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Posts tagged “X-Men

Film Review: Logan

These old bones won’t heal, at least the old bones of the titular hero Logan won’t. What an utterly gripping film! Well worth the trip to the cinema and, as one of the first films we suggested would ne worthwhile this year, I can gladly say I was not disappointed. But for those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s our spoiler-free review of the most action-packed film in March.

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Top 10 Things To Look Forward To In 2017

GeekOut Top 10s

This year has been quite a crazy one, full of lots of interesting decisions and a political vitriol abound. It’s been a year where we’ve seen legends disappear in the blink of an eye, as well as the year we’ve seen VR become more mainstream than ever. Honestly, just watch Ronnie O’Sullivan here. It’s excellent!

Ahem, laughing at people who can’t get the concept of Virtual Reality in their heads is fun, but we’ve got a strong year ahead of us in 2017. Whilst we could be fearful for what’s to come, we could also be happy to see that we’ve got a lot of great and interesting releases and general stuff to look forward to. This is our Top 10 list of Things To Look Forward To in 2017. A year that’s basically 2016, but one more.


Top 10

10) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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Image Credit: Flickr

“Yeah, one time the police were like “Dude, who killed you?” Brother never even ratted me out. He’s cool now, we’re good.” – Joel Smith 2016

Other than having a bit of a giggle at the title, about how dead men (apparently) tell no tales, this should be an excellent addition to what has been a truly spectacular series of films. I mean, all of these films were great fun. They might not have been very intelligent films, but they really didn’t need it. Disney did good with the first bunch of these, so I’m sure bringing people back for the latest instalment will be great fun as well.

Now, this ends up at only number 10 because, well, I don’t think anyone necessarily needed another Pirates of the Caribbean in their lives. We’re all gonna be thoroughly entertained once more with the antics of Jack Sparrow, but honestly, we didn’t need this. Not like some of the items in our list this week.

9) Rick and Morty Season 3

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The creator of Community and a prolific actor of weird voices came together to inject a cartoon straight into the “cult classic” sensibilities with a mash-up of improvisation, parody, and messed up comedy. Rick and Morty slapped us hard with two seasons that whipped up a drooling fanbase demanding plush Meeseeks and spawning lunatic (but oddly convincing) theories and crying out for a third season…

What do you mean “A year and a half”?

Ok, so to tide us over this year we’ve had a series of claymation shorts and a fully animated Rick and Morty version of the State of Georgia vs Denver Felton Allen transcript which you should not read here because you will never hear anything else that so elegantly combines bad language and stupidity. Season 3 will be released 2017.

8) Gaming Reboots

Okay, so unlike basically everything else in the list, this is an incredibly niche audience we’re talking to here. If you were a gamer on the Sega MegaDrive, there’s no doubt you would at least be aware of the hugely popular title: ToeJam & Earl. It’s a game where you play as two funky aliens who go about their business by crashing into Earth, realising they need to fix their ship and get back to their planet. Groovy. They’re coming back for a release in 2017 as well! Looking forward to this one.

But that’s not all. There’s also the wildly popular PlayStation franchise Crash Bandicoot on the verge of a reboot too. In fact, I mentioned a bunch of the games coming around in 2017 in yesterday’s article. I’m excited to see them make a return, so here we go – Let’s get our game on this year!

7) South Park: The Fractured But Whole

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It took a few tries for South Park to produce a decent computer game, but when they finally nailed the formula with the fantasy inspired “Stick of Truth” they really knocked it out of the proverbial park, and I for one am sincerely looking forward to seeing their super-heroic spin. Drawing from the adventures of Mysterion and the Coon to parody the recent cinematic slugfest, Superman vs Batman vs Civil War vs all of our wallets.

I haven’t finished Stick of Truth yet to be entirely honest, but I’ve played more than enough to know that I need to play The Fractured But Whole, and sincerely hoping that there’ll be a third addition to the series because I think it has a lot of possibility. And the way things are going in the TV series there’s a lot of material to play around with.

6) Spiderman Homecoming

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You know this makes sense – It’s about bloody time we get a reboot of Spiderman. It’s about time we get one that mimics the comics better too. No more odd dancing Peter Parker like during Spider Man 3 in 2007, no, no, much better. We’re about to get the Spiderman that showed up during the Captain America: Civil War film that happened during the early half of the year. You know, the younger Spiderman who basically acted like spidey should?

The joy of Spiderman Homecoming is that we’ve had a taste of what to expect from our new Spidey and it’s excellent. The actor, Tom Holland, was an absolute joy to watch during Civil War and couple this with the now cinematic cannon that we’re used to with Tony Stark, this is going to be amusing, but yet at the same time a downright excellent cinematic experience. Watch out for this one – It might be one of the year’s best.

5) Logan

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Old Man Logan as we’re calling this one, is one of those films that when you say it out loud, doesn’t sound like an appealing title. Knowing that Logan is all about the titular character Logan, AKA Wolverine, you realise that having an “Old Man Logan” theme is a lot more intriguing to begin with. Sitting neatly halfway down our list, Logan we feel could be one of the best films of 2017.

If you’ve not watched all of the other Logan films, you likely will not need to – However you certainly will get more out of it if you catch up with the rest of the series. This is going to be the last film in the Logan arc, so it’s worth checking out, even if it’s to see the end of a pretty long era of films.

4) Dark Tower Series

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Stephen King usually brings gold to the screen, big or small. With the sheer volume of material he’s produced across his prolific writing career under his own name and a collection of pseudonyms, there’s plenty to pick and choose from, dozens of highlights, a few minor flops but overall some amazing stories to make real. This year we’ll not only see a remake of the eponymous clown horror IT, but 2017s big summer blockbuster looks set to be the start of his fantasy/western epic, the Dark Tower.

Idris Elba will be stepping into the shoes of gunslinger of a knightly order, Roland Deschain on a quest to rebuild his world, and he alone would be enough to drag me to the cinema. I’m no huge fan of Stephen King, but he’s got some indisputable works of art in his catalogue, and I believe the Dark Tower is amongst them. Perhaps once the films are well under way I’ll pick up the books; don’t want to ruin anything by being the guy saying “They missed that bit” like I did for all of the Discworld films.

3) Star Wars Episode VIII

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Star Wars episode VIII (or 8 for those who hate Roman Numerals). This is a huge one for cinema, as we’ll get back that scrolling wall of text that we’re oh so used to at this point. We’ll be getting back the major characters in more than just cameo appearances and we’ll continue Ray’s story. Perhaps most tragically this might be the last time we see Carrie Fisher, (as Princess Leia,) make an appearance on screen, due to her sudden departure earlier this week. Our thoughts go out to the family of those affected most by this.

You know that this one deserved a top three slot, although we relegated it from the mass importance it should have had on this list, down to ‘only’ third place. I know, third place isn’t exactly a bad spot to be in, but it’s still only third place compared to how we would have rated 2015’s The Force Awakens. But that’s simply because we knew this was coming… As there’s going to be a Star Wars film every year for the next few more years as well. It’s nice, we should still be hyped for it… But we kind of expect it now.

2) Baby Groot – Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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Ok, while we love the look of all of Guardians of the Galaxy’s greatly anticipated sequel, and once again Drax the Destroyer looks like he may have some real show-stealing moments, there will be one thing and one thing only that puts geeky butts into cinema seats. It is Groot.

Now I may have my little rant about how the saplings of Groot’s species actually have softer, more supple cell structures that form their larynges and can therefor talk comparatively normally, until they mature and are reduced to limited vocal ranges that can be differentiated by little subtleties only. But he’s SO CUTE with his little button and angry adorable killing spree! Plus you have to respect exactly how much can be conveyed three little words and tone of voice.

But seriously does anyone have any tape?

1) Nintendo Switch

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The number one slot on our list today is the Nintendo Switch, a games console that, let’s be frankly honest, could end up being the next Wii… Or the next Wii U. Whilst the Wii U certainly was a damn good console in it’s own right, it really didn’t meet the same praise as the Wii and quite understandably so. It was effectively just the Wii with a weird tablet controller to connect to it as well. It’s strange it wasn’t released as a backwards compatible tablet peripheral, which granted you’d need to slot into your Wii controller via the jack, same as the Nunchucks, but nevermind that…

The Switch has turned a lot of heads – I bet you’ve heard of it, but if you haven’t, the interesting concept behind this console is the fact that the controller can effectively be a console in it’s own right: a handheld one. So you can take your gaming from your living room, then get told by your ol’ gran that she needs TV for her TV time and you can take your gaming from the TV down to your hand… You don’t lose out, she doesn’t lose out. With rumours circulating that Pokemon might make the Switch as well, this could be a massive boon for Nintendo and this could even be another major success. Watch this space is all I can say here.


Mentions Honourable

Have we got you excited for 2017 yet? Good, because we’re excited for two relatively selfish reasons as well. We love to do things here on GeekOut South-West, as I’m sure you’re well aware… However, it’s time to reveal what we personally are really, really excited to be doing next year:

Revamped GeekOut Website

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It’s frustrating that this hasn’t happened sooner, as I’ve been working my butt off on this. As I was developing the new website this month, I stumbled into a problem, where the hosts seemingly dropped off all links that weren’t brand new to the site. This meant that I had to do a lot of backtracking and trying to fix anything. Having not heard from the hosts for a while, I assumed the worst – That I’d have to port everything over… But fortunately, I’m a good developer me – I kept backups.

After restoring everything, the website came back to normal and I was able to continue development. I was amazed – But hey, it’s all back and it’s all going ahead smoothly again. It’s late – Very late for my initial plan of having it released by the end of November, but I suspect it’s going to not be too much longer. The wait really will have been worth it. Forums; A ‘Geek Events Calendar’ which can be edited; Unlockable profile badges; Our usual wit and much more.

Kitacon Quest

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Around half past six on Tuesday we’ll be glued to our computer screens awaiting our chance to return to the Warwick Arts Centre, desperate to get our names down in that ever narrowing window, despite the promise of more spaces than ever we will still be desperately clinging to keyboards and hope.

And why not? Between Kita and Amecon we have two incredible teams to bring us some of the biggest, loveliest, geekyest events in the country. Your average comic convention these days is a big marketplace that you have to pay to enter, and gaming conventions are halls filled with demos you can queue to watch people play. At Kita and Ame we are one leviathan family, getting drunk and nerdy until the small hours, launching ourselves out of bed, through breakfast and away to do it all again.

If we don’t get in, 2017 will officially be a bigger let down than Duke Nukem Forever.


That’s it, we’re finished now until 2017. We’re done writing, but hey, if you’re out and about today and you’re in Bristol, why not come and celebrate it with us? We’re going to be in the Old Market Tavern from 6pm until 1am, celebrating the new year in, with competitions and games and amazing people. Come along – but wait, why not help us with 2017 in a different way? Give us your vote for next week’s Top 10, the first in a new and important year for us all!

To everyone who has stuck with us through thick and thin, through better and worse, in sickness and in health – We do… Solemnly declare that we’ll be up to no good next year as we’re going to be better than ever. In the meantime, what did you think of this list? Have we got you looking forward to some great media next year? What did you think of the Nintendo Switch being our number one choice? As always, comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

 


Top 10 – Ice Attacks/Moves

GeekOut Top 10s

Oh the weather outside is frightful and the fire is sooo delightful, when there’s simply no place to go… Oh, who put this massive ice wall outside of my house?

Yes, that’s right, we’re looking at the Top 10 Ice Moves & Attacks this week, a very specific kind of attack. The only rules we have for this is that it has to be the actual ability that is ice. It needn’t be aggressive, but the user needs to have been able to manipulate ice to some capacity. Therefore, we won’t be allowing a weapon that’s made of ice, unless it requires them to maintain its iciness.

FREEZE! You need to cool off… Er, no more puns. Let’s get on with this list.


Top 10

10) Smash (Ice Climbers) – Super Smash Bros. Brawl

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Notoriously cute, the Ice Climbers are a duo of eskimos who have teeny tiny little hammers in their hands. Named Popo (in blue) and Nana (in pink), they come from a game released back in the mid 80s simply called Ice Climber. Normally, you’d play as Popo, with Nana being controlled by the CPU – and in Smash Bros, this is no different. You control Popo, with Nana mimicking Popo’s actions.

They make this list, but only just, as their ultimate ability in Smash Bros. is to summon a huge mountain of ice. When their opponents touch it, they can freeze up completely, becoming immobilised and being moved around by physics alone. Their ability however is all they really have going for them as they are by far one of, if not the hardest character to learn in the game. Nevermind little Eskimos, you’re still amongst the cutest characters in game.

Uh, forgive me, Pikachu and Jigglypuff…

9) Wall of Frost – Magic: the Gathering

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Pretty much a must have card for any blue or blue mixture deck. If you need to buy yourself some time to drop some cruel trick on your opponent, want to give them pause for thought when deciding whether or not to attack, or want them to be left wide open while you slip past their big guns, there is no reason not to want a wall of frost in between you and them. Crazy low cost, high toughness, and freezes any creature that touches it.

Only one MtG card in the game is more useful and/or iconic, the indestructible (and flying) Fog Bank, but that barely needs a whif of damage before it’s dispersed. The Wall of Ice is not only one hell of a nuisance for your enemies, they’re also tough to shift. So sit back, relax behind your freezing fortress, and counter every attempt to pull it down with all that mana you’ve left untapped.

8) Hyoten Hyakkaso/Frozen Heavens Hundred Flower Funeral – Bleach

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As captain of the 10th brigade, Toshiro Hitsugaya is in possession of one of the most devastatingly powerful Zanpakuto in all of Soul Society. In the sword’s final released form – Daiguren Hyorinmaru/Grand Crimson Lotus Ice Ring – the sword forms a kind of armour formed of ice, in the shape of a dragon, sculpted around him. This in itself would be awesome enough, but it’s still technically an item, not a power. Hyoten Hyakkaso is a power only available to Daiguren Hyorinmaru.

A hole opens in the sky, and it begins to snow. Everywhere the flakes touch their sprouts a flower with petals of razor sharp ice crystals. The snowflakes settle on any surface they contact, such as his enemy’s weapon and body, finally encasing them fully in a tomb of ice. This is not his only power to encase his enemy in ice, but it is the most inescapable, insidious, and devastating power he weilds…

Almost.

7) Ice Block – Warcraft

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Probably the most iconic Mage move bar for the mighty powerful Pyroblast, Ice Block is a highly defensive move, allowing the Mage chance to get some much needed survivability. This is a move mostly used in Player vs Player combat in World of Warcraft, Ice Block is best used when you can get some backup from other players on your team, so you can then release yourself back into the middle of a group fight.

However, Ice Block has been in more than just World of Warcraft; it’s been around in Warcraft lore for a very long time. It’s by far the most important survivability move a Mage can have. Still, it was later ‘replaced’ due to talents, but it’s still in game, so don’t worry fans of Vanilla!

6) Mei’s Ice Wall – Overwatch

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Let me be honest; I didn’t see this coming myself. However, when we were considering the ice moves and attacks, this was actually a much improved version of Wall of Frost from Magic: the Gathering, simply because it’s portable! It’s a great big wall in the way of the opponent’s, blocking Mei and her teammates from incoming pain. It must be great to hide behind a wall of frost.

Mei dresses in warm clothing, but she’s not an Eskimo. Nope, she’s Chinese in nationality, but it seems she learned how to be cold as ice (HAH) in the process. Her Ice Wall has 5 pillars, each with its own 500 health. To be fair; that’s a lot of health for a basic wall that can be put up anywhere. Lasting for 4.5 seconds, this is a very strategic support ability which can change the pace of a game.

5) Blizzard – Pokemon

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Oh we had a lot to choose from here.

Actually it came down to two of the best ice-moves from Gen 1, but while Aurora Beam is beautiful, clever, and has rather nice lingering effects, Blizzard is so much more iconic, and frankly it was the first move to spring to mind when we even considered the list. Incredible power, high accuracy (because you can’t outrun the storm!!!) and a chance to freeze your opponent where they stand, it’s about as icy as you can get.

In Red/Blue versions, blizzard is surprisingly only available to two pokemon, Jynx and Arcticuno. It has only been out-weighed by a couple of ice-moves from Gen 5, and has long been the crown jewel of an ice-type’s moveset, and is a great TM to add to your high-powered team members.

4) Mr. Freeze’s Freeze Gun – Batman

We all probably remember the Arnold Schwarzenegger rendition of Mr. Freeze, as it is highly memorable unto itself, but let’s not take away from the character here. Mr. Freeze is one of Batman’s most famous enemies, as noted by the fact he makes up part of the Rogue’s Gallery. Often depicted as having fallen victim to an industrial accident whilst trying to save his wife’s life, he’s a tragic character who is prone to saying things like “Chilled to perfection.”

One-liners and Arnold’s performance aside, Mr. Freeze has one of the most powerful ice-manipulation weapons I think I’ve just about ever seen. He just misses out on our top 3, to which we have some real crazy abilities, however this gun is elegant in its simplicity. Able to freeze an opponent completely, the ice gun is one weapon you do not want to get on the wrong side of.

Sheesh, talk about giving your enemy the cold shoulder!

3) Heat Death – “Iceman” Bobby Drake

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X-Men founding member Bobby Drake’s ability to turn water vapours into solid blocks of ice is fairly well documented, and his distinctive power to change his entire form into ice. By and large he does this by slowing the vibrations of water molecules to reduce them to freezing temperature. It’s a rather useful skill, to be sure, but lesser known fact is that Bobby is reducing the vibration of molecules to a complete stop.

The universe strives to reach equilibrium, ending all energy and motion and reaching a state of absolute zero, a terrible expanse of darkness, nothingness. Now, Iceman’s ability can accelerate the process in its own little way, but at his peak of power he can actually bring about the total heat death of the universe, classifying him as an Omega Level mutant. A mutant capable of bringing about the end.

2) Ice Form – Skyrim

Before I start this one, please do watch the above video. No, no, seriously – I’ll wait right here. You go on now. Okay, has your laugh-tank been depleted? Great, let’s continue.

Ice Form is a rather powerful shout in the smash hit, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. You assume the role of the Dragonborn, a powerful entity who is able to speak in the language of dragons. Your role is to go and kill the dragons that have returned, take their souls and use their souls as a fuel to power your Shouts. Of course, there’s a bit more story to it, but that’s the jist of what being Dragonborn is about.

Ice Form is one of these shouts. You shout at your enemy until their frozen, however this is where the move stops being a cool move. It crystalises into something that breaks the game in the funniest of ways. Well, breaks enemies and yourself in the weirdest way anyway. If Ice Form is shouted on you or an opponent, the body hits the ground in a bizarre way… And the game can’t physics any more.

It forgets how gravity works and it thinks that you’re going to go on a jet-speed flying trip around the universe. Because, y’know, Bethesda Quality? (We do love you, Bethesda. No harm meant~) Oh and if you want one more video, check out the above.

1) Sub Zero’s Ice Clone – Mortal Kombat

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Whether Sub Zero is the more popular MK character than Scorpion, that’s another article in itself. However, let us discuss one of his more potent and versatile moves, a statue of himself made of solid ice. If your opponent so much as touches the clone they become flash-frozen, leaving them wide open for a follow up attack, but so what? They can just move around it, right? Well Sub Zero can actually throw the frosty figuring straight at his enemies, making it far harder to simply side-step without getting frozen. If Sub Zero has a clone out and suffers a deadly injury? No worries, you were beating up the clone this whole time and I was over here staying really still.

While some may feel the ice puddle is more memorable, or the tombstone teleport looked cooler, I say that leaving a perfect copy of your body that’s cold enough to freeze a human being fully on mere contact is too cool to pass up and you can just throw it at them. It’s a power shared by both incarnations, Bi-Han (now Noob Saibot) and Kuai Liang, and is way more awesome than making the ground a bit slippy, and for that matter, any other ice-powers you care to mention.


Honourable Mentions

Have you had the time to cool off, or are you feeling a little cold from all of these puns? Well, Icy that you need to have some time out, so here’s some honourable mentions for this list. These are our picks for honourable; not getting to the main list due to their lack of oomph.

Ice Crown – Adventure Time

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More of an object than a move or power, but if we’re discussing icy powers then it’s absolutely worth a nod. At the cost of your memories and sanity, the bearer of the crown of ice created by the first of the Ice Elementals – Urgence Evergreen – gains immortality, and complete access Evergreen’s magical powers. Bolts of ice are the most basic skill, but the icecrown’s powers seem quite limitless, including freezing the entire world for 400 years without the need for a living bearer.

Shaping and creating ice into whatever shape is useful to the host is a given, shields and weapons with which the host actually possesses greater ability than with normal weapons, a skill called “Fridjitzu”, weather shaping (although only one type of weather), facial hair based flight, and dominion over the ice-based life that seems to occupy the snowier regions of Ooo. All in all there’s no one power the crown possesses that’s of particular remark, but it is remarkable in itself in how it parasitically dominates its wearer.

Ice Man’s Ice Slasher- Megaman

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One of the original Robot Masters, Ice Man is one of those bosses that you can’t help but remember from the original Megaman title. However, he wasn’t a final boss or anything; he was just one of the Robot Masters. He was pretty good too – Design wise and ability wise as well. Designed by Dr. Light, he was created for good, until Dr. Wily got ahold of him and the other Robot Masters and reprogrammed him with the intent to take over the world, Pinky.

However, Ice Man’s main ability is Ice Slasher, which when used by Iceman takes the form of a large sword made of ice, which is spat from the mouth. On touch, this can freeze anyone. When you defeat him, you acquire this ability, but for Megaman it turns into an arrow head for… reasons? Perhaps more bafflingly is the fact that Ice Man’s Ice Slasher is the most effective move against Fire Man. No, that’s not just some physically fit guy in flame retardant clothing, stop it.


Ah, we’re finally sat by the fire now, able to heat back up after this rather frosty reception you’ve given us. I mean, just because we’ve been making ice puns throughout the whole of this list doesn’t mean you should be so cold! Nevertheless, we’re here to do a damn good job of these Top 10’s and so we hope you’ll now pick our next Top 10 which will be ready next Saturday. You might notice a theme with the lists this month!

That’s it for this week, hopefully you’re going to stick around through this festive season and let us know what you thought about the above Top 10 list. Do you agree with Sub Zero being our number one choice on this list? For the record, between Joel and Timlah, the choice of Sub Zero was 100% undenied. We could not justify anything else that made our list getting the number one slot, but the Ice Form shout getting number two only made it there through game-breaking comedy. Was that the right move? Let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

 


Top 10 – Schools and Colleges

GeekOut Top 10s

Let us educate all of you here, a school or a college is an institution that has an educational curriculum. Now that I’ve said that, you might have realised that this discounts a lot of things that purport to be a school in any media. The issue with media is we see a lot of stuff, but we rarely see education happening, because it’s not exciting to watch, read or play.

However, we’ve gone back to think about what some of the best schools and colleges in the whole of geekdom are. We think we’ve come up with some pretty good ones. Let’s see if you are going to be a teachers pet after this lot, or if you’re just a poor student.


Top 10

10) Camp Half-Blood – Percy Jackson and the Olympians

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Everyone has heard of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but if not, it’s a good way to learn more about mythology. Amusingly, Percy Jackson himself has been expelled from every school he’s gone to, so it’s not like you’re without schools in this series – But the most prominent one, at least the one that takes him in, is Camp Half-Blood. Known as the only safe place for Half-Bloods, Percy’s mother is told that she needs to send him there and that’s basically where he continues his education.

This is our number 10 pick simply because there’s not much in the way of “schooling” in this series. Yes, the camp technically counts as an educational institution, as there is technically a curriculum in place. With this said, it doesn’t mean it’s the best pick – but it’s certainly what we’d count as a school using our own terms. What do you all think though?

9) House of Night

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House of Night is a series of books written by P. C. Cast and her daughter, Kristin Cast. It’s been out for over 9 years so far, but not a lot of people have really heard of this series or know much about it. It just so happens, we have the whole set here, which I intend to have a go through at some point. The most important thing to note about House of Night is that it’s all set in the House of Night Campus, a school for…

Vampyres. Yeah, I know, there seems to be a typo on the word vampire, but the whole series revolves around a girl called Zoey Redbird and her adventures as one of those who have been marked. Being marked in this series means you’re basically a chosen one for the vampyre goddess. This series is full of blood (obviously), sex and rather graphic descriptions of what’s going on. Oh, did I mention that this series also did manage to get a #1 best seller as well, back in 2009? So it can’t be that unknown, right?

8) Battle School – Ender’s Game

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The only orbital school in our list, this space-station was designed to teach strategy in zero gravity, to identify a true leader, someone who could truly win a war on a galactic scale with vast gulfs between worlds as their battlefield. Through team games to shockingly (almost alarmingly) accurate simulations, the brilliant are whittled down to the exceptional, and from the exceptional are drawn the almost unnatural, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin.

Set in a future in which humanity was brought to the brink of extermination twice by a race of alien insects, the response is nothing short of utter obliteration from the human military force, but after surviving the impossible before only the impossible would do in retaliation. As such, Battle School is made to find the very best of the very best. While a better job could have been done in presenting the novel’s themes on screen, a fine job indeed was done of showing the educational space-station and the life and death lessons learned therein.

7) Highschool of the Dead

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If you enjoy The Walking Dead and only wish you could see a bunch of heavily armed school children who look like teens and young adults deal with the collapse of society in a world overrun by the shambling corpses of the dead then look no further. Highschool of the Dead features exactly such a band of survivors on their twelve episode and one OVA journey through a world infested with zombies, brought low by the corruption that dwells within all of us, and features absolutely no fan-service whatsover, none, it is not that kind of anime.

Alright so it’s Left for Dead meets Dead or Alive with a crate of military grade guns and a rather extensive bath-scene. Anime, can we not have a zombie apocalypse without you boobing things up? Still the kids make it though alive… ish, and it does make you wonder what Fujimi High School is teaching it’s students.

6) Unseen University – Discworld

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Sat amidst the economic trade hub Ankh-Morpork is the world’s premier arcane education and research facility. It holds the largest collection of books, enough to collapse normal space and enter into the strange sub-dimension lined with bookshelves connecting all libraries. The High Energy Magic Building is a gigantic centre for wyrd science, containing a self-upgrading computer named HEX. Even the rubbish dump around the back is a micro-economy called the Unreal Estate.

As a locale for most of the world’s magic it’s also a centre for a lot of major plot points, such as the rise of the Sorcerer, a spawning point for idle thought manifestation, and time travel! Oh and also the tallest building on the disk.  Wizards of UU are generally an amiable bunch, prone to between-meal meals and the odd bout of world-saving, so if you’re in a pinch that’s looking likely to get apocalyptic on some level, there’s a place in the city you can always rely on for help, eventually.

5) Third Street Elementary – Recess

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This is almost entirely a nostalgia entry for us, we may have to do an entire piece of Recess itself one day because just describing the school will never suffice.

We follow the stories of the allied band of misfits as the strange dynamics of the playground turn into epic dramas of monumental scale, the social hierarchy is exerted to the fullest extent, and games get all too real. King Bob sits atop his climbing-frame throne as a figurehead to the shadow-government of the Ashleys clique, savage kindergarteners and withdrawn Pale Kids, all under the tyrannical gaze of Ms Finster and her cringing pawn Randall.

It’s a dynamic world to cram into a twenty minute play-break, half hour lunch and the brief spaces before and after school, but Third Street Elementary shows us a world in which all of life’s trails and nuances are boiled down to simple play, and it’s done so rather brilliantly.

4) Whispering Rock – Psychonauts

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Busted down for not having much of a campus to speak of, absent of classrooms and main-halls, instead find a mess room, tree-house, boating lake and geodesic psychoisolation chamber. Normal summer-camp stuff. Still it’s a place of guided learning, with teachers who are experts in their field leading a class of students through a series of important lessons for aspiring psychonauts.

Lessons include mental infiltration, telekinetic levitation, in-brain combat, conspiracy unravelling, and psychoactive healthcare and un-lobotomising the lobotomised. No lanyard making or canoeing lessons, no sir. Even fishing is a little “different” but when you’re in the preliminary stages of joining an organisation of telepathic secret agents you cannot expect a typical summer camp experience.

3) Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma

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Shokugeki no Soma is a culinary school which see’s the best chefs in Japan (and further afield) come together, in the name of excellence. From people who have been part of a long line of prestigious restaurant chains, to women who can certainly handle meat better than anyone could imagine, Shokugeki no Soma is an exciting look at making food. I’ve not been this excited to see people cook since the classic TV show Ready, Steady, Cook!

Our protagonist is Soma, who comes from a small cafe. The other students see Soma as uncouth, a little brash and all in all, not worthy of their school. Of course, Soma has to realise his own shortcomings as part of the show, but he’s all about providing nothing but the very best. Even if he didn’t want to go to the school himself. Oh and if you’ve not seen this show before, this is the anime that brought some of the rudest food related gifs to the internet. Like the one above!

2) Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters

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Who studies on a campus with a stealth jet under the basketball court, a lethal semi-sapient training room, and a massive telepathic amplifier in the basement?

The school for gifted youngsters is incredibly selective in who it permits to join, indeed it might very well be the most discriminating learning institution in the world, as applicants require a specific genetic distinction that sets them apart from the average person. “Gifted” refers to superpowered mutants, the kind of kids who can turn their skins to metal, phase through walls, fire concussive light beams from their bodies, or teleport.

Mundanes need not apply! This is no mere place of learning but also a place of shelter and respite, the one campus that can earnestly be considered a safe space, practically a fortress for the heavily persecuted against mutant race.

1) Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

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Hogwarts is of course going to be our number one pick on Top 10 Schools/Colleges. Think about what the entire premise of Harry Potter is about – And to make it even better, this last Friday, our meetup theme was Harry Potter. So yes, we’re a little bit Harry Potter mad at the moment, but you can’t really expect anything below to have beaten the one and only school for Witchcraft and Wizardry, now can you?

From Argus Filch who is one of the sleaziest caretakers you’ll ever meet, to the grand headmaster Dumbledore, this school has it all. Teachers with agendas against kids who have wronged them and of course, the typical awkwardness of teenage dancing. Yes, Hogwarts truly has it all – and then some! From house elves to owls, parchments to howlers, this magical school was honestly an intriguing and entertaining world – and I’m really looking forward to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.


Honourable Mentions

It’s not so elementary, my dear reader, as we’ve come to an end of the bulk of our Top 10 list. But as per usual, we feel the need to enlighten you all some more with extras. Things that we feel should be mentioned, but not necessarily worth going onto our list.

Sky High

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If any of you have seen this film, you’ll know it’s downright pure cheese and you’re questioning my sanity for even mentioning this film. The truth of the matter is, I’ve not even seen it, but from what I’ve seen of the story behind it and from what I’ve heard about it, I think it kind of deserves the mention. You see, this isn’t any ordinary school, it’s one that supports the education of super heroes.

Young Will Stronghold is the son of two of the most famous superheroes of all: The Commander and Jetstream. Will however doesn’t have any powers of his own, at least none that have yet awakened. We’re treated to a pure cheese fest where bully kids treat him like an outsider due to his lack of powers and a bunch of Will’s friends. It’s goofy, it’s basically gorgonzola, but it’s actually quite a clever play on the superhero niche.

Pico’s School

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Those of us who grew up with Flash games by the man who made Newgrounds, Tom Fulp, will be very familiar with this title. It was bloody, it was insane, it was outright despicable when it came out, but we all absolutely loved how devious it was. From threatening to cut off male genitalia, to kids shooting one another up, this was a downright bloodbath of a Flash game, before they became huge.

Sure, it certainly wouldn’t make it onto our Top 10 list, as it’s not quite got the edge, but this game was sick for something so accessible… And we loved it. Yes, it’s violent, yes, there was a real education system in there… But ultimately, it becomes nothing more than a glorified arena. It’s a real bloodbath, with unsettling themes. You can check it out for yourself here but be warned, it’s not for young audiences.


Ultimately the test in knowing if a school has been good is how memorable it is – and if there’s something the above has taught us, there’s little as memorable as some of the great schools we’ve mentioned in our Top 10. Of course, memorability is one thing, but being an educational institution is the most important criteria of being a school. Having a school which is entirely dependent on actually educating its students is kind of why we’ve picked the ones we have. So then, it’s time for you to pick our next Top 10!

Now kids, don’t forget to stay behind after class to give the teacher your coursework. This time, you get to grade the grown-ups, as we are passing the conversation back to you. What do you think of our Top 10 Schools/Colleges? Do you think we were right in our number one pick, or is some of register jumbled up? Are there any finer establishments you could think of than the ones above? As always, share your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

 


Top 10 – Psychics

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We saw this one coming.

The mind is a strange and enigmatic thing, filled with mysteries and incredible powers of calculation, empathy, and moving stuff around. Alright, the last one is mostly fictitious, but the abilities of our super-advanced lightning-sponge just aren’t enough for most people, so we simply have to make stuff up.

Join us as we run through our picks for the movers and mind readers, future-seers and dead-speakers. Wrap your brain around our Top 10 psychics.

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Top 10 – Shapeshifters

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Now you see me, now you don’t! Well you do, only I look like I’m someone completely different now. Hush, I can be exactly what you’re looking for, or become your worst nightmare. Yes, I’m a whole different type of beast; the kind who would rather walk right up to you and change before your very eye than to stalk you and take you out from the shadows.

I can only be talking about shapeshifters, those tricky little blighters who know how to get in the skin of their opposition: Literally! They manage to change forms, sometimes becoming entirely different creatures in the process, but fear not! This week we’re going to give you a run down of our Top 10 Shapeshifters, so you know what and who to look out for. (more…)


The Changing Trends

We’re normal…

I’ll start that again.

By and large we’re more normal than we’d care to admit, just as prone to the same habits as those we’d refer to as “normal people”, just as susceptible to hype and we still tend to spawn a cycle of trends. It may not be clothing or music trends as such, but there is one field in which we dominate the culture… or maybe the field impacts us more deeply than others?

Couldn’t say, cause and effect is a bit fuzzy here. Here’s a retrospective on genres in film and television. (more…)


Top 10 Female Villains

A good hero needs a good villain. Whilst there are many well known male villains, some of the greatest villains are female. From double-crossing, murder and outright chaos, to cerebral assassinations and even toe-the-line villainy, female villains can be as vicious if not more than their male counterparts. In this weeks Top 10, we count down our ten favourite female villains of all.

We’re not focusing on any one medium in this list – Instead, all mediums are welcome. From video games, through to comics and films, we focus on ten of the greatest female villains to ever come into existence… I didn’t want to use this line but here we go: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Urgh, cliché done.

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Top 10 Heroes We Hate!

And so we bring the trilogy to a conclusion! Misunderstood villains, anti-heroes and finally…

Caped crusaders and righteous paladins leaping to save the day to the tune of victorious fanfares and screaming groupies, then they leap from the fray, utterly unscathed and twinkling everywhere a hero should twinkle. Doesn’t it make you sick?

Some do-gooders do so much good you start to wonder. Nobody’s perfect, so what’s wrong with them that they aren’t telling us. Or maybe their flaw is so obvious and insipid that no matter how many lives they save we just can’t bring ourselves to let them off the hook.

Welcome, you judgemental band of thugs, to our Top 10 hateful heroes!

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Top 10

10) Desmond Miles – Assassins Creed

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Axed after only three of the… where are we now, seven games (not including the smaller titles). Alright so in his third appearance he was actually quite interesting, but the only purpose he’d served until then was to be the reason for telling the stories of assassins throughout history. Short sections of the game made to feel torturously long by the dramatic loss of action and sudden upswing in long dialogue in which your role is to get off one bed, go to another, and back again in the morning.

Desmond Miles may not be utterly loathsome in himself, but there’s no denying that his participation in the narrative seriously breaks up the flow of the action. For the bulk of the series he’s taken a back seat, his story being complete, and him being dead and whatnot. His DNA strand continues with a little narration every now and again to remind you why the later games are better.

9) Ash Ketchum – Pokemon

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Get this: The opening theme to the original series of the Pokemon anime went and said words like “I wanna be the very best, like no-one ever was.” Then why, pray tell, do we have Ash Ketchum? He’s nowhere near the very best, in fact, he’s amongst the very worst in the whole of the Pokemon universe. Many people feel this way about him, that he wasn’t exactly the winning Pokemon Master that we wanted to see in our Pokemon anime.

In the manga, we had Red, who legitimately was a brilliant trainer. So then to be given Ash instead of Red, it feels like something of an insult. He might want to be the very best, but he’s only ever won one Pokemon League and that wasn’t even a main one. Bah, my character in Pokemon Black and White was a better trainer than him!

Also he hasn’t aged.

8) Captain Amazing – Mystery Men

The great and mighty guardian of Champion City, swooping in to save the day whenever it’s in peril and he’ll get good publicity out of it, for himself and his many, many… many sponsors. How else could he afford all of the arms, armour and the cool jetpack that just keep him so very amazing? I mean, he’s good friends with billionaire philanthropist Lance Hunt, sure, but Lance has his own life to lead, doing… come back to that one.

Anyway, this is the man who intentionally allowed super-villain Casanova Frankenstein back on the streets in order to raise his public profile; apparently the multi-storey statue wasn’t cutting it any more. It may be a little bit of a cheat, including the hero we’re supposed to hate on this list, but Mystery Men does such a good job of setting up this loathsome little fall-guy that it really makes you really think hard about the heroes you blindly accept as “the good guys”.

7) Wrathion – WoW

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I was recently introduced to this character having dropped out of World of Warcraft… And I can’t find a single redeeming feature about him. He’s childish, he’s brash, he’s arrogant and he’s a god damned child hero. This is never a good mix. The only plausibly redeeming factor he has, is he may one day grow up… And the world (of Warcraft) will rejoice in unison at this little scamp when he stops being such a poor, typical character.

It’s all well and good wanting to draw in younger audiences, which this guy will easily do. He’s likable in that you know he means well but does so in arrogant ways. It caters well to a younger, more rebellious audience. But to the rest of us, he’s just a spoilt brat of a kid who doesn’t actually understand the direness of the situation the world is in. Urgh.

6) Alice – Resident Evil Films

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“Alice? Who’s that?” says the fan of the Resident Evil game series who rightfully avoided the films, “OH!” They continue, “You mean that character who doesn’t exist in the games, has no personality, and was basically just an excuse for Paul W.S. Anderson to wiggle his wife into six films? Sure, I know Alice.” This is followed by a look of withering sarcasm.

Milla Jovovich is a more capable actress than the Resident Evil series would have you believe, and clearly she’s enjoying the whole mutant/zombie slaying rush that the role of the mysterious and ~cough~ enigmatic Alice offers. But while it’s always more fun to watch an actor in a role that they like than it is to watch an actor bored blind, there comes a time when ego stroking and self-aggrandizing gets seriously dull. And yet somehow they keep making money! At least the next one’s called “The Final Chapter”

5) Mario – Nintendo

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Hear us out here. We all love Mario, this is undeniable is it? However he really is an utterly contemptible little man, because there’s another man in this equation… And several peaceful individuals are also ruined by his constant presence and his corny catchphrases. Let’s take the obvious route first and talk about his younger brother, Luigi. Mario is the poster boy of Nintendo: Super Mario Bros, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine; you get the point. What does Luigi get? An admittedly cool vacuum cleaner, but it’s still a vacuum none-the-less. Mario gets to chase the princess whilst Luigi gets to be haunted by ghosts.

So even if his brother doesn’t like him, what about all of the Goombas he’s running around and stomping on? Don’t forget all those shrooms he’s taking. Mario, you’re one pitiful, nasty little slime ball of a plumber and I hope you DO wear a tie (bonus points to anyone who gets this reference. Comment on the reference below.)

4) Scott Summers – X-Men

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So on the list of loathsome slimes with superpowers, introducing the guy who cheated on his telepathic wife with another telepath! Really smart move there Cyclops. The ability to shoot force blasts out of your eyes does not make you useful and the shades make you look like a douchey frat-boy. And someone put this idiot in charge of a school? Nope. He vapourized former head of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters, Charles Xavier.

Officially the lamest of the entire Summers bloodline, which includes Cable, Havok, Vulcan and the power-mimic Hope Summers. Poster-boy for the X-Men and devoted pupil to Xavier, Scott may very well have recruited hundreds of kids to the sanctuary of the school and the safety he never had as a child. He then proceeded to turn the place into a super-soap-opera.

3) Shinji Ikari – Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Whine and whine, this is all this little boy does… But the thing is, we hate him for it. He’s not a compelling character and the worst part of all of this is that we don’t hate him just because he whines. We hate him because he is what we all hate about ourselves.

Think about it. If you’ve been faced with perils of the entire universe, that only you in your limited knowledge of this ship that no one else can control. So pray tell, why is it that the first thing you think isn’t “I must stop the baddies” but more “I must curl into foetal position and cry this nightmare away”? The reason we hate Shinji so damn much isn’t because he’s whiny, or pathetic or even weak… But he’s an accurate representation of the vast majority of humanity in a nutshell. Many of us, even the proudest, will not find the inner strength to save whole worlds.

Still, if you’re up for reading something NSFW, check out this classic post of Shini vs A Wet Tissue by the famous Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Crosshaw of The Escapist fame.

2) Superman – DC

What? How did this happen? Number 2?

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Yes, DC’s Swiss Army Super Hero may be one of the most irritating retcon engines in comic book history with a battery of powers so complete that the possibility of him losing in any situation seem as laughable as wearing your pants on the outside (underpants for our American readers). He’s not without his weaknesses of course, not just the shiny green rocks that are so rare that only billionaires and people who really want it can find it. He’s also quite vulnerable to magic and a lack of vitamin D.

He died once y’know! Just popped right back up again. That’s the top of a list of disappointments: glasses as a disguise, cape, powers “because aliens I guess”. It’s so bad it’s practically a meme! Most of us are still waiting on a decent reboot but with Zack Snyder at the helm that’s not likely to happen for another decade or so.  So how did the All-American-Boyscout get beaten to the number one slot?

1) Bella Swan – Twilight

Here is where I deeply crack my knuckles.

I have read excerpts, wikis and summaries of Twilight, its’ sequels and unauthorised spin-off, and that’s about the limit of investiture I’m willing to put into it. I’m prepared to give the quality of the writing, the weaving narrative, the supporting cast of characters (who I hear are actually fairly interesting) the benefit of the doubt. But I am utterly stymied by the sparkly vampires, weirdly predatory relationship behaviour, and above it all the unabashed, sickening and utterly characterless Mary-Sue “protagonist” Bella Swan.

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Loathsome? Certainly, but how do we derive hero? It’s the name we often falsely ascribe to those people around whom the story revolves, and Myers – sorry – Swan does nothing heroic to speak of. She does obtain an array of powers after her transformation into a vampire, but here’s the interesting thing: As a mortal she’s noted to be clumsy and a bad liar, afterwards she becomes uncommonly agile even for a vampire, and she also has the ability to shield herself from psychic powers, and therefore hide her thoughts.

Thus completing the role of blank canvas that any girl can pretend is really her, and super mysterious guys with rippling everything will love them. Lesson for everyone, male or female: Interesting is attractive, cardboard cutouts are not.


Honourable Mentions

We have never meant the word “Honourable” less. You can leap to the rescue as much as you like, you can’t win ’em all, you’re not winning us, and you didn’t even win a spot on the list! You’re just sad.

Here’s a couple of schmucks we decided to throw a bone to. You’re welcome.

Anakin Skywalker – Star Wars

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We once did Top 10 Sci-Fi Cliches. When we did that article, we listed Child Geniuses as one of the Sci-Fi Cliches that we feel is done to death and is just not fun. So Anakin fits this mould perfectly and is one of the most cookie cutter characters created. Honestly, if you watch Episode 1, he’s far too young to be doing anything of the sorts that he does… But hey, he brought in a young audience right..?

Is that really such a good thing, though? I mean apparently, this little kid built C-3P0!? Sure, he later on becomes a cool character, in the name of being a brilliant bad guy. However the young Anakin in Phantom Menace is an inexcusable mess.

Romeo

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Romeo, o Romeo, where for art thou, Romeo?

This dude is really just out there man. I mean, the whole tragedy could have been avoided if he wasn’t such a crazy guy who likely had attachment issues. Honestly, think about the story for a minute and you’ll come to realise that if he had literally waited for a bit and mourned his “loss”, then not all would have been lost. But then all was lost, because he goes ahead and offs himself. Don’t question why I gave such a massive spoiler there, this is Romeo and Juliet, everyone knows the “spoiler”.

Rocks Fall, Everybody Dies. Only this time, Juliet falls, Romeo (then Juliet) dies!


 

Ok, we’re done hating for today. Next week, no super heroism! Maybe super-heroism, but we’ll try and cut down, we promise. In order to remain on your good-side, and keep ourselves off this very list – or worse, the honourable mentions – get to voting for our next Top 10!

Didn’t see your most hated hero? Disagree with our ordering? Disagree with us in general? Or maybe you just want to chat? That’s ok, we’re here for you buddy, take a seat, I’ll get the kettle on. Join the discussion in the comments down below, and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.


Top 10 Unfortunate Super Heroes

Up, up and away – Or at least that’s what these guys would want you to believe. No, these super heroes and heroines are a little bit more sad than their usual kind. Take for instance Superman. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t need to be afraid of much. He flies around, shoots heat lasers out of his eyes, can bench press entire planets and has literally unlimited power. In his real life he gets with the girl of his dreams and to make matters better, he’s a freakin’ alien who Earthlings don’t go “AAAH!” whenever they encounter him.

But that’s not always true in the world of super heroes. Instead, some of them have really rather tragic backgrounds, or powers that really make you question your sanity and if you’re reading (or seeing) correctly. Some of the heroes we’ve assembled are literally useless. But that’s fine. We love them as heroes regardless. So read on, for this weeks Top 10 is on some of the most Unfortunate Super Heroes.

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Top 10

10) Jubilee, X-Men

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Image Credit: Cheatsheet

Sorry Jubilee, but your genetically induced ability to make sparkly lights is not impressive, no matter how 1980’s you make yourself appear. In a super-team with people who can generate lights that do a great deal more damage than a few fireworks you’re not going to be much more than a distraction with a strong southern accent.

There are more tragic X-Men for sure, many with more heartbreaking backgrounds than even being orphaned and living in a secret hideaway, but most of those X-Men have the advantage of being a useful and functional member of the world-saving race of advanced humans. You may be a vampire now, but let’s face it “Jubilation” you started your career as a human sparkler.

9) Spawn

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Spawn is awesome, that’s a fact. He has a battery of powers that would let him pass as a DC character in a pinch, he can practically do anything between his living armour, shapeshifting cloak, limitless chain weapons, the traditional strength, reflexes and healing. So why is Spawn on this list?

The powers were given to Al Simmons by the devil Malebolgia after he was burned to death. Managed by his “agent” the clown known as the Violator, he is taught that he is a servant sent to drag sinners back to hell, and if he works like a good boy he gets to see his wife again, although you do have to wonder, will he have to keep his gross burned up face for the reunion? And Wanda’s new husband – Al’s best friend Terry – might get a little upset about the whole thing.

8) Kotetsu T. “Wild Tiger” Kaburagi, Tiger & Bunny

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Poor Kotetsu. Born to be the man who gets overshadowed by his younger, more good looking protege. He’s Wild Tiger from the amazing anime/manga series Tiger & Bunny, which I wrote a review for a long time ago. I might have to go back to this review one day to make sure that I still agree with it. The story of Tiger & Bunny features Super Heroes called NEXT who take part in a competition that’s televised known as Hero TV.

Kotetsu is just trying to get by in life. He believes in all that’s good, but his hot headed new partner in crime-fighting has an entirely different view on how to deal with criminals. As such, the two are constantly bickering. Kotetsu finds Barnaby, his partner (Bunny) to be irksome. Also, whilst Kotetsu means well, he really does more harm than he does good. Often whenever he gets money for his appearances on Hero TV, his pay is docked for the amount of structural damage he caused the city. More instant Ramen for you, Tiger.

7) Kick-Ass

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So far as origin stories go, Dave Lizewski has one of the saddest. “I was trying to be a hero, got beat up and then got hit by a car.” Bright side, once he’s recovered his damaged nerve endings leave him barely able to feel, making his second attempt at heroism far more successful! He takes his beating and doesn’t go down, he just keeps fighting back.

Doesn’t make him any less clumsy, embarrassing, ineffective, or impervious. Fights still hurt, he still can’t really swing a proper punch, and he’s still laughably socially awkward. Side by side with Hit-Girl and Big-Daddy only makes his flailing more obviously amateurish. It all makes for a good film (two good films actually) but it doesn’t stop you from feeling pretty bad for poor Dave.

6) The Thing, Fantastic Four

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Image Credit: Techtimes

Ben Grimm has come to terms with his new appearance over time, but his super-life did not come easily to him. While his friends got powers that left them perfectly able to walk around and function in public (so long as Johnny keeps the fire in check around people) Ben is coated head to toe in hard stone, and that doesn’t just switch off.

He lost his wife, he lost his ability to walk the streets, fell into the inner circle of criminal master The Mole Man, accepted for his ugliness. Not the only villain to manipulate The Thing either, as Angrir; Breaker of Souls he is an agent of destruction controlled by one of the seven fallen Asgardian hammers.

Perhaps the Thing’s worst lot in life though, are the four films. A Fantastic Four of Fantastic Fours. Even his catchphrase is better than his appearances on the big screen. Clobbering time indeed…

5) Rogue, X-Men

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When your super powers develop in the X-Men series, you’re not some revered super hero or super heroine. Instead, you become a freak to the world. You in fact become what they call a Mutant. One of these so called Mutants is Rogue, whose name implies she’d have a bit of a shifty touch to her right? Well you’d be somewhat right there. If you’ve never heard of this character, you’ve not paid much attention to the X-Men franchise!

Basically, her power is… She drains the life force… and indeed the powers… Out of whoever she touches. When she was a teenager, she was enjoying her time with her close friend Cody who seemingly liked her. So he went in for the kiss, which is perfectly normal with teenager hormones and all that jazz. What isn’t normal is when kissing the someone you like permanently puts you in a coma. That’s what Rogue did (unbeknownst to herself). So whilst her power is one of the most amazing powers in any super hero franchise, she’s also got a terribly tragic background. She cannot physically touch someone without nearly killing them. It’s not all bad though… In the comics she completely absorbed the ability to fly.

4) Aquaman

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Aquaman and his powers are actually pretty spectacular. I mean, he is one of the most consistently strong characters in the Marvel universe. He’s defeated Superman in combat via drowning did you know? To be honest, being the strongest Atlantian is a pretty impressive feat unto itself. I mean he can even communicate with the sea creatures and completely control them – but it goes further than that. That power is actually a case that he can control any animal under the sea. Guess what? Humans, indeed even Kryptonians, are animals too. Aquamans powers could potentially be as limitless as Superman himself. Perhaps not…

But why does any of this make him unfortunate? This is a weird one, but his powers doesn’t make him unfortunate. Neither does his background, as he has a very cool story behind him. He has one of the best weapons ever too in his trident. What’s left? The damn media that put him on our screens. They made him out to have a power of literally talking to fish. I mean, “I’ll save you, I’ll talk to my fish friends.” Really!? Are you serious!? For a mighty king of the seas… Aquaman, you sure are an Aquadork.

3) Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing

Part humanoid, part plant, The Thing has evolved over time to be from a hunched over shambling monstrosity that he was into some ripped monster of justice. But Swamp Things life wasn’t always like this. He was basically betrayed by his colleague, who wanted to, I kid you not with this, take Swampys wife. He wasn’t always an elemental swamp creature, but he was originally Alex Olsen, a scientist who was caught up in an explosion. This somehow transformed him into the beast that is Swamp Thing. So he goes to get revenge on his old colleague by killing him. However, when Alex sees his wife, she cannot recognise him. He’s not Alex any more, so he has to move on.

It’s really quite a sad background, but couple this with the fact he’s literally part vegetation right now, you can’t help but empathise with the guy. For one, he was almost killed by a colleague just because his colleague wanted his wife. Then he was transformed into a hideous shambling monstrosity who never gets to love again (to my knowledge). Finally, he gets his revenge but at what cost? Oh yeah, plus the writer didn’t even have a name for him, having been quoted to have said “I didn’t have a title for it, so I kept calling it that swamp thing.” Now that’s the ultimate insult. Created by a creator who won’t even give it a name. Well Alex Olsen, Swamp Thing, Swampy, you’re one of the best!

Oh but don’t even bother to watch the series.

Don’t.

2) Arthur, The Tick

tick and arthur

He’s not a sidekick. Oh sure, the Tick is the muscle, all of the muscle in fact, Arthur in a fight is about as useful as a paper bag in the exact same fight. And the Tick is the one with all the actual super-powers, Arthur can kind of fly with his suit but even then he’s not great at it. But he is not the sidekick!

The reason: for all the muscle the Tick provides, Arthur is the brain. The Tick argues with plumbing, has a harder time with metaphors than Drax the Destroyer, and greater difficulty with basic day-to-day functions than a two year old. And he’s lumped himself with this optimistic try-hard in a bunny suit (sorry, moth) making Arthur the babysitter of the world’s most destructive toddler. You thought Jack-Jack Parr was dangerous? He’ll grow up and learn his vast array of strengths. Arthur’s charge is a wrecking ball with a cheerful smile, and doesn’t look set to change any time soon.

1) The Spleen, Mystery Men

mystery_men_screenshot_17

Now The Spleen does not consider himself to be unfortunate, and in truth this entry should really be listed as “everyone around The Spleen”. He’s not all that dangerous, but he’s not a hero you want to be on the wrong side of, and believe me, The Spleen has a wrong side.

The power of this Mystery Man hero is a potent chemical weapon, surprisingly accurate and effective at long range, the gypsy-curse induced knock-out farts! There’s a reason Blue Raja and Mr. Furious were not keen to team up with him. You daren’t shake the man’s hand for fear of pulling a finger.

Combined with his social awkwardness, poor personal hygiene, and a weapon called “The Blame Thrower” The Spleen is one heavily equipped hero, and no one but Paul Reubens could have struck such fear into our hearts and nostrils as the Mystery Men’s strongest weapon.

Gross


Honourable Mention

Treeman, ASDFMovie

Treeman is a one off sketch from the ASDFMovie series by TomSka. It’s one of the simplest stories of a Super Hero activating his powers in the hopes to save someone who needs to be rescued. Unfortunately for Treeman, he might have one of the most useless powers imaginable, but it’s okay. I believe in him. At least he isn’t Super Bob from The Demented cartoon movie! But this doesn’t excuse him from being absolutely useless.

When you’re in need, don’t count on Treeman to save your day. Unless the only way to save your day is to have a man turn into a rather fetchingly drawn tree, you will never find a use for Treeman’s powers. He’s an honourable mention as he’s not a true Super Hero… But I am sure someone out there is cheering for his mere existence. Well done, TomSka. You made a super useless super hero.

Bob, Agent of HYDRA

BobAgentofHydra

Bob is a highly amusing character and anyone who has read enough Deadpool comics will be able to tell you exactly why. Amusingly, he does count as an Antihero, which is a form of Super Hero, even though he possesses no real powers of his own. This is a common complaint of many super hero characters, but nevermind, Bob has more important things to be concerned with than having some simple heroic powers.

For example, Bob is basically Deadpools lackey. That’s dangerous enough, especially since when Deadpool and gang first meet Bob, they make him fly a HYDRA copter. Guess what happened? They all survived, but it was a mystery as to how. He’s kind of a bumbering idiot. It’s with this in mind that he’s one of the most affectionate sidekicks you’ll ever encounter. He’s fiercely loyal to Deadpool too. Perhaps he’s just scared for his life?


We’ve seen some strange Super Heroes in our lifetime. But the existence of some of the poor, but brave souls above is testament that out there are some truly bizarre, truly deprived men and women who made these heroes come to life. Well, not all of them, some are pretty cool, but for reasons that aren’t easy to explain, they were given backgrounds of questionable content. Nevermind eh? At least they get to look cool. Sometimes. Not you Arthur, you look silly.

Hey folks, don’t forget to vote for next weeks Top 10, because we love the challenges that we face here on GeekOut. We want bigger challenges, so don’t forget to vote for the one you think will be the most fun to read. Also, let us know what you thought of this weeks’ Top 10. Have we missed a trick? Do you agree with the heroes on our list? What do you think of some of the heroes? Do you think Aquamans portrayal by older media was just criminal!? Ahem, excuse me. I’m going to go and quietly sob into my Aquaman Issue 1 comic…

OH GOD THE BAD PUNS!