Silverhawks – The Origin Story

By Joshie Jaxon

Greetings, geek fans! It’s been a longer hiatus than I planned, but having found my retro toons, new material should be picking up now. We’re gonna dive right in with this one season wonder from 1986. The wonder is in how I thought this show was good. Seriously, my nostalgia filter is good, but this one must be in a nostalgia vault for some reason. I gave it a watch, and had to force myself to finish. What’s worse is that I have to watch it again. I suffer for my craft, dear readers. I do this for you. We’ll get through this together. Let the geeks begin!! 

We open with the main heroes ejecting from a plane, like they’re skydiving, then gaining wings as they glide. Narration kicks in, they fly on silver wings. Really? A show called Silverhawks has silver wings? This must be a very lucrative program to have silver for military purposes. Are there space werewolves to fight? Sorry, I’ve got the sarcasm up a little high. It helps. More voiceover. They fight with nerves of steel. Partly metal, partly real, they are the Silverhawks. Um, aren’t they androids? Of course they have nerves of steel. Literally. As they come together and join hands in the air, the voiceover continues. Born of a time beyond time, they sacrificed their human bodies, modified to withstand the stress of their long journey through space to the Galaxy of Limbo. If they’re in a time, beyond time, why are they referring to it as “a time”? Anyone? Back to voiceover. Sent there to defend the universe against the terrible Mon Star and his intergalactic mob. 

Mouseketeer roll call – Yes-Man, human from the waist up, snake down below. Why he isn’t Yessss-Man, I’ll never know. Buzzsaw, a golden robot with, you guessed it, buzz saw blades in his shoulders and head. He looks like a failed Mega Man robot master. Wait, MM was released after this. Oh my. Moving on. Mumbo-Jumbo, a minotaur looking creature who breathes fire. Windhammer, who wields a giant tuning fork. Yes, I’m serious. A freaking tuning fork. Molecular, who appears to be made of golden bubble orb things. Pokerface, who is rocking a vampire motif, and a club and heart in each eye. Hardware, a muscled up mutant thing with an arsenal on his back. And the coup de grace, the musical madness of Melodia, who looks like a Misfit reject from Jem and the Holograms, complete with green hair and a keytar. This is hardcore mid-80’s dated. I can’t. I just can’t. 

We’re not done yet. After the gratuitous shot of Mon Star, we need to be introduced to our heroes. Second Mouseketeer roll call. The leader, Quicksilver, and his companion, Tally-Hawk. The tough as nails super twins, Steelheart and Steelwill. True to their names in heart, soul, and spirit. Which is redundant. Aren’t soul and spirit the same thing? Then we have Bluegrass. Any guesses? Yep, cowboy hat and guitar, he’s the ace pilot of their incredible ship, The Mirage. Finally, from the planet of the Mimes, the Copper-Kidd. I’m guessing that’s a species name, cause he’s not in black and white and pretending there’s a wall. They fly into base, which has a giant, wait for it, silver hawk head above the entrance. Lord, the whole thing reeks of Thundercats ripoff. Then we meet the commander, Stargazer, who I’m gonna call Space Xavier, cause that’s exactly who he looks like. Their orbiting base is called Hawk Haven. Silverhawks! The first super androids withs the minds of men, and the muscles of machines. Whew! That’s only the first two minutes. We’ve finally reached the opening credits. Bored to tears yet? Wishing you had your delorean so you could go buy the action figures of everyone they mentioned? No? Me either. Credits.

Alright, let’s do this. Even though we just got told all we need to, we have a whole episode to fill with exposition. Space Xavier is making an emergency transmission to Earth. They just had an intergalactic prison breakout on Penal Planet Ten. There are so many criminals in Limbo that there are at least ten prison planets. Ten prison planets. Who pays to take care of all these criminals? The intergalactic tax payers, that’s who. Wait, Penal Planet Ten? Isn’t that where they imprisoned Mon Star? Gasp! Did anyone else not see that coming? I know I didn’t. Mon Star has escaped. Vamoosed. Flown the coop. They talk funny in the future. Earth says they need Space Xavier to repeat, as there was interference. Mon Star is free. Earth then asks for a full report in detail. 

Penal Planet Ten, which looks like a giant cog. There’s what looks like a black moon, with red eclipse looking aura around it. At 1300 Intergalactic standard time, on the 40th day of the year 2839 the Galaxy of Limbo experienced a Moon Star bust. Can’t the just say 1 o’clock, Feb 9th 2839? No, because that’s not spacey enough. Well, this time the Moon Star’s rays shined directly into the penal planet. As opposed to the other times it passed it by, apparently. Space Xavier asks Earth if they remember what those rays do to Mon Star. Cut to Mon Star in his cell, which is all red from the light of the rays. He’s punching the window bars to get free, and the one is bending. They slam a steel sheet over the window to block out the light. Mon Star turns, and we get a good look at him. He’s serving up Lysander hair realness, and beast fangs. He’s also got a red eye patch with a black star on it. He rushes to the cell doors, and tells the guards to stop, and allow the light to shine into his cell. He’ll reward them with wealth beyond wealth. Time beyond time. Wealth beyond wealth. Wonder if anyone has sight beyond sight. Just saying. Mon Star says the guards can trust him. They laugh, stating they know what will happen if he ever sees the Moon Star again. They know what happened to the last guard that trusted him. Luckily, Space Xavier recaptured him. Mon Star repeats Space Xavier’s name. The guards say he’s there for good, as the blind locks shut. 

 

Over the PA we hear Moon Burst, minus 16. Mon Star starts punching the solid metal sheet. This may be his last chance. Moon Burst, minus 9. Minus 7. More punching. Minus 5. Shot of the rays from the moon. More punching. Side note, who are they counting down for? For us the audience? Dramatic tension? To taunt Mon Star? At any rate, a punch causes a hole in the metal, and wouldn’t you know it, the light shines directly on the eye patch. Mon Star starts saying Yes like he’s having mini orgasms. Maybe he is. Moon Star burst, minus 2. Minus 1. Zero. The solar flare looking energy, radiates in all directions, illuminating the prison, and Mon Star. Ancient spirits of evil… Oops. Wrong show. Similar speech and voice though. Moon Star of Limbo give me the might, the muscle, the menace of Mon Star! He gains armor, and a fancy skull head/helmet with spikes on it. It just screams badass. Normally I like villains, but I’m not getting anything from this one. He tears open the metal screen, and breaks his cell doors. The guards show up, and he destroys the robot one. He then goes to the window, cries out to Space Xavier that he’s free, and flies into space, cause why not? Then there’s a giant space squid. Yes, I’m still serious. Sky-Runner is its name, and Mon Star says he’s missed him. Squid spreads his tentacles and fires an energy blast at Mon Star. He’s grown wild, and forgotten his master. He needs a little persuasion. Mon Star’s eye patch eye unleashes a red star, that goes after the squid. Squid tries to escape. It’s worth noting, they’re in the vacuum of space, and the squid has gills, despite a very clear lack of water. The star circles and hits the squid, giving him Battlecat type armor. Together, they will terrorize the Galaxy of Limbo. 

Earth tells Space Xavier to continue his transmission. Well, at 1340 intergalactic standard time. Ugh! How did the whole galaxy agree on a standard measure of time for everyone? We can’t even get all fifty states to agree on daylight saving time. Anyhow, Mon Star, universal public enemy number one, though we never hear what his past crimes were. Intergalactic terrorist? Did he fly a cruiser into a space station on the 254th day of the year 2811? That’s a smarter joke than this show deserves. He went back to Penal Planet Ten and freed a group of the most dangerous criminals in this or any galaxy. Space Xavier asks if they’re getting that or if he’s talking to himself. Earth asks for visual material. Criminal porn? Space Xavier given them the rundown, including powers. Molecular can assume and shape, and is the undercover guy. Melodia is the mistress of evil notes. Whatever that means. I’m guessing a Starlord dance off would work against her. Mumbo-Jumbo is the strong man of the mob. Hardware is the weapons guy. Shocking. It’s like naming your daughter Bambi and being surprised when she’s a stripper. Windhammer is a storm master, with that blasted tuning fork of his. Yes, they say blasted tuning fork. Space Xavier says they could use some help up there. Good luck relying on Earthlings. We’re only twelve minutes in. Let’s do this, Clovers! 

On Earth plans were taking shape to aid Space Xavier. Why they don’t have closer, more available, help is a mystery to me. Oh wait, cause the writers are from Earth, and we need to make ourselves the center of this or any universe. At least other places used different planets, like Eternia or Arus. The professor and the general look at the list of recruits for the Limbo mission. Leader, Jonathan Quick, former head of Federal Interplanetary Force 8. Whatever that is. Code name, Quicksilver. Emily and Will Heart, the twins. Technicians, designers, and strong as all get-out. When one twin feels something, so does the other. Code names, Steelheart and Steelwill. Emily doesn’t get part of her name in the code name, they just divide up her brother’s. Planet of the Mines volunteer is a mathematical genius, and will be the Copper-Kid. Cause, you know, he’s not from Earth, so therefore he sucks, and isn’t allowed to be silver too. Racists. The next one looks like a cowboy. The General says he’s a colonel, and the best pilot in the solar system. He’ll be Bluegrass, cause despite being best in the solar system, we need to fixate on his cowboy aesthetic. Yes, we covered them during the Mouseketeer roll call, but now we know their real names. Shame they can’t go as they are now. The professor says one day they’ll be able to send people 100 light years into space, but right now they can only send someone part metal and part real. Cause, plot demands. Are their modifications complete? Let’s check them now. Shoulder jets. Arm jets. Heel jets. Talons. Wings. Left hands. Heads. All normal. Hearts? Uh oh, there’s a problem with the twins. They’ll need mechanical hearts. I’m sure that’ll be important at some point in the future. Time to go test the troops. 

 

Silverhawks, standby. Professor, General, Assistant, and a squid-octo thing are ready to observe. Bluegrass can handle anything with wings. Ock says he’d better, or his remote control combat drone will find out. This is 1986 but attack drones are so 30 years later. Prepare to launch. Quicksilver says “release” after lowering his visor, obstructing his human face. Guess that explains how they’ll be able to breathe. They do the hand hold ring thing in the air again. I’m wondering how their existing skill sets are supposed to stop Mon Star. Will Copper-Kidd do his taxes and get him audited? There wasn’t a lot of combat training mentioned. Anyhow, they’re told to wing it, and they gain their wings, but they still seem to be gliding. Yes, they covered that there are jets, but what will the wings do in space? It’s almost over. Hang in there. Am I talking to you, or me? You decide. The Hawks peel off, scatter, and regroup to test their movement. Then Ock sends the drone. Aerial acrobatics have them dodging the blasts. Jets have them gaining altitude. The Hawks dive at the command of Bluegrass, and the drone goes after him. He separates the saucer section, er, cockpit, and then cloaks the rest of the main ship. Why he didn’t just cloak the whole thing with him in it? The Hawks use their various lasers to damage the drone. As it starts to head towards the professor and company, the Hawks all team up their blasts to destroy it before it can collide with the people. Ock says the Silverhawks are impressive. The general says he hopes Mon Star is as impressed as he is. Who cares if he’s impressed, doesn’t he need to be stopped? Bad choice of words, guys. They all salute. Happy 80’s moment. 

 

Copper-Kidd is sitting in the cockpit. Bluegrass asks if he wants to be a pilot. Of course. Well, it’s one thing to fly the Mirage, it’s another to navigate space. He’s gonna quiz the Kidd, and the more he gets right, the closer he’ll get to flying the Mirage. First question, third planet from the sun. Duh, Earth. He’s from another planet. I’m sure the Kidd knows which one he’s on now, jackass. Three points. Second question, first planet from the sun? Kidd guesses Mercury, and gets it right. Blue ass talks down, saying not bad for being from another galaxy. I’m hating this cowboy. He says there’s a simulator on Hawk Haven, and if the Kidd scores high enough, he’ll qualify for flight training. Cause, they’re gonna have so much downtime, what with all the criminals busted out of prison and all. I can only assume this “training” is for the kids in the audience, so they can claim this nonsense was educational. Seriously. All we needed to know this episode was covered in the pre-credits scene.  

Time to break this down. These people are all metal, save for one arm, their face, and things like their hearts, though I’d imagine the rest of their internal organs are gone. Translation, no need to eat, no sex drive, no jerking off to blow off the stress of trying to fight nasty criminals. Why would anyone sign up for this program? Food and sex are life essentials. Oh well, we’re 800 years away from that possible reality. We survived. Er, I survived. The next post should be more entertaining. I hope. Gotta go work on the settings for the nostalgia filter. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 

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Obligatory Pokemon Go, Post

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two days, I’m certain you’re aware that Pokemon launched a new free app, designed to give us the closest thing yet to being Pokemon trainers here in the real world. However, they haven’t given a lot on in game tutorial information. There’s a quick start guide, but it’s iffy. Fortunately, people like me are here to share my experiences, and what I’ve been able to gather from friends so far. Let the geeks begin! 


First order of business. Right now it can be a pain in the ass to try and get signed in, let alone be able to play. It can be frustrating, but when you think about the fact that everyone has been waiting to be a trainer for 20 years, it makes sense. Granted, the designers should’ve known and anticipated the size of their audience, but I’m not bitching. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not unheard of for gamers to invest hundreds, if not thousands, of hours into a handheld installment. Add that up over 20 years, and you have a lifetime of bliss. Don’t let the muggles tell you otherwise. They have no joy in their lives, and their inner children are pouting in a corner. 


Once you’re able to actually get signed in, you’ll get to create your avatar. There’s a variety of choices, though it’s not as vast as it could be, again, not complaining. So far, I’ve not found a way to change your look after you set it, so be 100% sure before you save it. You may not be able to go get the purple hair you originally wanted. You’ll also have to pick your name. Sounds easy, but this is an online game, names are snatched quickly. Don’t be surprised if you have to be pkmstr848277. Only slight exaggeration. After your avi is created, you’ll encounter one of the Kanto starters. I found a Bulbasaur hanging out in the street. I’ve seen people with Squirtle, but no Charmander so far. 


 
I’m getting a head of myself though. The game needs your GPS active, as it goes off of your real world position. It will give you a street view of your area, not in Google level detail, but the main routes and roads are all there. 


Once you encounter a Pokemon, you’ll face off with it. There’s no battle involved, think of it more like the Safari Zone. All you have to do is toss your Pokeball. There are two views while trying to capture a Pokemon, and I’ve gotta say, have the AR view can make things hilarious. I had a mouse appear in front of my cat, and thank the powers that be, you’re allowed to take pics and screencaps. 


After you throw your ball, and deal with the real feeling of anticipation that it causes, as it decides if you caught it or not, the Pokemon is registered in the Pokedex. You can name them, so it retains the personal touch of the handhelds. You also get stardust, which is like currency, as well as candy for that Pokemon. For example, you can’t give Pikachu candy to a Charmander. The candy is used to evolve them. As you can see, it will tell you how many candies you need for it to evolve. There are no evolution stones, so once you have 50 Pika treats, you’ll get Raichu. From what I’ve seen so far, most two-stage evolutions need 50 in order to evolve to that final form. Three-stage need in the 20’s for first form, and higher from there. Those that don’t evolve, like Tauros, for example, can still use their candy. It allows them to power up and raise their CP, which is how hard they’ll hit in a gym battle. 


From your overhead view of your avi, there’s a list of three Pokemon in the lower corner. If they’re in shadow, you haven’t caught them yet. I thought that was just a visual of what three were nearby. However, if you tap it, you’ll actually get a view of 9 nearby Pokemon, which could be some of the same kind or all different. There are footprints under them to indicate how close they are to you. You can tap on one while in that nine view, and it will change the three on the map to that specific one, so you can see how much closer you may be. I saw a Charmander shadow, but never found anything that brought me closer to him. Oh well. 


You can carry up to 250 Pokemon, and since this is currently Kanto only, we’re limited to the original 150. That being said, don’t discount catching 10 Pidgey. Not only do you get candy and experience for each catch, you might find a stronger one than you currently have. They may also have different battle moves. Another reason to catch a lot is that you can trade them in to the professor for more candy, which then helps you have what you need to help them evolve. The amount of candy you have is listed under the individual Pokemon. Don’t worry, the candy type doesn’t change when they evolve. Oddish candy will still be Oddish candy, even after you have Gloom. Said Gloom will still use Oddish candy to become Vileplume. You can filter your Pokemon by number, recents, and CP. Number is easiest if you’re wanting to transfer in your 20 Paras for candy. 


Finally, I’ll comment on items, but I’ve not had much experience yet, so I’ll probably be back here to update later. Potions are used when you take damage at a gym, but aren’t knocked out. Revive will take care of that. You can acquire incense that will draw more Pokemon to you, but I didn’t notice a difference when I used it. Gyms are all over, and I don’t quite know how they work. Once you challenge a gym at level 5, it’ll have you pick a team, which corresponds to the legendary bird trio. As you probably saw from my pic above, I went with Zapdos. Those teams help determine what kind of gym challenge you’ll have. I know that much. Also, I’ve heard as you level up, you’ll be able to encounter stronger and different Pokemon. Dunno if that’s for set levels. I’ll give more detail when I come across it, but I hope this helps you get started and not feel like you’re thrown in the deep end. Until next time, stay geeky, and catch ’em all.