Pop Culture

Coverage of and commentary on current events and announcements in the world of TV, Movies, Comic Books, and Literature.

The X-Files Returns, But Can We Really Go Home Again?

I’m having trouble writing this preview, because I’m not excited. When it was announced about three years ago that The X-Files was coming back for another season, it was exciting—finally, a chance for the iconic show of the ’90s to deliver the answers it had promised. The moment was nigh for redemption from the disasters that were seasons 8 and 9 and the second motion picture. I was giddy that finally I could discuss my favorite show without the...

Star Wars Fandom, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Force

Star Wars season is once again in full swing, and The Last Jedi has captured my imagination as much as any of its predecessors. Over the years, I have taken in the space-opera franchise in all its forms, from the books that brought my experience of the galactic adventure beyond what is seen in the films, to the electronic and tabletop games that informed who I am today in a very real way. The Force runs so deep within me that imagining...

Who Gets Excluded from the Gender Commentary of Sleeping Beauties and The Power

This fall, the books Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King and The Power by Naomi Alderman were released. Both make an attempt at viewing what the world is like for women by depicting plagues that affect them while leaving men (mostly) unharmed. This is not a new mechanism in genre literature, with the popular comic Y: The Last Man being a prime example of earlier explorations of a gender-based malady. However, the basis of these two novels, an illumination of inequality...

What’s Next for Minnesota’s Max the Library Cat?

Max the cat has had quite a busy few weeks. In early November, Macalester College professor Rebecca Wingo snapped a photo of a certain sign at the school’s DeWitt Wallace Library targeting Max and posted it on Twitter. A few weeks later, it showed up on Tumblr, then Reddit. Suddenly, Max was launched to global Internet fame. It also introduced Max’s owner, Connie Lipton, and the sign’s creator, senior library associate Chris Schommer, who had never met before. In...

Patton Oswalt, Please Come Back to Minnesota

As I sit writing this, it’s now a year to the day that I saw you live at Mystic Lake. I remember because it was literally the first time I had laughed in, at very least, the three days since the election. Two of my friends came with, one of whom had never seen you before. She loved your set just as much as we did. Actually, everyone did, and that was obvious because they stood up at the...

Adam Savage and Michael Stevens Satiate the Mind with Brain Candy Live

For generations, being interested in science made you an outcast—forced into the depths of basement laboratories, backyard telescopes, and dusty library sections. But over time, popular science started to break through to the masses, with shows like Mr. Wizard, Beakman’s World, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. The last decade in particular has seen a science boom in what is cool, thanks in large part to Mythbusters on television and Vsauce on the interwebs. So in some ways, it’s only natural that hosts...

Klingons, Gender, and Disability on the Feast of the Long Night

The concept of transformative works is not new; it dates back as far as history goes. Typical examples include the Gospels (written hundreds of years after the life of the historical figure of Jesus) and Dante’s Divine Comedy (a self-insert version of the author palling around with his favorite poet, Virgil). In the 20th century we have Sherlock Holmes fans writing their own eccentric-genius stories (the Baker Street Irregulars through Laurie King), Star Trek fans writing licensed tie-ins and...

No, YOU Move! Standing Up for What’s Right with Superheroes

A particular exchange between Captain America and Spider-Man has long been one of my favorite quotes. Spidey is asking Cap how he deals with the world when it’s pitted against him. Cap gives a longer response, but the iconic end is: “Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else:...

Enter to Win a Justice League Movie Prize Pack!

Justice League comes out November 17, and tickets are officially on sale—but you can win a pair for free, along with a bunch of other Justice League swag! We’re giving away a sweet prize pack that includes the following: (2) Fandango movie tickets to see the film (valid 11/17/2017–12/14/2017, $24 value) (1) $10 Dave & Buster’s Power Play card (1) Justice League T-shirt (1) Justice League drawstring bag (1) Justice League poster (1) Justice League pin To enter, just...

The Latest Black Panther Trailer Is Us

By now, you likely have seen Marvel’s latest trailer for Black Panther—if you haven’t, I strongly recommend that you take a few minutes and rectify that immediately. The anticipation for this release is due as much to the gripping visuals and ensemble cast as it is to the fact that this is only Marvel’s second superhero film in which the primary protagonist is black (the first, of course, being the woefully overlooked and underrated Blade). It is shaping up...
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