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    • Sequentially 002

      1 day ago

      Lumenati Let's Play

      In anticipation of Avengers: Infinity War (go watch that wild trailer!), I've been thinking a lot about an idea repeated by Executive Producer Kevin Feige and others in recent interviews. When asked about the franchise post-Avengers 4, they tend to give a response that invokes "what comes next" and "the new status quo." If you follow superhero comics, you recognize this kind of language because it tends to surround big crossover events, resets, and reboots.

      Reboots and resets are absolutely a necessary part of the peculiar genre of American superhero comics. DC's Action Comics #1 is about to hit its 80th anniversary this year. Like a snake shedding its skin or a lobster growing a new shell, to keep the characters and stories fresh you just have to hit the reset button. Marvel's approach tends to be a bit more gentle than DC's (see Crisis on Infinite Earths or New 52). They opt for soft resets that don't totally invalidate the publishing history, they just find a new starting point and streamline backstories to clear out excess baggage. 

      At its worse, however, it can be just a ploy to boost flagging sales. Marvel has done a few too many recently, and it's created fatigue... but then I came across this cover and it got me pretty excited for what might be coming:


      (As a caveat, I'm going to put aside new Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski's various heinous antics, mostly out of respect to the great Joe Quesada who's stepped away from the movie studio to focus back in on the comics.)

      What I love about this line up is that it balances a lot of factors. From an in-universe perspective, all of these characters have long heroic careers, they represent different corners of the Marvel U, and their powers and capabilities are well balanced. To Marvel's credit, while this is a "back to basics" move, each of these characters seems to be carrying their scars from past books (Thor Odinson quite literally). 

      From a business perspective, it finally feels like the comics division is finally taking the right cues from the movies. Doctor Strange did well, Black Panther was a phenomenon, and Captain Marvel is building hype. Now is definitely the right time to put them on a shelf with Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. And in terms of publishing, this feels like an effortless integration of racial and gender inclusion, especially thanks to the last few years of Black Panther and Captain Marvel books, which is a comforting signal that Marvel isn't caving to toxic voices in the fandom. 

      All that aside, I also just love a good team up. I'm ready to see a fully Hulked She-Hulk back to back with our reformed Thor. Cap and T'Challa in the field and an apparently reconciled Tony and Carol blasting from the skies. Also very interested in an explanation for why Ghost Rider is just hanging out back there, but I'm sure there's a good reason.

      So here's a prompt for the comment section... what's the team up you want to see? Classic or unexpected, give me your 6-7 characters you'd like to see on a splash page. Can be Marvel or DC, just don't mix and match, I'm not in the mood for some Amalgam Comics stuff. Here's mine:

      New Young Avengers / Champions

      Loved both iterations of the Young Avengers book, though many of the characters have faded out. Since Patriot (Isaiah Bradley) seems out of commission, here's my new version of the team, pulling from other young heroes like the Champions:

      1. Hawkeye (Kate Bishop)
      2. Power Man (Victor Alvarez)
      3. White Tiger (Ava Ayala)
      4. Amadeus Cho (Not Hulked)
      5. Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
      6. Nova (Sam Alexander)
      7. America Chavez

      Young genius Amadeus friend of Hercules and soon-to-be former Hulk, brings the strategy and technology. Kate Bishop, a wealthy heiress, friend and occasional caretaker of Clint Barton, is the team's tactician. Victor, the chi-infused protege of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and Ava, the mystically enhanced inheritor of the White Tiger mantle, are your super-soldier combat types. Sam Alexander, one of the last remaining Novas, is your flying blaster and resident irresponsible team member. America Chavez, the multiverse hopping hero, is your heavy muscle. And you can't go wrong with a Spider-Man for good luck.

      What's your dream team?

    • Sequentially 001

      1 week ago

      Lumenati Let's Play

      So Geoff's music posts gave me the itch to try posting here more often. Since he's doing music (and since most of the music I listen to is not even in English), I figured I'd jump on here and muse about something else you may have noticed I'm into if you follow me on Twitter: comic books. 

      This won't be super structured. I'm going to must on topics I'm thinking about or books that I'm currently reading. I'm neck deep back into Marvel mania, so I'll probably lean that way for a while. I may talk DC or indies in the future. Feel free to respond to any of it in the comments and we can discuss. Or bring up your own thoughts and opinions, so I can tell you that you're wrong.

      Black Panther

      This is the 5,000 pound rhinoceros in the room. Have you seen the movie? There's only one answer that will spare you from my M'Baku-level side eye and derision. It's the perfect culmination of 10 years of MCU storytelling, a global audience ready to take risks, and a director with something to say about history and the black experience. I could talk about Black Panther and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War all day, but I'm here to talk comic BOOKS, baby. 

      Truth be told, Black Panther wasn't a favorite character of mine growing up, not even my favorite black Marvel character. That honor went to Luke Cage (after Brian Bendis's rehabilitation), Blade, or the protagonist of Robert Morales and Kyle Baker's seminal book Truth, Isaiah Bradley, and his Young Avenger grandson Patriot. I love the writer's Christopher Priest and Reggie Hudlin, and appreciated what they did with T'Challa in his meandering years in the 90s and early 00s, but he was never really my jam. However, in the last few years there are a few writers and arcs that made the character finally click for me.

      The first would be Jonathan Hickman's New Avengers run (aka Illuminati). The basic premise is that a secret cabal of Marvel geniuses and power players, including Tony Stark, Steve Roger, Mister Fantastic, Professor X, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Namor, and Black Panther, get back together to discuss a secret threat too frightening for the world at large to know: the multiverse is dying. A mysterious chain reaction is causing different universes to collide and the collision point is Earth. This leads to a horrible discovery: if both Earths are allowed to occupy the same space and crash into each other, each universe will be completely destroyed, but if one Earth is destroyed beforehand, the universes will pass each other harmlessly. The clock is ticking and the process is accelerating. This snowballs into a series of impossible decisions and dark bargains. T'Challa was torn between his roles as a scientist, superhero, mystic leader and Wakandan head of state. He was pitted philosophically and physically against other major characters like Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Namor, and Reed Richards. Some were scientists, soldiers, spiritual leaders, or kings, but none of them were all of those things like T'Challa was, which brought his character into relief. The choices he makes, his successes and his terrible failures balancing it all, made the character finally come alive for me. 

      Al Ewing picked up the baton right after Hickman's run and brought Black Panther into his team book, The Ultimates. Ewing had just come off of my favorite team book of all time, his version of the Might Avengers. He put on a master class of writing characters of color with a team that was mostly black (except for She-Hulk and Sort Of Evil Spider-Man... long story). Al's a white Brit and this book is a testament to the idea that, if you put in the work, you can write rich characters of any background. The team up was Luke Cage, Falcon, Blue Marvel, Spectrum, Power Man, White Tiger, Blade, She-Hulk, and Doc Ock in Spider-Man's body (seriously, it's a long story). They were different ages, different class backgrounds, different ethnicities, and held very, very different political beliefs. Their discussions felt real, funny as hell, and totally unique to a group of this composition. Al brought that same energy to The Ultimates and T'Challa was better off for it as a character. He paired him up with cosmic heavy hitters like Captain Marvel and America Chavez and sent them off to break (then fix) Galactus. It was a wild book, if short-lived due to Marvel meta-shuffling.

      The last transformative book I'll discuss is Ta-Nehisi Coates's recent run on the first solo Black Panther in years. While I love Coates's writing in The Atlantic, the run started a bit stiff as he learned how to transition from academic non-fiction into the science fiction prose of comic books. He adapted quickly, though, and the book loosened up through the second volume and is now a joy to read. Setting all that aside, Coates did something more important for Wakanda. He picked up the bits and pieces of Wakanda's mythology and history that had been rattling around for decades and reshaped it into something coherent, deep, and layered. When you sit down to watch the Black Panther film and see its treatment of Wakanda, what you're seeing is the work of Jack Kirby, Don McGregor, and Christopher Priest all tied together and filled in by Coates. It's pretty rare to see a writer have that kind of impact after writing comics for less than three years, but it was absolutely necessary for Ryan Coogler and Marvel to pull off what they did.

      If you have any questions or thoughts about these books or Black Panther in general, start a chain in the comment section and we'll discuss. 

      Reading List:

      Jon Hickman's New Avengers

      Al Ewing's The Ultimates

      Ta-Nehisi Coate's Black Panther

      Must Read, Supremely My Shit: 

      Al Ewing's Might Avengers

      What I'm Reading (Or Wish I Was)

      I'm a fan of Greg Pak and his oddball creation Amadeus Cho, so I've been keeping up with Incredible Hulk. If you're into the movies, you met Amadeus's mother Dr. Cho in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which was a nice bit of groundwork for the next decade of MCU. Recently, Amadeus has gone from Hulk and Hercules's best buddy to fully official Hulk and I'm both happy it happened and, I realized this month, glad its ending. While Hulking out felt like a natural conclusion for Cho, who, besides having angry friends, previously had a vague power set of being the world's 7th smartest person, playing a MacGuyver-like inventor, and possessing the uncanny ability to calculating complex physics on the fly (aka he could throw, catch, and nudge objects like a good guy version of Final Destination). He also became a demi-god for a while? Anyway, Totally Awesome Hulk / Incredible Hulk had some landmark moments, like the three issue appearance of Marvel's first completely Asian team last year. As I've said, team books with unique, unexpected groupings of characters is supremely my shit

      Amadeus!Hulk has since joined other teams and gone into space, but it's time for Amadeus to stop playing Hulk, which feels more and more like someone else's clothes, and get back to being Amadeus. I'd love to see him lead a team again as a strategist, maybe even bring back that short-lived team up with Jimmy Woo, Shang Chi, Silk, and Ms. Marvel...

      Reading List:

      Greg Pak's Totally Awesome Hulk Vol. 3

      If you're reading superhero comics right now, what's a character you like reading but wish they'd change (or change back)? What's your vision for what they should be doing?

    • Let’s Play: Update 2.X

      4 months ago

      Lumenati Let's Play

      Hello, hello, what’s up, what’s up! This is our third (and maybe last?) partnership update for the year. It’s been a crazy year. Let’s Play Live tour, 3 RTX events, Schooled Season 2, Family Reunion, Lazer Team 2 on the way, top notch D&D shows, Sugar Pine 7 birthed from some cursed womb to achieve highest glory... And nothing else of general consequence outside of our beautiful garden. Wild year.


      James Buckley, Honorary Achievement Hunter

      I’m really excited to finally announce this partnership. We’ve loved working with James in let’s plays and podcasts, particularly alongside Achievement Hunter. I don’t think there’s another guest that has had to fly so far and fit in so well. So it’s official, James Buckley and his channel “Completed It Mate” are part of the Let’s Play family and he is bestowed the title of Honorary Achievement Hunter. 

      For those of you who are unfamiliar with James’s work… get a Netflix account! James is a veteran actor from the UK and you can watch him in the classic series (and movies) The Inbetweeners and recent hit White Gold. He’s also the star of a great fantasy-comedy Zapped, which you can watch on the channel Dave. Yes, England is an exotic country where pudding is made of meat and TV channels go by their first name.

      We’re looking forward to more good times with James and we hope you are, too.

      BedBananas and Tomato Gaming

      I’m really happy to announce we’re completing our partnership with the three man hive-mind of Criken, Bed, and Tomato

      Bed joined us for our amazing PUBG with Everyone collab. He’s best known for his high concept machinima series and semi-roleplay let’s plays. Tomato is an expert at pushing games to their breaking point to capture some of the funniest multiplayer moments. Like Criken and Bed, he blends the real and surreal with roleplay.

      We’re just getting started with these guys and hope to have more announcements coming your way soon.

      There you have it! Great way to cruise into the new year. I’m sure I’ll be back here soon enough with more to discuss with you guys.

    • Let's Play: Update 2.1

      8 months ago

      Lumenati Let's Play

      When it rains, it pours. Second update of the year! We have a few announcements that are big enough to drag me out of my muddy cave and subject you to my creaky voice.


      New Let's Play family members incoming. I'm pleased to say Let's Play continues to be the greatest collection of misfits on the world wide web.

      Criken (and his Carnival) [LINK]

      I'm really happy to announce the Crik Master is joining the Let's Play family. I've known and worked with Criken since he was a 16 year old kid burning down the internet with his circus troupe of psychos. I like to think of myself as an early fan and great supporter/enabler of his antics. These days he's a veteran YouTuber and accomplished game designer cooking up his own violent delights for players to enjoy.

      Check out our recent Friday the 13th collab to understand what a great addition he is to the family table. 

      Sugar Pine 7 + Boys Only Club [SP7/BOC]

      If you guys attended RTX, this won't be a surprise. We're welcoming the Sugar Pine 7 gang into the Let's Play family. 

      We're also able to announce that we're working with Reina Scully and Steven Suptic's project, Boys Only Club, as well. A complete set, never removed from box, and in mint condition. Truly, I am an extraordinary collector.

      You can check them out every other week on our new broadcast show Tuesday Night Game Fight, alongside 7 other teams including Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, Game Attack, JT Machinima, and more.


      As you may have heard, Jordan and Dan are saying good bye to The Creatures and shutting down the hub channel soon. 

      This has been a tough year to do business on YouTube. A big part of what we provide to independent creators through Let's Play is access to merchandising, sponsorships, and other income opportunities to help stabilize the shifting fortunes of the YouTube ad market, but the dramatic downturn for many creators in 2017 has been unprecedented. Between these challenges and new personal career opportunities, the decision was made to wind down The Creatures after 6 historic years.

      I'm following Jordan and Dan in their next chapters and I hope you will, too. 

      So that's it for this update. Lots of good news, a bit of sad news. Hope to get back to you soon with even more to announce!

    • Let's Play: Year 2 Update

      9 months ago

      Lumenati Let's Play

      Hello everybody, nice to see you again! It's been... wow, ok, it's been a year. You do a few live tours and new shows and conventions and such and time gets away from you. I'm Luis Medina, the GM of Let's Play which means I run the business operations side of RT's Let's Play family of channels.

      To start off, some of you guys wonder how everything works on the business side for the different Let's Play groups and speculate on it from time to time. So as a quick guide, here's how Let's Play works in three sentences: 

      1. Let's Play groups that are "siblings" are employed by Rooster Teeth and work in-house in Austin or LA (Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, etc.). 
      2. Let's Play groups that are "cousins" are independent companies or individuals who partner with Rooster Teeth to do merchandising, sponsorships/advertisements, original programming, etc. (Cow Chop, Kinda Funny, The Creatures, Game Attack, etc.). 
      3. Let's Play is the umbrella brand we use to tie it all together, but we like for all of our groups to do their own thing and make the kind of programming they want to make and that you have chosen to watch. 

      Done and done. Let's move on to the good stuff. This time around, we're going to focus on goings-on with our growing family of Let's Play cousins.


      When Geoff and I were discussing the Let's Play family and the kinds of creators we wanted to work with, it was clear to us that we had a very narrow set of requirements. There are lots of great creators we watch and even some that we've worked with that haven't fit in all the ways we'd like either in front of or behind the camera. So the folks we've invited in here have really run the gauntlet. If there's anyone else you think we NEED to be working with, let us know in the comments below.

      JT Machinima (LINK)

      Like ScrewAttack, JT Machinima is all about creatively expressing a love for gaming and pop culture. We had to stretch our thinking of the Let's Play family to include a music-based channel, but we knew we liked them a lot and decided to make it work. 

      Happily, we're now launching their merch in the RT Store today! I'm also really excited for some of the creative projects and cameos we have in the works with these guys. You'll hear their music and see their faces in a few RT productions soon.

      NoahJ456 (LINK)

      Ever since Noah literally dragged Achievement Hunter's limp bodies through CoD Zombies maps last year, we pretty much new we needed to have Noah close at hand. He terrorized the field in Battlefield 1 and has done it all with a pretty chill attitude. He's the Fixer, the Wolf, the guy you call when you need a dirty job done with a clean smile. 

      LazarBeam (LINK)

      At first I was under the impression he was a vampire, but then it was explained to me that he's on the other side of the world. Lannan is Let's Play's Australian cousin and a favorite guest in the Austin studio. Now that convention season is upon us, we'll get to see even more of him again!

      Sugar Pine 7 (LINK)

      Steven Suptic will not leave me alone. He won't leave any of us alone, but he haunts me like a shadow. So, I guess we might as well make it part of our work hours. 

      You'll hear more about what we're cooking up with SP7 pretty soon. Honestly, you'll probably see it in a vlog first.

      THE OGs

      Here are a few highlights and links from current members of the family.

      Kinda Funny

      Kinda Funny Live 3!! It's a big deal and it's coming up soon. The guest list is already pretty wild and if you went KFL2 you know these gentlemen put on a show.

      Oh, and they stole Andy Cortez from the RT Games team. Yes of course, he's still in the family, but I will still consider this a betrayal and once again set Andy's status to "Dead To Me."

      Cow Chop

      Cow Chop has had a big first year of life! And the move to LA kicked off an even bigger Year 2. Now that they have their new studio space up and running, we've been working hard to integrate them here on FIRST through the FIRST Drive, new shows like Class of 198X and CCTV on the Cock Block, and even more awesome merch.

      Game Attack

      You can check out Craig's post, but we've switched up how we work with Craig & Shaun which has given them a lot of freedom to keep building GA. 

      So that's it for today! Be sure to check out JT Machinima's new collection on the RT Store and my favorite new show, Cow Chop's Class of 198X. Until next time, see ya!

    • ​Hello Internet

      1 year ago

      Lumenati Let's Play

      Many of you may have watched the Off Topic podcast over the last few months and heard mention of a Luis. He’s the guy traveling with Geoff, or bothering Lindsay in the middle of the night with inane questions, or the traitorous rat bastard who helped Justine win that DOOM tournament.

      That’s me, I’m Luis.

      A few years ago, I met Matt and Burnie and they told me about different ideas for the future of Rooster Teeth and one always stuck with me. They described this idea Geoff had for Let’s Play, growing it into a bigger but tight-knit family of gamers. The idea was to go beyond the concept of a “YouTube network” and work hand-in-hand with content creators, imparting the wisdom Rooster Teeth had learned over 13 long years and sharing the resources they’ve built (e.g. a website platform, a successful store, a presence at conventions, etc.). Beyond the business side of things, it would open the door to new and exciting faces in let’s plays and podcasts and animations and sketches.

      A couple years passed and the company had other big goals to accomplish (...a feature-length movie is no joke, ladies and gentlemen). So when the time was right and Geoff was ready to jump into the project, Matt and Ezra tapped me on the shoulder to help bring it to life.

      So for the last 5 or 6 months, Geoff and I have been working together to build the new Let’s Play. I handle the contracts and the spreadsheets and the legal so-and-so, so Geoff can focus on the content and creative vision. When we sat down to figure out what we wanted to do, we came up with some ground rules for what the Let’s Play family was going to be about and how to identify who we wanted to bring aboard. Caleb had a great analogy about siblings and cousins on National Sibling Day, so I’ll use his categories.

      The Siblings:

      The members of Achievement Hunter, Funhaus, and ScrewAttack work for Rooster Teeth and it was really important that every move we made helped those groups grow and develop. This included supporting projects that would let everyone try new things and bring passion projects to life (look out for Theater Mode and a bunch of other soon-to-be-announced shows!). This also meant making sure everyone we chose to work with really meshed well and could support them. My job here is to help on the business side so that these guys can focus on making great content.

      The Cousins:

      The dream is always to work with people that you genuinely like, right? So we considered a few things: Who have we made content with before that worked out really well? Who does the audience seem to already really enjoy watching? Who has a different enough style and POV to feel like they’re adding something new? Who would benefit a lot from what RT has to offer, even if they stayed independent (i.e. weren’t RT employees)?

      My role here is to track down these candidates and, alongside Geoff, bring them into the fold. The initial list we created was pretty short, but there were a few standouts right off the bat. I’ve known and loved Tim Gettys and Nick Scarpino since their days at IGN, and Greg Miller had already made his mark in The Gauntlet Season 2. Their Playstation-loving ways were the perfect foil to the Xbone Cheevo Hunters. It was a no-brainer to Geoff and I, so we headed to San Francisco to talk to them about their plans for the future. Not long after I saw this...


      ...and it felt like we were reading the bones….


      As for The Creatures, I’ve worked with them for years, so I was drawn to them as well. They had a blast at RTX last year and Geoff said it best when he said they were like the younger versions of AH (sort of… maybe more like Rocky Mountain flavor Funhaus). We took a trip up to Denver and kicked things off. Once again, you all spoke to us through your comments and tweets and let us know we were on the right track well before the announcement.

      Kinda Funny and The Creatures felt like an awesome start to what we had envisioned. We plan to keep going, but we’re also not really in a rush. It’s got to click.

      So! If you’ve got a burning passion for someone or a group of someones you think is perfect for the Let’s Play family, let us know. There are no specific requirements beyond everyone here digging it and being able to make the partnership work. While it’s been cool to invite other groups into the madness, that’s not a specific expectation just a really happy accident. So send us your favorite loners, why not?

      Hope this helped you all understand what I do (and what Geoff does while Lindsay keeps the insane AH production machine running). If you want to find me, I’m on Twitter @kinowolf or playing Overwatch. See ya!

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