12 years is a long run by anyone’s standards.


Even though I’d been watching Parks & Recreation all season, I never took the time to get to know Billy Eichner, who plays Craig from Eagleton. That was my mistake, as he is HILARIOUS, and he hosts a game show on Fuse called Billy on the StreetThe show follows Billy as he runs around the streets of New York, asking people random questions where they can win money. I can’t explain how awesome it is, so you should just watch this clip:


Links I Loved

‘West Wing’ Uncensored: Aaron Sorkin, Rob Lowe, More Look Back on Early Fears, Long Hours, Contract Battles and the Real Reason for Those Departures – The Hollywood Reporter

How the Father of Claymation Lost His Company – Priceonomics

How Hugh Hefner Helped Batman and 14 Other Things You Might Not Know – UnderScoopFire!

Top 10 Sci-Fi Actors Who are Missing Fingers – The Robot’s Pajamas

Get-out-the-vote ad for the European Union pulled after it was deemed too NSFW even for Europe – Some eCards

Agents of SHIELD: How Coulson Got His Groove Back – Redheaded Mule

In Case You Missed It This Week

Upfronts with Will – Fox Edition

Upfronts with Will – ABC Edition



Nothing had a week like the new Batsuit. Whether it was the real pic or photoshopped versions to bring out the veins, everyone was talking about this suit. Even though the movie is still about 2 years away, people are starting to get excited, especially since this suit evokes memories of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. I’m still not sold, but that’s just how I am. Still, I can’t fight that everyone was tweeting and retweeting this pic. So, for its sheer popularity, the Superman vs Batman Batsuit had the West Week Ever.

02nd May2014

West Week Ever – 5/2/14

by Will





I haven’t RedBoxed or Netflixed in weeks, so I don’t really have anything to discuss on that front. I did catch a new standup special on Comedy Central, though – Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide. And it was HORRIBLE. I think I laughed once. I know he used to be a funny guy, so I’m not sure what happened. Maybe he’s just not good at standup? That was what people were saying when he got in trouble for his homophobic rant in his last standup. Maybe he was playing it safe so he didn’t get in trouble again. Either way, it was not an enjoyable hour.

stand up month

It’s currently “Stand Up Month” for Comedy Central and Comedy Central Radio, which is an odd concept. I mean, shouldn’t every month be Stand Up Month? It’s like if MTV christened Music Month or something. Anyway, as part of Stand Up Month, they’ve premiered a new one hour special every Sunday night. I watched Morgan’s, but I listened to Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed and Hannibal Buress: Live From Chicago. Both were what you’d expect from their respective stars. Gaffigan did the whole “subliminal voice” thing that he does, while Buress wasn’t as funny as he’d been in past specials. Still, both specials were WAY funnier than Tracy Morgan. If you’ve got Spotify, you can listen to them there.



Speaking of TV, History Channel is creating Pawnography, which is basically Pawn Stars: The Game Show. In the show, contestants will answer trivia from the Pawn Stars cast in order to win items from Rick Harrison’s personal collection. This would be interesting if Rick actually knew a damn thing about most of his items. Instead, they should focus on Rick’s “experts” that he calls on when he needs information on an item. I haven’t watched Pawn Stars in about a year, as it just got too formulaic for me, but I’ll check out a few episodes of this game show.

We FINALLY have a premiere date for Girl Meets World – Friday, June 27th!


They announced the Star Wars Episode VII cast this week, and I’ve got nothing. I don’t know any of these people except Adam Driver, and he’s got the kind of face that you just wanna punch. It’s pretty cool that a black guy is the lead this time around, but I’ve yet to see Attack The Block, so I can’t say anything about his acting chops. The one thing I noticed about that released pic, however, is Harrison Ford’s pit stain. Once you see it, you’ll never not see it.

It’s no secret that I love every episode of American Dad where Steve sings. Luckily, the Boyz 12 episode is one of the best examples of this, and it aired on Adult Swim this week. In fact, it’s the second time it’s aired in the past month, but I’m not complaining! The episode led me to directly tweet Seth MacFarlane, asking him to put all of Steve’s songs on iTunes. I don’t even use iTunes, but you bet I would if I could get those tracks! I wish I could show you that I got a reply from him, but it apparently fell on deaf ears. Or deaf keyboard. Whatever you’re supposed to say in a digital society. Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be a high quality video of the song, but here’s what it sounds like:



This week, it was announced that Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys and Jordan Knight of NKOTB have formed a duo, called Nick & Knight. I’m not making this up. I’m not sure what to think of it. On the one hand, Jordan’s “Give It To You” was one of the best pop songs of the late 90s. On the other hand, Nick didn’t even make a splash when he attempted a solo career. As a boyband fiend, I can’t say that I’m “excited”, per se, but I’m am intrigued. Not only are they releasing an album in September, but they’re also going on tour. If you wanna hear their first single, “Just The Two Of Us”, Perez Hilton has the clip. I’m not blown away by it, but it could be a lot worse.

Death of Wolverine -- exclusive EW.com image

The “Death of Wolverine” storyline was announced this week from Marvel Comics. I haven’t read a single article about it, so I can’t speak with any real authority on it. I’ve got no interest in it whatsoever. “Death” has become such a commonplace gimmick in comics that it doesn’t mean a thing anymore. What it equates to is a really long nap until the character is needed again. I’d be more inclined to read these stories if they’d just call them that, like “Wolverine’s Yearlong Nap”. I’m already filled with a ton of questions. How is he sleeping for so long? Is anyone cutting his hair? Are they feeding him through tubes? That angle is kinda interesting. Wolverine’s “death”, however, means nothing to me. It also doesn’t help that there was a “The Death of Wolverine” storyline only 5 years ago. Have fun with that, Marvel.


I don’t talk a lot about sports ’cause I really don’t know what I’m talking about. I do, however, know my TMZ. Over the past week, TMZ acquired recorded phone conversations between LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his alleged girlfriend. In those conversations, he told her that he didn’t know why she broadcasts the fact that she hangs around with black people. This was the result of her posting a picture of herself on Instagram with Magic Johnson (btw, follow me on Instagram! @williambrucewest). This resulted in a lifetime ban by the NBA, as well as a $2.5M fine. I guess they needed to make an example of him to show that those sorts of attitudes won’t be tolerated. It’s an interesting contrast to the Marge Schott situation. Schott owned the Cincinnati Reds back when I was still collecting baseball cards (Upper Deck had cool holograms!), and she was known for saying “nigger” left and right. She was only banned for 2 seasons. It wasn’t until she said that Hitler was a good leader that things started to go downhill for her. Facing a third suspension and failing health, she sold her majority stake in the team. At the moment, Sterling insists he won’t sell, while the NBA says they’ll do everything in their power to force a sale. So, comparing the two events, it makes me wonder if Major League Baseball didn’t do enough to Schott, or if the NBA went too far with Sterling. A lot of energy went towards getting him ousted this week, and it worked. It’s dangerous to have people with those views in positions of power. That said, this is only one rich racist. They’re like hydra, and I’m not sure this really makes a dent in the problem. If anything, it’ll just make those people more careful with whom they share their views, but it won’t stop them from having the views. I find the whole thing fascinating, but I’m not sure if I’m satisfied.

Links I Loved

The Secret History Of Britney Spears’ Lost Album – Buzzfeed

33 Amazingly Useful Websites You Never Knew Existed – Buzzfeed

The 10 Worst Slime Toys – The Robot’s Pajamas

Power Ranking the Plentiful Pop Culture Acronyms of the 80s – UnderScoopFire!


This has quickly turned into Will’s Black Person of the Week. I swear that wasn’t the original intent, but blacks folks be blowin’ up! I may not know who dude is, but I’m not alone. That said, everyone will know who he is for a LONG, LONG time once Star Wars Episode VII comes out. Unless, of course, he ends up like Jake Lloyd. Still, his name was on everyone’s lips this week, and he’s helping a galaxy far, far away to become more diverse. Sure, there are folks who might ask “Wasn’t Mace Windu enough?” or “Where’s the female diversity?”, but I’ve got nothing to really say about that. After all, I’m a Trekker at heart, so it’s amazing I’m even going all out for a Star Wars casting announcement. Yet, here we are. So, for being the guy most likely to have his TIE Fighter pulled over by the space cops, John Boyega is having the West Week Ever.

17th Apr2014

Adventures West Coast – Nick Fury Vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. TPB

by Will




In light of recent events in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I figured it’d be a good time to finally read this tale. Upon reading it, it’s clear that it was more of an inspiration for The Winter Soldier than the actual Winter Soldier storyline. As it’s a miniseries from the 80s, it predates the debut of the Winter Soldier by about twenty years, but that doesn’t change things. Nick Fury discovers that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been infiltrated, and he goes on the run as an enemy of the state. Sound familiar? Lets take a closer look.

When the story starts, Fury and other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are trying to recover the nuclear power core from the recently destroyed helicarrier. The minute it seems like the core is secure, A.I.M. and Hydra attack and steal the core. Thanks to a well-placed deep cover agent, Fury discovers that the core is actually in the possession of the evil Roxxon Corporation. When he reports back to his superiors, they cut him off and say they’ll look into it. Next thing Fury knows, The Council is saying that there’s no evidence against Roxxon, and it appears his deep cover agent has been brainwashed. Suddenly, Fury is wanted for treason, and is forced to go on the run from his own organization.

While Fury’s on the run, we find out that people aren’t who they say they are, as several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents have been replaced by clones. Jasper Sitwell is placed in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. and he leads the search for Fury. Sitwell meets with both Avengers teams, as well as the Fantastic Four, and warns them not to aid Fury. With no heroes to turn to, Fury is forced to turn to deep cover agent Alexander Pierce. Unlike in The Winter Soldier, Pierce is not Fury’s boss, but rather another sleeper agent who’s a little rusty since he’s been out of the game for a while. While escaping several ambushes, Fury and Pierce piece together a ragtag group that includes Al McKenzie, the CIA liaison to S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as an incarnation of Madame Hydra – all in an attempt to figure out what’s been going on with S.H.I.E.L.D.  Here’s where the similarities end, and the third act gets kinda weird.

The person behind the whole S.H.I.E.L.D. infiltration was a Life Model Decoy (LMD) that gained a sense of independence. It was originally designed to maintain areas that were too dangerous for human agents, and it increased its objective to be on a global scale. Instead of maintaining S.H.I.E.L.D.’s systems, it sought to maintain humanity. In order to do this, the LMD worked its way through S.H.I.E.L.D., replacing key people with Deltites – flesh and blood clones with malleable personalities. This expanded into almost a game, as the LMD eventually controlled S.H.I.E.L.D., A.I.M., Hydra, Roxxon, and The Council. Deltites would help him assert control over humanity, but there was a problem: the Deltites decayed at a rapid rate, so the clones kept having to be recreated. Like copying a tape, the further you got away from the source, the worse the copy. So, the only way to make sure the Deltites didn’t decay was to infuse them with the Infinity Formula that keeps Fury from aging.

There’s a whole bunch of other craziness, like the LMD created a false religion and disciples in order to serve the Deltites, and Hydra kills a village of a couple thousand people. In the end, S.H.I.E.L.D. is ordered to disband.

So, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, both Nick Fury and Captain America share the comic Fury role. Both were betrayed by S.H.I.E.L.D. and both go on the run. In the movie, it makes more sense that the agency would be infiltrated by Hydra rather than by an LMD – a concept that hasn’t even been introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this time. Sitwell finds himself on the wrong side of history, and both stories end with S.H.I.E.L.D. being dismantled.

At this point, I’m not even sure this miniseries is considered canon. A lot of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who were replaced by Deltites are still around, even though they were supposedly killed when the switch took place. Clay Quartermain, Jimmy Woo, and Jasper Sitwell are all key agents who were killed in the story, yet there’s been no mention of it since.

So, do I recommend this story? Sure. If you’re like me, and you’ve always been curious about how S.H.I.E.L.D. operates, it’s a really interesting story. It even references the Academy, which I didn’t even know existed until it was featured on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The first two acts are suspenseful in the same vein as The Winter Soldier, and it’s just unfortunate that the final act is bogged down with an exploration of what it means to be human and to have a soul. It really kills the suspenseful mood, and I don’t feel like it stuck the landing. Still, if you’re looking for a comic that mostly feels like The Winter Soldier, this is a good place to start.