Posts tagged ‘Character’

March 18, 2014

The Mule

foundation and empire by alexander wells

The Mule is a fictional character from Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ series (first appearing in 1955 under the title ‘The 1,000-Year Plan,’ it is the story of scientist Hari Seldon’s effort to preserve knowledge as the civilizations around him begin to regress). One of the greatest conquerors the galaxy has ever seen, the Mule is a mentalic, a psychic mutant, who has the ability to reach into the minds of others and ‘adjust’ their emotions, individually or en masse, using this capability to conscript followers for his cause.

Mentalics are not capable of direct mind-control, but can subtly influence other’s subconscious; individuals under the Mule’s influence behave otherwise normally – logic, memories, and personality intact. This gives the Mule the capacity to disrupt Seldon’s plan by invalidating the assumption that no single individual could have a measurable effect on galactic socio-historical trends on their own. Seldon’s discipline, called psychohistory, relied on the predictability of the actions of very large numbers of people.

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December 6, 2013

Black Pete

black pete by Yarek Waszul

Black Pete (‘Zwarte Piet‘) is the companion of Saint Nicholas (‘Sinterklaas,’ from which the English term ‘Santa Claus’ is derived) in the folklore of the Low Countries (primarily Belgium and the Netherlands). Like Santa Claus, Zwarte Piet is a hybrid stock character of pagan origin.

The characters of Zwarte Pieten appear only in the weeks before Saint Nicholas’s feast, first when the saint is welcomed with a parade as he arrives in the country (generally by boat, having traveled from Madrid, Spain). The tasks of the Zwarte Pieten are mostly to amuse children, and to scatter pepernoten, kruidnoten and strooigoed (special sinterklaas candies) for those who come to meet the saint as he visits stores, schools, and other places.

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October 21, 2013

Ernest P. Worrell

Ernest

Ernest P. Worrell is a fictional character that was portrayed by Jim Varney (1949 – 2000) in a series of television commercials, and later in a television series (‘Hey Vern, It’s Ernest!’) as well as a series of feature films. Ernest was created by a Nashville advertising agency for local television ad campaigns.

The first Ernest commercial, filmed in 1980, advertised an appearance by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at Beech Bend Park, an amusement park near Bowling Green, Kentucky. The format of the commercials seldom varied. The rubber-faced Ernest, almost always dressed in a denim vest and baseball cap, appeared at the door of an unseen and unheard but seemingly unwilling neighbor named Vern.

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October 15, 2013

Mothra

Mothra by Alex Pardee

Mothra is a kaiju, a type of fictional monster who first appeared in the serialized novel ‘The Luminous Fairies and Mothra.’ Since her film début in the 1961 film ‘Mothra,’ she has appeared in several Toho tokusatsu films. Mothra is a giant lepidopteran with characteristics both of butterflies and of moths.

She closely resembles an Inachis io, or a European Peacock Butterfly, but it is said that the Atlas moth is its inspiration. The name ‘Mothra’ is the suffixation of ‘-ra’ (a common last syllable in kaiju names (e.g. ‘Goji-ra’ [Godzilla]) to ‘moth’; since the Japanese language does not have dental fricatives, it is approximated ‘Mosura’ in Japanese.

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September 9, 2013

Balrog

Balrog

Balrog is a character from Capcom’s Street Fighter fighting game series depicted as an African American boxer wearing blue trunks with white trim and a torn white shirt under a blue tank top. He wears red boxing gloves and boxing shoes.

His hairstyle consists of short hair cut in an odd pointing style in the front, similar to Mike Tyson’s haircuts from the time ‘Street Fighter II’ was made. A character named Mike, who was also an African-American boxer, appears in the original ‘Street Fighter.’ Although recognized as a separate character, Mike is considered to be a prototype of Balrog.

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August 28, 2013

Gil Gunderson

Gil

Gil Gunderson, a.k.a. Ol’ Gil, is a character on ‘The Simpsons’ voiced by Dan Castellaneta that first appeared in the ninth season episode ‘Realty Bites’ as a real estate agent with Lionel Hutz’s Red Blazer Realty. He is a spoof of actor Jack Lemmon’s portrayal of Shelley Levene in the 1992 film adaptation of the play ‘Glengarry Glen Ross.’ (Lemmon himself voiced a character similar to Levene in the eighth season episode ‘The Twisted World of Marge Simpson’).  Show runner Mike Scully said that the writers thought that Gil would be ‘a one-shot thing’ ‘Dan Castellaneta was so funny at the table read doing the character,’ Scully elaborated, ‘we kept making up excuses in subsequent episodes to put him in.’

Writer Dan Greaney said that it was a great take-off on Levene to make Gil more desperate than he was. Even so, the writers like to write Gil with ‘a little bit of the old sparkle’ left in him. With the retirement of the character Lionel Hutz (after voice actor Phil Hartman’s death), Gil has been working as the Simpsons’ lawyer in later episodes. He had several jobs but inevitably fails at any endeavour, often tragically. For example, he was shot on his first day as a security guard in the bank. As revealed in ‘Natural Born Kissers,’ he lives in a balloon..

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August 25, 2013

Saul Goodman

better call saul

Saul McGill, known almost exclusively by his professional alias Saul Goodman, was a character on the TV show ‘Breaking Bad’ on AMC. He was portrayed by comedian Bob Odenkirk and was created by Peter Gould, a writer of the series. Saul is a criminal lawyer and can be easily found in the yellow pages of Albuquerque.

His made up surname ‘Goodman’ is a play on words to better attract clients: ”S’all good, man!’ becomes ‘Saul Goodman.’ (Additionally, he claims his clients feel more comfortable with a Jewish lawyer instead of a generic white guy.) He is also known for his low-budget commercials in Albuquerque, where he advertises mainly under the tagline ‘Better Call Saul!’

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August 25, 2013

Shylock

shylock by andy friedman

Shylock [shahy-lok] is a fictional Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ who lends money to his Christian rival, Antonio, setting the security at a pound of Antonio’s flesh. When a bankrupt Antonio defaults on the loan, Shylock demands the pound of flesh as revenge for Antonio having previously insulted and spat on him.

Meanwhile, Shylock’s daughter, Jessica, elopes with Antonio’s friend Lorenzo and becomes a Christian, further fuelling his rage. She also takes money and jewels from Shylock. During Shakespeare’s day, money lending was a fairly common occupation among Jews because usury, charging interest on a loan, was a sin for Christians at the time.

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August 8, 2013

Veronica Lodge

Archie Comics

Veronica Lodge (first appearance ‘Pep Comics’ #26 in 1942) is a fictional character in the ‘Archie Comics’ books series. She is called both by her name Veronica and her nickname Ronnie. Bob Montana, creator of the original Archie characters, knew the Lodges, because he had once painted a mural for them. Montana combined that name with actress Veronica Lake to create the character of Veronica Lodge. Her character was added just months after Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, and Jughead Jones debuted, and just a few months before Reggie Mantle.

Veronica is the only child of Hiram Lodge, the richest man in Riverdale, and his wife Hermione Lodge. She is tall, slender and attractive with long black hair. Veronica favors expensive, up-to-the-minute fashion. In some comics, Mr. Lodge claimed that he moved his family to Riverdale in order to avoid Veronica becoming spoiled, like many of the children he knew and grew up with.

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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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