Sunday, 15 January 2012

Face of the Enemy

A hero is nothing without a great villain. This goes double for super heroes and super villains. Where one is an exaggerated archetype, their foil must be all the more shitballs crazy.

Cartoon villains definitely fall into the latter category, boasting some ridiculously over-the-top goals of world (and sometimes universe) domination. But there's a sub-category of these villains who, for reasons all their own, remain even more shadowy and mysterious but means of hiding their faces.

Granted, this is a lazy writer's dream. If you can't see their face, you don't have to worry about humanizing them or giving them motivations since they're obviously pure, pure evil. Glossing over that, it's also really sexy never knowing what they look like. What are they hiding? Are they all gross and disfigured under that mask? Or are they just hiding their general inadequacies?

Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe started off as the most intriguing of these villains once the curtain was pulled back, it was a massive WTF moment.

Once the harshly-voiced leader of the terrorist organization known as Cobra, the good commander here was relegated to a whiny, scheming background character by his usurper, Serpentor. Even later in the often-maligned G.I. Joe: The Movie, it was revealed he was a member of an ancient race of snake people named Cobra-La who sent Cobra Commander out to conquer the Earth and make way for their eventual invasion.

Failing that, Cobra-La's leader, Globulus, mutated Cobra Commander into an even weirder-looking salamander who kept hissing "I wasss onccce a maaan!" until he eventually turned into a snake and slithered off. Annoying and unfortunate end for this masked man of mystery.

Although Hordak was She-Ra's main antagonist, poor Hordak took his marching orders from his older brother, Horde Prime. Horde Prime was usually holed up on his throne world or flagship, the Velvet Glove, but sometimes, just sometimes, he'd make a totally bad ass appearance.

Or lack thereof to be specific. Always hidden by thick black smoke, the only part of him we ever saw was one helluva huge metallic hand. His gravelly voice would made the smoke glow green and, to be honest, he scared the sweet fuck out of me when I was a kid. It's not so much that I liked Hordak having to answer to someone higher but it was just that freaky robotic hand! Loved it. Feared it. Respected it.

His face was never seen (except one very weird interpretation in a British magazine) but his action figure in the current Masters of the Universe Classics toyline plans to reveal his face this Spring. Stay tuned, kids!

The ruler of a crime syndicate named M.A.D. (not to be confused with the anti-drunk driving moms), Dr. Claw was a constant thorn in Inspector Gadget's side. If the poor inspector knew what was going on half the time anyway.

Similar to Horde Prime, all we could ever see of Dr. Claw was the back of his chair, his spiked gauntlet, and his ever-present cat/mascot, MAD Cat who he either pets or barely squishes when plans go awry.

His action figure also dropped the ball when it showed his true face. It wasn't clear whether it was just a bad sculpt, he was mangled in an accident, or his parents were brother and sister. In any case, it was a major disappointment.

To counterpoint the cuteness of the Care Bears, their villain No Heart was one bad mo' fo'. Draped in purple robes and a hood that concealed his face, we could at least tell that he had blue skin and eyebrows. And some freaky red eyes.

Remarkably lazy when taking care of business, he sent his dumb ass bumbling henchman Beastly to do all the leg work. Naturally, you send a furball to do all your evil whims, it's bound to end in failure. No wonder he couldn't kill a few dozen teddy bears...

Poor Zoltar from Battle of the Planets might have led the armies of Spectra but he was just a middle man. Taking his marching orders from "The Luminous One," he'd always get one-upped by a bunch of dumb kids in bird-like space suits.

He had no real reason to hide his identity but he had one sexy chin and was a snappy dresser to boot. So maybe his association with the Spectran army was a "Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell" kind of deal.

There are plenty more masked villains, oftentimes from the same shows listed above, but these are among my favorites for their style, elusiveness, whacked-out voices, and keeping the mystery alive!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Care Bears I Can Understand

Even as a kid, I just couldn't get behind them. I mean sure, they had a colorful cast, whacky hijinks, shot concussive laser blasts from their stomachs. But it was just so phony. Their entire existence was spent making you care? Fuck off.

While mulling over them today, I realized that they could easily be updated to cater to jaded, broken souls such as my own.

Truth be told, Tenderheart Bear always creeped me out. The de facto leader of the Care Bears, his cartoon voice sent shivers up my spine and he always seemed to have ulterior motives. What better way to give him an edgy update than make him Pedobear Bear! Hide your wee ones!

Grumpy Bear was easily my favorite because at least he wore his emotions on his sleeve. You piss him off? Oh you bet your sweet ass he'll tell you right where to go. But where is this unresolved anger coming from? Well, given that rotund belly of his, my best guess is he just eats his feelings. So let's slap a golden arch right on there. "I'm lovin' it!"

Good Luck Bear gave you good luck with his four leaf clover belly symbol thing. But this clearly implies he's Irish with therefore implies that he's a mean drunks. Cheers to you, lad!

Cheer Bear was one bitch I just wanted to punch in the face. She was just so damn... cheery! Since her symbol was a rainbow, let's put her to work and spread cheer and pride! Gay Pride that is. Someone get this dyke a bike!

Bedtime Bear was chronically tired. Suspiciously so. I mean sure, we all get run down but he just look it to a whole other level. Clearly, he's been dabbling in prescription "sleeping aids" so let's make him the spokesbear for Lunesta and call it a night.

Speaking of substance abuse, Funshine Bear was one hardcore party girl! She was always on fire, always up for a good time, always wide-eyed and ready to roll. See this this is going? I think you've got a little... yeah, under your nose, just... Yeah, I think you got it.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

It's truly, truly SOMEthing alright...

Shout! Factory has unviled the cover for Jem & the Holograms Season 2 on DVD which will hit stores on February 14th, 2012. If anyone knows me, I'd much rather a Jem marathon over flowers any day. Just sayin'.

That said, Jem looks a little... errr...

Well, here's the cover. And a picutre of Angelyne the Billboard Queen beside it. I'm not saying anything per se because there's no need to.