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AiPT! Staff Picks: September 2018

Toy Editor and AiPT! Podcast co-host David Hildebrand and Pull This! host Connor Christiansen share their staff picks for September.

We hope that you had a great summer, because it’s over and fall is here! Football, hockey, pumpkin spice toilet paper — fall has it all! As for us, it’s time for another set of AiPT! Staff Picks. This month we have yours truly — I’m David Hildebrand, the Toy Editor for AiPT!, and co-host of the AiPT! Podcast. Connor Christiansen, the upstanding gentleman who hosts Pull This!  joins me. So sit back and check out our picks for the month!

Connor Christiansen: Contributor and host of Pull This!

What is your current favorite comic series?

Connor: Oh boy, this is tricky because I am reading so many series right now aside from what I am reviewing. The Weatherman, Skyward, Domino, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Wilds are books that routinely find their way to the top of my “to-read stack” as soon as they’re released. But, I kind of never shut up about Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt’s The Wild Storm on every episode of Pull This! and that’s honestly my favorite series month to month. It is an intricate, pulse-pounding, science fiction infused corporate espionage story that is expertly drawn to the point it feels like watching an excellently choreographed movie. I just love it so much.

Current favorite TV series?

Connor: I’ve been re-watching a lot of Letterkenny and New Girl lately, but I stumbled upon Netflix’s Maniac and I am obsessed. Jonah Hill, Emma Stone, and Justin Theroux are incredible, and the show is absolutely mesmerizing. It’s darkly comedic at times while being genuinely heartfelt during certain scenes in ways that will consistently catch viewers off guard — but in a good way! If you ever had any doubts about Jonah Hill’s acting ability, like I did, Maniac will certainly squash any misconceptions you have. I initially sat down to watch the first episode and ended up binging more than half the series in one sitting.

Current gaming addiction?

Connor: Nothing has dethroned Marvel’s Spider-Man as my gaming main squeeze. It’s simply spectacular — pun definitely intended. This is not just one of the best superhero games ever made, it is one of the best games of this console generation and may actually give Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War a run for their money for Game of the Year. My review goes more in-depth, but don’t make the mistake of not playing this game.

Coolest recent purchase?

Connor: These weren’t big money purchases or particularly hard to get, but I happily bought the Marvel’s Spider-Man variants of The Amazing Spider-Man #5 and annual issue. I rarely seek out variants, but I am so enamored by the PS4 rendition of Peter Parker that I just couldn’t resist these covers. I’ve been eyeing the new DC Core Batman statute for my new desk at work, so that will likely be my next sweet treat yo ‘self purchase.

What is the last good movie that you saw?

Connor: I loved BlackKklansman. Spike Lee films usually miss the mark for me, with the exception of Do the Right Thing, but this film was exceptional. It navigates an incredibly heavy and uncomfortable subject with humor and outstanding performances from Adam Driver and John David Washington in a way that will truly resonate with American audiences today. It’s truly one of the more powerful movies I’ve ever seen and the ending feels like a righteous call to action to oust hatred and bigotry from our country.

What is a current song that you can’t get out of your head?

Connor: The Story So Far just released their fourth album and I’ve had it on repeat for three straight days. It may be their best album yet, dealing with more personal and emotional themes that have eluded the band in previous releases. Out of the ten new tracks I’d say “Need to Know” is definitely my favorite. It’s an emotionally raw song about someone realizing they don’t recognize who they are anymore, just that they’re unhappy and want to work on being better. I’ve been in that situation myself, so it’s a theme I wholeheartedly relate to. It also helps that the song is catchy as hell.

Yes, it is football season, but I know you like the NHL! If you were going to have a hockey team made up of superheroes, who’s your starting five and goalie?

Connor: Hockey is so close to being back and my beloved Penguins are primed for another incredible season — I. can’t. Wait. But if I had to get a squad of supes together to hit the ice?

Center: Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He’d be a great leader to anchor a top line and you know he’d have the silky soft mitts to deke anybody outta their skates.

Left Wing: Jason Todd/Red Hood. He’s everything you want in a hockey player. Strong, nimble on his feet, a sharpshooter, and an absolute man-rocket. Jason would be putting up 80 point seasons on the regular.

Right Wing: Dick Grayson/Nightwing. Like Jason and Peter, Dick would be great on his feet and would deke his way through damn near any defense. His built in chemistry with Jason Todd and their experiences fighting together would lend well to the ice too. Helluva one-two punch here.

Defenseman 1: Frank Castle/The Punisher. Need a guy with a mean streak who will scare the s--t out of the other team, but Frank would also be able to net some top shelf clappers from the point with pinpoint accuracy. He was a Marine sniper, after all.

Defenseman 2: Logan/Wolverine. Look, I had to pick at least one Canadian, and who better than the most hot-blooded Canadian around. I can’t imagine his berserker rage would help much in the offensive zone, but I can tell you he’d be an absolute brick-wall in the d-zone, keeping anybody out of the paint and creating clear visibility for his netminder.

Goalie: Hisako Ichiki/Armor. She’s the perfect choice, being able to create massive and impenetrable psyionic exoskeletal armor to stop any shot thrown her way. She’d put up Lundqvist numbers.

It’s a new season! Why are you looking forward to this fall?

Connor: Hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey. I love football, but nothing compares to hockey. Fall brings the return of the NHL and the return of me screaming at my TV when the Penguins cycle the puck for the entirety of their two minute power plays. New York Comic Con is next week too, and I am incredibly stoked to cover the convention with the rest of the AiPT! crew. Expect a metric ton of awesome content!

David Hildebrand: Toy Editor

What is your current favorite comic series?

David: My “to-read” list is so bad that I would get smacked in the face by many people if I divulged the actual number. I have been able to keep up with a few, though. I really like Nick Spencer’s The Amazing Spider-Man. The Punisher is one of my favorites, so I am caught up on that one as well. I can also toss in Cosmic Ghost Rider and Justice League.

Current favorite TV series?

David: I’m not a huge TV watcher. I watch mostly movies and sports, so there isn’t really anything out there that has my attention. There are a couple of Netflix series that I have been watching. I like raunchy comedy, so the cartoon Paradise PD is right up my alley. I finished that series in a couple of days and laughed my ass off. I also dig heist stories, so I have been watching Money Heist. It’s a Spanish show that has a group of people infiltrating the Royal Mint of Spain to print over 2 billion dollars. The show has been quite entertaining so far.

Current gaming addiction?

David: PUBG has been my drug of choice for a long time now, but I just got access to FIFA 19 over the weekend, so PUBG will get a rest for a while. Then COD: Black Ops comes out in a couple of weeks and I absolutely loved the Blackout mode, so PUBG might get a long, deserved vacation. But for now, I will be crushing goals into the back of the net with my FIFA Ultimate Team, Slayers FC.

Coolest recent purchase?

David: I picked up the NECA Pennywise action figure from the 2017 version of IT. I collect a lot of movie collectibles and NECA always hits it out of the park with their attention to detail. I reviewed him a couple of weeks ago and safely put him back in his cardboard home. I would like to get around to building a sewer diorama for him to stand with.

What is the last good movie that you saw?

David: I watched Upgrade last weekend and it surprised me. The film is about a couple that gets mugged. The wife dies during the attack and her husband (Logan Marshall-Green) is left paralyzed from the neck down. A billionaire tech genius gives him the opportunity to regain all mobility by implanting a microchip called STEM. STEM ends up giving Marshall-Green super strength and a high level of agility and he uses his new strengths to track down the thugs that killed his wife. The movie is action packed and brutal as hell. I loved it!

What is a current song that you can’t get out of your head?

David: The Polish death metal band Behemoth has a new album coming out and I have been digging their latest single, titled Dog=God. Yes, it is loud and the video for the song is interesting. I was never a big Behemoth fan until I saw them at a festival and I was blown away by their live show and the presence they had on stage. I became fan and I am looking forward to the new album, I Love You at Your Darkest.

Yes, it is football season, but I know you like the NHL! If you were going to have a hockey team made up of superheroes, who’s your starting five and goalie?

David: Soccer is my favorite sport, but right behind is hockey. I have been a Carolina Hurricanes fan for years now. I got to see them lift the Stanley Cup in 2006, but ever since then they have been a train wreck with piss poor management. I don’t jump from team to team, but when it was announced Vegas was getting a team, I decided I would pay a little attention to them. I have been to Vegas and loved that whole vibe. I think I could move there and be happy.

Anyway, the Golden Knights were new, I was sure they would have a terrible record close to the Canes, never did I expect them to blast off and end up playing in the Stanley Cup. So my friends give me hell for following them, now you readers can too.

Center:  I guess a team needs a good captain leading the way and if you have ability to throw a big ass shield, you should be able to handle a stick and puck. Captain America would be my starting center.

Left Wing: I’m thinking all offense here. I am going to go with Bullseye! Who knows if he can skate worth a damn, but he never misses, right? 100 goal scorer folks!

Right Wing: I’m gonna go with the Flash. He’s quick and I think it would be easy for him to get into scoring position. As long as he doesn’t get too excited and goes offsides.

Defense 1: I must agree with Connor and pick the Punisher. He’s been one of my favorite heroes growing up and he is one tough SOB. Good luck trying to get past him as he crushes you into the boards.

Defense 2: Hulk. Self-explanatory. HULK SMASH!

Goalie: I’m going to take the easy way out and pick Juggernaut! Once again, self-explanatory.

It’s a new season! Why are you looking forward to this fall?

David: I am looking forward to it getting colder. Summer is not my season. And I am starting to get up early to catch soccer games. I love the Barclays Premiere League, so I am up at 7 am all weekend long to catch the games. Hockey is also right around the corner, as well as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! It’s all downhill from here. 2019 will be here before we know it.


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