Characters of Color: Numbuh 5

Numbuh_5

 

Abigail “Abby” Lincoln, Numbuh 5, closes out of Characters of Color for 2014. Now she may look like some normal kid but in reality she a highly trained ‘Kids Next Door’ agent, where she is the 2nd in command (by her choice) of Sector V. Their mission is to preserve and protect the freedom of all kids everywhere from adult tyrant; ranging from recovering stolen deserts, brings back recess to schools, and even crazier stuff. Numbuh 5 is the glue that hold sector V together, her coolness is legendary as she keep the other agents on task when things don’t go to plan. Also despite being just a kid she shows more wisdom than most adults, know what’s important in life, but not being a know-it-all about it. She would later become leader of Sector V and all of KND during her time, as well as an adult KND operative – an opportunity not given to many. So as Numbuh 5 is a perfect example, you don’t have to be an adult to be an awesome Character of Color, just to ride the awesome ride at your local amusement park.

 

 

 

 

 

     

Characters of Color: Austin “Impresario” Sullivan

Impresario

 

The Awesomes is an awesome show about misfit superheroes who try to save the world from aliens, living garbage, cute – but dangerous – bipedal animals, and other malefactors. Yes, I know its been done before but the Awesomes done it funnier (after all half the cast is voiced by SNL alums) and they done it without going to the traditional route of TV but rather on Hulu. I like all the cast of the Awesomes but seeing how this is still the Characters of Color month we’re talking about  Austin “Impresario” Sullivan today. Impresario is a class ‘A’ mama’s boy (not that there’s anything wrong with that)  who also has the ability to create hard light constructs out of thin air. Sadly though they all have some sorta likeness of his mother, however a fire breathing dragon with the face of a 57 year old woman is still a fire breathing dragon. Other than that though Impresario is a well-balanced, strategic, team player who brings his own style to the Awesomes. While this character of color is still a noob compared to the others listed here in previous years, the Awesomes just got renewed for a 2nd season; which means Impresario and all his qualities and quirks can grow with his character. Before long he’ll be beside legends like Mr T & War Machine – its possible! Remember, Mr. T is quite the mother’s boy himself, just don’t say that to his face.

 

 

 

Characters of Color: Samuel L. Jackson

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I was a square for so long and it totally amazes me that people think I am cool.

 

 

‘Samuel L. Jackson usually played bad guys and drug addicts before becoming an action hero’ is what a small part in the IMDb Mini Biography by Wladimir van Heemst says about him. That’s both pretty accurate and testament to actor’s range and skill. Samuel L can pretty much do anything; he has no type, no standard, no median. Sure characters like ‘Jules Winnfield’ and ‘The Octopus’ would fit his no nonsense, authoritative style; however taking that same style and applying to a CG stunt-loving snail and you think that wouldn’t mesh – but it totally does! Same applies to ‘Mace Windu’; Jedi are suppose to be peaceful, uniform, and unforgiving, but when Sam L plays one he’s the most militant Jedi ever – he even got a purple lightsaber (at his request) which at the time Blue, Red, and Green was the standard. Samuel L. Jackson varied roles combined with his direct attitude always make for an enjoyable experience – and the more unconventional the better. Even stinkers like Snakes on a Plane, when added with a little S.L.J., can create memes of epic proportions. He’s the king of cool people; just don’t confuse him with Laurence Fishburne, that never ends well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color: The Rock

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Do you smell what the rock is cooking?

Ok enough with the sad stuff or the soap box, time for some fun, and what better character of color that represents best of awesome fun than Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Born from wrestling legacy, The Rock ‘was’ the WWF in the 90’s (next to Stone Cold Steve Austin) as his move set, mic skills, and overall charisma won over even the most smartest of MARKS. He won multiple titles, multiple times, and even invented a word that to this day is still used in WWE and the modern day lexicon. Now in a move I’ve slowly accepted over the years, he made the choice to go into the acting. He has good movies (The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, etc.) and a lot of stinkers too (Doom, Tooth Fairy, etc.), but it doesn’t even matter what character he plays, what movie it is, or how well it (or he) does because the man is such a likeable force that The Rock will always do well. Whether it’s Dwayne Johnson or the ‘The Rock’, it doesn’t matter what his name is, he’ll always be a character of color and the people’s champion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color: Tyler Perry

Tyler+Perry

 

He who has the gold makes the rules.

Haters gonna hate, and no one knows that better than Tyler Perry. A respected playwright, director, and actor; who has created works that have crossed the media lines of stage, screen (movie), and set (TV); and created one of the most recognizable (and hilarious) characters ever – Mabel ” Madea” Simmons; is constantly being the focus of cheap shots. Why? Because of his popularly? Because of faith/views being in his works? Because they cater to a certain audience? Well if that’s the case people a lot of media would be guilty of the same ‘crimes’. Tyler Perry    is a character of color because his characters have color. Why can’t you have a deranged elderly woman trying to waste a person for cutting them off on the highway and then call 911 after the deed is done. Why can’t a media as wide and a varied as the visual deal with concepts of the spiritual without people turn into jerks about it, why can’t an excellent actor like Tyler Perry try new roles without being pre-judged beforehand? I don’t know people, I really don’t, but I a simple gamer must ask you to not drink the hateraid – the taste is terrible on the palate.

Characters of Color: James Avery

Monetary success is not success. Career success is not success. Life, someone that loves you, giving to others, doing something that makes you feel complete and full. That is success. And it isn’t dependent on anyone else.

In the final day of the last year James Avery died during open heart surgery; a true actor and scholar he begins our month of characters of color. Sure everyone knew he was the well to-do judge ‘Uncle Phil’ from the legendry Fresh Prince of ‘Bel Air’ and voiced the infamous ‘Shedder’ of TMNT fame but those were only few parts he played as Avery did an astounding amount of roles throughout his career. A Different World, The Real Ghost Busters, Aladdin (TV Series), The Prince of Egypt, Star Trek: Enterprise, That ’70s Show, Quack Pack (TV Series), The Brady Bunch Movie, Captain Simian & The Space Monkeys (TV Series), Dallas (TV Series), Fist of the North Star, Kinect Disneyland Adventures (Video Game), Night Court (TV Series), Newhart (TV Series), Grey’s Anatomy (TV Series), and many, many, more forms of media entertainment  all had one thing in common – James Avery. Also more than the sum of his roles: he was also a writer, poet, in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and touched the lives of his long time cast mates. People we didn’t just lose a actor, we lost an icon – we’ll be hard pressed to find another with his same caliber, spirit, and wisdom. He died at 68.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Zack (Taylor) the Black Ranger

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Ah yeah people, I’m taking you back to the 90’s where cartoons were good, catch phrases were plentiful, and Clinton was still in office – good times indeed. The Mighty Morphing Power Rangers took the world by storm because of the action, giant robots, and classic good v. evil stories. Well hands down the coolest, hippest, most dynamic of the original rangers is Zack Taylor a.k.a. the Black Ranger. A very enthusiastic, upbeat person; Zack was the soul of the team. Using his positivity and good humor he keeps the sprits of the other rangers high as they wage war against the evil space witch Rita Repulsa. However don’t underestimate him, as Zack is quite the accomplished martial artist. Quick and agile, he can strike opponents and almost at the same time avoids reprisals with his developed fighting style: Hip Hop Kido. Zack’s signature weapon, the power axe, gives him added power in his attacks and even wield the legendary Dragon Shield, and that doesn’t happen often power. Finally when the chips are down he can call forth the mighty Mastodon Dinozord to freeze or crush his enemies no matter the size. There have been many future rangers to wield the color, but there is only one Zack the Black Ranger.

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Raven

Just so you guys know, I’m not the most faithful Tekken fan (more of a Virtua Fighter man myself) but I do love the characterization that their characters have. One example of this is today’s Character of Color, Raven. Debuting in Tekken 5, Raven is a no-nonsense, cold-blooded, possibly Canadian(?) covert operative. A practitioner  of ninjitsu, Raven mission was to investigate the Mishima Zaibatsu and G-Corporation and discovered Heihachi Mishima was killed. Raven entered the King of Iron Fist tournament to investigate this and stumbled onto secrets that forced him to enter the sixth tournament.

Raven is just awesome, he looks like Wesley Snipes from the Blade film but with a little bit of ninja thrown in. To me, his appearance in Street Fighter X Tekken made his character and moveset better. His conversion to Street Fighter fighting mechanics was done so well, that I can actually see him as a Street Fighter character full time. Oh well, I guess I can settle from him to be still in Tekken. as long as they keep making him awesome at least.

Characters of Color – Alyx Vance

Alyx_Vance

 

Ok a little history, Half Life stars Gordon Freeman a scientist who, along with the company he works for, Black Mesa, accidently opens a portal to an extra dimensional reality where aliens, of course want to take over the world. Naturally this scientist sends them packing but before happily ever after he’s given a choice by the mysterious G-Man: work for him or die. Easy choice, he sends him to the future where earth is conquered by another group of extra dimensional aliens called the Combine (this guy gots the worst luck doesn’t he). Well like the first game Freeman starts showing the combine the door, but not without help this time. Enter the resistance and one of their main leaders Alyx Vance, our character of color for today. Probably the most popular and famous deuterogamist (fancy way for saying elite sidekick & second most important character in a story) Alyx Vance is the perfect person you want to take into the unknown with you: she’s a skilled hacker and machinist (turned a simple meter high tinker toy into giant guardian who acts like a dog), brave and intelligent but cheerful and optimistic – Alyx will often lighten the mood in dire situations but also stays on task to the goals at hand. But to brass tax the most important thing that makes her so special is that as an NPC in a game as epic and unconventional and Half Life she holds her weight and then some. Never do you have to worry about if Alyx Vance will survive in a co-op mission, but rather if she’ll stop saving your booty throughout the game. Where you readers are done here, please write to Valve and tell them to stop try to make a console and start finished up the Half Life series – I want to have more adventures with  Alyx Vance before I’m 80 please.

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Tavish ‘The Demoman’ Degroot

TF2_Main

Yeah, he’s a toy now. Actually he’s the perfect toy – teach kids everywhere that the best way to solve problems is to drink heavily and blow sheetz up. Buy yours today!

 

Yeah, this one we all saw coming. To be honest I’m actually surprised with myself for not put up sooner everyone’s favorite angry, drunken, one eyed, black, Scottish, explosive expert: the Demoman. This master of bringing the boom was orphaned at a young age to cultivate his TNT talents in the cold cruel world. Which would have been preferable compared to his actual parents, who are bind, crazed, workaholics, who believe having fewer than 26 separate jobs is slacking off. With them finishing up his training he grew up knowing blowing things to kingdom come was the only way and peace can only be found in a bottle. Heck he tried to have a best friend in the blue soldier (please note: that the main characters are usually on the red team, also why would he be friends with the blue soldier when the red soldier is exactly like him? Maybe he likes blue? I don’t know…), but to prevent the merc teams from finding out that they’re working for the same people they instigated a feud between the two with the promise of new weapons and outright lies. So the Demoman, TF merc, exploder of stuff, legendry drunk, tragic Character of Color.