The Week in Geek: Marios and Minions! Dumbledore Drama! And Black Panther as always!

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Feb 2, 2018

Congratulations, friendo. When you started this week, it was January, but now ... it's FEBRUARY — month of groundhogs, Valentines, but mostly Black Panther.

What really matters, though, is that you made it to the end of yet another week. Did you catch all the big stories? Were you engaging with the feels the kids had on their social medias there?

These are the top 5 stories we saw pushing all the other, littler stories out of the way, puffing up their chests, and mean-spiritedly dominating the news:

BLACK PANTHER PREMIERED

Okay, first things first, the purple carpet for Black Panther was the realest. The actors, writers, directors, even the journalist out there to promote, made it a point to dress in a way that was regal. Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, and Lupita Nyong'o all looked resplendent in African prints and styles.

The costume designer for Black Panther weighed in, saying, "How best to get the party started than to, on premiere night, have the cast, have the crew, have the directors and everybody participate in this explosion of patterns and African prints? Everyone can join in the fun!"

 

People on the internet liked it, I think it's fair to say. Early impressions of the film have been glowingly positive. It turns out that when African traditions (plural, important to remember that Africa is not a cultural monolith) and styles are represented, people turn up. Go figure.

It's also worth noting that Black Panther is now also Fandango's top pre-selling superhero film of all time. Black Panther is also at the top of the daily seller charts, even though it's not out for another two weeks. People thought it would make about $120 million opening weekend, the internet thinks otherwise. The internet is probably right.

Finally (look, Black Panther is REALLY popular), there's a conversation happening over what it would mean for a white child to dress as Black Panther. What if they want to dress in Wakandan clothing? How do we best have this conversation of "dressing in a superhero costume vs appropriating a culture as a costume" in a way that they will understand and respect?

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I'm sure everyone will be very calm and civil while discussing this.

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP TRAILER

 

Marvel was really having a week. Again. In addition to Black Panther being a very big deal every day, the first trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp also dropped.

People were very excited about this trailer because:

a) a building got shrunk down to a suitcase
b) the Wasp has wings, blasters, and can run along knives
c) Hello Kitty Pez dispensers

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When you look at it in listicle form, it doesn't seem like much, but the trailer was funny and promised shrinking, embiggening, and romance.

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Also, an interesting conversation I saw happening was the nuanced look at Ghost, Ant Man and the Wasp's villain, and how she reads as more heroic for a lot of people than Team Pym.

DUMBLEDORE AND THE DISAPPEARING SEXUALITY

J.K. Rowling kind of waited a while before she announced oh, BTW, Dumbledore is real gay. It was never addressed in the Harry Potter books. It was never addressed in the Harry Potter movies.

It's addressed in a lot of fan fiction. LIKE A TON. Also, there's a lot of Potter fic where Harry is pregnant? That's not related.

Anyway, since Rowling eventually revealed that Albus Dumbledore was involved with Gellert Grindelwald, and younger versions of both Dumbledore and Grindelwald are supposed to be in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Crimes of Grindelwald, the assumption was we'd finally see the two *actually* be a couple.

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According to director David Yates, the romance will "not explicitly" be addressed, adding, "But I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology, and each other."

All the fans were not aware of that. They are now. Many of them are not happy. Many feel this was an opportunity to actually show LGBTQIA characters in the Potterverse in a way that acknowledges their love in a visual way. Not only that, but it's specifically an opportunity to portray a gay relationship in the context of a family-friendly franchise.

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So lots of people are ... very unhappy. Some of them took it to J.K., and she was ... not happy about that. To be fair, there are still three more films planned in the series, so whether the Dumbledore-Grindelwald relationship will be explored there remains to be seen.

MARI-OH-HELL-YEAH

The only company that isn't Disney that's having a Super week is the house that Mario built, Nintendo. I capitalized "Super" because "Super Mario." Get it?

Anyway, it's been almost a full year since the latest Nintendo console, The Switch, launched. It has sold very well -- 14.87 million units, which is more than the Wii U has sold (13.56 million) since 2012.

People are happy to see Nintendo doing well, mostly because they really love Link, Samus, and Mario, the last of which is once again making the leap to mobile platforms. It won't be until March 2019, but a mobile-specific Mario Kart game called Mario Kart Tour is coming. And while Super Mario Run wasn't quite the huge victory that Nintendo hoped it would be, something in the way of a racing game makes more sense for mobile.

You get it. People are very excited to play Mario Kart on the train.

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Mario is also officially getting an animated movie. Nintendo is partnering with Illumination, the studio behind the Despicable Me and Minions movies (and which is owned by SYFY's parent company, NBCUniversal). I would not classify the Minions as creatures that everyone loves, but they do make A LOT of money and people do have very strong opinions about them.

Regardless, this is a good excuse for people to tweet about both what kind of Mario movie they want to see and also about the highly underrated 1993 live-action film starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.

THE PURGE GETS (EVEN MORE) POLITICAL

Donald Trump gave his State of the Union. I was watching Black Lightning at the time, but I'm sure he said some things that people had opinions about.

Seizing on that, however, was The Purge franchise, who announced a Purge prequel by posting an image of a red cap with white lettering that reads "The First Purge." There was also a video, but, let's be honest, it's the hat that people were really talking about.

 

I think what's especially interesting about this is that, no matter where you fall politically, you could easily love or hate this ad.

If you hate Trump, you will either see this as a surprisingly clever indictment of the Trump administration or think that it's a too-glib take on the very serious issues involving Trump's use of the presidency.

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If you love Trump, you'll either think that this is a great point about how Trump is purging the swamp or whatever or you might be mad that a movie franchise is trying to take a stab at the president who you love for some reason.

Needless to say, even if Trump is in no way mentioned or even an inspiration for The First Purge, the ad has more people interested in The Purge franchise than, let's be honest, they usually are.

And those are the five stories we saw people talking about. What nerdy news did you see generating a lot of conversation? And what's your opinion on these stories?