10/24/2016

Rhino in "The Amazing Spiderman" game
Every superhero video game needs supervillains, and Rhino is a villain who's shown up in many of them. In 1966, Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. created the supervillain with superhuman strength, speed, and bulletproof skin. Since then, Rhino has fought Spider-Man and the Hulk lots of times in the comics, and he's often used as a boss character in Marvel video games. We noticed that boss fights against the Rhino in video games tend to goes this way: Rhino charges at the hero, the hero jumps out of the way, and the Rhino bashes his head. It makes sense, since rhinos in real-life are known for charging at their enemies, but it does make his game mechanics pretty repetitive. Here's an overview of his twenty appearances in video games so far, and which ones just involved charging, jumping, and head-bashing.


1. Doctor Doom's Revenge

In 1989, Rhino made his first video game appearance in the PC game Spiderman and Captain America in Doctor Doom's Revenge (Doctor Doom's Revenge for short). The side-scrolling beat-em-up game featured many classic Marvel villains such as Electro and Mysterio, as well as more obscure characters such as Eduardo Lobo and Machete. The gameplay was pretty rudimentary with either Spider-Man or Captain America limited to small jumps and punches. All the villains were pretty much the same, too, just moving back and forth and doing some animation that represented an attack. Rhino just poked his head out to indicate damage. Defeating him involved doing the same thing you did with every other villain - punch and kick. You could also jump over him, but that really wasn't necessary.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: No


2. The Amazing Spiderman

In 1990, Rhino returned again as a boss in the Nintendo Game Boy title, The Amazing Spider-Man. However, for some unknown reason, Rhino is called Neanderthal . . . even though it's clearly the Rhino. The game is another side-scroller, but with way more interaction. Spider-man jumped, kicked, and webbed his way through a gauntlet of villains. Amazing first introduced the charging mechanism Rhino would continue to use in future games. When Rhino - uh, I mean, Neanderthal - showed up at the end of an alley, he alternated between standing and getting ready to charge, and charging from one end of the screen to the other. Spider-man had to defeat him by jumping over him when he charged, and attacking when "the Neanderthal" got ready for the next charge.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: No


3. Arcade's Revenge

1992 brought a new game to the Super Nintendo system, Spiderman and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge. Let's call that one Arcade's Revenge for short. Arcade's Revenge was later ported to the Genesis and Game Boy systems, and it allowed the player to control Spider-man as well as X-Men members Storm, Wolverine, Gambit, and Cyclops. Spider-man fought across the rooftops to face a tag team of Rhino and Carnage. Once again, Rhino just ran left and right across the bottom of the level, slamming into walls. Spider-man didn't even really need to jump much here. He could just stand on a platform above Rhino, and web-swing into Rhino to defeat him. We're making progress.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: No
Head-Bashing: No


4. The Incredible Hulk

In 1994, the cross-platform title The Incredible Hulk was released for the SNES, Sega Genesis, SMS and Sega Game Gear. In this side-scrolling beat-em-up, you played as the Hulk, trying to stop the Leader. That basically boiled down to jumping on platforms and punching a variety of enemies. Rhino was one of five bosses that appeared in the game, along with the Absorbing Man, the Abomination, Tyrannus, and the Leader. In the Rhino boss fight, Rhino charged from one end of the level to the other endlessly while the Hulk had to do uppercuts to damage him. The Hulk didn't jump, so the battle only included one of the three cliches.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: No
Head-Bashing: No


5. Spider-Man Animated Series

The game Spider-Man Animated Series was released in 1995 for the SNES and Sega Genesis, based on the popular cartoon series of the 1990s. It was another side-scrolling platform game starring your friendly neighborhood Spider-man. The game wasn't that successful due to weak graphics and sound, and limited combat skills. Its only redeeming factor was that Rhino appeared as a boss in one level. It's in a funhouse, and Rhino did what we've come to expect from his games: run back and forth from one side of the screen to the other. Spider-man had to throw web grenades at him until he died. Spider-man didn't even need to jump over him, since he could stand on a gap in a roller coaster track that Rhino couldn't cross.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: No
Head-Bashing: No


6. Spiderman

In 2000, Rhino appeared in the PlayStation game simply titled Spiderman, which was later ported to Dreamcast and the Nintendo 64. The game differed from previous entries in going three-dimensional instead of 2-D. It was a smash hit, allowing players to jump, punch, and swing through rendered levels as the beloved web-head. The story involved Spider-Man beating up villains like Doctor Octopus and the Lizard. And of course, Rhino. In the game, Rhino attacked by (you guessed it) charging at the player. You couldn't punch or injure him at all. You could only stand in front of barrels and generators so he would charge into them and take damage. And so the template for almost all future Rhino combat began.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: Yes


7. Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace

Rhino appeared as a boss in the Game Boy Advance game Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace in 2001. In the game, Spider-man fought Hammerhead, Big Wheel, and Mysterio in a 2D side-scrolling beat-em-up. It was pretty standard stuff, but what do you expect for a handheld console? This game flashed back to 1990's Amazing Spiderman game with its Rhino boss fight. Rhino ran left and right across the screen. Spider-Man had to defeat him by jumping over him when he charged, and attacking when Rhino paused to get ready to charge again. At least there was no head-bashing.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: No


8. Spider-Man 2

In 2004, Rhino returned in the Spider-Man 2 game loosely based on the movie. In this game released for the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Spider-man was able to freely roam around a three-dimensional version of Manhattan. Sort of like Grand Theft Auto, except Spider-man would stop crime instead of starting it. The Rhino was the first boss Spider-man battled in the game. In the console versions, you damaged him by waiting until Spidey's Spider Sense went off. Then when you hit Rhino, he'd get dizzy, and you could hit him. In the PC Game, there was actually a double dose of Rhino. In the beginning, Rhino got caught in a cage made of lasers. The only way for Spider-Man to beat him was to wait for him to charge, jump out of the way, and get Rhino to smash into the cage until he wore down. Rhino returned later on when Spider-Man had to fight him in a generator room. Guess how? Yup, make him charge into generators until they wore him down. It was two charging battle cliches for the price of one!
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: Yes


9. Ultimate Spider-Man

In 2005, Ultimate Spider-Man brought the games into the Ultimate comic book universe. This was another three-dimensional combat game for the Nintendo DS, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows and Game Boy Advance. Spider-man battled multiple enemies, including Venom, Electro, and Silver Sable. In this one, Rhino underwent another name change to R.H.I.N.O., a shrimpy guy in a rhino-shaped armored suit. In the boss battle, Spider-man had to chase him through city streets until R.H.I.N.O. was cornered in a parking lot. There, Spider-man had to jump onto R.H.I.N.O.'s back in order to damage him. This mechanic was a rare one for Rhino, an original concept! Except for the jumping.
Charging: No
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: No


10. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

Rhino took on another boss role in the 2006 video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. In 2006, Ultimate Alliance was released as an action role-playing game for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, the PlayStation Portable, Xbox and Xbox 360, Wii, and Microsoft Windows. In the game, Rhino was working with Doctor Doom, Shocker, and Arcade. But the gameplay in this game was pretty standard for RPGs with an overhead angle of the combat area, and all the characters just doing brief animations to symbolize attacks. It didn't vary much with Rhino. Attack, attack, attack, and you beat Rhino. He didn't even charge that much.
Charging: No
Jumping: No
Head-Bashing: No


11. Spider-Man: Friend or Foe

In 2007, Rhino returned in Spider-Man: Friend or Foe. This beat 'em up game for XBox, Playstation, and Windows PC had Spider-Man teaming up with other heroes to beat various villains like the Lizard, Doctor Octopus, and the Green Goblin. The twist was that once a villain was defeated, that villain could become Spiderman's sidekick on future missions. In the battle with Rhino, we got a return to the old standard. Rhino charged, Spiderman jumped out of the way, and Rhino zapped himself on energy pillars around the level. But after that, Rhino joined Spiderman, so you could put his horns to good use.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: Yes


12. Spider-Man 3

In 2007, an action game based on the Spider-Man 3 movie was released. Since Rhino appeared in the Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 version, and not in the movie, it was a loose translation at best. But it was another sandbox-type of game where you roamed Manhattan. In this game, Spider-man teamed up with another supervillain named Scorpion (long story) in the boss battle against Rhino. Spider-Man couldn't beat him from the front, so he had to attack Rhino from the back. Rhino did charge in this battle, but mainly to smash up the room so he could grab huge pillars of debris to swat Spider-Man with. It was a more original take on the standard dynamic.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: Yes


13. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows

Rhino appeared in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows on a variety of platforms in 2008. The game had a unique dynamic of choosing between "good" (in the red-and-blue suit) and "evil" (in the black suit) paths of the story. In the game, Spider-man encountered Rhino on Ryker's Island. But in the PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360, and Wii version of the game, Rhino was not just a boss, but actually helpful. Spider-man could jump onto Rhino's back and ride him, making him launch attacks on enemies and break walls and obstacles in the level. So it was the same old thing, except you could actually benefit from it.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: Yes


14. Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem

Total Mayhem was the first mobile game to feature Rhino. Released in 2010, the game was another one set in the Ultimate universe, and had Spider-Man fighting Sandman, Electro, Venom, Dr. Octopus, Green Goblin, and (of course) Rhino. It was also another 3D game where you tapped to punch, swing, and shoot webs. Rhino appeared in a level where he robbed a bank. Rhino would charge Spider-man repeatedly, and the player had to jump over him. Once Rhino hit something, he had to pause to recover, and Spider-Man could inflict damage. In other words, we were back to that again.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: Yes


15. Spider-Man: Edge of Time

In 2011, Rhino appeared exclusively in the Nintendo DS version of Spider-Man: Edge of Time. In Edge of Time, Spider-man teamed up with the futuristic version of Spider-man from 2099, thanks to wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff. The Nintendo DS version returned the series to a 2D side-scrolling game. That also meant a return of Rhino's old standard. Rhino charged, Spider-Man jumped out of the way, and Rhino had to recover when he bashed his head, allowing the player to punch and kick him into oblivion. Which begs the question: if Rhino knows hitting his head will hurt him, why does he keep doing it?
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: Yes


16. The Amazing Spider-Man

In 2012, another movie tie-in game arrived with The Amazing Spider-Man. The game followed the movie and featured an open-world game with a complex combat system. In this game, Rhino's origin changed from a guy in a suit to a genetic hybrid of a man and a rhino. Rhino was, of course, a boss fight, and followed the familiar formula: Rhino charged, Spider-man dodged, and you beat on him when he got his horn stuck into something. It's worth noting this game also featured a Rhino DLC, with an alternate mode where you could control Rhino and try to cause as much damage as possible throughout the city. Yes, you too could charge your head into walls and cars. Fun for all.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: Yes


17. Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2

Marvel: Avengers Alliance was a Facebook game until the sequel was released in 2012 as a mobile version for iOS and Android. It was a multiplayer RPG where Marvel superhero characters fight in a series of missions against supervillains. In Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2, Rhino was a boss villain. However, much like Marvel Heroes, the combat was about numbers, not movement. It was all turn-based combat with a variety of animations of characters attacking. Rhino's attack animation was the Rhino charging, but you couldn't jump out of the way, and Rhino didn't slam his head into anything. You basically just take turns attacking and watching him charge until he was defeated.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: No
Head-Bashing: No


18. Marvel Heroes

Marvel Heroes was a massively multiplayer online action role-playing game released in 2013. It's been rebranded as Marvel Heroes 2015 and Marvel Heroes 2016 in recent years. Since it's an RPG, most of the combat was the same - enemies had attack animations on your heroes while you performed attack animations on the enemies. Rhino was a boss character in this game, but he just went around punching like any other enemy. No charging, no jumping, no head-bashing. Whether that's good or bad depends on how much you love that sort of thing.
Charging: No
Jumping: No
Head-Bashing: No


19. Lego Marvel Super Heroes

Rhino's always been pretty dumb. But in 2013, Rhino turned into a real blockhead in the popular game Lego Marvel Super Heroes for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. In this 3-D action game, players got to use various Marvel superheroes to fight their way through a story involving the Red Skull, Magneto, and Loki. The whole time, they broke apart and assembled Lego pieces. Rhino appeared at the end of one level where Captain America, Storm, and Thing went to an island. In the boss battle, Rhino charged around the level, smashing things apart. Players jumped or moved out of the way until there were enough Lego pieces on the ground. The pieces could be assembled into a giant pumpkin that Thing knocked Rhino into, defeating him. Even in Lego form, Rhino fell for the same old tricks.
Charging: Yes
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: Yes


20. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

In 2014, a new Amazing Spider-Man 2 game was released, but the console version didn't include Rhino. Which is odd, considering Rhino was in the actual movie. However, the iOS and Android mobile game did include our favorite head-banger, Rhino. Just like the movie version, Rhino was a thug wearing an augmented power suit shaped like a Rhino. Also like the movie, Rhino relied more on rockets and machine guns to get the job done. Spiderman had to dodge a volley of attacks from Rhino, waiting until Rhino stopped and got within range. At that point, Spidey could punch Rhino until he won. This had to be one of the most original Rhino fights in all of videogame history.
Charging: No
Jumping: Yes
Head-Bashing: No

What do you think of Rhino? Which Rhino games have you played? Which are your favorites?

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10/23/2016

We recently talked about the new Iron Man, who will be a young black girl named Riri Williams (her name will be Ironheart, in case you're wondering how a female can be an "Iron Man"). While that brought the usual controversy over a female minority taking over a white male role, a new controversy has erupted over one of the variant covers for her first issue.

Marvel released this cover for "Invincible Iron Man" #1:



Just a day after its release, the flood of complaints caused Marvel to pull the cover. While many people in the comments underworld of the Internet are screaming about "another conspiracy by the Social Justice Warrior Feminazis argle bargle," we think they need to focus not on the fact that Marvel pulled a picture of a sexy woman, but that they pulled a picture of an UNDERAGE GIRL. This cover wouldn't really be that big a deal if she was twenty or even eighteen. But the fact that it's a fifteen year old girl makes it way more inappropriate.

For comparison, Riri Williams is apparently based on the actress Skai Jackson, who looks like this:

Quite a different body.

And yes, some people have been making the argument that fifteen year old girls in the real world wear way skimpier outfits than this. To which we say, "That's true. But this isn't a real girl." In real life, fifteen year old girls also drink, take drugs, smoke, and do all sorts of stuff. It's only when we get into the fictional world where everything is a creation of someone's own imagination that we get to cast judgement.

Personally, I think it's not just sexist, but bad art. The torso is way too long with an enormous stomach compared to the rest of her.

What do you think of Riri Williams' cover?

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10/11/2016

"Sweet Christmas. Did I do that?" That's what you'll be thinking when you see this hilarious mash-up of "Luke Cage" and "Family Matters."

Even if you haven't seen Netflix's "Luke Cage" (and you should), we think you'll appreciate this re-edited intro to the series. Created by Zach Ace, it's a shot-for-shot recreation of the original opening for "Family Matters," using clips from "Luke Cage" instead. On Reddit, Zach explained:
I edited this together over the course of a week really, but "over the weekend" sounds more effortless and cool and like I have better things to do than cut together 13 hours of a TV show into another TV show. 
Anyway, I'm uploading the comparison video right now and I'll edit it into this comment when it finishes [Link Here]. I matched every cut and a whole lot of scenes in tone and action, I really love editing.
If you're a child of the 90s, we think you'll love it. If you're a fan of Cage, you'll probably love it, too. If you're neither, well, it's still pretty good.



What do you think?

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9/26/2016

When the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot movie came out, fans had a lot of complaints. We want Shredder to be more of a villain. We wanted Bebop and Rocksteady. We wanted to get rid of the turtles' freaky nostrils. We wanted to get rid of the living mannequin Megan Fox as April O'Neill. Well, Michael Bay was listening, and he delivered in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of Shadows. That is to say, he ignored everything we wanted, except he put in Bebop and Rocksteady. He also somehow managed to make a TMNT movie that had even more plot holes, ruining of beloved characters, and just plain annoying crap. Here's the latest Honest Trailer from Screen Junkies where they take on the heroes in a half-shell.



What did you think of TMNT: Out of the Shadows?

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9/24/2016

Black Lightning via FOX
Black Lightning is one of the first major African American superheroes in comic book history. Originally created in 1977, the electrically powered superhero has inspired numerous other minority heroes with electric powers. Now he's finally getting his own TV show.

Variety announced that Fox will be developing a Black Lightning TV series. The show will be about Jefferson Pierce, who has retired from his career as Black Lightning years ago. But "with a daughter hell-bent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight." It will be produced by Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, who already helm the successful DC series "The Flash," "Arrow," "Supergirl," and "Legends of Tomorrow." Husband-and-wife duo Salim and Mara Brock Akil, who were producers on "Being Mary Jane" and "The Game," are writing and producing the adaptation of the comic.

We're looking forward to this series. It's great to have more original minority superheroes, and it sounds like an interesting twist on the usual superhero drama. This and Netflix's "Luke Cage" are pioneering a new wave of black heroes. Also, all that lightning will look totally cool. It's only got a pilot commitment right now, but here's hoping it goes to series.

What do you think about Black Lightning?

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8/28/2016

Marty (Michael J. Fox) as the "spaceman" in "Back to the Future"
Back to the Future is a great title. Let's not even dispute that. It's provocative and mind-twistingly literal. It's also tells you it's a time travel movie, and kind of hints at what the story will be about. But not everyone liked it, particularly the head of Universal Studios, Sid Scheinberg. At one point, he proposed a different and thoroughly horrible title for different and thoroughly horrible reasons. Especially in hindsight, it's just mind-boggling how bad it is. Network Notes revealed the ridiculous memo:
Studio notes to Spielberg over Back to the Future


Letters of Note posted the hilarious response from Steven Spielberg.

Would you have preferred "Spaceman From Pluto?"

Related:
Howard Stark's Notes in IRON MAN 2 Had Real Science

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I spent the entire movie staring at Shailene Woodley's nose. Her nostrils are huge and weirdly shaped. Very distracting.
Shailene Woodley...seriously, look at that schnoz
Anyway, Insurgent is the sequel to Divergent, the movie that's supposed to remind us of Hunger Games, only not as good. Insurgent is set in a future Chicago where everyone is divided up into factions like the whole world is a high school cafeteria, and everyone sticks to their own cliques. All the factions have names no one but English majors would ever use like Abnegation and Candor, and none of them seem like factions anyone would willingly want to be a part of. I mean, seriously. "Abnegation" members have to live in houses with very little light, eat plain vegetables with no seasoning, and serve others all their life. "Dauntless" members have to run around all day whooping, jumping onto moving trains, and doing suicidal stunts. "Amity" members have to spend all their time growing food in farms, and take a drug in their food to keep them from being violent. Who wants that? Where's the faction that sits around watching TV and eating pizza all day? But I digress.

Once again, Tris (Shailene Woodley) is a special snowflake because she's a divergent. That means she has traits of all the different factions. I guess. But she doesn't act any different than anyone else, and doesn't seem any smarter or more skilled than anyone else, so she doesn't seem that special to me.

The problem with this movie is the same as the last one, only more so. Most of the "action" in this movie just involved virtual simulations, which have zero tension, because it's like watching a hallucinogenic dream. Yeah, yeah, if you die in the dream, you die in real life. Well, we know she's not going to die because they have two more sequels to get through, so that's not a concern. You spend half the movie watching her flying around and seeing dead people and waiting for something to actually happen.
The rest of the movie is people standing around talking and arguing, and I can't even remember most of it. It's just endless bickering with different factions, and behind it all, the topless chick from "Titanic"...I mean, Kate Winslet is trying to get Tris so she can unlock a special box to find the secrets of the universe or whatever. But a lot of it felt like padding, killing time to save some story for the sequels.

The twist in the end ruined the movie. Without giving it away, basically, the movie says, "Yeah, the faction system makes no sense on its own. Here's the real reason it exists." Since the first movie was all about Tris getting into and struggling with the faction system, this makes the entire last movie a waste of time.

I haven't seen her in anything else, but in this movie, Shailene Woodley is a bad actress. Most of the movie has her with a "deer in the headlights" look of fear and confusion. Unlike Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games, Shailene's fight scenes are completely unconvincing. She punches like she's swinging a mile away from people, and she practically flinches every time she shoots a gun. At no time did I believe she was actually good at combat.
This is absolutely not a real boxing stance
Even my wife, who loved Divergent, didn't like this movie. She didn't even bother to watch the third one.

There will be no review of Allegiant, because the only way I'll watch it is if you drag me to the TV with rusty hooks in my nose. I seriously can't believe enough people read these books to make them bestsellers.

What did you think of the Divergent series? Would you ever watch it?

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8/27/2016

Luke Cage is coming to his own series on Netflix, and Marvel released a couple of awesome trailers to whet our appetite. If you haven't seen Luke's appearances on "Jessica Jones" or you have no idea who he is, get ready for three minutes of school.



And if you want to see Luke Cage in action, check out this teaser where Cage is brawling and bouncing off bullets.



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8/19/2016

I'm a huge fan of the Tick. I started out reading the original comic books back in the eighties, watched the cartoon show in 1994, and watched the live-action show in 2001. I was really excited about seeing the Tick return in a new Amazon Pilot. But this is not the Tick I knew and loved. In some ways, it's better. In some ways, it's lacking.

In case you're not familiar with it, Amazon creates original TV shows like Netflix and Hulu, but they work differently. Instead of creating a full season, they work more like traditional TV in creating a pilot to see if it works. But the network doesn't decide if it's worth making a full season, viewers do. Viewers submit feedback, and the shows that get the most positive reviews go to series. It's more interactive than both models. This is a review of the half-hour pilot without knowing if a series will follow.


The episode opens with an alien spacecraft arriving in Siberia in 1908, bringing with it the arrival of "not-Superman" superhero Superian. Cut to an online TV show starring Whoopi Goldberg (yes, it's really her) interviewing Superian about the death of his nemesis, the Terror. There's a persistent conspiracy theory that the Terror isn't really dead, but they found his teeth after the crater Superian left him in. That's a running joke in the show, that everyone insists his teeth proved he's dead.

But one person doesn't believe it, and that's Arthur Everest. Unlike other iterations of the Tick, where Arthur is just a comic foil for Tick, this show is all about Arthur. Arthur is obsessed with the Terror for reasons I won't give away, and insists he's still alive. But everyone thinks he's crazy, and pities him for the incident that traumatizes him. Arthur isn't a superhero, but wants justice by staking out a mysterious shipment of weapons.

And then literally the Tick walks up to him, introducing him to the world of superheroes. There's no explanation for who he is or where he came from, but he's still the same non-sequitor spewing optimist of the original series. He's played very well by Peter Serafinowicz, who makes you forget about Patrick Warburton's iconic performance within seconds. He's less goofy and more straight-laced, but just as funny. From there, Arthur finds himself pulled kicking and screaming into the Tick's world, and becoming his sidekick. The episode ends with a cliffhanger, so I hope they end up making it into a series.

The new Tick pilot is a very different tone from the original comics and even the TV shows. The Tick has always been a bizarre and quirky riff on superheroes with parodies of superheroes and the superhero community, and a G-rated sensibility. In Amazon's The Tick, there's more of a realistic feel, like it's more a parody of our world and fame than superheroes. There's also death and mutilation, which was hard to watch sometimes. But the original comic had characters like the Man-Eating Cow, so I can't say it doesn't fit the concept. But when the Tick walks into a scene, the whole tone of the show changes for the better.

Arthur is played by Griffin Newman as a wonderfully complex and deep character that you really sympathize and root for. As the Terror, Jackie Earle Haley is fantastic. I really loved how Haley chewed the scenery with menace. With conspicuously large teeth.

Slight spoiler: if the flashback showing Arthur's "voices" is true, it points to an intriguing connection between Arthur and the Tick.

Thing I didn't like: I missed the off-the-wall craziness of the original Tick. Der Fleidermaus is my favorite Batman parody, and Batmanuel is a close second. I'd love to see characters like Chairface and The-Evil-Midnight-Bomber-What-Bombs-At-Midnight, but this show will probably never go that far. I know the dark tone is intended to make the show fit in with superhero TV shows like "Daredevil," but I think it will turn off some viewers who would prefer more light and optimistic fare.

I also thought the Tick costume looked too much like a suit of armor like "The Dark Knight." There's all sorts of textures and patterns on it that I found distracting.

In the end, I decided this show is still worth seeing, and I want to see more. I hope it goes to series, and lightens up a little bit to make it more fun. If you have Amazon Prime, it's definitely a must-watch for any comic book fan.

Would you see the Tick? If you saw it, what did you think?


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8/05/2016

I'll say this for Marvel. They have some problems, but they're also leading the way for diversity in comics right now. Their willingness to take beloved white male superheroes and transform them into minority and female superheroes is almost startling. They broke ground with an African-American teenage boy as Spiderman with Miles Morales. Then they created a female Wolverine, a female Thor, an African-American Captain America, an Asian-American Hulk, a female Muslim Ms. Marvel, and now the role of Iron Man will be taken over by Riri Williams, a teenage black woman.

According to the announcement by Brian Michael Bendis in Time, the character will debut in Invincible Iron Man. At the end of the current crossover event Civil War II, Tony Stark will quit and turn over his role as Iron Man full-time. Williams will be a teen genius who impresses Stark by enrolling in MIT at the age of fifteen, and building her own Iron Man suit in her dorm room. It's unknown as yet how or why Tony Stark will give up his armor, but we look forward to new adventures with a new female hero.

What I found most gratifying in the interview with Bendis was how he described the racist reaction online to the announcement. He said: "Some of the comments online, I don’t think people even realize how racist they sound. I’m not saying if you criticize you’re a racist, but if someone writes, 'Why do we need Riri Williams we already have Miles?' that’s a weird thing to say. They’re individuals just like Captain America and Cyclops are individuals. All I can do is state my case for the character, and maybe they’ll realize over time that that’s not the most progressive thinking. But increasingly we see less and less of that. Once Miles hit, and Kamala Khan hit and female Thor hit — there was a part of an audience crawling through the desert looking for an oasis when it came to representation, and now that it’s here, you’ll go online and be greeted with this wave of love."

I love his response to people who say there are enough minority characters in comics. I've even heard some people argue that comics should have a specific percentage of minority characters that matches the specific percentage of minorities in the United States. But the same people aren't complaining there are too many white male superheroes. The anti-diversity trolls aren't saying, "There's already a white male Batman. Why do we need a white male Superman?" There's no quota that needs to be met. How about we just make the ethnicity of the characters a part of who they are and what fits the character best, instead of assuming it's about some sort of progressive social justice warrior affirmative action agenda?

It's nice to know Marvel gets it.

I also think the new character will bring a lot to the character. What does it mean when a woman is playing the role of Iron Man? Will she be trying to pass herself off as a male? Would her being revealed as a female change how people perceive her? Will she have the wealth and power of Tony Stark or will she have to be the technological genius with limited resources? Looking forward to it.

UPDATE: Her name will be Ironheart, not Iron Man.

What do you think of the new Iron Man?

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