Last week, the sum total for all fandom took place as it does every year in sunny San Diego. That's right, Comic Con International logged another successful convention in the books and I was back in my humid hometown watching it all go down via online news sites, social media and television.
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Me following Comic Con news.
Since high school, I've always wanted to attend the massive gathering of geekdoom, but due to scheduling, funds and most recently, sold out tickets, I've been unable to attend. Which has left me as blue as a Smurf. 
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That's not a good look on anyone.
Although, with each passing year and great leaps in technological advances, it seems like making the pacific coast pilgrimage is less and less necessary. Need proof? Well, let's take a look this past convention and see if the fans got their time and money's worth. 

MARVEL STUDIOS

Didn't even show up to the party. Rumor has it, that they're too 'Hollywood.' When the biggest player in the industry doesn't even come out to play, that for me, makes Comic Con less of a draw for me.

STAR WARS

Yes, they were able to get Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, on a panel, but how interesting is that, when they can't even talk about the upcoming movie? Beyond that, what is the movie even about? Lucasfilm still hasn't released a new trailer nor did they give anyone in the audience a peek at any new footage. The only thing they did do was screen a behind the scenes video that they then released online immediately afterwards. If I spent 24 hours in line to attend this panel, I must admit, I'd be a little let down.

WARNER BROS.

While they were more forthcoming with footage from their projects, including the upcoming Suicide Squad, someone in the audience recorded the footage and posted it online by Sunday taking away all exclusivity for the fans attending. I for one blame the Convention for this. They owe it to their exhibitors to have a better system in place to stop this from happening. The other thing they unveiled was the new trailer Batman v Superman which was also put out online by the studio right after its screening. Sigh.

GAME OF THRONES

Nothing. Not even a release date for the new season. It was just some cast and crew talking.
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Give us more!
So if the heavy hitters aren't putting much effort into their presentations, does this mean that maybe Comic Con's importance is waning? I'd say so. With each company now building their own fan events and conventions, I foresee future Comic Con Internationals looking a lot like this one in the years to come. Which may be a good thing, since that means the event may have a chance to return to its roots as a comic book industry event.

From what I can tell now by speaking to some friends that have attended, the convention still offers comic book industry panels, events, and opportunities to network, but with so many similar conventions nationwide with lower costs and smaller crowds, it seems to me that I may now be able to cross Comic Con International off my list, without even attending.

Agree? Disagree? Debate below.
 
 
We've talked about crushes here before and it got lots of attention as well as quite a few responses. From my experience, developing crush on a character from fiction in any medium is almost a right of passage in the 'Geek World.' But as my last list about crushes proved, we cannot always choose who we develop feelings for both in real life or in our own heads. In fact, even sexuality doesn't seem to factor in.
Sexy Abe Sapien
Can you categorize this type of sexuality??
Before I introduce the list I'd like to make myself perfectly clear: I'm not gay. I identify as straight and have confidently done so my entire life. However, that doesn't mean I can't be attracted to a fine 'specimen' of a woman. I'm not blind after all! My friends have told me that I have 'Bi tendencies' but I prefer to think that I simply appreciate sexiness in all of its forms, even if I only look but never touch.

Me and my VERY bisexual friend Margaret have had quite lengthy discussions on the sexiest and most kick-ass women we've found ourselves pining for and found both or our choices to be eye-opening and unexpected. Therefore we must share the women that made it into our Top 10!

(Caution: The following contains OPINIONS that you yourself may or may not agree with! If you find yourself with an opinion differing from ours please comment below stating your own in a CIVIL manner! That is all.) (BTW, some spoilers ahead)

10) Esmeralda from Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame

esmarelda
I've never been one for Disney princesses myself. Yes, lately they've been marginally better but they still don't quite cut it for me. It's been the forgotten Disney 'Princesses' that always caught my attention. Megara from Hercules has wit and spirit enough to make a Greek God fall for her, Princess Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron is already escaping from The Horned Kings' dungeons when we meet her and proves to be a useful and headstrong ally, while Kida from Atlantis is a fricking warrior who becomes Queen of a lost and magical empire by the end of the film. But my favorite was always Esmerelda, not just for her ability to defend herself both physically and vocally, but for her heart and how much she cares for her people and the outcasts in her city. Her music solo always gets me right in the feels and I fall in love all over again. And, man, can that girl dance!

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Now that's a limber lady.

9) Saffron (etc.) from Firefly played by Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks firefly
Let's get this out of the way, Miss Hendricks is very well endowed. I'd be lying if I said that my eyes didn't travel south when she showed Malcolm her 'wares'. But beyond her physique, her character ended up being one of the most intriguing of the short-lived series and I don't doubt that she would have shown up a few more times had there been more seasons (*sobs*). At first she seems to be just a confused and naive women, but ends up scamming the crew of the Firefly showing her true colors as a very crafty con artist. Later on in the season we see even more facets of her personality that are unexpected, but if you don't know about that already then I implore you to go watch the series. Right now. Do it.

8) Kaylee Frye from Firefly played by Jewel Staite

kaylee firefly
Okay, I couldn't pick just one girl from the Firefly series. But I feel as though it would be a huge disservice NOT to include my favorite character from one of my favorite shows of all time. The thing is Kaylee is adorable, almost unbearably so. Despite being an exceptional engineer and having the appearance of a tomboy with her pants and dirty face she's also sunny, warm, a bit naive, and extremely supportive of everyone on her ship. It's a brilliant contrast that makes her nothing short of lovable and I just want to hug and cuddle her across the galaxy! Her character is the very definition of 'Shiny'.

7) Ros from Game of Thrones played by Esme Bianco

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No she was never in the books, but dammit she did something to me whenever she appeared onscreen. She's certainly not bad to look at (and we get to see EVERYTHING as she's a prostitute) and I must admit that I've noticed that I have a thing for redheads. I know full well that her only purpose was to reveal things about characters that actually 'mattered' in the grand scheme of things, but Esme breathed such charm and life into a role that could have ended up being cliché or dull that I couldn't help but develop a soft spot for Ros. When she started spying for Varys I had a sinking feeling that her days were numbered. In fact, the biggest reason why I don't like Littlefinger to this day is because he gave her up to Joffrey.

6) 7 of 9 from Star Trek: Voyager played by Jeri Ryan

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For quite a while, Star Trek kept it's male viewers happy by introducing a new sexy alien chick each episode, but with Next Gen we started seeing a multitude of women who not only stayed over the course of many seasons but had big roles to play on the Enterprise. There's lots of women to choose from in the 'verse of Trek, but for me, none even came close to Seven. Forgetting that she wears a form flattering uniform and is gorgeous, she was by far the most interesting addition to the Voyager crew. She added a new element that made the show as a whole far more entertaining than it had been before her appearance. Yeah, she clashed with pretty much everyone on the USS Voyager but she made us all think about what humanity really is (the good, the bad, and the confusing) and I'll always love her for it.

5) Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer played by Alyson Hannigan

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I'm probably going to get a bunch of hate for choosing Willow over Buffy or the countless other amazing female characters from the Buffy-verse, but I'll do my best to explain my decision. I got Willow, I understood her to a 'T' because she was pretty much who I would be in that universe. She's unsure of each new weird foe that her and her friends have to fight but she'll be there to do research and help in any way she can. Later on she'd have pretty powerful witch powers to contribute as well which I, unfortunately, can't relate to but the powers helped develop her into a compelling multi-faceted character that I admired and looked up to despite the fact that she made major mistakes as the show progressed. Also, she's a lesbian so I'd have a fighting chance with her.

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Adorable.

4) Lady Loki from the Marvel Universe

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Loki is my fictional boyfriend. It's true. He was a favorite of mine back when he was just in comics, but after he appeared in the films? Pffft, forget about it! Whether he intended to or not, Hiddleston made Loki a Sex God that I would gladly worship. So when I went back to catch up on the comics and found out he took a female form, my libido didn't know which way was up. The same personality and power but in a female body that can only be described as scrumptious? I was wrong. I CAN love Loki more.


3) Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games and Mystique in the Lastest X-Men Films

katness
This choice is far from unique seeing as everyone loves this woman already. If you dislike Jennifer Laurence than you need to re-evaluate yourself as a human being. She's not perfect, no one is, but she is so real and genuine despite her fame that watching her is like taking a breath of fresh air after being cooped up in Jabba the Hutts' throne room all day. She's the perfect choice for Katniss (IMO) and brought a great vulnerability to Mystique that I don't think I've seen in any of her past onscreen personifications. Keep being you, JLaw!

2) Harley Quinn from the Batman Universe

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She's crazy, can be an airhead, and has a high-pitched Brooklyn accent. You'd think she'd be annoying as hell, right? Wrong! By all accounts she should be one of the most hated villains of the Batman universe but I've yet to meet any fan who doesn't at least love to hate her. When introduced in BTAS, she was pretty much a Looney Tunes cartoon. She was funny because she was so outlandish in the violence she dished out and received (except from the Joker, that violence wasn't cool) and always rode that line between dark and hilarious, all while being incredibly entertaining. You can't watch a ditzy blonde dressed as a harlequin clown treat killer hyenas like puppies and not be instantly bewitched. If I had to choose one person to show me a fun night in Gotham, Harley would be the only person I'd call!

1) Wonder Woman from the DC Universe

wonder woman
Do I even need to explain this one? I've crushed on Wonder Woman since I first started reading comics in which she starred. She's a pioneer for every female superhero that exists today for Pete's sake! She is  literally an Amazonian Goddess and looks the part, strong AND sexy. Her weapons were avant garde for sure, but she still managed to be a force to be reckoned with when using them! And you can't forget that she's held her own against Batman AND Superman, two of the most famous and powerful heroes in comics. You may as well just put the ring on my finger now, Diana.

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Haters gonna hate.
What are your girl crushes? Do you think I missed anyone important? Leave your comments below.
 
 
I'm gonna transform into "Old Lady Phoebe" for a moment. Back in my day, the 90s, Memorial Day was the official 'start' of the summer movie season. Nowadays, it seems like summer movie season starts sometime in February, (I kid).

Being that I'm a bit old school, I still like to use the end of May as my official starting point for my summer movies. It just fells more authentic that way. All that being said, this week, I'll present you with my list of summer movies that I'm looking forward to. I'll be doing it in the order of their release date.
San Andreas PosterImage: WB
San Andreas: May 29
This one stars hulky hunk, Dwayne 'The Rock?' Johnson, and was written by Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse. Cuse is currently the show runner of one of my TV guilty pleasures, Bates Motes, on A&E and making it aware that he was the real talent behind the success of Lost. I gauge this on the success he is having post Lost as compares to his partner, Damon Lindelof. This movie falls into the 'disaster' genre as it's about a big earthquake that threatens America's west coast. I'll be honest, it looks like a pretty fun ride and features a pretty decent cast including Percy Jackson's, Alexandria Daddario, Fantastic Four's, Ioan Gruffurd and The Rhino himself Paul Giamatti. This movie is a good way to kick-off the summer as seems to feature everything a summer movie should, a hero trying to save someone they love and stuff either exploding or being destroyed.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
                                [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

Jurassic World PosterImage: Universal
Jurassic World: June 12
I love dinosaurs and always have. As a kid, I used to make my toy dinosaurs eat my little sister's dolls. When I discovered Jurassic Park, I flipped out, and watched it so many times I broke the VHS. The subsequent sequels we okay, but nothing seemed to capture the original emotions and excitement the original had. It's been a long time since we've had a Jurassic movie and I think the wait will have been worth it. This one features fandom's new Harrison Ford, Chris 'Star Lord' Pratt, and appears to want us to relive the first movie by having the story take place in a newly reopened park. I have super high hopes for this one. With better CG technology to create the dinosaurs I expect some ferocious dinosaur action.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:  
<---------------------------------->
                                                  [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

Terminator Genesys PosterImage: Paramount
Terminator/Genesys: July 1
This is either going to be great or a big pile of doo-doo. There's no grey area for this one. Mostly because ala JJ Abrams Star Trek, this one 'changes everything' and wipes out the James Cameron canon completely. This one features a pretty good cast and gives us back what this franchise has been missing since Terminator 2, Arnold. I want to be excited for this as sci-fi is my #1 genre, but based on the trailers, I'm having a hard time. I did a captain Picard facepalm when recently the latest trailer revealed that John Connor himself is now an advanced a Terminator.  Seriously?! You gave away your big plot twist in the trailer? Hopefully, there is something else that happens in this movie that makes it worth watching.


PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
[x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

New Ant-Man PoterImage: Disney
Ant-man: July 17
Like most movie fans, I was seriously bummed when Edgar Wright walked away from this movie last year. I've seen every one of Wright's films and love his style and humor. Without Wright, it's possible the world wouldn't even know about his pal Simon Pegg. When Marvel announced soon after the split that they hired a new director who's precious film was a dancing movie and the film's lead Paul Rudd was going to take a stab at a re-write, all of fandom began to get nervous. Even many industry folks were beginning to whisper that this could be the mighty Marvel's first misstep since the success of Iron Man. Then the trailers hit and for me at least, all those worries got shelved and forgotten like 90s Rob Liefield comic books. This movie looks awesome and appears to provide audiences with both comedy and action. Although it won't be as unique as an Edgar Wright film would have been, I think this film will be a bit 'out there' yet still fit into Marvels bigger picture.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
                              [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

Pixels PosterImage: Sony
Pixels: July 24
Adam Sandler. It seems these days you either hate him or really hate him. As far as it goes for me, I've really have never seen any of his movies except for The Wedding Singer (my mom's #1 movie of all time), so I really don't have strong opinion on the guy. Since I'm not in his key demo of teenage boy, I haven't had the chance to get sick of his apparently tired gross out humor. So after all these years, it seems our paths have crossed, as one of my interests, video games had collided with one of his projects. This film was based on an Oscar winning short film of the same name and is directed by Chris Columbus. Now I don't know much about Sandler, but I do like Chris Columbus, if you don't know, he's the man that brought us Gremlins, Home Alone, and translated the world of Harry Potter off the page and onto the big screen. I'm a fan. The trailer looks fun, it has GOT's Peter Dinklage in it, and its one of the few films this year that isn't a reboot, sequel or based on a book/comic. Consider my excitement level primarily based on curiosity. 

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
                 [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

Fantastic Four PosterImage: Fox
Fantastic Four: August 7
Here we go again, another shot for Marvel's 'First Family.'  Maybe this time it'll be good. It's been hard to judge this one as it has been shrouded in mystery. One thing that is certain is that its director is allegedly crazy. Soon after filming began for this movie, wild stories began to be reported about his nutty on set behavior, and said behavior, is what got him fired from the upcoming Star Wars anthology film Boba Fett. All the gossip aside, this movie seems to be taking cues from the Fantastic Four Ultimate storyline written by Mark Millar. In the story, the Fantastic Four were created by time travel experiment of Reed Richards. This hard sci-fi edge may work for comics, but will probably miss with most audiences that prefer less though provoking concepts in their summer movie diet. I was a fan of the Ultimate Fantastic Four (even though it was penned by Millar) and like heavy sci-fi, so consider me more excited than most for this one.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
[x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

PictureImage: Lionsgate
Sinister 2: August 21
I think everyone can agree that the original Sinister caught all us horror fans a bit off guard.  "A horror movie with Ethan Hawk?" we said. Come on. Then we saw it and were surprised to be taken down a dark and terrifying road of physiological horror akin to The Shining. What I liked about the first Sinister was the mythology it created. It gave us a new horror 'monster' like Freddy or Jason and also felt real by having elements of a Creepy Pasta. I feel like there is more to know about in this world and I'm excited to return to its spooky world.

PHOEBE EXCITEMENT SCALE:
<---------------------------------->
                      [x]
Meh.                                      Yes!

There are a lot of other movies coming out this summer, but these are the ones that have a geek like me the most excited. What are yours? Leave them in the comments below.
 
 
Seeing as everything within the Marvel Universe is now being made into either a blockbuster film or popular TV show, it was only a matter of time until the blind lawyer by day, vigilante by night, got another chance at a live action adaptation. Back in 2003, Daredevil had been brought to the big screen with Ben Affleck [Batman] playing the title role, and well, not many people were impressed. Me especially.
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Nope, still not impressed.
The film struggled with what many superhero movies did with at the time, a lack of balance. You see, in the early '00s, the superheroes from comics were still seen as being over-the-top in many respects. So the natural inclination for many movie adaptations was to either mirror that sense of ridiculousness, or try to re-imagine the hero as dark, gritty and complex. When the Daredevil film was released, it was strange, as it blended together a rather dark tone and downright laughable action. This combo left many in the audience scratching their collective heads because they didn't know if they should just be entertained by it or to take it seriously.

Unfortunately, not too long after Daredevil made its debut, filmmakers finally started to realize how to make these movies work by treating superheroes like real people who happened to have extraordinary abilities and live in extraordinary worlds. Suddenly, superheroes were relatable because they had personalities and flaws that both helped and hindered their desire to save the world. Daredevil, you sacrificed yourself for a greater good.
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What a concept!
Thankfully, the guardian devil of Hell's Kitchen wasn't forgotten by Marvel Studios and he now has a TV series produced by online outlet Netflix. When the series was released earlier this month, I immediately put it at the top of my queue and started watching them as fast as I could. Unfortunately, due to a mountain of homework, and mandatory overtime at work, my binging didn't reach 100 percent. But fear not TRUE BELIEVERS! I can assure you that I have finished  enough episodes to give you all a pretty good idea of what to expect. [Sidenote: becasue I haven't finished the series your guaranteed a spoiler free review!]
The first thing I have to say is that this show looks great. It's look is very different from what you'd see in other Marvel shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or Agent Carter. It's tone is more more reminiscent of crime dramas or TV thrillers but knows how to keep pace with the action it constantly provides. This approach might be thanks to a pair of the staff writers (also married) that spent three years as writers on Law & Order: SVU. Also, the fight scenes are amazing for a small screen format. One fight scenes at the end of episode two, is done with what I'm pretty sure was one take and lasted about 3 to 5 minutes. Fake fight aficionados will find great enjoyment in the type of care and forethought taken with each fight or action scene in every single episode.

In addition to what I appreciated about the series is that the audience doesn't get a big explanation as to what Murdock's abilities actually are. We know that he became blind as a kid by being exposed to chemicals in the first few seconds of the pilot, and then, over the course of the series, we gradually get to see the extent of his abilities as he uses them in great reveals both big and small. I always enjoy when a characters origin story isn't laid out for us it always seems like cheating. In this series the audience gets to know Murdock as a character first which makes watching his journey more rewarding as a viewer. And thank God, Daredevil doesn't feature a cheesy monologue given at the beginning of each episode or a phrase always said about justice whenever the hero defeats a bad guy.
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Cough, cough...
My only complaint so far is that the show hasn't quite found its footing as to what it wants to be. It's not really a superhero show, or a crime drama, or thriller for that manner. If the idea is for it to just be its own 'thing' then by all means I hope they attain whatever that 'thing' is, but right now it gives me the impression as a viewer that the show is a bit lost. Sure they are intent on taking you somewhere, and you're excited to get there, but you don't really trust their sense of direction.

Once again, I haven't finished the season yet, so more than likely it will just get better and my complaint will mean nothing. If it doesn't, the show has at least earned enough respect for me to come back for more in a season two [which was just given the green light yesterday].  Plus, a rocky season one just may be a trait of Marvel's TV division. After all, season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been much better than its freshman season.  

All in all, Daredevil is worth checking out. Whether you want to get into the next big superhero show, be compelled by a new crime drama with a twist, or just want to see Daredevil in a more flattering light than he's been in the past. You should totally check out this new season as soon as possible.

Oh! One more important thing I forgot to mention.
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HOLY CRAP!!! FOGGY NELSON IS FULTON REED FROM THE MIGHTY DUCKS!!!!!11!!!!!
What are your thoughts on Daredevil? Share them below.
 
 
Last week's April Fool's "prank" by my co-worker, Ivan got me pretty fired up. So much so that my boss, Edward, sent me home early that day (with pay) to cool off.  Sometimes, Ivan is just the worst.

I'm learning how to channel my feelings into my creative endeavors, so as soon as I got home, I began thinking about the worst sidekicks in the history of fandom for this week's blog post. I found it fitting because let's face it, when it comes to working at Next Page Comics, I'm pretty much Xena and Ivan is Gabrielle. Actually, that's unfair to Gabrielle, Ivan is like a rock that Xena laces up her boots on. Alright, let's dive in. 

10) George 'Mac' McHale from: Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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There are probably a few characters far more useless or annoying from the Indiana Jones universe that could go here, but few mention 'Mac,' probably because they want to forget that the movie he's in ever happened. You'd think that Indy running around with his son and former lover Marian, would be enough sidekicks to satisfy the audience, but apparently we absolutely had to have Mac thrown into the mix, even after he straight up betrays Indy in the beginning of the film. Afterwards, he acts as if nothing happened between the two of them, and continues to be a completely unhelpful liar. His character is about as baffling as The Crystal Skull movie itself.


9) Ruby Rhod from: The Fifth Element

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Chris Tucker is a genius. Why? Because he managed to somehow take every pop star and celebrity from past, present, and quite possibly the future (paging, Nicki Minja) and compress them together to make the terrible masterpiece that is Ruby Rhod. He's full of himself, doesn't know how to fire a gun, and literally screams like a girl. A lot. He's farther down on the list because after re-watching the film I can't help but be impressed by the performance of such a magnificently annoying character. It's beautiful, really.

8) Magikarp from: Pokemon

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Victreebell may affectionately munch on James's head whenever it's released and Psyduck may sit around with a derpy face whenever Misty wants him to fight, but they have nothing on the uselessness that is Magikarp. Not only does it not have any attacks, but it can barely swim! It's a fish Pokemon! How can it not be a strong swimmer?!?! It evolves into the far more useful and frightening Gyarados but the wait for that to happen is barely worth it.


7) Snarf from: Thundercats

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Where to begin? Snarf is fat, and lazy, lending very little to the rest of the Thundercats except by being pessimistic, and afraid of everything. And let's not forget his voice, good Lord. Whomever voiced that thing needs to win an award for creating the most ball grating sound in all of cartoon history! By the way, his name is apparently Osbert. That's like if you all knew my name was Phoebe but insisted on calling me 'Human' and my catch phrase was 'Human! Human!' Even in the world of 80s cartoons that makes no sense. 


6) Flounder from: The Little Mermaid

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I don't like The Little Mermaid. There. I said it. I could talk about how much of a brat Ariel is, but that has nothing to do with sidekicks. Disney usually has an animal sidekick to appeal to younger audiences with a cute factor or for comic relief. Flounder isn't particularly cute OR funny and brings literally nothing to the story except to listen to Ariels' whining with rapt attention and comfort her when she doesn't get her way.


5)  Rob Schneider (or Fergee) from: Judge Dredd

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Judge Dredd is by no means a masterpiece of filmmaking. Some may find it to be a guilty pleasure but no one can be of sound mind and say that it is a good film. So it's quite remarkable that a simple side character manages to be the absolute worst part of it. Fergee has zero bearing on the plot and his attempt at comic relief is about as funny as a kick in the nuts. It actually made me mad when they decided to show us that he was okay at the end of the film. Dammit, movie! Why must you squash what little hope I had left?!

4) Slippy Toad from: The Starfox Games

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Yes, having a mechanic and inventor is an essential part in any game where you fly around in spaceships, but how hard is it to become an even halfway decent pilot? Seriously. He always manages to get cornered by the enemy and needs to be saved time and time again. Then he has to call for help in what has to be the one of the most annoying voices of video game history. Many kids, no matter how gentle or kindhearted, secretly wanted to let Slippy die at enemy hands. This one included.

3) Yorda from: Ico

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Escort missions in video games are not fun. I'd even hazard a guess and say that no gamer in history has come across one and thought “Oh Good! I've been waiting for this!” If you're lucky, the person you're escorting can help you in some way by fighting with you, healing you, or being sensible enough to hide away, but that only happens once in a blue moon. Now imagine your entire game as essentially being one big escort mission. That's Ico. You literally spend the game leading a mute and defenseless woman BY THE HAND across puzzles and obstacles where she lends absolutely no help whatsoever. Yorda may as well be a sack of flour that Ico has to carry around.


2) Jar Jar Binks from: The Star Wars Trilogy

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Do I even have to explain this? You know the drill here. He's annoying, offensive, not funny, loud, obnoxious, and did I mention he's responsible for Emperor Palpatine gaining control of the galaxy? When you're a sidekick and you do the exact opposite of what a sidekick is supposed to do, you're the epitome of useless!


1) Wilson from: Castaway

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He's a ball. A ball with a face. Don't you start telling me that he helped Tom Hanks keep his sanity on that island! No one who argues with a volleyball is sane! Wilson was clearly only a way for the audience to know what Tom Hanks was thinking so we wouldn't have 45 minutes of silence. Plus, he can't even hold on to a raft. Useless.


So that about wraps it up. I can honestly say that Ivan encompasses many of the qualities of the sidekicks I've presented. He's lazy, annoying, always needs help, and offensive to pretty much everyone. Stop by sometime to see for yourself.

Who are some of the worst sidekicks in your opinion? Which characters did I forget? Leave a comment below.
 
 
This past weekend there was this "super game" on TV and it had something to do with guys in tight pants.  Just kidding, I do know a little something about football, as my wee sister Stella has dated exclusively jocks ever since junior high. 

If I can catch the Super Bowl on TV, I watch it, but I really only care about the commercials and halftime show (BTW anyone else thinking cartoon shark cosplay?).
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Margaret can probably whip that up.
This year, I was able watch it, as a member of my artist collective was hosting a party at his house on a big screen TV.  As always, I was most excited to see commercials for the slate of upcoming summer movies. My excitement was quickly dashed when I saw the spot for the newest entry in the timeline twisted Terminator tale, Terminator: Genisys (which by the way, you can't do on Nintendo).
I'll spare you a long diatribe of what's wrong with this J.J. Abram alternate timeline non-sense and get down to the nitty-gritty.  The biggest thing sticking in my craw is this business of Khaleesi from my much beloved "Game of Thrones" being cast as Sarah Connor.  She's so-so as the "Mother of Dragons," but she is no mother of mankind's only hope (John Connor).  Honestly, there is no way her skinny doe-eyed self is ever going to pull off filling the shoes of tough-as-nails Sarah Connor as originally portrayed by Linda Hamilton. Seriously Emilia Clark, did you work out even once before filming began? Check out Ms. Hamilton and to a lesser extent the other Sarah Connor, Lena Headey.
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The original with a sets of guns. Get it?
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The lite version.
Sure, in the first Terminator, Sarah Connor wasn't all buff and stuff, but there was toughness in her performance and as the story unfolded at the end, you could see that this woman was strong enough to take on any threat. In this newest version [Genisys], I don't see any strength in Emilia Clark's performance at all. Heck in "GOT" even when Clark yells, most everyone just over pretends to be scared. She really doesn't even command much authority with her dragons either.
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I'm yelling REALLY loudly! Please be intimidated.
To be fair, I guess Clark really didn't have to bring much toughness to the role of Connor, as it appears in the promos that she has access to every firearm know to man.

*Sigh*
 

I guess this is just going to be another example, in an ever mounting pile, of the "powers that be" retroactively weakening powerful female protagonists.  Maybe I'll be proven wrong.  We'll find out for sure this July.
Picture
Ripley, you're next to be wimpified.
I'll give Emilia Clark this much, her face does bare an uncanny resemblance to a young Linda Hamilton.

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Creepy.
If you've never seen "The Terminator," do it now if you want to live.
You can find out more about the film on Amazon. Use either link to click through and buy.
 
 
So I hosted a game night with the usual suspects the other day and like most of our events, we ended up abandoning what we originally planned to do in exchange for talking endlessly and way too seriously about topics concerning fandom.

Sorry, "Settlers of Catan," but we really needed to get into a heated debate about which hairstyle suited Sikozu from "Farscape" best.

Eventually, the conversation turned to our hopeless crushes on fictional characters. This type of discussion is nothing new, mind you, until someone (who will remain nameless) mentioned that they've had a crush on Abe Sapien for years. You can imagine our confused/slightly grossed out reaction to this piece of information. Especially when this person showed us that they were not alone by producing fan-fiction from a slew of different writers all over the Internet.

There are some things... you shouldn't make someone picture.
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Ewww. Just ew.
Then it was confession time. We became our own psychiatrists and went down a deep, dark rabbit hole of misplaced affection that we normally try to repress or ignore altogether. Turns out that we'd all experienced some kind of attraction to characters that most of us would consider less than savory if they actually existed, usually in more ways than one. So without further ado, here are but a few of the crushes we revealed to each other, and don't worry girls, the crushees will remain nameless.

10) Victor Von Doom from: "Fantastic Four" (2005) portrayed by Julian McMahon

PictureI bet you'll blink first.
I tried to be as open minded with everyone's taste in fictional men, but even after accepting Abe Sapien as a possible babe magnet, Doom was hard to swallow. Yes, he's not bad on the eyes, good bone structure and all that. But he's a villain in a pretty hard to watch superhero movie. And not the intriguing or complex kind of villain, but the mustache twirling, cat stroking, pun spewing, "I expect you to die, Mr. Bond" type of villain. The only way a crush on him would make any sense to me is in the over the top way in which McMahon played him. Like everything else in those movies, it was covered in cheese (usually not the good kind) and even I have to admit that Doom's intense glare felt less threatening and more like an eye "you-know-what-ing." The more evil Doom became the more vaguely sexual all of his growled lines seemed to become. To me, this made him unintentionally hilarious, but some women might have felt differently.

9) Sephiroth from: "Final Fantasy VII" & "Advent Children"

PictureMy hair is so 80s. Jel?
This one I can understand a bit. He's got a nearly perfect face with a classic Anime aesthetic to it, simply glorious hair, and a theme song that you can find in the dictionary under 'epic'. Personally, I've always found him a little too creepy and a thing or 'force' rather than a person, which makes sense in the grand scheme of the story (No I won't say this is a spoiler, the game came out almost 20 years ago for Christ's sake!). Even after he gets some development in Crisis Core, I couldn't get on board the Sephiroth Train. I do have to say that I admire the tenacity of anyone who can still say they like a character who is responsible for one of the most heinous murders in video gaming history, though. Oh, and there's the whole taking over the Planet thing too (Over a decade old, people. Get over it).

8) Jack Skellington from: "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

PictureWhat's this?
This is perhaps the most confusing. The normal physical attractions don't really apply here, except for him having good bone structure. See what I did there? If you're into tall, skinny guys than he may do something for you. He's also a good singer, and hey, all men look good in a suit. Personally, I think this one can be attributed to his love interest, Sally. If you're not familiar with the film, Sally has a thing for Jack, but he is oblivious to her feelings for him as he plans his takeover of Christmas. Every girl can relate to this, especially the teenaged Tim Burton lovers. Perhaps they relate so much with Sally that they develop a crush on Jack through association.

7) Sylar from: "Heroes" portrayed by Zachary Quinto

PictureCan you hear me now?
Now here's a psychotic killer who could give you one hell of a smolder. Sylar has a few things going for him: he's conventionally attractive, has an intensity that can absolutely be sexual, and is essentially trying to find his place in the world (something everyone can empathize with). Plus, dem eyebrows, *swooon*... Of course, none of this makes up for the fact that he cuts open peoples heads to absorb their powers. He also has major mommy issues, a red flag for lots of women, this one included. It's a real shame that the series didn't continue, because the creators were shaping up Sylar to be a sort of anti-hero who might possibly try to make up for the mistakes of his past (even though you can't really make up for being a serial killer who cuts people's heads open).

6) Ayoto from: "Diabolik Lovers"

PictureStay thirsty my friends.
Let me start off by saying that many different anime or manga characters could have ended up on this list. A good quarter of our conversation was spent discussing all of the horrible characters we've fallen for in that medium, but Ayoto was not only a crush we all shared, he was one we all seemed to want to admit the least. He's certainly good looking and he's a vampire, which has somehow become a Kryptonite for women these days. He's sure of himself and really seems to care for the protagonist, Yui, but these things come with some big “buts." He cares about Yui, but is extremely possessive of her and jealous of most interactions she has with others. He is sure himself to such an extreme that he calls himself the Japanese equivalent of "Yours Truly." He can also be flat out mean calling Yui 'Pancake' (in Japanese, it means: breastless) throughout the series. And did I mention the first thing he did when meeting her was sexually assault her? Yes, he has some backstory that makes his behavior more tragic than anything, but that's no excuse for loads of women to daydream of being a toy for him to play around with.

5) Draco Malfoy from: "Harry Potter" portrayed by Tom Felton

PictureBoo.
This is a crush that I'm against mostly out of principle rather than anything else. I can see that he's attractive, he's rich, and as the series progressed he became a character women probably thought they could 'fix.' This is all fine except for the fact that he's a giant d-bag. He's a spoiled brat who whines and complains when things don't go his way. He brags about how rich he is and how many people his father knows. Let's not forget that he makes fun of people for being poor, their bloodline status, and for having dead parents. Who does that? He does finally show some empathy by feeling bad about killing Dumbledore (Oh yeah, spoilers and stuff) but slinks away afterwards, deciding to not take action against Voldemort even though it's clear that he wants to. How I can still find OC fan-fiction of him after all these years is beyond my understanding.

4) Jamie Lannister from: "Game of Thrones" portrayed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

PictureHold my sword?
I can't fault most of Jaime's fans for this one. He's introduced in the show as being witty, charming, and having a slight bad boy streak. He's a freaking knight in shining armor, for pete's sake! He may have killed the last king, but he sounded like an a-hole so who cares. Then BOOM! Incest. And shortly afterwards, BOOM! Attempted Child Murder. But we had already accepted him as our newest obsession! You can't just do that, "Game of Thrones!" He has sort of redeemed himself as the series has progressed, but then he keeps backsliding by sleeping with his sister, Cersei. This is especially frustrating as she becomes more and more psychotic and evil with each episode. Why do guys always go for the crazy ones? Especially when it's your crazy sister.

3) Khan from: "Star Trek: Into Darkness" portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch

PicturePopin' my collar.
Here's a simple truth: If you are a heterosexual female geek/nerd then you are obligated to crush on EVERY character Benedict portrays without question. Sorry, I don't make the rules. Besides the strangely inherent likeability that BC seems to bring to most of his roles, Khan has a lot going for him on his own. He's extremely intelligent, a natural leader, and if you're in his crew he will do everything in his power to keep you safe. But all of this means wreaking vengeance on Starfleet, most of whom are innocent people trying to make the universe a better place. Don't forget that getting what he wants for his crew apparently means, breaking helpless women's legs and crushing a man's skull with his bare hands. We also can't forget that he's responsible for the death of Spo-- I mean Kirk, albeit only for a short time.

2) Loki from: Marvel's "The Avengers" & "Thor" portrayed by Tom Hiddleston

PictureI'm reading fan-fiction about YOU!
Where should I start with this one? If you're privy to the events that occurred at San Diego Comic Con 2013, then you have an inkling of just how popular this guy is with the ladies. Personally, I do see the physical attractiveness here and having an affinity for leather outfits can subconsciously say a lot. He's a character that you can see becoming good again, but he never makes the decision to be. He'll ride the line forever and string you along for each and every moment of it. Despite all of the times that we've seen his sensitive side, we can't forget that he's done some messed up stuff. He almost got Thor killed many times and nearly destroyed New York City, probably killing hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the process. He's the God Of Mischief, if that's any indication that he's not trustworthy then I don't know what is.

1) Hannibal Lecter from: "Silence of the Lambs," "Hannibal Rising" & "Hannibal" portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, Gaspard Ulliel, & Mads Mikkelsen

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Bad at every age.
You'll want a thorough explanation, I'm sure. Hannibal is one of the most intriguing and disturbing characters of popular culture. He's a cannibalistic serial killer that shows absolutely no remorse for his actions. He plays and toys with people well beyond the point of too far for his own gain and sometimes amusement. Even the most recent actor to play him (Mikkelsen) , said that he plays him as a 'satanic figure.' Yet, despite all of this, we can't help but like him. He's sophisticated, refined in his interests, and he's stuck it to many people we definitely think deserved it (the original Dexter). If we were to meet him in person we would want him to like us, want him to think we're worthy of his time and attention. He's somehow both repulsive and alluring at the same time, definitely reminiscent of the Devil. Yeah, saying you have a thing for a character that is basically Satan makes him Number One on this list.
Well, can you guys top Hannibal freaking Lecter? What are some of the crushes you know you shouldn't have? Leave your comments below.