Archive for July, 2013


On the perception of artists in comics

July 16th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

One thing I feel really strongly about is the position of artists in comics. I talked about it last year and I’m sure I’ve tweeted about it a lot. Artists are, thanks to a wide variety of factors both intentional and incidental, often devalued in comics, especially when we’re talking mainstream fare, corporate or otherwise. I honestly, earnestly believe that the best comics happen when the writer, artist, and the rest of the creative team are on the same page and into the work and each other.

If you swap out everyone on a creative team but the writer like aftermarket car parts, then the only stable figure in the equation is the writer, then the writer will be viewed as the prime mover, the “creator” of the story. The truth is that a comic isn’t a comic until an artists puts pen to pad, and the relationship between writer and artist isn’t as simple as “This guy tells this lady what to do and she does it.”

But that’s the perception. I’ve talked about it again and again, but let me reiterate: the most common formula for a comics review is a bunch of paragraphs about what happens, followed by one paragraph about the art, followed by a conclusion. I know why it happens–cape comics in particular are about “what happens” as opposed to “how it happens” in marketing and reviewing–but I hate it. It’s aesthetically ugly, intellectually lazy, and it serves to devalue the artist. They’re always an afterthought, an “Oh by the way,” if that, and that contributes to our perception of artists.

Jack Kirby didn’t draw Stan Lee’s Fantastic Four. They created it together. The same is true of the dumbest movie tie-in comic and the greatest pop comics single issue. Collaboration is key.

I put a lot of thought into this last year in particular. I made the conscious decision to swap how I credited comics, both in headlines and normal conversation. The normal way of doing things is writer/artist, like Stan Lee/Jack Kirby. (I didn’t realize it until just now, but even the term “writer/artist” is tilted in favor of writing, not drawing.) Instead, I force myself to think for a second and type “Kirby/Lee.”

I don’t do it to suggest that the writer is less important than the artist. It’s a mental device that keeps me in mind of the facts: comics are collaborative, and each link in the chain is vital. You can’t talk about comics without talking about art. You can’t make comics without art. Going from writer/artist to artist/writer forces me to reconsider how I talk about comics and who I credit for what.

I used to empathize with reviewers who did the one short paragraph-about-art thing. It’s hard to talk about art if you aren’t an artist, the story’s really what interests you, you lack the confidence to speak as authoritatively on art as you would on story. Nowadays, though, I think they’re scared, or maybe just too soft to do the legwork required to talk about comics intelligently.

I’m a dummy. I dropped out of college, turned away from art school in high school, and I couldn’t tell you the difference an inker using a brush and a pen if I tried. (I would hazard a guess, though.) But I can look at art, figure out what it means to me or what it brings to mind, and express that in a critical manner.

If you aren’t doing that, you ain’t doing your job. And if you don’t know, figure it out. Ask someone, think about it really hard (I like this one), or just mull it over until it coalesces in your head. You can do it. I talk about my dumb emotions until I’m comfortable enough to talk about the art itself, as opposed to my reaction to it, though those are often tend to merge into the same thing once you start talking about them.

Darryl Ayo‘s review of Sam Alden’s Backyard (print) reignited these thoughts for me. It’s a review-via-numbered list, a technique I’ve enjoyed and used myself, but I haven’t seen it in a while. Darryl snaps from observations about the atmosphere, tone, characterization, art, and back again because he understands a fundamental truth of comics: the art is the story.

I enjoyed this piece from Andy Khouri on valuing and devaluing artists in comics, too. He lays out a lot of plain truths I agree with 2013%. I like this especially: “Story is art. Style is substance. A comic is not a comic until it is drawn.”

Gospel truth.

Dennis Culver, artist and co-creator of Edison Rex (print, digital) with writer Chris Roberson, is a friend of mine. We talk a lot about comics, mainly because he makes them, I read them, and we both have strong opinions on the subject. I’m coming from the perspective of a critic, someone who takes forever to read good comics and wants comics to be better. He’s coming from the perspective of an artist, someone who wants and deserves to feel valued in the comics conversation and puts in a massive amount of work to get a comic done.

We agree on a lot of things, but often in different ways. He collected a bunch of his tweets on the subject and reposted them on tumblr. I asked if I could repost them here and he said sure, so here we are:

You’re not writing about comics if you’re not talking/thinking about the art.

I think the trap a lot of critics fall into is giving sole credit for the story visuals to the writer.

And if any credit is given to the artist it’s usually for style. Ie Cartoony, realistic etc.

But if you give 6 different artists a panel description you will get 6 different images.

And each of those images can make you feel different things. Things the writer may not have initially intended.

That synergy is the magic of comics and it’s why artists are really co-writers.

The production line method of making comics is just an imperfect emulation of a single cartoonist.

Every part of the comics production line requires choices that affect the storytelling.

While the comics production line is great for speed, it’s created a lot of false boundaries that when strictly adhered to make bad comics

If you’re not directly communicating with your collaborators then you’re not collaborating. You’re playing telephone.

Don’t have time to read many comics but 2 books I look forward to the most are Daredevil by Waid and Samnee and Hawkeye by Fraction and Aja

Neither book singles out credit for writing or art and in the case of Daredevil, Waid and Samnee are just credited as “Storytellers.”

Both go beyond the normal production line collaboration and I think that is why the books are of such high quality.

I want to see more of this! I think it makes for better comics. And it shows that both writers value their artists as storytellers.

Because frankly when you’re an artist it’s easy to feel undervalued as a storyteller in this industry.

When a review only focuses on and gives all story credit to the writer while only mentioning the artist in passing if at all. I feel undervalued as a storyteller.

When a publisher puts out a press release that only talks about the writer, I feel undervalued as a storyteller.

When a publisher holds a story conference and only invites their writers, i feel undervalued as a storyteller.

It’s certainly not the writer’s fault but hey if you’re doing an interview about a book and the art is not being talked about. Bring it up.

The only way reviewers and the comics press can figure out how to talk about art is by talking about art.

When a writer refers to “his artists” I feel undervalued as a storyteller.

In comics I do think drawing is co-writing but I will also add in the best instances writers are co-directing the art with the artist

I have an excellent collaboration with on Edison Rex and if you could see out process, I think you’d be hard pressed to say where the writing ends and the art begins. Ask Chris, I am OPINIONATED about the story but Chris is the same about page layout and design. And I think that makes for a better comic.

It’s frustrating to read a review or tweet or whatever that glosses over my role as a storyteller.

You learn to do things by doing them. I’d rather see a reviewer clumsily talk about art than not at all.

I use undervalued specifically because this industry is built on undervaluing its creators. Creators that feel valued make better comics!

Here I was talking with a reviewer:
The art IS the story. Even if you don’t care for the style or don’t think it’s dynamic

The presentation by the artist of the images in sequence is how the story is being told. The art IS the story.

If you get rid of the art and are only left with the balloons, you will have no idea what’s going on. Comics IS art

When a reviewer only credits a writer with the story it is inarguably wrong. That’s just not how the process works.

Chris and I are credited for each others ideas in Edison Rex reviews all the time. Often we’re not sure who did what. If we don’t know how can you?

I want to have this conversation. I want to be better. I want reviewers, fans, and companies to listen and consider how they view comics and the role of each creator. The only way I know how to do that is to talk about it whenever I can and pray people pay attention.

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Guide to the Injustice Roster: DLC Appendix 5

July 16th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Evo 2013 has come and gone and while the bland Injustice: Gods Among Us tournament showcase probably poisoned the well for the game getting another high-profile appearance next year, it did at least show off a new trailer for Injustice DLC. Not only is John Stewart an available alternate skin for Green Lantern (Phil LaMarr voice acting included), but they’ve announced the first of the second set of DLC characters in Martian Manhunter.

So let’s take a look at the history of everyone’s second-favorite cookie monster.


Alias: J’onn J’onzz, John Jones, Fernus the Burning, Bloodwynd, Bronze Wraith and dozens of others
First Appearance: Detective Comics #225 (1955)
Powers: Super strength, speed, shape-shifting, telepathy, invisibility, laser vision, flight, intangibility
Other Media: Was a big player in the Justice League cartoon, showed up on some of the different Batman cartoons and starred in the terrible live-action Justice League pilot/movie.

Years ago, Patton Oswalt wrote a graphic novel called JLA: Welcome to the Working Week, where the main character – existing as Oswalt’s mouthpiece – referred to Martian Manhunter as the Bob Dylan to Superman’s Elvis Presley. When you’re a kid, you love the optimistic spitcurl, but when you get older, you start to appreciate the more serious giant brow. Martian Manhunter is a great foil for Superman, mainly different in that he was an adult when he made his exodus from his dying planet and that affects him differently.

The original origin was that J’onn J’onnz, a Martian lawman, was accidentally transported to Earth thanks to an experiment by Dr. Erdel. While Erdel would have been able to send him back, the shock of seeing this Martian caused him to have a heart attack and die. In the original continuity, Mars was still populated, so J’onn was driven by his quest to return. Back then, the idea of shipping a guy to Mars, even in a superhero world, was considered rather difficult. How novel.

J’onn used his shape-shifting abilities to take the identity of John Jones (get it?) and became a detective who would use his powers to give him the edge. His appearance as Martian Manhunter was meant to be a middle-ground version between Martian and human, being the best of both worlds. He joined the Justice League, used mainly as a stand-in for when the publishers felt Superman was being used way too much. For decades, J’onn was considered to be THE staple member of the Justice League. He appeared in nearly every incarnation of the team, which offset how little juice he had in carrying his own solo series, no matter how many times they tried.

Eventually, J’onn was reunited with his people and went on to rule Mars. He was written out of comics for a while until being brought back into the Justice League fold. I seem to remember that he had to save Earth from his own people in the final adventure of the classic “Satellite-Era Justice League” (ie. the original version of the team that started in the 60’s and ended in the 80’s). There was a part where he challenged another Martian to a fight and while the narrative strictly said that they were both invisible during this fight, the artist drew them like normal anyway.

Things got pretty dark for Martian Manhunter around this time. He was on the outs with his race. He joined the infamously bad Justice League Detroit (otherwise known as Aquaman leading a team of angsty teenagers) and ended up becoming the leader towards the end, only to have a couple of the kids tragically die on his watch. Then after Crisis on Infinite Earths changed continuity, it also reshaped J’onn’s origin. J’onn’s insane brother unleashed a plague upon Mars that wiped out everyone but J’onn himself. Not only did Dr. Erdel’s machine pull him from space, but also from time. The destruction of Mars was thousands of years ago. Like Superman, he was the last of his kind… until they brought in guys who were also Martians down the line.

It picked up for J’onn, though. He had a big role in Justice League International, known for being the fun and funny era. He mainly played the straight man to jokey characters Guy Gardner, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. Thanks to Captain Marvel, he was also turned onto Oreo cookies (later renamed Chocos due to trademark) and became addicted. He also led his own Justice League side-team called Justice League: Task Force and nothing of note came from that other than the time he temporarily turned himself female.

Every now and then, J’onn and the Justice League would have to face the White Martians, a genetic offshoot who were more dedicated to war while the Green Martians were more peaceful. The most famous of these battles was the beginning of Grant Morrison’s Justice League run where a team of superheroes came to Earth to create a utopia while antagonizing the Justice League. Batman figured out that they were White Martians in disguise and easily defeated them thanks to their weakness of fire.

Fire is something all Martians fear, though it’s shown to be more of a psychological weakness than physiological. In other words, fire only hurts J’onn because he lets it. He briefly got together with a reformed fire-based villain named Scorch, who helped him get over his fear of fire. This turned out disastrous. We found out that eons ago, when the Martians were still primitive life forms, they were both bloodthirsty and virtually unstoppable. The Guardians of the Universe (Green Lantern’s bosses) were concerned with what this would mean if the Martians could evolve to figure out space flight. They intervened and subdued the entire race, injecting them all with a fear of fire as a way to keep them all in check.

No longer bound by this gigantic weakness, J’onn became corrupted by this savage, forgotten piece of his bloodline. He became a beast known as Fernus the Burning and showed that he was really the most powerful member of the League all along, as even Superman was helpless against him. Turned out Batman had a solution to this situation as well by siccing Plastic Man on him. Plastic Man’s immune to mind control and has a better grasp on shapeshifting, so he was able to help take down the mad Martian. J’onn and Fernus were separated from each other as two different identities in the end.

Nothing much happened with J’onn for a while. After Infinite Crisis, he got a new look that looked closer to his pure Martian form, mainly due to his pessimism towards humanity. This was for his new solo series which once again sold like shit and was canceled. J’onn was killed by Libra and the Secret Society of Supervillains in the story Final Crisis. Sweetly enough, Batman visited J’onn’s tomb and left a single Choco cookie.

J’onn returned from the grave during Blackest Night as one of the more unbeatable walking corpses. At the end of the story, he was one of the dozen characters fully resurrected. J’onn then starred in the series Brightest Day, where he was able to make Mars fertile again and ended up clashing with an insane Green Martian D’kay. J’onn had to kill D’kay and destroy the budding life on Mars, showing that in the end, Earth was his only true home.

With the New 52 reboot, J’onn had never joined the Justice League in the past but instead was part of Stormwatch, a cloak and dagger superhero organization. There, J’onn fought against evil from the shadows, but eventually left the team and removed all their memories of him being there in the first place. Since then, Martian Manhunter has been brought into the Justice League of America, the US government’s personal team meant to counter the regular Justice League if they ever get out of line. Martian Manhunter is there to deal with Superman.

Probably the saddest depiction of J’onn is in Kingdom Come, the dystopian future storyline. In order to give Superman vs. Captain Marvel more gravitas, J’onn had to be taken off the table. He appeared in one scene to aid Batman, depicted as a gibbering and mentally broken John Jones who could barely function after trying to open his mind to all of humanity. Poor guy.

One of the better Martian Manhunter stories is New Frontier, which exists as both a wonderful graphic novel and a pretty good animated film. When showing off his hybrid superhero appearance to a human friend, he was flatly told, “Real men wear pants.” And that’s a fair point because, really, what the hell is that outfit?

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This Week in Panels: Week 199

July 15th, 2013 Posted by Gavok


Yo. Welcome to This Week in Panels. Posted this later than I wanted to thanks to spending the entire day working/watching Evo/watching Money in the Bank. I’m tired.

My panel crew this week is made up of Matlock, Gaijin Dan, Jody, Space Jawa, Was Taters and the grand return of one David Brothers! Remember, next week is Week 200 and that’s when I’ll be doing This Character in Panels. I have a lot of great stuff so far and if you have anything you want represented, by all means send me a line. Deadline is July 21st.

Remember that it should be one panel (not a sequence or splash page) and try to have the issue number, writer and artist.

Meanwhile, after seeing Pacific Rim the other day, I ended up buying tickets for my first ever Kaiju Big Battel show this Saturday. This will be a few hours after my next improv performance, this time at the UCB Theater in Chelsea at 1:15. If you’re in the area, check it out.

Now roll that beautiful bean footage.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search Part 2
Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru

Batman #22 (Taters’ pick)
Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, James Tynion IV and Rafael Albuquerque

Batman #22 (Gavin’s pick)
Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, James Tynion IV and Rafael Albuquerque

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T-U-R-T-L-E Primer: A Guide to the First Two Years of IDW’s TMNT Comic

July 13th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

One of my favorite comics on the stands these days is IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Headed by Tom Waltz, Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman and a host of others, the two-year-old Ninja Turtles series feels like the perfect balance of what a new take on the series should be. Silly as it is to say, the Turtles are some of the most versatile properties in comics and television on the level of Batman. They could be anywhere from serious Frank Miller knockoffs to goofball comedians. Over the years they’ve shared scenes with the Power Rangers, the Flaming Carrot, the Muppet Babies and even Hitler (and that was in the Archie Comics spinoff of the 80’s cartoon!).

Even with something like Turtles Forever, I saw a little too much divisiveness within takes on the characters. The current series feels more accepting of all walks of the foursome and shows it well. It’s pieces of the Mirage universe, pieces of the 80’s cartoon universe, a little bit of the 4Kids cartoon universe (which doesn’t have too much to take from since the early seasons were mostly retellings of the Mirage stuff) and a lot of new twists and ideas to keep it original when it counts.

The hook of the series compared to all the other takes is this: you know how the cartoon was about the Turtles teaming up against Shredder and Krang, even though those two had little in common outside of being evil? What if it was instead a war between Shredder and Krang and the Turtles are just in the middle? Hell, go further. Add several more evil factions, all working against each other and the Turtles are the only bastion of hope to stop them.

Now, there is one major problem with the series and that’s in its format. As of this writing, there are 23 issues of the main series, 11 micro-series (character spotlights), an 80-page annual (the first Turtles comic written and drawn by Eastman in decades), a two-issue part of the IDW Infestation 2 storyline and a four-issue miniseries about the history of the Foot Clan. Other than Infestation 2, it’s all pretty important and it’s really hard to get the reading order down. I’m lucky because I was reading the Micro-Series issues as they came out, but for someone catching up and getting the trades, it’s a gigantic headache.

So I figured I’d give a bit of a primer for the series. A big who’s who of familiar and not-so-familiar faces.


Affilliation: TMNT
First Appearance: #1
Micro-Series Issue: During #11

Upon introduction, Splinter was just a lab rat at Stock Gen Research Inc. Due to some experiments, they were able to increase his intelligence, separating his human-like cognition from his animal instincts. Despite being just a rat, Splinter was able to understand the darkness that surrounded the lab, outside of naïve intern April O’Neil. When a couple of Foot ninjas broke into the lab one night, Splinter was able to help save April and then chase the ninjas onto a rooftop. He scratched out one’s eye and caused him to drop his plunder from the lab: four experimented-on turtles and some mutagen. Splinter and the turtles ended up in the sewer, stewing in the mutagen. Splinter grew into a humanoid rat creature and had a greater understanding of the world.

But really, his story began even earlier. In Feudal Japan, Hamato Yoshi was a great ninja warrior and member of the Foot Clan back when it was an honorable group. He was married to Tang Shen, who gave him four sons. Yoshi’s clan-mate Oroku Saki became leader of the Foot and started using it for ruthless, power-hungry reasons. Yoshi left the clan, feeling it was a disgrace. In response, Saki had Tang Shen killed. Yoshi was able to save his children and ran off with them to live in the mountains for years. Unfortunately, they were one day tracked down by the Foot and all beheaded. Yoshi prayed for justice and to be one day reunited with his children. Then, in his last act, he swore revenge on Saki.

Splinter became sought after by both Stock Gen for his blood and by the modern Foot Clan for recruitment. When Shredder saw Splinter’s skills in action, he began to notice the familiarity while Splinter realized that Shredder was Oroku Saki himself in the same exact body as all those years ago. Splinter lost in combat against Shredder, partially due to how he was worn down by having to go through an army of Foot ninjas and Alopex. Splinter was saved at the last minute by his sons, who defeated Shredder and brought him to safety.

Splinter is very strict about his sons not killing, as it is not their way. At the same time, he struggles with his hatred for the Shredder. At the very least, he insists to his sons that it is their duty to kill the Shredder. Not for the revenge factor, but because he’s too evil and dangerous to live.

Recently, Splinter donned a masked identity and attacked his sons, promising to go after Splinter if they didn’t stop him. He was able to get the best of them and revealed himself as a way to drive home the point that while the Turtles are skilled, they’re becoming too predictable. He needs to train them in more martial arts and truly broaden their horizons.


Affiliation: TMNT
First Appearance: #1
Micro-Series Issue: Between #8 and #9

Leonardo is the reincarnation of Hamato Yoshi’s eldest son. He’s the most loyal of the four and follows all of Splinter’s words like law. More than anyone else, he believes in Splinter’s claims of reincarnation, both because he believes anything Splinter says and because he has vague, dream-like memories of seeing Tang Shen die in front of him.

When Splinter was captured by Stock Gen, Leonardo searched the streets and found himself targeted by the Foot Clan, tangling with them for the first time. While he was able to fight a bunch of them off, the Shredder – wearing less extravagant ninja gear – easily beat him down and deemed him unimpressive. Later, Leonardo led his brothers in saving Splinter from being killed by Shredder. This time, Leonardo pressed the numbers advantage and won out. Leaving for the sake of getting Splinter to safety, Leonardo made sure to throw a shuriken an inch from Shredder’s head and deemed him unimpressive.

Splinter’s claims that they need to kill Shredder do not sit well with Leonardo, who wishes not to kill under any circumstances because life is sacred. This came up soon after when he and his brothers had to fight the insane and unstoppable Slash. Leonardo tried his hardest to reason with the giant turtle, but ended up gravely wounding him by accident while protecting April and Casey. Leonardo didn’t know that Slash survived having a katana shoved handle-deep down his shoulder and became troubled over it, keeping Slash’s black eye-mask as a memento.

After their second skirmish, Shredder grew to respect Leonardo and found potential in him as an apprentice. He staged a trap and kidnapped Leonardo. The witch Kitsune put Leonardo through a ritual very similar to what Frank Miller had the Hand do to resurrect Elektra. Leonardo’s memories were altered into a nightmarish recollection where Splinter had been terrorizing him via all of their adventures while Shredder had been trying to save him from all of it. In these altered memories, Splinter killed the other three Turtles and resurrected them as his evil soldiers. Last seen, Leonardo woke from this ritual, wearing Slash’s black eye-mask.

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This Week in Panels: Week 198

July 7th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Hello, ladies and gentlemen. The ThWiP wheels keep turning and it’s been a great week of stuff, especially because of Batman ’66 gracing our digital devices. Also, Venom has bitching art and Deadpool Kills Deadpool cleans off the stink that came from Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe… even if it killed off Golden-Age Deadpool from that comic one-shot that only I and four other people read from three years ago. Speaking of Deadpool comics that are no longer bad, Daniel Way is off Thunderbolts and it’s already much, much better and comprehensible.

My helpers this week are Gaijin Dan, Matlock, Space Jawa and Jody. Speaking of helpers, thanks to the many people who have already contributed to This Character in Panels. Keep it coming! The deadline is July 21st.

Adventures of Superman #10
Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Wes Craig

Avengers #15
Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer and Stefano Caselli

Avengers AI #1
Sam Humphries and Andre Lima Araujo

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Countdown to ThWiP #200: 4thletter Needs Your Help!

July 4th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Okay, so if you go to this site even semi-regularly, you notice that thing I do every Sunday night called This Week in Panels. A weekly segment where me and my commando force of contributors take all the comics we’ve read that week and reduce them to one panel each, each one representing that specific issue best we can. It’s been a staple for so long that pretty soon we’re going to hit ThWiP Week 200. When I hit 100, we did a bunch of ThWiPs based on our all-time favorite comic issues. So we can’t do that again.

What I want to do for Week 200 is This Character in Panels and I’d like your help. Take your favorite characters. Try to find that one panel that best represents them. It could be Superman convincing that girl not to commit suicide. It could be Spider-Man blaming himself for Gwen Stacy’s death. It could be anything from this…

…to this…

…possibly this…

…or perhaps this…

…or even something as recent as this…

Whatever. If you have anything in mind, just send it to jaguartooth (at) along with the issue #, writer, artist and character name if it isn’t someone easily recognizable. Come on, gamble a stamp!

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Ten

July 2nd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

20) Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – BOB RICHARDS/SLIM BOB

Bob rules. With a design that’s Ken Masters meets Sammo Hung, his confidence comes from his massive size. Despite only three game appearances to his name, Bob’s been all sorts of things. Top US martial artist, celebrity, suave ladies man, bounty hunter and superhero. At least, that’s what he is in his Tekken Tag 2 ending.

The art style here is beautiful, taking the form of stylized motion comics with a little more movement mixed in. Bob sees some kids being picked on by a gang of punks. He shows up on the scene in a yellow superhero costume, introducing his battle cry, “SPEED AND… WEIGHT!” The punks aren’t impressed and think he’s supposed to be a road sign. They tell him to be like a good road sign and go stand in traffic. Bob doesn’t take their advice.

The kids cheer him on and join in with his battle cry. Then he sees a woman falling off a ledge on a nearby building. Bob tries to figure out how to get to her and sees a man putting bungee cords into a van. Bob steals those bungees and uses them to propel himself into the air, catch the woman and cause massive shockwaves in the ground upon landing, all while yelling, “SPEED AND… WEIGHT!” There’s an awesome shot of one of the kids he rescued excitedly high fiving the bungee van driver. An entire crowd gathers to cheer him on.

The next day, Bob is disappointed when he sees the headlines.

Bob has a similar ending in the form of Slim Bob. See, Bob is like the anti-Elvis Presley. He takes pride in his girth, but in his Tekken 6 ending, the success led to him letting himself go and becoming thin and handsome, much to his horror. That version of him became playable in Tekken Tag 2 and in his ending, he wears a red version of the superhero outfit. Unfortunately, it’s many sizes too big and he has to keep the pants from falling down. He rescues an old man in a subway from the same muggers, only this time they refer to him as “Sci-Fi Santa Claus.” Slim Bob takes them out, but feels weaker compared to his true, blubbery self.

Then he sees that the same woman from the other ending is on the train tracks, screaming for help. He picks her up, throws her off the track and then lays on the track just as a train goes over him. He’s fine, but is horrified when the woman hands him his accidentally-discarded mask. She calls him her hero and kisses him with an entire cheering crowd around them, but we later see that despite everything, Bob is still depressed over his slim frame.

19) Mortal Kombat 4 – JAX

God bless the terrible Mortal Kombat 4 endings. After figuring that text was the way of the dinosaurs, Midway decided that their first 3D Mortal Kombat game needed cutscene endings. While the Playstation version had full motion video, the arcade and Nintendo 64 versions had to rely on the in-game graphics to tell the stories. Stories filled with jerky animation, horrible dialogue and even worse voice acting. They’re magnificent.

Jax easily has the best, especially since it’s an extension of Jarek’s ending, which is sort of an extension of Sonya’s ending. Sonya confronts Jarek on a completely generic-looking plain of grass about how now that Shinnok is defeated, Jarek is going to be taken into custody. Jarek advances on Sonya, saying that he agreed to help them during this crisis, but he’ll never turn himself in. “THE BLACK DRAGON LIVE ON!”

Suddenly, it pans out to show that they’re on top of a cliff, accompanied by the worst dramatic music you’ve ever heard. Sonya tells Jarek that the Black Dragon died with Kano and that Jarek is the last one around. With a scream of, “UMMBSULKAIIIIEEEEEEE!” Jarek runs at her, misses and falls off the cliff. Sonya calls Jax on her walky-talky to inform him what just happened, but Jarek shows that he’s not so dead after all. He climbs back up, grabs Sonya by the ankle and throws her to her death. Then he stomps down on the walky-talky so hard that it not only breaks, but vanishes completely! There are no pieces of it anywhere when he moves his foot!

The walky-talky business was pointless anyway, because Jax turns out to be five feet away all this time. Weird how Jarek didn’t notice him what with there being no trees or anything. Jarek tries to talk his way out of it, but Jax isn’t hearing it. He grabs Jarek by the throat and holds him over the cliff with absolutely zero detail below. Jarek begs for his life and says that Jax has to uphold the law. This is brutality!

“Wrong, Jarek! This is not a brutality… this is a Fatality!”

Despite the subtitles, he’s still saying, “UMMBSULKAIIIIEEEEEEE!!”

It’s so beautifully shitty.

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