What Is It About The Color Blue?

Recently I’ve received hundreds, possibly even thousands, of emails from readers asking me to write a blog specifying my top 5 favorite blue (the color, not the state of mind) characters from television, film, and popular culture.  This got me thinking, and as I pondered the question I quickly came up with a dozen or so blue individuals off the top of my head from Huckleberry Hound to those blue aliens with the white hair and antennae from Star Trek.  What is it about the color blue that makes it such a prominent shade?  For the complete breakdown of Blue and its various properties refer to this Wikipedia page!

And now, because you demanded it, I give you my Top 5 Blue Characters!

#5 – The Tardis


Any Dr. Who fans out there?  The Tardis is an incredibly complex and difficult to understand device.  Capable of traveling across all of time and space, and even occasionally punch its way through to different universes, this home/transport of the mysterious Time Lord known only as The Doctor is under the guise of a big blue British police phone box.  The Tardis is often a welcome sight to the Doctor’s companions.   This strange machine regularly disappears and reappears just as they find themselves in a jam.  Though an inanimate object the Tardis is somewhat conscious and self aware and is just another of the strange characters that crop up in the show, especially in the recent seasons where the Tardis was briefly granted a human form.  I’m not a huge Dr. Who expert but I know enough about the lore to count the Tardis among my top 5 favorite blue beings.

#4 – The Smurfs


The Smurfs.  These guys pretty much wrote the book on being blue.  I’ve previously discussed my enjoyment of the Smurfs in other posts, such as my fairly recent Friday Funny Pages which featured the little blue creatures.  This is not to say that I endorse, at all, that recent Smurf abomination which they dared call a “movie.”  The only Smurfs I recognize as legit are those that appear in print or cartoon format.  I don’t really need to go into much more detail about the Smurfs do I?  Either you know who the Smurfs are, or you’re some kind of asshole whom I’d rather not associate with.


#3- Deep Blue


I love robots!  Especially real robots.  Although Deep Blue is technically not a real “robot”, and is actually a powerful computer, it still was designed to interact with humans to some capacity, so to me was a robot.  Alas I digress.  Deep Blue in both name and appearance, this chess playing son of a bitch could really mate some checks!  The Deep Blue computer was made famous for defeating human chess champion Garry Kasparov back in 1997, which some claimed was the heralding of the robot destruction of mankind.  As we now know that was not the case (though we should remain vigilant and prepare the way for our eventual robotic overlords.)  A shining achievement of computing design Deep Blue was a stepping stone for IBM and lead the way to such creations as Watson, the robot that recently appeared on Jeopardy and defeated Ken Jennings.  Sadly Deep Blue was disassembled shortly after its notable victory, thus depriving Kasparov of a sorely wanted rematch.

#2 – Nightcrawler


Kurt Wagner.  Nightcrawler!  This German born X-Man is one of my favorite students of Professor Charles Xavier, and indeed one of my favorite Marvel super heroes of all time.  With the ability to leap around and climb walls well enough to keep up with the likes of Spider-Man, Nightcrawler is also granted the power to teleport from one spot to another thanks to his natural mutant talents.  What’s not to like?  Nightcrawler is a badass who’s also a nice guy.  After awhile you get tired of stoic faced anti-heroes and hard nosed leaders of men.  Occasionally you just want a super hero who can get the job done, who looks cool, and who has a smile on his face.  That’s Nightcrawler.  This was no easy choice for me because there are a shit ton of blue comic book characters, especially X-Men.  There’s Beast, Mystique, Archangel, half the morloks, and several others.  But when it comes to blue super heroes, Nightcrawler has my vote.  As an added bonus ol’ Nighty had a near perfect portrayal in the second X-Men movie, it’s always a relief for us comic book geeks to see our heroes done right on film.

#1 – R2-D2


R2-D2, the real hero of the Star Wars saga.  The unassuming little astromech droid with the blue detailing that went on to get involved in one of the most epic interstellar adventures of all time.   You shouldn’t really be surprised that my number one favorite blue character heralds from the Star Wars universe, and I had to choose him for number one due to the major role he plays in the movies.  There are few of our heroes from Star Wars who don’t owe R2-D2 their life.  Being that R2 is a walking toolbox he’s also handy to have around when it comes to repairing equipment, detecting lifeforms, parsing data streams, and picking locks.  R2-D2 has seen quite a bit of action and with the continuing success of the Clone Wars cartoon we are finally getting a good look at just how much action!  With the approaching release of the Star Wars movies on blu-ray there will be renewed interest in the adventures of R2-D2 and the rest of the gang from the galaxy far, far away.  And right about now I’m guessing that R2-D2 is pretty glad he doesn’t speak English, so that he can’t become the nexus of an, added dialogue, George Lucas tinkering, fan base controversy.  As of now R2-D2 remains the same as ever, though some other elements of his surroundings might get tweaked around him.

So there you have it!  Behold the power of BLUE!

That is all!


Rivals Playing Chess

So I have been following the promotional campaign for X-Men First Class because the movie intrigues me.  I was initially really looking forward to this X-Men prequel, then a few details were revealed and I thought it sounded kind of goofy, then they’d reveal a few pictures from the set and I was interested again, until they would show some footage which looked questionable and then I was off the wagon once again.  This has continued for some time now until I’ve reached the point where I am now, basically feeling that this movie will simply be whatever it has become.  Obviously it doesn’t stick to the comics, and they say it doesn’t necessarily stick with the previous X-Men movie continuity but at this point I am just looking forward to seeing this movie if for no other reason than to find out if I will actually enjoy it or not.

All of that not withstanding there is one image from the various promo shots that I really like, and that’s the picture of Xavier and Magneto hunched over a table playing chess.  I like this image for several reasons; First I think it captures the Professor X/Magneto vibe pretty well, Second it harkens back to X-Men 2 (best of the X-Movies) when the two rivals are playing chess in Magneto’s plastic jail cell, and third, and most importantly, it is simply a classically composed iconic image of two great figures caught up in an epic struggle of dark vs. light.  The archetypes of the black and white knights not only physically waging war but mentally and idealistically clashing as well, are ones that can add depth to characters without having to utter a single line of dialogue.  Of course this imagery has been used countless times in every genre and medium imaginable and though it is perhaps overdone and on the verge of cliché, I want to take this time to share with you some other images of other minds coming together over the chess board.  Behold this gathering of great rivals dueling it out on the checkered field of kings!  I start you off with the previously mentioned image from X-Men First Class!