Meteor over Alabama 40 times brighter than moon
Alabama (AP) -- NASA says a fireball that streaked across the Southeast was traveling about 53,700 miles per hour when it lit up the night over Alabama. The Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center said numerous people had ...
Fireball streaks across sky; captured in amazing videos across Southeast
Video: Fireball in the sky caught on camera in Tenn. Thursday night
Fireball 40 Times Brighter Than Full Moon Swooshed Pass The Alabama Sky
Treasures: Clear opalescent glass is generally least desirable – Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog)
Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog)
Treasures: Clear opalescent glass is generally least desirable
Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog)
Dear Helaine and Joe: This vase may have been a wedding gift to my mom when she was a young woman. She is now 83. She recently passed it on to me and I would like to know more about it. Than you,. C. R.. Dear C. R.: In her original letter, C. R. failed ...
NASA Provisionally Approves SpaceX “Load-and-Go” for Crew Flights
NASA posted a statement on one of its websites Friday that it has provisionally approved SpaceX's “load-and-go” procedure for commercial crew flights of the SpaceX Crew Dragon. That refers to fueling the rocket just before launch, after the crew is aboard.
SpaceX gears up for Crew Dragon's first recovery with a giant inflatable cushion
SpaceX's 'load-and-go' launch procedure deemed safe enough for crew launches, says NASA
VIDEO: Unexpected Future Boost of Methane Possible From Arctic Permafrost
ABOVE VIDEO: New NASA-funded research has discovered that Arctic permafrost's expected gradual thawing and the associated release of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere may actually be sped up by instances of a relatively little known process called ...
'Abrupt thaw' of permafrost beneath lakes could significantly affect climate change models
Still Water near North Pole leads to Warming the Permafrost
NASA: Lakes of Alaska and Siberia will accelerate the death of the Earth
The Siver Times
Life may have existed on the Moon four billion years ago
When Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon's surface in July 1969, it was not only a giant leap for mankind, but was also thought to have been the first time the satellite had ever hosted life. The lunar world was said to be a “dead rock”, lacking the ...
Scientists have debunked the common myths about the moon
Life may have existed on the Moon four billion years ago
When Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon's surface in July 1969, it was not only a giant leap for mankind, but was also thought to have been the first time the satellite had ever hosted life. The lunar world was said to be a “dead rock”, lacking the ...
The penultimate episode of Preacher’s third season, aptly titled “Schwanzkoph” (German for “dickhead”), gloriously wrapped up one of its primary subplots. Well, perhaps “wrapped up” isn’t the right phrase; blew to smithereens would be more apt. Jesse Custer managed to get the jump on Allfather D’Aronique and end the latter’s psychotic plan to nuke the world and force a second-coming with a demented Christ clone at the helm.
Despite the fact that this is 100 percent something that could’ve happened on an adult episode of Pinky and the Brain, the Allfather had the means to carry out his maniacal idea, putting the world in real danger of destruction and the rule of idiocy. Preacher has a singular ability to imbue the most ludicrous situation with genuine stakes and that’s what made tonight’s explosive confrontation as compelling as it was disgusting.
As with any adaptation that isn’t a rote recreation of the source material, fans of the Preacher comics have lobbed their fair share of critiques the show’s way for its seeming disregard Garth Ennis’ work. The first season served as a prequel of sorts, and the second season mixed various threads from the comics with different original storylines and unfortunately found itself lagging and uneven. However, during Season 3, the show’s finally found a sweet spot between adaptation and evolution, and Jonny Coyne’s Allfather D’Aronique is great evidence of that.
Much like Pip Torrens’ Herr Starr before him, the Allfather was a faithful and enhanced version of his comic book counterpart. If you’re not familiar with Coyne’s work, his talent should’ve been evident in his ability to emote through a fatsuit designed to emulate bulletproof corpulence. With a little assistance from a nearby bucket and an implied case of bulimia, #Grailboss disgusted from minute one. But with a clever combination of his madness, intellect, Herr Starr’s abject fear of him and the surprising tactical advantage several layers of fat can give a person, D’Aronique became a villain worthy of a Preacher subplot.
He’s also a person who could be weighed in half-tons, and that’s what made his final moments with Jesse as ridiculous as they were nail-biting. The two battle it out for dominance once Jesse manages to talk his way out of his restraints (the episode’s only contrived weak spot), and eventually Jesse forces Genesis into D’Aronique, knowing it’ll eventually find its way out of what is surely one of the more inhospitable homes it’s tried out since breaking free of captivity. The same thing that happened to an African priest, Tom Cruise and countless Jesi before him happens to the Allfather, and the room is covered in blood and entrails quicker than you can say “Messiah.” After a brief tussle with Herr Starr, Jesse retrieves his soul from D’Aronique’s anal cavity, sets the Jesi free and returns home to Angelville, newly armed to defeat Marie once and for all.
The post Preacher: [Spoiler’s] Death Makes Way For the Confrontation We Really Want To See appeared first on CBR.
The latest Twitch stream by DC Co-Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee had a strong focus on the company’s Vertigo imprint.
As part of the artist’s semi-regular Twitch streams where Lee sketches a different character live for viewers, the superstar artist provided a breathtaking piece of original artwork showcasing Daniel Dream and Death from the pages of Vertigo’s The Sandman.
— Jim Lee (@JimLee) August 19, 2018
First created in the pages of January 1989’s The Sandman #1 by writer Neil Gaiman and artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, the two characters are members of the mythical Endless and personifications of the concepts for which they are named.
The dark fantasy series helped launch DC Comics’ mature imprint Vertigo Comics with a 75-issue run that ended in 1996 launching a whole host of spinoffs both during and after the series’ original publication. This month, the publisher launched The Sandman Universe, a line of four new ongoing comic book series with creative teams personally selected and overseen by Gaiman himself.
While helping run DC Comics as Co-Publisher and Chief Creative Officer, Lee keeps his artistic skills sharp by providing variant covers and hosting Twitch streams for the fans. Before drawing the iconic Vertigo characters, the previous Twitch stream had Lee sketching a gorgeous take on Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke.
The post Vertigo’s Death and Dream Dominate in Stunning Jim Lee Artwork appeared first on CBR.
A newly released still from the set of Riverdale Season 3 seems to imply that the infamous Southside Serpents aren’t going away anytime soon.
The photo, which was posted to Twitter by Riverdale creator and Archie comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, features the Southside Serpent’s new leader Jughead Jones front and center. Additionally, Juggy is flanked by fellow Serpents Sweet Pea and Fangs. Each member of the trio has a look of intent on their faces as they make their way through what appears to be some sort of makeshift camp.
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) August 19, 2018
While the Southside Serpents were mostly minor players in Riverdale Season 2, they had a major role to play in regard to both Jughead’s story and the fate of the town of Riverdale as a whole.
When fans of the series last saw the leather-clad gang, they were in the process of ushering in a new era. Jughead’s father F.P. Jones officially retired from the group, naming his son as their new de facto leader. It was around this time that the Serpents also officially welcomed perennial instigator Cheryl Blossom into their ranks.
What exactly the Serpents will be getting up to in Riverdale‘s third season remains to be seen, but judging by Aguirre-Sacasa’s photo, the gang isn’t exactly in the best of shape, nor do they appear to be done making waves.
Returning Wednesday, Oct. 10, ET/PT on The CW, Riverdale stars KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madeleine Petsch, Ashleigh Miller, Casey Cott, Mark Consuelos, Skeet Ulrich, Marisol Nichols, Madchen Amick and Luke Perry.
The post Riverdale: The Serpents Are on the Prowl in New Season 3 Photo appeared first on CBR.
Under the waves in wonderland - the Great Barrier Reef
The sun came up over the horizon, rising surprisingly quickly in the sky. It was 6.43am, right on cue. The first rays of light had broken through the darkness almost half an hour earlier as my travelling companions and I stirred from our swags - a ...
Nature's perfect match is breaking down and the reef is in peril
Anna Kooiman: Exploring the Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef hiding priceless tech treasures
Just in time for Amazon’s upcoming Jack Ryan television series, Paramount is releasing all five films previously adapting Tom Clancy’s fan-favorite hero.
The boxed set includes 1990’s The Hunt for Red October, 1992’s Patriot Games, 1994’s Clear and Present Danger, 2002’s The Sum of All Fears, and 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. All the films have been remastered in 4K Ultra-HD for the first time and include digital download codes for each film as well as special features.
The 1990 film stars Alec Baldwin as the first actor to portray Clancy’s CIA analyst trying to intercept the titular Soviet nuclear submarine captained by Sean Connery’s character who is planning to defect to the United States. The 1992 film marks Harrison Ford’s debut in the role as his family becomes targeted by the IRA after foiling an assassination attempt while the 1994 film has Ford reprise his role to combat Colombian drug cartels. The 2002 film sees Ben Affleck take the starring role attempting to avert a war between Russia and the United States while the most recent adaptation has Chris Pine as the title character taking on a nefarious Russian oligarch.
The box set is scheduled to go on sale on Tuesday, August 21 giving fans time to revisit the popular film series ahead the latest Jack Ryan adaptation which stars John Krasinski in the title role.
RELATED: Jack Ryan Season 2 Casts Noomi Rapace as Series Regular
Jack Ryan is a co-production of Paramount Television, Skydance Media, and Platinum Dunes. The series will be executive produced by Michael Bay and showrunners Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Graham Roland (Fringe) and stars John Krasinski, Wendell Pierce, and Abbie Cornish. The 10-episode first season is scheduled premiere on Amazon on August 31.
The post Jack Ryan 5-Film Collection Getting the 4K Blu-ray Treatment appeared first on CBR.
Although he shares his “Kingslayer” nickname with Game of Thrones‘ Jaime Lannister, WWE Superstar Seth Rollins put another one of his fandoms on display at SummerSlam in Brooklyn, NY, courtesy of ring gear inspired by the Mad Titan from Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos.
The torso portion of the outfit is deep purple, while the top features gold shoulder pads reminiscent of Thanos’ armor. Plus, if that’s not enough, costume designer Sarath Ton even shared a close-up look at one of Rollins’ boots (the same one he uses to deliver his Curb Stomp finishing maneuver), which was modeled after Thanos’ all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet.
— Mikaze (@IamMikaze) August 19, 2018
Of course, Rollins isn’t the only WWE Superstar to channel his inner-Marvel fan this weekend. At last night’s NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4, Johnny Gargano sported ring gear inspired by none other than Marvel’s resident symbiote Venom.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston and Josh Brolin. The film is now available on home release, both digitally and physically.
The post WWE’s Seth Rollins Brings Balance to SummerSlam With Thanos-Inspired Gear appeared first on CBR.
Since its launch on The CW in 2012, DCTV’s Arrowverse has quietly and gradually been expanding the roles of women and increasing minority representation across the shared television universe. Across Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, the four programs have introduced audiences to LGBTQ characters while defying stereotypical gender and minority roles.
Caity Lotz, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Tala Ashe, Candice Patton, and Juliana Harkavy recently participated in a roundtable interview with Bustle sharing their experiences broadening diversity with superhero adaptations and their own respective insight on representation in television.
“I never saw myself represented on any television, until I was an actor myself and encountering the reasons why, or the limitations that existed in the media. When the closest thing you can identify with is Aladdin, that’s a problem,” began Ashe who stars as Zari Adrianna Tomaz on Legends of Tomorrow. “I’ve heard from so many young women reaching out to me saying, ‘Thank you for representing a Muslim-American character or Middle Eastern character, one that isn’t a terrorist,’ because five, ten years ago, that’s all we were seeing.”
“I am a different Black Canary [than] the way that she’s originally written,” added Harkavy who stars as the new Canary on Arrow. “She’s a blonde, and I’m multiracial. So for a lot of girls, that was a huge deal.”
“The fanbase is super supportive,” agreed Lotz who stars as team leader Sara Lance on Legends of Tomorrow. “I saw it for the first time going to Comic-Cons and meeting girls that were from the LGBT community and how important it was for them to have a character that was bisexual on television because they had never seen it before.”
While the network has made great strides in increasing representation on screen, Patton notes that it’s also crucially important to ensure that minority characters are well-written other than simply visible.
“It’s one thing to just hire diverse talent, it’s another thing to write for them and fully flesh those characters out,” observed Patton who stars as Iris West-Allen on The Flash. “You then have to also write for them and develop them and make them fully rounded characters that [people] can identify with.”
The Flash returns to The CW on October 10 followed by Arrow on October 15 and Legends of Tomorrow on October 22.
The post Legends of Tomorrow Stars Address DC Series’ Push for Diversity appeared first on CBR.
Who is smarter – men or women: scientists surprised by the statement – 24 Channel – The Koz Telegram
The Koz Telegram
Who is smarter – men or women: scientists surprised by the statement – 24 Channel
The Koz Telegram
Scientists from the University of Washington held a special experiment in which he compared the male and female brain. The basis of the study was the rate of reaction on the graphic image, writes the journal Cell. Although the processing of the data ...
The researchers compared male and female brains: the results are shocking
Scientists have discovered what distinguishes a male brain from the female
The news that Disney will not be reinstating James Gunn as director for the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise has come as a disappointment to many. In fact, the list of names now includes two key figures from Marvel’s hit Netflix series Daredevil: Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays the villain Wilson Fisk, and former executive producer Steven DeKnight.
Gunn’s abrupt removal was announced last month in response to a series of offensive jokes that he made on Twitter before he was hired by Marvel Studios. Although there has been a push to rehire him from fans, as well as the cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and other big names in Hollywood, recent reports have stated that Disney will hold to their decision.
D’Onofrio expressed his feelings by posting a link to an article about Gunn’s removal being permanent, and added the comment, “This is a big bummer.”
This is a big bummer. https://t.co/xqJkYYeQkg
— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) August 18, 2018
DeKnight, who had previously said he was deeply saddened by the situation, was asked by a fan if he would consider taking over as the new director for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, to which he replied, “I would politely decline. No way in hell I could come close to what James Gunn has accomplished.” In another tweet, he noted that the situation was hypothetical, as “no one at Marvel or Disney WOULD ever ask me that.”
— Steven DeKnight (@stevendeknight) August 19, 2018
Although neither DeKnight nor D’Onofrio has worked with Gunn on a Marvel project, both have claimed to be fans of his work. Gunn has also expressed his enthusiasm for the first season of Daredevil.
The post Daredevil Star & Former EP Comment on Disney Not Rehiring James Gunn appeared first on CBR.
Star Wars. The Lord of the Rings. Anything featuring a superhero. Millions of people have flocked to these movie franchises and others like them over the years, and millions more have caught them on DVD or streaming services. These franchises are some of the most popular in history. They’re so popular, in fact, that fans have gone beyond just buying movie tickets. Online, at fan conventions, and in the comfort of their own homes, they debate the pros and cons of each movie in the series. From plot points to casting choices to special effects to costumes, fans have opinions and they’re more than willing to share them.
Often, these opinions are positive, but that isn’t always the case. And fans’ most negative opinions frequently extend to the characters in these movie franchises. These are the characters that just don’t work for fans. They stick out because they make bad choices, they don’t fit in with the rest of the characters, they’re useless when they should be useful, and sometimes they’re just really annoying. For all those reasons and more, fans despise them. Whether it’s unfortunate casting, subpar writing, or questionable direction, fans just can’t get on board with these characters. Even though they appear in some of the most beloved movies in pop culture, these characters have not earned a place in fans’ hearts.
EWOKS (STAR WARS: EPISODE VI)
They’re small, fuzzy, and adorable. They worship shiny things (like C-3PO) and think humans are delicious (like Han and Luke). They’re Ewoks, and many Star Wars fans hate them with a red-hot passion. Blatantly cute wasn’t really part of the Star Wars universe until the Ewoks came along — and fans weren’t pleased to welcome them to a galaxy far, far away.
Many fans believe that these primitive teddy bears were a cynical marketing ploy to lure younger viewers. Meanwhile, some rate Return of the Jedi as the worst film in the franchise’s original trilogy because of them. Even their victory song at the end of the movie (yub-nub!) is disparaged. Are Ewoks that bad? To Star Wars fans, your answer speaks volumes.
EMMA FROST (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS)
When January Jones took on the role of Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class, she certainly looked the part. Unfortunately, the accuracy of the look of the fan-favorite character couldn’t make up for Jones’ lifeless performance. In the comics, Frost has attitude in spades. She’s regal, clever, and manipulative. Jones may have been going for arrogant and assured but it just came off as stiff and listless.
Jones didn’t have a large role in First Class so she wasn’t detrimental to viewers’ enjoyment. However, fans are still waiting to see a movie portrayal of the character that lives up to her comic book depiction. Jones didn’t appear in another X-Men movie after First Class, so perhaps the character will be re-cast in future films.
JUSTIN HAMMER (IRON MAN 2)
Sam Rockwell is a talented, Academy Award-winning actor who is best known for playing quirky roles in small, independent films. So, his appearance in the very mainstream blockbuster Iron Man 2 was unexpected. As Justin Hammer, rival defense contractor to Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark, he desperately wants to be Tony. Yet, his ambition doesn’t make up for his lack of vision and talent.
As a result, he volleys between arrogant denial and sniveling need for approval, all the while fooling no one in the film as to the big nothing he really brings to the table. For many fans, Hammer’s antics become silly, grating, and sad. Rockwell gives a go-for-broke performance with all his signature quirk, but he can’t save the character from himself.
PEETA MELLARK (THE HUNGER GAMES MOVIES)
The romantic subplot of The Hunger Games movies has hero Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) choosing between childhood friend Gale or fellow District 12 tribute Peeta. In the movies and books, Peeta and Gale are very different, but it was always Peeta that seemed outmatched.
Throughout the story, Peeta constantly messes up and gets into trouble. Ultimately, he’s the story’s damsel in distress. In the books, his presence helps turn a tired trope on its head, but in the movies Peeta comes off as more annoying than sympathetic. Not to mention, Hutcherson and Lawrence lack any real chemistry in the films’ crammed-in romance. It’s hard to understand why Katniss is so loyal to this clumsy character.
DENETHOR (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING)
The Lord of the Rings’ Denethor, as played by John Noble, won’t be winning a father of the year trophy anytime soon. Ruler of Gondor and father to Boromir and Faramir, the man is off his rocker and his sons suffer for it. While in the books Denethor is depicted as a despairing but ultimately capable and wise leader, in Peter Jackson’s film, he is incompetent and driven mad by grief.
In addition, while in the books, Denethor favored his eldest son, Boromir, over his youngest, Faramir, in the movie this preference is turned up to 11. Denethor sends Faramir on a suicide mission, refuses to properly defend Gondor, and finally dies after trying to take an injured Faramir down with him. There are many differences between the book and movie versions of The Lord of the Rings but Denethor’s characterization is one of the most unfortunate.
ROSE TICO (STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII)
Much of the hate leveled at The Last Jedi’s Rose Tico is rooted in toxic fandom. With this selection, we have no desire to represent those who leveled sexist and racist abuse at Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who portrayed Tico, online, which eventually drove her off social media. In fact, we’re thrilled to see greater diversity in Star Wars!
The issue we have with the character Tico is rooted in the story of The Last Jedi. Tico appears in a tangential story arc and when she finally does reunite with the rest of the Rebels, she makes bad decisions in the heat of battle that make things harder. Tran, however, did a wonderful job portraying the character and in no way deserved the harassment she received.
LEX & TIM (JURASSIC PARK)
Jurassic Park’s Lex and Tim Murphy, played by Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello, suffer from the same issues that afflict many movie kids. They don’t listen to adults’ instructions, they scream when they should be quiet, they freeze when they need to move, and move when they need to freeze. In a word, these kids are annoying.
If they were adults, their stupidity might actually get them killed, but since they’re children, the adults around them protect them at all costs. This means no matter how much they mess up, they won’t meet their end, even if it’s deserved. Their actions ratchet up the movie’s tension while having no real impact on what will happen to them — irritating to say the least.
CARTER BURKE (ALIENS)
The aliens may be the big bads of the Alien series, but in James Cameron’s Aliens, Carter Burke (Paul Reiser) demonstrates that humans can be far more despicable. Burke is an executive at the Weyland-Yutani Corporation who has grand plans to ensure his promotion and wealth.
He manipulates and lies in order to get an alien back to Earth. He even goes so far as to lock Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Newt (Carrie Henn) in a room with facehuggers, anticipating that he can smuggle an alien past any quarantine if it’s in a host’s body. The aliens are simply trying to ensure the survival of their species, but Burke is only looking out for himself, making him the real villain of the movie.
MUTT WILLIAMS (KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL)
The return of the beloved character Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was highly anticipated. Yet, not only did the movie end up being a disappointment, the character billed as a possible Indy successor, Shia LaBeouf’s Mutt Williams, drew the ire of fans.
At the time, LaBeouf was supposed to be Hollywood’s next big thing, so his inclusion in the movie seemed to make sense. But when fans experienced his character, they were not enthusiastic. Mutt was glib and silly where Indy is suave and cool. The idea of Mutt replacing Indiana Jones was laughable. Fortunately, it seems the filmmakers heard fans: screenwriter David Koepp has confirmed that the character won’t appear in an expected fifth Indiana Jones movie.
HARRY OSBORN (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a rushed and bloated mess, and the inclusion of the story arc in which Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) transforms into the Green Goblin lacked any real emotional weight. Viewers aren’t given an opportunity to get to know and care about Harry, so he just comes across as obnoxious and whiny. In addition, while audiences are told Harry and Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) are friends, the movie never makes their relationship feel real.
As a result, audiences shrugged at Harry’s turn to the dark side when they should have been horrified. The situation wasn’t helped by DeHaan’s over-the-top portrayal of the character, which made it even more difficult to take the character seriously.
HAWKEYE (MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been dominating the box office for a decade now, and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) has appeared in a number of the ever-expanding saga’s films. Despite his prowess with a bow and arrow, though, Hawkeye is often referred to as the most disliked Avenger.
Fans mock him and accuse him of being useless and boring. While Age of Ultron filled in his character a bit by showing he had a secret family, the movies still haven’t developed him much. His backstory remains a mystery and he gets less action than his super-powered colleagues. While Renner brings a lot to the role, Hawkeye has never been given the opportunity to demonstrate once and for all why he’s an invaluable member of the team.
SAMWISE GAMGEE (THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY)
Fans of The Lord of the Rings know that Samwise is really the true hero of the books and movies. He’s the one who gets Frodo to Mordor after saving him multiple times and supporting him no matter what — even when Frodo is dismissive and ungrateful. Yet, for many fans, Sean Astin’s portrayal of Sam in the movie trilogy is just grating.
The movies dwell on long, emotional scenes between Frodo and Sam that take up time and don’t add anything to what are already very long movies. Plus, Sam comes across as subservient, clingy, and awkward. While some fans felt Sam’s loyalty was endearing, many others found him annoying.
BELLA SWAN (THE TWILIGHT SAGA)
The Twilight Saga movies certainly garnered their share of hatred, but they also earned a passionate fan following. Yet it’s hard to get on board with a story when it centers on a protagonist like Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart).
Throughout the books and movies, Bella is overly serious, angsty, and barely registers a personality. Despite all this, she manages to attract two hot supernatural guys. Instead of being excited by the possibilities, though, she becomes so blindly devoted to one, she no longer seems to have any other goals in life beyond being with him. Sure adolescence is a dramatic time, and even more so when you’re in love with a vampire, but Bella’s fraught relationship doesn’t do anything to make her more interesting.
MATER (CARS TRILOGY)
Pixar has churned out a slew of amazing computer-animated movies. However, that hasn’t saved it from some missteps, and the character of Mater may be the worst offender. Mater is fine in small doses. He’s bearable in Cars where he’s simply a sidekick to Lightning McQueen and doesn’t stick around long enough to get excessively irritating.
Yet when he takes center stage in Cars 2, things go downhill quickly. Mater moves through a series of misunderstandings and mishaps with oblivious good nature. But instead of charming, he’s just annoying, testing all but the youngest viewers’ patience for his antics. It’s no wonder that putting Mater in a starring role caused Cars 2 to be the worst reviewed Pixar movie to date.
ANAKIN SKYWALKER (STAR WARS: EPISODES I – III)
Fans were stoked when the Star Wars prequel trilogy was announced. Finally, the story of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader — one of the most charismatically fearsome characters in movie history — would get the big-screen treatment. But fans’ high hopes were disappointed when, over three movies, Anakin whined, sulked, and generally acted like a brat. His turn to the dark side came across more like a temper tantrum than a true revelation.
First, as the younger Anakin, Jake Lloyd was awkward and stilted. Then as the slightly older version, Hayden Christensen went emo and embarked on a cringe-inducing romance with Natalie Portman’s Padme. Of course, it wasn’t all the actors’ fault — the prequels’ dialogue wouldn’t be acceptable in a community college screenwriting class, so it was hard to take seriously in one of the most anticipated movie trilogies of all time.
SKIDS & MUDFLAP (TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN)
The first Transformers movie wasn’t exactly a critical triumph but it was a fun, breezy diversion. Fans loved it and made it a box office blockbuster. So, it was only a matter of time before a sequel was made. When it was released, though, Revenge of the Fallen not only didn’t measure up to the original, it featured two Autobots — Skids and Mudflap — who are characterized by racist stereotypes.
The filmmakers seemed to believe the characters were comic relief, but with their “street” accents, offensive dialogue, and inability to read, they instead came across as wildly offensive.
LEX LUTHOR (BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice featured two of the biggest superheroes of all time, and in Lex Luthor, one of the biggest supervillains. It should have been amazing, but instead fans came away confused and disappointed. The characterizations were off and that was especially true of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex.
The character’s strange tics and nervous disposition made him come across as an eccentric, megalomaniacal nerd, not the menacing criminal mastermind fans were used to in the comics and other media. Not to mention, his motivations are all over the place, making it nearly impossible to figure out what he’s really after and why. All this resulted in Lex being irritating, instead of threatening.
DOLORES UMBRIDGE (HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX)
Dolores Umbridge has the distinction of being one of the most reviled characters in the Harry Potter franchise and that extends to Imelda Staunton’s movie portrayal. Although there are other villains in the series who are far deadlier than she is, it’s the familiarity of Umbridge that makes her especially loathsome.
Who hasn’t had a negative experience with someone who thought they were always right or whose actions were completely unfair or who enjoyed using the little bit of power they had to make life more difficult for others? From her incessant throat clearing to her aggressively pink clothes, Umbridge made fans recoil in frustration and disgust.
WILLIE SCOTT (INDIANA JONES AND TEMPLE OF DOOM)
In the history of motion pictures, there may never have been a more grating character than Kate Capshaw’s Willie Scott. Throughout Temple of Doom she incessantly cries and complains. And the screaming, oh the screaming. Watching her is unbearable, and while Temple of Doom may not have been the best Indiana Jones movie regardless, her character brings the movie down even further.
On top of everything else, the romance between Willie and Indy is inexplicable. What would Indy see in such a bumbling, blubbering mess? Willie is an example of everything that can go wrong with the portrayal of women in action movies. A depiction we thankfully don’t see much of these days.
JAR JAR BINKS (STAR WARS: EPISODES I – III)
You knew this one was coming. A list of despised movie characters without Jar Jar Binks just wouldn’t be complete. Fans so passionately hated Jar Jar when he initially appeared in the first Star Wars prequel film that the backlash is now the stuff of legend.
Jar Jar was supposedly there for comic relief, but his aggravating, inept presence only served to confuse and anger fans. Plus, the character’s speech pattern came across as a racist caricature of a Jamaican accent. Fans everywhere still wonder what George Lucas was thinking when he came up with this terrible, offensively bad character.
The post The 20 Most Despised Characters (From The Most Beloved Movie Franchises) appeared first on CBR.
Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 is undeniably one of the most anticipated video games of 2018, and one aspect that has received a lot of buzz during the build-up to the game’s September 7 release is the many iconic villains players will be able to fight after taking control of Spidey.
An official rundown on the major villains players can expect to take on in Marvel’s Spider-Man has now been published on the official PlayStation website, which reads, “From a crime boss wielding negative energy, to a high-flying criminal, to a future tech thief, meet the many villains Spider-Man must face to save Marvel’s New York City.”
What follows are short bios for eight of the game’s villains, many of whom longtime Spidey fans are likely very familiar with:
Mister Negative – Mister Negative is a man divided. To the citizens of New York City he is Martin Li, respected businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the acclaimed F.E.A.S.T. shelters. But to the underworld he is known as Mister negative, an upstart crime boss in command of the fearsome Inner Demons and wielder of a dark energy that he uses to destroy anything or anyone standing in his way. Obsessed with exacting revenge against a high-ranking New York City official whom he believes is responsible for his corruptive abilities, Mister Negative is a driving force behind a violent master plan that may rot the Big Apple to its core.
Kingpin – Wilson Fisk, who publicly acts as a philanthropist and legitimate businessman, secretly controls New York City’s organized crime families as the feared Kingpin. Spider-Man has spent years trying to incriminate hm and finally does so – only to quickly learn that maybe Fisk was right when he said, “I’m the one who brought order to this city!” Spider-Man soon finds himself in the bizarre position of saving Fisk’s men to unravel a larger mystery of a new citywide menace.
Electro – With the ability to harness and wield electricity, Max Dillon has a larger mission in mind: to evolve his final form by transforming himself into pure, living energy. Enlisting the help of a sinister mastermind to help him in his twisted quest, Electro has agreed to help dismantle one of the most powerful men in New York City.
Rhino – Granted superhuman strength by artificially crafted skin, Aleksei Sytsevich wants to shed the protective coverings and thuggish reputation as the Rhino, and he’s found a sinister someone who can help him do it. Of course, Rhino will need to pay this mastermind back once he’s been sprung from The Raft to wreak havoc on a powerful New York City magnate.
Scorpion – While he’s been safely behind bars at The Raft for the last few years, the maniacal Mac Gargan has been freed to renew his heated rivalry with Spider-Man. In exchange for the promise of a cleaned criminal record, the Scorpion is determined to strike down Spider-Man once and for all with hs vicious venomous stinger.
Vulture – Vulture has vexed Spider-Man with hs lethal flight suit since Peter Parker first learned to channel his web-slinging abilities. Now Adrian Toomes suffers from spinal cancer due to the power produced from his winged rig. A particularly sinister villain has devised a plan to save Adrian’s life and free him from The Raft prison… in exchange for helping fix a vendetta against a city icon.
Shocker –What’s the best way to rob a bank? Herman Schultz prefers to literally shock and awe, using a high-tech suit with gauntlets that blast intense vibrational waves to crush vaults and elude the police. Shocker has been a long-time Spider-Man nemesis, but something more sinister has motivated Schultz this time around..
Inner Demons – Inner demons are mysterious enemies easily identified by their elaborate Chinese masks and more formal black-and-white attire. They operate under direction from Martin Li, aka Mister Negative. Some Inner Demons wield weapons infused with “negative energy” that can cause Spider-Man great damage. On Occasion, Mister Negative will corrupt an Inner Demon or two through an extended direct touch, giving himself even greater power.
This bio page also deliberately leaves out the game’s big bad, which is to be expected, given that the identity of the main villain has been kept under wraps and has been the source of major speculation following the release of the game’s recent promotional material. That said, the ringleader of the campaign against Spider-Man is still alluded to several times in some of the other villains’ bios. Sony and Insomniac are likely to continue to keep tight-lipped on the matter until Spider-Man is officially released.
Marvel’s Spider-Man will launch exclusively for the PS4 on Sept. 7.
The post Marvel’s Spider-Man: Meet the Villains of the Upcoming PS4 Game appeared first on CBR.
Tiny ASTERIA Satellite Spots Exoplanet In Transit, A First For CubeSat Technology
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With a release date secured, it appears Sherlock Holmes 3 is one step closer to becoming a reality, as star Robert Downey Jr. teases a return to the franchise.
The actor has been teasing his return to the role of Sherlock Holmes on social media off and on since July, and now, seemingly have wrapped work on The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, it appears Downey Jr. is finally preparing to return as the iconic detective for a third film. In a tweet posted earlier today, Downey Jr. stated he was practicing his Sherlock face, complete with a GIF of him in character.
Practicing my Sherlock face. pic.twitter.com/Vs7kGF70Re
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) August 19, 2018
The tweet comes after the actor posted a throwback photo on Instagram two days ago from the set of Game of Shadows. Fans of the Sherlock Holmes franchise have been eagerly awaiting news regarding the third film for some time now. In fact, the film has been in various stages of production since 2016, with reports initially suggesting filming would kick off that year. That, of course, never happened, as the film underwent a rewrite from James Coyne before the studio eventually brought in Guardians of the Galaxy scribe Nicole Perlman, Rogue One‘s Gary Whitta and a number of other writers later that year to rework the script yet again.
Interestingly enough, while Guy Ritchie directed the first two entries in the franchise, a director has yet to be announced for the threequel. That should change soon enough, though, as production is expected to kick off later this year.
Sherlock Holmes 3 hits theaters on Dec. 25, 2020, from a script by Chris Brancato. The film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. John Watson.
The post Is Robert Downey Jr.’s Next Film Sherlock Holmes 3? appeared first on CBR.
As DC and Warner Bros. prepare the huge push for Aquaman to hit theaters, it feels like a fresh start for a franchise that has had trouble finding its place. This isn’t a knock against the quality of the movies, though we must admit a few of them weren’t great. Whether you love DC or not, you have to admit the films have struggled to find footing with critics and fans. This summer at Comic-Con International: San Diego, the studio announced that its universe would now be called the Worlds of DC — a definite upgrade from the DC Extended Universe.
Since Man of Steel debuted in 2013, the studios have built toward a shared universe of films. The movie contained small easter eggs and hints at what else could be going on around Clark Kent, but things really got moving with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Batman and Wonder Woman joined Superman, completing the trinity. Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman had quick cameos to set up Justice League, and a world was born. Over the years, we’ve seen several TV and movie projects announced that would introduce new stories of familiar characters and expand on the established franchise. Keep in mind that DC’s TV and movie universes are not connected, though it’s not like Marvel’s is either. Before we get too focused on Aquaman, Wonder Woman 1984, Shazam and Titans, the projects that are already in production, we thought it was time to rank those in development based on how interested or excited we are about those that have been simply announced.
JOKER ORIGIN (JOAQUIN PHOENIX)
As Batman’s most consistent and well known enemy, The Joker is one of DC’s most popular villains. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the company wants to make him a big part of its new movie franchise.
However, instead of doing an origin for the current Joker played by Jared Leto, DC is developing a completely new and separate story starring Joaquin Phoenix. Even with Phoenix, Robert DeNiro and Zazie Beetz starring, and Martin Scorsese producing there is absolutely no need for this movie — it will only confuse an already struggling franchise.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
There’s currently a race between Justice League Dark and Gambit to see which superhero movie can go through more directors and delays, and after losing Guillermo Del Toro and Doug Liman, the project has seemingly stalled.
The idea of Del Toro putting his signature vision on a Justice League Dark movie had us jumping for joy. Though at this point we feel like we should just enjoy seeing Constantine on Legends of Tomorrow, because that’s the closest we’re going to get to this unicorn of a project.
JOKER SOLO MOVIE (JARED LETO)
When we heard the list of characters being included in Suicide Squad we never thought the least interesting one would be The Joker, and with Oscar winner Jared Leto putting his stamp on the role we were cautiously optimistic.
Things didn’t go the way fans were expecting, but that hasn’t stopped Warner Bros. from trying again with a Joker standalone movie. It’s hard to imagine what the draw of Joker without Batman or Harley Quinn is — honestly, this is a character we just don’t need to spend more time with.
SUICIDE SQUAD 2
While Suicide Squad is by no means perfect, it did its job of introducing the lineup and purpose of Task Force X. The characters were established well enough and chemistry amongst the team worked. Plus, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller was perfect casting.
One of the fun things about the Suicide Squad is the lineup changes a lot, so that gives the studio the opportunity to bring in new actors and not let things get too settled. We just have to hope the story is a little more flushed out this time.
Reboots are not uncommon in comic books, so why not use a famous one to iron out the problems of its film franchise? In “Flashpoint”, Barry Allen goes back in time to save his mother and ends up changing the entire timeline.
The long running rumor has been that The Flash solo movie would be based on “Flashpoint”. It would be the perfect way for DC and Warner Bros. to fix what needs fixing. Frankly, The Flash movie has gone through so much behind the scenes drama we don’t know what to expect, but at least we know Ezra Miller will be great.
When Shazam was announced as one of DC’s movies we assumed Black Adam would be involved. Things got even more interesting when Dwayne Johnson was cast in the villain role. However, during development it was decided the character needed his own movie. Seriously, why waste The Rock in a supporting part?
The superstar has had several meetings with DC and Geoff Johns over the years, maintaining that the project is still happening. Without anything else to go on, it’s Johnson’s involvement that keeps this one mildly interesting.
Some characters are so out there or visually unique, you never think you’ll see them on-screen. However, the success of Guardians of the Galaxy has changed everything, and now studios are willing to take a few risks on popular yet unconventional properties.
For years DC has been trying to figure out how to get a Lobo movie made, with talks heating up again recently as the studio tries to woo director Michael Bay to the film. If done as an R-rated action comedy, Lobo could be interesting, though, considering the movie’s long development process, we’re not holding our breath.
Among the new series the company is launching on DC Universe is Doom Patrol. The show will follow the rag tag group of heroes as they fight weird, supernatural threats. This is an interesting choice for DC to use to brand their new service, and coupled with Swamp Thing, Titans and Stargirl, it seems DC Universe is taking a decidedly more adult approach than the Arrowverse.
Confirmed to be a part of the series is, April Bowlby as Elasti-Woman, Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane and Joivan Wade as Cyborg. Niles Caulder, Negative Man and Robotman will also be on the team.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS
From the moment DC and Warner Bros. made it clear they were creating a shared universe, fans began clamoring for a new Green Lantern movie. So far, the closest we’ve come is a quick glimpse in Justice League.
As the studio fully committed to the Worlds of DC, we heard they were working on a Green Lantern Corps film. With Geoff Johns announced as writer/producer we’re slightly interested, but we’ve been burned by Green Lantern in the past so you understand our hesitation.
HARLEY QUINN & THE JOKER
As the breakout star of Suicide Squad, DC instantly made plans to put Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in as many projects as possible. Since you can’t have Harley without Mistah J (unfortunately), a movie focusing on the two starring Robbie and Jared Leto is planned.
Though the characters are generally always fun together, these particular versions don’t have the best chemistry. It’s obvious Harley is the real star, so it’s hard to get excited about seeing her forced to play second fiddle to a weaker character.
Fans have always been fascinated with the assassin Deathstroke. His appearances on the series Arrow have only served to make the character more popular. Perhaps sensing the audience’s need for something new, Slade Wilson was confirmed as the villain for Batman’s solo movie and Joe Manganiello was cast.
With The Batman suffering a ridiculous amount of delays, the studio decided to focus on his nemesis and give Wilson a solo film. Though, now it seems that has stalled as well while everything concerning The Batman is worked out.
Confirming its supernatural vibe, DC Universe chose Swamp Thing as another of its new series. The story of a scientist desperately searching for a cure to his new mutated body is heartbreaking, tragic and fascinating.
The last time we saw the character on screen it was in a cheesy ‘90s series with low budget effects. The show is set to be produced by James Wan, which makes us a little more confident, since, if anyone can get it right, it’s him. However, it’s hard to shake years of awful live-action incarnations.
MAN OF STEEL 2
Let’s just be honest and say that as a Superman origin movie Man of Steel doesn’t serve the character as well as it could. In fact, we didn’t really get to see the Clark we’re familiar with until the end of Justice League.
Now that he’s been re-established as the Superman we know and love, perhaps Man of Steel 2 will be the Superman movie we’ve been waiting for from the Worlds of DC. Like many others on this list, this film is a long ways off, so it’s difficult to muster any interest in it yet.
When Warner Bros. and DC first announced its planned projects for what was then the DCEU, Cyborg was scheduled for a 2020 release. Once we saw Ray Fisher’s captivatingly layered performance in Justice League, we were definitely interested to see more of his life in an increasingly all digital world.
Following the complete restructuring of DC’s movie division many films were put on hold or taken off the schedule, one of them being Cyborg. While we are still unsure of the movie’s status, we have our fingers crossed that it still happens.
Frankly, we need a whole new list to recount all the rumors and problems swirling around The Batman. The thing is, we’re still excited, because it’s Batman and he always has interesting stories to tell.
Since his debut in Batman v Superman, the plot of his standalone has been everything from a “Year One” origin to “Death in the Family” to him taking on Deathstroke. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess what we’ll get or when we’ll get it, but we’re ready when it hits theaters because he’s Batman.
One recent announcement that really excited fans was Barbara Gordon/Batgirl written and directed by Joss Whedon. His work on The Avengers has made Whedon extremely popular with superhero movie fans.
Whedon said that he was probably going to use Barbara’s The New 52 story as source material, but then left the film after a year saying he couldn’t figure out a story. Since then there has been no information on the project. A Batgirl movie would be amazing, but there’s a small part of us that thinks she may be better suited for TV.
BIRDS OF PREY
With Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn stealing the show in Suicide Squad, DC wants to use her to introduce other female characters into the movie universe, and one of those movies will be Birds of Prey. The comics feature Batgirl, The Huntress and Black Canary forming a awesome superhero team.
This film would introduce Batgirl before she gets her own solo movie. Unlike some of the other projects on this list it actually has a director and writer attached, so that’s good news. Though it seems to have priority over Robbie’s other projects, we’re hoping it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
Gotham City Sirens features three of Batman’s most formidable female foes teaming up to take over the city. Margot Robbie is set to return as Harley Quinn, with the question being who will join her as Poison Ivy and Catwoman.
David Ayer was initially announced as the director, but he’s also set to work on Bright 2, so we honestly don’t know if he’s still doing this one. We’d love to see these three characters tangle on the big screen, but we haven’t heard anything about this in quite some time so we’re not very hopeful at this point.
DC’s most recent project put into development is centered around Supergirl. This is an interesting choice considering the popularity of The CW series. You would think that the company wouldn’t want to muddy the waters, however, word is they only have Henry Cavill for one more movie, so perhaps this is how they keep Kryptonian stories in the franchise.
The film is in development with Oren Uziel (The Cloverfield Paradox) writing the script. Tone will be extremely important here, as filmmakers will need to differentiate the movie from the much-loved TV show.
Since his days as Robin, Dick Grayson has always been popular with comics readers. Once he went his own way and became Nightwing, he gained even more fans. This Batman has been established as an older, war weary Bruce Wayne, which means Dick has long since left to be Nightwing.
Despite hiring director Chris McKay to put an action heavy stamp on the character, there has been little movement on the project. The hard truth is the delays on The Batman have affected the entire Bat family, though our excitement remains at a high level.
It’s not that we’re overly excited about a comic book movie focused on extraordinary WWII pilots. However, the fact that Steven Spielberg is producing and possibly directing creates and instant level of interest in anything.
We’ve seen Spielberg’s take on WWII before a few times and it’s always beautiful and fascinating. He continues to find new ways to tell a well known story, so we have to anticipate another captivating film with Blackhawk. Also, he’s a cinematic genius whose creations never disappoint and are always entertaining.
Despite all the Batman stories we’ve gotten on screen over the years, we’ve never really delved into the backstory of Alfred Pennyworth. As the trusted butler of the Wayne family, he raises Bruce following his parents’ demise and supports his life as Batman.
Recent incarnations played by Michael Caine, Sean Pertwee and Jeremy Irons have shown there’s more to everyone’s favorite butler, hinting at his past as a soldier or special operative. DC Universe will dig into his origin in Pennyworth and honestly we can’t wait to explore it.
With Arrow and Supergirl dropping hints about Bruce Wayne we knew it was only a matter of time before the Arrowverse expanded into Gotham City. With the announcement that this year’s crossover will introduce Batwoman, possibly leading into her own show, that expansion was made a reality.
Arrow has already taken a few liberties with some of Batman’s stories, so it will be interesting to see how Kate Kane will fit into the universe and what lore she brings with her. We’re ready for her interactions with Oliver, Barry, Kara and of course Cisco, who will no doubt freak out.
Fans of prolific writer/producer Geoff Johns know that he has wanted to make a Stargirl project for quite some time. With DC Universe needing new content to launch its service, he finally gets his chance.
The adventures of Courtney Whitmore will be developed into a 13-episode series. Given Johns’ personal attachment to the project, we know he’ll take care of the character. Johns is one of DC’s best writers, so it will be fun to see what he does with freedom to create a whole world.
There are a few directors who we’ve been waiting to see get into the superhero world, but honestly, these stories aren’t for everyone. We finally got our wish about Ava DuVernay when she was confirmed as the director for New Gods.
New Gods is one of those weird comic stories that we never thought we’d see on-screen. Apparently, it just needed the right director with the right vision. DuVernay will put the story above the effects, which is the most important factor in an over the top project like this.
The post All Of DC’s Announced Movies And TV Shows, Ranked By Interest appeared first on CBR.
“Spying on Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures” –Scientists Pursue Undiscovered Species of Whales Swimming Below – The Daily Galaxy
The Daily Galaxy
“Spying on Earth's Most Awesome Creatures” –Scientists Pursue Undiscovered Species of Whales Swimming Below
The Daily Galaxy
“Once upon a time—in the Eocene epoch—whales were quadrupeds. They walked on land. One primitive cetacean ancestor, Pakicetus, is thought to have been a canine-size, shore-living creature with a doggy tail and clawed paws. It probably had fur (hair ...
A lesson from krill and blue whales on happiness through humility
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Marvel Comics’ Star Wars: Poe Dameron#30, by Charles Soule, Arif Prianto, Joe Caramagna and Angel Unzueta, on sale now.
Star Wars: Poe Dameron is truly making up for the movies not fully fleshing out the Resistance’s hotshot group of X-Wing pilots known as the Black Squadron. They helped save Rey and Co. in The Force Awakens, but fans were disappointed when their leader, Poe, was the only one who appeared in The Last Jedi.
In Issue #29 though, which takes place after Leia’s army escaped Crait at the end of Rian Johnson’s movie, we found out they went on a side mission to recruit more rebels for the cause, ergo why they weren’t in the film. However, as Poe begins decoding the messages that he’s only now receiving, it turns out that the Black Squadron are in an even worse situation than first assumed.
The pilots have just discovered a secret weapon that’s helping the First Order establish a firm grip on the galaxy.
Issue #30 picks up with the pilots, fresh off a mission in Pastoria which showed how many planets were afraid to join the Rebel Alliance. Seeing the true state of turmoil in the Outer Rim, the transmission Poe’s receiving from the Squadron’s interim leader, Jessika Pava, details the next planet they’re trying to recruit: Ikkrukk, the home of an insectoid race of aliens. Before they can arrive peacefully though, they have to answer Ikkrukk’s distress call, not knowing the discovery they’re about to make.
The X-Wing unit finds the First Order’s cruisers laying waste to the planet’s central defense, Grail City, which shocks them because they have cannons, cruisers and ships that should easily be able to counter Supreme Leader Snoke’s army. However, Ikkrukk chief commander, Grist, radios in to tell them that the base’s control center has been shut down. She reveals this happened due to First Order sympathizers raiding the control center, acting like a terrorist cell and killing everyone off. They’re now in control, keeping all defenses down and leaving Grail City vulnerable for attack as they want Snoke to rule their homeworld.
With their flags and masks, it’s a scary notion because these are all normal citizens, seemingly backing oppression and dictatorship in a Nazi-like manner. Hearing Grist’s plight, the Black Squadron realizes their worst fears have come to life as such splinter cells are scattered all over various pockets of the galaxy, snuffing out potential rebels. Basically, they’re a resistance to… the Resistance.
What makes this so intriguing is that it’s a first for the Star Wars universe because so far, everyone we’ve seen backing the Galactic Empire or the First Order have been soldiers who have been recruited and militarized. Others were simply brainwashed or forced into duty. But this here is the first time we’re seeing such common folk doing the bidding of the villains so willingly, and standing against a liberated galaxy.
Poe also realizes that with such clandestine war-dogs on the ground, the First Order can now secretly infiltrate the Alliance and destabilize planets much more easily than if they were to arrive en masse in battalions. As the Black Squadron heads down to Grail City to raise the shields back up and get the planet back into war-mode, the issue jumps forward in time to Poe getting their second transmission from Ikkrukk.
Sadly, they’re badly wounded, leaving the experienced and new Resistance general in Poe wondering if Grail City and his friends actually survived the onslaught. Hearing of this ordeal is basically salt being rubbed into his wounds, as he now has to tell Leia and everyone else that Kylo Ren’s forces (seeing as he killed Snoke and took command) run deeper throughout the cosmos than they initially thought.
The post Marvel’s Poe Dameron Comics Just Revealed The First Order’s Secret Weapon appeared first on CBR.
Stranger Things has always been very clearly influenced by pop culture from its 1980s setting but Season 3 draws inspiration from an unlikely source.
Star David Harbour has confirmed that among the upcoming season’s influences is the 1985 Chevy Chase comedy Fletch. The popular comedy starred Chase as the eponymous reporter that investigates a millionaire that attempts to hire Fletch to kill him after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis.
“The Duffers are so specific each year with the movies,” explained Harbour in an interview with Variety. “Fletch is one movie we get to play around and have some fun with this season, which you wouldn’t expect from Stranger Things and you wouldn’t expect from the Spielberg universe and you certainly wouldn’t expect from a darker season.”
While the Netflix series’ executive producer Shawn Levy teasing that the new season will be the darkest and most action-packed yet, the comparison is not completely out of left field: Jake Busey (The Predator) is joining the cast this season as Bruce, a “morally compromised reporter” which may have parallels to Chase’s investigative reporter from the 80s comedy.
With Harbour having previously confirmed the third season is inspired by the cinema of 1985 to match its summer of 1985 setting, Fletch certainly fits the bill. Here’s to hoping for references to Back to the Future and Rocky IV will join the Chevy Chase comedy.
Stranger Things stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalie Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Priah Ferguson, Cary Elwes, Jake Busey, and Maya Thurman-Hawke. The third season is slated to premiere in summer 2019.
The post Unexpected Chevy Chase Comedy Inspired Stranger Things Season 3 appeared first on CBR.
Comics have been the center of a major industry for decades, and they continue to prove themselves popular well into the digital world. Over the years, countless writers and artists have put their talent to work creating characters, stories and whole universes we have all come to know and love. Unfortunately, not every story hits the mark and there have been more than a few that brought a franchise to its knees. Granted, just about every one of the examples we have included here only caused a temporary glitch in what has been a decades-long success story, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have an impact on sales and fan appreciation. Fortunately, fans tend to return to titles that don’t work when the creators fix them back into their original premise.
On occasion, a revamp or reboot will inject new life into a title that remained out of print for a while or had waning sales. When this happens, a single issue or run can save a series. Often, this takes the form of a relaunch and it can not only bring a series new life, it can reinvigorate an entire publishing library. Over the years, this has happened several times and there are many noteworthy examples. We dug through decades of comic book history and came up with 10 examples of books, events or miniseries that tanked and 10 that saved a series. There may be a few books we missed, so sound off in the comments and let us know your favorite reboots & retcons that saved superhero franchises (and 10 that tanked them).
SAVED: DC NEW 52
DC is no stranger to reboots, and one of its most recent turned out to be incredibly successful. DC launched the New 52 reboot in 2011 in an effort to completely revamp just about every one of its titles. As the number indicates, DC rebooted 52 books, slapped a #1 on the cover and recreated everyone in the DC universe… again.
DC changed its universe’s continuity and altered its characters. Most of the books did well and the reboot helped DC elevate interest in its books, which helped with sales. New 52 continued until the end of the “convergence” storyline, which again rebooted the DC Universe in 2015. The New 52 continuity continued, though the title was pulled from the books in June of 2015.
TANKED: SPIDER-MAN: THE CLONE SAGA
The “Clone Saga” was one of the most notorious crossover event in Marvel’s history. The event covered five Spider-Man titles and went on for way too long. It required a reader to purchase all of the books to have any clue what was happening and when they did, they ended up confused and angry. The final resolution ended up infuriating fans to the point Marvel had to undo the whole thing.
At the end of everything, it was revealed the Peter Parker we all knew and loved was nothing but a clone and the real Spider-Man was Ben Reilly the whole time. Reilly took over the five books and readers were supposed to simply accept the fact they had been reading about an imposter for decades. Fortunately, Marvel corrected this mistake, but it was a nonsensical mess lasting two years.
SAVED: LAUNCH OF MARVEL KNIGHTS
Sometimes, a successful series like Daredevil gets a boost from a revamp and that’s exactly what came from Joe Quesada’s take on the character with the creation of Marvel Knights. MK was an imprint of Marvel featuring some of its darker and grittier “street level” superheroes. Alongside Matt Murdock’s Daredevil, the imprint featured new takes on Black Panther, The Punisher and The Inhumans.
Daredevil wasn’t a poorly received title before MK came along, but the new imprint revitalized interest in the series. The storylines became darker and far more interesting than some of the previous work. Many elements of the new series were later adapted into the successful Netflix series suggesting MK’s influence was far more impressive than anyone could have imagined at the time.
TANKED: PUNISHER: AVENGING ANGEL
When Marvel launched Marvel Knights, not all of the characters ported over to the new format were changed in ways fans liked. Case in point, Marvel turned Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, into an “avenging angel” and the concept failed in every way imaginable. The Punisher was always a grounded anti-hero who didn’t have powers, didn’t need powers and didn’t want powers. Why not make him a supernatural angel then?
Castle wastes himself (off-panel) and meets up with his guardian angel. He is resurrected and given new powers allowing him to punish in the name of good with the hope of reuniting with his family in Heaven one day. Fans of the character hated the concept and the title had to be relaunched the following year. The time Castle was an avenging angel was never referenced in the books again.
SAVED: GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH
Back in the early ’90s, DC made the decision to get rid of Hal Jordan in the most epic way possible. Jordan became enraged, attacked and destroyed the Green Lantern Corps (wasting many of its members) and assuming the new identity of Parallax. The plan was to make way for a new Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, and it wasn’t a bad miniseries. After some time, DC rebooted the series once more with the plan to bring back Jordan. The result was Green Lantern: Rebirth, a six-issue miniseries.
Rebirth effectively relaunched the Green Lantern series by bringing Jordan back into the fold. Many elements of the Silver Age were brought back into the universe and the concept of overcoming fear to remove the “yellow impurity” allowed experienced members of the Corps to overcome their fear and become even more powerful.
TANKED: NEW 52 LOBO
While the New 52 helped to revitalize DC’s sales, not all of the titles worked as the company might have hoped. Revamping heroes and villains who have been around for years can anger fans, which led to a few titles tanking. One of the changed characters fans turned away from was Lobo. Changing him was risky and it didn’t work.
Lobo wasn’t the only book to tank in the new DC reboot. Other titles that performed poorly included the new Teen Titans, Red Hood & The Outlaws, Hawk & Dove and Suicide Squad. Many of these books failed due to the changes made to the characters within and fans simply weren’t interested. While some aspects of the New 52 failed, overall, the sales and interest in the series proved successful for DC.
TANKED: TEENAGE IRON MAN
Every now and again, someone gets hit on the head by the “good idea fairy” and reimagines someone like Iron Man as a kid. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened during the “Crossing” event that revealed the Tony Stark we all knew and loved was an evil minion of Kang. The Avengers figured the best way to deal with an evil Tony was to snag a Tony who had yet to be corrupted.
They plucked a teenage Tony from the timeline and got him to fight his older self. The old tony was defeated, but the young version was injured in much the same way he would have been in his future. This required a chest protector and a new Iron Man entered the Marvel Universe. It didn’t last long and after some alternate reality finagling, we got our old Tony back.
SAVED: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2008)
Not many fans outside of the core readership from the ’70s and ’80s had even heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy before Marvel released the film in 2014. Those who were aware of the original team might have been a bit confused by the roster who showed up on screen. Back in 2008, Marvel brought the cosmic team back into print with an all new look and feel… as well as a completely new roster of heroes.
Marvels’ Guardians of the Galaxy released in 2008 introduced the world to Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Quasar, Adam Warlock, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer and Groot. While these characters weren’t new, they had been around for a while, but gained new popularity. The success of the films proves this reboot saved the series considering Marvel continues to pump out books.
TANKED: HEROES REBORN
“Heroes Reborn” was a nearly year-long crossover even that saw the recreation/updating of almost all of Marvel Comics’ biggest superheroes. The event took place after the events of “Onslaught,” wherein the Avengers, Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom were all presumed deceased. It turned out, they were transported into a pocket universe by the near-omnipotent Franklin Richards. The people trapped in the “Franklin-verse,” were completely oblivious to their situation.
The plan for “Heroes Reborn” was to update Marvel’s lineup of heroes by bringing them into the modern age. Instead of fighting in World War II, characters like Ben Grimm, aka the Thing, were effectively moved through time to fight in the Gulf War. It made some sense, but the changes were widespread and hardcore fans didn’t appreciate all of their favorite heroes getting changed to suit a younger audience.
SAVED: HEROES RETURN
Following the events of the poorly received “Heroes Reborn” crossover event, Marvel brought most of its heroes back to Earth-616 via the aptly-titled “Heroes Return” crossover. When the Celestials got wind of Franklin Richards’ pocket universe housing the Earth-616 heroes saved from “Heroes Reborn,” they demanded he destroy one of the two universes. Instead of outright complying, he moved the denizens of 616 back into their home universe, effectively “returning” them to reality.
The relaunch saw the cancellation and relaunch of a number of titles including Fantastic Four, Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America and Journey Into Mystery, which was replaced by Thor. “Heroes Return” was the fix Marvel needed to repair the travesty that was “Heroes Reborn,” and it worked well enough for the publisher. Most fans liked the new changes resulting from the event.
TANKED: CAPTAIN AMERICA FOUGHT THE REDS
Captain America stormed into comic book history by punching Adolph Hitler in the face. Following up his time fighting in WWII proved difficult for Marvel and it’s no wonder why. After the war, there weren’t any titanic enemies to fight, but as tensions between the Soviets and the U.S. began to grow in the 1950s, it looked as if Steve Rogers might have a new enemy to fight: the Reds!
Marvel (called Timely Comics at the time) relaunched Captain America in 1953 so he could take on the Reds, but the lines between Commies and America weren’t as starkly drawn as WWII. The Communists provided more of an existential threat to the United States than a real, physical threat one like the U.S. had faced previously. The reboot never took off and Timely put the Captain on ice until the ’60s.
SAVED: GREEN LANTERN (V2, 1960)
When DC decided to relaunch the Green Lantern with a new book, it created a new world for many of its characters. Before the 1960s, Green Lantern was Alan Scott and his powers were based on magic. Everything changed with Green Lantern #1 thanks to the introduction of the Green Lantern Corps, OA and Hal Jordan. The whole mythos behind the character changed and it would have a lasting impact on both the character and the DC Universe as well.
The reboot came at a time when DC was rebooting a number of its Golden Age characters. Unlike the Flash, Green Lantern rebooted with a #1 and helped to bring about the creation of the Silver Age of Comics. In many ways, this book was a game-changer, not only for DC, but for the comic book industry as a whole.
TANKED: SPIDER-MAN: ONE MORE DAY
When Marvel launched the “Civil War” crossover event, Peter Parker threw in with Tony Stark. To support the Superhero Registration Act, he decided to put it all on the table and unmask on television in front of the world. It was a huge deal; Peter Parker was revealed as Spider-Man! Following “Civil War,” Aunt May was nearly taken out by a sniper and to save her life, Peter made a deal with Mephisto, but it cost him dearly.
To save Aunt May, he had to give up his relationship with Mary Jane Watson. Doing this effectively erased their entire history together and decades of comics were wiped out in an instant. The deal also erased the world’s knowledge of his secret identity. Overall, fans hated the retcon and “One More Day” received a lot of negative attention from the readers.
SAVED: MARVEL NOW
Marvel’s decision to retool its main books worked when the publisher launched Marvel NOW! in 2012. The reboot focused on a retooling of the majority of Marvel’s biggest books. The initiate kicked off with the Uncanny Avengers, which combined several members of the X-Men alongside the Avengers. Another new series, the All-New X-Men featured the writing talents of Brian Michael Bendis, and the series did incredibly well.
The biggest change featured in the Marvel NOW! series of books involved the death of Peter Parker. Not only did Parker get taken out, he was replaced by his longtime nemesis, Doc Ock! That series relaunched as Superior Spider-Man, which also sold like crazy. Of course, everything reverted to normal, but not for a couple of years.
TANKED: “THUNDERSTRIKE” THOR
Sometimes, changing a beloved character works well for a publisher, while other times… not so much. The changes made to Thor that saw him renamed as Thunderstrike is the latter. The change came following the mortal wounding of Eric Masterson. Odin granted him the power of Thor to keep him going and then gave him a mace called Thunderstrike so he could continue operating as Thor.
Thunderstrike failed to pull in much of an audience. The character was essentially Thor with a beard, a ponytail and a killer jacket instead of a cape. He didn’t bring anything new to the character, his storylines were relatively dull and he was ultimately abandoned for the more fashionable Thor we all know and love to this day.
SAVED: VALIANT (2012)
Valiant was an up-and-coming comic book publisher throughout most of the 1990s, but lagging sales and the loss of Jim Shooter as its Editor-in-Chief led to its eventual downfall. The company was picked up by Acclaim and the books lost most of their creative control, which ultimately spelled doom for the company. Characters including Turok, Solar: Man of the Atom, Bloodshot and X-O Manowar fell to the wayside of comic book publishing.
Fast forward to 2012 and Acclaim launched its “Summer of Valiant,” which was the reintroduction/rebooting of the majority of Valiant’s titles. X-O Manowar, Harbinger, Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong all relaunched with tremendous sales and the company continues to create amazing content reminiscent of its golden age.
SAVED: MAN OF STEEL
John Byrne did a lot of things when he got to work on the 1986 series, The Man of Steel. He not only reimagined Superman’s origin story, he effectively relaunched DC Comics following the Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Post-Crisis time period began with the publication of this series and considering the major changes made to the DC Universe, this book marks an important milestone in the publisher’s history.
Superman’s origin had been in place for decades before this book hit the shelves. Byrne was stepping on something sacred, but he did it with a clear reverence for the character. The Man of Steel miniseries quickly went on to become a classic that fans not only appreciate, but collect to this day.
TANKED: BEFORE WATCHMEN
Alan Moore’s The Watchman is one of the most celebrated graphic novels of all time. While the film wasn’t beloved by the author and many fans had their issues with it, the movie did fairly well. Because of this, DC decided to bank on the success of one of its best graphic novels by expanding it into a prequel series titled Before Watchmen. The only problem: DC didn’t have Alan Moore on hand to support it in any way.
Moore famously hates any adaptation of his work (including the film) and called the project “completely shameless.” The books didn’t perform well in sales as there was little interest in looking back into the lives of the characters. DC published eight limited series and a one-shot though two were initially planned.
SAVED: IRON MAN (V4, 2005)
When Marvel decided to relaunch Iron Man with its fourth volume in 2008, the company made one of the most important decisions in its history. Warren Ellis relaunched the series by updating Tony Stark into the 21st century. Instead of fighting against Communists as he did during the 1960s, he battled terrorists and was given the Extremis virus. The book sold like crazy, but more importantly, it helped launch the MCU.
The most notable result of the reboot was the inspiration it provided for the 2008 film, Iron Man. That movie launched the MCU and increased Marvel’s stock as an entertainment company to the point Disney acquired it. Relaunching Iron Man resulted in one of the most important financial decisions Marvel ever made, but it was also a creative milestone fans greatly appreciated.
TANKED: DEATH OF SUPERMAN
This book sold like gangbusters, making it the most commercially successful issue of 1992 with more than $6 million in sales. Superman #75 was hailed as a powerful story, which was subsequently adapted into video games, a live-action film and an animated movie released in 2018. The reason it is on the “tanked” side of things has to do with how it impacted the industry.
Many felt this was a publicity stunt, and while it did double DC’s market share, it furthered the speculation market to the point that comic books began dropping in sales. A bubble was created wherein people bought multiple copies of issues, hoping their value would increase, and it ultimately popped causing a downward trend in the industry. It took years to recover, which makes Superman #75 a milestone of success, but ultimately failure for comics.
The post 10 Superhero Reboots That Were Huge Hits (And 10 That Totally Tanked) appeared first on CBR.
DC’s Tom King is just over halfway through his 103-issue run on Batman, with the biggest recent development being the failed wedding between the Dark Knight at Catwoman. With fifty issues still left to go, however, Batman is still far from being out of the woods.
Series writer Tom King has now confirmed that Scott Snyder’s massive Dark Nights: Metal series would have a major impact on his own Batman book going forward.
On Twitter, a fan asked King where exactly Metal, No Justice and Justice League fit into the timeline of his Batman comic. King responded, “In my mind, unofficially, I put them between 49 and 50. [Scott Snyder’s] epic Metal in particular has a huge role to play in Batman going forward.”
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) August 19, 2018
Given the fact that Dark Nights: Metal not only did a lot with the Batman mythos, but also essentially opened the multiverse floodgate, it only makes sense that its story would leak into other Batman comics, especially one as prominent as King’s. However, exactly what kind of effect Metal will have of King’s Batman remains to be seen.
It has previously been confirmed that Metal‘s big villain, The Batman Who Laughs, will return at some point, but for now, readers will have to wait and see if he will make his big return in King’s Batman or in another book.
Written by Tom King and illustrated by Matt Wagner, Batman #54 (the next issue in King’s run) hits shelves on Sept. 5.
The post Dark Nights: Metal Has A Big Impact On the Second Half of Tom King’s Batman Run appeared first on CBR.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Injustice 2 #71 by Tom Taylor, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Rex Lokus and Wes Abbott, on sale now.
The Injustice 2 comics have mostly been about war, but lately things have been dialed back. A more diplomatic turn has taken the spotlight as Batman (Bruce Wayne) has convinced the leaders of the free world, led by United States President Jefferson Pierce (aka Black Lightning), to seek out peace with Atlantis and Ra’s al Ghul’s military forces.
The Dark Knight’s finally looking at uniting and rebuilding the world, however, things aren’t as peaceful as they seem with Gorilla Grodd looking for vengeance against Ra’s and his general, the white gorilla Solovar.
In Injustice 2 #71, with this drama unfolding in Gorilla City, Jefferson is presented with a very important choice regarding Grodd’s impending coup, and, sadly, he makes the wrong decision, betraying everything Batman’s Resistance stands for.
The issue opens up with Green Arrow and Black Canary babysitting their kids, as well as Jefferson’s and Harley Quinn’s at the Oval Office. The day of fun quickly ends though, as the president is called into the Situation Room to deal with a matter of national security. There, Chairman Sam Lane (the father of the deceased Lois) informs him their satellites have picked up Grodd’s army sneaking up on Gorilla City to take it back and kill Ra’s and Solovar.
Jefferson initially wants to send a warning to his new “allies,” due the recent treaty and whatnot, but Lane convinces him otherwise. He says all they have to do is feign ignorance and whatever transpires there, no one can be blamed for. Lane is clearly hurting from losing his daughter and doesn’t want to let any villains off the hook. After all, Joker did trick Superman into killing his daughter.
The chairman plays the president like a fiddle, reminding him how Ra’s and Solovar kidnapped his kids, as well as the children of the other members of the Resistance, in an act of war months ago. They did get the kids back, but remembering this clearly dredges up bad memories for Jefferson, and so he decides to listen to Lane’s advice, leaving Grodd to continue his takeover — which coincides with Orca and Croc’s wedding there — and distracting his rivals.
When Jefferson’s asked by Ollie, Canary and Harley when he reenters the Oval Office if something’s up, he downplays things, declaring his meeting “a false alarm.” However, the Resistance members aren’t buying it, recognizing the president’s lying. But he has to, because he can’t let them know he’s breaking the ceasefire negotiation, which Harley and Batman worked so hard to achieve.
If word does get out, it’ll jeopardize this peace everyone’s working so hard for, which is why Jefferson wants everything kept under wraps, especially so that Batman doesn’t find out.
The sad thing is, Jefferson’s action — or in this case, inaction — will inevitably have dire consequences, because as we know from the video game’s story mode, Grodd regains control of Gorilla City and forms his Secret Society, empowering Brainiac’s invasion. Lies aren’t usually associated with Black Lightning’s character, but here, by breaking the trust Batman placed in him, he hasn’t just doomed towns or cities, he has doomed the world.
The post Injustice 2: [SPOILER] Betrays Batman’s Resistance appeared first on CBR.
Bringing super villains to life on the big screen is not easy task, and not in just terms of keeping them true to their comic book origins in terms of personalities and motivations. Adapting their often brightly colored and ornate costumes to make sense in the real world is equally daunting. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has handled this pretty well. From Loki’s bright green and gold-horned ensemble to Ghost’s white, super-futuristic suit, just about every MCU villain looks fantastic on-screen. Unfortunately, the villains of the X-Men film franchise have a more of scattershot success rate in terms of well-adapted costumes. Some have been true to their comic origins to a fault, while others have make modern tweaks to outfits that were originally created back in the ’60s.
But good or ill, the costumes of the X-Men film franchise are always interesting in terms of adaptation. Even the heroes have been criticized and praised in equal measures in terms of their costumes. But the villains are pretty fascinating all the same, even when characters who are often seen as heroes play the role of baddies. For every cool Magneto costume we get, there is an equally lame one that blazed the trail before it. We suppose that the good and bad come equally, but the order in which they appear is not set in stone.
BAD: DARK PHOENIX
The problems plaguing X-Men: The Last Stand are not really on the hands of the cast. In fact, for the most part, just about everyone is cast perfectly as their respective mutants, including Famke Jansen as Jean Grey. The biggest issue in the film is actually the horrible adaptation of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s classic X-Men arc “The Dark Phoenix Saga.”
This take on Dark Phoenix was awful and spat in the face of what Phoenix originally represented. Instead of an external force corrupting the X-Men’s infallible good girl character, the world-shattering power was in Jean all along. The least the filmmakers could have done what at make her look like she did in the comic. Instead, we got dime store Scarlet Witch.
The mutant known as Caliban has come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes he’s a hulking beast and other times he’s a svelte leather-clad creepy goth-looking dude. And while his appearance has changed due to various external factors in the ever fractured X-Men comic continuity, there hasn’t been a real constant aesthetic for Caliban other than his skin tone being chalk white.
This hasn’t stopped the character from popping up twice in the (almost) equally fractured X-Men film series continuity. Caliban was dressed to the nines in the film X-Men: Apocalypse. Elements of the thinner version of the character were incorporated and he was given a defining look. Something about black satin and gold trim framing the lily face just screams “don’t trust this guy.”
BAD: EMMA FROST
Some costumes just don’t make sense outside the realm of comic books… in fact, a lot of them don’t really make sense in them either. But context matters when it comes to comic book costumes. Emma Frost, for example, has been the subject of many overly-explotative moments in X-Men history, but these moments were often at her behest. Frost uses her womanly wares as a mark of power.
Sadly, when she was brought to life in the film X-Men: First Class, that power was not there. And while, yes in both the comics and the film she’s basically wearing white lingerie, seeing it come to life diminishes the impact of her sultry authority.
Say what you will about her diminished role in X-Men: Apocalypse or the acting ability of Olivia Munn (she’s fine, by the way; she just didn’t have much to work with), but the telepathic ninja assassin Psylocke looked awesome on-screen. The costume team took her iconic look from the ‘90s (which was definitely popularized by Jim Lee) and adapted it to film without making it look ridiculous.
This is further proof that when it comes to translating comic book character costumes to the big screen, color schemes matter. And while the outfit she wears in the film is more attributed to when she’s actually playing the role of hero instead of villain, the fact it looks as good as it does is still amazing.
BAD: SILVER SAMURAI
You know what we love? Awesome supervillains in state of the art battle armor who have unparalleled fighting skills and a knack for cool aesthetics. What we don’t love is cheap CGI monstrosities putting a damper on the final act of what would have been otherwise a pretty good film. The Wolverine’s interpretation of Silver Samurai shirks the former and fully embraces the former.
This version of the character went so far to avoid what makes Silver Samurai awesome as to not even give his alter ego, Kenuichio Harada, the mantle. Instead, Silver Samurai was a giant, hulking mech worn by an old megalomaniacal man. Maybe if Silver Samurai looked more like a samurai and less like Shredder, we’d be raving about The Wolverine more often.
GOOD: MULTIPLE MAN
It’s easy to forget Jamie Madrox ever showed up in an X-Men film. His appearance in the often maligned X-Men: The Last Stand was brief and mostly used for one gag. While Australian actor Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy), who portrayed Multiple Man in the film, didn’t really get enough screen time to determine whether or not he was the right fit for the character, he certainly looked the part.
The yellow splitting atom design on the green T-shirt popped and utilizing the more subdued green motorcycle jacket was a great choice for adapting the character to the big screen. We’re thankful he didn’t show up wearing his trench coat and ridiculous skullcap.
BAD: JUGGERNAUT IN X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
Casting Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels) as Professor Xavier’s villainous half-brother, Cain Marko (better known as Juggernaut) is not a bad idea on paper. Jones certainly has the stature and brutish charisma the character calls for, but the execution in X-Men: The Last Stand was atrocious.
Look, Juggernaut’s domed helmet is not inherently cool, but why the good people who designed the character’s costume in the film decided to make it look worse is beyond us. Also, the weird strappy gear poor Vinnie Jones is saddled with wearing is laughably ridiculous and would be better suited for a Masters of the Universe character. Give the man a giant green tiger to ride!
GOOD: JUGGERNAUT IN DEADPOOL 2
Now this is more like it. While technically a giant computer generated character isn’t actually wearing a costume, the version of Juggernaut we got in Deadpool 2 was leaps and bounds cooler-looking than his on-screen predecessor. While the CGI was a bit spotty at times and he was in a yellow prison jumpsuit, this is the best version of the character from an aesthetic point we’ve seen on screen (and that includes the animated version).
The filmmakers were able to make that goofy helmet Cain Marko wears actually look cool. This coupled with the exaggerated size of the villain, something that is laughably insane in the comics as well, made for a Juggernaut we’d love to see again.
Rebecca Romijn looked amazing as the shape-shifting mutant assassin, Raven Darkholme, better known as Mystique. The makeup effects were incredible and the fact she leaned into practically baring it all was pretty brave. But that being said, it’s hard to replicate a costume from a famous comic villain if the on screen version isn’t wearing anything.
That’s the catch on this one. Mystique has a very cool, and instantly recognizable get up in the comics, one that would have translated to live action wonderfully. Maybe the special effects people were worried about staining white fabric with all that blue body paint. Regardless, even when Mystique would be seen with more stitching in the “prequel” films (this time played by Jennifer Lawrence), the outfits were bland.
GOOD: SEBASTIAN SHAW
Let’s address the elephant in the room right off the bat: Kevin Bacon was not our first pick in portraying the Hellfire Club Black King, Sebastian Shaw. In fact, Bacon isn’t anywhere on our shortlist, but somehow, he kind of makes it work in X-Men: First Class. Sure this is the comic book version we were familiar with, but it’s a cool take on the character.
Aside from more or less keeping his powers true to the comics (especially in the area of showing you how dangerous they are) the costumes for Shaw are on the money. While they may not have that Victorian flare, they are rather posh and fit the character wonderfully.
BAD: LADY DEATHSTRIKE
X2: X-Men United is arguably the best X-Men film in the franchise (despite having one of the worst titles), but there are a few cracks in its armor. One of the most notable is how the film handled and portrayed Yuriko Oyama, better known as the Wolverine villain, Lady Deathstrike.
There has been a lot of ill will toward actress Kelly Hu’s casting of the character seeing as how she is of Chinese decent, while Deathstrike herself is Japanese. But outside of this obvious cultural casting faux pas and the complete lack of character backstory, the costume design for her in the film was as bland as the black leather get-ups the X-Men wear.
GOOD: WILLIAM STRYKER
The on-screen version of known mutant-hating zealot William Stryker is different than the version of the character in the comic books in the fact that his profession shifted from evangelical fanatic to decorated military man. The veracity of the villain, however, was never diminished. And thanks a series of amazing actors, all three incarnations of the character in the X-Men film franchise are terrifying.
Whether it’s Brian Cox’s worn madness or Danny Houston’s stern righteousness or even Josh Helman’s young, snide take on the character, William Stryker is always dressed as an opposing figure who wields his authority with an iron fist. The fact such a mad man is put together so well only adds to his evil.
BAD: DEADPOOL IN X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
Tomes filled with rants railing against the version of Deadpool fans got in the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine could be written (and one of them would most likely be penned by Ryan Reynolds, himself). While the getup Wade Wilson sports early in the film before his abysmal transformation certainly hearkens back to the red costume from the comics, the shirtless, mouthless, tattooed monstrosity in the final act jumps the shark and turns back to run it over.
Some choices are just plain headscratchers and Deadpool’s appearance is one of them. Why the filmmakers thought this change would somehow make sense in any context is beyond us. Maybe if it looked even remotely cool it’d get a pass… probably not, but maybe.
Change can be a scary thing for some comic book fans. However, a certain level of compromise is often met when adapting comic characters to live action. It is often in a film’s best interest to try and ground the more ostentatious costumes some of its character wear in their source material. A prime example of this is actor and martial artist Ray Park’s costume as the mutant Toad in X-Men.
While the general color scheme of Toad can still be seen, the goofy jester costume the character is known for in the comics is completely ditched and replaced with something a bit more modern.
One of the biggest missteps the X-Men film franchise has taken (and trust us, there have been quite a few) is how the character of Warren Worthington III has been handled. While Ben Foster was a fine Warren in X-Men: The Last Stand, he got very little character development and even less screen time.
When X-Men: Apocalypse boasted having not only Warren back, but a version of Archangel, we were hopeful we’d get at the very least an aesthetically-pleasing version of the character. Sadly, Archangel was pretty lame and didn’t have much going for him. At the very least you think they could have made him blue. Perhaps a test audience felt there was too many blue characters already.
GOOD: MAGNETO IN X-MEN APOCALYPSE
Big, goofy helmets are hard to take seriously on-screen, and for whatever reason it took the X-Men film franchise several attempts to make one of comics’ most iconic big, goofy helmets look cool. In fact, Magneto in X-Men: Apocalypse looked pretty awesome from top to bottom. The power imbued mutant rocked an ensemble that borrowed bits and pieces from Magneto costumes over the years, while still keeping the classic red and purple color scheme.
To be fair, there are a few shots where the costume make look a little janky, but overall it’s one of the more comic accurate X-Men villains get-ups we’ve seen on the big screen.
BAD: MAGNETO IN X2: X-MEN UNITED
“Here comes Grandpa in his cossack and silly hat to punish homosapiens for being intolerant jerks.” As amazing as Sir Ian McKellen’s portrayal of Magneto was, his costume took several films to get even remotely interesting. In fact, it wasn’t until his scene in the dystopian future in X-Men: Days of Future Past that McKellen’s Magneto outfit was anywhere near its comic book origins or had any sense of flair.
Now, to be fair, a lot of the costumes in the first few X-Men films were… well, terrible. But Magneto’s was so boring it made us wonder why he bothered with one in the first place.
Okay, full disclosure: the character of Azazel in pretty terrible. He was the crux of one of the worst X-Men comic arcs ever committed to print, which is “The Draco,” just in case you wanted to know what to avoid like the plague, but the fact of the matter is he does look kind of cool.
Adding him to the roster of the Hellfire Club in their first and only on-screen appearance in X-Men: First Class was certainly an odd choice, but English actor Jason Flemyng (Snatch, From Hell) not only played the part well for what little he had to work with, his red visage and slick, black suit looked awesome in action.
Oof, this was a bit of a tough one. Honestly, we are not envious of anyone tasked with trying to bring one of the biggest X-Men villains to life by means of practical effects. But bless the creative team’s heart, because in X-Men: Apocalypse they tried just that with the titular mutant villain. And the result was… well, not great.
The ultra-talented Oscar Isaac was giving it his all as the ancient villain, but he just couldn’t fill the (literally) big shoes of the character. Now this isn’t a swipe at Isaac’s stature, but the effects team seemed to have done very little make Apocalypse look truly imposing. Also, would it have stressed the makeup team to give him those hydraulic lips?
Sometimes subtly works best. You don’t need to have a hulking WWE wrestler run around in tight spandex on-screen — they usually do that in their day job. When it comes to the character of Sabretooth, his first appearance in the original X-Men is mostly forgettable. But this is, of course, not fault of former pro wrestler Tyler Mane’s performance. He did what he needed to do: look big and imposing.
And he nailed it. The other aspect of Sabretooth was his outfit. It was simple and conveyed the savagery of the character as if he was truly a man of the wilderness, like a crazed Paul Bunyan without a personal hygiene regiment.
The post X-Men: 10 Villain Costumes That Looked Bad On-Screen (And 10 That Fans Actually Liked) appeared first on CBR.
Next to Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, there are very few Mighty Morphin Power Rangers villains who can come close to Lord Drakkon in terms of villainy and popularity. Now, fans of the character will finally be able to get their hands on a collectible that will be sure to fly off the shelves: a Funko Pop! vinyl figure of the uber-villain.
The Funko Pop! figure of Lord Drakkon was announced this weekend at Power Morphicon, an Anaheim-based convention for fans of the Power Rangers only. The artwork for the figure was unveiled, showcasing the character’s signature helmet, costume and weapon that has made him an instant fan-favorite. Limited to only 30,000 pieces, the Pop! figure will be a Previews exclusive collectible.
Lord Drakkon made his debut in BOOM! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 in November 2016. Since then, the character has become the main antagonist of the massive “Shattered Grid” comic book storyline, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the franchise. Underneath the red-visored Ranger helmet, Drakkon is an alternate version of Tommy Oliver, the fan-favorite Green Ranger who was played by actor Jason David Frank in the original Power Rangers television series. Drakkon hails from a dystopian alternate universe where he is much older, scarred and the cruel tyrant of Angel Grove.
In this parallel reality, Tommy allied himself with Rita, and helped the evil sorceress take over the world. Not only did he defeat the Power Rangers, he took the power of a new, ultimate Ranger created by Zordon for himself. With the Black Dragon zord monster at his command, Lord Drakkon has become one of the most iconic villains in the franchise’s 25-year history.
“We’re excited about this Lord Drakkon Funko POP! and we think fans will be too because he’s such a captivating, yet twisted character,” Erique Watson, Dimaond Previews Brand Manager for Toys said. “Right now, there isn’t much Lord Drakkon merchandise available and this will give fans a chance to get their hands on an exclusive collectible associated with the Power Rangers’ Shattered Grid storyline, one of the biggest comic book events of this summer.”
The Power Rangers license now belongs to toy-giant Hasbro, who plans to mine the franchise to its fullest potential — starting with a sequel to the 2017 live-action movie, Power Rangers. As viewers might recall, Tommy Oliver was teased in the mid-credits scene of that film. Could Lord Drakkon be far behind?
The Lord Drakkon Funko Pop! figure will retail for $11.99 and will hit store shelves January 2019.
The post Power Rangers’ Villain Lord Drakkon Scores His First Funko POP! appeared first on CBR.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Venom #5 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin and VC’s Clayton Cowles, on sale Wednesday, August 22.
Everything is changing for the symbiote known as Venom. In the new ongoing series by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, Eddie Brock has learned the secret history of his alien counterpart. Everything you thought you knew about Venom is wrong, so it makes sense that in Venom #5, the alien symbiote would show off an all-new power.
So far the series has delved into the hidden mythology behind the Klyntar, revealing the entire race was a creation of the entity known as Knull. The symbiote god has now come to Earth looking to reclaim his dominance over the alien race he originally conceived as a weapon of conquest. Despite help from Miles Morales aka Spider-Man, Venom proved to be no match for his maker.
The latest issue opens following their daring escape from Knull’s symbiote dragon, as Miles and Eddie fall from the sky. Unable to figure out how exactly to get out of this tricky situation, the symbiote reveals a new ability to fly. Venom grows wings and seemingly brings everyone to safety, but the real question is how exactly is this even possible?
Perhaps Venom simply learned a new trick, or maybe he figured out how to do it by watching his creator. The series has done a good job changing your perception of the titular anti-hero, so you can be sure an explanation is coming. Let’s just hope this new power can go a long way toward defeating Knull.
The answers are coming August 22, when Venom #5 hits the stands. Can a flying Venom change the tide of battle, or are they just delaying their inevitable defeat?
The post One Of the Symbiote’s New Powers Manifests in Venom #5 appeared first on CBR.
It’s about time!
SyFy’s infamous Sharknado franchise is set to finally end with the premiere of The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time, which is set to debut on the network this evening. While the franchise has proven to be a phenomeon of sorts, overtaking social media, and becoming an annual event for fans, there’s no denying that the Sharknado films are as terrible as they are entertaining. And The Last Sharknado looks set to take the cake as the final installment introduces time-travel — and dinosaurs! — into the mix, as seen in the final trailer.
Poking fun at other genre films, the trailer for The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time begins by stating it’s based on “the incredible true story,” before showcasing The Today Show’s Al Roker who urges viewers to go outside and enjoy the beautiful day, insisting there may not be another one like it. Naturally, this segment is quickly followed up by bad CGI sharks invading the beach as a Sharknado forms over the ocean, before the emergence of Ian Ziering’s Fin Shepard as he goes back in time to try and reset things — only to see a Shark devour an unsuspecting T-Rex.
And as if that wasn’t crazy enough, Fin finds himself face to face with people he thought to be dead… in prehistoric times… at Merlin’s castle. From there? Well, the trailer only gets crazier.
The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid and features appearances by Vivica A. Fox, Tori Spelling, Dee Snider, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. The film is set to premiere tonight, Sunday, August 19 at 8pm ET on SyFy.
The post Final Sharknado Trailer Delivers with a T-Rex Battle, Dragon Sharks appeared first on CBR.
Mark Wahlberg has been a Hollywood darling since his starring role in 1997’s Boogie Nights. Since then, he’s made a name for himself in such films as Three Kings, The Departed and The Fighter, cementing his place as a marquee talent, and a formidable producer. His career has taken some interesting turns over the past two decades, of course, with projects like Ted, The Happening and Daddy’s Home, but a recent report that Wahlberg was once eyed to play Green Lantern in the so-called DC Extended Universe hints at an intriguing path not taken.
Although the role of class DC character Hal Jordan obviously didn’t materialize in that cinematic universe during the era of Zack Snyder, Wahlberg’s performance in Mile 22, in theaters now, suggests he may be the best Green Lantern we’ll never see on the big screen.
In director Peter Berg’s espionage thriller, Wahlberg’s James Silva is the leader of an elite covert-ops team that’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the world from terrorists. His unit comes off very similar to what we’ve seen the Green Lantern Corps do over their decades in DC comics. Silva breaks the rules, goes behind enemy lines and takes out anyone who threatens global peace. They way he leads his squad feels very much like Hal Jordan, especially after Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver reintroduced him to the DC Universe in Green Lantern: Rebirth.
Wahlberg showcases how good he is at taking troops into battle. The way his character talks back so passionately to his superiors is reminiscent of how Hal often opposed the Guardians of Oa, always ready to stand up for what he believes. Silva also isn’t a mindless weapon, simply programmed to do whatever he’s told by his CIA handlers, instead questioning orders as he escorts an informant through hostile territory to a plane waiting to whisk him away to the United States. What makes this comparison so fitting is that Hal and his fellow Green Lanterns are well known for transporting informants and prisoners across the galaxy. In other words, Wahlberg is basically pulling Green Lantern duty here, except the setting is Earth, the backdrop is the war on terror, and he doesn’t have the benefit of a sci-fi power ring.
It’s not only the action aspect of Wahlberg’s career that draw this comparison to Hal, a former test pilot turned guardian of the galaxy. Sure, Mile 22 is violent and gritty, but Wahlberg’s other roles have showcased his comedic timing and the ability to display an ego that rivals Hal Jordan’s. Wahlberg perfectly nailed this blend of badass and comedy required to portray Hal — or, heck, Guy Gardner — in such projects as The Other Guys, Daddy’s Home and Pain & Gain.
Given Wahlberg’s star power, he wouldn’t have been a bad pick to build a franchise around, and would have added extra oomph to an early DCEU roster that included Ben Affleck, Will Smith, Jared Leto and Henry Cavill. He’d have fit in among them as the space cop of Sector 2814. Wahlberg has geek cred, with such credits as Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, Max Payne and Transformers movies (arguably his best mix of action and humor), so he’s no stranger to this area of pop culture.
Ultimately, Silva’s accomplishments as a soldier, and more so, as a leader in Mile 22, are driven by the fact he’ll do anything to get the job done, even if it means blurring the lines — Hal’s most iconic trait in the line of duty. Tom Cruise may have been rumored for the role, but Wahlberg as a Green Lantern definitely has an appeal to it, based not just on Mile 22, but his entire body of work.
His rugged looks, muscular physique and quality as a leading man would have been the right ingredients for bringing Hal Jordan to life, but as of now, all we can do is wonder what could have been had he taken the Green Lantern oath.
The post Mark Wahlberg Really Could’ve Been the Best Green Lantern appeared first on CBR.
In 2009, Rocksteady Studios set a new standard for superhero video games with Batman: Arkham Asylum. Based, of course, in and around the infamous Arkham Asylum that houses Gotham City’s criminally insane, the game put Batman directly inside the island prison, after the Joker had released all the inmates. And that was just the beginning. Critically acclaimed and commercially successful, it started out as an ambitious open world game based, somewhat loosely on the comics and became a sprawling universe with its own canon and mythology. There have been three sequels since it first came out: Batman: Arkham City, Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: Arkham Knight, along with a VR game and four mobile games. The Arkhamverse has also spawned four comic book tie-ins, two novels, and even an animated movie… this time, based loosely on the game.
It takes a long time to make a video game and sometimes it keeps things interesting for the developers to put well hidden elements and references into it. Known as Easter eggs, the Arkham games are packed with secrets and references to the Batman mythology and even previous games. It’s become a game in itself for fans to dig and explore, and to find the Easter eggs, but even if you’ve run through each game a thousand times, you might not have found them all. That’s why CBR decided to run down 25 Easter eggs only die-hard fans would have noticed in the Arkham games. It’s time to dust off the old disks, fire up your console, and go back to Arkham… if you dare!
The following contains SPOILERS for all four of Arkham games.
RA’S AL GHUL’S BODY
One of Batman’s most well funded and powerful enemies is Ra’s al Ghul, the leader of the League of Assassins/Shadows (depending on the version). He became a central figure in the sequel Arkham City, but there’s only a brief but creepy Easter Egg for him in Arkham Asylum.
In one level, Batman goes into a morgue and you’ll find a body in a vault with a toe tag that says “Ra’s al Ghul.” However, if you go back later on in the game, the body will have disappeared. The idea is that his body was retrieved by one of his followers and later revived at the Lazarus Pits, which bring al Ghul back to life.
THE JOKER MANNEQUIN
In the game, as in the comics, the Joker is Batman’s mortal enemy. It’s his plan that releases the prisoners on the island, and he’s everywhere coordinating the chaos during the game. He was actually in more places than the player might have noticed.
For instance, in the Arkham Asylum Visitor’s Room, Batman runs into what appears to be a mannequin of the Joker with a television for a head. If the player looks around for a while and looks closely at the mannequin, they would have seen that the mannequin’s arms have changed position. That was a hint that the “mannequin” was actually the Joker himself.
In 1997, the movie Batman and Robin put the Batman movie franchise in jeopardy with its campy humor and outrageous sets. One of the most controversial decisions was casting George Clooney as Batman. Arkham Asylum threw that in as an Easter egg in the game!
After Batman has rescued two other characters — Cash and Dr. Kellerman from a room filled with the Joker’s laughing gas, you can look from the main room back into the smaller room they were trapped in. You’ll see a ticker scrolling by with a garbled message, “Dr. Clooney report to Gynecology.” That’s a reference to George Clooney who played a pediatric doctor on the TV drama ER.
One of the most popular features of the game were the “interview tapes” scattered around Arkham Asylum. When found, players could listen to them to hear the recordings of therapy sessions with various inmates. They were a cool and occasionally creepy addition to the game and collecting them was a nice side quest.
In the first interview tape for the Scarecrow, you’ll hear the names Dr. Murphy and Dr. Combs mentioned. Both doctors have the last names of actors who have played Scarecrow. In 1997’s The New Batman Adventures, Jeffrey Combs was the voice of Scarecrow, and Cillian Murphy played Scarecrow in 2005 with Batman Begins.
Bane has proven himself a ruthless and strong villain over the years but with a childhood that almost makes him sympathetic. Bane was literally born a prisoner, forced to serve a life sentence for his father’s crimes. As a child, one of his only friends was a stuffed teddy bear named Osito that means “little bear” in Spanish.
In the first Arkham Asylum game, Batman faces off against Bane, powered up with Venom. If you watched closely, you would have seen an Easter egg in the room right before the encounter where a worn teddy bear is on the ground, his childhood bear Osito. Seems like Bane is still sentimental about it.
There are dozens of inmates running around Arkham and quite a few more sitting in cells, so you’d be forgiven for not noticing one seemingly insignificant prisoner but he was pretty important. In fact, he’s one of the few people in the game who exists in the real world.
In 2008, Rocksteady held a contest to promote Arkham Asylum where the winner would get to be in the game. The winner was Luke Oliver and the game designer was true to its word, because Oliver can be seen as a prisoner in the control room. His name is also found in the Joker’s Party List.
HARLEY’S PREGNANCY TEST
The relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn is one of the most twisted in all of comics. The Joker loves only fear and mayhem, and Harley is his former psychiatrist who fell in love with him and became his partner in crime. While she loved him, he delighted in abusing her.
Arkham City put a dark twist on their relationship. When Batman reaches the Joker’s Steel Mill, the Manager’s Office has Harley Quinn’s costume next to a pregnancy test. The test is positive, implying that she is pregnant with the Joker’s child. This was later reversed in the “Harley Quinn’s Revenge” DLC, where we saw negative pregnancy tests, but it was a cool idea while it lasted.
Batman has a ton of cool gadgets to play with in Arkham Asylum, and one of the most useful is the Cryptographic Sequencer. The Sequencer allows Batman to unlock doors, listen in on radio broadcasts, and hack computers.
After beating the Arkham City game, the Cryptographic Sequencer will let the player find three different messages on three different signals that had real-world ciphers to decode. One cipher can be decoded as “I will return, Batman.” The second is “You will pay for what you have done to me.” The third is “fear will tear Gotham City to shreds.” The code word to unlock the third cipher is “Scarecrow,” foreshadowing the villain in the later sequel, Arkham Knight.
THE JOKER’S GOODBYE
A great added feature in Arkham City was the “Catwoman” DLC that allowed the player to take control of Catwoman to play her own quest. Her DLC actually had a connection to the main story with a hidden message referencing the Joker’s demise.
In the “Catwoman” DLC, Episode 3 gives you the choice of saving Batman or escaping with loot. If you decide to take the loot, you get a horrible ending; then the game rewinds for you to try again. While it’s rewinding, you can hear a voice in reverse. If you reverse that reversed footage, you can hear the Joker saying “Thank you for the entertainment, Bats!”
THE DUALITY OF MAN
One of the reasons that Batman and the Joker are such a great pair is that they’re such perfect opposites. Batman is about darkness and the Joker about light. Batman fights crime and the Joker causes it. That’s why the Joker’s final end was so iconic, and Arkham City drives it home with the final scene.
The final scene of Batman carrying the Joker’s body was echoed at one point of Catwoman’s story. On one level, we saw a painting called “The Duality of Man” showing the Biblical Cain carrying the body of his brother Abel. The pose copied the scene of Batman carrying Joker’s body, showing the almost sibling rivalry between the two.
THE FALLING TRAIN
In 2005, the movie Batman Begins literally reinvented Batman by showing his origin as a young man trained by Ra’s al Ghul to become a ninja. Their relationship ended when Batman left him to face justice on a falling train. That moment was captured in Arkham City.
At one point in the game, Batman was forced to undergo the surreal world of the Demon Trials. He drinks from a chalice that causes him to see a dream landscape of ice, odd structures, and train tracks. During his journey, there was a moment where you could see a train falling off its rails in the background, referring to the ending of Batman Begins.
When the video game developer Rocksteady Studios released Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, it was a brand new company that had only released one game before, Urban Chaos: Riot Response. Arkham Asylum put it on the map and the company called back to its roots in Arkham City.
One villain who appears in the game is Calendar Man, a psychopath who takes lives on holidays. He’s in a cell below the courthouse that Batman can visit. If the player visited Calendar Man on holidays (or changed the time settings on their game console or PC), Calendar Man would say different things related to the holiday. Setting the date to December 13 2004 would cause Calendar Man to say a unique message. That’s the date when Rocksteady Studios was founded.
Even those who are only casual fans of Batman know his origin story, one of the most famous origins in comic books. When he was a young boy, Bruce Wayne’s parents were shot in front of him by a mugger. Their loss caused a lifelong obsession with fighting crime and protecting the innocent.
Arkham Origins paid tribute to that moment. There are optional missions called Case File Reports that are playable in the game, and one is a crime that takes place in Crime Alley. The crimes happened in the same spot where Batman’s parents met their end and when he reconstructs the crime scene, Thomas and Martha Wayne’s bodies appear briefly in the chalk outlines.
In 1993, the animated movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm flashed back to an early chapter in Bruce Wayne’s life where he met and almost married a beautiful socialite named Andrea Beaumont. In the present, he chased after the Phantasm, a mysterious vigilante taking out mobsters. In the end, he discovered Beaumont was also the Phantasm, and the Phantasm has returned in comics and TV shows.
In Batman: Arkham Origins, two postcards can be found on the floor of the Batcave, right across from the Batcomputer. They’re from Rome and Paris addressed to Bruce Wayne, and have the signature of Andrea Beaumont.
SCARECROW CHECKS IN
Arguably the master of fear, Dr. Jonathan Crane is a psychiatrist so obsessed with fear that he began creating it himself. With a scarecrow costume, he became a master criminal who started using a gas that caused people’s fears to come to life.
Scarecrow became the main villain in Arkham Knight but he was seen and mentioned in previous games. One of the most subtle Easter eggs came in Arkham Origins where you can see Crane has signed the Blackgate Prison visitor log. It shows Crane signed in but never signed out, meaning he was still there during the time Batman roamed the city.
This one will be a really deep dive into Batman’s lore, so we wouldn’t expect most fans to get it. Throughout the Arkham games, Batman would listen in on the enemy radios, picking up different conversations between random thugs. At one point in Arkham Origins, some thugs aboard the Final Offer mentioned Lefty Knox.
One of Batman’s most underrated skills is his mastery of disguises. Throughout his history (though with less frequency in recent years), Batman has taken on different characters to go where he or Bruce Wayne couldn’t go. One of those characters was Lefty Knox, a one-armed thief who pretended to join the gang of Doctor Aesop, but was really the Dark Knight.
Batman: The Animated Series was a landmark in Batman’s canon, introducing people like Harley Quinn and Harley Bullock, but it also brought back established characters like the Joker. The Joker’s first appearance on the series was in “Christmas With the Joker” where his first line was the first stanza to the song “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells.”
In Arkham Origins’ final encounter with the Joker in Blackgate Prison, Joker sings a variation of the song “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells.” The best part is that Mark Hamill was the voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series and Arkham Origins.
Two of the toughest bosses in the original Arkham Asylum were Mister Hammer and Mister Sickle, two formerly conjoined twins who were left with one arm to swing their signature weapons. Also known as the Abramovici Twins, the two were earlier separated at the shoulder at some point before joining the Joker’s gang.
We didn’t learn much else about them in the first game but Arkham Origins hinted at a possible look to their past. At one point in the Batcave, Alfred told Batman that his friend Dr. Thomas Elliot had called about a pair of twins in surgery. Besides the fact that Elliot became the villain Hush, fans also believe the pair of twins are the Abramovici Twins.
HALLOWEEN WITH MANBAT
Rocksteady loves to put Easter eggs into it’s games based on time. One of those Easter eggs is in Arkham Knight, a celebration of Halloween. In the game, Batman fought Robert Kirkland Langstrom, who fused himself with animal DNA to become Man-Bat. Once you’ve captured him and put him in a cell in the Gotham City Police Department, you’re ready for October 31.
If you set the time on your console or PC to that date in 2015 and go back to the police station, you’ll find him secure in his cell as a human. But once you’ve started flying around Gotham again, you’ll get jumped by Man-Bat. Sure enough, if you go back to the cell, he’ll have escaped. Spooky.
Victor Zsasz is one of the more creepy and brutal villains that Batman has faced, but also one of the most basic. He doesn’t have weird powers or a quirky theme or even a costume. He’s just a psychopath who likes to end people. His hook is that he cuts a tally mark into his flesh every time he takes someone’s life, and he’s covered in tally marks.
Zsasz first made an appearance in Arkham Asylum when he took guards hostage and Batman has to rescue them. The Easter egg came in Arkham Knight when Batman was trying to review camera footage of a riot at the clocktower. At one point, Victor could be seen on the lower left corner.
RA’S AL GHUL
At the end of Arkham City, the Joker passed away from poisoning from his Titan formula. The scene of Batman carrying the Joker has become iconic for the series. In fact, they decided to copy the scene for Arkham Knight.
In Arkham Knight, Batman had the chance to echo that moment with Ra’s al Ghul. If the player chooses “Destroy Lazarus Machine” in the finale, Batman will carry Ra’s al Ghul to take him to the Gotham City Police Department. That scene perfectly mirrors the “Duality of Man” moment where Batman carried Joker’s lifeless body at the end of Arkham City.
The Penguin was a major enemy in Arkham City, and one of the big moments in the game came in the Cyrus Pinkney’s Institute for Natural History. That’s where the villain kept the great white shark named Tiny that ate everyone who fell into the water tank. Batman had to navigate the frozen pool while rescuing taken police officers.
It seemed like the fate of Tiny was revealed in Batman: Arkham Knight. In the Cauldron Distant of Bleake Island, Batman is going through Falcone’s Shipping Yard and at one point, we can see a great white shark hung by a massive hook. It seems like the shark was caught after all.
THE SECRET BUTTON
Most older Batman fans have a great love for the campy 1960s TV show. It was a goofy treat with slapstick humor, but also had some really cool and clever gadgets for the Caped Crusader. Rocksteady obviously has a fondness for it, too, because it put a reference to the old show into the game.
In the Clock Tower where Oracle and Batman work together, there’s a bust of William Shakespeare. Folding back the head reveals a button to push. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the same bust with a hidden button was used in the 1960s TV show to open the secret entrance to the Batcave.
Batman is one of the oldest and most popular superheroes in the world, and certainly in the DC universe. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics ##27 with a cover date of May 1939. That moment was captured in Batman: Arkham Knight at the Panessa Studios level.
Panessa Studios was a run-down film studio in Gotham City where Batman was chasing five people including Johnny Charisma, who had been tainted by the Joker’s blood. At one point, Batman needed to unlock a door and found out the code was 0539. Now that you know the date of Batman’s comic, that code probably makes more sense.
CALENDAR MAN’S END
Calendar Man was once a gimmick villain who would plan crimes based on holidays or days of the week. That changed in 1996’s Batman: The Long Halloween (Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale) where Calendar Man became a Hannibal Lecter type of mentor to Batman, and that’s the version who appeared in the Arkham series.
In an Easter Egg from Arkham City, Calendar Man referenced Long Halloween when he said he was there at the beginning of Batman’s career and predicted he would be there at Batman’s end. In Arkham Knight’s final scene, a crowd surrounds Wayne Manor and you can see Calendar Man among them. That’s the kind of attention to detail that made the game so awesome.
The post Asylum? I Barely Know ‘Em: 25 Things Fans Missed In The Arkham Games appeared first on CBR.
Six Things About NASA’s Opportunity Rover Recovery Efforts, Silent Since June 10 – SpaceCoastDaily.com
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