The Walking Dead: The Next To Die

 

Walking Dead season 6

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Major spoilers ahead

OK, we’re all still digesting the most recent episode of The Walking Dead and over what happened in it. But what happened is actually the norm for The Walking Dead, since major characters get killed off in the TV show (and comic book) all the time, so we should expect death. It doesn’t mean that we have to like it. OK, this is the last warning about spoilers before we get started.

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So, Glenn became the latest fatality in the walker-infested world of The Walking Dead. It shouldn’t come as a surprise given that he’s been dead for some time in the comic books. It’s just that we all expected Negan to come along and bash his head in, not fall into a swarm of hungry walkers. BTW, thank you Nick for being a coward til the end and taking out the one person who saw something in you.

Anyway, who’s the next one to die? Will it be fatalities from the comic books like Carol and Abraham or will it be someone who is still alive like Carl? Leaving out the Alexandrians, who we don’t care about, here are the main heroes from the TV version of The Walking Dead. What are the odds they’ll survive the zombie apocalypse?

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Rick Grimes: The main character in The Walking Dead, the story is told mainly from his point of view. Creator Robert Kirkman stated that the story will end when Rick dies, so he’s likely to last until the final episode. His hand, though, is another story and it’s already being foreshadowed.

darDaryl Dixon: If the show’s creators believe the fans’ declaration: If Daryl Dies, We Riot, then it would be a mistake to kill off the major original character in the show. Then again, what’s been going on with him lately? Most of the time he’s moody, wants to be by himself. Maybe he’ll be written out but not killed so he can come back for the special episodes.

Carol Peletier: The formerly abused carol disguise 2housewife has become the female version of Daryl: a complete badass. Robert Kirkman recently said that is the one character he refuses to kill off in the TV show because he loves how she has developed.

Michonne: This modern-day samurai just seems too tough to be killed off…or is she? Rest easy folks, odds are that she’s not going anywhere. She’s on a Daryl level of popularity ever since she was introduced in the comics.

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Maggie Greene: The only surviving member introduced in season two and Glenn’s wife. She’s going to maggiehave some dark days ahead, lots of fodder for character development. It would be waste to then just kill her, but this is The Walking Dead. Also let’s consider the wild speculation that Glenn somehow survived (yeah, I know that would be far-fetched), suppose it’s true, what would be a greater tragedy than having him go home only to find out she died?

carlCarl Grimes: Rick’s son has lost an eye and half his face in the comic books and he is a candidate for carrying the torch given his young age. But his infant sister who was killed in the comics is still alive. That means one of the Grimes kids has to die, and killing Carl would be a twist. Like with Rick Grimes, at the very least expect him to lose an eye. Having him waltz around with an eyepatch would be easier (and cheaper) to film than a missing hand.

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Sasha: This lady has had a death wish in the second half of season five and who can blame her since her brother and lover died at that time. Now she seems to have snapped out of her funk. All the more reason to kill her off. Whenever someone on the show finds some peace then they’re history.

Abraham Ford: Killed in the comic books fighting Negan’s army, Abraham was always a bit crazy and this season he’s picked up Sasha’s reckless, suicidal verve. Ever since he found out that Eugene lied about having a walker cure, his life has lost meaning. Perfect candidate.

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Eugene Porter: This oddball is too goofy to be killed off. I predict doing so will touch off a firestorm on a Daryl level.

Rosita Espinosa: Abraham’s girlfriend hasn’t had much to do lately and is becoming a redshirt. Perhaps she bites it in the mid-season finale.

rosita tara

Tara Chamblers: She was originally part of the evil Governor’s group, but quickly realized her error and has become a staunch member of Rick’s group. Though her story is pretty interesting, and her friendship with Eugene is nice to watch, but she hasn’t caught on like Daryl or Carol. She may be next.

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Morgan Jones: The first dude Rick met when he woke up from his coma is a fan favorite given his badassery. But let’s be real here, his let’s-all-get-along attitude is costing the group. He’s in danger of being a liability, then don’t forget he’s already dead in the comics. Can anyone say Dead Man Walking?

T. Rod Jones

 

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Comic-Con 2015 Highlights

deadpool hikerAnother Comic-Con has made its impact with genre fans from all over the world. As exciting as it was for those lucky enough to attend the annual gathering at San Diego, there wasn’t any Earth-shattering news to come out of the convention. Nonetheless, many presentations and speakers were able to whet the appetites for fans at what lies ahead.

TV Shows

New trailers for The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead made their debut and whetted the appetites for followers of the zombie phenomenon. While Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) has leadership headaches in season six of The Walking Dead, we all finally get to see how the walker apocalypse got its start with the prequel spinoff.

While Marvel Studios was conspicuously absent this year, we did get news about their TV shows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter. The most intriguing was the tease that one of the actual Avengers (and Maria Hill doesn’t count!) may appear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That being the Falcon (Anthony Mackie), which is terrific news since he is so popular.

As for their natural rival, DC, we found out that Jay Garrick will indeed be featured in The Flash and portrayed by Teddy Sears, plus Wally West is coming to the popular show as well as a new villain Zoom. Also, Hawkman himself will appear in the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow. Do we smell another spinoff coming?

Movies

The three big movie-related revelations at Comic-Con were about Fox’s Marvel movies, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and DC/Warner Brothers’ superhero films. The clear winner was DC who presented a teaser for the Suicide Squad, announced that there will be a Green Lantern Corps. film  and that Ben Affleck will direct and star in a Batman solo film, and showed a near-perfect trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But let’s go over the first two revelations.

Fox presented teasers for next year’s Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse, as well as next month’s Fantastic Four. While the new X-Men presentation was fascinating, what brought the house down was the first look at Deadpool. The teaser featured many of the same scenes from the ashcan trailer that made the rounds in the Internet to sell the idea of a Deadpool film. But added to that were the basic origin stuff of how Slade Wilson became the Merc with a Mouth. Overall, the trailer clearly shows that this will be an R-rated film to the delight of fans.

Just as delightful to watch was the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel that was highlighted by a reunion of the Original Trilogy stars, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. A behind-the-scenes video was released that had new footage from the upcoming Star Wars film and one point that seems to be hammered into the video is the reliance on practical sets and effects so as to set it apart from the prequel films.

Arguably the most popular presentations where done by DC/Warner Bros. with their two comic book films due next year. The Suicide Squad trailer was fairly standard with Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) winning over drooling fans as expected. The images were buttressed by Will Smith’s take of Deadshot, who added some gravitas to what looked like a costume parade. However, Jared Leto stole the entire trailer at the end when he showed up as the Joker. He seemed just as manic and deadly as he appeared in the photos.

What set the DC presentation apart was the winning trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It showed that there will be real repercussions for the events in Man of Steel where Superman (Henry Cavill) and his foes effectively destroyed Metropolis. We find out that Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) was present in Metropolis during the climatic battle and witnessed firsthand the threat that meta-humans pose. His hatred for Superman seems natural and justified. Meanwhile, Superman has to contend with either being revered as some kind of god and feared and hated by others. All the protesters with the signs calling him an illegal alien is very topical. The final and winning touch to the trailer was the premiere of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. It didn’t show much but she looked beautiful and powerful. Thanks to the trailer Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has become the must-see film of 2016.

Marvel Studios MIA

DC’s presentations sucked all the air out of the convention for the other properties, even the Fox Marvel movies. What could’ve countered this was if Marvel Studios had bothered to make a presentation at Comic-Con. Instead, they stayed home and it remains to be seen if a price will be paid for this absence.

They had their reasons for staying out of Comic-Con, Ant-Man will be out in a few days and their other films may not be ready yet. Then there’s the fact that there may be presentations at next month’s D23 Expo, which will solely be about all things Disney. batman armorOr perhaps Marvel Studios will have another special presentation like they did last fall where they announced the full slate of the Phase Three MCU films. Except this time we’ll get actual footage from Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange.

Be that as it may, it is still probably a strategic mistake to take the year off Comic-Con. While the MCU films are riding a wave of popularity now, this year’s convention showed that genuine competition is coming and Marvel Studios needs to stay alert. Some cracks in the armor showed with Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man’s potential for success is unknown. If they didn’t want to show any footage, they could’ve at least shown some props or artwork from the upcoming films. Instead we got to see cool props from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice like the Batman armor. Score one for DC. 🙂

Lewis T. Grove

 

 

Best Of 2014

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Best Sci-Fi TV Show

Doctor Who got off to a rocky start for the new Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. But the show and the actor quickly found their footing and presented an eclectic and sometimes frenetic mix of the bizarre, silly and loftier themes. What helped where the imaginative scripts and Capaldi’s cutting performance as a more sardonic and mature Doctor, which was a good change of pace for Doctor Who.

Best Horror TV Show:

The Walking Dead continues to be one of the best genre shows on TV. This year saw the aftermath of the fall of the prison that scattered our heroes and introduced memorable characters. At the same time, The Walking Dead kept amping up the stakes with the Terminus cannibals and Grady Hospital storylines. It all ended with a feeling that no one is safe and nothing is secure.

Best Fantasy Show

Game of Thrones is the best produced dragons 2show on TV right now with its topnotch production values, crisp dialogue and scripts, and superior acting. Many episodes stood out which dealt with the deaths of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), the trial of Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and the siege of the Wall. The only problem is that the show is now running out of original material since it has almost caught up to George R.R. Martin’s books.

Best Documentary/Reality Show

The Real History of Science Fiction, was a splendid look at film and TV science fiction fare with some nods towards literary works. Each episode of the mini-series was based on a certain theme like robots, time travel and of course space exploration.

"Almost Human" Season 1

Best Cancelled TV Show

Almost Human was a fresh and inventive sci-fi variation of the cop-buddy show thanks to terrific performances by Michael Ealy as an android cop and Karl Urban as his disgruntled human partner. The episodes were straightforward and entertaining as they explored the nature of having a soul and nifty future crimes.

Best Animated Show

Star Wars: The Clone Wars had a fitting final season that aired on Netflix instead of broadcast TV. While current fandom is content to put behind George Lucas’ prequel-based fare and all the attention is on Star Wars Rebels and next year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the final episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars did an excellent job of expanding the Star Wars universe with its explorations of the Force and by providing a segue way to the films.

Best TV Character

tyrionTyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones finally had enough of all the taunts and putdowns and the unjust charges laid on him. His epic courtroom rant in “The Laws of Gods and Men” saw him unleash his fury at those that wronged him including his father and this anger saw its culmination in the final episode of the season where he physically took out his rage on those that hurt him.

Most Missed TV Character

Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) on The Walking Dead was an underused character on the show. For the most part she was just known as the youngest member of the Greene family. But in recent episodes, Beth had matured and become self reliant which culminated in her final episode (and The Walking Dead’s midseason finale) where she was abruptly killed off. The death seemed pointless and enraged fans who were saddened by her death.

carrying beth

Best TV Villain

Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) at first was slade wilsona trusted partner of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) while the future Green Arrow was stranded on an island as seen in flashback scenes on Arrow. But in the second season, this former merc proved to be Queen’s most diabolical enemy as he re-entered the superhero’s life and systematically began to take Queen down in a smoldering bid of vengeance. Raising the stakes for Queen was that Wilson was superior in strength and skills and pushed our hero to the edge. Bennett’s performance as Wilson was so memorable that the Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) couldn’t compare.

Most Improved TV show

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a big disappointment when it first premiered in 2013 because of banal scripts and listless characters. However, thanks to Captain America: The Winter Soldier the show truly came into its own by wholeheartedly embracing the game-changing premise from that movie where Hydra had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. Characters were killed off or did a complete 180 and the agents became fugitives while they struggled to defeat Hydra that seemed to be everywhere. Plus, the second season saw the show debut what will turn out to be an important component of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) by introducing the Inhumans.

Best Series Finale

being human usBeing Human, it was sad to see this American version of the British cult hit come to an end, but it ended quite well. All the story threads were wrapped up surprisingly well and the finale was bittersweet. A couple of the show’s characters died but had meaningful deaths with rewarding afterlives. Meanwhile, the surviving characters were given a conclusion where they were able to live happily and move on.

Best Sci-Fi Film

Guardians of the Galaxy highlighted a memorable year for sci-fi films. 2014 had some instant classics like Interstellar, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Snowpiercer, but Guardians of the Galaxy stood out over the rest. It was a fun throwback to pulpy space operas not seen since the original Star Wars trilogy. More importantly, the film had very endearing characters like Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) that made audiences care about them as they went about saving the galaxy.

prisoners

Best Horror Film

Oculus stood out among current horror films that rely all too much on cheap and easy jump scares. This film, which starred genre favorites Karen Gillan and Katee Sackhoff, instead used psychological horror and mind games that always kept the audience guessing while delivering authentic and natural frights.

Best Fantasy Film

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIESPeter Jackson concluded his three-part adaptation of the Tolkien classic with wall-to-wall action and his now trademark sweeping scenes of battlefields and armies. Although, The Hobbit trilogy may not have the same punch as The Lord of the Rings films, it was still a memorable viewing experience. And The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was a fitting conclusion to Jackson’s final sojourn to Middle Earth.

Best Animated Film

THE LEGO MOVIEThe LEGO Movie, this year had some great animated films like How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Big Hero 6. But The LEGO Movie was the best surprise not because of its use of famous characters like Batman or it being a cross of Legos and stop motion animation, but due to its championing of imagination and creativity.

Best Superhero Film

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a bold, exciting sequel that outshone the original and upturned the MCU with its revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. the spy organization had been infiltrated by the evil Hydra organization. This, of course, forced our hero to go on the run as he tried to tear down the organization he once fought for while uncovering disturbing conspiracies. But the film also took time to humanize Captain America and reflect on his past. These simple touches are what made the film so memorable.

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Best Superhero on Film

Captain America (Chris Evans) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, once again demonstrated why he is arguably the greatest hero in the MCU and a true patriot who questioned the Big Brother methods of S.H.I.E.L.D. This in turn led him to be a man truly out of place in society fighting a lonely and dangerous fight as many supposed allies turned against him. More importantly, his heroic actions would unravel the MCU forever.

Best Film Characters

Hands down, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) stole the film Guardians of the Galaxy and were a big cause of that film’s success. Who would’ve imagined a year ago that two unknown CG characters would have so much heart and be so endearing to audiences?

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Best Line in a Film

“I am Groot”

Best Performance Capture

caesarCaesar the ape in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was exceptionally brought to life by Andy Serkis in what is probably his best performance. Many times in the film, one easily forgot that Caesar was not an actual chimp but a performance capture/CG creation. Just give the guy an Oscar already!

Best Film Villain

Koba the ape (performance captured by Toby Kebbel) in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a hideous, chilling and conniving villain who’s undying hatred for humans brings about a war between the two species. He was the most memorable villains seen in genre films for 2014.

Best Use of 3D & IMAX In a Film

Interstellar showed that director Christopher Nolan is undeniably the master when it comes to filming genre efforts on IMAX. Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy had unexpectedly terrific 3D effects thanks to director James Gunn who utilized the format to its best.

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Best Trailer for an Upcoming Film

Avengers: Age of Ultron, is one of next year’s most anticipated films and the moody trailer for it ratcheted up interest. It gave us the cool effects shots, especially the Hulkbuster Iron Man suit in action, but it didn’t play it safe with its dark forebodings (broken Captain America shield anyone?) and that creepy rendition of “I Got No Strings” from Pinocchio. On a side note the other best teaser trailer has to be for Avengers: Infinity War, Part I & II, which aren’t due until 2018 and 2019!

Biggest Disappointment

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suffered the same fate as the infamous Spider-Man 3. It had too many villains, characters, subplots and worst of all too much studio interference that mandated that this film be used to launch spinoffs in a clumsy attempt by Sony Pictures to create its own superhero cinematic universe. In the end, this mess has put the Spider-Man film series in doubt, let alone the announced spinoffs.

Best App

Star Wars Scene Maker was an scene makerapp that allowed users to recreate scenes from the iconic original Star Wars. around. Or better it allowed anyone’s creativity to get going by allowing users to mix and match characters, weapons and vehicles and the best fun was seeing these setups come to animated life.

Best Video Game

Mario Kart 8 was a lot of fun to play and proved to be one of the best Mario Kart games ever made. Nintendo made this latest Mario game with incredible graphics, game play and delivering the simple joys that fans of the Mario Kart games have expected over the years.

mario kart

Best Hallmark Ornament: 2014 proved to be a landmark year for genre-related Hallmark ornaments. There were so many great ornaments like the xenomorph from Alien, the shark from Jaws or the flying DeLorean from the Back to the Future films. It was actually hard to pick out the best genre ornament, but in the end the best ornament was the Yoda Peekbuster. What made it stand out was its motion sensor that warned peekers away from gifts placed under the Christmas tree as Yoda admonished his distinct Yodaisms.

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Biggest News Item

In light of the recent calamities like super diseases, incompetent politicians, demagogues, and riots, entertainment genre news couldn’t compare. Still, there were a couple of news item that have had immediate ramifications, especially with the future of the Spider-Man film franchise. Those would have to be the announcements from DC/Warner Bros. and Marvel/Disney of a busy schedule of interrelated superhero films. Both camps’ culminations will include two-part Justice League and Avengers films. These revelation were very exciting and left other studios’ attempts at building their own cinematic universes in the dust.

 

Marvel Comics’ Greatest Moments

marvel 75 logo

Marvel Comics turned 75 this year. As we celebrate Marvel’s 75th anniversary, it’s hard to imagine how long the comic book company has been around. Even though Marvel Comics first debuted in 1939 with Marvel Comics #1 (featuring decidedly different superheroes like the Human Torch, Ka-Zar and Namor), the company truly came to its own in the 1960s when writer Stan Lee and artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko introduced the world to new and dynamic superheroes.

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These masked marvels like Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and the X-Men quickly captured readers’ imaginations. Without exaggeration, Marvel Comics changed the comic book world and left a permanent mark in popular culture and its characters are still vibrant today. Incredibly enough, it can be said that they’re more popular today than when they were first introduced in the 1960s .

While Marvel superheroes have successfully transitioned into other media like films, toys, games and such, let’s not forget that the core of their appeal are with the comic books. Whether they’re just single stories in individual issues or epic mini-series and story arcs, the following are, based on my opinion, the best stories from Marvel’s 75-year history.

age of apAge Of Apocalypse: Spanning several different X-Men titles over several months, this massive storyline was about an altered reality where Professor X’s assassination in the past led to Apocalypse conquering North America, and Magneto leading the X-Men in a desperate attempt to stop him and correct history. Just seeing the alternate takes of our favorite mutants was a joy to read.

Avengers Disassembled: Boasting top avengers disassembledwriters and artists like Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Jenkins, Robert Kirkman, Steve Epting, Dave Finch and George Perez, this comic book crossover spawned from The Avengers #500-503 into other superhero titles and upended most of the Marvel Universe. The team is literally ripped apart from within by an insane Scarlet Witch. Many heroes are killed and the Avengers were catapulted into new popularity with this controversial story arc.

Born Again: Daredevil has never been lower or a more captivating read than in this classic story arc spanning Daredevil #227-231. That is due to the genius writing of Frank Miller and the art of Dave Mazzucchelli. Daredevil’s worst enemy discovers his secret identity and systematically destroys the blind superhero’s personal world plunging Daredevil into his own worst hell.

The Captain: This underrated Captain America tale by Mark Gruenwald, Tom Morgan and Kieron Dwyer spans Captain America #332-350 and has Steve Rogers abandoning his role as the iconic hero and going underground. Meanwhile, a super patriotic, though unstable, replacement is picked by the U.S. government to take over, but as we see, it’s not easy living up to a legend.

Civil War: Probably the last great mini-series produced by Marvel pits its most iconic heroes against each other. As Iron Man and Captain America took opposite sides against the U.S. government’s superhuman registration act, Marvel Comics was changed forever and the mini-series’ impact is still with us today.

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Deliverance: The famous “Demon in a Bottle” story arc from Iron Man #120-128 bravely introduced the notion of a superhero being truly human and becoming an alcoholic. Tony Stark’s (Iron Man) alcoholism would resurface to even greater effect several issues later after his nemesis Obadiah Stane orchestrates a series of attacks. Stark soon became unable to continue being Iron Man and hit rock bottom culminating in Iron Man #182 when a now-homeless Stark battles not only the cold elements, but his own inner demons.

wolverine kittyDays of Future Past: The greatest X-Men story ever made reflected the height of the historic collaboration of Chris Claremont and John Byrne. In this exciting two-part tale from The Uncanny X-Men #141-142, robotic Sentinels have hunted mutants nearly to extinction in the near future, so one mutant is sent back in time to alter history.

The Death of Captain America: One immediate aftermath of the Civil War mini-series was Ed Brubaker’s gut-wrenching examination of the death of an American legend. Coldly assassinated before standing trial, Captain America’s death led to another hero taking up his mantle and a serpentine plot by Cap’s greatest enemies.

The Death of Gwen Stacy: The two-part gwen stacy deathstory from The Amazing Spider-Man #121 & 122 is considered by some as the end of the Silver Age of Comics. This emotional tale about Spider-Man’s nemesis, the Green Goblin, killing his girlfriend  was a gut punch not only for Spider-Man but his many followers who were stunned by the tragedy.

The Doctor Is In: John Byrne wrote and drew some outstanding comic books during his Marvel tenure. Before Deadpool came along, Byrne’s rendition of She-Hulk had her hysterically breaking the fourth wall. In The Sensational She-Hulk #5 story titled “The Doctor Is In” she had to not only contend with Doctor Bong, but with literally walking across comic book pages (ads included). Marvel Comics was rarely funnier than with this particular issue.

The Hulk Vs. The Thing: Marvel is known for how often its superheroes fight each other. This early story from Fantastic Four #25 & #26 is one of the best since its primarily a battle royale between two of Marvel’s strongest titans. The Stan Lee-Jack Kirby classic is at the same time a story about determination and fighting against the odds, in particular with the Thing.

spidey trapped

If This Be My Destiny…!: The story arc from The Amazing Spider-Man #31-33 had Spider-Man run through exhausting trials to gather serum for his dying aunt. His quest culminated in issue #33 with a story titled “The Final Chapter!”.  In the issue, our hero is trapped under tons of steel and rubble and in danger of drowning with the serum just out of reach. Spider-Man has to find the fortitude to free himself and his effort was memorably inspiring.

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Top 13 Supernatural Heroes

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The horror or supernatural genre is noted for its deadly monsters and evil creatures of the night. But genre also has its fair share of heroes, who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect us from the forces of darkness. Whether imbued with supernatural powers themselves or just plain ordinary folks, these are the greatest heroes of the supernatural.

ghost rider13. Ghost Rider (Ghost Rider): Noted for his flaming skull, a kickass fiery motorcycle, and a passion for vengeance, Ghost Rider is no doubt the flashiest antihero on this list. After selling his soul to Satan, motorcycle stuntman Johnny Blaze became the terrifying Spirit of Vengeance as he meted out justice against evil with his hellfire and penance stare.

12. The Crow (The Crow): James O’Barr created this haunting anti-hero for a series of moody comic books. In them, Eric Draven came back from the grave to avenge the killing of his girlfriend by vicious thugs. Adapted into a cult hit film starring the late Brandon Lee, the Crow has grown in popularity among fans.

crow

11. Abraham Van Helsing (Dracula): The original vampire slayer and archenemy of Dracula has been a staple of many adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. Played by a host of reputable thespians like Peter Cushing, Anthony Hopkins, Sir Laurence Olivier and even Hugh Jackman (as Gabriel Van Helsing), Van Helsing is the one human match against the King of the Vampires.

10. Blade (Blade): Feared among vampires, the blade“daywalker” is actually a half human, half vampire hybrid with all of a vampire’s strengths, and without any vampiric weaknesses. Originally an obscure Marvel Comics character, Blade became super popular after Wesley Snipes played him in a trio of high-octane films.

9. Hellboy (Hellboy): A demon who was summoned as an infant by Nazis during World War II, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) was recovered by Allied Forces instead. Once grown into a red, hulking super agent with sawed-off horns, Hellboy has fought on the side of humanity ever since against supernatural forces with a sense of humor, a big gun and the heart of a hero.

ash8. Ash Williams (The Evil Dead): After mistakenly unleashing demonic forces into the world, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) valiantly fought against the malicious spirits with desperate and manic gusto in Sam Raimi’s acclaimed trilogy. While The Evil Dead films are noted for their off-the-wall scares and gore, Ash is the slightly goofy heart of the films and gives us someone to root for.

7. Castiel (Supernatural): First introduced in Supernatural’s fourth season, the angel Castiel quickly became a fan favorite. Brilliantly played by Misha Collins, Castiel is a genuine deus ex machina for the Winchester Brothers, while being the source of many amusing scenes thanks to his literal, stoic attitude and naive demeanor when dealing with humanity.

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6. Doctor Strange (Doctor Strange, Strange Tales): Marvel Comics’ premier sorcerer is truly the Master of the Mystic Arts. Once a cocky and selfish neurosurgeon Stephen Strange suffered a debilitating accident and in trying to find treatment wound up on a mystical and redemptive path. After becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange is our dimension’s greatest defender against dark forces thanks to his powerful, magical powers.

5. Carl Kolchak (Kolchak: The Night Stalker): Adorned with a cheap suit, a bulky recorder and a fragile camera, kolchakCarl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) worked a lonely beat as a hustling, streetwise reporter who investigated supernatural incidents. Kolchak was forced in each episode (and two TV films) to put aside his fears and confront deadly supernatural dangers, usually without any help since he couldn’t convince anyone about the true nature of the threats.

buffy angel4. Buffy Summers and Angel (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel): While Buffy first made her debut in the film Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon made the character soar in the TV version, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as the titular character. Quirky and full of spunk, Buffy bravely took on vampires and other supernatural forces that threatened humanity. The TV show also introduced viewers to the tortured vampire Angel (David Boreanaz), who fought alongside Buffy, as he tried to reclaim his humanity.

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3. John Constantine (Hellblazer, Constantine): This working-class, British sorcerer and occult detective is one formidable foe against the supernatural. First appearing in the pages of Swamp Thing comic books in the ’80s, Constantine won over many fans with his world-weary attitude, questionable morality and snarky cynicism. Even though his soul is damned to hell. he continues the good fight against evil while going through many cigarettes.

rich, michonne daryl

2. Rick Grimes, Daryl Dixon, and Michonne (The Walking Dead): Among the many heroic figures featured in the comic book and TV versions of The Walking Dead, these three are the deadliest walker killers, as well as the most intriguing. Michonne (Danai Gurira) with her katana and Daryl (Norman Reedus) with his crossbow fall into the silent, deadly types, who change for the better as the stories progress. Meanwhile, with each experience, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) fights an inner struggle to maintain his humanity, while grappling with a post-apocalyptic world overrun with zombies and deadly people.

sam and dean 2

1. Sam and Dean Winchester (Supernatural): There are many supernatural-based heroes out there, many of whom don’t have any powers and must rely on their wits to persevere against supernatural threats. But these two brothers (played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) are the most down to earth and carunassuming of the bunch. Raised to be hunters (of the supernatural) by their father, these two roam the country’s back roads with a cache of conventional and mystical weapons and tackle all sorts of opponents, whether they be ghosts, demons, vampires or malevolent angels. What makes them stand out is not just their modest nature (and Dean’s hedonistic ways), but their bravery, witty banter and brotherly love; which are all their best weapons.

Lewis T. Grove