The Geekender September 4-7: Mad Max: Fury Road, Force Friday, Cowboy Bebop and more!

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Sep 4, 2015

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: Marvel Comics' massive Secret Wars event is going strong, and I've spent the past few days catching up on my reading. The event, which crashed the main and Ultimate universes together into a mish-mash under the control of Doctor Doom, has spawned several weird and wacky comics that explore bizarre corners of this unnatural world held together by the iron will of God Doom. One of my immediate favorites has been the everyman story of Hank Johnson, Agent of Hydra — just an average goon trying to pay the bills and not get shot by Nick Fury. Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde has also been an interesting arc, finding main universe Peter Quill teamed up with an alt-version of his lady love, Kitty. The Drax cameo, alone, is worth the price of admission. Though most of the attention is obviously on the flagship event books like Secret Wars and Ultimate End, this event has also created some extremely entertaining diversions well worth checking out.


Ernie Estrella: In honor of Force Friday, I'm going to be scrounging a few retail stores to see what I can pick over from the leftovers still standing after the midnight crowds. I'll be starting Friday morning and casually hit a few spots. If I can walk away with a remote-controlled BB-8 Target Exclusive and nothing else, then I'll be thrilled, but I know it will be tough. Keeping with the spirit of Star Wars, I'm going start binging on Star Wars: Clone Wars, because, seeing as it's the one great contribution of the prequel-era stories, I feel I need to revisit this stuff again. I know Star Wars: Rebels is coming out on Blu-ray soon, too, so this is a good time to be immersed in the Force.


Carol Pinchefsky: Sir Terry Pratchett’s demise came with the news that his final book would follow months later. So, here it is, The Shepherd’s Crown, in my hands and ready to be devoured in the coming days. I love the world that Sir Terry created, and I love the characters within it. So did he. He even dedicated his final book to my favorite character, Granny Weatherwax, the wise, powerful and curmudgeonly witch who was described by a friend as “She was born to be good, and she don’t like it." I’m thrilled to have one more Pratchett book to read. I’m terribly sad knowing it will be the last.


Jeff Spry: In between hosting out of town guests for the holiday weekend, I'll be dipping into last year's premium TPB edition of Mark Millar's Superman: Red Son from 2003. I'd just re-entered the comic-book universe in 2003-2004 and missed out on this Elseworlds mini-series in which the Man of Steel was raised in 1950s Mother Russia instead of Smallville, Kansas. I dig these alt-history stories and this one has stood the test of time, with a red-blooded, full-scale Cold War engagement between the Sickle and Hammer-shielded Superman, and the ushanka-cowled vigilante, Batmankoff. It's got a killer mix of Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Stalin, Kennedy, the Phantom Zone, comrades in arms and some beautiful art by Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett. This is the new deluxe graphic novel compilation that includes introductions and a great character sketch book in the back with art by Alex Ross, Johnson and Plunkett. It's one of the coolest examples of DC's Elseworlds/Multiverse tales and I'd love to see this epic Russian yarn made into a Man of Steel movie!


Krystal Clark: Last weekend, my favorite horror director passed away. Wes Craven was truly a master of the genre who gave us so many classics. Therefore, I'm going to watch two of his films that completely changed my life: A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. Freddy Krueger and Ghostface debuted 31 and 19 years ago respectively, and they're still as popular as ever. There's even a hit MTV show based on Scream. A lot has changed since those movies debuted, but two things remain the same: Don't answer the phone, and don't fall asleep. Why? Because one, two Freddy's coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab a crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again.


Lisa Granshaw: I'm continuing to focus on my comics this week. Thanks to my binge last weekend, I've been able to catch up on both Darth Vader and Spider-Gwen. So far, I enjoy what they're doing in the Vader comic and look forward to seeing what they do next. I'll admit, I kind of want to see Triple Zero and BT-1 meet C-3PO and R2-D2 at some point. Just imagine that conversation! As for Spider-Gwen, I love their take on the Spider-Man universe and seeing the twists they've given recognizable characters. I've especially fallen in love with the art style. It really sucks you into this world and Gwen's costume is amazing! I loved the look of her costume and the resulting apparel before even reading the comic, but now I definitely want to get my hands on some of those items! I can't wait for the series to continue in the fall. As for my plan to start Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I haven't managed that yet so that's probably where I'll start this weekend. I haven't kept up with what's going on in the franchise too much over the last few years, so I'm excited to jump right into the comics!


Matt Dorville: It's always the weekends that you think you'll be relaxing at home, catching up on much needed rest, probably checking out that new Metal Gear Solid Game everyone loves, that something so good, so absolutely amazing gets in the way and forces you out. This weekend, the culprit is Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door in 35mm at a midnight show. If you literally didn't say holy s*** out loud when you read that, then you and I will probably never be friends. So, sleep will have to wait for another night since the adventures of Spike Spiegel definitely take priority. OK, three, two, one let's jam.


Evan Hoovler: My wife has been getting into the Syfy show Defiance, so this weekend I'm going to find time to check that out on Amazon Prime. It seems to be about a future where aliens have messed stuff up in extremely visually-pleasing ways. Also, a friend of mine is bedridden with double pneumonia, so I have made a list of all the lesser-known genre films that stream on Prime and Netflix. Besides Resolution, which I've already mentioned in a previous Geekender, I am also recommending Shuffle (time travel mystery with good plot and cheesy acting), Mr. Nobody (meandering butterfly effect piece starring Jared Leto), the Troll 2 documentary Best Worst Movie, Safety Not Guaranteed (Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass), and Special (thinker about a man who may or may not have superpowers).


Matthew Jackson: I would just say I'm going to watch Mad Max: Fury Road about 30 times and stop at that, but I'd imagine that's both predictable and a little too easy, so I'll mention something slightly less predictable (only slightly). I've written here before about my love for the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, the ones that are no longer canon, so this weekend I'll be seeing how I feel about the books that are canon, and digging into Chuck Wendig's Aftermath, the official new story of what happens after Return of the Jedi.


Adam Swiderski: This weekend, I get to combine two of my favorite things: music and nerdy s***. My band (which I'd never be so gauche as to link to) is exploring the possibility of playing a show around Halloween in which we'll cover the entire Labyrinth soundtrack, preferably dressed as characters from the movie (dibs on Jennifer Connolly's killer ball gown from this scene), so, while a chunk of my weekend will be taken up with traditional Labor Day activities like grilling and sitting poolside, I'll also be spending some time learning to play classics like "Magic Dance" and "Chilly Down." Enchanting!


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!

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