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Lord Liaden

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Everything posted by Lord Liaden

  1. There's quite a bit about Japanese pop culture that sometimes makes me question whether the Japanese are quite right in the head. Then again, I have the same question about Americans.
  2. Point of trivia: fruit flies do just fine in microwave ovens. Their bodies are smaller than the wavelength of the microwaves, so the radiation just passes around them without being absorbed.
  3. The phrasing is somewhat awkward, but I believe the point dmjalund is trying to make, is that there was concern among the people producing Captain Marvel that if the story emphasized Carol Danvers being humbled, that would be interpreted by many in the audience as the patriarchal system once again "putting a woman in her place."
  4. Much of the really cutting-edge drama these days is being done for television, while movies tend toward broadest-appeal films. It used to be the reverse, when television was the medium targeted for the masses. But as the range of channels and services has proliferated, television has more and more had to find niche markets appealing to specific tastes and expectations; whereas films, more and more obsessed with blockbuster box office, is aiming for as many targets as possible with every release. I'll just add that one person's junk is someone else's treasure, one size does not fit all, etc.
  5. Unlike tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes... COVID is covert. The casualties from the virus die relatively quietly, out of sight of most people. Even though it's as bad as or worse than any of those in its own way, there is no imagery of spectacular devastation to galvanize the public into taking serious action. For that reason it's also easier for politicians and media to turn people away from vaccination.
  6. Okay, sure. There were a few things about the group I disliked. One was the names of the band members -- some of them were just uninspiring. (I mean, the Hulk-like drummer was known as ... Ted.) Another was too much reliance on sonic attacks by two of its members. I also felt the group lacked a strong unifying motivation and motivator. Their ostensible leader, Heavy Metal, was too unfocused. So, let's start with the name changes, why I picked them and what they represented. Some of these may seem dated today, but I wanted the band members' stage names to have stronger allusions to rock-and-roll, and to be more representative of its spectrum of sub-genres than just metal. Rather like the tribal leaders of Wakanda in the movie Black Panther symbolized pan-Africa, I wanted Road Kill to stand for pan-rock. (That would also match up with the variety of visual styles embodied in the characters' illos.) I changed the band's lead singer to a mentalist with Mind Control, Mental Illusions and Ego Attack, called Headbanger. Their keyboardist and chief gadgeteer I named Metal King, a play on Lee Aaron's seminal album, "Metal Queen." I liked Axeman's name and kept it, but made his battleaxe a family heirloom with magical powers, which were activated when he killed a man with it. Metal King built a guitar around the axe. Road Kill's base-player being an ex-VIPER agent, I defined him as having been one of VIPER'S Draysha agents, who could temporarily gain snakelike appearance and superhuman abilities. For unknown reasons his change was permanent, and when VIPER tried to dissect him to find out why, he fled. When he joined Road Kill he was dubbed Pit Viper (mosh pit reference), and his VIPER blaster was enhanced by Metal King and incorporated into his base guitar. He displays his true appearance in the band's act, pretending it's makeup and prostheses. The band's brutish superstrong drummer's birth name was Ted Granger, so I modified that to Grunge, both for its Hulkish sound and to evoke grunge rock. Their special-effects coordinator I renamed Haywire, which I thought better suited the band's anarchic style. She was also the principle driver of the Road Kill road van, which mounted copies of her pyrotechnic equipment with which she could lay down covering fire for her teammates. My version of Road Kill's manager, Damien Falmier, was a failure as a rock band promoter until he tried to summon a demon from Hell to make a deal. He botched the ritual like most other things he tried, and the demon devoured his soul and possessed his body. Now free to walk the Earth in Falmier's guise, the demon gathered Road Kill to do what generations of parents had claimed rock and roll did, corrupt youth and promote chaos. Damien lets Headbanger think he leads the team, but subtly guides him on a hellish path. (You can't tell me you read the name, "Damien Falmier," and didn't have a thought like that cross your mind.) 😈
  7. Particularly when that enormous market's government is primed to outright ban any entertainment which offends their delicate sensibilities.
  8. Road Kill was rather lame too IMO, for several reasons. I made an extensive revision of them for my own use, but I think something comparable would be necessary to update them. OTOH Michael Surbrook "debugged" Argent Anarky for Hero 5E on his magnificent "Surbrook's Stuff" website: http://www.devermore.com/surbrook/revisedhero/herorev.html
  9. You could spend years, game-world and real-world, adventuring in the Western Shores. I will once again pimp my favorite original Hero System fantasy world, The Savage Earth, created by our long-absent forum colleague, Keith Curtis. It's a future Earth turned on its side by a magical apocalypse, reminiscent of a more serious and detailed version of the old Thundarr the Barbarian cartoon. Keith being a professional cartographer, his setting maps are outstanding. Here are some samples: http://savageearth.net/Savage-Earth-Master-Map.jpg http://savageearth.net/Merikia.jpg http://savageearth.net/Tallon-Rendered.html
  10. Fu Manchu isn't really necessary from an in-universe perspective. Marvel has characters who could easily fill in for him. I would have favored the Yellow Claw, who was already very close to Fu Manchu. Substituting him for Fu would allow Shang-Chi's back story to remain mostly the same. But this cinematic interpretation of the Mandarin could work as well, particularly with the apparent redefinition of the Ten Rings.
  11. I'm sorry, but the conceit that Saitama could effortlessly shred the mightiest beings from other universes has become very boring to me. Now, here is a much more logical, balanced, and exciting comic-based take on that kind of conflict.
  12. The man who came up with that must have been trying to compensate for something.
  13. Just about everyone who could be convinced by evidence, already has been. The rest accept their party line as though it was an issue of faith.
  14. The higher officers are generally firmly against the more authoritarian moves by Trump, but no few of the lower ranks support the Right. So I agree, it's still up in the air.
  15. I suspect there are some markets where that could be exactly what it looks like.
  16. Along those lines, I appreciate the take by the writers of the current Superman and Lois TV series on Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Rather than build a giant crystal castle on the surface of the northern ice like in the Donner films and the Smallville series, Jor-El's tech opened tunnels and caves below the surface of Antarctica. From above it matches the contours of the surrounding landscape, and the entrance is only visible at ground level. For my own interpretation of one of the Champions Universe's hidden lands, The Valley of Night, I placed it under a canopy of illusion that looks like the surrounding jungle. Being magic it can be assumed to be impenetrable to radar as well. That illusion was actually in place centuries before satellites, though. I decided to take the designation, "valley of night," more literally. Its inhabitants, originally rebels from the sun-worshiping Inca Empire, consider the very Sun itself to be their enemy, so the canopy allows no light from the sky to reach their valley at all. That and the Valley's heightened magic led to the evolution of a unique ecosystem.
  17. I'm guessing you mean, "Cudgel."
  18. Dispel and/or Suppress. You need some means to counter someone else's magic, out of combat at minimum.
  19. I really like Matachin. I updated him to 5E as part of an ad hoc group of villainous supernatural "knights," the Obsidian Table, hired by Brangomar the Shadow Queen. Other members were the Black Paladin (leader), Hell Rider, Morningstar (Steve Long's character, not Dean's), Lightning Man, Harpy (Brangomar saw her bird-woman form as too ugly to be jealous of), and Shadowdragon (not the same cultural motif, but I figured Brangomar would find that name too appealing not to include). I told y'all I like themed teams. 😜
  20. I also believe it hurt the BW film that its primary antagonist, this interpretation of Taskmaster, was essentially a less-interesting Winter Soldier. She didn't have the history of Bucky Barnes, so the "mystery" and "drama" around her reveal fell flat. Comic-book Taskmaster is so much cooler than this IMHO.
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