Top 10 Bad Ass Super-heroines

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I love that comics have become such a huge cultural fixation. Honestly they’ve always been, but with the introduction into the film world, they’ve found more followers than ever. Amidst ever-changing social acceptances and norms, comics are changing too. This means the comics that were once so white and male they’d have been lost in the snow and not have been able to see anyone to not ask directions from, are kind of getting a face lift. It’s about time.

These creations, though loved for years, were originally created in a culture that praised the racist, misogynistic, homophobic viewpoint. Thus they became white males by default. With the exception of a very few (that were created by Stan Lee who faced great opposition) minorities were pretty much shut out, though they enjoyed the comics just as much as their majority counterparts.

So now that comics have moved to film races are changing, genders are changing and that’s great because it’s a step towards fixing a tainted legacy and including all of those people who love and support this industry. Later I’ll do a list of the best comic book heroes who’s race or gender has been altered.

However today I’d like to salute those women that came before all of this, before Blade made it profitable to be a comic book hero on the big screen. This isn’t a ranking in order by the way, these women were selected because they are bad ass and in some cases, broke barriers. If they are “alternate dimension” versions or versions made primarily to capitalize off of a male hero’s popularity they aren’t on this list. So anything with “she” in their title ain’t on here.

This list was created in response to the lack of knowledge people have in regards to women super heroes and the desire to see a list about them that didn’t involve the words “hot”, “sexy”, or “boobs.”

#10 Wonder Woman

Wonder woman

 

Has to be on here of course so I just went ahead and put her first. First appearing in December of 1941, Wonder woman came on the heels of a new exciting interest in comic books.

With Superman and batman leading the way, detective comics wanted to find a way to really capitalize on the comic book medium. Diana was created by the already very successful psychologist William Moulton Marston and his wife Elizabeth. He’d already invented the polygraph (lasso of truth inspiration) and had been hired as an educational consultant. Though her past after his death was a bit rocky, she was quite objectified for a while and dumbed down. Each issue had a different “pin-up” poster of her.

Eventually though they got it together and she regained her bad ass status as a warrior of the Amazons. In addition to succesful comic books, she had her own very successful television show.

“Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world”, Marston wrote. With her bad ass attitude, fighting prowess, magic lasso, sword, armor, flight, and super strength, if she says she’s ruling the world. You’ll be fighting her, not me.

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Pictured, Batman agreeing with me.

#9 Storm

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Another one that HAD to make this list. First appearing in 1975 in the book Giant X-men, storm was originally supposed to be a male named Typhoon. However as they didn’t want an all male team, they combined two of the characters into one Storm Ororo Munroe. Born in Harlem to an African princess and a photojournalist, she didn’t have the cushy life one would expect of such noble birth. After moving to Egypt, her parents die leaving her an orphan.

Eventually she discovers her ability to control the weather and fly. She wanders through Cairo and the Serengeti using her powers to bring water to drought ravaged areas which eventually leads to her being praised as a goddess.

If that isn’t bad ass enough she eventually defeats Cyclops to become leader of the X-men, marries the black panther which literally makes her a queen of the most advanced civilization on the planet, she’s a diplomat, trained wolverine and most of the x-men in hand to hand combat, and is one of the most respected and widely known heroes ever created.

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#8 RocketScreenshot_2015-03-01-10-44-07

That’s Rocket. Flying through an attacking alien spaceship. In this issue she takes on a Gauntlet of 6 of the strongest alien warriors in the galaxy, and whoops all of them. Rocket has a pretty unique character arch. After discovering Agustus Freeman’s unique abilities, she is able to convince him to start helping people under the moniker of Icon.

There’s a whole arch where she gets pregnant and her best friend takes over as Rocket until she gives birth. When she comes back she’s stronger than before and a lot more willing to protect the planet. She’s teamed up with Static, Star chamber AND Shadow Cabinet, Super Boy, Static, and many more.

You probably got used to her on television’s Young Justice. Determined, Strong willed, and infinitely creative Rocket is one to follow with this new relaunch of Milestone.

Screenshot_2015-03-01-10-44-18Screenshot_2015-03-01-10-45-27Oh yeah Rocket “Never back down, Never Surrender.”

#7 Black Canary

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First appearing in 1941 she appeared to be a villain. Turns out she was infiltrating a criminal gang. She eventually became popular enough to take over the comic she originally was only a side character in! Dinah Lance is an extremely adept hand to hand combatant and in different incarnations can utilize an ultrasonic scream.

She helped found the birds of prey(if you get a chance check out the birds of prey episode of Batman Brave and the Bold). A time endearing hero, she’s been featured in almost all of the incarnations of the DC universe from Justice League cartoons to the Arrow live action television show.

Black canary is one powerful hero.

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Just stay out of her way.

 

#6 Amanda Waller

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I want you to look at that cover. I mean REALLY look at it. Joker doesn’t even talk to Batman like that. You know who does? Amanda “The Wall” Waller Ph.D. First appearing November 1986 shes been a “good guy” sometimes and a “bad guy other times.” But her motives are never selfish. What she does she does because of her un-matchable ability to see the big picture. Always calm and collected she’s got a plan for everything. No super powers but hangs with the biggest and baddest of the DC universe from Brainiac to Darkseid. She started the suicide squad and has been a government agent for years. She’s basically the Nick Fury of the DC universe. She’s been played by Pam Grier, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and now Viola Davis.

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Don’t mess with the U.S or anybody under Waller’s protection.

 

#5 Iron ButterFly

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That’s Iron Butterfly liberating a refugee camp from the evil soldiers that had taken over. She’s a Palestinian Muslim and has ferrokinetic control of any and all metallic substances. As a young girl she had to flee from persecution in her home town. Eventually her family ends up in a refugee camp that begins testing gas chemicals on them. As she watched her family die in front of her, she was gifted with her powers. At least that’s the story she tells people. A founding member of the Shadow Cabinet, she’s saved the world more times than we’ll probably ever know. Completely militaristic in her dedication to her task, she is no-nonsense and fights with great intelligence and perfect utilization of her powers.

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She never backs down from a fight and has the strength, tenacity, and strategic skills to walk away a winner.

#4 Donner & Blitzen

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Yes I know it’s a “two-fer” but these two are truly a pair. Donner is the super strong, bullet resistant, stoic one and Blitzen is the super fast, super smart, wise cracking one. After becoming unsatisfied with the Shadow Cabinet, they start their own faction called Heroes including Iota, Payback, Starlight, and the one and only Static Shock. They move to New York and immediately stop an alien invasion. Oh and they are lesbians, openly, which is kind of a big deal in comics, especially 90s comics.

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Always ready to go fight at the drop of a dime, these two teammates work together splendidly.

#3 Invisible Woman Susan Richards

Susan Richards had somewhat of a rocky start. When she first appeared in 1961 she was completely utilized as the damsel in distress. Being captured, running away to hide, or waiting for her husband to come save her was her M.O. But with the advent of her Force field projection powers she’s become widely recognized as the strongest member of the team. This is witnessed several times in the Civil War arch. She is strong and no longer defined by her husband.

Especially in Civil War she actually leaves him due to differences in opinion on the registration act and how things were being handled. From the comics, to the television shows old and new, to the films, this character’s growth has turned her into the heart and soul of one of the greatest superhero teams ever created.

#2 Vixen

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Vixen was supposed to be the first African woman super hero for DC. Unfortunately they canceled her series before it was made. But that hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of the most recognizable woman superheroes of all time.

In ancient Africa, the warrior Tantu asked Anansi the Spider to create a totem that would give the wearer all of the powers of the animal kingdom, only if they would use the power to protect the innocent. Tantu used the totem to become Africa’s first legendary hero. The totem was later passed down to Tantu’s descendants until it reached the McCabes.

Growing up in a small African village in the fictional nation of Zambesi, M’Changa province, Mari Jiwe McCabe heard the legend of the “Tantu Totem” from her mother. Sometime later, Mari’s mother was killed by poachers and she was raised by her father Reverend Richard Jiwe, the village priest. Reverend Jiwe himself was killed by his half-brother (Mari’s uncle) General Maksai. Maksai wanted the Tantu Totem, which Jiwe had possessed. Mari ultimately moved to America, where she established an identity as Mari McCabe and got a job as a model in New York City. She used her newfound wealth to travel the world. On a trip back to Africa, she came across her uncle and took back the Tantu Totem, using its power to become the costumed superhero Vixen.

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Vixen subsequently has had her own limited series and has been featured in a wide variety of DC properties from television to video games.

 

#1 Lady Death Wish

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If you haven’t noticed this list has a lot of Milestone characters. Well trust they deserve to be on here, see that’s what happens when you make characters actually like people and not some stereotypical nonsense that fulfills your fantasy of what you want them to be. Take Deathwish for instance.

Now the original Deathwish has a terrifying backstory but Lady Deathwish (I know I said I wouldn’t have people like that but hear me out on one this one) has a pretty interesting tale and the entire series is told from his/her point of view.

Let me explain.

Deathwish starts off as male cop LT. Martin Rahm, but even then he knew deep down, this wasn’t who he really was (he still identified as male though). On a case he meets the original Death wish who shoves a gun in his face before realizing that Rahm was a cop searching the murder scene alone.

They fast forward four years and Martin Rahm is now Marisa, spoiler alert sex changes don’t make people any less bad ass. Marisa goes on a hunt for a sicko and ends up taking up the Moniker of DeathWish. Unfortunately only a limited series but there was plenty in there to solidify her standing as one of the biggest bad ass women in comic book history.

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Well that’s my list, hope you guys enjoyed it. Are there other’s you’d like to see? Agree or Disagree? Go ahead and leave a comment I’d love to hear your ideas!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Wiseguy Industries.

Old school video game review: Megaman X2!

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Hello all, tonight is the night I finished playing Megaman X2. Megaman X 2 is the follow up(obviously) to the wildly successful and critically acclaimed Megaman revamp, Megaman X. So without further ado, let’s get this show started!

STORYLINE

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Its been six months since the storyline of the first Megaman X game. Sigma has been defeated however a few of his followers, “Mavericks”, are still very active. A group of them have stolen the parts to Zero’s body and have set up an elaborate plan to cause the downfall of X. Several reploids have joined together to for a team in order to help Sigma’s followers to complete their heinous plan. It’s up to X to find Zero’s parts, infiltrate the reploid’s bases, and stop the robots from starting war with the humans!

Cast of Characters

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The good guys

Megaman X

Zero

Dr. Cain

Dr. Light

The Mavericks

Wheel Gator

Bubble Crab

Flame Stag

Morph Moth

Magna Centipede

Crystal Snail

Overdrive Ostrich

Wire Sponge

X hunters

Agile

Serges

Violen

GAMEPLAY

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The gameplay is a simple, yet effective evolution of the first game. You still have the charge shot, you can jump off walls, and this time (thankfully) you start off with the dash.  There are 8 bosses and as you beat them you will be upgraded with their special weapon. If you are attentive and have a little skill you will find secret capsule and health upgrades provided by Doctor Light. As with any good games, the gameplay forces you to adapt.  Its a side scroller with many “secret” areas and  wave after wave of enemies.

Graphics

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Huge colorful levels with memorable bosses. Starting from the beginning you have larger than life bosses and enemies. Everything looks amazing especially giving the fact that its SNES. Capcom developed a new chip they called C4 to up the graphics capabilities of the SNES. Everything looks great.

MUSIC

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You can’t talk about Megaman without talking about the amazing music. Great music is one of the staples of this series, something the fans always expect when purchasing the game. X2 delivers on all accounts. Each level has its own theme song and each boss has his own music as well. Well done, well thought out and each theme properly fit the level that it was used on.

STAND OR FALL?

Definitely stand! You can pick up this game at anytime and I don’t think it will EVER seem old. The story, the music, the gameplay all mesh together to make one amazing experience. Plus you can do this!

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Shoryuken!

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(you have to know where to look)

FINAL SCORE

5-StarsFive stars!

If this game were released today it would sell out. Games like this are a little under appreciated these days. However I believe with word of mouth and the internet, it would be a HIT.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

the SPOILER FREE REVIEW PRESENTS: Justice League Flashpoint

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I’m back! In the time that I’ve been gone a lot has happened, I shot a part of my webseries pilot, I finished a feature-length post apocalyptic screenplay, I watched Flashpoint, and last but not least…I got my computer fixed! (duh)

All of that other stuff you will see in time but today let me tell you about the DCAU adaptation of “FLASHPOINT”

PLOT

So it all starts off with Flash as a kid talking with his mother. Later he comes home to find his mother dead. “Flash Forward” (see what I did there?) Flash is fighting basically the main characters in his rogue gallery. These guys…they’re pretty weak… I never really liked his rogue gallery but I digress. Flash barely wins after anti-flash shows up, and then only with the help of the Justice League.  Afterwards he’s so upset he just starts running, right into a lot of craziness. The next thing we know the DC Universe has been turned upside down, there is no FLASH, villains are heroes, heroes are villains, Superman is nowhere to be found and Cyborg takes his place as the boy scout.

Flash has basically stumbled into a “what if” universe for DC. Things have changed and it is very interesting to say the least. The world is in the middle of a war that threatens to destroy life as we know it. The only one who knows what is really going on, is Flash but at the moment he has no powers.  So we get to watch Flash figure this whole thing out.

RATING

Get ready!

3-stars-out-of-5

3 stars. Bear with me because I know this movie has been talked about for forever. It stayed very close to the source material that’s not my gripe. There were certain aspects that weren’t developed enough. It was too short for one. All of those different elements converging deserved more time to have the story told. The batman storyline for one, the superman storyline was woefully underwritten to the point of ludicrousness. I wish I had more quality time with the Joker and all of the villains. The story was nice I just needed more. So for that it gets 3 out of 5. I would watch it again but only if i didn’t have anything to do. Its interesting but it leaves me wanting to find out more about the characters that  could have been shown easily (especially since they resorted to flashbacks anyway).

Thanks for reading! I’ll be making a video for the Spoiler FILLED review! Stay tuned!

Sincerely

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

Old School Video Game Review: Bebe’s Kids SNES

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Ok so my parent’s got me this game and I always thought it was interesting. Interesting here being a very subjective word as this game induced several incidences of hair being ripped out, curses being said, and the occasional kitten being kicked across the room. This review will be extremely brief.

DON’T PLAY THIS GAME. It sucks. Seriously the controls suck, the actions you can actually do when you figure out the asinine controls, suck. If you manage to get through the first extremely boring level, you won’t make it out of the haunted house. There is almost no way to figure out how to get through it and if you DO figure it out then you just wasted 40+ hours of your life you could’ve spent doing something vastly more important. Maybe like clipping your toenails or staring into the mirror and saying bloody mary three times.

The music is repetitive (hey yo *pause* hey yo! Bebe’s kiiiids for 24 hours straight), graphics are decent but its hard to tell where you are in terms of depth on screen.

This gets no stars, I’m not even going to upload the pictures of gameplay or the pictures of no stars I’m just going to repeat, DO NOT GET THIS TERRIBLE GAME!

Thanks for reading

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

The Direction of DC and hollywood aka the Goyer/Nolan effect

If you’ve been living under the largest rock in the world for the past 20 years, or with one of those tribes that don’t allow other humans to get close enough to give them cable television.

We don't care how many channels you have! There's still nothing good on!
We don’t care how many channels you have! There’s still nothing good on!

Then you know that comic book movies have really exploded, there are several of them that come out every year. Whether they are based on a comic book or a graphic novel or a combination of both (Dark knight rises), the comic book genre and Hollywood are now inextricably linked. Which is very interesting as the comic book movies made in the 80s and 90s sucked, I mean completely sucked. For evidence I give you the 90s captain america, dr strange, the punisher, Justice League, Nick Fury: Agent of shield and the little known and never released but somehow on youtube 90s Fantastic Four.

However in 1998 they decided to give David S Goyer another shot at this comic book live action gig(he wrote Nick Fury: agent of shield), and he penned the script for Blade. Blade starred Wesley Snipes at the height of his marketability and fame and did so well that it completely kicked off a new wave of movies. The dark comic book movie brought to the screen. It was the perfect set up for it actually, vampires, action, those things really transcend comics and can reach over to the regular movie goers. With Goyer’s amazing script this movie became the blueprint for all future comic book movies to follow including X-men, Iron man, superman returns etc. It also ushered in an age of acceptance and respect for comic book movies.

Mr. Goyer went on to write the rest of the Blade trilogy and then famously penned the script for Batman Begins. Teaming up with Christopher Nolan they completely reinvented the origin story and gritty reboot. This movie is beloved by casual movie goers and hardcore batman fans alike. There may be someone who doesn’t like it, but I haven’t found him.

WHERE IS HE???
WHERE IS HE???

This lead to the Dark Knight which IS the greatest Batman film of all time and I will not hear a WORD against it. Just the opening scene alone was enough to make me pass out from geek overload. THAT is how you introduce a villain. It also led to the best comic book video game ever created with the Arkham series. You may begin to see a pattern and that is what I am discussing today.

You see talent is hard to come across in Hollywood, not to say that there is a LACK of it there, but I’m saying its hard to come across, I’ll explain. It’s not an agent’s/producer’s job to find NEW talent, it’s his job to make the company money. So new people aren’t really what they are looking for, they are looking for a track record of making money. Much like how job searching today goes, you look and see they want someone with 3 years experience for a job but you can never get the job because…well you can’t get hired without three years of experience. It’s a whirlwind of aggravation to be sure and Hollywood you can see the result right there on the screen. The same people are making everything, the same people are acting in everything, they have their stable of actors and writers and now everything looks the same. Nobody new is getting in which means everything’s a remake or at the least a cheap rip-off of something that someone who is actually creative made in the first place. So they found a creative person in Goyer, he somehow slipped through the cracks and now he’s their go to guy for every single superhero, video game movie, as is Nolan. This is what I call the Goyer/Nolan effect, when you create something good in Hollywood they will leach your brain until they get every penny it can produce.

C'mon I know you've got something for Dr strange in there...
C’mon I know you’ve got something for Dr strange in there…

So now that the audiences have shown they want superheroes and they want dark. Hollywood says they want Goyer/Nolan! (nothing wrong with that they are very talented). Now everything looks dark, now everything is just a little different, and now we see the problem, they start trying to do things like them without them. Now the movies are FLOODED with dark, dingy, wannabe movies like Green lantern that just don’t work because that’s not really the character. This is pushing more and more people to independent films and outlets. The film festivals have been exploding lately, as have other outlets that promote indie films such as Netflix. Apparently the big movie studios are going to keep throwing more money into remakes and being safe until the movie going populace wises up and stops going to them. When that happens I believe what Spielberg said is true. They won’t try to make better movies, they’ll just up the prices and keep the movies they do make in theaters for a year.

That’s fine with me, gives me more chances for my films to be seen by greater audiences. However the Goyer/Nolan effect is taking great effect on DC. DC has long been known for their unwillingness to flinch when it comes to certain things about their characters. They even released a Mortal Kombat game with no real fatalities.

All he did was drill him into the ground? But where was the BLOOOD
All he did was drill him into the ground? But where was the BLOOOD

Now clearly they are willing to change origin stories and things about the characters they never would have before. Which could lead to a better DC but they walk a thin line of treading into Marvel territory. DC and Marvel have always been two different entities when it comes to characters. DC has had the more “SUPERhero” the over powered, high morals, and huge stars. Marvel has always been darker and more real. Both takes on the superhero have their merits but fans of DC and Marvel love them for these differences. DC is getting darker but I believe that they will be able to pull it off because they have gotten Guillarmo Del Torro to write and direct a film starring the lesser known but darker DC characters.

All in all the next few years in Hollywood should be interesting, but as much as I love comics…can I please get something a little different?