Tuesday I summarised the MCU as best as I could in brief, and tried to give you some idea of what to expect from Infinity War without giving too much away. Today the gloves are off, and so begins the review proper.
Given the volume of characters in play, it makes absolute sense to divide the narrative between them, each group trying to find a way to halt the progress of the Mad Titan. So let’s take this group by group, doing insufficient justice to each character as we go because we have many years to summarise with each:
As an avid reader, some of my favourite stories involve underdogs; someone we want to root for, because we feel for their plight. We don’t necessarily want them to become a hero, but if they do then we want them to be the best hero they can be. We don’t want them to immediately win – And no hero, no matter how great, should immediately win unless it’s a parody. Following on from Creating The Monster from a few weeks back, this is how you can have the Hero Fight The Monster.
Be it due to a lack of viewers, funding, time, or the failings of misguided network executives who need to take a long hard look in the mirror while they slowly starve to death, unable to pull away from the shameful spiral that they’ve plunged themselves into by killing, not just a TV show, but a dream!…
Where was I going with this?
Oh yeah! Sometimes TV shows, film franchises, and game series get cancelled before they reach a satisfactory conclusion, or are forced to rush to a disappointing finale that leaves the fans feeling cheated. Here’s some of our favourites, the Top 10 series that ended too soon. (more…)
The power of teleportation is a skill which few possess; a skill of true concentration and energy. The characters we’ll be chatting about in today’s list are all masters of their craft, able to teleport seemingly with ease. It’s as if moving their, or another whole mass, is just like breathing to you or I. Whatever you think of these characters, it’s certain that these are our favourite zone-phasers.
Don’t blink, or you’ll miss this week’s Top 10 Teleporting Characters!
Trick or treat! Don your outfits and go a-gathering, alongside some of the finest of theatrical traditions and human habits, the desire to adorn ourselves in the appearance of another for the fun of it. Geeks are perhaps the most enthusiastic when it comes to taking to the sewing machine and the welding torch in pursuit of a new outfit.
Join us fare and geeky folk, as we celebrate those times when our favourite characters have donned new duds, assumed new guises and costumed themselves from boot to scalp. Welcome to the Top 10 characters in costumes.
10) Faust – Guilty Gear
Ah Faust, we’ve mentioned this guy in a much older Top 10, where we spoke about his rather large scalpel. No innuendos, he really does have a large scalpel, which is bigger than an anchor. Faust was an incredible doctor, if a little unhinged, but an incident saw him go from an insane doctor to basically a shell of his former self. At least, that was the case until he realised the world needed his medical genius and thus, he stepped back into the world.
The weirdest part, is after he was sane again, he decided that he didn’t want the world to see his face. So, he donned his paper bag – which is all he’s seen out in public in. Now, Faust only gets the tenth place, but that’s simply because all of his costume is just his doctor’s attire and then a paper bag on his head. But, without that iconic paper bag, he just wouldn’t be Faust now would he?
9) Every MOBA
A MOBA is usually free, which means that to monetise their games, they need to add something the fans will like. So, they often add in skins. A skin doesn’t affect the way the game is played, but is just a nice little visual change for the gamers. People who genuinely love the game they’re playing are more than willing to part with some cash to put their favourite characters in a bizarre outfit, because who doesn’t love seeing the Hindu Giant of Sleep in pyjamas as pictured above?
This is a very vague entry, hence the low placing on our list, however MOBAs are filled to the brim with costumes. Whether you play League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, Awesomenauts, Smite or any other MOBA, you’ll no doubt understand where we’re coming from on this front.
8) Jinnosuke – Afro Samurai
Straight away, I bet you’re thinking “What on earth is this guys deal”? And in all truthfulness, there’s a very simple explanation for the odd teddy bear head he wears. Jinnosuke, or Jinno for short, is an android who wears a teddy’s head as a way to disguise the fact he looks so similar to the Afro Samurai himself. Oh that and the fact that this guy is a freaking android.
The best part about this bear costume is the complete transformation Jinna goes through. When wearing the bear costume, he’s known as Kuma, which of course is basically Japanese for bear. Antagonistic, but sympathetic, this is an incredibly well fleshed out character who deserves to be mentioned. Plus, the style of this show is through the roof. Well worth checking it out if you haven’t, but be warned: It’s graphic.
7) Knights of Badassdom
Peter Dinklage is a massive nerd, and it’s awesome. If it’s not enough to know him as the crowd favourite from Game of Thrones then you can get a slice of the Half-Man as a berserker in LARP comedy Knights of Badassdom, alongside Summer Glau, Danny Puddi and Brian Posehn (and a handful of lesser-known names). Our heroes don their costumes, take to the forests, and get ready to beat the living hell out of one another with foam and latex weapons.
Ahh, but all goes terribly wrong when somebody reads from a “prop” book they brought from home for some convincing looking rituals for the XP and accidentally summon an actual demon. Either way, this is not your normal costume drama, not by a longshot, it’s a heavily armoured and fully armed costume comedy that’s about the pros and cons of taking things too far.
6) South Park Heroes
This series addresses the very worst aspects of humanity and shines a big light upon them, all against the backdrop of a child’s ability to see things in the most direct fashion, and also through the lens of make-believe. We have seen the team play as ninjas, (twice) fantasy archetypes, and superheroes. We could have gone with the fantasy characters as they’re the basis for The Stick of Truth, but between the legend of Mysterion, his tireless war with The Coon (and The Fractured, but Whole coming soon) we decided to go with the super-heroes.
The band of foul-mouthed nine and ten year olds have fashioned their identities from what they know and what they have to hand, that’s why we have heroes such as Tupperware, Toolshed, the Human Kite, and Mintberry Crunch. In the middle of all of this is Mysterion, the undying hero born of occult practices, and The Coon, who is Cartman.
This one depends on exactly which version of the minions you follow. If you’ve watched the prequel to the Despicable Me series then the Minions have lived forever, adapting thematically to whatever dark overlord they attach themselves to, high collared capes for a vampire, linen kilts and gold for pharaohs, and for pirates whatever looks cool. Gru’s demands being mostly for hardware means they’ve switched to dungarees, but no doubt the future holds something new.
But the original film clearly shows designs for the minions on Gru’s wall, meaning that he designed them for a purpose, and every costume change is done for a reason. They adapt to changing situations, like cleaning, fires, and the dark with a quick change of costume (or luminosity), and it’s a habit that’s getting worse now there’s adorable kids in the house.
4) Scooby Doo Villains
Hah, this is great. Somehow we’ve gotten a staple childrens show into a Top 10, but when you think about it, the Scooby Doo villains are the ultimate cosplayers (Unless we count the next one on this list, but bare with us here). These are characters who are often depicted in their normal human forms at an earlier point in the episode, before being chased around by Scoob and the gang and then revealed.
The most iconic part about Scooby Doo is how all of these villains run around, often sporting the most ridiculous of costumes. From zombies and ghosts, to full on swamp monsters, these guys and girls are the ultimate cosplaying baddies. Put a costume on these evil men and women who just want Scoob and gang to go away, turn into fully enraged devils in their own rights.
3) Costume Quest
Did you ever cosplay as someone and fantasize about possessing the powers that they wield? Well fantasize no more… well, less, this is a videogame not an upgrade. Your characters scoot around the neighbourhood, gathering sweets and treats from the neighbours, making new friends, uncovering strange mysteries and saving your sibling with the powers granted to you by whatever you’re wearing.
Tim Schafer’s knack for simple yet brilliant ideas transformed into games shines through in this cross between an RPG and an arena-fighter. Your cardboard box robot suddenly becomes a Gundam-scale killing machine fully capable of toppling the monsters that stand in your way. Or adopt the guise of a noble knight and become a champion against the darkness. Or french fries, a unicorn, or the entire solar system. Hallowe’en was never this good.
The truly valorous seek to become symbols of what they stand for, to become something memorable, something immediately recognisable that inspires others to become something better than they are. Some people just really want to be superheroes, people like Dave Lizewski, who has taken it upon himself to beat up the villainous sort while wearing a distinctive costume he made out of a cheap wetsuit.
It does at least serve as an inspiration to others, and after a tragic death makes him the city’s premier hero, suddenly dozens of costumed vigilantes come wriggling out of the woodwork. The extra armour isn’t much of an upgrade, especially as he can barely feel pain as it is, and he still looks kinda dumb, but that look becomes something of a flagship that the others can rally too. It’s not about hiding who he is, or becoming who he was always meant to be, it’s about doing what’s right, and making a point about it.
1) Tanooki Mario
Hardly surprising that the number one pick for us had to be Tanooki Mario; an iconic costume for Mario. Much like the aforementioned cosplay qualities of the Scooby Doo villains, once Mario gets inside of this very warm and snuggly looking Tanooki costume, he’s on his way to gliding all around the place like a madman. Plumbers don’t always fly, but when they do, they do so in a Tanooki outfit.
Now, this gets our number one slot because of just how popular this outfit is. From people cosplaying Tanooki Mario, to people who build whole Mario Maker levels around the Racoon Mario costume (Which granted isn’t Tanooki, but shares many similar properties), this is a well known and well loved outfit.
Not all of our costumed crusaders are good, not all are bad. Not all of our costumed characters do it for a reason, some do it as it’s confidence building. These are parallels to real life costumery which is why we love the Halloween spirit of Trick or Treating. These next two deserve a nod, for they’ve taken costuming to a different level.
James – Pokemon (Anime)
James beat out Mimikyu for the Pokemon slot, but of course James often doesn’t wear a costume because he wants to be loved. Instead, he wears a costume as a form of disguise. However, it’s sometimes he wears an outfit that’s just so over the top that the party instantly say “But this is Team Rocket again!” Honestly, why won’t Officer Jenny listen to Ash and his friends from time to time?
Regardless, James appears alongside Jessie and Meowth, as well as their rather amusing companion Wobbuffet. James isn’t afraid to cosplay and crossplay, making him a braver man than most. Besides, when you have legs like those, who wouldn’t want a chance to show them off?
Rick Castle (as Space Cowboy) – Castle
Nathan Fillion has made no small point of how much he loved Firefly, how much he misses it and resents its’ cancellation. In his biggest role following he took as many opportunities as he could to drive that point home, most memorably during a brief moment in one Hallowe’en episode, that makes it to the honourables section purely because it is just that brief.
As Richard Castle emerges from his costume change, you’d swear he was the spitting image of Captain Malcolm Reynolds of the Serenity, the resemblance is uncanny. Not the first time he’s worn the outfit too, as his daughter comments on his having worn it about five years ago (harr harr, because of when the episode aired, how deliciously nerdy). It’s one of many such references throughout Castle, but it’s easily the least subtle.
That is all for our sartorial selection, now get back into your day to day threads – be they clothing or forum – and get back to work. Before you wander back into normality, take the time to help us pick out a list for next week.
Ok, don’t dress it up, how did we do? What do you make of our little ensemble? Did we miss any of your favourite characters playing dress-up, or alternative outfits? Let us know on our Twitter, Facebook and Reddit pages. And join us next week for another fantastic Top 10.
Adventure is driven by the adventurous: the intrepid, the brave or the dutiful, who cast aside their lives of comfort to go and do something that straddles the line between brave and stupid, not because they want to, but because they must. When we think of heroes, we paint a fairly typical picture, often male, generally of a military or combative nature, and most of all blandly attractive but with such outward confidence that none can help but swoon. We can name them by type, the anti-hero, the unlikely hero, the tragic hero, and on and on…
But we like to stand out, we like to be different, and in a world filled to the brim with a variety of heroes and villains it can make it difficult to create something truly original, but there’s still some mould left to break. Though we’ve filled page after page with comic book heroes beyond number, plastered the screen with heroes of all shapes and sizes and elevated everyone until they feel like they can truly be special, there are always ways to freshen up and reinvigorate the same old tropes and put your personal mark upon them. (more…)
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!
10) Desmond Miles – Assassins Creed
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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.
2) Superman – DC
What? How did this happen? Number 2?
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.
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.
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
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, 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.
Do you like cosplay?
Do you like men. Um… wait… That’s not what it looks like!!
Do you like calendars of cool people in cosplay?
We’re back once more with another awesome edition of Kickstarter Highlight!
What is it?
This campaign is looking to bring some exposure to the men in Cosplay.
Now, that sounds like I’m saying this is going to be men doing things like the firemen calendars out there, where the men are half naked and covered in oil to make their abs look oh so impressive. Well, it’s not, stop assuming things!
See, this was a lot more innocent than you made it out to be. Darn you, reader!
The cosplay industry is well known for its female participants… But, there’s a staggering amount of amazing male cosplayers, too.
Take, for example, Bristol based Andy Valentine (Valentine Cosplay). Seriously, if you’ve never seen his stuff before, go check him out. People like him a little guy like me can only look up to. Though we little guys do try, we truly do!!
How much are they asking for?
That’s not much to ask for giving some fellow cosplayers some much needed recognition now is it?
Of course, that depends on your views of the subject, but most of that money will be used to pay for the cosplayers travel for their photoshoots, as well as the main culprit: Printing/Posting. They’ve actually given a full breakdown of the costs:
Printing/Shipping – $3,400
Production/Travel costs – $1,500
Kickstarter fees – roughly $500
Helping the cosplay community – Priceless.
There are some things money can’t b- Oh my word, please do not sue me for using that, Mastercard!
What are the backer rewards?
I’ve personally pledged in at the $16 mark, as heck – I’m into cosplay and I kept complaining this year that I didn’t get myself a damned calendar. I’ve been relying on Google! (There’s really nothing wrong with relying on Google… But… A physical calendar, you know!?)
These aren’t bad tier prices and there’s still plenty of early backer deals available.
So there we have it, let’s honour our fellow cosplayers, even those who often get forgotten about.
Perhaps one day, GeekOut should do its own cosplay calendar featuring some of the beautiful cosplayers from the Cosplayer Highlight series… Um, okay, I’m sure a few of them will look at me angrily for even suggesting to take pictures of them to sell around the place. YIKES!
What do you all think about cosplay calendars? On a more board topic: What about men in cosplay? Do you think they get as much appreciation as their female counterparts? What’s the reason you think that? Let us know in the comments below.