Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

The Legend of Harrison Ford’s Punches

While I’m guessing it’s been thoroughly documented elsewhere, I feel I need to say a little something about the nature of the above Magic card.

Harrison Ford made his livings as an “action star” for a good portion of the 80’s and early 90’s.

Despite this reputation however, it doesn’t take a genius to notice that he’s by no means a physical specimen.

Pictured: Harrison Ford prepares to undergo a procedure to become a physical specimen.

Let it be known, in the world of Hollywood films, a “rugged” appearance, a team of good stunt men, and some creative camera angles can go a long way towards making an action star out of even the most ordinary of people.

That being said, while I loves me some Harrison Ford, and would never go out of my way to talk shit about him or his career, I feel it needs to be mentioned that the man never fully grasped the mechanics involved in throwing a decent punch.

While that may sound like nitpicking to some, (it is) I’ve always found this to be hilarious, being as Mr. Ford has a reputation for decking people in an alarming number of his films, much to my approval.

Hell, I even remember him clocking somebody in Witness, while disguised as an Amish guy no less.

Damn, that's one savage MAN FACE. Hey look, Viggo Mortensen!

Watching Harrison Ford draw back and punch somebody, is akin to bearing witness to a violent seizure or dry heave.

Near as I can tell, the man has no fucking clue what he’s doing, nor any real control over his actions; yet somehow, he’s pretty damn consistent about doing it the same way every time.

You see he doesn’t really punch, per se.  It’s more like he sticks out his arm like Superman and falls fist first into people’s faces.

"Aw shit, get to cover people! Harrison Ford's winding up!"

My guess is, this particular technique is unorthodox and unpredictable to the point of being utterly impossible to avoid.

Think of it like drunken boxing, only sloppier and more Jewish.

Fortunately, Mr. Ford’s punches have the benefit of being backed up with some of the greatest punch sound effects in the history of film:

That’s the magic of filmmaking for yah’.

You can throw the ugliest punches known to man for 20 or 30 years, but in the end; all it takes is the combined awesomeness of a character like Indiana Jones, and some awesome sound effects, and you have the makings of an action movie legend.

Thus is the difference between an “Indiana Jones Punch,” and a “Harrison Ford Punch.”

The former has the benefit of Spielberg-ian/Lucas-ian cinematography and sound engineering, while the latter displays the sad reality behind all the flash.

Anyway, that was “The Legend of the Harrison Ford Punch.”

Hopefully this has been an educational, and intellectually stimulating experience.

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The Best Track in the Game #2: Starfox

Yes, the "T" stands for "Trevor." NOBODY was gonna' steal my Star Fox!

Oh Star Fox, how I loved playing you at other peoples houses.

That’s right, many a sleepover resulted in me either: A) staying up all night playing Star Fox, or B) waking up crazy early and waking the whole house at 5 AM by firing up Star Fox.

It’s interesting to note however, that in the case of the latter, it was never the sounds of the game itself that would wake people up.

It couldn’t have been, I was always careful to keep the TV volume down low when I was up too early/late, scouts honor.

No, as it turns out, it was me that would always wake people up.

As a child I was what one would call a “hummer,” and wouldn’t you know it, Star Fox’s soundtrack was one of the most hummable I can recall.

Looking back, aside from being pissed at me for waking them up as I ducked, weaved, and hummed the shit out of whatever stage theme was playing, I’m sure at least one of my friends’ parents must’ve thought I was retarded or something.

Yeah, kinda' like this kid.

Despite the combined strength of the Nintendo hype-machine and the ignorance of my youth, I never bought into the idea of Star Fox being “revolutionary” on the Super NES.

I remember Nintendo hyping the shit out of the Super FX chip, which was the component that gave the Star Fox cartridge the ability to display 3D polygons to a limited degree.

Well guess what?  I was a fucking kid!  I didn’t give a shit about “3D”, I didn’t know what the fuck 3D was!  All I remember caring about was the fact that the manual said there was a DRAGON in the game somewhere called the “Monarch Fucking Dodra.”

MOTHER. FUCKING. DRAGON.

Fuck, I remember being more impressed by the construction of the clay puppets they used for the pictures in the manual than anything I ever saw in the game.

Not the best example, but it'll do.

Graphical jibber-jabber aside, Star Fox was a solid game.

It wasn’t perfect by any means, but humming along with the soundtrack while entertaining the prospect of letting Slippy get shot down always proved enough to keep me coming back for more.

"Dib, Dib! Dib, Dib!" Fuckin' worthless piece of shit...

I didn’t own the game until much later in life, and it took many years for me to actually sit down and beat it, but Star Fox was a game that I just plain loved to play…  at the expense of other peoples’ beauty rest.

Anyway, without further ado…

The Best Track in the Game is…

Intro Stage – Corneria

Why?:

Oh really now, how could I not pick Corneria as The Best Track in the Game?

It’s easily one the most energetic and bombastic compositions in the game, not to mention it flows with the action almost note for note.

Well, provided you aren’t slowing down the pace of the game by mashing the air brake like a noob.

Part of the enjoyment of listening to the Corneria theme for the first time, is the incredible build up leading up to it.

When you first boot up the game, you are treated to an impressive homage to the opening sequence of Star Wars: A New Hope, although with much more ominous background music.

This tune is repeated in many of the various “tunnel” sequences in the game, to much greater effect, most notably preceding the final boss.

After the intro we are taken to the Title Screen.

The tune is bold and dignified, which as a kid was all I needed to get me stoked about saving the universe from a space monkey in a Rubik’s cube.

He killed your father...

From there the game takes you to the Setup Screen and Training Stage, both of which greatly contrast the Title Screen tune in the sense that they are comprised of calm and inviting melodies, the sort of stuff that makes you smile and rock back and forth while humming along… or something like that.

And then they hit you with this:

WOAH!  Shit just got real!

For a game about anthropomorphic space fighter pilots blowing up geometric shapes, Star Fox had some seriously moody and atmospheric moments to it.

Outside of the overall kick-ass, Top Gun-with-a-fox tune of the Corneria stage, I think the Emergency Call sequence preceding it was the biggest factor in making me select it as The Best Track in the Game.

Runner-Ups:

Boss Theme (Corneria Version), Venom-Planetary Base Theme (Route 2 Version)

The Corneria Boss Theme will always stick with me because of one hilariously bad judgment call.

The first time I ever got to see Star Fox in action was when my brother rented it for the weekend.

He fired it up and I quietly sat beside him, taking in the spectacle.

I remember we both laughed at the voices for the characters, imitating them whenever they’re speech windows would open up onscreen.

To us, Falco was always yelling:  “Farther wing damage!”

Anyway, as soon as the ominous build up tones of the Corneria Boss Theme kicked in, and the radio clicked on saying, “Incoming enemy,” our laughter and excitement ceased, instantly replaced with the cold tinges of fear.

“BUM, BUM, BUM!  BUM, BUM!  BUM, BUM, BUM!  BUM, BUM!”

My brother turned to me, and for probably the first time I can recall, asked me:

“What should I do Trevor?”

I was stunned.  My older brother was asking me for help?

“Uh… Go… Go, up!”

With that, my brother pulled up in his Arwing, and was immediately killed by the massive Attack Carrier that flew in from overhead.

My brother’s first life in Star Fox was cut short just before even getting to see the first boss.

Yeah, I caught a beating over that one.

The Corneria Boss Theme is not nearly The Best Track in the Game, in fact its repetitive and dull when heard independent of gameplay, but for me, those ominous opening notes are simply unforgettable.

The Venom Base Theme however, is not one that holds any sort of special place in my heart, rather, it is simply a damn fine piece of music.

The Venom Base Theme is one of the fastest-paced tracks in the game, however it belongs to a stage I rarely ever played in my youth.

Remember when I said I wasn’t very good at Star Fox?  Well, Venom Base is essentially the last level of the game, accessible only when playing from one of the harder routes.

Yeah, fuck that noise.

As it turns out, I didn’t really “discover” the Venom Base Theme until much later in life, largely because of my lack of mad Star Fox skills.

It’s an energetic, kick-ass piece of music, but definitely a little too obscure (from my standpoint) to call it The Best Track in the Game.

That being said, I will conclude this post with an image that haunted my dreams as a child, and always gave me incentive to turn off the console before getting a “Game Over.”

Did they really have to make Morgan Freeman look so damn scary!?

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Let’s Look at Comics: What If… Death’s Head I Had Lived?

Today we’re going to do something different.  Today we’re going to look at comics!  More specifically, Marvel’s What If…? #54:  What If Death’s Head I Had Lived?

Just your average, everyday 90's comic.

Marvel’s What If…? series was a line of comics they created back in the day to allow their authors a venue to explore alternative realities and outcomes to various events in the primary Marvel continuity.  These stories ranged in topic from interesting and clever subjects like:

What If…? Kraven the Hunter had killed Spider-Man? and What If…? The Punisher’s family hadn’t been killed?

While every once in awhile, a random story would come along like, What If…?  Wolverine was the lord of the vampires?

As if I didn't have enough reasons to dislike the X-Men.

In any case, I was not much of a comic fan as a child, much less a fan of the What If…? series.  Despite the fact that I didn’t read many comics, for some reason I was always in the know in regards to whatever the big story of the moment was.  I can’t really explain how it worked out, but by the time I finally got full on into comics as an adult, I was surprised to discover that I really hadn’t missed much.

Anyway, let’s flip open this bad boy and see what’s bad-ass adventures are in store for us…

Power mullet, snake skin boots, denim... everything... This guy's gotta' be the pimpest man alive.

Okay, how about we skip that page, ‘k?

Our story opens in a rainy alley in Manhattan, 2020.  A woman in a trench coat is walking along, when suddenly she looks over her shoulder and…

Typical greeting gesture in New York 2020.

The man she’s pointing the gun at is, as he states, Spratt, Death’s Head’s assistant and partner.  Not that kind of partner, perv.  Following this, Spratt struggles to find the right words to convince the woman that he truly is affiliated with Death’s Head.

Fortunately, Death’s Head shows up to do that for him:

Death's Head: Boy Scout Representative since 1988

Following this, Death’s Head reveals to us that the woman is Dr. Necker, and they apparently have history with one another.  Dr. Necker designed a cyborg for an organization named A.I.M., (Advanced Idea Mechanics) and it just so happens that this particular cyborg went ape-shit one day and decided to take it out on ol’ Death’s Head…

MY GOD! MY GOD! SOMEBODY STOP THE DAMN MATCH! AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, HE IS BROKEN IN HALF!

Of course, that’s what happened in the primary Marvel continuity.  In the What If…?  universe, Death’s Head teleports to safety just in time to avoid being decapitated.

In traditional What If…? fashion, the story cuts away for a couple of pages to allow Uatu the Watcher and his epic forehead to tell us what happened as a result of Death’s Heads, well… death.

Hate to say it, but I think I'm gonna' have to give this one to J-Gar...

You see, Minion, the cyborg that skull-fucked Death’s Head in primary continuity, has a special ability that allows him to assimilate the abilities and minds of anyone he kills.

In the primary continuity, Death’s Head was able to use his final moments to take control of Minion’s mind and become the hero Death’s Head II.

Unfortunately, since this never happened in the What If…? universe, Minion, having been robbed of his 105th target for assimilation, decided to skip Death’s Head for the time being and move on to #106:  Reed Richards.

Yeah, that's the douche.

Minion pwns Mr. Fantastic within 4 panels.  How ironic.

Pwn Count: 1

Yeah, I hate Mr. Fantastic too, but he’s actually kind of important to the story.  Just keep that in the back of your mind for now.

With that, we are treated to a bizarre sequence in which Minion is possessed by the magical essence of a character named Baron Strucker V.  Baron Strucker V apparently has some sort of hatred for A.I.M., and later goes on to become the spiritual conduit for a demon named Charnal, however a search for him on the Marvel wikia reveals… absolutely nothing.  My only guess is that he was a throwaway character who was either too dull to keep around, or… no, I’m pretty sure I’m right on that one.

Anyway, Minion/Strucker goes ape-shit like most possessed super cyborgs do, and decides to bum rush A.I.M. headquarters New York at…

And in a school zone at that! Bastard!

Minion/Strucker cleans house, culminating with him declaring all A.I.M. installations shit out of luck.  Oh yeah, then he squishes Mr. Twenty-Six Miles Per Hour up there’s head.

Meanwhile, back in Manhattan 2020, (Minion is rampaging in the present, er, I mean 1992) Death’s Head is kicking back, shooting the shit with Dr. Necker while Spratt counts up the money she has brought to convince them to help her kill Minion.

You see, Death’s Head is a bounty hunter.  In his original 1988 appearance he was nothing more than a one-shot villain for the Marvel Transformers comic.  Following that however, the writers wisely set about creating a back story for him as an amoral bounty hunter robot, kind of like Star Wars’ IG-88.

After poking fun at Necker for her MASSIVE fuck up in creating Minion to destroy the very evil he has recently started down the road to become, (Charnal) Death’s Head agrees to take on the job… in the pimpest way possible.

No caption necessary.

With that, Death’s Head zips back in time to recruit allies to aid him in battle against Minion.  Allies that are as random as they are SUPER.

I appreciate War Machine's honesty in this panel.

I understand Luke Cage being on board, he was a mercenary like Death’s Head at one point in time.   The Fantastic Four, excuse me, Three, make sense on account of Mr. Fantastic being offed.  Captain America is the ultimate boy scout, use the word “noble cause” around him and he’ll do anything (so sayeth Death’s Head).

Namor and War Machine however, don’t really make a whole lot of sense to me.  I know that Namor was an opponent of the Fantastic Four early on in his career, and that he has since reformed and become a hero of sorts, but I don’t really know of any reason why he would want to avenge Reed Richards’ death.  I always thought he didn’t give a shit unless the oceans were in danger.

And War Machine, well… I guess he’s just in it ’cause Captain America’s got him by his nuts.

'DESE NUTS!

After a bit of superhero banter amongst themselves, the super crew sets out to take on Minion.  Our first glimpse of the epic battle that ensues is, well, an epic one.

And now a word from our sponsors...

Naw, just kidding.  Here we are

Is it me, or did The Thing's hand just turn into strawberry jam?

The battle rages, on, with panels sizes routinely reaching ludicrous proportions.  At one point The Thing is bitch-slapped like through a building, yelling “GNNN!” in the process.  All the while Captain America barks out obvious orders to the team like:

“Keep at him!  Don’t give him a moment!”

“Back off!”

“Take him!”

While I don’t disagree that these are useful commands to use in battle, I can’t help but feel that Cap is playing out his strategy like he’s playing an old school RTS or something.  You’ve got 6 guys Cap, ain’t no way you’re gonna’ be able to pull off a Zerg rush with that.  Don’t even bother with a mass Carrier attack either, that’s just straight up noob.

Like lambs to the mother fucking slaughter Cap...

Somewhere amid all this chaos, Namor makes his only contribution to the battle.

What football looks like in the Marvel universe.

That’s right, a goddamn shoulder tackle.  The Atlantean king, a man blessed with superhuman strength, the ability to breath under water, and fly at will, can manage nothing more than a shoulder tackle?

Oh well, moving on.

War Machine gets bitch-slapped next, only this time Minion takes the time to convert his arm into a crazy T-1000 blade just before doing it.  In response, the Human Torch sets Minion on fire, whereupon Luke Cage steps up to put the big lug in an arm lock.

At this point, Cage calls out to Sue Storm, saying:  “He’s all yours!”

He’s all yours?  What the fuck is the Invisible Woman going to do to someone that just bitch slapped a third of the super team into the stratosphere?

She’s going to do perhaps the coolest thing you’ll see in this comic, that’s what.

Yeeouch! Hot chili!

Holy fucking shit!  I don’t know what the hell just happened, but it was pretty fucking cool!

Being as this is a comic book, Sue is kind enough to provide us with the exposition necessary understand what the fuck she just did.

Turns out she used her invisibility powers to expand an invisible force bubble inside Minion, essentially causing him to “pop like a cork.”

I have no love for the Fantastic Four, but I think Sue Storm just got some brownie points in my book.

Despite this, Minion is pretty much as far from defeat as one can get.  In fact, The Thing follows up the “pop like a cork” incident with his own “bringing down the house” incident.

Haha, Captain America has puns.

In case you’ve been wondering what Death’s Head has been up to during all of this, the answer is:  standing on top of a building well out of harm’s way.

Don’t worry, he’s got a plan, I swear!

Anyway, this marks the turning point of the battle.  Remember how I said Minion had the ability to assimilate abilities by killing people?  Well, he can also kind of do the same thing with whatever you hit him with.

Big, raging, heavy metal-ish, stupidly over-powered super-villains were a mainstay of early 90’s comics, and Minion is no exception.  If you need another example, just look at DC’s Doomsday. (that one guy that killed Superman, coincidentally within the same year that this comic was written)

Anyway, the first beat in Minion’s big comeback comes in the form of removing Namor’s head from his shoulders, with a little help from Captain America…

TK! Team Kill! Haxxorz! Oh yeah, Pwn Count: 2

Followed by using his powers to cause the Human Torch to self-pwn by turning his own flame against him…

Man package conveniently blocked by flames. Pwn Count: 3

Then, within the same page he does this to War Machine…

That's what you get for putting eye holes in your billion dollar power armor, asshole. Pwn Count: 4

Finally, we’re treated to a whole page in which no one is pwned.

Turns out Cage and The Thing didn’t appreciate Minion’s mass pwning of their friends and family, so they go Thunderdome on his ass and smack him around for a bit, then team-up to hold him in place so Sue can have another go at popping him like a cork.

Unfortunately, Minion’s powers are broken as fuck, so there’s no way he’s gonna’ let that happen.

BITCH, HAVEN'T YOU SEEN MY MOVIES!? Pwn Count: 6

With that, Sue wusses out and gets all emotional instead of POPPING HIM LIKE A CORK right then and there.

With that, Minion talks shit to her about pwning her husband, and then proceeds to pwn her, OFF PANEL.

Uh... Pwn Count: 7?

*Sigh* I guess we can’t witness every instance of pwnage.

Following this, Minion squares of with Captain America, referring to him as his “old enemy,” implying they have some sort of history together.

… At this point I honestly don’t care.

Anyway, Minion defeats Captain America OFF PANEL, (urrgh!) just as Dr. Necker is getting ready to jump Death’s Head’s bones over how ruthless he is, letting the super team get pwned just so he can face a somewhat winded Minion.

And wouldn’t you know it, Death’s Head’s opening move against Minion provides us with a panel of Captain America’s post mortem pwnage.

It's okay, just pretend he was alive BEFORE the missile hit. Pwn Count: 8

Being as Minion is a “Cheap-As-Fuck” type Pokémon, the missile attack is not very effective…

An epic, one-on-one battle of sorts plays out, with Death’s Head employing a varied arsenal of tech-heavy weaponry to counter Minion’s infinite super combo gauge.

Okay, well maybe not ALL of it is "tech-heavy."

At this point in the fight however, as one would expect when tangling with a tick-throw pro like Minion, Death’s Head starts to fall behind a bit.

Despite this, he keeps his wits about him and proceeds to taunt Minion, accusing him of corner-trapping and such.

Seriously though, Death’s Head mocks Minion for his using his broken-ass powers as a crutch in battle, claiming that he is an idiot for not employing the use of any of the 105 intellects he has assimilated.

Minion responds to this in pretty much the most childish and idiotic way possible.

...And you're 100% sure that isn't exactly what he wants?

With this, Minion starts “Zzzat”-ing Death’s Head using some sort of telekinesis.

I don’t know, it’s not really explained…

Anyway, SOMETHING happens, and Death’s Head lops off Minion’s head!

You see? THIS is what happens when you turn Final Smash Balls on in Final Destination!

What the fuck just happened!?

Death’s Head exposits to us that, when Minion accessed Reed Richards’ mental powers, (I told you to keep him in mind!) Richards somehow momentarily took control of Minion FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.

My only guess is that Minion’s powers work kind of like Goku’s in Dragonball.  His powers are a manifestation of focus and will, so if he is caught completely off-guard, his powers do nothing to soften the blow.

Don’t believe me?  Go look up that one episode of Dragonball Z where Krillin chucks a rock at Goku when he’s asleep.  Yeah, that’s right, fuck you.

Anyway, the issue ends with Death’s Head being tempted by the prospect of dropping his “Freelance Peacekeeping Agent” title in favor of the more honorable “superhero.”

Uatu plays us out, asking us to decide which reality had the more beneficial result. (Protip: Not the one this comic takes place in)

With that I leave you of this image of Nightcrawler getting ready to put his sausage in Meggan and Shadowcat’s mouths.

Haha, gotcha!

Filed under: Comics, Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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