Has LEGO Revealed a MAJOR "Man of Steel" Spoiler??

Everyone else is running this, so I figure I might as well get my clicks while I can.

In one of those developments that I’m sure I’ll be hearing about as the “symbolic death of film journalism” at the next critic’s meetup; major movie news has once again been (potentially) made by the release of a toy company’s product schedule: LEGO has been giving retailers the heads-up as to their 2013 licensed products, and references therein seem to have let some possible-surprises slip a little early.

One of them isn’t all that much of a surprise (pretty much everyone has figured out who/what Ben Kingsley is ACTUALLY playing in “Iron Man 3,” yes?) but the other MAY have given away the game for Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan’s “Man of Steel.”

All speculation at this point, but still… POTENTIAL MAJOR SPOILER AFTER THE JUMP!

Last chance to turn back, kids:

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The last entry on LEGO’s product list for playsets reads as follows: 76009: SUPERMAN BLACK ZERO ESCAPE. If there’s an especially well-versed DC Comics fan reading this in the vicinity near you, it may be wise to give them a bag to breathe into.

Who or what is “Black Zero?” Well, to give you an idea of why this could be the mother of all spoilers for this particular movie, the Silver Age (1968) story that introduced the first iteration of the character/concept was called “The Man Who Destroyed Krypton.”

Yeah.

In the story (now long-deleted from “official” Superman canon by a Crisis or fifty) Black Zero is an alien “space saboteur” who specializes in causing the destruction of entire planets; and reveals that while Jor-El had been right about Krypton’s demise being probable, the “internal pressures” issue would actually have worked itself out had Black Zero not given them an extra shove. When Zero turns his attentions to Earth, Superman is forced to release a Kryptonian supervillain named Jax-Ur from The Phantom Zone in order to defeat him.

In post-Crisis continuity, “Black Zero” is the name of a terrorist organization that was part of a clones-vs-natural-borns Civil War on ancient Krypton whose superweapon “The Destroyer” set in motion the milleniums-long chain reaction that eventually. resulted in the planet’s ultimate demise. There’s also been a “Black Zero Computer Virus” and the original’s name/costume were adopted by an alternate-universe doppleganger of the post-Doomsday Superboy.

So, then… assuming that this is legit, what is “Black Zero” in “Man of Steel?” Is “what destroyed Krypton?” part of some big overarching mystery in the film? Is it a character? An organization? Just a “shout-out” for fans? Mucking around and “over-complicating” the Krypton backstory has been sketchy territory for Superman adaptations in the past… but it’s also something I can easily imagine Warners aiming at to give the character some Batman-ish angst; and it’d be VERY typical of the ultra-literalist, mechanics-fixated Nolan Bros. to want to tie the end of Krypton in the backstory to the main story (re: Superman has to literally protect Earth from the same fate his father failed to prevent on Kypton.)

I’ll be honest… neither of those theories sound like particularly good ideas to me, but I’m intrigued.

Whoa… who woke up Harrison Ford?

Below, the trailer for “42,” a biopic of Jackie Robinson (why haven’t there been at least sixty of these by now??) with newcomer Chadwick Boseman in the lead and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey. It looks good. The only thing worrying is the April release date – the pedigree (biopic, issue-oriented, aging legend playing historical figure in showy supporting part) practically screams “Oscar movie!!!;” so why is it opening after this years show and so long before next years.

In any case, the film is due in April and they’re already running trailers starting today; which means I will be called about 10 to 15 times between now and then by my dad to ask if I’ve seen this yet and if it’s any good.

Man Lynches Chair in Texas

I’m inclined to believe (at least partially) Clint Eastwood when he says that his surreal performance at the Republican Convention was mostly him fucking around at the expense of both the President and the people “dumb enough” to invite him to their convention. Okay, fine.
That said, his “Invisible Obama” sketch has, intentionally or not, given Republicans a new racist effigy it can use to get it’s point across i.e. rage at the Scary Black Man in the White House and long, long, long overdue un-bleaching of America he represents to them.
And, sad to say… yeah, this shit does probably get to be part of Eastwood’s legacy now – live by The Right, fall by The Right.

ALL-NEW "Game OverThinker" Is Now Live!

Our newest episode is now showing for all audiences on The Other Site and also on ScrewAttack!

In EPISODE 75: “EASY DOES IT”, we examine the modern controversy over “Easy Modes”: do they really – as the lead designer of “Assassin’s Creed III” recently claimed – “ruin games,” or is there a vital place for them? In addition, we proudly announce that the next episode will be “Ask Ivan!” – wherein Ivan the Intern will answer questions to posted to the comments sections under the video itself or to this blog post (see episode for details, no anonymous questions please.)

ALSO! You’ll see The OverThinker’s favorite watering hole, discover the history of The OmegaThinker, witness the shocking origin of RoboThinker, learn something new about Ivan the Intern and watch ME gradually figure out how to properly use my new green-screen! (in all sincerity, I know some folks run hot or cold on the skits, but I’m pretty psyched with how the “ending” bookend for this one turned out tone, FX and timing-wise.)

Embedded episode and spoiler-y discussion after the jump!

*NOTE: QUESTIONS FOR “ASK IVAN” SHOULD BE POSTED EITHER TO THE COMMENTS UNDER THE VIDEO AT SCREWATTACK OR TO THIS POST AT THE “OVERTHINKER” BLOG; *NOT* TO THIS BLOG.

http://www.springboardplatform.com/mediaplayer/springboard/video/scre004/711/552713/

Yeah, I’m proud of this one. The Hutchinson quote kind of fell into my lap as a perfect sort of topic-starter for my little niche here, and it gave me some room to A.) flesh out exactly what it is Ivan is supposed to be doing most of the time and B.) bring RetroThinker back into the picture and try out what might become his new status-quo as “resident old-timey expert guy.” He’s a fun “voice” to write for, and his “costume” isn’t as cumbersome as some others…

As to RoboThinker’s origin? I really like how it came out, overall, but it was a winding road to get here.

When I sat down during the “planning stages” for the revamped show as the AntiThinker business was coming to an end, a robot villain named “RoboThinker” was the very first thing I wrote down after deciding to continue the “____Thinker” naming-scheme schtick, but for the longest time that was all I had for him. (FYI, you have been spared the appearance of non-starter ideas like an enviro-terrorist called “Eco-Thinker,” a white or yellow ninja tagged as “ElectroThinker” and a flatulence-powered one-off villain named “OverStinker.”)

Believe it or not, for a long time my plan was for him to either resemble Robocop or The Borg – which would’ve been highly unfortunate since this is hitting so soon after “To Boldly Flee.” Ultimately, I wanted him to look like a less specific parody, and the final concept (“Super-Sentai Terminator,” basically) turned out to be best within my budget/abilities AND to fit best with OmegaThinker’s DBZ/Trunks angle (that being DBZ’s “Terminator” spoof and all.)

In any case, I hope everyone enjoys this one; and I’m already enjoying seeing people getting into the spirit of “Ask Ivan.” If all goes well, you’ll get those answers, an explanation of WHY OmegaThinker doesn’t want OverThinker doing the fighting and your first taste of RoboThinker’s voice and personality next time. Until then, let’s hear those questions for Ivan!

*NOTE: QUESTIONS FOR “ASK IVAN” SHOULD BE POSTED EITHER TO THE COMMENTS UNDER THE VIDEO AT SCREWATTACK OR TO THIS POST AT THE “OVERTHINKER” BLOG; *NOT* TO THIS BLOG.

Escapist Expo: Q&A (aka Let’s Watch Bob Bomb A Joke)

Another vid from The Escapist Expo, this was a straight-up Q&A panel featuring myself, “Miracle of Sound’s” Gavin, LRR’s Graham & Paul, Jim Sterling, Yahtzee, Dr. Mark Kline, “Critical Miss” artist Cory Rydell and Chris Pranger.

There was actually another of these, not sure when that’s going up.

For the record: Here’s the way that schticky “local sports humor” bit is supposed to work: 1.) Learn whatever the main “historic local sports rivalry” is. 2.) Do shout-outs to BOTH groups of fans, seperately. 3.) Do a cross-armed-finger-point in two directions and mischeviously-intone “Oh, I’m from [your home state here] so I don’t give a damn – I just wanted wanted YOU ALL to know where eachother were sitting.” What you’re not seeing in the video is that hardly anyone had hands-up for the Blue Devils, which kinda kills the bit (though not so much as my delivery did…)