Episode 34: Firefly and Serenity - Why Are “Browncoats” Still So Obsessed?

If the word "Shiny" means something special to you, or you know about the "special hell" that Mal could be going to, then you're probably already a fan of Firefly.  If not, take a listen to learn all about the Joss Whedon-created sci-fi/western show, and find out why its fanbase endures after all these years.

From Left to Right: Jayne, Kaylee, Book, Simon, Inara, Mal, Zoe, and Wash. Our intrepid crew.

From Left to Right: Jayne, Kaylee, Book, Simon, Inara, Mal, Zoe, and Wash. Our intrepid crew.

From Left to Right: Summer, Ron, Gina, Adam, Jewel, Nathan, Alan, Sean, and Morena. Our talented cast.

From Left to Right: Summer, Ron, Gina, Adam, Jewel, Nathan, Alan, Sean, and Morena. Our talented cast.

The Buffy parallels become a little more obvious in the movie.

The Buffy parallels become a little more obvious in the movie.

The first issue of the Serenity comics. As you can see, the likenesses are dead on.

The first issue of the Serenity comics. As you can see, the likenesses are dead on.

Want to pilot your own Firefly? This is one of a few games to give you that option.

Want to pilot your own Firefly? This is one of a few games to give you that option.

Episode 33: The Replacements - Iron Man

Now that Tony’s gone from the MCU, let’s look at some of his possible replacements, specifically those who have already done so in the comics.  It’s the third installment of “The Replacements,” which previously covered those who have replaced Captain America and Superman.  This time, we look at the history of those who have taken up the Armored Avenger’s mantle.

The original! Accept no substitutes (or do, since that’s the concept of the episode…)

The original! Accept no substitutes (or do, since that’s the concept of the episode…)

“Weasel” Wills using the Iron Man suit to rob a bank. Not one of Tony’s greatest masterminds…

“Weasel” Wills using the Iron Man suit to rob a bank. Not one of Tony’s greatest masterminds…

Rhodey in the War Machine suit. MCU fans will recognize this right away…

Rhodey in the War Machine suit. MCU fans will recognize this right away…

…this one, not so much. (The Eidolon Warwear version of War Machine)

…this one, not so much. (The Eidolon Warwear version of War Machine)

The Iron Legion. Collect ‘em all!

The Iron Legion. Collect ‘em all!

To quote Monty Python…”He got better!”

To quote Monty Python…”He got better!”

Yes, that is a squirrel using an Iron Man helmet and gauntlet as armor. No, this does not count as a full replacement. But, it is awesome.

Yes, that is a squirrel using an Iron Man helmet and gauntlet as armor. No, this does not count as a full replacement. But, it is awesome.

Episode 32: Dungeon Crawlers (aka RPG-Style Board Games)

What if you want to kill some monsters, but don’t want to get bogged down in all that pesky role-playing?  Well, these games, past and present, may just be what you’re looking for.  Kurt covers the highlights of the history of dungeon crawler board games this episode.

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The title is written in blood so you know it’s scary!

The title is written in blood so you know it’s scary!

For hours and hours and hours and hours of…fun?

For hours and hours and hours and hours of…fun?

Squats are an important part of any adventurer’s workout routine!

Squats are an important part of any adventurer’s workout routine!

By our powers combined, we make…Boardgame Planet!  (Captain Boardgame?)

By our powers combined, we make…Boardgame Planet! (Captain Boardgame?)

Descent: Journey into tile organization (trust me, don’t just put them back in the box).

Descent: Journey into tile organization (trust me, don’t just put them back in the box).

Just some of the components you get in the Gloomhaven base set.  It’s a whole lot of game!

Just some of the components you get in the Gloomhaven base set. It’s a whole lot of game!

Episode 31: Time Travel Rules (Back to the Future, Bill & Ted, and Avengers: Endgame)

A comparison of time travel rules in a few well-known movies that feature it extensively, from Back to the Future, up to Avengers: Endgame.  SPOILER WARNING: Details of Endgame will be from 11:24 to 15:43, if you want to avoid that still.

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I wonder how much Doc Brown had to pay for an “OUTATIME” license plate, since that’s 8 characters, one more than California license plates normally have.

I wonder how much Doc Brown had to pay for an “OUTATIME” license plate, since that’s 8 characters, one more than California license plates normally have.

According to many physicists, this is the most accurate version of time travel put to screen so far.

According to many physicists, this is the most accurate version of time travel put to screen so far.

If you’re going back in time, it’s important that your suits all match.

If you’re going back in time, it’s important that your suits all match.

Episode 30: The DC Animated Universe Overview

First, a note from a listener about the Star Trek Economy.  Then, from Batman: The Animated Series to Justice League Unlimited; a brief look at the history of one of the greatest TV and movie universes created.

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The one that started them all. “I am the knight! I am vengeance! I am…Batman!”

The one that started them all. “I am the knight! I am vengeance! I am…Batman!”

A stark contrast to Batman’s show. Look, there’s daytime!

A stark contrast to Batman’s show. Look, there’s daytime!

The new animation style for the New Batman Adventures. Oh no, Nightwing! Not the mullet!

The new animation style for the New Batman Adventures. Oh no, Nightwing! Not the mullet!

I have no mouth, yet I must growl.

I have no mouth, yet I must growl.

In the comics, that disk he is floating on started as a trash can lid. Fortunately, he quickly upgraded.

In the comics, that disk he is floating on started as a trash can lid. Fortunately, he quickly upgraded.

The only DCAU movie released in the theater. Insert Bat A into Slot B.

The only DCAU movie released in the theater. Insert Bat A into Slot B.

The Big 7. Well, the Big 5 plus 2 for most non-comic book fans.

The Big 7. Well, the Big 5 plus 2 for most non-comic book fans.

Some (but not all) of the heroes seen in Justice League Unlimited. Can you name them all?

Some (but not all) of the heroes seen in Justice League Unlimited. Can you name them all?

27 years later, still going! Keep it up, DCAU crew!

27 years later, still going! Keep it up, DCAU crew!

Episode 29: The Economics of Star Trek (Part 2)

Kurt continues his discussion with economy professor Matt Dobra again on the supposedly money-less economy of the Federation from the world of Star Trek.  Discussion includes the Universal Basic Income, interstellar trade, and the Rules of Acquisition.

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Dr. Dobra references this speech during the episode. It’s a nice goal if we can get there.

A more cynical set of rules for living.

Episode 28: The Economics of Star Trek (Part 1)

Kurt calls up economy professor Matt Dobra again, this time to discuss the economy of the Federation from the world of Star Trek.  They famously say they do not use money in the future, and we dive into whether or not that would work.  Learn about post-scarcity, the hedonic treadmill, and other economic terms through the lens of one of the most famous science fiction franchises of all time!

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Episode 27: Who is Robbie Baldwin (aka Speedball, the Masked Marvel)?

Celebrating one full year of Welcome to Geektown, Kurt answers a question about his favorite character, diving into Robbie Baldwin’s history, and why Kurt is the World’s Biggest Speedball Fan. Check out my Twitter for shout-outs to some of the great writers and artists that have made Speedball who he is today!

Thank you to all of my listeners: past, present and future, for supporting the show in any way you can, whether that be using the Radiopublic app, sharing it on Facebook or Twitter, sending in questions, or just downloading and listening to it! I appreciate it, and I hope you’ll stick with me for many years to come!

Unfortunately, most people did miss this Fabulous First Issue.

Unfortunately, most people did miss this Fabulous First Issue.

Speedball and the original New Warriors. The graffiti consists of the members of the creative team.

Speedball and the original New Warriors. The graffiti consists of the members of the creative team.

My favorite artist (Darick Robertson) drawing my favorite character in action.

My favorite artist (Darick Robertson) drawing my favorite character in action.

Even after getting more control over his powers, Speedball still gets tossed around occasionally.

Even after getting more control over his powers, Speedball still gets tossed around occasionally.

Oh, Robbie, what did they do to you? (That’s Robbie as Speedball on the left, and Penance on the right)

Oh, Robbie, what did they do to you? (That’s Robbie as Speedball on the left, and Penance on the right)

The most recent attempt to revive the team, and the most true to the original vision, in my opinion.

The most recent attempt to revive the team, and the most true to the original vision, in my opinion.

If the TV show ends up happening, here’s the team roster.

If the TV show ends up happening, here’s the team roster.

Episode 26: Who is Billy Batson (aka Shazam! aka Captain Marvel)

With his movie coming out next month, we look at the comic history of Billy Batson, the original Captain Marvel, aka Shazam!

At least the car Superman threw in his first appearance was empty!

At least the car Superman threw in his first appearance was empty!

That’s Uncle Marvel playing the piano. And no, he doesn’t actually have powers. He just likes the suit.

That’s Uncle Marvel playing the piano. And no, he doesn’t actually have powers. He just likes the suit.

The Original! Take that Marvel Comics! What’s that? Lawyers? Oh, never mind…

The Original! Take that Marvel Comics! What’s that? Lawyers? Oh, never mind…

DC Legends. But not of Tomorrow. That’s a different team.

DC Legends. But not of Tomorrow. That’s a different team.

Probably the only time in this book that Captain Marvel  doesn’t  smile.

Probably the only time in this book that Captain Marvel doesn’t smile.

Finally telling his official DC Universe origin, just seven years after he appeared.

Finally telling his official DC Universe origin, just seven years after he appeared.

The New 52 Shazam Family. Disregarding theme park safety rules since 2011.

The New 52 Shazam Family. Disregarding theme park safety rules since 2011.

Slightly darker than his heroic counterpart.

Slightly darker than his heroic counterpart.

Probably the exact look on Zachary Levi’s face when he was told he gets to be a superhero.

Probably the exact look on Zachary Levi’s face when he was told he gets to be a superhero.

Episode 25: Batman Movie Order and Their Comic Influences

Batman has been portrayed on screen a number of times.  A listener wants to know where to start with those films, and how they’ve influenced and been influenced by the comics, so we go through them all chronologically, from the 1943 serial, all the way to what’s planned for the future.

Not crazy about the belt, but otherwise, not a bad costume, all things considered.

Not crazy about the belt, but otherwise, not a bad costume, all things considered.

Six years later, and the costumes seem to have gotten worse, not better…

Six years later, and the costumes seem to have gotten worse, not better…

Na(^16)

Na(^16)

Great looking costume. Now, if he could just turn his head while wearing it…

Great looking costume. Now, if he could just turn his head while wearing it…

At least Keaton got top billing this time.

At least Keaton got top billing this time.

The first appearance of the infamous Bat-nipples.

The first appearance of the infamous Bat-nipples.

True story: I had an anxiety attack watching this movie opening weekend, and had to leave halfway through. I have never bothered finishing it. From the bit I did see, I think I made the right choice.

True story: I had an anxiety attack watching this movie opening weekend, and had to leave halfway through. I have never bothered finishing it. From the bit I did see, I think I made the right choice.

Hey look! His head can turn in this costume!

Hey look! His head can turn in this costume!

You might want to check behind you Joker…

You might want to check behind you Joker…

The movie that launched 1000 Tom Hardy impersonations.

The movie that launched 1000 Tom Hardy impersonations.

Martha?

Martha?

The only movie starring Batman that doesn’t mention him (or his nickname) in the title.

The only movie starring Batman that doesn’t mention him (or his nickname) in the title.

Episode 24: Doctor Who Viewing Order and Star Trek vs Star Wars

Doctor Who?  That is the question, isn’t it.  Which Doctor should be your first, and in what order should you watch?  Also, why do so many fans insist on choosing between Star Wars and Star Trek?

Not what I meant when I said “Star Trek vs Star Wars,” but this would also be a fun question to answer.

Not what I meant when I said “Star Trek vs Star Wars,” but this would also be a fun question to answer.

The first two rows are your “Classic” Doctors, with the final row being the current “Modern” lineup.

The first two rows are your “Classic” Doctors, with the final row being the current “Modern” lineup.

Episode 23: Star Trek TV and Movie Viewing Order

With all of the different Star Trek shows that have aired, what’s the best order for a burgeoning Trekkie to watch them in?  Kurt gives his opinion on which option is best, and why.  But first, for the non-initiated, what are all those acronyms?

As promised in the show, the viewing order Kasia found and referenced in her question is here.

Let’s start at the very beginning…

Let’s start at the very beginning…

Has there been any other show that went from live-action to animated and kept its entire cast?

Has there been any other show that went from live-action to animated and kept its entire cast?

The first movie talks about the crew getting old. And then it keeps going…

The first movie talks about the crew getting old. And then it keeps going…

What happened to the B and C? Don’t worry, you’ll find out eventually.

What happened to the B and C? Don’t worry, you’ll find out eventually.

My personal favorite, but to each their own.

My personal favorite, but to each their own.

You’d think the ship name would be a warning of what was going to happen…

You’d think the ship name would be a warning of what was going to happen…

First Contact…and the rest.

First Contact…and the rest.

It’s been a long road…

It’s been a long road…

Episode 22: Gatekeeping - What Is It, Why Is It Bad, and How To Fight It

I’ve been mentioning “gatekeepers” in the opening of nearly every episode, but what is a gatekeeper?  This week, we define gatekeeping, explain how it harms, and try to figure out where it comes from and how to fight against it.

Whoops. Not that Gatekeeper!

Whoops. Not that Gatekeeper!

Often a textbook example of a gatekeeper on the show.

Often a textbook example of a gatekeeper on the show.

If you are in the Bay Area of California and want a positive comic book store experience, as I mentioned, my friend runs Illusive Comics! She offers shipping of comics to those who can’t find a good store in their area. Let me know other good comic book stores you’ve found, and I’ll shout them out in future episodes!

Episode 21: Getting Medieval on Fantasy

This episode, Kurt is asked about why so much of fantasy takes place in a Medieval-like setting, and discusses a few of those reasons why that is the case.  Plus more famous quotes are given their origins; this time all coming from the same source.

One of the granddaddies of fantasy literature: King Arthur.

One of the granddaddies of fantasy literature: King Arthur.

Can’t bring up fantasy without Tolkien becoming part of the discussion, especially in this case.

Can’t bring up fantasy without Tolkien becoming part of the discussion, especially in this case.

A recent example of fantasy that takes place in a Medieval-like world. Have we mentioned that Winter is Coming?

A recent example of fantasy that takes place in a Medieval-like world. Have we mentioned that Winter is Coming?

A counter-example I bring up in the episode. If you find this book in bookstores, more likely it has the “serious” cover with Excalibur coming out of the lake, but this is how I found it.

A counter-example I bring up in the episode. If you find this book in bookstores, more likely it has the “serious” cover with Excalibur coming out of the lake, but this is how I found it.

Shadowrun: another counter-example, although the races still draw their inspiration from Tolkien. (Insert “The Unusual Suspects” joke here.)

Shadowrun: another counter-example, although the races still draw their inspiration from Tolkien. (Insert “The Unusual Suspects” joke here.)

Episode 20: Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons

What is Dungeons and Dragons, and how to explain its long-term popularity?  Also, is it possible to try the game out without committing a lot of time and/or money?  I take the time to answer these questions on this episode.  If you’re at all curious what all the hype is about, take a listen!

The very original printing. Good luck finding that!

The very original printing. Good luck finding that!

Let the looting begin!

Let the looting begin!

2nd Edition. Pretty cover, horrible layout inside.

2nd Edition. Pretty cover, horrible layout inside.

3rd Edition, then 3.5. So few changes, they didn’t even bother coming up with a new font.

3rd Edition, then 3.5. So few changes, they didn’t even bother coming up with a new font.

4th Edition. The red-headed stepchild of the D&D Franchise, although it still has its supporters, including me!

4th Edition. The red-headed stepchild of the D&D Franchise, although it still has its supporters, including me!

The current version, 5th Edition.

The current version, 5th Edition.

Want to get a free copy of the D&D rules, and try it yourself? Just click here!

Episode 19: Female Superhero Movies - Why aren't there more, and who should be next?

With nearly a dozen new comic-book movies each year, why do so few of them have women in their leading roles? That’s what listener Justin B. asked, and what I attempt to answer, as well as giving thoughts on which superheroines should get the spotlight next.

Well, we know what’s coming next for women superheroes on the big screen…

She’s been in enough Marvel movies, let’s finally give her the starring role.

She’s been in enough Marvel movies, let’s finally give her the starring role.

No, that’s not poorly done foreshortening. Her fist really does get that big (or bigger!)

No, that’s not poorly done foreshortening. Her fist really does get that big (or bigger!)

Possibly the next Riggs and Murtaugh, although neither is too old for this…um…stuff.

Possibly the next Riggs and Murtaugh, although neither is too old for this…um…stuff.

Oh, the days when $2.99 was the price of a comic…Also, who’s the creep in the corner?

Oh, the days when $2.99 was the price of a comic…Also, who’s the creep in the corner?

Episode 18: Stan Lee History and Tribute

This week’s episode, instead of answering a question, is a history of and tribute to Stan Lee, who died recently.  We look at his beginnings in the industry, and some of the important contributions he made throughout the years.

Stan “The Man” Lee. ‘Nuff Said.

Stan “The Man” Lee. ‘Nuff Said.

Episode 17: Comic books vs Graphic Novels - What's the difference?

This week’s episode has a two-part question about the difference between comic books and graphic novels (if there is one), as well as wanting to know what options are out there for people who want to read about the Marvel Universe in straight prose, rather than words and art together.  Finally, another famous catchphrase gets its origins explained.

One of the few textbooks on the art form of comics.

One of the few textbooks on the art form of comics.

Comics!

Comics!

All of these are trade paperbacks, although they look the same as a graphic novel.

All of these are trade paperbacks, although they look the same as a graphic novel.

The first in the Pocket Books run.

The first in the Pocket Books run.

If you wanted books about comic-book characters in the 90s, these were often your best bet.

If you wanted books about comic-book characters in the 90s, these were often your best bet.

Comics adapted into books. Very different from “comic books.”

Comics adapted into books. Very different from “comic books.”

Not Marvel, but superheroes in prose, if that interests you.

Not Marvel, but superheroes in prose, if that interests you.

Usually “there must also come” just gets shortened to “comes.” Fits into a tweet easier.

Usually “there must also come” just gets shortened to “comes.” Fits into a tweet easier.

Episode 16: Min-Maxing and Meta-Gaming in Role-Playing Games

Min-Maxing and Meta-Gaming.  If you're sitting at a table playing D&D, you likely do not want to be accused of either of these.  But, what are they exactly, and can they ever be a force for good?  Find out in this week's episode.  Bonus: Where does the opening phrase of the podcast come from?

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Perhaps a point or two more in perception would have been good.

Perhaps a point or two more in perception would have been good.

Please, do go on…

Please, do go on…

Pretty please?

Pretty please?