23 September 2006

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Doctor Octopus

Batman has the Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor, and I am going to go out on a limb and say that Spider-Man has Doctor Octopus.

Dr. Otto Octavius, or Doc Ock for short was a brilliant researcher who constructed a chest harness to which four artificial tentacle-like arms were attached to enable him to manipulate radioactive substances from a safe distance. In a freak laboratory accident, volatile radioactive liquids exploded, bombarding the scientist with radiation. The accident bonded his harness to his nervous system. Octavius received brain damage in the accident, causing him to become criminally insane. Octavius also found that he could now control his artificial arms psionically, rather than by the manual chest-plate controls. Over the years, Octavius gained an even greater command over his extra arms, enabling him to direct their actions even when they became separated from his chest harness. Surgery was used by the legal authorities to separate Octavius from the harness. The harness was again fused to his body by radiation at one point, but at present the harness is not fused to his body.

Doctor Octopus has sought to amass wealth and power through various criminal activities, and has formed gangs with which he has attempted to dominate crime in New York City. Although Octavius's original timid, benevolent personality returns from time to time, his sinister Doctor Octopus personality inevitably re-emerges and becomes dominant again. In fact, during one of his sane periods, Ock was engaged to none other than Aunt May. Fortunately the wedding was interrupted.

I should mention, during the clone saga in the 1990's Doctor Octopus was killed. He was replaced by one of his students Carolyn Trainer who took the name Octopus (she answered to both Doctor and Lady Octopus). She donned the mechanical arms as well as a force field. During this period, she clashed with the Scarlet Spider. Of course, Doc Ock was eventually brought back to life, and Lady Ock returned to him the tentacles and resumed her position as his assistant.

The two eight legged (in theory) creatures also duked it out in some awesome sequences in the film Spider-Man 2, and as usual, the web-head prevailed.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 223 days!

22 September 2006

Superman Returns Returns on DVD

Check out this sweet DVD set. It contains Superman I (two versions), II, III, IV, and Superman II the Donner cut. It also contains all of the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons, a couple of documentaries and of course Superman Returns. That's 14 discs total. All this will probably retail for about $60 when released on November 28, not too steep for all you get. Count me in. If you are reading this Santa, I have been a good boy. Check here for more details.

Also for all those wondering about Superman returns at the box office, it still chugging along at about $30,000 a day on weekdays, even closing in on 200 million, but the road is still uncertain. Will it make it? Only time will tell. I guess it doesn't really matter except for bragging writes and shareholders, as a Superman Returns Sequel is looking likely in 2009.

Superman Returns still needs $1,865,318 to reach $200 Million

20 September 2006

Cartoon "Balls" on Television

The balls are coming. According to Zap2it.com, Spaceballs: The Animated Series is coming to the cable channel G4 (home of Attack of the Show) next Fall! So far 13 episodes are being produced. This is the first I had heard of the project, but it sounds like it could be fun. May the Schwartz be with us all.

19 September 2006

Ink Blots XXX - Batman: Chase Me

This short film is included as an added bonus on the Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman DVD released in 2003. But I am going to give it away for free thanks to youtube. Lucky You!

This charming tale is set to a smooth jazzy swanky tune and has Batman in hot pursuit of the Catwoman. Not a word is spoken, allowing the mood to persist. The chase takes the Bat and the Cat over rooftops, through traffic and even onto a speeding train. The animation maintains designs established in The New Batman Adventures TV series (a follow up to Batman: The Animated Series) and this short is able to keep the fun level high while delivering some decent action all in 6 minutes. What's not to like here? Batman: Chase Me earns an A-. Check it out!

18 September 2006

Superheroes on Screen - An Iron Man Reject

Well, Iron Man won't look like this. I quite like this design, so I hope the real thing blows me away. Since the film opens in May 2008, it is still going to be a while before we get to see the armor that got the thumbs up.

Invincible Iron Man