Friday, July 24, 2015

Vault of Obscurity 6

Captain Napalm
His original "appearance"
Captain Napalm originally was an alter ego of Calvin (see above). However when changing in his alter ego, he accidentally locked himself inside. Later, Captain Napalm was brought back as a fictional comic within the comic. We never see the actual content of the comic. However, the comic appears to be about nineties-styled antihero or at least very gory ("Oh no, Captain Napalm's getting his kidneys punched out with an I-beam!" - Calvin). Captain Napalm is stated to also appear in Thermonuclear League of Liberty, where he is the leader of the titular organization. Calvin mentioned there is a series bubblegum card based on the comic.
The Iron Warrior
Iron Warrior
Rodney Dearth was a treasure hunter that searched through Africa. To aid him, he used the Iron Warrior. The Iron Warrior was a twelve or more feet tall robot. Rodney could use the robot as armor or control it remotely via a control. Like many Golden Age heroes, he would kill people. In League of the Extraordinary Gentle: Black Dossier, the titular document revealed the Iron Warrior was a member of the fifties incarceration of the League.
Miracle Man
Proudly selling out for over 60 years
(yes the comic is that old)
Miracle Man was a superhero from the comic book Sinclair Oil RD 119: The Miracle In Your Gas Tank, a corporate promotion / PSA by the Sinclair Oil Company. Lewis Thomas and his family were driving when their car stopped working. Miracle Man arrived via a magic carpet that has the front of a car. He used his power to reveal rust and corrosion is the problem. Because Lewis refusing to believe it, Miracle Man took the family to Sinclair Research Installation at Harvey, Illinois. Here, an unnamed scientist explained about the rust and how Sinclair's rust inhibitor RD-119 prevent rust. Miracle Man sent Lewis and his son home. However, Lewis was unable to convince anyone of Miracle Man's existence.
Miracle Man can alter people's sizes and teleport them. When he is small, he seems to retain the strength he has at normal size. For some reason, he always says "Sinc-Lair [sic]" when he uses his powers.
References:
http://calvinandhobbes.wikia.com/wiki/Captain_Napalm
http://calvinandhobbes.wikia.com/wiki/Captain_Napalm_(Alter_ego)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NinetiesAntiHero
http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/i/ironwarr.htm
http://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=33566

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Volto From Mars

Volto asking for a cereal as reward for risking his life
Volto, much like Captain Toostie and NFL superhero, is a superhero invented to promote a product. In this case, we have an alien promoting Grape Nut Flakes.
Overview
Volto is a martian that came to Earth for some reason that the writer decided not to share with the audience. He decided to become a superhero. Again, the reason with withheld. Volto befriends a small boy Jimmy, who does nothing to further the plot.
His adventures were told in one-page stories. Each story has a problem emerge. Volto then uses his powers while explaining them out loud. This is often some variation on "my left hand repels" and "my right hand attracts". Then, he eats Grape Nut Flake cereal usually with Volto or some other character praising it.
Volto activates his powers by yelling his name. When this happens, he can repel (via his left hand) or attract (right) an object. Despite this being called "magnetism", the power works on any object not just metal. However, using this power drains energy that can only be restored by eating cereal.
Martians Don't Eat Human Flesh
There is something odd I noticed. Both the Volto Archive and Public Domain Super Heroes claim the other martians eat human flesh. However, none of the comics I could find supported this claim. In fact, Volto directly state all martian eats cereal grains several times.
References:
http://voltoarchives.pbworks.com/w/page/9545487/FrontPage
http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Volto_from_Mars
I also did some Google image searches to see about the human flesh thing.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Don't Read Bad Webcomic Wiki

Note: Due to the swearing in the quotes, the cuss words will be highlighted black. This make it so you can't see them unless you highlight them yourself.
Seriously don't. For the unaware, Bad Webcomic Wiki is a website that collect reviews of web comics. As the title suggests, the reviews are negative. That may not sound too bad. After all, Channel Awesome is largely composed of critics that specialize in negative reviews. However, Bad Webcomic Wiki is a horrible website. I'm here to explain why.
Smugness
The entire website has a smugness to it without any sense of self-awareness. For example, the home page claims "[bad] webcomic creators are psychologically blind to their flaws, their egos are fed by the constant stream of ass-kissing supplied by their semi-literate fans who don't know any better". Another prime is example involves the description of "Not Crazy Reactions" page: "Here we keep the words of artists who responded almost like real adults. I am amazed we have enough of those now for them to have their own section" ("Reactions"). One of the other pages is "Angry Reactions" thus they are implying anyone angry at them are, in their own words, "failures bitching and crying about receiving well-earned criticism" ("Reactions"). 
Compare to the Nostalgia Critic, who the website is clearly trying to emulate. The Nostalgia Critic is a smug jerk that states his opinion is superior to others. However, the series has a sense of self-depreciation shown when the Critic is portrayed as idiot such as when he fails his allies are being mind-controlled in his Matrix Revolution review. The self-depreciation is what keeps him likable. However, Bad Webcomics Wiki lacks this.
The Personal Attacks
This is what convinced me to write this post. The reviews have a section to explain who the author is. On a good review, this would provide insight to the creative force behind the product being reviewed.  It might even explain some of the creative decisions. For example, a creator might have turned their comic darker because a death in the family. However on Bad Webcomic Wiki, the contributors use it to attack the authors. 
A prime example is from the "VG Cats" review. They accuse Scott Ramsooair of being a “misogynist”, “fanboy (yet he hates the company he idolizes)”, “sodomist”, “total asshole”, “delusional prick”, “fucktard”, “creep” and “[pretty] much fucked up...” among other thing. Their "proof" of this is behavior in his comic that isn't supposed to be emulated such as accidentally killing Santa. 
However, the worse example was from their Grim Tales From Down Below review. They accuse the author, Vinson "Bleedman" Ngo, of being a pedophile. They provide no prove aside from a single post that is not a reliable source (the post is literally just calling him a pedophile with no proof). Being accused of pedophile can ruin a person's life. Yet, they did it without any proof. Add to that, they have the gall to criticize Tim Buckley (in their "Ctrl + Alt + Del" post) for being accused for being pedophile. Let me repeat: they criticize him for being accused of being a pedophile not for actual being one. 
Lack of Editing
This might seem like an odd criticism. After all, the reviews can be edited by contributors. My problem is that they don't edit enough. Keep in mind the following examples are only the notable ones.
In their review of Dave Hopkin's Jack, they accuse him of plagiarism. However, they don't expand on this at all except for a picture that implies Jack's design is ripping off Frank from Donnie Darko, which it isn't. This would be simple to remove since there are only two references to it. 
The website is supposed to have warning for reviews of questionable content. However, they called "Chugworth Academy" porn and didn't place a porn warning on the review.  
In their review of Cathrine Alvheim's Jack, they accuse the comic of being a "rip-off by someone who has EVEN LESS TALENT" ("Jack (the other one)") of the previously mentioned Jack comic. However, Dave's comic is about a rabbit that becomes an amnesic grim reaper working for Hell while Cathrine's comic is about the adventures of an undead man trying to get revenge on the people that killed him. They could have done basic research, realize this was wrong and removed the single reference, but this has yet to occur. 
The "Lightbringer" review is out of date. The review states Lewis Lovhaug (who became a comic book reviewer) refuses to review web comics. However, he changed his stance on his and reviewed the first act of Homestuck
The "Billy the Heretic" review has six paragraphs under the "Story" section. However, only one of them actually explains what the story is. The section should have been rewritten. 
Jokes at the Cost of Quality
The reviewers often insert comedy into the reviews. However, these jokes often hurt the quality of the reviews. For example, the "Jack (the other one)" review neglects to give any background info for the sake for a "joke" where the reviewer, oddguy (the name isn't capitialized), accuses the comic of being a rip off. In the "House of LSD" review, they keep on making jokes about the author in the biography section to the point we don't learn anything about her until the third paragraph.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What if Captain America Were Not Revived Until Today?

The comic in question
I recently read a post on the 44th issue of What If?. For the unaware, this comic told stories based on what if scenarios (such as what if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four). Issue 44 is notable because of its unusual message and this quote: "America is a piece of trash!" spoken by none other than Captain America himself.
Plot
Captain America gets frozen, but remains frozen (whereas he is thawed out by the Avengers in 1964 originally). When Richard Nixon visits China, a custodian frees from stasis the 1950s Captain America and Bucky. These duo were fan boys of the original that tried to stand-in for their idols, but were put into suspended animation for being mentally unstable. Their release also occurred in normal continuity in Captain America issue 154-156. Unlike that comic, the real Captain America isn't around to stop them. The duo become the unwitting pawns of the villainous Secret Empire. The Secret Empire use the patriotic icons (posing as the original) to gain control of Congress and then slowly turn America into a totalitarian state. A (faked) attempt on Captain America's life leads to nation-wide martial law. The real Captain America thaws (thanks to the efforts of a rebel group) out and is disgusted with what he sees America has become. This leads to a fight between the two Caps. The real Captain America gives a speech about the importance of America's ideals and how that he is loyal to that and not the government. During which, he says:
"Well, I say America is nothing! Without its ideals — its commitment to the freedom of all men, America is a piece of trash! A nation is nothing! A flag is a piece of cloth! I fought Adolf Hitler not because America was great, but because it was fragile! I knew that liberty could be snuffed out here as in Nazi Germany! As a people, we were no different then them! When I returned, I saw that you nearly did turn American into nothing! And the only reason you're not less then nothing — — is that it's still possible for you too bring freedom back to America!"
The crowd realizes who the real cap is. After defeating the fake captain, Captain America tells them to not follow him since following a single, charismatic leader is what got them in this situation in the first place.
References:
http://prettyfakes.com/2006/11/america-is-a-piece-of-trash/


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Biscuits' Oven Theory

Spades Slick attacking Biscuits' oven with Crowbar's crowbar
I wanted to talk about an interesting theory I read involving the Felt member Biscuit. For those who didn't read my post, Biscuit is a mobster that thinks his broken oven allows him to travel into the future. This is clearly shown to be wrong. However, there is a theory the oven actually does have temporal abilities. The theory goes that the oven stops the flow of time inside of it.
Evidence would seem to be disprove this theory. Crowbar's crowbar (which can destroy objects with temporal abilities and negate any effect they had) seemingly had no effect on it. The comic outright states "[the] oven doesn't really have any magical time properties to be negated". 
However, this isn't a completely baseless theory. A bomb set for a few seconds was placed in it. However, the bomb didn't go off until hours later. This clearly proves it has some sort of power over time. Also, Biscuits doesn't react to the bomb. This could be explained as him being in suspended animation due to the halted time. 
However, this poses the question why the crowbar had no effect. It could be the crowbar only negates object's time powers if the object is destroyed. Alternatively, the inside of the oven could be the only part with his power. As such, the inside would need to be damaged to remove its powers.
References:
http://mspaintadventures.wikia.com/wiki/The_Felt

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Felt

The Felt (minus Snowman, Doc Scratch and Lord English) with
Slick Spades and Miss Paint
It has been a while since I did a post. What convinced me to start again was reading the Homestuck Act 3 - 4 Intermission "Don't Bleed on the Suits". In it, they introduce my favorite characters of the comic: the Felt,... who promptly killed off before the end of the intermission. 
Before someone mentions, I know that Lord English usually has a GIF of pool balls instead of the "o". However, the images was giving me formatting issues so I chose to just use an "o" instead.
History
Caliborn (the future Lord English) played the single player campaign of the reality-altering game Sburb. Whereas the "normal" (i.e. multiplayer game) involves helping stop an army of evil, the single player version of game involves conquering and destroying 15 planets. Each time Caliborn did so, he was rewarded with a new leprechaun sidekick. Each of them was given a hat with a designated color and number which relate to a pool ball (such as yellow / one or green / six). These leprechauns became a group of mobsters called "the Felt" with Lord English leading. At some point, Snowman and Doc Scratch joined. They represented the eight-ball and cue ball. At some point, the Felt came into conflict with the Midnight Crew and became their rivals. During "Don't Bleed on the Suits", the Midnight Crew killed the Felt except for Doc Scratch and Lord English. Snowman's death resulted in the destruction of their universe. However, the Felt briefly appeared in Act 5 Act 2 due to their time-altering abilities. Spades Slick, the leader of the Midnight Crew, used Die's doll to revive all the dead members except Snowman (whose revival would have negative consequences), who was replaced by Ms. Paint. This version was led by Spades Slick naturally. 
Members
I am only listing the original 14 leprechaun members and Snowman. The reason why is because these characters were fairly minor. However, Doc Scratch and Lord English are important players to the overarching plot of Homestuck. As such, there were would be too much information for this list.
  1. Itchy- High strung, Itchy could slow time relative to himself. This allowed him to react faster. Spades got the jump on him and killed him
  2. Doze- Doze has the ability to slow time for himself. While seemingly useless, this allows him to slow down how fast he received pain thus making him impossible to torture. He was killed by a bomb placed in his hat by Club Deduces.
  3. Trace- Trace was skilled at infiltration and messed with the Midnight Crew several times. He could tell where a person has been a la Donnie Darko. Trace was killed by the same bomb that killed Doze.
  4. Clover- Clover was a superstitious, but superhumanly lucky, member. He seemed to be an accountant. Clover was willing to reveal sensitive information if the person asking could answer a riddle. It was unclear if Spades killed him or not. If Spades didn't, the destruction of the universe would have.
  5. Fin- Fin was a shark-like member able to see where people will be in the future a la Donnie Darko. He enjoys snooping, but leaves evidence of him being there. Fin died from blood loss due to injuries given to him by Diamond Droog.
  6. Die- Die had a voodoo doll with needles that represented his teammates. Pulling a pin caused that teammate to appear in a timeline where they died. Due to being distracted by time mucking, Die was killed by Spades.
  7. Crowbar- Crowbar was, according to Caliborn, a pleasant and intelligent fellow. He had a crowbar that could destroy any object with time-altering properties and null any effects it had on the time stream. Crowbar was killed off-screen prior to "Don't Bleed on the Suits".
  8. Snowman- Snowman was originally a villain from a game of Sburb being played by Trolls. She was exiled and recruited by Doc Scratch. Killing Snowman would destroy the universe. This is proved true when Spades shot her in the heart.
  9. Stitch- Stitch had the ability to fix entropies that appear in the timeline, which manifest as tears in Lord English's Cairo coat. He also had the power to heal members remotely. Stitch was killed by Spades.
  10. Sawbuck- When wounded, Sawbuck automatically sends himself and his attacker to a random point in time. Although he had trouble wounding Sawbuck, Spades eventually managed to behead Sawbuck.
  11. Matchsticks- Matchstick was killed prior to "Don't Bleed on the Suits". Andrew Hussie, the creator of the webcomic, claims could use fire as a gateway to travel to any point in time. Matchsticks carried around a fire extinguisher.
  12. Eggs- Eggs can use an egg timer to travel back to up to a hour. He uses this ability to summon an army of himself. Spades managed to destroy the timer via Crowbar's crowbar. As such, Heart Boxcars was able to behead Eggs.
  13. Biscuits- Biscuits is an idiot. He thinks his nonfunctional oven allows him to travel forward in time if sets the timer and waits inside. In reality, Biscuits is just waiting for the timer to go off. He is killed by a bomb placed in the oven by Club Deuces. 
  14. Quarters- Quarters was killed prior to "Don't Bleed on the Suits". According to Hussie, he had quarters with the faces of his team and could use these to switch places with a member if the corresponding coin was flipped. Quarters wielded a mini-gun.
  15. Cans- Cans is a giant brute. His ability is to literally punch people into next week. Cans was presumably killed by the universe's destruction since his death wasn't shown on screen.
References: