Staff Picks of the Week – June 9, 2017

Friday is here and I don’t know about you guys, but I am glad the end of the week is here! I saw Wonder Woman! Excellent film! It definitely sets the bar high for all upcoming DC films! The big film opening up this week is The Mummy. The new season of Orange is the New Black is around the corner and have you checked out Batman #24? Interesting ending to that issue! Friday also means it is time for the Staff Picks of the Week! But before the Staff Picks, I always catch you guys up on what’s going on at Rogues Portal!

Check out comic book reviews for Babyteeth #1, The Unsound #1, The Lost Fleet: Corsair #1, Shade the Changing Girl #9, Wonder Woman: Steve Trevor, and our own Sunny and Owl Girl. There are many more reviews to read before you hit up your local comic shop, so check those out as well! Movie reviews! You know we got you with the latest movie reviews. Check out our reviews for Wonder Woman, The Mummy, and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, and a Retrospective look at 1993’s Jurassic Park. As for TV this week, we have reviews for Doctor Who: The Lie of the Land and the latest episode of Sense8. In gaming this week, we have a first look at Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 and a review for the mobile game Disney Emoji Blitz. Podcasts! You love them and we love doing them! Listen to the latest episodes of Scooby Dos or Scooby Don’ts, The Comics Agenda, The Missfits, and Marvel Cinematic Origins. And now I bring you the Staff Picks of the Week!

Hafsa’s Pick of the Week – My pick of the week is Genius. I do realize that only a few episodes are out, but the story is so eerie. The conversations that were taking place just before the rise of Nazism are the same many are having now or were having for the past year. The story parallels the frightening realities of the rise of Nazism with the experience of how a young boy defied his family to become a scientist, using his wits and connections. The same wits and connections that save him and dupe him multiple times, showing a very interesting juxtaposition of bias and belief in one’s ability. The great thing is that Einstein (at least how he is represented in the show) is always willing to learn and rise above his bias and have the decency to look contrite when he is proven wrong. Let’s not forget that he is a Lothario as well as a genius. The show does not shy away from showing both the good and the bad in the characters, as well as the susceptibility of youth and the ignorance of professors. No person, agency, or profession is shown as purely bad or good, showing life is nuanced and only history can pass judgement.

I recommend this show because scientists and history need to be remembered and wish there more shows about historical personalities that is embedded in the context they were living in. Although Einstein is famous, unlike the female scientists at NASA from Hidden Figures, many don’t know who he was beyond his mathematical equation: E=MC2. I believe shows like this could make up for the lack of intellectual pursuits many exercise.

Billy’s Pick of the Week – My staff pick of the week is Voldemort: Origins of the Heir, a project which hasn’t even been completed, but has me genuinely excited for the possibility of a great fan made Harry Potter prequel. The fan film ran into some legal trouble in its initial fundraising stage, but due in part to the precedent set by the Star Trek fan film agreement, production on Voldemort: Origins of the Heir will be allowed to be continue provided it is distributed exclusively as a free streaming video. The film itself looks to have an interesting perspective into the wizarding world, particularly considering its female lead. While another Gryffindor lead isn’t exactly groundbreaking, the potential for storytelling with the heirs of the Hogwarts founders could be fascinating. Impressive effects work and gorgeous location shooting prove this fan film may excel, so long as the writing and acting lives up to the hype. Check out the trailer to see if this makes you feel the same sort of magic.

Samantha’s Pick of the Week – My staff pick of the week is the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series! I re-read it almost every summer and it’s one of my favorite traditions. These books have been around since The Lightning Thief was published in 2005, but author Rick Riordan is still writing novels in-verse. My goal this summer is to re-read the first two series so I can catch up on the newest books!

The Percy Jackson universe is massive and amazing. It’s also incredibly representative of real kids and the struggles they go through. These adolescent demigods struggle with learning disabilities, sexuality, gender, mental illness, race, class, familial strife, friendship, death, and more. The books are fast-paced and well-written, nailing narrative beats and driving emotional arcs that resonate for years. I highly recommend them, especially for summer; Camp Half-Blood is a great place to be during your beach reads.

Anelise’s Pick of the Week – Summer reading is in full swing, and when I came across A Hundred Thousand Worlds (2016) by Bob Proehl, my first thought was: how did I not hear about this book sooner? This is a book about family geekdom, comic conventions, and the way the stories we perform and tell shape our lives. The story primarily follows Alex, a nine-year-old boy, and his mom Valerie, as she travels around making appearing at comic conventions. Both of Alex’s parents are known for their role on the science fiction television show Anomaly, and Alex has grown up, as the title suggest, in a hundred thousand worlds: from the novels he reads, and the episodes from Anomaly that he begs his mom to recount to him as he is falling asleep, to the comic about a robot that he has enlisted Brett, an indie comic book artist, to help him create.  A Hundred Thousand Worlds involves a whole lot of characters and a whole lot of side trips but it is 100% fun, and it makes for the perfect poolside read.

Ryan’s Pick of the Week – My pick of the week is All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. I have been staring down this book for months, and finally found the time to crack it open. The story follows to characters, Patricia and Laurence on their quest to live outside of norms established by their families. After finding a crippled bird and learning that she is able to talk to birds, she becomes obsessed with finding a world of talking birds she thought was all just a dream. Laurence meanwhile is obsessed with rockets and the idea of breaking free of the world, so after building a two-second time machine he finds himself sneaking off to MIT. I am only half a dozen chapters in, but it is gripping in the ways only a novel could be.

Dave Hildebrand
My name is Dave. I'm in love with all types of film. I enjoy comics, video games, and writing. I also love soccer. I love watching all competitions and I play goalkeeper as well. Hit me up on Twitter @sycotic

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