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Crossovers have been a big part of the comic book and sci-fi/horror genres for decades. Sometimes crossovers make fans excited, other times they make fans angry.
Learning about a Star Trek meets the Transformers crossover sounds like the kind of fan service, on the surface at least, fans of both franchise should be excited for. If you consider the Transformers are sentient alien robots while the Borg, a race of sentient alien robots, exists in Star Trek the two certainly do have some room for crossing over.
The problem I have is based on the roots of the franchises. The issue for me goes back to the Marvel Comics days. Under the old Transformers comics published under Marvel the Transformers were grafted into the Marvel Universe. Numerous references, including a Spider-Man appearance early on, cement this point of view. Now Star Wars was a part of the Marvel Universe during the same time period and now, under Disney, they are also under the Marvel Universe officially now.
If this crossover takes place it could bring Star Trek and Star Wars into the same multiverse. This is problematic when you consider DC comics published Star Trek comics once. Paramount wants to launch their own shared universe. Their most popular science fiction properties are Transformers and Star Trek. Although G.I. Joe is popular, they’ve already done plenty of crossovers with the Transformers.
From a purely story-telling standpoint there is plenty of room for the Robots in Disguise to exist in as many science fiction multiverses as those with the property rights desire to allow. The only issue I see is them falling into the trap of tying the Cybertronians to the Borg in a weird way. I would hope they find away to insist they aren’t the same but the robots have to prove this fact to the crew of the Enterprise first.
The next issue that I see is which incarnation of each fiction does this take place within? For example would it be Next Generation crew going up against Beast Wars characters? What about Voyager crew facing the G1 movie team? Or the worse match up, Original Crew facing Armada characters. There’s so many possibilities. Of course I haven’t read the entire details on what could be coming all I know is the announcement alone has me curious. It’s one of those annoying crossover stories that will probably end up being a highly sought after one off or mini series collectors and fans of both franchises must have. As an avid Transformers fan and passing Star Trek viewer I can say it certainly sits on my list of comics I might pick up down the road.
In the early 1990’s I was the exact right age to get sucked into the Fox X-Men Animated series. Needless to say I became a pretty big fan of the series. I bought toys, comics, video games and watched all the cartoons I could. I loved X-Men. Imagine my excitement when I am reading the latest issue of Wizard magazine and they are showing off images from the set of the upcoming live-action feature film starring my favorite mutants.
Throughout the years the X-Men have continued to star in nearly a dozen feature films following that first masterpiece from 2000. It was the perfect film to transition comic book movies from the dark days of the 90’s into the golden age of comic book movies were are experiencing today. I was still the right age to be excited for the movie when it released. I was 18 when it released and finishing up high school. I vividly remember going to the theater and then being so excited to see it again, and again. I couldn’t wait for the next film in the franchise.
Now nearly 20 years later there is a new X-Men themed hit tearing up the box office right now and another mutant fest right around the corner. I decided this was a good time to finally get caught up on the films. I watched Days of Future Past earlier today. This had been the last of the primary X-Films I hadn’t seen yet. It was a good thing I did because I actually had a great time watching this movie. It was a dream come true seeing the stories I used to be mesmerized as a child coming to life in a new medium.
Here is a breakdown of the X-Men films so far. I am not counting the Deadpool movies or Wolverine films. First, I haven’t even seen them yet, and second I am not really a fan. I will keep this to the primary X-Films until I can get around to watching the spin-offs.
Looking back on it now I still think this was a brilliant way to kick off the franchise. While it does boast a modest budget and reasonable special effects, for the time, it’s clearly more focused on the story. The best part of the film is the casting. These actors easily bring my favorite comic book heroes to life in a manner that is consistent with my liking. The characters are the heart and soul of the X-Men and although they choose to center it on a very small cast, it’s a great selection of characters.
The action isn’t over the top like later films. I actually like this on repeat viewings. It doesn’t really seem tame as it does reigned in. The movie gives the characters a chance to breath while leaving enough to the imagination to build up to the next film. It’s obvious they were trying to repeat this pattern with the flawed Fantastic Four films, unfortunately in that case it didn’t quite resonate with audiences.
X-Men 2 (X2 X-Men United)
Removed from time this movie remains one of the all-time greatest super hero science fiction films ever produced. Even with all the modern spectacle of Avengers films, this movie continues to amaze me with the way it present the mutants powers. It’s not excessive like others in the series yet it is far more refined than the first. It’s obvious the first movie was used to test the waters while this movie was given the freedom to do what it needed.
Story wise it’s a direct continuation of the first movie. The characters have real heart and start to really come together as a team. By the end of the movie the stakes are real. The deaths are gut wrenching and the mood is somber. It perfectly sets up the third film in what was originally to be a trilogy.
X-Men 3 The Last Stand
I remember the anticipation for this movie was very high for me. I was heartbroken at the death of one of my two favorite X-Men characters in the previous film. I suspected she would return as Phoenix because that’s the way they did it in the source material. I wasn’t entirely on board with how it turned out but I still enjoyed this movie tremendously, considerably more than the vocal fanbase who has condemned it for reasons I have yet to determine.
X-Men The First Class
This movie came out around the same time as the first Wolverine movie. By this time super hero movies were in full swing and the X-Men were starting to get played out. This was the first of the series I didn’t see in theaters. It wasn’t because I had any problems with the prior film it was more the market was now saturated with big budget sci-fi spectacles and suddenly X-Men movies weren’t as interesting.
I did eventually see it years later. I thought it was pretty good. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first three films but I did enjoy it still. The character selection was a little odd. I would have preferred they stuck with characters I was more familiar with, I still liked the way the story unfolded. The new Mystique was also a pretty good choice in casting. By this time audiences had grown to expect more out of special effects so the use of the super powers increased significantly. I liked the movie but not as much as the others.
X-Men Days of Future Past
This was the last one I saw previews for and was actively excited for. The trouble was there had been so many new movie franchises rise to prominence by this time I was more into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I ended up skipping this movie. I finally got to see it today and I have to say I was a little disappointed. Not in the film, it was fantastic. I was disappointed I let myself go this long without seeing this movie. In fact I enjoyed it so much I am starting to get excited for the next film in the series.
This was the first dud in the franchise as far as I am concerned. By this time Disney was dominating with their MCU films. The story was fine, the characters were all right but the issue was in the execution. The movie felt a little bloated. It seemed to be the first movie to stray too far from the source material in terms of story for my liking.The movie was entertaining enough it just felt like they were trying too hard with the effects this time.
I have seen two of the three Wolverine movies. I haven’t seen The Wolverine yet and I also haven’t seen either of the Deadpool films yet so I will evaluate those at a later date.
Over all I still think the entire X-Men franchise has been consistently good. There have been a couple bumps in the road.
A friend of mine recently told me the Transformers fiction (movies, cartoons, comics. etc.,) was nothing but hot garbage. He stood firm on this. I tried to convince him otherwise but as I began defending the story I realized my entire argument was based on the toys. My passion for the toys has blinded me to the holes in the fiction. Still, I never claimed to be a Transformers fan, only a collector.
Over the years my Transformers collecting has taken on many different forms. There was one point I was so obsessed I launched my own Transformers website. The Transformers Collector. I even continue to use this old email account I created for that website to this day. I never cared much for the ‘fandom’ and as time went by I learned I just didn’t bother with any fandom. Fans, especially fanboys, are terrible people who can’t look beyond their little world. I wasn’t trying to be one of those. I was open to Go-Bots, Voltron, any transforming robot toy. I didn’t care for the fiction, the rivalries or the Trukk not Monkee people who hated on Beast Wars. Yet I also never cared for the fans who defended Beast Wars on the merits of the show. If the toys can’t stand on their own, I believed, then they weren’t worth discussing. Since my interest is in collecting the toys I had no reason to care about the fiction more than just my informal exposure as a child.
Transformers collecting has always remained on the back burner of my mind. I once built up a massive collection several years ago. I had so many toys I couldn’t even find space for all of them. Eventually I got tired of lugging them around every time I moved so I sold them all off. Then slowly over the years I began buying them back, each time I would change my focus from anything goes to very specific toys. Then a new line would be introduced that sparked my interest, or I would see a YouTube video showing off some obscure Transformer I had forgotten about that would rekindle my interest in the greater line as a whole.
Every time I would think about getting back into collecting there were always two deterrents that gave me pause. The first, as to be expected, is money. These toys are a finite resource with an ever increasing fan base looking to collect. As a result the scarcer toys have skyrocketed in price. There was a toy I bought when I started collecting, during the Ebay craze, that sold for $18 and I thought it was over priced then. Last time I checked they were asking $60 for that same toy. Every time I spent close to $30 for a single toy cognitive dissonance would sink in and I would have intense heartburn for days. I can’t see myself shelling out twice that now.
The second factor was the same issue I always had, space. I had focused on attention from toys and video games to movies and CD’s. The reason was mostly cost. Discs, whether they be movies or music, are smaller, cheaper and easier to obtain. I could build a massive movie collection quicker and easier than a sizable toy or game collection. Whereas I was limited on space it was also more ideal to focus on buying things that wouldn’t consume too much of that valuable commodity I was quickly running short on.
Why now? What changed? A couple of things. One, I am looking at a couple of job opportunities which would put me in a better financial footing than previous. I am college educated now. I have years of experience in my field which brings bargaining chips to the table when applying for jobs. This has opened doors for me to make more money to use towards collecting. Also age. I am 35 now. Every year that goes by I start to regret not doing the things with my life I want to accomplish. I have no goals on my ‘bucket list’ such as seeing the world or going to rock concerts. I have no interest in getting married, starting a family, buying a house; those are all things I have long since determined weren’t for me. Life is short. If I don’t spend my time doing the things I want to do, then what is the point of it all?
Looking back I have seen people with smaller apartments and lower incomes amass big collections. I realized it was fear stopping me and nothing else. I don’t have to buy every single toy I want right away. I can spend the rest of my life seeking them out if that is what it takes, or more importantly, if that is what I decide to do. In other words, I can put it off waiting to win the lottery and have the money to buy everything all at once, or I could say you know what buy what I can afford as I can afford it. That is my new goal. I won’t be busting out the wallet buying any $200 plus toys for any time soon. But I can start picking off the smaller, cheaper toys one by one. I am also thinking I might over come my need to buy complete and pick up a loose figure and build a complete set one piece at a time. While that was mostly how I did it before I am more disciplined now. I am older, wiser, and more importantly, I no longer feel the obsessive need to have a huge collection right away like I did before. I can take my time and collect the things I want. If I keep waiting for life to work itself out I might as well give up now.
I am not sure exactly where I will start. I am leaning towards focusing on buying the toys specifically from my childhood and then expanding from there. I might start small and slow with just a figure here and there. I have started this hobby up more than once. The difference this time is I am no longer juggling it with other hobbies like video game collecting. Since I am more into gaming than collecting I have shifted my focus there to avoiding the trap of buying old retro consoles. This keeps me from spending money on things I can do without and allows me to focus more on buying the things I have an actual interest in.
There was a small time when I thought I was done with Transformers collecting because I was worried what people thought. I don’t care what people think of me any more, which has really been very liberating in several other areas of my life, so with that said am going to start my Transformers collection right after I get working again. I am working on making a plan this time so I don’t end up buying haphazardly with no goal in mind.
I am also limiting myself to toys from my childhood. While that will allow for some wiggle room when it comes to collecting toys from the line featured in the cartoon, I will opt out of buying newer toys just for the sake of it. My previous venture ended up leading me to buying Armada toys because I was having trouble finding sellers of the classic toys I wanted so I would fall into the trap of being in a Target or similar store and pick up the toy they had on the shelf to satisfy my urge to add a piece to my collection. If I can maintain a narrower focus I think I can build a respectable collection focused on just the stuff I want. I will post further details as I decide for certain which ones I want and which ones I can ignore.
For now I am just determining this is the direction I want to go, I will decide the specifics later.
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Ever since I was very young I always wanted to get into broadcasting one way or another. I studied broadcasting in college. I never knew if I would end up in radio or television all I knew was I wanted to be able to create a show I could share with an audience and keep them entertained and informed.
My career in the media and entertainment industry has been a little bumpy, to say the least. I have worked in live entertainment, weddings, a sports arena, two different local broadcast TV station and a weekly newspaper. On the digital front I have done a little bit of everything ranging from writing, producing, music, videos and everything else. At one time I even started up my own independent record label which I used to publish underground hip-hip and techno/trance albums. The only thing missing from my repertoire is radio.
Like most people in this business my primary goal is to stay busy. Whenever one job has run it’s course I quickly begin looking around for the very next opportunity. Sometimes, if you are lucky and keep your eyes open, you can end up juggling multiple projects at the same time. I launched my current blog, this website you are reading this article on, around 2013, while I was still in college. Since then I expanded to include a YouTube channel and a once a week, 2 hour long uncensored podcast. While I enjoy doing the podcast I felt like I was cutting myself short. When I was working for the newspaper I toyed with the idea of transforming the podcast into a daily internet radio show. The idea never went very far as I was always working. Now that’s changed I have a little more time to focus on doing the things I enjoy.
Recently I decide to give it a show. I finally settled on a format I think works for my personality while maintaining some sense of professional production values. I want to do the radio show as if it was a broadcast series. This means keeping it limited to a set time length, a specific format and staying within the guidelines of the FCC. Although it is an internet show and thus government censors do not apply, my goal is to do it as closely to a over-the-air radio show as I can get it.
One of the things that has been motivating me is my desire to stop waiting around for someone to give me a job doing the things I enjoy and instead just making things happen. Fortunately I can say without a doubt since I have launched the daily series I have gotten the attention of the right people as I have finally begun getting many of the job offers I had been waiting for.
The biggest challenge isn’t biting my tongue. I function quite well in polite American society so I can form intelligent sentences without the use of profanities or other “dirty” language. The real difficulty has been in being disciplined enough to keep the length and format the same each episode while being consistent in uploading at the same time each day. It’s important to reach my audience if they can rely on me to deliver a consistent product that matches their lives.
One of my worries was if I did this daily would I be able to come up with enough topics to hold it down? I decided if I settled on an hour long format with very specific segments it would emulate what I learned working in the TV business. This way I would know exactly what needs to be discussed during each segment. I decided I would do an opening segment where I just talk a little about my life, my day and the world around me. Then I would transition into a recommendation section where I discussed an old movie, music work and a video game. I decided on this segment because it gives me something to be consistent while also being flexible to keep the conversation loose.
Then I decided I would transition from there to reading of headlines and offering commentary on those headlines. I figured this format would be tailored to my tastes such as I would be able to keep it going for a while. The first road block is I have finally been offered a position at a TV station I can’t refuse. This is going to put me back to working a 40 hour work week. At first I thought that would interfere with my ability to produce a daily show. However I am not thinking it will only make me more disciplined and polished giving me a chance to produce a more professional show.
No matter what happens I want to keep doing both The Dark Web Podcast on weekends and the new Dark Web Daily Show on weekdays for the near future. Part of what I like about producing my own show is I am in complete control of the content. I am looking forward to getting back to working a steady job for a media production company. Still I enjoy having the freedom to produce something on the side that is entirely mine. More than anything I produce the show I want to do and I hope my audience will find it as enjoyable to listen to as I do producing it.
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