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The Week in Geek: Picard, Xavier, and people not played by Patrick Stewart
The week is over. That's fine. I don't miss this week at all. You didn't leave me, week! I left you! You can't fire me, week, because I quit!
I'm sorry for this obvious deception. The week is over and I am devastated. I wish I knew how to quit you, week. Instead, I guess we'll do a round-up. Intoxicating.
Here they are: the five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!
PICARD KINDA WINS COMIC CON
Obviously, San Diego Comic-Con was last weekend. About a million things were happening all at once, but there were a few stories that were obviously so big that they continued to carry through to this week.
Unquestionably the biggest trailer that dropped at SDCC was the long-awaited first look at Picard, which, it turns out, sees the return of not just the captain of the Enterprise D (and E), but also of Riker, Troi, Data (!), Seven of Nine (!!), and Hugh (?!?!?!?).
Yes, the Borg are back because of course they are. What other villains can almost literally every Star Trek fan, regardless of age, race, religion, or political affiliation all rally against?
The trailer has been seen a little over three million times on YouTube. I think about two of the three million were me. The cast has started answering fan questions. It's been kind of intense!
Word on the street is that this is a show for people steeped in The Next Generation lore. Fortunately, all seven seasons of the show are available on multiple streaming platforms. So while you wait for "Early 2020" when the series is set to drop, why not rewatch the entire thing?
MARVEL PHASE FOUR ALSO KIND OF A BIG DEAL
The other major post-SDCC talk revolved around the reveal of the next wave of MCU movies and TV shows. With the Avengers thoroughly end-gamed and the Marvel Netflix shows even more thoroughly end-gamed, what's happening now? Oh, you know. Couple things. Black Widow Movie. Eternals movie. Simu Liu breathing a Shang-Chi movie into being. Doctor Strange going up against the madness of something called a multiverse. And then there's TV stuff like The Falcon and Winter Solider, WandaVision, Loki, What If. It's a packed situation.
But the stories that dominated into this week were two specific ones: Natalie Portman returning to play the Jane Foster version of Thor and Mahershala Ali turning up to play Blade. The former brought out the grumpiest of grumpy pants, while even former Blade, Wesley Snipes, was quoted as being happy about his replacement. Sure, that seems right. As we all know, it's too much to believe that women can use *checks notes* a hammer.
Anywho, that's the MCU news. They're making a billion things again. Woo.
JONATHAN HICKMAN REINVENTS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. AGAIN.
Hey. You remember that time Marvel decided they wanted to completely rewrite the book on how complex, intergalactic and multiversal the Avengers could be? They hired Jonathan Hickman, king of incredibly complex diagrams, to pen that tale. He brought in an Illuminati. There were aliens. People got powers after being in a mist and then coming out of weird pods.
It was pretty good. We got Kamala Khan's Ms. Marvel out of the deal.
Now, Hickman has been tapped once again, this time to tell a new X-Men story. And not since Grant Morrison rolled up with Charles Xavier's surprise twin, Cassandra Nova, have the X-Men been so weirdly written.
House of X #1 dropped this week. It represents a brand new start, not just for the X-Men, but for the entirety of the Marvel universe. The gist is that Charles Xavier, along with the ever-growing population of mutants, is seeking acknowledgment of their own nation, Krakoa.
Of course, Krakoa is a little too powerful. It has portals that allow mutants to travel basically anywhere, both on Earth and in space. Only mutants can use the portals — humans can also use them if allowed by mutants and the alien power that created Krakoa. Also, mutants all have their own language now. They're also being born at such an exponential rate that homo sapiens will go bye-bye within a generation.
But don't worry! In exchange for acknowledging and respecting Krakoa, Charles Xavier is going to give humanity three medical breakthroughs that will increase lifespans by five years and virtually annihilate mental diseases. And all he wants in exchange is for mutants to be treated for what Magneto feels they are: gods.
Anyway, it's a very menacing comic about the destabilization of human society. Professor X wears a silly helmet in it!
THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN AGAIN
Guess who just got back today? Them wild-eyed boys that had been away! Haven't changed that much to say, but, man, I still think them cats are crazy.
Sorry, I just really wanted to quote Thin Lizzy.
Anyway, Amazon unleashed Eric Kripke and Dan Trachtenberg's adaptation of Garth Ennis's classic deconstruction of the superhero mythos, The Boys. It's a hilarious romp about how Superman is a psychopath, Aquaman is an idiot who's desperate for sexual attention, The Flash is actual hooked on steroids, and also there's an invisible guy who hides naked in the bathroom. You know: that old chestnut.
Karl Urban leads a ragtag group of disgruntled non-supers to uncover all the despicable nonsense that one team of heroes, The Seven, are secretly up to. It gets very violent! Like, right away! A woman explodes into a kind of sticky paste all over her boyfriend because A-Train, the Flash proxy, speeds right through her. And that doesn't even talk about the bomb in that one guy's rectum. It's a classy story, folks.
Anyway, Amazon is still taking big swings that feel very different from what Netflix used to be doing with Marvel. First it was The Tick (R.I.P.), and now it's The Boys. Who knows what might come out next. Maybe someone will do a Swamp Thing TV show. Man, I bet an idea like that would last for many more than one, solitary season.
LIKE TEARS IN RAIN
One of the finest actors to work in the genre of science fiction, Rutger Hauer, has passed away at age 75, it was revealed this week. He's known for a wealth of roles in movies like Ladyhawke, Batman Begins, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Hitcher, Blind Fury... the list feels endless.
But, of course, the film most of us think of first when remembering Rutger Hauer is Ridley Scott's adaptation of Phillip K Dick's classic story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. That film, Blade Runner, is on the shortlist of most influential and important science fiction films of all time. That simply wouldn't have been the case without Hauer's performance as sympathetic-but-terrifying antagonist, Roy Batty.
Who else could have supplied such incredible gravitas, to "Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like… tears in rain." Hauer painted a picture of a world within Blade Runner that we never see. Ridley Scott created a kind of claustrophobia in his filmmaking; meanwhile, Hauer used the script to evoke an almost unimaginably larger world. And when we think of the limitations of our own mortality, is there any science fiction fan who doesn't think of this speech. Doubtful.
Sadly, that's the end of our round-up. Let us know what you think of these stories and what the biggest news was out of your week.