Brief (?) Words About New Video Game Consoles

It’s been a week since I got my Xbox Series S and I thought I’d talk about it. This one’s rambly, like always, but in the near future I’m hoping to have some friends – new and old – join me in a discussion about all three of the new generation of consoles!

Finally Rolling Initiative

I’m finally playing Dungeons & Dragons.

My interest in playing started several years ago, out of nowhere. Like many things I become interested in, I just stumbled onto it. While I knew it existed, it wasn’t in my wheelhouse as a kid. Then again, I was raised by parents who lived through the “Satanic Panic” so it’s not surprising I was never exposed to it or any other role-playing game.

What turned me onto it recently was podcasts. In search of audio dramas and fun story-telling, I came across The Adventure Zone. At the time it was deep into the story, but I took the time and binge-listened until I was caught up. In this show, three comedian brothers and their charming dad play D&D together. It’s a wonderfully funny podcast and it was their newness to the game, the improvisation, and camaraderie that that made me say to myself, “I’d like to try that!” Sadly, any time I brought it up to friends, I got a lot of, “Eh, that’s not really my thing” looks and responses. I was, however, not in a comfortable position to run a game myself, so I’m sure that didn’t help matters.

That led me to start learning more about how to really play, but it became overwhelming so fast thanks to my wonderful un-diagnosed anxiety. My brain scrambled at the thought of having to adapt to decisions people were making. I walked away, having spent a good amount of extra money on books, systems, and dice. (Oh my gravy, the dice!)

A year ago I was invited to play by the owner of a game store I frequented before COVID was a thing. He mentioned that they met weekly and were just starting up new sessions. Interested, I joined and showed up to my first session ready to play – my character had been rolled, dice had been tucked away, and my notebook and pencil were ready for note-taking.

Upon entering the store I met two dungeon masters, neither of whom were expecting me, but were happy to have me join their respective groups. Unfortunately, neither seemed keen on bringing new players into their campaigns. One had an elaborate home-brew adventure ready to go and the other was starting Descent Into Avernus, but had no idea what kinds of players he needed… because the book hadn’t been released yet.

The first “session” was a bust that involved me rolling a brand new character and meeting potential co-players. Also, I had my first, um, sense of what Comic-Con would be like, if you catch my meaning.

I didn’t let that stop me, though! I returned the following week to meet up with the group and see what hellish adventure my new DM would have for me!

An hour later, we had our group together after waiting on three new players to roll new characters. While I understand that this may happen, it just felt like everything was all over the place. I was ready to play, so I was more impatient than normal. Finally, the adventure was starting!

As we began our Descent Into Avernus, things seemed to be going OK. Some players were well-versed in the rules and had played campaigns before. Some, like myself, were new and hesitant to really get in and do anything. Then there were those who either thought they were the DM or couldn’t care about anything going on, including when it was their turn to do something.

Yes! One gentleman decided it would be better to sort his Magic: The Gathering collection while playing and had no clue what was happening!

Once we had slogged our way through things, the first real session was over. I was upset. This was nothing like I expected, but I didn’t want to just call it off after one time. I wanted better and, who knew, maybe Magic Boy wouldn’t be there next time? Lucky for me, I had a work trip planned, so I wouldn’t be able to make it. I decided I’d think about it.

Yeah… I didn’t go back. As someone who has anxiety, being with a bunch of new people made me very uncomfortable and I couldn’t be myself.

Time went on and I tried again to get friends to play. Again, nothing solid came from it, but a few were mildly interested if I was going to run the game. In theory, I could do that, but in reality: [Insert more anxiety here.]

Now, over a year later, I’m finally playing Dungeons & Dragons with other human beings and I’m having fun! While COVID may have kicked some of us down, it may be the number one reason why I’m getting a chance to play. With the Roll20 website, I’m able to join the group from Playing Games with Strangers and not only weave a fun, improvised story while slinking around as a rogue, I’m getting to know people I’ve only talked to through Facebook comments or listened to on podcasts over the last few years. In fact, all of the players in the group are voice actors for Supersonic Pod Comics, one of the projects I’m involved in! That’s how I was able to be a part!

It’s been fun so far and I think it’s only going to get better as I continue to play and get to know the people and characters. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be releasing new episodes of my own RPG podcast in the near future? We’ll see!

Video Games & Staying Sane in Isolation

A lot of us are stuck at home right now and it might be rough for you. For me, there’s not a lot of difference in my day-to-day, but the current situation can take its toll, for sure, no matter who you are. That said, I thought I’d hop on the mic and talk about video games. Oddly enough, I may be playing less than I had previously. Weird, right?

The Golden Age: Detective Comics #27

“The Bat-Man, a mysterious and adventurous figure, fighting for righteousness and apprehending the wrong doer, in his lone battle against the evil forces of society… his identity remains unknown.”

Detective Comics #27 was published in 1939, around the same time Timely was taking their first steps into superhero comics. Like Action Comics and Marvel Comics, Detective contained multiple stories in its pages, though none produced

The Golden Age: Action Comics #1 & Marvel Comics #1

Two companies stand at the forefront of comics book publishing. While this is common knowledge, a good majority of readers may not have experienced the seminal issues that laid so much of the groundwork for what would come in the 80+ years that were to follow.

This time on The Cape Gauntlet we’ll be going back to the late 1930’s. We’ll be taking a look at Action Comics #1 from National Allied Publications and Marvel Comics #1 from Timely Comics. While Action Comics debuted Superman, Marvel Comics debuted the concept of the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner; both of which would become staples in each company’s future.

Action Comics #1

Action Comics #1 (June 1938)

The cover of Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics #1.

As we touched on in the last episode of The Cape Gauntlet, National Allied Publications released Action Comics #1 in 1938. It tells the story most of us know, about a baby being rocketed from his dying planet to Earth, where he is adopted, becomes Clark Kent and Superman, and saves the day. While the story is familiar to many of us, there are some differences that are the basis of what the character would become as more writers and artists got involved in fleshing him out.

For instance, Superman’s power set isn’t as wide-ranging as more recent iterations. We see that he can leap 1/8 of a mile, hurdle 20-story buildings, “raise tremendous weights”, outrun a train, and “that nothing less than a bursting shell could penetrate his skin”. We also don’t see any mention of kryptonite. We do, however, see the first appearance of Lois Lane, who would become the love interest for Clark Kent and Superman as more stories were published.

One interesting fact is that Action Comics wasn’t just about Superman, as most readers might think, given the current run, in which he is the main focus. No, in 1938, the book was an anthology and Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster was just the first story. While most of the other stories never grew to be much more than a strip in this series of comics, a closer look shows the roots of another character: Zatara, the father of current DC Comics magic-user Zatanna, who would become an ally of Batman, a hero we’ll touch on in a future episode.

Marvel Comics #1

Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939)

Human Torch debuts on the cover of Timely Comics’ Marvel Comics #1.

Timely Publications released their first book, Marvel Comics #1 in 1939. In it, they debuted the Human Torch. He was created by Carl Burgos, but he wasn’t the smart-Alec kid brother, Johnny Storm, when he made his first appearance. In fact, he wasn’t human at all; he was a “synthetic man” built by Professor Horton, who is worried he’s created a monster. Once a couple of press members see the android burst into flames after being exposed to oxygen, they demand the professor destroy it or face “the power of the press”.

After receiving a second opinion from the Scientists’ Guild, Horton realizes he has no control over the Human Torch and decides to “entomb him in a concrete block”. This is supposed to buy him more time so he can find a way to fix the Torch and not destroy his creation. As time passes, however, the concrete block explodes caused by an ever-so-slight leak that gave the Torch oxygen.

As the Torch runs through the town, we see that he is much more human than the professor first let on, as he asks himself, “Why must everything I touch turn into flame?” Firefighters attempt to extinguish him, but to no avail. The Torch runs off to put himself out in a nearby pool which happens to belong to Sardo, a bad guy who decides to use the android’s ability to commit insurance fraud. The Human Torch misunderstands Sardo’s intentions and, after being set free, goes after the crook. During the fight, a canister of nitrogen extinguishes the flames and proves the android is invincible after he’s shot in the head and the bullet melts upon contact. Sardo, as a last-ditch effort, tries to throw a vat of acid on the Torch, only to kill himself in the process as it reacts to the heat the Torch is putting out.

As the issue winds down, the Human Torch figures out, with the help of his creator, Professor Horton, that he can control his flames with some will-power. Sadly, Horton wants to profit off of the android, to which the Torch says, “No Horton. I’ll be free, and no one will ever use me for selfish gain or crime.” “Then with a laugh and a mighty leap, crashing through the unburnt opening in the roof – the Torch sails through space like a comet.”

Like Action Comics #1, Marvel Comics #1 was an anthology. Following the Human Torch’s debut, we get The Sub-Mariner by Bill Everett. The character was developed when Everett decided it would be fun to play on the concept of fire versus water. In this first story, a group of divers on a salvage ship discover some wreckage that has already been gone through. They explore the situation only to find Namor, the sub-mariner, who is confused at what they are and what they’re doing with the sunken ship.

Namor mistakes them for robots and cuts the air hoses, phone lines, and acetylene torch in an effort to stop them. He then attacks the divers directly, stabbing one and crushing the helmet of another. The captain of the ship instructs another sailor to head in armed with a knife. Namor hides and watches as the latest diver is brought back up.

The captain attempts to speed off with the ship, but Namor is faster and grabs the rudder, followed by stopping the propellers with his bare hands. He shoves the vessel forward into the rocks, splitting it in half. Afterward, he returns to his underwater home with two of the divers in-hand to present them to the king. After discovering the divers aren’t robots, but humans, Namor asks his mother about his own father, who was human. We get a brief history of how men invaded Atlantis, how Namor came to be, and his mission as one of the last Atlantians who can live above and below water. The issue ends with Namor and his cousin making an attack on a lighthouse just off the shore.


When you consider these books were written roughly 80 years ago, there will ultimately be things that don’t age well. That said, it’s amazing to see the staying power of the characters – Superman, Human Torch, and Namor. These stories are the foundation for what would come as time rolled on and the interest in superheroes ebbed and flowed.

Next time on The Cape Gauntlet…

Gotham City enters the Golden Age and with it, the Bat-Man.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – Heistmas

As we enter the Christmas season, it was only fitting to review some of my favorite heist movies. It is the biggest time of year for consumerism, so why not celebrate like this!? For my first installment of Heistmas, I’m talking about Ocean’s Eleven, which will always hold a special place in my thief-movie-loving heart.

The original Ocean’s Eleven starred The Rat Pack – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr – and was released in 1960. That, however, is not the movie I’m talking about today. I’m referring to the 2001 Steven Soderberg-directed film starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac, Eliott Gould, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Don Cheadle, Shaobo Qin, and Carl Reiner. What a cast!

If you’ve somehow missed Ocean’s Eleven, the plot is simple: Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney) is released from prison after serving 4 of his 5-year sentence for felony fraud. Within 24 hours, he and his old partner, Rusty (Brad Pitt), put together a plan to rob three big-time Las Vegas casinos simultaneously.

I know there are better heist movies out there but this movie holds its place of my favorite in the heist genre because the reveal at the end was something I had never seen before. In addition to that, the complexity of weaving the storylines of each character into the overall plan Danny and Rusty have required a lot of planning on writer, Ted Griffin’s part, as well as Soderberg’s as the director.

The casting for Ocean’s Eleven is spot-on and I can’t think of any other people who would have been better in any of the roles, aside from possibly Andy Garcia. I would have rather seen Al Pacino in that role, but we do get him in the second sequel, Ocean’s Thirteen, so I guess it’s better than not getting him at all.

Music tends to play a big part in my enjoyment of movies. Luckily the music here fits the mood of the entire film and rings back to the original from 1960. The one song that always pops into my head when thinking of Ocean’s is “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley.

While it’s easy to get stuck on well-known songs like that, David Holmes’ original music has the right energy and truly sets the tone for this particular heist. It’s cool, energetic, and keeps your attention during the montages where the crew is setting up or pulling off the job. The only problem I have from a music standpoint is that I can’t listen to the music without some of the lines from the movie when I pull it up on a streaming platform like Spotify. Nevertheless, I still love the feel it adds to the movie and, in a way, is a character itself.

What are your thoughts on Steven Soderberg’s Ocean’s Eleven?

Have thoughts about this episode? I’d love to hear them! Use the contact form or hit me up on Twitter!

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Home Alone & Home Alone 2: Lost In New York – Heistmas

For the month of December, GEEK THIS is pulling some heists!

It’s the holiday season and while gifts are typically given, I’ve decided to team up with a few of my favorite people to review some of our favorite heist movies. Only fitting, right?

This week, my wife, Wendie, is hanging out with me and we’re covering the ultimate Christmas heist movies, Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. These are staples in our house and have been since we were both kids. We hope you enjoy installment one of Heistmas!

Links for this episode

Home Alone –

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York –

Because We Said –

The Golden Age: An Introduction

Welcome to the beginning of The Cape Gauntlet‘s journey into the history of comic books. In this debut episode, we’re taking a look at the “Golden Age” of comics, which laid the groundwork for the super hero stories generations would come to know and love.

We begin our story with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Two men who brought the superhero comic into the mainstream when they debuted Superman’s story in 1938 with Action Comics #1. In fact, they launched what would become the Golden Age of superhero comics, but what does that mean exactly?

The Cape Gauntlet (Trailer)

Golden. Silver. Bronze. Modern.

All of these are eras in comic book history that had their own stories to tell and over the course of the last 80 years, there have been hundreds of thousands of issues published between the main two publishing companies – Marvel Comics and DC Comics – alone. They have pushed what we know about characters beloved for decades and, at times, have published story lines that have had dramatic and long-lasting effects on their universes. Sadly, we’re not super humans, so attempting to read every issue ever published is an impossibility.

But what if you could go through the ones that mattered? The ones that set new precedents, created alternate timelines, ret-conned some of our favorite moments, and in some cases, changed the landscape of the comic industry as a whole?

In this monthly series, I’ll be exploring many of those stories and getting a better grasp on how the issues, story arcs, and events shaped what we know, love, and hate. It’s important to know where our heroes came from so we can understand where they might be headed.

Trailer Reaction – Avengers: Endgame

POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING! For the first time in the history of the podcast, I’m breaking down a trailer!

Back in April, Thanos snapped his fingers at the end of Infinity War and removed half of everything. Since then, we’ve all been wondering what will happen in the next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A lot of fans took it upon themselves to try and guess the title of the film. On December 7, 2018, we not only received the answer to their questions and assumptions, but we got a trailer!

My initial reaction to this trailer was pure excitement. Marvel Studios did a good job at keeping things close to their collective vests when it comes to the particulars of this film. There are secrets within the trailer and I was perfectly fine waiting until the movie was released to find the answers. That didn’t stop me from digging deeper into what was revealed within!

Listen to the full episode to hear the break down, as well as some theories on what some of Marvel’s secrets are.

Avengers: Endgame is set to release on April 26th, 2019.

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The Final Excelsior: Remembering Stan Lee

Stan Lee passed away on November 12, 2018, due to cardiac arrest triggered by respiratory and congestive heart failure. He was an icon in the comic book industry. He co-created some of the most popular characters alongside the likes of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and so many other artists. Sadly, his life ended in turmoil.

Even so, he was part of a legacy of amazing creators that encouraged all of us in one way or another. He inspired some of us to write or draw or create our own things. His appearances in Marvel films – and even his wonderful Teen Titans Go! to the Movies cameo – have become a staple for us. He’s made quite an impression on us and he will be sorely missed.

I happened to be lucky enough to get my photo taken with Stan back in 2016, right alongside David Hunt and his wife. While it was an extremely quick experience, it has to be one of my favorite moments as a comic book fan. (He smelled exactly like you’d think he would.)

Dave, Stan, Sabrina, and David at Cincinnati Comic Expo in 2016

Child’s Play (1988)

Chucky the Doll terrified me on multiple levels as a kid, so it took a lot of psyching myself up in order to watch Child’s Play. I have to say that I’m very glad I did, because I overcame my fear and laughed at myself in the process. Also, in this episode, I share the story that really spawned the fear of the demon doll!

For those of you who haven’t seen My Buddy or Chucky compared directly, this is the horror I had to deal with as a kid.




Shaun of the Dead (2004) & Halloween (2018)

David Hunt returns, along with Michael Myers, as we chat about the 2004 modern zombie classic, Shaun of the Dead. After that, we jump into a conversation about our recent Halloween double-feature! Every time David is on the show, it’s a fun time for me. Hopefully it’s the same for you, too! If you want to hear more of David Hunt on GEEK THIS, leave a comment and let me know. And of course, I’d love to hear your opinion on any of the movies we talk about in this episode.




Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1

DC Comics has given us a horror-inspired 80-page giant in Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1. Since it’s October, I figured it’s only appropriate to talk about it! Also, I’ve brought back the Pull List segment back. If you’d like to check out my pull list, you can see it below, as well as following me over at League of Comic Geeks. It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to manage my own list while finding more books.

Did you like the return of the Pull List segment?






Huluween Film Fest (2018)

Huluween, if you’re oblivious, is Hulu’s month-long Halloween celebration. They have loads of featured horror films and TV shows plastered to the front of the website and their apps. In addition to this, they’re showcasing eight independent short films. Those are going to be what I’m covering today. If you’d like to watch these before I talk about them, you can watch them in an official playlist here.

If you’d like to support GEEK THIS and get a free trial of Hulu, please use my affiliate link here. I’ll receive a small monetary kickback for each person who continues their service after the trial is over.

URNDirected and written by Ben Steiner; Produced by Dan Dixon

THE RIZZLEDirected by Josh Tanner; Written and produced by Josh Tanner & Jade Van Der Lei

THE HUGDirected, written, & produced by Jack Bishop and Justin Nijm

THE BOX – Directed by Santiago C. Tapia; Written by Jessica Curtright & Santiago Tapia; Produced by: David Moore

LIPPYDirected & written by Lucy Campbell; Produced by Garry Paton

HAUNTED, HORRIFYING SOUNDS FROM BEYOND THE GRAVEDirected by Rodney Ascher; Written by Basil Quartermass; Produced by Tyler Glodt

THE GILLYMUCKDirected & written by Dan Samiljan; Produced by Noelle Hubbell

CARVEDDirected & written by Justin Harding; Produced by Kris Elsley, Dale Andrews, Rob Brunner & Jason Kennedy