As geeks we are blessed with the amount of content available to us every day. Book, games, films, TV shows, plays, all available no more than a tap away. It is wonderful, but there is also a dark side. The availability of media increases the number of people consuming said products. With this increased consumption comes a rise in the desire to discuss thoughts and feelings with like minded people. Social media is brilliant for this, without Twitter this community wouldn’t exist! However, there is a dark side. The last few years has seen some of the most polarising opinions on film and TV in history. One only needs to send a harmless tweet about The Last Jedi and you will soon be seeking the number to your local counselling service.
This site and the community we have built up around it is intended to be a reflection of our thoughts and feelings towards the things we enjoy but also a reflection of the geek world. With this in mind, 2020 sees the arrival of Geekstalkers combat. Each month we will be pitting two members of the community against each other to discuss a topic. They will each present their arguments then a vote will be put out to the wider world to select a victor. That member will then go on to be entered into the Grand Final at the end of the year! There is much at stake! Money? No. Prizes? No. Status? No. Bragging rights? Hell yes!
So, by the words of Celebrity Death Match Ref Mills Lane, “Let’s get it on!”
This month’s topic is the biggest surprise of the decade!
Duking it out this time are Nicola from the @wehaveahulkpod and Seb Reeves @TheRealMrSeb
First up it’s Seb!
I have been invited to write about what for me, was the biggest surprise of the last decade, (2010 to 2020), within the ‘Geek’ arena. I struggled to think of a subject until I remembered a big change in my war gaming life back in 2015.
I am a war gamer. I have loved “Playing with toy soldiers”, since I was a child. My older brother and I would spend hours on a rainy days, setting up battle lines with our plastic WWII soldiers, and then take turn to roll marbles at each other’s ranks, until one side of the sides, (often both were all knocked down). This method of gaming suited us until 1988 when Daniel introduced me to Warhammer 40K through the then rule book ‘Rogue Trader’.
40K a science fiction based war gaming system set in the grim dark of the distant future, in which the eponymous ‘Space Marines’ fight the enemies of mankind: ‘Space Orks, Eldar and the traitorous Chaos Marines. Between 1988 and 1992 I lead my chosen ‘Astartes’ the ‘Ultra Marines,’ through many a skirmish, not really caring about the other games out there. However in 1992 ‘Games Workshop’ released the 4 th edition of their fantasy based war gaming system ‘Warhammer Fantasy Battle’, and I was torn, as a huge fan of the works of Tolkien, along with Arthurian legend and Greek mythology, I really wanted to get involved in this new game. However I didn’t want to leave my other minis on the gaming shelf. I decided to juggle both and see where things went. Eventually it was fantasy that grabbed my full attention.
My favourite race within the fantasy genre are ‘Dwarves’ I am not sure why, possibly because of my love of ‘The Hobbit’. However for some reason the first army that I chose to play with was ‘The Empire’, which was a human civilisation that was kind of based upon the Teutonic empire. I suppose that with a mixture of mundane weaponry and those powered by gun powder or steam, as well as having access to Knights, Mythical Beasts, Magic and Halflings; this decision was a no brainer. This was the thing about the game of ‘Warhammer fantasy’, each army had a rich background that was at least 9 years in the making. The games original incarnation was in 1983. The gaming system was so immersive that you could actually be the hulking ‘Orc Warlord’ surging your Green tide toward the enemy lines, or the tactful Druchii commander set upon dominating her enemy on battle field. A game could last a good two hours of measuring distances, rolling dice and removing casualties in order to claim the objectives. After which you could be thoroughly exhausted having been mentally absorbed by the game.
Over time authors wrote novels set within the fantasy world, I was particularly fond of the ‘Orfeo trilogy’, by Brian Craig. They produced computer games, T-shirts and of course the famous hobby magazine ‘White Dwarf’. All these things added to the richness of the ‘Warhammer World’. Around every 4 years a new addition would be released often to deal with any troublesome rules and to reign in the power creep between the various factions. This was always followed by the release of brand new miniatures to collect, paint and use in your various armies. Games workshop had built up such as rich intellectual property out of the ‘Old World’ that it came as a huge surprise for many
when in 2015, after another amazing global campaign ‘The End Times’, the ‘Old World’ blew up, ‘Warhammer fantasy battle’ was no more.
For some the writing had been on the wall, it had been rumoured that Games Workshop wanted to do something different with the game, give it a good shake up. Despite the best efforts of the grape vine they managed to keep the full implication of the sweeping changes tightly wrapped up. Warhammer fantasy battle, the rank and file game of table top combat was gone, along with its square bases. It was to be replaced by the ‘Age of Sigmar’ a skirmish based game. This would mean less figures on the board, the names of the factions were to change, even the size of the size of the miniatures would alter. There were a few teething issues at first, every gaming system goes through this, and I believe that it is very a popular game, especially with those new to the hobby. The models are excellent of course. Reactions at the time of the change varied. A lot of players were angry with the company, someone even filmed themselves burning their Warhammer army in protest. I saw the changes as a chance to try different things, I had stubbornly stuck to only playing ‘Warhammer fantasy’, and having tried ‘Age of Sigmar’ I had not really enjoyed it.
The destruction of the ‘Old World’ left a vacuum and I found new games were being released in time to fill this space. Games like ‘Frostgrave’, ‘Arcworlde’ and ‘Kings of war’. As I said earlier, the way in which the changes were introduced came as a huge surprise which at the time split the gaming community. However I believe that five years on, now that things have settled down, people have made their peace with the decision, which I now believe was a much needed factory reset that game other games a chance to develop and brought more people into the community. Five years on and there is even talk of Games Workshop reviving the ‘old world’ but we’ll see what the future brings.
Next up is Nicola from @wehaveahulkpod
So the villain has been defeated and the credits have started rolling, but what’s this, a surprise extra scene? “You think you’re the only superhero in the world? You’ve become apart of a bigger universe,” said a mysterious figure in the shadows. Just what the heck is Samuel L Jackson doing in an eye patch talking about the Avengers initiative?!
Who knew that this surprise post-credits scene back in 2008’s ‘Iron Man‘ would prove so significant; kick starting one of the biggest ever franchises in cinematic history, culminating in ten years of expertly planned storytelling.
Lets face it, Marvel post-credits scenes are possibly one of the most exciting parts of the movie. They’re a small piece of an intricate jigsaw puzzle that teases a significant element for the next film, or reveal the next phase of the universe. From Nick Fury’s initial Avengers reveal, to Mjolnir’s unveiling in ‘Iron Man 2’, the mystery of the Marvel post-credits scene is always an unbeatable surprise. Also, it’s pretty much a cardinal sin to walk out of a Marvel film as the credits roll now right?!
Usually helmed by the next film’s director, the mid and post credit scenes have widely ranged in size and scope. Introduced originally as a single scene, the popularity of the post-credits stingers quickly lead to two scenes debuting in Joss Whedon’s ‘The Avengers’. Closing out with the surprising reveal of the looming villain Thanos, this stinger proved the second most significant scene in the timeline following Nick Fury’s intro in ‘Iron Man’, as we all know what effect the Mad Titan had on the cinematic universe. James Gunn quickly topped the record of two mid and post credits scene with five(!) in sequel ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.’
Out of the 39 scenes across all 23 films, my personal favourites are probably Thanos grabbing the infinity gauntlet sighing ’fine, I’ll do it myself” in the mid-credits scene in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, due to the sheer significance of the looming Infinity War. Along with a dancing baby Groot in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ just because cuteness!
So what are your favourite Marvel mid and post credit scenes? Let us know!
There you have it!
The contenders have put forward their arguments, now it’s time for you to do the work! This article will be shared out with an option for you to vote for the winner! Enter your votes and join the conversation! The winner of this round will be announced shortly!
For now, Geek on, Geek hard! Peace out!
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