Back in August 2016, Nerdvana looked at Marvel’s Super Hero Squad Show.
Specifically, we celebrated the Animal Factor, one of the specific factors that each SHS member (aka the “Squaddies”) employed to make an ideal team. Today’s Nerdvana looks at another one of said factors, The Technology Factor, aka The Tech Factor.
For the uninformed, Tech Factor characters are in possession of amazing, futuristic high-tech, able to create everything from the latest advanced weaponry to the Egg Scrambler of Tomorrow and employing the most far-out gear, gadgets, gizmos and gigabytes into their daily lives.
Hmm, four Gs. That sounds familiar somehow.
So without further ado, here are some of my favorite Tech Factor characters.
Everybody’s favorite half-organic, half-cybernetic Teen Titan turned founding Justice League member. Though he actually made his TV debut on ABC’s Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, his most famous incarnation was in Glen Murakami’s Teen Titans: The Animated Series.
He was cool there, but he was basically just the strong man on that show, with some tech-savvy on the side. Later on, he was retconned to his current version, where he is capable of flight and the ability to literally plug into electronic devices and interface with machines and computers. Cyborg’s adaptability enables him a vast array of robo-powers.
Yes, I know that there were actually 2 Mr. Terrifics in the DC Universe, but I’ll only be covering the 2nd Mr. Terrific, Michael Holt, as he’s the Mr. Terrific of “my” generation and the only one I really know about besides the name. Mr. Terrific’s super power by his own admission is learning. He’s one of THE smartest people in the DCU, as a kid he was mastering quantum physics while the other kids were struggling with Sesame Street. He’s also the inventor of the T-Spheres…
…Which can do a plethora of things:
-form a laser grid between the spheres
-link to computers/data
-be used as a weapon by flying into things
Forget Siri, I gotta get me some of these!
TONY STARK/IRON MAN
Perhaps the most famous Tech Factor hero of all, Mr. Stark has a suit or armor and a high-tech device for seemingly any occasion. Uni-Beam, Repulsor Blasts, Smart Bombs, Rocket Boots, a computerized A.I., you name it.
Static Shock’s sidekick, er, um, partner, received latent exposure to the Big Bang gas, accelerating his intellect tenfold. At least he didn’t just get a rash or something.
In addition to possessing rocket shoes and the ability to project holograms, Gear is the inventor of Backpack, a high-tech assistant that Richie wears on his back (duh!) which constantly feeds him data that only a super-genius brain can keep up with. It also makes Julian Fries.
A numerical savant accountant inside a suit of robo-armor invented by nutty chicken inventor Gyro Gearloose. In addition to possessing cool techno-powers and getting to zoom around on a single radial tire, I like how in the Disney Duck-Verse Gizmoduck has Superman status, being one of Duckburg and St. Canard’s most beloved heroes.
Also, in the new DuckTales series, the duck inside the armor will be voiced by Lin Manuel Miranda, and at the actor’s request, will also be Latino.
I gushed over Tecna before, and I’m doing it again here. She’s a fairy whose magical powers is technology, my kind of fairy. She’s a genius (obviously), she’s decked out in purple, one of my favorite colors…
…And she hails from a technologically advanced planet called Zenith. (It was called Techno Fairyland in the 4Kids dub, ’cause they didn’t want to get sued. Too late!)
Plus, one of her signature moves is the Digital Traingle. What’s so great about triangles? Just ask Pythagoras.
Is Dexter a superhero? No, but he is a Boy Genius, having registered the term.
This kid has his own insanely vast science laboratory hidden within the bowels of his ordinary suburban home, where he’s constantly tinkering away, creating all manner of Mad Science.
Finally, we’ll wrap this up by providing something for the benefit of those who may opt to create their own robots: A brief run-through of Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics.
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its’ own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
Hey! Let’s talk about Hanna Barbera/Heater-Quigley’s animated series Wacky Races.
You know it, you love it (assuming that you grew up in the era when the show was airing on TV). But did you know that some people made real life the Wacky Races customized cars?
Yes, you heard right. Some people made actual replicas of the various cars in the Wacky Races. So without further ado…
First, here’s the Turbo Terrific, driven by Peter Perfect. It’s amazing how Peter’s car still manages to look stylish despite it’s phallic appearance.
Next up, the Bullet Proof Bomb (driven by The Anthill Mob). What material is this car made up of?
Next, here’s the Convert-A-Car (driven by Professor Pat Pending). Not only is this car a hybrid, it’s a transformer!
Next, it’s the Compact Pussycat, driven by Penelope Pitstop (NASCAR’s first token chick). Sure, give the only female racer the girliest car. Hey, it was a different time.
Here we have the Creepy Coupe, driven by the Gruesome Twosome. This comes complete with a plastic replica of Big Gruesome in the passenger seat!
Here we have the Army Surplus Special, driven by Sargent Blast and Private Meekly. This was always one of my favorite WR cars, despite the fact that I wouldn’t last a nanosecond in the army.
Next up is the Boulder Mobile, driven by the Slag Brothers, Rock and Gravel. Primitive, but effective.
Here’s the Crimson Haybailer, driven by the Red Max. Can’t decide between a car and a plane? Split the difference!
Over here is the Buzz Wagon, driven by Rufus Ruffcut and Sawtooth (his pet beaver). Note the wheels here are fakes placed in front of the tires. The buzz saw wheels work well in cartoon form, but in real life they wouldn’t be able to support the weight of a car, not even one made out of wood.
“Huh-huh-huh! He sad ‘wood’! Huh-huh-huh-huh!”
“Yeah! ‘Wood!’ Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh!”
Moving on, here’s the Arkansas Chug-A-Bug, driven by Lazy Luke and Blubber Bear. It’s got a stovepipe for the exhaust. Now that’s rural!
And of course, we can’t forget the Mean Machine, driven by Dick Dastardly and Muttley. I’ve always dug this car’s design, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s also purple, my favorite color. Plus, it’s got a freakin’ rocket for the exhaust!
On a related note, I have to give an honorable mention to this Dick Dastardly toy car made by Corgi, which I saved up my allowance money for weeks to buy as a kid. I bought it from K&K Toys (just to give you an idea how long ago this was!). No, it’s not the Mean Machine (which kid me would have punched someone in front of their granny in order to get), but it’s still pretty cool.
A couple of minor nitpicks, though. First, why were Dick and Muttley wearing their pilot outfits from Dastardly and Muttley and Their Flying Machines here when they’re driving a race car? Second, in what alternate reality has Dick Dastardly ever worn a pink jacket?
I’m going to wrap this up by showcasing another attempt to render the Wacky Racers in live action, with this hilarious Peugot car commercial, which never aired in the U.S. Yeah, I know that we’ve already shown this ad here earlier on 2 Funny, but we like it, and it’s relevant to the subject at hand, so we’re going to show it again! Enjoy.
Now that’s keeping it real! Real wacky, that is!
NEW FREAKAZOID WHAT THE FUNNY! NEW FREAKAZOID WHAT THE FUNNY! NEW FREAKAZOID WHAT THE FUNNY!!
Before we get into it, permit me to apologize for the ridiculously long delay. I had planned to get this (along with the ‘Six Favorite Sonic Zones’ Videots and the Toon Adjacent for The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera) out in September, but September proved to be a really crappy month for blogging; it was just one dumb distraction after another. So yeah, this one is extremely late, but thankfully I’ve managed to squeeze this post in right at the end of October, so I’ll be coming into November with only 2 more Freakazoid! What The Funny installments before we can move to the next set of miniseries. Now, on with the insanity!
The short we’ll be spotlighting today is a segment of Season 1, Episode 11, Next Time, Phone Ahead!
Premise: Dexter Douglas/Freakazoid have a close encounter with a space alien who’s stranded on Earth.
This episode is a spoof of Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.
Network Censor: Emmitt Nervend
Find Emmitt Nervend: And Send Him Home
A flying saucer full of aliens makes a ‘pit stop’ on Earth…
…And leaves someone behind: a giant grotesque monster who hides in the trash cans outside of the Douglases’ house and devours Dexter. Fade Out and…
We then cut to TV snow, and discover that this is a pre-screening/table read on the episode with Spielberg himself and various WB staff members…
..who are thinking that they should end the show early and show more Animaniacs reruns.
Steven Spielberg does not particularly like this ending. At first, the writers and crew of Freakazoid! convince him to fall in line with their plan. However, Spielberg has other plans, and weaves an oddly familiar story…
It now turns out the the aliens left behind one of their own, namely, this guy:
For the uninformed, this is Mo-Ron, an alien whose intelligence lives up to his name. (Although in this short, his name is mysteriously changed to Bo-Ron.)
I don’t know why they changed it, either.
Anyway, Mo-Ron/Bo-Ron/Whatever is is one of the few people who is aware of Freakazoid’s secret identity, presumably not because Freakazoid trusts him, but moreso because Freakazoid assumes Bo-Ron is too stupid to remember or care. He is voiced by Stan Freberg. He was first seen in an earlier episode’s wraparounds; when Mo-Ron arrives on Earth, President Bill Clinton and Freakazoid cautiously but eagerly await humanity’s first contact with extraterrestrial life, hoping to learn the secrets of the universe. Instead, they are confronted with this overweight, belly-button-picking nitwit who repeatedly introduces himself. They then go to Plan B, blasting the heck out of the creature, but Mo-Ron survives. He continues to hang out with Freakazoid for awhile afterward, until he finally remembers his message: a giant comet is coming to Earth. His warning is too late, and the comet collides with the planet. Whoops!
Here, he’s spotted in the Douglases’ backyard by Dexter…
…And also by Freakazoid, who’s hanging out in the Freakazone (not to be confused with the Freakalair), a private space inside Dexter’s mind where Freak ponders stuff like taking over Switzerland so he can have all the chocolate and chillaxes watching reruns of Rat Patrol.
Dexter meets and befriends Mo-Ron, who gives him a ultra-tight bear hug causing Dex to switch to Freakazoid (who murmurs “Help Me!” a la The Fly). Mo-Ron reveals that he’s now going by the name Bo-Ron for some reason and that he hails from the planet Barone’s.
Taking the alien to the Freakalair via the Freakafall (also never referenced again after this episode)…
Freak proceeds to teach Bo-Ron the ways of Earth.
-Incidentally, the Freakafall is operated by Steff, who is wearing an outfit similar to the original character design by Bruce Timm, with short shorts and a peaked cap.
FREAKAZOID’S EARTH LESSONS
-Never run with scissors.
-The four basic food groups are ice cream, candy, cakes, and very large cakes.
-Always ask for a piece of the gross, not the net; the net is fantasy.
-Never try to catch a roadrunner; it’s impossible.
-Stay out of your father’s underwear drawer!
-Eating carrots giver you X-ray vision! (In the background, we see a horrified Steff running out of the room)
-Diane Sawyer seems sincere, but she’s actually faking it.
Dexter even tries to keep Bo-Ron, but hiding a giant bulbous green alien in his house proves difficult.
Finally, Dex’s parents tell him no, and Freak informs Bo-Ron that while he’d like for him to stay, “It’s gettin’ kinda funky” and he has to call his fellow beings to pick him up. Bo-Ron reveals that he’s never picked out a carrier or a phone plan…
…Leading to an aerial dogfight between phone companies!
Eventually, a winner is chosen…
And Bo-Ron phones home. (You knew it was coming.) At first, he gets the machine, which according to him is “always on. You’re there! I know you’re there! Pick up! PICK UP!”
But eventually, his ship arrives. Bo-Ron bids farewell to his friend “Red Underwear Man” and leaves Dexter with something special: a whopping huge phone bill!
Not much else to say about this one, except that it’s a fun romp. Nothing big or spectacular, just an E.T. parody featuring Mo-Ron/Bo-Ron, a ton of in-jokes and Freakazoid’s in it. What you see with this one is what you get.
My rating: 3 out of 5.
Next up is a glorious one-shot, Toby Danger. Stay tooned.
Are you still there? Good, ’cause it’s that time again! Time for the next Pop Dream!
Before we start, I’d like to once again apologize for the delay. I didn’t intend for the gap between segments to get this long. I planned to do this last month (September), but real life kept getting in the way.
Also, time for a serious moment (Don’t worry; it’ll be quick)…
Yes, we’re quite aware of the recent events concerning The Loud House series creator, Chris Savino which have led to his being let go from Nickelodeon. I find the actions that have lead to Mr. Savino’s termination to be deplorable and unfortunate for the victims. However, this Pop Dream miniseries will continue as originally planned. The Pop Dream segments are all about the characters and the show, not about the creators, so we’re going to separate the man from his work here. For anyone who wishes to make a comment for this segment, we’d appreciate it if you would only comment on the characters and the show, and not about Chris Savino’s personal life. This isn’t TMZ. Twinsanity is a site for entertainment, cracking jokes and having fun, and we’d like to keep it that way. Any comments regarding the recent news about Chris Savino and his actions will not be published here. Thank you.
OK, enough of that. Now, on with the fun!
Our celebration of The Loud House continues with two more of the Loud sisters. One of them is lives for sports and competition, while the other one lives in perpetual darkness. Today’s Pop Dream spotlights Lynn and Lucy Loud!
At 13 years old, Lynn is the fifth-oldest child of the Loud family, and the youngest of Lincoln’s five older sisters. She is named after her father. Lynn attends Royal Woods Middle School. She possesses a habit of turning everything into a sport.
At 8 years old, Lucy is the fifth-youngest child of the Loud family, and the oldest of Lincoln’s five younger sisters. Her most annoying habit is popping up and scaring people, which is a running gag in the series. Along with Lincoln, she’s the quietest out of all the Loud siblings.
Lynn has thick brown hair, which like Luan’s is tied into a pony tail. Unlike Luan, however, Lynn has thick bangs on the front of her head. Lynn also wears a red and white jersey with the number 1 on it.
Lynn is also the only Loud sibling who wears socks to sleep.
As for Lucy, she’s clearly into the color black. She’s the only member of the Loud family with black hair (and as photos of Lucy as a baby have proven, her black hair is natural, not dyed). She’s also the only Loud sibling besides Lincoln who’s hair color isn’t yellow nor brown.
Lucy is also the only Loud sibling who’s eyes have yet to be seen.
Lynn is athletic and competitive. She loves to play sports and enjoys roughhousing with her siblings.
She enjoys playing every existing sport, including football, soccer, basketball, and baseball. She is also skilled in various forms of martial arts, such as kickboxing, Mexican wrestling, (or lucha libre) and parkour.
In addition to sports, Lynn seems to have another hobby: annoying her brother Lincoln!
The reason why Lynn chooses Lincoln as her victim often is likely because since Lincoln is the only boy in the house, she would think that he’d be less likely to resist her roughhousing. Also, because of their closeness in age (Lynn is 2 years older than Lincoln).
Lucy is mostly about holding sances, reading and writing dark poetry and dabbling in the dark arts.
One gag about Lucy that I find funny is how when she uses an onomatopoeia, she’ll say the actual word instead making the sound. She says the word “sigh” instead of sighing. She said the word “Gasp!” on a few occasions, and once in the short “Spell It Out”, while eating, she said the words…
“Space Invader”: After an argument with Lucy (whom she shares a bedroom with), Lynn asks Lincoln if she can bunk with him. After some persuasion,
As well as giving him the old “sad eyes” routine, Lincoln relents.
Lynn proves to be the roommate from hell. Bouncing a ball against the wall, luchador wrestling with Lincoln and snoring while drooling. When Lincoln tries to subject his sister to the same treatment, hoping that she’ll get fed up and leave…
…She instead moves all of her stuff into Lincoln’s room, declaring him “The best roommate ever!”
“Lock ‘n Loud”: Lynn organizes a security squad made up of herself and her rollerball team.
“The Price of Admission”: Lincoln, freaked out after watching a scary movie, is asked to retrieve something from the attic. Afraid to go there alone, he tries to convince Lucy to accompany him with the promise that “There might be bats up there!”
“House Music”: Lucy, along with her siblings, are performing as a band in a county fair. Their mom Rita gushes over them before they perform.
Rita: Ooh! Look at my little rock stars!
Lucy: My real genre is death metal.
Rita: SO CUTE!!
Neither Lynn nor Lucy are among my favorite Loud sisters, but each of them have their share of amusing moments. Lucy in particular surprised me, as I ended up enjoying her character more than I thought I would. Usually I find goth characters to be somewhat limited, but TLH managed to get more material from the character than I would have. And that we’re doing Lucy and Lynn near the end of October somehow seems fitting. So let’s end this with a musical trip from the dark side…of fashion!
Next time, it’s the twins Lola & Lana. Keep Pop Dreaming.
In the wake of the release of Sonic Mania, today’s Videots visits the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
Though I’m not a gamer, I’m quite fond of the Sonic mythos and aesthetics. Who knew that a game series about a blue cartoon hedgehog in sneakers who runs really fast while thwarting the schemes of an egg-shaped mad scientist who builds crazy robots and tech to try and take over the alien planet they all live on with other anthropomorphic animals could be so compelling?
The Sonic games have given us tons of cool, amazing looking stages, levels and arenas and some seriously kick-ass background tunes, and that’s what we’ll be looking at today. Today, Videots presents my Six Favorite Sonic Zones.
-I’ll level with you guys: compiling this list wasn’t easy. I like A LOT of the various stages and music from the Sonic games; some I preferred the look of the stages themselves (EX: Angel Island Zone, Ice Cap Zone, Labyrinth Zone) and a lot I liked primarily for the music (Metropolis Zone, Lava Reef Zone, Mystic Cave Zone, Scrap Brain Zone, Oil Ocean Zone, Sandopolis Zone), but if I listed every Zone that I like here, I’d end up typing something the length of the Encyclopedia Brittania, and….
…Also, I wanted to keep the video embeds to a minimum; these days we try not to go crazy with the embeds here since YouTube has the annoying tendency to take them down at inopportune moments, so, while it was hard, I narrowed it down to only 6, all of which I liked the visuals and the music equally. Now the usual preliminaries: I know other folks will have their own personal favorites, and that’s cool, heck, these aren’t even all of my favorite Zones, but I didn’t want to make this list too long for reasons aforementioned. Finally, all together now: these aren’t in any particular number, so I won’t be numbering them. That said:
STARDUST SPEEDWAY ZONE
Stardust Speedway is the sixth round in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. It is best known as the place where Sonic the Hedgehog raced and defeated Metal Sonic. One of the fastest levels in Sonic history, Stardust Speedway is a highway adorned with musical instruments above an enormous city; like its namesake implies, the city glows with many lights. A statue of Dr. Robotnik can be seen undergoing construction in Zone 2, with girders and incomplete sections. This stage is freaking gorgeous, and the music has that cool Japanese sound to it. Post Mario Kart, I’m partial to racing levels with a night sky and tons of bright lights.
Frog Forest is the ninth stage in Sonic Heroes. The stage is played differently for each team. In the level, there are Giant Frogs which can be found. They have the power to create rain and make plants grow faster, allowing teams to progress through the level. During Team Rose’s version of Frog Forest, Big the Cat mentions that Froggy comes from the Frog Forest. This fact is backed up by the fact that the frogs here are very similar to Froggy, but much larger.
Frogs aren’t my favorite things, but I do like pristine green forest stages, plus this level’s music is totally psychedelic.
CASINO NIGHT ZONE & CARNIVAL NIGHT ZONE
I decided to list these 2 levels together since they’re sort of similar.
Casino Night is is the second Stage in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations. It represents Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the Classic era of the game. Classic Sonic’s stage features the slot machines from the original level while Modern Sonic’s stage has giant roulettes (which can award fifty or a hundred rings if you land in the Ring or Sonic logo respectively). Modern Sonic also has his own version of the slot machines, as well as some other gimmicks that were present in Casino Street Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I. The Classic remix adds a new baseline to the them, while the Modern remix has a distinctly Jazzy theme reminiscent of settings such as Las Vegas.
What can I say? This is just a cool stage and the music rocks. In my head I imagine this level’s music being titled “Rhinestones ‘n’ Concussions”.
Carnival Night Zone is is the fourth Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (or Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles). It is very similar to Casino Night Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but with a carnival theme. The Zone is a playful carnival filled with balloons, pinball bumpers and cannons to launch from, although unlike Casino Night Zone, there are no slot machines. Think of Carnival Night as Mobius’ version of the later, family-friendly Vegas.
CHEMICAL PLANT ZONE
Chemical Plant Zone is the second Zone in Sonic Mania. This Zone is a re-imagination of Chemical Plant Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Mega Drive. Like the original Zone, this Zone is set in an industrialized area that contains pools of various synthetic chemicals, most prominently Mega Mack, as well as long tubes. Act 1 in particular bears a strong to the original Chemical Plant.
Act 2 on the other hand goes deeper into the plant to an indoor section, with large beakers and jars present in the background. New additions to Act 2’s setting also include gelatinous chemicals, sticky platforms and chemical bubbles.
Come on, you knew this one was going to make the list. Studiopolis Zone is is the third Zone in Sonic Mania. Studiopolis Zone Act 2 was the first Zone developed for Sonic Mania (which was known as Sonic Discovery back then). Back then, this Zone was presented to Takashi Iizuka of Sega to showcase the developers’ capabilities.
This Zone is set up in a high skyscraper city decorated with studio equipment, cinema elements and theater objects.
The first Act takes place in the color-filled city, whose tall skyscrapers and buildings can be spotted in the background. Along the paths are street lamps with spinning rings inside, frail shop windows filled with TV sets, giant popcorn machines, satellite dish-mounted vans, TVs, director chairs, and giant clapperboards. Dotted around the Zone are LED marquees spelling out various phrases.
In the second Act, the action moves into a large television studio-like environment. This area is dominated by images in Dr. Eggman’s likeness. Features here include stacks of monitors with Eggman’s face on them, unstable stage lights, electric cables, flappable panels that reveal words and phrases, and giant glass spheres that are designed like lottery machines. It’s basically the HQ of Eggman TV.
So there you go. Six of my favorite Sonic Zones.