Catching Up with The Avengers and Friends!

The Avengers

Because the MCU is a sprawling beast, there are important plot threads dangling all over the ever-expanding Marvel Media Empire. The movies that began telling the story of a few superpowered humans are now also telling the stories of the normal humans who have to keep up with them, the significant others who have to compete with a world constantly in need of rescue, and villains who aren’t so villainous anymore... or wait maybe they are? Plus, half the characters are dead or pretending to be dead. So in case you don’t have time to (re)watch a gazillion hours of media, we thought we’d do our best to catch you up on everyone’s latest adventure before you head into Age of Ultron this weekend.

There are spoilers for literally everything in the MCU waiting below the fold, so proceed with caution.

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Morning Roundup: Join the Battle for Hoth!

Hoth Tabletop Game

Salute 2015, a giant wargaming and gaming event in the UK, hosted an awe-inspiring tribute to The Empire Strikes Back this year! The Beasts of War gaming portal built this “Assault on Hoth” gaming table, which had to be transported in pieces all the way from Ireland, and reassembled in London! Check out more scenes from Hoth (and a making-of video) over at Nerd Approved!

Morning Roundup brings you hatching chameleons, the greatest team-ups from every era of comics, and an interview with the people behind Orphan Black!

[Plus Stan Lee will teach you how to become a cameo master!]

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The Final Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer Focuses on Imperator Furiosa

final Mad Max trailer Charlize Theron Imperator Furiosa

Warner Bros has released the final trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road a few weeks before its theatrical release, and it focuses on Charlize Theron’s character Imperator Furiosa. While Tom Hardy plays Max, Theron is the one who has captured fans’ attention, with her shaved head, bionic arm, and badass name. Now, we know some more about what brings Furiosa to the wasteland.

[What a lovely, lovely, lovely day]

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Afternoon Roundup: Heeeere’s I-Rex!

Jurassic World Indominus Rex I-Rex first look photo

After skulking through several Jurassic World trailers, the big bad of the new movie finally bares its face. Meet the Indominus Rex. While this genetically-engineered dino resembles the T-Rex, its scaly head and, you know, unquenchable thirst for blood sets it apart. (Hat-tip to Blastr and Empire for this first photo.) Here’s more info on the I-Rex!

Afternoon Roundup misquotes Disney, pulls out the leg warmers, and practices Shakespeare with Brian Cox.

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Watch the First Trailer for Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell!

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell trailer BBC One

BBC One’s adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is getting closer to an actual premiere date! BBC One has released the first full-length trailer for the miniseries, and according to The A.V. Club, it will begin airing next month.

The trailer sees Mr. Norrell summoning the man with the thistle-down hair, setting into motion the faeries’ havoc-wreaking plan; and Jonathan Strange pledging himself as Norrell’s friend and assistant, only for something to come between the two magicians.

[“You’ve opened the door to hell and invited the devil into England!”]

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Morning Roundup: It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

Captain America Beard Farewell

Awww... Chris Evans’ beard got him through his first directing gig, Snowpiercer, and THE WORST WINTER EVER, but now the time has come for them to go their separate ways: Chris to the set of Captain America: Civil War, and his beard to the trashcan presumably, since you know someone as awesome as Chris Evans would never just rinse his discarded beard down a cloggable sink.

Morning Roundup brings you an homage to Game of Thrones that’s even more upsetting than the show itself, the inevitability of being entertained by Joss Whedon, and a virtual tour with a serious amount of WoW factor.

[We’re so, so sorry.]

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Afternoon Roundup: Batman Takes Inspiration from the Joker’s New Look

Joker meme Batman tattoos

After seeing the Joker’s supposed new look for Suicide Squad, Bruce Wayne obviously felt like he needed to up his game. We’re just imagining Alfred sighing and pulling on the latex gloves (“Are you absolutely sure you want me to write ’I’m Batman’ over and over on your ribcage, Master Wayne?”). Though we’re surprised he forgot the most obvious recent one—“Do you bleed?”

In actuality, the tatting up of the Dark Knight by Twitter user @DrinkingQuest is just one of many wonderful memes that the Internet dreamed up in reaction to this first look at Jared Leto’s Joker. (Related: “What if other cinematic characters had forehead tattoos?”) According to some insiders and on-set photos, that image was just a promo shot and does not depict the actual Suicide Squad Joker.

Now that that’s cleared up, Afternoon Roundup brings you Hannibal spoilers, Disney’s staggering ...

Morning Roundup: Alton Brown Has the Nerdiest Celebrity Crush

Alton Brown celebrity crush Terminator 2 compactor

We should have expected that Alton Brown, the nerdiest cook and cooking show host there is, would have a unique answer to Who’s your celebrity crush? For BuzzFeed’s tongue-in-cheek Q&A, he drew his ode to the compactor that helps saves the day in The Terminator. Check out the rest of his answers, which include the best word association for Voldemort (“hug” before he corrects it with “nose”—you didn’t have to correct it, Alton, knew).

Morning Roundup ponders The Force Awakens theories and another Spider-Man movie, while reminding you that it takes a lot to make a stew.

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Afternoon Roundup: Creating New Life is Exhausting Work

first look Frankenstein Igor James McAvoy Daniel Radcliffe

Our first look at the latest take on Frankenstein sees hot young Viktor von Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and his less aesthetically-blessed assistant Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) looking by turns bemused and concerned about their little lab experiment. We don’t know much about the movie, aside from the fact that it’s from Igor’s point of view.

Afternoon Roundup brings you Neil deGrasse Tyson’s geeky rallying cry; Oregon Trail as a determiner of generaton status; and more horror movies with dizzying camera angles to make you more nauseous than scared.

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Morning Roundup: Aren’t You a Little Underdressed For A Stormtrooper?

Star Wars Celebration, John Boyega

In fine convention tradition, new Star Wars family member John Boyega walked the floor of Star Wars Celebration in a masterful disguise! That’s him, on the right, in the helmet. He posted the picture on his incredibly charming Instagram account, which all of you should follow post-haste.

Morning Roundup brings you news of the greatest battle of our time, thoughts on the second season of Daredevil, and more on the world of Tomorrowland!

[Plus environmental fiction and environmental fact!]

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Nick Offerman to Host Most Rugged Nebula Awards Ceremony Ever

Nick Offerman Nebula Awards

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have announced that the Toastmaster for this year's Nebula Awards ceremony is none other than Nick Offerman, who is best known for appearing in the collective mind of humanity as the oaken pinnacle of manhood dubbed Ron F#$%ing Swanson.

Nick Offerman is an actor, woodworker and author, best known for his Walnut Blanket Chest (2003) and also the role of Ron Swanson on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. He has written an adequately humorous memoir entitled Paddle Your Own Canoe, as well as his new release, Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom With America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers. He’s hoping that subtitle will be nominated for its girth at next year’s Nebula Awards. A lifelong fan of the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, Mr. Offerman is veritably bursting his buttons to be asked to participate in celebrating this year’s best talent.

This year's Nebula Awards ...

Afternoon Roundup: Jaime Lannister’s House Sigil Should Be a Party Animal

Game of Thrones behind the scenes photos

When he’s not getting his hand chopped off, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau proves that House Lannister knows how to party. During downtime at what would come to be known as the Purple Wedding, the actor had some fun with special musical guest Sigur Rós. Entertainment Weekly has a whole gallery of similarly funny and interesting behind-the-scenes photos, including another great Jaime one where he gets a birthday cupcake while in jail.

Afternoon Roundup is flailing over the new take on The Muppets, pondering the beginning of Spectre, and enjoying a world where Weird Al and Patton Oswalt nerd out together.

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Morning Roundup: VeggieTales: Nights!

We already thought the Matt Murdock/Foggy Nelson friendship was pretty adorable, but Tumblr-er MissMuggle has taken things to a whole new level. Look how cute they are! And so determined to use the law to bring down the Kingpin!

Morning Roundup brings you thoughts on comics’ conquest of the universe, the changing colors of The Avengers, and the classiest version of the Doctor Who theme ever!

[Plus William Gibson predicts the future!]

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2016’s Star Trek 3 Movie Has a Title

Star Trek Beyond

TrekMovie is reporting that Paramount Pictures have registered the title Star Trek Beyond with the Motion Picture Association of America for the forthcoming film, written by Simon Pegg, which hits theaters on July 8, 2016.

The Guardian reports that the film will see the crew exploring uncharted territory in an attempt to bring the reboot crew back into line with the spirit of the 1960s TV show. Above is our artist's conception at what that probably entails.

Spock unicorn art by Tim O'Brien

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Afternoon Roundup: Awkward Skywalker Family Portait

Mark Hamill Carrie Fisher Darth Vader Skywalker family portrait

At Star Wars Celebration, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher took the opportunity to pose with dear ol’ Dad. And look! Luke even showed off his Force lightning skills. Vader is so proud. But shouldn’t there be another Skywalker in this family portrait...? (Nudge nudge, J.J. Abrams.)

Afternoon Roundup brings you Rick Astley and RPGs, dystopian fiction on reading and books, and Tatiana Maslany’s most daunting impression yet.

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Morning Roundup: The Code That Launched at Least One Ship!

Boing Boing shared this shot of Margaret Hamilton standing next to her Apollo 11 code! Her handwritten Apollo 11 code. The code that got us to the moon. The code that opened the universe to humanity. We might cry… but we’re too busy being awe-inspired by this woman’s patience. We get frustrated when we forget the little slashy thing in our html and accidentally italicize too many words…

Morning Roundup brings you the parenting styles of Westeros, a definitive list of the wishes that have been made by the hearts of Disney princesses, and a comparison between different versions of the X-Men!

[Plus, a scepter fit for a Trickster God!]

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Galaxy Quest is Being Revived for Television!

Galaxy Quest TV show reboot

So many beloved genre TV series are being rebooted right now: Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and now Galaxy Quest! That is, the fictional TV show Galaxy Quest and the wonderfully meta 1999 movie about it, which spoofed Star Trek and fandom and revivals all over the place.

According to Variety, Paramount Television is working with Robert Gordon, who co-wrote the movie, and director Dean Parisot to bring Galaxy Quest in all of its layers to the small screen.

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Sherlock Rewrites Watson’s Stories in the Mr. Holmes Trailer

Mr. Holmes trailer Ian McKellen Sherlock Holmes

“I told Watson, if I ever write a story myself, it will be to correct the millions of misconceptions created by his imagination.”

This is the slightly grumpy mindset that spurs on a 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes to reopen his last case in the trailer for Mr. Holmes. Based on Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, the movie sees Ian McKellen as the Great Detective in self-imposed exile disguised as retirement, flirting with the past by occasionally revisiting 221B Baker Street, and ultimately turning to that notoriously unsolved mystery. If it hasn’t won you over yet, Mr. Holmes looks very intriguing.

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Get a Load of All the Crazy Gadgets in the New Tomorrowland Trailer

Tomorrowland trailer ray gun robot gadgets

After the most recent trailer for Disney’s Tomorrowland made it clearer why retired/exiled inventor George Clooney and tough kid Britt Robertson are teaming up, we haven’t gotten much more in the way of plot. And that’s good, as it implies that the movie itself (out May 22) will likely still have some plot surprises.

But in the meantime, there are still new trailers. And so, we get to see some of the gadgets and other technology that must have made Clooney’s character so celebrated-slash-dangerous.

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