Greetings, my little stamp scamps. I've wandered into a new area of my post-apocalyptic world where intelligent apes rule instead of man. They can speak, they have they have their own society… I know there's only one thing I must do: Come back with bananas and see if I can rule them as their god. Wish me luck.

For the Team

Tim B.:

One of your responses in the last Postal Apocalypse mentioned the tentative upcoming Flash/Green Lantern team-up movie, which was coincidental because I was thinking earlier how fun it would be to have a "Marvel Team-Up" movie, where the threat wasn't big enough to rally all the Avengers, but still big enough that it would take more than one to handle it. Technically, I suppose Cap 2 could be considered a Captain America/Black Widow team-up movie, but I'm thinking more in terms of heroes who have previously been the star of their own movie. Like an Iron Man/Captain America crossover movie, or maybe Thor/Hulk could be pretty cool (or really, any two of the four headliners, take your pick). It could be like a mini-Avengers at half the star budget, and as Marvel Studios continues to add new franchises into the MCU, it would give them a way to fit more of their characters into their tight schedule each year.

Of course, having two headliner characters share a movie sounds like a neat idea in a theoretical sense for Marvel, but DC's already filming one such movie (if Batman and Snyderman ever get over that "v." and start working together before the movie's over), and have another one on the schedule. Much is made of the abstract competition between Marvel and DC movies on io9, and while I'm firmly on Team Marvel in general, it does seem like DC has grabbed the brass ring in this unique area. Do you think DC will continue the team-up movies as a way to distinguish themselves, and what do you think are the chances that Marvel will get on the team-up bandwagon at some point in the foreseeable future (since that's where you come from)?


The only reason Warner Bros. has decided to venture into the world of superhero team-up movies is because the Green Lantern movie tanked so hard and they don't think the character can carry a new movie on his own. A team-up with the Flash will hopefully get butts in theaters, at which point WB will hopefully be able to spin off new franchises with each character. As for Batman V. Superman, given all the superheroes in it, it really should be called Justice League Part One — it's much more a team movie than a regular team-up.

As for Marvel, you can say they're doing team-up movies, just with main characters (Iron Man and Captain America) and second-tier characters (War Machine and Black Widow), and I imagine that's the process Marvel will continue to follow as long as audiences don't get disinterested. I know you're asking if, say, Iron Man and Hulk will ever co-star in a movie together (Science Bros.!), and I think they will, but it'll likely just be titled Iron Man 6: Science Bros or something.

You could argue that The Winter Soldier should have been titled Captain America/Black Widow: The Winter Soldier — and I'd agree with you — but limiting it to the top-tier heroes is just easier, at least from a marketing standpoint. I don't think Marvel will try to frame these movies as team-ups unless audiences start losing interest with the normal movies, at which point we'll see Iron Man/Hulk: Science Bros.! (Seriously, Marvel, make it happen.)

Who Knows?


I'm really excited about Peter Capaldi as [the new Doctor] 12, but I have a bad feeling about the new season. Am I right to be worried?


Yes and no. No because through my professional nerd sources, I know a few people who have seen the new Who episodes and they say they're great. Some of the best nu-Who yet. A return to form, even. So somewhere on this planet, a couple of dudes are quite satisfied with Capaldi and season 8.

But I can't help but worry about series 8 as well. I've gone through my concerns about the Steven Moffat reign of Who a few times in P.A., and the promos for the new series — with the Doctor saying he's going "Into darkness!" and asking if he's a good man just fills me with dread. It seems like series 8 is getting even more bogged down with exploring the existential misery of being the Doctor, which I was already sick to death of.


On the other hand, those are just two brief scenes which have been in every single one of the promos, so it's entirely possible I'm making a mountain out of two small molehills because the BBC keeps showing me the same two damn molehills over and over again. I guess my short answer is: Sure, because I'm worried too. We'll see on Saturday, I guess.


Treks and Balances

Ken P.:

You recently showed how the bad prequels hurt the Star Wars franchise using math. You argued the same formula applied to any franchise. Now as a long running Star Trek fan, I've often freely admitted that roughly half of it is good. There's a lot more Trek material out there so a real stinker of a movie * cough Insurrection * arguably doesn't have the impact of a 6 movie franchise. For me, Scoring the Trek movies produced a measly 59%. Rotten Tomatoes gave them a collective 68. Personally, I think there is something different at play. Trekkies tend to be more forgiving and can even celebrate really bad Trek. How is it on paper it says I'm lukewarm about something I passionately love?? What do you think the factor is that transcends this cold calculating Math?


Because the Trek franchise is more than just the movies. You need to add in the TV shows — unless you're only a fan of the Star Trek movies, and not the shows, in which case you're a dangerous lunatic — and weigh them appropriately. The Original Series has 79 episodes, TNG has 178, and so on. Now, assuming each episode is roughly 45 minutes, that's 59+ hours of entertainment for TOS, and 133.5 hours for TNG. Compare that to the hours of entertainment the movies have given you — 12 movies if you include the new ones, roughly two hours each, for 24 hours of entertainment.

Now, generally movies are bigger deals than individual TV episodes, but they're not as big as, say, an 80-episode TV show that ran for three years. So even if you triple the impact of the movies — as if they provided 36 hours of Trek — your love of the shows is what's keeping you a Trek fan, not your ambivalence to the movies. You can do the math for yourself (but please show your work.)



Winter Is Coming?


I've been thinking a lot about the Marvel film verse, and I have a speculation about the future of Captain America. Based on actor contracts and comments, we're all predicting the Winter Soldier will become the Captain at some point in the movies.

Chris Evans has a 6 picture deal, Sebastian Stan 9. Evans has been upfront about wanting to get out when his contract expires. And of course the Winter Soldier did take the Captain's shield in the comics.

Here's my theory: Marvel Comics is making a new Avengers series, and the Falcon will now be the Captain. This is Marvel, comics and film, planning years ahead to set up a film plot where Anthony Mackie will be the Captain. By making the change well in advance like this, they are cutting off the backlash from "it never happened in the comics" purists, like those butthurt about Michael B Jordan as the Human Torch, and Idris Elba in Thor.

Am I speculating too much? Or are both sides of the Marvel brain thinking ahead? Any insight into Mackie's contract.


I've talked about this before, but I think I can summarize my view more succinctly. Here goes:

1) I think Marvel will keep the continuity of the Cinematic Universe going on as long as it possibly can.


2) In order to do so, I think they will have to recast roles like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers rather than just have the characters pass their mantles on to others.

3) Because if Winter Soldier/Falcon becomes Cap and War Machine becomes Iron Man, who the hell replaces them when Sebastian Stan and Don Cheadle no longer want to star?


4) I have a very hard time believing Marvel will continually make up new characters to fill these roles; it's much, much easier to just hire new actors for the same role, exactly like they did with Hulk.

5) Marvel Studios does not give a shit what comics fans say, especially not racist ones who are livid at the idea of a black man living in Asgard as if Marvel's Thor had even the slightest accuracy to Norse mythology. These fans can bitch and moan all they want, but they're going to see the movie no matter what. It might be nice to preemptively shut them up, but I feel very confident Marvel Comics is not trying to pave the way for the movies, because the comics are a drop in the bucket compared to the global money-making phenomenon of the movies.


Evening Shade

Seth S.:

Dear Mr. Bricken—

As a sometimes commenter on io9 under the name TNKLB I have thrown some shade your way. Not truly, deeply, horrible things— but some minor jabs here and there that mostly stemmed from the fact that I started seeing io9 as a news outlet and forgot that it was a blog. Your more casual posting style rubbed me the wrong way in contrast to how others post— Meredith is very newsy, Charlie is somewhere in between.

Point being, I decided I wanted io9 coverage to be one way, and you didn't follow and I got ruffled about it. And that is silly.

I'm a screenwriter, and yesterday I got some press because I signed to write a horror film from a well known franchise. The amount of immediate gripes from fans over the mere concept of the movie hit hard and it was very strange to suddenly be on the reverse side of things. After complaining about movies on the internet since it was invented it was sobering to suddenly see comments galore aimed at me that I could easily respond to— (but didn't).

Anyway, I can't get ahold of George Lucas to apologize for all the things I said about the prequels, so I'm karma-leveling with you instead. My apologies if you noticed my small barbs and they in any way slowed down your day with negativity. (though I'm sure your job has given you a fair amount of armor against it).

thanks for your time!

Thank you! I've included your letter in P.A. not because it included a question — since it didn't — or because I'm an egomaniac that will post any letter that speaks favorably of myself. I did it because I want you to know that as a guy who writes shit on the internet and thus is constantly barraged by grief for writing said shit on the internet, your letter is extremely appreciated.


But I'm also sharing it because I'd like to share my secret to enduring hate-filled, livid internet criticism with anyone who writes on the internet, either professionally or for kicks — if they don't put their real name to it, ignore it. It's that simple. If they have to be anonymous to berate and belittle you, fuck 'em. They're just whiny babies who want attention. Maybe they want to feel superior to somebody. But if they don't have the guts to stand by the consequences of what they say, then they've effectively said nothing.


First Period

Derek A.:

I need you to settle a argument I had with a friend. If a vampire drank a girl's period… well, what would hope? Would it have a different effect than regular blood? Like would it make them more powerful or something? Would they not be able to drink it? Would they be grossed out?

We could probably look this up ourselves and figure it out but we thought it'd be way better to make you do it. Cheers!


Well thank you so extremely very much. Based on my internet-based research, it appears that menstrual blood differs from regular blood in quite a few ways:

• It contains a lot more than just blood, including "cervical mucus, vaginal secretions, and endometrial tissue."


• The vaginal fluids, including cervical mucus, include "water, common electrolytes, organ moieties, and at least 14 proteins, including glycoproteins."

• Endometrial tissue — the uterine wall lining — is made of cells and "fibrous support."


• And all that's in addition to good ol' blood.

So I suppose the result depends on whether the vampires are the kind that can eat/drink things other than blood. If they can't, perhaps they'd have a similar issue with the non-blood components... but I'm guessing the blood would more or less mask the rest of the stuff, much like Coke masks the liquor-y taste of rum in a rum-and-Coke.


But with all the electrolytes and proteins and fiber in menstrual fluid? It seems like it would be awesome for vampires. It's like a combination V8, protein shake and Gatorade. The only problem is that they'd only be able to drink it a few days a month.

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


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