It’s been a full two years since the release of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and in traditional Nintendo fashion, this means we’re due for another release — this time featuring an all new region to explore. As always, Nintendo delivers.
Come November, the newest generation of the Pokémon universe will be introduced to faithful gamers and diehard Nintendo fans worldwide: Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. Of course there’s been plenty of buzz and speculation as to what this new region has to offer (with a fair share of theories floating around, too), and what’s been confirmed so far is generating a lot of hype among the Pokémon community. This new region promises plenty of new features that’ll be sure to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
In anticipation for the next exciting installment of the series, here are the top 10 (confirmed) reasons to get excited for Pokémon Sun and Moon.
1. Your character is customizable again, and now you can choose a skintone that indicates that you’re a black Pokémon trainer. FINALLY!
2. The starter Pokémon designs for Rowlet, Litten and Popplio are the perfect balance of cute and cool.
Come on, just look at them!
3. The new region where the game takes place, the Alola Region, is based off the islands of Hawaii.
The setting, characters and Pokémon are based off of Hawaiian culture and customs, which shows that both Gamefreak and the Pokémon Company are focusing on embracing diversity in their widely popular video games.
4. The Alola region is breathtakingly gorgeous. ‘Nuff said.
5. The new Pokémon designs are all unique, fun and exciting.
From an electrically-charged beetle to an adorable rock puppy, these seventh generation Pokémon are proving that after twenty years, this game still hasn’t run out of ideas and won’t be running out any time soon.
6. There are Alolan forms of old Pokémon that we all know and love that’ll change how we see the original 150.
From an Ice/Fairy type Vulpix and Ninetails (originally Fire types), a Grass and Dragon type Exeggutor (originally a Grass/Psychic dual type), to a Ice/Steel Sandshrew and Sandslash (originally Ground types), these old names are getting a complete makeover!
7. Professor Kukui is probably the chillest Pokémon professor we’ve ever had, and is the only Professor who isn’t interested in Pokémon evolution or their origins.
He’s interested in researching their moves, which is great for those of us who play to win.
8. Team Skull. Is. DOPE.
Their punk, grungy theme and soundtrack is a throwback to the times of Jet Set Radio, and offers a refreshing look at the villains of the Pokémon series. They’re shaping up to be the kind of villains you’d love to hate.
9. Every Pokémon can now use what are called Z-Moves, super powerful attacks that are so strong they can only be used once per battle.
It can be your decisive move to secure the win or the one-hit-K.O. your opponent uses to finish your team. Either way, Z-Moves add an extra layer of risk and thrill to each battle.
10. The legendary Pokémon Solgaleo and Lunala are true sights to behold.
Solgaleo is the emissary of the sun and Lunala is the emissary of the moon, both of whom have powers relating to their respective celestial bodies. What kind of Pokémon game would it be without their iconic legendaries? Not a game worth playing.
What are you excited about in the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon games? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!
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Frank Ocean melted my face off. Endless is amazing. Blonde is amazing. Both projects will take just as much time to properly digest as they took to make. After all the tears and black Twitter break downs, Mr. Ocean came through after all. But we're here to discuss a more specific but equally important facet of Frank's life: His attachment to culture of the nerdy variety.
So many people regard nerdiness in a way that makes it seem otherworldly. Like there is mainstream, pop culture (or "normal" stuff), and then there's nerd, subculture stuff. It's just not true, fam. Comic books, video games, etc. have all been and continue to be pastimes for entertainment that are consumed in varying degrees of intensity. The blerd community, in part, was born because of that very idea. But I would argue that blerd culture has been a part of mainstream culture for much longer than people realize. And it found it's legs through rap music. The Neptunes threw up the Vulcan salute like a gang sign. Kanye West made anime influenced music videos and cover art. And Frank Ocean is no different. In honor of his most recent releases, here are some of my favorite black nerd moments from Lonny Breaux.
1. The intro on Nostalgia, Ultra.
It's literally called "Street Fighter."
2. The intro on Channel Orange
Ok, so Nostalgia, Ultra starts with Street Fighter. Then the very first thing you hear on Frank's first major project release ever is the Playstation start-up sound, followed by the intro to Street Fighter. Must I say more?
3. In fact, the interlude titles on Nostalgia, Ultra are "Goldeneye" and "Soul Calibur"
Two classics in their own right on two very different game systems. It's pretty hard to refute that Mr. Ocean is a legitimate gamer at this point.
4. This is the official single cover art for "Thinkin Bout You"
Extreme arcade vibes. By itself, maybe not a huge moment. But coupled with the Playstation intro? Very nerdy.
5. He has strong opinions about DC Comics films, like a true fanboy.
Man of Steel was not his cup of tea.
6. He's a Dragon Ball Z fan.
In "Pink Matter," assisted by the GOAT Andre 3 stacks himself, Frank drops one of the best anime lines of all time. He compares cotton candy, to Majin Buu, one of the many villains Goku and crew must defeat in the series. There are also some interesting alien theories in this song that lead me to believe the Frank has watched a lot of sci-fi in his day.
7. And he loves Tekken, too.
Frank is clearly, very deeply tied to the PS1. In his album intro he's got the Sony title screen playing. And on his Tumblr, he's got some Tekken gif action going. In the screenshot above, Law is giving Nina the hands. I'm a Jin man, myself, just to keep it 100.
8. Not sure if you saw this SNL performance but...
Frank really rocks with them arcades bruh.
9. Nerds love rocking fandoms on their gear.
And referencing back to the "Street Fighter" track, it's clear that Frank is a fan of the Capcom gaming universe.
10. And did I mention Frank is a Wes Anderson fan?
11. He's even still playing the same title game on Blonde with "Siegfried"
Most people familiar with the name know of the warrior found in Norse folklore. But any real Soulcalibur player could tell you that this guy above is the real deal.
There you have it – solid proof. So I don't want to see any comments about me reaching. Frank Ocean is a black nerd. Blerd is beautiful. Blerd is cool. Blerd is pop culture. And it wasn't born out of respectability politics or a need to have an elitist group, trolls on the internet. It was born because people like us (and Frank) didn't have a clear place to belong. Some believed our nerdiness erased our blackness. And others believed that our blackness negated the nerdy. Blerd is a term that highlights the marriage of those two identifiers. They can, and do, coexist. And I'm glad Frank Ocean is with us.
Let me know what you think in the comments, because I read and reply to all of them. Hit the share button and tag a friend who needs to see this.
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Static is a big deal. The Milestone Media-created (biggest black owned comic company ever) Virgil Hawkins is a black nerd community favorite, and just to be honest, DC is in last place when it comes to black lead characters in its current live action universe (Luke Cage is coming).
Not only would the addition of a Static Shock show give some much needed protagonist representation on television, but the source material exists to make for even more exciting crossover action that the fans of the other DC series' have come to love. So really this is just me pitching to the Warner Bros./DC Entertainment executives to make this thing happen. But before we get into all that, here's some info on the character for folks that need to get familiar:
Virgil Hawkins, aka Static, first appeared in June 1993
Static was one of Milestone's first four titles produced in the company's infancy as an imprint of DC Comics. In the comic books (and the animated show), the highlights of his origin story include a young Virgil Hawkins getting mixed up in a gang war that puts him in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the comics, the mutagen (Quantum Juice) that gives him his electromagnetic powers comes from radioactive tear gas that police use to "mark" gang members. The animated show still has the police (and the mutagen) involved, but instead they use ruptured chemical containers. The incident was known as the "Big Ban,g" and all of those exposed developed new abilities. And they all aren't good guys like Static.
Static's powers are of the electromagnetic variety. Most of his moves are strictly based on output and input. He can electrocute enemies, levitate objects (like manhole covers he frequently uses to fly on), and transfer electromagnetic taser punches that have the force of a stun gun. And he can also drain electricity from power lines, fuse boxes, batteries, you name it to get himself charged up to go end the Meek Mills of the world. (See what I did there?)
Not to mention that boy's cap game is really real.
(I know you saw the Malcolm X snapback though, my boy is a revolutionary.)
My older cousins were extremely into Static, so I got introduced to him through the comic books. I've found that most people in our generation found him another way.
Static Shock the animated series
The animated series, which ran for four seasons from 2000 to 2004, was a cultural hit. Dwayne McDuffie (who also wrote 11 episodes) and Denys Cowan, two of the legends from Milestone, were extremely involved in the show. Although some things were changed in an effort to appeal more to the pre-teen demographic, many of the social aspects that the source material was predicated on stayed. Static Shock was nominated for four Daytime Emmys and won one in 2004 for Achievement in Music Direction and Composition. It was a banger.
But if you don't know what the purpose of animated series' is on television, let me tell you – toy and merchandise sales. Static Shock was a very good preview of what would happen to other well-produced cartoons with compelling stories and lessons about things like racism, mental illness, etc. (like Young Justice). The toy line for the show bricked, and McDuffie (RIP to the legend) said out of his own mouth how it went down.
But this is how Static can fit into the DC TV universe now.
The New 52 (DCnU for short) is DC's rebooted comic book universe where they basically started all the way over, redrafting all of their heroes' stories (because we weren't buying books like that). Luckily for us, in this version of the Static story, Virgil Hawkins' family moves to big Apple where he attends a new school and gets an internship at S.T.A.R. Labs after he gets his powers. If you're an Arrow/The Flash/Supergirl fan, you already see where I'm going here.
In the television universe, S.T.A.R. Labs is in Central City and is currently the base of operations for Barry Allen (aka The Flash) and crew. It would be great if next season they were to somehow hire themselves a young dread-head intern by the name of Virgil — I'm just saying. The set up is literally too perfect not to happen. The DCEU (DC film universe) is already taking from the New 52 for the silver screen Wonder Woman story and who knows what else in the future. Why shouldn't the television universe follow suit?
And please, Warner Bros and DC Entertainment, if you read this, don't just take my idea and say y'all were already planning this. Slide in my DMs, hit me on my jack, send a young blerd an email or something and cut me a check.
Ok, if I can't get a check, can I at least come chill on set or something? I need some selfies.
Do you think there should be a live action Static Shock? Let's talk about it in the comments. And tag a friend on Facebook that needs to read this.
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There are a number of quality blerd podcasts killing it on the regular for hardcore fans and curious newcomers alike. There's literally something for everybody out here in the black and nerdy audio space – big personalities, celebrity guests, expert insight on movies, television, gaming, etc. – all from a cultural perspective that feels native.
Check out some of my favorites below:
1. BGN Podcast
Black Girl Nerds is definitely a friend of the site, but even more importantly they're crushing the podcast the game. Expect great guests and interviews, hilarious film/tv reviews (with some serious fandom talk on the side), and great conversations about culturally specific experiences. Make sure you check out this episode especially!
2. Fan Bros Show
The Fan Bros Show is run by the very distinct and entertaining personalities DJ Benhameen (aka Wakanda's favorite DJ), Tatiana King Jones (the Grand Duchess of Tech), and Chico Leo (aka Luke Beige). The rapport between the group makes the show a must listen, as they discuss everything from movies, tv and comics to gaming, extremely specific hip-hop lore and more. (This episode with Kid Fury is an oldie but a goodie.)
Black Comics Chat is one of my personal favorite audio programs in the nerd space, period. It's hosted by a team of Marcus Kwame, Leo Faierman, Grace Gipson, and Thelonious Legend. What you get from this show experience is true to its title – they talk comics. Black Comics Chat brings on a creator, artist or comic-book-related professional on every show (sometimes more than one), and gets to the nitty gritty about their work. The podcast is also very responsible, in my opinion, for signal boosting indie projects that deserve to be funded. When Black Comics Chat backs a project, the people come out and support.
4. For Colored Nerds
NEW EP: B & E talk Black camp by way of Carmen, R.Kelly/Isley Bros and Trapped in the Closet. https://t.co/bwrAVuZNHl
— For Colored Nerds (@ForColoredNerds) May 31, 2016
I see the Eric Eddings and Brittany Luse hosted For Colored Nerds much like a cultural time capsule of the black nerd perspective on life in our time. The two friends volley back and forth on a plethora of topics such as reality television, R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" series, and Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade. The cadence of familiarity that exists between them keeps the show just as fresh and interesting as the topic of discussion. Brittany also has another podcast (about podcasts) on Gimlet Media (they both work behind the scenes there, too).
5. MTR Network: Character Corner
Kriss and Dpalm from the Movie Review Network have several podcast segments under the umbrella, but Character Corner is my personal favorite. Each episode is dedicated to a specific comic book character as the co-hosts delve into origins, story arcs and motivation for each personality they discuss. It's definitely worth a listen if you want learn more about a specific character you're curious about.
The podcast game is chock full of shows that deserve their due, such as The Black Geeks, Black Nerd Power, the Black Tribbles, 3 Black Geeks, Nerds of Prey, and the extended PoC family at Nerds of Color. This definitely will not be the last post on the black nerd audio space.
What blerd podcasts do you listen to on the regular? Leave a comment, let's talk about them.
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If you consider yourself a blerd and live for a good RPG or Marvel film, then you are well aware of the lack of diversity within the realm of superheroes and video games. Out of the thousands and thousands of video games that line the shelves of Gamestops across the nation and films that are planted within your local Walmart or Target; the amount that feature POC and diversity in terms of sexuality and gender is almost nonexistent. Whilst scrolling through Tumblr earlier in the week, I came across a blog that was dedicated to racial and cultural diversity in comic books and derivative works (films, television, and video games). The blog features a variety of works including indie comics, illustrations, creator spotlights, and cosplay. Check out some of the posts below.
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