Greetings from the Odinson,
Last weekend, the Odinson went into the archives and pulled out a cult classic – Streets of Fire: A Rock-n-Roll Fable. This 1984 noir action/adventure is the right kind of good on so many levels. Not only is it popcorn entertainment at its best, not only does it have a fist-pumping soundtrack, but its cast may be the single greatest convergence of pop culture icons in the history of cinema.
The story goes like this. In a time period ambiguously set around the 1950s, Ellen Aim (Diane Lane) is the biggest pop star in the land. She returns to her hometown to perform a rock show. That’s when a biker gang, the Bombers, led by Raven (Willem DaFoe), attacks the concert and kidnaps Aim. Local diner operator, Reva Cody (Deborah van Valkenburgh), who witnesses the whole crime, contacts her estranged brother, Tom Cody (Michael Pare), a military vet with a troubled past and a romantic history with Aim, to come to his ex-girlfriend’s rescue.
Aim’s manager, Billy Fish (Rick Moranis), hires Cody for the job. A surly Army vet named McCoy (Amy Madigan) tags along as Cody’s driver and second. The makeshift team of heroes invades the Battery, the home turf of the Bombers, and raids the bar Torchie’s, the Bombers’ HQ, and take Aim back by force. Not willing to let this slight go, Raven and the Bombers force a showdown where Cody and Raven duel wielding sledgehammers for the fate of Aim as the Bombers and local citizens watch.
Now if you’re asking yourself what does any of this have to do with comic books or pop culture, allow me to explain.
Michael Pare (Tom Cody) who played in another cult classic, Eddie in the Cruisers, you may also recognize from his roles as Tony Villicana in The Greatest American Hero and his recurring appearances in the BloodRayne movie series. The eternally beautiful Diane Lane (Ellen Aim) along with her many, many other roles has portrayed Judge Hershey opposite Sylvester Stalone in Judge Dredd, and she will play Ma Kent in the Man of Steel. She has also been married to both Christopher Lambert (Tarzan of the Apes, Highlander) and Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex, Men in Black III).
Then there is Rick Moranis (Billy Fish) who, of course, is very well known for his memorable role as Louis in the classic film Ghostbusters. But his pop culture cred doesn’t stop there. He’s also provided memorable roles in Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and played Barney Rubble The Flintstones.
You may recognize Amy Madigan (McCoy) from her role as Marilyn Dunham on Fringe. She is married to Ed Harris who is an actor seen in Creepshow, The Abyss, and The Stand. Then there is Willem Defoe (Raven) who you may recognize under all that make-up if you look really close as Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire. He was, of course, Norman Osborn in Spider-Man. And, he has done voice acting for John Carter, The Simpsons, and Family Guy. And, Deborah Van Valkenburgh (Reva) you may remember from her roles in episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Quantum Leap. But I remember her from the cult classic gang drama The Warriors.
NOTE: Here’s a bit of trivia – Defoe was actually a finalist to play the Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie, a role that went to Jack Nicholson.
But the pop culture fun doesn’t stop there. Richard Lawson (Officer Price) has had roles in Scream Blacula Scream, Poltergeist, and V. Rick Rossovich (Officer Cooley) was the ill-fated boyfriend in The Terminator and the cocky Slider in Top Gun. Robert Townsend (Lester) is known for his comedy writing and his role in the superhero spoof Meteor Man. Grand L. Bush (Reggie) you may recognize from his roles as Special Agent Johnson in Die Hard and Balrog in Street Fighter.
Rounding out our amazing cast of pop culture icons is Elizabeth Daily (Baby Doll) who some of you may recognize as a voice actor from the animated shows Rugrats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The New Batman Adventures, and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But she is probably best known as the voice of Buttercup in The Powerpuff Girls. Lynne Thigpen (Subway car Driver) is the iconic voice of the DJ in The Warriors. And, the prolific character actor Ed Begley, Jr. (Ben Gunn) has not only had parts in Battlestar Galactica, This is Spinal Tap, and Batman Forever, but he has also done voice acting for Batman Beyond, Static Shock, and he was the voice of Charlie Collins in the Joker’s Favor, one of the all time greatest episodes from Batman: The Animated Series.
And finally there is the great Bill Paxton (Clyde). Not only does he steal every scene he has in Streets of Fire, but his resume is a laundry list of cult and pop culture classics. He has memorable roles in The Terminator, Weird Science, Commando, Predator 2, True Lies, Twister, Titanic, Thunderbirds, and the upcoming 2 Guns. But nothing compares to his legendary performance as the foul-mouthed, ill-equipped to handle a high-stress pressure situation Colonial Space Marine Hudson in Aliens. “Game over, man, game over!”
So there you have it - Streets of Fire: A Rock-n-Roll Fable – it is Sin City meets Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and if you get the chance to check it out, it comes with the Odinson’s highest recommendation.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
Entries Tagged as Pop Culture
June 14, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
May 10, 2013 · 4 Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Popular properties are a big part of the comics market. Properties like Star Wars (Dark Horse), He-Man (DC), GI Joe and Transformers (IDW) have not only grown to become staples but over the years they’ve grown so big that it’s hard to imagine pop culture without them in it. From The Ghostbusters to Doctor Who, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, these franchises have carved out a notch for themselves in the industry and have proven time and time again that they have a loyal fan base.
Even with all these franchises still going strong there is still plenty of gold to be mined. There is so much untapped goodness out there. The 1980s alone is rife with pop culture gold, so many awesome properties just sitting out there in the ether not being used. In the right creative hands some of these properties could become mega hits.
Inhumanoids – When underground exploration awakens an ancient nest of Lovecraftian horrors and unleashes it upon the world, mankind is faced with a danger of apocalyptic proportions. The only thing standing in the way of these monsters is Earth Corps, scientists equipped with advanced battle armor, and their allies, a mysterious race of elementals that have a connection to the Inhumanoids. It’s Iron Man meets Pacific Rim.
ThunderCats – A small band of refugees escape their doomed world and crash land on a lush paradise planet full of vibrant vegetation and life, but this world is also home to unspeakable evil. Now this small band of heroes, each with their own unique skills and abilities, must fight for survival against pirates, assassins, mutants, and, worst of all, a deadly ogre-mage whose immortal dark power is rivaled only by the mystical power of the Sword of Omens. It’s the X-Men meets Dungeons & Dragons.
The Herculoids – On the far side of the galaxy, a courageous family that has sworn off advanced technology fights alongside prehistoric monsters to protect their cosmic resource rich planet against the invading space pirates and tyrants that seek to plunder it for their own devilish schemes. It’s Swiss Family Robinson meets Godzilla.
Centurions – Power X-Treme! In the not too distant future, mankind is threatened by the terrorist Doc Terror, a mad scientist that transformed himself into a deadly cyborg. The only ones standing in his way of global domination are the Centurions, brave men who have fused their bodies with super science that gives a single man the firepower of an entire regiment. It’s The Terminator meets GI Joe.
Just to name a few.
But for the Odinson, the Holy Grail of ‘80s properties that is in dire need of a modern day renaissance is Thundarr the Barbarian.
This animated gem was created by Steve Gerber (Howard the Duck) and featured character designs by Alex Toth (Super Friends, Space Ghost) and Jack Kirby (Fantastic Four, New Gods). Set in a post-Apocalyptic world of feudal territories ruled by malevolent wizards, Thundarr is the tale of a brave hero armed with his fabulous Sunsword who rides across the land alongside his companions Princess Ariel and Ookla the Mok and battles the forces of evil. This cartoon had some of the most memorable villains in action/adventure history. From the two-faced wizard Gemini to an alien vampire from beyond the stars to the Brotherhood of Night, a pack of deadly werewolves, Thundarr and his allies faced dangers undreamed of.
As Thundarr and his allies ride across the post-Apocalyptic landscape, a keen-eyed viewer can spot certain geographical features of a bygone era. A ruined Hollywood sign, a destroyed Statue of Liberty, a weathered Alamo, or fallen down skyline of the Las Vegas strip lets the viewer know what locale that week’s adventure is taking place in. Thundarr the Barbarian has all the potential in the world of being something really cool, something special. It’s Conan meets Jericho.
Since it’s been out of the popular consciousness for so long, the tale should start at the beginning and unfold by introducing the readers to this fantastic world and its denizens. Whatever company decides to pick this property up needs to have the creative team watch the intro to the cartoon and draw inspiration from it.
The voiceover goes as follows:
The year: 1994. From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, unleashing cosmic destruction! Man's civilization is cast in ruin! Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn... A strange new world rises from the old: a world of savagery, super science, and sorcery. But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice! With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his fabulous Sunsword against the forces of evil. He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!
It would only take minor tweaks to bring the tale up to the 21st Century, and the premise has already been laid out. I figure start at the beginning. The first four-issue story arc can set up this post-Apocalyptic world and show how Thundarr and his companions meet and introduce the catalyst that is the driving force that sets them out on their quest for justice.
Here’s the Odinson’s take:
Issue one would begin with a two to three-page introduction that closely mirrors the intro of the cartoon. Instead of using the cataclysm date of 1994 (a date which has obviously come and gone) I would use the foreboding and timeless description of - In the not too distant future… Then, as in the original cartoon intro, go on to describe the destruction of civilization (again, the artist should draw inspiration from the original cartoon intro) and end the introduction with – 2,000 years later, Earth is reborn…
The next page would be the splash-page and read: “Chapter One: A World of Savagery…!” NOTE: The title of each of the first four issues would be callbacks to the original cartoon introduction. Issue two would be “Chapter Two: Super Science!” Issue three – “Chapter Three: Sorcery!” Issue four – “Chapter Four: He is Thundarr the Barbarian!” Not only would each issue’s title be a callback, but it would also set up the theme for that particular chapter. “Savagery” would be the running theme throughout issue one, “Sorcery” would be the theme for issue three.
We would begin our story as a peaceful barbarian tribe is suddenly and viciously attacked by a horde of mutants and monsters under the command of the evil wizard Sabian. The men of the barbarian tribe are brutally slaughtered as the women and children are forced into slavery. A particularly rebellious young blond boy catches the eye of the wizard. This boy’s name is Thundarr.
As the issue unfolds, we see Thundarr grow up in slavery, forced to work in the mines and quarries under the rule of the evil wizard. Thundarr routinely has the lash taken to him for his rebelliousness. He is forced to fight for survival in a gladiator arena for the amusement of the wizard, his guests (a good spot to have cameos by other evil wizards like Gemini, Kublai, and Morag), and his monstrous subjects. However, this cruel life only serves to strengthen not only Thundarr’s resolve, but his body as well.
Then one day Thundarr is brought before the wizard in chains. Having reached manhood and now at the peak of his strength, Thundarr, to the horror of his slavers, bursts his bonds and leads a rebellion against the wizard. He is joined by Ookla the Mok, a monstrous catlike humanoid whose people are also enslaved by the wizard, and Princess Ariel, a beautiful sorceress who was taken in as Sabian’s adoptive daughter after the evil wizard murdered her parents.
The first issue ends with the slaves free of Sabian’s rule and the demise of the evil wizard. Thundarr, with Ookla and Ariel at his side, embarks on a mission to free all the lands from the evil wizards that rule them with an iron fist. The next three issues can include how Thundarr obtains his greatest weapon – his fabulous Sunsword – and also set in motion a greater over-arcing plot for the series, a quest for a powerful artifact that can free the world from the power of evil wizards forever. A subplot would be the discovery of the origins of what caused the planetary cataclysm 2,000 years ago that led to this world of savagery, super science, and sorcery, and our heroes and the readers will learn that maybe it wasn’t such a cosmic “accident” after all.
Thundarr the Barbarian is so a comic I would want to read.
BraveStarr, Crystar, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Underdog, Bionic Six, The Spiral Zone, The Mighty Or-Bots, MASK, Visionaries - there are so many other properties just sitting out there, waiting for somebody to come along and mine gold from them once again. Hey, if My Little Pony has proven anything, it’s that properties from the ‘80s still have a core fan base and some of those properties can find a voice in this modern market and attract a new generation of fans.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
May 03, 2013 · 2 Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
One year ago this weekend Marvel, under the guidance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator Joss Whedon, released The Avengers worldwide, and a true pop culture phenomenon was born. Once every ten years or so, a movie comes along that raises the bar just a bit higher. Though there are many really good movies, rarely does a film actually live up to expectations, or even better, surpass them. In my lifetime there have been four such movies. Again, there have been many really good movies, but I’m talking about the game changers, those movies that are so good that to simply call them good is a severe understatement.
In 1977 it was Star Wars. This sci-fi fantasy about a young farm boy from a backwater planet that meets up with an old wizard and a pirate and goes on a quest to save a princess from a dark knight and defeat an evil Empire bent on universal domination IS the bench mark by which all other space adventures will be judged. In 1994, it was The Crow. This dark gothic tale of love loss and revenge showed the world that comic books aren’t just for kids, especially when the creators and talent behind the project really have something to say. In 1999, that film was The Matrix. Up until this New Millennium sci-fi masterpiece hit theatres, movie making had become simply business as usually. After this senses-shattering film opened everyone’s eyes, creators everywhere at that moment tore up whatever they were working on and went back to the drawing board. And now, 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers can be added to the list.
One year later, I sat down over the weekend and re-watched The Avengers and yes, it still holds up. It has (and this is huge for ME to say this) surpassed Richard Donner’s original Superman (1978) as THE greatest comic book movie of all time. This is the movie I’ve waited my whole life to see, so my expectations were sky high. The Avengers not only met my lofty expectations, it blew them out of the water. Anybody that says they don’t like this film either has an agenda or they’re doing a bit. This film delivers the goods.
It is no shocking revelation to learn that I am a huge Thor and Captain America fan. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that I was overjoyed to see them finally adapted into high quality movies. But through those amazing characters I have become a huge Avengers fan. There is nothing better in comics or film than seeing your favorite heroes from across your favorite universe assemble to take on a mammoth threat too powerful for any one hero to stand against alone. It’s Seven Samurai, The Alamo, The Dirty Dozen, and Ocean’s 11. There’s a reason why concepts like Defenders of the Earth, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Prophecy, and Masks work. People love their heroes, and they especially love it when they team up together for the greater good.
The groundwork was laid with Iron Man, starring the perfectly cast Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. The march toward pop culture immortality continued with Marvel introducing the mighty Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger to movie audiences. Yes, DC and Warner Bros. have had huge success, both critically and financially, with Batman, but their other icon, Superman, has not been in a worthwhile movie in over three decades. The Green Lantern movie was mildly entertaining at best and other DC icons like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Flash can’t even sniff the Big Screen. So, fingers crossed that this summer’s Man of Steel film is awesome and sets the stage for a Justice League movie.
NOTE: If you really want to see what an awesome Justice League move could be like, check out the cinematics for Injustice: Gods Among Us on YouTube. DC Comics and Warner Bros. don’t have the courage to make a Justice League movie this awesome.
I am a huge Joss Whedon fan and could not be prouder of the man as he gave us his best directorial undertaking yet. He manages to squeeze in his signature humor and, using his years of experience on ensemble shows like Buffy, Angel, and Dollhouse, he masterfully juggles the huge cast of characters. And thanks to the legacy of the Avengers movie, Whedon is now helming a SHIELD television series set in the Marvel Movie Universe!
The legacy of The Avengers movie reaches far and wide. First, it took a B-List character like Hawkeye and made him a household name with his scene-stealing antics in the film. So popular has the Earth’s Mightiest Marksman become that Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye is actually nominated for an Eisner Award this year. Hawkeye?! I always liked Clint Barton, especially his interaction with Steve Rogers [see Captain America (1st Series) #317 and Captain America (3rd Series) #4 for a couple of memorable ones] and it’s good to see this character get the recognition he deserves.
The Avengers movie also finally showed the world how to use the Hulk properly. As strong as the Jade Giant is, given the nature of the character, he works better when he doesn’t have to carry the picture on his own. Now, that being said, I’d still love to see a live action adaptation of the classic Planet Hulk story. If done right, PH and World War Hulk could be epic.
Finally, the Avengers movie set the stage for Phase Two of the Marvel movies. Iron Man 3 and Thor: Dark World in 2013, Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, and it all leads into Avengers 2 hitting theaters in 2015, which is rumored to feature the Marvel Universe’s ultimate Big Bad – Thanos the Mad Titan, as teased in the end credits of the first Avengers flick. And it doesn’t stop there. Rumor has it that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are both slated to appear in the next Avengers film (see Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in 'Avengers 2'). How long before the name Vision starts getting mentioned? Plus, in the wake of Avengers 2, there will be an Ant-Man movie and a film featuring Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts.
If you love comics and movies, right now is a fantastic time to be a Marvel fan!
For the Odinson, in over thirty years nothing had ever challenged Superman: The Movie for the best comic book movie of all time. Iron Man and The Dark Knight came close, but it’s The Avengers that has finally knocked the Man of Steel off the top of my mountain. Not only is The Avengers now the greatest comic book film of all time, like Star Wars, The Crow, and The Matrix, it is a benchmark by which all other films of its kind will be judged.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
April 26, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Ghosts. Goblins. Werewolves. Vampires. These are the things of nightmares. Myths and legends put forth throughout the centuries to frighten and explain the unexplainable. In literature and film, these creatures of the night have grabbed a firm hold of the imagination and carved out a notch for themselves in pop culture. Though they are to be feared, these “monsters” are not necessarily all bad. For every Poltergeist there is a Casper. For every Jareth there is a Gizmo. For every Reverend Lester there is Jack Russell. For every Dracula there is a Lestat. Not all creatures of the night are bad. And these are not the only monsters of myth and legend that can straddle the line between good and evil. There is another legend that has captured the imagination of man for generations and is still alive and well in pop culture today – the Witch.
For centuries, witchcraft has been feared and some have even been hunted down and disposed of for practicing their wiccan ways. The infamous Witch Hunts of Salem are probably the most well know. But in modern times, with a modern wiccan movement and popular shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, witches have taken on a much more benevolent slant.
Witches come in two categories – Wicked and White.
The wicked are usually portrayed as ugly old women with long pointy hats who fly through the night on their broomsticks seeking out the good and innocent to prey upon. If they are not trying to lure children into their houses made of gingerbread they are hard at work on a devilish brew which bubbles in an enormous cauldron. When they are not casting spells and cursing their neighbors with misfortune, they are stealing the youth and beauty of young girls.
The White Witch is a benevolent creature, a healer, a seer, a protector. They usually help our hero in his quest by providing guidance, information, and/or sanctuary. They are usually beautiful beyond description. They are wish fulfillers, making dreams come true and asking for nothing in return. They usually bestow their enchanted gifts with the help of their signature magical wands. They are the fairy folk of the wood, the purveyor of lost souls, kindly old women who provide wisdom.
The Wicked Witch
The Wicked Witch of the West – This green-skinned hag is every bit as wicked as her namesake. She is the ultimate cliché, from her black pointy hat down to her flying broomstick. She wants desperately to get her clawed hands on the magical Ruby Slippers and she has an army of flying monkeys at her disposal to get the job done. Her one weakness is H2O. Apparently all her wicked and cruel magic cannot save her from melting away into nothing once she is doused by a bucket of water.
The Queen (Wicked Stepmother) – Her obsession with her enchanting beauty is only equaled by her wicked cruelty. When her magical mirror reveals to her that there is another girl in the land whose beauty surpasses her own, the evil Queen makes it her mission to destroy this unsuspecting rival. Using the dark arts, she disguises herself as a kindly old woman and offers a poisoned apple to the young girl. One bite bewitches the young girl and Snow White falls into an unnatural sleep, a living death from which she can never awake unless the spell is broken by true love's first kiss.
Haggar – Haggar is a cruel witch from Planet Doom and loyal servant of evil King Zarkon. Her dark powers can control minds, create illusions and strike terror in the weak willed. Her most notorious accomplishment was actually using the dark arts to split the mighty robot Voltron, Protector of the Universe, into five separate lesser robots. She currently uses her dark powers to create Zarkon’s Robeast, vicious monsters with great destructive power.
Maleficent – This Mistress of Evil is an especially cruel and powerful witch. Scorned by her lack of invitation to the christening of the new born princess, Maleficent curses the child to prick her finger on her 16th birthday and die by that day’s sunset. Her dark power is horrible and she has even shown the unearthly ability to transform into a dragon, a creature of immeasurable destructive power.
Witch Hazel – Don’t let the grandmotherly charm of this green-skinned hag fool you. She wants nothing more than to lure young trick-or-treaters into her humble abode where she can add them as her secret ingredient for her latest stew. With an ear-piercing whistle she can summon her flying broom and track her prey down in a flash. Luckily, she is not the best pilot and has a tendency of flying into doors. Her demeanor can turn on a dime from motherly to murderous, and if there is a meat cleaver within arm’s reach, you’d better run. Her high-pitched witch’s cackle is infectious and with a click of her heels and a cloud of hairpins left in her wake, Hazel is the witch that you can’t help but love and fear at the same time.
Evil-Lyn – Her olive skin and enchanting beauty belie her ruthless and wicked intentions. Evil-Lyn’s cruel laugh can strike fear in her enemies and allies alike. Her evil magical prowess is only rivaled by the good Sorceress of Castle Grayskull. Even Skeletor is weary around her. She can summon lightning, shape-shift, teleport across great distances, and enchant the minds of men. She is a powerful force for evil and an enemy never to be taken lightly.
The White Witch
Glinda the Good Witch of the North – This ethereal beauty is the guide and protector of Dorothy as she makes her way through the enchanted realm of Oz. She provides wisdom and insight and, if need be, magical assistance. Though it is not clear just how powerful she is, her magical abilities are at least respected by the cruel Wicked Witch of the West. Glinda is clearly loved by the denizens of Oz and the comforting light that radiates from her can be felt by all of those around.
Scarlet Witch – Wanda Maximoff is the daughter of the most notorious super terrorist in the Marvel Universe and one of the most powerful mutant heroes in the world. Using hexes, she is able to manipulate probability and channel Chaos Magic. For years her immense powers were largely out of her control, but under the tutelage of the witch Agatha Harkness, Wanda has learned not to necessarily control the Chaos Magic within her, but to harness it and redirect it in a more positive manner. However, due to the nature of her powers, Wanda has been susceptible from time to time to bouts of mental weakness and succumbed to her more base desires (see The Witch on Wundagore Mountain, Darker than Scarlet and House of M). This is something that she struggles with even to this day. The Scarlet Witch is a prominent member of the Avengers and is, without a doubt, one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Willow Rosenberg – Willow grew up as a wallflower, an unassuming, shy girl with a crush on her best friend and a penchant for getting bullied by the head cheerleader. Then she met Buffy Summers, and her extended knowledge of computers and natural book smarts came in real handy when dealing with the force of darkness. As the years went by, her thirst for knowledge leaned toward the supernatural and eventually Willow became the most powerful witch in the world. Like the Scarlet Witch though, Willow’s delving into the dark arts and a horrible life trauma have led her down a dark and terrible path. She almost destroyed the world in a bout of grief, but the love of her friend pulled her back from the brink. Now, Willow is able to channel the power of the Goddesss, as can be seen by the illuminating white light that engulfs her when she uses her magic. This onetime unassuming, shy wallflower from Sunnydale High is on an epic quest to restore magic to the world. And if anyone can accomplish this feat, it’s the most powerful witch in the world.
Fairy Godmother – When poor Cinderella was downtrodden and without hope, her Fairy Godmother magically appears and makes all her wishes come true. Using her magic wand, she transforms a pumpkin into a stage coach, mice into men, and Cinderella into the most beautiful woman at the ball. She then sends Cinderella off to the castle to meet Prince Charming who falls in love with her and eventually takes her away from her life of servitude.
Fin Raziel and Cherlindrea – These two witchy women help the diminutive Willow Ufgood and the swordsman Madmartigan in their quest to protect the baby Elora Danan so that she can fulfill her destiny to topple the mad Queen Bavmorda. Raziel is a powerful witch who was betrayed and transformed by Bavmorda’s dark sorcery. Using Cherlindrea’s magical wand, Willow, an aspiring magic-user, restores Raziel to human form. Raziel plays a pivotal role in the final battle against the evil Bavmorda.
Galadriel – Galadriel is the Lady of Light, a beautiful elf of Middle Earth who radiates power. She has the ability to communicate and calm with the power of thought. Her beauty is otherworldly. She provides sanctuary and council to the Fellowship of the Ring. She is immortal and one of the protectors of peace in the realm.
Women aren’t the only ones to practice the art of witchcraft. A male witch is known as a warlock and like their fairer counterparts, the warlock can fall on the side of both good or evil.
Warlock – This dastardly magic-user is truly a force for evil. Escaping the witch-hunter of his era, the Warlock time-travels to the future (our present) where he embarks on an unholy quest, under the command of Satan himself, to bring about the End of Days. Through black magic, the Warlock can fly, manipulate others, and cast powerful bolts of arcane force. The Warlock is one of the most devious, vile, and evil practitioners of the dark arts and is a foe not to be underestimated.
Skeletor – Skeletor is the beefy blue-skinned arch foe of He-Man. He is the most powerful warlock in the realm of Eternia and is on a never-ending quest to obtain the mystical secrets which reside in the ancient walls of Castle Grayskull. His will is indomitable and his influence on lesser beings uncanny. He has a small army of mutants, monsters, and magic-users at his disposal who follow him more out of fear than any kind of loyalty. With his goat-head staff of power, Skeletor’s magical might can only be kept in check by the courageous exploits of the Most Powerful Man in the Universe and his brave allies. But Skeletor is a patient foe. He sits upon his bone throne high atop his foreboding citadel, Snake Mountain, and schemes. He plots and plans for the day when he can orchestrate the downfall of his world’s greatest hero and the day when the secrets of Grayskull will at last be his.
Nicholas Scratch – The son of Agatha Harkness, Scratch has become a powerful warlock and erstwhile foe of the Fantastic Four. His monstrous children are the infamous Salem Seven, and he is the leader of a society of witches and warlocks bent on world domination. Scratch is able to use his dark gifts to influence minds, manipulate and animate matter, summon the forces of fire and lightning to smite his foes, and travel between dimensions. His magical powers are so considerable that he has even single-handedly defeated Marvel’s First Family in combat before.
Rupert Giles – He is a Watcher and the mentor/father figure of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His knowledge in the supernatural is considerable. He is a practitioner of magic and quite adept in its uses. He has shown the ability to summon and banish demons, erect protective wards, and once even channeled the power of an entire coven of witches in order to confront Willow during her decent into darkness. Though he is not by any means the most powerful magic-user in the land, the man they call “Ripper” is definitely a warlock not to be underestimated.
Whether Wicked (The Blair Witch) or White (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), witches come in different varieties. Just remember that if you are ever lost in the woods and are out of breadcrumbs to lead you back home, it’s probably best to steer clear of the that lonely house in the meadow made out of candy.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
April 19, 2013 · 2 Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Including the comic books, novels, toys, cartoons, TV shows and movies, the Odinson has made no qualms about his love for all things ‘80s. But the 1980s was not the only decade that mined gold when it came to these pop culture formats. The ‘90s and Beyond have also turned out some pretty entertaining stuff. One thing is for sure, in the modern era of entertainment we have been treated to some pretty cool and creative pieces of art.
This week I want to focus on the cartoons and animated shows that have defined our youth. What era features the best in cartoon entertainment, the decade of the 1980s or the 1990s and Beyond (2000-Present). Now as a child of the ‘80s, it will be hard for the Odinson not to be biased, but I will do my best. Shall we begin?
Visionaries (13 episodes 09/87-12/87) vs. Yu-Gi-Oh (224 episodes 04/00-09/04) – The Visionaries are mighty warriors with the uncanny ability to summon forth mighty hard-light holograms capable of amazing feats. Yugi is a modern day teenager in possession of the Millennium Puzzle, a mystical device that allows him to share a consciousness with a 5,000 year old Egyptian spirit. He travels the world and engages in supernatural duels where the players use magical decks of cards to summon forth powerful holographic monsters and traps to do battle. The Knights of the Magical Light are super cool but their short run and underdeveloped plotlines can’t hold a candle to the plight of Yugi and his quest to save his family and friends. Winner: Yu-Gi-Oh
Robotech (85 episodes 03/85-06/85) vs. Samurai Jack (52 episodes 08/01-09/04) – Robotech is a combination of three different animes from Japan, edited together to create a unified universe and one of the most epic stories in animated history. The tale is broken down into three chapters – Macross, Masters, and The New Generation. Without a doubt, Macross is the best and it tells the story of the United Earth Government and the Robotech Defense Force and their apocalyptic war with the invading clone armies of the alien Zentradi. Samurai Jack features a noble warrior who is exiled to a far future timeline ruled by his demonic foe. His quest is to find a way back to the past so that he can defeat his enemy before he takes power. Samurai Jack is a really satisfying watch, but nothing compares to Rick Hunter and Matt Sterling flying around in their sweet transforming Veritech Fighters, defending mankind, and still finding the time for the pretty girls. Winner: Robotech
Transformers (98 episodes 09/84-11/87) vs. Dexter’s Laboratory (78 episodes 04/96-11/03) – It’s the battle of sci-fi! The Transformers are more than meets the eye. The centuries-old war that has been raging on the far side of the universe between the benevolent Autobots and the warmongering evil Decepticons has spilled over to planet Earth. Now mankind is caught in the middle of these mighty factions. Dexter is the world’s smartest boy. With a mad genius on par with Lex Luthor and Doctor Doom, the only thing holding Dexter back from complete world domination is the whimsical, innocent meddling of his troublesome sister – Dee Dee. From toys to movies to comics, the Transformers have forged a pop culture empire that cannot be denied, but Dexter’s Lab is just too entertaining for its own good. Very few animated shows have got me to laughing hysterically as much as Dexter’s Lab has and laughter goes a long way in my book. Winner: Dexter’s Laboratory
Voltron (124 episodes 09/84-11/85) vs. The Powerpuff Girls (78 episodes 11/98-03/05) – Voltron is a mighty robot, loved by good and feared by evil. The Defender of the Universe is comprised of five mechanical lions, each piloted by a brave space explorer, that when united form a giant robot. With Blazing Sword firmly in hand, there is no giant RoboBeast or adversary from Planet Doom that Voltron cannot overcome. The Powerpuff Girls were created using sugar, spice, and little bit of Chemical X. Voltron is the undisputed king of giant robots, but Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup have all the power of a displaced Kryptonian and are more adorable than a garden full of Cabbage Patch Kids. Winner: The Powerpuff Girls
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (24 episodes 09/81-09/83) vs. Spider-Man (65 episodes 11/94-01/98) – Amazing Friends features Spidey along with Ice Man and Firestar as they take on the greatest threats in the Marvel Universe. This show was an absolute Must See event for a young Odinson. It also features super cool guest-appearances by Marvel All-Stars like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Namor and the X-Men. The 90s animated Spider-Man series took super hero cartoons to the next level with its continuity. There are season arcs and character development not seen before in a cartoon of this kind. And the animation is super cool. I absolutely love what they were going for and trying to accomplish with the ‘90s Spider-Man cartoon, but nothing can ever take the place of the magic I felt when I watched the ‘80s classic. Winner: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
GI Joe (95 episodes 09/83-11/86) vs. Batman: The Animated Series (85 episodes 09/92-09/95) – Yo Joe! GI Joe is the world’s most elite Special Forces unit and charged with defending freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization bent on ruling the world. However, they broke the mold the day that Batman: The Animated Series made its debut. There can be no debate that this animated gem spearheaded by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini is the King of Animated Entertainment. The stories, the direction, the character development, the animation - BtAS is, hands down, the greatest cartoon ever made. Winner: Batman: The Animated Series
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (130 episodes 09/83-12/88) vs. Gargoyles (78 episodes 10/94-02/97) – The battle of fantasy! I can remember racing home from the bus stop after school, sprinting as fast as my little legs would carry me, because I could not miss a second of the adventures of He-Man and his quest to stop the evil Skeletor from obtaining the secret to Castle Grayskull. Gargoyles is yet another beautiful example of the evolution of the medium as character development, story continuity and fantastic animation leapt forward in the decade of the ‘90s. Gargoyles is amazing and well worth the watch, but the Herculean exploits of the Most Powerful Man in the Universe were simply awe-inspiring to a young Odinson. Winner: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Super Friends (109 episodes 09/73-09/86) vs. Justice League (52 episodes 11/01-05/04) – The battle of old vs. the new! Brought together from the cosmic legends of the DC Universe, the Super Friends assembled the world’s greatest heroes – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman – to defend mankind and preserve justice. In The Challenge of the Super Friends, the world’s greatest heroes assemble once more to defend justice against the Legion of Doom, a small army of their greatest and most dangerous foes. Then finally, in The Legendary Super Powers Show, the Super Friends are joined by Cyborg and Firestorm in their never-ending battle against the dark forces of Darkseid! The Justice League animated series took all of the elements from Super Friends, threw them in a pot with all the ground-breaking elements of Batman: The Animated Series, mixed them up and created one of the most inspiring animated series in the history of the medium. Winner: Justice League
ThunderCats (130 episodes 01/85-01/89) vs. X-Men (76 episodes 10/92-09/97) – The battle of mutant heroes! ThunderCats features one of the coolest sci-fi tales ever conceived as a small band of survivors flee their doomed planet and somehow make their way to a lush paradise world. However, though this new world is full of vibrant life and unparalleled beauty, it is also home to unspeakable evil and danger. The ThunderCats, a race of feline super warriors, must defend the denizens of Third Earth and themselves from the dark power of berserker pirates, intergalactic assassins, deadly mutants, and most dangerous of all – Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living! Though it can’t be denied that seeing the Children of the Atom animated was a treat, the series is however plagued by clunky animation and weak character interpretations. No character suffers from this format more than the great Wolverine. I realize they can’t have him slicing and dicing his way through every episode of what is essentially a children’s program, but seriously, did he ever win a fight in that show? Winner: ThunderCats
DuckTales (100 episodes 09/87-11/90) vs. Pokemon (750+ episodes 04/97-Present) – The battle of action/adventure! Inspired by the amazing exploits of Indiana Jones, DuckTales features Scrooge McDuck, the world’s richest fowl, and his nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, as they journey the globe alongside their bodyguard and pilot Launchpad McQuack and their friends Gyro Gearloose and Doofus Drake in search of treasure and adventure. Pokemon is the story of Ash as he travels the globe in search of more Pocket Monsters to train. Though there is no denying the pop culture phenomenon that is Pokemon, a game that inspired an animated series that still runs to this day along with numerous movies, DuckTales is, hands down, a Top 5 cartoon of all time and a must view gem from the ‘80s. Winner: DuckTales
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (193 episodes 12/87-11/96) vs. Dragon Ball Z (291 episodes 09/99-04/03 [US Re-dubbed Run]) - The battle of kung fu! The Heroes in a Half-Shell burst onto the scene in the mid-eighties and took the pop culture world by storm. The animated series featured a more wide open take on the concept and added a bit more mirth to the adventures of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michaelangelo as they battled the evil forces of Shredder and Krang, a creature from Dimension X. But when it comes to continuity and character development, nothing holds a candle to the high-flying, planet-shaking kung fu battles in DBZ. The show's premiere hero Goku going Super Saiyan alone is worth the price of admission. And very few animated shows feature villains on the level of Vegeta, Frieza and Cell, three of the most powerful, diabolical and sinister evildoers ever to be seen in the animated medium. Winner: Dragon Ball Z
Wow! I am utterly shocked but the 1990s and Beyond takes the Belt! It’s probably due in no small part to the maturity of the material. Character exploration and development and story continuity play huge roles in shows like DBZ and Batman, and that goes a long way. However, because of the excellent quantity and quality that came out in the 1980s, it is still my favorite era. Just think of all the gems that didn’t make this list - BraveStarr, Bionic Six, The Real Ghostbusters, The Inhumanoids, Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon’s Lair, Thundarr the Barbarian, The Spiral Zone, MASK, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors – just to name a few. But never let it be said that the Odinson isn’t big enough to admit when he has been defeated fair and square.
Narrowing the list down to just a handful of names was a Herculean effort to be sure, but I believe I pretty much came up with the cartoons that helped define these two distinct eras. Whichever era of cartoon entertainment is your favorite, I think we can all agree that we’ve been pretty fortunate to see some pretty awesome cartoons and animated shows in our lifetimes.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
April 12, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
There have been many, many combat games over the years – Tekken, Marvel vs. Capcom, Killer Instinct, and Injustice: Gods Among Us, just to name a few. But there is no doubt which two games sit perched high atop the hill as King of the Fighting Games and that’s Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II. Back in the day (circa 20-25 years ago), stand up arcades were all the rage. They were locales located usually in the local mall, boardwalk, or Putt-Putt Golf course where kids and teens could gather to play a multitude of exciting new games. Somebody could spend hours feeding quarters into these eye-popping, senses-shattering contraptions of modern entertainment.
What I remember most about Street Fighter II (released in 1991) is that though its graphics are archaic by today’s standards, at the time, the cool anime-inspired graphics really made it a standout. With Street Fighter II, they broke the mold. It set the standard for all other games of this type to follow. In fact, other than a tweaking of graphics and the addition of new characters, Street Fighter is essentially the same game now as it was over twenty years ago. And it holds up.
What I remember most about Mortal Kombat (released in 1992) is the ominous disembodied voice that would call out to you as you walked by the console. “TEST YOUR MIGHT” - it would say. Well, who could resist that challenge? Originally the game featured animation placed over real actors. This gave the game a realistic feel, even if the combatants could do very unrealistic things. But one thing that separates MK from all the rest is that over that last twenty years the game has evolved. With game play and character development, each new release has improved on what came before and the game just gets better and better.
That is another aspect of these two games that has always captured my imagination – the storylines. Even though at their core, Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat are “Fighting Games,” they both have really cool storylines as their backdrops. In Street Fighter there is a terrorist organization called Shadoloo bent on world domination. For varying reasons, all the world’s greatest fighters join the Grand Fight tournament. Some are in it for the glory while others infiltrate the contest to bring down the Shadoloo Empire. In Mortal Kombat, there is an ancient tournament held once a generation when the world’s greatest fighters meet in combat to decide the fate of mankind. If the Earthrealm warriors should fall, the plane of mortals will be invaded by the hordes of the Outworld, a mystical realm of wizards, demons, monsters, and dark gods.
The characters from both series have been fleshed out over the years and the back stories are just as rich with continuity as any fictional universe in pop culture. But one question still remains – Who is the King of the Fighting Game? Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter II has all the pop culture polarizing grandeur as The Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones, Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonalds vs. Burger King, or Marvel vs. DC. In the end, there can be only one true champion. And since the Powers That Be will never allow this fanboy’s dream of an epic crossover to come true, the Odinson shall decide once and for all in a no-holds-barred contest which game universe would win.
Part 3: Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter II
Johnny Cage vs. Ken Masters – Johnny Cage is the biggest Hollywood action star in the world. He’s brash, cocky, handsome, and deadly. Ken Masters trained under the legendary martial arts master Gouken. He’s cocky, talented, and, next to Ryu, he is arguably the second greatest practitioner of karate in the world. He simply lacks the dedication and focus of his friend. Cage and Masters are rivals outside of the ring as well as inside as they try to out do each other with the ladies, cocky quips, and combat skills. Though Cage brings some pretty sweet splits and rush-kick moves to the fight, in the end, Ken’s Ha-do-ken fireballs and Sho-ryu-ken Dragon Punch will prove victorious. K.O. - Winner: Ken.
Sub-Zero vs. Dhalsim – Sub-Zero is a Chinese ninja warrior whose heart is so cold that he can freeze his opponents in place and shatter them into a million pieces. Dhalsim is a master of yoga and can contort and stretch his body into impossible attack positions. Though Dhalsim can breathe fire and thus counter Sub-Zero’s cold attack, Sub-Zero is not only one of the deadliest assassins alive, but he is the leader of an ancient ninja clan that through the centuries has forgotten more about killing than other assassins know. FINISH HIM -Winner: Sub-Zero.
Sonya Blade vs. Chun-Li – Sonya Blade is a Special Forces operative hell bent on taking down Kano, the man that murdered her partner. She’s tough as nails and trained for combat by the best. Chun-Li is reportedly the “strongest woman in the world.” She seeks revenge against M. Bison, the man that murdered her father. Her legs are so powerful that she can leap around the battlefield with near superhuman ability and attack with a flurry of kicks that come at her opponents so fast that it ignites the air with flame. Both women seek revenge and are super determined, but only one of them can win. K.O. - Winner: Chun-Li.
Jax vs. Guile – Jax is a hulking Special Forces operative, trained in dealing with the supernatural and armed (literally) with bionic implants that increase his strength to super human levels. His robotic fists can shake the ground and pummel his adversaries into unconsciousness with a furious windmill attack. Guile is a Special Forces operative whose job it is to bring down the international criminal organization known as Shadoloo. His Flash Kick is devastating and nearly impossible to defend against. K.O. -Winner: Guile.
Goro vs. Zangief – Goro is half human/half dragon and four arms of terror. Eight-feet tall, Goro uses his superior strength and size to overpower his opponents and has been known to beat them to a bloody pulp before dismembering them with his bare hands. Zangief is a monstrous professional wrestler that trains to fight by grappling with grizzly bears. His back-breaking suplexes and thunderous piledrivers can pummel his opponents and leave them broken and out cold. However, Goro is a nine-time Mortal Kombat Champion. That means for generations he has faced and defeated the best fighters in the all the Realms and proven victorious. FINISH HIM - Winner: Goro.
Shang Tsung vs. E. Honda – Shang Tsung is a thousand-year-old demon sorcerer who collects souls of fallen warriors and adds their power to his own. To face Shang Tsung in combat is to face a thousand adversaries. E. Honda is a mighty sumo whose flying head butt and Hyaku-retsu-hari-te Hundred Hand Slap attacks, more times than not, prove to be too much for most opponents. But Shang Tsung is no ordinary opponent. He is quite cunning and, more importantly, deadly. FINISH HIM - Winner: Shang Tsung.
Baraka vs. Blanka – Baraka is a fierce Tarkatan warrior from the wastelands of Outworld. He can tear opponents to pieces with his clawed hands and razor-sharp Shark-like teeth. But his most devastating attacks come from his berserker rage and two footlong razor-sharp talons that protrude from his forearms. Blanka is a man-beast from the dark depths of the Brazilian rain forests. As if his brutal feral attacks weren’t enough, Blanka also possesses a devastating electrical charge that renders all those unlucky enough to get caught by it defenseless and open to attack. K.O. - Winner: Blanka.
Scorpion vs. Balrog – Scorpion is a lost soul bent on revenge. The ninja Sub-Zero murdered Scorpion’s family and now he has returned from the depths of the Netherealm empowered with supernatural might and fueled by unquenchable rage. Balrog is a former professional boxer and now a professional bone-breaker and henchman whose devastating uppercuts can pound his opponents into oblivion. Balrog may have at one time been the most feared pugilist in the ring, but Scorpion’s harpoon attack, fire summoning abilities, and bone-shattering combo attacks are just to terrible to overcome. (GET OVER HERE!) FINISH HIM - Winner: Scorpion.
Reptile vs. Vega – Reptile is a one of the scariest combatants in all the Realms for he is superhumanly fast and deadly. His elongated tongue can strike from a distance and behead warriors, and he can spew acid with devastating effects. Vega is a deadly cage fighter from Spain who fights with a clawed weapon and possesses near super human agility and speed. He wears a mask to protect his handsome face. This match is pretty even. Reptile may loose a few limbs in the battle, but it’s nothing his reptilian regenerative powers won’t grow back. Too bad Vega can’t grow back his head after Reptile lashes out with his vicious tongue and takes it from him. FINISH HIM - Winner: Reptile.
Kano vs. Sagat – Kano is a cunning cutthroat with a bionic eye and is a master knife fighter. Sagat is a master of Muay Thai and a former Grand Fight Champion. He is a cunning adversary that relishes in the defeat of powerful opponents. Though in the battle of the bad guys Kano usually wins, Sagat’s bone-crunching knee and elbow strikes will prove to be just too much. K.O. - Winner: Sagat.
Raiden vs. M. Bison – Raiden is the god of thunder and protector of the Realm of Earth. His strength and speed are far beyond that of mortal men. He can fly, teleport, and call down the thunder. M. Bison is the leader of Shadoloo. He is a would-be-world conqueror empowered with Psycho Power, a kinetic energy field that increases his already considerable physical abilities to superhuman levels. M. Bison is not an adversary for even a demi-god to take lightly. But when the battle is done, it is Raiden’s eyes that will be sparking with the glint of victory. FINISH HIM - Winner: Raiden.
Liu Kang vs. Ryu – This is it! The contest of champions! This is the battle that will settle the debate once and for all. Who will prove to be the mightiest warrior in the world? Liu Kang is from China. He is the youngest but also the fastest warrior in the tournament. He’s a Shaolin monk that has trained his entire life to compete in the Mortal Kombat tournament and defend Earth against the invading hordes of Outworld. Ryu is from Japan, a Shotokan karate master. He is a lone warrior that walks the earth in search of new challenges and seeks the world’s strongest fighters to test his fighting prowess against. His one goal in life is to be the world’s strongest warrior.
So what will prove victorious, the fluid grace of kung fu or the straightforward power of karate? Ryu’s Ha-do-ken fireballs, tornado kicks, and Sho-ryu-ken Dragon Punch attacks can lay even the mightiest adversary low. Meanwhile, Liu’s own fireballs, gravity-defying bicycle kicks and flying kick attacks have proven capable of defeating demon sorcerers and dark gods. This battle is almost too close to call, but the Odinson is determined not to cop out. I will decide on a winner.
I literally could have gone either way with this one, but in the end, Liu Kang IS the Chosen One. And if Buffy Summers and Neo have taught me anything over the years it’s that the Chosen One always comes out victorious in the end. FINISH HIM - Winner: Liu Kang.
Shao Khan vs. Akuma – Somewhere on a cloud-rimmed mountain top, high above the tournament below, the two most notorious villains of these games meet to decide who will pick up the pieces of what’s left and rule the world with an iron fist. Shao Khan is a dark demi-god whose might and combat prowess is only matched by his cunning and expertise in backstabbing tactics. Akuma is a demon warrior whose attacks are so fierce, so apocalyptically powerful that he has been known to kill an opponent with a single blow. The earth shakes when these two malevolent titans clash. But when the dust settles, only one villain will be left standing. K.O. - Winner: Akuma.
Since both game series easily have a hundred characters between them, I tried to narrow the competition down to only the essential core cast. The main heroes and villains that make these games tick. Both Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat are legendary games, legendary stories, and legendary pieces of pop culture history. It is a shame we may never see this epic crossover happen.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
April 05, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Last week the Odinson began a three-part column about one day seeing the ultimate combat games. First up was Mortal Kombat vs. Marvel. The Heroes of Earthrealm and the denizens of Outworld proved victorious, barely. This week we see what happens when the World’s Greatest Super Heroes go toe-to-toe with the street-fighting brawlers of Capcom.
Let’s find out who wins.
Part 2: DC vs. Capcom
Superman vs. Akuma – Kal-el is the last son of Krypton. Rocketed to Earth as an infant, the rays of Earth’s yellow sun have transformed him into the ultimate super hero – super strength, speed, endurance, flight, heat vision, intelligence, and near invulnerability. The list of his heroic feats is endless and his courage is unparalleled. Akuma is a master of martial arts whose fighting abilities are so super human that he can kill an opponent with one blow. In the past, Akuma has defeated M. Bison (Capcom’s own “super-man”), but the Man of Steel is the greatest super hero in history. Winner: Superman.
Batman vs. Ryu – Bruce Wayne is the world’s greatest detective and a master of a dozen different martial arts. Armed with an array of crime-fighting gadgets and tools, the Dark Knight wages an endless battle against the criminal underworld. Ryu is a master of karate who walks the earth in search of new challenges and seeking new ways to test his might. Able to beat his opponents into submission with a flurry of fireballs, tornado-kicks, and mighty uppercuts, there are very few adversaries that can match Ryu’s strength of combat. However, the Caped Crusader is the ultimate man. His fighting prowess rivals the greatest fighters in the world and on top of that he has one of the greatest tactical minds on the planet. Together with the arsenal of gadgets in his uncanny utility belt, these skills and assets prove too much for the King of the Street Fighters. Winner: Batman.
Wonder Woman vs. Chun-Li – Diana is the daughter of the legendary Queen of the Amazons and empowered with the strength of the Olympian Gods. Armed with her lasso of truth and indestructible bracelets, the Amazing Amazon is one of the greatest heroes of the Modern Age. Chun-Li is an Interpol agent seeking revenge on the master criminal M. Bison, the man that murdered her father. She is a master of kempo, possesses near superhuman levels of agility, and her furious kicking attacks, which can ignite the air with flame, can pummel any opponent into unconsciousness. Chun-Li maybe one of the greatest female combatants in the world, but Wonder Woman was trained by the God of War himself to be the ultimate combatant – period. Winner: Wonder Woman.
Flash vs. Zangief – Barry Allen is the Fastest Man Alive. Able to tap a mysterious energy known as the Speed Force, he can accelerate up to near the speed of light. Zangief is a hulking professional wrestler from Russia. His grappling and tornado attacks can force even the mightiest fighters in the world into submission. Though the Crimson Comet will land a thousand blows before the Russian Bear can land even one, Zangief is tough enough to take it, and all it will take is that one earth-shaking power slam and the Scarlet Speedster is down for the count. Winner: Zangief.
Green Lantern vs. Mega Man – Hal Jordan is a test pilot who has been recruited into the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. He is armed with the cosmic power ring, a universal weapon that grants its wearer abilities that are only limited by his imagination and willpower. Mega Man is a super android designed to overcome any enemy he faces and absorb their power, thus increasing his abilities for every new challenge that lies ahead. The Emerald Knight may possess the ultimate weapon but Mega Man IS the ultimate weapon. Winner: Mega Man.
Aquaman vs. Ken Masters – Arthur Curry is the Lord of the Seven Seas. Able to breathe underwater and communicate with the creatures of the sea, Aquaman also possesses great strength and a dense skin that can resist gunfire. Ken Masters is a free-willing, cocky karate expert who trained under the legendary master Gouken, the same instructor that trained Ryu. Like Ryu, Ken can barrage his opponents with fireballs and tornado kicks, but his most devastating attack is his fiery uppercut. Though both these warriors live in the shadows of their more recognized peers, neither of them should be taken lightly. However, unless the battle is taking place at the bottom of a swimming pool, I just don’t see Aquaman defeating the blonde brawler. Winner: Ken Masters.
Martian Manhunter vs. Dhalsim – The last survivor of a dead world, J’onn J’onzz is easily one of the most powerful forces for good in the DCU. He’s nearly as strong as Superman, plus he possesses one of the most powerful telepathic minds in the galaxy. He can fly, has super speed, can become intangible, can shape-shift, and has Martian Vision, a powerful ranged attack that shoots from his eyes. He only has one weakness – fire. Dhalsim is a master of yoga and has the ability to stretch and contort his body into inhuman configurations, making him one of the most bizarre warriors in the world. But most importantly, Dhalsim can breathe fire. And what have we learned about Martians and fire? Winner: Dhalsim.
Lex Luthor vs. Albert Wesker – Lex Luthor is the greatest criminal mind of our era and the arch enemy of the world’s greatest super hero. His genius is unparalleled and his ambitions are nothing short of world conquest. Wesker is a master manipulator who through the use of a form of the T-Virus has gained super human strength and speed and has orchestrated the end of the world so that he may become the master of humanity. In a dual between these two diabolical masterminds only the ultimate villain will come out on top. Winner: Lex Luthor.
Catwoman vs. Morrigan Aensland – Selina Kyle is a master thief with the agility of an Olympic athlete and the skill to clip a fly’s wings with her bullwhip. Morrigan is a sultry vampire whose bat-like wings can slice and impale opponents with deadly accuracy. Though Catwoman could give Morrigan a run for her money in a “Who’s Sexiest Contest,” she just can’t compete with the supernatural power of the Queen of the Darkstalkers. Winner: Morrigan Aensland.
Deathstroke vs. Captain Commando – Slade Wilson is a world class mercenary whose physical attributes have been increased to super human levels. He is a master of combat, armed and unarmed, and a cold-blooded killer whose tactical mind allows him to take on any challenge. Captain Commando is a super soldier armed with amazing gauntlets and boots that grant him many different super human abilities. Though Captain C may be able to pummel futuristic thugs, gangsters, and ninjas into submission, the Terminator’s speed, strength, keen mind, and healing factor will prove to be just too much. Winner: Deathstroke.
Captain Marvel vs. M. Bison – When young Billy Batson utters the word SHAZAM, a magical bolt of lighting strikes and transforms him into the earthly avatar of Olympian might. M. Bison is the leader of a terrorist criminal organization bent on world domination. He possesses Psycho-Power which augments his abilities to super human levels. M. Bison is a cunning adversary and easily one of the strongest fighters in the world, but Captain Marvel is second only to the Man of Steel and with his ever expanding knowledge of the Power of SHAZAM, his Olympian might would prove victorious. Winner: Captain Marvel.
Harley Quinn vs. Jill Valentine – Harley Quinn was a psychologist driven mad when she tried to psychoanalyze the Joker. She developed an infatuation for Batman’s greatest foe and now seeks to plunge the world into utter chaos at his side. Jill Valentine is a member of S.T.A.R.S., the Raccoon City Police Department’s elite Special Forces unit. She is an explosives expert, handy with a lock pick, and an accomplished monster killer. Harley Quinn may be able to baffle most opponents with her off-the-wall puns and killer acrobatics, but in the world of ultimate survival, Jill Valentine is the ultimate survivor. She always finds a way to win. Winner: Jill Valentine.
Deadshot vs. Arthur – Floyd Lawton is one of the deadliest assassins alive. He is arguably the best shot in the world with any type of firearm and is capable of turning almost anything handy into a deadly weapon. When the princess is taken captive by the Lord of the Underworld, Arthur is the brave knight that answers the call. Though most of Deadshot’s battles end in about 2 seconds, Arthur has faced down hordes of ghosts, goblins, and all the fiends from hell. His mystical armor allows him to take enough shots from his enemy long enough to use either his piercing lance or rapid-fire knife throwing skills to win the day, even if he is left in nothing but his briefs. Winner: Arthur.
Nightwing vs. Strider Hiryu – Dick Grayson, after the murder of his parents, was raised by Bruce Wayne. For years he fought alongside the Caped Crusader as Robin the Boy Wonder, but now he is his own man and fights for justice as the masked vigilante known as Nightwing. Strider is a ninja of the future who uses his amazing Cypher-Blade and robot sentries to combat evil. Now this battle is almost too close to call. Strider is a super cool fighter but Nightwing was trained by the Batman and that, together with his near super human acrobatic skills, edges him past the super ninja. Winner: Nightwing.
The Joker vs. Mike Haggar – (It’s pretty scary that the outcome of the tournament rests in the hands of a lunatic like the Joker.) The Joker is the most fiendish, diabolical, clever, and unpredictable madman to ever walk the earth. He is a genius level chemist and is armed with an arsenal of weaponized prank-influenced gadgets that could mean death to those he springs them on. Haggar is the two-fisted Mayor of Metro City. His mission is to clean up the streets and rid its citizens of crime, even if he has to personally pummel every single crook in town to do it. Though the hulking Haggar has faced all the criminals Metro City has to off and won, he has never faced anything remotely like the Clown Prince of Crime. Winner: The Joker.
Final Score: DC Universe: 8 - Capcom Universe: 7
WINNER: DC Universe
Thanks to licensing agreements and copyrights, there is no way any of these match-ups will ever happen, but it doesn’t hurt to dream. Be here next week when the Odinson showcases the ultimate wish for the ultimate combat game featuring the ultimate fighting characters in the gaming universe – Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter!
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
March 29, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Thanks to the miracle of modern gaming, we have witnessed the ultimate crossovers of several universes. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and Marvel vs. Capcom have treated fanboys everywhere to the ultimate “what if?” scenarios when it comes to the age old question – Who would win between…? Captain America vs. Ryu, Deathstroke vs. Scorpion, Captain Marvel vs. Raiden, Hulk vs. Zangief – these are the match-ups of a lifetime, heavyweight bouts that keep us on the edge of our seats.
But we’ve seen these match-ups now. The Odinson wants more! Would the Powers that Be have the guts to give us the ultimate “fight game?” It would take a lot of cooperation and ego-checking but is there anyway possible that the Powers that Be could somehow work it out and provide us with – Marvel vs. DC, Marvel vs. Mortal Kombat, DC vs. Capcom, or, the ultimate Golden Ticket – Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter?!
We’ve seen MK vs. DC and we’ve seen Marvel vs. Capcom, but what if they flip-flopped? What would happen if the Greatest Super Heroes of the DC Universe were to take on the cornucopia of colorful characters from the Capcom Universe, and what if the greatest fighters in the Marvel Universe were challenged to Mortal Kombat by the Champions of Earthrealm and the denizens of Outworld?
Let’s find out.
Part 1: Mortal Kombat vs. Marvel
Raiden vs. Thor – Thunder god vs. thunder god! It’s a clash of titans that in the end can never truly have a winner. Evenly matched in pure raw power and combat skills it wouldn’t be long before our resident deities take themselves out of the equation, realizing that this is a contest of mortals that must be decided by mortals and mortals alone. Winner: Tie.
Goro vs. Luke Cage – Goro is a half-human/half-dragon eight-foot tall mutant with four arms of terror that possess the power to bludgeon his opponents into bloody submission. Power Man possesses diamond-hard fists that can crush cinder blocks into powder and unbreakable skin that makes him nearly impossible to hurt. Luke Cage is as tough an opponent as they come, but Goro is a nine time Mortal Kombat Champion. He’s fought against the best fighters each generation has had to offer for over a thousand years. He’s strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Cage and cunning enough to overcome his adversary. Winner: Goro.
Johnny Cage vs. Daredevil – Cage is a cocky Hollywood martial arts movie star with the moves to back up the hype. Matt Murdock is a blind super ninja whose other four senses have been augmented to superhuman levels allowing him to observe the world in a manner nobody else can possibly imagine. Johnny Cage may look cool in his signature sunglasses, but when his signature splits-blow-below-the-belt move fails against Daredevil’s radar senses, it’s not long before Cage goes down for the count. Winner: Daredevil.
Kano vs. Punisher – Kano is a professional criminal and murderer with a bionic eye and a master knife fighter. Frank Castle is a former Special Forces commando that has declared war on the criminal element. Kano quickly learns that it was a bad idea to bring a knife to a gunfight. FATALITY! Winner: Punisher.
Baraka vs. Wolverine – Baraka is a Tarkatan warlord from the wastelands of Outworld. He is a vicious fighter able to rend his opponents limb-from-limb with his clawed hands, razor sharp teeth, and two-foot bone talons that extend from his Popeye-like forearms. Logan has unbreakable bones, Adamantium claws that can cut through steel like a hot knife through butter, and a healing factor that allows him to recover from virtually any wound. These two berserkers would rip into each other with a ferocity that would terrify any onlookers. Each of them would give as good as they got and both would be brought to death’s door, but only one of them would be able to survive to Round 2. Winner: Wolverine.
Mileena vs. Elektra – Mileena is the vicious sai-wielding twin sister of Princess Kitanna. Her cruel laughter echoes throughout the battlefield as she relentlessly bombards her opponent with sai blasts, rolling attacks, and rains down on them seemingly as if from nowhere. Elektra is a master ninja and arguably the deadliest woman alive. She is a master of weapons, especially her signature weapon, the sai. Mileena is definitely a worthy adversary and though she will not escape unscathed, Elektra wins because having already died once before and returned from the grave, death holds no fear over her. And an opponent that does not fear dying is the most dangerous adversary of all. Winner: Elektra.
Reptile vs. Deadpool – Reptile, a lizard-like ninja with superhuman reflexes and speed and wicked whip-like tongue, is able to spew venomous acid from his mouth that can melt flesh and bone. Wade Wilson is the Merc with a Mouth, an insane assassin who is a master of weapons and deadly combatant, but most importantly, he’s utterly insane. Reptile’s speed and agility allow him to stay one step ahead of his opponent’s attacks. But Reptile would find his foe perplexing as he continues to get back up after sustaining injuries that would have killed a normal adversary many times over. Growing tired of the game, Reptile would lash out with his vicious tongue, lop off Deadpool’s head and swallow it where it would be dissolved by the acids in his belly. Even Deadpool can’t come back from that attack, right? Winner: Reptile.
Scorpion vs. Ghost Rider – Scorpion is a spectral assassin from the NetherRealm brought back from the fires of Hades to seek revenge on Sub-Zero, the man that murdered his family. Johnny Blaze is possessed by the demon Zarathos and now walks the earth seeking to avenge the spilled blood of the innocent. It’s Spirit of Vengeance vs. Spirit of Vengeance in a fiery no-holds-barred heavyweight fight for the ages. Ghost Rider’s Hellfire is meant to sear the soul, but when Scorpion has no soul left to burn, the spectral ninja’s burning hate proves too much for his fiery-skulled opponent. Winner: Scorpion.
Shang Tsung vs. Moon Knight – Shang Tsung is an ageless sorcerer with the power to shape-change and absorb the souls of fallen warriors. Marc Spector is the earthly avatar of the Egyptian moon deity Konshu. He is armed with an array of crime-fighting skills and weapons and an unwavering determination to win the fight no matter what. However, to face Shang Tsung is to face a thousand foes. The Fists of Konshu are deadly indeed, but the power of Shang Tsung is undeniable. Shang Tsung absorbs Marc Spector’s soul and adds it to the rest. The only problem is Marc Spector’s is a fractured psyche. Moon Knight’s spilt personalities and splintered sanity would drive the demon sorcerer insane. Winner: Shang Tsung (sort of).
Sonya Blade vs. Black Widow – Sonya Blade is a Special Forces officer determined to hunt down the man that murdered her partner – Kano - even if that means tracking him to some mystical realm of demons, mutants and monsters to do it. Natasha Romanova is a master spy and world class assassin whose fighting and tactical skills allow her to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Black Widow is one of the most dangerous adversaries around, but Sonya Blade is the most determined woman alive and nothing is going to keep her from bringing Kano to justice – nothing. Winner: Sonya Blade.
Jax Briggs vs. Captain America – Jax is a Special Forces officer that has had his arms replaced by robotic implants giving him the strength he needs to take on virtually any supernatural adversary. Steve Rogers is a super soldier with peak human strength, speed, and reflexes and a tactical mind that is off the charts. Jax is a powerful foe, but Cap is the world’s ultimate fighting machine and armed with his indestructible shield, there are few foes that he can’t overcome. Winner: Captain America.
Kitana vs. White Tiger – Kitanna is a thousand-year-old princess that has mastered the blade-fan and aids the heroes of Earthrealm against the evil emperor Shao Khan. Angela Del Toro is a second generation hero who possesses a mystical amulet that grants her superhuman martial arts skills. The White Tiger is a neophyte hero while Kitanna has centuries of fighting experience on her side. Winner: Kitanna.
Kung Lao vs. Iron Fist – Kung Lao is the descendant of a great warrior and a master of kung-fu. His mantis style combined with his flashing razor-edged hat make him extremely dangerous. Danny Rand was raised to become the ultimate Living Weapon in a mystical city that sits at the nexus between realms. He is the Immortal Iron Fist and one of the greatest fighters to ever walk the earth. Pretty evenly matched, these two adversaries could fight for hours without one side or the other ever gaining a true advantage. However, one shot from the power of the Iron Fist and Kung Lao is down for the count. Winner: Iron Fist.
Sub-Zero vs. Blade – Sub-Zero is a Chinese ninja warrior with the elemental power of cold. He is able to freeze opponents and create weapons of solid ice. He is a most dangerous adversary. Blade is half-human/half-vampire. He is the Daywalker. He possesses all the power of the undead without any of their weaknesses and he is armed to the teeth with an array of weapons designed solely for killing. Sub-Zero does not escape this battle unscathed, but his powers over cold prove to be the deciding factor in the end. Winner: Sub-Zero.
Liu Kang vs. Shang Chi – Liu Kang is the youngest but also the fastest warrior in the tournament. He is a Shaolin monk that was trained from birth to compete in the Mortal Kombat Tournament and defend Earthrealm from the invading forces of Outworld. Shang Chi is the undisputed Master of Kung-Fu. His martial arts prowess and borderline superhuman speed and ability make him arguably the greatest unarmed combatant alive. This is the battle to end all battles! These two masters are so evenly matched that the Odinson cannot call a winner. They could fight for days and never be able to determine who the one true master is. Ha, the competition would be long over and these two would still be going at it. Winner: Tie.
Final Score: Mortal Kombat Universe: 7 - Marvel Universe: 6 - Tie: 2
WINNER: Mortal Kombat
Thanks to licensing agreements and copyrights, there is no way any of these match-ups will ever happen, but it doesn’t hurt to dream. Be here next week when the Odinson pits the heroes and villains of the DC Universe against the Street Fighters and Manga/Anime Superstars of the Capcom Universe.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
March 15, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
The Super Friends have the Hall of Justice. The Avengers have Avengers Tower. Batman has the Batcave. And, the Teen Titans have Titans Tower. All of these are super sweet Bases of Operations from which they can plan their next course of action, have meetings, and basically relax after a long hard day of saving the world. So, what makes a great Base of Operations?
Well first of all it usually has to have a cool name, usually featuring the words Hall or Satellite or Lair in the title. It has to be able to accommodate a wide variety of guests and people, even beings from other worlds and dimensions. When the Avengers assemble, Jarvis at a moment’s notice has to be able to whip up a steak for Wolverine, a keg of ale for Hercules, an order of Fish and Chips for Captain Britain, and bag of BBQ Ruffles for Hawkeye, plus he also has to have handy some Kree cuisine for Marvel Boy and an oil can for Jocasta.
Many different types of heroes and villains reside in these bases, so whether it’s Beast Boy’s Halo game time, Captain America’s 5:00 AM workout, the Wasp’s dinner party, or Aquaman’s morning swim, they must be equipped with living, dining, exercise, and recreation facilities that can accommodate any given taste or situation. A Base of Operations must also come with super cool defenses. Like Boulder Hill, the transforming headquarters of M.A.S.K., that can drop an avalanche on attacking enemy forces, or the Beast’s teleporting fortress in Krull. A giant mountain citadel that teleports every twenty-four hours to a different location randomly anywhere on the planet makes it kind of hard to plan a siege.
Some of the coolest Bases of Operations in the realm of science fiction/fantasy are the mobile bases. Here’s a list of some of the Odinson’s favorites.
The Death Star – This is a completely mobile moon-sized military command center with enough firepower to destroy an entire star system. Manned by a imperialistic army of trained Stormtroopers, it’s protected by many squadrons of deadly Tie-Fighters and a barrage of ion-cannons. The Death Star can also be surrounded by a seemingly impenetrable force shield from a generator usually located on some nearby moon or outpost.
It is the ultimate weapon of mass destruction and makes the evil Galactic Empire the supreme force in the galaxy, except for one small flaw. A tiny three-meter exhaust shaft at the end of a long trench with the worst computer-targeting defenses of all time and conveniently sized to allow a bomber to drop a detonator down the shaft which just so happens to lead all the way down to the Death Star’s core and upon detonation utterly destroy it.
Hey, I didn’t say the Death Star was perfect, just cool.
The SHIELD Helicarrier – How does the world’s most elite organization of peacekeepers get around? Answer: in style. The Helicarrier is a massive marvel of super technology. It is manned by the most gifted technicians, scientists, and special agents in the world. It resembles a Navy aircraft carrier, but this beauty, using super advanced tech, can actually hover and soar through the sky, covering great distances in no time at all. It has cloaking tech, missiles, cannons, fighter jets, and even a nuclear arsenal. The Helicarrier provides SHIELD Director Nick Fury with the manpower and resources he needs to take down global threats like A.I.M. and Hydra and still have some left over to provide backup to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
The Starship Enterprise – What is there not to like about the legendary USS Enterprise? It has shields, photon torpedoes, phasers, teleportation technology, holodecs, and all the amenities and accommodations a brave crew of space explorers and galaxy peacekeepers could possibly want or need to tame the final frontier. The USS Enterprise also has something else that makes it super cool – Warp Speed. Engage.
The TARDIS – How else is a Time Lord supposed to get from one side of the universe to the other, adventuring through space and time, landing in any era (past, present or future), exploring strange new worlds, meeting and befriending or standing against all sorts of bizarre alien races and monsters, and save the human races from certain death? Why in the TARDIS of course. Other than his mind and the good that resides in his multiple hearts, the Doctor’s greatest asset is the Time and Relative Dimension in Space vehicle that on the outside looks like an early 20th century Police Box but on the inside, thanks to super science, is a vast complex and Base of Operations that allows the good Doctor and his faithful companions to time travel and explore the furthest reach of space.
X-Factor’s Ship – This massive sentient vessel is the length of three football fields and is completely stocked with Celestial technology far beyond anything ever seen on Earth. Its origins are largely unknown, but it was first seen under the thrall of the mutant terrorist known as Apocalypse. After the mutant heroes of X-Factor defeated his Fall of the Mutants campaign, Apocalypse abandoned the Ship and left it in the benevolent hands of X-Factor.
Though not technically good or evil, the Ship does possess a highly intelligent A.I. that is extremely protective of whom ever is in possession of it. It is large enough to accommodate many passengers by providing both food and living quarters. It is also able to traverse the stars and great distances very quickly, as it did when it brought X-Factor to a far off world and into direct conflict with the enigmatic space gods – the Celestials (see Judgement War).
It’s a shame that the Children of the Atom still don’t have this technological marvel. Not only did it provide mystery and mirth into their story, but it also provided a tactical advantage in technology over their enemies. It’s certainly much more durable than the X-Mansion which has been leveled half a dozen times over the years. I for one would love to see the return of Ship back to the pages of the X-Men.
The SDF-1 – The Super Dimensional Fortress Macross is, without a doubt, one of the coolest and most powerful mobile Bases of Operations in the history of sci-fi/fantasy. It is a giant (nearly 4,000 feet long) transforming battleship protected by an almost impenetrable force shield and armed with an arsenal of devastating missiles and laser cannons. It has jump technology that allows it to travel from one side of the galaxy to the other in almost an instant.
It is manned by hundreds of brave soldiers, techs, and scientists and is also loaded with a fleet of Robotech mech including the high-powered Destroid and the extremely versatile Veritech Fighters. The SDF-1 has a devastating maneuver called the Daedalus Attack. But far and away its most powerful weapon is its main gun which can fire a blast of such destructive force that everything in its path is completely annihilated. This attack can destroy several large alien battle cruisers at once.
The SDF-1 is also large enough to accommodate a sizable civilian population. All the homes and districts of the destroyed Macross Island were actually recreated within the hull of this massive warship. The SDF-1 has two modes. In its Cruiser Mode, the SDF-1 is a transport carrier that can travel from one side of the galaxy to the other at great speeds and accommodate not only military personnel but also a large civilian population of refugees quite comfortably. It also has an Attack Mode. In this intimidating mode, the SDF-1 transforms into a giant bi-pedal construct for better maneuverability and attack capabilities. While in this mode, its military occupants are on high alert status and ready to launch into battle on a moment’s notice. Meanwhile, its civilian refugees are to report to special safety locales within the SDF-1 to provide protection for them from the transformation as well as the incoming alien attacks.
The SDF-1 is easily one of the Odinson’s all time favorite Bases of Operation.
The Hall of Doom – What can you say about an awesome Base of Operations that can submerge under water, fly through space, time travel, teleport, house an assembly of the world’s most vile, notorious, and dangerous super villains, the Legion of Doom, and its shape vaguely resembles the helmet of Darth Vader? Oh, I don’t know except maybe – AWESOME!!!
Though I always root for the Super Friends, give me the Hall of Doom over the Hall of Justice any day.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
February 22, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Some people find each other, fall in love, and it’s a passionate, forever kind of love. But for whatever reason, they cannot be together. These couples are known as “star-crossed lovers.” Romeo and Juliet are probably the most well known example of this. These two are young people who fall hopeless in love with one another. There’s just one small problem - Romeo is a Montague and Juliet is a Capulet and the Montague Family and the Capulet Family are sworn enemies. So despite their feelings for each other, there is something that will forever keep them apart. Situations like this can escalate and usually lead to tragedy, as with Romeo and Juliet, a romance for the ages doomed to fail from the start.
The realm of horror is no stranger to the star-crossed lover concept. In Underworld a centuries old war has been raging between the vampire clans and their former werewolf slaves. And it all stems back to the forbidden love between Lucian, a werewolf, and Sonja, the daughter of a vampire lord. Fast forward a few hundred years and the war between vampires and werewolves now threatens to spill over into the world of men. Here we are introduced to Selene the Death-Dealer, a vampire trained to hunt and kill werewolves. Against the laws of her kind, she falls in love with Michael, a human destined to become the first hybrid between vampire and werewolf. This makes them fugitives and enemies to both sides, but hopefully their fate has a better ending than the doomed star-crossed lovers – Lucian and Sonja.
Another example of this is Spider-Man and Mary Jane. When they met, Peter Parker was an unassuming bookworm, shy and introverted, while Mary Jane Watson was an extraordinary beauty, flirtatious and extremely extraverted, a party girl. Two complete opposites so of course they fell in love. But as is the case with any true star-crossed couple their romance has been full of obstacles. There was Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s first great love that was tragically killed as Spider-Man battled his arch nemesis, the Green Goblin. Then Mary Jane found out that Peter was in fact Spider-Man (as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #257) and this was an obstacle because she feared for him risking his life every day battling super villains. He feared for her safety for if one of his enemies found out about their relationship it could be very bad. These were factors in her initially saying no to his marriage proposal (as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #290-291). They get past this and finally do get married (in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21), but from Clone Sagas to a failed pregnancy (see Spectacular Spider-Man #241), to MJ’s apparent death (see Amazing Spider-Man #13), life in the Marvel Universe throws obstacle after obstacle their way.
But the coup de grace to their romance happened in One More Day. During the Marvel Superheroes Civil War, Peter Parker revealed to the world that he was Spider-Man (see Civil War #2). This immediately put those he cares for in the crosshairs of his enemies. This plays out in the pages of Back in Black. When a sniper’s bullet puts Aunt May at death’s doorstep and no doctor or brilliant mind alive can save her, Peter and Mary Jane make a decision that will change their lives forever. For Aunt May to live, Peter and Mary Jane make a deal with the devil (literally) and sacrifice their marriage, their romance, their love. Thus began a Brand New Day where these two star-crossed lovers were separated yet again.
Ah, but as we learned in the Princess Bride, not even death can stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while. Even after Mephisto’s mystical influence on the world, Peter Parker and Mary Jane in recent months have somehow, against all odds, found their way back into each other’s lives (see Red-Headed Stranger). But the trials and tribulations continue as in the wake of Dying Wish, they once again find themselves separated by circumstances beyond their control. Only the future holds the key to whether or not there is a happily ever after in store for them.
A happily ever after is all but an impossibility for this next star crossed couple. The Odinson believes that Buffy and Angel are the greatest example of star crossed lovers since Romeo and Juliet. He is a vampire and she is a vampire slayer so, of course, they fall in love. She is the bright, sunny, optimistic, pop-culture referencing Miss Teen America, while he is the mysterious, brooding, much older product of the Old World. In spite of their glaring differences they fall for each other and they fall hard. The thing that keeps these two destined hearts from ever truly being together is the Curse.
Over two-hundred years ago, when Angel was first turned into a vampire, he became one of the most legendary monsters in the history of the Buffyverse. For over a hundred years he tortured, murdered, and terrorized his way across Europe and Asia and committed countless acts of unspeakable horror, until the day he murdered the favorite daughter of a gypsy clan. The gypsies came up with the perfect revenge. They cursed Angel with a soul. So now he walks the earth with all the guilt and regret that comes with memories of the evil he has done. The kicker is, if Angel were to ever experience a moment of true happiness he would once again lose his soul and revert into the monster he once was.
Fast forward one hundred torturous years and Angel experiences that moment of true happiness in the arms of his one true love, Buffy Summers. His soul lost, Angel reverts to Angelus, the soulless monster he once was. For months Angelus mentally and physically tortures Buffy and her loved ones. This tragic episode in their doomed romance ends when Buffy, in order to save the world, is forced to kill the man she loves, but not before Angel’s soul is returned. And Buffy is left alone with this knowledge.
Angel eventually returns, it is a world of monsters and magic after all, and it isn’t long before the fire between them ignites once again. But this time their relationship is strained, for they know the consequences if they were to ever give into their desires. So, in order to protect the woman he loves from ever suffering because of his curse, Angel does the hardest thing he has ever had to do and leaves Sunnydale behind. It’s a really heartbreaking thing to see two people who love each other so much not be able to be with each due to circumstances beyond their control. But the heartache was only beginning.
One of the most poignant moments in the history of the romance between Buffy and Angel happened not long after he left Sunnydale for L.A. As the two were in the middle of a heated discussion concerning boundaries, they are attacked by a demon assassin. Through happenstance, the monster’s blood mixes with Angel’s own and has a startling effect. It turns him into a human, soul intact and no curse to speak of. For one perfect day, Buffy and Angel are able to be with each other as a man and woman with no fear of repercussions and only dreams about a perfect future. But this, unfortunately, was not meant to last.
In order for the world not to lose a powerful force for good, Angel is forced to make the hardest decision of his life. The Powers That Be will bend time and space and reverse the clock twenty-four hours and return Angel to his vampire self. The true heartbreaking moment comes when Buffy realizes what is about to happen, and even worse is a few moments later when the spell takes effect and her memory of the day is gone forever. And the tragedy of it all is Angel is the only one of them that has the memory of that one perfect day they spent in each other’s arms.
But don’t fret. There is always hope. For the longest time Ross and Rachel were considered star-crossed. Even though he was her lobster - whether it was hunky Italian guys, the fact that they were on “a break,” false starts at the beach house, weddings in England where somebody says the wrong name, a drunken night in Vegas, or experiencing the “perfect way to say goodbye” – in the end, true love prevails. And as James O’Barr’s The Crow taught us – true love lasts forever.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell