I mentioned when I started this blog that I like to comment on things around the internet, and, well, one of my favorite things to comment on is the Major Spoilers Poll of the Week. For the last several weeks, the poll has been of the “Who would win in a fight” variety, so to save my editor from having to fix my writings on her birthday, I have decided to just post my last three weeks’ worth of comments and call it a day. Be sure to click the questions to see the original poll, and thank you Major Spoilers for feeding my obsession once a week.
I love this question so much! My first visual of this fight was an Ultron-esque robot with a cape flapping in the wind behind him on top of a snow-covered mountain, massive hammer clutched tightly in his left fist. In the foreground, we see two young men, physically fit in their mid-twenties climbing over boulders, their fur-lined parkas pulled close against the arctic chill. Strapped loosely to the back of the trailing twin is a futuristic looking blaster-rifle with the words Graviton 9000 etched in the side. But then I reread the question. There is nothing heroic implied in this question. Nothing that says this is a fair fight, or even a fight with a purpose. This robot is a Roomba roaming the nursery in a sprawling estate in central Pennsylvania. Thor was visiting her good friends the Grawlshanks and she thought it would be amusing to set her hammer on the cleaning drone which then continued its mindless roaming of the second floor of the main house. The twins, of course, are Maddy and Minnie Grawlshank, not yet two, and still confined to cribs in the nursery. They have stumbled upon Dr. Grawlshank’s experimental gravity enhancing gun. Of course, at some point while passing the ray back and forth one of them will figure out how to activate the switch, temporarily increasing the gravitational fields surrounding the unsuspecting sweeper, crushing it to little bits under the enhanced weight of Mjolnir. That is just the way I see it going down, your personal interpretation of the question will undoubtedly vary, which is what makes questions like this so much fun!
Where the vagueness of last week’s poll lead to the wanderings of imagination, the bold specificity of this week’s question leaves little room for alternate interpretation… or does it? Of course, the first image when reading the question is a horribly disfigured individual in heavy yellow firefighting equipment wielding his acid spewing proboscis while trying to look away from your best friend, a Professor X level telekinetic wearing a magically enhanced mask that makes even the boldest want to run home and hide under the covers until summer comes. However, let us once again take another tack. Let us imagine that our fireman is a retired military man, recently returned home and looking to find his place in the world. He was stationed in Africa during his last tour where he encountered a tribe of native people so removed from civilization that when they saw him they proclaimed him as a god and bestowed upon him the ancient symbol of their religion, a mummified trunk harvested from an African elephant, attached to a bladder of caustic acid. Upon returning home, our young hero keeps the trunk with him for good luck, taking it by his new place of employment at the firehouse to show off to his buddies there. Austin, my best friend, has developed the ability to use his mind to manipulate matter, but only a little bit. He is honing his new-found abilities as an entertainer, working children’s parties. His company is hired to work Maddy & Minnie Grawlshank’s 2nd birthday where he is supposed to dress as Tauron the Terrible and use his telekinetic power to blow out the candles on their birthday cake before they can make their wish. Everything is going as planned, but he did not anticipate how terrifying the mask he had created for the role of Tauron would be. When he makes his appearance during the singing of “Happy Birthday”, all the kids scatter, knocking tables and presents everywhere. The still lit cake lands on an unwrapped “organic-fiber” Teddy Bear. The bear bursts into flame, catching several of the nearby packages on fire as well. Austin, still dressed as Tauron, attempts to use his telekinetic powers to quench the rising flames, but only manages to fan the flames higher. The twins have been forgotten in the chaos, and smoke begins to fill the air. Austin grabs Maddy and heads for the exit as our veteran arrives in full fire gear, his lucky trunk attached to his belt. The fireman dashes into the flaming home, hauling Minnie out of the choking fumes just in time. He turns and sees Austin in full Tauron garb. So startled by his appearance, he grabs for the closest object to defend himself, whipping the trunk around and emptying the full bladder at the demon before him. The acid causes the mask to fuse to Austin’s skin, and despite being rushed to the emergency room, the doctors in the ER are not able to remove it. Clearly during the initial confrontation, the battle goes to the fireman, but this is just the first of many confrontations. Austin is no more, he is now TAURON! And his telekinetic powers grow stronger every day!
I was momentarily confused by this poll, but a quick google search has informed me that both Afro Samurai and The Future Gadget Laboratory are products of popular Japanese animation productions. I am not an anime fan, so I am going to go with my gut instincts on this one and see where that takes me. Afro Samurais are the latest rage (I imagine) in high end New York City hair boutiques. First the beautician applies the permanent curls to your hair, picking it into a beautiful ‘70s style afro, then the classically trained samurai stylist arrives. Pulling out his swords, he is able to produce hairstyles that would make Kid n Play jealous. Afro Samurai stylings become so in vogue, that soon calls are coming in from across the globe. One such call comes from the Scottish Highlands where a wealthy landowner has spent the better part of the last decade restoring a castle to be used as his home and laboratory. His son fancies himself to be the next vanilla ice, and therefore requires a top-notch hairstyle to go along with his new career. When the Afro Samurai arrives, something in his ancient samurai weapon sets off vibrations within the fundamental undercurrent of the ancient castle causing the stylist’s soul to be sucked out of his body, into a suit of armor on display in the grand hall. Seeing his own body collapse, the Afro Samurai is beside himself with anguish and takes up the sword from his inert body, vowing vengeance against those who called him there. The members of the Future Gadget Laboratory, which is located in the bowels of the restored castle, the dungeons as it were, have been hard at work trying to perfect Gundam technology. Professor Grawlshank is working with his now teenage genius daughters Maddy and Minnie, putting the finishing touches on their most recent suits when the mail with the soul of a beautician crashes through the door to the lab. Not knowing what else to do, the trio crawl into the suits, activating their defense mechanisms, hoping to ride out the attacks of the possessed plate mail. Maddy, always the adventurous one, decides that this would be the perfect opportunity to see what these things can do, and after throwing a couple of switches, she is able to not only bring her suit online, but also activate the other two suits. One of the emergency overrides also gives full control of all three suits to the rambunctious young lady who uses the full power of the three suits to subdue the hairdresser without causing too much damage to the lab. While the answer to this poll has become very clear, what is not clear is what will become of the poor stylist? Will the Grawlshanks be able to return his spirit to his body? Will Maddy use the new Gundam suits to perform great deeds, or will the intoxication of power be too much for her to overcome? Maybe we will find out next week.
Of course, I missed the fact that this needs to take place in Future Tokyo, but that doesn’t change my answer. In fact, it makes more sense for the twins to be more than a decade older than when we last encountered them. With Japanese culture (thus the Gundam project) having taken over the world, it would make sense that while original Tokyo is on the Japanese islands, Future Tokyo is in Great Britain. The Grawlshank’s castle is just on the outskirts of Future Tokyo.
By: Tim Kiester, with poll of the week questions provided by Major Spoilers