The GeeksverseLeaving Proof 158 | The Occasional Digression

Leaving Proof 158 | The Occasional Digression
Published on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 by
[UPDATED] On today’s Digression: We take a look at the BrooklyKnight, the Marvel Comics-designed mascot for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, share videos of Alan Moore singing and a working SHIELD helicarrier (sort of), and discuss our experience so far with Sony’s Crackle service.

Marvel Comics-designed NBA mascot debuts

Last Saturday saw the debut of the BrooklyKnight (as in “Brooklynite,” get it?), the new mascot for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets during the team’s home opener against the Toronto Raptors at the recently-opened Barclay’s Center.

http://youtu.be/ISWs35Xe4U8

Listen to that crowd go wild. Or at least express their generally positive regard.

The mascot, the “first superhero in NBA history” according to marketing materials, was designed in collaboration with Marvel Comics, and copies of BrooklyKnight #1, a 32-page comic book written by Jason Aaron with art by Mike Deodato, were given away at the game. It’s fairly decent as far as NBA mascot designs go, but that’s not really saying a lot when the competition consists primarily of anthropomorphic animals in basketball jerseys and shorts. The design sort of reminds me of Prodigy, it has that same late-1990s feel. Nets fansite The Brooklyn Game has a 17-page scan of the comic book that was given away at the game for those of you who are curious. Not surprisingly, Jason Aaron didn’t need to flex his Eisner-nominated writing muscles this time out. Take note that the Nets’ crosstown rival the New York Knicks don’t have a mascot—that seems like a perfect opportunity for DC Comics to get into the NBA mascot game. As far as cross-marketing tactics go, it can’t be any worse than the Jim Lee-designed Bat-Kia that was shown at last week’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

This isn’t the first time Marvel and the NBA have collaborated, of course. Last month saw Marvel, working together with the NBA and ESPN: The Magazine, launch a free LeBron James digital comic book and they produced some pretty sharp-looking team-by-team season preview sheets two years ago.

The Raptors lost the game, by the way, although they were reasonably in it until the last five minutes or so. The Raptors’ Andrea Bargnani is probably the worst starting big man in the league when it comes to rebounding and defense, but the Nets’ Brook Lopez isn’t too far behind him, so it was one of those winnable games for Canada’s remaining NBA team. Oh well, at least rookie center Jonas Valuncunias looks promising and point guard Kyle Lowry is living up to his current reputation as one of the best contracts in the league.

I still can’t believe somebody got paid to come up with that name, though. BrooklyKnight. Jesus wept.

V for Viral

November 5 is Guy Fawkes Night, the quasi-holiday celebrated by bedroom anarchists and sociology freshmen all over the world by exchanging gifts of Che Guevara t-shirtsV for Vendetta trade paperbacks, and Combat Rock LPs. I kid, I kid. V for Vendetta author Alan Moore did release a single, “The Decline of English Murder,” in time with the event:

It has a Roger Waters-era Pink Floyd sound to it, if you ask me.

It floats, too!

Science—or at least Wired.com‘s resident physics professor Rhett Allain—already demonstrated earlier this year that the SHIELD helicarrier, as it appeared in the blockbuster Avengers movie, could never fly. It would need some ridiculously over-sized rotors to be able to get off the ground and hover at the altitudes shown in the film. That didn’t stop these Russian R/C modelers from making a flight-capable, if out-of-scale, replica of the vehicle, though (h/t to the OAFE Blog):

Crackle on the PS3

Last week, I downloaded and installed the free Crackle TV/video app on my PS3. The app has apparently been available for Canadian PS3 users to download since the summer of last year, but I only noticed it after the recent Playstation Store user interface update, which made searching for content so much easier. Crackle is a service similar to Hulu (which is unavailable in Canada), in that it provides on-demand, ad-supported streaming video content. I can’t really tell with anything approaching certainty if the stream quality is better on the PS3 app in comparison to the Crackle site or the Canadian version of the Crackle YouTube channel, but I do prefer watching TV shows and movies on my TV than on my netbook’s tiny screen.

The library isn’t that extensive compared to say, what you can find on Netflix, but there’s a lot to like for fans of anime. I burned through the first season of the animated adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s Blade of the Immortal over the weekend (Quick Review: Fairly decent, but lacks the visual dynamism of the original manga) and I’m currently working my way through Season One of Oreimo (Quick Review: Very faithful to the manga in terms of visuals; just as funny, weird, and cringe-inducing, too). Many of my childhood kung-fu movie favorites (Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, FTW!) are also available on the network.

I don’t know how the content availability varies from territory to territory, but between Crackle and the FUNimation YouTube channel, anybody interesting in getting into anime these days surely won’t be lacking for free, legal, streaming options.

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