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PSA: This Avengers post is free of Avengers: Endgame spoilers. I may be opinionated, but I’m not a barbarian.

The second a new Avengers trailer drops, the conspiracy machines start churning out new, wild ideas on how everything is going to connect and change. Superhero fans become abuzz with ideas, hype, and internet craze-ing. And now, that Avengers: Endgame has its country-wide release? The internet doesn’t know how to talk about anything else.

Me, though? I just wonder how this will affect the solo movies and wait for the storm to be over.

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Note: Mild spoilers to follow. 

It seems like an eternity ago, but just a year ago, moviegoers around the globe emerged from multiplexes stunned, shocked, and otherwise shook by Avengers: Infinity War. Ten years and 20, interconnected, universe-expanding movies didn’t prepare them for the utter and complete defeat of the Avengers and Thanos’ overwhelming victory. In a snap felt around the universe, Thanos extinguished half of all life sentient life, including many (actually, most) of the superheroes who’ve made their home in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) over the previous decade. Even knowing that Avengers: Infinity War was just part one of a two-part, superhero epic did little to give moviegoers a sense of hope, however small, that the MCU would be restored to balance – not Thanos’ idea of genocidal balance – but where might and right stood together on one side of the wish-fulfillment equation against cosmic forces of evil and where individual and collective heroism, super or otherwise, clearly and simply mattered. (more…)

Guest writer Michael Dehoyos brings his view on NetherRealm Studios’ Innovations to NerdBastards.

NetherRealm Studios excited may disparate groups when it announced its plans for Mortal Kombat 11 (MK11), the latest installment in the now legendary fighting game. Not only does it seem that the game will appeal to hardcore fans, as well as to many of the game’s more recent converts and gaming enthusiasts, the award-winning developer is also reaching out to long-lost friends: those Kombat players who may have left the game as a nostalgic part of their past.

So with its release set for April 23rd, here is how NetherRealm Studios plans to get casual players on board with MK11:

An opportunity to compete.

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*Short Stories is a ongoing collection of original weird and wonderful works from Nerd Bastards creative writing team. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy dreaming them into being. 

All it takes is one drop of blood.

Cari yawned as she perused through her least favorite material, oceanic Selachimorpha. It was easy to roll her eyes as the video notes explained more on the subject. She never quite understood her mother’s fascination with fish-eyed, sharp-toothed predators. Half her notes were on the creatures, despite the fact that all known Earth permutations had died out decades ago. Large predators had a hard time around aggressive, invasive species with two long legs.

After that sixth extinction, Earth was no place to be a zoologist. That’s why Dr. Zahn, her mother, took to the stars. Cari had grown up marveling at new species, falling in love with the small avian herbivores that lived in forests, flying gracefully with wide eyes like hers.

Yet her mother always held some strange reverence of these violent predators. Killers. Monsters. Cari learned the facts, observed and recorded dutifully, but they both knew she’d never feel anything but ambivalence.

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Mortal Kombat 11 (MK11) is the latest game in the violently amusing fighter franchise Mortal Kombat, by developer NetherRealm Studios. This latest entry in the blood soaked Mortal Kombat saga that was one of the games responsible for the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in 1994, is both ambitious, and possibly innovative. Though NetherRealm has been very tightlipped about MK11, the few details that are available indicate that the company has made many changes from their previous games including some nostalgia inducing reintroductions to former competitors in the franchise. Here is a list of 11 things you should know about Mortal Kombat 11 before it’s release on April 23rd.

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Throughout decades of comics and films, The X-Men have become an important symbol for not only the LGBTQ+ community, but also the disabled. It’s a group of people that have mutated and changed beyond what’s normal, or have had certain events or experiences change them into what they are now. They band together to help make the world a better place and find a community. That’s a powerful message of acceptance and hope for communities that are oppressed. Both LGBTQ+ and disabled people can feel a modicum of acceptance, but ultimately their differences make them “other”. That can be devastating. Seeing heroes with the same struggles can be really empowering. Furthermore, it can help neurotypical/cis fans understand these other communities better.

Recently, the first full trailer for The Dark Phoenix was released. This follows the infamous tale of Jean Grey, a powerful mutant transformed into something far more dangerous. It’s one of the X-Men’s most popular and interesting story arcs.

But what’s more exciting is that if the trailer plays out like the scenes hint, this could possibly be one of the most important mental health allegory films in recent years. A mainstream, high-budget film having a story analogous to a disability struggle would be exactly what the stigmatized world of mental health needs.

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Hellboy Reboot: How Makeup Can Make Or Break A Film

If you’ve been on the internet at all the past week, you might’ve noticed that the Hellboy reboot didn’t do so hot. Many people thought it was too gory, boring, and hardly lived up to the legacy of Hellboy. Between Guillermo Del ToroRon Perlman and the beloved comics, this movie really had to pull out all the stops to dazzle fans. In some ways (see dope CGI giants), it did. In the script and character growth, though, it didn’t accomplish much.

One of its most egregious problems (though it has many) is by far its makeup. The Hellboy design on David Harbour may be intricate, but it’s almost grossly so. Sure, he looks like he crawled out of a literal hellhole. However, his character is supposed to be young and he looks like he’s experienced at least three holy wars ripping his face to shreds. Having a horrific hero doesn’t mean he has to be ugly.

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Announced at E3 in 2016, Days Gone, was created by the Sony studio Bend. Described by some as The Last of Us meets Sons of Anarchy, this third person, action- adventure, survival, horror game, features an open world exploration of the Pacific Northwest, where a deadly virus has infected most of humanity.

After initially announcing the games release would be in 2018, then with the game receiving a further delay to February 2019, fans have been eager to get their hands on Days Gone. With yet another push back again to the ever close April 26th this year, to “further polish the game” the countdown to play, is finally almost over. (more…)

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