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Geeky Signs of the Apocalypse

Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly when the apocalypse is coming? For one, you’d be able to cancel those final, sweaty spin classes you were dreading… ’cause no one cares if your ass is fat when you’re burning in the hellfires of eternal damnation. Right, sinner?

If only you knew what signs to look for. Your run-of-the-mill street corner bible-thumper will tell you to watch out for cats laying with dogs. Toads pouring from the sky. Plagues of locusts. Bill Maher making babies with Ann Coulter.

Sorry, make that… anyone making babies with Ann Coulter. (Shudder.)

As a member in good standing of the Holy Roman Church of Red Delicious Twizzlers, however, I know that you have to be on the lookout for apocalyptic signs everywhere… including the four corners of the geek domain.

And after what I’ve seen this past week… I’m considering selling all my belongings on Craigslist and churning through what’s left of my cash on piles of hookers and blow in a suite at the Palms in Vegas.

(Or, as I sometimes like to call it, “celebrating the holidays.”)


I should have known things were awry when Microsoft announced that its Entertainment and Devices Division (home to the Xbox 360) had cleared $165 million this past quarter.

Wait… what? Sony’s and Microsoft’s respective games divisions aren’t supposed to make money, people. It’s, like, a rule. They’re supposed to compete in a ugly cycle of one-upmanship that involves ridiculously high R&D and hardware costs that are in no notable way subsidized by console and game sales. In a perfect world, the marketing and engineering ninjas at Nintendo should be laughing all the way to the bank while the two tech titans bloody themselves in the dirt.

I guess this jarring news should have prepared me for the whathefuh? that was the news of an impending Hell’s Kitchen video game.

Yes, that Hell’s Kitchen. Soon chef Gordon Ramsay will be berating your culinary creations… in a video game. I mean, what better setting for trying to cook a gourmet meal and then being told it “tastes like baby vomit” than in your living room, on the sofa? R-i-i-i-i-ight. I haven’t had that much fun since I ran out of things to read in the waiting room of my doctor’s office.

Look for the skies to turn purple and oceans to boil once Paris Hilton announces her Drink and Drive Like a Hilton video game, a la Grand Theft Auto. Mark my words.


Did you think the news of an impending digital-effects-laden, Mel “Psycho” Gibson-free Mad Max 4 was the most definitive sign of the apocalypse from Hollywood this week? Well, close, but… no.

(By the way, when are filmmakers finally going to learn from George Lucas’ experience, that the surest way to muck up a classic franchise is to supe it up with digital effects?)

Saw IV was the number one movie this weekend, and made $32.1 million in its debut. That’s within a million dollars or so of the debut-weekend hauls of each of the previous two Saw sequels.

Seriously, people? The first Saw didn’t give you your fill? You were like, “Hey, this torture porn thing seems kind of nifty. Let’s go back for more, once or three times.”

Good thing the world will be over before Saw V hits next year.


What’s wrong with this picture? CBS has ordered more scripts for its definitively craptacular vampire-detective Friday-night show Moonlight (38 out of 100 on Metacritic), and Moonlight actually has better viewership than NBC’s highly-touted and heavily-promoted Chuck. Meanwhile, one of the most anticipated geek properties of the new season, Bionic Woman, is slowly but surely languishing into obscurity.

Final nail in this coffin? Cavemen gets renewed for a second season, and Pushing Daisies gets canceled. It’s oh-so-possible, people. When it happens, remember to stop, drop, and roll.

UPDATE: Last week’s numbers are in, and Moonlight actually had an uptick in veiwership and beat both Chuck and Bionic Woman. (For that matter, it also beat non-genre show and critical darling Friday Night Lights in its own timeslot.) Oh, lamentation.


Since before the half-Jewish zygote of me was formed, Spider-Man has had many simultaneously-running titles (or, books) at Marvel. There’s the original, Amazing Spider-Man. Over the years, there’s also been Marvel Team-Up, Friendly-Neighborhood Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Sensational Spider-Man and several other titles I can’t recollect. As with the X-Men, Marvel hasn’t been afraid to put an industrial-strength milking machine on the teat of one of its most popular character franchises.

So color me beffudlewildered when I found out that Marvel is putting the kibosh on all but the flagship title, Amazing Spider-Man, starting this Fall. Of course, they’re going to start printing that book three times a month, so don’t think that they’re turning off the spigot on the money faucet.

But that news isn’t even the kicker. Remember that disruptive, disorienting, and disheartening image of the new Captain America with a gun? Well… in the teaser image that’s been released for the impending Spider-Man “event,” guess who’s got a gun now?

I’ve got a suggestion for a new corporate tagline: Marvel Comics – One-Trick Pony and Harbinger of Doom.

7 comments… add one
  • Paul October 29, 2007, 11:25 am

    I don’t even understand why Spider-man would even need a gun. I guess if it’s for shock value then Marvel wins, otherwise he could just snap a guys neck with his spidy strength.

  • Cindi October 29, 2007, 12:26 pm

    “Torture porn” is right. I will never understand why it’s OK to see people ripping each other apart (literally), but show two naked people making love, and you get an NC-17 rating or worse.

  • Great White Snark October 29, 2007, 2:44 pm

    No Marvel super-hero needs a gun, except for the Punisher. Ten bucks says that Mr. Fantastic will be the next one to pack heat.

  • nickolai October 29, 2007, 3:11 pm

    Who’s that poor four-eyed sap Spidey’s training his gat on? Has he run out of sinister super-villains to fight, that he’s gotta beat on friendly Mr. Belvedere types?

  • paul October 29, 2007, 8:59 pm

    I agree 100% with Cindi on the nudity/violence thing.

  • Great White Snark October 29, 2007, 9:03 pm

    Me, too. I’m a big fan of naked love’-havin’. Not so much with the rending of human flesh.

  • Cindi October 30, 2007, 11:34 am

    That’s why I’m so disappointed in HBO’s “Tell Me You Love Me.” I mean, if you’re going to show boinking on TV, does it have to be so friggin’ depressing?

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