Viggy, Viggy, Viggy, you have been a bad monkey!


This week’s Captain America: 75 Heroic Years special had a major announcement for comic book fans. Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, will be back in costume and headlining a new Captain America series later this year. Also, we totally predicted this last year!

Back in 2014, Steve Rogers was written out of the Captain America role when the super soldier serum in his body was rendered inert, leaving him an (incredibly) old man. But apparently, Steve Rogers will be rejuvenated in the upcoming Avengers: Standoff crossover.

“Without spoiling too much of Standoff at this early date, something happens that restore Steve to full vigor,” said writer Nick Spencer, who will remain with the new Captain America series. “Which will obviously greatly impact his own mission and his standing within the Marvel Universe. The biggest part of that? He’s Captain America once again.”

But this doesn’t mean that the current Captain America, Sam Wilson (formerly the Falcon), is stepping down from his position as the Star Spangled Man with a Plan. Instead, there are going to be two Captain Americas in the Marvel Universe.


Star Wars Licensees Were Directed to Exclude Rey From Merchandise

Over the last few weeks, the “Where’s Rey” social media campaign has drawn attention to the fact that the main character of The Force Awakens is missing from most merchandise. Now a new report has come out that says they specifically removed Rey from the merchandise out of the fear that boys wouldn’t buy Star Wars toys that featured a girl on it.

According to an insider who spoke to Sweatpants & Coffee, the exclusion of Rey was done to increase sales:

The insider, who was at those meetings, described how initial versions of many of the products presented to Lucasfilm featured Rey prominently. At first, discussions were positive, but as the meetings wore on, one or more individuals raised concerns about the presence of female characters in the Star Wars products. Eventually, the product vendors were specifically directed to exclude the Rey character from all Star Wars-related merchandise, said the insider.

“We know what sells,” the industry insider was told. “No boy wants to be given a product with a female character on it.”


Viggy, Viggy, Viggy, you have been a bad monkey!

See Rick Springfield's Massive 'Star Wars' Toy Collection

Considering that he's been a rock icon for more than 30 years, it's hard to imagine that there are too many sides to Rick Springfield that we haven't seen yet. And yet, the "Jessie's Girl" singer — who's been moonlighting as an actor since the Seventies, and recently stepped up his onscreen game with roles in True Detective and Ricki and the Flash — is still full of surprises, even at 66. One didn't-see-this one-coming shock in particular: Springfield owns one of the world’s biggest collections of Star Wars action figures.


Wait ... shouldn't he have a massive Battlestar Galactica collection?

Synergy killed the Fantastic Four

Marvel's Secret Wars, the long-anticipated, continually delayed comics mega-event from creators Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic, concluded last week with the release of its ninth and last issue. It destroyed the entire Marvel Universe of the main comic line, along with the 15-year-old branching Ultimate Marvel Universe, the direct inspiration for most of Marvel's new movies. Both universes were eventually restored and merged (with a few important differences to set up new storylines). So from the start, Secret Wars was overflowing with ideas, scenarios, and moments for which there wasn't time nor space to properly resolve. But since one of the biggest themes of Secret Wars was the conflict between what we can dream for our world and the practical limits of reality, it feels appropriate that the comic's embattled production and release mirrored exactly that.

The most significant change for Marvel after Secret Wars is the end of the Fantastic Four. The core group is no longer a team, and the Fantastic Four title, which has published nearly 700 issues since 1961, will not continue. Ben Grimm, aka the Thing, is now featured in the movie-boosted Guardians of the Galaxy; Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, has joined the Inhumans, whose profile in the Marvel Universe is rising (they were introduced on the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s second season and the Inhumans movie is scheduled for 2019). For the near future, the Richards family proper (Reed and Susan, aka Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman, and their children Franklin and Valeria) will not appear in a Marvel comic.


The actual Vader helmet and mask after Return of the Jedi courtesy of Dave Prowse.

From the land of the killer Snowman:

Body found at Dyatlov Pass where 9 hikers mysteriously died in 1959

A body has been discovered by tourists at the infamous Dyatlov Pass in Russia’s Ural Mountains where nine hikers mysteriously died in 1959. Emergency services have reportedly momentarily lost contact with the group.
An unidentified body has been discovered by tourist-hikers at the infamous Dyatlov pass in Sverdlovskaya region, according to local security officials. A group of nine tourists reportedly from Perm contacted emergency services overnight on Friday.

Following a message from the group via satellite phone officials lost contact with the hikers, reported Due to bad weather conditions emergency groups are unable to reach the barely-accessible site where the body was found. Some reports suggest that it is a male of about 50 years old.


Finding a passage back to a place I was before - Glenn Fry (1948 - 2016)

There are many quotes attributing the meaning of music to life, some cliché, some moving, but all denoting how music can leave a very deep imprint in the story of our lives. I have found this out for myself today as an icon of music, especially in my life, has passed away. I am surprised as I write this just how much this man’s music has followed me, events and happenings in my life brought back to life upon hearing those songs.


Japan ... the land of giant gorillas!

Japanese film makers have been obsessed with "King Kong" since his first screen appearance in 1933. Almost immediately "Kong" inspired films began popping up in theaters throughout the land of the rising sun. Unfortunately these films are lost and mostly forgotten.

A couple of decades later when Tomoyuki Tanaka was looking to make a monster film of his own after seeing "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" the idea for a Japanese "King Kong" film would be revisited. Most people never knew that originally "Godzilla" wasn't going to be a dinosaur at all but a fire-breathing gorilla. Alas it's true. Of course that idea, plus the idea of making "Big G" a giant octopus, was scrapped for what would become everyone's favorite mutant behemoth, which ultimately proved to be a far
better choice.

Who in the hell would want to see a giant fire-breathing gorilla movie? Okay, maybe I would but most people wouldn't.


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