My Thoughts on Power Rangers Super Megaforce (WARNING – ANGRY RANT AND SPOILERS AHEAD)

WARNING: The following article contains a long-winded rant about the previous two seasons of Power Rangers, and of what is termed the ‘Neo Saban Era’ of Power Rangers in general. If you’ve enjoyed the past four years of Power Rangers, the writer of this article respects that viewpoint, and is sure to try to present his argument in as fair and unbiased a manner as is possible.

The Neo Saban Era has fucking sucked for four years! It is some of the worst produced garbage in PR history, beaten only by Power Rangers Operation Overdrive in my opinion. But whereas that season was the worst in terms of quality, this most recent season, Super Megaforce, may just be the single most disappointing season of all time. And yes, I AM referring to it as Super Megaforce and as its own season, because whereas Super Samurai was just a needless and pointless extension of the same story, Super Megaforce DOES actually have some distinction from Megaforce. Whether or not that distinction makes it better or worse…well, I’ll get into that later.

First off, lemme make something perfectly clear, just so we can get this outta the way: I have no issues with the actors this season. I have seen a few of them in other stuff, and while their characters may be bland (and in one case AWFUL), they all portray them as best they can with what little they’re given and with the sort of people running the show giving them direction. Also, as bland as these characters are, they still rank higher than Operation Overdrive. Why? Because when the Overdrive team lost their powers and were forced to face overwhelming odds, something that many Rangers have had to deal with in the past, they decided to up and quit, and only rejoined the fight because their lives were BORING. These Rangers, however, find themselves time and time again put in seemingly impossible scenarios, and press on. The Armada first arrives, and they run into the city to help as many people as they can. They find a missile with a drill attached that’s going to blow up the planet, and not only do they stop it, but they chuck it at the fleet in orbit, go to wipe out a few more in the Megazord, and then drop a big banner that says “Earth Fights Back” in the mall as a big flaming FU to the Armada. Their Zords are utterly destroyed by an Armada fleet that outnumbers them by millions, and they’re still resolved to fight, and wind up winning in the end. They may be dull, they may be bland, and one of them may be an unconfirmed attention-hungry stalker who steals Gia’s underwear, but Goddammit, they get fucking results. lol

You know what else is not the problem? The overall story concept. I will go ahead and put myself out here by saying that I actually really loved the cliffhanger ending for Megaforce, where if you didn’t know what to expect for next year, you weren’t sure how the hell the Rangers were gonna get through this. The ending of the first episode of the season, while perhaps making light of the fact that there’s a massive alien fleet that just did a major attack on Earth, actually did a good job of making that dumbass line of Troy’s in the first episode of Megaforce sound a lot better in the long run. I also thought the decision to save the resolution of Vrak’s storyline for late in Super Megaforce was actually a good idea, since we can assume that nearly a year went by to give him enough time to plan out and prepare for his revenge on the Rangers, and chose the perfect time to do so. And, of course, there’s the Legendary Rangers. While I wish we had gotten more of these throughout the season, it was great seeing Casey and Jayden come back to give the team encouragement when they needed it. And while I originally said that I’d wished Lauren was the one to appear, looking back on the video packages shown for Casey and Jayden made me realize something: They were specifically picked and shown to demonstrate how these characters grew to be who they are, and how the challenges and obstacles they helped overcome specifically allowed them to give the right guidance to the current Rangers in dealing with their own problems. If we’d gotten more of that for this season, would’ve made it all the better, and would’ve made it a far more fluid celebration of the show’s longevity, as we see the development of other Rangers as characters and giving them a chance to pass on their wisdom and experience to the current crop.

So, if I like all of these elements of the show, why am I so angry, and what makes Super Megaforce such a disappointment? Ultimately, it comes down to execution, and HOW the story developed. Like I said, IF we had gotten more moments with the Legendary Rangers, we’d have had a much better season. Guess what? We only had two of ‘em make appearances, and then a bunch who appeared at the very end to save random people and fight in the final battle. And for the record, having Tommy show up for the final battle and then not actually see much, if any, of him in the fight is not good enough. I did not wait two years for this epic battle just to see random hits on baddies dubbed over with the Megaforce Rangers spouting clunky exposition, and then finish it all off with the team blasting a random bunch of X-Borgs. And while I am glad that the final bout with Emperor Mavro WAS kept in for the extended version of the finale (extended because God knows we can’t take up SpongeBob SquarePants’ TV time, so it had to be cut down to size to make room for a cartoon LONG past its expiration date), the fight really should’ve been saved for AFTER the mass of X-Borgs, and rather than being a battle between him and the Super Megaforce Rangers in Legendary Mode, they should’ve instead changed it up so that he’s fighting the real Rangers all bunched up to take him on at once, having to use all their powers together to finally take this conqueror of worlds and galaxies down as a team.

The biggest thing that drove me crazy all season long was the lack of explanations. Really, it started in Megaforce, but the worst of it was in Super Megaforce. Where DO the Legendary Ranger Keys come from? How were they created? Now, I assumed from the beginning that they were copies of the previous Rangers’ powers, hence why the Legendary Rangers never helped the team in a more active sense and why going Legendary Mode was so hard for the team. Remember, it’s been established in Ranger canon that two or more of the same Ranger cannot exist simultaneously, or else it could cause the power to fluctuate and even cause harm to the ones using it. However, we’re told near the end that the Legendary Rangers supposedly gave them their powers…except we never saw that, nor was there ever a single line suggesting as much beforehand. Does that mean that none of the previous Rangers have their powers as long as the Super Megaforce team have the keys? And if so, how were they able to morph in the end? Did Gosei give the keys back for the final battle? Because if that’s true, that means they were all standing by in that area for Mavro to go down before they could do anything, meaning they stood by while the Rangers engaged a monster that very nearly almost destroyed them. And just from a logical standpoint, wouldn’t it make more sense, if all of the previous Rangers had their powers, even those who had lost them before, to be out in battle with the current Rangers, like in the final battle? Wouldn’t that have ended things a lot easier and with a lot less damage and possible people dying? What about the other teams never before seen in Power Rangers canon up until now? Who were they, and what were their stories? We have team names for them, fine, but what about anything REAL about them, like where they came from and who they were? How did Robo Knight come back for the final battle when he died and gave his power to Orion? Why doesn’t Gosei ever explain a Goddamn thing to his team unless confronted about stuff he never told them?! Why was the Silver Ranger Key and its Morpher sealed away on some random planet for Orion to find?! Why aren’t Titanium Ranger’s powers used for Legendary Sixth Ranger Mode instead of White Dino Ranger, who was the FIFTH Ranger of his team?! Why does Corinth look NOTHING like it did before?! Why did Doctor K make a new Zord that was apparently sentient?! Why did they reuse footage of Mia and Antonio’s concert instead of just having them show up?! Did it honest to God never occur to anyone that Super Mega Mode makes them look like pirates?! Why did they hire someone to do a cover of Go Go Power Rangers instead of contacting Ron Wasserman?! GAAAAHHH!!!

…*inhales hard*… …ANYway…Like I said before, the actors do the best with what’s given to them, and the characters are all decent enough in their own right, aside from Jake being a frigging creeper. However, the problem is that, in the end, they don’t really have much, if any dimension to them. The only time we ever get anything different out of the characters, it usually comes right the frak outta left field with no rhyme or reason behind it. Like, Noah deciding to fight a monster alone. It makes no sense for him as a character to behave this way. Or Jake being made into a clumsy oaf, despite being physically fit, energetic, and good at sports. Really, it just comes down to their characters shifting to match source material footage from Gokaiger, making them more like their counterparts, without any logical development leading to these changes. And then there’s Gosei. Again, my biggest complaint is how he never explains anything to his team, but more disappointingly, we never learn of his time spent with Zordon. We know he’s his apprentice or the like, but really, we never get any reflection on that, or him wondering if he’s living up to his example. Ironically, the episode I felt Gosei was at his best was an episode I otherwise hate: In The Driver’s Seat, which was a terrible representation of RPM. In this episode, not only does he explain situations to the Rangers to the best of his ability, but we also see him questioning what the right course of action is. It shows a more vulnerable side to the character, in that he doesn’t always know what he’s doing, but sometimes has to just go with what he thinks is right and believe in his team.

But the biggest let-down of all is probably Troy, which ultimately is the biggest lack of an explanation I’ve ever seen, and basically makes him a walking plot device. The reason he didn’t make it to my list of least favourite Rangers is because Jake bothers me on a more personal level, and Troy comes off as more selflessly heroic. However, with Super Megaforce being over, and this team’s story given what little resolution we can hope for, at least for now, we have to discuss Troy. Again, in the spirit of not explaining a Goddamn thing this season, we never learn how or why Troy kept having visions of the Legendary Battle, especially since we can infer from his initial appearances that he’d never seen or heard of the Power Rangers beforehand (must’ve been super young and on the other side of the planet during Dark Spectre’s invasion, I guess). Also, there’s…this.

I just have this wonderful image of Jonathan Tzachor constantly telling Andrew Gray “No, it’s not good enough! You must ham it up more! MOOOOORRRRRREEEE!”, and then finally Andrew gives up and just decides to give the most over the top performance he possibly could, and Tzachor just sheds a tear and is like “My life’s work, complete”. And before anyone asks, yes, almost this exact scene played out in Goseiger. With that said, I find it funny that a guy who loves the Sentai as much as Tzachor claims to pays zero attention to the details of it and how story elements made sense there. In Goseiger, Gosei Knight had been overwhelmed with dark energy that had corrupted him, so Gosei Red summoned up all of his energy as an angel (yes, in Goseiger, the team were angels, and I’ll get more into that later) and punched Gosei Knight hard enough to transfer that energy to him, flushing out the dark energy and restoring him to normal. And even if you wanna say that’s what Troy did, little problem: He’s HUMAN! He has no powers beyond those granted to him as a Ranger, and he is not morphed in this scene! I kept expecting them to explain what the hell Troy’s deal was and how he apparently had precognitive abilities and whatever the fuck he just did to Robo Knight, and they NEVER ONCE EXPLAINED IT! It was his whole schtick, and it was never given any kind of resolution!

And yeah, speaking of which, that’s the other major problem I have: The ending. Or rather, the fact that there is no ending for these characters. They beat the bad guys, they lay in the sand for a while, they get up to go wander off, Jake gets a kiss from Gia (and presumably goes off into the woods to jack off, if I had to guess), and Troy sticks a Super Mega Saber in the sand as a marker for where the Legendary Battle took place…Oh, and I THINK that Orion and Emma hooked up, not sure. End credits. Now, I do admit to not actually seeing anything more than clips of the extended version of the episode posted online, since I don’t have Nick (nor do I wish to), I couldn’t watch it on their site without it crapping out on me, and last I checked, it wasn’t on Netflix (and if it is, please tell me so I can go watch it, since it’s at least a vast improvement on the original version). So, maybe there was more after that scene, but I’ve asked some people who saw it and they told me there wasn’t, so I’m going to assume that’s the case. And yes, I’m aware that PR has had anti-climactic non-endings to seasons before with no final resolution to said season’s cast…and I hated them too, so don’t think I’m just singling out Super Megaforce. Hell, Samurai had a better ending, with the team discussing their future plans and Jayden looking into new things to do with his life now that his mission was finally over. And I’ll get more into THAT later on too, trust me.

So, when all is said and done, no, Super Megaforce is NOT the worst season of Power Rangers ever. So congratulations, Jonathan Tzachor, for you couldn’t even succeed at that. I hope you NEVER come back to work on this show, and that Judd Lynn gets to keep your job forever, In Chip We Trust. Hell, just looking at the trailer for Dino Charge, I can already tell it’s gonna be a lot better than the past four years, and is actually gonna have the first original villain produced for Power Rangers in YEARS. However, I will give Tzachor this much: He’s not the only problem that plagued the Neo Saban Era. Nickelodeon’s interference with the show and failure to promote it in the right way has been hell for the people producing it, as well as for the fans. I can only hope that something changes in the future, because otherwise, even with Chip in charge, it’s gonna be an uphill battle to get PR back to the level it used to be at.

Anyway, that’s my rant. However, we’re not done talking about Super Megaforce. Check in again soon, when I talk about some of the things I would’ve done differently with this season, what my original idea for the Megaforce Rangers and their story was when I first heard Goseiger would be adapted, and some more of the things I legitimately liked about the last two seasons. Ja né!

‘Guardians’ Director James Gunn: Shared Movie Universe ‘Business Model Is Flawed’

Originally posted on Variety:

If you’re worried about the recent influx and potential resulting unwieldiness of shared movie universes, you’re not alone. “Guardians of the Galaxy” writer-director James Gunn is just as concerned.

Gunn took to Facebook to voice his skepticism about studios “trying to grow franchises from non-existent films or middling successes.”

“Listen, I love big (a–) shared universes in movies, as well as huge franchises,” he wrote in a Facebook post titled “Carts Before Horses & Hollywood’s New Love of Shared Universes.” “But I’m a little worried about the numerous shared universes being planned by the studios, without having a strong base film to grow from — or in some cases, NO base film to grow from.”

The director implies that franchises like “Star Wars,” “Iron Man,” “The Dark Knight” and even “Transformers” and “Twilight” are in the clear because they were conceived as single films and only grew into movie series…

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Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Least Favourite Power Rangers

So, as many people who have come on here are probably aware, I’m a huge Power Rangers fan. I’ve loved the series since season one, and I still watch it to this day. So, as you can imagine, I’ve borne witness to both the ups and the downs of this series. I’ve seen a LOT of Rangers come and go, and while I generally have fond thoughts of most of them, there are also some that have left little to no positive impact on me, or in some cases, NEGATIVE. So, seeing as how Super Megaforce just ended with all of the Rangers brought together, and I’ve already done a list on some of my favourite Rangers, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on those that didn’t leave such a great impression. Now, before I start, I should probably lay out some ground rules:

  1. One per team. Once I’ve chosen a Ranger from a specific team, I cannot choose one from that team again. Otherwise, I’d likely be mostly picking on Rangers from the same two to three teams a lot.
  2. It has to be a problem with the character and not the actor. As such, I don’t think I’ll put Kevin from Samurai on this list, since my biggest issues with him have more to do with his actor’s performance. Also, Will from Operation Overdrive won’t be on this list, since the character, how he’s written, and how he’s portrayed have nothing to do with Samuell Benta’s actions in the past…Plus, I just have far bigger fish to fry with Overdrive. lol
  3. I won’t be using comparisons to their Super Sentai counterparts as reason to put them on this list. While it’s perfectly fine to prefer a season of Super Sentai to its counterpart or vice versa, that is not why I’m doing this. I’m analyzing the characters for their own merits, or lack thereof.

Oh, and because there’s a member of Megaforce/Super Megaforce on this list, there will more than likely be spoilers, so consider yourselves warned now. And of course, this is all opinion based, so don’t freak out if I dislike your favourite Ranger, and as usual, this list is in no real order. With that outta the way, let’s look at my 5 Least Favourite Power Rangers, starting with…

#1 - Sam, the SPD Omega Ranger

#1 – Sam, the SPD Omega Ranger

Yeah, going right for one of the more obvious choices. Although, I should make clear: While Sam being a ball of light throughout SPD is a huge problem, it’s not the only reason he’s on this list. Really, it comes to just how little he actually does. I mean, he’s commonly seen helping the team in action, but aside from that, what does he really do? Even as a ball of light, there’s a lot more they could do with Sam. Heck, do an episode where he feels detached from the rest of the team as a result of this. Or maybe have him showing constant concern over his continued presence in the past and how it could affect the future (I think he only reflects on it maybe once or twice in the whole time he’s there). But nope, he apparently does not give a crap. Also, I don’t know whose fault it is, be it the voice actor or the people directing him, but Brett Stewart’s delivery comes off as very odd, like he’s never taking anything that’s going on seriously. And I know I said I wouldn’t compare to the Sentai counterparts, but something that’s always bugged me is the choice to still have Sam be the one to save the team from Mirloc, when the plot of that two-parter is changed to focus on Sky instead of him (in Dekaranger, Mirloc’s counterpart had instead killed DekaBreak’s parents). Ultimately, though, the Omega Ranger makes it on this list as a classic case of wasted potential.

#2 - Lucas Kendall, the Blue Time Force Ranger

#2 – Lucas Kendall, the Blue Time Force Ranger

Okay, I should probably start off by saying that I don’t HATE Lucas. I simply find his character to be…well, very uninteresting, which is more than a little off-putting, considering how he’s supposed to be the cool guy of the Time Force Rangers. He’s basically the Power Rangers equivalent of doing THIS:

…Oh yeah, I went there. lol Now, here’s where he’s a bit more redeemable in my eyes than some of the others on this list: Because while I find that aspect of him uninteresting, you get the idea on multiple occasions that it’s a very blatant smokescreen. Plus, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find IMMENSE entertainment in the episode where this came back to bite him in the worst way, when Nadira thought he was in love with him, and he had to scare her off by acting like a slob. His entrance in that scene alone might just be one of the funniest Goddamn things I’ve ever seen in Power Rangers. So yeah, he makes the list, but I can’t really hate him. This next one, however…

#3 - Dax Lo, the Blue Overdrive Ranger

#3 – Dax Lo, the Blue Overdrive Ranger

…OH GOD, Dax. Like I said, I had to choose only one Ranger per team, meaning I couldn’t just spend this entire article complaining about the Overdrive team being a bunch of privileged jerks who up and quit in Once A Ranger. Also, while Will performs actions in one episode that make him a bit unlikable in hindsight, he does not earn my resentment quite like Dax does. He is by far, in my opinion, the worst Power Ranger EVER. His civilian power is stupid, basically making him Bouncing Boy from the Legion of Super Heroes. His weapon is kinda dumb, although I CAN see the occasional usefulness in a gyro powerful enough to create whirlwinds. But beyond that, Dax is the worst example of a comic relief Ranger I’ve ever known. He’s annoying, he’s not funny, he never undergoes any sort of character development, his whole schtick is saying that their adventures are ‘like a movie’, and he always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS says the worst thing to make a situation even WORSE. Now granted, a lot of people would probably say the same about people like Bridge or Ziggy. The thing is, both of those Rangers, while having negative character traits (Ziggy’s a bit too eager for attention, and I could seriously harm Bridge for transmitting his whole finger wiggling when he says “Buttery” to me), they’re nonetheless good, heroic individuals in their own ways, and are honestly WAY funnier than Dax could ever be. In short, to quote Linkara, “SHUT UP, DAX!

#4 - Nick Russel/Bowen, the Red Mystic Ranger

#4 – Nick Russel/Bowen, the Red Mystic Ranger

Speaking of Rangers that are quitters, let’s talk about Nick. Now, I don’t wanna pick too much, because he does have his fair share of decent moments too, but he’s shown to be a little too willing to give up more than once, which is a HUGE problem for a Red Ranger to have. Plus, he comes off as more than a little dickish in terms of how he handles the obvious romantic feelings between himself and Madison. And just the fact that he’s the only member of the core team to have any kind of personal stake or reason to be involved in the events of the season and doesn’t really grow past these character defects by the end really makes the season all the more difficult to watch. Still, because he DOES have his moments where he comes around a little and can be decently heroic when the situation requires it, he’s not exactly the worst of the worst on this list.

#5 - Jake Holling, the Megaforce Black Ranger/Super Megaforce Green Ranger

#5 – Jake Holling, the Megaforce Black Ranger/Super Megaforce Green Ranger

… … …*sighs* Okay, let’s be real here, because I know a LOT of people, older fans in particular, are not happy with the past four seasons of Power Rangers, this last one in particular. However, I need to be clear about something: The Rangers, while being incredibly bland at times, still come off as decent people and competent heroes that I would feel safe around…minus one. Jake does not come off to me as either of these things. You might THINK he is, but he’s NOT. Every single time he is engaging in Ranger duties, he is out there to get attention, namely Gia’s. His ENTIRE CHARACTER, besides liking sports and being a doofus, is built around him chasing Gia like a sad, lost puppy. Or rather, it WAS built around that, until finally he became something far worse: A frigging STALKER. Don’t believe me? Listen to this one exchange of dialogue between him and Orion:

No, I COULD pick on this entire scene and ask when the hell any of them taught Orion ANYTHING, but again, I’m keeping this limited to one Ranger per team. As such, let’s instead focus on just how frigging CREEPY that sentence was! He’s not some poor yet likable guy with a crush on someone who can’t see how kind he is, he comes off as someone who would raid Gia’s panty drawer and then chloroform her! Now, I’m going to give Azim Rizk the benefit of the doubt and assume that he either didn’t detect the horrible implications of that last sentence, or just said it out of fear of losing his job. And for that matter, I’m gonna suggest the same of the rest of them, since otherwise, they wouldn’t be portraying this scene as a bunch of assholes who allow this sick behaviour to continue. And just from a production standpoint, the decision to make him more of a clumsy doofus as time went on so that he’d match up closer to the Sentai footage used for Super Megaforce is very at odds with his athleticism. The show wants to push him as a kid who is great at sports AND as someone who would trip over every curb on Earth, except that these two things do not match. So, if you wonder why I created a sick aunt with breast cancer for him in my fanfic, besides to tie the Rangers into a situation where they’d march in a breast cancer awareness parade, the answer is very simple: Because there’s nothing I could realistically DO with the character and still have him be likable. He may not be as blatantly annoying as Dax, but he’s still one of the worst Rangers of all time.

Anyway, those are my 5 Least Favourite Rangers. Got one that wasn’t on here? Leave a comment telling me your own least favourite Power Rangers, and be sure to check back in next week when I look at the past two seasons of PR, what I would’ve done differently, what I legitimately liked, and what I hope to see in Dino Charge. Ja né!

A Look At Green Lantern & Doctor Fate From The Justice League Infinite Fanfic

As you’ll recall, at the start of the week, I announced that I’m doing a Justice League fanfic entitled ‘Justice League Infinite’. As such, I’ve been going through all seven members of this world’s League, what makes them different from their counterparts, and so on. So far, we’ve looked at Batman, The Flash, Poison IvySuperman, and Wonder Woman, as well as Mera, who plays a role in this universe’s back-story, especially as it pertains to Wonder Woman. So, for today, let’s wrap this up by taking a look at the final two members of the Justice League Infinite, starting with this world’s version of Green Lantern, Simon Baz.

So, major change to the Green Lanterns in this universe is that there are no Guardians of the Universe and no Green Lantern Corps, meaning there is only one Green Lantern at a time…with one exception, which I’ll get into some other time. Basically, Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern, with the ring operating similarly to the current mainstream versions in that it seeks out those with the strongest will to wield it. Today, the ring is in the hands of Simon Baz. Unlike in his mainstream origins, in this universe, Baz was on a subway train that was demolished by a bomb. Simon managed to survive, but circumstantial evidence not only led the government to believe he was the one who planted the bomb, but that he was in fact a terrorist. From there, his origins play out the same, with the Green Power Ring reaching him just before hardcore agents could kill him. Now, unable to see his wife again, Simon is having to take up the guise of the Green Lantern as a means of hiding from the law, as well as using his new powers to protect the innocent. Baz possesses incredible will and selflessness, able to gladly take up the role of a hero in spite of how he’s been wronged. He seeks to one day prove his innocence so that he can be with the woman he loves, and despite the lack of evidence left behind on the train, he will not give up on that dream. He’s since met up with a teenaged Kyle Rayner, who possesses the Blue Power Ring, the two using the combined power of will and hope to defend and serve.

Simon’s costume is a bit different in this universe, as it is a full body costume covering him completely to keep his identity a secret. It has pretty much the same colour-scheme and design, it just covers his entire body, leaving no skin exposed, his mouth covered, and even his eyes hidden behind lime green lenses. Power wise, he’s exactly as you’d expect of a Green Lantern. While wearing the ring, Simon is able to form green light constructs of anything his mind wills him to create. He can fly, he’s semi-invulnerable, and he can survive in the vacuum of space. He can even summon the Green Power Ring to him no matter where he is. However, the ring only has a 24 hour charge to it, even shorter depending on how much is used at once. To recharge the ring, it must be touched to the matching Green Power Battery by the wielder, who must also speak the Green Lantern oath…I consider myself more a Blue Lantern kinda guy, but whatever, I’ll say it…

In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might
Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!

And that’s it for Green Lantern, which leaves the final member of the Justice League: Doctor Fate.

Now, like Green Lantern, there are two Doctor Fates in the history of this story: The original Doctor Fate, Kent Nelson, and his successor of Egyptian decent, Khalid Ben-Hassin, PhD. Khalid was searching ancient tombs in Egypt when he came across the Helm of Nabu, which he felt a connection to due to the original Doctor Fate being his childhood hero. As such, he has become Doctor Fate both out of a desire to protect the world from supernatural threats, as well as to try and locate Kent Nelson, who quite literally disappeared off the face of the Earth years ago. Khalid can occasionally have moments of self-doubt and hesitation, due to being uncertain if he’s the rightful owner of the Helm of Nabu, and because he oftentimes finds himself mentally drained and unfocused after using it. As an archaeologist, he’s fascinated by various ancient tombs, pyramids, and the like, which can at times override Nabu’s influence and personality. He’s also been helping Jackson Hyde, AKA Aqualad, in his studies of the mystic arts.

Since this is Khalid Ben-Hassin, his costume is virtually the same from the pages of Earth 2, as are his powers upon putting on the Helm of Nabu and merging with the ancient spirit. He can fly, grant himself super-strength, generate protective energy shields, bend fire and lightning to his will, move objects with his mind, teleport across large distances, read minds, is immune to disease and infection of any kind, will never age, and even more powers that he’s discovering all the time. However, for all of this power at the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth’s disposal, it comes at a great cost: The more Khalid uses, the weaker he’ll become over time, meaning he has to balance out how much power he makes use of. Also, while he keeps a small amount for himself even when not wearing the helmet, he’s far more vulnerable in this state. Likewise, the spirit of Nabu is trapped within the helmet, and is incapable of doing much without a host, though he can generate a temporary form if necessary, though at great risk to himself should something happen to him while in this state.

Anyway, that’s the last of the members. I’ll be sure to post on here when the first chapter is uploaded to Fanfiction.net. In the meantime, lemme know what you think of these choices, and be sure to enjoy the following collages I did to advertise the story. Ja né!

 

A Look At Wonder Woman & Mera From The Justice League Infinite Fanfic

Well, I announced earlier this week that I’m doing a Justice League fanfic entitled ‘Justice League Infinite’. As such, I’m going through all seven members of this world’s League, what makes them different from their counterparts, etc. So far, we’ve looked at Batman, The Flash, Poison Ivy, and Superman. So, for today, let’s go ahead and take a look at this world’s version of the Spirit of Truth, Wonder Woman.

Origin wise, this version of Diana of Themyscira is pretty much the classic sculpted-from-clay story. Not that I have a problem with Wonder Woman being a demigod, just that it taints her back-story in a bad way. She also has her sister, Donna, who is a mirror duplicate of herself as a child and a possible inheritor to the Wonder Woman title, AND THAT’S ALL. lol What’s different is that, not only was her mother Hippolyta the first Wonder Woman on the Justice Society (an idea that’s been tossed around on occasion), but recently, Hippolyta and Aquaman were tricked into entering a fight to the death, which was witnessed by Diana and Mera. As a result of that, and as a means of keeping their respective peoples from declaring war on each other, Diana and Mera married, becoming co-Queens of each other’s lands, and thus uniting the people of Themyscira and Atlantis (meaning Themyscira is no longer a land bereft of men). Of course, the two were already close friends, thus making their relationship a bit interesting now that they’re wives. In terms of personality, Diana is a compassionate, loving soul, but while she will try to negotiate her way out of a confrontation, she will fight with the ferocity of a lioness if necessary to protect the weak and defenseless. Likewise, while she will not bring death to humans, she has no such compunctions for demons, monsters, undead, and some aliens.

Regarding Wonder Woman’s costume and appearance, take her Earth 2 costume in the New 52 (only with gold replacing all the silver and red boots instead of blue), give her chest coverage that her Justice League War costume had and the ponytail (because I LOVE it, lol), and a red cape like she’s sometimes seen in on some of her more diplomatic missions. As far as her skill set goes, she has her usual package of super strength, speed, reflexes, durability, and stamina, tracking skills, and is a master of both unarmed combat and wielding a shield and sword. She’s also a highly skilled diplomat and negotiator, meaning that she can oftentimes avoid ever having to use such gifts in combat by putting an end to conflict before it ever even begins. She can also fly fast enough to keep up with Superman, but as a means of reserving energy, she mostly prefers to fly on the back of a pegasus. As always, Diana wields the unbreakable Lasso of Truth, which forces one to reveal their true nature, tell the truth, and even free them from brainwashing or other types of control. Finally, she has the Bracelets of Victory, which guard against all forms of attacks. When the bracelets are removed, however, most of her natural abilities increase to ludicrous levels, the likes of which even Superman cannot contend with. For all of these abilities, though, Wonder Woman isn’t invincible. Her stamina, while incredible, does have limits, meaning she will eventually tire out if a battle runs for too long. Also, while removing her bracelets doesn’t cause her to go into a berserker mode like in the comics, it DOES put a huge strain on her body. Just a couple of minutes is long enough for her to be ready to pass out in this state. Finally, while her compassion is a great gift, it also comes coupled with a sense of self-sacrifice, constantly causing her to put herself in harm’s way to protect others. Granted, she more often than not walks away without being too harmed, but when you consider the possibility of her leaving Themyscira without its Queen…well, hindsight is 20/20.

…So, that’s all there is to know about Infinite Wonder Woman, but what about her new wife? Granted, she won’t be joining the Justice League, but she will be making an appearance or two, so let’s look at Mera.

Again, Mera is very similar to the mainstream version seen in the comics: A princess/assassin from another dimension sent to kill Aquaman, but instead fell in love with the King of Atlantis and married him. She’s also become somewhat of a surrogate mother to Jackson Hyde, AKA Aqualad, due to his estrangement from his father, Black Manta. In this universe, she’s also a close friend to Diana, and accepted her proposal to get married for the sake of their friendship and their peoples (which is quite the twist from Flashpoint). While kind and loving, she is also known to fly into fits of rage when wronged. You know the old saying “Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d, nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d”? If William Congreve had lived in today’s society, he likely would’ve been talking about Mera. And yeah, I know, it can be something of a sexist comment, but it’s most certainly true of Queen Mera ‘Don’t You DARE Call Me Aquawoman’. While she understands that she SHOULDN’T kill, she at times has difficulty keeping the desire to in check.

Mera is more or less exactly like the mainstream version of her in both appearance and powers. Like Aquaman, the Queen of Atlantis is perfectly capable of surviving in a kingdom at the bottom of the sea, meaning she has the strength, durability, and enhanced sight of someone who lived in a place so dark and having such constant pressure put on her. She’s also an extremely fast swimmer, and possesses a leap out of the ocean measuring at approximately 1000 feet. Mera also possesses telepathy, able to send messages to someone’s mind and receive replies, though she lacks skill in terms of digging deeper into a person’s thoughts. Her trademark ability, however, is her skill in manipulating water. She can shift water around to her will, form hard water weapons, and launch concussive blasts. Also, get her REALLY mad, and she could conceivably warp the water molecules inside of someone to hurt them from the inside. Ultimately, her greatest weakness is her anger, as it can blind her in combat and cause her to make mistakes. Also, while she’s durable enough that bullets would only scratch her skin, she is by no means invulnerable.

Anyway, that’s it for Wonder Woman and Mera. Next time, we wrap up our look at the Justice League Infinite with Green Lantern and Doctor Fate. Ja né!

Kamala Khan is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me

Originally posted on Am I Being Punked?: Experiences in racism and other stuff:

Jamie Mckelvie & Matt Wilson

Ms Marvel #5 Cover Art, Jamie McKelvie & Matt Wilson

With its 6th printing under its belt the new incarnation of Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan, is clearly a giant hit. Its phenomenal reception has resulted in numerous articles praising its diversity and likeability. Noah Berlatsky of The Atlantic writes ‘changing shape doesn’t mean that Kamala erases her ethnicity, nor, in the way of Superman, that she is forever split between nebbish and overman. Rather, in Ms Marvel, shape-changing seems to suggest that flexibility is a strength. Kamala is a superhero because she’s both American and Muslim at once. Her power is to be many things, and to change without losing herself.’ This is the crux of why Ms Marvel works so well; she has intersections up the wazoo (a Pakistani-American daughter of immigrants, Muslim and female) but the character and plot developments are masterfully balanced between embracing her…

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A Look At The Flash & Poison Ivy From The Justice League Infinite Fanfic

So, as I announced before, I’m doing a Justice League fanfic entitled ‘Justice League Infinite’. As such, I’m going through all seven members of this world’s League, what makes them different from their counterparts, etc. As such, let’s take a look at this world’s version of The Fastest WOMAN Alive, The Flash.

As you can tell from the above photo, this Flash is heavily based off of the superheroine Jesse Quick, a favourite of mine to be honest. In this universe, Jessica Garrick is the daughter of this world’s Jay Garrick, AKA the Golden Age Flash, and once served as Kid Flash. However, an accident during a battle with The Rogues resulted in Jay’s death, after which, Jesse took up the mantle, protecting Keystone City from crime. Like Jesse Quick, she is extremely goal-oriented and even runs her own company, though she also has a more thrill-seeking side to her that constantly wants out of the office and fighting criminals. She’s also taken up various extreme sports, has a pilot’s license, and even flown shuttle simulations. However, the death of her father has left a dark imprint on her mind, as Jesse also harbours a deep, personal grudge against The Rogues, blaming them for the death of her father and having little in the way of patience for their antics. Still, she is far from a being a brooding loner, and of the seven heroes on the mission to save Earth, Flash is the one most eager and adamant about starting a group, believing them to be the inheritors of the Justice Society’s legacy. She also has a hyperactive little brother named Bart (based off Bart Allen), who is also a speedster and wants to take on the role of Kid Flash, much to Jesse’s occasional annoyance.

The Scarlet Speedster of Earth Infinite wears a costume almost identical to Jesse Quick’s from the earlier issues of The Titans, only that it bears the logo of The Flash. Also, the visor she wears comes equipped with an LED display that allows her to keep constant track of her surroundings and approaching obstacles or individuals. Naturally, as The Flash, she possesses superspeed, able to shatter the sound barrier with ease, and has the ability to process information like a super computer. She can also phase through solid objects by vibrating her body at just the right speed, create whirlwinds, and even sustain flight for a few minutes if she launches herself upward at the right speed and angle (an ability unique to herself and her counterpart from other Flashes). The best way to counter her in combat is to out-think her, as anyone who can predict her movements can adapt and bring her down regardless of how fast she’s moving.

Anyway, that’s it for The Flash…BUT, because I feel like giving something extra (and getting all these done before Friday, when Pokémon Omega Ruby comes out and takes up all my time, lol), let’s talk about someone I would LOVE to one day see on the Justice League for real: Poison Ivy.

After she was seduced by Doctor Jason Woodrue and used as a guinea pig in his experiments, for which the doctor was able to avoid being brought to justice, Pamela Isley took on the identity of Poison Ivy and decided to dedicate her life to helping those that the law and the governments of the world couldn’t or wouldn’t help, whether those in power like it or not. Pam has a slight case of S.A.D., or Seasonal Affective Disorder. She can at times be a bit violent, even ruthless against those that harm others, but she’ll relent when asked to. She also has a particularly soft spot for children, especially orphaned or otherwise estranged children. As such, in this universe, it’s Pamela who discovers Garfield Logan and gives him a home when most of the world shuns him, and in turn, his more jovial side helps her to look on the light side of life.

Poison Ivy possesses a connection to The Green, allowing her to commune with and control all plant life on the planet. As her costume (lifted from The New 52) is laced with vines, leaves, and other forms of plant-life, this makes it a living entity on its own that can be used as a weapon, binding and whipping foes from a distance. She can even ensnare her own body in hardened bark to protect herself, or to improve her strength in attacks. Pam is also immune to all venoms and toxins, is highly resistant to mind control, and can even pass her consciousness along into a plant-based avatar. Finally, the Queen of The Green can use various powders and chemicals meant to paralyze, knock out, or otherwise incapacitate foes, and even force them to tell her whatever she wants to know. However, Ivy does have a massive weakness: Because she can hear the voices of all plant life, their cries of pain could distract her and cause her to lose control of her powers. Also, she’s highly vulnerable to ice based attacks and fire. Still, she is a proven survivor who will go to any lengths to preserve and protect.

Next time, we check out the Man of Tomorrow: Superman. And this version is again based largely on a somewhat…different take on the character. :)

New Fanfic: Justice League Infinite + A Look At Infinite Batman

So, as I’ve announced on Twitter, I plan to do a Justice League fic soon. This will take place in an alternate universe where the Justice Society of America had existed since World War II, but collapsed near the end of the Cold War, and are currently not recognized by the American government as being on the right side of the law. As such, those heroes left in the wake of the JSA’s collapse operate as individuals, without any form of organization. However, that all changes when a threat from outer space brings several heroes together on a mission to save Earth from a creature that could enslave humanity.

Before I release the first chapter of this story, dubbed Justice League Infinite (and for those wondering, either my previous DC Comics-oriented fics will EVENTUALLY be retooled to fit into this ‘verse, or will just be kept around as examples of my older work, I honestly haven’t decided yet), I’ve decided to go ahead and give previews to each of the seven members of the team. So, let’s start with arguably the most popular superhero to date: Batman.

Bruce Terrance Wayne of this universe bears more than enough similarities to the more common version adapted for various movies, cartoons, and comics, though there are also several differences. We’ll go over the latter, since if you don’t know much about Batman’s history, personality, and skills, chances are that you’re probably not even reading this. From a personality standpoint, this Batman’s paranoia and standoffish behaviour are played up a bit more. He doesn’t trust the other Justice League members, and is unwilling to part with his secret identity, though he does show respect toward Wonder Woman due to her status as a royal diplomat. In his life as Bruce Wayne, he’s been shown to have both women AND men on his arm as dates, even though he actually doesn’t see himself getting into a meaningful relationship with anyone, regardless of gender.

In terms of history, this version of Bruce was born in 1981 and lost his parents at age 8. Without going into too much detail, he’s been active as the Dark Knight for 6-7 years (and if you’re getting the references with these dates, bravo to you, lol), although he’s only been confirmed to exist for the past 2-3, with most believing he was a myth. He’s also only recently taken on his first Robin: This universe’s version of Carrie Kelley, who, like in The Dark Knight Returns, came to Batman’s aid when he was near death one night, and has been undergoing rigorous training to prove herself as his partner. There’re a few other characters related to him that are drastically changed in this universe, but I’ll keep them a secret for now.

In terms of Infinite Batman’s skills and tech, the Caped Crusader still has his trademark detective skills and mastery of nearly every martial art known to man, as well as his intimidation, theatricality, and interrogation skills that allow him to appear superhuman, possibly even demonic, to the average thug. His Batsuit resembles the Justice League 3000 Batman’s costume, only darker and possessing violet-blue tones instead of red. In terms of what it can do, though, aside from the usual equipment of multi-purpose Batarangs, smoke pellets, and the Batclaw grapple gun, Bruce has built this suit as a means of stopping super-powered individuals if necessary, and has dubbed it ‘The Meta-Buster’. The paracape is thermal-shielded against ice and fire, though using it as such makes it nearly impossible to glide afterward. His gloves can generate varying levels of electricity to knock out foes or charge devices. There are also strength enhancers in the suit for combating foes with super-strength, though they burn out after a minute or two and require recharging. The cowl is connected to the Batcave computer, and the lens can grant him night, infrared, thermal, and even telescopic vision. Batman also has ultrasonic emitters that can summon bats or deafen enemies, and if the situation calls for it, it can seal Bruce off and provide him with oxygen to dive underwater or even survive the vacuum of space for a short time. All of this does come at a pretty big trade-off, though: The increased bulk of the Meta-Buster makes Batman a bit slower and less maneuverable, so anyone that can outpace him and is prepared for his various contingencies can easily subdue and disable him. And while it is, like most Batsuits, almost completely bullet and knife proof and insulated against electricity, it has its limits. If it takes too much of a pounding, the various added systems built into the Meta-Buster will shut down, leaving Bruce with a heavy armour no better equipped than some of his more traditional costumes.

Anyway, that’s all for the Dark Knight. Next time, we take a look at the Scarlet Speedster HERself, The Flash. Ja né!

Batman #36 Review – Bourder (WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD)

This issue is once again great, but I have a couple of problems that I’ll address. It picks up right where we left off…more or less, since we actually start with a look at another possible death scenario for Bruce, care of the stuff Scarecrow put in his system. And again, is this something that happened in another book that I didn’t read, something that’s going to happen in Eternal, or just an off-panel event we never actually see? Regardless, the point is that, while the scenario is different in each of these visions, one thing that’s the same is the sound of cold, mocking laughter, coming from the city, asking Batman who or what he thought he was…Gosh, I wonder why you hear THAT, Bruce?

Anyway, snap back to reality, and Superman is still pummeling on Batman’s armoured suit, his ‘Super-buster’, if you will. Of course, seeing as how Batman can be INCREDIBLY paranoid, the suit’s armed with weapons meant specifically to take down Superman, with knuckles emitting red sunlight, and plasma shields meant to stop both heat vision and freeze breath. Unfortunately, he kinda failed to take into account that, because this is a suit meant to take on Superman, who generally has limits to what he’ll do, the best it can do against a Superman hell-bent on killing Bats is slow him down. So yeah, the suit gets trashed, but thankfully, Batman’s got one last trick up his sleeve: A gum-like substance laced with Kryptonite that he spits INTO HIS EYE. This seems to finally put Superman down long enough to get him and the rest of the League to A.R.G.U.S. for treating, but they’ll be out for nearly a week, meaning Joker is clearly planning something so big that Bruce would normally be forced to call on the team for help. And I suppose I should point out what bullshit it is that Batman managed to walk away with no lasting damage from fighting the Justice League, Superman in particular, but at least it wasn’t technically a victory. I’m sure that if the fight had continued, Superman probably would’ve killed Bruce. Also, God knows the ‘Super-buster’ (and yes, I’m going to continue to call it that) was probably worth a TON, and the chances of building another just like it aren’t great, so if something like this ever comes up again, Bruce is screwed.

After meeting up with Alfred and Julia, both of whom make it clear that they aren’t leaving Bruce to deal with this alone, Batman deduces that Joker must’ve gotten at the League when they were at a charity for the Gotham Children’s Hospital a month earlier, and that whatever he used was so slow and subtle working that none of them noticed until it was too late…and I kinda have to scratch my head at this point. No, not for the fact that the Joker venom was used on the Justice League, since we learn that different variations were used on each, and I can see how someone with enough knowledge of each member could pull this off. However, how could Joker know all of this? The only way he could pull it off is if he had access to the same information as Batman, but that would require hacking the cave computers, which would need knowing where to find them, which would then require knowing who Batman is, and we’ve already established that Joker doesn’t want to know who Batman is.

Eventually, Batman decides to check out Joker’s cell back at the ruined Arkham Asylum. Mr. Border, who’s been working at Arkham since Batman Annual #2 and has popped up here and there in story, shows up, saying that the patients at Arkham Manor are scared of Joker, and that he came to check the area out. Batman tells him he should really get back to his patients, at which point Border explains that, since arriving in Gotham, all he’s ever wanted was to help the Arkham inmates, the people of Gotham, and Batman most of all, but that none of them saw a helping hand…just as the door to Joker’s cell locks on Batman, and the cell starts to fill with gas. Turns out, Mr. Border is really more like Mr. Bourder, an obsolete word for ‘Jester’…and all I could hear while reading this for the first time was this little tune…

Yep, Border’s really Joker in disguise, using make-up, muscle relaxers, and even sporting a new face (Thank God). We see that Joker has infected most of the city as Batman is trapped in the cell, and that, as alluded to before, Joker didn’t exactly take the ending of Death of the Family all that well, and is now out to END Batman. And it’d be great dialogue…if it wasn’t more or less word for word what Scott Snyder said in an interview while explaining Joker’s motivations this story arc. Seriously, Scott, I love ya and all, but you REALLY shouldn’t be doing this. And I’m not the only person to notice, either. But yeah, Joker says that when Batman wakes up, he’ll find the whole city laughing at him, pulls out a BANG flag gun, shoots, and end of Part 2 of Endgame.

I don’t want anyone to think I didn’t enjoy this issue from my nitpicking, because I did, A LOT. I’m just pointing out that a few things either didn’t add up well, or have yet to, but it’s still early in the story, so who knows, maybe it’ll iron itself out later. I will say that the best part of this issue was the reveal that Border was really The Joker. Now, I’d seen a new shot of what Joker was supposed to look like online, particularly in his recent haircut, so when I saw Border in this issue and saw his hair, there was a split second where I thought to myself “…Wait a minute…”, but I didn’t really believe it, since I didn’t think it was possible…Yeah, turns out, VERY MUCH SO. And I gotta wonder, was Border ALWAYS supposed to be Joker in disguise? How long has Snyder been planning this? Were there clues I missed along the way? I can see him popping pills in Batman #34, which were probably those muscle relaxants he mentioned, and re-reading that scene knowing what I know now makes it absolutely CHILLING. And frankly, I seem to recall Joker once saying “How do you keep a secret from the World’s Greatest Detective? You stick it right in front of him, right under his long pointy nose, and wait.”

Speaking of, I think I speak for most when I say that I’m glad to see that Joker has a face again. Having him not have a face FOREVER just wouldn’t have worked. I’m curious as to how and when he got it, though. Clearly, he knows a REALLY good plastic surgeon…though I wonder how come this new face is also bleached white. But whatever, point is, despite some hiccups along the way, Endgame has proven to be really good, and I can’t wait to see what that insane, demented, side-show freak pulls out next…But enough about Scott Snyder, I wonder what Joker has planned? XD

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