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Top 10 Comic Book Events of 2014

Events are the bread and butter of the comic book industry, and all of the big publishers and titles get in on the hype and extra monthly books that go with. 2014 had some great events from not only the usual suspects DC and Marvel, but also some smaller presses that pushed the envelope to get some buzz and find some success. We’re running down the very best of comic book 2014 events in our Year in Review series, and the list has just as many surprises as it does sure things. Any way you slice it, it was a great year for comic book events, but I narrowed it down to my top 10.

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Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: Star Wars Vehicles (One-seaters)

From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivially specific topic of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.

There were a ton of rides of all shapes and sizes in a Galaxy Far, Far Away; way too many for a single Lot. Making the trivial crucial, we break the minutia into more minute chunks of awesome! Easier to chew; better for the digestion. And since going Solo was a recurring theme throughout Star Wars, without further ado, it’s Outright Geekery’s Top o’ Lot: Star War Vehicles (One-Seaters).

Honorable Mention: The TIE Family

TIE Family MontageThe Lot just wouldn’t be complete without the addition of at least one of the Empire’s TIE family of starships, and I couldn’t decide. Whether it was the infamous TIE Fighter and Vader’s Advanced X1 design shooting Rebel scum out of the space over way too many TIE Maulerplanets, or the TIE Bomber shaking asteroids turned makeshift Rebel hideouts, the Top just wouldn’t be the Top without having the TIE make an appearance in the Lot. Although the Shuttle conversion to the Bomber class TIE ship would have otherwise excluded the TIE family of vehicles from this Top o’ the Lot, nostalgia demands they make an appearance. There’s a tank too!

5. Anakin Skywalker’s Podracer

AnakinPodracers are kind of like the soapbox racecars kids build and roll down hills…if soapbox racecars were powered by twin F-22 Fighter engines! Jabba the Hutt may have been bored by them, along with a lot of the viewing audience, but the Podracing scene was one of the highlights of an otherwise shabby offering PodracerAnakinin the film series, and Anakin’s podracer was the focus of the entire race. You couldn’t help but root for the little rugrat despite knowing exactly what a Force-choking meanie he would eventually become. Critical appeal may not have been enough to get it on the Lot, but the great Nintendo 64 game featuring little Annie’s Podracer redirects the power flow just in time, and avoids some Tuskan Raider fire, to get on the Top.

4. The A-Wing Interceptor

A-WingThe A-Wing was the fastest class ship in the entire Rebel fleet. It was more than a match for the Empire’s TIE fighter squadrons, and even gave the advanced TIE Interceptor a run for its money. Most famously remembered for pilot Arvel Crynyd’s kamikaze attack aimed at the bridge of the massive Star Dreadnought Executor, the concentrated fire of a group of A-Wing’s sent the Dreadnought epically crashing into the Death Star. There may be some better choices than the A-Wing for the Lot, but it’s slanted and biased for a reason, and I dig the hell out of this ship.

3. The Jedi Starfighter

Jedi StarfighterI bet it handles like a dream! This sporty model from Kuat Systems Engineering makes-up for its lack of leg room with streamlined style, never before seen maneuverability and speed that can outrun even the most determined Bounty Hunter, even with seismic charges. With optional hyperspace transport ring accessories available for a slight extra cost, the Jedi Starfighter is THE go-to ship for any Jedi looking to shoot their way onto a cruiser or just for a quick jump across the galaxy to see what the Separatists are up to. If the opening scene of Episode III doesn’t make you immediately fall in love with the Jedi Starfighter you need a higher resolution screen to watch it again. The similarities to future Empirical starships gave it that hint of nostalgia that sends the Jedi Starfighter dodging asteroids on its way to the Top o’ the Lot.

2. Darth Maul’s Bloodfin

MaulIt was only seen for a few brief moments onscreen, but it didn’t matter! Darth Maul’s speeder bike was the closest thing to a Harley-Davidson in Star Wars universe, and helped to cement just how badass this Sith really was. Of course, putting any character on a fat hog immediately makes them cooler, and Maul kind of felt like Leonard Smalls from Raising Arizona with an intergalactic feel. It fits; look it up. The FC-20 had a unique impact all its own, surprising Jedi’s with a twisting front flip into the next to the Top Spot o’ the Lot.

1. The X-Wing

xwing

The T-65 is one of the most recognizable ships in all of popular culture, and is the ride of choice of those fly-by-the-seats-of-their-pants’ers in Rogue Squadron. The perfect balance of maneuverability, weapons and shielding made it the go-to ship for taking down pesky Empirical TIE Fighters or even a Death Star or two. They even came with advanced on-board weapon’s guidance computers, but who needs a fancy computer when you got some dead old guy in your ear telling you what to do? There’s really just no other choice besides the X-Wing for the Top o’ the Lot o’ Star Wars one-seaters. And, sorry, Droids don’t count.x-wings2

See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.

Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: “Starfleet Vessels Not Named ENTERPRISE”

From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivial detail of some form of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.

Why should the popular girls get to have all the fun? Sure, the ENTERPRISE may be one of the most recognizable modes of transportation in all of Sector 001 (in ALL its stylized varieties), but it is by far not the only familiar, and important, ship in the star fleet. And, of course, there are those “one-shot wonders” that find their place in some random episode starring some random Hollywood B-Lister, but this Top o’ the Lot focuses more on the relative mainstays; ships that made recurring appearances and lasting impacts. This week’s Top o’ the Lot pulls into space-dock, readies the phasers and photon torpedoes, and pulls a Kobayashi Maru on the damnedest Starfleet Vessels Not Named ENTERPRISE.

Honorable Mention: The Runabout

RunaboutWhoa! Hey! Calm down! I know Runabouts aren’t technically a single ship, or even the official name of the ship’s class, but these workhorses made some lasting impressions on the franchise. It was the single only way to get from Deep Space 9 for a weekend on Bajor Runabout badgeor a quick skip through the Wormhole, and Harry Kim even found himself using one to fix a wrinkle in the space/time continuum, or some such. Versatile? Yes. Easy to drive? Yup. Named after rivers? Yeah, I never really got that. Glamorous? Not even a little bit. But looks aren’t everything, and the multipurpose and resilient Danube Class of starships makes the grade.

5. USS Stargazer

stargazerYes, I know I’m breaking my own rule since the Stargazer actually shows up in one and only one episode of the franchise, and the model in Picard’s Ready Room shouldn’t (and doesn’t) count, but this is a hell of a ship. Who’d of thought Ferengi could be so vengeful, or that the Picard Maneuver would be so useful that we never saw it again anywhere? This ship reminds everyone that Jean-Luc had a life before sitting in Enterprise’s big chair, and gave a small, but short-lived, breath of life to the persistent rumors of a “Young Picard” spin-off show. *sigh* We can keep dreaming, right?

4. USS Voyager

voyagerSay what you want about the quality of the show, but the Intrepid Class cruiser in the starring role of Star Trek: Voyager was a thing of beauty, and got better with time. I mean, come on: Gel-Pack bio-neural circuitry, Spatial Charges, Tricobalt Devices; the later additions of a Mess Hall, Hydroponics Bay, and Astrometrics Lab; and final additions of Borg-bashing Ablative Hull Armor and Transphasic Torpedoes! And those Variable Geometry Warp Nacelles were P-I-M-P! A pimped out ride even Ensign Xzibit could be proud of, Voyager’s uniqueness sends it hurtling onto the Top o’ the Lot at Warp Factor 8.5.

3. The Delta Flyer

Delta FlyerIs it a shame that a ship that spent most of the time docked within Voyager actually beats out Voyager herself on the list? Yeah, just as big a shame that Tom Paris isn’t designing ships at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards! Built out of necessity through a combination of Starfleet and Borg technology, the Flyer is a decked out, photonic missile firing, Parametallic Hull Plated beast Captain Proton would be proud of. Whether it was guiding Voyager through the quantum slipstream, diving into the depths of a planet comprised entirely of water, or providing a quiet place for newlyweds Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres to “run a level 3 diagnostic of the warp coils”, the hot rod called the Delta Flyer moves right in the middle of the Lot at maximum impulse.

2. USS Excelsior

“My God, that’s a big ship.” “Not so big as her Captain, I think.”

USS_ExcelsiorThe Great Experiment, the USS Excelsior was introduced to Trekkies as an outright smack to the face to the TOS crew, became a laughing stock through Engineer Scott’s timely act of sabotage, but ended up the hero as she help blast a prototype Klingon Bird of Prey out of the space above Camp Khitomer. While Transwarp never quite panned out the way Starfleet wanted it to, the Excelsior Class of Starship paved the way for the massive ship designs that followed, including the Galaxy class, and its staying power put it in the Lot. Captain Hikaru Sulu puts it at the Top o’ the Lot.

1. USS Defiant

“She may have flaws, but she has teeth.”

defiantBuilt in direct response to the Borg threat, the USS Defiant packed a ton of muscle in a small frame. It’s the Bruce Lee of Starfleet vessels. Goodies like Pulse Phaser Cannons, Quantum Torpedoes, Ablative Armor, and (wait for it!) a Treaty of Algeron-exempt Cloaking Device made the Defiant THE go-to ship for owning Cardassians, cracking down on some Dominion flunkies or a quiet home for an anti-social Klingon. Sure defiant badgethe Maquis got over on the ship’s computer a time or two, and it was completely destroyed or abandoned on several occasions, but those little drawbacks take nothing away from the appeal. Yes, there are bigger ships, and faster ships, and more powerful ships in the fleet, but none of them are as fast or as powerful while having the maneuverability of the Defiant. It is sheer coolness alone that puts the USS Defiant at the tippy top of this week’s Top o’ the Lot.

 

See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.