The Ninjabot

The Jerd’s Top Picks of 2012

Posted on December 30, 2012 at 8:23 am by Jeff Mueller

So as 2012 comes to a close the Geek Legacy team is taking a look back at the best and worst geekiness the year had to offer. This year laid a lot of fare on the geek table, from the written page to the big screen and everything in-between, so sit back and let his Jerdness tell you what he filled his plate with this past year.

Best Video Game – Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2There were a lot of solid games that came out this year, both from large studios and from smaller independent studios, so this category was probably the hardest for me to nail down. When I looked back though, of all the games that came out this year, I played this one the most and derived more joy out of it than any other. From both the core release to the subsequent DLC I can’t recall a game that has been able to make me laugh out loud while playing it. Repeatedly.

Is the game-play limited? Yes, it is a very basic first-person shooter. Does it matter? Not one bit. The world that Gearbox and Y2K Games has created, while ridiculously absurd, is fantastic and one you quickly find yourself immersed in. The voice acting is, much like the first Borderlands game, head and shoulders above pretty much any other game out there; a fact that definitely helps the world feel real and the game experience that much more immersive.

The real joy of this game though is that it 110% knows exactly what it is and doesn’t shy away from it one bit. Instead it revels in its absurdity with more winks and nods to the players than you can count. If you haven’t played Borderlands 2 yet, shame on you!

Best Comic Book – Animal Man

Animal Man issue 1With so much great stuff happening in the world of comics this was a really, really difficult pick to make. I settled on Animal Man for a few reasons. First off, there has not been a less than stellar issue all year. The writing and art is consistently solid, and writer Jeff Lemire has found a way to make a B-list character very compelling in a world inhabited by veritable giants among men such as Superman and Wonder Woman.

In fact that is a common focus of the book. How someone with powers that, while super, are not of the same caliber of all the heavy hitters in the DC Universe and how he deals with that and his family life.

What elevates this book to the top of the heap though has been the “Rot World” storyline (a cross-over with Swamp Thing) which takes everything I just said and turns it on its head. The mythology being spun here is spectacular, giving Animal Man and Swamp Thing forever a place in the DC line-up. Without spoiling anything, it ties the two characters together, gives them both an opportunity to save the world from a very, very disturbing threat where all the A-listers can’t, and really reinforces the dilemma of being a superhero with a family. Riveting stuff if you ask me!

Best Movie – The Avengers

The AvengersA lot of great movies came out this year, but none produced a forest of nerd wood like Marvel’s The Avengers; and for good reason! While high budget comic book movies have become commonplace in the last few years, until this year we had yet to see a team movie that looked and felt like it had sprung directly from the pages of the books we loved.

While not the best movie of the year, it was definitely the geekiest! Joss Whedon masterfully merged three successful franchises (Iron Man, Captain America & Thor), brought S.H.I.E.L.D. out of the shadows into the forefront and redeemed a certain giant, green anger machine! All the while giving us a perfect blend of humor, action and story.

The Avengers excelled in its camera work, producing scenes that looked as though they were pulled right out of the comic book itself. Something that comic nerds have been waiting their entire lives for! While I am sure that there will be many more great team movies to come, there is definitely something to be said for being the first to do it right. Thank you Mr Whedon!

Best Webseries – Save the Supers

Save the SupersThink “The Office”, only NSFW and starring a dysfunctional version of the Super Friends. The brainchild of “The Guild” alum Sandeep Parikh, this hysterical webseries follows the mis-adventures of a team called The Super Force. The show focuses on the daily life of this group of heroes, led by Merman (played by Sandeep Parikh as well), as they deal with the dangers of things like losing their funding and characters like Morph Man dealing with his substance abuse problems (Trust me, it is hysterical in its absurdity).

I find myself watching more and more independently produced web-content over network T.V., and this series is a prime example of why. The freedom these creators have to put their vision out there, free from the burdens of TV execs, makes these shows such a refreshing change of pace and well worth supporting.

Very similar in humor to Sandeep’s last creation, “The Legend of Neil”, the first season closed out with 7 full episodes, and a handful of short one-shots focusing on each of the characters individually. While I would love to embed an episode of this refreshingly funny satire for you, I will instead leave the NSFW responsibility up to you loyal readers, but do yourself a favor and don’t sleep on Save the Supers! Check it out at www.savethesupers.com. Now.

Best Podcast – Fatman on Batman

Fatman on BatmanFor me, this year has been the year of diving deep into podcasts. Both to occupy my time while driving, and to have playing through my headphones when working out.

The podcast I look forward to most every week (and the one that gives me the sads when it skips a week) is hands down, Fatman on Batman! While Kevin Smith is a definitely a geek culture icon, and his SMODcast network a growing juggernaut on the interwebz, there is something very genuine about this particular podcast.

Taking his love of the Caped Crusader to new levels of nerdiness, Kevin Smith spends almost two hours every week interviewing people who have been involved with Batman in some form or another. Some weeks the focus is on the animated series, some weeks on the comics, but regardless of your particular form of fandom when it comes to the Dark Knight I guarantee you will find these interviews engaging and fascinating! Standouts for me have been Scott Snyder (current Batman writer) and Deidrich Bader (who voiced Batman for “The Brave and the Bold” animated series).

Do yourself a favor and listen to everyone’s favorite Fatman wax poetic about his, and his guest’s, love of the Batman!

Best Under-the-Radar Hit – Comichead

ComicheadI didn’t know how exactly to classify Brian Faraldo’s Comichead, but I did know that it had to make an appearance on this list! A semi-recent addition to the S.I.T. (SMODCO Internet Television) network, Comichead is a weekly video format comic book review. With a background in production and editing, Brian Faraldo puts together highly entertaining montages highlighting the book he is reviewing; all the while providing some of the funniest and NSFW voice-overs on the Web to give you a 4-5 minute rundown of what happened in that issue.

Much like my pick for best webseries, I feel like the best way to appreciate the genius that is Comichead is to just watch an episode. Unfortunately the NSFW hilarity that makes it so great, also makes it un-embeddable here.

So if you read comic books, and enjoy laughing, there is absolutely no reason to sleep on this! Go check out the self-proclaimed “Most entertaining comic book revue on the f*cking planet!”  over on S.I.T. or on Facebook. Do it.

Biggest Disappointment – Revolution

Man, what great promise this show had; backed with a high budget, given a good time slot, starring a solid cast and working with a really interesting premise. So what happened?

Some really, really crappy writing is what happened. While the premise was very interesting and sound, the execution was about as weak as weak can get. I cannot stress this enough to aspiring science fiction writers, bad science makes for bad science fiction! Nerds and geeks, by nature, are highly intelligent and if you haven’t thought your science through we will jump on you and come after your poorly developed story mechanisms like a fat guy attacks a plate of ribs.

I don’t want to get into everything that is so very wrong with the magic USB pendants and their fantastical powers of electricity because frankly, taking the time to think about it just makes my brain hurt! All I know is that they don’t have the power to give me the time I sunk into this show back. While one must participate in some level of suspension of disbelief when enjoying any sort of science fiction/fantasy, when you make the only major plot point about science you have to really lock that down otherwise you end up with… well you end up with Revolution. Blerg.

Most Anticipated Geekery of 2013 – Game of Thrones (S3)

Game of ThronesThere is a lot of good stuff coming next year on the big (Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Man of Steel) and little (Walking Dead, the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show) screens, but there is nothing that gets my geek juices flowing like the anticipation I feel for the next season of Game of Thrones on HBO.

Between the cliff hanger they ended last season on and what, as a reader of the books, I know is coming March can not get here fast enough! If you haven’t read the books I won’t spoil anything for you but there is going to be a moment coming this season that, if done right, will put you right on your viewing ass. I know there have been a lot of these sorts of scenes already (I lovingly refer to this series as a “Eulogy of Fire and Ice”) but the “sh*t just got real!” moments are going to keep coming!

If you have not boarded the Game of Thrones train, you are missing out! This is fantasy finally done right; no cheesy effects or dialogue, just the right amount of magic and mysticism and some of the best acting on TV. Winter is coming, and you can bet I am going to be glued to my TV not missing a minute!

Follow @TheMightyJerd on Twitter for all your geek needs!

    • Borderlands 2 was a lot of fun. Also, I really need to catch up on Game of Thrones; the last episode I watched some crazy woman gave birth to the smoke monster that would later terrorize the Lost crew.

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