The weekend is upon us, and with it, a chance to sit back, relax and consume massive amounts of sci-fi, fantasy and horror pop culture. In The Geekender, our writers share a bit about what they're reading, watching and playing -- and we want to hear from you. Let us know what's on your plate in the comments!
Trent Moore: I'm absolutely loving Marvel's Spider-Gwen series. What started as an alt-universe one-off has exploded into one of Marvel's buzziest — and best — Spidey comics of 2015. It mixes up the best parts of runs like Ms. Marvel and DC's new-look Batgirl (with a healthy dose of Spider-Man lore, of course) to create something wholly new. This run has put a fresh spin on the tried and true Spider-Man tropes, and Gwen's world is one of the most intriguing I've seen in ages. With Det. Frank Castle on her tail, Gwen also has to worry about Kingpin's ace lackey Matt "Murderdock" Murdock. It's the Marvel characters you know with a healthy dose of bizarro world. I can't wait to see where it goes next.
Ernie Estrella: I'm already in prep mode for Comic-Con and one thing I want to make sure I do is to freshen up on Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's vampire drama, The Strain, on FX. Season 1 had its ups and downs but, not only do I want to re-watch the first season, I want to immerse myself in the comics, because I know I will never put away the time to read the original novels. Dark Horse employed David Lapham (Stray Bullets) to write the comics and Mike Huddleston (Butcher Baker) to supply the art. I'm a fan of both creators and though I usually hunt down everything they do on their own, I've managed to miss their collaborations here. Six graphic novels of The Strain have been made available on Comixology this past week, so I'm hoping they fill in some of that detail I crave. Between these comics and what is probably a two-weekend TV binge, I should be primed for Season 2, which will begin airing on July 12
Carol Pinchefsky: I'm recovering from E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where the gaming elite (and leet) come out to meet. I want to play Batman: Arkham Knight with all of my heart, but Steam issues are preventing me from Batmanning the hell out of Gotham. So I'll have to console myself with a console game: LEGO Jurassic World for the PS3. Because there's nothing I want more than smashing bricks as a dinosaur. Except perhaps Batman. Sigh.
Jeff Spry: A major element of being a dedicated geek is having a perpetual backlog of just-released comics, minty-fresh graphic novels, cellophane-sealed video games and shiny-bright Blu-ray box sets to last into the next lifetime and beyond. Two years ago, I picked up DC's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns animated feature on Blu-ray and its virgin state must finally be laid to rest. It's been on my watch list for months, and the time to burrow into this animated adaptation of Frank Miller's iconic The Dark Knight Returns mini-series from 1986 has arrived. Miller's savage take on an aged, grizzled Dark Knight consumed by the violence that has forged his legend is what galvanized my great passion for comics, and I'm itching to see his brutal battle against The Mutant Leader, the Joker and Superman come alive in the hands of director Jay Oliva.
Matthew Jackson: I'm a very sporadic gamer, which means I tend to game mostly on my PC because I'd rather not spend the money on a console I might almost never use. Because I'm a largely PC gamer, though, I tend to take advantage of vintage revivals even more. So, this weekend, I'll be digging back in to the fantastic 1998 strategy game Star Wars: Rebellion. I remember being absolutely fascinated with this game as a child, and my journeys back to it as an adult haven't disappointed. So, if you need me, I'll be building as many Imperial Star Destroyers as I possibly can while trying to take Yavin.
Don Kaye: By the time you read this, I will have seen the new Marvel movie, Ant-Man, and it's the thing I've been most looking forward to this week. What's weird about that is the fact that, for a while, I was down on Ant-Man -- I even wrote an article last year, after director Edgar Wright departed the picture, arguing that Marvel should consider canceling it. It's not that I'm a member of the Wright cult either; I think he's an interesting filmmaker who's made two terrific movies, but that's about it. I couldn't care less whether he was directing Ant-Man or not. I was concerned that Marvel would rush the movie along, anyway, without considering whether they should, but after seeing the trailers and getting a sense of this thing, I slowly came around and began to get excited for it. After all the MCU service that was stuffed into Avengers: Age of Ultron, I want to see Marvel just pull off a witty, fresh heist film that also happens to be a superhero origin, plus I love the cast they've assembled. By the time you read this, I will know whether I was right to get pumped for it, or if I should have stuck with my belief that the movie should have been postponed. We'll see!
Krystal Clark: Out of all the DC Animated films, Batman: Assault on Arkham is what I've been looking forward to the most. Any time the Caped Crusader visits the infamous institution, the odds are never in his favor. And, to be honest, that's just the way I like it. In Assault on Arkham, Batman encounters the Suicide Squad, which includes Black Spider, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Harley Quinn, KGBeast, Killer Frost, and King Shark. If that wasn't enough, his longtime rival, The Joker, is also on hand causing trouble. But the film's biggest draw is actor Kevin Conroy who reprises the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Personally, he's my favorite Dark Knight--animated or not.
Dany Roth: At its heart, Scott Snyder's comic, Wytches, is about the scariest nightmare everyone of us has ever had -- the one that was so visceral, so real and, at the end of it, you climbed back into bed and went to sleep. It's the nightmare that makes every irrational fear seem like it could slink out from behind the shadows at any moment. Wytches does more than prey on that fear, it invites it into the light so we can see, once and for all, that our worst nightmare is not only real, it is ourselves, all the things we fear we're incapable of and, worse -- all the things we are capable of.
Lisa Granshaw: The console game that has been consuming all my attention is Tomb Raider, the Game of the Year edition. It took me a while to finally take the time to play it, but I recently finished the main storyline. Now, I'm planning to spend my weekend continuing to explore in the game and finish anything I may have missed. It's been a lot of fun to play and has me eagerly anticipating the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider later this year!
Matt Dorville: This weekend is going to be a rainy one in New York so I'm going to be keeping indoors with a copy of Batman: Arkham Knight. Ah, who am I kidding? If it was bright and sunny and Stan Lee was giving out free ice cream on a hoverboard, it still wouldn't tear me away from my PS4. I loved, and I repeat, loved the previous Batman games, and I've been waiting for this game since Arkham City (I didn't buy Origins after I heard Warner Bros. Games Montreal was developing it, and I wholeheartedly recommend that approach). This weekend, all my calls are going to voicemail and all texts are being ignored. This weekend's for me and the Bat.
Evan Hoovler: This weekend, I've got my hands full when it comes to sci-fi. The first thing I have to do is watch Sense8. My wife has been bugging me every day to try it, and is even holding off on watching the series past the pilot so we can watch it together. I've also got to catch up on my Reddit/r/nosleep, literally the only thing I read on Reddit. It's user-written fiction sand the focus is mainly on horror, but there are some sci-fi gems, as well as groan-inducingly bad stories that I like almost as much. I strongly recommend this piece: Memories for Sale. Finally, I have to set up the messageboards for a new season of the ARG I run: Mildville. It's a lot like the party games Werewolf and Mafia, but with a sci-fi/fantasy twist: Everyone pretends to live in a town represented by the messageboard, gets a secret identity like werewolf or witch, and systematically kills each other off over the course of a few months. I'm on my ninth run, and the themes this year are pirates and anonymity. If you like puzzles and baseless accusations, feel free to sign up by telling me in the comments section of this article.
Adam Swiderski: I just watched and mailed back to Netflix Big Hero 6, and while I wait for my next disc to arrive, I think I'll be diving into the BBC's adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. The novel, by Susanna Clarke, is one of my favorite reads of the early aughts, rife as it is with the collision of wild magic and genteel, 19th-century English society, and I've heard nothing but good things so far about what the Beeb has done with it on TV. I'm guessing there'll be some made-for-TV budgetary restrictions to accept (as well as a general streamlining of the story, which is pretty sprawling in book form), but if they bring the magic and a strong characterization of the two leads, I'm sure I'll end up having a jolly good time.
Cher Martinetti: I'm doing the same thing I've been doing since Tuesday: playing Arkham Knight. I've been eagerly awaiting this game since it was announced well over a year ago. The Arkham series is my favorite gaming series because, well, why wouldn't being Batman be the best thing ever?! I have to admit, though, so far, this game is taking a little bit longer to grab me than the previous two did. I think it's mostly the whole Batmobile experience. It's a tad tricky to get the hang of, and personally I want to spend more time gliding around Gotham and fighting bad guys than trying to figure out how to steer and not crash into everything at every turn.
You've heard what we're up to - now it's your turn! What movies, books, comics, shows and games will you be diving into this weekend? Let us know in the comments!