Fruits Basket: The Disastrous-Sounding Live-Action Film That Was Never Made

A number of Japanese and American film directors have attempted to bring the most popular anime series to the big screen with live-action movies, and generally the results, according to critics and audiences alike, are mixed at best. The long list of poor anime/manga adaptations almost included Fruits Basket.

Fruits Basket is a classic shojo series about Tohru Honda, an orphaned girl who lives in a tent on the Sohma family’s estate. They take her in, only for her to realize that they are cursed with the Chinese zodiac animals, ruled by the verbally abusive Akito Sohma. Tohru embarks on a quest to heal and comfort the Sohmas, and help them realize that love and courage always trump fear and anger. How would it work in live-action? Screenwriter Joshua Long, who also tried and failed to produce a live-action Cowboy Bebop movie, once attempted to tackle this challenge. In a 2010 interview on the late Zac Bertschy’s ANNCast, he made it clear what the end product would have looked like.

RELATED: Fruits Basket Season 2, Episode 9: Kyo Finds His ‘Precious’

Since Tohru Honda is the heroine of Fruits Basket, Mr. Long wanted to revise her character to be more like a movie star, though the intended changes weren’t accurate to the original character. He was under the wrongly impression that Tohru is a shallow and flimsy character, and thought that she needed to be more relatable to viewers: “It doesn’t necessarily come across right away in the manga because it’s long and there’s lots of silliness in it, so we need to give her a personality that’s really strong,” he said.

Except that she is strong, and the silly scenes in the manga don’t conflict with that. Joshua Long is getting the wrong idea from the comic relief, and he is underestimating Tohru’s appeal in the early chapters. She is likable because of her cheerful and airheaded ways, not in spite of them. Tohru’s heart of gold is palpable from the start. Also, Mr. Long incorrectly thought that Tohru was anachronistic and “a reject” for living in a tent. She is a struggling orphan, not a pariah.

RELATED: Fruits Basket Season 2 Episode 8 COULD NOT Work in the Old Anime

As for the Sohmas, Joshua Long made some seriously transphobic-sounding comments about the series’ gender-nonconforming characters such as Momiji and Ritsu. He started to call them “hermaphrodites” before correcting himself, adding, “There’s cross-dressers […] there’s a lot of things there that don’t make sense.” Why? The world of fashion is extremely diverse, and people dress according to their own tastes, not some narrow idea of how men and women “should” dress.

Mr. Long finished this train of thought on the things that “don’t make sense” about Fruits Basket by saying “[…] we are bringing it into a modern city.” However, the story is already set in modern-day Tokyo. To not consider this setting a “modern city” comes off as ignorant and insensitive at best.

Discussing the Sohmas’ animal transformations, he made some rather odd comments, such as “[…] the little girl transforms into this big ox.” It’s Hatsuharu, a boy, who becomes the ox, while the young girl Kisa Sohma becomes a tiger. Mr. Long also gently criticized the “morphed person-animal-beast” creatures of the manga, preferring perfectly realistic tigers, oxen, rabbits, etc. But the animals in Fruits Basket were indeed realistic in appearance, if a bit cartoony. There were no “person-animal-beasts.” That description doesn’t even make sense.

Fruits Basket fans can feel a sense of relief that this proposed live-action film, which would in all likelihood have been disliked by film critics and anime fans alike, never got made.

KEEP READING: Fruits Basket: Another – The Furuba Sequel No One Read

Screenwriter Joshua Long wanted to create a live-action Fruits Basket movie. Based on his comments, it's fortunate that he didn't.

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Marvel's nWo Came (and Went) WAY Before WCW's – Here's What Happened

In pop culture, the New World Order (or nWo) is most commonly associated with the group of wrestlers that debuted as a group within the WCW in the mid-90s. However, Marvel introduced its own version of the New World Order in 1993 that continued until 1997, a mere year after the WCW’s iteration came into existence. And in the same way that the WCW recruited some of the biggest wrestlers of its day, Marvel’s NWO included heavyweights like the Hulk and Juggernaut.

Led by Hulk “Hollywood” Hogan, one of the most popular professional wrestlers in the world, the nWo gained massive popularity within the world of wrestling. The storyline of the former “good guy” Hogan turning bad and attempting a hostile takeover of the wrestling world brought massive returns in viewership and was instrumental in the rivalry between the WWF and the WCW as the most popular wrestling organization of the era.

Although the wrestling world’s version of the New World Order was the most popular, it was by no means the most sinister version. That designation goes to Marvel’s version of the organization, who was initially led by the Red Skull.

Marvel’s version of the NWO came into existence when the Red Skull purchased an area of land in the Amazon and recruited several villains to assist him in his bid for world conquest in The Incredible Hulk #403, by Peter David and Gary Frank. This attracted the attention of the Pantheon, who counted the Hulk among their membership at the time, and the Green Goliath was sent to investigate.

Related: Todd Phillips’ Hulk Hogan Biopic Needs to Tap Into Dark Side of the Ring

 

Upon arriving in South America, Hulk was ambushed by the Juggernaut and taken captive by the NWO. During this time, the NWO achieved perhaps their greatest victory by using team member Mentallo to brainwash the Hulk and manipulate him into fighting the Avengers. The victory was short-lived, however, as the Hulk broke free of Mentallo’s mind control and simultaneously knocked out both Juggernaut and the majority of the Avengers with the psychic backlash.

Unknown to either Hulk or the Avengers, a government agent was sent to investigate the area before any of the heroes had arrived. The agent was captured by the Red Skull and experimented on in an effort to create a being who could assimilate the powers of all of the NWO members into one body. A creature called Piecemeal was the result of the NWO’s experimentation, and managed to escaped the laboratory of the New World Order during the commotion caused by the arrival and subsequent battle between Hulk, Juggernaut, and the Avengers.

After the NWO’s defeat at the hands of the Hulk, the Red Skull orchestrated a plane to crash into the headquarters of the New World Order in the depths of the Amazon jungle in order to make it appear as though the operation was destroyed. The NWO moved underground, and as the Red Skull addressed the members of the organization, one of his scientists informed him of Piecemeal’s escape. In frustration, Red Skull literally shot the messenger and was not seen again with the organization.

Related: The Hulk Destroyed the Juggernaut with Two Punches and… Telepathy?

The New World Order was not heard from again until years later when the Hulk was taken by Apocalypse and made into the Horseman of War. Juggernaut was sent to investigate, along with the Absorbing Man, Rick Jones, and Rick’s granddaughter from a possible future, Janice. With his already ample powers bolstered by Apocalypse, Hulk was easily able to defeat both Juggernaut and the Absorbing Man, but was snapped back to his senses when he hurt his old friend Rick Jones.

Enraged and disgusted by his actions, the Hulk stripped off his War outfit and leaped away from the scene. Expecting to be handsomely compensated, Juggernaut and the Absorbing Man took the sword the Hulk had wielded as War that was left behind when he fled the scene and presented it to the NWO.

In perhaps their final mistake, the New World Order accepted the sword and brought it into the chambers of their inner council to be examined. While the gathered leaders of the NWO were looking over the sword, Apocalypse appeared to them in a hologram projected by the sword. After thanking them for their unwitting assistance in testing the monitoring capabilities of the weapon, he bid them farewell before remotely detonating the sword, and presumably killing the core leadership of the NWO in the process.

The New World Order has not been seen or heard from since their destruction at the hands of Apocalypse. Although a revival of the organization is not out of the question, it is highly unlikely considering the Red Skull’s distancing from the organization he founded, as well as Mentallo joining the X-Men‘s new society on Krakoa and Juggernaut’s position as former X-Man and possible protector of Krakoa in his upcoming series.

Next: Hulk Vs. Juggernaut: Who Is the Stronger Marvel Powerhouse, Really?

Before Hulk Hogan joined wrestling's New World Order, Marvel brought powerhouses like the Hulk and Juggernaut together in another New World Order.

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Who Is Thunderer, DC's Answer to Thor? | CBR

Thor has always been one of the most popular Marvel characters, only growing in prominence in recent years thanks to his large role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While he’s often been compared to figures like Superman in the DC Universe, there’s actually a character in the DC multiverse who’s a direct pastiche of Thor — and actually has a very important job in one of DC’s most impactful, recent stories.

Here’s what you need to know about the Thunderer, previously known as Wandjina and still DC’s version of Marvel’s Thor, and what role he could play in the future of the DC Universe.

RELATED: Justice League: DC’s Most Powerful Character Lost What Makes Him a Hero

The original Wandjina hailed from the alternate reality of Angor. Angor was distinct in that its heroes and villains were largely copycats of characters from Marvel Comics. This included Wandjina, who shared a name with an Australian Aborigine weather spirit. The ax-wielding warrior was a clear stand-in for Marvel’s Thor and was counted among the Assemblers, the world’s premiere superhero team. In the Post-Crisis version of the DC Universe, Wandjina was among the only survivors of a battle against the Extremists. Heading to Earth in an attempt to keep them from harnassing the same nuclear energy that doomed their world, Wandjina ultimately sacrificed himself to save the Earth.

Two new versions of the character were introduced in the Post-Flashpoint DC Universe in The Multiversity. This included Earth-8 of the new DC multiverse, which was shockingly similar to Angor from the Pre-Crisis continuity. The Wandjina of this world was likewise similar to the previous version, and a clear reference to the mighty Marvel version of Thor. But his counterpart on Earth-7 proved to be a wholly unique character, especially for the new role he’s taken in the DC multiverse.

The new Earth-7 is introduced in The Multiversity #1 and appears to be a combination of the New 52 DC Universe and a pastiche of the Ultimate Marvel Universe. Instead of just sharing a name with Wandjina, the Thunderer of the new universe is actually the weather god of the Mowanjum people, returned to the modern era as a protector of the planet. Like Marvel’s Thor, he wields lightning through a mystical weapon — in his case, the silver Thunder-Lance, shown crackling with electricity when in his hands. He references an invisible rainbow of worlds where beings can travel, presumably similar to the Bifrost Bridge from Asgard. He’s able to call upon the elements similar to Thor, and also possesses superhuman strength and durability.

He was also a member of his world’s premiere hero team, as the Crusader and Machinehead of Earth-8’s Retaliators are very similar to fallen versions of his friends from Earth-7. Earth-7 ended up being targeted by the Gentry, who proceeded to break the entire world with their insurmountable power. Many of the apparent DC characters were absorbed into a strange and terrifying energy source held in the sky (similar to what happened to the Justice League when they were trapped in the Firestorm Matrix by Deathstorm in Forever Evil), leaving the more Marvel-esque characters to face the Gentry alone — a battle they lost decisively, ending with the horrible demises of almost all of them.

By the time Nix Uotan — the multiversal Superjudge — arrives on the ruins of the world, only the Thunderer is left alive. All but broken, Thunderer begged Nix Uotan to flee the world and warn the rest of creation about the coming of the Gentry and the end of all things they bring with them. But Nix ends up making a deal with the Gentry, offering himself in exchange for the freedom of the Thunderer. Despite his protests, Thunderer was sent to the House of Heroes aboard the Ultima Thule in Nix’s stead, and given the chance to rally an army of superheroes to try and fight back against the Gentry and save Nix Uotan. Healing quickly from his wounds and developing a divine anger at the beings who cost him his world, the Thunderer was among the heroes who breached Earth-8.

RELATED: Batman: How The Dark Knight’s Plans CRUSHED The Justice League

There, they found a twisted and corrupted version of Nix Uotan, who set in motion his plans to break time and space across the multiverse. Using the decaying bodies of Earth-7’s other fallen defenders, Thunderer was forced to fight his former friends to save the multiverse. Invigorated by his allies and his drive to rescue the Super-Judge who’d saved him, Thunderer proves invaluable in the fight. His control of the elements allows him to cause a massive downpour in the middle of the battle — empowering Aqua-Woman and allowing her to strike a major blow against the corrupted Nix. He even stood up to the Gentry when they confronted him again.

Although the Gentry wasn’t stopped once and for all (as they were revealed to have merely been the first salvo against the multiverse for their master, the Empty Hand), Thunderer and his efforts were able to salvage creation from an attempted invasion. While he remains the one survivor of Earth-7, he also has proven to be an important multiversal figure and member of Justice Incarnate — meaning the character can be called upon by the likes of Superman in certain circumstances. It’s only a matter of time before DC’s Thor finds himself back in the spotlight.

KEEP READING: Justice League Brings Back A DCAU Staple… And DESTROYS It

Learn more about the Thunderer, the DC version of Marvel's Mighty Thor, and what his major role in the DC multiverse is.

No-Mans-Sky

No Man's Sky: Tips, Tricks & Strategies for New Players | CBR

Following the harsh criticism it received at launch, No Man’s Sky has grown into a wondrous, immersive open-world survival game. Themed around space exploration, No Man’s Sky takes players to places humanity can only imagine exist in outer space with incredible alien creatures, interesting looking plants and their very own spaceship to travel between planets. It’s a great game for those seeking an endless adventure with amazing graphics.

Because of how intricate and complicated the game is, player’s survival during space exploration is not guaranteed. From gathering resources to crafting, as well as discovering never before seen objects, No Man’s Sky is a massive and complex game. With the game coming to Game Pass this month, many new players may be jumping on to take part in this new experience. Here are some things players should know to keep their space adventure going.

Related: The Outer Worlds On Switch Is the Portable Fallout You’ve Been Waiting For

When you start out, the odds will be working against you, and you will lack resources and hazard protection on your starting planet. Keep in mind that the direction you’re facing in the beginning is the direction of your ship’s crash site, and you won’t have to worry about hostile creatures on your first planet.

The first thing you should do is find either a cave, sodium for hazard protection, oxygen for life support or any other materials can be use for crafting later on. While this may seem like a lot to do on the first day, caves are actually great places to find everything you’ll need, including tons of oxygen and sodium. Hazardous plants within caves are great resources to mine these, but beware their poisonous clouds. Also gather di-hydrogen crystals, as you’ll need them for your ship’s fuel.

Related: Fallout 4: Tips & Tricks for Lasting In Survival Mode

Mining is a major mechanic in No Man’s Sky, and there’s a trick to using the Multi-tool’s mining beam that you should know from the start. The mining beam needs a bit of time to warm up because, while the beam is green, it deals less damage, which in turn collects resources at a slower rate. If heated up to yellow or red, the beam does a lot more damage and gathers resources much quicker.

To heat it up, simply keep firing it. Many players will feather the mining beam’s button by letting go for brief seconds so that the ray is constantly in the yellow or red stage. This speeds-up resource gathering and increases your chance at survival. Mining with a red or yellow beam gathers resources two-and-a-half times faster than with a green one. This is especially useful when mining for Ferrite Dust, which is used to fix the multi-tool’s Analyzer.

Related: Phantasy Star Online 2: Tips, Tricks & Strategies for New Players

Another important mechanic, analyzing objects with the Multi-tool allows players to gather a secondary resource or element from one analyzed target. To do this, use Ferrite Dust gathered from rocks to fix the Analyzer, then attach the Analysis Visor. To repair the Analysis Visor, you’ll need Carbon Nanotubes, which can be built from 50 Carbon. These won’t been too hard to get, as Carbon is a very common resource found from trees.

Once something is scanned, it will be saved in an index, permanently showing the name of the object, the first resource that can be gathered from it and the secondary resource which can be dropped. This makes mining and resource gathering that much more efficient, as the secondary drops can prove very useful. It also gives you lots of information that will help you plan your survival and, eventually, your adventure. Analyzing everything on a planet is a really good way to get to know points of interest or nearby threats.

Related: L.A. Noire: Last Gen’s Most Ambitious Game Also Had Its Toughest Development

In the early stages of the game, Cobalt is one of the most important resources players should gather, as it is the first source of money players can earn. Cobalt can be found in or around the openings of caves, and will initially be seen as an “Unidentified Mineral” in the form of rocks or stalactites and stalagmites. Gathering and selling Colbat will net a decent profit relative to the work put into farming it.

You can use the Units you earn to buy items from aliens, terminals and other markets to ensure your survival in outer space. This includes new starships, resources, products, tool upgrades, exo-suit upgrades and much more. You can also use Colbalt to generate lots of money by crashing the market in terminals by selling large amounts at once, then buying back what you sold at a lower price. Repeat this multiple times to fill your pockets with Units.

Related: In-Game Collectibles: The Evolution of a Tedious Task

After leaving your starting planet, you may come across distress beacon quests that lead you to other crashed ships. These quests can be found at some transmission towers, which will have NPCs and some kind of mathematical or scientific riddle inside that grants quests and rewards.

Once the distress signal is located for the crashed ship, you can travel to the area and repair or investigate it. Repairing the ship is worthwhile if the ship is of a higher class than the starting ship, which in most cases it is. When investigating the distress beacon, always choose the “Inspect Recently Installed Technology” option. It is a great way to discover new ship technology, which will be very useful in the long run.

Keep Reading: The Outer Worlds: Tips, Tricks & Strategies For New Players

The massive and universe-spanning No Man's Sky comes to Game Pass this month, inviting even more players to join in on this complicated adventure.

Lana-WWE

One of WWE’s Best Heels Is Floundering – Here’s How It Should Fix That

Although Bobby Lashley is challenging Drew McIntrye for the WWE Championship and Seth Rollins is feuding with Rey Mysterio, Monday Night Raw is still underutilizing one of WWE’s most hated heels, Lana. Yes, The Ravishing Russian is still playing a role in Lashley and MVP’s storyline, but there are other effective ways in which she can contribute to Raw.

After struggling to get television time last year, Lana’s future in WWE looked bleak. However, WWE has brought her back into the mix and can revitalize her career with this current storyline, and potentially others ahead. Considering how much heat Lana can draw, creating a wedge between Lashley and MVP, teasing a split with Bobby, or even pairing her with another Superstar can get Lana more involved with Raw‘s storylines and capitalize on her uncanny ability to generate heel heat.

Related: WWE Finally Calls Up Its Biggest NXT Star to SmackDown

Considering his subpar mic skills, Bobby Lashley has always needed a mouthpiece. WWE had given him that mouthpiece with Lana, but her managerial role has seemingly passed over to MVP, leaving Lana directionless at the moment. While Lashley can create decent heel heat on his own and MVP may be an effective manager, neither of them can generate the potent heel heat of Lana.

Lana needs to be a player in this Lashley and MVP pairing because she’s too good of a heel to remain on the sidelines. Fortunately, WWE has many options for her. For one, Lana’s feud with MVP could end up just being a swerve before Lana fully joins Bobby and MVP. If WWE goes that route, MVP keeps his client, Lana keeps her Bobby, and Lashley continues to piggy-back off of Lana’s heel heat.

However, WWE could go a different route as well. Lana could create a split between Lashley and MVP that sees The Almighty paired with his beautiful wife while MVP looks for another client. Unfortunately, this scenario likely wouldn’t move Lashley or Lana forward. A better direction would be for Lashley and Lana to permanently end their professional and personal relationship all together.

With the direction of this current storyline not looking good for Lana, who has cost Lashley more matches than she’s helped him win lately, their break-up seems almost inevitable. WWE could create divorce court angles similar to Lana’s marriage ceremony to Lashley. The Lashley and Lana marriage segments weren’t exactly WWE’s finest moments, with most fans absolutely hating them.

But, they still did huge numbers on Youtube, which was reportedly one reason why WWE ran that angle for so long — plus, it’s Lana’s job to make segments people hate. WWE wouldn’t mind at all if fans despised a long series of divorce court segments — as long as they kept tuning in to watch them. A bigger problem is that a break up might turn Bobby babyface, and he’s needed as a heel. However, if the break-up does happen, Lana vying for another man could create some interesting television.

Related: AEW Gives Taz The Role WWE Slept on After His In-Ring Retirement

With a Lashley and Lana break-up, the WWE Universe should fully expect Lana to seek vengeance, just as she had done against Rusev. Lana could pair herself with any number of heels to make her second husband jealous. She could swoon over a rose from Angel Garza or elevate the soon to be called up Dominik Dijakovic. Or, perhaps the Ravishing Russian could seduce a babyface instead. With Superstars like Apollo Crews sometimes teasing a heel turn, Lana could be the manager that finally turns them completely villainous.

While these scenarios are all possible directions that the Lana, MVP and Lashley storyline could go, some kind of immediate action needs to be taken to get The Ravishing Russian more involved with the current storyline. Booking a match with Lana as the special guest referee or a match in which Lana’s managerial status goes on the line against MVP’s could be a way to add more Lana — and more interest — in the angle.

With Rusev’s release and her previous lack of television time, Lana’s WWE career once looked to be hanging on by a thread. However, WWE releasing Lana would be wasting a major heat magnet that could elevate younger talent or create storylines that draw fans hoping to see her get her comeuppance.

Whether she’s a manager at ringside or lacing up her wrestling boots, The Ravishing Russian can wedge herself in the MVP/Lashley storyline, splinter off into her own storyline or even reignite the Liv Morgan storyline that never was. Whatever WWE has in store for her, the WWE Universe knows that Lana will effectively draw nuclear heel heat, incite strong crowd reactions and once again crush whatever role she’s given.

Keep Reading: WWE Smackdown Just Featured a Controversial Angle That Got WAY Too Real

Lana is struggling to find air-time on Mondays. But considering The Ravishing Russian is one of WWE's best heels, Raw should change this immediately.

Chilling-Adventures-of-Sabrina-Nick

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Could Still Kill Harvey Kinkle

After the events of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3, Sabrina Spellman has it all. Thanks to a handy time loop, she is able to be both the Queen of Hell and the average teenage witch all at once. However, such a solution is destined for failure; when it inevitably falls apart, someone will pay the price. If the TV series continues to adapt portions of the 2014 Archie Comics series of the same name, that someone may be Harvey Kinkle.

Serving as an extended second half of Season 2, Part 3 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ended with the eponymous character wearing the crown of Hell, but unaware of a new evil on the horizon. Greendale and its residents are about to see another Hell on Earth and this time, they might not all make it out alive.

Sabrina’s desire to keep her mortal friends safe is often her chief motivation for everything, especially when it comes to Harvey. When the series first began, Harvey was Sabrina’s charming love interest. A large chunk of Part 1 revolved around her struggle to keep Harvey safe and in the dark about her being a witch. Darkness, however, conspired to keep them apart and they broke up at the end of “Chapter Nine: The Returned Man.”

Related: Sabrina’s Nick Scratch Hopes to Be More Than Just Eye Candy

One of the driving plots of Chilling Adventures is the battle between light and darkness taking place within Sabrina on a day to day basis. For the time being, she has maintained her humanity, but it would only take a final push to force her down the path of darkness completely. What would push her harder than the death of Harvey Kinkle?

In Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #4, “Harvey Horrors”, Harvey is killed during Sabrina’s dark baptism. He follows her into the woods after Madam Satan manipulates him into thinking Sabrina is cheating on him. The witches chase down and eat him, telling Sabrina, “He was delicious.”

Upon seeing Harvey’s corpse, Sabrina has a vision of the future she could have had. The scene is set when Sabrina is second-guessing her decision to be baptized as a witch. She went in the woods with doubts, but by the time she realizes which life she truly wants, it’s too late. Her vision shows her and Harvey getting married, having children and growing old together. It’s a future where Sabrina has renounced her magical heritage, but it will never come to pass. Harvey’s death is a consequence of choosing the wrong path.

Related: Chilling Adventures’ Lachlan Watson & Jaz Sinclair On Sex, Support & Part 4

The horror continues in Issue #5, “The Trial.” Overcome with grief, Sabrina attempts to resurrect Harvey but only manages to bring back his empty body. Another wandering soul, though, takes advantage of the opportunity. The spirit of Edward Spellman, Sabrina’s non-biological father, takes possession of Harvey’s body and poses as him for the next three issues.

It’s dark and horrific and heartbreaking and, thankfully, cut out of the Netflix adaptation. Harvey lives on for the present story and is set to remain one of the lead characters in Part 4. He called it quits in his relationship with Sabrina after he found out she was a witch, largely because she turned his brother into a zombie. They’ve since remained separated and started new relationships, though lingering feelings remain.

Sabrina attempted to sever these feelings by performing a cord-cutting spell meant to break all romantic ties between them in Chilling Adventures Part 3, but it’s possible the spell didn’t work. A similar plot occurred in the final season of the TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch starring Melissa Joan Hart. Sabrina got engaged to another man named Aaron, but at the last minute, she and Harvey reunited once they found out they were soulmates. Sabrina also dates other people in the original comics, including Archie Andrews from Riverdale, but Harvey is never completely out of the picture.

Lucifer is determined to shape his daughter into becoming a proper ruler, as ruthless as any Queen of Hell should be. It’s Sabrina’s human side that keeps his dream from becoming a reality. Every time he plants the seeds for evil, she manages to mutate them into a flower with a silver lining. If Harvey is killed at some point before the series’ end, it could be a way to finally break Sabrina Spellman and turn her into Sabrina Morningstar.

Keep Reading: Archie President Offers Horrifying Update on Chilling Adventures Comic

Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina could still adapt this major character death from the 2014 Archie Comics series of the same name.

Dorohedoro-Caiman-episode-3-zombies

Dorohedoro's ‘Purge’ Episode Turns Zombie-Slaying Into a National Holiday

When it comes to remembering dead loved ones, the Mexican celebration called “Day of the Dead” comes to mind. In Dorohedoro, the realm inhabited by non-magic users, the Hole, a similar holiday is celebrated. Once a year, the poisoned ground of the Hole causes the dead to rise from their graves, and the Hole’s residents band together to put down the reanimated menace. Much like The Purge franchise, legal killing (or, re-killing) spreads through the city via this annual event, and the gore-splattered comedy is like no other you’ll see in manga/anime.

RELATED: In Dorohedoro, Magic Is A Toxic, Environmental Hazard

Day of the Living Dead was created in response to a yearly occurrence in the Hole wherein the dead rise from their graves. Since the residents of the Hole have it pretty rough, what with being used as test subjects by interdimensional sorcerers, they adapted the problem into a holiday to encourage others to group up and fend off the undead. By turning a horrific event into an occasion to engage in the cheerful slaughter of zombies, the Hole’s Neighborhood Watch combats the trauma of fighting newly-resurrected citizens.

They even have an official slogan for this night: “Give no quarter! Exterminate them!” Upon the commencing of the holiday, which begins at nightfall, shops barricade their doors and, in the place of groceries, weapons are handed out to registered “exterminators.”

While the residents have already accepted and adapted to the fact that the dead come back to life, that doesn’t stop the Hole’s Neighborhood Watch from rewarding participants with cool prizes. It’s every horror enthusiast’s dream: being rewarded for killing zombies within a huge cemetery.

The currency earned during the event comes in the form of plates on the zombies, which are used to identify the corpses. In order to further motivate the Hole’s residents to participate in the yearly event, the plates on the zombies are also turned into a form of currency that can be traded in to get a prize. The concept itself is grossly intriguing: by using metal body tags as prize tokens to be cashed in, more residents of the hole are motivated to go out and “purge” the undead. The more zombies that are killed, the larger the ID plate count is and the grander the prize earned.

RELATED: Dorohedoro: How the Anime Compares to the Manga

The main cause behind the dead coming back to life is the pollution formed from the use of smoke, which is Dorhedoro‘s form of magic. Smoke is cast by sorcerers, and they usually depart from their homeworld, the Sorcerer’s World, to practice their magic on the Hole’s citizens. As a result, many of Hole’s inhabitants are horribly disfigured and stuck with animal-like appearances.

The use of smoke has polluted the Hole’s air, filling its sky with dark clouds. The toxic miasma has seeped into the Hole’s environment and those who’ve been killed by the sorcerers rise from their graves, due to their bodies still containing smoke.

As there does throughout the series as a whole, there exists a sense of dark humor in Dorohedoro‘s holiday. Unlike its real-life inspiration, Mexico’s Day of the Dead, the thing that is celebrated in the manga/anime isn’t the interconnected nature of life and death but, instead, putting an end to an unnatural one of death and hazardous rebirth. While abusing a corpse would seem like the ultimate act of dishonoring the deceased person’s memory, there doesn’t appear to be anyone in the Hole protesting the slaughtering of the undead.

Combating the horror of killing a dead loved one by turning it into a contest is a morbid but brilliant idea. Dorohedoro is already bizarre series wherein smoke is a toxic form of magic that pollutes the environment and the protagonist has the head of a crocodile, who is immune to said smoke. Adding a zombie holiday to the mix makes this series all the more unique.

KEEP READING: Anime Arsenal: The Secrets Of Berserk’s Giant Dragon Slayer Sword, Revealed

Dorohedoro fuses The Purge franchise's premise with a classic horror trope — turning Night of the Living Dead into an annual celebration.

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Why Knives Out and Ready or Not Make the Perfect Double Feature

Knives Out works great as half of a double feature with the horror satire Ready or Not, as both films center on an engaging women who finds themselves tied up in the vicious circles of rich, privileged families. They also function as biting social commentaries on modern class structures.

One of the connections between the two films is the role both Knives Out‘s Harlan Thrombey and Ready or Not‘s Daniel function in their respected narratives. Both characters try to break the toxic cycles of their rich families; however, they end up dead in the process. Thrombey, a wealthy writer and Marta’s employer, kills himself to protect Marta, instead of listening to her. However, during the film’s climax, Benoit Blanc explains that if Thrombey had listened to Marta, he would have survived.

RELATED: From Body Horror to Camp Killers: Horror in the 1980s

Meanwhile, Ready or Not‘s Daniel, who’s Grace’s brother-in-law, turns against his family and functions as an ally for Grace. He regrets the role he played in his uncle’s death years ago, despite benefiting from it like the rest of his family, so he’s attempting to right that wrong with Grace; however, his choice to do the right thing and turn against the family leads to his death. That being said, his family also face the music, but it’s at the hands of the Devil.

These characters make a good pair for a double feature because, at their bare bones, they appear to be the same. While they’re deaths differ, as do the genres of their respected films, a broader exploration of the themes they represent becomes clear when watching the movies back to back.

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Breaking a toxic cycle comes with unforeseen difficulties, and doing the right thing is hard, especially when it’s against a system that once worked in these characters’ favors. Along with that, seeing how one character – Daniel – is brought down by his support network, and the other – Harlan – is brought down by his own certainty, these characters highlight the pitfalls of being restricted by elitist upbringings, so seeing the movies together broadens the classism discussions both films prompt.

Another great character study that comes from this double feature is the comparison between Alex of Ready or Not and Meg of Knives Out. These characters exemplify how rich, white, privileged people can have morals until it is inconvenient for them. For instance, Meg at the beginning seems to be Marta’s greatest ally in the Thrombey house other than Harlan, and she is criticized by her family for her “liberal snowflake” ideology and studies.

Meg is the biggest advocate for Marta being brought into the family until her comfortable lifestyle is vaguely threatened. She rats out Marta’s undocumented mother without hesitation and tries to manipulate their “friendship” to gain back her family’s inheritance, betraying everything she says she believes in as soon as her status is threatened.

RELATED: Knives Out Sequel Will Follow the Christie Model: ‘It’s Just Another Case’

Similarly, Alex, Grace’s husband, is reluctant for Grace to meet his family and regrets the deadly game he allows them to play with her. He initially tries to help Grace escape; however, he flips his allegiance back to his family and betrays Grace after she shows signs of distrust in light of the events. He realizes she will not want to remain married to a man who did not warn her about his family’s relationship with the Devil. He decides to help kill her instead because losing his wife is unavoidable, so he might as well get rid of her in a way that benefits him.

Once again, these films feature similar characters despite genre differences. Meg is more realistic example of how people of privilege are likely to chose what is best for them over what is right. Alex, being in a horror satire, is more surreal but functions similarly. The satire also allows audiences a chance to laugh at Alex being blown up. Meg on the other hand has a less spectacle worthy downfall, but, for both characters, they get their due justice for choosing greed over morality.

As for the protagonists, Marta from Knives Out and Grace from Ready or Not are dragged into crazy family drama and forced to fight their way out. Though neither of them are masterminds, they win because they work hard and are good people.

RELATED: Scream 5 in the Works from Ready or Not Directors

Marta wins because she plays the game her way and follows her good heart, despite the surviving Thrombeys not deserving her good graces. Meanwhile, Grace simply wants a family, without any ulterior motives. When Alex tries to hold this against her, she calls him out on his accusation since he’s the one who hid critical information from her. In light of this, Grace fights against those trying to kill her, but she also tries to appeal to their humanity whenever possible, proving she’s a good person.

Both Marta and Grace are worthy of their victories because they are morally good. Neither of them wanted to be in their situation, yet they come out on top because they are morally superior to their adversaries.

Knives Out and Ready or Not make a perfect double feature because they share similarities in characters, structure and themes, but they are different genres, which makes for a complimentary viewing. Their differences develop and deepen the themes present in both films, as well as bringing freshness to the experience and avoiding a repetitive viewing.

KEEP READING: Shutter Island Still Holds Up, 10 Years Later

With similar themes but different genres, Knives Out and Ready or Not are perfect for a double feature.

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Were the Blackhawks Torn Apart By a Wedding Between Teammates?

This is Wedding Bells Are Ringin’, a month-long examination of notable comic book weddings, since this is June, after all, and that’s a time for weddings. I let you all vote and you voted for this feature to spotlight real AND fake weddings. I’ve decided, then, to only go with weddings that actually ended with marriages, whether dreams or not (in other words, everything but called off weddings).

Today, based on another suggestion by reader James T. (who suggested this whole feature), we look at how Blackhawk and Lady Blackhawk’s wedding did not work out well for the rest of the team.

The Blackhawks, in case you are unfamiliar with them, are a team of hero pilots (most of them are from different countries. Sadly, this also includes their Chinese cook/assistant, Chop Chop, who has mostly been drawn as a horrible caricature over the years. He was still bad at this point, but he used to be a LOT worse). They fought in World War II and once the war was over, they just fought the good fight as a civilian paramilitary team. Their leader was also called Blackhawk. Eventually, a Lady Blackhawk was introduced.

In 1960’s Blackhawk #155, in a story by Jack Miller, Dick Dillin and Charles Cuidera, Blackhawk and Lady Blackhawk work together to save a couple and Blackhawk notes that he and Lady Blackhawk worked well together and he suggests that they go on a date…

Naturally, the other members of the team also had their eye on their extremely attractive and capable teammate, and there is some tension from their team leader deciding to date her, and it gets more awkward when the next time they get a mission on Blackhawk Island (the island where they all live), he decides to take just Lady Blackhawk.

When it goes well, Blackhawk proposes…

They get married, and they seem prepared to break up the team…

However, Blackhawk is distracted by his new bride and their ship crashes. They parachute out, but land in quicksand!

Thinking that they are about to die, Blackhawk admits that it was unfair of him to use his position to woo her. The other teammates show up and save them, but officially break up the team…

And then we learn that the whole thing is a nightmare that Zinda (Lady Blackhawk) was having about how she felt a relationship between her and Blackhawk would go, so she insists that the rest of the team go out on their date, squelching their romance (or developing it into something much freakier, I suppose)…

Thanks for the suggestion, James!

If people have a notable wedding that they’d like to see featured, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com.

In a month-long spotlight on notable comic book weddings, CSBG looks at how Blackhawk and Lady Blackhawk's wedding caused some turmoil.

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The Awesome Intergalactic Adventures of Kim & Kim | CBR

This is Universal Love, a month-long spotlight on LGBTQ comic book stories that I have enjoyed over the years. This isn’t meant as a “Best Of” list, since there are so many great works out there and so I’ll spread the love around a bit, as it were.

Today, we look at the original Kim & Kim miniseries by Magdalene Visaggio, Eva Cabrera and Claudia Aguirre. The series starred the interstellar bounty hunters, Kim Dantzler and Kim Quatro. Dantzler comes from a family of necromancers, while Quatro’s father runs the universe’s most powerful bounty hunting organization. Quatro just fell out with her dad when he couldn’t handle her transition and now he is as big of a thorn in their side as any of the bounties that they have to collect.

This initial story arc involves the two Kims trying to help a being from another dimension return to his home, even as they have to travel through different dimensions to get there (including the land of the dead). The action is rapid fire and the humor game is on fire, like in this sequence where they are besieged by a robotic gorilla…

It’s amazing how well Cabrera and Aguirre are able to handle the outlandish stuff that Visaggio comes up for them to draw, as you literally can not predict what will happen from page to page as there are often jump cuts that take you spiraling from one crazed situation to another one and that’s not even counting some of the flashback sequences in the book!

Still, the biggest thing that the book has going for it is its HEART, as the emotional impact of the situation comes crashing down on both Kims and the shapeshifter that they’re helping out…

It’s a powerful, fun, punk, queer, sci-fi misadventure and it is a wonderfully entertaining ride, with twists and turns that I doubt anyone will fully be able to predict.

If you have a suggestion for an LGBTQ work that you’d like to see me spotlight, feel free to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com.

In their latest of a month-long spotlight on awesome LGBTQ stories, CSBG examines Magdalene Visaggio, Eva Cabrera and Claudia Aguirre's Kim & Kim.