Archive for August 6th, 2013

August 6, 2013

Master Mold

master mold

Master Mold is a fictional character, a robot supervillain in the Marvel Universe. Since his primary purpose was to act as a portable Sentinel-creating factory, and the Sentinel robots were primarily used to hunt mutants, Master Mold has almost exclusively appeared in the ‘X-Men’ and related, mutant-themed, comic books.

The Master Mold first appeared in ‘X-Men’ #15 (1965), and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. In the 1960s, out of fear of a race of superhuman mutants that could dominate the whole world and enslave normal human beings, Dr. Bolivar Trask makes Master Mold, a supercomputer, in the shape of a giant Sentinel robot, that will control and facilitate the construction of the Sentinels (mechanical warriors that are programmed to hunt and capture all superhuman mutants.)

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August 6, 2013

Sentinel

Sentinels are a fictional variety of mutant-hunting robots, appearing in the Marvel Comics Universe. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, they first appeared in ‘The X-Men’ (vol. 1) #14 (1965). Sentinels are programmed to locate mutants and capture or kill them using energy weapons and restraining devices; they are capable of flight, and can detect mutants at long range. Several groups of the robots have been created or led by a single, massive Sentinel, called Master Mold.

Because Sentinels are designed to hunt mutants (who often represent the protagonists of Marvel stories) they are usually employed as supervillains or as the tools of other villains. While many are capable of tactical thought, only a handful are self-aware. In the ‘Days of Future Past’ story, which takes place in an alternate future, the ‘Omega Sentinels’ have advanced technologically and become the de facto rulers of the United States. The most powerful among them is Nimrod.

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August 6, 2013

Bolivar Trask

days of future past

Bolivar Trask is a fictional character appearing in publications by Marvel Comics. He is a military scientist who is well known as the creator of the Sentinels (mutant-hunting robots). His appearance is modeled on that of Walt Disney. Bolivar Trask was an anthropologist who saw the rise of mutants as a threat to humanity. Bolivar was also the father of Larry Trask, who ironically is revealed to be a mutant precognitive. When Bolivar realized this he gave his son a medallion which suppresses his power.

Bolivar’s other child, Tanya, was also a mutant and her ability to travel through time causes her to vanish. Tanya would be rescued by Rachel Summers in a far future and become a part of the Askani under the alias Madame Sanctity. Tanya’s travels through time would result in property damage to Trask’s land. This mysterious situation would only further cement his attitudes.

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August 6, 2013

Days of Future Past

nimrod

Days of Future Past‘ is a popular storyline in the Marvel Comics comic book ‘The Uncanny X-Men’ issues #141 and #142, published in 1981. It deals with a dystopian alternative future in which mutants are incarcerated in internment camps. An adult Kate Pryde transfers her mind into her younger self, the present-day Kitty Pryde, who brings the X-Men to prevent a fatal moment in history which triggers anti-mutant hysteria. 

The storyline was very popular at the time and was produced during the franchise’s rapid rise to popularity due to the writer/artist team of Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin. As a result of the storyline’s popularity, the dark future seen in the story has been revisited numerous times. This reality in which the story occurs is designated ‘Earth-811’ in the Marvel Multiverse.

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August 6, 2013

Weapon X

Weapon X is a fictional clandestine government genetic research facility project in Marvel Comics. They are conducted by the Canadian Government’s Department K, which turns willing and unwilling beings into living weapons. The project often captures mutants and experiments on them to enhance their superpowers, turning them into weapons. They also mutate baseline humans. The Weapon X Project produced Wolverine, Leech, and other characters such as Deadpool and Sabretooth.

Experiment X, or the brutal adamantium-skeletal bonding process, written by Barry Windsor-Smith in his classic story ‘Weapon X’ (originally published in ‘Marvel Comics Presents’ #72-84 in 1991), was eventually revealed as part of the ‘Weapon X Project.’ Grant Morrison’s run on ‘New X-Men’ in 2002 further revealed that Weapon X was only the tenth of an entire series of such projects, collectively known as the Weapon Plus Program. The first project, Weapon I, pertained to the Super Soldier Project that created Captain America.

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August 6, 2013

Adamantium

wolverine

Adamantium is a fictitious indestructible metal alloy in the Marvel Comics Universe. It is best known for being the substance bonded to the character Wolverine’s skeleton and bone claws. The first use of the term adamantium in Marvel Comics was in ‘Avengers’ #66 (1969), where it refers to part of Ultron’s outer shell.

In the Marvel Universe, adamantium is a group of man-made metal alloys of varying durability, but are all nearly indestructible. Adamantium was inadvertently invented by the American metallurgist Dr. Myron MacLain in an attempt to recreate his prior discovery, a unique alloy of steel and vibranium (which required an unknown catalyst for its manufacture) that was used to create Captain America’s shield.

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August 6, 2013

Wolverine

The Wolverine

Wolverine is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Born James Howlett and commonly known as Logan, Wolverine is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities and a healing factor that allows him to recover from virtually any wound, disease, or toxin at an accelerated rate. The healing factor also slows down his aging process, enabling him to live beyond a normal human lifespan.

His powerful healing factor enabled him to survive having the near-indestructible metal alloy adamantium bonded to his skeleton. He is most often depicted as a member of the X-Men, Alpha Flight, or later the Avengers.

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August 6, 2013

Blockbuster

jaws

Blockbuster, as applied to film, theater, and sometimes also video games, denotes a very popular or successful production. The term began to appear in the American press in the early 1940s, describing the largest of aerial bombs: single bombs capable of destroying a city block, also known as ‘cookies’ during the firebombing of Hamburg. Later figurative use referred to anything making a public impact:

‘Broadway reacted to the request of War Mobilization Director Byrnes to close all places of entertainment by midnight Feb. 26 as if a blockbuster had landed on Manhattan’ (1945). Some entertainment histories cite it as originally referring to a play that is so successful that competing theaters on the block are ‘busted’ and driven out of business, but the OED cites a 1957 use which is simply as a term of ‘biggest,’ after the bombs.

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August 6, 2013

Super Soaker

Super Soaker is a brand of recreational water gun, first sold in 1990 by Larami and now produced by Hasbro under the Nerf brand. Invented by engineer Lonnie Johnson in 1982, the first Super Soaker went on sale in 1989. The Super Soaker 50, was originally called the Power Drencher. Rebranding the name to Super Soaker occurred in 1991 together with a series of TV advertisements. The first Super Soaker blasters utilized manually pressurized air to shoot water with greater power, range, and accuracy than conventional squirt pistols.

Super Soakers were popular for many years – so popular, in fact, that the term super soaker is sometimes used generically, to refer to any type of toy pressurized water gun. The brand was further popularized in the 1990s by Michael Jackson, who cited it as one of his favorite toys.

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August 6, 2013

Ecstasy of Order

tetris

Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters’ is a 2011 American documentary film that follows the lives of several gamers from around the country as they prepare to compete in the 2010 ‘Classic Tetris World Championship’ held in Los Angeles.

It recounts the development and rise of Tetris as one of the most-played video games of all-time, the role it has played in shaping the lives of the gamers it chronicles, the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of former Nintendo World Champion Thor Aackerlund, and the conception and execution of the first ever Classic Tetris World Championship by gaming enthusiast Robin Mihara.

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