Mortal Kombat II (various video game sequels, movies, and comics 1993 – now)
Kurse Mortal Kombat and their infamous pallet swap kharakters! See what I did there?? So I’ll be honest if it wasn’t for the 2011 “reboot” of Mortal Kombat’s story and character designs in the most recent arcade style fighter simplistically retitled “Mortal Kombat,” this character would not be on this list.
If you’re playing Mortal Kombat II for the first time you’ll see that there is an almost identical PURPLE female ninja and BLUE female ninja to select from. Cheap right? I’m unclear if the developers had a detailed backstory to the character at the time or she was just given a random fatality where she is shown devouring her opponent’s body whole and spitting out their bones. It did seem a tad ridiculous. Regardless though, Mileena has gone through a lot of tweaks since then. Her backstory has always placed her as Kitana’s (the blue female) identical “sister.” Only she is a clone of Kitana made by Shang Tsung’s sorcery as a possible replacement daughter for his master, Shao Kahn. Shao Kahn is the ruler of Outworld, an alternate “realm,” and he has conquered many realms other than his own. When he took over “Edenia” he adopted that realm’s princess as his daughter, which was the naively loyal Kitana. Shao Kahn feared that his daughter would one day discover that he pillaged the FUCK out of her once peaceful realm and find out that he is a brutal jerkwad of an emperor so he commissioned Shang Tsung to make Mileena.
In the rebuffed storyline of the 2011 game, Mileena is a fusion of Kitana’s essence mixed with a Tarkatan warrior. Tarkatans look almost human despite the long blades popping out of the top of their forearms and elongated sharp teeth sticking out of their deformed maws. This aspect explains Mileena’s need for a mask that covers her sharp fanged face when the rest of her body is barely covered and almost supernaturally sexually attractive (except for those weird blocky shoulders… Whats that about??). In the process of her making, Mileena was also mentally damaged causing an immediate intense jealously for her sister and a cannibalistic hunger making her an almost feral combatant. Mileena’s joyful insanity and attraction to brutality gained Shao Kahn’s approval above Kitana unlike the previous game’s stories.
Stripper costumes are fun for everyone!
In a game full of merciless killers (even the “heroes”) Mileena’s cannibalism stand out to me. Sure Scorpion can burn someone alive, Sub-Zero can shatter a frozen body to pieces, and Kung Lao has a frisbee hat of death… But Mileena tears your head off and eats your face, which is way more savage and personal. Not only that, but she seems to “get off on it” as she makes sensual moans when covered in blood. It’s like combining Hannibal Lecter and the Joker and putting them in the body of a stripper with a piranha mouth. “Over-the-top” is an understatement but it kinda works. I will say that I’m not a true fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise due to the excessive use of shock value in violence and sex appeal. I have always viewed the female characters in the series as tools in that regard, and all in all that’s what Mileena is. But the duality of her beauty and beastliness sets her apart from it in a unique way in an almost taboo-like fashion.
Last night around 11pm, fans of the X-Men franchise were treated to the third and final trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past. You’ve likely heard the term “saving the best for last,” and in the case of DOFP it became “holy effing sh*t balls is it May 23rd yet?!”.
I will let you watch it for yourselves, but I will say this; It looks absolutely incredible. Although there are many hands in the cookie jar, I have a feeling that this will be the best X-Men film to date, and maybe even one of the best comic book movies thus far.
Yet another comic book series is being developed for the silver screen, this time in the form of Jason Aaron and R.M Guerra’s “Scalped”. The series ran for about 60 issues back in 2007, ending in 2012.
The crime noir drama centers around a young FBI Agent named Dashiell “Dash” Bad Horse, as he goes undercover to take down a crime ring at the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation, the reservation in which he grew up. The story is partly inspired by the real life Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who shot and killed two FBI Agents in a 1975 shootout.
Not much is known about the development for tv, other than the news that Doug Joun (“Banshee”) is attached to script a pilot, and to executive produce for Warner Horizon Television. Stay tuned here at ACR for more news on the series as it develops!
As some of you may know, last night held the annual MTV Movie Awards, and what an event it was! Not only did Conan O’Brien prove to be a fantastic host, but we also caught a few glimpses from this years blockbuster season. Paramount, Fox, and Sony all released several exclusive Tv Spots for the event, and we’ve compiled the list here!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
First up, it’s our favorite heroes in a half shell. This first Tv Spot for the upcoming turtle epic has many folks divided. Why? Because it gives us our first peek at Master Splinter (albeit the back of his head). While most fans are bitching about the Fu Man Chu, they neglect to notice two things; 1. Splinter is wielding a sword in the scene portrayed, which means he is going to get in on the action this go-round. 2. Did anyone else notice the armor that the person on the receiving end of that sword was wearing?! ***coughPossibleShredderFightcough***
Dwayne Johnson has been talking heavily about his preparation for this role, and how much he put into it. So far, it definitely shows. Did we necessarily need another live-action Hercules? That remains to be seen. But if you’re a fan of badassery and mythological boss fights, this appears to be the flick for you.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
So this one is actually a clip, but an amazing one at that. We were pretty pumped for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 prior to this, and now that desire to see it is entirely solidified.
Transformers: Age Of Extinction
Peep this if you want to hear Mark Wahlberg say “I think we just found a Transformer” again. We sure did…
A Million Ways To Die In The West
Thankfully there is a comedy in the midst of all these superhero/action flicks, and that is Seth McFarlane’s A Million Ways To Die In The West.As with any comedy, it’s always hard to tell what you’re heading based solely on the trailer, but we trust Seth!
Edge Of Tomorrow
Tom Cruise in another sic-fi flick?! Sign us up. Last year’s Oblivion was heavily underrated, but Tom gave a brilliant performance. So we are hoping this one is just as good.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
We saved this one for last, because you always save the best for last…right? Holy hell does this look amazing. Beautifully shot, and beautifully put together, this clip from X-Men: Days Of Future Past will surely sucker you into buying a ticket! Dare we say it’s the X-Men film you’ve always wanted? Let’s wait and see.
And there ya have it, folks! This summer is really going to break the bank, eh? Stay tuned here at ACR for all of your upcoming film news!
X-Men (various comic titles 1995 – now) X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (video game 2004)
Don’t be fooled, Sugar-Man is not M.O.D.O.K.’s deformed little brother. This four-armed dimension hopper is a mutant slaver and geneticist from a timeline called the “Age of Apocalypse.”
In short, the Age of Apocalypse in an alternate timeline that took place 20 years before the 1990’s era of Marvel’s main continuity (Earth 616) where Charles Xavier was murdered before he could form the X-Men. After a lifetime of fighting for mutant and human equality being erased from existence; reality spun in a very different and darker direction. Apocalypse, the uber-mutant tasked with challenging the world to see who is strong enough to survive his wrath, had gotten his way and taken over the world. This means that only the strongest mutants were left around while average baseline humans were culled in a mass genocide. As a reaction to this world-wide Holocaust, Magneto stepped forth to lead a team of X-Men to protect the remaining portion of humanity and kill Apocalypse.
Sugar-Man comes into play as the warden of a human slave pit known as the Core. Not only is he a sadistic child molester and possible rapist, he is a student of this reality’s Mr. Sinister and has vast knowledge of genetics. His mutant abilities allow him to add and decrease his mass and project an immensely long razor sharp tongue from his mouth that can cut through stone among other things.
When Magneto’s X-Men learn of what reality was SUPPOSED TO BE; they attempt to fix it by finding Illyana Rasputin, who has latent time traveling abilities. But Illyana is a resident of the Core and a nightly victim of Sugar-Man’s abuse. Colossus’s team of younger mutants, Generation Next, is sent in to free her but all of them end up dying except Colossus, Shadowcat, and Husk. The fact that Colossus’s team was made up of TEENAGERS and most of them are brutally slaughtered inside the Core is a horrific testament to the Age of Apocalypse.
During the Magneto’s attempt at fixing reality, Sugar-Man along with several other characters piggybacked themselves into Marvel’s main continuity but were flung 20 years into the main timeline’s past. This event was a huge retcon opportunity and we learn that Sugar-Man has spent his years in the shadows on the island of Genosha. He was responsible for giving the Genegineer the formula of the mutate bonding process which led to mutant enslavement long ago. Mr. Sinister (of the regular reality) had taken notice of this and saw remarkable similarities to his own work. Hmmm?
Over the years, Sugar-Man has teamed up with his pal Dark Beast (the Hank McCoy from the Age of Apocalypse) and fought Cable, Excalibur, Callisto, Nate Grey, and some of the New Mutants partially from the shadows and at other times obnoxiously out in the open. I find it humorous that a character with such a “loud design” could keep himself hidden for twenty years straight, but that’s the power of retconning a character into existence for you. His other plots involve crisscrossing back into the Age of Apocalypse timeline and back again to create a virus that could potentially wipe out all non-mutant human life. I feel the same way about Sugar-Man as a lot of villains on this list. Maybe they haven’t actually done much and haven’t had their time to shine, but with enough interest and the right writer; someone could take this dark and bizarre character to new places.
The viral campaign for X-Men: Days of Future Past continues with another great video. This time, we catch a glimpse at the 25 moments in history that highlight the struggle between mutants and humans.
At the end of the video, viewers are linked to this url: 25moments.com
If you follow the link, you can explore various moments in human history that were altered by mutants. Stuff like Chernobyl, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and more. The site also provides an explanation as to why the Kelsey Grammer interpretation of Hank McCoy will not be represented in the film.
With all TMNT characters you’re going to get a multitude of different continuity versions in which all of them and none of them are simultaneously THE ONE definitive storyline. You have the original Mirage comic version, the 1987 animated cartoon, the 2003 series, the 2012 Nickelodeon series (which is awful in my opinion), and the brand new IDW comic book run (which is my favorite). Baxter Stockman is no exception to this circumstance and the only constant attribute he has in all iterations is that he is the mad scientist responsible for creating pest control robots called Mousers.
The first thing to tackle is his race change in the 1987 cartoon. In all versions of this character he is a egomaniacal African American man with the technological genius to rival Marvel’s Iron Man, but the early cartoon not only portrayed him as a squeamish mild mannered white man just trying to get by but he later was mutated into a human-fly hybrid. This transformation was almost identical to the 1986 film The Fly, starring Jeff Goldblum, in which a house fly enters a portal at the same time he does and inadvertently mixes their molecules together. As a kid at the time and fan of the old cartoon, Baxter the Fly was among the dozens of visually appealing grotesque mutant villains I came to love. I mean despite how nasty looking he may be, he still looks and sounds adorable with that bowtie/sweater vest outfit and his high pitched poindexter voice. Obviously this series was marketed towards children as his character was portrayed more as a sympathetic victim of Shredder and Krang’s disapproval.
His other contexts are mostly the same except for who he is allied to. In the Mirage comics he worked by himself and used the Mousers to rob banks for fun and later became a fully robotic-bodied cyborg. Drawing much similarity to the original, the 2003 cartoon Baxter slowly became more and more cybernetic over time as Shredder would hack one of his limbs off each time he failed him. This version was a treacherous asset of the Shredder’s secret empire who built several high tech mobile armors after being reduced to nothing more than a brain in a jar.
Most recently in the IDW comic series, Baxter is the successful owner of his own company called Stock Gen Laboratories and is funded by the alien warlord Krang (who is NOT allied with Shredder in this context). His company is tasked with developing expendable mutant soldiers for Krang’s war on planet Nuetrino as well as developing a psychotropic drug that increases intelligence. The experimentation of both of these things contributed to Splinter and the turtles not only mutating to intelligent humanoid forms but discovering that they have been reincarnated from their past lives as humans from feudal Japan.
Baxter, in this context, retains his enormous ego and defiant attitude towards his superiors but has also had the opportunity to remind us of his 1987 fly counterpart. Being a genius in both engineering and biologic mutation, this Baxter created a mutated “Fly-Borg” as a drone while trapped on Krang’s island fortress. In past incarnations Baxter has both transformed into a fly and a cyborg, so the concept of making a Fly-Borg not only nods to that but allows Baxter to remain himself without compromising which form he should take. It’s the best of both worlds and completely original.
Green Lantern (various comic book titles 2007 – now)
So what happens when the good guys fuck up and accidentally cause the death of every living being on a planet except one guy? One really PISSED OFF survivor. In this case the good guys were the Guardians, the little ancient blue guys who later created the Green Lantern Corps in the DC ComicsUniverse, and the survivor was Atrocitus. (Also technically there were five survivors, not just him.)
Before the Guardians trusted real people to wield power rings to protect the galaxy, they powered robot enforcers called the Manhunters with the green element of willpower. A rogue batch of Manhunters with “faulty programming” spontaneously decided to eradicate everything living in Space Sector 666 including the family of an alien named Atros. He renamed himself Atrocitus and with the other four survivors swore vengeance on the Guardians. Performing blood rituals, the Five Inversions (as they called themselves), were able to see visions into the future and witnessed the prophecy the Guardians called “Blackest Night.” Atrocitus and his friends were imprisoned after attacking the Guardians. The Green Lantern Abin Sur was interested in Atrocitus’s foresight into the prophecy and visited Atrocitus to ask him questions.
By foretelling Abin Sur of his fate, Atrocitus was able to instill fear and weaken the Lantern which allowed him to mortally wound him on his way to Earth. This is the extremely retconned origin of how the Green Lantern Hal Jordan obtained Abin Sur’s ring after he died. After attacking and murdering some humans on Earth Atrocitus was subdued by Sur’s friend Sinestro and Sur’s replacement Hal Jordan. Atrocitus was then again imprisoned with the other Five Inversions until he killed them to form his very own RED power rings and battery with their blood. His rings were powered by RAGE and Atrocitus had plenty of it.
After the Sinestro Corps. War, Atrocitus began recruiting more and more members of angry and estranged people across the galaxy. This included the once popular Green Lantern Laira and a blue cat. The Red Lantern cat character began as an obscure addition in the midst of a splash page spread illustrated by Ethan Van Sciver. Fans took notice and demanded the “Rage Kitty” become more than a random member of the Red Lantern Corps. The cat’s name became Dex-Starr, an abandoned house cat whose rage at losing it’s master apparently outweighs a galaxy full of other candidates. With Dex-Starr now acting as Atrocitus’s “pet” and the events of the Blackest Night story line showing a more selfless side to Atrocitus, the original Red Lantern has lately been depicted more as an anti-hero. In the New 52’s Red Lantern Corps. comic he has even weakened in terms of his blinding hatred after learning it was a rogue Guardian named Krona who sabotaged the Manhunters that destroyed all that he knew.
After being denied his vengeance against Krona, Atrocitus was less angry than ever and even booted out of his own Corps. While I did appreciate the original direction his character took in being written as a good man struggling with overwhelming rage and eventually overcoming it, it’s kind of a lame end for him. No matter how hard you try, rage doesn’t last forever, and eventually you get over what was grieving you… I get it. But this guy was like an alien Punisher with a power ring! He’s supposed to be RAGE INCARNATE. He’s supposed to make the Hulk look like a laid back dude. In this case, I’d like to see Atrocitus return to the more clichéd pissed off fellow he once was. Making him a good guy was admirable but don’t cut his balls off! Let’s find another excuse to make him mad, DC!