In his masterpiece, “The Prince,” Niccolo Machiavelli once wrote that “you must know there are two ways of contesting, the one by the law, the other by force; the first method is p… .
The next generation of Marvel heroes are about to become hunted just for trying to lend a helping hand. The upcoming Outlawed one-shot comic will force the teen heroes into hiding as their superpowered personas are banned. If they don’t comply, they’ll pay the price.
The upcoming Outlawed comic by Eve. L. Ewing and Kim Jacinto will see the United States pass a law that will ban teen heroes as a whole following an incident that results in a devastating tragedy in the Marvel universe. That means heroes like Ms. Marvel, Nova, and Spider-Man won’t be allowed to use their superpowers for good, and if they do, they are breaking the law. In a new preview for Outlawed, the teen heroes don’t just have to worry about a dragon from another realm, but also getting shot by those enforcing the rules against them.
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CBR.com posted exclusive preview pages for Outlawed which show the teen heroes are in for one heck of a challenge. In the preview, Ailana can be seen giving a passionate speech about the seriousness of the new law and how all the teens are literally fighting for their lives. As Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) Lunella Lafayette (Moon Girl) and Miles Morales (Spider-Man) look on in admiration, the speech is cut short when a dragon courtesy of the Roxxon Corporation shows up and causes mayhem. The next pages show more teen heroes including Pinpoint and Ironheart trying to deal with the dragon, while Bombshell tries to get some help from armed men nearby. Unfortunately, instead of helping with the dragon, the men start firing at the teen hero. “Clarification — the backup that is here is backup for the dragon.” The heroes scramble as they try to deal with both the giant monster and actual people trying to stop them.
The series will set the stage for what’s next for all of Marvel’s teen heroes going forward and appears to be an unforgettable, game-changing one-shot. Check out the preview pages for Outlawed below.
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Warning! Spoilers for The Outsider below.
HBO’s The Outsider came to an explosive finish as Ralph, Holly, and the team confronted El Cuco. The ending neatly tied the story together while leaving room for more supernatural possibilities in future seasons.
The Outsider finale, “Must/Can’t”, is a thrilling conclusion to a series that took its time developing strong characters and relationships. Ralph, Holly, and the team come face to face with El Cuco, beginning with the shootout between them and a miserable Jack Hoskins, who is being controlled by El Cuco and serves as its bodyguard.
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The first part of the episode is shocking, with many characters dying all at once. From Jack’s position in the woods overlooking the road where the team has stopped, he is able to pick them off one by one. Although clearly very drunk at this point, Jack is still an excellent shot. The only thing that stops him is Holly’s bravery, as she steps out into the open, shouting at Jack and daring him to kill her. This gives Jack a moment for his conscience to take over, so he allows a rattlesnake to bite him before shooting himself in the head, adding himself to the finale’s total body count.
After Jack commits suicide, Ralph and Holly enter Bear Cave to root out El Cuco. The caves, however, are unstable, being the place where Claude’s kin died in a cave-in in the 1940s. When they find El Cuco, it has nearly taken on Claude’s form. Ralph is ready to shoot El Cuco, but it warns him that the sound of the shot in the caves will likely result in another cave-in that could kill them all. After Holly asks El Cuco a bunch of questions that it doesn’t seem to know the answers to, like “What are you?” and “Are there more of you?”, Claude has followed them into the cave and shoots El Cuco, despite the risk of a cave-in.
The cave does indeed rumble and rocks fall, but Ralph, Holly, and Claude all survive and set out to leave the cave. As they’re doing so, Ralph sees an apparition of his son and, this time, instead of dismissing such things as impossible, he gets the message and returns to El Cuco’s body to find that the monster is only playing dead. After painting a picture of what it would be like for El Cuco if he turned it in to the authorities, Ralph picks up a rock and smashes its head in.
Alec is the first to go down, as seen at the end of episode 9. From there, Claude’s brother Seale, while trying to find his bearings so he can shoot back, takes a bullet to the gut. Then, Andy makes a heroic move toward one of the vehicles. He gets in the car, starts it up, and tries to drive it down the road to get help, but Jack is able to shoot him through the windshield. This prompts attorney Howard Soloman to try to save Andy, but Jack hits the gas tank on the car and is able to light it up with a spark, killing him and ensuring Andy is dead too.
Related: The Outsider: Who Is Holly Gibney?
If it weren’t for Holly, there would be even more dead. Because of her bravery, Jack is the next to go after he commits suicide. The last to die in the finale is El Cuco itself when Ralph finishes it off with a rock. However, no one is really sure if El Cuco can be killed, or if this was just a temporary solution to a more long-term problem.
The big question is: is El Cuco really dead? Based on the events in the cave, it’s clear this supernatural entity can survive being shot. On top of that, when Ralph goes back to finish the job, it’s impaled on a rock, yet still only playing dead, which is why Ralph smashes its head into pulp with a rock. Can it survive such a wound?
If it can, it means that El Cuco, the true dark entity, is really some sort of spectral force. Its true form is never revealed, and there is evidence supporting the fact that it doesn’t need a physical body to get around; it visits people at night in their houses without leaving any signs of forced entry. Another clue is in an after-credits scene with Holly where she is alone and sees Jack Hoskins in the mirror behind her. She looks again and he’s gone. The camera then lingers on the back of Holly’s neck and reveals a scar on her arm. Although it’s unclear if this scratch is from El Cuco or the cave-in, might El Cuco be able to take Holly’s form or perhaps even control her as it did with Jack Hoskins? That particular mystery is left unanswered.
Finally, near the end of the episode, Holly says something to Ralph that explains how the show gets its name. After Ralph has told Holly he wouldn’t mind teaming up again, she talks about how her father was a military man who often said, “a man knows a man.” She then tells Ralph that she has come to realize something: “an outsider knows an outsider.”
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This is an interesting thing to say as it highlights the fact that Holly sees herself as an outsider because she is awkward socially and likely on the autism spectrum. She has always felt like an outsider, just like El Cuco, that works alone and does not seem to know if there are others in the world like it. The show’s name then refers to this idea as well as it relates to a mysterious monster.
Overall, The Outsider is about more than the discovery and hunt for the supernatural monster known as El Cuco. It’s about coming to grips with the unexplainable. Believing in the impossible is not an easy task. As Stephen King himself puts it in the post-show interview, “How does a person cope with the unbelievable?” Ralph, for instance, struggles with this idea for the entire season, before he finally must accept that El Cuco exists, while Holly is able to simply believe the evidence. They don’t, however, think the rest of the world will believe, so they find a way to close the case, exonerating Terry Maitland, without every telling others what really happened.
Another theme that runs through The Outsider is how people deal with loss. Ralph, at the center of the story, is still grieving over the loss of his son. Similarly, Glory Maitland has to deal with the more recent death of her husband. Throughout the show, many different characters are faced with the hard truth of pushing on despite their grief. Nevertheless, there is no solid answer here other than that life must go on.
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The team behind Dead or Alive 6 posted an apology for the latest in-game microtransaction feature, which involves changing the hair color of the playable character. Published by Koei Tecno Games, the fighting game was first announced at E3 2018, then hit the shelves in early 2019.
Announced in early March, the hair color feature is exclusive to the PS4 version of Dead or Alive 6. If players want to change the playable character’s hair, they’re required to use one premium ticket, which costs real money, around $1 each. Currently, there are 16 hair shades available. Purchased hair colors aren’t available for unlimited use; they expire as soon as the player decides to change the color again. For example, if the playable character has brunette hair and the user wants to make her blonde, a premium ticket is required. If the user then wants to make the character brunette again, they need to pay 10,000 in-game currency. No real-world money is necessary to restore the original hair color. If the user wants to revert to the original blonde color, they need to spend another premium ticket to purchase the hair shade another time. This microtransaction system angered loyal fans of the game franchise.
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Dead or Alive’s official Twitter account apologized to the fans for the hair color microtransaction system. “We hear and acknowledge your disappointment behind our rollout of the new hair color feature for DOA6,” says the Tweet. “We greatly appreciate your feedback and are working towards a solution that helps mitigate the issue and will share our plans in the coming days.”
Microtransactions are everywhere in the gaming industry. At first glance, they may seem like an innocent shortcut for casual gamers who don’t have enough time for grinding to earn in-game items in the traditional way. However, microtransactions and loot boxes are spoiling the sense of accomplishment the player gets when acquiring a particular item by advancing in the game.
This is not the first time Dead or Alive 6 has released expensive microtransactions. Focused on female characters, the game features costly season passes, which provide access to flirty costumes for the fighters and additional characters. Not all passes are cheap; for example, the Season Pass 4 currently costs $89.99 on Steam. Hopefully, game developers and publishers will find new ways to earn money without anti-consumerist practices that disappoint and take advantage of their fan base.
Next: Dead or Alive 6 Review: The Franchise is Still Kicking
Source: Dead or Alive/Twitter
George Lucas’ canceled Star Wars TV show, Star Wars Underworld, would have kept the prequels alive. Back in 2005, George Lucas used Star Wars Celebration III as the opportunity to make a thrilling announcement. He revealed he was planning to make a big-budget, live-action Star Wars TV series. The show had the working title of Star Wars Underworld.
Sadly, this project never happened. Scripts were commissioned, but the production proved too expensive, and it was eventually shelved. Over the years, details have leaked, confirming that Star Wars Underworld would have been set on Coruscant during the Dark Times, and would have explored the galaxy’s seedy underbelly. By all accounts, the star was a bounty hunter who was caught between warring crime families; as the years passed, the scripts changed shape, gradually integrating major Star Wars characters. One script saw Han Solo win the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian, while another featured a love-interest for Emperor Palpatine – and inspired Cory Barlog’s God of War game.
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In 2015 – a full decade after Star Wars Underworld was announced – Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was asked whether Underworld was dead. “No,” she insisted. “No, interestingly enough, that’s an area we’ve spent a lot of time, reading through the material that [George Lucas] developed is something we very much would like to explore.” Still, for all Kennedy seemed positive about the project, the general assumption was that viewers would never get to see anything. And then, surprisingly, test footage from Star Wars Underworld – produced for Lucasfilm by a company called Stargate Studios – was spotted online, revealing just how it continued Lucas’ prequel ideas.
Precious little is known about Star Wars Underworld, but it’s clear that conceptually it was a spiritual successor to the prequel trilogy. After all, the core location was Coruscant – the ecumenopolis that had featured so prominently in all three prequels (and whose absence is one of the most striking anomalies of the sequels). On Coruscant, there’s an inverse relationship between height and wealth; the poor people live in the lower levels, victim to crime lords and gangsters, while the more prosperous live in the towers. The tone and style of the production created by Stargate Studios is pretty much identical to scenes set in Coruscant’s lower levels in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones; even the hover-car is reminiscent of a famous chase scene featuring Obi-Wan and Anakin. Notice the pronounced Imperial presence, which suggests the Empire is attempting to impose order by force.
As noted, Star Wars Underworld was originally intended to feature only original characters, but key figures from the prequels began to slip into the scripts. One known script featured Palpatine as a sympathetic figure, wronged by a gangster woman he loved; nowadays that feels like an odd bit of foreshadowing, given the sequel trilogy established that the Emperor had a family. A two-part episode apparently featured Darth Vader, with the Dark Lord of the Sith clamping down on an uprising in the lower levels. There’s even a small amount of evidence suggesting Quinlan Vos – a Jedi Lucas had intended to appear in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith – would also have played a role in Star Wars Underworld.
George Lucas has always been passionate about film-making, and he’s tended to take an experimental approach. Indeed, that’s why Lucas said Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace took him 16 years to make; because he was waiting for the technology to catch up with his vision. The prequels used CGI to an unprecedented degree, with ILM using computer-generated models rather than physical spaceships and CGI backgrounds in the place of sets. As controversial as Jar Jar Binks may have been, he was intended to be the crowning glory of The Phantom Menace, a CG film star created using the kind of mo-cap technology that would only become common after Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring a couple of years later.
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As far as Lucas was concerned, the technical and experimental approach was what made these films a pleasure to make. As a result, when principal photography of Star Wars Underworld proved too expensive, Lucasfilm pivoted to the idea of finding a high-tech way to make the series. That was when Lucasfilm producer Rick McCallum hired Stargate Studios to create some test footage; they’re a production company best known for their revolutionary “Virtual Backlot Live” technology. Virtual Backlot Live is typically seen as a replacement for location filming; it allows actors to perform in front of a green-screen, and the studio has a sophisticated library of immersive environments that can then be added. Essentially, an actor can perform in Los Angeles, and they can easily be made to seem like they’re in Japan, New York, London, or Hawaii. Stargate hit particular acclaim in 2009, when they received an Emmy Award for special effects for NBC’s Heroes. It’s likely this was when Lucasfilm reached out, albeit with a very different idea; they wanted to use Virtual Backlot Live to create the city-planet of Coruscant.
Test footage is a normal part of the development cycle, created and distributed to networks in the hopes it will catch someone’s eye. The story is almost irrelevant in this kind of footage; the goal is to demonstrate the high-level concept, the technology, and the tone. Unfortunately, in 2011 Lucas told MovieWeb that the costs were still too high. “We are looking for a different technology that we can use,” Lucas explained, “that will make it economically feasible to shoot the show. Right now, it looks like the Star Wars features. But we have to figure out how to make it at about a tenth of the cost of the features, because it’s television.” Lucas seemed thrilled at the idea, envisioning Star Wars Underworld serving as a proof of concept for some as-yet-unknown technology that would redefine television.
Nowadays, it seems strange to imagine a high-profile TV show being turned down because of cost; after all, HBO reportedly spent £100 million for season six of Game of Thrones, while Netflix are believed to have cashed out around $130 million on The Crown season 1. But Lucas was pitching Star Wars Underworld at a time when networks would never sign off on that kind of expenditure, in the middle of an economic slowdown. Once again, Lucas’ dream was too big for the current state of play. Ironically, fast forward to 2020 and every episode of Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian cost around $12.5 million to make for Disney+ – just as expensive as Game of Thrones, and the kind of budget that would have made Star Wars Underworld possible.
More: The Mandalorian Is Delivering On George Lucas’ Star Wars Underworld Vision
Arrowverse boss Marc Guggenheim assures fans Smallville‘s Superman (Tom Welling) and Lois (Erica Durance) are still alive after the massive crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths. Starting back in December, Crisis on Infinite Earths brought together all of The CW’s DC shows, something that has been done in recent years with several crossover events. However, Crisis proved to be an even more special event that connected several DC properties, such as Titans from the DC Universe streaming service and the long-running Smallville. One of the final Crisis episodes even connected the DCEU to the Arrowverse through a quick Ezra Miller (Barry Allen/the Flash) cameo.
While the third episode of Crisis on Infinite Earths saw the destruction of multiple Earths and realities, the final installment saw the remaining Arrowverse heroes save the day and create a brand new multiverse. Not every character came out of Crisis alive, but those who perished in the initial disaster were returned to various realities. A handful were glimpsed, but fans were quick to note that there was no mention of Smallville‘s Lois and Clark.
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Now those fans can rest easy, because Guggenheim has confirmed that the beloved duo are okay. While talking to TVLine about the aftermath of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Guggenheim said, “I absolutely can confirm that they’re still alive, they’re still living their happy ending. Clark is getting the hero’s ending he deserves.” He also mentioned that, had Smallville‘s Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) joined the crossover, there would have been a scene between him and Welling.
Welling and Durance appeared as their Smallville characters in the second part of the crossover, giving fans a look at how they’ve been since the conclusion of the show in 2011. Clark had a run-in with Supergirl‘s version of Lex (Jon Cryer) when Lex embarked on a mission to kill all the Supermans in every reality. Lex was baffled to discover that this Clark had given up his powers and was living the simple life with his wife Lois and their children.
The final two episodes of Crisis on Infinite Earths featured lots of moments for fans to pore over and discuss in the coming weeks. The CW has hinted that the Arrowverse will be changed by the events of Crisis, though the franchise was already facing some serious changes thanks to its flagship show, Arrow, finishing its run this year. It’s unlikely that the Arrowverse will ever have an event that reaches the size of Crisis on Infinite Earths again, making the crossover even more momentous than it already was. Regardless of the futures of the other DC television heroes, at least fans can be comforted by the fact that Smallville‘s Lois and Clark are safe and happy.
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