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scifi guide

Not done with your holiday shopping yet? No worries. If you have a sci-fi fan in the family they are sure to love some of the unique gifts we’ve compiled after the break…

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Diagon Alley Nerd Approved 1

The streets of Universal Orlando seemed empty. It was a Thursday morning and the park had only been open for half an hour. I could take photos with no other people in them. A cheerful Despicable Me parade rolled by and only a few spectators gathered to see the adorable Minions. As I walked past Springfield from The Simpsons I realized why the park’s attendees seemed few and far between: we were all headed straight for Diagon Alley.

Universal Orlando recently expanded the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter to include the colorful and rich Diagon Alley. The area opened in July and includes a plethora of shops and dining options as well as two new attractions: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express. The latter takes you between Universal Orlando and Universal Islands of Adventure (a two park ticket is required) and dumps you right into the heart of Hogsmeade near the Hogwarts Castle. Magical? Yes. Worth the trip? Absolutely.

If you’ve visited the Hogsmeade portion of Wizarding World, you know what kind of detailed theming Universal is capable of providing. I’m pleased to say they went above and beyond to make Diagon Alley even better and more immersive.

Read all about my experience, the food (butterbeer ice cream!), and the new rides after the break. And yes, I’ve got plenty of photos for you to enjoy.

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Doctor Who Many Doctors

On August 23, Doctor Who fans will witness the season 8 premiere and the first full debut adventure of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor. First impressions can be tricky, especially when audiences just spent a few years getting used to the previous incarnation of the heroic Time Lord. Before we see how well Capaldi’s first story delivers, why not take a look at the debuts of the classic era Doctors? Some were hits right from the start, while some had shaky beginnings but became beloved incarnations later on.

The list begins after the break!

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2nd Doctor and Monsters

We’re fast approaching the premiere of the new season of Doctor Who. A new era begins on August 23 with Peter Capaldi taking up the role of the heroic Time Lord now that Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor, has left. People are eagerly discussing what can be expected in the life of the Twelfth Doctor and what villains may return. But there are possibilities beyond the obvious choices such as Daleks. There as several baddies from the classic Doctor Who series that have yet to appear in the modern era and would be great to see.

Look past the break for a list of just some of the classic era villain we’d love to see return.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Battle Cry

Guardians of the Galaxy director and screenwriter James Gunn has teased that the identity of Peter Quill’s father will be revealed in the movie’s sequel. Comic book fans have many thoughts about this, especially since Peter AKA Star-Lord has had a few different origins since his first appearance in 1976. If you’re curious to come up with your own theories, check after the break for a quick look at the many different explanations we’ve been given for just who this hero is supposed to be!

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Wolverine Autopsy

It’s old news now that Marvel Comics intends to kill the mutant hero Logan AKA Wolverine. Wolverine’s been one of Marvel’s most popular superheroes for a while and he’s basically the lead character of every X-Man movie, so his loss should have a tremendous impact. But will it? Comics are known for superheroes and villains seemingly dying only to return later, and the odds of resurrection seem to increase if you’re a mutant or in a book with an “X” in the title. There was this time when we saw Wolverine get stabbed through the stomach and then the autopsy revealed it wasn’t him but a shape-shifting alien who took his place while we weren’t looking. Oh, and that time Logan actually did die alongside his teammates in Dallas.

That having been said, here’s a quick list of some prime examples of false deaths and literal resurrections that have happened in the X-Men family of comics. To keep this from becoming a novel, we won’t include cases when time travel or the Infinity Gauntlet has been used to prevent a death from happening in the first place.

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Superhero Apes

Damn dirty apes are all over our movie theaters thanks to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But simian culture has had a long, proud and insane tradition in superhero comics. I’m not just talking about the many times that human superheroes have been temporarily transformed into apes. I’m talking about apes who are themselves heroes and villains.

Our list begins after the break!

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Many Capt Americas

Marvel Comics recently announced that Sam Wilson AKA the Falcon, the first African-American superhero, will be taking over the role of Captain America from his old friend and partner Steve Rogers. People are still discussing their feelings on this, how long they think it will last, and what it means for the larger picture of the superhero industry. But did you know there have been many other people over the years who have stood in for Steve as the Star-Spangled Avenger? We’re not just talking about those times that Hawkeye put on the suit for an issue.

Let’s delve into the many Captain Americas after the break . . .

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marvel women

Yesterday, we unveiled a list of some DC Comics women who we believe have potential that should really be explored. Now we’re looking at ladies of the Marvel Comics universe. Obviously, there are already some powerful female superheroes such as Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and several members of the Avengers and X-teams. But there are still other women, good and evil, who seem to be stuck on the sidelines and really shouldn’t be.

Check out the list after the break…

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dc women

In 2011, DC Comics rebooted its superhero universe, replacing it with the “New 52″ reality. The reboot was meant to start things fresh, expand familiar characters in exciting new ways, and bring in more readers. That’s a good goal! But the reboot hasn’t taken advantage of some really interesting women who’ve inhabited the DC Universe in the past, heroic females who could truly expand the universe and reader appeal. So here is a not-nearly-complete list of just some of the cool lady heroes we’d like to see back in DC Comics in major ways (and tomorrow, we’ll look at a similar list for Marvel Comics).

Check out the list after the break…

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