Spider-Man and Venom May Soon Cross Paths on Screen

Venom Spider-Man Crossover

When Disney and Sony’s negotiations over Spider-man fell apart, most people were disappointed. After all, if the two studios couldn’t come to terms, then Spidey would be out of the MCU, where he’d been primed to help lead the Avengers in a post-Endgame world. It seemed a shame that Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios wouldn’t continue to shepherd what many feel is the most successful cinematic version of the wall-crawler we’ve had.

The studios have since patched things up, but before they did, some people saw a silver lining in Spidey’s exit.

While it would have certainly been a bummer, it would have landed him securely back in Sony’s clutches, and Sony has been building something of a cinematic universe themselves, with various characters from Spider-man’s world. Other spider-adjacent characters like Morbius and Madame Web have movies at various stages of development, and Sony had a huge hit with one of the Spiderverse’s most popular antiheroes, Venom.

Now, not only is Venom getting a sequel, but he might even eventually get to square off with Spider-man himself. If Ruben Fleischer, the director of Venom – and the two Zombieland movies – has any say in it.

“That’s where it’s all going to lead,” he told Fandom. “And that’s the exciting thing, because we changed the origin of Venom … in the comics, he evolved from Spider-Man but because of the Marvel-Sony thing we weren’t able to that. And so the thing I think it’s building towards, and will be exciting to see, is when they actually do confront each other.”

That Marvel-Sony thing is set to last for at least one more standalone Spider movie, and another Avengers flick. But after that, who knows. Maybe Sony will take the character back for good, and Peter Parker and Eddie Brock will eventually face-off, maybe as early as the third Venom movie. Assuming the Tom Hardy-starring, Andy Serkis-directed sequel is another hit for the studio.

If it is, and a Spidey/Venom square-off is in the cards, we’re a long way from knowing what that looks like. Will Tom Holland even still be playing Peter Parker by then? Will the quirky Tom Hardy continue to inhabit Venom? We have no idea. But if this is truly the plan, Sony would be wise to take a page from the MCU’s playbook and start laying the groundwork for it ASAP.

In which case, you probably won’t want to leave the Venom sequel until the screen goes dark, just in case a certain Avenger makes a post-credits cameo…

NFL Star Gets to Take the Field With His Veteran Dad for #SaluteToService

Carlos Dunlap and Dad #SaluteToService

For one NFL star, the moment just before last Sunday’s game was one of the most memorable of his entire career. The Cincinnati Bengals were taking part in the NFL’s Salute to Service and each of the Bengals starters entered through the tunnel with a service member or veteran. For defensive end Carlos Dunlap, the moment was a little more personal, as the veteran he was paired with was his dad.

The two took the field before the tens of thousands (OK, it’s Cincinnati, so tens of hundreds) of roaring (present) fans, did a salute and embraced. Dunlap wrote on Instagram that the moment was one of his all-time Bengal moments.

“There is more to life than football. Today…experiencing this with my father who sacrificed, served, and did what he had to do to make the man you all know today…was surreal moment for me.”

Both of Dunlap’s parents served in the military and the star defensive end flies them to every game.

While it’s true the Cincinnati Bengals are not very good (OK, they may be the only winless team in the NFL), Dunlap is a two-time Pro Bowler and a two-time nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. And seeing the joy on the face of both Carlos Sr. and Carlos Jr. is definitely a special moment, regardless of wins and losses.

The Dad Releases New “Dad-Isms” App for iPhone and Android

Ever wake up in the morning just wishing The Dad had an app? Well, rise and shine, fellow fathers, because that dream has finally come true.

The Dad App is available now in the App Store and on Google Play. It’s The Dad’s first foray into mobile apps, but is sure to be only the beginning according to Chief Dad, Executive Editor Joel Willis.

“This is our very first app for The Dad. I love it because it’s so simple: a dad-ism every day. We joke on our team that it’s so simple even your dad can use it. (We fully realize that dads are often extremely tech-savvy, calm down.) The point is just that our brand community will like it, as us modern dads catch ourselves saying these classics our own dads used to say.”

Think of it as a digital tome of universally understood dad-isms, similar to the sweet, sweet giftable calendar available now in The Dad Shop.

Comments on the app from fellow fathers have already been coming in this week.

“When I became to dad it’s like I unlocked all these sayings, idk why or how I started using them but they just came out of my mouth somehow”

“It’s tradition. I must now carry it on as my father did, and his father, and his father’s father did.”

Willis says of comments such as these “That’s what it’s all about.“

In addition, even non-dads are getting in on the laughs.

“I’m only 17 but I think I should be an honorary dad because some of these are too accurate”

“Not a dad but looking forward to it”  naol_gina

For some, it’s even a light-hearted way to remember their own fathers who are no longer around.

“My dad just died, your posts help me remember. Thank you.” bucklewl15

While it’s a simple app, there are already plans in the works to release even more original content over the next few months. “We have some really cool ideas for other things we can do in the mobile app space,” Willis shared, adding there is certainly “More to come.”

We encourage everyone, dads, moms, and fans of general humor at large, to share their favorite dad-isms far and wide and encourage others to install and review the app. And don’t forget: There are a bunch of awesome dad-related gifts available right now: a 2020 Dad-Isms desk calendar and a wall calendar that features Objects of Dad’s Desire and D is for Dad a new ABC book for kids…and dads.

Check out the shop on TheDad.com and on Amazon too.

Happy Dadding!

Twitter Conjures up Titles for Make-Believe Marvel+ Channel

Make Believe Marvel Plus Titles

If you’re reading this, I can only assume you haven’t subscribed to Disney+ yet. Or else you have and you’re waiting for it to stop buffering.

The new streaming platform debuted last week, launching with the first episode of the highly-anticipated Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian and a catalog containing nearly every single thing my young boys are interested in. From Star Wars and the MCU to Pixar and Puppy Dog Pals, my kids might never watch Netflix ever again.

There’s plenty for adults too, especially if you like, um, Star Wars and the MCU? Which you probably do. Every Star Wars and MCU movie is now available online, and more Star Wars TV shows will eventually join The Mandalorian, including one about Ben Kenobi, and one about Cassian, Diego Luna’s doomed character from Rogue One.

Marvel is getting some TV shows too, starring Wanda and The Vision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and more (these shows will factor into the movies as well!). It’s an embarrassment of riches. But some people want even more. Some people want shows that don’t even exist!

Comic book writer Gail Simone started a Twitter frenzy when she made up shows for an imaginary platform called Marvel+. She inserted Marvel comic book characters into the names of existing Disney TV shows and movies and they worked incredibly well.

So well, that people soon joined in the fun.

Which of those do you want to see?

Innovative 8th Grader Utilizes Projection Tech to Eliminates Blind Spots

Alaina Gassler Eliminates Blind Spots
(YouTube/Paul Gassler)

It doesn’t matter if you have a brand new driver’s license or if you’re a veteran behind the wheel with decades of experience under your belt – everyone struggles with blind spots. It’s simply not possible to see certain things due to the opaque pillars between car windows.

Most folks would simply write this off as an unfortunate and unfixable problem, but there might just be a surprising solution thanks to technology designed a 14-year-old.

Alaina Gassler, an industrious 8th grader from West Grove, Pennsylvania, created an innovative system that essentially eliminates the A-pillar blind spot between the windshield and front seat windows.

“Many car accidents are caused by drivers not being able to see hazards due to blind spots,” Gassler wrote. “My prototype is designed to get rid of those blind spots by displaying an image of the area behind them onto the spot. I used a small projector as the displaying device and a webcam as the recording device. The webcam is mounted onto the outside of the car, and the projector displays the image only the A-pillar of the car.”

Granted, the system could benefit from some image stabilization, but it’s pretty extraordinary nonetheless. It’s basically like riding in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet.

The Broadcom Foundation MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) Program and the Society for Science & the Public were impressed by the inventive teen and awarded her the Samueli Foundation top prize of $25,000.

Gassler says the idea came to her while riding in the car and noticing her mother struggling with her blind spots.

“I wanted to find a way to get rid of them,” Gassler told Popular Mechanics. “And my older brother, Carter, just started to drive, so it was a big safety concern.”

Gassler and her father have searched for patents and found a few similar inventions, but they’re all over a decade old and never went into production. The family hopes to acquire those patents or figure out a way to make the teenager’s model unique enough for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to issue Gassler her own patent.

Instead of starting her own line of products, however, Gassler hopes to sell her idea to a company that can really utilize the tech.

“Tesla is always looking for the future in their cars and I feel like my project would be something they’d be interested in,” she said.

Father Figures: A Little Bit of Validation

“We had Elliot’s first ever parent-teacher conference on Wednesday. I was mildly nervous about it even though I knew it would be fine. Elliot got absolutely glowing reviews. He’s ‘brilliant, kind, well-behaved, and the most hilarious student I’ve had in years.’

Even though I knew all of this, it’s so nice to hear this from someone else. A couple weeks ago at the Greek Festival a random guy complimented Elliot and Philip (age 3) on how well-behaved they were.

A lot of you out there with kids know that parenting takes a tremendous toll on your mental health. Even with the support of probably the Mother of the Century in my wife Amy, I’m constantly second-guessing myself. Did I handle that right? Was I too mean? Was I too lenient? Is he gonna need therapy? Did I just create a serial killer?

I’m kidding of course (kinda) but wondering if I’m doing the right thing is constantly in the back of my mind. I can only imagine that other parents live with this kind of constant anxiety and self-doubt. At the same time, I don’t want false feedback. If my kid is being a piece of shit, I want to know. It happens. Kids are self-absorbed people and they can’t help it. It’s my job to steer them the right way.

So for those of you out there that are involved in a child’s life in some way, even if you don’t necessarily have kids of your own, or even if you just see a randomly well-behaved kid at Costco, take a moment to praise the kid and his parents. Everybody is fighting a thousand little battles every day, and a little bit of validation that we’re doing the right thing goes a long way.”

– Michael Weir

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

The 10 Best Comments of the Week 11/17

Best Comments of the Week

Every week we pan for comedy gold in the comments section of our Facebook posts. If your comment cracks us up (or warms our hearts) we’ll showcase it here!

Here’s this week’s roundup of the 10 Best Comments of the Week:

1. Life Can Wait 

2. Shuttered 

3. Drawing Conclusions 

4. Need Sleep 

5. Seasonal Deliveries  

6. Pump Peeves

7. Me Time 

8. Black and White

9. Hot Item 

10. Spice 

Check out the previous edition of The Best Comments of the Week here.

NBA Player Baits Opposing Coach (and Dad) Into Getting Ejected

Austin Rivers Baits Dad

Two of the premier teams in the NBA faced off earlier this week, but the real show was between a father-son, coach-player showdown. As the Houston Rockets pulled away from the Los Angeles Clippers, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers started to get frustrated with an official.

On the floor at the time was Rockets guard, and Doc’s son, Austin Rivers. And Austin could see his dad was close to getting a technical foul, so Rivers started calling for the official to give him one. That’s when the ref not only T’d up Doc Rivers, but ejected him from the game, much to his son’s delight.

After the game, Austin told reporters he recognized the look in his dad’s eyes, and that it was one he has seen many times. At that point, he started yelling for the ref to get him with the technical foul.

Things are a little different for the NBA father and son, now that they are no longer on the same team. As rivals in the NBA’s Western Conference, Rivers (dad) vs. Rivers (son) is a matchup that will carry extra weight each time the two teams meet.

After his dad was ejected, Rivers took to Twitter, tweeting for the first time in months. His statement was a simple acknowledgment of the incident, and that it’s likely not the last time the family will have to discuss it.

American Girl Catalog Features Its First Model With Down Syndrome

American Girl
(American Girl)

The American Girl Holiday catalog has one model that’s been blowing up social media; a young girl with Down syndrome. The 4-year-old model, Ivy, is featured in several shots holding a doll near a Christmas tree. Her mom said this “is a big deal” for Ivy, and people across the country think it’s a big deal for everyone.

The girl is the first girl with Down syndrome to be featured in the catalog and her mom said it’s rare for anyone with Down syndrome to be featured in print catalogs. Her mom also said that while it’s a big moment for inclusiveness, she hopes it becomes normal and not newsworthy when something like this happens.

For their part, an American Girl spokeswoman told People Magazine that Ivy was ‘wonderful’ to work with.

“She’s adorable and great to work with, and the shots we captured with her for our holiday catalogues are beautiful,” they said. “We look forward to continuing our work in celebrating all girls.”

Her mom told the TODAY show she was ‘so proud’ of her daughter and that her highlight of the photoshoot was spending time in the hair and makeup trailer.

This ‘Christmas Vacation’ Set Is a Decorative Village You’ll Actually Want

Griswold Christmas Village

I never really understood the decorative Christmas villages when I was growing up. Don’t get me wrong – that didn’t stop me from pretending I was an enormous god figure, towering over the tiny ceramic community and deciding their wintery fate (even though that was probably not their original purpose).

But there’s finally a little set of Christmas figurines that, not only do I finally understand wanting to show off, but I wholeheartedly endorse: The Christmas Vacation Village, by Department 56.

A Christmas community that reflects the actual chaos and anxiety of the holidays, just about everyone from National Lampoon’s iconic holiday film are represented here: Cousin Eddie, Todd and Margot, Aunts Bethany and Edna, and obviously, all of the Griswolds.

(Jolly Christmas Shop)

The centerpiece of the set, understandably, is a hand-painted “Griswold Holiday House,” which is remarkably detailed, right down to the rear-facing window through which someone might fantasize about installing an in-ground pool come springtime.

Sure, there is a severe lack of Christmas lights adorning the exterior, but you don’t want to blow a fuse in your home just for authenticity’s sake.


Obviously, this set wouldn’t be complete without Cousin Eddie’s RV. “That right there vehicle” even has its own lights, making it a tasteful addition to any shelf or mantle.

Yeah, it costs $60 but considering Eddie traded his entire house for it, I’d say that’s a steal.


And what would the giant recreational vehicle be without its trusty captain, Cousin Eddie? Represented in the quintessential “Merry Christmas. Shitter was full” pose, the artist even went as far as to paint on Randy Quaid’s chest hair.

Merry Christmas, indeed.


The set includes a number of other pieces from classic scenes in the film, too, including a “Freezing Our Baguettes Off” vignette featuring the entire family waiting for Clark to turn on the lights, a Clark and Rusty pulling out the comically large ball of tangled lights, Eddie holding a moose mug, and of course, the infamous Griswold truckster with attached tree – the “thymbol of the thspirit of the Grithwold family Chrithmath.”


There are plenty of figurines and scenes to mix and match, but no matter which ones you choose, they’re bound to be a conversation starter if you find yourself hosting your entire family for the holidays like Clark.


Plus, it will actually make sense when the kids start playing with these and reenacting scenes, unlike my grandma’s generic “snowy village” back in the 90s. Ugh, boring.