Tag Archives: ToughCallTuesday

#ToughCallTuesday 12 – Two Movies, One Remake

This was a thought I had over the extended Thanksgiving weekend.

Two “classic” sci-fi movies that have yet to be touched by modern day Hollywood. The Last Starfighter and Flight of the Navigator. I use quotes around the word classic because I think they are only “classic” in the sense that they were made in the mid-1980s. In fact, until I mentioned them, did you even remember their names?

Let me ask another question – were you even aware of their existence?

How about some movie poster art? You know…to jog the memory…

The-Last-Starfighter flight

A quick synopsis of both movies for the uninitiated (taken from memory, not from IMDb – so you know it’s shaky at best):

The Last Starfighter is about a trailer park maintenance man (Alex) who spends his evenings ignoring his girlfriend in hopes of achieving high score on an arcade game – Starfighter. When he finally achieves the highest of the high scores, he is visited by an alien that looks like The Music Man (He’s a what? He’s a what? He’s an a-li-en). Centauri recruits Alex to join the intergalactic war raging between the Starfighters and the bad guys (I looked this one up – it’s the Ko-Dan Armada). The base is destroyed, leaving Alex and an alien named Grig, who serves as navigator and mentor. Hence, Alex is THE LAST STARFIGHTER.

Meanwhile, while Alex is in space, fake robot Alex is on Earth in his place. But fake robot Alex is a poor man’s Alex. He almost ruins things with Maggie the girlfriend. However, fake robot Alex does take a bullet, an assassination attempt.

Long story short – Alex succeeds in fending off the Armada, returning home safely to a confused Maggie and family. They leave to return to the Starfighter Corps (why not) and the galaxy is saved.

Flight of the Navigator starts in 1978. I don’t remember every detail, but here we go nonetheless. David is playing with his little brother. David falls down a hillside and hits his head. Here’s where it gets fuzzy. I almost think that David wakes up in 1986, and while the world around him has aged and progressed, he is still a kid. And his younger brother is, essentially, now older than he is. He is taken to some government (NASA, I believe) facility, because there was some connection to a spaceship.

Like I said, some parts are fuzzy.

David gets some help from future Hollywood A-lister (in her best performance ever) Sarah Jessica Parker and escapes captivity in the spaceship version of Evil T-1000.

flight ship

He and the ship (we’ll call it Mack, because that’s its name – and also voiced by Pee Wee Herman) escape authorities and travel back in time to when he fell down the hill and disappeared. Either that, or David wakes up only to realize he had the weirdest #*$@%& dream of all time.

Here’s where I’m at with these two movies. Flight of the Navigator is a Disney movie, and therefore COULD be remade. Let’s just all admit that we’re marks for what Disney is doing and move on. The animated stuff is solid (both standalone Disney Animation and the coop with Pixar). And maybe you were unaware that Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars. T+So they have that going for them. Disney is doing well. They don’t need to try to resurrect largely-forgotten titles from thirty years ago.

That’s why I say that The Last Starfighter should be remade. It has a decent story (I didn’t really do it justice). Plus, and I think this is the biggest reason – those special effects.

I mean, there’s charming and then there’s painful. Give a modern director, and more importantly a modern visual effects team, an opportunity to tell the tale with the cutting edge technology they have at their fingertips.

Hollywood has remade a slew of movies that didn’t need to be remade (looking at you, glaringly, Red Dawn). Let them have some fun with a flick that deserves a remake.


If you want to submit a topic for my next #ToughCallTuesday, just leave it in the comments or email nerdsunitedpodcast@gmail.com.

And remember that the Comics for Beginners II episode is being recorded in January. Submit your questions (same as above) and win a prize! Seriously. It’s that simple!

#ToughCallTuesday 11 – Two Titles, One Solution

Let me just start this off right away by saying this:

I finally read comics. I mean in my hand, picked up booklets of paper, and READ THEM!

Much of my reading has been on my iPad, and truth be told, I haven’t read much lately. I blame the Fall TV schedule. The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Gotham, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, football…it’s crazy. And when I’m not watching tv, I’m awakening my long-dormant video game skills.

So reading was nice. I honestly need to do it more often (this moment of common sense brought to you by Staples.)

It had probably been September when I last strolled into my “local” comic book store. I use air quotes because the comic book shop I patronize with my money is just over an hour from my house. It’s why I have a pull folder. By the time I get there every eight weeks, I have missed some issues. Brian, Tim, and the crew at Twilight Comics (Swansea, IL) take care of me and my pull folder is always stuffed with my selected titles.

And it looks like I’m adding to it from here on out. This week’s #ToughCallTuesday:

side by side

Grant Morrison and Dan Mora’s “Klaus” (Boom! Studios) versus Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque’s “Huck” (Image Comics).

Now I don’t pretend to know much, but I thought I had a pretty reasonable handle on the Santa Claus origin story. I mean, I’ve seen Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.

The idea struck Morrison when he was working on All Star Superman. Let’s face it – worldwide, there’s only one hero bigger than Superman. As he told Comic Book Resources:

I suddenly thought, “How come no one’s told the ‘Year One’ of Santa Claus?” It seems so obvious. Basically, this is my “All-Star Santa Claus.” [Laughs] “Santa Claus Year Zero.” It’s kind of neat approaching that character as if he was the world’s greatest superhero, and we’ve never learned the origin.

The book starts out pretty standard. A traveler, a “Wild Man,” enters a Scandinavian town that he has visited before. He has furs and meats and such to trade. He has been welcomed to the town before, but is met now with armored guards. Also, when he visits the tavern, he finds that the ale is watered down. That would make me fighting mad, too!

The traveler sees children playing with a rock, and apparently that’s forbidden. Basically, the kids aren’t allowed to have any fun. Period.

A side story revolves around the rulers of the town and their seeming disinterest in keeping their citizens happy. The ruling class child is a spoiled brat who burns down the model village the people were likely forced to build him. He wants more more more.

Meantime, our traveler Klaus has been chased out of the town and returns to the woods. He and his wolf kill a deer, and then things get weird.

Look! He’s painting with the colors of the wind!

In a trance, Klaus creates a sleigh-full of toys for the children of the village. And I bet you know what happens in Issue #2.

Mark Millar is through with superheroes.

Well, let me start over. Mark Millar, in his own words, was disappointed in the ending of Man of Steel. **SPOILER ALERT** You remember that, right? That was when Superman snapped the neck of General Zod, preventing Zod from using his heat vision to make a family extra crispy?

Three people very content with Kal-El's decision.
Three people very content with Kal-El’s decision.

Mark goes on to say that (and I’m paraphrasing here) in our darkest times, we sometimes need an uplifting hero.

Both myself and artist Rafael Albuquerque have created something we haven’t seen in a very long time with our new book and that’s a lovely, sweet, Jimmy Stewart/ Tom Hanks/ Steven Spielberg kinda good guy. It’s out this week and we called this thing HUCK.

Look – I read Huck #1 and I loved it for its sheer simplicity. A simple man from a small town. To town natives, he is special. To outsiders or new neighbors, he is “slow.” But at the heart of it, he is a good man – better than we know in this world. Huck doesn’t say much in his first issue. More a man of action, his deeds range from diving to the bottom of a watery trash site to recover a lost piece of jewelry to taking out the trash for everyone in town to rescuing the 200 school girls captured by Boko Haram.

huck Capture4

Huck is just a good guy in a world with too few good people. And the folks in his town protect his secret. So what do you think happens to Huck at the end of the first issue? Of course, someone tries to cash in on the town secret. I don’t mind spoiling that because, while it is a significant event in Huck’s life, I hope it is a drawing point to potential readers.

By that I mean, if I said “Huck is a story about a small town guy who does good deeds on every level, from helping his neighbors to saving hostages in a politically charged climate. Everyone in his town knows his secret. No one ever tells.” Well that’s boring.

But if I say “Huck is a story about a small town guy who does good deeds on every level, from helping his neighbors to saving hostages in a politically charged climate. Everyone in his town knows his secret. No one ever tells…until someone does.” Well that has my interest. I want to know what happens to Huck when he has been exposed.

Now, much like some of Millar’s recent work like Wanted, Marvel’s Civil War, Kingsman, and Kick Ass, Huck has already been picked up by a studio to be adapted for the big screen. In fact, Studio 8 grabbed the rights for Huck over a month before the first issue hit store shelves.

These are two books that I really enjoyed, that is why this week’s #ToughCallTuesday is so easy.

Pick up both Klaus and Huck.

Here’s why – both series just started in November. Both series are written by two of the top names in the industry, plus the art is great. Dan Mora has done such a good job on Klaus and I’m really enjoying Rafael Albuquerque’s work on Huck.

I’m a mark for Christmas. I don’t know why, really. But a re-imagining of the Santa Claus origin story is something I didn’t even know I wanted. As for Huck, I mean, what’s not to like about this character? He is simply a good guy with abilities (unknown at this point) who just wants people to be happy.

We could all learn from these two characters. Do good. Be nice. It’s not that hard.

These two stories began with #1 in November. These are designed to be short stories, with both having six-issue runs. It’s worth it to check them out, and I think you’ll be glad that you did.

Do what I did – go to your local comic book store. Strike up a conversation. I grabbed Klaus out of curiosity. I bought Huck based on a recommendation from Brian, the owner. I’m glad he mentioned it. I’ll buy the remainder of the run.

So go talk to the friendly people at your local comic book store. You won’t regret it.

#ToughCallTuesday 10 – Supporting the Little Guy

This week’s #ToughCallTuesday is a very special article, as I reached out to a past guest (something I look forward to doing more in the future…or you’ll get a lot of “Flintstones vs Jetsons” posts in the future).

Ten days into a month-long Kickstarter campaign, I sought out newlywed and soon-to-be father Kino Beeler (my guest in Episode 48) to tell us all about Grand Arc Designs’ “Memories of Aeldaria.”

On the day that massive mega-hit Fallout 4 was released, I implore you to consider Memories of Aeldaria as a David in an industry controlled by Goliaths.

– GM


Like any story worth telling this one is full of passion, adventure, trials, & hope. Memories of Aeldaria is a 3D, third person, action-adventure / role-playing game being developed by our staff here at Grand Arc Designs.

All of what exists today was merely a dream two and a half years ago. Countless hours were spent pouring over statistics, building conceptual designs, developing our first Game Design Document, and searching for the right talent to join our ranks. After months planning we established Grand Arc with a goal to create games we love based on solid standards and fair principals to be a force for good in this industry.

If there is one word that could describe our project, it would be ambitious. We have lofty dreams for Aeldaria and have put a lot of time into developing our partnerships to try and set us apart from an increasingly saturated Indie market. Too far from the path have a lot of companies strayed led by greed and sacrificing meaningful content for a bottom line. At least, that’s how we perceive the state of things. We truly care about making a quality product and delivering what we promise when we promise it. We will distinguish ourselves not just by the stories we tell and the worlds that we create, but also leading by example, delivering a completely realized product at fair market prices.

Trust is missing between many consumers with the publishers they once followed to what they swore would be the end and it is a shame how many of those loyal consumers are now treated. Die-hard gamers feel betrayed investing so much of their hard-earned cash into often disappointing and unrealized potential. This has to stop and both developers and publishers really need to focus on what their consumers want, and the answer is not having to spend often nearly $100 USD for a game, a season pass, possibly unreasonably long delays with little interaction between fans and developers, far less content than promised, broken or unplayable elements on day 1, and often much more.

When we see this problem and can really open our eyes to it, hopefully then understanding why change needs to happen is so important. And this is where we come in!

The Game:


We are developing potentially a 30~50+ hour experience with familiar elements from classic titles that are simply meant to be polished. While we want to introduce some new ideas to the mix we feel there are enough companies trying to find new ways to re-invent the wheel. We think the wheel works just fine and we understand how the wheel works. Instead the most unique part of Aeldaria is how we intend to bring these elements together.

The Story:

The player will journey as a young heroine who has temporarily lost her memory upon being thrust through space and time to crash land in the mysterious and surreal land of Aeldaria. The world and its mysteries will unfold to the player just as it unravels to her; allowing a touching glance at the once mighty Kingdom of Aeldaria as both learn together. Powerful allies and terrifying foes will be lying in wait as decisions you make alter the intricate strings of the web, ultimately leading to your chosen fate.

Why should you care?

If all of this simply isn’t enough to convince you, let’s take a look at some awesome facts about the project, about us, and about what we can accomplish together:

  • We will be building a game with tons of content that you can essentially pre-order today for only $25.00
  • Your contributions via liking, sharing, and donating to our campaign will increase our visibility and our chances of being funded. No matter how large or small your contribution is; we will be truly grateful.
  • Your contribution will support not just this project becoming a reality, but you will also be helping to create jobs for nearly 20 individuals and their families.
  • We have worked for the last year and a half diligently on a working budget of $0.00. While development will continue to churn, it will do so at a much slower pace if we cannot obtain necessary funding to enter a full production schedule.

We are dedicated to our goals and will continue moving forward with strong resolve despite learning curves or hurdles we may encounter.

Review our campaign here. 

Review the previous SE Collective campaign here.

Our website: http://www.grandarcdesigns.com/

E3 Week trailer:

Kickstarter Trailer (developed to be more like an immersive slow-build traditional cut-scene):


Greg here – I’m excited to see this project reach its goal. That’s why I’m backing this campaign. I urge you to do the same.

#ToughCallTuesday 8 – Freaky Families

It’s Halloween week, so why not bring a little light-hearted spookiness to Nerds United?

This week’s #ToughCallTuesday comes our way from longtime supporter Josh, who said this week’s column should be:


The Munsters versus The Addams Family.*


(Note – To prevent any unnecessary arguments, we’re only talking about the classic television shows. This discussion does not include the movies of the 1990’s.)

The Munsters a group of monsters who are either oblivious to their differences or hope the rest of the community overlooks them as well. They just seem to want to fit in. The Addams Family is relatively normal from a genetic standpoint (no Frankenstein’s monster, vampire, or wolf boy) who are just…odd.

John Astin (previously mentioned in #ToughCallTuesday 4 – Batman ’66 Villains) played a witty, if not charming, Gomez Addams. There was something cool about Gomez. Maybe it was the cigars. But I always thought Astin’s Gomez was smooth, yet comical.

Morticia Addams kept it simple with that slinky black dress and minimal jewelry. Carolyn Jones made a better Morticia than her big-screen counterpart Anjelica Huston (purely opinion). I mean, if you look past her obsession with cyanide and other components used for “flavoring,” she seemed almost normal.

Wednesday and Pugsley were far more innocent and well-meaning in the show than they were in the cinematic version. Wednesday just wanted to raise her pet black widow (you can have all my “NOPE’s” right there) and decapitating dolls. Pugsley was an intelligent lad who at times even tried to “fit in.” He spent time engineering an abundance of gadgets and machines, bonded with dear old dad, and had a pet octopus.

Uncle Fester was an oddball. He likes to blow stuff up and can illuminate a light bulb just by putting it in his mouth. My clearest memories of Uncle Fester are the bed of nails and the head in a vice. Lurch was the butler and could easily be summoned when Gomez or Morticia yanked on the noose (seriously…a noose. I just learned that. I always thought it was just a fancy rope). Lurch’s famous words “You rang” are still echoed through the halls of the Casa de Mehochko, and have been for several years. And then there’s Thing – the helpful hand around the house. A longtime companion of Gomez, Thing’s skill set includes getting the mail, answering the phone, lighting cigars, and…I’m guessing other tasks one does with their hands.


As for the Munsters – a smaller troupe, but unique in their own way.

Herman Munster was a blue-collar worker and the sole bread winner for his 1960’s family. He went out and tried to have a normal, suburban life. Before all that, he traversed Europe, where he met and eventually married Lily. Then he moved with Lily and her father to America, joining the US Army and fighting in World War II.

Lily (nee Dracula) is a vampire, hence the maiden name. This was one of the first shows that featured a strong matriarch and a somewhat bumbling male figure who gets “the look” from his wife. OH MAN! This might have been the show that originated “the look.” Lily also keeps an eye on her son Eddie, and pities her niece Marilyn because she was “hideous” in her normality. And being the smart woman she is, when Herman and Grandpa are fighting, she typically sits it out.

Eddie was a young werewolf boy who attended grade school, had friends, fangs, a wicked widow’s peak, pointy ears, and the worst outfit ever. But he had a sweet little stuffed werewolf. Young Eddie was quite proud of his father, even if he embellished some of Herman’s heroics.

Marilyn was the normal member of the family…which meant she was ostracized be her loved ones. Lily’s niece had nothing “wrong” with her, loved her family, and thought they were the normal ones. It was said that her father was a werewolf, but it was never confirmed what her mother was.

Grandpa “Sam Dracula” was an in-home geriatric (or beyond, seeing as he was hundreds of years old). Unlike vampires of today, there was no sparkling. Grandpa could change into a bat or a werewolf. He spent a lot of time in his cellar-based laboratory. And he often worked some schemes with Herman…to varying degrees of success. But he had a sweet car:


These shows also had incredibly memorable and lasting theme songs (*snap snap*). While I think The Addams Family theme stands out a bit more, when researching for this column, I listened to both, and I was shocked with just how memorable The Munsters’ theme song is. I mean, it absolutely fits the mid-1960’s. It is a little dated, but still, having not heard it for years, I was surprised with how quickly I jumped back in and knew the melody in my head.

The verdict:

There are reasons to love both of these shows. They are iconic and while one has been transferred to the big screen and the other had an attempted reboot for today’s television audience, these are two franchises who hit their high marks with their original content. It is for that reason that I choose……


The Munsters.

It was, by many accounts, the first show that showed a more dim-witted, oafish husband/father-figure. But Herman was that inept and still scored a gorgeous vampiress. It doesn’t take Gomez much effort to exude confidence and bring about that well-polished exterior. I just like to think that Herman had to work a little harder for it. PLUS, Herman was a WWII vet.

Furthermore, The Munsters were cancelled in 1966 and replaced with Batman the Series. And I don’t have to explain to you all of the benefits of that particular show.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments, and if you have a topic idea like Josh did, let me know.

#ToughCallTuesday 7 – Back to the Sequels

I had to make a choice.

I mean, that’s the entire point of this series of blogs. It’s named a “tough call” for a reason.

Last night, the new Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens trailer debuted on Monday Night Football and the Internet reacted in fine fashion. Here’s the trailer in case you missed it (so I could say you were possibly entertained by at least one thing on this post):

So that happened. And tomorrow is the day that Marty McFly visits “the future” from 1985.


Now I know what you’re thinking. “There have been 816 days in the last decade where Marty McFly was “supposed to arrive.” You saw them on social media going back to the MySpace days. But I assure you – tomorrow is the day:

So that brings me to this week’s debate: Which is better, Back to the Future II or Back to the Future III?

Back to the Future II has:

  • A presented time period, in fact the ONLY time period, we were able to experience. Let’s face it, unless someone has a working temporal displacement device, no one here is going back to the Old West.
  • Alternate timelines – and let’s face it, we all love a good dystopian future. Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hunger Games, Idiocracy (which, sadly, we’re already closer to that future than we are to the 2015 presented to us in BTTF2).
  • Lea Thompson’s ginormous additions!
Seriously! If you look close enough, you can see a heart pendent.
Seriously! If you look close enough, you can see a heart pendent.
  • Hoverboards. I don’t care if they don’t work over water. I thought they were the coolest part of that movie when I was a kid watching it for the first time.
  • More classic cars from the 1950s. Think about it, In BTTF2, Marty travels from 1985 to 2015 to alternate timeline 1985 back to 1955. And the climactic scene with Marty and Biff, the convertible, the hoverboard, and the sports almanac – well that’s just some great storytelling.
  • A basic understanding of time travel.

“Great Scott! Jennifer could conceivably encounter her future self! The consequences of that could be disastrous! The encounter could create a time paradox, the results of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum, and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that’s a worse case scenario. The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.”

Here are the offerings of Back to the Future III:

  • Clint Eastwood. Well…sort of. Remember that was the alias Marty gave to Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen when he was asked.
  • Clint Ea-…Marty had to wrangle (no pun intended) some Western duds in a time period where, how do I put this gently…they didn’t give a crap about historical accuracy.
It just doesn't pass the sniff test.
It just doesn’t pass the sniff test.
  • No George McFly incarnation. I mean – where was Crispin Glover? Why was Michael J Fox his own ancestor?
  • Lorraine’s gigantic knockers – What can I say? They are both fascinating and hauntingly inaccurate. That is…unless the goal was to make them not at all resemble actual breasts. Lea Thompson is a far underrated actress in my opinion. She’s a doll. I enjoy her work in just about everything I have seen. And if you’re a fan, I encourage you to listen to her conversation with Chris Hardwick on the Nerdist Podcast.
  • The time machine locomotive – that beautiful piece of wonder looked like it was taken right out of a novel by Jules Verne. And oddly enough, that was the name Doc Brown and Clara chose for their two sons.
  • The final resolution – Back to the Future III was the finale of a tremendous trilogy that didn’t need to be a trilogy. If Back to the Future ends with Marty and Jennifer going out to the lake as planned, and now with the Doc racing in at the last minute and whisking them away to the future, it’s still a wonderful movie that is likely treasured for the ages. But it didn’t, he did, and we got two more movies of time-jumping and everything else that I’ve stated above. And that’s fine. But when the train comes through and obliterates the DeLorean, that’s it. No more time travel. Well, I mean, aside from the aforementioned locomotive. But that’s too bulky for every day use. The future is set right based on the destruction of the DeLorean and Marty not giving in to Needles’ challenge.

Both of these movies have their pros and their cons. For example, Back to the Future III relied on the same (yet still hilarious) gag about Biff/Buford being driven into a wagon of manure. Still hilarious. But it is also low hanging fruit.

Meanwhile, Back to the Future II had the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. And as a St. Louis Cardinals fan, that is very difficult to ignore. It is magnified by the fact that the Cubs eliminated my beloved Cardinals from post-season play last week. However, the movie was written, filmed, and released before Major League Baseball altered the playoff structure to include the Division League Series. So while the movie Cubs win the World Series on October 20, 2015, the real life Cubs trail the New York Mets 2-0 heading into tonight’s Game 3. And I think it’s just unfair to give Cubs fans false hope like that.

Also, where are the auto-fitting jackets and auto-securing shoes? It’s true that Nike was working on the shoes, but they aren’t produced or priced to be available to mass audiences…just yet.

The verdict – as it were:

I’m going with Back to the Future II. Despite the Cubs prediction and Jaws 19, there is just a ton of story packed into this movie. And its ending is so incredible. Marty sees a floating DeLorean with Doc Brown struck by lightning. The DeLorean vanishes. A minute later, a Western Union representative delivers a letter. And, well…good times occur.

“He’s in the Old West, but he’s ALIVE!”

Plus, it gets a moment in a Family Guy parody.

Now where’s my affordable hoverboard, dammit?

As always, if there’s a topic you want me to discuss in a future feature, let me know in the comments.

#ToughCallTuesday 5 – The Better Doctor

The 11th Doctor, the 9th Doctor…Tom Baker?


This post is not to choose between Doctors Who. Rather (and probably easier), this week’s post is about Doctor Strange versus Doctor Fate.


Doctor Steven Strange, one-time renowned neurosurgeon, now the Supreme Sorcerer. He serves as Earth’s protector against threats both magical and mystical. Created in 1963 by legendary artist Steve Ditko, Doctor Strange was a member of the Avengers, the Order, the Defenders, and the Midnight Sons. He was trained in the mystical arts by the Ancient One, and harnessesing the powers of numerous artifacts, most recognizably being the Eye of Agamotto, the Cloak of Levitation, and the Book of Vishanti. Doctor Strange has been called the most powerful “humanoid” by the Marvel Universe. Literally. “Eternity,” the sentience of the Marvel Universe said so.


Strange’s powers include, but are not limited to energy projection and manipulation, matter transformation, animation of inanimate objects, teleportation, illusion-casting, mesmerism, thought projection (DEEP BREATH), astral projection, dimensional travel, time travel and mental possession.

Doctor Strange has appeared in several cartoons and video games, like the 1990’s Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons. He was in the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance video game. He had a straight to video animated movie made about him. There was a movie in 1978…

And, of course, we will see Benedict Cumberbatch star in a Marvel Studios production of Doctor Strange in November 2016. They are set to begin production next month.

Doctor Fate has been around longer. Created in 1940 by Gardner Fox, Doctor Fate would eventually join several other Fox creations in the Justice Society of America. Fox also created or co-created the Jay Garrick Flash, Hawkman, Starman, and Sandman (Wesley Dodds). Fate draws his power from the Amulet of Anubis, the Cloak of Destiny, and the Helm of Fate, naturally.

Many have claimed the name of Doctor Fate since 1940. The powers of Doctor Fate lie primarily in the Helm of Nabu, which contains the soul of the Lord of Order, bonding it to the wearer and taking over the body. The benefit of powers being relatively transitive is that as stories, times, or characters change, others can take up the mantle. Long before there was a female Thor, there was a female Doctor Fate. There have been other diverse characters to don the Helmet of Fate, including  Khalid Ben-Hassin and Khalid Nassour.

Fate’s powers include spellcasting, flight, super-strength, invulnerability, telekinesis, telepathy, fire manipulation and lightning manipulation. A downside to Doctor Fate’s abilities are that he is unable to counteract a spell against him once it has been cast.

Doctor Fate has also been seen on television, in animation, and video games. He is a playable character in DC Universe Online and Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. And he makes a cameo in Injustice: Gods Among Us. There were a few episodes of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited that required the talents of Nabu. Doctor Fate was also on the Young Justice series, as well as a two-part episode of Smallville, titled “Absolute Justice.”

There was even a glimpse at the Helmet of Fate in the pilot episode of NBC’s short-lived Constantine series.


This is certainly another Tough Call. But I think there are a few points that tilt the decision towards our winner this week, which is:


Doctor Strange is one man who was trained to protect the Earth and beyond. He was not merely bestowed with magical artifacts. He conditioned himself into a living weapon, the Supreme Sorcerer. From his home at 177A Bleecker St in Greenwich Village (the Sanctum Sanctorum), Strange continues to use his gifts to defend the world from unbelievable, if not outright impossible, evils.

Of course, maybe the greatest of the all is Doctor StrangeFate…


But that’s a story for another day.

**I apologize for the delay in not getting this published yesterday. As always, if you agree or disagree, sound off in the comments. And if there’s a tough call you want me to tackle, let me know in the comments as well.

#ToughCallTuesday 2 – Captain Marvel


NO! This is not an article about the DC character formerly known as Captain Marvel.

This is about the Captain Marvel that makes the most headlines these days – the Captain Marvel casting that will lead to a prominent part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Rumors continue to swirl and will not cease until Marvel Studios officially casts the role. It seems like there’s a new front-runner to play Carol Danvers almost every week.

An early fan favorite included Battlestar Galactica alum Katee Sackhoff, who has enough geek cred to shut down the Internet. And honestly, if she was selected, I think the Internet would wet its pants. I never watched Battlestar Galactica. It aired from 2004-2009. I lived in three different states over that stretch of my twenties, raising all sorts of hell. Sackhoff continues to get work, occasionally making cameo appearances as herself, like on The Big Bang Theory, so she still holds that popularity. But will the popular choice be the right choice?

Speaking of popular, there may not be an individual on the planet more red hot than our next contestant.

Various images of Ronda Rousey, fan art shared via her Instagram.
Various images of Ronda Rousey, fan art shared via her Instagram.

She has made waves on in sports, certainly, and entertainment, as well as hype videos that have gone viral, elevating her status even further. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey recently added her name to the list of possibilities for the role of Captain Marvel. And she did it like she does everything, with unspeakable power. Her IMDb page is smaller than…well, it’s small. But credits do include a role in Expendables 3 (the only Expendables I haven’t seen) and it was recently announced that she would be cast in a remake of the 1989 classic Road House, where she would play the role of Dalton. but let’s face it, Dalton wasn’t even the biggest badass in that movie. That would be Wade Garrett, played by Sam Elliott. Because when Dalton needed help, he went to Wade.

Wait, I got off on a tangent.

Here’s what I like about Rousey – she looks like she wants this part, like she is dying to play Carol Danvers. I think she has the look. And you won’t find a badder female on the planet. Marvel Studios has the tendency, with the right script and the proper direction, to take even the most unlearned thespians and have them drop dynamite performances (looking at you, Robert Redford…KIDDING, I’m talking about Dave Bautista) but I’m not yet sold on the notion of Rousey stepping into this role. However, based on the fact that we’re probably a year from principle shooting beginning, and Rousey’s stating that she has no intention of fighting in her thirties (she is currently 28, with her 29th birthday in February), it is plausible that she could take on a multi-film role, one that Captain Marvel would demand.

Let’s keep looking.

Charlize Theron is no stranger to action movies, having just kicked some serious butt as the Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road.

A phenomenal movie, by the way.

My first memory of her on the big screen was in The Devil’s Advocate, opposite Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino. She has spent her career not being pigeon-holed into any one particular role. With sequels coming from the Mad Max film as well as 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, four other projects in development, and two more announced, Theron’s schedule may not allow her to take on the role of Captain Marvel. And let’s face it – that’s a good problem to have. Charlize doesn’t need this role. She may not even want this role. However, I think if the stars aligned, she would thrive in this role.

Moving right along.

I thought I was ill-informed on the next actress, but a visit to her IMDb page indicates that I’ve seen more of her movies than I thought. Looper, Dan in Real Life, Sunshine Cleaning, Into the Woods, and very recently, Edge of Tomorrow. Right there, in five titles, you have her as a bit part in one indie film (Dan in Real Life), co-starring in another small budget film, two action pictures, and a wildly popular musical. Now I doubt Carol Danvers breaks into song, but it is Marvel, owned by Disney. So it’s best to leave nothing to chance. I actually just watched Edge of Tomorrow this past weekend. She’s a believable badass in the movie, casting an intimidating presence over the uninitiated Tom Cruise.

Blunt has already has already been asked about the Captain Marvel role.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “I’ve not had a phone call about it. Not one whisper of Captain Marvel has come my way. Promise.”

Promise promise?

“Promise promise. I don’t even know who Captain Marvel is!”

But here’s the thing. That’s a song already sung by someone who denied having a role in a Marvel Studios picture, only to end up with that starring role.

Now perhaps some other words of Blunt’s will be heard by Hollywood brass. Blunt has stated that more actresses need to be considered for action roles.

“‘I think it’s because the list is very short, because we don’t see women in these kind of roles…So I think as soon as you do a role like that, like Charlize did or I did, or Rebecca’s done — there’s like four of us or something. And Jen Lawrence. So I feel like us four, we get talked about — and Angie, Angelina. So it’s a list of like, four women who are going to be considered for those kind of roles. So I think that’s why the rumors happen, because they’re like, ‘who else? Surely not another girl can wield a gun,’ you know what I mean? ‘A woman doing push-ups? There’s only one who can do that.'”

The Rebecca mentioned is Rebecca Ferguson, the latest name added to the list of potential Captain Marvels. Ferguson also starred recently opposite Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. She was also in Hercules. the one that starred Dwayne Johnson. The one that some people actually saw. So she’s a rising star, much like Rousey.

In a Forbes.com article written last week by Scott Mendelson, the author claims that the reason there are so many names mentioned for the role of Captain Marvel is because it’s the only game left in town. And there’s a ton of truth to that. DC has its Wonder Woman. Marvel already has an established Black Widow. While there is hope of a Spider-Gwen movie down the road, there are limited options when it comes to female superheroes not part of an assembled team. Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Inhumans are all ensemble teams with standout females, but unlikely that the females will get their solo films. By that I mean, there will be no Susan Storm standalone film. Sorry…no Jean Grey either.

The role of Captain Marvel should attract many, as it is going to be a multi-picture deal with Marvel Studios.

So who do I want to see wear the colors of Captain Marvel? Well that’s why we’re here, isn’t it?

Given the options above, any that I missed, and any more names yet to be announced, I’m going to go with…

Emily Blunt!

Who do you think should get the nod as Captain Marvel? Sound off in the comments. And while you’re at it, let me know what topic I should attack for next week’s #ToughCallTuesday!