The Life & Times of an Auteur.

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So Geeky, but a loving geekiness

So, a bunch of fans of Weisman's series got together anonymously on twitter and formspring and pretend to be the characters. I was going to post this in s8, but I guess to prevent spam, they don't like too many links per post.

Anyway, here they are.

EDIT: In the interests of organization, I will mark characters who Greg has revealed, but have not appeared in canon with a (CiT), and characters who have appeared in neither, but fit into a faction with a **

The Manhattan Clan
Elisa Maza
Tachi (CiT)

Xanatos Enterprises
David Xanatos (also an Illuminati member; Rank: Thirty-three)
Owen Burnett
Alexander Fox Xanatos
Iron Clan
Steel Clan

Nightstone Unlimited
Demona/Dominique Destine
Thailog/Alexander Thailog (also an Illuminati member; Rank: Thirty-five)
Archangela/Shock Trooper Unit Zero **
Thailog Shock Troops
Talon Commandos
Robotic Mosquitos
Demona's Fu-Dog **
Erichthonius **
Cordelia **

NYPD/Gargoyles Taskforce
Matt Bluestone (also an Illuminati member)
Morgan Morgan
Tri Chung
Margot Yale
Captain Maria Chavez

New York City Civilians
Terry Chung
Travis Marshall
Dr. Jay Sato
Ambassador Amanda Chung
Brendan Quarters
Mary & Finella
Vinnie Grigori
The Ultra-Pack
Tazmanian Tiger

John Castaway (also an Illuminati member; Rank: Thirty-six)
Sarah Browne
Lou and Chaz

Other Villains
Macbeth/Lennox MacDuff
Dr. Anton Sevarius
Dracula (CiT)
Agent H/Cosette/The Terrorist (From "City of Stone") (Hail, HYDRA!)
Prospero (CiT)
Street Thugs
Tony Dracon
Tomas Brod
Jason Canmore

Humans Met On the World Tour
Rory Dugan/Cu Chullain (A Knight of New Camelot)
Nick/Natsilane (A Knight of New Camelot)
Fara Maku (A Knight of New Camelot)
Tea Gora (A Knight of New Camelot)
Erik Sturluson
Gunther Sturluson
Beth Maza
Lydia Duane & Arthur Morwood-Smyth
Mr. Dugan
Master Dawa

Avalon Clan
Princess Katharine
Anauel **
Uriel (CiT)
Michaela **
Samael **
Raphael (CiT)
Michael (Dead) (CiT)
Nasargiel **

Labyrinth Clan and Dwellers
Talon/Derek Maza
Paul/Paw/Mutate Commando Unit Zero **

The Mayan Clan

The Ishimuran Clan

The London Clan
Old Pog

The Xanadu Clan (CiT)
Leader of the Xanadu Clan **

The New Olympian Clan (CiT)
Leader of the New Olympian Clan **

The Loch Ness Clan (CiT)
Leader of the Loch Ness Clan **

Knights and Citizens of New Camelot (CiT)
King Arthur Pendragon
Sir Griff
Nimue (CiT)
The Master Matrix (CiT)
Peyton **
Benu **
Alce **
Equus **
Fauna **
Barghest **

The Redemption Squad
Hunter/Robyn Canmore
Dingo/Harry Monmouth
The Director

The Illuminati
Peredur fab Ragnal (Rank: One)
Duval (Rank: Two)
Quincy Hemings (Rank: Two)
Morgana le Fay (Rank: Three) (CiT)
Juan Ponce de León (Rank: Eight) **Shari (Rank: Nine)
Nicolas Flamel (Rank: Thirteen) **
Fiona Canmore (Rank: Twenty-one)
Falstaff (Rank: Twenty-six)

Falstaff's Gang
Mistress Doll
Mistress Quickly

Oberon's Children
Lord Oberon
Queen Titania/Anastasia Renard
The Weird Sisters
Thoth (CiT)
Coyote the Trickster
Set (CiT)
Lady of the Lake
Chiron (Dead) **
The Green Knight (CiT)
The Banshee/Molly
Artemis/Diana **
Marduk **
Ishtar **
Hwthr/Hathor/Sekhmet **
Ariel (CiT)
Heru-Ra/Horus **
The Dagda (Dead) **
Aphrodite/Venus **
Zeus/Jupiter (Dead) **
Poseidon/Neptune (Dead) **
Hades/Pluto **
Cobweb (Dead) (CiT)
Peaseblossom (CiT)
Amar (CiT)
Athena **
Caliban (CiT)
Ares **
Ahemait **
Sobek **
Bres **
Heimdall **

The Children of Mab (CiT)
Queen Mab (Dead) (CiT)
Apophis (Dead) **
Balor of the Evil Eye (Dead)**
Huitzilopochtli (Dead) **
Great Tiamat (Dead) **
Typhon **
Erlkoenig **
Kingu (Dead) **
Cronus (Dead) **
The Elf Knight (Dead) **
Aurgelmir/Ymir (Dead) **
Surt (Dead) **
Nidhoggr (Dead) **

The New Olympians
Sphinx (CiT)
Jove (CiT)
Faunus **
Polyphemus **
Periclymenus **
Baricos **
Nike **
Kalais (CiT)
Xetes (CiT)
Medusa (CiT)

Non Oberati Supernatural Entities
The Stone of Destiny
The Holy Grail
The Phoenix

And, like I said, it's not just "Gargoyles." Some "Spectacular Spider-Man" fans are using the Radio Play as an excuse for them all to interact, and it's fun. I'm liking it.

Spider-Man/Peter Parker

Gwen Stacy
Harry Osborn
Mary Jane Watson
Sally Avril
Rand Robertson
J. Jonah Jameson
Aunt May
Emily Osborn (also an Illuminati member; Rank: Twenty-nine)
Captain George Stacy (Dead)
Dr. Ashley Kafka
Ned Lee (Dead)
Betty Brant (Time will tell if she is a Horrible Person)
Flash Thompson
Daniel Kingsley (Although it was in Roderick's name and he also made use of it before the unmasking)
Sha Shan Nguyen
Mayor Waters
Sharon Banks (An ascended extra from "Spectacular Spider-Man" given a name from an obscure character from the comics).
Officer Jean DeWolff
Sergeant Stan Carter
Liz Allan
Colonel John Jameson
St. John Devereaux
Victoria Hand
Dr. Curtis Connors
Dr. Martha Connors
Joe Robertson
Frederick Foswell/Patch

The Green Goblin/Norman Osborn
Dr. Octopus/Otto Octavius
Master Planner
The Sandman/Flint Marko
The Vulture/Adrian Toomes
Venom/Eddie Brock (also an Illuminati member; Rank: Thirty-six)
Mysterio/Quentin Beck
L. Thompson Lincoln/Tombstone/The Big Man of Crime (also an Illuminati member; Rank: Thirty-six)
The Shocker/Montana
Fancy Dan/Ricochet
Ox/Raymond Bloch
Electro/Max Dillon
The Black Cat/Felicia Hardy
Rhino/Alex O'Hirn
Kraven the Hunter/Sergei Kravenoff
The Tinkerer/Phineas Mason
Chameleon (also an Illuminati member; Rank: Thirty-five)
The Hobgoblin/Roderick Kingsley
Silver Sable/Sable Manfredi
Blackie Gaxton
Molten Man/Mark Allan
Silvio "Silvermane" Manfredi
Calypso Ezili
Dr. Miles Warren
Carnage/Cletus Kasady
The Scorpion/Mac Gargan
Hydro-Man/Morris Bench
Michael Morbius
Cat Burglar/Walter Hardy

Will Vandom
Irma Lair
Taranee Cook
Cornelia Hale
Hay Lin
Matt Olsen
The Oracle
Prince Phobos
Yan Lin

And from Greg Weisman's The Flashback of Notre Dame (although, I think these guys should be in the next category).

Behemoth (Dead)
Montparnasse (Dead)
Diabolique (Dead)
Thomeheb (also an Illuminati member; Rank: Thirty-six)
Left Bank

And, from the MST3K Mantra category
Loki/Lady Loki (now a Child of Oberon) (Wishing He Was Dead)
Maleficent (a Child of Oberon)
Jareth (a Child of Oberon)
General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross
Colonel Nick Fury (also an Illuminati member; Rank: Thirty-one)
Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Hail, HYDRA!)
Madame Viper (Hail, HYDRA!)
Grim Reaper/Eric Williams (Hail, HYDRA!)
Black Widow/Natasha Romanov (Hail, HYDRA!)
Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew
Raksha/Lacunae Rahdon/Mary Beth Bishop (Dead)
Sarah Williams
Amanda Collins (Dead)
Tintar (London Clan, multiverse traveler, Keybearer)
Susan Pevensie (Lost Queen of Narnia, originates from the Gargoyles universe)
William Stacy (former Lieutenant Colonel of the Continental Army and (A Knight of New Camelot))
Trans-Universal Cyber-Automated Probe/TUCAP
Haile O'Connor
Thomeheb's Gate
GW Zeta Tube
The Light
Arthur Stacy
Queen Kidagakash
Milo Thatch
Dr. Joshua Sweet
Hawkeye/Clint Barton
Grey Gargoyle
Tony Stark
Pepper Potts
Tyrone Johnson

Saturday, April 16, 2011

You Make Us All Look Bad.

Comic book fans have a very negative stereotype surrounding us. That stereotype being that we're a bunch of obsessive compulsive, anal retentive fanboys. When it comes to ensembles, we play favorites and make outrageous demands, and make up things to get angry at.

I am as big a fan of Captain America as anybody else, and I think "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest heroes" is doing a great job with him. I am far from alone on this one, but, and I suppose it was inevitable, but a retarded stereotype came along. Without naming names, I am going to show you a big pile of derp.

Well my point is if Cap's not the official leader and he's clearly not an "ultimate-human-fighting-machine" or "super-soldier" on this show (the lazy/shield crutchy way they write him) then wtf is he exactly to this team?


Um, I see Cap very much as a leader on this show. Sure, like he said, he's not the official leader. But he does a far better job of taking charge in battle than Iron Man does. It's not even subtle. And if the problem is that he's not the leader yet, well keep in mind that he's only recently been thawed out of the ice and he's still finding his way in the 21st century. Yes, he may have become the leader much faster in the comic books written in the 60's, but that was before little things like character arcs and long term planning were a part of the comic book writing process.

I see a very inspirational Cap who is not afraid to take charge, but like a good soldier isn't trying to muscle his way to the general's chair. He'll get it some time, the writing is on the wall. But, I guess I recognize things like story structure and character progression, so I am blind to any fanboy rage.

Okay, continuing with the derp.

(Without sounding like a wise-ass) Ahhhh yeah...that's kind of what Cap does (among other things)!?!?! I didn't create the character, Jack Kirby did. Not to mention ALL of Marvel's Editorial Execs and heavy weight writers (Bendis, Brubaker, Busiek etc) have decided Steve is "Marvel's premiere hand to hand combatant". So with that wouldn't that essentially make it game-on for "acrobatic kung-fu and punches"?

Yeah, didn't he do a lot of that when he fought Baron Zemo, Baron Strucker, HYDRA agents, and plenty of other bad guys? Or is the problem here that he is not easily knocking out beings of much higher power levels? But, I suppose in this age of "Batman can beat anybody with prep time" that is to be considered.

Again, I see a great fighter there. But it would strain credibility if he was able to take out Kang the Conquerer in a hand to hand fight.


Much of what got me hooked on Cap (probably from Mark Gruenwald) as a lil kid was his martial arts prowess (and really the shield was marginal to me at best) and the exposition that went with it. The explaining and hitting of nerves/pressure points, the sizing up his opponents to his team/partners to their faces, the endless studying of combat footage in the Avengers mansion, the kinetic combat sequences of Cap dodging lasers and plowing through armies etc etc etc.

You do realize this is an ensemble show, right?

All this on A: EMH has been miscast upon friggin Hawkeye while you see Yost/Fine's Hawkeye blatant bias (*Black Panther also to a lil lesser degree who seems to have Spider-man's powers on this show) oozing through the screen with scenes like the ridiculous opening of "Gamma World" (with no powers Hawkeye looking like Quicksilver out running Cap on a bike and Iron Man flying) and in "Ultron Imperative" with Hawkeye taking out Iron Man's possessed armors while Cap is knocked unconscious (for 2 eps) and in the hospital (never shown) as he just amateurishly stares at Ultron shooting him point blank like he's friggin Jarvis or something.

Okay, are you fucking stupid (this is a rhetorical question, just so you know)? Yes, Hawkeye is on this show. But I don't see any bias being thrown his, or Black Panther's way. He certainly gets much less screen time and attention than, let's say, the Wasp. But no one is complaining about that.

And, yes, Hawkeye escaped the Avengers in one scene. But so could Black Widow. Is Hawkeye outrunning a bike a little silly? Yes, but not enough to indicate a bias. And it's no sillier than surviving being frozen in a block of ice... which would actually kill someone.

No, it sounds to me like a biased retarded fanboy is picking an easy scapegoat... and in the process, exposing himself as a knuckle-dragging mouth breather.

No disrespect whatsoever, I like the shield n all but it becomes very tired/old and irritating when you have the premiere hand to hand combatant/acrobat in the Marvel Universe just relegated (85% of the time) to just stiffly pivoting, blocking, and throwing a shield in every situation. Kind of like (if you're a basketball fan) if ALL Phil Jackson or Doug Collins ever let Michael Jordan do was take jump shots (Batman just used his utlility belt, WW just her lasso, DD just used his billy club etc). Take ALL the potential fun out of every possession (scene) in favor of the safest or laziest way out a jump shot (shield toss) when all the real fans want to see a double crossover dribble, baseline drive, hand switch with scoop finger roll (a triple hand spring double kick while the shield is in flight taking out goons).

#1. Basketball games have a much longer running time than twenty-two minutes. That analogy is just stupid.

#2. "Justice League" may have showcased a lot of powers and fighting moves, but at no point did it delve into who Wonder Woman was as a person. Never. Not one iota of personality ever really shined through. While Captain America has gotten a ton of that. But, I suppose if you have the priorities of Michael Bay, this is okay.

I don't trust these A: EMH writers, they're not really from the comic book world. I feel like the show does need a Marvel consultant. Like a Bendis or Brubaker or Busiek (especially) like doctoring fight scenes and characterizations.

Hey, genius. They all have a comic book background. Here's some advice: know what you're talking about before you open your fucking mouth.

Marvel/DC are basically Hollywood star-$#%&%$%. They LOVE celebrity writers and they could care less how encyclopedic they are or the job they can do as long as their name is on the book. Taking NOTHING away from Yost's strengths (which he has many) but he had a Gorgon foot in the door before he wrote his first word balloon. Gotta admit though I abhor MARVEL SUPER HERO SQUAD, X-MEN EVOLUTION, FF WGH and IM AA (not sure who this audience is???) As well as this almost pedophile state kidified of Marvel Animation making everything teeny or kiddified. When I was a kid the LAST thing I wanted in my toons were snot-nosed brats like me. Got enough of that in school, wanted to know what's it like to be an adventuring Adult.

And that, right there justifies this entire post. "Almost pedophile?" Really? You're not only retarded, but you are fucking crazy. I hope you say something like that to someone who was molested as a kid so they can knock your teeth out, you creep.

But in all seriousness, just stop talking all together. You're stupid, and you're the worst example of a comic book fan. The kind that makes me ashamed to be a part of this hobby.

Okay, that felt good. Haven't smacked anyone with a clue-by-four in ages.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Pond of Similarities; An Ocean of Differences

As most of you know, two of my favorite all time characters are Marvel Comics' Magneto, and Disney's Demona. Throughout the years, both characters have often been compared, even the Nostalgia Critic described her as "sort of a female Magneto." Some have even debated what would happen if the two ever somehow crossed paths. I figured I would bring my perspective on this match up. Are Demona and Magneto soul mates from different universes, or are they really too different to work with one another.

Let's look at their origins for a moment. Magneto was born Max Eisenhardt to a Jewish family in Germany. During the rise and reign of Adolf Hitler. To flee persecution, they fled to Poland just in time for the Nazis to invade. After spending some time in the Warsaw Ghetto, young Max's family was killed before Max himself was shipped off to Auschwitz where he survived working as a sonderkommando before escaping with a young gypsy girl named Magda who would eventually become his wife. Later on, they had a daughter named Anya who was killed in a burning building, and when the mob refused to allow Max to rescue her, his powers manifested where he killed everyone in the village. His wife fled in terror of him, calling him a monster. There were other events that took place before Max Eisenhardt (now calling himself Erik Lehnsherr or Magnus) became Magneto, but let's take a look at Demona.

The gargoyle who would become Demona hatched in the early tenth century. Years and years of bigotry made the young gargoyle paranoid and fearful of the humans they shared living space with at Castle Wyvern. But having always been driven to power, she studied magic under the Archmage who treated her cruelly, and even pushed her mate, the young second in command who would be named Goliath to wrestle leadership of the clan. While Goliath refused, their mentor and leader stepped down and Goliath became leader and his angel of the night became second. But the humans continued to treat the gargoyles with nothing but contempt, and when a band of Vikings started raiding the castle, Demona made a bargain with the Captain of the Guard to betray the humans of the castle and allow the Vikings to sack it, and take the humans away as slaves. Goliath, unintentionally screwed up her plan and before sunrise, Demona got nervous and fled, leaving her clan to the mercy of the Vikings who shattered them while they slept. Most of the clan had been killed and Goliath and the surviving gargoyles were cursed to stone sleep for the next thousand years.

Demona herself wandered for decades, gathering together a makeshift clan of gargoyles, and just barely surviving. Eventually, she allied herself with Macbeth, and helped him defend his people from King Duncan, overthrowing the king and allowing Macbeth to take the throne. Seventeen years later, when Duncan's son Canmore invaded Scotland with the English, Demona paranoid that Macbeth would betray her, abandoned him and allied herself with Canmore. Only for her new clan to be destroyed, and Demona (now immortally linked to Macbeth) spent the next ten centuries alone and wandering the world.

Both Demona and Magneto have very tragic pasts. But while Magneto has legitimate reasons to be angry at the world, and humanity at large, he is not at fault for the things that happened while Demona's own misery is largely self-inflicted. It wasn't Magneto's fault that Hitler wanted to exterminate the Jews.

Their priorities are also quite opposite. Despite what Demona says, destroying humanity takes precedent over the welfare of the gargoyle species. With Magneto, while I'm sure he'd be willing to push the genocide button, he doesn't particularly want to. In fact, when he ruled Genosha, he allowed the human population to live there in peace, and didn't pursue any kind of persecution and allowed humans to sit in his cabinet. For Magneto, genocide is a means to an end. For Demona, genocide is the end.

The key difference is that there is no self-delusion on Magneto's part. Demona's hatred of humanity is a rationalization of her own guilt and self loathing. Magneto, by contrast, truly believes in his heart of hearts that he's doing what needs to be done. Magneto is basically what Demona likes to think she is.

Now, to answer my perspective on whether these two could ever conceivably work together, since I have seen this question come up. While I think Magneto would empathize with Demona at first, it would end once she inevitably stabbed him in the back. To Demona, mutants would just be humans who can crush tanks with their mind. She'd probably still try to manipulate him for her own ends like she did with Xanatos. But it would not last long at all.

Transformers Hall of Fame 2011

Okay, so remember last year's Transformers Hall of Fame ballot? We narrowly got Dinobot in there over Soundwave (thank god we accomplished that one). Well, it's happening again.

This year's candidates are:

Grimlock The one to beat. Besides, even if he loses, we all know he'll get an automatic induction next year just like Soundwave did.

Shockwave If I were to vote G1, this guy would seriously tempt me. He kicked Megatron's ass in the comics, and was a far better and more intimidating character. But, he loses points because he was such a retarded wanker in the cartoon series.

Jazz I'm sorry, but who the fuck cares about Jazz?

Erector And this is why the democratic process doesn't work. Erector was never in a comic book, or a cartoon. When these nominees come up, Hasbro polls the various fan websites and forums for a list of nominees. And this year, a bunch of trolls, idiots, and retards got a penis joke in. This is not hyperbole, this is what actually happened. And sadly, he has a real shot of winning this thing.

Which brings us to my vote, and the only correct vote.

Waspinator I love Waspy, you love Waspy. And "Beast Wars" is better than G1 in every conceivable way. I'm voting for Waspy. And I would love it if every year we could vote a new BW character into the Hall of Fame. Next year, I hope we get BW Megatron onto the ballot.

Do the right thing, vote for Waspinator. And remember, a vote for G1 is a vote for Michael Bay. A vote for "Beast Wars" is a vote for quality over substance-less name recognition. A vote for G1 is a vote for... four more years of George W. Bush!

Vote! And vote correctly! A vote for G1 is a vote for Sarah Palin!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Avengers - Earth's Mightiest Heroes - Season One

You know how some shows have a mediocre start, and then turn out to be really kick-ass? That sums up "Avengers," in my opinion. I thought the minisodes were pretty weak, and even weaker when edited together into single episodes, because there was very little coherence. I wasn't a fan of the "Breakout" two-parter which felt like all flash, with little substance. It was fun to watch, but there wasn't all that much there... which is ironic considering just how much there was in there. Quantity vs quality and all that jazz.

The next few episodes chugged along, and the show picked up slightly when Captain America joined the roster. But it was only slightly. However, as the series kept on going, it just got better and better. The writers seemed to find the characters' voices, and got their groove going. The two-parter, "Gamma World" was pretty good, and I really liked the first appearance of the Masters of Evil a lot. Then came "Widow's Sting" (which aired too early) where the show really gelled for me, followed by the Kang trilogy.

The rest of the season has yet to air in America, but had aired in Australia. And this being the internet age, I was able to view them through (don't worry, I will still view the show when it airs here, or get them off iTunes). And the show really was firing on all cylinders. It was great.

I won't spoil the last seven episodes here, but I have no complaints about anything in them. This is exactly what I wanted out of an Avengers cartoon, and if season two keeps up this level of quality, I think it could easily eclipse "Justice League" in quality (that show had a rough beginning too, keep in mind). And it's easily the second greatest Marvel animated series ever, a close second to "The Spectacular Spider-Man," with "Wolverine and the X-Men" as a distant third.

Also, the last few episodes left me really pumped for the "Thor" film that should be out in a few more weeks.

Cheers to Chris Yost, Josh Fine, Frank Paur, and all the rest. You did good.