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Sep 282016
 
Many pop culture villains are straightforward with their evil plots. Then there are ones that use a more creative approach to either terrorize the innocent or force the hero(s) to alter their tactics when challenged. Here are some of my most favorite interesting villains who stand out in that unique manner.
Cheapo
#10) Cheapo from Stripperella: Of all the villains on this series, he is the most unusual because he’s very cheap as a crime lord. Cheapo’s resourcefulness is based on how he plans everything the cheapest way possible. However, it affects his common sense. So much so that his own henchmen appear to be smarter then him. Seriously, what criminal mastermind prefers copper to gold?
Floatzart
#9) Floatzart from Ghostbusters (1986 version): This ghostly maestro uses music to subdue his victims, whether it’s to conduct ghosts with his baton or play his float flute that’s made from a long bone. Very little is known about Floatzart since he was only in a few episodes and, like the other evil ghosts, his background from when he was alive is not revealed. I do like his style though. He is one of few musical villains that aren’t annoying.
#8) Leaky Faucet from Power Rangers Zeo: Many of the monsters on Power Rangers normally don’t stand out too often because they’re only featured once before getting destroyed, twice if they’re lucky to be brought back. In this version, Leaky Faucet is different than most. He can liquefy at will and easily sneak into water pipes in order to spread his toxins. For a machine monster, that’s quite impressive.
#7) Dr. Bad Vibes from C.O.P.S. the Animated Series: He’s a brilliant scientist that invents high tech gadgets for the Big Boss. Along with his robot companion Buzz Bomb, Dr. Bad Vibes commits crimes with unusual inventions from a circus train that can bash through buildings to speed suits that make criminals run really fast. I still can’t get over the fact that he has his brain under glass and never takes off his wild shades. I wonder why that is.
#6) Ty-Lee from Avatar: The Last Air Bender: There are many benders, but this cheerful acrobatic girl has the skill to chi block a bender’s power using pressure points. This makes Ty-Lee a very dangerous opponent along side her friends Mai and Azula. It just goes to show that Ty-Lee may be beautiful, but looks can be deceiving.
#5) Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons: Bob Terwilliger used to be Krusty the Clown’s sidekick until he was put in prison for framing Krusty for armed robbery. On each of Bob’s return appearances, he seeks revenge on Bart while coming up with crazy but ingenious plans like running for Mayor of Springfield and abolishing television, yet it’s always Bart and Lisa who defeat Bob and put him back in prison. Aside from Bob’s dangerous persona, he always ends up in funny situations. That always makes me look forward to Bob’s next appearance, since he’s only a reoccurring villain.
 
#4) Mystique from X-Men franchise: If there’s one mutant power that makes a villain tough to beat, it’s the ability to shape shift. Mystique is a unique mutant with smooth fighting abilities, but what really makes her interesting is that she can turn into anyone. If she turns into another mutant, she can use their powers against her opponents. It’s very difficult to see through Mystique when she takes another form. This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “Master of Disguise”.
#3) Live Wire from Superman franchise: She was once a radio personality named Leslie Willis. After getting struck by lightning, she became a super villain with the power to control anything electrical. Not only are her powers smooth, Live Wire can easily travel through electrical wires anywhere. What I like most about Live Wire is her witty personality. She always has something funny to say while fighting her enemies, next to Harley Quinn of course.
#2) Baxter Stockman from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise: Once again, the most creative villain is the deranged scientific genius. Stockman isn’t really a much of a fighter on his own, but he can be a very tricky adversary. Whether he’s leading an army of mousers, wearing advanced battle armor, or fighting as a mutant fly, Stockman’s skills always give him an edge that even some of the strongest villains don’t have.
 
#1) The Riddler from Batman franchise: Batman has faced a huge number of creative villains, but none come as close as Edward Nygma a.k.a. the Riddler. Using his brilliant mind, he comes up with brainteasers that are so advanced that they often have a double meaning. Somehow, Batman is always able to figure them out. After he does, it’s so interesting to see the different angles from the advanced riddles. I’m not sure how the Riddler comes up with those so efficiently, but it’s so cool how he can make a game out of a crime caper apart from the Joker.
Apr 202016
 

Dante Basco

This past weekend I went to a convention in Melbourne called Space Coast Nerdfest. One of the stars I met there was Dante Basco. Here are some of my favorite characters that remember him best.

Rufio from Hook: After Peter Pan left Neverland and grew up, he became the new leader of the lost boys. Rufio is arrogant, but charismatic which is why the lost boys like him. However, he can be pretty rough when confronted. I was actually impressed when Rufio took on Captain Hook in a sword fight since Peter Pan is usually the only one brave enough to.

Prince Zuko from Avatar: the Last Airbender: At first he is the main antagonist that’s always after Aang. However, Zuko isn’t really bad. He’s just confused and misguided thanks to his power hungry father. Once Zuko understood the truth, he became a valuable ally to Team Avatar. It’s so interesting to see a bad guy turn good.

On a side note: When I got Dante’s autograph, he told me that he was glad to be a part of the franchise and thought that maybe he would voice the new fire bending Avatar when the next version comes along. No new Avatar series has been made official as of now, but it is a neat idea.

General Iroh II from Legend of Korra: This fire-bending master is Zuko’s grandson and General of the United Forces. Although he’s not featured in the series often, Iroh is a very crucial ally. It’s important for the Avatar to have friends in high places.

Are there any other favorite characters you’d like to add?

Feb 242016
 

Normally when a new season begins, it takes place shortly after the events of the previous season, but not this time. Legend of Korra: Book Four: Balance takes place three years later. The Red Lotus has been taken care of, but the Earth Kingdom is still in chaos without a ruler.

Apparently, Team Avatar has gone their separate ways. Korra has recuperated after a rough battle with Zaheer, but is going through a lot of self-doubt. She even changes her clothes and cut her hair as she slowly gets back in fighting form.

Mako has become the bodyguard of Prince Wu, the heir to the Earth Kingdom. However, Wu is more into living the high life than taking his royal duty seriously, which makes him a handful for Mako.

Meanwhile, Bolin works as an Earth Nation soldier along with Varrick and Zhu Li. Speaking of Zhu Li, it wasn’t until this season when she actually speaks and really lets Varrick know how she feels about him.

Their leader is Kuvira. She was Suyin’s protégé and captain of the guards. Now Kuvira sets out to bring peace to the Earth Kingdom, but believes that the only way to do so is by force. She even uses manipulative methods to get people to join her. Anyone that refuses gets imprisoned, plain and simple. That only makes Kuvira a tyrant, even though she announces herself as the Great Uniter.

Therefore, Kuvira has become the new villain for this season along with her fiancé Baatar Jr., who also happens to be Suyin’s oldest son.

I met Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Baatar Jr., at MegaCon 2012.

It turns out another old character from Avatar: The Last Airbender is still around. Toph Beifong, who was once the chief of police, now lives in a swamp as a hermit. She has fought many battles in her time, but Toph gave up that life knowing that crime would never stop. So she decided that living in the swamp was the only way to live peacefully.

Tenzin’s children have also grown as stronger air benders and even have an adventure like the original Team Avatar used to have.

With the chaos worse than ever, Korra must stop Kuvira but first she must defeat the enemy within herself in order to do so. It goes to show that the biggest heroes/heroines always seem to go through the biggest torture when going up against tough enemies.

There you have it, an excellent series about the next generation of Avatar: the Last Airbender. It had plenty of action and adventure with the usefulness of more modern conveniences. However, there was also quite a bit of romantic drama throughout the series that I didn’t care for. That could’ve been toned down, just a little bit.

Feb 172016
 

In Legend of Korra: Book Three – Change, the results of Korra’s last major battle now allows people and creatures from the spirit world to coexist. This also automatically unlocks air bending powers from certain individuals, starting with Bumi. In hopes of rebuilding the Air Nation, Team Avatar is on the search for the air benders so Tenzin can train them as Air Nomads.

Unfortunately one of those air benders is Zaheer, the new villain for this season. He is the leader of a group of dangerous criminals called the Red Lotus. This is a group that believes that the way to maintain world peace is to take out all of the world leaders, including the Avatar.

Unlike the previous two seasons, there are more colorful henchmen that work along side Zaheer. First there’s Ghazan an earth bender that can also bend lava.

P'Li

P’Li is a fire bender with a third eye and is Zaheer’s girlfriend.

The third member is Ming-Hua a freaky water bender. It took me a while for me to discover that she has no arms.

I met Grey Delisle, who was the voice of Ming-Hua, at Anime Festival Orlando 2012.

This season also introduces an entire city of metal benders called Zaofu that’s run by Lin’s sister Suyin. And to think, Zaofu would not be possible without their mother Toph Beifong who discovered metal bending for the first time in the Last Airbender series.

It’s also revealed that Lord Zuko is still around and can still kick butt as a fire bender.

Korra and her friends have grown a lot since the series began, but it’s not over yet. Check my blog for Part 4 to see what happens in the final season.

Feb 102016
 

Welcome back. By this point in The Legend of Korra – Book Two: Spirits, Korra has mastered all four elements. Now she has to focus on the more spiritual side of being the Avatar by mastering how to go in and out of the spirit world and controlling the Avatar State.

The Fire Ferrets pro bending team is no more. Mako has become a policeman working for police Chief Lin Beifong, who is the daughter of Toph Beifong. She is tough as nails and takes a while to warm up to Korra, even though they’re both fighting for the same cause.

Meanwhile, Bolin works for an eccentric businessman / inventor named Varrick. Their biggest accomplishment was the ability to make moving pictures. We call them movies, but in this series they’re called movers.

Varrick is also highly reliant on his assistant Zhu Li. When he wants anything done he just tells her to “do the thing”. That could mean anything, but Zhu Li always seems to know.

As it turns out Aang and Katara had not one, but three children. There’s Tenzin, his waterbending sister Kya, and their non-bender brother Bumi. I’m sure that Aang named him after King Bumi from the original series.

As Korra struggles to understand the spirit world, she meets up with Iroh who helps her understand it better. It’s a good thing Iroh was there because the other spirits did not like Korra at all no matter how hard she tried to remain calm.

In addition to that, Korra learns about how the very first Avatar came to be. It all started with a boy named Wan and a spiritual embodiment called Raava. The original series had backtracked in Avatar history before, but it never went this far back.

Even though Amon is no longer a threat, Korra ends up facing a new enemy, her Uncle Unalaq. He intends to seize power over the Southern Water Tribe by freeing Vaatu the dark Avatar.

Things become way more intense this season unlike anything Aang has ever faced in the original series. Check my blog for Part 3 as Korra’s adventures get even more exciting.