Written by Shae

THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...

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With the recent release of Marvel's newest film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I find myself sent into a spiral of nostalgia. And somewhat of a crisis. When your friends come up, hug you, and whisper in your ear "Hail Hydra", you stop trusting hugs and start reconsidering your life choices in the particular friends that keep tormenting you. Why? Well, I can honestly say that I did not see Sitwell's betrayal coming…at all. Actually, I didn't see any of these betrayals coming. Did anyone else? Am I the only one sitting here like "What even is this that just happened?!" My whole life has been turned upside down. As a plot device, that was utterly brilliant. 

Hydra has been apart of many a Marvel plot line in various comics, cartoons, and now their most recent film and television show. But, before the multimillion dollar films, before the hit television show, Marvel was something completely different to me. Now, I was born in the mid 80's, which meant I got all the awesome cartoons that happened in the late 80's and 90's! While some get their first experience with Marvel through their vast array of comic books, I got mine from the X-Men cartoon. I didn't know about this series until 1993, which meant I was about 7, and it was my dad who showed me this show. Though, thinking back, I'm pretty sure he only showed me it so he could watch cartoons…Regardless, this show was my first glimpse at Marvel and one of the many worlds that they had created. Despite the corny lines, the dated references, and the utterly horrid hair styles the women had; this show was the most influential cartoon I have seen to this day.

I'm going to share something insanely personal with you guys, but as most of you may know by now, I have a visual impairment. So, when this cartoon about Mutants, people who were different from everyone else came into my life…it was like something magical was happening. Suddenly, I wasn't alone; I wasn't just the freak at school who was different. I was unique and fighting my own problems, like my favorite characters. I don't think anything has ever made me feel so accepted. Of course, this also made me a geek/nerd and somehow that was not acceptable for the school yard. Through that, I've made some life long, amazing friends. X-Men was a gateway to a broader set of interests that still influences my life to this day.

I've read many of the X-Men comics now as an adult, and watched almost every single film (with the exception of The Wolverine.) I went with my dad and saw them in theaters, opening night. The X-Men cartoon also lead me to the 1994 Spiderman series. Dad and I were not hugely into that show…actually, I have to confess that I am not the biggest Spiderman fan out there. Granted, he's got some awesome qualities, some fine villains, and story lines. I am just utterly petrified of all things bug related and could never get past the whole, bitten by a spider and got superpowers, thing. I squeak when I think I see a bug. The movies were pretty cool though, and I'm excited to see how The Amazing Spiderman 2 will play out. 

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Everything has snowballed into this amazing amalgamation of awesome. With the X-MenSpiderman and other superhero movies, there was a shift in popular culture. One that would turn all those geeky kids, into happy, geeky adults. Despite what bullies used to tease us about, the comic culture became so popular, these movies were renewing interest. New cartoons were being made, which was great because I have a little sister, who liked cartoons, and I got to watch them with her. I got to see her get enthralled like I did. Now, she's a teen and not as nerdy, but she loves going to these movies. My whole family does, actually, which is something that's kind of strange! And then, Iron Man came out…everything changed from that point on. Every movie was now held to a new standard. Everything was leading up to The Avengers. A film with multiple heroes? Most of which who had their own film, coming together into one…nothing like this had ever happened before. But it did, it happened and it was amazing. In every story line, there's always a hero, a villain, and suddenly, the ordinary person has the most power and holds the key to saving humanity. Every character is flawed, but they always come out the better. 

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. interacts with the newest Marvel movies. Something I have never personally seen before. Tying everything together, and also offering shocking betrayals. Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were both affected by Hydra. As if that wasn't cruel enough, it's bled into my personal life. Between the Facebook posts, the pictures, blogs, and violated hugs, Hydra is slowly taking over, and I am secretly loving every minute of it.

Whatever Marvel does, the heroes will always be there, the villains bad, and their media amazing. They've completely reached out and changed my life and continue to do so. I've seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier 3 times in theaters and I am considering a 4th. My addiction continues to grow like their stories. A reprieve from everyday life, and a reminder that no matter what, I am never truly alone.

 
 

Written by Mattie

THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...

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Arrow is back with episode nineteen. Last time, Slade Wilson kidnapped Thea and showed on live television that he had her in his clutches. However all he wanted was for Oliver to beg for her life, which he did. Meanwhile, Oliver found out that his CO-CEO Isabella has been working for Slade all along. When Oliver was in a panic to find his sister, Isabella had him temporarily sign over his power to her. When he did this, she took time to call an emergency meeting and completely took over the company. Oliver found this out and went after her however there was nothing he could do. After Oliver begged for Thea’s life, Slade let her go however he told Thea that he could tell her Oliver’s secret. The secret that he told her was that Malcolm Merlyn was her father and that Oliver knew. Of course when Oliver got Thea back, she was in shock and was horribly pissed off at everyone. Yet Slade had one more thing to do to ruin Oliver’s life… He went to Laurel and told her that Oliver was the Arrow.

Felicity, Sara, Oliver and Diggle were all traveling in a black van with black masks on to Queen Consolidated’s science division. They had decided to blow up the building so that the centrifuge didn’t get into Slade’s hands. This was all Felicity’s idea and they pulled out the security guards before they did it. Of course, Isabella was not happy about it. She told the “terrorists” in a press conference that they would be caught and punished. Of course, Felicity told them that she didn’t trust her before they found out that she was a super villain.

Laurel was trying to find out if Slade’s confession about Oliver was true so she went to see her father in prison. She asked him if he knew who the Arrow was and he told her that he didn’t. Then she asked if he knew who the woman in black was and he told her no. Sara then showed up to see her father and he told them both to take care of each other.

Because of Isabella’s take over of Queen Consolidated, Oliver and his mother had TO meet with their lawyer in order to save their assets before Isabella could get her hands on it. They realized that Isabella had been planning this takeover for a long time. However, to save their assets he needed Oliver, Thea and Moira’s signatures. Sadly Thea wasn’t there because she was still mad at the both of them for not telling her who her real dad was. Moira confessed to Oliver that she knew that Isabella and his father knew each other. She then asked if Oliver could try to go convince Thea to sign the papers and he agreed.

Oliver returned to Verdant looking for Thea but she wasn’t there. The team ran into Oliver and they were trying to find what Slade’s next move was. They all together went down into their hideout and Slade was there, waiting for them. He tried to shoot them and they all had to scatter. Sara, Oliver and Diggle tried to attack him however they were all taken down fairly easily. Felicity was able to run and turn on the lights but sadly he was gone. 

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Sara ended up with a broken wrist from the fight and was taken to the hospital. Laurel went to check on her and the doctor said she would be fine however that she had scars all over her body and it looked like she had served in the military. Laurel went in ask had asked her what happened and Sara told her that they were in a motorcycle accident. She wanted to question her about the scars on her back but Oliver came in to check on Sara before she could. Oliver told her the same thing that they were in a motorcycle accident. After Laurel left them, she started to remember the scars on Oliver’s body and how they were like Sara’s.

Oliver still needed to get the signature so he went to talk to Thea. She at first ignored him and then she blew up about not being Thea Queen and that she tried once to kiss Tommy Merlin her half brother, before her biological father killed him. She was finally getting into a good place in her life and then the information blew her world apart. Now she’s the daughter of two mass murderers and was learning with how to deal with it.

Thea then walked off and Oliver tried to go after her however Diggle caught him since he had information about Slade breaking in. Turns out he was after the skeleton key, so that he could find another centrifuge to make the Mirakuru serum. They then knew that their next step was to look for places that would have another high-powered centrifuge, which was of course Star Labs.

Star Labs was housing a ton of top-secret projects however Starling City shut the building down because they were the ones who turned on the particle accelerator in Central City, which blew hole in the middle of it and hurt Barry. There were two people in the building who were doing inventory, Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon. They had to do inventory since everything in the building had to be moved. That’s when Slade broke in, killed the security guard and was out to kill them. Oliver and Sara were on the way, however Laurel was following behind them to see what they were up to. Caitlin, while they were on the run got into a room that had Arthur Lane’s experiments in it. She found a gun and they were able to shoot Deathstroke with a pulse gun that made Slade fall to the ground, which gave them enough time to escape. Sadly, that brought him right to what he needed. So Slade put it in the back of a truck and drove off right when Oliver and Sara got there and realized that they were already too late. Laurel saw everything from her car.

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Felicity and Diggle went to check on Caitlin and Cisco to make sure that they were okay. She then explained to Diggle that since Barry’s condition had worsened, they moved him to Star Labs to be taken care of. That’s how she knew Catlin and Cisco. Diggle asked what the man in the mask took and they told them that it was classified. When Felicity was leaving Cisco told her that Barry has a girlfriend named Iris, even though he’s in a coma.

They figured out that it was a machine for bio transfusion that Slade stole in order to make his army stronger. However in order to use the machine, it would take a lot of blood which would drain Slade. They figured that it would take a lot of power when they flipped the switch and that Slade would be weak, so they would find him then.

Oliver wanted to find Slade so he went to talk to Isabella and ask her where Slade was. He then threw out there that he knew she was sleeping with his father and thought that it was a meaningless affair. Turns out that Isabella told him that they were soul mates and that he was going to leave them all. That their bags were packed and they were at the airport. Then he received a call that Thea broke her arm from falling off of a horse and he left Isabelle to go to Thea after she begged and reminded him that Thea wasn’t even his. But he still loved Moira and left Isabella to go back to her. So Isabella took over the company out of revenge. That gave Oliver the fuel he needed to win Thea back over. Before he could do that, he received a call that Laurel wanted to meet up with the Arrow.

Before Oliver could meet up with Laurel, Detective Lance was still sitting in jail, talking to one of the officers who wished him the best. Then another one the officers got attacked by a prisoner who then attacked the officer that he was talking to. He stole their keys and went and attacked Lance because he and the vigilante put him behind bars. After a few minutes, two officers were able to pull the prisoner off of him.

Oliver met with Laurel as the Arrow and she told him that she was drawn to him even though he was a murderer and that he always protected her and that she knew why. However before she could tell him that he was Oliver, she got a call from Sara who told her that something had happened to their dad.

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Laurel went to visit her father in the prison medical unit. She wanted to tell him who the vigilante was however he told her he didn’t care who it was. He didn’t want to know anymore because he’s what the city needs to be safe. He then told her that if he had do time for the vigilante, then that’s what he has to do because he knew that the Arrow is he’s going though is a lot more. So Laurel chose her side and went to the DA, to tell her to release her father or she woud be a defense attorney with the soul mission to sue and destroy the DA’s office for letting her father get hurt. The DA agreed to her terms.

Oliver went to meet Thea however Felicity called to tell him that the bio transfusion went on line and told him where. She also told him that he needed to get Thea to sign the documents because it was more important however he told her that Slade was more important. Sadly when he turned around, Thea was gone. Instead of chasing after her, he went after Slade. When he got there, he found the bio transfusion up and running with sixteen inmates hooked up to it on tables. Sadly at the center of the transfusion was Roy.

Slade and Isabella found Oliver, and he asked them to shut it down. Of course they said no and then told him that he had crushed Roy’s spirit so bad, that they found him at a shelter and it was easy to take him down. Oliver then cut the power and tried shooting arrows at Slade who blocked them all and Isabella started shooting at him then attacked him. Oliver was able to put explosives on Slade, which hurt him and knocked him out temporarily. He then tried to save Roy and Isabella went to shoot him. However two shots rang out and it was actually Diggle who shot Isabella. Oliver had to act quickly since Slade was getting up, so Oliver was able to escape with Roy using a grappling hook.

They got Roy back to the cave and they were trying to bring him back to life however he had lost a lot of blood and his pulse was weak. They didn’t know what to do so they left him there. Oliver then gave Felicity the Mirakuru that he stole from Slade and told them that they could make a cure. He didn’t tell them about the cure before because he had a chance to use it on Slade however he chose to kill him instead. He then confessed that everything that was going on was his fault.

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Oliver returned home and found Thea at the mansion with her mom. Oliver took the chance to tell her that their father knew that she was Merlin’s and he still chose her over everything else. Of course, Thea told him that that makes their dad a liar too and stormed off. Oliver was at a loss.

Years ago, on the Island after the trade, Oliver was pretty beaten up. They still had Ivo as their prisoner and Knyazev wanted to make him pay for all the bad things that he did to them. When they began to torture him, he told them that he could stop Slade Wilson and that there was a cure for the Mirakuru. Sara wanted to know however Ivo was dying from exposure to the Mirakuru so he asked for a quick death, after he told them the cure. He said that he had tested on some of the people on the ship and made a serum that reverses the Mirakuru. They asked where it was and he told them that it was on the freighter in a safe and gave her the key. Sara then went to grab the gun and Oliver stopped her. As Ivo was rambling on, Oliver shot him twice so Sara didn’t have to. Oliver’s next step was to take the submarine to get onto the frater to get the serum and use it on Slade.

Back in Starling City, Slade had hooked himself up to the transfusion machine and brought Isabella back to life. She was strong enough to handle the effects of Mirakuru.

Oliver has made a mess of things, again. He needs to apologize to Thea and to tell her everything. I think that it is the only way to save their relationship and their assets. Thea feels like everyone her entire life has lied to her and she’s not happy about it. Now that it’s happened, Oliver is only putting out fires. Luckily Laurel decided not to prosecute Oliver for being the Arrow and instead is on board with helping him. Oliver is on the losing side right now and they need all the help they can get like Roy. He needs to stop being a jerk to the kid and try to mentor him. Evidently he loves Thea and Thea loves him. Roy only hurt Thea because Oliver told him to keep everything a secret. Evidently secrets destroy the closest bonds and Oliver needs to get his butt in gear. I’m hoping that Barry comes out of his coma and becomes the Flash so that he can help Oliver out.

 
 

Written by Daniel

THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...

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Do you know how hard it is to avoid social media these days? I have done my best to avoid any thing about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America and it's driving me nuts. Get stuck one week behind and everyone wants to talk to you about what happened this week. So Cap will happen this week but I got caught up on last week’s episode that left me with a tone of “Oh my God!” moments that I know seeing Cap will fill in some of the blanks. That said what went on this last week was short of amazing. We found out who the Clairvoyant truly was and just where Agent Ward's loyalties lie.

So after last week we learned that Hydra has been running around behind the scenes trying to take over the world for the good of all of mankind.  Not a surprise, this is a moment I have been waiting for this since the show started. You’re going to tell me that Centipede has been the one behind all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s woes? Not likely, and with no mention of AIM yet this made the most sense. The level they took it to be was unimaginable as we see the total collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the team fumbling to hold on to any strong hold they may have. Now the remaining Agents are on the defensive as well as the run as the U.S. Government steps in to take control and the ever so popular Talbot from the Hulk Buster and working for General Ross. Are we going to get to see some Hulk inspired items taking the place of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents?  While Coulson and team are on the run Ward is busy playing double agent with the Clairvoyant. On a quest for some of the best weapons hidden in the Fridge but the best thing was all of the prisoners being released upon the world; finally the villains we have been waiting to see free to cause on havoc around the globe.

Plus, you have to wonder what Garrett is up to with the Gravitonium.  Nice way to start to tie everything together. The other story going on is the secret base lined up by Fury, and lord knows what little secrets he has stashed for the team there. Patton Oswalt as an agent has me crying I keep seeing Two and Half Men with every word coming out of his mouth. So what now? As the effects of Captain America continue to be felt where will it end? I learned through social media, that Baron Strucker is now in play based on the cut scene at the end of Cap and will he play a part in the next few episodes? I am sure he won’t but a kid can dream. The one thing that seems to have slipped everyone’s mind for the moment…where is Dethlok?

 
 

Written by Mattie

THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...

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We are now to episode eighteen of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with only a few episodes left of this season. Now the last episode left me curled up rocking myself back and forth telling myself that everything was going to be all right, but so far it hasn’t worked. Hydra, this entire time has been hiding within S.H.I.E.L.D., waiting for the day to take over. Now after the failed launch of Project Insight, S.H.I.E.L.D. is falling apart and crawling with Hydra agents. No one knows who is friend or foe and this was evident for the team. When Coulson and his team were trying to try to meet up with Fury, their flight pattern got changed and they were pulled to the Hub and Agent Hand gave the directive, that everyone should be shot onsite except for Coulson. While they were flying back, Agent Garrett had to make an emergency landing on their plane because he was shot at by S.H.I.E.L.D. drones. When the plane landed on the Hub, it was completely shot up however Coulson and the team were able to escape. In the end, it turned out that Hand was the good guy and that Garrett was the Clairvoyant working for Hydra. They were able to capture him and when they were taking Garrett to the Fridge, Ward went with Agent Hand to escort Garrett. Sadly, right before he left, Ward finally asked out Skye and well…Ward killed the two guards then killed Hand. He was working for the Clairvoyant the entire time. So basically Ward is a lie and my feels were forever demolished because of this traitorous act.

Ward and Garrett’s first stop after killing Agent Hand was to go free Reina from her prison cell. When Reina first saw Ward she was frightened until he gave her a present from the Clairvoyant, a silk red flower dress. Meanwhile, Skye and Coulson were at the Hub trying to find out which S.H.I.E.L.D. bases were secure. Skye was only at the time able to confirm three bases were secure including the Hub where they were at.

Ward and Reina met former agent Garrett at a barber shop in Cuba. It was Reina’s first time meeting the Clairvoyant and he came clean about not having any powers, just that he had a high level security clearance. It calmed her nerves though when he told her that their goal was still the same. That goal was to change the world. He then locked her in a barber chair and told her, “Welcome to Hydra.”

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At the Hub, Fitz, Simmons and Triplett were fixing the ramp to the plane, trying to get her back into the air and flying. Fitz was noticing how Simmons and Triplett were and how Simmons always took his side, so he was starting to become jealous.

Coulson and Skye were still at the command center and Skye got news that another base named the Cube was taken back over by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. They then got a call from Colonel Glenn Talbot from the US Air Force. Talbot told them that because of the breach, his men were going to come to all of the bases and make sure they were secure. However Coulson knew that either Talbot was going to have everyone arrested and dealing with subpoenas for the rest of their lives or they were going to be killed. So Coulson told everyone that they either needed to run or stay and be arrested. Coulson’s team however decided to run even though a lot of other agents stayed behind.

Triplett wanted to come along with the team however Coulson said no. Simmons asked for him to stay on and that he could be an asset to them since Ward was still on his mission with Agent Hand. Coulson told her that he’s her responsibility if he betrays them.

When they finally got into the air, Coulson did the rundown of what they had left on the plane. They had no way to disappear unless they flew off the radar; they had lots of medical supplies but no food. Triplett found that they were leaking fuel and Skye discovered that they only had internet and no S.H.I.E.L.D. databases. Coulson told Skye to find everything about anyone of them on the internet and to erase it. Skye told him that once she erases everything about them that they become ghosts and there’s no way of going back. Then Skye asked if he wanted Ward’s identity to be erased too and he agreed. Coulson then gave Skye a phone to call Ward so that he could finally her some good news about getting Garrett to the Fridge.

She called Ward and told him that she scrubbed his identity. Ward asked where they were headed she said she didn’t’ know. Skye asked about his mission and he told her that Hand picked up several Navy jets along the way and that they were taking a different route. They then started to ramble and Skye asked him that if he could be anyone, who would he be and he said Tom Brady. When he hung up with Skye, Garrett told him that he thought that he didn’t like the Patriots. Ward replied with that he doesn’t but the Ward that Skye knows does. Garrett complimented Ward about his commitment to playing his role and that he’s probably better than Romanoff at it. It seems though, that Ward still has feelings for Skye and was still angry about Garrett having Skye shot.  

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However, Garrett and Ward ended their argument and started Reina on developing the drug that brought Coulson back to life with the chemicals that Garrett was able to swipe from the secret bunker. Ward also gave her all the information that Simmons and Fitz had collected and their findings. Reina was excited to start to experiment again. That’s when Garrett decided it was time that they hit the Fridge.

Coulson and the team however were flying close to the water so that they could avoid being spotted by radar. Skye collected the team’s badges and gave them to Coulson to put in a safe. She was quite sad that she had finally become a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and she had to give her badge back. When Coulson went to put his badge in a safe with every one else’s, Skye noticed that there were coordinates labeled on his badge. Coulson knew that Nick Fury was alive because he’s the only person who could have done that to his badge. They decided to go to the coordinates because they had nowhere else to go.

When Ward was getting ready to go infiltrate the Fridge, Reina questioned him about his old team and how he got them to trust him. Ward told her that in order to get their trust, he did a selfless act of bravery to win over a majority of the team and he gave Coulson someone to fix by saying that he doesn’t do team work. Reina asked him how he could ever betray Coulson, who is a good man and would do anything for him and he told her that he owes Garrett everything.

When they were on their way to the coordinates, May didn’t believe that Fury was alive. She feared that Hydra was in control of Coulson because Fury wasn’t the head of the project that brought Coulson back and she was believed that he had a Hydra chip in his head. Sadly, Simmons and Triplett were worried about trusting Coulson as well however Fitz knew that he could trust Coulson, so he did.

Ward and Garrett made it to the Fridge and they were able to get in by having “Hydra” attack them. They got in and killed the all of the guards. Then they broke into where Fury was keeping all their O-8-4’s and Garrett and his men had a field day.
Coulson and the team landed in the middle of snowy nowhere. Their coordinates were at least a seven mile hike away and everyone but Coulson was dreading it.

Ward and Garrett started breaking bad people out of the Fridge that S.H.I.E.L.D. had put there for a reason, just to screw with the remaining members of S.H.I.E.L..D. However Ward knew there was something under the bottom floor of the Fridge, so he blasted it open and they found something they were ecstatic for. 

The team however was still trying to get to the coordinates and Fitz admitted to Simmons that he didn’t want anything to change and Simmons told him that noting was going to be the same because of what had happened. Skye took this chance to ask May what her real objective was with spying on Coulson and May told her that she was supposed to watch Coulson for abnormal behavior from his procedure. Everything was going okay until today when Coulson was chasing what she thought was a ghost. When they got to the coordinates, Coulson started to break down since it brought them to the middle of nowhere and they used up the remaining fuel to get there. He told him he was sorry and in a fit, he threw his badge in the air and a hidden defense mechanism shot it out of the sky. He then jumped out in front of the gun and identified himself and it unlocked a rock that was hiding a facility. 

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When Garrett and Ward returned, Reina was upset because Skye had locked Fitz and Simmons’ data so only Skye could unlock it. Ward and Garrett knew that they needed Skye to help them get into the data one way or another.

Meanwhile, Coulson and the team went into the facility only to be greeted by the only agent there, Eric Koenig. He told them that Fury didn’t make it out of D.C. and that the Fridge was compromised. Skye called Ward to make sure that he was safe. Then Koenig took Coulson to another room and told him that Fury wasn’t dead and that Coulson, Maria Hill, Captain America and a few others were only allowed to know. Then he threatened Coulson not to tell anyone because it was top secret.

When Ward got the call from Skye and he made her believe that he was attacked by Hydra. So she told him where they were and that Fury was dead. When they got off the phone, Ward then asked Garrett to make his story believable so that no one would doubt him. That’s when Garrett beat the ever living hell out of him so that his story matched up. He then went to the secret base, and Skye met him at the door. No one has a clue.

Back in Cuba, Reina brought Quinn from where he was being held. He was not happy since Reina told him that the Clairvoyant didn’t have powers. However Garrett had Quinn’s Gravitonium, which brightened Quinn’s day and made him trust Garrett again.

Sadly I’m starting to accept Ward’s betrayal. Doesn’t mean I love the character any less, it just means I love him differently. Honestly, he’s smart, calculated and just can be purely evil. However the fact that he has some sort of feelings for Skye may be the downfall for his evil side. Which I don’t want to see but it is a possibility. Plus Simmons and Triplett also make an adorable couple and I really hope that Triplett isn’t a double agent. It was another amazing, on the edge of your seat episode and I can’t wait for next week’s especially since Ward has infiltrated the secret base! 

 
 

Written by Shae

THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...

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If you haven't seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you're seriously missing out! Why? Because Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is intertwined with The Winter Soldier's plot twist! That being said, seriously, betrayals? Can everything stop being all, murdery, of my feels?! That's something I'd appreciate, just saying.

In accordance with last week's episode, we hit it off with Ward and Garrett being all giddy over everything that is HYDRA. Because, again, we have to betray everything that we all knew and loved dearly and rub in the fact that HYDRA is everywhere. Well, that's fantastic because Ward turns out to be a major jerk, Hand is really dead, and it looks like Raina is on their team. Making it all totally okay to just play with everyones feelings. Speaking of, Skye and the Team have no idea about Ward yet, and boy is that going to be a rude awakening next week! Until then, Ward and Garrett are off to the Fridge to get some awesome weapons that Fury had stored there. Turns out, the Director was kind of bad at destroying things he said he destroyed; instead keeping them locked up, making it convenient for bad guys, like HYDRA, to come in and steal. Thankfully, Ward and Garrett also are kind enough to let out all the people locked up in the Fridge.

Meanwhile, Coulson and the team hit the Bus and leave the Hub before the government can swarm in and make trouble for them. While in the air, Coulson has Skye collect everyone's badges and erase their identities. It's better to not exist then leave a trail for anyone to find. Without knowing Ward is a giant traitorous douche, Skye keeps Ward informed of what's going on via phone, because it would be too easy to have the Team know that he's really with the bad guys. Triplett joins the Team, despite Coulson not wanting that, and Simmons vouches for him. Fitz is not pleased because this other agent is totally hitting on his girl and she's digging it. To make things more awkward, May is concerned about Coulson's well being in the whole "I'm just doing my job, but you seem off, please don't be breaking" kind of way, which makes Coulson angry. A twist of fate is thrown their way, however, when Coulson goes to lock the badges up in his safe, only to find his is already there with some coordinates written on them. May is automatically more suspicious now, wondering if Coulson isn't a sleeper HYDRA agent.

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We find out that Fury didn't directly oversee Coulson's recovery, and that was part of why May was keeping tabs on him. Which, you know, puts May even more on the outs with Coulson. It's all okay, sort of, because soon they find the secret base that Fury lead them too, only for a solo level 6 agent to tell them Fury is dead. Only once he and Coulson are alone does he reveal that Fury's really alive, but nobody but a hand picked select few can know about it. Skye tells Ward about the secret base once she finds out that the Fridge was attacked. Ward plays along and heads down there to regroup with them. Only because he needs Skye to un-encrypt the hard drive she backed up of all the information on from the Bus. 

All these crazy betrayals are still not setting well with me. I certainly hope Ward gets what's coming to him once everyone finds out about this. Though, secretly, I'm hoping it's still a lie somehow and that he's really a good guy. Doubting it, but one can only hope! Will we ever see Hill again? Will Fury ever give Coulson the answers he wants? Could there be anymore sexual tension on this show? I don't know about you guys, but I'm already excited for next week's episode!

 
 
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We here at Girls of Geek are always excited when we find a true gem in the publishing world.  So needless to say we have been close followers of Evil Girlfriend Media.  This publishing company focuses on horror, science fiction and fantasy, something right up our alley.  To date they have released five books that have included the full length novel, The Heart-Shaped Emblor by Alaina Ewing and four short story anthologies; Witches, Stitches & Bitches, Roms, Bombs & Zoms, Stamps, Vamps & Tramps and their most recent release, Bless Your Mechanical Heart. With so many quality books coming out of this company, we thought it would be a good idea today to speak with the brains behind Evil Girlfriend Media, Founder/President and Writer, Katie Cord.

Girls of Geek: What led to the creation of Evil Girlfriend Media? 
Katie Cord: There were multiple things that led to the creation of EGM. The first being that back in 2006, my boyfriend called me his evil girlfriend after he saw me express my pent up anger at being bullied in nursing school through a horrific cartoon I drew. After that, I started a blog, Evil Girlfriend with a Pen where I wrote about my creative struggles in cartooning, writing, and life. Then in 2011, I created Evil Girlfriend Media to self-publish my own work, starting with He Left Her at the Altar, She Left Him to the Zombies

Girls of Geek: What motivated you to get into publishing? 
Katie Cord: I always wanted to create without others influencing my work. I wanted it my way. People were starting to make money and be validated by publishing on their own. There was less stigma attached to independent publishing.  I thought I could do it. After having a self-published book out for two years, some of my other writing friends started talking about doing it. After being publicly embarrassed because of the poor editing and formatting of the book, plus the struggle to get noticed in the self-pub world, I did not want anyone to go through that. Sometimes, it works better to let someone who is more skilled than you handle those details, freeing you up to create. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the hybrid author 100%. It is the way of the future.

Girls of Geek: Now you've worn all the hats at EGM. Writer, Publisher, Editor. What is it that drives your passion for literature? 
Katie Cord: I've said this in other interviews but it still holds true. I've always had this natural desire to read and know story. At age four, I would sit in our living room floor crying because I couldn't read the words in the book. Then as I got older, I was this chubby lonely little opinionated girl with weird teeth, thick glasses, and unruly hair that lived out in the country in Pulaski County, Kentucky. I read all the time to distract myself from the things that bothered me in my world. It was an escape. I want to share stories that not only teach us things about ourselves and our world but give others the same escape I needed to survive and enrich my own life. Plus, you can ask other kids from my childhood, I was always trying to start a club or business.

Girls of Geek: What are some of your influences when it comes to writing? 
Katie Cord: Oh goodness, this gets embarrassing. Not because they aren't great writers but the disparity of women on the list. From childhood, Stephen King, Nevil Shute, Ray Bradbury, Ira Levin, Ann M. Martin, Margaret Atwood, Madeleine L'Engle, George Orwell, H.G. Wells, and Robert Heinlein. In all fairness, my grandmother owned a junk store and as payment for working for her, I would get to pick out all of the books from huge estate sale libraries.  I benefited from the sold-off books of deceased, rich, educated people whose families didn't care about their vast love of science fiction. I still love the smell of old books.

In my adult life, I've been exposed to more popular fiction. One of the folks I really love reading is Rachel Caine. Four years before I met her, I read WORKING STIFF and thought about how I wanted to write stories about smart women having adventures without romance as the driving force of the book. I also love Octavia Butler. She was a highly intelligent woman who wrote about concepts that people still have trouble grasping. I absolutely loved DAWN.  That damn book broke my heart. I wept for the main character, her alien lover, and how shitty humanity can be.  And these days, my work with EGM and as a writer has introduced me to a bunch of writers whose friendship influences me greatly.  My friend Timothy W. Long has really influenced my life, Evil Girlfriend Media, and my writing. The man writes like a poet about murder, mayhem, and the zombie apocalypse. How can you not love a man who has a title that includes, "Satan's Glory Hole?"  Trailer Boy a.k.a Ken Scholes – author of the Psalms of Isaak series and a whole pack of short stories -- has also really impacted my writing. Basically, he says, "Trailer Girl, get your act together and write!" He threatens to destroy EGM by starting his own competing publishing empire if I don't write for myself. I think that makes him an influence.   Or maybe Satan.

I’ve also been influenced by my writing group, Cascade Writers Workshop. It is where I met Alaina Ewing, our flagship author and closest friend. Stephanie Bissette-Roark who is one of our spot on submissions editors and who we wouldn’t get through our submission pile without. Karen Junker who reads for us and advocates for good practices in working with authors (sometimes we do make faux pas). Then there are the multitudes of people who’ve believed in Evil Girlfriend Media and me. An encouraging word goes a long way when you feel like giving up.

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Girls of Geek: What brought about the idea to revitalize the short story anthology that EGM has now released four of? 
Katie Cord: Well, I love short stories and I love anthologies. How could I not want my company to release them? We are going to focus on full length manuscripts in 2015. We have two major anthology projects in the works and plan to do another Three Little Words in 2015.

Girls of Geek: What can you tell us about Bless Your Mechanical Heart
Katie Cord: BLESS YOUR MECHANICAL HEART is a collection of short stories all meant to make the reader think, Bless Your Mechanical Heart. Sometimes, the reader will find themselves thinking this about the human characters as well.  This is a fusion of a southern saying and classic futuristic science fiction story elements. I'm absolutely in love with this book and I hope others will see how great it is too.  It includes stories by Seanan McGuire, Peter Clines, Ken Scholes, Jody Lynn Nye, Sarah Hans, Jason Sanford, Fiona Patton, and Lucy A. Snyder. It is edited by the award-winning editor, Jennifer Brozek.

Girls of Geek: What advice can you offer to up and coming writers/editors/entrepreneurs who are reading this interview and are hoping to do what you do?
Katie Cord: Well, I'm going to give you advice I've learned from other successful people in the business who mentor me almost daily: 1) Be nice. 2) Know your limits and boundaries. 3) Try as best as you can to be honest and forthright with others. 4) Forgive yourself if you are not perfect. 5) Learn from your mistakes.  6) The thing that will separate you from the coulda-shoulda-woulda-beens is that you never stop working. You just learn to work more effectively. 7) Quit talking and just do it.  8) Follow through with your promises and if you can't, figure out a way to remedy the best you can. 9) Realize, for you to succeed others, do not have to fail (courtesy of Jennifer Brozek). 10) Did I mention be nice? Included in that, watch your words to others. Entitlement and derogatory comments get you nowhere.  

Girls of Geek: Is there a particular story that you as a writer are dying to tell? 
Katie Cord: Yes, I actually have two manuscripts I'd like to take 4-5 weeks off and work on. One is about two sisters in the zombie apocalypse. The other is a YA about a young girl who's half zombie in a post-apocalyptic dystopian society modeled after the McCarthy era. I'm also in the early stages of working on a time travel love story with a good friend of mine. All my stories are usually about self-discovery and surviving difficult circumstances. So, I don't know if that answers your question. I mean, like all writers, I have about 8-10 stories milling around in there at any given time that are DYING to get out of my head.

Girls of Geek: What's next for Evil Girlfriend Media? 
Katie Cord: Evil Girlfriend Media has one more book coming out this year that will be announced in May. Then we are releasing at least six full length books in 2015, one anthology, and potentially a couple of e-novellas.  We have a Kickstarter coming out later in the fall. It is being rescheduled from this summer.

To learn more about Evil Girlfriend Media, visit their website: http://www.evilgirlfriendmedia.com/

 
 

Written by John Edward Betancourt

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There has always been a great debate regarding just how much technology should be a part of our lives. I see people in their thirties and forties lament console gaming and how it has robbed children of the wonder of playing outside. Or sometimes I hear people wonder what life would be like without cell phones and the ability to unplug for the night and not deal with work or the fact that any human being can reach us almost anywhere on the planet at any instant.  

Technology has truly changed our lives through and through, and there is nothing wrong with wondering how far it will go from here.  In fact there has always been talk of the creation of artificial life and artificial intelligence, and the consequences that could come from it.  It is that potential to see a robotic creation by man go anywhere mentally, physically or emotionally that captivates our imagination and thanks to the good folks at Evil Girlfriend Media, we now have a beautiful collection of stories revolving around such possibilities with their recent release of Bless Your Mechanical Heart. 

This wonderful anthology, edited by Jennifer Brozek features seventeen tales from seventeen authors that explore the world of androids, robots and cyborgs in incredible fashion.  What impressed me most about this anthology was the simple fact that it put these mechanized creatures into many real life situations we face on a daily basis.  They are faced with conflicts in love, conflicts in friendship, they face death and even grapple with bullying and religion.   

It allowed me to relate to these robotic creations on a level I didn't expect.  They truly came to life in so many ways and well, so many of these stories touch your heart on a personal level.  "The Lambs" by Seanan McGuire handles bullying and its awful effects on children in a new and inventive way.  "The Body as a Ship" by Mark Andrew Edwards is another fine look at the world we live in today and how the technology we own in many ways denotes our social standing, but at what cost?  Last, "The Apocrypha of Gamma-202" by Peter Clines gives us a terrifying look into the future and well...adds a fresh twist on religion that is utterly terrifying.  

Sadly, we don't have the time to highlight all of the amazing stories in this book, but I will say that every last one of them is a page turner.  On several occasions I had to force myself to put this book down in order to get other things done.  It's another wonderful anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media who continue to turn out one incredible short story collection after another.  If you're a fan of science fiction, you need to pick this one up.  Because it not only provides you with that futuristic fix, but it leaves you wondering after you've finished the book with one important question...what does it really mean to be human?  

To pick up your copy of Bless Your Mechanical Heart visit these sites:
Barnes and Noble
Amazon

 
 

Written by Mattie

THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...

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Once Upon a Time is back with episode seventeen of this season. Now last time, Zelena confronted Regina head on. She dropped the news that she was Regina’s older half-sister and that she wanted a duel to the death to find out who was stronger. She told Regina that Regina could find proof that she was her sister in her mother’s belongings, which Regina did. It was a letter that Regina used to cling to when she was first practicing magic. It was written from Rumpelstiltskin to her mother about how powerful her first born was. Regina thought it was about her however it wasn’t. It broke Regina’s heart however she was soon comforted by Robin. Regina knew that she couldn’t defeat Zelena, so she went and faced her sister. During the fight though, it was evident that all Zelena wanted was Regina’s heart, which Regina had pulled out of her chest and had hidden it in the forest. Regina realized that Zelena had David’s courage and wanted her heart. They didn’t know what she was planning, but it wasn’t good. When Regina went to go get her heart, Robin was still standing guard of it and she decided to give it to him for safe keeping. It turns out that Zelena is trying to change the past, so Regina was never born and her mother never gave her up.

After being brought back to the Enchanted Forest, Hook went back to his old pirate ways of stealing from the rich with his partner in crime, Mr. Smee. After a successful heist, Smee got him a lady for the night and Hook instead, paid the lady to leave and say that it was a fun night. When he turned around, he was attacked by Ariel who told him that he was going to pay for what he did. She had him pinned to the ground with a dagger to his throat and Hook was able to overpower her. He told her that he didn’t have her beloved prince and asked why she would think he would have him. She told him that it was the Jolly Roger who took him. Hook freaked out demanding if she knew who was in control of it. Ariel then knew that Hook didn’t have him and she gave him a dagger that was left behind when Eric was stolen. The initials “BB” were inscribed on it and Hook knew that Black Beard had Prince Eric.

9 months later, Emma and David were trying to put together a crib in order to try to show Zelena that they couldn’t be put down by her anymore. Regina came in and told them that she put a protection spell for them around their apartment so Zelena couldn’t take Snow’s baby. Emma knew that just a protection spell wouldn’t stop Zelena and that they needed to stop playing defense in this situation. So them Emma asked Regina to teach her how to use her magic. Regina told her that if she was going to teach her magic that Emma needed to take it seriously and that it was a way of life. Emma agreed.

When Emma was preparing to go train with Regina, David and Snow offered to take Henry however Emma had someone else in mind. She told them that that they probably weren’t the right people to watch Henry since all they talk about are baby things. She brought Henry to Hook and asked him for help, explaining that she was going to learn how to use her magic. He told her that he was happy that she was going to embrace her powers and that he would be delighted to help her. She admitted to Hook that after she helps defeat Zelena that she was going to take Henry back to New York. Hook admitted that with everything that had happened, he couldn’t go back to the man that he was before and that Emma probably couldn’t either. 

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Snow and David were walking and sulking on the beach since Emma told them that they weren’t fun. That’s when they walked up to a group of people who surrounded Ariel. She told them that she had been searching for Prince Eric and didn’t remember what had happened to her the past year.  

David and Snow found Hook and Henry at granny’s café and brought Ariel with them. They asked Hook if he knew where Eric was and he told him that he didn’t and couldn’t help them. However they asked him to help Ariel find an item of Eric’s in Rumpelstiltskin’s shop so they could make a location spell to find Eric. Hook pulled David aside and tried to hint that maybe Eric was dead however David told him that he wasn’t giving up without a fight. So he sent Hook with Ariel as he and Snow watched Henry.

Meanwhile, Emma started her training with Regina. Regina asked her who Henry was with and Emma told her Hook. Regina then pointed out that Hook still has feelings for Emma. Emma quickly got off the subject and asked Regina if there was a quick way to learn magic. So Regina put Emma on a shaky old bridge and told her that she going to teach her the fast way.

Hook and Ariel made it to the shop and asked Belle for help in finding an item of Eric’s. As they started their hunt, Hook found his old telescope and used it to look around the shop. That’s when he found Eric’s old cloak and Ariel came up behind him and recognized it. They knew that Eric was somewhere in StoryBrooke and Hook was not happy. Belle and Ariel poured the locator spell on the cloak and it took off. Hook and Ariel followed the cloak to the ocean where it fell in, and got sucked under. Ariel then knew that her beloved Eric was dead. Of course, Ariel wanted to know what happened.

Emma was still on the shaky old bridge and Regina told her that every time Emma’s powers have shown, it was because she was in danger. Then Regina took apart the bridge, piece by piece until Emma was left hanging on the rope. Then Regina cut the rope and Emma fell, however she was able to gather the boards up using her magic and the boards lifted her to safety. Regina told her that all she needed to do was to tie the rope in a disappointed tone. Emma asked why she was mad and Regina about what she did. All Regina could reply was that she was mad about all the wasted talent that Emma contains since Emma is very powerful and flowing with raw powers. 

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In the Enchanted Forest, Hook, Mr. Smee and Ariel were walking through the forest, trying to get to where the Jolly Roger was docked. Ariel told Hook that she had heard stories of how Hook had helped the Charmings in Neverland and that he was a hero. However Hook pulled her to the side and told her that he was a bad guy and will never change. That he wasn’t helping her for her, he was just trying to get his ship back.

They made it to where the Jolly Roger was docked and Hook tried to take back his ship. That’s when he confronted Black Beard and they started their duel. When Hook had defeated him, Ariel told Hook that Eric wasn’t on the ship. Black Beard told them that the reason he took Eric was to see if Hook had gone soft. So Black Beard gave him an option; Eric for the Ship, or surrender the ship for Eric’s life. Hook since he had nothing left, took his ship back and had Black Beard walk the plank into shark infested waters. Ariel told Hook that he will never know what love is again and she slapped him in the face. She then jumped off of the plank and continued her search for Eric.

David wanted to prove to Henry that he wasn’t boring so he decided to teach Henry how to drive his truck. Of course, that turned out bad and a beloved mail box lost its life that day.

After all was said and done, Hook chased down Ariel and told her that their paths crossed during the missing year, told her what had happened and that he was a coward. He told her that he would do anything to help her and she made him swear on the name of the women he loves. So he swore on Emma Swan’s name and his lips glowed green for a second. Then Ariel told him that that was all she needed. Then Ariel transformed into Zelena right in front of his eyes. She told Hook that Ariel was never here and that Ariel did find her beloved prince after she left him. They’ve been living happily ever after on the island that she found him on. 

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Zelena then told Hook that the next time Emma Swan kissed his lips that her magic will drain out of her. Hook tried to tell her that he was going to tell Emma however Zelena told him that she would hurt Emma’s family including Henry if he doesn’t kiss Emma.

Hook returned to Emma’s place looking for Snow and Emma was already back from her training. She asked where Henry was and he told her that her parents took Henry since he had helped Ariel. Regina thought it was a perfect opportunity for Emma to use her powers to check in on Ariel. Emma was able to and they saw that Ariel and Eric were happy and together.

David, Henry and Snow returned to the home and Henry told Emma and Regina that that he had a fun day. They all decided to celebrate so they went to Grannies. Emma confronted Hook and told him that whatever he was hiding that she doesn’t care about that anymore and that the past is in the past. With that he took his leave of her and stood in the shadows watching over her.

I really felt sorry for Hook. He never gets the good end of the deal even though his heart is always in the right place without him even thinking about it. He helps Ariel in the name of finding the Jolly Roger even though he really wants to help Ariel. It’s like a double cover up. It’s really sad how he wants Emma so bad however now he defiantly can’t have her. Of course it’s now when she’s starting to realize that she may have feelings for Hook. That he’s not just a pirate, that he could be something more. I really feel sorry for him. Also, I’m still not okay with Neil still being dead. That was just way too quick for me. 

 
 

Written by John Edward Betancourt

THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...

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It's funny how one simple plot twist can completely change everything when it comes to a story.  From the characters you've known, to something as far reaching as the past and the present, such a move can add so much to the story.  In the case of the return of HYDRA in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the ramifications from what we learned in this motion picture...leave me a little uncomfortable.  

Let's recap quickly.  HYDRA was essentially never defeated at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger.  They were quickly integrated into the newly founded S.H.I.E.L.D. and well, they've been with us essentially on every single Marvel adventure.  Think about it now.  At what point have they not touched one of our favorite characters in some form or fashion?  You have Senator Stern who clearly was more than just a jerk and it is obvious now he had other intentions for Tony Stark's suit.  

But what else has HYDRA had their hands in?  Well, some of this will serve as speculation but it's important speculation to say the least.  Especially when it comes to The Avengers.  Granted, Loki was most certainly the villain, but let's be honest. HYDRA was always watching. They were up close and personal with many of the world's greatest heroes, observing and undoubtedly getting an idea of their weaknesses.  Their reach in this film goes further since now we know what happened to Loki's staff, courtesy of the end credits sequence in The Winter Soldier.  

Not to mention this raises more questions for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it comes to HYDRA's role on the show.  In fact now that we know where loyalties lie and who the Clairvoyant really is now, it makes you wonder if HYDRA's interest in Coulson's resurrection is all part of a bigger plan.

If anything, it makes the Marvel universe a scarier place because let's be honest.  HYDRA always has a plan. As the saying goes, cut one head off, two more take its place.  Now we are left to wonder who will be the next leader of HYDRA and what their next move is and what's worse...now that they are out of the shadows and into the light, we will be seeing more of them in upcoming Marvel movies, because clearly...HYDRA is here to stay.

 
 

Written by Shae

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As Easter quickly approaches I find myself wondering what to get people. Oddly, I never used to give gifts for this holiday, that is until I started being friends with Mattie. Still, it wasn't until my friend Eryn introduced me to the fact that Zombie Chocolate Bunnies exist. I didn't know that was a thing! Guys! It's a thing! Who knew? Since finding out that they make these really cool confections, I decided to search around the internet and see what other fun things I could find. Easter, after all, is different for everyone. Like everything, though, it can be turned into an awesome day filled with Zombie Bunnies. It doesn't get better than that.

Yes, the Chocolate Zombie Bunny is currently on ThinkGeek.com and that's not the only thing they have. This delicious looking Bunny, is made of solid white chocolate and is a fantastic gift for anyone of all ages. Though, if you're not into chocolate, good news! They also have Zombie Bunny suckers! These little fellas come in a 4oz bag and are supposedly cotton candy flavored. 


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Now, Peeps are awesome, I think we can all agree on that. Whether they're bunny shaped, or chick shaped, white, yellow, or pink, they're all tasty. How could they possibly improve on Peeps? By giving them just a twist of Minecraft flair. Creeper Peeps are also on ThinkGeek.com, and they look awesome. What a fun Easter treat to share with friends, families, and all geeks They're a fun gift, or just to have around the house! Peeps are an Easter staple, but what about jelly beans? Sure, you can find any of them in store, and have boring flavors…but what fun is that? How about some Harry Potter Berie Botts Every Flavour Jelly Beans? Wow, what a name. But, really, these fun jelly beans come in all sorts interesting flavors ranging from the tasty to the down right disturbing. You can find these on Amazon.com, or if you're lucky enough, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


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Lastly, what would Easter be without a fun stuffed bunny! Why just have just any stuffed bunny, when you can have a Zombie Bunny from Amazon or a Domo Bunny from ThinkGeek! It's not a holiday without a plush. Of course, you could always go the unconventional route and give your friends a plush microbe disease! I know I mention these often, but they're my top go-to gift! Mattie just happened to get two for her recent birthday. They're hilarious, and always a conversation starter.

However you celebrate Easter, just remember to keep it epic!