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Jack Kirby, “Street Code” (1990) (courtesy the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center)

We remember Jack Kirby as “The King” of comics for good reason. The legendary co-creator of Marvel’s Fantastic Four Black Panther, Mighty Thor, Captain America, and DC’s Fourth World — among dozens of other beloved comic book characters — is probably best-known today for the impact he made on the stock prices of companies like Disney and Warner Bros., which rake in billions of dollars from his creations. But it’s worth noting that, like Captain America, Kirby came from a real place: New York City, where many of his superheroes fought their battles, and specifically Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Though the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center, the nonprofit that honors the King’s legacy, has no brick-and-mortar address, they are looking to pay homage to Kirby’s NYC upbringing with a walking tour on what would be the creator’s 102nd birthday. The museum invites fans to gather on Wednesday, August 28, at 6:30 pm in the Lower East Side on Delancey Street just east of the corner of Essex St. (near Richie’s and Fabco Shoes) for a walking tour, according to information provided by the museum. The tour will include “a visit to Jack’s birthplace, a guerrilla street theater reading of his autobiographical story ‘Street Code’ near where he grew up, trivia questions (with prizes!), and ending with a mixer at a local haunt (TBD!)” The King would be proud.

When: Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 6:30 pm (free, donations encouraged)
Where: Delancey Street, just east of Essex St. (Lower East Side, Manhattan)

The post Walk the Streets That Inspired Jack Kirby’s Comics appeared first on Hyperallergic.

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Avengers: Endgame | Photo Credits: Marvel Studios

When Disney+ arrives on the streaming scene this fall, it’ll boast a ton of content from the House of Mouse, but one title that won’t be available on the sure-to-be-sprawling library right away is Avengers: Endgame, now the highest-grossing film of all time.

Although the blockbuster is currently

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Although Avengers: Endgame concluded what has now become known as the Infinity Saga earlier this year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes on. In addition to a number of films currently in the works as part of Phase Four, some of your favorite Avengers will also be venturing to the small screen for

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US-ESPORT-FORTNITE-NINJA-TWITCH-MIXER

Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

We’re watching Ninja change people’s perceptions in real time.

Ninja is changing how the average person thinks about gamers in a way that hasn’t been done before, and didn’t seem possible for a long time.

Tuesday, he announced a deal with Adidas. It’s not his first big endorsement — he’s partnered with Samsung and Red Bull previously, both pretty big names. He also recently left Twitch to stream on Mixer in a huge snag for Microsoft.

No shortcuts. Only long days. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t catch your dreams. Choose your path. Put the TIME IN.I’m humbled, and excited, to officially announce my partnership with @adidasoriginals. https://t.co/B42gK4AoF5#createdwithadidas pic.twitter.com/PdAKnCflCD

— Ninja (@Ninja) August 27, 2019

But this sponsorship is different. Adidas primarily sponsors superstar athletes who you could only dream of becoming, and other people who have gained unattainable fame. Ninja’s sponsorship is validation from one of sports’ biggest tastemakers that being perhaps the most recognizable gamer on the planet (primarily thanks to Fortnite) is as important as being a world-class athlete. Ninja has reached that level of fame.

The details of the partnership weren’t revealed, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the brand came out with his own sneaker. You have to be a different kind of talented and famous to be able to pull something like that off, especially as a gamer.

I can’t imagine going to Mr. and Mrs. Lyles at a young age and being all, “Hey, I want to grow up and be a professional gamer and have a sneaker deal and be sponsored by Chipotle!” without them coming back with, “LOL — boy, if you don’t get outside and cut the grass.” But that’s a realistic dream now, which is great. (Though I don’t think I’d trade my current occupation for it — I like writing silly things and starting chicken sandwich wars.)

If you were to ask the average person over the age of 30-ish what they thought a gamer looks like, they’d probably have a specific image in mind. A gamer, stereotypically, would be someone who is nerdy, wears glasses, smell like Hot Pockets, and plays in their mother’s basement. That person would also be a man, because a lot of people still think that women can’t play video games, or have no interest in doing so.

Then there’s the crowd of people who think video games are a waste of time altogether and — well, they’re all just wrong.

Some folks don’t understand how anyone could watch somebody else play video games, but, much like their attitude towards gaming in general, that is because they have never had an open mind to it. In the simplest of terms: sometimes I’d rather watch LeBron James play basketball than play myself because he’s a lot better at it than I am or ever could be, and most sports fans probably feel the same.

I watch many different streamers, though they all mostly play Fortnite. They all bring something different to the table, and no viewing experience is the same.

There’s somebody like Myth, who plays with a basketball shooting sleeve on and will do obscure things during his stream, like dance, or even limbo while waiting for the game lobby to load:

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A post shared by Myth (@tsm_myth) on Aug 15, 2019 at 10:33am PDT

If you’re looking for pure excitement, there’s One Shot GURL. If you’re looking for impeccable manners, watch Nick Eh 30. If you want a skilled player with very good dogs, peep Asivrs. If you want to be part of a great community, tune into SanchoWest. And if you just want to watch one of the best players on the planet, catch Tfue or the World Cup champion Bugha, who had one of the best performances Arthur Ashe Stadium will ever see in any sport.

There is no shortage of gaming streamers, much like NBA bloggers on the internet. It’s pretty cool to see a group of people achieve a new status that not many envisioned. You can be a full-time gamer, make a living, and people won’t falsely assume you’re some kind of scrub. That’s dope.

And don’t get it twisted — you don’t have to like Ninja to think it’s pretty cool that even more people might able to attain what he has.

Also, maybe some people just want to play video games and be left alone. That’s cool too. Because playing video games because you want to is cool.

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Aerial Powers spent some time roasting us in the WNBA version of NBA 2K.

Mystics guard Aerial Powers, right, samples the WNBA feature in the new NBA 2K video game with SB Nation’s Matt Ellentuck. | Hayley Archer/SB Nation Illustration

Mystics guard Aerial Powers used her team and I stood no chance.

Mystics guard Aerial Powers thinks her picture in NBA 2K20 makes her look constipated, and she’s wildly disappointed by her 78 overall rating. She scores 11 points per game and shoots 36 percent shooter from three-point range for the best offense in WNBA history. But the most popular basketball video game in the world, which for the first time introduced the WNBA to its series, rates her around a league average player.

“I’m gonna have to talk to someone,” Powers said. “This is tough to look at. I hope they do updates. Going into playoff they should do updates. I think I should be in the 80s for sure.”

Powers is such a gamer, she brings her Xbox One with her when the Mystics travel to play on the road. Her teammates get fed up with how long it takes her to pass through airport security, with her console, controllers, and copies of Apex Legends, Call of Duty, and NBA2K all needing to be checked. Soon that laundry list will grow. She’s preparing to livestream her playing the WNBA mode in NBA2K20 on Twitch, under the username POWERzsurge. (She’s really got the dopest name in hoops.)

So I asked Aerial to hang out and play with the new WNBA features in NBA2K20. We played a quick game with Mystics and Aces (you can guess who was who.), and we went through ratings and graphics to see what we liked and didn’t from the league’s first foray into the ubiquitous 2K franchise.

Here’s what I learned:

1. Aerial Powers relentlessly talks shit on and off the court

From the second Aerial walked into our studio, she hyped herself up. She hadn’t played the game yet and I had two days practice, yet she gifted me my choice of team (the Aces.) She even gave me an advantage and let me play as the home team despite us gaming on a Playstation 4, which isn’t the system on which she usually plays. She gave me every handicap available.

Yet everything went downhill for me quick.

First she was offended that I chose Kayla McBride to lock her down. Making her angry was not, in fact the move:

Then she figured out how to use herself in the game:

Then, with the game on the line, I traveled.

Then she did it. She kicked my ass as I blew a double-digit lead and lost by two. Look at this:

2. Generally, the WNBA graphics are really good!

Powers looks a little constipated, while teammates Emma Meesseman and Natasha Cloud are a bit thin. But on the whole, the players look pretty realistic.

They got all of Aces veteran Tamera Young’s tattoos down, had noted trash-talker Liz Cambage talk shit after I hit a clutch bucket with her, and made sure Powers’ high bun was perfectly in place.

Everything seemed right to me.

Except…

3. The game doesn’t have the WNBA’s head coaches

When I talked to Mystics coach Mike Thibault a few weeks ago, he said he was scanned for the game, yet none of the coaches in the game resemble who they are in real life. Even worse, women coaches in real life, such as Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve and Atlanta’s Nicki Collen, were replaced with generic men in the game. Smh, 2K.

4. Maybe coach Thibault’s dance moves were too much for the game

The night before Aerial and I played 2K, she was on a yacht for Elena Delle Donne’s 30th birthday. If you haven’t already seen Thibault’s moves, please see them here:

after watching coach thibault dance i can confirm elena delle donne had the littest 30th birthday party of all time pic.twitter.com/77RmMt5bH2

— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) September 5, 2019

I’ll let Aerial give you the backstory:

5. The game’s shot mechanics are ok

No player we used had a shooting form that was egregiously off, but some feel too slow. Three-point shooters like Kayla McBride, Sugar Rodgers, and Kristi Toliver tended to be the ones whose shots should launch quicker. But their forms look about right, even though the company only full-body scanned a select few talents.

Powers took exception to the lack of fluency in teammate Ariel Atkins’ shot, though:

6. Player ratings are off

Please put some respect on Aerial Powers’ name, 2K. It’s time to look at this year’s stats. Bizarrely, Powers was rated just a 77 from three-point range despite finishing 20th in the league in percentage.

In the game we played in, though, I drained all three of the threes I took with Aces rookie Jackie Young. Jackie Young! Young is a solid passer and defender, but teams intentionally let her shoot from distance. She only makes 30 percent of all her shots from the field and 32 percent from downtown.

Powers was not having it.

She wasn’t cool with her own defensive rating either:

The ratings for the upper-tier stars of the league seem a bit deflated, too. Delle Donne just completed likely MVP season in which she shot over 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range, and 90 percent from the line, yet she’s merely a 95 overall in the game. The NBA side, on the other hand, ranked both LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard as 97 overall. The WNBA stars should be able to take over more easily in the video game than they currently do.

7. We need a franchise mode!

It’s great that 2K is the first franchise basketball video game to allow us to play out a WNBA season, but it goes by quick, and feels shallow. You’re able to make trades, but they’re always accepted (yes, you can trade Delle Donne for a benchwarmer). There’s no draft, either.

The season mode is a ton of fun and definitely worth trying out. I love how they kept the WNBA’s infamous single-elimination style playoff system in.

But there’s a lot more room to go. Give us franchise mode!

8. The WNBA in 2K is long overdue, but I’m glad it’s finally here

Powers said it best:

anyway, it’s incredibly dope that 2K finally added the Waerial had some words pic.twitter.com/ki9LraknpQ

— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) September 9, 2019

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Like these two fellows in the image above, or rather a man and his apparition, you’re probably sitting back with a cold brew wondering when you’ll be able to play Borderlands 3. Not only that, but you’ll be wanting to know if you can even run the game or if you need to make a few modifications to your gaming rig. Fear not, weary traveller, we managed to capture Claptrap and somehow managed to get the information out of him.

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