Children of the night…. What music they make…


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Otherwise Known As:
Nosferatu, Vrykolakas, Strigoi
Notable Examples:
Lady Carmilla, Count Dracula, Count Orlok
Real World Inspirations:
Vlad III the Impaler, Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed
Commonly Featured In:
Everything & Anything

I’m going to be honest here. I could spend whole reams of pages discussing everything there is to know about vampires and I would only be touching upon the tip of the iceberg. Frankly, there is so much lore, legend, and popularized fiction regarding vampires that Wikipedia has a page devoted to listing the differing appearances, weaknesses, powers, reproduction/feeding, and setting characteristics of every known vampire anything from ancient myths to modern retellings.

By page I mean 98 pages when copied and pasted into a Microsoft Word document.

So yes, this review will be a slight bit different as I will try to focus mostly on the popularized powers, weaknesses, and notable examples of vampires as known here in the Western side of the world. Believe me, there’s quite a few that are interesting examples from the Eastern half but they’re simply not as well known. That being said, let’s get this thing started.

The dictionary definition of a vampire states “a dead person believed to rise each night from the grave and suck the blood from the living for sustenance.” A rather bland definition to be sure but it does its job in stating the obvious. A vampire is a member of the undead variety of monsters though their state of being deceased is… questionable…

A vampire is atypically known from being born via the bite of another vampire but that’s merely a common trope of how a vampire is made and one that often attributes vampires as having a kind of infectious venom in their fangs. In old myths, a simple bite wasn’t enough and two of the more popularized variations of becoming a vampire involved the victim being drained entirely of blood and/or being fed the blood of the vampire who drained them. Heck, there’s quite a number of media that have it that a vampire can be made via a blood transfusion as well.

It is also a somewhat common trope that victims of a vampire who do not become vampires themselves will arise as undead servants of the vampire. These creatures, often named as ghouls or revenants, are every bit the stereotypical undead whose thirst for blood is equal to that of their maker but they are, thankfully, not known for spreading their state of undead to their victims.

The state of the newly arisen vampire’s body is one that has been debated and argued for years and will likely continue on for centuries to come. I say state insomuch that while it isn’t always argued as to whether a vampire of any age is in fact possessing a living body albeit one that ages at an incredibly slow rate, it is debated whether or not vampires can reproduce in a more… mundane… fashion.

These halfbreeds, often named as dhampirs, are an entirely different kettle of fish however so I’ll leave that for another review though I will say that such children often grow up to become demon/vampire hunters more often than not.

Whether or not the vampire’s body is alive or a mobile corpse, there are many means of identifying whether or not a person is a vampire. One of the most recognized methods is via a mirror because a vampire has no reflection. This comes from the old belief that a mirror reflects not just your physical self but also your soul and when you shatter a mirror you break your own soul in the process, which in itself takes seven years to heal, hence the years of bad luck.

Next there is the aversion to sunlight and bright light in general. Ignoring the atrocity of a certain book series, vampires are said to die when exposed to sunlight though how quickly is often a matter of course. Some burn like fresh kindling while others take an extreme length of time. This could be attributed to a vampire’s age and level of power but again it’s mostly a manner of who is telling the story.

The idea of vampires burning in the light of the sun often stems from the fact that the sun, and light in general, is attributed as being holy symbols of life and like most religious icons and items, can kill a vampire when little else in this world can.

To escape the light of day, and as a means of rest for short or extreme periods of time, a vampire is commonly known for residing in their coffins. Again there is a massive debate over the reasons for this but the one that I find to be the most plausible is that it is a place that a vampire would feel safest. There is a longstanding mindset in humanity of “do not disturb the dead” so the chances of someone purposefully open a casket in crypts and other such places are next to nilch.

Though not commonly featured as a weakness, vampires are also said to be averse to such things as silver, garlic, and running water. In the case of silver, it is considered a pure metal that originates from an ancient belief that silver shares its shine with that of the moon and thus can ward off spirits of evil like vampires and werewolves.

Garlic, while sounding extremely silly and oftentimes being stated as a means of deterring vampires due to its smell, has had roots in protection and white magic in Europe for centuries. Garlic has had a longstanding reputation of being a potent preventative medicine and thus limiting the “infection” of vampires.

As to the running water bit, that’s a weakness that is attributed to more than just vampires but it is one that stems from the belief that running water cleanses the body and the soul. The strength of this weakness varies by the telling but it is a common theme that vampires cannot cross running water or they’ll be extremely weakened as a result.

One other inherent weakness of a vampire —popularized by the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer but dating back to Ancient Greece in its origin— is what is known as the threshold protection. Basically, a vampire cannot enter a place of residence unless invited and can then enter the abode whenever they please. There’s a bit of a debate as to the strength and dependability of this protection as it is argued whether a place such as a motel room could count never mind whether one calling their place of residence “home” affects the strength of the protection.

The last weakness that I’ll speak of is one that I found to be rather humorous in its possible implications when combatting a vampire. This weakness is one that is more commonly found in Europe and parts of Asia though there is a very extremely popular example found here in the U.S.

This weakness is known by the scientific name of arithmomania and is a form of mental disorder that is seen as an extreme case of OCD wherein the sufferer has the strong need to count their actions or items in their proximity. Items such as rice or seeds have been used in myth to stop a vampire dead in their tracks as they succumb to the compulsion to count the grains. Don’t believe me? Where do you think the inspiration for the Sesame Street character Count von Count originated from?


As to killing a vampire, there is the effective method of setting them on fire, see the afore-mentioned sunlight and kindling comment, but the one most recognized the world over is a stake to the heart. It was joked in the film Hotel Transylvania that it is not a question of whether or not it could kill a vampire but who wouldn’t it kill. Would you be surprised to note that it wasn’t until popular stories like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or television series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer that made it a one-hit-kill?

In ancient myths, a stake alone wasn’t enough to ensure that a vampire stayed dead. Oh yes, it would kill them but should someone come along and remove the stake, the vampire would be revived almost instantly and with a fresh victim within arm’s reach too. Following the act of staking a vampire, one was to also cut the vampire’s head off and either bury the head far away from the body or burn it and the body separately and toss the ashes into a river.

Frankly, I’m rather surprised at how many modern interpretations of the vampire have it that a vampire instantly turns to ash upon being staked. Of course it can be argued that the older the vampire the quicker it is likely to go poof but there was a film, Daybreakers, that had them spontaneous combust with a force equal to a freaking cherry bomb.

Moving on to a vampire’s strength and powers… Oh boy, where do I start? There’s the daily package of enhanced physical traits such as strength, senses, and speed. Unnatural healing that varies in strength and whether it stems from the consumption of blood or a vampire’s age. Flight via their own power or by turning into a bat or a whole cloud of bats and on the note of shapeshifting, turning into such things as bats, wolves, clouds of mist, hellish monstrosities of the aforementioned creatures, etc.

Psychic powers ranging from such things as telekinesis to pyrokinesis to communication with creatures of the night and the ever popular hypnotic abilities ranging from full out hypnosis to mild compulsions. There’s whole scores of other abilities as well but as I said earlier, if you want to read 98 pages worth of vampire abilities, go right on to the Wikipedia page.

As to the notable examples of vampires in popular culture… Well seeing as everyone knows of Dracula let me instead speak of the inspiration of the character and I don’t mean the prince of Walachia Vlad III the Impaler.

Carmilla, the titular character of the story written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu was introduced to the world twenty-six years ahead of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Carmilla herself is a female vampire and one that is the original prototype of female and lesbian vampires as Carmilla fed exclusively on women. She was known to have an unearthly beauty and was able to pass through solid walls. Contrary to Count Dracula, Carmilla’s animal form was that of a monstrous black cat though she too slept in a coffin just as he did.

There are quite a few parallels in both books yet what I find particularly interesting is the parallel to the origin of the titular characters. While not spoken of in serious context, it is a matter of fact that there were quite a few real world people who helped further spread the vampire myth. One such example was Vlad Tepes III the Impaler, prince of Walachia, and Dracula or “Son of the Dragon” by its proper translation. Aside from inspiring the name of the infamous Count, Vlad was famous for his title of Impaler and was hailed as a hero only to his native people but as a monster to all those outside of it because of how he treated anyone he considered an enemy to himself and his people.

Another notable example is the countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed whom, and I kid you not, holds the Guiness World Record for being the most prolific female serial killer to date. Though no exact number has been made and has been a subject for debate ever since, at her trial she was cited of being responsible for the deaths of 650 women between 1585 and 1610 but was convicted of only killing 80. Her victims were brutally tortured to such a degree that I have found most sources as being unwilling to go into any details which is frightening enough when one takes into account that no one knows the reasoning behind Elizabeth Báthory’s killing spree. It wasn’t until after her death that rumors of her drinking the blood of her virginal victims and even bathing in it to keep her youth and beauty began to circulate.

Vampires will forever be a staple of Halloween and horror in general. However, I feel that the manner of what a vampire is one that will never be given a clear-cut definition. Frankly, in the years since Bram Stoker’s Dracula, vampires have changed from being monstrous creatures of the night to being romantic love interests. The constant back and forth of vampires being inhuman creatures to people trying to find redemption for their own inherent evils is… annoying. I adhere to the creed of “to each their own,” especially when it comes to things we do or do not like but can we keep to one theme and stick to it please? Preferably the one that doesn’t involve vampires sparkling like bloodied disco balls?

Wumpires Watcing Twilight

Breaker of taboo…


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Otherwise Known As:
Windigo, Witiko, Manaha
Original Legends By: The Algonquian People of the Atlantic Coast and Great Lake Region
Commonly Featured In:
Comics, Video Games, Television

Out of the many creatures of Native American myth and folklore, there is likely no worse an abomination as a wendigo, a creature that is somewhat akin to the more famously known werewolf in some regards. Of course, that regard being that both are the result of a curse but in the case of the wendigo it is a curse born from one of the worst taboos of mankind.


Commonly associated with the frozen north, the bleakness of winter, famine, and starvation, the wendigo are said to be the result from consuming the flesh of a fellow human, whether it was done willingly or because the only other choice was death by starvation. The resulting transformation into a wendigo is neither swift nor slow and the victim is beyond all means of saving.

There are variations in the myth, primarily in popular culture such as Marvel Comic’s adaptation of the creature, wherein there is only one wendigo at a given time and that said creature is only be born in the regions of the far north. The curse of the wendigo can be passed on should someone else consume human flesh in the aforementioned area but that was never fully confirmed and was likely retconned as the case often is in comics.

Unfortunately, such is not the case in the actual myths told by the various native peoples of America and Canada. There is said to be no limit to the actual number of wendigo but thankfully are limited to being born from the consumption of human flesh.

There are two common interpretations of what a wendigo actually looks like though there are a few common traits between them. The first one interpretation I said to be ginormous creature of gluttony and greed whose stature is, at minimum, fifteen feet tall but will actually grow further in size equal to the proportions of its last meal.

While both interpretations of the wendigo are plagued with a constant state of starvation, it is this one that is said to grow even hungrier the larger it gets. This is also the variation that often depicts the wendigo with other animal traits and/or carcasses decorating its massive frame despite no legend of the creature in any media stating wendigo eating anything besides humans.

The second interpretation was given the spotlight treatment in the recent video game Until Dawn. This variation depicts the wendigo as being a gaunt creature of flesh and bone with said bones actually pushing through its desiccated skin. Its bears an ashen complexion with sunken eyes and lips forever tattered and bloodied. The wendigo, no matter the interpretation, is also said to give off an odor of decay and corruption.

Though a wendigo is capable of being killed, it is described as not being an easy feat by any means. In the case of Until Dawn, this is because the skin of a wendigo is impervious to virtually every known weapon. Knives and blades cannot pierce it, bullets just knock it back, but fire on the other hand burns them like fresh kindling. However, it said that the spirit of the wendigo, the source of the curse, cannot be slain and will forever awaits until the next time the taboo is broken.

While some creative liberties were taken with the story and mythos of the wendigo, I firmly believe that the video game Until Dawn is by far the best interpretation of the creature. While Marvel Comics version is more recognized, it was purposefully designed, and still often is, to be a creature capable of matching the Hulk. That and, being a part of a comics company that generally, not always but mostly, aims towards the PG-13 rating, the horror of the wendigo is never fully explored. Such is not the case for Until Dawn as one of the main side-quests focuses on learning the identity of the “alpha” wendigo and how that person became a wendigo in the first place.

Unfortunately for the wendigo, Marvel Comics and Until Dawn are likely to be the only true times in the spotlight that it will ever receive. Aside from being a creature born of a taboo that no one likes to really think about, there is an actual form of psychosis named after the creature that makes it even more of an uncomfortable subject to portray in most media.

The wendigo is also a creature of winter and the far north, not one that could be born at any time of year or in any given location either. That and let us be honest here, the wendigo is a creature that combines the best and the worst of many other Halloween horrors with the cannibalism of the zombies and the horrific transformation of the werewolf being chief amongst them.

Which, in hindsight, makes them a heck of a lot more terrifying…

A slight change of plans….


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It occurs to me that with my plans on reviewing my favorite cartoon series that I run into something of a conundrum or two. The first being that a good majority of my choices are ones that I’ve yet to purchase and/or find to watch again to give a more accurate review and as such I am in need of a bit more time to track them down.

The second being that by the time I am finished reviewing said cartoons and characters that it’ll be the winter holiday season. As I’ve already reviewed a fair share of characters for that time of year, I’ll be putting my favorite cartoons reviews on hiatus and for the remainder of October I will be reviewing what I call the Spirits of Halloween.

Contrary to how I had done the Spirits of Winter Holidays, I will focus on three slightly different aspects. The first being just what manner of spirit it is, be it an ordinary animal often associated with the holiday, or a creature straight out of myth and legend.

Following that, the “myths” of said spirit, their strengths and their weaknesses whatever they be and whether or not they are something that can be dealt with easily or something one should arm themselves to the teeth for. Lastly, if such a thing is available, a form of modern media that best depicts the spirit in all of its supernatural glory.

That being said, why not start with a creature that has been given a recent shine in the spotlight?

Pretty strong, for some clown who thinks he’s Batman…


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Created By:
Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, & Alan Burnett
No. of Seasons: 3
No. of Episodes:
Original Channel: The WB Television Network
Original Release: January 10, 1999 – December 18, 2001

Chronologically the last of the DC Animated Universe, Batman Beyond actually premiered before such series like Static Shock, Justice League, and The Zeta Project with the former even serving as a spin-off of the series though sadly not that good of one comparatively speaking. What’s even funnier is that though the series ended on December 18, 2001 with the episode “Unmasked” it wasn’t until July 23, 2005 with the episode “Epilogue” in the cartoon Justice League Unlimited that the series would receive a true-blooded finale.

But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. Let us first start off where all cartoons begin, in the opening theme.

Now, I’m not certain if this was strictly a trend of the 90’s or one that has since waned in the time since but a great number of superhero cartoons, primarily those of Marvel and DC, did not have lyrical songs for their shows. In the case of Batman Beyond, the intro is composed of a… cyberpunk style of music the likes of which I can’t even begin to properly analyze. I have been told many a time that I can’t carry a tune even if it had handles so I’ll leave the musical side strictly to the professionals but I will say this of the visuals.

Stunning. That’s what it is. The beginning bit where we start to zoom in on what looks like Gotham only to see it at a far more grander scale in the form of Neo Gotham was an excellent way of showcasing the fact that this is not the world that we the viewers had come to know. One major bit of distinction in the intro though is a series of words that are shown amidst a series of super quick cuts with fitting imagery behind them.

Apathy which is followed by what could either be thugs or cops holding their weaponry but seemingly in the midst of not really doing anything with them followed shortly by a woman’s face frozen in terror. Greed that is followed by a trio of cop cars flying onto a scene preceding the word Corruption before we see the face of an aged Bruce Wayne followed shortly by the word Power. The face of his new protégé Terry McGinnis standing in a cemetery during a rainstorm is followed by Hope where we at last see the Dark Knight returned onto the scene. More words follow a greater number of cuts, those being Courage, Honor, and Justice everything that Batman, in any incarnation, has always stood for.

A particular thing to note especially is the fact that just before the final cut of the new Batman spreading his wings, there’s an image of a skull behind which seems to be an exploding light of emerald energy. A subtle hint towards the man who would, essentially, become the one responsible for bringing Neo Gotham its own Dark Knight.

As to the opening two-part episode of “Rebirth” it begins in the not-too-distant future of 2019 where we see an aged Batman, sporting a extremely high-tech batsuit, in the midst of rescuing a kidnapped heiress. Unfortunately, in the midst of laying some serious smack down on the thugs, Batman suffers a mild heart attack, leaving the remaining goon open to beating him to death. At the risk of his own life and that of their intended victim, Batman breaks the one rule he had always abided to the best of his ability.

He picked up a gun.

The kidnapper fled to the arriving police and the heiress returned to her family but the damage had already been done. The look on Batman… on Bruce’s face as he looks at the gun in his hands, the very thing that had robbed him of his parents all those years ago… was the last straw. “Never again.” He says and the lights of the Batcave turn off one by one until the last light upon the display case of costumes shuts off.

If I may take a moment to step atop this soapbox here, I’d like to make a point in saying that this, this scene right here, is exactly why I loathe the end of the so-called Dark Knight trilogy of films. It took Batman having not just a heart attack and putting his life, and those whom he hoped to save, in danger before he even considered the idea and it took him having to pick up a gun, pick up not use, to be the deal breaker. That… that schmuck… in those movies is a BINO! A Batman-In-Name-Only!

The Joker was awesome though. Heath Ledger deserved every award he got for that role because if you can make even your fellow actors think you’re the real Joker, you’re doing the job right.

Moving back to the opening episode, we found our series protagonist Terry McGinnis living the atypical life of a teenager with divorced parents and being something of a reformed troublemaker. That being he doesn’t take any crap from a local gang of Jokerz, a group of punks who, for reasons I cannot even begin to understand, actually try and emulate the Joker.

Fortunately for Terry, he ends up running from the gang and leads them right to the front door of Wayne Manor where he, and an extremely elderly Bruce Wayne, kick all of their collective behinds. Of course, this leads to Bruce having some heart complications and Terry helps him out by taking him inside the manor and getting him his medication and, coincidentally, discovering the Batcave.

I’ve got to say, for an old man whose been retired from the crime-fighting scene for a good twenty years, it was really good to see that Bruce Wayne can still fight with the best of them whilst also being unbelievably scary.

Things take a worse turn for Terry though as he returns home to find the police and his mother waiting for him. Terry learns that his father had been murdered earlier that evening while he was out partying with his friends shortly before the whole debacle with the Jokerz. The police think it was a robbery gone wrong by a similar gang but as we, and Terry, eventually learn that the real culprit is Derek Powers, the CEO of Wayne-Powers Industries who has been using the company to construct a specialized bio-weapon that Terry’s father had found out about.

Terry goes to Wayne Manor, seeking Bruce’s help with investigating his father’s murder and the cover-up. Needless to say, Bruce is less than pleased to find that Powers has been using his company to create a mutagenic nerve gas but not so much that he’ll come out of retirement. He insists that Terry take the evidence to Commissioner Barbara Gordon and Terry makes a surprisingly on the mark observation that something else occurred in Bruce Wayne’s past that truly drove him to retirement beside his age.

I’d go more into that but frankly, just watching the film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is informative enough. That and it’s a really good end for one of the greatest comic book villains.

Anyway, after a brief run-in with Powers, Terry manages to not only sneak into Wayne Manor but he actually steals the batsuit and goes out flying into the city. He’s far from the graceful Batman but he manages to become quite adept at the suit in a surprisingly quick amount of time. Bruce gets the bat-computer running and demands that Terry bring the suit back and even makes the suit shut down until he eventually relents long enough to allow Terry to use the suit only one time.

I shan’t go into the climax of the episode beyond the fact that while Terry manages to bring his father’s murderer to justice, he too follows in the footsteps of Bruce Wayne by inadvertently making a far greater threat in the form of Derek Powers, later to be known as Blight. For you see, during the foray, Terry threw a canister containing the nerve gas at Powers hoping to knock the man out.

Powers however shot at the canister and got exposed to the mutagenic nerve gas that his company had made. He survived it by way of the only means of killing the virus, extreme levels of radiation. Of course, with the virus being mutagenic, particularly in severe changes to its environment, it mutated Powers into a living nuclear reactor causing all but his skeleton to glow with an eerie green hue.

What I find particular funny with how the episode ends, aside from the reveal of Blight that is, is with Bruce Wayne visiting Terry at his home and convincing his mother to allow him to hire Terry as part-time assistant, an ally as it were. Bruce warns him that he is a difficult taskmaster and accepts nothing short of excellence from all that work for him. At Terry’s acceptance, Bruce welcomes him into his world and the two shake hands, one old knight to an aspiring squire.

As amazing as the opening episodes are, they unfortunately do not fall under my absolute favorite of the series. No, that honor goes to the fifth episode of season one “Meltdown” which features not a new villain for Batman to face, but an old one. In an attempt to find a way of curing himself of his radioactive affliction, Powers learns of a means of cloning his body and transferring his consciousness into it. Of course, not wanting to be the test subject of it himself he instead uses one Mister Victor Fries, more commonly recognized as Mr. Freeze, for the procedure. The process seems to work with Victor making something of a new life.

Unfortunately, Victor’s body starts to revert back to requiring extreme cold in order to survive and Powers and the doctor responsible for the clone body, try to kill Victor in hopes of studying his organs to try and figure out what went wrong. Of course, Victor manages to not escape he also implements his last piece of hardware and becomes Mr. Freeze once more. He manages to kill the doctor and though he makes a good attempt at killing Powers, Blight cannot be killed so easily.

During the fight between Batman and Mr. Freeze, Blight attacks Freeze and even names himself via this epic quoting here:

Batman tries to intervene but Blight easily overpowers him with his radioactive powers until, surprisingly, Mr. Freeze comes to Batman’s rescue by blasting him out of the complex. Though his plan for blowing up the building, and most of Neo-Gotham, has failed, Mr. Freeze’s desire to end his suffering comes true as the place starts to collapse around the two of them. Batman tries to convince Mr. Freeze to leave with him but Mr. Freeze retorts that Batman is the only one who cares before creating a wall of ice between them as the ice and mortar start to crumble down on top of him.

This episode is my favorite chiefly because it shows the true difference between Terry and Bruce as far as being Batman is concerned. Bruce didn’t believe that Victor deserved a second chance at life or that he would do something good with it while Terry thought otherwise. In the beginning of the series, I thought that Terry would become something of a teenaged Bruce but with a heck of a lot more angst. Whether by the life he had before or because he did not experience the same level of tragedy as Bruce had as a child, Terry is still an optimistic soul and one that was willing, and glad, to offer redemption.

If I had to pick an episode that describes the differences between Bruce Wayne’s Batman with Terry’s then this is the one. There are plenty of other episodes and moments where the two of them butt heads over things but this is one that directly involves the two of them. Bruce knows Mr. Freeze and has dealt with him many times whereas Terry has only known the man from history and has only truly met the man, Victor, in his stead. Bruce only sees the darkness whereas Terry the light and this is a trend that continues throughout most of the series.

Overall, Batman Beyond is a great cartoon series but one that, strictly speaking, is not truly a Batman cartoon. It was Greg Weissman who voiced the opinion that Batman Beyond was more akin to Spider-Man than to Batman and, in a way, he’s right. A good number of Batman’s foes are those who bear a striking similarity to Spider-Man’s own rogues gallery but the real breadwinner is the fact that, at his own admittance, Terry is one that likes to make jokes and get a rise out of his adversaries, an exact opposite of what Batman is.

However, I think that he, and most others, fail to realize that while he may indeed call himself Batman, Terry is still a “Robin” as it were when it comes to crime-fighting and the ways of the Bat Clan. Of course he’s not going to be the brooding, scowling visage we know and love, but that’s frankly not what we should be expecting from a Batman who is a teenager anyway. He’ll crack wise when the mood suits him and, oftentimes, have to make those difficult decisions of balancing social life, school, and being the Bat.

Sometimes even implementing some of together at the same time like so:

Season 2, Episode 19 - The Eggbaby_Sep 28, 2015, 4.34.10 PM

If there’s a close second to “Meltdown” the nineteenth episode of season two “Eggbaby” is a close second for obviously hilarious reasons. Because if you think seeing that was funny enough, you can’t even imagine the amazingness of hearing an incredulous Bruce Wayne demanding to know why he’s hearing a baby crying and what on earth could have possessed Terry to bring said baby along on the job.

An age of animation…? More like a lifetime…


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In a recent bout of nostalgia, and more than a few mini marathons of catching up with a few of my favorite currently airing cartoons, I find myself realizing that I have yet to give an opinion on my own personal top ten favorite animated series. Though, to be fair, it will not be strictly a list of my least favorite to my all time favorite. Frankly speaking there are far too many cartoon series that I’ve seen that I enjoy for a vast variety of reasons to make a truly fair list of my top ten. As such, this upcoming list will have a few… provisos and a couple of quid pro quos.

For those of you who caught that reference, go get yourselves a cookie.

Anyway, the stipulations are as follows: The list will not contain any cartoon series based on a previously visualized medium meaning that cartoons based on films, be they prequels to the film or pseudo-continuations, are excluded. While I greatly enjoyed such shows as DreamWorks’ Dragons and Aladdin, one cannot help but think back to the original film when it comes to the quality of the cartoon. This also includes cartoons based on live action films like The Real Ghostbusters and Star Wars: The Clone Wars or comic books like Spider-Man or Batman: The Animated Series.

However, cartoons based on previous cartoons like Extreme Ghostbusters and/or a revamping of an already done cartoon series like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe will be allowed. Cartoons that are a continuation of the aforementioned comic book based cartoons, such as Justice League, or an entirely alternate retelling of everything that we know of the mainstream comics and other alternative retellings, like X-Men Evolution or even Spider-Man Unlimited, are also allowed.

Rule number two: The cartoon series in question must have something resembling a plot throughout the series and are not limited to an episodic development of some sort. Basically, previous events that transpired in an earlier episode have to have some form of effect in the present no matter how big or small. Cartoons like Tiny Toons and Animaniacs while unbelievably funny did not really have much in the way of character development or growth as the respected series went on. The same can also be said of cartoons like Rugrats where virtually every episode was of the same basic formula with little to no change in the characters overtime.

Last but certainly not least, the cartoon series in question has to have lasted beyond a single season. Now, arguably a season is debatable as to how many episodes consist of a season as some shows, most commonly many major anime series like Bleach and Naruto are divided into story arcs and not true blue seasons as we know them. As such, I will limit it to being more than thirteen episodes in length and that includes shows whose episodes consist of two stories in a single half-hour period. Sadly, this puts a true gem of a cartoon series Cybersix out of the running but them’s the brakes.

As to what I’ll be reviewing of the cartoon series… I shall focus first on the intro to the show as it is often the opening theme that draws young viewers in and, at times, clues us in as to who’s who and what’s what and all that jazz. Following the introductory theme will of course be the first episode(s) because while any opening theme might be amazingly well done, it does not begin the story. Teases at it yes but never quite telling it as any good prologue can. Lastly, I will speak of my own personal favorite episode of the series and whether that episode in question is one that I would use to introduce the cartoon to someone who has never watched it before. Following the trend of previous reviews, I will also review a favorite character from that series.

A living oxygen destroyer…


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AKA: Destroyah, Destroyer
120 Meters (393.7 Feet)
80,000 Tons
Premiered in:
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

Admittedly, the Destroyer is officially named as Destoroyah and more commonly misspelled (and pronounced) as Destroyah, I cannot bring myself to use either such name when referring to this creature. For one thing, it is quite likely another of those attempts at making an English word gone severely wrong in Japan or, more likely, because the actual name of “Destroyer” could not be trademarked by Toho. For another… a creature such as this one truly deserves the name of Destroyer even more than the likes of King Ghidorah or Monster X.

Destroyer is similar to the likes Orga only instead of being composed of multiple sentient minds pooled into a single body it is a massive hive of Destroyers that make up its forms. In their basest of forms, the Destroyer hive consists of near microscopic crustaceans that are still incredibly deadly to deal with. A single Destroyer microbe was enough to turn an entire aquarium tank of fish into a cemetery of bones.

When enough of the microbes combine together they form the commonly named “juvenile” forms of Destroyer or what I like to call the hellion crabs. This form of Destroyer ranges in size as more of the hive can combine or separate to make the juvenile form vary in size from slightly above average human height to sixty meters.

At the latter height, the Destroyer can alter its form to be able to fly through the air, sacrificing its myriad of crustacean and insect limbs for wings and a tail with a pincer claw strong enough to pull Junior right off his feet.

The Destroyer’s final form, which is oftentimes referred to as its perfect form in the same vein of other self evolving characters/creatures, is by far the worst of the lot. It was in this form that the creature was dubbed as a living Oxygen Destroyer. Having spent so long avoiding the elephant in the room allow me a moment to speak of the one and only weapon that had succeeded in killing Godzilla.

The result of Dr. Serizawa’s experimentation in what would eventually be rediscovered as micro-oxygen, a thus-far fictional compound, the Oxygen Destroyer was an accidental creation in the man’s experiments. The Oxygen Destroyer works by releasing micro-oxygen, which reacts extremely violently in any surrounding which has elements of oxygen in it.

In water or in open air, the micro-oxygen released by the Oxygen Destroyer isolates the oxygen molecules, splits them, and liquefies them. Any organism exposed to the resulting chemicals will first die of suffocation from lack of oxygen before being disintegrated right down to the bone. The Oxygen Destroyer being used in Tokyo Bay was enough to deprive it of all life for several decades afterwards and, had it been used on land, would have made the entirety of Tokyo into a graveyard.

This is what makes Destroyer the most dangerous of Godzilla’s foes bar none. In all of its forms, from near microscopic to its perfect form, Destroyer breathes micro-oxygen and can even energize and release it in a concentrated beam. Its mere existence could mean the extinction of all life on this planet and it was only because of his failing nuclear heart that Godzilla was even able to fight this thing.

Aside from the fact that Destroyer’s micro-oxygen beam should have melted Godzilla’s skin straight off his bones, the creature also demonstrated the ability to supply its horn with enough energy to form a blade-shaped laser that literally cut Godzilla in two. The only reason that Godzilla survived at all was due entirely to the fact that his body was struggling to survive and so was producing enough Regenerator G-1 that the damage he was receiving was being healed almost within the same moment. This is evidenced by the gunk that emerged from Godzilla’s wounds, which we now know to be large samples of Regenerator G-1.

Destroyer is nigh immortal in every sense of the word. Being composed of countless smaller forms combined into one being, Destroyer can regenerate itself nigh infinitely by separating its larger form to the smaller ones and recombining again good as new. The only, and I do mean only, weakness that it possesses is extreme cold temperatures, which halt its production of micro-oxygen essentially suffocating it. More to the point, when faced by the JSDF’s freezing weaponry, Destroyer was frozen to the microscopic level and thus could not separate into its smaller forms and thus the hive’s true weakness was revealed.

When a Destroyer is killed, the entirety of the hive that composes its body dies with it.

If such a creature like Destroyer to exist… Honestly, we’d have far greater things to worry about by that point and would likely already be dust on the wind. For Destroyer could not have been born without the means of its creation, that being the Oxygen Destroyer and micro-oxygen, being used. We’d first have to make such a weapon before a creature like Destroyer could be born and if such a weapon was to be made and used…

Nuclear bombs would be the least of our concerns.

This is going to be Godzilla’s last fight…


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Godzilla vs Destroyer
Directed By: Takao Okawara
Written By: Kazuki Omori
American Distribution By: Columbia TriStar Home Video

Admittedly, I had planned to place Legendary’s Godzilla as my favorite Godzilla film when I realized how incredibly unfair a comparison it would be both to the American film and its Japanese predecessors. True, the film is, in essence, a remake all to its own with absolutely no connections to the prior ones from Japan but without them, there wouldn’t even be an American remake at all so… Yep, here at number one, by chance and luck of the draw is Godzilla vs. Desotroyah.

The film begins two years after the end of Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla and shows the chief advocator for leaving Godzilla alone for pity’s sake, Miki Saegusa discovers that the island home of the Monster King and his young heir has been destroyed, the uranium deposits located underneath the landmass undergoing a massive nuclear fission that obliterated the island and likely killed off Junior. Godzilla himself is nowhere to be seen though he is still presumed to be alive.

A month passes and Godzilla appears not on the shores of Japan but in Hong Kong and has undergone a frightening change in appearance and power. His dorsal scutes are aglow with burning orange light and large patches of Godzilla’s hide also burns the same hue. Rather than the controlled blue beam of nuclear radiation that is Godzilla’s atypical heat ray, Godzilla’s breath truly resembles fire as nuclear energy bursts from his mouth in gargantuan streams of hellish red.

Though not named so outright in the film, in written materials and amongst the fan community, this Godzilla is appropriately dubbed as Burning Godzilla. It is eventually surmised that Godzilla’s nuclear heart is going out of control as the destruction of Birth Island resulted in him absorbing too much radiation in too short a time. Once Godzilla’s body temperature reaches 1,200 degrees Celsius, he will explode with a force a thousand times greater than all nuclear armaments combine, which will, at the least, ignite the atmosphere of Earth and burn everything to ashes.

The best part about all this is that this is discovered not by a cabinet of scientists in the government’s employ, but by a college kid who had sent the thesis of Godzilla’s anatomy first to G-Force, who outright ignored it, and then to the U.S. who praised it for its innovative thinking. It’s even more interesting to note that the college kid in question is the grandson to paleontologist Kyohei Yamane, the man who discovered the first Godzilla back in 1954 and whose daughter, Emiko, was engaged to Daisuke Serizawa the creator of the Oxygen Destroyer, the one and only device that has proven capable of killing Godzilla.

Unfortunately, Godzilla is not the only threat to be found. Scientist Kensaku Ijuin has made a discovery in the form of what he calls “micro-oxygen” that has many good purposes but is heavily outweighed by its potential as a weapon. In point of fact, it is Emiko herself who recognizes it as the precursor to the Oxygen Destroyer upon seeing her niece’s interview with the man on television. Unfortunately, though she pleads with her niece and nephew to convince the man to stop his research before it goes to far they instead try to convince the man to go exactly the way their aunt’s dead fiancé had gone and create a new Oxygen Destroyer.

However, the result of the first Oxygen Destroyer’s deployment reveals itself at last as strange happenings occur in an aquarium located close to the bay where it had been used. The fish in the aquarium are seemingly dissolved down to the bone as though the water itself is eating them. It is soon discovered that a colony of Precambrian crustaceans have been mutated by the effects of the Oxygen Destroyer and soon grow in number and capabilities. The larger the colony grows the more of them that can combine together to form a larger and far deadlier form.

The “juvenile” form of these crustaceans, henceforth named Destoroyah or “Destroyer” if you prefer, appear in a warehouse and in a scene reminiscent to the Alien franchise, attack the police force that was sent to dispatch them. The Destroyer juveniles appear to be destroyed by fire but are in truth separated once more into a smaller colony and escape.

Meanwhile a plan to try and curb Godzilla’s explosion is put into action and surprisingly succeeds. The plan involves the heavily modified and expertly made Super-X III to freeze Godzilla and utilize its payload of cadmium missiles to further increase their chance of success. Unfortunately, while the plan succeeds in freezing Godzilla for several hours and completely nullifying the risk of Godzilla exploding, he is still dying and will go into meltdown. The resulting heat made from Godzilla’s burning corpse will bore its way through the crust of the Earth and down into the Earth’s core which will in turn result in all life on Earth being killed.

Humanity just can’t catch a break it seems.

In the midst of all this, Junior reemerges in a larger and more adolescent form and it is quickly surmised that Godzilla is following after his wayward son. With Doctor Ijuin refusing to cooperate in the creation of a new Oxygen Destroyer the government opts to use the closest thing they have to it. Once more playing against the wish-washy-ness that is Miki Saegusa’s resolve, they convince her and another psychic to lure Junior to Destroyer in the hope that the mutated crustacean will kill Godzilla before he goes into meltdown.

Unfortunately, the military has used up their allotment of good karma and so the plan appears to fail with Junior actually managing to beat Destroyer even in its newly evolved flying form. However, Destroyer might be down but it is certainly not out as it returns in its full demonic glory and proceeds to fly off towards the reunion of father and son. Knocking Godzilla aside, Destroyer grabs Junior by the neck and flies up into the air before dropping the heir to the monster throne down to his death.

Needless to say, this makes for a dramatic rise in Godzilla’s body temperature as he and Destroyer fight each other. In the entirety of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, this film is the one that is easily the most brutal of them all to Godzilla and it shows in so many ways that I will refrain from mentioning until I review Destroyer properly in the following entry.

I will say that during a lull in the fight, where it seems like Destroyer has chosen retreat over victory, Godzilla approaches his dying son and tries to revitalize him with a breath of radiation. It fails and Junior’s eyes close for the last time and Godzilla’s body shines with barely restrained fury and grief as he silently wails to the heavens at the loss of his son. Destroyer ruins the moment by attacking the Monster King from behind but Godzilla’s body temperature continues to rise and as his heart nears meltdown, his power increases by several magnitudes.

After a long and bloodied battle, Destroyer realizes that it cannot win against Godzilla and that the Monster’s King quickly approaching death will result in its destruction as well, tries to flee. Making up for their stroke of poor luck in their previous plan, the military utilize all of their freezing weaponry alongside the Super-X III to shoot Destroyer down and disintegrate it.

Godzilla’s heart finally reaches meltdown and the military unleashes a full barrage of freezing weaponry upon him. Though it is enough to prevent Godzilla’s body from reaching a temperature hot enough to melt straight down to the core of the Earth, the Monster King’s slowly begins to melt away with one final roar. The resulting radiation from Godzilla’s death is enough to turn Tokyo into a ghost city where nothing can survive. However, the radiation suddenly disappears and as the fog of radiation begins to clear, a new king arises from where a dead prince once lay.

The King is dead, long live the King…

This movie… boy, where do I even begin? The human elements of the film are all extremely well done, easily one of the best of the Heisei era. There are several nods and acknowledgements to the original film and others, especially with the involvement of the actress who played Emiko in the first film. Miki’s involvement was to be expected but contrary to the last film she doesn’t play center stage and frankly, that’s just where we want her to be.

Make no mistake, she is the only person who seems to have a heart for Godzilla and Junior but her inability to stand her ground against anything that doesn’t result in Godzilla’s death or extreme levels of pain is a frustrating aspect to her character and one that I may analyze in further detail sometime in the future.

As to the monster side, Toho went all out in every possible aspect they could with Destroyer and the final showdown between it and Godzilla. It was a befitting idea to have Godzilla combat against the living embodiment of the very weapon that killed him once before. Destroyer could have killed Godzilla and there are several factors as to why it couldn’t that I’ll go into later but I think that Godzilla dying on his own right rather than by what killed him once before was a good way for him to go.

Aside from proving that Godzilla does indeed have a means of dying, it was a very fitting way for him to fall not to the result of the Oxygen Destroyer made a living thing but by overcoming it just long enough that he could die as he lived, in a blaze of glory.

Toho spared no expense in making it clear that this was to be Godzilla’s final movie in every sense of the word. The “big pool” which was used for many of the water battle scenes since the 1960’s was paved over and turned into a parking lot, special effects wizard Koichi Kawakita who had worked on every Godzilla film since 1989 announced his retirement from Toho, and the company even held a funeral, an honest to Godzilla, funeral for the Monster King.

Though not strictly the final film, as plans were made to renew the franchise once more in 2005, the worldwide disappointment that was the 1998 American film spurred them to bring the Big G out of retirement several years ahead of schedule.

In point of fact, something similar has occurred again in Japan but rather than being fueled by the desire to show the world what Godzilla ought to be, it seems that the proverbial gauntlet has been cast. With the worldwide success by Legendary Pictures that a sequel is now in the works with a whole trilogy being planned out, Toho is doing everything they can to take that gauntlet and slap it right back in their faces with a film of their own.

Two Godzilla films for the price of one… I’d say that’s a good a price as any.


Then Godzilla destroyed it the very next day…


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The Millennian People
Height: 60 Meters (196.85 Feet)
40,000 Tons
Premiered in:
Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999)

Out of the entirety of kaiju in the Godzilla franchise, Orga is easily the most unique of the bunch in that it is not truly a single entity and a creature whose origin has only been fully explored in media outside the film such as the manga adaptation and, more recently, the Godzilla game for the PS4. Orga’s origin story starts a long, long time ago during the tail end of the Cretaceous Period on Earth where another far more alien world was on the cusp of complete annihilation.

Quickly devising a means of escaping their dying world the aliens, henceforth known by their official title of Millennian, departed in a specialized spacecraft that was controlled by their race’s unique form of telepathy. Unfortunately, as they flew through space towards Earth, the only world that was at least remotely hospitable for them, the Millennian failed to realize a fatal flaw in their spacecraft’s design.

Their craft could survive the vacuum of space and even sixty-five million years at the bottom of the Earth’s oceans but it had no means of blocking out the abundance of radiation found in the vastness of space and the individual members of the Millennian degenerated into a… well, primordial soup as it were. If anyone is familiar with the plotline of Neon Genesis Evangelion, I think you might already be aware of the few parallels here and for those of you who aren’t familiar with the anime/manga, allow me to sum it up thusly:

A giant liquid mass that contains the collective consciousness of an entire alien species that are both their individual selves and a hive mind at the same time.

Awakening in our modern world, the Millennian sought a means of regaining their lost form and saw such a way in the form of Godzilla or, more specifically, the Regenerator G-1 in his cells. Collecting a vast quantity of the stuff, the Millennian regained their true form once more, if not a ginormous version of themselves before mutating into the monstrosity known as Orga.

Orga is still the Millennian people though it maintains a truly monstrous visage. When confronted by Godzilla, Orga actually tried to surrender to the Monster King who was having none of and proceeded on to the attack. As Orga, the Millennian are incredibly strong and surprisingly agile, able to leap distances that not even Baragon could do on his best day. Orga also demonstrated that it too still possessed the same level of telepathic and telekinetic prowess of the Millennian as it could still control the destroyed spacecraft, using it as a distraction and shield when necessary.

What was even more surprising though was that the craft’s weapon, a beam of concussive plasma energy, was actually a part of the Millennian’s own natural abilities that remained in Orga, who can launch this attack via its left shoulder.

The creature’s most terrifying power however is its stolen regenerative prowess. Unlike Godzilla who can heal quickly for a creature his size and survive most attacks, Orga was able to regenerate within moments of being dealt excessive amounts of damage. It survived not one but three direct hits from Godzilla’s atomic breath, with the last hitting dead center and all but burnt Orga to charcoal and it still managed to regenerate the damage and even purposefully mutate itself to turn most of its upper torso into a single massive gullet to try and swallow Godzilla down.

For you see dear readers, during the fight between them, Orga realized that even a solitary bite on Godzilla’s arm was enough for it to absorb the kaiju’s DNA and so it sought to devour all of Godzilla and become a full clone of the original. Now here’s where things get interesting, though appearing to be hypnotized by a strange tune that Orga was emitting from its gullet, Godzilla was still level-headed enough to purposefully dive head first into the space mutation’s mouth.

Assured in its victory, Orga began to gulp down Godzilla in earnest, swiftly beginning to mutate and gaining many of the Monster King’s signature traits before it took notice of Godzilla’s dorsal spines lighting up. An intense glow that continued on into the rest of the Monster King’s body and nearly set the very air itself aflame. Orga’s eyes widened with realization before Godzilla promptly unleashed an atomic blast strong enough to vaporize Orga’s entire upper half. The remaining half soon crumbled to dust at Godzilla’s victorious roar.

Much like how the Heisei version of Godzilla had done to Biollante, the Millennium Godzilla utilized the strategy of aiming for the innards whence facing a foe of similar healing properties. The difference though lied in the fact that Biollante was primarily a plant and thus did not possess the same internal organs as an actual living creature whereas Orga, being born from a psionic species of alien, did.

If such a creature like Orga were to exist… There are so many ways that we, as a species, would be wiped out. Much like SpaceGodzilla, Orga is not a mindless animal or a creature of instinct. It is composed of the surviving members of an alien race fused into one body with a collective consciousness behind it. Whether or not that consciousness can work as a hive mind or is something akin to such beings like the Geth of Mass Effect, with the multitude together creating a coherent sentient being, it doesn’t matter. Contrary to SpaceGodzilla, Orga is composed sentient beings with far more advanced technologies and lifespans compared to our own. If it had the chance to retreat it likely would have beaten Godzilla via an actually thought-out plan versus one made on the fly.

That’s not even taking into account the massive quantities of Regenerator G-1 coursing through Orga’s veins. The monstrosity was able to survive direct blasts of Godzilla’s nuclear breath, an attack with upwards of 328 trillion pounds of force per square inch. That Orga died at all to Godzilla’s last attack could be attributed to the attack having been launched inside the creature’s mouth, vaporizing the head and likely the source of its regeneration but it could also mean that the attack combined with the previous ones had maxed out its consumption of Regenerator G-1.

Either way you look at it, we would have to somehow launch nuclear bomb after nuclear bomb at the creature and pray to whatever deity is listening that at least one of those bombs manages to make its way into the monster’s throat to have even a glimmer of hope in killing it.

It woke up after 60 million years…


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Japanese Title:
Godzilla 2000: Millennium
Directed By:
Takao Okawara
Written By: Hiroshi Kashiwabara & Wataru Mimura
American Distribution By: Tristar Picutres

The first, and sadly only, Japanese Godzilla film that I have had the good fortune of seeing on the silver screen, Godzilla 2000 is a film that many fans believed would never have occurred if not for the fall-out of the 1998 American attempt at making a Godzilla film. Oh, I’m sure there would have been Godzilla movies made without that film but I doubt that they would have been released in such a short span of time following Godzilla’s last retirement.

Unfortunately, due to this film coming out a few years after said remake, when it was released here in American theaters, a lot of people who aren’t fans of the franchise were under the assumption that it was a sequel to the 1998 film. I honestly fail to see how any one could make such a gross mistake as that but that’s neither here nor there.

The film, like most of the Millennium era, is one that disregards all previous films save for the original though it is never established if this particular Godzilla is the same as the first one or a separate creature altogether. In point of fact, up until this film’s direct sequel that spelled out the history of this incarnation of Godzilla, it was a popular fan belief that this Godzilla was Junior grown up and unbelievably awesome.

This idea came about mostly from the major design aesthetics that were done to Godzilla this time around, making him fully green and turning his dorsal scutes a vibrant amethyst color. The real breadwinner though was the color alteration of his heat ray, from the atypical blue to a violent orange. Many fans, myself included, presumed that this was Junior super-charged to the max and thus capable of utilizing a slightly weakened version of his adopted father’s Spiral Heat Ray.

As to the film itself, its main focus on the human side of things is on two particular groups. The government sponsored and run Crisis Control Intelligence (CCI) whose job is not strictly limited to handling Godzilla but anything that could be constituted as a crisis. Such a crisis appears in the discovery of a unique rock formation discovered deep in the ocean that scientists speculate to be the remains of an extraterrestrial craft. Upon attempting to bring said rock up to the surface, it suddenly comes to life just enough for it to rise up and stand at an extreme angle following the path of the sun to absorb solar energy.

Meanwhile the second group, known as the Godzila Prediction Network (GPN), is a volunteer group run and founded by Yuji Shinoda who independently study Godzilla and try to predict his movements and motivations. Though not an overly large group, the GPN manages to make a massive leap ahead of the CCI and its leader Mitsuo Katagiri, by discovering something of Godzilla that had, up until this point, been pure speculation.

Namely, the genetic byproduct of Godzilla’s species known as Regenerator G-1 in North America but is called Organizer G-1 in Japan. The Regenerator G-1 is what allows Godzilla to heal so rapidly and makes him nigh immortal. Though not to the same extremes as such characters like Wolverine or Deadpool of Marvel Comics renown, it is not difficult to believe that Godzilla can regenerate so long as a good portion of organic matter remains. In point of fact, it’s a popular fan theory that this Godzilla, and all others that followed the theme of being sequels to the first film in 1954, had regenerated from the skeletal remains and that explains the massive time gap between films.

Unfortunately for Japan, the UFO has also made the same discovery. Upon blasting Godzilla back into the ocean, takes off towards Shinjuku where it lands upon the Tokyo City Opera Tower and begins to download all the information Japan, and the world, has on Godzilla.

CCI attempts to destroy the UFO by blowing up the roof despite knowing that Shinoda is also there attempting to discover the UFO’s plans via hacking it in turn. The attack ultimately fails and Shinoda manages to escape by the skin of his teeth and reveals to the CCI that the alien with the UFO wants the Regenerator G-1 inside Godzilla so that it can withstand Earth’s atmosphere.

Godzilla then arrives and through some clever tactics, the UFO manages to knock him out via burying him under a massive skyscraper and quickly proceeds to harvest massive quantities of Regenerator G-1. Absorbing the Regenerator G-1 into itself, the alien within the craft emerges in its full glory before its body begins to horrifically mutate.

Blasting his way out of the rubble, Godzilla quickly destroys most of the alien’s ship before spotting the result of the alien’s attempt at surviving Earth’s atmosphere. Like most kaiju, Godzilla’s DNA is highly mutagenic and the resulting creature is one well deserving of the name Orga.

The mutated alien initially does not desire to fight Godzilla but upon realizing that the Monster King will not allow it to retreat to try and make sense of its new ghastly form, goes onto the attack. It swiftly becomes apparent that due to the huge consumption of Regenerator G-1, Orga can not only heal far faster than Godzilla can but can survive a direct blast of Godzilla’s heat breath. The fight takes an even dire turn as the creature discovers that even the simple act of biting Godzilla allows it to further absorb his DNA and became a full clone of the Kaiju King.

The rest of the fight I’ll save for when I talk of Orga in full but I will say that it is easily one of the most brutal ways Godzilla has ever finished off an opponent.

Overall, I thought that this was an incredible movie to watch. The human side of things, like most of the Millennium films, actually pertains to the events transpiring on the monster side. We finally discover the means of Godzilla’s healing factor, and it’s by people who aren’t sponsored with enough money to construct freaking giant robots.

The GPN is, quite literally, the “tornado chasers” of the kaiju world, following and studying Godzilla from afar as best as they are able and yet they still manage to make an incredible leap in discovery that the government, in this film and in others, had only managed to speculate on and not make a full confirmation.

On the note of the GPN, specifically its founder/leader Shinoda, I ought to mention that his daughter, a literal kid, is also involved in the film’s events and for a time I had a problem with it. I mean, this is a guy who is chasing/following a freaking radioactive dinosaur and he brings his daughter along for the ride? True, she’s the one that manages to take care of him more than he takes care of her, what with cooking and the like, but she’s also quite intelligent and resourceful too.

It’s actually rather weird how common it is for the trope of a single father with a daughter in most monster films. Say what you will of Disney films and the multitude of characters without a mother for one reason or another, but in the monster film franchise, especially in Japan, it’s far more common but is also quite diverse. Thinking over every father-daughter pair I’ve seen in the Godzilla franchise, I can’t say that any pair was a copy of another.

As to the monster side of things, we get everything and so much more. Godzilla appearing and rampaging through the city, fighting and wiping out the military’s attempt at stopping him, and a good old fight between giant monsters to top it all off.

The special effects is one of the best in the Millennium era and frankly, I rather liked the changes done to Godzilla this time around, namely the variation of his heat ray. In previous films, Godzilla’s dorsal scutes would flash or light up before he unleashes his heat beam but in this film they actually heat up and can be used as an alternative form of attack if need be.

Overall, this is the modern generation’s Godzilla film that shows all of what the franchise has to offer to the younger generations to come.

Kneel before the might of…


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120 Meters (393.7 Feet)
80,000 Tons (Standard Form) 720,000 Tons (Flight)
Premiered in:
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)

Much like his premiere film, SpaceGodzilla has a lot of mixed opinions going for him though, from what I’ve seen and read thus far, it centers on only one aspect in particular. That being that SpaceGodzilla is one of the most unoriginal names in the franchise, which is something that I can’t wholly argue against. True, he is, essentially, a Godzilla born from the depths of space but trust me folks, there were far worse choices in mind. Those being the ever popular “AstroGodzilla” or “CrystalGodzilla.”

Aside from his name, SpaceGodzilla is one of the most popular amongst the villains in the franchise, coming a close second behind King Ghidorah in most instances. There are quite a few reasons for this but let us begin with the origin of the character SpaceGodzilla before I get into the actual in-film origin.

During the 16-bit era of video games there was a Godzilla game for the Super Nintendo that, like most games for the system, was called Super Godzilla. However, unlike most games where this was strictly a naming convention to tie it closer to its game system, there was an actual “Super Godzilla” featured in the game. This was actually a powered up form that Godzilla could take near the game’s climax if certain circumstances were met and it was this design in particular that was modified into SpaceGodzilla.

As to his in film origins there’s something of a headache involved there. See, a few years earlier there was a small terrorist group from the far future that had traveled back in time to help rid Japan of Godzilla, claiming that the monster king would eventually cause the countries destruction. To do this, they went back to the time before the dinosaur that would become Godzilla was mutated by atomic bomb testing and moved him to a different location whilst secretly leaving a few of their own creatures behind.

In truth, these “Futurians” had a beef with Japan as it had become a major world power and so sought to bring it to its knees with a monster of their own only for Godzilla to reappear bigger and far stronger as a result of their machinations. I bring this up because it is never outright stated in this film whether or not Godzilla simply hadn’t existed in the years between the change, thus nullifying the effects that occurred, or if Godzilla still existed but had been altered as a result of changing history.

Either way, there are two popular theories as to how SpaceGodzilla came to be. The first being, and connecting to whether or not she existed at all in a changed timeline, is from Biollante’s cells that may have escaped into the atmosphere. The second possibility is G-Cells being carried into space by Mothra who, following a confrontation with Godzilla and her darker twin Battra, had gone off to stop an asteroid that would eventually wipe out all life on Earth yet again.

Here’s where things get a bit more confusingly squeaky. Whether it was Biollante’s cells or pure G-Cells, the samples of Godzilla’s DNA would mutate into a crystalline life form as it travelled through a black hole and emerged as SpaceGodzilla upon exiting a white hole. The other theory is that the DNA ended up coming into contact with, and heavily mutating, an alien life form and thus creating SpaceGodzilla.

Personally, I’m somewhat leaning towards the latter theory only because of how frightfully intelligent SpaceGodzilla is. He is a kaiju that can not only think, but he can actually conceive something of a plan and one that I swear is comparable to the likes of most major super villains of the era. When he first fought Godzilla, SpaceGodzilla had the Monster King on the ropes, overpowering him with ease but rather than killing his predecessor the monstrous clone chose another method of attack only one other monster has done since.

He attacked Godzilla’s son, placing little Junior in a crystalline prison that put the toddler into suspended animation so long as SpaceGodzilla remained alive. No other monster had ever struck at Godzilla on such an emotional level before and it was a startling thing to witness as SpaceGodzilla flew off to make his fortress in the heart of Fukuoka and using its massive tower to enhance his energy absorption from the strange, alien crystals that grow and thrive at his very presence.

Out of all the monsters Godzilla has ever faced, SpaceGodzilla is easily the one that possesses the widest range of powers and abilities. SpaceGodzilla’s chief ability is to grow and control crystalline structures that are durable enough to pierce through most manmade structures and unstable enough to explode upon with enough force applied to them. These crystals also have the additional benefit of enhancing and strengthening SpaceGodzilla’s powers but he can only absorb so much energies at once through the twin crystals upon his shoulders and so must use a conduit, like Fukuoka Tower, to absorb more energy at once.

SpaceGodzilla’s breath weapon is known simply as a corona beam and though it appears and moves much like lightning it is in fact made up of the same type of plasma that surrounds our sun and other stars. A few direct hits of this attack were enough to knock Godzilla down before either his regenerative powers grew accustomed to the energy or his rage/hatred for SpaceGodzilla refused to allow him to fall a second time.

As mentioned above, SpaceGodzilla can assume a “flight form” of sorts by way of encasing most of his body in crystal and levitating said crystals to achieve flight. Despite most of his body remaining outside the crystals, SpaceGodzilla can survive in the vacuum of space and has proven to be an even deadlier force as the lack of gravity only makes him faster.

However, SpaceGodzilla can still achieve something resembling flight on Earth by way of telekinesis, lifting himself up into the air for short distances. He’s not fast while doing this and has shown to be unable to lift himself incredibly high without resorting to his flight form, but he gains a distinctive moving advantage over most of his land bound foes. He can also telekinetically lift semi-conscious foes and toss them about like ragdolls. His greatest use of telekinesis though is when he utilizing his grown crystals as missiles that either fly straight through the air like spears or rocket themselves up into the atmosphere before dropping them down like arrows.

One of SpaceGodzilla’s truly unique abilities however is one that has not yet been displayed by any other monster in the Godzilla franchise that wasn’t some form of machine. SpaceGodzilla can create a momentary crystalline shield that is strong enough to not only withstand Godzilla’s atomic breath but the refractions of the shield can even bounce it right back at him. Thankfully like most shields, SpaceGodzilla’s is not without its own weaknesses.

His shield only covers his front so attacks from the side or behind can still hit and he can only construct the shield for attacks that he sees coming. More than once Godzilla utilized the ploy of falling to SpaceGodzilla’s power only to blast him as he went down to catch the clone by surprise. SpaceGodzilla also seems incapable of maintaining the shield for any length of time exceeding a few seconds.

SpaceGodzilla’s greatest weakness is the crystals located upon his shoulders tough it takes a large amount of power and/or force to destroy them. Should they be damaged, SpaceGodzilla is incapable of utilizing his shield, telekinesis, and his energy absorption drops by massive magnitudes. If they should be destroyed outright, SpaceGodzilla’s body explodes into flames.

However… there is no guarantee that SpaceGodzilla has been slain. In his premiere film, SpaceGodzilla’s body was destroyed by Godzilla super-powered Spiral Heat Ray and following this, a large cloud of something resembling spores departed out into space with what sounded a lot like SpaceGodzilla’s roar, albeit weakened. Given that SpaceGodzilla possesses the DNA of Godzilla, it’s quite possible that he possesses the same regenerative prowess as the monster king and even Biollante.

Without question SpaceGodzilla is one of the deadliest of Godzilla’s foes, standing second only to one other monster in my own opinion. Aside from his wide range of powers and abilities, it has been stated numerous times in various media, from film to video games, that SpaceGodzilla possesses human-level intelligence. He can think and he can plan, which puts him leaps and bounds ahead of most monsters. If not for his arrogance, SpaceGodzilla could have killed Godzilla but chose not to do so because he wanted to defeat him with power at its highest, to make the King of Monsters kneel down to him.

Say what you will of a monster with intelligence matching that of a human, there is nothing worse than one that possesses an overwhelming level of arrogance and cruelty.


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