We Pop Culture Like Orville Pops Corn.


Top 10 (Pop Culture) Wicked Theories Of 2014

By Bill Sweeney

Sure, it's my web domain/twitter/tumblr but what does "Wicked Theory" actually Mean? How the hell could I make a Year End Top Ten out of it?

While I chose it originally as just wordplay on the phrase "bad idea", over time I've come to fashion more of a meaning out of it. A "wicked theory", as I spin it, is a bad idea gone right. Or more to it, an idea or belief, that seems unlikely (or just plain wrong) when you hear it, but in retrospect, turns out to be really good. The most badass ideas are the one that shouldn't work - but do.

And for me, here, in my head, it's a thing I look for and see everywhere. And for what I do here, on the web, I keep it to the context of pop/geek culture.

So, rather than call this "The Top Ten Things In Pop/Geek Culture That Seemed Like Bad Ideas At First But Turned Out To Be Pretty Smart This Year", or "Hey Internet, You Were Wrong About Stuff" let's just go with the short version above, okay?


Jack The Ripper - Identified?

A new book is coming that claims to have finally closed the coldest cold case. I have an article over at Popwrapped that outlines the gist of the historical forensics at work and related details.

Well, despite what I wrote there, it seems some are still dubious about the veracity of the investigating parties, time will tell I guess. For more from that angle, Devin @ BadassDigest gives a more doubtfull spin. 

Still, it's an interesting new chapter in the JACK THE RIPPER case. Is it really closed? Doubtful.



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What is that you ask? What's next? 

A weekly, geekly, toungue in cheekly Podcast.

It's not expensive to do but it ain't free either.

Look for more on that very soon as well as regular articles here... more regularly.

As always I'm much more active on Facebook and Tumblr and those links are in the column on the right! Check 'em out, be sure to Like and Follow!

-Bill Sweeney


Comics Review: UP THE RIVER 2130 #1

 By Bill Sweeney

Up The River 2130 #1
Written by Travis McIntire
Illustrated by Michael Wren
21 pages Full Color 

Available from IndyPlanet

Up The River brings together interesting elements from horror and superheroes to form a world where everything went wrong a long time ago and it never really recovered. A world where water has turned red as blood and to drink it will either turn you into the living dead or imbue you with fantastic abilities.

Quite the temptation.

With world building that shows our planet (or region, at least) suffering from societal breakdown, Up The River, presents us the story of Syl, a young man searching for answers.


THE WALKING DEAD 4.8 "Too Far Gone" - Recap/Review

By Bill Sweeney

Neil Diamond's evil brother finally makes his big move into the spotlight.

If The Governor and his Tank are the unstoppable force, Rick and The Prison are the immovable object.

When push finally came to shove Rick held his ground and it was about time, regardless if he hesitated by trying to defer to the council. The mid-season finale was a damn strong episode that payed off a long standing feud or two, and killed off a fan favorite.



Shedding Light On AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D: Why It's Losing The Battle

By Bill Sweeney
additional reporting by Notsocrazy
This show is so "meh", I'm using an image from the Captain America sequel.

ABC's Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. is loosing viewers almost as fast as the Titanic lost passengers. Personally, I don't blame them for jumping ship, I haven't been this let down by a show since "Al Capone's Vault".  The LATimes recently ran a piece by Ryan Faughnder about just how badly things have gotten for the show in terms of ratings:
"Counting only people who watch on the day of first airing, "S.H.I.E.L.D." has lost about 40% of its total audience and half of its viewers ages 18 to 49, the demographic most cherished by advertisers."

"The Nov. 5 episode of "S.H.I.E.L.D." generated a rating of 3.7 among viewers ages 18 to 49 in the live-plus-three-days category, but that still represents a 42% slide from the premiere."
But wait! A marginal tie to to the Thor sequel swooped in and gave the show an uptick that had Motly Fool's Steve Symington wondering if this was a crossover success:
"Thanks largely to interest in the tie-in with its big screen counterpart, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. successfully broke its seven-week ratings downtrend by garnering 6.89 million live viewers and a 2.4 rating in the overall 18-49 demographic. And while the show only managed to increase its total viewership by 1% over last week, it gained a much more impressive 5% in the key adult 18-49 demographic."
After seeing that episode myself, I don't know that returning fans were likely to be impressed enough to have faith in such crossovers. The fact is, a lot of people are wondering where are all the fan-geeks are going, as if you can throw sub-par product at them and they'll just eat it up. When even the nerdiest of geeklings of Marvel fandom are fleeing a perceived "easy win" like this, it's time to take a real hard look.

If you want a clearer picture of why fans have left the show, the reasons are plentiful, I'll tell you as many as I can from the view point of fan of not only comics but TV as well. A in-depth fan-alysis, if you will...


Ex-X-Man: Wolverine Joins The Bad Guys


Marvel has announced that Paul Cornell and Ryan Stegman will relaunch Wolverine after the current arc, "Killable" wraps up and it seems Logan's just wants to take it easy and slow things down a bit... by joining a group of villains?

Cornell says:
  • The first arc is called “Payback,” and that’s where we find him: working for a crime boss called The Offer, alongside a “family” of low-rent super villains. Following the end of “Killable,” he’s decided to simplify his life and drop his responsibilities.
  • He's now carrying a pair of handguns, and fighting hand-to-hand in a different way. He will indeed be using the claws less frequently.
  • The Offer is a minor super villain gang boss who has the power to make the best possible offer. It's not hypnotism; you're free to turn him down. But his offers tend to make people think twice. He's a caring, fatherly presence to his gang, but he's not really a good man.
  • His gang includes Pinch, who Logan is in a relationship with, who can pull threads from any material; Fuel, who increases powers, and thus can make Logan move at high speed; and the Lost Boy, who can make anything ignite, and who has a complicated attitude towards what heroism and villainy might be. Logan worries about him.
  • I don't think we should be afraid of liking The Offer, Pinch, Fuel, Marcy and the Lost Boy, Logan's teammates now that he's a minor-league super villain. This series is going to look into what it means to be a "villain" and how those guys think of themselves. Logan finds a real comradeship there, and a release—and a relationship.
He dodges the lingering question of Logan's mortality/healing factor, but all signs are pointing to that being out of play for a while.

This whole idea implies, of course, that Mr. Muttonchops will be out of The X-Teams and Avengers. (If he's still in those books, on those teams, I'm gonna start breaking things.)

So kids, what do you think of this WWE style, "Hero Turns Bad" idea?