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The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 59:
Black Panther Review and Spoilercast

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) discuss the biggest movie of 2018 thus far - Marvel’s Black Panther - which has made more than $700 Million to date and is showing no signs of slowing down. And to help us discuss director Brian Coogler’s unique vision of Wakanda, we welcome special guest / writer / comics afficianado, Quin Melvin. Quin will be hosting a panel later this month called “Writers of Wakanda,” and he shares with us his unique insights about the comics and the film, and some of the important social implications of the series.

This episode is a SPOILERCAST in the truest sense of the word, and we go in-depth to discuss all aspects of Black Panther, including its overall structure and plot, colorful cast of characters, unique Wakandan setting, and the nature of heroes and villains (or anti-villains) in the film. On that note, we also take also take a deeper dive into Michael B. Jordan’s portrayal of Kilmonger, who is clearly the film’s standout character, and a subject of much celebration and debate since its release.

And to round out the festivities, we switch gears slightly to discuss Marvel’s recent announcement of “A Fresh Start” (AKA, their May relaunch) when their comics universe will be shaken up with an assortment of new titles and writer/artist pairings. We also discuss the movies, TV shows and comics we‘ve been enjoying lately, with Annihilation, Altered Carbon, The Frankenstein Chronicles, CW’s Black Lightning and DC’s Mister Miracle serving as particular highlights.

So join us, for an epic podcast journey - deep into the heart of Wakanda - that leaves us teetering, breathless, on the precipice between life, death and the Ancestral Plane. This...is the Joy of Geek!


The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 58:
The Best Movies of 2017 (The Year in Geek, Part 4)

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) bring you the final installment in our “Year in Geek” celebration, with a discussion of The Best Movies of 2017. We start off the festivities with a look back at the year as a whole, discussing notable trends, highly-anticipated new entries in beloved franchises, and our thoughts on the overall quality of 2017’s filmic crop.

Next we shift into the awards portion of the evening, and get down to the serious business of honoring the best actors, actresses, directors, cinematographers, writers and films of 2017. This year’s categories include:

Best Actor and Actress
Best Character
Best Cinematography
Most Disappointing / Worst Films
Most Surprising Film
Best Screenplay
Best Director
And of course, The 3 Best Films of 2017!

So join us, as we conclude our 2017 celebration of media, with a look at what is quite possibly the most challenging, beautiful and unforgiving art form of them all. This...is the Joy of Film!


The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 57:
The Best of TV 2017 (The Year in Geek, Part 3)

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) continue our “Year in Geek” celebration with an epic discussion of The Best TV of 2017. We start by talking about the current (amazing) state of television, the insanely large number of scripted shows released each year, and the continued dominance of streaming giants Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. And of course, with great new shows from FX, AMC, Fox, NBC (and so many more), there’s plenty of love for traditional TV, too.

Once that's out of the way, it’s time to get down to the serious business of awarding the best shows, actors, episodes and stories that graced TV screens in 2017. This year’s award categories include:

Most Surprising Show
Most Disappointing Show
Best Character 
Best Episode/Writing
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best TV Moment of 2017
And of course, The 3 Best TV Shows of 2017!

So join us, as we wade through the treacherous waters of nearly-limitless TV viewing choice and attempt to choose the best of the best - or perhaps just our favorites - or maybe (hopefully) both. This...is the Joy of TV!


The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 56:
The Best Comics of 2017 (The Year in Geek, Part 2)

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Jordan and Kevin) dive into Part Two of our podcast-wide “The Year in Geek” celebration, with a look at the Best Comic Books and Graphic Novels of 2017. We start with a look back at some of the year’s most notable stories, including Tom King’s celebrated runs on Batman and Mister Miracle, Brian Michael Bendis’ defection from Marvel to DC, Dan Slott’s 10-year run on Amazing Spider-Man coming to a close, and of course, our thoughts on the current state of both DC Rebirth and Marvel Legacy. We also take a few minutes to discuss our own comics projects, including webcomic Welderkin and a story in the forthcoming Corpus anthology. 

From there, it’s on to the main event, and our discussion of the very best that comics had to offer in 2017. This year’s categories include:

Favorite Writer
Favorite Artist
Best Single issue
Best New Series
Best Miniseries or Original Graphic Novel
Best DC or Marvel Storyline of the Year
And of course, The Top 3 Comics of the Year!

So join us, as we celebrate the art of sequential storytelling, and honor some of the best artists, writers and all-around creators in the industry today. This...is the Joy of Geek!


The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 69:
The Best Video Games of 2017 (The Year in Geek, Part 1)

On this episode of The Joy of Gaming Podcast, we (Rich and Jordan) kick off our podcast-wide “The Year in Geek” celebration with a look at The Best Video Games of 2017. And what an interesting year it’s been in gaming.

We start with a look at some of 2017's biggest stories and trends, most notably the launch of the Nintendo Switch, the meteoric rise of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and the controversy surrounding two massive sequels - Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Destiny 2 - and their less-than-ideal approach to microtransactions. Oh, and VR games continued to be released, did we mention that?

Next it’s time for the awards, as we honor the best that video games had to offer in 2017. This year's categories include:

Best Character
Most Surprising
Biggest Disappointment
Worst Game
Best Soundtrack
The Top 3 Best Games of 2017
and more!

So join us, as we attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff, make impossible decisions as game genres collide, and celebrate another year of truly remarkable gaming experiences. This...is The Joy of Gaming!


The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 55:
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi Review and Spoilercast

On this epic episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) review the most talked-about, highly-anticipated film of the year: Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. And although critics have showered the film with near-unanimous praise, it currently holds a 51% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, demonstrating a clear disturbance in the force when it comes to fan opinion. Writer/Director Rian Johnson has clearly made a divisive film, and some of its biggest reveals and surprises - while thrilling to behold - have incensed many of the most ardent Star Wars fans. One thing is certain: The Last Jedi is a film full of bold choices.

So how did we feel about this new direction for Disney's flagship franchise? In a massive, two-part review (you’ll see what we mean in a moment), we weigh in on all aspects of the film, and trace the five interlocking plots that make up its complex and surprising narrative. From Kylo and Rey's fascinating relationship, to Luke Skywalker and his crisis of faith, to the plight of Finn, Rose, Poe and the Rebels, to the dark side machinations of Snoke, Hux and beyond - we'll tell you what each story meant to us, and discuss just how well it all came together. And what Star Wars film review would be complete without a newly revised ranking for all of the canon films? Will Empire remain on top? You’ll have to wait and see.

So join us, as we board an X-wing with BB-8, make some questionable decisions and get demoted, Poe Dameron-style. It’ll all work out ok in the end, right? This...is the Joy of Geek!


The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 68:
Assassin's Creed Origins, Sonic Forces, Super Mario Odyssey and 2017 VGAs

On this episode of The Joy of Gaming Podcast, we (Rich and Jordan) dive headlong into some of this Fall’s biggest gaming releases. Rich has been playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed Origins, and weighs in on whether or not taking a year off has allowed Ubisoft to reinvent the series in meaningful ways. He’s also been playing Nintendo’s big holiday release - Super Mario Odyssey - and has some thoughts on whether it lives up to the heaps of critical praise. For Jordan, middling reviews are no match for the "forces" of nostalgia and franchise loyalty when it comes to Sonic Forces, and he’ll weigh in on whether there’s enough Sonic magic on board to battle against some less than ideal design decisions.

But first, we take a look at the biggest trailers, announcements, and category winners from the 2017 Video Game Awards, and offer our thoughts on the biggest reveals, including Death Stranding's newest trailer, Soul Calibur 6, Bayonetta 3 for Switch, Breath of the Wild DLC 2 - The Champion's Ballad and Link's new endgame Master Cycle Zero, and more. We also discuss some of the other games we’ve been playing recently, including Pokémon Ultra Sun, Destiny 2’s Curse of Osiris DLC, Wolfenstein 2, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye DespairHorizon Zero Dawn and more.

So join us, for the second-most game-filled episode of the year! GOTY is up next, after all. This...is the Joy of Gaming!


The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 54:
Netflix’s The Punisher and Alias Grace, Crisis on Earth-X, and GNBC on X-O Manowar Vol. 1

On this episode of the Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) try to retain our composure in the lead-up to the release of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, and talk about a variety of recent TV, Movies and Comics releases. Our conversation includes the new Doomsday Clock series from DC Comics (AKA the Watchmen sequel), a discussion of the 4-part Arrowverse crossover Crisis on Earth-X, our final thoughts on Netflix Original Series The Punisher and Alias Grace, recent films Coco and Wind River, the new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, our fever-pitch anticipation levels for Rian Johnson’s take on Star Wars, and much more.

And for the main event we take a deep dive into the wonderful world of Valiant Entertainment. With a new web series on the way (Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe) and feature films based on Bloodshot and Harbinger on the horizon, it’s an excellent time to talk about the rebirth of a publisher whose books are consistently at the top of our must-read piles. We start by discussing the book that re-launched the Valiant imprint, with a Graphic Novel Book Club chat about X-O Manowar Vol. 1: By the Sword, by Robert Venditti and Cary Nord. We’ll go full spoilers on the first four issues, and offer some intriguing hints about where the series goes from there.

So join us, for an episode that takes us all over the universe (and multiverse): from modern superheroes on page and screen, to Margaret Atwood’s take on 1843 Canada, to the Land of the Dead and a Galaxy Far, Far Away. This...is the Joy of Geek!


The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 53:
Justice League Review and NC ComicCon Recap

On this episode, we (Rich and Kevin) are geared-up and ready to talk about the biggest make-or-break moment in Superhero movies this year. That’s right: after years of speculation, anticipation, cautious optimism, controversies, costume reveals, script re-writes, reshoots, director swaps, and even a digitally-deleted moustache, Justice League is finally here. And surprisingly enough (especially after the five-alarm dumpster fire that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016), this new take on DC Comics’ most famous superhero team has been relatively well-received by critics and audiences alike.

But with more comic-book movies released every year, and films like Wonder Woman and Thor: Ragnarok setting a ridiculously high bar for quality, does Justice League just-ify its place in the hearts and minds of discriminating viewers? We’ll answer that question and discuss the film in-depth - both as a stand-alone experience, and as an important new entry in the DC Extended Universe. SPOILER ALERT:  there’s a lot about JL that we completely disagree on, so it should be an entertaining debate.

Also on this episode: we recap our recent adventures at NC ComicCon (including our podcasting panel and a sneak preview of Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe web series), give a rundown of what we’ve been watching lately (including the first 4 episodes of Netflix’s Punisher and Kenneth Branagh’s new film Murder on the Orient Express), and discuss some recent news (including Brian Michael Bendis defecting to DC Comics and a Multiple Man film in the works starring James Franco).

So join us, for another whirlwind tour of the current geek culture climate, designed to be the perfect soundtrack to whatever iPhone game you're playing at the moment. This...is the Joy of Geek!


The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 52:
Thor: Ragnarok Review, Arrowverse 2017 and Fall TV Highlights

On this episode, it’s a reunion show of sorts, as the hosts of The Joy of Geek and The Joy of Gaming UNITE! for an epic, media-discussion-free-for-all. What’s the occasion? Well for one, Thor: Ragnarok was just released, and it’s quite possibly the funniest, most fun Marvel movie yet. But does the God of Thunder’s latest outing measure up to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films in other areas as well? We (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) all have slightly different answers to that question, and we’ll be going in depth to discuss Ragnarok on its own merits before discussing its rightful place in the overall MCU pantheon.

But before we crash headfirst into Asgard (by way of Sakaar), there’s a lot of catching up to do on the latest TV, Movies and Comics. To start, we check in on the current state of the Arrowverse, and rate the first 3-4 episodes of this season of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. We also discuss what we’ve each been watching and reading, including: American Vandal, Alias Grace, Speechless, Beyond Stranger Things, Mindhunter, Dimension 404, The Good Place, The Last Man on Earth, Saw, Spectre, Gerald’s Game, Jupiter’s Legacy Vol. 2, Tom King’s Batman ongoing, and much, much more.

So join us, as we reunite the lions of Voltron and become more powerful as a result. And then use our newfound power to...talk about geek culture in awesomely-minute detail. This...is the Joy of Geek!


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