Anime Lounge #13: Free!

Free -- Anime Lounge

Anime-LoungeSeries: Free!

Episodes: 1 to 12

Premise: Three friends — Haruka, Nag­isa and Makoto — decide to begin a swim club after a fourth in their group, Rin, reap­pears in their lives after liv­ing abroad and rejects their offer to swim together again. The trio recruit another mem­ber, Rei, into their club and begin in earnest to res­ur­rect their old swim club and try to make it to Nationals.

Is it worth watch­ing?: Yes. It’s got com­pe­ti­tion and friend­ship, which is stan­dard for most anime these days. Also, if you’re into that sort of thing, the ani­ma­tion used in the mus­cles in this swim­ming anime is expertly drawn.

Break­out char­ac­ter: Rin Mat­suoka. Rin comes across as a pretty dark jerk, but he’s got his rea­sons for stay­ing away from the group. He’s inter­est­ing and he’s writ­ten well because of the real­is­tic way in which he comes back to his roots after a long absence. The strug­gle is there but the way he man­ages it makes it worth­while to keep watching.

Fun­ni­est episode: Episode 4, “Cap­tive But­ter­fly.” It’s all about teach­ing one of the club mem­bers to swim, which is kind of the point of hav­ing a swim club in the first place. We won’t reveal which mem­ber can’t swim, but the efforts to teach are what make the episode hilar­i­ous. Also, search­ing for the per­fect swim­suit in the episode also end in hilarity.

Where it’s going?: The Iwa­tobi High Swim Club trains hard to make it to Nation­als. Their efforts will not go in vain, we promise, and it remains to be seen if they can patch things up with their for­mer friend Rin. How they go about reach­ing these two goals is the best and bright­est part of acquaint­ing your­self with Free!

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Otaku Corner: Cosplay is not Consent

Godzilla Guy panel-Otaku Corner

Sean “That Godzilla Guy” McGuin­ness hosts the “Cos­play is not Con­sent” panel dur­ing Nashicon 2015. | Photo by Bran­don Beatty

Say it loud and proud: Cos­play is not Consent

Brandon-2012-cutoutI’m divert­ing from the nor­mal course of review­ing the lat­est in anime and manga for a new seg­ment called “the otaku tent.” I’ll give my thoughts on issues that not only affect otaku, but also other fel­low fans of geek cul­ture. Don’t worry, Otaku Cor­ner will still do reviews of great anime and manga. This quar­ter, how­ever, is a topic that affects more than just fans of anime. I feel that as a fan and fel­low con-goer, this requires an imme­di­ate call to action.

GI Editor-in-Chief Lyn­d­sey Hicks has recently writ­ten columns about issues regard­ing equal­ity in geek cul­ture. Those arti­cles were writ­ten not to put down the entire male geek pop­u­la­tion, but to ensure that no gamer or fel­low geek is dis­crim­i­nated against in our diverse-yet-awesome world. After read­ing her columns, I felt com­pelled as a fel­low gamer/geek to write about a move­ment called Cos­play is not Con­sent. While attend­ing Nashicon 2015 in our home­town of Colum­bia, S.C., Lyn­d­sey and I sat in a CNC panel hosted by fel­low Columbian Sean McGui­ness. McGui­ness is a known fix­ture in our city’s con scene as “That Godzilla Guy,” who sets up shop at Nashicon and Ban­za­icon, dis­play­ing excel­lent draw­ings of the King of Mon­sters and his cohorts.

Dur­ing his panel, I learned about CNC and why it was unfor­tu­nately cre­ated and needed. Last year, there was an attempt of sex­ual mis­con­duct toward an under­age Nashicon attendee. The alleged per­pe­tra­tor was found and reported to con staff and police, but if that attendee had not spo­ken up, it would have been a dif­fer­ent con­clu­sion. This is sad because inci­dents like this one are not iso­lated to Nashicon. In 2013, Seattle’s Aki-con expe­ri­enced a pub­lic rela­tions dis­as­ter when a spe­cial guest DJ was charged with sex­ual assault against a minor attendee. Despite his cap­ture, Aki-con’s han­dling of the sit­u­a­tion resulted in Aki-con being liable and los­ing ded­i­cated attendees.

After the panel, I spoke with McGui­ness and learned that cos­play­ers (espe­cially females) are catch­ing inex­cus­able lev­els of hell for either dress­ing too provoca­tively or being a poser. To me, a fan is a fan be it either anime or video gamer. It takes CRAZY lev­els of courage to do a cos­play of a favorite char­ac­ter and brave their way while at cons with­out the side looks of either an ultra fan or bible-thumper. My fel­low geeks, I need to say this: Alien­at­ing our own kin­dred AIN’T COOL. I also have mas­sive beef with dudes that are per­verts toward women cos­play­ing or not.

In my six years writ­ing for GI, I’m VERY for­tu­nate to have learned from a gamer that eats, breathes and sleeps video games and geek cul­ture, and also has the intel­li­gence to make sure that this pub­li­ca­tion is on the mark in get­ting to the pub­lic on time. With all of the stu­pid­ity in our soci­ety, I’m glad that peo­ple such as Sean McGui­ness are step­ping up to make our anime — and sim­i­lar con­ven­tions — which we thrive in are wel­com­ing to all. I’m send­ing out a call to all my gamers, larpers, comic book fan, bronies and all geeks: If we see harass­ment of another geek, whether it be inap­pro­pri­ate touch­ing or putting down one’s fan­dom, PLEASE step in or report it to con staff so that they can do what is need to stop it. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, fel­low geeks. Let’s step up like our favorite char­ac­ters and fight against evil. Let’s say to the world COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT.

Bran­don Beatty is editor-at-large of Gam­ing Insur­rec­tion. He can be reached at brandonb@gaminginsurrection.com

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Top 5 on The Strip: Best X-Men arcs

God Loves Man Kills

1. God Loves, Man Kills

The mutant strug­gle against one of the X-Men’s most human pro­tag­o­nists is a tragic tale of self hate and big­otry. It’s eas­ily one of the most sor­row­ful tales of the lengths homosapi­ens will go to in their efforts to erad­i­cate mutan­tkind. William Stryker is the leader of the anti-mutant move­ment and stops at noth­ing to pun­ish mutants in the eyes of other humans and the media.

Days of Future Past

2. Days of Future Past

One of the more recent X-Men movies, Days of Future Past shows what would hap­pen if the Sen­tinels, mutant-hunting robots, took over North Amer­ica and even­tu­ally the world. It’s a good look at the effects of a sin­gu­lar event affect­ing mul­ti­ple realities.

Onslaught

3. Onslaught

If Pro­fes­sor Charles Xavier were to lose him­self in the cause of fight­ing mutant hate and believed in the goals of his neme­sis Mag­neto, Onslaught would be the result. The merged con­scious­ness of two of the great­est minds in mutancy does not equal a good being and what becomes the gen­e­sis of Xavier giv­ing up the fight even temporarily.

Messiah Complex

4. Mes­siah Complex

A child born with the pos­si­bil­ity to save mutants in their dark­est hour makes up the Mes­siah Com­plex sto­ry­line. Although it’s cen­tered on a child with the name Sum­mers, it’s inter­est­ing to see what hap­pens when Cable – a known battle-hardened war­rior – becomes slightly more human when he’s tasked with pro­tect­ing a child.

Age of Apocalypse

5. Age of Apocalypse

One of the largest sto­ries ever to come to the X-Men fold, the Age of Apoc­a­lypse is the focal point for a lot of changes in the X-Men uni­verse, and, Mar­vel at large. Apoc­a­lypse man­ages to take over North Amer­ica and kill numer­ous impor­tant mutants in the process. The fall­out con­tin­ues to ran­kle some sto­ry­lines today.

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Top 5 on The Strip: Burning anime questions

Big O

1. Big O

What was the event that caused the amne­sia 40 years before?

It’s hinted that an event caused every­one in Par­a­digm City to lose their mem­o­ries. Every so often the city resets itself, but it’s also explained that a world­wide cat­a­stro­phe is the cause of the amne­sia, and that real­ity in the series is a vir­tual real­ity that resets because of Angel. Also, there is spec­u­la­tion that Roger Smith aka The Nego­tia­tor is a robot, but it is never confirmed.

Oreimo

2. OreImo

Which girl did the main char­ac­ter wind up with? And did his par­ents ever approve of his sister’s eroge collection?

The main char­ac­ter, Kyosuke, basi­cally enters a harem sit­u­a­tion with sev­eral girls in his life, includ­ing his sis­ter, Kirino. All squick­i­ness aside about the poten­tial incest angle, the sit­u­a­tion with the girls proves a point about sib­lings grow­ing apart and then com­ing together again with matu­rity. As a side note, their par­ents find out that Kirino is an otaku and col­lects eroge but Kyosuke man­ages to defuse the sit­u­a­tion and save Kirino’s eroge col­lec­tion. The main ques­tion there, how­ever, is did her par­ents ever real­ize that the eroge col­lec­tion was, in fact, Kirino’s and that she still had it?

Cowboy Bebop

3. Cow­boy Bebop

Did Spike actu­ally die at the end?

Spec­u­la­tion has run ram­pant that Spike Spiegel, the main char­ac­ter of Cow­boy Bebop, didn’t die in the final duel that he has with antagonist/main rival Vicious. Accord­ing to some fans, Spike man­aged to sur­vive his gun­shot wounds after being shot down in the cli­mac­tic clash at the Vicious’ head­quar­ters and lived to see another bounty. Per­son­ally, we don’t believe so. He was very clearly shown to be dead as well as Vicious and the woman they were fight­ing for. Spike knew the bat­tle was going to end one way and there was no com­ing back to Jet and the Bebop.

Legend of Korra

4. Avatar: The Leg­end of Korra/Avatar: The Last Airbender

Who is Suyin Beifong’s father? Who is the mother of Zuko’s daughter?

Pop­u­lar char­ac­ters from Avatar: The Last Air­ben­der Toph Bei­fong and Fire Lord Zuko each present some inter­est­ing ques­tions in rela­tion to their future off­spring. It’s stated that Toph has two chil­dren that you see in the series, Repub­lic City Chief of Police Lin Bei­fong and Zaofu matri­arch Suyin Bei­fong. The women men­tion sep­a­rately that they have dif­fer­ent fathers that nei­ther knew. While Lin’s father is briefly talked about, Suyin’s is not. Zuko, on the other hand, is shown to be in a rela­tion­ship with Mai at the end of The Last Air­ben­der and to have a daugh­ter who takes on the Fire Lord throne in Leg­end of Korra. This begs the ques­tion of who is the mother of his daugh­ter, Mai or some­one else? These ques­tions are never answered.

Bleach

5. Bleach

Does Aizen actu­ally carry out the full 20,000-year sentence?

While we do know that Sosuke Aizen is sen­tenced to his long stay in prison at the end of his arc in Bleach, we don’t know if he will ever carry out the full sen­tence. It’s prob­a­ble that the vil­lain will, given that souls do not die or age like nor­mal in Soul Soci­ety and he was empow­ered by the Hōgyoku, which ren­ders the per­son infused with it effec­tively immor­tal. Even though he was let out of prison in the final act of Bleach, it’s implied that he was effec­tively held to serve the entire sentence.

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Character highlight #21: Venom

Name: Edward Charles Allan Brockvenom

Aliases: Toxin, Venom, Lethal Pro­tec­tor, 998th, Anti-Venom, White Venom

Affil­i­a­tion: Agent Venom, Sav­age Six, Sin­is­ter Six, The Revengers, for­mer part­ner of Vengeance, Spider-Man, Scar­let Spi­der, F.E.A.S.T.

Spe­cial abil­i­ties: Because of the bond­ing of an alien sym­biote (that once part­nered with Spider-Man/Peter Parker), as Toxin, Brock has the same basic abil­i­ties as Spider-Man. He can stick to walls, can change his iden­tity and has unlim­ited web­bing, envi­ron­men­tal cam­ou­flag­ing, quick-healing abil­i­ties and super­hu­man track­ing strength in which he can track any­one — not just other sym­biotes — as long as he has some­thing to begin from. As Venom, he has the same abil­i­ties such as super­hu­man strength, dura­bil­ity, sta­mina, speed, agility, reflexes, genetic mem­ory, off­spring detec­tion, spi­der sense, web­bing gen­er­a­tion and immu­nity to Spider-Man’s spi­der sense.

Back­ground: Eddie Brock grew up in an unlov­ing home with his father, who blamed him for the death of Eddie’s mother dur­ing child­birth. Brock began to exhibit signs of his future socio­pathic life dur­ing this time, mak­ing up sto­ries to gain atten­tion and move ahead in life. Brock began work­ing at the Daily Globe news­pa­per as a reporter and got mar­ried to Ann Wey­ing. Dur­ing his career in jour­nal­ism, Brock excelled but was even­tu­ally fired after he was made into a joke by unmask­ing the wrong man as the vil­lain known as Sin Eater. Brock sum­mar­ily lost his job and his wife divorced him. As he was humil­i­ated by Spider-Man, Brock saw the super­hero as the source of his prob­lems in life and devel­oped an intense hatred for Spider-Man.

As he was con­tem­plat­ing sui­cide in a cathe­dral one day, Spider-Man was bat­tling his recently acquired alien sym­biote. In an effort to defeat the alien life form, Spider-Man used sonic waves from the church’s bells to sever the bond between him­self and the suit. As the suit sep­a­rated, it was drawn to the near­est life force, which was Brock. Brock had become a ves­sel of pure hate and enmity toward Spider-Man, and the alien was drawn to and fueled by this hatred. Brock had also recently learned that he had adrenal can­cer, which caused his emo­tions to destabilize.

With the bond­ing of Brock and the sym­biote com­plete (Brock com­pletely bonded men­tally and phys­i­cally with the sym­biote; Spider-Man did not), he learned Spider-Man’s secret iden­tity and went on to wage all-out war against Parker and his loved ones. Despite his pen­chant for seek­ing the destruc­tion of Spider-Man, there have been peri­ods of truce and calm between the nat­ural foes. Oth­ers have taken up the man­tel of Venom as well, and Brock has since changed his name to Anti-Venom and most recently Toxin.

Rela­tion­ships: Ann Wey­ing (She-Venom), ex-wife; Jenna Cole (friend); Peter Parker (Spider-Man), alien sym­biote father spawn; Cle­tus Kasady (Car­nage), alien sym­biote father spawn; Beck Under­wood (ex-girlfriend)

First Ver­sus game appear­ance: Mar­vel vs. Capcom

Appear­ances in other media: Spider-Man (ani­mated series), Spider-Man Unlim­ited (ani­mated series), Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (ani­mated series), Ulti­mate Spider-Man (ani­mated series), Spider-Man 3 (film), The Amaz­ing Spider-Man vs. The King­pin (video game), Max­i­mum Car­nage (video game), Venom/Spider-Man: Sep­a­ra­tion Anx­i­ety (video game), Spider-Man (1995 and 2000, video game), Ulti­mate Spider-Man (video game), Mar­vel vs. Cap­com (video game), Mar­vel vs. Cap­com 2 (video game), Mar­vel Neme­sis: Rise of the Imper­fects (video game), Spider-Man 3 (video game), Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (video game), Spider-Man: Web of Shad­ows (video game), Mar­vel: Ulti­mate Alliance (video game), Mar­vel: Ulti­mate Alliance 2 (video game), Mar­vel Super Hero Squad Online (video game), Mar­vel Avengers: Bat­tle for Earth (video game), Mar­vel Heroes (video game), Lego Mar­vel Super Heroes (video game), The Amaz­ing Spider-Man 2 (video game), Dis­ney Infin­ity: Mar­vel Super Heroes (video game)

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Anime Lounge #12: Special A

Special-A-1-13

Anime-LoungeSeries: Spe­cial A

Episodes: 1 to 12

Premise: A group of extra­or­di­nar­ily tal­ented stu­dents are iso­lated in their school. The group is com­prised of the top seven stu­dents from each class at Hakusenkan: Kei Tak­ishima, Hikari Hana­zono, Jun and Megumi Yamamoto, Tadashi Karino, Akira Toudou and Ryuu Tsuji, and they’re the best of the best within each class. Kei and Hikari, ranked No. 1 and 2, have a long­stand­ing rivalry dat­ing back to child­hood and con­stantly com­pete against one another in every thing they do. Whether it’s aca­d­e­mics or sports, Hikari’s goal is to one day sur­pass Kei. What Hikari doesn’t real­ize is that Kei is com­pletely in love with her.

Is it worth watch­ing?: Yes. It’s a major accom­plish­ment when you can tackle a sub­ject such as class war­fare and in the same scene have a hilar­i­ous gag that makes a viewer laugh out loud. It’s great at being the seri­ous and light­hearted simul­ta­ne­ously, which makes it worth­while to fol­low through with the antics of the smart kids.

Break­out char­ac­ter: Kei Tak­ishima. Kei has it all, quite frankly. So why he con­tin­ues to per­sist in chas­ing dense Hikari, we’ll never know. But Kei is the break­out char­ac­ter here because, try as he might, the one thing he is never suc­cess­ful on the first try is get­ting Hikari to under­stand his feel­ings for her. How­ever, Kei is a smooth talker and one of the fun­ni­est char­ac­ters in the series. He’s that lik­able, which is great con­sid­er­ing he’s the lead character.

Fun­ni­est episode: Episode 7: “Sen­si­tive ~ Thick­headed.” Hikari tells Kei that she will tell Kei just what she said about him in the pre­vi­ous episode. Since Kei is keen to hear this info — he’s in love with her — Kei engi­neers a con­test that he knows he will prob­a­bly win with Hikari’s talk being the prize. How he gets her to open up and the lengths he goes to, to get the infor­ma­tion from Hikari are absolutely hilar­i­ous. Kei will stop at noth­ing to get her to tell him how she feels about him.

Where it’s going?: Half of the series is left and there are some obvi­ous ques­tions that need to be answered: How does Hikari really feel about Kei? How do the oth­ers in the group feel about their poten­tial pair­ing? Will they actu­ally get together? And how the oth­ers in the group far­ing in their own lives and with each other? The pace picks up in the lat­ter half of the series and it becomes the focal point of the show how things will end between the main char­ac­ters and their friends.

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Otaku Corner: Tenjho Tenge Vol. 2

Ten­jho Tenge heats up in sec­ond vol­ume of action

Brandon-2012-cutoutWel­come back to another install­ment of Otaku Cor­ner. This time, we’re going back to school, which means we’re enrolling again at the renowned Todo Acad­emy where stu­dents learn the three basics: Read­ing, writ­ing and ass-kicking (yes, I said ass-kicking.) So, grab your back­packs, bento lunches and your grap­pling gear because it’s time to check in with the Juken Club in the lat­est install­ment of Ten­jho Tenge Vol­ume 02: The Bat­tle Bowl.

Based on the manga series by Oh! Great and released by Geneon Enter­tain­ment (USA), Ten­jho Tenge fol­lows the story of Soichiro Nagi and Bob Mak­i­hara (aka the Knuckle Bombs), who plan to add Todo Acad­emy to their list of con­quered ter­ri­tory. Their plan quickly falls apart when they meet Aya and Maya Nat­sume, mem­bers of the Juken Club, which stands against the stu­dent Exec­u­tive Coun­cil. After alter­ca­tions with the coun­cil, Soichiro and Bob join Aya and Maya along with Masa­taka Takayanagi to fight the coun­cil, unaware that they are now locked in a 400-year bat­tle that has yet to be resolved.

Tenjou Tenge Vol. 2

Photo cour­tesy of Amazon.com

Dur­ing golden week (Japan­ese May hol­i­day), the Juken Club begins their train­ing to pre­pare for future attacks from the Exec­u­tive Coun­cil. At this time, Maya has a great idea to go bowl­ing to give the club a break from train­ing. Unfor­tu­nately, the coun­cil makes imme­di­ate plans to send their forces led by its most ter­ri­fy­ing mem­bers to crush the Juken Cub for good. In three episodes, the Juken Club are sep­a­rated from each other fac­ing off the council’s most feared “exe­cu­tion­ers,” who con­sist of vice chair­man Emi “The Black Blade” Isuzu, who hates Maya with INTENSE pas­sion; Shirō “The Last Samu­rai” Tagami, who gives Aya a major bat­tle; and, Koji “Saga Mask” Sagara, who chal­lenges Soichiro for free pas­sage into the rest of the bowl­ing alley.

Mean­while, Bob and Masa­taka deal some seri­ous dam­age to the Council’s army while pro­tect­ing Bob’s girl­friend, Chi­aki Kounoike. After their sep­a­rate vic­to­ries, the Juken Club looked as if they were going to escape a vicious gaunt­let, until the Council’s pres­i­dent shows up ready to deal his own brand of justice.

After watch­ing this vol­ume of Ten­jho Tenge, I felt that although the bat­tles were drawn out, they still kept the action intact. I per­son­ally like the way episodes were writ­ten to give the Juken mem­bers a chance to test their new skills while allow­ing the back­story of the exe­cu­tion­ers to come full cir­cle, show­ing the rea­sons why they fight for the coun­cil so much. You’ll still get the usual fan ser­vice moments, but the stage is set for future episodes that will deepen the story line. Also, adding more punch for the dol­lar, three new series com­ing from Geneon and the non-title end­ing made me feel that I was not get­ting a case of buyer’s remorse. Geneon USA and Bang Zoom! Enter­tain­ment deserve credit as well with a smooth Eng­lish adap­ta­tion and trans­la­tion as well as hav­ing excel­lent voice act­ing from Steve Sta­ley (Soichro), Wendee Lee (Maya) Stephanie Sheh (Aya), Johnny Yong Bosch (Masa­taka) and Jami­son Price (Bob). Credit also goes to Kate Hig­gins, Paul St. Peter and Dave Mal­low for their respec­tive roles of Emi, Tagami and Sagara.

Ten­jho Tenge con­tin­ues to keep its suc­cess­ful blend of school drama with intense mar­tial arts action that puts the series in a class by itself. Will the Juken Club sur­vive the wrath of the Council’s pres­i­dent? Keep it here in Otaku Cor­ner to find out.

Bran­don Beatty is editor-at-large of Gam­ing Insur­rec­tion. He can be reached by email at brandonb@gaminginsurrection.com

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Property review: Batman Forever

Batman-Forever-01Bat­man Forever

Warner Bros., 1995

The point in which the Bat falters

There comes a time in every Bat­man fan’s life where they must do the expected: rank the orig­i­nal quadrilogy of films. And, sure, every­one knows that any Bat­man fan worth their salt is going to put the first film in the No. 1 slot, Bat­man Returns sec­ond and Bat­man and Robin dead last. But where does that leave the third film if you’re not going by that require­ment? In our esti­ma­tion, squarely in the mid­dle. A mid­dling film deserves noth­ing more than that.

Bat­man For­ever doesn’t have as many prob­lems as its suc­ces­sor does, but it doesn’t exactly inspire the warmest feel­ings toward the fran­chise. Its main prob­lem is the fact that Val Kilmer — as good as an actor as he might be — isn’t exactly our idea of Batman/Bruce Wayne. We were in no way con­vinced that he should have taken up the cowl and tights, well after he did. It was a colos­sal mis­cast that rather plunged the fran­chise into the down­ward spi­ral that it remained in until Bat­man Begins.

The sec­ond prob­lem is the cast­ing of Jim Car­rey as the Rid­dler. He wasn’t ter­ri­ble, but if he can steal every scene in a movie, he will, and it will not always be pleas­ant. We get the appeal of Car­rey because he was the only per­son at the time that could have pos­si­bly car­ried off the campi­ness of the Rid­dler, but his pres­ence actu­ally hurt the film more than it helped.

While we’re on the sub­ject of the vil­lains present in the film, we have to give some­thing to Tommy Lee Jones as Har­vey Dent/Two Face. Jones man­aged to make Two Face inter­est­ing and bring some much-needed lev­ity to the pro­ceed­ings, but we’re still upset at the way Two Face went out. Why mess up the estab­lished train of com­mon sense that Two Face pro­vided with a weak con­clu­sion? It was unnec­es­sary, and it made the con­clu­sion a lit­tle underwhelming.

We appre­ci­ated the inclu­sion of Robin/Dick Grayson, which was needed after two pre­vi­ous films with the Boy Won­der miss­ing. Grayson, as played by Chris O’Donnell, pro­vided some of the films bright­est spots, which is much bet­ter than the con­tri­bu­tions of Nicole Kid­man. Kid­man, a fine actress in her own right, was a throw­away char­ac­ter and dragged the film down quite a bit. There is no chem­istry between her char­ac­ter, Chase Merid­ian, and Val Kilmer’s Wayne, and it’s obvi­ous pretty early on.

So, with unin­ter­est­ing leads with no chem­istry, a scene-hogging main vil­lain and a decent plot, there’s noth­ing that really draws the Bat­man fan into watch­ing it mul­ti­ple times. A mid­dling expe­ri­ence within a mid­dle movie.

Story: 6

Like the comics: 3

Cast­ing: 3

Total: 12 out of 30 or 4

How we grade

We score the prop­er­ties in three cat­e­gories: Cast­ing (or voice act­ing in the case of ani­mated), plot and sim­i­lar­i­ties to its source mate­r­ial. Each cat­e­gory receives points out of a max­i­mum of 10 per cat­e­gory, and 30 over­all. The per­cent­age is the final score.

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Strip Talk #22: No fat-shaming allowed of any kind

Lyndsey-2013-cutout-onlineLet’s be real for a moment: I am what you would call a fat girl. I’ve been fairly over­weight for a large por­tion of my adult life. It’s noth­ing I don’t already know and it’s noth­ing that I haven’t tried to fix. That doesn’t seem to stop my sur­viv­ing par­ent from attempt­ing to fat shame me every time I call him out for being a jerk­hole. That glimpse inside my hec­tic and drama-filled home life should let you know how I feel about oth­ers fat-shaming oth­ers. And, let’s get down to the nitty gritty about things: I can’t stand women down­grad­ing and fat-shaming each other.

Uni­ver­sally, I can’t stand women going against each other. Real talk: We don’t exactly have the best stand­ing in the species, whether it’s from the orig­i­nal sin still being used against us (really, though? It’s been eons upon eons. Some folks really need to let things go), or that it’s still assumed that we’re dumb and can’t fend for our­selves when we clearly have intel­li­gence, there’s still a stigma attached to being a woman. So, really, we need all the help we can get start­ing with our own side of the species step­ping up to sup­port each other. But what do we get? “She looks like a beached whale.” “She shouldn’t be into that weird stuff like cos­play­ing.” “She’s way too weird for any man to really get involved with her.”

Hav­ing heard the major­ity of that fool­ish­ness from my own side of things, and specif­i­cally from black women, you’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I’m not. It never ceases to amaze me how many peo­ple — espe­cially black peo­ple — will throw stones and not get the full extent of being dif­fer­ent. I was born dif­fer­ent. The moment I came into the world, I was expected to uti­lize my intel­li­gence, and lever­age the fact that I could do what­ever I wanted and be what­ever I wanted. I was encour­aged to have dif­fer­ent inter­ests and to not be so iso­lated and into my own self. So, when I devel­oped an inter­est in other cul­tures besides my own (I do still have nation­al­is­tic black pride, by the way), it came as no shock to any­one who knew me well. I know bet­ter than to ever fat shame any­one, let alone other cos­play­ers and let alone women. It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re a big girl like me or rail thin; do you and keep it moving.

Lyn­d­sey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gam­ing Insur­rec­tion. She can be reached by email at gicomics@gaminginsurrection.com

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Top 5 on The Strip: Comic book roles with multiple actors

Batman

1. Bat­man
The Dark Knight has long been a friend of the big and small screen. Five actors have stepped into the dual role of Bruce Wayne and Bat­man: Adam West in the 1966 tele­vi­sion show, Michael Keaton in 1989’s Bat­man and 1992’s Bat­man Returns, Val Kilmer in 1995’s Bat­man For­ever, George Clooney in 1997’s Bat­man and Robin, and Chris­t­ian Bale in the Dark Knight tril­ogy of films from 2005 to 2012.

Superman animated

2. Super­man
At least six men have played the iconic super­hero in tele­vi­sion and film roles. Start­ing with George Reeves in 1951, the role was then taken the big screen by Christo­pher Reeve in four films from 1978 to 1987, then tele­vi­sion by Dean Cain in 1993 and Tom Welling­ton in 2001, and back to film by Bran­don Routh in 2006 and Henry Cav­ill in 2013.

Spider-Man animated series

3. Spider-Man
There have only been two actors to suit up as the friendly neigh­bor­hood wall-crawler: Tobey Macguire for three out­ings in 2002, 2004 and 2007; and Andrew Garfield in two films in 2012 and 2014.

Joker-Animated Series

4. The Joker
Batman’s arch neme­sis has only appeared three times but each time has been mem­o­rable, film or tele­vi­sion. Cae­sar Romero orig­i­nated the role of the mani­a­cal clown prince of crime with the tele­vi­sion ver­sion of Bat­man also star­ring Adam West. Jack Nichol­son took over the role oppo­site Michael Keaton in 1989’s Bat­man, Mark Hamill has voiced the Joker for Bat­man: The Ani­mated Series and Heath Ledger posthu­mously won an Oscar for his por­trayal in The Dark Knight.

Hulk animated

5. The Hulk
Four actors have por­trayed the unsta­ble Dr. Bruce Ban­ner and his coun­ter­part, the Incred­i­ble Hulk. Body­builder Lou Fer­rigno played the Hulk while Bill Bixby played the good doc­tor in the live action tele­vi­sion ver­sion first. Hulk moved to the sil­ver screen and was first por­trayed by Eric Bana, then Ed Nor­ton and finally, Mark Ruffalo.

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