Thursday, October 3, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 24 - Results

Word of the human ship crashing on Skalorr was enough to bring Mon*Star to the planet.  Hoping to find something on it capable of defeating Quicksilver, the Planet Smasher quickly found the wreckage of the ship.  Steering his steed, Sky-Runner to the surface, he investigated what was left of the Galaxon. He realized the news of the crash was outdated, as the ship was stripped for salvage and nothing worthwhile remained.
He dismounted and entered the derelict starship, hoping to find anything useful.  As soon as the outside was no longer visible to him, he felt a huge crash outside.  He ran out to find that Sky-Runner being chased away by huge amounts of laser fire. He followed to shots to their source, a massive blue robot, firing blasts from a cannon mounted on its shoulder.
“You’re trespassing in Terrakor property,” the robot booms.  “Remove yourself or you’ll be terminated!”
Another voice came from within the robot without the tinny squeal of a speaker.  “Just destroy him now!” it said. “He could be here to help Exetor!”
“That creature is a human?” the robot voice asked.  Mon*Star wondered why the creature would be arguing with himself but didn’t interrupt as it gave Sky-Runner a chance to return.  “Your kind can get uglier than you?”
“Shut up, Nemesis.  Just squash the alien and get it over with.”
As the robot returned its attention to Mon*Star, he took the opportunity to fly up to face his attacker.  Underneath the robot’s bird-like face, he could see a human sitting in a cockpit built into the robot’s chest.  Even if he didn’t look like him, the sight of the human reminded Mon*Star of that insufferable Commander Stargazer!  He steered Sky-Runner into the atmosphere, bathing him in the light from the Moon Star. Taking the power in, he outstretched his arms and cried out, "Moon Star of Limbo, give me the might, the muscle, the menace, of Mon*Star!"  The flesh and hair covering his body ripped to shreds, revealing metal panels and rivets. His face distorts, the flowing mane of black hair replaced by metal spikes. A light flashed as his ruined left eye is returned and glowing with the energy of the Light Star.

“Whatever that creature was, he knew well enough not to face the power of Nemesis,” the robot said on the planet’s surface.  
“I’m just glad I don’t have to look at it anymore,” Kanawk replied.  “Now, let’s finish stripping the ship. As soon as we’ve pilfered its armor, we can attack Argus and retrieve Compucore.”
“And the sooner, I can abandon you on this worthless rock.”
Kanawk stewed at Nemesis’s open contempt.  They have not been working together for long, but Nemesis should have realized Kanawk’s contribution to his power by now.  As he contemplated taking full control of the robot body they worked with, he noticed a streak of light through the sky. “Nemesis, look!”
The robot turned to face the flying object and immediately took a penetrating blast of laser fire on the side of his face.  A barrage of lasers followed it, striking Nemesis’s body. While not as powerful as the first shot, the continued blasts made him stumble backwards.  Nemesis raised his claw to his face and felt the metal panels next to his beak had been ripped away. The streak of light emerged into the sky, revealing itself to be the flying squid they’d scared away earlier, this time with a different pilot, now an orange metal monstrosity.
“Bring him to me!” Nemesis screamed and inside the cockpit, Kanawk worked his controls.  The red claw at the end of Nemesis’s left arm shot out on a cable. The claw latched around the squid’s pilot, forcing him to drop the star-tipped rifle that had torn into Nemesis’s cheek.  Nemesis yanked back the cable, holding him face-to-face.
“No one can hold Mon*Star the Planet Master!”  Squeezing his captive as tightly as possibly, Nemesis still struggled to hold him. Mon*Star lifted his arms and fired the rockets in his elbows, blasting the claw with super-heated exhaust.
Nemesis flinched in pain and released his target, who flew back up to his steed.
“Now let’s see how you both stand up to the Light Star!”  Mon*star’s left eye glowed bright red, the light spinning around.  In a flash, the disc of light shot out from the eye, streaking through the sky towards Nemesis.
“Don’t let that touch you!” Kanawk yelled.  Nemesis flailed around, trying to knock the energy disk from the sky.  On one swing, the disk connected on the giant robot’s forearm, sending incredible energy through its circuits.  Nemesis’s body shuddered, unable to move any of its limbs.  
“You’ll make a fine addition to my mob,” Mon*Star said, guiding Sky-Runner closer to his prize.  “I think I’ll give you to Hardware and see what he can do with you.”
“I hope you’re not forgetting about me!” Kanawk said from inside the insulated control center.  Using the interface to take control of Nemesis’s systems, he activates Nemesis’s red claw again, this time turning it into a saw blade.  Mon*Star barely had time to scream before the spinning weapon bisected both Sky-runner and its pilot. 
Click here to see Nemesis's and Mon*Star's respect post. 

While Kanawk could be considered a disadvantage in Nemesis's first battle (since he was a fan of Misfits, something I came up with to give them even a little chance), here he was a huge advantage.  While I'm not even sure Mon*Star's Light Star could affect the Robotix, I'm pretty sure that even if it could, the command center would be insulated from it.  I mean, the robot body was made for construction; obviously, it would have to protect its user from any kind of industrial threat.  The Light Star does seem to cause electrical damage to the victim since it has a paralyzing effect, which is the most basic problem engineers would deal with.  And without the Light Star, Mon*Star didn't have a chance to defeat a massive robot.

The Winner

Click here to see Nemesis's opponent in the quarter-finals and click here to see the rest of Bad Guy Beatdown's preliminary battles.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 24- Nemesis vs. Mon*Star

It’s finally here!  The last battle in Bad Guy Beatdown before we reach the quarter-finals!  In today’s battle, we’ve got two literal giants of space – Nemesis from Robotix vs. Silverhawk’s Mon*Star.  Let’s start with Nemesis.

Nemesis is a worker robot from its home planet that has had the mind of the Terracore leader implanted into it.  On his own Nemesis is already an imposing figure, being a 54-foot tall robot (I measured him compared to a human, something I left out of his original respect post) strong enough to throw other Robotix around one-handed.  However, his powers are kicked into high gear when a human enters his command console and takes control.  While the Protectons showed more variety in the forms they could change into, Nemesis himself got the ability to change his left hand into a variety of tools and weapons.  Normally, it acts as a 3-pronged claw but it can turn into a saw blade, a grappling hook, an energy whip, and a laser beam.   Other abilities include a laser cannon on his shoulder and tank treads and rockets on his feet.

Nemesis made it here without any real challenge, crushing the Misfits under his foot.  That’s about it, but you should click here and read it anyway because I think it’s pretty funny.

Mon*Star, the Planet Master comes to us from the Silverhawks and is the leader of some kind of cosmic mob.  You can read about him more here, but in short, he’s just weird.  Originally, he’s about twice the size of a normal human and covered in hair.  He’s strong enough to bend metal panels and bars, but that’s about it.  But when the light of the Moon-Star hits him, he changes into his more destructive Planet Master form, which looks like a robot with a lion’s face on his chest and bunch of spikes on his head.  In this form, he’s got rocket boosters on his elbows that allow him to fly and he carries a big star-shaped laser rifle.  His main power, however, is the Lightstar, a flying red energy star that comes out of his eye.  He can control wherever it goes (though not always very well), and it can paralyze its target or bend them to his will.  Lastly, he has a steed called Skyrunner, which is a flying, armored squid with a few lasers on it.

Mon*Star earned his way to this point against Tormack, and you can read it here.  After failing to penetrate Tormack's Sacred Shield with his regular attacks, he figured out that he could control his Lightstar to bypass the shield and take Tormack out.

Make sure to check back here soon to see who wins this fight before we get into the quarter-finals!

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 15 - Nemesis

Oh man, I've been waiting for this one. One's a 50 feet robot, and the other is three mean girls.

Technically that's not true.  While Nemesis does have all the strength and abilities, not all of it is accessible to him.  Let's do a very brief history of the Robotix and you'll see what I mean.  The home planet of the Robotix was inhabited by two main races - the peaceful Protectons and the reptilian Terracores, which Nemesis lead.  When the planet was threatened by destruction, both races decided their best course for survival was to enter suspended animation and send their ship into the stars.  To preserve their bodies, the ships main program, Compucore, was able to upload the Protectons' and Terracore's essences into the Robotix, large robots they used for manual labor.

I know it's a lot of info, but we're almost there.  The good and bad Robotix began fighting as soon as they were awakened, but they were unfamiliar to their new bodies, so they couldn't do much more than throwing a punch.  But when humans landed on the planet, they went into the Robotix's control console and were able to interface, which granted the Robotix with more abilities, weapons, and configurations.

Nemesis was joined by Kanawk, the leader of the selfish humans on the space crew, who was as much a schemer as Nemesis.  While Nemesis was capable of just about nothing besides tossing Protectons around before, Kanawk was able to activate a bunch of weird configurations in him, starting with an extending drillbit from Nemesis's mouth that opened up to expose a camera.  That's just about the weirdest thing you'll see in the cartoon - I mean, why couldn't it have come out of his hand?  Instead, it looks like he's puking up a metal worm.

Anyway, beyond that, Nemesis mostly gets upgrades to his hands - in fact, instead of reconfiguring his entire body like most of the Robotix can, turning them into vehicles or ladders, even, Nemesis doesn't change his shape at all.  Rather, most of the changes are in his left hand, which is a small three-pronged claw, which he can extend before interfacing.  He's got a cannon on his shoulder, but I'm not sure if interfacing is required to use it.  His other hand, which is also a claw but closer to a pincher, I guess, has two extra features - an energy whip, which can cut through a tree big enough to support Nemesis's weight, and then a data link to control a computer.

While the other Robotix can convert into wheeled or even flying vehicles, Nemesis is too good for that 95% of the time.  Only on two occasions did he move by other means and one of them you can't even tell what he's doing.  I think his feet have turned into tank treads, but it's hard to tell if his feet always looked like that.  The other time, he flew with rocket boosters on his feet.

That's it for Nemesis's abilities, but how is he at leading?  Definitely not good since halfway through the movie - I should mention that this wasn't a full series, but was a movie made up of 16 shorts - Nemesis is taken out by his second-in-command, Trannix, shot in the back and knocked off a cliff.  What is it with Hasbro cartoons where the leader has a backstabber as his lieutenant?  He comes back a few minutes later and doesn't even do anything for revenge on Trannix.  That's lame!  He could have at least yelled at him, but the next time they're together, there's not even a mention of it.  He was able to capture two of the Protectons and replace their programming with other Terracores, including their leader, but that one was reversed pretty quickly.  The other one was left as a spy, but it didn't amount to anything.

It's really telling that a villain's only real defining feature is Peter Cullen's villainous voice - unlike Venger, who had the voice but kicked ass as well.  Nemesis is probably the most disappointing thing about his cartoon - the most boring robot mode, no other configurations, and loss of control over his 4 - yes 4! - subordinates.  I'd say that doesn't bode well for him, but I think he lucked out with his opponent.

Click here if you want to see my original thoughts of Nemesis from when I was a kid for some more degradation of this guy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 23 - Results

Genghis Rex’s shuttle sped after the small craft, steering deftly between the jagged metal structures.  Huge plumes of smoke bellowed from many of the towers, making the chase difficult enough that Rex contemplated cutting off at every turn.  Somehow, the small jet made the turns with ease, as if it were familiar with the weird topography. Rex scanned the vehicle, small enough that not even a small human could fit it in, like the Dinosaucer’s cursed Secret Scouts, searching for a pilot.
Instead, the results showed that the craft itself was alive, or at least close to a living being.  That made the ship even more valuable, as it was able to evade most of the Reptilon’s sensors after their ship crashed on this planet.  As Ankylo made repairs to their ship, Quackpot noticed the small craft flying in circles overhead, and Genghis gave chase.
The ship led him back to this apocalyptic terrain and flew directly to the largest spire.  As it flew in circles around the tower, Genghis got a sense it wanted to land there but didn’t want to leave itself vulnerable.    It finally broke its patrol around the building and flew its erratic course through the clouds of smoke.
As Genghis chased the craft his temper began to get ahold of him.  Where he wanted to catch it in working order before, now he would be happy to pick up the wreckage once he’d shot it down.  He aimed his lasers and fired.  
The ship spun around once to dodge the fire, then stopped in mid-air.  The jet glowed in for an instant and changed shape into a tank. “What the--?” Genghis shouted at the sudden transformation.  Unable to stop his course, Genghis’s shuttle crashed into the tank and it rolled over the cockpit. Genghis felt a clang and turned on an exterior camera. 
Two arms on the tank, flanking a hideous painted face, were digging into the shuttle’s armor. “Two can play at that,” Genghis said, powering up the grabber claws installed on the ship’s sides.  The articulated appendages snapped out and folded towards the top of the shuttle, the two giant claws clamping shut on the tank. Genghis steered his shuttle back towards his base, his transforming prey safely clamped down. 
Alarms blared in the cockpit alerting of significant damage to the fuselage.  Looking at the exterior camera again, Genghis saw the tank was no longer a tank, and now a giant drill. It bore into the engine, shredding through the propulsion system.

With the ship’s engine disabled and the shuttle descending towards one of the Horde’s factories, Hordak changed his shape from a drill to a small four-legged mechanical insect.  His smaller form allowed him to squeeze his way out of the claws holding him and he leapt from the craft before it crashed through a smokestack. He landed on the roof a dozen yards from the crashsite and changed back to his regular form.  
When he reached the cockpit and he found it empty, he shifted his right arm into a cannon form and began sweeping his surroundings.  A laser shot out of the smoke and struck the ground below him. The metal surface of the building changed to brittle stone and collapsed under Hordak, dropping him into the factory.
During the fall, Hordak changed his form to a rocket and flew back up through the hole.  He changed form high above the building and as he fell, he fired his laser cannon at the crash site.  A few shots struck the shuttle and triggered an explosion, shaking the building and reducing the ship to scrap.  Hordak landed and changed his eyes to binoculars to see through the smoke.  
A blurry figure came crashing down right in front of Hordak, throwing him back.  In the second it took his eyes to revert to normal, the figure fired his weapon directly at Hordak’s chest.  
Hordak clutched at his chest, feeling his whole body change.  His arms bulged with muscle and his forehead sloped, the scales on his face shifting down.  His mind began to devolve, the ideas in his head starting to slip away in a jumble of abstracts he couldn’t understand.  He felt his whole consciousness crumble but forced one thought to the front of his mind.  
As Hordak further regressed, his giant red opponent stood over him and gloated.  “Even on this planet, you evolved from mindless oafs,” he said, but when Hordak roared, he flinched. 
Before Hordak could strike him, he forced his body to glow blue again, turning himself into a spinning top.  Four arms stretched out from the top, turning him into a flailing machine. Multiple punches at high speed struck the reptilian creature in the gut, throwing him back and dazing him.  Hordak reverted to his original form, his constantly changing body able to reverse the devolving effect of his opponent’s weapon. “Interesting trick,” he said, picking up the weapon from the ground and imagining what it could do to She-Ra.  He changed his arm again and aimed at his foe, this time spewing a tongue of fire.
The red creature burst into flames as Hordak resumed his rocket form and flew back to his throneroom.
 Click here for Hordak's and Genghis Rex's respect post.

In this fight, the real advantage only came down to Hordak's shape-shifting availability.  He could easily counter anything Genghis's ship could do, which is half of the stuff Genghis has going for him.  Besides that, he's got his two weapons, but I personally think that since both weapons are able to change the traits of the target, Hordak's shape-changing could counteract them.  Both weapons also seem to have a delay in changing their targets, even giving one of the Secret Scouts a chance to explain what was happening to him.  That time could possibly allow Hordak a chance to reverse the effect on him.

The Winner

Click here for the previous fight and here for the rest of Bad Guy Beatdown.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 23 - Hordak vs Genghis Rex

Sorry for the delay in this round - on a personal side, my autistic son started going to Pre-K on August 19 and it's been a big adjustment at home.  He's taken to it really well, already showing some progress, even gets onto the bus by himself without any fights.  Another positive from it for myself is that I used to put him to bed every night to give my wife a break from watching him all day.  Now that he's in school, she going to put him to bed, giving me a few hours to myself at night.  That's going to give me a ton more time to write on my book and the blog, and that's awesome for both me and you.

Anyway, let's get to the combatants. We're starting with the scourge of Eternia, Hordak, and you can see his original post here.  Surprisingly, Hordak only appeared in eight of the first thirteen episodes of She-Ra, so I had five more to watch.  And it was worth it because he showed a ton more forms he could take.  Besides the laser cannon and flamethrower we've seen earlier, he can change his right hand into a magnet, a suction cup, a claw that can cut through a metal cable, and a shield strong enough to block one of Skeletor's blasts (a later hit knocked Hordak out for half the episode).  In addition to the rocket and drill, he's turned his whole body into two different kinds of tanks, one with spider legs and one with regular treads and grabber claws, and a jet. At this point, we can just assume he can change into practically anything. 

Hordak got to this point in the tournament by defeating Hun-Dred from Robo Force, a robot that was killed by being thrown into a wall.  You can read the battle with Hordak here, but it ended the same way as his cartoon appearance - Hordak slammed Hun-Dred against a wall and he blew up.

Ghengis Rex, on the other hand, showed up in twelve of his thirteen episodes and the last one I watched didn't help him at all.  You can read about his powers here, but I'm going to save you some time.  Genghis Rex has the approximate strength of a creature his size, probably twice that of a normal human.  His real advantage is his arsenal. He uses two weapons: the Devolver Rifle and a Fossilizer.  The first one turns its target into a brainless version of itself - a Dinosaucer turns into a normal dinosaur and a human into a Neanderthal.  I didn't expect this, but he's actually a decent shot with both of them.  The Fossilizer turns its target into stone.  Lastly, Genghis flies a ship that is armed with lasers and grabber claws.

To get here, Genghis squared off against Cobra Commander and you can read it here.  To no one's surprise, Genghis's ship destroyed CC's helicopter before Genghis turned him into a statue and shattered him.  It wasn't much of a fight.

check back next week to see how Hordak fares against the leader of the Reptilons!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 22 - Results

Darkstorm cursed Merklynn for his powers.  Ever since being imbued with his totems, Darkstorm had become the wizard’s errand boy.  Why could he not send the lower ranks of the Darkling Lords, like that sniveling Mortdredd?  Because he wanted success, that’s why. Darkstorm’s confidence won out over his reluctance as he told himself that his rival, Leoric, wasn’t even Merklynn’s first choice.
As the wizard cast his spell, Darkstorm’s reality warped from his castle on Prismos to another unknown world, deep in a cavern.  He struck the end of his staff on the ground, causing the image of the winged creature to glow, banishing the darkness. He could see a faint red light coming from a large room ahead of him and the heat emanating could be felt through his armor.  Whatever resided ahead of him liked it hot. Wielding his axe, Darkstorm entered the room before seeing his intended target. He again cursed that damned magician when he saw the behemoth before him. 

Metlar sat in the boiling lava, soothing his aching bones.  He relished his newfound freedom from Manticore, won through the intervention of a group of armored humans.  Though they proved to be an annoyance in their own right, at that very moment they were off licking their wounds.  Metlar banished Tendril and D’Compose to he could tend to his own injuries and plot his revenge.
Metlar shot up in the lava tube.  He couldn’t believe his eyes – another human had invaded his sanctuary!  Metlar scooped up a handful of the molten rock and tossed it toward the interloper.  The human scrambled out of the way, narrowly avoiding the fireball, before disappearing back into the tunnel he had arrived in.  
Tired, Metlar dismissed the human.  Its armor was a different design than the Earth Corps’s bulky protection and it only held a staff with a glowing picture on it.  Perhaps it was a spelunker that just found its way to Metlar’s home. Whatever brought it here, it didn’t concern Metlar enough to give chase.  He leaned back, closed his eyes, and let the lava do its magic.  
Curiously, the tingling sensation of the heat had migrated to the top of his head.  After a moment, it transformed from relaxing to pain, a burning he had never felt before.  Even the humans’ laser fire hadn’t burned like this. He opened his eyes and spotted the cause; a bright green stream of acid falling from the ceiling.  As soon as he looked up, the caustic liquid increased in flow, from a dribble to a torrent, spilling on Metlar’s head and shoulders. He smoked under the corrosive as it slowly ate through the scales that made Metlar’s dermis.  
He swam to the other side of the lava pit moving from under the flow.  He sank down into the lava again when the spray of acid resumed on his head.  He climbed out of the pool, spots hitting his back and singeing him. Out of his bath, he found the source of the acid, a larger than usual snail clinging to the cavern’s ceiling.  It spewed the acid out its mouth, almost striking Metlar in the face.  
“Let’s see whose spit is worse,” Metlar said, reaching into his own mouth and pulling a handful of lava from his boiling throat.  He threw the fireball at the mollusk, smashing the cavern wall under it and causing it to fall to the floor. The glowing green creature dissolved, replaced by the human that had trespassed earlier.  
It staggered to its feet and held up its staff toward Metlar, a humorously pathetic attack.  “By what creeps, what crawls, by what does not, let all that grows recede and rot,” the human shouted.  The image on his staff came to life, emerging from its frame and growing large enough to envelope Metlar with its leathery wings.
Great pain surged through Metlar’s body and weakened him to the core.  The being retreated back into the staff, releasing its hold on Metlar. He dropped to one knee and focused his rage onto the being’s master.
“What?” the human said.  “You should be near dead, aged beyond your years!”  
“Foolish human, Metlar is eternal!  I’ve lived a million years and will live a million more!”
The human staggered back from Metlar but could not escape the giant the giant fist slamming down on him.
 Click here for Darkstorm's and Metlar's respect post.

Originally, I gave Darkstorm a pretty decent chance to defeat Metlar, mainly for his Decay totem.  After some more analysis, though, I realized Decay wouldn't work on Metlar since he's basically an eternally-living creature.  Since that wouldn't work, the only advantage Darkstorm had was the Mollusk's acid spit, though I didn't think it would do a whole lot of damage if lasers couldn't harm the Inhumanoid.  Unfortunately, Darkstorm didn't have any defenses against Metlar's strength and fireballs once the Mollusk effect wore off.

The Winner

Click here for the previous fight and here for the rest of Bad Guy Beatdown.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Swashathon - Pirates of Dark Water

When I saw Movies Silently was running a pirate-themed Swashathon, my mind went immediately to the Pirates of Dark Water.  I've never been a huge fan of pirate stories, but one set in such a fantastical world is right up my alley. 

Pirates of Dark Water is set on the alien planet of Mer, a world besieged by a thick black ooze that is spreading over the oceans and threatening to devour everything.  Only bringing together the Thirteen Treasures of Rule could destroy the plague, but they have been spread to the far reaches of the globe by King Primus.  Just before his death, he tells his son Ren to collect them, but the pirate overlord Bloth is after them as well.  Ren enlists the help of Ioz, one of Bloth's former minions; Tula, an ecomancer; and Niddler, a monkey-bird with a ravenous appetite.
The story had it all, with Ren and his companions racing across the seas, searching for each treasure aboard the Wrath, pursued the whole time by Bloth's Maelstrom, a ship so huge it's a sailing fortress with its own dungeon.  The history and breadth of the world are massive with many fantastical creatures, including the aforementioned monkey-birds, dagrons (that's not a typo), and a massive, multi-mouthed worm-like serpent in Bloth's dungeon called the Constrictus.  People have incredible and varied powers, like Bloth's super-human strength and Tula's elemental powers and animal telepathy.  It even has some of the best curses in it with an original language, particularly Ioz's "Noy Jitat." (I can't find a reliable spelling of the quote, unfortunately) 

The character and ship designs are creative, the wide sails on Ren's ship allowing for short bursts of flight while Bloth's Maelstrom and it's smaller ships all looking like they're assembled from of leviathan skeletons.  And in the middle of it all, the living ooze Dark Water, which engulfs anything it touches.  I loved every aspect of the world of Mer.

Behind the scenes, the show was just as impressive with a fantastic cast including George Newburn (Batman: The Animated Series), Jodi Benson (The Little Mermaid), Brock Peters (Galtar and the Golden Lance). Tim Curry (Gargoyles)and Roddy McDowall as Niddler (later replaced by Frank Welker).  The cartoon had an ongoing storyline, unlike most episodic cartoons at the time, who maintained a status quo.  Ioz slowly grew to like the idealistic Ren, while Tula discovered her magic abilities. The storyline was also dark and bleak, and it had some of the only cartoon deaths at the time - a guard died by being devoured by Dark Water and a witch aging quickly by a misfired spell until she withered away. 

Unfortunately, as with many of the best cartoons, the show had its problems.  The original 5-episode miniseries, called Dark Water was bleaker than most and the rest of the series, under the full Pirates name, lightened its tone a bit.  It might not have been enough though, because the show only lasted twenty-one episodes, ending abruptly before the Thirteen Treasures of Rule could be gathered.  It's been said that the cancelation was a result of animation problems making the final four episodes miss its scheduled airdates.  They were shown six months later, but most of the crew had already moved on, so the show never continued.  It's such a shame, because Pirates of Dark Water had so much promise and will always be remembered fondly.

This post was made as part of Movies Silently's Swashathon.  Make sure to check out the rest of the swash-buckling, booty-plundering posts there.

Top 5 Fan Theories

I talked last year about how much I loved the idea of crossovers between the various cartoons I used to watch.  While the Revolutions comic event by IDW comics is far removed from the actual cartoons and the quality of the crossover can be debated, there was already something that linked the shows during their original run.  Hector Ramirez.

The news reporter made appearances in GI Joe, Jem and the Holograms, and most notably in Inhumanoids. Transformers had a reporter matching his description, though he wasn't named.  By showing up in all these cartoons, it conceivably connects all four shows in one universe.  Obviously there are a lot of things keeping them from taking place on the same planet, but still, it's pretty cool to figure out how some shows could share a world.  So I'm looking at a few other odd connections that could be made between completely different cartoons.

1. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe/She-Ra and Starcom - Queen Marlena was in the US Space Force.
Prince Adam and Princess Adora's mother, Queen Marlena is shown through the series to have been an Earth astronaut whose ship went off course and caused her to crash on Eternia.  It's not a far reach to make a connection to Starcom, which focuses on space travel and exploration.  While Starcom does have a main villain in the Dark Emperor and his evil empire, many of episodes centered around the Starcom pilots flying to different planets and just kinda looking around.  Marlena could easily have fit in with their crews and during a solo mission, her ship could have been damaged, leading her to crash on Eternia.

2. Inspector Gadget and COPS - Inspector Gadget was either a predecessor or successor to COPS.
Considering the wide array of abilities throughout the COPS characters and Inspector Gadget's own enhancements, it's pretty easy to make the connection between them.  I think Inspector Gadget could be the first prototype of a cybernetic officer, but it was determined his gadgets worked better split up among multiple officers.  On the other hand, he could be the natural progression of cybernetics, an officer loaded with every conceivable modification available.

3. Bravestarr,  Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, and Silverhawks - Planetary Marshalls and the Silverhawks all fall under the Galaxy Rangers.
Okay, so this one is pretty tenuous - I'm just basing it off of looks.  Bravestarr and the Galaxy Rangers are both cartoons based on space cowboys.  Bravestarr says he's a Planetary Marshall, so I see that as the assigned arm of the law vs the traveling role the Rangers played.  I'm including Silverhawks in here as well because of Lt Colonel Bluegrass, who's a cowboy at heart.  Not to mention, he probably played his guitar with Shane Gooseman.

4. Dino Riders and Sectaurs - Sectaurs learned to communicate with other creatures.
Let's look at the similarities here: you had people who possessed telepathic powers to create a bond with unusual mounts.  the Sectaurs took place far in the future, and Dino Riders started there before going back in time to prehistoric Earth.  Granted, Sectaurs takes place on another planet, but I consider it really Earth since they look so much alike.  Anyway, the Sectaurs regain technology, try space travel, go back in time and are able to apply their telebonding to another species.  Besides, Questor and Dargon look almost the same (minus the antenna) and are both performed by Dan Gilvezan.  They could even be ancestor/descendant.

5. Challenge of the Go-Bots and Transformers - The Transformers caused the Go-Bots' shift from organic to cybernetic.
I'm taking this from the IDW comics.  Before I get to that though, I need to say it here since I forgot it mention it in Cy-Kill's Villain Retrospect post and barely touched on it in his Bad Guy Beatdown fight - Go-Bots have organic brains.  They originally were fully organic beings called GoBings, and after the destruction that split Gobotron, they took on robotic bodies to keep themselves alive.  Now for the IDW comics - during the early days of IDW, there was s story about a crew of ancient Transformers lead by Nova Prime who found a planet called Gorlam Prime, populated with organic beings.  Because of Nova Prime's manipulation of the planet, the population slowly became technological, and transformable, beings.  It's a huge stretch and takes inspiration from a different medium, but considering how close the two concepts are - robots that can turn into vehicles - it doesn't take much to bring the two stories together. 

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 22 - Darkstorm vs. Metlar

Looking at both of these cartoons, I noticed that neither of the villains appeared in all 13 episodes I watched for Bad Guy Beatdown.  Luckily, both cartoons didn't go beyond 13 episodes so there's nothing more I need to watch.  Huzzah!  Let's get to it.

We'll start with Darkstorm and you can read his original post here.  He's the leader of the Darkling Lords from Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light and has two main powers (like almost all the visionaries); changing into a spirit animal and summoning a totem with a special power. 

Firstly, Darkstorm's spirit animal, which resides in his chest, is the mollusk, a giant shelled snail with little spindly arms.  It has a few abilities of its own, too.  It can climb sheer surfaces, withstand some incredibly strong attacks, and spit acid, though I don't have a good demonstration on how strong it is.

Secondly, Darkstorm's totem is Decay, a winged rat-like creature that can age summon or something with just a touch.  Using a special summoning verse (which sound freaking awesome, Darkstorm calls it out of his staff and can command it how he sees fit.  The victim becomes incredibly old and by using another verse, Darkstorm can command the totem to reverse the effects.

Both powers can only be used once before needing to be recharged (for the Mollusk, once it's been attacked, he'll revert to human form). Oh, and he has a dumb axe that didn't come into play at all in his first Bad Guy Beatdown fight, which you can read here.  As a reminder, he fought Mumm-Ra, surviving the Ever-Living's attacks in mollusk form and reverting Mumm-Ra to his smaller form with Decay before whapping him with his staff.

Next is Metlar, leader of the titular Inhumanoids and you can read his original post here.  Metlar's main advantage is his immense size.  While the cartoon wasn't very consistent with his scale, sometimes looking only as tall as 40 feet while in another episode had him as tall as the Statue of Liberty.  Since that's really the only scene I can correctly gauge his size, I decided last time to say he's about 100' tall. 

Before I get into his powers, because there's a lot of them, I'm going to his biggest weakness - magnets.  Originally, he was held in the Earth's core by another giant creature, who split himself into the two magnetic polarities.  He's still able to talk and everything, but he just can't move at all.  A second weakness, which affects all Inhumanoids, is sunlight, which causes them to weaken and run away from it. 

For his powers though, he's incredibly invulnerable, immune to Earth Corps lasers, even able to reflect them with the palm of his hands and enjoys hot lava baths.  He gargles magma and can pull fireballs out of his mouth and throw them.  He can bring statues to life (including Lady Liberty, which becomes his nagging wife) and also hypnotize humans by looking at them.  Not to mention, of course, that a creature of his size would be immensely strong.

Metlar, as expected, defeated his original combatant and you can read that fight here. In summary, he took a lot of attacks from Metlar's quicker T-Rex, which just seemed to knock him down.  Eventually, he counter-attacked, throwing a fireball that melted the dinosaur in one hit.

So how is the fight going to go down between Darkstorm and Metlar?  Check out the fight next week! 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 21 - Results

Shredder waited, hiding behind a secondary computer mainframe, for Krang to finally leave the dimensional  portal room. The little pink pussbag had conferred with General Traag for nearly an hour about this forces in Dimension X, and every moment made Shredder fume.  He has control over an entire army of rock soldiers, yet he never gave Shredder even one to throw at the Turtles. Shredder shook his head. It didn’t matter now - there had to be hundreds of dimensions out there, with warriors stronger than those granite goons.
Shredder snuck out, vigilant for that giant robot body he built Krang to come back into the room, but it never happened.  While Shredder had never trained to use the dimensional portal (no matter how many times he’d begged Krang to show him), he had gleaned enough from Krang’s use to figure it out.  He toggled the switches, turned the dials, and everything set, he finally pressed the power button. Energy cackled around the edges of the giant screen, spreading to the middle until the enrity looked as if it was alive with coursing power.  He watched as another world materialized right in front of him, hoping to find the ultimate weapon for disposing of those mutant freaks once and for all.
“What sort of magic is this, Vizier?” Overlord shouted as a hole in reality opened before him, brimming with elemental power.  “What are you doing?”
Overlord’s wizard looked flummoxed.  “I do not know, sire. I didn’t do anything!”
The towering purple man stepped closer to the discharge and watched as something appeared on the other side.  It was a metal room unlike any he had seen on Sagar. Standing in the center was a masked, metal man, beckoning Overlord through the portal.  
“Yes!” the man called, “I believe you’ll do nicely!”
“Who are you?” Overlord asked, hefting the Power Sword and pointing its tip at the man.
“I am the Shredder,” he answered, “but you will call me Master.”
Overlord chaffed.  “No being calls me master!”  He stepped through the portal, the point of his weapon remaining on his summoner.  “I do not know where you have brought me, Shredder, but I claim this land in the name of Overlord!”  With a mere thought, the Power Sword came to life in his hand and a blast of energy bolted toward Shredder.
Shredder rolled out of the energy’s path, which struck a secondary computer and demolished it into molten metal.  “Impressive, though I see you’ll need to be trained to actually hit your targets.” Shredder pulled a pistol from his belt and squeezed the trigger.  The blasts struck Overlord’s sword and were deflected back into the room, destroying more equipment. “Krang won’t be happy about that,” Shredder muttered loud enough for Overlord to hear.  
“And I shall destroy him as well, fool!”  He fired a barrage of shots at Shredder, who artfully dodged each, the final blast avoided by a well-timed backflip.  
Shredder continued his acrobatic leaps, jumping at the corners of the dimensional portal machine, chopping through its mounts on the wall with his claws.  The massive screen tottered forward, falling directly onto Overlord. “After my Foot Soldiers dig you out of there, you’ll be at my mercy, Overlord.” Shredder said with a sneer.  “And once you’ve defeated the Turtles for me, I planned to send you back home. But now, I think I’ll dump you into the wastes of space!”
The remains of the machine stirred and slowly rose, forcing Shredder to take a step back.  Underneath, Overlord struggled to lift the massive portal before tossing it off him. Before Overlord could fully recover, Shredder leapt at him, bringing his katana down.  Overlord quickly pulled the Power Sword up, barely parrying the attack. Overlord swiped his weapon at Shredder, but so slow enough for Shredder to duck away and kick Overlord’s wrists. 
The Power Sword flew from Overlord’s hands and clattered to the floor underneath the rubble of the dimensional portal machine.  Shredder delivered two more kicks to Overlord before he could recover, throwing him to the ground as well. Overlord held his hands out to the Power Sword, levitating the weapon and bringing it towards him.  Just as the sword was about to touch Overloard’s fingers, Shredder brought his katana down into Overlord’s back. The Overlord gasped before dropping his head to the floor with the Power Sword crashing beside it.
Click here for Shredder and Overlord's respect post. 

Overlord is a pretty powerful villain - strong, invulnerable, and has a bunch of other powers - but his main problem is that he's not very good at using any of them.  His aim using the sword's energy blast is good, but against someone as nimble and acrobatic as Shredder is useless.  Unfortunately for him, he's terrible as a swordsman - every time he went close-range with Blackstar, he lost, which is even worse considering he's fighting a ninja.  While Overlord does have a few powers of his own, like levitating the Power Sword to his hand, most of his abilities are a result of hold the sword, which makes him very vulnerable without it.  That gives Shredder, who's also got some big strength feats himself, a definite advantage.

The Winner

Click here for the last fight and here for the rest of the Bad Guy Beatdown fights.

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 20 - Results

“By the power of the Black Light, I go.”
With the incantation spoke, the Monster Mind headquarters blinked out of existence on the planet it sucked dry of resources.  Across the universe it flashed, its course set by Saw Boss on the way to another world ready to be conquered – Earth. Before it reached its new destination on a southern continent flush with vegetation, the home of the Monster Minds was yanked off course and brought to an entirely new dimension.
“What happened?” Saw Boss boomed to the assembled Monster Minds.
“We were trapped in a dimensional vortex, sire,” K.O. Kruiser answered.
“We cannot find the planet’s location on any star charts.”
“Send out the troopers to scour the land,” Saw Boss ordered, standing from his throne and pointing forward.  “We must find the source of the vortex and break it if we’re going to leave this planet.”
“Yes, Saw Boss,” the Monster Minds replied in unison before turning to leave the throne room.  As the troopers left the headquarters, Saw Boss telepathically watched their progress, taking in the strange surroundings.  Across the first wave, he watched as his troopers were attacked by the strangest of creatures – living elements, giant winged creatures, ghostly figures.  But none stood in the way until a unit reached a massive citadel and was struck down by a blinding energy bolt hurled by a figure robed in black and red.
Saw Boss commanded another trooper to follow the defeated’s path, yet it met the same fate. Before the life left the second trooper, Saw Boss witnessed the figure mount a horse and took to the sky, flying on wings on the figure’s back.

Venger followed the stream of moving flower pots back to its source, finding a giant vine-covered metal ball.  The steady flow of creatures stopped spilling out, as if awaiting Venger’s response. From one of the larger beings, a burst of light shot out and became an illusion of a purple man with a bulbous blue head.
“Hear me, stranger,” the man said.  “You may have the power to destroy my troopers, but nothing you do can save you from the Monster Minds.  Your world will belong to Saw Boss before the day is done.”
“Spare me your false bravado,” Venger replied and with a wave of his hand, he shot out a dozen bolts of energy, each scoring a hit on a trooper and destroying them.  “Send as many of your overgrown weeds as you wish, Saw Boss. I’ll destroy them all and rid this valley of your rotten garden.”
“Perhaps you need a bigger opponent,” the illusion said before fizzling out.  The crowd below at the entrance of the steel base split and the man, a few times Venger’s size strode out. Before his eyes, thee being morphed into one of the metal and plant fusions.  It dwarfed the others as it rolled down the entry way, a massive vine on the back holding a blade spinning at a high speed. Two barrels tilted up towards Venger and energy beams at him.
Venger scoffed, catching both blasts in the palm of his hand and reflecting them back down at the ground.  He followed that up with an attack of his own, creating a ball of fire in his hands and tossing it below.
The ground around Saw Boss exploded into plumes of dirt, but the sturdy metal vehicle remained while the flailing vegetation regrew around it. His voice came out of the hideous face on front of the vehicle. “Come down off your steed and we’ll see how you fare against the King of the Monster Mind.” Two vines shot out from the back of the vehicle towards Venger and latched onto two of his steed’s hooves.  
As they were being dragged down towards the spinning saw blade, Venger shot a pair of energy bolts that torched the vines, burning all the way down to Saw Boss’s back.  The Monster Mind grunted in pain as the plant was scorched away. Venger struck on an idea – he created a ball of fire in one had and pulled it apart with the other, turning it into a flaming ring.  He held it over his head and threw it towards the ground.
The fiery circle flared to life surrounding Saw Boss.  The vines surrounding the living vehicle withered to ash.  The saw blade, just moments before spinning with a wild fury, fell free of the dying plant and clanged on the vehicle’s roof.  Saw Boss howled in pain as the organic portion of his body was blown away by the intense heat. The blasters on his back fired wildly without any discernable target.
Outside of the ring of fire, the Monster Mind troopers slowly dissolved, metal and plant fiber melting together into a pool of black liquid.  When Saw Boss’s laser fire halted, Venger mentally commanded the fire to diminish. Inside the smoldering ring, the metal casing of Saw Boss was all that remained, a smoking shell devoid of life and power, the saw blade scorched, dull, and partially welded to the vehicle's scarred face.
Click here for Venger's and Saw Boss's respect post. 

Saw Boss's tactics for beating General Spidrax in his last fight weren't going to work here.  If Venger had enough power to kill off a regular Monster Mind trooper, he could easily burn away any vines sent to him by Saw Boss, which kept him out of range of Saw Boss's most powerful attack.  Saw Boss's blasters aren't shown to be particularly powerful either, so Venger should be strong enough to reflect his blasts.  In the end, it was just a matter of Venger sending down an attack powerful enough to roast Saw Boss alive.

The Winner
 Click here for Venger's opponent in the next tier and here to see the rest of the Bad Guy Beatdown fights.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 21 - Shredder vs. Overloard (Blackstar)

Welcome back to Bad Guy Beatdown!  We’re back with another lopsided fight in a couple different ways.  First, I’m way more familiar with one of these fighters than the other one. Secondly, one fighter only showed up in 8 of his 13 episodes, and the cartoon didn’t last any longer than that.  Lastly, one has a lot more actual powers than the other one.  Do any of these differences balance out the others?  We’ll find out.
First off, we’re taking a look at the Overlord from Blackstar.  You can check out his full respect post here but let’s summarize it a bit.  Overlord wields the Power Sword, half of the PowerStar, an unbelievably powerful weapon.  Even with only half of it, Overlord is granted superhuman strength and invulnerability.  The sword lets him shoot and deflect energy rays and can create a blinding flash of light.  Overlord himself has the ability to fly, levitate the sword to his hand, and hypnotize people with rays from his eyes.
Overlord’s previous battle can be read here, but to sum it up, he faced off against the other Overlord, the leader of the Black Widows from Spiral Zone.  Upon coming to Earth, he resisted the effects of the Spiral Zone and repelled all attacks from his opponent, finally slicing him in half with the Power Sword.
Next up is Shredder and you can look at his full accomplishments here.  Real quick, Shredder’s a top-notch ninja, capable of taking on multiple Turtles at once.  He’s also incredibly strong, able to chop through thick wood or bend steel bars and quick enough to kick a sandbag into the air and slice through it twice.  To top it off, he’s got his own personal army of expendable robot Foot Clan soldiers, sometimes armed with lasers.
Shredder defeated General Plague in the last tier here.  To keep it short, Shredder avoided Plague’s attacks while severing each of Plague’s ziplines.  With his emergency line snipped, he fell into the Phaeta 7-infused water below.
Make sure to come back next week and see which one of these bladed bad guys comes out on top.