Awards Ahoy!: Greatest Robotic Fellow In Comics

From here on out, WFW will team up with it's sister site CAGN (of GameFAQs) to present to you a collection of awards and honors to comicbook characters, those famillar and long forgotten, in various random categories. Why? That's a good question. Who cares? Again, you've nailed me. But, we're all about fun and alos fascianted with invisible, make-believe hiearchies in a very non-elitist way.

Users of CAGN nominated, and then seconded, characters that related to the category, while those judges who signed up ended up voting and commenting on their choices via email. Votes were sent to a secret underground bunker 100 miles below the surface, where 33 underpaid vagrants sorted and ordered them for your pleasure.

This time, we decided to see just who is everyone's favorite robotic chum.

We assembled an elite panel of celebrity judges to email their votes and thoughts in, which was then compiled and determined the winner, like every other contest that has existed. Each judge was awarded with absolutely nothing for their troubles except the mental image of receiving a comicly large key to a non-existant city in Idaho. These judges were: azraelswrd, heatckerr, oort, HouseT, Awesome Mike Awesome, Havok3595, almeister112, HunterD, tigerbtl, Neeber, SpeechieMoogle, Mike S, PizzaBoy87k, azlum, brunbbmerc, BornIn1142

Here is the official ballot. There is quite a few faces you'd have planned on seeing, but a lot of underdogs and unsual choices as well. The daleks would be proud.

The CAGN's Greatest Robot In Comics Nominees:
1) Vision
2) Ultron
3) Machine Man (Aaron Stack)
4) Hourman III
5) Doombot
6) Air-Walker (Android Version)
7) Jocasta
8) Master Mold
9) Red Tornado
10) Darkhawk
11) Optimus Prime
12) Bender
13) Nimrod
14) H.E.R.B.I.E
15) Human Torch I
16) Amazing Screw-On Head



4) RED TORNADO: One of many robots on this list whose original intentions was to destroy a superhero team that they soon would side with. T.O Morrow's crimson creation has been one of the many classic robotic chaps that have come out of the DC, and also has died many deaths. He also has been a hot pick for evil scientists to steal or host their bodies in, which has happened several times in the past year. Something about that bright red paintjob must drive the ladies crazy.

Unfortunately for Tornado, most of our panel kept their mouths shut about him. Whether it was his Dracula cape or many incarnations that attracted votes, we'll never know.


Easily the best robotic nemesis that made the list, but a horrible robot maker. Seriously. Almost all of this fellow's creations have turned on him, and one of them beat him out of the top spot.

You'd think by now Ultron would cope with his horrible humanoid making skills, but like Liefield or Uwe Boll, he just doesn't get it. Ah, well, he still makes a great villian. He's pretty much the only metallic person on this list who I could see eat a baby or be a backup bassist in GWAR. And that says a lot about someone's character.

"He's my favorite Avengers villain, not so much because I find him interesting (but of course I DO), but rather for what he stands for. He is the one challenge that the Avengers (and more importantly, Hank Pym) cannot seem to overcome. He is the ultimate nemesis, not because of the destruction he causes, but because he is so tenacious." - Cory Williams

"Hank Pym's one of my favorite characters, and the archenemy that is perhaps a little too close to an alter ego gets cool points for that." - Mike Weaver (Havok3595)

"Plus-side: Major baddie nemesis who when written well is nigh-unstoppable. Good innovations and constant upgrades/surprises with well-thought out plans. Many good appearences where it took a whole team just to stop little ol' Ultron. Minus-side: A bit 2-dimensional (more traditional robot) compared to other advanced entities (like Vision and Nimrod" - Brett Lang (tigerbtl)


What else can be said about this pinnacle of fanboyism and the 80's that hasn't been said already on the internet? Michael Bay better utilize his "stuff falling out of the back of trucks in slow motion" direction skills to make a decent Transformers film. So far racing stripes and flame decals is a pretty bad sign.

"I gave it to Optimus due not only to his great badassness in comics, but also his multi media and mainstream accepted whupping of the ass. I could not allow myself to do but give my support to the truck." - Michael Soo


A suprise? I think not. When I think of robots in comic, I think of Vision. Though he's always kind of been the Martian Manhunter-esque do-everything know-it-all, he's always been my favorite Avenger and always seems to trigger the greatest arcs or events known to the series' history.

"My first dive into comics was Busiek's run on the Avengers. His stories were often Wanda-centric and thus had to also deal with her failed relationship with the Vision. I saw Vision as one of the most humanly portrayed characters in comics, with believable goals, problems, and insecurities." - Cory Williams

"He's always been one of my favorite characters, partially because his speech bubbles were yellow squares (which was different at the time). Also, growing up in the Bronze Age, I was around when the whole Vision/Scarlet Witch thing was relatively benign and not an excuse to crack the internet in half or whatever." - Mike Weaver (Havok3595)

"He has grown so much as a character since his inception as a "villain spawn" that he transcends soap operatic proportions. From getting a brain transplant to getting married, Vision is easily forgotten as a robot and first seen and remembered as a fixture on the Avengers and the most reliable member second to Captain America or Thor in terms of performance and recognizability. But seriously... who in American culture can get away with a red face and green cape? Then going straight yellow and back? If I didn't know better, I'd say someone was sending subliminal signs from a very popular Chinese folk hero - Guan Yu." - Steven Gong (Azraelswrd)

"Plus-side: As human as you get for a robot. Long-time avenger with staying power. Cool powers. Minus-side: Powers are a bit of a rip-off of Martian Manhunter without the mental part. Origin has been convoluted and retconned so its a bit of a mess...original human torch or not? Is he even really a "robot" at this point (synthezoid, right?)" - Brett Lang (tigerbtl)

Final Standings:

Thanks to all those who nominated, participated, voted, commented and viewed this. Sorry I was so late with it, I've been busy as of late. Join us next time when we see just who is: The Most Outstanding Douchebag In Comics?

Update: This event has ended already.

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HouseTV - Who Wants to be a Superhero? Week 2

Last week's disturbingly entertaining episode gave us thrills, laughs, and public nudity. Could this week's show possibly keep up the pace or... possibly exceed it? Read on and see.

Spoily the Pirate says, "Y'arr! There be spoilers here!"


This week's show begins with Stan giving the gang a special task. It's Truth or Dare time, kiddies. Or just truth time. Each of the heroes are given the opportunity to anonymously write down questions for the other heroes. The questions will all go to Stan, who will read them and ask the heroes to respond. Ah, anonymous question and answer. A reality show staple.

Among the heroes that receive questions (and since they were aired we'll assume they were the better of the questions), Major Victory is put on the hot seat about having been a male stripper (so that's where he gets his moves from...), Fat Momma is called into question on being able to be a role model who's overweight (most consider it a low blow to her), and Iron Enforcer is called on to answer allegations of steriod use and body odor (his response to the latter is to fan his butt at his peers... real mature there, Enforcer).

Having been adequately demoralized by the Q&A session, the heroes have to turn their attention to their next challenge. A little old lady has locked herself out of her house, and the heroes need to scale the backyard fence and get in through the back door. Simple enough, right? Did I mention the old lady's backyard is guarded by two vicious attack dogs? At least the heroes need only touch the door to end the challenge. And at any point, they can bail out by screaming, "Uncle." All the fun of a boy scout citizenship badge combined with the bullying you received as a 10 year old. Ah, nostalgia...


Tyveculus earns high marks for 1) volunteering to go first under the premise that the dogs will wear themselves out on him and 2) barrelling through the dogs and the challenge itself. I don't think the people who came up with the challenge considered that someone would actually charge at the dogs and push them back like that.

Feedback felt that he let Stan down last time, so his determination would not allow him to fail again. His grunting declarations that he would not be stopped made for entertaining commentary.

Major Victory was... well, Major Victory. Between saluting the dogs prior to entering the yard, all but politely carrying them to the door as they clamped onto his arms, and asking if his hair was okay after it was all over, the man made for one entertaining trip.

Fat Momma decided to eat a doughnut for power before the challenge, then tossed one into the backyard to attempt to distract the dogs. It's a foolish gesture, since everyone knows that a superhero can only distract enemies that way if they use Hostess brand fruit pies.

Monkey Woman held onto a steadfast determination going into the challenge. She had to be crazy to try it, since I know for a fact that dogs and monkeys do not get along with each other. I saw it on MedaBots, so it must be true. But despite that, Monkey Woman perservered through initial pain and over nine minutes of dog battering to eventually reach the door. She even managed to eek out a weak victory screech before collapsing on the floor. That's good heroing.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel in the challenge (and ending up in the hot seat for elimination):

Lemuria: She really got the short end of the stick on this one. Stan calls her out for getting dragged back by the dogs and then giving up, but it realy looks like her helmet was about to fall off. Courage under fire aside, I can't help but think that anyone would have quit at that point.

Iron Enforcer: The Half Man, Half Machine, Half Time-Bomb, showed what he was made of when he yelled uncle just a scant foot from the door. For the guy who's supposed to be the tough one, he certainly picked an odd time to wuss out. Although in his defense, it did look like a dog was pulling his arm at an odd angle right before he gave in. On the other hand, that was his metal arm, so he should have just sucked it up.

Cell Phone Girl: On top of having the shortest time before saying uncle, CPG made the lamest excuse for her performance when she claimed that she had a headache. What's worse is that she mentioned at one point that she had been bitten by a dog before, so you'd think that she would have worked that into a, "I was brave just for getting in there," excuse. But alas, she chooses not to, and Stan eliminates her.

The heroes get a bit of a break in the torture the next day as Stan offers each of them a costume makeover. Feedback celebrates his new look, and Major Victory declares himself to be, "Mr. Shiny Pants." But it can never be as simple as fun makeover, and Stan declares that it's time for another elimination.

On the block:

Iron Enforcer: After his makeover, Stan noted that something felt like it wasn't quite right with Enforcer's look. If nothing else, you'd think that they would have streamlined that microwave oven he calls a gun, but nothing doing.

Tyveculus: Poor Ty gets caught in a moral quandry. His new look was... less than great, so much so that even Stan says that it didn't end up quite the way he expected it to. But when asked how he felt, Ty decided to suck it up and declare that he was pleased with it. Ty later fesses up to Stan that he doesn't like the new look, and Stan calls him out for being dishonest when he was first asked. A tough break for a guy who probably just wanted to spare Stan's feelings.

Feedback: Speaking of tough breaks, Feedback gets called out because he mocked Ty’s new costume. Or maybe it was more because his pun was so horrifically lame. If I had to wager, it's because they needed a third person and no one else did much of anything worth noting.

At any rate, The third time's the charm for Iron Enforcer, and he's asked to leave. The other heroes breathe a sigh of relief facilitated by the Enforcer's B.O. having been removed from the house.

The End... or is it? As Enforcer strolls down the street, Stan appears on a hidden screen and tells him what was bothering him before. The thing is that Enforcer doesn't make a good superhero, but he would make a great supervillain. The offer of a villain makeover and the chance to mess with his former allies is too tempting to pass up, and Iron Enforcer is reborn as... Dark Enforcer. Oh, snap. It's on now.

All in all, the episode was pretty solid. The lines between hero and real person started to unravel during the Q&A session, and a few featers got ruffled as well. Finally the reality of the reality show begins to seep in. Stan was in good form as he was last week, equal parts funny (when he feigns insensitivity by pointing out that he'd hate for the dogs to wreck the heroes' costumes) and chiding (when showing his disapproval of the hero's who have failed). Likewise, he is equally dramatic and convincing when he explains to Iron Enforcer how every hero needs an arch enemy. I think anyone would have been lurd to the dark side after that speech.

And Enforcer has stumbled into what may be the breakthrough role of the series. A few of the heroes may be forgettable, but everyone remembers the supervillain. Hopefully he has an evil laugh and the appropriate gesticulations to match.

Next week looks like it will be equal parts challenge and drama. If the previews are any indication, the heroes seem to take the villain change with the appropriate level of in chracter shenanigans. Good times will be had by all.

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House Rules! Week of 07/26/06

By: Thomas "HouseT" Houston

I'm back. Again. For the first time since the last time. But hopefully it won't be the last time.

On Deck: ASM #534, Birds of Prey #96, Shadowpact #3, Avengers/Power Pack #4

I'm going to drop my old format for the time being. With any luck, I'll go back to some full summaries soon.

Amazing Spider-Man #534

"The War at Home Part 3(of 6)"

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Art: Ron Garney/Bill Reinhold

Note-a-Quote: "Route C. Oh, no... this can't be good." -Peter Parker

The Skinny: In the aftermath of a major battle between both sides of the Superhero Registration Act, Peter Parker swallows his reservations and prepares to help protect a convoy of captured heroes during a move to a more secure facility. But Peter's reservations are tested even more when he's forced to face off one on one with Captain America.

My Take: Peter Parker with mixed feelings? That kind of thing never happens. But kidding aside, this issue continues the current theme of Peter having his reservations about what he's doing. The irony of him being so in doubt while on the "right" side of the law becomes more apparent as the issue continues.

On one hand, we have Peter continuing to lose trust in Tony Stark. I have a little trouble believing this for two reasons. First, Peter registers doubt when Tony seems to know about Peter's spider sense. According to Peter, his spider sense is a closely guarded secret that only he, Aunt May, and Mary Jane know about. And Venom. And Doc Ock. And Mysterio, and Green Goblin, and any of a number of heroes, villains, dying children, and civilians that just happened to be standing around when he's mentioned it. Mind you, I'll be the first to admit that I always thought that it was stupid for Peter to go blabbing about how he had a danger sense, but it's equally bad form to suddenly write it as if its some closely guarded or relatively unknown fact. I can think of no less than 20 pieces of information about other heroes that are more obscure than that. Even if it wasn't directly stated, anyone who had been around him long enough would be able to figure out he has to have some kind of mojo working for him.

Secondly, I don't think that it would take this specific incident to make Peter think of checking the suit for monitoring equipment. Even if Peter trusted Tony one hundred percent, I still think that Peter would be inclined to do some tinkering on his own. If nothing else, Peter's scientific nature would have made him check things out. It's far more plausible than the incident that's presented here.

On the alternate side of things, we have Peter facing off with Steve Rogers. This encounter reads much better than the aforementioned conversation with Tony if only because Steve stays more in character. His brief talk and offer to Peter to switch sides came off as sincere and something that Captain America would be inclined to do. That said, it still feels odd for Steve and Peter to go to honest to gosh fisticuffs over the matter. Sure, Steve and Tony punching each other around I totally get. But for these two to fight seems horribly unnatural.

At any rate, we're left at the end with the obligatory stalemate as Cap disengages to go help the rest of his team. Peter, of course, is left with more doubt than he had when he started, and we are left with yet another reminder that Spider-Man is smack dab in the middle of this Civil War story line.

Because multiple banners and variant covers isn't enough to get the point across.

But this issue does at least address that several members of the Civil War have their own internal conflicts in the matter, something that the main title continues to ignore. I'd rather have had a bit more solid of a story, but I can live with this one.

Story: 6/10 (It nurses a few flaws, but it's still a good story.)
Art: 6/10 (Just what is Ben Grimm doing in that panel? Seriously, should we know?)
Overall: 6/10

Bird of Prey # 96

"Headhunt! Part One: Through the Shards of a Looking Glass"

Writer: Gail Simone
Art: Paulo Sequira/Robin Riggs

Note-a-Quote: "You did not have my permission to enter my home. You have five seconds to leave here alive." -Black Alice

The Skinny: The Birds spend some downtime reflecting on fallen hero Ted Kord, but there's no rest for the weary. The Society has their sights set on recruiting Black Alice, so Oracle dispatches the team to intercept them while she handles another matter.

Talia, however, has other plans in mind, and convinces Black Alice that the Birds of Prey are coming to get her. So Alice does what Alice does best and borrows a little Amazon muscle to slap them around. And since the BoP are lacking any serious muscle, it goes about as well as you'd expect for them.

Meanwhile in Gotham City, a couple out for an evening stroll run into a trio of thugs with bad intentions. The couple lucks out, though, as the trio is taken down by... Batgirl? Is this what Barbara meant by having another matter to tend to? Is old Babs bacj in the saddle again? Is this some imposter, or is a new hero on the Bat-roster? And more importantly, just how much cybersex is "a little"? The answers, sadly, will have to wait for another time.

My Take: First, let me say that it was great to have a section of the book dedicated to the late Ted Kord, so let me take my own moment to reflect on his greatness.

Here's to you, Ted Kord. Inventor, Philosopher, Humaintarian, Cyber-humper. Because he totally cyber-did it with Barbara. And you know she has to be good at it, because she's freakin' Oracle. If you can hack a Pentagon database in under .5 seconds, you gots to be good with the cyber-loving. Even a little cyber necking would be hot.

I put too much thought into it, didn't I? Let's move on.

There seems to be a recurring theme here with the Birds getting outmatched. Last time it was Prometheus, and now it's Black Alice. I remember the good old days when the team would actually face people they could take down. Then again, it's all about the journey.

Black Alice does indeed have anger issues, but you have to "wonder" (ho, ho, punny!) why she's getting so bent out of shape about a few heroes showing up. Presumably, someone's done something in the past year to make her already agitated state worse. It doesn't seem like any of the Acts of Vengeance business should have warped her that much, and it would be nice to find out just why she has a chip on her shoulder.

That aside, this is a good issue with some well balanced story elements. As was mentioned before, the team taking the time to pay respects to Ted Kord. In fact, it was just nice seeing the team spend a relaxing morning together. Although the whole thing almost got offset by Sin and her love of pancakes. Too delicious, indeed.

But the issue leaves just enough points in limbo to drag you back next month. Between wondering just what Alice will do next and just what the mystery of Batgirl is, there's a lot of things to look forward to.

Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10
Overall: 7/10 (A solid issue with a nice set of cliffhangers.)

Shadowpact #3

"The (Short) Year of Living Dangerously"

Writer: Bill Willingham
Art: Cory Walker

Note-a-Quote: "A year? But that means I just went a year without paying rent on my place." -Blue Devil

The Skinny: After having been captured last issue, the Shadowpact manage to escape their respective captors and make short work of the Pentacle. Relatviely short work, since the spell mojo that Enchantress has to work to break the evil seal over the town they're trapped in robs all of the occupants of one year of their lives. On the plus side, a real world year has passed while they were imprisoned, too. Isn't magic fun?

My Take: Am I the only one disturbed by how efficient the Shadowpact is when they apply themselves? Seriously, it appears that as long as they all work as one collective group, there isn't much they can't do. It's a nice dynamic to have for the team, especially since their purpose seems to be to face the unthinkable (or something equally dramatic sounding).

The Shadowpact also takes the lead in the "Best OYL Jump" category. I wasn't sure how they were going to resolve them being stuck there for a whole year. Committing a super-team to a small town for a year was going to be a pretty bold move, not to mention incredibly limiting when it came to venue selection ("Next month, they'll fight evil in the red barn. The month after that, the blue one...") Although part of me does feel sorry for all of those poor mages outside that had to spend a full year watching a funky red bubble for no good reason. Oh, well. It's the thought that counts.

Although there is one down side to the way things were handled. The Shadowpact may have come off as looking too powerful. Much like the Big 7 and Pantheon incarnations of the JLA, if you get the impression that the group that's assembled can handle anything, you have to keep coming up with bigger and crazier threats to make it interesting.

Much like those other teams, though, the Shadowpact is chock full of entertaining personalities to keep things interesting. Just the fact that their diverse makeup is chock full of moral ambiguity makes for heated discussions within the group. Enchantress' willingness to kill combined with the other's resolve in allowing it to happen lends itself to the gray area that the team seems to operate in. And we really do need more people operating in gray areas. Gray leaning towards good, of course.

Story: 6/10 (Felt either forced or rushed, but otherwise a good story.)
Art: 7/10
Overall: 7/10

Avengers/Power Pack: Assemble! #4(of 4)

"Conquered! Part 2: Pack to the Future"

Writer: Marc Sumerak
Art: GuriHiru

Note-a-Quote: "For a guy who's traveled to both ends of the timestream, you'd think Kang would have figured out that keeping his enemies frozen in time like trophies would come back to haunt him." -Jack Power

The Skinny: Say you're a megalomaniacal time travelling conqueror from future. You manage to spring back to our present, overcome the Avengers, and conquer the world. All that's left is to find something to do with those pesky, yet persistent kids they call Power Pack. Do you:

A) Obliterate them flat out.
B) Travel further back in time to kill their parents and erase them from existence.
C) Send them to the future, where they can run into future versions of themselves, free the Avengers, then travel back in time to ruin your ****.

Kang, being the cookie cutter villain that he is wont to be at times, elects for the third and most entertaining option. But if it makes him feel any better, he probably couldn't have obliterated them if he tried.

My Take: Avengers/Power Pack has been a surprisingly great title. There have been a variety of appearances by hero and villain alike, and even an underlying story line that has continued throughout each of the individual stories. This final issue outlines the kids trip to an alternate future where Kang has taken over the world.

First of all, the kids from both times are characterized well. From the cool composure of the future Power Pack to the ever present immaturity of the present team, everyone falls into place in a way that makes them feel like they're connected. Which makes sense, since they are just one big family. And speaking of family, the group has a nice series of heartwarming moments (even though kid Jack and Katie will claim they were more disgusted by them than touched).

The art is bright and colorful, and even the grown up heroes and villains look like they fit in with the kids' four color world. And for a story about four kids, there certainly is a hearty helping of action thrown around the book. Not that I'm complaining.

Avengers/Power Pack is proof positive that an all ages title can well scripted, intelligent, and still remain undeniably fun. This last issue may have been the best of them all. Hopefully, the world's youngest super team will keep getting a spotlight. With any luck, it will be as favorable as this one.

Story: 9/10 (An well paced action packed story with lots of character elements tossed in.)
Art: 9/10 (As refreshingly upbeat as the story it's attached to.)
Overall: 9/10 (But darned if I'm not scarred for life. Future Julie was how old? Rrowr!)

So that's that. Hang in there, hang loose, hang tough, or hang whatever you can without breaking any laws.

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