Splinter

SplinterA new, final trailer for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been released, with plenty of new footage. In the new scenes, we got our first, full look at Master Splinter, the sensei of the title’s Ninja Turtles. In the movie, the rat Splinter will be portrayed by dwarf actor Danny Woodburn, and voiced by Tony Shalhoub. In the trailer, we can hear Splinter teaching unity and discipline to his mutant pupils, and he’s also seen fighting (without much of a positive result, actually) a radically powered-up Shredder, who now displays a futuristic, mechanical armor. As one of the main characters, Splinter has appeared in every movie or tv series involving the Turtles, both the original trilogy and the tv show The Next Mutation (usually with the poorest rendering), and he always filled the role of the wise and old mentor. This time, at least, it seems he’ll take a more active role for himself. Let’s see together.

Splinter was born a normal rat in Japan: when he was still a whelp, he was found and “adopted” by Hamato Yoshi, a ninja master from the Foot Clan, who took him in his house as his pet. Splinter proved to be quite an intelligent animal, and Yoshi found out splintercomics1with quite a surprise that, when he trained near the rat’s cage, the latter observed him, and tried to mimic his movements. This strange behavior brought Yoshi to grow fond of his weird pet, and when he killed a man to win the love of Tang Shen and was forced to leave Japan to atone his crime, he chose to take the rat with him in the United States, where he began a new life with Shen. Yoshi founded a small martial arts school in New York, and Splinter witnessed all his lessons from his cage, learning Ninjutsu by mirroring his master’s movements and gestures. Unfortunately, Oroku Saki, a Foot Clan member brother to the man killed by Hamato Yoshi, tracked him back to the States, and murdered both him and Tang Shen. During the fight between Yoshi and Saki, Splinter’s cage was broken; when the killer finished his job, he obviously saw no reason for killing the old rat as well, and left Yoshi’s apartment. Splinter, left alone, came out of his broken cage, and then left the apartment, wandering through the streets of New York. While he was walking with no destination, he witnessed an accident involving a truck that transported a toxic chemical, Ooze. The truck almost ran over a boy carrying a bowl with four turtles in it: the boy was saved, but the bowl broke, and the turtles got carried away by the green chemical leaked from the truck’s trailer to the sewers. Splinter ran to save them, and unwillingly bathed himself in the Ooze to save the young turtles. That very night, his body started to mutate.

The rat and the turtles woke up the morning after the accident with intellect and size remarkably increased: the five of them could now walk upright, and soon learned to speak. It was one of the turtles who named the rat, who was taking care of them by bringing
them food and building for them a place to stay in the sewers, “Splinter”. In return, Splinter used an old book on Reinassance he splintercomics2found in the sewers to name his proteges Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello. Knowing he was old, likely to die soon, Splinter decided to teach Ninjutsu to the four turtles, so that they could, one day, accomplish what he could not: to kill Oroku Saki, who now went by the name Shredder, and to avenge Hamato Yoshi in the process. Splinter made the turtles true ninjas, and when they came of age, he told them about their origin and his master, entrusting them with the mission of killing the Shredder and vanquishing his Western branch of the Foot Clan, which had by now become a criminal organization. The Turtles, who had been taught also Splinter’s honor code, accomplished their master’s request, found Shredder, and killed him in combat (even if it took the combined effort of the four and a great luck to dispose of the enemy). The family then resolved to live together in the sewers, and to act as vigilantes to fight for justice, unseen by the humans. Troubles for Splinter arrived when Dr. Baxter Stockman built the Mousers, robots programmed to kill rats: severely wounded in a fight with an army of lethal robots, Splinter was found and cured by a group of strange men, the Techno Cosmic Research Institute, who the rat discovered were actually aliens, the Utroms, who told him they were responsible for his and his “sons” mutation. Now knowing that his and his pupils’ nature wasn’t the result of chance, he came back to the Turtles with a renewed spirit, ready to continue with his role as a mentor and a sensei.

Despite his appearance is the one of a gigantic, hideous rat, Master Splinter is a wise and spiritual sensei, a ninja master who possesses a high and sharp intellect and a good heart. Thanks to his “lessons” with Hamato Yoshi, Splinter is an extremely skilled martial artist, proficient with any weapon and gifted with an infallible aim with bow and arrow, able to single-handedly defeat his four disciples, even coming all at once. Always calm and controlled, Splinter is a true father figure for the Ninja Turtles, the steadfast moral pillar of their family and a guidance in bright and dark times.

Galvatron

GalvatronPlenty of new trailers for Transformers: Age of Extinction, and this time we get our first, full catch at the movie’s main villain, the man-made robot Galvatron. Voiced by Frank Welker, Galvatron will be the result of human experiments over Megatron‘s dead body: needless to say, he’ll wake up even nastier and more powerful than the original leader of the Decepticons, and he’ll take back his predecessor’s business up where he left them. Despite not being a man-made Transformer in the comics, Galvatron has a similar connection to Megatron, even if, depending on the versions (and time paradoxes, and parallel realities etc.) he’s sometimes a further evolution of the Decepticon, or an independent being. Let’s see together.

In 2006, the eternal battle between Autobots and Decepticons seemed to finally reach an end, as Optimus Prime was finally able to defeat and kill his nemesis Megatron. Unfortunately, somebody else had other plans for the Decepticon leader. Unicron (the galvatroncomics1Transformer god of death and destruction), wanting to create another, powerful tool to use against his hated brother Primus (the Transformer god of life), resurrected Megatron, increasing his power beyond any imagination, modifying his character and personality to make him more similar to the Dark God himself, and made him one of his most loyal and deadly servants: Galvatron, bringer of destruction. Galvatron’s power proved to be the first mistake from Unicron, since his new servant was quite unhappy to execute his orders, preferring to take his own course of action during the missions the Dark God entrusted him. After taking back the leadership of the Decepticons, Galvatron continued the war he was fighting as Megatron, but was unable to score a definitive victory, despite his augmented powers. Finally, Unicron ordered Galvatron to destroy the Matrix, the embodiment of Primus’ essence, the source of creation and the only artifact the Dark God actually feared; Galvatron, however, had to destroy it in the past, when it was weaker. Along with two of his most trusted men, Cyclonus and Scourge, Galvatron used a superior technology to travel back to 1986, taking the place (thanks to a time-travel rule according to which the same ammount of matter had to occupy the same time) of Optimus Prime, Prowl and Ratchet.

The first thing Galvatron did in the new epoch was to overthrow his past self, Megatron, as leader of the Decepticons: when Megatron tried to attack him, bot him and Soundwave ended up buried under falling debris. Witnessing this exhibition of galvatroncomics2strength, Starscream and the other Decepticons accepted Galvatron as their leader (Starscream unaware that his future self had been killed by Galvatron himself), and helped him and his two subordinates to build a giant laser to annihilate the Autobot forces. In the meanwhile, Ironhide had freed Megatron from the debris, and Autobots and Decepticons had forged an alliance to face the future Transformers. Even their combined forces proved to be insufficient, as Galvatron easily took care of them. To aid the present Autobots and Decepticons, the super-Autobot Ultra Magnus intervened, as well as future Autobots Hot RodKup and Blurr; intrigued by Ultra Magnus’ power, Galvatron accepted to fight him, while the three future Autobots took care of Cyclonus, Scourge and the weapon. Galvatron managed to defeat Magnus, but ended up being hit by the huge explosion of his sabotaged cannon. In rage, when he freed himself from the ruins, Galvatron killed what he believed to be Starscream (actually a disguised Skywarp). Since he had killed future Starscream, Galvatron understood he was in front of a paradox: Starscream wouldn’t have been able to be killed by him in the future if he was dead in the past, yet he retained the memory of the event. Believing to be in an alternate timeline, where his actions wouldn’t have had any influence over his present, Galvatron came back to his time with Cyclonus and Scourge…quite a fortune for the present Transformer, as none of their abilities or plans had proven to be enough to scratch the powerful future Decepticon.

Galvatron is pure evil and violence incarnate, an embodiment of destruction that will stop in front of nothing to achieve his goals (that usually are the total annihilation of his enemies). Extremely strong and durable, Galvatron is virtually indestructible, and has a firepower superior to most of the Transformers ever existed. A tactical genius, Galvatron is a warrior feared by both enemies and allies, since in his rage he’s capable of erasing from existence Autobots and Decepticons alike. With no regard at all for life, unstoppable and cruel, Galvatron is the most serious threat Cybertron has ever faced since Unicron walked on its surface.

Mort

MortNew trailer directly from Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and we get our first look at one of the minor, yet essential characters: Mort, portrayed by Christopher Meloni. In the movie, he’ll appear in the main episode, A Dame to Kill For, and he’ll be one of the (many) men seduced and manipulated by Ava Lord, the title’s dame. Oddly enough, the characters should have appeared in the first Sin City already, but he was almost cut out, and his role in That Yellow Bastard was filled by the treacherous Bob. He however has a small cameo, portrayed by Ron Hayden, during the hospital scene, although he’s not named. This time, we’ll have the real Mort hanging around, even if not in his best shape. You’re warned, spoilers ahead.

Mort was born and raised in Basin City, and, oddly enough, he grew up with the desire of becoming a cop not for money or power like everyone else did, but for serving and protecting, quite a rare thing in such a corrupted environment. Despite the hostility mortcomics1coming from the high-ranking officers, everyone on the Roark family’s or gangster Wallenquist‘s payroll, Mort managed to enter Basin City Police Department and eventually to become a detective, fighting everyday to keep his conscience clear, and being quite a pain in the back for whoever tried to corrupt or bribe him. Mort became friends with another black swan like him, John Hartigan, an elder detective who had been an honest cop all his life: the two of them, alone against a crooked Department, covered each other’s back against friendly fire more than they did against criminals. Mort also married a woman, an unnamed Afroamerican who he truly and deeply loved. One of the first shocks in his career arrived when Hartigan was arrested for being a serial raper and killer, a pedophile charged with the murder of several little girls. Mort easily understood it was all a facade, put up to frame Hartigan and to cover up some big name, and, while his friend was hospitalised, he tried to convince him to tell him the truth, so that he would have been able to exculpate him and to arrest the real criminal. Unfortunately Hartigan, blackmailed by Senator Roark, refused to say anything, and Mort was unable to help his friend. Eight years later, even when Hartigan declared himself guilty (in order to be free to save Nancy Callaghan), Mort stayed close to him, and waited for him out of prison in order to give him a ride to his house. He updated John on his wife’s new life, and parted from him as the friend he had always been.

During Hartigan’s imprisonement, Mort was assigned to a new partner: Bob, the same corrupt detective that had shot Hartigan and that had helped Junior Roark escape justice. Mort didn’t trust Bob, nor Bob trusted him, but the two of them ended up bonding somehow (especially because of Bob’s sense of guilt towards his betrayal of Hartigan). Mort and Bob mortcomics2ended up being assigned to a case of murder: one of the city’s richest men, Damien Lord, had been killed in his own house, and his widow, Ava, accused a private eye, Dwight McCarthy, an ex, jealous lover. Ava acted as the victim and damsel in distress with Mort, and slowly started confusing his mind with her seductive skills. Despite still loving his wife, Mort started being obsessed with Ava Lord, and couldn’t stop thinking about her. One night, unable to sleep, Mort called Ava, and she “begged” him for company, being “scared” and “alone”. Mort fell for it, went to her place, and had sex with her. From that moment, he ceased to think rationally, and became a puppet dancing to the woman’s strings. Mort and Bob kept investigating Damien’s death, and interrogated Dwight’s friends; one of them, his landlady, told them that Dwight and Ava had had sex the night before Damien was killed. Bob started suspecting Ava’s involvment in the murder, but Mort just didn’t want to acknowledge the evidence. During a love night, he asked Ava about her relation with Dwight, but she told him that she had come to Dwight’s place to have him come to his senses about his intentions of killing Damien, and that he had raped her, until she was saved by Manute. Mort, once again, trusted her, and promised her he would have gone personally to the Old Town and killed Dwight. Bob was now quite aware that his partner had been fooled by the woman, and knew he was the only one able to prevent Mort from doing something irreparable…

Mort is a good man and a good cop, one of the very few people in Sin City really honest and righteous. Unfortunately, his good will is not always up to his good heart, and he proves to be more susceptible to other people’s influence that he himself realised (especially when it comes to an expert of manipulation like Ava Lord). Mort’s main weakness is his unawareness of his own weakness, a flow that will prove to be a lethal one.

Alarich Wallenquist (The Kraut)

WallenquistNew trailer for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and quite a good one. During the trailer, we get our first good look at one of the movie’s villains, the scarred and hulkling Alarich Wallenquist, portrayed by Stacy Keach. In the trailer, he’s seen confronting Ava Lord, who has now taken in her hands her deceased husband’s business and wants to expand it to the local criminality. The first time we see him, it’s clear Ava is trying to seduce him, the second one…well, it seems that her attempt didn’t bring good results at all. Despite being one of the most important characters in the comics, he seldomly appeares, preferring to move the strings from behind the curtains. Let’s see together who Herr Wallenquist is.

Very little is known about the man known as Herr Wallenquist: born in a German-American family, he started from nothing a criminal empire that became one of the most powerful and influent in the entire nation. Stationed in Basin City, Wallenquist managed to win to his organization every illegal activity of the city, as long as it was profitable, erasing from existence whoever else tried to operate without his consent. wallenquistcomics1Cunning and cautious, a real planner, Herr Wallenquist (or The Kraut, as he was known in the alleys of Basin) started forging alliances with all the other powers in town, being them the Roark brothers or the Basin City Police Department, equally dividing the areas of influence. While his organization and personal power grew, Wallenquist needed trusted subordinates to entrust with the more practical aspects of the many activities the organization committed itself with: contract killing, drug smuggling, human trafficking and horgan harvesting, racketeering, financial frauds and many others. The Kraut found the perfect man in the mysterious Colonel, a former military officer who started as a killer in the organization, and rose to the position of right-hand man to Wallenquist. The first, major defeat suffered by Wallenquist’s organization was the loss of the Old Town, the block in which the prostitutes worked; when the girls started a rebellion under the lead of The Twins, the mobsters ended up losing the war, and the prostitutes started to work autonomously. As always, Wallenquist accepted the defeat with dignity and composure, without losing time, energies and wealth in unuseful “extravagance” such as vengeance…waiting for the right occasion to try and take back his dominion over the Old Town.

Among the many people The Kraut did business with there was Damien Lord, one of the wealthiest men in Basin City, but unfortunately one of the few honest ones: Lord’s “allergy” for illegal affairs soon tired Wallenquist, who abandoned one of his wallenquistcomics2potential business partners to focus on the others. When Lord was killed by Dwight McCarthy, a private investigator manipulated by Lord’s wife Ava, Wallenquist regained interest towards the Lords, and followed Ava’s schemes, having her spied and learning that she caused the death of two police officers in order to cover her tracks. When Ava invited Wallenquist to her mansion, The Kraut knew exactly what to expect from her, and agreed to become business partner with her. When she tried to seduce him in order to have him kill Dwight, however, Wallenquist proved to be impervious to her charme, and warned her that, if she really wanted the private eye dead, she would have had to pay much a higher price than just her body. Unfortunately, Ava’s schemes soon turned against her, and she ended up being killed by her former puppet Dwight. Wallenquist lost a potential source of profit, but earned a loyal and proficient subordinate, Manute, Ava’s lover and bodyguard, who, seeking revenge, came to him looking for a job (one that would have allowed him to kill McCarty). When a chance arrived to take back the Old Town, following the accidental murder of Lt. Jack Rafferty, Wallenquist sent Manute with some of his men and mercenaries to cause a war between the girls and the police, so that he could have conquered the Old Town exploiting the situation. Nothing that escaped Wallenquist’s control was meant to stay free for long.

Herr Wallenquist is an extremely intelligent and cunning man, able to calculate in short time potential profits and disadvantages deriving from any operation. Despite living in one of the most violent and brutal cities in the world, The Kraut is extremely rational and calm, and is able to ponder and consider every course of action before proceeding in any direction; acting like this, he ensured for himself a total control over any criminal activity in Basin. Despite possessing quite a physical bulk, and being proficient with firearms, Wallenquist prefers not to act directly, entrusting his subordinates with the practical aspects of his plans. Powerful and far from the lights, The Kraut is the true lord and master of Sin City.

Frank William Chandler (Chas)

Chas ChandlerNew trailer for the upcoming Constantine tv series, and this time we briefly see one of the show’s future recurring characters, Chas Chandler, portrayed by Charles Halford. Chas will be John Constantine‘s best (and longest living) friend, who accompanies him in his anti-demon crusade with a yellow cab. Chas already appeared in the Constantine movie, in a much younger version and with his name slightly changed to Chas Kramer, portrayed by Shia LaBeouf. Young Chas helps Constantine in his quest against the demon Mammon, but he’s ultimately killed by the rogue angel Gabriel, and, oddly enough, he becomes an angel himself. Hopefully, the new version will be closer to the comics’ source: let’s see together who the real, non-angel Chas is.

Frank William Chandler was born in London, and lived in a small apartment with his parents and his brother. His family life soon became quite a mess: his brother got hanged, while his obese and cruel mother, Queenie, killed his father, and committed herself to ruin her remaining son’s life (it’s possible that her influence was the trigger to the other Chandler’s fate). To make things worse, Queenie became an amateur witch, and also got a familiar, a naughty female chimpanzee named Slag. Since Queenie’s soul was bonded to the one of her familiar, the monkey started taking a wicked pleasure in making Frank’s life a living hell as well, alienating the boy from his friends, and making it impossible for him to have chaschandlercomics1something like a love life thanks to the awful body odor the chimp used on him. The only friend that didn’t flee from Frank and his obnoxious mother was John Constantine, who just moved to London and lived with Frank, who he had nicknamed “Chas” after Jimi Hendrix‘s producer. After hearing his friend’s story, and witnessing in first person the meaningless cruelty of his mother and her chimp, John, who was a sorcerer in his own right, resolved to help his friend…in quite a definitive way. Constantine used the human part of the monkey’s soul to trick her and to make her believe he loved her, and lured her near the docks, where he drowned her; since Queenie and Slag were bonded, by killing the monkey John had actually killed Chas’ mother as well, a debt of gratitude that would have linked Chas to Constantine for all his life.

Finally free from his mother’s influence, Chas left his house and followed John in his new adventure, the post-punk band Mucous Membrane. The band moved from town to town, until a supernatural incident involving a little girl almost drove them all mad, with Constantine actually ending up in a mental asylum. Chas kept being close to John even during his internment, but in the meanwhile he made a life for himself. chaschandlercomics2He married a girl named Renee, who strongly disliked her husband’s best friend. Usually, everytime Chas and Renee had an argument, it was about John and his “bad influence” over Chas. The two eventually had a daughter, Geraldine, who got pregnant at only sixteen years old and had a daughter on her own, Trish. Again, Chas had a difficult family life, but this time it was a normal kind of “difficult” at least. When Constantine came out of the asylum, Chas’ life became everything but “normal”. Chas had become a taxi driver, and when his best friend became some sort of detective of the occult, he started serving as his chaffeur; he also acted as the muscles to Constantine’s brains, and put his street-fighting at use more than once during his adventures with John. Despite being quite a reliable ally, Chas had been kept at a distance by John, who wanted to avoid his friend to get involved with the darker aspects of his “job”, something that upset Chas quite a lot…until he found himself alone, to face the ancient demon Tuma’el with only The Knowledge (the pattern of London’s streets every cab driver have to know) at his disposal to stop him. After his first, succesfull exorcism, Chas started to apreciate when Constantine kept him unaware of demonic threats…

Frank “Chas” Chandler is the perfect British man, with a sharp sense of humor and an all-but-remarkable life to speak about. With a pesky wife and a troublesome daughter, Chas often hangs around with his best friend John Constantine, and (not always willingly) gives him a hand with his “job” as the Hellblazer. A pretty decent marksman and a brawler himself, Chas sometimes helps his friend with his talents, especially when it comes to knowing the streets of London. Chas’ loyalty towards Constantine is beyond any doubt, and the latter’s attachment towards him is undeniable…especially considering he’s pretty much the only living friend he still has.

Drift (Deadlock)

DriftThere’s yet another character barely seen in the new Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer: when Optimus Prime gathers his forces, a blue Autobot with a samurai-like mask and helmet can be seen right next to him. That’s Drift, who will be voiced in the movie by Ken Watanabe. In the film, Drift will be one of Optimus’ new subordinates, a former Decepticon who will help him fight against the man-made Transformers who are seeking to conquer Earth. Nothing else is known about him as for now, except that he’ll be able to transform into a cool 2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, quite a flashy car for such a serious warrior. In the comics, Drift’s backstory is pretty much the same, but his appearance is quite different, as with most of the movie-version of the Transformers. Let’s see together who he is.

Drift was born on planet Cybertron, during the events that immediately preceded the Great War. A common citizen, Drift lived on the streets with his friend Gasket, and didn’t care about politics: the only thing he knew was that people were getting poor and hungry, and that the High Council didn’t help them; among the parties, the Decepticons seemed the only ones to be actually caring for regular guys, accusing the Government of failing Cybertron’s citizens and ignoring the social plight they were going through. Once, while hanging around with Gasket, Drift met an Autobot security guard on patrol: things soon got troublesome, and before somebody realised what had happened, Drift had tried to take the gun away from the guard, and an accidental shot had killed Gasket. Overwhelmed by a blind fury, Drift killed the guard, and also all the driftcomics1reinforcements that had arrived hearing the shot: he discovered quite an innate ability in the use of firearms. After hearing about the “incident”, the leader of Decepticons, Megatron, sent his men to collect Drift and to bring him before him: the rebel offered him a place among the Decepticons, and Drift, full of rage, accepted his offer. Gifted by nature with an incredible aim, Drift became an even better marksman with the Decepticons’ training, and became one of the most feared warriors on Cybertron; Megatron himself appointed him with the name Deadlock, officially welcoming him among his ranks. A bane for the Autobots, Deadlock killed many enemies, serving as a second in comand for Decepticon Turmoil. It was during a mission with him that Deadlock was seriously wounded, and left for dead on the battlefield; his body was found by Wing, a mysterious warrior who brought him on another planet, to a secret location, the New Crystal City, where a third faction of Cybertronians lived. It was the beginning of Deadlock’s new life.

The Crystal City was inhabited by a neutral group of Cybertronians who refused to take part in the Great War, the Knights of Light, who felt that a life had a sacred value, being it from the Decepticons’ or the Autobots’ side. They underwent a severe discipline under the tutelage and training of their leader, Dai Atlas, who wasn’t happy at all with Wing, who had brought a Decepticon in their sanctuary: Wing, however, assured his master he could change Deadlock, feeling that something good was still buried in his soul. Deadlock was rebuilt with the Crystal City’s technology, and, once back to his senses, he couldn’t help but being fascinated by Wing’s ideals and philosophy: the warrior taught him that all life is sacred, and that the mission of driftcomics2the strong ones is to protect those weaker than them, quite the opposite of what Megatron had taught him. He also discouraged his disciple from using ever again his guns, despite his skill, and trained him in the Knights’ martial art, aimed to inflict the least possible damage to an enemy and to put him down without killing him; he also trained him in the use of swords, weapons far more noble than guns. With time, Deadlock came back to be simply Drift. When the Knights intercepted a signal they couldn’t identify, Drift recognized it as a Decepticon one, and secretly followed it: he found an old teammate, Lockdown, trading with some local slavers, and he told him he would have revealed the secret location of the New Crystal City in exchange of a ride to Cybertron. Drift’s plans were actually to ambush and defeat the slavers who had hunted the Knights for so long, but Dai Atlas and his men refused to fight, since they used their martial arts only for self-discipline; only a bunch of warriors decided to join Drift, who led them in combat against his former allies. During the battle, Wing died, and just before Drift was ready to sacrifice himself to protect the remaining Knights, Dai Atlas and the others intervened, defeating the slavers once and for all. Dai Atlas, recognizing Drift’s value, gifted him with Wing’s katana, telling him to use it only when it was strictly necessary, as it drove its power from the spark of its user. Feeling he had been given a second chance, Drift started traveling the universe as a lonely warrior, hunting his former allies, the Decepticons, and protecting the weak ones they lorded over.

Drift is a noble and tormented warrior, who consecrated his life to redeem himself from a haunting past and to protect the weak ones from the domineering tyrants he himself served in his youth. Serious and disciplined, Drift is a master of a secret martial art similar to Diffusion (a Transformer martial art that uses the opponent’s strength against him); he is also a proficient swordsman, who uses his double short swords in battle, and seldomly his katana, a sword able to cut through anything, but that consumes his spark (life energy); he’s also an infallible marksman, but he chose not to use a gun ever again. On Earth, he can transform into a sport car (usually a Nissan Silva S15), gaining speed. Respectful of life and justice, Drift sometimes allies with the Autobots to pursue his mission, but fights on his own against all the horrors the Great War has brought on both sides.

Slag

SlagNew trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction, and we had the chance to see another couple of Dinobots. Unfortunately, only one is noticeable during the pursuit on the bridge, especially because he’s quite large and not hidden behind a car: the giant, mechanical triceratops running on the other side of the street is Slag, one of the original Dinobots. In the movie, he’ll be one of the ancient Transformers that Optimus Prime will call in aid against the new batch of man-made Transformers, but it seems he’ll have some difficulties convincing them to join him. Curiously, all the Dinobots seem to be mute: in the comics, they surely are not. Let’s see together.

Slag was born on planet Cybertron millions of years ago, a Transformer who participated, as all his fellow citizens, to the Great War between the wise and peaceful Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, and the violent and warmonger Decepticons, led by Megatron, fighting for the first ones. During the war, he suffered a major damage to his emotional dampeners, and became uncapable of controlling his feelings; living in a world constantly in war, the most prominent emotion he felt was the rage of the battle, and the accident turned him into a violent and brutal fighter, who suffered from a serious glitch that, once every 4 million years, turned him into a feral berserker. The first time Slag fell to his Glitch, he ended up killing his slagcomics1entire tactical squad; one of his friends and commanders, Grimlock, who apreciated and valued strength, decided to cover up what had happened, hiding the “incident” from Optimus Prime and the High Command, and taking Slag under his direct comand from that point on. Slag understood he owned a big debt of honor to Grimlock, and despite often clashing with him and with his orders, he always stayed loyal to him. When a meteor swarm threatened to destroy Cybertron, Optimus Prime gathered a team of his best soldiers on the spaceship Ark to stop it and save the planet: Slag was among these. The mission was accomplished with success, but Megatron attacked his weakened enemies with some of his most lethal Decepticons immediately after: during the following battle, Optimus decided to have the Ark crash on a remote and deserted planet, Earth, in order to protect it from Megatron. All the Transformers survived, but they fell into a suspended animation that would have lasted for millennia…for most of them, at least.

When the Ark’s computer detected the presence of Shockwave on the planet, it awakened some of the most fierceful warriors from the Autobots’ lines to face the deadly Decepticon. Slag was among the chosen ones, and he, along with Grimlock and the others awakened, absorbed the characteristics and shape of nearby organisms in order to move freely on the planet; he gained the ability to turn into a mechanical triceratops. Grimlock led Slag and the others, now called Dinobots, against Shockwave, and managed to subdue him; during the battle, however, Slag and his teammates fell into a tar pit, and remained trapped for slagcomics2millions of years. The Dinobots were found in the 1980s by Ratchet, the Autobot medic, who reactivated them; before understanding what had actually happened and how much time had passed, Slag and the others found themselves in battle once again, as they helped Ratchet defeating Megatron. The war wasn’t over, and the Dinobots were ready to fight…unfortunately, their bad attitude soon became a weapon to use against them. Spied upon by Laserbeak, Slag himself became the tool for Jetfire to be used against his comrades, exploiting his berserk’s glitch; even repaired, however, he proved to be quite a tough cookie for his allies, and he often challenged Optimus, not accepting his leadership and proposing Grimlock as the new Autobot commander. War was war, and it needed the strongest ones to be won.

Slag is a violent psychopath, who often falls to a blind rage that involves enemies and allies all the same: suffering from a glitch that prevents him to control his emotions, he’s brutal enough to be confused with a Decepticon. Extremely strong and durable, Slag is also a skilled hand-to-hand fighter and marksman; in his triceratops form, he’s very fast and even more durable, and his frontal horns can become quite a vicious weapon in battle; as a dinosaur, he’s also able to breathe fire. Powerful and dangerous, Slag poses as a threat to whoever he dislikes, being him a Decepticon or an Autobot he considers annoying enough to deserve total annihilation…which means everyone but Grimlock and a few others.