2021 was supposed to be better than 2020, and, to an extent, it was. Theaters were opening back up, COVID-19 was not as deadly (though it has some variants), and the world was getting back to “normal.”
Some of the biggest stories of 2021 affected all of us, geek or not. The Jan. 6th events are a good example. That was a huge story from 2021, and could work with the Geek brand (I actually heard about it for the first time at my comic shop), but I am leaving it out. Sticking with the pop culture references that stand out.
In no particular order, here are the Top Geek Stories of 2021 from EYG
Disney + Marvel Series create cooler talk. When Disney + first released WandaVision in January, there were plenty of people calling for them to drop the entire series, ala Netflix. However, Disney + used the weekly method and it brought all kinds of buzz to the series. First WandaVision, then Loki, What If…? and finally Hawkeye. It was appointment viewing with people staying up into the night to watch the premiere. With more series in 2022, Disney + should continue its excellence.
Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer…where is it? The internet lost their minds this year as they waited for the first Spider-Man: No way Home trailer to drop. With the rumored cameos expected in the movie, fandom lost their minds wondering what the studio was going to show us. There were YouTube videos everywhere detailing every little detail. Clickbait articles popped up everywhere.
Shang Chi Labor Day Weekend Dominance. Shang Chi destroyed the record for any movie released over the typically slow Labor Day weekend. It made over 70 million (and 90 million over the five day period). It was another massive success for Marvel Studios.
William Shatner in Space. Yes, Captain Kirk himself found his way into outer space aboard the Bezo’s aerospace company Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-18. The 91 year old actor made it up and back safely.
Squid Game. The show that influenced pop culture the most this year would be on Netflix and it came from South Korea. Squid Game was what everyone was talking about during a stretch of the year. The show was amazing, emotional and played with those emotions expertly.
ScarJo takes on Disney. Scarlett Johansson was unhappy when Disney released Black Widow on Disney + premium as well as in the theaters. She believed that that strategy cost the film millions of dollars and she filed a lawsuit. This created some real tension within the studio, though Marvel Studio head quietly supported Scarlett. They settled the lawsuit a few weeks later and ScarJo announced she was producing a secret project with Marvel. Maybe a story for the future.
Gina Carano Out of the Mandalorian. People still do not realize that they need to be careful with what they post on social media. Gina Carano, who played Rebel Alliance soldier Cara Dune, was released from her contract because of tweets she made comparing being a Republican these days to being a Jewish person in the Holocaust. Some were mad about her being “cancelled” but others thought it was the right thing to do. Watch what you put out on social media.
WWE Releases 80+ wrestlers. Citing money issues, the WWE spent much of 2021 releasing wrestlers from their company. And not just any wrestlers, but huge named stars such as Braun Strowman, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, Jeff Hardy, The Iconics, Keith Lee, Karrion Kross, Bronson Reed, John Morrison, Nia Jax, Eva Marie, Ember Moon, Fandango, Aleister Black, Buddy Murphy, Ruby Riott, Andrade, and Mickie James. Some of these performers were in mid storyline. It was a tough year to be a WWE Superstar.
Dave Chappelle and Netflix. The comedian Dave Chappelle had a big Netflix special, but it received a ton of backlash because of the topics that he covered, in particular, his remarks about transgender people. However, the cancellation did not seem to last too long as Chappelle is still scheduled to lead a Netflix comedy festival in 2022.
Spider-Man: No Way Home crosses $1B. After an opening weekend that was the second largest domestically ever at $260 million, Spider-Man: No Way Home became the first film to cross the 1 billion dollar club since The Rise of Skywalker in 2019. The film holds a 94% critics response on Rotten Tomatoes as well as a 99% audience rating. The Marvel-Sony hybrid became the most successful film of the year in a week period and created amazing and spectacular word of mouth from audiences who loved the story.