Stan Lee, Marvel Comics Co-Creator, Dies At 95

The co-creator of Marvel Comics and some of the most iconic superheroes, Stan Lee, has died on Monday morning. Marvel itself has confirmed the news.

According to TMZ, Lee was rushed in an ambulance from his home in Hollywood Hills to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he later passed away. The comics legends has had issues in the past year or so battling pneumonia as well as some problems with his vision.

Stan Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 22, 1922 in New York City. His father, Jack Lieber, was a dress cutter and both he and his wife Celia were Romanian-born Jewish immigrants. Growing up, Lee found himself influenced by the movies, especially anything with Errol Flynn playing the hero. Lee graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx a year and a half early in 1939, and he went on to join the WPA Federal Theater Project.

In 1942, Lee joined the US Army and became a member of the Signal Corps, where he repaired communications equipment. Later, he transferred to the Training Film Division and produced films, manuals, and cartoons. Lee left the Army in 1945 and married the love of his life, Joan Clayton Boocock, in 1947. They were together for 70 years, and had two children, before Joan’s passing in 2017.

Lee first started working in comics in 1939 as an assistant at Timely Comics and made his debut as a text filler in Captain America Comics #3 in 1941, where he first used his pseudonym “Stan Lee.” By the ’50s, Timely Comics evolved into Atlas Comics, and Lee wrote numerous stories in the romance, science fiction, and horror genres.

Publisher Martin Goodman tasked Lee with creating a superhero team in the late ’50s as a response to the popularity of what DC Comics was doing at the time. Lee teamed with Jack Kirby to create the Fantastic Four, which was loosely based on Kirby’s work at DC, Challengers of the Unknown. Lee made his characters flawed, to have realistic problems, and to be something readers could relate to. When Fantastic Four #1 debuted in late 1961, it was a smashing success.

He continued using the theme of flawed superheroes and applied it to new teams and characters, working again with Kirby on X-Men, Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man; later, the two would come together to create the iconic Avengers. Lee worked with Bill Everett on Daredevil, and found his biggest success with artist Steve Ditko on Spider-Man. Lee continued his dominance as a writer at Marvel until 1972, when he took on the role of publisher and stopped writing monthly books.

From there, Lee became a figurehead and representative of Marvel and the comic book industry as a whole. He began appearing at comic book conventions, meeting fans, and in 2012, Comikaze Expo was rebranded as Stan Lee’s Comikaze, which is the ultimate honor for anyone in the comic book industry. Lee loved his work, his characters, and most importantly, his fans, and he never stopped giving. He started the Stan Lee Foundation in 2010 which focused on literacy, education, and the arts, in order to improve access to literacy resources.

Lee will always be remembered for the way he changed pop culture through the characters he created, the stories he told, and amusing cameos he had in all those movies. Thanks for everything, Stan.

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Author: Mat Elfring

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Ebay “Better Than Black Friday” Sale Undercuts Other Deals

Ebay has announced another sales promotion revolving around Black Friday, but this one boasts that it’s better than Black Friday. The promotion centers on a full week of beating competitor prices for the retail holiday across several items. The promotion runs November 12-18, and the prices go into effect at 5 AM PT each day.

The deal for today, Monday, for example is a Samsung 32″ Smart LED HD TV for $175, beating the advertised Target deal of $179. Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 13, it’s offering an Xbox wireless controller for $35, undercutting Walmart’s price of $39. The deals will also include NBA 2K19 for $27 (vs $30 at Target) and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for $44 (vs $45 at Target). Apple AirPods are going for $149.

Naturally, these game and tech deals come alongside several other discounts on other items, from coffee makers to boots to watches. Ebay is also offering free shipping on these deals, and a “Best Price Guarantee” that will give 100% the price difference on competitors. You can check out the full line-up at the Ebay deal site.

Black Friday is traditionally the Friday immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday, but as retailers compete for customers the discounts have begun expanding to the weeks before and after as well. It’s a good time to grab cheap games and hardware, so check out our Black Friday deals roundups for all the best prices.

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Author: Steve Watts

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The internet’s horrified with Detective Pikachu

To understand the intense reaction to Detective Pikachu’s first trailer, you have to understand where the Pokémon fandom stands in 2018. As a franchise, Pokémon taps into a yearning for adventure: it’s just you, your pet pals, and the open road. Defeat the gyms and you’ll get actual emblems for your success. No parents, no responsibilities. The possibilities seem endless. For a while, that fantasy is enough for Pokémon fans — and then they grow up.

For years now, there’s been a growing shift within the Pokémon fandom, as the franchise continues to cater to children even as its original audience ages. The kids who sneaked Game Boys under their desk in the ‘90s now have wrinkles and mortgages, but the games themselves have been preserved…

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Author: Patricia Hernandez

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Black Friday 2018: The Cheapest Deals on TVs The Day After Thanksgiving

Electronics and television giant Samsung, has quite a few Black Friday deals on televisions for the upcoming retail holiday, taking place the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 23. It’s a time where the people of the United States invade retail stores like the Chitauri entering New York City. Shoppers are looking for the best deals on everything from video games to electronics to this year’s hottest items, in hopes of getting their Christmas presents for cheap.

For many people, this is the perfect time to buy a new television, as most retailers have some pretty deep discounts on all their TVs during this time. Whether you’re looking for a huge new 4K smart TV or something smaller and cheaper to give away as a gift, stores like Best Buy, Target, Kohl’s, Meijer, and more have them available for the upcoming Black Friday.

There are a few 65″ televisions available this Black Friday, three of which can be found at Target. Two of these are from Samsung, both of which are 4K and smart TVs. One is $650 and the curved one is $800. Additionally, there is an LG 4K smart TV for $750. All of these are doorbuster deals, so it’s first come, first served when Target opens on on Thursday, November 22 at 5PM. The store will close at 1AM on Friday, November 23, then re-open at 7AM that morning. However, you may want to check with your local stores, as times may vary.

If you are in the market for something small and cheap, there are a few HDTVs for under $200. At Meijer, there is a Element 55″ Smart Roku 4K UHD TV for $200; however, it’s part of the store’s doorbuster deals, so supplies will be limited, but the deals will be good Thursday, November 22 at 6 AM-Friday, November 23. Again, check with your local stores to see if opening times vary.

Check out all the TV deals from this year’s Black Friday circulars, so far. If you’re on the lookout for more huge deals, check out our round-up of all the Black Friday specials.

Best Buy

Target

  • Element 32″ Smart LED TV — $120 [Doorbuster]
  • Element 55″ Smart 4K UHD — $200
  • LG 43″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $270 [Doorbuster]
  • LG 49″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $330 [Doorbuster]
  • LG 55″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $470 [Doorbuster]
  • LG 60″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $550 [Doorbuster]
  • LG 65″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $750 [Doorbuster]
  • Philips 50″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $250 [Doorbuster]
  • Polaroid 32″ LED TV — $80 [Doorbuster]
  • Samsung 32″ Smart LED TV — $180 [Doorbuster]
  • Samsung 43″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $280 [Doorbuster]
  • Samsung 50″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $330 [Doorbuster]
  • Samsung Curved 55″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $580 [Doorbuster]
  • Samsung 55″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $400 [Doorbuster]
  • Samsung 65″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $650 [Doorbuster]
  • Samsung Curved 65″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $800 [Doorbuster]
  • TCL Roku 55″ 4K UHD HDR Smart TV — $350 [Doorbuster]
  • VIZIO 40″ Smart LED TV — $200 [Doorbuster]
  • VIZIO 50″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $300 [Doorbuster]
  • Westinghouse 40″ 1080p FHD Smart TV — $125 [Doorbuster]
  • Westinghouse 50″ 4K HDR UHD Smart TV — $230 [Doorbuster]

Walmart

JC Penny’s

  • 55″ LG UHD 4K LED TV — $400

Costco

  • TCL 50″ 4K UHD LED TV — $280
  • Vizio 40″ HD SmartTV — $200 (Online only)
  • Vizio 55″ 4K UHD SmartTV — $450

Kohl’s

  • Samsung 58″ 4K Smart TV + $165 Kohl’s Cash — $550 [Doorbuster]
  • LG 49″ 4K Smart TV + $90 Kohl’s Cash — $330 [Doorbuster]

Meijer

  • Doorbuster 6am Thursday-Friday, November 23
  • Element 32″ LED HDTV — $90
  • Element 40″ LED HDTV — $130
  • Element 50″ Smart 4K UHD TV — $220
  • Element 55″ Smart Roku 4K UHD TV — $200 [Doorbuster]
  • Element 65″ smart Amazon 4K UHD TV — $400 [Friday only]
  • LG 43″ LED TV — $220
  • LG 49″ Smart 4K UHD TV — $330
  • LG 65″ Smart 4K UHD TV — $600
  • Samsung 32″ LED TV — $170
  • Samsung 43″ Smart 4K UHD TV — $280
  • Samsung 55″ Smart 4K UHD TV — $400
  • Vizio 40″ Smart LED TV — $200
  • Vizio 50″ Smart 4K UHD TV — $300
  • Vizio 55″ Smart 4K UHD TV — $380

Samsung

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Author: Mat Elfring

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YouTube VR launches today for the Oculus Go

YouTube is launching its virtual reality app on the Oculus Go mobile VR headset today, after announcing its plans in September. The app will be available in the Oculus Store, joining similar apps for Samsung Gear VR, Sony PlayStation VR, Google Daydream VR, and desktop VR headsets. It’s a helpful addition to the Oculus Go, which is aimed at VR video fans and other non-gaming users.

YouTube’s VR app supports 360-degree video and standard video in a VR theater. It also includes social features, so users can watch videos with headset-wearing friends. The app was originally exclusive to smartphones, either through the low-tech Google Cardboard or the mobile Google Daydream View. We once described YouTube as the “killer app” for Google’s…

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Author: Adi Robertson

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How Ralph Breaks The Internet Avoids The Emoji Movie’s Mistakes

A movie like Ralph Breaks the Internet is bound to be in production for a number of years. When The Emoji Movie hit theaters in 2017, Ralph 2 was well underway at Disney Animation Studios. That turned out to be really bad timing.

The Emoji Movie was universally panned by critics and audiences alike. When the first trailers for Wreck-It Ralph 2 arrived, the comparisons between the two movies were all too clear. The similarities are inevitable: When Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) travel to the internet, they reach a world populated by familiar websites, internet in-jokes, and memes. When The Emoji Movie did it, this felt like a crass commercial cash-in devised to sell tie-ins with various apps. At Disney, the filmmakers behind Ralph Breaks the Internet are working hard to avoid that and other pitfalls.

For one thing, Disney didn’t actually partner with real world companies, websites, or apps for Ralph Breaks the Internet. In fact, they didn’t even approach those companies to ask permission to use their names and logos.

“I don’t know how we’re getting away with the stuff that we’re doing,” Ralph 2 co-director Rich Moore joked to GameSpot during a recent interview.

According to producer Clark Spencer, it has to do with the differences between copyright and trademark. He said since they’re only using company names and logos–not, say, mascots or associated characters–there was no need to reach out for permission. And besides, he explained, most of the places where Ralph and Vanellope spend significant story time are made up, like BuzzTube, an amalgam of Buzzfeed and YouTube that combines elements of both sites.

“Honestly, eBay is really the only big part [that’s a real company],” said co-director Phil Johnston. Ralph and Vanellope travel to eBay in search of a part Vanellope needs to repair her arcade game, Sugar Rush. “The reason we decided to use the actual eBay as the backdrop is because it felt like exactly what we needed for the story,” Johnston continued. “Like, where else would you go to find that part? We could make up ‘eBuy’ or ‘OhBoy’ or whatever, but why? In that case, that’s so clearly where we need to be going.”

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That’s far from the only way the movies differ. “It would be great to get that out of the way, and just say [Ralph 2] is in no way, shape, or form anything like [The Emoji Movie],” Moore said. He, Johnston, and Spencer all insisted that The Emoji Movie’s reception had no effect whatsoever on Ralph 2’s story, world, or overall direction.

That doesn’t mean creating the internet as a living, breathing, recognizable place was easy, as the movie’s story team elaborated. “The internet is very difficult to portray,” story artist Natalie Nourigat told us. “A lot of people have done it, and we tried to do our due diligence and our research and see what has worked in the past in other movies.”

Her fellow story artist, Jason Hand, said they were “hyper aware” of the comparisons that would inevitably be made. “I think there’s funny stuff in the Emoji movie,” he conceded.

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Head of Story Josie Trinidad added that the way the movie portrayed the internet visually “was pretty cool.” She said for Ralph 2, they tried their best to stay true to the characters, which she believes sets Ralph Breaks the Internet apart. “It’s not a movie about the internet, it’s a movie about Ralph and Vanellope,” she said. “Two friends from a small town–a small arcade–who go to the big city–the internet–and how their friendship is changed by that journey.”

As we described in a separate piece, Ralph 2’s filmmakers went to painstaking lengths to make the internet a believable place with its own logic, relatable characters, and visual design language. They even represented the dark web and the internet’s less friendly side, where Ralph is sure to get into trouble.

The internet today seems like a pretty dark place, even more so than a couple of years ago when production on Ralph Breaks the Internet began. But it’s clear that Disney has done its best to make it a compelling setting for Ralph and Vanellope’s new adventure.

Ralphs Breaks the Internet hits theaters November 21. Don’t forget to check out our condensed list of everything we learned about the movie on our trip to Disney Animation.

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Author: Michael Rougeau

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The US now has the two fastest supercomputers in the world

The world’s two fastest supercomputers are now American, according to the rankings that are released biannually. The two computers, Summit and Sierra, both use IBM technology.

Summit was crowned the world’s fastest computer back in June when it performed the mathematical test LINPACK at 122.3 petaflops per second. (Each petaflop is one quintillion math operations.) Since then, it’s received more upgrades, and it can now perform the test at 143.5 petaflops per second, giving it a huge lead over the other 499 supercomputers on the list.

Meanwhile, Sierra trails behind Summit with 1.6 million processor cores to Summit’s 2.4 million. Other than that, both supercomputers run on similar specs:…

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Author: Shannon Liao

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Game’s Early Black Friday UK Deals On PS4, Xbox One, And Nintendo Switch

Black Friday is nearly here. November 23 is just days away, and that means many retailers have already kicked off their major season of discounts and deals. Game’s Black Friday UK sale starts in earnest on November 15, but the chain has a number of deals live on its website already.

Some of the biggest deals available right now pertain to consoles: you can get a PS4 Slim, Red Dead Redemption 2, two months of Now TV, and either Doom or The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind for £250. You can get The Last of Us: Remastered or Overwatch thrown in for just £15 or £20 more, respectively.

On the green side of the gaming fence, you can get a 1 TB Xbox One S with Forza Horizon 4, two months of Now TV, and either The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind or Prey for £250. If you’re not a Forza fan, you can get the same bundle but with Playground’s racer subbed out for a Fortnite full game download, 2,000 V-bucks, and the Eon cosmetic set for the same price.

The cheapest Nintendo Switch bundle contains the device itself with Sports Party for £290; pay £10 more and the sports title gets swapped for Lego DC Super Villains. The Switch is a newer console, so it’s perhaps unsurprising deals are a little hard to come by compared to PS4 and Xbox One. The cheapest way to get a new Switch from Game is still to simply buy the console itself–this comes in at £280.

Check out a wider selection of Game’s Black Friday UK deals below, or visit the retailer’s website for the full list.

Game’s Black Friday UK 2018 Deals

PS4 Console Deals

  • 500 GB PS4 Slim + Red Dead Redemption 2 or FIFA 19 + two months’ Now TV Entertainment Pass + Doom or The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind — £250
  • 500 GB PS4 Slim + Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — £250
  • 500 GB PS4 Slim + FIFA 19, extra controller — £280
  • 1 TB PS4 Pro + FIFA 19 + two months’ Now TV Entertainment Pass + The Elder Scrolls Online — £300

Xbox One Console Deals

  • 1 TB Xbox One S + Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield V, Sea of Thieves, Forza Horizon 4, or Fortnite bundle + Dishonored 2 or The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind + two months’ Now TV Entertainment Pass — £250
  • 1 TB Xbox One S + Minecraft creators bundle — £250
  • 1 TB Xbox One X + Battlefield V + Forza Horizon 4 + Forza Motorsport 7 + Prey + two months’ Now TV Entertainment Pass — £450
  • 1 TB Xbox One X + Battlefield V + Battlefield 1 Revolution + Battlefield 1943 + The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind + two months’ Now TV Entertainment Pass + one month’s EA Access
  • 1 TB Xbox One X + PUBG + Overwatch + two months’ Now TV Entertainment Pass + one month’s Game Pass — £450

Nintendo Switch Console Deals

  • Nintendo Switch + Sports Party — £290
  • Nintendo Switch + Lego DC Super Villains — £300

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Author: Oscar Dayus

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