Celebrate #ForceFriday with a Finn Action Figure

Have you felt it? There’s been an awakening…

You’ve watched all of the unboxing videos. You camped in line outside Toys R Us, waiting for a special midnight opening. Now, #ForceFriday is finally here. Even though Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still three months away, you would be unwise to underestimate the power of Star Wars merchandising. Hell, you can’t spell swag with out SW, right?

Speaking of swag, we’re giving away some of it. Keep reading if you want to know how.

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Misty Knight Cast in Netflix’s Luke Cage

As we get closer and closer to the late-2015 premiere date of Jessica Jones, Netflix’s follow-up to the mega-successful Daredevil, the rest of Marvel’s Television Universe is starting to take shape. We all know that Luke Cage is the next series in the pipeline; in fact, Cage is part of the main cast of Jessica Jones, played by Mike Colter. Now, news has come out that the next major Marvel character to get the live action treatment will be none other than Misty Knight, who will be played by Southland’s Simone Missick.

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N.O.C. One-Shot: Why Wanting Diverse Comics is Not Enough

#WeNeedDiverseBooks is a powerful hashtag and message. But we can’t just want these books. We have to support the ones that are already out there too. The latest One-Shot from Shawn Taylor (@reallovepunk) gets at some of the reasons why.

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NOC Recaps Vixen: The Animated Microseries

Watch the episode here.

I was probably more excited than most when it was announced that DC Comics’ Vixen would be animated for the small screen. Vixen is one of my all-time favorite characters and if you aren’t up on her, check out this and this. Marvel may be the heavyweight champs of the cinematic landscape, but DC are the lords and masters of the animation realm. Rarely does DC miss with their animated properties. So far, with Vixen, I think I’m going to have to put the first five-minute episode in the ‘eh… maybe’ column.

[Spoilers Ahead]

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Hell on Wheels: Chinamen, The Final Frontier

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched through Episode 6 this season, there are some character revelations and minor plot twists revealed, but ostensibly nothing that would alter anyone’s viewing of the show.

AMC’s Hell on Wheels entered its fifth and final season this summer with seven episodes scheduled to finish in 2015 and seven more in 2016 to close it out. The show follows a former Confederate solider, Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), as he reconciles his dark past while becoming a key player in the race to build the Transcontinental Railroad.

Admittedly, I have never been a regular viewer of the show. I only tuned in for this season after hearing that Hell would finally include Chinese railroad workers as part of its story; and not without some healthy skepticism. Chinese workers have been mostly glossed over in mainstream media depictions of the western frontier and they got the same treatment through Hell‘s first four seasons. While the show’s creators Joe and Tony Gayton gave practical reasons as to why this happened, the chances of whether the Chinese would ever be included on the show seemed less promising with each passing season.

Season Five, however, has been worth the wait.

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Throwback Thursday: Why I’m Down with The LXD

So I thought I’d switch gears here for a second and discuss one of my all time favorite series: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.

Hip hop culture is a long lost love of mine.

This usually shocks people when they learn that I used to be huge fan of vintage hip hop. It’s understandable given my cerebral and uptight demeanor.

As a kid, hip hop culture was starting to gain traction and even then I knew it was something special. It was from the streets, it was humble, it was pure. It was by the people for the people. It was inclusive. Hip hop/rap was for everyone: male, female, black, Asian, Latino, and white.

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Character Study: Barbara Gordon

Dedicated to the late Yvonne Craig who passed away yesterday.

It’s a shame how much Barbara Gordon/Batgirl is perhaps one of the most underrated characters in comics and pop culture. Not surprising that many dismiss her as little more than a “female Robin” or a lesser spinoff character of the caped crusader.

But the astute observer will note that by being tied to the Batman mythos, Barbara Gordon has arguably made more appearances in mainstream media than any other comic book super heroine, including Wonder Woman, thus perhaps making Batgirl the most publicized comic book super heroine to date.

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A King Among Men, Dinosaurs, and Robot Karate Bears

It’s the distant future, it’s Los Angeles. So the desolate wasteland in King — a new creator-owned comic by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Bernard Chang, and Marcelo Maiolo — is no stretch. The titular man is the last of his kind, left on an Earth we recognize only in its rubble, surrounded somehow by talking dinosaurs, humanoid animals they call CrossFreaks, and of course, giant karate robot bears.

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Secret Coders Entertains and Educates

Secret Coders, a new graphic novel series written by Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Superman), sets out to bring computer programming to kids and adults. Some people may not know that Yang, when not writing comics, is a high school computer science teacher. This is his attempt to combine his two passions – comics and programming.

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Pop Culture with a Different Perspective

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