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.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 20 - Venger vs. Saw Boss.

Some of these fights I go into with a pretty good idea of how it’s going to go.  The combatants are pretty evenly matched or at the very least of similar origin or powers.  Then there are matches like this one that I just have no idea. They’re so completely different in every way – one’s magical, the other’s a mutant, one’s human looking, the other’s a plant/vehicle.  One’s from another dimension and the other’s from space. There’s just no conceivable way to compare them easily.

I guess we have to start somewhere and today it’s Venger.  Here’s my initial analysis, but I had to watch a few more episodes to get a full 13.  Originally, he’s shown to shoot energy blasts or throw fireballs from his hands, create illusions or make him look like someone else, fly (only on his horse), and reflect just about any magical attack against him.  Most of those powers show up in the 3 new episodes with a little expansion – he was able to catch one of Hank’s energy arrows and throw them back. One new ability showed up, and even though it’s used only once and has to be ignored in the fight, he turned into a giant dragon monster thing. Can't find a picture of it, but believe me, it's weird looking.
As a reminder for how Venger got here, he was pitted against Lady Diabolyn from Wildfire.  His power was strong enough to lock away her patrons, the Specters of Evil before engulfing Diabolyn’s castle in flame and burning it to cinders.
Venger’s opponent is the leader of the Monster Minds, Saw Boss.  You can read my initial thoughts on him here, and nothing has really changed since he appeared in the first 13 episodes I watched.  He has telepathic control over his minions and can see anything they see. He can teleport his headquarters in the blink of an eye over any distance (though I did mention there’s no real benefit to this unless he wants to join the fight).   His main power is becoming a giant version of his Saw Blades trooper, giving him a giant spinning blade on his back and two front-mounted blasters. In this version he can control a large pack of vines on his back as well, using them as whips or binding his opponents.
You can read how he got to this point here, but for the cliffnotes version, he trapped General Spidrax from Sectaurs in a net of vines to keep him from flying away, then caught him with the vines on the back of his Saw Blades mode before pulling him down and slicing him in half.
With how different the two fighters are, I’m having a hard time figuring out who has the best advantage.  It’s going to be an interesting fight, to say the least.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 19 - Results

Dr. Scarab paced around his laboratory, eagerly waiting Madame O’s report.  Ever since finding the massive bionics signature in the valley below, he’d been obsessed with finding the source of it.  His bionics-scanning eye had discovered it weeks ago while tracking the accursed Bionic Six, but the strength of it far surpassed his brother’s meager work.  What laid down in that heavily-wooded valley could only be an entire army of cybernetic-enhanced beings, rivaling his own Cyphrons. Taking the facility by force would mean casualties on either side and net him nothing.  Guile was needed, and none on his team had it to the degree of Madame O.
“She’s here,” Glove said, opening the door and allowing the female agent to enter.  
“Good!” His voice barely contained his excitement.  “What did you find out?”
“What I found out,” she answered, reaching into her jacket, “is that Doc Terror doesn’t like spies.”  She pulled a pistol out of a holster as she ripped the mask off her face, revealing long brown hair. She shot Glove in the gut, knocking him to the ground in an electric bolt, then aimed at Dr. Scarab.  
He took a step back to his mechanical throne, planning to blast this intruder, but another shot rung out next to his foot and stopped him cold.
“Not another step unless you’d like to lose your foot.”
Scarab gave a little shrug.  “It’s always replaceable, as I’m sure you know.”  He scanned her with his bionic eye but registered nothing.  “Huh, you’re the real deal. What are you doing down there with all those bionics?”
“Whatever we please,” she hissed.
Dr. Scarab laughed.  “Yes, I guess so. It’s what I would do if I had that much power.  Oh, that’s right, I already do! Cyphrons, attack!”
Doors slid open in two walls in the room, revealing row after row of robotic soldiers.
The intruder turned his pistol to the closest of the drones as they marched into the room, giving Dr. Scarab a chance to reach his throne and slam his fist down onto the controls.  A blaster folded out of the side and shot the woman, knocking her unconscious. “Glove, come get this intruder and take her to the energy cells.” He glanced at his still prone minion.  “No rush, take your time.”
He sat down and pondered the woman lying before him.  Even without Scarabs bionic-masking system, her disguise was enough to get past Glove and even himself.  She was good, which meant the person she was defending was even better. Oh, and Madame O was missing, he thought but dismissed it quickly.
Before he had a chance to summon Mechanic and Chopper to remove the unconscious bodies from his lab, his eye detected a bionic signature just outside of his facility.  Another arrived behind it, then another and the readings kept growing until the entire sky above him was red with heat signatures. The roof of his lab fractured under the fire of dozens of lasers, spilling concrete rubble all around him.  Scarab hid under the cover of his throne as the smoke cleared and a squadron of flying robots flooded his vision, each one of them aiming a blaster at him.

Doc Terror strode into the meager lab, holding the limp body of a man by the head with the robotic claw on his right arm.  He tossed the man in overalls onto the floor and set his sights on the doctor cowering in a large metal chair. His attention went to the woman on the floor surrounded by the rubble from the roof’s implosion.  “Amber!” His concern for her immediately transformed to anger as he pointed his robotic arm at the doctor’s throne. The claw at the end launched in a flare of rocket fire and punched threw the chair’s metal, forcing the portly doctor to run behind a mainframe computer.  
“Cyphrons, attack!” the doctor yelled and the robots at the fringes of the room came to life, turning their sights to Terror.  A row of robots stepped forward and raised their arms, each one holding an energy whip. Before they could follow through with the attack, the drones flying above the lab blasted them to bits.
“Don’t stop fighting!” he screamed when the following robots reacted to their brethren dying by remaining completely still.  They all activated at once and surrounded Doc Terror, aiming various weapons at him. A second wave of the robots appeared from behind the first, firing at the Air Drones, destroying a few before forcing the rest to retreat.
Fire and smoke filled the room from extensions hiding the Cyphrons, followed by laser fire blasting the robots in the rear.  As each one fell, they were replaced by a Traumatizer Drone, the missile in the middle of their torso aimed at the throne in the middle of the room. In no time, every one of the Cyphrons was destroyed, leaving only spindly metal remains.
“Eh-he, I don’t suppose you’re interested in working together,” the doctor said, his head emerging from behind his chair.
“No,” Terror answered, loading a missile into the port at the end of his robotic arm, “I already have one bumbling lackey.”  With that, he fired the missile, streaking across the room and pulverizing the throne, sending the doctor smashing against the wall behind him.  
Impressively, the doctor, bleeding from a massive gash in his left side and blood oozing from behind his bionic eye, got to his feet. "Hail me," he muttered placing his hand over the amulet on his chest. His body pulsed with a green light and hefted a massive chunk of his chair over his head.  “You’ll have to do better than that, you cybernetic simpleton.”
“Gladly.” He swiped his arm towards the doctor and the surrounding Traumatizer drones fired their missiles, pummeling him with explosions that quickly turned him into a spattering of blood and metal shavings. With the doctor out of the way and his robotic minions demolished, Doc Terror checked on Amber, awake and protected from harm by the watchful eyes of his Air Drones. "Excellent work," he told her, then went about examining the robot remains. "This will make excellent fodder for my army of drones.

 Click here for the respect post for Dr. Scarab and Doc Terror.

Compared to each other, Doc Terror and Dr. Scarab are pretty similar - sure, Terror's cybernetics are more on display than Scarab's but neither has a particular advantage over the other, one's stronger, and one has weapons built in.  But the big difference is when we talk about their robots.  Dr. Scarab's Cyphrons are pretty pathetic.  They're spindly, have weak weapons, and they fall apart at the drop of a hat.  Doc Terror not only has bigger, stronger, and more heavily-armed robots, he has different kinds so he can bring the fight on multiple fronts.  Not to mention Centurions shows Doc Terror's army in total to be way bigger than Dr. Scarab's.  

The Winner

Click here to see the last round, Megatron vs. Scorch, and click here to see the rest of the Bad Guy Beatdown.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 19 - Dr. Scarab vs Doc Terror

And I thought Round 4 with two of my favorite villains fighting off was more than a coincidence - now we have two doctors, both of them working with cybernetics, and leading an army of robotic drones.  It's like it was meant to be!

Let's take a look first at Dr. Scarab (and I apologize for his name getting cut off, I don't have the image to edit anymore).  Dr. Scarab was obsessed with improving himself and his minions with bionics, but his were never up to par with his brother's, which were used on the Bionic Six family.  In the show, he doesn't actually display a lot of powers of his own - he does have a bionic-detecting eye, and has a modicum of super-strength, tossing around Mother-1 like she was nothing.  He can also change his appearance with a bionics masking device.  But the one thing that will help him here is his army of Cyphrons, robots armed with energy whips and blasters.  They're not particularly large or menacing but they're definitely numerous. 

I had a bit of trouble in his battle with Big Boss considering neither of them does much in their cartoons - Big Boss hardly ever leave his office or displays any powers, so I had to match up a few of each of their minions to fight.  In the end, Dr. Scarab won just by scaring Big Boss into surrendering.  Not much of a victory.

On to Doc Terror, someone I had a lot more knowledge about since I loved Centurions as a kid.  Doc Terror replaced a lot more than just an eye with cybernetics - half of his body is robotic!  He's able to replace his robot hand with various weapons, including a claw and a blaster.  Hid robot body doesn't show any super-strength as he's also not a real combatant, mostly relying on his drone army.  As big as Dr. Scarab's army might be (especially since they don't really show how big it is), Doc Terror's absolutely dwarfs it.  It's made up of four different models, built to operate on land, in the air, and on the water.  He's also shown the ability to create a ton of different cybernetic drones very quickly out of local fauna, making robotic fish, whales, dinosaurs, and even people, all under his direct control.

In fact, that's how he beat his previous opponent, Umbra from Mighty Orbots - he took control of the super-computer's Shadowbots and used them to attack Umbra directly. 

Considering both Drs. robot armies, Dr. Scarab is going to lose the use of his henchmen from his first fight.  This fight will come down to which army is stronger, and whose mastery of bionic technology is stronger. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 18 - Results

“Scramble all Skull Squadron!”
The order screamed through flying fortress, sending all the pilots into a panic.  Planes launched from the several hangars, each squad commanded by one of Scorch’s lead pilots.  Hubbub’s group took off toward the north straight into a strafing run by two F-15s, one black and one blue, and was immediately shot out of the sky.  Siren’s squad fared no better, being blasted upon launch by a silver, red and blue jet matching the other two attackers.
Scorch watched the assault from the command center, witnessing his best pilots and their fighters destroyed one by one.  Initially, he suspected the Ring Raiders as each of the jets was using incredible powers, like sonic booms and teleportation, but upon closer inspection, he found none of the jets had pilots and were either remote controlled or flying themselves.  His second suspicion was confirmed when one more flier arrived, not a jet this time, but a giant flying robot, silver and black and wielding a massive cannon on his right arm.
“Attention humans!” the robot boomed, the cannon aimed at Scorch’s command center.  “I am Megatron, and I claim this base and all its weapons in the name of the Decepticons!”  More robots showed up, surrounding the station and firing on every plane as they took to the air.  
As Scorch’s fliers all fell to the attacking forces, he realized the only course of action he could take.  He left the command center and ran his jet, Scorch’s Torch. Instead of flying out its assigned hangar, he powered up the time portal systems.  There was no saving the Skull Squadron fortress in this time, but if he could ambush his attackers before reaching it, he had a chance to save his evil empire.

Megatron soared through the air, leading the Decepticons towards the flying fortress Soundwave had found on the radar.  Megatron had never seen such an impressive structure created by the humans and instantly knew he had to steal it for his own purposes.  Leaving his underwater headquarters, the trek to the fortress was short as it hovered above the very ocean the Decepticons hid under.
As they passed through a cloud, a barrage of missiles flew past Megatron’s right and left.  The incendiary ordinance slammed into Thundercracker, sending him crashing into Skywarp on his flank.  Starscream just barely dodged the attack, railing against the indignity.
“Silence, you feel!” Megatron yelled at his lieutenant as he scanned the skies for his attacker.  He suspected the Autobot’s only aerial support, Skyfire, but when the flame-covered black jet split through clouds, pattering Megatron with fiery ammunition.  Megatron halted, covering his face with his hands. Somehow, the heat of the gunfire hurt Megatron where no human weapons had ever affected him. It was a minor irritation, nothing capable of taking the Decepticon leader down, but still a shock.  
Starscream screeched past Megatron, readying a dogfight, but Megatron held out his hand to stop him.  Starscream transformed and pleaded with Megatron to engage for almost striking him down and taking out two of his Seekers, who were already limping back to their base.  
“No, this human is mine,” Megatron growled.  The black jet circled around for another attack, missiles and machine guns firing at full blast.  Megatron flew up and away from the volley, avoiding the missiles, but still peppered with the gunfire as the jet followed him.  Megatron spun to his side, getting behind the jet and prepared to fire a fusion blast, but in a flash a red light, the jet disappeared.  A fiery explosion struck Megatron in the back, sending him flailing through the air. He twirled around again to see the jet had snuck behind him.  Megatron dropped below the jet as it strafed by and disappeared before he could get a shot off. Again, Megatron was tossed through the air from a shot in his back and saw the jet disappear in a red flash.  Megatron’s systems reported the massive damage to his back – even his armor wouldn’t be able to survive many more incendiary strikes like that.
Anticipating another strike from behind, Megatron twisted around and fired off a shot of his fusion cannon.  The red flash came again, the black jet emerging from the light just as the fusion cannon blast reached the location.  The energy of Megatron’s cannon reacted with the portal violently, ripping the jet in half.
Megatron caught the front half of the jet as it plummeted from the closed portal.  He ripped the cockpit open and yanked out the half-masked man. “Take this back to base,” he commanded Soundwave and Starscream, handing off the remainder of the jet.  “Salvage whatever technology you can from it.”
The pilot struggled in Megatron’s grip, somehow strong enough to pry a little out of the metal hand.  Megatron briefly considered studying this superhuman, before dropping him to the sea and following it up with another fusion cannon blast, obliterating the pilot into atoms.

 Click here for the respect post for Megatron and Scorch.

In Scorch’s last fight, he won by using this time traveling powers to ambush his opponent.  While that still provided a surprise for Megatron on the way to the location of the fight, Megatron’s armor has shown to be impervious to most human weapons.  Besides catching the Decepticons off-guard, he didn’t have much of a chance to win. Even giving Scorch the benefit of his incendiary rounds being able to hurt Transformers (like the sabor rounds from the movie continuity) doesn’t work, since Megatron’s shown to be more impervious to damage than the ordinary Decepticon (like Thundercracker found out).  Over time, he might have been able to take Megatron down, but I don’t think there’s any way Megatron wouldn’t have figured out how to take down Scorch before then.

The Winner
Click here to see who Megatron will face off against in the next tier. Click here to see the rest of the Bad Guy Beatdown battles.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 18 - Scorch vs. Megatron

This one doesn't even seem fair - one of the most popular villains from the 80s with an appearance in every episode of his cartoon against a completely forgettable bad guy whose cartoon only lasted 5 episodes.  Still, we've got an incredible power with time travel vs. one of the retreat-heaviest losers of all time.  Luckily, I've already seen every episode I need, so let's get to the recaps.

First, let's take another look at Scorch, the leader of the Skull Squadron, a band of villainous pilots who use time travel to pull of their (very few) evil schemes.  He flies around in Scorch's Torch, an admittedly cool looking jet with flame decals on it.  Supposedly, he has been bombarded with some kind of energy that gave him some invulnerability, but there's really no hint of what level that power was in the cartoon.

Scorch made it to the second tier by defeating T-Ray from the Tigersharks.  If you want to check out that battle, click here.  For a quick recap, though, T-Ray came to Earth and, while his ship was much more armed than Scorch's Torch, Scorch was able to go back in time and ambush T-Ray, shooting him into the sea.

Next, we're looking at my favorite bad guy, Megatron, but I won't let my personal bias play into it, because I know he's a chump.  We all know Megatron's powers, but in case you didn't, he's an 18-foot tall robot from space with a cannon on his arm strong enough to blow a hole in a mountain.  He's got an energy mace on one hand, can fly, and turns into a tiny gun.  One thing to note is that he's shown to be impervious to practically any human weapons - but we'll see if Scorch's weapons are stronger than anything already out there.

To get here, Megatron defeated MASK's Miles Mayhem, and you can check out the battle here.  Megatron and Mayhem clashed while searching for a meteor, and while Miles was able to outmaneuver Megatron's aim, eventually, he was shot down.  Mayhem's mask, Viper, was able to melt some of Megatron's armor, but not before Megatron crushed him in his hand.

So we've already seen Megatron face-off against a skilled pilot, but will Scorch's flame decals help out more than a helicopter second mode?  Let's find out next week.

Before you go, I'll be giving away free Kindle copies of Old School Evil March 9th-11th.  You can get a copy of it here.