Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Champions of the Omniverse: Part 11

With Deviants closing in on a momentarily helpless Koga, Spidertrike decides that he doesn't care about his teammate and suggests abandoning him.  Firenado and Sonic Tsunami blast fire and ice down the hallway to take out one of the Deviants, who advance with no heed to their wounded companion. With a combination of Firenado's flames, Sonic Tsunami's ice and Manzilla's tail spikes, the Champions blast away the remaining deviants long before Koga picks himself up. Traveling into the centre of the pyramid, our heroes find a massive computer complex guarded by the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Magneto, Toad, Blob, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver for those keeping score at home). But there is a twist; a second Magneto is chained to the wall at the back of the chamber! 

Before Magneto can start up another famous monologue, Spiderstrike is shoved forward to begin his now typical abuse, a moment or two in and he is blasted into unconsciousness by Scarlet Witch's Hex Bolts. Needing no further excuse, the Champions of the Omniverse charge in to avenge their comrade! Mazilla tackles Toad to the ground and flings his tail spikes at the conscious Magneto, who deflects them easily with some handy debris. Koga, demonstrating his magnanimous nature, runs forward and tends to Spiderstrike, narrowly avoiding the Blob, who is frozen in a block of ice by Sonic Tsunami. Rippling his muscle and fat, Blob brakes free, just as Quicksilver dashes past and pummels Gigawatt before retreating. Sick of being a punching bag for the entire adventure, Gigawatt chases down the speedy mutant and beats him to a bloody pulp. Firenado trades fire with Scarlet Witch's Hex Bolts and Mazilla decides to return fire with Toad's unconscious body, which bounces off Magneto's debris shield and shatter, revealing that he, and by extension all of the Evil Mutants, are actually sophisticated robot duplicates! 

Sonic Tsunami, calling upon the memories in the temporary time-line, recalls that the Sentinels once constructed a robotic Magneto, the very Magneto the team now battles! Firenado is downed by the Hex Bolts of the robotic Scarlet Witch, but is quickly avenged by Gigawatt beating the robot into parts and Spiderstrike tending to his downed comrade. Koga has his light clones hassle the robotic Magneto whilst he tries to free the (probably) real one, he is inadvertently helped by Manzilla, who charges through robo-neto's debris shield and knocks him aside. In retaliation, robot Magneto flings the body of robotic Toad at Manzilla, wounding the mighty beast of a hero, whose return blows can't find their mark. Sticking to his typical heroic approach, Spiderstrike dodges around Blob, hurling small rocks and fat jokes until he is caught and brought down by the obese mutant. Robot Magneto flings Koga into Manzilla under a barrage of Sonic Tsunami's water hammers. With a scream of rage, the real Magneto wakes up and everything goes to hell. The robot Evil Mutants shatter into metal filings and our heroes are knocked off their feet. Magneto floats regally down to the floor and is about to thank his rescuers when he sees who they are. 
"I'm going to deactivate the breeder bombs," grunts Magneto, "you jerks are welcome" 
With that, Magneto walks out of the pyramid, pausing only to spit on the unconscious Spiderstrike.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Superhero Media: Hentai Kamen

Warning: NSFW. 

Hentai Kamen (trans. "Pervert Mask") is a masterpiece. Whilst attempting to stop a robbery and save his attractive classmate, schoolboy Kyosuke dons a pair of panties on his face by accident and finds himself transformed into Pervert Mask, forbidden superhero! Despite what the English box text and IMDB say, Kyosuke did not get his powers from aliens, but inherited a great sense of justice from his policeman father and a great deal of kink from his dominatrix mother, which is, honestly, way cooler. Our hero discovers new powers as he becomes more weirdly turned on in his quest to save the girl and the school from the machinations of a deadpan criminal hunting treasure supposedly hidden under the campus. 

The truly interesting part of the film, other than the hilarious fight scenes, is the existential crisis that the love interest undergoes after seeing Hentai Kamen in action, being drawn to his grace and power, but reviling his perversion. This conflict comes up repeatedly, even featuring in the climax, so I read it as commentary on the cultural sexual repression of Japanese youth. This theory is backed up by the villain of the film, an Evil Hentai Kamen who is even more kinky than our hero! And also a sex criminal, at least by the standards of Australian law. Hentai Kamen has to discover that his perversions are part of his innate sexuality, rather than a competition or steps to climb to become more powerful. In fact, it is when Hentai Kamen is able to explore his kinks in a safe, non-judgmental, loving relationship, that he becomes his most powerful self. A really good message there for a weird little parody film. 

If you have a high tolerance for weird and can stand looking at the main character's costume, I can highly recommend Hentai Kamen as an enjoyable watch. There is a sequel which I'm yet to check out, but as soon as I can get my hands on it, I'll be giving it a watch. Yes, I want a Hentai Kamen miniature, who wouldn't? Hell, I have Howard the Duck and Ambush Bug, why not Hentai Kamen to defend the world from evil with the power of perversion? Funny, unique and though-provoking, great film. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Miniatures Finished: Past, Present and Future

With my course finally finished, painting of supers has resumed! 

 Beetle, a suit of Mandroid Armour and Doctor Octopus for some Silver-Age fun! 

 French Revolutionary Civilian, Batman Beyond and Zombie Spider-man for time travel and alternate universe action! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Superhero Media: Sky High

I have a vague memory of watching this film years ago and finding it to be utter dross, so when I settled in to give it another go for Superhero Media, I braced for the worst. Sky High is actually pretty damn entertaining at times, sure it suffers from being a Disney "family" film and will never compete with the likes of The Dark Knight or Civil War, but for what it is, it's quite good. When searching for pictures for this article, I found the following:
demonstrating that Sky High has something of a cult following out there. Not being one for nostalgia, I don't have a strong pre-adolescent emotional attachment to the teenage characters, but the fact that Lynda Carter, Kurt Russel and Bruce Campbell play roles is pretty damn awesome. Lynda Carter even has a joke about not being Wonder Woman which got a big laugh from me. 

The soundtrack is also worth a mention, it features some of my favourite bands, like They Might Be Giants, The Smiths and Talking Heads, pretty fucking cool for a Disney film. I'm not one for gritty reboots, but I honestly would enjoy a "10-ish years later" or school reunion version of Sky High. The disconnect between childhood expectations and the crushing reality of adult life would make for interesting characterisation when viewed through the lens of superheroic life. Maybe Layla has gone full-blown Poison Ivy or Warren Peace has walked down the path of villainy? Will Magenta not be able to find work and be forced into the life of a fetish actor in adult films? Can the Stronghold family function as a trio, or will there be friction when the youngest member is also the most powerful? Food for though.

Sky High is made very much with children in mind, but there is plenty to enjoy if you're prepared to let it be what it is. Perhaps not a lot of fodder for gaming, but there are fun characters, a great soundtrack and a handful of awesome actors to keep you going through the "growing pains" segments and school drama nonsense. Not going into my rotation, but certainly worth a watch if you haven't seen it. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Champions of the Omniverse - Part 10

Fleeing from Soviet-invaded Afghanistan, our heroes fly to Australia to find the next bomb, evidently somewhere in the Great Dividing Range. Landing in the red center, the Champions find the last Breeder Bomb in a natural crevice between two massive rocks, the device has been rent apart and the plutonium core is missing. Completely ignoring the ruined bomb casing and any evidence that may be in the crevice, our heroes start to follow some tire tracks and the spotty radiation trail left by whoever stole the plutonium. Both trails led, eventually, to a major interstate freeway across the desert, where they were quickly lost. Firestarter, who has just been retconned again, and is now The Arsonist, remembers that he can fly the X-Jet and takes it after the team, picking them up and saving the walk back. The team are groping for leads when they get a psychic "call" from Professor X; Magneto is attacking Sydney! 

Magneto is attacking Westfield Paramatta! A major shopping center on the outskirts of Sydney ("mall" to any Seppos reading). The area has been cordoned off by the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers from the local Lancer Barracks, the ASLAVs and Bradleys of the Light Horsemen holding a perimeter as the soldiers try to placate the mad mutant. The ADF is more than happy to let the team past in the hopes that all the dangerous mutants kill each other and they can get down the pub early. As our heroes approach Westfield, they can hear Magneto monologue-ing to anyone within earshot about the terrorists that he has stopped and how he had defended the weak humans that fear him so. Spiderstrike moves forward and asks what Magneto is up to, the villain replies that he is trying to stop the Breeder Bombs and has retrieved the plutonium core to protect the "worthless humans". For some reason, Spiderstrike forgets everything he knows about the situation and starts asking for in-depth descriptions of the Breeder Bombs and interrupting during the answers. An exasperated Magneto mutters something about being above this sort of thing before flinging the plutonium container into the upper atmosphere and flying off. The team resolve to use Spiderstrike's grating personality as a weapon more often.

Acting on new orders from Professor X, the team fly to Central America and find a cyclopean pyramid hidden in the mountains. Trekking down a long tunnel, our heroes see three warped figures coming towards them, they are quickly identified as Deviants, a long-lost demi-human race from the undercities of the Earth. Sonic Tsunami lays down a sheet of water and Mazilla freezes it with his atomic breath into a slippery slide of doom! Koga produces light clones and dashes off down the corridor, slipping on the ice. In unison, all of the light clones slip up as well.  Laughing cruelly, the Deviants close in for the kill...