Character Crush – Vegeta

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! My housing drama is nearly over, and I’ll be able to devote the time and energy to my posts that you deserve. As previously stated, I’ve acquired lots of new media/games that I’ll be posting on. Some of which I’ve never seen/played before, but are cultural icons. It’s going to he fun. Until then, I know that Ani-May was severely short changed for you, and I apologize. I’ll pepper in some anime during the rest of the year to make up for it. I owe you that much. Until then, I’m going to at least give you another anime related Character Crush, this time on the prince of all Saiyans, Vegeta. Let the geeks begin!

I got involved in Dragonball Z when the Cell Saga was airing on Cartoon Network back in the early 2000’s. As such, I missed Vegeta’s initial arc and storyline during the Freiza Saga. I think that’s why, at least for me, I find Vegeta to be his best from Cell forward. Don’t get me wrong, the earlier stuff is great, but I prefer him as an anti-hero to full villain. Plus, by the Buu Saga they’d really found their comedy not just in visual gags, but in the various one-liners the characters got off. Vegeta had some of my favorites. Like saying he wanted to wish for new boots, while in the middle of a fight to save Earth. Classic.

  

To give an accurate history on our Saiyan prince, we have to look at the Z/GT series, as well as the movies. I haven’t seen Resurrection F yet, but it’s part of my newly acquired media. Anyhow, Vegeta’s father of the same name, who ruled the planet of the same name, yes, I’m serious, had his people working for Freiza. Saiyans were sent all over the universe to exterminate the inhabitants of the planets he wanted to conquer. Vegeta was one of a few Saiyans who happened to be away on a mission when Freiza destroyed his entire race. Despite his father’s death, and technical ascension to King, Vegeta still considers himself the Saiyan prince, out of respect. 

He came to Earth after Raditz had lost to Goku, to finish the job. It was during this initial appearance that we got our first real look at his personality. Vegeta is arrogant and believes himself to be an elite with no equal. He destroys Nappa, one of the last of his kind, just to prove a point. Sadly, he’s defeated, and sent packing with his tail between his legs. Oh wait, it was cutoff. My bad. He returns to Freiza and gets healed while plotting his next move. 

  

During his exploits on Namek, Vegeta gets his ass handed to him, but we learn when a Saiyan gets beaten, it just makes them that much stronger when they heal. Personally, I think he and Goku should have beat each other half to death, taken a senzu bean, and done it again and again. That’s just me though. Freiza manages to kill Vegeta, who tells Goku to avenge their people. I’ll spare you Goku’s story, but he wins, and Vegeta eventually gets wished back to life, and settles on Earth. He hooks up with Bulma, and they have a son, Trunks. As price of a warrior race, Vegeta doesn’t relax during times of peace, and is always training. When the androids appear, he’s able to go Super Saiyan himself, since he refuses to be second to Goku. 

The other defining characteristic of Vegeta is the thrill of battle, and wanting to be the best. When Imperfect Cell states that he’s able to become stronger, Vegeta wants to see his power, so that he can test himself against it. He doesn’t care if it puts Earth in danger, he wants what he wants, and everyone else can suck it. Which I would. Just Saiyan. Yes, I went there. I’m not sorry. Moving on. When Cell “kills” Future Trunks, Vegeta goes mad with rage and attacks Cell to avenge his fallen son. He loses, but he at least began to realize that he had priorities other than training and fighting.

  

The Buu Saga brought my favorite incarnation of Vegeta, the smartass. When Kid Trunks goes Super Saiyan, and mentions Goten can too, Vegeta makes a crack about it being a Super Saiyan bargain sale. He then asks Trunks to try and hit him, stating that if he does, he’ll take him to the park for an hour. Trunks manages to graze him, and Vegeta backhands him good. Trunks says that Vegeta didn’t say he’d hit back. Vegeta says he didn’t say he wouldn’t, either. He then tells Trunks to dry his eyes cause they’re going to the park right now. Such a good dad. 

The battle with Buu also brings us another great version of Vegeta; Majin Vegeta. Tired of Gohan not finishing a fight quickly, he says he could do better. Babidi calls him a beautiful, arrogant, selfish piece of work. He boosts Vegeta’s power, and turns him back to the dark side. Vegeta, still retaining his pride, refuses to follow orders, and instead wants to use this new power to finally beat Goku. To accomplish this, he murders hundreds of stadium people, prompting Goku to agree to a fight. For a while, Vegeta has the upper hand, but they are still evenly matched. Only by distracting Goku and knocking him out does he technically win. Vegeta then goes to take on Buu, and in the end, realizes that he’s been a bad father to Trunks. He hugs him, then knocks him out. In an act of heroism, Vegeta sacrifices himself to try and stop Buu. 

Ultimately, Vegeta acts in the Earth’s best interest, and tries to rally people to helping Goku win the battle. He becomes a loving husband, father, and friend, while maintaining his hard edge. I adore Vegeta, and always root for him, cause that’s what you do. You’ve gotta respect royalty. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 

  

Character Crush – James 

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! I know that new posts have been slim as of late, but I’m in the process of moving, and a great deal of my media is packed away. That won’t stop me from still making contributions and keeping you entertained. Besides, I’ve still been acquiring new retro toons to post on once life settles back to normal. Until then, I thought I’d feature another character crush that’s been on my mind. Prepare for trouble! Er, let the geeks begin! 

As you’ve figured out, this particular crush is on one half, or one third depending on who you ask, of Team Rocket. James has been around since the second episode of the anime, where we were initially led to believe that he and Jessie were competent, and dangerous villains, instead of the comic relief they’ve turned into in subsequent years. He starts off as kind of a smooth talker, but after a few too many thunder shocks from Pikachu, he’s since become easily overwhelmed and expressive about it. 

James may not be the most powerful trainer in the world. He’s certainly not going to be winning gym badges any time soon. He doesn’t have to be a strong trainer; he’s got a strong heart. Aside from his Koffing at the beginning of the series, and any obtained off screen, James generally befriends his Pokemon, and asks them to come with him. He feeds, helps, or takes care of them, and they love him for it. Heck, Mime Jr pretty much forces his way onto the team, all the while being treated like gold. That’s the kind of guy you bring home to mom. 
  

When he’s not hatching evil schemes, James has a rich, geeky, personal life. He collects bottle caps. He’s a great Poke Ringer. His best skill lies in his cosplay. He’s been Professor Oak, Juan, Jessie, and many others. He’s got the outfits, as well as the nuance of the person he’s portraying. Something always manages to go wrong and reveal the truth, but until then, people think he’s the genuine article. 

Since it’s a kids show, the topic of his sexuality doesn’t really come up, but there’s evidence that James is a little light in the loafers. He’s got a fiancé that his parents arranged, but he has no interest in. Or any woman really. Yes, there’s a not so dark corner of the internet full of Jessie and James couple pictures, but there’s nothing to back up they’re anything more than good friends. James is sensitive, caring, compassionate, and good with animals. Everything you’d want in an animated boyfriend. Or a real one. Hey! I could get a real one. If I ever left the house. Like you’re so great. Love ya! 
Until next time, stay geeky and keep gabbing! 
  

Character Crush – Light Yagami

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! Welcome to the first entry in this year’s Ani-May event. This crush is from a show that I’ve loved for years. I’ve read all the manga, watched all the anime episodes, and even the live action Japanese with English voiceover movies. That’s right, I’m talking the cultural event known as Death Note. Yes, it had it’s own controversy, but we’re not gonna focus on that. Instead we’re gonna look at the dreamy Light Yagami, voiced by the equally dreamy Brad Swaile. Don’t believe me, see for yourselves. 

   

I honestly think a huge part of the crush factor on Light is because of Brad’s delivery. But enough about Brad, we’re here to focus on Light. The series starts with Light as a typical Japanese student. He’s smart and at the top of his class. One day, he discovers the death note that was dropped in our world, and his life changes. After reading the instructions, Light tests the book’s power. Unlike some who might have used it to off a pesky person in their lives, Light’s tests involve a criminal, and an attempted rapist. Light sees that the world is rotting, and needs to be improved. Using the power of the notebook, he begins passing judgment on criminals, and cleaning things up. Sounds like a standup guy, right? 

The fun thing about Death Note is that Light is killing people. They’re dying because of his actions. Yet, through the series, I’m still rooting for him. He’s doing wrong things, but for the right reasons. Granted, he begins taking out good people simply because they’re trying to stop him. One of the people in his path is L. No, that’s not a typo, his name is L. L is the other side of Light’s coin, in that he also sees himself as an agent of justice, but tries to avoid murder as the means to an end. Through the course of the series, the dance between these two characters is filled with homoerotic subtext. Not only are they handcuffed to one another, but there’s a scene where L offers Light a foot rub. It gives things an interesting perspective, as both are pursuing each other without knowing it. 

  

Light’s original mission is one I can understand. Given the ability, I’d want to make the world a better place, but I couldn’t bring myself to kill people to get there. Even with the separation of only having to write a name in a book, I just couldn’t do it. Light has no such problem. He’s focused on his end game, and having a world he can rule. I don’t know what it is about me that I like bad boys, especially as they aren’t who I date, but there’s just something about them. I won’t spoil the series in case anyone hadn’t seen it, but Light has me on his side, almost all the way to the end. Watch it for yourselves, and see what I’m talking about. 

This crush is short, but sweet. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing! 

  

Character Crush – Kylo Ren 

  

By Joshie Jaxon 

Greetings, geek fans! I decided to revive our Character Crush segment. I know this is the time of year for holiday specials, but it’s also the time of year where we’ve had our first Star Wars movie in ten years. Now, I’m not taking sides in the Trek/Wars wars. I enjoy both franchises, and yes, such a thing is possible. However, this most recent addition to Star Wars gave me a character that I found myself crushing on. I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but plot points may get revealed. You’ve been warned. 

At the beginning of the Force Awakens, during a village raid, we see Kylo Ren and the storm troopers. Someone fires a rather impressive blast at Kylo, Giggity, and not wanting it to get in his eye, it BURNS, he holds his hand up and stops it in it’s tracks. Even without keeping his hand held up, the blast stays in place for several minutes, until he chooses to release it. From that impressive display of power, Darkside or not, I was hooked. Though given my attraction to emotionally damaged bad boys, I wasn’t that surprised. That sounds spoiler-y, but given that most bad guys are damaged in one form or another, I’m not gonna count it.

Similar to Darth Vader and Palpatine, Kylo Ren has a master that he confides in, and takes orders from. During one of their we’re so bad talks, Kylo confesses that he’s struggling with certain feelings. Feelings he first noticed when he was in his space shower. He feels drawn to… the other side of the Force, and, like all good evil leaders, Kylo is instructed to repress those feelings, and push them aside, he’s got work to do. He can play with his saber later. 

  

Kylo Ren has several moments in the movie where he looses control of his cool, and lashes out with his lightsaber causing many on the internet to refer to him as Darth Tantrum, Darth Temper, etc. The internet also claims he isn’t a Sith, and that’s for them to debate. As someone who isn’t completely engrossed in their mythos, I will say it does appear similar. He’s using the Darkside, has a red saber, and has an evil master that wants to help complete his training, to further his evil plans. Sounds Sith to me, but that’s just my opinion. There are also several moments where Kylo uses his power to extract info from prisoners, in what I can only say is a dark-Jedi mind trick. 

In a latter part of the movie, Kylo Ren reveals himself and we get to see the man beneath the mask. Not as impressive as I thought he’d be, given his menacing stature before that moment. However, the man knows how to handle a saber, if you know what I mean, which at this point I think you do. You should. At any rate, despite the conflict with his heritage, Kylo sticks with his darker impulses. He’s similar to Loki, in that, between Thor and the Avengers, Loki undergoes a change in personality and takes a darker turn. I want to know what caused Kylo to go from his parents’ son, to a non-Sith, or Sith-lite, villain. I’m certain that will be covered in the next film, adding more depth to his character. As a wielder of the Darkside he’s allowed to feel and embrace his emotions, and use them for strength. He’ll need to come to grips to what happened in the Starkiller, and wherever the chips fall, he’s got a tough road ahead. Like Loki, I’m hoping for a redemption story, though fans may call for his head, I know the next installment will have a chance to see even more of this internally conflicted villain. Similar to Vader, I hope we continue to see Kylo in his mask, until such a time as he can accept the person he sees in the mirror, despite the fact that I like his dark, flowing, locks. 

There, that was as spoiler-free as I could manage. Kudos to me! Until next time, may the geek be with you! 

  

Character Crush – Peter Parker

image

-by Joshie Jaxon

Picture it; Sicily 1962. A lone comic book writer creates a comic character so awesome that he’s still around over 50 years later. Readers, that lone comic book writer was me, and that character, was Peter Parker, Spider-Man. Sorry. I’ll try not to have Golden Girls on as background noise when I write.

image

Seriously, how awesome is Peter Parker? Granted, he didn’t start out that way. He was not only a loser, he was interested in science. Poor Peter was never gonna get the girl, and that was fine with me. I could relate to Peter. I wasn’t a science nerd, but I was still a geek. I loved comics, cartoons, and games. Still do. There was a period when such things weren’t as chic and celebrated as they are now. I was so ahead of my time.

image

I can’t say that Spider-Man was my first comic ever, that honor goes to Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, I can say that my first Marvel Super Hero comic was Spider-Man. It was the early 90’s, during the Trial of Peter Parker portion of the Clone Saga. I can still remember what store I got it at. It made that much of an impact on my life. I’d found a character that I could relate to. I too, had a clone. Kidding, of course, but how awesome would that be?

image

Peter was everything a closeted teenage boy could want. Actually, I only knew I was different, I didn’t quite understand what gay was at the time. Anyhow, Peter had a great body, and never missed a chance to show it off. He’s got a variety of costumes, but I’ll cover those in a later post. Not just exposed flesh, but a skin-tight outfit made for an accelerated heart rate to say the least. Though as I covered in my Nate Grey post, it wasn’t enough for me to risk ruining my books over, the way certain older men do with a maxim. Damn close though.

image

Speaking of Nate Grey, he and Peter became friends. On their initial meeting, they skipped the obligatory fight, and opted to go for coffee instead. Tea for Nate, naturally. If only MJ hadn’t been in the picture, things might have ended differently. I’ll just leave this picture right here.

image

Not only is our web-slinger super smart, he’s also funny. Peter has a quip for nearly all of the villains in his rogues gallery. From calling Vulture, vulchy, Green Goblin, gobby, to telling Hydro Man the dogs must love him, Peter showed me that there are ways to deal with bad guys besides violence. I dunno if Spider-Man influenced my own wit or not, but I’ll give him partial credit. I was an impressionable teen after all. Though, like Peter, I didn’t come into my own until after high school.

image

Peter isn’t without his share of pain. He lost his uncle at a young age, and was semi responsible. He lost what was very well the love of his life at the hands of a madman. He lost what would be considered a brother to him, in the form of Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly. He and MJ even lost their daughter. Those last three were all to the same nutcase, whose personal mission is to destroy Peter’s life.

image

Despite life and villains knocking him down, Peter always gets back up, ready to face the next challenge head on. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

image

-JJ

Character Crush – Nate Grey

by Joshie Jaxon

image

Did you ever wonder what would happen if Mr. Sinister succeeded in his mission to create a genetically perfect mutant? Well, in the Age of Apocalypse, he did. The product of a cross between Scott Summers and Jean Grey, the X-Man, Nate Grey, was created to be a weapon against Apocalypse himself. It wasn’t until Nate was a child that Sinister even bothered to give him a name.

image

Wanting more for himself, Nate broke out into the world, and found friends that actually cared for him. He allied himself with Forge, who taught him to be a hero, and how to use his powers. Under his care, Nate not only gained control of his incredible psionic powers, he harnessed them to the point of being able to fly. His happiness was short lived, when Sinister killed Forge, and told Nate of the purpose he was created for. Avenging his friend and mentor, Nate surprised Sinister by mortally wounding him, and leaving him to die.

image

I didn’t follow the Age of Apocalypse when it originally ran, so I missed the initial appearance of our dear X-Man. I was involved in the life of Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man. However, during the Onslaught storyline, I got exposed to Nate. I know he’s a comic book character, but Nate is gorgeous. Blue/gray eyes, depending on the publication, short to medium brown hair, with white streaks in the front, and that classic hero physique swimmer’s build. Plus he’s powerful. It was stated that he’s the most powerful psionic in any reality, and I’d believe it.

image

Nate can read minds and it’s a good thing he’s fictional, cause my teenage thoughts were less than platonic. No, I never whacked it to his comics. Couldn’t risk damaging them. I kid, of course. Or do I? You’ll never know. Ok, here’s the T, he was cute, but not I’m about to ruin a perfectly good book for him cute. Besides, I was still in the closet back then, and knew I liked Nate but not fully understanding why.

image

Like Nate, I too grew up without a lot of friends. Where I felt like a stranger in the world around me, Nate actually was. He was brought from his reality to Earth 616, where he eventually crossed paths with Peter Parker. Being a telepath, Nate was able to know Spider-Man out of costume. In fact, he got Peter out of his clothes faster than anyone. Lucky bastard. The two became friends, and had an adventure or two. They’re two of my favorite, and most crush worthy people in the Marvel universe.

image

As the early 2000’s hit, so did adult hood. Comic book money was applied to things like bills, and rent. Slowly, I lost touch with most of my colorful tights wearing friends. I still retained my childlike love of fictional worlds, but it wasn’t until my life stabilized, as well as my finances, that I was able to play catchup on the stories I’d missed. I’m glad that the internet is what it is, and that trade paperbacks are as readily available as they are. While most adults forget the things that used to bring them joy, and resign themselves to the doldrums of life, I plan on retaining the sense wonder that helps make adulthood better. Though he may no longer be the subject of fantasy or daydreams, the X-Man will always be one of my first character crushes.

image

-JJ