Normally I deliver mail throughout post-apocalyptic America for food, trade goods, or even sex with Olivia Williams. Seeing as I need (most of) these things to survive, it’s a system that works pretty well. So I have a message to whoever created those “Forever” stamps the Post Office has to take at any time no matter what: you’re an asshole.

It’s Only a Game


Dear Mr. Postman,

Recently a friend of mind said he'd annoy me until I watched Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. I said I wasn't really interested in either show and he continued to pester. I gave in and said I might one day give Breaking Bad a chance but that Game of Thrones wasn't something I'm interested in. He proceeded to, essentially, defriend me and stopped talking to me altogether.

I've been a nerd for a couple decades now and have never had this happen. Is this a thing now? Just... Defriending people due to the fact that they won't watch your favorite shows? It's like two friends, one who likes Star Trek and one who likes Star Wars breaking up because they don't like the other's franchise. It seems silly. Am I wrong? Should I feel bad?


It’s not a thing “now” as much as it is a thing amongst “insane people.” Worst case scenario, your “friend” apparently prizes his relationship with a TV show over his friendship with you; if that’s the case, he clearly wasn’t much of a friend to begin with. On the other hand, most people don’t stop being friends with people because one of them doesn’t like a TV show, so if I can hazard a guess — with the caveat that I’m even more bogus a psychologist than I am a mailman — there might be something else going on here. Maybe it’s a problem between you two, maybe your friend is lashing out because of some other reason. Just know you’re not wrong and you should definitely not feel bad.

As an aside, Game of Thrones is pretty good. If it’s the fantasy aspect that’s holding you back, I can tell you my mom watches it and loves it, and she has no affection for fantasy whatsoever. It’s a lot more about people and politics than it is about dragons. But whatever, if it’s not your bag it’s not your bag. We can still be friends.


Annual Report

Martin S.:

Rob, I hope. I am a fan since the Transformers 2 thing, keep rocking it.
Nothing Earth shattering, I just think you might be old enough to appreciate my quandary. Comic Book Annuals. For a brief period there they were these super cool amazing things with big crossovers and star artists, then they kind of became artist boot camp, and not very good. Did they give way to the crossovers?


In the sense that Annuals used to be comic book events, and now comic book events cross over countless series, often have their own series to boot, and last several months, yes. Annuals used be the “summer movies”, if you will, of comics — and as comic events got bigger and bigger, the annuals just became smaller and smaller, until now they're another issue in the run, either continuing the regular monthly plot or, and this is far more rare, telling a story that actually begins and ends in a single issue (which is why they’re often randomly inserted into the trades).

If an Annual is merely going to continue the regular story, why even bother calling it an Annual? Why even make it in the first place? The comic industry seems to still be making them purely out of habit at this point.


Throw Me the Whip and/or Shield!

Gene F.:

Mr. Newman.

With all the talk about crossovers lately, I think an obvious one has been overlooked. Not only do the two franchises fit well together, it could (in theory) actually happen because they're both owned by the same company. I say it's time we acknowledge the Indiana Jones films took place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It'd be pretty cool to have a flashback scene in a Captain America movie showing Cap and Indy smashing Nazis. (Granted, Harrison Ford would need a major makeup job to look in his mid-40s.) Or Indy in the present day, still spry for a 114-year-old adventurer thanks to a second swig from the Holy Grail that would have had to have happened sometime in the 1990s (after the events of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles).


Holy shit, that’s brilliant. Indiana Jones works great in the Marvel movie-verse. All of Indy’s crazy mystical treasures — the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail — and bad guys like the Thuggee cult make perfect sense in the Marvel-verse, and I can easily see Indiana Jones as a contemporary with Captain America. And Marvel did publish The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones comics back in the '80s, so there's kind of a precedent, although no Marvel heroes ever made an appearance. Hell, I’ll go out on a limb and say Toht, the evil Nazi who got his face melted off in Raiders of the Lost Ark, was probably working for HYDRA. Seriously, Disney, this crossover is A-okay! Just leave Star Wars out of it, please!

Also, I’ve been calling myself “The Postman” for so damn long that I forgot my name was “Newman.” Newman. New man. Like when I put on that dead mailman’s uniform and pretended I was a “new man,” but somehow I actually became a truly “new man” by accidentally restarting the U.S. postal service, inspiring both post-apocalyptic America and myself. What a wacky coincidence!


Broken Arrow

Vince V.:

I was just wondering, should Warner Bros. feel compelled to play catch up after Avengers 2 comes out (and reminds them they gotta get their shiz together), do you think they'd take a chance and just "upgrade" their CW success(es?) into the cinematic DCU? Mainly, get Green Arrow in a movie by just telling Stephen Arnell he's going to be in Man of Steel 3/Whatever-they-call-the-sequel-to-Supes-VS-Batman? And, presuming they can replicate the success of that show for Flash and/or Wonder Woman (Amazon is still being developed, yes?), get them in too? Just... well, "cheat" half of their universe into existence?

I mean, a) those shows, if Arrow is any indication, are going to be patterned after/informed by the Nolanization of the DCU. Tonally, I think it could, possibly, work - at least in the case of Arrow there, Green Arrow is not a big enough name to attract too much negative attention should this be viewed as some lazy movie by cynical fans (cynical fans? On the internet! What am I even thinking, suggesting such a thing!). And it's not like people hate that show, by any means. Arnell is certainly capable enough to hold his own as Arrow, especially when - being realistic here - he'd be marginalized in a JLA feature starring Cavill and Affleck. Much like how Hawkeye takes a backseat to Iron Man, Hulk, Cap & Thor in Avengers.

Has any TV show character ever been upgraded into a movie character like that, and seen success on both the small screen and big one?


I would love to tell you that Batman/Superman indicates Warner Bros. is going for a Justice League first/individual superhero films next plan, in which the other DC heroes first appear in the JL movie, but that would require for Warner Bros. to have a plan beyond Batman/Superman, and I don’t think they have one. While Marvel has their cinematic universe planned out through 2018 or so, Warner Bros. seems completely content to simply work on Batman/Superman, let that come out, and then figure out what’s next. And that’s why Marvel has four or more movies coming out in the next two years, and WB has one.

That said, seeing as DC seems completely unable to make stand-alone superhero movies that don’t involve Batman or Superman, I’d place my money on them doing Justice League and spinning Wonder Woman and the rest out of there. Although I’d be even more willing to bet that the follow-up to Batman/Superman is Batman/Superman 2 (The Legend of Curly’s Gold) so WB can dawdle and wring their hands and continue to avoid trying to make a Justice League movie.

As for your other question, obviously plenty of shows have become movies with varying degrees of success, but there’s never been anything like you’re saying — a star of a specific TV show whose character becomes part of a larger movie ensemble — at least that I can think of. There’s a weird, wide gulf between movies and TV shows where people involved in movies look down on the TV show people. Stars “graduate” from TV shows to movies, and movie stars “fall” into TV roles. This completely ignores the fact that we’re in a golden age of TV of great stories and great actors and most movies, even the ones that make a shit-ton of money, are more spectacle than storytelling.


My point is that DC will almost certainly not bring Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow into the Justice League movie because of that perceived stigma — it’s the same reason Smallville never graduated into a movie franchise, despite its long run and not-small popularity. This is a shame, because Amell is a great Green Arrow and as you said would work perfectly within the Nolan-ized Justice League, especially since Green Arrow wouldn’t be doing any of the heavy lifting. But while normal people see Amell as a guy who plays the part well now and would be great for the movie, Hollywood sees a guy who, by virtue of being on TV, is not worthy of being in a movie.


The Scotty Potty Conundrum

Josh G.:

I've been rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation for the first time since the 90's, and I just watched the episode Relics and was struck by an odd thought at the end. In case you don't remember, that is the episode in which Scotty from TOS is given one of the Enterprise D's shuttlecrafts at the end so that he can go off and do his own thing until he either settles down or dies. The wisdom of sending an old guy who is unfamiliar with a lot of the current era technology as demonstrated by the episode notwithstanding, we see a shot of the shuttle interior at the end and it seems to be lacking in a number of critical facilities. I can pretend that there is a replicator somewhere on the shuttle so he won't starve to death, but how is he supposed to relieve himself? I don't see any space in the shuttle for a toilet. Is he expected to just go in a corner or something? In fact similar shuttlecrafts get used quite frequently for trips longer than most people can hold it. Does no one void their bowels or bladder in Star Trek?


There are definitely toilets in Star Trek — I remember Picard had a bathroom attached to his quarters — so members of Starfleet definitely pee and poop. The terrifyingly detailed “Toilet” page on the ol’ Memory-Alpha Star Trek wiki says that toilets in the brig are concealed in walls; this makes no sense for most bathrooms in the Enterprise, since people would need privacy more than they’d need that extra six or so cubic feet of space, but it does make sense for toilets to be retractable in a cell or a small shuttle, where there’s limited space.

Now, I’d think the shuttle's walls are too thin to hold a toilet and the protective material necessary to keep a shuttle structurally sound in the harsh vacuum of space, but perhaps there’s a toilet or a small box-containing a retractable toilet on the left-hand side of the shuttle, where we can’t see in the above picture. Or maybe the pilot's seat also doubles as a toilet — hit a button, the seat opens up, you drop your drawers, and do your business all while never losing control of the ship. Gross, but efficient!

Two other possibilities: 1) The TNG crew sent the senile Scotty off in a practically empty shuttlecraft without food or a toilet into space to die; it’s possible the shuttle was programmed to return to the Enterprise after a week when Scotty had inevitably starved to death, alone. 2) The shuttle never left, and it’s still sitting in the hangar bay, with the elderly Scotty believing he’s traveling through space thanks to a cunning viewscreen program. Kind of like a makeshift retirement home for beloved Starfleet officers.


Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email the! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!