Avengers Disassemble: Parents Furious There's No Black Widow Bear at Build-a-Bear

Build-A-Bear on Facebook
Natasha Romanoff ("Black Widow") isn't part of Build-A-Bear's Avengers group.

A woman can subdue a deranged god, infiltrate a top-secret military unit and high-kick bad guys into oblivion, yet still "The Man" keeps her down.

Or "The Bear," in this case.

St. Louis-based toy company Build-A-Bear is capitalizing on the box-office success of Disney/Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron, offering a discount on four special-edition Avengers bears. Kids can worship at the altar of the comic book movie gods with plush, make-your-own versions of the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.

But those who prefer a little gender diversity in their superheroes are out of luck -- kick-ass spy Black Widow isn't part of the package. And boy, have people noticed.

-- Update, 3:20 p.m. 5/14 -- Statement from Build-A-Bear added to the end of this story.

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Ten Terrifying Klingons from Archon 38 That Could Kick Your Ass

Categories: Nerdgasm, Photos

Jon Gitchoff
Klingons haul away a Stormtrooper. Does this mean that Star Trek is better than Star Wars after all? See more Archon 38 photos here.

Captain Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew may "boldly go where no man has gone before," but honestly, the Klingons were probably there first.

The Star Trek antagonists certainly conquered Archon last weekend. The 38th installment of the annual sci-fi and fantasy convention once again featured inspired, nuanced cosplay of every type -- elves, superheroes, zombies and more. But it was the Klingons that took center stage, with the Klingon Assault Group celebrating its 25th anniversary via makeup tutorials, language seminars and even a wedding.

See also:
- Slideshow: The Best Sci-Fi Cosplay from Archon 2014
- Star Trek Fans, Rejoice! Illinois Government Website Translates to Klingon Language

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The Rough & Tumble: STL Filmmakers Trade Scripts for Speech Bubbles in New Comic Book

Categories: Books, Nerdgasm

Jim Ousley
The 1980s produced fantastically fun movies. Take Sixteen Candles, The Goonies or The Breakfast Club -- each one is considered a classic of the era.

But for Jim Ousley and Oscar Madrid -- the RFT MasterMind Award-winning duo behind buddy cop mockumentary Hooch & Daddy-O -- nothing can match watching Sylvester Stallone use scissors to slice his pizza in 1986's Cobra.

"When we were kids we loved that scene, we were like, 'Aw, that's so cool!'" says Ousley. As filmmakers, he and Madrid spent more than a decade tapping the same blend of goofy seriousness they found in '80s action flicks. Their newest project, a crowd-funded comic book, is no different.

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5 Weird Things about STL Native and Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn

Categories: Movies, Nerdgasm

James Gunn | Instagram
James Gunn has a thing for raccoons.

Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, begins its wide release Friday, August 1, and expectations are high. Why wouldn't they be? Critics and fans who attended previews for the film have been calling it Marvel's best work and one of the greatest superhero movies ever.

And of course, it's a St. Louis guy behind the whole darn thing.

James Gunn, originally from Manchester, has been known for years as a master at combining horror with comedy, thanks to cutting his teeth at Z-film powerhouse Troma Entertainment and later writing the screenplay for the Dawn of the Dead remake and directing nerd hero Nathan Fillion in Slither. But directing and co-writing Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy has brought on more attention and acclaim than any other project this Missouri boy has tackled yet.

See also:
- Superheroes bump superegos in Joss Whedon's all-star Avengers. Things go boom. (2012 review)
- Slugfest: Slither is silly and gross, but it might worm its way into your heart. (2006 review)

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STL Team Debuts Blaze Brothers at Comic-Con International; Read Special-Edition Issue Now

Categories: Books, Nerdgasm

Courtesy of Matthew Scott Krentz

When we launched the annual Riverfront Times MasterMind Awards in 2008, we set out to seed a few innovative projects that would help shape St. Louis creatively and culturally. And even though all of our award winners have been talented and successful, we had no idea that one of the first MasterMind recipients would go on to conquer film and comic books on such a noteworthy scale.

But that's exactly what 2008 MasterMind winner Matthew Scott Krentz has been doing. With his writing and production partner, Vernon Whitlock III, Krentz has his fingerprints all over Hollywood. From the critically acclaimed, award-winning film Streetballers to scripts for major studios, the team already has made its mark on the film industry.

But Comic-Con International? That's a whole new level of success.

See also:
- Wizard World Inc.: A roving comic con looks to corner the geek market
- Slideshow: Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con 2014

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Shazam! Free Comic Book Day Zaps St. Louis Tomorrow

Categories: Nerdgasm

Wesley Fryer | Flickr

Comic books have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to film series revolving around The Avengers, X-Men and Superman. But with hobby reading in general going down nationwide, how can comic book shops ensure that younger generations will be interested in the adventures of Batman or Archie?

That's where Free Comic Book Day comes in. Held the first Saturday each May (that's tomorrow!), the national holiday for four-color connoisseurs started in 2002 to expand comic book awareness and appreciation. Now, though, it's grown into a full-fledged carnival, with shops all over the country giving away thousands of free books and hosting fun events to entice both new readers and longtime devotees. This year, retailers will be offering up to 60 official Free Comic Book titles, some of which are kicking off new series or are destined to become collectors' items.

See also: Free Comic Book Day: A Virgin's Guide to Attaining Maximum Pleasure

It's kind of awesome, and if you don't believe us, you can ask Marvel Comics god Stan Lee:

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The Craigslist Missed Connections of St. Louis Wizard World

Jon Gitchoff
The Khaleesi and Khal Drogo found each other. Who's next?

Earlier this week, we shared how an ingenious local man used a Wizard World photo opportunity with Firefly and Castle star Nathan Fillion to propose to his girlfriend. It's an adorable story, but unfortunately, not everybody was as lucky in love at the comic book/pop culture convention.

See also:
- Nathan Fillion Unwittingly Helps Local Nerds Get Engaged at Wizard World
- The Three Best Things About Wizard World 2014

A look at the Missed Connections section of Craigslist reveals that a number of people were hit by "love at first sight" at Wizard World, held April 4 through 6 at America's Center. And we're down with kismet! But because many of the personal ads still are online nearly two weeks after the event, we can only assume that the love connections are still yet to be made.

So help us out, readers! Check out the enchanting Missed Connections ads below, and help us find the folks who might be somebody's love of a lifetime.

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Nathan Fillion Unwittingly Helps Local Nerds Get Engaged at Wizard World

Wizard World
Actor Nathan Fillion made a love connection for James Dauer and Jenna Nurnberger.

When Jenna Nurnberger became engaged at the Wizard World convention held in St. Louis just over a week ago, she had no idea that Nathan Fillion, her long-time Firefly crush, would be part of it.

But her fiancé James Dauer did. Well, sort of.

"You can't say 'no' to serendipity," Dauer says.

See also:
- Story: Wizard World Inc.: A roving comic con looks to corner the geek market
- Slideshow: Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con 2014

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The Three Best Things About Wizard World 2014

Jon Gitchoff
When Adam Baldwin and Nathan Fillion are together, we're in our happy place.

After spending three straight days rubbing elbows with tens of thousands of costumed fans, drooling over dozens of high-profile celebrities and spending two months' rent on sketches and t-shirts, we may need to take a short breather from the comic book world.

But, by Thor's hammer, Wizard World was quite the journey.

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Wizard World Celebs Bruce Campbell & William Shatner Have St. Louis Ties

Photos courtesy of Wizard World
Bruce "Ash" Campbell and William "Kirk" Shatner are in St. Louis for Wizard World.

As noted in this week's cover story, traveling comic con Wizard World returns to St. Louis April 4 through 6, bringing with it nearly unlimited nerdery. Over the weekend, tens of thousands of cosplayers, comic-book collectors, video-game enthusiasts and casual lookyloos will gather for all manner of pop culture in the America's Center downtown (though Wizard World's photos on Facebook suggest record crowds will push the convention into the larger Edward Jones Dome), and one of the big draws for fans is meeting revered celebrities from The Walking Dead, Doctor Who and Firefly.

See also: Wizard World Inc.: A roving comic con looks to corner the geek market

Indeed, St. Louis will become the setting for a living People magazine, with Firefly's Nathan Fillion, Batman's Adam West and Burt Ward, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Eliza Dushku and Lord of the Rings/The Goonies' Sean Astin all roaming the Dome. But two of Wizard World's most-anticipated guests have connections to St. Louis.

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