Remember that one friend who didn't know how to hack it on the action figure battlefield and would insist that every attack your plastic gentleman threw at his or her plastic gentleman was blocked by an invisible, invincible forcefield? Remember how annoying that was? Superheroes and villains need weaknesses; otherwise, they're crappy action figures. Unfortunately, comic writers too-often take the easy out by throwing up their hands and saying, "Well, if he can fly, the rest doesn't have to make sense." Here are seven comic book weaknesses that make Kryptonite seem sensible.
Way back in the '40s, long before the Green Lantern was Ryan Reynolds in a knock-off TRON costume that shows off his abs, there was Alan Scott, an engineer who found a magic lantern, carved a ring out of it, and went off to fight some crime. The first Green Lantern didn't have much going for him in the way of coolness: his uniform was a pair of green parachute pants, a purple cape, and a red shirt with a picture of a lantern on it; and his sidekick was a cabbie from Brooklyn named Doiby Dickles. Worst of all, though, was his weakness: his magic, ancient, powerful ring has no effect on wood.
For most superheroes, this would be a problem entirely never. For Alan Scott, it was a problem all the time. On his very first outing, he gets a sound drubbing from a gangster with a wooden club, and his arch-nemesis, Solomon Grundy, is a reanimated corpse made mostly of swamp matter. When you've got a purple cape on and you're afraid to go into furniture stores, you might want to take some time to rethink your career path.
Article Issue #10June 28, 2011
Have a nerdy horror story you want to share with the Internet? Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
I was playing Minecraft one day and I encountered a creeper in one of my unfinished constructions; I managed to climb to a higher level moments after it made the fuse lighting sound and I promptly forgot about it. When the sun was going down and I headed downstairs, the creeper was just waiting around the corner and exploded without making any other sound. I was wearing headphones at near full volume and was so startled I had an adrenaline rush. My kidneys, head and stomach hurt for the rest of the day and I had to lie down for an hour after the encounter.-Anonymous
A horror story of true nerd rage. I was 13 and me and all of my friends were eating lunch, talking about playing Final Fantasy 7 for the first time. It had been around for about a month or two and one friend of mine had done a marathon session playing it all the way through in one weekend while I preferred to sip it like a fine wine. As we all sat around talking about our favorite characters, I was going on about how much I liked Aeris, to which my friend replies, "Oh did you get to the point where she dies yet?". I freaked out and furiously stomped on his foot while in boots, breaking four of his toes. -Wolfan
I used to play the hell out of Morrowind for the Xbox since my wife took over playing Final Fantasy Online which was meant for me. Anyway, one day while walking to a corner store in Houston I heard a shrill screech from out of nowhere that sounded like a Cliff Racer. I hurriedly looked above me while my right hand went to my left as if I was carrying a sword, but of course nothing was there. To make this story even more peculiar I always played a female Breton Mage that relied more on magic than a weapon and I'm a dude.-Anonymous
Article L.A. Noire Cheat Codes
Article Five Rite of Passage Games
Almost every culture has some kind of rite of passage. Obnoxious, privileged rich girls throw lavish Sweet Sixteen parties (and apparently get simultaneous TV deals), Native American tribes send their young out in the wilderness to wait until nature speaks directly to them. It's a way to mark the transition from child to man. Or in my case, manchild. These are some of our video game vision quests.
Leisure Suit Larry
I can't recall exactly when Larry Laffer confidently strolled into my life. But I do remember that my father always told me to "scram and while you're at it, get me another RC Cola" whenever he launched the randy PC adventure game.
But what was he cackling about? What was so damn funny? After what seemed like eons, I waited until he was asleep to slip away to the family den and boot up DOS as quietly as I could.
Unfortunately, it would take many failed attempts before I could crack Al Lowe's cryptic "Prove Your Age" questions. But when I finally did (by sheer chance), the vault was finally opened to the raunchy, perverted jokes that would make a ventriloquist dummy blush.
Following Larry in his saucy adventures made me feel like a grownup. A real man. Unfortunately, this euphoric feeling ended abruptly when I reached a point in the game where I had to order up a bottle of wine to the hotel room, but didn't know how to spell "suite" correctly.
Thanks to the demise of text-based adventure games, I won't make that mistake again.
Article Pwn My Life: Issue #81
Ever had a moment so nerdy that you needed to tell the Internet about it? Send your submissions to dorklypwnmylife at gmail.
Most people don't know this, but my local ice cream shop makes ice cream cakes with pictures of Link on top. Most people don't know this because as soon as they finish making them, I buy them. In fact, I have the schedule of the guy who designs those particular cakes on my Blackberry. I don't want my cakes getting scooped by some fake nerd. One day, I went in to get the cake and some girl was trying to do it instead of Greg. Greg was the guy that usually made the cakes. I later became friends with him. The girl had the color scheme wrong to a disgusting extent. Her Master Sword was black. I got mad and asked her, Annabel, where Greg went. She said, "I don't know, I think he quit." I got so upset I ate the whole cake that night and haven't gone back since.-Bailey
My cousin got married a month ago. He and his wife are both avid gamers. At the reception, they didn't do a first dance. Instead, they set up a projector and PS3, and played a custom level of LittleBigPlanet 2. It was made by the best man for the occasion. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the new standard for nerd weddings.-Dan
When I started at my current job, I was told that I had to provide my own hard hat. I bought one at a local workwear place. It happened to be blue. That was the only color they had left of the cheap ones. I thought it looked boring, so I stuck a "Blue Sun" decal on the front. My co-workers (who are geek-impaired), assumed that it was the logo of my former employer. I never corrected them, and stuck a similar decal on my clipboard. As far as anyone at work knows, I am a proud former employee of the Blue Sun Corporation. Shiny.-NytCrawlr
It's hard being a protagonist. You make countless sacrifices, battle through countless levels, die countless deaths, and for all your hard work, you're still never going to be as cool as the villain. It's surprising how few goody-two-shoes ever make the transition to bad guy status and take advantage of its perks: cooler costume, army of minions, a chill flying death fortress to hang out in while those sucker heroes come to you.
But when they do, it's always a big event. We're talking about genuine good guys (playable protagonists) that somehow end up on the opposing side (antagonists that need to be taken down). Here's our list of the 8 greatest heroes-turned-villains in videogame history.
8. Alex Mercer (Good Guy: Prototype; Bad Guy: Prototype 2)
To be fair, whether or not Alex was ever "a good guy" is up for debate. He spends most of Prototype slicing & dicing anyone who has the misfortune to wander onscreen, and the rest of his time is occupied by learning new freakish nightmare powers in order to craft himself into a more efficient murder engine. Is it wrong to feel sorry for the enemies in a game? I'm hesitant to ask, because it feels like if Alex could reach out of the TV screen and kill the player, he would (I hear Radical Entertainment is working on that tech for the sequel). I wouldn't be surprised if the original idea for this game had you controlling the US military and was called The Story of the Horrible Monster No One Could Stop And Who Ate Everyone The End.
However, in the gap between developing Prototype and starting work on the sequel, apparently one Radical employee took a look at this walking wall of fleshy horrorblades and said "Hey, our hero looks way more like a Silent Hill villain than a protagonist. Let's just run with that angle." In Prototype 2, you'll be playing as a new character, a war veteran whose his wife & child were killed by Alex's rampage in the first game. Your new goal is the execution of your former main character. The working title? Prototype 2: You Deserve This.
Hey, Zelda! Zellllda!!! Are we out of Deku juice again? Zelda! What, you're just going to ignore me? Real mature, Zelda. God, you can be such a child sometimes. All you ever do is complain about me not talking to you, and now this? Well, hunker down, princess. You want me to talk, I'll f**king talk.
So I was out all night with the guys. Big whoop. My day's not all rupees and fairy fountains, you know. Sometimes I have to save a certain princess from a certain warthog demon.
You know what I did today? I chopped down, like, a thousand bushes. I was covered in dirt, my hands were bloody and I got attacked by some real weird sh*t. I'm f**king lucky when I'm not getting chased by a seven-foot-tall lizard with a sword. That's a Wednesday for me. But it puts food on the table.