Before Action League: Thunder Girl

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She flies like Thunder and so does the pencil of the artist of Nate Getz who submitted this piece to Blogelodeon.

She flies like Thunder and so does the pencil of the artist Nate Getz who submitted this piece to Blogelodeon.

Going in order from the Action League intro, next up on the Before Action League crappy prequel list is Thunder Girl, brought to life in this illustration by artist Nate Getz. To find out more about Nate click on his name, or check out his most recent Indiegogo comic project that he worked on with writer Michael Hopkins.

Now, according to Thunder Girl’s intro/bio on the show, she flies like thunder, and… that’s really all we know about her, so her history leaves a lot to the imagination. Before I digress into what I think would make for a cool Thunder Girl back story, let me preface things by stating for the record that I really like Action League Now!, but I’m not a huge fan. Fan in its original definition as in short for fanatic. Yes, this Before Action League series is fanatical, but I don’t know every detail of every episode, and the history of these characters is not very rich considering the show was mainly a series of 4-to-5 minute episodes about action figures being broken to bits. I do think that Action League was way a head of its time and that its waiting for a real super nerd (someone better versed in the higher-minded, hipster sensibilities of the cyber-pop culture digital worlds) to re-vamp Action League into a cult hit graphic novel or a more PG-13 updated remake on [adult swim]. With all that in mind, I present to you my broad ideas for what I think would make for a fantastically ridiculous Thunder Girl Before Action League comic book series.

Again, if she had her own gritty backstory hashed out in a 3 to 6 issue comic book mini-series, I’d like to think that before she gained her powers of flight she was an exotic dancer/underground roller derby girl who grew up on the streets. Thunder Girl (or Delilah) was an orphan who never knew her parents, but dreamed of becoming a great dancer/Rockette. At the age of 14 she finally escaped an abusive foster home and ran off to the Big Apple to fulfill her dreams, but like so many runaways she had to learn to fend for herself on the streets. Luckily, she was a quick learner and developed early with a strong, lean athletic build making her physically resilient and giving her the appearance that she was closer to 20 years of age which got her in and out of trouble. After one too many close calls with police for various small crimes and conning street hustlers out of their drug money, Delilah used her natural good looks and mature appearance to get a job working as a bartender at a strip club until she was eventually coaxed by the lure of easy money to become an exotic dancer. On stage she was intense and agile which sparked the attention of the sleazy manager of the club, a fat, Persian slumlord referred to only as Mr. Sam who uses the various dive strip clubs he owns as fronts for recruiting desperate women into a no-holds barred, underground roller derby league. Mr. Sam’s promise of big money meant a quicker way to a better life, so Delilah joined his roller derby team, The Thunder Girls, which was made up of a few wiry, street-smart strippers and former lady pro-wrestlers/prostitutes.

This roller league had a different set of rules, though. The first team to complete ten laps or the team with the most players still moving on the track won $10,000, but due to the savage, almost gladiatorial nature of the underground league (that allowed deadly weapons like maces, knives, chains and axes to be used in play) odds of survival or being physically able to skate again were very low.

In over their heads and fighting for their lives, Delilah and her other Thunder Girls had to unify quickly or be killed. They banded together under the direction of a seasoned pro named Vicious Vicky who managed to get most of the team through to the last round until it was down to Vicious Vick, Delilah and another younger, rookie girl named Rosita fighting to stay on their skates while dodging axe blows from the opposing china town brothel girls who called themselves the Chop Sueysies. Towards the end of the final round, the Chop Sueysies decided to gang up on Rosita and were about to pounce on her with axes ready to mince the poor girl into nothing more than a couple of chunks to throw in their fried lo mein until, in a fit of vengeful rage, Delilah went on a rampage and singlehandedly took out all five members of the opposing team–saving the girls life and remaining on her skates the longest to secure the victory and the prize money for the Thunder Girls.

However, Vicious Vicky harbored resentment towards Delilah–jealous of her youth and threatened by her strength. She secretly plotted to kill her after she finished using her talents to get as much prize money as possible. Under the guise of mentorship, Vicious Vicky took Delilah under her wing teaching her the finer points of the game as well as instructing her in the subtle arts of dealing damage, death and dismemberment to other teams they faced in the underground roller derby league, and together they carried the Thunder Girls on their backs as they flew to the top of the league on a geyser of blood and broken bones–going undefeated in their inaugural year. At the height of the team’s success, Delilah had won the Thunder Girls so much prize money and became so addicted to the adrenaline rush that she quit exotic dancing and gave up her dream of becoming a Rockette to be a full-time roller girl. She became known as “The Thunder Girl” for the amount of bones she’d cracked and bodies she’d slammed to the floor. The more attention Delilah got, the more Vicious Vicky stewed until she finally plotted to kill her during their championship showdown for the grand prize of $200,000.

The championship pitted the top five surviving teams against each other in a death race/marathon through an abandoned hydroelectric power plant filled with deadly traps, including sudden drop offs into a freezing river, radioactive waste, trapdoors dropping girls into shark pits, active land mines, electrified razor trip wire and  two half-starved lions to chase down roller girls as they fought their way to the grand prize at the center of the plant.

During the course of the marathon, three of the opposing teams basically ended up in a grappling dog pile with the Thunder Girls. The fight turned into a cloud of vicious blows while everyone involved unknowingly rolled around in radioactive waste as they wrestled with one another before tripping a land mine that ripped nearly everyone apart and knocked some of the outlying players on their asses. In the haze of the blast, Vicious Vicky was the first to gain her composure and decided to take advantage of Thunder Girl’s disorientation by attempting to strangle her to death. Thunder Girl managed to break free by landing a crushing blow to Vicious Vicky’s skull with a chunk of metal pipe only to discover that one of the roving lions was prowling towards the two of them. Thunder Girl stumbled to her feet while gasping for air and slowly tried to back away from the lion only to have Vicious Vicky drop kick her into an adjacent, active, electric generator (used to electrify the razor wire set up around the course). The lion pounced after Thunder Girl’s flailing body just as the generator began to explode, sending nearly 50,000 volts through Thunder Girl and the lion. Vicious Vicky went on to win the marathon being one of only 12 survivors of the death match derby. Thunder Girl was thought to be among the dead by her few remaining team mates and her body was left in the plant. Unbeknownst to them, Thunder Girl was alive and unconscious as her body underwent a metaphysical transformation.

A mysterious element in the radioactive waste she was coated in during the brawl absorbed most of the electric shock transferring and purifying the energy of the electricity directly into the bio-electric make-up of Thunder Girl’s nervous system and muscular system while at the same time fusing some of the lion’s genes into her DNA. Thunder Girl (who was naturally a red head with short spiky hair), gains a thick, lustrous mane of bright blonde locks as well as the lion’s speed and agility and the ability to fly from the fusion of electricity which causes her body to produce bio-electromagnetic pulses that can repel her from Earth’s gravitational pull–allowing her to levitate and control her motion in the air with her added strength, agility and her very thoughts.

Bewildered by the fact that she’s alive and discovering she can fly, her outlook on life instantly changes. The gift of flight brings her an unbridled joy and mental clarity that she’s never felt, however when she sees the carnage left behind by the roller death derby, the body parts and corpses strewn about the abandoned plant she vows to bring the sadistic criminals responsible to justice.

The last book in her series would have her teaming up with a young Chief who’s just made police detective and helps her take down the roller derby death league that’s now controlled by Vicious Vicky who’s murdered nearly everyone formally in control of the derby girls and is now teetering on the brink of insanity caused by an insatiable bloodlust. In the end, Thunder Girl would give up the prize money she earned during her roller girl career to her remaining roller derby teammates so they could start a new life, and she would try to make peace with Vicious Vicky who’s too far gone to accept forgiveness and has her legs broken by Thunder Girl during a final roller derby death match show down.

If you got through reading all this nonsense, you probably have a thundering migraine or you’re just making some thunder of your own by pounding your head repeatedly off of your computer, but on the off chance you liked this weird summarization of Action League fan fiction check out the previous Before Watchmen featuring The Flesh and check back again soon for the third installment: Before Watchmen featuring Stinky Diver illustrated by the very talented Adam Black

Before Action League: The Flesh

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Before Robot Chicken there was KaBlam!’s Action League Now, a stop motion show about an action figure league of super heroes who almost always ended up crushed, flushed or broken to bits throughout a random household and neighborhood.

Action League Now was made up of five heroes: The Flesh, Thundergirl, Stinky Diver, Meltman and a black police chief who had a pet dog named Justice. Their command center was under a bed in a child’s room, and they went out on missions throughout the house usually to stop their number one nemesis known only as The Mayor.

Since the intro of Action League Now always started with The Flesh, it’s only fitting that he kick off the new Before Action League fan art series which will be featuring covers of all the main Action Leaguers giving glimpses in what we can only guess is their origin stories.

This first piece featuring The Flesh was illustrated by artist Lazaros Pasdekis who lives in the United Kingdom. For more info about him and his work check out his Deviant Art page or seek him out for your own commissions at ComicArtCommisions

Like The Flesh, Lazaros is super strong and almost always super naked, so the inspiration for this piece came to him almost as naturally as well…being au naturel.

Actually, Lazaros is a masterful illustrator who was able to bring my idea for this cover piece to life extremely fast and extremely spot on with my terrible rough notes.

What inspired this piece and the entire Before Action League cover art series were two questions: How ridiculous would it be if Action League Now was a real, melodramatic, super hero comic series, and if it was what would be each characters tragic origin story?

For The Flesh, I’d like to think that he was an average, plucky young man named Lester who worked at a local hardware store in a small town somewhere in Iowa. I imagine that Lester was a bit scrawny, physically weak and a little dim-witted, but extremely happy and optimistic about life despite having some financial set backs and several hardships. He had a sickly grandmother who was mistreated at her nursing home by her caretakers, a younger 16-year-old sister who got pregnant with the child of her abusive, drug addicted, criminal boyfriend, and if that wasn’t enough he had to contend with several enemies at work and at home like an overbearing boss who verbally abused and degraded him in front of others and a scumbag landlord who never fixed anything, constantly raised his rent and stole his things. He was powerless to really change any of these things in his life so he had to stay optimistic, work hard and pray for a miracle.

And one stormy night his prayers were answered when on his way home from another grueling day of stocking shelves and being bullied at work, his truck blew a tire on a deserted stretch of farm road. As he was struggling to muster what little strength he had left to pry loose the rusty lug nuts off the busted wheel in the pouring rain, the night sky began to flash and blaze with ethereal light and a mysterious bolt of cosmic energy shot out of a supernatural electrical storm and struck him down. The unearthly energy of the blast mutated his genes transforming his muscles and flesh into an indestructible mass that gave him super strength, but caused his body to imperceptibly vibrate with a harmless form of alien radiation that repels and disintegrates any form of fabric or terrestrial material fashioned by man from his body forcing him to be permanently naked.

I could go on and on with this ridiculous scenario, but to sum it up. I imagine that with his newfound power he enacts revenge on all his enemies, and then runs off to join the circus before finally being recruited by the Chief to join the Action League.

But for anyone out there who remembers Action League Now or if you’re just a fan of comics, what kind of ridiculous origin story do you think The Flesh would have? Add to this one, or post your own premise in the comments below. If not, check back with Blogelodeon soon for cover two of the Before Action League fan series featuring ThunderGirl…she flies…like thunder.

Zeebo the Clown by artist Lee Milewski

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Zeebo the Clown by artist Lee Milewski

To kick off our new Nick Fan Art submission series and in honor of Halloween, we’re starting with artist Lee Milewski’s rendering of
Zeebo the Clown from Are You Afraid of the Dark S.1 Ep. 2
The Tale of Laughing in the Dark

Milewski tells Blogelodeon that before bringing this portrait of the clown to life, he chain smoked stogies for a month (and is currently still addicted to them), communicated with his friends and family by leaving them messages written solely on balloons for a solid week and a half and hung around outside a local carnival scaring children for artistic inspiration. It looks like his hard work paid off and we here at Blogelodeon can’t think him enough for his contribution.

Check out more of Lee’s art here: http://leemilewski.deviantart.com/gallery/

And keep an eye out for new Blogelodeon posts, fan art and video interviews! Coming up soon!

Kelby’s Modern Blog: Episode 13: Cabin Fever/Rinse and Spit

Greetings Rocko fanatics. This is it, the last episode of the first season of Rocko’s Modern Life. It will also be the final episode of the show I review for Blogelodeon. The deal that Netflix had with Viacom that allowed streaming of various shows from Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET and other networks expired on May 22nd, effectively ending my ability to watch and review Modern Life. It’s been a hell-of-a-lot-O-fun recapping the show and I hope all of you have enjoyed the ride and maybe relived some of the memories from our collective youth.

Se1, Ep13: Cabin Fever

Fate and bad scheduling force Rocko, Heffer and the Bigheads to share the same cabin in the mountains for the weekend. Mr. Bighead….does not take this well. This segment is all about a simple premise bringing four different characters into a confined space and watching the sparks fly as their personalities bounce off each other and explode. Like most Mr. Bighead episodes it also contains a lot of physical comedy as he attempts and fails to destroy his pesky neighbor. There’s not much else to say about this one, it’s just a quick, funny segment that highlights the talents of the show’s cast and crew.

Se1, Ep13: Rinse and Spit

Whereas the last segment had a pretty simple premise, this one goes for all out wacky. Filbert calls in a favor from Rocko to be his patient for his final dentistry exam. The only problem? Filbert is a terrible dentist. So terrible, in fact, that he turns Rocko’s cavity-filled tooth (the other teeth call him Jerry) into a giant radiated monster that kidnaps a large portion of the Academy of Dentistry and Rocko and rampages through the city. Filbert’s chosen method of defeating the beast is to dress up like the tooth fairy and politely order him to stop.

When that doesn’t work and Dr. Hutchison, Filbert’s teacher and love interest, is captured by the beast and used as a toy, Filbert throws Dr. Hutchison’s hook hand at the beast’s cavity and he falls off the top of a skyscraper. If that doesn’t sound like a reference to King Kong then the line “No, it was tartar killed the beast” certainly will.

Besides being a funny segment this final bit of the season also serves as a herald for season two in a few ways. First, Filbert’s second substantial segment confirms his inclusion into the main cast. His mutually flirtatious interactions with Dr. Hutchison here also set up a romance and relationship that will go on for the rest of the series and involve some of its most memorable episodes. Second, and this is based on my recent viewings of the first few episodes of season two (before they disappeared from Netflix anyway), “Rinse and Spit” marks a shift in the comedic dynamic of the show in that in addition to satire and physical comedy Rocko will come to include segments and episodes anchored by story-driven humor and emotion. Sometimes that means an episode won’t be as laugh out loud funny but it will stick with you much longer. In other words, season two might be closer to Futurama in execution than Family Guy, as crazy as that sounds. That’s not to say Rocko doesn’t have any of the biting social commentary it’s known for beyond its first season but that there’s more variety in its humor. Either way, the censors did eventually figure out what “Chokey Chiken” meant and started cutting scenes involving jokes about sex motels and ball grabbing. I’m pretty sure you know what kind of balls I’m talking about here.

…..

…..

Testicles. I’m referring to testicles.

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Kelby’s Modern Blog: Episode 12: Spitballs/Popcorn Pandemonium

Good day friends. Today’s review covers the second to last episode of Rocko’s first season and it’s not quite as weird or memorable as some of Modern Life’s best. Still, there’s some funny stuff going on, so let’s dive in and check out Rocko and Heffer as they quest for a foul ball and a good movie.

Continue reading

Kelby’s Modern Blog: Episode 11: Power Trip/To Heck and Back

Greetings Nick-fans. Today’s episode of Rocko’s Modern Life is Filbert first big episode and as such its time to learn how to draw the guy. Take it away Joe!

I’m pretty sure that’s the last “How to draw” video I’ll be including in this blog. Hope you enjoyed them. Now, on to the show! Continue reading

Kelby’s Modern Blog: Episode 10: “The Good, the Bad, and the Wallaby”/”Trash-O-Madness”

Greetings, nerds! Since this week’s episode features Modern Life’s pilot, we may as well talk about what the hell that means and other boring enthralling clerical stuff I’ve been putting off. To simplify things, pilot episodes are basically test episodes for TV shows meant to determine whether a) the show sucks, b) it will be profitable to create further episodes of planned show and c) it is filled with enough attractive people to satisfy what television executives assume the American or whatever audience wants out of their glowing screen. Sometimes if the company ordering the pilot likes it, enough money will appear, and a TV show will be produced. Sometimes that pilot episode becomes the first episode of the show. Other times it’s never seen again.

In the case of Rocko’s Modern Life and “Trash-O-Madness” (and according to IMDB) the pilot became the show’s sixth episode.

“But wait!?” You might be asking. “I thought the sixth episode of Rocko was the one where Mrs. Bighead tried to hump stuff?”

Well, technically it was….and it wasn’t.

Sometimes the episodes of a television series are aired in an order that differs from the creator’s original intent, for whatever reason. Ask a die-hard fan of Firefly, they’ll tell you about it. As Rocko doesn’t have all that many storyline threads connecting its episodes in season 1, I guess Nickelodeon figured it wasn’t a big deal to air things out of order. And with the exception of the audience’s (and Rocko’s) introduction to Heffer’s family being shown way, way after Rocko meets Mr. Wolfe there aren’t too many continuity errors. Either way, I’m reviewing the episodes the way Netflix shows them, which is by the production codes the creators gave them. If you’d like to see how Nick originally aired Rocko’s Modern Life, click on the IMDB link I provided earlier.

*Ahem*

And now back to our regularly scheduled cowboy humor. Continue reading