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Magic Mondays: Saheeli A-Rai!

Multi Cat Meow Combo

I’m sure we’re not the only ones keeping open mana with a Felidar Guardian or Saheeli Rai on the field. The so-called “Copycat Combo” has now gone full-blown, with deck builds ranging from two colors to as much as four (Well, I haven’t seen a 5-color Copycat Combo deck yet, but I really wouldn’t be surprised to see one). Like what SCG Open Commentators Patrick Sullivan and Cedric Philips have mentioned, Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian aren’t the only two cards in the deck, so there will be other threats to support the combo.

Look forward to seeing the combo in your next FNM. You’ll be seeing a few variants of the deck, that’s for sure.

So, how do you fight it?

Personally, I’d prefer two methods: counter it or some hand disruption.

Disallow and Void Shatter

Hello blue-lovers! We have these two bad boys. Disallow is an exceptional card because it stops basically anything and everything. While, Void Shatter could counter and exile the combo pieces. Having these two-card in your arsenal could really be pivotal in the combo match-up.

The drawback, however, is that both cards’ casting costs are UU1, which could sometimes be difficult to have on turn 3 if you run a deck with more than two colors. Alternatives for other decks splashing blue could be Revolutionary Rebuff or Spell Shrivel, although conditional, they get the job done (more often than not..).

For those experimenting with the Improvise mechanic, you’ve got access to Metallic Rebuke. Good art, good effect and good (alternative) casting cost — good card, if in the right deck.

Uhh.. Hello, Scatter To The Winds.

…moving on.

This card has been a mainstay in blue decks as far as I remember (Unless you have a VERY creature-heavy meta). However, it doesn’t counter Felidar Guardian. Having the Negate could be a real bummer if you draw it when Saheeli’s on the board waiting for the cat. However, it’s perfect in the opposite situation where Felidar Guardian’s on the field just waiting for Saheeli.

A very handy career, indeed.

Transgress the Mind

This card could be the difference maker. A resolved Transgress the Mind can put you ahead of the game. Knowing how and when to play your cards could be key in winning the combo match up. Drawing Transgress the Mind in any part of game, whether it be in your opening hand or in the 5th turn, it still very powerful. However, having too much in your mainboard could backfire too. I’d have a 2-2 mainboard – sideboard split on them, since the meta’s still pretty shaken up.

Lost Legacy

Need I say more about this card? If resolved, it kills the combo. The tempo loss for casting such a card could be ignored since you’re playing against a combo deck. If your opponent’s on the play and gets to land a Saheeli, then you follow-up with Lost Legacy naming Felidar Guardian, you’ve pretty much gained a lot of momentum.

Again, the card is pretty difficult to cast if you have 3,4, or 5 colors. Alternative?

No. Don’t say it.

Pick the Brain

Nope. Pick the Brain, first and foremost, is a hit-or-miss card. Without the Delirium trigger, it’s not a long-term solution. Don’t do it. Just don’t.

Outside UB there are simpler solutions to the combo. One that halts the operation quite efficiently and cost less than $.25(ironically) is Shock. Simply just wait for Felidar to target Saheeli and burn her out of the board.

In conclusion, I feel like the best deck to go head-to-head against the Saheeli Copycat combo deck is a UB Control deck. It has a great package of removal, counters, hand disruption and a good finisher in Torrential Gearhulk.

Tune in for our next article — A Primer on UB Control.


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Magic Mondays: The Chopping Block, Emrakul’s Promised End

Emrakul The Promised End

Bare with me: this will be my first public meandering on competitive Magic: The Gathering, and worse, I am here to discuss my thoughts on the latest bannings.

DISCLAIMER: In no way am I a pro, I do play competitively, but have fumbled and stumbled too many times to consider myself a good player or even an OK player to be honest. I write mostly for your entertainment and so I can keep my sanity despite my grueling and soul sucking job. But most of all, just for plain and simple fun.

Ok, a lot of you have moved on from the recent bannings, both for Modern and Standard, surprisingly, no one threw a fit.

Ok I’m not much for Modern, Ugin was banned a long time ago and for good purpose, but the current ban on Emrakul, The Promised End, Smuggler’s Copter and Reflector Mage just totally castrated a whole bunch of decks. Including my Aetherworks Marvel which I had thought I’d be able to play for a few more months at the least.

Fine. Fourth turn Emrakul is unfair(so is life), and it is hard to deal with or come back from. Reflector Mage removes anything from the board for at least two turns and well Smuggler’s Copter was just everywhere, the slut of a card even found its way into Pummeler decks: Green Red too slow, setting up for that combo is just whaaa… BAM Copter! Problem solved.

Emrakul, Copter, Mage Ban

Emrakul, Copter, Mage Ban

Not that I disagree or anything, I am not about to throw a fit. If more than anything, I am intrigued to know why they went ahead and cut off the balls on a whole heap of decks. Face it – what’s left after these bans? Fucking Grixis Control? There aren’t as many obnoxious players out there who have the patience and timing.

Draw, Pass, Draw, Pass, oh what’s that sir? Thraben Inspector? Well Void fucking Shatter cause I’m up 6 fucking mana and I want to obnoxiously cast Torrential Gearhulk next turn for Gideon and kill any love you have left for playing Magic: The Gathering boyeeee.

Sorry, just had to let it out.

But yeah, Wizard keeps saying “to diversify the playing field” – well give us cards to fucking deal with what’s out there then. Are you guys so lazy as to have not consider tweaking cards from Future Future League so as to “Diversify” the playing field? I was so looking forward to playing Nichol Bolas and Emrakul on consecutive turns just for the fuck of it, but noooooooooo, that would just leave everyone doing the same thing. Bollocks. Give us better cards to build with and we will build something.

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

Breathe. Sorry, that was sort of a fit.

You want us to play longer than the fourth turn? Then what is this fucking shit!?@!*&!@#

Saheeli Cat Combo Meow!

Saheeli Cat Combo Meow!

I say, it was a bit of a lazy knee jerk reaction to whatever they had lined up these recent bannings. I assume there was nothing coming(in the immediate future or in AER) that could deal with or stand toe to toe with the likes of Emrakul, Copter, and ‘ooops you too’  Reflector Mage(you’re just too damn irritating). Funny they just had had to chuck out the mage cause if they’d banned Archangel Avacyn, we’d be on to them.

Is this a sign that there isn’t anything coming up that’s better than these three cards? Sad.

Come on Wizards, I know you were caught off guard by extending the cycles but bans like this are as good as throwing a whole set out of Standard. Give us better cards, don’t take good ones off the menu – MORE CARDS – that friends, would make MTG diverse AF.

We Simply Game. Nerd talk about anything and everything we come across with.
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I Was Hit By Lightning And Bitten By A Cobra – Kung Fury

Kung Fury

Finally LaserUnicorns’ Kung Fury is out! We’ve just recently basked in Mad Max Fury Road’s awesome hour and a half of pure unaldulterated goodness and yet another glorious, violent, and unpretentious treat comes our way. If you’re the same as us, not looking for substance, just a for fun no brainer to watch to make you forget your bosses’ ugly face, then Kung Fury is waiting for you right here.

Don’t miss out on this too.

And if you’re Hair Metal aficionados like we are… here’s a Metal version of the soundtrack.

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This War of Mine: A Bleak Tale of a City in War Times

This War of Mine

Marko looked through the little keyhole in the grocery store. He heard two voices as he entered the broken shop, and it scared him. What he saw was a soldier, harassing a young woman who was just scavenging. He didn’t hesitate even when the man held an AK. Marko burst through the door, the soldier had no time to react so Marko struck him with the make shift crowbar his friend Pavle fashioned out of rebar earlier that day. The soldier, after a few strikes, falls to the ground and the young lady runs off. Marko doesn’t care though; what mattered was scavenging this place for supplies. He was in the way and Marko had a chance to get rid of him quickly.

You don’t get to pick who you start out with, much less who survives.

TWoM is a rare game which isn’t really deep until you choose to think about it. I did, and at the end of it, I think I wouldn’t be a very good person during war.

I’ve watched several Let’s Plays about TWoM, and in every one, I’ve seen players make decisions they regret. The unfeeling detached nature of gamers disappears when you have to deal with each of them. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Morality can die in the Face of Survival

In the last couple of years, the survival genre has gotten big. From Day-Z to Don’t Starve, it’s been a genre/trend which has attracted a lot of attention. None of them for me really captures what it means to survive day after day. That isn’t to say that TWoM perfectly replicates the refugee’s experience in times of war; it offers us a safe place to explore those things and there are dire consequences when you do. If you steal, a lot of your characters will start to question whether or not it was worth it. But surviving often means doing exactly that.

The Deserter becomes very useful when raiding.

TWoM perfects one aspect of gaming which many prominent reviewers always find gripes about; morality. Like many things, it isn’t about doing good for a pay-off, much like doing bad isn’t about convenience. They are simply decisions carrying with them their own repercussions. There are extremes, there are grays, and the game illustrates the price people pay every with decision you make.

Being armed doesn’t mean you’re dangerous.

Four days ago, we waited for the trader who comes every so often. He’s a talkative savior, always prepared with exactly what we needed. Two children came instead, beckoning us for a couple of bottles of antibiotics. We couldn’t turn them away, so we gave them whatever we could. That was a mistake… Bruno, my dear friend, died because we couldn’t get him those same meds. We mourned him with cigarettes and alcohol, and that night we were raided.

Simple Mechanics in a Complicated Game

TWoM, like many other reviewers have described it, plays like the Sims; I’d like to make the same comparison but the game is much simpler than that. You’ll click through short menus to build simple things like stoves and other crafting stations, move them to the optimal locations, and cycle through each of your characters. Each of the people you’ll control will have a unique skill and that adds a level of darkness to the game. After my first few play throughs, I started picking the characters I wanted to use; neglecting the elderly characters in favor of those with more utility.

But whenever the less skilled characters would show at our doorstep, I couldn’t stand reading the text each of them spat out after each hour ticked down. I usually just clicked the “End Day” option so I didn’t have to suffer through their pleas. I wouldn’t be a very good person in war time.

There are no restarts when it comes to companion losses.

We’ve survived… The ceasefire was declared today and we listened through a radio our new friend Marin built. Was it worth it though? I cannot help but hope that life can get better after this, but our time in the shelter leaves a dark specter which looms over each of us. But we’ve survived, we’ve helped. We did the best we could and maybe in a time of war that is enough. I kept Pavle’s notes and I will bring them to his son and wife one day. The war is over and life moves on.


On my first play through, I started out with an ideal team. One could scavenge, the other could run, whilst the third could cook better meals to keep spirits up. My main team didn’t make it to the end but the rest of their new comrades did. On my second ride, I had a soldier and a thief. The latter died of sickness whilst the first was scavenging to find medicine. He hung himself in the empty shelter the next day.

Perma Death in the game affects everyone in the shelter.

Depression, happiness, and contentment rarely work as game mechanics because they are usually forced. The developers of TWoM thought it through and integrated it perfectly into this puzzling survival game. But that’s just my take on it and that’s the beauty of the game. No one person will walk away with the same experience. It explores a dark place from a safe space, but it’s also a sobering experience telling us that war games need not be about kill streaks and K\D ratios.

TWoM is probably one of the most important games to come out this year. It goes out of its way to give you control, while throwing inescapable events your way when you feel a little too cocky. It’s not for everyone though, as the gameplay has a learning curve which requires you to act quickly, but to think of the future patiently.

Sometimes, we escape to games to feel like something we’re not; Heroes. Check out Spec Ops the Line, The Last of Us, or I Have no Mouth and I must Scream for other sobering gaming experiences.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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The New Year Show Round-Up

Woo! It’s been a while since we’ve updated, and that’s totally my fault. I haven’t been working the hardest in many things, and at the same time, the holidays just piled on relentlessly. So, instead of doing the single posts and reviews, I wanted to make a bunch of mini-reviews for all the wicked shows and flicks which came out this year. Also, I noticed I write about everything I love, so instead of just endless love, I’ll also mention everything which I didn’t enjoy and I’ll start off with that.

The Disappointing: Constantine

Man… I wanted to love Constantine so bad… The Hellblazer series is awesome and it comes from one of the best graphic novel writers ever to have graced the glossy page. I wanted to be surprised by Constantine; hell, I was looking forward to how the writers and creators would have worked something new into the series. Honestly, the only episode I liked was ‘A Feast of Friends’ wherein a glimmer of Constantine’s apathetic nature came out, only to be revealed as a smoke screen. He cared about his friends, and he hated doing what he did. The latter part came as a surprise because John’s just an ass in the comic. It’s unfortunate that the rest felt like a rehash. But maybe that’s just me; I’m an avid fan of the first 5 seasons of Supernatural, and honestly, Constantine plays a lot like that.

The Surprising: Gotham

Ben Mckenzie’s sense of humor is pretty spot on

I made a review about this, and I’m happy enough to admit that I was wrong. Gotham came with the premise that it existed within Batman canon. I watched it as such and I hated it for a while. That is, until I realized, this is about Gotham. It’s a place which molded one of the most beloved vigilante’s ever. In this context, the series makes much more sense. Think of it this way; while Gordon is a target for most of Batman’s villains, have you ever noticed that (with the exception of Joker) most of them don’t try to mess with him? I think Gotham’s writers are trying to build that respect for him, which is why not a lot of villains try to hurt Jim.

The Questionable Investment: Supernatural

Tada! It’s sort of paradoxical that I would mention this in a list where I cited it as a great example of supernatural-centric series. Honestly though, Supernatural hasn’t been at its prime for a while. Sure, there are some episodes from season 6 to 10 which will rip your heart out, but the tenth and final season seems underwhelming. But that’s partially due to the fact that every problem, major or otherwise, pans out exactly the same way they did the first time. Basically, this season feels like a greatest hits album, exempting episodes like Fan Fiction, and Death’s Door.

The Bromance: The Flash and The Arrow

Superman and Ba- I mean Flash and Arrow

Arrow, started out slow. It was obvious that the writers were still trying to feel out the series when the Arrow started. However, over time, the series got strong enough so that it could host many different iconic DC villains. No one could have seen that Arrow would also be the best jumping off point for a series like The Flash. Plus; this is probably the best and most dysfunctional bromance on TV since Turk and JD from Scrubs also considering House and WIlson. I’m hoping that the DC movie universe will be able to replicate Barry and Oliver’s dynamic when Dawn of Justice comes out.

The Sadness: The Colbert Report

Well at least John Oliver’s still around

I’m not mad at this series because it sucks; I’m mad because it ended…

The Most Surprising Turn Around: Korra

That rumbling in the ground, can you hear it? That is the sound of a thousand Fan Fic artists’ wishes coming true

It comes as no surprise that the writers and producers behind Avatar came up with yet another amazing little gem of a series. However, what surprised me about Korra is that it asks you to stick around when it hits its low points. As a whole, this series perfects character development in that each season brings something new. The over-arching themes in each season are complemented by the most constant underlying lesson; change is inevitable but slow. Korra grows to discover herself, along with her best friends, over many years and we get to see that growth pay out in spades. The finale also had people up in arms, but I fully support how this series grows on you if you stick with it.

The Weird: Interstellar

2014 also had Baymax

A lot of people remain on the fence about this movie and I’m count myself among them. Interstellar is probably Christopher Nolan’s most hopeful movie, but he tells the story in a very ham fisted manner. There is spectacle after spectacle as the movie goes through its epic motions, but you’ll also have to be ready for lengthy banter in between. Mathew Mcconaughey hits the nail on the head with every scene he appears in, but I ended up favoring the Monolithic AI companion Tars more than the human characters. Overall though, I’d have to say I really liked this movie. It sits alongside titles like The 5th Element and Sunshine in my collection of funky Sci-Fi flicks.

I’m probably going to make a sequel to this soon, but for now, these are the media that made 2014 the year that it was. Watch out next week for the comic which made me a lot less excited about Star Wars Ep 7. I found that it pushes a lance right through the heart of those stupid laser swords.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.

The Strain: Slow Boiling Action Bonanza

Boy, Guillermo Del Toro is getting a lot of gigs lately, and I’m truly happy for the guy. I’m a bit of a fanboy when it comes to his work, and that’s mostly because his earlier films were brilliantly poetic horror films. I could probably throw in Edgar Allen Poe right in there too, but this is an article about The Strain. Well, for starters, this series isn’t exactly going to hook you immediately and if you’re not familiar with Del Toro’s work that can be a turn off.

The Slow Boil

One thing that The Strain gets right about horror is that it’s doesn’t want to rush. The story builds over the course of a few episodes, and in that time, we’re introduced to the characters. There’s Ephraim, the negligent workaholic/recovering alcoholic father, and his family. Fet, the hyper competent, anti-social pest exterminator. Gus is a Latino thug who loves his family and friends, and who is also my second favorite in the series. Nora, who follows the same line as Gus but with less of a sketchy past being that she, is a doctor. There’s Satrakian, basically a facsimile of Van Helsing but who is more awesome just by being an ass kicking senior. And finally, there’s Dutch Velders… She plays the redemption story line well, or at least better than any of these characters because her fault is evident and bigger.


Senior Citizen Ass Kickery

It’s a mark of how memorable these characters are, I guess, that I take the time to nitpick them, but the issue here lies in how slow their stories unravel. It takes a few episodes before the show finds its stride, but that’s okay because when it does, The Strain gets very good very quickly. In fact, I’d say any amount of patience you lend this series will get repaid in spades.

Melt in your Mouth Action

Okay, The Strain is supposed to be a horror, and it is in a traditional sense. Tense moments often crop when you know the characters are in danger, but they don’t last as long as you might want them to. An occasional jumpscare will have your heart pumping real quickly, but there is very little suspense to be had in The Strain. What I do keep coming back for is how the danger brings out some pretty awesome and creative action scenes. There’s a part where Ephraim’s son owns at being an independent character, rather than being very useless plot point. Possibly the best fight, however, is the finale engagement against the master himself. This actually segues into the next issue people have about the series.

The Vamps

There are countless movies and series have been awash with vampire lore; taking them away from what they once were. Ann Rice may be at fault here, but there is a lot of value to be found in the seductive tempter. The vampires in this series don’t look very good, and often seem too covered in prosthetics. But I realized one thing about them all. They all look like the original film vampire, Nosferatu.

Waiting for a tentacle

Waiting for a tentacle

The Point

The Strain is fun and reminds me of the first 5 seasons of Supernatural. However, there is a sense of impending dread in the finale, which you know will bite you back in the ass eventually. I’d recommend this series to folks who are tired of zombie shows and don’t want to jump into superhero centric series like The Flash, Constantine, Gotham, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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Weekly Comic Round-Up: Hawkeye

Marvel's Hawkeye

You know what sucks about being an Avenger? The only time when being an Avenger, a hero of goodness and Ass Kickery, sucks? It’s when you’re the one who slings a bow and arrow around his back and has no super powers. Oh it well and truly sucks a nut being Hawkeye.

But there are some upsides which Matt Fraction jauntily points out as he sees us through the quirky life of the purple archer just trying to make ends meet outside of the group and S.H.I.E.L.D.

We open up this comic series to a scene; Hawkeye is performing his special grappling arrow move. Then, he fails at it, falling quickly unto the roof of a car and breaking several bones in the process. After that, we see the aftermath of something tragic. Clint Barton hurtles into the hospital holding a severely hurt dog. These are just the introductory pages to a vigilante story told in a very unique manner.

Over the course of 20 issues, I’ve come to love Hawkeye and his unlucky ways. He isn’t like the rest of Avengers because his code of ethics falls firmly on the chaotic Robin Hood side of goodness.

Clint Barton, outside of the Avengers, suffers a lot of things we have to go through, daily. He’s almost constantly broke, stealing money from the vaguely Eurasian thugs that he keeps crossing paths with. His renown spreads over time, however, as the people of his building start to respect him for his vigilante ways. No one there, however, has any illusions of who Clint really is.

Oh, Matt doesn’t try to dismiss Hawkeye’s love life either. For anyone who wonders about Black Spider and Clint’s relationship? Well Hawkeye regards her as his ‘Work Wife’. Funny, huh? And there’s Kate… Oh Kate, lovely, Lady Hawkeye.



Hawkeye is one of those comics that exude a great amount of warmth by telling us a story that is familiar. Clint’s not the best Avenger in the world, he’s isn’t even the most popular. That leaves him with a bit of a minority complex so he tends to overcompensate, a lot. However, no matter how surrounded he is, he’ll always find a way out relatively unscathed.

Unfortunately, that fight instinct also applies to the way he deals with the people trying to help. Our comic protagonist is filled with conflicting morals like this, and so he tends to screw up even when he has the best intentions in mind. This complexity in character makes him much more relatable than his super-powered counter parts.

He’s an excellent addition to Marvel’s ever growing list of unique but powerfully written characters.

Related Products:

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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Hey Destiny, Is That… Dr. Robotnik?

Robotnik Looks Like Destiny Acolyte

On the left is a Fallen Acolyte from Destiny, on the right is Megaman’s Dr. Robotnik. I’m not sure if we’re the only one who noticed this… THE FALLEN ARE MAVERICKS!

We Simply Game. Nerd talk about anything and everything we come across with.
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GamerGate: My One Thing Against Video Games


I love every piece of video gaming I’ve ever encountered. From sweeping epics about dragons and adventure, to polygonal and personal stories wrapped in platform jumping, I have loved every game I’ve ever bought. But I’ve seen the worst of what my love has brought, and I hate it.

The label ‘Gamer’ has been exclusive to a certain archetype of person. Usually, hardcore gamers identify as male heterosexuals who escaped into gaming when they were young because they were awkward, boys who didn’t have much luck in a lot of things in life. I should know, I was, or am, one of them. But there is one thing that makes my blood boil over when I take a breath and see video gaming as a whole.

We’re rampantly sexist and a lot of us are proud of it. Game lobbies would, now fuck that, are filled with dudes who would actively harass female gamers. It comes in many flavors, both flirting and condescending, but somehow, both degrade into the latter once they realize that these women just want to play video games.

Just to tell you the truth about something, I wasn’t immune or innocent to this occurrence. For a long while, I believed in “Fake Gamer Girl”. I always thought that female game journos, or player themselves were just doing this because it was a trend. For that, I apologize to every woman I’ve scorned online.

The thing that made me realize that my anger was misdirected was that we are just people. We have our likes and dislikes, but for some reason, we’d still define ourselves through the bullshit saying that “men are from mars, women are from Venus”.

I just want to tell all of the people I identify with; you’re fucking wrong. We are all just people, and we have to understand the quirks that make us so. We’ve done a lot to make that line so real that it does feel like its right. For every male gamer who’s reading this; I can’t tell you to change, all I can tell is what I learned. That we’ve made so many fucking walls and archetypes that we’ve lost sight of what gaming brings us.

Video gaming brings us an escape. We can play as a man, or a woman, an alien, a good guy, or an asshole. Games give us worlds where we can be powerful, and where our littlest decisions can change worlds for the better or for the worse. Games can make us powerful or completely powerless.

Why does being a woman disqualify them for experiencing the same damn thing men do?

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.

Don’t mess this up Snyder! (Even The Fans Are Working Hard On Trailers)

BatmanVSuperman Poster

First off, this is a fan made trailer. Let’s just make that clear.

One of the most epic fights (at least in my belief…nerds don’t hate!) in DC history is about to go to the silver screen and from what little the trailer shows us,  we can only sit on the edge of our seats and wait for the battle to begin. Actor choices (Affleck? seriously? but on the other hand, Mr. White!?) and all that fluff aside, in my head I can hear the whole of nerdom shush and keep still. They force themselves to keep quiet.

From time to time a member of their collective apprehensively goes over its archive of comic books to check and recheck their fictional facts gleaned from long and trying times of days past. They study and how much do they hope and expect to see what they know retold to them in full gamut of DC glory! And after purchasing their ticket and sitting and watching for two hours or so, they only wish to go home happy with what they have seen. After all, they want nothing but the movie to be a success. So Mr. Snyder…I hope you do not fail…you have, in your hands, the tender hopes of every living and breathing geek that walks this world.