The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stick a fork in him, he's done.

I loved "Pirates of the Caribbean" when it first came out, and while I have a mountain of problems with the sequels, I enjoyed aspects of them. A shame they got so over the top, that the franchise wore out its welcome. But I still enjoyed the first one, except for two problems. Keira Knightly and... ::drum roll: Orlando Bloom.

If anyone deserves a lifetime achievement razzie, it's Orlando Bloom. He's my personal pick for the single worst actor of the decade. Now, I'd agree that Hayden Christenson is technically worse, but I'm giving it to Orli because, for a long time, you could not escape him. He was in so many movies, two major franchises, and his face was on every magazine cover.

Now, I didn't mind him in "The Lord of the Rings" because he was easy enough to ignore, and he had great actors around him to distract us, and he was a minor character. An important minor character, but he didn't command the screen the way Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Bernard Hill, and so many others did. His "in your face moments" were few and far between.

Then "Pirates" came out. Then "Troy" came out. Then "Kingdom of Heaven" came out. Then... you get my point. This guy became a superstar. And I couldn't stand it. Why? For one simple reason: he can't act.

I would liken him to Leonardo DiCaprio when "Titanic" first came out. But there is a difference. DiCaprio was a very serious actor, still is. He had no idea he was about to become a teen heartthrob. And he hated being one. He was in this to be an actor, not the flavor of the month. He immediately picked roles to distance himself from "Titanic" and being a heartthrob. Very serious roles. And it was the smartest thing he could have done. He may no longer be the flavor of the month, but he's got a great career. He's become Martin Scorsese's new Robert De Niro, and Scorsese has never cast bad actors. DiCaprio has secured his longevity in the business.

Orlando Bloom is no Leonardo DiCaprio, even if it seemed that way from the start. He made no move to reinvent himself. And I once read an interview with him where he described acting as a dream career. Well, he didn't make much of it. You rarely see him or hear about him. He's not the flavor of the month anymore, and when that happens, all you have to rely on are your talents. Orlando Bloom has no such talents.

He may be in one or two more things, but, expect him to fade into obscurity. He doesn't have the chops.

His fifteen minutes are over. Now, if it seems I am jumping for joy here, well, I am. I know many terrific actors who work hard, and are very talented. But they were never given the opportunities Orlando Bloom squandered. I tend to prefer actors in movies to actually be able to act.

80's Cartoons Are Serious Business

Maybe it's just me, I don't know, but I have noticed a trend for a very long time. If you criticize a cartoon from the 1980's, you may as well be kicking someone's grandmother in the stomach.

I tend to blame the nostalgia glasses, as a lot of people will remember the cartoons they grew up with in the 1980's as these dark, brooding, Shakepearan epics. I've seen people say with a straight face that the original "Transformers" is better than "Batman the Animated Series." I wish I was kidding, but I am not.

Photobucket

I've seen people proclaim that "GI Joe" is better than "Gargoyles" and that "Cobra Commander was a badass that could make Xanatos lick his boots.

I've seen a lot of weird claims. Even a good friend and I had a debate about the original "Transformers the Movie" that got pretty heated. I was very critical of it, and at one point he said "it was a delightful piece of our childhood, and you won't speak ill of it."

Now, let me get this out of the way, I love that movie. I can quote it word for word. But I still recognize that the movie is crap. I can do that, and still enjoy it. Why can't other people? Why does it need to be placed on a pedestal next to "Casablanca?" Don't roll your eyes at me, I have seen that.

I'm reminded of something Greg Weisman once said:

I think Batman the Animated Series was a revelation to many of us, and gave us the courage and evidence of success that allowed us to at least attempt to match or better that great series. Simpsons helped too, as did Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid (the movie), and to a lesser extent The Great Mouse Detective. Animation seemed to be in something of a renaissance. But it shouldn't have been surprising. A generation of multi-discipline writers and artists who grew up on cartoons, comic books and genre fiction -- creative types who had learned to be discerning readers and viewers -- began to execute the kinds of shows they wanted to see. As for Gargoyles specifically, the miracle wasn't that people let me do what I wanted, but that they left me alone, which allowed me to do what I wanted. A subtle distinction, I know. But a significant one.


Yeah, this sums up the change. But why are so many dismissing the better shows that came later, and going on about how great the toy commercials of the 80's were? If they grew out of cartoons by then, that's fine. But, I know people who've watched them and proclaim the superiority of the toy commercials.

I will admit, I wonder how many of them have gone back and looked at them again. But, it doesn't matter. 80's cartoons are serious business, it seems. And so few people have a sense of humor about them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

So, IGN did a Top 100 Comic Book villains list. Naturally, I had to write my own thoughts and commentary on this. So, with your indulgence.

100. MODOK Now, personally, if I had my way, this little shit wouldn't be on here. Before this is over, I promise to name five villains who would have been more worthy than MODOK
99. Fin Fang Foom He's a giant dragon with a really stupid name, but I have a soft spot for him. He's worthy. Anyone remember the purple underpants he wore in the 1960s?
98. Mastermind So, you have the power to mentally cast illusions and you use it to make your ugly face handsome? Works for me... Mastermind is in it for the pussy. Unfortunately, he is one of the thousand mutants in it for Jean Grey's red pussy. What is the fascination with that woman, anyway?
97. Violator Wait, wait, wait? An Image villain? A Spawn villain?! BACK OF THE LINE!
96. Despero They colored him lavender and had Keith David voice him in the cartoon. For that, he is made of win.
95. Omega Red Hey, we want a kinky hentai tentacle villain for Wolverine but can't afford Dr. Octopus. So we'll give him this commie instead.
94. Annihilus Sigh, another villain that is discovered when Reed Richards over thinks how he's going to make an omelet. Next time, stick to Lucky Charms.
93. Omni-Man .... huh? MODOK, you're almost forgiven.
92. Parallax Just remember kids, if you go nuts and kill people, the "I was possessed by Parallax" card will absolve you of your sins faster than accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
91. The Adversary I am not that far in "Fables" yet, don't spoil me!
90. Carnage .... MODOK, all is forgiven.
89. Shade He was cool in JLU. He can stay.
88. Hunter Rose I have no idea who this is.
87. Electro Aww, he's just a big woobie. But, see Max. See what happens when you wear that stupid star fish mask? You barely beat Carnage.
86. The Governor ... of Alaska. Very scary.
85. Mysterio Hey?! He should be higher! And he should be in the next movie too.
84. Dr. Light ... didn't you build Mega Man? And isn't light a good thing? Change your name... try "The Infamous Refrigerator Killer" MWA HA HA HA HA HA!
83. Grigori Rasputin Hell yeah, way to acknowledge Hellboy!
82. Doctor Sivana I'm sorry, who are you?
81. The Mandarin This guy is so evil, they're afraid to put him in an Iron Man movie because he will piss off the Chinese. Seriously. Panda Express will issue a Chinese jihad or something.
80. Prometheus Um... yay?
79. Mirror Master Flash villains are lame, aren't they?
78. Lady Deathstrike See what happens when you fuck Wolverine? You see??! Don't fuck Wolverine!
77. Proteus You know what happens to the world when you drop a metric ton of acid and don't die? Yeah, that's what Proteus does to you... made Wolverine cry too.
76. Mister Mxyzptlk I'll give you $50 if you can pronounce this without a reference.
75. Magog Speaking of weird names? He sounds like something I ordered at a Thai restaurant.
74. Saint of Killers Hell yeah! You know how God pisses you off and you pray for understanding? Guess what this guy did instead. Come on, guess ;)
74. Clayface Okay, his Batman: TAS episodes were cool... at least until Robin fell in love with a piece of him. Ew.
72. Sandman Hey, I was mentioned in his debut episode of "The Spectacular Spider-Man"... for that alone, he stays.
71. Thunderbolt Ross Totally shouldn't be here. The Hulk is a threat. The Hulk has killed thousands. Kill Banner. Simple enough.
70. William Stryker Imagine if Oliver North and Fred Phelps had a love child (tee hee), well, this is him. And X-Men 2 was awesome also.
69. Cheetah For all you furries out there, enjoy. I continue to not get it.
68. Lucifer Morningstar Huh? He should be in the Top Ten. Easily! The Morningstar rocks. One of the best comics ever.
67. Mr. Freeze Could easily have scored higher. Maybe should have, but the Governor of California continues to melt him.
66. Herr Starr Hee hee... two R's.
65. Kang the Conqueror You know, I'd like him much better if he didn't have that stupid blue face.
64. Poison Ivy Meltdown from Harley/Ivy shippers that she is too low in 5, 4, 3, 2...
63. The Leader Hulk villains are lame too. So says GregX!
62. The Lizard Dr. Connors wanted a new arm, took a serum infecting himself with reptile DNA. Turned into the Lizard and went on a rampage. Spider-Man turns him back. Wash, rinse, repeat... I have summed up every single Lizard story there is.
61. Parasite All he wanted was a big screen TV. Is that too much to ask?
60. Amanda Waller Why is she awesome? How many other short, fat, black women are major supervillains? Kudos to her. Project Cadmus was awesome.
59. The Riddler Sigh, Batman may have the best rogue's gallery in comics, but this guy's gimmick has never wowed me.
58. Scarecrow Now we're talking... if Batman strikes fear into the hearts of criminals, Professor Crane here strikes fear into the hearts of innocent people. Good stuff.
57. Hobgoblin A great villain, I love him. Well, the original one, anyway. A pale imitation, but a pale imitation with balls and style. Come back soon.
56. Dormammu Okay, why is this guy fun? Say outloud "The dread Dormammu" and say it as corny and dramatic as you possible can. Isn't it fun?
55. Sebastian Shaw Gotta love this guy. The Black King of the Hellfire Club, and the most dangerous SCA/bondage fetishist in all of fiction. X-Men, beware.
54. Abomination His name speaks for itself.
53. Kraven the Hunter Remember when he blew his brains out? That was cool. Remember anything else? Neither do I.
52. Metallo Sigh, watch his episodes in Superman:TAS. An example of villain decay if I ever saw one.
51. Penguin... DeVito walking around in his underwear. Chew on that.
50. Cassandra Nova So, Charles Xavier had a twin sister who tried to strangle him in the womb. So he used his mental powers in the womb to knock her out. The fetus was thrown away and survived, grew up and massacred thousands of mutants... I am not making any of that up.
49. Anti-Monitor Um... sure.
48. Mephisto The obvious question is, why is he ahead of Lucifer? The second question... um... was stealing Peter Parker and Mary Jane's marriage worth it? Are you enjoying it? Um... you're not Joe Quesada, are you?
47. Thanos Thanos is a great an awesome character and is totally not a rip-off of Darkseid... and no Corvus doesn't have a gun to my head. CALL THE POLICE!!!! ;)
46. Doomsday No depth. No personality. A badass who appeared out of no where to kill Superman. Sounds like the 90s for you.
45. Harley Quinn YAY!!!!!!!! She squeeled. Mistah J shoved her out a window. We loved her ever since.
44. Sabretooth Come on Logan, just cut his head off. Be rid of him? Wait, you did? Cool.
43. Deadshot Okay, he's DC's greatest marksman. Has he ever killed a hero? No. Poopie.
42. Talia Al Ghul I'd hit it. Hot, smart, sexy, that accent. And... Batman's been there. You'll take Batman's sloppy seconds and you'll like it.
41. Mongul Unlike Thanos, he is a lame Darkseid rip-off.
40. Baron Zemo II Pissed because Norman Osborn stole your team? Don't feel bad. Dark Avengers... Dark X-Men... he's stealing everyone's team.
39. Shredder Are we allowed to say cowabunga in front of him? Aw, he's a lame 80s cartoon villain, he can't hurt you. ::Skims his original comic book appearance:: Holy shit....
38. Sentinels Living here in Jersey, fighting villains from afar. You've gotta find first gear in your giant robot car. You dig giant robots! I did giant robots! We dig giant robots! Chicks did giant robots! .... Mutants? Not so much.
37. Zoom Was the name Speedy taken?
36. Vandal Savage Vandal Savage is proof that if cavemen and astronauts got into a fight the cavemen would win.
35. Gorilla Grodd So, Curious George learned all that he needed to from the man in the yellow hat, is now no longer curious and... I'm sorry, but... "I wasn't going to do this for another few weeks, but seriously. Turning all of humanity into apes? That was your master plan?" ::shoots him::
34. Bane Because Doomsday worked so well, another lame newbie with big muscles for Batman!
33. Cyborg Superman Isn't it nice that Little Johnny's fanfic character became canon?
32. Deathstroke I like the name 'Slade' better.
31. Professor Zoom ... Timothy Leary didn't die, did he?
30. General Zod Do I really have to tell that same joke? Do I? Really? Huh? Oh, it's required by federal law? Sigh... "SON OF JOR'EL! KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!!!!" Happy? I'm not going to jail now? Great!
29. Sinister "I'm a mysterious badass come to torment the X-Men. You don't know my back story, for it is shrouded in mystery and contradictions. You will only learn it years after you have ceased to care. Oh, and I am obsessed with Scott Summers' wee wee."
28. Dr. Octopus Here he is! Choke on this, Omega Red! One of the Top Two Spidey foes, indeed. Hey, if he's here, then that means Venom didn't make the list. Yay!
27. Captain Cold ... Flash villains are lame, aren't they? How is he ahead of Mr. Freeze? The governor of California wasn't that .... yes, he was that bad.
26. Kid Miracleman He was created by Alan Moore, so show him respect.
25. Bizarro Does anyone not remember that Seinfeld episode that didn't have Bizarro Jerry, Bizarro George and Bizarro Kramer? Bizarro Kramer is totally racist. Hello!
24. Apocalypse "I'm a mysterious badass come to torment the X-Men. You don't know my back story, for it is shrouded in mystery and contradictions. You will only learn it years after you have ceased to care. Do you like the big A on my belt? How about my big blue lips" BIG LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT!
23. Ultron A true classic, just don't let Bendis give him tits again.
22. Venom Venom??? Ahead of Doc Ock?! The list is officially retarded now!
21. Ozymandias It's not that he killed the Comedian. It's not that he created a giant squid and used it to nuke Manhattan. It's not that he did it 35 minutes ago. He has a folder on his computer labled 'Boys'. Now that's evil. He changed the world and he's a sexual predator. Kudos to you, Adrian Veidt
20. Bullseye Deadshot, eat your heart out. Remember when he stabbed Elektra with a sai? That was... kinky.
19. Juggernaut "Wah, my stepbrother has a bigger Christmas present than I do! I'm gonna get big and strong and kill him.... bitch."
18. Mystique As a blue skinned, red head. Mystique is Marvel's most fuckable mutant. The best part is, she's a shape shifter. So, if you want Lindsey Lohan or Nathan Fillion... give her a call.
17. Brainiac Can someone please tell me why his name is so retarded?
16. Black Adam Um... I had a joke here, but I don't want to apologize to Jesse Jackson. Moving on...
15. Sinestro It takes a real badass to run around with pink skin and be intimidating. Sinestro pulls if off magnificently.
14. Red Skull Let's see. Nazi? Check. Personally schooled by Hitler? Check. Killed Captain America? Check. One of Marvel's best. You love to hate him.
13. Norman Osborn Hell yeah, my old buddy. Now this is a Spider-Man villain. None of this symbiote crap. I bet he'll be even higher once "Dark Reign" is over.
12. Two-Face Okay, the villains are all cool now, so I don't know what to say to make fun of them.
11. Catwoman Does she still count as a villain? If she does and Emma Frost is not on this, I call shenanigans.
10. Kingpin If Tony Soprano didn't see a shrink and didn't have Meadow for a daughter... Kingpin would have killed that piece of shit, AJ, years ago.
9. Dark Phoenix Jean Grey may be unfuckable. But Dark Phoenix? Yum... she can eat my galaxy any time.
8. Loki .... now that Loki is a chick... I want to fuck him... her, HER! Good god, please stay a chick. If you change back, I am going to feel really weird. Now, if only some hottie brunette would CosPlay as girl!Loki at Comic Con. ;)
7. Ra's Al Ghul So, Ra's here offers Batman an empire and his hot daughter to fuck. Batman says no. Batman is a moron.
6. Darkseid Poor Darkseid, he spent centuries looking for the Anti-Life equation. Little did he realize it was on Earth. "World of Warcraft" will eat your life. Should Darkseid ever figure that out... maybe he'll leave us alone once he gets sucked into it.
5. Galactus Legend says that if you laugh at his hat while he's eating your planet, he'll shit it out and eat it again. Don't laugh at his hat.
4. Lex Luthor Don't cause mentally deranged geniuses to lose their hair. No good can come of it.
3. Dr. Doom Doom is boycotting this blurb. For if he cannot be number one, we cannot mention him any further. Suck it up, Doom. Don't be a crybaby.
2. Joker He hijacked his arch-enemy's movie. TWICE! Throw in his B:TAS portrayal and the fact that he's the fucking Joker and we're shocked... shocked. If he's not #1 who is?

1. Magneto A shocker and yet, a no brainer. See? Multi-layered and complex villains are a GOOD THING. He's not just a comic book villain, Magneto is downright Shakespearan. Lex Luthor is pissed that Superman made him bald. Magneto is pissed because Nazis killed his people and tortured him. Luthor is a pussy.

And as promised... five better villains who have appeared in comics than MODOK. Demona, Thailog, Xanatos, Megatron, Vulture. I could go on, but I won't.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Super Villainess

So, this is something I've been pondering. Are there any real female supervillains out there. Okay, I know there are, but I am talking about A-List female supervillains.

When I say A-List supervillains, the following names immedietely come to mind:

Dr. Doom; Magneto; the Joker; Lex Luthor (who I always thought was a jackass); Norman Osborn/Green Goblin; Ra's al Ghul; the Kingpin; Dr. Octopus; Loki; Galactus; Darkseid; Thanos; well, you get the idea.

What is one thing they all have in common? They all have penises.

Honestly, the only A-List female supervillain who operates on that scale that I can think of is Demona from "Gargoyles." There are plenty of other female supervillains out there, but they're all little bads, where as Demona is a Big Bad. And since "Gargoyles" has crossed over from animated series into comic books, I don't mind counting her.

Other female supervillains that I can think of include Catwoman; Talia al Ghul; Emma Frost; Lily Hollister aka Menace; Star Sapphire; Harley Quinn; Poison Ivy; Madame Masque; Scarlet Witch; and Mystique.

Okay... those characters are all either subordinates of a male villain (Harley, Madame Masque, Menace, Talia, Mystique); a hero's femme fatale love interest (Catwoman, Talia, Madame Masque), turned good (Catwoman, Emma Frost, Scarlet Witch), or B-List villains at best.

The one exception might be Mystique. She assembled her own Brotherhood, and was smart enough to get them status as a government-licensed super-team, before everybody and their Skrull-doppelganger was doing that after "Civil War"...

... And then she gets played off as Magneto's token chick subordinate in every media ever. Also it depends on who is writing Mystique this week.

A little bit of trivia, Venom was supposed to be a woman. The idea originally was that a pregnant woman was in a car with her husband in Manhattan as Spider-Man did battle against a supervillain, and innocent people were caught in the middle. Car crashes, husband dies, and the woman loses her baby and snaps. She blames Spider-Man for what happened, and in her grief and rage, she is found by the symbiote, bonds with it, and becomes Venom. That was David Michelinie's original idea. But then Spider-Editor, Jim Salicrup, didn't think anyone would buy a woman as a credible, physical threat to Spider-Man, and at the last minute, we got Eddie Brock instead.

So, is Demona it? I mean, as far as A-List supervillains go, she is a great one. One of the best, and most compelling, without being watered down at all as a threat. You can understand her, and even sympathize, but at the same time, you're not rooting for her to win. She is a credible threat, and can stand against just about any other character I've named. And her gender doesn't even matter as a defining point of her character, period. Well, outside of her being Goliath's former mate, but that just makes their conflict that much more personal.

Yes, I understand that when comic books were taking off, and the Comics Code was in affect, men battling and "beating up on women" was a no no, which is why very few female villains existed then. Very few female heroes either, they were mostly relegated to the status of girlfriend. Obviously, there were exceptions like Wonder Woman; Invisible Woman; Marvel Girl; etc.

Personally, I'd love to see more female supervillains. And not just for tokenism either. We've got some great ones, or ones with potential for greatness that just need more of a push.

At least that's my opinion, I could be wrong.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tim Burton's Maleficent.

Maleficent is probably the greatest villain in the pantheon of Disney movie villains. She's scary, dignified, classy, a beast. She has a terrific design, and was cast well. She carries herself with an aura of pure evil. None of the other movie villains come close to even touching her. There's Maleficent, and then there's everyone else. She's a big part of the reason why "Sleeping Beauty" is my favorite classic Disney movie.

She's also been very well utilized in the "Kingdom Hearts" series. Her "legacy" is added to very organically there. Whether she's leading the other villains, or engaged in her old cold war with Xehanort to determine who the Big Bad truly is. This series has used her wonderfully, and I look forward to more installments.

Photobucket

Then I read that Tim Burton wants to make a live action movie all about Maleficent. Personally, I think this is a very bad idea. He hasn't made a good movie in a very long time, and I don't trust him with this material.

But, more importantly, I hear that he wants to tell her story. Well, I like my villains being humanized as much as the next person. But, Maleficent is not someone who should be humanized. She is the mistress of all evil. She commands all the powers of Hell. She is not Demona. She is not Magneto. We don't know where she came from, we don't know how she got this way, and we're better off not knowing.

I think it would diminish her if we got some sob story about how King Stefan persecuted her, or whatever Burton wants to do with Maleficent. It will completely shatter her mystique.

But the real reason why this is even being considered is because "Wicked" turned out to be a blockbuster hit. Now, I like "Wicked," but I don't want to see Maleficent's character compromised to piggyback on what "Wicked" did. The Wicked Witch of the West is a very different character, and there are seeds of a backstory between her and Glinda in the story. The Wicked Witch of the West lends herself to this sort of thing far better. Maleficent is pretty much a female Satan figure. You look at her and that tells you all you need to know. She shouldn't be humanized because she is truly inhuman.

A character who is Pure Evil is exceedingly difficult to pull off and keep interesting, but Maleficent pulls it off, and I would not want to see her robbed of this.

So, Mr. Burton, I hope you reconsider. And if not, I hope Maleficent manages to use all the powers of Hell to keep this project in Development Hell.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Can Fans Love Too Much?

Well, the above answer is definitely yes if you talk about how far some fans get when they become obsessed, but that's not what I am talking about. If "Romeo and Juliet" was written by fans, they wouldn't have died.

When you get into the realm of fandom, and see what directions fans want a series and its characters to go in, I begin to wonder if some fans have a subconscious desire to make things less interesting. Let's take a look at "Gargoyles" for this entry, as it's the fandom I know best.

I used to read a lot of "Gargoyles" fanfiction, and I still mingle with a lot of the fans on various forums. But whenever we get into a serious discussion on what should happen next, I am honestly surprised whenever someone suggests something good, or even credible. Because almost all the time, fans throw up wish lists that would completely rob the series of its teeth.

Take Goliath and Elisa's love story, for example. It took them sixty-five episodes to even kiss, and almost as long for Elisa to acknowledge her feelings for him. When Elisa briefly got cold feet in "Invitation Only," a good portion of the fandom revolted. Weisman was accused of violating the integrity of the characters, people were angry, and accused Elisa of acting out of character. To which I ask, did any of you ever watch the sixty-five episodes of the series? Ever? This isn't just an interracial relationship, this is interspecies, and it has a lot of very real consequences.

What do most fans want? For Goliath and Elisa to quickly get married and have lots of babies together. As for the former, Weisman has said a commitment ceremony is coming eventually. As for the latter, gargoyles and humans cannot procreate together. May I add that the notion upsets a lot of fans?

And then these fans come up with these weird loopholes to try to get Goliath and Elisa to procreate, usually involving science or sorcery. The two names that get thrown out there the most are Puck and Dr. Anton Sevarius. You can tell that the fans who mention them don't stop at all to think. Puck is a trickster, not a genie. He'll do you no favors without something blowing up in your face for his own amusement. And as for Sevarius... um... he's only slightly less immoral than Joseph "Angel of Death" Mengele. Whenever someone suggests he help Goliath and Elisa, I want to smack them upside the head.

Goliath and Elisa are in love, but it shouldn't be easy. Why make it less interesting.

Next is Demona, who is probably the series' greatest villain. She has a lot of depth, she's very compelling, and you can understand why she is a genocidal bitch. She had a rough life, filled with tragedy. Of course, now she knows her daughter, Angela, exists. Does she love her daughter? Of course. And yes, she helped the clan defeat Thailog after he threatened to kill her. There is a large portion of the fandom who believe that Demona will reform and all it will take is a hug from Angela. Those people tend to forget that the very next time Demona and Angela saw each other, Demona tried to commit mass genocide on the human race, and that she risked Angela's own life to escape after her scheme was foiled.

Demona loves her daughter very much, which is why I scratch my head when people don't think that Angela will become Demona's newest excuse. Let's face it, Demona's entire life is one big rationalization. Nothing is ever her fault, it's either the humans' or Goliath's. If she can use protecting Angela as justification for future attempts at genocide, she will.

Demona is a tragic character, and while Weisman has said she will eventually have an epiphany, it shouldn't be a happy moment, it should be a tragic moment... when she realizes what she sacrificed because she is a fuck up. It won't happen until sometime during the "Gargoyles: 2198" spin-off, well after Angela is dead.

DEMONA - For over a thousand years, Demona has plotted against humanity, blaming them for crimes against the gargoyle race. Now that a greater threat, the Space-Spawn, has reared it's many ugly heads, Demona has reluctantly joined Samson's resistance cell. But no one, including Demona herself, is fully confident that she'll continue to fight on the side of the angels. This may be her last chance at redemption... or her final opportunity to annihilate the human race. Still, Samson felt it necessary to actively recruit her. It's hard to pass up the help of a warrior who's survived a millennium's worth of battles, a sorceress who knows how to combine ancient magic with modern technology. And then there's that bit about her turning into a human during the day. The only question is how she will use her talents. For now, she's siding with the resistance. But can that last?


I rest my case on this one. So, I think I'll pimp my friend, Rob's excellent Demona on Christmas Eve story that completely subverts what most fanfiction would do:

Check out "Tis the Season"

Then there are other examples, such as fans wanting to restore Coldstone and Coldfire to flesh and blood... without logically thinking of how. Puck and Sevarius get trotted out again for this one, and I need not repeat why that's just stupid. Not to mention, it would cheapen their original deaths.

There were even a few examples of people preferring David Xanatos's depiction in the non-canon "The Goliath Chronicles" to the in character depiction in the comic book. TGC emasculated him by turning him into "Mr. Sappy Good Guy" while the comic depicts it as an uneasy alliance, and Xanatos still willing to use the gargoyles to his own ends, even if he's learned he needs to give a little too.

Even the GargWiki engaged in this misconception at a time. The opening paragraph for David Xanatos' entry originally read:

David Xanatos - The founder, owner, and CEO of Xanatos Enterprises. Once the gargoyles' greatest enemy, but now their current protector.


Eventually, Greg Weisman himself edited this paragraph to read:

David Xanatos is the founder, owner, and CEO of Xanatos Enterprises. Once the gargoyles' greatest enemy, but now their... host.


Alas, many fans still don't get it. And to some, that means he's either a good guy or a bad guy, and some have trouble grasping nuances.

And finally, one of the big ones. A lot of fans hate the gargoyle species itself. Hate them. Okay, maybe not the species but the cultural identity. So many of them work very hard to strip gargoyles of everything that makes them culturally unique and turn them into little more than "humans with wings." Looking different is cool. Thinking fundamentally different is not. So, these fans are, well, little different than John Castaway and the Quarrymen in my mind, except instead of wanting to destroy them, they want to "civilize them." They're like Spanish Conquistadors. Wait, maybe that's a good name for the "Gargoyles" revisionists. Gargoyle Conquistadors.

There are plenty of other examples out there, and while I think it boils down to wanting to see your favorite characters happy, well, happy characters seldom lead to good drama. So, to all the fans out there who want to see the series continue, please don't wish to rob the series of its teeth, because if you had your way, it would be very dull. It would not be the series we fell in love with.

Hmm, I wonder if any "Transformers" fans want Optimus Prime and Megatron to be friends?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ta ta for now

Well, tonight was Conan's last show as host of "The Tonight Show." Jay Leno will be returning, and I won't be watching.

Conan went out with class, and he said something that struck me. Not to be cynical, because if you're kind and work hard, anything can happen. As a cynic myself, it struck me. If he walked away from accomplishing his dream with that attitude, can I do any less?

Godspeed Conan, I'll watch you wherever you end up.

As a final tribute to the man, I am re-posting here every single segment of "Conan O'Brien Hates My Homeland"

http://conan.kary.ca/

Awhile ago, Conan did a bit where he showed fake Euro coins. One of those coins made fun of the Ukraine, which provoked a lot of angry letters. Here's the interesting part: those letters were from the Ukraine. Conan had no idea that Late Night was aired in the Ukraine, and began to wonder where else he was on. You would think he could just ask NBC, but they won't tell him, because then they'd have to pay him more.

There is just one way to find out, and that is to viciously insult every nation in the world, and see which ones he gets letters from.

Afghanistan
The bad news is, there's a new article about everyone farming opium.
The good news is, you can't read.

Albania
The perfect getaway for people who love Kosovo, but hate the working phone service.

Algeria
It took you eight years to beat France.

Andorra
How does it feel, being Luxembourg's bitch?

Angola
Hey, call me when your life expectancy catches up with your inflation rate.

Azerbaijan
Believe it or not, you can use oil for more than just killing seals.

The Bahamas
It takes a lot of rum to forget your major export is crawfish.

Bahrain
A thriving centre of trade and culture... until 2000 BC!

Bangladesh
If you can hear this, your television isn't underwater. Congratulations!

Barbados
There simply isn't a more beautiful island... to sail by on your way to Jamaica.

Belarus
Clay, sand, and chalk: Your richest natural resources are what a toddler throws up after a big day at preschool.

Belgium
The only European country to never successfully invade Belgium.

Belize
Get your camera; they're paving a road!

Benin
Keep practicing those voodoo spells and maybe someday you'll be as rich as Rwanda.

Bhutan
So they took away your freedom of the press? Who needs it when your only headline is "Bhutan Continues to Suck?"

Bolivia
Remember kids, you must be at least nine years old to overthrow the goverment.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Nothing spells a bright future like signing your peace accord in Dayton, Ohio.

Botswana
Diamonds are forever; too bad your people check out at 35.

Brazil
Home to more than 800 species of unregulated breast implants.

Brunei
If there was ever an argument for the death penalty, it's chicken smuggling.

Bulgaria
So what if you misplaced a little weapons-grade uranium? The important thing is keeping track of all those hand-made doileys and goat hair rugs.

Burkina Faso
In the traditional tribal language, that's Burkina for "land of" and Faso for "people who want to get the hell out of Burkina Faso."

Burma
The bad news is, you've got rampant malaria.
The good news is, it doesn't stop the kids from making those shirts.

Burundi
All that coffee in a country with no reason to wake up.

Cambodia
How many temples does it take before you guys realize God isn't listening?

Cameroon
Not to be mistaken with the macaroon, a small, chewy cookie... with a longer life expectancy!

Canada
With massive overpopulation threatening the globe, Canadians maintain a population of less than 35 million. How do they do it? Zero sex appeal!

Cape Verde
Millions visit your island nation... to refuel their planes!

Central African Republic
So bad, the gorillas learn sign language for "Poach me."

Chad
Good news: Ustad Ali Khan is headlining the Locust Plague Festival.

Chile
The good news is, it's finally legal to get a divorce.
The bad news is, who gets the active volcano and who gets the 55,000 square miles of lifeless desert?

China
If you're gonna be in prison, it might as well be for no reason.

Colombia
You'll come for the enticing beauty of the Caribbean Sea. You'll stay because you've been kidnapped and locked in the trunk of a Dodge Dart.

Comoros
On a list of the world's purchasing power, you're ranked 222. Did I mention there are only 190 countries?

Democratic Republic of Congo
Where even a poor boy with no prospects can grow up to be run over by a presidential motorcade.

Republic of Congo
Without you, who would the elephants trample?

Costa Rica
Thanks for giving us a place to dump our potheads.

Cote D'Ivoire
Cocoa, sugar, and mass killings. Are you a country or a Willy Wonka nightmare?

Croatia
Congratulations on your candidacy for the European Union. Imagine, if that comes through, it could employ two, maybe three people.

Cuba
Where "high-tech" means you've got a radio on your homemade raft.

Cyprus
Where the Mediterranean climate makes it a joy to spend each day mining asbestos.

Czech Republic
The country that explains why Kafka never wrote a happy story.

Denmark
Too bad you can't build a warm, sunny day out of Legos.

Djibouti
Imagine how great life would be if you had the rich natural resources of Ethiopia.

Dominica
Where the national catchphrase is "I'm sorry, officer, I didn't mean to interrupt your armed robbery."

Dominican Republic
The perfect place for anyone who's ever asked themself "Where'd my car go?"

East Timor
It takes a lot to admit you live on the bad side of Timor.

Ecuador
Street crime is on the rise, so keep your ransom note in an inside pocket.

Egypt
Where priceless ancient statues and mummies are so close, you can fly to London and see them at the British Museum.

El Salvador
Where no resumé is complete without the phrase "Supervised six-person death squad."

Equatorial Guinea
Congratulations, you just discovered vast oil reserves... I mean, we just discovered vast oil reserves. *evil laugh*

Eritrea
You only have one TV station, but cheer up - it's got locust reports on the eights!

Estonia
Home of the European flying squirrel, the only Estonian mammal that's not an alcoholic.

Ethiopia
I can't do this one, let's move on.

Fiji
If you're visiting Fiji, you have to go snorkeling, 'cause it's the best way to flee cannibals.

Finland
We're so dumb, we can't wait to be insulted to send a meaningless postcard with a tire on the front.

You've had over 5,000 years of culture, and the world's most famous Finn is still Huckleberry.

France
You gave us the term "deja vu," as in "Wow, I have this weird feeling you've been obnoxious and arrogant before. Deja vu!"

(Wait a minute, this is France, so I think I can't do just one.)

France
Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Gauguin, Manet: You're number one when it comes to great minds that died of syphilis.

Gabon
You have to question a country that grants five terms to a man called "President Bongo."

The Gambia
The only nation brave enough to say "Let those offshore oil reserves wait. We've got a good thing going with these peanuts and palm kernels."

Georgia
Where Europe meets Asia and says "Hey, why don't we both dump our crap here?"

Germany
The great 20th-century power that said, "Ditch Einstein, get Hasselhoff."

Ghana
The 'h' is silent, like a room full of people after you ask "What's worthwhile about Ghana?"

Greece
Big news: Historians now think the first marathon took place in August 490 BC, not September. That means nothing good has come out of Greece for a month longer than previously believed.

Grenada
When you're at the end of a grueling fifteen-hour day peeling the husks off nutmeg, remember this: without you, the world would have to sprinkle its eggnog with cinnamon.

Guatemala
Where the Mayans invented the zero, as in "What are the chances this shirt was made by someone over the age of eight? Zero!"

Guinea
Even guinea pigs have the good sense to claim they're actually from Peru.

Guinea-Bissau
The only book that mentions it is The Audubon Guide to Locusts.

Guyana
The Eskimos have sixty words for "snow." The Guyanans have eighty words for "dysentery."

Haiti
You just celebrated two hundred years of independence. Congratulations. Now make a wish and blow out your burning pile of tires.

Hungary
Sure, your next-door neighbour Austria was home to Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, Schubert, and Freud, but don't forget, you make pretty good stuffed cabbage.

Iceland
I'm amazed you don't have a military. How do you protect your 85,000 square miles of uninhabitable land?

India
A nation so richly diverse, you can walk into a single neighborhood and find cholera, dengue fever, malaria, typhoid, and plague.

Indonesia
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of your first democratic election, in which apparently, everyone voted to never have another democratic election.

Iran
Just two more years 'til you have a nuclear warhead, and two years and a day 'til you use it on a woman holding a beer.

Ireland
You know, there's a wonderful old Irish legend that goes something like this: Once upon a time, many years ago, there was an Irishman who could hold down a job.

Israel
Hey, remember when life in Israel was vibrant and carefree? Man, that was the day.

Italy
The newspapers are reporting a miracle. Apparently, a statue of Mary moved her hand and said, "I just worked harder than 80% of your workforce."

Jamaica
Of course you've got an astronomical murder rate. You've had "No Woman No Cry" on repeat for 25 years.

Japan
Last century, you brutally defeated China and Russia. This century, you make Hello Kitty toasters.

Jordan
Thanks to your country's progress in human rights, now your citizens can choose which hand you cut off.

Kenya
It's a beautiful place to grow old, assuming you're one of the 2.3% of Kenyans who live to 65.

South Korea
Your biggest natural resource is coal, which gives dog a nice, smokey flavour.

Kuwait
We saved your ass from Saddam. Now make with the oil, bitch.

Kyrgystan
If your country could afford vowels, you could spell "this place sucks."

Laos
You'll come for the early Asian ruins. You'll stay 'cause you've been stricken with avian bird flu.

Latvia
Your leading industries are textiles, heavy machinery production, and trading your daughters for second-hand American blue jeans.

Liberia
Are you bummed out 'cause your country has only 120 miles of paved road? Well, cheer up! Your 41-year life expectancy should give you plenty of time to see all of it.

Luxembourg
Come visit our country, but make sure you also have an afternoon activity.

Malawi
Just like Florida, except without the electricity, phones, drinkable water, or protection from roaming death squads.

Malaysia
Where the police cane you first, then ask for a bribe.

Maldives
You'll come for the tropical climate. You'll stay 'cause you've been eaten by tiger sharks.

Mali
What's that noise? People arguing in tribal languages over the last pile of ground nuts!

Malta
Brimming with culture, history, and mustachioed Sicilian hookers.

Marshall Islands
To write a joke about your country, we Googled it. No results were found.

Mexico
Look, there's an honest policeman! No, wait, they got him.

Monaco
Where Eurotrash goes to gamble away their facelift money.

Mongolia
Where Chinese freedom meets Siberian comfort.

Mozambique
The good news is, you only have the fourteenth highest death rate in the world.
The bad news is, you border numbers one, three, four, and seven.

Myanmar
Remember when your government was almost toppled by a pair of cigarette-smoking twelve-year-old twins who you thought were immortal? Man, you sure have come a long way since 2001.

Nepal
Home to eight of the world's highest peaks; nine if you count your unemployment rate.

The Netherlands
Congratulations, you've turned 500 years of culture into a pot joke.

New Caledonia
Still a world leader in beach erosion.

Nicaragua
Come learn about the heritage of your nanny.

Nigeria
Where children come first... in the draft.

Norway
Sweden has Ikea, Finland has Nokia... Hey Norway, what do you have? Nothing-kia!

Oman
As in "Oh man, I can't believe you cut my hand off for stealing an orange!"

Pakistan
Guess what? You're not worth jack-istan!

Palau
How do you enter Palau? Arrive in a national airport.
How do you leave Palau? Through a shark's colon.

Panama
Congratulations, you have the second-busiest canal after Paris Hilton.

Philippines
Mi casa es su landfill.

Poland
We'd write an insult about Poland, but they'd just send themselves the hate mail.

Romania
Come see our museum of the Middle Ages. We call it "Romania."

Russia
The perfect marriage of rampant corruption and tacky track suits.

St. Kitts & Nevis
You know, after you get through the shrinking population and the low birth rate, there's almost no one left to die during hurricane season.

Samoa
Kind of like Fiji, but without all the reasons to go there.

Saudi Arabia
You'll come for the history, you'll stay because they arrested your wife for accidentally showing her ankles.

Serbia
You tried ethnic cleansing; how about cleaning your armpits?

Sierra Leone
You fought for the British in World War I, now you're fighting for your first working toilet.

Slovakia
In 1993, Czechoslovakia was split into two seperate parts: Slovakia, and the good part.

Somalia
Plagued by decades of civil war. Come on, guys, there's plenty of rubble for everyone!

Spain
Five hundred years ago, you were a global superpower, and now you're not. Hmm, that's strange. Oh well, time for another four-hour nap!

Sweden
Your contributions to the world: crappy furniture and Stockholm Syndrome.

Syria
We haven't bombed you yet. Still, I'd hold off on any major contruction projects.

Taiwan
Oh wait, you're not a real country. You're China's bitch!

Tajikistan
Congratulations, you're where Uzbekistanis go to feel better about themselves.

Thailand
Where you can have sex with a 14-year-old prostitute, if they're willing to come out of retirement.

Togo
You've got it all... and by "it all," I mean risk of both bacterial and protozoal diarrhea.

Trinidad & Tobago
The Siegfried & Roy of the Lesser Antilles.

Tunisia
Remember that scene in Star Wars when they're on that desert planet and they go into that bar with all those weird creatures? Guess what, that was filmed in Tunisia, and those weren't actors!

Turkey
Formerly the Ottoman Empire, whose greatest achievement was inventing a piece of furniture to rest your feet on.

Turkmenistan
Why don't more people give their children Turkmen names? I don't know, let's ask President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov.

Turks & Caicos
Where the national library is housed under the reception desk of a Sandals Resort.

Uganda
Situated right between Rwanda and the Sudan. Jealous?

United Arab Emirates
You're remarkably tolerant on women's rights: you let them drive a car to their stoning.

United Kingdom
The sun never sets on the United Kingdom, and it never rose on British dentistry.

Uzbekistan
You've got a novel way to fight corruption: you don't have anything worth stealing!

Vanuatu
You have more than a hundred local languages; in other words, over a hundred ways to say "Hey, remember when Survivor was here?"

Vietnam
Come and reunite your sneakers with the eight-year-olds who made them.

Virgin Islands
Well you wouldn't be, if you weren't so damn ugly.

Wallis & Fortuna
The reason for your people's long lifespan? Not even Death knows where the hell you are!

Yemen
If you think Yemen is too tough on shoplifters, raise your right stump.

Zambia
Don't let anyone tell you that you're dirt-poor. You've got plenty of dirt!

Zimbabwe
You'll come for the country's pristine natural beauty. You'll stay because rogue soldiers have chained you to a burned-out jeep.

Mail YOUR angry letter to...

My name is Greg and I have not seen "Avatar." But whenever anyone compares it to "Dances With Wolves," my desire to see it plummets further.

So, to those of you who read, who saw it, who liked it. Why should I go see this?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On Friday, Conan O'Brien will leave the Tonight Show for good. Here's video of the last time someone did that:



If nothing else, this week finally showed everyone what kind of viper Jay Leno really is. If the debacle with Letterman didn't do it, this certainly did.

Speaking of Letterman, he is LOVING this. Any excuse to verbally assassinate Leno. I'm loving it too.

Aw well, to show my support for Conan, I've made this:

Monday, January 18, 2010

So, with Spider-Man being rebooted, I was thinking of how to recast him and his supporting cast:

At least this is the cast and characters I would include in a reboot. Again, this is just fantasy casting. But I tried to follow certain rules.

SPIDER-MAN

Aaron Johnson as Peter Parker

PhotobucketPhotobucket

THE SUPPORTING CAST

Dianna Agron as Gwen Stacy

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Paul Dano as Harry Osborn

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Evan Rachel Wood as Mary Jane Watson

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Helen Mirren as Aunt May

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Nolan Gerard Funk as Flash Thompson

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Hayden Pannatierre as Liz Allan

PhotobucketPhotobucket

J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson (Why mess with perfection?)

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Phil LaMarr as Joe "Robbie" Robertson

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Jamie Lynn Sigler as Betty Brant

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Nathan Fillion as Ned Leeds

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Gary Cole as Dr. Curt Connors

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Bruce Greenwood as Captain George Stacy

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Daniel Day-Lewis as Norman Osborn

PhotobucketPhotobucket

THE VILLAINS

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dr. Octopus

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Robert Englund as The Vulture

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Frank Vincent as Silvio "Silvermane" Manfredi

PhotobucketPhotobucket

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rebooting Spider-Man

Everyone and their grandmother has ideas for how Spider-Man should be re-booted in the movies. However, as a film buff, a comic book geek, and someone who is always right I think I'll share mine.

First off, don't do the origin. Everyone in the world knows the origin, and it wastes at least an hour of precious screen time.

Peter Parker/Spider-Man

I never liked Tobey Maguire in the role. He did the awkward nerd very well, but he didn't give us the smart ass. Peter Parker is an awkward nerd, and a funny smart ass. Sure, he has bad luck, but his sense of humor gets him through things. Maguire's Spider-Man never, ever once displayed that. I think it's time to bring that aspect of the character to the silver screen.

Peter Parker is the everyman, but even though we can relate to him, we should also want to be him.

The Supporting Cast

Aunt May, Harry Osborn, and Mary Jane are naturals to be included. They are all so essential and ingrained in pop culture that you know they will be there. However, in the case of Mary Jane, while we all know she is destined to be The One... don't go there until the third movie. Build up to it, but by no means should she be his first love. That honor goes to...

Gwen Stacy. This character is essential, and all too often, ignored. Bring her in here. The smart, cool blonde along with the hot, partying redhead. I always thought the love-square between Peter, Harry, MJ, and Gwen was an essential part of Peter's early years. It should be depicted. And Gwen should be the one he falls in love with first, maybe at the end of the first movie and through the second movie.

Flash Thompson should be here, and not just as a jock with a name. He's a jerk, and a bully who, throughout these movies should be ironically inspired by the guy he torments into becoming a bit of a hero himself.

And yes, the Daily Bugle should be there as well, and I'm sure it will be. I had no complaints about how they were presented in the first movie series, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'd like to see J.K. Simmons return as J. Jonah Jameson.

I'd also like to see Gwen's father, George Stacy in this series. Considering that I think we should skip the origin, if you include George, you can give Peter a very tragic reminder of why he needs to do what he does.

And finally, there's Norman Osborn. A key part of Peter's supporting cast. He should become the substitute father figure in the absence of Uncle Ben, all the while poisoning Peter's friendship with his son. But, even though he is a member of the supporting cast, it should be more than clear to the audience that this man is the most evil person on the planet. Even worse than whoever the supervillain for the first movie is. I doubt he'd do it, but I think Daniel Day-Lewis would be perfect as Norman Osborn.

Villains

Spider-Man has five A-List villains: The Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Venom, the Kingpin, and the Hobgoblin. Naturally, at least two of those don't belong in a first movie.

So, who should the first villain be? Venom and Hobgoblin are definitely out. The former because he naturally comes later in Spidey's career, and the latter because he is dependent on the Green Goblin being done first.

Kingpin is probably still licensed to Fox via the Daredevil license, so Sony can't use him.

That leaves the Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus. And, honestly, the Green Goblin should not be used out of the gate, even if Norman Osborn should. He is Spider-Man's greatest enemy, and we should build up to him... hold him off until, at least, the second movie... with Norman Osborn as an overall "main villain" throughout this first trilogy.

So, that leaves one little indian... the good doctor.

Doc Ock is terrific first villain material, especially in the sense that he is the evil Peter Parker. A young Peter Parker can see exactly what he'd become if he took a darker path.

But, we've seen Doc Ock before. Which is why I'd like to give him an accomplice. Maybe the Vulture as his partner in crime... John Malkovich was interested in the role anyway, let's see what he can do.

Mundane Criminality

Spidey also fights crime, and if Nolan's Batman series has taught us anything, you can have a terrific use of mundane "real world" crime amongst your supervillains, and Spidey has got plenty of them. But, as I said before, you can't use Kingpin, so what should they do instead?

I'd love to say use Tombstone as the Big Man of Crime ala "The Spectacular Spider-Man." But, he's too much of "a freak" especially if you want to contrast them with the supervillains. In a sense, the old guard of crime is being pushed aside in favor of the supervillains... which is why I think Silvio Manfredi aka Silvermane would be the way to go.

The Tone

It shouldn't be anywhere near as campy as Raimi's movies, however, it shouldn't be "Kraven's Last Hunt" either. Spidey is both funny, and tragic. Light hearted, and serious. It's a fine line to walk. But don't cater to the kids, but don't replicate "The Dark Knight" either. There is plenty of time for darkness in the sequels as Peter grows up and his enemies become even more dangerous. When the Green Goblin comes along, then bring the darkness.

Just remember, we love this guy, and the people in his world. Because they're as real as anyone in comic books could ever be. Never forget that.

And finally... PLAN AHEAD! It's Spider-Man, you know it will be successful. You don't need to kill off the villains in each movie, because the chances you'll get another shot are very good.

Top Twenty Animated Villains.

I love animated villains. Love them. And since I've done my Top Twenty Favorite Movies lists. Top Twenty Cartoons. And Top Twenty Movies That Pissed Me Off. I'm doing a list of my Top Twenty Favorite Villains.

20. Dr. Octopus (The Spectacular Spider-Man)
Photobucket
Yeah, you'd piss yourself too

The mad scientist is a great archetype, and Dr. Octopus is as classic a representation of that archetype as they come. He is also the disgruntled employee. We've all had that job. We've all worked for that asshole boss. Well, Ock snapped and decided he wasn't going to take it anymore, and that others would grovel before him. He formed two versions of the Sinister Six, became a player in the underworld as the Master Planner, and even tried to take over the world.

All that, and his coffee mug says "EVIL GENIUS." How can you not love him?

"Dr. Octopus Is an Evil Genius"

19. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (The Venture Bros.)


Is it weird that the voice is now sexy too?

Well, I love a badass, supervillainess. She is smart, deadly, sexy (I swear, I don't even notice her voice anymore), and if she wanted to, she could rule the Guild of Calamitous Intent all by herself (Sorry, David Bowie). But, she doesn't want that.

Also, she's the reason her husband is not dead yet. ;)

18. Shockwave (Transformers Animated)

Photobucket
It's the quiet, nerdy guys you need to watch out for

Okay, I loved Generation One Shockwave... in the comic books. There he was Evil Spock. A creature dictated by logic, and one day logic dictated that he would be a superior leader than Megatron, and he overthrew Megatron and took command. He spent more time leading the Decepticons in the comics than Megatron did. So, in comparison, the cartoon version who did nothing but act as a glorified janitor for Cybertron in Megatron's absence and kissed his ass did nothing for me. A loyal Shockwave held no interest for me.

Until "Animated" came along, proving that concept is nothing and execution is everything. Once again, Shockwave is stationed on Cybertron. But this time on an Autobot controlled Cybertron as a spy, under the alias and identity of Longarm Prime... chief of Autobot Intelligence. Okay... if you haven't seen the show, just imagine how much damage Shockwave could do in that position. And he did. He was a key piece in a plan to invade Cybertron from within, and when that didn't work, and his cover was about to get blown, he nearly assassinated Autobot leader, Ultra Magnus, stole his hammer (which is a POWERFUL weapon), and continued to do his master's bidding, nearly bringing them to victory. Hardcore.

I did enjoy that Corey Burton reprised the voice. In fact, the reason we got Shockwave at all was because they had Corey there already as Megatron and Ratchet, and he wanted to play Shockwave again.

17. Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)


I'd hit it, and so would you


My favorite Disney movie villain. She's got it all. A great look, powerful magic, a great, sinister voice. And she turned into a dragon. Her only real flaw is that she needs new minions. But, if there is any villain that represents Disney at its most evil, it's Maleficent. There's a reason that she is leading the villains in the "Kingdom Hearts" series.

16. The Shredder (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)


Um, you do know you could cut someone, right?

Okay, if you're a badass, evil, powerful ninja. You shouldn't be the whiny bitch husband to a pink brain that dresses up as an obese, gay, fat man. Thank god Peter Laird and his team brought us this, this... monster in the 2003 series. He was very scary, and whenever he appeared, you never knew if the characters would survive unscathed. Despite being a little, red slug, Ch'rell was one to fear.

And the fact that the Turtles never defeated him in battle adds to his resume.

Not All Shredders Are Created Equal

15. Thailog (Gargoyles)


Taking Oedpial complex to a whole new level

I know a lot of people hate this guy. But I love him. Deliciously evil, and Keith David's performance gives him gravitas most villains would pay good money for. Intelligent, cunning, treacherous, and almost always in control. He'd rank higher if he had more than three episodes. But the comic books are helping, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

Thailog Is a Creepy Bastard

14. Princess Azula (Avatar: The Last Airbender)


If you'd hit it, you belong on "To Catch a Predator"

You know how they say many great geniuses are insane? That's Princess Azula. One could say she accomplished a lot at a very young age, and was definitely a prodigy. But make no mistake, her brilliance was fueled by the same insecurities and fear of her father as her brother, Zuko's. Notice that the final blow that cracked her was when Fire Lord Ozai told her she would not be accompanying him on his mission to burn down the Earth Kingdom. But, all that aside, she provided Aang and his companions with more trouble than anyone else, and terrified everyone around her.

The Fire Lord And His Wacky Family

13. Darkseid (DCAU)

Photobucket
He killed Jack Kirby. On screen!

If Superman were evil, he'd be Darkseid. Now, I've always been a Marvel guy, but Marvel doesn't have a villain like this. They tried with Thanos, but Thanos is a cheap imitation, his creator even admitted as such. If DC has a Hell, it is Apokolips. If they have a Devil, it is Darkseid. Pretty impressive considering the presence of Lucifer Morningstar in the DCAU.

12. Ra's al Ghul (DCAU)


Liam Neeson, eat your heart out

If the Joker is Batman's greatest local threat, Ra's al Ghul is the threat that forces Batman to step onto a much larger stage. The tragedy here being that these two want the same thing, to bring about order and protect the world. Ra's al Ghul just seeks to do so by any means necessary, and will kill millions to do it. Another tragedy being that he could easily have become another father figure to Batman were he a decent person. David Warner was perfect.

11. Tombstone (The Spectacular Spider-Man)


I wonder if he ever bit his tongue

Possibly one of the best make-overs ever given to an established character. Weisman and his team did for Tombstone what Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett did for Mr. Freeze. Gone is the illiterate, petty thug. We get a true crime lord. What's more, unlike the Kingpin in the 90s cartoon, he's allowed to actually be a crime lord. He carries himself well, never speaks in a manner to implicate himself (really subtle for a kid's show). And he's just cool, and badass. Possibly Kevin Michael Richardson's best performance.

Tombstone Lives Up To His Name

10. Vicious (Cowboy Bebop)


Emo much?

Cold, calculating, and a brutal killer. Ambitious. He's rarely seen, and he rarely speaks. But, damn. When he shows up, death follows in his wake. There is just something so creepy about him. His very presence makes his subordinates tremble. His very name is one of the few things to get the cool Spike Spiegal to complete lose his temper. Perhaps my favorite animated gangster. Sorry, Dracon.

9. Megatron (Transformers: Animated)


Get used to this, Starscream. He's not putting up with your bullshit this time

One of only two Megatrons worth writing about. As cunning and manipulative as his "Beast Wars" counterpart, and much better Decepticon warlord than G1 Megatron. This is the Megatron that should be the namesake of "Beast Wars" Megatron. Cruel, calculating, always has a plan, and knows how to roll with the punches. And, unlike some other Megatrons, this one does not suffer traitors. At all. Yes, I did approve of his zero tolerance for Starscream policy. Corey Burton was chilling in the role... bringing a level of charisma to the character that many great tyrants possessed.

Comparing G1 Megatron to Animated Megatron is like comparing Skeletor to David Xanatos.

Animated Megatron Is the Great Communicator

8. The Monarch (The Venture Bros)


I don't want to know what they use "the puppet" for

If I can have only one comedic villain on my list, this is the one. The Monarch is every single supervillain cliche there is completely dissected and subverted to show us all just how sad and pathetic these people really are. I just love him.

The Monarch Is a Case Worth Studying

7. Phaeton (ExoSquad)


Godwin's Law? What's Godwin's Law?

Quite possibly the closest you will ever see to an animated Adolf Hitler. Phaeton not only left a body count, but on screen genocide of normal human beings. Intelligent, cold, ruthless, and, in the end, insane. Phaeton hits close to him in that, he may have been grown in a test tube by humans, but he embodies the worst traits of mankind. And he did it all on screen too.

The Daily Show: A Relatively Closer Look - Hitler Reference

And now, I enter... The Sinister Six! ::Maniacal laughter::

6. Megatron (Beast Wars)


Best Megatron ever. Yessss

Ah, yesss. A classic. The first, great character to be named Megatron. Unfortunately, there have only been two truly great Megatrons in the entire mythos (I already mentioned the other one). This one was clever, crafty, manipulative, and slick. He accomplished more than his predecessor with a lot less, and was always fun to watch. David Kaye just oozed evil in this role. Yesss.

"Beast Wars" Megatron Had the Worst Luck

5. Griffith (Berserk)


So, he's going to sacrifice his friends and turn into a winged lipstick monster.

If I had to pick the most evil character in animation, ever... it would be Griffith. So ambitious, so charismatic. You don't think he's the bad guy. Her certainly doesn't think so. He's loved and respected by his soldiers. He looks like a Galahad-ish hero. So pure. But then, he starts assassinating his political rivals, attempts to become King of Midland, is tortured and mutilated, and finally sacrifices the troops who love him to demons so he can become a member of the God Hand, and then rapes his most loyal soldier, Caska in front of Guts (our protagonist). Now, that's evil.

Griffith Is... Just See For Yourself

4. The Green Goblin ("The Spectacular Spider-Man")


World's Greatest Dad, and if you disagree, you're a petulant, ungrateful child!

One word, wow... just... wow. A magnificent bastard and a complete monster, whether he's the Green Goblin or Norman Osborn. Steve Blum was deliciously evil and maniacal as the Goblin and Alan Rachins was cold and cruel as Norman. Whether he's belittling his son, Harry, in front of his friends, or twisting his ankle to frame him... you know Joan Crawford is taking inspiration from him. I loved Sean Galloway's re-design of the character. A very iconic adaptation.

The Green Goblin Is a Magnificent Bastard

3. The Joker (DCAU)


Uh oh, Luke's gone to the dark side.

Do I need to say why? Perfect, absolutely perfect. And just like Steve Blum as the Goblin, you'd never know this was Mark Hamill.

2. David Xanatos


Women love him and men want to be him. Or is it the other way around?

Another terrific villain. While he's been imitated since then, there was never an animated villain quite like him before. Jonathan Frakes was terrific at making him cool and suave. Quite possibly the most intelligent animated villain ever. They didn't name the "Xanatos Gambit" after him for no reason. Often imitated but never duplicated. He wasn't so much evil as he was amoral, and very often his own fans don't quite know what to make of him, even when they know what he is capable of.

David Xanatos Is a Badass

1. Demona (Gargoyles)


She's not bad, she's just drawn that way. Er, no, she is bad.

As if you expected it to be anybody else... ;)

Demona is just such a three dimensional and fascinating character. A very rich and deep history there. A great character design, and Marina Sirtis was just awesome in the role. I don't think she's been replicated since then. Her story has the depth of a Shakespearan tragedy, and she did it all to herself. She's a genocidal Lady Macbeth... almost literally.

And she's powerful also. Adept at modern technology, and skilled at the art of ancient magicks. Her goal is nothing less than the complete destruction of humanity, and all because she can't cope with the fact that it's her fault her clan got massacred.

Yes, she is my all time favorite villain in any genre. Possibly within the realm of fiction. Brilliantly conceived, brilliantly developed, brilliantly portrayed. I hope that we one day get to see more of her.

She is humanity's worst enemy, but more than that, she is her own worst enemy. She is Demona.

Demona Is a Bitch