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Salkafar last won the day on June 28

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About Salkafar

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  1. Perhaps those breasts fire a particle beam?
  2. Excellent work. All the same, this is deeply worrying. The Almighty is playing a game to decide which universes he will destroy. Heptillions of lives are at stake and no matter what, most of them will end. Is there a way out of this that does not involve sacrificing the majority of living beings in this multiverse?
  3. The only relatively fixed date we have is for X-day, which happened in the 1990s. But that's all. ('M-day'. Geeeesh.)
  4. Handsome young millionaire with cool facial hair is lost in the wilderness and finds his life under threat from ruthless criminals. Forced to fight, he develops the means to survive himself and uses them to defeat his enemies; returned to the civilized world, he decides to apply his new weapon and new understanding of himself to fight evil... ...As the amazing Green Arrow. Mike Grell is perhaps most famous for his seminal work on Green Arrow, "The Longbow Hunters", which redefined the hero for a new age. But in 2002, he was hired to write 'Iron Man'. Perhaps an ill omen was that the first story was titled 'Tin Man'. It was a dramatic story, however, about a war-torn Eastern European nation under the iron rule of a tyrant, who used surplus weaponry once-designed by Tony Stark. Falling in with the rebels, Tony befriends a young woman named Ayisha, a sniper who kills to avenge her murdered mother and people; and who dons a prototype battle armor also designed by Stark years before to finally defeat the oppressor. But in the end, Tony can't do more than avenge her death at the hands of the tyrant. The next story was street-level, very unusual for Iron Man, and concerned a murder mystery - a string of murders of young women, generally prostitutes, some under the care of a special rehabilitation program supported by Stark. While dramatic, it was off-tone for an Iron Man tale - certainly more reminiscent of the hard-core vigilante Green Arrow. What followed was another dramatic story, involving Ayisha -who was believed dead at the end of her debut story- as well as Temugin, the son of the Mandarin who had just inherited his father's deadly rings and legacy. A lethal drug, Sleeping Dragon, is causing devastation and murder, and Iron Man is hunting down the supplier (Again, street-level action in the style of Green Arrow). It turns out the drug was created by the Mandarin's organization, which was just inherited by (the otherwise honorable) Temugin, while Ayesha is killing drug dealers to get a steady supply of it. As said before, she had put on a prototype battle armor created by Tony Stark; unfortunately, that armor was programmed to keep its wearer - logically, a soldier - on his feet and fighting no matter what. After her apparent death, the armor refused to let her die, integrating itself more and more with her body and using drugs to keep her going. She was completely addicted and a mental and physical wreck as a result, and had hunted down Tony Stark to force him to kill her - something the armor would not let her do herself. After Tony refuses, she decides to bring him to that point by attacking Pepper Potts, and severely injuring her - a situation made worse by the fact she was pregnant and now can never have children again. Now, Tony Stark flies to confront Ayesha - but is intercepted by Temugin, who desires a one-on-one duel with him, in the name of his presumed-dead father, to clean the slate once and for all. He manages to coerce Tony into battle by holding Ayesha hostage, and the two men fight, with Temugin proving to be a deadlier warrior than his father ever was - but Ayesha breaks free and interrupts the battle by sinking the submarine the action takes place on. ...The whole story ends unresolved, with Temugin and his organization escaping, Tony left without answers and Ayesha still alive in the Arctic. Oh, but then... then... well, more about that at the end. Anyway, next, Tony was forced to confront an enemy from the past when Tiberius Stone abducted Rumiko Fujikawa, and tried to draw him into the sophisticated simulation of the cyper-space he had created months before. In reality, Stone himself had become addicted to the system, unable to function without being hooked up to it; ironically, he had managed to duplicate Tony's original predicament, only even worse, in a twisted sense getting what he had wanted: to exceed Tony's achievements. Although Stone ended up seemingly burned-out, his mind permanently trapped inside an empty virtual world, he later reappeared in Marvel Comics without further explanation - as, unfortunately, is entirely the norm for secondary characters, whose continuity is even less important than those of the bigger names. After this story, we got 'In shining iron', which hinged on Tony building a functional time machine. It was actually a highly enjoyable romp - travelling to Arthurian England, with knights, an evil witch and even a dragon - with a very satisfying paradox which resolved itself built in; the time travel technology was never really referred again, unless the time-travelling armor which was used years later in a story in an anthology was somehow a follow-up (spoilers: it wasn't). This was followed up by a Christmas-themed two-parter about terrorists with nuclear ambitions, angels, flowers and miracles; actually quite nice, again. After 'Standoff', a three-book crossover between Thor, Captain America and Iron Man which had otherwise nothing to do with the main book's continuity, Grell moved on to his final story arc: 'Manhunt', which he penned together with Robin Laws. Robin Laws actually is a prolific writer of role playing games and novels, and writing on Iron Man seems to have been a little comics excursion for him; which is too bad, because what little we got from him was solid. Anyway, 'Manhunt'. The story starts with the Chinese embassy in Washington DC being destroyed by an experimental weapon, designed years before by Tony Stark; soon followed up by an almost successful assassination attempt on Tony himself, which also nearly-fatally injures Happy Hogan. More problems arise as Stark is implicated in the embassy attack when information leaks that suggests he sold the designs to a North Korean businessman... and even as he is recuperating in hospital - his cybernetic heart having saved his life - another attempt to kill him is made. Accused of treason, wounded and weakened, with national security on his heels, Iron Man runs to find the true culprits himself; ultimately locating the Mandarin's headquarters. Confronting Temugin, he is defeated, but makes his opponent realize he, too, has been set-up; the attack was orchestrated from within his organization, but without his consent or knowledge. And so, Iron Man and the Son of the Mandarin make peace, with Temugin ominously promising he will change the world - without brute force or cruelty, but change it he will. All in all, a strong finale for Grell, mostly - I am sorry to say - thanks to Laws, who did not share writing credits with Grell for the last three issues. Laws continued to write one more story for Iron Man, namely 'Vegas bleeds neon', a fast-paced story which managed to blend human drama, body horror, alien invasion, blind ambition, temptation, an American legend and a daring love interest in a most effective way in a mere three issues. It even had a scene where the armor, possessed by a biomechanical alien invader, turned into something almost Guyver-like.I, for one, was sad to see Robin Laws disappear as mysteriously as he had shown up in the first place. And what of Mike Grell? Unfortunately, people did not warm up to his stories; going by the reactions on the Iron Man message board, he could not leave fast enough. Even though he had proceeded to do the unthinkable: he had Iron Man publically reveal his identity. That's right. After almost forty years of keeping his super-hero identity a closely guarded secret, Tony Stark revealed it to the world on a whim, infuriating not only his girlfriend (whom he never had confided in) but also the readership, considering the utter lack of fanfare, build-up or even the slightest hint of an attempt to make the reveal work as part of a story. The contrast with the movie could not be greater. And yet, over a decade later, I find that these stories do not seem nearly as weak to me now as they did when I first read them. I just wish that the reason for that wasn't so painfully clear. But that is an issue for another time - as the next installment of this series will be about an author more dear to my iron heart.
  5. He had become an icon. He shall not be forgotten.
  6. This should be interesting. The Black Panther is one of the most unusual heroes in Marvel's stable, with a truly staggeringly complex of issues. Like I said elsewhere, Marvel's classic heroes always have problems - one or more. T'Challa's problems all come from being the king of a small, but powerful nation whose wealth is coveted by all. He doesn't even have time for the kind of entanglements that come from having a private life. Hmmm. It occurs to me his relationship with Klaw would be more complicated. In the original comic, Klaw murdered T'Challa's father when he was just a boy, forcing him to grow up really quickly into a very young king. But here, Klaw is just a thief with no personal connection to T'Challa. Also in the original story, Klaw had been aided by a Wakandan native, who died in the assault; but his family was nevertheless banished as a result. His son returned years later, full of anger and hate, to avenge his exile and that is Eric Killmonger (born as N'Jadaka) - who is apparently the main villain in this piece.
  7. The last person who saw it was Archanfel, and he must have returned it to his masters. If he had an inkling it was still on Earth, there is no doubt he would have located and used it on himself by now.
  8. ...That was uncalled for, Bren.
  9. Is the person who brought the Necronomicon into the Friday the Thirteenth franchise in any way affiliated with the Evil Dead franchise? That might be interesting (and suggest a shared universe). Also, it's Voorhees. If he really has Dutch ancestry that might explain why he's so tall.
  10. An ending, huh? Well, who are the parties at this time? - Sho, Tetsuro, Mizuki and their friends. Presumably, they want the world to return as much as possible to what it was. I don't think this is realistically possible - the secret is out, the world knows now that people have the potential to be turned into living war machines. And now that it's known, there will always be people wanting to seek a method to trigger the effect, and eventually they'll figure it out - only without a Zoalord to control them towards a unified purpose. - Agito, Shizu and Zeus' Thunderbolt. While at least nominally an ally of Sho, I think Agito still believes he should rule the world, and perhaps he is correct. The world might be best off with Agito in charge and Sho there to pull on his sleeve when he starts acting dictatorial. - Chronos / Archanfel. Chronos wants to rule the world, but to what purpose is unclear. They have always served the ends of Archanfel, but he seems to be a bit... off track at the moment. Also, what will Chronos do once the Ark has left? Is that their entire goal - loading up the Ark with as many high-power Zoanoids as possible and then leave the world behind? The Ark can''t hold an infinite number of people, certainly not all of humanity... perhaps they should just openly state what they're going to do and ask for volunteers. I bet they could get enough of them - people who are that belligerent or adventurous. That way, everybody gets what they want. - The rebel Zoalords. I suppose they simply wanted to rule the world, and we don't know what kind of rulers they would have been; Kurumegnik appears as an ascetic and Jabir is a scientist. Perhaps it would not have been so bad. But it doesn't matter anyway, because those guys don't have a lot of time left. - Guyot. I am gonna assume he still wants to rule the world, so he'll probably want to use the Remover - because I bet he still has it stashed somewhere - to strip Agito of his armor and use it on himself. It remains to be seen whether a bio-boosted Proto-Zoalord is a match for Archanfel even now. You have to wonder what kind of ruler he would be. Most tyrants want to conquer the world, but he would start out already having done that. He would not have to worry about consolidating power because, if he managed to defeat Archanfel, nobody could touch him ever again. So what then? What does he want? What could he take from the world - what riches, what spoils - that would satisfy him? - Apollyon. He is of course the most problematic one, since, although we don't actually know who he is, it seems most likely that he is an agent of an alien force. Perhaps the Ouranos, perhaps their still-unknown enemies. We still don't know what he wants; his actions seem erratic - depowering Zoalords on one hand, keeping Archanfel safe on the other. He seems concerned that 'they' will soon come to Earth, but of course 'soon' might mean quite a long time for a representative of a culture which was prepared to spend hundreds of millions of years on a single experiment. It appears to me that Chronos, the Guyvers and Guyot have to unite their efforts against Apollyon, first and foremost. Their interests all concern the continued existence of the Earth and its people, something that cannot be said of Apollyon at this time. Meanwhile, they do have to keep an eye on Guyot, who, being the underdog, would seek any opportunity to strike to meet his ends; if he could secure the bio-booster armor, his problems would be over. The only thing that might give him pause is concern about just how powerful Apollyon really is. What if he possesses something like a Remover himself? Come to think of it, what is stopping him from Removing the armor of Guyver II-F? Has he already noticed the armor is imperfect and unstable?
  11. ...That looks wonderful, but it seems a little pointless to have a prequel to a movie which concluded the franchise. Whatever the Gelflings intend to do, we know they will not dethrone the Skeksis, and we also know there's just two Gelflings left in the world by the time of the movie. And they weren't raised by their own kind. I dunno, man.
  12. No, they are in an evil fight. Heroes are pitted against heroes and the loser gets killed along with everybody they have ever known and fought for. If Goku does not do something about this, stop the destruction of the other universes, this show has really passed the ethical event horizon.
  13. Except Darwinian struggle is struggle against blind forces. Animals do not hate each other and Nature is not deliberately aloof or cruel. But this tournament pits intelligent beings against each other in the knowledge all their loved ones will die if they lose - for the entertainment of a god who is apparently completely amoral or worse. Don't call it Darwinian Law. It isn't. It's a sick parody.
  14. How could you call it anything like a victory if any of the universes is destroyed?
  15. Rotten Tomatoes seems to like it: 75% approval.