Welcome to another freaky edition of Ask the Bastards, the weekly feature where you the readers get to ask us, the writers of Nerd Bastards, what we think about everything in the world of geek. This week we tackle classic tabletop gaming, Wolverine’s racism, the genius of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the difficulty of making a good Superman game.
Whats your favorite D&D edition? – Christopher
Sadly I never got into the whole Gary Gygax thing we all know today as Dungeons & Dragons, I was more of a Nintendo nerd in my fledgling days as a growing young boy. I know it bumps off a few points from my nerd membership card, but it’s still a great gaming franchise. –Nick Bungay
I’m with Nick, though I was a Genesis kid. Nonetheless, I didn’t need to play make pretend in a basement… save for that one time, but there is a wall built out of the splintered memories of countless therapy sessions that make it extremely difficult for me to say anything more about that. – Jason Tabrys
I too was a Genesis kid, but by the time I got around to D&D 3.5 was what was around. So that’s what I played. – Matthew Jackson
I’ve been playing since AD&D and Basic were the only editions and I have to say that the Pathfinder upgrade to 3.5 is my favorite by far. They’ve managed to turn character building into an exciting part of the game and added so much diversity that you can be pretty much any class and steer yourself toward a countless number of goals. I only hope they don’t kill it with a million supplements the way 3.5 went down. Looking forward to seeing what happens with v.5 though. Maybe WoC can pull their heads out of their asses and not repeat the dumbed-down horror that was D&D edition 4. – Jason McAnelly
Do you think that The War Lord is an earlier regeneration of The Master? – Colin
I don’t think so. Also, Master Race? Lulz. – Chris D.
Batman vs. Martian manhunter? – Tyler
Martian Manhunter enters the Bat-Cave searching for Batman. He finds Alfred, who invites him to sip tea and eat Oreo cookies until Master Bruce returns. (Mmmm Cookies) Batman steps out from behind the giant penny as Martian Manhunter feels suddenly sleepy because of the specially created drug laced cookies. Alfred says, “Shall I tie him up Master Bruce?” Game, Set, and Match to the world’s greatest Detective and Paranoid Planner Batman. – Mark Poynter
I call bullshit, Martian Manhunter would trounce in a fight against Gotham’s Dark Knight. Sure, Batman is the world’s greatest detective, fought against the likes of the Joker and interplanetary beings with godly status, but in a one on one with the Martian he’s screwed. –Nick Bungay
Batman knows how to defeat all of his Justice League friends, because he knows there will come a day when he has to worry about it (because in comics, it always does). Batman is ready for anything. Batman always wins. Even when you think you broke him, he wins. Just ask Bane. – Matthew Jackson
Uh, Martian Manhunter’s scared of fire, you know? Batman plus blow torch equals Manhunter pwnage for the Caped Crusader – Adam A. Donaldson
What was the first “big” Sci Fi convention you attended and how old were you? (Worldcon, Gencon etc). – Mike
New York Comic Con when fewer people knew about it. This is back when it was more like SDCC’s warm-up act, taking place in late February. I was 26 then *gets wistful* ah 26, that’s the age when a boy becomes a man you know… anyway, where was I? The Con. I went with 2 friends and my wife, who is my very best friend (2 points). One friend was just getting back into collecting, so his mood was subdued and joyful. Another friend had sore feet. Me and my wife both brought home MASSIVE laundry sacks full of action figures. I made room in my sack by metaphorically kicking collector fanboys in theirs as I DE-PACKAGED my action figures and threw the boxes away in a can (or an empty R2 costume) on the show floor. People stared, but I defend the move to this day, for I am Jason the De-Packager, and I will enjoy my toys not as collectibles, but as the nuggets of fun have-y-ness that they were made to be by tiny fisted laborers in places that know not joy… you know, Santa’s workshop. – Jason Tabrys
I went to the Fan Expo in Toronto, Canada for the first time when I was 16. It was all right. I’ve had more fun in later years at that event, though I’m definitely looking to expand my resume of nerd conventions. – Chris D.
I went to Paradise Comic Con in Toronto in 2005, and the big guests were David Lloyd and George Perez, both of whom I got to talk to, which was awesome! My first ever con-like experience though was a comic and card show at the University of Guelph (in Guelph, Ontario, Canada – about an hour’s drive west of Toronto where I live). Toronto Maple Leaf Wendel Clark was signing autographs, and this was the year the Leafs were Norris Division champs. I just poured a forty on the curb for the NHL season. – Adam A. Donaldson
Who among you are Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans, and what are some of your favorite episodes (er.. movies)? – Alex
I remember watching it often as a younger version of myself, but I can’t recall specific episode names and I’m too lazy to go to IMDB and pretend like I could. No worries though, I imagine Jeremy will be along to make up for my woeful inadequacy (as per usual). I can say though, that MST3K surely helped shape by sense of humor as much as ’80s Bill Murray movies and yummy paint chips. – Jason Tabrys
I’ve never met an episode I didn’t like (and at this point I’ve probably seen a good 75% of them, if not more), but among my favorites are Cave Dwellers (“How much Keefe is gonna be in this movie?” “Miles O’Keefe!”), The Unearthly (I could listen to them mock Tor Johnson all damn day), Bloodlust (for the square dance bit alone), and of course the movie is brilliant. But again, I can watch and enjoy anything they ever did, though I will admit I prefer the Mike era to the Joel era as a whole. – Matthew Jackson
I have seen so many MST3K episodes that it’s hard to choose just one. If I took one off the top of my head it would have to be Cave Dwellers. There’s just so much awesome in that one episode and the movie is truly ridiculous that it’s a fun time all around. Lately, however, I find that Rifftrax is producing way better results. Of course, they have better movies to work with, so it’s a given. – Jason McAnelly
It’s hard to choose from some many great episodes, but if I had to I would choose Time of the Apes. I’m a big Planet of the Apes fan and this episode was like cotton candy melting in my mouth. – Mark Poynter
How racist is Wolverine? example… Always calling Gambit Cajun/Gumbo not to mention the sents, tin-cans – Fernando
Probably pretty racist. I personally have no issue with this, as I am usually the first to crack a terrible racist joke in any company. – Chris D.
Wolverine is crude, but you can’t really call him out for slang terms used to describe a robot programmed to kill him. As for Gambit, he’s kind of asking for it with the personality, and I’m of the opinion that Wolverine and Gambit mock each other in good fun. But yeah, definitely not the most PC dude. – Matthew Jackson
As I am currently re-reading the entirety of all the X-Men titles right now, I’d have to say I’m qualified to say that Wolverine is a racist bastard. I’m not too familiar with the newer work, being a child of the 80s, but back then he was both racist and extremely sexist. But he’s an old man so you kinda have to forgive him. Old habits are hard to break and just cause he uses racist and sexist terms a lot of the time doesn’t mean he thinks of them in the same way, right? I think of him kinda like Eastwood in Grand Torino – the racist with a heart of gold. – Jason McAnelly
I’m guessing being born in the 19th century probably doesn’t do a lot for modern PC ideals and Wolverine. To be fair though, I’ve never noticed Wolverine be particularly racist. He may call Gambit “Cajun,” but Logan’s also worked well with X-Men from all over the world and has lived amongst foreign cultures for years. Then again, I’m also fond of Jason McAnelly’s Gran Torino comparison. – Adam A. Donaldson
Avengers super awesome box set, worth the money? How about the wait? – Chris
Seeing as how that sweet piece of hardware is being delayed I’d say it’s better to just wait it out till you can find it cheaper in the next few months. Plus, why re-buy movies that you may already have just for a replica briefcase?- Nick Bungay
It all depends on what the final product looks like, though I usually tend to think such things are rarely worth the cost. That said, that zed-head Walking Dead season 2 special edition box is pretty wizard. – Jason Tabrys
Not in my books. I wouldn’t bother with that, to be honest. It’s a cool concept but it just doesn’t excite me. In any case, like Nick said, it’ll be cheaper or some fan will come up with something even better to store nerd DVDs in on Etsy. – Chris D.
By the time it’s out I will already own all the Marvel DVDs I want, so no. Special packaging has never appealed to much, though I will admit to owning the bowling ball packaging for The Big Lebowski. You might think that’s dumb, but that’s, like, your opinion, man. – Matthew Jackson
Special packaging is a neat idea, but I always come around to this singular thought: It’s not going to fit in with the rest of my discs. I have a considerable library of DVDs and Blu-rays and this briefcase is going to stick out like a sore thumb. The question really, is it worth the money to you? Because after all, when the phase 2 movies come out, I’m sure they’re going to have the super-duper briefcase with every movie from Iron Man to Avengers 2. My point of view is that most nerds have been picking these movies up as they’ve been released, so on Sept. 25, I’ll be buying one lone copy of The Avengers on Blu-ray. – Adam A. Donaldson
In the Bastards opinion why has there never been a good Superman video game? – Jan
Part of the charm of Superman is that he is not bound by the rules of this planet. Video games — despite how far they have come — still are. That means that a game “world” has walls, a floor, and a ceiling. They have become these massive realms that seem like they are endless, but they are not, and that limits the game version of a character who can fly anywhere and do anything. Also, Superman is a bit of a boring character, so that might also have something to do with it. – Jason Tabrys
Spinning off of what Jason said about Supes being “boring,” I find him to be a very story-specific character. I’m not interested in Superman as a whole. I’m interested in what people do with him. When you try to put Superman in a situation where his chief job is to be your puppet and punch stuff, you’re bound to end up with something less interesting than, say, Mark Millar’s Red Son or Mark Waid’s Birthright. Superman’s powers are cool, but if you take away the internalized part of him you just end up with a guy in a suit who punches stuff. If anyone can ever figure how to deepen a story (further than what Arkham Asylum and Arkham City did with Batman) starring the Man of Steel, they might pull off a good game. – Matthew Jackson
That’s a good point, Matthew brings up: there have probably been over a hundred Batman games since the invention of the home video game console in the late 70s, but how many good Batman games have there been? Well, Matthew named two, but I’ll add a third: the Animated Series inspired, Batman: Vengeance. Truly great Superman stories test the Man of Steel’s limitations, be they physical or emotional. How can a man, even with all his power, hope to save everyone? How does he keep his humanity when he has the power to do whatever he wants and get away with it? Those kinds of questions might be too philosophical for a video game, but if they can be cracked, a wicked Superman game it will be. – Adam A. Donaldson